A Clear Statement from Committee on Resolutions

April 8, 2010

In perusing the churches represented by the various ones being appointed to committees I am beginning to see signs of encouragement.  For example the following statements are found on the websites of some being appointed to the Committee of Resolutions.

In this first statement I have not placed emphasis on any statement.  The bold emphasis and large capital letters are placed there in the website.  Thus, the church seems to desire that one understand their belief concerning Baptism and the Lord’s Supper.

Baptism
We believe that the baptism taught in the New Testament is by immersion. Baptism is an act of obedience by a person who has received Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Baptism does not have power to save or forgive us from sin, but the message of baptism is significant:

1) Baptism is an act of obedience symbolizing the believer’s faith in a crucified, buried, and risen Savior.
2) Baptism also is a picture of the believer’s death to sin, the burial of the old life, and the resurrection to walk in newness of life, in Christ Jesus.

Therefore, baptism is a personal statement of your faith in Jesus Christ. Baptism doesn’t make you a believer . . . it shows that you already believe.

Who Should Be Baptized? Every person who has believed.
“Those who believed and accepted His message were baptized…” Acts 2:41
“Simon himself believed and was baptized…” Acts 8:13
“But when they believed Philip as he preached the Good News…and the name of Jesus Christ,  they were baptized, both men and women.” Acts 8:12

Jesus never asked His disciples to remember His birth. But He did instruct them to remember His death and resurrection. The Lord’s supper is a memorial meal that was instituted by our Savior the night in which He was betrayed and delivered to die for our sins on the cross. As is true of baptism, we are not saved by eating the Lord’s Supper. It is a memorial of the death of Christ, that we may always remember His sacrifice for us. When believers observe the Lord’s Supper they proclaim His death until He comes again.

Who may take the Lord’s Supper? . . . Those who have trusted Jesus as their Savior and Lord and who have been baptized in obedience to His command.

Another committee member’s website links one to the BF&M 2000.  This is encouraging as the church has linked on their website as to their beliefs concerning Baptism and the Lord’s Supper by pointing to the following statement;

Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer in water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It is an act of obedience symbolizing the believer’s faith in a crucified, buried, and risen Saviour, the believer’s death to sin, the burial of the old life, and the resurrection to walk in newness of life in Christ Jesus. It is a testimony to his faith in the final resurrection of the dead. Being a church ordinance, it is prerequisite to the privileges of church membership and to the Lord’s Supper. (Emphasis Mine)

Another church website also links to the BF&M 2000 but has brief statements about their beliefs.  The following is found as their statement about The Church.

The members of the church are redeemed, baptized believers who have placed their faith and trust in the finished work of Christ.

This church purposely places brief statements about their beliefs.  However, when placing this link one receives the impression that this church believes and practices Baptism is an obedient act after the salvation experience.  Also, by linking to the BF&M 2000 they tacitly express to the world that Baptism is by immersion and is a prerequisite to the Lord’s Supper.

In yet another church’s website, the BF&M2000 is not spoken about as to their beliefs.  However, when one goes through the various links about the church’s belief one will find a link to Baptism & Lord’s Supper.  What is unique about this is the rendering of these two ordinances.

Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer in water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It is an act of obedience symbolizing the believer’s faith in a crucified, buried, and risen Saviour, the believer’s death to sin, the burial of the old life, and the resurrection to walk in newness of life in Christ Jesus. It is a testimony to his faith in the final resurrection of the dead. Being a church ordinance, it is prerequisite to the privileges of church membership and to the Lord’s Supper. The Lord’s Supper is a symbolic act of obedience whereby members of the church, through partaking of the bread and the fruit of the vine, memorialize the death of the Redeemer and anticipate His second coming. (Emphasis Mine)

One can tell, while it is not the BF&M 2000 verbatim, it certainly could have used the BF&M 2000 for its source.  What makes it unique is joining the explanation of the two ordinances into one paragraph.  When you place these two together like this it speaks volumes that this church teaches, and practices, Baptism by immersion is a prerequisite for enjoying the Lord’s Table with the rest of the saints.

Thank God for these appointments and it appears that the Resolution Committee contains a good mix and a healthy Baptist Ecclesiology.

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Les Puryear

Tim,

While I appreciate the men and women on the Resolutions Committee and their healthy Baptist ecclesiology, not one of the churches which comprise the SBC Majority are represented on this committee. The minority continues to rule the majority. To me, this is unacceptable.

Les

David Rogers

Tim,

Would you prefer that all the churches in the SBC that don’t practice close/closed communion, but who accept the rest of the BF&M 2000, separate and form their own convention?

Rick Patrick

Les,

Your concerns regarding the Resolutions Committee composition can be expanded to all boards and committees of the convention. In fact, your position regarding the lack of smaller church representation in the SBC is really starting to resonate with me.

This one issue may very well be responsible for our Cooperative Program tensions and the conflicts related to the GCRTF proposals, among other issues. It is not an overstatement to suggest that this one concern affects every other area of SBC life.

I suspect that churches under 500 are paying most of the bills with little representation on most of the boards. Maybe we need a Baptist Tea Party. :>)

I further suspect that 90% of the people serving on the boards and committees of the convention are from the largest 10% of our churches, nominated or appointed by the megachurch pastors we typically elect to leadership posts. (I’m not slamming them, by the way, or questioning their motives in this matter, for I would probably tend to nominate those people in my circle of acquaintances as well.) However unintentional, it seems weird to have leaders whose perspectives vary so much from their followers.

I have no idea how this situation might be rectified, but it would be helpful to have all the facts. I wonder if some denominational entity could publish a study comparing, in various ways, the church size of our leadership with the church size of our membership.

David Worley

Les and Patrick,

You are both right. And, Patrick, you may very well be right about the CP giving tensions that are surfacing right now. Small Church Pastors have been expected to give sacrificially for years and years, while not being asked to serve on any kind of board or committee of the SBC. Also, while they are asked to sacricially give…because they dont have a lot of money in the budget to begin with…the larger Churches give a very small percentage of their overall budget; and the Pastors live like Kings on their huge salaries. Yet, all of us small Church Pastors are barely paying the electric bill; wondering if we’ll be able to buy a less used vehicle this year to replace the old, worn out one; and then we’re asked to lead our churches to give more to the CP, Lottie, Annie, State Convention, etc.

Yall both make a very good point.

And, like Les, I am glad to see a more healthy ecclesiology amongst the committeee members.

David Rogers, we’d like to see more SB churches having better, more Biblical ecclesiology.

David

David Rogers

David Worley,

Yes, of course, those of us who have studied the Bible and come to certain conclusions regarding certain issues would all love to see others come to the same conclusions we have on these issues. And, I think it is a very worthwhile task to attempt to gently and patiently reason with those who come to different conclusions, and try to convince them of the validity of our conclusions. At the same time, we must be open and willing to listen to and take into consideration the reasons of those who come to different conclusions.

But, reality teaches me there are certain issues on which all of us are likely never going to come to the same conclusions.

Having said that, it still seems to me that what Tim is saying here is that the SBC would be better off if the conclusions of a significant percent of SBC churches, perhaps even the majority, were not taken into consideration in the decisions we make.

I understand that what you would PREFER, is for all us who don’t believe in and practice close/closed communion to change our minds, and begin to believe in and practice close/closed communion.

If that is not going to happen, though, I wonder what is your second preference. Is it:

A. Perhaps, you would prefer that only those who believe like you on this issue have a real voice in convention decisions (i.e. occupy positions on committees, boards, etc.), while continuing to accept the CP gifts of those who don’t believe like you.

B. Or, perhaps, you are a little more consistent, and believe it would really be best for those or us who disagree with you on this issue, to leave the convention, and go start our own convention, where we are free to not believe in and practice close/closed communion.

I am asking an honest question.

For me, whenever the day were to come when the SBC clearly went on record, declaring either option A or B as their official position, I, in good conscience, would probably need to find another group of churches with which to cooperate in Great Commission ministry. I would consider myself effectively excluded from any meaningful cooperation.

Tim Rogers

To All,

I have just come into the office and will be tied up the rest of the day completing the sermon for Sunday. Please forgive the absence until now but my daughter was getting braces this morning and I took the time to be with her. Also, my wife’s mother has come to a point we have had to call in Hospice. So, my life is getting pretty busy outside of my paying job. :) Thank you all for the understanding. I will try to answer you all now and will try and check sparodically the rest of the afternoon and evening. Please understand that my absence has nothing to do with the content of the comments.

Brother Les,

I can agree with your comment and your concern for more representation. However, when we get people in churches the sizes of those on the committee with these documents I have to give a shout out to them. I believe it is healthy to have these churches represented on thee Resolution Committee. I also believe if we are to ever experience a GCR in the SBC it will be as a result of the churches returning to a healthy Baptist ecclesiology. And let me go on record and say just because our baptisms increase does not mean we are having a GCR. Many of the mega churches are holding “spontaneous” baptisms. That is where people get baptized as community events sponsored by the church and the church counts those baptismal numbers and never follows up with those baptized.

Brother David R.

If I had my way, you…. No, I am just kidding. :)

Seriously, I believe the reason we have seen the decline in baptisms and people leaving the denomination is due to the lackadaisical mindset that has crept into the Baptist churches. The fastest growing religion has the strictest tenets one its members. So for someone to say we need to relax our standards in order to attract more people does not hold water. If someone were to agree with all other parts of the BF&M 2000 but refuse to accept the, I call it close, communion part, yes, I believe they should be honest and say that is not something they support. You see, David, (I know we have argued this ad nauseum) baptism is the first step of obedience in following the Lord Jesus Christ. For a church to tell members they may partake of the Lord’s Supper while living in direct disobedience to Jesus is theological malpractice. Especially given the ramification to partaking of the table in an unworthy manner.

Brother Patrick,

You need to remember that the ones doing the “research” are in mega churches also, thus the wording of the question will be in a way to appeal to a mega church mentality. I agree that you make a good point, I just has suspicions when it comes to some of the research we are pointed to in our convention.

Brother David W.,

I guess what gets me is I am told I need to promote the various offerings by the entities and their Trustees. Then I see that entities have Trustees sitting on their boards that lead their churches to not support the entity. That is heart breaking for me.

Brother David R.

We have always been a convention of diverse theological beliefs. No one has ever denied that. What I believe, and I think Brother David W. agrees, is that those who say they will sign the BF&M 2000 but have caveats not be asked to serve. No one is kicking anyone out. All we are saying is put people in place that agree completely with what the majority of SB agree with. If there are things in the BF&M 2000 that are not what the majority agree with, then take it out. But if we are going to have a confession, then those serving in leadership should agree with the confession.

Blessings,

Tim

Dave Miller

I’d love to hear the answer to that question.

I have formed convictions based on a study of the Word of God. I think many of the “Baptist Identity” positions go beyond what the Word of God teaches.

I believe in immersion.
I believe in immersion AFTER conversion.
I believe in immersion as a SYMBOL of salvation, not as a saving act.
I believe in immersion in the name of the Father, Son and Spirit.

That is not enough for some. My study of scripture has led me to believe that it is normal for a person to be baptized under the auspices of a local church, but is not essential.

You good folks advocate that baptism under the oversight of a baptistic church is essential to valid baptism.

What do you want to do with people like me? (Be nice, guys!) If you had your way, would there be a place in the SBC for someone like me?

Remember, my convictions are based on my study of God’s Word and they are not likely to change.

I am more than willing to share the SBC with you. I will continue to believe you are wrong and argue that you are wrong in your views. I am happy to have you do the same as we discuss the issues.

But what do you want to do with people who do not practice closed or close communion, but admit any believer to the table of the Lord?

What do you want to do with people like me who do not believe that church oversight is essential to biblically valid baptism?

What do you want to do with people like me who believe that it is perfectly okay to have Baptists who practice a private prayer language, even though I do not?

Though I have never touched a drop of alcohol, I believe that each person has the freedom to make a decision about moderate alcohol consumption under the Lordship of Christ.

What would you do with guys like me? Is there a place for dissent on issues like this in your SBC? Is there a place for those who do not agree with BI positions?

If you were President of the SBC or of an agency, would you hire people who disagreed with your positions on these issues, or only those who were in agreement with you?

I’m interested in your answer. Could start a pretty interesting conversation.

Dave Miller

Next to last paragraph above should read “appoint or hire people.”

Tim Rogers

Brother Dave Miller,

If you were President of the SBC or of an agency, would you hire people who disagreed with your positions on these issues, or only those who were in agreement with you?

I copied that one question because I felt it summed up your list of concerns. Allow me to answer that first by telling you that the SBC has voted, in annual session, their biblical convictions on alcohol. Thus, that would be what one should go by when hiring or appointing. Also, each entity has accepted the BF&M 2000 and voted that anyone hired by that entity but be in agreement with the document. While it was not drafted by us “BI guys” it certainly clearly states where we stand. So, I guess you could call the BF&M 2000 a BI document.

As I stated earlier, the only way a GCR will happen in the SBC will be for the churches to return to a healthy Baptist ecclesiology. That ecclesiology is clearly defined within the parameters of the BF&M 2000.

Blessings,
Tim

Christiane

“Please forgive the absence until now but my daughter was getting braces this morning and I took the time to be with her. Also, my wife’s mother has come to a point we have had to call in Hospice. So, my life is getting pretty busy outside of my paying job.”

Just a thought: If you pour the overflow of that all that love and devotion for your dear family into that sermon, it will have in it the heart of Lord Christ, the Source of all love.
Some people may pay your salary, but it sounds like you honor the priorities of the One you truly work for in the way you care for your loved ones. Somehow, I think all the people you watch over in your congregation are the better for that integrity. God bless you, Tim.

Tim Rogers

Brother Dave,

One more thing. The BF&M 2000 was affirmed by a 90% majority of Southern Baptist meeting in conference in Orlando. Thus, it holds just as much authority as the GCRTF does in bring forth their report. The SBC has spoken, regardless of what you and others may desire. If there is something that you do not agree with in the BF&M 2000, then bring it up and let the SBC decide if it warrants a hearing. Until then, accept what Southern Baptist believe if you want to serve in any leadership position.

Blessings,
Tim

Dave Miller

I would hope that one day we will rewrite the BF&M to adhere more closely to scripture than to Baptist tradition on certain issues, but that day is probably far off. I, too, believe in a “healthy Baptist ecclesiology.” I just think that we have added some unhealthy elements to our ecclesiology that go beyond what the Bible says. That probably comes as no shock to you.

Am I hearing you rightly then that if it were in your power, you would not appoint or hire someone who believed that church oversight of baptism is not essential?

If someone practices open communion, they should not be appointed or hired?

I assume that, since the BF&M says nothing about private prayer language, you would appoint those who practice that and would disagree with the IMB policies against it?

Tim Rogers

Brother Dave,

Allow me to answer your questions one at a time.

Am I hearing you rightly then that if it were in your power, you would not appoint or hire someone who believed that church oversight of baptism is not essential?
You have that correct. However, please not that the word “if” is implied here. I am not “in power” and do not want to be. However, we are following what Baptist have always believed. Do your remember writing about the communion being canceled at a World Changers event? I believe it was you that wrote about that. But, I applaud NAMB for doing that. The convention would not stand for such because of the autonomy of the local church.

If someone practices open communion, they should not be appointed or hired?
First, for the sake of identifying terms clearly. “Open” communion is communion where the church is not involved and anyone anywhere can give communion or partake communion. “Close” communion is communion observed under the auspices of the local church and is afforded to anyone that has been baptized by immersion. That is correct. It is not because this is my personal beliefs. The person being hired or appointed is signing the BF&M 2000. Any interpretation of the BF&M 2000 can, at best, interpret close communion. The person being hired or appointed has to say they agree with close communion. Thus, if one signs that document but does not practice it and support it, then there is a serious integrity issue and their theological beliefs have nothing to do with that. I wouldn’t appoint or hire someone that was found out as lying on their taxes, I do not care how much they adhered to the BF&M 2000.

I assume that, since the BF&M says nothing about private prayer language, you would appoint those who practice that and would disagree with the IMB policies against it?
This is a red herring and you know it. Good try though. :)

Blessings,
Tim

Dave Miller

You picked up on that, eh?

Les Puryear

Rick,

You said, “I have no idea how this situation might be rectified, but it would be helpful to have all the facts.”

Watch my blog (http://lesliepuryear.blogspot.com) on Monday, April 12 for a proposed solution to the issue of the SBC minority ruling the majority.

Tim,

Sorry for the commercial. :)

Les

Tom Parker

TR:

Why is it that you place the 2000 BF&M above the Bible?

Do you really believe that when you get a 90% vote at the SBC it means that it represents 90% of what 16 million Baptists believe?

You and DW strike me as mighty exclusive individuals. If you and him and others like you get your way the SBC is going to become a much smaller convention. Is that what you want?

To me it is incredible that David Rogers the son of Adrian Rogers a former SBC missionary is not conservative enough for you and DW and you both would rather him not serve in a leadership capacity in the SBC since he does not 100% agree with the 2000 BF&M.

BTW what leadership capacity is David Rogers in the SBC as I type this. Just maybe you and DW already have what you would want from him and others in similar situations.

I never thought I would see the day that the SBC would have people like you and DW saying to good conservative Baptists if you do not sign off 100% to the 2000 BF&M we don’t want you serving in the SBC.

Shame on both of you for being so exclusive. There is not Biblical basis for this exclusivity.

David Worley

Tom,

I think you need to get off the believing the BFM2K over the Bible stuff. The BFM2K is just what SB’s believe the Bible clearly teaches and must be adhered to in order to serve in any leadership capacity. So, it’s not a “holding to the BFM2K over the Bible” thing. That clearly misrepresents what we believe.

Secondly, I also dont want anyone, who holds to infant baptism holding leadership positions in the SBC. Know why? Because it goes against the BFM2K(Bible). Now, they can be a member of the SBC, as can open communion folks. Our SBC is very, very diverse. But, when you’re talking about holding leadership positions, that’s an all together different thing. Then, you’re leading the entire SBC. So, why would we want someone to lead the SBC, who doesnt even adhere to what we believe are the clearly spelled out teachings of the Bible, that we hold to be a matter worthy enough of separation?

Thirdly, if the churches of the SBC want the SBC to appoint people that believe in open communion, infant baptism, or that all dogs go to Heaven; then that can be accomplished by bringing it up at an SBC meeting. That can get settled at an SBC meeting…if that’s what the Churches of the SBC want to do.

I guess they dont want to do it.

David

David Rogers

Tim,

In your comment to Dave Miller, you say: “‘Open’ communion is communion where the church is not involved and anyone anywhere can give communion or partake communion.”

It is for this very reason that I have avoided the term “open communion” in what I have written. According to the way you define it, I (and I imagine a great number of other Southern Baptists) do not believe in “open communion.” But, neither do I believe in either “close” or “closed” communion. Nathan Finn has described the position I take as “modified open communion.” To my knowledge, no one has done a scientific study on this yet, but I would not be surprised at all to find out that the majority of Southern Baptists today agree with my “modified open communion” position.

In a conversation with my mother yesterday, she told me that, back a number of years ago, my father and her partook of the Lord’s Supper together with an interdenominational group of Christian leaders at the Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization and didn’t see any problem with that. From what I am understanding you to say here, you would thus be opposed to my father (if he were still living) holding an office in the SBC. Is that correct? I am sure that many of other current leaders, who have been influential in the Conservative Resurgence, would take a similar position. Is this really where you want to go with this?

Personally, I would be open to the possibility of putting the “close/closed communion” clause in the BF&M up to a new vote. I honestly think that the majority of Southern Baptists, if they truly understood the issues, and what is at stake, would be in favor of not enforcing close/closed communion as a requirement for convention-supported service. I think, however, we would need to be very wise in the way we go about this, though, so that we do not cause more heartache and division than necessary.

For the time being, most people (in leadership and otherwise) seem to be content with a “don’t ask, don’t tell” approach to this particular issue. If you BI guys continue to write things like this present post, and force the issue, as it were, though, those of us, like myself, who have been content up to now to let this sleeping dog lie, may see ourselves forced to deal more proactively with it. Personally, I don’t think that would probably be the best thing to do, at this time, when mutual solidarity and unity among us, as Southern Baptists, is so crucial to moving forward with our cooperative efforts at working toward the fulfillment of the Great Commission.

In the meantime, I am hoping that your position on this issue only represents an insignificant minority within the SBC. If that is indeed the case, it is probably best to let this sleeping dog lie until a more propitious moment.

Christiane

Confusion. (Sorry)

“what we believe are the clearly spelled out teachings of the Bible. . ”

begs the question, if the teachings of the Bible are clearly spelled out in the Bible, what is the need for a BF&M2K or for resolutions?

Another thought: is the BF&M2K and voted-on resolutions to be considered ‘inerrant’. If not, why not, is considered to be ‘the same’ in meaning as the teachings of the Holy Writings?

What is the role of the Holy Spirit in the writing of these documents?
Are the writers of the BF&M2K and the ‘resolutions’ inspired, as were the writers of the Holy Scriptures?

No need to respond, just food for thought.

Bill MacKinnon

I wonder if there are, or will be, people in leadership in the SBC who approve of deaconesses? Or are old-earthers? Or hold to New Covenant Theology? We’ve seen how well those go over in the SBC blogosphere.

Tom: I don’t think it is fair to say that people put the BFM above the bible if they simply believe the BFM reflects what the bible says, even if we disagree. I will say, however, that if the BFM has to be “interpreted” then that is a serious flaw.

I think the alcohol issue is one where the SBC goes beyond scripture but that isn’t in the BFM (at least not yet).

I suspect (but hope not) that one day the BFM will be revised to include language on alcohol, the age of the earth, the proper administrator of baptism, and possibly an eschatological position.

Bill MacKinnon

“Secondly, I also dont want anyone, who holds to infant baptism holding leadership positions in the SBC. Know why? Because it goes against the BFM2K(Bible). Now, they can be a member of the SBC,”

DW: Do you really believe this? Can paedobaptists be members of the SBC? Why then, has there been talk about tossing out churches with female pastors?

David Rogers

Christiane,

I realize your comment/question was not directed so much to me as to others (e.g. Tim, and the other contributors at this blog). However, I’d like to give a stab at shedding a bit of light on it…

1. I think (at least, I hope) that all involved in this particular comment thread agree that neither the BF&M (whatever version) or any voted-on resolution is inerrant (however you define that term).

2. However, in an organization such as the SBC, which is a subset, and not the compendium, of the Body of Christ, and which exists for certain defined purposes, it is necessary to define how we agree to jointly agree on a number of issues that are potentially up for discussion in regard to how we interpret the Bible. That is, we have mutually agreed to cooperate together, in our financial contributions, as well as our ministry efforts, on the basis of mutually held positions on certain matters of biblical interpretation.

