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Offline AnthonyB

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Baptism views?
« on: Tue Jun 10, 2014 - 14:49:25 »
Just read "Down to the River to Pray" by Hicks and Taylor which argues for normative baptism as covenant making transformation from a church of Christ position, which is actually the position I was brought up with in the conference Churches of Christ in Australia. I presume most of the church of Christ poster here would be 2 or 1 but am interested to see the spread.


I am aware it is hard to capture nuance of positions in a poll, to further describe the positions, Austin McGary being with 1, 2 is Lipscomb and Sommers, 3 is where I think Alexander Campbell was, 4 is Barton Stone since he accepted membership from infant baptised and 5 is Max Lucado.
« Last Edit: Tue Jun 10, 2014 - 16:16:01 by AnthonyB »

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Baptism views?
« on: Tue Jun 10, 2014 - 14:49:25 »

Offline Culsey

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Re: Baptism views?
« Reply #1 on: Tue Jun 10, 2014 - 17:05:30 »
The results from all the various kinds of believers on this site ought to be interesting.

notreligus

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Re: Baptism views?
« Reply #2 on: Thu Jun 12, 2014 - 23:20:26 »
Just read "Down to the River to Pray" by Hicks and Taylor which argues for normative baptism as covenant making transformation from a church of Christ position, which is actually the position I was brought up with in the conference Churches of Christ in Australia. I presume most of the church of Christ poster here would be 2 or 1 but am interested to see the spread.


I am aware it is hard to capture nuance of positions in a poll, to further describe the positions, Austin McGary being with 1, 2 is Lipscomb and Sommers, 3 is where I think Alexander Campbell was, 4 is Barton Stone since he accepted membership from infant baptised and 5 is Max Lucado.

You changed your OP quite a lot.   

Number five is no choice at all since you don't explain.   This is like those who are critical of faith-alone and then they fail to say what they mean by their criticism.   

What Campbell claimed and what he did were quite different.  He as baptized first as a Presbyterian and he and his family were later baptized by Matthias Luce, a Baptist preacher.   Campbell was a Baptist for 16 years.   He never accepted that baptism was not necessary.   In the Lunenburg Letter he admitted that those baptized outside of the Disciples of Christ could be saved.   

You failed to mention the other four steps necessary for salvation. 

Just some thoughts for consideration.


notreligus

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Re: Baptism views?
« Reply #3 on: Thu Jun 12, 2014 - 23:25:53 »
The results from all the various kinds of believers on this site ought to be interesting.

What would ever cause you to think that?    ::smile::


Offline Culsey

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Re: Baptism views?
« Reply #4 on: Fri Jun 13, 2014 - 06:42:33 »
The results from all the various kinds of believers on this site ought to be interesting.

What would ever cause you to think that?    ::smile::

Just a hunch. ;)

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Re: Baptism views?
« Reply #4 on: Fri Jun 13, 2014 - 06:42:33 »



Offline AnthonyB

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Re: Baptism views?
« Reply #5 on: Fri Jun 13, 2014 - 07:16:56 »

You changed your OP quite a lot.   

Number five is no choice at all since you don't explain.   This is like those who are critical of faith-alone and then they fail to say what they mean by their criticism.   

What Campbell claimed and what he did were quite different.  He as baptized first as a Presbyterian and he and his family were later baptized by Matthias Luce, a Baptist preacher.   Campbell was a Baptist for 16 years.   He never accepted that baptism was not necessary.   In the Lunenburg Letter he admitted that those baptized outside of the Disciples of Christ could be saved.   

You failed to mention the other four steps necessary for salvation. 

Just some thoughts for consideration.


Wasn't my intention to change the poll but was trying to assist people to understand the options.

5 was a category for those who want symbolic baptism that has no effect on salvation, to be fair to Max Lucado he is not quite fully symbolic in his understanding so he may not have been a true representative.

Alexander Campbell wrote an awful lot and his view any many subjects moved over the years. On the whole I think he saw that baptism was part of an NT believers response, that it was part of the covenantal interaction.  He carried quote a lot of reformed language and concepts into his thinking.

I was surprised by the book by Hicks and Taylor, I had presumed that US c of C would be all either 1 or  2, I was interested in merely seeing if a normative view as opposed to an indispensable view is.
I realize that peoples views are often far more nuanced and graduated then I could express in 5 categories.

To be honest I'm still a work in progress on baptism role in the covenant making. I do not see a clear and consistent pattern or plan in the NT but individuals responding to God in subtlety different ways.
I see verse where God promises things through faith and then the same things are attributed as occurring at their baptisms. Baptism is put part of the covenant formation not the covenant itself.

Just as a wedding ceremony is when people get normally get married, baptism in the NT was a normal part of becoming a disciple of Jesus.
To be honest I don't know if where I am is logical, as an example, I didn't believe I was unsaved before my baptism but neither did I think baptism was something you did after you were saved.

My problem with "faith alone" is not faith alone (or faith from first to last if you want a biblical phrase), but the presumptions people bring to it. Like saying love makes a true marriage, a wedding ceremony adds nothing to our love, so lets not have a ceremony. However most people choose the wedding ceremony because the symbolic actions augment and galvanize the covenant they are making together. It seems to be OK for most Evangelicals to use language like, I was saved at the alter call, at a crusade, when I walked down the aisle or when I signed the commitment card. They have no problem with distinguishing between the act/time of commitment and the faith behind that action. The NT seems to use baptism as many now use the "altar call". I think for probably exactly the same reason, a physical act makes the inward conviction stick better.

I happen to think baptism makes a better marker then most of the things many now use in its place.

1) Baptism is not something we do but something we have done to us, we are baptised by someone else not ourselves, a great reminder that being saved is not something we do but something we receive. Baptism is an act of submission to God through the hands of a disciple of his, salvation is an act of placing ourselves in gods hands to die to ourselves and be raised by him. Whereas alter calls, commitment cards, praying the sinners prayers are all acts we do.

2) As A Campbell pointed out waters makes a great boundary line, you can know when you have crossed it. Faith in many people doesn't sprout instantaneously but grows and develops, especially in those who have grown up in a Christian family and have known the truth all their lives. God could have chosen to take the Israelites out of Egypt through a land boundary but he chose water to mark their leaving Egypt.

3) For 1500 years nobody who looked at scripture saw symbolic baptism, which makes me think that there is something different in the set of presuppositions that most modern people bring to interpreting the verses around baptism then did the earliest Christians (after the NT period) and for a millennium and a half afterwards. My guess is that they associated symbolic acts and their meaning much more closely than most modern people do.

