Forty Years Of History Looks Down Upon Conservative Baptists -- By: Richard V. Clearwaters

Journal: Central Bible Quarterly
Volume: CENQ 05:1 (Spring 1962)
Article: Forty Years Of History Looks Down Upon Conservative Baptists
Author: Richard V. Clearwaters

Forty Years Of History Looks Down Upon Conservative Baptists

Richard V. Clearwaters

Founder and President
Central Conservative Baptist Theological Seminary

It is said that when Napoleon came into the Pyramids of Egypt with the flower of the French troops he cried out, “Men of France, four thousand years of history looks down upon you!” As Conservative Baptists we can say today, “Conservative Baptists, forty years of history looks down upon you!” We trust that our readers will welcome a brief sketch of our history.

1. The Fundamentalist Fellowship of the Northern Baptist Convention was organized in Buffalo, New York, in 1920. It was organized for the double purpose of opposing theological Modernism and the growing evils of ecclesiasticism within the Northern Baptist Convention. This denies the allegation of some of the late comers to our movement who want to single out only “Modernism” or theological deflection, and ignore the “growing evils of ecclesiasticism,” — it has always been purposed in “FAITH AND PRACTICE.” IT ALSO DENIES THAT WE BEGAN AS A MISSIONARY MOVEMENT!

2. The first effort made by this Fundamental Fellowship was investigating Modernism in the Baptist schools and colleges. Later in 1922 an effort was made to investigate the theological beliefs of the Northern Baptist Convention foreign missionaries. In May 1923 the Baptist Bible Union had its first annual convention in Kansas City, Missouri.

3. Dr. Albert Johnson, in May 11, 1938, before the Oregon Baptist State Convention read a paper later published as, “The Baptist Message and Mission” in which he stated, “He is not a good Baptist who is more loyal to an Association of Churches called a denomination than to the local Baptist Church of which he is a member. A loyalty which results in his disloyalty is destructive of the very principle and spirit of a Baptist Church.” This is a warning not against theological deflection but a distinct warning against ecclesiastical deflection. This was five years before any thought of the CBFMS, and on page thirteen of the same paper Dr. Johnson states, “Ecclesiasticism is the foe of Christian liberty.” He further states on page fourteen, “Each Baptist church is its sole and only judge of the degree and method of its cooperation.”

4. The Fundamentalist Fellowship representatives met the ABFMS of the Northern Baptist Convention Board in Springfield, Illinois, in May 1943, and accomplished nothing. In the same month in 1943 the Chairman of the ABFMS Board met with the Fundamentalist Fellowship in a meeting convened by the Fellowship in the YMCA of Chicago. The Fundamentalist Fellowship could get no ...

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