Advice On Issue In Ministry

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by Bro. Jeff, Mar 27, 2004.

  1. Bro. Jeff

    Bro. Jeff
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    I was reading on a youth ministry board about a situation similar to one I've been through and thought I'd see how the people on this board would handle it.

    Here is the situation:

    I'm at summer camp. The speaker there preaches the Word and several students make first time professions of faith. During counseling with the students you teach them that not only is Christ the Savior but also the Lord and one of the first acts of obedience to Him is to be baptized.

    On returning from camp you find out that although the parents of the student are fine with their child being baptized they have not decided yet to make your church their home church and are still in the process of considering where God would have them join. Therefore can their child be baptized but not come as a canidate for membership?

    In my situation (and the other YM who I was reading's situation, except he had more teens because of a fruitful revival) I was told by my interim pastor that one must come as a canidate for membership when coming for baptism. When I talked to the chairman of deacons I was told the same thing.

    Keep in mind, I desire to be in submission to the authority of my pastor (even the interim pastor) and the deacon body.

    What should I do or what would you do?
     
  2. j_barner2000

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    In my humble opinion, we look at the people who were baptized in Acts.. For example, the Etheopian eunic was baptized, however, not into membership in a particular congregation, but into The Church or the Body of Christ.
     
  3. Trotter

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    Amen, j_barner!

    I know of several people who have never been baptized because they were told that they would have to join the church to do so. A common, but unbiblical, practice.

    In Christ,
    Trotter
     
  4. Pastor Larry

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    I would not baptize anyone who did not intend to became a member of this church. The pattern of Scripture is that water baptism is the outward symbol of Spirit baptism. As Spirit baptism brings one into the invisible body, so water baptism brings one into the universal body.

    The baptism into the body of Christ is spirit baptism, not water baptism. The lone exception to this doctrine of water baptism is the Ethiopian eunuch. It would be dangerous to build a doctrine on teh exception.
     
  5. Grasshopper

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    Baptize the kid. Let them choose the church of thier choice.
    The church is basically saying "Yeh, we'll baptize you on the condition you join our church" That church would be the last on my list to join.
     
  6. Rosell

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    I can't see that the scriptures would support the requirement that a person must become a "candidate for membership" in the church as a result of being baptized. Hopefully, by the time a person has come to the waters of baptism, they are already a part of the body of Christ. When they get ready to join a local church, they can provide personal testimony of their faith. I've never understood the formalities associated with local church membership that Baptists in particular seem to be so fascinated with. There's no scriptural support for all that flummery.
     
  7. gb93433

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    I think legally we must honor the request of the parents with a minor.

    Some churches do baptize people but the baptism does not make them a member of that local church. To become a member they must go through some classes first.

    Many times I have often thought about the legality of a voting member. Many churches do not let minors become voting members. Some churches allow youth to become members but they cannot vote until they are 18.
     
  8. USN2Pulpit

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    You could approach it this way - so he/she becomes a member of the church. If it is decided later that another church body is the place for them, simply supply that church with the "letter" when requested. It doesn't have to be a big deal with all the pressure associated.
     
  9. Pastor Larry

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    Why wouldn't you just tell the teen to find the church he wants to join and get baptized there?? This has long been a Baptist principle and in fact, I am not sure how one can be a Baptist while denying it ... though I have learned that many Baptist are remarkably flexible. I think it certainly has the backing of Scripture. And besides that, it just seems like common sense, to me anyways ...
     
  10. Bro. Jeff

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    Not the issue. Is it biblical? And btw, it's not "baptist" as I know it.

    How can you say that? It's not like we are talking about immersion vs. sprinkling.

    Care to provide some references?

     
  11. Pastor Larry

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    Yes it is biblical ... and it is baptist. Water baptism is the introductory rite into local church membership. When you look at the book of Acts, those who received the word were baptized and were added to the church. It is clear that it is not the universal church since that happened at "received the word." This admission happened after baptism.

    The question remains, why not tell the person to find the church he wants to join and get baptized there?? I am still confused by that. Why would you get baptized at a church you did not intend to join?
     
  12. Bro. Jeff

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    Yes it was into the universal church because at that time that was the universal church.

