Volume 68 Number 2 Lubbock, Texas 79493 Copyright $12.00 Per Year February 2000
What will We Tell Our Children? An Experience Frequently Asked Questions Above Ourselves Obituaries God's Work Good Communications (2) We can learn a lot from a goose Tour Through the Bible
By Elder Bill Walden
Today as we read history of the Primitive Baptists, we note again their great blessings and struggles. They have struggled to hold the banner of King Jesus high and were a truly dedicated and misunderstood people. As a people who in the past stood against "modern inventions of men," they were a thorn in the flesh of those who would try to change and update the Church. they were given many names, but the name "Primitive" has remained. The name is far from offensive, but rather descriptive of a people who have held to the original principles of the Bible.
When we read histories such as Benedict's "Fifty Years Among The Baptists," or the "Black Rock Address," and many others documenting the activities of our people, we are reminded of their struggles. Predating these fairly recent histories, early historians commonly mentioned that 1,400 Waldenses were thrown over a cliff to their death in the valleys of Piedmont, in their attempt to hold to the truth.
At some times in our past we couldn't sing hymns lest it reveal our location, and we were not allowed to worship publicly. Our struggles are well documented to the point that we can tell our children and grandchildren about the things we stood for and against.
For instance, the "mission board" was not instituted by the Apostles, and the Baptists never had instrumental music until recent history. The Church was devastated by these and other things, but she stood, by the grace of God.
The question now is what do we tell them about today. It is painful to look at a number of Associational Minutes and see the diminishing numbers. These are not just numbers, but they represent people; they translate into families. We have numerous Minutes of Churches which no longer exist. These historical Minutes are not documenting things happening in the 1800's, but they record things in the 1900's.
We believe the Church, by the grace of God, will be here when the Lord returns, but we also must acknowledge if more people leave a local church than come into that church, that church cannot continue to exist . It will become a historical statistic as so many others have.
Perhaps we do not like to admit, but our Church is struggling today. Battles are being waged within and we don't have to fear the "other folks." They are watching as we systematically devour ourselves.
When the dust of the current battles settles, and we review the damage, will we open some of our documents being accumulated today and say, "this man or that man attempted to re-introduce the same things as were attempted to he brought in around the early 1800s?
As a relative newcomer to the Primitive Baptists, one of the attractive things about the Church was the fact that preachers from different parts of the country could meet for the first time at a meeting and preach the same things in harmony. There have been so many things advocated lately we would have to be very cautious in saying that our people believe and practice the same things.
It seems reasonable to assume that if something is advocated that is going to disrupt and destroy, we should leave it alone. A preacher may have a single issue that dominates his mind until it becomes his "position" ; then when someone else preaches what he perceives to be contrary to his issue he thinks his "position" is being "attached". The Church of God is larger than any man. There have been many individual battles won, but those waging the battles may have lost the war. Is it worth it to tear up the Church? What will we tell our children? It won't be sufficient to refer to the 1800s; this is happening in the 1900s. A poet once wrote "see how the dead men grin by the wall, watching the dance of the victory ball." For every new and divisive thing brought into the Church, and the little perceived victories won, think of the little ones who fall by the wayside.
One more thing, historically our people have been an humble people. May God enable us to stay that way. No matter how much disagreement there may be among brethren, common courtesy is always in order. When we disregard this we become a laughing stock to our neighbors. The designated purpose of the pulpit is to preach the truth, and it should be used for that, not to see who can get the biggest laugh or speak in the most condescending way to the congregation. We are charged to rebuke, exhort with all long-suffering and doctrine, but never to belittle or "play" with the congregation.
God help us all. Written for love for all and malice toward none. These are some of my thoughts.
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A VOICE FROM THE PAST...
By Elder J. S. Newman
I want to write a notice of the death of Joe Means, who was my sister's son. He died in Galveston, [Texas] February 25, after an operation. and was shipped to Cuero and was buried at the Alexander Cemetery, in the Stratton neighborhood, beside his first wife and two or three children, his mother and grandmother, and only brother, and a host of other relatives. I baptized Joe and his present wife several years ago.
I have an experience in connection with my sister and brother-in-law's family that I want to relate. Olive Ann Means, Joe's mother, had been for several years in bad health. Just a few days before she died she was in Cuero under the treatment of two doctors. She was confined to her bed, and was so weak and helpless that she had to be cared for like a little child.
