Tag Archives: universal

THE LIKENESS OF THIS GENERATION


William Andrew Dillard

Someone once said the more things change, the more they stay the same. It appears contradictory, nevertheless true. Vaunted progress in most every field of endeavor characterizes the present time, but the universal plight, and the persistent actions of men remain unchanged. Nowadays, good is called evil and evil is called good. Selfishness largely rules, and the unchanging principles of time and eternity are pushed aside for what men want right now.
It was to a similar generation of Jesus’ day that he explained the ministry of John the Baptist, and the subsequent kingdom of heaven. There were those who heard him, and they with the publicans justified God being baptized with the baptism of John. On the other hand, there were many of the lawyers and Pharisees who rejected the counsel of God against themselves by rejecting the baptism of John. Luke 7.
They wanted to pit the ministry of John against the ministry of Jesus. They criticized the person of John as aloft, stoic, antisocial because he was not given to eating bread, nor drinking wine with them. Then they criticized Jesus because He did those things, calling Him a gluttonous man, a winebibber, and a friend of publicans and sinners. In short, nothing could be right in the eyes of these critics but their own twisted formula of life. How that remains. Times have changed, but the more they change, the more they stay the same.
Jesus summarized the generation of His earthly ministry. “They are like unto children sitting in the marketplace, and calling one to another, and saying, We have piped unto you and you have not danced; we have mourned to you, and ye have not wept.” Luke 7:31-32. This is an unchanged status quo, having multiplied exponentially.
Men do not have the qualifications, nor any ability to call upon the substance or perimeters of eternity. God does! Moreover, the true churches of the Lord Jesus Christ are in covenant relationship with Him, so they have been given the knowledge of eternity by the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit. They have visited that dimension vicariously, and proven their understanding by the eternal, unchanging Word. It is they who justify God, not only being baptized with the baptism of John, but offering the same to such as bring forth fruit meet for repentance. With them, by God’s grace, I stand! Trusting one’s pompous, but powerless formulations is silly. Trusting the eternal creator of the universe is wise.

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HOW DOES A NEW TESTAMENT CHURCH ORIGINATE?


 

Author: William Andrew Dillard

 

Parson to Person

Church and state is an entirely different thing to religion and state. However, the unscriptural doctrine of universal, invisible church has been in place in the religious world so long (since the Protestant Reformation) that most people, and especially those in government do not know the difference. Additionally, terrible things happen when the government shows favoritism to a literal, visible church or denomination of churches. Furthermore, tax favoritism toward churches has motivated less than honorable men to use such laws to create organizations for fiduciary benefits to themselves. They will tell those under the blinders of their charade to send their money to God, and, Oh, yes, here is his address. With increasing, tax free funds they build their little empire of multiple mansions, yatchs, and airplanes. The increased number and variety of such religious organizations succeed in further blurring the perceptible lines between church and religion. So, one may ask if there really is an important difference, and if so, just how does a New Testament church originate?

Having the prerequisites of personal salvation and John’s baptism, men and women may covenant together to carry out the terms of the Great Commission, ideally under the express will of an established New Testament church that is able to oversee, comfort, and encourage the new congregation. This is succession. It is the New Testament pattern. It is the only pattern acceptable to New Testament churches in their missionary efforts that lead to church succession. Some in the theological world may “guffhaw” at the idea of church succession, but that is their problem. Jesus promised it; historians confirm it, and the meaning of the Word of God is found faulty and meaningless if it is not so. So soon will the bride of Christ who has sailed through bloody seas without mercy from the emmisaries of Satan be welcomed and rewarded by its soon coming king.

Of course, there are those who would be quick to levy the charge of “legalism” to such rigid thinking, but legalism it is not. It is understanding the New Testament pattern while also understanding that Jesus did not give anyone the authority or pronounce any blessings on those who would change the Word of God to fit their own human thinking to placate a sinful world.

On a personal level, let it be known that it is a terrible thing for an eternity-bound image of Almighty God to trust his eternal state to the thinking of others fully as much of a sinner as he, instead of the pure light of the Word. If I were a blind man, I would not want to trust the safety of my travel or the arrival to my proper destination to another blind man.

 

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Chester Tulga, New Testament Baptists and the Nature of the Church


“There is no actual functioning universal church, whether invisible or visible, in existence today. Nowhere is such an idea taught in the new Testament. All redeemed men and women of all ages, whether on earth or in heaven, belong to the family of God (Eph. 3:15). Every born-again believer is in the kingdom of God (John 3:5). But only baptized believers in the fellowship of a local body, having the New Testament as its law and only law, belong to a functioning New Testament.” W. R. White (Baptist Distinctives, p. 53)

“Is it not an historical fact that, since Protestant Pedobaptists invented this idea of a now-existing, invisible, universal, spiritual church, reverence and honor for God’s New Testament particular church have been ground to fine powder between them as between the upper and nether millstones?”

“Today when one seeks to obtain due honor for the the particular assembly, its ordinances, its duties, is he not in many cases thwarted in measure, or altogether in some cases, by objections arising from one or ther other of these erroneous views?” B. H. Carroll (Baptists and their Doctrines, p. 56)

Chester Tulga sees the difference between Catholic and Prostestant as a desire to appear dis-similar in doctrine of the church. To accomplish that the Catholic doctrine of a universal visible church has been changed by the Protestants to a universal invisible church thereby deposing the Pope.

“The doctrine of the nature of the church underlies the differences between New Testament Baptists and those who hold to the Reformed Theology. This was made clear in the time of the reformation in the wide rift between the Anabaptists and the leaders of the Reformation. ” Chester E. Tulga (New Testament Baptists and the Nature of the Church. pg. 1).

Simply stated: there were not any baptists in the early 1900’s that believed in a universal invisible church. The reason being; the Bible does not support such a doctrine.

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