“Loophole of Escape”

 

One brother writing to another says:  Non-responsibility of enlightened rejectors is furnishing them with an elegant loophole of escape from immersion.

 

This would intimate that immersion is a punishment that the “enlightened” dread and seek to escape.  To one really enlightened it is the only door of hope of escape from death.  Is the gospel become with some a dreadful thing that men enlightened in it seek to escape?  Is it a club in the hands of men to intimidate and frighten men into baptism?  Must we change the words, “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings of good,” to “How dreadful are the feet” etc.?  It is to be hoped that the “beautiful feet” of those who have been bringing good tidings will not become covered all over with corns.

 

“An elegant loop-hole to escape immersion”?  Was there ever a man a real candidate for immersion who sought a loophole to escape immersion?  In case this supposed man did not know of this loophole and under the impression there was no escape were immersed, how would you like your convert after you had immersed him?  He comes to you and asks to be immersed, while if he knew of a loophole to escape he would not come, and you having frightened him with resurrectional responsibility, hold him down to it and immerse him.  What do you think of such a thing?  Would God be well pleased with you?  Would you be “taking heed how you built upon the foundation?  This is the evil and the growing mischief of this resurrectional responsibility club in the hands of men who have come to regard the gospel as a trap for Gentiles instead of an olive branch of love and hope.  You may tell it in Gath if you like, that if a man wants a loophole of escape from immersion, I would a thousand times rather show him one then immerse him.  He never was, and it is a question if he ever will be a candidate for immersion.  He is one of thousand who are creatures of sense and not of faith, absolutely destitute of that quality, whatever you may call it, that is responsive to the magnet of the Truth, which scripturally is termed “a good and honest heart.”  Where this quality exists, instead of looking for loopholes, you will hear the words “Here is water what doth hinder me to be baptized?”  And to this let not the answer be “If thou art frightened by resurrectional responsibility,” nor by intimidation of any kind; but let it be, “If thou canst believe with all thine heart thou mayest,” and so answering there is no danger in heavily emphasizing the word “heart”.

 

Thomas Williams

Christadelphian Advocate

April, 1898