Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity

Holt-Kirkland Debate --- (2)

Carl A. Allen

As we review the negative of Mr. Kirkland's speeches, it will be obvious that he did not deal with the arguments presented by brother Holt. Passages of Scripture unrelated to the proposition were introduced to offset the force of Holt's arguments. The proposition was, "The Scriptures Teach that WATER BAPTISM is Essential to the Salvation of the Alien Sinner " You will note that Mr. Kirkland did not deal with the passages of Scripture that mentioned Baptism but ignored them and argued that one was saved at the point of Faith. It will be worthy to note if one cannot use the Scriptures that relate to the proposition, they must be against him.

I shall take the arguments presented in the Negative and his answers to brother Holt's arguments and we shall see how he very weakly approached the subject.

(1) "I agree with the Authority, Design and Source Of Baptism. The real issue is the purpose of Baptism." (Kirkland.) It was pointed out to him that the design and purpose were the same thing. Now here is a Doctor, a President of a College and a Preacher for the Baptist Church and he does not know that the design and purpose are the same.

(2) Matthew 28:18-20. If water baptism is essential in this passage, teaching all things is there also; hence, a man would have to know all things before he could have the Remission of Sins. (Kirkland.) The answer was given that one would have to know all things that pertain to the Remission of Sins for the Alien Sinner, Baptism was a part of this, Acts 2:38. Kirkland admitted during the debate that there were commands to the Alien Sinner and Commands to the Child of God; yet, he argued to the contrary.

(3) Young Man. Mr. Kirkland made a play on the fact that a young man attended his services and asked him why he did not teach Baptism for the Remission of Sins. He asked the young man, "Are you Saved?" The young man could not answer. He then drew the conclusion that the Church of Christ does not know when they are saved. Brother Holt pointed out that this Salvation in Mark 16:16 was from Past or Alien Sins. Kirkland made a play on the word saved and made it apply to future Salvation. According to Mark 16:16 the young man could have answered, YES, I am saved from past sins.

(4) Kirkland said he knew. Salvation was by faith because he "has tried it" and he was not about to trade it off for a gun that snaps. Kirkland was reminded of the fact that his gun was a muzzle loader and had never shot, he just didn't know the difference. You look at this, "I have tried it." Feelings are no standard for authority and Mr. Kirkland knows it. But he has set his feelings above the word of God.

(5) John's Baptism. Mr. Kirkland argued that "Jesus had it, The Apostles had it, The first Church had it, but the church Qt Christ will not accept its" Brother.

Holt showed that John's Baptism was UNTO the Remission of Sins (Mk. 1:4); Kirkland never mentioned it again. I wonder why? Kirkland was arguing that he had the same Baptism that the Lord had. But Kirkland was baptized because he had his sins forgiven. I wonder if he thinks the Lord had sins forgiven him before he was baptized?

(6) Mark 16:16. "He that Believeth and is Baptized shall be saved." "He that Believeth and is NOT Baptized shall be saved." Kirkland said he believed both. This is a paradox if I have ever seen one. It is like saying I believe in Christ and I believe not in Christ. Yes, that was the Doctor that took that stand.

(7) Acts 16:31. "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved." Brother Holt pointed out that this belief included Baptism. "And he brought them up into his house, and set food before them, and rejoiced greatly, with all his house, having Believed in God, (v. 33) Yet, he was Baptized. (v.32) Attention was called to the kind of faith that saves. Brother Holt noted that in the Bible we find, "Believe and be Baptized, Mk. 16:16; Repent and be Baptized, Acts 2:38; Baptism saves, 1 Peter 3:21; Wash away sins in Baptism, Acts 22:16; Walk in Newness of Life after Baptism, Rom. 6:4; and Baptism puts one into Christ, Gal. 3:27. This is belief in the Word of God. Kirkland denies all of these; hence, he is an unbeliever. "Can one be saved by faith and not have faith?"

(8) Prov. 29:25. Kirkland thought he had a masterpiece in this passage. "The fear of man bringeth a snare; But whoso putteth his trust in Jehovah shall be safe." Of course, Kirkland made the trust mean faith. Brother Holt pointed out that for one to trust in Jehovah he must believe what he has said about Baptism. The DESIGN of Baptism, "Is to save, Mk. 16:16; For Remission of Sins, Acts 2:38; Puts one into Christ, Gal. 3:27; but Kirkland does not believe it, hence, he has not put his trust in God.

(9) I Peter 3:21. Brother Holt pointed out that the Bible said, "Baptism doeth now save us." But Kirkland says, "Baptism doeth not now save us." Kirkland said I believe both. Here is that paradox again. Mr. Kirkland then took the stand that Baptism was a figure. Brother Holt reminded him according to this type of reasoning when the Children of Israel drank of that rock that was Christ in 1 Cor. 10:4, the rock would have been the real thing and the figure, Christ. Also, in Rom. 5:14, Adam would have been the real thing and Christ the figure. He then said that Baptism (Figure) was like a picture and that if you had a cow and a picture of a cow, Holt would take his bucket and try to milk the picture. Well according to this reasoning his trust is not in Christ, but in the Rock in the wilderness and Christ did not make atonement for the world, but Adam, because you cannot get milk out of the picture and since Christ is the picture (according to this reasoning) you can't get milk out of him.

