other words, unimmersed believers would not be admitted to membership. But is it not the Lord?s church? Have we a right to exclude? Is this not bigotry? The Free Will Baptist answers: ?No, it is only loyalty to truth.?
We claim that, upon the same principle, he should go further, and refuse to admit to the communion those whom he refuses to admit to church membership. The reasons assigned for acting upon the opposite principle are sentimental rather than rational. See John Stuart Mill?s definition of sentimentality, quoted in Martineau?s Essays, 1:94 ? ?Sentimentality consists in setting the sympathetic aspect of things or their loveableness, above their esthetic aspect, their beauty or above the moral aspect of them, their right or wrong.?
O BJECTIONS T O S TRICT C OMMUNION , A ND A NSWERS T O T HEM (condensed from Arnold, Terms of Communion, 82):
? 1st . Primitive rules are not applicable now. Reply:
(1) the laws of Christ are unchangeable.
(2) The primitive order ought to be restored.
? 2d . Baptism, as an external rite, is of less importance than love. Reply:
(1) it is not inconsistent with love, but the mark of love to keep Christ?s commandments.
(2) Love for our brethren requires protest against their errors. ? 3d . Pedobaptists think themselves baptized. Reply:
(1) this is a reason why they should act as if they believed it and not a reason why we should act as if it were so.
(2) We cannot submit our consciences to their views of truth, without harming them and us. ? 4th . Strict communion is a hindrance to union among Christians. Reply:
(1) Christ desires only union in the truth.
(2) Baptists are not responsible for the separation.
(3) Mixed communion is not a cure but a cause of disunion.
<- Previous Table of Contents Next ->
Was this article helpful?