Linkathon 9/12, part 1 by BrianD · September 11, 2012 I’m a little under the weather at the moment, so here’s part 1. I plan to post part 2 in a day or so. The Sinner’s Prayer is “a work of genius”. Have Lucifer on your prayer chain? Who is Esther? Who is she not? Genesis after Darwin. why u no pray wit me hubby? 🙁 The “sexiness” of guilt and community. Share
BrianD, praying you feel better soon.
I’m glad the CT editorial mentioned the Jesus Prayer at the end.
To me, that’s the real genius.
Perhaps the problem with the sinner’s prayer is not the one saying it but the pastor administering it. I guess if a guy finds an old 4 spiritual laws and says it at the end, that is OK.
But you watch when a pastor gets involved and it all goes to hell quickly.
I think EVERY altar call I have ever seen, whether in a church or at a crusade event, it is the pastor who screws it up. He will lead people in the sinner’s prayer – and then won’t leave it there. He will add (every single time) it you said this prayer, and really meant it in your heart, then you are now in the family of God. He has done 2 things wrong.
1.) he ties the activity of that prayer to the salvation process – in otherwords, if you had not said the prayer you would still be standing on the outside looking in. He has now taken something that is pure gospel (salvation) and mixed it with law and works (you had to do something).
2.) He plants the seeds of doubt in people’s mind – and this is why those who answer altar calls and say the sinner’s prayer go back up several times. When he says “and you really meant it in your heart” – everyone will question their own sincerity some time down the road.
Pastors need to just preach the gospel – and get out of the way.
When he says “and you really meant it in your heart” – everyone will question their own sincerity some time down the road.<<<<
That was the story of my life!
MLD – Why is a prayer any more “works” than baptism?
2. Why would sincerity cause any more doubt than the idea that if you stop taking communion, you lose your salvation?
Thank you…get better soon, my friend.
Josh, you need to read more closely. I said ” I guess if a guy finds an old 4 spiritual laws and says it at the end, that is OK.”
See, I did not tie prayer to works.
What you missed is where I said that the pastor then ties the prayer to works.
Where did you ever get the thought that if you stopped taking communion you would lose your salvation?
Why would sincerity cause any more doubt than the idea that if you stop taking communion, you lose your salvation?<<<
Because you can always take communion.
It is very difficult for certain personality types to ever convince themselves that they "really mean" anything.
Ok then, what work were you referring to in your #1, if not the prayer itself?
RE: losing salvation, you’ve said it yourself.
Because you can always take communion.
And you can always go forward next Sunday at the altar call in a lot of churches. A recommitment and confession of sins from the prior week moment.
(As an aside, we don’t do altar calls at our place. I don’t really believe in them as part of a church service. At a special crusade I guess they make sense – but not church. In my opinion)
But Xenia, there is also an element of sincerity involved in Communion. I wouldn’t think an Atheist sneaking in your church and taking communion would be considered saved.
Josh, you keep missing the point because I think you have a point to make.
I will bet that almost all people who come to Christ, without the altar call and without the “challenge” of being sincere, remain more firm in their faith.
The guy who finds the 4 spiritual laws on the street, reads them and says the sinners prayer has no reason to doubt his salvation… until someone says “did you really mean it?” “were you really sincere?” “couldn’t you have done it better?”
I am not saying anything bad about the prayer … only those who try to set the ground rules.
Josh, I think you have probably forgotten what communion is. The atheist who takes communion gets exactly what is promised, just as the believer does.
But I bet you don’t know what the promises are.
I’m not making a point, MLD, I’m just trying to figure out what you are talking about, which doesn’t seem to line up with your own belief system. Let’s start here:
“1.) he ties the activity of that prayer to the salvation process – in otherwords, if you had not said the prayer you would still be standing on the outside looking in. He has now taken something that is pure gospel (salvation) and mixed it with law and works (you had to do something).”
Is the “work” you speak of here the prayer?
