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Bill "Papa" Lee

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

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I will add my 2 cents.

I think the problem actually comes down to the bible. THe bible never once says "And you must be baptised to go to heaven".

I fully realise that such a statement does not exsist in the bible. However there are a few statements that cause one to pause and think that baptism is essential.

For instance we learn that Christ was baptised to fulfill all rightesnous. He being a holy being not needing bapstism, that shows us that us being week and imperfect are in much more need of baptism.

Also, We learn in Acts that baptism brings about a remission of sins.

One more point Peter tells us that "whereunto even baptism doth also now save us ".

So the real question is, why is Rob's interpretation or any one else for that matter more valid than the LDS interpretation?

I will note that some Evangelical or mainstream doctrine is derived from far less than that of baptism.

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Vance,

You wrote:

Rob,

First you said this,

All of the Bible is equally God's word.

And then you said this,

Christ is preeminent over all apostles, prophets, teachers, and anyone else. Where anyone disagrees with Christ, they are wrong and Christ is right.

Do you not see the conflict between those two statements?

So either you have changed or you are trying to be on both sides of the issue at the same time.

I see no conflict. That you see one shows that you simply don't get it. Christ is personally preeminent over all apostles, prophets, teachers, etc., but Christ's word in the 'black letter" portions of the Bible is just as much Christ's word as Christ's word in the "red letter" portions of the Gospels. Christ cannot be preeminent over Christ; Christ's word cannot take precedence over Christ's word; and Christ's word in one part of Scripture does not have priority over Christ's word in another part of Scripture except in the redemptive-historical sense that Christ's word in the new covenant supersedes those elements of Christ's word in the old covenant that Christ himself caused to be made obsolete by his death and resurrection.

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Mola,

You wrote:

So the real question is, why is Rob's interpretation or any one else for that matter more valid than the LDS interpretation?

Actually, I don't think this is the real question, because I don't think that the "really real" question is whether baptism is essential for salvation. After all, your religion teaches that baptism is not essential for salvation except in the sense of being necessary for entrance into the celestial kingdom. Furthermore, even if I agreed that baptism was essential for salvation, that wouldn't help me from your perspective because your religion claims that my baptism and that of everyone else outside the LDS religion is invalid. That is, suppose baptism is essential for salvation. No problem, as far as I'm concerned, because I've been baptized. But your religion says that I have not been baptized (validly). Thus, the real issue now becomes which baptism is (supposedly) necessary for "salvation."

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I've always wondered why a group like "The Baptists" wouldn't make a bigger deal out of Baptism. If your going to call yourself "Baptists" wouldn't you think that "Baptism" would be a focus of the religion.

I'm prolly just out of my gourd, as usual.

It once was...

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Rob wrote...

I see no conflict. That you see one shows that you simply don't get it. Christ is personally preeminent over all apostles, prophets, teachers, etc., but Christ's word in the 'black letter" portions of the Bible is just as much Christ's word as Christ's word in the "red letter" portions of the Gospels. Christ cannot be preeminent over Christ; Christ's word cannot take precedence over Christ's word; and Christ's word in one part of Scripture does not have priority over Christ's word in another part of Scripture except in the redemptive-historical sense that Christ's word in the new covenant supersedes those elements of Christ's word in the old covenant that Christ himself caused to be made obsolete by his death and resurrection.

I think the problem is that you see through your own creeds and Christian Orthodoxy of today

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THe bible never once says "And you must be baptised to go to heaven".

I fully realise that such a statement does not exsist in the bible.

That is funny, I thought it did:

Mark 16
:

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

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I see no conflict. That you see one shows that you simply don't get it. Christ is personally preeminent over all apostles, prophets, teachers, etc., but Christ's word in the 'black letter" portions of the Bible is just as much Christ's word as Christ's word in the "red letter" portions of the Gospels. Christ cannot be preeminent over Christ; Christ's word cannot take precedence over Christ's word; and Christ's word in one part of Scripture does not have priority over Christ's word in another part of Scripture except in the redemptive-historical sense that Christ's word in the new covenant supersedes those elements of Christ's word in the old covenant that Christ himself caused to be made obsolete by his death and resurrection.

If this were at all true... then many portions of the Bible cannot be true.

Just in the OT alone we see Christ giving his words and decrees and then later voiding those same decrees.

2 Chronicles 25 points to just one such instance...

4 But he slew not their children, but did as it is written in the law in the book of Moses, where the Lord commanded, saying, The fathers shall not die for the children, neither shall the children die for the fathers, but every man shall die for his own sin.

Deuteronomy 24:16

16 "Fathers shall not be put to death because of their children, nor shall children be put to death because of their fathers. Each one shall be put to death for his own sin.

