The Particular Baptists, as Calvinists historically seem to do, slipped the other direction into so called “hyper-Calvinism.” What that means, essentially, is an overemphasis on the sovereignty of God to the point of the loss of human freedom, and an eventual loss of any missionary motivation.
Is it possible that some of our church plants receive members in this fashion? Yes, it is altogether possible, especially when one considers that one of America’s leading church planting networks is led by a Pastor whose congregation is among those accepting members in this manner. Is it possible that the network is training their church planters to embrace non-immersed membership as normative?
Baptists baptize. Such a self-evident statement might be considered incontestable if not for the curious trend described in this essay. If you will pardon the expression, Southern Baptists are watering down our doctrine of baptism. Today, a number of Southern Baptist Churches are accepting Christians into full membership who have never been scripturally baptized by the mode of immersion. In doing so, they are creating a class of sprinkled Southern Baptists—a development presenting us all with a host of denominationally defining implications.
It is a sorry state of affairs when government tries to enforce religious belief to a certain religious group. In this case it was the Reformed church of Switzerland. We must not say from this negative experience how God and His moral law have no place in government. We need His influence today more than ever.
Conrad Grebel’s impact earned him the title “The father of Anabaptists” because of the stand he took for baptizing believers. Today, we look at men such as Grebel and understand that they have been forgotten during the era of the Protestant Reformation. Our heritage as Baptists comes from men like Grebel who refused to be mandated by the state church to baptize infants. They stood for believer’s baptism, as we do, and the gathered assembly of believers in the local church. For this cause–may we stand with Grebel. We owe him a tremendous debt of gratitude.