After reading my tract on Why I Left the Baptist Church a man recently asked me "when and where I ever heard of any candidate being baptized into the Baptist Church rather than into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." Do Baptists believe that a person is baptized "INTO the name of the Father ... Son ... and Holy Ghost?" Listen to this: On page 12 of J. M. Pendleton's "Church Manual For Baptist Churches" (published by the Broadman Press, Nashville, Tenn.) we read, "Regeneration, repentance, and faith are private matters between God and the soul. They involve internal piety, but of this piety there must be an external manifestation. This manifestation is made in baptism. The penitent, regenerate believer is baptized into the name of the Father, and of the So and of the Holy Spirit. There is a visible, symbolic expression of a new relationship to the three persons of the Godhead -- a relationship entered into in repentance, faith, and regeneration." This simply says that the relationship of being into the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit is "entered into in repentance, faith and regeneration," which come before baptism, and that baptism is only a "visible, symbolic expression" of this new relationship Hence we are forced to conclude that according to Baptist Doctrine that Baptists baptize a person whom they believe is already "into the name of the Father, and of the Holy Ghost." But, the Bible teaches that we are baptized into this relationship, hence we reach the relationship when we are baptized, and not before as Baptists teach. I realize that when Baptists baptize a person they say, "I baptize you into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost," but in the alight of the above, they do not do what they say they do, nor do they believe that they do what they say they are doing, for they believe that the person being baptized is already "into the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost."
My Baptist friend, if you do not believe that, then you should renounce Baptist Doctrine, and leave the Baptist Church for they do believe it, and you are standing for it and lending your support to it as long as you are a member of the Baptist Church. Be honest with your own soul. There is a judgment day coming!
This is evident from a few quotations from the Church Manual. On page 12 we read, "The ceremonial qualification for church membership. This qualification is baptism." Again, on page 14, "This shows baptism to be prerequisite to church-membership." Again on pages 17 and 18 under the caption "How Members are Received" we read, "In accordance with the first way (experience and baptism), persons wishing to unite with a church give an account of the dealings of God with their souls, and state the `reason of the hope that is in them;' where upon, if in the judgment of the church recognized as candidates for baptism, with the understanding that when baptized they will be entitled to al the rights and privileges of membership." This is further evidenced by the fact that simply being baptized does not qualify one to become a member of the Baptist Church, but only those who receive Baptist baptism -- by the hands of an ordained Baptist preacher by the authority of a Baptist Church. (Pages 64 and 65 of the Church Manual.)
The apostle Paul wrote the Galatians, "For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ." (Gal. 3:26-27). The same apostle wrote the Romans, "Know ye not, that so many of us were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death. Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father even so we also should walk in newness of life." (Rom. 6:3-4). Baptists claim that a person is in Christ before and without baptism. Hence, Baptists do not baptize a person into Christ as the Bible teaches, therefore, they do not administer Bible baptism.
Actually, Baptists do not baptize "in the name of Christ." "In the name of" means "by one's command and authority." On page 65 of the Baptist Church Manual "a proper administrator" is defined as "a person who has received from a church authority to baptize." In other words the Baptist preacher gets his authority to baptize from a (Baptist) Church, hence "by the authority of" the Baptist Church, or "in the name of the __________ Baptist Church." Bible baptism is by the command and authority of Christ, or "in the name of Christ." (Acts 2:38; Acts 10:48; Acts 19:5).
My Baptist friend, if you would follow Jesus, you should do as the twelve men in Ephesus, who upon learning that their baptism was, among other things, not in the name of Christ, "were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus." (Acts 19:1-5).
Baptist baptize people whom they claim have already received remission of sins. "There is an actual, a real remission of sins when we believe in Christ -- there is a declarative, formal symbolic remission in baptism." (Baptist Church Manual, page 13). The Bible plainly states that baptism is "For the remission of sins (Acts 2:38) or to "wash away sins" (Acts 22:16).
Baptist administer baptism only on a confession that one is already saved. (See quotation above from the Baptist Manual on "How Members are Received"). Baptists believe and teach that a person is saved "when he believes in Christ" (Baptist Church Manual, p 13, given above), hence, "He that believeth shall be saved." The Lord Jesus said, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved." (Mark 16:16). The apostle Peter said, "... baptism doth also now save us." (1 Pet. 3:21).
Another interesting point is how one becomes a Baptist. This is clearly outlined in the quotation already given from pages 17 and 18 of the Baptist Church Manual. First a person must tell his experience and state that he is saved. Whereupon, if the Baptist Church thinks that his experience is genuine and that he is actually saved, they vote to recognize him as a candidate for baptism and after baptism into their membership. Hence the steps are: (1) confess that you are saved. (2) Be voted on. (3) Receive Baptist baptism. The vote determines at least three things (1) Whether the Baptist Church things you are saved or not. (2) Authorizes your baptism. (3) To receive you as a member of the Baptist Church after baptism.
Many in Baptist Churches do not know what the Baptists teach on baptism, and when they learn, they want to renounce this error which they have embraced and for which they stand as a member of the Baptist Church. Many immediately confess their faith in Jesus Christ and are baptized for the remission of sins, but some do not want to be "baptized again" because, they contend, they were baptized "for the remission of sins." When it is pointed out that Baptists do not baptize "for the remission of sins," they argue that they believed in their own heart that they were baptized "to be saved" or "for the remission of sins" and therefore they were baptized for that purpose regardless of what the Baptist preacher said or believed. This could be true, but I doubt that a person who has just confessed "I believe that God for Christ's sake has pardoned my sins" really believes that he is being baptized "to be saved" or "for the remission of sins." He either lied to the Baptist Church when he made his confession, or else he believed no such thing. Either one, it seems to be, would disqualify him for baptism. If he lied to the Baptist Church, he had not repented; and if he did not lie to the, then he believed that he was saved before he was baptized, therefore, that his sins were already remitted, or else, he didn't know what he was doing. Let it be remembered that one cannot get into the Baptist Church without first confessing that he is already saved, and then being voted on to see if the Baptist Church judges you to "have passed from death unto life" -- to already be saved.
We have seen that Baptists do not baptize "into the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit," that they do not baptize "into Christ," that they do not baptize "in the name of Christ," that they do not baptize "for the remission of sins" or to be saved, therefore Baptist baptism is not scriptural baptism.
Let me plead with you, my friend, to consider these things carefully. They deal with the most important thing in the world to you -- the eternal salvation of your soul. Have you accepted man's imitation of God's commandment? Won't you surrender your rebellious will to the will of the Lord in being baptized as the scriptures direct?
The church of Christ is the church that you read about in the Bible. We became Christians, children of God just as people did in New Testament days. As members of the Lord's body, the church, and without joining any denominational group, we meet together and worship God as the New Testament directs. We are, therefore, Christians, and Christians only. We teach what the Bible teaches. We call Bible things by Bible names, and do Bible things in Bible ways.