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Author Topic: Why are today’s churches so different than the NT churches?  (Read 2809 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #270 on: July 30, 2014, 08:14:11 PM »

Baptism is vital for salvation, that doesn't mean those who weren't able to be baptized for no fault of their own will be damned, but that is just an exception for a particular situation. But to say that you don't need to be baptized is actually wrong and the Bible doesn't support it.

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« Reply #271 on: July 30, 2014, 10:15:01 PM »

Almost every Christian group considers Baptism as being "born again". You're out of the mainstream in rejecting it.

Well, I have never known ANY AT ALL who believe that.
Because, I wouldst presume, 'tis totally unscriptural.
And some people here cannot even look up the verses for themselves!

Visiting here has been a truly mind-boggling experience!


Then you don't know many people outside of your own bubble.  Some 1.7 billion of the world's Christians hold that, and it is not just Orthodox and Roman Catholics.  See this, for example:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JwxHzo0QVYY
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« Reply #272 on: July 30, 2014, 10:24:20 PM »

Quote
Well, I have never known ANY AT ALL who believe that.
Because, I wouldst presume, 'tis totally unscriptural.
And some people here cannot even look up the verses for themselves!

Visiting here has been a truly mind-boggling experience!
Well, most Christians today and EVERY Christian from the time of Christ until the 16th century would disagree with you.

Perhaps you're the one getting it wrong.

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« Reply #273 on: July 30, 2014, 11:43:20 PM »

Almost every Christian group considers Baptism as being "born again". You're out of the mainstream in rejecting it.

Well, I have never known ANY AT ALL who believe that.
Because, I wouldst presume, 'tis totally unscriptural.
And some people here cannot even look up the verses for themselves!
I actually did and found that you're wrong. Wink
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« Reply #274 on: Yesterday at 12:02:12 AM »

Baptism is vital for salvation, that doesn't mean those who weren't able to be baptized for no fault of their own will be damned, but that is just an exception for a particular situation. But to say that you don't need to be baptized is actually wrong and the Bible doesn't support it.



Right.  God has ways of correcting the ignorance and errors of man with regard to the innocents, which is why Orthodox Christians commemorate them on our calendar, and also in the Liturgy, where in the anaphora of St. Basil we commemorate those whose names are unknown to us.
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« Reply #275 on: Yesterday at 03:54:52 AM »

Quote
No, it only contradicts your interpretation of the Scriptures. You're constructing from the Scriptures a systematic soteriology that stands apart from and sometimes even in opposition to the Scriptures. But on the basis of what authority?

The New Testament does show God working in a variety of ways to save His people. Sometimes he sends His Holy Spirit upon a group of people before they are baptized; sometimes only after their baptism and the apostolic laying on of hands. Sometimes we see someone having what you call a "born-again" experience before baptism, sometimes only afterward. Sometimes, as with the wise thief on the cross, we even see Jesus saving a person without the use of baptism at all. What you are doing is constructing a system of salvation from these different scenarios.

The Church has already interpreted these Scriptures in the light of the Holy Spirit's continued guidance and constructed an authoritative understanding of how we are saved. We recognize that God can move as He pleases and make exceptions to the rules He has given us, but that does not negate the norm established within the Church, nor does it create an alternative norm.

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« Reply #276 on: Yesterday at 10:57:18 AM »

1 Peter 3:20-21 says it pretty clearly as well:
20 who once were disobedient, when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah,
during the construction of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through the water.
21 Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you—not the removal of dirt from the flesh,
but an appeal to God for a good conscience—through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,

Re: this passage from The Applied New Testament Commentary (Hale) ...
"The water of the flood is an illustration or symbol of our baptism into Christ.
Just as those eight people who entered the boat were saved from judgment and death,
so those who enter into Christ through faith are saved from judgment and death.
The ceremony of baptism in itself does not save us; it is Christ who saves us.
Christ saves us from death because He Himself overcame death through His resurrection.
... The meaning of baptism is this: When we are baptized, we die with Christ ..."

