Credo-Baptism Answers Prerequisites for Baptism?

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Jonathco

Puritan Board Freshman
Hi folks,

A question for my fellow credo-baptists. Does your church require membership or at least minimally a meeting/discussion with an elder/pastor prior to baptism?

I ask, as I've become increasingly concerned over my church's practices regarding baptism. My church is very evangelistic and does frequent salvation messages, followed by calling people to come forward and be baptized immediately (the church now even offers a change of clothes so you can get baptized on the spot). Sadly, what we see a lot of is visitors around Christmas, Easter, and our community outreach events coming to church, getting baptized in massive-assembly-line fashion, and then you do not see them again in church.

This has bothered me for a while now, but a recent 9Marks podcast reaffirmed this for me as a significant issue. How do your churches handle this? What is required in your congregation for baptism?
 

J.EdwardNewhill

Puritan Board Freshman
Our church will baptize no one until they go under review by at least one elder. I don't think they require membership before baptism, but they do require a public profession of faith. Would I worry if my church did not gaurd the sacrament within reason against false professors? Yes, it is very serious. At the very least, baptismal candidates need to sit down with an elder.
 

Jonathco

Puritan Board Freshman
Our church will baptize no one until they go under review by at least one elder. I don't think they require membership before baptism, but they do require a public profession of faith. Would I worry if my church did not gaurd the sacrament within reason against false professors? Yes, it is very serious. At the very least, baptismal candidates need to sit down with an elder.
Thanks Johnathan, I agree with your church's approach.

Geographically, we live where there are simply no Reformed Baptist churches within a reasonable drive (covered here ad nauseam), but I am thinking this issue is going to cause us to re-evaluate and minimally find a church that checks a few more of the missing boxes doctrinally. Thanks brother!
 

David Taylor

Puritan Board Freshman
I will say this, in Acts 8 the Ethiopian Eunuch said: "What prevents me from being baptized?" And Philip baptized him on the spot.

Now, I know we don't know the entire conversation. But there is a record of someone being asked to be baptized and it is done immediately in Scripture.
 

Wretched Man

Puritan Board Freshman
I currently attend an OPC church, but recently attended and was baptized at a Reformed Baptist church (before I moved to another state).

Little background on myself; I received an infant “baptism” in the Roman Catholic Church. Later in life I started attending PCA churches and recently became more persuaded by the 1689 LBCF.

After attending the RB church for several months and was interested in becoming a member, the pastor approached me about getting baptized (which at first scoffed at... but then after thinking it through, decided I should). I then had several extended membership class/discussions with the pastor over the period of a couple months before he agreed to baptize me.
 

Jonathco

Puritan Board Freshman
I will say this, in Acts 8 the Ethiopian Eunuch said: "What prevents me from being baptized?" And Philip baptized him on the spot.

Now, I know we don't know the entire conversation. But there is a record of someone being asked to be baptized and it is done immediately in Scripture.
David, I don't disagree. I do think there is a difference between someone asking to be baptized, and a preacher calling people to come do it upon giving a salvation message. Would you agree?
 

Wretched Man

Puritan Board Freshman
I will say this, in Acts 8 the Ethiopian Eunuch said: "What prevents me from being baptized?" And Philip baptized him on the spot.

Now, I know we don't know the entire conversation. But there is a record of someone being asked to be baptized and it is done immediately in Scripture.
We do know the eunuch was already studying God's word and had come to worship at Jerusalem. James was then directed by the Spirit to evidently teach and expound God's word to the eunuch. This is a far cry from some teenager being overcome with emotion during an alter call with sappy music.

Like anything, if you want to be apart of something, you would inherently desire to learn more about it. If one doesn't show fearful desire to seek knowledge of God (Proverbs 1:7) and sincere repentance (Acts 2:38), then in my lowly opinion, it would be a disservice for a pastor to "baptize" and subsequently provide false assurance to that person.

Remember also Jesus' final command in Matthew 28:19-20 inextricably linked baptism with teaching and discipleship.
 

David Taylor

Puritan Board Freshman
David, I don't disagree. I do think there is a difference between someone asking to be baptized, and a preacher calling people to come do it upon giving a salvation message. Would you agree?
Yes, I do agree with that. I used to be at a church, which shall remain unnamed, that baptized over 500 people spontaneously on a Sunday morning. It seemed a mockery.
 

Jonathco

Puritan Board Freshman
Yes, I do agree with that. I used to be at a church, which shall remain unnamed, that baptized over 500 people spontaneously on a Sunday morning. It seemed a mockery.
I am with you there. My church does a large Easter outreach and it's typically in the hundreds of people being baptized. You are right; "mockery" is the right word here.

I appreciate your thoughts on this, brother. Thank you.
 
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