and the Baptist Bride

It is with no small amount of regret, disappointment and annoyance that I have been stirred to write a note or two about the 'Baptist Brider' or Landmark movement.

I'm not going to approach it from the 'educated' mens point of view but more from a coal face and experiential viewpoint.

My first experience with the teachers of the Baptist Bride came from a little independant Baptist Church in Portadown which I had for many years helped with and contributed to in order to get them up and going.

This church is/was run by missionaries from the U.S. and came with friendly faces and seeming good intentions but upon being challenged about their beliefs in a 'Baptist only Bride of Christ' instead of going to the Bible I was directed to a publication by a 'preacher' Sargent'.

This was the first thing to set off alarm bells - the second was a spreading of rumours about myself around a so called 'Pastors Fellowship' - the third a most obstinate and spiteful demeanor when approached to explain them selves from the Bible and lastly that they should come from half way around the world - consuming resources that could have been used to send out real missionaries

Basic Assertions and Beliefs

. When it comes to these I have learned not to listen to what the representatives of this movement say but rather what everybody else says. Most times the reps for cultish belifs will lie and not actually say what it is that they believe anyway.

1. If you don't belong to a Baptist Church that was started by John the Baptist or one of his converts then you will not be able to take part in the marriage supper of the lamb.

This is nowhere to be found in the Bible but is more likely an effort to form an elitest Christian movement, a first and second class christianity (not found in the Bible) which puts some men 'at the top of the pile' and leaves other christians at the bottom. This works in large countries like America but over here in the UK and especially in Northern Ireland there people stand out like sore thumbs - another minority cult.

2 There is no such thing as the invisible church - ie the body of people that is made up of all the Bible believing,born again Christians everywhere - even in heaven!

Unfortunately the Bible disagrees with this assertion - Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; Is that The church in Portadown or the church in North Caroline or the church in Derry. It is written in the definite article - THE - which refers to a singular item namely the body of believers that comprise the invisible church of the firstborn (means there is only ONE!)

1 Corinthians 12:27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.

Ephesians 4:4 [There is] one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;
Ephesians 4:5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism, The Word of God tells us that there is one body to be saved into - the Body of Christ - believers in His redeeming work on the cross.

Does that means that only the Faithful,church started by John the baptist attending, baptised HANDS of the body of Christ are going to the marriage supper of the lamb? Of course not it is completely ridiculous.

3. If you are not faithful to your above church then you are in danger of not being in the bride of Christ and attending the marriage supper of the lamb. This is very akin to JW teaching (along with the first and second class deliverance promised by these cults)

4.The Church is the final authority!

Psalm 138:2 I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.

My King James Bible tells me that His word has the final authority. It supersedes any church by laws or any other piece of paper that men in any church have tacked to a wall in its stead.

5 If you are not saved out of the King James Bible then you are not saved!

This is completely ridiculous - how many souls trusted in Christ as their own personal saviour after reading a Gospel tract from another version - I myself was saved in a charismatic church almost certainly form the NIV (which I can't recommend at all) and know of many like souls that have a far more Christlike spirit about them than these prideful induhviduals.

6..Some even believe that if you do not fulfil all of the above criteria you won't even get to Heaven!!

This is the report that was brought to me by a number of dear souls who joined the church after being terribly betrayed and disappointed byt the Metropolitan Tabernacle in Belfast. 'Started' a church siphoned all the funds up to Belfast and then left the people with a very sour taste in their mouths. "Be careful that you don't make too much noise when you pass the Baptists in their halls because they think that they'll be the only ones in Heaven!!!"

Some pretty bold statements I'm sure you'll agree but there is one slight problem - you can't acutally find any scriptures to back them up in the Bible (you know the book that has all the answers)

Sadly they are all kicked off by a gross mis interpretation of a very simple scriptures.

John 3:29 He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom's voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled.

This simply is the answer that John the Baptist gave to his followers and his detractors - I am not the messiah. I am not the Christ, I am his friend - his herald. His work was done and it was time for him to make way for Christ so that there would be no division in the body of Christ

It has no greater meaning that that and shame on you if you teach that to young Christians. The onus is on mature christians to 'rightly divide the word of God' so that souls will be made free and not subject to more bondage at the hands of deluded, prideful and bad tempered little men!

It ranks among the scriptures used by compromising 'Gap Theorists' in 2nd Peter -

2 Peter 3:8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day [is] with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

This thousand years statement is simply a measure of Gods faithfulness - ie if it takes a day for one of God's promises to be fulfilled or a thousand years - IT WILL BE FULFILLED!

Our hearts and prayers go out to souls that have been hurt by the 'ministrations' of these 'missionaries' but it is gratifying to know that even souls that has been subject ot these teachings can -with their faith in God's word-withstand promoters of this cultish belief system and find loving Christians elsewhere.