And that is why total immersion is the Scriptural way, and obviously the only sensible way!

As always, trust the Scriptures and the Holy Spirit's revelation of what they mean
... instead of blindly trusting some church's doctrines about them!
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« Reply #277 on: Yesterday at 11:01:44 AM »

For crying out loud, Zwingli--the most idiotic, Evangelically reformed leader there was--wrote several tracts defending Baptism and even infant baptism in order to be born again.

Well that shows what a moron he was, doesn't it?
I'm sorry, but I just cannot take much more of this blasphemy!
Oh wait, aren't you the guy who is not born-again?
I believe so, but correct me if I'm wrong.

Such judgment of JamesR's faith (insinuating that he isn't born again) is irrelevant to this discussion and a violation of our rule against ad hominem arguments. You are therefore receiving this warning to last for the next two (2) weeks. Any more of this, and you will see your posting privileges restricted for a time.

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« Reply #278 on: Yesterday at 11:11:01 AM »

1 Peter 3:20-21 says it pretty clearly as well:
20 who once were disobedient, when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah,
during the construction of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through the water.
21 Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you—not the removal of dirt from the flesh,
but an appeal to God for a good conscience—through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,

Re: this passage from The Applied New Testament Commentary (Hale) ...
"The water of the flood is an illustration or symbol of our baptism into Christ.
Just as those eight people who entered the boat were saved from judgment and death,
so those who enter into Christ through faith are saved from judgment and death.
The ceremony of baptism in itself does not save us; it is Christ who saves us.
Christ saves us from death because He Himself overcame death through His resurrection.
... The meaning of baptism is this: When we are baptized, we die with Christ ..."

And that is why total immersion is the Scriptural way, and obviously the only sensible way!

As always, trust the Scriptures and the Holy Spirit's revelation of what they mean
... instead of blindly trusting some church's doctrines about them!

Rather ironically, you are putting your trust in another's own personal take on 1 Peter 3:20-21 and not the Scripture itself. In fact, it is impossible for one to Trust Scriptures as in how you trust in it, thinking that any fallible mind can just interpret them without the proper qualifications and knowledge. Even then, given the ambiguity of Sacred Scripture, it simply boils down to the Evangelical trusting in his/her own subjective interpretation which is simply perceived to be Divine Revelation or the interpretation of others which similar to the first, perceived as Divine Revelation. Hence really you are not practicing what you profess.

It is not Divine Revelation from the Holy Spirit that you are advocating for here, it is simply your own personal take on the verses of Sacred Scripture or another's.
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« Reply #279 on: Yesterday at 11:17:26 AM »

1 Peter 3:20-21 says it pretty clearly as well:
20 who once were disobedient, when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah,
during the construction of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through the water.
21 Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you—not the removal of dirt from the flesh,
but an appeal to God for a good conscience—through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,

Re: this passage from The Applied New Testament Commentary (Hale) ...
"The water of the flood is an illustration or symbol of our baptism into Christ.
Just as those eight people who entered the boat were saved from judgment and death,
so those who enter into Christ through faith are saved from judgment and death.
The ceremony of baptism in itself does not save us; it is Christ who saves us.
Christ saves us from death because He Himself overcame death through His resurrection.
... The meaning of baptism is this: When we are baptized, we die with Christ ..."

And that is why total immersion is the Scriptural way, and obviously the only sensible way!

As always, trust the Scriptures and the Holy Spirit's revelation of what they mean
... instead of blindly trusting some church's doctrines about them!

But that's not the Scriptures, that's a man's opinion... Didn't you read what Christ said about man-made tradition?  Undecided
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« Reply #280 on: Yesterday at 11:58:52 AM »


Visiting here has been a truly mind-boggling experience!


