New Church

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Marco, Nov 4, 2005.

  1. Marco

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    Yesterday I took the advice of this board and started asking some questions about my Church. Indeed, it turns out the Pastor has no training of any sort and the Church use to be members of a group called Jehovah Witnesses. Anyway, I told them I wasn't interested and found me a new Church this Morning from the advice of my neighborhood. I'm embarrassed, but learned a good lesson. There are no charges in this Church, no $50 a week or $250 membership fee - all if Free. For some reason the Pastor, who has had training with 30 years experience, suggested I may want to be baptized again due to the strange place I was involved with beforehand. Should I take his advice? Also, this Church uses a translation called the New King James Bible. However, the Pastor and members said I was free to use any translation I liked. Does this sound normal to you guys?

    ~Marco
     
  2. bapmom

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    This sounds more normal, yes. BTW, for future reference, Baptist churches (from what I know) do not charge membership fees and they do not have weekly amounts that they REQUIRE you to give. They are not money-making enterprises.

    A real church will have something we usually call a "church constitution". It lays out what that church believes about the Bible, God, Salvation, and several other issues.

    Some completely legit churches use exclusively one version of the Bible over others, but ideally you should not be looked down upon or ridiculed for such things....especially not from the pastor himself.

    Id probably agree with the pastor of this new church. However, before you take that step, since you did have such an odd experience so recently, I think you should ask for the church's statement of belief, or church constitution, and read it....find out if you can agree with it. THEN decide if you want that congregation to baptize you.
     
  3. NaasPreacher (C4K)

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    Sounds much better.

    I would prayerfully consider baptism. It does not sound like you previous baptism was a biblical one, but that is something to pray about and discuss with your new pastor.
     
  4. Gold Dragon

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    The Jehovah's Witnesses are a group that considers itself Christian but their unorthodox theology and practices has lead many traditionally Christian groups to distance themselves from JWs and label it as a "cult". Many JWs who leave find themselves having affinity to Baptist churches.

    I don't necessarily mind that some of them used to be JWs, but if all or a significant majority of them were, then that isn't a good place to start a Christian walk. And the fact that the pastor has no formal training should send of huge warning lights, not to mention the fees.

    That sounds much more normal. As for rebaptism, I personally wouldn't make a big deal about it, but many baptists do so that is pretty normal. I guess I'm the abnormal one there. ;)
     
  5. bapmom

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    Marco,

    I need to ask you this, too.....what were you told about how to be saved?
     
  6. Todd

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    Macro, as far as the translation goes, I preach from the NKJV - it is a very accurate and readable translation. As for the Jehovah's Witnesses, be thankful that you didn't get mixed up with that group. They are a cult - in other words, they reject some of the most important biblical teachings about Jesus Christ (His full deity, His atoning work making perfect payment for man's sins, etc.). There are many cult groups like them (Mormons, Christian Science group, Moonies, etc.). Stay away from such groups because they are apostate and they seek to divert many away from the church by teaching a false gospel and a works salvation.

    As for the membership fee issue, no genuine NT church would ever charge anyone a fee to have fellowship with the Body of Christ. That's not to say that a church may not have a special event from time to time where they might ask for a donation or a registration fee, but even on those occasions a genuine NT church would not allow money to come between someone pursuing a deeper level of intimacy with God. You should thank God that you were kept from following after such a godless ministry.

    As far as the baptism goes, you shouldn't need to be rebaptized if you have already professed Christ as Savior and received believer's baptism in another church. The only time a Baptist church should ask you to be "re-baptized" is if you are coming from a church that belonged to a different denomination - a church that didn't practice believer's baptism. For instance, if you were formerly Methodist and now wanted to join a Baptist church, the church would certainly ask you to be baptized by immersion because the majority of Methodist churches no longer practice believer's baptism by immersion. While such groups as the Methodists and Presbyterians practice what is called "sprinkling" (of infants normally), they don't believe that it is necessary for adults to be baptized by immersion upon profession of their faith in Jesus Christ. As Baptists, we obviously believe that such groups are misguided and are not observing the ordinance of baptism in a biblical way.

