Sunday, May 5, 2013

Born Holy

I was born holy on Crystal Court in Oregon City. “Born holy” because my parents had been “saved” through the full submersion water baptism they received by the preacher Walter White. White’s baptism held the key to salvation, the Followers believed. White or a man like him – called by God through visions, confirmation, and outwards signs such as speaking in tongues.

The children of those White baptized were said to be “born holy.” I didn’t understand where that phrase came from and eventually I came to believe the Oregon City group had adopted the phrase to convince the generations who came after White’s time that they had hope through their lineage.

Oregon City, I later discovered, was not alone in their belief about the offspring of the “saved.” The Idaho FOC believes that when a parent is “saved” through baptism, their children – those born and those who will be born – become holy.

Setting aside the notion that baptism is what saves a person, I was interested to know where this idea came from. As it turns out, it’s biblical.

For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now they are holy.

1 Corinthians 7:14
According to this verse, a believing spouse offers spiritual protection to their unbelieving husband/wife, and their children are “holy” through the belief of one or both parents. I had always thought that all children, regardless of their parents’ beliefs or spiritual standing, were considered innocent until the age of reason – somewhere around age eight or nine.

My interpretation of this verse is that these “holy” children are actually children by age. We cannot stay children forever. Each of us must become accountable for our own lives and our own children.


  1. The chuurch I attended as a child,would dedicate babies not baptised.
    I was taught that needed to be a conscious decision, just like accepting Christ.
    I feel babies are born innocent into a sinful world,and as you stated there becomes an age of responsibility
    Your parents baptism is not trasferrable,nor is their being born again.Those are choices we have to make on our own.
    If your are truly saved, not being bbaptised isn"t going to keepn you out of heaven.
    The thief on the Cross nent to Jesus was not baptised,yet was given the promise of "PARADISE"
    Payers and Blessings to all

    1. Dear friend, I would encourage you to read a little bit more on this topic or belief that because the thief on the cross went to heaven baptism is therefore null and void; this is a dangerous thing to believe you have to remember the thief also lived on a different side of the cross than we do.

      "For this reason He is the mediator of a new covenant, so that, since a death has taken place for the redemption of the transgressions that were committed under the first covenant, those who have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance. For where a covenant is, there must of necessity be the death of the one who made it. For a covenant is valid only when men are dead, for it is never in force while the one who made it lives. Therefore even the first covenant was not inaugurated without blood." (Hebrews 9:15-18)
      We live on this side of the covenant, and now we have the blood of Christ so that we would be washed in it. Too much of this rational goes on today without ever looking at more scripture.

    2. Scripture does say "Unless a be born again he shall not see the kingdom of God". Not born again and hope you don't die befor your baptised.

      What about death bed repentance? Granted baptism is a public showing of our faith,but not the golden key.
      That's only available thru the Blood of Christ
      Baptised or not.
      If you are ,I assume Born Again. Do you think if you weren't baptied you would go to Hell when you die?

    3. I cannot say as far as if a person goes to hell or not, but if it isn't biblical I cannot teach it, Jesus says if you love me you'd obey my commandments, I would emplore you to read through the book of Acts and find one conversion that isn't accompanied with a baptism, not that it's the baptism that saves you, but how can a person be obedient without submitting? As far as a deathbed conversion I am uncertain, but the theif on the cross is a rather poor argument in regarrds to not submitting.

    4. But what should stop a person from being baptized? Read Acts the 8th chapter and you will find the story of the Eunich and Philip, what should hinder me to be baptized?

    5. All that I am trying to get across, is that if you believe than there is no reason that you shouldn't be baptized, I am not in a position to say weather a person will make it or not that is up to God but if you believe then cloth yourself with Christ (Galatians 3:27)

    6. Hey Brian,
      Your conclusion about of the thief’s need to be baptized is based on misunderstanding the order of events. Chronologically that argument doesn’t work because Jesus died before either of the other two thieves who were crucified with him (see John 19:32-33).

