Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
March 6, 1952
NUMBER 43, PAGE 8-10

Dissolving A Few Baptist Aspirins

W. Curtis Porter. Monette, Arkansas

The "Name Wearing" Aspirin

This is the last aspirin in "Doctor" Garner's pill box, and it is very much like the "Plain Forgery" aspirin that has already been dissolved. But I shall let Mr. Garner tell you about it as he endeavors to answer the question, "WHAT ABOUT 'WEARING THE NAME OF CHRIST'?"

"There is a modern sect of religion that makes 'much ado' about wearing the name of Christ. 'Why don't you Baptists wear the name of Christ?' they often ask. The answer is Christ is not our Savior's name. His name is JESUS. (Matt. 1:31) 'Thou shalt call his name JESUS.' The term 'CHRIST' is a title given our Savior. The word 'Christ' comes from a Greek word that means 'christened' or 'anointed.' Hence the term 'Christ' is the title of our 'anointed King' who Is yet uncrowned. We should not presume to wear his title 'Christ' and call it 'wearing the name of Christ.' Such is plain ignorance, unwarranted, and unauthorized.' Page 18.

While in many respects this aspirin and the one that went before it are alike, yet they have some ingredients that are in direct conflict with each other. In this quotation the "Doctor" argues that "Christ" is the title of the Savior but "Jesus" is his name. Therefore no one is "wearing the name" of Christ when he wears his title.

Upon this point he further elaborates in the next paragraph:

"To my knowledge there is only one religious group that wears the 'name' of Jesus: that is a religious order called the 'Jesuits.' The modern demand of a few religious sectarians, who place much stress on 'names,' is given very little respect by thinking and sincere people. Until they learn that Jesus never demanded that his name be worn by his followers, and then learn that 'Christ' is not our Savior's name, but His title, Christian people will do well to avoid and ignore their sectarian demands ... It is well to suggest that they call themselves 'Jesuites.' This would at least be wearing, as they demand, the NAME OF JESUS instead of his title." Pages 18 and 19.

Thus you will see that to accept either the term "Christ' 'or "Christian," according to Mr. Garner, would not be "wearing the name of Christ." It would simply be wearing his title. In order to wear his name we would have to call ourselves "Jesuits" or Jesuites." But in his prescription for the preceding aspirin the "Doctor" talks out of the other side of his mouth or writes with his other hand. You will recall that he said he believed "the Baptist Church to be the church of Christ." Then if some one should ask him why Baptists do not wear the name, "the church of Christ," he states that his reply would be that "we do not wear the name of Christ because we are not married to Christ." Furthermore, he said, "To demand that our church wear the name 'the church of Christ,' and that before marriage, is engaging in spiritual fornication." (Page 18) So in this prescription for that aspirin he said that to wear the name, "the church of Christ," is to wear the name of Christ before marriage and makes us guilty of "spiritual fornication" and "religious forgery." Yes, those who wear the name, "the church of Christ," are wearing the name of Christ by forgery. But in his prescription for this aspirin he says it would not be wearing the name of Christ at all but his title. And even to call it "wearing the name of Christ" is an evidence of "plain ignorance, unwarranted, and unauthorized." But in the preceding chapter he called it "wearing the name of Christ." Then he was guilty of "plain ignorance, unwarranted, and unauthorized," according to his own diagnosis.

This is quite a confession for such a brilliant "Doctor"' to make. Some "plain ignorance" is manifested somewhere, for the two groups of statements are in plain conflict, and one aspirin actually cancels the effect of the other.

But we are told by the befuddled "Doctor" that to wear the name "Christian," derived from the title of Christ, and to call it wearing his name is nothing but plain ignorance. This causes me to wonder about those who wear the title of John. If they claim to be wearing a name when they are only wearing a title, does the same charge of "plain ignorance" hold true? But who is doing that? Mr. Garner and his brethren. Note what he says about it himself:

"The term 'Baptist' like 'Christ' was first given as a 'title.' John the Baptist was named 'John.' (John 1:8) His title was Baptist, because he had authority and was authorized to baptize." (John 1:31-83) Page 20.

