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Wayne Coats

It seems the devil can never exhaust the ready supply of Balaams who stand ready to curse and to be a curse to the people of God. The unity for which Christ died is an event to be scorned and rejected by some of our erstwhile brothers who will push their personal whims and opinions regardless of the trouble they cause.

One such movement of modern Balaams is the beginning of a new paper called Wineskins which is co-edited by Mike Cope and Rubel Shelly. The paper will very well accomplish that its editors and supporters desire, with the result being a disgrace to the cause of Christ and a further division among brethren.

The liberal, modernistic elements are determined to push their opinions, even if the result is discord and division. All the supposed piety and love is but a farce. Division is sinful, but what do the liberals care? They are determined to have their way, alienate brethren, split congregations and run roughshod over all who will not bend to their devilish devices.

Not all division is sinful to be sure, but brethren, we are not just talking about a few mere opinions. Liberal papers, forums and summits have as their stated intent, purpose and plan, the changing of the beautiful Bride of Christ. They shall not pass without at least one voice of opposition.

It must be marvelous to sit back and gloat over the division, hurt and heartache which is being caused by the reckless liberals who edit, write and support such divisive sheets as Wineskins. The third issue has rolled from the press and is in hand. Every single issue is full and running over with heresy-the divine kind. That is why the paper is being printed. It has a message which the writers desite to spread. Its message is as false as the devil can make it.

In the May issue of Winskins there is an article by Douglas A. Foster which he called, "The NEW Birth and Christian Unity, David Lipscomb's Middle Way." Then a sub-title states: "There is no one thing taught with greater clearness in the New Testament than that the new birth precedes and qualifies for baptism. Faith unites and makes us one with Christ, and such believer is a Christian, and saved, not with a conditional but with an everlasting salvation." [David Lipscomb. "Baptist Queries and Answers." Gospel Advocate, 1873, 702.]

This would infer that the above sub-title is a quote from and a statement of the beliefs of Bro. Lipscomb. When I read the above mentioned article by Foster, I smelled a mouse. I really did, so I decided to go on a mouse hunt. Some brethren like to go wine hunting, especially if it is new wine.

Brother Foster has been a professor at Lipscomb but I do not know if he is still there. Anyway, that qualifies him to write for Rubel's paper and that also enables Rubel to get an article from a Lipscomb professor.

After reading the Foster article, I continued my mouse hunting by going back to the original article as given in the 1873 issue of the Gospel Advocate. What I found was not really shocking, surprising, nor unsuspected. Remember that good article written by Rubel several years ago which he dubbed, "Oh For An Honest False Teacher" and which was published in the Gospel Advocate? Well, one never knows, until one knows one. I think if grandma were alive, she might exclaim, "Land Sakes Alive."

In that 1873 article which was printed on page 702 of the Gospel Advocate, a fellow by the name of J. O. Hurt [and some other men] had written to a Baptist editor and asked some questions. Brother Lipscomb printed the piece which was taken from the Baptist paper. It was listed under the heading of "Baptist Queries and Answers." After giving the piece from the Baptist paper, [both the questions and the answers that were given by the Baptist editor] brother Lipscomb then proceeded to answer some of the items listed by the Baptist preacher. This was very frequent method used by David Lipscomb as anyone knows who reads from those old Advocate papers.

Please note that the article from which brother Lipscomb made his comments consisted of "Baptist Queries" and then there were "Baptist Answers." Notice the questions as posed by Hurt and some other fellows. Then answers are given by John R. Graves, the Baptist editor. Following the questions and answers copied directly from the Baptist paper, Bro. Lipscomb gives his answer. We have copied all of this directly from the Gospel Advocate. What the Baptist editor said with respect to Hurt being mystified by teachers being in the fog is an apt description of the Wineskins crew. Please read for yourself.


"Brother Editor: Are converts christians before they are baptized? Is baptism a door into the church and the kingdom the same? When Jesus reveals [delivers up] the kingdom to the Father, and we are out of his kingdom, where will we appear?" J. O. Hurt

Answer: The writer of the above has evidently been mystified by teachers who were themselves in the fog.
1. There is no one thing taught with greater clearness in the New Testament than that the new birth precedes and qualifies for baptism. It is Christian baptism in one sense, because the baptism of a Christian and not a sinner. Faith unites and makes us one with Christ, and such believer is a Christian, and saved, not with a conditional but with an everlasting salvation [Do you recognize the sub-title quotes?]

[And do you notice that this is from the answer to a question in the Baptist and that it is an answer given by Mr. Graves - and not Bro. Lipscomb? wc] and can never perish, and no one in heaven or earth can separate him from the love of Christ. By faith we enter Christ as Noah entered the ark, the type of Christ and the Holy Spirit seals the union with indissoluble ties as God's almighty power closed and held the door of the ark, and the tempests blast and the billows surge until the hand opened it upon the Mount of Salvation. Such a believer is a Christian and saved. But this faith is everywhere taught as an invariable prerequisite to baptism. Therefore, converts must be Christians before they are baptized.

