Elder O. B. Mink
Now In Glory
All too often, the Sovereign Grace Landmark Baptist pastor hears negative criticism of his ministry on the basis of belief that he is too occupied with the success of his own church, at the expense of Christianity in general. He has been charged with being uncharitable toward those of a different denomination, and that he is unduly opposed to many of the valued and cherished traditions of the invisible church. His critics say, “He is stuck in the quagmire of outdated practices, such as closed communion, immersion, and restriction of the pulpit to the male gender only.”
It is readily admitted by the Sovereign Grace Landmark Baptist preacher that he is not very innovative, and that he believes that the Bible is the inspired word of God, and that any and everything not approved by the Bible is of the flesh, and is detrimental to the well being of the church. But to indict him on the ground that he is inhospitable toward Christians of other denominations, and that he has “churchianity rather than Christianity” is grossly unfair. It is not a lack of respect for his fellow Christians that has made him to differ with them, but it is his love for the word of God, for he knows nothing of value can be gained by compromising a single jot or tittle of God’s precious word.
The Sovereign Grace Landmark Baptist preacher believes that Christ loves His church, and that He purchased it with His own blood (Acts 20:28; Ephesians 5:25). He also believes that there is no ecclesiastical institution bigger that a local New Testament church, and he believes that the Holy Spirit has called him to the pastoral ministry. Therefore, he knows that his calling is to edify the church over which God has made him the overseer, and he fearfully knows that any preaching short of the whole counsel of God cannot magnify the Lord, nor edify His church.
Sovereign Grace Landmark Baptist preachers love the people of other persuasions, and this love has been undeniably manifested throughout the two thousand year history of their churches. But owing to the irreconcilable variances in what the respective parties believe the Bible teaches on many subjects, including the cardinal doctrines of soteriology and ecclesiology, leaves NO room for church level fellowship.
Sovereign Grace Baptist churches are not different from other churches just for the sake of being different, but their strictness and separatism are the fruits of divinely guided study, and they joyfully suffer any stigma resulting from the difference God has put between them and those of a contrary judgment.
(The Baptist Herald September, 1994)
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