    And at least as far as the situation I was involved in the kid wanted to be obedient but also respect her parents decision.
     
  13. Pastor Larry

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    Huh???? You are right that at that time, the universal church and local church at Jerusalem were co-extensive, but it seems that the Scripture makes very clear distinction. Water baptism does not bring one into the invisible church. It cannot unless water baptism is necessary for salvation, for all who are saved are part of the universal church whether or not they have been baptized. I agree that in Acts 2, those people were brought into the universal church, but not by the act of baptism. That is essentially a salvation by baptism argument. A person is in the body of Christ the minute they are Spirit-baptized, i.e., at hte moment of salvation. They are not members of the local church until they are water baptized.

    But one cannot be obedient without being a member of a local church. I agree that we ought to be baptized. I think it is imperative. But it is no less imperative that being a fully functioning member of a local church where you are employed in using your gifts to build the body. Neither one is optional. I would never tell anyone not to get baptized. I would find out what is going on with the parents for sure. I don't think one should join a church on the first visit; in fact, I would discourage that. I would however, find out what the hang ups are. If they are not comfortable at your church, then why are they coming. If they want to continue to come for some time to see if this is where they want to get involved, then that is fine. I would encourage them to wait until that point for baptism.

    It does create an interesting situation when the child wants to be biblically obedient and the parents are not willing for that to happen. What to do then??? (To branch this subject out into a larger one.)
     
  14. Bro. Jeff

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    Huh???? You are right that at that time, the universal church and local church at Jerusalem were co-extensive, but it seems that the Scripture makes very clear distinction. </font>[/QUOTE]Where is this distinction made?

    I absolutely agree

    That's not universally true. A more accurate statement would be that one isn't a member of a local church until that same person meets the requirements for membership. Baptism is often (and IMO should be) the key issue but isn't always.

    Again, agreed. But that issue isn't as pressing as being baptized.

    I'm glad to hear that.

    I agree. But this is a seperate issue.

    Based on what? Nothing associated with the calls to baptism in scripture join the rite to becoming a member of a local body.

    I guess I gave the wrong impression. They are more than willing for her to be baptized. They aren't holding her back.

     
  15. Frogman

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    Pastor Larry,
    You know my position on the church, but I wanted to say that I am in agreement with you on this that the best advice to this person is to find the church he/she wishes to join and receive baptism at that place with the intention of joining into that particular local body.

    I don't understand why there is a problem with this. Even if the church the youth minister is out of baptizes this person, more than likely, they are not going to 'join' that church or this question would probably have never come up.

    The best solution is to rejoice in the salvation of this young person and show them the Biblical reason for Baptism and let them request baptism from where they wish. End of question.

    Otherwise, there is the beginning tremor of shaky ground to 'baptize' this person and then let them go where they will. It is more sensible to advise them to go where they will and request baptism on the ground of their repentance and faith.

    What is the problem?
    Bro. Dallas
     
  16. Bro. Jeff

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    Because at this point the issue of where they will join is still down the road. Most lost people, especially students, don't have the foggiest care about joining a church.

    Now that the young lady is saved there is plenty of time for her to prayerfully evaluate where she should join but in the meantime she wishes to be obedient to the Lord.
     
  17. Frogman

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    Then it is the proper method to baptize her into the membership of the body which administers her baptism.

    Then she should support that body until down the road she desires to go some place else and that should be determined at that place and time whether her letter can be sent to the 'new' local body.

    This is Baptist practice and is supported by scripture.

    Bro. Dallas
     
  18. Bro. Jeff

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    Why?

    I've yet to see evidence for that position. In fact, scripture is heavy on the opposite side. Care to provide some?
     
  19. atestring

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    IMO Part of the Apostles Creed say I believe in the holy catholic Church (not necessalrily Roman Catholic).
    Therefore to be baptized into the Body of Christ is a different issue than being a member of a specific Church.
    Why not baptize since Matthew 28 commands us to do so and then let The Lord place people in His body severally as He wills.
     
  20. atestring

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    Excuse my Post. I did not realize that I was posting in a pastors forum. I respect this and
    will post elsewhere.
     

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