Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Is Rebaptism Biblical?


As much as I enjoy exploring religious topics and learning about the history of the Christian church and its myriad sects, I am far from being a biblical scholar or theologian. Please keep this in mind as I explore the important and controversial subject of baptism and rebaptism.

The Followers teach that only a very special man can perform biblical baptism. The man must be “called” by God to be a preacher. The calling comes about in ways that are clear to both the newly called preacher and to other godly men who have confirmation visions, dreams, or other signs. A man cannot just say, “I’ve been called” and be accepted, it must be confirmed by others.



When I was young, I knew some older people in the church who had been baptized in other churches and then joined the Followers where they were told they needed a true baptism by a man called by God – Walter. Two of the folks who were baptized by Walter after having been baptized earlier in their lives were my uncle and my grandmother (on my dad’s side of the family). Both of them left the church after Walter died and before my birth. I'm told (and the baptism records confirm) that in the last few months of Walter’s baptism ministry, many outsiders came to be baptized, and very few of them stayed around long after his death.

So I have been wondering about this: is rebaptism biblical? Is it necessary? In my search, the first bible verse I found led me to believe that rebaptism is not biblical:


There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

Ephesians 4:5-6 (KJV)


But that didn’t address the claim that only certain baptisms count – the critical belief among the Followers that the person doing the baptism holds the key to salvation. Last December, Jerry Patton wrote a guest blog exploring the requirements for a person who performs baptisms. Who Can Baptize

I wasn’t satisfied with the very brief hint of “one baptism” in the Ephesians verse, so I read up a bit more and found other relevant verses. This verse, from the book of Acts, refers to some men who had been baptized by John the Baptist, and then were rebaptized by the apostle Paul, in the name of Jesus.



And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, he said unto them, have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, we have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.  And he said unto them, unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, unto John's baptism. Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.

Acts 19: 1-6

This verse brings up another question: most churches (including, I’m told, The Church of the Firstborn) baptize “in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost” but here we are told to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ.


Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

Acts 4:12


I grew up believing, as I was told, that baptism is what saves a person’s soul. But as an adult, the vast majority of Christians I met outside the FOC believed that making a commitment to follow Christ, along with a prayer (the sinner’s prayer) asking for forgiveness and inviting Jesus into one's heart was what saves. As a Follower, I understood Jesus’s statement to Nicodemus in John 3:5: “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit” to mean that you must be baptized with water to be saved. While the understanding of most Christians is that being “born of water” happens to us at birth, and being born of the Spirit happens when we accept the free gift of salvation through Jesus Christ. And this makes sense; I accepted the new explanation with relief. But I have been digging deeper into scripture and I wonder about other verses such as this:


He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

Mark 16:16 (KJV)


I’m not sure what to make of it. In the first part of the sentence it is belief and baptism that saves; but the second half states that unbelief results in damnation. Is it possible that those who believe, but are not baptized will end up in neither heaven nor hell? And here is another verse that leads me to the conclusion that baptism is a requirement of salvation:




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 2:28 (KJV)


I had never realized that the New Testament refers to the baptism of Noah’s family. Here it is along with a clear indication that baptism leads to salvation:




to those who were disobedient long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water, and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ,

1 Peter 3:20-21 (NIV)

In doing the research for this blog entry, I spoke to a number of fundamentalists. Two of them said that rebaptism is a sin and is recrucifying Christ. I tried to find a biblical reference for this – but found that this idea may have originated with Martin Luther (the protestant reformer who brought to light the sins and heresies of the Catholic Church). The term Anabaptist means to re-baptize, and centuries ago, Anabaptists were executed for their beliefs.



I have a lot of questions. I find that the more I learn the less confidence I have in what I “know.”  A good sign of spiritual (and intellectual) growth, I think. What do you think? Is rebaptism a sin? Who has the authority to baptize people? And, if people back in Walter White’s days were rebaptized by him, then why is it such an unforgivable sin when one of the Followers gets baptized in another church? Is it better to remain unbaptized, considering all the evidence of our need for baptism? And if God does send you another leader, can’t those people just be rebaptized?

