No Permission Required

Baptists will be Baptists whether or not we agree.

Albert Mohler explains and defends his lifelong commitment to the Baptist denomination in his article, “Why I Am a Baptist” (First Things, August/September, 2020). 

This is a good and timely article. By defining Baptist distinctives, within the framework of the Protestant movement, Dr. Mohler reminds us of some very important Christian ideas. True Christians are born-again Christians. True churches are comprised of true Christians. True Christians and their churches take the Gospel and the work of evangelism seriously. True Christians do not ask permission of secular authorities – or anybody else – for pursuing their mission diligently and sacrificially. True Christians are thus the Kingdom of God and the bearers of Good News to a lost and needy world.

Dr. Mohler defends baptism of professing believers only, and that by immersion; but we would expect this of him, a lifelong Baptist. He rejoices in the worship of Jesus according to the old, old story; and he emphasizes that Baptists have always been zealous and eager for proclaiming the Gospel, both locally and in mission to the world.

The Baptist movement arose out of argument and controversy, but it has always sought to define itself by New Testament principles of faith and life together. True Baptists hold their own views tenaciously, but not so as to condemn true believers who may differ on some finer points of terminology or practice (sacraments or ordinances?). He writes, "Those of us who hold to traditional forms of Christianity, revealed religion, and religious authority find ourselves and each other in communities of conviction. We engage in conversation and common courage as we seek to remain faithful, making clear that our beliefs have public as well as private significance." Amen, preach it, brother.

We should read this article and engage the argument with Dr. Mohler, because I believe all true Christians will discover themselves to be mostly on the good doctor’s side, and always ready to join hands with Baptists and other true believers to seek and proclaim the Kingdom of Christ for His exaltation and glory.

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