Overseas baptisms for 2015 dropped to 54,762 from the 190,957 reported for 2014, according to information submitted by the International Mission Board in response to a request by the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee. Likewise, the number of new churches fell from 13,824 to 3,842 over the same one-year period. Continue reading
Trail of Blood?
Baptists debate when exactly the Baptist faith came into being. Some argue that there have always been “true” believers in the faith of the New Testament who never became organizationally linked to the Roman Catholic Church. A little pamphlet called The Trail of Blood sketched out how these groups—identified primarily by their rejection of infant baptism—maintained their separation down through the centuries, often in hiding, at other times enduring persecution. The historical accuracy of this viewpoint is challenged by the fact that some of the groups cited as “baptistic” by the pamphlet were, in fact, far from orthodox (sometimes way far from orthodox!). Still, there is no question that there were often dissenters against prevailing views. Continue reading
In an earlier essay entitled The SPRINKLED Baptist Convention, the practice of accepting members into a Southern Baptist Church without requiring immersion baptism was explored. As evidence, I cited the following policy verbatim:
While we practice a baptism by immersion at [Church Name], we do not require the mode of immersion for membership. If a person was sprinkled or immersed (or a possible other mode) after conversion, he or she has met our requirement for membership.
In the comment stream, I was told by one commenter that he had copied this quote and pasted it into his search engine browser. He found that on the very first page of search engine results there were several churches that had embraced this same precise language. It is reasonable to conclude others are using it as well.