A Short History of American Exceptionalism in Letters and Speeches

American Exceptionalism is a concept that has been long debated, but by and large only men who have believed in such a concept have received the vote of their fellow countrymen to be their leader. Below are documents that proclaim the “exceptional” experience that is America. Anyone who has never read all of these documents is poorer by far, but those who have read them and thought on them are greatly enriched. It is these documents that have brought millions to our shores, “yearning to be free.” I encourage you to read them and to enjoy your heritage of freedom. These quotes are adapted from Jonathan Foreman’s book The Pocket Book of Patriotism.
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Separation of the Individual Christian and the Local Church

Note: Dr. Richard V. Clearwaters was pastor of the Fourth Baptist Church in Minneapolis from 1940-1981. He led the Minnesota Baptist Convention out of the Northern Baptist Convention and convened the first section of the Conservative Baptist Association. During those years, he also founded Pillsbury Baptist Bible College and Central Baptist Theological Seminary. This article is from his autobiography, On the Upward Road. We believe it was originally written in the 1960s or 1970s. It is reprinted here with permission.

by Richard V. Clearwaters

A well-known evangelist of our day whose ministry is almost “sloganized” by the phrase “The Bible Says” has authored a tract published by the American Tract Society on the subject “Worldliness and Separation.” This evangelist speaks of worldliness and separation in the following words:

“God calls us to be a separated people: ‘Come out from among them, and be ye separate’ (II Corinthians 6: 17)… What is worldliness actually?

“A prominent writer described it very aptly: ‘It is the self­-indulgent attitude of the heart and mind towards life.’ It is not merely doing certain forbidden things or going to certain prescribed places. Worldliness is what we are, not just what we do. It is in reality an inner attitude, for as man ‘thinketh in his heart, so is he’ (Proverbs 23:7). Any Christian whose interest is directed toward himself is worldly.”

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World Cup Update: Great Opportunities

Believers at 2006 Fifa World Cup Germany™ hit the streets with the Gospel

The Northland Baptist Bible College men are one won, one tied. They have had many chances to share their faith. Typical of these opportunities was time spent street witnessing in Nuremberg. The day began with rain, but cleared off in time for us to carry out evangelism. “Man, I had a great opportunity!” said Jeff, “I just talked to a university student about the Lord for 45 minutes. He wasn’t ready to accept Christ, but he was willing to take the information with him and think over the claims of the Gospel.” Most reported similar conversations.
On that same day the Northland men played another soccer game. At supper after the game they exchanged ideas about different customs of Germany and the US with the men of the opposing team. They also shared their faith. The gathering ended with Christian songs from the Northland soccer players, a simple explanation of the Gospel and a challenge to the visitors turn to Christ. It was all well received. The Medals for Glory team is hoping many will accept the invitation to attend their last church service in Erlangen.

For more details, visit MedalsForGlory.com

Separation from Professing Brethren- Notes toward an Understanding

The following notes were presented by Dr. Kevin Bauder, president of Cental Baptist Theological Seminary of Plymouth, MN, at a workshop at the 2006 National Leadership Convention at Calvary Baptist Theological Seminary, Lansdale, Pennsylvania. They were originally published at SharperIron on March 8, 2006.

I. Definitions.

A. Professing Brother.


    1. By “professing brother” I mean an individual who professes to believe the true gospel. We cannot judge the heart directly.

    2. “Professing the true gospel” means more than naming the name of Christ. It does not include cultists, theological liberals, sacerdotalists, or other individuals who profess a false gospel while claiming to be Christians.






B. Fellowship.



    1. Fellowship is that which is held in common.

    a. Minimally, the boundary of Christian fellowship is drawn by the gospel. No Christian fellowship is possible where the gospel is not held in common.

    b. Maximally, the center or apex of Christian fellowship includes the whole counsel of God. Mutatis mutandis, the closest fellowship will occur where Christians hold the entire Faith in common.




2. Objective and subjective fellowship.

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Biblical Baptist---Faith and Practice

Note: Dr. Richard V. Clearwaters was pastor of the Fourth Baptist Church in Minneapolis from 1940-1981. He led the Minnesota Baptist Convention out of the Northern Baptist Convention and convened the first section of the Conservative Baptist Association. During those years, he also founded Pillsbury Baptist Bible College and Central Baptist Theological Seminary. During the struggles within the Northern Baptist Convention and the Conservative Baptist Association, Dr. Clearwaters was often quoted as saying, “I am a Biblicist before I believe myself to be a Baptist.” He dimensionalized the term and concept of a “Biblicist” when he defined it with the term “militant” and coined the term “Militant Biblicist.” He always considered himself to be a Baptist and described himself as a “Biblicist Baptist.” This article is from his autobiography, On the Upward Road. We believe it was originally written in the 1960s or 1970s. It is reprinted here with permission.

By Richard V. Clearwaters
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Sins That Check

One Saturday I was preparing reception food at a friend’s wedding. The pastor’s wife and I were rolling pieces of roast beef when one of the church leaders rushed into the kitchen to speak to her. “The Senior Saints are upset that the tables and chairs in their Sunday School class are missing.”

The pastor’s wife replied, “I know they get upset when we bother their room. Please tell them that we will be careful to put everything back the way we found it in time for church tomorrow. We really need those tables and chairs for the wedding reception.”

“I already told them that, but they still aren’t happy.”

I continued to roll the meat and thought to myself, The Senior Saints are really causing a lot of strife in this church. I wonder if they would ever be convicted about their cantankerous spirit regarding their Sunday school room.Although many of those men and women would have a strong conviction about other sins, such as immorality or drunkenness, they must think that certain sins of the heart and of the tongue are acceptable.
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