Sunday, May 08, 2016

Unaffiliated Baptist Churches: Analysis of the Emphasis, pt. 3

part one    part two

Without being unaffiliated, a church will disobey something in the Bible.  The history of unaffiliated Baptist churches is essentially seeing a disobedience to scripture that can't be avoided without ceasing the affiliation.  Those churches recognized the necessity to be pure for the Lord and turned unaffiliated for that purpose.  Unaffiliated doesn't mean not fellowshiping.  Unaffiliated Baptist churches do fellowship, but they separate from those associations that result in disobedience.

You don't see conventions or associations or boards in scripture.  Those are added to scripture.  They smack of something akin to Roman Catholicism or even originate from Roman Catholicism.  These extra-biblical entities are often justified with a faulty view of the church.  The unaffiliated churches see this and know this.

I'm promoting unaffiliated Baptist churches.   Out of loving consideration and correction I write this about where I see weakness.  The comment section of part one digressed to thoughts about Baptist successionism and authority.  I would like to dovetail some criticism of unaffiliated churches with those topics in the comment section.  Where I went with my analysis was with the dubious emphasis that causes problems for these churches.  I parked on the influence of Keswick theology.

Unaffiliated Baptist churches much concern themselves with individual church authority.  They are criticized for this, as if authority doesn't matter.  At the same time, for their concern with authority, unaffiliated churches often get their authority wrong according to an influence of Keswick theology or just because of keswick theology, which I'll address later in this post.

It would take a series of posts to represent a biblical view of authority.  Unaffiliated Baptist churches (of which ours is) don't believe a baptism is valid without proper authority -- a proper, authoritative administrator of the baptism.  Only a church can baptize.  They also define a church that possesses authority, a historical basis for which the concern of unaffiliated Baptist churches exists.  Roman Catholicism doesn't have authority and, therefore, the churches that proceeded from them, Protestant churches, don't have it either.  They would baptize someone even who had been baptized in a Protestant church, saying this was "alien immersion."

The above has led some to think that an unaffiliated type of Baptist church believes in only visible, chain-link authority back to the first church in Jerusalem.  It would be to say that if you don't accept non-authoritative baptism, then you must by necessity believe in traceable, visible authority.  Any break in the chain would mean the absence of authority.  That's an argument against "proper administrator."  If there is no horizontal authority, people can pretty much operate as free agents out there.

The goal here is to obey the Bible.  The Bible can be obeyed.  God didn't write a book that suffers from such contradictions that you can't trust what it says to do.  The key here is to do what it says and not to extrapolate new teachings from human assumptions.  Flaws will arise from conclusions that don't follow scriptural premises.  The contradictions people find then often excuse them for doing what they want and how they want to do it.  The "Lord leads men" to start parachurch organizations and they're justified.  The "Lord leads men" to go somewhere to start a church with no sending church or appointment.  The "Lord leads a man" to pastor and that should just be accepted.

Let's assume someone is baptized by a true church. His employer says to move, so he does, and when he doesn't find a good church at his new location, he feels the Lord has led him to start one.  He believes the Lord is leading him to pastor there.  He sees being a part of a church in the Bible, part of obedience to scripture.  It starts with his family.  He and his family members evangelize and he baptizes.  The group grows.  He decides to call it, "New City Church," after the name of the town. He trains someone else to pastor before he dies, and after he dies, that man pastors.  This process occurs a few generations.  Is that a true church?  Evaluating based upon scriptural belief and practice, let's say that it is very good, and even way better than any other church around -- exemplary -- seeming the place to be.  It's now into several generations of faithful belief and practice of scripture.  Shouldn't that count for something?  Why would that church need any other authority than what scripture says?

I arrive after the four generations.  I'm unaffiliated.  I say it's not a true church.  My first hint is that it is not called Baptist.  I'm suspect of a church called, "New City Church."  I don't think it probably has proper authority or else it would be called a Baptist church.  I ask some questions.  I find the answers insufficient.  Based on what they say, I tell them they are not a church, the pastor isn't a pastor, and none of them are baptized.  The New City Church people call me crazy.  No church can trace its authority back to Jerusalem anyway.  Since no church can find a chain-link visible line of authority, no one really needs authority.  I'm told that God has shown His approval of New City Church by how great they've done for several generations.  That's their authority.

Church authority, if it exists, could affect a lot.  Are you baptized without it?  Can you pastor without it?  Are you a church without it?  According to an even bigger picture, do we have a perfect Bible without it?

