New converts would have a better chance of not falling away if they were baptised immediately - but too many UK churches wait to see signs of holiness, says evangelist Andy Economides.

He said that early baptism helped to strengthen and 'seal' the person's decision and should take place as soon as possible as part of 'working out their salvation'.

Andy claims that early baptism is the biblical precedent and that the Church needs to put a higher value on it: 'It's a value it deserves. The British Church rightly puts a high value on things like communion but unscripturally puts a lower value on baptism.


'I have seen the problem in all denominations - some Baptist churches are the worst! I don't see the point in waiting weeks and months to test and see the genuine-ness of the conversion and some holiness developing'.

He quotes the Ethiopian Eunuch ('Here is water, what is preventing me?') and Paul's jailer and his household as scriptural precedence for baptising converts as soon a possible.

What does it do for the believer? It seals their decision, they feel good about what they have done and it is a unique, integral part of follow-up.

Some churches wait to see if the convert will 'fizzle out' before they baptise them, but baptism actually helps them to get grounded in their new faith and without it, they are more likely to backslide.

Baptism is not primarily a witness to friends and family. That is actually the weakest argument - there are far stronger reasons, part of the whole mystery of the cross and conversion.

God's power is released in their lives at baptism which enables the new believer to truly 'put off the old self', become 'dead to sin' and live in the fullness of the new life in Jesus.

And it is not just the 'symbol of an inward reality' as some people describe it. Why can't we be more expectant? We don't just want them wet - we want them renewed!

It can become one of those important spiritual 'points of no return' if new converts are taught that the old life is finished; that they can't go back to it. 'Dead to sin and alive to Christ' is not just positive thinking, it's the word of God.

People will go home thinking: 'What a week I've had. I came to Christ on Monday, now I've been baptised and I'm happy that I've made a good decision. I really do have a new life!'

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