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Author Topic: My big bad baptism thread.  (Read 4428 times) Average Rating: 0
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katherineofdixie
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« Reply #90 on: December 22, 2011, 10:49:50 AM »

It seems to me that you are asking the wrong questions. I hope that we are not deciding who is Christian and who is not. Only God knows for sure, and He has not given me that particular responsibility - good thing too, or else a lot of people would be in big trouble, you betcha. You have heard us say, over and over, that we know where the Church, the Body of Christ, is (and has been for a couple of millenia, give or take) - but we don't know where it isn't.
This is the crucial point. The Orthodox Church is the Faith given by our Lord and Savior to the Apostles. Baptists, especially the American variety, appear to believe, preach and teach things that were not part of this deposit of faith - as we have discussed at great length on other threads.

Does this mean that Baptists are not Christian? Or our brethren? Or not good and Christ-loving people or that the Holy Spirit does not in some way work in their lives and hearts? My guess would be that they are all these things, but they are not part of the Apostolic Church, nor would most of them wish to be, if asked.

Again, we know where the Church, the Body of Christ is, in all its fullness and truth.

"It is self evident, however, that sincere Christians who are Roman Catholics, or Lutherans, or members, of other non-Orthodox confessions, cannot be termed renegades or heretics—i.e. those who knowingly pervert the truth...* They have been born and raised and are living according to the creed which they have inherited, just as do the majority of you who are Orthodox; in their lives there has not been a moment of personal and conscious renunciation of Orthodoxy. The Lord, "Who will have all men to be saved" (I Tim. 2:4) and "Who enlightens every man born into the world" (Jn. 1.43), undoubtedly is leading them also towards salvation In His own way.

With reference to the above question, it is particularly instructive to recall the answer once given to an inquirer by the Blessed Theophan the Recluse. The blessed one replied more or less thus: "You ask, will the heterodox be saved... Why do you worry about them? They have a Saviour Who desires the salvation of every human being. He will take care of them. You and I should not be burdened with such a concern. Study yourself and your own sins..." Metropolitan Philaret



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« Reply #91 on: December 22, 2011, 11:38:44 AM »

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You have heard us say, over and over, that we know where the Church, the Body of Christ, is (and has been for a couple of millenia, give or take) - but we don't know where it isn't.


well said, katherine!

and david... most of the people i know are baptist, or some other form or protestant, and i would never say they arent real Christians.  i think that any of these people, including yourself, would agree with what is written in the Creed even though reciting it is not a part of their regular worship services.  its not my call to decide who is a Christian, but i would think that if you call upon Jesus for salvation and believe what the Creed says that would make you a Christian. i guess the point is that there is no doubt that the protestant church has strayed from the original teachings/practices of the Apostolic church. personally, i dont think it makes those people bad because many of them dont know the difference, especially here in America. i think they are lacking in the completeness that Orthodoxy offers, but I dont think they are necessarily lacking what is necessary for their salvation.

just a thought.
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David Young
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« Reply #92 on: December 22, 2011, 11:41:48 AM »

who is Christian and who is not. Only God knows for sure,

A hearty amen to that.

Quote
and He has not given me that particular responsibility

A qualified amen to that! Thing is, if we know all men need to be saved (one of the "four alls of Methodism"), then we ought to try to discern, humbly and with godly concern, who is not "in Christ", for we need to call them to him and to do our best, with God's help through our prayers, to make the way of salvation plain to them.

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You have heard us say, over and over, that we know where the Church, the Body of Christ, is...but we don't know where it isn't.

Not quite true: I have read these words from some of you, but from the 'pens' of others I have read much more strongly exclusive positions. Some of you seem to know where it isn't.

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Baptists ... are not part of the Apostolic Church,

In the understanding you have of that term, which you rightly capitalise (or, I suppose, capitalize, seeing where you live!) we are not; but we are "part of the Apostolic Church" in the understanding we have of that term.

Once again, it seems that we stand in mirror images of each other's position.

Quote
"It is self evident, however, that ... there has not been a moment of personal and conscious renunciation of Orthodoxy."

Hmmm... not sure that's true in my own case; not "personal and conscious renunciation" in the sense of writing you all off as a bunch of renegades who have robbed the world of Christ, but certainly of long and careful weighing of the Baptist position, and accepting it, not as perfect, but as the nearest currently available expression of Christianity in my time and place to New Testament practice. (Of course, you would tell me to commute to Chester to church, to the Orthodox, but then in my ecclesiology - and, more importantly, soteriology -  I would be moving further from the NT model.)

