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Everything posted by JimR

  1. hey calling me stupid is a bit much. But I can see I am too dumb for this group. Sorry to have bothered y'all.
  2. Salyan, i understand. The consensus is clear and the reasons for it. But somehow I doubt Cornelius and the folks in other house churches had big water tanks or even a bathtub big enough to lie down in. Something is going to stick up out of the water, which violates your full-immersion requirement.
  3. DaveW, You wrote: There is ABSOLUTELY no biblical instruction nor example of this. How does this show the death of Christ? On the other hand, the procedure of laying people backwards one time into water is tradition. The NT does not specifically state how it should be done. I think it symbolizes the death of Christ if you have to hold your breath to avoid getting a lung-full. The NT says we should baptize/dip/immerse in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost (Acts 10:48 says "in the name of the Lord"). The specifics of the procedure are based on tradition and might be influenced by the situation. When you are baptizing 3000 people and a river is nearby, then go for it. Notice in Acts 10:47-48 Cornelius et al were baptized with water in his house. Full-body immersion backwards in a large container is not specified. 47 Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? 48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.
  4. Some weeds end up mixed with the wheat. That cannot be helped. If i was going to baptize/dip/immerse someone, i would want them to get down on their knees in front of tub filled with water, Their heads would be submerged three times, once in each name. When that was over, they would definitely feel like they had died and rose again. Maybe folks who were less sincere would not be willing to submit to a triple dunk. My German Dunker forbears did it three times forward,
  5. Scott, i am glad i am not the person who is responsible for discerning when someone is truly ready for baptism. Regarding average age, i realize many of those baptized when they are older still drift away, concluding their conversion was just a delusion. Maybe everyone who expresses faith and the desire to be baptized should be dunked asap. Jesus will sort them out at the appropriate time. If he says he never knew them, then that’s that.
  6. Sorry, Scott. I gave you the wrong impression. I agree with you that evidence of a changed life is not necessary for baptism. I only asked you about it because this week i listened to an IFB sermon that said that. I did not say exceptional kids who have true faith should not be baptized. I just noted the average age is declining and pointed out that some who were baptized young later decided it was not valid because they did not understand and were going along due to peer pressure. This makes me worry that the trend is not good. The difference between baptists and others is shrinking. Romans 10:9 works for me: that if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. Philip baptized the Ethiopian straightaway after he believed. Baptism is an outward sign of an inward change. I hope those scriptures are sufficient foundation for my position.
  7. A history of anti-pedobaptism : from the rise of pepdobaptism to A.D. 1609 / Title: A history of anti-pedobaptism : from the rise of pepdobaptism to A.D. 1609 / Author: Newman, Albert Henry, 1852-1933 Note: Philadelphia : American Baptist Publication Society, 1902, c1896 Link: page images at HathiTrust http://onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu/webbin/book/lookupid?key=ha100109721 A free version of This baptist history book is available on google play. It seemed pretty interesting to me when i read it several years ago. From the title I suspect the author, if he was alive today, might say that if the person baptized is still seeing a pediatrician, its pedobaptism.
  8. Scott, do you baptize solely on profession of faith? Or do you insist on some education first and evidence of a changed life?
  9. Scott, I am not questioning any individual case, but instead the declining average age. If a person is not old enough to get married, serve in the military or vote, they might not be old enough to choose Christ. Baptist church distinctives call for a membership limited to believers. Also, those members vote on church issues. Maybe I do not understand how this stuff works. No doubt i am stepping on some toes with this issue. However, i am not trying to offend, just to reconcile the declining average age of baptism with what I thought was distinctive about baptists.
  10. An article found in the Gospel Coalition site reported that two hundred years ago no baptist church would baptize anyone younger than 18. Ages have declined steadily and now kids as young as eight or ten are being baptized. We have all heard stories about adults who said their childhood baptisms had more to do with peer pressure than actual conversion and they did not consider them to be valid. Yet the practice continues. Kids are not becoming emotionally mature at younger ages; just the opposite. Many are childish while in college. When ten-year-olds are baptized in baptist churches, we must conclude that the difference between catholic churches and baptist churches is only 10 (10 minus zero is 10). This is not much of a difference and while i understand that an exceptional child might be able to make a serious informed commitment at a young age, most cannot. This is disturbing. Presbyterians, like Baptists, do not believe baptism saves, but they go ahead and baptize babies anyway, then later they give the kids a confirmation class and have them standup in front of the church. They get the process done backwards but they get it done. Is this any worse than baptizing a ten year old? Some Grace dispensationalists say that Paul stopped baptizing after he stopped going to the Jews and the gentile church does not need to do that anymore. Honestly, I would be more comfortable in a church that does not baptize at all than in one that baptizes babies or small children. Sorry for the long post but I am curious as to what others will say about child baptisms and the declining age of baptism.
