Membership will be granted to anyone who offers a biblical testimony of salvation,As has been previously noted here, the Baptist Messenger, Oklahoma's state Baptist weekly, has published several articles about this proposal. These articles are available online, and they are excellent. What I would like to do here is to share with you some quotes that did not appear in the online edition. One page of the July 20 Messenger was dedicated to responses to the Messenger asking several pastors and associational DOM's how they would explain their church's belief to a person who wants to join but has not been baptized. Here are some selections:
has been scripturally baptizedand agrees to accept the responsibilities of membership.
Baptism is an issue of obedience, not an issue of church preference. It is not an act that an individual church developed as part of its membership requirements. Instead, baptism is at the heart of our obedience to Jesus as Lord of our lives...If someone wishes to identify himself with a local body of believers through church membership, we should be certain he has been obedient by identifying himself with the head of that local church, Jesus Christ, through believer's baptism.Dennis Newkirk, Pastor/Teaching Elder at Henderson Hills, has been the recipient of some ungodly, shameful personal verbal attacks by fellow pastors in recent weeks, and for that I am ashamed and sorry. I have communicated this privately to him. Let me be clear: I wish no ill toward the elders or members of Henderson Hills. I believe that the proposal on which they are voting is an error, and if they affirm it I will advocate their removal from our fellowship, so foundational is this doctrine. But in no way do I believe this error makes them any less Christian, or any less a church, for that matter. It just makes them less Southern Baptist, and I'm sorry about that. But I believe their leaders have truly sought God's will in this matter, and that they are sincere in their desire to follow. It is difficult to fault that sincerity. I am convinced that, whatever they decide, they will continue to make a significant impact for the Kingdom. Remember this great church in your prayers this weekend as they make this important decision.
- Shane Hall, Pastor, First Baptist Church, Clinton, OklahomaScriptural baptism requires a scriptural candidate, who is a person who has been eternally saved by grace as the result of trusting Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. Immersion is the scriptural mode, and the scriptural administrator is the New Testament church. Scriptural baptism is a prerequisite to church membership.
- Otis Cayton, Director of Missions, Frisco Baptist AssociationBaptism is a step of obedience to clearly identify with Jesus Christ. It is like putting on the uniform of God's team. One is already a part of God's team as he accepts Jesus Christ as Savior, Baptism is an open declaration that Jesus is now the Lord of one's life. Having fulfilled these two requirements, one has full priveleges of membership in our church.
- Ralph Crawford, retired pastor, Olivet Baptist Church, Oklahoma City, OklahomaEveryone is welcome to attend [our church,] but membership is only for those who are willing to obey the ordinances given by Christ through Scripture. Church members must be willing to publicly declare their faith in the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. Church members must be willing to declare death to sin, death to the old way of life and a commitment to walk in the newness of life found only in Christ. God has ordained baptism as the way for these truths to be proclaimed publicly. Therefore, since this is the biblical interpretation for baptism, we only accept the baptism of believers of like faith.
- Blake Gideon, Pastor, First Baptist Church, Idabel, OklahomaBaptism cannot save a person's soul, only faith in Jesus Christ. Those who go into the baptismal waters without a personal relationship with Jesus only get wet, and nothing more...If someone wants to join our church, but has not been baptized, we don't ask them to do anything more than the rest of us have done: every member has professed a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and has been scripturally baptized by immersion.
- Jeff Moore, Pastor, First Baptist Church, Altus, OklahomaA person who wants to join our church and has not been baptized will need to be baptized to join the church...They must first receive Christ as their Savior, Then, because they have received Christ, they will want to be baptized to demonstrate what Christ has done for them. Their baptism also identifies them with other baptized believers who are a part of the body of Christ. The church is the body of Christ on Earth today. Baptism identifies them with that local body of believers as well as all believers in Christ.
- Ted Kersh, Pastor, First Baptist Church, Claremore, OklahomaBaptism is a public testimony of our faith in Jesus Christ, and is a testimony of our willingness to be obedient to Jesus. We believe baptism not only represents being unified with Christ, but also represents being unified with His body, the church. To be a member of the church, it is important that a person publicly identify with Christ and His church by being baptized by immersion the same way Jesus was baptized. Because Christ commanded us to be baptized, baptism is a church ordinance, and it is a prerequisite to the privelege of church membership.
