Churches that don’t baptize

Some churches that work hard to get people to “make a decision for Christ” never get around to baptizing them!   In fact, there are some ostensibly Christian bodies that don’t baptize at all.  And more that will baptize if someone asks for it, but most members don’t go to the trouble.  And according to Christian scholar Roger Olson, “one Texas megachurch pastor reported that nearly a third of the people who receive Christ in his church are never baptized. ” 

Apparently, in churches that teach “believers baptism,” some believers, having been taught that baptism is nothing more than a symbolic ritual, are too embarrassed to submit themselves to getting dunked in front of everybody.  And those believers and the churches they are members of do not seem to believe in what the Bible says about baptism.

I realize that there are many different theologies about baptism, but surely no one can deny that Jesus commanded that it be done.  The Great Commission, which so many of these non-baptized megachurches generally make a big deal of, is a commission to baptize (Matthew 28:19-20).

 

From Roger E.  Olson, Water Works: Why Baptism Is Essential | Christianity Today:

The Evangelical Free Church of America provides latitude on whether baptism should be required for church membership. Based on the denomination’s autonomy, it’s a local church matter.And some congregations believe the only requirement for church membership is simply being a born-again Christian. . . .

Some Christians, such as Quakers and members of the Salvation Army, reject baptism entirely. And recently, one Texas megachurch pastor reported that nearly a third of the people who receive Christ in his church are never baptized. One response to the multiple views of baptism is to reject or neglect it entirely. Especially in large independent churches, baptism is often relegated to relative unimportance.

Are any of you Christians who have not been baptized or pastors who do not make a point of baptizing converts?  I’m curious how you can rationalize that.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.


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