Sometimes I hear people saying how evil churches are or that people are just controlling, but in my experiences if you can find a group of people who believe similarly to you and love them as your family it can be a very rewarding and encouraging community to be a part of. Humans are humans, there will always be people you don't particularly mesh with, or find easy to like, and there will be people who have a different agenda to you. BUT, this is the nature of people, not the "church" or "religion". People are not perfect, and so no religion will ever seem perfect.
I apologise to anyone who experience hurt by a church or similar, I do understand that in some cases people have had awful experiences and I don't wish to downplay them.
ETA - I'm leaning towards it being 'NOT' essential at this stage.
What do others think?
Want2bemummy I know a church that has broken away....actually know of a few 'home' churches who have gone back to how the original church used to fellowship, which is interesting. Everyone having a psalm, everyone being equal...taking turns etc etc, congregating in homes like the early church did
Last edited by Deserama; 01-03-2012 at 18:20.
Jews do not baptise as such ( some however like the orthodox do ritual cleansing like what John the Baptist did or if you are converting it is a requirement )
So, in terms of adult baptism, at this stage I believe that it is not neccessary for salvation… but Des has thrown me by saying that some scriptures say that it is neccesary! Do you have any examples Deserema? J I was baptised as a teenager, as my choice. I believe it is a declaration/ symbolic as leaving the old life behind, renewing, etc. BUT I don’t think it is necessary. I guess to me, when it comes to salvation, God judges the heart. If someone becomes a believer, but doesn’t get baptised because they didn’t have a chance yet, or just didn’t think to do it, and then they died, I don’t believe that this would affect their salvation, as their heart may still be in the right place, it just didn’t happen, IYKWIM. But someone who is a believer but has a rebellious heart, and says ‘I won’t be baptised because …. Xyz (I don’t know, I’m trying to think of a reason not to be baptised that demonstrates a rebellious/ unwilling heart!), then perhaps that would influence their salvation? I guess what I’m saying is, I believe that God sees our heart and will judge accordingly as to our salvation.
Another topic I do find interesting is how literally you do take the bible. I don’t want to cause arguments and controversy, as so far, this thread has been very nice and friendly J but I do find it interesting to hear about how literally different people take the bible.
Fiveinthebed, I think you brought it up that you see the bible as a book of myths that are basically rules for ‘good living’ (Sorry if I am quoting you wrong, I don’t know how to go back and quote a second person!) So I know that this is one way that people see the bible. Not literal, but a book of good stories, that tell us how to live a right life.
I know of other christians who believe in the bible, but have varying degrees of how literally they take it…. For example, the creation of the world – I know many Christians who believe that it was not literally created in 7 days, but that 1 day can represent 1,000 years, etc. I think this belief also helps for some people to reconcile evolution and creation. I’m sure that there are other examples, but I can’t think of any.
Then there are other christians who believe in the bible as being literal in every way. This is how I see the bible. I believe creation occurred in 7 days, that Noah’s ark actually happened, etc.
I am interested to hear different beliefs of how literally you take the bible… is it a book of good stories, or did everything happen exactly as it is written?
Interesting topics being discussed.
(excuse if I don't make sense, it's late so I'll write it quickly)
I remember having infant baptism explained to me that made sense and I've also had this discussion with someone who was mortified I was baptizing my children.
Anyway, basically scriptures aside, it's a symbol from us as parents to God that while we are responsible for this child and teaching this child, we'll raise them in our faith and teach what we know about God so that they'll grow with good faith and morals. It's also introducing the child to the church and having the be welcomed and becoming part of the community.
I know it's simple but it makes sense to me. Giving my children a faith and being part of a church and community I believe gives a sense of belonging and a path to God, the way I know it. When they're older and can think and make decisions, they'll ofcourse question and pave their own path to God (like we all did really) but while I'm responsible and teaching them I can only show them my path and hold them with me (if that makes sense) do baptizing symbolizes that.
That does make sense, and I think that it is sometimes really helpful to our faith to do 'symbolic' things... whether we believe that they are neccessary for salvation, or whether we believe that we would still be saved regardless, but we just want to demonstrate an aspect our faith, etc, I know that it can be helpful to do symbolic things to demonstrate what we believe in.
Sometimes, too, I believe that God doesn't see things as 'neccesary', but it is beneficial for our own heart condition. For example, I believe that all of my sins were forgiven on the cross, so I don't need to sit here every day and list my sins and say 'God, please forgive me for this and this and that'. He has already forgiven me, I don't need to ask for forgiveness. But sometimes, I do say, 'God, I feel like I have failed in this particular area. I know I have sinned. Please forgive me, and help me to become more christ-like in my character'. Although I don't believe I 'need’ to do that, symbolically, I am submitting myself to Christ, having a contrite heart, recognising where I need to change, etc.
Soooo…. Not meaning to digress, but…. Yes, I do see the value in doing symbolic things in your faith, and if infant baptism is an important symbol to you, I think that’s great
"He that believeth and is baptised shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned." Mark 16:16
I believe that belief, salvation and baptism are all intertwined. To be 'saved' you need to both believe and be baptised.
The Greek word from which we get 'baptism' essentially means 'submerge'. Baptism is full immersion in water. Acts 8:38 shows this: "and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptised him." If baptism did not require submergence, as the word itself suggests, then it would not have been necessary to go down into the water. Christ himself was baptised by being submerged - "And Jesus, when he was baptised, went up straightway out of the water:" To have come out of the water he must have been in it.
"Believe and be baptised." Belief must come before baptism. In the New Testament we only read about people who believed being baptised. There are no recorded examples of unbelieving people being baptised. And so, I don't believe in the baptism of babies, as babies cannot be 'baptised' in the Biblical sense. You must be capable of making the decision for yourself. Nobody can take it for you.
Spiritually, the simple act of baptism is very important. By being baptised your sins are washed away: "Arise, and be baptised, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord." (Acts 22:16), "Repent, and be baptised every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins," (Acts 2:38). By being baptised you join with Jesus in his death so that you can join him in resurrection: "Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptised into Jesus Christ were baptised into his death? 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. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection," (Romans 6:3-6). You also become heirs to the promises made to Abraham: "For as many of you as have been baptised into Christ have put on Christ. ... And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise," (Galatians 3:27, 29).
"Baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ." 1 Peter 3:21
Subscribing = )
THIS, I think is a very, very difficult commandment and something I don't do well at all. How often do you tell people your honest downfalls...?
James 5:16 "Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective."
As a side note re: baptism. When I say 'adult baptism I mean whoever is old enough to truly believe and understand the act of baptism and that it means a commitment for the rest of their lives. I was baptised when I was a few weeks off being 18, as I felt that I was ready to commit my life and knew fully what I was doing. My husband was baptised when he was 21. I know others that were baptised at 12, 15, 30... It all depends on spiritual maturity.
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