The Consequences of Baptizing “Not for Church Membership”

Posted: May 7, 2015 in Personal Evangelism
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With the possible legalization of same-sex marriage, the church will be forced to be proactive and identify and set guidelines for anyone who is seeking to join the church.  The church will have to update or offer training for its church ministry teams who counsel with individuals seeking to join the church.  In most denominations and churches an individual becomes a church member with full rights and privileges by “professing Christ” and then being baptized.

Meetings with some various church staff and ministers revealed that some churches are offering to baptize individuals who attended an evangelistic event at their church, and the baptism be “not for church membership.  Churches who are using this non-biblical approach are potentially setting themselves up for a future law suit and a possible takeover by individuals who may not have been truly saved.

A study of the early Christian History, beginning with the first century, will reveal that this happened as infiltrators sought to gain entry into underground church groups so they could sell the information to local officials to persecute the church.  (Justo L. Gonzalez, The Story of Christianity vol.1) This maybe a in our near future with the coming legalization of same-sex marriage.

There will be individuals who will try to get a foothold in the church by saying they are saved and be baptized for church membership.  There are cases and situations where an individual who was married or and some cases not married and has joined the church and where in this perverted life style. It later came out when the individual admitted to their sinful life style.

Recently, I heard of a woman who came down who wanted to get right with God. She had never been saved. She asked Jesus to save her from her sin. She attended the baptism class and just before the service mentioned that her partner would be coming to see her be baptized.

The church staff member talked with her and shared what the Bible said that same-sex relationships. She was asked if she had really trusted Jesus to be her Savior. She said, “Yes”. But she was not willing to stop the relationship. She was asked to stay for the service and to continue coming to church. She left.

Someone asked, “Why couldn’t the church have baptized her?” I heard from a black minister who recently heard of a church in South Africa that was sued by a lady who was a lesbian who had been baptized by a church. No one asked her about her sexual preferences or relationships. When the church found out about her perverted life style, they refused to let her vote. She hired a lawyer and sued the church. The lawyer proved that she could vote because she had been baptized for church membership giving her the right to vote.

An option would have been to have made detailed inquiry about any sexual relationships that were not biblically based before letting her join. The other option was to have the church vote and establish that she was a member in bad standing and not allow her to vote.

Sadly, the church will be facing new days ahead. Evangelism is our mandate, if we do not evangelize, we cannot baptize. But we must also, be wise as serpents in conducting ministry. This is why the church needs to preach what God has to say about perverted sex and its consequences. God has not changed His mind on same-sex relationships. It is still an offense against God. It is a sin. Romans 1:24-29; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11.

Victor Benavides is adjunct faculty in biblical teaching, evangelism and pastoral counseling, an author, and Director of M28evangelism.com, a disciple making ministry.

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