Unless you are an evangelical hermit you know of Bethlehem Baptist Church’s (BBC) latest proposal on baptism. The elders sought a constitutional change that would have relaxed the church’s grip on believer’s baptism as a requirement for church membership. This proposal has since been rescinded for now undoubtedly for several reasons.
In the meantime, the elders of Clifton Baptist Church (CBC), Louisville, Kentucky, submitted their own proposal, offering responses and warnings to BBC. The issues raised by BBC and the responses offered by CBC shone some much needed light in my dimming mind. However, more impressive to me was the level of accountablity shared between the churches. For those of us struggling with bureaucratic denominationalism and limp-wristed associationalism, we can find a tremendous example of Baptist responsiblity in this exchange. Two different churches, in two different time zones, and in two different denominations enjoyed more healthy association than most SBC churches on the same street. It is a perfect example of like-minded churches taking responsibility for the gospel witness of other like-minded churches. That’s an association I can get behind.