Author Topic: Orthodox: Tradition & Superstitions  (Read 7020 times)

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Offline LightHammer

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Orthodox: Tradition & Superstitions
« on: Fri Aug 26, 2011 - 18:22:35 »
Quote
Quote from Bitter Sweet:
I know that tradition with the black mark, it's called Tika. In the Orthodox church they do it to babies when they are first born for the first 6 weeks. I never did it to my children and I remember being questioned why not. I don't know why it's done, I have a picture of me as a new born with this mark on my head. My mother in law never did that to her children and she doesn't know why it's done either.

Oh an another tradition I don't agree with in the Orthodox church, the one my family belongs to, is the tradition of slaughtering lambs and throwing them under a new building. I told my husband that the house my father wanted to sell us has the lamb under it. He was disgusted and said he should be throwing gold coins under the house, not a dead lamb. The priest comes out and conducts a ceremony for this sacrifice. It should be against the law but they still sacrifice animals, in the USA.

My husbands family has different Orthodox traditions but they are nothing like the ones my family has.


Anybody know anything about this and can shed some light?

 ::reading::
« Last Edit: Sat Sep 03, 2011 - 15:13:03 by LightHammer »

Offline CDHealy

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Re: Orthodox: Tradition & Superstitions
« Reply #1 on: Fri Aug 26, 2011 - 19:38:43 »
These "traditions" are not Orthodox, they are ethnic traditions. 

larry2

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Re: Orthodox: Tradition & Superstitions
« Reply #2 on: Fri Aug 26, 2011 - 22:36:35 »


Quote from: Bitter Sweet

I know that tradition with the black mark, it's called Tika. In the Orthodox church they do it to babies when they are first born for the first 6 weeks. I never did it to my children and I remember being questioned why not. I don't know why it's done, I have a picture of me as a new born with this mark on my head. My mother in law never did that to her children and she doesn't know why it's done either.

Oh an another tradition I don't agree with in the Orthodox church, the one my family belongs to, is the tradition of slaughtering lambs and throwing them under a new building. I told my husband that the house my father wanted to sell us has the lamb under it. He was disgusted and said he should be throwing gold coins under the house, not a dead lamb. The priest comes out and conducts a ceremony for this sacrifice. It should be against the law but they still sacrifice animals, in the USA.

My husbands family has different Orthodox traditions but they are nothing like the ones my family has.



Anybody know anything about this and can shed some light?

 ::reading::



In years past I was made to understand that there were some traditions among the Mexican and Indian communities converted carried into the churches such as special pilgrimages. Culture did enter the churches, and that may have to do with those of India too. A Tika was a tradition celebrating an event such as a marriage or event according to Wikipedia. To me this might be similar to the ashes applied for "Ash Wednesday," or "Saint Patrick's Day" designated as a holy day of obligation only in Ireland, etc. A Tika also informed others of where they were from according to color and the application of it to the forehead.

A Hindu primer - Religious Marks: Tilaka/Tika
http://www.sanskrit.org/www/Hindu%20Primer/religiousmarks.html

An interesting read is that of the Catholic Church and Vodou in Haiti: Political and social change. I do not know enough about the sources to recommend them, but I think they give examples of the problems encountered in worldwide evangelism.

http://www.webster.edu/~corbetre/haiti/bookreviews/desmangreen.htm

Offline Bitter Sweet

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Re: Orthodox: Tradition & Superstitions
« Reply #3 on: Sat Aug 27, 2011 - 09:01:45 »
These "traditions" are not Orthodox, they are ethnic traditions. 

What about a newborn baby becoming a member of the church? On the 6 weeks after a baby is born, it still isn't allowed to enter the church but only at the doors the priest does some ceremony and then the parents leave with the baby and the baby isn't allowed back until it is Christened?

Is that an ethnic tradition or an Orthodox church tradition?

Offline CDHealy

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Re: Orthodox: Tradition & Superstitions
« Reply #4 on: Sat Aug 27, 2011 - 09:39:49 »
These "traditions" are not Orthodox, they are ethnic traditions. 

What about a newborn baby becoming a member of the church? On the 6 weeks after a baby is born, it still isn't allowed to enter the church but only at the doors the priest does some ceremony and then the parents leave with the baby and the baby isn't allowed back until it is Christened?

Is that an ethnic tradition or an Orthodox church tradition?

A newborn baby becomes a member of the Church through baptism and chrismation alone; there is no one who is "born into" the Church.  There is also a ceremony 40 days after birth in which the mom and the baby are "churched": a priest reads a prayer of thanksgiving and blessing over the mother and child.  This has origins in the OT but is not a purity ritual.  It is not uncommon for a mother and child to remain at home during these 40 days for purposes of bonding and physical healing and getting used to routines.  But mother and child are not at all forbidden to come to Liturgy.  They can attend worship at any time and most do.

This is the Church's Tradition.  Variations on this are ethnic.

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Re: Orthodox: Tradition & Superstitions
« Reply #4 on: Sat Aug 27, 2011 - 09:39:49 »



larry2

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Re: Orthodox: Tradition & Superstitions
« Reply #5 on: Sat Aug 27, 2011 - 10:34:36 »
These "traditions" are not Orthodox, they are ethnic traditions. 

What about a newborn baby becoming a member of the church? On the 6 weeks after a baby is born, it still isn't allowed to enter the church but only at the doors the priest does some ceremony and then the parents leave with the baby and the baby isn't allowed back until it is Christened?

Is that an ethnic tradition or an Orthodox church tradition?



Mark 16:16  He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved. Who is a member of the body of Christ which is the church? Can a baby believe? The closest tradition I know of is the dedication like that Hannah in 1 Samuel 1:28.  "Therefore also I have lent him (Samuel) to the LORD; as long as he liveth he shall be lent to the LORD," though without believing this too did not make Samuel part of the body of believers.

My thoughts.

Offline Ryan2010

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Re: Orthodox: Tradition & Superstitions
« Reply #6 on: Fri Sep 09, 2011 - 06:36:00 »
These "traditions" are not Orthodox, they are ethnic traditions. 

What about a newborn baby becoming a member of the church? On the 6 weeks after a baby is born, it still isn't allowed to enter the church but only at the doors the priest does some ceremony and then the parents leave with the baby and the baby isn't allowed back until it is Christened?

Is that an ethnic tradition or an Orthodox church tradition?



Mark 16:16  He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved. Who is a member of the body of Christ which is the church? Can a baby believe? The closest tradition I know of is the dedication like that Hannah in 1 Samuel 1:28.  "Therefore also I have lent him (Samuel) to the LORD; as long as he liveth he shall be lent to the LORD," though without believing this too did not make Samuel part of the body of believers.

My thoughts.


Matthew 21:16
“Do you hear what these children are saying?

Offline CDHealy

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Re: Orthodox: Tradition & Superstitions
« Reply #7 on: Fri Sep 09, 2011 - 06:47:46 »
These "traditions" are not Orthodox, they are ethnic traditions.  

What about a newborn baby becoming a member of the church? On the 6 weeks after a baby is born, it still isn't allowed to enter the church but only at the doors the priest does some ceremony and then the parents leave with the baby and the baby isn't allowed back until it is Christened?

Is that an ethnic tradition or an Orthodox church tradition?



Mark 16:16  He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved. Who is a member of the body of Christ which is the church? Can a baby believe? The closest tradition I know of is the dedication like that Hannah in 1 Samuel 1:28.  "Therefore also I have lent him (Samuel) to the LORD; as long as he liveth he shall be lent to the LORD," though without believing this too did not make Samuel part of the body of believers.

My thoughts.

The word "believe" is as you know pistevo.  This word's primary meaning has to do with having trust, or having confidence.  An infant has trust or confidence as is readily seen by its reactions to parents or strangers.  It certainly trusts its mother to nurse it and has confidence and feels comforted by its mother.  Yes, infants can believe.

But if you won't accept that, then consider another passage in Mark: the healing of the paralytic, where it was the faith of the friends of the paralytic (verse 5) by which his sins were forgiven and he was healed.

The parents and godparents (sponsors) of the baptized infant most certainly can exercise faith on behalf of the infants.  Yes, saving faith.

Offline Ryan2010

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Re: Orthodox: Tradition & Superstitions
« Reply #8 on: Fri Sep 09, 2011 - 07:26:35 »
Luke 10:21

21 At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do."



larry2

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Re: Orthodox: Tradition & Superstitions
« Reply #9 on: Fri Sep 09, 2011 - 07:52:20 »
Luke 10:21

21 At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do."



I have known many children to believe; do you think that included a one week old baby? I do know of John the Baptist being filled with the Holy Spirit from his mother's womb in Luke 1:15  For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb.

