Over the past several weeks, we’ve had a lot of people baptized into Christ. The joy arising from that event is truly beautiful. Witnessing a dad, or both parents, or a grandfather, or any believer baptizing a believing child, teen, friend, or family member into Christ creates pure rejoicing.
I don’t use this blog to teach a lot, but we’ve had so much growth, I want everyone to understand where we come from as a church - not just on baptism, but on who we are as a church.
1. Forum is a Christ centered church. We know Jesus died, rose from the dead, and paid for our sins.
2. Forum follows the Bible and the practices of the Bible. While dress styles change, music styles change, and architecture changes - the word of God stands as His source of truth and revelation to us as to how to be saved, how to live, and how to follow Jesus.
3. Forum seeks to intentionally connect people to Jesus. Jesus saves and is our savior. There is no other name or person who saves. His last words within the gospels center on the authority of Christ and us going into all the world and making disciples. Baptizing them and teaching them to obey all he commanded. We take these words very seriously.
So how does this apply to a person being baptized (or any other practice that Forum exercises)?
1. Baptism centers fully upon Jesus. A person is buried and raised with Christ in baptism. Immersion reenacts the event of Christ’s resurrection in the lives of believers. The Bible tells us this is where we are clothed with Christ.
2. Immersion/baptism throughout the New Testament was practiced by believers - people who were of age to understand the depth of this action. I realize there have been many believers through the ages who were christened arising from the faith of their parents. If you fall under that category, we applaud the faith of your parents and even the faith that is alive in you now. However, this was not a practice in the Bible. Baptism isn’t circumcision or the “replacement” for circumcision.
3. Does that mean that as a church leadership, Forum doesn’t think those who practice sprinkling or christening aren’t Christians? No. Every church is free to adopt different practices. We simply desire to exercise 100% biblical practice.
4. “So let’s say I was sprinkled as an infant, can I still take communion at Forum? Yes. All believers are welcome to share in communion. This practice is for all who call on the name of the Lord.
5. “If I was sprinkled as a child, if I’m baptized by immersion, am I turning away from the faith of my parents? Am I ‘converting?’” No. In this instance, you aren’t changing your faith at all. Your faith has been in Jesus. Your faith should always be in Jesus. You’re simply aligning with the biblical form of baptism like Christ and Christ’s disciples.
Over and over again, so many who are new to Forum communicate to me how much you are learning and growing as we preach the scriptures. I had one person say to me just this last Sunday, “How do you every week give such great sermons? I’ve not ever heard preaching like this before - it’s all out of the Bible. You preach from the Bible and make it come alive.”
Easy answer. It’s not me at all. It’s not Bradley. It’s not any of us. It’s God’s word. That is what Forum is all about - seeking to follow God and to be 100% faithful to practice and obey the teaching of our Lord.