The Baptism Question I Should Have Asked
A while back, I wrote a post about a battle over baptism in some Christian churches and how it’s one of many things some churches seem to be using as a marketing tool to divide other, larger churches.
The main battle is whether or not one is truly saved after accepting Jesus Christ as his personal savior, but before actually being baptized.
Some churches believe that while baptism is a command from God, and that believers are therefore obligated to be baptized, one’s salvation comes when one accepts Christ; other churches seem to believe that no matter how fervently one believes that Christ is his personal savior, until he’s actually completed the act of baptism, he will not truly be saved.
In the aforementioned post, I wrote about being visited by two young ladies who knocked at my door hoping to attract me to their fledgling church, a church they described as being absolutely true to the bible.
It occurred to me the other day that there was another question I should have asked them: if one cannot be saved until one is actually baptized, then how often does their church actually hold baptism services?
Most churches that I’ve been part of hold an actual baptism service about once per quarter, maybe once every two months. I suppose some churches might hold them once a month; others hold them twice a year.
There’s no formal rule, apparently.
But for the churches that truly believe that if someone who accepted Christ was suddenly killed in an accident before being baptized, it seems to me that those churches should offer baptism every single week. That way, what they consider the all-important final step to receiving guaranteed salvation is never more than 7 days away for a new Christian.
Any church that would tell a new believer that they’ve not received Christ until they are baptized is behaving recklessly with that person’s salvation if they only hold a baptism service quarterly.
It’s either a critical step that seals the deal, meaning you have nothing without it, or it’s an obligation as a symbol of obedience to a loving God who grants you salvation when you come to Him even before you carry out the command.
It can’t be both.
Churches that choose to condemn other churches for not teaching the singular importance of salvation should behave in the way they say they believe by making sure no week goes by without offering baptism to anyone in their congregation. Otherwise, they’re part of the problem they’re rallying against.