Greater Not Lesser

I’m reading through John Piper’s very fine Brothers, We Are Not Professionals, and have come to his chapter on baptism. The pastoral thrust of this chapter is very good: “I think we need to teach our people the meaning of baptism and obey the Lord’s command to baptize converts (Matt. 28:19), without elevating the doctrine to a primary one that would unduly cut us off from shared worship and ministry with others who share more important things with us.”

Amen. One way we do this at our church is through a cooperation agreement whereby we perform both credo and paedo baptisms, and no one is allowed to throw food when it takes place. On occasion both are even performed in the same service. While wanting to cooperate and fellowship as a church, we also want to strive for like-mindedness, which is different than agreeing to disagree. We agree to love one another while pursuing the truth. So not only does our doctrine of baptism not cut us off from fellowship with other churches, we embrace this secondary difference within our own ranks. Continue reading