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Author Topic: What makes one a Christian?  (Read 3114 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #45 on: March 04, 2013, 09:01:45 PM »

Its not a question of not beleiving the statement, of course there is one baptism. Its a question of what this means. Does it mean with water or without? We Believe it to be with water.
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« Reply #46 on: March 04, 2013, 09:06:11 PM »

Water is a symbol for the word (Ephesians 5:26).

Then how come the Apostles very visibly practiced Baptism via immersion in water? It would seem very clearly that they--being inspired from the Holy Spirit and all--would know what the proper meaning of the statement was. And if they took it to refer to physical water, then who are you to go against them?
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« Reply #47 on: March 04, 2013, 09:12:57 PM »

“Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God." John 3:5

This raises a question I have. What then of those unbaptized?
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« Reply #48 on: March 04, 2013, 09:13:42 PM »

What makes one a Christian?

Easter bonnets.

'Nuf said.
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« Reply #49 on: March 04, 2013, 09:16:51 PM »

“Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God." John 3:5

This raises a question I have. What then of those unbaptized?

That's up to God and not for us to inquire, but to try to follow His instructions to be Baptised to our very best ability and leave the confusing "what-if's?" to Him.
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« Reply #50 on: March 04, 2013, 09:21:10 PM »

“Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God." John 3:5

This raises a question I have. What then of those unbaptized?

That's up to God and not for us to inquire, but to try to follow His instructions to be Baptised to our very best ability and leave the confusing "what-if's?" to Him.
Up to God? Well what's quoted is from God.

Romans 8 and all that, but wasn't there some sort of theologumen about being baptized after death?
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« Reply #51 on: March 04, 2013, 09:23:26 PM »

Here's a good question for Evangelicals which reverses their common doubt to water baptism; if water baptism makes you so uneasy because you worry about the fate of those who haven't been baptized via water, what makes your "spiritual" awakening-feeling-acceptancey baptism any less frightening? What about those who lack the cognitive ability (such as the mentally impaired) to "accept" Jesus and be "born-again"? See, there's nothing you can do about that, whereas with water baptism, they can still be baptized no matter what the condition of their brain.
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« Reply #52 on: March 04, 2013, 09:25:04 PM »

Up to God? Well what's quoted is from God.

He very clearly ordered us to be baptized and said that you don't have life unless you are baptized. That's all we know. Everything else hasn't been revealed to us.

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but wasn't there some sort of theologumen about being baptized after death?

I dunno; I think that's a Mormon-restorationist cultic practice.
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« Reply #53 on: March 04, 2013, 09:30:34 PM »

Up to God? Well what's quoted is from God.

He very clearly ordered us to be baptized and said that you don't have life unless you are baptized. That's all we know. Everything else hasn't been revealed to us.
So unless you are born of water and Spirit, you cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven. So it sounds to me like a lot of folks would not be able to enter.

If those that are not batpized could enter the kingdom of heaven, then why would God say it to begin with?

I'm sure there is something more clearer in Scripture or maybe something simpler. I'm sure there is a good Orthodox response to this.

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I dunno; I think that's a Mormon-restorationist cultic practice.
You mean baptizing the dead here on Earth? I'm talking about being bapitzed after death in wherever our souls go to.
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« Reply #54 on: March 05, 2013, 11:34:31 AM »

If our Lord said to do it, who am I to object or say He was mistaken?

I don't have to know the exact mechanism in order to benefit from it, do I? After all I drive a car and use a computer and I have only the vaguest and probably inaccurate idea of how either works.

If I have the opportunity to be baptized, and our Lord said it was important, why not? Others may not have that opportunity, and those I believe can be safely left to His mercy.
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« Reply #55 on: March 05, 2013, 11:38:09 AM »

I remember a Protestant once saying that if water baptism is required for salvation, he was throwing out his Bible.

