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Who May Baptize?


God's Child
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No church is immune to attacks from the devil, or from the world and the flesh for that matter. This is why good churches, and good pastors, keep guard against such. We have some IFB churches in this area that to one extent or another have all moved away from their biblical roots.


What biblical roots must a IFB Church not move away from?

At our Church there seems to be less preaching about how to seek the Holy Spirit for conviction and more moving toward leadership speaking for the Holy Spirit. It makes many new converts and babes in Christ leave or give up on the little faith they have. It's sad to watch.

Honestly, I am confused what makes a good IFB Church ... well .... what makes it good? What roots must they follow?

My pastor likes John MacArthur, is he a good leader for the IFB community? I don't think so, but I could be wrong. Edited by God's Child
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I would not ask men permision to baptise someone after God already used me to save them, any more then I'd ask a woman advice on what I should do spiritually, because the bible condemns both.

If you had faith to be led by the Holy Spirit to witness to someone, you have faith to baptise them.

So, then, Max, I can baptize people? According to what Scriptural precedent? The only people Scripture shows baptizing are John the Baptist and the apostles...all men...all ordained of God as ministers of the gospel. What if an aunt or uncle gets saved because of my 11-year-old daughter's witness? Should my daughter, a child, then baptize that person? What if an infirm elderly person leads someone to Christ? Is he sinning if he doesn't get out of his wheelchair and baptize that person? You might say, "No, he's not sinning." What Scripture informs us as to whether this person is sinning or not?
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The Bible never forbids anyone the ability to baptize from what I recall. Paul didn't baptize much, but left it for other people to perform.

Here is an interesting study, how many people are illustrated in the Bible as being soul winners that never were ordained?

Edited by God's Child
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The Bible never forbids anyone the ability to baptize from what I recall. Paul didn't baptize much, but left it for other people to perform.

Here is an interesting study, how many people are illustrated in the Bible as being soul winners that never were ordained?


Good baptist preachers almost always tear up their preaching licensing, pastor credentials, and other man created documents. Seen and
heard of many of them doing so. And some denominations think that only preachers are allowed to win souls too. Witnessing and baptising are the same things, and it is exactly this that is the distinction between baptists and other denominations. Although getting arrested for "preaching without a license" is by and large gone, you still see the remains of this wickedness in things like jail house ministries, where the unsaved are still trying to hinder God's ministers.

Annie - I said I wasn't going to argue this point. I specifically said it because I am distressed with the number of women on here who
are pastors wives and specifically want to argue religion in a self interested sort of way. I will not argue with a woman, especially over the funding for their family, as wrong as it may be, but I believe Paul's admonishment - women aren't to excercise authority over men.

Baptism by special man created priests is not only damnable, one of the basic sins as the catholic church - who call all their priests fathers because of it, but its whorish. At the point you are baptized, you are either baptised with the Holy Spirit, and born from above in New Jerusalem, the mother of us all as the bible says, or you are baptised from below by the works of men. Although fornicating with a false church can include in a sense any type of false doctrine, I can think of no doctrine that so closely fits the nature of actual fornication then that of baptism, and how you are born into the church. In Revelation, the jezebel church has her children struck dead because of fornication. Let's not be the same way, nor like the catholic church, where every priest is a father instead of the one that matters - God who only is our Holy Father, and its literally a big whore with lots of different fathers.

When I witness to someone and I am filled with the Holy Spirit, and Jesus is beside me and baptises them with the Holy Spirit, if I can baptise them and don't, I think its a sin. The bible tells me to baptize. If they are baptised with the Holy Spirit by Jesus, who can forbid water? The bible also tells me not to fornicate. I am sure that if I do things the way the Lord commands, that I will be a witness to many saved people. When the bible says Jesus will teach us to be fishers of men, it wasn't talking lines and rods, it was talking big nets overflowing with fish.

Baptism is the distinguishing mark of baptists. A lot of baptist churches are becoming catholic I think. Edited by MaxKennedy
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Annie - I said I wasn't going to argue this point. I specifically said it because I am distressed with the number of women on here who
are pastors wives and specifically want to argue religion in a self interested sort of way. I will not argue with a woman, especially over the funding for their family, as wrong as it may be, but I believe Paul's admonishment - women aren't to excercise authority over men.