(10) 1 John 5:1. "Believer is born of God." Brother Bolt introduced a chart, to show what Kirkland was doing, entitled Kirkland's Type of Salvation by Faith. On this chart were the passages that Kirkland used to Salvation by Faith, John. 5:1, John 3:36, John 3:16. But when he was pushed he would admit that other things were essential to Salvation, Love, 1 John 4.7; Repentance, Acts 17:30; Confession, Rom. 10:10. But to save his doctrine he must deny Mk. 16:16 and Acts 2:38 and state that the passages that say one must believe, never include Baptism even though it may include Love, Repentance, and Confession. My, my such reasoning. It was also pointed out on the tense of the word IS that, 1 John 4:7 says when you Love one IS born of God; 1 John 5:1 when one believes he is born of God; 1 John 4:3, when one confesses he is born of God; 1 John 3:24, when one keeps the commandments he IS born of God. I wonder if Kirkland believes that these are four different births; if not, I wonder if he thinks one confesses Christ before he believes or after he believes. If after, he does not have salvation at the point of faith.

(11) Kirkland seems to be entering the field of acting. He very dramatically said of the church of Christ, "Here is a sinner in the world. He hears the word of God. Is he saved?" No, he is still lost. He believes that Jesus is the Christ. Is he saved? No, he is still lost. He repents....confesses and he is still lost. Bury him in cater and he is saved. Water salvation. Baptism only. Brother Holt showed that this would work on him also. Believe in God, Still lost. Repent toward God. Still lost. Believe in Christ, SAVED. Does this mean Salvation by faith only. If not why not. Making fun of God's plan of salvation will not alter the Scriptures. The Bible says that you must be baptized to have salvation and Remission of sins Mk. 16:16, Acts 2:38.

(12) John 5:24. Kirkland showed that one who believes hath eternal life. So all one has to do to be saved is to believe. This passage does not mention Belief in Christ; it only states that one must beleve in God. Down goes his order of Salvation. His order is, "belief in God, repentance toward God. belief in Christ, saved. But this passage says Belief in God and not in Christ and that before repentance. Hence he has a man saved before he repents and believes in Christ. Brother Holt pointed out that the word bath doth not always mean that you now have it. Josh. 6:2, "I have given into thy hand Jericho," but they did not have it. John 1:12 states that the believer only has the power (right) to become a child of God; hence, he is not a child of God at the point of belief.

(13) "Noah saved seven days before the Flood," so a man is saved before baptism. (Kirkland) He (Kirkland) made this salvation apply to the spiritual instead of the physical. The Salvation that Peter was talking about in 1 Peter 3:20 was physical. But the parallel is the water. As Noah and his family were saved (physically) by water so we are saved (spiritually) in water baptism from our past sins. Again Kirkland according to Holt proved to be an unbeliever.

(14) Into Christ. (Gal. 3:27). Kirkland asked the question, "Is this literal or figurative?" Now that is a ringer.

Gal. 3:27 said that we are baptized Into Christ. You figure it out.

(15) Rom. 6:4. Kirkland said that we are buried with him; hence, one must be saved before he Is baptized or he could not be with him. Well, note Rom. 6:5, "For if we have become UNITED with him in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection." This should answer it.

(16) John 6:63. Mr. Kirkland wants to know if you eat the blood in the bottom of the Baptistry. Brother Holt used a chart to show the fallacy of his reasoning. He stated that one must get where the blood is. (1) The blood was shed in his death, John 19:34. (2) But we are baptized into his death, Rom. 6:4. (3) Hence, we contact the blood of Christ in baptism.

(17) John 3:5 Kirkland denied that the water in John 3'5 was water and said that the church of Christ was born of water and the tadpoles are born of water. Hence, the members of the church of Christ and tadpoles are brothers. Brother Holt noted that you could not have a Baptist Church without baptism, so the Baptist Church must be born of water. Hence, the Baptist Church and tadpoles are born of water and that makes them brothers also. (Rich, isn't it?) I guess since we are both born of water that makes the Baptist and the church of Christ BROTHERS. God forbid. Kirkland took the stand that the water was the water of Life. Brother Holt then introduced a chart to illustrate figurative language. He noted that when figurative language is employed there are qualifying terms ("given living waters," Jno. 4:10, "take water of life," Rev. 22:1'7, "rivers of living water," Jno. 7:39) to show that it does not mean literal water. But in this passage, (Jno. 3:5) water is mentioned and Mr. Kirkland understands other passages to mean water as it is mentioned here. ("I came baptizing in water," Jno. 1:26; "Fill pots with water," Jno. 2:7; "much water," Jno. 3:23) Hence, since there are no qualifying terms to indicate that the water is something else, it stands for ages eternal that the water here is water baptism.

It is obvious that Kirkland did not want to consider the passages that set forth the design of baptism because he knew they did not sustain his belief. It is also evident that he could not meet one argument presented by brother Holt. Brother Holt for two nights emphasized that Kirkland was an unbeliever because he did not believe what the Bible said about the design of baptism. He established his point.

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