Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Postscript to Analysis of Skelly Gospel Video

When I wrote the post on the Skelly video for Monday, I knew that far more people could or would be upset, unhappy, or just ambivalent about my writing something like that, than they would be likewise with the actual video and its contents.  Not only in independent-Baptist-land is someone better and better off leaving that kind of thing alone in most theological and practical outlooks, but many men don't really have a problem with what Skelly said.   For some, who cares?  They don't care, or they don't even think it is wrong.  It's fine.  As a matter of fact, probably most independent Baptists think that what Skelly is doing, what he said, is better than my analysis of what he said.  To them, he's right and I'm wrong.   To them, what he did there was fantastic.  Please, rethink that.

Hopefully you are evangelizing.  If you are evangelizing, you are telling people what the Bible says. Skelly and those like him mainly use (emphasis on "use") Bible verses to give a pre-packaged presentation.  The authority for what they are saying doesn't have to come from the verses themselves.

Romans 6:23 doesn't tell how to "receive the gift of eternal life."  Skelly though tells you that receiving the gift of eternal life is "trusting Jesus as your Savior," that's how you receive it. Romans 6:23 doesn't say that, but it is what Skelly reads into the verse.  Since "receiving the gift of eternal life" is "trusting Jesus as your Savior," then how do you "trust Jesus as your Savior?"  You "call upon the name of the Lord to be saved," which means "praying a scripted prayer to trust Jesus as your Savior."  This instruction follows from something that wasn't in the verse in the first place.  The first step isn't biblical and then none follow from the other.  If someone does any of what Skelly teaches, it's because he trusts what Skelly is telling him is true.  He's not starting with the Bible, but with Skelly.

As evangelism regards preaching something from the Bible, I briefly want to consider from the Bible what was needed.  It is true that Jesus died for us, died for our sins.  He is the Savior.  That is true.  However, the threshold through which we are saved by Him is through "believing in Jesus Christ."  "Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ" is not the same as "trust Jesus as Savior," the latter something the Bible doesn't anywhere tell anyone to do.  The latter is an invention.

I would be quite sure that Skelly and others like him would say that they believe in the truth of John 3:15, 16, 18, and 36, the latter three verses saying essentially the same thing as verse 15:
That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
We must believe in Jesus Christ to have eternal life.  That is different than "trusting in Jesus as Savior."  At this point, I think Skelly would say that "believing in Jesus Christ" is "trusting in Jesus as Savior."  Those are not the same.  The latter falls short of what the former means.

John 3:15, 16, 18, and 36 are found in the gospel of John.  John at the end of his gospel writes in John 20:31:
But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.
"Believing that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God" must be the same as "believing in Jesus Christ" and then "being born again," the latter what Jesus said to Nicodemus earlier in chapter 3.

I don't believe that explaining this is complicated, but it is a world of difference from what Skelly does or says.  Someone needs to know what "believing" is and then who "Jesus Christ" is, which must mean that "Jesus is the Christ."  The concept of "the Christ" carries with it the story of the entire Bible and all history.

Jesus is the Messiah Who will sit on the throne of David and rule forever. Someone must believe that Jesus is King, which is the same as believing that He is Lord.  When someone sins, he is doing what he wants against the authority and righteous standard of God.  He is not submitting to Jesus as King at that moment.  The person, not Jesus, is king at that moment.  Believing is more than intellectual assent, but includes volition.  One doesn't believe it without his will relinquishing to the truth.  If he believes in Jesus Christ, then he doesn't want to do what he wants anymore, but what Jesus wants. He believes that because it is true, but also so that Jesus will save him, because Jesus is Savior.  This is what Jesus was saying when he said in Luke 9:23, " If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me."

You can't be on the throne and Jesus on the throne.  When you are on the throne, you are rebelling against Jesus.  He isn't king.  You are.  This is where repentance comes in.  Denying yourself to follow Jesus is repentance.  Jesus also calls this "losing your life" in the very next verse in Luke 9.  It is also confessing Jesus as Lord in your heart and with your mouth, a verse Skelly referred to in Romans 10.  It isn't just praying a prayer.  If you don't receive Jesus Christ, like John said in John 1:12, you will not be saved.  That means you must receive Him as who John revealed Him to be in his gospel.  That's why the signs are in the book. They show that Jesus is the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies, is God, is the King, and sure, is the Savior.

