I had a great discussion with a friend this morning about churches and baptism. He is deeply involved and well educated in a church with a strong believer’s baptism tradition. I am a life-long United Methodist – a tradition in which we practice infant baptism as well as believer’s baptism.
My friend shared about a Baptist Church’s unwillingness to talk, as a congregation, about baptism. The issue came up over whether or not to recognize the baptism of some Episcopalians who wanted to join this church. I asked if this was about their having been baptized as infants (the Episcopal Church, like The United Methodist Church, practices infant baptism) or if it was about requiring baptism into that congregation of everyone who seeks to join.
He did not know the answer to this; apparently, the matter was too touchy for the church to discuss even to the point of everyone knowing what the actual issues and differences were.
It struck me that churches are not alone; other relationships have similar challenges. What is in the category of “that of which we will not speak” in your church/family/marriage?
In my understanding of the ideal Church, it is a community where anything can be talked about. Sure; there are things that don’t belong in open discussion, and things that ought to be talked about differently in the present of children or in the presence of outsiders. But if the Church is indeed the Body of Christ, it seems to me that anything a member of the community needs to talk about ought to be fair game.
How does this work in your community of faith?