My eye twitched a bit.
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« Reply #56 on: March 05, 2013, 12:17:24 PM »

The Greek word baptizo means to immerse in water. No ifs or buts, no wriggle-room there. Deal with it, thethinker.
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« Reply #57 on: March 05, 2013, 01:45:10 PM »

I remember a Protestant once saying that if water baptism is required for salvation, he was throwing out his Bible.

I'm guessing he already did.
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« Reply #58 on: March 05, 2013, 02:32:26 PM »

I remember a Protestant once saying that if water baptism is required for salvation, he was throwing out his Bible.

I'm guessing he already did.

Good one! Grin
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« Reply #59 on: March 06, 2013, 12:22:00 PM »

Water is a symbol for the word (Ephesians 5:26).

Then how come the Apostles very visibly practiced Baptism via immersion in water? It would seem very clearly that they--being inspired from the Holy Spirit and all--would know what the proper meaning of the statement was. And if they took it to refer to physical water, then who are you to go against them?

First, where do you get the idea that the Apostles baptized by immersion?

Second, I have already shown that Peter recollected the word of the Lord, "John baptized with water. BUT you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit." Therefore, water baptism was meant to be temporary. Hebrews says that baptisms were imposed UNTIL the time of the reformation (the new covenant age).
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« Reply #60 on: March 06, 2013, 12:39:47 PM »

The Greek word baptizo means to immerse in water. No ifs or buts, no wriggle-room there. Deal with it, thethinker.

The Greek "baptizo" does NOT mean "to immerse." The word "baptizo" is used in Hebrews 9:10 about ritual baptisms which according to the next several verses involved sprinkling.
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« Reply #61 on: March 06, 2013, 12:43:33 PM »

Water is a symbol for the word (Ephesians 5:26).

Then how come the Apostles very visibly practiced Baptism via immersion in water? It would seem very clearly that they--being inspired from the Holy Spirit and all--would know what the proper meaning of the statement was. And if they took it to refer to physical water, then who are you to go against them?

First, where do you get the idea that the Apostles baptized by immersion?

It's what the word means

Quote
Second, I have already shown that Peter recollected the word of the Lord, "John baptized with water. BUT you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit." Therefore, water baptism was meant to be temporary. Hebrews says that baptisms were imposed UNTIL the time of the reformation (the new covenant age).

I'm guessing from this line of argument that you're pretty unfamiliar with non-English languages. If you're assuming that a 'but' or an 'until' in English has the same meaning as the equivalent word in the original language, you're liable to be disappointed. Even in English, though, the 'but' you quote above does not necessarily imply that those baptised in the Holy Spirit would not also be baptised with water. As for until, in many languages (and this is true of the Greek of the New Testament) it does not imply a negation at the end of the period as it does in English - so saying that baptism would be performed until time x does not in any way imply that they would cease after that time. Arguments made that rely on peculiarities of the language into which the text is translated simply don't hold water.

James
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« Reply #62 on: March 06, 2013, 12:47:20 PM »

The Greek word baptizo means to immerse in water. No ifs or buts, no wriggle-room there. Deal with it, thethinker.

The Greek "baptizo" does NOT mean "to immerse." The word "baptizo" is used in Hebrews 9:10 about ritual baptisms which according to the next several verses involved sprinkling.


The sprinkling in the following verses refers to the sprinkling of blood - they're not talking about baptism at all. But even if they were, it wouldn't alter the fact that baptizo means immerse.

James
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« Reply #63 on: March 06, 2013, 04:41:12 PM »

Water is a symbol for the word (Ephesians 5:26).

Then how come the Apostles very visibly practiced Baptism via immersion in water? It would seem very clearly that they--being inspired from the Holy Spirit and all--would know what the proper meaning of the statement was. And if they took it to refer to physical water, then who are you to go against them?

First, where do you get the idea that the Apostles baptized by immersion?

Second, I have already shown that Peter recollected the word of the Lord, "John baptized with water. BUT you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit." Therefore, water baptism was meant to be temporary. Hebrews says that baptisms were imposed UNTIL the time of the reformation (the new covenant age).