What people like Skelly most often will do is call what I just explained, "discipleship."  They would say that what I'm teaching is not the gospel, but something that comes (might come) after someone "trusts Jesus as his Savior."  They are messed up in that way, not from studying the Bible, but under the influence of false teachers.  Jesus as Savior of the world cannot be separated from the figure that is the King of the world, the One who will transform the entire planet when He comes.  That, by the way, is when men in a time of severe judgment on earth will "call upon the name of the Lord" to be delivered (read Joel 2:32).  They will recognize and receive Jesus as this Messianic figure, the King of the earth, something far different than "praying a prayer" or "trusting in Jesus as Savior."  The latter is not a right or even honest interpretation of that verse, what Skelly calls his favorite verse.

Jesus preached to "repent."  When Jesus gave the message of the Great Commission that He wanted his disciples to preach, the only spot where He explains it in Luke 24:47, He says,
And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
Skelly doesn't preach repentance.  If people don't repent, they don't get the "remission of sins," that is, they don't get "Jesus as Savior."

In the comment section on Monday, James Bronsveld (whom I've never met in person) mentioned 2 Peter 3:9.  When Peter writes his second epistle, the problem of apostasy is with the lordship of Christ.  They "despise the Lord" (2 Peter 2:1).  They despise God's authority, His government, and speak evil of dignities (2 Peter 2:10).  They walk after their own lusts (2 Peter 2:10, 3:3).  For that reason, they attack the second coming of Christ and then the Word of God, which warns about His second coming.  They don't want any accountability for what they do.  This is what most characterizes the apostate, who turns away from the Lord.

When Peter writes in 2 Peter 3:9, "not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance," he says literally, "all make room into repentance."  The same word is used by Jesus in John 8:37, when He says to the religious leaders that His "word has no place in you."  Someone must make room for repentance, or he will perish.  This glove fits the person who has room for what he wants, what he wants to do, so he denies the Lord.

In thirty years of preaching, I have found that where the plan of salvation, the gospel, most breaks down with people is with their desire to keep their lives for themselves.  Most people want to be saved.  However, they want to remain lord of their own lives.  If someone won't receive Jesus Christ, he's not serious enough about his sin or he isn't convinced enough of the judgment of God.  Those are the two other places where everything breaks down.  Skelly soft pedals both of those points too, and then soft pedals his third point about how a person is saved.

If someone wanted a message of salvation that would be acceptable to the world and more successful at gaining more adherents, lordship is the part to remove.  People want the salvation part, but they don't want the lordship part.  2 Peter makes it clear that lordship is the problem of apostasy.  Self-will is the issue, even as Romans 1 says they know God, but glorify Him not as God.  They worship the creature rather than the Creator.  Skelly didn't concoct this.  He's taking it from others, but it is a message tailored to the spirit of the age.

If someone receives Jesus Christ, he receives Jesus as the Christ.  He knows that he isn't remaining in charge.  He doesn't want to remain in charge because he knows that is a failure.  He repents -- he turns from his will and his life.  Someone who will not lose his life continues in rebellion against the Lord.  You can't be saved continuing in rebellion against the Lord.  You have to give in to Him.  This is also what Jesus preached in the Sermon on the Mount.  When someone understands his spiritual poverty, that he is poor in Spirit, he will relinquish control, that is, he will be meek.  Only they will receive the kingdom of heaven and and inherit the earth.  Only they will get into the Lord's kingdom.

Skelly didn't invent his false message, but he is a continued purveyor of it.  You really do have to come down on a side on this.  You can't straddle it.  If you are reading this and you think that you can see it both ways, you are wrong.  What Skelly and others like him are preaching is wrong.  They are deadly wrong.  If you think you can accept it, then I won't have anything to do with you.  You are wrong.  Please stand against this deadly false teaching that Skelly represents in his presentation.  As well, I believe we must separate from those who will not separate from it.  They are indifferentists, indifferent to the gospel of Christ.

Think about the aspect of indifferentism with me.  Skelly is invited to and preaches with Crown College and Clarence Sexton.  Bob Jones III and John Vaughn, president of the FBFI, preach with Sexton at his church and college, as does Skelly.  Sexton preaches with Mike Sproul, Kevin Bauder, and other fundamentalists.  Do these men repudiate what a Skelly would preach? Skelly fits in with most of fundamentalism.  He preaches at a Camp Cobeac in Michigan with crossover to Ambassador Baptist College.  The indifference is how it spreads.  I see the indifference.  I see it also among unaffiliated Baptists too.  This all relates to the gospel.  Will you stand with a true gospel?

