Monday, 14 January 2019

Why Church Membership Baptism is Wrong

In many mainstream churches, people teach that congregants must be baptized into their denomination or the Christian faith. But what does the Bible, the arbiter of our faith, actually teach on this matter? That's what we must concern ourselves with.

Paul summed up baptism's universality in one short sentence. Ephesians 4:5 (KJV) says, "One Lord, one faith, one baptism,"

This shows that no one church has a monopoly on believers' baptism. Neither does it mean that the baptism in one church is null and void in another, as far as the Lord is concerned.

Look at what Paul wrote in Romans 6:4 (KJV). "Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life."

No church affiliation is mentioned in that verse, or the entire New Testament for that matter. Baptism is a universal practice in Christianity.

Some people might think that 1 Peter 3:21 (KJV) means that baptism saves us. But that's not what he was saying. "The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:"

So it's by Christ's resurrection that we are saved when we put our trust in him and his work. Being "dunked" in a tank or river doesn't make us holy but the imputed righteousness from Christ and obeying his voice does.

What must we do in light of all this? Paul answers that in Romans 12:1 (KJV). "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service."

And though there were many first-century churches and many good leaders, the Holy Spirit frowns upon factionalism. Look at what Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 1:12 (KJV). "Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ." We must all be unified in service to Christ, not to our denominations.

Also, look at Psalms 133:1 (KJV). "A Song of degrees of David. Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!" Of course the psalmist doesn't mean the town of Unity, Saskatchewan. :-)

I plan on writing more about Baptism in my next book called You Think You're Going to Heaven? So much utter nonsense is preached on the subject of baptism that I feel compelled to rebut it all with Scripture.

I'll be dealing with the method of baptism on Thursday. Some churches "sprinkle" congregants while others "dunk" them. But which method does God's Word favour?

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