The Baptist Pillar © Brandon Bible Baptist Church 1992-Present www.baptistpillar.com
"...The church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth."
I Timothy 3:15
W. B. Boggs, 1898
Taken from The Baptists, Who Are They and What do They Believe?
The great fundamental principle of the Baptist is this: That the Word of God is the only, all-sufficient, and infallible standard and authority in religious things. They demand a “thus saith the Lord” for every doctrine and rule and practice for which authority is claimed in the churches of Christ. They insist upon unswerving fidelity to the Holy Scriptures, without adding thereto or taking there from. “To the law and to the testimony,” is their motto. In place of Canon Laws and Rubrics, and Ecclesiastical Institutes, and Books of Discipline, and Directories “by authority,” they regard the Bible as the only authoritative statute book in the things of religion.
Surely this principle is the only safe one. For the slightest departure from it, or the adoption of any other, opens the way for the modification of Christ’s laws, or even their abolition, and the substitution of human laws, resulting in unlimited changes of faith and practice.
This principle commends itself as one of prime importance, and requiring the strictest adherence. For if the Bible is not all-sufficient, and additional regulations have to be made, who shall make them?
Wise men differ widely. The learned of one age might repudiate the principles adopted by those of a former age. One council might ignore the decrees of another; and thus endless confusion must ensue. Let the dissensions and distractions of Christendom be the forcible, yet sad illustration.
Besides all this, God has said, “the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God.” The Lord alone is the rightful lawgiver of his church. His people are not at liberty to make laws; their duty is simply to execute and obey those already made by the great Legislator. What He has laid down they are to observe; what He has not enacted they may not demand.
It is thus that Baptists hold the headship of Christ They really and practically hold him as the “Head over all things to the church,” “that in all things he might have the pre-eminence.”
They believe that no command of Christ is nonessential. There is much talk about essentials and non-essentials. But how can any command, or even the slightest intimation of the will of the all-glorious King of kings and Lord of lords, the Redeemer and Head of the church, be unimportant? Every word of his is pregnant with meaning and weighty with authority.
This principle has not always been firmly held. If it had been unswervingly adhered to from the beginning, Christianity would doubtless have been saved very largely from corruption and division, and a complete return to it now would tend greatly to the unity of all believers.