17 comments:

Bill Hardecker said...

If we lived in the days of Roman persecution would our gospel clash with the orthodoxy of the day? Well, let's see. Here comes Titus, or Nero (mainly, a psycho-ruler), and He is demands worship. In terms of modern evangelism, a professing follower of Christ could say, Yes, I will bow to you precisely because Jesus isn't Lord of my life yet and he is "my personal Saviour." This doesn't work. It is fiction. It is bad theology. It is false. I am heading out to the Philippines to do missionary work over there. I am not going to receive into fellowship anybody who doesn't repudiate Roman Catholicism, and Allah (since the Philippines also have a minority Muslim populous). When we deal with a cult, we go to great pains in explaining the deity of Christ. But when we deal with Americans, we assume too much. We assume that they are informed about Creation, God, the Bible, Jesus Christ, etc. We assume that this is a "Christian nation." We assume that all they need to do is "accept" Jesus (as though one is giving them a multiple choice test of choosing between Heaven or Hell - which, really, honestly - who in their right mind would select hell - assuming they even believe what God says about hell)? When I share the gospel story, I ask a lot of clarifying questions so that I know exactly where I need to go in dealing with people. I have found this method to be helpful. But I also take them through a thorough explanation of the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is vitally important that they know who Jesus is. And yes, I think modern evangelism is wrong about Jesus' Lordship. Otherwise, a Hindu can easily take Jesus as a "personal Saviour" reducing Him to merely one of the pantheon of saviors and gods - which is false. I reject a Jesus who isn't prophet, priest, and king. I reject presenting a Jesus who isn't the Christ, the Sin-bearing substitute, the Risen Saviour, and the soon returning King. And yes, a sinner must repent (this means that they must first be convicted by the Holy Spirit - which I am watching for, too). The object of repentance has to be sin and self (self-will, selfish ways, self-promotion, self-made beliefs). Then they must turn to the Lord Jesus Christ. They must by faith believe on Him. All this without elevator music, too. Jesus is worthy! And may I never misrepresent the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. I believe that Pastor Brandenburg has demonstrated a clash of hermeneutics. His challenge is important. A refusal to be challenged is a refusal to change.

Anonymous said...

https://vimeo.com/63621741

http://whatstandard.com/

Kent,

I appreciate your concerns about the popular "gospel" that much of fundamentalism preaches. The two links above are examples of short videos that I think do an exceedingly better job of representing the true gospel. Each of them are slightly shorter than Skelly's, but yet include law, wrath, repentance, and Christ where Skelly either excludes or deliberately softens these elements.

I'd be interested to know, Kent (or any others), if you think the above links are good examples of how video can be used to preach the gospel.

- Mat Dvorachek

Kent Brandenburg said...

Bill,

Thanks. You're right on every count. The goal is understanding of the gospel, the salvation message, actually the whole story, the Bible, the actual Christian worldview. They have to receive the actual Jesus. In John 10, where I'm preaching right now, they had to leave the fold of Israel to follow Jesus as the Ezekiel 34 Shepherd, the good Shepherd, the Lord of Psalm 23, like the blind man did from John 9.

Kent Brandenburg said...

Mat,

When some time frees up, I'll look at the videos and tell you what I think.

Thanks.

KJB1611 said...

At Mukwonago Baptist we have already recorded a gospel video that includes repentance and the rest of what is necessary to include, but it is not put together yet with the verses on the picture, etc. We hope it will be good and be watched by many lost people once, Lord willing, we get it up. I intend to post it at faithsaves.net in a visible and clear location as well as on Youtube once we are done with it.

Anonymous said...

