New Testament Church Proliferation Digest


Spreading the Gospel via House Churches



NT Church Proliferation Digest Wednesday, June 26 2002 Volume 02 : Number 110
Re: [NTCP] Baptism
Re: [NTCP] Baptism
Re: [NTCP] Baptism
Re: [NTCP] How does a NT "sacrament" function?
Re: [NTCP] How does a NT "sacrament" function?

Date: Tue, 25 Jun 2002 10:50:58 EDT
From: TheologusCrucis * cs
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Baptism

Jay,

Hey, I don't mind your answering the question! I really am interested in the
views of as many people involved in HCs as possible about baptism.

And I respect the positive symbolism and imagery that you have used:

>>In answer to your question, and possible answers, I want to say once
more that a wedding, (wetting) is a very good picture of the
significance of baptism. The very heart of it is "the pledge of a good
conscience toward God."<<

But I would ask you, Jay, is our pledge to God at "the very heart" of the
significance of baptism? No one dies at a wedding, Jay. Plus, of all the
Scriptures that I've read that pertains to baptism, I have yet to run into
the symbol of a wedding. I keep running into a cross and a tomb, though.

>>While weddings tend to be and most certainly have very family
implications, the relationship that baptism is all about is one that
"flesh and blood cannot inherit". It has to do with the participant's
assent to the transformation of the inner man. You can do everything you
can to effect that transformation in another, a spouse or children, for
instance, even sanctify them for fellowship purposes, but, at the end of
the day, that assent must be their own. Historically there have been too
many who think they are Christians just because someone took them to
church when they were young or because they grew up in a "christian
nation", (an oxymoron). Infant baptism only reinforces this presumption.
This has not done the cause of Christ either justice or service. It has
rather been in the nature of a fraud, a fraud on the participants, and a
fraud on the harvest field.<<

Very true, Jay. That has happened, although I would still disagree with you
as I believe that baptism has very little to do with regeneration. My post to
David was an attempt to move beyond infant baptism and speak of child and
adult baptism.

In the post I'd written, I included a quote:

"We are soaked to the skin in the death of Christ. Our union with Christ
drips from us. We never "get over" this immersion; this drowning in Christ's
death marks us daily; it marks us out, "names" us to the world and to one
another as "children of God"; we are shipwrecked, run aground on the death of
Christ; we trail wet footprints of this drenching wherever we go; we never
dry off."

Jay, you might notice that a lot of what Mr. Jinkin wrote has to do with a
union of Christ in His death. "We are shipwrecked, run aground on the death
of Christ..." The early Christian church took baptism extremely seriously: No
one was allowed the Lord's table unless they were baptized. Baptism was the
death of the old man and of his old loyalties, loyalties to himself, his
spouse, his children, his local community, and to the state. There were,
shall we say, repercussions for this switch of loyalties: persecution,
certainly, but it made Christianity a feared and alien religion.

What do you do with a group of people that view themselves as already dead,
who are loyal to only one King, a poor Jewish prisoner that was executed,
crucified, for sedition in some jerkwater banana republic? To a people who do
not think that love for family is more important than their religious
observances, who would not participate in any community sacrifices for good
crops and prosperity for the village, and did not recognize the king and the
state as the last word -- indeed, considered themselves citizens of another
country ruled by their poor, executed and resurrected King? People who would
not allow just anyone into their assemblies, and partook in these rites
secretly? They were called atheists, cannibals, and a menace to the public
good.

I read almost every post on this list, Jay. I've noticed that many here say
they have gone back to the NT church, the way it's supposed to be after
literally centuries of man made additions. So does our concept of baptism, of
dying to the old and being brought back alive with the life of God, so
radically rearranged our communities of faith? Has baptism taught us to pick
up our cross like a dead man, and follow Him daily? Has baptism taught us
that the resurrected life that God gives us, the attitude and character of
Christ in the fruit of the Spirit, is that abundant life that Jesus promised
His disciples?

Has baptism and all that it symbolizes set us apart in our dying culture? Are
we a peculiar people here in the wasteland, amid the ruins of yet again
another Tower of Babel? Somehow, Jay, in friendship and with all respect to
you, I don't think baptism as wedding is strong enough to accomplish this.

Just some food for thought! And I am very much looking forward to your reply.

TC


------- <><><> -------


Date: Tue, 25 Jun 2002 23:29:19 -0400
From: "Linkh * bigfoot" <Linkh * worldnet.att>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Baptism

> Very true, Jay. That has happened, although I would still disagree with
you
> as I believe that baptism has very little to do with regeneration.

I believe this is a topic worthy of discussion. I'd like to present a
couple of verses on the issue of baptism as it relates to the remission of
sins:

Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of
you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall
receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Acts 22:16 And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away
thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.

Peter told the crowd of men who were cut to the heart at his preaching to be
baptized when they asked what they should do. He didn't say just make a
confession of faith, or repeat a prayer, but instead intructed them to be
baptized.

He also said 'baptized...for the remission of sins.' We also see that
Ananias told Saul of Tarsus to wash away his sins as he was baptized.

> The early Christian church took baptism extremely seriously: No
> one was allowed the Lord's table unless they were baptized.

The Ante-Nicene church seemed to baptism as the way to receive salvation.
Michael Millier once searched through the writings of Nicene fathers, and
all the ones he could find who offerred an interpretation on 'born of water
and of the S/spirit' in John 3, believe that 'born of water' referred to
baptism.

Have modern evangelicals watered down the meaning water baptism? Have we
replaced the role of baptism with repeated prayers or confessions?

Any comments?


------- <><><> -------


Date: Tue, 25 Jun 2002 14:30:08 -0400
From: jferris <jferris154 * mac>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Baptism

TheologusCrucis * cs <mailto:TheologusCrucis * cs> wrote:

> Jay,
>
> Hey, I don't mind your answering the question! I really am interested
> in the views of as many people involved in HCs as possible about baptism.
>
> And I respect the positive symbolism and imagery that you have used:
>
> >>In answer to your question, and possible answers, I want to say once
> more that a wedding, (wetting) is a very good picture of the
> significance of baptism. The very heart of it is "the pledge of a good
> conscience toward God."<<
>
> But I would ask you, Jay, is our pledge to God at "the very heart" of
> the significance of baptism? No one dies at a wedding, Jay.

Dear TC,

Jesus did, and we died with Him:

"Go forth, O ye daughters of Zion, and behold king Solomon with the
crown wherewith his mother crowned him in the day of his espousals, and
in the day of the gladness of his heart." Song of Songs 3:11 - "Likewise
also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my
blood, which is shed for you."Luke 22:20 The cup is the cup of His
espousals. Baptism is our introductory assent, and The Lord's Supper is
our continuing assent as it works itself out in the "Body He desires."

> What do you do with a group of people that view themselves as already
> dead, who are loyal to only one King, a poor Jewish prisoner that was
> executed, crucified, for sedition in some jerkwater banana republic?
> To a people who do not think that love for family is more important
> than their religious observances, who would not participate in any
> community sacrifices for good crops and prosperity for the village,
> and did not recognize the king and the state as the last word --
> indeed, considered themselves citizens of another country ruled by
> their poor, executed and resurrected King? People who would not allow
> just anyone into their assemblies, and partook in these rites
> secretly? They were called atheists, cannibals, and a menace to the
> public good.

You treasure them beyond measure, because these are the people, and the
response that Jesus died for. It is so encouraging to come accross
someone who has some inkling of the cost.

Yours in Christ,

Jay


------- <><><> -------


Date: Wed, 26 Jun 2002 13:36:08 +0200
From: "Deborah" <deborah.millier * juccampus>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] How does a NT "sacrament" function?

Jay F. wrote:

> I wonder if I could say in love, ...

Brother Jay, we've been in enough "battles"-- and you've always
bounced back in love-- that I feel certain that each statement, no matter
how snide it may seem, is still ultimately filled with the best of
intentions. And a perceptable love. You are a fun brother to read and
dialogue with. Thanks for your responses, whether you wholeheartedly agree
with me or not.

> ... that you get my vote for the
> religious glutton for punishment award.

I'm sorry, but I don't understand you here. If you mean that I fare
well under persecution, you haven't seen me when I get threatened. Or hit.
Perhaps you might then withdraw your vote. Perhaps not ...

> As I look at it, the advantage
> that Paul saw in being God's Old
> Testament covenant community,
> was and remains bought at a very
> high price.

