Mohler and Young on Baptism
Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr.
, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
in Louisville, Kentucky, has written eloquently on the subject of baptism and its relationship to church membership on his new blog dedicated to SBC issues, Conventional Thinking
His post that deals with this topic stems from a proposal by the elders of Bethlehem Baptist Church
, a non-SBC church in Minneapolis, Minnesota, that is strikingly similar to the move proposed by the elders at Henderson Hills
. While I encourage you to read his entire article
, I will quote below the portions I believe have relevance to the Henderson Hills discussion.
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€