Precedence of Baptism as a Prerequisite for Participation in Lord's Supper

Discussion in 'Baptist History' started by Hardsheller, Dec 6, 2005.

  1. Hardsheller

    Hardsheller
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    There is a debate among some Missouri Southern Baptists about the Ordinances of Baptism and the Lord's Supper.

    Baptists for as long as I can tell have insisted on Baptism being a prerequisite for participation in the Lord's Supper.

    I would be interested in quotes from early Baptists that support or deny this position.
     
  2. gb93433

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    It is one thing to say you believe something and quite another to apply it.

    Who cares about what early Baptists think. That is the problem with the politicians today. They spend so much time fighting over and are not discipling people. What the Bible teaches is what matters. What really matters even more is obedience to the commands of scripture. How many of those folks who insist on having everything perfect also insist on personal discipleship. How many folks who are deacons are personally discipling at least one person? That is the real problem.

    Paul didn't come to baptize but to preach the gospel.

    If you are going to insist on everything being correct then throw away all the baptismals in churches and immerse the people in the public square. Also require people to name Jesus as Lord.

    A man can lead another to Christ but cannot participate in the Lord's supper because he has not been baptized yet? What did Jesus say to the man hanging next to him? I suspect having the Lord's supper was not important.

    Several years ago my mother in law was visiting us and we went to a large SBC church. When they had the Lord's supper the pastor announced that each person participating had to be a Christian and been baptized. I was furious at such nonsense. My mother in law called herself a Christian and was "baptized" because she had gone to church as a kid and was sprinkled as an infant. The pastor made no attempt to explain what it meant to be a Christian and be baptized. According to her she participated and did not even have a clue what it meant to be a Christian and be baptized. We knew she was not a Christian and had not been immersed. That pastor just reinforced her idea of what a Christian was and what baptism was.

    Later I confronted that pastor and explained to him what he had done. I also explained that if he was going to do such a thing then the gospel should be given and a time for response and then followed by a baptism. That practice stopped immediately.
     
  3. rsr

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    Because this is the Baptist history forum, we do.

    Please try to stay on the subject of Baptist history; theological discussions should be taken elsewhere.

    Thank you.
     
  4. Hardsheller

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    gb93433,

    Thank you for your response however is does not address the intent of my post.

    I started this thread in the Baptist History forum because I wanted Historical information not opinion or modern practice.
     
  5. rlvaughn

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    Hardsheller, here are a few quick online finds.

    http://www.reformedreader.org/history/simms/ccbylaws.htm
    http://www.reformedreader.org/history/simms/toc.htm
    This is what some claim to be the oldest black Baptist church in America, organized ca. 1788 in Savannah, GA. I was unable to document whether this is their original articles.
    From Hiscox's Church Manual, as found on http://www.fbinstitute.com/hiscox/chapter16.html

    This looks like it might be interesting, though I’ve only glanced at it:
    http://victorian.fortunecity.com/dadd/464/survey.html
     
  6. imported_J.R. Graves

    imported_J.R. Graves
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    Hardsheller,

    Tell us more about this debate on the ordinances that is going on right now among Missouri Southern Baptists. Is the controversy in the state convention, at the associational level, or just in a few local churches? I would like to learn more. Thanks
     
  7. Hardsheller

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    We have an online discussion list here in Missouri that a couple of us started and have maintained for several years. We currently have about 200 participants.

    The discussion on Baptism has been going on for about a week now.

    All are free to read the posts and If you're a Southern Baptist you can join and participate.

    PM me for the address to the list as I'm not sure that I'm allowed to post it here.

    We could start the same discussion here on the Baptist Board in a debate forum is there was enough interest.

    What I'm finding is that a lot of pastors (younger mostly) have no clue as to what the Baptist Distinctives are or why we as Baptists are different from other groups.
     
  8. rlvaughn

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    Amen!. It's not that we think it is somehow inspired or near equivalent with Scripture, but in the words of Charles Spurgeon, "It seems odd, that certain men who talk so much of what the Holy Spirit reveals to themselves, should think so little of what he has revealed to others." I am interested in what He has revealed to others, especially those I consider my forefathers in the faith.

    Hardsheller, as I get time I will hope to add some more (perhaps older) quotes.
     
  9. NateT

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    I'm not sure if you consider it baptist history. We just had a business meeting about this in our church. In that meeting, it was pointed out that the default position of NT churches was baptized believers were members. Additionally, it was an unknown situation to have an "unbaptized believer." Therefore, there was grounds for holding an "only baptized believers" stance.

    You might look at the SBTS' Abstract of Principles (written by Basil Manly I believe -- or Jame Boyce), because the abstracts require the profs attend a church that allowed Lord's supper only for baptized believer. That document is almost 150 years old, and might have some discussion on that article.
     
  10. PastorSBC1303

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    So because people disagree they are clueless about baptist history? I think that is a stretch big time.
     
  11. Squire Robertsson

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    Personally, I use this syllogism for this situation.
    Participation in the Lord's Supper is open to obedient Believers.
    Baptism is a sign of obedience instituted by Our Lord.
    Baptists hold the only Scriptural mode for Baptism is immersion. Anything else is just getting wet.
    Unbaptized (unimmersed) Believers are disobedient Believers.
    Therefor unimmersed believers hence disobedient Believers should not partake of the Lord's Supper.
     