3. It is somewhat arbitrary where a certain group decides to draw the parameters of cooperation with those who would like to join together in a joint project. But, pretty much by definition, you have to draw those parameters somewhere, beyond just vaguely claiming to believe the Bible. I myself am not contesting that reality.

4. However, what I am contesting is that particular details of those parameters must be strictly enforced, when everyone knows that there is a discrepancy between what a large percent, or even majority, of the group believes, and what the written parameters technically state.

Christiane

Hi DAVID ROGERS,

Thank you for taking the time and effort to respond. It is much appreciated.

Christiane

Christiane

What I think I understand (not sure) is this:
‘Autonomous Churches are asked to contribute monies to central organizations such as IMB, seminaries, etc., cooperatively.

But once the monies are donated, the ‘autonomy’ part gives way to any members of these autonomous Churches who wish to serve in the IMB, seminaries, etc, must then ‘sign on’ to documents that the ‘home’ autonomous Church may not agree with one-hundred percent.

Is the controversy, then, one between the privileges and the limits of ‘autonomy’ vs. ‘accountability’?
This is what I’m thinking.

Tim Rogers

Brother David R,

I honestly do not intend to get into a tit-for-tat with you. If you would re-read my comment to David Miller, I clearly stated I was identifying the term in order for me to answer it. I never stated that “Open” communion covered that one definition. I also clearly defined “close” communion. You didn’t seem to have a problem with that identifying term.

However, allow me to take your definition of being “modified open”. In a “modified open” belief you are saying that as long as one professes Christ as Savior then they are free to partake of communion. You restrict the communion to be given through the church? Am I correct? If that is correct, then you clearly point out that your Dad was in violation of your view when he partook with the small gathering in Lausanne. (I will address your question on this shortly.) If your definition of “modified open” is that anyone can give it they all need to be saved then you have another problem. The open part then places the emphasis on the church not being the one giving it and the modified is placed on the person receiving it. So, I come back to my original question. What is it about my definition of “open” communion is not correct?

As to your Dad taking communion in Luasanne. I am not denying that your mother would tell you such a thing. I am not denying that your Dad didn’t do what she told you they did. However, I will tell you that what your Dad taught is contrary to the statement. He served a the Chairman of the BF&M 2000 study committee. He said;

We have sought to retain all the strengths of that noble heritage, to clarify the truths there expressed, and to address the needs of our own times.

Thus, the committee believed the truths expressed were sufficient to what we believed as Southern Baptist. I am sure the convention in 2000 is very similar to the one in 2010. I know there are young pastors but those serving on the committee then are in leadership today. This is nothing new as it is in the 25 and 63 BF&M. This is historically what Southern Baptist believe. I do not know if you realize it or not, but your revelation of the Luasanne incident has just placed your Dad as saying one thing and doing something different.

As for the don’t ask, don’t tell approach, I have always felt that was for ‘spaghetti back-boned’ preachers, of which I am not one. You make the motion, I’ll second it. Let’s get it in writing once and for all. If this is such a divisive issue we will never have a GCR. I have said it before and I will say it again. The SBC will not have a GCR without a healthy Baptist ecclesiology.

Blessings,
Tim

PS, While you are at it, place the alcohol, tongues, and Baptism issue out there, I’ll second them too.

David Rogers

Christiane,

That sounds correct to me.

However, even though the autonomous congregations must give up some of their autonomy, in relation to their cooperative efforts with other autonomous congregations, they are still theoretically free to maintain their autonomy in relation to what they do and believe outside the specific scope of their cooperation with the others.

Recently, however, some are beginning to say that, in order to cooperate with the others, it is also necessary, not only to go along with the beliefs and practices of the majority in the realm of cooperative projects, but also to do so on a local basis, even though it may not necessarily infringe specifically upon cooperative projects.

Tim Rogers

Brother David R,

Recently, however, some are beginning to say that, in order to cooperate with the others, it is also necessary, not only to go along with the beliefs and practices of the majority in the realm of cooperative projects, but also to do so on a local basis, even though it may not necessarily infringe specifically upon cooperative projects.

What on earth are you saying? I have never seen anyone, anywhere say that churches must follow the BF&M 2000 to cooperate on a local basis. That statement either needs to be redacted or deleted all together. I am currently in talks with the local Presbyterian Church about partnering to do a food pantry. Each local church has the autonomous authority to decide whom and what their ministries are to be.

Blessings,
Tim

David Rogers

Tim,

1. It appears you are indeed misunderstanding my “modified open communion” position. I do not believe that any professing believer is “free” to partake of the Lord’s Supper. I believe that it is up to the individual believe to examine their own heart before partaking of the Lord’s Supper, and to confess, and repent of, any known sin, before partaking. Key to understanding this position is my understanding of disobedience and different views and practices of baptism.

It just so happens that just a few minutes ago I posted a comment over at SBC Impact that describes my view on this. You can check it out here:

http://www.sbcimpact.net/2010/04/07/marty-duren-on-the-search-for-the-executive-committee-president/comment-page-1/#comment-51084

According to my view, as described there, I do not believe that an actively “disobedient” Christian should be knowingly admitted to the Lord’s Supper. However, we do not know the state of others’ heart before the Lord.

There is a time and a place for the final stage of church discipline, in which we treat professing believers as if they were not believers. Thus, if someone is officially under church discipline, I believe it is legitimate for a local congregation to refuse to serve them the Lord’s Supper. Otherwise, though, I believe we should leave this between the conscience of the individual believer and the Lord.

Neither do I have a problem celebrating the Lord’s Supper together with other fellow believers outside the context of a particular local congregation. I believe it is, in addition to a memorial of the Lord’s death and His sacrifice to us, a celebration of our unity as One Body, not just the unity of a particular local congregation.

2. If you want to state that my father was outside of the bounds of the BF&M, and thus unworthy to serve in an official SBC capacity, that is your prerogative. I imagine there are many, many, many people who will vehemently disagree with you on that one, though.

3. You have stated your views quite clearly here. Indeed, I hope they only represent an insignificant minority within the SBC. If not, I can’t help but think we are in for a rocky ride in the days ahead.

David Rogers

Tim,

RE: comment #28

I am saying that, in order to cooperate with other Southern Baptists, and remain a member church of Baptist Associations, some are saying a church must agree with, at least, certain premises of the BF&M (e.g. no female senior pastors).

It is theoretically possible that a local congregation may say they are fine cooperating with other congregations on the premise that none of their cooperative efforts will support female senior pastors, while at the same time, in their individual practice, they allow for female senior pastors.

Whereas this theoretical possibility may have been permitted in the past, there are those, in certain places and situations, who are saying it should not be permitted.

And, just to clarify, I am not saying here whether or not I think that is a good thing.

Joe Blackmon

I would not want to cooperate with a church that had or supported the idea of female senior pastors even if our cooperative effort would result in no churches with female senior pastors.

Tim Rogers

Brother David R.,

This is why it is so hard to dialog with you. You now turn around the entire argument. I have never once said that I was against an individual examining themself. By your presenting the follow-up this way you are making it sound as if each congregation has Lord’s Supper Police stationed at the end of the pews asking people when they take the bread or juice; “are you baptized by immersion, are you sure it was done in the proper way?” David, that is why it is so hard to debate with you and why it is so frustrating. I can feel my frustration rise as I type the words.

However, let’s examine your stated “modified open”. You say that you believe personally that baptism by immersion is walking in obedience to Christ. Thus, you, being a baptized by immersion believer, partaking of the Lord’s Supper is not in disobedience to Christ. However, if there is one in the congregation that believes their baptism as an infant qualifies them for partaking of the Lord’s Supper then they are not in disobedience to Christ. Here is where the rub is for me.

As the Pastor of the Baptist church giving those instructions to the congregation before the Lord’s Table, I would be teaching a dichotomous position. I cannot say the Bible teaches Baptism by immersion and then instruct that obedience to Christ is what Christ calls for to partake of the Lord’s Table. Then, express that if they have not been Baptized by immersion but believe their baptismal form qualifies, then they would be taking the Lord’s Table without consequence. Brother, I would then have to remove the standard of entrance into the church we call Baptism by immersion. Why? Because I would have to tell those seeking entrance without baptism that they could just believe their variant form of baptism was ok. If I believe the Bible teaches Baptism by immersion any variant mode of Baptism is disobedience. And if I believe that Baptism is a prerequisite, as you say you do, then when I say a variant mode is ok as long as the individual believes that was their baptism, then I just denied what I said I believed about Scripture.

2. If you want to state that my father was outside of the bounds of the BF&M, and thus unworthy to serve in an official SBC capacity, that is your prerogative. I imagine there are many, many, many people who will vehemently disagree with you on that one, though.

I never said that your father was outsid of the bounds of the BF&M. I said that if what you say happened and he expressed he did not see anything wrong with it, then he taught one thing and practiced something else.

Re: Comment #30

It seems that your concern here is not resting with us as a convention, but with the autonomy of the state conventions and local associations. If they so desire to accept the BF&M 2000 and then follow it as they see fit, that is nothing I am going to be concerned with. We are speaking on the national level. For example, if GBC decides to de-fellowship a church because they have a woman pastor that is the position that the GBC takes. The are completely autonomous.

As to your clarification. There is no need for that, I think you know me well enough to know I would ask you straight forward about that. :)

Blessings,
Tim

Benji Ramsaur

To all,

Do any of you know where folks could see either the video and/or the transcript of the SBC in 2000 where there was a messenger, I think, who spoke concerning the communion issue?

I have never seen or read the primary source material. I have just heard about it.

Tim Rogers

Brother Benji,

I just went to SBC.Net and they only go back as far as 2005. I would imagine that the Historical Committee which is under the auspices of the Seminary Presidents, I think, would have it. Or the Historical Committee could be under the auspices of the Ex.Com.

Blessings,
Tim

David Rogers

Tim,

I am sorry for frustrating you in my style of dialogue. That is not my intention. But, I can understand how and why you may feel frustrated.

However, the position I describe here as “modified open communion” is the very same position I have outlined ever since I first wrote on this back about 3 years ago, in a dialogue I had with Nathan Finn over this matter. I know it may be frustrating to those who are used to a paradigm of only 3 possible views–close, closed, and open–to entertain the thought that those are not the only possible views. But, that gets at the core of what I am trying to communicate here. “Open communion,” as you describe it in comment #14 is not the same thing as “modified open communion,” as I believe. In order to understand each other correctly, it is necessary to have this straight. I have not changed. This is what I have always believed, and, to the best of my knowledge, stated.

Now, in order to speak to your postulated dilemma as the pastor of a Baptist church. Whenever I have “presided” the Lord’s Supper, I have generally stated it in more or less the following manner:

“The Bible teaches that, before partaking of the bread and the wine, we are to examine our hearts. I believe this includes examining ourselves to see if there is any known sin we have not confessed, or for which we have not repented. Before sharing together with us in the Lord’s Supper today, I ask, and indeed, urge you to examine the condition of your own heart before the Lord. If the Holy Spirit convicts you of any sin, please make it right before Him before partaking in the Lord’s Supper. This is a very serious matter. The Word of God says that some, in the congregation in Corinth, slept (that is, they died) as a result of not taking this admonition seriously.

I would also add that, in our congregation, we believe that Jesus commanded each believer, after truly repenting of their sin, and placing their faith in Christ, to seal their surrender to Christ by means of believers baptism, or being immersed in water, after having been saved, in obedience to the Lord’s command. If you have not been obedient to Jesus’ command to be baptized, I urge you to not put off any longer doing so.

At the same time, I am aware there are some who have sincerely repented of their sin, and placed their faith in Christ alone for their salvation, and yet, believe, as they have examined Scripture, that their baptism before they were saved is an authentic and biblically condoned baptism. Though, in this congregation, we believe and teach differently on this matter, we consider the Lord’s Supper to be a celebration of the unity of the entire Body of Christ, not just of those who agree with us on this particular matter.

In any case, I urge you to carefully and prayerfully study the Scripture, and examine your own heart on this matter. If you are convicted you need to be biblically baptized, don’t put it off any longer. If you, before the Lord, have a clear conscience about being obedient to the Lord’s command in this area, then follow, before the Lord, the dictates of your conscience.

In any case, if you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and are attempting, to the best of your ability, to serve and obey Him, we warmly embrace you, and accept you as a fellow member of the Body of Christ.”

As to your observations regarding my father, and Lausanne, etc., if I understand you correctly, you are saying that you would not have a problem with someone teaching one thing and practicing something else, as far as denominational service is concerned. Is that a fair assessment?

My point in all of this is that, very likely, a significant majority of Southern Baptists, including many key leaders within the convention, are guilty of “teaching one thing and practicing something else,” if this is the standard you are advocating. There is indeed an important anomaly in the current wording of the BF&M, and ideally, it needs to be corrected.

Tom Parker

David:

I fail to see anything wrong Biblically with your view of communion. I fail to see why DW and TR have to always spar with you about communion and baptism. I just feel like both of them are way too narrow in their view of the scriptures. It creates divisiveness where it is not needed. I appreciate your willingness to explain yourself to these two men, when to me you should not have to.

Stuart

Just an observation. Dr. Criswell held to “close” by conviction, but served the memorial as “open/modified open” believing it was God’s job to separate the sheep from the goats (his analogy, not mine). This may be the first time I’ve ever heard him referred to by anyone as “spaghetti-backboned”.

Tim Rogers

Brother Tom,

Your statement about the Biblical underpinning of Brother David R. argument may seem ok to you. But, coming from one who doesn’t believe in the inerrancy of Scripture doesn’t hold too much weight with me.

Brother Stuart,

Could you direct me to a place where Dr. Criswell said that concerning Baptism and the Lord’s Supper? It seems if you would go to the link Brother David provided for Brother Benji at around the 41 minute mark you will find an excellent description of our position by Dr. Richard Land.

Blessings,
Tim

Tim Rogers

Brother David,

Sorry, for some reason I thought your link connection was the only comment and just realized your extended comment to me.

First let me address your position as Pastor and explanation at the Lord’s Table. In that position that you term “modified open” based on a dialog with Dr. Nathan Finn, I can see why Dr. Finn would call that “modified open”. However, his “modified”, I believe, has more to do with your position of being in the convention more than a historical position. I believe that if Dr. Finn would do a more thorough research he would have to admit that your position is historically “open”. While you give this advice your position still falls in the area of open. Don’t get me wrong Dr. Finn did an excellent job expressing these views. I have used his research on various occasions. However, according to his 2006 White Paper he advocated that “open” communion was someone that was saved but not baptized by immersion.

This means in
Baptist churches that practice open communion, a Pedobaptist may be adequately representing his ongoing union with Christ by participating in communion, but he has never had his initial union with Christ properly represented through immersion.

So Brother David, I cannot see how Dr. Finn would, according to his own position, advocate your position as being anything less than open.

As to your observations regarding my father, and Lausanne, etc., if I understand you correctly, you are saying that you would not have a problem with someone teaching one thing and practicing something else, as far as denominational service is concerned.

That is not what I am saying. That is why I am questioning you so much on this. I really am taken aback by your revelation concerning your Dad. He never struck me as someone that would teach one way and then practice differently.

Blessings,
Tim

Christiane

Hi DAVID ROGERS,

I was thinking about this part of your kind response to me:
“2. However, in an organization such as the SBC, which is a subset, and not the compendium, of the Body of Christ, and which exists for certain defined purposes, it is necessary to define how we agree to jointly agree on a number of issues that are potentially up for discussion in regard to how we interpret the Bible. That is, we have mutually agreed to cooperate together, in our financial contributions, as well as our ministry efforts, on the basis of mutually held positions on certain matters of biblical interpretation. ”

I wondered this: how could this teaching be reconciled
with 1 Cor.12:13 ? The teaching appears more narrow than the intent of the Scripture. Is that intentional? Or is agreeing on the more narrow teaching part of the agreed upon ‘co-operative’ effort of all Churches in the SBC? Or is the teaching not accepted across the board?

“Baptists do not baptize apart from the local church, because baptism involves local church membership.”

1 Cor. 12:13 “13
For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body “

Thanks, if you can help. I know you’re busy.
In Christ, peace,
Christiane

David Rogers

Christiane,

I am not totally sure exactly what you are asking here. Is the “teaching” you are referring to, this one: “Baptists do not baptize apart from the local church, because baptism involves local church membership”?

If so, I personally do not agree with that teaching, and I am not totally sure that the BF&M demands it. It does call baptism a “church ordinance” (a phrase which, in my opinion, is open to interpretation). And, water baptism is a requirement for local church membership in a Baptist church (a point with which I do not disagree). However, I do not think that baptism necessarily must be supervised and administered by a local church, nor that, when we are baptized in water, we are baptized into the membership of a local church. I believe, rather, we are baptized into identification with Christ, and with the Body of Christ (i.e. the Universal Church).

Also, I don’t think that 1 Cor. 12:13 refers to water baptism, but rather to Spirit baptism, which occurs at the moment each of us personally repents of his/her sin, and accepts the free gift of salvation merited for us by Jesus’ atoning sacrifice on the cross.

If I still haven’t answered your question, try expressing it a little differently, and I’ll give it my best shot once again.

Christiane

Thank you, David.

Yes, I realized I should have said ‘the teaching’ below in quotations.
I found it on another blog and it comes from Dr. Yarnell, according to that blog.

The whole idea of baptism in my own Church seems to have a much more expanded meaning, and the work of the Holy Spirit is considered a part of that Baptism. But you know, we recognize something called ‘the baptism of desire’ in which someone desires to be baptized but does not have a chance before death. (Perhaps the Good Thief is an example of this.) I was thinking about how Baptists handle the baptism of those who are severely mentally challenged. In a case like that, what is considered scriptural? Thank you for helping me sort this out. :)

David Rogers

Tim,

Whatever you choose to call it, the position I take on the Lord’s Supper is signficantly different than the one you call “open communion” in comment #14. That is one of my central points.

Regarding my father, I went along, at first, with your inference that to sign on to the BF&M is part and parcel to “teaching” everything contained therein. Though I follow, to a degree, your line of reasoning here, I don’t think it is entirely fair. And, to be certain, I have never heard my father verbally articulate a personal defense of close/closed communion. If you can provide a quote, or reference, where he did, I will be much obliged.

Once again, though, if I may insist, it appears to me you are indeed arguing here that someone who does not consistently believe in and practice close or closed communion should not be eligible for denominational office or service. Is that not the case? I have also told you of at least one occasion on which my father did not practice close or closed communion, and with, which, according to the testimony of my mother, did see a problem with this. Now, the logical conclusion, it appears to me, is either you think I (or my mother) am lying about this, or else, you don’t think my father should have been eligible for denominational office or service. Or, is there an alternate explanation I am missing here?

Tim Rogers

Brother David,

First, my comment in #14 is one relating to an “open” position from an Evangelical perspective. Dr. Finn’s definition is from a Baptist perspective.

Second, I am not insinuating that either you or your mother are giving false information. I am just saying your Dad spoke so dogmatically about what he believed, he served as Chairman of the BF&M 2000 and did not change or even discuss Article vii. Thus there is inconsistency in what he taught and what he practiced. As to his fitness of service in the denomination, I believe if the convention knew these were his beliefs there would have been a different decision made for leadership. I am not saying he wasn’t fit. I am saying that it appears we did not know everything about your Dad that you are now telling us.

Blessings,
Tim

David Rogers

Christiane,

As I understand it, the teaching of your church conflates water baptism and Spirit baptism all in the same event. According to my understanding of Scripture, and that of most any Baptist, though, these are two separate events. Water baptism is merely a symbolic external confession of what occurs at a more transcendent level inside our own heart at the moment of Spirit baptism. Because of this, it (water baptism) should take place subsequently to Spirit baptism.

In the case of a severely mentally challenged individual, I don’t think that water baptism is advisable or necessary. However, this in no way affects his/her opportunity for eternal salvation. God knows the heart of each individual, and will judge us each accordingly. And, our eternal state is based upon our acceptance of His grace through faith, and not by following through on an external rite such as water baptism.

Though Scripture is not explicit in this regard, I also think there is good reason to accept the idea of the age of accountability. And, personally, I think this age is generally older than it is often considered to be in many, if not most, Southern Baptist churches. I would tend to think that, in the case of severely mentally challenged persons, their mental age, and not their physical age, should be of primary consideration. This, however, is one point on which the autonomy of the local church allows for differences of interpretation and practice among Baptist churches.

And, FWIW, I once wrote a post on “Semi-Infant Baptism in Baptist Churches” that touches on some of these issues. You can find it here:

http://www.sbcimpact.net/?s=Semi-Infant+Baptism

Tom Parker

TR:

Why do you continue to try to paint David Rogers in an unfavorable light? I think you are treating him very unfairly.

Christiane

Thank you David.

David Rogers

Tim,

You say: “As to his fitness of service in the denomination, I believe if the convention knew these were his beliefs there would have been a different decision made for leadership.”

I am sorry. But I sincerely believe you are mistaken on this one. I really find it hard to believe, based on what I have observed, that the majority of messengers at any recent SBC would make hard-line adherence to close/closed communion a litmus test for denominational office or service. That may well be your personal view. But, I really don’t think your view on this is that of the majority.

Tom Parker

David Rogers:

I have a real big problem with the way that TR trys to exclude people from service in the SBC. I’ll say it again the way that he treats you as a former SBC missionary is reprehensible and outlandish. I see little to no respect for the service you provided on the missions field.

I think he is saying if he had been allowed a vote knowing what he knows about your view(s) he would not have voted for you to be a SBC missionary.

That is just incredulous!

Stuart

Tim,

He articulates his convictions in the section on the Lord’s Supper in Criswell’s Guidebook for Pastors.

As far as “held to close be served the memorial as ‘open/modified open’…” I can’t point you to a place in print where he uses those exact terms as much as I’m drawing a conclusion based upon a combination of his comments in the Guidebook alongside personal reflections from having receiving the memorial at FBC.

I’m not here to argue one position over another. I was just merely pointing out that this is the first time I’ve ever heard anyone refer to Criswell as “spaghetti-backboned”. But then again, this is also the first time I’ve ever heard anyone accuse David’s late father of intellectual dishonesty.

Stuart

Tim,

I’m sincerely not here to argue one position over another. My own conviction would be “close”, but closer to “modified open” than to “closed”. For whatever that’s worth.

I’m curious to get your take on one somewhat common practice. What do you make of pastors who give the Supper elements to a bride and groom, and only the bride and groom, in a wedding ceremony? Is that “open”? Is it even the Lord’s Supper? What of a pastor who claims to adhere to BFM2K, but gives the elements to just a bride and groom in a wedding ceremony? Should that pastor be eligible for denominational employment or service?