Max, I'm not sure whom you are talking about. I'm not a pastor's wife, and I have absolutely no self interest at stake in this discussion, as it doesn't affect me one way or the other. I want no authority over any man; I'd simply like to have my questions answered. I'm a learner and student of Scripture just like others on this board, and I'm asking you questions that you are not answering with Scripture. When someone makes the statement that a person is sinning if he/she does not immediately baptize a person whom he/she has helped to understand and accept the gospel, I would like to know the Scripture which states this fact. I look at Scripture and see a strong precedent set...Can you point me to one woman in Scripture who baptized people? A child? Someone who was not specifically ordained by God to do so (John the Baptist and the apostles)? The Great Comission must be compared with other Scriptures which elaborate upon it. Otherwise, you do have women exercising spiritual authority over men as they "teach all nations."

Also, I'm not sure what you mean by the phrase "funding for their family." I must have missed something.

Please know, Max, that I'm really not trying to be argumentative. I am asking you questions that I hope you will answer biblically.
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The Bible never forbids anyone the ability to baptize from what I recall. Paul didn't baptize much, but left it for other people to perform.

Here is an interesting study, how many people are illustrated in the Bible as being soul winners that never were ordained?

Good point, God's Child. My question for you now would be this: who does Scripture record as ones who did baptize?

Although I dislike the term "soul winners" (I'm assuming you mean people who bear witness of Christ's salvation), again, we can look to Scripture for direction. We see both men and women (and not just apostles and prophets) involved in telling others about Christ. We see that this is a natural activity that springs out of a regenerated life.

The precedent for baptism is just as strong. The only people we see performing this office are those specifically ordained by God to do so...And this thought is developed even further as the NT church is set up, and we see that God has ordained leaders to oversee His church. Hebrews 13 is just one passage which refers to church leaders as "them which have the rule over you" (in verses 7 and 17). We know that "them which have the rule over you" is indeed referring to church leaders...OBserve the wording of both verses:

verse 7: Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.

verse 17: OBey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

The whole passage is addressed to the church body, which strengthens even further the truth that, by His wisdom and grace, God unquestionably intended for there to be leaders in place, to whom the church body is accountable. This is only one passage which speaks of this idea. Other epistles are filled with this concept as well.

So, here's the progression. There's a general command given after Christ's resurrection to go into all the world...teach all nations...baptizing...etc. Then, throughout the NT, we OBserve how this command was carried out. We take note of who did what...and who didn't do what. As we read through the epistles (especially the pastoral epistles), these ideas become better informed and take more shape. We see that the church is provided with leaders ordained by God (appointed by God, set up by God, if you don't like the word ordained) to lead and care for the church until the end. I really do appreciate our pastor...He doesn't ever sit up on the platform (no one else does, either), because he doesn't want to appear as anything but a normal man in the congregation who has been appointed by God to bring the Word to the flock. He is a true shepherd. He allows other men in the church to baptize their children (provided, of course, that these men are virtuous examples and upright men). But this baptizing is done with accountability to the local church and to the man that God has ordained to lead that church. Would our pastor recognize a baptism done outside the church, or in another church? Maybe, depending on the circumstances. I do know that he would not recommend it (being baptized outside of any local church), for the reasons I've already described. And, I know for sure that if our pastor advised against it, our family would think long and hard before going against his advice.

Personal example, and then I'll wrap it up, because it's late and I'm rambling! My father-in-law is a pastor of a large church (a church where both my husband and I were members before we moved away). It is an IFB church...a church of like faith and practice. I'm sure that Papa (that's what our kids call him) would love to baptize his grandkids, but he has never asked to do so, and would prOBably discourage us from allowing him to do so...simply because he wants our children to profess their faith publicly before the church body to which they will be accountable for discipleship and discipline until they leave our home. We believe that this kind of accountability, discipleship, communion, and discipline are important and biblical functions of our local church body--the people with whom we choose to fellowship every week--and we would never seek any of those things primarily outside that church. Edited by Annie
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My wife and I have been talking about that very subject lately. This Church has hurt our views of the IFB Community. I thought we were compatible, but lately I wonder. Seems like the devil works in all sorts of ways to hurt the Church.