Let's start with the following.  Did Jesus appoint Himself as Head of the church?  Did Jesus say, "I think I'll start a church on my own on my own authority with my own prerogative as the Son of God"? Did Jesus even self-appoint Himself to be King, the Messiah?  The answer is "no" to all of those. Nobody promoted Himself into the rightful office of King.  You were not King by self-promotion. That is a big deal in the Bible.  The whole line of authority in scripture is very, very important.

Look at Israel.  How important was being anointed as King?  It was huge.  Even the issue of the birthright, the appointed heir, that was important.  Scripture is replete with this.  It is a very, very common teaching.  It is the teaching of the Bible.  I could give you multiple examples.  The Apostles themselves weren't self-promoted nor launched out on their own.  It's actually the consistent teaching all the way through the Bible, found everywhere.  Jesus traveled to John the Baptist for baptism, because John had authoritative baptism.  Jesus did only what He did because that was what the Father had him to do.  When men did something other than what God authorized in scripture, they were in trouble, sometimes even killed.

If someone really is scriptural, then he will see that this authority issue is a biblical teaching, not some extraneous sidebar.  The lack of historical evidence, the absence of evidence, is not the evidence of absence.  A believer will act in faith regarding authority.  If he sees he doesn't have it, he will want it.  Jesus gave the "keys of the kingdom."  He said, "all power (authority) has been given me."  Paul writes, "How will they hear unless they be sent?"  Becoming a pastor requires the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.  Those with authority provide authority.  It's very serious to challenge authority, a very serious aberration.  Those who move outside of authority are the actual heretics of Titus 3.

If you say "Bible sole authority," you are not more biblical if you deny or avoid human authority. The Bible has taught it.  The Bible has put its belief and practice under the authority of the church. Canonicity involves the church.  Scripture is what the church says it is.  It is because scripture says that it is because the church says it is.  The church authority is scriptural.  The church is the pillar and ground of the truth.

We live in a rebellious age, where people like the idea of God moving unilaterally, and this is another where I witness another iteration of Keswick.  I see unaffiliated men usurp authority, how God works, an objective authority of the church, through the "Lord led me."  How does God lead?  He leads through authority. "God gave me this new method, and God is really using it."  "God is using it;" that's the authority for it.  It can't be questioned, because God gave it.  God doesn't work that way.

I see contemporary Christian music in unaffiliated churches and it is acceptable in those churches. Because God has "worked" through that music and God is "working" through that music, it must be fine.  Is there authority for this new measure?  Why is something churches didn't approve now approved?  Where is the authority for this?  There isn't scriptural authority, but this is something new, authority by means of the outcome of experience.

Unaffiliated churches emphasize, it's true, the authority for baptism.  What about the authority for contemporary and/or southern gospel music?  Is this the historic worship of Baptist churches?  The Bible was passed down, but why not, for instance, psalm singing?

I told you I was going to dovetail authority and Keswick.  A man is a pastor not because of a subjective experience, but because of the agreement of men who see that he fulfills the qualifications. He has a desire, not a feeling, a desire that emerges from preaching.   The desire is good.  If he wants it, then objective standards can be ascertained, not some mystical call immeasurable except by a feeling, perhaps the same one the same churches experience from carnal music.  They feel something they call the Holy Spirit, but the feeling arises from the flesh.

21 comments:

James Bronsveld said...

One of the striking commonalities to the questioning of the type of authority you mention here does not begin with the presentation of proof (as in, "Bro. Brandenburg, your church is not a true church, because I found a non-authoritative link in your succession chain'), but begins with conjecture (that I have yet to see substantiated) that it could happen. In contrast, the position involving horizontal church authority begins with Scriptural doctrine about church perpetuity and authority.

The question, "couldn't it be that somewhere long ago someone messed up?" runs in a very similar vein to, "how do you know God preserved every one of His words? Somewhere in the last 2000 years or more, a scribe might have inserted one or more fraudulent words into the text! You don't have the originals!" Would true churches from generation to generation, who were concerned about proper authority, because they saw it in the Scriptures, not guard the purity of their churches, just as we do today?

The onus on the questioner is to prove that such a thing has happened to the churches advocating horizontal authority, not simply to theorize that it could happen.

Jim Camp said...

James B said "Would true churches from generation to generation, who were concerned about proper authority, because they saw it in the Scriptures, not guard the purity of their churches, just as we do today?"