David Rogers

My commentary on the audio of the debate over the BF&M 2000:

1. The way Jim Goodroe’s amendment was stated was, in my opinion, unfortunate. It would have effectively amended the BF&M to support “open communion” as defined by Tim in comment #14. I believe a well-informed convention would have been much more amenable to a wording allowing for freedom to practice close, closed, open, or modified open communion. And, this is what I would personally advocate. The exact wording would have to be studied and worked on, though.

2. It was not a propitious moment to present such an amendment. The overwhelming spirit of the 2,000 convention at large was in general support of the CR, and reluctant to go against any recommendations of the committee, whatever they might have been. The key issues being discussed centered around the role of women in the church and home, and the wording of the preamble. The close/closed communion issue was not even on the radar screen of the vast majority of those attending. Mr. Goodroe’s motion pretty much blind-sided everyone. The vast majority were interested in moving quickly through the discussion and report, and approving the new BF&M presented by the committee, without distracting complications.

3. Although I was not present in the actual meetings of the committee, nor did I ever discuss this particular point with my father before he died, my impression is that the matter of close/closed communion was probably not dealt with extensively in their deliberations. I could be mistaken on this. If someone who was actually on the committee wants to weigh in on this, I would be most interested to hear their perspective on this. In any case, the words of my father, at around minute 43 of the audio, are telling, in my opinion:

“Our statement does not deal with the issue that has been spoken of.”

I think since there was no actual change proposed on this particular point, and the focus of the changes proposed by committee was on other issues, it is likely that no significant prior discussion took place on the committee in regard to this point.

4. Personally, I think that Richard Land’s defense was rather weak. His main point, as I understood it, was that, since practically all other denominations require “baptism” for admission to the Lord’s Supper, then Baptists should, as well. Only that, what other denominations consider to be baptism, we do not.

I think that is one of the main weaknesses of the BI position overall on various issues. It is largely a reaction to the views of other denominations, rather than a position drawn from an objective analysis of Scripture itself. Just because other denominations believe “baptism” to be a prerequisite for participation in the Lord’s Supper does not mean they base that teaching on Scripture. The main reason they have had that view, as I understand it, is because the Roman Catholic church has traditionally (falsely) taught baptismal regeneration, and then (correctly) taught that only the regenerate should partake of the Lord’s Supper.

Dave Miller

I don’t know of any Southern Baptist churches that practice closed communion. I don’t know of any that enforce a strict version of the close communion. Maybe it is a regional thing, but certainly in the part of the country, some form of open communion is pretty much standard practice among Baptist churches.

I don’t know about other parts of the country or branches of the Baptist Tree.

David Rogers

Tom Parker,

One thing I can say about Tim. At least, he does his best to be consistent with what he believes. I agree that this sometimes leads him to extreme, and even, border-line “outlandish,” conclusions. But, at least, he is consistent. And, I believe he’s got a good heart. He just needs to be more open-minded and objective on some of his views, especially those related to Baptist Identity.

Tim Rogers

Brother Tom Parker,

I am sorry that you believe my statements are “incredulous” As far as “my vote” concerning Brother David Rogers being on the mission field you have revealed nothing new to him that he does not already know. Also, as for my my respect for his service as a Missionary, I have had Brother David in my pulpit as one that was on furlough promoting the Lottie Moon missions offering. What about you? I provided a place for him to speak and gave him freedom to express whatever he felt the Lord lead him. What about you?

Brother Stuart,

I have that book on my shelf at the office and will certainly look for Dr. Criswell’s statement. As to my calling Dr. Criswell “spaghetti back-boned”, you will have to show me that statement. I have never called him any such thing.

As to your comment #52

This is the place that you guys try to take us who promote a healthy Baptist ecclesiology. There is no place that any of us who promote a healthy Baptist ecclesiology advocate telling a pastor what they may or may not do in their ministry. No one has ever done such a thing and I certainly will not start now.

Now, you did ask for my personal practice and I will be glad to give that to you. I will not perform the Lord’s Table for only the Bride and Groom at a wedding. I did do a ceremony where the Bride and Groom desired to do this as their first act as husband and wife. We had communion for the entire congregation. I also instructed the congregation on the individual’s decision and how each individual must examine oneself.

Brother David R.,

It also did not help that Goodroe was from a FBC. :) From what I know of Sumter First they are a pretty conservative congregation. However, with the debate going on the floor and his motion, I agree, he may have been perceived as Moderate trying to change the BF&M. I will concede that point. However, I cannot concede the point the Dr. Land made. There is no denomination that encourages the Lord’s Supper to be taken without baptism. The denominations I know of, Presbyterians, Episcopalians, Catholic, and Methodist all have a standard of Baptism before being invited to partake. Also, from what I understand the Catholic’s practice a closed communion. Now, there are some Methodist churches that I know who practice an “open” communion. “Open” is defined as “we invite all of God’s children” to partake.

Brother Dave,

I don’t know of any that enforce a strict version of the close communion. Here is what I am speaking of. I do not know of any SB church that “enforces” those partaking of the Lord’s Table do so the way the church believes. We have never called for “enforcement” we have called for following and maintaining what we have said we believe. We are saying that we have pastors educated by SB who have historically believed, according to our own documents, close communion.

Brother David,

Thanks for the words. I am sorry you see me as an extremist.

Blessings,
Tim

Chris Johnson

Brother Tim,

This conversation always takes me back to how the Apostles handled baptism.

The theological question that the Apostle Paul posed to those disciples (Christ followers) at Ephesus was, “into what then were you baptized”. The subsequent answers help define and point all believers , including those at Ephesus and us that follow in the Baptist tradition, back to the actual substance and seminal meaning of baptism for the churches, …..for we are baptized into Christ; recognizing the coming of the Holy Spirit.

Acts 19:1-5 It happened that while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul passed through the upper country and came to Ephesus, and found some disciples. (2) He said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” And they said to him, “No, we have not even heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.” (3) And he said, “Into what then were you baptized?” And they said, “Into John’s baptism.” (4) Paul said, “John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in Him who was coming after him, that is, in Jesus.” (5) When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.

So, the Apostle Paul teaches us that we are baptized into Christ, …and this is certainly the tenor of the Apostles encouragement to those believers that were in Ephesus, echoing the same message given to the Roman believers and to those at Corinth.

Romans 6:3-7 Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? (4) Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. (5) For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, (6) knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; (7) for he who has died is freed from sin.

So, the Apostle makes it clear that we are not baptized into “the church”, but Christ alone, recognizing the coming of the Holy Spirit (Christ in us). It would be more accurate to proclaim that we are baptized “because of” the church that Christ instituted in these last days. That is the message of the Apostles and the message the exhortation given by the Apostle Paul to the Corinthians.

1 Corinthians 1:11-18 For I have been informed concerning you, my brethren, by Chloe’s people, that there are quarrels among you. (12) Now I mean this, that each one of you is saying, “I am of Paul,” and “I of Apollos,” and “I of Cephas,” and “I of Christ.” (13) Has Christ been divided? Paul was not crucified for you, was he? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? (14) I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, (15) so that no one would say you were baptized in my name. (16) Now I did baptize also the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I do not know whether I baptized any other. (17) For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not in cleverness of speech, so that the cross of Christ would not be made void. (18) For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

It seems there are some, even today, that fall back into the Corinthian understanding of baptism as was the church at Corinth a generation after the ascension of Christ, yet the Apostle once again leads and teaches the congregation to understand the meaning of baptism, where that Christ is not divided.

The Apostles always taught that we are not baptized into the church,…but into Christ, recognizing the Holy Spirit. This is the clarion meaning of baptism. If it were not , the coming of the Holy Spirit would be misunderstood, but thank God it is not. The notion that we are baptized into the church for rights and privileges is a throwback to the Corinthians error, or the thought given in the answer by those Christ followers in Ephesus. We should be very careful to preach the seminal definition of baptism to those that follow Christ and be careful not to fall into a post Corinthian mindset. The Roman Catholic tradition is a perfect example of how baptism can be neutered and formed to occupy a class of people.

May we never get to that point!

Blessings,
Chris

David Rogers

Tim,

Once again, why do we need to look to the Presbyterians, Episcopalians, Catholics, and Methodists to determine what we as Baptists are going to believe and practice? Isn’t the Bible all by itself sufficient?

David Worley

While I lean heavily to a “close” communion position, I’m also not going to be the Lord’s Supper police. When I preach on the Lord’s Supper, I will preach that what the Church serving the Lord’s Supper believes does make a difference about taking it. Also, I will preach that only baptised Believers should take it.

But, at the times that my Church observes the Lord’s Supper, I’m not gonna make a big deal out of it. AND, I’m certainly not gonna look to see who’s taking it, and who’s not. I leave that up to the person and the Lord. So, I dont know…maybe my position is a modified close communion position. lol.

Tom Parker, okay, let me get this straight. So, everyone who’s Dad was a SB pastor, and everyone who has served as a missionary, is exempt from being examined? They’re to have free reighn to believe and do whatever they want? That seems to be what you’re saying to Tim about David Rogers.

So, taking your view…from this comment thread….if a fella served as a missionary, and his Dad was a SB pastor…then he can live with 2 women, deny the virgin birth, and smoke weed; and that should be completely overlooked. He’s free to do whatever, and say whatever, and believe whatever; and still be a missionary or a leader in the SBC. Because, Heaven forbid, that anyone should challenge this fella…after all, he served as a missionary at some point in his life….after all, his Dad was a SB pastor. So, everyone back off of this fella….he’s got complete, spiritual immunity. Tom, your reasoning is exactly why the CR had to take place.

For the record, I love David Rogers in the Lord. I do not agree with him on cooperation, baptism, and the Lord’s Supper; but he’s a good Brother in Christ.

Also, for the record, in regards to Dr. Rogers taking the Lord’s Supper at Lausanne. I, too, have made decisions similar to this in my life….that later you think about, and you realize that maybe you shouldnt have done that. I took the Lord’s Supper, one time, at the empty tomb of Jesus in Jerusalem with a group. And, in my younger days, until just the last few years, I regret to say that I didnt really care about ecclesiology that much; and my view was to just go along with what the church believed about these things, since I really didnt have strong convictions about it. But, when I started reading blogs 4 years ago, I started seeing such wierd, strange things…like mothers baptising their children in the backyard being an acceptable baptism; and any person’s baptism being okay, as long as the person getting baptised believed right about it; and the Lord’s Supper being taken with kool aid, or coke, and cookies by a college group on a mountain somewhere and such; that it made me look at this issue much, much more than I had in the past. What I saw as something not really that important…as long as it was by immersion by a good church, and the Lord’s Supper was taken in an orderly, proper manner….suddenly became more important to me. As I read in the blogs, and as I heard things being preached, I began to realize just how important it was to believe right about the Lord’s Supper and baptism. That these 2 Church ordinances had been so neglected in SB life that it was leading to strange, far out, almost weird beliefs. Thus, I became more interested in these 2 ordinances, and now they mean much, much more to me than they did 15 years ago. And, while I always tried to make these ordinances meaningful events in all the Churches that I’ve pastored, now I seek to make them even more meaningful than before. And, my prayer is that SB’s will see these things as being very important.

Also, David R., if the SBC does vote to make your modified, open view acceptable…to be a non dividing thing….then I can live with that. I wouldnt vote for it. I would not like it. But, I can live with it.

David

David Worley

Chris,

The Corinthians were thinking that which man baptised them made them more spiritual than someone else…but, they all still had a correct baptism. You’re making a point that’s not applicable to what’s being discussed here. They were saying that they were more spiritual than someone else, because they were baptised by Apollos, or by Peter, etc.
But, at least, they were all still baptised by immersion as a Believer by a church that believed right about salvation and baptism.

I really dont think that Paul would have said, “I was baptised by sprinkling, I was baptised as an infant, I was baptised by a Mormon, I was baptised by having water poured over my head; has Christ been divided?….” No, no, no. It’s apples and oranges, Brother, apples and oranges. What we’re dealing with here is not dividing over something as petty over whether you were baptised by Dr. Adrian Rogers, or by Dr. Criswell, or by R.G. Lee. We’re talking about what baptism….real, Biblical baptism…should be and be about.

Also, Chris, the Believers in the book of Acts, who only knew John’s baptism were told to be baptised again. So, I guess it was important enough to the Apostles to ask these people to be baptised in water again. I mean, they didnt say, “Well, you’ve been baptised by the Holy Spirit, as a Believer, so you’re okay. Water baptism is not what God wants. So, go your merry way.” No, they told them that they had to be baptised…in water…on this Earth…in this realm of existence. So, yes, the Bible does teach baptism of the Holy Spirit at the time of regeneration…..but…it also teaches that baptism in water is important…and how you’re baptised…why you’re baptised…is also very important.

Chris, you really come off as a universal church guy to me. Do you believe in the local church?

DAvid

Tom Parker

David Rogers:

You said to TR:”Isn’t the Bible all by itself sufficient?”

Sadly, I think him and DW would say no. The 2000 BF&M has been elevated above the Bible by some.

Pitiful that the Bible alone for them is not sufficient.

This kinds of thinking leads them to endless battles with other Christians and it is all unnecessary.

David Rogers

David W.,

You say: “But, at least, they were all still baptised by immersion as a Believer by a church that believed right about salvation and baptism.”

Is this not an assumption (i.e. eisegesis) on your part? Where does the Bible say they were baptized by a church?

Tim Rogers

Brother David,

Isn’t the Bible all by itself sufficient? Ok! Tell me one person in the upper room, when Jesus implemented the Lord’s Table that was not baptized by immersion? Tell me what hermeneutic hoops you are jumping through to remove the line of order described in the Scriptures of Acts 2:41-42. See David, we are back to the same old debate. So when you desire to hold me to Scripture I can give you Scripture. I know you may not interpret it the same as I, so we must move to the historical theological standards of the church. You seem to desire to throw out the history on which we are built. It is like you Dad said in his opening statement of the BF&M:

we receive and affirm those doctrines revealed in the Bible, and we are unembarrassed to take our stand upon the solid rock of biblical authority. Our confessions represent statements of those doctrines revealed in the Bible. The Bible is the source of our authority, not merely a support for our historic doctrines.

Thus, I use the BF&M 2000, not as a Bible, but as a document that is supported by the Scriptures.

Blessings,
Tim

David Rogers

David W.,

By the way, I totally agree with you that I shouldn’t be given a pass just because I was a missionary, and am the son of a famous pastor.

The weight of our arguments should not hinge on who we are, or where we come from, but rather on if we are using correctly the Word of God.

Tom Parker

DW:

That you would even question the credintials of a former SBC missionary is beyond the pale. You sir are exactly what the CR was never intended to be about. You’re going way beyond the call of duty. It is outright shameful what you and TR continue to do to DR. I repeat you have placed the 2000 BF&M above the Bible. Be sure other people are taking note of your unchristian behavior.

David Rogers

Tim,

I desire to continually test what we believe and have accepted as traditions by the Word of God. The Reformers called this the principle of “semper reformanda.” I believe that is an important principle for us as Baptists today, as well. And, I believe it falls right into line with the quote you give from the opening statement of the BF&M.

As to the Scriptures you cite, I have never tried to argue that the disciples in the upper room were not all baptized by immersion. I don’t see what that has to do with the point of close/closed communion. At that point (as I understand it), they didn’t have truly born-again people who had not been baptized by immersion, like we do today.

You mention “hermeneutical hoops.” Last I checked, distinguishing between descriptive passages and prescriptive passages was an important, generally recognized principle of sound hermeneutics. If you want to hold the order of certain events that occurred in the book of Acts as universally binding, you probably need to include speaking in tongues as a pre-requisite to water baptism as well (Acts 10:44-48).

David Rogers

Tom:

See my comment #64. If indeed I were teaching something out of line with what Scripture teaches, I agree with David–I should not be given a free pass.

Tom Parker

David R:

I’m not saying you need to be given a free pass. You’ve done nothing to need a free pass. I’m really tired of TR and DW beating up on you the way they do. That’s all I am saying. I hope I have made myself clearer now.

Tim Rogers

Brother Stuart,

Re:Comment #51

I also have Dr. Criswell’s 6 Volume set on Great Doctrines of the Bible. In Volume #3 Ecclesiology, Dr. Criswell writes on the Ordinances. In Chapter 8, The Memorial Supper, under the heading “The Administration of the Memorial Supper he writes;

The order of the memorial supper is plainly and simply presented in the Great Commission….The order is clear. First, we are to be saved by accepting the Lord as Savior. Second, we are to be baptized–buried with our Lord and raised to walk with Him in newness of life….The order is as inspired as the content: I am to be saved, I am to be baptized…and I am to break bread and drink the cup.(p.80-81

Thus, it seems that Dr. Criswell taught that one must be baptism preceded the Lord’s Table.

Blessings,
Tim

David Worley

Tom,

Take notes all you want. Where is unChristian behavior? Debating doctrine? Challenging the beliefs of someone else….as THEY challenge MY beliefs? Did you not read where I said that I love David Rogers in the Lord? that I count him as a Bro. in Christ? I dont agree with him on certain doctrines….soooooo???? How’s that being unChristian?

Tom, you have a very warped view on what it means to be a Christian, and about Christian behavior. In your view, the Lord Jesus was being unChristian to the Pharisees and the Saducees; Paul was being unChristian to Alexander and Demas; the Ephesian Church was being unChristian to the Nicolaitians. And, Paul was wrong to challenge Peter about his going to the Rib Shack with the Gentiles, then condemning the Gentile Christians for going to the Rib Shack when the Jewish Christians were around. Your view doesnt line up with Biblical Christianity.

David

Tim Rogers

Brother Tom,

Even the one that I am in debate with knows that I am debating him on content and not on his character. You, are trying to do what you can to keep causing division by siding with him. Your statements reveal you heart. I could say the sky is blue and you would argue I was wrong because it is aqua-marine. Either enter into the debate of substance and leave the character alone or stop commenting.

Blessings,
Tim

David Worley

David Rogers,

Thanks for being true to the truth in what you told Tom. I respect for making the statement you did in comment #67. But, I think Tim makes a very good point….do you see anywhere in the NT where soomeone who was not baptised properly taking the Lord’s Supper? I do think that is very significant.

David

David Rogers

David W.,

You ask: “Do you see anywhere in the NT where soomeone who was not baptised properly taking the Lord’s Supper?”

Actually, I do. And that person is Judas, because, as I understand from the rest of Scripture, he was not truly saved when (before) he was baptized.

But, I would agree with you, if you would answer back that that is an irrelevant example, because it is an exceptional case.

However, I would also make the same argument that you cannot use the examples of people being baptized in the NT to prove your case either, because, as far as we are able to ascertain, they did not ever face the same situation we face today. The doctrine of infant baptism had not yet infiltrated the Church (at least, according to our Baptist understanding, with which I agree). Thus, we cannot use the example of what happened in the NT Church as a guide for us on this particular issue, since it was a situation they did not have to deal with.

Due to this problem, I think that instead of basing our view on descriptive passages (telling us what happened at a specific moment in church history), we must rather base it on biblical principle: Is the Lord’s Supper linked in principle to water baptism, or to being a member of the Body of Christ (i.e. Spirit baptism)?

Stuart

Tim,

That quote is pretty much verbatim of how it appears in the Guidebook. You’re right, though. Nowhere did you call him spaghetti-backboned. I suppose I just inferred from your comment in post #26 that if a pastor believes as Dr. C. articulates in that paragraph, but serves it in a more open manner as he did, then that pastor would be in the “don’t ask don’t tell” camp. Maybe that’s not what you meant by “don’t ask don’t tell”?

As far as the rest of your remark, where brother, did I state that you or anyone else was trying to say what a pastor can/can’t do in his ministry? I believe I was asking for your opinion about a particular practice, whether or not that practice is even “the Lord’s Supper”, and whether or not a pastor who practices such should be appointed for denominational service. I guess I figured you’d have an opinion about that.

But apparently asking the question makes me a part of some group that’s out to paint your views in a bad light and undermine healthy ecclesiology. Whatever. Uncle.

I honestly give up. Nothing constructive happens here.

Christiane

Hi DAVID ROGERS,

Sorry to be so much trouble, but I can offer some history here, if not biblical clarification:

“we must rather base it on biblical principle: Is the Lord’s Supper linked in principle to water baptism, or to being a member of the Body of Christ (i.e. Spirit baptism)?”

The early ‘catechumens’ (those studying for entry into the faith) were allowed to attend the first part of the ‘thanksgiving’ called now ‘the service of the Word’, where they learned from the readings of the OT, Psalms (often sung), Gospel, and epistles, and then they heard a sermon on the Gospel reading.
But they were asked to leave the ‘thanksgiving’ after this part and before the communion service.
At Easter time, they were formally baptized and then, they were admitted into both halves of the ‘thanksgiving’ and brought into full communion.

I don’t know if you can co-ordinate any of the history of how the catechumens were treated with certain bible passages according to your specific beliefs about baptism.

Another thought, the ante-Nicene Early Fathers did quote scripture in reference to both baptism and communion, but I do not know if they would be considered a possible reference to help in clarification of how the early Christians viewed scripture and its application in liturgy.

Tim Rogers

Brother David,

Once again you are painting us as ‘Lord’s Supper Police’. Judas’ baptism was performed before the took the Lord’s Supper. The only way we knew he was not saved was by what the Scriptures tell us. It also seems that Jesus did what we do before the administration of the Lord’s Supper and that is to warn the participants from partaking of the supper unworthyly.

Brother Stuart,

I promise I am not trying to be contentious. Your question itself asked about a pastor performing the ordinance in a wedding. You asked if the pastor would be eligible for denominational service or employment. That is a personal decision of that pastor, and that is not something I am going to comment on. I just do not understand the reason of asking me something like that as it is not even an we have discussed.

Blessings,
Tim

Tim Rogers

Brother David,

Are you now arguing for Spirit baptism as the baptism the Bible is speaking of in the Great Commission? Not trying to add anything that you are not saying, but that just came out of left field for me.

Blessings,
Tim

Stuart

Tim,

Okay, yes, I said, “What do you make of a pastor who…” I should have chosen my words more carefully. Thank you for pointing that out.

If I understnad you correctly, your position is that if a pastor’s practice is to give the elements at a wedding, as a part of his personal ministry conviction, to just the bride and groom, that’s just his personal business and doesn’t bear upon his agreement with BFM2K and therefore doesn’t bear upon his denominational service or employ. Fair enough.

Tim Rogers

Brother Stuart,

That is a fair and accurate assessment. Should I begin the count down…5.4.3.2…. :)

Blessings,
Tim

Les Puryear

David W,

“…Peter going to the Rib Shack…”
Best.line.this.year.

Les

David Worley

Les,

:)

I have to say that I heard that somewhere. Cant remember who said it in a sermon that I heard. lol.

David

Stuart

Tim,

Nah…no countdown necessary. No bombs dropping. That’s not my m.o. Besides, I already cried uncle.

