Jul 30, 2008

Are you a Baptist Brider?

I am a Baptist and have been for 28 years. I make no apology for my stand as a Born again Baptist. Evangelist Al Lacy once said,"Every drop of blood in me is Baptist blood! If I ever find a drop that is not, I'll get a transfusion!" Amen! I know God has led me to the New Testament Church and we have found the organization that Jesus established during His personal earthly ministry. He placed me into the body as it pleased Him.

There is a position among Baptist they call "Baptist Briders". I do not care much for titles unless they are biblically based. Phrases like born again, saved, sanctified, saint, church, member, washed are all examples of scriptural titles.
There are pejoratives given by the world. Christian, Bible thumpers, etc. There are also perjoratives given by other baptists e.g. Baptist briders.
Not long ago I was accused of being a Baptist Brider by some well meaning Christian. I also came across the title when answering a questionnaire to be listed on a famous independent Baptist church directory. Here is a direct quote from Brother David Cloud's Church Directory Questionnaire:
  1. Do you reject Baptist briderism?
  2. Do you believe a born again believer who is not a member of a "proper Baptist church" is a part of or will be a part of the Bride of Christ?

All through my Bible college days I heard of Baptist briders but never really studied the doctrine. I know what I believe about the New Testament church is Biblically based and sound scripturally. Now I am challenged to understand what we mean by Baptist Bride. Consider this definition from biblebelievers.com:

A "Baptist Brider" is an extreme Baptist who believes that "The Baptist Church" is the Bride of Christ. All other Christians supposedly make up the FAMILY of God, but are not part of THE BRIDE. The details of this heresy differ from one group to the next, but the general teaching is that The Baptist Church(whatever that is!) has existed since the time of Christ (some say John the Baptist) and that "approved" water baptism actually places a believer into the bride. Water baptisms that are not approved are considered "alien" baptisms and are not honored by the Baptist Bride churches. This leaves "aliens" like Bob Jones Sr., John Wesley, George Whitfield, and Martin Luther out of the bride, while the Bridegroom rides off into the sunset with His proud and conceited Baptist sweetheart. However, finding someone who will ADMIT to being a "brider" is not an easy task. Just like the Campbellites, they hate the name, but love the doctrine.

Can you feel the vehemence and distain for the Baptist bride position? Comparing a Baptist Brider with a Campbellite? Such heresy! I want to describe my position on the Bride of Christ (a biblical term). If I am off please try to correct me. Let's keep the discussion in a Christian tone. If it is not your comments will not be published.

Read this article first: http://www.wayoflife.org/fbns/areyou.htm

I agree with David Cloud's position on the Church:

"I believe the church began during the earthly ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ, that it was empowered on the day of Pentecost, and that it was organized and established by the apostles as recorded in the book of Acts and the Epistles. Why do I believe the church began during the earthly ministry of Christ? (1) There is no statement in Scripture that supports the common view that the church started on the day of Pentecost. (2) In Matthew 16:18, Christ said he would build His church. Christ is the Founder and Rock of the church. I can see no biblical reason for not assuming that He began building the church during His earthly ministry. (3) Matthew 18:17 implies that the church already existed during Christ’s earthly ministry. (4) Acts 2:41 says those saved on the day of Pentecost were “added unto” the congregation which already existed. I believe Pentecost was not the birth of the church, but was the anointing of the church. I also do not see this as a fundamental issue one way or the other."

I also quote Brother Cloud here in describing the Bride:

