I simply cannot get enough discussion regarding baptism. Hopefully, I will be able to return to my discussion on Baptism, the Lord's Supper, and John Calvin, but not immediately. Not that many care except for Etrangere and I.
I do want to wade in on the baptism controversy started by the new IMB policy. As I understand it, one of the qualifications to be an IMB missionary now is that your baptism had to be administered by a church that believed in "Eternal Security." I believe that this policy is fundamentally wrong, and I am ashamed that this part of the policy passed. It is, in my opinion, way worse than the no speaking in a "private prayer language" policy. Here is what I understand it takes to have a proper baptism:
1. The candidate must be regenerate (a believer).
2. The baptism must be by immersion.
3. The baptism must be done in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
In baptism, we are identifying with Christ Jesus, not a doctrinal position. In the early Church, when a person believed, he got baptized. Did the Ethiopian eunuch understand Eternal Security? Did the church he got baptized in belive that? Wait, he wasn't in a church. He was at a river with Phillip. If the Ethiopian wanted to be an IMB missionary, would he have to call Phillip on the phone to make certain that he believed in Eternal Security.
I was quite fortunate not to be baptized in the Church of Christ. They believe in baptismal regeneration. Why did I almost get baptized in that church? Let me tell you.
1. I got saved and I knew that Jesus said we should be baptized. I wanted to do what Jesus said.
2. My old "Baptist" Church was "doing" baptism for another month. I did not want to wait. I was gushing with excitement.
3. I had a close friend who was Church of Christ. He told me that his preacher would baptize me this very day at this very moment if I called him and asked him to. I said, "Well...let me call my grandmother's church." That church was SBC, thank God or else I would have to be baptized again I suppose.
This brings up some interesting questions for me. According to my construction above, I would have met the requirements for baptism if I had let the Church of Christ minister baptize me. I did not believe that baptism would save me. I believed that I was already saved. Would it have mattered if the minister believed that I was being saved through baptism? Would he be baptizing me into his church and his doctrine or would I be being baptized into Christ?
I thought that we had already gone over this issue with the Donatists. Could someone remind me what we decided in that controversy about baptism?
We Must Do the Impossible
6 months ago