Thursday, December 9, 2010

Baptismal regeneration: 'Evangelicals' vs. the Holy Scriptures

I have notice that when dealing with the issue of Holy Baptism, many Protestant (ie low church Protestants eg baptists, some pentecostals, etc) insist that it does not save.  Then  they will use an unscriptural slogan to 'prove' it. "it is an outward sign of an inward change."  The slogan does not even state baptism does not regenerate necessary, it does not even try to deny that maybe this inward change was the result of baptism.

Frequently when dealing with this topic we will use our verses:

"He that believeth and is baptized, shall be saved: but he that believeth not shall be condemned."--Mark 16:16

But Peter said to them: Do penance, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of your sins: and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.--Acts 2:38

tbc

7 comments:

  1. I grew up a fundamentalist Baptist preacher’s son, very well educated in Baptist doctrine. I became an evangelical in my twenties: same doctrines just with a more positive emphasis. I am now a conservative (confessional) Lutheran.

    Why did I become a Lutheran if I was taught, and still believe, that salvation is received through faith alone, in Christ alone? How could I join a Church that believes that God saves and forgives sins in Baptism? Baptism is a work!

    I became a conservative Lutheran when I realized that the reason Baptists and evangelicals do not and cannot understand infant baptism and baptismal regeneration is that they do not understand how a sinner obtains FAITH!

    As I said above, I was a Baptist preacher’s son. When I was nine years old, I got into trouble, and my mother gave me a well-deserved spanking. After the spanking, she talked to me about sin and that I needed to be saved. She led me in a prayer to ask Jesus to forgive me of my sins, come into my heart, and be my Lord and Savior. I remember feeling so good after finishing that prayer. I was saved!

    I was then told that God would now speak to me or move me or lead me to do things to follow his will for my life. All the Christians around me were talking about God moving them, leading them, speaking to them…but I just didn’t have the same intensity of feelings that most of them seemed to have. So when I was about 15, hearing a good Baptist sermon, I asked myself this, “Maybe the reason God doesn’t speak to me like he does other Christians is probably because I am not really saved! I didn’t really believe the first time. Maybe I didn’t fully repent. Maybe I didn’t have enough faith.” So I prayed the equivalent of the Sinner’s Prayer again, with all sincerity and contrition for my sins. I felt that rush of good feelings again. I was happy. I now knew that I was definitely saved!

    But then in my early 20′s I attended a non-denominational evangelical church (with Baptist doctrine). The people in this church REALLY had God. They would sway with the hymns, hands toward heaven, their eyes rolling back in the heads. "Wow! God REALLY speaks to these people! So why doesn’t he speak to me like that? There must be something wrong with me, because I don’t FEEL saved anymore!"

    I left the Church altogether.

    I was not the only Baptist/evangelical to undergo several born again experiences because we didn’t FEEL saved. My mother, the pastor’s wife, several years later, the person who had “led me to Christ”, decided that she wasn’t really saved either, so she repeated her born again experience just to be sure. And several other people in my church repeated their born again experience for the same reason: they weren't sure that they had done it right. If you go on your computer and google “how many times have you prayed the Sinner's Prayer?” you will find other Baptists/evangelicals who have gone through the same experience.

    http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20060728125929AAnQHZp

    The problem with the Baptist/evangelical Doctrine of Faith is that it is based on US! Our salvation is based on us having the maturity and intelligence to make a free will decision to accept Christ into our hearts, So if later on in life we start to question our salvation due to not FEELING saved, what do we have to fall back on? Ourselves! Did I really repent? Did I really have true faith or was I trusting in my own faith? At nine years old did I really have the maturity to make a decision? MAYBE I DIDN’T DO IT RIGHT! So just to be on the safe side, I’ll sincerely repeat a version of the Sinner’s Prayer, and make 100% sure that, this time, I do everything right!

    So, in this plan of salvation, which is supposed to be a FREE gift from God, we turn it into something that depends on us…on us doing the born again experience correctly!
    To read the rest of this article, click here:
    http://www.lutherwasnotbornagain.com/2013/06/the-reason-baptists-and-evanglicals.html

    God bless,
    Gary
    Luther, Baptists, and Evangelicals

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    Replies
    1. Going from Baptist to Lutheran is certainly positive progress. Born Again was just an ancient expression for baptism. I've heard several stories of Baptists becoming "born again and again" because of doubt. Then they get rebaptized 10000 times--though Hebrews 6 says not to do this! Sadly some of them were probably once saved always saved.

      We can know when we are saved and when we are not, just being not saved does not prove we were never born again! Sadly people seem to think the two are interchangeable.

