Why should I be a Baptist?
During the time I have been a member of the Body of Christ this question has been asked me several times: How is it that most of your relatives belong to the Baptist church, and you are not a member of it? So for the information and benefit of those making such inquiries, I give twelve scriptural reasons, and if these are not sufficient that you may know why I am not a Baptist, I can give several others.
My first reason for not being a Baptist is that when Peter made the good confession, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God, and Christ answered him, Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church - Matthew 16:16-18, I DO NOT BELIEVE HE MEANT THAT HE WOULD BUILD A BAPTIST CHURCH. Neither do I believe he had reference back to the time when John was baptizing, because the words, I WILL build my church, do not mean I HAVE BUILT my church, but I am going to build. So we see Christ was speaking of the future, and not of the past. Then why should I be a Baptist?
My second reason for not being a Baptist is because Christ also says: Where two or three are gathered together in my name there am I in the midst of them - Matthew 18:20. Thus you see we must meet in the name of Christ instead of meeting in the name of the Baptist. That is His desire; and so it is mine. Then why should I be a Baptist?
My third reason for not being a Baptist is because the Baptist church is not essential to salvation. The Baptists claim that baptism is not essential to salvation. If this is true, salvation comes independent of their church, which makes the Baptist church non essential. Then why in the name of the Baptist should I belong to a church that is not essential to my salvation? God forbid!
My fourth reason for not being a Baptist is because I have long since ceased to hear the voice of John the Baptist crying in the wilderness of Judea, and learned to hear the voice of that great Ruler and King, Christ Jesus, who says in His blessed Word: Come and follow me - Matthew 19:21; I am the way - John 14:6; I am the door. By me if any man enter in he shall be saved and shall go in and out and find pasture - John 10:9. Thus we see that Christ himself is the door, and the church is his body. So if it is his body, I am sure it is not a Baptist body.
Listen: Far above all principality and power and might and dominion and every name that is named, not only in this world but also in that which is to come, and hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him that filleth all in all - Ephesians 1:21-23. Then, in order to become a member of this great body of Christ, we must obey his commandments; that is, we must Believe his word, Repent of our sins, Confess his name and be Baptized into his body. Listen to the Apostle Paul in his epistle to the Romans: Know ye not that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death, that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life - Romans 6:34. And listen also to him in his epistle to the Galatians: For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ - Galatians 3:27. I have done all these things, which makes me a member of the church of Christ. Is that not enough without becoming a member of the Baptist church? It certainly is. Then why be a Baptist?
My fifth reason for not being a Baptist is because there is no salvation in the name Baptist. Peter, speaking of Christ, says: This is the stone which was set at naught of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other, for there is none other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved - Acts 4:11-12.
My sixth reason for not being a Baptist is because I believe that everything we do, in word or in deed, should be done in the name of Christ - minus the name Baptist. And whatsoever ye do, in word or in deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him - Colossians 3:17.
My seventh reason for not being a Baptist is because, The foundation of God is sure, having this seal, ‘The Lord knoweth them that are his’; and ‘Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity’ - 2 Timothy 2:19. Therefore I name the name of Christ instead of the name Baptist, and so I am not a Baptist.
My eighth reason for not being a Baptist is because I adore the name of Christ above all other names. I care nothing about what John Wesley, Alexander Campbell, Billy Sunday or Sam Jones did, for it is not what they did, but what the Apostles preached and practiced that I am interested in. Neither do I care anything about the several different kinds of Baptist doctrines, such as Missionary Baptist, Close Communionists, Open Communionists, Freewill, Hardshell, softshell, or any other kind of a shell, for if I should take what man says instead of what God says, look what I should get into. God said, In the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die - Genesis 2:17. The Devil said, Thou shalt not surely die - Genesis 3:4. Jesus said, He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved - Mark 16:16. Man says, He that believeth and is saved may be baptized. But, so far as I am concerned, I have laid aside what man says and have taken what Jesus said: therefore, I am not a Baptist.
My ninth reason for not being a Baptist is because they express their opinion as to the kind of fruit a tree will bear before it bringeth forth any fruit, for they say when a person gets forgiveness of their sins, they are saved, then, there and forever. I remember being at a Baptist revival once when a young man arose from the mourner’s bench shouting, and the preacher said, Another soul saved! About two weeks after the meeting closed I heard this same young man taking the name of God in vain. At different times I have seen him indulging in the wickedness of the world, and he died in this condition. I leave you to say whether that tree brought forth good or evil fruit. But listen to what the Lord says: Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them - Matthew 8:19-20. So we must wait until the tree brings forth fruit and then by its fruit we shall know it; for we cannot tell as soon as the seed is planted as to what kind of fruit it is, for it has not yet brought forth fruit.
I was present at a revival on another occasion and saw another young man rise from the anxious seat, and heard the preacher say, The power of God is mighty to save. Thank God another soul has got religion. Then my mind at once fell upon this passage of scripture: Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world - James 1:27. This passage of scripture teaches me plainly that religion - pure and undefiled - is something to be done, and not something to get, because I cannot find such words in the Bible as getting religion.
My tenth reason for not being a Baptist is because they baptize to make Baptists, and not to make Christians; for they say a person who gets forgiveness is a Christian, whether they have been baptized or not; but that they have to be baptized by a Baptist minister before they can become a Baptist. Notwithstanding the fact that one whose sins are forgiven is a fit subject for heaven and is entitled to an entrance into the Holy City, there to commune with God and all the holy angels, yet he is not a fit subject to commune with the Baptists here unless he has been baptized into their church. What is the matter, my Baptist friend? Is your church any better than heaven? I say, No; a thousand times, No!
My eleventh reason for not being a Baptist is because the Apostle Paul rebuked the members of the Church of God at Corinth for wanting to wear the names of others instead of the name of Christ. But nevertheless, some of the good old brethren that wanted to wear the name of Christ alone, said I am of Christ. Now this I say that every one of you saith I am of Paul, and I of Apollos, and I of Cephas, and I of Christ. Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were ye baptized in the name of Paul? - 1 Corinthians 1:12-13. No, Paul was not crucified for me, neither was John the Baptist, therefore I will not wear their names. Neither have I been baptized in the name of the Baptist. But I have been baptized in the name of Christ only, and I will wear His name and not deny it for He says: I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it; for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name - Revelation 3:8. Read the 19th chapter of Acts and you will see that certain of John’s disciples were baptized over because they were not baptized in the name of Christ but were only baptized with John’s baptism. Listen. And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism. Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus - Acts 19:3-5.
My twelfth reason for not being a Baptist is because the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch - Acts 11:26. But what were they called before they were called Christians? Disciples of Christ only. If ye continue in my word then are ye my disciples indeed - John 8:31. So we see, if we live according to New Testament teachings that we are to call ourselves Christians or disciples of Christ instead of Baptists. Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf - 1 Peter 4:16. Therefore we must glorify God with the name Christian instead of the name Baptist. But some say there’s nothing in a name. Well if that is the case, my brother, that you are holding to a name there’s nothing in, for Jesus’ sake get rid of it and get hold of the name of Christ for there’s much in it. Listen. And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads - Revelation 14:1.
So my salvation is based on these principles:
No church but the church of Jesus Christ;
No book but the Bible;
No name but the Divine;
No creed but the Christ.
So, if you are a sinner traveling the downward road to Hades and have a desire to get to heaven you must turn and pursue the heavenly way which is so plain that a wayfaring man, tho a fool, need not err therein.
1st Hear the Gospel and believe it - Romans 1:16.
2nd Repent of your sins - Acts 2:38.
3rd Confess the Lord before men - Matthew 10:32.
4th Be baptized into His body - Romans 6:3-4; Galatians 3:27.
Then add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity - 2 Peter1:5-7.
And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved - Matthew 10:22 - without being a Baptist.
Charles J. Kincaid
Published in The Old Paths Archive