The Baptist Church

So this past summer my wife and I took some time off from our regular church to visit another church as we typically do every summer. What happened next was pretty wild.

We visited this church in NW Houston and enjoyed going the first time. We decided to go back again the following Sunday and really enjoyed it again. We even got invited to a SS Class by a wonderful couple and enjoyed that class as well. What we noticed after leaving the parking lot that second visit, was on their church program, there was a small inscription below the grand name of the Church that stated it was a Baptist Church. We were surprised at noticing this since we didn’t see your typical loud sort of dancing in the aisles type of folks. At least that’s what I think of when I think of typical Baptist Churches. Anyway, we didn’t really make a big deal out of it, since the Church had great preaching and the worship time was excellent as well. We continued to go to this church for the rest of the summer and really felt a calling to join this Church and leave our old Church. We felt that we were being called to another Church and that this Church would fit that bill.

Well, after inquiring from a couple of members of the Church about membership, they told me to discuss membership with one of the associate pastors. So I did. I met with him at lunch one day and asked him about what it takes to join their Baptist Church. He told me everything I knew and expected except one very big difference and that was Baptism. I told him I had not been ‘dunked’ AKA ‘Fully Immersed’ Baptism, but more like sprinkled Baptism. We agreed that after this point, he would go back to the Head Pastor and that they would discuss this topic with the Board of Deacons at their Church. I said great, let me know what they say please and we left it at that.

Several weeks later, the associate pastor sends me a short email and says let’s meet. I agreed to do so and we met this past Wednesday. He told me that the board of Deacons had met and had a short 2 points and that was the end of that conversation on that topic. They said point 1) They couldn’t meet with every family individual that wanted to join their Church and find out about who was or wasn’t Baptised or fully immersed and 2) That it’s the Baptist Church and we are known for Baptism ‘dunking’ and that’s how we have always done it and that’s what makes us Baptist. Thus, my membership into their Church would have to be by ‘Full Immersion’ Baptism or else we couldn’t join their Church.

My immediate thoughts were sad and profound. I thought, man, Jesus Wept(John 11:35). Here we are in 2013 as one body of believers trying to make it in this crazy world and trying to reach out to a lost world that NEEDS Jesus and here you are pushing away a family that wants to join your church because of BAPTISM??? Not because I have never been baptized, but because of the ‘way’ I was baptized…WOW!

I was shocked and dismayed. I never knew that this was how the Baptist Church is. I never knew that regardless of your standing with ‘The Church’ and your standing in your community and your standing with God almighty, if you’re not Baptised by ‘FULL IMMERSION’ well you can’t join ‘our’ church.

I feel very sad for the Baptist Church as a whole today. I have had a little time to swallow what I have been told and it still doesn’t make me happy nor does it make me ever want to cross the doors of ANY Baptist Church EVER again, however I do know that those in that church will make it to Heaven because salvation isn’t predicated on baptism. Just sad to know that they alienate people when they stand on this ‘sand’ of ground. We are to be welcoming to those who want to accept Christ Jesus and not push away those who need to know about the Gospel and Good News of Jesus. For me, they are pushing away and hindering the body of Christ and not fulfilling the Great Commission. We need to do everything I believe, to bring those to Christ at any cost and then to find out that, well, you can’t join our church because you MUST be ‘Dunked’ by baptism to join. That’s complete hypocrisy to Christ teachings.

If the letter of the law was what the Pharisees and Sadducees were guilty of 2000 years ago, then so is the Baptist Church today. They state that because Jesus was Baptised in the Jordan river, then they must do so because of the same, by full immersion. Well, if that is true, then everyone better go to the Jordan River and get Baptised otherwise, per the letter of the law, any other place is unequal and thus should not be accepted!

My walk with Jesus has been over 15 years strong. I was at a Methodist Church, when I was baptized, not a Baptist Church. I was sprinkled with Holy Water and accepted Jesus that same day, 15 years ago on April 19, 1998. Are you stating that my salvation and baptism is null and void because I wasn’t ‘dunked’? I think not. I don’t think they believe that either, but if my baptism isn’t good enough on that day I was baptized, then what are they saying by making that stand?!?!

Thanks for the short time we were able to be a part of your church, but your ‘law’ you live by is flawed and must be changed. Because we ‘always have done it like that’ is not a justification for preventing people from being a healthy member of your congregation.

Sad to write this, Sad to believe this is true, Sad to know that there could have been a wonderful relationship that could have bloomed.

For final clarification, it would be easy to ask folks that want to join the Baptist church, that if they haven’t been baptized before, that they will be baptized by full immersion, but if they have been baptized, then they will accept that baptism. Simple in my opinion.

I will pray that God changes the Baptist Church’s stand on this.


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