I've always thought very much the same - The churches of our day are often in very bad shape, yet as long as I have been in church, there have been much older preachers I knew personally, who where very concerned about this issue.
How much more so would this have been the case when the Protestants where trying to find answers & trying new things? Or when there were no Protestants, only Romanism?

Jim Camp said...

I wanted to continue that thought, after I stopped. Sorry if this is long & boring.

The church I pastor was started in 1959 by a man who's name I don't recall. I met him by
chance at a restaurant the 2nd year I was here, (where he chained smoked & did not know the name of the pastor of the church he claimed membership in). He was a BBC grad. The church records were incomplete when I came to the church, so I was eager to find out where this church came from. To my utter dismay, he explained that he "Did not believe all that churches come from churches stuff", and had simply moved to town & started a church. This was on Saturday, & I was dismayed, to say the least. I had 2 converts lined up for baptism the next day, we had been thru a split, & the few people left would not like hearing that the church was more accurately called "Old Drunk Truck Driver Baptist Church", since it was his.

The Lord, in His mercy, had a evangelist friend call me out of the blue, the following Saturday. The friend was holding a meeting with the man who started my church. I told him that could not be, I had just met the fellow. He put me in touch with a pastor of a small country church in deep East Texas. He had followed the truck driver into the pastorate of this church in 1960. I asked him about how the church was started. He explained that he did not believe in random men starting churches, & formally started the church under the authority of Temple Baptist in a nearby town. As he so eloquently put it "I don't know about you, but I believe churches come from churches".

This was a young man in 1960, who cared enough about horizontal authority that he rejected the founder of the church, & reformed the church under proper circumstances. The point I am trying to make is that this is an old belief, which was strongly adhered to, in the 1960s.
It can be seen back into the 1800's. Why would we think less of Waldenses, etc.??

Terry Basham, II said...

i reccomend that you guys read bob ross "old landmarkism and the baptists" and jc settlemoir at http://libcfl.com/articles/LUF/index.html

horizontal authority is nice but not needed.

Jim Camp: did you check out temple baptist and see if it and it's mother, granny and great g-ma were properly organized?

KJB1611 said...

Dear Terry,

Thanks for the references. I have read J. C. Settlemoir's valuable study in historical theology, and I agree with him that Biblical/Baptist churches are properly self-constituted by already baptized people. That does not change the reality of actual succession (which Settlemoir believes in, as a Landmarker)--for those baptized believers must have been immersed upon church authority, so there must be an actual succession of baptized believers. All Settlemoir is proving is that requiring link-by-link visible, traceable succession and the absolute necessity of a mother church is not Landmark Baptist polity--which is true.

While Matthew 18:15-20 demonstrates, and Landmarkers have traditionally recognized, as Settlemoir demonstrates, self-constitution by baptized believers, a "mother church" is still the normal model, as the excerpt below from:

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

demonstrates:

KJB1611 said...

The quote:

While the phrase “mother church” is not found in Scripture, the establishment of new churches through the agency and with the authority of a parent congregation is the Biblical pattern; although the words are absent, the concept is Scriptural. Acts 11 provides a case study in the matter; the entire Great Commission appears in the passage. Men from the Jerusalem church go forth (“Go ye”), souls, Jewish and non-Jewish, are preached to and repent and believe (“preaching . . . a great number believed, and turned unto the Lord.” Ac 11:19-21, “teach all nations”), The report of the conversions is returned to the Jerusalem church (“tidings of these things came unto the ears of the church which was in Jerusalem,” 11:22), the mother church baptizes them, after, through Barnabas, she verifies the work is legitimate (“had seen the grace of God,” 11:22-24; “baptizing them”), the new “disciples” (11:26; maqhteu/sate . . . ) of the daughter church are organized into a new church and then “taught” (“teaching them to observe all things whatsoever”), and they turn their region upside down to the extent that they are first called Christians (11:26). The new church then begins to establish its own daughter assemblies by sending forth others to repeat the process elsewhere (Ac 13:1ff.). This is all done in the power of the Spirit (Lu 24:47, Ac 1:8, Jn 20:21-23, Ac 11:24, 13:2, 4).