Be careful about moving to where all the action, activity is located, in the Bible its quite clear all the action, activity is around the broad wide gate, Matthew 7:13,14. And there's very little around the strait narrow gate.

Mt 7:13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
Mt 7:14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.


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I haven't read the responeses closely. I gave what I had to say, and that is all I am saying.

If God uses me to witness to someone with the Holy Spirit, and tells me to baptize them, its bordering on blasphemy to try to get me or anyone else to sin and not to. God has told me to baptize them.

If God does not want me to witness and save someone, then He won't use me and He won't save anyone and I won't baptize anyone. That is for HIM to decide, and not you. This is great sin to try to come between God and whom He wants to witness too. I won't have any part of this harlotry. If He never uses me, you will have nothing to complain about. But He's used me before, and He continues to do so.

How your "local church" decides to baptize is your business (so you claim, but its the Lord's business), but then that applies equally as well here to those who don't choose your varied ways, because baptist churches are all different. I can think of no greater sin than to tell the Lord Jesus Christ he choose the wrong person to witness with as He baptized with the Holy Spirit. THIS IS SIN, and its the exact sin the RC is condemned for. Amen. God bless.

Edited by MaxKennedy
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Many thought provoking posts, and as always, they must be examined in the light of Scripture.

Scripture says we are to make disciples, not just converts, and the biblical model is presenting the Gospel to the lost and those who are born again are immediately baptized (this doesn't happen much anymore) and this is to be followed by purposeful discipleship (this is very rare today).

It seems all too often the witnessing is overemphasized (sadly, often in a wrong manner such as easy believeism), baptism is an afterthought, and discipleship is ignored.

It seems this portion of the Great Commission isn't followed much:
Mt 28:20 Teaching them to OBserve all things whatsoever I have commanded you...

Why?



Mt 28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
Mt 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
Mt 28:20 Teaching them to OBserve all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Now the RCC believes that the apostles, that is especially Peter, had authority to pass on his mantel, authority given them by Jesus, no where in the Bible does it say, nor even hints that the apostles had the authority to pass on any of the authority, powers, that Jesus gave them. So it seems clear that the authority, power, Jesus gave them died with them.

So with that thought in mind who was Jesus giving this authority to in verses such as the one above and other such verses? Was the apostles accepting this authority of the church? Right here is use the word church, for at this time there was only one church, the one Jesus started, the church at Jerusalem. Yet we know after Jesus ascended, and the Holy Spirit was come, the church at Jerusalem followed the commandments of Matthew 28:18,19,20, and others listed below.


Mt 16:17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.
Mt 16:18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
Mt 16:19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

Ac 1:4 And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me.
Ac 1:5 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.
Ac 1:6 ¶ When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?
Ac 1:7 And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.
Ac 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
Ac 1:9 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.

And they OBeyed the go, teach, baptize, and started new churches, with each church having Jesus as its head, for Jesus to be its head they have to follow the Bible, and abided by the Bible, or they are not a New Testament Church with authority from Jesus. And of course as someone else stated under this topic, the New Testament Church has 2 ordnances, baptizing and the Lord's Supper. A careful study of the Bible will revel the New Testament Churches has only two offices, pastor and deacon only, even that one thing declares that many churches do not follow Jesus, nor do they let Jesus be the head of their church. If they did they would not have any type of hierarchy such as the RCC, Lutheran, Methodist, and many others.
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FYI - the ideas that are floating around that people should get baptised as a witness statement is equally applicable to those who witnessed to
the saved. Baptising them is a witness statement too, and helps to get more people saved. How is it a witness statement to baptise next to the choir of already saved people?? People will claim its a duty to be baptised, and forget its a duty TO baptise.

Its more effective to baptise in the open. And the majority of baptisms in the bible are this way.

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Mt 28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
Mt 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
Mt 28:20 Teaching them to OBserve all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.


Not responding to anyone in particular, but it is odd that Christians know its a duty to do every part of the great commision themselves, ie witness, disiple, and then read right over the baptizing part. But its there, and its a commandment.

This is no small issue. I've made a study of it at one time studying the errors of the Roman Catholic church, and its right at the heart of what being a baptist means, and the priesthood of believers. I think the churches are becoming apostate, and it is not good.

