Prophets Or Reformers -- By: Richard V. Clearwaters

Journal: Central Bible Quarterly
Volume: CENQ 04:1 (Spring 1961)
Article: Prophets Or Reformers
Author: Richard V. Clearwaters

Prophets Or Reformers

Jeremiah 1

Richard V. Clearwaters

President, Central Conservative Baptist Theological Seminary

When Jesus enquired of the disciples the appraisal of Himself by the public, He received a variety of answers. The answer went like this, “Some say thou art John the Baptist; some Elias; and others Jeremias; or one of the prophets.” In this appraisal Jesus was being accused of being one resurrected from the dead, a miracle worker, a weeping prophet, or just one of the Old Testament prophets that had come back from the dead. By the law of parsimony we can only conclude that all of these four classifications fit one category, namely, they are all Reformers.

Group Dynamics

Recently one of our Conservative Baptist brethren has published a paper in which he warns us that the “Group Dynamics” of our movement will either destroy the Conservative Baptist movement or change its character. One might have thought before the recent election that the group dynamics of the Democratic Party trying to elect John Kennedy struggling against the group dynamics of the Republican Party trying to elect Richard Nixon would destroy the government of our country or change its character completely. The truth is after election day everything had settled down to normalcy. Why? Because the platform of these respective parties or groups struggling against each other found themselves operating in the framework of the Constitution of the United States of America.

The group dynamics in the Conservative Baptist movement where we find a hard core standing against certain things and opposing others who may favor the same thing as a group are all operating under two very definite laws of church history, applicable only to Evangelical Separatists. These two laws of church history are “The Power of the Keys” which represents the independence and autonomy of local churches; and the other law is “The Rope of Sand” which represents the Biblical doctrines commonly held by Evangelical Separatists. Perhaps some like to silence the church paper of a pastor now and then or to break in pieces the pen of another pastor here or there. The truth is each of these pastors because of the power of the keys can retreat to his island of the local church after a sound defeat for Biblical principles as England many times retreated to her islands after being defeated, and then the pastor like England can build himself up for a similar struggle on another day. There is no Conservative Baptist denomination to restrain him!

The Roman Catholic paper, “Operation Understanding-Sunday Visitor,” February ...

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