One Sunday morning she called for the doctors and when they reached her, to their astonishment, she began to thank them for what they had done for her. She told them they could not cure her and that she did not want to die in that wicked place.
She told them she wanted to go out to my house to die. At once arrangements were made, by her devoted husband, to convey her out to my house.
About 4:00 p.m. I reached home from an appointment and was met at my yard gate by my wife who was so overcome she could hardly tell me about the message she had for me. She finally said, "Joe, Ann told the doctors this morning that they could not cure her and that she wanted to die at our house; and they are on the way out here and she wants you to meet her." I did not get off my horse, but went right on to meet my sister.
I met them about four miles from our house, and her husband said, "There is Bud," She was in a hack, on a bed. When she was told that I was present, she said, in a whisper, "I want you to ride in here by me. When I got seated near her she said, "I want you to sing 'Amazing Grace'" I told her I would sing it for her when we reached my house. She said, "No, you must sing it now." So, I began to sing it for her and when I got to the words, "saved a wretch like me," she said, "Yes, saved a poor wretch like me."
It was dark by the time we got to my home. The news had gotten scattered over the neighborhood and I am sure that twenty-five or thirty of our relatives and friends were there, to do all they could for us. About eight o' Clock that night Sister motioned for me to come to her. She said, "Bud, I will never hear you preach or sing any more, I want you to bow by my bedside, and I want to hear you pray for my last time."
I at once got down on my knees and as I began to lift my voice in prayer, she got out of her bed, as though there was nothing the matter with her, and went to all in the room and told them farewell.
She went back to her bed, unaided by human hands, and got in her bed. When the service was over, she said to me, "Can you not see those pretty people?" I told her I could see no one. She called over the names of some she said she knew. She finally said, "I see dear little Archie." This was her baby that had been dead something like a year. Sister died June 23, 1886, eighteen minutes before 11:00 a.m.
In 1898 I moved to Bell County, and from there to Glen Rose. After I had been to Glen Rose a few years I felt deeply impressed to go to Stratton. [Texas]. I did not know why. I had an appointment there and no one was preaching there. I finally said to my wife, "I must go to Stratton." She said, "Go on Papa." No one at Stratton knew I was on my way there and, in the sacred presence of God, I did not know why I was going.
The next morning after leaving home the evening before at 9:00 a.m. I reached Yoakum, I hired a man to take me to Stratton. We had to go near the cemetery, and I saw a large crowd was there. I asked the man to convey me to the cemetery. I got out of the conveyance to see who was dead, and my brother-in-law saw me, and put his arms around my neck and said, "Oh Bud, I'm so glad to see you." I said, "Hugh, who is dead?" He said, "John and Charley are both dead." John was the only brother my nephew had and Charley Alexander was John Means' father-in-law. I knew when I reached the cemetery why I was so deeply impressed to go to Stratton. I did not know my nephew was even sick, as I lived about 200 miles away. Without knowing one thing about the death of my nephew and old friend, I reached the solemn and sacred city of the dead just as the two bodies did. Joe was a man, every inch of him. The presence of his neighbors at his burial proved it. Eight or ten cars, loaded with his home friends, came seventy or eighty miles to see him put away. Sleep on, Joe, . Your poor old uncle that loved you dearly, will soon be in the silent tomb somewhere. God bless the broken family.
J. S. Newman
From the "Primitive Baptist" March 2, 1932.
Note: A copy of the above article has been kept in the Adams' Family, here in the Stratton Community for about 68 years. It is very interesting to note the great distances Brother Newman traveled and the mode of transportation, and most of all the presence of God, and their reliance upon Him, in that time. In the article he said he would soon be buried, and about four years later he was buried in the same cemetery that he wrote about. He is buried in a well-marked grave in the midst of many relatives and members of the Stratton Church. This cemetery is near the Stratton Church, where he had served as pastor. Elder Bill Walden, pastor Stratton Primitive Baptist Church
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EXPERIENCES OF THOSE IN THE WORD OF GOD
Reading about the experiences of those in the Word of God is really encouraging in thinking of this age. So good thinking the things our dear Lord made each one able to overcome. Job 19:25, Dan. 3:17-18, also Is. 43:2 is so good to think about during difficult experiences.
