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Discussion in 'Church Order' started by SolaScriptura, Apr 5, 2009.
This is case where I agree with Mark Dever.
Since we're all saying what we think...
If I was a Baptist pastor, I'd think that those who were baptized as infants were not in fact baptized. And as such, while they may be genuine believers, they are sinning by not being baptized. As such, if I was a Baptist pastor I would, when fencing the table, exclude them from it. Regardless of how they feel.
If I was a Presbyterian pastor, I'd think that those who refused to baptize their infants are clearly living in open and unrepentant sin. And as such, I'd caution them against partaking of the Lord's supper. Regardless of their opinion on the subject.
Praise God I'm an Army Chaplain.
You're given some wiggle room there, aren't you?
Yep. I focus on trusting in Christ alone for salvation (as opposed to having made a decision at one time in the past). But I do believe baptism is a prerequisite, so I say, "... if you've been biblically baptized..." and I leave it to their conscience as to what precisely that means in terms of infant baptism or credo-only-baptism, etc.
I've never understood this. How can a man who is following his conscience, following the counsel of his elders, and following Scripture as he understands it, be labeled as, "clearly living in open and unrepentant sin"?
Because they're ALL wrong - his conscience, his elders, his understanding of Scripture - everything. What matters is my group's understanding. See, if my group is administering it, then WE get to decide what constitutes legitimate participation. It doesn't matter what your group says.
I was baptised as an infant in the Presbyterian Church and years later I was re-baptised as an adult when I joined a Southern Baptist Church. Does that make me an Anabaptist?
That was a long time ago. All of this discussion had given me pause to think.
I remember wrestling with the idea of it, but eventually submitted. I am now wondering about my motives in doing so. I think that I felt I was being to prideful in resisting. To me, it was an act of obedience to the rule of the church and a testimony affirming my salvation. ( Isn't that what is is anyway? ) My big burden today is rather all of those who sit in the pews in our church every Sunday convinced they are saved because they once walked an aile , said a prayer and were baptised......any yet were not and are not actually born again.
It makes sense, and that's precisely why we're all hunkered down in our respective camps. All with the best of intentions, of course.
I'm a Baptist because I am convinced, by scripture, that is the most biblical theological system. I hope my Presbyterian brethren feel the same way about their beliefs. If we dispense with the pride issue ("I'm right, and you're wrong."), we are left with some polarizing convictions. Ligonier conferences, Together for the Gospel, the Puritan Board; all are wonderful venues to bring Reformed believers together in areas of agreement. But as we celebrate our unity in gospel truth, we are going to inevitably reach areas of impasse. Some of these impasses separate us. These are the doctrinal issues we are willing to fall on our swords over. Besides unrepentant sin, is it Christ-like to deny the bread and the cup to believers for whom Christ died? Perhaps it is. If so, why? If we claim that the baptismal position of a brother is just cause to deny the elements, are we then saying that only the known sins we are guilty of warrant our abstaining? Would we not still be guilty of improperly taking the elements if we are abiding sin, even in our ignorance?
Greg, it does not make you an Anabaptist. Since you have been baptized upon a profession of faith, I would let it rest there and move on, unless you are convinced that the credo position is wrong. If that is the case, then you must follow your conscience.
There are many sitting in our pews who are baptized, either as an infant or upon a credible profession, that know not Christ. It is good that you have a burden for these people. Act on that burden by loving the saints; living the gospel before all, "that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven." Also, pray for your church; it's leaders and your fellow members.
Because there is not a fit presbyterian minister for hundreds of miles.
I went to a Southern Baptist church for a while. The pastor was a fan of my old pastor John Mac Arthur and began reforming his church.
He met with other RB ministers. I was able to support him and his church to follow him.
But his deacons, who functioned like elders, would not allow me to be a member even though he was for it. They said there are pres churches around let him go there even though we pointed they were dead liberal ones. They let me take communion but I wanted to be under the authority of the minister as well while I was there.
And I had been immersed back when I was a Baptist before I had decoded the riddle posed below, but because I now believed Paedo they would not let me in.
Eventually as they got more steeped into Bill Gothard so because of the rejection and a new Reformed work was starting we left for it.
-----Added 4/7/2009 at 02:24:26 EST-----
Is this a riddle? I got it I got it
24 For I will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all countries, and bring you into your own land. 25 Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. 26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.
Behold, My Servant shall deal prudently;
He shall be exalted and extolled and be very high.
14 Just as many were astonished at you,
So His visage was marred more than any man,
And His form more than the sons of men;
15 So shall He sprinkle many nations.
-----Added 4/7/2009 at 02:28:26 EST-----
Don't you wish. I haven't been in a Pres church that even did session controlled communion of visitors. If they think they qualify they get the Supper.
The elders say we fenced it by the notice in the bulletin or a few words before the Supper.
In the Free Reformed church you let your friends know if they wanted communion they had to meet with the elders before the service and give a credible profession and tell where they were members.
-----Added 4/7/2009 at 02:55:59 EST-----
Because to some baptists, the mode and recipients of baptism is not a matter of conscience. You are evil somehow, in my case, not sinning enough to not get communion but unfit for membership in the covenant even though I told them I would be willing to not to teach it.
I agree that accusations of 'open and unrepentant sin' come from both quarters. Why was it so important to you to have membership?
I believed it was the proper Biblical thing to do, to be under authority to the minister and be a member of the church while I was there.
It may have reformed more and I may have stayed for ever. Who knows I do not have the right to not be a member.
But in God's providence since they did not want me and another Reformed work started I decided to leave. Remained friends with the pastor and his family and others for a long time. Then we moved.
Also plus I think I have close communion leanings. At that time may even have had closed leanings. I believe the elders should strictly fence the table. Loved that in the Free Reformed church.
To tie back into the original question:
Piper did an audio Q and A concerning how the Baptism Resolution went down. I originally found the audio on Monergism's web site, but cannot find it anymore.
How does being a non-member prevent you from being under the authority of the minister?
Kind of a "praise the Lord" and "pass the ammunition" position?
Actually, as much as I follow the logic of your arguments, I would not be able to tell a professing Christian in fellowship with their own church that they are unwelcome at the table of the Lord. On the other hand, as much as I love my PB sis and brother circle here, and would hope to receive communion in their fellowships, I would not expect them to compromise their convictions on a membership matter to accommodate me.
My assistant is the wife of a LCMS pastor. His denomination will not permit me to be a guest speaker in his pulpit nor to partake of communion with them. I am not offended by their rules, but would not insist upon those standards in a Baptist church I pastored.
For clarification, in the first book of John, the pharisees were sent out to John the Baptist to enquire if he was the Christ, (1:19) because of what he was doing. The fact that he was baptizing gave them warrant to demand if he was the Christ, Eliajah, or the Prophet. They were frustrated because he appeared to be fulfilling a sign of Christ but he denied he was the Christ.. and they had to go back to their bosses to explain who he was.
"If you are not the Christ.. why are you baptizing?!" They obviously had some prophesy that Christ, Elijah or the Prophet would come baptizing, in a different and observable way, perhaps accompanied with what was being preached in association to the baptizing he was doing.
Was it because he was baptizing or could it have been because he was calling them to repent and prepare the way for the Messiah. Teaching some unusual thing in some unusual way.
Was it because many false Messiahs had come and if he said he was the Messiah they would have just thought he was one of those nuts?