What do you call a Baptist who attends a Presbyterian Church? Answer. . .
Not a Baptist.
The Second London Baptist Confession 22.1 says:
…the acceptable way of worshipping the true God, is instituted by himself, and so limited by his own revealed will, that he may not be worshipped according to the imagination and devices of men, nor the suggestions of Satan, under any visible representations, or any other way not prescribed in the Holy Scriptures.
As a Reformed Southern Baptist pastor, I grow weary of other “Reformed” Baptists, who, due to the lack of “solid” Reformed Baptist churches near them, opt to attend solid Presbyterian churches. I put “Reformed” in the phrase ‘”Reformed” Baptists’ in quotes because Reformed Baptists in church history would not recognize you as a Reformed Baptist. They were persecuted for believing and teaching rightly about baptism.
If you can participate in a worship service where baptism is administered unbiblically, Sunday after Sunday, over and over again, don’t call yourself a Baptist. If you can watch pastors diminish the New Covenant in Christ by baptizing babies apart from their personal repentance and faith, don’t call yourself a Baptist. Furthermore, sprinkling is not baptism; sprinkling does not display the biblical drama of identifying with Christ in his death, burial, and resurrection; only immersion does. Moreover, baptism without a prior profession of faith is not biblical baptism. If you can participate in a worship service where babies are included in the New Covenant apart from personal faith in Christ, don’t call yourself a Baptist.
At this point, you may say, “But Jared, there isn’t a solid Baptist church in my community.” Then start one! The fact that you’re not willing to invest the blood, sweat, and tears necessary to start or build a Reformed Baptist Church means that there will never be a solid Reformed Baptist Church in your community. And if there ever is, it will be in spite of you, not because of you. Stop blaming others and look in the mirror. Or, love your brothers and sisters in Christ enough at these semi-Reformed Baptist churches (SBC/BF&M2K) to get alongside them and spend 10+ years loving and teaching them, until they are persuaded to be Reformed Baptists. You may learn something from them in the process; I sure have!
The fact is that if you are a Baptist who attends a Presbyterian church, you will never serve as an elder at your church. You will never be able to teach biblical views concerning baptism. You will never lead in your church. If the biblical mode (immersion) and the biblical prerequisite (repentance and faith in Christ) for baptism are not important enough doctrines for you to worship somewhere else or to start a church with biblical worship, then just become Presbyterian already.
Or, at least stop identifying yourself as a “Reformed Baptist.” You are more Presbyterian than Baptist.
*I love my Presbyterian brothers and sisters. But just as you are unapologetically Presbyterian, I am unapologetically Baptist. Only believers should receive the sign of the New Covenant, for only believers are in the New Covenant (Jer. 31:31-40).
My site. I’m married with 4 children, an SBC pastor, a TA for Dr. Kyle Claunch & a PhD candidate at SBTS. I’ve authored two books. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and Udemy. I host 2 podcasts: All Truth is God’s Truth (iTunes, Google Play Music, Stitcher, Tune In) & Pop Culture Coram Deo (iTunes, Stitcher, acast, Player.FM).