It's really precious knowing our dear Lord has a purpose in each experience He allows us to go through. He will see us through. May He bless you all.
In Dear Hope,
Sister Loretta Lilly
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ENJOYING THE BANNER OF LOVE
Just wanted to send a note with my renewal and let you know that we are enjoying The Banner of Love very much; that youi all are doing a very good job. Keep up the good work.
Elder Ray Mitchell
by Don R. Richards
It gets hard for us humans to understand and comprehend Godís intent for us in this world.
Because of our basic human nature, many things we naturally desire or are inclined to do are exactly opposite of how God instructs us that our actions should be.
We want God to love us, forgive us, and have mercy with us. However, it is not our human nature to feel that same way about all our fellow brethren. We talk about this concept, but it is totally against our nature to follow the practice day in and day out.
The Apostle Paul tells us in the 12th chapter of Romans that we should honor others above ourselves. Rom 12:10. We know our first love should be toward God. We next should love and honor others, reserving ourselves to third priority. That sounds good in practice, but implementation gets a little tough.
It is not something you can read and put on a shelf or to the back of your mind. To properly follow this guidance, it must be in the forefront of our minds and we should practice it daily.
Letís go to the heart of this problem. Who is it that you cannot love? It is pretty easy to follow this instruction with our families and friends. Thatís pretty easy.
The real problem is addressing our need to love and honor those outside of our family circles. The issue involves those that we dislike, or perhaps those that we really do not know and thus are unconcerned about.
In his sermon on the Mount, in the 5th chapter of Matthew, Jesus goes right to the point of this basic instruction:
"Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you..." Rom. 12:44.
How many of us have done that today? That is something I do not even want to think about. Sure, Iíve read it, heard it preached, can basically recite it from memory. But do I practice it? No.
I love my family, not my enemies. Jesus responds to that thought:
"For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? Do not even the publicans the same?" Matt. 5:46.
This is not an isolated concept in the Bible. It is a prevalent issue. It is taught throughout. Yet, we constantly struggle with it, even though we see the emphasis and re-emphasis of this idea.
If we are smitten on the cheek by an enemy, do we strike back? That is our instinct; most days it is not only an "instinct" but it is an automatic reflex. Yet, Jesus tells us, very clearly, that we should turn the other cheek. Matt. 6:39.
What if someone files a lawsuit against us and goes after the very coat on our backs? Our "instinct" is to countersue and engage in a courtroom battle of name-calling. But what did Jesus tell us if someone sues us for our coat: "let him have thy cloak also." Matt. 6:40.
What if someone demands of us that we go along with them for a mile on some journey we do not personally want. Jesus advises us to increase it to three miles. Matt. 6:41.
What God has in mind for us is to act above our worldly level as humans. We should elevate ourselves above our corrupt human nature. We are not asked to "love" on the level as humans, but to love on the basis of love that originates from God. A pure love that is merciful and forgiving.
We want revenge to be our jobs. If an enemy has harmed us (or a fellow brother or sister, or friend or co-worker) it is our corrupt human nature to desire to inflict retribution. God may not address the problem as we see it, so we want to handle it as we see best.
But, you know what, revenge is not our jobs. Love is our job. There is no beating around the bush with this issue. The Bible is abundantly clear on this point.
"Recompense no man evil for evil." (Rom 12:17). "Avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath... Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord." (Rom. 12:19, Deut. 32:35).
Can we leave our vengeance to the Lord. This is one of the major tests of all time. It is something we do not want to think about, because we do not want to leave it to the Lord, we want to address our enemies, confront them and pay them back. We want to see them suffer, and we are afraid the Lord simply will not handle it as tough as we want it handled.
This is one of the greatest issues we must address day to day. "Love your enemies" is one of the greatest statements of Jesusí talk on the Sermon on the Mount. Yet we struggle with it daily.
Our job is love. If we put as much effort into love, as we do the effort when we are after vengeance, a lot of evil would disappear.
"If thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink; for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.
"Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good." Rom. 20-21.
It really is an easy lesson to understand. It is taught in very clear terms. We have great difficulty in following it. It takes discipline; it takes rejecting Satanís all-out efforts at invoking your wrath and vengeance.
Leave vengeance to God. Love your enemies. The goal is good; and the reward is wonderful. Remind yourself of it daily.