      As a Catholic works do not save me, just as my receiving Christ did not save me, but was necessary to be saved according to John 1, likewise we can know if we are saved based on our actions, because living righteous is the Will of God

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    2. momwkids.sc@charter.netNovember 15, 2013 at 12:13 PM

      Dear Berhane, what is the difference between 'your works' and 'living righteous'? Why did Christ Jesus die to fulfill a law that we could not fill, nor keep, if WE have our own righteousness (Romans 5:17; Romans 2:27; James 2:10; the whole book of Romans and Galatians)? Remember, there is a way that seemeth right unto a man but the end there of ARE the WAYS OF DEATH (Proverbs 16:25; Matt. 7:13). The Bible declares there is none good, no not one (Rom. 3) and that death passed upon all men so all are sinners(Rom. 3; Galatians 3); they have all gone out of the way there is none that seeketh after God (Rom. 3). Jesus also said unless your righteousness exceed the righteousness of the Pharisees you should die in YOUR sins (Matthew 5:20). The theif on the cross did not have time to live righteous, Saul who was converted to Paul had already done enough to persecute the church BEFORE he met Christ to condemn him for eternity, so when did HIS righteousness start to take effect for Christ? He proclaimed to be completely blameless as to touching the law (Philippians 3) but after he had been baptized in to Christ and his body, and church, (which is impossible to take place by physical water, so this baptism must be spiritual as God is spiritual; Rom. 6; Gal. 3) he said he counted as dung that he may win Christ (Phil. 3). Doubt and faith are at complete opposites of one another. It is impossible to please God without faith(Hebrews 11:6). Dear sir (Gary), I do understand your struggle with "Baptist" doctrine but there is a difference in mens doctrine and God's. Put no confidence in the flesh (Phil. 3). Man has put steps to Christ, God has provided the way to Himself through Christ. Salvation is not in steps, whether prayer, or sayings, or feelings, walking to an alter (that has nothing to offer but carpet and wood) etc.; but in getting to Christ. With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible(Matthew 19). Also the true Bible (KJV) proclaims GOD is the AUTHOR and FINISHER of ones faith (Hebrews 12:2). The thing to remember its all Christ! He is the bridge, the propitiation, the sacrifice and as the Bible states, Jesus saith unto him,"I am THE WAY, THE TRUTH, and THE LIFE: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me" (John 14:6). May you find Him and the peace that passeth all understanding (Phil. 4:7). DO NOT stop searching until you know you have HIM! "He that HATH the Son, hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life (1 John 5:12)."

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    3. MOMWKIDS:"what is the difference between 'your works' and 'living righteous'?"

      me: Depends on HOW you are using "your works" and "living righteous." I was referring to ALL "works" done before salvation, none of them merit salvation. As far as "living righteous" I was referring to after a person is saved they MUST continue to be righteous in ACTIONS, since the Scriptures both New and Old, Christ, Paul and John instruct people to BE righteous. St John says "Children, let no one deceive you. The person who acts in righteousness is righteous, just as he is righteous."-1 John 3:7. Furthermore, Christ casts out the workers of iniquity and judges all man by WORKS.

      momwkid: Why did Christ Jesus die to fulfill a law that we could not fill, nor keep, if WE have our own righteousness (Romans 5:17; Romans 2:27; James 2:10; the whole book of Romans and Galatians)?

      me: That is referring to the Mosaic Law, which has long since been abolished by the New Covenant with its laws, many of which are from that of Moses. The New Testament tells us over and over that we CAN keep the law

      So the dragon was enraged with the woman, and went off to make war with the rest of her children, who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus.-Revelation 12:17

      Here is the perseverance of the saints who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus.--Revelation 14:12

      By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.-1 John 5:2-3

      In addition we have Jesus preaching a LOT of keeping my commandments, IF you "Love me."

      Even then, we do not get righteous by keeping the law, nor is there a reward for it. But you become unrighteous by breaking it, since sins is not righteous and sin is violating the law. I do not see how your usage of Romans 5:17, Romans 2:27, James 2:10 prove a point either way. Romans 5:17 just says Adam is the source of mankind's sinfulness, and Christ is the source of the Christian's being righteous and having Divine favor. Romans 2:27 is just about Gentiles being able to keep the law better than a Jew. By the way, Romans 2:7 shows t fruits of a Christian living in obedience and living righteous "eternal life," and the next verse states the disobedient go to hell. James 2:10 is just stating you need to keep the whole law, keeping only part of it does you no good since both a murderer and adulterer get the same punishment.

