“Landmarkism” among Baptists, is not a denomination; it is a position concerning the nature of the church and certain matters of church doctrine and practice. There is a direct, historic “succession” of Baptist churches back to New Testament times; true Baptist churches have existed in every century. We hold ourselves separate from all religious groups and have no heritage to protestant or catholic groups and leaders.
The great commission was given to the local congregation. We believe that the local church is the only unit authorized to administer the ordinances. The local church is an independent and autonomous body responsible only to Christ. Every church is equal with every other church. Mission works are only scriptural and operate through an originating local church.
Jesus Christ started His church during His personal ministry.
Matthew 16:18 “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”
Hebrews 8:2 “A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man.”
Jesus is the head of His churches, not pastors or a board of directors.
Ephesians 1:22-23 “And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.”
Jesus has all authority and gave His doctrines (landmarks) to His church.
Matthew 28:18-20 “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”
1 Timothy 3:15 “But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.”
The local churches are to preach, teach, and contend for His doctrinal truths. They were only delivered once and have continued on just as Jesus promised His church wouldn’t be destroyed.
Jude 1:3 “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.”
2 Timothy 4:2-4 “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.”
Jesus doesn’t change and neither do His doctrines. We have no authority to change or interpret them as we see fit. God gave it one way and it is to be understood one way.
Hebrews 13:8 “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever.”
1 Corinthians 11:2 “Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you.”
2 Peter 1:20-21 “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.”
We want to please the Lord by keeping His doctrines.
Mark 7:6-7 “He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.”
Landmarkers reject the ecumenical movement because true unity comes from the truths of God’s word. We are to separate from those that are doctrinal heretics.
Ephesians 4:13-14 “Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
Romans 16:17-18 "Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.”
Amos 3:3 “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?”
In the Old Testament the landmarks were set for inheritance and boundaries. They were warned not to remove them by God’s penalty. Today God’s people are to hold to the landmarks which God has set if we want His blessings and presence. Proverbs 22:28 “Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set.”