a tapestry of thoughts and aphorisms from my journey
Wednesday, August 03, 2005
Control, Numbers, and Sorry Theology...
I can't believe it's August already. Today was my last day of discipling the staffers at Plains Baptist Assembly. The summer didn't end without a bang, though. I had the honor and privilege of baptizing a good friend of mine, Jessica. She had never been immersed, and wanted to be obedient to Christ. Here's the kicker, though; several local pastors made it clear that they would not honor her baptism since it took place at a camp and not a "church." I was appauled at the theology that I heard yesterday! One pastor even said that the problem was that if we allow this, anyone could baptize anyone! God forbid that His people baptize someone into the fellowship of the church! This just further accentuates the problem of the modern church: a group of narrow-minded power-mongers afraid that control over the sheep will slip from their grasp! What authority or local church oversaw the baptism of the Ethiopian eunich? What local church pastor gave approval to Jesus' baptism? What Pastor baptized the apostles? I recently read about some soldiers in Iraq who have recently been saved and baptized through the ministry of their unit's chaplain in water-filled holes in the desert. Will their baptisms be invalid to the local church here? Is it okay that a man who is a Christian chaplain, Catholic Priest, Jewish Rabbi, and Indian Shaaman, baptized these soldiers? People! We have got to come to grips with kingdom mentality. Rage against something worth raging about! But to rage about a young lady who wants to be obedient and follow Christ in believer's baptism just smacks of "Hey, that's my number!" or "Hey, I didn't get the recognition for this..." Not one of these men expressed joy or encouragement to this young lady at reaching a milestone in her pilgrimage! So, anyway, I called my Pastor, and told him the situation, and we went ahead and baptized her under the "authority" of my home church, just to quiet the nay-sayers. However, the damage was done. The message that was sent was that their own sorry theology and control was more important than the people involved. May God have mercy on all of us who impose sorry theology on those who don't know any better. God, please forgive us for each time we've placed our kingdoms before Yours.