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IM4given

Is foot-washing scriptural?

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In an earlier post I mentioned that my MIL's church practices footwashing, and she thinks we are in sin because we do not. My husband prayed that God would show him whether or not this was a command...and He did not. My husband was open to conviction by the Holy Spirit if this is what He wanted, but the Spirit did not convict.

We believe that Jesus did this as an example for us to be humble, to be a servant to our fellow man, etc. It is not wrong to do, but it is also not necessary to do.

The church where my MIL attends may practice footwashing, but they are VERY wrong on many teachings of the Bible - eternal security, separation from the world, faithfulness to God's house, and so forth. And yet churches that don't practice something that was admitted earlier is not an ordinance are in sin.

If the church you attend practices literal footwashing, that is wonderful, but I do believe you err when you feel that it is a spiritual accomplishment others haven't reached!

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From what I've read and studied, I don't believe the actual act of foot-washing is something we are commanded to do (I've explained this elsewhere in this thread so no need to repeat it all here).

However, in regards to what Janet is saying about personal conviction, I do believe if a person believes the Lord is convicting them to do (or to abstain) from something, then that is what that person should do.

Also, as Janet rightly pointed out, we are all at different levels, or stages, of maturity in our Christian walk. Do all here agree the Bible commands women to have long hair? Do all here agree with how long a womans hair must be to be considered long? What about dresses and pants for women? What about what is and isn't acceptable for a couple to do prior to marriage?

I mentioned those issues because from experience here I know that not all agree what the Bible says on those issues. Even those who are in somewhat agreement have different perspectives on how to live according to what they believe the Word says in these areas. Often as not, this is due to the varying degrees of maturity in the Lord.

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Hi again Ben!

Rom 16:16 Salute one another with an holy kiss. The churches of Christ salute you.
1Cr 16:20 All the brethren greet you. Greet ye one another with an holy kiss.
2Cr 13:12 Greet one another with an holy kiss.
1Th 5:26 Greet all the brethren with an holy kiss.
1Pe 5:14 Greet ye one another with a kiss of charity. Peace [be] with you all that are in Christ Jesus. Amen.

The context of several of the above verses imply other churches and believers. However, I am not saying you specifically need to practice this OUTSIDE of you local assembly, there is clarity and the "command mood" is here for the local assembly. Where the churches at Rome, Corinth, Thessolinica, and Babylon only to do this?


It was addressed the believers at Rome, however I never meant to suggest this was merely a Roman custom. Of course other churches did it - in the 1st century A.D. But, obviously, no one is suggesting that this "holy kiss" is a mandatory thing for us today. That certainly can't be derived from any of these passages. I cannot understand what there is in any of these "kissing" passages that would bring a reasonable person reading them in any language to assume from them that there is a "mandate" that we greet each other with a kiss. It's just not there. Paul tells the Romans to "greet Rufus". By the logic we are being asked to accept, we all need to greet Rufus. When scripture provides a mandate, it usually does so in general terms. Secondly, this is a greeting we are talking about. When I say to you "have a good day", that is quite different from a old Platoon Sergeant yelling in your ear "drop and give me 50!". The latter is a command; the former is a cultural nicety. The "holy kiss" is not something we are being commanded to do as a Church. These greetings were requests, and they were to particular people who are no longer alive. Given all of the sexual impropriety with which our society is awash, and given, as I said, the fact that touching and kissing has more profoundly sexual connotations in our society than it did in the more tactile ancient Mediterranean world, I think an effort to revive this custom would be a very big mistake (with no positive upside whatsoever). This is the last thing we need to be doing, but to each their own and I certainly won't condemn anyone for practicing it. I am ready to do whatever the Lord wants or commands me to do. I don't see the representation of this custom in these verses as in any way applicable to us today in respect to the "kiss". Greeting one another is fine. That can be done without physical contact, and certainly without kissing. I'm not condemning the practice outright. But I would balk at it myself, would discourage it in the church I attend, and I would resist mightily an attempt to try and make it mandatory by suggesting it's some sort of biblical mandate (which it most certainly is not since all the believers mentioned here went to be with the Lord thousands of years ago). Hope we can at least agree on this! :smile

Love,
Madeline

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As I was researching something else, I ran across a website about Primitive Baptists. It had a Frequently asked Q & A about Primitive Baptists. My question is, is the practice of foot-washing scriptural and if so why don't IFBs practice foot washing - or maybe your church does practice it? I have never been in a church that could be called "foot-washing baptists."