MLD, is there a reason that you are talking down to me like I’m an ignorant goof?
Or is that just your character?
Josh, I didn’t say that the prayer was a work – I am saying that the pastor, when he opens his mouth and makes the statement I said that they all make at the end are the ones who are making the prayer a work.
They are saying that you had to say the prayer and you had to say it a certain way (with sincerity) in order to be “a part of the family of God”
Why do they do that? Why can’t they just preach the gospel and be done? Do they not think that God’s word does it’s job on it’s own as promised? Do they feel that they need to confirm it?
My church never asks anyone to “make a decision” – to “accept Christ into your life” or “say this prayer” – and somehow we have new converts.
I didn’t mean to talk down to you – only to make the point that no one thinks that an atheist takes communion and is saved. But the atheist who takes communion instead get the promise of communion – for him. Condemnation.
Since I am not horrified by the idea that some work on our part plays a role in our salvation I am not sure my comments are germane to the discussion. Sure, baptism includes some work on our part- we have to go to the Church (or bring the baby.) The godparents have some work to do, the priest has some work to do (ain’t easy triple-immersing an oily, wiggly, bare-naked baby) and the whole congregation has work to do (praying and promising to support the new Christian in their new life.) So there’s a lot of work involved. All of it matters and all of it contributes to the person’s salvation. Since in Ortholandia salvation is a process and a journey, not a one time event, this all makes perfect sense to me. Saying a sinner’s prayer is a work, too, IMO. It’s not a bad prayer but there’s more to becoming a Christian than saying a particular prayer, no matter how good that prayer is and how sincerely it is said. It’s a start, that’s all. A good start.
Anticipating some objections, let me assure everyone that it is God Who does the saving, not us. We must cooperate with Him but it is He who does the saving. (Synergy)
MLD @17 – Exactly, so even with the Communion, there is a question of sincerity. If I partake without believing, I am being insincere and bring condemnation on myself.
(The reason I brought up baptism, even though we were talking about communion, is because baptism marks the “born again” moment in an EO’s life in comparison to praying the Sinner’s Prayer which marks that moment in many evangelicals’ lives.)
OK Josh, let me try one more time – it is the pastor who is putting this burden on the people.
If people just said the sinners prayer and no one questioned the quality, I think they would be just fine.
But as soon as someone questions the “quality” they cause doubt in a person – and I think that the person who causes doubt are those who Jesus said their end would be better to have a mill stone tied around their necks.
Why cause people to doubt.
But let me say this, in my tradition no one challenges the sincerity of the people taking communion. No one says at the end of the communion time “I sure hope you were sincere when you did that!” Why cause people who said the prayer or took communion in good faith to NOW question their motives?
“It’s not a bad prayer but there’s more to becoming a Christian than saying a particular prayer, no matter how good that prayer is and how sincerely it is said. It’s a start, that’s all. A good start.”
Most evangelicals I know would agree with this 100%. I don’t know of anyone who says say this prayer, and then do nothing else ever. I’m not a sinner’s prayer guy myself, but have used similar type prayers in jail ministry. I’ve had prisoners tell me “I need to pray for salvation, but don’t know how. Will you help?” What follows that would probably look like the sinner’s prayer.
Most evangelicals I know would agree with this 100%.<<<
Theoretically yes, I think most evangelicals would agree with this.
“Why cause people who said the prayer or took communion in good faith to NOW question their motives?”
Because the bible says to examine yourself?
1 Corinthians 11:28
So is Paul causing me to doubt my sincerity? And if so, why would it not be OK for a Pastor to make the same decree?
“Why cause people who said the prayer or took communion in good faith to NOW question their motives?”
Because 1 Cor 11 says “Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup.”
So is Paul causing me to doubt my sincerity? And if so, why should a Pastor not follow his lead?