 


23 comments:

  1. I have been told that the water birth they refer to in John 3:5 there was from the mother, my next question automatically being "ok then show me someone who hasn't been born that way?" is there a man that isnt born from his mother? This makes no sense! This is one of the most controversial topics when it comes to what followers think, I would love to sit down and pick they're brain about this subject and just maybe get some clear biblical references on they're beliefs of baptism and what they have to back it up, but no one will give me that. I was told that I what I did was unforgivable, to be baptized by a person that wasn't to the caliber of W. W. when I asked if there was a spot that made a reference to this I got a yes, well I wanted to see it but alas I had already done the unforgivable so they didn't have to back anything up with scripture, you can imagine a person's frustration, I await an answer from any of the followers.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hhhmmm. Yes an interesting , controversial subject indeed ! What I have heard , but as for learning that's sad all in it's self . Walter white now deceived for many years , still SEEMS to have a voice ? A voice that's been ignored !!!! If the world continues upon my death continue your lives have children get baptized !! In the name of the father (god) the son (Jesus) and the wholly ghost ( jesus reserection)he lives , reigning next to our fathers side , god ) ... Sounds like to me that's what the followers should be doing ! There are older members in that church who are baptized wether it was there or else where . Why are they not shunned ? Why are they not asked to leave ? Why is it such a bad thing ???? One says we greet each other with a wholly kiss and he can tell which ones are worthy of that greet and which ones are not ???? So is he taking judging into his own hands ? He was baptized outside of church and joined in his teens !!!! Ive heard in other churches children getting baptized and then repatizex many years later . One account a gentleman strayed from god lived a hard , party life . Pulled away from god from family from being . He got re- batized in his 60's accepted Jesus in the name of the father, son and wholly ghost ! Turning his life around for the better so admitting infront of many and asking god to enter his heart and life and be changed for the better !! Sounds like a good thing to me !!!! I'm sure some see a problem ? But why ???? Why is this such a taboo in the followers church . When , why , and who decided to do different ? I myself chose to follow the bible to learn it . Follow the followers that sounds like a botched scavenger hunt gone awry , with the players running around like chickens and a pied piper laughing while he plays his own tune !!!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It would be interesting to know what Walter said about that subject and many more, but I don't trust anyone out there enough to take them on there word. But it doesn't matter, we have the word of God, that's a better record than W. W.

      Delete
  3. Well, rats.Now you've got me thinking again Suzi. I really hate that.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I was a member of the FOC then got baptized into Jesus Christ. Like Jesus commands. I was shunned by my family. But I fear the wrath of God more than man. Jesus commands us to be baptized. Every conversion in the book of acts deals with baptisim. You can not simply take it out to fit your Life. You can not rip that commandment out of the bible. Jesus says believe and be baptized. It's just that simple. One can not remove the steps to salvation it is a free gift one has to take the hand of God. The so called sinners prayer is somthing that has been just been entroduced fairly recent years. It was not practiced years ago or by the first century church. It is introduced by modern day preachers. I am not sure why. The free gift is for anyone to recieve. It is out there for everyone to recieve. So why do you wait. What hinderth you. Go ask, knock, seek. And you will find. So either God lied or you are not asking, knocking, or seeking which is it. There can be only one truth. I will wrest in God with this one. The followers believe that only a called man can baptize. So after Walters death there has not been anyone baptized since 1968 I believe. What a shame to shun those who go to seek the word of God. Those who go get baptized into Jesus Christ. What a shame to loose contact with your entire family and so called friends over simply following after Christ. The very name they call there selfs. I have made a move to get into Jesus Christ it cost me my family and so called friends. Jesus tells us to be baptized, Paul preaches, Peter also preaches, Silas, Philip, just follow the bible except the free gift. Get into Jesus. And you will find the peace he promises.

    ReplyDelete
  5. As a member of the FOC this has puzzled me for years. I feel that I must be baptized. Because I was born after Walter Whites death. And I also feel that the bible says to be water baptized. Since there has been no one here to preform this act, and there is no one that I know of that can do this act alive. I remain unbaptized. So the question in my mind that I keep rolling over and thinking on is who has the athority to baptize. Who is able to preform this. The ones in acts that got rebaptized, got baptized not knowing Christ, johns baptism only. When they heard of Christ that's when the got rebaptized or baptized in the name of the Father God, the Son Jesus, and the Holy Ghost the comforter left here on earth to point to Jesus. In Acts 2 Peter tells us why we need to be baptized. He says for the remission of sins. But I still wrestle with who. The way I see it it has always been a called man of God. I believe that I must be baptized, but by just any man I do not see how that can work. So I am here waiting on God to send someone to me for this service. I pray to him he knows my thoughts he knows his will be done. So I patiently wait on God. As far as rebaptized once you are baptized into Jesus I see no need to be rebaptized into Jesus. If that was the case I would get baptized everytime there was a baptism. Romans 6, Gal. 3:27, I Peter 3:21, mark 16:16, Acts 2:38 and following. All teach baptism, so I believe in water baptism but who can baptize. So Who can be saved. As far as the sinners prayer I like the sounds of this, I have done this but I know I need to do more. I know there is more required of me. I know Jesus asks more of me. So I believe in accepting Jesus, but there is more than. Simply believing. The devil belived and trimbled so I have also believed and am on the se level or plane as the devil.