I'm not particularly intested in convincing anyone. I've already moved away from the city of destruction in my own heart, and am only preparing to go out and witness myself. Anyone that is left in the burning city hasn't gotten the command to move yet.
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In Acts 10 we read that "Peter went down to the men which were sent unto him from Cornelius" and then he preached Jesus Christ unto the Gentiles. They received the Holy Ghost and Peter "commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord." He testifies the following in Acts 11:16 "Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost."

These men, Jews, were amazed that the gift of God was also for Gentiles. But, we find also in these passages the great commission in action. Peter went, preached and people were saved. He commanded them to be baptized with water, and we find no record of who baptized them. But, we do learn they were baptized in the name of the Lord, not man. They received the baptism of the Holy Ghost from the Lord also. Salvation is a gift from the Lord, the whole package of preaching and receiving is God breathed.

I say all this to make a rather strong point that leading people to Jesus Christ will result in a Baptism of the Holy Ghost. Many simple, non ordained people do this. They share the old story and pray that God will allow the listening ears to be saved and then be Baptized with the Holy Ghost by Jesus Christ. Preachers preach that we must lead people to Christ. They said that it's our duty! And then, after the real work of God settles it's said only an ordain minister must finish the great commission; only the preacher can finish the jOB. Yet, it is all done in Jesus name and we are all just His hands and feet. We are all temples of the Holy Ghost. Jesus Christ is the High Priest and it's only in his name we partake of His Holy Great Commission.

Everything is for Jesus, and in my opinion the great commission is for everyone who is saved. Rich, poor, uneducated or smart you can lead someone to Christ and see to their baptism. (The other way to look at it is that only those called to "preach" can lead people to Christ and baptize with water, but those not called should just live a Holy life and lead people to where preaching is).

Look, You might go together and have your pastor baptize the newly born again friend with water (women and children might want to do this), or if your Church allows it, you yourself will together baptize this soul you already helped be Baptized of the Holy Spirit. I just can't see a separation of the great commission. So much is assumed by reading, and yet nothing is commanded literally. The Holy Bible never says literally who can not baptize, and it never literally says who can. It just says to Baptize and finish HIS work and BEGIN the work in the newly born again brother or sister.

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The question has been asked and not addressed yet: If a Christian woman leads a man to Christ, does she have the authority to baptize the new convert?


The great commission is for everyone. If a woman leads another woman to the Lord then clearly she could be used also to baptize this new sister in the Lord. I would suggest that only men baptize men and women baptize women (just like foot washing services). Before someone OBjects, they must think about the act of sharing the gospel .... should this only be for men? Since the norm in America is to allow only the pastor to baptize rules are not set in place and these views make one uncomfortable. A woman could clearly lead someone to Christ, so I see no reason not to allow her to Baptize. I suppose she could baptize a man, or a child .... I see no restriction in scripture. Edited by God's Child
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FYI - the ideas that are floating around that people should get baptised as a witness statement is equally applicable to those who witnessed to
the saved. Baptising them is a witness statement too, and helps to get more people saved. How is it a witness statement to baptise next to the choir of already saved people?? People will claim its a duty to be baptised, and forget its a duty TO baptise.

Its more effective to baptise in the open. And the majority of baptisms in the bible are this way.

I'm quoting Max, as this post is typical of much of the points made here.

Is baptism itself primarily a witness statement? If it is done publicly, it will be a witness statement, but does Scripture teach that. There are plenty of private or household baptisms in Scripture.

Acts 8:36ff - the Ethiopian

Acts 9:17ff - Saul

Acts 10:47ff - Cornelius

Acts 16:15ff - Lydia

Acts 16:33ff - Jailer
etc

It is clear from these & other instances that baptism took place soon after conversion, whether or not others were present. It is NOT intended as a witness to others, but to the one baptised, & is linked to regeneration [NOT baptismal regeneration] & the gift of the Holy Spirit.

It is not even clear from Scripture that immersion is necessary - the KJV translators approved sprinkling or pouring, as did some of the anabaptists. Baptism of repentant sinners - believers - is all-important.