I sure hope so and pray that once your head stops boggling, you will come to your senses and join the One True Church.
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« Reply #281 on: Yesterday at 12:01:12 PM »

1 Peter 3:20-21 says it pretty clearly as well:
20 who once were disobedient, when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah,
during the construction of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through the water.
21 Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you—not the removal of dirt from the flesh,
but an appeal to God for a good conscience—through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,

Re: this passage from The Applied New Testament Commentary (Hale) ...
"The water of the flood is an illustration or symbol of our baptism into Christ.
Just as those eight people who entered the boat were saved from judgment and death,
so those who enter into Christ through faith are saved from judgment and death.
The ceremony of baptism in itself does not save us; it is Christ who saves us.
Christ saves us from death because He Himself overcame death through His resurrection.
... The meaning of baptism is this: When we are baptized, we die with Christ ..."

And that is why total immersion is the Scriptural way, and obviously the only sensible way!

As always, trust the Scriptures and the Holy Spirit's revelation of what they mean
... instead of blindly trusting some church's doctrines about them!
But you blindly trust some commentator's interpretation of what the Scriptures mean.

What you need to understand is that to us, Church doctrine IS the Holy Spirit's revelation of what the Scriptures mean.
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« Reply #282 on: Yesterday at 12:04:51 PM »

Almost every Christian group considers Baptism as being "born again". You're out of the mainstream in rejecting it.


Well, I have never known ANY AT ALL who believe that.
Because, I wouldst presume, 'tis totally unscriptural.
And some people here cannot even look up the verses for themselves!

Visiting here has been a truly mind-boggling experience!

Hey I was nice,  I thought,  but I'm still waiting for an answer to the question I actually asked.
Still waiting...
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« Reply #283 on: Yesterday at 12:07:24 PM »

Hope you understand our position. I dont ask you to accept it, just to understand what we have in mind.

I believe I understand it. I have said before, that it seems to me that in the New Testament baptism and faith were both closely associated with the new birth. You emphasise one, we emphasise the other (which is why we only baptise people who are old enough to understand and to believe personally). I wish you would require repentance and faith for baptism, and I wish we would associate baptism more integratedly in the process of becoming a Christian in the Bible way.
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« Reply #284 on: Yesterday at 12:12:00 PM »

Hope you understand our position. I dont ask you to accept it, just to understand what we have in mind.

I believe I understand it. I have said before, that it seems to me that in the New Testament baptism and faith were both closely associated with the new birth. You emphasise one, we emphasise the other (which is why we only baptise people who are old enough to understand and to believe personally). I wish you would require repentance and faith for baptism, and I wish we would associate baptism more integratedly in the process of becoming a Christian in the Bible way.
the Bible way?
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« Reply #285 on: Yesterday at 12:40:03 PM »

the Bible way?

I inkle you are playing with words, and that you can cope with Bible (a noun) used as an adjective. However, if you want a phrase, maybe this will suffice: the way people became Christians as described in Acts and the epistles.
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« Reply #286 on: Yesterday at 12:53:28 PM »

To underline the orthodox understanding of baptism, you can find on this site quotes of some Apostolic/Church Fathers on this topic:

http://www.calledtocommunion.com/2010/06/the-church-fathers-on-baptismal-regeneration/

I still don't understand why Protestants don't include the works of the Apostolic Fathers in their Scriptures and so to understand the NT better...:s.
Osterloh, I hope you will read them one day.
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« Reply #287 on: Yesterday at 01:00:00 PM »

Hope you understand our position. I dont ask you to accept it, just to understand what we have in mind.

I believe I understand it. I have said before, that it seems to me that in the New Testament baptism and faith were both closely associated with the new birth. You emphasise one, we emphasise the other (which is why we only baptise people who are old enough to understand and to believe personally). I wish you would require repentance and faith for baptism, and I wish we would associate baptism more integratedly in the process of becoming a Christian in the Bible way.