2. You may call it a door or a window, but one thing is certain, it is the act by which we enter the church of kingdom of Christ, and after one is baptized, he is in the Church of Christ. As no one, except by a natural birth, enters the kingdom of Caesar, so no one, except born of water, ever entered into the kingdom of God [John iii:5].

3. The kingdom church differs from a local church, as the kingdom of Great Britain differs from any particular providence of it, as the whole differs from a part. When Christ had but one church, the church and his kingdom indicated the same organization.

Christ had no church or kingdom prior to his second advent, and if no one can be saved outside such viable organizations, then, prior to the days of John the Baptist, no one was saved. While it is the duty of one who loves Christ, to unite with the church, and so become a citizen of his kingdom, yet he is judge and will know better than man what allowance to make to those of his children who have been deceived to follow men into human folds, and full well will he know how to judge and punish those false teachers who "offended" - led astray - one of his little ones [See Matt. xvii:6].
    "If I am a member of Christ's kingdom, am I therefore a member of Christ's church?"
    Abner Lane.

    Answer: "If you are a citizen of this republic, are you not, therefore a citizen of some particular state of this republic? And if you are a citizen of Arkansas, are you not therefore a citizen of this republic?
    1. When the Savior told Nicodemus, "Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he can not enter into the kingdom of God," did he speak of the churches on earth or of heaven?
    Your brother in Christ
    N. F. McCraw.

Answer: He most certainly did mean his kingdom or visible church on earth, so Baptists have in all ages believed, except a few of late years, who have been frightened out of their senses by Catholics, Campbellites and Ritualists generally.

Thousands will ultimately enter heaven who were neither born of the flesh nor of water, but according to the law of Christ, no one can enter his church without a birth of water added to the birth of the Spirit. The fact that regeneration is necessary to enable anyone to see, comprehend, or understand the nature and doctrine of the kingdom of Christ, is the death blow to Campbellism, and that it preceded baptism is fatal to infant baptism and that both precede church membership is equally fatal to Catholicism and Campbellism.

That kingdom of God means the organization which Christ set up when on earth cannot be successfully questioned. It was the kingdom prophesied of by Daniel, which the God of heaven was to set up in the days of the kings of the Roamn Empire, and therefore, properly called, the "Kingdom of God" and "Kingdom of Heaven."

This organization was the one John preached at hand, i.e. then present. It was the kingdom which the publicans and hariots entered and the kingdome which its enemies from the days of John until now, have done violence to and sought to destroy.

Christ never had a kingdom or church in heaven - has not today - never will have. They are visible organizations and made for the earth only. He has an invisible kingdom or church nowhere.

[Here begins Bro. Lipscomb's comments concerning the above questions and answers from the Baptist paper. wc]

We have not seen a copy of Mr. Graves' Baptist during the present year. His frequent exposures of his untruthfulness, and the necessity that was laid upon us during the last year to call attention to them, together with the shameful back-down from a discussion from his reckless bravado - no doubt made it unpleasant for him to see the Gospel Advocate and made him wish we should not see the Baptist. In the Southern Christian Weekly we find the preceding queries and answers reprinted from a Baptist. The answers are Mr. Graves. It dows good sometimes to see and preserve such things. Mr Graves, in many respects, is ahead of his brethren in perceiving the truth. To perceive a part of the truth and not the whole, makes a man more inconsistent than to be wholly in error. Hence Mr. Graves is the most inconsistent and contradictory of Baptist writers. Even in the preceding extracts, doubtless all written at one sitting, are inconsistencies and contradictions utterly irreconcilable.

He says, in response, 1st to query 1. - the new birth precedes and qualifies for baptism. Yet in response 2, to same query, he says - "you may call it [baptism] a door or a window, but one thing is certain. It is the act by which we enter the church or the kingdom of Christ and after one is baptized, he is in the Church of Christ."

As no one, except by natural birth, enters the kingdom of Caesar so no one, except born of water, ever entered the kingdom of Christ [John iii:5]. Here he states the birth of water is the act that puts individuals into the church of kingdom of Christ and that birth of water is baptism as referred to [John iii:5]. A birth of Spirit then according to Mr. Graves, prepares for membership, a birth of water gives membership in the kingdom of Christ. He has two distinct births - there must of necessity be two distinct begettings, two separate and distinct mothers. One being cannot twice be born of the same mother, as Nicodemus urges and as the Saviour concedes.

He says we enter Christ by faith as Noah entered the ark. Now did Noah enter the ark by faith alone? Should faith without the active obedience to which faith led - ever have saved Noah in the ark? So of the man coming to Christ. Faith leads to obedience and obedience brings into Christ. "Ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put him on."