What does baptism signify to the believer? Baptists tend to major on the death to sin/resurrection to new life significance, (Rom. 6) & so insist on immersion. (I was baptised by immersion soon after conversion in 1957.)

Hebrews teaches the significance of baptism in relation to OT washings. (Heb. 9:10 uses baptismois.) It teaches the significance of cleansing the conscience - i.e. the witness of baptism is to the believer himself. (Heb. 9:14) Peter speaks of the same significance. (1 Pet. 1:2, 3:21)

Baptism witnesses to the believer, "Your sins are washed away symbolically by the water of baptism that speaks of the cleansing blood of Christ poured out for you. The Holy Spirit baptises you into Christ, for salvation & as a member of his body. (1 Cor. 12:13) Now live as a Christian, a witness to the saving power of the risen Christ."

Baptism as a witness to others is incidental.
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The great commission is for everyone. If a woman leads another woman to the Lord then clearly she could be used also to baptize this new sister in the Lord. I would suggest that only men baptize men and women baptize women (just like foot washing services). Before someone OBjects, they must think about the act of sharing the gospel .... should this only be for men? Since the norm in America is to allow only the pastor to baptize rules are not set in place and these views make one uncomfortable. A woman could clearly lead someone to Christ, so I see no reason not to allow her to Baptize. I suppose she could baptize a man, or a child .... I see no restriction in scripture.

God's Child, it doesn't look like you are allowing other Scriptures to inform your understanding of the Great Commission. IOW, your hermeneutics are not sound, IMO. The Great Commission is a general statement which is clarified as we read through the NT to see how it was carried out.

You suggest that only men baptize men? You yourself qualify the Great Commission, then, based on your understanding of authority in the church (even though you say, "The Great Commission is for everyone"). That's all I'm doing, too...Only I'm taking into consideration more than you are...not just authority, but also the structure and primacy of the church (local bodies). Of course the Great Commission is for everyone, but the questions and qualifiers don't end there. We have the rest of the NT which clarifies the Great Commission and shows how it is carried out, and what roles different Christians play in carrying it out. It is impossible for one Christian to fulfill the entire GC, anyway. One person cannot "teach ALL nations." It's a bit naive, IMO, to assume, then, that every Christian is supposed to be carrying out every facet of the GC, especially when the rest of the NT shows otherwise. It's a team effort...Christians are to spread out, going out into the world, carrying the gospel with them. Men may preach; women may evangelize in other ways. The church (as in, local bodies of Christians, organized under the men God has set up) is there for new converts to attach themselves to in fellowship, discipleship, and accountability.

Somebody mentioned that Peter and/or Paul left his converts to be baptized by others. The point I'm trying to make is that these men, as God's ordained ministers, oversaw this aspect of the Great Commission; it was done under their leadership and accountability. Acts 10:48 says, "And [Peter] commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord." I don't have a prOBlem with lay people baptizing at all, as long as it is done within the context of a church, under the authority of a "Peter" or "Paul," as we see happening in the NT.
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Baptism basically means immersion so yes, immersion is the biblical model. Sprinkling or pouring don't equate to baptism, which requires a complete dunking, plunging, immersion, covering in water.

Those who have been sprinkled or had water poured over them have not been baptized.

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God's Child, it doesn't look like you are allowing other Scriptures to inform your understanding of the Great Commission. IOW, your hermeneutics are not sound, IMO. The Great Commission is a general statement which is clarified as we read through the NT to see how it was carried out.

You suggest that only men baptize men? You yourself qualify the Great Commission, then, based on your understanding of authority in the church (even though you say, "The Great Commission is for everyone"). That's all I'm doing, too...Only I'm taking into consideration more than you are...not just authority, but also the structure and primacy of the church (local bodies). Of course the Great Commission is for everyone, but the questions and qualifiers don't end there. We have the rest of the NT which clarifies the Great Commission and shows how it is carried out, and what roles different Christians play in carrying it out. It is impossible for one Christian to fulfill the entire GC, anyway. One person cannot "teach ALL nations." It's a bit naive, IMO, to assume, then, that every Christian is supposed to be carrying out every facet of the GC, especially when the rest of the NT shows otherwise. It's a team effort...Christians are to spread out, going out into the world, carrying the gospel with them. Men may preach; women may evangelize in other ways. The church (as in, local bodies of Christians, organized under the men God has set up) is there for new converts to attach themselves to in fellowship, discipleship, and accountability.

