3/20/2013 9:54:26 AM
Since the coming of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost nearly 2000 years ago, people have been declaring their faith in Jesus Christ by the Christian ordinance/sacrament of baptism. Relatively few Christians have rejected the idea and practice of water baptism. Who is qualified, when should they be baptised and how the baptism is to take place have been a different matter. Entire denominations have been shaped by their views on baptism. The debates and disagreements continue to this day.
Here at Calvary Mennonite Fellowship, we are anticipating another baptismal service this coming Sunday, March 24, 2013. While we would not make a dogmatic declaration that we alone among the churches have sorted out the complexities of this issue, we have staked out a position and practice. In the morning service I will attempt to explain our position on the following topics regarding baptism:
1. What is baptism? (A primary issue - we have a clear position we hold to be true)
2. Who is to be baptised? (A secondary issue - we have a clear position we hold to be true but acknowledge other perspectives in the larger church as being held with integrity)
3. How are they to be baptised? (A tertiary issue - we permit multiple methods of baptism according to individual conscience or preference)
The sermon certainly will not be ultimately definitive. We will however, attempt to bring summary clarity to our current understanding and practice and provide some rational and Biblical explanation for it.
Steve Byler, Senior Pastor
The sermon can be found at http://cmfva.org/site/audiodownloads.asp?sec_id=180012864. We welcome your comments.