Debate on Baptism

There is a debate going on right now about whether a church that holds to believer's baptism should allow someone who has not been baptized to be a member, or even to break bread together with the rest of the church.
Adrian Warnock has collected together has collected posts from this debate in one post: Sam Storms, John Piper & John Bunyan vs Wayne Grudem, Al Mohler & Mark Dever on Baptism

I find myself very much in agreement with Sam Storm, who writes:

Let me be clear on one thing. I am a credo-baptist, not a paedo-baptist. That is to say, I believe that only those who believe in Jesus Christ should receive the ordinance of water baptism. I also believe that the proper mode of baptism is by immersion. Ligon Duncan, on the other hand, is a Presbyterian paedo-baptist. Because of this, both Mark Dever and Al Mohler made it clear that if Duncan were in attendance at either of their churches they would not permit him to partake of the elements of the Lord's Supper.

Let me repeat that. Because of Duncan's paedo-baptist convictions, both Dever and Mohler would prohibit his participation in the Eucharist. They would deny to him partnership in the table of our Lord. They would withhold the bread and the cup from him because of his disagreement with them on who are the proper recipients of Christian baptism.

Storms goes on to point out how ridiculous this situation is considering that these men have joined together under the banner "Together for the Gospel", and Dever has even said that he wants to invite paedo-baptists to preach in his pulpit. Their Christian testimony would be good enough for them to preach to the church, but not good enough for them to be allowed to eat the Lord's supper with the church.

It is a little strange, but

It is a little strange, but there are some other strange things in the TFTG document. They may not allow egalitarians at the Lord's Table either!

where to draw the line

That is interesting. The trouble is that one person's peripheral issue is another person's heresy. I personally think that someone has to be walking unrepentant in sin before they are barred from eating the communal meal.

If a person is walking in good conscience according to their understanding of Scripture, (even if it is a wrong understanding), then I would have fellowship with them. The only exception would be a blatantly wrong interpretation (such as bigamy) where the whole consensus of the church is against them.

Well, they're consistant.

Although his commitment to Christian unity is commendable, Storm's position is inconsistent with the universal practice of the church catholic for the first 1900 years of its history. All the reading I've ever done on this topic clearly evidences that "Open Communion" is the result of denominationalism originating in North America and to a certain extent Britain.

This being said, I'm surprised and a little disappointed that it is the Baptists and not the Presbyterians (who practice open communion almost universally) who are barring those with a different sacramental view from the table. Presbyterians have always acknowledged (at least in a de facto way) that a correct view of the sacraments is a mark of the True Church. The fact that a Baptist would be allowed to the Supper in a Presbyterian church is probably due to the universal acceptance of Kupyerian theories concerning the pluriform nature of the church in their synods along with the dubious idea that anything, let alone a church can be "more or less pure" (WCF 25).

I've been struggling with this issue for a while and although I don't know where I stand yet, I have to say that the advocates of close (not closed) communion are the most consistent.

Have a great week.

Not recognizing the body of Christ

Those are some interesting thoughts!
I actually think it is a very serious matter to prevent a true Christian from participating in the "breaking of bread" meal. Paul told the Corinthians that it was their failure to recognize the body of Christ that resulted in severe discipline on them, even death. (1 Cor 11:27-32)
So what does it mean to "recognize the body of the Lord". From the context this must mean "recognizing that the gathered church of God are the body" (v22) and not acting in a way that humiliates and divides.
I believe that to deny participation in this feast to a true believer who is walking in good conscience is such a serious sin as to risk severe discipline from Christ.

Not recognizing the Body of Christ

Most interesting conversation.

Are they willing to cease fellowship with their paedo friends over this? If so, then they should stick to their convictions and follow their reasoning to its logical conclusion. If not, then they should leave it alone and welcome them to the table.

The real issue is not the mode of baptism. It is a right understanding of the New Covenant (2 Cor 3) and if properly understood all of this nonsense would be a non-issue.

In His love,
Moe Bergeron

Can Baptists and Orthodox agree on Baptism?

Maybe the Infant Baptism debate has been approached from the wrong direction. Instead of starting with our disagreements, let's start with what Baptists/evangelicals and orthodox Christians AGREE upon: All persons who believe and have faith in Christ as their Savior should follow his command and be baptized as soon as possible. Agreed?

So the next question is: Can an infant believe and have faith?

Evangelical and Baptist brothers and sisters in Christ: If I can prove to you from Scripture that infants not only can but DO believe and have faith, would you accept infant baptism as Scriptural?



When the Ethiopian eunuch said what hinders me from being baptized, did he mean what hinders me from being immersed, poured, or sprinkled?

Acts 8:36 Now as they went down the road, they came to somewater. And the eunuch said, "See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?" (NKJV)

Acts 8:36 As they were going down the road, they came to somewater; and the eunuch said, "Look! Here's some water! Is there any reason why I shouldn't be immersed?" (CJB-Complete Jewish Bible)

Acts 8:36 And , as they went on their way, they came to certain water; and the eunuch said, Look, here is water; what is there to hinder me from being immersed? (TBVOTNT-The Better Version of The New Testament by Chester Estes)

There are no translations of the Bible that translates Acts 8:36 as..."What hinders me from being poured or sprinkled."

The only place water baptism is expressed as sprinkling and pouring is in books written by men. Do preachers, pastors, priests, and the early church fathers have the authority to change immersion to sprinkling or pouring?

If preachers, pastors, priests, and the early church fathers have been given the authority to change immersion to sprinkling or pouring, then why can they not change water to olive oil or milk. The example of a man-made verse of Scripture. (Acts 8:36 Now as they went down the road, they came to some olive oil or milk. And the eunuch said, "See here is olive oil or milk. What hinders me from being poured or sprinkled?")

God has not authorized any preacher, pastor, priest, nor the early church fathers to change immersion to poured or sprinkled.

God inspired one book, the Bible.


That info is new to me.

That info is new to me. Their Christian testimony would be good enough for them to preach to the church, but not good enough for them to be allowed to eat the Lord's supper with the church. Thanks a lot for the details.