John explains that, at the end of the Last Supper, the Lord began to wash the feet of the disciples. After performing this great act of humility, the Lord said, If I then, your Lord and master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done unto you (Jn 13:14-15). Primitive Baptists understand that this commandment is to be followed in literal detail as well as in spirit. Many will dismiss these actions of Jesus as being no more than symbolic gestures; however, these same persons understand the last supper to be a literal example. We fail to see the consistency in this. If we are to take one as a symbolic gesture, we must take the other as being such also. Conversely, if the Lord intended literal observance of the last supper, then literal observance must have been intended for feet washing as well. The scriptures leave no doubt that the last supper is to be literally observed (I Cor 10:16-21, I Cor 11:23-30). I Tim 5:9-10 indicates that feet washing was practiced by the New Testament church. Neither this text nor the example of Jesus can be dismissed as a cultural phenomenon since texts describing the cultural practice of feet washing have individuals washing their own feet (Gen 43:24, Judges 19:21, Song 5:3). Unfortunately, such plain reasoning is easily obscured by human vanity, yet it was this very vanity that Jesus would have us destroy in the act of feet washing.

Question: Why do Primitive Baptists wash feet during communion?










Primitive Baptists aren't the only group which practices foot washing as an ordinance--I believe that the Church of God also does--along with "speaking in tongues" as they wash each other's feet.

I don't believe that Jesus commanded us to practice foot washing as an ordinance. I believe that in the act of footwashing, the lesson Jesus was teaching was symbolic of our daily walk after we are cleansed by His blood. Our "feet" symbolize our walk and they (our feet) need daily cleansing, or washing from walking in this sinful world. 1 John 1:9 would be applicable here. Footwashing is Scriptural, but I believe it was symbolic of our daily walk with Christ in this sinful world--but not an ordinance commanded by the Lord Jesus Christ.

Just some thoughts here.

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Madeline said:

By the logic we are being asked to accept, we all need to greet Rufus


There were obvious specific greetings in Pauls letters, i.e., "greet Rufus," and general instructions regarding Christian greeting, i.e., "Greet all the brethren with an holy kiss." Who is "all the brethren," just those in a local church or all the brethren?

Furthermore you said:
Of course other churches did it - in the 1st century A.D. But, obviously, no one is suggesting that this "holy kiss" is a mandatory thing for us today.


Again I appeal to the testimony of, not only the early church, but gospel preaching churches that exist in our day that obey in this area. What do you do with the churches that practice it today? You are judging scripture by contemporary society at large which is corrupt and defiled by sin. I do not and will not allow this or I am no better, nor you, than any liberal modernist theologian justifying situational ethics.

Madeline, YOUR cultural view may be skewed by sexuality and immorality, not mine especially in regard to complying with scripture. Many if not most, have filters on their spiritual eyes and interpret scripture in light on contemporary culture to extremes that sometimes nullify valid instruction in the Bible.

I guess the reason many Christians cannot be involved with a "holy" kiss is, quite frankly, because they are not holy. We live in a day when the church is awash in carnality and holiness has be relegated to a strictly internal quality and fashion and flesh have ruled the day...in the church.

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Linda,
No one denies the symbolism, I just have a hard time getting around the clear words of Jesus, he said, do it. He said do it, why would we want to explain his instructions away? I know the sybolism, and for those who have stated it again, no, no, and no, no one here thinks it is an ordinance.

