Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
January 31, 1952
NUMBER 38, PAGE 8-9,10b

Dissolving A Few Baptist Aspirins

W. Curtis Porter, Monette, Arkansas

In the Missionary Baptist Searchlight of December 26, 1951 Mr. Garner refers to this review that is being made of his booklet. He says: "These fellows seem to be woefully ignorant of the fact that the better aspirins are dissolved the more they do." However, "these fellows" are not as "woefully ignorant" as the "Doctor" tries to make himself believe. At the very beginning I gave a reason why this was not true with "Dr. Garner's aspirins." We may grant that aspirins retain all of their potency after being dissolved, but to have any effect on the patient they must be swallowed. And tablets may become so bitter after being dissolved that it is difficult to get one to swallow them. If the "Doctor" can get his brethren to swallow his tablets after they are dissolved, some soothing effect might be had on them, but when the ingredients are exposed by dissolving them, it will likely be a very difficult matter to get his brethren to swallow them at all. In this case, their effect is completely lost. Furthermore, if the "Doctor" really believes that this review of his booklet will make his aspirins more effective, he will have a chance to prove his faith by his works. This review will be printed in booklet form. "Doctor" Garner, therefore, should buy an abundant supply of them, and every time he sells one of his brethren one of his booklets, he should also give him a copy of this review that his aspirins might do more for his brethren. I wonder if be will try such an experiment. Will some one please inform me if Mr. Garner proves to be that "woefully ignorant"?

Relative to the Lord's Supper, Mr. Garner states in his booklet, that he has been asked the question: "WHAT ABOUT TAKING THE LORD'S SUPPER EVERY SUNDAY?" This question has been asked, because of "Catholics and Campbellites, who teach that the Lord's Supper should be taken on Sunday and EVERY SUNDAY." Regarding these two religious groups the "Doctor" says:

"One believes in the doctrine of transubstantiation and the other in consubstantiation. One believes that after the priest's blessing the bread and wine such becomes the literal body and blood of Christ to remove the sins of the one eating the same; while the latter believes that the bread and wine blessed by their minister has Christ, through the individual's obedience of taking it, to go with them and keep their sins rolled ahead one week at a time." Page 12.

In this statement Mr. Garner displays something besides knowledge when he defines "consubstantiation" to mean that if men eat the Lord's supper, it will "keep their sins rolled ahead one week at a time." He might do well to check his dictionary to find the meaning of the term. And he also displays something besides honesty, unless he is "woefully ignorant," when he makes the charge that the headache-producing people whom he calls "Campbellites" believe any such stuff. We do not believe that eating the Lord's Supper on Sunday will "keep sins rolled ahead one week at a time." In fact, we do not believe that anything under the gospel ever "rolls sins ahead." Under the Old Testament there was a "remembrance again made of sins every year." (Heb. 10:3) But under the gospel there is complete forgiveness and such sins are remembered no more. (Heb. 8:12) We therefore teach that sins are forgiven the children of God when they comply with God's law of pardon, but eating the Lord's Supper is not even one of the conditions of that law. The charge made by the unreliable "Doctor" is an unadulterated misrepresentation. The ingredients of this aspirin begin to look suspicious.

Answering the question, "HOW IS THE LORD'S SUPPER TAKEN ON SUNDAY?" Mr. Garner says:

"The Lord's Supper is taken on Sunday by custom and tradition and not by New Testament command! There is not a command in the Bible for the Lord's Supper to be taken on Sunday at all, much less to take it EVERY SUNDAY. There is NEITHER A COMMAND FOR NOR AN EXAMPLE OF THE LORD'S SUPPER BEING TAKEN ON SUNDAY AT ALL IN THE ENTIRE NEW TESTAMENT." Page 12.