Even if, for the sake of argument, I accept your personal interpretation (which I don't, btw  Grin), how do you reconcile your er, unique interpretation with Jesus clearly saying that unless someone is born of water and the Spirit...?
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« Reply #64 on: March 06, 2013, 04:50:21 PM »

The Greek word baptizo means to immerse in water. No ifs or buts, no wriggle-room there. Deal with it, thethinker.

The Greek "baptizo" does NOT mean "to immerse." The word "baptizo" is used in Hebrews 9:10 about ritual baptisms which according to the next several verses involved sprinkling.


The Greek word baptizo did mean immerse. You could baptizein a piece of bread in the soup.
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« Reply #65 on: March 06, 2013, 08:08:54 PM »

It's what the word means

The word "baptizo" does NOT mean "to immerse." Hebrew 9:10 speaks expressly about the various "baptisms" that were practiced in the old testament. The word used is "baptizo" and the next several verses indicate that they were unmistakingly SPRINKLINGS.

Hebrews 9:13 - Numbers 19:17-18
Hebrews 9:19 - Exodus 24:6, 8
Hebrews 9:21 - Leviticus 8:19, 16:14

The sprinkling in the following verses refers to the sprinkling of blood - they're not talking about baptism at all. But even if they were, it wouldn't alter the fact that baptizo means immerse.

James

The sprinkling of blood is called "various baptisms" (baptizo, vs. 9).

Even if, for the sake of argument, I accept your personal interpretation (which I don't, btw  Grin), how do you reconcile your er, unique interpretation with Jesus clearly saying that unless someone is born of water and the Spirit...?

Already answered. Water was symbolic for the word. Jesus said, "You are already clean by the word which I have spoken to you." Paul said that Jesus sanctifies His Church by the "washing of water which is the word."

I'm guessing from this line of argument that you're pretty unfamiliar with non-English languages. If you're assuming that a 'but' or an 'until' in English has the same meaning as the equivalent word in the original language, you're liable to be disappointed. Even in English, though, the 'but' you quote above does not necessarily imply that those baptised in the Holy Spirit would not also be baptised with water. As for until, in many languages (and this is true of the Greek of the New Testament) it does not imply a negation at the end of the period as it does in English - so saying that baptism would be performed until time x does not in any way imply that they would cease after that time. Arguments made that rely on peculiarities of the language into which the text is translated simply don't hold water.

James

Yet no water baptisms were performed by the apostles AFTER Peter recollected Christ's words. They were Spirit baptisms alone. There is but ONE baptism now and it has nothing to do with water.

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« Reply #66 on: March 06, 2013, 08:17:06 PM »

Do you remember the story of the Ethiopian who asked to be baptized after he saw a pool of water? ("What is to prevent me?") Why do you think he did that?

Again, there's always Christ Himself, who said one must be born from above of water and the Spirit. That's how one is born again.
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« Reply #67 on: March 06, 2013, 08:24:18 PM »

Do you remember the story of the Ethiopian who asked to be baptized after he saw a pool of water? ("What is to prevent me?") Why do you think he did that?

Again, there's always Christ Himself, who said one must be born from above of water and the Spirit. That's how one is born again.

Oh but it's just a symbol, and a suggestion at that! It really doesn't mean anything!
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« Reply #68 on: March 06, 2013, 08:25:46 PM »

Yet no water baptisms were performed by the apostles AFTER Peter recollected Christ's words. They were Spirit baptisms alone. There is but ONE baptism now and it has nothing to do with water.

By what authority you say that the Apostles stopped performing water baptisms?   Huh
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« Reply #69 on: March 06, 2013, 08:29:59 PM »

Yet no water baptisms were performed by the apostles AFTER Peter recollected Christ's words. They were Spirit baptisms alone. There is but ONE baptism now and it has nothing to do with water.

