Question:

I am a member of the church of Christ and lately an issue has arisen. A few of our members were baptized in a denominations but have been allowed to join our congregation on the basis that their baptisms were valid or scriptural based on investigation. According these members, as soon as they found out more about the church of the Bible, they left their denominations and became members of the church. My question is: was their baptism scriptural even though done by a denomination and not the church?

Eagerly await your response.


Answer:

None of us are God. We can't see into a person's mind, we cannot determine their motivations, or see into the past to see what actually happened. "Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts. Then each one's praise will come from God" (I Corinthians 4:5).

What I can do is teach what God has said about baptism and the reasons for it. When doing so, I usually ask the person when they were baptized, why they were baptized, and whether they thought salvation came before or after baptism. Only after having their answers do I then invite them to look at the Scriptures to see if what they did matches what God taught.

There are some denominations that teach incorrect doctrine on some things, but they do practice baptism for the correct reasons, such as the Christian Church. It is possible for individuals to be baptized correctly and for the right reason even though it isn't what the denomination they attended taught. I will grant you that it would be rare, but it is a possibility. If a person claims to have been baptized for the right reasons, they acknowledge that baptism is essential for salvation, and they were baptized correctly, then you have covered everything with them. The rest is between them and God.

Thanks my brother. Your perspective has really shone some light on this issue. May God continue to be your guide in your presentation of His word.