I have not heard of any one who claims the Lord specifically commanded the Lord's supper to be eaten on Sunday, but the claim that there is not "an example of the Lord's supper being taken on Sunday at all; in, the entire New Testament" is just another wild blunder of a misguided and misinformed Baptist "Doctor." In Acts 20:7 the divine record reads: "And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight." There can be no question that "the first day of the week" is the day we call Sunday. This meeting of the disciples, therefore, was held on Sunday. Furthermore, they came together on Sunday "to break bread." This could not be the breaking of bread in a common meal, for the disciples did not meet together in public assemblies to eat common meals. In fact, Paul, who was one of the men present at this breaking of bread, on another occasion said: "Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another. And if any man hunger, let him eat at home." (1 Cor. 11:33, 34) The breaking of bread in Acts 20:7 is therefore the Lord's supper—the communion of the body and blood of the Lord as mentioned in 1 Cor. 10:16. Thus we have an approved example in the New Testament of the disciples coming together on Sunday to eat the Lord's Supper. "Doctor" Garner deliberately denied there being any such example in the New Testament. This is another thing that will make it hard for his brethren to swallow this aspirin after it has been dissolved.

Since Jesus commanded his disciples to take the Lord's Supper, it must be done at some time. If they partook of it annually, the record would tell of their meeting on a certain day of a certain month to break bread. But no such reference is found in divine history. If they kept it as a monthly service, a certain day of the month would have been the time mentioned on which they came together to break bread. But no such service is mentioned. If they partook of it as a weekly service, a certain day of the week would be specified as the time on which they assembled to break bread. And this is exactly what the record says—"the first day of the week." We have therefore divine authority for a weekly service—not only a service for Sunday but for every Sunday.

Would you like to know what the "Doctor" has to say about this inspired example? When you have read it you will begin to see why he styles himself "Doctor Garner." But here it is:

"If you will read Acts 20th chapter carefully, you may even as I have done, come to the conclusion that the only effort ever made in New Testament time to pin the law of the Sunday Lord's Supper on the church caused a fuss in the church at Troas. Paul preached on the subject—objected to taking the Lord's Supper on Sunday, as a matter of law—argued with the church until midnight, when they had met together to take the Lord's Supper on Sunday. A young man in the upper chamber got tired of the discussion, dropped off to sleep, fell out of the upstairs window and killed himself. Paul went down, picked the boy up, restored him to life; and then, early Monday morning he took the Lord's Supper with them. Thus Paul broke up this first effort to legalize this Sunday Lord's Supper law." Page 18.

Talk about Catholicism! What Pope of Rome ever dared to make a greater revision of the divine record than "Doctor" Garner has made of the 20th chapter of Acts to suit his theological dogma? He has assumed for himself the prerogative claimed for the papal chair—the right to change the word of God to suit his own ideas. Yes, you can begin to see why he is "Doctor Garner"—he has "doctored" the divine record to uphold Baptist doctrine and to relieve Baptist headaches. "The conclusion" that Mr. Garner reached in the above quotation was reached because he read "carefully" the twentieth chapter of Acts. Have you read it "carefully"? Did you see anything in it that remotely resembled the "conclusion" of Mr. Garner? If you did, I am not surprised at your "seeing" a "Baptist Church" in the Bible. A man who could see what Mr. Garner saw in Acts 20 could see anything he is looking for.

Did you find the "fuss in the church at Troas" that Garner talks about? Mr. Garner "came to the conclusion" that there was one, for how else could he uphold Baptist theology? And did you read that "Paul preached on the subject" of the Sunday Lord's Supper? Well, it must be there somewhere for Mr. Garner "read it carefully." Did you notice in Acts 20 that Paul "objected to taking the Lord's Supper on Sunday" and "argued with the church until midnight" about it? If you didn't see that, you did not read it as "carefully" as the "Doctor" did. Take another look—maybe you missed something. And did you discover that the young man who fell out of the window had gone to sleep because he "got tired of the discussion"? Well, that is why it happened, according to the "Doctor's" conclusion.

Besides this, where does the passage say "early Monday morning he took the Lord's Supper with them"? In verse 11 we learn that Paul broke bread after midnight, but it does not say "with them." No one can definitely prove that this breaking of bread by Paul was the Lord's Supper. But suppose Mr. Garner could prove it, or suppose we just grant it without such proof, it would still remain for him to prove that this occurred "early Monday morning." How does Mr. Garner know that they did not, on this occasion, follow the Jewish count, reckoning the day from sunset to sunset? If they did follow this count, then this breaking of bread could have occurred before daylight on what we call Sunday morning. The only thing "Doctor" Garner could do in this case would be to assert, but having doctored the passages as he has otherwise, we should not be surprised at any assertions he might see fit to make.

