Sunday, April 16, 2017

Baptist And The Christian

(Dialogue Continued) 


Baptist:       Greetings Brother Christian!  It has been a while since we talked.

Christian:   Hello to you, sir.  It has been some time since we chatted.

Baptist:       You know I was thinking about you the other day.  We disagree with one another on a lot more things than I realized.  The Baptist Church is a lot different than your Church but I guess it doesn’t make any difference what Church you go to as long as you’re in the Universal Church of Christ.

Christian:   (Smiling) Now what kind of talk is that?  Is the Church of Christ made up of all Churches?

Baptist:       Well, I’m not exactly saying that, but Christ’s Church is made up of all believers but not all believers are in the same Church.

Christian:   I see now what you think.  Now let me try to understand better, though.  What do you have to do to become a Baptist?

Baptist:       Well, you state your faith, the Church examines you and if approved, you’re baptized into the Baptist Church.

Christian:   So lets, see.  You told me before you’re saved when you believe.  This is before baptism and before you’re a Baptist and that one does not have to be a Baptist to be saved and once saved, you cannot be lost?

Baptist:       That is correct, sir.  Baptism and Church membership have absolutely nothing to do with being saved.  You’re baptized to become a member of the Baptist Church and outwardly show an inward act.

Christian:   So let me get this straight.  You were dead in sin and when your believed you were made alive and then you were buried in baptism as an outward sign of an inward act.

Baptist:       That is correct.  That’s what we Baptists believe.

Christian:   So, lets see.  You’re dead but faith made you alive, and then you’re buried in baptism?  Strange order, don’t you think?

                   Was Jesus dead, then made alive, and then buried?  Does your form of doctrine equate with the death, burial and resurrection of Christ?  Doesn’t Romans 6 show a different story?   Here, let me read it to you.
                   Romans 6:3-5, “3  Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? 4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:

                   Isn’t that the form of doctrine Paul refers to in Romans 6:17-18, “17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. 18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.”

                   Is death, life and burial the natural order or death, burial and resurrection to life the natural order?

Baptist:       Well it’s all just a symbol anyway.

Christian:   Yes, but shouldn’t a symbol symbolize the truth, not an absurdity?  Death, life, burial?

Baptist:       Well, the important thing is that we believe, not that we be baptized.

Christian:   Well, we’ve had that discussion before and there is no use covering that ground again.  Let me ask you this, why did you become a Baptist or a member of the Baptist Church?  You’ve said you do not have to be a Baptist to be saved.  You’ve said that once you’re saved, you cannot be lost.  So you’re not a Baptist to be saved or stay saved?  So why are you a Baptist?

Baptist:       Well, everyone ought to be a part of a Church and I favor the Baptist Church.

Christian:   I see.  Were you a member of the Universal Church of Christ before you were a member of the Baptist Church?

Baptist:      Oh yes, of course.

Christian:   So you’re a member of two Churches?  The Universal Church of Christ and locally a member of the Baptist Church?

Baptist:       Yes, I never thought of it like that but I’d agree with that.

Christian:   So they are not the same?

Baptist:       No, I don’t think so.

Christian:   Now to be a local Baptist you have to be baptized but to be in the Universal Church of Christ you do not?

Baptist:       That’s right.  Isn’t that true of your local Church of Christ?

Christian:    No.

Baptist:       I don’t understand.

Christian:   Well, in the Bible in Acts 2:38-42those that gladly received Peter’s message and repented and were baptized, received forgiveness of sins and the Holy Spirit and about 3,000 were added to the Church.  In fact, Acts 2:47 said the Lord added to the Church daily those that were saved.  The Lord added the saved to the Church.

                   When it says the repentant baptized person was added and the saved were added to the Church, they are synonymous expressions. It seems to me that the Baptists do the adding instead of the Lord.  Further, they claim to baptize the saved in order to make them Baptists instead of baptizing the lost to be saved, and the Lord adding them to His Church.

Baptist:       Now wait.  (Smiling)  I’m all mixed up here.

Christian:   (Smiling) I think you are, too.  Let me say it again.  In the Bible, when the lost believed and repented and were baptized, they were saved and the Lord added them to His Church.

                   The Baptists says the believer is saved, added to the Lord’s Church and then presents Himself for membership to the Baptist Church and if accepted, is baptized to join the Baptist Church.  That’s the difference.

Baptist:       Well, what do you do at the local Church of Christ?

Christian:   The terms of Christ for salvation are the terms of membership for the local Church.  The Lord adds those who are being saved to His Church so how could we demand more than He does for membership?

Baptist:       That’s interesting to say the least.

Christian:   So then is the Baptist Church really Christ’s Church since according to you the terms of membership in the Universal Church of Christ is not the same as membership in the Baptist Church?

Baptist:       Well, it really doesn’t matter as long as you’re saved.  Christ saves you, not the Church.

Christian:   Well, Christ did die and He paid the ranson but in doing so He purchased His Church with His own blood.  You want to make sure you’re in His Church.  I’ve already shown that it was the repentant immersed believer that was saved and that was added to His Church.

Baptist:       What were those verses again?

Christian:   Just read Acts 2:38–47 and see for yourself who was added to the Church.

Baptist:       Will do.  Gotta go.  Always enjoy talking with you.

Christian:    Same here.

Baptist:       (Thinking aloud) Never thought of me belonging to two Churches before.

Christian:   Can that be since Ephesians 4:4 says there is only One Body and Colossians 3:18 says He is the Head of the Body, the Church?

Baptist:       Well, all the denominations make us the one Body of Christ.

Christian:   Well let me ask you, since all the denominations have different heads, is Christ a monster that has one body but 300 different heads or is He head over 300 different bodies?
                   I’d pay good money to see a calf with 300 heads or a calf head on 300 bodies!

Baptist:      (Smiling) So would I.  Just want to make sure I’m in the Church.

Christian:   Why?  (Smiling) You can’t be lost since you were once saved, in your way of thinking.  I want to be a part of His Church.  It’s His Church that He purchased and who He’s coming for again, isn’t it?

Baptist:       I can’t argue with that.  See you again.

Christian:     I certainly hope so.  Goodbye.

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