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Confession statement 37

Published in 1646

The Text used: There has been some updating of Old English words but otherwise no changes have been made to the original texts.

CONFESSION OF FAITH of seven congregations or churches of Christ in London. which are commonly, but unjustly, called Anabaptists; published for the vindication of the truth and information of the ignorant; likewise for the taking off those aspersions which are frequently, both in pulpit and print, unjustly cast upon them. Printed in London, Anno 1646.

XXXVII. THAT the ministers lawfully called, as aforesaid, ought to continue in their calling and place according to God’s ordinance, and carefully to feed the flock of God committed to them, not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind.

Heb.5:4; John 10:3,4; Acts 20:28,29; Rom.12:7,8; Heb.13:7.17; 1 Pet.5: 1.2,3.

The First London Baptist Confession 1644/46

 

Confession statement 36

Published in 1646

The Text used: There has been some updating of Old English words but otherwise no changes have been made to the original texts.

CONFESSION OF FAITH of seven congregations or churches of Christ in London. which are commonly, but unjustly, called Anabaptists; published for the vindication of the truth and information of the ignorant; likewise for the taking off those aspersions which are frequently, both in pulpit and print, unjustly cast upon them. Printed in London, Anno 1646.

XXXVI. BEING thus joined, every church hath power given them from Christ, for their wellbeing, to choose among themselves meet persons for elders and deacons, being qualified according to the word, as those which Christ hath appointed in His testament, for the feeding, governing, serving, and building up of His Church; and that none have any power to impose either these or any other.

Acts 1:23,26,6:3,15:22.25; Rom.12:7,8; 1 Tim.3:2,6.7; 1 Cor. 12:8,28; Heb.13:7,17; 1 Pet.5:1,2,3, 4:15.

The First London Baptist Confession 1644/46 

Churches ought to govern themselves

broadusIt may be well to state briefly what I understand to be the leading distinctive views of the Baptist churches. The fact that certain of these are more or less shared by others will be remarked upon afterward.

4. We hold that these societies called churches were design as shown in the New Testament, to be independent. They no right to control one another. Ample warrant there is for operation in benevolence and for consultations as to questions truth and duty, but without assuming to legislate or in any sense to rule one another. And they must be independent of what we call the State as to their organization, faith, worship, and discipline, while, of course, amenable to the State if they violate those moralities which are essential to public welfare; nor must they suffer themselves to be dependent on the State in the sense of receiving from it pecuniary support.

Now, I repeat that we do not consider these externals to be intrinsically so important as the spiritual, or even the ethical, elements of Christianity. But they are important, because they express the spiritual and react upon it healthily or hurtfully, and because the Author of Christianity, in person or through his inspired apostles, appointed and commanded them. And we think it a matter of great importance that they should be practiced in accordance with, and not contrary to, his appointment, that, in the language of his text, his disciples should observe and conserve (for the word includes both ideas) all things whatsoever he commanded them. We are glad that as to one or another of these distinctive views some of our fellow Christians of other persuasions agree with us more or less. We welcome all such concurrence, and it is not now necessary to inquire whether they hold those opinions with logical consistency. For ourselves, we do not claim to be fully acting upon these views, but we aim to do so, acknowl- edge ourselves blameworthy in so far as we fail; and we desire, notwithstanding our shortcoming in practice, to hold them up in due prominence before ourselves and others. I wish now, first, to present reasons why Baptists ought to teach their distinctive views, and then to remark upon means and methods of performing this duty.

John A. Broadus-The Duty of Baptists to Teach Their Distinctive Views

Good Work is not Done Necessarily by Wise Plans

No good work is undertaken or done with wise reflection. It must all happen in a half-sleep. This is how I was forced to take up the office of teaching. If I had known what I know now, ten horses wouldn’t have driven me to it. Moses and Jeremiah also complained that they were deceived. Nor would any man take a wife if he first gave real thought [to what might happen in marriage and the household]. Here Philip said that he had diligently observed that in history great deeds had never been done by old men. “This was so,” said Luther, “when Alexander and Augustus were young; afterward men become too wise. They didn’t do great things by deliberate choice but by a sort of impulse. If you young fellows were wise, the devil couldn’t do anything to you, but since you aren’t wise, you need us who are old. Our Lord God doesn’t do great things except by violence, as they say.” —

Luther’s Tabletalk No. 406

Women Teachers

In the second century A. D. a man rose up named Montanus. This man claimed to be the Holy Spirit himself. He claimed that there was a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit and that there were Christians who had the Holy Spirit and those who did not. He claimed that those who did not have the Holy Spirit were going to be left behind on earth when Christ came. Not only did Montanus teach all kinds of weird doctrines about the Holy Spirit, but he also surrounded himself with women teachers. He exalted these women and allowed them to teach for him.

A lot of what I have been describing sounds a lot like our Charismatic world of today. Charismatics also claim a fresh outpouring of the Spirit, they to are claiming that there are Christians who have the Spirit and those who do not. (Of course it would be impossible to be a Christian if you did not have the Holy Spirit.) Nevertheless these Charismatics are claiming that they are gods, just as Montanus claimed that he was the Holy Spirit. Also the Charismatics of today have surrounded themselves with women teachers.

What happened to Montanus you asked? Well the church condemned him and his movement as heretical. The Charismatics of today are just as heretical as old Montanus was.

In this post I wanted to link to a good article that refutes the idea that women can be teachers in the pulpits of our churches.

The Bible and Women Teachers by Gary Crampton

 B. B. Warfield once wrote:

It is very plain that he who modifies the teachings of the Word of God in the smallest particular at the dictation of any man-made opinion has already deserted the Christian ground, and is already, in principle, a heretic. The very essence of heresy is that the modes of thought and tenets originating elsewhere than in the Scriptures of God are given decisive weight when they clash with the teachings of God.1

Read more of this article here.