Baptism Without Consent

by Tom Wacaster

I have a dear preacher friend who is not married. While considering his marital state, and the awful misery he must be experiencing, I thought perhaps it would be better if he were married. I have happened upon a plan that would accomplish my desired end, and thought I might share it with our readers. Some afternoon, while he is sleeping, I will get some fine Christian lady to accompany me, along with the necessary witnesses, to his home. We will quietly sneak in and, while my friend in sleeping, I will put the question to the bride-to-be: "Will you take this sleeper to be your lawful wedded husband?" She will, of course, answer, "I do." I will then ask my sleeping brother, "Do you take this woman to be your wife?" Unable to answer for himself, we will permit the woman to answer for him. I will then pronounce them man and wife, awake my friend and inform him of his good fortune! Ridiculous you say? Absolutely. But is there any difference between the procedure in our imaginary intentions and what is done in the modern day practice of infant baptism? I think not! There is not one single infant upon whom the rite of baptism is pronounced, that is aware of what is taking place. Sponsors (usually the parents) take certain vows on behalf of the babe for which there is not one shred of evidence in the New Testament authorizing such a practice. When will we learn that only those who believe and confess the name of Christ before men are viable candidates for obedience in the watery grave of baptism.

The Fight Is On

by Tom Wacaster

The battle rages, and the Captain of our army encourages us to stand in the gap, to “put on the whole armor of God...and, having done all, to stand” (Eph. 6:11-13). A recent bulletin reported that the Episcopalian church is on the verge of allowing homosexuals into their pulpits. Another bulletin reports that the Catholic church is about to capitulate on this same moral issue. Meanwhile, toleration is in, opposition is out, and it is apparent that our brethren are about to succumb to the same kind of “pluralistic” thinking that is sweeping our society. “Judge not that ye be not judged” has become the battle cry for those weak of spirit. Controversy is no longer politically correct, whether it be in the political or the religious realm. I, for one, am grateful that neither Jesus, nor His apostles, ever adapted such a philosophy in order to promote and promulgate the “faith which was once for all delivered unto the saints” (Jude 3). Had the restorationist pioneers held to the same attitude toward religious division and error as some of our brethren do today, they would never have gotten to first base in bringing about a restoration of the ancient order of things. J. S. Lamar wrote the following approximately 30 years after the death of Alexander Campbell.  I share it with our readers for no other reason than to show that firm conviction and a stalwart stand for the truth is the only way by which the citadels of error will ever be torn down and the truth of God exalted. Here is what brother Lamar wrote, with which I will close this article:

Every party had made its own creed, and set forth its conception of Christianity in form chosen by itself. Every builder had erected a structure in accordance with his own architectural ideas and designs; and the results were satisfactory to the builders and really, for human structures, very good. It was while resting in fancied security in these corrupted and beautiful temples, the product of their skill and the pride of their hearts, that Alexander Campbell, as with the voice of God’s thunder and the sword of God’s Spirit, broke upon them, and aroused them to a sense of their danger. Now, if instead of thus assaulting them, he had been content to accept their gauge, and to meet them on their own chosen ground, both the conflict and the result had been different. They were fully prepared to contest the question of comparative merit; and if the issue had been, for example, whether the English church was better or worse than the German; whether the Methodist had more or less truth than the Presbyterian; whether the creed, the doctrines, the practices, of any given sect, approximated in more respects than those of some others to the apostolic model and teaching—in such case the conflict would have been most welcome. But Mr. Campbell did not condescend to engage in any such useless strife.  The peculiarities of sects and their varying degrees of excellency were treated only as side-issues and incidents, while with ponderous and pounding logic he battered upon the very basis of sectarianism—contending that, whether they had more of the truth or less, they were still wrong, fundamentally wrong, wrong in being sects, wrong in not being what Christ had founded, while yet assuming to occupy the place, to command respect, and to wield the authority of the divine institution. And now the fight was on. It was Alexander Campbell against the whole sectarian world—and all this world combining to resist him.  Thank God for such men as Mr. Campbell, “Racoon” John Smith, Barton W. Stone, and a host of courageous men who refused to bow to the “pluralistic” mind set that so dominates our world, yea even our own brotherhood, at this very hour. It is readily admitted that when we take a stand on the side of truth, that we will be criticized. But at least we know we stand with good company, “for so persecuted they the prophets that were before you” (Mat. 5:12b). And should it be our lot to stand alone, or at best with the minority, and should the host of the armies of darkness assail us, we can be assured that in the final analysis, when all has been said and done, and we stand before the Captain of our army, we will hear the sweet words, “Enter thou into the joys prepared for you.” It will have been a well fought battle, and the victory shall be ours to enjoy for all eternity. “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not vain in the Lord” (1 Cor. 15:58).

The Bible: Hate Literature?

by Tom Wacaster

It has been almost a full decade since Saskatchewan's NDP government amended Section 14 of the province's Human Rights Code so as to prohibit discrimination against homosexuals by adding "sexual orientation" as a protected category. Since then there has been an ongoing debate as to whether or not the Bible's strong condemnations of homosexual behavior can be construed as hate literature under the amended act, but to this scribe's knowledge there has been no official ruling. One concerned Canadian resident sought to exempt the Bible from discriminatory classification, but so far has been "unimpressed with the human rights commission's response." While no one is contemplating "going after the Bible," it is apparent that the present rendering of government policy could be used at a later time to accuse Christianity of fomenting hatred against homosexuals. A Saskatchewan lawyer has pointed out that "Section 14 is broad enough to include the Bible," and then warned: "Policies change like fashion changes. Proscribing the Bible under Section 14 remains a real possibility as long as its protection depends on policy, not law" (emphasis mine, TW). When asked what would happen if someone filed a human right action against the Bible, a government official agreed that "the human rights commission would pursue that complaint." The present trend to recognize homosexuality as a legitimate moral life style is fraught with grave implications. What starts in the North tends to migrate South.

Now we in America have a similar "hate crimes bill," the specific aim of which is to provide aid and comfort to those who want to legitimize their perverted behavior. The full impact of this hate crimes bill has yet to be realized, but it is likely that the Gay and Lesbian movement in our society will be watching with the proverbial "eagle's eye" so as to test the new law at their earliest convenience. May God give us men who have the courage of Moses, the faith of Abraham, and the fiery spirit of John the baptist; men who will let our voices be heard in the halls of Congress; men who will enact laws that uphold godliness and denounce wickedness! I will close this week's article with one author's call for courage:

Be Strong

Be Strong!
We are not here to play, to dream, to drift;
We have hard work to do, and loads to lift;
Shun not the struggle--face it; 'tis God's gift.

Be Strong!
Say not, "The days are evil. Who's to blame?"
And fold the hands and acquiesce--oh shame!
Stand up, speak out and bravely, in God's name.

Be strong!
It matters not how deep entrenched the wrong,
How hard the battle goes, the day how long;
Faint not -- fight on!
Tomorrow comes the song.

--Maltbie Davenport Babcock