    7. Brian, you've become a deeply thinking believer. Whether you were taught this by your father, or you've been inspired by God since your leaving, it's a beautiful thing to witness. Notice that one option wasn't that you were taught this in the church after your fathers passing. Correct me if I'm wrong.

    8. Garth, I can see your point but it would be kind of like if you were to ask me for one of my possessions; while I am still here among the living I am fully able to give it to you. But after I die you would have to go through my last will and testament to get it, that is the way I perceive it, correct me if I am mistaken.

    9. Dear Annonymous, it is truly refreshing to hear someone say kind things rather than the hatred they usually spew, thank you!

  2. P.S. Got in the habit, so missed blog on Friday and Saturday.
    But imagine you're enjoying the break.
    Great topic today.

  3. You mean they are Holy! What happened to the "inherited sin" dogma?

  4. Ok.. we can agree to disagree.Politics and religion we believe what we believe.
    A good question for Jesus when "WE" get to heaven.
    God Bless You.All we can do is be the best Christians possible.

  5. Hey Brian: Thanks. It would be a sorry testimony to spew hatred.
    As Christians we are all in the same boat. We may not totally agree on everything. But we are washed in the BLOOD. .
    "Do unto others." In JESUS name

  6. I believe infant baptism is necessary. We are all born stained by the original sin of Adam and Eve whose rebellion against God brought sin and death into the world.

    Babies and young children are innocent of their OWN sin. They are not innocent of original sin and need the purification of baptism to allow the Holy Spirit to come into their souls and dwell within them.

  7. So do you believe if a baby dies at birth,he or she will go to Hell?
    I don't think so. Being Born Again, not baptism is what gets us to Heaven. Children need to reach an age of accountability, so they can make that decision themselves.
    Just as if someone who never had heard of Jesus or being Born Again, would not be held accountable either.

    1. I don't know the fate of the baby but I doubt God's mercy would allow hell to be it's destination. However, I do believe that baptism is necessary for the Holy Spirit to dwell within us and I believe that is just as important for an infant as an adult. We don't know what all the ramifications for eternal life are for an unbaptised innocent who dies and so I would not put it off. Remember that under the old covenant a child was circumcised when only a few days old. I believe baptism is meant to be performed soon after birth as well. Remember too that Jesus said to let the little children come unto Him which has been interpreted as a call for infant baptism.

      I personally don't believe in born again theology if it means once saved, always saved. We should be 'born again' each day as we re-commit ourselves to God each day. However, many baptised people commit to reject God too, hence the once saved, always saved belief is wrong imho.

  8. The exact reason we are given renewed "GRACE" everyday.
    We are sinners but we are redeemed. God knows we will falter, hence the "GRACE"..
    I respect your belief, just don,t buy it. I have been baptised (as an adult)to show a public expression of my faith not to insure my SALVATION. The important thing is we are Cleansed by the BLOOD
    I believe Sanctification is what we need. May GOD bless you and yours....In JESUS name

  9. Jesus did indeed redeem us - before His death and resurrection none of us could enter heaven, no matter how much one loved God and followed His Law. That was the result of original sin, which guilt is now removed by baptism allowing our soul to receive the grace of the Holy Spirit. You cannot enter the kingdom without the grace of the Holy Spirit. Baptism is much more than a "public expression of faith" it is a soul-changing event.

    However, Jesus' redemption and our baptism are still no assurance we will enter heaven as God respects each person's free will. Grace abounds but we can reject that grace and we do so when we refuse to follow God's commands and Jesus' example for how to love God and neighbor. Saying you accept Jesus as your Savior means little if you show that you reject his teachings by the way you live your life.

    Mt. 7:21 "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.

    That requires an ongoing committment, the exercise of our own free will (actions not just words), to do God's Will every day, all day, not a once-and-done event. We can repent our inevitable failings and return to God through grace but we cannot just say I'm a sinner and I will fail so I don't even have to try.

    You can profess to love your spouse and take vows on your wedding day but if your actions after that violate your vows and make your profession of love a lie do you think your spouse accepts that you love them? God is the same.

