Parson to Person
The question arises from time to time, but recently more often: is there bias in Baptist churches and literature against baptism? The question does not mean to indicate that Baptists are openly critical of or disdainful of baptism, rather they purposefully push it into the background or omit discussing it to avoid conflicting discussions with others not of our stripe. Think a minute!
One evidence is a lack of underscoring its significance from pulpits. Ministers may feel intimidated by former waves of heresy surrounding the ordinance resulting in ministers being labeled in unfavorable ways. That may not be the case also, but whatever it is, there is a widespread toning down of its meaning, importance, and beauty.
Another evidence shows up in literature. The spiritual new birth is heavily emphasized, which is good, but to indicate that one has all that is important, or that there is full leadership accessibility of the Holy Spirit in rebellion or neglect of divine instructions regarding proper baptism and subsequent fellowship in a true New Testament church is to negate the very thrust of the New Testament itself. Whom do we fear, God or man? Whom do we seek to not offend by this subject, God or man?
When Baptists are biased against the joyful presentation of baptism are they ashamed of it, or do they think to win others by cunning deception in matters of truth?
Baptism has long served as the door to church membership predicated on the new birth. If Baptists are not seeking to win folks to proper New Testament church membership, they are not ministering the New Testament purpose. The new birth is as old as Adam’s sin in Eden, and while the New Covenant is predicated upon it, so was the Old Covenant as well. To fail in these matters is to fall into the practice of abandoning new believers to the clutches of heretical religious organizations as so many modern “evangelists” do.
It is important to emphasize the will of God for every new believer of the gospel. Pentecost is fundamentally important. There is an office work of the Holy Spirit to and in the Lord’s church whose benefit the unbaptized, unchurched miss. If the ordinance were not absolutely important, it would not be the consistent teaching of the New Covenant. Let such scripture verses as Luke 7:30, Matt. 28:19, Acts 2:38, and Romans 6:1-5 be revisited, and indelibly impressed in hearts and minds.
On the other hand to be boastful tends to create carnal elitism. There is a thin line but a definite line between a sense of thankfulness for one’s understanding and blessings, and a sense of arrogance or superiority that one may have over another.
Then let us witness of full truth in love for the Lord and His purpose, but be quick to attribute all of these things to the goodness of God which all may have who will believe and follow Him.