Author Topic: Baptism  (Read 494 times)

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Offline jayjay

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Baptism
« on: December 20, 2012, 10:34:50 AM »
Hi. I am on the long road to conversion, but a question i have regarding baptism. If a child is baptised, or even an adult, then grows up, has no interest at all in his/her faith, lives a life of debauchery, then dies. How can that person expect to enter heaven? because they were baptised as a child or because by that baptism they become a part of the body of Christ? There must be more to it!! I'm no theologian or expert, but, if I recall correctly (apolgies if i misquote) there are two roads to follow, the broad road, and the narrow road; I can't get my head around it that you can go the broad road, die, then just because you were baptised, either as a child or even as an adult, that this gives you a pass to heaven.

I have no doubt now that baptism is more than a symbolic act (from my former protestant days), and that it is a part of the 'new birth', but I struggle to get my head around this.

I hope I have expressed myself in an understandable way.

Thanks.
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Offline katherineofdixie

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Re: Baptism
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2012, 10:38:27 AM »
God will save whom He will save.

I'm curious, where did you get the idea that baptism was a free pass into Heaven? (not being snarky, just curious about where you got it, so I can respond more fully to your concerns.)
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Offline Gentleman

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Re: Baptism
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2012, 11:48:53 AM »
Unfortunately the baptism alone doesn't guarantee for an adult person that they will certainly go to Heaven. In case if a baptized child dies, he is surely supposed to go to Heaven because he committed no sin.
But a more grown-up person, either they were baptized as a child or later, must co-work with God's grace that they received in baptism and chrismation for their own salvation. To give one example, in the name of Christ they must struggle against sinful desires and perform good deeds commanded by God. That makes them fit for salvation that they received in the baptism.
May God help you to understand what is essential for your salvation.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2012, 11:50:47 AM by Gentleman »
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Offline soderquj

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Re: Baptism
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2012, 01:51:33 PM »
Baptism demands a personal response on the part of the baptized. They must accept what God did for him or her in baptism. Baptism is not a divine pass that will get us into heaven automatically. The baptized needs to make a personal decision regarding the Christian faith which he has passively inherited from his Christian environment. Any relationship has to be developed by two parties. The baptized has not yet developed a relationship with God. But one party in the relationship has already taken the initiative: God loves us from the first moment of our conception. He takes the initiative to establish the relationship we must respond.
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Offline Melodist

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Re: Baptism
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2012, 04:13:15 PM »
If a child is baptised, or even an adult, then grows up, has no interest at all in his/her faith, lives a life of debauchery, then dies. How can that person expect to enter heaven? because they were baptised as a child or because by that baptism they become a part of the body of Christ?

We don't teach this.

Baptism does make you a son of God by adoption through Jesus Christ, but children can (and do) become prodigal, and when they do, they must return to their Father in order to have the benefits of adoption into the family.
And FWIW, these are our Fathers too, you know.

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Offline Shanghaiski

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Re: Baptism
« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2012, 05:03:22 PM »
Hi. I am on the long road to conversion, but a question i have regarding baptism. If a child is baptised, or even an adult, then grows up, has no interest at all in his/her faith, lives a life of debauchery, then dies. How can that person expect to enter heaven? because they were baptised as a child or because by that baptism they become a part of the body of Christ? There must be more to it!! I'm no theologian or expert, but, if I recall correctly (apolgies if i misquote) there are two roads to follow, the broad road, and the narrow road; I can't get my head around it that you can go the broad road, die, then just because you were baptised, either as a child or even as an adult, that this gives you a pass to heaven.

I have no doubt now that baptism is more than a symbolic act (from my former protestant days), and that it is a part of the 'new birth', but I struggle to get my head around this.

I hope I have expressed myself in an understandable way.

Thanks.

Who ever said that just because someone was baptized they're automatically saved?

On the other hand, if someone were to be baptized as a child, live a life of debauchery and die, would you be offended at him being taken to heaven?
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Offline jayjay

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Re: Baptism
« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2012, 10:15:43 AM »
Hi. the reason i came up with this question was, being raised protestant, and once studying at a well known seminary in the US, I had big issues with someone 'asking Jesus into their heart' (being saved),then before long going off the rails, but because they had 'asked Jesus into their heart' they were saved once and for all eternity. My problem with it was that there was no accountability for that person.

I came to the question because I heard (with my own ears, not hear say) a man who lived a wild, criminal life, was killed, and at his funeral it was said that because he was baptised he was now in Gods care.

I am somewhat ignorant of Orthodox teachings, and was curious as to what the teachings on this are.

I appreciate the responses to this, and hope I have not confused or offended with my comments.
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Offline Shanghaiski

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Re: Baptism
« Reply #7 on: December 22, 2012, 03:00:47 PM »
To the Orthodox, any doctrine of eternal security in this life, that one can do anything and still be saved by virtue of a declaration or even a sacrament, is anathema--somewhat literally, too.

We believe in synergy, in the cooperation of men with God. God respects human free will. Deeds cannot be separated from the disposition of the heart, for they are a manifestation thereof. This is completely Biblical, following the word of Christ.

That said, God alone is the knower of hearts. Those who do evil need not become so, if they repent. Repentance is the center of Christian life.
Quote from: GabrieltheCelt
If you spend long enough on this forum, you'll come away with all sorts of weird, untrue ideas of Orthodox Christianity.
Quote from: orthonorm
I would suggest most persons in general avoid any question beginning with why.

Offline Benjamin the Red

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Re: Baptism
« Reply #8 on: December 23, 2012, 10:22:51 PM »
So many good answers.

Baptism saves us, but so does Communion, fasting, tithing, prayer, almsgiving, Confession, etc. Orthodoxy is an all-encompassing Faith, in that we must live our whole lives to the glory of God in Christ, constantly struggling to be free from sin and unite ourselves to Christ. This is an on-going process--eternally on-going--called "theosis" or "deification". There are no "Get-Out-Of-Hell-Free Cards."
"Hades is not a place, no, but a state of the soul. It begins here on earth. Just so, paradise begins in the soul of a man here in the earthly life. Here we already have contact with the divine..." -St. John, Wonderworker of Shanghai and San Francisco, Homily On the Sunday of Orthodoxy

Offline jayjay

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Re: Baptism
« Reply #9 on: December 23, 2012, 11:45:24 PM »
Thankyou for your responses. You have really helped me answer my questions. Thanks again.
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