A perfect example of.... "Christ being preeminent over Christ; Christ's words taking precident over Christs words."

For you see earlier the Lord had said this...

Duet 5:9

"You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, and on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me,"

What did Job say?

"The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away"

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ElfLord,

You lost me.

If this were at all true... then many portions of the Bible cannot be true.

Just in the OT alone we see Christ giving his words and decrees and then later voiding those same decrees.

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That is funny, I thought it did:

Mark 16
:

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

Good one.

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Good one.

Sorry, I had misquoted the post. It is now corrected.

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Sorry, I had misquoted the post. It is now corrected.

That is an excellent scripture on the issue.

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ElfLord,

You lost me.

You had said that Christ words cant be preminent over Christs words, except in the case of the Old and New covenant transition when many of his words and commands changed.

I showed you an example of God changing previously given decrees. Right in the same covenant.

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That is funny, I thought it did:

Mark 16
:

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

I hate to take up the EV position but they are right on this one. This verse never once says that if you are not baptised that you will not go to heaven.

Notice that it says "He that believeth not shall be damned". It does not say "He that believeth not and is not baptised shall be damned".

It boils down to an interpretation.

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Mola,

You wrote:

Actually, I don't think this is the real question, because I don't think that the "really real" question is whether baptism is essential for salvation. After all, your religion teaches that baptism is not essential for salvation except in the sense of being necessary for entrance into the celestial kingdom. Furthermore, even if I agreed that baptism was essential for salvation, that wouldn't help me from your perspective because your religion claims that my baptism and that of everyone else outside the LDS religion is invalid. That is, suppose baptism is essential for salvation. No problem, as far as I'm concerned, because I've been baptized. But your religion says that I have not been baptized (validly). Thus, the real issue now becomes which baptism is (supposedly) necessary for "salvation."

Actually (Don't you just love that word?) Rob, That is a separate issue. I have come across many EV types that state baptism is not required to be saved. You do make a good point that even in LDS faith it is not required to go to heaven, in the generic sense. I guess I should state that it is required for Eternal Life. Which Eternal life is living in the presense of God the Father.

I would genuinely like a response to specifically what I brought up and the question I asked. I am not really looking for a debate so much as an understanding.

Specifically this,

For instance we learn that Christ was baptised to fulfill all rightesnous. He being a holy being not needing bapstism, that shows us that us being week and imperfect are in much more need of baptism.

Also, We learn in Acts that baptism brings about a remission of sins.

One more point Peter tells us that "whereunto even baptism doth also now save us ".

So the real question is, why is Rob's interpretation or any one else for that matter more valid than the LDS interpretation?

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I see no conflict. That you see one shows that you simply don't get it.

That you don't see one shows that you simply don't get it.

Christ is personally preeminent over all apostles, prophets, teachers, etc., . . .

Well, it is nice of you to admit at least that much.

. . . but Christ's word in the 'black letter" portions of the Bible is just as much Christ's word as Christ's word in the "red letter" portions of the Gospels.

Not according to the verses I have provided. It is clear that Christ is preeminent "IN ALL THINGS". Trying to make the words of Paul, Peter into Christ's word goes against what they themselves claimed. They claimed ownership of their work.

Christ cannot be preeminent over Christ;

Doesn't need to, to show you are in error. He only has to be preeminent to Paul, Peter etc, and His words only have to be preeminent over their words which they take ownership of.

Christ's word cannot take precedence over Christ's word;

Doesn't need to, to show you are in error. He only has to be preeminent to Paul, Peter etc, and His words only have to be preeminent over their words which they take ownership of.

and Christ's word in one part of Scripture does not have priority over Christ's word in another part of Scripture except in the redemptive-historical sense that Christ's word in the new covenant supersedes those elements of Christ's word in the old covenant that Christ himself caused to be made obsolete by his death and resurrection.

Doesn't need to, to show you are in error. He only has to be preeminent to Paul, Peter etc, and His words only have to be preeminent over their words which they take ownership of.

You whole argument is based on the false Evangelical notions of scripture, like inerrancy.

They are notions unsupported by scripture.

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I hate to take up the EV position but they are right on this one. This verse never once says that if you are not baptised that you will not go to heaven.

Notice that it says "He that believeth not shall be damned". It does not say "He that believeth not and is not baptised shall be damned".

It boils down to an interpretation.

The "EV position" is a hypocritical one. The scripture says, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not [and consequently not baptized] shall be damned". It is as plain as daylight. Two things are required for salvation: faith and baptism. Both are equally required. One without the other will not save anyone. How anybody can turn a blind eye to that, and still walk with a straight face, is beyond me.

