I always thought that Baptists didn’t believe in Sacraments, but I recently heard a lady recount an annointing of oil at her Baptist church for a sick person. Reference was made by another Baptist gentleman to James 5:13. She even went so far as to suggest that the actual steps were required by God so didn’t even try to explain away the oil as superflous in lieu of the prayer/faith only.
I asked another Baptist of the same church about it. She had said previously she didn’t believe in the sacraments so I asked her what she thought a sacrament was. She thought “they are something we [catholics] had to do”.
When I gave her an adlib definition of sacrament as being a visible sign of an actual grace imparted by God and instituted by Jesus Christ . She replied that maybe her friend believed in Sacraments.
She also replied that I, instead of trying to find fault, should try to recognize our similarities.
I replied that was precisely why I broached the subject of what a sacrament was with her.
She added that she didn’t like the rituals we do. I suggested that a ritual was just a procedure like the one in James 5:13. (I think she was referring to the Sign of the Cross. For the life of me I still can’t understand why she dislikes it so.)
But I could tell she was getting angry so decided to leave it at that.
Underlying all of this I have found some Baptists don’t like to even call themselves Baptists, but prefer Evangelical and don’t seem to care if individual beliefs differ from the church they are attending. I even heard their pastor say as part of his sermon that “I don’t care if your Catholic, Methodist, United, Baptist…” as long as you accept Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Saviour. ( I am not sure if I quoted correctly the denominations other than Catholic. To be honest that sermon surprised me as I had met another Baptist who had before knowing I was Catholic said “Catholics were as close to Christian as one can get”) I even had a chat with their pastor where he spoke of knowing “Evangelical” Catholics.
Is there “official” Baptist teaching on any specific matters? Is there core teaching they all adhere to? Is it the norm for Baptist Churches to perform their version of the annointing of the sick? I realize they call Baptism an ordinance and that for them it is just a symbol and do it because Jesus commanded it. But with the “annointing of the sick” the first lady’s description of it bordered on belief in at least one sacrament?
Anyone have any insight?