Monday, December 14, 2009

United in spite of differences?

Yes! I like what April had to say over at her blog about unity in the church. As April points out, often "unity" means "agreeing with me" but in the Body we all have differences and where those differences are not Gospel differences, we can and should be in fellowship and unity.

Unity is not uniformity!

(now if I can just get her to abandon that baby dribbling...)

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Anonymous said...

Thanks for the shout-out.

Dribble, dribble, dribble...

Unknown said...

I find it interesting that many modern translations leave out the answer Philip gives to the question, "what hinders me from being baptized".

34And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man?

35Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.

36And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?

37And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.

Steve Martin said...

We baptized, we'll the Lord baptized an infant yesterday in our congregation.

It's my favorite thing of everything that we do in our worship service.

It put God's grace first (ahead of our faith), where it belongs...and the there is no greater expression of the gospel given to a undeserving sinner.

Another sinner, literally washed and made clean by God's Word of promise accompanied by a bit of water.

What a glorious day!

Unknown said...

Hmm, I am going to be a bit snarky here, just so you, if I had been baptized as an infant, I would not have needed to repent and believe when I came to an age of understanding, in order to escape hell?
Tha sure would have saved me some agony!

Steve Martin said...

One does not repent out of understanding.

One repents because the Holy Spirit leads one to do so.

The shape of the Christians life is repentance and forgiveness. it's not a one time event.

It happens over and over and over again until we die.

That the Holy Spirit can speak "in sighs too deep for words" and give the gift (the Bible does tell us that faith is a gift)of faith to an infant is something that we (Lutherans) believe.

Infants cannot understand, but they are capable of a great deal of trust.

And as the infant grows, he/she is taught about the great thing that God has done for him/her in their baptism, and is taught about Jesus and their faith may grow.

Can someone walk away from their baptism?

Sure! It probably happens a lot.

But the promises made there are still good and valid, no matter the age of the baptized.


Arthur Sido said...

Well, this wasn't really a post about infant baptism. Infants are not capable of faith or repentance in any sort of a salvific way. The law convicts of sin but infants have no concept of the law or sin or their need for repentance. The Biblical record gives us neither command nor example regarding infant baptism and what we do know of baptism works against the concept as baptism always follows repentance. Instead of baptizing and hoping they repent, we should declare the oracles of God to them and if they repent, then baptize them.

Jeremy Lee said...

Modern translations leave vs. 37 out because it is not found in the best manuscripts, which means it probably was not in the original autograph written by Luke.

I am a Baptist and do not believe baptizing infants is biblical. However, I know that Lutherans do not teach that repentance and faith are unnecessary. They teach that if one does not repent and believe after he is baptized, he loses the grace conferred at baptism and is not saved. A person must repent and believe to be saved.

As I understand it, the main difference between the Lutheran view and my view (Reformed Baptist) is that they believe that both the Word of God and the water of baptism produces faith; whereas, I believe that the word alone produces faith.

Let's try to fairly represent those with whom we disagree. Especially, when we disagree with brothers in Christ.

Anonymous said...

I think Arthur knows this, but for the record, I am in the reformed/covenantal baptism camp, as opposed to the Lutheran camp, which says that baptism washes away sin. We view baptism in a similar way as most baptist--a physical symbol of a spiritual reality. We just apply it a bit differently. That's why, even though I do believe infants should be baptized, I recognize and respect those who disagree with me, and I will not break fellowship over it.

Anonymous said...

Jeremy said, "Let's try to fairly represent those with whom we disagree. Especially, when we disagree with brothers in Christ."

Yes! Amen! Not just on this issue, but in general. Like I said in my original post, there are certainly hills to die on. But let us remember that on many, many things, we disagree not as enemies, but as brothers.