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JUST ONE DAY
Please Dear God, help me to live
from day to day
Let me not worry about tomorrow as I go along my way
What I do or say today to help
others see your Love,
Oh the angels in heaven rejoice
For they're watching from above Oh! Let us show the hurting,
There's hope and strength and life.
Let us help heal the unbelief
And soothe some sufferer's strife
Then when face to face we see Him,
In that mansion on the other shore,
We'll dwell in peace with our sweet Lord forever and ever.
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By Elder Hulan Bass
Alexander then started changing everything. First of all; through his Mother's country Epirus, he took it over and said, "Epirus now belongs to Macedonia." Then he went down south and, seeing all those City-States still have battles, he just went and "took command of all of them." In fact, in a very short span of time he became the Commander of the Grecian Empire, the 3rd Universal World Empire.
At this point he decided to take vengeance upon the Persians because of their previous attacks upon Greece. The Babylonian Empire, under King Nebuchadnezzar, was the First Universal World Empire, which was an outgrowth of the land of Mespotamia, in the Fertile Crescent, which lies between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. The Medo-Persians teamed up and overthrew King Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonian Empire. The Medo-Persians were under the leadership of King Cyrus, and they, the Medo-Persians became the Second Universal World Empire.
We shall see through study, that Alexander the Great's Empire became the Third Universal World Empire, and for history's sake, we now say; the Roman Empire became the fourth and Last/Final Universal World Empire. More on all this later.
Alexander the Great, again, decided to take vengeance upon the Persians because of their previous attacks upon Greece. And, as the historian states. "It was not that they killed in battle so many of our Greek men, but every time their army , [which often numbered 1 up to 2 million men] stopped for camp and bivouac, they drank up our rivers and lakes, destroyed our countryside and crops.
It would then take a number of years to restore such from their devastation. This all infuriated Alexander toward the Persians, to the extent, that he then decided to launch this great crusade.
Therefore, he placed all these different Greeks into a Common Army. Here is where Alexander ran into his greatest problem. Everytime he gave a command such as "Right Face, Forward March." the only ones that did turn right and march forward were the Macedonians. He realized his tremendous problem - Communications. Again, it must be stressed, all these different Greeks being put into a common army, posed a major problem, that, on the surface, seemed insurmountable. Can you see the communications problem?
Only the Macedonians knew his language. All the other Greeks did not understand Macedonian Greek. Now, this is not the first time, nor will it be the last, that a member of Mortal Mankind has had a communication problem. In fact, scripturally, the first communication problem started when God confused the languages, when man in the Land of Shinar, decided to build the Tower of Babel - Gen. 11:1-9.
Root word Babel has as its derivatives Babylon-confusion. How is Alexander going to solve his giant communication problem with all these different Greeks in his Army? The major reason for Alexander's communication problem is hereby explained. Part of his army was made up of men from Epirus [his mother's country]. Epirus is a mountainous country and these men spoke Epirian Greek. Another part of his army was made up of men with the cultured group from the Athenian area, and spoke Attic Greek from Athens.
Still, yet, another part was made up of the Spartans, and they spoke Doric Greek. [Side note; One of the greatest communications problems of today is that of understanding precisely what the teachings theologically of the Bible is, and that is why there are so many different denominations. See Romans 10:1-3; Gsl. 1:6-9. Further satan casts seeds of doubt, daily, into God's children's minds, starting with Eve in Gen. 3:1-6; 1st Tim. 4:1; 1st John 4:1-3. We ask, "Now, really, what is the true interpretation?"
So, with that said, Alexander had a major communications problem, with parts of his Army made up of several different Greeks, speaking different dialects of the Greek language. Even though they are all Greeks, they are as different as they can be, such as Aeolic, Arcadian, Attic, Cyprian, Doric, and Ionic. Each of these dialects have high inflections.
If such a large number of dialects in Greek are competing and conflicting with each other, then which ancient dialect is predominant? In Ancient Greece, the Attic, which is a sub-division of the Ionic. To solve the problem, Alexander then developed the common [Koine] Greek Dialect. He invented this Koine Greek. He commanded therefore that this Koine Common
Greek Language would become common to all these different Greeks and such would become the Common Dialect throughout all the Grecian Empire, and even most of the Hellenistic World, that is the "lingus franca."