But the primary emphasis should be that baptism is engrafts us into the life of Christ.  For each person's situation, no matter the age, it's a different requirement.  For the infant, the adult's faith is responsible for it.  For the more adult in thinking, they are responsible for the faith, and that is why they should grow in understanding before baptism.  But why would one avoid a child to be engrafted into Christ because they do not understand?  If St. John the Forerunner was able as a fetus to react to the presence of God when He was incarnate as a zygote, then an infant should not be forbidden the grace of baptism.  "Bring the little ones to me" said Christ.
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« Reply #288 on: Yesterday at 01:00:13 PM »

the Bible way?

I inkle you are playing with words, and that you can cope with Bible (a noun) used as an adjective. However, if you want a phrase, maybe this will suffice: the way people became Christians as described in Acts and the epistles.

I think that your ink-le is right. So your response made me go back and read your previous post again and somehow I missed your use of "we". Oops,  sorry.   Embarrassed  I didn't think it was like you to phrase it the way I was reading it.
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« Reply #289 on: Yesterday at 02:16:05 PM »


I wish you would require repentance and faith for baptism...

But we do exactly that. Before one is baptised he undertakes a period of prayer and learning, as well as a life confession, to make sure that both repentance and faith are real. This culminates just before the baptismal act itself by a series of public affirmations:

PRIEST: Dost thou renounce Satan, and all his Angels, and all his works, and all his service, and all his pride?

CATECHUMEN (Baptismal Candidate): I do.

PRIEST: Hast thou renounced Satan?

CATECHUMEN: I have.

PRIEST: (Once) Breathe and spit upon him.

CATECHUMEN: Turns to the West and does so through the open doors. CATECHUMEN then turns to face the east (toward the Altar); as does the Priest, who asks the following questions thrice and they are to be answered each time by the CATECHUMEN.

PRIEST: Dost thou unite thyself unto Christ?

CATECHUMEN: I do.

PRIEST: Hast thou united thyself unto Christ?

CATECHUMEN: I have.

PRIEST: (Once) Dost thou believe in Him?

CATECHUMEN: I believe in Him as King and God.

CATECHUMEN then says the Creed, the Symbol of Faith.

I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible;

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Only-Begotten, Begotten of the Father before all ages. Light of Light, Very God of Very God, Begotten, not made, of One Essence with the Father, by Whom all things were made:

Who for us and for our salvation came down from Heaven, and was Incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, and was made man. And was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate, and suffered, and was buried;

And the third day He rose according to the Scriptures;

And ascended into Heaven, and sits at the right hand of Father;

And He shall come again with glory to judge the living and the dead, and His kingdom shall have no end.

And I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of Life, Who proceedeth from the Father, Who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified, Who spake by the prophets;

And I believe in One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.

I acknowledge one Baptism for the remission of sins.

I look for the Resurrection of the dead,

And the Life of the world to come. Amen.


The following question and answer again are repeated thrice:

PRIEST: Hast thou united thyself in Christ?

CATECHUMEN: I have.

PRIEST: Bow down also before Him. (Once)

CATECHUMEN: (bows and says) I bow down before the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit: the Trinity, One in Essence and undivided.

PRIEST: Blessed is God, Who willeth that all men should be saved, and should come to the knowledge of the truth: now and ever, and unto ages of ages.

PEOPLE: Amen.
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« Reply #290 on: Yesterday at 03:47:42 PM »

You emphasise one, we emphasise the other (which is why we only baptise people who are old enough to understand and to believe personally).

Yet many Protestants have no problem condemning Hindu and Muslims infants who aren't old enough to understand and believe to Hell

On a related note, this is something I don't get.

Many Protestants I've encountered seem to have no problem viewing infants and children as being totally evil and sinful and capable of ending up in Hell, yet, when it comes to giving them the Mystery of Baptism or really any of the important Christian rites, they want to wait until the infant is older because apparently it means nothing until they can understand it.
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« Reply #291 on: Yesterday at 03:48:27 PM »

... the way people became Christians as described in Acts and the epistles.

They couldn't care less about that ...
they only care about how people become Christians in the EOC!