MLD – What you need to see is that you are saying the mention of ‘sincerity’ is where the pastor puts a burden on the person. However, to flip the coin over, does the pastor want to leave people with the impression that salvation occurs because they simply mouthed the magic words? Just because you go forward at an altar call and repeat the words some other guy says doesn’t mean a thing – and that is what the use of ‘sincerity’ is usually trying to make clear.
Once more, this confusion is why (like Josh it seems) I am not a sinners prayer guy. Like Josh, the only time I do so is if someone comes up to me after service and asks. My typical response is, after making sure they understood the gospel as to the death and resurrection of Christ, is to tell them BEFORE praying ‘you already are saved’.
I find myself in agreement with the basic point of the CT article in the link above. It does have value for someone to hold onto, like the woman who knew God would heal her if she grabbed His robe. But like you said MLD, it loses its value when one has to always question whether he ‘really meant it’ before (and of course, if he didn’t then he is told to say it again – this time with sincerity – and the wheel goes around and around)
My comments are being blocked?
Let me try this. If someone came to you all excited and said “Pastor AV, I accepted Jesus last night!!!” Is your first response to say, “congratulations, I have been praying this for you for a long time.” or is it more of “are you sure?”
I think what I have been saying above, is that when the pastor adds the tag “if you said this prayer, and really meant it in your heart, then you are now in the family of God.” he is actually saying, “are you sure?”
Well, that happens MLD. And I would say simply, Praise the Lord. And frankly, I think you have now gone too far past reality because unlike you I still hang in evangelical circles and I don’t know of “Are you sure” being anywhere near the typical response when someone advised they got saved during the week.
Sure it may happen, probably from some pastor who has to report to headquarters how many ‘decisions’ were made that month, but that is hardly normal.
I assume your response is ‘Good, we need to get you baptized right away now’ 😉
LOL, I will go back to my original thing – why can’t the pastor just have the people say the sinners prayer, “say congratulations, please go back to your seats.”
Why does he have to bring up the question of sincerity. Whenever I am asked to look inward to myself for assurance, I see doom and gloom.Salvation is not in my level of sincerity at all – it all in the promise.
If my dad came to me and said “I am taking you to Disneyland tomorrow, do you believe me?” and I say “yes” – is his promise to take me to Disneland at all hinged on how sincerly I said yes? – or is it all up to him?
why can’t the pastor just have the people say the sinners prayer, “say congratulations, please go back to your seats.”
My turn to LOL. Congratulatons. You weren’t saved when you walked up here, but now that you have said these magic words that I have put in your mouth and ordered you to repeat – then congrats, you are NOW a Christian. Go back to your seat.
You’re Disney example is sorta lame, but I’ll give it a shot. Kid says ‘yes’ only because he knows that his what is expected of him to say.
In reality, he does not believe his dad, and that shows itself by him leaving the house the next day to hang out with friends.
By the way, do you also blame the evangelicals for the textual controversy about Acts 8:37 😉
BrianD take care of yourself – praying here for you also
“You’re Disney example is sorta lame, but I’ll give it a shot. Kid says ‘yes’ only because he knows that his what is expected of him to say.”
hmmm – using the example of a dad telling his kid that he’s going to Disneyland (in the olden days, if a dad said you’re going, you’re going) makes the case for predestination 🙂
Here’s why I think the pastor finds himself asking “Were you sincere? Are you sure?” It’s because the new convert may not have been properly prepared and the pastor is wondering if the person actually knows what he just committed him/herself to.
In my church (and others) if a person wants to become a Christian, typically, after attending services for a while, they go the the priest and ask to be baptized. The inquirer is then enrolled among the catechumens. The catechumens spend some time (months, usually) in preparation, asking questions and talking with the priest. When the priest thinks the person is ready, then they are baptized.
Lacking this sort of preparation I can understand why a pastor might ask, “Hey, are you sure you meant this? Do you really understand what’s going on here?” Especially if it’s at some kind of rally or conference or rock concert where the person is a complete stranger.
