Is baptism required for membership at C3?
Jesus has commanded all believers to be baptized and to disobey this command reflects a lack of submission to both Christ and his church. Therefore, only baptized believers are affirmed as members of C3.
Does C3 affirm as members brothers or sisters who have not been baptized as a believer (including brothers or sisters who have only been baptized as infants)?
C3 does not affirm as members those who have not been baptized as believers. Though we realize that many brothers and sisters view their infant baptism as biblical baptism, we are convinced that the clear testimony of Scripture is for believers to be baptized after their confession of faith in Christ. This conviction leads us as a local church to only affirm those who believe, model, and teach this conviction. Therefore, we encourage followers of Christ who do not share this conviction to join a local church that shares their baptismal conviction. At the same time, we gladly embrace friendship with and partnership together in the gospel alongside such brothers and sisters as part of the global Church.
Does C3 affirm as members those who have not been baptized as believers by immersion (i.e. those who have been baptized as believers by pouring or sprinkling)?
Biblically, baptism involves immersion. Because Scripture includes no examples of baptism by any other mode, we do not accept as members brothers or sisters who have not been baptized by immersion. The only exception to this would be in cases where a believer is (or was) physically unable to be immersed in water. Beyond this exception, we are sympathetic with those who were “baptized” with water in another form by another church that did not practice baptism by immersion. However, we require those who desire to become members of C3 to be baptized by immersion for various reasons: (1) As a church, we firmly believe baptism by immersion is biblical and we exclusively practice baptism by immersion; (2) We believe it is good for every member of the church to be united together in a clear identification with Christ in his death and his life - an identification which is most clearly demonstrated in baptism by immersion; (3) As we participate together in the Great Commission, making disciples who will be baptized by immersion, we believe it is beneficial for members of the church to have modeled such obedience and baptism in their own lives. In light of these reasons, we require all potential members of C3 who have not been baptized by immersion to be baptized in obedience to the command of Christ as a portrait of the gospel of Christ for the fulfillment of the mission of Christ.
Does C3 recommend and/or establish a particular age for children to be baptized?
C3 does not recommend or establish a particular age for children to be baptized. We do not want to discourage a regenerate child from being baptized, yet we also want to be extremely careful to avoid deception in a child’s life by baptizing him or her before he or she is biblically regenerate and able to understand, articulate, and embrace the gospel for themselves. Therefore, our children’s ministry leadership works deliberately with parents to ensure a child (before being baptized) is able to articulate and comprehend the work of Christ and the message of the gospel. A child will not be baptized until his or her parents (if they are believers), and church leaders (including, but not limited to children’s ministry staff and other church elders) agree together that the child is ready to be baptized. Then, upon a child’s baptism, members of C3 will work together in an intentional discipleship process for baptized children to grow in Christ as members of the church.
Can an unbaptized believer participate in the Lord’s Supper at C3?
All believers who are following Christ in repentance and faith are welcome to participate in Communion at C3. We encourage all believers to examine themselves prior to taking part in Communion, prayerfully confessing sin, and willfully repenting in obedience to our Savior. Because baptism is a biblical step of obedience to Christ, and because refusal of baptism reflects disobedience to Christ, we exhort every believer who has not yet been baptized to be baptized as soon as is prudent and possible under the leadership of a local church.
Who is permitted to baptize believers at C3?
Any baptized individual who is a part of a gospel-believing, Bible-preaching local church may baptize a believer at C3.