It became the predominate speech of the near East. His invention left its mark forever upon the culture in the language or speech of the many, various, different Greek speaking people from 350 B.C. to approximately 500 A.D. This Koine Common Greek would be common to All the people, and was such during the time of Jesus Christ, while He was upon the earth, during His first advent.
Alexander's influence upon the world then, and even today, is still felt, especially in the "lingus franca" of the common-koins Greek language, which became the Original Language of the New Testament.
Series #3 will be next.
Compiled by Hulan F. Bass, Elder
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GOOD MEETINGS AT DOSS
We are enjoying good meetings at Doss [Texas] Elder Tony Benitez is our pastor. We trust we never cease to be thankful for our blessings that the Lord has given us.
We enjoy the Banner very much, and we appreciate all the effort you put into it. It touches so many lives.
By Elder Kenneth Clevenger
When the strayed goose returned to the flock it was received with sounds of gladness from the flock. Likewise with the church, when the Lord leads one in repentance and they return to the flock; "I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance." [Luke 15:7];
"Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth." [Luke 15:10]. There is always great joy in the church when one, who has left the church, returns to the flock. They will be received with tears of rejoicing and thanksgiving to their Lord for the return of the repentant sinner. 'When the lead goose tires, it rotates back into formation, and another goose takes over at the point position.' In every church there are those who are prepared by the Lord [usually deacons] to take the lead. However, the time will come when it will be necessary, for different reasons, that they rotate back and let others take the lead. 'The brethren who are the leaders, [pillars] in the church should constantly be looking for those brethren that the Lord has endowed with a spirit of leadership.
Then encourage them to step forward and begin to shoulder some of the duties. They will then be ready to take the lead when those who have been leaders feel the need to rotate back into a less active role. For an example, "And when James, Cephas, and John who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship, that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision." [Galatians 2:9],
However, let all those that are leaders in the church cast their eyes on The Humble Head of the church, always prayerfully endeavoring to serve with honor. Never let it be said of them, that they abused their position, "Nothing is being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock." [1 Peter 5:3].
'The geese in formation honk from behind to encourage those up front to keep up their speed.' The membership of the church should always encourage those who are endeavoring to carry out the necessary business and cares of the church with their monies and words of appreciation and encouragement. Also to encourage the church with their regular attendance which is their reasonable duty, which also serves to support a more healthy spiritual life for themselves.
When the pastor sees all these things happening in a loving and exciting manner in the church it serves to encourage him and he is made to feel that all the church is behind him. Also words of appreciation concerning his preaching efforts serve to inspire him to study the scriptures in an effort to improve his preaching efforts. "Charge Joshua, and encourage him, and strengthen him; for he shsll go over before this people." [Deuteronomy 3:28].
It is honorable for each member to consider the other members higher than themselves and to feel that they are the least among their brethren. Always endeavoring to encourage all their brethren with their words, their prayers and other acts of love. Continually considering themselves highly blessed to have a church home with their brethren. Always diligently endeavoring to encourage those up front to keep up their speed.'
'When a goose gets sick or wounded or shot down, two geese drop out of formation and follow him down to help and protect him. They stay with him until he is either able to fly again or dies. This is a very admirable thing that the geese do, and it is also admirable to see church members seeing about their sick or wounded. However, the geese do what they do by nature, the children of God do what they do with spiritual love. Here, as seen many times in God's creation, we see exemplified the nature of Jesus and His people and we see the loving nature of God often manifested in His brute creatures. We see the nature of true parenthood in the brute creatures, willing, if necessary, to lay down their lives for their young. We see their unfailing dedication to the raising of their young to the time that they can provide for themselves. The brute creature goes about doing those things that his inherent nature moves him to do. However, we find a different situation in the human being; their nature is so polluted by sin that they love sin and hate God. Unless they are given a new nature by regeneration they will only do those things to serve the nature of the natural man.
Of course the natural man has a love for his own, however, not the kind of love that the children of God have for their spiritual family. Look at what Jesus said about this, "For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them. And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same. And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much gain." Luke 6:32-34].
However, the spiritual man is blessed with the guidance of the Holy Spirit and he has a different heart, "For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good, and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth fruit that which is evil; for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh," [Luke 6:43-45]. 'They Launch out to catch up with the original flock.' When the Lords people find it necessary to be away from the Lord's people for a season they will, because of a burning desire, immediately return to the original flock when possible. If their geographical location has changed they will seek out another flock. Of course geese would only seek out a flock of their own kind, and so will Primitive Baptists, for a flock of a different kind would never satisfy them, and they would never feel at home. However, with a flock of their own kind they will be happily received and they will soon feel at home.