Blessings on you and yours this weekend and this coming Lord’s Day.

David Rogers

Tim (and Christiane),

I believe the baptism referred to in the Great Commission, in Matt. 28:16-20, is water baptism. No argument there.

However, other than the testimony of early church history (non-NT), which Christiane has pointed out for us, there is nothing (in the NT) that links water baptism as a prerequisite for partaking in the Lord’s Supper.

Christiane or someone else can correct me on this if I am wrong. But, to my knowledge, the practice of requiring catechumens to wait until after their baptism to participate in the Lord’s Supper is only recorded once the belief of baptismal regeneration was widely accepted throughout Christendom. As I mentioned earlier, I believe the two are linked together. As Baptists, since we do not believe in baptismal regeneration, there is not the same need to link them together.

David Rogers

Tim,

Also, I told you already in my earlier comment that I agree that the case of Judas is exceptional, and does not really help bolster my argument. I just threw that in there because David Worley asked if I could think of any case at all in which people who had not been legitimately baptized participated in the Lord’s Supper.

Christiane

Hi DAVID ROGERS,

Actually, the Didache, which pre-dates the Ante-Nicene Fathers writings, required the baptism of catechumens prior to being able to partake of communion.

I’m not the best resource on all of this, because I see baptism very differently. I can tell something interesting, though. Our infants are water-baptized, they receive instruction prior to their first communions about at the age of seven or eight, but THEN, after much more instruction and prayer, our young people have ‘confirmation’ (orthodox call it ‘chrismation’) where faith is proclaimed and confirmed.

My advice: if you want to track early Christianity’s practices regarding baptism/communion, examine each of the early centers of the Church: Jerusalem, Rome, Antioch, etc.
If the practice shows up in every single early Church center’s tradition, chances are it is genuinely from the first century. That’s a bit of homework, I know. But in those days, the Apostles went out to these early centers with the faith and anything that was in common use at every single one of the Early Church Centers as a practice is probably generically from the Apostles and those they directly taught. This makes sense if you think about it. Sorry I can’t help more.
Christiane

Chris Johnson

Brother David Worley,

I have been in Airports for most of the day,…then got back online to see your response. I’m really not sure if you were responding to me or some other Chris.

According to the Christ’s command to the Apostles, and subsequently to the church through the Apostles…. the point of baptism is to be baptized into Him, and recognize the promise of the person of the Spirit who lives in us. If you go beyond that then you simply get into trouble just as those in Corinth. The Corinthians pride came from their looking away from their baptism, or not understanding its meaning.

If you ever get to know me in the future, you will find me very, very interested in the fellow believers that gather on the local level….in fact you might even like the accountable and edifying relationships we share.

One thing I like about those of Baptist tradition is that we care enough about baptism by immersion to continue to preach and teach and exercise the command given by our Lord.

If someone wants to teach that baptism is more than what Christ and the Apostles have taught….I’m sure there will be many volunteers. But I intend to teach the local assembly in every place what was taught by Paul at Corinth, Ephesus, and every other place he attended. It is into Christ alone that we are baptized, as we recognize the coming of the Spirit….if you can show me where Christ or the Apostles have taught differently,….I am willing to learn.

I am about as far removed from a universalist as anyone can get. Forsaking the assembly is not an option.

Blessings,
Chris

Tim Rogers

Christiane,

Brother David and I have already, not in this comment thread, entered into debate over the Didache. His response was that if I held to one point of it I had to hold to the entire teaching of it. However, what he failed to give credence to was this document was written approximately 150 AD which clearly spoke of adult baptism as the teaching of the apostles and also expressed Baptism was a prerequisite of the Lord’s Table. Of course if one thinks we BI guys are exclusive at least we have not stated that we base our beliefs on “Give not that which is Holy to the Dogs”.

Blessings,
Tim

Tim Rogers

Everyone,

The Didache in the English version isfound here for all that may be interested.

Blessings,
Tim

Christiane

Hi TIM,

That expression is taken from St. Matthew 7
“6 ‘Do not give what is holy to dogs; and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under foot and turn and maul you. ”

It is very strong language. The application of that verse in the Didache is difficult, I think, no matter what your perspective is on baptism/communion/chrismation issues.

My understanding is that the Didache was written somewhat earlier, and was some sort of a written ‘guide’. As to its authenticity, there are some concerns of course. It was not picked up as part of the ‘canon’ pf sacred scripture by the Church and is not considered a part of revelation.

Tim Rogers

Christiane,

I do not believe that anyone has stated that the Didache was considered as scripture. I believe after reading it one can clearly see it is instruction to some in the early church. Also, I was under the understanding that some dated it as early as 110AD while most scholars date it around 150AD.

Blessings,
Tim

David Rogers

Christiane,

Yes, of course, the Didache. That is indeed a good response to my query. And, practically all of the sources I have been able to check out concur in the likelihood of the earlier dating.

However, the phrase “Do not give what is holy to dogs” is somewhat enigmatic. It appears to me to evidence a belief in baptismal regeneration. I don’t think the author of the Didache would refer to regenerate, yet unbaptized, persons as dogs. A separate question is whether or not, at this early point in history, there were already people who had been “baptized/christened” as infants that a modern Baptist perspective would consider as unbaptized, having not been baptized by immersion subsequent to their conversion.

In any case, such an apparently early allusion in church history to baptismal regeneration is a bit thorny for Baptists. As you allude to in your comment, though, perhaps the Didache merely reflects one local tradition. The sources I consulted tend to place it from a rural, mountainous region of Syria. If there were additional sources from the various centers of Christianity pointing to the same beliefs and practices at the same date, that would indeed be more significant, yet, in my opinion, still not totally conclusive.

Why not totally conclusive? As I read the Didache, I cannot help but notice some glaring differences in tone between some of the things it says and the writings of the New Testament. Perhaps this is just my anachronistic Baptist cultural bias, but the very specific ritualistic guidelines of chapters VII to XIV seem to me to be out of character of a truly NT mindset toward Christianity.

Indeed, as I wrote to Tim earlier (not in this comment stream), if we accept the Didache as an authoritative guide for our church practices as Baptists, we are left with the uncomfortable option of accepting all its arcane requirements (running water, cold water, warm water; pouring water three times on the head; fasting not on Mondays and Thursdays, but rather on Wednesdays and Fridays), or of picking and choosing, as we see fit, only those elements that are more compatible with our own denominational traditions.

I must admit you have caused me to go back and do some more research and reflect more on all this, though.

Tim Rogers

Brother David,

Your response seems to take liberty with a thought, I believe, is a personal bias. You say concerning the Didache’s reference “Do not give what is holy to dogs”;

It appears to me to evidence a belief in baptismal regeneration.

How could you say that when this document, granted it is not scripture, has been attested as the “Teaching of the Apostles, and Paul clearly forbid the adding to salvation anything. I am certainly not defending the Didache but it does seem to warrant some iota of historical content. Do we through the entire document out just because some of the teachings are “arcane”? Were there Christians in 100-150AD that were celebrating “baptismal regeneration”? Could you be reading this document through a 19th Century doctrine? It couldn’t be a RC document as it speaks of baptism being the placing of the candidate under the water and the recipient of the Lord’s table as being able to eat and drink. So, it must be speaking about adults in the baptism section.

Blessings,
Tim

David Rogers

Tim,

Not sure if I am following you here. Are you saying you accept the Didache, in its entirety, as faithfully reflecting the teaching of the Apostles? If so, that leaves you with the dilemma about pouring and all of the other “arcane” ritualistic guidelines? And, no, it is not strictly Roman Catholic. That full-blown line of thought doesn’t come until various centuries later. But, I think it may reflect an incipient move toward that direction.

Christiane

Good Morning,

The phrase, I believe, refers to communion, not baptism.
The Didache is a mysterious document. It was quoted from by the Early Fathers, but not in its entirety, so we know that they knew what it was.
No copy survived for millenia, or so it was thought, until an Orthodox priest discovered a complete copy of it tucked away in an archive.
As I said, it is known that it did exist, but we do not know the authors and the Church did NOT include it in the canon.

For people of the Southern Baptist faith, the writings of the Early Fathers who are ante-Nicene (before the Nicene council), may offer some insight into the practices of the early Christians before the time of the council. These writings are included in my faith tradition, but not as ‘holy scripture’, although the Fathers do quote much from scripture.

The ante-Nicene writings may offer INSIGHT into practices and understanding of Christians at that time, but these writings are not conclusive, of course.

In venturing into reading about the writings of the Early Fathers, you would do best to keep perspective by anchoring yourselves in the Word, and keeping your focus on Christ. Christ is the lens for all understanding.
Respectfully,
L’s

David Rogers

Christiane,

Thanks for the added commentary. I don’t really disagree with anything you say in this last comment.

The only thing is, though I agree that “what is holy” (in the quote we are discussing) likely refers to communion, it also seems that the reference to “dogs,” taken in context, refers to the unbaptized.

Christiane

Hi DAVID ROGERS,

Perhaps that quote, which comes from Our Lord, refers to those without understanding, not so much ‘inferior’. I don’t know David. But I suspect He wanted people to understand that the communion they received was ‘in remembrance’ of Him. This is a great mystery.
In my faith, we celebrate ‘the Thanksgiving’ along the lines of the Old Testament concept of ‘anamnesis’: ‘to make present again’.
In short, we believe we ‘are there’ together in union, even with the first Christians, as our communion unites us to all who have ever received.

As far as ‘understanding’ before receiving, I must share something personal. My son has Down Syndrome. He is what some would call ‘a holy innocent’. He has no understanding of ‘theology’, he does not speak in words. But he has received communion. And he is smiling in the photographs.
All I understand is this: we know that ‘deep calls to deep’ and we know that the Spirit intercedes for us in groanings too deep for words. So, when I see my son smiling, I am not surprised at all. He ‘understands’ in his spirit, by the grace and the mercy of the Holy One, I believe.

David Rogers

Christiane,

Yes, I think I can agree with you that the term “dogs,” especially as it is a direct quote from our Lord, should not be interpreted as communicating hateful denigration. However, in the context of the Didache, it definitely seems to communicate unworthiness to partake in the Eucharist, and to be directed toward the unbaptized specifically. Though it is, admittedly, a fairly obtuse line of argumentation, what I am saying here is, if, at the time and geographical context of the writing of the Didache, there was such a thing as unbaptized believers, I don’t think the author would have chosen the same language to refer to them. I think he chooses the term “dogs,” and, for that matter, the entire quote from our Lord, to refer to unbelievers in general, the argument being that communion is for believers, not for believers and unbelievers together. If this is indeed the case, it provides no evidence favoring either of the positions being argued between here on this post, as we are all in agreement already that communion should be for believers alone.

With respect to your son, I think the term “holy innocent” is indeed appropriate. I am sure that our Father and Lord look upon him with much tenderness and loving care, and that he, in his own unique way is able to feel and enjoy that love of the Father toward him.

As Baptists, our position on communion, admittedly, is a bit problematic in this regard. I agree that communion is kept as a privilege for those who are able to, with a mature understanding, embrace the gospel and repent of their sins. And, while I do not see a biblical basis for transubstantiation, I do see there is a spiritual blessing inherent in sharing the cup and the bread together with brothers and sisters in Christ. And, it seems unfair to withhold this blessing from someone in the condition of your son. Yet, on the other hand, we wouldn’t want to give the impression that communion is open to anyone who does not truly have a relationship of saving faith. And, though the Kingdom of God is of “such as these” (little children, and those with the heart of little children), in the life of most of us, there comes a time when we must leave behind childish things, and move on to a more mature understanding of our faith and surrender to God’s will in our life.

In any case, I pray God will continue to give you the grace to mother your son in a way that is pleasing to Him, and appropriately nurturing to your son. I am grateful that one day we will know as we are known, and all of these mysteries will then be revealed.

Greg Buchanan

Just as a reminder to all, here is the preamble to the BFM2K which CLEARLY states that the BFM is a general guide at best:

-NOT a litmus test
-NOT a dividing line
-NOT a badge of honor or pride
-NOT a tool for division or Satanic dissention (as all dissention
in the church of Jesus is from Satan)
-NOT a measuring stick of spiritual maturity.

It is a general document with generally held beliefs drawn from scripture. And remember this, it has been changed, expanded, and updated as need… The Bible has NEVER been updated or changed or expanded since the revelation of the 66 books we now hold so dear. To say that the BFM2K can be used to hold people accountable in their Christian walk is the same as:

1. Saying that we each begin to use our own favorite commentary as a measure of one’s Christian life
2. Declaring the BFM2K equal to scripture, which is heresy; if it can be used like scripture (for accountability of faith and practice), then it has equal footing

I don’t think #2 has been done yet, but it seems like many are dancing awfully close to the fence.

I am not a solo scriptura adherant; theologically we stand on the shoulders of our forebears in the church as each is examined in light of Scripture. I am NOT saying the BFM (any version) is not without merit, but it has a place and it must be kept there. It’s place is beneath scripture and on the shelf beside other commentaries, tomes of theology, concordances, and harmonies of the Gospels. We should NOT throw it out, but we should also not throw the baby out with the bath water that the BFM seeks to define. It is a very fallible document written by very fallible human beings who “know in part and prophecy in part.”

What we should do is give it standing as a reasonable starting place; i.e. we agree to meet at the same restaurant for lunch. Once there, who ever arrives first will probably procure seating and may even order beverages if they know what the other likes. But being at the same restaurant does not mean we both have to have the same beverage or the same meal or arrive in the same car or leave together.

But we should NEVER divide over something that is man-made.

With the 1963 committee, we have been guided in our work by the 1925 “statement of the historic Baptist conception of the nature and function of confessions of faith in our religious and denominational life . . . .” It is, therefore, quoted in full as a part of this report to the Convention:

(1) That they constitute a consensus of opinion of some Baptist body, large or small, for the general instruction and guidance of our own people and others concerning those articles of the Christian faith which are most surely held among us. They are not intended to add anything to the simple conditions of salvation revealed in the New Testament, viz., repentance toward God and faith in Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord.

(2) That we do not regard them as complete statements of our faith, having any quality of finality or infallibility. As in the past so in the future, Baptists should hold themselves free to revise their statements of faith as may seem to them wise and expedient at any time.

(3) That any group of Baptists, large or small, have the inherent right to draw up for themselves and publish to the world a confession of their faith whenever they may think it advisable to do so.

(4) That the sole authority for faith and practice among Baptists is the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments. Confessions are only guides in interpretation, having no authority over the conscience.

(5) That they are statements of religious convictions, drawn from the Scriptures, and are not to be used to hamper freedom of thought or investigation in other realms of life.

Baptists cherish and defend religious liberty, and deny the right of any secular or religious authority to impose a confession of faith upon a church or body of churches. We honor the principles of soul competency and the priesthood of believers, affirming together both our liberty in Christ and our accountability to each other under the Word of God.

Christiane

Thank you David, for your kind words.

The situation with my son is that we are older, and he is almost forty years old. He is in a group home on the grounds of Eastern Christian Childrens’ Retreat, in Wyckoff NJ. It is probably the best facility on the East Coast and is under the auspices of the Dutch Reformed Church.
He has medical problems, but is able to walk. I think he feels God’s loving-kindness and I think he shares it with the stretcher-bound and wheelchair-bound residents to whom he brings musical toys and lays them gently in their hands. I have witnessed this kindness, and I am told by the staff that my son will frequently show kindness in this way.

Sometimes, it has occurred to me that the deepest mysteries of Our Lord Christ are really revealed to, and understood best by the little ones, and not the wisest among us. I think there may be something in Scripture about that. And for some reason, this makes the Good Lord all that impressive to me. :)

Tom Parker

Greg:

You said:”Just as a reminder to all, here is the preamble to the BFM2K which CLEARLY states that the BFM is a general guide at best:

-NOT a litmus test
-NOT a dividing line
-NOT a badge of honor or pride
-NOT a tool for division or Satanic dissention (as all dissention
in the church of Jesus is from Satan)
-NOT a measuring stick of spiritual maturity.

It is a general document with generally held beliefs drawn from scripture. And remember this, it has been changed, expanded, and updated as need… The Bible has NEVER been updated or changed or expanded since the revelation of the 66 books we now hold so dear. To say that the BFM2K can be used to hold people accountable in their Christian walk is the same as:

1. Saying that we each begin to use our own favorite commentary as a measure of one’s Christian life
2. Declaring the BFM2K equal to scripture, which is heresy; if it can be used like scripture (for accountability of faith and practice), then it has equal footing

I don’t think #2 has been done yet, but it seems like many are dancing awfully close to the fence.

I am not a solo scriptura adherant; theologically we stand on the shoulders of our forebears in the church as each is examined in light of Scripture. I am NOT saying the BFM (any version) is not without merit, but it has a place and it must be kept there. It’s place is beneath scripture and on the shelf beside other commentaries, tomes of theology, concordances, and harmonies of the Gospels. We should NOT throw it out, but we should also not throw the baby out with the bath water that the BFM seeks to define. It is a very fallible document written by very fallible human beings who “know in part and prophecy in part.”

What we should do is give it standing as a reasonable starting place; i.e. we agree to meet at the same restaurant for lunch. Once there, who ever arrives first will probably procure seating and may even order beverages if they know what the other likes. But being at the same restaurant does not mean we both have to have the same beverage or the same meal or arrive in the same car or leave together.

But we should NEVER divide over something that is man-made.

With the 1963 committee, we have been guided in our work by the 1925 “statement of the historic Baptist conception of the nature and function of confessions of faith in our religious and denominational life . . . .” It is, therefore, quoted in full as a part of this report to the Convention:

(1) That they constitute a consensus of opinion of some Baptist body, large or small, for the general instruction and guidance of our own people and others concerning those articles of the Christian faith which are most surely held among us. They are not intended to add anything to the simple conditions of salvation revealed in the New Testament, viz., repentance toward God and faith in Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord.

(2) That we do not regard them as complete statements of our faith, having any quality of finality or infallibility. As in the past so in the future, Baptists should hold themselves free to revise their statements of faith as may seem to them wise and expedient at any time.

(3) That any group of Baptists, large or small, have the inherent right to draw up for themselves and publish to the world a confession of their faith whenever they may think it advisable to do so.

(4) That the sole authority for faith and practice among Baptists is the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments. Confessions are only guides in interpretation, having no authority over the conscience.

(5) That they are statements of religious convictions, drawn from the Scriptures, and are not to be used to hamper freedom of thought or investigation in other realms of life.

Baptists cherish and defend religious liberty, and deny the right of any secular or religious authority to impose a confession of faith upon a church or body of churches. We honor the principles of soul competency and the priesthood of believers, affirming together both our liberty in Christ and our accountability to each other under the Word of God.

Greg:

Sadly for some, I’ll be very nice and not give names the BF&M has been elevated above the Bible and has become a very effective tool for exclusion.

Tom Parker

Greg:

The 2000 BF&M has become the new law requirements for those in the SBC. Just a nice way for the exclusionist to exclude. Sadly this man made document has confirmed what many believe those taking over the SBC truly intended to do–exclude those that were not like them.

Louis

I don’t get much of this discussion regarding the BFM. The BFM does not mandate closed or close communion.

Words have meanings. The BFM does not exclude others from taking communion with the local church.

I voted to adopt the 2000 BFM. If it had said “only” the members of the local church take communion, I would have protested. But since it doesn’t, our church believes the BFM and we practice open communion.

Christiane

Just a point of clarification:

Are Southern Baptists ‘accountable’ to one another
OR to their own consciences ?

David Rogers

Louis,

As I see it, it is hard to interpret the following phrase in the section on baptism as advocating anything less than close communion(only those baptized by immersion as believers admitted), especially when you take it in the context of the definition given for baptism (“Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer…”):

“Being a church ordinance, it [i.e. baptism] is prerequisite to the privileges of church membership and to the Lord’s Supper.”

Do you have a different interpretation?

David Rogers

Christiane,

I would say the answer to your question depends on the context in which you wish to apply it.

As far as one’s personal relationship with God is concerned, we, as Baptists, believe we are, first and foremost, accountable to God Himself, and to His authority, as communicated to us through His Word and the Holy Spirit. There is also a sense in which we covenant together to practice the “one anothers” of the NT, encouraging and admonishing one another toward growth in our Christian discipleship, in the context of a local congregation of fellow believers.

The BF&M, however (as I understand it), is not an instrument of accountability in either of these contexts, but rather a description and testimony of what Baptists confess as their mutual beliefs.

In another context, though, the BF&M is an instrument of accountability, inasmuch as it provides the doctrinal guidelines for individuals in positions of denominational service and/or employment.

David Rogers

I should probably also add that some local Baptist congregations, and other Baptist entities, such as state conventions and local associations of churches, have adopted the BF&M as a doctrinal guideline as well. In the Baptist system of ecclesiology, though, each of these is autonomous, and free to do as they choose.

Christiane

Thank you, David

I continue to try to sort out the connections.
So, an ‘entity’ becomes synonymous with an ‘autonomous church’.
And, in order to join the ‘entity’, a person must give up accountability to his/her ‘autonomous church’, if there is a conflict ?

Thanks, if you can help.

David Rogers

Christiane,

Not synonymous. But yes, they are each autonomous. In the entities I am referring to (local associations of churches, state conventions, and the SBC as a whole), the participating congregations send representative delegates (called “messengers”) who then vote on items of business in a democratic (or semi-democratic) manner. Some congregations instruct their messengers how to vote (since they are representing the congregation), and others leave it up to the conscience of the individual.

If you are really interested in the nuts and bolts of how it all works, the following link is a good place to start. Go through all of the sub-sections listed on the left side of the page one by one.

http://www.sbc.net/aboutus/closerlook.asp

Christiane

Thank you, David.

Louis

David:

I do interpret it differently.

The article on Baptism and what Baptists believe about that, should not, in my opinion, be the place to look for defining the Lord’s Supper, especially on an issue as critical as close or closed communion. It can help illuminate the section on the Lord’s Supper, but it should only help, not rule.

So, in the article on Baptism, Baptists state that to join the church and to take communion, one should be baptized. In the article on the Lord’s Supper, Baptists state that the church takes the Lord’s Supper.

But neither article addresses whether the local church may invite others who have a different understanding of the ordinances or other doctrines to participate in taking the Lord’s Supper. That topic is simply not addressed.

I believe the language in the BFM on these topics has not changed since 1925. I think I am right about that. Yet, a substantial number of Baptist Churches (I believe the majority today) practice open communion. This issue has been around for decades and no official action or discussion (to my knowledge) has ever been had on why the churches are violating the mandate for close or closed communion that is in the BFM.

So, that’s how I see it. The BFM does not mention close or closed communion. If a close or closed communion position can be inferred from the language (and I don’t deny that), it would, I think, have to square with Baptist practice in order to make sense. It doesn’t. As you have noted, even the members of the drafting committee practiced open communion.