Anyway if you answered my poll thanks for answering, and if you think you can word the question better then please be my guest and create a better poll.
I was just trying to determine how wide spread normative effective baptism was, that is the belief that baptism is the normal or ordinary part of a covenantal interaction. As opposed to indispensable baptism view, where baptism must be part of a response to the gospel or no covenant can exist.

« Last Edit: Fri Jun 13, 2014 - 07:54:05 by AnthonyB »

notreligus

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Re: Baptism views?
« Reply #6 on: Fri Jun 13, 2014 - 14:59:54 »

You changed your OP quite a lot.   

Number five is no choice at all since you don't explain.   This is like those who are critical of faith-alone and then they fail to say what they mean by their criticism.   

What Campbell claimed and what he did were quite different.  He as baptized first as a Presbyterian and he and his family were later baptized by Matthias Luce, a Baptist preacher.   Campbell was a Baptist for 16 years.   He never accepted that baptism was not necessary.   In the Lunenburg Letter he admitted that those baptized outside of the Disciples of Christ could be saved.   

You failed to mention the other four steps necessary for salvation. 

Just some thoughts for consideration.


Wasn't my intention to change the poll but was trying to assist people to understand the options.

5 was a category for those who want symbolic baptism that has no effect on salvation, to be fair to Max Lucado he is not quite fully symbolic in his understanding so he may not have been a true representative.

Alexander Campbell wrote an awful lot and his view any many subjects moved over the years. On the whole I think he saw that baptism was part of an NT believers response, that it was part of the covenantal interaction.  He carried quote a lot of reformed language and concepts into his thinking.

I was surprised by the book by Hicks and Taylor, I had presumed that US c of C would be all either 1 or  2, I was interested in merely seeing if a normative view as opposed to an indispensable view is.
I realize that peoples views are often far more nuanced and graduated then I could express in 5 categories.

To be honest I'm still a work in progress on baptism role in the covenant making. I do not see a clear and consistent pattern or plan in the NT but individuals responding to God in subtlety different ways.
I see verse where God promises things through faith and then the same things are attributed as occurring at their baptisms. Baptism is put part of the covenant formation not the covenant itself.

Just as a wedding ceremony is when people get normally get married, baptism in the NT was a normal part of becoming a disciple of Jesus.
To be honest I don't know if where I am is logical, as an example, I didn't believe I was unsaved before my baptism but neither did I think baptism was something you did after you were saved.

My problem with "faith alone" is not faith alone (or faith from first to last if you want a biblical phrase), but the presumptions people bring to it. Like saying love makes a true marriage, a wedding ceremony adds nothing to our love, so lets not have a ceremony. However most people choose the wedding ceremony because the symbolic actions augment and galvanize the covenant they are making together. It seems to be OK for most Evangelicals to use language like, I was saved at the alter call, at a crusade, when I walked down the aisle or when I signed the commitment card. They have no problem with distinguishing between the act/time of commitment and the faith behind that action. The NT seems to use baptism as many now use the "altar call". I think for probably exactly the same reason, a physical act makes the inward conviction stick better.

I happen to think baptism makes a better marker then most of the things many now use in its place.

1) Baptism is not something we do but something we have done to us, we are baptised by someone else not ourselves, a great reminder that being saved is not something we do but something we receive. Baptism is an act of submission to God through the hands of a disciple of his, salvation is an act of placing ourselves in gods hands to die to ourselves and be raised by him. Whereas alter calls, commitment cards, praying the sinners prayers are all acts we do.

2) As A Campbell pointed out waters makes a great boundary line, you can know when you have crossed it. Faith in many people doesn't sprout instantaneously but grows and develops, especially in those who have grown up in a Christian family and have known the truth all their lives. God could have chosen to take the Israelites out of Egypt through a land boundary but he chose water to mark their leaving Egypt.

3) For 1500 years nobody who looked at scripture saw symbolic baptism, which makes me think that there is something different in the set of presuppositions that most modern people bring to interpreting the verses around baptism then did the earliest Christians (after the NT period) and for a millennium and a half afterwards. My guess is that they associated symbolic acts and their meaning much more closely than most modern people do.

Anyway if you answered my poll thanks for answering, and if you think you can word the question better then please be my guest and create a better poll.
I was just trying to determine how wide spread normative effective baptism was, that is the belief that baptism is the normal or ordinary part of a covenantal interaction. As opposed to indispensable baptism view, where baptism must be part of a response to the gospel or no covenant can exist.



I appreciate your answer and I appreciate your being respectful.   I sometimes overuse sarcasm.   It's a pattern - not a good pattern - that I've acquired over years of posting at C of C discussion boards.  I need to repent of that.  This board is quite different than another one that I've experienced for a number of years.   The other board has what some call "hard line Campbellites" who fight over kitchens in church buildings and even say that it is sinful to sing a hymn on any day but Sunday.   There's not much of that sentiment here.   I came here a bit too presumptuous and now I think that others believe I always have ulterior motives when I post.   I do think that some of the non-essentials that many C of C's in America fight over are downright silly and that's why I portray them that way.  God doesn't care if somebody gives their weekly offering on Wednesday nights instead of on Sunday but I've seen C of C folk fight over such.   I recall a post in which a man wondered if he were saved because his big toe was sticking out of the water when he was baptized.   

I'd be interested in knowing the sources of your information on Restoration history.   I have a basic collection of the books about the RM.   About 2006 I began to read about everything I could find on the Campbells and the RM.   The RM, as you may know, actually began in Scotland in the late 1700s.  What I found in the books and articles I read reminded me of an adage about the truth.   It is said that when it comes to the truth there is your side, the other person's side, and then there is the truth.   Pro-Campbell writings are just as extreme as the Anti-Campbell writings.   I think the most reliable information is the middle ground information and in books written by folk who don't have an axe to grind.   C of C folk don't always like the truth and refuse to acknowledge it.   But many of them do acknowledge it and say that it's in the past and they are not tied to the past.   

Many of the differences amongst C of C congregations in America seem to often be regional.   For example when you get north of what we call the Mason-Dixon line it is more common to find C of C congregations who use musical instruments in worship.   I recall one in Northern Indiana that had an opening for a worship leader and it required that the candidate be skilled at playing an instrument and be knowledgeable of music, in general.   It would be interesting to compare notes about how such things may or may not differ where you live.   
« Last Edit: Fri Jun 13, 2014 - 15:04:22 by notreligus »

Offline Culsey

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Re: Baptism views?
« Reply #7 on: Sat Jun 14, 2014 - 12:33:42 »
K.I.S.S. Keep it simple.

