The Crippling of Evangelism
For years Thomas Collier was a Particular Baptist serving as a successful Evangelist/church planter in the west of England. Collier’s labors were so blessed of the Lord that he was referred to as the Baptist “Apostle of the West.” One faithful historian wrote: “Mr. Thomas Collier, a man of great moderation and usefulness; one who lived in those times, when preaching the gospel was attended with very severe trials . . . H was imprisoned at Portsmith . . . “ Only two letters remain of his writing, and the one is dated April 20, 1646. It is apparent that at that early date, Mr. Collier became concerned about a growing emphasis he saw among Baptists that would cripple evangelism. In 1691, prior to the life of John Gill (1696-1771), Collier witnessed the tendency toward the growth of Antinomianism in England. Though Baptists are not a “creedal” people, one must observe that our forefathers were surely a confessional people. H. Leon McBeth explains the difference. A confession affirms what a group of Baptists believe, whereas a creed prescribes what members of a group must believe. Confessions include while creeds exclude. Our Baptist forefathers were careful to emphasize that confessions were only statements of mankind. Antinomianism may be defined: As “the belief that the moral law is not binding on Believers, we are ‘under grace.’ This belief lulls a person into a sense of sinful security.
What we believe determines how we behave. England today is spiritually dead as a result of Calvinism that predominated in the course of time. America is following suit.
Dr. Dale R. Hart, adapted from: This Day in Baptist History III (David L. Cummins) p.p. 229 – 230