Nearly every religious body associated with Christianity administers baptism in some fashion. Some believe it is an act of obedience that symbolizes a believer’s faith in Christ and death to sin. Others believe that baptism is simply the means by which a believer becomes a member of the church body. But the congregations associated with the Church of Christ are known for their insistence that baptism is an essential part of salvation. On what is this belief based?
Have you ever had a garage sale at your house?
Brooke and I have hosted a few successful garage sales during our 11 years of marriage, and by “successful” I mean that we are still married.
Garage sales are fun, aren’t they? When I say “fun,” I mean “awful.” The only part I don’t hate about a garage sale is the 4-inch stack of wrinkled one-dollar bills at the end that means we will get at least one sit-down meal at a semi-nice restaurant in exchange for all of our stuff and all of our trouble. Everything else about a garage sale is absolutely terrible. The worst part about a garage sale is the marriage-threatening process of deciding what to sell and what not to sell. These discussions always seem to end up on the level of hostage negotiations, and for some reason, my hostages always die. What’s the old saying? “One man’s treasure is another woman’s opportunity to make 75 cents”? Just because it’s at the bottom of a box in the basement with a family of spiders living in it does NOT mean that I don’t need it, woman!
As a member and minister of a congregation associated with the churches of Christ, I often encounter “why” questions—questions like “why do Churches of Christ lack instruments in worship,” “why do Churches of Christ forbid women from leading in the worship service,” “why do Churches of Christ observe the Lord’s Supper every Sunday,” and “why do Churches of Christ place so much emphasis on baptism.” Sometimes the questions are posed from those outside our fellowship, and sometimes the questions are posed from those inside our fellowship. Regardless of who is asking, it seems obvious that an understanding of the church’s distinct doctrine is lacking. Therefore, over the next several weeks I will be presenting articles that help explain the Biblical basis for our beliefs and practices by answering some of the more frequently asked “why” questions.
Timothy was unique as a minister because of his age, frequent illnesses, and what appears to be a timid spirit. Such obstacles could hinder many individuals from becoming successful ministers, but Timothy had a secret weapon named Paul.