We have a group in our area disrupting services by loudly preaching that unless you are baptized by water you are not saved. Their argument is simply that Jesus is no longer here to forgive your sins so you must be baptized. It astounds me that someone would do this to fellow believers. They attack small churches and put the video online. They don’t seem to engage in thoughtful discussion,just accusations of heresy and false teaching. Mark 16:16 seems to be a favorite but the verses after that they speak against. My question is this, how do you deal with such a situation?
Looks like your post only completed a part of your sentence, i will look forward to reading more of your inquiry later…
How are they disrupting services at your church? You mentioned something about videos. I’m not quite clear about how this is happening - is your church showing the videos?
Hi, @Brittcasey04. First, I am so sorry your area is going through this. It makes me wince a bit! Sharon asked some great questions, and it would indeed be helpful if we could hear a bit more about this.
I would like to say, in response to your statement that you can’t believe that anyone would do this to fellow believers, that, if they are claiming that your sins are not forgiven because Jesus isn’t here anymore, these are not Christians and so are not fellow believers, because they are preaching a different gospel than the one presented in Scripture. It seems they have taken one verse out of context and have not lined it up with the rest of Scripture.
“They don’t seem to engage in thoughtful discussion…”
How do they seem to not engage in thoughtful discussion? Has anyone tried to engage them in conversation? Has anyone questioned them?
I know you said the ones disrupting/attacking are the ones posting their activity online. Could you describe for us what the attacks on small churches look like? Do they stand outside the churches while service is going on and yell things, or do they come storming in disrupting services?
They haven’t actually been to the Church I attend. They have however been to others. Best I can tell from their videos they go to small Churches and wait for the service to start. During the service the leader will stand and address the Pastor and ask what does he preach about salvation. He only seems to go after Baptist Churches. Main point being that water baptism saves a person not belief and repentance. Word has gotten out so now they meet people at the door after Church as they come out.They like to ambush pastors and try to fluster them. Someone is always there to film the event so it can be posted to his YouTube channel. Mark16:16 is a favored verse. I have always believed that baptism was more a spiritual thing. Baptism in the Holy Spirit. It would seem to me that an emphasis on water baptism diminishes the power of the Blood of Jesus. I have had a chance to explore further and it seems this is from the Church of Christ. Very works based.
The thief on the cross is often used to illustrate that water baptism is not what saves a person. This particular Church refutes that by claiming that Jesus has not died yet so he wasn’t under the new covenant. Once Jesus ascended we needed water baptism since He is no longer here to personally forgive our sins.
As for thoughtful discussion. I say that because they seem reasonable at first in some videos. They are quick to claim heresy if you do not fully agree. I don’t understand the questioning of anyone’s salvation. I don’t believe have that authority.
Peter 3:20 is one of the verses they use as a defense. Verse 21 however seems to say that water baptism is symbolic of the changes life of the saved.
They seem to have it out for Baptist Churches. I attend a Baptist Church myself. My wife and I are much more Charismatically inclined than those who worship beside us but we do not seek to argue with them about doctrine. I do not doubt their belief in Jesus and that He died for our sins. This stirring of strife because you believe in water baptism and I believe in faith and repentance does not seem to be Biblically supported. It seems to me it would be better to come at this from that angle rather than get into an argument over water baptism I was wondering if anyone else had run into this and what their response might have been. Some in these Churches have responded badly and it adds fuel to the fire.