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Bill "Papa" Lee

Is Baptism a necessary part of salvation according to the Bible?

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In our lesson on Sunday in Priesthood it was noted in the lesson that Baptism was necessary for the remission of sin. When I debate this issue among Evangelicals they love to quote the Apostle Paul and Romans as evidence that this is not so

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...

Simple question

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In the foundational official LDS Standard Works, there is an order of the workings of God toward salvation described.

37 And again, by way of commandment to the church concerning the manner of baptism

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...I do not know of any Christian Church that will take a person in

as an official or a true and full member unless they have been baptized.

...

As I mentioned, the Society of Friends (Richard Nixon's church) baptizes

new converts but then extends full membership to the convert's children,

so long as they remain righteous (or faithful, or whatever their standard).

The baptism of the convert extends down upon all those over whom he has

authority in his own family.

Quakers are generally considered to be Christian.

I've fellowshiped for years with the Methodists, and was once offered an

"associate" (non-voting) membership, based upon my Latter Day Saint professions.

I know from time spent with that group of Christians that, while they require

a proper baptism for church membership, they do not teach that those who are

unbaptized end up in the lake of fire and brimstone.

I guess that the theologian would boil the controversy down to these

two questions:

1. Is God indeed Almighty?

or

2. Is God Himself bound by justice, to damn the unbaptized?

One of those two precepts should probably take precedence in theologizing.

UD

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As for the Reorganized LDS, their teaching is that, where baptism is possible,

it is to be administered, by adult believer immersion, to new converts -- the

exceptions being a convert on his death bed, and similar unusual situations.

Is baptism then administered in some other way, or not at all?

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Is baptism then administered in some other way, or not at all?

I once saw baptism administered to a dying man. He was put into a wheel-chair

and his body washed with water, to the same effect as total immersion. His

confirmation was scheduled for a later time. If I recall correctly, he did

not survive long enough to be confirmed.

I heard of another instance in which an Australian aborigine was baptized

with a small gourd of water, out in the dry desert. I do not know whether

he was re-baptized by immersion after that.

The point is, among the RLDS, the teaching is not that total immersion

saves the convert, but that God saves us all -- and that God has power

to sanctify even a faulty ordinance.

UD

.

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Even [sic] in the Bible a similar in theory workings(Soteriology) of God toward salvation is described. ...

... in practical terms, a person who makes contact with any Christian Church, attends, and in reality has been affected by God's salvation will be a person that has been baptized-- or will be in short order. Otherwise God's Spirit is not with them.

You're so close, but miss out on the bubble gum by just this much: =>| |<=.

Baptism is thus necessary for the kind of salvation which could be described as leading to Christian growth, sanctification, and living a Christian life. I do not know of any Christian Church that will take a person in as an official or a true and full member unless they have been baptized. A person being baptized in Christ has made a sure move, and a social and public declaration to the body of the Saints, that they have made a covenant of obedience toward God and the gospel of Christ.

That misses a critical point.

Baptism is the process by which God (through the Atonement of Christ) remits our sins.

4 John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.
3 And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins;
38 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.

Then, too, let's not forget that Peter, the Apostle, told us that it is baptism that saves us.

21 The like figure whereunto even 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:

If it is by baptism that our sins are remitted, and it is baptism that "doth now also save us", how can anyone hold to the apostate idea that baptism is not required for salvation?

Keep in mind that for fifteen centuries, the idea that baptism was requisite for salvation was universal throughout Christendom. It was only when Zwingli (knowing he, nor any other man on earth)ad no authority to act in the name of God (i.e., he had no Priesthood), and recognizing that a baptism performed without Divine Authority (i.e., Priesthood) had no validity, decided that baptism was unnecessary, that the ordinance was a showpiece and nothing more.

Zwingli, like most Evangelical Christians, was absolutely wrong: the Bible evidences this most powerfully.

Lehi

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...

how can anyone hold to the apostate idea that baptism is not required for salvation?

...

Perhaps in the same way that I hold such a precept --

by holding the omnipotence of God above any attempt at

human language to place restrictions upon God.

If somebody says that God cannot grant eternal life,

save it be through baptism, then he/she had better

be speaking as Heavenly Father's latter day oracle,

prefacing that communication with a "Thus saith the Lord..."

UD

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As I mentioned, the Society of Friends (Richard Nixon's church) baptizes

new converts but then extends full membership to the convert's children,

so long as they remain righteous (or faithful, or whatever their standard).

The baptism of the convert extends down upon all those over whom he has

authority in his own family.

Quakers are generally considered to be Christian.

I've fellowshiped for years with the Methodists, and was once offered an

"associate" (non-voting) membership, based upon my Latter Day Saint professions.

I know from time spent with that group of Christians that, while they require

a proper baptism for church membership, they do not teach that those who are

unbaptized end up in the lake of fire and brimstone.

I guess that the theologian would boil the controversy down to these

two questions:

1. Is God indeed Almighty?

or

2. Is God Himself bound by justice, to damn the unbaptized?

One of those two precepts should probably take precedence in theologizing.

UD

That is an interesting bit of information, thanks.

Hick-

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That is an interesting bit of information, thanks.

Hick-

Having said all of that, my profession is that faith, repentance,

restitution and a public believer's baptism are all requirements

for a convert's entrance into the Body of Christ.

I do not suppose that we should act as if that were not so. But

how we bring believers into the Body of Christ is not necessarily

how our Heavenly Father absolves sin.

Suppose that Enos had been struck by lightning the very moment that

the Book of Mormon says his sin was remitted.......

Should we suppose (if lacking a latter day proxy baptism) that

poor Enos was destined for the telestial kingdom, or worse?

That is the sort of dead-end theologizing that we encounter, when

we attempt to mix the precepts of men with God's holy will. There's

a darn good chance that we'll end up with false doctrine that way.

UD

.

.

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Pa Pa,

I will be happy to discuss this question with anyone who agrees that Paul's teaching in the NT epistles that bear his name is authoritative and binding on Christians today.

In our lesson on Sunday in Priesthood it was noted in the lesson that Baptism was necessary for the remission of sin. When I debate this issue among Evangelicals they love to quote the Apostle Paul and Romans as evidence that this is not so

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There is a high dimension to baptism however.

Peter preaching baptism probably had a very odd and significant meaning in the ancient world of religion.

As he preached

Acts 2:38 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

What Peter is saying was hugely radical in the world of religion in the Roman world. And how Peter included baptism in his preaching is HUGE!

In many religions of the ancient world, people were taken in and educated by those religions of the day. These religions prepared people for civilized improvement, to teach them morals and character

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...

In Christianity however, there was NO usual religious phase of Ordeal

before a rite of passage, like baptism was earned in the usual way

on other religions.

...

I'll not attempt to speak for other born-again Jesus followers,

but in my case, dying to my old self was indeed an "ordeal."

It meant, practically, giving up an old, assured life and being

ready to begin anew, almost like an infant. It meant trusting that

I'd make it through the re-birthing process --- not just avoiding

being drowned in the baptismal font, but a danger far deeper and

more frightening than physical death.

Trusting 99.9% did not appear to be a viable option.

And trusting 100% was (for me at least) an ordeal.

UD

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In our lesson on Sunday in Priesthood it was noted in the lesson that Baptism was necessary for the remission of sin. When I debate this issue among Evangelicals they love to quote the Apostle Paul and Romans as evidence that this is not so

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I'll not attempt to speak for other born-again Jesus followers,

but in my case, dying to my old self was indeed an "ordeal."

It meant, practically, giving up an old, assured life and being

ready to begin anew, almost like an infant. It meant trusting that

I'd make it through the re-birthing process --- not just avoiding

being drowned in the baptismal font, but a danger far deeper and

more frightening than physical death.

Trusting 99.9% did not appear to be a viable option.

And trusting 100% was (for me at least) an ordeal.

UD

That is a good point UD.

I was focusing on the Ordeal of Christ for us. But also giving-up ones old life and self is indeed a kind of ordeal. So the repentant person who turns to Christ for life does undergo an ordeal of sorts before allowed a rite of passage. This is a different kind of Ordeal than that of some other religions, but is certainly a kind of ordeal.

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For those Evangelicals that use the Bible, and there seem to be many who do not, it would seem they use the idea of the "Roman's Road".

Number 4 could be baptism, however some may see it differently.

Evangelicals tend to confuse me. :P

Yes baptism could fit at number four.

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>Admit you are a sinner.

>Understand that as a sinner, you deserve death.

>Believe Jesus Christ died on the cross to save you from sin and death.

>Repent by turning from your old life of sin to a new life in Christ.

>Receive, through faith in Jesus Christ, his free gift of salvation.

I'd say that practically everyone (except for sociopaths) realizes now and then

those pangs of guilt which come from injuring others, or not living up to

our own principles -- so, admission of sin is not such an unusual thing. What

is out of the ordinary, is admitting to sinful acts, or a sinful nature, in

being compared to the standard of the Mosaic Law.

It is only by accepting the validity of the "Law of Moses," that "deserving death"

begins to make any sense. Some of the points of that law were punished by death,

when transgressed --- so the connection with physical death can be contemplated.

But, under biblical doctrine, physical death is not all that is entailed in this

"deserving" --- there is also a death beyond physical death to be pondered.

At this point, the "Roman road" becomes unrecognizable by most Latter Day Saints;

who profess that Jesus' resurrection only ends physical death for all people. We

still see people die, physically -- we do not see them resurrected.

"Believing Jesus Christ died on the cross to save you from sin and death," is

indeed a core biblical precept. But it will not make sense to all people. For

centuries it has made little sense to Jews. Muslims side-step the tenet entirely.

"Repent by turning from your old life of sin to a new life in Christ," also

is a core biblical teaching --- but, for some people, perfect repentance is as

untenable as perfect observance of the Law of Moses. How can an imperfect

human being effect a "turning from the old life of sin" to a new, sinless life?

Even if such righteous perfection can be attained for an instant, how can a

subsequent sinless life be maintained by the new convert? Again, this makes

little sense to some would-be converts.

