Monday Minutes With Pastor Chris McCool (February 13, 2023)

We have been looking at an article written by Elder Tim McCool several years ago, dealing with “Questions and Answers” about Primitive Baptists. Today, we conclude by looking at the last few questions. I hope these have been helpful to you in understanding what Primitive Baptists believe, and why!

And let me conclude with the best advice I can give you if you have questions about Primitive Baptists: come and see! Come and experience the worship service, where we engage in the simple practice of preaching, praying, and singing. I believe you will be blessed if you do!

May the Lord bless you is my prayer!

Elder Chris McCool, Pastor

Questions & Answers about Primitive Baptists
by Tim McCool
Pastor, Bethlehem Primitive Baptist Church
Boyd Road, Echola Alabama

Q22: Why do Primitive Baptists prefer a cappella singing?

A: There is no biblical precedent for the usage of musical instruments in New Testament worship. The scriptures give repeated instructions to sing in the church, but never to play (Rom 15:9, I Cor 14:15, Eph 5:19, Col 3:16, Heb 2:12, James 5:13). Things that affect the setting of worship (i.e. – electric lights, air conditioners, etc) are not a part of the worship service and are allowable. A distinction must also be made between an addition to the New Testament pattern and an aid to this pattern. Electric lights, songbooks, reference Bibles, etc. are aids to worship, but musical instruments are additions to worship. It is commonly objected that Psalm 150 offers instruction to praise the Lord with various kinds of musical instruments. However, these instructions are not referring to New Testament worship. Procedure used in Old Testament worship obviously cannot be used to amend the New Testament pattern; otherwise, animal sacrifices, priests, etc. could be legitimately introduced to the church. It should be observed that Psalm 150 also commands to praise the Lord with dance (Ps 150:4), yet those who use the Psalm to defend musical instruments would generally condemn dancing in the church. Furthermore, the prophet Amos condemned the very musical instruments David invented (Amos 6:1-5).

Q23: Why do Primitive Baptists not have entertainment for youth?

A: Primitive Baptists do not condemn entertainment when it is moral and in moderation. We also recognize that men of God in the scriptures occasionally use humor and sarcasm (Is 40:18-23, Is 44:12-20, Lk 16:9), so this too is acceptable provided that it is clean, purposeful, and moderate. However, the idea that it is the role of the church to entertain is absolutely alien to all that is scriptural. When churches have taken sports, games, comedy, and other amusement, and have commingled them with songs of praise, prayer, and preaching, then no difference is being made between the holy and profane (Ezek. 44:23). The scriptures suggest that Paul had an interest in some sports (I Cor 9:24, II Tim 2:5, Heb 12:1), yet he condemned competitiveness in the church (I Cor 4:7, I Cor 11:21-22). The instruction of the scriptures are both necessary and sufficient to guide young people as well as old, and to strengthen them against the temptations of the world (Deut 6:6-7, Ps 119:9-11, I Tim 5:14, II Tim 3:15-17). Furthermore, youth group involvement yields more civil and criminal liability risks each year, as deviant and deceptive individuals are at times unknowingly placed in positions of supervision over children.

Q24: What do Primitive Baptists believe about John 3:16?

A: This verse of scripture is often taken out of context to attempt to prove that Jesus died for all the inhabitants of the world. Taken in context, Jesus is making a factual point to Nicodemus (a Jew who erroneously believed that eternal salvation was limited to the physical nation of the Jews) that God so loved the world (Greek kosmos – created order), and NOT just the Jews, that he gave His only begotten Son. The purpose of His Son being given was that whosoever, which is a definitive group and not mankind in general, believeth on him should not perish but have eternal life. The Greek word for believeth is pisteuo, which is the same root word for faith, and faith by definition is the gift of God (Eph. 2:8). The very belief / faith in the heart of those who believe is placed there by the mercy and grace of God. The fact that John 3:16 is not teaching that Jesus offered himself to all the inhabitants of the world is further confirmed by the fact that Jesus said that he who does not believe in this is condemned already (v.18), indicating the fallen state of mankind in Adam’s transgression (Rom.5:20). Furthermore, it is of the utmost importance to understand what “world” Jesus is referring. Christ declares in the same gospel of John, chapter 17, verse 9, that, “I pray NOT for the world.” For example, in Lk. 2:1, the writer declares that Ceasar Augustus sent out a decree that “all the world should be taxed”. Obviously, Ceasar did not send tax collectors to pre-North America to collect taxes from the native Indians. Rather, he taxed the “world” that was under His jurisdiction. Jesus Christ could not have died for the general population of the world because that is not the “world” under consideration. Also, this would have contradicted the promise of Christ that ALL of His children would never perish (Jn. 10:28). If Christ offered himself for all the inhabitants of the world, then according to his promise, all the inhabitants of the world would be housed in heaven. On the contrary, Christ declared that he had power over ALL mankind, for the purpose of giving life to “as many as thou hast given him” (Jn. 17:2), and not all the inhabitants of the world. This relates back to that innumerable host of children that God the Father foreknew, predestinated, called justified, and glorified in His Son (Rom. 8:29-30). The world that God created was good in God’s eyes (Gen. 1) until mankind defiled that world with sin. God so loved this created order that He sent His Son to die for whosoever believes in him. Obviously, this is a factual statement and not a non-contextual offer.

Q25: Why should I become a Primitive Baptist?

A: For the sake of God’s truth – God has declared that His glory can only be seen in the salvation plan set out in His holy word. This plan involves no work or act of our own, but His alone. Rev. 4:11 declares that we are created for His glory, and we are to glorify Him in our bodies (I Cor. 6:20). In order to achieve maximum glory to God, His truths must be embraced and man’s opinions and devices put aside. Forsaking all for His glory is our only choice.

For the sake of sincerity – in a time when people are looking for depth and quality, a deep, personal relationship with Jesus Christ and with brothers and sisters in Christ can only be found by embracing His truth.For the sake of simplicity – from programs and entertainment, to day-care facilities and segregation, religious worship of today grows more complex and bigger each year. Instead of looking for God in a multitude of activity, we should strive to see the simplicity in Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 11:3), that can be found in a worship style in which families, whether single parent homes or traditional, worship together in spirit and in truth, where spiritual food can be bought without price (Isa. 55:1-2) and the only demands placed upon the individual are the commandments of God, which are not grievous (I Jn. 5:3). To sing, preach and pray in worship of the Lord, to fellowship together frequently in His word, and bring the good news to captive, condition-laden sinners that their salvation rests in the free grace of Jesus Christ alone.