This coronavirus pandemic has most Southern Baptist churches shut down, reaching out with open hands to big nanny hoping to get a slice of that Payment Protection Pie government handout while the arguably the most influential leader of the denomination is making excuses as to why churches — who don’t pay taxes — should not feel guilty about taking government bailouts.
But some pastors are innovative — like really innovative — including Bart Barber, pastor of First Baptist Church of Farmersville in Texas. Barber, who says he’s against celebrating the Lord’s Supper online for some reason believes that performing online baptisms is a-ok.
Baptism requires a gathering — there is no way around it. Besides salvation itself, baptism is the most important single moment of a believer’s life. It’s the moment when a new believer professes faith publicly and becomes part of the local body. It’s the moment when the local body welcomes the new believer into the body. A new believer needs to see and hear the applause and welcoming words and affirmation of the body. At Barber’s “online baptism” service, there is no one there to welcome them.
As reported in the Southern Baptist Texan, the opening paragraph starts with,
Bart Barber of First Baptist Church in Farmersville has performed a baptism since the congregation he leads stopped gathering in person, but he feels the Lord’s Supper should not be administered online.
If that doesn’t make you cringe, I can’t fathom what might. Barber, an influential leader in the heretical woke church movement, holds to a lot of aberrant beliefs. Barber has attacked churches who continue to worship on Sundays during the coronavirus outbreak despite the fact that there is no evidence that church gatherings have any effect on the spread of the virus — especially any more so than those of “essential services” like grocery stores, liquor stores, and apparently, abortion clinics.
That Barber, who holds to a statist position when it comes to church-state relations, would also perform online baptisms should come as no surprise.
Barber also said that a church that has only gathered once is from that point on a church. Hmmm. Thankfully, not all of the panelists took the same approach.