Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
November 15, 1951

Dissolving A Few Baptist Aspirins

W. Curtis Porter, Monette, Arkansas

Continuing the dissolution of "A Few Aspirins For Campbellism" that were prescribed for Baptist headaches by "Doctor" Albert Garner of Jacksonville, Texas, I ask the reader to remember the statement already quoted from the booklet: "So far as I have been able to find there has never been any recognized minister of ANY RELIGIOUS FAITH OR GROUP who has ever taught that one is saved by 'faith only?

This "faith only" aspirin is really proving to be very inadequate. I have already shown that the "Doctor's" research has not been very exhaustive, as the Methodist Discipline definitely teaches "justification by faith only" and that Glenn V. Tingley, in the Porter-Tingley Debate, affirmed that sinners are "saved by faith alone." These were representative men of different religious groups. To charge the "Campbellites" with being either "ignorant or dishonest" when they say that people teach such, as "Doctor" Garner did in his little book, but demonstrates his own ignorance—or dishonesty. I was recently amused at the "Doctor" when his attention, from another source, was called to this statement in the Methodist Discipline. Garner writes an article, "The Fat Is In the Fire," in two Baptist papers—the Sword and Trowel, and the Missionary Baptist Searchlight. In this article he says concerning this quotation from the Discipline: "The quotation is exact, but the interpretation of it is a plain misrepresentation of the teachings of Methodism." 0 the meanderings of a Baptist "Doctor"! When "Campbellites" declare that the Methodist Discipline says that "justification by faith only is a most wholesome doctrine" the "Doctor" says the "quotation is exact." But when they believe Methodists teach what they say in that "exact quotation" and pass the word on to others, such is a "plain misrepresentation" of Methodism. In other words, the Methodists do not mean what they say. They say one thing, but you must interpret it to mean something entirely opposite; if you don't, you are misrepresenting them. Perhaps that is also true of "Baptist Doctors"—they say one thing but it must be "interpreted" to mean something else. That, I suppose, explains the many inconsistencies of Baptist preachers.

No wonder that "Campbellism" produces so many headaches in the Baptist ranks.

But have any "representative men" among the Baptists ever taught salvation by "faith only"? On page 4 of "Doctor" Garner's blanket we have this statement:

"Next time you hear the chant of 'faith only' charged against Baptists. stick this article under their noses; ask them if they can produce any authoritative evidence that any one believes he can be saved by 'faith only'."

Well, while "this article" is "under my nose" I shall see if I can find some "authoritative evidence" that any Baptist ever believed he could be saved by "faith only."

Of course Mr. Garner says that no Baptist has ever taught such a thing. But the only way I know to determine what men believe is by what they say. If they say one thing but believe something else, that is their inconsistency. I proceed on the basis that men believe what they say. So if I can produce "authoritative evidence" that Baptist preach-era have said that men are saved by "faith only," such becomes evidence of the fact that they believe it, unless they are either too "ignorant or dishonest" to say what they believe. Let us look at a few instances.

We shall first note some statements made by Mr. A.

U. Nunnery. Mr. Nunnery has been preaching since 1896. During that time he has been pastor of nearly a hundred Baptist churches and engaged in more than thirty debates. I suppose, therefore, that he is a representative man. Take a look at the following statements from him:

"An alien sinner is saved with out baptism, without the merits of baptism. Without anything save trust in the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." Woods-Nunnery Debate, page 122.

If an alien sinner is saved "without anything save trust," would that be faith only? But read again:

"And notice here again, in John 3:15, 'Whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have eternal life." If this man has to do one thing in the world beside believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, that scripture is not correct." Woods-Nunnery Debate, page 114.

Is that plain enough? If a man does not "have to do one thing in the world beside believe," would that not be "faith only"? But if any one needs it any plainer, read the next statement:

"Jesus said to the woman, 'Your faith hath saved you'! Luke 7:50. Was that the truth or not? Was there any baptism there, there was not'! He says faith did it! If that's not enough, what more could Jesus have told her, any man could have told her, that she's saved by faith only." Woods-Nunnery Debate, page 109.

Well, here is one Baptist preacher who said sinners are saved by "faith only," even though "Doctor" Garner says no Baptist ever made any such claim. But we have more. I recently debated Mr. John L. Causey, another "Doctor" among the Baptists. When I made the charge that he believed in salvation by "faith only" he denied it and said that originated in my little brain. So I proceeded to read from one of his published debates. The following statements need no "interpreting." (And, since thinking about it, he must be a "representative man," as he is editor of one of their papers, The Sword and Trowel, at Little Rock, to which Dr. Garner sends articles.)

"Eph. 2:8 tells us that we are saved by faith only which is grace." Goodwin-Causey Debate, page 58. "Thus we are saved by faith only and you deny the word of God in Eph. 2:8." Goodwin-Causey Debate, page 76.

When these plain statements were introduced Mr. Causey was unable to interpret them to mean anything else. So he just accepted them and proceeded to try to prove that sinners are saved by faith only by appealing to Luke 8:50. The case he cited was the raising of the daughter of Jairus from the dead on the faith of her father, but that did not bother him any, for he boldly declared it meant salvation of the soul from sin. Before "Doctor" Garner repeats the statement that "no Baptist ever said such a thing," it might be well to check with "Doctor" Causey. Then his utterance could be charged to his "dishonesty" instead of his "ignorance."

But we have a statement from another man that might be considered "authoritative evidence" as to what Baptists believe. The man is Ben M. Bogard. He had 237 debates during his lifetime—more than any other Baptist preacher who ever lived. He was also editor of the Missionary Baptist Searchlight. Furthermore, he was the founder of the Missionary Baptist Seminary at Little Rock, Arkansas. It was this Baptist Seminary that conferred on Mr. Garner the degree of "Doctor." It was there, evidently, that he got his authority to prescribe aspirins. So Mr. Garner will surely consider Mr. Bogard a "representative man" among Baptists.

It might be well, however, to tell you that the Seminary that bestowed upon Mr. Garner the "Doctor's" degree is not even an accredited school. This is admitted by their own men. In the Sword and Trowel, edited by John L. Causey, June 15, 1951, Mr. J. 0. Phillips has an article on "Christian Education." In this article, on page 1 of the paper, Mr. Phillips says: "The Missionary Baptist Seminary in Little Rock is the only school in Arkansas that teaches what Missionary Baptists believe." But on the same page he also says: "There is not an accredited school on earth today that teaches what Missionary Baptists believe." But that is the school in which Albert Garner became a "Doctor." Let us get the following statement from Mr. Bogard relative to salvation by "faith only."

"I am going to maintain that there is no act at all that any man in the Old Testament time or the New ever had to perform in order to be saved. Salvation is received by faith, and faith is the only thing you can do without doing anything." Hardeman-Bogard Debate, page 93.

It does not take a logician to see that if a sinner is saved without performing any act at all, but by faith, and that faith is the "only thing you can do without doing anything," then such means salvation by faith only. If man does anything else, salvation would depend on performing some act. So Bogard simply said that a man is saved by "faith only." His language cannot even be interpreted to mean anything else. All these statements from "representative men" among Baptists show that "Campbellites" are neither ignorant nor dishonest when they say that Baptists have taught salvation by "faith only." The charge must be placed somewhere else.

But "Doctor" Garner says that Baptists teach that sinners must hear the word and repent of their sins in order to be saved, and that this would not be "faith only." He might say he car find statements made by the men mentioned that repentance and hearing the word are necessary. I do not doubt that in the least. The only thing that proves is that Baptist preachers contradict themselves. It has often been said that no Baptist preacher can preach Baptist doctrine without contradicting himself at almost every turn. So any effort the "Doctor" might make along that line will simply prove the charge to be true.

In an effort to give us "the truth about this 'faith only' way of salvation" the "Doctor" makes the following statement in his booklet:

"Baptists do teach that it is at the point of faith that one is saved, but not by 'faith only.' ... These same sectarians teach that one is saved AT THE POINT OF BAPTISM. Baptists do not lie on them and tell that they believe one is saved by 'baptism only.' We could charge them with teaching salvation by 'baptism only' as honestly as they do Baptists and others by 'faith only,' but we refuse to lie on them. Their doctrine is bad enough without having to lie about it." page 2.

This fragment of the "faith only' 'aspirin appears to be interesting, but it may prove to be a bitter dose if the "Doctor" says, to charge the people whom he calls "Campbellites" with teaching salvation by "baptism only." But if he could produce statements from the published works of representative men of that group that say men are saved by "baptism only," I have an idea Mr. Garner would be ready to proclaim such statements to the world. Since he cannot find any such statements made by such preachers, I am inclined to agree with him that he would be lying to make such a charge against them. If Baptists "refuse to lie on them," as Mr. Garner says, then of course he would not be guilty of making such a charge. He would not damage his reputation for veracity by telling such an enormous lie.

However, in September, 1950, I met Vernon L. Barr, Missionary Baptist, in a debate at Center, Texas. The young "Doctor" from Jacksonville, Texas, was present for this discussion. He published a report of the debate in the Missionary Baptist Searchlight, October 10, 1950, under the heading: "Barr-Porter Debate As I Saw It." In this report Albert Garner said:

"Vernon Barr established indelibly that Campbellites teach salvation by 'baptism only'."

Vernon Barr had tried to prove that we teach salvation by "baptism only" because we teach that salvation is not reached at the point of faith, or repentance, or confession, but at the point of baptism. Now, Mr. Garner comes along in his booklet and says that Vernon Barr lied on the "Campbellites" when he made that charge—that they teach no such thing. So, according to the "Doctor," Vernon L. Barr is one Baptist who did not "refuse to lie" about it. But that is not all of it. Mr. Garner, in his report of the debate, says that Barr proved it—established it indelibly. Therefore, he indorsed the charge made by Mr. Barr, and in doing so, Mr. Garner admits that he lied himself when he sent that report to the Missionary Baptist Searchlight. To make such a charge against the "Campbellites," he says, is to "lie on them." Both he and Vernon Barr made the charge. So the "Doctor" declares that both of them lied on these "sectarians." I did not say they lied about it—the "Doctor" himself said so. But I am not inclined to dispute with him about it. It is still amazing how Baptist preachers continue to contradict themselves at nearly every turn. This "faith only" aspirin, when thus dissolved, turns out to be a very bitter dose to the "Doctor" who prescribed it. It has lost its power to relieve the headaches that his brethren are suffering, and he will need to prescribe something else.

(To be continued.)