IMB revised guidelines on baptism, prayer language
Published May 17, 2007
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GUIDELINE ON TONGUES AND PRAYER LANGUAGE
1. The New Testament speaks of a gift of glossolalia that generally is considered a legitimate language.
2. The New Testament expression of glossolalia as a gift had specific uses and conditions for its exercise in public worship.
3. In terms of worship practices, if glossolalia is a public part of the candidate’s current practice and it does not fall within the definitions of Parts 1 and 2 above, the candidate has eliminated himself or herself from being a representative of the IMB of the SBC.
1. Any spiritual experience must be tested by Scriptures.
2. New Testament teaching is that prayer is to be made with understanding.
3. The board is not persuaded that ecstatic utterance as a prayer language is a valid expression of the New Testament teaching on prayer.
4. Therefore, if an “ecstatic utterance as a prayer language” is a part of the candidate’s current practice, the candidate has eliminated himself or herself from being a representative of the IMB of the SBC.
1. This guideline is not retroactive.
2. Any exceptions to the above guideline must be reviewed by the staff and the Mission Personnel Committee.
GUIDELINE ON BAPTISM
That each candidate’s baptismal experience be examined, during the application process, in light of the “Baptist Faith and Message” statement and the points listed below:
“BAPTIST FAITH AND MESSAGE”: ARTICLE VII – BAPTISM Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer in water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It is an act of obedience symbolizing the believer’s faith in a crucified, buried, and risen Savior, the believer’s death to sin, the burial of the old life, and the resurrection to walk in newness of life in Christ Jesus. It is a testimony to his faith in the final resurrection of the dead. Being a church ordinance, it is prerequisite to the privileges of church membership and to the Lord’s Supper.
POINTS TO BE COVERED DURING THE APPOINTMENT PROCESS
1. The individual
a. Believer’s baptism by immersion.
Baptism by immersion follows salvation.
b. Baptism is symbolic, picturing the experience of the believer’s death to sin and resurrection to a new life in Christ.
Baptism does not regenerate.
2. The church
a. Baptism is a church ordinance.
Baptism must take place under the authority of a local church that practices believer’s baptism alone, embraces the doctrine of the security of a believer’s salvation and does not view baptism as sacramental, regenerative or essential to salvation.
b. A candidate who has not been baptized under the authority of a local church, which meets the standards listed above, is expected to request baptism in his or her Southern Baptist church.
3. The candidate
Candidates are responsible for requesting their home church assist them in meeting this doctrinal commitment to the above points.
4. The consultant
While the candidate consultant should have a working knowledge of many denominational groups, he or she is not expected to investigate every church.
1. The guideline is not retroactive.
2. Any exception to the above guideline must be reviewed by the staff and the Mission Personnel Committee.
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