My door bell rang while I was napping. I shook off the sleep to see two young ladies at my door. I thought they were Jehovah's Witnesses at first. Turns out they were from a local Baptist church, and good representatives they were. They asked me if I knew my fate if I died--was I saved, and I assured them I was.
They gave me a card showing a picture of their church, the pastor, and his wife. The pastor had a big grin. He looked like a very good salesman type. His wife had a patient, pious expression. Giotto might have painted her.
I would like to attend a church with such people. Most of my Bible books are written by Baptists. I like Baptists. I love their zeal. So why don't I join?
I fear that once they knew about me and my supposed heretical beliefs, THEY would reject me. Can I love someone and object to some of their practices and beliefs? Yes, I have been doing it a long time.
May I address those I love so much? My dear Baptist friends; please do not tell me you are the original church. You came into being after Luther. Nothing wrong with that, but to say you are not protestants is not right. You split away from other Protestants over the issue of re-baptizing those who were baptized as infants, or were not immersed.
Please do not tell me that John the Baptist was a Baptist. He was a great prophet, but not a member of a church. The church came into being at Pentecost. Please do not say that only your church is valid. People in many denominations are Christians as well as you are. Please do not say you believe something because your pastor says it is true. Cite the scriptures. Think for yourselves.
You would not want me if you knew me. I know some of you believe in election and predestination, but can you abide one who believes in infants being baptized, as I was? Could you tolerate a "soul sleeper" as you would call me? What if I do not share your devotion to a hell where people go after death, and later they are judged?
Please listen to others and do not assume that only you know all the truth. Yes, shocking as it is, you could learn from Catholics once in awhile, though I am not one. If I do not join you, I am saving you from disappointment. Your smiles would disappear if you knew me, a lonely fundamentalist. I wish you only the best, but cannot join you.