Why, When & How?
Members of this church are those who have believed in Jesus Christ as the Son of God and their personal Savior, have repented of their sins, and have confessed their faith in Christ publicly and have been immersed into Christ at a time in life when they fully understood what they were doing.
Does this correspond to what you have done? It may be that you were never baptized, your believing parents could have had you baptized as an infant, or perhaps you were baptized by pouring or sprinkling water on your head.
We fully respect your faith in Christ. We respect the faith of your parents who had you baptized and your sincerity in being baptized in the way you were taught. We fully believe that you did so with an honest heart and full faith toward Jesus.
We ask you, then, to consider the possibility that the Bible has some additional truth for you about baptism. Truth that will give you joy to know and to obey.
In Bible times, baptism was a burial in water and a resurrection from the water. We know this is so because that is what the Greek word, baptizo, means: “to immerse, to dip, to plunge.” A careful reading of the New Testament will also show that baptizing of babies is not taught. Indeed, they do not need it, being sinless. Sprinkling and pouring are also not New Testament practices. This new form of baptism became popular because it was convenient both for the one baptizing and the one being baptized. There were some churches, however, that continued baptizing in the New Testament way.
It is the desire of this church to be true to what the Bible teaches in every way possible. We know that we do not do this perfectly, but this is our sincere aim. In baptism, we want to be true to the teaching of the Bible. We want to be true to the meaning of baptism as a new birth, a burial, a resurrection, a new beginning, the washing away of sins, putting on Christ, done for the forgiveness of sins, and to receive the Holy Spirit. All these find their meaning in immersion.
We hope that you will understand and accept the Bible teaching on baptism. We hope that if you have not been immersed you will joyfully do so, and that you will talk to one of the church leaders or any mature Christian about it.
Meanwhile, please understand that Hillside is open to all. Anyone may worship, sing, and study the Bible in this church. All believers in Christ may accept His invitation to remember Him at Communion, the Lord's Supper. This supper does not belong to the church, but to the Lord Jesus Christ.