For those of you who have never heard of the Restoration Movement, Check Out This Page for a minute or two. You could also call it the “No Creed but Christ” movement.
But the Restoration Movement does have a written list of core beliefs (but no creeds). These beliefs, they believe, come straight out of the Bible (unlike creeds). Also, the affiliated churches within the movement write up their own beliefs:
“Many, if not most, RM congregations have a written “Statement of Beliefs.” Such a statement is for information only, and is not a standard to which one must agree in order to have fellowship.”
There is a list of “main practices” on the page I linked above, here’s one of them:
C. Believer’s baptism by immersion. Only those who choose to be baptised are baptised (we do not baptise infants or children who are too young to understand the decision). We baptise by full immersion in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.
I have never seen ‘baptise’ spelled like that.
Moving on. This will be the source statement for my imagined conversation at a RM church *Satire Alert!*:
Guy with newborn baby: “Hello pastor, I would like to get my newborn son baptized soon.”
RM Pastor: “But we don’t baptise babies here.”
Guy: “Why not?”
RMP: “Didn’t you read the practices page on the website? We only baptise believers.”
Guy: “I did read that, but I also read that the statement is for ‘information only’ and was not binding. I believe that the children of believers are members of the covenant and should be baptized. So, when can we baptize Guy Jr.?”
RMP: “You can’t. And we won’t baptise him because the Bible doesn’t teach infant baptism.”
Guy: “But I believe it does. I also read in our statement of beliefs that we allow diversity here around issues ‘not explicitly described in the Bible.’ So even though we don’t find an example of an infant ‘being sprinkled’ ‘explicitly described’ in the New Testament, the teaching and command to have the sign of baptism administered to our covenant children is clearly there. If you have a moment I can show you, for starters, how baptism has replaced circumcu…”
RMP: “…I’m not interested in your proofs! This church doesn’t believe in sprinkling babies and we don’t practice it. So good day.”
Guy: “But you’re denying my son the sign of the covenant and are not letting my family practice our beliefs…”
RMP: “…I said good day!”
-A little too much? Probably. But that was fun for me.
Would you prefer creeds (and confessions) or chaos?