When a person first considers baptism, many questions may come to mind. Where did the idea of baptism come from? What is it's significance? Is it really necessary?
Once a person makes a decision to follow Christ, the Bible says we are to make our personal decision public. Baptism is a simple and symbolic ceremony that shows the world that we have crossed over the line from being a seeker to being a believer.
A believer is someone who realizes that their sin separates them from God. They know they will never be good enough to reach God through their good works or religious activities. They depend on Jesus Christ's death on the cross to pay for their sins and understand that he's the only one that can bridge the gap between them and God.
If you are a new believer, the next step on your spiritual journey may be to consider baptism. Just as a bride and groom show that they love one another through a marriage ceremony, a new believer should also want to show the world through baptism of their new union with Christ. Baptism is a great time to celebrate with family and friends what has happened in your spiritual life.
If you have additional questions or would like to be part of our next baptism, email Pastor Rick or call the church office at 360-659-7335 ext. 201. There is a required baptism participant class, that is usually held the Wednesday evening before a baptism service.
STATEMENT ON BAPTISM:
Allen Creek Community Church believes Scriptural teaching on Baptism may be summarized as follows:
ABOUT BELIEVER'S BAPTISM:
While recognizing the right for other churches to practice infant Baptism, Allen Creek teaches that only professing believers qualify for Baptism. The pattern in scripture is that baptism follows personal acceptance of the Christian message Acts 2:38, 41; 8:12 etc.. Some come to AC3 having been baptized as infants who have made a public statement of their faith in Christ and they feel their infant baptism is totally adequate. We are not contentious about those situations and allow those believers into membership. However, we hold believers baptism to be significant enough that we strongly encourage re-baptism for anyone baptized before their conversion to Christ. We also require that our elders who set an example for the church, need to have been baptized with water following their personal commitment to Christ.
ABOUT INFANT BAPTISM:
In the Bible, we find parents bringing their children to Jesus. He held them and prayed for them and told us to welcome them. But He did not baptize them, and He did not tell anyone else to baptize them. However, Allen Creek Community Church encourages Christian parents to present their children for the ceremony of dedication, whereby God's blessing is formally invoked upon the children, and the parents publicly commit themselves to raise the children in accordance with the teachings of Scripture. If you were baptized as a child, it was the intent of your parents that you would one day be a follower of Christ. Your Baptism as an adult can be viewed as the fulfillment of your parents' wishes. It in no way repudiates the Baptism you received as a child.
Because the symbolism of Baptism requires a more adult level of cognitive and developmental readiness, the Elders of Allen Creek eagerly suggest that children be at least 12 years old to be baptized. Proverbs 20:25 issues a significant caution against the danger of making a vow before adequate knowledge, forethought and reflection have been given. In an effort to prevent young people from making a premature commitment that they may not fully understand, this minimum age is strongly encouraged.
ABOUT THE MODE OF BAPTISM:
Allen Creek Community Church believes that the faith of the participant determines the value of the baptism rite 1 Peter 3:21 not the amount of water used or the way it’s applied. However, the physical rite is commanded by Christ because of the value to the participant as it illustrates and seals their dying to self and rising new in Christ, washed clean of sin. Therefore, full immersion in water is our normal practice because it most fully represents the symbolism baptism conveys Rom 6:1-11 and was most likely the mode used by the New Testament church Mk 1:10; Acts 8:39. If physical circumstances make this mode impractical, the mode of sprinkling is offered.
ABOUT WHO MAY PERFORM BAPTISM:
In Scripture we notice that Jesus has authorized his disciples do the baptizing John 4:2. Jesus did not baptize because his focus was on a more primary work: the internal baptism by the Holy Spirit at conversion. So from Jesus, the authority to perform this rite is delegated to leaders in his church. These disciples sometimes “order” the baptism of others Acts 10:48 and it’s not specified WHO has done the baptizing 16:15, 16:33. This seems to indicate that all baptisms were done under the care and authority of senior church leaders, but not necessarily BY them. In most cases an extended entourage of evangelists or church planters may have assisted.
In light of this, we discern these broad principles:
Therefore, at AC3 for someone to perform baptism they must be a recognized church leader (staff member/elder/small group leader) OR recognized by church leadership as genuine converts and participating members in good standing (not involved in ongoing patterns of willful disobedience) who have themselves been baptized as believers.