1. The Bible say to do it.
2. You do it.
3. It's done.
4. Read the rest of the NT to see what's next.

Not so hard really

Offline AnthonyB

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Re: Baptism views?
« Reply #8 on: Mon Jun 16, 2014 - 14:16:22 »
This was never an issue for me, I knew my views differed from many other Christians, I have actually been a member at a Baptist church for 15 years, in Australia CofC and Bapo's have been much closer then in the US. The senior Pastor at the Bapo church, who I actually generally really liked, preached a rare sermon on baptism. He flat out said that attaching baptism to salvation in any way was heretical. He clearly hadn't taken the time to engage with Beasley-Murray or Robinson on the topic. His points were incredibly poorly made and utterly illogical to me but there was an historical reason in his life for his reaction and subsequent misreading of the NT. Secondly my oldest son is approaching the age to get baptised, so I took him to the baptism prep course at church, I was not impressed so have got a prep course from a US RM church.

It is not a salvation issue and never has been for me, but I think our Lord made baptism part of he covenant interactions between us and him and I don't find the arguments fro symbolic only baptism convincing. I'm still at the church because my wife and kids really like th eplace but i would really like to go back to a Church of Christ. (Not just over the baptism issue but I miss weekly communion, hearing the word of God read  pubically, the greater involvement of people outside of pastors in running the services.)
 
« Last Edit: Mon Jun 16, 2014 - 19:39:32 by AnthonyB »

Offline e.r.m.

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Re: Baptism views?
« Reply #9 on: Tue Aug 19, 2014 - 21:25:35 »
Just read "Down to the River to Pray" by Hicks and Taylor which argues for normative baptism as covenant making transformation from a church of Christ position, which is actually the position I was brought up with in the conference Churches of Christ in Australia. I presume most of the church of Christ poster here would be 2 or 1 but am interested to see the spread.
I am aware it is hard to capture nuance of positions in a poll, to further describe the positions, Austin McGary being with 1, 2 is Lipscomb and Sommers, 3 is where I think Alexander Campbell was, 4 is Barton Stone since he accepted membership from infant baptised and 5 is Max Lucado.
I wouldn't know how to classify myself. I think the CoC has these men as a base, but has learned where these men missed some things, and is now in a different place.
« Last Edit: Tue Aug 19, 2014 - 21:28:06 by e.r.m. »

Offline AnthonyB

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Re: Baptism views?
« Reply #10 on: Wed Aug 20, 2014 - 06:21:21 »
e.r.m.

I was trying to get a feel for where the church of Christ people on this forum stood on this issue.
I gave the historic names to help guide people, but I suppose there are two main issues...

1) If someone must know for remission of sins is essential to baptism to have an effect? (No one so far has supported needing specific knowledge on the purpose yet)

2) Is baptism indispensable for salvation, which could be broken down into


Offline soterion

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Re: Baptism views?
« Reply #11 on: Wed Aug 20, 2014 - 07:42:27 »
AnthonyB,

Regarding #1, I don't know of any scripture that specifically says so, but I believe there are implications that some truths must be taught for baptism to serve its intended purpose.

In Acts 19, the Ephesian 12 had been immersed, it was proper at the time, it was no doubt sincere, and if any specific purpose for baptism was not required to be taught for it to "stick," then they would not have been required to be immersed in the name of Jesus. Since, at the least, they had not heard of the Holy Spirit and, therefore, did no know of any connection between Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and immersion, they had to be immersed by His authority (in His name). It can be argued that reception of the Spirit is tied directly to the removal/forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38). In such a case, remission of sins at immersion may be argued as necessarily having to be taught for it to serve its purpose.

In Romans 6:3, Paul asks the readers, "...do you not know...? He asks this a few times in the context, so what I will say here may be true in each of those occasions. Doesn't the question sound like they should have known? I believe Paul is asking rhetorically, therefore he is asking with regard to possibility, not with regard to actuality (in other words, they were most likely taught these things). The question always makes me believe we should know these things and we should keep them in mind. The point being , they were taught that immersion is into the death of Christ and they should have kept it in mind. Paul goes on in Romans 6:4ff. to what should naturally follow since immersion is into the death of Christ- buried with Him, raised up with Him, crucified with Him, died with Him, old man of sin done away, set free from slavery to sin, shall live with Him. Paul's question tells me that this connection to Christ's death should be taught regarding immersion.

Likewise, Phillip and the eunuch in Acts 8 is an example that some things were taught which resulted in the eunuch literally jumping at the first opportunity to be immersed. What was taught? In verses 32-35 we can conclude at the least that Phillip taught the eunuch of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, the offering He made of Himself in our place, bearing our sins, the removal of our sins by His blood, of His defeat of death in His resurrection, and the salvation we receive from His sacrifice. Somewhere in there, Phillip made connection to immersion. Could it be argued that if the eunuch had not been taught the gospel or if connection had not been directly made between what Christ did and immersion, then the eunuch would not have been so eager? While this passage itself doesn't speak directly to whether remission of sins or the like has to be specifically taught regarding immersion, I tie this to what I said about Romans 6. The connection is made there; immersion with the death of Jesus, and the benefit we receive thereby.

Regarding #2, I do not want to take away from what God could choose to do in some extreme situation that folks could find themselves in, but I believe scripture gives us the purpose of immersion as being indispensable to salvation, per Roman 6 and other passages. If immersion is not indispensable for our salvation, that would be like saying having our old man of sin crucified together with Christ and taken away is not indispensable for our salvation. One more, it would be like saying that being set free from slavery to sin is not indispensable to our salvation. Our union with Jesus in His death provides those indispensable benefits. Are they necessary or not for our salvation?

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Re: Baptism views?
« Reply #12 on: Wed Aug 20, 2014 - 08:44:11 »
The Encyclopedia of the Stone-Campbell Movement has a good re-cap of Baptism views of the Campbells, Scott, Stone, and Lipscomb, etc.   The Campbell family was baptized by Matthias Luce, a Baptist associate of the Campbells during their days with the Baptist Mahoning and Redstone Associations.   Alexander had a Baptist view of baptism then and claimed baptism to be symbolic of having made a conversion to Christ.   He changed once he separated from the Baptists and then claimed baptism to be essential to salvation and remission of sins.  Then he later claimed, in his answer to the "Lunenburg Letter," that it could be possible that someone who had confessed Christ as savior could be saved without having been baptized, but he was not advocating that baptism was not necessary.   I don't know what was in his mind but the C of C have often disputed whether or not someone who had a deathbed conversion to Christ could still be saved without having been immersed.   Perhaps he had something like that in mind, but whatever he had in mind his published answer to that letter caused a stir.   Lipscomb was an advocate of baptism being necessary for remission of sin.

I wish that all posters who are C of C had a copy of that Encyclopedia.   I regularly have to give quotes from this to prove that my posts are not based on ignorance, as some have claimed, or that I am making up stuff out of hate, as another poster here has claimed.   This book does not include everything you could ever know about the Movement but it covers the basics on most subjects of general interest.   If, for example, you want to know about the disputes between Barton Stone and Alexander Campbell over who can be a member of the Church or who must be baptized for the remission of sins (Stone said that someone already saved need not be baptized for the remission of sins) your best option is to research the letters written between the two.  Their correspondence was often published in The Millennial Harbinger.   There is a reluctance on the part of some to own this book because the editors are not just from the Churches of Christ, but also from the Christian Church and the Disciples of Christ.   When Church of Christ members separate themselves and deny their relationship with the Christian Church and Disciples of Christ, and want to ignore the history that is related to those divisions of the Movement, I don't think it's hard to understand how and why the C of C membership claim to not know about the history of their own Movement.   The deny that much of it exists.   

Offline Nevertheless

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Re: Baptism views?
« Reply #13 on: Wed Aug 20, 2014 - 09:12:51 »
K.I.S.S. Keep it simple.

1. The Bible say to do it.
2. You do it.
3. It's done.
4. Read the rest of the NT to see what's next.

Not so hard really


I really think this is the best answer so far.

Offline grain of salt

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Re: Baptism views?
« Reply #14 on: Wed Aug 20, 2014 - 09:23:54 »
I wish that all posters who are C of C had a copy of that Encyclopedia

I do.  It's sitting on a shelf at home.  In fact, I actually know one of the contributors.
« Last Edit: Wed Aug 20, 2014 - 09:27:49 by grain of salt »

Offline grain of salt

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Re: Baptism views?
« Reply #15 on: Wed Aug 20, 2014 - 09:35:21 »
I regularly have to give quotes from this to prove that my posts are not based on ignorance, as some have claimed, or that I am making up stuff out of hate, as another poster here has claimed.

What exactly are others claiming you are ignorant of here or saying that you made up?

From what I can tell, the issue is not whether the things brought up are historically accurate.  The issue is not that there aren't some Churches of Christ who hold certain distasteful beliefs on certain things.  It's that broad-sweeping characterizations are often leveled at Churches of Christ on a whole as if all CofCs are guilty of the worst of what has been done or believed over the years.  That's when it gets unfair.

For example, you will find many Churches of Christ today who do not claim to be the only true "Lord's Church" to the exclusion of others that don't wear the name "Church of Christ."  And, many do not teach that it is sin to use instrumental music in worship (even if they themselves don't use it).

Other Churches of Christ do make those claims (I'll admit that)... but, not all.  Many do not.  So, it's unfair to slap that characterization on CofC churches who do not when they truly do not.
« Last Edit: Wed Aug 20, 2014 - 09:43:04 by grain of salt »

Offline e.r.m.

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Re: Baptism views?
« Reply #16 on: Wed Aug 20, 2014 - 09:40:38 »
I wish that all posters who are C of C had a copy of that Encyclopedia

I do.  It's sitting on a shelf at home.  In fact, I actually know one of the contributors.
I had one, but I gave it to a friend as gift.

Offline e.r.m.

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Re: Baptism views?
« Reply #17 on: Wed Aug 20, 2014 - 13:08:49 »
e.r.m.

I was trying to get someone for where the church of Christ people on this forum stood on this issue.
I gave the historic names to help guide people, but I suppose there are two main issues...

1) If someone knowing baptism is for remission of sins is essential to baptism to have an effect? (No one so far has supported needining on the purpose yet)
It's a hard one to answer scripturally. Once it's stated Acts 2:38 it's kind of a given. Like Matthew 28:19 when it says be baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and the resrt oqf the Bible says just in Jesus's name, we don't assume that the apostles are disobedient. Since Peter gave the reason for forgiveness of sins and reiterated that it's for salvation later on, then there's no reason to believe Peter would ever propagate a baptism for which the people didn't know the reason. Historically they did know the reason, the earliest church father said it was for remission of sins.
Justin Martyr said in about 155 A.D. bout fifty-five years after the Apostle John died:
And for [water baptism] we have learned from the apostles this reason. Since at our birth we were born without our own knowledge or choice, by our parents coming together, and were brought up in bad habits and wicked training; in order that we may not remain the children of necessity and of ignorance, but may become the children of choice and knowledge, and may obtain in the water the remission of sins formerly committed. (Justin, First Apology 61)

Justin was born around 100 AD and was converted around age 30 AD, which makes this belief as early as 30 years after John died.

It was no mystery to people why they were getting baptized. There was no point in asking the question. I wonder why someone would even question you about it. It reminds me of dangers of smoking and global warming naysayers propaganda, "Scientists aren't in full agreement on the matter, so let's not do anything about it yet." It's similar to "Yes, baptism is for forgiveness of sins, but do people really have to know it?" It's blurring the lines. As we can see from Justin Martyr, the lines were not blurred. To baptize someone without telling them the Biblical reason would be going against the Biblical pattern Acts 2:38.

To answer your question, however, I do believe knowing the Biblical reason why someone is getting baptized is part of getting saved. Peter told them ahead of time the purpose for their baptism. Paul asked the Romans "Don't you know when you baptized...? and goes to describe being buried Jesus, our old self being crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, etc. In Acts 19 Paul re-baptized some men who did not understand they needed to be baptized in Jesus's name. A retroactive understanding wasn't enough. The idea get baptized because God wants you to do it, wasn't enough.
Part of having faith in Jesus is having faith in what he taught Mark 16:16.

I'm thinking though that people are asking this for people who have been baptized for reasons other than Acts 2:38. I don't know any church who baptizes people without giving them any reason. As far as I know, people are baptized for a Biblical reason or an unBiblical reason. An unBiblical baptism is invalid. Consider infant baptism vs. Believer's baptism.

Quote
2) Is baptism indispensable for salvation, which could be broken down into
John 3:5 says one CANNOT enter the Kingdom of God unless they are born of the water and Spirit.
« Last Edit: Wed Aug 20, 2014 - 15:19:21 by e.r.m. »

Offline Norton

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Re: Baptism views?
« Reply #18 on: Mon Dec 15, 2014 - 00:19:26 »
I know this is an old thread, but it is of particular interest to me. Too late for me to vote, but if I was voting it would be closest to #3.