That ought to settle it. Baptists claim to be wearing a "name" but it is the "title" of John that they are wearing, and in so doing, they are manifesting what the "Doctor" calls "plain ignorance." I wonder if this will relieve Baptist headaches. If wearing the term "Christian" is wearing a title instead of a name, then wearing the term "Baptist" is wearing a title instead of a name. Such is the predicament of Baptist "Doctors" when they start prescribing aspirins to destroy "Campbellism" in an effort to soothe the throbbing heads of their brethren.

The "Doctor of Aspirins" (His scholastic degree should be D.A.) Informs us that "the modern demand" made by a "few religious sectarians, who place much stress on 'names,' is given very little respect by thinking and sincere people." Then I wonder why he ever prescribed his aspirins in the first place. Does he not think his brethren are "thinking and sincere people"? If they are, and if they give but "very little respect" to the "modern demand' 'made by "Campbellites" to wear a scriptural name, there was little occasion to spend his time and effort to write his booklet. But Mr. Garner was more uneasy about the matter than this statement would indicate. He knew that many of brethren leave the Baptist Church, with its unscriptural name, and take their stand with the people who wear the name of Christ. So he wrote his book in an effort to slow down the exodus.

The "Doctor's" logical discrimination is farther revealed in the following quotation:

"Those who cry so much about 'wearing the name of Christ,' whose name is Jesus (Matt. 1:21), also teach that one can not be a Christian unless he 'wears the name of Christ' This being true, one would have to be called a 'Jesusit or a 'Jesusites in order to be saved and this whole feuding clan, who demand that one must wear the name of Christ ignorantly wear the 'title' of Jesus which is 'Christ,' then call it 'Wearing His Name'." Page 19.

It is thus that we are again informed by the deluded "Doctor" that those who wear the name "Christian" and call it "wearing the name of Christ" are ignorantly wearing the "title" instead of the name. If they want to wear the name, they must call themselves "Jesuits" or "Jesusites." It is also true that the term "Christ" given to him means the "anointed." But it is likewise true that the term "Christ" became a part of his name and is so recognized by divine writers. And they also declare the name "Christian" to be "the name of Christ." Let us examine a passage and see if this is not true.

In 1 Peter 4:14-16 the apostle Peter says: "If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified. But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men's matters. Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf." Two expressions of this passage, one in verse 14 and the other in verse 16, are used interchangeably. Verse 14 says, "If ye be reproached for the name of Christ." Verse 16 says, "If any man suffer as a Christian." These two expressions mean exactly the same thing. What Peter calls "being reproached for" in verse 14, he calls "suffering as" in verse 16. What he calls "the name of Christ" in one verse, he calls "a Christian" in the other. Therefore, to "be reproached for the name of Christ" is to "suffer as a Christian." In other words, the man who "suffers as a Christian" is "being reproached for the name of Christ."

Thus Peter shows that the name "Christian" is "the name of Christ," and the man who wears the name "Christian" is wearing "the name of Christ." It is too bad that "Doctor" Garner was not present when Peter wrote that passage. He could have informed him that it is "plain ignorance" to think the name "Christian" is "the name of Christ." But as there were no Baptist "Doctors" in those days, Peter "ignorantly" thought that those who suffered as a "Christian" were suffering for "the name of Christ."

However, according to Mr. Garner, no one in the days of the apostles ever was reproached for the name of Christ." For such to be possible a man would have to "suffer as a Jesuit" or "as a Jesuite." But the Bible never makes any reference to "suffering as a Jesuit." In fact, the words "Jesuit" and "Jesusite" are not even mentioned in the Bible. Can it be that no one was ever "reproached for the name of Christ" in those days? It must be true if we can rely upon the "Doctor's" diagnosis.

And Peter was simply wasting his breath when he pronounced a blessing upon those who were "reproached for the name of Christ."

But let us get another statement from Mr. Garner's booklet:

"If no one could be saved without wearing the 'name of Jesus,' or the 'title of Christ,' which is 'Christian,' then it would follow that there were no Christians until A.D. 41, some eight years after Pentecost, (Acts 11:26), where they were 'first called Christians at Antioch." Page 19.

