Wednesday, May 02, 2007

"Reinvigorating Baptist Practice of the Ordinances"

My article on the ordinances, “Reinvigorating Baptist Practice of the Ordinances”, which I have previously mentioned, is now available online here. I discuss briefly some reasons I think these Christ-ordained institutions have fallen on hard times in Baptist churches and then argue for some specific ways to move forward. Among other things I argue for ‘immediate’ baptism and weekly communion. I would be interested in any thoughts on the article.


Shep Shepherd said...

I must say that I totally agree with your defense of weekly communion. Of course I disagree about baptism, but I'm not Baptist... :-)

Very good though. Thanks for giving an emphasis on how important the Sacraments are. I agree in thinking that people take them far too lightly these days. They are most certainly not meaningless rituals, or trite boring traditions. I hope many folks are impacted by your article to take the Sacraments joyously and seriously.

In Christ,

Perry McCall said...

thank you, thank you, thank you for such a wonderful conference. I know this doesn't have anything to do with your post but I couldn't resist!!

Perry McCall said...

Ok, I'll stay on topic!
I think you are spot on with your opening comment. I remember as a kid thinking, "man, not the Lord's Supper" when the time came around again for our evening observance!

I agree with your positions and I especially agree with the importance of connecting the "public" profession with baptism instead of walking the isle.

However, I think your most important observation is that we have "lost our poetry" when it comes to our worship practices. I think that we miss the point not the doctrine. Great article.

Unknown said...

Love the article Ray.Thanks for writing and sharing it.

Our church observes the LS every Sunday and we have found that you don't have to do it the same way every time. You can get creative with it just ike you can with music or sermons. Often the person presiding at the table offers some sort of homily about the meaning of the LS or it's history and roots in the Passover etc. We sometimes use artwork, music,and other multimedia to enhance that time together.It's always my favorite time of the worship service.

One Sunday a while back, I played a video of a scene from the movie Antowan Fisher where his long lost family welcomes him home with a big meal at the table. It was very touching and reminded us all that the LS is about who we meet at the table and not just the ordinance itself.

Thanks again.

Anonymous said...

It was good to see you last weekend. I really enjoyed the conference and Paul House. I found myself challenged in many areas.

I think you definitely provide a very strong argument for weekly communion. You are certainly right when you say that prayer, scripture reading, and other disciplines do not lose their meaning the more we practice them. In fact, the more we practice these things the closer we come to the heart of God. I would submit that sports provide a great illustration as well. The more a person sharpens his skills and repeats them in practice, the more meaning and relevance those skills have during the game. It may be a loose example but it still encourages us to practice with regularity and due diligence.

Jeff Richard Young said...

Dear Dr. VN,

I very much appreciate your article. These are the positions I have also embraced, after study of the scriptures with other believers over the course of the past few years. In our reformed baptist church, we practice both ordinances in just the way you suggest.

Love in Christ,