Is Foot Washing an Ordinance at Your Church?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by righteousdude2, Apr 28, 2012.

  1. righteousdude2

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    We take for granted that water (by submersion) baptism, and communion are ordinances observed at most Evangelical churches. But, I was wondering how many churches practice the ordinance of foot washing the week between Palm Sunday and Easter?

    And what Scripture do you use to support this as an ordinance?

    Just thinking, maybe some of you can fill in the lbanks!!! :thumbsup:
     
  2. convicted1

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    In the ORB's, each church set aside one day a year to wash feet. Some do this on the saturday of that church's business meeting(later that day), and some on that sunday. My home church does this on the first weekend of August, the sunday after the first saturday of August. Other ORBs do theirs at other times, so we can actually wash feet many times in one year.


    John 13 is what we get this from.........
     
  3. Tom Butler

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    My church does not practice footwashing as an ordinance.

    Part of the reason is that it does not fit the symbolism of the other two ordinances--both of which are pictures of the gospel. Death, burial, resurrection.

    I have no problem with footwashing as a symbol of humility toward our brothers and sisters, but do not see it as a requirement in the same way baptism and the Lord's Supper are.
     
  4. preachinjesus

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    No. Foot washing isn't an ordinance.
     
  5. RG2

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    If I recall correctly Free Will Baptists practice it as an ordinance.
     
  6. InTheLight

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    OK, it's not an ordinance. But why don't most Baptists practice it? Jesus says we should and that we will be blessed.

    John 13
    14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16 Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.

    So why don't we do this?
     
  7. rsr

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    I've heard this argument before, Tom, and it seems to be a bit circular: Baptism and the Lord's Support are defined as ordinances, and thus they become the litmus test for other ordinances. However, if you a priori decide that feetwashing were an ordinance, you could reconstruct common symbolism around those three just as easily.

    Not all Primitive confessions recognize feetwashing to be an ordinance on the same level as baptism and communion; some do, while others say it is an example to be followed, which has the practical effect of making it an ordinance.

    Now, I am not convinced that it is an ordinance in the same way that baptism and communion are, but I think you can make a case for it, especially as an essential element of communion, which is its historical context.

    It is also true that Baptists have not universally limited the number of ordinances to two; the Philadelphia Confession, which was widely influential in the 17th and 18th centuries, went so far as to make hymn singing an ordinance.

    Benjamin Keach considered not only baptism and communion but also preaching and prayer to be ordinances.
     
  8. mont974x4

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    I have not been in a church that sees foot washing as an ordinance. I was researching one today to see if I should candidate to be their associate pastor and it does see it as an ordinance. Everything else looked very good, except that. I chose not to candidate.
     
  9. convicted1

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    :thumbs::thumbs::thumbs::thumbs:
     
  10. righteousdude2

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    Willis....

    ...if we were ever to share a service together, it would be my honor to wash your feet. You are a humble soul, and one I feel a close fellowship with.
     
  11. Jim1999

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    IF I walked either bare-foot or in sandals, no socks, on a sandy desert and streets, then I might find foot-washing a significant practice, just as the men wore gowns in those days.

    Ordinance? Never was and never will be, in my opinion.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  12. HAMel

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    OK, it's not an ordinance. But why don't most Baptists practice it? Jesus says we should and that we will be blessed.

    John 13


    Is there any record of any of the Apostles washing any other's feet, ever?
     
  13. Jerome

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    I think you're onto something—it does seems to be an Appalachian innovation/custom.
     
  14. Van

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    Like hand shakes rather than kissing, our cultural barrier to foot washing seems high. But a Pastor I studied under in the past argued for car washing. And he suggested washing his car as a fellowship opportunity. :)
     
  15. Tom Butler

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    That cracked me up!
     
  16. Old Union Brother

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    It is not just an Appalachian inovation/custom....From the Philadelphia Baptist Association minutes of 1771
    5. To. a query from Dividing Creek, relative to washing the saints' feet, the following reply was made This query being founded on John 13:1-17, can no otherwise be determined than by fixing the genuine sense of that Scripture, which to do is earnestly recommended.
     
  17. TCassidy

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    1. Foot washing is not an ordinance. The issue is only mentioned in John 13 (if it were an ordinance it would be in all 4 gospels) and it is not reiterated in the Epistles.

    2. Most people fail to understand what Jesus was teaching. When we are saved we are completely cleansed from sin. There is nothing further needed, nor even possible. Jesus was only talking to His own in chapters 13 through 17. This was not public but private ministry. He was reminding them of the ministry of the priests in the OT tabernacle. The most beautiful building imaginable, lined with fine linen. But the floor was dirt. The priests would pick up the dust and dirt of the floor during their daily ministrations in the tabernacle. They did need to repeat the ceremonial cleansing done prior to assuming their daily ministrations. All that was needed was an occasional washing of the feet, which was the purpose of the brazen laver.

    Jesus was telling His disciples that, although all their sins were forgiven, they still needed to daily cleanse the dirt picked up during daily ministry "in the world" but not of it.

    By illustrating this with washing the feet of others He was telling them that as they ministered together they would experience getting some of the dust and dirt of the world in their lives. Not only should they be careful to keep themselves cleansed from such daily sin, but, and here is the point of washing the feet of others, they were to forgive one another their sins and short comings so they can continue to minister together in unity of purpose.

    We are to practice what was being illustrated, not the illustration itself. We are to be forgiving of one another.
     
  18. 12strings

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    I know Grace Brethren churches practice footwashing, and also a triple-dunk baptism (father, son, Holy Spirit).

    I would have no problem going to such a church, as nearly everything else they believe is very baptistic...I think those 2 things could be seen in scripture, and so it is not a division issue for me.
     
  19. mont974x4

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    It became a weekly joke when I was teaching the teens to try and get them to wash my truck. I would slip it in at the oddest times to make sure they were listening.
     
  20. Jon-Marc

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    Jesus didn't command that we wash one another's feet; He was simply showing that His followers are to be humble and not to be too proud to lower ourselves to doing even the lowest of deeds or jobs for Him.
     

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