?Yet Christ is King in Zion. There is but one army of the living God even though there are many divisions. We can emphasize our unity with other Christian bodies rather than the differences between us. We can regard them as churches of the Lord Jesus even though they are irregularly constituted. As a marriage ceremony may be valid, even though performed without a license and by an unqualified administrator. As an ordination may be valid, even though the ordinary laying on of hands be omitted, so the ordinance of the Lord?s Supper as administered in Pedobaptist churches may be valid, though irregular in its accompaniments and antecedents. Though we still protest against the modem perversions of the New Testament doctrine as to the subjects and mode of Baptism, we hold with regard to the Lord?s Supper that irregularity is not invalidity. We may recognize as churches, even those bodies, which celebrate the Lord?s Supper without having been baptized. Our faith in the larger Christ is bringing us out from our denominational isolation into an inspiring recognition of our oneness with the universal church of God throughout the world.? On the whole subject, see Madison Avenue Lectures, 217- 260; and A. H. Strong, on Christian Truth and its Keepers, in Philosophy and Religion, 238-244.
The advocates of this view claim that baptism, as not being an indispensable term of salvation, cannot properly be made an indispensable term of communion.
Robert Hall, Works, 1:285, held that there are no proper terms of communion, which are not also terms of salvation. He claims that ?we are expressly commanded to tolerate in the church all those diversities of opinion which are not inconsistent with salvation.? For the open communion view, see also John M. Mason, Works, 1:369; Princeton Review, Oct. 1850; Bibliotheca Sacra 21:449; 24:482; 25:401; Spirit of the Pilgrims, 6:103, 142. But, as Curtis remarks in his Progress of Baptist Principles, 292, this principle would utterly frustrate the very objects for which visible churches were founded, to be ?the pillar and ground of the truth? ( <540315>1 Timothy 3:15); for truth is set forth as forcibly in ordinances as in doctrine.
In addition to what has already been said, we reply:
(a) This view is contrary to the belief and practice of all but an insignificant fragment of organized Christendom.
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