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Author Topic: Believer's Baptism  (Read 49891 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: February 20, 2008, 04:04:50 AM »

The NT explicitly teaches believer's baptism. That is that those who have personally placed faith in the Savior's atoning work are then baptized. No where does the NT explicitly teach infant baptism. Some would argue it is implied. But that would contradict the plain and explicit record of Scripture.

Our Lord instructed that we baptize those who convert (Matt. 28:19-20). This assumes personal ability and mental capacity to do so. Clearly then infants are excepted.

Our Lord teaches that those who believe and are baptized shall be saved (Mark 16). Clearly this is linking baptism with the individual's placing saving faith in Christ. Indeed, baptized or not,our Lord adds "he that believeth not, shall be damned." This underscoring the futility of any other kind of baptism besides believer's baptism.

When the Eunuch inquired of Phillip what hindered him from being baptized since water was present, Philip responded that he must believe with His whole heart (Acts 8:36). Again baptism follows individual or personal belief.

I realize that this is a divergent view to many among Catholic and Protestants. I am not sure where the Orthodox officially stand on the issue. Nevertheless, it is my firm conviction based on the reading of God's word.

What say ye?
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« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2008, 05:36:14 AM »

The NT explicitly teaches believer's baptism. That is that those who have personally placed faith in the Savior's atoning work are then baptized. No where does the NT explicitly teach infant baptism. Some would argue it is implied. But that would contradict the plain and explicit record of Scripture.

First of all brother I would contest that the record of scripture is plain and explicit. Also if this was such an important teaching I believe Christ would have mentioned it to the Apostles. What about the Jewish rite of circumcision to the children did they have a believers circumcision? As the Baptism was given instead of circumcision.
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« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2008, 03:51:32 PM »

Great posts, both of you.

Cleopas, what you have to realize is that the NT was written during a unique period of history. Christianity was new, and baptism was not done until the time of John. Therefore, all people who were being baptized while the NT was being written were converts. For converts, we're right there with you; they must make a profession of faith in order to be baptized. In our baptism service, the candidate must state three times their intention to renounce Satan and all his works, and then state three times their intention to join themselves to Christ.

However, for children it is different. As Prodromas pointed out, baptism is "circumcision of the heart" (Romans 2:29). Which Jewish child made a profession of faith before he was circumcised? Did not the faith of his parents lead him to participate in this covenant? In the same way, a child is baptised because of the faith of their parents. But still, the parents or godparents make the profession of faith, the intention of the child to renounce Satan and all his works and to join themselves to Christ. It is then the responsibility of the parents and godparents to train that child to renounce Satan and join themselves to Christ. The profession of faith is not made without regard for the child but rather with all solemnity, knowing that the one who speaks for the child carries the responsibility for that child's faith.
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« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2008, 04:50:07 PM »

Great posts, both of you.

Cleopas, what you have to realize is that the NT was written during a unique period of history. Christianity was new, and baptism was not done until the time of John. Therefore, all people who were being baptized while the NT was being written were converts. For converts, we're right there with you; they must make a profession of faith in order to be baptized. In our baptism service, the candidate must state three times their intention to renounce Satan and all his works, and then state three times their intention to join themselves to Christ.

However, for children it is different. As Prodromas pointed out, baptism is "circumcision of the heart" (Romans 2:29). Which Jewish child made a profession of faith before he was circumcised? Did not the faith of his parents lead him to participate in this covenant? In the same way, a child is baptised because of the faith of their parents. But still, the parents or godparents make the profession of faith, the intention of the child to renounce Satan and all his works and to join themselves to Christ. It is then the responsibility of the parents and godparents to train that child to renounce Satan and join themselves to Christ. The profession of faith is not made without regard for the child but rather with all solemnity, knowing that the one who speaks for the child carries the responsibility for that child's faith.

This is very well said!

If I may add a little...

Actually, I'll just post a link, if that's okay.  I think this article on goarch.org addresses the question pretty thoroughly.  Mods, if I'm not posting the link correctly, feel free to change it.  Thanks!

http://www.goarch.org/en/ourfaith/articles/article7067.asp

What I think is important about this article, which is pertinent to our discussion here, is his scriptural basis.

Quote
Peter's Sermon
The first time the Gospel was ever proclaimed was on the day of Pentecost by the Apostle Peter. In his Spirit-inspired sermon he made it clear that the blessing and promise of salvation was not just for adults, but for children as well.

"And Peter said to them, 'Repent and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and your children, and for all who are far off as many as the Lord our God shall call to Himself " (Acts 2:38,39).

It is also interesting to note that this quote from Peter's Pentecostal sermon does not merely state "... the promise is for you and children," but "for you and your children," which makes it clear that the children mentioned here were young enough to still be considered under the protection and authority of their parents. This is underscored when one understands that it was common for women and men to marry at the very young ages of twelve and thirteen, respectively. From this it becomes reasonable to assume that these children to whom Peter refers were young juveniles or, at the very least, in their preadolescence.

The Baptism of Households
Although this is only indirect Scriptural evidence, the fact that the Bible mentions that entire "households" were baptized does make it seem probable that children and infants were included. "Now I did baptize the household of Stephanas . . . " (1 Corinthians 1:16) (An angel spoke to Cornelius saying) "Send to Joppa, and have Simon, who is called Peter, brought here; and he shall speak words to you by which you will be saved, and all your household " (Later, when Peter arrived at (Cornelius' household) "... he ordered them to be baptized."(Acts 11:13b, 14; Acts 10:48a) "And when she (Lydia of Thyatira) and her household had been baptized . . . " (Acts 16:15a) "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you shall be saved, you and your household . . . and immediately he was baptized, he and all his household. " (Acts 16:31, 33b) We know that the Greek word oikos, translated "house" or "household," has traditionally included infants and children in its meaning for several reasons. There is no evidence of this word being used either in secular Greek, Biblical Greek,or in the writing of Hellenistic Judaism in a way which would restrict its meaning only to adults. The Old Testament parallel for "house" carries the sense of the entire family. The Greek translation of the original Hebrew manuscripts (completed in 250 B.C.) uses this word when translating the Hebrew word meaning the complete family (men, women, children, infants). Similarly, we know that the phrase "he and his house" refers to the total family; the Old Testament use of this phrase clearly demonstrates this by specifically mentioning the presence of children and infants at times.

No Baptism of Older Children of Christian Parents Recorded
If the baptism of infants was not acceptable during New Testament times, then when does Scripture mention the alternative - the baptism of the children of Christian parents once they have matured out of infancy? The Bible never gives one example of the baptism of a Christian child as an adult. It is important that Scripture also does not speak of an "age of accountability or reason" (which many pinpoint at 13 years) when a child's capacity to believe the Gospel is developed enough so that he can receive baptism. Neither does the Bible state that every child is in a "suspended state of salvation" until they have reached this age, which one would have to believe if he held to the "age of accountability" theory.

The Saving Power of Christ's Presence in Holy Baptism
Although an opponent of infant baptism, Dr. Jewett, in his book Infant Baptism and the Covenant of Grace, makes a very logical conclusion about baptism if it is understood to be a release of supernatural power:

"... one believes that baptism washes away the guilt of eternal sin, so that any one departing this life without it is in danger of eternal damnation, he will have good reason to conclude that infants should be baptized. In fact, the question of infant baptism can hardly be raised without such a sacramental theology, since an affirmative answer is a foregone conclusion."

Certainly if there were a taint of sin upon each who is born in this world, there would be a need for every person to be cleansed from this impurity before leaving the temporal life. The Bible's "sacramental theology" states that there is such a need since "... through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men."  (Romans 5:12) For this reason " ... there are none righteous, not even one" (i.e. not infants). (Romans 3:10) How are these young ones saved from the sin they have received from Adam's race? They are saved through the regenerative power of baptism and the faith of the Church (i.e. the Christian faithful):

"He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration baptism) and renewing by the Holy Spirit." (Titus 3:5)

"Repent, and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins." (Acts 2:38)

"Jesus answered, 'Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God.' " (John 3:5)

"... 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, and corresponding to that, baptism now saves you." (1 Peter 3:20,21)

Baptism is not just a symbolic testimony of what God has done in the heart of an adult believer, but is in itself a dynamic means of actually effecting the power of the Gospel (the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ) in a life (Romans 6:4). Christian baptism is the means whereby we encounter and identify with Jesus Christ Himself. This is one of the reasons why Paul explains baptism as the manner in which we genuinely "put on" or "clothe" ourselves with Christ (Galatians 3:27). This is not just a metaphor, the Lord actually transforms a person through his baptism.

The Old Testament Symbols of Salvation and Baptism Include Infants:
Circumcision, the sign of God's covenant between the people of Abraham and Himself, was performed on every male child who was eight days old (Genesis 17:12). Many see a direct parallel between circumcision and Christian baptism in Scriptural passages such as Colossians 2:11,12: "And in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of flesh by the circumcision of Christ; having been buried with Him in baptism ..." If baptism is the "New Testament circumcision" there can definitely be no objection to "sealing" the infant of a consecrated Christian family in Christ's New Covenant.
Moses' leading his people through the Red Sea is seen as an Old Testament foreshadowing of Christian baptism. The following New Testament passage clearly points to this: "For I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, and all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them, and that rock was Christ." (1 Corinthians 10:1-4) It is worthwhile to note that "all were baptized" through Moses' leadership in crossing over the Red Sea. He did not leave the infants or children on the shores of Egypt to become prey to the angry armies of Pharaoh because they were not old enough to believe in the promise of the Old Covenant. Rather, entrusted to the arms of their parents' faith, they were carried through the "baptism of Moses."
The saving of Noah's entire family by the ark can also be seen as a prefigurement of a baptism which includes infants. All that needs to be said, as in the case of Moses' passing through the Red Sea, is that the entire family was on board the ark. Why should we leave infants out of the ark of baptism?
Secular Philosophy Redefines "Faith" and "Personhood"
Larry Christenson, in his pamphlet "What About Baptism", quotes Edmund Schlink (author of The Doctrine of Baptism) as stating that the rejection of infant baptism was based on the secular philosophy of the sixteenth century which assured man's individuality, and was not the result of a new Scriptural inquiry:

"'Belier was seen in rationalistic and volitional terms, as an act of the mind and the will. 'Because an infant cannot think or decide, it cannot have faith, and therefore should not be baptized.' To this day. that is the only argument raised against the validity of infant baptism. One tosses off the sentence as though it were self-evident truth: 'A child can't believe.' But that 'truth,' upon examination, is neither self-evident, nor is it Biblical."

As Christenson goes on to say, faith is not merely a product of reason but relation. It is a relationship of love and trust, a relationship which is not limited to the mind. Some Scriptures which support the possibility of an "infant faith" are these:

"Yet Thou are He who didst bring me forth from the womb; Thou didst make me trust when upon my mother's breast." (Psalm 22:9)

"And whoever causes one of these little ones who believe to stumble, it would be better for him if with a heavy millstone hung around his neck, he had been cast into the sea." (Mark 9:42)

"For behold, when the sound of your greeting [Theotokos] reached my ears [Elizabeth], the baby [John the Baptist] leaped in my womb for joy." (Luke 1:44)


I also find his questions and conclusions compelling...

Quote
SOME FINAL COMMENTS AND CONCLUSIONS:
The evidences I have so far presented I believe merit attention by themselves. I would like, however, to make a number of random yet significant comments and observations about the area of infant baptism before I close this article.


Many times the debate regarding infant baptism is a defensive one; those who propose that adult baptism is the only valid form challenge those who practice infant baptism to prove that it is an acceptable practice. What if those who exclusively favor adult baptism were interrogated? What answers would they give to questions which up until now have been virtually unaddressed? Questions such as these:

If infant baptism is a later invention, when did it begin and who began it? Where did it originate?
Why are there no protests against the validity of infant baptism from anyone in the early Church?
Where is anything found in Scripture that expressly forbids the baptism of infants or children?
How is it that God established a covenantal, corporate relationship with the tribes of Israel in the Old Testament, but you interpret the New Testament as abolishing the faith of an entire household with the father at its head in favor of a solely individualistic faith?
Where does Scripture prescribe any age for baptism?
Even if there were a special age when someone's faith reached "maturity," how could one discern that? Doesn't faith always mature? When is faith mature enough for baptism and when is it not? Who can judge?
Where in Scripture does it say that children are free from the effects of the Fall simply because they are not old enough to believe? (Even creation is under the curse of mankind's fall - Romans 8:19-21).
What about the many Biblical meanings and early Christian understandings of baptism other than the one defining it as a visible sign of inward repentance, meanings such as the sacrament of regeneration (Titus 3:5), a grafting into the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:13), a passage from the reign of Satan into Christ's authority (Romans 6:17), the expression of the manifestation of God (Luke 3:21,22), an admission into God's covenant (Colossians 2:11), the Lord's act of adoption and our putting on of Christ (Galatians 3:26,27)? Why should these things be taken away from the small child of a Christian family?
If it was the norm to baptize children at a later age, why is there no evidence in Scripture or early Church history of instruction given to parents on how to help their adolescent children prepare for baptism?
If it is granted that baptism is for the remission of sins, why would the Church ever want to give baptism to infants if there were nothing in the infants which needed remission? Would not the grace of baptism, in this context, seem superfluous?
In essence, laying aside all the polemics and prejudices and academic intricacies, what Scriptural principle is being violated if a child is baptized and matures in his faith?
There is a good reason why these questions are hard to answer for those who exclusively advocate adult baptism: infant baptism is not an innovation, it is the practice of the Early Church.

Over and over again I am told that is incorrect to allow infants to be baptized because the Scriptural order is to first believe, and then to be baptized (Mark 16:16). The error in this thinking is not that it is incorrect to have an adult believe before he is baptized, but that one cannot apply a command intended for adults to infants. The Bible was not written to infants and is therefore not going to direct them to do anything. They are under the care of their parents who can hear, understand, and believe. Additionally, there is an important distinction to be made between baptizing an infant and an adult believer-one has the need to repent, the other does not.

It is also important to recognize that the New Testament records the beginnings of the Christian people. This accounts for it reading like a missionary diary in a number of places. I am certain that were I to begin an apostolic work in a totally heathen country, and to write to the people there or to record my progress in preaching the Gospel to them, I would not mention infant baptism even once.

Some may ask why Sts. John Chrysostom, Gregory of Nanziansus, Basil the Great, and Jerome were all baptized as adults, even though they had at least one Christian parent. The earliest evidence that Christian parents refrained from having their child baptized immediately after birth is in the middle of the fourth century (Gregory was the first example of this in 360 A.D.). None of these men postponed their baptism because of faith, however. Surely Gregory and John Chrysostom at 30, Jerome at 20, and Basil at 27 (at which ages they were baptized) had reached the "age of reason" and individual faith long before then. They postponed their baptisms on the false premise that they could better assure themselves a place in heaven if they minimized the times they sinned after baptism. None of these men ever challenged the validity of infant baptism.

Baptism in and of itself, of course, is not enough. It must be accompanied by genuine faith. No parents should be allowed to baptize their infant if they themselves have not made an expressed commitment to serve Jesus Christ and raise their child in accordance with God's Word. As adults, we are called to accept the challenge of our baptism and live dedicated lives for Christ. If we do any less, we have rejected Christ and the gift of salvation He has made available to us since our birth.

Going full circle, I now end this article with the question with which I began it: "Should I be baptized again?" Given that our infant baptism is valid, the Scriptural answer to that question is clear" "There is ... one Lord, one faith, ONE baptism." (Ephesians 4:4,5) If you have been baptized once, there is no need to be baptized again. Let us then determine to bear witness to the truth of our baptism by living for Him who died and rose for us.

Sorry this is such a long post!  Again, mods, feel free to alter where needed!



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« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2008, 06:37:02 PM »

The NT explicitly teaches believer's baptism. That is that those who have personally placed faith in the Savior's atoning work are then baptized. No where does the NT explicitly teach infant baptism. Some would argue it is implied. But that would contradict the plain and explicit record of Scripture.

Our Lord instructed that we baptize those who convert (Matt. 28:19-20). This assumes personal ability and mental capacity to do so. Clearly then infants are excepted.

Our Lord teaches that those who believe and are baptized shall be saved (Mark 16). Clearly this is linking baptism with the individual's placing saving faith in Christ. Indeed, baptized or not,our Lord adds "he that believeth not, shall be damned." This underscoring the futility of any other kind of baptism besides believer's baptism.

When the Eunuch inquired of Phillip what hindered him from being baptized since water was present, Philip responded that he must believe with His whole heart (Acts 8:36). Again baptism follows individual or personal belief.

I realize that this is a divergent view to many among Catholic and Protestants. I am not sure where the Orthodox officially stand on the issue. Nevertheless, it is my firm conviction based on the reading of God's word.

What say ye?

Baptizing children in the Holy Universal Apostolic Orthodox Church:

St Matthew Chapter 19 Verses 13 through 15
13: Then were there brought unto him little children, that he should put his hands on them, and pray: and the disciples rebuked them.
14: But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.
15: And he laid his hands on them, and departed thence.


The above is in ‘no way’ the only reference to the biblical truth that all children of the righteous are to be brought to God and His Church by the dispensation of Grace noted above and not kept away which is an overt act of judgment against the innocent that the Lord holds power to not you or me.  Denying anyone Gods blessing no matter what age is in affect ‘playing God’. We are not to judge each other in this way nor (pretend to) hold charge of the powers of the mysteries of God. These are gift of God through His grace given through the power of the Holy Spirit alone. The Church denies know one. God denies.

For Universal Apostolic Orthodox Church this does not confuse or dismiss the fact that the Church also is to maintain the “believers baptism”(as you  all prefer to say) for the older person who can and shall be baptized NOT by the same dispensation of Grace but must confess Christ is Lord and Savior like the Ethiopian eunuch .  Both cases are valid biblical practices found in the Holy Scripture and tradition and are thus supported and maintained in the Orthodox Church as to be expected.

So you will find both the innocent and the “believer” at the pool of salvation in the Holy Orthodox Church.

PS>>>>

I am stunned to know that people have kids that are growing up heathens outside of Gods Church.

I know a person whos daughter married a muslim since her argument was "I am not Christian so!"

The parents (non-denominational) are mortified. They are loosing there off spring (an only child) to false religions because nobody cared enough to 'bring' the child to Christ. The mother (though hurt) says "well God intended this". It is amazing how people like this seem to know Gods every move. Maybe they do know.

Lord have mercy.

This is terrible indeed.

Peace

Oh one last thing: The father was baptised Orthodox recently. Hallelujah!!!

There is hope
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"ETHIOPIA shall soon stretch out her hands unto God".....Psalm 68:vs 31

"Are ye not as children of the ETHIOPIANS unto me, O children of Israel"?....Amos 9: vs 7
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« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2008, 07:15:28 PM »

Infants are Baptized to be united with Jesus in the good faith of the Parents. The same is true for those who are severely mentally retarted. They are baptized in the faith of their caregiver or gaurdian.

Jesus told us that the Kingdom of God is for infants and children too.

Luke 18:14-16 KJV

"14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

 15And they brought unto him also infants, that he would touch them: but when his disciples saw it, they rebuked them.

 16But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God."


Not only was the person who believed saved but also that person's houshold.

Acts 16:31
"They replied, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household ."




Salvation is not just a mental assent of the mind. It is a salvation of the whole person. What will you do with those who are severely mentaly retarted? If salvation was simply mental knowledge then how can they be saved?


If Romans chapter 6 is seen as only mere symbolism then our unity with Jesus is nothing more than mere symbolism. But our unity is much more than that. It is real. It is mystical. It is supernatural.

Thus

Infants are Baptized to be united with Jesus in the good faith of the Parents.


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« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2008, 07:35:53 PM »

Also, Cornelius' ENTIRE HOUSEHOLD was baptized.  That is a very good story to take a deeper look at (Acts 10). 
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« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2008, 08:59:57 PM »

However, we have no substantial proof that there were infants in his household, do we?
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« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2008, 12:14:32 AM »

We don't, but it doesn't matter. All of Cornelius' household was baptized because of Cornelius' faith, which sets a precedent for baptizing children based on the faith of their parents.
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« Reply #9 on: February 22, 2008, 02:05:38 AM »

However, we have no substantial proof that there were infants in his household, do we?

The scripture says 'household'. This includes children whether they were actually there or not.

What are you missing here?
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« Reply #10 on: February 22, 2008, 09:37:02 AM »

However, we have no substantial proof that there were infants in his household, do we?

Is there substantial proof that Jesus existed?  Maybe that's a tacky answer but the normal understanding of household includes children.  Especially during that era. 

But the other responses bring up good points as well...
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« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2009, 12:38:03 PM »

Since today is the joyous occasion of Epiphany (Christ's own baptism), this seems like an appropriate time to resurrect this thread, as it has come up recently elsewhere in discussion.

I would like to humbly ask David Young and Cleopas to comment on what was said, in light of it coming up elsewhere.  Since the evidence seems fairly clear to me, I would really enjoy learning the Protestant rationale for disagreeing.

In Christ,
Presbytera Mari
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« Reply #12 on: January 06, 2009, 01:29:27 PM »

The NT explicitly teaches believer's baptism. That is that those who have personally placed faith in the Savior's atoning work are then baptized. No where does the NT explicitly teach infant baptism. Some would argue it is implied. But that would contradict the plain and explicit record of Scripture.

Our Lord instructed that we baptize those who convert (Matt. 28:19-20). This assumes personal ability and mental capacity to do so. Clearly then infants are excepted.

Our Lord teaches that those who believe and are baptized shall be saved (Mark 16). Clearly this is linking baptism with the individual's placing saving faith in Christ. Indeed, baptized or not,our Lord adds "he that believeth not, shall be damned." This underscoring the futility of any other kind of baptism besides believer's baptism.

When the Eunuch inquired of Phillip what hindered him from being baptized since water was present, Philip responded that he must believe with His whole heart (Acts 8:36). Again baptism follows individual or personal belief.

I realize that this is a divergent view to many among Catholic and Protestants. I am not sure where the Orthodox officially stand on the issue. Nevertheless, it is my firm conviction based on the reading of God's word.

What say ye?

Thou standest in need of instruction in God's word.

For one, the earliest controversy about the age of baptism is in North Africa under Cyprian.  The question was whether it was proper to baptize infants younger than 8 days (when the Hebrews were circumcized).  The answer was in the affirmative, but even if it wasn't, 8 days isn't  the believers baptism you seek.

Just quick (my break is almost over): the other evidence we have of converts to Judaism was the whole household (and that included children) were baptized.  Context.
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« Reply #13 on: January 06, 2009, 02:41:52 PM »

With regard to baptism, the Lord said:

"Amen, amen, I say to thee, unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God". (John 3:5).

Jesus did not stipulate that the baptised person be an adult to enter the Kingdom of God, but He underlined that a man is born to eternal life through baptism. Why the need to deprive babies and children of the divine grace and prevent them from entering the Kingdom of God? Do some people think that God's grace can be wasted or abused? 
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« Reply #14 on: January 06, 2009, 07:32:53 PM »

With regard to baptism, the Lord said:

"Amen, amen, I say to thee, unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God". (John 3:5).

Jesus did not stipulate that the baptised person be an adult to enter the Kingdom of God, but He underlined that a man is born to eternal life through baptism. Why the need to deprive babies and children of the divine grace and prevent them from entering the Kingdom of God? Do some people think that God's grace can be wasted or abused? 

I like this response!  Smiley
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« Reply #15 on: January 06, 2009, 07:39:16 PM »

The NT explicitly teaches believer's baptism. That is that those who have personally placed faith in the Savior's atoning work are then baptized. No where does the NT explicitly teach infant baptism. Some would argue it is implied. But that would contradict the plain and explicit record of Scripture.

The NT says nothing on non-alcoholic wine either, but yet we had this exchange:

Just thought I would point out the Grape Juice has existed for only about 100 years. Before that it was nearly impossible  to make "Grape Juice" because pasteurization did not exist. Anyone who has ever worked with grapes should know that the juice of a grape begins fermentation almost instantaneously. Grapes have one of the highest concentration of sugars of any fruit and this is what makes them perfect for making wine. With other fruit wines it becomes necessary to add sugar into the process in order to get the sugar level to point where fermentation will occur.

The operative word there being nearly. Wink

The cultures of man before that time, indeed even the Jews of Christ own time, had numerous ways of making and preserving the fruit of the vine so that it could be used or consumed without intoxicating the recipient.

The most normal was to dilute the fermented wine with water. We find even among the heathen that to drink undiluted wine was considered evil. Depending on the Mediterranean culture and custom, wine was diluted from as little as 3 parts water for every 1 part wine to as much as 20 parts water to every 1 part wine (3:1, to as much as 20:1). So, In essence, the people of Bible times essentially had their their own form of "non-alcoholic" wine.

Add to that the fact that fermentation as we know it today, aided with technology and additional sugar (meaning that wines back then were naturally less alcoholic by nature than modern wines), and the virtual non fermented state of normal wine consumption is made even clearer.

Then their is a concentrated "jelly like" substance (mustsum I believe, as one poster already pointed out) that was produced that left the paste non-alcoholic.

And there is more but memory fails me at the moment.

Needless to say, given this as a context, no one arguing for the casual use of a known intoxicant under the NT, based on Scripture's references to the use of wine, has any real basis to support their claim.

Sort of. I believe that the recreational use, abuse, or consumption of intoxicants is prohibited by Scripture. I  count undiluted (and I might add not sufficiently diluted) wine as strong drink, and as such off limits to believers.


If some do become intoxicated from consuming the wine of Christ's blood, then does that not make Christ the minister of sin (i.e. drunkenness -- Galatians 5:19-21)?

Wouldn't that make Christ the minister of sin at Cana? As the host made clear (John 2:10), the stuff was alcoholic, and they had been drinking.

Also, given St. Paul's warning in I Corinthians 11:21, the early Church clearly was using wine.  And given what verse 22 says, it would seem the place and the time of the consumption of too much strong drink was the issue, not the strong drink.

Eh, for English-speakers, yes. But I've heard a Coptic priest call it wine but insist that it was not fermented (I've brought that one up before on OC.net).  Maybe other cultures don't make the Grape Juice / Grape Wine distinction - heck, in the New Testament it is sometimes just called the Fruit of the Vine, but obviously referring to wine.

I don't know what language your priest was speaking: the word in Arabic (and Hebrew and Aramaic, btw) for wine itself means "fermented."  I'll have to look up to remind myself if the Coptic word can ever mean "grape juice."  The Coptic word is the same one used by the Ancient Egyptians for wine (and they definitely meant fermented).

The operative word there being nearly. Wink

The cultures of man before that time, indeed even the Jews of Christ own time, had numerous ways of making and preserving the fruit of the vine so that it could be used or consumed without intoxicating the recipient.

The most normal was to dilute the fermented wine with water. We find even among the heathen that to drink undiluted wine was considered evil. Depending on the Mediterranean culture and custom, wine was diluted from as little as 3 parts water for every 1 part wine to as much as 20 parts water to every 1 part wine (3:1, to as much as 20:1). So, In essence, the people of Bible times essentially had their their own form of "non-alcoholic" wine.

Add to that the fact that fermentation as we know it today, aided with technology and additional sugar (meaning that wines back then were naturally less alcoholic by nature than modern wines), and the virtual non fermented state of normal wine consumption is made even clearer.

Then their is a concentrated "jelly like" substance (mustsum I believe, as one poster already pointed out) that was produced that left the paste non-alcoholic.

And there is more but memory fails me at the moment.

Needless to say, given this as a context, no one arguing for the casual use of a known intoxicant under the NT, based on Scripture's references to the use of wine, has any real basis to support their claim.

Even if the above were true, the fact remains, for example, that the host at Cana explicitely (the word used means "to drink to intoxication") says that they had gotten drunk, no matter how diluted the wine.

The reason why I bring this up is that I notice that you do not quote the NT here, but depend on extra-biblical information.  Why the skittishness about the extra-biblical (and biblical) info on infant baptism?
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« Reply #16 on: January 07, 2009, 04:34:12 PM »

The NT explicitly teaches believer's baptism. That is that those who have personally placed faith in the Savior's atoning work are then baptized. No where does the NT explicitly teach infant baptism. Some would argue it is implied. But that would contradict the plain and explicit record of Scripture.

Our Lord instructed that we baptize those who convert (Matt. 28:19-20). This assumes personal ability and mental capacity to do so. Clearly then infants are excepted.

Our Lord teaches that those who believe and are baptized shall be saved (Mark 16). Clearly this is linking baptism with the individual's placing saving faith in Christ. Indeed, baptized or not,our Lord adds "he that believeth not, shall be damned." This underscoring the futility of any other kind of baptism besides believer's baptism.

When the Eunuch inquired of Phillip what hindered him from being baptized since water was present, Philip responded that he must believe with His whole heart (Acts 8:36). Again baptism follows individual or personal belief.

I realize that this is a divergent view to many among Catholic and Protestants. I am not sure where the Orthodox officially stand on the issue. Nevertheless, it is my firm conviction based on the reading of God's word.

What say ye?


Given that every baptism in the New Testament was one of conversion it is not possible for there to be a president for infant baptism. Infant baptism is something that happens to a child when it is born into the Church, this could not happen in the New Testament given that the Church was itself in its infancy. We must rely upon history and tradition as witness to the fact that infant baptism was an early practice. I personally would take the line that the child to be baptised has been born into belief and it is part of their life from birth. They may not understand their faith intellectually or even consciously but through baptism, chrismation and holy communion they come to know Christ and have a child like relationship with him (as he commanded us all to do). If they fall away later in life it is no different than a candidate for believers baptism falling away after he/she has received the grace and forgiveness of the washing away of sins.
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« Reply #17 on: January 08, 2009, 07:24:20 AM »

The scripture says 'household'. This includes children whether they were actually there or not.

Hogwash! It includes only those who were in His household. It is quite ocncevoeable that no infants or children of inability to personally place faith in Christ were present at that time in that household. To argue otherwise is ludicrous.

You are arguing here from silence, reading into "household" what you do not know is there.
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« Reply #18 on: January 08, 2009, 07:30:42 AM »

Given that every baptism in the New Testament was one of conversion it is not possible for there to be a president for infant baptism. Infant baptism is something that happens to a child when it is born into the Church, this could not happen in the New Testament given that the Church was itself in its infancy. We must rely upon history and tradition as witness to the fact that infant baptism was an early practice. I personally would take the line that the child to be baptised has been born into belief and it is part of their life from birth. They may not understand their faith intellectually or even consciously but through baptism, chrismation and holy communion they come to know Christ and have a child like relationship with him (as he commanded us all to do). If they fall away later in life it is no different than a candidate for believers baptism falling away after he/she has received the grace and forgiveness of the washing away of sins.

Really? Did Christ temporarily suspend procreation and birth among His followers? Did He not set a child in their midst? Were not children present during various aspects of His ministry? Were His disciples not then baptizing?

No, the evidence indicates childen were present, infants were born, and YET Christ ONLY teaches and commands believers immersion in water as a sign of repentance and belief.
Hence there is no biblical authoirty for infant baptism. Does that prevent the practice? Nay. Nor does it endorse it or affirm any special grace conveyed by it.