Tomorrow I must away to collect the pork and steak for Christmas, and I hope to couple it with a walk in the Long Mynd, plus later on my wife from her office party, so I may not "see you" all till after Christmas. If that be so, it is time to wish you all a happy, blessed and Christ-centred Christmastime.
« Last Edit: December 22, 2011, 11:44:24 AM by David Young » Logged

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katherineofdixie
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« Reply #93 on: December 22, 2011, 12:01:09 PM »

Tomorrow I must away to collect the pork and steak for Christmas,

Mmmmmm....meat! Wait a minute, I was going to wish you a Merry Christmas also, but now I'm drooling just thinking about eating meat...or eggnog...or cheese...or....

Give me a minute to control myself!
« Last Edit: December 22, 2011, 12:02:16 PM by katherineofdixie » Logged

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David Young
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« Reply #94 on: December 22, 2011, 12:12:15 PM »

I'm drooling just thinking about eating meat...or eggnog...or cheese...or....

Give me a minute to control myself!

Getting off the theme of baptism - we thought we'd wait till New Year for turkey, and have rare breed pork on the bone for Christmas Day, rump steak when our son and his young lady visit... and of course some excellent rich cheese at other times of day. I once read in a piece of Catholic writing of worshipping God with feasting. A blessed idea! (And our American Baptist friends certainly know how to eat well - though they don't drink.)
« Last Edit: December 22, 2011, 12:13:35 PM by David Young » Logged

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« Reply #95 on: December 22, 2011, 01:37:26 PM »

One of the big things keeping me from becoming Orthodox is the doctrine of baptismal regeneration. In looking at the issue of baptism, I try to understand it by approaching the scriptures as a unified whole. As far as I understand it, we are received into the church by baptism but regeneration happens before baptism when the person places their genuine trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. I use the example of Abraham to make a very simplified argument:

1. Abraham was clearly justified before circumcision when he put his faith in God ala Romans 4:9-10.
2. Baptism replaced circumcision.
3. Therefore, regeneration (the beginning of a person's salvation) happens before the actual baptism when the person places their trust in the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ.

I have more to it than that, of course, but I'd like to start this thread with what I've written above.

Same old arguments, and what I have read same old rebuttals.  As a former Baptist, we viewed baptism as a witness to things that already have taken place, much like a marriage ceremony.  I no longer view it in such a way.  I do still see baptism as a marriage ceremony, but like marriage it is more than just symbolic.   In my marriage to my wife, I seen myself dying to myself and being truly joined to her and she with me in our flesh/body, until that time we may have loved each other, cared for each other, even sacrificed for the other, but we still were only dating and such things were very limited/limiting until our wedding day.  Anyone knows, especially those who did not live together, the day of marriage is an extreme change of living.  So is our baptism, until we are baptised, we are only courting, dating, etc., Christ and His Church which limits us individually and communitally.  A true change occurs, not just symbolic, but a true internal change, we become one, and like marriage we strive for deeper oneness and unity.  So, I see baptism, just as I see marriage, in relatioinship, in that a regeneration occurs, a change in ourselves and our very life, we become truly something we were not before.

Would you say to a couple who has been together 2 years, 10 years, etc., who has not been married, that they are married, joined together?  How can we say the same for those who are not baptised, oh go ahead, don't worry, it is ok to say you live for Christ but not truly joined to Him?  What if we changed baptism to marriage and Christ to spouse?  Do we give the same answer?
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« Reply #96 on: December 22, 2011, 02:41:57 PM »

As a former Baptist, we viewed baptism as a witness to things that already have taken place, much like a marriage ceremony.

I remember my Baptist sunday school teacher comparing baptism to not the ceremony, but the ring. "Getting saved" was the ceremony in which we were married to Christ and baptism was the ring, which was only a sign that the marriage had already taken place.
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David Young
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« Reply #97 on: December 22, 2011, 04:52:42 PM »

"Getting saved" was the ceremony in which we were married to Christ and baptism was the ring, which was only a sign that the marriage had already taken place.

Yes, I think that sums it up pretty accurately. I'm not saying it's the complete gamut of all we teach about baptism, but as far as it goes, it seems to describe one aspect of it. There is of course also the burial with Christ and rising with him, which has the advantage of being a biblical analogy; but the wedding ring analogy is good as far as it goes. I guess no illustration is complete and perfect, covering every aspect of what it illustrates.
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« Reply #98 on: December 22, 2011, 05:50:12 PM »

"Getting saved" was the ceremony in which we were married to Christ and baptism was the ring, which was only a sign that the marriage had already taken place.
Yes, I think that sums it up pretty accurately. I'm not saying it's the complete gamut of all we teach about baptism, but as far as it goes, it seems to describe one aspect of it. There is of course also the burial with Christ and rising with him, which has the advantage of being a biblical analogy; but the wedding ring analogy is good as far as it goes.

