Indispensible Ordinance: Baptism, the Lord’s Supper and the Head Covering - Romel Ghossain
John Scarsbrook, Killamarsh, England
Paperback, 142 pp,
Published by Decapolis Press, Pitcot Farm, Pitcot Lane, Stratton-on-the-Fosse, Radstock BA3 4SX, England.
A book that brings together these three important strands of truth is quite rare, unless it is dealing with church truth as a whole. However, in this relatively short book, the writer covers what might be described as important first steps in the life of every believer. Although there are some aspects that might owe more to the provenance of the book, the writer is to be commended for providing something that is a clear communication of truth.
This is a book that will challenge. Believers who are somewhat bound by tradition may be concerned to read in relation to baptism, ‘Our custom is somewhat different to the New Testament example and I fear that this is sometimes a hindrance in proclaiming the gospel to every creature’. Equally, the section ‘Who should NOT be baptized?’ is an issue seldom considered, but dealt with in this book. Of any believer that remains unbaptized, the writer warns that in procrastination, ‘They will also become less sensitive to the commandments of scripture and find more obscure reasons not to be baptized’. To those about to be baptized, the writer says, ‘With every decision there are responsibilities and consequences, whether good or bad, and with baptism it is NO different. Therefore . . . at least be acquainted with the significance and responsibility of baptism’. It is in this context that Ghossain argues that, ‘A baptized believer has “put on Christ”. Just as clothing identifies the type of person I am, the believer’s label of clothing is Christ!’ Sadly, those who put off their baptism may well do so because they are not prepared to manifest that complete change of life that baptism symbolizes.
In the section on the Lord’s Supper, there are also some challenging topics: my attire; the language I use; and my punctuality. As with the writer’s treatment of baptism, there are also some issues that are not usually considered. For example, Ghossain offers advice when, ‘In some countries and parts of the world, believers cannot gather on a particular day or time’.
This book has much to offer that will be of help to those seeking guidance on these three important subjects. Some may not agree with everything that is said, but the breadth of treatment, and the honesty of the approach, is to be commended.