Xenia is 100% correct in #31 in my opinion. That was the point I tried to make a little above.
Look, most pastors who preach the gospel to the lost have only the love of Christ as a motive. And these pastors feel a responsibility to not give a false assurance of salvation. That’s what motivates the mention of a sincerely if it is said at all.
I guess the question for debate is whether it is worse to possibly have someone who is saved worry about their walk with the Lord, than it is someone who is actually lost and on the way to hell thinking because they ‘went forward’ 10 years ago their eternity in heaven is assured without any real relationship with the Lord.
referencing link #1: “the classic Four Spiritual Laws is as good an example as any:
‘Lord Jesus, I need You. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life and receive You as my Savior and Lord. Thank You for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Take control of the throne of my life. Make me the kind of person You want me to be.”
Lord Jesus, I need You. – i am dead without You
Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins – you’ll be saying that a lot
I open the door of my life – not sure there is a door to that – might be better to open your heart’s door, because it will be a lifetime of work on your “life”
Thank You that Your provision of forgiveness – it is the only way of Eternal life
Take control of the throne of my life – saying it is easy, yielding to it isn’t that easy
Make me the kind of person You want me to be – they say be careful what you ask for – this one may take some time and some pain
just sayin – i think it is a wonderful prayer, but does need a little more specificity IMHO
there is something wonderful about falling in love – coming into the family by way of a decision for Christ versus the infant baptized into salvation and never feeling alone and lost
kind of like the difference between an arranged marriage and a teenage elopement – both can lead to something wonderful 🙂
“My turn to LOL. Congratulatons. You weren’t saved when you walked up here, but now that you have said these magic words that I have put in your mouth and ordered you to repeat – then congrats, you are NOW a Christian. Go back to your seat.”
You must not see what I see at altar calls. I don’t think that most pastors who do altar calls actually think people are saved before the altar call – as exampled by their words.
1.) First the pastor says “would you like to meet this Jesus we have been talking about?” (talking about the unsaved.)
2.) Come down here to the front so we may pray for you.(still unsaved)
3.) Pray this prayer after me (getting to the finish line)
4.) Now if you prayed this prayer with me, and you meant it in your heart, you are now a member of the family of God. (mission accomplished!!)
That’s not what you asked. I already told you my preference against altar calls, especially when they are done like you describe.
I was responding to your singular complaint about sincerely – as if all the rest of it was ok. If that isn’t what you were saying at all, and you oppose the whole thing…then ‘congratulations’, you are like this evangelical.
If one does not do something at all, it seems odd to try and nitpick details of it. Whereas, something like baptism, which we all do, is open to discussion about the details.
AV, I applaud you not doing altar calls – I am picking at those who do.
My point, is that without realizing it, they plant the seed of doubt in people.
That’s why with baptism, if you believe that God did the work in your baptism, as his way of delivering gift, you would never doubt your baptism because you had nothing to do with it.
My point, is that without realizing it, they plant the seed of doubt in people.
I agree. In fact, I used a large chunk of a Sunday message to be critical of altar calls for that very reason.
I didn’t get any hate mail…but I did get one note from someone who told me it changed their whole walk with the Lord. She had spent many, many, years since a child growing up in that whole ‘recommit your life’ pressure at church and it had made her feel just like you said.
you would never doubt your baptism because you had nothing to do with it.
That’s for sure!
Your parents dragged you there as a sleeping baby when you just wanted to sleep and nurse. You don’t even remember it, and as long as they took some pictures…I guess you need not worry.
(ok, have to run now)
I don’t see anything wrong with calling people to faith during the preaching event — although if everyone’s in fhe Faith, it doesn’t seem quite apropo, to me.
Yes, you can argue that altar calls only started with Charles “Chuck” Finney, an apostate if there ever was one. And it’s true. The Church survived 1850 years without ’em! God promises that His Word won’t come back void. The altar call is basically a technique, and can be manipulative.
