A Uniform World Religion
Written By: Bishop G.T. Haywood
Printed By: The Voice In the Wilderness (1922, Vol. 2. No. 13.
The above heading is the caption of an article recently published in one of the daily papers, which we quote verbatim in the following:
St. Louis, October 17. - A uniform world religion could be established by all denominational churches returning to the form, ritual and dogma of apostolic times, is the opinion of members of the new testament congress, an organization composed of members of the Christian Church of America (Disciples of Christ), expressed at a symposium here today.
Dr. George B. Taubman, of Long Beach, California, said that the church denominationalism has been caused by divergence from the New Testament, which, he said, contained the truth of the prophesies made by the old Testament.
The above statement is undoubtedly the only solution to the many divisions in the Christian world today. The plain statements in the book of Acts as to the apostles preaching and practice can never be gain-said. If all would begin as did the early apostles preaching the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ they would find themselves getting of a solid foundation.
The word of God is our only foundation. If the foundation be destroyed what can the righteous do? If we, who are set forth for the defense of the word of God, will reject and criticize the same when presented by some one to our disliking, how, the, are we going to “lift up a standard” for the people?
God is endeavoring to swing the Church back to its original standing upon the principles of the doctrine of Christ. We do not wish to inaugurate any new doctrine, but we merely desire that the reader will consider the following portions of this article carefully and prayerfully.
If all ministers would follow the Acts of the Apostles in their administration of baptism to the penitent believer there would be harmony in the midst of the people of God.
Where no water can be obtained for baptizing every one knows, of course, that no baptizing could be done. But where there is water God requires it. Some have taken exception to water baptism in the name of Jesus because there are places where no water can be gotten, but that does not exempt the minister who has water within his reach.
Baptism in water is a command of God. It is said by men, to be an ordinance, that is, “an outward sign of inward purity.” it can not be found in the word of God. Christ never did make such a statement in all His ministry.
Jesus says “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved.” Again “Except a man be born of water and Spirit he can not enter into the kingdom of God.” the apostle Peter said, “Repent and be baptized for the remission of sins.” Ananias said to brother Saul, at the direction of Jesus Christ, “Arise and be baptized and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.” (Mark 16:16; John 3:5; Acts 2:38; Acts 22:16.)
The apostle Paul said. He saved us by the washing (baptism) of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost. Again, Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it that he might sanctify and cleanse it by the washing (baptism) of water by the word. (See Titus 3:5; Ephesians 5:26 and Acts 19:1-5.) some have been taught that the “washing of water by the word” means a washing in the word,” but this is misleading, for it plainly says “washing of water” and not a “washing in the word.” our bodies are to be washed in water according to the word, and that is, according to the words of Jesus by both precepts (Mark 16:16; John 3:5) and example. (Matthew 3:15-16.)
It is commonly stated that baptism does not save us. If the Word of God bore that statement out I would readily conform my preaching and teaching to that line. What profit is it to us to continue in our own way when we see by the word of God that we are wrong? What would it profit a man though he gained the whole world, and lost his own soul? Let us see what the Word saith. Peter, who said, “Repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus for the remission of sins” many years afterwards confirmed his instructions given on the day of Pentecost by saying “In the days of No0ah eight souls were saved by water. The like figure whereunto even baptism doth now also save us.” then, lest some should think that he meant that water baptism saved them by removing the bodily uncleanness, he adds “not the putting away of the filth of the flesh,” but, deeper than that, “the answer of a good conscience toward God.” the strength in baptism as a saving medium comes “by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (I Peter 3:20, 21).
Water alone does not save us. “Not by water only, but by water and blood.” The blood and the name of an individual are inseparable. John Smith’s son is a “Smith” no matter what other name you may give him, because he has Smith’s blood in him. By this I want to show that the blood and the name are inseparable. You can not honestly bear the name of Smith unless you have Smith’s blood in you, neither can you deny that you are a Smith as long as you have Smith’s blood in your veins. The Blood and the Name of Jesus are inseparable. To be saved by water baptism, it must be administered in the name of Jesus, for there is “no other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” the life of the Blood of Christ is connected with baptism when it is administered in His name. it is not by water only, but by water and blood, and the blood is connected with His name.
It is from this reason that we find these various scriptures, but all relating to the same thing: “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved.” “Repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus for the remission of sins.” “When they believed concerning the name of Jesus, they were baptized.” Acts 8:12.) through His NAME whosoever believeth in Him shall receive remission of sins. (Acts 10:36, 43, 47, 48). “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved and thy house” (Acts 16:30-33). Belief in the name of Jesus must be followed by being baptized in his name. (See Mark 16:15, 16; Acts 16:14, 15, 31, 33; Acts 18:8; Acts 19:4,5.)
This is God’s plan. It proved successful in the days of the apostles, why should it not be so now? Have we become instructor of the Almighty, that we should “correct” the “errors” of apostolic days by substituting our modern methods in the place of those given by the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven? Has God changed His plan of salvation? If so, when, and where?
Was baptism for the remission of sins given for Jews only? Jesus said “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to EVERY creature (Jew and Gentile). He (Jew and Gentile) that believeth and is BAPTIZED shall be saved.” “As many (Jew and Gentile) as received Him (they that received His word were baptized in His name, Acts 2:38, 41), to them gave He power (the Holy Ghost, Acts 1:8) to become the sons of God, even to them that believed on His (Jesus’) name” (John 1:12).
In St. Luke 24:47, Jesus says “that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, BEGINNING at Jerusalem.” according to the inspired word the manner in which Peter preached and presented the gospel on the day of Pentecost at Jerusalem, so was it to be performed throughout “all the world” “among all nations.”
This truth is being verified wherever it is preached. The gospel of old is just the same today. The traditions of men have made3 the word of God of none effect, but every vine that bour Heavenly Father has not planted shall be rooted up (Matthew 15:1-13). God grant that we be not afraid to trust His word. Our fear rowards God has been taught by the precepts of men, but we now behold a better day dawning. The Church is hearing the cry, “Awake, awake; put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city; for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean. Shake thyself from the dust; arise and sit down, O Jerusalem; loose thyself from the band of thy neck, O captive daughter of Zion. Therefore my people shall know my NAME; therefore they shall know in that day that I am he that doth speak, behold, it is I, The Lord has made bare His holy arm (Isaiah 53:1) in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the SALVATION of our God.” Isaiah 51:1-10.
Elder G.T. Haywood