LAFAYETTE, Tenn. (BNC) — Preacher Jack Honeycutt said today he knew of 10 people who had obeyed the gospel as a result of a public discussion with a Baptist minister May 27-28.

He shared background on the Carolina Christian website to the public discussion he held with Baptist minister Michael Brawner. His article was published today.

The debate centered on whether or not baptism in water was essential to salvation.

The public discussion grew out of a private study he and a deacon had with two Baptist preachers.

Considering the toxic nature of public discourse today, their agreement about one aspect of the debate draws interest:

We both wanted to conduct ourselves in a civil manner and we wanted the audience to do the same.  Thus, rules were announced each night prior to our speaking.  No one from the audience was to speak or make any kind of gestures.  If either participant became angry the discussion would immediately be over.

During the two-night debate, Jack was surprised by an argument he’d never heard before:

He also made a comment I had never heard, even while I was growing up in the Baptist Church.  He said, “A saved person gets into Christ by baptism, but a lost person won’t ever get into Christ by baptism.”  How can one be saved if they are not in Christ?! Michael doesn’t understand that being in Christ is the only way one can be saved!  I tried to get this concept across by using Ephesians 2:12-13, Jesus here speaking to the Gentiles, “that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.  But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.”

Gospel Broadcasting Network taped the discussion, which can be viewed below.