My position is that I don’t much give a rat’s ass how someone comes to Christ — whether through baptism or preaching or being witnessed to or listening to the Lutheran Hour. God promises that His Word will not return void — whether it’s his Word in preaching or the Sacraments or Jesus. The important fact is that they do! Of course, with discipleship and growth afterward.
You mean the way Jesus was taken to the temple for his circumcision? He probably doesn’t remember it either. 😉
For your enjoyment, here’s a YouTube video of an Orthodox baby baptism. (This is not my church, just a video I found on YouTube.) You can tell this is a new (mission) parish because they don’t have a proper baptismal font yet. Adults are often baptized in horse troughs!)
Beautiful baptism video – as God’s word once again comes to life- “Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you,”
After a baptism, everyone who has been baptized, the parents and the godparents and the clergy all make a procession around the church with candles and incense as we all sing “As many as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ, alleuia.”
You mean the way Jesus was taken to the temple for his circumcision? He probably doesn’t remember it either
Well…the difference is Jesus’ mother and Joseph were following the Bible when they did that. 😉
Hey Xenia, Orthodox question for you.
Do you all have any teaching on the baptism of (with, by) the Holy Spirit. What it is, when it happens etc.
(And in anticipation – no, I do not believe in the way the baptism of the Spirit is taught in Pentecostal (and some though not all CCs) – as this secondary thing of power and gift manifestation. I assume the Orthodox don’t go there either of course)
But the Bible does speak of the baptism of (with, by) the Holy Spirit. Do the Orthodox make mention of this in any way?
AV, there’s one other thing that should be mentioned – the circumcision is a physical act and leaves a reminder upon the body of the man for life – baptism, obviously, doesn’t …
besides – how can one draw the conclusion that circumcision is a shadow (chose your own term) of the believer’s obedience in baptism? O.T. girls had no such requirement … hmmm, maybe we who are female have no requirement to be baptized either … if so, then ? ? ?
Hello Friends! Thank you BrianD for the links…. I enjoyed that one about not praying with the spouse…..it’s actually a cool site…. I read several of his articles.
I have a question….. Anyone have thoughts/opinions on Mike Oppenheimer? I came across his website today http://www.letusreason.org/default.htm Amazingly, even LHT has published some of his writings…… thoughts?
Gorgeous Autumn day here in Beaverton, Oregon…the best of the best days here!
God bless you…..bbl.
#42 – loved it! sweet, informal, confident and competent act of Faith … however, being a nervous type, all i could think was: oh please, don’t drop that beautiful baby! strangely, in some ways it reminds of what i’ve heard of the O.T. priests’ endeavor to be so skilled in performing the animal sacrifice that the creature feels no pain or anxiety
EM – you are spot on in your #50 Circumcision is a physical act for Israel. Everything dealing with Israel was about this earth, this life – not so The Church.
Israel had the land, a law written on tablets, a physical temple and priesthood, a literal throne and kingdom on earth, circumcision, the Sabbath rest (a literal day of the week)….
And all these things are then contrasted by what God has given The Church. He has not simply given us differences still relating to this life and this earth. Our Sabbath rest is not now Sunday, as opposed to Saturday – but that rest is in Christ. Same with our High Priest, temple, citizenship and so forth.
And of course baptism did not simply replace the physical ritual of circumcision either. (Good point about the females by the way)
AV, we believe we receive the Holy Spirit at chrismation, a rite which happens directly after baptism. The newly illumined (that’s we we call them) Christian is anointed with oil on various parts of the body (eyes, ears, feet, hands, etc). The priest says in an authoritative voice at each application “You are sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit!” And we all shout, ‘SEALED!”
Thanks, Xenia. Is the sealing then the same in Orthodox circles as the baptism with the Spirit
(it isn’t for me).