- Buddy Hunt, Pastor, Immanuel Baptist Church, Duncan, Oklahoma
and I pray that the sharing of your faith may become effective for the full knowledge of every good thing that is in us for the sake of Christ.
- Philemon 6 (ESV)
This verse stood out to me in a way it never had before. It seems to me that the essence of being missional is sharing our faith in such a way that people see "every good thing that is in us for the sake of Christ." This cannot happen when we confront someone at their door, while their dinner is cooling on the table, their baby is crying, and their phone is ringing. It happens when we share our lives with people.
As I told my church, we must be intentional about developing friendships with people who need Jesus. And those friendships must be genuine friendships, where our interest is truly in that person, and not about manipulating that person into a decision. People can spot a phony quickly, and we must not be that phony. We must invest ourselves in their lives in such a way that, when they face difficult circumstances, we can be the one to stand beside them and point them to the Answer.
We can bemoan the fact that our time-tested approaches are no longer effective, or we can embrace the call to live authentic, missional lives, engaging the lost in relationships that will allow them to see the good Christ has done in us. Door-to-door salesman are simply not effective these days. Hoover and Kirby have learned this lesson and adapted their approach. Will the church?
I'm not sure exactly how it works, but this is amazingly accurate. The attached photo has 2 almost identical dolphins in it. It was used in a case study on stress level at St. Mary's Hospital. Look at both dolphins jumping out of the water. The dolphins are identical. A closely monitored, scientific study of a group revealed that in spite of the fact that the dolphins are identical; a person under stress would find differences in the two dolphins. If there are many differences found between both dolphins, it means that the person is experiencing a great amount of stress. Look at the photograph and if you find more than one or two differences you consider taking some proactive steps to reduce the level of stress you experience daily.To see the photograph, click here.
Anthony $2500 Kevin S. $3570 Kevin B. $4237 Amy W. $4500 Guy M. $4950 Bob C. $5546 Jeff R. Y. $5547All's fair, Jeff? Really? I hope you still feel that way after this contest... Thanks to all who entered. I hope you enjoyed this bit of weekend nonsense as much as I did. I should have my little yellow machine back by the weekend. Please pray for the teachers and workers involved in our VBS, and most of all for the children who will come as we share the truth of God's word and plant the seeds of the gospel in their hearts this week.
The CarMy car is a 2003 Suzuki Aerio GS Sedan with just over 60,000 miles. It has power windows & locks, A/C, cruise control, a 6-disc CD changer, and remote keyless entry.
The DamageIn addition to what is clearly seen in the photos below, the radiator and A/C condenser were damaged beyond repair.
The ContestI have rounded the repair estimate to the nearest whole dollar. I will send a Starbuck's gift card to the commentor who guesses, The Price Is Right style, closest to the actual repair estimate dollar figure for damage repair without going over. I have told several people what the estimate was; if you're one of those, please don't guess. It wouldn't really be guessing, anyway, would it? The deadline will be midnight Sunday, July 23.