Dear Pastor Brandenburg and Mr. Ross,
I have a quick question and would like to hear both of your answers. I come from an interesting situation and want to know what you would suggest doing. There are several questions regarding whether or not my church is a true historic baptist church. First of all my Pastor was not baptised in a Baptist church but in a Bible church. Most of the missionaries our church supports are sent through various mission boards. Our Pastor also teaches that the church officially started on the day of Pentecost. He openly rejects closed communion. Another reality is that the gospel is preached and often the term repentance is not used in the message. We have invitations almost every service and I know you both teach that invitations are risky. To add to that our church frequently invites revivalist envangelists who frequently preach what you refer to as Keswick theology. Another reality is our Pastor frequently asks prayer for the lost to be saved. Does it appear to you both that our church is steeped in an Arminian cesspool with Keswick leanings and Charismatic Continuationists tendencies with non-Baptist polity? I have talked in depth with my Pastor and I can see the writing on the wall that this will not be changing. Would you advise that I involve myself in a different church and how would I find one?

A fellow believer,
Evan

Terry Basham, II said...

skelly preaches for chappell... nothing more needs to be said.

David Barnhart said...

Evan, the readers here come from a wide variety of backgrounds. I myself attend a baptistic Bible church. We are not local-church-only or KJVO, and we practice semi-open communion. In spite of those differences, I believe Pastor Brandenburg is right on point about repentance and easy-believism and the damage a watered-down or even perverted gospel is causing the church today. If your church is not getting the gospel right with respect to repentance, and is not likely to change, the rest of the points don't really matter, even if your church would otherwise be similar to Pastor Brandenburg's.

KJB1611 said...

Dear Evan,

Thanks for the question. I am not your pastor and have no knowledge whatsoever of your personal situation other than your e-mail. I cannot knowledgeably comment on whether or not you should stay or go from your church. I would say, though, that if it is right for you to go, you should be able to find godly people who agree that it is the right decision--certainly the leadership of the church where you believe you should go instead should agree, at a minimum, that you are making the right decision, and your decision must not be based on non-scriptural issues such as personalities but simply on Biblical doctrine and practice, and the church you would want to go to instead must be purer in its doctrine and its practice. I agree with a great deal of what is said in the article here:

http://www.wayoflife.org/database/i_am_not_your_pastor.html

about this question.

I will tell you, though, what I would do if what you state is accurate and there were no mitigating factors that I do not know about.

I believe non-Baptist baptisms are invalid for the reasons mentioned here:

http://faithsaves.net/non-baptist-baptism/

so a pastor with a non-Baptist dipping would be a big problem for me. It would not mean that the church--if it is a Biblical Baptist church--does not have authority to baptize, but it would mean that the true church has an unbaptized pastor.

Some of the other things you mentioned would be bigger problems than others. For example, denying repentance is a huge problem, something on a higher level than the mechanics whether we call upon people to immediately decide to obey after preaching by confessing their sin while staying in their pew or in another part of the church building. Also, there is a difference between people who reject repentance and people who are not very skilled in knowing how to give the gospel and therefore don't present it clearly, but are willing to change and grow.

I am glad you have talked to your pastor at length about these matters--that is certainly the right thing to do.

I hope you are also obeying what you know is taught in the Bible and are not condemning everything while you are only in the "pew-warming ministry." (I'm not assuming that is the case, but I thought it should be mentioned.)

The church is to allow "no other doctrine" (1 Tim 1:3) than what is taught in Scripture, but it is also to allow people room to grow.

There are two church directories at:

http://faithsaves.net/website-links/

that are worth examining. It is worth sacrificing everything to be part of the church God wants you to be part of, even if it means moving away from where you live and getting a much worse job, etc. However, you will not find a perfect church on earth, since each church is made up of sinful people. A big question is if a church is clearly unwilling to grow towards great obedience to Scripture or if it is willing and making progress, even if that progress is not as fast as one would hope.

Thanks again for the question.

Anonymous said...

KJB 1611

Please don't take this as an accusation, but I cannot find a difference between your position on baptism and Landmarkism. Could you please explain the difference?

In Particular, the argument given in point 3 of the link you give to support on Baptist baptism sounds Landmarkist to me.

Again, I am not trying to cause a fight, I am just trying to see what distinction you make.

KJB1611 said...

Dear Anonymous,

If by "Landmarkism" you mean that Baptist churches are the churches that fit the NT model and which Christ has preserved from the 1st century until today, with the good and necessary consequences of that Biblical truth, then, yes, it is Landmarkism, and Landmarkism is nothing other than Biblical ecclesiology. Church succession is the necessary consequence of promises such as Matthew 16:18 and passages such as Matthew 28:18-20, e. g.:

http://faithsaves.net/great-commission-scripture-history/

Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your swift answer, KJB1611. I guess I should have been very clear in my question:

Do you believe that a church must be able to document its history back to the church at Antioch in order to prove it is a Biblical church? I have discussed with some that make this claim. I can only conclude that they are mixed up about I Timothy 1:4 (...endless geneaologies).Unlike the scriptures, there is no promise to keep records of church memberships, etc.