Also, the fact that a convention may not have wanted to take up being specific about open or closed/close communion, is not a good indicator either. If the document doesn’t address it directly in the first place, the decision not to address it at all, is a decision to do only that – not address it. That is particularly true when other issues were the focus of the BFM 2000 and that the messengers wanted to get the thing passed and not give opponents the chance to pick it apart one sentence at a time.

Louis

David Rogers

Louis,

I kind of see your point. But, for me, as I read the BF&M, if I don’t believe that believers baptism by immersion should be a strict prerequisite for participation in the Lord’s Supper, and I am asked to sign my assent to the BF&M, noting any points of disagreement, it is hard for me, in good conscience, to not put this down as a caveat.

Now, because of that, various individuals identified with the “BI movement” have informed me they think that should disqualify me from missionary service with the IMB.

Apparently, up to now, the majority of the trustees have not agreed with this stance, and have been willing to show some leeway on this particular point, similar to the perspective you describe in your last comment. As I indicate in an earlier comment, I can live with that for the time being, though I think it would be good if the BF&M were not worded the way it is.

The problem comes when people begin to insist on interpreting and enforcing this point more strictly, just as Tim appears to be doing on this post. With the way some things have turned out in recent years, it is not beyond imagination that the hardline perspective manifested by Tim here could some how show its face in decisions taken by Boards of Trustees, and/or other committees of the SBC.

Tom Parker

David R:

You said to Louis:”The problem comes when people begin to insist on interpreting and enforcing this point more strictly, just as Tim appears to be doing on this post. With the way some things have turned out in recent years, it is not beyond imagination that the hardline perspective manifested by Tim here could some how show its face in decisions taken by Boards of Trustees, and/or other committees of the SBC.”

Some like TR and DW have turned the 2000 BF&M into a tool to exclude others from service in the SBC. They can say they are not but they have elevated the 2000 BF&M above the Bible.

The CR was not intended to go that far.

Roger K. Simpson

I believe Louis’ description of the landscape of the BF&M relative to close/closed/open communion and baptism accurately describes the situation.

I believe virtually all SBC congregations practice “open communion” whether they come out and say so or not. I really don’t think that this is a big deal one way or another in most churches. It certainly in not in the church I attend.

I don’t know if the church I am a member of [First Southern Baptist Del City OK] practices “closed”, “close”, “open” or something else. I guess if I listened very carefully to what the pastor said I could learn more. I think I’d have to record his comments on a portable sound recorder and then go home and parse them very carefully to see if I could determine if what he said could be interpreted to affirm one or the other view.

For 99% of all baptists, I’d say this whole issue, is not even on their radar screen. I’d say that 70% of the people that attend on any given Sunday they don’t know what the BF&M says — in fact most don’t they don’t know that the BF&M exists.

So this whole discussion is really “inside baseball” that is uncoupled with the “real world”.

People are having all kinds of difficult situations: death and sickness, severe financial problems — loss of job, bankruptcy, foreclosure on their house, kids on drugs, their spouse cheating on them, etc. Having a church that is on the “right” side (whatever that is) of some abstract argument about communion is not going to do much to help people.

Personally, I don’t much care if a church practices “close”, “closed” or “open” communion because no matter what they say, the de-facto condition is that they all practice “open” communion.

However obscure this argument is; however detached it is from the real world; at least it beats arguing about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

David Rogers

Roger,

I imagine you are correct regarding how this matter affects everyday life in most local Southern Baptist churches.

However, if you are a missionary, and they come and ask you to sign that you believe in close/closed communion, or else lose your job, all of the sudden, it becomes a lot more relevant.

David Rogers

Tom,

I can’t remember if I have already asked you this on another comment stream somewhere. But, if we don’t use the BF&M as a doctrinal guideline for who should and who should not be denominational officials and employees, what do we use? What is there to keep Mormons and Unitarians, for instance, from being supported by CP giving as Southern Baptist missionaries?

Tom Parker

David R:

Certainly, the Bible should be sufficient.

Also, please help me as to how we as SBC would be supporting Mormons and Unitarians? I’m quite confused by that comment.

David Rogers

Tom,

We both know there are a very wide range of folks who give lip service to “believing the Bible.” And, there are also a wide range of people who would like to have access to CP funding in order to teach their version of what the Bible teaches. Would you not agree we have to draw a line somewhere? If not the BF&M, then where?

Christiane

Hi TOM,

If the SBC’s entities refuse to support a Southern Baptist missionary, aren’t there other alternative ways to find funding for a mission?
I’m thinking that, surely, the home Church of that missionary would be supportive. The home Church would of course still contribute to the SBC cooperatively, as a member in good standing of the SBC.

That way, the GCR would have ALL hands on deck, which of course it will need in order to be effective;
not just the missionaries who accept that the BF&M does not contain extra-biblical doctrine.

Tom Parker

DR:

You said to me:”We both know there are a very wide range of folks who give lip service to “believing the Bible.” And, there are also a wide range of people who would like to have access to CP funding in order to teach their version of what the Bible teaches. Would you not agree we have to draw a line somewhere? If not the BF&M, then where?”

Your answer troubles me greatly. Who are these people who give lip service “to believing the Bible.” And people wanting to teach their version of the Bible–who are these people?

I ask the above because I assume you are referencing the SBC.

You mean after the CR we still have these kinds of people still in the camp?

I disagree with the 2000 BF&M because it says it is the doctrinal guide, but then someones like TR and DW get to interpret this document and if they had had their way you would never have been a SBC missionary.

David Rogers

Tom,

No, I am not specifically referencing the SBC here. Theoretically, some of these people could be in some of our SBC churches. But that is not my point. My point is there has to be some doctrinal guideline or another beyond just lip service to believing the Bible for denominational service in the SBC. Otherwise, there is nothing to keep us from supporting any number of people with any number of heretical views. For the sake argument, let’s assume that guideline is not the BF&M. What, then, in your opinion, should it be? Or, should we have a policy of “come one, come all, it doesn’t really matter what you believe”?

Louis

David:

Oh, missed that angle. I have to agree that the BFM clearly states that Baptism is a prerequisite to taking the Lord’s Supper. But I still believe that even though the BFM clearly says that as being the proper theological position, I still believe that the BFM is silent on close/closed communion. Let’s call it another one of those “gifts” from E.Y. Mullins.

I believe that 19th Century Baptists would have been more likely to practice close or closed communion. That was the dominant position then. They were also opposed to “alien” immersion.

By the time 1925 rolls around, those issues are not as clear. Mullins had a gift for writing something that sounded traditional and orthodox but was loose enough to allow for great variance.

Here is another area where he did that. He could have written, “The Lord’s Supper is only to be taken by the members of the church where it is served or by other Baptists etc.” That would have been crystal clear.

As it was, however, he wrote what he wrote to accommodate a practice of open communion without saying so.

I am not hyper-critical of him. I suspect if we wrote a brand new confession today, we would have some of the same sorts of ambiguity.

I really do not mind this topic and the debate surrounding it. I believe it is necessary and helpful. But the practical application, as you have mentioned, can become problematic.

David Rogers

Louis,

I think we are meaning the same thing in our use of the term “close communion” here. But, just to make sure: I understand “close communion,” in a Baptist context, to refer to the practice of admitting only biblically baptized individuals to partake of the Lord’s Supper. I understand “closed communion,” in a Baptist context, to refer to the practice of admitting only members one’s local congregation to partake. A view in between that of “close” and “closed” would be that of admitting only fellow Southern Baptists, or admitting only members of churches of “like faith and order” (however you choose to define “like faith and order”). But, strictly speaking, as I understand it, and as I am using it here, the term “close communion” refers to admitting only biblically baptized believers, be they “Baptist” or not.

My “modified open communion” position allows for the fact that there are convictional paedobaptists, who have studied the Bible, and due to a different hermeneutical process, have come to the conclusion that they are biblically baptized, and profess to have a clear conscience before the Lord in regard to having obeyed or not His command to be baptized. I believe the choice to partake or not to partake of the Lord’s Supper, in such a case, should be left up to the conscience of the individual. As I understand the BF&M, the local congregation should not allow such individuals to partake, since baptism (as understood in the context of the document) is a prerequisite to participation in the Lord’s Supper.

Tim Rogers

Brother David R.,

We have more than one problem with trying to change the BF&M 2000. The BF&M ’63 and the BF&M ’25 use the same wording. This wording was evidently taken from the Abstract of Principles in Article XV. Dr. Mullins was President of Southern when he originally headed up the ’25 committee to bring the original BF&M. While it was convenient for him to place this in writing, it will prove to be difficult today to change. Why? Two of our seminaries use the Abstract of Principles as a document the Professors sign that they will “teach in accordance with and not contrary to”. If the wording of “batpism as a prerequisite to the Lord’s supper” was placed in Abstract of Principles because of Landmarkist beliefs then Dr. Mullins would have had the best time to downplay in with the BF&M. Dr. Mullins was a non-Landmark theologian and he certainly did not see tying Baptism to the Lord’s Table as a Landmark Ecclesioligical issue.

What problems would it present if the convention re-worded the BF&M so as to all the document to proclaim open communion? One would have to change also the Abstract of Principles. If not you would have professors signing dichotomous documents. Thus to teach in accordance with one document the professor would be teaching contrary to the other document.

Brother Tom,

There is no interpretation to

It is a prerequisite to church fellowship and to participation in the Lord’s Supper.(Abstract of Principles Article XV

As I would say in my Sunday School class as a 12 year-old when the teacher would call on me to give meaning to the verses he just read–“That is self explanatory”.

Brother Louis,

If I interpreted Scripture the way you interpret the close/closed communion aspect of the BF&M it would bring about huge difficulties. Why? The way you are interpreting the BF&M removes the source material and replaces it with a personal bias.

Blessings,
Tim

Tim Rogers

Brother David R.,

In your response to Brother Louis, you once again use the same terminology that I have before objected to as it does not accurately convey what we are speaking about. You said; to refer to the practice of admitting only biblically baptized individuals to partake of the Lord’s Supper. (Emphasis mine)

We are not speaking about Lord’s Supper Police. We do not receive tickets from those that are “biblically baptized individuals” before we give them the elements. We merely express the doctrine concerning the privilege of partaking in the meal. That is it. Also, this is something that I was taught in Seminary that we do before we give the elements.

Blessings,
Tim

David Rogers

Tim,

I would not be in favor of an amendment to the BF&M specifically advocating “open communion,” or even “modified open communion,” for that matter.

I would be in favor of an amendment that left those options open for local congregations to decide, and did not make holding one view or another a prerequisite for denominational service. What each individual seminary does on these matters is a separate issue. With the amendment I would propose, though, a seminary professor at the seminaries you reference here could sign each with a clear conscience.

David Rogers

Tim,

It sounds as if we are getting hung up on different understandings of the terms “prerequisite” and “admit.” As I understand it, if something is a “prerequisite,” that means someone else has to determine whether a person passes the test or not before participating.

Who knows? Perhaps, when all is said and done, you do not think my view conflicts with the BF&M after all, and I can be in good graces with all the BI folks, and we can all sing Kum Ba Yah together.

Here is a good way to test it out and see. What do you think of the scenario I describe in comment #35? Do you think what I say I would say in such a situation falls within the guidelines of the BF&M? Why or why not?

Christiane

Hi DAVID,

You wrote “With the amendment I would propose, though, a seminary professor at the seminaries you reference here could sign each with a clear conscience.”

But suppose the professor had an issue, not with content, but with the ‘requirement’ to sign ?

Are new ‘clarifications’ of doctrine being issued so fast now that ‘resolutions’ will be coming forth to be signed frequently, in order to be considered ‘one’ with other members of entities of the SBC?
The greater issue would be who is controlling the content of these ‘resolutions’, and with each ‘resolution’, how many more SBC members must, in their own consciences, not ‘sign’ and be penalized or excluded for not doing so.

I would think that is a greater issue than ‘content’ because of its implications. What is stated to be a device to establish doctrinal lock-step unity, has the result of fracturing unity over content considered ‘extra-biblical’, ‘secondary’, or ‘tertiary’.
I can imagine professors, especially ethics professors, who are troubled by this aspect of ‘signing’ but feel that they must not speak, for fear of losing their jobs that support their families.
It would be a tough call.

Are there any Chirstian ethical protections in place to prevent this sort of crisis of conscience from happening? Are there any planned?

David Rogers

Christiane,

At the seminaries Tim is talking about, they each have their own “Abstract of Principles” that is different, in some regards, from the BF&M, and independent in its administration. As I understand it, these seminaries already require each of its professors to sign its own “Abstract of Principles,” and has done so for some time now. So, as I understand it, your concern doesn’t really apply in this particular case.

I can see how all of this protocol can get confusing for someone who is not from an SBC background. It, many times, gets confusing for those of us who are, as well.

David Rogers

Christiane,

To answer your question on another level. Do you think a Catholic university should have the prerogative to deny employment to a professor who does not agree, in one point or another, with the Apostles Creed? Although the details are different, I see it as basically the same issue, at the core.

Tim Rogers

Brother David R.,

If you remember you and I have already joined together and sang Kum Ba Yah. :)

Your comment in #35 is virtually the same thing I say in my instructions before the Lord’s Table minus the acknowledgment of the other modes of Baptism explanation. After giving the initial instructions I go on to say; “We believe that Baptism is by immersion after becoming a believer and we encourage those who have not been baptized by immersion to refrain from participation but you must search your own hearts as to the appropriateness of your participation.”

Do I believe your instruction falls within the guidelines of the BF&M? No I do not. Why? Because we are Baptist by conviction, not by convenience. If I believe the Bible teaches Baptism is by immersion then I do not apologize for that in the pulpit God has called me. I accept others who view the Bible differently but I do not allow for that view within the area of responsibility to which I will one day stand before God and give an account. If when I stand before the Lord and He questions me on my understanding, I will be able to honestly tell him that I did this because I believed this was what the Bible taught. If I ere, I do it on the basis of my understanding of Scripture. Oh, I also have over 1000 years of theological historical interpretation of which I will also point. Not just the interpretation of a select few pastors within the past 100 years and more recently the past 25 years.

Blessings,
Tim

Christiane

Hi DAVID,

Thank you for responding with an excellent question.
Before you read my response, please know that I have compassion for a group of people in the midst of trying to clarify ‘identity’, but I respectfully hope that it will be done constructively with a return to the emphasis on Lord Christ and His Words and Actions in the Bible as the criteria for identity. With Him as your ‘identity’, you will be able to handle diversity in secondary and tertiary matters without fear.

Now for my response.

From NOTRE DAME UNIVERSITY’S magazine:

A statement from Father John Jenkins:

“In his fall address to the faculty, Jenkins stressed that non-Catholic faculty “are indispensable to the life and success of Notre Dame—in promoting scholarship, in building community, in provoking debate, in pushing for excellence, in ensuring diversity of perspectives. . . . They make us a better university.” Virtually every Catholic at Notre Dame can cite an example of a non-Catholic colleague he or she considers more important to the moral and religious integrity of the university than another colleague viewed as nominally Catholic. “

Here is the site of the article:

http://magazine.nd.edu/news/9951-how-catholic-the-faculty/

The controversy, of course, is shared among denominations. But the tradition in my own faith is a tolerance for unity in diversity, a desire for open communication and civil dialogue and debate, a profound respect for those whose ‘identities’ (if you will) are different, and an openness to attempts to understand not only what if ‘different’, but also what is ‘shared’, in hopes that those of our own faith can cooperate with those from other traditions on ways to improve the common good of all people.

I don’t think we are ‘worried’ about diversity in our midst. We know who we are. And we have respect for the dignity of those who are different. Most of our ‘identity’ battles were fought in another millenium long ago against the early heresies that attacked the unity of the early Church. I wish you all well, but I sincerely hope that your present difficulties do not become destructive to the unity of your denomination.

In Christ, peace
Christiane

Greg Buchanan

Roger Simpson said:

For 99% of all baptists, I’d say this whole issue, is not even on their radar screen. I’d say that 70% of the people that attend on any given Sunday they don’t know what the BF&M says — in fact most don’t they don’t know that the BF&M exists.

I believe that is the biggest problem facing the SBC today: a serious lack of discipleship. Most church members will accept the BFM2K without question or serious investigation because they trust the convention. We should trust the Bible and question everything else (i.e. as the Bereans did). Pastors should be educating/equipping the saints in their churches by giving away the education they got in seminary, not holding onto it.

Will everyone be able to learn Greek & Hebrew, maybe not, but it should still be offered. Systematic/Biblical theology and doctirne should be taught in detail. In fact, I believe no one should be a Deacon or even a sunday school teacher if they are not able to recite the 10 commandments, all 66 books of the Bible, and explain (as well as any non-PhD is able) the Trinity, Sin, the Incarnation, substitutionary attonement, and that redemption is the over riding theme in all of Scripture.

Caveat – I do not think MasterLife classes qualify as discipleship. Sitting in a classroom memorizing information to “earn” a certificate is nothing more than an exercise in organized pride. Discipleship is education-in-action or perhaps it is actional-education. Paul didn’t give Timothy a corespondance course in Christology and Ecclesiology, they walked it together. Jesus walked with the disciples before, during, and after the sermon on the mount, the sending of the 12 and the 72, and His death on a cross.

WHY THIS IS IMPORTANT

If believers are properly discipled then I believe doctrinal disputes would go down (with in the body) and motivation to be on mission (in big and small way) would be up. As people are discipled, they understand that CHANGE is the ONLY mode of Christian living since we will ALWAYS be on the path to being more like Jesus. They will let go more and more of this life and time-line and begin to have an eternal perspective and a kingdom mindset.

Then issues that are truly minor (do we have traditional SBC sunday school or off-campus small-groups or some combination) become easy to solve: we adapt to the needs/capabilities of the congregation in what ever manner works for the sake of the lost. That’s the way we’ve always done it… will hopefully become a thing of the past.

As far as issues that concern the national or local convention entity: we wouldn’t need a GCR and wouldn’t have needed a CR if discipleship was something more than a required class in seminary. The issues we face today would not be National.

Sorry if this sounds disjointed… I just think the fighting and disagreeing seems so silly over things like Baptist Identity as if only Baptists are getting to Heaven or only the SBC has the correct illumination on the Bible. If believers know scripture, and they seek to live in Jesus, by the power of the Holy Spirit to the glory of the Father then we will be more united than by any doctrinal statment or convention can contain.

The entity doth protest too much, methinks.

Tim Rogers

Brother David R.,

You seem to have mis-stated something with Christianne. You said; As I understand it, these seminaries already require each of its professors to sign its own “Abstract of Principles,” and has done so for some time now. Each seminary does not have its “own” Abstract of Principles. The Abstract of Principles is the name of a document that was part of the original covenant made between Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and the convention back in 1859. In May, 1950, by a vote of the convention, Southeastern was chartered and they brought over the Abstract of Principles from Southern. This is the same document not a different one. Also, as far as I know, SEBTS and SBTS are the only two seminaries that have the Abstract of Principles. All six SBC seminaries have the BF&M 2000 that the professors sign.

Blessings,
Tim

Tim Rogers

Brother Greg,

**RED HERRING NOTICE**
I just think the fighting and disagreeing seems so silly over things like Baptist Identity as if only Baptists are getting to Heaven or only the SBC has the correct illumination on the Bible.

It seems that your Red Herring is not edible here. :) Seriously, no one has debated that Baptist Identity classifies only Baptist getting into heaven. There is no place in any comment stream or on any blog post you can point out that we have advocated on Baptist going to Heaven. And certainly not one person that would fall under the Baptist Identity umbrella believes that only the SBC has the correct illumination on the Bible. We certainly believe that others outside the SBC can have a clear illumination of Scripture. Having said all of that I will come back to my original belief. If there is another convention of churches, or denomination out there that is closer to the Scriptural truth of how the church operates and has the cooperative spirit that is fulfilling the Great Commission, I would go and be part of that group.

Blessings,
Tim

David Rogers

Tim,

Good call on the Abstract of Principles. I defer to your knowledge on that.

Christiane,

Yes, certain Catholic-oriented universities allow for unity in diversity among their faculty. But, the 6 SBC seminaries are owned and operated by the SBC.

Let’s try it from another angle. Is it not correct that the pope, or the magisterium, or whoever, sometimes censures Catholic theologians for being out of line with official Catholic doctrine? Didn’t they do that, for example, with Hans Kung.

Maybe some “Catholic” universities would still count it an honor to have Hans Kung on their faculty. No doubt, some of them would.

But, would a seminary, or university, officially owned and operated by the RCC allow for Hans Kung to teach what he has been reprimanded for, without officially recanting from his position?

Tim Rogers

Christianne,

You come from a Roman Catholic tradition, as I understand it. You say in Comment #131; “But the tradition in my own faith is a tolerance for unity in diversity, a desire for open communication…” The Catholic church does not practice “open communion” Every one I have been to would not allow someone that was not Catholic to take the elements.

The article that you linked has more to do with the education system of the Catholic Church not the issue of open/closed communion.

Blessings,
Tim

David Rogers

Tim,

Yes, on this one tiny little point of difference on the way we would explain the Lord’s Supper, we seem to part ways.

And, from what I gather, that one tiny little point is of such significance to you that you would vote against me being an SBC missionary, if you had the chance.

Personally, I find it hard to digest that folks like you have such strong convictions on this one tiny little point that you allow it to come between our cooperating together for world missions.

You seem to indicate you believe God is going to hold you accountable for that. If so, I can respect that. I don’t want to ask you to go against a conviction you believe God is going to hold you accountable for. I have my own convictions on this. And, to a certain extent, I believe God is going to hold me accountable for them, too. In my understanding, the priority of Christian unity trumps the priority of holding a correct view on close/closed/open/modified open communion. Thus, I am willing to cooperate with those from all of these positions. I believe God will, perhaps, ask me one day, if I allowed petty differences on my understanding of issues like this get in the way of cooperating with His children in order to see that the task He gave to all of got done with the best stewardship of resources possible.

If your convictions otherwise are that strong on this point, though, honestly, it is going to be very difficult for us to work together. David Worley already said, if I understand him correctly, for him, it is not that big of a deal. If the convention were to pass an amendment allowing for modified open communion, he would continue on in cooperation just like before. The logical consequences of what I hear you saying here are that you would not. This seems to be a real deal-breaker for you.

If I have misrepresented your position here, I would be very happy to hear how. Honestly, I hope that I have.

Christiane

Hi TIM,

Your original question related to Catholic universities and their faculties having to ‘accept’ a creed. Notre Dame is likely one of the top three Catholic universities in our country, and is reprresentative, so I quoted from their magazine.

The controversy of ‘open’ and ‘closed’ communion is one that is dear to my own heart. It grieves me that Christian people are not in full communion with one another, on so many levels, but I look to the Holy Spirit to help heal this wound in the Body of Christ in time.