By what authority you say that the Apostles stopped performing water baptisms?   Huh

Yes, I did wonder where he may have heard that. As I heard, ancient churches that were dug up had baptismal areas, indicating that when Christians were allowed to practice their faith, this was an important part of it.
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« Reply #70 on: March 06, 2013, 08:33:24 PM »

Yet no water baptisms were performed by the apostles AFTER Peter recollected Christ's words. They were Spirit baptisms alone. There is but ONE baptism now and it has nothing to do with water.

By what authority you say that the Apostles stopped performing water baptisms?   Huh

Yes, I did wonder where he may have heard that. As I heard, ancient churches that were dug up had baptismal areas, indicating that when Christians were allowed to practice their faith, this was an important part of it.

Plus, the catacombs had to have access to underground streams, places where water could pool, etc., to baptize new converts. 
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« Reply #71 on: March 06, 2013, 10:38:52 PM »

Yet no water baptisms were performed by the apostles AFTER Peter recollected Christ's words. They were Spirit baptisms alone. There is but ONE baptism now and it has nothing to do with water.
What proof do you have for this far-fetched claim? Even if the Apostles didn't baptize anyone with water after a certain point in time, can you prove that the bishops they appointed didn't baptize with water?
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« Reply #72 on: March 07, 2013, 03:32:39 AM »

The Greek word baptizo means to immerse in water. No ifs or buts, no wriggle-room there. Deal with it, thethinker.

The Greek "baptizo" does NOT mean "to immerse." The word "baptizo" is used in Hebrews 9:10 about ritual baptisms which according to the next several verses involved sprinkling.


The sprinkling in the following verses refers to the sprinkling of blood - they're not talking about baptism at all. But even if they were, it wouldn't alter the fact that baptizo means immerse.

James

Correct. Here is Heb. 9:13, which refers to the blood from sacrificial animals:

13 For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, 14 how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

Here is the same verse, in the original Greek:

13 εἰ γὰρ τὸ αἷμα ταύρων καὶ τράγων καὶ σποδὸς δαμάλεως ραντίζουσα τοὺς κεκοινωμένους ἁγιάζει πρὸς τὴν τῆς σαρκὸς καθαρότητα,

freddief, the bolded word rantizousa clearly means sprinkling. This word has no connection with the word for baptism, which means immersion. freddief, you can choose to disagree with this, but you would still be wrong.

Here are the other two verses you mentioned, with the word in question bolded:

19 λαληθείσης γὰρ πάσης ἐντολῆς κατὰ τὸν νόμον ὑπὸ Μωϋσέως παντὶ τῷ λαῷ, λαβὼν τὸ αἷμα τῶν μόσχων καὶ τράγων μετὰ ὕδατος καὶ ἐρίου κοκκίνου καὶ ὑσσώπου, αὐτό τε τὸ βιβλίον καὶ πάντα τὸν λαὸν ἐρράντισε

21 καὶ τὴν σκηνὴν δὲ καὶ πάντα τὰ σκεύη τῆς λειτουργίας τῷ αἵματι ὁμοίως ἐρράντισε.

By contrast, Christ's Great Commission to the Apostles doesn't mention sprinkling, but baptism (immersion). None of the mentions of baptism in the Gospels and the Epistles use the word for sprinkling.

The mention of the story of Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch, and the existence of ancient baptistries which clearly would have been filled with water further confirms the fact that the practice of baptism by immersion was the standard practice, and continues to be among the Orthodox to this day.



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« Reply #73 on: March 08, 2013, 10:54:45 PM »

What is this water is a symbol for word business, is this a correct symbolic interpretation that thethinker puts forth? I heard a podcast today from an Othodox priest who preach that the word of scripture is a transmitter of the Holy Spirit, could there be validity to this "word=water" deal?
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« Reply #74 on: March 08, 2013, 11:55:25 PM »

To have the Holy Spirit indwelling, which comes before baptism (otherwise, no one would seek to be baptized, because the urge to be purified is not our own doing).