      Sometimes "own righteousness" can be used in different senses. How St Paul and the Lord use it often refers to a person trying to make themselves righteous by their own human efforts, without the grace of God, which in the end if not righteousness at all. Another sense its used in the Scripture is a person that was truly seen as righteous by God, since God made that person righteous that righteousness can be seen as now belonging to that person, this is used in Ezekiel 18 and Isaiah 64:3-6

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    4. momwkid: Remember, there is a way that seemeth right unto a man but the end there of ARE the WAYS OF DEATH (Proverbs 16:25; Matt. 7:13).

      me: Of course, because those ways are sinful and sin ends with death.

      momwkids:The Bible declares there is none good, no not one (Rom. 3)

      me: There are different ways the Bible explains this. In this case St Paul is establishing both Jews and Gentiles are sinful, by quoting a hyperbole from the Psalms, which are poetry. The Psalms also refer to people lying from this time they were born, this certainly was not mean to be read literally, since its not possible! St Paul is quoting Psalm 43 (MT numbering) which in the very next verse (v5) contrasts these people "the sons of Adam" with "My People." Christ says the same thing "none are good," by this He means that no one is good in of themselves by their own efforts, though man IS good in a sense, that we are Created by God and Genesis says it was "very good," certainly Christ did not mean a Christian is not good, because as I point out in another post, Acts 11:24 refers to the apostle Barnabas (though hes not called such til acts 14:14) as a "good man" filled with the Holy Spirit! So from this we can conclude a righteous Christian CAN be called Good since the Sacred writer called a man it himself. Furthermore, a simple bible search will pop up a multitude of people the Sacred writer calls "good."

      Momwkids:that death passed upon all men so all are sinners(Rom. 3; Galatians 3);

      Certainly, because of Adam, but even then, we cannot blame Adam since we sin ourselves!

      momwkids:they have all gone out of the way there is none that seeketh after God (Rom. 3).

      me: Yes, St Paul is generalizing again, which he can certainly do, since most do not seek God. Elsewhere, ST Paul says people do seek God like Romans 2:7, and Acts 17:27 "that people might seek God, even perhaps grope for him and find him, though indeed he is not far from any one of us." Its also important to mention this verse is not saying people are incapable of seeking God, a doctrine Calvinists and even some with Baptistic tendencies love to say, but its just saying people DO NOT, with no mention of ability.

      momwkids: Jesus also said unless your righteousness exceed the righteousness of the Pharisees you should die in YOUR sins (Matthew 5:20).

      me: Yes, and the Pharisees Jesus was referring to were not ACTUALLY righteous, but hypocrite and self righteous.

      momwkids:The theif on the cross did not have time to live righteous,

      me: Depends on what you mean, one of the thief's last acts was defending the Name of Christ against the slander of the other one, this is certainly righteous. Even, then, by not committing sins and keeping the faith he was living righteous, although be it not for long! Even then, if you do not believe that counts, I was not referring in the first place to people that have a death bed conversion at all, I was referring to the average Christian who has a whole life ahead to live out.

      momwkids: Saul who was converted to Paul

      me: Saul was never converted to "Paul" he was called Saul even at his ordination by the Spirit in Acts 13:3. Paul was probably a Greek (though the word is also Latin) name he adopted, since he grew up around them and was a citizen, and Saul his Hebrew name, Jews to this day still have Hebrew and English names. Anyway, the bible never mentions a name change.

      momwkids:Paul had already done enough to persecute the church BEFORE he met Christ to condemn him for eternity, so when did HIS righteousness start to take effect for Christ?

      me: St Paul became righteous when he was baptized, when his sins were washed away (Acts 22:16)

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  2. momwkids: but after he had been baptized in to Christ and his body, and church, (which is impossible to take place by physical water, so this baptism must be spiritual as God is spiritual; Rom. 6; Gal. 3) he said he counted as dung that he may win Christ (Phil. 3).

    me: Baptism with physical water is common way Christ stated was needed to become born again. Jesus was baptized with water (not to be born again though), the Apostles baptized people with waters (JOhn 4, and Acts). Baptism is both physical and spiritual. Likewise, 1 Cor 10:3-4 calls Christ a "spiritual" rock, yet, the Exodus story presents Moses as striking a real rock and water coming out of it, so spiritual does not have to be contrasted with physical necessarily. Romans 6 is refering to a person being baptized and is comparing it to Christ's death, you can use metaphors to describe an ACTUAL physical event. But anyway, Paul's lawkeeping does not merit righteousness, and the law was dead at that point anyway, and his works of killing Christians was sinful, and ST Paul says elsewhere, he did unknowingly blaspheme God.

    momwkids:Doubt and faith are at complete opposites of one another. It is impossible to please God without faith(Hebrews 11:6).

    me: certainly.

    momwkids:Also the true Bible (KJV)

    me: The KJV is the true bible, as opposed to other bibles? There were other bibles before it, and even revisions to the kjv made after 1611. There are a number of errors in the KJV, some intentional perhaps because there was some Calvinist bias in it. I have a number of pages on the issue of the KJV's errors. Some of the KJV's translations are based on the words of Rabbis, ignoring what the text REALLY says. Others are examples of the carelessness of the translators, like Exodus 3:22 referring to God instructing the Hebrews to "borrow" gold, silver, and clothing, with NO intention of returning them, making God the author of theft, when just about all other bible say "ask, inquire, etc"

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