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      Nurturing people in the image of God since 1868.                                                                          POB 397/520 Dry Creek Rd./Smithville, TN

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HE THAT BELIEVETH AND...

The following story is taken from the life of "Raccoon" John Smith, one of the men in the 1800's who did so much to help restore the New Testament church.

When John Smith was holding a meeting in Slate Creek, Ky., a denomination was also holding a meeting. One day a mother brought her baby to be "baptized" by the denominational preacher, who applied water to it, according to their practice, regardless of the cries, kicks, screams and struggles of the baby.

The next day, Smith was baptizing in the stream, and seeing the denominational preacher in the crowd, grabbed him by the arm and began moving him toward the water.

"What are you going to do, Mr. Smith?" He asked. "What am I going to do?" said Smith, acting surprised at the question, "I'm going to baptize you, sir!" "But I do not want to be baptized," said the man, trying to do his best to smile at what seemed a rather untimely joke, if indeed a joke at all.

"Do you not believe?" said Smith. "Certainly I do," said the preacher. "Then come along, sir," said Smith, pulling him nearer the water, "Believers should be baptized!" "But," said the preacher, now uneasy about the thought it might not be a joke at all, "I'm not willing to go. It would certainly do me no good to be baptized against my will."Smith now raised his voice so that all could hear, for the song had ceased and every ear was open to catch his words. "Did you not," said he, "but yesterday, baptize a helpless baby against his will, though it struggled to get loose, and kicked against your baptism? Did you get its consent first, Sir? Come along with me, for you must be baptized!" Another moment found them at the water's edge.

But when the preacher protested loudly and earnestly, Smith released his hold on the man. The lesson had been taught. Everyone present went home reflecting on the value of infant baptism.

The Bible teaches that penitent believers are to be baptized (Acts 2:38; Mark 16:16). An infant neither believes nor repents. It's not my opinion, but it's the Word of God!

For His Cause,
Tim Woodward