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Author Topic: Baptists or something else now?  (Read 286 times) Average Rating: 0
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wainscottbl
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« on: January 29, 2014, 10:22:20 PM »

I think I've explained that I went to a Southern Baptist church with my great grandmother as a child. Basically I remembered them telling you that you have to be baptized to be saved hence their confessing the article of the Nicene Creed "we believe in one baptism for the forgiveness of sins." Yes, they have a strong Calvinistic view I believe, but they believed that baptism and confession of the Christian faith was required, not just an altar call or being saved. For them baptism is the gateway of salvation, washing away "original sin" and "actual sin".

Because I believed this I ordered the free Bible from the Mormons and joined them until I became Catholic five years after becoming a Mormon. Still I went to the youth group with friends and a bunch of local teens did to. It was a fad. I don't remember baptism being pushed at the youth group, just some idea that if you did not become Christian, or get saved, you would be damned. It was very contemporary of course with contemporary Christian music and trying to make it "cool". But have many of the Baptists just gone completely away from the very foundation of their belief as their name implies--the necessity of baptism and baptism by immersion and by those who have reason, not infants? Anyone have an idea why they did not preach baptism to the youth, at least I do not recall it, but more of a non-denominational type "getting saved" or "accepting Jesus"? Is this a modern development among Baptists? I admit I am not too familiar with the various Protestant beliefs. I think we Roman Catholics tend to generalize them and not have a good understanding of the development of original Protestant sects like Lutheranism and Anglicanism into sects like the Anabaptists.
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« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2014, 10:38:47 PM »

The Baptists that I was exposed to as a child/teenager always taught that you had to say the sinners prayer to "get saved" and that baptism was making a public statement that you were saved. They made the analogy to marriage where "getting saved" was the wedding and baptism was simply the ring that tells everyone you're married.
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« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2014, 10:44:09 PM »

My understanding of Baptists, having been influenced by them more than any other Christian denomination except Orthodoxy, is that they are very easygoing with who is 'saved', as long as you believe in Jesus in your heart. Of course, their Calvinistic doctrine contradicts this idea, but from my observation, that's all that really mattered.
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« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2014, 10:45:25 PM »

The Baptists that I was exposed to as a child/teenager always taught that you had to say the sinners prayer to "get saved" and that baptism was making a public statement that you were saved. They made the analogy to marriage where "getting saved" was the wedding and baptism was simply the ring that tells everyone you're married.

Yeah, I will have to look into the history of the Baptist sect. I think that's why I know it's either Roman Catholicism or Eastern Orthodoxy. It's too easy to fall into heresy without a united church. Eastern Orthodox may not have a "head guy" like the Roman Catholics, but they are all united and they are not divided like the Protestants. Roman Catholics do accuse them of not having any surety because of their lack of a supreme bishop that is universal and all that. Sometimes the saying is, "They were the first Protestants." But of course I am not sure I agree with that, even if I decide to stay with Rome. It's to simplified. It is clear the Orthodox Christians have a unity that sectarian Christians do not have.
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Aristotle says in the Metaphysics that "in mathematics goodness does not exist." It is a rather great quote to show to any math teacher when they tell you how important math is. Give them a riddle: I am not tall, I am not short, nor big nor take up any space but simply am. I have no name but I am.
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« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2014, 10:57:43 PM »

The Baptists that I was exposed to as a child/teenager always taught that you had to say the sinners prayer to "get saved" and that baptism was making a public statement that you were saved. They made the analogy to marriage where "getting saved" was the wedding and baptism was simply the ring that tells everyone you're married.

Yeah, I will have to look into the history of the Baptist sect. I think that's why I know it's either Roman Catholicism or Eastern Orthodoxy. It's too easy to fall into heresy without a united church. Eastern Orthodox may not have a "head guy" like the Roman Catholics, but they are all united and they are not divided like the Protestants. Roman Catholics do accuse them of not having any surety because of their lack of a supreme bishop that is universal and all that. Sometimes the saying is, "They were the first Protestants." But of course I am not sure I agree with that, even if I decide to stay with Rome. It's to simplified. It is clear the Orthodox Christians have a unity that sectarian Christians do not have.

If I am not mistaken the Baptist Church was created from the Anglican Church.