    1. Anonymous,
      I don’t see any kind of “free will” for unbelievers. Yes, they are free to sin but they have no desire for the things of the spirit; they cannot receive the things of the spirit of God because those things are foolishness to the natural man.

      When I first became a Christian, I struggled a lot with the idea of salvation being free and undeserved because I wanted to insert a little bit of my own doing into my salvation. I knew I made decisions, I knew my will played an active role; I was not a robot that just obeyed commands. At that time if you would have asked me what was the deciding factor in my salvation, the answer would have been “free will”.

      The truth is that Jesus’ life, death and resurrection was the only thing that could save a depraved man like me. His work actually accomplished salvation for all who will believe. His work was the effective and achieving action that bought my election. It wasn’t until a few years after being born again that I came to a God-centered understanding of grace. Salvation was not initiated upon my choosing, but rather I was saved because I was chosen. He didn’t save because I did the will of my father; I do the will of my father because He saved me.

      It’s not fair right; I mean how could God save some and not save everyone? Well… is it really fair that He saved you, did you deserve eternal life with God?

    2. "His work actually accomplished salvation for all who will believe."

      I may or may not agree with you depending on how you define believe. If by believe you mean that you DO your best to DO what Jesus said you need to DO and you LOVE the way He said to LOVE then I agree. Love is an act of the WILL. It is not just a feeling or an assent in your mind and heart.

      The NT is filled with commands to DO the will of the Father. Jesus didn't want to die He and asked His Father to take away the cup. But then He went on to say "Not my will but Thine be done". Jesus DID the will of the Father, strengthened by the grace of the Holy Spirit, but Jesus is the one who made the decision to obey and cooperate with that grace. The Father didn't do it for Him. If He had, Jesus' sacrifice would have meant nothing. That, as in all things Jesus did, is the model for our lives as well.

      Through Jesus, all things are possible. But that requires faith and you cannot have faith in Jesus if you ignore the inconvenient or the hard words He spoke about what it means to love the Father and your neighbor. God will lead you but you have to agree to follow. We can't save ourselves but we do have to cooperate with the grace we are given. Jesus paid the ransom and made our salvation possible but we have to cooperate with God in our salvation and we do that through our free will cooperation with the grace of the Holy Spirit.

    3. Anonymous,
      Here is my definition of believe/faith: Trusting in Jesus. Trusting in Jesus is more than just believing if facts, it involves a personal commitment. To trust someone you need to know them, you need to know that person can be relied upon. But this isn’t really just my definition, it’s the biblical definition. John says, “To all who received him who believed in his name, he gave power to become the children of God” (John 1:12). Your definition of “doing” and “loving” are actions that could very well be evidences of faith/belief but they are not actually faith/belief.

      I suppose the question you and I are grasping at is where did the faith come? It sounds like you’re saying it’s self-mustered, if people would just understand the facts and make a decision to do the right thing they could be saved. The problem with that is people are not able (in their natural state) to interpret how sick they are. And as long as they’re good enough, strong enough, smart enough, faithful enough, or go to the right church, they will never see how sick they are, and they will never need the Savior. The truth is that faith is a gift from God (Eph 2:8-9) and all who receive that gift will believe. This man-centered idea that “free will” (human determinism) can save people and make them justified before God is wrong and unbiblical.

      If you intend to continue with this “free will” theology you will have to ignore much of scripture, and will not be able to glorify God as you ought. The first scripture that comes to mind is Romans 8:28-30:
      28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. 29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.

      Where is your choice in that text? We know it’s there, somewhere within that sequence the Christian made a decision, somewhere the disciple believed and trusted Jesus because of the calling to follow. The believer’s decision isn’t relevant or mentioned because what God has done for us is the reason for anything advantageous we have done.

    4. I think the root of our difference is that you appear to believe in predestination and I do not. Predestination, imho, is neither biblical nor compatible with a loving and merciful God. God is omniscient but He is not a tyrant.

