Footwashing: do we obey Jesus and do it?

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by vaspers, Feb 24, 2004.

  1. vaspers

    vaspers
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2004
    Messages:
    608
    Likes Received:
    0
    Jesus commands us to wash each other's feet in John 13:5-14.

    Jesus praised a woman who washed His feet with her hair and tears in Luke 7:38-46.

    I have never been in a footwashing service, but is it considered "charismatic" or what?

    Why don't churches follow this command?

    I've heard it is humbling and displays love and meekness, the servant attitude. I'm kinda new here and don't mean to dredge up a topic that's played out. But I want my church to consider doing this. It sure is unique to Christianity and believe me, we could use a little more ceremony, to make things more vivid, not as "saving sacraments" but as expressions of.... [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  2. Watchman

    Watchman
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2003
    Messages:
    2,706
    Likes Received:
    0
    You have raised an interesting question that, frankly I don't have answers for. I've been 31 years in the Lord have have only heard of it done once!
    I think one problem is perhaps it is viewed as a little less that a command:

    If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also OUGHT to wash one anothers feet.

    The "OUGHT" perhaps is seen here as less than a command, and more as a suggestion; Something that is a demonstration of love.
    My two cents!
     
  3. Don

    Don
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2000
    Messages:
    10,547
    Likes Received:
    212
    Jesus did not command us to wash each other's feet. He said, "ye ought to....", as opposed to "Love thy neighbor". See the difference?

    Your reference ended with verse 14; you need to ensure you include verses 15 and 16:

    Joh 13:15 For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.
    Joh 13:16 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him.

    The lesson to be learned was to not become too full of ourselves, and start thinking we're better than others.

    By all means, feel free to have a foot-washing service. The Free Will Baptists consider foot-washing a commandment, and think of it as important as baptism and the Lord's Supper.

    But I personally believe that if anyone is going to wash feet, it ought to be the pastors.
     
  4. dianetavegia

    dianetavegia
    Expand Collapse
    Guest

    I agree that this was not a command to wash the feet of others but is a lesson on an 'attitude of our heart'.

    We don't walk in open sandals to go to church or visit our friends. Our legs and feet are not dusty from the trip. We don't have assigned servants in our homes and churches to wash the feet of those coming in. Greeting someone at the front of the church, taking their coat and umbrella, helping them find their way to a Sunday School class is all an attitude of servitude.

    Diane
     
  5. Greg Linscott

    Greg Linscott
    Expand Collapse
    <img src =/7963.jpg>

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2004
    Messages:
    521
    Likes Received:
    0
    I believe that the footwashing command is not supported in Scripture as an ordinance. The practice of it is seen in Scripture, but the command is certainly not established and confirmed in the NT in the manner that baptism and communion are. In fact, if we wanted to split hairs, the resoning you have of practicing footwashing an an ordinance could also be applied to Christian communal living:

    The command-

    Matthew 19:21- Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.

    The confirmation-

    Acts 2:44 And all that believed were together, and had all things common;

    Acts 4:32 And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.

    Acts 4:34-37 Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, And laid them down at the apostles’ feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need. And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation,) a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus, Having land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the apostles’ feet.

    Of course, this is not the pattern by which God intends all Christians to live by.
     
  6. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2001
    Messages:
    5,140
    Likes Received:
    25
    vaspers, in addition to this thread, you would probably enjoying reading two other threads:

    The History of Feet Washing
    The Theology of Feet Washing

    These are in the 2002 Archives, so I think you have to be logged on to access the links.

    I find it interesting that over the years I have heard a lot of people key in on the word "ought" in arguing against the practive of feet washing. It is not in the imperative form as "Love thy neighbor", but ought does mean having an obligation. "Ought" in English or "opheilo" in Greek (as in John 13:14) does not imply it is something we can take or leave. If we use the sentence "You ought to love your neighbor", it means you have an obligation, even though it is not in the command (imperative) form of speech.

    So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. - Eph. 5:28 (Love your wives.)
    Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. - I John 4:11 (Love one another.)

    The literal practice of feet washing does not hinge on the word "ought". We OUGHT (are obligated) to do whatever this verse teaches - whether it is literal feet washing, figurative feet washing or BOTH.
     
  7. timothy 1769

    timothy 1769
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2002
    Messages:
    1,323
    Likes Received:
    0
    This practice is common amongst Mennonites who also practice the holy kiss, headcoverings and other forgotten commands of the Bible.
     
  8. donnA

    donnA
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2000
    Messages:
    23,354
    Likes Received:
    0
    In line with the rest of scripture, these verses are teaching us to have a servants attitude, that we are not better then others, to serve others, without a grudge, but willingly, with gladness. In another verse Jesus said He came not to be served, but to serve. If we are to do like Him, when comparing these two passages, then we are to be servants,with the attitude about serving like Jesus had.
    You also have to take into account (as has already been mentioned) that they wore sandals, and walked in dirt, it was common and a good host to have a servant to wash the feet of visitors. None took on this servants job, so Jesus demonstrated a servants attitude to them and did the servants job for them. To ignore this and say it is only about foot washing is to ignore proper bible interpretation.
    But nothing wrong with washing feet either, as long as the lesson intended is also learned.
     
  9. donnA

    donnA
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2000
    Messages:
    23,354
    Likes Received:
    0
    Second thought, I don't recall there being anything in the epistles about washing feet(a command), but we are taught to serve.
     
  10. Precepts

    Precepts
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2003
    Messages:
    1,890
    Likes Received:
    0
    All I can say is set a date, but make sure everyone understands it is voluntary and not commanded. But by all means if you see there are troubles in the fellowship of your local assembly give it a shot, making sure evryone understands that men wash the men's feet, and women wash the women's feet. I would also set a sort of time limit to just simply bow down in humility and take the towel and gently wash the others feet, being it every man washing the other man's feet, each having their turn. By all means keeping their clothes on except the feet and maybe 1/2 of the calf.

    I don't believe it is commanded, but is not disallowed either, if anything footwashing is recommended. It has spiritual aspects that far outweigh anything as the literal aspect as Diane and others describe.

    Be ready for godly emotions to be prevelent in a foot washing service, I have never even seen one, but I have heard much from those who have participated in one.

    Most people don't like to show their emotions, but sometimes it takes somebody getting all emotional to get to the hardened heart of another individual, just look at Gethsemane for instance, see the heart of Jesus broken and as He sweat as it were great drops of blood in anguish over lost sinners dying and going to hell.

    Yall can write it all of as some type of charismatic garbage if you want, but it's not, just ask yourself how dead is my church?

    We've got the Truth as Baptists, and the charismatics run with wild fire and are stealing the very elect from under our noses while we sit around and debate over our petty little vices, mean as a snake and full of the devil in most cases. :eek:
    I think I feel that preaching mode coming on again! [​IMG]
     
  11. vaspers

    vaspers
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2004
    Messages:
    608
    Likes Received:
    0
    Jesus: "ye SHOULD do AS I HAVE DONE" What is so non-commanding about that? It's funny how OUGHT now means "maybe, maybe not" or "just a suggestion, take it or leave it." Jesus also said we OUGHT to love one another. is that a take or leave it thing also?

    NOt being legalistic here. I have no idea to argue. Just seeeking truth.

    I'm about to leave current church. Maybe try a Primitive Baptist or Free Will Baptist, check out the compassionate foot washing deal. Any thoughts? Are there any other "forgotten" commands, like "forbid not to speak in tongues" that we Baptists or Christians are neglecting?

    NO, I'm not a "charimatic", I'm Baptist Sunday school teacher, Benny Hinn is repulsive to me, but I spoke in tongues for many years privately in prayer, but quit a few years ago due to uncertainty I was doing it correctly.
     
  12. dianetavegia

    dianetavegia
    Expand Collapse
    Guest

    So, Vaspers, If I come to your house, you're going to wash my car, right? That's my mode of transportation and it sure would be dusty!

    Diane
     
  13. donnA

    donnA
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2000
    Messages:
    23,354
    Likes Received:
    0
    I wonder if he'll take off his cloths, wrap himself in a towel and wash my feet if we go to his house?
    Jesus said you should do what He did, then you must be washing people's feet,not just in church, which He wasn't in,so thats all wrong.(this was a custom to wash feet of visitors to your home in those days, Jesus was doing what was customary to demonstrate servanthood, so you must be doing it, right?)
     
  14. vaspers

    vaspers
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2004
    Messages:
    608
    Likes Received:
    0
    Love you bunches dianetavegia. You make me laugh, and I need to laugh, the junk that's going on in my church and life right now. Thank you dear sister. I have a virtual church family here on Baptist Board and I would never do anything to jeopardize this precious opportunity here. keep me smiling and LOLing you blessed sister! [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  15. dianetavegia

    dianetavegia
    Expand Collapse
    Guest

    Mary also broke open her alabaster box and poured her 'dowry', her precious perfume on the feet of Jesus.

    Vaspers said: but I spoke in tongues for many years privately in prayer, but quit a few years ago due to uncertainty I was doing it correctly. If this gift was given by the Holy Spirit, how could you be doing it wrong?

    Diane
     
  16. Johnv

    Johnv
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2001
    Messages:
    21,321
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think there's a point being missed. Jesus commands us to serve one another. Washing feet is an example of that. Footwashing then had a certain cultural significance that we do not share, so to say we're to literally engage in footwashing is quite legalistic, and completely misses the point of Jesus' message. Diane referrs to the "attitude of the heart", which is right on target.
     
  17. Don

    Don
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2000
    Messages:
    10,547
    Likes Received:
    212
    Vaspers, go back and read what I said about you cutting the reference off too soon.

    Read the entire passage, not just the part that seems to support footwashing as a commandment.
     
  18. menageriekeeper

    menageriekeeper
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2004
    Messages:
    7,152
    Likes Received:
    0
    No one should get to caught up in the ceremony of foot washing. As has been said before Christ was giving us an example of how we should be willing to serve each other.

    I attended a Free Will Baptist church for quite a while in my youth (think dark ages). There was the occasional communion followed by footwashing (I don't believe there was alway a foot washing with communion). While I didn't participate in the footwashing (Mama told me my feet were clean already!) I witnessed a few of them. The details are a bit hazy on the mechanics of how it was done but I do remember that not everyone participated. It was a voluntary thing, no one was ridiculed if they didn't. It was always done respectfully, to demonstrate the idea that we are all servants of God.
     
  19. Precepts

    Precepts
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2003
    Messages:
    1,890
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think there's a point being missed. Jesus commands us to serve one another. Washing feet is an example of that. Footwashing then had a certain cultural significance that we do not share, so to say we're to literally engage in footwashing is quite legalistic, and completely misses the point of Jesus' message. Diane referrs to the "attitude of the heart", which is right on target. </font>[/QUOTE]I wouldn't call it legalistic John. I would call it out of the ordinary. But what I fear those are missing about the passages showing Jesus as the Servant, is not that we should serve one another so much as we should "spiritually" wash one another's feet in a God invoked humility and not bring railing accusation against our brethren when they come in from the "fields". Like all the "judging" that is going on in churches. Jesus said, "As ye have seen me, this also do ye to one another". We can't help nut pick up some of the dirt and grime of the world and it's ways as we walk this pilgrim pathway, but we can control how we react to others when they come in the House of God, then we can truly and honestly serve one another, we can have true worship together, in spirit and truth.

    I wouldn't be dogmatic about ruling it out, just be ready for some one to come to you with that in their heart ready to humble them selves and to wash your feet, then be ready to humble yourself as well.
    [​IMG]
     
  20. HankD

    HankD
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2001
    Messages:
    15,144
    Likes Received:
    321
    28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.
    29 And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.
    30 And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.

    21 Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.
    HankD
     

Share This Page

Loading...