QUERY. – "I wish you to give me information through the "Signs of the Times" what course is proper for Old School Baptists to pursue when people come to our churches to join us that have joined the missionaries since we separated from them. Understand me, I wish your views."
REPLY: - IF such persons have been baptized by New School administrators since the separation took place, we think they should renounce it, as it would not in our estimation be valid. If, after doing this, they give satisfactory evidence of repentance towards God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, bringing forth fruits meet for repentance, they should be received on the same principle as though they had never been connected with such anti-christian bodies; and when on profession of faith they are duly baptized in the fellowship of a gospel church, they should be considered entitled to all the privileges of Zion so long as they walk uprightly in faith and practice.
The custom of some churches that we have heard of is evidently wrong, viz: requiring a written or verbal acknowledgment of the good character of the applicant. This is wrong, as we thereby acknowledge the currency of their paper amongst us, and as the professed design is to avoid persecution. We as Christians should give no occasion to Jew or Greek to reproach us, but we are to make no treaty of peace with them to avoid the offense of the cross.
The reason we renounce, as Christian baptism, immersion from the hands of New School preachers, is, that such preachers are out of the fellowship of a gospel church at the time of administering. Many of our brethren now in good standing amongst us were baptized by unsound men – by men who are now in connection of the New School, but who at the time of administering the ordinance were standing in connection with the gospel church and acted as her servants: such we consider valid baptism.
But the question relates to cases since the connection was dissolved. We are to hold all New School Baptist churches as we hold all other anti-christian bodies, as having nothing to do with the affairs of Zion.
If we have withdrawn our fellowship from them because we could not walk with them, we must also renounce their ministrations and be entirely distinct from them, as we profess to be from the pagans; but if we can consistently walk with them as administrators of gospel ordinances, we ought not to separate ourselves from them.
NEW VERNON, N.Y.
November 1, 1840.
Elder Gilbert Beebe
Editorials Volume 1
Pages 639 - 640