Upon the basis of this argument Mr. Garner immediately consigns to hell Peter and all of the apostles and "the 3,000 converts at Pentecost" because the name "Christian" had not then been given. Certainly, no one had any responsibility to wear the name before it was given and revealed. But for a man to refuse to wear it after the revelation was made and the name given is an entirely different matter. Even a man who is qualified to prescribe aspirins ought to be able to see this.

We are further told by Mr. Garner that:

"The term Christian originated in heathenism and was given in derision to those who were followers of our Savior. The term was used only three times in the New Testament. Acts 11:26; Acts 26:28; 1 Peter 4:16. Christ never commanded saved people, His disciples, either to wear his name or his title, neither did His apostles." P. 20.

That "the term Christian originated in heathenism" is another inaccurate idea that "originated" in the befuddled brain of a deluded "Doctor." In Acts 11:26 it is said, "The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch." The words "were called" are from the Greek "chrematizo," which means according to Greek lexicons, a "divine calling." There Luke said, "The disciples were divinely called Christians first at Antioch." Since they were "divinely called" Christians, I know the term did not originate in heathenism. Furthermore, Isaiah prophesied of "a new name" to be given after "the Gentiles" would see "God's righteousness" that would be given by "the mouth of the Lord." (Isa. 62:2) The name "Christian" was given at the right time—the Gentiles were converted to God's righteousness in the preceding chapter, it was a "new name," for this was the "first time it was ever used, and it was given by "the mouth of the Lord," for they "were divinely, called Christians." Mr. Garner, therefore, is as far from the truth of the matter as is possible for one to be.

Is it true that none of the apostles ever commanded saved people to wear this name? Peter told them to "glorify God in this name." (1 Pet. 4:16, Revised Version)

Could they obey this injunction without wearing the name? How would the Lord's disciples "suffer as a Christian" and "glorify God in this name" if they did not wear it?

It is true that the name "Christian" occurs only three times in the Bible, but one time the disciples "were called" that by divine authority, another time Paul "almost persuaded" Agrippa to become that, and the third time the Lord's people were told to "glorify God in this name."

How many times must the Lord say a thing to make the "Doctor" believe it? And in this connection I wonder how many times the name "Baptist" was ever applied to the disciples of Christ. Do you ever read, "The disciples were called Baptists at Antioch"? Or did any apostle "almost persuade" any man to "become a Baptist"? Or were the Lord's people ever told to "glorify God in the name Baptist"? There are no such statements on record, but the "Doctor" has no scruples against wearing that name. However, he admits there is no scriptural authority for his use of this term, for he says on this same page of his booklet, "The name 'Baptist' was given in derision to churches that were followers of the Lord, during the protestant reformation for the first time." He also says, "The term 'Christian' was applied to individual followers of Christ A.D. 41, in derision for the first time. The term 'Baptist' was popularized during the protestant reformation." Thus he declares that the term "Christian" was applied to the followers of Christ sixteen hundred years before the term "Baptist" was. "Thanks a million," Mr.


There is still something in this paragraph of Mr. Garner's that I want you to see:

"Those he (John) baptized, by God's command, authority, became Baptists, just as those who accepted Christ and became his followers were Christians." Page 20.

It is amazing bow a Baptist "Doctor" will make admissions. He distinguishes between those who became Baptists sand those who became Christians. Those who accepted John, or were baptized by him, "became Baptists," according to Mr. Garner. But those who "accepted Christ and became his followers" became Christians.

Therefore a "Christian" is one who becomes a follower of Christ, or one who accepts Christ; a "Baptist" is one who becomes a follower of John, or one who accepts John. A man does not become a Baptist by accepting Christ—a Baptist is not a follower of Christ. If he accepts Christ and becomes his follower, he is a Christian. He must accept something else and become a follower of someone else to become a Baptist. Well, I am content to be "a follower of Christ" and wear the name "Christian." Mr. Garner can be a "Baptist" if he wants to. Those who are content to follow Christ "beg to be excused."