The Orthodox view in comparison to the traditional Baptist view, following the marriage analogy, would be that baptism is the wedding ceremony where we are united to Christ through being buried in His death and raised up in newness of life. I will give Baptists credit for one thing concerning the sacraments/ordinances, according to everything I've read concerning the order in which things are done, you guys do teach that one should not approach the Lord's Supper if not first baptized. It seems to suggest a certain reverence toward and importance of what you believe to be "signs of what already exists".

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I guess no illustration is complete and perfect, covering every aspect of what it illustrates.

I agree. It really makes you appreciate Christ's ability to perfectly convey spiritual truth in His parables.
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« Reply #99 on: January 01, 2012, 10:11:44 PM »

One of the big things keeping me from becoming Orthodox is the doctrine of baptismal regeneration. In looking at the issue of baptism, I try to understand it by approaching the scriptures as a unified whole. As far as I understand it, we are received into the church by baptism but regeneration happens before baptism when the person places their genuine trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. I use the example of Abraham to make a very simplified argument:

1. Abraham was clearly justified before circumcision when he put his faith in God ala Romans 4:9-10.
2. Baptism replaced circumcision.
3. Therefore, regeneration (the beginning of a person's salvation) happens before the actual baptism when the person places their trust in the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ.

I have more to it than that, of course, but I'd like to start this thread with what I've written above.

Same old arguments, and what I have read same old rebuttals.  As a former Baptist, we viewed baptism as a witness to things that already have taken place, much like a marriage ceremony.  I no longer view it in such a way.  I do still see baptism as a marriage ceremony, but like marriage it is more than just symbolic.   In my marriage to my wife, I seen myself dying to myself and being truly joined to her and she with me in our flesh/body, until that time we may have loved each other, cared for each other, even sacrificed for the other, but we still were only dating and such things were very limited/limiting until our wedding day.  Anyone knows, especially those who did not live together, the day of marriage is an extreme change of living.  So is our baptism, until we are baptised, we are only courting, dating, etc., Christ and His Church which limits us individually and communitally.  A true change occurs, not just symbolic, but a true internal change, we become one, and like marriage we strive for deeper oneness and unity.  So, I see baptism, just as I see marriage, in relatioinship, in that a regeneration occurs, a change in ourselves and our very life, we become truly something we were not before.

Would you say to a couple who has been together 2 years, 10 years, etc., who has not been married, that they are married, joined together?  How can we say the same for those who are not baptised, oh go ahead, don't worry, it is ok to say you live for Christ but not truly joined to Him?  What if we changed baptism to marriage and Christ to spouse?  Do we give the same answer?

Bravo! Good response!

But you have to realize that I was an inquirer when I made that post and now I'm a catachumen.  angel

You're absolutely right, though. Just because a couple has been together for years doesn't make them married. There has to be the wedding and the true joining of each other in the ceremony.
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« Reply #100 on: January 02, 2012, 07:10:25 AM »

Just because a couple has been together for years doesn't make them married. There has to be the wedding and the true joining of each other in the ceremony.

You are right, and I think any Baptist would agree with you entirely. However, it must be said that the analogy is not a perfect one, nor indeed a biblical one, and should not be pressed too far. Christianity is not determined by the culture of a particular time or place, for its principles are timeless - and one of them (we agree, I think) is that all Chistians are commanded to be baptised. But marriage practices do differ from place to place and age to age, and whereas as an Englishman I entirely agree that a Christian man and woman must rightly be formally married and not 'live in sin' as the phrase is, I cannot be certain that this is as universal in every age and place as the requirement to be baptised.

The other matter I would cautiously mention is this: that whereas we know what Christians are required to do (in this thread, be baptised), and we should exhort and persuade all believers to obey the Lord in this, I am hesitant about the value of speculating about the state or fate of believers who do not obey it.

In writing this, I am not writing of believers' baptism (though, of course, that is the only baptism I recognise as proper), but for the sake of this post am not extending my thoughts beyond the concept of baptism, whether infant or believers'. I know saintly Christians who were "baptised" as infants; I think they should now be immersed publicly as believers; but I seldom speculate concerning the Lord's thoughts about them, for in their consciences they are indeed baptised believers. They must stand or fall by their own Master, as must totally unbaptised people like Quakers or Salvation Army people, even though you and I both think, in our own ways, that such should submit to baptism.
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