I've been up since 5 this morning wrestling through scriptures, web sites, my pastor's teaching from three Wednesday nights ago entitled "Is baptism required or necessary for salvation" and emails from a close friend (who is a Baptist) who is trying to help me study the Scripture. I asked several questions that night at Bible study and challenged several of their tenets. Since that time I feel as though our relationship has become different. I don't believe they are interested in studying it any further with me. My heart is hurting because we are members there and love them dearly and had always felt loved by them. As the father in my family I am at a loss about what to do. I skipped Bible study this past week because I have zero interest in the topic they are studying when this is weighing so heavy on my heart.
It isn't just a baptism issue. It's an issue of taking a hard core belief and then blatantly misreading and ignoring Scripture to hold on to that belief. What I hear is double speak and talking out of both sides of one's mouth. I found a preacher on YouTube from the churches of Christ. I ordered a copy of his study guide and agree with it wholeheartedly.
I couldn't believe it when I typed in my search and your site came up. I don't know even what help to ask for, but if I sat down to write my testimony it would sound like what you have in yours right now, although I am a bald special education teacher rather than a guitar player. However, my favorite band is Disciple. I hope we can have a conversation. Thank you for creating this site and sharing your story.
Mike's article was originally published in a magazine called Biblical Insights. The article did not have his full name, only his email address. I'm sorry that it is no longer working. I edited the copy I have so that others don't run into the same problem.
While I'm not Mike, I would be happy to talk with you, or if you would like, I can put you in touch with a preacher in your area (just let me know what town you live close to).
If I may, I would like to recommend a book that you will find very useful to your studies. It is called Muscle and a Shovel by Michael Shank. I know, a strange title, but it is explained toward the end of the book. Brother Shank also left the Baptist church and this book explains why in a very clear, easy, and engaging way.