The issue of
baptism further defines Second-Wave Reformation thought. We believe that New Testament call for baptism should only be
administered to believers. Or to say it another way: only those who profess
belief in Jesus Christi as Lord and
Savior are eligible for baptism. Recipients may be young, but they must have a basic understanding of the Christian
gospel. The eligibility of the recipient must be determined primarily by the
parents. However, the opinions of those who have labored in ministry to the
recipient should be consulted. It is best
to have the approval of both the ministers and the family prior to baptism.
We believe that
baptism is the symbol and sign of the New Covent. One becomes a member of the
New Covenant by faith in Christ and not by birth into a believing family. It
symbolizes one’s union with Christ and not one’s potential union. This is one
of the more significant reasons why we exclude infants from this ordinance. The
other reason for exclusion of infants, and the more meaningful reason is lack
of biblical example, teaching, or command. Therefore, we find that infants are
excluded from baptism.
[However, it must
be noted that we dearly love our bothers of the First-Wave Reformation. In
making these statements, we do not seek to anger them or undermine their
contribution to the cause of kingdom
of Christ in this world.
However, we must preach what we believe. Believer’s baptism falls squarely
within the bounds of Second-Wave Reformation thought.]
immersion is preferable. However, under some circumstances where the
participant my be physically incapable of immersion, or a lack of water makes
immersion impossible, other means such as pouring, sprinkling, or a light
washing is acceptable. We recognize that the meaning of the symbol takes
priority over the available mode. However, immersion should be the first and
foremost priority, and other forms are only to be implemented when immersion cannot be accomplished.
is not an option. Although it has no saving power, it is required by God under
New Covenant Law. Christians who refuse this ordinance are in gorse sin and
bring shame on their Lord whom they profess to believe.
Do you not know that all of us who
have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death (Romans 6:3)?
For as many of you as were baptized
into Christ haveput on Christ (Galatians 3:27).
And Peter said to them,
“Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for
the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit