We are a church—and we’re a part of a presbytery—which affords to its members and officers freedom of conscience on time and mode of baptism.
What does that mean?
Some of us are paedo-baptists. Paedo-baptists believe Scripture teaches that Christian parents should have their infant children baptized, since they are being born into a Christian family, and should therefore receive the sign of God’s covenant—baptism.
Others of us are credo-baptists. Credo-baptists believe Scripture teaches that our children should only be baptized upon their own credible profession of faith in Jesus Christ.
Disagreements on this issue have divided churches and denominations for centuries. But we are intentionally seeking to live at peace with one another by joining ourselves together into one body.
We do still disagree on the particulars of how baptism is to be administered. However, we are able to have unity because we agree on several essential points:
- First, we all believe that baptism is commanded by the Lord, and that it is an essential aspect of living an obedient Christian life.
- Second, we believe that faith in Christ is absolutely necessary for salvation in Jesus Christ. This faith is an inward working of the Holy Spirit and comes from God alone. It’s not the physical act of baptism itself which brings into effect the working of the Holy Spirit.
- Third, we believe that God has promised to be a God not just to us, but to our children as well. God promises to take care of our children as we serve Him in faith, and God is pleased to work through families in making more disciples of His Son Jesus.
In the life of our church you will see some families demonstrating their faith in the Lord and in His covenant by bringing their infant children to be baptized. At other times, families will bring their children forward to be dedicated, believing that the sign of baptism is to be given only upon a child’s profession of faith, and you will see those children baptized as they grow up and they themselves profess faith in the Lord.
You can read more about Evangel Presbytery’s provisions concerning baptism in the Book of Church Order here.