"There is endless speculation about the bride of Christ, but the Bible says very little about it. It appears to me that there are five passages that deal with the “bride” in the New Testament, though only three actually use the term. One of these is in the Gospel accounts in which Christ is called the bridegroom of the bride (John 3:29). In this passage, John the Baptist calls himself the friend of the bridegroom. It appears, therefore, that John the Baptist and other Jewish saints prior to the establishment of the church, were not a part of the bride. Ephesians 5:32 says the husband and wife picture Christ and the church. This language obviously implies a bride and tells us that the church is the bride. Whatever the church is, both now and in eternity, that is what the bride is. Revelation 19 describes the “marriage of the Lamb,” which refers to a bride, the Lamb’s wife (v. 7). The passage doesn’t say anything more about who the bride is. She is adorned in fine linen, which “is the righteousness of the saints.” In Revelation 21:9 the term “bride” is applied to the eternal city. This does not mean that the city itself is Christ’s bride. It means that the city is the dwelling place for His bride and not only for the bride but for Israel (the names of the 12 tribes of Israel are written in the 12 gates, Rev. 21:12) and the saved of all ages. It is the bride’s city, but all of the saints of all ages are at home there. The final passage is Revelation 22:17, where the bride invites sinners to God’s free salvation in Jesus Christ."

I believe the Bride of Christ is made up of only FAITHFUL, Born again, members of a scriptural New Testament church. The bride must be faithful. She must be chaste, she must be a virgin.

2 Corinthians 11:2 For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.

Consider this from Barnes notes:
"That I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. The allusion here, according to Doddridge, is to the custom among the Greeks "of having an officer whose business it was to educate and form young women, especially those of rank and figure, designed for marriage, and then to present them to those who were to be their husbands; and if this officer through negligence permitted them to be corrupted between the espousals and the consummation of the marriage, great blame would fall upon him." Such a responsibility Paul felt. So anxious was he for the entire purity of that church which was to constitute "the bride, the Lamb's wife;" so anxious that all who were connected with that church should be presented pure in heaven."

Ephesians 5:27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

Is the Bride a Baptist bride? I do not think she has the name "Baptist." She is simply called the "Bride of Christ" so that she does not take any of the glory from the King of Kings. She is made up of Born again, Blood bought, faithful, chaste, obedient, baptized believers. The preceding statement says alot about the bride.
  • Born again-Regenerate Bride
  • Blood bought - Redeemed Bride
  • Faithful- Reliable Bride
  • Chaste- Respectable Bride
  • Obedient- Restrained Bride-

The very idea of the bride being comprised of all church members is un-scriptural.
A backsliding, or unfaithful, or even unregenerate church member could never fulfill this requirement of the Bride. There are unregenerate members in the body. Jesus had one in His day-Judas. So not all members will be in the bride. The word bride is exclusive by definition.

There have been churches faithful to the Word of God throughout all ages as Jesus promised. Were all these Baptist churches? They were called Paulicians, Waldenses, etc. in early church history.


Mary said...

Good article, Brother Engesetter.

Jerry Bouey said...

The very idea of the bride being comprised of all church members is un-scriptural... So not all members will be in the bride.

Do you mean members as in those on some earthly church roll? Then I would agree - just because someone joined a church doesn't make them saved.

A backsliding, or unfaithful, or even unregenerate church member could never fulfill this requirement of the Bride.

Are there any Bible passages that teach that any true believer that is not faithful or backslidden (all true believers backslide at some point in their walk with the Lord - we all still sin - though hopefully it will not be ongoing) will not be part of the Bride of Christ?

Those passages you quoted show that Paul's and God's goal is to present the church faultless and spotless, chaste, etc. - but is not an indication of their personal walks. Paul was writing to the church in Corinth, where he had to correct some major problems in them. In Ephesians, he is giving general statements regarding all true believers. We have no spots in the eyes of God, there is no blemish (in light of eternity, in light of Christ's righteousness being credited to our account) in His church - though there may be at times in individual's personal lives.

Song of Solomon 4:7 Thou art all fair, my love; there is no spot in thee.

Numbers 23:21 He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath he seen perverseness in Israel: the LORD his God is with him, and the shout of a king is among them.

Without Blemish In Christ

Jerry Bouey said...

I hope you are doing well, Brother. I miss your posts. Praying for the Lord to bless you and your ministry.

dkpenman said...

In my 27 years as a Baptist I have never met anyone who believes that the "Baptist Church" is the bride of Christ. I'd like to know where to find one. I've known several Baptists who have been accused of believing this, but the accuser simply wants to believe that is what is being said. Very good article Bro. Engesetter. I think you covered all the bases!

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