Should Baptist Churches accept some other church's baptism even though
the person who was baptized may have been immersed? This is a question
that is very much before the churches of our day. But before we go too
far into this subject let us consider for a moment who has authority to
baptize. When a man is ordained as a minister of the gospel does his ordination
automatically carry with it the authority to baptize any person who might
ask to be baptized? There are many people today who call themselves Baptists
who would say the preacher has that authority. But God's born again ones
should seriously consider the question. Is baptism a church ordinance or
a preacher ordinance? If it is a church ordinance as this writer firmly
believes it is, should the church not have some say so as to who is to
be baptized and who is to do the baptizing?
If we are agreed that baptism is strictly a church ordinance, then let us consider what church, or churches have Scriptural authority to baptize. All of us agree that Christ established His Church, and some of us agree that He did it Himself while He was still here on the earth. We must all agree that He said the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it. That means that His Church is still here today. It means, furthermore, that it has been here everyday since He established it. Since that is true, why did the Holy Spirit not lead men like Martin Luther, Henry VIII, John Calvin and John Wesley into the church our Lord had al ready put here? Why would the Holy Spirit be a party to bringing in a host of different churches with widely divergent doctrines after having told us so many times to believe the same thing, to speak the same thing and to have no divisions among us? It should be clear to everyone that our Lord has had absolutely nothing to do with all these divisions except to permit them. And there is no justification for them except it be that everyone may be able to believe and practice whatever he pleases. Who can say our Lord would ever be a party to something like that? The Bible is not like a pair of stretchy socks which is made to fit any and everybody, but rather we are to fit our lives to it. If there is any stretching and yielding to be done, it must be done by us. For the Word of God is steadfast and unmovable. It has the same meaning today that it had a thousand years ago, and it will have that same meaning forevermore.
If you can believe that our Lord went contrary to such great Scriptures as
I Peter 3:8 - "Finally, be ye all of one mind, ..."
2 Corinthians 13:11 - "Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, ..."
Romans 12:16 - "Be of the same mind one toward another."
Philippians 2:2 - "Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind."
I Corinthians 1:10 - "Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment."
and led Luther, Calvin, Wesley and others to establish other churches, then you can accept alien baptism freely without any compunction of conscience. But if you, like the writer, believe He had absolutely nothing to do with the establishing of al this conglomeration of churches, you must surely agree with the writer that our Lord would not be satisfied with their baptism regardless of their mode. So why should we be satisfied with it?
Baptist Churches of a generation ago would never have accepted alien baptism under any circumstances. But modernistic teaching and preaching has confused the thinking of many Baptists of today. Broadminded tolerance among church people, which is pure, unmitigated modernism, has outmoded Scriptures like, "Come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord" (2 Corinthians 6:17). Those who believe old fogy Scriptures like that are about as popular today as our Lord was in Matthew 27:22 - "Pilate saith unto them, What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ? They all say unto him, Let him be crucified."
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