Friday, August 17, 2007

Baptism and Church Membership - Would RC Sproul Be Permitted to Receive Communion at Capitol Hill Baptist Church?

If I understand this quote correctly from the recently released “Believer’s Baptism” (edited by Tom Schreiner and Shawn Wright), Mark Dever creates a category for allowing temporary full fellowship in his Baptist church with a paedobaptist brother or sister:

“Questions of visitors coming occasionally to the table may be separated from the question of Christians regularly coming as members under the care and guidance of that particular congregation. Such occasional communion may be considered as similar to occasional pulpit fellowship, or other kinds of Christian cooperation between congregations that may not agree on secondary matters but that would agree on the primary issue of the gospel. On the issue of pulpit fellowship with those who have not been baptized as believers, see Dagg, Church Order, 286—298. Dagg concluded that it was not inconsistent for a Baptist congregation to allow someone to preach to it and yet for the congregation to deny that same paedobaptist minister membership in their Baptist congregation.”

Mark Dever, “Baptism in the Context of the Local Church” from “Believer’s Baptism: Sign of the New Covenant in Christ” footnote 16. p. 341.

I can see both the wisdom and the Christian charity in this and appreciate that it is one way of dealing with the question of how to treat our paedobaptist brothers and sisters when we worship God together.