But "WHAT IS WRONG WITH TAKING THE LORD'S SUPPER EVERY SUNDAY?" This question, Mr. Garner uses for the heading of another paragraph. He declares that "in the letter" there is nothing wrong, but "in the spirit" of the matter "there is much wrong." Then he goes on to say:

"I think there would be nothing wrong with taking it seven days a week, if it could be taken in the right spirit. Page 14.

The reader will notice that Mr. Garner continually links "Catholics" and Campbellites," claiming both groups teach that the Lord's supper must be taken every Sunday. He evidently hopes, by classifying the people he calls "Campbellites" with the Catholics, to arouse prejudice in minds of his Baptist readers and to soothe, to some extent, their aching heads. He knows his brethren have little respect for the Catholic religion, and if he can make them believe that the despicable "Campbellites" are identical in teaching with the Catholics, he will likely cause them to close their ears against the truth taught by them. But it so happens that the "Doctor" is either "ignorant or dishonest" in his dealing with the Catholics, for they do not teach any such thing. They teach that Holy Communion must be taken once a year, that good Catholics will try to take it once a month, and that the more devoted may take it weekly or daily. Note the following statements from Catholic authorities:

"The church enforces the command of Christ by requiring Catholics under pain of grievous sin to communicate at the Easter time. This is called the Paschal Communion."—Religion: Doctrine and Practice, by Francis B. Cassilly, page 230.

"More frequent Communion, however, is ardently desired by the church. As a rule, good Catholics try to receive it once a month, and many fervent Christians practice weekly and even daily communion." Religion: Doctrine and Practice, page 230.

"By a law of the church Catholics are obliged to receive Holy Communion during the Easter time. Perhaps most communicants approach the sacred banquet every month; while multitudes of pious souls receive our divine Lord sacramentally weekly or even daily." Catholic Religion, by Charles Alfred Martin, page 199.

These authentic statements from Catholic authorities show that Mr. Garner is as far wrong about what Catholics believe as he is about what the troublesome "Campbellites" believe. According to these quotations, all Catholics take "Communion" yearly, many of them take it monthly, others take it weekly, and some of them daily. You will notice that two of these quotations speak of their "daily communion." And similar statements can be given from other Catholic authorities. In their time for communion, then, do the Catholics look like the people Mr. Garner dubs as "Campbellites"? Do they not rather look like Baptists? You will remember that Mr. Garner says, "I think there would be nothing wrong with taking it seven days a week." Thus he indorses "daily communion." And that is exactly what the Catholics say. They do not require it to be taken every Sunday but actually urge that it be "taken seven days a week" if it can "be taken in the right spirit." They could well adopt Garner's statement as their own, for in their own language, when referring to daily communion, they say:

"One who practices frequent Communion, however should be very careful to do so from a right intention, and not merely as a matter of routine, or because others do so." Religion: Doctrine and Practice, page 230.

How much difference is there between this statement and the one made by "Doctor" Garner? They are identical in principle. Instead of getting the "Campbellites" he got himself in a corner with the Catholics, both of them teaching that the Lord's supper can be taken daily.

The final stroke of the "Doctor's" pen, as he prescribes this aspirin for his brethren, is shown in the concluding statements of this chapter of his booklet. The statements are as follows:

"But the NEW LAW, unknown to the New Testament, provided by Campbellism and Catholicism, TO TAKE IT EVERY SUNDAY, TO ROLL AWAY ONE'S SINS FOR A WEEK, is the same kind of hypocrisy demanded by the formalism of the Pharisees and Sadducees. Baptists beg to be excused from such religious tomfoolery'." Page 14.

But the "Doctor," as a representative of Baptists, does not "beg to be excused" from misrepresenting both religious groups to which he refers, for neither of them teaches the thing that he attributes to them. Can this be charged to "woeful ignorance" or "downright dishonesty"? He raises a loud cry about somebody's "lying on the Baptists," but he might do well to have a little private talk with himself about how he deals with other religious people. Or would he rather be classed with "notorious ignoramuses"?

Instead of telling Baptists to "hold this aspirin under the noses of Campbellites," now that the aspirin is dissolved and its ingredients revealed, it may become necessary for the "Doctor" to start "holding Baptist noses" in an effort to get them to swallow the stuff.