Wade Burleson has written a post today regarding an article in a Memphis newspaper about Bellevue Baptist Church Buy Actos No Prescription, 's mission work in India. His post contains the following paragraph (emphasis original):
Though I am not sympathetic with the anti-missionary viewpoint of the articleâ€™s author, 40mg Actos, 500mg Actos, I was struck by a little detail or two related to baptism and ecclesiology. It appears that women from many villages across the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh came to a training center run by an Indian evangelist named Sathuluri who hosted a training program for village women that was fully - and solely - sponsored by Bellevue Baptist Church, 30mg Actos. Actos australia, During the course of the training event, at least one village woman, Actos us, 10mg Actos, and implicit within the article - many more women - were baptized. There was no local church involved in the baptism, 250mg Actos. Women from all over the state were baptized by an evangelist, but they did not become members of any 'local' church that day, Buy Actos No Prescription. Actos craiglist, The women identified themselves with Christ - baptized at the hands of the evangelist who led them to Christ. This non-local church based baptismal service raises questions of inconsistency when juxtaposed to Dr, Actos paypal. Actos overseas, John Floydâ€™s, Mid-America's, 150mg Actos, Actos japan, and the 'new' (2005) IMB Baptism Position Paper that all posit an inflexible insistence that proper baptism is to be conducted only as an ordinance of the local church.
I am firmly convinced that, Actos usa, 20mg Actos, as the Baptist Faith and Message states, baptism is an ordinance of the local church, Actos ebay. Actos uk, I do not believe that this means the only valid baptisms are those conducted in a heated pool inside a brick building by a man with a certificate of ordination hanging on his office wall. Buy Actos No Prescription, Rather, it means that there is no scriptural baptism outside the authority given by Christ to the local church. The church may authorize anyone it wishes, 200mg Actos, 750mg Actos, from the pastor to the custodian to a missionary member, to baptize converts anywhere, 50mg Actos, Actos coupon, from the baptistry to a swimming pool to the Indus River.
So when I read about these baptisms, Actos canada, 1000mg Actos, my natural conclusion is to assume that one sent by Bellevue Baptist Church to carry out the work of evangelism is baptizing converts under the authority of Bellevue Baptist Church, which is perfectly within their right and perfectly consistent with the IMB baptism guideline which Wade seeks to undermine with his post, Actos india.
But this was just an assumption. In order to find out whether my assumption was justified, I contacted Steve Marcum, who serves as Minister of Missions at Bellevue. I found out that my assumption was not, in fact, justified, Buy Actos No Prescription.
Rather than baptizing under the authority of Bellevue Baptist Church, Steve told me that the baptisms referred to in the article in question all took place under the authority of local churches in India. So despite the fact that Wade repeatedly tells his readers that no local church was involved in these baptisms, it just isn't true.
Another thing that is misleading about Wade's post are the gymnastics he goes through to link Bellevue Baptist Church with Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary, where IMB trustee chairman Dr. John Floyd is employed. Buy Actos No Prescription, I can only assume that the reason this connection is necessary is to try to show some inconsistency in Dr. Floyd's position on baptism, an inconsistency that evaporates when the sunlight of truth shines through.
My conversation with Steve Marcum revealed that there is no official connection between his church and the school. It was not founded by Bellevue, and though they have supported it financially through the years and continue to do so, many other churches, ministries, and individuals do this as well; Bellevue is not unique in this regard.
It took me about three minutes to locate the name and phone number for Steve Marcum, who returned my call within the hour. It took another five minutes on the phone with him to confirm the information I have presented here. But rather than check the facts for himself, Wade published a post that contains false and misleading information in order to make a point.
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Discount Augmentin, It was my privilege to serve as chairman of the resolutions committee of the Frisco Baptist Association this year. We had our 114th annual meeting last night, Augmentin australia, 500mg Augmentin, and our committee presented five resolutions, all of which passed without opposition, Augmentin usa. 750mg Augmentin, I have posted some commentary on our resolution on church membership and baptism, as well as the text of that resolution, 200mg Augmentin, Augmentin craiglist, on SBC Today. Stop by when you have a chance, 20mg Augmentin. 100mg Augmentin, On an unrelated note, I understand there will be some homemaking news coming out of this blog sometime soon, Augmentin paypal. 50mg Augmentin, Don't miss it. Augmentin ebay. 150mg Augmentin. Augmentin canada. Augmentin coupon. Augmentin overseas. Augmentin japan. 1000mg Augmentin. 40mg Augmentin. Augmentin us. 250mg Augmentin. Augmentin india. 10mg Augmentin. 30mg Augmentin. Augmentin uk. Augmentin mexico.
