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Spontaneous baptism: unvarnished consumerism

 

It’s not the spontaneity of baptism that troubles me as much as it is the decoupling of baptism from entrance into the body of Christ.

When did scriptural baptism cease to be the bridge of entrance into the body of Christ? For the pastors writing in the Dec. 2 edition to maintain that coupling scriptural baptism with entrance into the body of Christ is merely “legalism” is alarming.

If all we’re talking about is someone’s name on a church’s database, all right, I get it. But we’re talking about being joined to the body of Christ.

When Paul talks repeatedly about believers being baptized “into the body of Christ” he is talking about them being baptized into the believing community, i.e., the church. Dismissing this as “legalism” risks seriously diminishing our theology of baptism.

Having a candidate stand in the baptistry and declare (in word or effect), “I surrender my life to the Lordship of Christ,” while in the very same instance declare (in word or effect), “But, I’m not prepared to be accountable or committed to the body of Christ,” is a contradictory and confusing message for us to send.

This is baptism with a giant asterisk beside it. It’s unvarnished consumerism:

“DiscipleLite – All the benefits of the work of Christ without all the hassle of commitment to the body of Christ!”

What’s not to like?