Author Topic: Southern Baptists Report Decline in Baptisms  (Read 1385 times)

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Offline pensateomnia

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Southern Baptists Report Decline in Baptisms
« on: September 19, 2007, 10:59:30 AM »
Southern Baptists Report Decline in Baptisms
 
The Southern Baptist Convention is facing a decline in baptisms and an increasing percentage of churches that report no baptisms in a year.  These findings match similarly disturbing increases in the number of mainline denominational churches reporting no professions of faith each year.  Such trends are another indication of the decreasing ability of a host of well-established denominations to reach new Christians.  Ed Stetzer, Ph.D., of the Southern Baptist North American Mission Board (www.namb.net) points out that in 2005 over 30 percent of Southern Baptist churches reported either no baptisms or only one.  Fifty-five percent of the churches baptized no youth (12-17 year-olds).  And from 2004 to 2005, baptisms in every age category went down - except one.  What is the one age category that is up?  Preschoolers - those under five years of age.  Commenting on this unusual development in a tradition of believer-only baptism, Stetzer remarks,  "Though I am not one to say that a five-year old cannot trust Christ, it's hard to see the march toward infant baptism as good news."
But for I am a man not textueel I wol noght telle of textes neuer a deel. (Chaucer, The Manciple's Tale, 1.131)

Offline lubeltri

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Re: Southern Baptists Report Decline in Baptisms
« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2007, 11:17:47 AM »
How interesting! I have noticed a growing number of non-denom Evangelical churches that are effectively noncommittal on infant baptism. The church my brother often goes to allows it as an option (they call it "infant baptism/dedication"---nice muddle).

Offline Thomas

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Re: Southern Baptists Report Decline in Baptisms
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2007, 08:46:40 AM »
Some Baptist Churches in Texas no longer require water baptism but only the voiced committment to accept Christ as their personal savior a la Billy Graham, Salvation Army,  and the Campus Crusade model. My son's wife who was raised an Athiest originally was "saved" and accepted into a Baptist Church as a member without baptistm but since has accepted Trinitarian Baptism by immersion in another church.

Thomas
« Last Edit: September 20, 2007, 08:47:20 AM by Thomas »
Your brother in Christ ,
Thomas

Offline ComingHome

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Re: Southern Baptists Report Decline in Baptisms
« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2007, 12:09:22 PM »
One of the biggest (if not the biggest) Southern Baptist churches in our city will baptize a person in the "name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit" or "in Jesus' name" or however a person wants to be baptized.  Someone we knew from a "Jesus-only" church decided to go there and asked about baptism and this was the answer the pastor gave her because "it really doesn't make any difference." ::)   

It seems like the Baptist (some of them at least) are quite willing to compromise the very thing from which their denomination derives its name. 

Offline John of the North

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Re: Southern Baptists Report Decline in Baptisms
« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2007, 01:37:44 PM »
"Though I am not one to say that a five-year old cannot trust Christ, it's hard to see the march toward infant baptism as good news."

Infant baptism! Whatever will the reformers think of next! I think the sky is falling!
"Christianity is not a philosophy, not a doctrine, but life." - Elder Sophrony (Sakharov)