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
Norman H. Wells
From The Church That Jesus Loved, 1973 (Chapter 8)
It is not too difficult to discover the religious viewpoint that is prevalent in America today. All one has to do is listen to the conversations pertaining to religion and invariably something like the following remarks will be heard:
"It doesn't matter much what a man believes as long as he is sincere and does what is right."
"All religions are about equally good."
"We may be taking different roads but we are all bound for the same place."
"All we need do is live by the golden rule."
Whichever of these expressions, or others like them that are used, they all have a common sentiment. They reject the importance of any kind of doctrine. The very word "doctrine" has come to produce an unpleasant reaction in the minds of most folks.
Denomination lines have become so blurred that people can skip from church to church and never realize a difference. They naturally come to the opinion that, after all, there isn't much difference! Religious indifference! What a spectacle! We have hundreds of denominations all proclaiming to believe different creeds and emphasizing conflicting doctrines and at the same time declaring it doesn't make any difference what a person believes!
Simple logic tells us that contradictory statements cannot be true at the same time! If one statement is true then all statements which contradict it are false! Hundreds of denominations holding creeds and doctrines that contradict each other cannot all be true!
Suppose an arithmetic teacher gave the same problem to four different boys and got four different answers. Naturally, only one of them could be right. Suppose, however, this teacher is fearful of causing disruption in his class, or perhaps of offending one of the pupils, so he just tells them they are aII right! One arithmetic problem yielded four different answers and no one was wrong — everyone was right! Ridiculous! If we can recognize how illogical this is, why can't we see that all beliefs can’t be right?
There was a time when Christians were willing to die rather than deny or change one bit the doctrine they believed. It was fresh in their minds that Christ died the same way.
Jesus Christ Himself condemned religious indifference. Christ commanded His followers for all ages to teach the exact truth He had delivered unto them and to demand that all believers accept this truth.
"And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and leach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen." (Matt. 28:18-20)
This commission was two-fold. First, they were to preach the gospel to all nations. Secondly, they were to teach the identical doctrines that He had taught them. They were not to preach or teach their own ideas or whims but were charged to "teach them all things whatsoever I have commanded you." They were not to teach one doctrine and eliminate another. The entire truth hung together as one great organic whole.
Christians Commanded To Accept Truth!
The plain teaching of all scripture establishes the fact that believers are commanded of Christ to accept all of His truth. They are not to add, dilute, edit or change it in any way. The whole New Testament echoes the teaching of Christ that there is one truth and God's people should be united in accepting it.
Any thoughtful person who carefully considers these facts is brought face to face with the question, "Which church is the one that is declaring the truth? Which church is right? Which are wrong? How can I know the true church?
The quickest way to receive an answer to these questions is to determine which church Christ Himself founded. When Jesus Christ founded His church, He promised that that church would never go out of existence. "And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." (Matt. 16:18)
The Church Lives!
The promise that "the gates of hell shall not prevail against it" can only mean the church Christ established was never to be destroyed but would exist in every age. If we accept God's Word then we are certain that the church Christ established lives today. It becomes vitally important to know which, of all the hundreds of conflicting claims, is true! How can we know?
The Church In History
Some would try to trace their church back through the pages of history to Christ. There is no doubt that if this could be done history would identify the church Christ established. However, history is man's word for what happened and is subject to error, therefore, this cannot be the final test! Actually there is but one test! Each believer has the God-given right to make this test!
Amid all of the chaos of confusion that exists among the hundreds of conflicting religions there exists only one source of information that is without error — the inspired Word of God! This then is all we can turn to! Man can be wrong. Churches can be wrong! Only God's Word stands without error! This is where we must look!
This book, the Bible, the Holy Inspired Word of God, gives us the history, the message and the methods of the New Testament church! Its pages give us an accurate description of the church that Christ founded, its organization, its officers, its mission, etc.
This then is the only test! Which churches in existence today have the same methods, the same purpose, the same message, the same organization, etc., as that of the church described in the pages of the New Testament?
It is here that true Baptists rest their case! We believe that when a sincere believer opens his Bible and makes this test, he can only come to a real Baptist church.