In fact, this hits upon another iunfdamental difference between us, fellow believers in Christ though we be. Baptism for believers underscores the validity of the idea that no grace is actually conveyed through the practice itself. That is, baptism is NOT a means of grace. It is rather an affirmation of the acceptanbce of that grace, and an intitiation into the communitty of those so graced to be followers of Christ.
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« Reply #19 on: January 08, 2009, 07:58:28 AM »

Given that every baptism in the New Testament was one of conversion it is not possible for there to be a president for infant baptism. Infant baptism is something that happens to a child when it is born into the Church, this could not happen in the New Testament given that the Church was itself in its infancy. We must rely upon history and tradition as witness to the fact that infant baptism was an early practice. I personally would take the line that the child to be baptised has been born into belief and it is part of their life from birth. They may not understand their faith intellectually or even consciously but through baptism, chrismation and holy communion they come to know Christ and have a child like relationship with him (as he commanded us all to do). If they fall away later in life it is no different than a candidate for believers baptism falling away after he/she has received the grace and forgiveness of the washing away of sins.

Really? Did Christ temporarily suspend procreation and birth among His followers? Did He not set a child in their midst? Were not children present during various aspects of His ministry? Were His disciples not then baptizing?

No, the evidence indicates childen were present, infants were born, and YET Christ ONLY teaches and commands believers immersion in water as a sign of repentance and belief.
Hence there is no biblical authoirty for infant baptism. Does that prevent the practice? Nay. Nor does it endorse it or affirm any special grace conveyed by it.

In fact, this hits upon another iunfdamental difference between us, fellow believers in Christ though we be. Baptism for believers underscores the validity of the idea that no grace is actually conveyed through the practice itself. That is, baptism is NOT a means of grace. It is rather an affirmation of the acceptanbce of that grace, and an intitiation into the communitty of those so graced to be followers of Christ.


Listen to what Peter said to the people with regard to the promise of the Holy Spirit:

Acts 2:39-41

For the promise  is for you and your children, and for all who are far away, as many as the Lord our God will call to himself.” With many other words he testified and exhorted them saying, “Save yourselves from this perverse generation!” So those who accepted  his message were baptized, and that day about three thousand people were added.

Do you really presume that Peter only meant the salvation of adults from the perverse generation, asking the parents in the crowd to distinguish themselves from their babies/children? 

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« Reply #20 on: January 08, 2009, 08:13:09 AM »

The scripture says 'household'. This includes children whether they were actually there or not.

Hogwash! It includes only those who were in His household. It is quite ocncevoeable that no infants or children of inability to personally place faith in Christ were present at that time in that household. To argue otherwise is ludicrous.

Since the Scripture is clear "No one says Jesus is Lord but by the Holy Spirit," and the Gentiles were baptized AFTER the Holy Spirit came on them, and St. John the Baptist recognizing Christ in the womb after the Holy Spirit filled St. Elizabeth, those having "inability to personally place faith in Christ would include all those in the household, that the Holy Spirit was not limited by their disability, and age was no disability.

Quote
You are arguing here from silence, reading into "household" what you do not know is there.
I'll bring up your mustum/non-alcoholic wine etc. example again.  From the use of the term in the Bible (and includes the LXX, btw), and other contemporary evidence, it is clear that children were ALWAYS in the picture, whether children, grandchildren, servants' children etc.
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« Reply #21 on: January 08, 2009, 08:22:59 AM »

Given that every baptism in the New Testament was one of conversion it is not possible for there to be a president for infant baptism. Infant baptism is something that happens to a child when it is born into the Church, this could not happen in the New Testament given that the Church was itself in its infancy. We must rely upon history and tradition as witness to the fact that infant baptism was an early practice. I personally would take the line that the child to be baptised has been born into belief and it is part of their life from birth. They may not understand their faith intellectually or even consciously but through baptism, chrismation and holy communion they come to know Christ and have a child like relationship with him (as he commanded us all to do). If they fall away later in life it is no different than a candidate for believers baptism falling away after he/she has received the grace and forgiveness of the washing away of sins.

Really? Did Christ temporarily suspend procreation and birth among His followers? Did He not set a child in their midst? Were not children present during various aspects of His ministry? Were His disciples not then baptizing?

No, the evidence indicates childen were present, infants were born, and YET Christ ONLY teaches and commands believers immersion in water as a sign of repentance and belief.

You are reading that into the text.

Does the Bible say women were baptized?   I don't recall.  Perhaps women shouldn't be baptized (before you laugh, remember, a number of religions take exactly this stand).  Woman and were children were present, but remember, when they counted the thousands fed at the multiplication of loaves, they only mention the number of men.

Which, looking at examples from scripture and contemporary sources, we know that women and children were including in the legal AND religious decisions of the father.

Quote
Hence there is no biblical authoirty for infant baptism. Does that prevent the practice? Nay. Nor does it endorse it or affirm any special grace conveyed by it.

In fact, this hits upon another iunfdamental difference between us, fellow believers in Christ though we be. Baptism for believers underscores the validity of the idea that no grace is actually conveyed through the practice itself. That is, baptism is NOT a means of grace. It is rather an affirmation of the acceptanbce of that grace, and an intitiation into the communitty of those so graced to be followers of Christ.


Then why is it called the "laver of regeneration?"  Why does Christ speak of the Spirit in being born again?

As many who have baptized, of any age,  into Christ, have put on Christ.  Alleluia.
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« Reply #22 on: January 08, 2009, 09:18:24 AM »

That is, baptism is NOT a means of grace. It is rather an affirmation of the acceptanbce of that grace, and an intitiation into the communitty of those so graced to be followers of Christ.


It is eluded to by Paul all the time when he talks of us sharing in Christs death so we can share in his life. We share in this through death and rebirth in the immersion of baptism. However if you really want to see that grace was seen as being confired in Baptism here are some quotes from first century Christian accounts of baptism. The earliest of these probably predates some of the Gospels.



Letter of Barnabas 11:1–10 (A.D. 74)
Quote
"Regarding baptism, we have the evidence of Scripture that Israel would refuse to accept the washing which confers the remission of sins and would set up a substitution of their own instead. Observe there how he describes both the water and the cross in the same figure. His meaning is, ‘Blessed are those who go down into the water with their hopes set on the cross.’ Here he is saying that after we have stepped down into the water, burdened with sin and defilement, we come up out of it bearing fruit, with reverence in our hearts and the hope of Jesus in our souls"


The Shepherd of Hermas 4:3:1–2 (A.D. 80)
Quote
"‘I have heard, sir,’ said I, ‘from some teacher, that there is no other repentance except that which took place when we went down into the water and obtained the remission of our former sins.’ He said to me, ‘You have heard rightly, for so it is’"


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« Reply #23 on: January 08, 2009, 10:17:47 AM »

The scripture says 'household'. This includes children whether they were actually there or not.

Hogwash! It includes only those who were in His household. It is quite ocncevoeable that no infants or children of inability to personally place faith in Christ were present at that time in that household. To argue otherwise is ludicrous.

You are arguing here from silence, reading into "household" what you do not know is there.
Are you actually arguing that "his household" refers to Christ's household rather than Cornelius'? That's the most bizarre interpretation I've ever heard.
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« Reply #24 on: January 08, 2009, 10:39:55 AM »

Are you actually arguing that "his household" refers to Christ's household rather than Cornelius'? That's the most bizarre interpretation I've ever heard.

No. Not at all.
Sorry I was unclear.

Also, please forgive my typos. It has been a long night, and often I don;t catch them all on the first proof read. Most of the forums I post on have an indefinite edit feature, unlike the timed edit limit here. Sooo ... I can't fix things after the fact very easily here, if I don't do it immediately.  Embarrassed laugh
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« Reply #25 on: January 08, 2009, 12:01:02 PM »

I wonder how much predestination theory makes its way into the doctrines of credobaptists.

i.e., one assumes that someone won't die until they are old enough to be Baptised and make a decision for themselves. Which therefore assumes that all the children who die shortly after birth or before an age of reasoning without being Baptised were therefore predestined to be wicked and wouldn't have accepted Baptism in later life. I don't even know where to begin with such a theory to be honest...

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« Reply #26 on: January 08, 2009, 12:39:54 PM »

I wonder how much predestination theory makes its way into the doctrines of credobaptists.

i.e., one assumes that someone won't die until they are old enough to be Baptised and make a decision for themselves. Which therefore assumes that all the children who die shortly after birth or before an age of reasoning without being Baptised were therefore predestined to be wicked and wouldn't have accepted Baptism in later life. I don't even know where to begin with such a theory to be honest...



Me neither! I certainly don't believe it.
I believe the the atoning work of Christ provides for the gracious cover of the yet illmatured human being (with respect to moral culpability and accountability).
But, that is a different subject.
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« Reply #27 on: January 08, 2009, 12:54:43 PM »

In fact, this hits upon another iunfdamental difference between us, fellow believers in Christ though we be. Baptism for believers underscores the validity of the idea that no grace is actually conveyed through the practice itself. That is, baptism is NOT a means of grace. It is rather an affirmation of the acceptanbce of that grace, and an intitiation into the communitty of those so graced to be followers of Christ.

Then why does Peter say Acts 2:38 "Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit?"

Πέτρος δὲ ἔφη πρὸς αὐτούς· Μετανοήσατε, καὶ βαπτισθήτω ἕκαστος ὑμῶν ἐπὶ τῷ ὀνόματι Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ εἰς ἄφεσιν ἁμαρτιῶν, καὶ λήψεσθε τὴν δωρεὰν τοῦ ἁγίου Πνεύματος.

The boldface literally means "into/for the forgiveness of sins."  He does not say "be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ [btw. meaning by His authority, like "stop, in the name of the law"] into the affirmation of the forgiveness of sins...." nor "as a sign of the forgiveness of sins..."

I wonder how much predestination theory makes its way into the doctrines of credobaptists.

i.e., one assumes that someone won't die until they are old enough to be Baptised and make a decision for themselves. Which therefore assumes that all the children who die shortly after birth or before an age of reasoning without being Baptised were therefore predestined to be wicked and wouldn't have accepted Baptism in later life. I don't even know where to begin with such a theory to be honest...



Me neither! I certainly don't believe it.
I believe the the atoning work of Christ provides for the gracious cover of the yet illmatured human being (with respect to moral culpability and accountability).
But, that is a different subject.

Is it?

What scripture do you have to back up your opinion?
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« Reply #28 on: January 08, 2009, 05:28:33 PM »

Are you actually arguing that "his household" refers to Christ's household rather than Cornelius'? That's the most bizarre interpretation I've ever heard.

No. Not at all.
Sorry I was unclear.

Also, please forgive my typos. It has been a long night, and often I don;t catch them all on the first proof read. Most of the forums I post on have an indefinite edit feature, unlike the timed edit limit here. Sooo ... I can't fix things after the fact very easily here, if I don't do it immediately.  Embarrassed laugh
Okay, the capital letter misled me.

Nevertheless, I want you to prove that there were no infants in Cornelius' household at the time of their baptism. This is necessary for your position, for if even a single infant can be found in his household, your position is rendered invalid.
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« Reply #29 on: January 09, 2009, 12:26:12 AM »


Then why does Peter say Acts 2:38 "Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit?"

Πέτρος δὲ ἔφη πρὸς αὐτούς· Μετανοήσατε, καὶ βαπτισθήτω ἕκαστος ὑμῶν ἐπὶ τῷ ὀνόματι Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ εἰς ἄφεσιν ἁμαρτιῶν, καὶ λήψεσθε τὴν δωρεὰν τοῦ ἁγίου Πνεύματος.

The boldface literally means "into/for the forgiveness of sins." 

Right. We are baptized for, or beacuse, of the forgiveness of sins.
Proof? Cornelius and his household.  Wink


Quote
Is it? What scripture do you have to back up your opinion?

I think so, yes.
I'd be happy to discuss it further in a new thread with you.
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« Reply #30 on: January 09, 2009, 12:28:35 AM »

Okay, the capital letter misled me.

Nevertheless, I want you to prove that there were no infants in Cornelius' household at the time of their baptism. This is necessary for your position, for if even a single infant can be found in his household, your position is rendered invalid.

I bet you do!  Cheesy But, no thanks. I have no need to prove what or who wasn't there. Wink The burden is on you. Your position must assume an infant present in order to use this passage in support of your belief in infant baptism.
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« Reply #31 on: January 09, 2009, 12:54:06 AM »


Then why does Peter say Acts 2:38 "Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit?"

Πέτρος δὲ ἔφη πρὸς αὐτούς· Μετανοήσατε, καὶ βαπτισθήτω ἕκαστος ὑμῶν ἐπὶ τῷ ὀνόματι Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ εἰς ἄφεσιν ἁμαρτιῶν, καὶ λήψεσθε τὴν δωρεὰν τοῦ ἁγίου Πνεύματος.

The boldface literally means "into/for the forgiveness of sins." 

Right. We are baptized for, or beacuse, of the forgiveness of sins.

I hesitate to be dogmatic on this, but maybe Ozgeorge and the rest of the Greeks or Greekophones can comment: you have been mislead by English polysemny.  Eis cannot mean "because," although it can mean that in English.  It denotes purpose and/or result.  Not cause.  For that you would have to use ὑπὲρ.


Quote
Proof? Cornelius and his household.  Wink

Proof of what?  That women can be baptized?  None are mentioned.

Works?  Acts 10:4.

Baptized because our sins are forgiven?  No such statement.  We are not even told that Cornelius or his household believed, just that they received the Holy Spirit.


Quote
Is it? What scripture do you have to back up your opinion?

Quote
I think so, yes.
I'd be happy to discuss it further in a new thread with you.

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« Reply #32 on: January 09, 2009, 10:05:49 AM »

Okay, the capital letter misled me.

Nevertheless, I want you to prove that there were no infants in Cornelius' household at the time of their baptism. This is necessary for your position, for if even a single infant can be found in his household, your position is rendered invalid.
I bet you do!  Cheesy But, no thanks. I have no need to prove what or who wasn't there. Wink
Right. If the evidence disappoints you, ignore the evidence. Roll Eyes

Quote
The burden is on you. Your position must assume an infant present in order to use this passage in support of your belief in infant baptism.
Sure, but only this passage. There is plenty more evidence for infant baptism, and simply because this passage is found not to be evidence for it does not render the doctrine invalid. Finding that the Apostles performed infant baptism, however, would render your position invalid immediately. Yours is the far more tenuous position.
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« Reply #33 on: January 09, 2009, 11:07:56 AM »

Okay, the capital letter misled me.

Nevertheless, I want you to prove that there were no infants in Cornelius' household at the time of their baptism. This is necessary for your position, for if even a single infant can be found in his household, your position is rendered invalid.
I bet you do!  Cheesy But, no thanks. I have no need to prove what or who wasn't there. Wink
Right. If the evidence disappoints you, ignore the evidence. Roll Eyes

Quote
The burden is on you. Your position must assume an infant present in order to use this passage in support of your belief in infant baptism.
Sure, but only this passage. There is plenty more evidence for infant baptism, and simply because this passage is found not to be evidence for it does not render the doctrine invalid. Finding that the Apostles performed infant baptism, however, would render your position invalid immediately. Yours is the far more tenuous position.

Not only that, but he has to explain how, since infant baptism became the norm for nearly a thousand years and you have to be baptized by a Christian (despite what the Vatican says), how can he or anyone validly baptize now.

And actually, the burden is on him: all the other contemporary evidence shows that in 1st century Palestine, the Hebrews, and Roman society in general, etc. all show that the early Christians would be reading "all the household was baptized" as we are, i.e. assuming that included children.  In fact, the concept of family by necessity included children, i.e. childless families were penalized by the Roman state, and those who had five children were rewarded.  And if he tries to differentiate children by age, that won't work either: Roman law recognized the father's rights over his grown children, fully grown adult could be adopted (in fact, that is how the imperial family kept going), etc.  In other words, there was no such idea as "emancipation of a minor," "majority," "age of licens," etc. which the idea of a "believer baptism" requirement would need as support.
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« Reply #34 on: January 09, 2009, 11:21:28 AM »

The burden is on you. Your position must assume an infant present in order to use this passage in support of your belief in infant baptism.
Sure, but only this passage. There is plenty more evidence for infant baptism, and simply because this passage is found not to be evidence for it does not render the doctrine invalid. Finding that the Apostles performed infant baptism, however, would render your position invalid immediately. Yours is the far more tenuous position.

This is true... it is only one passage that we are speaking of here.  Even if one does not accept this passage (illogical, but still...), there is so much more evidence yet.  What do you say, Cleopas, to all the other evidence presented here(I'll kindly redirect you to the article I posted above as well, which eloquently and succinctly says what it would take many pages and bumbling paragraphs for me to say)?  May I humbly ask you to respond to the rest?

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« Reply #35 on: January 10, 2009, 03:25:16 AM »

Finding that the Apostles performed infant baptism, however, would render your position invalid immediately. Yours is the far more tenuous position.

Indeed! Yet, I submit, that no where in all the pages of the Holy Writ will one find any record of the Christian baptism of an infant (proper baptismal mode aside).
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« Reply #36 on: January 10, 2009, 03:30:33 AM »

Not only that, but he has to explain how, since infant baptism became the norm for nearly a thousand years and you have to be baptized by a Christian (despite what the Vatican says), how can he or anyone validly baptize now.

Do I now? I am reminded of when some came to our Lord and questioned His authorization to d the things he did. he agreed to answer if they would first answer His question. Do you recall that event? In like fashion to John, and to Christ, so it is of other Evangelical or non-Orthodox Christian ministers. Our authorization is from Heaven. We need not the permission of any ecclesiastical seat such as the Jews attempted to use as a barrier to the ministries of both the Baptist and the Lord.
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« Reply #37 on: January 10, 2009, 03:33:44 AM »

This is true... it is only one passage that we are speaking of here.  Even if one does not accept this passage (illogical, but still...), there is so much more evidence yet.  What do you say, Cleopas, to all the other evidence presented here(I'll kindly redirect you to the article I posted above as well, which eloquently and succinctly says what it would take many pages and bumbling paragraphs for me to say)?  May I humbly ask you to respond to the rest?

Sister, I really feel that my replies thus far have (at least in a generic fashion) addressed all such. Albeit, if you will provide a point by point list of specifc brief statements and/or arguments still lacking to which you want me to directly respond, I shall.

Fair enough?
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« Reply #38 on: January 10, 2009, 08:11:24 AM »

Finding that the Apostles performed infant baptism, however, would render your position invalid immediately. Yours is the far more tenuous position.

Indeed! Yet, I submit, that no where in all the pages of the Holy Writ will one find any record of the Christian baptism of an infant (proper baptismal mode aside).

No where in all the pages of the Holy Writ will one find any record of the Christian baptism of a woman.

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« Reply #39 on: January 10, 2009, 08:36:57 AM »

Not only that, but he has to explain how, since infant baptism became the norm for nearly a thousand years and you have to be baptized by a Christian (despite what the Vatican says), how can he or anyone validly baptize now.

Do I now? I am reminded of when some came to our Lord and questioned His authorization to d the things he did. he agreed to answer if they would first answer His question. Do you recall that event? In like fashion to John, and to Christ, so it is of other Evangelical or non-Orthodox Christian ministers. Our authorization is from Heaven. We need not the permission of any ecclesiastical seat such as the Jews attempted to use as a barrier to the ministries of both the Baptist and the Lord.


Even Christ admitted that the Pharisees sat in Moses seat, and even St. Paul apologized for speaking rudely to the High Priest Ananias (Acts 23:1-5).  How do you get to sit on the thrones of the Apostles, especially when those seats are presently occupied by their rightful successors?

It is not a question of permission. It is a question of authority.  As Hebrews notes, no one takes this authority upon himself, he is given it.  Who gave it to you?  As no one was validly baptised for at least 500 years, according to you, who was around to baptize you to baptize?  Or do you side with the Vatican, that Jews, Muslims, Atheists, etc. can validly baptize?

And of course, we are not talking about the baptism of John, and Holy Writ makes it adundately clear that there was a difference between John's baptism and baptism into the Lord.  It seems however, that your theology abolishes this distinction.  Am I reading it correctly?

Joseph Smith Jr., an Evangelical from upstate New York, saw the problem.  He claimed that St. John, now a resurrrected being (a god, or not yet?) and baptized Joe in the Susquehanna River in PA and ordained him to the aaronic priesthood.  When I was in Utah and Mormon Illlinois this past year, they had the images of the "event."

Making mormon theology rational.  That's a VERY scary place to be.

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« Reply #40 on: January 10, 2009, 11:35:28 AM »

No where in all the pages of the Holy Writ will one find any record of the Christian baptism of a woman.

Actually, there is. See Acts 16:12-15 below.

And from thence to Philippi, which is the chief city of that part of Macedonia, and a colony: and we were in that city abiding certain days. And on the sabbath we went out of the city by a river side, where prayer was wont to be made; and we sat down, and spake unto the women which resorted thither. And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul. And when she was baptized, and her household, she besought us, saying, If ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide there. And she constrained us.


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« Reply #41 on: January 10, 2009, 11:42:24 AM »

Score 1 for the local Protestant.  Grin

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« Reply #42 on: January 10, 2009, 12:06:11 PM »

Score 1 for the local Protestant.  Grin

Never say something about the Sacred Text if you are unsure around a Bible-thumber...  Tongue

Yes, I've noticed that we haven't gotten an answer on the authority of the Pharisess, the difference of the Baptism of John, baptism being the cause and not of the result of the forgiveness of sins, etc.
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« Reply #43 on: January 10, 2009, 12:12:24 PM »

Score 1 for the local Protestant.  Grin

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Yes, I've noticed that we haven't gotten an answer on the authority of the Pharisess, the difference of the Baptism of John, baptism being the cause and not of the result of the forgiveness of sins, etc.

I believe this stems from their disconnect from Baptism and entering into Covenant.
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« Reply #44 on: January 10, 2009, 12:17:38 PM »

Yes, I've noticed that we haven't gotten an answer on the authority of the Pharisess, the difference of the Baptism of John, baptism being the cause and not of the result of the forgiveness of sins, etc.

I've already stated my position on such things. I would merely be restating them. Simply put...
My authority to baptize comes from heaven, from the Lord Himself.
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« Reply #45 on: January 10, 2009, 02:13:53 PM »

This is true... it is only one passage that we are speaking of here.  Even if one does not accept this passage (illogical, but still...), there is so much more evidence yet.  What do you say, Cleopas, to all the other evidence presented here(I'll kindly redirect you to the article I posted above as well, which eloquently and succinctly says what it would take many pages and bumbling paragraphs for me to say)?  May I humbly ask you to respond to the rest?

Sister, I really feel that my replies thus far have (at least in a generic fashion) addressed all such. Albeit, if you will provide a point by point list of specifc brief statements and/or arguments still lacking to which you want me to directly respond, I shall.

Fair enough?

I'm sorry, maybe I missed you addressing the following points:

-the translation of the word "household" as used in the original Greek and the Hebrew (as seen in the OT) to mean the entire family-- men, women, children, infants-- the original Greek word has ALWAYS been used to include infants, and there has never been another usage
-all of the OTHER households that were baptized (were they ALL childless?  doubtful, at best)
-The fact that older children were NEVER recorded as being baptized, nor is there any record of the adult baptism of a Christian child, nor is there any record of an "age of accountability" when a child is old enough to make that decision, nor is there any hint whatsoever of children being in any kind of suspended state of salvation before they reach said age
-The saving power of Christ's presence in Holy Baptism (too long a point to explain here, it can be found in the article I posted above)
-The Old Testament symbols of Salvation and Baptism include infants (such as circumcision-- again, can be read above)
-Faith as relationship of love and trust not limited to the mind-- The OT and NT examples of infants recognizing salvation and having faith
-The fact that the command of "believer's baptism" was one intended for adults, because the Bible was not written for infants- and the distinction between adult believers and infant- one needs to repent, the other does not (again, can be read above)
-The fact that "infant baptism" was probably not recorded because the Gospel writers didn't see a need- it was rather obvious
-The entire LIST of questions that are put forward in the second half of the article posted above (I'm not going to retype here, even though I've already been redundant by typing all the other points)

Maybe I missed your answers to all of those facts and questions.  If so, I apologize and ask you to please point me to them.  But considering all the reasons and evidence we have put forward, you can hardly expect us to entertain your notion that infant baptism is wrong (based on "it says believe!") until you disprove each reason and each piece of evidence, answer each question and provide proof for those answers.  Again, I ask kindly and sincerely.  I'm sure there must be answers.  You hardly strike me as the kind of person to have such conviction of faith without having thought out the reasons.  I am quite interested to hear your thoughts on all of the above (sincerely).  The list I gave here is basically a point by point summary of the article I posted toward the beginning of the thread.  I'll ask you to refer to it for more details (including Scriptural references).

BTW just FYI, personally, when I post articles and quotes like that, it is not because I am trying to provoke or to dodge questions or anything.  It is because whoever wrote the article says exactly what I would like to say clearly and succinctly.  I figure it's better to just post the article (and reference it, of course) than to try and say the same things, as we know it can take me a long time to say what they can say quite fast.  I do it simply to not waste others' time.  I apologize if people don't like it when I post articles.  I rather enjoyed that particular one, though.

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« Reply #46 on: January 10, 2009, 06:54:04 PM »

I would like to humbly ask David Young and Cleopas to comment

I shall. But I'm still grappling with Ignatius and Justin Martyr on the Eucharist, and reading up on the development of Tradition in the early church!

For the record, my mother was Anglican and my father Methodist, and they had me christened in the Anglican church in case I myself wanted to get confirmed later in life, though they attended the Methodist church. I was sent to Methodist Sunday School, and started attending church when I was about 11. (I disliked Sunday School and agreed to attend church with my father instead.) I came to faith within Methodism at the age of about 15 (unimaginably long ago now), but when I was 19 and was at university I came to the conviction from scripture that baptism was a rite only for believers. One verse particularly fixed itself on my mind: "John was baptising at Enon, because there was much water there." So I cast around for the next church holding a baptismal service in Cambridge, and explained that I wanted to be baptised to confess my faith in the biblical way, but did not wish to join their church. So I was baptised at a Brethren assembly in 1966. Some months later I did transfer to the Baptists, and there I am today.

As I have written in a different thread on a different subject, there are two separate questions that warrant discussion, and ought not to be confused. Regarding baptism they are:

1) the mode of baptism and its proper subjects

2) the meaning of baptism: does it have regenerating power, or is it a sign of an inward spiritual work that has already taken place? That is, does it effect the work, or does it betoken it?

I may take a few days to get on to this: as I say, Tradition, sola scriptura and the Eucharist are currently engaging my attention.
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« Reply #47 on: January 10, 2009, 07:21:12 PM »

Yes, I've noticed that we haven't gotten an answer on the authority of the Pharisess, the difference of the Baptism of John, baptism being the cause and not of the result of the forgiveness of sins, etc.

I've already stated my position on such things. I would merely be restating them. Simply put...
My authority to baptize comes from heaven, from the Lord Himself.

So you say.  So Joseph Smith Jr. said too.

Again, unless you are going to argue a) that you have restored baptism or b) the non-baptized can baptize, and related to that c) no authority needs to be given to baptize, you have a problem.  Now, although the last one might seem attractive, there's the problem that we see the Christ commissioning his disciples "he who receives you receives Me....he who rejects you rejects Me and Him who sent me" (St. John recording that the disciples but not Christ baptized) in the Gospels, we see no one doing much of anything without a laying on of hands (note that when St. Paul is called by God Himself during liturgy, the hands are still laid on him), St. Paul warns Timothy and Titus to appoint the hierarchy in the Churches, not to mention the warning in Hebrews "no man takes this honor on himself," well Solo Scriptura is going to find it less than appealing.
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« Reply #48 on: January 10, 2009, 08:03:30 PM »

Yes, I've noticed that we haven't gotten an answer on the authority of the Pharisess, the difference of the Baptism of John, baptism being the cause and not of the result of the forgiveness of sins, etc.

I've already stated my position on such things. I would merely be restating them. Simply put...
My authority to baptize comes from heaven, from the Lord Himself.

So you say.  So Joseph Smith Jr. said too.

Again, unless you are going to argue a) that you have restored baptism or b) the non-baptized can baptize, and related to that c) no authority needs to be given to baptize, you have a problem.  Now, although the last one might seem attractive, there's the problem that we see the Christ commissioning his disciples "he who receives you receives Me....he who rejects you rejects Me and Him who sent me" (St. John recording that the disciples but not Christ baptized) in the Gospels, we see no one doing much of anything without a laying on of hands (note that when St. Paul is called by God Himself during liturgy, the hands are still laid on him), St. Paul warns Timothy and Titus to appoint the hierarchy in the Churches, not to mention the warning in Hebrews "no man takes this honor on himself," well Solo Scriptura is going to find it less than appealing.

To those who would take it upon themselves to baptize as though the authority were granted them directly from heaven above, I offer the following:

See that ye all follow the bishop, even as Jesus Christ does the Father, and the presbytery as ye would the apostles; and reverence the deacons, as being the institution  of God. Let no man do anything connected with the Church without the bishop. Let that be deemed a proper Eucharist, which is [administered] either by the bishop, or by one to whom he has entrusted it. Wherever the bishop shall appear, there let the multitude [of the people] also be; even as, wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church. It is not lawful without the bishop either to baptize or to celebrate a love-feast; but whatsoever he shall approve of, that is also pleasing to God, so that everything that is done may be secure and valid.
St. Ignatius of Antioch: Epistle to the Smyrnæans, Chapter 8  < http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf01.v.vii.viii.html >

For as many as are of Christ are also with the bishop; but as many as fall away from him, and embrace communion with the accursed, these shall be cut off along with them. For they are not Christ’s husbandry, but the seed of the enemy, from whom may you ever be delivered by the prayers of the shepherd, that most faithful and gentle shepherd who presides over you.
St. Ignatius of Antioch: Epistle to the Philadelphians, Chapter 3  < http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf01.v.vi.iii.html >

It seems to me that one of the earliest Church Fathers, a disciple of the beloved apostle John himself, would disagree with your (Cleopas's) claim to have authority directly from God to baptize.  Apart from the local orthodox bishop, you have no authority to baptize, for this authority, coming as it does FROM Christ, comes only THROUGH the Church.  To say otherwise is to mark yourself as a schismatic.
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« Reply #49 on: January 10, 2009, 08:55:40 PM »

Cleopas

No one has mentioned so far that sacraments are signs of God’s covenant with humanity. Take it or leave it God is offering up His Son for forgiveness and eternal life. That’s what it means to be a covenant; it’s a unilateral arrangement on God’s part, and we are the recipients. What does it matter if I understand this mystery a little, completely, or not at all? In truth, we grasp a bit more with each passing day. “Baptism” has never been a discernable event which happens on a particular day at some particular hour in a particular parish. We drown and re-emerge from the waters daily.