You're oh so right! But my point was that Paul saw a *present*
significance to circumcision. At least to the post-Calvary/Pentecost
"present" from which he wrote his letter to the Roman church. If that is
the case, then that opens *wide* the possibility that circumcision holds
covenantal-- but not salvic-- significance today. Which is my position.

> The shadows turn out to be only the
> dim lights of a tunnel. Christ is the light
> at the end of the tunnel.

Nothing of what I wrote detracts from Christ's glory. He fills *all
things* (Eph. 4:10), including the rite of circumcision. We're agreed on
that. But he also fills, say, your computer (one of those "all things") ...
but it still is in front of you and it still serves a current function.
That is how it is with circumcision. Even shadows have a purpose in our
present day lives-- especially in sunny Israel. My (... and others')
conclusion on circumcision is what the example and inspired writings of Paul
lead me to believe.

I get from the Bible a picture of Paul's perennial battle with
judaizers that does not pit inspired Scripture against inspired Scripture,
book-writer Paul against book-writer James. The "Tubingen School lie" first
proposed by F.C. Baur. Though there was a conflict between Paul and Peter,
it was resolved by their going back to the agreement the Jerusalem Church
(including Peter) had with Paul from early on. Therefore I reject wholesale
your position which casts the Jerusalem Apostles and elders, to whom Paul
submitted all his ministry, ... I reject your position which casts them as
the bad guys. The Jerusalem believers circumcized Jews and obeyed the Torah
... as did Paul. But gentiles were always free to enter the new covenant as
is. As gentiles.

That's all I can say on this particular issue without the conversation
becoming detailed and far-afield of the stated focus of this listserve
(NTCP). Not to mention the thread's (How does a NT "sacrament" function?).

> Until we get to Christ, we have no
> idea what "literal" is. He is the
> literal, all that preceeded Him is
> the metaphor.

If you somehow got to be a bug on the wall of my bedroom for one
night, you --aside from the danger you might suffer from my deadly
newspaper-- would likely hear me voice a certain complaint to the my wife.
It is a complaint about how so many of the saints handle the Bible,
particularly those in the West: "They don't even *attempt* to understand
the literal sense of Scripture before launching into "spiritual"
speculations of often questionable value!" This is a topic you (Jay) and I
have returned to time and time again. Need I say more?

What am I supposed to do with your above statement, Jay? What are the
remainder of the list members supposed to do with it? What value is that in
arriving at the particulars of what Scripture is teaching. I have a sense
of what you are trying to say, but such sloganeering does not ultimately
clarify what function circumcision served as revealed in the OT. It does
not aid us in better comprehending how sacraments function in our NT
communities. It keeps issues fuzzy, filtering them through a pious
ideology, when we would *all* profit more from statements anchored firmly in
the literal sense of God's holy word.

> Dear TC, welcome to the
> brotherhood of the clueless!

Clueless because I insist that statements of *theology* be supported
by Scripture? If that's the case, then I plead guilty. :-)

Michael
Jerusalem

P.S. "Fulfillment" when conceived a certain way is just another word for
"replacement." "A rose by any other name ..."


------- <><><> -------


Date: Wed, 26 Jun 2002 01:24:01 -0400
From: jferris <jferris154 * mac>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] How does a NT "sacrament" function?

Deborah wrote:

>If you mean that I fare well under persecution, you haven't seen me when I get threatened. Or hit. Perhaps you might then withdraw your vote. Perhaps not ...
>
Dear Michael,

Thanks for your gracious response, and ability to take a little chiding.
Actually I was referring to your willingness to continue to come up with
religious answers that are so vulnerable to correction from the
perspective of the New Testament in the Spirit.

>But my point was that Paul saw a *present* significance to circumcision. At least to the post-Calvary/Pentecost "present" from which he wrote his letter to the Roman church. If that is the case, then that opens *wide* the possibility that circumcision holds covenantal-- but not salvic-- significance today. Which is my position.
>
Again, I believe that Paul's present valuation of his heritage had more
to do with perspective, than the efficacy of the heritage. Except to
provide the graphics for an understanding of the New Covenant, the, the
old one was useless. It prefigured Christ, and as such was a touch stone
for faith, even saving faith, for those woh came before, but in the
final analysis, the object of it all was, and remains, Christ, His
cross, His resurrection, and His life giving Spirit.

