Fla. preacher takes argument for baptism to local Baptist Church in open letter

scott-shifferd-jrJACKSONVILLE, Fla. (BNc) — Evangelist Scott Shifferd, Jr., of the Dean Road church, believes in getting people’s attention in order to consider what the Bible teaches about salvation.

To do that, he wrote an open letter today to the First Baptist Church in his community. In his preface to the letter, Scott wrote:

This is a letter sent with kindness and respect to the First Baptist Church of Jacksonville, FL concerning their inconsistent beliefs regarding salvation and the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This letter was sent and meant to be posted here and read by all. May God bless every reader. Your kind and respectful comments and questions are welcome.

As he appealed to Baptists to reconsider their stance toward the relationship between baptism and salvation, he quoted two Baptist authorities, Thomas Helwys, considered to be one of the founders of the Baptist denominations in the early 17th Century, and Charles Spurgeon, a famous English Baptist preacher of the 19th Century.

In response to BNc’s query about what prompted the open letter, Scott wrote:

One Lord’s Day morning, I was drinking my coffee and watching parts of some of the local denominational preachers. That day I was convicted to write the preacher of the North Jacksonville Baptist Church after he spoke against the necessity of baptism, ignoring baptism’s place in the Gospel of Christ, and he referenced a certain church that taught such error.

The response to the letter, the number of readers, and high ranking on Google was a wonderful surprise. The Gospel was out, and I know that message is circling and being believed among the Baptist congregations now. I am prayerful and hopeful of coming changes.

Next, I wrote the North Jacksonville Baptist Church once more, and then I wrote two letters to those who would seek the services of the local abortion clinics. The abortion clinics in Jacksonville are all less than two miles from our church building, and I felt a responsibility.

Recently, I prayerfully decided to write the First Baptist Church of Jacksonville, and I am still waiting for their response, which they may have already in comments and emails. I wrote them to spread the Gospel to my community.

An effective evangelist once told me that once people accept the Gospel, then other matters of doctrine usually fall in order. This made sense, and I have generally found this to be true.

I prayerfully await others to realize that salvation does not come before one is conformed to the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Then, I think our discussion and study of the Word of God will continue.

I have longed for the days of mass evangelism and the great response to the Gospel as seen in the labors of the apostle Paul among the synagogues of the nations, the distributed periodicals of Campbell, and open proclamations of Marshall Keeble.

While my letters may be ignored by those addressed, the Gospel will reach those seeking the truth.

To read Scott’s open letter on his website, follow this link.

4 comments

  1. Penny Shields says:

    Dearest Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
    I urge everyone who receives this brotherhood publication to read the open letter to the Baptist church in it’s entirety. Yes it is long if you also include reading the responses, however this will give all of us a clear view of what we are up against in trying to reach people with the truth of God’s Word. My thanks to all involved and to God be the Glory.

  2. Jack Wirtz says:

    The SBC congregations are following two camps: (1) The Great American Evangelical Movement of faith only and baptism into the church; and, (2) a counter move to that, begun by some of the Seminaries in returning to the true Calvinism of their beginnings [deep water Presbyterians], in adopting the 1679 Confession of Faith or Charles Spurgeon’s (1689) Baptist Confession of Faith which reads’

    “Article 29. Baptism

    “1. Baptism is an ordinance of the New Testament, ordained by Jesus Christ, to be to the person who is baptised – a sign of his fellowship with Christ in His death and resurrection; of his being engrafted into Christ; of remission of sins; and of that person’s giving up of himself to God, through Jesus Christ, to live and walk in newness of life.

    “2. Those who actually profess repentance towards God, faith in, and obedience to, our Lord Jesus Christ, are the only proper subjects for this ordinance.

    “3. The outward element to be used in this ordinance is water, in which the person is to be baptised in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

    “4. Immersion – the dipping of the person in water – is necessary for the due administration of this ordinance.

  3. Baptism is to be born again of water and Spirit. If one is not baptised he/she cannot see or enter the Kingdom of God (John 3:3-5). Furthermore, no one can be saved without hearing the gospel, believing, confessing of their sins and be baptised (Mark 16:15-16).Thus says the Lord.

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