"Baptist" church may remove baptism requirement

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by baptistteacher, Jul 27, 2006.

  1. baptistteacher

    baptistteacher
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    A large SBC church in Edmond, Oklahoma will consider and vote on removing the requirement of being baptised before becoming a member of the church.

    http://www.channeloklahoma.com/news/9581346/detail.html

    Local Baptist Church Considers Removing Baptism Requirement

    EDMOND, Okla. -- A controversial vote could bring a major change at the state's biggest Baptist church.

    Soon, being baptized might not carry as much weight as it pertains to membership at Henderson Hills Baptist Church in Edmond.

    Church leaders said they believe baptism is integral to the Christian concept of a full relationship with Jesus Christ. However, they said the question is whether the physical act of baptism should be tied directly to church membership.

    "It is not intended to excuse people from the sin of refusing baptism," said Henderson Hills pastor Dennis Newkirk. "Instead, our concern is for Christians in two categories: those who physically cannot experience immersion due to disability and for those who are under the mistaken conviction that sprinkling is baptism."

    This weekend, those who belong to the Edmond church will vote on whether to continue to tie baptism to membership. Specifically, a vote to sever ties between baptism and membership would mean the removal of the words "has been scripturally baptized" from church by-laws, therefore removing baptism as a prerequisite to join Henderson Hills.
    ....
     
  2. baptistteacher

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    Remove "Baptist" from their name

    Maybe the next vote will be to remove Baptist from their name, and disassociate themselves from the Baptist denomination, as they will no longer truly be Baptist in doctrine.
     
  3. gekko

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    i think they should remove the requirement of baptism before becoming a member.

    if someone wants to become a member of a church (which isn't biblical anyways) - they should be allowed to.

    and in following that - they are saying they want to serve the church more.

    in becoming a member - they have made somewhat of a profession of faith to the public.

    after that - they should get baptized if they havn't already.

    then there's the fact that we should serve God before anything else.
     
  4. dallas

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    I agree. Unfortunately, this is a growing problem for Baptist "churches."
     
  5. OrovilleTim

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    That's the first thing I thought when I read their name and was surprised it was still present. I'm thinking "Henderson Hills Celebration Fellowship".
     
  6. DeeJay

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    I have wondered about this. I dont think we should be baptized to become a member of a church. I do think we should be baptized to be obediant to our Lord. I also think church membership should be for those who are willing to be obediant.

    This is confusing, but I dont think we should be baptized because we want to join a church. That is the wrong reason. I think baptisem should be seperated from church membership.

    However I think membership to a church should be for baptized members only.

    Does this make any sense.
     
  7. DeeJay

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    Is is baptist doctrine that the reason for baptisem is for membership in a local church?

    Or is it baptist doctrine that followers of Christ should follow Him in baptisem?
     
  8. rbell

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    The only argument of theirs I understand is the one regarding immersion of those who cannot physically be immersed. I think it's silly, however, to make that some sort of policy.

    Several times, as a nursing home chaplain, I "baptized" new believers who were bedridden, terminal, had feeding tubes, etc., by pouring. They wished to be baptized, but were prevented by medical conditions. But that can be handled in a local church setting without a policy change. I would think most Christians would argue for a bit of grace here.

    However...If a normal person isn't ready to follow in Christian obedience in baptism, they're not ready to be a church member.
     
  9. gb93433

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    If the requirement of baptism were lifted then some of the churches could no longer claim all those baptisms which have sometimes been done up to five times on the same person.
     
  10. El_Guero

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    gb - you know they will claim them all regardless of what their stance on baptism for membership is. It is just a 'body count' for them.

     
  11. El_Guero

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    They might be Presbyterian, pentecostal, or even non-denom - but they are not Baptist.

    IMO
     
  12. DeeJay

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    Again I ask, Is is baptist doctrine that the reason for baptisem is for membership in a local church?

    Or is it baptist doctrine that followers of Christ should follow Him in baptisem?

    I think membership should be limited to followers of Christ and followers of Christ are obediant in baptisem.

    BUT it sends the wrong message to say that the purpose of baptisem is to join a local church.

    I think membership should include more then baptisem it should include evidence of a changed life.
     
  13. LeBuick

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    With a vote they removed baptism? Maybe they should put what book they use before a vote. They'd probably vote in mad magizine.
     
  14. bapmom

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    DeeJay,

    I think you are getting the wrong impression here. Baptist doctrine is that a person needs to have been baptized in order to become a member, whether at a different Baptist church, or at the one voting them in. It is NOT saying anything about the purpose for baptism being membership. Just that baptism needs to have taken place BEFORE the person is considered for membership.....OR they need to be willing to be baptized and THEN become a member.
     
  15. DeeJay

    DeeJay
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    Bapmom

    I agree with that, my only concern is that the reason for baptisem is being masked by the words we use for church membership.

    I think all members of a local church should be baptised and my church does it this way. BUT we should make it clear that eventhough all church members are required to be baptised, membership is not the reason to be baptised.

    I agree with this statement from the artical.


    If it was up to me I think I would word the requirments for church membership differently. I would say something like "to be a member of this local church you must be a follower of and obidient to our Lord Jesus Christ."

    Of course this would include baptisem but also it would sever the act of baptisem from membership.

    In the end everything would be the same all members would be baptised.

    I guess my problem is with the wording used and how it could be misunderstood. You must be baptised to be a member of this local church. It sounds like baptisem is to gain membership. Instead of how it should be that membership is for obediant followers who have been baptised for the right reason.
     
  16. bapmom

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    I see, DeeJay. So you are objecting more to the practice some churches have of automatically making anyone baptized at their church a member? Ive come to not agree with that practice as well.
    Baptism and becoming a member should be two separate things.............meaning that just because you are baptized here does not mean you are a member here.
     
  17. DeeJay

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    Exactly. And we should make sure we are clear in our expinations of why we are baptised. I know there are people who will tell you that the reason they were baptised is so they could be a member of a church.
     
  18. drfuss

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    Why the rush for baptism and membership right after salvation? A better approach would be to wait 3-6 months to have more confidence that people actually committed their life to the Lord.

    If we get away from this "kneel em, dunk em and join em" approach, we would have less members, but they would be more committed. Of course, if this was practiced over a number of years, a church may only have about half the members they have on the rolls now. For instance, the SBC may only have 10 million instead of 17 million members on the rolls.
     
  19. gb93433

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    I once heard a pastor who pastored a larged church talk about church membership. In the church he pastored, to become a member one had to lead another to Christ. When that person came forward to announce their decision for Christ the person who led them to Christ came forward also.
     
  20. gekko

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    that's borderlining on the edge of heresy.

    why wouldn't you want to get baptized right after salvation? why wait? are you ashamed of the gospel of Christ? scared of what people might think of you? dont feel like getting wet?

    why not? you dont want to obey Christ? He commanded it after all. why would you openly and so willingly disobey Christ in not getting baptized?

    these people who have waited 16 years to get baptized. i question if they have faith. its far fetched i know.

    but why would you not want to get baptized immediately after salvation?

    what's holding you back? everybody in scripture got baptized right after salvation - in fact baptism and salvation are sometimes mentioned in the same sentence (mostly speaking of spiritual baptism).

    why would you not want to make a profession of faith to those around you?
    ---

    "for i am not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ..."
     

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