For those who think that what John Sullivan has done to all Baptist of the state of Florida is really not a “Hill on which to die”… let me frame the issue in a little different light.
It’s not about alcohol; it’s about an abuse of power and of trust broken.
God alone is Lord of the conscience, and hath left it free from the doctrines and commandments of men which are in any thing contrary to his word, or not contained in it. (The Baptist Faith and Message 2000, The Baptist Confession of Faith 1689)
John Sullivan and all those who are imposing their beliefs (commandments of men) upon the Baptist of Florida are most certainly violating the principle of Religious Liberty expressed in our Baptist Confessions.
But it goes far beyond that!
The supper of the Lord Jesus was instituted by him the same night wherein he was betrayed, to be observed in his churches, unto the end of the world, for the perpetual remembrance, and showing forth the sacrifice of himself in his death, confirmation of the faith of believers in all the benefits thereof, their spiritual nourishment, and growth in him, their further engagement in, and to all duties which they owe to him; and to be a bond and pledge of their communion with him, and with each other… The Lord Jesus hath, in this ordinance, appointed his ministers to pray, and bless the elements of bread and wine, and thereby to set them apart from a common to a holy use,… (The Baptist Confession of Faith 1689)
Can anyone deny that the Lord Jesus Christ instituted the ordinance of the Lord’s Supper with the two elements of bread and wine? Can anyone deny that there in that upper room Christ and his blessed Apostles each partook of the bread and the wine? And has it not been true that down throughout Christian history that believers have maintained the practice, received by example from Christ himself, of observing the Lord’s Supper by partaking of the bread and wine without altering or substituting either of these two “blessed elements”?
And now John Sullivan, having placed himself in the position to speak for God on this matter, is telling all Florida Baptist that he is the proper authority on the ordnance of the Lord’s Supper, and that they no longer have the Christian Liberty to follow the example set by Jesus Christ, His blessed Apostles, Christian History, or our Baptist Confessions of Faith.
If this does not frighten anyone then I do not know what will…
Grace to all,