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Madeline said:


There were obvious specific greetings in Pauls letters, i.e., "greet Rufus," and general instructions regarding Christian greeting, i.e., "Greet all the brethren with an holy kiss." Who is "all the brethren," just those in a local church or all the brethren?

Furthermore you said:


Again I appeal to the testimony of, not only the early church, but gospel preaching churches that exist in our day that obey in this area. What do you do with the churches that practice it today? You are judging scripture by contemporary society at large which is corrupt and defiled by sin. I do not and will not allow this or I am no better, nor you, than any liberal modernist theologian justifying situational ethics.

Madeline, YOUR cultural view may be skewed by sexuality and immorality, not mine especially in regard to complying with scripture. Many if not most, have filters on their spiritual eyes and interpret scripture in light on contemporary culture to extremes that sometimes nullify valid instruction in the Bible.

I guess the reason many Christians cannot be involved with a "holy" kiss is, quite frankly, because they are not holy. We live in a day when the church is awash in carnality and holiness has be relegated to a strictly internal quality and fashion and flesh have ruled the day...in the church.


What a shame Ben...that was uncalled for. Conjectural statements such as that isn't holy, but rather holier than thou. Greeting one another with a holy kiss was simply the custom of the day, this was an expression of mutual affection and friendship such as a handshake of today. I think it may be time to bow out of this discussion....we'll just have to see.

Love,
Madeline

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I just don't understand the emphasis on kissing or washing feet. Should we wear robes too? (Which you know I'm all for modest apparel) When we do Bible reading we HAVE to divine culture from command. Paul says to take a little wine (grape juice) for the stomach...so does that mean we should go around drinking grape juice for heartburn just because the Bible said it? The holy kiss was an end salutation to his letters. Just like we would say "Give Aunt Bertha a hug" or "Give Grandma my love" or "Give Uncle Joe a hearty handshake." It doesn't mean that the next fifteen generations are required to do this. Again footwashing was also a cultural thing, because feet were dusty after walking everywhere. To me it would equate to giving a guest the nicest chair to sit down and offering him an icy drink.

I agree with Jerry above, that Jesus was teaching servitude using an example, not giving a specific duty. There are many times in the Bible Jesus used object lessons, IMO this is another one of those times. Jesus used things easily understood by the men of the day in order to teach values.

For instance Jesus said to Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's. Does that mean since we don't serve a Caesar that we don't have to pay taxes? Or that we have to mail our taxes to Rome? No, it was an object lesson to teach obedience to government.

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I think I would like to study a bit more about Primitive Baptists and find out exactly what they do believe in and why? Are they even more "fundamental" than Fundamentalist Baptists? I do not think we all ought to rush out and buy foot tubs for our churches, but it is interesting to learn what others practice and how those practices come to be.

I don't think I would be involved in any church that speaks in tongues - whether they are washing feet or not - or any other beliefs/behaviors that are not scriptural. However, if by some chance I were to find myself sitting in a Primitive Baptist congregation, I want to educate myself regarding how they worship and what they believe in.

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IM4G - this link is to the Midland Confession of 1655 - one basis for the beleifs of Primitive Baptists.

http://www.pb.org/articles/mcfaith.html

The London Confession of 1689 is also part of their heritage:

http://www.pb.org/articles/lcf1689.txt

And the Waldenses Confessions of 1120 and 1544

http://www.pb.org/articles/walden.html

Some frequently asked questions about Primitives Baptists:

http://primitivebaptist.info/mambo//con ... r_Baptists

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Linda,
No one denies the symbolism, I just have a hard time getting around the clear words of Jesus, he said, do it. He said do it, why would we want to explain his instructions away? I know the sybolism, and for those who have stated it again, no, no, and no, no one here thinks it is an ordinance.


If God intended for footwashing to be part of Communion as we remember Jesus' death, burial and resurrection, why then did the Holy Spirit not reiterate it when Paul was giving instruction? I do believe that if it were a command by Jesus for believers to continue doing, Paul would have mentioned it.

