Question:

We have joined a Southern Baptist church and this is our first church we have ever attended since we were small children, so it's all new to us. I know now how important church is now and we want to be in one, they even agreed to baptize us when we asked last night! My husband and I were first saved a year ago in Germany in our home, formed a relationship with Lord then made God and the Bible the center of our life. I have noticed at our prayer meeting at the church they had a women lead or start in prayer. I always thought a man is supposed to lead in prayer, am I wrong? Also I feel like they really want us to go up at the altar calls and pray in front of everyone, but my husband says he does not want to, and he does not see the need for it. I am super shy and don't like to be in front of people. They play this loud music when they have the altar calls and for the life of me I can not concentrate on praying no matter how hard I try! I feel like that if I was to go up there it would be just to satisfy the preacher, and I would just be faking it because I am so scared to be in front of people, and I cannot even think straight because of all the noise, and I'm not going to fake anything for anybody. But don't get me wrong when I am at home alone or when everyone is in bed I love getting deep in prayer with God and it feels amazing, but at church I just cannot get into it like everyone else. What do I do? Am I wrong for this? Thank you so much for taking the time out to answer these questions.


Answer:

The Southern Baptists are the more conservative of the Baptists, but they are still a denomination. See: Denominationalism is Unnecessary.

One common teaching of the Baptists is a belief that baptism is unnecessary for salvation. They do baptize people, but not for the purpose of the forgiveness of sins as Peter taught. "Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit" (Acts 2:38). Elaborate arguments are made to avoid the clear teaching of passages, such as "There is also an antitype which now saves us -- baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ" (I Peter 3:21). This is why they agreed to baptize you, but then did not proceed to do so until it is convenient to them. In the Baptist religion, baptism only represents becoming a member and the leadership votes on who are accepted before the baptism takes place.

You might have started on the path to salvation, but until you do all that God commands it would not be appropriate to claim that you have reached salvation. See: What Saves a Person?

Regarding women leading prayer, this is a direct violation of Paul's command from God. See: Let Women Keep Silent in the Churches.

In the Baptist religion, a person is not considered to be saved until they have a religious "experience," which the altar call serves as evidence of such an experience. There are several problems. Altars were a part of the Old Testament religion, but they are not apart of the Christian religion. Nor do you find any in the New Testament being told to pray to gain salvation. See: The Sinner's Prayer.

In regards to instrumental music in the worship, this is a relatively recent innovation that was not a part of early Christianity. See: The Amazing History of Instrumental Music in Christian Worship.

Thanks. Good to know. I knew what baptism was already and I understand most of what you said except the "You might have started on the path to salvation, but until you do all that God commands it would not be appropriate to claim that you have reached salvation" part. I read the "What Saves A Person" like you said but I still don't understand. If I strive to do all that everyday and ask for forgiveness in all the areas I fall short almost every time I pray and have truly been changed and know it and love God with all my heart I still should not say I have been saved? The church asked me if I had been saved and I said yes. And if alter calls are not nessary what should I do? Find a new Denomination? Thanks so much for your time. I wish I was apart of your church. God bless.

You stated in your first note that you had not yet been baptized, yet at the same time you claim to have been saved some time before that. Yet we find in the Scriptures that baptism is connected with salvation from sin:

"He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned" (Mark 16:16).

"Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit" (Acts 2:38).

"And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord'" (Acts 22:16).

"Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you -- not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience -- through the resurrection of Jesus Christ" (I Peter 3:21).

God has done His part in securing salvation for all men. Until you do your part by following all that God requires of man, then you cannot rightfully claim to be saved from your sins.