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I've been engaging a Mormon named Bill in a wide-ranging discussion over on Kevin Bussey's blog No RX Allopurinol, , and to confront him with what the LDS church teaches and get him to respond to specific questions is like nailing Jell-O to the wall. Bill is a former Southern Baptist, Allopurinol mexico. 10mg Allopurinol, By all accounts, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the fastest growing religious group in America today, Allopurinol craiglist, Allopurinol paypal, and while I can't remember where, I've read that they gain more converts from Baptist churches than from any other group, 150mg Allopurinol. 250mg Allopurinol, Their growth roughly corresponds chronologically with what John Hammet, in his excellent work Biblical Foundations for Baptist Churches, 30mg Allopurinol, 1000mg Allopurinol, identifies as the disappearance of regenerate church membership. This disappearance was a gradual process that began late in the nineteenth century, 100mg Allopurinol, 200mg Allopurinol, when most Baptist churches had far more attendees than members, and has continued to the present when, Allopurinol coupon, Allopurinol india, in the SBC, more than ten million of our roughly sixteen million members spend their Sundays anywhere but in church, Allopurinol canada. Allopurinol japan, These numbers make our claim to a regenerate church membership seem somewhat hollow.
Hammett quotes Justice Anderson on the centrality of regenerate church membership to the Baptist identity: "The cardinal principle of Baptist ecclesiology, 500mg Allopurinol, 750mg Allopurinol, and logically, the point of departure for church polity, Allopurinol ebay, 40mg Allopurinol, is the insistence on a regenerate membership in the local congregation." Hammett then identifies an ecclesiological explanation for the loss of this "cardinal principle":
"...believer's baptism and church discipline served to protect regenerate church membership. Regenerate church membership began to disappear as these two safeguards were relaxed."
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Buy Xopenex No Prescription, Note: There are several statements in this post that assert what Wade Burleson believes. I have emailed these statements to Wade, and he has offered clarification. In all but one instance, I have changed them to reflect his wording. 250mg Xopenex, The one I did not change, I have italicized and marked with an asterisk, and Wade's statement is included verbatim at the end of this post.
â€œWe believe the Bible!â€
These words came, thoroughly unprovoked, from a woman who appeared to be in her seventies, and she spoke them to me with all the forcefulness she could muster from her 4â€™10â€, Xopenex usa, 90-pound frame.
â€œWe baptize in the name of Jesus. Thereâ€™s only one God, not three!â€
Now I began to see where this was headed, and since I was in her familyâ€™s home following the accidental death of her teenaged granddaughter, Xopenex japan, I thought it best not to engage in a theological debate with an adherent of oneness Pentecostalism. I nodded politely, being in full agreement with her last statement, and moved to another part of the room.
Her opening salvo â€“ â€œWe believe the Bible!â€ â€“ was brought to mind by the two recent posts on Wade Burlesonâ€™s blog, which are two parts (links: Part One; Part Two) under the same title: The Inspired, Inerrant, Infallible Bible Is Sufficient for Me, Buy Xopenex No Prescription. It was apparently sufficient for the grieving grandmother whom I met under such unfortunate circumstances, but the conclusions she reached are problematic to say the least. I donâ€™t mean to suggest that the disagreements Wade has with so many are anywhere near the level of a denial of the doctrine of the Trinity, but they are significant, and I want in this post to explore some of these disagreements, 10mg Xopenex. To borrow a phrase from radio talk show host Glenn Beck, Iâ€™m not a scholar or a theologian, but I am a thinker, and this post is a result of having absorbed a great deal of information from Wadeâ€™s blog and others, Xopenex canada, and having given it a great deal of thought.
The disagreement that has brought Wade to his current prominence in the convention and in the blog world is, I believe, quite fundamental indeed. It has to do, in part, with the guideline on baptism adopted by the IMB trustees nearly a year ago, Xopenex australia, and the basis of this disagreement holds the key to understanding all that has transpired since.
As you will remember, the part of the guideline that is the source of contention is that section requiring that a candidate must have been baptized in a church that holds to eternal security. Buy Xopenex No Prescription, Wade does not have an issue with the doctrine of eternal security (he believes in it strongly), but rather with the notion that the church is primarily considered as â€œan institutionâ€ rather than the people of Christ from every nation. Because of this view of the church, he would take issue wit the role of the church in baptism, 30mg Xopenex, and more fundamentally with the definition of the church.
Wade has a view of the church that is primarily universal in scope, with the local church being simply a collection of members who are part of, but not the entire, universal church. This view is at odds with what Southern Baptists have historically believed to be the biblical view of the church, which is only knowable as a local congregation organized in accordance with New Testament guidelines, Xopenex us. It is here that the disagreements begin.