Again, Mr. Graves maintains properly that Christ, has no invisible kingdom on earth. The kingdom is entered by baptism. But a man is born again, is a Christian, a child of God, before and without baptism. In whose kingdom is he when he finds peace with God - salvation and eternal redemption from sin? He is a Christian before baptism, a child of God, justified and cleansed. In whose kingdom is the lamb of Christ, in whose fold or vineyard is this Christian? And if he's not in the kingdom of Christ where will he be when Christ delivers up the kingdom to the Father - not in that kingdom, where will he be? As to the absurd dogma that the Spirits of the just made perfect and the angels in heaven are not in Christ's kingdom, we add not a word.

Mr. Graves in response to a letter from G. A. Coulson in Baptist, latter part of the year '68, says "No one can properly be called a Christian until he has been baptized and is an observer of Christ's commandments - he cannot be considered technically a follower of Christ, so long as he refuses to obey his command to be baptized - because a member of his church. *** The willful or willing neglecter of baptism is an unregenerated man, is at heart in rebellion against Christ's authority, and to such there is no promise of salvation. We think it far more safe to teach the willing neglecter of baptism, there is no promise of salvation, than, as too many Baptists do, that willful or willing disobedience to the commands of Christ, in no way jeopardizes one's salvation.

D. L.

Did brother Lipscomb write the above questions and answers which were quoted from the Baptist article? NO! A Baptist editor wrote them. Does Brother Foster not know Baptist doctrine? Does the brilliant and profound Shelly and Cope not know the teaching of the word of God on baptism? Or are they intentionally trying to misrepresent Bro. David Lipscomb? Surely any small school boy would be able to know what was said by whom in the preceding quotes. Did Lane say what Hurt said and did Hurt say what Coulson said and did Coulson say what McCraw said and did McCraw say what Lipscomb said and did Lipscomb say what Graves said and Graves say what Foster said? Wineskins reminds me of "The Gingham Dog and the Callico Cat."

The Baptist editor continued, "Therefore converts must be Christians before they are baptized." That's pretty rancid wine but such is the stuff which appears in Wineskins.

Did the Holy Spirit leave Rubel for a little while, just long enough for Baptist doctrine to drip into the paper and long enough for Bro. Lipscomb to be completely misrepresented? In either case, fermented ignorance and heresy make for excellent reading in Wineskins. "Oh For An Honest False Teacher."

The Baptist continued, "He most certainly did mean his kingdom or visible church one earth, so Baptists have in all ages believed, except a few in late years who have been frightened out of their senses by Catholics, Campbellites and Ritualists generally." It would take a Baptist editor to write the above and it was a part of the Baptist article to which Foster attributed to Lipscomb. What a piece to palm off on a gullible crew of Wineskins supporters!

Brother Shelly might impress some, but I have never been impressed with is profundity, but it wouldn't take much "smarts" in order to know the difference in Baptist doctrine and the truth.

That Baptist preacher wrote that, "regeneration is necessary to enable anyone to see, comprehend or understand the nature and doctrine of the kingdom of Christ, is the death blow to Campbellism."

Please, please, take note of the fact that Douglas A. Foster wrote and Shelly along with Cope printed the title and sub-title of the Wineskins article. The sentences of that sub-title giving the allusion that Lipscomb believed and taught pure Baptist doctrine is pure stupidity.

Shelly has been sallying around over the country preaching that, "We've gotta quit prooftexting," and in Foster he has found a real genuine disciple. Both Shelly and Foster are extremely lax in Biblical proof. Apparently their readers do not need any proof, nor do they want any proof, nor will they receive any proof.

If anyone cares to write articles for Wineskins, it matters not one whit if one attributes the words of the devil to Jesus, and Jesus' words to the devil. That should make the front page of the Shelly paper since he has started barking so much for the church to change. Reckon it might enable him to get more subscribers to his sheet?

The next time someone writes an article for the Shelly sheet why not attribute the words of the pope to Shelly, or better still, attribute the words of Jehovah to Rubel.

The new wine being sacked in Wineskins is potent beyond belief. It is brewed by a Baptist editor, but carries the Lipscomb label as per brother Foster. One can slurp from the Wineskins brew if one will remit $14.95.

The context and purpose of the Foster prattle is to give credence to the idea that all one has to know in order to be baptized scripturally, is to know that one is obeying God. In that case, every false teacher one earth who administers baptism to a recipient is scripturally baptizing the person. Shelly, Cope, Foster and cronies will present their case in a protected paper but will they crawl out of their safety zones and let their stuff be examined before intelligent people? Hardly!

The lines were drawn and the battle was fought over the issue of baptism in days gone by. David Lipscomb and Austin McGary were the chief opponents in those old battles. I have been working for some time reviewing the articles which these two men wrote and Lord willing I shall have the completed book in print ere long. But now the issue has been brought up again with the same old threadbare sectarian ideas, and looks like Wineskins wants to push the matter.

I would say there is a place for a paper like Wineskins and I could quickly select a staff of writers for the same. Judas Iscariot would make an excellent editor, to be assisted by Jezebel. Demas could very well wield a departing pen and old Diotrephes could certainly cast out of the changing church all who refused to clap, clog and dance to the tune of Jubilee.

"Oh, For An Honest False Teacher," so quoth Rubel!

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