During the anointing of oil during chrismation, the sealing, the person receives the gift of the Holy Spirit. I am used to hearing the term “baptism with the Holy Spirit” in reference to a Pentecostal-style second blessing, which we do not believe in. A person receives the Holy Spirit at the time of their baptism/chrismation. This is when the Holy Spirit comes upon a baptized person.
Thanks again. To be clear then, until one is baptized, one does not have the presence of the Spirit within them, correct?
(The dispensational view of the baptism of the Spirit is not the same as the secondary blessing view within Pentecostal circles. In my (our) view this happens at the moment of salvation, along with the sealing of the Spirit – which is something different – though they happen at the same moment)
Mark Driscoll needs a psych evaluation. He seems to be in a perpetual need yo draw negative attention to himself.
MLD @30, solid!
“Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
I do not know what else to say.
I still wonder, and I have yet to get an answer over the past 6 months. Paul says that those who are baptized are buried and raised with Christ. Is the unbaptized Christian therefore NOT buried and raised with Christ?
Paul says that those who are baptized are clothed in Christ. Does that mean that those Christians who are not baptized are NOT clothed in Christ?
Something must be happening in baptism – something that a baptized believer has that an unbaptized believer does not have.
This point usually makes evangelicals squirm a little.
Many think if a different term is used it means a different event. So baptism in / of the spirit cannot be the same thing as baptism.
It’s just like end times stuff, even though rapture, last day, day of the Lord, resurrection of the dead (and it goes on) all describe the same event – some people think each one means a different thing.
As to non-Orthodox Christians, do I believe they have the Holy Spirit?
How did they receive Him?
Beats me, but God loves His children.
“Well…the difference is Jesus’ mother and Joseph were following the Bible when they did that. ”
I look throughout the scriptures and I found nothing that excluded babies from being baptized.
i am not arguing against baptizing our babies, but is there anything that hints of baptizing those who are not choosing it for themselves? babies or others?
Em, I am going to be honest and tell you that there’s not much in the NT about baptizing babies, just an inference or two.
However, this is where Tradition comes in. Not everything the NT did was written down and the NT is not a manual on church procedure, for the most part. The early church did baptize babies and this practice, as well as most of the other things that were done and are still done in church, were handed down orally. I realize that this is not a very satisfactory answer for most Protestants who are “by the Book” kinda folks, but it’s what liturgical churches believe and practice.
Forcing baptism on unwilling adults, as has been done during the Dark Ages when a barbarian king converts to Christianity (often for political reasons) and wants to Christianize his entire realm…. this is wrong.
The question of baptizing mentally deficient people is sometimes brought up. I believe these innocents belong to God and might as well receive the blessing of baptism, just like a baby.
Not everything the NT did<<<
Should read, Not everything the NT Church did….
I hate to make a post to correct typos but this wasn't going to make sense unless I fixed it.
My wife’s sister moved to Oregon this year. They have been having a bee problem. Anyway they called out a beekeeper to investigate. He found over 6,000 bees between the upstairs and downstairs bathrooms. He also found 200 pounds of honey which can sell at $45 for two pounds!! He found the queen bee as well and made off with a small fortune. Family happy to see the bees go. How is this relevant? We don’t know if they have been baptized!!
The last sentence reads better this way….we don’t know if the bees have been baptized!! 🙂
MLD your #60. I have answered that many times. The baptism of the Spirit is the moment we are placed into the Body of Christ which is the instant of our salvation. Water baptism is the answer of a good conscience to God, and the public witness of what God has done for us in the heavenlies.
Baptism speaks to identification in Greek. It is not a church word, but a common everyday word the church took for its own purpose – that purpose being to explain the difference in being identified with Adam or Christ.
For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.
If verses like this one meant water baptism, then there is absolutely no way that anyone not yet baptized could be seen as saved, in the body of Christ. If you ran across someone who said they were trusting Christ but had not yet been baptized, you would need to stop everything and baptize the guy on the spot, before he might get hit by a truck or something.