We like to call ourselves witnesses, but how could this be? I wasn’t there when Jesus was nailed to the cross, and I didn’t see him rise up 3 days later. But I have taken this on faith, and as a result I can face things that would otherwise terrify me. Do you listen closely to some of the stories people have to say? One man remarks, “this is killing me”. Another describes, “the black hole of my life”. That’s our baptism calling us. The natural reaction to “a black hole” is to turn and run, and that’s what we generally like to do. Christianity is describing something counter intuitive. There is life in that black hole; you can go into it and emerge safely on the other side. We die and are reborn daily when we believe Jesus did it first for us. And why are Christians so morbid and fixated on death? Well, why does a swimmer jump into the pool each day and practice swimming before heading off to the Olympics? To get really good at it I suppose. Christians are champions at dying and rising up again; and one day it’s going to happen for real.
 
I’m trying to shake lose any materialistic notion of baptism. Look at how all the other sacraments work. Is marriage a discrete event taking place in church? Is the sacrament of priesthood a single moment? Lived-sacraments have no beginning or end, no boarder, only a center. One analogy I recall is that of a mountain range. This mountain range had 7 high points or peaks. But take a few steps down from the summit; isn’t this still “mountain”, and still with a great view? And these mountains are all joined one to the other. So it is with sacraments, a Christian's life is a sacrament.
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« Reply #50 on: January 10, 2009, 10:02:28 PM »

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No one has mentioned so far that sacraments are signs of God’s covenant with humanity.

Excuse me, but circumcision for the Hebrews was the sign of God's covenant with His chosen people. With the coming of God Incarnate, Him being the completion and fulfilment of the old Law, baptism is the NT equivalent and fulfilment of OT circumcision. All who are baptised into Christ have put on Christ. Alleluia.
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« Reply #51 on: January 11, 2009, 05:23:10 AM »

I'm sorry, maybe I missed you addressing the following points:

I did not address them pont by point, no. I did feel like my replies in general gave adequate insight into my difference with such thoughts. That is what I meant by "generic" responses.

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-the translation of the word "household" as used in the original Greek and the Hebrew (as seen in the OT) to mean the entire family-- men, women, children, infants-- the original Greek word has ALWAYS been used to include infants, and there has never been another usage

In esscence the term would apply to any in a given household. Thus, generally speaking, it coud include infants IF they were present in the home. However, to substantiate that one must be able to PROVE infants were in fact present. Besides, the context being that of baptism, which is directly connected Scripturally with a personal declaration of faith in Christ, limits the application of household here to only those in a given household who were personally capable of making such a declaration. In short -- believer's baptism provides' the context for understanding the application of household. To reason otherwise is to undo the statment of Scripture by adding to and broadening it. Indeed, contradicting it.

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-all of the OTHER households that were baptized (were they ALL childless?  doubtful, at best)
I did not say children should never be baptized. In only insist that they be of sufficient mental ability to make a personal and true declaration of faith in Christ.

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-The fact that older children were NEVER recorded as being baptized, nor is there any record of the adult baptism of a Christian child, nor is there any record of an "age of accountability" when a child is old enough to make that decision, nor is there any hint whatsoever of children being in any kind of suspended state of salvation before they reach said age

The age need not be given of baptismal candidates since due to the fact that baptism is expressly stated to be for believers the practice assumes each candidate of sufficient "age" able to believe for themselves -- child or no.

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-The saving power of Christ's presence in Holy Baptism (too long a point to explain here, it can be found in the article I posted above)
Disagree with the premise. Can Christ save in or through baptism? I suppose. Can and does Christ save prior to baptism? Yep. So, does salvation wait for baptism? Nope.
Hence baptism is more a corollary of salvation, a witness to the inner work of saving grace and faith already present in those who have believed.

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-The Old Testament symbols of Salvation and Baptism include infants (such as circumcision-- again, can be read above)
Indeed! Like as they were those born of the flesh, believers are those born again of the Spirit.
Their circumscision was literal and pertained to literal birth (infants, etc.) -- ours is metaphorical, spiritual and pertains only to those who have spiritually been reborn. You stumble here with Nicodemus. As paul expressed to the Cornthians concerning "birth from the grave" so to we can discern application here... There is a natural and there is a spiritual. Albeit that which is spiritual is not first, but that which is natural. Afterward that which is spiritual. Hence, only spiritual infants have a right to the waters of baptism.

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-Faith as relationship of love and trust not limited to the mind-- The OT and NT examples of infants recognizing salvation and having faith
I'm sorry, but you'll have to show me explicit Scriptural explanation that infants either recognized salvation or personally placed faith in salvation while in infancy. I see where God recognized infants, and graced them with divine purpose even form the womb. I see where confirmation of that purpose may be demonstrated by the infant, even pre-born, as in the case of John the baptist. But that is a far cry from infants actually understanding and applying saving faith in the person and work of Christ.

Now, perhaps if they came from the womb actually speaking intelligently I would be inclined to consider such an exaggeration.

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-The fact that the command of "believer's baptism" was one intended for adults, because the Bible was not written for infants- and the distinction between adult believers and infant- one needs to repent, the other does not (again, can be read above)
And yet, by defintion, one CANNOT be a believer if they have not repented!

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-The fact that "infant baptism" was probably not recorded because the Gospel writers didn't see a need- it was rather obvious
Arguing from silence here. If you could give me a strong enough reason to entertain the Biblical validity for infant baptism (such as showing infants having sufficient reason and mental faculty to accept and place faith in Christ as Lord and Savior) then I might would entertain the notion as haing a semb lance of relevance. Otherwise, well, I cannot.

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-The entire LIST of questions that are put forward in the second half of the article posted above (I'm not going to retype here, even though I've already been redundant by typing all the other points)
I appreciate the referece to the article. I am sure I wil enjoy perusing it, and others in the future. However, I did not come here to dilaog with an article, but with other particpants. Simply stated, I want to know what you think in your words, and engage you with mine. I want to interact with you, a being, and not with lifeless articles. Reference them, quote bite size excerpts from them, fine. Otherwise I will probably (as here) just skip right over them and keep on going.

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BTW just FYI, personally, when I post articles and quotes like that, it is not because I am trying to provoke or to dodge questions or anything.  It is because whoever wrote the article says exactly what I would like to say clearly and succinctly.  I figure it's better to just post the article (and reference it, of course) than to try and say the same things, as we know it can take me a long time to say what they can say quite fast.  I do it simply to not waste others' time.  I apologize if people don't like it when I post articles.  I rather enjoyed that particular one, though.

I understand, really. However, quotes of that length tend to stifle conversation (IMO). So do original comments and posts normally. But in your case, I have so come to enjoy your written expression of thought, your passion in engaging the subject, not to mention your tact and personability, that I find myself willing, even eager in most cases, to savor YOUR words. I can handle snippets of quotes from others added therewith for taste, but not much else. To use a metaphor that may have meaning to a chef  Cheesy -- I don't want a warmed over "meal" someone else prepared. I want your own unique fresh presentation of the dish.  Wink Grin

« Last Edit: January 11, 2009, 05:34:43 AM by Cleopas » Logged

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« Reply #52 on: January 11, 2009, 05:33:42 AM »

Now, although the last one might seem attractive, there's the problem that we see the Christ commissioning his disciples "he who receives you receives Me....he who rejects you rejects Me and Him who sent me" (St. John recording that the disciples but not Christ baptized) in the Gospels

But I have received them, in as much as by their word (the NT) I have believed on the Lord. By that same word I have received Apostolic affirmation of divine authorization to baptize. Simply put, the Lord called me to be His minister, and he has authorized me to baptize. If you really have an issue with that, then I can't really help you. Take it up with Him.

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we see no one doing much of anything without a laying on of hands (note that when St. Paul is called by God Himself during liturgy, the hands are still laid on him), St. Paul warns Timothy and Titus to appoint the hierarchy in the Churches, not to mention the warning in Hebrews "no man takes this honor on himself," well Solo Scriptura is going to find it less than appealing.

Thank God for Paul -- the Apostle not ordained of other Apostles. The one born out of due season, and giving precedent to the Lord Himself calling, authorizing, and ordaining ANY He sees fit to the work of His ministry, through His Spirit even apart from "official" recognition of ecclesiastical bodies who assume the Spirirt must work through them and their channels like the Jews of old in the case of both Christ and His forerunner. The head of the church can still act without permission from His recognized subjects ya know.  Wink
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« Reply #53 on: January 11, 2009, 10:27:33 AM »

Now, although the last one might seem attractive, there's the problem that we see the Christ commissioning his disciples "he who receives you receives Me....he who rejects you rejects Me and Him who sent me" (St. John recording that the disciples but not Christ baptized) in the Gospels

But I have received them, in as much as by their word (the NT) I have believed on the Lord. By that same word I have received Apostolic affirmation of divine authorization to baptize. Simply put, the Lord called me to be His minister, and he has authorized me to baptize. If you really have an issue with that, then I can't really help you. Take it up with Him.

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we see no one doing much of anything without a laying on of hands (note that when St. Paul is called by God Himself during liturgy, the hands are still laid on him), St. Paul warns Timothy and Titus to appoint the hierarchy in the Churches, not to mention the warning in Hebrews "no man takes this honor on himself," well Solo Scriptura is going to find it less than appealing.

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Thank God for Paul -- the Apostle not ordained of other Apostles.

Which Paul would that be? 'cuz the St. Paul the Apostle we know was ordained by the Church, recognized the authority of Her hierarchy, and perpetuated that authority:

Acts 9:3 As he was traveling, it happened that he was approaching Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him; 4 and he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” 5 And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” And He said, “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting, 6 but get up and enter the city, and it will be told you what you must do.” 7 The men who traveled with him stood speechless, hearing the voice but seeing no one. 8 Saul got up from the ground, and though his eyes were open, he could see nothing; and leading him by the hand, they brought him into Damascus. 9 And he was three days without sight, and neither ate nor drank.
10 Now there was a disciple at Damascus named Ananias; and the Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias.” And he said, “Here I am, Lord.” 11 And the Lord said to him, “Get up and go to the street called Straight, and inquire at the house of Judas for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying, 12 and he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him, so that he might regain his sight.” 13 But Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much harm he did to Your saints at Jerusalem; 14 and here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on Your name.” 15 But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of Mine, to bear My name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel; 16 for I will show him how much he must suffer for My name’s sake.” 17 So Ananias departed and entered the house, and after laying his hands on him said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road by which you were coming, has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18 And immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he regained his sight, and he got up and was baptized  Now for several days he was with the disciples who were at Damascus, 20 and immediately he began to proclaim Jesus in the synagogues, saying, “He is the Son of God.” 21 All those hearing him continued to be amazed, and were saying, “Is this not he who in Jerusalem destroyed those who called on this name, and who had come here for the purpose of bringing them bound before the chief priests?” 22 But Saul kept increasing in strength and confounding the Jews who lived at Damascus by proving that this Jesus is the Christ.  23 When many days had elapsed, the Jews plotted together to do away with him, 24 but their plot became known to Saul. They were also watching the gates day and night so that they might put him to death; 25 but his disciples took him by night and let him down through an opening in the wall, lowering him in a large basket.
26 When he came to Jerusalem, he was trying to associate with the disciples; but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he was a disciple. 27 But Barnabas took hold of him and brought him to the apostles and described to them how he had seen the Lord on the road, and that He had talked to him, and how at Damascus he had spoken out boldly in the name of Jesus. 28 And he was with them, moving about freely in Jerusalem, speaking out boldly in the name of the Lord. 29 And he was talking and arguing with the Hellenistic Jews; but they were attempting to put him to death. 30 But when the brethren learned of it, they brought him down to Caesarea and sent him away to Tarsus...


Acts 10:44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who were listening to the message. 45 All the circumcised believers who came with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. 46 For they were hearing them speaking with tongues and exalting God. Then Peter answered, 47 “Surely no one can refuse the water for these to be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we did, can he?” 48 And he ordered them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to stay on for a few days.  Acts 11:1 Now the apostles and the brethren who were throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles also had received the word of God. 2 And when Peter came up to Jerusalem, those who were circumcised took issue with him, 3 saying, “You went to uncircumcised men and ate with them.” 4 But Peter began speaking and proceeded to explain to them in orderly sequence,....15 “And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them just as He did upon us at the beginning. 16 “And I remembered the word of the Lord, how He used to say, ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ 17 “Therefore if God gave to them the same gift as He gave to us also after believing in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could stand in God’s way?” 18 When they heard this, they quieted down and glorified God, saying, “Well then, God has granted to the Gentiles also the repentance that leads to life.”

19 So then those who were scattered because of the persecution that occurred in connection with Stephen made their way to Phoenicia and Cyprus and Antioch, speaking the word to no one except to Jews alone. 20 But there were some of them, men of Cyprus and Cyrene, who came to Antioch and began speaking to the Greeks also, preaching the Lord Jesus. 21 And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a large number who believed turned to the Lord. 22 The news about them reached the ears of the church at Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas off to Antioch. 23 Then when he arrived and witnessed the grace of God, he rejoiced and began to encourage them all with resolute heart to remain true to the Lord; 24 for he was a good man, and full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And considerable numbers were brought to the Lord. 25 And he left for Tarsus to look for Saul; 26 and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. And for an entire year they met with the church and taught considerable numbers; and the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.  27 Now at this time some prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch. 28 One of them named Agabus stood up and began to indicate by the Spirit that there would certainly be a great famine all over the world. And this took place in the reign of Claudius. 29 And in the proportion that any of the disciples had means, each of them determined to send a contribution for the relief of the brethren living in Judea. 30 And this they did, sending it in charge [lit. by the hand of] of Barnabas and Saul to the elders [lit. presbyters/priests].

Acts 12:1 Now about that time Herod the king laid hands on some who belonged to the church in order to mistreat them. 2 And he had James the brother of John put to death with a sword. 3 When he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to arrest Peter also. Now it was during the days of Unleavened Bread....4 When he had seized him, he put him in prison, delivering him to four squads of soldiers to guard him, intending after the Passover to bring him out before the people. 5 So Peter was kept in the prison, but prayer for him was being made fervently by the church to God. 6 On the very night when Herod was about to bring him forward, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and guards in front of the door were watching over the prison. 7 And behold, an angel of the Lord suddenly appeared and a light shone in the cell; and he struck Peter’s side and woke him up, saying, “Get up quickly.” And his chains fell off his hands...11 When Peter came to himself, he said, “Now I know for sure that the Lord has sent forth His angel and rescued me from the hand of Herod and from all that the Jewish people were expecting.” 12 And when he realized this, he went to the house of Mary, the mother of John who was also called Mark, where many were gathered together and were praying... 17 But motioning to them with his hand to be silent, he described to them how the Lord had led him out of the prison. And he said, “Report these things to James and the brethren.” Then he left and went to another place...25 And Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem when they had fulfilled their mission, taking along with them John, who was also called Mark

Acts 13:1 Now there were at Antioch, in the church that was there, prophets and teachers: Barnabas, and Simeon who was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. 2 While they were ministering [lit: celebrating the Liturgy] to the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” 3 Then, when they had fasted and prayed and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.
4 So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit
...

Acts 14:23 When they had appointed elders[lit. presbyters/priests for them in every church, having prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord in whom they had believed. 24 They passed through Pisidia and came into Pamphylia. 25 When they had spoken the word in Perga, they went down to Attalia. 26 From there they sailed to Antioch, from which they had been commended to the grace of God for the work that they had accomplished. 27 When they had arrived and gathered the church together, they began to report all things that God had done with them and how He had opened a door of faith to the Gentiles. 28 And they spent a long time with the disciples. 15:1 Some men came down from Judea and began teaching the brethren, “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.” 2 And when Paul and Barnabas had great dissension and debate with them, the brethren determined that Paul and Barnabas and some others of them should go up to Jerusalem to the apostles and elders concerning this issue.... 4 When they arrived at Jerusalem, they were received by the church and the apostles and the elders, and they reported all that God had done with them...6 The apostles and the elders [presbyters/priests] came together to look into this matter. 7 After there had been much debate, Peter stood up and said to them, “Brethren, you know that in the early days God made a choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles would hear the word of the gospel and believe...12 All the people kept silent, and they were listening to Barnabas and Paul as they were relating what signs and wonders God had done through them among the Gentiles.  13 After they had stopped speaking, James answered, saying, “Brethren, listen to me....19 “Therefore it is my judgment...22 Then it seemed good to the apostles and the elders, with the whole church, to choose men from among them to send to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas—Judas called Barsabbas, and Silas, leading men among the brethren, 23 and they sent this letter by them,...30 So when they were sent away, they went down to Antioch; and having gathered the congregation together, they delivered the letter. 31 When they had read it, they rejoiced because of its encouragement. 32 Judas and Silas, also being prophets themselves, encouraged and strengthened the brethren with a lengthy message. 33 After they had spent time there, they were sent away from the brethren in peace to those who had sent them out. 34 (But it seemed good to Silas to remain there.) 35 But Paul and Barnabas stayed in Antioch, teaching and preaching with many others also, the word of the Lord. 36 After some days Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us return and visit the brethren in every city in which we proclaimed the word of the Lord, and see how they are.”

Acts 19:1 It happened that while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul passed through the upper country and came to Ephesus, and found some disciples. 2 He said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” And they said to him, “No, we have not even heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.” 3 And he said, “Into what then were you baptized?” And they said, “Into John’s baptism.” 4 Paul said, “John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in Him who was coming after him, that is, in Jesus.” 5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began speaking with tongues and prophesying.

[sidenote: this shows a) baptism in the name of Jesus is in the triune formula, not literally Jesus' name, b) baptism is connected with the Holy Spirit c) laying on of hands, i.e. chrismation now, is seperate from but linked to baptism, and it is confered by the authority of the Church.  btw, by these verses we know that the laying on of hands in Acts 13 was that of the episcopacy, cf. Acts 8:16]

Acts 20:17 From Miletus he sent to Ephesus and called to him the elders [lit. presbyters/priests] of the church. 18 And when they had come to him, he said to them,...28 “Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers [lit. bishops: from this we know that the references to presbyters/priests were to chorbishops, the early office of auxiliary bishop who functioned as parish priest], to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. [as an aside, St. Paul goes on in verse 35 to quote "the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive," which are not found in the Gospels.  So much for sola scriptura.]...

Acts 21:17 After we arrived in Jerusalem, the brethren received us gladly. 18 And the following day Paul went in with us to James, and all the elders were present. 19 After he had greeted them, he began to relate one by one the things which God had done among the Gentiles through his ministry. 20 And when they heard it they began glorifying God; and they said to him, “You see, brother, how many thousands there are among the Jews of those who have believed, and they are all zealous for the Law; 21 and they have been told about you, that you are teaching all the Jews who are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, telling them not to circumcise their children nor to walk according to the customs. 22 “What, then, is to be done? They will certainly hear that you have come. 23 “Therefore do this that we tell you. We have four men who are under a vow; 24 take them and purify yourself along with them, and pay their expenses so that they may shave their heads; and all will know that there is nothing to the things which they have been told about you, but that you yourself also walk orderly, keeping the Law. 25 “But concerning the Gentiles who have believed, we wrote, having decided that they should abstain from meat sacrificed to idols and from blood and from what is strangled and from fornication.” 26 Then Paul took the men, and the next day, purifying himself along with them, went into the temple giving notice of the completion of the days of purification, until the sacrifice was offered for each one of them....39 But Paul said, “I am a Jew of Tarsus in Cilicia, a citizen of no insignificant city; and I beg you, allow me to speak to the people.” 40 When he had given him permission, Paul, standing on the stairs, motioned to the people with his hand; and when there was a great hush, he spoke to them in the Hebrew dialect, saying,  Acts 22:1 “Brethren and fathers, hear my defense which I now offer to you.”...12 “A certain Ananias, a man who was devout by the standard of the Law, and well spoken of by all the Jews who lived there, 13 came to me, and standing near said to me, ‘Brother Saul, receive your sight!’ And at that very time I looked up at him. 14 “And he said, ‘The God of our fathers has appointed you to know His will and to see the Righteous One and to hear an utterance from His mouth. 15 ‘For you will be a witness for Him to all men of what you have seen and heard. 16 ‘Now why do you delay? Get up and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on His name.’





 
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The one born out of due season, and giving precedent to the Lord Himself calling, authorizing, and ordaining ANY He sees fit to the work of His ministry, through His Spirit even apart from "official" recognition of ecclesiastical bodies who assume the Spirirt must work through them and their channels like the Jews of old in the case of both Christ and His forerunner. The head of the church can still act without permission from His recognized subjects ya know.  Wink

But His subjects cannot.

You seem to be setting Galatins against Acts, but Scripture does not contradict scriputre:

Galatians 1:15 But when God, who had set me apart even from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, was pleased 16 to reveal His Son in me so that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with flesh and blood, [note: no mention of Ananias] 17 nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went away to Arabia, and returned once more to Damascus.
18 Then three years later I went up to Jerusalem to become acquainted with Cephas, and stayed with him fifteen days. 19 But I did not see any other of the apostles except James, the Lord’s brother...2:1 Then after an interval of fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titus along also. 2 It was because of a revelation that I went up; and I submitted to them the gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but I did so in private to those who were of reputation, for fear that I might be running, or had run, in vain.

Btw, it seems the false brethren are the proto-Ebionites.

I have to get the kids ready (and myself) for DL.  Hopefully, Lord willing, I'll be able to return soon and finish.  But in the meantime, I'll summarize with reference to my present parish.  It started as a Bible study at Wheaton College.  Pursuing sola scriptura, they realized finally that the scripture required bishops, so they would have to get them.  But, as Hebrews warns, no man takes this honor on himself, but it is given him, so they had to find those to whom the episcopacy had been given, to whom the Apostles through Paul entrusted the Church in Acts 20, and as Titus had fulfilled their commission to set the Church in order by appointing elders/bishops (lit. presbyters/priests/chorbishops).  In other words, someone who could trace their succession, unbroken, to the Apostles: if they thought starting from scratch would do it, they could have joined the Mormons.  You know, those who gave their "official" recognition to the canon of scripture and transmitted it, recognition you do not recognize but presume to take their Gospel (and as St. Paul warns, there were and are other Gospels: the Ebionites had one for instance).  Or do you have the autographs of Scripture? Or has it been revealed to you a la Joseph Smith (I have always found it more logical to believe the Mormon story than to think, for instance, like a Jehovah's Witness that no one understood that document that they were copying manuscript by manuscript over the centuries.  How can you trust them?  How do you not know that they changed the text to fit their beliefs, as defenders of the Gnostic Gospels?). 

Those ecclesiastical bodies who know the Spirirt works through them and their channels (Christ I know, Paul I known, Peter I know, St. Ignatius of Antioch I know, Patriarch Ignatius IV of Antioch I know, but who are you?).  Those same channels that produced, canonized and preserved the Bible.  Consider the source, if you can't trust them for interpretting it right, why do you trust their, i.e. OUR, text?

So this parish knew they had to go to the Vatican, the Anglicans or the Orthodox (the Lutheran church of Sweden and Finland were options they didn't know about).  Then Anglicans (and Lutherans) by the time came had shown they couldn't preserve Apostolic Christianity, and the Vatican, in contradiction to Scripture and Tradition (which is the same thing), claimed that their bishop was really the only one.  So the parish was receieved into the Orthodox.

Received by that same Church of Antioch where the disciples were first called Chrsitians, where St. Paul was ordained, and where St. Peter's successor still sits on his throne.  Our priest was ordained by a bishop who was born on that street called Straight in Damascus, baptized, like St. Paul, in St. Ananias' house, and ordained in the cathedral on that same street near the gate St. Paul was let down over the wall.  As our priest says, when the bishop lays his hands on you, like they did we see all through Acts, you are only an arms length from an Apostle.

The precedent of St. Paul is to submit the Gospel you preach to those of reputation.  Have you done that?
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« Reply #54 on: January 11, 2009, 10:41:45 AM »

Yes, Saint Paul was uniquely chosen...and accepted as such by the apostles.
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« Reply #55 on: January 11, 2009, 04:58:55 PM »

Acts 13:1 Now there were at Antioch, in the church that was there, prophets and teachers: Barnabas, and Simeon who was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. 2 While they were ministering [lit: celebrating the Liturgy] to the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” 3 Then, when they had fasted and prayed and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.
IOW, even St. Paul was ordained for his ministry by the Church manifesting itself in a specific location (i.e., a local church).  Even St. Paul didn't act in any way apart from the established ecclesiastical order.
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« Reply #56 on: January 11, 2009, 05:45:01 PM »

Yes, I've noticed that we haven't gotten an answer on the authority of the Pharisess, the difference of the Baptism of John, baptism being the cause and not of the result of the forgiveness of sins, etc.

I've already stated my position on such things. I would merely be restating them. Simply put...
My authority to baptize comes from heaven, from the Lord Himself.

I'm thinking about making myself the President of the United States..or maybe the mayor of Key West... I love Key West... I claim divine authority to do so. 
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« Reply #57 on: January 11, 2009, 05:47:57 PM »

Thank God for Paul -- the Apostle not ordained of other Apostles.
Is your avatar a picture of you? Is that a Bible you are holding open? Have you actually read it?

I'm thinking about making myself the President of the United States..or maybe the mayor of Key West... I love Key West... I claim divine authority to do so. 
Sorry, but the US is now a Constitutional Monarchy as I have now claimed the Divine Right of Kings. I'll send you an email when I decide to open your new Parliament.
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« Reply #58 on: January 11, 2009, 05:56:30 PM »

who was born on that street called Straight in Damascus, baptized, like St. Paul, in St. Ananias' house, and ordained in the cathedral on that same street near the gate St. Paul was let down over the wall.  As our priest says, when the bishop lays his hands on you, like they did we see all through Acts, you are only an arms length from an Apostle.


A group of Protestants traveled to Iraq after the fall of Saddam hoping the spread the Gospel there. They came to a village and were surprised to learn that the people living there were Christians. They asked the head man "who was it that converted your family?"..
He hesitated for a moment and then replied: " St. Paul "  
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« Reply #59 on: January 11, 2009, 06:52:58 PM »

Tangent topic split off and moved here: c38 Says "Abandon Orthodox Doctrine And Just Hug"
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« Reply #60 on: January 11, 2009, 07:25:36 PM »

I've already stated my position on such things. I would merely be restating them. Simply put...
My authority to baptize comes from heaven, from the Lord Himself.
Given that this was based on your belief that you were imitating St. Paul whom you thought had not been ordained by the Apostles:
Thank God for Paul -- the Apostle not ordained of other Apostles. The one born out of due season, and giving precedent to the Lord Himself calling, authorizing, and ordaining ANY He sees fit to the work of His ministry, through His Spirit even apart from "official" recognition of ecclesiastical bodies who assume the Spirirt must work through them and their channels like the Jews of old in the case of both Christ and His forerunner. The head of the church can still act without permission from His recognized subjects ya know.  Wink
And it has now been shown to you that this is, in fact, erroneous, and that St. Paul did receive chierotonia (Ordination) from the Apostles (see ialmisry's post above), does this change your view in the light of Scripture, or do you still insist you are correct?

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« Reply #61 on: January 12, 2009, 08:44:07 AM »

Now, although the last one might seem attractive, there's the problem that we see the Christ commissioning his disciples "he who receives you receives Me....he who rejects you rejects Me and Him who sent me" (St. John recording that the disciples but not Christ baptized) in the Gospels

But I have received them, in as much as by their word (the NT)

You mean OUR Word.

Your Bible, I take it, has such ascriptions as "The Gospels according to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John."  In reality, what that means is "The Gospels according to what the Orthodox say Matthew, Mark, Luke and John wrote."

Let me be clear: When St. Paul speaks of another Gospel, he is not only talking about an abstract concept.  There were other gospels.  The Ebionites, whose "fathers" St. Paul is writting against in Galatians, had another gospel.  It seems they took the most Jewish gospel, Matthew, and "purged" it of any reference that could support St. Paul and Gentile Christianity.  Symmachus the Ebionite (late 2nd cent.) even wrote a "refutation" of the canonical, i.e. OUR ORTHODOX, Gospel of Matthew:  (Eusebius, Historia Ecclesiae, VI, xvii) "As to these translators it should be stated that Symmachus was an Ebionite. But the heresy of the Ebionites, as it is called, asserts that Christ was the son of Joseph and Mary, considering him a mere man, and insists strongly on keeping the law in a Jewish manner, as we have seen already in this history. Commentaries of Symmachus are still extant in which he appears to support this heresy by attacking the Gospel of Matthew. Origen states that he obtained these and other commentaries of Symmachus on the Scriptures from a certain Juliana, who, he says, received the books by inheritance from Symmachus himself."

"These translators," btw, are those Ebionites and Jews who retranslated the OT, or rather Tanakh, to replace the Septuagint, the translation used by the Apostles and the Church, i.e. the Orthodox Church, they founded.  Said translations were done to favor their theology against ORTHODOX theology.  Hence, no Virgin in Isaiah, hence no Virgin birth.  Now, I take it, your "OT" is really an English translation of the Masoretic Tanakh, a recension also compiled in opposition to the Orthodox OT.  Your problem is that no (never, not a one, none) CHRISTIAN manuscript of the OT is based on the Masoretic text.  Further, all the Greek manuscripts of the Bible, from which you get your NT, all have the Septuagint text.  So why do you accept the NT, and reject the OT?  If the generations of Orthodox copied the wrong OT, why do you think they copied the right NT?

Marcion also produced another "gospel," from the flip side of the Ebionites: he thought the God of the OT was the evil demiurge, and so produced a Lucan text with the references to the OT deleted, and he chucked the whole OT.  Why don't you use his "gospel?"

I could go on with the "Gospel of Thomas," etc., but you get the idea.  At least Pagels admits she is rejecting the authority of Church to make the canon.  If you want a Virgin Birth of the Word in the Flesh, you got to come to us.



Quote
I have believed on the Lord.

Romans 10:14 How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? 15 How will they preach unless they are sent?

Since you won't listen to the Church, where did you hear of Him from?  Who sent them to you?

Quote
By that same word

...that you are plagerizing, and violating copyright...

Quote
I have received Apostolic affirmation of divine authorization to baptize.


Like Joseph Smith?

Quote
Simply put, the Lord called me to be His minister,

Like Joseph Smith?


Quote
and he has authorized me to baptize.

Like Joseph Smith?

Quote
If you really have an issue with that, then I can't really help you. Take it up with Him.


Him I know, and the Apostles I know, and St. Ignatius of Antioch I know, and Patriarch Ignatius IV of Antioch I know, but who are you?

Look at Acts 19:15 to see about the dangers of acting in His name without proper authority.  He who does not gather, scatters.

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« Reply #62 on: January 12, 2009, 09:58:24 AM »

ialmisry

Acts 19:15 is a great example of Tradition having no authority over the Spirit. Tradition we see in fact withers and cracks without Living Sap to nourish it. Jesus anticipates many coming in His name, even ‘non-apostolic’ healers, and He left these instructions: "leave him alone, anyone who is not against me is for me". Further, "no one can say 'Jesus is Lord', except by the Holy Spirit". That said, we need not believe all spirits who come to us, but should "test the Spirit first" to see if it is indeed the Spirit of Truth. (“Spirit of Truth” is not the same thing as Truth, if this is new to you)

At the moment, I'm not coming to you in the right spirit ialmisry, because your errors are provoking pride. I hope to do better.
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« Reply #63 on: January 12, 2009, 11:00:16 AM »

ialmisry

Acts 19:15 is a great example of Tradition having no authority over the Spirit. Tradition we see in fact withers and cracks without Living Sap to nourish it.
What is this "Spirit" to you that you actually set Tradition against Him?  Are you not aware that Tradition is nothing--cannot even be called Tradition--without the Spirit?  Can you not see that, to the Orthodox mind, Tradition vs. Holy Spirit is a dichotomy that just does not--cannot--exist?

Jesus anticipates many coming in His name, even ‘non-apostolic’ healers, and He left these instructions: "leave him alone, anyone who is not against me is for me". Further, "no one can say 'Jesus is Lord', except by the Holy Spirit". That said, we need not believe all spirits who come to us, but should "test the Spirit first" to see if it is indeed the Spirit of Truth. (“Spirit of Truth” is not the same thing as Truth, if this is new to you)
What is Truth to you?

At the moment, I'm not coming to you in the right spirit ialmisry, because your errors are provoking pride. I hope to do better.

What is Truth that you can actually tell ialmisry he is in error?
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« Reply #64 on: January 12, 2009, 11:33:52 AM »

The "Tradition vs. Holy Spirit ... dichotomy" (or better, complementary pair) is a weak point in iamisry's argument (I just got the name  laugh ). Spirit, and Scripture, seem to tell us to "leave him alone", but Tradition has always permited us to badger him over his authority to baptise.

By the way, read my first comments in this thread and you will know where I'm coming from on baptism. If you want to shut me out of this discussion for good, then refute this ... and demonstrate that you still have baptism.
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« Reply #65 on: January 12, 2009, 12:03:04 PM »


I was told that in case of an emergency and no Orthodox priest is present, that any baptized Orthodox Christian could "baptize" an individual. 

For example, if a woman births a child far, far away...and the child is not well, and is in fact dying, a baptized person could baptize the infant with water and proclaim that this little person was being baptized in the name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

While this is not the norm, nor "recommended", is it not possible?  Does the Holy Spirit not reside within us after our baptism?

I gave an example of a child (which some say would go to Heaven, either way), but, what if it were an adult who wished to be baptized and due to circumstances was not.  This person finds themself leaving this earth and they wish to be baptized.  For example, a soldier in the field has "found" God and lying wounded wants to be baptized before he dies.  Can a fellow, baptized soldier, baptize him or not?

Hopefully, we won't experience these situations, and hopefully we are all already baptized, however, for the sake of discussion, what can be done for the dying person?

...and plleeeease don't argue.

I wholeheartedly agree that a priest/bishop SHOULD be the one baptizing individuals...no question.  However, in emergency situations...does this rule hold fast?


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« Reply #66 on: January 12, 2009, 12:23:43 PM »

Now, although the last one might seem attractive, there's the problem that we see the Christ commissioning his disciples "he who receives you receives Me....he who rejects you rejects Me and Him who sent me" (St. John recording that the disciples but not Christ baptized) in the Gospels

But I have received them, in as much as by their word (the NT)

You mean OUR Word.

Your Bible, I take it, has such ascriptions as "The Gospels according to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John."  In reality, what that means is "The Gospels according to what the Orthodox say Matthew, Mark, Luke and John wrote."

Let me be clear: When St. Paul speaks of another Gospel, he is not only talking about an abstract concept.  There were other gospels.  The Ebionites, whose "fathers" St. Paul is writting against in Galatians, had another gospel.  It seems they took the most Jewish gospel, Matthew, and "purged" it of any reference that could support St. Paul and Gentile Christianity.  Symmachus the Ebionite (late 2nd cent.) even wrote a "refutation" of the canonical, i.e. OUR ORTHODOX, Gospel of Matthew:  (Eusebius, Historia Ecclesiae, VI, xvii) "As to these translators it should be stated that Symmachus was an Ebionite. But the heresy of the Ebionites, as it is called, asserts that Christ was the son of Joseph and Mary, considering him a mere man, and insists strongly on keeping the law in a Jewish manner, as we have seen already in this history. Commentaries of Symmachus are still extant in which he appears to support this heresy by attacking the Gospel of Matthew. Origen states that he obtained these and other commentaries of Symmachus on the Scriptures from a certain Juliana, who, he says, received the books by inheritance from Symmachus himself."

"These translators," btw, are those Ebionites and Jews who retranslated the OT, or rather Tanakh, to replace the Septuagint, the translation used by the Apostles and the Church, i.e. the Orthodox Church, they founded.  Said translations were done to favor their theology against ORTHODOX theology.  Hence, no Virgin in Isaiah, hence no Virgin birth.  Now, I take it, your "OT" is really an English translation of the Masoretic Tanakh, a recension also compiled in opposition to the Orthodox OT.  Your problem is that no (never, not a one, none) CHRISTIAN manuscript of the OT is based on the Masoretic text.  Further, all the Greek manuscripts of the Bible, from which you get your NT, all have the Septuagint text.  So why do you accept the NT, and reject the OT?  If the generations of Orthodox copied the wrong OT, why do you think they copied the right NT?

Marcion also produced another "gospel," from the flip side of the Ebionites: he thought the God of the OT was the evil demiurge, and so produced a Lucan text with the references to the OT deleted, and he chucked the whole OT.  Why don't you use his "gospel?"

I could go on with the "Gospel of Thomas," etc., but you get the idea.  At least Pagels admits she is rejecting the authority of Church to make the canon.  If you want a Virgin Birth of the Word in the Flesh, you got to come to us.



Quote
I have believed on the Lord.

Romans 10:14 How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? 15 How will they preach unless they are sent?

Since you won't listen to the Church, where did you hear of Him from?  Who sent them to you?

Quote
By that same word

...that you are plagerizing, and violating copyright...

Quote
I have received Apostolic affirmation of divine authorization to baptize.


Like Joseph Smith?

Quote
Simply put, the Lord called me to be His minister,

Like Joseph Smith?


Quote
and he has authorized me to baptize.

Like Joseph Smith?

Quote
If you really have an issue with that, then I can't really help you. Take it up with Him.


Him I know, and the Apostles I know, and St. Ignatius of Antioch I know, and Patriarch Ignatius IV of Antioch I know, but who are you?

Look at Acts 19:15 to see about the dangers of acting in His name without proper authority.  He who does not gather, scatters.




Bravo !!!  Post of the Month Nomination....
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« Reply #67 on: January 12, 2009, 01:08:55 PM »


I was told that in case of an emergency and no Orthodox priest is present, that any baptized Orthodox Christian could "baptize" an individual. 

For example, if a woman births a child far, far away...and the child is not well, and is in fact dying, a baptized person could baptize the infant with water and proclaim that this little person was being baptized in the name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

While this is not the norm, nor "recommended", is it not possible?  Does the Holy Spirit not reside within us after our baptism?

I gave an example of a child (which some say would go to Heaven, either way), but, what if it were an adult who wished to be baptized and due to circumstances was not.  This person finds themself leaving this earth and they wish to be baptized.  For example, a soldier in the field has "found" God and lying wounded wants to be baptized before he dies.  Can a fellow, baptized soldier, baptize him or not?

Hopefully, we won't experience these situations, and hopefully we are all already baptized, however, for the sake of discussion, what can be done for the dying person?

...and plleeeease don't argue.

I wholeheartedly agree that a priest/bishop SHOULD be the one baptizing individuals...no question.  However, in emergency situations...does this rule hold fast?



Any baptized Christian can baptize in case of emergency, and certainly a christmated one (which would be the case with all Orthodox).  There is one priest, Christ: the ordained orders (bishop, etc) embody this like a married couple embody the relationship between Christ and the Church, but there is the unordained royal priesthood of all those who have been vested with Christ in baptism.  It is somewhat, but exactly, like the idea that baptism should be done by full immersion, but in case of emergency a priest would do it by pouring.  The problem is that with the Protestants, what should be an emergency exception is becoming the rule.
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« Reply #68 on: January 12, 2009, 01:12:42 PM »


In esscence the term would apply to any in a given household. Thus, generally speaking, it coud include infants IF they were present in the home. However, to substantiate that one must be able to PROVE infants were in fact present. Besides, the context being that of baptism, which is directly connected Scripturally with a personal declaration of faith in Christ, limits the application of household here to only those in a given household who were personally capable of making such a declaration. In short -- believer's baptism provides' the context for understanding the application of household. To reason otherwise is to undo the statment of Scripture by adding to and broadening it. Indeed, contradicting it.
I'm sorry, what is your source for this?  Do you speak Liturgical Greek?  My husband does (fluently, as well as modern Greek-- in fact he has won awards for his translation and is currently consulting on some works that will be coming out of a monastery in Greece in the near future).  The term was used to denote ENTIRE families.  Now no, this doesn't mean that there absolutely WAS an infant or child in every household, but what are the chances that of all the households mentioned, there were NO children?  Slim to none.  We do not need to prove that infants were present.  As the term includes infants, you need to prove that they were NOT present.  You also need to prove that this was not a practice of the NT church. 

The term is not limited by Scripture, YOU are limiting it with YOUR interpretation of Scripture.  You realize that this is going to be a circular argument?  By binding yourself to the exact words of Scripture and refusing to acknowledge any other source (be it a source within the Church or a "secular" historical source), we are going to keep coming around to the same place.  That is, with your reply of "but the Scriptures don't specifically say infants!"

"Believer's Baptism" does not provide the context.  YOU are forcing a context which proves your point.  Not the same thing.

Quote
I did not say children should never be baptized. In only insist that they be of sufficient mental ability to make a personal and true declaration of faith in Christ.
Why do you insist this when the Early Church did not?  Just curious.

Quote
The age need not be given of baptismal candidates since due to the fact that baptism is expressly stated to be for believers the practice assumes each candidate of sufficient "age" able to believe for themselves -- child or no.
That's funny, I said the age need not be given!  Why?  Because infant baptism was done from the beginning.  It is incumbent upon you to prove that it wasn't. 

Oh, and the other reason is because infants can and do believe.  See below where I discuss my nephew and niece.  Not that they're some paragon of Christianity, and though I may tell you I think they're the smartest kids in the world, I know they're not able to understand God fully (being 3 and 1), but they most definitely love and have faith in Him!  I think their example will do just fine.

Quote
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-The saving power of Christ's presence in Holy Baptism (too long a point to explain here, it can be found in the article I posted above)
Disagree with the premise. Can Christ save in or through baptism? I suppose. Can and does Christ save prior to baptism? Yep. So, does salvation wait for baptism? Nope.
We are specifically told that baptism is needed for salvation.  Why would that be, if the rite of baptism itself had no saving power?  Romans 6:4 makes it clear:
"Romans 6:4   4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life."
The emphasis is on God and what HE does for us.  This is a fundamental difference between us.  And really, I think we will not be able to come to any kind of meeting of the minds until we agree on this: that Baptism is more than just a commitment we make to God.  It is something GOD does for us.  Baptism bears witness to God's action of choosing us to be members of His body.  Christ was not baptized because He needed to commit Himself to God.  He accomplished seven things by being baptized, not one of which was "to commit Himself to God" or any other such affirmation of His own faith (as stated in the Orthodox Study Bible):
1. He affirmed John the Baptist's Ministry
2. He was revealed by the Father and the Holy Spirit to be the Christ, God's beloved Son
3.  HE IDENTIFIED HIMSELF WITH HIS PEOPLE BY DESCENDING INTO THE WATERS WITH THEM
4. He prefigured His own death, giving baptism its ultimate meaning
5. He entered the waters, sanctifying the water itself (again--- sanctifying matter-- this is what I said in the Eucharist thread)
6. He fulfilled the many types given in the OT, as when Moses led the people from bondage through the red sea, etc.
7. HE OPENED HEAVEN TO A WORLD SEPARATED FROM GOD THROUGH SIN.

I stress numbers 3 and 7 because, indeed, baptism is a sign of God's action, of what HE does for US.  Yes, as adults being baptized, we must have faith and repentance, but OUR FAITH AND REPENTANCE OR LACK THEREOF DOES NOT, CANNOT, WILL NOT EVER TRUMP THE GRACE OF GOD AND WHAT HE DOES FOR US.  As my Grammy used to occasionally say, "Not everything is about you."  God forbid we just accept what God does, rather than trying to shove ourselves into the middle of His action and His plan, eh?

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Hence baptism is more a corollary of salvation, a witness to the inner work of saving grace and faith already present in those who have believed.
Show me where it says corollary, please.  All I have seen is where Christ tells us it is REQUIRED (John 3).  It is not a witness to US and OUR faith, it is a witness of GOD's work, GOD's action, GOD's grace.  Again, it ain't all about us.

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-The Old Testament symbols of Salvation and Baptism include infants (such as circumcision-- again, can be read above)
Indeed! Like as they were those born of the flesh, believers are those born again of the Spirit.
Their circumscision was literal and pertained to literal birth (infants, etc.) -- ours is metaphorical, spiritual and pertains only to those who have spiritually been reborn. You stumble here with Nicodemus. As paul expressed to the Cornthians concerning "birth from the grave" so to we can discern application here... There is a natural and there is a spiritual. Albeit that which is spiritual is not first, but that which is natural. Afterward that which is spiritual. Hence, only spiritual infants have a right to the waters of baptism.

I'm sorry, explain to me how it is that you think I stumble with Nicodemus?
I think, rather, that you stumble with Paul, who tells us VERY clearly in Colossians:
"11 In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins[c] of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, 12 buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. 13 And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, 14 having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. 15 Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it. "

He directly likens Baptism to Chrismation, calling it the "circumcision of Christ."  He is clear that Baptism is the new circumcision.  He does not make one different from another.  So if, indeed, Baptism is the circumcision of Christ, then how can one object to giving that to infants?  YOU may make this faulty distinction, but HE doesn't.

As well, we see two direct pre-figurements in the Old Testament of baptism.  Lest we descend into Marcianism (discarding of the OT altogether), we are bound to recognize them, the first one most especially.

The first is Moses and the red sea.  We must recognize this pre-figurement, as the Apostle specifically tells us to in 1Corinthians 10:1-4.  He specifically says that they were "baptized into Moses."  Did Moses leave the infants and children in Egypt?  I daresay he didn't.  ALL were baptized into Moses.  And if Paul saw that the baptism of infants was a problem, he would have surely taken that opportunity to tell us!  Surely he would have stopped right then and mentioned that we should not baptize infants, since he was giving this specifically as an example.  If there was a place where the example differed from what was intended, he would have told us.

The second is Noah and the Ark.  And we know his whole family was there.

I basically just parroted what was said in the article I posted, adding my opinion here and there.  But since you didn't want to read the article, it left me no choice.  No problem.  I enjoyed it.  Smiley

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-Faith as relationship of love and trust not limited to the mind-- The OT and NT examples of infants recognizing salvation and having faith
I'm sorry, but you'll have to show me explicit Scriptural explanation that infants either recognized salvation or personally placed faith in salvation while in infancy. I see where God recognized infants, and graced them with divine purpose even form the womb. I see where confirmation of that purpose may be demonstrated by the infant, even pre-born, as in the case of John the baptist. But that is a far cry from infants actually understanding and applying saving faith in the person and work of Christ.
Are you telling me that when John the Baptist leapt in his mother's womb at the sound of the Theotokos' voice (she who carried his savior), that he DIDN'T recognize?!?  What, exactly, is it that you think he DID recognize?  You think he was just dancing at the sound of her pretty voice?  NO!  He recognized that HIS SAVIOR WAS NEAR, THAT HIS SALVATION WAS IN FRONT OF HIM!  It had nothing to do with the Theotokos.  Her purpose has always been only in relation to Christ.  And what is Christ's purpose?  Well, if we really have to go that basic, there's a problem.  This is a terribly legalistic and un-believing argument you are trying to present here.  John's divine purpose was TO RECOGNIZE THE SALVATION OF CHRIST!  It was the entire purpose of his existence... to pave the way for Him who came after, yet before him.  He did this even from the womb!  Are you telling me he DIDN'T?  whoa.

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Now, perhaps if they came from the womb actually speaking intelligently I would be inclined to consider such an exaggeration.
Yes, because, of course, the Bible was written for infants, right.  So it must instruct them specifically to get to the church and be baptized, else they won't be recognized as Christians!  Don't be ridiculous!  It is you who are exaggerating, my friend.  Exaggerating your own importance (I don't mean your importance personally, I mean as a human being) in God's plan-- He does the work in Baptism. 

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-The fact that the command of "believer's baptism" was one intended for adults, because the Bible was not written for infants- and the distinction between adult believers and infant- one needs to repent, the other does not (again, can be read above)
And yet, by defintion, one CANNOT be a believer if they have not repented!
Wrong!  Here I will just quote the article for you, rather than parrot it.
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Larry Christenson, in his pamphlet "What About Baptism", quotes Edmund Schlink (author of The Doctrine of Baptism) as stating that the rejection of infant baptism was based on the secular philosophy of the sixteenth century which assured man's individuality, and was not the result of a new Scriptural inquiry:

    "'Belier was seen in rationalistic and volitional terms, as an act of the mind and the will. 'Because an infant cannot think or decide, it cannot have faith, and therefore should not be baptized.' To this day. that is the only argument raised against the validity of infant baptism. One tosses off the sentence as though it were self-evident truth: 'A child can't believe.' But that 'truth,' upon examination, is neither self-evident, nor is it Biblical."

As Christenson goes on to say, faith is not merely a product of reason but relation. It is a relationship of love and trust, a relationship which is not limited to the mind. Some Scriptures which support the possibility of an "infant faith" are these:

    "Yet Thou are He who didst bring me forth from the womb; Thou didst make me trust when upon my mother's breast." (Psalm 22:9)

    "And whoever causes one of these little ones who believe to stumble, it would be better for him if with a heavy millstone hung around his neck, he had been cast into the sea." (Mark 9:42)

    "For behold, when the sound of your greeting [Theotokos] reached my ears [Elizabeth], the baby [John the Baptist] leaped in my womb for joy." (Luke 1:44)

And then:
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Over and over again I am told that is incorrect to allow infants to be baptized because the Scriptural order is to first believe, and then to be baptized (Mark 16:16). The error in this thinking is not that it is incorrect to have an adult believe before he is baptized, but that one cannot apply a command intended for adults to infants. The Bible was not written to infants and is therefore not going to direct them to do anything. They are under the care of their parents who can hear, understand, and believe. Additionally, there is an important distinction to be made between baptizing an infant and an adult believer-one has the need to repent, the other does not.

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-The fact that "infant baptism" was probably not recorded because the Gospel writers didn't see a need- it was rather obvious
Arguing from silence here. If you could give me a strong enough reason to entertain the Biblical validity for infant baptism (such as showing infants having sufficient reason and mental faculty to accept and place faith in Christ as Lord and Savior) then I might would entertain the notion as haing a semb lance of relevance. Otherwise, well, I cannot.
There are times when an argument from silence is perfectly valid.  This is one.  As in the example I gave above-- Paul gives us examples that we are to follow.  If he meant for us to except children, he would have specified that. 
As far as infants having faith in Christ, see above.  What other possible reason can you give (and PROVE!) for why John the Baptist leapt in his mother's womb?  Why would the Gospel have mentioned it?  Because he recognized that His Lord and Savior was near!  Not because he loved Mary's voice! 

And what exactly does, "these little ones who have faith" mean, anyway?

And what about coming to Christ as a child?  Matthew 18:3: "And he said: "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven."  What did he mean?  We should grow physically younger?  Nonsense!  We are to come to him as a child-- with trust, loyalty, total dependence, and FAITH EVEN THOUGH WE DON'T UNDERSTAND!  Apparently Christ thought children could have faith despite a lack of intellectual knowledge (they had knowledge of love and experience of faith).  Why don't you?

My heart and my experience tells me infants can have faith as well.  My little nephew, Nicholas and my niece, Emma both as babies, recognized Christ and His work and love.  I can tell you all kinds of stories of how they recognized Christ and His love- literally!  Wanting to kiss the icons for no apparent reason, pointing at them and laughing, hugging them (I know that they didn't learn that from their parents or anyone else-- we kiss icons, but I can't recall ever hugging one in front of them-- not that it's bad, we just haven't done it).  I can tell you that they converse with angels, but I'm sure you'll brush it aside as hogwash, since it doesn't explicitly say in the Bible that babies can recognize angels, even though we know this to be true through experience.  My nephew, Nicholas, is now three and a half.  He can't possibly understand God fully, but he sure does love Him, and he sure does have faith in Him!  You can't tell me that babies and children don't understand and expect me to buy it.  Ridiculous!  Tongue

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-The entire LIST of questions that are put forward in the second half of the article posted above (I'm not going to retype here, even though I've already been redundant by typing all the other points)
I appreciate the referece to the article. I am sure I wil enjoy perusing it, and others in the future. However, I did not come here to dilaog with an article, but with other particpants. Simply stated, I want to know what you think in your words, and engage you with mine. I want to interact with you, a being, and not with lifeless articles. Reference them, quote bite size excerpts from them, fine. Otherwise I will probably (as here) just skip right over them and keep on going.

Okay, then.  I guess I'll have to ask them myself.  I'll just waste my time parroting here again, since you don't want to just scroll up and read them.  I reference it because I would really like to hear the answers to the questions.  That is discussion.
So...
1. If infant baptism is a later invention, when did it begin and who began it? Where did it originate?
2. Why are there no protests against the validity of infant baptism from anyone in the early Church?
3. Where is anything found in Scripture that expressly forbids the baptism of infants or children?
4. How is it that God established a covenantal, corporate relationship with the tribes of Israel in the Old Testament, but you interpret the New Testament as abolishing the faith of an entire household with the father at its head in favor of a solely individualistic faith?
5. Where does Scripture prescribe any age for baptism?
6. Even if there were a special age when someone's faith reached "maturity," how could one discern that? Doesn't faith always mature? When is faith mature enough for baptism and when is it not? Who can judge?
7. Where in Scripture does it say that children are free from the effects of the Fall simply because they are not old enough to believe? (Even creation is under the curse of mankind's fall - Romans 8:19-21).
8. What about the many Biblical meanings and early Christian understandings of baptism other than the one defining it as a visible sign of inward repentance, meanings such as the sacrament of regeneration (Titus 3:5), a grafting into the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:13), a passage from the reign of Satan into Christ's authority (Romans 6:17), the expression of the manifestation of God (Luke 3:21,22), an admission into God's covenant (Colossians 2:11), the Lord's act of adoption and our putting on of Christ (Galatians 3:26,27)? Why should these things be taken away from the small child of a Christian family?
9. If it was the norm to baptize children at a later age, why is there no evidence in Scripture or early Church history of instruction given to parents on how to help their adolescent children prepare for baptism?
10. If it is granted that baptism is for the remission of sins, why would the Church ever want to give baptism to infants if there were nothing in the infants which needed remission? Would not the grace of baptism, in this context, seem superfluous?
11. In essence, laying aside all the polemics and prejudices and academic intricacies, what Scriptural principle is being violated if a child is baptized and matures in his faith?

Some of these, I feel sure, will be answered in the course of discussion.  Do me a favor, though, and if they are not answered in the rest of the discussion, answer them.   

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BTW just FYI, personally, when I post articles and quotes like that, it is not because I am trying to provoke or to dodge questions or anything.  It is because whoever wrote the article says exactly what I would like to say clearly and succinctly.  I figure it's better to just post the article (and reference it, of course) than to try and say the same things, as we know it can take me a long time to say what they can say quite fast.  I do it simply to not waste others' time.  I apologize if people don't like it when I post articles.  I rather enjoyed that particular one, though.

I understand, really. However, quotes of that length tend to stifle conversation (IMO). So do original comments and posts normally. But in your case, I have so come to enjoy your written expression of thought, your passion in engaging the subject, not to mention your tact and personability, that I find myself willing, even eager in most cases, to savor YOUR words. I can handle snippets of quotes from others added therewith for taste, but not much else. To use a metaphor that may have meaning to a chef  Cheesy -- I don't want a warmed over "meal" someone else prepared. I want your own unique fresh presentation of the dish.  Wink Grin
Metaphor appreciated!  On the other hand, all that has become of your refusal to read the article and respond is that it has forced me to parrot it and take up time and space doing so.  Your refusal to read it does not mean that I don't want answers to the questions and points made.  It just means that, even though you think it's saving time to skip it, it's actually just wasting time.  No offense, just being honest.

Also, I think the article on the original website was moved.  So to make sure I clearly reference my source, I will post the new web address below:
http://www.goarch.org/ourfaith/ourfaith7067

In Christ,
Presbytera Mari
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« Reply #69 on: January 12, 2009, 01:23:51 PM »


I was told that in case of an emergency and no Orthodox priest is present, that any baptized Orthodox Christian could "baptize" an individual. 

For example, if a woman births a child far, far away...and the child is not well, and is in fact dying, a baptized person could baptize the infant with water and proclaim that this little person was being baptized in the name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

While this is not the norm, nor "recommended", is it not possible?  Does the Holy Spirit not reside within us after our baptism?

I gave an example of a child (which some say would go to Heaven, either way), but, what if it were an adult who wished to be baptized and due to circumstances was not.  This person finds themself leaving this earth and they wish to be baptized.  For example, a soldier in the field has "found" God and lying wounded wants to be baptized before he dies.  Can a fellow, baptized soldier, baptize him or not?

Hopefully, we won't experience these situations, and hopefully we are all already baptized, however, for the sake of discussion, what can be done for the dying person?

...and plleeeease don't argue.

I wholeheartedly agree that a priest/bishop SHOULD be the one baptizing individuals...no question.  However, in emergency situations...does this rule hold fast?



Any baptized Christian can baptize in case of emergency, and certainly a christmated one (which would be the case with all Orthodox).  There is one priest, Christ: the ordained orders (bishop, etc) embody this like a married couple embody the relationship between Christ and the Church, but there is the unordained royal priesthood of all those who have been vested with Christ in baptism.  It is somewhat, but exactly, like the idea that baptism should be done by full immersion, but in case of emergency a priest would do it by pouring.  The problem is that with the Protestants, what should be an emergency exception is becoming the rule.

In regards to Christ being the High priest, and how that relates to the laity, please see this thread on the forum http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,18304.0.html  which goes into the implications of One priesthood, of all believers.  It's not as simple as it seems...
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« Reply #70 on: January 12, 2009, 02:56:26 PM »


I was told that in case of an emergency and no Orthodox priest is present, that any baptized Orthodox Christian could "baptize" an individual. 

For example, if a woman births a child far, far away...and the child is not well, and is in fact dying, a baptized person could baptize the infant with water and proclaim that this little person was being baptized in the name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

While this is not the norm, nor "recommended", is it not possible?  Does the Holy Spirit not reside within us after our baptism?

I gave an example of a child (which some say would go to Heaven, either way), but, what if it were an adult who wished to be baptized and due to circumstances was not.  This person finds themself leaving this earth and they wish to be baptized.  For example, a soldier in the field has "found" God and lying wounded wants to be baptized before he dies.  Can a fellow, baptized soldier, baptize him or not?

Hopefully, we won't experience these situations, and hopefully we are all already baptized, however, for the sake of discussion, what can be done for the dying person?

...and plleeeease don't argue.

I wholeheartedly agree that a priest/bishop SHOULD be the one baptizing individuals...no question.  However, in emergency situations...does this rule hold fast?



Any baptized Christian can baptize in case of emergency, and certainly a christmated one (which would be the case with all Orthodox).  There is one priest, Christ: the ordained orders (bishop, etc) embody this like a married couple embody the relationship between Christ and the Church, but there is the unordained royal priesthood of all those who have been vested with Christ in baptism.  It is somewhat, but exactly, like the idea that baptism should be done by full immersion, but in case of emergency a priest would do it by pouring.  The problem is that with the Protestants, what should be an emergency exception is becoming the rule.

In regards to Christ being the High priest, and how that relates to the laity, please see this thread on the forum http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,18304.0.html  which goes into the implications of One priesthood, of all believers.  It's not as simple as it seems...

Ah, now I get what you were getting at on that thread.
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« Reply #71 on: January 12, 2009, 03:06:52 PM »

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No one has mentioned so far that sacraments are signs of God’s covenant with humanity.

Excuse me, but circumcision for the Hebrews was the sign of God's covenant with His chosen people. With the coming of God Incarnate, Him being the completion and fulfilment of the old Law, baptism is the NT equivalent and fulfilment of OT circumcision. All who are baptised into Christ have put on Christ. Alleluia.

Your right, my first read was too quick. Credit to those individuals and hopefully Cleopas has it too now.
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« Reply #72 on: January 12, 2009, 04:57:34 PM »

The "Tradition vs. Holy Spirit ... dichotomy" (or better, complementary pair) is a weak point in iamisry's argument (I just got the name  laugh ). Spirit, and Scripture, seem to tell us to "leave him alone", but Tradition has always permited us to badger him over his authority to baptise.
So, you would now set Tradition against the Spirit and Scripture.  You do realize that this is not an Orthodox approach to either the Scriptures or Tradition?

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By the way, read my first comments in this thread and you will know where I'm coming from on baptism. If you want to shut me out of this discussion for good, then refute this ... and demonstrate that you still have baptism.
I've seen on this thread several very good statements from our Orthodox faith what baptism is, and with equally good support from patristic and liturgical sources.  Please correct me if I'm wrong, but you stated in your first post on this thread that the sacrament of baptism is not so much a significant moment as it is a lifelong process.  I acknowledge the lifelong work of appropriating the grace of one's baptism into one's life in cooperation with the sanctifying work of the Holy Trinity, but the idea of de-emphasizing the significance of the singular moment of baptism is a new concept to me.  I don't recognize this as coming from any traditional sources stated on this thread or found elsewhere.  Therefore, I think the context of this thread demands that YOU prove YOUR thesis true; I don't believe I bear any burden to prove you wrong.
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« Reply #73 on: January 12, 2009, 05:32:14 PM »

No where in all the pages of the Holy Writ will one find any record of the Christian baptism of a woman.

Actually, there is. See Acts 16:12-15 below.

And from thence to Philippi, which is the chief city of that part of Macedonia, and a colony: and we were in that city abiding certain days. And on the sabbath we went out of the city by a river side, where prayer was wont to be made; and we sat down, and spake unto the women which resorted thither. And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul. And when she was baptized, and her household, she besought us, saying, If ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide there. And she constrained us.




Btw, I was actually waiting for you to bring up Galatians 3:28:
There are neither Jews nor Greeks, slaves nor free people, males nor females. You are all the same in Christ Jesus.

But on to the subject at hand:

I'm sorry, maybe I missed you addressing the following points:

I did not address them pont by point, no. I did feel like my replies in general gave adequate insight into my difference with such thoughts. That is what I meant by "generic" responses.

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-the translation of the word "household" as used in the original Greek and the Hebrew (as seen in the OT) to mean the entire family-- men, women, children, infants-- the original Greek word has ALWAYS been used to include infants, and there has never been another usage

In esscence the term would apply to any in a given household. Thus, generally speaking, it coud include infants IF they were present in the home. However, to substantiate that one must be able to PROVE infants were in fact present. Besides, the context being that of baptism, which is directly connected Scripturally with a personal declaration of faith in Christ, limits the application of household here to only those in a given household who were personally capable of making such a declaration. In short -- believer's baptism provides' the context for understanding the application of household. To reason otherwise is to undo the statment of Scripture by adding to and broadening it. Indeed, contradicting it.

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-all of the OTHER households that were baptized (were they ALL childless?  doubtful, at best)
I did not say children should never be baptized. In only insist that they be of sufficient mental ability to make a personal and true declaration of faith in Christ.

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-The fact that older children were NEVER recorded as being baptized, nor is there any record of the adult baptism of a Christian child, nor is there any record of an "age of accountability" when a child is old enough to make that decision, nor is there any hint whatsoever of children being in any kind of suspended state of salvation before they reach said age

The age need not be given of baptismal candidates since due to the fact that baptism is expressly stated to be for believers the practice assumes each candidate of sufficient "age" able to believe for themselves -- child or no.

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-The saving power of Christ's presence in Holy Baptism (too long a point to explain here, it can be found in the article I posted above)
Disagree with the premise. Can Christ save in or through baptism? I suppose. Can and does Christ save prior to baptism? Yep. So, does salvation wait for baptism? Nope.
Hence baptism is more a corollary of salvation, a witness to the inner work of saving grace and faith already present in those who have believed.

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-The Old Testament symbols of Salvation and Baptism include infants (such as circumcision-- again, can be read above)
Indeed! Like as they were those born of the flesh, believers are those born again of the Spirit.
Their circumscision was literal and pertained to literal birth (infants, etc.) -- ours is metaphorical, spiritual and pertains only to those who have spiritually been reborn. You stumble here with Nicodemus. As paul expressed to the Cornthians concerning "birth from the grave" so to we can discern application here... There is a natural and there is a spiritual. Albeit that which is spiritual is not first, but that which is natural. Afterward that which is spiritual. Hence, only spiritual infants have a right to the waters of baptism.

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-Faith as relationship of love and trust not limited to the mind-- The OT and NT examples of infants recognizing salvation and having faith
I'm sorry, but you'll have to show me explicit Scriptural explanation that infants either recognized salvation or personally placed faith in salvation while in infancy. I see where God recognized infants, and graced them with divine purpose even form the womb. I see where confirmation of that purpose may be demonstrated by the infant, even pre-born, as in the case of John the baptist. But that is a far cry from infants actually understanding and applying saving faith in the person and work of Christ.

Now, perhaps if they came from the womb actually speaking intelligently I would be inclined to consider such an exaggeration.



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-The fact that "infant baptism" was probably not recorded because the Gospel writers didn't see a need- it was rather obvious
Arguing from silence here. If you could give me a strong enough reason to entertain the Biblical validity for infant baptism (such as showing infants having sufficient reason and mental faculty to accept and place faith in Christ as Lord and Savior) then I might would entertain the notion as haing a semb lance of relevance. Otherwise, well, I cannot.[/quote]

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-The fact that the command of "believer's baptism" was one intended for adults, because the Bible was not written for infants- and the distinction between adult believers and infant- one needs to repent, the other does not (again, can be read above)
And yet, by defintion, one CANNOT be a believer if they have not repented![/quote]

An Old argument (well, as old as anabaptist.  The thousand+ years before them no one would have thought of mental ability etc. as being a prerequisite), Luke 18:

Parables on Prayer
1 Now He was telling them a parable to show that at all times they ought to pray and not to lose heart, 2 saying, “In a certain city there was a judge who did not fear God and did not respect man. 3 “There was a widow in that city, and she kept coming to him, saying, ‘Give me legal protection from my opponent.’ 4 “For a while he was unwilling; but afterward he said to himself, ‘Even though I do not fear God nor respect man, 5 yet because this widow bothers me, I will give her legal protection, otherwise by continually coming she will wear me out.’” 6 And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge said; 7 now, will not God bring about justice for His elect who cry to Him day and night, and will He delay long over them? 8 “I tell you that He will bring about justice for them quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?”

The Pharisee and the Publican

9 And He also told this parable to some people who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and viewed others with contempt: 10 “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 “The Pharisee stood and was praying this to himself: ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12 ‘I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get.’ 13 “But the tax collector, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, the sinner!’ 14 “I tell you, this man went to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

15 And they were bringing even their babies to Him so that He would touch them, but when the disciples saw it, they began rebuking them. 16 But Jesus called for them, saying, “Permit the children to come to Me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 17 “Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all.”

The Rich Young Ruler

18 A ruler questioned Him, saying, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” 19 And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone. 20 “You know the commandments, ‘DO NOT COMMIT ADULTERY, DO NOT MURDER, DO NOT STEAL, DO NOT BEAR FALSE WITNESS, HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER.’” 21 And he said, “All these things I have kept from my youth.” 22 When Jesus heard this, He said to him, “One thing you still lack; sell all that you possess and distribute it to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” 23 But when he had heard these things, he became very sad, for he was extremely rich. 24 And Jesus looked at him and said, “How hard it is for those who are wealthy to enter the kingdom of God! 25 “For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” 26 They who heard it said, “Then who can be saved?” 27 But He said, “The things that are impossible with people are possible with God.”
28 Peter said, “Behold, we have left our own homes and followed You.” 29 And He said to them, “Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, 30 who will not receive many times as much at this time and in the age to come, eternal life.”
31 Then He took the twelve aside and said to them, “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and all things which are written through the prophets about the Son of Man will be accomplished. 32 “For He will be handed over to the Gentiles, and will be mocked and mistreated and spit upon, 33 and after they have scourged Him, they will kill Him; and the third day He will rise again.” 34 But the disciples understood none of these things, and the meaning of this statement was hidden from them, and they did not comprehend the things that were said.

Bartimaeus Receives Sight

35 As Jesus was approaching Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the road begging. 36 Now hearing a crowd going by, he began to inquire what this was. 37 They told him that Jesus of Nazareth was passing by. 38 And he called out, saying, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 39 Those who led the way were sternly telling him to be quiet; but he kept crying out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” 40 And Jesus stopped and commanded that he be brought to Him; and when he came near, He questioned him, 41 “What do you want Me to do for you?” And he said, “Lord, I want to regain my sight!” 42 And Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has made you well.” 43 Immediately he regained his sight and began following Him, glorifying God; and when all the people saw it, they gave praise to God.

to which we will add Luke 9

Ministry of the Twelve
1 And He called the twelve together, and gave them power and authority over all the demons and to heal diseases. 2 And He sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to perform healing. 3 And He said to them, “Take nothing for your journey, neither a staff, nor a bag, nor bread, nor money; and do not even have two tunics apiece. 4 “Whatever house you enter, stay there until you leave that city. 5 “And as for those who do not receive you, as you go out from that city, shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.” 6 Departing, they began going throughout the villages, preaching the gospel and healing everywhere.
7 Now Herod the tetrarch heard of all that was happening; and he was greatly perplexed, because it was said by some that John had risen from the dead, 8 and by some that Elijah had appeared, and by others that one of the prophets of old had risen again. 9 Herod said, “I myself had John beheaded; but who is this man about whom I hear such things?” And he kept trying to see Him.
10 When the apostles returned, they gave an account to Him of all that they had done. Taking them with Him, He withdrew by Himself to a city called Bethsaida. 11 But the crowds were aware of this and followed Him; and welcoming them, He began speaking to them about the kingdom of God and curing those who had need of healing.

Five Thousand Fed

12 Now the day was ending, and the twelve came and said to Him, “Send the crowd away, that they may go into the surrounding villages and countryside and find lodging and get something to eat; for here we are in a desolate place.” 13 But He said to them, “You give them something to eat!” And they said, “We have no more than five loaves and two fish, unless perhaps we go and buy food for all these people.” 14 (For there were about five thousand men.) And He said to His disciples, “Have them sit down to eat in groups of about fifty each.” 15 They did so, and had them all sit down. 16 Then He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed them, and broke them, and kept giving them to the disciples to set before the people. 17 And they all ate and were satisfied; and the broken pieces which they had left over were picked up, twelve baskets full.
18 And it happened that while He was praying alone, the disciples were with Him, and He questioned them, saying, “Who do the people say that I am?” 19 They answered and said, “John the Baptist, and others say Elijah; but others, that one of the prophets of old has risen again.” 20 And He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” And Peter answered and said, “The Christ of God.” 21 But He warned them and instructed them not to tell this to anyone, 22 saying, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed and be raised up on the third day.”
23 And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself
, and take up his cross daily and follow Me. 24 “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it. 25 “For what is a man profited if he gains the whole world, and loses or forfeits himself? 26 “For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes in His glory, and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. 27 “But I say to you truthfully, there are some of those standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God.”

The Transfiguration

28 Some eight days after these sayings, He took along Peter and John and James, and went up on the mountain to pray. 29 And while He was praying, the appearance of His face became different, and His clothing became white and gleaming. 30 And behold, two men were talking with Him; and they were Moses and Elijah, 31 who, appearing in glory, were speaking of His departure which He was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. 32 Now Peter and his companions had been overcome with sleep; but when they were fully awake, they saw His glory and the two men standing with Him. 33 And as these were leaving Him, Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good for us to be here; let us make three tabernacles: one for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah”—not realizing what he was saying. 34 While he was saying this, a cloud formed and began to overshadow them; and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. 35 Then a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My Son, My Chosen One; listen to Him!” 36 And when the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. And they kept silent, and reported to no one in those days any of the things which they had seen.
37 On the next day, when they came down from the mountain, a large crowd met Him. 38 And a man from the crowd shouted, saying, “Teacher, I beg You to look at my son, for he is my only boy, 39 and a spirit seizes him, and he suddenly screams, and it throws him into a convulsion with foaming at the mouth; and only with difficulty does it leave him, mauling him as it leaves. 40 “I begged Your disciples to cast it out, and they could not.” 41 And Jesus answered and said, “You unbelieving and perverted generation, how long shall I be with you and put up with you? Bring your son here.” 42 While he was still approaching, the demon slammed him to the ground and threw him into a convulsion. But Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit, and healed the boy and gave him back to his father. 43 And they were all amazed at the greatness of God.
But while everyone was marveling at all that He was doing, He said to His disciples, 44 “Let these words sink into your ears; for the Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men.” 45 But they did not understand this statement, and it was concealed from them so that they would not perceive it; and they were afraid to ask Him about this statement.
The Test of Greatness

46 An argument started among them as to which of them might be the greatest. 47 But Jesus, knowing what they were thinking in their heart, took a child and stood him by His side, 48 and said to them, “Whoever receives this child in My name receives Me, and whoever receives Me receives Him who sent Me; for the one who is least among all of you, this is the one who is great.”
49 John answered and said, “Master, we saw someone casting out demons in Your name; and we tried to prevent him because he does not follow along with us.” 50 But Jesus said to him, “Do not hinder him; for he who is not against you is for you.”
51 When the days were approaching for His ascension, He was determined to go to Jerusalem; 52 and He sent messengers on ahead of Him, and they went and entered a village of the Samaritans to make arrangements for Him. 53 But they did not receive Him, because He was traveling toward Jerusalem. 54 When His disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?” 55 But He turned and rebuked them, [and said, “You do not know what kind of spirit you are of; 56 for the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.”] And they went on to another village.

Exacting Discipleship

57 As they were going along the road, someone said to Him, “I will follow You wherever You go.” 58 And Jesus said to him, “The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.” 59 And He said to another, “Follow Me.” But he said, “Lord, permit me first to go and bury my father.” 60 But He said to him, “Allow the dead to bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim everywhere the kingdom of God.” 61 Another also said, “I will follow You, Lord; but first permit me to say good-bye to those at home.” 62 But Jesus said to him, “No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”

I quote the whole chapters so as to show the context of these discources on little children and the kingdom of heaven.  In Luke, you notice, they come in the middle of discources on discipleship, faith, disbelief and belief, accepting the kingdom and understanding.  I boldface the last because you emphasize that as a barrier to infant baptism, whereas, as Luke shows, the disciples lacked understanding, even though at the time (as St. John tells us) they were already baptizing.

Now the word brephos, which Luke uses in chapter 18 indicates a child in the womb or just out of it.  So we are talking about infants.  So too the word paidion "little child": in all of Luke's use of the word (Luke is the Evangelist with the best grasp of Greek), it clearly refers to infants (e.g. the infancy narratives of St. John the Baptist and Christ).  Although Matthew and Mark use paidion for a twelve year old (Luke uses "pais," boy, child), in the parrellel verses they state Christ took the child in his arms, showing we are speaking of a little child. In Luke 1:80 he speaks of the paidion John becoming strong in the spirit.  How is that possible, if infancy is a barrier to faith?

I gotta run, hopefully I'll be able to return, but I'll leave you with the thought: are you saying adults can better accept Christ as a child than a child can?  Isn't that a tad silly?
 



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« Reply #74 on: January 12, 2009, 05:35:23 PM »

The "Tradition vs. Holy Spirit ... dichotomy" (or better, complementary pair) is a weak point in iamisry's argument (I just got the name  laugh ). Spirit, and Scripture, seem to tell us to "leave him alone", but Tradition has always permited us to badger him over his authority to baptise.
So, you would now set Tradition against the Spirit and Scripture.  You do realize that this is not an Orthodox approach to either the Scriptures or Tradition?

Quote
By the way, read my first comments in this thread and you will know where I'm coming from on baptism. If you want to shut me out of this discussion for good, then refute this ... and demonstrate that you still have baptism.
I've seen on this thread several very good statements from our Orthodox faith what baptism is, and with equally good support from patristic and liturgical sources.  Please correct me if I'm wrong, but you stated in your first post on this thread that the sacrament of baptism is not so much a significant moment as it is a lifelong process.  I acknowledge the lifelong work of appropriating the grace of one's baptism into one's life in cooperation with the sanctifying work of the Holy Trinity, but the idea of de-emphasizing the significance of the singular moment of baptism is a new concept to me.  I don't recognize this as coming from any traditional sources stated on this thread or found elsewhere.  Therefore, I think the context of this thread demands that YOU prove YOUR thesis true; I don't believe I bear any burden to prove you wrong.

His thesis would be a good counter to the instananeous born again/once saved always saved nonsense that replaces baptism in some circles.  How much that was his idea,....
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« Reply #75 on: January 12, 2009, 05:45:26 PM »

What say ye?

I say THIS.

Specifically, from that article:

Quote from: DavidBryan
Certainly, says the Evangelical, the witness of Scripture is solely one of adults who, exercising their own, independent free will, themselves elected to follow Christ in baptism. Yet we Orthodox would point readily to many Scriptures that in our view teach the contrary—verses that were pointed to in like manner by those who were trained by the very authors of those Scriptures as supporting the baptism of infants.

The most commonly cited passage is St. Peter’s sermon at Pentecost:

Then Peter said to them, Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call (Acts 2:38-39).

Notice a few things here. As has already been established, the baptism is for remission of sins and the reception of the gift of the Holy Spirit, not just repentance. But the baptism was not only for the adults who heard him that day, but for their children as well. St. Peter gave this imperative of baptism, and included the children in this. It’s useful to remember at this point that, in the culture of the apostles’ day, both children and slaves (and even women!) were considered the property of the man. As went the man, so went the whole family; individual choice had very little to do with whether or not a child—or even a full-grown female or slave!—would have chosen to have been baptized. This is not to say that we ought to reinstate the patriarchy of previous centuries, but the practice indeed colors St. Peter’s statement, to be sure. Given this historical context, it is entirely unreasonable to think that the Apostles would have been uncomfortable with baptizing an infant, since the very practice is mentioned in the first sermon of Christianity.

The clearest reference to the legitimacy of infant baptism, however, is in St. Paul’s letter to the Colossians:

"In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead"
(2:11-12).

Here we see baptism being compared to circumcision—“the circumcision made without hands.” Since we know that circumcision was done primarily to eight-day old boys at the consent of their parents in order to bring them into the nation of Israel, and baptism is the initiation rite into the Christian Church (the present-day continuation and fulfillment of the People of Israel), it stands to reason that, just as circumcision was not withheld from infants, neither is baptism."
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« Reply #76 on: January 12, 2009, 11:32:15 PM »

Yes, Saint Paul was uniquely chosen...and accepted as such by the apostles.

Right! And that was all I was saying about him.

I never said Paul was nto eventually accepted by the leadership of the Church, the other Apostles, etc. Afterall, they gave to him the right hand of fellowship.
I neversaid he did not submit to and recognize the authority of the church. After all he reported to and recognized the office held by james and the other Apostles and elders.

I was simply saying Paul was called, gifted, and authorized by Christ himself apart from any official sanction with the church beforehand.

I get that you guys don't like that, and vehemently disagree with the implications I have drawn from it. To do otherwise is to blow a huge whole in your onw ecclisology via polity,etc. Nevertheless, I have been called of the Lord Jesus himself, through the Spirit, and authorized by Him to preach and defend the gospel, establish churches, baptize converts and any other duty that may rightly fall upon me as His minister. I am not ashamed of Him or of the calling He has placed upon me, even if you refuse to recognize it.
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« Reply #77 on: January 12, 2009, 11:36:21 PM »

Yes, Saint Paul was uniquely chosen...and accepted as such by the apostles.

Right! And that was all I was saying about him.

I never said Paul was nto eventually accepted by the leadership of the Church, the other Apostles, etc. Afterall, they gave to him the right hand of fellowship.
I neversaid he did not submit to and recognize the authority of the church. After all he reported to and recognized the office held by james and the other Apostles and elders.

I was simply saying Paul was called, gifted, and authorized by Christ himself apart from any official sanction with the church beforehand.

I get that you guys don't like that, and vehemently disagree with the implications I have drawn from it. To do otherwise is to blow a huge whole in your onw ecclisology via polity,etc. Nevertheless, I have been called of the Lord Jesus himself, through the Spirit, and authorized by Him to preach and defend the gospel, establish churches, baptize converts and any other duty that may rightly fall upon me as His minister. I am not ashamed of Him or of the calling He has placed upon me, even if you refuse to recognize it.

Fair enough. Well our clergy don't usually put themselves up to the same level as the holy apostle Saint Paul.
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« Reply #78 on: January 12, 2009, 11:49:00 PM »

Yes, Saint Paul was uniquely chosen...and accepted as such by the apostles.



I was simply saying Paul was called, gifted, and authorized by Christ himself apart from any official sanction with the church beforehand.



Yah, but he didn't do anything with that gift until AFTER he met with the other apostles.  Did you do that?  You're saying that you went through the same process as Paul....right?  So shouldn't you have gone to the elders of the church, the successors to the Apostles, and ask them how to proceed?  Just a thought. 



I get that you guys don't like that, and vehemently disagree with the implications I have drawn from it. To do otherwise is to blow a huge whole in your onw ecclisology via polity,etc.

Actually, it's a question of ECUMENICAL ecclesiology, not only Orthodox.  Here is the WCC (world council of churches) statement on the nature of the church.  take a look at the part regarding the mission of the one who unites the many.  (I have attached it for your convenience)  Here is also the direct link: http://www.oikoumene.org/en/resources/documents/wcc-commissions/faith-and-order-commission.html

Quote
Nevertheless, I have been called of the Lord Jesus himself, through the Spirit, and authorized by Him to preach and defend the gospel, establish churches, baptize converts and any other duty that may rightly fall upon me as His minister. I am not ashamed of Him or of the calling He has placed upon me, even if you refuse to recognize it.

When and how did Christ call you?  How did he authorize you to do anything?  How did he place anything on you?  I havn't refused to recognize anything.  Have you explained everything? 








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« Reply #79 on: January 13, 2009, 12:00:14 AM »

I was simply saying Paul was called, gifted, and authorized by Christ himself apart from any official sanction with the church beforehand.
Nonsense! St. Paul was called and chosen by Christ, yes, but this choice and this call had to be confirmed by the Church. St. Paul was firstly called to listen to what the Church told him to do (Acts 9:6). The Church, by it's authority first healed St. Paul (Acts 9:17-18 ) then made St. Paul first a member of the Church through Baptism (Acts 9:18), then commissioned him as an Apostle (Acts 13:2-4). Through all this, God's choice of St. Paul had to be confirmed by the Church. God and the Church work together (Acts 9:16, 13:2, 15:6......)
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« Reply #80 on: January 13, 2009, 12:14:53 AM »

Yes, Saint Paul was uniquely chosen...and accepted as such by the apostles.

Right! And that was all I was saying about him.

I never said Paul was nto eventually accepted by the leadership of the Church, the other Apostles, etc. Afterall, they gave to him the right hand of fellowship.
I neversaid he did not submit to and recognize the authority of the church. After all he reported to and recognized the office held by james and the other Apostles and elders.

I was simply saying Paul was called, gifted, and authorized by Christ himself apart from any official sanction with the church beforehand.

I get that you guys don't like that, and vehemently disagree with the implications I have drawn from it. To do otherwise is to blow a huge whole in your onw ecclisology via polity,etc. Nevertheless, I have been called of the Lord Jesus himself, through the Spirit, and authorized by Him to preach and defend the gospel, establish churches, baptize converts and any other duty that may rightly fall upon me as His minister. I am not ashamed of Him or of the calling He has placed upon me, even if you refuse to recognize it.

Refuse to recognzie it?  Have you, like St. Paul, submitted it to those of repute to recognzie it, so you not run in vain?

But again, Joe Smith, when Paul was called, gifted, and authorized by Christ Himself he was directed directly by Christ Himself to "go into the city, and you will be told what to do," and get the official sanction of the Church.

Christ does authorize Paul when he tells him "he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the chidlren of Israel."  But he tells Paul that THROUGH ANANIAS, i.e. the Church.  He does NOT say it to Paul directly when He speaks to him.

And if you are hanging your hat on Galatians 1:16 "I did not immediately consult with flesh and blood," you are going to have to square it with Acts 9:19 "Then Saul spent some time with the disciples at Damascus."  Btw, Ananias was one of the seventy, and hence an Apostle able to give the Holy Spirit (Acts 8:15-7), i.e. chrismation.  That is what confers the lowest order of the new, royal priesthood.  So no, St. Paul was never "called, gifted, and authorized by Christ himself apart from any official sanction with the church beforehand."  Christ TOLD St. Paul to go to the Church for her sanction.

You seem to be misled about a seeming discrepancy between the chronology of Acts and Galatians:
Quote
Acts Epistles
First visit to Jerusalem (Acts 9:26–27)
after Damascus conversion
preaches openly in Jerusalem with Barnabas
Second visit to Jerusalem (Acts 11:29–30)
For famine relief
Third visit to Jerusalem (Acts 15:1–19)
With Barnabas
"Council of Jerusalem"
Fourth visit to Jerusalem (Acts 18:21–22)
To "keep the feast" (Acts 18:21)
Fifth visit to Jerusalem (Acts 21:17ff)
Paul arrested
 No visit to Jerusalem immediately after conversion (Galatians 1:17–18)
First visit to Jerusalem (Galatians 1:18–20)
Sees only Cephas (Peter) and James
Second visit to Jerusalem (Galatians 2:1–10)
With Barnabas and Titus
Possibly the "Council of Jerusalem"
Paul agrees to "remember the poor"
Followed by confrontation with Peter in Antioch (Galatians 2:11–14)
Third visit to Jerusalem (Romans 15:25ff, 2 Corinthians 8–9, 1 Corinthians 16:1–3)
Paul delivers the collection for the poor  
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_the_Apostle#Paul.27s_visits_to_Jerusalem_in_Acts_and_the_epistles

Well, remember that "Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you, as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction" 2 Peter 3:15-6.

Blow a big hole in our ecclesiology? No, just in your sola scriptura.  If you are so much like St. Paul, then you have composed scripture, no?  I mean, St. Paul, by your interpretation, preaching without prior approval and wrote his epistles without ecclesiastical sanction.  Joe Smith came with his own scriptures to go with his "call."  Why don't you?  Why do you insist on using our Scripture, since you are  so independent of the "offical sanction of the Church."'

Defend your own Gospel.  We'll defend ours.

Nevertheless, I have been called of the Lord Jesus himself, through the Spirit, and authorized by Him to preach and defend the gospel, establish churches, baptize converts and any other duty that may rightly fall upon me as His minister. I am not ashamed of Him or of the calling He has placed upon me, even if you refuse to recognize it.

When and how did Christ call you?  How did he authorize you to do anything?  How did he place anything on you?  I havn't refused to recognize anything.  Have you explained everything?

Anything?
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« Reply #81 on: January 13, 2009, 01:30:22 AM »

Quote
Nevertheless, I have been called of the Lord Jesus himself, through the Spirit, and authorized by Him to preach and defend the gospel, establish churches, baptize converts and any other duty that may rightly fall upon me as His minister. I am not ashamed of Him or of the calling He has placed upon me, even if you refuse to recognize it.

Joseph Smith, Mary Baker Eddy, Sun-yung Moon, Jim and Tammy Bakker, Oral Roberts, yada, yada, yada ..... Roll Eyes
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« Reply #82 on: January 13, 2009, 07:24:43 PM »

^ I would have also included David Koresh.    Roll Eyes
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« Reply #83 on: January 13, 2009, 09:01:11 PM »

^
Why not also Jim Jones?
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« Reply #84 on: January 14, 2009, 12:21:21 AM »

^ I would have included him as well; However, I didn't wish to upset Cleopas that much.   Shocked
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« Reply #85 on: January 14, 2009, 12:32:37 AM »

lol yes SolEX01 forgive me David Koresh was a model person Cheesy
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« Reply #86 on: January 14, 2009, 12:58:03 AM »

There is the old saying that you need to stop while you're ahead. Wink
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« Reply #87 on: January 14, 2009, 12:36:07 PM »

Preparing stuff for posting on your Apostolic succession thread, I sidetracked a bit on something that I have posted before, but I'll elaborate a bit:

1 Corinthians 12:1 Περὶ δὲ τῶν πνευματικῶν, ἀδελφοί, οὐ θέλω ὑμᾶς ἀγνοεῖν.
Now concerning spiritual things, brothers, I don't want you to be ignorant.
1 Corinthians 12:2 οἴδατε ὅτι ὅτε ἔθνη ἦτε πρὸς τὰ εἴδωλα τὰ ἄφωνα ὡς ἂν ἤγεσθε ἀπαγόμενοι.
You know that when you were heathen, you were led away to those mute idols, however you might be led.
1 Corinthians 12:3 διὸ γνωρίζω ὑμῖν ὅτι οὐδεὶς ἐν πνεύματι θεοῦ λαλῶν λέγει· ἀνάθεμα Ἰησοῦς, καὶ οὐδεὶς δύναται εἰπεῖν· κύριος Ἰησοῦς, εἰ μὴ ἐν πνεύματι ἁγίῳ.
Therefore I make known to you that no man speaking by God's Spirit says, "Jesus is accursed." No one can say, "Jesus is Lord," but by the Holy Spirit.
1 Corinthians 12:4 Διαιρέσεις δὲ χαρισμάτων εἰσίν, τὸ δὲ αὐτὸ πνεῦμα·
Now there are various kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit.
1 Corinthians 12:5 καὶ διαιρέσεις διακονιῶν εἰσιν, καὶ ὁ αὐτὸς κύριος·
There are various kinds of service (lit. diaconates), and the same Lord.
1 Corinthians 12:6 καὶ διαιρέσεις ἐνεργημάτων εἰσίν, (καὶ) ὁ [δὲ] αὐτὸς θεός ὁ ἐνεργῶν τὰ πάντα ἐν πᾶσιν.
There are various kinds of workings, but the same God, who works all things in all.
1 Corinthians 12:7 ἑκάστῳ δὲ δίδοται ἡ φανέρωσις τοῦ πνεύματος πρὸς τὸ συμφέρον.
But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the profit of all.
1 Corinthians 12:8 ᾧ μὲν γὰρ διὰ τοῦ πνεύματος δίδοται λόγος σοφίας, ἄλλῳ δὲ λόγος γνώσεως κατὰ τὸ αὐτὸ πνεῦμα,
For to one is given through the Spirit the word of wisdom, and to another the word of knowledge, according to the same Spirit;
1 Corinthians 12:9 ἑτέρῳ πίστις ἐν τῷ αὐτῷ πνεύματι, ἄλλῳ δὲ χαρίσματα ἰαμάτων ἐν τῷ ἑνὶ πνεύματι,
to another faith, by the same Spirit; and to another gifts of healings, by the same Spirit;
1 Corinthians 12:10 ἄλλῳ δὲ ἐνεργήματα δυνάμεων, ἄλλῳ δὲ προφητεία ἄλλῳ δὲ διακρίσεις πνευμάτων, ἑτέρῳ γένη γλωσσῶν, ἄλλῳ δὲ ἑρμηνεία γλωσσῶν·
and to another workings of miracles; and to another prophecy; and to another discerning of spirits; to another different kinds of languages; and to another the interpretation of languages.
1 Corinthians 12:11 πάντα δὲ ταῦτα ἐνεργεῖ τὸ ἓν καὶ τὸ αὐτὸ πνεῦμα διαιροῦν ἰδίᾳ ἑκάστῳ καθὼς βούλεται.
But the one and the same Spirit works all of these, distributing to each one separately as He desires.
1 Corinthians 12:12 Καθάπερ γὰρ τὸ σῶμα ἕν ἐστιν καὶ μέλη πολλὰ ἔχει πάντα δὲ τὰ μέλη τοῦ σώματος πολλὰ ὄντα ἕν ἐστιν σῶμα, οὕτως καὶ ὁ Χριστός·
For as the body is one, and has many members, and all the members of the body, being many, are one body; so also is Christ.
1 Corinthians 12:13 καὶ γὰρ ἐν ἑνὶ πνεύματι ἡμεῖς πάντες εἰς ἓν σῶμα ἐβαπτίσθημεν, εἴτε Ἰουδαῖοι εἴτε Ἕλληνες εἴτε δοῦλοι εἴτε ἐλεύθεροι, καὶ πάντες ἓν πνεῦμα ἐποτίσθημεν.
For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether bond or free; and were all given to drink into one Spirit.1 Corinthians 12:14 καὶ γὰρ τὸ σῶμα οὐκ ἔστιν ἓν μέλος ἀλλὰ πολλά.
For the body is not one member, but many.
1 Corinthians 12:15 ἐὰν εἴπῃ ὁ πούς· ὅτι οὐκ εἰμὶ χείρ, οὐκ εἰμὶ ἐκ τοῦ σώματος, οὐ παρὰ τοῦτο οὐκ ἔστιν ἐκ τοῦ σώματος;
If the foot would say, "Because I'm not the hand, I'm not part of the body," it is not therefore not part of the body.
1 Corinthians 12:16 καὶ ἐὰν εἴπῃ τὸ οὖς· ὅτι οὐκ εἰμὶ ὀφθαλμός, οὐκ εἰμὶ ἐκ τοῦ σώματος, οὐ παρὰ τοῦτο οὐκ ἔστιν ἐκ τοῦ σώματος;
If the ear would say, "Because I'm not the eye, I'm not part of the body," it's not therefore not part of the body.
1 Corinthians 12:17 εἰ ὅλον τὸ σῶμα ὀφθαλμός, ποῦ ἡ ἀκοή; εἰ ὅλον ἀκοή, ποῦ ἡ ὄσφρησις;
If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole were hearing, where would the smelling be?
1 Corinthians 12:18 νῦν / νυνὶ δὲ ὁ θεὸς ἔθετο τὰ μέλη ἓν ἕκαστον αὐτῶν ἐν τῷ σώματι καθὼς ἠθέλησεν.
But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body, just as he desired.
1 Corinthians 12:19 εἰ δὲ ἦν τὰ πάντα ἓν μέλος, ποῦ τὸ σῶμα;
If they were all one member, where would the body be?
1 Corinthians 12:20 νῦν δὲ πολλὰ [μὲν] μέλη, ἓν δὲ σῶμα.
But now they are many members, but one body.
1 Corinthians 12:21 οὐ δύναται δὲ ὁ ὀφθαλμὸς εἰπεῖν τῇ χειρί· χρείαν σου οὐκ ἔχω, ἢ πάλιν ἡ κεφαλὴ τοῖς ποσίν· χρείαν ὑμῶν οὐκ ἔχω·
The eye can't tell the hand, "I have no need for you," or again the head to the feet, "I have no need for you."
1 Corinthians 12:22 ἀλλὰ πολλῷ μᾶλλον τὰ δοκοῦντα μέλη τοῦ σώματος ἀσθενέστερα ὑπάρχειν ἀναγκαῖά ἐστιν,
No, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary.
1 Corinthians 12:23 καὶ ἃ δοκοῦμεν ἀτιμότερα εἶναι τοῦ σώματος τούτοις τιμὴν περισσοτέραν περιτίθεμεν, καὶ τὰ ἀσχήμονα ἡμῶν εὐσχημοσύνην περισσοτέραν ἔχει,
Those parts of the body which we think to be less honorable, on those we bestow more abundant honor; and our unpresentable parts have more abundant propriety;
1 Corinthians 12:24 τὰ δὲ εὐσχήμονα ἡμῶν οὐ χρείαν ἔχει. ἀλλὰ ὁ θεὸς συνεκέρασεν τὸ σῶμα τῷ ὑστερουμένῳ περισσοτέραν δοὺς τιμήν,
whereas our presentable parts have no such need. But God composed the body together, giving more abundant honor to the inferior part,
1 Corinthians 12:25 ἵνα μὴ ᾖ σχίσμα ἐν τῷ σώματι ἀλλὰ τὸ αὐτὸ ὑπὲρ ἀλλήλων μεριμνῶσιν τὰ μέλη.
that there should be no division in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another.
1 Corinthians 12:26 καὶ εἴτε πάσχει ἓν μέλος, συμπάσχει πάντα τὰ μέλη· εἴτε δοξάζεται [ἓν] μέλος, συγχαίρει πάντα τὰ μέλη.
When one member suffers, all the members suffer with it. Or when one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.
1 Corinthians 12:27 ὑμεῖς δέ ἐστε σῶμα Χριστοῦ καὶ μέλη ἐκ μέρους.
Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.
1 Corinthians 12:28 καὶ οὓς μὲν ἔθετο ὁ θεὸς ἐν τῇ ἐκκλησίᾳ πρῶτον ἀποστόλους, δεύτερον προφήτας, τρίτον διδασκάλους ἔπειτα δυνάμεις, ἔπειτα χαρίσματα ἰαμάτων, ἀντιλήμψεις κυβερνήσεις, γένη γλωσσῶν.
God has set some in the assembly: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracle workers, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, and various kinds of languages.
1 Corinthians 12:29 μὴ πάντες ἀπόστολοι; μὴ πάντες προφῆται; μὴ πάντες διδάσκαλοι; μὴ πάντες δυνάμεις;
Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all miracle workers?
1 Corinthians 12:30 μὴ πάντες χαρίσματα ἔχουσιν ἰαμάτων; μὴ πάντες γλώσσαις λαλοῦσιν; μὴ πάντες διερμηνεύουσιν;
Do all have gifts of healings? Do all speak with various languages? Do all interpret?

Since no one says "Jesus is Lord," except by the Holy Spirit, and St. Paul specifically says the spirit gives the gift of Faith, and that the weaker (let's say the least) are necessary,"  and we are baptized into that Body, how do you withhold baptism from children born into households of the Body?

After all, if the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those such as these, it is necessary for the Church to have such examples in our midst.  I know I have learned a lot from my sons.
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« Reply #88 on: January 15, 2009, 08:37:38 AM »

Nevertheless, I have been called of the Lord Jesus himself, through the Spirit, and authorized by Him to preach and defend the gospel, establish churches, baptize converts and any other duty that may rightly fall upon me as His minister.

...quoting, I believe, Cleopas several posts further up the page.

I don't know how it worked for Cleopas, but let me describe (since one or two have asked this of Cleopas) how it worked in Britain for me. First of all, I felt an inward urge to preach, and openings came my way to do so or to take some other part in services. Then, my gift to preach was formally recognised by the local church where I was in membership. This was then made known to the other churches in the denomination via the usual channels (mainly denominational magazine, directory of ministers, word of mouth). After circulating for a while among the churches, I was unanimously invited by one of them to take up the pastorate. (I am not now in a pastorate: I have worked for a missionary society in a different capacity since the late 1980s.) As a minister, 'ordained' (if you like to use that word) through the formal recognition of my local church, I preached, taught, baptised, and presided at the Lord's Table. I still preach and preside at the Table fairly often, but I have not baptised anyone since leaving pastoral ministry.

I'm not telling you this to try to persuade you that we got it right; I am merely answering people's query as to how it is done among us. I would expect it to be fairly similar in the case of Cleopas.

Now let me ask you a question. As I wrote on a previous post, I believed in Christ when I was 15 or 16, and became exercised about the command to "repent and be baptised", so I was immersed upon profession of faith at a regularly functioning Christian church (actually, as I explained earlier, a Brethren assembly).

Now my question - be as blunt as you wish in replying. In your opinion, am I baptised?
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« Reply #89 on: January 15, 2009, 08:52:06 AM »

Now my question - be as blunt as you wish in replying. In your opinion, am I baptised?

That is for God to judge.
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« Reply #90 on: January 15, 2009, 11:16:31 AM »

Now my question - be as blunt as you wish in replying. In your opinion, am I baptised?

That is for God to judge.
How so?  The Church has made some rather clear statements vis a vis baptism outside the Church.
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« Reply #91 on: January 15, 2009, 11:51:57 AM »

Now my question - be as blunt as you wish in replying. In your opinion, am I baptised?

Let me ask you this: In your confession, were you baptized for the remission of sins, or as an outward sign of an already completed remission?  This does not effect our view of your baptism, but it is something for you to consider from the vantage point of your own communion.

The Church can go so far as to say that you have received a form of baptism, but the grace given at baptism--that of remission of sins and reception of the Holy Spirit--is to be given and seen within the (Orthodox) Church.

Can God give you that grace Himself, outside His apostolic Body?  Of course, and if He does it, that is His business.  Yet we must not be about the business of second-guessing Him as to whether He might have done so, whether you might be truly baptized.

As far as mankind is concerned, based on what we have been given in the Church, no, you are not fully baptized.  Now, as to the subsequent state of your soul, we will not and must not comment.  But we would implore you to be reconciled to Christ in His Body on Earth, for only there will all that you have already gleaned from Him (and it appears to be much, thank God) will find its full flower and glory.

Forgive me, a sinner, and pray for me.
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« Reply #92 on: January 15, 2009, 12:00:16 PM »

Now my question - be as blunt as you wish in replying. In your opinion, am I baptised?

Let me ask you this: In your confession, were you baptized for the remission of sins, or as an outward sign of an already completed remission?  This does not effect our view of your baptism, but it is something for you to consider from the vantage point of your own communion.

To this I would add, can the non-Christian baptize?  And can you be a Christian and not baptize?  Given the Brethren's insistence on "believer's baptism," how do you restore what was "lost" when infant baptism became the norm?

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« Reply #93 on: January 15, 2009, 12:11:50 PM »

were you baptized for the remission of sins, or as an outward sign of an already completed remission? 
The latter. "An outward sign of an already completed remission" is always the Evangelical view.

The scriptures do seem to link faith and baptism much more closely than you or we usually do, we because baptism often follows belief by a period of time, and you because belief often follows baptism by a period of time (though I know you also baptise believers if they are converts from another faith or from none). In the Bible they seem to be two sides of the same event, but neither we nor you make them such.

What I ponder is this:

  • How does God respond to this unbiblical separation of the two, often by a number of years? Does he accept the intention for the deed?
  • Is re-baptism really the right way to correct it - us of you, or you of us, when someone converts in either direction?

I do not have the answers; I merely bring out the questions.
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« Reply #94 on: January 15, 2009, 12:25:30 PM »

I'm sorry, maybe I missed you addressing the following points:
If you go back to your post (which was 10th January - sorry, I've been grappling with sola scriptura, perpetual virginity, and "how to answer" if no others*), there is really only one answer to most of your points: you are arguing from silence. We are attempting to do what is in the scriptures, you are doing what you think happened but for various reasons was never recorded.

Regarding the OT parallel with circumcision, that denoted physical birth into God's people (the Jewish nation); baptism denotes spiritual birth into God's people (the Church). Each follows the birth it denotes.

One post suggested we are inconsistent because we accept people at the Lord's Table who, by our definition, are unbaptised. In an ideal world, everyone who takes Communion would have been baptised beforehand in the same manner, whoever (you or we) is right about what baptism should be. But the widespread practice of infant baptism gives us a dilemma. So many people who were christened as infants are obviously sincere genuine Christians, that many churches feel it would not be right to exclude them from the Table.

*I might've got to this post sooner, had it been in the Orth-Prot threads; in fact, I am surprised it is not, as I am not aware of other denominations practising believers' baptism. It was only when two or three of you pointed me to this thread that I discovered its existence.
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« Reply #95 on: January 15, 2009, 12:41:31 PM »

1) can the non-Christian baptize? 
2) can you be a Christian and not baptize? 
3) how do you restore what was "lost" when infant baptism became the norm?

You pose some deep and penetrating questions.

1) I suspect the answer must be 'yes'. Sadly, the fact is (and I suspect it is true of your Church as well as many others) that it is quite possible for an unconverted man - in some misguided churches, even woman - to study Theology, apply for ordination, and be accepted and put in charge of a local church. It happened many times in England in the early 18th century, when the Anglican Church, as a matter of undisputed record and testimony, had many ministers who were one of the sons of the gentry who were expected to 'go into the church'. They gave themselves to fox-hunting, gambling, and merry living. (In God's mercy a small number later came to faith through the words they were obliged to speak in the services.) If we say a non-Christian cannot baptise, then, if we accept infant baptism (which is the Anglican practice), the baptism of all their parishioners was invalid. That sad situation in the Church of England is well documented in the history books and the autobiographies of the era. I am quite sure that there have been, and doubtless still are, men in the Baptist ministry who know academic Theology but do not know the Lord. So, if we accept believers' baptism, does the baptism of all those who request baptism in their churches become invalid? So I think the answer to your first question must be Yes.

2) I am not sure if you meant to write "and not be baptized". Either way, the answer is yes; but I think the Christian who is never baptised at all by any method is a disobedient Christian, for it is a plain command. You and I have intended to fulfil it (which I write on the assumption you are Orthodox). Reading the lives, work and words of some of the early Quakers and the Salvation Army, I would be hard to convince that they were not Christians.

3) I assume your question, expanded, is: If believers' baptism is correct, then there came a time when no-one was baptised, so how could baptism be restored to the church? That is a knotty question, and might almost be seen to have the nature of a conundrum, but I think my §1 points to the answer. If baptism performed by a non-Christian is valid, providing the person being baptised is a proper subject for baptism, then baptism performed by an unbaptised Christian must also be valid.
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« Reply #96 on: January 15, 2009, 01:11:05 PM »

1) can the non-Christian baptize? 
2) can you be a Christian and not baptize? 
3) how do you restore what was "lost" when infant baptism became the norm?

You pose some deep and penetrating questions.

1) I suspect the answer must be 'yes'. Sadly, the fact is (and I suspect it is true of your Church as well as many others) that it is quite possible for an unconverted man - in some misguided churches, even woman - to study Theology, apply for ordination, and be accepted and put in charge of a local church. It happened many times in England in the early 18th century, when the Anglican Church, as a matter of undisputed record and testimony, had many ministers who were one of the sons of the gentry who were expected to 'go into the church'. They gave themselves to fox-hunting, gambling, and merry living. (In God's mercy a small number later came to faith through the words they were obliged to speak in the services.) If we say a non-Christian cannot baptise, then, if we accept infant baptism (which is the Anglican practice), the baptism of all their parishioners was invalid. That sad situation in the Church of England is well documented in the history books and the autobiographies of the era. I am quite sure that there have been, and doubtless still are, men in the Baptist ministry who know academic Theology but do not know the Lord. So, if we accept believers' baptism, does the baptism of all those who request baptism in their churches become invalid? So I think the answer to your first question must be Yes.

2) I am not sure if you meant to write "and not be baptized". Either way, the answer is yes; but I think the Christian who is never baptised at all by any method is a disobedient Christian, for it is a plain command. You and I have intended to fulfil it (which I write on the assumption you are Orthodox). Reading the lives, work and words of some of the early Quakers and the Salvation Army, I would be hard to convince that they were not Christians.

3) I assume your question, expanded, is: If believers' baptism is correct, then there came a time when no-one was baptised, so how could baptism be restored to the church? That is a knotty question, and might almost be seen to have the nature of a conundrum, but I think my §1 points to the answer. If baptism performed by a non-Christian is valid, providing the person being baptised is a proper subject for baptism, then baptism performed by an unbaptised Christian must also be valid.

Your point 1 is speaking of the worthiness of the minister, not his "validity."  They are not the same.  Since no man is without sin, the question of worthiness can but only be one of degree.  But as even the Anglican service makes clear, the sacraments do not depend on the worthiness of the minister.

Related to this, your point 2 is equating Christian=moral.  But the problem is that, for instance, we have Muslims who claim to be real Christians and live what we would call moral lives.  But they cannot baptize, nor would they.

On your 3 point, following up on my previous statement, what about the self-baptized?  I knew someone in evangelical circles doing mission work among Muslims, and this concept, for whatever reason (persecusion of the baptizer?) was taking hold.
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« Reply #97 on: January 15, 2009, 03:53:38 PM »

I do not have the answers; I merely bring out the questions.
I'd value Cleopas's thoughts on this as well.
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« Reply #98 on: January 15, 2009, 04:21:49 PM »

Regarding the OT parallel with circumcision, that denoted physical birth into God's people (the Jewish nation); baptism denotes spiritual birth into God's people (the Church). Each follows the birth it denotes.

Grace and Peace David Young,

I don't believe this is true. There is no 'physical birth into God's people'. What is 'flesh is flesh' and what is 'spirit is spirit'. Circumcision was the 'mark of entry' into the Covenant of God. It was not simply 'a sign' of membership of the 'people of God' as you appear to assert in your reply. No people are simply 'born into God's people' they are brought into God's Covenant on their own volition (God-Fears) or through the will of their parents (those children whose parents are already in the Covenant). This was a telling post though as to the differences between you and I in this regard and I am thankful for it because I understand better the differences we have.
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« Reply #99 on: January 15, 2009, 04:37:11 PM »

I'm sorry, maybe I missed you addressing the following points:

Regarding the OT parallel with circumcision, that denoted physical birth into God's people (the Jewish nation); baptism denotes spiritual birth into God's people (the Church). Each follows the birth it denotes.


The problem is that when circumcision is made the sign of the covenant, God clearly indicates that those who do not circumcize are cut off from the Chosen People.  Further, those who join are circumcized, e.g. those who wish to eat the Passover.  See Exodus 4:24-5 for how serious a matter God took it, beyond physical birth. 

Not that it is determinative, but there was an old Jewish tradition stands at the gate of Heaven, to turn away any Jew who was not circumcized.

The earliest recorded dispute we have over the age of baptism is in North Africa c. 200: some said it was forbidden to baptize earlier than 8 days, based on Gen. 17:12.
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« Reply #100 on: January 15, 2009, 05:20:46 PM »

I'm sorry, maybe I missed you addressing the following points:

Regarding the OT parallel with circumcision, that denoted physical birth into God's people (the Jewish nation); baptism denotes spiritual birth into God's people (the Church). Each follows the birth it denotes.


The problem is that when circumcision is made the sign of the covenant, God clearly indicates that those who do not circumcize are cut off from the Chosen People.  Further, those who join are circumcized, e.g. those who wish to eat the Passover.  See Exodus 4:24-5 for how serious a matter God took it, beyond physical birth. 

Not that it is determinative, but there was an old Jewish tradition stands at the gate of Heaven, to turn away any Jew who was not circumcized.

The earliest recorded dispute we have over the age of baptism is in North Africa c. 200: some said it was forbidden to baptize earlier than 8 days, based on Gen. 17:12.

Are we not circumcised into an even 'better' Covenant than that of the Old, one done 'without hands'?
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« Reply #101 on: January 15, 2009, 06:01:16 PM »

The earliest recorded dispute we have over the age of baptism is in North Africa c. 200: some said it was forbidden to baptize earlier than 8 days, based on Gen. 17:12.

I have here a quote from writings supporting the Orthodox position (baptism is allowed before the eight day) in this argument.

Quote from: Cyprian,To Fidus, Epistle 58(64):2,6(A.D. 251),in ANF,5:353-354
But in respect of the case of the infants, which you say ought not to be baptized within the second or third day after their birth, and that the law of ancient circumcision should be regarded, so that you think one who is just born should not be baptized and sanctified within the eighth day...And therefore, dearest brother, this was our opinion in council, that by us no one ought to be hindered from baptism...we think is to be even more observed in respect of infants and newly-born persons..

Not sure if this is relevant, I just thought I'd post it since ialmisry mentioned that this is the first debate within the Church about the proper age for baptism.
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« Reply #102 on: January 15, 2009, 06:27:13 PM »

Nevertheless, I have been called of the Lord Jesus himself, through the Spirit, and authorized by Him to preach and defend the gospel, establish churches, baptize converts and any other duty that may rightly fall upon me as His minister.

...quoting, I believe, Cleopas several posts further up the page.

I don't know how it worked for Cleopas, but let me describe (since one or two have asked this of Cleopas) how it worked in Britain for me. First of all, I felt an inward urge to preach, and openings came my way to do so or to take some other part in services. Then, my gift to preach was formally recognised by the local church where I was in membership. This was then made known to the other churches in the denomination via the usual channels (mainly denominational magazine, directory of ministers, word of mouth). After circulating for a while among the churches, I was unanimously invited by one of them to take up the pastorate. (I am not now in a pastorate: I have worked for a missionary society in a different capacity since the late 1980s.) As a minister, 'ordained' (if you like to use that word) through the formal recognition of my local church, I preached, taught, baptised, and presided at the Lord's Table. I still preach and preside at the Table fairly often, but I have not baptised anyone since leaving pastoral ministry.

I'm not telling you this to try to persuade you that we got it right; I am merely answering people's query as to how it is done among us. I would expect it to be fairly similar in the case of Cleopas.

Now let me ask you a question. As I wrote on a previous post, I believed in Christ when I was 15 or 16, and became exercised about the command to "repent and be baptised", so I was immersed upon profession of faith at a regularly functioning Christian church (actually, as I explained earlier, a Brethren assembly).

Now my question - be as blunt as you wish in replying. In your opinion, am I baptised?


In most Orthodox Jurisdictions if you had been Baptised in the name of the Father and Son and Holy Spirit then you are considered Baptised. You would then be received into the Church by Chrismation . However, if you were Baptised by other formulations such as "In the name of Jesus" then no.

In a few other Jurisdictions most every convert is  Baptised  by full triple emersion because the method of Baptism within Protestant groups varies so much that they feel they must be careful and err on the side of caution.
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« Reply #103 on: January 15, 2009, 06:38:33 PM »

1) your point 2 is equating Christian=moral.  But the problem is that, for instance, we have Muslims who claim to be real Christians and live what we would call moral lives. 

2) what about the self-baptized?  among Muslims... this concept, for whatever reason was taking hold.

1) No. I mean, not that some of those early Quakers and Salvation Army people lived highly moral lives, as you rightly point out do some Moslems. I mean that they gave every sign of being truly born of God - the faith in Christ as Saviour, their repentance for their sins, their love for Christ.

2) I am fairly sure that we both agree that self-baptism (I think the word may be 'sebaptism') is not the right way to go about things. But I may be able to shed a little light on how the practice began. Back in 1606 there was a Christian congregation in Gainsborough pastored by one John Smyth. In 1608 this church emigrated to Amsterdam because of religious persecution in England. There, Smyth became convinced that the scriptures require believers' baptism, not infant baptism. But everyone in those days was a paedobaptist. (I say everyone: I am not referring to Swiss Anabaptists, far away in a different land.) Smyth's dilemma takes us back to your earlier question: what was he to do, to get baptised in the way he felt was correct? So he baptised himself, then baptised the other members of the church he was leading. This was in 1609 and was thus the first English Baptist church (albeit in Amsterdam). It may be that the Moslems you mention, when converted to Christianity, do this because they feel there is some historical precedent.

It would be easy for you and me to criticise John Smyth, but as I wrote earlier, it is a knotty problem, and I do not say I could have solved it better than he did.
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« Reply #104 on: January 15, 2009, 07:06:38 PM »

Self-baptism makes as much sense as self-ordination into the priesthood, or self-consecration into the episcopate. Historical instances of such practices doesn't make them right or valid.
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« Reply #105 on: January 15, 2009, 07:28:50 PM »

1) can the non-Christian baptize? 
2) can you be a Christian and not baptize? 
3) how do you restore what was "lost" when infant baptism became the norm?

You pose some deep and penetrating questions.

1) I suspect the answer must be 'yes'. Sadly, the fact is (and I suspect it is true of your Church as well as many others) that it is quite possible for an unconverted man - in some misguided churches, even woman - to study Theology, apply for ordination, and be accepted and put in charge of a local church. It happened many times in England in the early 18th century, when the Anglican Church, as a matter of undisputed record and testimony, had many ministers who were one of the sons of the gentry who were expected to 'go into the church'. They gave themselves to fox-hunting, gambling, and merry living. (In God's mercy a small number later came to faith through the words they were obliged to speak in the services.) If we say a non-Christian cannot baptise, then, if we accept infant baptism (which is the Anglican practice), the baptism of all their parishioners was invalid. That sad situation in the Church of England is well documented in the history books and the autobiographies of the era. I am quite sure that there have been, and doubtless still are, men in the Baptist ministry who know academic Theology but do not know the Lord. So, if we accept believers' baptism, does the baptism of all those who request baptism in their churches become invalid? So I think the answer to your first question must be Yes.

2) I am not sure if you meant to write "and not be baptized". Either way, the answer is yes; but I think the Christian who is never baptised at all by any method is a disobedient Christian, for it is a plain command. You and I have intended to fulfil it (which I write on the assumption you are Orthodox). Reading the lives, work and words of some of the early Quakers and the Salvation Army, I would be hard to convince that they were not Christians.

3) I assume your question, expanded, is: If believers' baptism is correct, then there came a time when no-one was baptised, so how could baptism be restored to the church? That is a knotty question, and might almost be seen to have the nature of a conundrum, but I think my §1 points to the answer. If baptism performed by a non-Christian is valid, providing the person being baptised is a proper subject for baptism, then baptism performed by an unbaptised Christian must also be valid.
But this is based on the assumption that one's identity as a Christian or non-Christian is based on a reality that is purely internal to each individual.  If one believes in Christ in his heart, even if he is not baptized, he is a Christian.  If one does not believe in Christ in his heart, even if he is baptized, he is not a Christian.  Or so your paradigm seems to say.

This is not how the Orthodox understand someone to be a Christian.  One can believe in his heart that Jesus is Lord, desire only to obey Him, and be well on the path to heaven, yet not be truly a Christian.  Likewise, one can be a visible member of a Christian community yet not be truly Christian.  For the Orthodox, to be Christian means to have internal devotion to Christ AND be visibly a member of His Church.  Without personal faith in Christ, one may be called a Christian, but in name only; as such, all members of the Church are called Christian, but only God knows with absolute certainty who has saving faith and who doesn't.  Outside of the Church, one may be called at best a God-fearing man or woman (and maybe even Christian according to a much looser definition of the term), but such cannot be truly called a Christian according to the Orthodox sense.  Again, one must be a member of the Church to be Christian, and the only way one may join the community of the Church, the Body of Christ, is via baptism.  The Church has recognized no other way for one to be a Christian.
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« Reply #106 on: January 15, 2009, 08:32:45 PM »

I'm sorry, maybe I missed you addressing the following points:

Regarding the OT parallel with circumcision, that denoted physical birth into God's people (the Jewish nation); baptism denotes spiritual birth into God's people (the Church). Each follows the birth it denotes.


The problem is that when circumcision is made the sign of the covenant, God clearly indicates that those who do not circumcize are cut off from the Chosen People.  Further, those who join are circumcized, e.g. those who wish to eat the Passover.  See Exodus 4:24-5 for how serious a matter God took it, beyond physical birth. 

Not that it is determinative, but there was an old Jewish tradition stands at the gate of Heaven, to turn away any Jew who was not circumcized.

The earliest recorded dispute we have over the age of baptism is in North Africa c. 200: some said it was forbidden to baptize earlier than 8 days, based on Gen. 17:12.

Are we not circumcised into an even 'better' Covenant than that of the Old, one done 'without hands'?

LOL.  And without bleeding.
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« Reply #107 on: January 15, 2009, 08:34:28 PM »

1) your point 2 is equating Christian=moral.  But the problem is that, for instance, we have Muslims who claim to be real Christians and live what we would call moral lives. 

2) what about the self-baptized?  among Muslims... this concept, for whatever reason was taking hold.

1) No. I mean, not that some of those early Quakers and Salvation Army people lived highly moral lives, as you rightly point out do some Moslems. I mean that they gave every sign of being truly born of God - the faith in Christ as Saviour, their repentance for their sins, their love for Christ.

2) I am fairly sure that we both agree that self-baptism (I think the word may be 'sebaptism') is not the right way to go about things. But I may be able to shed a little light on how the practice began. Back in 1606 there was a Christian congregation in Gainsborough pastored by one John Smyth. In 1608 this church emigrated to Amsterdam because of religious persecution in England. There, Smyth became convinced that the scriptures require believers' baptism, not infant baptism. But everyone in those days was a paedobaptist. (I say everyone: I am not referring to Swiss Anabaptists, far away in a different land.) Smyth's dilemma takes us back to your earlier question: what was he to do, to get baptised in the way he felt was correct? So he baptised himself, then baptised the other members of the church he was leading. This was in 1609 and was thus the first English Baptist church (albeit in Amsterdam). It may be that the Moslems you mention, when converted to Christianity, do this because they feel there is some historical precedent.

It would be easy for you and me to criticise John Smyth, but as I wrote earlier, it is a knotty problem, and I do not say I could have solved it better than he did.

It was a problem of his own making.
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« Reply #108 on: January 16, 2009, 04:42:04 AM »

It was a problem of his own making.

Not entirely. As an honest man (we must assume he was that, I think) he was making a sincere attempt to obey his conscience and to obey the Lord, as he (for the sake of argument, let me add rightly or wrongly) understood that. The problem he then faced was, how to get baptised when there was no-one baptised to perform the ceremony? I am not saying his solution was the right one, but the problem was not really of his own making.

Is there never an occasion when an Orthodox finds himself in a place where there is no priest to baptise his child, nor likely to be one in the foreseeable future? What solution does he find? It would be a dilemma of a somewhat similar character - unless his solution would be similar to the Roman Catholic one, for whom, I believe, a 'lay person' may legitimately baptise in cases of emergency.
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« Reply #109 on: January 16, 2009, 05:00:46 AM »


I don't believe this is true. There is no 'physical birth into God's people'. What is 'flesh is flesh' and what is 'spirit is spirit'. Circumcision was the 'mark of entry' into the Covenant of God. It was not simply 'a sign' of membership of the 'people of God' as you appear to assert in your reply. No people are simply 'born into God's people' they are brought into God's Covenant on their own volition (God-Fears) or through the will of their parents (those children whose parents are already in the Covenant). This was a telling post though as to the differences between you and I in this regard and I am thankful for it because I understand better the differences we have.

And yet it is manifestly so. For a Jew is either born a Jew or he is not. Is circumcision important? Yes. Even necessarry. May other convert to the religion of the Jews? Indeed. But may those ocnverts be rightly said to descendand from Israel or it's tribes? No. My point is imply that a Jew born is born into the people of God as well as circumcised. The two are inseperably united in thge purpose of God for those born of Abraham through Israel.

Likewise, those born of Abraham by faith through Christ are also united without an outward sign or token of the covenant communitty for which they were born to partake.

That said, though I have for the sake of conversation permitted myself to draw form the circumcision analogy with baptism, and though not denying some merit to that application, I must clarify that I do not believe baptism to be the inward circumcision of which the NT speaks. It is the heart that is circumcised under the NT, the inner spiritual man. Here again I believe baptism to be a witness to this inner reality or experience -- but not the fulfillment thereof itself.


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« Reply #110 on: January 16, 2009, 05:13:12 AM »

I'd value Cleopas's thoughts on this as well.

Are you sure?  Shocked Cheesy

You asked...

Quote
How does God respond to this unbiblical separation of the two, often by a number of years? Does he accept the intention for the deed?

Is re-baptism really the right way to correct it - us of you, or you of us, when someone converts in either direction?

1. I think God exspects us to resolve our own errors in such matters. Albeit, I do believe He accepts the convert on their willing intention, else wise we inadvertently argue for immersion being itself salvific, and thus in esscence that one is saved by works.

Should baptism follow faith? Indeed! When it does not (assuming it is not rejected or intentionally neglected) can such (as of yet) unbaptized believers really be counted accepted in the Beloved? Indeed! Else wise Cornelious and his household did not truly receive the Spirit of God prior to their being immersed (and Scripture is found to be a false witness) and the repentant thief was nlt received of our Lord (further construing Scripture as false, contradictory, and unreliable for faith or practice).

2. That is a harder question, and one that may vary depending on the circumstances. However, in short, my position is that if one has not been immersed in water after having repented of their sins and personally placing faith in Christ for themselves that they HAVE NOT then been baptized. Therefore, I do not, indeed cannot, recognize infant baptism as true baptism. Nor can I recognize any other mode (besides immersion) as true baptism. However, that is not to say I do not recognize the individual as a true convert or believer, who is in true faith partaker in the common salvation all those who believe on and follow the Lord Jesus Christ do share.
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« Reply #111 on: January 16, 2009, 07:57:04 AM »

It was a problem of his own making.

Not entirely. As an honest man (we must assume he was that, I think) he was making a sincere attempt to obey his conscience and to obey the Lord, as he (for the sake of argument, let me add rightly or wrongly) understood that. The problem he then faced was, how to get baptised when there was no-one baptised to perform the ceremony? I am not saying his solution was the right one, but the problem was not really of his own making.

Is there never an occasion when an Orthodox finds himself in a place where there is no priest to baptise his child, nor likely to be one in the foreseeable future? What solution does he find? It would be a dilemma of a somewhat similar character - unless his solution would be similar to the Roman Catholic one, for whom, I believe, a 'lay person' may legitimately baptise in cases of emergency.
I didn't doubt his sincerity, but that fact that he was in such a corner should have made him rethink his original premise.

Yes, Orthodoxy got started in America with the Russian traders baptizing the children they had with the natives.  By virtue of chrimation they are able to do so.  And if one of these baptized Orthodox baptized another before a priest arrived to chrismate, at worse such a person would get a provisional baptism by the priest, probably just chrismation (i.e. received as a Protestant is received).
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« Reply #112 on: January 16, 2009, 08:52:38 AM »


I don't believe this is true. There is no 'physical birth into God's people'. What is 'flesh is flesh' and what is 'spirit is spirit'. Circumcision was the 'mark of entry' into the Covenant of God. It was not simply 'a sign' of membership of the 'people of God' as you appear to assert in your reply. No people are simply 'born into God's people' they are brought into God's Covenant on their own volition (God-Fears) or through the will of their parents (those children whose parents are already in the Covenant). This was a telling post though as to the differences between you and I in this regard and I am thankful for it because I understand better the differences we have.

And yet it is manifestly so. For a Jew is either born a Jew or he is not. Is circumcision important? Yes. Even necessarry. May other convert to the religion of the Jews? Indeed. But may those ocnverts be rightly said to descendand from Israel or it's tribes? No. My point is imply that a Jew born is born into the people of God as well as circumcised. The two are inseperably united in thge purpose of God for those born of Abraham through Israel.

You forget: when Abraham circumcised, he circumcized his household (ah, yes, that term again).  I hope Genesis 17:23-7 is clear enough for you.  And I hope Genesis 17:12-3 is abudantly clear.  Hence the reason why the Judaizers were insisting on circumcision of Gentile converts.

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Likewise, those born of Abraham by faith through Christ are also united without an outward sign or token of the covenant communitty for which they were born to partake.

And those Hebrew also MUST be baptized who born of Abraham of faith as well as the flesh. (Like yours truly  Grin).

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That said, though I have for the sake of conversation permitted myself to draw form the circumcision analogy with baptism, and though not denying some merit to that application, I must clarify that I do not believe baptism to be the inward circumcision of which the NT speaks. It is the heart that is circumcised under the NT, the inner spiritual man. Here again I believe baptism to be a witness to this inner reality or experience -- but not the fulfillment thereof itself.

Colossians 2:4 τοῦτο λέγω, ἵνα μηδεὶς ὑμᾶς παραλογίζηται ἐν πιθανολογίᾳ.
Now this I say that no one may delude you with persuasiveness of speech.
Colossians 2:5 εἰ γὰρ καὶ τῇ σαρκὶ ἄπειμι, ἀλλὰ τῷ πνεύματι σὺν ὑμῖν εἰμι, χαίρων καὶ βλέπων ὑμῶν τὴν τάξιν καὶ τὸ στερέωμα τῆς εἰς Χριστὸν πίστεως ὑμῶν.
For though I am absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, rejoicing and seeing your order, and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ.
Colossians 2:6 ὡς οὖν παρελάβετε τὸν Χριστὸν Ἰησοῦν τὸν κύριον, ἐν αὐτῷ περιπατεῖτε,
As therefore you received Christ Jesus, the Lord, walk in him,
Colossians 2:7 ἐρριζωμένοι καὶ ἐποικοδομούμενοι ἐν αὐτῷ καὶ βεβαιούμενοι τῇ πίστει καθὼς ἐδιδάχθητε, περισσεύοντες (ἐν) (αὐτῇ) ἐν εὐχαριστίᾳ.
rooted and built up in him, and established in the faith, even as you were taught, abounding in it in thanksgiving.
Colossians 2:8 βλέπετε μή τις ὑμᾶς ἔσται ὁ συλαγωγῶν διὰ τῆς φιλοσοφίας καὶ κενῆς ἀπάτης κατὰ τὴν παράδοσιν τῶν ἀνθρώπων κατὰ τὰ στοιχεῖα τοῦ κόσμου καὶ οὐ κατὰ Χριστόν·
Be careful that you don't let anyone rob you through his philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the elements of the world, and not after Christ
Colossians 2:9 ὅτι ἐν αὐτῷ κατοικεῖ πᾶν τὸ πλήρωμα τῆς θεότητος σωματικῶς,
For in him all the fullness of the Godhead dwells bodily,
Colossians 2:10 καὶ ἐστὲ ἐν αὐτῷ πεπληρωμένοι, ὅς ἐστιν ἡ κεφαλὴ πάσης ἀρχῆς καὶ ἐξουσίας.
and in him you are made full, who is the head of all principality and power;
Colossians 2:11 ἐν ᾧ καὶ περιετμήθητε περιτομῇ ἀχειροποιήτῳ ἐν τῇ ἀπεκδύσει τοῦ σώματος τῆς σαρκός, ἐν τῇ περιτομῇ τοῦ Χριστοῦ,
in whom you were also circumcised with a circumcision not made with hands, in the putting off of the body of the sins of the flesh, in the circumcision of Christ;Colossians 2:12 συνταφέντες αὐτῷ ἐν τῷ βαπτίσματι / βαπτισμῷ, ἐν ᾧ καὶ συνηγέρθητε διὰ τῆς πίστεως τῆς ἐνεργείας τοῦ θεοῦ τοῦ ἐγείραντος αὐτὸν ἐκ νεκρῶν·
having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead
Colossians 2:13 καὶ ὑμᾶς νεκροὺς ὄντας [ἐν] τοῖς παραπτώμασιν καὶ τῇ ἀκροβυστίᾳ τῆς σαρκὸς ὑμῶν συνεζωοποίησεν ὑμᾶς σὺν αὐτῷ, χαρισάμενος ἡμῖν πάντα τὰ παραπτώματα.
You were dead through your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh. He made you alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses,
Colossians 2:14 ἐξαλείψας τὸ καθ' ἡμῶν χειρόγραφον τοῖς δόγμασιν ὃ ἦν ὑπεναντίον ἡμῖν καὶ αὐτὸ ἦρκεν ἐκ τοῦ μέσου προσηλώσας αὐτὸ τῷ σταυρῷ·
wiping out the handwriting in ordinances which was against us; and he has taken it out of the way, nailing it to the cross;
Colossians 2:15 ἀπεκδυσάμενος τὰς ἀρχὰς καὶ τὰς ἐξουσίας ἐδειγμάτισεν ἐν παρρησίᾳ θριαμβεύσας αὐτοὺς ἐν αὐτῷ.
having stripped the principalities and the powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it.
Colossians 2:16 Μὴ οὖν τις ὑμᾶς κρινέτω ἐν βρώσει καὶ ἐν πόσει ἢ ἐν μέρει ἑορτῆς ἢ νεομηνίας ἢ σαββάτων·
Let no one therefore judge you in eating, or in drinking, or with respect to a feast day or a new moon or a Sabbath day,
Colossians 2:17 ἅ ἐστιν σκιὰ τῶν μελλόντων, τὸ δὲ σῶμα τοῦ Χριστοῦ.
which are a shadow of the things to come; but the body is Christ's.

How much plainer can it be? in the circumcision of Christ having been buried with him in baptism

συνετάφημεν συνταφέντες

From sun and thapto; to inter in company with, i.e. (figuratively) to assimilate spiritually (to Christ by a sepulture as to sin) -- bury with.

The only other occurence in the NT is
Romans 6:4 συνετάφημεν οὖν αὐτῷ διὰ τοῦ βαπτίσματος εἰς τὸν θάνατον, ἵνα ὥσπερ ἠγέρθη Χριστὸς ἐκ νεκρῶν διὰ τῆς δόξης τοῦ πατρός, οὕτως καὶ ἡμεῖς ἐν καινότητι ζωῆς περιπατήσωμεν.
We were buried therefore with him through baptism to death, that just like Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we also might walk in newness of life.
with all the implications (which no doubt I and the Apostles' Church disagree with you on) of that chapter on baptism and its effects.

We were buried:cause

so we also might walk: effect (btw, notice "might," not "shall").

The fact that the aorist is used emphasis the puntual nature of the action: it was done in an act at a certain point of time (say, at BAPTISM).
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« Reply #113 on: January 16, 2009, 10:31:57 AM »

And yet it is manifestly so. For a Jew is either born a Jew or he is not. Is circumcision important? Yes. Even necessarry. May other convert to the religion of the Jews? Indeed. But may those converts be rightly said to descendand from Israel or it's tribes? No. My point is imply that a Jew born is born into the people of God as well as circumcised. The two are inseparably united in the purpose of God for those born of Abraham through Israel.

I'm sorry Cleopas I have to disagree with you on this. I do so knowing that the weight of roughly 2000 years of consensus compels me to do so. You seem to believe that being a Jew was some kind of racial quality when it was faithfully being in a Covenant relationship with God. That Covenant was entered into 'formally' by Circumcision on the 8th day. It was a Jewish racial quality and God-Fearers once formally in that same Covenant relationship were not different in status than another Jew. Remember what St. John the Forerunner said to the Pharisees... "And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham". I do not agree with your argument. God is no respecter of persons.

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Likewise, those born of Abraham by faith through Christ are also united without an outward sign or token of the covenant community for which they were born to partake.

That said, though I have for the sake of conversation permitted myself to draw form the circumcision analogy with baptism, and though not denying some merit to that application, I must clarify that I do not believe baptism to be the inward circumcision of which the NT speaks. It is the heart that is circumcised under the NT, the inner spiritual man. Here again I believe baptism to be a witness to this inner reality or experience -- but not the fulfillment thereof itself.

And you stand against roughly 2000 years of consensual teaching of the Christian Community. Knowing that in the 'light' of the enlightenment most Protestant groups standing in denial of the priesthood and all mysteries (baptism, eucharist, etc.), denial of the saints and their ability to intercede for us, assertion that the character of one’s life is a matter indifferent for salvation - only confession or lack of confession that Jesus is your Savior affects one’s salvation, rejection of Apostolic tradition and the Church as authorities, predestination or the arbitrary election and damnation of men by nothing but a divine whim, millenialism or chiliasm, and many others I don't stand surprised that the consensual teaching of the Christian Church means much to you.
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« Reply #114 on: January 16, 2009, 11:39:23 AM »

this is based on the assumption that one's identity as a Christian or non-Christian is based on a reality that is purely internal to each individual.  If one believes in Christ in his heart, even if he is not baptized, he is a Christian.  If one does not believe in Christ in his heart, even if he is baptized, he is not a Christian.  Or so your paradigm seems to say.

Yes indeed. You express the Evangelical position very well.  Smiley

We do of course expect believers to join a church and take part in its regular life, but that's because they are Christians, it's not what makes them such. There is something very odd and definitely wrong with a Christian who deliberately does not join a church, and it does rather put a question mark over his faith - but on this see below at the end.

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This is not how the Orthodox understand someone to be a Christian.  One can believe in his heart that Jesus is Lord, desire only to obey Him, and be well on the path to heaven, yet not be truly a Christian. For the Orthodox, to be Christian means to have internal devotion to Christ AND be visibly a member of His Church.

This is highly interesting. You have answered a question I was considering putting on the "Is there salvation outside of Orthodoxy?" thread.

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Likewise, one can be a visible member of a Christian community yet not be truly Christian.Without personal faith in Christ, one may be called a Christian, but in name only

On this at least we are both agreed. And (to refer back for a moment) the Anglican ministers of the early 18th century whom I described some lines up made no secret of their total lack of Christian faith. It was the done thing for one son of certain families to 'go into the church' whether they believed or not.

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only God knows with absolute certainty who has saving faith and who doesn't.

Again, we agree.

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« Reply #115 on: January 16, 2009, 11:47:01 AM »

Ignatius Friend,

You have wrongly, though surely inadvertently, lumped me in with the more Calvinistic branches of Protestantism. I am not such.
I am an Arminian, primarily a Wesleyan-Arminian.
I do not hold a deterministic soteriology.
Nor do I advocate a grace trampling "license to sin" in the name of salvation (and neither does a true Calvinist, btw).
Such a profession of faith is that of a dead faith. Dead faith is no faith at all as to it's substance and therefore is NOT saving faith.
Such a teaching is not only a heresy, but a DAMNABLE one.  Wink

As to your claims as to my unwillingness to align with the truth of Christ's church, well we can both sling that argument around and obviously, as of yet, are not able to reconcile our differences therewith. However, I respect your love for the Lord, His word, and His work. I rejoice with you in as much as Christ is preached!

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« Reply #116 on: January 16, 2009, 12:32:05 PM »

Ignatius Friend,

You have wrongly, though surely inadvertently, lumped me in with the more Calvinistic branches of Protestantism. I am not such.
I am an Arminian, primarily a Wesleyan-Arminian.
I do not hold a deterministic soteriology.
Nor do I advocate a grace trampling "license to sin" in the name of salvation (and neither does a true Calvinist, btw).
Such a profession of faith is that of a dead faith. Dead faith is no faith at all as to it's substance and therefore is NOT saving faith.
Such a teaching is not only a heresy, but a DAMNABLE one.  Wink

As to your claims as to my unwillingness to align with the truth of Christ's church, well we can both sling that argument around and obviously, as of yet, are not able to reconcile our differences therewith. However, I respect your love for the Lord, His word, and His work. I rejoice with you in as much as Christ is preached!



That is all very good to hear Cleopas and I too rejoice in whatever we can claim in common. I mean not to lump you with errors which are not your own. Pardon me if I mischaracterized you and your beliefs. Lord have Mercy.

That said many errors were born out of the reformation of the West and Believer's Baptism was on of them which has been addressed by the Church Councils. We need not argue these matters since they have been settled. Unfortunately in the West there are those who place their faith in the guidance of a Pope and there are others who see themselves as their own Pope. The conciliar nature of the Church has been distorted to the point that all is most confused as all authority has been lost.

It is such a shame.
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« Reply #117 on: January 16, 2009, 01:02:08 PM »

1) assertion that the character of one’s life is a matter indifferent for salvation - only confession or lack of confession that Jesus is your Savior affects one’s salvation, ...
2) predestination or the arbitrary election and damnation of men by nothing but a divine whim,
3) millenialism or chiliasm,

1) We strenuously deny and repudiate #1. One's character prior to coming to faith is not taken into account, whether that character is good or bad. All are unworthy, all need mercy, all receive salvation only on the basis of divine grace. But if faith is true, it will produce the fruit of a changed life, ongoing sanctification.

2) You are assuming that Cleopas and I are Calvinists - Augustinian, Reformed, whatever one calls that theology.

3) Chiliasm or premillennialism is more a Brethren teaching, though embraced by Pentecostals. There is an Evangelical church in Sunderland which has premillennialism in its trust deed; it found great difficulty in acquiring a pastor, and had (I think) to import one from America! I am not pre-mill; I do not know about Cleopas (being American, it's more likely that he is). I believe chiliasm was widespread in the early and mediæval church, but I should need to refresh my memory on that - perhaps for another thread? (Or is there one already that I haven't noticed?)

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« Reply #118 on: January 16, 2009, 01:21:25 PM »

1) assertion that the character of one’s life is a matter indifferent for salvation - only confession or lack of confession that Jesus is your Savior affects one’s salvation, ...
2) predestination or the arbitrary election and damnation of men by nothing but a divine whim,
3) millenialism or chiliasm,

1) We strenuously deny and repudiate #1. One's character prior to coming to faith is not taken into account, whether that character is good or bad. All are unworthy, all need mercy, all receive salvation only on the basis of divine grace. But if faith is true, it will produce the fruit of a changed life, ongoing sanctification.

2) You are assuming that Cleopas and I are Calvinists - Augustinian, Reformed, whatever one calls that theology.

3) Chiliasm or premillennialism is more a Brethren teaching, though embraced by Pentecostals. There is an Evangelical church in Sunderland which has premillennialism in its trust deed; it found great difficulty in acquiring a pastor, and had (I think) to import one from America! I am not pre-mill; I do not know about Cleopas (being American, it's more likely that he is). I believe chiliasm was widespread in the early and mediæval church, but I should need to refresh my memory on that - perhaps for another thread? (Or is there one already that I haven't noticed?)




I find it kind of funny that, for all your assertions that Evangelicals are united in faith (thus our claim that the conscience of the Church cannot operate is false), you seem to spend a lot of time (here and in threads) differentiating yourself from other Protestants who DON'T believe as you do.  You yourself have shown how disunited Protestantism is-- both you and Cleopas are quick to distance yourselves from other Protestants, "well we don't believe that-- they're wrong and we're right because we read the Scriptures THIS way..." is essentially what we are hearing.  Maybe you can see why we assert that Protestantism is divided into thousands of sects, and is no longer a community, which means that there has been no final authority on the interpretation.- this authority is the conscience of the church (councils are occasionally not accepted), which cannot act in so many sects.

I know you say that Evangelicals are united in what's important.  But the evidence seems to be to the contrary.  Otherwise you both would not be so quick to correct us as to what you believe.  I get the idea from both of you that Calvinism is to be avoided (we would definitely agree on that).  Yet Calvin was a HUGE influence on Protestants, and still is.  Many still hold to what he and his successors taught (which I know is somewhat different in certain places, but that does not negate the point).  How is this unity of faith?  If it doesn't really matter what the differences are (and I would say it does, as predestination and whatnot are HUGE issues that DO affect our salvation in a proportionately HUGE manner), why are you avoiding it like the plague?

Just curious... Grin
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« Reply #119 on: January 16, 2009, 07:09:52 PM »

Maybe you can see why we assert that Protestantism is divided into thousands of sects, and is no longer a community,

I get the idea from both of you that Calvinism is to be avoided (we would definitely agree on that).  Yet Calvin was a HUGE influence on Protestants, and still is.  ... why are you avoiding it like the plague?

I think the word 'sect' is too emotive. Let us reserve it to denote non-Christian religions which are offshoots of Christianity - ones which deny the deity of Christ, his dual nature, his resurrection, the Trinity. We'd get further if we kept off emotive words which tend to sound pejorative. But yes, if you substitute a less offensive word, what you say is true.

I think that Evangelicals are a community. The problem is that at the start all Protestants were Evangelical, but many have wandered off into human speculations and no longer hold to the old 'sola scriptura' principle, some feeling free to remain in influential positions in their denominations whilst denying the most basic tenets of the faith. They must have seared consciences.

My attitude to Calvinism is harder to define. Just as it is said that Nestorius wasn't a Nestorian, so it is said that Calvin wasn't a Calvinist, but rather that it was his disciple Beza who developed and systematised the teachings now dubbed Calvinism. I have never read Calvin himself, and cannot therefore discuss him.

In fairness to my Calvinist brethren I must add (as Cleopas did in a Post today or yesterday) that the image Orthodox have of the system named after him is a caricature of real Calvinism. I spent some years among Calvinists (ca 1971-1976, and ever since in much and frequent contact albeit no longer in a Calvinist church). I have never come across a Calvinist who teaches the things you believe they do, nor have I read any of their books or articles that do so. I say that, not to promote their system, but in fairness to them.

So why do I give the impression on these threads of distancing myself from them or from their system? Let me first of all say that the 'distancing', if such it be, does not extend to ceasing to pray, work and take Communion with them. Some of my colleagues in the Mission I work for are staunch Calvinists. It does not divide us. So why the apparent distance?

To come back to one of your own favourite texts, "By their fruits ye shall know them." A good number of the Calvinists I know are zealous servants of the Lord, humble, caring, warm-hearted, prayerful, loving Christians. Nonetheless I seem to perceive a persistent tendency for Calvinism to produce a different sort of Christian, especially of Christian leader: cold, dismissive of other Christians, exclusive. This I find an ugly trait, and lest it infect my own soul, I opt not to read their books nor to place myself under their leadership.

I would add two further comments, if I may. One is that Goidelic Celts and Americans seem the worst offenders. Scottish, Irish and American preachers seem, overall, to be more extreme and intransigent than we English, who, again on overall average, seem to be a gentler race. Secondly, what I have observed as unattractive in Calvinists I have also encountered in some Orthodox, not very similar to Him who said, "I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls."

Pax nobiscum
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« Reply #120 on: January 17, 2009, 05:43:30 AM »

Goidelic Celts and Americans

I mean no offence, and I hope none is taken. I am not anti-American or anti-Irish, and my late grandmother was Scottish. I think my point may be twofold:

1) that the character of a person's religion is likely to be affected to some extent by the characteristics of the nation to which he also belongs

2) that Orthodox people who post on these fora, and who live in America, may be meeting a more intransigent kind of Evangelicalism, including of the Calvinist hue, than often operates here in England and Wales.
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« Reply #121 on: January 17, 2009, 12:13:42 PM »

I mean no offence, and I hope none is taken. I am not anti-American or anti-Irish, and my late grandmother was Scottish. I think my point may be twofold:

Grace and Peace David Young,

I took no offense, and I'm part-Irish and Russian and an American...  Grin

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1) that the character of a person's religion is likely to be affected to some extent by the characteristics of the nation to which he also belongs

I hope not. I would hope that our membership in the One True Faith would elevate us beyond our culture and citizenship in this world.

Quote
2) that Orthodox people who post on these fora, and who live in America, may be meeting a more intransigent kind of Evangelicalism, including of the Calvinist hue, than often operates here in England and Wales.

This is very true from my experience. The Baptists in my world are very intransigent... great word for them. If I might extend a compliment to you David, who are a very kind and patient person on these forums. I like that.

With all this said we should understand that Arminianism is a form of Calvinism... it uses 'all' of Calvinism's Exegesis and Biblical Argument. So we must understand that Calvin was a 'big' influence for many who are Protestants.


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« Reply #122 on: January 17, 2009, 02:31:28 PM »

that the character of a person's religion is likely to be affected to some extent by the characteristics of the nation to which he also belongs... I hope not. I would hope that our membership in the One True Faith would elevate us beyond our culture

So would I - but I fear it is not so.  Sad

May the Lord help us to worship him in spirit and in truth: or should it be in Spirit and in truth? Both, I suspect. That we may be partakers of the divine nature.
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« Reply #123 on: January 17, 2009, 04:59:04 PM »

With all this said we should understand that Arminianism is a form of Calvinism... it uses 'all' of Calvinism's Exegesis and Biblical Argument. So we must understand that Calvin was a 'big' influence for many who are Protestants.
Do you think that maybe Arminianism drew its arguments and exegetical methods from Calvinism with the conscious intent of defining itself in opposition to Calvinism?  Much as Protestantism has historically based most of its reasoning on premises provided by the Roman Church, making Protestants and Catholics just different sides of the same Roman coin, but doing so precisely to draw conclusions diametrically opposed to Catholicism.
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« Reply #124 on: January 17, 2009, 05:14:11 PM »

Do you think that maybe Arminianism drew its arguments and exegetical methods from Calvinism

This is a big question. A google search under Remonstrants will give a better answer than I could. It should be interesting and helpful reading. I believe you will find they even included a dash of apophasis! (This was on the question of whether salvation could be lost, I believe.)

Enjoy your read!
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« Reply #125 on: January 17, 2009, 07:25:22 PM »

that the character of a person's religion is likely to be affected to some extent by the characteristics of the nation to which he also belongs... I hope not. I would hope that our membership in the One True Faith would elevate us beyond our culture

So would I - but I fear it is not so.  Sad

Culture is exactly what you and Cleopas exploit whether in Albania or the US suburbs.

May the Lord help us to worship him in spirit and in truth: or should it be in Spirit and in truth? Both, I suspect. That we may be partakers of the divine nature.

Or self-worship?   Huh
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« Reply #126 on: January 17, 2009, 07:33:37 PM »


I think the word 'sect' is too emotive. Let us reserve it to denote non-Christian religions which are offshoots of Christianity - ones which deny the deity of Christ, his dual nature, his resurrection, the Trinity. We'd get further if we kept off emotive words which tend to sound pejorative. But yes, if you substitute a less offensive word, what you say is true.

I'm sorry.  I didn't mean to cause offense.  It didn't really occur to me, honestly, that the word "sect" even had a negative connotation.  My sincerest apologies.
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« Reply #127 on: January 17, 2009, 07:36:54 PM »

that the character of a person's religion is likely to be affected to some extent by the characteristics of the nation to which he also belongs... I hope not. I would hope that our membership in the One True Faith would elevate us beyond our culture

So would I - but I fear it is not so.  Sad

Culture is exactly what you and Cleopas exploit whether in Albania or the US suburbs.

May the Lord help us to worship him in spirit and in truth: or should it be in Spirit and in truth? Both, I suspect. That we may be partakers of the divine nature.

Or self-worship?   Huh
Your responses sound rather vague.  Would you care to explain what you're trying to say here and how this relates to the topic of discussion?
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« Reply #128 on: January 17, 2009, 08:42:36 PM »

Not entirely. As an honest man (we must assume he was that, I think) he was making a sincere attempt to obey his conscience and to obey the Lord, as he (for the sake of argument, let me add rightly or wrongly) understood that. The problem he then faced was, how to get baptised when there was no-one baptised to perform the ceremony? I am not saying his solution was the right one, but the problem was not really of his own making.

Is there never an occasion when an Orthodox finds himself in a place where there is no priest to baptise his child, nor likely to be one in the foreseeable future? What solution does he find? It would be a dilemma of a somewhat similar character - unless his solution would be similar to the Roman Catholic one, for whom, I believe, a 'lay person' may legitimately baptise in cases of emergency.

This goes back entirely to our point of Sola Scriptura and not following the authority of the Church. By making himself his own Pope, he rejected the teachings of the Anglican Church in England and their Apostolic succession. He didn't have anyone to baptize him not out of need; but rather out of choice. By rejecting the authority of the Church and fleeing to Amsterdam he isolated himself and anyone willing to baptize him. This is exactly what we speak of when we talk of the danger of Sola Scriptura!

In regards to what to do in times of need, the Didache tells us what to do and how to perform the sacrmants.

Quote
And concerning baptism, baptize this way: Having first said all these things, baptize into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, in living water. But if you have no living water, baptize into other water; and if you cannot do so in cold water, do so in warm. But if you have neither, pour out water three times upon the head into the name of Father and Son and Holy Spirit. But before the baptism let the baptizer fast, and the baptized, and whoever else can; but you shall order the baptized to fast one or two days before.

(Taken from http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/didache-roberts.html )

It provides economia for different circumstances.

Recently in Bible Study, we spoke of baptism. My priest informed us, that in line with the Didache, a baptism should ideally be performed by a priest in a river. If that is not possible than by a priest in a font. If that is not possible then by a priest with sprinkling. (Say a baby was just born, and was ill, about to die, you're not going to dunk them!) If sprinkling for some odd reason is not possible, then lift them up to be baptized by the moisture in the air.

If a priest is not available, then an Orthodox Christian can perform the baptism. If an Orthodox Christian is not available, then another Christian who has been baptized can perform the baptism. If a Christian is not available, then a non-Christian can perform the baptism.

The most important thing is that they use the formula "Servant of God (insert name), I baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen"

The bottom line is that another person must be engaged for the baptism ritual, and the Trinitarian formula must be used.
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« Reply #129 on: January 17, 2009, 09:39:41 PM »

Not entirely. As an honest man (we must assume he was that, I think) he was making a sincere attempt to obey his conscience and to obey the Lord, as he (for the sake of argument, let me add rightly or wrongly) understood that. The problem he then faced was, how to get baptised when there was no-one baptised to perform the ceremony? I am not saying his solution was the right one, but the problem was not really of his own making.

Is there never an occasion when an Orthodox finds himself in a place where there is no priest to baptise his child, nor likely to be one in the foreseeable future? What solution does he find? It would be a dilemma of a somewhat similar character - unless his solution would be similar to the Roman Catholic one, for whom, I believe, a 'lay person' may legitimately baptise in cases of emergency.

This goes back entirely to our point of Sola Scriptura and not following the authority of the Church. By making himself his own Pope, he rejected the teachings of the Anglican Church in England and their Apostolic succession. He didn't have anyone to baptize him not out of need; but rather out of choice. By rejecting the authority of the Church and fleeing to Amsterdam he isolated himself and anyone willing to baptize him. This is exactly what we speak of when we talk of the danger of Sola Scriptura!

In regards to what to do in times of need, the Didache tells us what to do and how to perform the sacrmants.

Quote
And concerning baptism, baptize this way: Having first said all these things, baptize into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, in living water. But if you have no living water, baptize into other water; and if you cannot do so in cold water, do so in warm. But if you have neither, pour out water three times upon the head into the name of Father and Son and Holy Spirit. But before the baptism let the baptizer fast, and the baptized, and whoever else can; but you shall order the baptized to fast one or two days before.

(Taken from http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/didache-roberts.html )

It provides economia for different circumstances.

Recently in Bible Study, we spoke of baptism. My priest informed us, that in line with the Didache, a baptism should ideally be performed by a priest in a river. If that is not possible than by a priest in a font. If that is not possible then by a priest with sprinkling. (Say a baby was just born, and was ill, about to die, you're not going to dunk them!) If sprinkling for some odd reason is not possible, then lift them up to be baptized by the moisture in the air.

If a priest is not available, then an Orthodox Christian can perform the baptism. If an Orthodox Christian is not available, then another Christian who has been baptized can perform the baptism. If a Christian is not available, then a non-Christian can perform the baptism.

The most important thing is that they use the formula "Servant of God (insert name), I baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen"

The bottom line is that another person must be engaged for the baptism ritual, and the Trinitarian formula must be used.

Nice post, Handmaiden!  Smiley

If I may just say... the formula is "The servant of God (insert name) IS baptized in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen."

Father wanted me to post this to you.  I keep trying to get him to join us here on OC.net so HE can post (especially since he's SO knowledgeable in liturgics and teliturgics)... maybe someday, by God's grace!!!

By the way, he was proud that you remembered what he taught so well!!!  Smiley
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« Reply #130 on: January 17, 2009, 09:53:25 PM »

Quote
This goes back entirely to our point of Sola Scriptura and not following the authority of the Church. By making himself his own Pope, he rejected the teachings of the Anglican Church in England and their Apostolic succession. He didn't have anyone to baptize him not out of need; but rather out of choice. By rejecting the authority of the Church and fleeing to Amsterdam he isolated himself and anyone willing to baptize him. This is exactly what we speak of when we talk of the danger of Sola Scriptura!

A priceless post, Presvytera! A short, but completely accurate summary of the error of sola scriptura, and of schism in general. "I don't agree with my church, so I'll set up my own." Brilliant.
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« Reply #131 on: January 17, 2009, 10:23:44 PM »

Quote
This goes back entirely to our point of Sola Scriptura and not following the authority of the Church. By making himself his own Pope, he rejected the teachings of the Anglican Church in England and their Apostolic succession. He didn't have anyone to baptize him not out of need; but rather out of choice. By rejecting the authority of the Church and fleeing to Amsterdam he isolated himself and anyone willing to baptize him. This is exactly what we speak of when we talk of the danger of Sola Scriptura!

A priceless post, Presvytera! A short, but completely accurate summary of the error of sola scriptura, and of schism in general. "I don't agree with my church, so I'll set up my own." Brilliant.


Actually, it was HandmaidenofGod who posted that.  I wish I was as succinct and eloquent as she is!  But thank you, anyway!
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« Reply #132 on: January 17, 2009, 10:28:20 PM »

 Shocked Embarrassed Embarrassed Embarrassed Sorry, Handmaiden and Presvytera!
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« Reply #133 on: January 17, 2009, 10:34:31 PM »

Shocked Embarrassed Embarrassed Embarrassed Sorry, Handmaiden and Presvytera!

No worries!  It was, indeed, an insightful post!
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« Reply #134 on: January 17, 2009, 10:50:31 PM »

Nice post, Handmaiden!  Smiley

If I may just say... the formula is "The servant of God (insert name) IS baptized in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen."

Father wanted me to post this to you.  I keep trying to get him to join us here on OC.net so HE can post (especially since he's SO knowledgeable in liturgics and teliturgics)... maybe someday, by God's grace!!!

By the way, he was proud that you remembered what he taught so well!!!  Smiley

Thank you Presbytera for the correction and the compliment! And thanks to Father for his excellent instruction!
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« Reply #135 on: January 18, 2009, 01:17:37 AM »

that the character of a person's religion is likely to be affected to some extent by the characteristics of the nation to which he also belongs... I hope not. I would hope that our membership in the One True Faith would elevate us beyond our culture

So would I - but I fear it is not so.  Sad

Culture is exactly what you and Cleopas exploit whether in Albania or the US suburbs.

May the Lord help us to worship him in spirit and in truth: or should it be in Spirit and in truth? Both, I suspect. That we may be partakers of the divine nature.

Or self-worship?   Huh
Your responses sound rather vague.  Would you care to explain what you're trying to say here and how this relates to the topic of discussion?

My non-Political posts lack insight; They offend; They insult and they make me look bad.  People think I'm a troll or an agitator and I'll respond by only providing Prayers and Political insight.

I have nothing in common with nearly all Protestants and I have nothing in common with nearly all Orthodox Christians who engage in discussion with them.  I hope I've made myself clear.
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« Reply #136 on: January 18, 2009, 02:25:44 AM »

I have nothing in common with nearly all Protestants and I have nothing in common with nearly all Orthodox Christians who engage in discussion with them.  I hope I've made myself clear.
Okay. Undecided  So, you post on a thread devoted to dialogue with Protestants on a subject of importance to both sides, and this is all you have to say?  Why even derail this thread with such irrelevant talk of how you dislike dialogue with Protestants?  If you don't like the subject of a thread and don't really care to offer anything of substance, why post on it?  Nobody's holding your arm to the fire telling you you have to post here.
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« Reply #137 on: January 18, 2009, 04:21:10 AM »

Father ... I keep trying to get him to join us here on OC.net so HE can post

Encourage him from me as well. It sounds as if his posts would be interesting and instructive.

No offence taken from the word "sect", for I know what you mean. But others might well misunderstand and take it as a slight. Then negative vibes would be set in motion even before attempts at mutual understanding or persuasion began.

Shortly I must away to South Wales to address the Pentecostals in Aberdare, then various other churches, and I shall not be back for some days. I am taking Lossky to read in free time - and of course, Petty on Primitive Methodism (mustn't become unbalanced!   Wink ). No posts from me therefore for a few days: but I hope for plenty to read after I return.

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« Reply #138 on: January 19, 2009, 10:29:08 PM »

I just was reading Hebrews:

1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. 2 For by it the men of old gained approval.
3 By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.
4 By faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained the testimony that he was righteous, God testifying about his gifts, and through faith, though he is dead, he still speaks.
5 By faith Enoch was taken up so that he would not see death; AND HE WAS NOT FOUND BECAUSE GOD TOOK HIM UP; for he obtained the witness that before his being taken up he was pleasing to God. 6 And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.
7 By faith Noah, being warned by God about things not yet seen, in reverence prepared an ark for the salvation of his household, by which he condemned the world, and became an heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.
8 By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed by going out to a place which he was to receive for an inheritance; and he went out, not knowing where he was going.
9 By faith he lived as an alien in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, fellow heirs of the same promise; 10 for he was looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God.
11 By faith even Sarah herself received ability to conceive, even beyond the proper time of life, since she considered Him faithful who had promised. 12 Therefore there was born even of one man, and him as good as dead at that, as many descendants AS THE STARS OF HEAVEN IN NUMBER, AND INNUMERABLE AS THE SAND WHICH IS BY THE SEASHORE. 13 All these died in faith, without receiving the promises, but having seen them and having welcomed them from a distance, and having confessed that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. 14 For those who say such things make it clear that they are seeking a country of their own. 15 And indeed if they had been thinking of that country from which they went out, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for He has prepared a city for them.
17 By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was offering up his only begotten son; 18 it was he to whom it was said, “IN ISAAC YOUR DESCENDANTS SHALL BE CALLED.” 19 He considered that God is able to raise people even from the dead, from which he also received him back as a type.
20 By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau, even regarding things to come.
21 By faith Jacob, as he was dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, and worshiped, leaning on the top of his staff.
22 By faith Joseph, when he was dying, made mention of the exodus of the sons of Israel, and gave orders concerning his bones.
23 By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden for three months by his parents, because they saw he was a beautiful child; and they were not afraid of the king’s edict.
24 By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, 25 choosing rather to endure ill-treatment with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, 26 considering the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he was looking to the reward.
27 By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured, as seeing Him who is unseen.
28 By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of the blood, so that he who destroyed the firstborn would not touch them. 29 By faith they passed through the Red Sea as though they were passing through dry land; and the Egyptians, when they attempted it, were drowned.
30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they had been encircled for seven days.
31 By faith Rahab the harlot did not perish along with those who were disobedient, after she had welcomed the spies in peace. 32 And what more shall I say? For time will fail me if I tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets, 33 who by faith conquered kingdoms, performed acts of righteousness, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, from weakness were made strong, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. 35 Women received back their dead by resurrection; and others were tortured, not accepting their release, so that they might obtain a better resurrection; 36 and others experienced mockings and scourgings, yes, also chains and imprisonment. 37 They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were tempted, they were put to death with the sword; they went about in sheepskins, in goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, ill-treated 38 (men of whom the world was not worthy), wandering in deserts and mountains and caves and holes in the ground.
39 And all these, having gained approval through their faith, did not receive what was promised, 40 because God had provided something better for us, so that apart from us they would not be made perfect

What stuck me is the parallelism of Πίστει "By faith": no distinction is made for baby Moses.
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« Reply #139 on: January 20, 2009, 12:47:22 PM »

Gracia et Pax Vobiscum,

After reading this this very engaging thread it appears that there is an 'issue behind the issue' which is not being address directly.

In the Ancient Church there existed an obedience to the canon law but there is a question of inspiration of the Holy Spirit within the scope of this thread. Which has precedence. Canon Law or the Charism which inspires it? This is ultimately a discussion between Authority and Charism not unlike the undercurrents which flowed at the Second Vatican Council.
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« Reply #140 on: January 20, 2009, 11:40:27 PM »

Gracia et Pax Vobiscum,

After reading this this very engaging thread it appears that there is an 'issue behind the issue' which is not being address directly.

In the Ancient Church there existed an obedience to the canon law but there is a question of inspiration of the Holy Spirit within the scope of this thread. Which has precedence. Canon Law or the Charism which inspires it? This is ultimately a discussion between Authority and Charism not unlike the undercurrents which flowed at the Second Vatican Council.

I'm sorry brother...where did you get the canon law issue from all of these conversations? 

Also, I think that the underlying issue is the name of the thread.  whether or not you have to be a believer in order to be baptized - a.k.a. do you have to have cognizant understanding in order to be baptized.  this is the underlying issue...i would say. 
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« Reply #141 on: January 21, 2009, 12:05:53 AM »


I'm sorry brother...where did you get the canon law issue from all of these conversations?

Grace and Peace serb1389,

I'm answering your question from my proper and current account. My apologies if my previous post appeared deceptive...  Embarrassed 

The insight concerning an underlying issue of authority and charism stems from post 47 and the follow up post 51. Evangelicals believe they hold legitimate authority in the Church of Christ through their claim of charism and thus exercise that authority in opposition to what they perceive to be a claim by legality.

Quote
Also, I think that the underlying issue is the name of the thread.  whether or not you have to be a believer in order to be baptized - a.k.a. do you have to have cognizant understanding in order to be baptized.  this is the underlying issue...i would say. 

Yes, I understand your point but I also saw an underlying issue between the authoritative claims of Evangelicals and Holy Orthodoxy as the proper and legitimate barer of the Faith.

Does that make more sense?
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« Reply #142 on: January 21, 2009, 12:50:44 AM »


I'm sorry brother...where did you get the canon law issue from all of these conversations?

Grace and Peace serb1389,

I'm answering your question from my proper and current account. My apologies if my previous post appeared deceptive...  Embarrassed 

The insight concerning an underlying issue of authority and charism stems from post 47 and the follow up post 51. Evangelicals believe they hold legitimate authority in the Church of Christ through their claim of charism and thus exercise that authority in opposition to what they perceive to be a claim by legality.

Quote
Also, I think that the underlying issue is the name of the thread.  whether or not you have to be a believer in order to be baptized - a.k.a. do you have to have cognizant understanding in order to be baptized.  this is the underlying issue...i would say. 

Yes, I understand your point but I also saw an underlying issue between the authoritative claims of Evangelicals and Holy Orthodoxy as the proper and legitimate barer of the Faith.

Does that make more sense?

The charism does not flow from the canon: the canon codifies the charism.  As such, the bishop's charism may be regulated by the canon, but not abolished nor granted by canon.

The Evangelicals claim that they can act on the example of St. Paul without canonical links to his Church, much like Muslims claim that they can claim Jesus as one of their prophets without being members of His Church.  Again, this St. Paul is a figment of their imagination:

They imagine that the non-baptized can baptize, but St. Paul was told by Christ Himself to seek baptism from the Church He established, by ministers of that Church.

They imagine that they can found Churches, but St. Paul did not found a Church until he received, at Christ's Own command, the laying on of hands from the Church He established, by ministers of that Church.

They imagine that they can teach what they think scripture says, but St. Paul submitted his teacing for approval to the Church Christ established at Jerusalem, to the Apostles He chose and to the presbyters they ordained, "lest [he] run in vain."

They imagine that they can justify this by the Scripture canonized by the Church Christ established, without recognizing the authority that canonized it.  But that's like being a little pregnant:

I Corin. 41 Let a man regard us in this manner, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. 2 In this case, moreover, it is required of stewards that one be found trustworthy. 3 But to me it is a very small thing that I may be examined by you, or by any human court; in fact, I do not even examine myself. 4 For I am conscious of nothing against myself, yet I am not by this acquitted; but the one who examines me is the Lord. 5 Therefore do not go on passing judgment before the time, but wait until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of men’s hearts; and then each man’s praise will come to him from God.
6 Now these things, brethren, I have figuratively applied to myself and Apollos for your sakes, so that in us you may learn not to exceed what is written, so that no one of you will become arrogant in behalf of one against the other. 7 For who regards you as superior? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it? 8 You are already filled, you have already become rich, you have become kings without us; and indeed, I wish that you had become kings so that we also might reign with you. 9 For, I think, God has exhibited us apostles last of all
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« Reply #143 on: January 21, 2009, 12:54:59 AM »


The charism does not flow from the canon: the canon codifies the charism.  As such, the bishop's charism may be regulated by the canon, but not abolished nor granted by canon.

Grace and Peace ialmisry,

I reading this but I'm thinking to myself... that I wish he could unpack this a bit more for me...?
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« Reply #144 on: January 21, 2009, 01:06:45 AM »

I have nothing in common with nearly all Protestants and I have nothing in common with nearly all Orthodox Christians who engage in discussion with them.  I hope I've made myself clear.
Okay. Undecided  So, you post on a thread devoted to dialogue with Protestants on a subject of importance to both sides, and this is all you have to say?  Why even derail this thread with such irrelevant talk of how you dislike dialogue with Protestants?  If you don't like the subject of a thread and don't really care to offer anything of substance, why post on it?  Nobody's holding your arm to the fire telling you you have to post here.

I thought I had something productive and useful to say.  I'll be more careful in the future about posting in threads if I conclude that I have nothing to contribute.   Smiley
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« Reply #145 on: January 21, 2009, 04:07:26 AM »


The charism does not flow from the canon: the canon codifies the charism.  As such, the bishop's charism may be regulated by the canon, but not abolished nor granted by canon.

Grace and Peace ialmisry,

I reading this but I'm thinking to myself... that I wish he could unpack this a bit more for me...?

If I may, I'll make a politcal/historical analogy (don't know how much you know of US constitutional history: feel free to ask).

The office of president was created by adoption of the present Constitution, when it created the executive branch.  The executive had not existed in the US on the national level since the sovereign gave the colonies their (plural intentional) independence.  It could, by amendment, be abolished.  Things under the executive (like the post office, and, though murky, things like the war powers act) can be taken away.

The Congressional delegations are a different matter: The Constitution did not create representation of the states, but it did regulate it.  The colonists claimed a right to representation, in fact rebelled over it.  The committtees of correspondence in the various colonies solicited (note, not summon, authorize or appoint) delegations from the legislatures to meet in the first and second Continental Congress, which set up for the states approval (and provinces: it was assumed Canada would join. Americans still haven't gotten over that) the first constitution, which provided for the United States in Congress Assembled.  Due to the fact that it did not create any right to representatives, the legislatures of all states had to approve the formation of the United States in Congress Assembled, and each state had only one vote in said Congress.  The state legislature sent, and could recall, representatives to the Congress, and each state determined for itself how the delegates would chosen.  They also could determine how many delegates to send, the only limits being no less than 2 nor more than 7. There were some other relatively straight forward restrictions.  This Congress called the Constitutinal Convention of the present constitution, which went into effect, persuant to Articles 6, 9-10 of the Confederation, and then 13.  The present Constitutional modified the requirements of the State Delegations and their composition, and standardized their selection across the states.  But the right/power of representation was not created, it was recognized: Art. I states "all legislative powers [plural], herein granted, shall be vested in a Congress..." in contrast to Art. II and III, "The executive/judicial power shall be vested..., i.e. Art. II and III create, Art. I only add to an already existing power.

Now what the evangelicals are claiming is akin to the organizers of the states of Franklin and Westsylania , who decided that they could take the idea of popular sovereignty and form themselves into states, much like the Evangelicals thinkng they can found Churches.  The States they seceeded from dissolved them on pain of prosecution for treason, and Congress ignored their petitions for recognition.

This is in contrast to Vermont, a de facto independent republic, due to the land coming from the defeat of the French and the Treaty of Paris, the overlap of the royal charters to New York and New Hampshire overlapping (and hence falling through the cracks when the King granted independence to New York and New Hamphire), and Vermont gaining independence ahead of the two colonies/states.  In this vacuum, a delegate from Connecticut represented Vermont's interest.  New York agreeded to renounce its claims.  Notes of the Constitutional Convention show that the present constituion had the clause "New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new States shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other State; nor any State be formed by the Junction of two or more States, or parts of States, without the Consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned as well as of the Congress"  written with Vermont in mind (which did become the 14th state).  Cf. the Evangelicals refusal to submit their "gospel" to those of reputation (i.e. the bishops), lest they run in vain), and contrast them with what happened with the Evangelical Orthodox, now just Orthodox.
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« Reply #146 on: January 21, 2009, 01:24:02 PM »

If I may, I'll make a politcal/historical analogy (don't know how much you know of US constitutional history: feel free to ask).

The office of president was created by adoption of the present Constitution, when it created the executive branch.  The executive had not existed in the US on the national level since the sovereign gave the colonies their (plural intentional) independence.  It could, by amendment, be abolished.  Things under the executive (like the post office, and, though murky, things like the war powers act) can be taken away.

The Congressional delegations are a different matter: The Constitution did not create representation of the states, but it did regulate it.  The colonists claimed a right to representation, in fact rebelled over it.  The committtees of correspondence in the various colonies solicited (note, not summon, authorize or appoint) delegations from the legislatures to meet in the first and second Continental Congress, which set up for the states approval (and provinces: it was assumed Canada would join. Americans still haven't gotten over that) the first constitution, which provided for the United States in Congress Assembled.  Due to the fact that it did not create any right to representatives, the legislatures of all states had to approve the formation of the United States in Congress Assembled, and each state had only one vote in said Congress.  The state legislature sent, and could recall, representatives to the Congress, and each state determined for itself how the delegates would chosen.  They also could determine how many delegates to send, the only limits being no less than 2 nor more than 7. There were some other relatively straight forward restrictions.  This Congress called the Constitutinal Convention of the present constitution, which went into effect, persuant to Articles 6, 9-10 of the Confederation, and then 13.  The present Constitutional modified the requirements of the State Delegations and their composition, and standardized their selection across the states.  But the right/power of representation was not created, it was recognized: Art. I states "all legislative powers [plural], herein granted, shall be vested in a Congress..." in contrast to Art. II and III, "The executive/judicial power shall be vested..., i.e. Art. II and III create, Art. I only add to an already existing power.

Now what the evangelicals are claiming is akin to the organizers of the states of Franklin and Westsylania , who decided that they could take the idea of popular sovereignty and form themselves into states, much like the Evangelicals thinkng they can found Churches.  The States they seceeded from dissolved them on pain of prosecution for treason, and Congress ignored their petitions for recognition.

This is in contrast to Vermont, a de facto independent republic, due to the land coming from the defeat of the French and the Treaty of Paris, the overlap of the royal charters to New York and New Hampshire overlapping (and hence falling through the cracks when the King granted independence to New York and New Hamphire), and Vermont gaining independence ahead of the two colonies/states.  In this vacuum, a delegate from Connecticut represented Vermont's interest.  New York agreeded to renounce its claims.  Notes of the Constitutional Convention show that the present constituion had the clause "New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new States shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other State; nor any State be formed by the Junction of two or more States, or parts of States, without the Consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned as well as of the Congress"  written with Vermont in mind (which did become the 14th state).  Cf. the Evangelicals refusal to submit their "gospel" to those of reputation (i.e. the bishops), lest they run in vain), and contrast them with what happened with the Evangelical Orthodox, now just Orthodox.

Perhaps I'm playing Devil's Advocate with this question but when we consider the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth what ultimate authority does the Bishops have to judge lest they run in vain? St. Paul seemed to, at times, not recognize the reputation of St. Peter and the others in Jerusalem and argue with them (and win). Could the Evangelicals argue that this intransigent religious structure from a by-gone-age is no-longer valid and that the Spirit comes and goes where it will?

What is the Orthodox response to such a claim? As a Roman Catholic I know how Catholics have dealt with this issue but I'm much more interested in understanding how Orthodox address this.

Thank you for a very admirable analogy.  Smiley
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« Reply #147 on: January 21, 2009, 02:04:11 PM »

If I may, I'll make a politcal/historical analogy (don't know how much you know of US constitutional history: feel free to ask).

The office of president was created by adoption of the present Constitution, when it created the executive branch.  The executive had not existed in the US on the national level since the sovereign gave the colonies their (plural intentional) independence.  It could, by amendment, be abolished.  Things under the executive (like the post office, and, though murky, things like the war powers act) can be taken away.

The Congressional delegations are a different matter: The Constitution did not create representation of the states, but it did regulate it.  The colonists claimed a right to representation, in fact rebelled over it.  The committtees of correspondence in the various colonies solicited (note, not summon, authorize or appoint) delegations from the legislatures to meet in the first and second Continental Congress, which set up for the states approval (and provinces: it was assumed Canada would join. Americans still haven't gotten over that) the first constitution, which provided for the United States in Congress Assembled.  Due to the fact that it did not create any right to representatives, the legislatures of all states had to approve the formation of the United States in Congress Assembled, and each state had only one vote in said Congress.  The state legislature sent, and could recall, representatives to the Congress, and each state determined for itself how the delegates would chosen.  They also could determine how many delegates to send, the only limits being no less than 2 nor more than 7. There were some other relatively straight forward restrictions.  This Congress called the Constitutinal Convention of the present constitution, which went into effect, persuant to Articles 6, 9-10 of the Confederation, and then 13.  The present Constitutional modified the requirements of the State Delegations and their composition, and standardized their selection across the states.  But the right/power of representation was not created, it was recognized: Art. I states "all legislative powers [plural], herein granted, shall be vested in a Congress..." in contrast to Art. II and III, "The executive/judicial power shall be vested..., i.e. Art. II and III create, Art. I only add to an already existing power.

Now what the evangelicals are claiming is akin to the organizers of the states of Franklin and Westsylania , who decided that they could take the idea of popular sovereignty and form themselves into states, much like the Evangelicals thinkng they can found Churches.  The States they seceeded from dissolved them on pain of prosecution for treason, and Congress ignored their petitions for recognition.

This is in contrast to Vermont, a de facto independent republic, due to the land coming from the defeat of the French and the Treaty of Paris, the overlap of the royal charters to New York and New Hampshire overlapping (and hence falling through the cracks when the King granted independence to New York and New Hamphire), and Vermont gaining independence ahead of the two colonies/states.  In this vacuum, a delegate from Connecticut represented Vermont's interest.  New York agreeded to renounce its claims.  Notes of the Constitutional Convention show that the present constituion had the clause "New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new States shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other State; nor any State be formed by the Junction of two or more States, or parts of States, without the Consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned as well as of the Congress"  written with Vermont in mind (which did become the 14th state).  Cf. the Evangelicals refusal to submit their "gospel" to those of reputation (i.e. the bishops), lest they run in vain), and contrast them with what happened with the Evangelical Orthodox, now just Orthodox.

Perhaps I'm playing Devil's Advocate
No problem.  I've dealt with those playing Devil's disciple. Shocked

Quote
with this question but when we consider the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth what ultimate authority does the Bishops have to judge lest they run in vain?

That of Apostolic Succession, speaking in Infallible Ecumenical Council.

Quote
St. Paul seemed to, at times, not recognize the reputation of St. Peter and the others in Jerusalem and argue with them (and win).

Acts 10-11 shows that St. Peter was being inconsistent in Galatians, and St. Paul was just pointing that out.  Acts 15 ties it together.

Quote
Could the Evangelicals argue that this intransigent religious structure from a by-gone-age is no-longer valid and that the Spirit comes and goes where it will?

They theoretically could, but they insist on holding as valid that relic of this intransient religious structure, what we call the Bible, they've got a problem:  The Spirit comes and goes where it will, so why wouldn't it speak throught them if they wanted to chuck the authority that canonized Scripture?

Quote
What is the Orthodox response to such a claim?


It contradicts Titus 1:5 Τούτου χάριν ἀπέλειπον / ἀπέλιπόν σε ἐν Κρήτῃ, ἵνα τὰ λείποντα ἐπιδιορθώσῃ καὶ καταστήσῃς κατὰ πόλιν πρεσβυτέρους, ὡς ἐγώ σοι διεταξάμην,
I left you in Crete for this reason, that you would set in order the things that were lacking, and appoint presbyters in every city, as I directed you;

Quote
As a Roman Catholic I know how Catholics have dealt with this issue but I'm much more interested in understanding how Orthodox address this.

Acts shows the hierarchy as an essential element of the Church, to which St. Paul even submits.  Hebrews 5:4 shows us that no man takes this honor upon himself, and Hebrews 7:7 the higher blesses the lower.  So the self proclaimed apostles cannot ordain one of their number as governing bishop.  The authority comes from God.

Christ says that the gates of Hell will not prevail against his Church: we have our ecclesiology in Clement and Ignatius, ie. less than a century after Christ, the Church fell? Then what about His parting words "I am with you always/all of the days until the end of the age?"  The Spirit goes where He will, but as St. Paul says in 1 Cor. 12,  it is One Spirit, and His gifts are for the building up of the Church on the Apostles foundation, for our God, he continues in chapter 14 is not the author of confusion.  Or did the word of God come from them? (I Cor. 14:36).

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Thank you for a very admirable analogy.  Smiley

Thanks, no problem.
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« Reply #148 on: January 23, 2009, 07:12:26 PM »

I just was reading Hebrews:

..."By faith": no distinction is made for baby Moses.

I think it means his parents' faith.
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« Reply #149 on: January 23, 2009, 07:26:28 PM »

I just was reading Hebrews:

..."By faith": no distinction is made for baby Moses.

I think it means his parents' faith.

Exactly my point: Moses in the passage remains the subject, not his parents.

In faith the infants are baptized.
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« Reply #150 on: January 24, 2009, 07:22:42 AM »

I am interested to learn why Orthodox insist on the triniatarian formula for baptism (in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit"). We find this in the Gospel; in Acts we find people being baptised "in the name of the Lord Jesus" (twice) and "in the name of Jesus Christ" (also twice).
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« Reply #151 on: January 24, 2009, 10:36:46 AM »

I am interested to learn why Orthodox insist on the triniatarian formula for baptism (in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit"). We find this in the Gospel; in Acts we find people being baptised "in the name of the Lord Jesus" (twice) and "in the name of Jesus Christ" (also twice).

I can see no discrepancy between the formula given by Matthew and the one given by Luke. When one is baptised into the NAME of Jesus, who is Christ, that person is baptised into the NAME of the Father and Holy Spirit too. This is because The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit have the ONE and SAME name.

Luke emphasised the baptism in the name of Jesus in the Acts because:

1) Jesus was baptised like us as a result of His true human nature.

2) Jesus was the one who taught about and commanded baptism.

It is also most likely that Luke the Evangelist recurrently referred to the baptism in Jesus' name as a result of textual coherence within the Acts as well as between his first and second book, the Gospel and Acts, respectively. If we read the Acts, we always see the apostles preach salvation in Jesus' name:

Acts 2:32-33
This Jesus hath God raised again, whereof all we are witnesses. Being exalted therefore by the right hand of God and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath poured forth this which you see and hear.

Acts 3:6
But Peter said: Silver and gold I have none; but what I have, I give thee. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, arise and walk.

Acts 3:19-20
Be penitent, therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out. That when the times of refreshment shall come from the presence of the Lord, and he shall send him who hath been preached unto you, Jesus Christ.

Acts 4:11-12
This is the stone which was rejected by you the builders, which is become the head of the corner.Neither is there salvation in any other. For there is no other name under heaven given to men, whereby we must be saved.

Acts 10:42-43
And he commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that it is he who was appointed by God to be judge of the living and of the dead. To him all the prophets give testimony, that by his name all receive remission of sins, who believe in him.

Luke deliberately strewed some signs into his Gospel that would highlight the connection between his two books. In His last discourse before His ascension, Jesus tells His disciples that the remission of sins will be preached in HIS name to the Gentiles:

Luke 24:47
And that penance and remission of sins should be preached in his name, unto all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

Consequently, those people were naturally baptised into the name of Christ, who became the savior of mankind through His death and resurrection. Nonetheless, the baptismal formula taught by Jesus Himself in Matthew is more formal and convenient for the ritual of baptism as it is in the form of a commandment (this formula appears even in the Didache).


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« Reply #152 on: January 24, 2009, 11:26:10 AM »

I am interested to learn why Orthodox insist on the triniatarian formula for baptism (in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit"). We find this in the Gospel; in Acts we find people being baptised "in the name of the Lord Jesus" (twice) and "in the name of Jesus Christ" (also twice).

Actually, no.  We don't see anyone being baptized in Jesus' name instead of the Holy Trinity.  We see them baptized by Jesus' authority (compare, "in the name of the law").  It is to distinguish the Church's baptism from St. John's: Acts 19:1-7.  Note here (v. 5) how they are "baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus," which clearly indicates in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit (vv. 2-3).  Otherwise, St. Paul's puzzlement makes no sense.

The OSB quotes St. Basil on this at Acts 8:16-7. I don't have the time to type it out now.
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« Reply #153 on: January 24, 2009, 07:29:53 PM »

I have of course no objection at all to the use of the full formula "in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit," and indeed it is the usual form of words among us too. But there is somewhere in the five pages of this thread a post that says baptism in another denomination must have been performed in the trinitarian formula if the convert to Orthodoxy is to move directly on to chrismation, without being re-baptised (which amusingly makes you linguistically anabaptists, albeit it without a capital A - but that is not a serious debating point  Wink). I am just wondering why.
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« Reply #154 on: January 24, 2009, 11:48:06 PM »

I have of course no objection at all to the use of the full formula "in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit," and indeed it is the usual form of words among us too. But there is somewhere in the five pages of this thread a post that says baptism in another denomination must have been performed in the trinitarian formula if the convert to Orthodoxy is to move directly on to chrismation, without being re-baptised (which amusingly makes you linguistically anabaptists, albeit it without a capital A - but that is not a serious debating point  Wink). I am just wondering why.

We insist on this formula because this is the formula Christ himself gave us to use. Who are we to argue with God?

Matthew 28:19 (New King James Version)
"Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,"

It should be noted that it is out of oikonomia that the Church will accept a trinitarian baptism performed outside the Orthodox Church. Let us say, for example, that a Methodist wanted to convert to Orthodoxy, and they had been baptized using the Trinitarian formula. While more than likely the priest will say, "Okay, we will accept your baptism, and you only need to be chrismated," that is up to the priest's discretion. They must inquire as to how the baptism was done, why it was done outside of the Orthodox Church, etc. We take these things very seriously.

I'm not sure why you say this makes us anabaptists? We do not mandate infant baptisms, however why would one want to deny their child the grace of God and also put their salvation at risk? Since baptism is the only sacrament that Christ states in necessary for salvation (John 3:5), and every breath is a gift (Job 12:10), why would you want to deny your child of that? Also, by denying the child of baptism, you are denying them access to all of the other sacraments. Until the child is baptized, they cannot be chrismated, receive Holy Communion, or any of the other Holy Mysteries of the Church. This is serious stuff.

Here is an excellent article on the matter from the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese in America if you are interested in further reading: http://www.goarch.org/ourfaith/ourfaith7067
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« Reply #155 on: January 25, 2009, 06:18:16 AM »

I'm not sure why you say this makes us anabaptists?

Only with humorous irony, for "ana" which originally meant "up" (and still does, I think) has come to mean "again" as a prefix in a word. A number of words begin with ana meaning again, though I believe in Modern Greek the prefix is xana-. (GreekChef would know.)

There is a whole thread on Anabaptists (with a capital A), and it struck me as pleasantly amusing that - strictly linguistically - you too become anabaptists on occasions.

(I suppose I am too, having been christened in the Anglican Church as an infant, then dipped 'properly' at age 19.)

Thanks for the link for further reading.
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« Reply #156 on: January 25, 2009, 07:26:39 AM »

I have of course no objection at all to the use of the full formula "in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit," and indeed it is the usual form of words among us too. But there is somewhere in the five pages of this thread a post that says baptism in another denomination must have been performed in the trinitarian formula if the convert to Orthodoxy is to move directly on to chrismation, without being re-baptised (which amusingly makes you linguistically anabaptists, albeit it without