Written by Elder J.W. McClanahan
The Pocatalico Old School, or Primitive Baptist Association, now in session with the West Fork Church, Calhoun County, West Virginia, September 11th, 12th and 13th, 1925, to the association with which we correspond, and to all of like precious faith with us, sendeth greetings.
DEARLY BELOVED IN THE LORD: - We are once more permitted by the goodness of our covenant-keeping God to meet in an associate capacity to worship together in love and meekness the true and living God. We greatly desire that peace and unity of spirit abound among us in all that may be said or done during this the ninetieth annual session of the Pocatalico Old School Baptist Association. Dear brethren, we realize that in number we are few, who are earnestly contending for the faith once delivered unto the saints. Truly we feel the power of John's address to the angel of the church in Asia called Sardis. He said to them, “Thou hast a few names ever in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy.” Not that they feel to be worthy of themselves, but because of the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ they are worthy, for their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord. Steadfastness in the apostolic doctrine, and liberty wherewith we have been made free by the atoning blood of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is commendable and praiseworthy, while it seems to us that the spirit of exhortation, reproving and rebuking, with all long-suffering and doctrine, is also highly necessary for the health of the church. “Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” These are the words of Jesus after his resurrection, Matt. xxviii.20. He was addressing his disciples, which is equally applicable to the followers of the meek and lowly Jesus through all time. Feeling as we do, that some need their pure mind stirred up by way of remembrance of their communion with the church at such times appointed for her to commune, this sacred ordinance should be observed by all who have a hope in the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross for their sins, and to fail to obey this solemn ordinance is failing to show his death till he come. A church, or individual member, that continues not to observe the Lord's supper is acting disorderly by not obeying this holy injunction given by Jesus Christ, the head of the body, which is the church. Paul in his address to the brethren at Corinth referred them tot he communion with his disciples, “And when he [Jesus] had given thanks, he broke it, and said, Take, eat; this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. * * * For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come.” The unworthiness of God's children, as they feel to be, is no evidence of their being unworthy. It is such as see not the body (church) redeemed by the blood of Christ that eat and drink unworthily. It is true that God's children feel their unworthiness to partake of this solemn ordinance, which causes them to examine themselves in regard to this matter. Did I not see her as one body separate from the world with all of its institutions when I went there for a home? I saw her in this light, then how dare I refuse this solemn ordinance given to the church to be observed by her? There is no doubt but what the child of God ponders this carefully, feeling it to be his or her duty to show his (Jesus) death till he come, for we see he took the cup and gave thanks, and gave to his disciples, saying “Drink ye all of it: for this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” The as dutiful children of the most high God and Father of us all, Jesus Christ being our Elder Brother, whose body was broken and whose blood was shed for us poor helpless sinners, what I say unto one I say unto all, let us be faithful in all things pertaining to the household of faith, and let us not absent ourselves from the communion table because of a feeling of unworthiness, for it is the better evidence of being worthy, showing a discernment of the Lord's body (church).
J.W. McClanahan, Moderator
J.C. Hammond, Clerk
Signs of the Times
Volume 93, No. 10