CONTENTS:     
Deciding Questionable Things For Believers    

The Bible Basis for Baptist Church Separation   
Preaching to Others

If I Must Clarify Myself, I Am A....
Six Reasons Believers Must Sometimes Withdraw Fellowship From Other Saints
The Scriptures Teach Spiritual Separation From
 

Deciding Questionable Things For Believers
by Curtis Hutson (1934-1995)

Many times there is not a clear cut Bible verse that tells you if a contemporary situation is right or wrong. Yet the blood-bought child of God should always desire to do that which is pleasing in God's sight, with or without a clear Biblical command. The question is, what Biblical standards can we apply so that we arrive at the correct conclusion? Dr. Hutson answers that question by asking the following questions:

Are you willing to do what is right once you know God's will? (Jn. 7:17)
Does it agree with all the Scripture has to say on the subject? (2 Pet. 1:20)
Have you prayed about it? (Phil 4:6)
Do you have the leading of the Holy Spirit? (Rom. 8:14)
Does it please God? (1 Jn. 3:22)
Can you do it in the Name of the Lord Jesus? (Col. 3:17)
Can you give God thanks for it? (Col. 3:17)
Does it bring glory to God? (1 Cor. 10:31)
Does it offend other Christians (1 Cor. 8:13)
Am I fully persuaded that it is right? (Rom. 14:5)
Do the best Christians I know agree that it is right? (Prov. 24:6)
The Bible Basis For Baptist Church Separation

    "Separate" = to set off by bounds, to limit off, to set off apart

Jesus commanded, "Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it" (Mat 7:13-14). He also promised, "Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you." Matthew 5:11-12

There are three classes of people involved in Biblical separation.

Unsaved; separated from God, therefore separated from the family of God. These men/women could be anything from atheists to pastor/priests in religious organizations (Jn. 1:10-11).

Saved; in the family of God (Jn. 1:12-13), but separated from the covenant people/true (Baptist) church. These are folks not affiliated with any church, or affiliated with false churches, or under Baptist church discipline.

Saved; members of the covenant people/true (Baptist) church (Acts 2:38-47)

There are three situations of fellowship involved

Personal fellowship wherein each believer has the liberty to determine at what point he/she will separate from unbelievers (John 15:19). The Bible teaches that we are not to "run" with unbelievers (Eph. 5:11-12,15-16), but that we are to "run to" unbelievers for the purpose of presenting the Gospel of Christ (1 Cor. 9:21-23).

Personal fellowship wherein each believer has the liberty to determine his/her personal fellowship with other believers in the family of God who are outside the covenant people/true (Baptist) church. Even then, the ultimate purpose should be restoration to the truth (Gal. 6:1) or testimony of the truth (1 Tim 3:15).

Church fellowship, cooperation, pulpit exchange or member transfer, can only be extended to those of like Baptist faith, practice, and church order. To "join" those outside the Baptist identification, in any endeavor, is to grant to them authentication, confirmation, and validation that they have authority to be recognized as equals as a body of Christ. We dare not recognized those not recognized by God (Matt. 16:19). We have no authority to go beyond our God- given authority. We [churches] are the bodies of Christ, but He is the head! That is why the Lord adds to the church (Acts 2:47), and not us.

The Bible basis for Baptist church separation is based on the words of Jesus Christ (Matt. 16:13-21a)

1. He is not one of many (v14)

2. He is distinct, unique, one of a kind, the same as ("Son of") God (v15-16)

3. The assembly/church He founded is built upon the confession that "He is the Christ, the Son of the living God." Therefore the organization, like its Founder, is distinct, unique, one of a kind.

4. The assembly/church He founded will be built by Himself (v18; Acts 2:47), and not by any man. (No where in the Scriptures are men given the freedom to institute an organization to worship God.) The Plan was designed by God (Deut. 12:5-14). The Place was determined by God (Jos. 18:1).

The Person was delivered by God (Gen. 49:10 [Shiloh = Son/sent One = Jesus] Isa. 9:6).

The Presence was decided by God (Ps. 78:58-61).)

5. The assembly/church He founded has full authority on earth and heaven [in Christ] (v19)

6. The assembly/church He founded is the only organization commissioned to "go into all the world and preach the Gospel" (Matt. 29:18-20)

7. The assembly/church He founded is the only organization designated the "body of Christ" (1 Cor. 12:12-19,27; Eph. 4:16)

The church that Christ is building is to be a picture of the Lord Jesus Christ to a lost and dying world. He is the Head, the church is the Body. If man changes the picture, it no longer represents the Lord.

The Bible basis for Baptist church separation is based on the baptismal authority given to John the Baptist by God (Jn. 1:6-7)

1. Sent from God (v6)

2. Sent to be a witness of Christ (v7-8)

3. Sent to baptize with water (v33)

4. Only one with authority to baptize (Matt. 3:13-15)

The Bible basis for Baptist church separation is based on the concept of [Baptist] churches begetting [Baptist] churches.

This church "birthing," or chain of authority/perpetuity can be seen throughout the book of Acts. We see this concept in the genealogies of Matt. 1. Christ could trace His humanity back to Adam, and His Messianic credentials back to Abraham/David.

The Bible basis for Baptist church separation is based on the concept of [Baptist] churches continuing to beget [Baptist] churches down through history.

Christ's promise that "I will build My church, and the gates of Hell will not prevail against it," is faith-proof that even if we can't distinctly and directly trace the footprints of Christ's churches in every decade, we can rest on His promise that His churches lived in every decade. We have no authority to recognize "ministers," "churches," and or "para-church" organizations that have stepped out of Rome; drifted from the truth; or "jump-started" their own movements. If the founders of the world's denominations wanted to be in the line of Christ, they would have joined the true churches of Christ to begin with!

