Wednesday, October 15, 2008

"Together for the gospel"?


Dr. Steve Lemke of the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary has an interesting article about the differences between Pedobaptist Presbyterians and Baptists.

What is a Baptist? Nine Marks that Separate Baptists from Presbyterians

Timmy Brister, who apparently has assumed a role of an Internet "spokesperson" for the Flounders, has spent quite a few articles ostensibly in review and reply to Dr. Lemke, and has made the statement that "While Baptists and Presbyterians may not be together on the ordinance of baptism, at least they are together for the gospel."

Does this comment indicate that Brister and and the Flounders endorse the Pedo Presbyterian "gospel" that infants born to Christian parents partake in "regeneration" in early infancy or even before they are born (as per Pedo John Frame)?

Does this comment indicate that Brister and the Flounders endorse the modern Pedo "Reformed" Presbyterian phantasmagoria that sinners are "born again before believing in Christ" (as per Frame, R. C. Sproul, J. I. Packer, Iain Murray, John Murray, and other such Pedos who teach the Reformed "ordo salutis" baloney)?

While in some theoretical/soteriological categories the Pedos are similar to Baptists, yet on a practical level, especially on the new birth, the Pedo church memberships are primarily sustained by infants who are presumed to be "regenerated," receive baptism, and are added to the church roll -- all in contrast to the Baptist view of conversion which is believed to be by means of the Gospel. If it were not for the practice of adding infants to the Pedo church rolls, they would most likely decease in due course of time.

One may indeed hear some Gospel-related truths in Pedo churches, but it is seldom that one can hear the Gospel being addressed to lost sinners in Pedo churches. In this respect, it can hardly be said that the Pedos and the Baptists are "together for the gospel."

C. H. Spurgeon has rightly observed:


I do not know, an error which causes the damnation of more souls than that at the present-time.

There are thousands of people who firmly believe that they shall go to heaven because they were sprinkled in infancy, have been confirmed, and have taken the Sacrament. Sacramental efficacy and baptismal regeneration, all spring from the first error of infant baptism.

Had they kept to the Scripture, had the church always required faith before baptism, that error could not have sprung up. It must have died before the light of the truth, it could not have breathed, it could not have had a foothold in the Christian church.

But one error must lead to another—you never need doubt that. If you tamper with one truth of Scripture, he that tempts you to meddle with one, will tempt you to tamper with another, and there will be no end to it, till, at last, you will want a new Bible, a new Testament, and a new God. There is no telling where you will end when you have begun.
>> -- New Park Street Pulpit, Sermon #307, page 168.


>> Some imagine that faith comes by hereditary descent, and they act upon the supposition. Hence, in certain churches, birthright membership is thought to be a proper practice, and the child of a Christian is thought to be a Christian.

In some other churches, though the theory would not be stated in so many words, yet it is practically accepted, and children of pious parents are regarded as scarcely needing conversion. The text is forgotten which saith that the heirs of salvation are born, "not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, but of God." >>
Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Sermon #1031, page 39.

Dr. Lemke rightly commented in his article:

"Most Baptists would not recognize the salvation of those sprinkled as infants, and would be very reluctant to relegate the meaning of baptism as only for believers to be merely a secondary issue, because what is at stake is the doctrine of salvation. Modern day Baptists should not compromise this soteriological issue and count it as merely a peripheral issue. Baptists in prior generations suffered persecution and even martyrdom from Calvinist and Catholic authorities in defense of their beliefs. Clearly, their convictions were that believer’s baptism was an essential rather than secondary issue."

As a member of the Flounders, Timmy Brister's thinking is naturally effected by the fact that the Flounders are a development launched by virtual Presbyterians who called themselves "Baptists."

Founder Ernest Reisinger wrote to Pedobaptist Iain Murray, "We are a congregation of Baptists that is almost Presbyterian" (Ernest C. Reisinger, A Biography, pages 104, 105).

Reisinger and his associates became the foremost promoter in the USA of Pedobaptist/Hybrid Calvinist publications by the "Banner of Truth Trust," headed by Murray.

Brister and Tom Ascol are what might be called "Bapbyterians."


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