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I think I would rather visit a foot-washing church than I would one of those snake-handling churches! :bible:

"And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name they shall cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover."

Mark 16:17,18 (KJV)

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I think I would rather visit a foot-washing church than I would one of those snake-handling churches! :bible:

"And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name they shall cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover."

Mark 16:17,18 (KJV)



A lot of the snake handling churches footwash also! But I hear you -my grandfather was a Pentecostal preacher who didn't practice snake handling, but he went to a church in KY once where they did -whew, not an experience I would want to have. This experience, plus the woman preacher at the church he attended caused him to begin digging into scripture (which he should have been doing as a preacher, but...) not too many years before he died, and I'll be if he didn't start sounding like a Baptist!!!! :lol:

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It doesn't do any good if a church is "right" on one point, but "wrong" on everything else. I would weigh the overall doctrines and practices of a church before I would hazard to visit, let alone join myself to them. That is why I am a Fundamental Baptist in the first place - because I have found their doctrines and practices to be the most scriptural. However, I also want to hear how other churches interpret and practice their worship services. I do not think there is anything inherently wrong with churches who do foot-washing, or who greet each other with a holy kiss or what ever? Just as someone else posted, they visited a new church, and they asked the preacher what Bible he uses and he presented a NIV Bible - thanks but no thanks, and kept on going. Right there shows that there is a problem, but footwashing does not seem to present a similar type of problem. If they do it, then it is okay. It does not mean that everyone ought to jump on their bandwagon, does it? It is not an ordinance, but a scriptural practice. I would not rule out a church to fellowship with on account of it.

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I do not think there is anything inherently wrong with churches who do foot-washing' date=' or who greet each other with a holy kiss or what ever? Just as someone else posted, they visited a new church, and they asked the preacher what Bible he uses and he presented a NIV Bible - thanks but no thanks, and kept on going. Right there shows that there is a problem, but footwashing does not seem to present a similar type of problem. [b']If they do it, then it is okay. It does not mean that everyone ought to jump on their bandwagon, does it? It is not an ordinance, but a scriptural practice. I would not rule out a church to fellowship with on account of it.


Exactly!!!!

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LuAnne said:

If God intended for footwashing to be part of Communion as we remember Jesus' death, burial and resurrection, why then did the Holy Spirit not reiterate it when Paul was giving instruction? I do believe that if it were a command by Jesus for believers to continue doing, Paul would have mentioned it.


Let again be very clear...I do not believe, nor does the scriptures imply, that footwashing is an oridinance or a part of communion. Though some practice footwashing after they have taken communion, it does not make it a part of the ordinance of communion.

LuAnne, using the logic you use regarding Pauls reenforcement of the command of Jesus, if this be the case, let's do a study of all the commands of Jesus for believers, see which one's Paul mentioned, and nullify ALL the commands of Jesus which Paul did not expound upon. Of course that is obsurd, so why do we have to have Paul, or any scholar agree with Jesus, or reiterate His words in order for the simple command of Jesus to be observed?

Again, I believe it is a classic case of the old, "We ain't never done it this way before."

Suzy said:
I just don't understand the emphasis on kissing or washing feet. Should we wear robes too?


There is no command to wear robes, only to be modest and shamefaced. You are going to extremes to negate what Jesus ask us to do, and He did say to do it. I would rather be guily of complying than explaining it away. And, I agree with everyone in the symbolic nature of Jesus' teaching when He washed their feet, BUT, He asked us to do it. So, I do it.

I am not saying you have to do any of this. If you are comfortable with your stand, that is good, but Jesus did say you are blessed if you do it. He did not specify when you do it, or how many times in a year you do it, but He did say to follow His example.

Madeline, you said:
Conjectural statements such as that isn't holy, but rather holier than thou.[/qutoe]

Apparently, you have not visited around much in the churches these days. I know that I am an old sinner, saved by the grace of God, and as faithful to Him as I want to be, and that might not be as much as He requires me to be. I know what I am.