My own Church acknowledges what is called ‘the Real Presence’ of Our Lord in what you call ‘the elements’, once they are consecrated with the Words recorded as spoken by Our Lord in Scripture. For a person to come to receive, is to acknowledge communion with Christ and through Him with the whole Body of Christ, ‘the communion of saints’. We are also commanded to make peace with our brothers and sisters before coming to the Lord’s Table, so as not to profane the Body and Blood of Our Lord when we take communion.

And yet, Catholic communion is given to those like my Down Syndrome son. He was formally baptized as an infant (I know this offends you, I’m sorry), and I told the Protestant chaplain at Eastern Christian Childrens’ Retreat that I wanted him to have ALL the blessings that they offer there: everything, everything that they could share with him. Even the blessings of a rabbi. :)

I would want all people to share in communion, in the same way, I long for co-union of all people with Christ Our Lord. I’m very ’emotional’ about it, and not at all ‘doctrinal’. I just want people to have ALL the blessings they can get. Yes, even blessings from a rabbi. :)

So, I’m not one to ask about the doctrinal intricacies of ooen/closed communion. I would see people fed. And I would love for them to recieve, and to share that with one another, without restriction, without separation, without condemnation, and in peace with one another. Love, love, love . . . :)

Jared Taylor

Hey,
Just came upon this post and have not had time to read the all the posts but could someone point me to a few verses that would point to the requirement of Baptism for taking the Lord’s Supper. I might be missing it but I cannot think of one. Thanks.

Jared

Tom Parker

DR:

You said to TR:”If your convictions otherwise are that strong on this point, though, honestly, it is going to be very difficult for us to work together. David Worley already said, if I understand him correctly, for him, it is not that big of a deal. If the convention were to pass an amendment allowing for modified open communion, he would continue on in cooperation just like before. The logical consequences of what I hear you saying here are that you would not. This seems to be a real deal-breaker for you.

If I have misrepresented your position here, I would be very happy to hear how. Honestly, I hope that I have.”

We will wait for TR’s response. From what I have seen in the past he is mighty quick to exclude people.

Tom Parker

Greg B:

You said:”Sorry if this sounds disjointed… I just think the fighting and disagreeing seems so silly over things like Baptist Identity as if only Baptists are getting to Heaven or only the SBC has the correct illumination on the Bible. If believers know scripture, and they seek to live in Jesus, by the power of the Holy Spirit to the glory of the Father then we will be more united than by any doctrinal statment or convention can contain.”

IMO the BF&M is used to exclude certain people.

Tom Parker

DR:

You said to me:”Or, should we have a policy of “come one, come all, it doesn’t really matter what you believe”?”

If you think that is what I am saying you and I are two ships passing in the night.

I’m very hopeful you were not trying to insult me,because I have never, never, never, advocated such a position.

Tim Rogers

Brother David R.,

Do me a favor. Name me a denomination that allows for one to partake of the communion table without being baptized in some mode.

Blessings,
Tim

Greg Buchanan

Tim,

I apologize for the perceved red herring that was unintended :( I was EXaGErATiNg an illustration to make a point. The point being that ANY debating or arguing over teh BFM or any aspect of BI is as silly as saying that only the SBC knows the road to Heaven.

I hate that it may have derailed everything I was saying. As I originally said (and to which you completely ignored) proper discipleship of believers would render most issues (and most blog post for tha matter) to the “Settled” catagory (Trinity, Divinity of Jesus, death/burial/resurrection, etc).

Also, little things would not become big things if we were eternity focused rather than here-and-now, my denomination, my local church, my pew focused. Those become non-issues when it is His glory for which we live and preach.

David Rogers

Tim,

The Evangelical Free Church does not have such a requirement anywhere in its official Statement of Faith, nor in their more detailed explanation of the section on the Church in their Statement of Faith.

http://www.efca.org/files/document/office-of-the-president/sof-proposed-revision-article-7.pdf

Even so, as I said before, I think we, as Baptists, should form our conviction on what Scripture teaches, and not as a reaction to what other denominations teach.

David Rogers

Here’s the other link I meant to include in the last comment:

http://www.efca.org/about-efca/statement-faith

David Rogers

Tom Parker,

I did not mean to insult you.

I am asking an honest question. If you don’t have some codified statement of faith to go on, how do you avoid the conclusion of “come one, come all, it doesn’t really matter what you believe”?

David Worley

Greg B.,

Do you honestly think that God is not concerned with us knowing and practicing all the teachings of the NT?

David

David Worley

Tom Parker,

Of course the BFM2K is used to exclude certain people, and it should.

David

David Worley

Jared,

Can you name anyone in the NT, who did take the Lord’s Supper before being baptised? And, it was okay to do so?

David

volfan007

Well, lol, I was banned and deleted…and apparently blocked by Matt Svoboda over at SBC Voices. My first comment was deleted. The second two were apparently blocked…since they didnt appear after I typed them. Thus, I guess I’m officially banned from SBC Voices.

The sad thing is that they were making fun of Peter Lumpkins for deleting and banning people, who disagreed with him; then, they turned around and deleted and banned me. lol. Is that not hypocritical?

David

Dan Barnes

David W.
I think what Greg B is saying is that faith, without deeds is without value. Learning and not having that action translate into action is not learning. The most basic definition of learning is knowledge that changes behavior. When a child touches a hot stove, he learns it hurts and his behavior changes. Our behavior should change as we read and study the NT. Learning means doing, not just knowing. If I know a hot stove will burn my hand, but put my hand there anyway, have I learned anything?

Tom Parker

David R:

I do not have a problem with a codification. It is the strict interpretation of items by some in the SBC to purposefully exclude others that I have a BIG PROBLEM with.

I consider myself a conserative with caveats as it relates to the 2000 BF&M but I believe some would eliminate me and others for having even 1 caveat from the 2000 BF&M.

I think you have seen yourself that TR would have excluded you from missionary service in the SBC based upon 1 of your beliefs and you are a CONSERVATIVE.

David Rogers

Tim,

For what it’s worth, I just visited the official Assemblies of God website. It look like they don’t have any official position on closed or open communion either.

David Rogers

Tom,

Yes, I agree with you about caveats and strict enforcement, especially as the BF&M is worded now. However, I think the ideal would be to have BF&M that agrees with the majority, or signficicant percentages, of the convention on controversial issues, such as close/closed communion. In such a case, it would make more sense to disallow caveats.

Greg Buchanan

Tim,

I just realized I did nothing wrong. I re-read my post and found that there is NO red herring there. In my statement you found so offensive, I CLEARLY stated:

I just think the fighting and disagreeing seems so silly over things like Baptist Identity as ifonly Baptists are getting to Heaven or only the SBC has the correct illumination on the Bible. If believers know scripture, and they seek to live in Jesus, by the power of the Holy Spirit to the glory of the Father then we will be more united than by any doctrinal statment or convention can contain. (emphasis added)

The “as if” clearly makes this a simile, and anology, an illustration. It is NOT a declaration. There is NO accusation. There is no attributing of that which follows the “as if” to anyone.

So here is the rub:

1. Either you did not clearly read my post, assumed you knew what I meant, and created a red-herring out of ignorance while accusimg me of the same
2. You created a red-herring through as misrepresentation of my statement (hypocracy) intentionally becasue you do not want to engage what I’m saying about discipleship.

I certainly believe you do not know me from Adam, but becasue I’m not whole-heartedly agreeing with you, you assume I’m against you and can thus be disregarded. Not exactly the pastorly thing to do. As this is my perception of and experience with you, it cannot be disputed logically. However, it can be altered if you can show that I’ve misunderstood you.

I have been in the SBC since 9months before I was born. I’ve never really considered staying anywhere else. But I do think that many of the conversations in the convention are very unseemly. From the one in this stream to the ones about calvinism and evangelism at the top. Too many are too unteachable and unwilling to allow their beliefs to be challenged. And I don’t mean the big things (Trinity, Sin, Salvation by grace, divinity of Jesus, etc).

I don’t necessarily think you are wrong in this post, but I don’t exactly think you are right either, but I’m willing to study the Word and try to discern the truth. Are you?

In the name of or for the sake of the denomination, it seems too many have become unteachable, which is ignorance or arrogance. None of us have “arrived” and none will this side of Heaven.

Greg Buchanan

DW… can you extrapolate from what I’ve written ANYTHING that supports your leading question in 148?

David Worley

Dan,

Did you read what I said in comment #148…..”Do you honestly think that God is not concerned with us knowing and practicing all the teachings of the NT?” I believe I said knowing and practicing.

David

David Worley

Greg B.,

When you said,”Also, little things would not become big things if we were eternity focused rather than here-and-now, my denomination, my local church, my pew focused. Those become non-issues when it is His glory for which we live and preach.” I took that to mean that issues that separate denominations are non issues? that BI issues little things? Did I read you wrong? Are Tim and I not understanding you correctly? because it really looks like you’re saying that issues such as the so called BI fellas are promoting are minor..non issues…that we wouldnt be concerned about if we were eternity focused. So, are we reading you wrong? If so, please explain, so that I can see what you were meaning. Thanks.

DAvid

Dan Barnes

David W, probably just a difference in vernacular, I would not use “practicing” because I assume that would be more obeying sacraments, attending worship, the things the Pharisees do. I wouldn’t use the word “practicing” if I was talking about a life changing, world shaking, mountain moving New Testament, never looking back encounter with Jesus Christ. What I would say is knowing and living out the New Testament is often a far cry from what happens in our supposedly New Testament churches.

David Worley

Brother,

Practising our faith is living out what we say we believe in everyday life.

David

Dan Barnes

and I can’t speak for Greg, but I think that often the BI or SBC as a whole has often strained the gnat and swallowed the camel.

Tom Parker

Dan:

You said:”and I can’t speak for Greg, but I think that often the BI or SBC as a whole has often strained the gnat and swallowed the camel.”

Amen and amen brother!! It is precisely what keeps the SBC from going forward.

Greg Buchanan

DW,

To me, the order in which one proceeds: Faith, then Baptism, then Communion OR Faith, then Communion, then Baptism is a small thing. In both cases, a conversion from lostness to adoption comes first.

What eternal significance does it make about what comes next in what order?

Why would such a thing prohibit us from both preaching the salvation found in Jesus alone from the Sin that so pervades the world?

I do think that those who are denominational nationalists have made mountains out of mole-hills. I do think that an unswerving loyalty to a denomination is always misplaced. I am a Southern Baptist by heritage, family upbringing, and seminary education. However, I will not follow the SBC where ever it goes jsut becasue I am now a Baptist.

I think the BFM2K is a mostly fine document as a starting point (see my restaurante anology in #98). However, I do think it is limited, flawed, and should never be binding becasue of one thing: IT IS NOT SCRIPTURE.

The only two things we need to do as believers is Love the Lord our God with all our heart, mind, soul, and body AND love our neighbor as ourselves. In that vein we should preach the Gospel to all peoples (what could be more loving than that), make disciples of those who come to faith, and baptize them as a public witness [not as life threatening as it once was (American church only)] to their new life.

When anyone wants to apply non-scripture (BFM) as a dividing line, measuring stick, or rule of faith and practice, they are elevating that to the same as scripture; and that is sin (Dt 4:2, Prv 30:5-6, Rev 22:18-19). It should be a starting point. If we disagree, then go to scripture in prayer and humility, not back to the man-made document.

Tim Rogers

Brother David R.,

Sorry about the delay at getting back to you. This comment stream seems to have taken on an entire new life. :)

Re: Comment #137

You say:

If your convictions otherwise are that strong on this point, though, honestly, it is going to be very difficult for us to work together. David Worley already said, if I understand him correctly, for him, it is not that big of a deal. If the convention were to pass an amendment allowing for modified open communion, he would continue on in cooperation just like before. The logical consequences of what I hear you saying here are that you would not. This seems to be a real deal-breaker for you.

First, I have never said I could not cooperate within the convention if the convention voted to remove this from the BF&M. Look back and see. Nada, zilch, nothing said to that affect. You asked me if I could vote for you to be a missionary with your views clearly in violation of what the convention identified and affirmed as “certain definite doctrines that Baptists believe, cherish, and with which they have been and are now closely identified.” I merely responded I could not. It is nothing about you personally. I know that I am looking like a fool in the eyes of some to say to the SBC world at large that I could not vote for the son of Dr. Adrian Rogers. However, this is about conviction of what I was taught and believe the Scripture teaches. I do not have any personal vendetta against you and I personally like you. Oh, neither could I vote for my biological sister because she has a PPL. (Oh, there is another area that may send this comment stream viral) I am just saying, that I have never said I could not cooperate with you if the convention changes this position within the documents. I am saying that I could not, as the documents currently stand, vote to accept an cooperative position for you to serve in a leadership capacity.

Re: Comment #145

Could you give me a denomination that has been around more than 50 years? To reference the denominations you did it seems you are saying we the church has been in error for nearly 2000 years.

Brother Greg,

Re:Comment #156

You first said it was an exaggeration now you say it was a simile, analogy, or illustration.

fighting and disagreeing seems so silly over things like Baptist Identity

This is before the as if which identifies a group of bloggers, of which I am freely and personally identified as one. Thus, that is the way I read that comment, were accusing the group of bloggers known as Baptist Identity guys as promoting that only Baptist go to heaven. Now, if you were saying that holding to the doctrines that we know as Baptist Identity means we believe only Baptist are going to heaven that is still saying the same thing. I personally do not see, and call me ignorant and arrogant all you like, where the as if changes anything.

In all honesty I agree with you when you say;

If believers know scripture, and they seek to live in Jesus, by the power of the Holy Spirit to the glory of the Father then we will be more united than by any doctrinal statement or convention can contain.

Amen and Amen. Now, let me ask you a question. If someone becomes a Christian will they desire to follow Jesus in obedience? I believe you would answer yes to that. What is the first step of obedience in following Jesus? :)

Blessings,
Tim

Tim Rogers

Brother Tom,

Re: Comment #153

I think you have seen yourself that TR would have excluded you from missionary service in the SBC based upon 1 of your beliefs and you are a CONSERVATIVE.

I believe it has been clearly stated for you in comment #165. However reading your comment I wouldn’t doubt you have caveats concerning the BF&M you have caveats concerning the Bible.

And, let me add that saying the SBC believes in close/closed communion because the BF&M states about Baptism

Being a church ordinance, it is prerequisite to the privileges of church membership and to the Lord’s Supper.

is not a strict interpretation of items

Blessings,
Tim

Christiane

Hi VOL,

Wouldn’t they tell you, if you were banned (blocked)?

I hope some healing comes for everyone involved, soon. This is like watching a train wreck in slow motion. Tough to watch.

Matt2239

I’ve followed this string and basically I’m a tried and true SBC that is often embarassed to admit it. I am a conservative and the BFM (choose any year since 1977) has never been a problem. I do have an honest question: “Where in Scripture does it unequivocally say that a person must be baptized before they receive the Lord’s Supper?” I’ve always followed that practice but I’m uncomfortable that I cannot quote chapter and verse, but do so primarily because that is the “SBC” way. Mind you, I’m not saying it is “wrong” to follow this practice. I’m just not so sure we can be as sure as some bloggers are. I do not wish to start a fight but would be willing to receive a little instruction. As a teenager, I had an answer for everything. Suffice it to say, “I’m not a teenager.”

Matt2239

Tim,

I read post #14. You might want to clarify that this is “your interpretation” of open and close communion. I think if you do a little research you will find it is not the standard definition. Open, close, and closed refer to who is admitted to the table, not where the table (communion) is taking place. I think part of the confusion in this thread is semantic.

Tim Rogers

Brother Matt,

“Where in Scripture does it unequivocally say that a person must be baptized before they receive the Lord’s Supper?”

I believe the Bible teaches that God is a triune being, however I cannot find a scripture reference that tells me that the Godhead is a trinity. The Scripture teaches that but it does not say it specifically. It is the same as Baptism by immersion being a prerequisite to the Lord’s Table. We know the Bible teaches the Doctrine of the Trinity because of the 325AD Council of Nicea where the formula was placed in writing. As Southern Baptist we accepted the Scriptural teaching that Baptism was a prerequisite to Church membership and the Lord’s Supper because of the Abstract of Principles as written in 1859.

Of course Brother David Worley has asked another pertinent question that I believe addresses the issue very well. Express to us anyplace in Scripture where someone was allowed to take the Lord’s Supper that was not baptized by immersion.

Blessings,
Tim

Tim Rogers

Brother Matt,

You are correct, the problem that exists is that we define the different terms differently. Thus, I will concede to you as definning the terms for us. What do you define as “open”, “Closed”, and “Close”?

Blessings,
Tim

David Rogers

RE: “Express to us anyplace in Scripture where someone was allowed to take the Lord’s Supper that was not baptized by immersion.”

Express to me any place in the NT where they used musical instruments in church worship. Hey, if we use that hermeneutic, maybe the Church of Christ is right after all. ;-)

David Rogers

Tim,

One more denomination for you: the Nazarenes.

Here is a quote from the section on the Lord’s Supper in their Articles of Faith:

“It being the Communion feast, only those who have faith in Christ and love for the saints should be called to participate therein.”

It says nothing about baptism as a prerequisite.

http://www.nazarene.org/ministries/administration/visitorcenter/articles/display.aspx

David Rogers

The Christian & Missionary Alliance does not define itself on baptism as a prerequisite for the Lord’s Supper either:

http://www.cmalliance.org/about/beliefs/doctrine

Tim Rogers

Brother David,

I think Psalms would remove the Church of Christ doctrine. Of course that is the OT, but what I remember of our conversations you accept all of the Scriptures. :) However, if you desire for me to keep it limited to the NT I will be glad to accomodate you. I will admit there isn’t as much references in the NT as in the OT to musical instruments in the worship. However the OT is full of musical instruments in association to Temple worship. But if you look at 1 Corinthians 14 you see Paul expressing to the Corinthians their actions during the worship. That is what the entire chapter is about. In that chapter Paul speaks about the harp and flute. I certainly would not be a stretch for one to admit Paul was referencing items they used in their worship since he was speaking to them about the order of worship. So, my hermeneutics isn’t really convoluted here. But, I will give you that musical instruments are not spoken about that much in the NT when it comes to describing worship. Of course, we do not see announcements in the worship service either but we have announcements. :)

Blessings,
Tim

David Rogers

And, Church of God, Anderson, Indiana:

http://chog.org/AboutUs/OurBeliefs/tabid/307/Default.aspx

Tim Rogers

Brother David R.,

I have to go to bed. Because of my fatigue I will go ahead and concede that point. Though the last two you gave me as still weak. One began as a para church organization and the other accepts either believers baptism or infant baptism. Of course an argument can be made that the Nazarene, because they accept infant baptism, tacitly believe that baptism is necessary before partaking of the Lord’s Supper. But, that is not a debate I desire to get into with you tonight.

Have a great evening. It has been a pleasure today. I will be looking at the comment stream tomorrow but not as often.

Blessings,
Tim

David Rogers

Here’s a good one: CBAmerica (Conservative Baptists)

http://www.cbamerica.org/cba_Resources/Doctrinal_Statement.php

David Rogers

Salvation Army, Quakers …

Greg Buchanan

Brother Tim,

After driving home from Tucson (can’t blog and drive at the same time) I need to retract almost everything I said. After this time of thinking and a conversation with my closest friend in minstry, I realize that I was “hijacking” the blog off baptism/communion onto the BFM2K. That was not my intention, just my train of thought. Needless to say, it derailed.

To be honest, I actually have to say that I agree with you about Baptism coming before Communion. I don’t like or agree with using the BFM2K as the basis and will deny it’s efficacy as a rule for faith and practice. That is ONLY the place of the inspired Word of God, the Holy Bible.

I agree with you on Faith -> Baptism -> Communion but not becasue doing so is a Biblical prescription and any other order or the absence of Baptism before Communion is a sin. I would never presume to limit or not fund a fellow believer (David Rogers) becasue he disagrees on something that has no eternal significance (since we all agree baptism and communion do not save, erase original sin, or impart saving grace).

I feel bad that I barked up the wrong tree becasue it casts everything I say in a questionable light. And that hinders me communicating effectively.

However, because of statements you have made like this one:

You asked me if I could vote for you to be a missionary with your views clearly in violation of what the convention identified and affirmed as “certain definite doctrines that Baptists believe, cherish, and with which they have been and are now closely identified.”

I must say that I believe you and others in this particular blog are at the very least practicing a dangerous form of syncretism (Bible PLUS BFM2K or Bible PLUS denomination). Therefore, I don’t know if it will be profitable to me or you to continue looking to this site for a Biblical witness. I don’t say this to be inflamatory or insulting, but becasue I don’t want anyone to be led astry, least of all you.

I pray that God Bless you as you search the scriptures for faith and practice and illumination for the guidance of your family and your flock.

Tim Rogers

Brother Greg,

Cannot sleep, so I thought I would peruse the blog to see if anyone came by after I went to bed. To my surprise, I find your comment that has really made me contemplate what you have said.

First, do not feel as if this blog was hijacked. I do not see it that way as we were talking about everything. Shoot, Brother David W. complained he was blocked from another blog and I didn’t say anything about that. :)

Concerning your comment. Allow me to make myself as clear as I can, and it may take some back and forth between the two of us for me to do that. If Brother David Rogers were to come to my church and need support for a mission endeavor, I would be one that would lead us to move in that direction. Why? We are a local church and we are autonomous in our actions and beliefs. I would express my concerns to the leaders and probably even address them with Brother David to see how we could rectify these concerns. Once they were rectified, we would move forward in ministry. Move this scenario to a convention of churches level. We have over 5000 M’s and 40,0000 churches. Can you imagine the insanity that would ensue if ever church had every M’s to rectify all of their concerns? It would be disastrous and we would never place one M on the field. Thus, we have the BF&M that the convention has voted on that contain “certain definite doctrines that Baptists believe, cherish, and with which they have been and are now closely identified.” Bro, that statement is quoted from the opening statement of the 63 BF&M. We as a convention of churches have “definite doctrines”. IOW, we have stated these doctrines, while they are not primary pertaining to salvation, they are primary doctrines concerning our cooperation within a convention of churches. It is not that we believe we are the only ones going to heaven, but we must have something around which we can rally and cooperate. While our church is autonomous in our personal support of M, we release some of that autonomy when we cooperate with other autonomous bodies.

Now, I know that I have opened myself up to the statement; ‘we rally around nothing but scripture’. However, one that would make that statement fails to remember how well that worked for us back in ’25,’63 & 2000. We developed the BF&M because we had so many churches and so many pastors and so many various interpretations that were competing for primacy. Thus, in our cooperative efforts there must be something we have clearly stated we can cooperate around and for SB that is the BF&M 2000. As Brother David R. said in Comment #147;

If you don’t have some codified statement of faith to go on, how do you avoid the conclusion of “come one, come all, it doesn’t really matter what you believe”?

