CP slightly up, IMB funding probably down, and what’s all this about immediate baptism?

With one month to go on the Executive Committee’s fiscal year, it’s good to see that the national CP receipts are running about one million ahead of the same period last year. That’s only about one half of one percent but up is up. This is the national portion of the CP. It remains to be seen if the total CP, including the bulk of revenues which stay with state conventions, will be up for 2019.

The same Executive Committee report shows designated giving for the period as being $2.67 million behind last year which means that Lottie and Annie didn’t do quite as well this year as in 2018. Almost certainly the IMB will have less revenues for 2019 than 2018 even though the CP will be up a bit. Since IMB receives only about twenty cents on every CP dollar, those changes aren’t as critical as an increase or decrease in direct giving, almost all of that Lottie Moon offerings. It’s all important but if your church wants to prioritize international missions, don’t forget about the CP but put more dollars into Lottie Moon. The math is unassailable on this.

So why are we being lectured by some prominent people on baptizing people immediately? I’m all for having a big day of baptisms across the convention this coming Sunday. I would do my best to schedule any for this date. Pastors and churches may for a variety of reasons delay a baptism following a profession of faith. The idea that we fail to follow the New Testament if baptism is not immediate is not a well-founded idea. Not every pattern is a principle.

Thank God in this instance for the Calvinists who seems to value a serious and genuine conversion more than some. My practice was to be sure there was comprehension. Children were always a challenge in this regard. I think we are not far from spontaneous baptisms if we find a principle of immediate baptisms. Had an evangelist once who asked that the baptistry be filled with water so we could dunk on the spot. I refused. It was his stunt, not my pastoral decision. But, it’s your church’s decision, not mine.

But I’d be willing to amend the Baptist Faith and Message Statement to specify that eunuchs should be baptized immediately (As they were traveling down the road, they came to some water. The eunuch said, “Look, there’s water. What would keep me from being baptized?”). I’m a cooperative kind of pastor. I’d even expand the concept to include not just literal eunuchs but metaphorical eunuchs. We could put the CMBW in charge of identifying and seeing if they could get some of the latter saved and baptized. There are a multitude of these.

The SBC beats the Red Cross into disaster areas. This point made by a talk show host yesterday. About the only folks we are behind in this is Waffle House.


Read More…

Leave a Reply