The Bible basis for Baptist church separation is based on the question of authority.

Does the Roman Catholic/Eastern Orthodox Church, and all of her denominational offspring have authority derived from Christ, or does the historic Baptist movement have this authority? The rise of the false denominations began with the Roman Catholic Church in 590 A.D., though there were false movements before and leading up to Rome's time. All denominations can be traced back to their harlot "Mother" (Rome) through one branch or another. Other man-made movements include "Bible Churches," and "Community Churches," which claim to be baptistic, but reject the name, authority, polity, and association with Christ's churches. Though some Baptists have formed denominations, historically we are an independent movement with our roots in the Book of Acts, back to Jesus Christ, John the Baptist, and the authority of God.

The Bible basis for Baptist church separation is based on N.T. [Baptist] church polity and belief.

The all sufficiency of the Bible

Saved church membership

Scriptural baptism (proper candidate, purpose, administrator, mode)

Sovereignty of the local church

Soul liberty to approach God directly

Separation of church and state

Separation from the world

How to determine who has Biblical, fellowship authority.

1. Are they saved by repentance toward God and faith toward the Lord Jesus Christ?

2. Were they baptized (immersed) and accepted as members in a Baptist church?

3. Are they members of a Baptist church which is walking in obedience before God?

4. If preachers, evangelists, missionaries, teachers, are they under the authority of a Baptist church?

5. Is their Baptist church membership current and are they in good standing?

We are Christians because we received Christ, but we are Baptists because we are obedient to Christ. Obedience to Christ, no matter the cost, brings persecution from the world (and the religious world), but blessings from Christ. We have no right to acknowledge any organization that Christ has not built We have no right to permit those outside Christ's covenant people/church access to our pulpits or ordinances. We have no right to join with "outsiders" to accomplish what Christ gave to the church to accomplish.
Preaching to Others
by Curtis Hutson (1934-1995)

"It is never right to preach under a wrong sponsorship.  It is perfectly all right to preach to Roman Catholics and others who deny salvation by grace through faith, but it would be wrong to go under their sponsorship.
We invite everyone to attend our meetings and to hear the Gospel, and we preach to everyone in attendance, whether he be an unbeliever, a Roman Catholic or whatever.  The issue is not preaching to Roman Catholics or others; the issue is going under the wrong sponsorship."

If I Must Classify Myself, I Am...
by Jerald Manley (and signed and sealed by your author!)

A Traditional Southern American Orthodox Evangelical Freewill Particular General Regular Conservative Separatist Militant Fundamental Sovereignist Independent New Testament Primitive Bible Christian Landmark Baptist!

By definition, I am a
Traditional (in that I follow the patterns left by my spiritual [Baptist] forefathers),
Southern (in that I am a Southerner by choice, and reside in the Deep South),
American (in that I was born in the North and still live in the United States),
Orthodox (in that I hold to the long established lineage of [Baptist] doctrine),
Evangelical (in that I believe all humanity has the need for salvation including the "heathen"),
Freewill (in that I believe it is not the will of the Godhead for any to perish and that God has given soul liberty to every soul),
Particular (in that I believe particular souls will be saved),
General (in that I believe that Christ Jesus died for all),
Regular (in that I believe that salvation is entirely a work of grace),
Conservative (in that I am slow to move toward a change),
Separatist (in that I believe Christians need to separate from the world, the flesh, and the devil--especially in religious matters),
Militant (in that I believe that Biblical Christianity is worthy of any fight),
Fundamental (in that I do indeed believe in the fundamentals of the faith),
Sovereignist (in that I believe Almighty [God] is in full control of all creation),
Independent (in that I belong to no Convention, Association, or Fellowship),
New Testament (in that I believe the Lord Jesus founded the church during His earthly sojourn before the crucifixion),
Primitive (in that I believe that there exists no higher authority than the local [Baptist] church),
Bible (in that I believe 1) that God continues to have a purpose for Israel--not all the prophecies of the Old Testament have been fulfilled and 2) that the Bible is the sole and final authority for all matters of faith and practice),
Christian (in that I believe we ought to be Christ-like in our lives),
Landmark (in that I do believe these above listed ancient landmarks ought not to be moved and that every attempt to do so must be met with resistance),
Baptist (in that I believe in actively contending for the entirety of the faith once delivered to the saints).

Six Reasons Believers Must Sometimes Withdraw Fellowship From Other Saints
by Don Jasmin

I. Unresolved problems (Matt. 18:15-18).  This passage does not deal with doctrinal differences, but personal differences.
II. Unrepentant perversions (1 Cor. 5:11), illicit sexual conduct.
III. Unscriptural principles (1 Tim. 6:3-5), unethical monetary practices.
IV. Unbiblical precepts (Rom. 16:17), heretical doctrine.
V. Disorderly practices (2 Thess. 3:14-16), flagrant disobedience to clear Scripture principles.
VI. Unequal partnerships (2 Cor. 6:14-18).  This includes business partnerships with the unconverted and ecumenical evangelism.

The Scriptures Teach Spiritual Separation From:
by Don Jasmin

I. Sinful people (Ps. 1:1)
II. Sinful pleasures (Heb. 11:25)
III. Sinful popularity (James 4:4)
IV. Sinful poisons (Prov. 20:1)
V. Sinful places (Ps. 1:1)
VI. Sinful perversions (1 Cor. 5:11)
VII. Sinful proponents (2 Cor. 6:14-18)

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