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Baptism, as Seventh-day Adventists practice it, does not appear to be biblical.
Now, I am not one who believes that we have to do everything just like it was done in New Testament times. Practices and cultures and insights change over time. But in these three examples, we can infer some important things to consider.
First - Time - Decision - Part - Hearer
First, little time passed between a decision on the part of the hearer to be a Jesus follower and their baptism.
Second, there was no dithering to study doctrine, prophecy, and/or praxis. There was no delay to determine whether the candidates had changed their life and habits. There was no determination made whether they were worthy or safe to baptize. There was no list of propositions to which to pledge allegiance. There was no denomination to join.
Third - Case - Call - News - Jesus
Third, in every case above, the call was to believe in the good news of Jesus. Period. In other words, the candidates believed and clung to the gospel of a Savior. And that was all that it took to be worthy of baptism in Jesus.
Occasionally, I attend a non-denominational church on Sabbath afternoon after attending my own church. It was a counterculture moment for me when the pastor said — Right out loud! — one Sabbath afternoon, “You don’t have to believe to belong. Just come join with us and we will grow together.” What? That can’t be right!
Pastor - Tanks - Heart - Jesus - Trust
Then the pastor said, “We have baptism tanks set up. If you would like to give your heart to Jesus, please come let us baptize you.” Astounding! Now? Not later? Trust their decision on the spot? Do it now? Is that safe?
Apparently the practice is working; 18,000 people attend every weekend. They come from whatever circumstance exist in their lives to grow together. They come to drink up messages about Jesus and life with...
Wake Up To Breaking News!