"Receive, through faith in Jesus Christ, his free gift of salvation" is also

found in the Bible. But, again, how can the process work, if the convert's

faith is imperfect? And, even if salvation is thus attained, what does it entail?

We still see human beings die -- their bodies rot away -- their graves untended --

their very names and life stories forgotten.

Obviously, the "Roman road" paradigm is not accepted by all -- probably not even

experienced by the vast majority of Christians.

Only when "salvation" is made real, in a person's life, does the word begin

to take on an ultimately important significance.

And, I suppose that for many people, the word is meaningless, apart from

some sort of temporal salvation -- here and now -- in physical reality.

UD

.

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ELF,

You wrote:

For those Evangelicals that use the Bible, and there seem to be many who do not,...

Just imagine if I had written, "For those Mormons that use the Book of Mormon, and there seem to be many who do not...." Do you think anyone here would have let that pass without challenge?

You wrote:

Evangelicals tend to confuse me. :P

I would be happy to do what I can to help un-confuse you. Can you agree with me that the teaching of the NT epistles that bear Paul's name is authoritative and binding for Christians today?

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Evangelicals tend to confuse me. :P

A side comment-- I do not want to derail the discussion on Baptism.

Evangelicalism is often misrepresented in the media.

There is a lot to discuss about Evangelicalism.

Evangelical Christianity covers a very broad spectrum of Biblical Christianity, also known as "Traditional Christianity" or "Mainstream Christianity".

Evangelical Christianity is NOT a denomination.

Evangelical Christianity crosses denominational boarders. Evangelicals are found in all kinds of demoninations such as : Baptist, Lutheran, Pentecostal, Assembly of God, Methodist, Episcopal, Presbyterian, Disciples of Christ, and on and on ( both liberal and conservative).

NOT all Evangelicals are "Fundamentalists". NOT all Evangelicals are "Protestants"

Evangelical Christianity could perhaps be best described as a Christian orientation or world view. This orientation includes general set of beliefs about Jesus Christ's Divinity, the authority of the Bible, and how God saves humans from this fallen world. This orientation runs accross most Protestant Traditions but often is also held by many Roman Catholics and other 'Orthodox' believers. This orientation is today growing fast world wide.

It is believed that there are 200-300 Million Evangelical Christians World Wide. Evangelicals believe that Jesus Christ, His Apostles, and original Ancient Disciples were Evangelical in orientation.

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I will be happy to discuss this question with anyone who agrees that Paul's teaching in the NT epistles that bear his name is authoritative and binding on Christians today.

I so believe, as do all LDS. But we also believe the rest of the Bible to be the word of God as well.

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ELF,

You wrote:

Just imagine if I had written, "For those Mormons that use the Book of Mormon, and there seem to be many who do not...." Do you think anyone here would have let that pass without challenge?

No offense was intended Mr. Bowman. I will retract the statement to which you took offense.

To clarify my statement: I do not think there that are any organized churches within the definition of Evangelical that would not use the Bible.

You wrote:

I would be happy to do what I can to help un-confuse you. Can you agree with me that the teaching of the NT epistles that bear Paul's name is authoritative and binding for Christians today?

My confusion with some persons within "religious movements" such as Evangelicals has little to do with doctrine that is supported by the Bible. My confusion is in the way they apply their idea of doctrines in a haphazard way which seems to defy logic.

This is more than likley due to the understanding of the people involved, including myself, rather than a Bibical truth.

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In our lesson on Sunday in Priesthood it was noted in the lesson that Baptism was necessary for the remission of sin. When I debate this issue among Evangelicals they love to quote the Apostle Paul and Romans as evidence that this is not so

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ELF,

Thanks for your retraction and clarification. I appreciate it.

I am unclear as to whether you agree with me that "the teaching of the NT epistles that bear Paul's name is authoritative and binding for Christians today." Thanks for any further clarification you can offer.

No offense was intended Mr. Bowman. I will retract the statement to which you took offense.

To clarify my statement: I do not think there that are any organized churches within the definition of Evangelical that would not use the Bible.... My confusion with some persons within "religious movements" such as Evangelicals has little to do with doctrine that is supported by the Bible. My confusion is in the way they apply their idea of doctrines in a haphazard way which seems to defy logic.

This is more than likley due to the understanding of the people involved, including myself, rather than a Bibical truth.

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I so believe, as do all LDS. But we also believe the rest of the Bible to be the word of God as well.

True

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ELF,

Thanks for your retraction and clarification. I appreciate it.

I am unclear as to whether you agree with me that "the teaching of the NT epistles that bear Paul's name is authoritative and binding for Christians today." Thanks for any further clarification you can offer.

Mr. Bowman, I will respond carefully...

I believe in the Bible, and the teachings of the NT and specifically the writings of Paul, as they have been translated correctly. I give large creedance to Paul, and I enjoy his writings. However, there are things which have been made clearer by modern day revelation since the time of Paul.

So to say that I believe that the writings of Paul are authorative and binding for Christians today is true, except where a clarfication of the doctrine has been issued in the Modern Day.

Fair enough?

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