    One lost soul

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. To One Lost Soul !!!!
      Yes it is heart breaking to think because we left , and have found god that we are the bad ones !! To loose your entire family , to get no support from family , friends , those that say their the elders ! They don't know how to help because they themselves haven't seeked help from god first .I pray everyday for them that they will come to understand there's a better way of life !

      Delete
    2. Dear "lost soul",
      It is sad that you feel lost...but Christ came for those who are lost, take heart. Those who wait upon the Lord shall never be disappointed. There is a Shepherd and he know his sheep and they also know Him. I was in the same predicament as you are, but I waited upon the Lord, though sometimes I felt impatient, finally He sent me a preacher, I did not look for Him.
      What I may need to mention is that the true Gospel is not everywhere or in every 'church' as we may think. It is a bit rare, like gold.
      It is good that you know and appreciate the importance of baptism. If I may offer my opinion to you as a person who has obtained grace from the Lord, I will expound on the issue.
      Baptism has three aspects all put by God. The heart of the person has to be put right and justified by faith first, otherwise even if someone is baptized by John the Baptist and the heart is not just, the baptism will have no effect in the presence of God. This is similar to the circumcision of Abraham, his circumcision was a sign confirming his faith. He was put right by God and justified by faith before circumcision, not after!
      The second aspect is the person conducting the baptism. Just like a priesthood, not everybody can conduct a baptism which is acceptable to God. That is a major issue, if lets say you were 'baptised' by a 'pagan', the baptism is not acceptable in the sight of God! Let me give a personal example, I was told that I was baptized while I was still a baby, anybody baptizing children is not doing God's work! John preached a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, only adults can repent...babies do not know their sins. Therefore, when I say pagans, I mean anybody who may be confessing Jesus but denying him by his actions such as these false teachings.
      Lastly, the way baptism is conducted is a major issue also, some 'baptise' by way of sprinkling and other ways other than what was demonstrated by John the Baptist and confirmed by the prophets and apostles. It should be through immersion and moreso in 'Living waters'. A person who is truly sent by God will preach, testify and baptise in the true way that was shown and confirmed in the scriptures.
      Now for you, the issue of re-baptism does not arise. What I would suggest is that you should wait upon the Lord to send you a true messenger. There are many that claim to be messengers of God but are false, be wary!
      For those who may also wonder about the issue of re-baptism like Suzanne, the issue is weighty and important. Only one baptism is acceptable before God. If a baptism was conducted in the wrong manner other than what is shown in the Bible, then that is just an exercise with water which has no spiritual importance. Secondly if for example you had been baptized like me while I was a baby, the Baptism has no importance, it is just another false teaching. The issue of 'Re-baptism' only occurs at this age if the baptism was not conducted to the person at the right time (after repentance), by the right person and in the right way.
      If the baptism was done at the right time, in the right way and by the right person, the issue of Re-baptism should not happen.
      I believe that there are messengers from God, but they may not be wearing collars for us to know them, neither are they having a face full of glory like Moses while he was descending from the mountain. Wait upon the Lord. If you require more communication on the issue, kindly re post and I will give you my email and we can communicate since we have some similarities.

      John

      Delete
    3. OLS: It seems clear that you are very sincere in wanting to do the right thing and I can commiserate with the confusion, having grown up there. I'm just not convinced that any human person (Walter or someone of his caliber) holds the key to salvation - that makes it hopeless for 99.99% of those who, like yourself, desperately want it. The key to salvation is Jesus (John 14:6).

      And as an astute reader alluded in a comment on Jerry's post on "Who Can Baptize," the apostle Paul was baptized by a layperson - a Christian, but NOT a minister.

      Is it possible that the validity of a baptism has much more to do with the condition of the heart of the person than the position of the person doing the baptism?

      John: please do post your email, I'm guessing there are folks who would like to have a conversation with you - myself included.