The Great Commission, which the IMB is tasked with executing to the ends of the earth, was given to the church, and not to individual Christians. Xopenex uk, I realize the implications of that statement might cause a knee-jerk disagreement, but let me explain. No, there is too much; let me sum up.
The New Testament contains complimentary accounts of the Great Commission, and for my purposes here, I will focus on Matthew and Acts, Buy Xopenex No Prescription. In very general terms, Matthew gives us the â€œwhatâ€ and Acts gives us the â€œhow.â€ The â€œwhatâ€ is essentially that we are commanded to make disciples, baptize, and teach, Xopenex coupon, and the â€œhowâ€ is the strategy for carrying out the â€œwhatâ€ (in Jerusalem, in Judea and Samaria, to the end of the earth). But Jesus did not give the order to immediately get started, Xopenex craiglist, because before giving the commission, he had ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem until they had received â€œthe promise of the Father.â€ They were to wait for the day of Pentecost, when the church would be born, and empowered to carry out the Great Commission by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
This is a thumbnail sketch of the basis for my belief that the Great Commission is the responsibility of Christians to obey and carry out within the context of the local church, and Southern Baptists (and not just Landmark Southern Baptists) have long believed that the church is central to Godâ€™s plan for the carrying out of the Great Commission.
Does this mean that individual Christians cannot be witnesses, make disciples, 100mg Xopenex, teach, or baptize. Of course not. We must do these things. Buy Xopenex No Prescription, But we must do them in a relationship of accountability to a local church. 500mg Xopenex, If I begin to teach error, the church must correct the error, and if I am teaching without recognizing the authority of the local church, from whence shall the correction come. The same applies to each element of the Great Commission.
Wade has said that when a Christian leads someone to Christ, it is the privilege of that person to baptize the new convert, 20mg Xopenex, for he says the same command by Christ to evangelize the world contains within it the command to baptize converts, and both are given by Christ to all his disciples. Wade says if only â€˜ordainedâ€™ pastors can baptize, then to be consistent with the Great Commission, 50mg Xopenex, only â€˜ordainedâ€™ pastors can evangelize.
I could not disagree more, because of the previously-stated belief that baptism is a command (ordinance) of Christ that He gave to the local church, and not to individual Christians. Would I require that the new convert must be baptized by an ordained minister. Absolutely not, Buy Xopenex No Prescription. The local church is absolutely free to authorize the one who has led someone to Christ to baptize that person, but for a Christian to baptize someone without recognizing the authority of the local church is just as dangerous as teaching outside that authority, 40mg Xopenex, and it cannot be recognized as a scriptural baptism. This is an invitation to chaos, as it becomes impossible for sister churches to know whether transferring members were baptized under the authority of a church, or in a swimming pool with no one present but the â€œbaptizerâ€ and â€œbaptized.â€ And no, Xopenex paypal, Iâ€™m not saying that scriptural baptism cannot take place in a swimming pool; Iâ€™m saying that without the authority of the church, there is no scriptural baptism. This is why the beliefs of the church that authorized the baptism of missionary candidates is absolutely fair game for policy-making decisions by trustees, and why Wade is â€œoutside the tentâ€ on this issue.
Let me provide another example of where Wadeâ€™s beliefs fall outside what Southern Baptists, as expressed in the Baptist Faith & Message, believe to be biblical practice, Xopenex overseas. In a recent post, and in the comments, Wade described the practice of communion in his church whereby any professing Christian, who has been baptized by any mode, Xopenex india, is invited to partake.* While I fully support his churchâ€™s right, and indeed their responsibility, to carry out the ordinances in accordance with their convictions, this practice is clearly at odds with the Baptist Faith & Messageâ€™s Article VII, which defines baptism, and then calls it a prerequisite to the Lordâ€™s Supper, 750mg Xopenex. Buy Xopenex No Prescription, The practice of Wadeâ€™s church, which is the practice in many (if not the majority) of our Southern Baptist churches, is incompatible with the clear language of the Baptist Faith & Message, yet Wade contends that it is not.
Wade has consistently said that we must â€œcease narrowing the parameters of cooperationâ€ or our convention will cease to exist as we know it. For the reasons stated above, and others, I donâ€™t believe that there is any narrowing going on. There has been clarification, Xopenex ebay, but it is clarification of where Southern Baptists have always been, and where the great majority of us are today. I have come to believe that all of the events of this year, from the meeting that produced the Memphis Declaration, to motions made in Greensboro, to the outcry over chapel sermons at Southwestern Seminary, 150mg Xopenex, are not an attempt to stand against any â€œnarrowing,â€ but rather they are an attempt to broaden the definition of â€œSouthern Baptistâ€ to include things for which we have never stood.
Frankly, I believe that the problem is not that the tent is not big enough, but that Wade has discovered that, 200mg Xopenex, on these issues of controversy, he is not under the tent at all, and he wishes to be.