I’m not expecting you to agree with this…but please stop saying there is no answer to your question, Socrates. 🙂 In point of fact, that answer explains properly certain terms many avoid defining (like baptism of the Spirit), explains how one can be saved if not yet baptized – which is good since most churches don’t toss you in the tank on the spot, and sometimes people are lead to the Lord on the street somewhere. And is perfectly consistent that salvation is a gift of grace, and conversion has taken place the moment the Spirit seals, indwells, and baptizes the believer.
Yes, there is an answer.
erunner – i love that story – great way to end my day that has had waay too much stuff going on for an old person …
but honey from .. ? .. ummm … i always wondered about that stuff that Samson ate – think it was Samson anyway
AV, you still have not answered my question. All you did was make a statement about something you wanted to say.
Look at my question closely – I did not mention salvation at all, I only asked does a baptized person have something after baptism that he did not have before baptism (besides being wet)? Isn’t that a simple question? If he has something after baptism that he did not have before, is it not safe to assume that the baptized person has something that the unbaptized do not have?
Paul makes it clear that there is only one baptism, so enough of your misdirect.
MLD, we’ve been over that one a bunch of times. We say the baptized believer is obedient, and you say “other than obedience”, and so on, and so forth. I guess I could could say the baptized believer is further along in his journey, a more mature believer, and now you’ll say, “other than that”, and claim we haven’t answered you.
Josh the B, i like your #73 … amen …
if i were asked, (i know i wasn’t – but if i was) did i have something more after i was baptized; i was sprinkled by the Presbys as a new Christian & it would have been hard to tell as i was already overwhelmed with unexpected blessings … when the So. Bap. dunked me 10 years later, it washed away some of my pride – i really had to humble myself to submit to that soaking 🙂 and, yes, it added something – it kicked my prayer life up a notch – an internalized, if you will, and unexpected, very settled sense of God’s presence
Whatever people think of it, most Christians do manage to get themselves baptized at some point in their lives so the law of God is fulfilled. God has His ways.
as a post script to my #74 – i do realize that the discussion concerns doctrines, not experiences … FWIW, seems pretty simple to me that baptism is a volitional thing, an act of obedience/submission … can it be applied vicariously seems to me to be the debated topic and from my pew position here, reading and learning, i don’t see how … but gee whiz, go ahead and sprinkle the babies – the onus will be on them to consider their obedience when they are old enough to do so (from what i’ve seen, most of those sprinkled babies, later in life consider it a done deal and don’t think on it much)
The fact that Paul says there is only one baptism ought to be evidence of a greater picture, since, in point of fact, there are different baptisms and views on baptism within Christendom – and even you don’t reject the baptisms that other churches do. So I guess Paul was wrong…
I am citing a specific term in Scripture. The baptism with the Holy Spirit. It is not a misdirect, and I think every Christian should understand a definition of every Biblical term. Saying ‘we don’t teach or talk about that’ is lazy theology. At least have an opinion, even if those opinions differ from others (like we do on communion or water baptism).
You asked if something ‘happens’ at water baptism. My answer (again) is a good conscience towards God. Like Xenia said, anyone truly born again will typically get baptized in water at some point. I urge people at church to come get baptized at our annual baptism as an act of obedience to the Lord. Just like I urge them to keep the other commands of God.
there are different baptisms and views on baptism within Christendom<<<
Ha! And why is that!
I guess because we have all left the true church, Xenia.
My point is to seriously examine the Scripture MLD threw out there. It is found in Ephesians 4:1-6 Funny how it is about unity of the true faith, and every item on the list every Christian believes. The ONLY point of disagreement on the list is water baptism, which is why I don’t think Paul is writing about WATER baptism there.
Paul didn’t mention “one communion” or “one worship” or other other areas that Christians would disagree about over the centuries. Because Paul was writing the Word of God, by means of the Holy Spirit, and the Spirit certainly knows all things to come and will not allow error to enter the word of God.