  11. Today i listened to a baptist sermon from Oak Creek WI. Pretty sure the preacher was saying that being born again is an experience that you should be able to remember. Perhaps not the exact day but likely the year and the place. If so, then that sounds like more than “scripture alone.” If becoming a saved Christian requires an experience, then this is “scripture +”. He also said a changed lifestyle is necessary to show the person really has converted. For that reason, he wants both a testimony and a delay as well as catechism prior to baptism and acceptance into church membership. I wonder how many Independent baptist pastors would agree. Can every saved Christian recall a conversion experience? And how long do you want to wait before you baptize?
  12. Ukelelmike, Another issue is declining literacy. I teach grad students online and can attest that degree inflation along with the digital culture has greatly reduced reading comprehension. People cannot read, understand or remember even one page of instructions. How then can they be expected to read and comprehend the bible? Attention spans, including my own, have shortened. People need preaching more than ever but preachers must learn to keep it short.
  13. Many of the first Christians would not have known about Christ from scripture. The average gentile would not have been intimately familiar with Hebrew scripture. They might have been illiterate. They learned about Christ from a preacher. Paul asked, how will they know if someone does not tell them? After hearing and believing, the indwelling Holy Spirit helped them understand. Maybe we should say the truth is found in scripture and accurate preaching is based on scripture but reading scripture is not the only way to reach truth. Scripture- based preaching is reinforced by the Spirit.
  14. Are Amish and old order mennonites all rigidly living the same lifestyle? It might look that way from the outside but I don’t think so. Amish bicycles can be found hidden behind a bar. The young people have been known to leave home in proper clothes then change later. History books report that when starting a new farm, the Amish would quickly make a moonshine still. Amish weddings sometimes have a unofficial drinking location. And everyone has heard about bundling, i assume. Girls got pregnant. So, Amish are people like everyone else. But when they get in trouble they standup in church and confess. The community helps. Old Overholt rye whisky was started by a Mennonite. the first reason for primitive lifestyle is to avoid contamination by a fallen world. another reason back in Europe was persecution. Might as well make a virtue out of necessity. Now it is tradition and also separation from the world.
  15. Salyan, Sorry if i misquoted you. Regarding Poor Lazarus, i still sense some poetic license was used. Why do they have bodies? How can they talk to each other across a Chasm?
  16. Salyan, What you wrote makes sense to me. ”I would suggest that just because we have a cultural understanding that hell=the ultimate lake of fire does not mean that is the correct understanding. The unrighteous dead are in Hades now, and will ultimately be in the lake of fire, so I can see where the connection has risen (I wonder whether Mark 9 is referring to this logical progression, rather than a single event).” So hell is the correct English word if we do not define it as the lake of fire or as eternal. This view resolves a big discrepancy between popular views of the afterlife and what the bible actually says. Most people seem to assume that after death believers go straight to heaven and others go straight to eternal damnation. You also wrote that per Ecclesiastes the dead are not conscious. This contradicts the story about poor Lazarus and suggests it might be at least partly a parable. You also wrote that Mark 9 might be collapsing a progression of steps when it says we either enter the Kingdom at death or go to the eternal fire. Maybe it all comes down to how you interpret Revelations.
  17. The KJV seems to use the word hell where other versions use Sheol or hades. This is from ESV. Psalm 16:10. 10 For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol, or let your holy one see corruption.[a] Kjv. 10 For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. akjv 10 For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. Ecclesiastes paints a much different picture of the state of the dead (Sheol) than we normally associate with hell. There is no lake of fire or eternal torture in Sheol. Even though the situation is now different since the resurrection, it looks like the correct word in the OT should be Sheol. Ecclesiastes 9:5 For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten. 6 Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the sun. in luke 16:23 kjv says hell and esv says hades. This is about poor Lazarus and the rich man. It takes place prior to the resurrection. Should we conclude that kjv is wrong on this one issue?
  18. Paul Christian, Of course you are right that works have nothing to do with being saved. Any who put their trust in works are following a different gospel. If the relationship language implies works, then i will be cautious about using it. Be assured, i do not hear voices in my head. However, i do trust that He is with me always and that is a great feeling.
  19. Alan, your devotional is very nice. David clearly had a personal relationship with God. Your comment is interesting about how the language about a personal relationship with Jesus might be confused with how the charismatics approach religion. I can see that. On the other hand, charismatics seem to strive for exciting intense experiences. Also they stress experience with the Holy Spirit and seem to push Jesus off into a corner. The issue for us might boil down to this choice: is our relationship with Jesus entirely intellectual or does it feel personal? Is love a feeling? My reading of Ephesians 3 suggests to me that Paul knew believers might not go beyond intellectual assent but he prayed that they would. Ephesians 3:16-19 King James Version (KJV) 16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; 17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. Have a happy Thanksgiving!
  20. http://www.hccentral.com/magazine/rohrer1.html The link has some thoughts i had on house churches a few years ago. The website contains some thoughtful info. It is generally baptist in thinking and certainly independent but not IFB.
  21. Down below is pasted an extract from the Unitarian Universalism Association. As you can see, they do not believe Christianity has a unique claim to truth. The UUA is not a large organization, but the way they view spiritual truth is common in mainline denominations. Furthermore, interfaith events, designed to reduce conflict between religions, seek to minimize the important differences between faiths. It looks to me like interfaithism is becoming the one-world religion. Certainly it is common in North America. Weddings and other events organized by trendy, sophisticated, affluent, liberals are careful to avoid offending non Christian attendees by omitting any reference to Christ, the bible or even God. I realize some of us view the Roman Catholic Church as the one-world religion we are warned against, but i suspect interfaithism is the better candidate. The good news, from my perspective, is that the false veneer of Christianity is being shed by all the fakers. As Christianity becomes more socially unacceptable, it will become more pure. In Unitarian Universalism, you can bring your whole self: your full identity, your questioning mind, your expansive heart. By creating meaningful communities that draw from many wisdom traditions, and more, we are embodying a vision “beyond belief:” a vision of peace, love, and understanding. We have more than one way of experiencing the world and understanding the sacred. What we call our "Living Tradition" draws from six sources of inspiration from scripture to poetry to modern-day heroes. How do you experience the world? How do you make meaning? What beliefs and traditions are yours? Explore the links below to learn how Unitarian Universalists weave these traditions and identities into who they are today. Atheist and Agnostic Buddhist Christian Earth-Centered Hindu Humanist Jewish Muslim What Unites Us? We are united in our broad and inclusive outlook, and in our values, as expressed in our seven Principles. We are united in shared experience: our open and stirring worship services, religious education, and rites of passage; our work for social justice; our quest to include the marginalized; our expressions of love. We are building an action-oriented community, bridging races, religions, and creeds with a shared desire to make faith, religion, and spirituality verbs. What we do with our beliefs is important. It’s how we "walk" our "talk," how we make our faith real.
  22. Some of us may assume that all Christians believe a personal relationship with Jesus is important, but many pastors have pushed back against this idea, equating it to having an imaginary friend. Even the Gospel Coalition site has published articles against personal relationship language. A web search turns up a stress on the personal relationship with Jesus on many baptist church websites, but dig deeper and you will not see it mentioned on their What We Believe page. A couple of years ago i called up a local baptist pastor and asked him why this is so. He snapped at me: What are you, the webpage police? Ouch. The personal relationship language implies some sense of directly knowing Him. It is experiential and fulfilling. To many believers, that feeling makes them Christians and gives meaning to their lives. The spirit of Christ abides in us and we in Him. Anyway, i would like to know how many users of this site believe a personal relationship with Jesus is both possible and important.
  23. It seems to me that most believers are guided by scripture but in their hearts they feel scripture is confirmed by the Spirit. Still, we know we cannot trust feelings. John seems to acknowledge that perceptions of guidance and insight from the Spirit are real when confirmed by scripture. We have two witnesses: scripture and the Spirit. They confirm each other. 1 John 4:2 Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: Scripture is the proof that the feeling is valid. But without the involvement of the heart, how can we love Christ? i call this Sola Scriptura, but others might disagree. The following is copied from the Wikipedia article on Sola Scriptura. It shows that while some of the Reformers felt scripture is authenticated by the witness of the Spirit, some baptists would disagree. ”Sola scriptura is a formal principle of many Protestant Christian denominations, and one of the five solae. It was a foundational doctrinal principle of the Protestant Reformation held by many of the Reformers, who taught that authentication of scripture is governed by the discernible excellence of the text as well as the personal witness of the Holy Spirit to the heart of each man. Some evangelical and Baptist denominations state the doctrine of sola scriptura more strongly: scripture is self-authenticating, clear (perspicuous) to the rational reader, its own interpreter ("Scripture interprets Scripture"), and sufficient of itself to be the final authority of Christian doctrine.[1] “
  24. Robycop, Here is one answer to your question. Sometimes a person thinks the Spirit is speaking to him. This could be valid if the message is confirmed by scripture. Sola scriptura means we believe what scripture clearly says we should believe and try to do what scripture clearly says we should do. We try to not do what scripture clearly says we should not do. A corollary of sola sciptura is that we are not bound by traditions that are not definitively required in scripture. This argues against patternism. Patternism is the procedure followed by the churches of Christ. They try to follow the patterns they see in the New Testament , even if such are not explicitly required, and try to avoid doing anything in worship they do not see in the NT, even if such are not explicitly prohibited. Eg, using a musical instrument or having a rummage sale in the basement of the church. Did i get that right?
  25. Correct me if I am mistaken, but scripture appears to be silent on whether we should be baptized backward or forward, as long as the procedure involves immersion/submersion/dipping. My German Dunkard ancestors were baptized three times forward. That seems to be tradition, as is one time backwards in other churches. Are IBC pastors neutral about the choice? When I was baptized, it was one time backwards, but forwards would appear to be more comfortable.
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