I concede that this could be read as an attack on Wade and those who support him. That is not my intent. I am simply trying, as I stated near the beginning of this post, to offer some analysis of disagreements.
The disagreements I have outlined here are disagreements that Christians can have, Buy Xopenex No Prescription. But there are many who could say with Wade, "The Inspired, 1000mg Xopenex, Inerrant, Infallible Bible Is Sufficient for Me," who clearly belong outside the tent that is the Southern Baptist Convention. They belong there because of fundamental disagreements about faith and practice. Xopenex mexico, We have staked out our positions and raised our tent over them.
None of these disagreements are equivalent to the heresy of the grieving grandmother I met this spring, but her declaration of "We believe the Bible!", coupled with her disavowal of the doctrine of the Trinity, illustrates clearly that our tent simply cannot be large enough for everyone.
*Here is Wade's version of the italicized statement above, which is significantly abridged but not, I believe, contradictory: "In a recent post, and in the comments, Wade described the practice of communion in his church whereby any professing Christian, who has followed the Lord in baptism, can partake in communion. Wade and his church affirm that scriptural baptism is baptism by immersion, and membership in his church requires believerâ€™s baptism by immersion before admittance into membership, but Wade argues that there will be people who love Christ and are at the Lordâ€™s table in heaven, who considered their infant baptism, or baptism by pouring or sprinkling, to be their â€˜Scriptural baptism.â€™ His church will not exclude from communion those whom the Lord does not exclude in heaven. His view on communion is exactly that of Charles Haddon Spurgeon --- strict church membership but communion with all the saints."
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On Baptism and Church Membership
Whereas, Baptism is chief among the doctrinal distinctives that we as Southern Baptists hold dear; and
Whereas, Baptism is a requirement, not for salvation, but for obedience to the example and to the explicit instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ, and
Whereas, Membership in the local church is a covenant relationship of mutual accountability and submission, both to one another and to the Lordship of Christ, and
Whereas, The Baptist Faith and Message adopted by the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Orlando, Florida, June 14, 2000 clearly states that baptism, as one of the two ordinances of the church, is a prerequisite to the privileges of church membership (Article VII), now therefore be it
Resolved, that the messengers of the Frisco Baptist Association, in annual session October 10, 2006 affirm our belief in and commitment to the principle of a regenerate and scripturally baptized church membership.
(Matthew 3:15; 28:19)
VII. Baptism and the Lord's Supper Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer in water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It is an act of obedience symbolizing the believer's faith in a crucified, buried, and risen Saviour, the believer's death to sin, the burial of the old life, and the resurrection to walk in newness of life in Christ Jesus. It is a testimony to his faith in the final resurrection of the dead. Being a church ordinance, it is prerequisite to the privileges of church membership and to the Lord's Supper. The Lord's Supper is a symbolic act of obedience whereby members of the church, through partaking of the bread and the fruit of the vine, memorialize the death of the Redeemer and anticipate His second coming. Matthew 3:13-17; 26:26-30; 28:19-20; Mark 1:9-11; 14:22-26; Luke 3:21-22; 22:19-20; John 3:23; Acts 2:41-42; 8:35-39; 16:30-33; 20:7; Romans 6:3-5; 1 Corinthians 10:16,21; 11:23-29; Colossians 2:12.The first paragraph of the article is the focus of the disagreement. The first sentence thereof defines Christian baptism, and the last sentence calls baptism, thus defined, a prerequisite to the Lord's Supper. While I see in the statement room for interpretation between "closed" communion, which allows only members of a local congregation to participate, and "close" communion, in which all who are essentially Baptists may participate (the interpretation favored by the article's primary author, Herschel Hobbs), I see no way to allow those who were baptized as infants to participate in the Lord's Supper while at the same time affirming this article. Again, please understand that I am not suggesting that a church must practice closed or close communion in order to be Southern Baptist. But I simply don't understand how one can say they affirm this article of the Baptist Faith and Message while at the same time affirming a practice of the Lord's Supper that is contrary to the plain meaning of it.
Baptism is a public testimony. It preaches something to an audience. While it is personal, it is not private. As a result, one's baptism takes on the meaning of the church authorizing it. If a person comes to faith in Christ after a previous "baptismal experience," or if a person realizes that an earlier immersion did not appropriately convey the idea of an eternally-secure salvation by grace through faith in the forever-resurrected Christ alone, then the example above argues for "scriptural baptism." Such an act of obedience actually then clarifies their testimony and opens the door for ministry in the church and through the entities supported by the church.I commend this article to you. Dr. Elliff is a former president of our convention, he is a former Oklahoma pastor, and his is an important and useful voice to hear as we debate these issues.
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