Baptism

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Gold Dragon, Nov 4, 2005.

  1. Gold Dragon

    Gold Dragon
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    This is a continued discussion from the New Church thread.

    Todd, I believe the baptism is very important and commanded in scripture of all Christians.

    Yes the anabaptists and the early separatists baptists were persecuted for their position on baptism and ridiculed for the mode they used.

    And yes while it is an important baptist issue to care about the mode of baptism, I don't think it is an important Christian issue to care about the mode. I consider myself Christian first and Baptist second.

    As for baptism being symbolic, that may be true. But I think there is bibical support for non-symbolic views of baptism and will not easily dismiss those verses.
     
  2. Todd

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    Gold Dragon, if you are suggesting that there are some in this world who are Christians though they've never been baptized by immersion, I'm in full agreement with you. There are some well-meaning Christians who have never been baptized, many of whom were brought up in Methodist and Presbyterian churches. Because of the teaching of those who's leadership they trusted, they've never received Christian baptism. Like you said, someone can be a Christian without being Baptist (however misguided they may be).

    As for the verses that support non-symbolic views of baptism, would you mind listing them? I'm afraid I'm not aware of any. If baptism is not a picture of one's death to the old life and resurrection to newness of life in Christ, what is it?

    With your view of one's mode of baptism, I'm curious to know how you would counsel a Methodist or Presbyterian about baptism if you were the Pastor of a Baptist church and that person wanted to join your church. Would you be satisfied with their sprinkling? Don't you think that believer's baptism is an important discipleship issue? If not, are you suggesting that we separate believer's baptism from church membership, making it more of an option than a requirement for new converts and those coming from a different denomination? It seems that in your attempt to be somewhat non-confrontational on the issue, you might be opening Pandora's Box instead.
     
  3. Gold Dragon

    Gold Dragon
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    Agreed. Although I would probably include some more groups that you probably wouldn't and we both know who they are. Let's not go there yet. ;)

    Most definitely. We have had several discussions about this before so I'm quoting myself from a previous thread.

    The biblical association of baptism with the forgiveness of sins is undeniable.

    NASB - Mark 16:16 He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned.

    NASB - Acts 2:28 Peter said to them, "Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

    NASB - Acts 22:16 Now why do you delay? Get up and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on His name.

    There are other passages that suggest something more than mere symbolism happening in baptism.

    NASB - Romans 6:4 Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.

    NASB - Galatians 3:27 For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.

    NASB - 1 Peter 3:21 Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you--not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience--through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,

    While I believe many of the non-symbolic theologies of baptism out there go beyond the text, I would say that symbolic baptism also does not do the text justice.

    It is definitely a picture of that and a beautiful one. Greater recognition of that imagery is actually encouraging the RCC and EOC to build more baptistries because of greater demand for immersion baptisms from more adult converts.

    I personally would be although it would of course depend on the church constitution more than my views. My father was baptised by pouring as an adult. He was a member and leader in our church long before he was "rebaptized" by immersion to satisfy our constitutional requirements for deaconship. While that may have been simply an oversight, it in no way impacted his role as a member and leader.

    I hope you understand I have never challenged the idea of believer's baptism in any of my posts. Believer's baptism can also be performed by pouring/sprinkling.
     
  4. Todd

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    GD, are you suggesting a works salvation? Obviously, I would interpret the verses you listed above much differently because I believe that salvation is "by grace through faith...not of works" (Eph. 2:8-9). If baptism has some sort of salvific power, then faith alone in Christ's completed work at Calvary is not sufficient for salvation, is it? Again, I ask, are you advocating a works salvation?

    Again, I find it hard to believe that a Baptist has no problem separating believer's baptism from church membership. How can we have fellowship with those who are not willing to be obedient to one of the foundational commands of Scripture (receiving believer's baptism)? Our church does indeed state that a Christian coming from a different denomination must receive believer's baptism before they can become a member of our church. That may have kept one or two from joining, but let me be quite frank - I really don't want folks joining our church who aren't interested in being obedient to one of the NT's most foundational commands.

    Show me one place in the Word of God where it is performed through pouring/sprinkling, and I will gladly concede that point. What you will find time and again is that those who received Christ then participated in baptism by immersion as their public profession of faith. One need to only look at the Book of Acts to see this plainly (beliver's at Pentecost, Etheopian eunech, etc.). Furthermore, the Greek term for baptize in God's Word is baptizo , a word that is near always translated as immersion in the NT. I would submit that it is always translated that way when it is used in reference to baptism.
     
  5. Johnv

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    I have great respect for the institution of baptism, but it cannot be denied that we Baptists have institutionalized and edified baptism almost to the point of legalism.
     
  6. Gold Dragon

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    I'm not at all saying anything about salvation by works. I'm am trying to be honest about what scripture says about baptism.


    Again you are confusing believer's baptism with believer's baptism by immersion.

    That is great. And my father was obedient to this foundational command and recieved believer's baptism before joining a baptist church. That believer's baptism was not by immersion.

    Yes. Baptism was practiced by immersion in biblical times and the Greek word baptizo can be translated as immersion. It was never performed by sprinklink/pouring in the bible. I would never try to convince you otherwise of any of these points.
     
  7. Todd

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    Johnv, I'm not saying that there aren't some churches that have become legalistic about baptism ("you must be baptized in our church," etc.). Yet, I don't think that a de-emphasis of the doctrine is the solution. I think the formulation of a biblical doctrine of baptism is the direction the churches must seek to go in. If churches would begin to consult God's Word rather than their traditions or opinion polls in regard to baptism, church membership would be handled much better in our Baptist churches.
     
  8. Johnv

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    I personally believe that even requiring baptism for membership is approaching legalism. There's no scriptural support for baptism as a prerequisite. When I got baptised, I was attending a church that didn't require it for membership. I was there for, I believe, several months before I got baptized. And it wasn't some "fancy church" affair. It was a private and intimate setting with a few of my friends in the pacific ocean. If I had been told "you can't be a member unless you're baptized", I likely would have left that church. We have turned what is supposed to be an intimate and personal thing into a litmus test. It's ridiculous, imo.
    I do indeed agree.
     
  9. Todd

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    Yet, in all due respect, in your attempts at honesty, you have asserted that the Scripture teaches a works salvation (someone must be baptized in order to be saved). That was clearly the hermeneutical method you used in interpreting the earlier passages you quoted. That's quite alarming, isn't it?

    And to you I would respond by saying that there is no other type of believer's baptism contained within the pages of the NT. Show me one occasion where a believer is baptized by some other means and I'll concede the point.

    Then I would have to say that your dad's baptism was not a biblical one until he joined the Baptist church by participating in baptism by immersion. He may have had some ceremonial type of observance, but he was never baptized. You may see this as a difference of semantics, but I see it as a foundational biblical issue that can't be avoided.

    Your reply begs the question: Why then would you receive someone as a member of a Christian church who is not willing to practice baptism the biblical way? It appears that you want to have your cake and eat it to. In one breath you say that baptism by immersion is the biblical model, but in the next you say that it is really of no consequence when it comes to church membership. Is it or is it not important in regard to one's church membership? I don't see where there is any room for riding the fence on this issue, but I could be wrong.
     
  10. Gold Dragon

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    I would agree. We should consult God's Word rather than baptist traditions on mode or symbolism.
     
  11. Gold Dragon

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    If that is so clear, please quote my words on this.

    Nope there is no example of any other mode of baptism in the bible. Just like there is no example of using Welch's grape juice for communion in the bible.

    My point is that I consider believer's baptism (as in non-infant baptism) to be just as important as you do. My difference is on the importance of the mode, so let's focus on the mode and what the bible has to say about it.

    I would say that they did practice baptism in the biblical way. And in the biblical way, the mode is not what is important. I know you and most baptists would disagree with me on this and that is ok in my books, but obviously not in yours.

    I would say the whole idea of church membership is not addressed in the bible. My church requires baptism for membership, but that is baptist tradition and not necessarily based on anything biblical.
     
  12. jarhed

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    I would say the whole idea of church membership is not addressed in the bible. My church requires baptism for membership, but that is baptist tradition and not necessarily based on anything biblical. [/QB][/QUOTE]

    It seems that the problem here is that one side is arguing from the viewpoint of scripture, the other just needs to read it once in a while. I Cor. 12 spends its entire context on Members of the local body at Corinth. Those that gladly rec. the word are to be baptized and JOIN the local church. That is just Bible. As far as mode, well, that is quite simple: ICor.11:2 states that we are to keep the ordinances as they were delivered. Contextually the meaning is CLEAR and exhaustive to Baptism and the Lord's Supper...DON'T CHANGE THEM and THEY BELONG TO THE CHURCH...not to me. I have no right to touch them, just obey them under the auspices of the local church. Anything else is just someones opinion (teaching for the doctrines of the God the commandments of men).
     
  13. Gold Dragon

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    This passage is about membership into the body of Christ and the use of spiritual gifts within that body.

    The words 'local' and 'baptize' are not found in this passage.

    The mode of baptism is not a tradition that Paul has been recorded as delivering to the Corinthians.
     
  14. jarhed

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    This passage is about membership into the body of Christ and the use of spiritual gifts within that body.

    The words 'local' and 'baptize' are not found in this passage.

    The mode of baptism is not a tradition that Paul has been recorded as delivering to the Corinthians.
    </font>[/QUOTE]I Cor. 11:2 "Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordnances, as I delivered them to you." (I wonder if the meanings change with the MV's...hmmm) The ordnances are two, Baptism and The Lord's Supper.

    If your interpretation is to jerk ICor12 out of the book and try and make it apply to some cosmic universal church, then I believe, Sir, that the most honest thing for you to do is take the name Baptist off of your signpost. The context of the entire BOOK is an address to the local church at Corinth and is mostly a rebuke (with some exhortation) as to thier mishandling of church polity at the local level. "THE CHURCH" (church means ASSEMBLY or GATHERING...not invisible body, just like BAPTIZO means immerse or submerge) which you are speaking of is the Bride of Christ and will not be assembled until the Rapture. Your theology is far more covenential and protestant than baptist, with all due respect.
     
  15. Gold Dragon

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    I would have quoted the KJV to make my point if I knew you were KJVO. My point still stands in the KJV.

    But yes, Baptist tradition states that there are two ordinances which may have been what Paul is referring to. If baptism was one of them, he never delivered any teachings about its mode.

    You are welcome to eisegete Corinthians by reading the word local where none exists to support baptist tradition. I will not make such a mockery of God's holy and authoritative word. If the choice is to dishonestly read God's word or lose the label baptist, I gladly choose to lose the label baptist.

    Again, if the choice is to be biblical or baptist, I gladly choose biblical.
     
  16. jarhed

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    It is LOCAL...that is the only possible reading of the context. BAPTIZE MEANS to submerge/immerse. When coupled with words such as BURIED, death (down), and RAISED and Resurrection (up) in Romans 6, the sense of scripture is plain. If the word defines itself, the attending verbage does so the more as a second, third and fourth witness. It would well to be very careful, in light of your earlier "private interpretation" of certain vss in Acts, and your interesting reinterpretation of ICor. as well as redefinition of Bible terms, who you accuse of being "Baptist instead of Bible." You are definitely not standing on the shoulders of giants here in your interesting approach to bibliology. I'll leave now, at the risk of being accused some more of not believing the bible by such a scholar as yourself. You have the floor. Enjoy.
     
  17. Gold Dragon

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  18. Plain Old Bill

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    So Golden Dragon if I understand you corectly,"it is more important to be a Christian then it is to be a Baptist".If that is correct [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  19. Sularis

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    Just a note - that there are verses in the NT that support sprinkling - 2 directly if i recall - more indirectly - but lets see if ya'll can find em

    But as to pouring thats not in the new testament directly although an argument could be made

    for the modes of sprinkling and pouring see OT - which at last check was still part of the Bible
     
  20. rlvaughn

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    Gold Dragon, since you indicate you believe that the baptismal practice of John, Jesus and the apostles was immersion, by what means do you arrive at the conclusion that sprinking and pouring are also acceptable forms of baptism? Thanks.
     

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