Posted tagged ‘Baptism’

Steve Lemke on Bethlehem Baptist Church, Baptism, and Church Membership

October 14, 2008

Steve Lemke is not a fan of Together for the Gospel.  The second half of his article is entitled, “Baptists and Presbyterians Not Together: Nine Marks Which Separate Baptists from Presbyterians,” where Lemke lays out his argument for Baptist separation (or, as I would argue, isolation).  Interestingly enough, his first two marks are “soul competency” and “age of accountability”–not exactly bedrock doctrines of the Baptist tradition.  In any case, he proceeds from there to believer’s baptism (mark 3) and baptism by immersion (mark 4).  In the fourth mark, we find yet another major error in Lemke’s presentation–this time it is Bethlehem Baptist Church‘s position on baptism and church membership.

In the pertinent portion of Lemke’s commentary, he writes:

“Piper’s proposed statement did not find general agreement among the church’s elders, and the issue was discussed for several years.  An amended policy was finally enacted in August 2005.  Although expressing preference for baptism by immersion, the amended membership statement expressed the desire ‘not to elevate beliefs and practices that are nonessential to the level of prerequisites for church membership.’  Thus, according to the new policy, ‘Christians who have not been baptized by immersion as believers, but, as they believe, by some other method or before they believed, may under some circumstances be members of this church.'”

Now, for those of you who can remember back in 2005, the debate over baptism and church membership was no private matter.  Documents were made public, and the discussion was one of the most heated in the blogosphere.  I recall in particular one church’s elder body, Clifton Baptist Church, writing a letter to the elders of BBC encouraging them to reconsider the proposed amendment by the elders.

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Hurting for the Gospel

April 25, 2008

From a roundtable discussion with Ed Stetzer this past week (video by Chris Elrod):

HT :: Thorn

POTW :: dandunk

March 29, 2008

View in Flickr (see it LARGE)

View in Flickr (see it LARGE)

View in Flickr (see it LARGE)

As I mentioned last week, I along with my bride and boy, enjoyed Easter services at Sojourn here in Louisville, celebrating in the occasion of Dan Canales’ baptism. I have been meaning to visit Sojourn for a long time, and I was excited to finally have the opportunity of worshiping Jesus there. I was really encouraged to see how Sojourn handles the ordinances of baptism and Lord’s Supper (they partake of the Lord’s Supper every Sunday). Before each baptism, their community group leader reads their testimony on stage. All the testimonies are provided in a nice pamphlet in the bulletin (here’s the cover). After that, the church affirms their testimony and confession of faith, and they are baptized.

On a lighter note, does anyone else think that Dan looks like he is driving a boxcar in the middle photo (go speedracer!)?

On the photographer side of things, I quickly realized that I was needing to shoot in high ISO mode (3200 ISO) because it was so dark (plus with the stage light being a strong back light, I was concerned about Dan being silhouetted and miss capturing this moment for him. The bad part is that such high ISO’s produce lots of noise (grain), especially when you are shooting a worn out 20D like mine. I figured, instead of trying to get rid of it to use it to create a better feel for the images. Anyway, you can see about a dozen of them in this set which I created on Flickr.

In other photography news, you have noticed on my sidebar some portraiture. My friend Lindsay (not Lindsey) Swartz (not Schwartz) asked me to snap a few photos for her upcoming graduation here at Southern. So we walked around downtown Louisville a bit as well as the waterfront park to take some pictures. It has been a long time since I have taken portraits, and I think the first time doing a session like this. However, I am pleased with how they are turning out. To view the images, you can go to this set on Flickr or watch them in a slideshow. I will be uploading some more as I complete the post-production of the images.

So I got my bike last week too. Really fun. Really painful. I marked a couple of short 3-5 mile rides for beginners like me, and man the wind was brutal. I rode in the rain a couple of days ago and didn’t realize how much the tires kick up water and mud on your rear end. Lessons learned. My goal is to be able to ride 10 miles (in an hour) before leaving Louisville, and a far-fetched goal is to do a Sprint Triathlon (I know, yeah right) by the end of October of this year. I have gone ahead and marked the races in Florida for 2008 on a Google Map which, if you are interested, you can find here (they are various kinds of multi-sport races, such as duathlons, triathlons, aquabike, etc.).

Lastly, I can’t help but post a pic or two of my little boy Nolan. Here’s a couple from Easter Sunday morning. 🙂

POTW :: Benchmark

March 22, 2008

View in Flickr (see it LARGE)

View in Flickr (see it LARGE)

Two photos: one from last week and the other from yesterday evening. Actually, the top photo was my favorite from my shots of the snow as I really liked the feel of it. The funny thing about it was that I was riding down the road with my window down when I took this shot (not recommended). The second photo is from downtown Louisville when I was checking my gear before taking photos for a friend (graduation time). Actually, it was pretty fun as we walked through downtown a little, taking shots here and there and finally ending up back at the waterfront park (which right now is water-logged park after all the rain!). I will be posting some photos from yesterday’s excursion on Flickr soon.

The month of March marks two 3-year anniversaries for me. First, this month marks three years that I have been blogging. In real life, that is not very long, but in the blogosphere, I think I am old enough to be grumpy and hard of hearing. But alas, after all these hours clocked in on the laptop, the faded letters and lasting imprints of my palms remind me of the investment made on this small corner of the evangelical blogosphere. Seriously, I have learned a ton, met some wonderful people, and been given some amazing opportunities to encourage and help other believers love Jesus and grow in their relationship with him. I really look forward, Lord willing, to being a greater influence for the glory of God, the building of His church, and the stewardship of the gospel of which we have been entrusted.

The second 3-year anniversary is my friend with Dan Canales. Funny thing, if you look closely at today’s header, you can see Dan in the lens (he took the photo). Actually, Dan is the one responsible for getting me into photography and taught me everything I know. As of yesterday, he has also gotten me into cycling (no Dan, I will not join you for your 112 mile bike ride today – sorry brother). But three years ago, God allowed me to get Dan into Jesus, and the past three years has been a wonderful time of growing in the Lord together (Dan was the first person God put into my life at UPS). Tomorrow, Dan is going to be baptized at Sojourn here in Louisville, and I, Dusti, and Nolan are super excited about going to Sojourn tomorrow to celebrate what God has done in the life of our dear brother. Times like this, I feel a little like John who said, “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.” I am even more excited now, three years later, than the day I witnessed the grace of God arrest and change the life of my brother. Knowing that our days are few here in Louisville, this anniversary is bitter sweet, but I know that God will continue this work and raise up folks to accomplish his purposes.

My heart is full, and there is so much to say about life these days. Really exciting, really busy, really good. All because of Jesus, who died and rose again for my sin and to bring me to God. Everything counts because of the resurrection. I just pray that I live like it.