My comments in the Christian Chronicle have spurred a bit of controversy that put me out of favor with some of our more conservative brethren. Some have already seen fit to judge me as a "liberal" and a "compromiser."
I believe that those who are baptized (immersed) in the name of Jesus as penitent believers so that their
sins can be washed away are my brethren. I believe that the cause of their new birth was their obedience to the Truth of the Gospel (1 Pet. 1:22-25). It is the imperishable seed that causes one to be born again, not human judgments on the matter.
While there are independent Chrisitan churches that may have divergent views, those with whom I have had contact taught the gospel of Christ and have asked people to respond scripturally. If indeed one has responded scripturally, then I regard that person as my brother, regardless of who did the baptizing. I believe that it is the Gospel that produces the salvation (1 Cor. 1:21; Rom. 1:16; James 1:18; 1 Pet. 1:22-25), not who does the baptizing. I do not regard the independent Christian churches as a denomination. I believe they are brethren who are in error over the instrument and other issues.
I know the young man who spoke up to Ralph Gilmore at FHU's open forum. He has been one of my students, and I admire him for many things. I believe that day he was out of place. The "all things" of Matt. 28:20 comes after baptism, not before. I have never held the view that one must know everything first to become a Christian. I do believe there are some things necessary to know.
I do not believe men have a right to annul what God says. When a person has scripturally obeyed the gospel, they are born again of that imperishable seed, brothers in Christ. Only the Word has a right to determine the boundaries of who is and is not a brother. No human can presume to do that.