I also find the claim about baptism being a church ordinance extremely dubious. There are four individuals whose baptisms are shown in the book of Acts (Ethiopian eunuch, Saul of Tarsus, Cornelius, and the Philippian jailer). None of these individuals were baptized at a church (speaking of the congregation, not a building). Everyone of these people was baptized upon clear belief in Christ without any other questions of doctrine.

I hope that nothing I have stated offends you. I am just giving the scriptural reason that I come to a different ecclesiology than you.

P.S. I do appreciate Bro. Brandenburg allowing those who disagree with his opinions to post. I know of many who just purge any opinion that they disagree with.

Anonymous said...

Dear Brother Ross,

Thanks for your quick reply, and sorry for my slow response. I do take the issue of church polity seriously, and feel it's important to be in the right church. Another thing I failed to mention about my church is that not only was the current pastor not Baptized in a Baptist church, but he is also the founding pastor. It seems to me that the best test of a true church is its doctrine, but would the issue of baptism invalidate our church's authority since we've not started with a pastor baptized in a Baptist church? Thank you for your concern regarding our church's unity. I don't want to start a church Exodus by any means, but the issue of correct doctrine is a real concern.

Perhaps Pastor Brandenburg, you could give me a pastor's perspective on this matter and answer my previous questions if you have time.

Evan

KJB1611 said...

Dear Anonymous,

Thanks again for the comment.

Churches do not need to trace their heritage link-by-link back, and no reputable Landmark Baptist historian has ever made such a claim. See, e. g.:

http://kentbrandenburg.blogspot.com/2012/07/local-only-ecclesiology-baptist-history.html

for the claim made by non-Landmarkers, and repudiated by Landmarkers, that they believe such a thing.

Do you really think that 1 Tim 1:4 was written because there were a lot of Landmark Baptists around and Paul was warning Timothy about them? If not, is that possibly in any way what the endless genealogies are about? All genealogies are certainly not wrong--just read Chronicles.

The exegesis here:

http://faithsaves.net/great-commission-scripture-history/

demonstrates that the Great Commission teaches baptism is a church ordinance. Futhermore, in Acts 2:41, 47 and 1 Cor 12:13 baptism adds one to the body of Christ, the church, the visible assembly of believers. That is a clear teaching of those passages, and all examples must be interpreted in light of actual examples. Furthermore, a missionary/world evangelist (e. g., Philip the evangelist) has authority from his sending church to baptize, otherwise if he went far away, he would need to wait for a very long time to send a message back to his sending church via boat, courier, etc. and get approval back again before baptizing anyone. Evangelists/church planters/missionaries are a church office (Eph 4) and are sent out by the church (Acts 13) with authority to baptize.

Thanks again.

Farmer Brown said...

Thomas, I read your article on the faithsaves site. I saw this: "Only Baptist churches have existed from the first century until the present age, in fulfillment of Christ’s promises."

This is troubling. It is like when someone preaches "Jesus was a Baptist". It seems to be a form of idolatry. You are taking some things that are holy and sacred, the body of Christ and the word of God, and applying your own label, as though it also is holy and sacred. You have adopted Baptist as a label and seem to have decided it is on par with the Bible or synonymous with Biblical.

A true statement would be "Biblical churches have existed from the first century..." Your assertion that a Waldensian church was "Baptist" further demonstrates this point. It was not Baptist, it was Biblical. It is a Bible church (not in the denominational sense). It is an assembly of Jesus Christ. He bought those assemblies, he owns them, and only the owner can name them.

You have no authority to take your recent label and decide all other Biblical churches are part of your club. That is presumptuous. Instead of deciding they are like you, it would be better to examine biblical churches and decide if you are like them.

James Bronsveld said...

Farmer Brown,

How is it troubling to assert that Baptist churches have existed from the time of Christ until now? What were those first century churches organized by the apostles? Were they Presbyterian? Catholic? Pentecostal? Methodist? Reformed? Saying they were "Biblical churches" is a vague term. Ask the Protestants and Catholics if their churches are Scriptural? They will, to a man, assert that they are. To assert that the only true churches throughout history have been Baptist churches is not presumptuous, but descriptive. It identifies a certain type of doctrine as being Scriptural.