Of course, some can read Paul saying “one baptism” and then say “we are the true church that properly understands and practices that one baptism” and thus miss the entire context of the passage which is unity of the faith in humility.
There was only one view of baptism before Zwingli. The fact that there are now many views of baptism does not invalidate the words of St. Paul.
As for one communion, St. Paul said:
1 Corinthians 10:16-17,21 16
The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? 17For we [being] many are one bread, [and] one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread. ..21Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and of the table of devils.
One bread, one body, one baptism.
Ok folks, I am not going to dominate the threads today as I have been doing lately. I’m going to take care of some other things that I’ve neglected.
Forgive me and God bless.
This is my body doesn’t really mean this is my body
This baptism now saves you doesn’t really mean this baptism now saves you
One baptism doesn’t really mean one baptism 😉
Oh please, sprinkling water versus pouring water versus immersion versus submersion. Baptism in relation to original sin and what exactly happens. The baby issue is hardly the only detail to baptism – nor the only disagreement among church traditions over the centuries.
But if you choose to read Paul’s comment about striving for unity as actually a rebuke to those who would think differently than your church (i.e. There is only one baptism so all of the rest of you are wrong) then that sort of ends the possibility for discussion.
As you said yesterday – your church does not have a definition of the baptism with the Holy Spirit that is distinct from the sealing with the Spirit or the indwelling. Three distinct, unique terms that somehow get all globbed together to mean the same thing in Orthodoxy.
I would beg to differ…but doubt I could say much more without repetition.
AV, regarding baptism, you have created distinctions where none exists.
And with that, see you all later.
MLD – Do a word search for ‘baptism’ and look at the various meanings. When Jesus said “I have a baptism to be baptized with” in Luke 12:50, was He talking about some future water baptism.
When John the Baptist predicted the Messiah would baptize those listening to his message with “the Holy Spirit and with fire” was he talking about some future water baptism.
When Jesus responded to James and John’s mother by asking if they could be baptized with the baptism He was…was that about water?
And when Jesus promised the baptism with the Holy Spirit in the first chapter of Acts, was THAT water too?
The word has different meanings in different Biblical contexts and you can mock that reality or embrace it.
Indwelling – Presence
Sealing – Security and Ownership
Baptism – Identification
Earnest – downpayment
Not synonyms. Greek words of Scripture with regular meanings in the cultural context of the day, taken by God’s people to be used with theological significance as to the Holy Spirit.
Pneumatology is as much a serious theological study as Christology (to me at least)
After reading all of these comments, even though I had strong disagreement at the time, I have a new appreciation as to why Quakers “dry clean”. 🙂
At least in the case of an infant being baptized, I don’t see anything on your list that they don’t get at that moment.
Indwelling – Presence
Sealing – Security and Ownership
Baptism – Identification
Earnest – downpayment
With adults I think we all (those of us who make for a stronger case for the efficacy of baptism) that God saves in many ways – through his written and spoken word along with the sacraments..
What we oppose strongly is your position that God does NOT save through baptism.
38 And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.” 40 And with many other words he bore witness and continued to exhort them, saying, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.” 41 So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.
Are you making a case (1) that this was not water baptism and (2) this was not the baptism that Jesus was speaking of?
Loved your comment 🙂
Lutherans a really very easy with baptism. We accept anyone’s triune baptism and we don’t care at all about the mode – you can be sprinkled, poured, dunked or whatever – because the Bible does not say how.
I’ve always considered it, uh, interesting and ironic..that one really large group (Baptists) who believes in adult baptism that basically is our act of obedience is also the same group that fights and argues and gets all hairy about all the little baptismal details…
When, like MLD said, at least one sacramental communion (Lutherans) who believe that Baptism brings us into Christ’s body, don’t care about the specifics (beyond that it be done in the name of the triune God. I wouldn’t be surprised if other groups like Anglicans and Presbys have a similar POV to ours.