Copyright 1998 James L. Melton
A “Baptist Brider” is an extreme Baptist who believes that “The Baptist Church” is the Bride of Christ. All other Christians supposedly make up the FAMILY of God, but are not part of THE BRIDE. The details of this heresy differ from one group to the next, but the general teaching is that The Baptist Church (whatever that is!) has existed since the time of Christ (some say John the Baptist) and that “approved” water baptism actually places a believer into the bride. Water baptisms that are not approved are considered “alien” baptisms and are not honored by the Baptist Bride churches. This leaves “aliens” like Bob Jones Sr., John Wesley, George Whitfield, and Martin Luther out of the bride, while the Bridegroom rides off into the sunset with His proud and conceited Baptist sweetheart. However, finding someone who will ADMIT to being a “brider” is not an easy task. Just like the Campbellites, they hate the name, but love the doctrine.
There are a number of careless steps that Baptist Briders usually take before promoting this outrageous heresy:
(1) Ignore 2 Timothy 2:15 where we
are told to RIGHTLY DIVIDE THE WORD OF TRUTH. This will allow one to go
anywhere in the New Testament to find “proof texts” for his theory. The
fact that God dealt differently with the Jews in the Gospels and in the book of
Acts than He does with Christians today will mean nothing when one ignores
2 Timothy 2:15.
(2) Ignore Matthew 3:11 where John
speaks of Christ’s HOLY GHOST baptism in CONTRAST to his (John’s) water
baptism. This allows them to pretend that water baptism is also the
context of I Corinthians 12:13, Romans 6:3-4, and Galatians 3:27. This is
convenient because this would mean that water baptism puts one INTO the body of
Matthew 3:11 says, “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire.”
What was John speaking of? The answer is I Corinthians 12:13: “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.” We are not baptized into the body of Christ by water. The Bible never says we are. It is Jesus Christ Who baptizes us into His body with the HOLY SPIRIT.
I once had a Baptist Brider call me about this matter. When I quoted him I Corinthians 12:13, he told me that the verse is speaking of water baptism which is “spirit led.” IT DIDN’T SAY “SPIRIT LED.” Besides, John’s water baptism was “spirit led,” but he still spoke of a FUTURE Spirit baptism by Christ - in contrast to HIS water baptism!
(3) Now ignore Matthew 20:22-23 where
Jesus speaks of a FUTURE baptism for his disciples which is not a WATER
baptism: “But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to
drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism
that I am baptized with? They say unto him, We are able. And he saith unto
them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I
am baptized with: but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to
give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father.”
This clearly refers to a future baptism for the disciples, which cannot be WATER baptism. They had already been baptized in water, but they had not been baptized INTO Christ’s body with the Holy Ghost.
(4) Ignore the fact that John’s
baptism was a special baptism of repentance which accompanied the preaching of
the KINGDOM message to ISRAEL (Mark 1:4; Luke 3:3; Acts 13:24; 19:4; Mat.
3:1-6; John 1:31).
“And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water.” (John 1:31)
“John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.” (Mark 1:4)
(5) Ignore the fact that Paul said he
wasn’t even sent to baptize, but to preach the Gospel (I Cor. 1:17). (If
baptism puts one into the body and bride of Christ, why would Paul make such a
statement? We realize that Paul did baptize some, but it wasn’t part of
(6) Assume that the term “church”
means an organized denomination with a name and a history, as in The Catholic
Church, The Episcopal Church, or The Baptist Church. This assumption will
allow the brider to add his own special touch to passages like Ephesians
5:30-32 and Ephesians 4:4.
(7) Now he can grab Matthew 16:18,
just like the Catholics and Campbellites, and pretend that Jesus was speaking
about His BAPTIST church. After all, He DID take over after John the
BAPTIST, so the brider can teach that it MUST have been a BAPTIST church.
(8) Ignore the fact that the Kingdom
was being offered to Israel all through the Gospels and clear through Acts chapter
seven when Israel made her final rejection of the Kingdom by killing Stephen.
(9) Ignore the fact that immediately
after Israel rejects the Kingdom God picks Paul and gives him a special
commission which does NOT include the water baptism of repentence since his
gospel message is not a KINGDOM message (Acts 8-9; I Cor. 1:17; 15:1-4; II Cor.
(10) Ignore the logical conclusion that if “The Baptist Church” started with John or Jesus, then there wasn’t any point in God giving a special commission to Paul since the whole thing was already established and operating anyhow!
Now the Baptist Brider is all set. Now he can teach that his church started with John. Then John gave the bride away to Jesus who promised that the gates of Hell wouldn’t prevail against His church. Then Jesus turned his duties over to the twelve and commissioned them to go into all the world teaching and baptizing, which is what The Baptist Church has been doing ever since. This is HERESY, and cannot be supported by the Scriptures.