With all respect for my Presbyterian brothers and sisters, I do not believe that the â€œbaptismâ€ of infants is any baptism at all. I can say that with great love and respect, knowing that Presbyterians who love the truth in their own confessional standards will respect a Baptist who does the same. As I often remark to evangelical Presbyterians, we may be the last people on earth who can have a real disagreement. That said, baptism has been understood by all major branches of Christianity, throughout the centuries of Christian experience, to be a requirement for church membership and the fellowship of the Lordâ€™s table. Thus, for Baptists to receive into the membership of a Baptist church (or to invite to the Lordâ€™s Supper) any believer who lacks such baptism, is to receive non-baptized persons as if they were baptized. Any compromise of Baptist conviction concerning the requirement of believerâ€™s baptism by immersion amounts to a redefinition of Baptist identity. More importantly, it raises the most basic questions of ecclesiology. We must give those questions intent attention in these days. Otherwise, will there be any Baptists in the next generation?For an extremely well-written allegorical treatment of this issue, please visit Prayer and the Ministry of the Word, the blog of Jeff Richard Young, pastor of Corinth Baptist Church near Ravenna, Texas. Here is an excerpt from his excellent post titled Mr. and Mrs. Sprinkled Prospect:
Eventually Dennis restored order and said to the Prospects, â€œItâ€™s simple. You just have to be re-baptized to join the Baptist church. Thatâ€™s what our last pastor used to do.â€ That almost made me choke on my iced tea, but I managed to swallow, and said, â€œDennis, we Baptists recognize that baptism can only be by immersion. Therefore no one who has merely been sprinkled can be â€˜re-baptized,â€™ because he wasnâ€™t really baptized in the first place. The word â€˜re-baptizedâ€™ really shouldnâ€™t be used, at least among Baptists. â€˜Re-baptismâ€™ simply doesnâ€™t exist.â€
â€œAs I remember the Chairmanâ€™s words, he was asserting that inaccurate accusations distributed by rumor and media were adversely affecting missionary morale. The word â€˜blogâ€™ was mentioned in the general context. The reference to missionary morale was a tiny percentage of the whole report, which was encouraging, cooperative and built trust and understanding among those who were there.â€
Resolution Affirming Scriptural Baptism as a Prerequisite to the Privileges of Church Membership
Whereas, Capital Baptist Association consist of Baptist churches in the Metropolitan Oklahoma City area which subscribe to the statement of "The Baptist Faith and Message" or similar articles of faith, and
Whereas, the Baptist Faith and Message adopted by the Southern Baptist Convention, June 14, 2000 states in Article VII.- Baptism and the Lordâ€™s Supper: Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; Being a church ordinance, it is a prerequisite to the privileges of church membership, and
Whereas, the Baptist Faith and Message adopted by the Southern Baptist Convention, June 14, 2000 states in Article VI - The Church: The New Testament church of the Lord Jesus Christ is an autonomous local congregation of baptized believers, and
Whereas, Capital Baptist Associationâ€™s Constitution and By-laws states in Article III - Membership - item 3: The association reserves the right to determine its own membership and to refuse to seat messengers and/or withdraw fellowship from churches that may have become corrupt in faith or practice, and
Whereas, Henderson Hills Baptist Church will vote on the proposal of their Elder Council to eliminate baptism as a prerequisite for church membership during their services on the weekend of July 29-30, 2006, and
Whereas, the Elder Council of Henderson Hills Baptist Church has publicly announced this proposed bylaw change to eliminate baptism as a prerequisite for church membership, now therefore be it
Resolved, that the Executive Board of the Capital Baptist Association meeting on July 17, 2006 affirm the "Baptist Faith and Message" and similar articles of faith which state that Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit and being a church ordinance, it is a prerequisite to the privileges of church membership, and be it further
Resolved, that we affirm that the New Testament church of the Lord Jesus Christ is an autonomous local congregation of baptized believers, and be it further
Resolved, that we encourage the members of Henderson Hills Baptist Church to affirm and maintain their current bylaw requirements for church membership, and be it finally
Resolved, that we encourage the churches of Capital Baptist Association to pray for the leaders and members of Henderson Hills Baptist Church as they seek Godâ€™s will in this matter.
This is somewhat wordier than the resolution I will offer at the annual meeting of our state convention, but the intent is the same: to encourage adherence to our traditional and scriptural understanding of a regenerate, scripturally baptized church membership.
For a preview of this coming attraction, you can visit the Messenger's website, where there are already several articles posted which are not in the most recent print edition, and I'm guessing they will be a part of the pull-out mentioned above. Interestingly, the first item you will see at that link is a column by Rick Thompson, IMB trustee and pastor of the OKC metro's Council Road Baptist Church. The column is taken directly from his
Baptism. How important is it?In light of the impending action by members of Edmond, Henderson Hills to consider whether or not to remove from the church's bylaws the phrase "has been scripturally baptized" as a condition of membership, the Baptist Messenger will present a special four-page, pull-out section in a coming issue. It will include positional statements about baptism and church polity from the BGCO, Baptist Faith & Message, Oklahoma Baptist pastors and DOMs and national SBC leaders.