    Long story short - if you have received believer's baptism by immersion in another Christian church, you shouldn't need to be "re-baptized." On the other hand, if you've never acted in obedience to the command of Jesus to be baptized by immersion, you shouldn't put off being baptized any longer. Maybe the best thing for you to do is to talk to the Pastor and explain to him your salvation testimony. Just know that some churches are very strict when it comes to the baptisms of those who come from other churches than their own - especially Independent Baptist churches. Some churches will not even accept a person's baptism as legitimate if it was not performed by them. If you find this to be the case with the church you are attending, you should proceed with caution. That probably means that you've found yourself in a very legalistic church, and that will be of no benefit to you either.

    Please let us know how things develop. Email me if you have any other detailed questions that I might be able to help answer.
     
  7. Marco

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    My old church involved the following in baptism: I had to drink a full glass of water which contained the Holy Spirit. I had to state I believed Jesus was send by God and I had to believe in the Bible.
    My new Church does not consider this correct and urged me to do a baptism in their church. It involves, the pastor told me: Baptism by full immersion, the Pastor states Matthew 28:19, before my baptism I have to believe Jesus is God and died for my sins and that the Bible is the only authoritative source of God’s truth. They also have a church constitution which I haven't read through yet or discussed with this pastor.
    Anyway, I going to go to this church for a month before I do anything. My last experience was not the best in retrospect.

    ~Marco
     
  8. bapmom

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    Marco,

    did your old church tell you that their "baptism" was how you would become a child of God? or in other words how you would be saved?

    it sounds like your new church is much more Biblical, and I would suggest exactly waht you've said....go there for at least a month and ask your pastor lots of questions.
     
  9. Gold Dragon

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    Wow. Baptism by drinking? While I support de-emphasizing the mode of baptism, this is simply the weirdest baptism I've ever heard of.

    I would definitely talk about baptism and salvation with the new church. Waiting a month to get to know the church is a wise course of action.
     
  10. Marco

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    bapmom: Basically, my old church said, I would be saved if I got baptized by drinking the glass of water which contained the Holy Spirit. That Jesus was the most loved prophet of God and that I must believe the Bible to be saved. That was it. I did that a few weeks ago. I have never been Baptized before so I didn't think any of it until I met this new Pastor. He asked me if I was baptized before this experience and I said no. He says they recognize other baptisms from other churches that use a Trinitarian formula and by full immersion. However, in my case I have not done this, as such he has requested I think about doing a baptism in their church if I so decide to be a member. He has invited me to some classes that involves other baptist churches meeting together to discuss issues.
    Anyway, thanks for the help. I'm lucky. I could have stayed with my old church and have been broke in the process.

    Peace,
    ~Marco
     
  11. Todd

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    Bapmom, with all due respect, I don't know that we should be "de-emphasizing the mode of baptism." If you will remember your history (I'm assuming you are a Baptist), it was our Baptist forefathers (the Anabaptists as they were called) who were tortured and even drowned because they would not "de-emphasize" the biblical mode of baptism. Believer's baptism is really what sets us apart as Baptists - it represents the truth of 2 Cor. 5:17: "If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away, behold, all things have become new."

    May I submit that we don't need to de-emphasize baptism just to make our churches more pragmatic or user-friendly. Rather, we need to emphasize the teaching of baptism and use it as an opportunity to help new converts and others understand the richness of the salvation that is ours in Christ Jesus. In what you are calling the "de-emphasis" of one's mode of baptism, are you suggesting that we allow Methodists and Presbyterians to join our Baptist churches just because they claim to have made some profession of faith in Christ? The way I read my Bible, believer's baptism is a Christian's profession of faith within the Body of Christ. Maybe I have just misunderstood you - please correct me if I'm wrong.
     
  12. bapmom

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    Marco,

    do you now realize that what your old church told you is NOT the way to be saved?

    Im assuming that this new pastor has discussed this with you. He has probaly met others from this group you were in, but even if he hasn't I would hope that he would talk with you about salvation BEFORE you are rebaptized.

    Being baptized is not a part of being saved. Being saved means one has trusted in Christ as their saviour. Jesus Christ was/is more than just "God's most beloved prophet." Jesus Christ is God's only begotten Son, He is the Prince of Peace, the everlasting Father, the Mighty God.
    Jesus died for your sins on the cross, and He rose again, conquering death, so that someday we can, too.

    If you have not already done so, you need to trust in Christ as your own personal Saviour, recognizing Him as being the only One who can possibly provide the way for you to be acceptable to God.

    You are right, God took you out of that first church, and Im glad theres another church available to you.
     