I also know that state of the churches. I hear just as many quotes from the pulpit about t.v. shows and sports figures (mostly wicked men,) and the immodesty is to the extent that I grieve the example set forth for my six daughters. My statement was not conjectural, but factual, THAT is why it stings. I had to face up to this as I serve in many churches and worked as an evangelist.

I see what's going on, that is why I said that.

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Madeline, you said:


Firstly, it seems as if the others were wise not to reply to your post since you have clearly missed their point, but I will try once more. Secondly, you didn't do your research as I recommended before. As I say, the key point here is that these are not commands in the traditional sense of military or scriptural or compulsory commands. My grammar is poor, but these are polite requests (something very common in the imperative mood in Greek and English both). These are greetings. While, as I say, I don't condemn the practice in principle, I think it is potentially dangerous to practice "the holy kiss" today. For one thing, we don't know what it was (it's not spelled out in scripture). Did they kiss lips? Did they kiss on the side of the head (ala the French today)? Did they "blow kisses" to one another? Did they hug when they "holy kissed"? Did they close their eyes or hold their hands up in the air? These may sound like ridiculous questions, but they are no more ridiculous than reviving the practice itself.

What I object to here the most is the misunderstanding of something which should be patently obvious to anyone with normal life experience who has ever read a book before, namely that these are specific personal greetings, not compulsory general commands. The next time some one tells you to "Have a good day!", you should know that you are not obligated to do so, even if they have some authority over you (boss, husband, parent, government authority). No doubt the requests (and these are requests) made by Paul to these congregations were indeed fulfilled happily in every case. But I guarantee you, based on language study (do the research), that the people who got these letters didn't say to themselves "Goodness, we are being given a general command to greet all the brethren with a 'holy kiss' from here on in in perpetuity!" Rather, they said "Hey Rufus, Paul says 'hello!' in his letter".

Love,
Madeline

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Interesting read:

The Decline And Revival Of The Holy Kiss

Sadly, in the Middle Ages, the practice of the holy kiss was gradually relegated to a few special ceremonies, generally only amongst the clergy. Eventually it disappeared altogether.18 The decline in the practice paralleled the elevation of the clergy above the laity in the Roman Catholic Church (amongst many other heretical practices that took hold at about this time; click on "History" above for more details of the decline of the Christian church). For example, it became common practice for the laity and lesser clergy to kiss the feet and gold rings of bishops and of the pope as a sign of servitude---in stark contrast to the holy kiss shared equally between the laity and clergy in the earlier church. Also, the laity were encouraged to kiss the cross and pictures and statues of Mary and the saints.17 These practices have continued to this day into the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches.

The use of the holy kiss as specified in the Bible was renewed by some of the pre-Reformation groups such as the Albigenses and Waldenses in the 1100's. H. J. Warner gives an interesting account of a person who had left the Roman Catholic church and joined the Albigenses. Following the rite of baptism and the laying on of hands he states, "All then [they] place their hands on his head, and kiss him, and from that hour he is one of them."6

However, it was not until the Swiss Reformation in the early sixteenth century that a sustained revival of the holy kiss returned to Christian churches on a large scale. It was most widely practiced in one Reformation group--the Anabaptists. The Anabaptists were the only Protestant Reformation group that had dared to sweep away all of the centuries of Roman Catholic traditions, papal pronouncements and Catholic teachings and put their total trust in the Bible (which was extremely radical at the time). They saw that the Bible commanded Christians to practice this and there is some evidence that their scholars were aware that it had also been practiced by the early church as well.

Many interesting and heartwarming accounts are given on how Anabaptist martyrs had practiced the holy kiss. For instance, in Martyr's Mirror an account is given of an incident that took place in 1546 in Styria, a province of Austria, among a group of Anabaptists:

They were led in iron chains through Styria and delivered into the bailey at Vienna, to the jailer who said, "Come, I will bring you to a vault where are others of your brethren". When they met, they embraced and kissed each other and praised the Lord."



In the same book, reference is made to a group of believers facing execution in 1528 at Bruck, on the Mur, Styria.

A circle having been formed, they all knelt down to pray. Then they arose and submitted to the sword. The youngest of them all entreated his brethren that they should let him suffer first. He then kissed them and said, God bless you my beloved brethren; today, we shall all be together in Paradise.



However, most of the Protestant reformers followed the lead of the Roman Catholic Church from which they originated and ignored the scriptures regarding the holy kiss and did not reinstitute the practice. Unfortunately, most newer Protestant denominations have blindly followed the lead of these reformers.

One exception was the early Baptists. Their practice of the holy kiss most likely had its origins in their founder's early contacts with European Anabaptists and of course, the many verses in Scripture which endorse the practice (some recent revisionist Baptist historians have tried to avow any early Baptist association with Anabaptists--despite clear evidence to the contrary--because they find the idea of having anything to do with Anabaptists repugnant, but that is a story for another article).

When the Baptists came to America, they flourished, but they were not looked on very fondly by the Anglicans who hoped to extend the power and predominance of the Church of England to the New World (a hope which did not die until after America gained its independence, at which time the American Anglican churches renamed themselves "Episcopalian" to demonstrate their denomination's independence from England). American Anglican Bishop Charles Woodmason (1720-1776) could not conceal his contempt for this radical religious group with their adult baptisms and their "calls [to repentance], convictions, conversion" and "what they call their love feasts and kiss of charity." We are not aware of any Baptist group still practicing the holy kiss today and few Baptists even know that the holy kiss was a Baptist church belief and practice that their denomination held dear in its early years. Sadly, other than the Apostolic Christian Church and a number of other conservative Anabaptist denominations, there are only a handful of denominations (most of them very small) that practice the holy kiss today.

The Holy Kiss For Today Or Just An Old Custom?

Over the years various arguments have been advanced to justify eliminating the holy kiss and replacing it with a handshake or even a hug or dispensing with a Christian greeting altogether. Of course, the real motive behind those who want to do away with the holy kiss is not that the they are convinced that the Scriptures forbid the practice of greeting with a holy kiss, but that the kiss is not a socially acceptable or politically correct greeting. In other words, they find the holy kiss embarrassing; to practice it would force them to look conspicuous for the purpose of devotion to Christ and brotherly love--it is a price they are not willing to pay. So many arguments have been conjured up to enable many denominations to quickly rationalize the holy kiss away.

Amazingly, this line of thinking has even found its way into some of our English Bibles! Specifically, authors of some paraphrased versions of the Bible have chosen to replace the words "holy kiss" in their versions of the Bible with the words "handshake" or "hug" (if you don't find the holy kiss in your Bible, that's why). It is a terrible thing that authors of these Bible versions found some words in the original Scriptures so offensive that they resorted to substituting "less offensive" words. It should make you wonder what else they have censored out of their "Bibles" for your "benefit." Thankfully, the KJV has stayed true to the Greek of the New Testament Scriptures.

The most common argument for not practicing the holy kiss is that the holy kiss was only a social custom at the time of the Apostles and since our modern culture no longer practices this custom, the Biblical directives regarding the holy kiss do not apply. And if one looks up "holy kiss" in the typical Christian encyclopedia, if it appears at all, you will probably find a mention of the Jewish practice of greeting with a kiss and the implication that this is an obsolete custom not to be practiced in modern times. But never will you find any substantial supporting evidence given for that position and for good reason: there isn't any! Let's look at three reasons why Christians should continue to practice the holy kiss.

First: While we know that a kiss of greeting was practiced in Jewish cultures, it was most likely not practiced in the greater Roman Empire, in fact, there was an imperial edict against the practice! And let us not forget that all but one of the Biblical letters encouraging the practice of the holy kiss were written exclusively to churches outside of Jerusalem. Therefore, we know that Paul was encouraging these churches to do something which was contrary to their own culture and even against the law! Paul was very familiar with their culture because he lived in these areas for months and even years, so he knew of the raised eyebrows and hardship that the practice of the holy kiss might bring to those who practiced it.