As I have said earlier, if the BF&M does not present the majority of the convention view, then change it. However, until it is changed it must be presumed it represents the majority view. And until then we must concede, as autonomous churches, to the majority view of Southern Baptist that we have

adopted confessions of faith as a witness to the world, and as instruments of doctrinal accountability. We are not embarrassed to state before the world that these are doctrines we hold precious and as essential to the Baptist tradition of faith and practice.

Blessings,
Tim

Tom Parker

Greg B:

Those like Tim have elevated the 2000 BF&M above the Bible to exclude people not like THEM. If Tim gets this uptight about communion I shudder to think how he becomes about certain interpretive doctrinal issues.

David Worley

Greg,

You have totally misunderstood us, and you’re completely wrong about our view. We believe the Bible plus nothing is our guidebook, our rule of life, our playbook, and everything else. It is indeed God’s Word to man. It’s our only authority.

The BFM2K is simply a statement of faith about the BIBLE. It’s what we, SB’s, have stated that we agree on that the Bible clearly teaches…that these doctrines are what the Scriptures clearly teach, and we must hold to these doctrines in order to be TRUE TO THE BIBLE. Does that make any clearer sense to you, now?

Also, Greg, people who baptise infants say that they’re abiding by the Scriptures, too. People who sprinkle will tell you that they’re abiding by the Scriptures, as well. People who believe that you can lose your salvation say that they’re abiding by the Bible, as well. Would you want these people teaching in our SB seminaries? going out as missionaries supported by our mission dollars? leading Lifeway and developing our SS literature? determining what books and materials should be sold? Would you?

If not, then Greg, you’re placing someone’s view of what the Scripture teaches in just as strong a position as you claim that we’re putting the BFM2K. You’re making a binding statement of faith…just unwritten, or unstated publicly….as what SB’s do with the BFM2K. And, if you would appoint these people…mentioned above….to positions of authority in the SBC, then we have quite another issue with you that needs to be dealt with.

Tom Parker, would you send a man, who believes in losing their salvation, as a SB missionary? Please just answer me that…clearly; please.

David

David Worley

DAvid Rogers,

The point that Tim is making is that you have no leg to stand on… from the Bible…about people being allowed to take the Lord’s Supper, who have not been baptised. You say that Tim and I have no leg to stand on…that the Bible does not teach that someone has to be baptised in order to take the Lord’s supper. But, neither does the Bible teach that someone can take the Lord’s Supper without being baptised. Thus, you’re on a wet and muddy slope every bit as much as you claim that we are.

Yet, as you look thru out the NT, everyone that took the Lord’s Supper was baptised. They had made a profession of faith, and they had been baptised. True? Thus, we believe that we have a pretty strong arguement from Scripture that this is the way it should go. A new believer should be baptised….that should be what they do…first of all. Should it not? Then, when the local Church meets to observe the Lord’s Supper, then they can take it as a baptised Believer, who belongs to that local assembly of Christ Followers. Amen? Can I get an amen?

David

David

Tim Rogers

Brother David W.,

Amen and Amen. I didn’t know that I was going to start sitting in the “Amen” corner. :)

Blessings,
Tim

Tim Rogers

Tom,

What is it about the Bible that you believe strong enough that you will lose a position of employment over the doctrine? IOW, if inerrancy were up for debate in your church would you tell the church, “I believe in the inerrancy of Scripture and will not teach it any other way and if that means my job then I guess I need to start looking.”?

Blessings,
Tim

David Rogers

David W.,

1. Lest, for some reason, anyone think differently, let me make clear I think that those who get saved should be baptized shortly afterward, and that only saved people should take the Lord’s Supper. So, I am in agreement that the “normal” order would be conversion, baptism, then participation in the Lord’s Supper.

2. However, when we think of the Lord’s Supper, I think we need to think about what it is, and what it is celebrating. It is a memorial of what Jesus did for us, not of what we have done for Jesus. That is, a memorial of and witness to our salvation won by Jesus on the cross of Calvary, not a witness to our obedience to the command to be baptized, or of our meeting the requirements for local church membership.

3. The Lord’s Supper is also a celebration of the unity of the Body of Christ. 1 Cor. 10:16b-17:

“And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ? Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for we all partake of the one loaf.”

It is not just a celebration of the unity of the local church. It is a celebration of the unity of the Body of Christ, i.e. all those who are truly saved.

In NT times, all those who were truly saved, as far as we are able to discern from the NT itself, and from church history, were baptized. That is the reason we have no example of unbaptized people taking the Lord’s Supper in the NT. However, today, there are many true Christians who were sprinkled as infants, or who, for some other reason, have not been biblically baptized. As I have stated earlier, if they understand Jesus has commanded them to be baptized, and they have not, they are in disobedience, and need to get their baptism on the right side of their salvation. There are many, however, who are sincerely endeavoring to be obedient to Jesus in everything, including baptism, yet understand baptism differently than we do as Baptists.

The Lord’s Supper is not a celebration of the unity of all of those who have their doctrine right concerning baptism. It is a celebration of the unity of the Body of Christ. “We, who are many, are one body.” If we don’t admit folks to the Lord’s Supper, we are, in effect, telling them we don’t believe they belong in the Body of Christ.

Tim Rogers

Brother David R.,

Let’s face it, our problem today that was not a problem in the 1st Century church is denominational differences. I will grant you that you are arguing strictly from a first century position. I can see what you are saying. And, to a certain extent, agree with your analysis of the situation. However, show me (I now sound like I am from Missouri :) ) a scriptural reference in the first century where they sprinkled babies. Also, if baptizing in accordance to right doctrine is not important, then the apostles were wrong to rebaptize John-the-Baptists disciples. So our problem hinges in applying a first century document to a 21st century practice.

Here is where I believe you part ways with me and others that believe like me. We are saying that in the first century, when someone got saved they were Baptized by immersion. We are saying that I what the Bible teaches, whether we believe it or not. Everyone will agree that hermeneutic hoops will have to be jumped through to get infant baptism out of the scriptures. Thus, if Baptism by immersion is the standard practice of obedience in walking in Christ, it is imperative on the preacher that we teach this. Now, I do not believe you would tell people they could partake of the Lord’s supper in any ole way. You have clearly given me the statements you say before the Lord’s Table. In 1 Corinthians 5:11 Paul told the church they were not to partake of the Lord’s Supper with one that had been put out of the church. This for me is where the rubber meets the road. While I do not know who has been put out of other churches, I do know who/whom we have had to dis-fellowship from our church. We do not dis-fellowship people who are not members of our church, we only dis-fellowship people who are our church members. You cannot be a member of our church without being baptized. Baptism is by immersion, thus fellowship at the Lord’s Table is given to those who have been Baptized by immersion.

That, to me, is the clear teaching of Scripture concerning taking the Lord’s Supper. Baptism as a prerequisite to the Lord’s Table is affirmed as a Scriptural doctrine in the BF&M, ’25, ’63, & 2000.

Blessings,
Tim

John Fariss

David Rogers,

Well said! This is perhaps the most concise, succinct statement on the Lord’s Supper I have ever read. Thanks!

John Fariss

Tim Rogers

To All,

I have got to shut down the internet so I can get some work done.

Blessings,
Tim

Tim Rogers

Brother David,

One more question and then I have got to go.

So, I am in agreement that the “normal” order would be conversion, baptism, then participation in the Lord’s Supper.

Do you believe that or do you believe the Bible teaches that? If you believe the Bible teaches Conversion, Baptism, then participation in the Lord’s Supper, then you should not teach anything less than that.

Blessings,
Tim

Christiane

Hi JOHN FARISS and DAVID ROGERS,

You are on the right track when you associate the Lord’s Supper with the Body of Christ.

Greg Buchanan

DW,

If not, then Greg, you’re placing someone’s view of what the Scripture teaches in just as strong a position as you claim that we’re putting the BFM2K. You’re making a binding statement of faith…just unwritten, or unstated publicly….as what SB’s do with the BFM2K.

I am admittedly struggling with my own hypocracy about this… :S

John Fariss

Tim,

You wrote, “if baptizing in accordance to right doctrine is not important, then the apostles were wrong to rebaptize John-the-Baptists disciples.” I think you are offering a false dichotomy here, an apples-to-oranges comparison which is not valid. John baptized in anticipation of a forgiveness which was yet to come during his lifetime. It came with the cross. Christians baptize in celebration of forgiveness which has come, and in celebration of the new covenant in Christ’s blood, which again happened in and through the cross–which postdates the ministry and baptisms of John. Consequently, it is not valid to compare the two forms of baptism, even though they were of the same mode.

John Fariss

John Fariss

Excuse me–my last sentence should read, “Consequently, it is not valid to EQUATE the two forms of baptism, even though they were of the same mode.”

John

Greg Buchanan

DW & TR,

You are right… I have totally misunderstood your position and apologize deeply for labeling you as practicing syncretism. That was poorly thought out and just plain rude of me.

I do understand and see the need for codified non-biblical language to explain, defend, and define biblical language (i.e. trinity or homousious). Otherwise, using the bible to explain & defend itself is circular arguing at best and unclear or deciptive at worst (such as the Arians did and the Mormons do with the definition of the words “Jesus” and “Christ”).

I think I’ve mistaken you and actually need to applaud you becasue I think too many pastors are interested more in tickling the ears of the people becasue if they don’t, they might lose their jobs. If God cannot take care of us while preaching the Truth from the roof tops, then why do we bother preaching at all.

I think the disconnect here is over the significance of baptism and communion and under what contexts they may be given. Assuming a BFM2K stance, the church is first and foremost the Local Autonomous brick-and-mortar congregation. Communion is given in the context of said church and so, to particiapte one must be a memeber of “the church” and that membership is affected by full immersion baptism. I believe this is the position of Tim and David W. Given those circumstances, I can see your position.

In some missionary contexts, “the church” is not always primarily described as the local autonomous congregation but primarily as the universal body of believers. These converts are taught that they belong to a world-wide family (especially considering the preacher is a foreigner) and that they should meet with local believers for fellowship, discipleship, worship, communion, and service. Baptism is definitely a part of becoming a follower, but sometimes that may take a while in certain contexts.

I think the issue is basically about what constitues “memebership” (salvation or baptism) and at what level of “church” (universal or local) about which we are speaking.

David Rogers

Tim,

RE: Comment #194

I do not believe the Bible mandates an order of conversion, baptism, and the Lord’s Supper. I do believe there is sufficient evidence in the NT to reach the conclusion that the normal (or customary) order, as practiced in the NT Church, was conversion, baptism, and the Lord’s Supper.

And, I do teach that should be the normal order today as well.

I do not, however, believe that the Bible teaches we should withhold participation in the Lord’s Supper from true believers who, for whatever reason, have not been appropriately baptized.

On this matter, I also teach in accordance with what I understand the Bible to teach.

Tom Parker

David R:

You said to TR:”I do not, however, believe that the Bible teaches we should withhold participation in the Lord’s Supper from true believers who, for whatever reason, have not been appropriately baptized.

On this matter, I also teach in accordance with what I understand the Bible to teach.”

Let’s see, TR, David teaches in accordance with the Bible. Is he wrong, and why?

Greg Buchanan

Tom Parker… i’m beginning to get the impression that you might be an instigator or agitator

The jury is still out…

Dave Miller

David Worley, in comment 151, you made a statement that is factually inaccurate. I had nothing to do with the events, but you made statements about SBC Voices which are not accurate.

There was a comment stream there about the Caner issue, and a couple of statements were made about Peter’s tendencies to delete people who disagree with him and the perception some had that he is arrogant.

SelahV commented to Matt that she thought his comments were not in the right spirit. Matt, at first, argued with her and then came back on and agreed that the spirit of the discussion was not right. He deleted all of the comments in the entire stream – yours among them.

He then explained why that was.

You said here that you were banned. You were not.
You indicated that your comments were deleted, but failed to let people know that comments on both sides of the debate were deleted.

I read through here and did not see where you had corrected the errors of your statement 151, but I’m guessing you don’t want mistaken information to stand uncorrected.

Christiane

There are ‘cautions’ when deciding to ‘clarify’ what the Bible ‘so clearly teaches’ from Scripture:

2 Peter 1:16-21
Eyewitnesses of Christ’s Glory

16 For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we had been eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17For he received honour and glory from God the Father when that voice was conveyed to him by the Majestic Glory, saying, ‘This is my Son, my Beloved,* with whom I am well pleased.’ 18We ourselves heard this voice come from heaven, while we were with him on the holy mountain.
19 So we have the prophetic message more fully confirmed.

You will do well to be attentive to this as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. 20 First of all you must understand this, that no prophecy of scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation,
21 because no prophecy ever came by human will, but men and women moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.”

If the Holy Spirit is at work among Baptists, any ‘interpretation’ of Scripture will be something that brings Baptists together as brothers and sisters in Christ.

Tom Parker

Greg B:

You said to me:”Tom Parker… i’m beginning to get the impression that you might be an instigator or agitator

The jury is still out…”

I’m not trying to be either one. DW and TR have ridden the back of former SBC missionary David Rogers about very minute things till I personally am fed up with it. DR deserves better. If that makes me an instigator or agitator so be it.

Greg Buchanan

Tom

The jury is in: I understand. Sorry if I gave any offense. ;)

Tom Parker

Greg:

Not a problem at all.

Joe Blackmon

If the Holy Spirit is at work among Baptists, any ‘interpretation’ of Scripture will be something that brings Baptists together as brothers and sisters in Christ.

Wrong. Not every interpretation is valid. Someone could say “Christ is too loving to send anyone to hell if they are sincere enough” and they would be dead wrong. That scripture is not saying that all interpretations are valid and that they call come from the Holy Spirit. What it is saying is that the Bible is inspired–all of it, equally, from Genesis to Revelation.

Jared Taylor

Quick question and possible response.

Is scripture silent on the baptism of the Disciples? Mark 10:39?
Other than this I can find no evidence for their baptism though if i use the hermeneutic that many of you seem to be using i can imply that the answer is yes. But I cannot find explicit evidence. We do have evidence that states that they were told to go and Baptize but not that they were baptized.?.

If there is no explicit evidence saying they were baptized would that not mean that they took the LS without being baptized or are we to infer that they were. If we say yes what kind of hermeneutic are we practicing?
Just thinking

Jared

Christiane

Hi JOE BLACKMON,

it’s me, L’s

Well, maybe the Holy Spirit is more powerful than you know. We see ‘the differences’ and we go running to our separate corners with those ‘of our own kind’, and we forget . . .

Unity in Diversity is the main lesson of the Holy Trinity:
Three distinct Persons in One.
And joined together perfectly by LOVE.

And for US: unity in the Holy Spirit: we are a family joined together in the Body of Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit.
The closer people get to Lord Christ, the more the man-made divisions lose their power to divide them.
The Holy Spirit points the way to Christ, Who is our Unity, even though we are different.

Do you remember this?

Love, L’s

David Worley

Dave Miller,

I never mentioned you in comment #151. Matt laughingly agreed with whoever made the comment about Peter deleting and banning people who disagreed with him. Matt then said that he was going to delete my comments….which he did. He deleted my comment that answered the conversation between him and Harriette(Selah) that was talking about me.

Afterwards, I tried two more times to comment. My comments would not go thru. Everything said about me…all the other comments were still up there…and remained up there for a long, long time. I thought I was banned…Matt had threatened me with deleting, because he didnt like what I was saying. So, I thought that he had banned me from SBC Voices. Then, I think it was the next day, all of that stuff about stopping the comments was put on there.

So, everyone, I’m not banned from SBC Voices. lol

Dave, does that make you happy?

David

David Worley

Tom,

I noticed that you still have not answered my question.

David

David Worley

Greg,

I ask you the same question. Would you be for sending missionaries who preach and teach that a person can lose their salvation with SB dollars? with CP and Lottie dollars?

David

Greg Buchanan

DW

re: 213

I didn’t know those were actual questions, I thought they were rhetorical. The answer is…

No, not intentionally. Losing your salvation is an arminian fallicy that scripture does not teach.

David Worley

Okay, Greg. Thank you for being man enough to answer. I see that Tom P. did not answer.

Greg, so, you have a doctrine that would exclude my Great Grandmother and my Grandmother and several of my Uncles and Aunts and cousins, as well as a member or two from my church, from serving as missionaries in the SBC. I’m glad that we have that nailed down.

So, Tom Parker would have a hard time with you, since you would exclude someone from service in the SBC. And, Tim R. and I would be right there with you on this matter….even though we’d be talking about my relatives.

You must have doctrinal accountabilty, and you must have statements of faith that mean something; or else you’d have to send people to foreign lands that believe all sorts of stuff, or you’d have people in leadership positions in the SBC that went in every direction doctrinally. And, this is all that the so called BI guys are saying. Let’s be sure that leaders in the SBC and SB missionaries are Baptist in their doctrine. The BFM2K is a great statement of faith that spells out what Baptists believe about the Bible.

Also, Greg, the universal Church is always seen in a local assembly on this Earth. Of course, when someone gets saved, then they’re a member of God’s Kingdom and a member of the universal, invisible Church. But, membership in the local, visible Church is thru baptism. And, after a person is baptised, then they can take the Lord’s Supper with that local assembly of Christ Followers. So, Greg, do you see the two ordinances of baptism and the Lord’s Supper as Church ordinances, or personal, individual ordinances?

David

David Worley

Tom,

I’m still hearing nothing but crickets from you.

David

David Worley

Dave Miller,

Was that apology acceptable? Was it written good enough? Did it seem sincere enough? Did it cover eveything good enough?

I sure do hope so, because I’d sure hate for you and Mr. White and Debbie and the others to start blogging about me….obsessively checking out every word and phrase….disecting every sermon…spying on my personal life…etc, etc, etc. So, if that apology and exlanation wasnt good enough for you, please let me know. I’ll make another one very quickly. I do not want any trouble with your crowd. So, just tell me what to do to make it right, and I’ll do whatever you say; but, please, just leave me and my family alone. Ok? Please?

David

:)

David Worley

L’s,

The Holy Spirit never goes against God’s Word. The Spirit and the Father and the Son always agree on everything. They are one.

What Joe said is absolutely true. In fact, part of the CR was to weed out some of the universalists that had snuck into our SBC. If someone dies outside of Christ, then they go to Hell forever.

David

David Rogers

David Worley,

If you don’t mind, I’m going to give my answer to the last question you asked Greg.

I see baptism and the Lord’s Supper as Christ’s ordinances. No offense to Christiane, if she is still lurking, but, as I understand it, one of the main differences between Catholic doctrine and Evangelical doctrine is that, in Catholic doctrine, the Church is the gateway to Christ, while, in Evangelical doctrine, Christ is the gateway to the Church. For us, we must first come to Christ, and then, and only then, are we admitted into the Church. Whereas, in the Catholic Church, we come to Christ by means of the sacraments. And, the sacraments are supervised and dispensed by the Church, as if they were the exclusive property of the Church to give to or withhold from whom she chooses. By the same token, I see we are first baptized into Christ (Spirit baptism, and then, as a symbol of Spirit baptism, water baptism), then, we are admitted into a local church.

I see no problem admitting people into local church membership immediately following their public confession by way of water baptism. I think that is a good thing, that follows the example given in the Bible. But, technically, we are not baptized into a local church. We are baptized into Christ.

The Lord’s Supper, being, among other things, a celebration of the unity of the Body of Christ, is meant to be celebrated when at least two or three are gathered together, with Christ in the midst of them. In that sense, it is a Church ordinance. But, I would not limit it exclusively to what we as Baptists consider to be a duly constituted local church. I see no biblical reason not to celebrate the Lord’s Supper wherever two or three (or more) believers are gathered together in Christ’s name. Do you?

David Worley

So, David, once again, we come back to the fact that you really believe that baptism and the LS are personal, individual ordinances, and not church ordinances.

DAvid, does this also not go against the BFM2K? which states that baptism and the LS are Church ordinances? another caveat, or two, perhaps?

David

David Worley

Dave Miller,

Maybe I spoke too soon. Chief Katie made a comment to me….which was not very flattering….to say the least. I tried to answer Katie, and my comment would not post at SBC Voices. I tried again. It would not post. I dont see anything about the comments being closed.

Maybe my apology was too soon…but, Dave, I’ll leave my apology and comments up for all to see. Please tell your “friends” that my apology is still up. Ok? please?

David

David Worley

Well, I see that Jack’s comment went thru, Dave, so the comment thread is not closed, and my comments…I made another one…are not going thru.

What do you call that? I call it being banned? maybe?

David

David Rogers

David W.,

No, I did not say “individual ordinances.” I said, Christ’s ordinances.

Also, from the beginning, I have stated that my only caveat with the BF&M is with the following sentence:

“Being a church ordinance, it is prerequisite to the privileges of church membership and to the Lord’s Supper.”

Now, having said that, I can, also, with a good conscience, call baptism a “church ordinance,” inasmuch as healthy churches ought to be in the business of baptizing folks. I also believe that, when Jesus commanded the 11 to baptize, He was, at the same time, commanding all of His disciples throughout the centuries (i.e. the Universal Church) to baptize. Thus, in that sense, you may say it is a “church ordinance” (or Church ordinance, if you want to be precise about little “c” and Big “C”) also.

Christiane

Hi DAVID ROGERS,

it’s me, Christiane

I was over ‘lurking’ (love that phrase) on Debbie’s blog.
Thanks for the insight into evangelical doctrine. I’m not sure you understand my Church’s doctrine, but that’s okay, and I’m not at all offended. Be peaceful. :)

Hi VOL,

Tell us. Who is ‘Chief Katie’?
And what on Earth could you possibly do so terrible as to get ‘banned’? Joe, maybe, but YOU? Hmmmm. . . I don’t see it happening.

Christiane

And VOL,

please don’t tell me you can be as ‘bad’ as Joe.
NOBODY is as ‘bad’ as Joe, not even Joe.

Love, L’s

David Rogers

Christiane,

Perhaps this is getting too far off-topic from the topic of this post. But, I would be interested to hear how you think my description of Catholic doctrine may not be accurate, in this respect. I am always willing to learn.

Christiane

Hi DAVID,

Please know that I did not say you were ‘inaccurate’ so much as I wasn’t sure that you ‘understood’.
I am aware that you accept the descriptions in Scripture about the ‘Body of Christ’, and I know that you have probably learned about the ‘ekklesia’.
But you may not understand the concepts that we have of the ‘Mystical’ Body of Christ and the Communion of Saints: a union that has Christ as the Head of His Church, not ‘separated’ from the Church.