  13. bapmom

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    Todd,

    that was Gold Dragon who said that about de-emphasizing. Otherwise, Im right on board with what you were saying!
     
  14. Todd

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    Macro, I think you are very wise in seeking the counsel of the Pastor in the church you are now attending. It sounds as though he is committed to the Word of God and to biblical baptism - believer's baptism. May I also ask if you have ever properly understood what it takes for a person to be saved? I know you're having this discussion with bapmom, but it sounds to me that you've never properly understood the Gospel. Paul clearly said that it is "by grace you have been saved through faith, it is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast" (Eph. 2:8-9). If we could be saved by drinking a glass of water, that would be a work. And we are saved by works, then God's Word is not true. Thus, it is plain for you to see that the teaching of the cult you were formerly involved with is wrong. My concern is that maybe you've never properly understood the Gospel and been saved through faith alone in Jesus Christ. If you haven't received God's grace through faith alone, I'm sure your Pastor would be thrilled to share with you how you can do just that. Don't delay speaking to your new Pastor - seek his counsel ASAP to make sure that you have indeed placed your faith and trust in Christ alone for the forgiveness of your sins. It sounds like a very exciting time in your life - submit yourself to Christ's Lordship and I'm sure God will use you for His glory (1 Cor. 10:31).
     
  15. Gold Dragon

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    That was me that used the phrase de-emphasizing the mode of baptism and not bapmom. But yes you are correct, it is about acknowledging the modes used by other Christian groups. Yes, this is not a popular opinion among baptists. Yes, this is a disagreement over the interpretation of the relevant biblical passages.

    I do subscribe to believer's baptism by immersion, which is how I was baptised. I understand why it is theologically and historically important to baptists. But I think getting caught up in the mode of baptism that we consider to be "symbolic" (which I also am willing to challenge) is a distraction to more important issues.

    But, baptism by drinking even pushes my *gasp* "liberal" boundaries.
     
  16. Todd

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    Bapmom, my dearest apologizes. I need to do a better job of reading. Maybe Gold Dragon will respond to our concerns.
     
  17. Marco

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    You know what, I just don't know a thing. I do believe Jesus died for my sins, that I deserve to go to Hell, and that Jesus has given me a wonderful gift that I want to accept. I believe that faith in Jesus Christ alone and not works will achieve Salvation. That's all I know. I never told my new Pastor any of this because I am embarrassed about my old church. I admit, I am not a smart group like you guys and I cannot give versus to such and such. I have already made a big mistake with this old church. I was just so excited and wanted to embrace God, while not doing any homework.

    I don't know. I'm going to stick with this new Pastor because he is open and seems to have a kind heart. He wants me to meet with other Baptist groups and understand what Salvation is all about. I don't know why, but he said baptism is secondary - that baptism is an outward confession of my faith. Understanding Jesus and Salvation he says is key...

    ~Marco
     
  18. Todd

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    Gold Dragon, I'm concerned that you're taking such a light-hearted view to something that was clearly commanded of believers by Christ in the Word of God (Mt. 28:19-20). Not only is believer's baptism commanded of Christians, but is the only mode of baptism that we find utilized by the church as we look to the NT. There is not even a hint of infant baptism as we look to the Word of God. Again, that is why our Baptist forefathers broke fellowship with the mainline Reformers - if you will recall, that is why they were branded as "radical reformers."

    Again, it just strikes me as very odd that a Baptist would have such a light-hearted view of something that is so foundational to our relationship with Jesus Christ. Believer's baptism is plainly commanded in the Bible, it is a symbol of what happens during one's salvation, it is the mode of baptism used throughout the NT, and it stands in clear contrast to the infant baptism of the Reformers. How could such a foundational doctrine become for you something that churches are just "getting caught up in?"
     
  19. Gold Dragon

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    I don't want to hijack this thread, so maybe we should take this to another one. Sorry Marco.
     
  20. bapmom

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    Marco,

    I like your new pastor, too. [​IMG]

    I bet he's the kind of man who you don't need to feel embarrassed around. Try to tell him if you are confused, or if you have a question. ALL of us went through this when we were first saved.....I mean its not about smarts. YOU are an example to me of how I should be more. Keep studying, be open to learning, and keep studying on your own so that you can be sure you are being taught right.

    Its ok to ask questions, and to open up to your pastor about things if you need to.

    We'll be praying for you, too!
     

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