    5. I would like to chime in on the discussion here concerning an omniscient God, and human free will.

      Much of today's theology is based on suppositions that are not accurate, hence such wild notions such as Calvinism, Trinity, and the Rapture become nearly impregnable Christian (sic) doctrines without having much more than some bare threads of support which are usually demolished in other scriptures. If a doctrinal understanding can not hold in all the word, then we have an improper understanding.

      Is God omniscient? Yes, I believe so, because he knows even our very thoughts. He knows all that can be known. So does God know in advance what our freewill choices are going to be? NO. That is not knowable, as all knowledge is based upon facts not predictions. And facts are not factual until their occurrence. I am quite sure if any can predict our outcome, it is he. After all he knows our patterns. our weaknesses, our habits. But that is still based upon the record he has retrieved from our own freely made choices.

      This mass confusion is partly based on a misunderstanding of prophecy. Many reason out that the reason God "knows" the future is because he knows everything. But that viewpoint totally eradicates man as a free will agent. Since God knew his outcome before he was born, he was born already condemned or justified. Prophecy, however, is actually based upon God's being the Almighty. If God "knows" the future, it is because he alone has the ability to make an event happen.

    6. @Garth. You stated, "I don’t see any kind of “free will” for unbelievers." Here is a verse where you may find it. We know God “ now commands ALL MEN [even unbelievers] EVERYWHERE to repent” (Acts 17:30). Now if he commands all to repent, then he left it to free will.

      Just a thought, but we are all to be judged by that same law in the last day, as to whether we did good or evil. The standard does not change based on belief or unbelief, in fact, even the act of (un)believing is an overt decision based upon one's will.

    7. Darren,
      I don't think you can call God omniscient and then say he doesn't the know the future. I see nothing inconsistent between God knowing all we will do in advance and allowing us our free will. He created each of us for Himself. Knowing that one of His children will reject Him and creating that child anyway does not violate the free will choice of the person nor does it make it predestination. I think it helps to remember that God exists outside of time and space but we on earth do not. How we 'know' life and existence as linear space and time dependent creatures is not all there is.

      Knowing the outcome of all free will choices and allowing them to happen is not the same as forcing the outcome (predestination). It is unconditional love and a freedom unlike anything most of us humans with our selfish hearts and motives can relate to. God loves and nurtures all His creatures equally regardless of our final destination. We can refuse to accept His saving grace poured out on us or we can drink it in ever more deeply and be saved. Jesus showed us how to do that.

      You have only to think of a mother or father who loves each of their children equally regardless of their strengths or weaknesses or outcomes in life. God's love and mercy will never, could never, be less than ours! Remember Jesus' parable about the Prodigal Son, Lk 15:11-32 and the description of our Father in heaven. imho, it is the best depiction in the bible of our relationship with God the Father and our free will. The father let the son go, in love, despite the extreme insult of the son. The father was always there waiting for the son to return, pouring out his love. It was the son however, who had to make his own free will choice to return to the father and ask for forgiveness.The grousing brother is like most humans who can't understand that kind of love and wants conditions put on it.

    8. Anon 9:44. Omniscience is knowing everything that is knowable. What has not occurred is not knowable unless you have the power to bring it about. If that power is used, it suspends free will. God does not always allow free will. For example on judgment day his will will be imposed, at the expense of the wills of the wicked. So it only can follow that if God already "knows" the choices we will make, then we are nothing short of pawns in a chess game that has it's very movements scripted, because his hand is the one that moves us to follow the script.

    9. Darren,
      I’ve read Acts 17:30 but the text makes no mention of human determinism being the deciding factor in salvation. You stated “Now if he commands all to repent, then he left it to free will.” But there is no mention of “free will” salvation in this text or anyplace else in scripture. Going back just four chapters we see quite the opposite of your so-called “free will”: And when the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord, and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed (Acts 13:48).

      When we let the bible speak for itself it becomes clear that we have no such thing as an autonomous free will. Our will does not command our heart; our heart commands our will. We will be judged by our words because they are fruits of the heart that reveal our true nature (see Matt 12:33-37).

      I know this short response doesn’t answer all the questions and we could go back and forth on this for weeks, but I’d rather be talking about how Jesus makes people free to do the very thing they were called to do in Acts 17:30—the same thing the Lord did for Lydia in Acts 16:14: And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul.

    10. Grant, as always you are up to the task at hand.

      Briefly, you have allowed read a verse which says "ordained" and read into it "pre-ordained", which is not the same. The word ordained is the same as used in Romans 13:1 and simply means an arrangement. There is nothing in the verse or syntax to imply that the belief of the Gentiles was based upon predestination, in fact the verses prior demonstrate their belief was based upon the hearing of the word.

      You say there is no mention of free will in any place. maybe not in an exact phrase, but surely what else can you have out of "...let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely." —Revelation 22:17

      You are right about the indefiniteness of this debate, feel free to email or fb for a more in-depth discussion.

    11. Darren,
      Just to be clear, my name is Garth not Grant, and there is nothing indefinite about election.

      You’re right to acknowledge the Gentiles were given faith upon hearing the word of God. But why can’t you read Acts 13:48 the way it’s written? Their election is the reason for their hearing and believing. How many believed? “As many as were ordained to eternal life believed” and their faith came through hearing the gospel preached.

      The answer to your question about ‘those who desire to come’ (Rev 22:17) is not difficult if you let the scriptures speak. They are those who are drawn by the Father.
      44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. — John 6:44

    12. Garth, that drawing is to all men, "everyone" according to verse 40. It is through his word and belief according to 45-47. John 12:32 says that ALL will be drawn after Christ is lifted.

      I have no problem with Acts 13:48 the way it is written, it is what is not written that is being extrapolated from it I am at odds with. "ordained" is being read as "for-ordained" and "ordained to eternal life" is being interpreted as the causal of "believed" which is not at all warranted. It is as much as saying, "All that came to the Kiss concert, rocking out to the music, wearing their KISS shirts, were KISS fans. The bottom line is they came to the show, and enjoyed it. In Acts 13:48 the gentiles came to the show, heard, believed, and were saved.

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    14. Darren,
      "Omniscience is knowing everything that is knowable. What has not occurred is not knowable unless you have the power to bring it about. "

      That may be your definition but it's incorrect both grammatically and theologically. Omniscience is infinite knowledge. You are trying to put rational, logical human limitations on God. If God's powers can be limited then he can't be the Almighty God as Christians define Him.

      Besides, MT 7:21 which is the definitive verse that disproves predestination, another definitive verse is James 2:14-26, the faith without works discourse. There are many others of course but those leave no room for disagreement.

      Why did Jesus tell the Apostles to preach the Gospel if there is an elect? What point could there be if people are predestined? Why did Jesus teach us the Lord's Prayer? If you break it down line by line it is utterly pointless for a predestined elect.

    15. This is why many ought not to be teachers: I’ve never seen someone stop in the middle of a verse and then try to pronounce the entire meaning without accounting for the remaining sentence and connecting words, like you just did with John 6:40.

      No Darren, the drawing is not to all men, as you have written. John 6:40 does not in any way read that “everyone” has eternal life or that “everyone” is drawn, it says: “for this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”

      The only true understanding that can be taken from John 6:40 and 44 (and all the rest of John) is that God draws some and they will believe. But you will not understand this if you continue to insert your individual interpretation into the text. Biblical understanding must be centered on what God says, not simply on what you think.

      How can we reconcile the paradox in 6:44 and 12:32? It’s really not problematic for both verses to be correct. 6:44 says: “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day”, speaking of God’s divine election. 12:32 says:”And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” Speaking of the gospel going out into all nations, just as it did after the resurrection of Jesus.

  10. Sounds GREAT.....Sanctification is the indwelling of the HOLY SPIRIT. We live our lives asking for guidance each day or several times a day. Praying for the gift of discernment.

    Of course you cannot profess to have been "BORN AGAIN" and continueto live as you were.
    That is why we are convicted of our sins. Salvation is the act, sanctification is the journy.
    We could discuss this forever. Maybe we will meet in Heaven and discover we were both correct. May God Bless and keep you on your journey

  11. I too hope we shall meet in heaven one day.


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