The Day The Denomination Snuffed The Joy Of Conversion

I want to begin by saying that I have a lot of respect for a lot of people in the Reform Church of America. I have many true brothers and sisters in Christ in this Denomination who have repented of their sins and believed in Jesus Christ for salvation.

Nevertheless, virtually every denomination departs from God’s word at some point. The RCA is no exception. There are some instances in which they add the teachings of men to the word of God and demand that all believers in their churches follow these manmade teachings.

The story below, which is a paraphrase of an account I found on the web, will illustrate one way in which the RCA has added the commandments of men to the commandments of God.

One time some former RCA elders had the joy of leading some Hispanics to faith in Christ through a Bible Study in their home. These particular hispanics had been raised in the Roman Catholic Church, but had never repented of their sins or believed in Jesus for salvation. They had lived in superstition but never really trusted God. As a result of this Bible study these hispanics came to believe in Jesus as the only way for salvation. They were immediately filled with joy and asked to be baptized. Happily, the RCA members who had led the Bible study agreed to baptize them in a pool in their backyard. Everyone was overjoyed. That is, until the denominational leadership found out.

Members of the denominational leadership rebuked these members for baptizing the hispanics. Their reasons were twofold. One: the RCA does not baptize Catholics, because they have already been baptized as infants. Two: Former elders do not have the authority to baptize new believers.

However, neither of these reasons are based on scripture. Rather, they are based on the manmade creeds of the Reformed Church. There is no requirement in the Bible that those who baptize have to be “presbyters.” In addition, the Bible simply commands us to believe and be baptized  (Mark 16:3, Acts 3:38). Baptism is ALWAYS linked to belief. Yet in this case the organized church was commanding believers NOT to be baptized.

To close, I want to repeat that I have a lot of respect for my brothers and sisters in the Reformed Church. I could have told similar stories about virtually any denomination, but this story just happens to have occurred with the RCA. I do not think the RCA or any other denomination should be burdening believers with rules that are not in the Bible, especially to the extent that they deny them the joy of participating in baptism. If you trace these rules back to their sources one will clearly see that they are the commandments of men and not of God.

God bless

-Daniel Schilling

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