He must have been given the power to believe because the world (non-believers) cannot receive the Holy Ghost. John 14:17  Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: 

But I thought of that a special one time miracle from God. Your thoughts? Thanks.

Offline CDHealy

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Re: Orthodox: Tradition & Superstitions
« Reply #10 on: Fri Sep 09, 2011 - 08:06:09 »
Luke 10:21

21 At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do."



I have known many children to believe; do you think that included a one week old baby? I do know of John the Baptist being filled with the Holy Spirit from his mother's womb in Luke 1:15  For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb.

He must have been given the power to believe because the world (non-believers) cannot receive the Holy Ghost. John 14:17  Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: 

But I thought of that a special one time miracle from God. Your thoughts? Thanks.

Yes, I believe a one-week old infant can exhibit pistis.  You insist on the English translation of "believe" when the word itself means far more, and is more fundamentally/radically connotative of, trust and confidence.

Believe is an analytical term, which delimits the possibility of anyone who cannot analyze to be saved.  But all persons can trust.

In other words, in Scripture faith is not a matter of intellectual ability, it is about the ability of the heart to engage in relationship irrespective of intellectual ability.  The primary word for "know" as you well remember is not so much about intellectual content, but about relationship.

Faith is not a "mind" word, it is a "heart" word, it is about relationship.  And yes, a one-week old infant has the capacity for relationship.

Thank God "believing" is not about getting it intellectually right or all of us would still be damned.  As long as my trust is directed to the right Person, my intellect will be corrected where it is wrong.  I'm not denigrating right belief (which is, after all, the name by which we Orthodox call ourselves), but rather attempting to demonstrate that faith is not intellectual.

The Stone-Campbell/Restoration churches are heavily Enlightenment/modernist oriented, which has made a mess of their understanding of faith.  (Many Protestant denominations suffer this same problem.  It's actually a problem throughout all the churches that trace their history back to the Roman Catholic Church or to some point post-Reformation.)

larry2

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Re: Orthodox: Tradition & Superstitions
« Reply #11 on: Fri Sep 09, 2011 - 08:27:30 »

Yes, I believe a one-week old infant can exhibit pistis.  You insist on the English translation of "believe" when the word itself means far more, and is more fundamentally/radically connotative of, trust and confidence.

Believe is an analytical term, which delimits the possibility of anyone who cannot analyze to be saved.  But all persons can trust.

In other words, in Scripture faith is not a matter of intellectual ability, it is about the ability of the heart to engage in relationship irrespective of intellectual ability.  The primary word for "know" as you well remember is not so much about intellectual content, but about relationship.

Faith is not a "mind" word, it is a "heart" word, it is about relationship.  And yes, a one-week old infant has the capacity for relationship.



May I ask why Jesus was not baptized as a baby? I do realize that the word "believe" can be "to trust," but then I think it has in this case to be kept in context with trusting in God as pertaining to salvation.

We read in Romans 12:3  ". . . God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith," but I think we have to exercise that, and not just as a baby trusting in the comfort in its mother's arms. Thus the instruction in Mark 16:15. And He (Jesus) said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. The trusting here was based on hearing and reacting to the gospel.

Thanks.

Offline Ryan2010

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Re: Orthodox: Tradition & Superstitions
« Reply #12 on: Fri Sep 09, 2011 - 10:23:28 »
Psalm 22:9

But thou art he that took me out of the womb; Thou didst make me trust when I was upon my mother's breasts.



Questions:

    If infant baptism is a later invention, when did it begin and who began it? Where did it originate?

    Why are there no protests against the validity of infant baptism from anyone in the early Church?

    Where is anything found in Scripture that expressly forbids the baptism of infants or children?

    How is it that God established a covenantal, corporate relationship with the tribes of Israel in the Old Testament, but you interpret the New Testament as abolishing the faith of an entire household with the father at its head in favor of a solely individualistic faith?

    Where does Scripture prescribe any age for baptism?

    Even if there were a special age when someone's faith reached "maturity," how could one discern that? Doesn't faith always mature? When is faith mature enough for baptism and when is it not? Who can judge?

    Where in Scripture does it say that children are free from the effects of the Fall simply because they are not old enough to believe? (Even creation is under the curse of mankind's fall-Romans 8:19-21.)

    What about the many Biblical meanings and early Christian understandings of baptism other than the one defining it as a visible sign of inward repentance, meanings such as the sacrament of regeneration (Titus 3:5), a grafting into the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:13), a passage from the reign of Satan into Christ's authority (Romans 6:17), the expression of the manifestation of God (Luke 3:21, 22), an admission into God's covenant (Colossians 2:11), the Lord's act of adoption and our putting on of Christ (Galatians 3:26, 27)? Why should these things be taken away from the small child of a Christian family?

    If it was the norm to baptize children at a later age, why is there no evidence in Scripture or early Church history of instruction given to parents on how to help their adolescent children prepare for baptism?

    If it is granted that baptism is for the remission of sins, why would the Church ever want to give baptism to infants if there were nothing in the infants which needed remission? Would not the grace of baptism, in this context, seem superfluous?

    In essence, laying aside all the polemics and prejudices and academic intricacies, what Scriptural principle is being violated if a child is baptized and matures in his faith?



http://www.goarch.org/ourfaith/ourfaith7067

larry2

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Re: Orthodox: Tradition & Superstitions
« Reply #13 on: Fri Sep 09, 2011 - 10:39:21 »
Dear Ryan, I can barely understand your reasoning even with scripture when there are "If, how, where, and Why" applied to it. I'm not discounting many were baptized, though I do not observe evidence of it, and then I really do not care that people believe they should be. I see where David's child taken from him went to Abraham's bosom, and with no indication of baptism necessary.

It also appears that you believe only those water baptized can be saved, though I may be reading you wrong. I'm also just not seeing your comparison between the Old and New Testament traditions as relating to baptism.

Thanks.

Offline CDHealy

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Re: Orthodox: Tradition & Superstitions
« Reply #14 on: Fri Sep 09, 2011 - 13:22:11 »
May I ask why Jesus was not baptized as a baby?

Why was Jesus baptized at all?

I do realize that the word "believe" can be "to trust," but then I think it has in this case to be kept in context with trusting in God as pertaining to salvation.

Of course.  And as Mark 2:5 (and the parallel in Matthew) demonstrates, God *does* offer salvation on the basis of other people's faith.  And then requires individual obedience "Take up your bed, etc."  This is what is done in the historic Church (and the Roman and Orthodox Churches): the faith of the Church (inclusive of parents and godparents) enables salvation for the infant, and then as they mature they take on more and more responsibility for their faith ("taking up their beds" as it were).

We read in Romans 12:3  ". . . God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith," but I think we have to exercise that, and not just as a baby trusting in the comfort in its mother's arms.

And on what basis is the infant's trust discounted? 

If it is according to measure, then it is according to the measure of the faith the  infant can exercise, which faith grows and therefore the measure grows.

Thus the instruction in Mark 16:15. And He (Jesus) said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. The trusting here was based on hearing and reacting to the gospel.

Of course.  Each according to his measure.  An infant according to his: who has heard the gospel preached from the time his hearing organs have developed in the womb.  You and I according to ours: who heard the gospel as adults (if that is true of us).

Offline CDHealy

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Re: Orthodox: Tradition & Superstitions
« Reply #15 on: Fri Sep 09, 2011 - 13:37:19 »
Dear Ryan, I can barely understand your reasoning even with scripture when there are "If, how, where, and Why" applied to it. I'm not discounting many were baptized, though I do not observe evidence of it, and then I really do not care that people believe they should be. I see where David's child taken from him went to Abraham's bosom, and with no indication of baptism necessary.

It also appears that you believe only those water baptized can be saved, though I may be reading you wrong. I'm also just not seeing your comparison between the Old and New Testament traditions as relating to baptism.

Thanks.

Ryan will speak for himself, but I will say this: yes, of course your perspective and our perspective differ and therefore although we look at the same unified data (the Scriptures and Tradition), we have different starting questions, yielding different or partially different answers.