Acts 10:44 - 48
While Peter was still saying this, the Holy Spirit fell on all who heard the word. And the believers from among the circumcised who came with Peter were amazed because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles. For they heard them speaking in tongues and extolling God. Then Peter declared, Can any one forbid water for baptizing these people who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have? And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ."


Who would dare to say they were not Christians?
That would work only if one assumes the Holy Spirit (in your words) "comes before baptism" [always].

The book of Acts which you quoted, however, does not assume this is always the case (Acts 8:16: "the Holy Spirit had not yet come upon any of them; they had simply been baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus" (cf. also chrismation).
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« Reply #75 on: March 08, 2013, 11:59:18 PM »

I honestly don't like discussing what it takes to "be a Christian", since the word "be" is a static verb that doesn't imply any action whatsoever.
+1

A better question might be what it means to abide (Gk. meno: abide/continue/remain/endure) in Christ.
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« Reply #76 on: March 09, 2013, 12:05:47 AM »

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What makes one a Christian?


A follower of Jesus Christ.
Yes, but there are those who ostensibly follow, e.g. wheat and weeds coexist in the kingdom, and those in the Gospels who followed Him but later turned away.
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« Reply #77 on: March 09, 2013, 12:16:42 AM »

This sort of question is often asked with the presupposition that there is some sort of "bare minimum."

"It is like being asked, 'define the bare minimum of loving your wife' and the 'bare minimums' you need in order to have a relationship with her.' The question presupposes that a person can somehow be encapsulated by a description or that love has 'minimums.' ...Eastern thinking Christians will answer in expansive terms. They can never say too much, they will always say too little. One can never fully encapsulate the experience of theosis -union with God and partaking of the divine nature- which is salvation. -Jordan Bajis, Common Ground, p. 118.

"Cheap grace is the deadly enemy of our Church... Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, communion without confession. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ living and Incarnate. Costly grace is the treasure hidden in the field; for the sake of it a man will gladly go and sell all that he has. It is the pearl of great price to buy which the merchant will sell all his goods. It is the kingly rule of Christ, for whose sake a man will pluck out the eye which causes him to stumble. It is the call of Jesus Christ at which the disciple leaves his nets and follows him..." (Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship, p. 47).
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« Reply #78 on: March 21, 2013, 11:05:19 AM »

I believe a true Christian is one who believes AND practices all of the following:

1. That Christ is God
2,. The Virgin Mary is His Mother
3. The Trinity and the three-persons it comprises
4. Frequent participation AND belief in the 7 Holy Sacraments
5. The Word of God and how He commands

I believe these are the essentials. The thing is, sadly, for whatever reasons, some will prefer or are taught to believe in 'one of the following,' or change them to fit their lifestyle. This is wrong. I guess that's the reason why we are not 'one' as Christians (which prompted my post 'will Christians ever be one.') You can't change dogma; nor add to it as you like. (I think Catholicism started the changing of dogma....then I think Henry the Eighth and so on.) 
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« Reply #79 on: March 23, 2013, 06:21:59 AM »

To have the Holy Spirit indwelling, which comes before baptism (otherwise, no one would seek to be baptized, because the urge to be purified is not our own doing).

Acts 10:44 - 48
While Peter was still saying this, the Holy Spirit fell on all who heard the word. And the believers from among the circumcised who came with Peter were amazed because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles. For they heard them speaking in tongues and extolling God. Then Peter declared, Can any one forbid water for baptizing these people who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have? And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ."


Who would dare to say they were not Christians?

It's as if this just struck me for the first time. A profound insight on the role of the Spirit. Thank you so much for illuminating this passage. I think this is the final word on the matter.
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« Reply #80 on: April 07, 2013, 08:17:42 PM »

  Baptism is generally necessary for salvation, it seems clear that the Bible is explicit about this, especially in St. Paul's letters.   However, that isn't to say its not possible to have extraordinary events happen.
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« Reply #81 on: April 07, 2013, 08:34:05 PM »

  Baptism is generally necessary for salvation, it seems clear that the Bible is explicit about this, especially in St. Paul's letters.   However, that isn't to say its not possible to have extraordinary events happen.