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As a result of disagreements with the Church of England, John Smyth established a "Separatist" congregation in 1606.Because of continuing conflict with the Church of England, and subsequent persecution, he, along with Thomas Helwys and members of their congregation fled to Amsterdam later that year.A number of somewhat similar groups had already formed in the Netherlands prior to their arrival.Nonetheless, they formed a new church congregation rather than joining one of the existing groups.Though not on English soil, this congregation is usually regarded as the first English Baptist church. Approximately two years later, in 1609, Smyth baptized himself (sometimes referred to as "se-baptism") and other adult members of the congregation. This affirmation of baptism for believers only defined the group as the first Baptist congregation.

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« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2014, 12:04:02 AM »

The Baptists that I was exposed to as a child/teenager always taught that you had to say the sinners prayer to "get saved" and that baptism was making a public statement that you were saved. They made the analogy to marriage where "getting saved" was the wedding and baptism was simply the ring that tells everyone you're married.

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« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2014, 12:15:32 AM »

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I remembered them telling you that you have to be baptized to be saved

Probably because you were a child at the time,  I think you misunderstood because one of the major Baptist distinctives is that baptism does not save you.
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wainscottbl
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« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2014, 10:26:00 AM »

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I remembered them telling you that you have to be baptized to be saved

Probably because you were a child at the time,  I think you misunderstood because one of the major Baptist distinctives is that baptism does not save you.

Ah, yes faith. I know Orthodox do not have the idea of original sin, but do they say that baptism infuses the virtues of Faith, Hope, and Charity into the soul of the baptized like the Catholics do? I know faith is big among Baptists and certain Protestants, and I suppose they accept the idea of hope (though as a theological virtue) and of course charity would be important because its importance is so Biblical. "You can have faith to move mountains, but if you lack charity your faith is nothing."
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Aristotle says in the Metaphysics that "in mathematics goodness does not exist." It is a rather great quote to show to any math teacher when they tell you how important math is. Give them a riddle: I am not tall, I am not short, nor big nor take up any space but simply am. I have no name but I am.
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« Reply #8 on: January 30, 2014, 11:15:33 AM »

One of the main tenants of most protestant groups, including baptists (and even Catholics to some extent) is that there has to be an "age of reason" in order to receive baptism. 

This was never the practice in the ancient church. In the ancient church (including the time of Paul) entire households were baptized, including infants. This is where the whole practice of sponsors or god-parents came into existence.  Someone would vouch for the child, that they would be brought up in the faith, after their baptism. This person was supposed to be of good standing with the church, someone to be emulated. 

Just adding something to the conversation…not sure if I answered any of your questions though...
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« Reply #9 on: January 30, 2014, 12:11:44 PM »

One of the main tenants of most protestant groups, including baptists (and even Catholics to some extent) is that there has to be an "age of reason" in order to receive baptism. 

This was never the practice in the ancient church. In the ancient church (including the time of Paul) entire households were baptized, including infants. This is where the whole practice of sponsors or god-parents came into existence.  Someone would vouch for the child, that they would be brought up in the faith, after their baptism. This person was supposed to be of good standing with the church, someone to be emulated. 

Just adding something to the conversation…not sure if I answered any of your questions though...

Yes, which is why Augustine's mother did not baptize him as an infant as was the norm for Christians because her husband was not a Christian and she feared her son would grow up in sin, which indeed he did. In Catholicism this is a mortal sin to not baptize your child because of original sin and putting it in danger of not attaining Paradise if it were to die. It would seem that Augustine's mother did not have this idea of original sin and that it was not common among the apostolic and ancient Church, but was a development of post-Augustinian Western Christianity. Of course I know Catholics do say it is also wrong to baptize a child that has a good chance of not being raised in the faith. I am not sure what Monica's reason for deferment was--an idea of original sin, like he son is famous for writing of, or because she knew her husband was worldly and that her son stood a good chance of growing up in sin without the faith.

Of course to be fair Catholics do believe the sacraments (except confession and the "last rites" of course) can be given before the age of reason in theory. They will even admit this was once done in the West. But now it is against their canons. I suppose it would be valid but illicit if a Roman Catholic priest were to give the other sacraments to an infant. But I wonder if there is any good reason for putting off communion and confirmation until later. They might say that having communion when the child has reason allows him/her to understand the Eucharist and the importance of approaching but this can be taught later as the grow older. Taking it as infants and toddlers actually gives them a special strength, as does confirmation at a young age. The sacraments are mysteries that are not supposed to be understood and show us that our strength as Christians comes from something higher and above us through the sacraments. I think the "age of reason" argument for certain Latins was made more the norm by Scholasticism. I do not think Aquinas giving Aristotelian proof of the mystery of the Eucharist is completely bad. He uses Aristotelian terms to prove it, yes, but it does not undermine the sacrament in my opinion. I know some Orthodox have problems with this. But even Aquinas would agree that the Eucharist is actually a mystery which no reason can fully comprehend. I think that is why is should be given from infancy--because the grace the sacrament gives is divine and mysterious. I would say that this requirement for reason gave strength to later Protestants deferring baptism until the age of eight, unlike earlier Protestants who followed the Roman Catholic practice of infant baptism.
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Aristotle says in the Metaphysics that "in mathematics goodness does not exist." It is a rather great quote to show to any math teacher when they tell you how important math is. Give them a riddle: I am not tall, I am not short, nor big nor take up any space but simply am. I have no name but I am.
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« Reply #10 on: January 30, 2014, 12:18:43 PM »