'We can learn a lot from a Goose,' and if we have as much sense as God gave a goose we'll stand by each other like they do.
In Old Baptist Bonds,
Elder Kenneth W. Clevenger
Cameron City, MO.
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ENJOY IT SO MUCH
I enjoy it so much and don't want to miss a paper.
Thank you for all your hard work.
In Christian Love,
Please start a new subscription to the Banner of Love. Enclosed is a check for $12.00 for the paper and $25.00 to help as you see fit.
Jerry L. Biggers
Note: We appreciate the extra.
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Compiled by Elder David Pyles
Question: Why do Primitive Baptists refer to their ministers as elders?
The scriptures offer two alternate titles for preachers. These are bishop and elder (I Tim 3:1-7, Tit 1:5-9, I Pet 5:1). The importance of using these scripturally authorized titles is emphasized by Jesus' condemnation of the Pharisees for taking aggrandizing titles to themselves (Mt 23:5-12).
The term reverend is use only once in the scriptures where it has reference to God (Ps 111:9). We are therefore unworthy to wear this title.
Though a minister can be a father in certain respects (I Cor 4:15), this term is never used as a title in the scriptures. In fact Jesus commanded to call no man your father upon the earth (Mt 23:9).
The term apostle is clearly used by the scriptures to mean a minister who is an eyewitness to the sufferings and resurrection of Christ (Acts 1:1-3, Acts 1:21-26, I Cor 9:1, I Pet 5:1). Also, apostles were granted special powers not possessed by ordinary elders (Acts 8:18, II Cor 12:12, Heb 2:3-4). Any man claiming this title for himself today does so in error.
That elder refers to gospel preachers is evidenced by the fact that both Peter and John claimed this title for themselves (I Pet 5:1, II Jn 1, III Jn 1).
That bishop and elder refer to the same office is proven by the interchanged usage of these terms in Tit 1:5-9. However, Primitive Baptists typically refrain from the usage of bishop because of the misimpressions that would be conveyed under modern connotation.
Question: Why do Primitive Baptists not have schools for training ministers?
Primitive Baptists elders are chosen by the individual congregations from among male members who have proven to be faithful to the church and its principles. These men are given the opportunity to speak over a trial period to determine if they have a gift to preach. This trial period typically lasts from one to five years. Those judged by the congregations to satisfy scriptural qualifications for the ministry are then ordained by a presbytery of elders.
All Primitive Baptist elders are expected to be self educated in the Word of God and are expected to seek the counsel of experienced ministers about questions of scriptural interpretation and other matters pertaining to the church. Both young and old elders are expected to seek the aid of the Holy Spirit in the furtherance of their wisdom and understanding.
This system of education is preferred above ministerial training schools because:
Elders in the New Testament were primarily self-educated in the scriptures.
Elders in the New Testament learned under the direction of the Holy Spirit and other elders rather than academicians.
The system makes the scriptures themselves to be the curriculum.
The elder learns in the same setting in which he is expected to teach. Congregations taught by these elders will be expected to have the discipline to educate themselves in the Word of God. The elder should therefore prove himself to have the same discipline.
The system is less vulnerable to the widespread propagation of error so commonly found when numerous ministers are trained under the same teachings of heretical academicians.
Question: Why do Primitive Baptists require that elders be male?
This is a requirement which is very clearly stated in the scriptures (I Cor 14:35-36, I Tim 2:11-12, I Tim 3:2). Accordingly, there is no scriptural precedent for female elders. Churches placing women in ministerial offices appear to regard the authority of the scriptures to be subordinate to current social fashions.
The requirement that elders be men does not relieve women of their obligation and right to teach in other capacities (I Tim 5:14, Tit 2:3-5), nor does it disallow the possibility of women possessing special spiritual guidance and gifts (Jud 4:4, II Ki 22:14, Lk 2:36, Acts 2:17, Acts 21:9). However, we are persuaded that any woman assuming a teaching capacity in the church cannot do so under the influence of God's Spirit as this would place the Spirit at contradiction with Himself.