Sounds awfully similar to the circumcision controversy.
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« Reply #82 on: April 07, 2013, 10:58:00 PM »

Sounds awfully similar to the circumcision controversy.

  Well, circumcision is quite useless now... I believe that's not controversial for a Christian.   Saint Paul seems to make that clear, the only way that circumcision could be useful is if we all kept the whole Torah, and we don't...   The Jews failed to be a blessing to the nations and reconcile the world to God, so it was necessary that Jesus Christ do that himself.
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« Reply #83 on: April 07, 2013, 11:06:04 PM »

Sounds awfully similar to the circumcision controversy.

  Well, circumcision is quite useless now... I believe that's not controversial for a Christian.   Saint Paul seems to make that clear, the only way that circumcision could be useful is if we all kept the whole Torah, and we don't...   The Jews failed to be a blessing to the nations and reconcile the world to God, so it was necessary that Jesus Christ do that himself.
My point wasn't about circumcision in and of itself, however the idea that "if one does not get a circumcision baptized ONE CANNOT BE SAVED" is a very dangerous thing to say.  The problem with the Pharisees of the Second Temple Period was that they did things only to do it, they sacrificed defective animals which cost a dime a dozen just for the soul purpose of fulfilling the physical commandments of sacrificing said animals, they failed to realize that the real sacrifice was not the animal itself but the faith that went behind it (in the First Temple and early Second Temple Period it would have been similar to sacrificing your pet dog).  It is not the physical baptism which saves you, it is the desire you have to get the baptism in the first place.  This is why St. Ruth is a canonized saint.
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« Reply #84 on: April 08, 2013, 11:05:42 AM »

A friend of mine professes herself to be a Christian and, admittedly, she's doing it a lot better than me. However, she told me she hasn't been baptised. I could barely prevent myself from saying "whoever is not baptised isn't a Christian either". Is this true, though? Can unbaptised people call themselves Christian? What makes one a Christian?

You must be baptized. There are rare exception but this doesn't sound like one of them.


The scripture indicates that Cornelius and his house were the LAST to be baptized with water. After this, new covenant Spirit baptism took full effect. Peter's vision of the unclean animals being made clean was the point of the change over from water baptism to Spirit baptism.

1. Peter had water baptized Jews only COMMANDING them to be baptized in the name of Jesus.

2. Then Peter has a vision inwhich he was commanded by God to eat all manner of animals. Peter said "no," and God rebuked him saying, "What God has cleansed do not call 'unclean.' "

3. Then Peter preached to the Gentiles saying that God shows no partiality and while he was speaking the Gentiles received the gift of the Spirit. He explained the vision of the unclean animals being made clean.

4. Then Peter takes a less dogmatic view of water baptism. Before his vision he preached it as a mandate. He COMMANDED the Jews to be water baptized invoking the name of Jesus. But now he consults the people rather than invoke the name of Jesus. He said, "What prevents these [Gentiles] from being baptized?" The people consent to their being baptized and Peter baptizes Cornelius and his house.

a. It is not to be ignored that Peter did NOT invoke the name of Jesus on this occasion. He consulted the people.

b. And when the people consented to the Gentiles being baptized Peter did NOT command it as he commanded the Jews before his vision. Our English translations erroneously translate the word protasso as "He commanded then to be baptized," when it actually says, "He pre-arranged for them to be baptized."

5. Then Peter reflected upon all that had happened and the word of Jesus came to his mind when He said, "John indeed baptized with water, but you shalll be baptized with the Holy Spirit."

This is when water baptism was finished and Spirit baptism took full effect. After the baptism of Cornelius and his house all baptisms in the book of Acts were Spirit baptisms.

There is only ONE baptism now which is the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

I don't really have much to say on this topic other than to say that the more bolded and oversized words I see in a post, the more I call the credibility of the author into question. Carry on...
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