I am really enjoying the latest debate on baptism and church membership. My “lite blogging” plan for August has so far prevented me from entering the fray and declaring my own thoughts on it. Mark Dever has now posted briefly about his views. It is great to see some of our theological heroes respectfully disagreeing with each other. It is a model for the rest of us. (HT Alex)
Baptism SHOULD be required for church membership:
Because Jesus clearly commanded baptism and to disobey this command is sin [whether intentional or not]. To continue in such an unbaptized state is unrepentant sin [whether intentional or not]. Thus, no careful paedo-baptist will follow John P’s apparent “generosity” about membership. That is, they will never knowingly admit someone to the Lord’s Table that they understand to be unbaptized (even if they took that evangelical Quaker or believing Salvationist to be their brother or sister in Christ). John P wants us to admit to the Lord’s Table those that he and we all agree are not baptized. John has no doubt that infant baptism is not baptism. He is solid on that point. But I think that actually leaves his position unusually open to other difficulties–knowingly admitting the unbaptized to regular communion. I simply don’t want to take the responsibility to so disregard Jesus’ commands (not that John P intends to in anyway disregard Jesus’ commands). I especially don’t want to do this in what has been an area of relatively unanimous Christian agreement from Jesus til now. Baptism precedes the Lord’s Table.