Barnabas was sent (e˙xaposte÷llw) from the Jerusalem church with authority to organize the Antioch church (Ac 11:22), and, since he was sent to go “as far as” Antioch, very possibly he organized new churches in the closer regions of Phenice and Cyprus as well (11:19). Men were saved before his arrival, but none were baptized (Ac 11:19-21). After Barnabas arrives with authority from Jerusalem, many are baptized; in Ac 11:24, “added unto the Lord,” prosti÷qhmi + twˆ◊ Kuri÷wˆ, is a reference to baptism. The combination appears elsewhere in Acts only in 5:14, a reference to baptism, not conversion. There the church (5:11) is together with one accord (5:12), and while of the general population none dared “join himself” to them by baptism into the membership (5:13, kolla¿w, cf. Ac 9:26), those who did believe were “added to the Lord” in multitudes. The general context indicates church membership is in view: v. 13 and 14 are contrasted by ma◊llon de« (cf. Rom. 8:34; 1 Cor. 14:1, 5; Gal. 4:9; Eph. 4:28; 5:11), and the rest/believers and join himself to them/added to the Lord are contrasted. Those who became believers were then added to the Lord by baptism into the body. In Ac 2:41, 47, prosti÷qhmi also refers to immersion (cf. also in 2:47, oJ de« Ku/rioß proseti÷qei . . . and 1 Cor 12:18, nuni« de« oJ Qeo\ß e¶qeto). When associated with a dative in Acts, prosti÷qhmi uniformly refers to baptism (2:47, 5:14, 11:24), and in Ac 2:41, a dative similar to that in the other passages is implied. The only times the word does not refer to baptism in the book, it is followed by an infinitive (12:3) or a preposition in an idiomatic phrase (13:36). Only after the baptisms with the Jerusalem church’s authority, is the group of believers called a “church” (Ac 11:26ff.). This Antioch church subsequently sent forth Barnabas and Paul with authority to baptize and organize churches elsewhere (Ac 13:1ff., 14:26). The book of Acts exemplifies a “mother church” methodology.

KJB1611 said...

Quote continued:

Furthermore, the “elect lady” of 2 John is likely a church (cf. Eph 5:23, 2 Cor 11:2, 1 Peter 5:13, hJ e˙n Babulw◊ni, “the church that is at Babylon”), a natural association since in the NT era the church is the bride of Christ. 2 John could be the letter referred to in 3 Jn 9a, “I wrote unto the church.” If this is the case, it proves the “elect lady” is a congregation. This view was popular among the Patristics, and is also held by many in modern times. Upon this theory, that this “elect lady” had an “elect sister” with “children” (2 Jn 13) settles the issue of the propriety of “mother church” terminology. Furthermore, the false church-system centered in Rome (Rev 17:9) is said to be the “mother of harlots” (Rev 17:5; cf. Is 45:1, 5, 7, which refer to Babylon as a “lady”), which refers to the spiritual abominations and false churches which developed from the Roman Catholic system—the Protestant denominations, having issued from Rome, are the daughters of the Harlot. If false churches can be mothers, it is reasonable to call new assemblies that spring from older ones daughter churches, and the sending church the “mother church.” “Mother church” terminology has a Biblical basis. See also “Can You Identify This Woman and Her Daughters?” and “The Need for a Mother Church,” Appendices III and IV of Three Witnesses for the Baptists, Curtis Pugh, Bloomfield, NM: The Historic Baptist, 1994, pgs. 192-202.

However, while a “mother church” practical methodology does appear in Scripture, churches are self-constituted—whenever two or three Biblically baptized saints gather together in Christ’s name and covenant together to constitute a new church (Matthew 18:20), one is constitued, even without a “mother” assembly. The fact that a “mother church” is not absolutely necessary has been recognized historically by practically every segment of Baptists. Even those who freely assume the “Landmark” label historically have affirmed the fact of self-constitution, not the absolute necessity of a “mother church”; see, e. g., Landmarkism Under Fire: A Study of Landmark Baptist Polity on Church Constitution, J.C. Settlemoir.

I may have read Bob Ross's book also--I do not remember for sure. I am certainly not impressed, however, with the scholarship of kjvonly.org, for reasons such as those demonstrated in my article "Kutilek's Incredible Errors" here:

http://faithsaves.net/kutilek/

Thanks.

Kent Brandenburg said...

Hi Terry,

I'll still give a look see to what you referred, but it sounds like Thomas Ross already has looked at one of them and provided the quote.

I enjoyed reading the quote, Thomas.

Kent Brandenburg said...

James,

Good point. I agree that this is often the case too. I've noticed people strong on the church are also strong on the Bible. Both require faith.

You can go further with the preservation issue. The existence of sin would seem to assume that I'm not still saved, that is my justification hasn't been preserved. I have the faith that God keeps saving me too.

Anonymous said...

I have often heard this conjecture on authority. I do have one question about a scriptural situation that has lingered in my mind:

If the Eunich from Acts 8 returned to Ethiopia and led others to Christ, could he then join them together in a church? Considering his baptism was by an individual outside of a church setting and there was never a chance for him to meet anyone else from the church, I don't see how you could say he was sent by a church to start other churches. Would this mean that anyone that he shared the gospel with in Ethiopia never had an opportunity to be part of the church?

Terry Basham, II said...

kent, so how you feel about self constitution? Would you recognize as valid a self constituted church?

KJB1611 said...

Dear Anonymous,

Philip was an evangelist--a church planter, what is commonly called a "missionary" today, although the Bible does not distinguish between a church planter in the USA and one on a foreign field. He had authority from the church at Jerusalem to baptize. This is a good thing, because otherwise in the 1800s if a church sent an evangelist to, say, the jungles of Africa, he would have to send a letter home and wait several years to get an answer back before he could baptize anyone. Those whom he baptized could organize into a NT/Biblical/Baptist church in Ethiopia.

An excerpt:

Some have argued that the baptism of the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8:26-40 demonstrates that baptism is not a public profession of faith, alleging that he was alone with Philip. However, the text never states the eunuch was alone. It is not at all likely that one who held a high governmental office, as did this man (8:27), would travel without a retinue of servants. Indeed, it is unlikely that anyone, regardless of position, would risk the dangers of travel from Ethiopia to Jerusalem and back alone (8:27). If the eunuch were alone, he would have had to be driving his own chariot (8:28), a questionable thing, especially in light of his position—and, while driving, be reading Isaiah the prophet (8:28, 30)! The fact that the eunuch commanded someone else to make his chariot stand still (8:38) also makes it extremely clear that he had servants with him. Furthermore, to assert that Philip and the eunuch were alone assumes that there was nobody else at the water where they stopped (8:36), although a place with water is the natural stopping point for travelers along a road through a desert (8:26), and early writings of post-apostolic Christianity suggest that this baptism took place near a village south of Jerusalem near Hebron, so the presence of others at the water is natural. Furthermore, even if one accepts that this high governmental official was traveling alone from Jerusalem to Ethiopia, and driving his own chariot while reading a scroll, and commanding a phantasm instead of a servant to stop his chariot, and that nobody else had stopped by the water along the highway southward through the desert, Philip, as one with the office of evangelist (Acts 21:8), which is what is commonly called a church-planter or missionary today, had authority from the church at Jerusalem (Acts 21:8; 6:5; cf. 13:1-4) to baptize. Just as a missionary in a foreign nation does not need to travel back to his sending church to have others present when he baptizes his first convert, but baptism is still a public church ordinance, so Philip, as an evangelist sent from the Jerusalem church, was her representative to the eunuch. In a very real way, then, the church was present at the eunuch’s baptism because of Philip’s position and delegated authority. Furthermore, the nature of baptism as a public testimony of faith in Christ is not limited to the moment of its performance. Baptism, including that of the eunuch, identifies one with Christ for the rest of his life. The example of the Ethiopian eunuch does not at all undermine baptism’s status as a testimony of faith in Christ. (from
http://faithsaves.net/baptismal-regeneration/)

Kent Brandenburg said...

Terry,

Self-constitution is permissible in light of Acts 11, but it is exceptional. It's not a model for people to function as free agents. They still turned to a true church for authorization and they were already baptized people. Settlemoir writes this too. There is authority in scripture, I've been writing, that is horizontal, not just vertical. Paul didn't take off on his own and start churches. He was sent. I understand the self-constitution is technical language, so it carries with it more than people disregarding church authority and starting. Men who have never had hands laid on them, pastoring with authority. People baptized not with a proper administrator. It's not pushing for self-constituted churches. An instance of self-constitution does not constitute a pattern for new churches. The mother-daughter is the pattern and someone acting in faith would take that as his model.

Do you see self-constitution as the pattern in the NT?

Mark Schabert said...

Bro. Brandenburg - Could you please clarify what you mean by 'appointment' in the statement from your post:

"The "Lord leads men" to go somewhere to start a church with no sending church or appointment."

Also, could you clarify how you reconcile spiritual kinship vs chain-link succession? I have seen you state that you hold to both positions. I have understood the two to be separate theological positions. Based on my (limited) exposure, those that typically hold to a spiritual kinship position acknowledge that there are churches connected by 'links', but not necessarily connected. I am sure, like many other doctrines, there are variations. But I have not seen an individual claim to hold to both. Thus, I am thinking you define spiritual kinship in a different way.