Though certain modern teachers offer alternate explanations to the scriptures cited above, an examination of their arguments reveals prejudiced views and a willingness to resort to unreasonable extremes to defend them. The same methods of reason would make anything mean nothing.
Question: Why do Primitive Baptists wash feet during communion?
John explains that, at the end of the Last Supper, the Lord began to wash the feet of the disciples. After performing this great act of humility, the Lord said, If I then, your Lord and master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done unto you (Jn 13:14-15). Primitive Baptists understand that this commandment is to be followed in literal detail as well as in spirit.
Many will dismiss these actions of Jesus as being no more than symbolic gestures; however, these same persons understand the last supper to be a literal example. We fail to see the consistency in this. If we are to take one as a symbolic gesture, we must take the other as being such also. Conversely, if the Lord intended literal observance of the last supper, then literal observance must have been intended for feet washing as well. The scriptures leave no doubt that the last supper is to be literally observed (I Cor 10:16-21, I Cor 11:23-30).
I Tim 5:9-10 indicates that feet washing was practiced by the New Testament church. Neither this text nor the example of Jesus can be dismissed as a cultural phenomenon since texts describing the cultural practice of feet washing have individuals washing their own feet (Gen 43:24, Judges 19:21, Song 5:3).
Unfortunately, such plain reasoning is easily obscured by human vanity, yet it was this very vanity that Jesus would have us destroy in the act of feet washing.
Question: Why do Primitive Baptists commune only with baptized believers of like faith and practice?
The primary reason for requiring communion participants to be baptized believers is expressed by the words of Paul: Wherefore, whosoever shall eat of this bread, and drink of this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body (I Cor 11:27-29). A person who has not yet submitted to the obedience of baptism has yet to examine himself in matters of Christian duty, and therefore, should not partake of communion. Nor should the church sanction such participation since this would make baptism appear inconsequential, thereby dulling the individual's sense of conviction over their negligence in this matter. Such churches also carelessly treat others in that they fail to alert them to the gravity of communion and the consequences of being an unqualified participant.
Jesus' final statement to his disciples clearly specified the proper order of gospel obedience: Go ye therefore, and teach 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 (Mt 28:19-20). Hence, the proper order is: belief of the gospel, then baptism, then observance of all that Jesus commanded. This pattern is consistently followed elsewhere in the scriptures (Mk 16:16, Acts 2:41-42, Acts 8:36-37, Rom 6:3-4).
Neither should baptized persons participate in the communion of churches espousing principles contrary their own. Paul's statement in I Cor 10:16-21 forcefully argues that communion denotes the highest degree of fellowship in matters of principle. Communion is in effect a common union with the implied principles. For this reason, Primitive Baptist communion services involve only baptized individuals of like faith and practice.
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WE ENJOY THIS PAPER
Am sending articles to be published in the Banner if you feel that they are of any benefit.
Keep up the good work. We enjoy this paper very much.
Elder George Walker
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Thank you for your fine work with this outstanding publication. May the Lord continue to bless you in your efforts.
Brother Bradley W. Barr
Indian Oaks Primitive
Fort Worth, TX
By Elder Victor Jones
God sent His Son into the world to die for our sins, according to the Scriptures. I am going to say He did that and that all He died for will live in heaven. Now, this shows that we believe Christ did not die for everyone, but those He did die for are going to live in heaven whether they ever make a public confession or not.
The sacrifice of Christ does not depend on what we do but what He did. Christ died for an innumerable number of people in all nations and races, and peoples, and they shall all live with Christ in heaven. "Verily, verily, I say unto you, the hour is coming and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God and they that hear shall live." [John 5:25] He continues on with the 28th verse; "Marvel not at this; for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear His voice, [V. 29] and shall come forth; they that have done good unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation." [John 5:25-28-29].
Now, I shall quote a little John 18:26-27-28-29: "But ye believe not because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you,  My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me,  And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
 My Father which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my hand. I and my Father are one." Then the Jews took up stones to stone Him. In the 39th verse it says, "but he escaped out of their hands."
This is not all that the Primitive Baptists believe but it may give you an idea. Some of our ministers are very able. They can quote scripture nearly all the time and give chapter and verse for them. I am not that able, but I have enough scriptures to preach a sermon and prove it by the scriptures. But the main thing is being in the Spirit of God so that it is evident that the sermon is by the Spirit.
In Christian Love,
Victor L. Jones, Elder
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