So why would Paul instruct the early Gentile churches to practice the holy kiss at such great cost? It is very unlikely that Paul was trying to force a Jewish custom on those who lived outside of Judea and who were not Jewish. After all, let's not forget that Paul was the one who was trying to free the Gentiles from the Jewish customs of the Pharisees and from the Jewish Law, he would not want them encumbered with yet another Jewish custom!

And we know that the holy kiss was most likely responsible for vicious rumors which led, in part, to the severe persecution and death of many early Christians. Yet even this did not cause the early Christians to abandon the practice of the holy kiss! If the holy kiss were only regarded as an old Jewish custom, wouldn't they have quit observing it? It is only reasonable to conclude that the holy kiss was not just a Jewish social custom, but something of much greater importance.

Second: We need to remember that the holy kiss is called holy. The word "holy" here comes from the Greek word "hagios," literally meaning "set apart" from that which is common according to Strong's Concordance. This is the very same "holy" found in the "Holy Spirit" (or Holy Ghost) in the Bible. Does anyone believe that the Holy Spirit is just any old spirit? Let's hope not, for blaspheming the Holy Spirit is the one unforgivable sin! This is also the same "holy" found in "Holy Father"--meaning God (John 17:11) in Jesus's prayer on Mount Gethsemane just before His crucifixion. And this is the same "holy" as we shall appear before God if we remain true and faithful to Christ (Colossians 1:21-23). This word appears over 200 times in the New Testament and not once is it used to define something common or less than holy.

The holy kiss is called just that to separate it from the ordinary, common kiss. It has special, godly, significance and that is why the Gentiles were instructed to practice the holy kiss, even when such kissing broke more than one cultural taboo! We should not take things the Bible calls "holy" lightly, they are called holy for a reason!

Third: The fact that a the kiss of greeting and a kiss of solidarity between those of the same religious group was practiced in Jewish culture in Biblical times does not make the holy kiss any less holy. Baptism was also a part of Jewish culture, Jews would regularly ceremonially bath in observance of the Law and also as an initiation into a religious group. Baptism was a practice that was much less common than kissing in the ancient world, yet few would suggest that we throw out the practice of baptism because of its cultural origins! We know that baptism has a special significance of its own for Christians.

There can be no doubt that communion has its origins in the Jewish observation of Passover. But obviously, Jesus changed the significance of this meal to something that the Jews of His time would not identify with. Yet we do not know of a single denomination that has thrown out communion because it has Jewish origins! The holy kiss is no different. We know that the greeting of the kiss was practiced between Jesus and His disciples. The Apostle Peter instructed both Gentile and Jewish churches alike to practice it. The churches practiced it because it had a special religious significance to them, it was no ordinary greeting, but a holy one.

To avoid the holy kiss because it is not politically-correct, or socially acceptable means that we place more importance on pleasing men than pleasing God. Jesus made it perfectly clear that we should not place the approval of man before the approval of God. And to assert that a handshake or hug may be substituted for the holy kiss is adding to the Word of God.

Just an interesting article for comparison to popular views.

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:clap: That was a very good post - you have given me much food for thought! Now I wonder what a "holy kiss" would look like? Would a woman, such as myself, plant a big wet one on the lips of another woman, or a quick peck on the cheek, or just an "air kiss" in a quick cheek to cheek motion? I am not a "touchy-feely" type of person, and I would feel extremely uncormfortable kissing anyone on the lips! I kiss my mother on her cheek. Sometimes I hug the ladies in my Sunday School class and give them a kiss on the cheek as well. Is this acceptable as a "holy kiss?"

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IM4given said:

Sometimes I hug the ladies in my Sunday School class and give them a kiss on the cheek as well. Is this acceptable as a "holy kiss?"


