Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
April 9, 1953
NUMBER 48, PAGE 4,5b

Baptist Doctrine


It is a well-known fact that very few members of denominational churches are familiar with the doctrines of those churches. They have been reared from infancy in these bodies, and have accepted without question the membership which has been apparently a normal and to be expected part of their growing to manhood and womanhood.

Occasionally, one of these people, of more serious turn of mind than the average, takes the trouble to look into and examine the real doctrines and teachings of his church. And more often than not is astounded to discover the real doctrinal foundation on which his denomination claims her existence. For he often finds teachings that are utterly foreign to what he had supposed his church taught. The preachers and leaders, of course, are familiar with the doctrines; but they are rather careful usually to make these tenets and declarations palatable to their hearers, and to give them the denominational "line" in broken doses, all sugar-coated.

One of the hardier souls among the Baptists, however, Sam Morris, has been foolhardy enough to come right out and publish some Baptist doctrine in its full crudity and incredible positions. We give some quotations from his pen in this issue under the caption, "Do A Christian's Sins Damn His Soul". To that question Pastor Morris gives a rousing and thunderous "NO" in answer. Read carefully what he says:

"All the prayers a man may pray, all the Bibles he may read, all the churches he may belong to, all the services he may attend, all the sermons he may practice, all the debts he may pay, all the ordinances he may observe, all the laws he may keep, all the benevolent acts he may perform will not make his soul one whit safer; and all the sins he may commit from idolatry to murder will not make his soul in any more danger...The way a man lives has nothing whatever to do with the salvation of his soul."

This is Baptist doctrine in its simplest and clearest forms; we have here an honest and forthright declaration of the fundamental concept of Baptist teaching. And every honest Baptist who reads these lines (this paper goes to many thousands of people who are not members of the church of Christ) should ponder long and seriously the statement that "...all the sins he may commit from idolatry to murder will not make his soul in any more danger...The way a man lives has nothing whatever to do with the salvation of his soul."

Do Baptists believe that? Do they believe that the liar, the fornicator, the drunkard, the murderer, the wicked and debauched denizen of the underworld is in "no more danger" of eternal hell than is the cleanest and purest and holiest of men? Do they honestly believe that?

"The way a man lives has nothing whatever to do with the salvation of his soul."

The answer is that Baptist preachers believe these horrible and damnable doctrines; but sincere and conscientious Baptist people, never have been indoctrinated in such terrible perversions, do NOT believe these things. And they will be astonished to read them in such bald and brutal language as Pastor Morris has used. But this is Baptist doctrine; and the man who wrote it down is not to be blamed, but rather commended, for his honest and positive declaration of Baptist teaching. Rarely do we find a Baptist, even a Baptist preacher, who is so frank to admit and declare his wicked teaching.

Surely no single statement of man could be more contrary to the teachings of Jesus than to declare that,

"The way a man lives has nothing whatever to do with the salvation of his soul."

Was not the Lord always giving emphasis to the kind of life that would bring eternal happiness? Did he not say, "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father who is in heaven"? (Matt. 7:21) And when John described those whose part is to be in the "lake that burneth with fire and brimstone," he did NOT make a distinction between the Christian sinner and the non-Christian sinner. He said, "But for the fearful, and unbelieving, and abominable, and murderers, and fornicators, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, their part shall be in the lake that burneth with fire and brimstone; which is the second death." (Rev. 21:8)

Baptist doctrine in this particular is no different from Presbyterian doctrine. The difference between the two is only that Baptist preachers (some of them) are more willing to accept the consequences and avow the consequences of their teaching than are Presbyterian preachers. But all Calvinists, those who believe in the impossibility of apostasy, or, as they say, the "perseverance of the saints," hold to the same degrading and disgusting doctrine as set forth by Pastor Morris. Some things stand self-condemned. We believe that such is the case with this part of Baptist doctrine when fair-minded people can see it in black and white.

Pastor Morris says that a Christian's sins do not "damn his soul" but only damn his fellowship with God, his spiritual joy, his conscience, his prayer life, his influence, and his "reward" in heaven. Apparently gaining heaven will not be enough for our good Baptist pastor; he wants some additional "reward" when he gets there! For most people, heaven will be enough. We cannot conceive of anything richer and sweeter than that. But in order to try to escape the plain force of direct statements of the scripture, our Baptist friend has decided heaven is not enough! He is going to go out for some extra, additional "rewards"; his clean life and obedience to Christ are only for the extras...!

— F. Y. T.