"Sinner's prayer" = saved forever, no matter what you do (they then insert a Calvinistic teaching there if you ask about going out and murdering someone or something)
Baptism = Not necessary but good to do anyways.

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« Reply #11 on: January 30, 2014, 12:22:42 PM »

"Sinner's prayer" = saved forever, no matter what you do (they then insert a Calvinistic teaching there if you ask about going out and murdering someone or something)
Baptism = Not necessary but good to do anyways.

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If Baptism isn't necessary to them, why even do it? All you have to do anyway is say a prayer and you're set for life apparantly.
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« Reply #12 on: January 30, 2014, 12:29:07 PM »

"Sinner's prayer" = saved forever, no matter what you do (they then insert a Calvinistic teaching there if you ask about going out and murdering someone or something)
Baptism = Not necessary but good to do anyways.

PP

If Baptism isn't necessary to them, why even do it? All you have to do anyway is say a prayer and you're set for life apparantly.
For the same reason they revise "Baptism doth now also save us". Buffet Christianity. Whatever makes you feel good.

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« Reply #13 on: January 30, 2014, 01:13:50 PM »

One of the main tenants of most protestant groups, including baptists (and even Catholics to some extent) is that there has to be an "age of reason" in order to receive baptism. 
Sort of.

I can’t speak for universal Baptist belief because there really is no such thing other than a broad framework of believer’s baptism, local church autonomy and an emphasis on personal Bible reading.

However, the Baptists amongst whom I lived believed the “age of accountability” at which one could be baptized was sort of specific to the individual and was more or less determined by the ability to discern and accept/not accept Christ as saviour. Thus, you might see a precocious 4-year-old baptized and a less precocious 12-year-old baptized both at their legitimate “age of accountability.” It was generally accepted that someone who made it to his or her teen years had at some point reached his or her accountability limit.

Though an emphasis was made on praying a sinner’s prayer, honest Sunday School teachers would admit it wasn’t so much the way to be saved as it was the most obvious way, an easy marker upon which one could look in retrospect.

Baptism is understood not strictly as a memorial, but a command — in the common parlance, an “ordinance” and a necessary step in church membership. From the Baptist Faith and Message*:

Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer in water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It is an act of obedience symbolizing the believer's faith in a crucified, buried, and risen Saviour, the believer's death to sin, the burial of the old life, and the resurrection to walk in newness of life in Christ Jesus. It is a testimony to his faith in the final resurrection of the dead. Being a church ordinance, it is prerequisite to the privileges of church membership and to the Lord's Supper.

Because it is not considered sacramental, Baptism is not thought to be a part of the process of salvation, per se, though it is considered to be a part of the normal Christian life; the walk of an unbaptized believer is in some ways a hindered one, as the unbaptized has not submitted to Christ’s demonstration nor his command to be baptized.



*This wasn't the exact statement we used when I was growing up, having been edited in 2000, but I think the language about baptism was unchanged.
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« Reply #14 on: January 30, 2014, 01:17:52 PM »

I assume it has something do with how Christianity is manifest psychologically. Whether certain practices are necessary or not in these modern times.
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« Reply #15 on: January 30, 2014, 01:49:35 PM »

I think I've explained that I went to a Southern Baptist church with my great grandmother as a child. Basically I remembered them telling you that you have to be baptized to be saved hence their confessing the article of the Nicene Creed "we believe in one baptism for the forgiveness of sins." Yes, they have a strong Calvinistic view I believe, but they believed that baptism and confession of the Christian faith was required, not just an altar call or being saved. For them baptism is the gateway of salvation, washing away "original sin" and "actual sin".

Baptists believe that baptism is symbolic and is a public statement of your Christian belief, and that it in no way "washes away your sin" or "saves you". Southern Baptists, though, believe that baptism is required for church membership and that it is an act of obedience commanded by Christ.
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