Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Shameless Simul-post

(This is posted simultaneously with the same article at Incrediblog. I normally wouldn't dare, but the Lord has lit a fire under me on this topic lately. Please accept my apologies.)

After Peter's big speech in Acts 2, the Bible records the result:

"So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls." (v. 41, ESV)

Wow! Praise God. Now them's the kind of numbers that'll get a Baptist preacher hoppin' around. Three thousand...amazing!

We can easily focus on the big number, the dynamic events of that day, and then miss what the very next verse says.

"And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers." (v.42)

Okay, now who's the "they" of verse 42?

Drum roll here:....it's the three thousand who just got baptized in 41!

Well, imagine that.

New, baptized converts who don't need to be coerced, cajoled, or captured in order for them to be interested in Bible teaching (the doctrines of their new faith) and fellowship with the church, and prayer meetings.

All I can say is, this is proof that the church in Acts was not Southern Baptist. And I say this to our shame, cuz I are one.

Give us a month to plan a program, a big enough city, and a few buses and some radio spots, and we can get you 3,000 people baptized in a day. We know all the tricks. We can get that done.

But don't come back next Sunday expecting to see any of those 3,000 sitting eagerly with their Bibles and notepads open on their laps, hungry for the Word of God. And, puh-leeeze, don't even think about trying to locate those "converts" in a mid-week prayer service!

Y'know, where the sadness of this situation turns comical is this: We Southern Baptists still have the temerity, the brass, the you-know-whats to say that we believe in a regenerate church membership. But it doesn't stop there: we haven't yet scratched the surface of our impetuous daring. Oh, no. We go farther. We count every one of those 3,000 who got dunked and then got away. We count them as members, implying that we are idiotic enough to think they might be regenerate after all.

Hey, we're morons, but morons with chutzpah...which I'm sure pleases the Lord to no end.

1 comment:

Scribe said...

Brethern, we are not professionals?