I grew up in a "middle of the road", small, southern USA Church of Christ who mostly held to the #1 or #2 views of baptism. Some fifteen years ago our church was without a regular minister so several of us members were called on to take turns in giving the sermons. When it was my time to give the sermon, I checked and rechecked with Scripture everything I planned to say. In the process I found that I could not reconcile my view of baptism with the NT, especially the writings of Paul on salvation by faith, not works. You see, my views and the views of the middle of the road Church of Christ were not the same as A. Campbell's or John Mark Hick's. My view was more along the lines of the 'Positive Law" view that came into the Churches of Christ in about the late 1800s. In this view baptism is unapologetically, and contrary to Scripture, described as a work of law that saves.

After over a years searching, studying, and thinking, I came to the conclusion that baptism was meant to be a symbol that helps transform a convert into a servant of Christ. And why would the symbol transform anyone? Because the symbol is done in the name of Christ with his authority, so that what the symbol portrays actually happens. This is the only model for baptism I can make to fit all Scripture. Hick's and Taylor's book, "Down in the river to pray" came out shortly after, and I immediately ordered it. I did not have to finish reading it because I already knew what it said.

The main reason I see baptism as normative, rather than essential, is because I do not believe Christ handed over absolute authority to forgive sins, to the apostles or the church. Neither John 20:3 or John 3:5 should be interpreted as absolutes. Not everyone the church baptizes will be saved, and not everyone the church doesn't baptize will be lost. Believing that baptism absolutely determines salvation one way or the other has given rise to all kinds of sacramental extremes since the church began. To name a few: proxy baptisms, coerced baptisms, infant baptisms, one minute too late nonbaptisms, toe sticking out of the water invalid baptisms, wrong denomination preacher invalid baptisms.

Offline e.r.m.

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Re: Baptism views?
« Reply #19 on: Tue Dec 23, 2014 - 12:29:25 »
Norton,
            I appreciate your thoughts. It sounds like what you're responding to in part is conservative CoC culture. I never belonged to this culture,  so at best I can only sympathize with whatever experiences you may have had. As it stands, I can only respond scripturally to what you have written. It seems the core thoughts of your post are:
           I don't know what scripture you came across that made you think baptism is a work or a part of the law. Or if you, like others who believe baptism is a work, just "assume" that it is. If you scour the Bible, whether macro or micro, you will not find any Bible author "thinking of" baptism as a work or as part of the law. Not only do Bible authors never call baptism a work, but whenever they speak about works, or the work, or the good work, etc. they are always referring to things that don't come anywhere close to baptism. They had other things in mind. The most famous one of course, Ephesians 2:8-9, his entire mindset is wrapped around Jews, Gentiles, and circumcision. The Jews were "boasting" about being part of the circumcision group, Ephesians 2:11. Paul spoke about baptism and works enough times to put them in the same camp or discussion if he had thought about them as such, but he never brought them close, he treated them as two unrelated topics. He never spoke about the two together at all.
Now people today plug in baptism to Ephesians 2:8-10, but I don't think that's what he had in mind. I don't think the thought ever occurred to him based on his actual writings. Based on anyone else's writings either. No one in the Bible ever spoke about baptism in the context of works, or works in the context of baptism. It just wasn't an issue back then. The two weren't brought together until centuries later. We can speak of baptism without any fear of it being a work.


that baptism was meant to be a symbol that helps transform a convert into a servant of Christ.

Since your concern (a valid concern) is for teaching to fit the scriptures,  do you know of any scripture that refers to baptism being applied to converts? Not believers, because belief leads to salvation, it is not synonymous with the word salvation. But where it confirms a person has already been converted, saved, justified, forgiven, etc. and then is instructed to be baptized or is baptized.

The issue isn't who baptizes the individual, or whether baptism alone determines one's destiny, it's only a very important piece. Only Biblical baptism that is involved in salvation,  wherever he may be baptized CoC or not. Non-Biblical baptism without faith/repentance is what turns baptism into a sacrament.  Of course in the CoC, as with any church, there are non-genuine conversions for a variety of reasons.
« Last Edit: Tue Dec 23, 2014 - 18:00:33 by e.r.m. »

Offline Norton

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Re: Baptism views?
« Reply #20 on: Tue Dec 23, 2014 - 15:44:44 »
erm

Thanks for your reply. I may be barking up a tree from which the coon is long gone, but the idea that obedience, of itself, gets one into the Kingdom has been very pervasive in Churches of Christ. I have never studied Romans 4 in a Church of Christ settling where someone didn't bring up the fact that Abraham obeyed when he offered Isaac, or that he obeyed when he left his homeland. It is as if Paul forgot to mention those events, and that we must add them to his discussion for it to make sense. Even a person as studied as Jimmy Allen in one of his commentaries on Romans seems to admit to being puzzled as to why Paul didn't mention that Abraham had earlier obeyed when he left his homeland, and thus was qualified for being declared righteous. I think this is because baptism has been explained as if it was a work that saves, for years. It was never said that baptism is a work, but how else could people understand it when James 2, which has little to do with baptism, has been used time after time to explain it. And as I mentioned in the former post, that is where I was for many years.

Yes, teaching that baptism can save a person that doesn't have faith, is what I would call a sacramental extreme. Would teaching that faith cannot save a person who dies on his way to the baptistry, be a sacramental extreme?

Offline e.r.m.

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Re: Baptism views?
« Reply #21 on: Tue Dec 23, 2014 - 16:16:39 »
Norton,
             I'm sorry to hear you had that experience.
I have heard from time to time baptism being described as a work that saves. I disagree with that because that's not how the Bible describes it.

I wouldn't describe your last scenario as a sacramental extreme. I would describe it as wrong. Although we can never know on earth if God actually makes that exception, I think it's wrong to say that it absolutely can't happen. In Isaiah 6:5-7 and with the thief on the cross God overrid his normal animal sacrifice requirement.  So He has been known to do so, so I see hope. But neither can we speak for God definitively to say He "will". The best we can do is pray for that individual and hope. Only God knows.
« Last Edit: Tue Dec 23, 2014 - 16:21:17 by e.r.m. »

Offline Jaime

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Re: Baptism views?
« Reply #22 on: Tue Dec 23, 2014 - 16:28:28 »
I "think" God would make provision for Norton's scenario, but we can't take every exception and make a doctrine.i try to stick with scripture and leave it to God on the hypotheticals such as a blind deaf mute quadraplegic stranded in the middle of the Sahara.
« Last Edit: Tue Dec 23, 2014 - 16:38:23 by Jaime »

Offline Norton

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Re: Baptism views?
« Reply #23 on: Tue Dec 23, 2014 - 17:13:27 »
I mostly agree with both of you. The message of the church has always been and will always be "repent and be baptized". I would never tell anyone that that there is no need to be baptized to be saved.

The idea that all that the church baptizes will be saved, and all that the church doesn't baptize will be lost is what made the word "sacrament" a dirty word among many Protestants. Such an idea focuses on the act or ceremony as the key to salvation, without taking faith into consideration. I believe we must take faith into consideration when thinking about the fate of both the baptized and unbaptized or we end up with extremes like that idea expressed above.

Offline Jaime

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Re: Baptism views?
« Reply #24 on: Tue Dec 23, 2014 - 17:18:05 »
I would say there are quite a number of ceremonially wetted folks that had no faith and were just ceremonially wetted before some witnesses to no eternal avail.

Offline e.r.m.

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Re: Baptism views?
« Reply #25 on: Tue Dec 23, 2014 - 17:42:40 »
We must definitely take faith into account.  The CoCs I've known have always required faith on the part of the non-baptized in order to baptize them, at least in theory. Some are better at sniffing out the faithless than others. But faith is huge. It goes well beyond initial salvation.

Offline DaveW

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Re: Baptism views?
« Reply #26 on: Wed Dec 24, 2014 - 05:32:19 »
I would say there are quite a number of ceremonially wetted folks that had no faith and were just ceremonially wetted before some witnesses to no eternal avail.

"Go down a dry sinner; come up a wet sinner."

Offline Norton

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Re: Baptism views?
« Reply #27 on: Thu Dec 25, 2014 - 11:47:46 »
I "think" God would make provision for Norton's scenario, but we can't take every exception and make a doctrine.i try to stick with scripture and leave it to God on the hypotheticals such as a blind deaf mute quadraplegic stranded in the middle of the Sahara.
I agree, the exceptions don't make the rule. That's why I would call baptism for remission of sins normative. The normal and appointed way. However; the exception is not completely hypothetical. I believe we have just such an exception in the case of Cornelius where the men from Joppa, and maybe Peter himself, were of a mind to refuse baptism to Cornelius. In the account God showed loud and clear that He, not the church, had the final say on whose sins would be remitted and whose would not. The case where someone cannot get a believer to baptize them would be a rare exception in the USA today, but maybe not so rare in other times and places.

 A missionary my church supports in Russia told of baptizing a lady who was refused baptism by another denomination until she quit smoking cigarettes. He baptized her and said she could work on quitting the habit later. If she had died before baptism, whose judgement about the lady's fate would stand? The preacher who refused to baptize her or God's. Of course God's judgement always stands whether someone is baptized or not.

I believe strongly that baptism is for emission of sins, but I believe to say it is essential for remission of sins is almost as extreme as infant baptism. In both cases, absolute authority to forgive sins is placed in the church.

Offline e.r.m.

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Re: Baptism views?
« Reply #28 on: Thu Dec 25, 2014 - 14:44:43 »
I understand what you're saying, the church doesn't outrank God of course, but God does give believers SOME responsibilities. We might already be on the same page, but just to be clear. Matthew 28:19 says to baptize disciples, and Acts 2:38 makes repentance a requirement of being baptized. God gives us some responsibility to help a person be ready to be baptized.  This woman who was smoking would at least need to show some signs of making a commitment to stop. If she relapses on her way to recovery after she is baptized is one thing, but to defer all efforts at quitting until after, I think would be neglecting this responsibility. I could be wrong.
« Last Edit: Thu Dec 25, 2014 - 14:49:44 by e.r.m. »

Offline Norton

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Re: Baptism views?
« Reply #29 on: Thu Dec 25, 2014 - 15:28:47 »
Yeah, I guess that would depend on whether one thought that smoking was a damnable sin or just a really dumb thing to do.

Offline e.r.m.

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Re: Baptism views?
« Reply #30 on: Thu Dec 25, 2014 - 15:47:07 »
Good point. But the smoking is just an example. It could be any sin from stealing cable, to cheating on taxes, to beating one's wife, to sexual immorality.

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Re: Baptism views?
« Reply #31 on: Thu Dec 25, 2014 - 16:05:02 »
BABPTISM

As often as this subject is mentioned throughout the various threads in this forum I cannot recall reading very much  about Jewish Baptism.  If it has been mentioned, I managed to miss it.  Baptism did not originate in Christianity.
From

http://www.haydid.org/ronimmer.htm

Is the following….

Tree of Life Magazine
THE JEWISH BACKGROUND
OF CHRISTIAN BAPTISM
BY Ron Moseley, Ph. D.

The following article is provided by:
Arkansas Institute of Holy Land Studies
(phone, address, and web site are shown in the link.)


There is no question that the church is debtor to Judaism for its main structure including such items as Messiah, Scripture, canon, liturgy, altar, pulpit, church offices, songs, offerings, the Lord's Supper, as well as baptism itself. Dr. Merrill Tenney, the editor of the Zondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible said, "Baptism as a rite of immersion was not begun by Christians but was taken by them from Jewish and pagan forms...." Since early Christianity was a part of the Judaism of Jesus' day, it is without question that baptism in today's church was originally Jewish. Further evidence comes from Scholars like William Lasor and David Daube who tell us of the early church's practice of baptism by self immersion after the custom of the Jews.

History of the Jewish Mikveh

The term mikveh in Hebrew literally means any gathering of waters, but is specifically used in Jewish law for the waters or bath for the ritual immersion. The building of the mikveh was so important in ancient times it was said to take precedence over the construction of a synagogue. Immersion was so important that it occurred before the high Priest conducted the service on the Day of Atonement, before the regular priests participated in the Temple service, before each person entered the Temple complex, before a scribe wrote the name of God, as well as several other occasions.

The Mishnah attributes to Ezra a decree that each male should immerse himself before praying or studying. There were several Jewish groups that observed ritual immersion every day to assure readiness for the coming of the Messiah. The Church Fathers mentioned one of these groups called Hemerobaptists which means "daily bathers" in Greek. Among those used to regular immersion were the Essenes and others that the Talmud calls tovelei shaharit or "dawn bathers."

On the third day of creation we see the source of the word mikveh for the first time in Genesis 1:10 when the Lord says, "...to the gathering (mikveh) of waters, He called seas." Because of this reference in Genesis the ocean is still a legitimate mikveh.

The Mikvaot Around The Temple

The New Testament tells us that many of the early church's daily activities were centered around the Temple. Historically, we know that there were many ritual immersion baths (mikvaot) on the Temple Mount including one in the Chamber of Lepers situated in the northwest corner of the Court of Women (Mid. 2:5). Josephus tells us that even during the years of war (66-73 A.D.) the laws of ritual immersion were strictly adhered to (Jos. Wars, 4:205). The Temple itself contained immersion baths in various places for the priests to use, even in the vaults beneath the court (Commentary to Tam. 26b; Tam. 1:1). The High Priest had special immersion pools in the Temple, two of which are mentioned in the Mishnah. We are told one of these was in the Water Gate in the south of the court and another was on the roof of the Parva Chamber (Mid. 1:4; Mid. 5:3). There was an additional place for immersion on the Mount of Olives which was connected with the burning of the red heifer (Par. 3:7). A special ramp led to the mikveh on the Mount of Olives from the Temple Mount, which was built as an arched way over another arched way to avoid uncleanness from the graves in the valley below. Recent archaeological excavations have found 48 different mikvaot near the Monumental Staircase leading into the Temple Complex.

Three Basic Areas

According to Jewish law there are three basic areas where immersion in the mikveh is required.

1. Immersion is required for both men and women when converting to Judaism. There were three prerequisites for a proselyte coming into Judaism: Circumcision, baptism, and sacrifice (Maimonides, Hilkh. Iss. Biah xiii. 5). 2. Immersion is required after a woman has her monthly period (Lev. 15:28). 3. Immersion is required for pots and eating utensils manufactured by a non-Jew (Encyclopedia of Jewish Religion p-263).

Besides these, there are other times when it is customary to be immersed in the mikveh such as the occasion before Yom Kippur as a sign of purity and repentance and before the Sabbath in order to sensitize oneself to the holiness of the day.

The Six Descending Orders of Ritual Immersion

There are six descending orders of ritual baths in the Mishnah (Oral Laws of how to accomplish the written Law) and the highest order is that of a spring or flowing river. We see Jesus understanding and fulfilling this order in Matthew 3:16 as He comes to be baptized in the Jordan River "fulfilling all righteousness." This highest order was called Living Water and illustrated the forgiving of sins, therefore, we hear Jesus using this term concerning Himself (John 4:10-11).

The Water Restrictions

There were also six basic restrictions on the water used in the mikveh including such rules as:

(1) the mikveh can not contain other liquid besides water. (2) The water has to be either built into the ground or be an integral part of a building attached to the ground. (3) The mikveh can not be flowing except for a natural spring, river or ocean. (4) The water can not be manually drawn. (5) The water can not be channeled to the mikveh by anything unclean. (6) The mikveh must contain at least 40 sa'ah or approximately 200 gallons of water.

The term sa'ah is an ancient Biblical measurement equivalent to approximately five gallons. All six requirements come from the original Hebrew words found in Leviticus 11:36. Rabbi Yitzchok ben Sheshes said the amount of 40 sa'ah was derived from the idea that the largest normal human body has a volume of 20 sa'ah, therefore the amount of water needed to "nullify" this body is double this amount or 40 sa'ah.

Why Be Immersed?

To the ancient Jew, the mikveh was a process of spiritual purification and cleansing, especially in relation to the various types of Turmah or ritual defilement when the Temple was in use. Although God has not revealed all the meaning of the mikveh, it is obvious because of the amount of space given to it in Scripture, and the effort of Jesus to fulfill it, the command is of utmost importance. All commands of the Lord fall into three categories:

1. The moral or ethical laws that are necessary for man to live in harmony are known as Mishpatim and are literally translated judgments. 2. The rituals and festivals which reawaken us to important religious truths such as Sabbath, holidays, the Tefillin and the Mezuzah that remind us of God's presence are known as Edos and are literally translated witnesses. 3. The third group often has no explicit reason given for their existence except for Israel's identification as God's chosen people to the other nations (Deuteronomy 4:6). This group of laws are known as Chukim and are literally translated as decrees. Among the decrees of this group are the dietary laws as well as ritual immersion.

How Immersion Was Done

Jewish baptism has never been taken lightly, but in ancient times immersion was to be performed in the presence of witnesses (Yebam. 47b). The person being baptized made special preparations by cutting his nails, undressed completely and made a fresh profession of his faith before the designated "fathers of the baptism" (Kethub. 11a; Erub 15a). This is possibly where churches, sometime later, got the term Godfathers. The individual stood straight up with the feet spread and the hands held out in front. The candidate would totally immerse themselves by squatting in the water with a witness or baptizer doing the officiating. Note the New Testament points out the fact that Jesus came up straightway out of the water (Matthew 3:16).

The earliest drawing of Christian baptism was found on the wall of a Roman catacomb in the second century showing John standing on the bank of the Jordan helping Jesus back to shore after self immersion.

Ancient sages teach that the word mikveh has the same letters as Ko(v)Meh, the Hebrew word for "rising" or "standing tall," therefore we see the idea of being baptized "straightway."

Although it is the Jewish belief that repentance is necessary, purification from defilement is done primarily through water, while other effects of sins are covered by blood (Romans 4:7; note the "almost all things" in Hebrews 9:22). The concept of immersion in rabbinic literature is referred to as a new birth (Yeb. 22a; 48b; 97b; Mass. Ger. c.ii). Note six other important aspects of ancient Jewish immersion:

1.Immersion was accompanied by exhortations and benedictions (Maimonides Hilkh. Milah iii.4; Hilkh. Iss, Biah Xiv .6). A convert would reaffirm his acceptance of the Torah by declaring, "I will do and I will hear" which was a phrase from the oath that was originally taken by the priests not to forsake the Torah (Deuteronomy 29:9- 14). This ritual demonstrates the willingness of the convert to forsake his Gentile background and assume his Jewish identity by taking on the status of one who keeps the commandments.

According to a number of Jewish sages, mayim, which is the Hebrew word for water, shares the same root as the word "mah", meaning "what." This teaching points out that when a person immerses in water, he is nullifying the fleshly ego and is asking, "what am I?" in the same manner that Moses and Aaron did in Exodus 16:7 when they said to the Lord, "we are what?"

2. The Jewish baptism candidates were often immersed three times. The idea of total immersion comes from the Scripture in Leviticus 15:16 when it says, "he shall wash all his flesh in the water." One reason it was customary to immerse three times was because the word mikveh occurs three times in the Torah.

3. According to Jewish law the immersion had to have a required witness. Dr. William LaSor in the Biblical Archaeology Review says apparently the Biblical phrase "in the name of" was an indication of the required witness. In several New Testament references such as I Corinthians 1:13, 15; Matthew 21:25; Acts 1:22; and Acts 19:3 we see early baptism mentioned in conjunction with the name of individuals such as John and Paul. Further information on this can be found in Jewish literature concerning proselyte baptism where it indicates his baptism required attestation by witnesses in whose name he was immersed.

4. The immersion candidate was not touched by the baptizer in Jesus' day. Because Leviticus 15:16 says "He shall wash all his flesh in the water," Judaism stresses that the entire body must come in contact with the water of the mikveh. To insure the immersion was valid, no clothing or individuals could touch the candidate. Any such intervention that prevented the water from reaching a part of the body was known as Chatzitzah and rendered the immersion invalid. Although the mikveh was more spiritual than physical, often the bath had two sets of steps, one entering and another leaving so as not to defile what had been purified.

5. The baptismal water (Mikveh) in rabbinic literature was referred to as the womb of the world, and as a convert came out of the water it was considered a new birth separating him from the pagan world. As the convert came out of these waters his status was changed and he was referred to as "a little child just born" or "a child of one day" (Yeb. 22a; 48b; 97b). We see the New Testament using similar Jewish terms as "born anew," "new creation," and "born from above." According to Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum rabbinic literature uses the term "born again" to refer to at least six different occurrences. Note each of these life changing experiences: (a) When a Gentile converts to Judaism. (b) When an individual is crowned king. (c) At age 13 when a Jewish boy chooses to embrace God's covenant and be numbered with the believers. (d) When an individual gets married. (e) When an individual becomes a rabbi. (f) When an individual becomes the head of a rabbinical school.

6. Jewish law requires at least three witnesses made up of qualified leaders to be present for certain immersions (Yebam 47b). Ordinarily a member of the Sanhedrin performed the act of observing the proselytes immersion, but in case of necessity others could do it. Secret baptism, or where only the mother brought a child, was not acknowledged.

Repentance Without Baptism

One of the most important teachings in Judaism is that of repentance. According to both Scripture and rabbinic literature, no matter how great the sin, if a person repents and forsakes the sin before God he can be forgiven. As we see in the case of John, Jesus, and all New Testament writers, repentance was always involved. The Jerusalem Talmud states, "nothing can stand before repentance" (Yebamos 47b). According to Dr. David Flusser, the Dead Sea Scrolls as well as the New Testament teach that water can purify the body only if the soul has first been purified through repentance and righteousness.

Water and Blood Both Illustrate God's Cleansing In Judaism

Both water and blood are used constantly in the Torah and the New Testament as the two main agents to illustrate God's cleansing. The Jews believe that uncleanness is not physical, but rather a spiritual condition as related in Leviticus 11:44 where it states by wrong actions one can make the "soul unclean." Therefore, the purification through ritual immersion, as commanded in Scripture is basically involved with the soul, rather than the body. Note how both water and blood are cited in Scripture: (1) Blood is used in cleansing in relation to the Passover Lamb (Exodus 12). (2) Blood is used in cleansing in relation to the Day of Atonement (Leviticus 16). (3) Blood is used in cleansing in relation to the Feast Offerings (Leviticus 23). (4) Blood is used in cleansing in relation to the five Levitical Offerings (Leviticus 1-7). (5) Blood is used in cleansing in relation to the atonement for the soul (Leviticus 17:11-14).

(1) Water is used in cleansing in relation to the separation and the ashes of the Red Heifer (Numbers 19). (2) Water is used in cleansing in relation to the consecration to priestly ministry (Leviticus 8:6). (3) Water is used in cleansing in relation to the cleansing of the leper (Leviticus 14:1-8). (4) Water is used in cleansing in relation to the different washings of the Law (Hebrews 9:10). (5) Water is used in relation to the remission of sins (Acts 2:38); Titus 3:5; Mark 16:16; Acts 22:16; Romans 6:3; I Peter 3:20-21; Ephesians 5:26; John 19:34; I John 5:6; Hebrews 9:19- 23).

Summary

A detailed study of the Jewish background of Christian baptism shows that it is vitally important, but God doesn't always tell us why. Obviously, the convert could repent and have a part in the life to come without it, but the emphasis seems to be pointing to the taking on of a new "believer" status illustrated as a "new birth" by immersion. In any covenant with the Lord the three items of God's Word, the blood, and a token are always present (Genesis 17:11). Jesus was always cautious to have three witnesses in everything He did (I John 5:7-8). In the Old Testament circumcision was considered the token of God's covenant, and in the New Testament we see the same wording concerning baptism as it is referred to as "circumcision made without hands" (Colossians 2:11-12). Whatever religious denomination, all believers should agree that immersion has its roots in the Jewish mikveh of Jesus' day, and it is of utmost importance for each of us to fulfill this righteous deed.

Offline e.r.m.

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Re: Baptism views?
« Reply #32 on: Thu Dec 25, 2014 - 16:10:40 »
Norton,
I didn't I addressed your part about Cornelius' house. I think at his house was a one time thing. The Jews reluctance or unwillingness to baptize them came from  them being Gentiles. God gave Peter the vision and then the sign of tongues to let them know that they were eligible for baptism/entry into His kingdom. These people's hearts seemed to already be there.

The reason for reluctance to baptize some these days isn't because people are gentiles, but because of lack of belief or repentance.  There is the extreme of just baptizing anybody, as you said, earlier, not taking faith into account, and expecting baptism to make up for it.
It's not to the extreme of baptize anyone wanting to be baptized without making sure that they understand, and it's not to the other extreme where we expect them to accomplish on their own, what they will need the Holy Spirit for after they're baptized.

Offline e.r.m.

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Re: Baptism views?
« Reply #33 on: Thu Dec 25, 2014 - 16:19:34 »
Rella,
         Good research. I had quoted a similar article from time to time.
I also had the opportunity to ask a Rabbi about the mikveh. He said the mikveh was considered part of the conversion process (to Judaism).

Offline Norton

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Re: Baptism views?
« Reply #34 on: Thu Dec 25, 2014 - 19:28:35 »
Rella

I second what e.rm. said. I have been in the church a long time and am just now learning how important it is to understand the Jewish/OT background of the church/NT. So much of the NT is commentary on the OT. Ray Vander Laan , being a popular writer and speaker, is making that known to us common folks.

 

     
anything