:thumb
I think you hit the nail right on the head. That is the spirit of the holy kiss in a nutshell.

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I'll bet a looooot of teenagers would love for that "holy kiss" to come back into practice! :lol


The holy kiss is not for members of the opposite sex to exchange. :wink

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It has been said that foot washing was not done in the early church. I found some interesting info.

.............article...................

History
The rite of feet washing finds its roots in scripture. After the death of the apostles, the practice was gradually lost.

Nevertheless, it appears to have been practiced in the early centuries of post-apostolic Christianity, though the evidence is scant. For example, Tertullian (145-220) mentions the practice in his De Corona, but gives no details as to who practiced it or how it was practiced. It was practiced by the church at Milan (ca. A.D. 380), is mentioned by the Council of Elvira (A.D. 300), and is even referenced by Augustine (ca. A.D. 400). Observance of feet washing at the time of baptism was maintained in Africa, Gaul, Germany, Milan, northern Italy, and Ireland. According to the Mennonite Encyclopedia "St. Benedict's Rule (A.D. 529) for the Benedictine Order prescribed hospitality feetwashing in addition to a communal feetwashing for humility"; a statement confirmed by the Catholic Encyclopedia.[1] It apparently was established in the Roman church, though not in connection with baptism, by the 8th century. The Albigenses [some of our Baptist forefathers] observed feetwashing in connection with communion, and the Waldenses' [more of our Baptist forefathers] custom was to wash the feet of visiting ministers. There is some evidence that it was observed by the early Hussites. The practice was a meaningful part of the 16th century radical reformation. Feet washing was often "rediscovered" or "restored" in revivals of religion in which the participants tried to recreate the faith and practice of the apostolic era.

Protestant practice
Feet washing is observed by numerous Protestant and proto-Protestant groups, including Pentecostal and Pietistic groups, some Anabaptists, and some Baptists. Though history shows that feet washing has at times been practiced in connection with baptism, and at times as a separate occasion, by far its most common practice has been in connection with the Lord's supper service.

The observance of washing the saints' feet is quite varied, but a typical service follows the partaking of unleavened bread and wine. Deacons (in many cases) place pans of water in front of pews that have been arranged for the service. The men and women participate in separate groups, men washing men's feet and women washing women's feet. Each member of the congregation takes a turn washing the feet of another member. Each foot is placed one at a time into the basin of water, is washed by cupping the hand and pouring water over the foot, and is dried with a long towel girded around the waist of the member performing the washing. Most of these services appear to be quite moving to the participants.

Among groups that do not observe feet washing as an ordinance or rite, the example of Jesus is usually held to be symbolic and didactic. Among these groups, feet washing is nevertheless sometimes literally practiced. First, some reserve it to be a practice of hospitality or a work of necessity. Secondly, some present it as a dramatic lesson acted out in front of the congregation.

A few Baptists (and perhaps others) that literally observe the washing of feet scruple to call it a third ordinance and rather refer to it only as an example.

Foot washing rites are also practised by some Anglican, Lutheran and Methodist churches. Within the United Methodist Church foot washing is most often experienced in connection with Maundy Thursday services and, sometimes, at ordination services where the Bishop may wash the feet of those who are to be ordained. The foot washing service is practiced regularly by members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and by Primitive Baptists.

Just because some do not practice it, it does not negate it's validity. Just because some do not understand it or how it fits into the present church, it does not render it useless.

A few early church quotes:

"For He who washed the feet of the disciples sanctified the entire body, and rendered it clean." (Irenaeus, A.D. 180)

"'If she has washed the feet of the saints'?that is, if she has performed without shame the lowest offices for the saints" (Clement of Alexandria, A.D. 195)

"What unbelieving husband will permit his wife to offer water for the saints' feet?" (Tertullian, A.D. 205)

Looks like the early church did practice it. AND, they didn't refer to it as a ordinance either.

Another good article:
http://www.kingshouse.org/footwashing.htm

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