Somebody mentioned that Peter and/or Paul left his converts to be baptized by others. The point I'm trying to make is that these men, as God's ordained ministers, oversaw this aspect of the Great Commission; it was done under their leadership and accountability. Acts 10:48 says, "And [Peter] commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord." I don't have a prOBlem with lay people baptizing at all, as long as it is done within the context of a church, under the authority of a "Peter" or "Paul," as we see happening in the NT.


I suggested men baptize men and women baptize woman for the same reason women wash womens feet and men wash mens feet in a foot washing service. We sometimes create rules in the Church to adapt to the culture (ex. kissing a brother or sister in the church as a greeting). As I already stated, nothing in scripture gives a literal command regarding such matters and we only use our earthly understanding to develop doctrine. We say that OBservations, plus history, plus this command, plus this Bible know-it-alls Greek study and this and that command must equal XYZ ..... If a small part of scripture illustrated a woman baptizing a woman then it would be acceptable now. Fact is, the world has been a man's world for a long time. I believe a woman has a role at home and with children and ministering to other ladies, don't get me wrong, but clearly if she leads a girlfriend to the Lord I see no reason why she can't baptize this friend and help her become a disciple. Why hand her over to another, unless she chooses.

I have been in many denominations and I see how everyone twist scripture to make their views work. Honestly, I am sick of it and I think the devil has hurt the Church big time. I don't follow the understanding that Baptist are the closest to perfection doctrine-wise since most every denomination says this. No offence, but I see a tun of hurt people sitting in many Baptist churches. This should not be. Were the past great revivals Baptist? Some of what they taught we would consider grounds for separation. Why are so many preacher kids away from the Church when they grow up? I could go on and on with whys ..... they should be addressed.

Let's be real. God is way beyond or understanding. Let's just stop and truly understand why he saved you and I ..... why did he do that? Really .... why? Bible says Love .... okay .... but why such love? I personally believe we should love God with all out heart, mind, and soul and just follow scripture as best we can. Perhaps doctrines that are based on A + D + C = TRUTH are sincerely off a little. (ex: Abraham Tithed + Law of Moses taught it + heaven open with blessing if you trust God with tithe + early church took collection + why wouldn't you tithe = Everyone MUST Tithe) LOL and yet nowhere in the New Testament do we find Paul saying, "In like manner of old, tithe your income and give only to the local Church, if you don't you are a bad Christian" ...... I could go on .....

This comment isn't directed primarily toward you Annie, but your response was the platform I used to start it. It's for all to see my frustration. Seems to me it's all rules, rules, rules in Church today and no real love. Maybe if more love and the heart of the matter was more prominent people would give 20% of their income! Or, even better, 100% is spent with God's Will first. Edited by God's Child
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No church, regardless of their name, is immune from potential corruption. This is something we must guard against lest we and our own church turns from truth to wickedness as many others have.

The Bible gives no direct statement of "only men may baptize" but every example given in Scripture of those who did baptize were of men.

I agree that tradition or church teaching, unless it agrees with Scripture, isn't to be our guide.

God always has a remnant and thought the land be full of wicked, wayward and even false churches, there are yet those who follow Him. We can't toss out the baby with the bathwater, as it were, when we set forth to follow Christ. We are not, and never will be, the only one around who "get's it", while all others are in error.

If we submit to the teaching of the Holy Ghost in our lives and submit our will to the Lordship of Christ in our lives, we can walk in the Spirit and not in the flesh. The Word of God will be opened to us. The Spirit will guide us to the right church. The Spirit will ensure we rightly divide the Word of Truth.

This is controversial for some, but I don't believe the actual Great Commission is for all believers. Every believer can't go forth as missionaries. The actual Great Commission is a matter of the church and was placed in the hands of the first church leaders. This is where authority resides for sending forth missionaries, conducting the Lord's Supper, baptisms, etc.

No doubt, on a localized level each believer is to be a witness of Christ. This is different from the mandate given to the church.

(sorry, must go)

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