You are right. This is a vast topic, and not on the blog subject per se, but I will commend you for asking for clarification and I would always thank you for sharing your own beliefs with me. I would recommend that, if you ever seek info about my Church, go to the Vatican website for Catholic catechism, or speak to a priest or to a nun. They will answer your questions respectfully.

You know, David, when I first came to ‘lurk’, as you call it, on a Southern Baptist blog?
Well, my grandmother of blessed memory, had been a Southern Baptist, and one day, as I was watching television, I saw a Baptist Church that was protesting a young dead soldier’s funeral. It was horrible. I couldn’t believe that their faith was the same as my grandmother’s faith. So I came looking to find out the truth, and I found out that the Westover Baptist Church was not the same as my Grandmother’s faith. So, ‘lurking’, as you call it, is sometimes really just trying to ‘get to know’ people as they really are, not ‘assuming’ that they are evil. It does makes a big difference, David.
Besides, if you ‘understood’ my Church’s doctrine, you would have known that I consider you truly connected to my Church, just not yet what we call ‘in full communion’. And the ‘connection?’:
Christ the Lord.
And the connection? Christ the Lord.

David Rogers

Christiane,

Thanks for sharing a little more about your personal journey. It helps me as I seek to share God’s love and the little bit of understanding He has given me with you. I am glad that not all Baptists are of the nature of what you saw on that funeral. However, I know that none of us is perfect, only God’s Word. And, I am just trying to do the best I know how to understand and follow His Word.

As an SBC missionary to Spain for 18 years, I have studied quite a bit about the beliefs of the Catholic Church, and have read the catechism from cover to cover. Yet, I realize that the topic is extensive, and at times, complex. I read several different Catholic blogs from time to time as well (mostly just “lurking”).

Anyway, if you see something in what I write about the Catholic Church that does not seem to be in accord with what you have been taught, I will be happy to take that into consideration. Despite my years of thinking over these issues, I don’t count myself anywhere close to having obtained a full understanding.

Christiane

Oh, DAVID

I made a terrible mistake. That Church I mentioned is the WESTBORO Baptist Church, the ‘hate group’ that protests soldiers’ funerals.
My sincere apologies to any Churches called ‘Westover’.
So sorry.
Oh dear.

David Rogers

Christiane,

No problem. I knew what you meant.

David Rogers

Christiane,

Don’t know if you saw this. Thought you might be interested:

http://www.bpnews.net/bpnews.asp?id=32652

http://www.abpnews.com/content/view/5049/53/

Joe Blackmon

The closer people get to Lord Christ, the more the man-made divisions lose their power to divide them.

Doctrine is not a man made division. There are some issues that people can have differences of opinion on but still be Christians. For example, is baptism only for believers by immersion (my belief) or is sprinlking babies permitted? I disagree with babie sprinklers but I could not say they’re not Christians because that’s what they believe. I could fellowship with them but I wouldn’t cooperate in planting churches with them–our view of baptism is not compatible for that task.

Now, some people like you, Wm Paul, Debbie Cough-man, and Don Quixote believe that Christ is not the only way to heaven and if someone is really sincere God just HAS to accept them not matter what they believe. Such a belief falls completely outside the bounds of anything resembling something like Christian theology as revealed in scripture and anyone who believes such utter non-sense believes a false gospel. There simply isn’t even one ounce of biblical support for such arrogant presumption.

There just isn’t any way to say it more clearly.

Christiane

Hi DAVID ROGERS,

Yes, thank you. I have heard about all of this on the news but not read about it. I can’t imagine how anyone could cause such torment to the grieving family of one of our dear soldiers.

I see ‘extremists’ fundamentalism as a danger in all religions.

Hi JOE BLACKMON,

I think Wade and Debbie are wonderful Christian people. I’m sorry you don’t see in them what I see, but someday you might. I have hope.
As far as ‘Christo-centric’, I thought the BF&M 1963 was wonderful in the way that it pointed to Christ as the heart of Scripture. It is sad that Christ’s Words and Actions are no longer considered to be the critieria by which some SBC churches interpret Scripture. It is sad. I think this: the people who changed that and removed that part from the BF&M need to go back and read this:

John 6
“67 So Jesus asked the twelve, “Do you also wish to go away?”
68 Simon Peter answered him,
“Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.”

I hope someday enough healing will come to the SBC that it can take Christ’s Words and Actions back again, as they are in the Holy Writings, as the criteria for interpretation. If those Words and Actions aren’t ‘clear enough’ and ‘meaningful enough’ for some, maybe they need to go back to the Gospels again, and again, and again, until they connect with the Living Word. Then ‘statements’ and ‘resolutions’ won’t be able to be divisive, because they will be Christ-centered. He ‘has the Words of eternal life’. And no other.
Be peaceful, Joe.
Love, L’s

Joe Blackmon

That phrase in the old BFM was taken out because it allowed moderate/liberal christians to ignore parts of the Bible they didn’t like. They could say “Oh, well Paul can’t possibly mean that homosexuality is always a sin. Christ would never judge anyone that harshly” thereby pretending that the entirety of scripture is not equally inspired. I guess “All scripture is God breathed” was just Paul’s opinion, huh?

In contrast, Christians recognize that all the words of scripture are the words of God and are inspired and authoritative.

Louis

Tim Rogers:

Thanks for the catch on the source of the BFM language – the Abstract. I should have caught that.

As I said before, when the Abstract was written, I don’t believe there is much debate that most Southern Baptists were opposed to open communion and alien immersion.

Would you agree with me that today most Southern Baptists practice open communion and would accept for membership in their churches people who were immersed after receiving Christ, even if it was in a non-Baptist church? I think that is the case. I cannot prove it, but I suspect that to be the case.

Do you have any logical explanation for that phenomenon and why the BFM has never really been brought to bear on that issue?

My take is that the language was flexible, so people just ignored it. I thought that D. Mullins may have designed that language, but as you have pointed out, the language came from the Abstract.

It would be interesting to know how many Southern Baptist churches practiced open communion and alien immersion in 1925. If we knew the churches of the Southern faculty members and Dr. Mullins, himself, it might help give us insight.

With respect to theological issues (assuming you have read the latest History of Southern Seminary by Greg Wills), Dr. Mullins clearly took every effort to write the BFM in such a way as the practices and beliefs of the Southern faculty could somehow by “shoehorned” into the BFM. The faculty was very concerned about the drafting of a denominational confessional statement, but were thrilled when Mullins was the one who got to write it. He had a first hand perspective on what was at stake in theological education, unlike many others who might have drafted the BFM.

I would be interested on your thoughts relating to this.

Christiane, I always enjoy reading what you write. I enjoyed reading the dialogue with David Rogers.

That Westboro Baptist Church place is really weird. The “church” consists primarily of its founder, Fred Phelps’ family. It is completely independent of any denomination. Interestingly, Phelps is a long time member and support of the Democratic party in that state. He had some role in the state-wide efforts for Al Gore’s 1988 run for President. Phelps, himself, has run for Governor and other offices on the Democratic ticket five times.

Also, in what even seems like a more weird situation, Phelps is a lawyer and spent a good part of his career fighting racial discrimination. I think that he has brought several Civil Rights lawsuits and desegregation actions. I believe that the NAACP has given him awards and such.

I once saw his group protesting the Billy Graham crusade. I thought he protested the SBC meeting one year, but that may have been another group.

Sometimes the truth is stranger than fiction, huh?

Greg Buchanan

DW

You asked: So, Greg, do you see the two ordinances of baptism and the Lord’s Supper as Church ordinances, or personal, individual ordinances?

I do not accept the premise to your question: namely that baptism and communion can be classified as either personal or church ordinances. You are making a distinction where there is none.

– Baptism is overseen by an individual or group of individuals(unless the whole congregation gets in the pond too)

– It should be a VERY personal experience of publicly identifying with the death, burial, and ressurection of Jesus

– Historically and biblically it is also a sign of being sealed as a member of the body of Christ (the Bible is silent on the idea of local church memebership in connection to baptism)

Today, we use it as above but also as a requirement for membership in the local congregation that meets @ 331 Baker St, anytown, usa. I think that your point of view is very narrow and is encompassing only the local church as if that is the ONLY expression, and therefore the only means of action. That is a very Roman Catholic idea.

In the RC church, the Church (from Pope on down) is the gateway to the meritorious grace and righteiosness of Jesus; all peoples need to go through a priest for access to Church ordinances for only through a priest are they considered to be authentic.

In your line of arguing instead of one LARGE Church organization, there are multiple local autonomous Churches (LAC) that have replaced the priest and pope at the same time. No one is over the LAC as head (like the pope). The LAC is also the gateway for proper ordinance administration becasue unless the baptism and/or communion are done in a LAC recognized as SBC, they are not considered valid. (If I have mischaracterized your line of argumentation (logic) then please correct me)

I think too much emphasis has been placed on the LAC, too much on democratic congregationalism (memebership allows one to vote… basically mob rule), and too much on that voting memeber determining how to spend the tithes and offerings.

Not enough emphasis is placed on corporate responsibility, corporate accountability, and community among believers (in a LAC or larger association is irrelevant). We see ourselves too much as independent, separate, and autonomous (self sufficient). We need to see ourselves as interdependant, interconnedcted, as members of ONE BODY. Your LAC might be a thumb or big toe, but you cannot say to the eye “we don’t need you, we are a LAC.” But that is exactly what happens.

We need to seek others for accountability, just as I am doing here. I said several things early on that I’ve retracted becasue I saw what I was doing/saying as incorrect or ill-thought. I don’t agree completely with everything you might say here, but I think that scripture gives us lee-way in some things (Rom 14). I don’t see baptism and communion as make-or-break issues: the theif on the cross had neither.

I believe that baptism is valid when a believer preaches the Gospel and the lost are convereted and that believer baptizes them in their new faith (Phillip & the Ethipoian official). If that happens at a local brick-and-mortar church or at a beach or a state park with a lake or river (not too common here in AZ) they are all valid. It goes without saying that one should make every effort to connect that believer with a local congregation so they can grow in faith (discipleship), serve in the body, worship, pray, and fellowship with other beleivers.

Under your premise, baptism is too technical and as such, loses too much of it’s spirituality for me.

Christiane

Hi GREG BUCHANAN,

May I do a little editing of your comment, for the sake of explanation?

I would have written this:

” – It should be a VERY personal experience of publicly identifying with the death, burial, and resurection of Jesus

– Historically and biblically it is also a sign of being sealed as a member of the Body of Christ

That is a very Roman Catholic idea. ”

Strangely, you have given an excellent definition of a ‘sacrament’ in writing that ‘it is also a sign’ of being sealed as a member of the Body of Christ. An ‘outward’ sign of a covenant. Actually the derivation of the word ‘sacrament’ comes from a word for the oath a Roman centurion took when joining the army, a ‘covenant’ with his ‘brothers’ in arms, one for all and all for one. Even our soldiers today feel an intense bonding with their brothers-in-arms.

Also, there is no reference in Scripture about who may do the baptizing.
In the Catholic religion, if a priest is not available to baptize, a lay person may perform the baptism in an emergency, saying this: ‘I baptise you in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.’

So the ‘local church’ thing, as regards baptism, is NOT Catholic. But the ‘Body of Christ’ concept found in Scripture? Absolutely Catholic.
And scriptural.
Hope this helps you a little bit.

Greg Buchanan

Christiane,

The point I was trying to make is that it seems that the SBC in some ways appears to becoming more like the RC church: that sacraments are only valid if done in a LAC by an authorized and ordained minister.

I think that we as a priesthood of believers do NOT need either the RC church as a gateway or the SBC as a gateway to biblically administer baptism or communion.

I understand the Catholic description of an emergency baptism: in case someone is going to die, they need the remission of original sin to keep out of hell, to say nothing of heaven or purgatory. I do not see that there would ever be an emergency becasue I don’t believe that baptism (by water) removes the stain of sin. By faith alone in the shed blood of Jesus and trusting Him to do what he said (forgive us and cover us with HIS righteousness) is the only way we get to Heaven and that water baptism is a sign (not a means) that we have been infilled with the Holy Spirit and that it is a sign (not a means) of our union with the entire Body of Christ (all true believers of every tribe and tounge)

I also don’t think that the idea of Body of Christ concept is the exclusive domain of the Catholic church, but is true of the catholic (universal) church.

Christiane

Thank you, Greg

What gets confusing sometimes is what is taken literally in Scripture by Catholic is not taken literally by Bapists. And what is taken literally by Baptists may not be taken literally by Catholics.

Different ‘interpretations’, same Scripture.
I try to make an effort to understand how other Christian people interpret certain Scriptural passages, but I have noticed that even in the same denomination, people can disagree ( I am learning that sometimes, it’s not so much that a matter of ‘difference’ as it is a matter of what is ’emphasized’.) Thank you much for your explanation.

David Worley

Greg, you and David Rogers are basically a personal, individual ordinance belief. That’s, in reality, what yall hold to. You can call it anything you want to call it, and you can try to give minute details about what makes your view different; but it’s still not a Church ordinance to you two.

Greg, my view of baptism and the LS does not make it less spiritual. Baptism at a church, in front of the assembled body of Believers, is a very spiritual experience. In fact, it’s more spiritual than just two ole boys baptising each other out in a pond somewhere. Although, baptism in a pond, or a swimming pool, or a big, hot tub, or wherever is fine…as long as the church is there to administer it. I’m not hung up on someone having to get baptised in a building…in a baptistry. But, it should be something that the church does, as they celebrate a new believer’s baptism together; and as they welcome him into their fellowship.

Also, it’s really not correct to say that this is a Roman Catholic idea. lol. It’s a Bible idea. You and David Rogers have a rugged individualistic idea of Christianity. You know, the lone cowboy out on the lonely range…leading another lonely cowboy to the Lord. Then, he baptises him in a creek, and then they both just ride off into the sunset to do their own thing. But, as you read the NT, that’s not the way God set up things. The Church, the assembly, is emphasized, and emphasized, and emphasized over and over and over again. The Christians of the NT are always seen in a group….a group of people called the Church. Elders/Pastors were in the group..the Church. Deacons were supposed to be in the group…the church. Discipline and accountability were to be done in the group…the church. The two ordinances were supposed to be a group(church) thing….experienced together. So, it’s not a RC thing. Not by a long shot. And, I really dont see how you can read the NT and not get this idea.

I mean, you hit on this idea with your corporate responsibility comment, but then you depart from it concerning the ordinances of baptism and the LS??????? You seem to depart from a lot of what you were saying about being involved in the church, and being connected to a church. Strange thinking, my friend.

Also, baptism is not too technical the way that I see it…only in your own mind. It’s a very personal, very special thing in my church. I’ve had people tell me such. I’ve had many, many people tell me that the way I do the LS is very special, very meaningful. So, I really dont know what you’re thinking about with the two technical talk.

Also, I really dont know where you’re coming from with the idea that I believe that a true baptism has to be done in a brick and mortar building. Whoever said that? I’ve baptised someone in a swimming pool before. Our church went to the local college, which had an indoor pool with handicap capabilities, so that we could baptise a handicapped person that had gotten saved. After Church, on a Sunday night, we all got into our cars and drove over to the college. We went in and sang some hymns and prayed. Then, we baptised this fella. Everyone left rejoicing that night. It was very personal and inspiring, and NT.

David

Greg Buchanan

Christiane,

To be perfectly honest, I have a great respect and admiration for the Catholic church: it is the home of Martin Luther and John Calvin. Also, I gained a new and bigger understanding of God’s Majesty and Holiness due to the format of the liturgy. I also learned to worship with those who were part of the Body of Christ, though not of my tribe (SBC). There are many RCs who are only cultural catholics and will live in hell forever and there are those who truley know and live Jesus and I’ll see them at the supper table of the Lamb. I also know that there are those in the SBC who are cultural as well and are as lost as their cultrual-catholic counterparts and there are also plenty of SBCers who will have a seat at the supper table of the Lamb.

My wife was RC when we married and only became an SB becasue I felt called into ministry. She knew it would be impossible for me to find a pastorate if she were still RC :-S We used to go to both services: SBC on sudnay AM and RC either sat night or sun night. I don’t agree with mush of the theology of justification, communion, baptism, but we both serve the same master as best we can. One former pastor told me: when they sing to the Lord, sing; when they pray to Jesus, pray; when they read from scripture, follow along. I’ve found several priest whom I love to hear preach, becasue they bring it!!! Of course I’ve also heard those who read the Gosple for that given Sunday and then give a homily on the Bishop’s Appeal, which had NOTHING to do with the OT, NT, or Gospel reading. I think every denomination has good and poor preachers.

I have gained the respect and fellowship of the local priest in my town (my wife used to teach confirmation there and my kids went to their private school for a while) and I am welcome to take communion anytime I’m there. It used to make my inlaws a little weirded out. But now, my mom-on-law is the only one who is uncomfortable with me doing so.

Christiane

Hi GREG,
I will pray for your ‘mom-in-law’, that she is more ‘comfortable’.
I understand how it can be. My brother converted to the faith of his wife so that the family could be brought up together in the Church. My father was ‘uncomfortable’ at first about it.
It is hard to do what your family did, but as Christ is your ‘center’, all will be well. Thank you so much for sharing.

Greg Buchanan

DW,

I apologize for any afront I have commited regarding your personal leading in baptism or communion. The idea of everyone going to the college pool for the one believer is absolutley awsome and a great testimony of how loving and caring your congregation is!!!

I think I’ve had bad experiences with some neo-Landmarkists out here in AZ and I’m attributing such a closed (and frankely heretical) set of ideas to those of the BI persuasion. That is wholey unfair of me to attribute my experiences to BI when I’ve never met anyone who would claim that affiliation, if you will pardon the expression.

The church I left here was hypocritical, self-centered, quasi- or neo-Landmarkist, and largely faithless in my opinion. Biz meetings were always about “what’s it gonna look like in the end” and “how do we get there” and “but that’s not how we’ve always done it.” If Abraham had demanded to know where he was going and what it would look like and how he was going to get there, we probably would not have heard of his Faith that was counted as righteousness.

My only point was that if the SBC is going to regulate baptism and communion as only valid when done in a local congrgation by the on-staff ordained pastor, then it is the same as the RC church saying that only a priest may administer the sacraments. That was my experience here and the BI line of thought sounded exactly like that.

I baptized my oldest while being the pastor for worship & admin at one church (wasn’t paid or ordained) and baptized my youngest at our current church (i’m not on staff here at all). My former church would say those are invalid becasue I’m not ordained. The BI sounds to me or seems to me to be the same. I also had one nitwit (that I remember clearly) who did NOT try to lead someone to Jesus becasue she was visiting/volunteer at a “Walk-through-Bethlehem” at church “A” (she belonged to church “B”; both SBC) becasue she felt that she was on another churches ‘territory’ and that only someone who was from church “A” had the right to do the leading and preaching. IF that isn’t the STUPIDEST hting I’ve ever heard, I don’t know what it. If this is what it means to be BI and SBC, then you can have it, I’ll go somewhere else.

If not, then I’m wrong and don’t understand. I believe that where 2 or 3 (or more) are gathered , we are “the church.” We do not all have to belong to the same local congregation (i.e. pastor, secretary, sunday school role). And if we preach in Jesus name and people are saved, I/we would connect them to a local body. But I don’t think that the local body has to be the ONLY means of going out to preach. It certainly should, but if I’m on vacation and have opportunity, I’m gonna lead someone to Jesus if the Holy Spirit so moves them.

I’m trying to make ammends for saying you don’t do a spiritual baptism or communion. For me, the technical comment (in my experience) refers to the dumbing down of baptism (the pastor here constantly talked down about it as being of no real value other than obedience) to merely a required bath before membership. It had lost all spiritual, community, humbling value. That it had become merely a requirement for membership (voting about the $$$) means it was reduced down to a technical action, not a spiritual act of humilty and worship.

I’m sorry to have applied this baggage to you.

Robert

How about a new post. Probably not anytime soon. My anti-spam word was patience

David Worley

Robert,

lol

David

David Worley

Greg,

I cant speak for all the “BI” guys, lol, but I can say with a fair amount of certainty that we’d be for leading someone to the Lord anywhere, anytime, any place…whether it was in my Church, or if I was doing something to help out in another church. That wouldnt matter to me, at all.

Also, I dont believe that any BI guy, or gal, for that matter, lol, would say that only ordained people had to do the baptising. As long as the church was okay with who was baptising, it would be…well… ok. So, for example, if SS teacher A’s son got saved, and he wanted to baptise his son; then it’d be fine for SS teacher A to baptise his son…as long as the Church was okay with it. Even though SS teacher A was not ordained as a Pastor, nor a Deacon.

Greg, we just believe that baptism and the LS are Church ordinances. They were given to the Church to do…by the Lord Jesus. Thus, we dont hold to a momma baptising her child in the backyard pool. And, we dont hold to a bunch of college students observing the LS up on a mountain retreat somewhere with cherry coke and chocolate chip cookies; or any other such thing as that.

David

Greg Buchanan

DW,

Then we agree completely. I would stomp on the campfire barefoot before I was part of a group who thought that anything other than bread & wine (fruit of the vine) were acceptable to observe the Lords Supper. I think it could be done at a retreat, either lead by a single church or a group of churches (i.e. associational men’s retreat) or in a home bible study of believers who knew to with hold it from non-believers; but definitely not willy nilly.

I believe that they are church ordinances, I just often take the bigger view of church than only the local congregation. My experiences have made me skitish of anything that seems like personal kingdom building rather than being a part of building God’s kingdom, which is not limited to just a single local church. I do view the local church as part of God’s Kingdom and part of the church, just not the absolute totallity of the church.

We are like a bunch of embassies or forward operations locations for the advancement of God’s Kingdom. We train the congregation (soldiers) for combat operations in the world: we send patrols, we send messages, we send ambassadors (missionaries). Sometimes, people need rest from going out because they are wounded or they need training on the latest weapons (figurative of further discipleship).

But we are in this together. I came from a place that rarely interacted with the other SBC churches and generally loathed going to associational functions. The biggest shame was that they were the most financially blessed but did little that didn’t have a guaranteed return on the investment of their $$$.

Again, I’m sorry that I burdened you/y’all with this. Ir wasn’t fair of me to do so. Please forgive me.

David Worley

Greg,

The universal church is always seen in a local church. Thus, baptisms should be done by the local church. The LS should always happen in the context of the local church. That’s the only way that the universal church can be seen on this Earth.

This is not personal kingdom building. It’s just doing things in the NT way.

David

sbcIMPACT life :: theology :: church :: ministry :: missions :: worship » Blog Archive » Discerning the Body: A Biblical Defense of Modified Open Communion

[…] week, I got into a bit of a discussion on the comment stream over at SBC Today on the subject of who should be allowed to participate in the Lord’s Supper in a Baptist church, […]

I’m A Southern Baptist! Says Who? | From Law to Grace

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