Some wisdom from E. C. Dargan
After surveying the duty of Baptists to defend their beliefs on baptism against pedobaptists, anti-immersionists, and baptismal regenerationists, Dargan locates a fourth category of interlocutors: those who disagree on the issues of 'sucessionism' and 'alien immersion'. Of course, he is referring to Landmarkers (at least that's the plain reading to me). The quote is a bit long, but worthy of reading.
Among themselves [Baptists] to find some way of mutual peace and love in regard to the questions of 'succession,' 'alien immersion,' and the like. So far as appears there is little prospect of any speedy and final settlement of these points of controversy among us. We are now, and for some time are likely to be, face to face with the question: Shall we agree to differ on these two points, live together in peace, or divide the denomination upon them? The wisdom of the past may be our light. Our fathers differed widely and earnestly. They argued logically and strongly, but they held the great denomination together and loved each other, though they could not see eye to eye upon these two particular points. Let this be the attitude of their children, and holding as firmly as we do to the sound scriptural positions as to the mode and subjects of baptism, let us in the spirit of love and fairness oppose those who maintain any other; and on the unsettled questions in our own ranks maintain the spirit of mutual toleration and respect. (Dargan, Ecclesiology, 217)
Dargan's point, I think, is that there are some things regarding baptism worth fighting for (for the regenerate, by immersion, as symbolic). On issues of baptismal (or church) succession and (the rejection of?) alien immersion, let us act with love and civility, remembering always that this is nothing to be rigid about, or to divide over.
posted by Jason Sampler at 11:00 PM