I’m not sure I like labels.

But if you must know I’m what most people would describe as evangelical. I lean to the charismatic side. More conservative than liberal.

There. That’s me.

Judge me for it.

Disagree with me. By all means disagree with me.

But please don’t beat me up.

On Sunday I was teaching about baptism. What my position as pastor is.

Nothing too controversial.

I’m a typical believer baptism person. Standard arguments.

And that’s what I taught.

Pretty clearly. Firmly.


I left room open for people who sincerely hold to infant baptism. I said how I acknowledged others who, after their own searching of scripture came to the complete opposite position to me.

I struggle to be dogmatic about a non-essential where wise, godly and learned people hold a range of views.

Disagree with me.

But please don’t beat me up.

Grace. Humility. Gentleness… come to mind.

In my preparation I’d come across two views. Well-known pastors. I could name them and you would instantly know them. You may well guess anyway. Two pastors held up as evangelical figureheads.

One of them in teaching on baptism presented both sides of the argument, explained his position as a believer baptism person, and simply said of the other camp: “They’re wrong!”

The other one, convinced about believer baptism, shared how after much wrestling with his leadership team over the issue came to this conclusion: that their church would not exclude from membership those who had been baptised by some other means if they sincerely held that other mode to be correct.

I love that second approach.

He has the boldness to declare his position with authority. But the grace to allow for another view.

Here’s where I’m going with all this.

I found out later that a visitor thought my teaching to be ‘wishy-washy’ and not firm enough. That I needed to be clearer in what was right and what was wrong.

It left me sad.

This person isn’t unique. In fact they represent a broad swathe of the evangelical Church. Making mountains out of molehills of non-essentials.

With aggression and arrogance.

Not caring who they hurt.

Not concerned with unity.

Please don’t tell me this is out of a desire and concern for truth.

It’s not.

And I know (from experience) that gossip and misinformation follows.

“I wouldn’t go to that church, they’re not firm enough on baptism.”

Rumours. Falsehoods.

Look, if I’m preaching that Jesus didn’t really die on the cross, then let me have it with all guns blazing. Chase me out of town.

But having the grace to leave room open for those of other views on baptism…

Don’t beat me up for that.

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