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What is baptism, and why do we do it? What does it mean? Is there a right time or a right way to do it?

When to get baptized

Postby Environmentalist » Wed Feb 14, 2018 8:25 pm

when to be baptized correctly, from birth, or when you realize it yourself?

my country has a baptism from birth, and I think it's wrong, because a person should do it consciously, and not because it's so necessary. And how do you think? It's really interesting for me because I'm not baptized, but I believe in God. I'm sorry for my English))
Environmentalist
 

Re: When to get baptized

Postby jimwalton » Wed Feb 14, 2018 8:41 pm

Unarguably, every person named or identified in the New Testament as being a recipient of baptism was an adult believer. We have no way of knowing whether or not there were children in these families when they baptized households, but there is no need even to argue the point. It wouldn't help us with the question unless we knew whether or not the early church of the days of the Bible practiced infant baptism. There is no evidence that can be interpreted as a positive proof of the practice of infant baptism until more than a century of the NT period.

The Bible speaks of baptism as a decision people make after they have made a commitment to Christ to be associated with Him in His death and resurrection.

The infant baptism that some churches practices is as a sacrament, as if the water baptism of a baby can protect them from hell. And yet Christianity is notorious and radically unsacramental. As Bernard Eller writes, "Now among the religions of the world, Judaism is notorious anti-sacramental. Sacramentalism specializes in holy objects, holy things. These things, then, possess special power—strange, supernatural, unearthly power. … Judaism has never been very enthusiastic about this sort of business. It was content to let God be the one true 'holy'—and he is a person, not a thing. Things are merely things, and only God is God. Holiness, divinity, and awesome glows, therefore, have to do with personal relationships, with human beings relating to God and to one another before God, rather than with things. Once we let things become the locus of a holiness of their own, and it isn't long before persons are made subordinate to them, before they are being used to manipulate persons.

"Judaism had always demonstrated at least something of this understanding, but at the time of Jesus the move away from sacramentalism was particularly pronounced. Within a short 40 yrs. of Jesus' death, Judaism lost its temple, and with it the whole of its priestly-sacramental apparatus. But the amazing thing is that the focus of faith already had so completely shifted to the synagogue (the concept and procedure of which are totally unsacramental) that no move was ever made toward restoring the temple or any other form of the sacramental cult. Even today, try to explain to a good Jew this Christian business about the bread and cup being body and blood, and see how much comprehension you get.

"Yet this is the Judaism out of which Jesus and the early church were born. And the evidence is that that church was just as little, if not even less, sacramental than its progenitor. For example, the Christian church started out as a most rare phenomenon, a religious sect with no concept of a sacrosanct priesthood at all. Indeed, Christianity was ahead of Judaism in this regard; the Christians had practiced priestless and sacramentless worship for 40 yrs. before the Jews took it up [at the destruction of the temple]."

In other words, I am strongly convinced that the Bible and Christianity are strongly anti-sacramental, that water cannot possess saving power—only Jesus possesses saving power. Baptism of children is not what guarantees their salvation. Baptism is an expression by believing adults to identify with Christ in his death and resurrection, hence immersion and rising out of the water.
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Re: When to get baptized

Postby jimwalton » Sat Mar 10, 2018 4:12 pm

Unarguably, every person named or identified in the New Testament as being a recipient of baptism was an adult believer. We have no way of knowing whether or not there were children in these families when they baptized households, but there is no need even to argue the point. It wouldn't help us with the question unless we knew whether or not the early church of the days of the Bible practiced infant baptism. There is no evidence that can be interpreted as a positive proof of the practice of infant baptism until more than a century of the NT period.

The Bible speaks of baptism as a decision people make after they have made a commitment to Christ to be associated with Him in His death and resurrection.

The infant baptism that some churches practices is as a sacrament, as if the water baptism of a baby can protect them from hell. And yet Christianity is notorious and radically unsacramental. As Bernard Eller writes, "Now among the religions of the world, Judaism is notorious anti-sacramental. Sacramentalism specializes in holy objects, holy things. These things, then, possess special power—strange, supernatural, unearthly power. … Judaism has never been very enthusiastic about this sort of business. It was content to let God be the one true 'holy'—and he is a person, not a thing. Things are merely things, and only God is God. Holiness, divinity, and awesome glows, therefore, have to do with personal relationships, with human beings relating to God and to one another before God, rather than with things. Once we let things become the locus of a holiness of their own, and it isn't long before persons are made subordinate to them, before they are being used to manipulate persons.

"Judaism had always demonstrated at least something of this understanding, but at the time of Jesus the move away from sacramentalism was particularly pronounced. Within a short 40 yrs. of Jesus' death, Judaism lost its temple, and with it the whole of its priestly-sacramental apparatus. But the amazing thing is that the focus of faith already had so completely shifted to the synagogue (the concept and procedure of which are totally unsacramental) that no move was ever made toward restoring the temple or any other form of the sacramental cult. Even today, try to explain to a good Jew this Christian business about the bread and cup being body and blood, and see how much comprehension you get.

"Yet this is the Judaism out of which Jesus and the early church were born. And the evidence is that that church was just as little, if not even less, sacramental than its progenitor. For example, the Christian church started out as a most rare phenomenon, a religious sect with no concept of a sacrosanct priesthood at all. Indeed, Christianity was ahead of Judaism in this regard; the Christians had practiced priestless and sacramentless worship for 40 yrs. before the Jews took it up [at the destruction of the temple]."

In other words, I am strongly convinced that the Bible and Christianity are strongly anti-sacramental, that water cannot possess saving power—only Jesus possesses saving power. Baptism of children is not what guarantees their salvation. Baptism is an expression by believing adults to identify with Christ in his death and resurrection, hence immersion and rising out of the water.


Last bumped by Anonymous on Sat Mar 10, 2018 4:12 pm.
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