For whatever it's worth, Orthodox do not understand the normative salvation process as a crisis process primarily oriented around an individual person--with an emphasis on a single point in time decision of that individual.  Rather, for Orthodox salvation is understood as organic--with an emphasis on an unfolding process of growth and development, guided always by the Holy Spirit.  It is also understood as communal--with an emphasis on the person as a member of a community (household, Church); i.e., none of us are saved alone.

Beginning with these emphases, then, we see the process of salvation for a person unfolding through the generations prior to the person's birth in his family of origin, into and with that family as members of a believing community (at least normatively), and ultimately finding the full flowering of personal salvation within that community, including that community as it is fulfilled in the heavenlies.

Given this, then, the question of whether an infant can believe or not is almost nonsensical (not simply on the biblical basis, which Scripture clearly indicates infants have faith), but more to the point the distortion of individual crisis salvation nearly eviscerates an apostolic and biblical ecclesiology further transforming the doctrine of salvation beyond what the apostles taught.

Offline Ryan2010

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Re: Orthodox: Tradition & Superstitions
« Reply #16 on: Fri Sep 09, 2011 - 16:41:12 »
Dear Ryan, I can barely understand your reasoning even with scripture when there are "If, how, where, and Why" applied to it. I'm not discounting many were baptized, though I do not observe evidence of it, and then I really do not care that people believe they should be. I see where David's child taken from him went to Abraham's bosom, and with no indication of baptism necessary.

It also appears that you believe only those water baptized can be saved, though I may be reading you wrong. I'm also just not seeing your comparison between the Old and New Testament traditions as relating to baptism.

Thanks.


The early christian communities looked to the apostles as authorities and their experience with those apostles helped to inform the epistles and gospels they came to call Holy.

If the apostles baptized infants then the communities those apostles planted would have baptized infants. If they had not baptized infants or forbid it, the communities would not have baptized infants.  This is where history is helpful to us.  God interacted with a people in a place and time and those people from that time bear similar marks from having come into contact with those who God sent.

All of those early communities who came into contact with the apostles baptized infants. The witness of these early communities point to the apostles' intent in regard to Christ's teaching on baptism. This is why it is helpful to us to ask where infant baptism originated, was it ever protested against and is its practice forbidden in the scriptures.

The comparison between the OT and the NT is drawn by Jesus, the apostles and the communities they came into contact with. Crossing the Jordan, parting the red sea to escape Pharaoh, the flood, Noah's ark and circumcision are all connected to Christ. Christ awoke the true meaning of those OT stories in what he did among us. Those OT references point to Christ. 

Christ did not need to be baptized in order to be cleaned, but rather to clean the waters for our sakes.  So we might pass from the sin of Egypt to the promised land of Israel.  However, we can not move from Egypt to Israel by ourselves.  God must part the waters for us and lead us to paradise.  Like the Pharaoh's army, we too, as enemies of God, must be drowned, left behind, so the new man can make it safely to shore (to be tempted in the desert that we might be considered approved).  And not alone, but with his people.  His people are men, women, husbands and wives with their children and the entire community together, sewn in love, helping each other along this great journey.

It's a process. It's salvation. It's the body of Christ.


And no, you are right. We do not need to buy flowers for our wives, but if they love us they will accept them. It has less to do with the bare minimum requirement and more to do with responding to God's love. Baptism is not unlike being asked to receive flowers.

To reject his love and assume the relationship is saved wouldn't be a loving response.









larry2

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Re: Orthodox: Tradition & Superstitions
« Reply #17 on: Fri Sep 09, 2011 - 18:37:40 »
Quote from: CDHealy

Why was Jesus baptized at all?


Mark 3:15  . . . it becomes us to fulfill all righteousness.

Quote from: CDHealy

God *does* offer salvation on the basis of other people's faith.


I must tell you that I do not believe we can believe for another to be eternally saved, lest all would be saved and we would be discussing Universalism as it were. The salvation you speak of in my estimation is that of being delivered from bodily infirmities, etc.

2 Peter 3:9  Our Lord is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance, but that is not going to be.

Even with Abraham, he believed and it was imputed unto him for righteousness. Another thought is of Cain and Abel; were they both saved because of their parents?

Thanks.

Offline Ryan2010

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Re: Orthodox: Tradition & Superstitions
« Reply #18 on: Sat Sep 10, 2011 - 09:25:35 »
Quote from: CDHealy

Why was Jesus baptized at all?