On the one hand, you react strongly to Bro. Ross's description of true churches as Baptist (or would it be better if he had used small-b baptist?), while on the other, you make a similar assertion in calling them Bible churches. Is historic Baptist doctrine Biblical or not? Is it wrong to describe a Biblical first-century church as a Baptist church, if the doctrine we hold to as Baptists today was the doctrine taught in the church at Jerusalem?

Bro. Ross's use of the descriptive term "Baptist" to describe the doctrine and polity of first-century churches is no different from your use of the term "Bible church" or "Biblical church" to describe the same churches--two terms, I would note, which do not appear paired together in Scripture and are just as recent as the term "Baptist" as far as extra-Biblical labels go. It is not at all presumptuous to describe the church at Jerusalem and the other apostolic churches as being Baptist (or would you prefer baptistic?), since the descriptive term "Baptist" indicates our confidence as Baptists that we are identifying with the Scriptural pattern for the New Testament churches of the first century.

Further, I would note that Bro. Ross is keeping with church historians (of all denominational stripes) dating back hundreds of years who described churches holding our doctrine as being Baptist, Anabaptist, or some similar term.

I would also consider the fact that calling Scriptural churches of the first century "Baptist" is not the same as saying Jesus was a Baptist, inasmuch as He is the builder of the true churches and the author of their doctrine and could not truly be called a "Baptist," since the term "Baptist" denotes a follower of that doctrine. But I have no hesitation in saying that I believe the Baptist doctrine to which I adhere fiercely and dearly was the doctrine taught by Jesus Christ and revealed in the Scriptures. Could it then be said that only Baptist doctrine is taught in Scripture? Absolutely.

If it is true, as you stated (and perhaps I'm reading you wrong, so forgive me if I am), that only the owner can name the assembly, I shall assume that you would not join yourself to (or start) an assembly that contained the recent name "Baptist" in its name, and instead allow the Lord to name it.

KJB1611 said...

Dear Farmer Brown,

In the way that I defined "Baptist" in the article, which, I trust, you read, I do not believe there is any problem with my use of "Baptist" whatsoever:

“Baptist” is defined in this sentence as all churches which have come into existence from the original congregation founded by Jesus Christ—thus, for example, a medieval Waldensian church would be considered “Baptist,” while a religious organization such as a modern non-denominational congregation or a Bible church that agreed to place the name “Baptist” on its church sign would not be considered truly Baptist until the members of such a congregation received immersion on the authority of an already constituted assembly in the line of Christ’s true churches.

Please note also that the term “Christian” (meaning “Christ-follower”) was not given the people of God by Christ or the apostles, but years after the start of the church by unconverted Gentiles (Acts 11:26), on whose lips we also see the term in the other two references to the word in Scripture. In Acts 26:28, the pagan king Agrippa calls Paul a “Christian,” and in 1 Peter 4:16, a persecutor makes a believer suffer “as a Christian.” Believers accepted this designation, initially given in mockery by unbelievers, and became known as Christians. The descendents of the church established by Jesus Christ received their various other names (such as Waldenses, Cathari, Donatists, and Anabaptists) in the like fashion. The enemies of the Lord’s churches called them “Anabaptists,” meaning “re-baptizers,” because of their practice of immersing converts, although they might have already been “baptized” in their infancy. Eventually the prefix “ana” dropped off, and the modern designation “Baptist” came into existence. The designations “Baptist” and “Christian” were thus both given in the same manner—unbelievers originated the label, and the people of God accepted it.

While I certainly do not want to be engaged in idolatry or to be presumptuous, and so if you have a legitimate, Biblical reason for so designating something I write, I want to know about it, calling Christ's church "Baptist" is neither idolatrous nor presumptuous, unless you will renounce "Christian" also--and, for that matter, since Christ's church is never called "Biblical" in the Bible--and the phrase "the Bible" is not even in the Bible--it would seem that your argument would require renunciation of the phrase "Biblical/Bible church" as well as "Baptist" as allegedly idolatrous.

I appreciate that you want to give the proper place to the church Jesus started out because of the importance of her Founder. That is very good.

Thanks.