It's all about "the doctrines of men", etc., which the NT often warns about.
The warnings are about doing things the NT way, not man's way.
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« Reply #292 on: Yesterday at 03:49:22 PM »

Oh wait, aren't you the guy who is not born-again?
I believe so, but correct me if I'm wrong.

I was Baptized and Chrismated into the Church on June 23rd, 2012. So yes, I was "born again."

Either way, that's kind of beside the point of the discussion.
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« Reply #293 on: Yesterday at 03:53:22 PM »

They couldn't care less about that ...
they only care about how people become Christians in the EOC!

I don't really see a distinction...

The path is narrow and we only worship one God; not multiple. Therefore only one path toward Him can be correct. And when you believe in false doctrines about that God, then you aren't really worshipping Him but you are merely worshipping an intellectual idol of what you think He is like.

I'm convinced that the Orthodox perspective IS the only correct view of God and therefore the only true Christianity.

I think this sense of ecumenism and multiple Christianities comes from a low-Church view that is absent from Scripture.

The Church is compared to God's Bride and given the sanctity of marriage, I think that that title would certainly imply exclusivism. The Bride doesn't need a bunch of young, adulteress concubines coming in and claiming to be the Bride, and neither did Christ say He'd have a harem but a single Bride.


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It's all about "the doctrines of men", etc., which the NT often warns about.
The warnings are about doing things the NT way, not man's way.

Well you'd have to prove all that.
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« Reply #294 on: Yesterday at 04:18:18 PM »

... the way people became Christians as described in Acts and the epistles.

They couldn't care less about that ...
they only care about how people become Christians in the EOC!

It's all about "the doctrines of men", etc., which the NT often warns about.
The warnings are about doing things the NT way, not man's way.

That's funny!  We say the same thing about you.
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If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.
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« Reply #295 on: Yesterday at 04:20:17 PM »

... the way people became Christians as described in Acts and the epistles.

They couldn't care less about that ...
they only care about how people become Christians in the EOC!
You're not engaging our belief that the way people become Christians in the EOC is exactly the way the Acts and Epistles lay it out. We baptize for the remission of sins just as St. Peter commanded in Acts, Chapter 2, we confer the Holy Spirit through the laying on of hands just as Sts. Peter and Paul did numerous times in Acts, and we participate frequently in the communal breaking of bread (i.e., Holy Communion) just as this is described in Acts, Chapter 2 and in 1 Corinthians, Chapters 10 & 11.

It's all about "the doctrines of men", etc., which the NT often warns about.
You've made that assertion about us many times, but you have not once proved that assertion true. Continued repetition of a lie doesn't make the lie true.

The warnings are about doing things the NT way, not man's way.
How do you know that your way is the NT way?
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« Reply #296 on: Yesterday at 04:49:31 PM »

... the way people became Christians as described in Acts and the epistles.

They couldn't care less about that ...
they only care about how people become Christians in the EOC!

It's all about "the doctrines of men", etc., which the NT often warns about.
The warnings are about doing things the NT way, not man's way.

Sure, the Orthodox are about the doctrines of men. The doctrines of the God-man Jesus Christ, and his Holy Apostles.
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« Reply #297 on: Yesterday at 06:55:03 PM »

Hope you understand our position. I dont ask you to accept it, just to understand what we have in mind.

I believe I understand it. I have said before, that it seems to me that in the New Testament baptism and faith were both closely associated with the new birth. You emphasise one, we emphasise the other (which is why we only baptise people who are old enough to understand and to believe personally). I wish you would require repentance and faith for baptism, and I wish we would associate baptism more integratedly in the process of becoming a Christian in the Bible way.

But the primary emphasis should be that baptism is engrafts us into the life of Christ.  For each person's situation, no matter the age, it's a different requirement.  For the infant, the adult's faith is responsible for it.  For the more adult in thinking, they are responsible for the faith, and that is why they should grow in understanding before baptism.  But why would one avoid a child to be engrafted into Christ because they do not understand?  If St. John the Forerunner was able as a fetus to react to the presence of God when He was incarnate as a zygote, then an infant should not be forbidden the grace of baptism.  "Bring the little ones to me" said Christ.
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« Reply #298 on: Yesterday at 07:46:53 PM »

Hope you understand our position. I dont ask you to accept it, just to understand what we have in mind.

