Monday, September 17, 2007

A Note on the Baptism Posts

Just so nobody gets the wrong idea.

Recently I have posted here on baptism, and left comments on various blogs about baptism. In those comments I have tried to make it clear I consider Baptists my brothers and sisters in the Lord. As far as I can tell we do not teach a different gospel, nor do we worship a different Christ.

What my main concern has been is how we interact with each other in terms of fellowship. This then affects how we view and practice the Lord's Supper and church membership in addition to other areas of Christian life. From my perspective I understand why a Baptist holds to their beliefs and practices. But I see inconsistencies in that. If we are all brothers & sisters--why the barriers?

From their point of view I hold to inconsistencies, and some have pointed out to me we have a "two tiered membership." (For example-elders in a PCA church must hold to Presbyterian distinctives such as paedobaptism, but members do not need to-they only need a credible confession of faith.)

I have explained before that they are adding conditions not found in the Bible, by not admitting all believers into membership. Also a "two tiered membership" is Biblical as the Bible gives extra conditions and accountability to elders. (See
1 Tim 3:1-7 (& verses 8-13 speak of deacons);Titus 1:5-9; and James 3:1

James 3:1, while it doesn't mention elders, does speak about teachers-and in 1 Tim 3:2 elders are to be able to teach. The elders are responsible for the teaching in the church. (Although others may teach in some settings, the elders are still overseers of that teaching.) So when James writes, "Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness" he is showing that those who teach have a higher level of accountability.

I am under no delusion that my posts will be turning all Baptists to my views, nor am I condemning them for holding those views. What I am saying is this: Even though we have some disagreements on important issues, we do agree on the essentials. That is we agree on what is needed for salvation. So let's act like that more often.

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Anonymous Dave said...

Seen this post?

6:13 PM  
Blogger pilgrim said...

I haven't seen that before--it's very relevant to what I've posted--I especially found this line pertinent to what I've been trying to get across-
"Does this reality undermine the reality of the church and therefore, God? Why may I be a member of Jesus’ church but not Bethlehem’s? Why do we not love unity and desire to obey the repeated commands for it in the epistles?"

Thanks for bringing that up Dave.

7:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since you and the baptists both hold a mere sign view of baptism, I don't see why the mode or the recipient even matters, nor why you baptized at all except for a vain show. If God does nothing in baptism, then not one aspect of baptism matters at all. So, I see no problem with you having fellowship.

It's only when we believe Col 2:12 that you are "buried with him in baptism, in which you are risen with him, BY FAITH in the operation of God" that any particular aspect of baptism will matter. If baptism is really the place where the Spirit resurrects us, as the passage says it is, then it ought to be done right as far as mode. If in baptism the Spirit resurrects us by faith in the operation of God, as the passages says, then only believers ought to be baptized, because only they will receive the spiritual resurrection in baptism. But when you reject all that this passage says, then you might as well baptize frogs with a mixture of coolaide and sand, or just not baptize at all.

1:21 PM  
Blogger pilgrim said...

Whoever said it was a "mere sign"?
It's a signa and a seal. We can look to it for God's promise because of that. It's tied to God's Covenant--hardly a "mere sign."

Also it's a command--so more than a "mere sign" that way as well.

Personally I'm not hung up on mode as it sounds like you're implying.

As I've pointed out on your blog--I disagree with your interpretation of Col 2:12.

It does not refer to baptism saving us, but speaks to how it is tied to God's covenant with His people and His promises. These are also tied to Christ's death.

4:46 PM  
Blogger pilgrim said...

Actually check this out-

Then scroll up for scarements more generally.

I doubt you'd agree, but it may help you deal more accurately with what Presbyterians believe baptism is, and taht's because of what it says in the Bible. If you'd like I can post the Scripture references as well.

4:50 PM  

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