Why make baptism necessary for church membership?

This is part 4 in a four part series. The first 3 can be viewed here: The first two parts are: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.

I pastor a church that requires members to undergo believer’s baptism. We require this even if the person was baptized as an infant. Why? Does this requirement needlessly divide the church? Would it not be better to agree to disagree for the sake of unity?

This is a question that I have wrestled with for many hours. I have many brothers and sisters in Christ, whom I dearly love and respect, who do not believe in believer’s baptism. I do not question their faith or the sincerity of their convictions. But, while they would be welcome at our church, they could not become members because they do not agree with the teaching of believer’s baptism.

We insist on believer’s baptism because Jesus did. It is not an issue of salvation, but we believe it is an issue of obedience. Baptism is the public symbol of identification with Jesus and His church. To refuse to obey is a significant issue. As a church, we would be disobeying our Lord, if we allowed people to join the church while continuing to disobey a command from Jesus to be baptized.

All churches unite around Biblical beliefs. Some are essential to salvation and some are not. While it is unfortunate that we cannot unite around a common understanding regarding baptism, we do more honor to the Scriptures by forming church communities that are clearly defined and stand boldly for truth. While we love our brothers and sisters in Christ who believe otherwise, we cannot compromise what we believe is clearly taught in Scripture.

P.S. I apologize for the font problems.  I don’t know why it is happening and can’t seem to fix it.

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