Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Researching the Church

In order to be confident as to which churches are part of the 'My Church'es the Lord spoke of in Matthew, one will have to endeavor to study and examine the practices of that church. By micro-examination, one should be able to find the common DNA (Doctrine, Nature and,Ancestry) to confirm relationship.
So what constitutes a true church and what separates it from church pretenders?
First, a true church will be made up of regenerate members. Salvation has always been a prerequisite to church membership (Acts 2:41-42, 47). Church members are those that 'call upon the name of the Lord.'(1 Cor. 1:2). These saints must secondly be Scripturally baptized. According to Acts 2:41, a person was to hear the Word, believe the word, then be baptized. All church members were to be baptized believers. What is Scriptural Baptism?
It is this baptism that has separated true churches from pretenders. It is this baptism that has given to us the name "Baptist". It is this baptism that has resulted in the martyrdom of our faithful forefathers. This baptism is of great importance!
Jesus knew it was important, that is why He walked 60 miles to be baptized by the only man authorized to do such at that time (John-the Baptist). The Holy Spirit knew it was important, for He too attended the Baptism of Christ and made His presence known. The Father knew also of its importance, for He voiced His approval when His Son was baptized that day! The Devil knew of its importance, for he too was there right after to tempt Christ and it is he that has caused much confusion and counterfeited true baptism.
Baptism was only administered to those that were saved already (Matt. 28:19, Acts 2:41; Acts 8:12, 36-37; Acts 10:43-47). Baptism was only done by immersion as the subject was plunged beneath the waters (Mark 1:9-10; Matt. 3:13-16; John 3:23; Acts 8:30-39; Rom. 6:4). This immediately voids all 'baptisms' done by pouring and sprinkling. In Scripture, 'much water' was needed to properly baptize, and the subjects went 'down into' the water; furthermore, a burial is hardly represented by a sprinkling.
Baptism was also only administered in Scripture under the proper authority. Baptism is regulated by the Word of God. The authority to Baptize was given to the church in Matthew 28. A study of this authority will take one down this path:
John the Baptist was the first baptizer and had his authority from God (John 1:6). Jesus and the 12 baptized by John (Acts 1:21-22) and it was the church that was given the authority upon the great commission. 3,000 were baptized and added to that church at Pentecost (Acts 2:41). Phillip was sent out by that church and baptized, Peter was sent out of that church and baptized. From this church and its work of evangelism, other churches were started who also, upon their beginning of being a church, had the authority passed on to them to baptize. The apostle Paul was sent out of one such church, the church at Antioch, in Acts 13 with the authority to Baptize. This authority was passed on from church to church from generation to generation down THIS LINE of 'My Church'es.
Baptism from pretending churches was never accepted by the true church. The true churches demanded a 're-baptism' if the subject had not been Scripturally baptized (thus the term ana-baptist applied to churches such as ours during the times of the reformation).
Baptism has always been important to the true church because it pleases the Lord, proclaims the Gospel, and protects the church. It pleases the Lord in that baptism is the result of souls being saved! It proclaims the Gospel in that the baptism is a picture/type/figure (1 Pt. 3:21; Col 2:12; Rom. 6:4; Matt. 28:19; Gal. 3:26-27) of the death, burial and resurrection of our Lord, the death of our old life to sin and resurrection of the new man to walk in newness of life, our faith in the Trinity, and our putting on of Christ. It protects the church from doctrinal error. Church pretenders have false doctrine taught in their 'churches.' By a true church not accepting their baptism and allowing membership from such churches, it is protecting the church from doctrinal error such as baptismal regeneration, infant baptism, etc. It protects the church from protestant denominationalism. Those that came out of the catholic church retained some/most of the doctrinal errors of the catholic church. Lutherans, Presbyterians, Methodist, Episcopal all believe in some form of baptismal regeneration and sprinkling of infants. The rest of the protestants branched off of them or accept their baptisms thereby welcoming in false doctrine.
The 'My Church'es are not protestant! We have existed since the first century and cannot accept the false baptisms of those that believe falsely. Consider the following:
Baptism is that wherein I was made a child of God.
-Episcopal Catechism
Baptism is a sacrament of the New Testament ordained by Jesus Christ for regeneration, remission of sins.
-Presbyterian Confession
Sanctify this water and grant this child now to be baptized to receive the fullness of thy grace and ever remain in the number of thy faithful and elect children. -Methodist ritual
It is certain our church supposes all who are baptized in their infancy are at the same time born again. -John Wesley
Concerning baptism, it is necessary for salvation and we condemn the anabaptist who hold infants can be saved without it. -Lutherans Augsburg Confession

Baptism protects the true church from inter/non denominationalism and the ecumenical hellish doctrine.
There are many pretending to be churches, but cannot be a true church, for a true church is made up of only believers who have been Scripturally baptized.
Now, let us look closer.....