Re: Is Baptism Important?
So, now, I have to believe in transubstantiation to go to Heaven? This is getting to be a long list of requirements.
No. Transubstantiation is something that the Roman Catholic Church came up with in the late middle ages to satisfy the Protestant Rationalists. The Protestants were demanding proof of how this takes place. The church since the beginning has believed in the “Real Presence” of Christ in the elements. The early fathers would not inquire as to how but accepted this mystery in faith.
Because they were abusing it and making a mockery of it. They’d turned a reminder of Christ’s love and sacrifice into a gluttonous, self-centered feast:
What else other than mockery or ignorance is it than regarding this great sacrament as juice, cracker, and happy thoughts? Ignorance can be helped but when the truth has been presented what else is it other than rejection?
God was disciplining them so that they wouldn’t be condemned, not to condemn them.
“They who deny the gift of God are perishing in their disputes” St. Ignatius from my quote.
I don’t see it as “word play”. I see it as looking closely at what Paul said. I would assume that God, when inspiring Paul to write the Scriptures, would have Paul use the correct words. He’s speaking of a third party. We’re not even given clear indication of whether those being spoke of were even Christians. If baptism for the dead is the only way to heaven for those who placed their faith in Christ but died before having a chance to be baptized, you’d think that Paul would place very strong emphasis on it, rather than a two-sentence passing reference to the practice in which he never even clearly advocates the practice, but only acknowledges its practice.
Can you deny it’s validity? It was practiced and has been practiced in the church since antiquity. There are lots of things that people try to explain away because it doesn’t agree with their system of belief. On this one you have to rely on your interpretation or the practice of the church for the last 2 millenia. It is definitley a gray area but I don’t think you can just dismiss it by saying, “Well, he said “those” so he was speaking of someone who probably wasn’t even christian. If this was being practiced by christians and it was wrong don’t you think he would have condemned it outright? Instead, you see the church carrying this on from bishop to bishop until present day. Only excluded from the breaks off of the Church from antiquity.
So, we’re simply victims of our protestant brainwashing? Seems a handy way to do a blanket dismissal of all opinion contrary to your own.
I have found that the protesting of the protestant movement was much more a reaction to abuses (rightly so) that led to changing some very key points of the christian faith. The Roman Catholic Church broke off from the Eastern Church (known today as the Eastern Orthodox Church) in 1054 and that is where you see the abuses really going rampant. So some of the reactions of protestantism are understandable but that doesn’t make it right. Take a girl who has been sexually abused. She decides that she is never going to have sex and never have children. Do we understand why? Of course. Is she fulfilling all that God has endowed her with? No. With counsel and time she make come around and find a man that will love her and give her beautiful children.
Question: I met with a friend–a fellow believer and a pastor–for breakfast this morning. Should we have taken communion? We were believers meeting together. Or were we not meeting “as believers” but just as two friends? We did actually spend most of the 90 minutes discussing theology. So, does that make us “as believers” and we sinned by not having communion? Or were we just two guys chatting over coffee? How do we tell the difference between a communion gathering and a non-communion gathering?
Communion is the pinnacle of worship. It is where believer’s come together to worship the Lord as a body of believer’s for the purpose of worship. Coffee is just coffee. Hopefully it is good coffee though. The Lord can still minister as when two or more are gathered together in Jesus’ name He is in the midst.
Wait a sec…. So, are you saying that baptism forgives my sins up until the point when I am baptized but then I do communion to be forgiven of sins committed after that point? I always thought….
No. Baptism is a one time thing. It is the entryway along with believing and confessing. I don’t try to separate baptism as ” something that’s important but it doesn’t really involve salvation” It is all inclusive. Not meant to be separated. None of the sacraments are: And I believe that the Word of God is a sacrament in an of itself. For I have read many books but none have changed my being except the Holy Word. It is essential for salvation too is it not? Whether through hearing or reading. The beauty of Communion is that even after we are baptized we still sin do we not? As we walk out our salvation with fear and trembling (Paul) and we seek Confession (confess to one another that you may be healed) and Holy Communion with our Lord Jesus he give us the grace to avoid and conquer sin. For His life, sacrifice, and resurrection conquered sin once for all and when we seek His grace it is sufficient to take us through this life into His arms. I believe all of the sacraments are needed in this walk of Faith. Why else would they have been given to us from the Lord?
Now it seems that, because I disagree with you, I am being flippant (“frivolously disrespectful, shallow, or lacking in seriousness”) and rejecting Christ??? I’m accepting Christ. I’m just accepting that my acceptance of His work for me on the cross is sufficient and complete for my salvation. I have been baptized. I solemnly and thoughtfully take communion at church when it is held. I see both as important. Yet, I’m flippant because I don’t see them as having power to save me?
I never said you are flippant about taking communion. I was admonishing anyone to not cast it away flippantly. As in well, it’s a nice symbol or reminder. It doesn’t seem like you regard it as such but with devotion.
And salvation was made possible by more than only the cross. It was the incarnation, His holy life, death, and ressurection that makes salvation possible. My view of the Faith is to not try to break it down into one thing because there are many things that make salvation what it is. It cannot be by faith alone for it is by grace. It cannot be by grace alone for it requires faith. and in james faith without works is dead. That is what He created us, even predestined, us unto (good works). And James goes on to state that it is not by faith alone but a man is justified by his works. Salvation is massive and people want to break it down to Grace alone, Faith alone, or works alone. It is all of them in their proper order that brings us to a relationship with our Father in Heaven. This is the ancient and catholic (universal church) Faith that has always been and will always be.