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Awhile ago, I wrote about how Bethlehem Baptist (John Piper’s church) was considering dropping their requirement of being believer-baptized for becoming a member of the church. Apparently, that proposal has now been withdrawn. Here is a link to John Piper’s explanation of the current situation and the reason for withdrawing the proposal.

Mostly, the congregation greatly disagreed with the concept, and because of this, some of the elders who had previously agreed to the proposal changed their mind. Although there are no hard feelings, Piper still hopes that, at some point in the future, his church might implement this policy.

Personally, I find this unfortunate. I really liked the idea that Baptists would begin a policy where they insisted that their elders and pastors affirm their distinctive theology of baptism, but that they would also allow like-minded (in all other things) Presbyterian types to join their congregations. To my understanding, the Presbyterian Church in America insists that its elders, pastors, etc…, affirm the Westminster Confession of Faith (which includes provisions for infant baptism), but nevertheless allows people with a Baptist theology of baptism to join their churches. (Am I wrong about this?)

Hopefully, our brothers and sisters at Bethlehem Baptist will soon implement this idea and begin a trend among Baptist–especially Reformed Baptist–churches. Even more so, I genuinely hope that Baptists and Presbyterians will increasingly unite for the cause of the gospel in the coming decades. I see John Piper’s proposal as a concrete way to jump-start that process.

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