By Ken Blue
(This is the last correspondence with the Baptist brider. It became obvious to me that he was not going to answer my question, as requested. I will answer it in this blog, and give $100.00 to any brider who can show that any follower of Jesus Christ believed, preached or expected Him to die on the cross and be raised the third day. If the brider had been willing to answer it, he would have done so without my offer. I will prove to you why he and every brider refuses to answer the question.)
Again, I thank you for your response, however, it seems like we are playing “ring around the question.” Here was my original request, “…Perhaps you could define the gospel message we preach today and then find where it was preached in Matthew through John’s gospel.” You did not “define” or state WHAT we are required to believe today. Of course we are saved by faith, but faith must have a valid object. Are you unclear on the content of the gospel? I don’t think so, and I certainly hope you are not.
I stated, “What I can’t understand is your position that everyone got saved by believing the same thing. I ask, what is required that a person believe today in order to be saved? You did not answer that question. Then I gave you a Scripture (Luke 18:31-34) which showed that no one from Matthew 1:1 to John 21:25 believed what you and I preach as a means of salvation today.”
You refused to clarify WHAT the disciples believed or preached in John through Matthew. You know they did not preach the same gospel you preach, so why not declare what they preached and believed? I stated that no one in that period believed or expected Jesus to die. Rather than stating the CONTENT of their message, you compared them to new believer, with incomplete knowledge. Were they ignorant during their ministry? What was their knowledge? They preach a gospel for about 3 years! What was that gospel? You refused to say.
Also, you accused me of making this an argument about dispensations and the church as a diversion. You either don’t know the answer to my questions, or are reluctant to answer the obvious for some other reason. You brought up the church; I did not. Not one time did I make any comment or ask about when the church started. You brought that subject up when you said, “The fact of the matter is, prior to the book of Acts there was a body of baptized believers that was started by Jesus who had local church ordinances. That may not fit in to your ‘slicing and dicing’ of the Scriptures but it is plain as day.”I don’t disagree with your point. I was responding to your smear of me as “slicing and dicing the Scriptures,” and was attempting to show you that a church did exist in the Old Testament, as it did in the gospels.
Your knee jerk response was to accuse me of being a Ruckmite. You said, “I’ve never met a Ruckmanite who called himself one but I have met several Ruckmanites who want to defend other Ruckmanites.” Since the Campbellites and the Church of Christ believe the local church is the bride, should I associate you with them, in order to discredit you?
The truth, my brother, is that neither you nor anyone else knows when the church started. In one blog on your site, someone stated that it started in Matthew 4; some Baptist think it started in Matthew 16:18. Some believe the church today is simply a continuation of the O. T. Church. A greater number believe it started in Acts 2. There are a few who believe it started in mid-Acts, with the conversion of Paul. Finally, there are those who teach it started after Acts 28. So, I could care less about when anyone thinks the church started. I knew your answer to that subject before my first blog. Therefore, that was not my purpose for writing.
I was attempting to get you to see or admit that the gospel of John the Baptist, of Jesus Christ and the Twelve did not contain ONE WORD about the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ; and then I wanted you tell us what they believed, preached, and expected. You still refuse to do that.Rather, you think I was attempting to “lay a trap” for you. This put you on the defensive and you implied that I am a Ruckmanite, a hyper-dispensationalist and not being honest with you. This tactic is as old as the hills. When you will not or cannot answer; attack the messenger.
Even thought you skirt and change the issue, and refuse to give a straight answer, I will answer your questions as you have articulated them.
You asked, “Do you believe that everyone has or will get saved the same we get saved today?” If you mean by believing the same thing, the answer is NO. ` I am confident you don’t believe they were either. You just fear the consequence of saying so. (Note that John, Jesus, and the Twelve preached the gospel. “And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.” Matthew 4:23. “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God; As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.” Mark 1:1-3. If they were in error in the gospel they preached, why didn’t Jesus correct them?) But not one word of it was about Him dying on the cross to pay for our sins. After His resurrection, no one believed it! So, it is dishonest to say they simply lacked perfect knowledge, they preached an imperfect message.
You asked, “Do you believe that John’s baptism is the same baptism we practice today?” If you think John was looking forward to the death, burial and resurrection of Christ as the reason for his baptism, the answer is no. If you think water baptism puts one in the bride, and that baptism must have apostolic succession to be valid, the answer is no. You can’t even validate your own baptism back to John! Can you? If you can, show us that validation.
You asked, “”Do you believe the NT church existed prior to the events found in Acts?” I believe a NT church existed before Acts. I do not believe the church which was a “mystery” existed in the Gospels.
You asked, “Do you believe all the saved are in the body of Christ?” I believe all saved people are in the Body of Christ.
Now you can confidently attack my comments and divert everyone’s attention from my original questions. I too must contend for the faith and practice right divisions of God’s Word.
Let me assure you that I have no animosity toward you. I am sure you are a dear brother and seek to get people saved and to live for Christ. We do not hold the same views on the various gospels in Scripture or on the local church. I sincerely hope God blesses you and your ministry. I also thank you for allowing me space on your blog.
(The response I was seeking from the beginning is found in I Cor. 15. It seems strange to me that any brider would ignore that great chapter which clearly gives us the CONTENT of the gospel we preach today. “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; 2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. 3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:” The reason the brider refused to refer to this profound section is because it does not match anything preached by John the Baptist. To admit that would have called into question the purpose of John’s ministry and baptism, which no brider can reconcile with Paul’s gospel.)
Pastor Ken Blue was born in Boswell, Ark. In 1955 he accepted Christ as his Savior. He and his wife Joyce were married in 1955. They have 5 children. He graduated from Midwestern Baptist Bible College in 1969 and started the Open Door Baptist Church in Lynnwood, Wa. where he pastored for 39 years. Because of health issues (ALS) he was forced to resign as pastor. It is his desire to continue to be used of God to help pastors and believers through this ministry.