(Read the entire series.)
The clear implications of J.R. Graves’ ecclesiology was that local Baptist churches have been the sole repository of biblical faith and practice since the time of Jesus Christ.
On this account the Baptists may be considered the only Christian community which has stood since the apostles, and as a Christian society which has preserved pure the doctrine of the gospel through all ages.1
Moreover, Graves believed that he could not, in good conscience, even recognize non-Baptists as Christian brethren. In July of 1851, one of the adopted “Cotton Grove Resolutions” asked, “Can we consistently address as brethren those professing Christianity, who not only have not the doctrine of Christ and walk not according to his commandments, but are arrayed in direct and bitter opposition to them?”2 Graves was pleased to record that the answer to this question, as well as the other four under consideration, was a resounding, “No!”
On Graves’ view, as we have seen: