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Author Topic: Believer's Baptism  (Read 51334 times) Average Rating: 0
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PeterTheAleut
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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.

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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.

Quote
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).

Quote
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.

Quote
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.

Quote
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.

Quote
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.

Quote
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

Quote
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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