Friday, August 17, 2007

Baptism and Church Membership - A Reference to the Red Herring

In reference to my post on baptism / church membership yesterday, a commenter asked for some kind of proof that those against the idea of opening church membership to convinced, saved paedobaptists fall back on the red herring of “What Might Happen If...” I think there have been many such instances, but here is one from print from my friend Mark Dever. Contextually, he is including paedobaptists in his category of “unbaptized.”

“When a noncongregational style of government is adopted, the acceptance 0f the unbaptized into membership may seem initially without effect. But a subtle indifference to doctrine may be communicated. Furthermore the bulk of members may come to hold the allowed exception, and the teaching ministry of the church on this—and other—points may begin to stray. Such a tendency would not be unprecedented in the history of once great evangelical churches.”

Mark Dever, “Baptism in the Context of the Local Church” from “Believer’s Baptism: Sign of the New Covenant in Christ” p. 342