      Delete
    4. The Followers have long believed that a person performing baptism must have the correct "credentials", i.e. be an apostle. They refer to the examples in the book of Acts where those performing the baptisms were apostles. They are reading that since they were all apostles in the book of Acts, then the person performing a baptism must be apostles otherwise baptism is invalid. This is reading a requirement into the bible where there is no requirement. There is nothing anywhere in the bible that says a person performing baptism MUST be an apostle or even a minister. There is also nothing that says it must be done a certain way, such as "living water" as was suggested. Only Jesus can give living water as He said to the woman at the well, not a flowing river.

      When the eunuch from Ethiopia asked Philip "what doth hinder me to be baptized." in Acts 8:36, 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." Nothing here about a certain person or formula for baptism.

      Delete
    5. Amen Brother!!
      Jerry Patton

      Delete
    6. Suzanne,
      The email is hiuhu@hotmai.com, kindly contact me and I will be glad to share more on the issues under discussion.
      John.

      Delete
    7. Sorry there was a typo error, that is hiuhu@hotmail.com.

      Delete
  6. The subject of baptism is extremely controversial. It seems like every branch of Christianity has a different interpretation of how to do it.

    While taking confirmation classes at Zion Lutheran church, I learned that if you were in the middle of an arid desert and found a dying man, you could ask him if he was baptized. If he was not and said he wanted to be baptized - you (as a good Samaritan) could say, "I baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost." This is called the 11th hour conversion and is accepted by God, the Son and the Holy Ghost.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would like to see biblical fact that saying this to a dying man would be the same as the literal baptism.

      Delete
  7. This is all great to hear from so many on this subject ! But I want to hear from an actual current follower !!!! Why is this nit being done ? Why do they seem to hide , to be ashamed of reading , teaching the bible ? But most of all WHY do they think it's Christian like to disown family members that were pushed out , or left ??? Why is it considered a sin to leave ??? Everybody is losing out on family lost ! Those in the church and those pushed out . 95% of members are pushed , away shunned , treated terrible until leaving seems to be the only good option . And when they leave they seek and find god .. How many members would still be there if there was god , bible study , and a preacher ?? 100% would still be there ....

    ReplyDelete
  8. Old Testament law called for an immersion in running water in order to be cleansed, called the mikvah. Today it is considered necessary mostly for women (monthly) but at one time it was imperative for the priests to be ceremonially clean. The idea of baptism in rivers is Judaic, not Christian, in origin.
    This is the "bath" that Bath Sheba was taking when David spied her from his rooftop, not the sensual bubble bath that movies have portrayed. David was moved not only by her beauty, but because she was devout and Godly and was cleansing herself for her husband's return from battle. That's what made it such a beastly act - in more familiar terms David basically had the wife of one of his most faithful servants abducted from a 'church service' so he could have sex with her, then eliminated her husband to "fix" it all.
    When Christ met the woman at the well, he promised her "living water" which would remove all thirst forever, which is to say that not only would it sustained her, but that her craving for things that can't satisfy would be quenched.
    Water is used as a metaphor for salvation time and again in the bible. Water is scarce in the Middle East, and as necessary to life as anywhere else on earth. Bath Sheba was cleansed by it, the woman at the well was sustained by drinking it, Noah was saved by passing over it when everyone else, well, passed under it.
    And yes, there is the water of the womb, from which all of us came. Baptism represents not a birthing out of water, but a birthing into and through water - a voluntary death to our past lives (immersion), and rebirth into a new one through water.
    So *IS* it wrong to re-bathe when you've become soiled? Is it wrong to re-drink when thirsty? Do you think it's wrong to pass from a wrongful life in order to be born into a more Godly life repeatedly as you learn more and more about God's gifts and your own sinful nature? Judaic theology is one of repeated error and human frailty, and condemnation before the law, but Christ's mission was to fulfill the law and provide guidance to salvation in spite of the law, which is love and forgiveness, mercy and joy, etc. There is no law against these things.
    There is only one baptism because there is only one water - all water is water in some form, be it ice or steam, salty or fresh. There is only one salvation, given by God, and the gospels say that each of us must "work out his own salvation with fear and trembling".
    John 3:16 says that "God gave his only begotten son, that whosoever shall believe in him shall not perish, but have everlasting life." Do you believe in your own heart that a loving God would leave to damnation those who didn't have access to baptism, priest or prophet?
    The answer, I believe, lies in the intent. Some do warn of re-crucifixion, but most people get rebaptized in order to rectify their own lives and reestablish their faith, not to deliberately re-crucify Christ.
    Like so many issues in the bible, there is no one-size-fits-all answer.
    I might suggest that the answer to the water may be found in the fire. When Moses encountered the burning bush, he also came face to face with the great I Am, and that encounter changed forever who and what Moses was.
    There are many mysteries in the bible. Cleansing assures that you don't stink of decadence or death when you are tried by fire, because as Christians the only death we should carry on us is the death defeated by Christ, not the reeking death of sinful flesh.
    We all know when it's bathtime.
    JMHO
    Pandyce

