Thursday, 09 October 2008

Baptism, Baptist and Church Memberships

I have a question that has been on my mind for a while and would appreciate some advice and information on the topic. I am looking for solid Biblical evidence for the link between Baptism as a requirement for church membership in many Baptist Churches. There must be some somewhere because when this topic is brought up many people are not even willing to discuss it. They hide behind words like fundamental. If you have some answers for me, I would appreciate hearing from you. I am not looking for history or tradition but Biblical evidence.

2 comments:

  1. Look you want for as long as you can you will not find one reference to Baptism & EARTHLY church membership. Baptism is described in terms of entry into the "invisible" church which only God can see in its entirety and which man is not alllowed to pass judgement upon or impose rules and regulations that narrow the biblical scope. Too often Baptism and physical church membership have been linked as being biblical. If this is so we might as well become Catholic in practice or better yet, Church of Christ, or Mormon. Physical church membership (of the country club democracy type that 95% of South African Baptists support)has zero Scriptural underpinning. Nada! Even John Piper is conflicted about this because is anyone knows his doctrine this dude does. But he won't split his church over doctrine and there is the lesson. relationships and mission (a church split will mean missionaries will have to come home) before doctrine, even if doctrine is bad. Those who disagree strongly enough and who argue for the purity of their doctrine at all costs must not sit in the pews and rant and cry "heresy" but must leave quietly and humbly to join a physical church of likewise conviction. Otherwise start another church far, far away. Funny thing is, whether the physical church is open or closed in membership there will be people from who will simultaneously be part of the true, invisible church and those who will be outide in God's eyes. There will even be people who have never darkened the door of a physical church who are part of the true church. They may even be Muslim.

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  2. Hi Neil
    My understanding of the link between Baptism and Church membership is historical. When the Baptists started they were breaking away from a Church that had lost its spiritual focus (17th Century Anglican Church). they wanted a dynamic spiritual church and so wanted people to have made a public demonstation of their faith. Baptism was that for them, and their small fellowships governed congregationally because they were all very spiritual people. It had great merits then. it is a far cry from what most Baptist Churches are now.

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