Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
November 10, 1955

"Shaking 'Em In"

G. A. Maddox, Sulphur Springs, Texas

I have for some time hoped that some writer would have an article in the papers about the practice (so common, it seems to me) of people becoming members of Christ's church merely by a "handshake." Brethren, the Lord adds to his church only "such as should be saved." Many are presenting themselves today, wanting to "take membership" with the Lord's church who have never been scripturally baptized people coming out of denominational bodies, mainly the Baptist and digressive churches, claiming to have been "baptized for the remission of sins." My Bible reads that we are to be "baptized into the name" for the remission of sins. We all know that when a man is baptized into the Christian Church or the Baptist Church, he is NOT "baptized into the name" (by the authority) of Jesus Christ. The Bible is as silent as can be about the name and practice of these denominations.

To those people who were baptized into the Christian Church: may I ask, Did God pardon your sins when you joined that church? Did the Lord add you to HIS church at the very same time you were joining something that is not his church? If he did not add you to his church, you are not in it. If be did add you to his church, and you later conclude you are in the wrong place and want to get out of that in which you are and become a member of the Church of Christ, then you will have to admit the Lord added you to the wrong church! But if you say you got remission of sins when you joined the Christian Church, and were added to the Church of Christ at the very instant you joined the Christian Church, then why do you want to get out of the Christian Church and take a "handshake" from some untaught preacher to make you a member now of the Church of Christ. All of us know that there is only one way into Christ, the church. If you can sneak into the Lord's church via the Christian Church, then you have found some other way, besides baptism, to be added to the body of Christ. A handshake takes the place of baptism.

When you quit the Christian Church you were for a time not a member of any church; until you obey the gospel of Christ you can never be a member of his church. A handshake won't do it. The Christian Church is denomination and teaches falsehood just like all the red of them.

To be a Baptist, one must obey Baptist law and be admitted into their fellowship. One part of Baptist law is to be immersed. To get into the Christian Church one can get in either by saying he has been put under water in some other church (some of them don't even require that any more) or one can get a Christian Church preacher to immerse him. This will put one into a church that is wrong in doctrine, wrong in practice, and wrong any way you take it. One does wrong by joining it. One does wrong by belonging to it. If one does wrong by joining the Christian Church, and is wrong in belonging to it, do those "wrongs" make him a child of God? Think it over!

I read where there were twelve men who had been baptized once, and were asked "Unto what then were you baptized? The apostle of the Lord required them to be baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ in order to receive the remission of sins. Just saying that one has been baptized "in the name" is not enough. Mormons say that; but they don't tell the truth when they claim it.

Neither do any others tell the truth when they say they "baptize in the name of Christ," and yet baptize people into sectarian bodies. Christ never authorized anybody to baptize anything or anybody into a sectarian church.

The very name "Christian Church" is wrong. The Lord's people were called Christians; but the Lord's church was never called the "Christian Church." The church of the Lord is the only one the Lord built. It is HIS church. But men began to build them churches, and have given their churches names to identify them, and make them different from the Lord's church. These names are given by men, and have no salvation in them. Paul said, "Whatsoever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, giving thanks to God by him." (Col. 3:17.) There is not a "side room" to the church of the Lord; and the Christian Church is not our half-sister, either. No, you were not baptized into the name of Christ when you were baptized into a false church. The Christian Church is not the name God gave His people to wear. That church was named after the members, not after Christ.

Should you come to my house and ask me to guide you to the house of Jones, and I should take you instead to the house of Smith, and tell you that this is the house of Jones, it would not take you long to find out I had misled you and lied to you. Then you would get out of the house of Smith, and try to find your way to the house of Jones, just the same as if you had never been in the house of Smith. You would not think that being in the house of Smith put you into a "side room" in the house of Jones. So being in these sectarian churches is not a bit of help in finding your way into the house of the Lord.

Now, brethren we have a paper or two in the brotherhood which will not allow anything in them except that which the editor agrees with. Any preacher who reads what I have written here, and then runs off to one of these one-sided papers to jump on me, knowing I will not get a reply, is a moral coward of the lowest type. When it comes to a matter of free speech, we have a few editors in the church who have ideas that they want to be the pope, and not let anybody say anything except what they agree with.

If you see a reply to this article in any of these papers, you know what the man is who does it. And the Gospel Guardian is too nice a paper to print the description that such a man needs to have printed about him.