  12. TaterTot

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    SOme believers are running from God's call. Some believers know to do good, and dont do it. All that is disobedience. But, hey, since they are immersed, they can partake.

    That doesnt make sense from a biblical point of view. The only disciple that we KNOW was baptized was John. We assume the others were. I may be mistaken, but didnt Judas partake? And Peter? They were also disobedient.

    I seem to remember that somewhere around the 300's in North AFrica, people were required to be baptized before they could even enter worship. And there was an immersion tank in St. John Latimer, (during Constantine's time) which was the Pope's church before St. Peters was built. So I agree that there is a historical precedence, though we may not agree with it.

    [ December 06, 2005, 05:33 PM: Message edited by: TaterTot ]
     
  13. Squire Robertsson

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    No matter what I think is right and proper, the question is what should be the real focus of the Lord's Supper?

    In answering this question, keep in mind these parameters:</font>
    • Your church is located in a place convenient to transients (tourists, visiting business folk, et al.)</font>
    • In the providence of God many of these out of town visitors come through your door on a Sunday morning.</font>
    • They may come from a church of like precious faith but not neccessarily like precious order.</font>
    • This maybe the first time they've attended a Baptist service.</font>
     
  14. TaterTot

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    Well, I am tempted to discuss it, but it doesnt have anything to do with the historical precedence, which we have been kindly asked to note.
     
  15. gb93433

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  16. gb93433

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    That is not always true. Lack of being baptized may but does not always constitute disobedience. The man hanging next to Jesus was not baptized. Was he disobedient? Paul did not come to baptize but to preach the gospel.

    For three years I led Bible studies and led people to Christ on the campus where I was a student. Each time I would listen to the pastor talk about baptism and that it was a sign of being a believer. I knew I was a believer and had led several to Christ. In fact I had spoken on the campus to several hundered at once. So I saw no need to make a proclamation that I was a Christian. It was rather well known that I was. I had written articles expresing my faith in the college newspaper circulated to 16,000 students. One of my professors had given me some trouble. He was the bishop of the local Mormon church. The men in white shirts were told not to pay me a visit. I have not been visited by one in years. They have gone by my house to the next one for many years.

    The church is filled with loads of disobeient immersed people who never lead someone to Christ or ever make disciples. Because of that I have to sereiously question their salvation experience.
     
  17. Johnv

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    I believe that is an issue that each individual church has local autonomy to decide for itself. So long as they don't tell other churches that they're wrong for not doing it like them, then there's no problem here.
    I disagree completely. A person who refuses outright to be baptized may qualify as disobedient, but no more disobedient than a person who refuses to partake in the Lord's Supper.

    A person who has not yet been baptized, but plans to do so in the future, is by no means disobedient. I myself did not get baptized for a while after I got saved (if memory serves me correctly, I believe it was about a year or two).
     
  18. NateT

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    I'm sure there are pado-baptists who are walking closer to God than I am, yet the scripture does teach us to be baptized.

    Additionally, the thief on the cross did not join a church, nor did he partake of the Lord's supper on this earth.

    As to the OP, this article seems to deal with that issue to some degree.
     
  19. gb93433

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    Practically speaking the vast majority of people who are baptized sitting week after week in our churches have never led anyone to Christ. Even less ever disciple anyone. Is that obedience? They have been immersed. The question is have they been baptized? I would contend that so many have just gotten wet and Christ has never penetrated their lives. They have come forward under false pretenses.

    If one looks at the context in the NT it is quite easy to see why one was baptized. It was never in a baptismal or church. It was in public view. When one was baptized it clearly demonstrated obedience because one could lose his life by openly declaring Jesus as Lord. By declaring Jesus as Lord it meant the emperor was renounced and he could have reason to have them executed.

    In some other countries one could lose their life for following Jesus baptized or not.

    The man on the cross did join the church led by Jesus.

    I have never placed much stock in getting baptized. I have always taught on it and left it up to the individual. Years ago my daughter had issues with water. She was very afraid of water. That prompted her to want to take swimming lessons. Once she got over that fear she made the decision and requested that I baptize her. During that time we never made it an issue. We let her struggle with that issue. But at the same time she was sharing her faith with her friends at school. She knocked on doors with me since she was about five years old.

    The fact is that I have seen so many people I have discipled over the years be strong because they have wrestled with God.

    Many years ago I had noticed a man who shared his faith a lot and those he discipled did the same thing. SO one day I asked him about it. I asked him waht he did. His response shocked me, "Nothing." He told me he prays foo them and disciples them. When they are ready they will begin to share their faith.

    A few years ago I noticed a young lady in the youth group who seeemd to be having some struggles. People knew she had been baptized. However she did not share a faith in Christ and was quite reserved with others. One Sunday she came forward and said that she wanted to be baptized. She told me that she had come forward years earlier becasue her friends had. She was dunked then, but was not born again. When she came forward we saw an immediate difference. we began to see a person who shared her faith.

    A lot of churches will not let people become members until they are at least 18.

    We can talk intellectual theology all day and night but we must make it real to those we lead. We must make them aware of the seriousness of their coimmitment and not soft peddle it.

    When the early Christians were baptized it mean tthey could be executed. That's baptism and making Christ their Lord.
     
  20. rsr

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    Folks, we are straying from the topic. I will snip other posts that do not deal with the historical facets of the discussion. Feel free to start another thread in the theology forum.
     

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