Jesus never baptized anyone—with water. John came baptizing with water and declared that one is coming who will baptize with the Holy Spirit (John 1:33). If you are saved, you have been immersed into the body of Christ by the Holy Spirit. This spiritual baptism is indispensable. However, the physical baptism in water is commanded by the one that John called the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! Baptism is a serious subject concerning discipleship!
Respectfully, this article is a response to an article posted on the Gospel Coalition blog taking the small “b” approach to believer’s baptism. The author baptizes (immerses) new converts won to Christ through the ministry of his church, but also receives as members believers who have been baptized as infants.
While I shall not try to change the mind of Paedobaptists, I do desire to create a few wrinkles in the gray matter of Credobaptists and in the hearts of my fellow Southern Baptists in particular. Why? Our history is rich in New Testament (NT) theology and praxis concerning believer’s baptism. Men and women have suffered death, imprisonment, brandings, and banishment for our doctrinal distinctives; therefore, I see them as worthy of safeguarding!
I shall remain a big “B” Baptist because of the testimony of the Apostles in fulfilling the commandments of Christ, the courage of Anabaptists and early Baptists, and because of the Gospel picture that believer’s baptism by immersion preaches and portrays.
A duckling hatched from its egg in a nest underneath the front porch of a farmhouse. And for whatever reason, that duckling’s mother was no longer around. So when that duckling came out of its shell, the first thing it saw was the Collie dog that took its nap every afternoon underneath that porch.
Ducks have a tendency to bond with the first thing they see when they’re hatched out of the egg. And so when that duckling came out of its egg and saw the Collie dog there, it just assumed that that dog was its mother, and that it, too, must be a dog.
I don’t know Jesus’ exact position on the popular board game, Monopoly®, but I’m pretty sure He wouldn’t like it. And there are several reasons I don’t like it either. I don’t know if it’s because of my dyslexia or what, but I hate counting stacks of money. It may be because I’ve served in countries where the exchange rate is astronomical. In Zimbabwe not long ago, one U.S. dollar would equal 642,371,437,695,221,000 Zimbabwean dollars. Or in simpler terms, one egg would have cost 35 million Zimbabwean dollars. I would have just handed the clerk a stack of money and said, “You count it out.”
I don’t know if there’s anyone else like me out there, but I’m a terrible money counter. You can put a stack of dollar bills in front of me, ask me to count them five times, and I’ll come up with five different answers. I am always amazed by people who work at banks and can buzz through a stack of money in the blink of an eye, always coming up with the correct amount.
It seems to me that Monopoly brings out our worst. I know it’s just a game, and some people like to use strategy. But have you noticed there’s not much difference between their strategy and greed? Play this game with some of the sweetest people you know, and they transform into monsters right before your eyes. They’re out to buy everything on the board and run you into bankruptcy. Forget mercy, good will or kindness. It’s all about the win.
During a cycle of evangelistic drought among Southern Baptists, any read that urges evangelism sparks my interest. That’s why I read I read Dr. Nathan Lorick’s book, Dying to Grow. Consequently, during this particular period of evangelistic stagnation, fewer books surface surrounding evangelism, which also makes Lorick’s material even more refreshing. Upon closer observation, the author possesses specific qualifications that provide an authoritative platform to speak a timely, prophetic word into the life of pastors, evangelists, and the church at large. (See bio of author HERE.)
Dying to Grow consists of sixteen chapters and two appendices. Nathan pinpoints his struggles and identifies current discrepancies within our churches’ evangelistic endeavors, or the lack thereof. Although much can be said about the entire book, due to the brevity of this review, I will focus attention on five critical areas that resonate with me.
The secret of Jeremiah’s steadfastness is a remarkable thing! Rev. James W. Reapsome, former editor of World Pulse and Evangelical Missions Quarterly, shares, “I once heard the prophet Jeremiah described as a ‘successful failure’. . . . Jeremiah succeeded where many fail: He never quit. Yes, he brooded and more than once he thought about quitting, but he always bounced back with the fire of God’s words blazing in his bones. Like a lone soldier defending his post at all costs, Jeremiah bravely stood up to kings, princes, priests, and prophets.”