According to a Baptist Press story, First Baptist Church of Horn Lake, Mississippi came up a little short in their baptismal service recently. After 3 nights of showing the drama called “Heaven’s Gates and Hell’s Flames” (by Reality Outreach Ministries), 423 people made professions of faith.
The pastor, Joe Turner, explained it as “just a movement of God.” “Jesus said in John 12:32, ‘If I be lifted up, I’ll draw all men unto me,’ and what we’ve been doing is lifting up Jesus. That’s what’s doing it.” What Pastor Turner did not say is that the very next verse, John 12:33, explains Jesus’ statement: “This He said, signifying by what death He would die.” When interpreting the Bible, context really is king.
Only 36 of those who made professions showed up for a special baptism service. The article notes that the “church was originally hoping to baptize 100 people in an outdoor service. But weather moved the service inside, and Turner said weather may have been a factor in fewer people showing up for the baptism than expected.”
Isn’t that just like Baptists? It takes 600 gallons of water to get them baptized and only a few drops to keep them from church. Of course, presumably the no-shows are not yet Baptists. Nevertheless, given their failure to make an appearance at a scheduled service, they already seem to be well on their way to becoming typical Baptist church members.