An Open Letter from a Closed Pastor
October 2, 2014
The reports of my retreat have been greatly exaggerated.
Yes, I did back out of the ring after seeing 20 Baptists step in.
But, listening to Metallica (coupled with a Liverpool loss today) has put me in a punchy mood:
To any Baptist pastor who will come to my church and say the following to all the professing Christians in my congregation:
"To the professing Christians here who were baptized as a babies,
Baptism represents your union with Christ, your regeneration, your remission of sins, and your newness of life.
I admit that you possess all that baptism signifies.
You indeed possess not just the sign, but also the reality (the thing signified).
As a result, you are spiritually baptized (immersed). You have what ultimately matters: the baptism of the heart. You are a citizen of heaven.
But even though you have been baptized you haven't been baptized. You have the greater but you need the lesser.
And once you have the lesser, you may take communion in our church where we possess the greater and the lesser.
Our closed communion practice requires us to refuse participation in the body of Christ to those who we have no problem referring to as Christians.
We admit this sounds rather odd, but baptizo means immerse - even Calvin said so - and Jesus went under in his death...well, sort of...not really, but you get the point.
Your faithful brother,
PS, we are not sacramentalists"
I will personally donate 10 bottles of grape juice to your church for communion.
Or you can choose to keep on ignoring the implications of your communion practice in relation to ecclesiological catholicity...like Lloyd:
Pastor Mark Jones is wondering whether his friend, who was immersed as a believer, but now holds to pouring, would be welcome to take communion in your church based on a previous act of obedience that he no longer holds to?