January 8, 2021
It’s all yours today…
November 7, 2017
March 20, 2013
August 4, 2013
I posted this on a couple of Lutheran Facebook sites – I will leave it here also.
“I lead a men’s group of about 30 – 35 men on Friday mornings. The question came up about Matt 28:19 “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,”
We recognize that Jesus was speaking to the 11 – but now the 11 are dead and gone, so who is to “go” “make disciples” and “baptize”? Do the 11 represent the Church? Can any Christian go and baptize? (I must say the question was brought up by an elder – a deacon took the position “any Christian” and a retired pastor said only called clergy.) What does this crowd think?”
Weel, since salvation is a work of God via the Holy Spirit and baptism is a testimony, I’d say clergy should baptize, if possible. No clergy? Then a fellow born again should officiate. .
An examination of the forms and history of baptism – a civil discussion – should benefit all…. Jesus was immersed, but He told Peter, if I wash your feet, that is sufficient.. Does anyone baptize feet?
OK, so I’m doing a thing. While there are already a number of podcasts based on the weekly lectionary, some are a little more produced for my taste. The one our priest used to listed to stopped recording last spring, so I decided I would take a crack at it. No frills, minimalistic, weekly collect and lectionary readings, plus a little meditation of my own at the end called “Connections to Consider.” Short and sweet. You can subscribe on all major platforms.
Good…I’ll give it a listen later…
All Christians are called to be royal priests. The keys are given to the entire church. Within a church, the congregation may call men to exercise the office of pastor. Other churches may have a different system, such as a bishop (episkopos) calling the pastor for a congregation. Both are fine. The principle in both cases is that no one calls himself.
If a church said, “at our church, the father may baptize his son or grandchild,” in a public ritual, it would be effectual and proper in that church.
Baptism accomplishes only what the Bible promises, which is nothing less than salvation. No where to my recollection is Baptism referred to as a testimony. That is a modern myth I write to debunk.
If one is free to trope or allegorize any word of Scripture that appeals to modern reason, then the Word of God is rendered ambiguous, subjective and ultimately unreliable.
A modern myth? Okay, but after redemption it is the answer of a good conscience toward God for some of us…. a simple act of first obedience….
Question here, how did we go from immersion (as Jesus was) to simply sprinkling?
If my neighbor or my child or my small group was reading his/her/their Bible and told me they had been reading and came across all these verses and wished to know what they mean,
“Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you,” or
“For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ,” or
“Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit,” or
“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish,” or
“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God,” or
“And now why do you wait? Rise and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on his name,’ or
“Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life,”
what authority, power or rationale do I have to say, “None of these verses (or many others) mean what they say. The words do not mean what they say.”
Would it not be the definition of anti-Christ behavior to deny the clear words of Christ?
These verses are not poetry; they are not apocalyptic, they are not heavenly visions; they are plain apostolic teaching. For probably 1500 years (and Duane can give us more detail if he wishes), no church father or orthodox church body allegorized baptism. I believe it began with Zwingli and coincided with Renaissance humanism.
Another question, what is the baptism of the Holy Spirit?
Not to be comprehensive, but briefly, “And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” It is God sending the Holy Spirit to a hearer of God’s Word to birth faith and a new creation.
MLD, From your theology, wouldn’t the question “what man has the qualifications to baptize (or place) someone in Christ?” be the same as your question? And does any man have that power?
Jean, you said, “It is God sending the Holy Spirit to a hearer of God’s Word to birth faith and a new creation.”
Where is water baptism in that?
Fair question. Let me begin with two examples from Scripture.
First is from the OT. The commander of the army of the king of Syria, a man named Naaman, was a leper. Naaman was told there was a prophet in Samaria who could cure him of his leprosy. So he traveled to Elisha the prophet.
“And Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, “Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored, and you shall be clean.”
After some back and forth, because initially the idea seemed far fetched to Naaman, he did precisely what Elisha said: “So he went down and dipped himself seven times in the Jordan, according to the word of the man of God, and his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.”
What cured Naaman? Was it (1) Naaman; (2) Elisha; (3) the water in the Jordan; or (4) the word of the prophet?
Similarly, there was Saul of Tarsus. After Ananias restored the sight of Saul, he told Paul:
“And now why do you wait? Rise and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on his name.”
Were Saul’s sins washed away by (1) Ananias, (2) Saul, (3) the baptismal water or (4) the word of God spoken to Saul by Ananias?
When Baptism is spoken of in the Bible, it is coupled with the Word of God, and more specifically with a promise from God. If you or I were lepers and dipped ourselves in the Jordan of our own volition, that water, like any other water, would not heal us. If I walk into to a church that has water in the font and start dipping my head in the water, that water, like any other water, would accomplish nothing in the sight of God.
Water without the Word of God is just H2O. It doesn’t save, regenerate or remit sins. However, by the same token, a promise that is not believed does not accomplish the promise either.
If I despise my Baptism and say, “I’m not going to be Baptized,” then I am not going to receive the gifts promised in Baptism. If I say, “I’m going to be Baptized but not to receive God’s promises, but just to demonstrate my obedience to him,” then I will not receive the gifts promised. God’s grace is received by faith.
But if God adds a promise to the water, then the water accomplishes whatever God promises, if we have faith.
Take Galatians 3, where Paul says, “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” What a powerful, wonderous promise. Do you believe that in Baptism you have been clothed in Christ? I do. Why else would Paul have said it? Why should we not believe it? Why should we not accept that gift and rejoice in it?
I understand that different traditions have different beliefs, but appreciate the opportunity to explain mine.
I appreciate this discussion, as it’s been weighing on me. My grandsons are unchurched. I feel the responsibility, as Papa, to teach them. So I started doing a catechism with the 14 y/o. But since he is not a member of my church, who could baptize him? And how much does he need to learn before he is ready?
Baptism goes with making disciples and teaching them what Christ taught.
I understand that the Church together has the mission of making disciples.
I think the person who baptises should be someone involved in teaching the one baptised in the way of Christ. This could be a pastor, parent, friend or youth leader. I also note that Paul said he was glad he didn’t baptise many people himself – it wasn’t about him at all.
I’m from a “priesthood of all believers” tradition anyway.
Naaman’s leprous cells are composed of individual atoms. Each atom is composed of sub-atomic particles, the same way 8 bits make up 1 byte. Every atom in the Universe is identicle, varying only in 118 known discrete energy states or levels. This would make each atom a packet of data, that contributes to a 3 dimensional model or discription of leprous cells.
The actual data of Naaman’s atoms, the water contained in the Lake of Galilee or the stars of Andromeda are set outside our Universe, because our Universe is a product of the functioning of above.
Therefore to “cure” Naaman, or to command the waves to “be still” requires a modulation of the data above. This concept in the last century has been termed a Quantum Field theory.
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