Forbid Them Not - Free PDF Download
For more than thirty years Heritage Baptist Church has been baptizing only those who give credible evidence of true conversion. There is nothing remarkable about that claim. It is simply a part of what it means to be a biblical Baptist church. What might be noteworthy, however, is the fact that for the same period of time we have been baptizing everyone who gives credible evidence of true conversion – including young people and children.
In the passing of three decades our church has literally witnessed the emergence of another generation. Many of those newly born babies we visited at the hospital were graciously converted and baptized at a young age. Now they are getting married and having their own children. With regard to those who were thus baptized, we have seen very few “miscarriages.” For this we praise the Lord.
Some time ago a pastor friend of mine who was inclined to embrace and implement our practice asked how we justified it. The short answer was, “It is simply a matter of obeying the Great Commission. Those who give credible evidence of being true disciples are to be baptized.” While my friend appreciated the validity of the short answer, he also wisely recognized that there are many difficult and complex questions revolving around the subject. He asked if I would be willing to expand my thoughts on paper and send them to him. I envisioned several lines of argument limited to one page and said, “Yes.” For better or for worse, the following treatise is what evolved. I have since been encouraged by several friends to share these thoughts more widely. Hence, the booklet.
If you should be inclined to give the thirty to forty minutes it will take to read the apologetic, there is something you must know first. You must know the spirit and attitude with which I have written. I have not meant to be “dogmatic” in the negative sense of that word. I am quite aware of the fact that there are diverse views on the subject, held and practiced conscientiously by those who have a profound allegiance to the Word of God. Though I may differ with their conclusions, I have a genuine respect for such persons and their views.
Please consider this humble endeavor to be an effort on my part to stimulate helpful discussion concerning the subject. Perhaps we will experience the blessing of the proverb concerning iron sharpening iron (Prov. 20:17). May the Lord make it so!
-Pastor Ted Christman
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