Mark 3:15  . . . it becomes us to fulfill all righteousness.

Quote from: CDHealy

God *does* offer salvation on the basis of other people's faith.


I must tell you that I do not believe we can believe for another to be eternally saved, lest all would be saved and we would be discussing Universalism as it were. The salvation you speak of in my estimation is that of being delivered from bodily infirmities, etc.

2 Peter 3:9  Our Lord is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance, but that is not going to be.

Even with Abraham, he believed and it was imputed unto him for righteousness. Another thought is of Cain and Abel; were they both saved because of their parents?

Thanks.


The beginning of fulfilling all righteousness is baptism.  It wasn't until about the year 1790 (what is called the second Great Awakening) that the view of how one becomes "born again" is through the experience of conversion.  The original view of how one becomes "born again" was baptism.  Again, history helps us.  Why did all the early communities from Jerusalem, Antioch, Egypt and Africa all believe that to be "born again" was to be baptized?  The only link these early communities shared were their having come into contact with the apostles.

Salvation is not a one time act but an ongoing participation, the beginning of which is being born again (baptism).

It's like enrolling your child in school.  You do this on his behalf.  When he is baptized he is given his school uniform (clothed in Christ).  If the child skips school or needs corrected, the parents will aid the school (Church/body of Christ).  However, once the child is older and if he decides he no longer wants to go to school or to listen to his parents, he may disregard his uniform and live a hedonistic life.  However, such a "student" will most likely not graduate (receive the Kingdom).

Galatians 3:27
For as many of you as were baptized into Christ did put on Christ.


Christ saved us, saves us, will save us, if...  if we continue to be being conformed to his image and likeness.

Cain was told that sin crouched at the door of his heart.  He "was" in God's presence.  He "was" saved.  When God warned him that sin crouches and waits, Cain was "being saved".  Had Cain listened and responded to God's saving act, Cain might not have fell.


Offline CDHealy

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Re: Orthodox: Tradition & Superstitions
« Reply #19 on: Sat Sep 10, 2011 - 13:51:04 »
Quote from: CDHealy

Why was Jesus baptized at all?


Mark 3:15  . . . it becomes us to fulfill all righteousness.

Indeed.  But clearly my point above was that, since Jesus himself did not need baptism as we all do, then why was it he was even baptized?  Further, if we followed the logic that infants should not be baptized because Jesus himself waited till he was 30, then no one should be baptized before 30.  Which of course is absurd.

In other words, to be more clear, Jesus' baptism is an exceptional case--with regard to infant baptism--and can hardly be used to prove or disprove infant baptism.

Quote from: CDHealy
God *does* offer salvation on the basis of other people's faith.

I must tell you that I do not believe we can believe for another to be eternally saved, lest all would be saved and we would be discussing Universalism as it were. The salvation you speak of in my estimation is that of being delivered from bodily infirmities, etc.

Well, except that in Mark 2 (and the Matthew parallel) Jesus forgives the man his sins.  Hardly just being about bodily infirmities.  And remember this was on the basis of the faith Jesus saw in the paralytics friends.  We are not even told whether or not the man himself had faith.  At least prior to being healed.

2 Peter 3:9  Our Lord is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance, but that is not going to be.

Even with Abraham, he believed and it was imputed unto him for righteousness. Another thought is of Cain and Abel; were they both saved because of their parents?

Universalism does not apply here on the basis that the paralytic himself took responsibility for his own personal obedience to Christ's command.  As I've explicated above, infants who are baptized do themselves also need to "take up their bed and walk" as it were.  They need to take responsibility for their maturing and growing faith.  They cannot simply live like any old pagan and say, "Well the Church, my parents and godparents, all believed for me there's nothing I need to do.  I can live as I want."

While we Orthodox believe in infant baptism, and we do not accept a reduction of the meaning of faith to some sort of intellectual requirement, we do not believe in magic.  Baptism is a faith act.  Faith itself is a growing relationship of trust.  A baptized infant will grow in its faith, will own the faith spoken for it in community, and will cooperate with God's grace to become more virtuous and holy.

But it is just as true that a baptized infant may grow up and reject the faith.  Just as adult baptisands also may subsequently reject the faith they once held.

larry2

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Re: Orthodox: Tradition & Superstitions
« Reply #20 on: Sun Sep 11, 2011 - 05:49:26 »

Why was Jesus baptized at all?