The next paragraph of Mr. Garner's booklet is given to an effort to prove there were "BAPTISTS AND BAPTIST CHURCHES IN EVERY CENTURY." But he has himself blocked before he starts, for he has already admitted that "churches" were called "Baptist" for "the first time" during "the protestant reformation." So he knocks himself out of about sixteen centuries before he gets started. He appeals to Alexander Campbell, who, as recorded in the Campbell-McCalla Debate contended that "the sentiments of Baptists and their practice of baptism have had a continued chain of advocates''in every century "from the apostolic age to the present time." And also to his book on baptism that "The Baptist denomination in all ages and in all countries has been, as a body, the constant asserters of the rights of man and the liberty of conscience." But Mr. Garner's application of these quotations from Mr. Campbell is a base misrepresentation of Campbell's position. Campbell had no such idea that "the Baptist Church" as now exists, and to which Garner belongs, could trace its way back to the apostolic age. When Campbell used the term "Baptist" he simply meant people who held to believers' baptism by immersion. Any one who held to the baptism of believers and practiced immersion Mr. Campbell listed among those whom he called "Baptists." This is shown in a statement from Campbell, from Ford's Repository, published in the Tennessee Baptist of December 22, 1883, and republished in Orthodox Baptist Searchlight, August 25, 1943. In this document Mr. Campbell said, "The Baptists can trace their origin to apostolic times and produce unequivocal testimony of their existence in every century down to the present time." But whom did he mean by "Baptists"? He goes right on to show beyond any doubt. He said he referred to those who "require faith and repentance, as previous to baptism, and to immerse the subject professing faith and repentance in water." Then he said, "All that believe and practice in this way are Baptists; and all that do not are not Baptists. I now proceed to show that the Baptists have existed in every century from the Christian era to the present day." Any one who can read this statement front Campbell and then claim that Campbell means the "Baptist Church" as exists today would not be immune to making any son of claim. We simply referred to men who taught believer's immersion, regardless of the thumb they might be members of. The "Doctor" loses his witness. Furthermore, Campbell's Millennial Harbinger, Vol. 6, No. 9, 1841, carries the statement, "The Baptists, as now distinguished from other protestant parties, began since the Protestant Reformation . . . From this document and its history we can give to the Baptist denomination a habitation and a name two hundred years old." Campbell's statement thus agrees with other men who here spoken—that the Baptist Church, as it is now existing, began about the seventeenth century and now would be a little more than three hundred years old. But Mr. Garner's kind can't begin to go back that far.

The last fragment of the final aspirin prescribed by "Doctor" Garner now comes up for dissolution. He refers to "THE GREATEST MAN WHO EVER LIVED BEFORE CHRIST." He quotes the language of Jesus, "Among them that are born of women there bath not risen a greater than John the Baptist." Then he refers to Noah, Abram. Moses, and Solomon as great men, but he says:

"John the Baptist was the greatest man, in the estimation of our Lord, who had ever lived on the earth in 4,000 years of history." Page 21.

This shows how far a Baptist "Doctor" will go in order to try to give importance to his "Baptist" name. Jesus did not say that John the Baptist "was the greatest man who had ever lived" prior to his time. Mr. Garner misrepresented the words of Jesus, just as he did the words of Campbell, and as nearly all others with which he deals. To say what Garner attributed to him, Jesus would have to say, "There hath not risen one as great as John." But Jesus did not say "none as great as John" had ever risen, but "none greater." This meant there were others just as great, but none that were greater. This does not make John "the greatest man" who had "ever lived on the earth in 4,000 years of history." Mr. Garner was either ignorant or dishonest, as he has said about others, when he made that statement. If he was ignorant, it would not be safe to follow him as a leader; if he was dishonest, he is totally unworthy to occupy the position of leader among his brethren.

The aspirin box is now empty, the aspirins are all dissolved, Baptist headaches are unrelieved, the aspirins are too bitter to be swallowed now, and his suffering brethren are sorely in need of a better physician than "Doctor" Garner proved himself to be, while the church of Christ, dubbed "Campbellites" by Mr. Garner, standing on the undying principles of eternal truth, goes marching triumphantly on to greater victories for the Lord.