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.”
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.
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.
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.
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
“An unwillingness to confront churches in our association who are actively participating in … a theologically pragmatic and anthropocentric Purpose-Driven model of ministry is far more threatening to the … GARBC than continuing to associate with Cedarville.”
Ken fields notes that the GARBC has A Fundamental Problem
Concerns over our immodest culture are not swirling in the religious sector alone. Scrambling to bring a semblance of decency to the educational process, the Florida public schools in my own beloved Pinellas County declared a “classroom cover-up” war this past year, initiating a strict dress code that even prohibits sleeveless garments. One thing is certain: As the extreme indecent fashions of our day prompt the resurrection, enforcement, and establishment of dress codes in institutions across our country, the discovery will be made that rules carry little power to legislate modesty.