Kent Brandenburg said...

Mark,

Somehow, I lost your comment, thinking I had published it, but I still had the text of it, so I just published it this way. Sorry about that, because it doesn't link for you.

For your first sentence, I don't believe in self-promotion, but appointment. A king was anointed, a son received his authority through birthright, the pastor has hands laid on him, Jesus was baptized by John, preachers are sent, etc. We are set in a church, not self-promoted into the church.

Where did you read that I believed "chain-link"? I've been writing against chain-link. I'd be interested in that statement. I don't believe that one's choices are spiritual kinship versus chain link. I see that as an arbitrary choice, not with scriptural or historical basis. Historic successionism isn't chain link. Those accused of chain-link didn't believe in chain-link, so that is a straw man. I believe that has been demonstrated repeatedly here and elsewhere.

At one time, I thought I believed in spiritual kinship, and I'm happy when people do take the position as opposed to every other position except for the right one, that being a church having horizontal authority in addition to vertical. Vertical requires horizontal. I believe in Baptist succession and I practice it. I thought rejecting chain link meant spiritual kinship, but I've discovered that chain link is a straw man. It is a false representation of a biblical position on succession. I know I've said I believe in spiritual kinship in the past, but I don't know that I've written anything to defend it as the true view. I've argued against the straw man of chain link.

I would agree that spiritual kinship differs than both chain link and the actual position of Landmarkism, which is visible authority. We should act in faith in what God has done, assuming there is authority.

I think we would be on the same page on spiritual kinship, both agree what it is. I don't think spiritual kinship goes far enough. There is more to it than that. As a mere historical position, I think spiritual kinship is suitable. We can't trace them back chain link, knowing they always existed, but as a practical outworking, we need more than vertical authority.

I think I'm being clear, but you tell me.

Anonymous said...

KJB1611, you answered one question, but missed the second...

Did the Ethiopian eunuch have authority to start a church when he returned to Ethiopia?

Mark Schabert said...

Bro. Brandenburg, I may have misread one of the comments below your 11/24/2009 posting titled "Epistemology and the History of the Church." In that comment you stated,

"Do I have a chain-link succession back to Christ? I can't trace one, no. But I wasn't promised the preservation of a chain-link succession. I believe in a spiritual kinship, which is the view of church history that I take, the same one taken by Thomas Armitage in his two volume, History of the Baptists…I believe that we should be obedient, however, to church succession. In other words, our church should come from a church. If I can't trace it back, that's not of a great concern, because I'm acting in faith. If churches look obedient to the Bible, I should assess them as true, NT churches. That's what I do, like Peter did with the Antioch church when he went up to check it out after it got started."

I understood from your above comment from 2009 that you did not believe in a visible chain-link, but that there is unbroken succession back to the Jerusalem church. I did not mean to confuse the two terms of chain-link and succession. I can also appreciate you clarifying today that your theological position on this has changed over time - so I was not trying to hold you to 2009.

Thank you for your clarifications.

Kent Brandenburg said...

Hi Mark,

Thanks for the comment. I still believe that 2009 comment. I don't know when the shift occurred, but it did. A lot of it was recognizing that some of the terms were being defined wrongly. I may have been something other than spiritual kinship while calling myself that, because I knew I wasn't chain link, which in my mind were the two positions. I don't think they are. Thomas Ross helped here, because he's read more historical stuff on this than I have, and he at least pointed the way to me. Since then, as in my critique of Moritz in this article, I have found that men purposefully misrepresent men in order to argue for English separatism, a position that has about 120 or so years of history for it.

What is your critique of the position I'm espousing Mark? I'm interested. Thanks.

Mark Schabert said...

Bro. Brandenburg - I am completely with you regarding what you stated in your first two posts. However, I believe certain aspects of the things stated in your third are narrower than my position regarding horizontal authority. I will respond more specifically, but want to gather my thoughts together so my post is meaningful to the discussion. I also want to read what Bro. Ross has put together first. Thanks.

Tyler Robbins said...

For those who are interested, I'd like to offer my own small contribution to this issue - my analysis of J.R. Graves' version of Landmarkism from SI a year or so back - http://sharperiron.org/tag/series-landmarkism

KJB1611 said...

Dear Anonymous,

Yes, he had authority from the Jerusalem church to baptize because of the office of evangelist/church planter.