The following article was written by Ben Straten, and it seems at a time when many “Baptists” are more concerned with numbers than they are souls salvations this article is quite meaningful. When “Baptists” seem more concerned with going along to get along, receiving alien emersions, and doing what comes natural to the world in the drinking of the liquor, and supporting the industry of drunkenness; we need to stop and pay attention.
Why the Decline in Southern Baptist Baptisms?
Recently it was reported in the news that the number of Southern Baptist baptisms had declined for the third straight year. In 2007 Southern Baptist churches baptized 345,941 people. This is considerably lower then 1972 when Southern Baptist churches baptized 445,725 people, the most in their history. So the question is why the great change in the number of Southern Baptist baptisms since 1972. Some are saying that we are not as evangelistic or as committed as we were back in 1972.
While there is some truth to this answer, there is another reason that is totally ignored in the blogs and denominational papers. Back in 1972 the vast majority of Southern Baptist churches rejected alien immersions. (that is non-Baptist baptisms) Thirty-five years ago when someone wanted to join a typical Southern Baptist church from a Methodist, Presbyterian, Pentecostal, Disciples of Christ, etc. church they had to be “rebaptized” in order to join the church. Yet since 1972 hundreds of Southern Baptist churches have given up this practice. Today many Southern Baptist churches that thirty-five years ago would have rebaptized these non-Baptists who wanted to join their church, will now receive them by “statement”. That is one of the biggest reasons why the number of Southern Baptist baptisms is so much lower in 2007 than it was in 1972
Let’s continue being the Southern Baptists which we should be. Be saved and grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ.