New Testament Church Proliferation Digest

 

Spreading the Gospel via House Churches

 


New Testament Church Proliferation Digest Saturday, May 11 2002 Vol 02 : 084
RE: [NTCP] Immediate baptism?
Re: [NTCP] Re: Immediate baptism?
Re: [NTCP] When to baptize?
[NTCP] Immediate baptism?

Date: Fri, 10 May 2002 15:11:18 +0000
From: "David Jaggernauth"
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Immediate baptism?

Keith Said:

"I don't want to get sidetracked into an argument on sacramentalism, but could
it just be that God does impart some grace at baptism?.............."

I want to add something here concerning what Keith said here from my own
personal experience. When i got saved I wasnt baptized until a few months
later. During the period soon after my salvation I experienced many
manifestations that were demonic in nature. I had visitations by demons. I
remember one night when i lay in bed to sleep I felt something jump on my back,
the bed shook with the impact of its weight on me, another sometimes I felt
something slither up my leg while in bed, I also heard a demonic voice
(imitating my mother's voice) taunting me ( I was wide awake that time). There
was also an instance when I was lying in bed during the day, wide awake and
Shiva appeared to me at the foot of my bed.

My pastor thought that it was very unusual for a new convert to have so many
demonic encounters. he advised me that I needed to get baptised as soon as
possible. The moment I got baptized all these manifestations stopped and I
havent had any since.

Then there is also an incident that happened when my brother got baptized. We
went down to the wharf in the city where our Church was located, there was a
small bit of beach nearby where we performed baptisms.

This wharf however is located right on the outskirts of the city and the water
is very polluted. The fishermen throw their garbage in the sea right here. On
this particular morning the water was very murky and filthy. There was some
garbage floating about in it and it smelled like decaying fish.

My brother took one look at the water and began to pray, "Lord, please let this
water be clean and healthy"

The moment he said this the water began to become crystal clear and the garbage
somehow disappeared. There were some people bathing nearby (unsaved) and we
overheard them marvelling at how the water had suddenly become crystal clear.

This miracle caused us to rejoice and I remember feeling as if God was trying
to show us the cleansing power of his love through this baptism. I think its a
mistake to think of baptism as a mere sacrament. Its a powerful act of faith
and God always responds to faith.

David Jaggernauth

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Date: Fri, 10 May 2002 13:10:26 -0700 (PDT)
From: Link H
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Re: Immediate baptism?

I'd like to respond to various people on the issue of baptism. James Rutz
wrote,

>>>3. George Patterson and others have extensively field-tested the whole
issue of rapid baptism and communion vs. delaying same. They found,
resoundingly, that their former regular dropout rate of 95% on the mission
field (note: a more pagan environment) plummeted to 0% when they shifted to
rapid baptism and communion, getting new converts involved as family just after
their decision. for more info. Follow the links to the online sermons you can
listen to for free with RealPlayer.

Philosophy of Evangelism

I've started to develop a new personal philosphy of evangelism. Ir emember
when I was a teen thinking how hard evangelizing an atheist would be. How can
you prove logically that there is a God? If someone believes in God and the
Bible, but won't repent, you have common ground. Later, I saw how some used
ideas from the Bible and the Koran that agreed as 'common ground.'

But I believe now that God has given every unbeliever 'common ground' for us to
use as a starting point to share the Gospel. What is it? The revelation of
God.

Jesus did what He saw the Father doing. In the 90's, the _Experiencing God_
Bible study became popular, teaching that we should do what we see the Father
doing-- seeing where God is working and cooperating. Where is God working in
the heart of a sinner? What has God revealed to a sinner?

Romans 1- The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all unrighteousness
and ungodliness of men who resist the truth in unrighteousness.

The wrath of God is 'common ground.' Deep inside of every person, there is a
revelation that they are under God's wrath. Now, many people have allowed
their hearts to be darkened to this reality. They have built up or allowed the
devil to build up strongholds in their minds to hide from this reality. Their
strongholds may be ideas like 'I am a good person.' 'How do I know there is a
God?' 'If there is a God, He won't send me to Hell, because I'm a good person
compared to everyone else.' Other strongholds may be 'I am a good Mslim. I
pray 5 times a day.'

Imagine these strongholds are cardboard boxes. The unbeliever hides behind a
stackof these cardboard boxes. Hiding from white? The light ont he other side
of the box. Those who do evil run from the light. They hide. They don't want
their sins to be exposed.

Imagine cities full of men like this. Paul walks in and decides to obey God
and tear down strongholds. He preaches the Gospel, and with the truth, topples
down these imaginations and high thoughts that exalt themself against the
knowledge of Christ. He takes the sword of the word of God and knocks down all
these 'cardboard boxes.'

Unbelievers, exposed to the light in all their sin may choose to repent, run
away, or attack Paul. What else does God reveal to sinners? If we are to do
what God is doing, and cooperate with Him, what should we do? We hear about
the conviction of the Holy Ghost. What does the Holy GHost convict about?

Jesus said the Holy Ghost would convict the _world_ of sin, righteousness, and
judgement. He convicts sinners of these things. Paul preached and told
sinners that they were in sin, and explained the concept. He upheld God's
standard of righteousness, a standard they could compare to their own sin. He
told them about the judgement to come. After this kind of preaching, some
believed, and some became hardened. Back to the issue of baptism.

Guy Muse wrote,
>>The traditional churches in our midst say the person must
"straighten out their relationships" FIRST before being baptized. If they
don't, then it is a poor testimony to the Evangelical community. How can a
person be baptized when they are still living in sin? If they were truly saved
they would leave the relationship that has been causing them to sin--or so goes
the thinking.>I would think this is very easily solved: were any of the
apostles or anyone in the Bible EVER legally married as it is defined today?
The Bible defines marriage as what happens after you enter the woman's room (or
bring her into yours) and 'lie with her.' According to the Bible, living
together IS MARRIAGE!! NO ONE else has the right to define marriage in a
different way.> In fact, quakers marry simply by telling each other that they
will be forever together.> And here in Venezuela, after 2 people have lived
together 7 years, they ARE leaglly married!! I bet Ecuador, another Bolivarian
nation, also has a similar law. But I still wonder exactly WHY God forbid
having more than one at a time? It must be a punishment, for it is certainly
not natural? but Adam had only one woman, so maybe the 'natural' part means the
devil-imposed part?Howdy all, TC here.

Been following the baptism thread with much interest.

I think when baptism happens really doesn't matter. Why? Because as long as the
North American church continues to practice decisional regeneration (i.e., now
say this prayer after me...), then we will continue to have few conversions and
many decisions for Christ.

Besides, baptism is not considered a means of grace among most Evangelical
bodies, whether house church or institutional churches. We tack 'em in the end
of an evening service or an evening at the swimming pool fellowshipping with
each other. Everyone knows the real stuff in the Christian life happens
emotionally anyway. Why let doctrine and theology get in the way of being
pragmatic? Baptism is only a symbol, right?

Most modern Christians have lost the sense of baptism (as well as the Supper)
being a sign, a synecdoche: "a figure of speech in which a part is made to
represent the whole or vice versa (e.g., new faces at a meeting)." "New faces"
here means "new people," but the face is taken for the whole person. Baptism is
more than a wedding ring, which is more a symbol than a sign, in that a sign
not only points to the thing signified but is somehow bound together with it.
Baptism in water isn't really baptism in the Holy Spirit and regeneration, yet
the apostles can say that baptism washes sins away.

Until we figure out some kind of theological thought on baptism and what it is,
which will take more than 5 to 15 minutes, does it really matter when someone's
baptized?

Just my two cents worth.

TC

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Date: Sat, 11 May 2002 20:07:18 -0700
From: "George Patterson"
Subject: [NTCP] Immediate baptism?

Delaying baptism for legalistic reasons is a major cause of failure to follow
through. It isn't a matter of making baptism immediate as much as dropping
non-biblical requirements for baptism, that leave seekers thinking that they
have to make themselves perfect outside of the church to merit their entry. It
was like a mother leaving her newborn child outside the door in the cold until
it stops dirtying its diapers. We have had almost no failures in follow up when
we removed these man-made requirements, provided that we called seekers to
repent and not merely make an intellectual decision.

George Patterson


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