I believe I understand it. I have said before, that it seems to me that in the New Testament baptism and faith were both closely associated with the new birth. You emphasise one, we emphasise the other (which is why we only baptise people who are old enough to understand and to believe personally). I wish you would require repentance and faith for baptism, and I wish we would associate baptism more integratedly in the process of becoming a Christian in the Bible way.

But the primary emphasis should be that baptism is engrafts us into the life of Christ.  For each person's situation, no matter the age, it's a different requirement.  For the infant, the adult's faith is responsible for it.  For the more adult in thinking, they are responsible for the faith, and that is why they should grow in understanding before baptism.  But why would one avoid a child to be engrafted into Christ because they do not understand?  If St. John the Forerunner was able as a fetus to react to the presence of God when He was incarnate as a zygote, then an infant should not be forbidden the grace of baptism.  "Bring the little ones to me" said Christ.

Well said.

And the anachronistic cultural projection of some age of reason onto the Scriptural texts and contexts is just unsatisfactory.
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« Reply #299 on: Yesterday at 11:08:32 PM »

I can't believe I read this whole thread. What is wrong with me?  Sad

Then again it was kinda false advertising, wasn't it? I thought there was a question there, but it turned out to be "Here are all the reasons I found the Bulgarian Orthodox Church to be wrong: 1. It's not my charismatic/evangelical church. 2. It's not my charismatic/evangelical church. 3. It's not my charismatic/evangelical church..."

And also Jesus told this guy to go do stuff. We know because he wrote it down in his diary in 1994. Boy, I can't wait until we start incorporating the Epistle of Our Teacher St. Osterloh to the Church of Himself (may his blessings be with us all, Amen) into readings at the liturgy.

I can only hope to live long enough to see it, friends.
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« Reply #300 on: Today at 05:22:07 PM »

Yet many Protestants have no problem condemning Hindu and Muslims infants who aren't old enough to understand and believe to Hell... Many Protestants I've encountered seem to have no problem viewing infants and children as being totally evil and sinful and capable of ending up in Hell,

There are three answers to your comments here:

1) Many Protestants refer to King David's comments about his dead child, when David said something like, "He won't come back to me, but I shall go to him," and assume that those who die in infancy, before the age of discretion (whenever that may be), are not damned.

2) Many Protestants leave the question unanswered, other than by reference to the biblical rhetorical question, "Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?" God has told us what we need to know in order to believe and be saved; he has not answered all our curiosity about other people.

3) The doctrine you ascribe to "many Protestants" comes, if I err not, from Augustine, that is total depravity, inherited guilt from Adam, no salvation without baptism - though I believe our Catholic friends also hold some doctrine of Limbo.
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PeterTheAleut
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« Reply #301 on: Today at 05:28:44 PM »

3) The doctrine you ascribe to "many Protestants" comes, if I err not, from Augustine, that is total depravity, inherited guilt from Adam, no salvation without baptism - though I believe our Catholic friends also hold some doctrine of Limbo.
I think Pope Benedict disavowed the doctrine of Limbo a few years ago, stating that it is not a doctrine of the RC Church. Maybe a pious opinion among many, at best, but not an official doctrine of the (RC) Church.
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« Reply #302 on: Today at 05:45:11 PM »

That's what I thought as well.  Limbo may be an opinion by St. Augustine, but it's not dogma by the Roman Catholic Church.

One cannot confuse refusal to engraft someone into the life of Christ with a belief of condemnation to hell or otherwise.  It's not the baby that will be condemned, but the caretakers of the baby responsible for not taking seriously to engraft this baby into Christ's divine life.
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Vain existence can never exist, for \\\"unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain.\\\" (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.
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