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. To clarify do you believe in submersion if available of course ?
      And are you saying that the followers have no way of baptism or priest or prophet ?
      If so this is very troubling because if you live in Oregon city or the outlying area you know there are many , many churches they could join be a part of or just learn of Christ and be baptized . In the day of judgment they will not get another gift when God already brought his only son for the sins of the world .
      Fear to seek ask and knock , has paralyzed them , they are adult men and women , NOT children , and they know enough to wonder what should we do ?
      The bible is a book Pened by God and is ment to be followed
      Not to think now I am going to search the scriptures and look for the things I have been taught to believe and leave the rest in the
      Does not apply to me section
      God wants all to come to the glory of him !
      Not just a few in Oregon city , they are my friends and family that I love and pray for daily and want salvation for them All ,

      Delete
    2. I do believe in submersion because cleansing is an important part of conversion to Christianity. It is symbolic of the cleansing that Christ does for us, for our souls. However, I do not believe that baptism is the ticket to heaven, nor do I believe that not being baptized will prevent you from entering into the joy of heaven.
      It is not my place to judge the FOC, however, my statements were made with the understanding that the FOC currently has no pastor, priest or prophet that they feel is suitable to baptize. This has to be a crucial time, since their faith hinges so strongly on this pivotal point. If everything is the sovereign will of God according to the faith of the church body, and entrance to the everlasting is dependent on baptism, and God sends no prophet to minister and baptize...then what? Have they then been judged by God and rejected? Are they to live in an unclean state and die without recourse?
      The answer to this is that Christ died once, he rose once and he did these things for all of us. There is nothing in the gospels to suggest that the entire bible story from Adam to Christ's resurrection was for a single group of people - just the call to Israel to sanctify and separate themselves so that they could "become a nation of priests", which is to say that their job would eventually be the salvation of the world through Christ, who was the genetic culmination through faith of the entire root of Israel.
      There is only one baptism.
      I know that the FOC are adult men and women as well as children. I grew up with some of them, and while we were in grade school, I thought of some of them as friends. That's probably why I feel such compassion for the FOC. The more I learn, the more I feel their pain. Hard to describe.
      It's also hard to explain how simple the message is the bible really is - all we have to do is accept salvation as a gift through Christ.
      And I have to disagree with you on one point. While fear has immobilized them, I don't think it's what is really the problem. The bible says that Christians should test and prove all things, to be "as wise as serpents, and as gentle as doves". If anything, I think the fear is that they have bought into a doctrine that is not in keeping with the whole message of Christ, that they followed it to the very letter and have reaped thorns as a reward. They fear that if they don't keep the same faith, they will burn. Conversely, their deepest fear is that if they DO keep this particular faith, they might burn anyway.
      The good news of the gospels is that 'the truth will make us free'. There is hope. All we have to do is accept it, 'work out our own salvation with fear and trembling', and live our lives in accordance with our personal relationship with Christ.
      It is my earnest prayer that the current troubles in the lives of the FOC congregation *IS* that of 'working out salvation with fear and trembling', or that it will become so.
      And, my dear soul, the bible isn't just a book meant to be followed. It's not only a book of laws and rules, shoulds and shouldn'ts. It also contains balms for your soul - assurances that God loves us, cares for us, gives us what we need and accepts us as we are. It's a book of praises and acknowledgement of the greatness and goodness of God. He isn't just a nitpicky dorm mother who wants to know where we've been and who we've been with - He's a loving father who knows everything about us, yet loves us and wants a close relationship with us anyway.
      There is SO much more to the bible. Read it and be blessed.
      Pandy

