Old Landmark Missionary Baptist Church
“Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set”
What does our name mean?
a. The name “Landmark” indicates a particular point of view regarding practice among Baptists.
b. It originated in the mid 1850’s with 3 Baptist Pastors that began to take a stand against the practice of what was known as “pulpit affiliation” and other questionable practices among Baptists. These Pastors were:
• J.R. Graves who called a meeting with other Baptists to address 5 questions:
1. Can Baptists with their principles on the Scriptures, consistently recognize those societies not organized according to the Jerusalem church, but possessing different government, different officers, a different class of members, different ordinances, doctrines and practices as churches of Christ?
2. Ought they to be called gospel churches or churches in a religious sense?
3. Can we consistently recognize the ministers of such irregular and unscriptural bodies as gospel ministers?
4. Is it not virtually recognizing them as official ministers to invite them into our pulpits or by any other act that would or could be construed as such recognition?
5. Can we consistently address, as brethren, those professing Christianity who do not have the doctrine of Christ and they walk not according to his commandments but are arrayed in direct and bitter opposition to them?
Chapter 9 – Inconsistencies and Intercommunion
Chapter 11 – Old Landmarkism, What is it?
• J.M. Pendleton Who wrote a challenging book entitled “An Old Landmark `Re-set.”
He used Proverbs 22:28 “Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set.” As his text verse to remind Baptist of our great heritage and perpetuity dating us back to when Jesus organized His Church during His personal ministry and that we nothing in common with the groups that came out of the protestant reformation.
• A.C. Dalton Wrote a novel that he titled “Theodosia Ernest” in which he also challenged Baptist of his day to reconsider the direction that they were going and whom they were having fellowship with.
c. As has always been the case, these men were not well received among their fellow pastors that were embracing these errors. They never identified themselves as “Landmarkers” however; their enemy’s began to label them as such, largely because of J.M. Pendleton’s book. Today, we will proudly identify ourselves with these Landmarkers of old and the stand that they took.
a. The name “Missionary” indicates another particular point of view regarding practice among some Baptists.
b. By missionary we are identifying ourselves with what the Lord commanded His Church to do in Matthew 28:19-20 and that is to evangelize through an aggressive means of sending men out from the local churches with authority to organize churches.
c. This pattern was established in Acts; Acts 13:1-4 “Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away. So they, being sent forth by the Holy Ghost, departed unto Seleucia; and from thence they sailed to Cyprus.”
d. Many Baptist Churches have often been very aggressive in their efforts in evangelism. While they would reject the efforts of irregular and protestant organizations they would gladly work together in a collective effort to support men that were endorsed and sent out by sister churches.
a. The name “Baptist” yet again indicates another particular point of view regarding practice among Baptists.
b. The name Baptist is a shortened version of the name given to our forefathers as early as the 3rd and 4th century as the opposed the rising power of the Universal State Church that was not only baptizing in order to “wash away sins” but also began to baptize infants and children.
c. Our forefathers of course rejected this practice as unscriptural and heretical and they would re-baptize those that would come to them from this practice.
d. Because of this they were labeled as Anabaptists, which simply means re-baptizers.
e. Worse than the name though they were persecuted mercilessly by being cast into prison and often tortured to death if they did not recant of the re-baptizing.
Trail of Blood – A history of Baptist Churches by J.M. Carroll
f. The name Baptist also identifies the conviction that our belief is, that baptism is not only important and necessary but that there are important factors involved in order for baptism to be considered scriptural. These factors are as follow:
1. The proper authority is a church that has the authority of Jesus to administer this baptism.
2. The proper candidate is one that has been born again by repenting of their sins and trusting in Jesus as their personal savior.
3. The proper method is by complete immersion in water; thus picturing the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus.
4. The proper purpose is to bury the old man/flesh and be raised up to walk in the newness of the spirit life.
a. The name “church” is actually what Jesus referred to as His disciple, when He told Peter in Matthew 16:18 that “I will build my church.”
b. The word church was not a new word created by Jesus, but rather was a very common Greek word “Ekklesia” which simply means a local, visible assembly with authority to conduct business.
c. It was commonly used in the early centuries to describe the way that the Greek City-States would conduct their local business. Each city being local and visible and autonomous in its government.
d. In our case, each local visible assembly has authority from Jesus to govern itself and conduct spiritual business under His Headship. We have no governing body overseeing our business as we are governed by the congregation that makes up our assembly.
e. A scriptural church can only be local and visible; The theory of the universal invisible church is unbiblical.
Written by Elder Steve Waters