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"...The church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth."
I Timothy 3:15


Baptist Bride-ism is What?

Dr. Ron Tottingham


Baptist Bride-ism is what? Do some folks truly believe that? Let’s think on several thoughts surrounding this issue.


Thought One: This preacher DOES NOT believe that one has to be a Baptist to go to Heaven. I do not believe that the New Birth comes by joining a Baptist church (or any church for that matter), nor do I believe that Baptist churches are synonymous with (the same as) the kingdom of God, or God’s Family.

To believe that someone has to be of any “church,” be it Catholic, Baptist, Mormon, etc., to go to Heaven is impossible to find in the Bible.

I believe that it is “Covenant” doctrine to believe that joining to a “church faith” is the same as being saved. Covenant dogma teaches that one belonging to a body covenant, is to be inside a special covenant relationship with God wherein all others are excluded from salvation, be it Dutch Reformed, or any covenant body, such as Presbyterian, Roman Catholic, etc. or such a “Baptist” position.

This Preacher does not believe that heresy, be it Reformed covenant doctrine or “called” Baptist bride-ism.

I believe salvation is receiving Christ, based upon the Holy Spirit’s revelation that one is an irrevocable sinner by birth (and not by deeds), and that Jesus Christ (the only human born, without sinful blood, that could offer up a wholly pure sacrifice to God to atone for man’s sins) is the ONLY Saviour.

Then, by the sinner receiving Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour in repentance, he is born again. This great salvation is not Baptist, but is Divine. Nor is being a Baptist proof one has God’s salvation, any more than receiving Church of Christ baptism does, or Lutheran sprinkling or Catholic mass, or any other number of religious things attributed to hold sacramental (saving) powers.

This Preacher does not believe salvation rests within any “church,” “denomination,” or otherwise. Period! Again let me state, one would be hard-pressed to find “Baptist” covenant theology, wherein only Baptists are going to Heaven anywhere in God’s Word.

A Second Thought: You know when one honestly thinks about it, where are the major dogmas of most “so-called” Christian faiths found in the Bible?? The Baptist Faith (The Faith once delivered to the saints - Jude 2) is easily found in the Bible. Easily, I say!


Compare this. Where can one find sprinkling in the Bible? One would be hard-pressed to find sprinkling supported in the Bible, or churches who practiced it.

Where can one find Mary worship in the Bible? Or sacraments, god parents, liturgy, holy mass, or praying over beads, etc. Where does one find the doctrine of salvation dependent upon human strength to “hold out faithful” in the Bible? One may even question several of the inter-denominational (inter-doctrinal) beliefs, held by “non-denominationalists.”

And could we include several beliefs and practices of fundamental “Baptistic,” brethren? I think we should.

This Preacher personally believes that only Baptists (true Baptists) are doctrinally sound, and that the churches of the true Baptist position and practice are in God’s favor as Scriptural churches.


Bible doctrines are Baptist doctrines, “Non”-denominational, multi (denominational) doctrinal, yea, even fundamental Baptistic churches are NOT Baptist, but (partly Baptist: only the parts they like) a “mixed multitude.”

True Baptists are not afraid of any Scripture any time, any place, as Baptist doctrine is Bible doctrine, and Bible doctrine is Baptist doctrine.

Perhaps that is why many Fundamentalists want to call themselves “Baptistic,” who are not Baptist at all, but want to get close to the truth.

The “Baptistic” brethren seem to be folks who hold only some of the Baptist beliefs AND practices along with, or mixed with, protestant beliefs and practices. This Preacher wonders if much of fundamentalism and the “Baptistic” brethren isn’t just protestants mixing into their faith and practices some of the Baptist beliefs that their spiritual consciences require.

They certainly do not seem to me to be faithful to all that the Lord commanded to His churches.

Anywhere one reads in the New Testament, God charges the churches to hold true to the doctrine (if you love me, you will keep my words) as He set in His first church, and He places high praise on those churches who do.

I believe that the Baptist faith and practice is the ONLY faith and practice true to the Scriptures.

A Third Thought: Now should I be intimidated by those who fear searching the Scriptures concerning the New Testament Baptist Church? It is my personal opinion that there is no other way to honestly deal with the Scriptures concerning the church of the New Testament without admitting that it is in the Gospels.

It is impossible for me to see the church beginning at Pentecost. And there is no way to deal with the truth without concluding that Jesus Christ began the first church Himself. It was NOT a “plan B” after the Jews supposedly rejected Christ as king, but it was eternally in God’s design that way.

 
Luke 6:13-16 shows the first church organized and gives us the first church roll; and I Cor. 12:28 shows as that the Apostles were that first church prior to any others being added. In Acts 1:15 others were already members prior to Pentecost.

A Fourth Thought: On this subject of Christ’s bride, it’s strange that the New-Evangelical protestants and Fundamentalists can so soundly argue for the Church being the bride.


They can so easily find all the appropriate Scriptures to PROVE that The Church is Christ’s bride. And as long as all are forced (intimidated sometimes) to interpret them in the “mystical” universal church sense; as long as THEIR interpretation is used, everyone is happy.

But woe be he who holds to local church theology and uses the same verses of Scripture to show the same deduction concerning that church. Which the Scriptures do so clearly show. Is the Bible true to teach the church as Christ’s bride?

Even New-Evangelicals and Fundamentalists seem to see it clearly. So does the New Testament teach the doctrine of the local congregations as THE church, rather than the mystical/universal? The Scriptures seem to, rather clearly, actually. (“The church at Corinth”... “The churches of Galatia”... “The seven churches of Asia,” etc.)

So who is the heretic?? Is it the one who believes that Christ’s bride will be made up of those who hold faithfully to the old-fashioned Baptist faith and practices, while all other saved people will be eternally saved and in heaven, but not the bride?

Or those who believe that the bride is inclusive of all the doctrinally mixed multitude of believers? Which position has the support of God’s Holy Word?

Protestants who hold no loyalty to the purity of HIS doctrines, easily wish the bride to be the whole family and the only requirement to be the Blood, but this Preacher is afraid that is not upheld in the Bible.

Those who believe that the bride is inclusive of all saved people within a certain specified time period (Pentecost to the Rapture), actually do not have much more than protestant tradition to support that position? Are some arguing Bible, or theological “positions”?

The narrow WAY is said to be the right way, while the inclusive (broad) way is the wrong. The inclusive position is held by protestants who deny so many other Bible beliefs and practices.

Can the mystical church position, or the “inclusive” bride position take real exegetical pressure? If it’s right it can. Truth always upholds truth.

Finally: I believe that the Baptist faith and practice is the ONLY faith and practice true to the Scriptures.

And the being “pure and glorious, without spot and wrinkle, holy and without blemish,” is not referring to all (inclusive) Christians just being Blood purified at salvation.

What about our Lord’s admonition to be doctrinally pure? How anyone could honestly interpret Titus 1:9 (Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.) and other like passages otherwise?

Unless of course, one holds an extremely odd view of doctrinal purity. The Family is quite large I’m sure, but those holding to the true faith and practices are on a narrow way, to be sure.

This Preacher believes that the Baptist faith and practice is the ONLY faith and practice true to the Scriptures. And that the being (That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. Ephesians 5:17) is more than just being born again.

That TRUE doctrinal purity is what God points to as the final qualifier for His bride. Where is that in any other faith or practice? The Scriptures declare that the churches are synonymously the body of Christ.

If the church and the body of Christ are synonymous, and are local, and are completed (not in prospect) fulfilling the designed purpose within this very age, to be rewarded in eternity; could being THE Bride, Christ’s bride, be that reward - perhaps for her zeal for being a soundly faithful church?