>Nothing of what I wrote detracts from Christ's glory. He fills *all
>things* (Eph. 4:10), including the rite of circumcision. We're agreed on
>that.
>
We are not agreed about the usefulness of external circumcision, now
that a more excellent way has been revealed.

>But he also fills, say, your computer (one of those "all things") ...
>but it still is in front of you and it still serves a current function.
>That is how it is with circumcision. Even shadows have a purpose in our
>present day lives-- especially in sunny Israel. My (... and others')
>conclusion on circumcision is what the example and inspired writings of Paul
>lead me to believe.
>
Shadows are useful for those who see them for what they are, and don't
try to live in them.

>I get from the Bible a picture of Paul's perennial battle with judaizers that does not pit inspired Scripture against inspired Scripture, book-writer Paul against book-writer James. The "Tubingen School lie" first proposed by F.C. Baur.
>
It is so handy to have a box to put people in, but I don't think it is
very useful for the pursuit of understanding. There is no contradiction
in the Scripture, even old versus new, but Jesus is the last Word.

>Though there was a conflict between Paul and Peter, it was resolved by their going back to the agreement the Jerusalem Church (including Peter) had with Paul from early on.
>
I think you need to take another, and more thoughtful look at what was
really going on there. This too, is another one of the things about
which we ourselves have to be doers of the Word in order to understand
it. The battle is going on even in our own day, and it is just as
intense now, as it was in the beginning. I am so grateful that the
secular authorities no longer permit stoning. I surely would have been
"literally" stoned long ago.

>Therefore I reject wholesale your position which casts the Jerusalem Apostles and elders, to whom Paul submitted all his ministry, ... I reject your position which casts them as the bad guys.
>
Perscription: Reread Galatians twice, and call me in the morning.

>The Jerusalem believers circumcized Jews and obeyed the Torah ... as did Paul. But gentiles were always free to enter the new covenant as is. As gentiles.
>
Ah yes, "Peace, peace, when there is no peace."

>That's all I can say on this particular issue without the conversation
>becoming detailed and far-afield of the stated focus of this listserve
>(NTCP). Not to mention the thread's (How does a NT "sacrament" function?).
>
I'm grateful.

>If you somehow got to be a bug on the wall of my bedroom for one
>night, you --aside from the danger you might suffer from my deadly
>newspaper-- would likely hear me voice a certain complaint to the my wife.
>It is a complaint about how so many of the saints handle the Bible,
>particularly those in the West: "They don't even *attempt* to understand
>the literal sense of Scripture before launching into "spiritual"
>speculations of often questionable value!" This is a topic you (Jay) and I
>have returned to time and time again. Need I say more?
>
Not really. This is already close enough to your bedroom.

>What am I supposed to do with your above statement, Jay? What are the
>remainder of the list members supposed to do with it?
>
Which one was it again?

"Until we get to Christ, we have no idea what "literal" is. He is the literal, all that preceeded Him is the metaphor."

Is that the one that is baffling you? The interpretation is really quite simple: "Reality, however, is found in Christ."

>What value is that in arriving at the particulars of what Scripture is teaching?
>
Well, Michael, it is a little late in the discussion to ask that
question. Perhaps we need to go back and have an altar call.

>I have a sense of what you are trying to say, but such sloganeering does not ultimately clarify what function circumcision served as revealed in the OT.
>
"Reality is found in Christ", if this be sloganeering, make the most of
it! As for me and my house, "... give me liberty or give me death."
(Sorry about mixing my slogans.)

>It does not aid us in better comprehending how sacraments function in our NT
>communities.
>
Well maybe your frustration with me will drive you further into The
Lord. I'm certain that He can explain it to you better than I can.

>It keeps issues fuzzy, filtering them through a pious ideology, when we would *all* profit more from statements anchored firmly in the literal sense of God's holy word.
>
Thats what we need, some more good ole fundamentalism.

>>Dear TC, welcome to the
>>brotherhood of the clueless!
>>
>
> Clueless because I insist that statements of *theology* be supported
>by Scripture? If that's the case, then I plead guilty. :-)
>
Well, It's nice to know that I got something right.

Yours in Christ,

Jay

>
>P.S. "Fulfillment" when conceived a certain way is just another word for
>"replacement." "A rose by any other name ..."
>
P.P.S.You said it, not me.

 


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