Have We Neglected Our Baptismal Vows?

Have We Neglected Our Baptismal Vows?
“Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God.” – Mark 10:14

 Weston Blaha is an EPC pastor in Marshall, Texas and a dear friend of mine. He recently published an article entitled, “A New Frontier for Local Missions.” In that article, Weston suggested that it’s time for the church to change the focus of her mission work. He cites survey data that found the percentage of the U.S. population who claims to be Christian has fallen by 40% in the last 50 years.

Weston writes, “These numbers tell me two things:
1. What we are currently doing is not working.
2. Parents are losing their children to the world.

”Weston is right. The question for the church and for Christian parents is not whether or not their children are going to be catechized. The question is which faith they are going to be catechized into. Is it going to be the historic Christian faith that offers salvation in Jesus Christ or is it going to be the humanistic materialist faith of the world that offers salvation in hedonism and self-fulfillment?

The public schools where our children spend 40 hours a week are certainly not catechizing our children in the historic Christian faith but they are very often catechizing them in the religion of this world. And though I am a firm believer in the Wednesday night and Sunday morning efforts of the local church, the math just doesn’t work out: 40 hours at school per week, 2-4 hours at church per week.

So what should the church do? Weston suggests reallocating our local missions giving to “help church members homeschool” and “support our church members so their mothers could remain home and raise children under the influence of the Gospel of Jesus.”

It seems to me that this is precisely the kind of direct and meaningful action required by the vow we take at the baptism of each and every child in our church. “Do you, the members of this congregation, acting for yourselves and in behalf of the whole body of Christ, assume responsibility with these parents for the spiritual nurture of this child? Do you commit yourself to set a godly example before this child, to provide as far as you are able, all that is necessary to the end that this child may one day confess Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior?

”What do you think? Is it time to change how we do local missions? I’d love to hear from you.

Your Pastor and Friend,
John Knox Foster

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