      Delete
  9. Hello to you all. I find your conversation on the subject of baptism very interesting indeed. I have been a member of the CoFB for the past 57 years, and been a minister for the past 50 years, having baptized many souls during that time. I can since, hoping I am correct, that you are all fairly young and still struggling with your identity as Christians, baptized or not. I am very familiar with the FOC, both in Idaho and also in Oregon. I am not sure from which area you speak of, but I am also familiar with your teaching over the years concerning the "being qualified to baptize", and the circumstances it has placed you in because of this teaching. My statement, not knowing if you are even interested, is to study the history of the Church you are referring to, and seek out the roots of it. The FOC church comes from the early 1800's into the USA from Canada. I have researched over these past 40 years, the history of the FOC and later being changed to CoFB along about 1917 because of the need to have a church name agreeable to the US Army for conscientious objector status. I have traced my baptismal roots all the way back to the original minister in the US, (Elias Brewer), and have documented the steps all the way back. This history is very interesting, and I feel you might find it interesting yourselves even though it would takes some coaching on my part or someone older than me, (71), to guide you through the many steps that have transpired over these many years. Some of this history will bring you to some very disturbing history, and show you how easily the church can be sidetracked and go in splinter directions that take its members farther and farther from where they need to be. This is what I find to be the case in 2012, and still happening today as members continue to try to define every word written in the KJ New Testament. This history can be looked at and reviewed as it came about, on my website; http://www.globalsunshine.com/COTFBhistory.htm I will continue to monitor this site for further interest, and also be open to other discussion if anyone seems interested. God Speed

    ReplyDelete
  10. The issue of baptism is very much symbolic of death and resurrection. Jesus died once and He is alive forever. When we are baptized, we are symbolically buried with Christ and also have hope to share in His resurrection. Now we know that Christ died only once and He is alive forever. Paul was filled with wisdom as he wrote candidly about the issue, Colossians 2: 12
    "Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead."
    The matter is confirmed in the book of Romans 6:3-4,
    "Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
    4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life."
    Now these two verses also destroys arguments about other baptisms other than immersion.
    Baptism is like death, once we die we are freed from the power of sin and we put on a new self that is not under the control of sin. It is also similar symbolically with circumcision. It is a circumcision of the heart and not of the flesh. It is therefore a fulfillment of a repentant soul, eager to start a new life in Christ. The connection of baptism with the repentance and forgiveness of sins is repeated time and again in the scriptures, this can not be taken lightly. Without the forgiveness of sins, there is no hope of eternal life.
    Here, I speak like one who lacks wisdom.
    In human terms, we do respect the laws, ordinances and practices that we set to safeguard what we consider valuable. I remember recently trying to access money from a dormant personal bank account whose details were missing and some like my signature which I have somehow changed with time. My explanation to the bank officials that some of the details like telephone number and signature have changed with time were not accepted. Now I wonder, if we are that keen with things of 'little value' like money, how much more should we strive to have everything straightened out before we meet our maker. Now someone will say am legalistic but I'd personally not encourage the dilution of the gospel and the written word simply because we are under the grace.
    What I honestly think is that some have undergone false baptisms like the one I underwent while still a baby and do require another baptism, but once we undergo a true baptism, acceptable before God, there should be no other baptisms.
    John

    ReplyDelete
  11. All of these comments are ones I questioned and struggled with, and still face opposition about today.

    ReplyDelete
  12. As I looked over the comments to your post, I was amused at the first comment by someone who ended his comment with; When the eunuch from Ethiopia asked Philip "what doth hinder me to be baptized." in Acts 8:36, 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." Nothing here about a certain person or formula for baptism.
    But then left off the next part where it says;
    Act 8:38 And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.
    This verse tells a lot about what actually happened.
    Anyway, that is not what I wanted to comment on today. I wanted to give you some incite to the baptismal linage all the way back to the first person we have record of who was a preacher in the FOC church, having been changed to COTFB in Sept. 1918 when it was changed to satisfy the U.S. Military for conscientious objector status. I have that record verifying this also. I wanted to point you to the records that show where all of you FOC brethren come from, just for your interest. If you choose, those of you that were baptized by one of those that came from Bro. Charlie Smith, who was baptized by Bro. Marion Reese, and who I can easily follow my baptismal linage up to also. You can access this document and some of the information at;
    http://www.globalsunshine.com/ChHistory/MyBaptismalrecordsbackto1830.pdf
    Let me know if you find this interesting.

    Bro. Bill Porter

    ReplyDelete

The catchpa has been removed to enable easier commenting. Spam and irrelevant comments will be deleted.