Mark 3:15  . . . it becomes us to fulfill all righteousness.



Indeed.  But clearly my point above was that, since Jesus himself did not need baptism as we all do, then why was it he was even baptized?  Further, if we followed the logic that infants should not be baptized because Jesus himself waited till he was 30, then no one should be baptized before 30.  Which of course is absurd.

In other words, to be more clear, Jesus' baptism is an exceptional case--with regard to infant baptism--and can hardly be used to prove or disprove infant baptism.


I'll just reply to this one point on this post so as to not stray, and attempt to address your other thoughts on other posts.

Jesus was special in that He did as a man fulfill all righteousness; we don't, because God fulfills the righteousness of the law in us (Not by us) who walk not after the flesh, but according to or after the Spirit (Romans 8:4). Since we are God's workmanship (a work of God in progress) He is the one doing the work, and as the cliché: He ain't finished with me yet. It is even God's work in us. Philippians 2:13  For it is God which worketh in you both to accomplish or will and to do of His good pleasure. We can brag of nothing.

Now why baptize a baby? Does that satisfy the righteous Jesus spoke of above in Mark 3:15? We don't read of Him being baptized as a child. Would that make us righteous? Jesus did always the things that pleased our Father. Dear brother, if what you use to build your case for infant baptism were a fact, the Catholic Church believes a child is fully a child at conception.

So far I stick with the thought of truly believing (Faith): Romans 10:9. If thou confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in thy heart that God hath raised him up from the dead.

larry2

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Re: Orthodox: Tradition & Superstitions
« Reply #21 on: Sun Sep 11, 2011 - 06:15:11 »

The beginning of fulfilling all righteousness is baptism.  It wasn't until about the year 1790 (what is called the second Great Awakening) that the view of how one becomes "born again" is through the experience of conversion.  The original view of how one becomes "born again" was baptism.  Again, history helps us.  Why did all the early communities from Jerusalem, Antioch, Egypt and Africa all believe that to be "born again" was to be baptized?  The only link these early communities shared were their having come into contact with the apostles.

Salvation is not a one time act but an ongoing participation, the beginning of which is being born again (baptism).

It's like enrolling your child in school.  You do this on his behalf.  When he is baptized he is given his school uniform (clothed in Christ).  If the child skips school or needs corrected, the parents will aid the school (Church/body of Christ).  However, once the child is older and if he decides he no longer wants to go to school or to listen to his parents, he may disregard his uniform and live a hedonistic life.  However, such a "student" will most likely not graduate (receive the Kingdom).

Galatians 3:27
For as many of you as were baptized into Christ did put on Christ.

Christ saved us, saves us, will save us, if...  if we continue to be being conformed to his image and likeness.

Cain was told that sin crouched at the door of his heart.  He "was" in God's presence.  He "was" saved.  When God warned him that sin crouches and waits, Cain was "being saved".  Had Cain listened and responded to God's saving act, Cain might not have fell.




There is so much truth in what you're saying, or bring forth from scripture, but I do see your conclusion of the outcome different than mine.

Was Adam and Eve saved as we understand salvation before God clothed them?

Did Cain ever once ever accept the sin offering?

As to falling, Moses believed not God and was denied entrance into the promised Canaan (Numbers 8:12), but that did not make him lost, even though God's judgment stood, and Moses was taken in death as a result of his error (Deuteronomy 32:48-52).

The following excerpt is from pamphlet I wrote presenting my beliefs of our progression of salvation; the full pamphlet in two parts is at:
http://www.gracecentered.com/christian_forums/theology/salvation-with-security-part-one/msg594337/#msg594337

http://www.gracecentered.com/christian_forums/theology/salvation-with-security-part-two/msg594338/#msg594338

Excerpt concerning our salvation:

First - It is provisional. If you accept Jesus as your savior, you will be saved. (Romans 10:9-10) "If you say with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved, (10) For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation."

Second - When you become saved, it is at this time that you are born again and have overcome the penalty of sin, or become saved from the great white throne judgment and the resulting lake of fire. (Repeating John 5:24), "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life." In (Romans 8:1) "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus."

Third - The working out your own salvation referred to in (Philippians 2:12) is learning to overcome the habit of sin in our lives. This is the experiencing part of our salvation and is another step in our growth as a Christian. (2 Peter 1:5-7) tells us to "Add to your faith virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness and charity." To realize this growth in our lives, we must learn to begin counting our old man dead. (Romans 6:6) "Knowing this, that our old man (The Adamic nature) is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.

Offline CDHealy

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Re: Orthodox: Tradition & Superstitions
« Reply #22 on: Sun Sep 11, 2011 - 15:48:52 »
Larry:

One additional point which I should have but did not make more clear: baptism takes care of two critical issues regarding salvation, 1) it cleanses of personal guilt regarding sin.  This hardly needs to be belabored, the Scriptural texts are clear.

What is often not remembered is 2) that baptism also takes care of the problem of mortality (cf. Romans 5-6 for the clearest texts on this).

That is to say, it is not just that we have to be cleansed of the personal guilt of our sins, but that the principle of mortality itself also must be put to death in us.  This is what baptism accomplishes: we take on Christ's death so that we may die to sin.

Infants are not capable of personal sin, and therefore many argue that they do not need baptism.  But infants also suffer the penalty of sin, as we all do, since they too suffer from the principle of mortality (otherwise why would infants die?).  Thus infants need baptism for the same reason we all need baptism: that death may be put to death in us.

Offline LightHammer

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Re: Orthodox: Tradition & Superstitions
« Reply #23 on: Sun Sep 11, 2011 - 16:06:57 »
Larry:

One additional point which I should have but did not make more clear: baptism takes care of two critical issues regarding salvation, 1) it cleanses of personal guilt regarding sin.  This hardly needs to be belabored, the Scriptural texts are clear.

What is often not remembered is 2) that baptism also takes care of the problem of mortality (cf. Romans 5-6 for the clearest texts on this).

That is to say, it is not just that we have to be cleansed of the personal guilt of our sins, but that the principle of mortality itself also must be put to death in us.  This is what baptism accomplishes: we take on Christ's death so that we may die to sin.

Infants are not capable of personal sin, and therefore many argue that they do not need baptism.  But infants also suffer the penalty of sin, as we all do, since they too suffer from the principle of mortality (otherwise why would infants die?).  Thus infants need baptism for the same reason we all need baptism: that death may be put to death in us.

That was a really good approach for supporting infant baptism.

Offline Ryan2010

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Re: Orthodox: Tradition & Superstitions
« Reply #24 on: Sun Sep 11, 2011 - 16:16:03 »
Quote
Was Adam and Eve saved as we understand salvation before God clothed them?

I'm merely using those stories to point to Christ.  Forgive me for not being clear.  

Matthew 11:11
Truly I tell you, among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet whoever is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.

The difference between John the Baptist, along with those who preceded him and those who we might call Christians, is the Son of God become man.  John was the greatest because he was the forerunner.  Moses, Abraham and all the great prophets were not so honored as St. John.  St. John called the world to repentance in preparation for the King's arrival.

However, God has become man.  He has put on creation.  God has united himself to creation in order that all creation might become one with Him, being conformed to His image.  His image is Jesus Christ. Unlike St. John and his predecessors, man could now partake in His divine nature and "clothe" himself with Christ.  

So the Old Testament story of Adam and Eve being "clothed" was to prepare humanity to be truly clothed.  St. John, Moses, Adam and Eve were not clothed in the same way Christians are clothed because they were (in Adam and Eve's case) clothed in animal skins or circumcised (possibly in Moses' case) whereas Christians are clothed in Christ.

Baptism saves in that we put on Christ and Christ works in us to be saving us.  Baptism is both our tomb and our womb.  It is our circumcision.  We offer this same grace to our children that Christ might work to be saving them, they being clothed in Him.  This was pointed to in the fact that the infants were circumcised.  The promise is not only to us as individuals but to our children.

Colossians
11 In him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not performed by human hands. Your whole self ruled by the flesh was put off when you were circumcised by Christ, 12 having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.

Acts 2:39
For to you is the promise, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call unto him.

Romans 6:3
Or are ye ignorant that all we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?



What is different from the baptism you believe in and the baptism of St. John?

Acts 19:3
And he said, Into what then were ye baptized? And they said, Into John's baptism.