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ElfLord,

You argued that Deuteronomy 5:9 ("visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children") is later negated in the same book by Deuteronomy 24:16 ("Fathers shall not be put to death for their sons, nor shall sons be put to death for their fathers"). The fact that these statements appear in the same book is evidence that the author and/or editor of the book did not see them as conflicting. For a discussion of this issue, see this article or this one.

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ElfLord,

You argued that Deuteronomy 5:9 ("visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children") is later negated in the same book by Deuteronomy 24:16 ("Fathers shall not be put to death for their sons, nor shall sons be put to death for their fathers"). The fact that these statements appear in the same book is evidence that the author and/or editor of the book did not see them as conflicting. For a discussion of this issue, see this article or this one.

Only if you ASSUME that the editor was intimately familiar with the whole text.

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ElfLord,

You argued that Deuteronomy 5:9 ("visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children") is later negated in the same book by Deuteronomy 24:16 ("Fathers shall not be put to death for their sons, nor shall sons be put to death for their fathers"). The fact that these statements appear in the same book is evidence that the author and/or editor of the book did not see them as conflicting. For a discussion of this issue, see this article or this one.

Thank you for linking the Carm article. :P

For you see... I had already read it and disagree...

2 Sam 12

13 And David said unto Nathan, I have asinned against the Lord. And Nathan said unto David, The Lord also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die.

14 Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die.

Davids sin is taken out on his unborn child.

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Mola,

If the Bible does not clearly teach that something is necessary for salvation, I take it that it is not necessary. For example, although one might be able to construct a plausible-sounding argument that footwashing is necessary for salvation (based on John 13:8 ), given the fact that an (at least) equally plausible interpretation would conclude that footwashing is not necessary for salvation, I would conclude that it is not necessary. In other words, I put the burden of proof on someone who says that a particular ritual or obligation is necessary.

The fact is that the Bible doesn't clearly teach that baptism is necessary for salvation. Let me comment briefly on the texts you cited.

  • Jesus did not get baptized for his salvation, as I assume we both agree. Nor did he get baptized to teach us that we need it more than he did. That doesn't make sense, because he didn't need it at all. Jesus got baptized to show that he was associating himself with sinners; he had come to take their sin (i.e., the punishment due them because of their sin) on them. I don't see any way to reason from Jesus' baptism to the conclusion that our baptism is a prerequisite for salvation.
  • You say that Acts teaches that baptism "brings about" a remission of sins. It says no such thing. It says that people were baptized "for" the remission of sins. That "for" means "to bring about" is at least questionable. After all, the NT also speaks of baptism "for repentance," and few people claim that baptism brings about repentance!
  • Peter does say that baptism saves us, but then he qualifies his statement by explaining that it is not the water that removes dirt from the body that he means but the appeal to God for a good conscience through Christ's resurrection (1 Pet. 3:21). In other words, Peter uses the word "baptism" as a shorthand for what baptism symbolizes or represents. To illustrate the point, suppose a wife says to her husband, "That ring on your finger gives me the right to know where you've been all night" (!). She doesn't mean literally that the ring gives her the right, but that what the ring symbolizes or represents gives her that right.

As for why one should accept my interpretation over someone else's (LDS or otherwise), I can only say that this question can be asked about anyone's interpretation, so the question gets us nowhere. The proper answer is that we should accept whatever answer best fits what the text says without going beyond it to impose requirements on people that are not clearly laid down in the Bible. Thus, the issue is not which interpreter should be believed, as if it's a matter of which person or group one will uncritically trust, but which interpretation does the best job of integrating together everything that the text says. Making this about me is a mistake. It's not about me, it's about what God's word actually (there's that word again!) says.

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Vance,

If the living prophet says one thing, and Jesus in the Gospels says another, which one do you regard as taking priority over the other?

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ElfLord,

Deuteronomy 24:16 is a legal text specifying what the civil government in Israel could not do: It could not punish children for the sins of their fathers. This doesn't mean that God could not choose to have a child die as a consequence of the parent's behavior. 2 Samuel 12:13-14 does not explain exactly the connection between David's sin and his child's death. It may have been a natural occurrence that God allowed to take place.

Your argument now has unraveled somewhat. Your claim was that Deuteronomy contradicts itself. Now you are pitting 2 Samuel against Deuteronomy. But what 2 Samuel says fits comfortably within the divine judgment language of Deuteronomy 5:9 which, as you can see, does not really contradict Deuteronomy 24:16.

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Mola,

Jesus did not get baptized for his salvation, as I assume we both agree. Nor did he get baptized to teach us that we need it more than he did. That doesn't make sense, because he didn't need it at all. Jesus got baptized to show that he was associating himself with sinners; he had come to take their sin (i.e., the punishment due them because of their sin) on them. I don't see any way to reason from Jesus' baptism to the conclusion that our baptism is a prerequisite for salvation.

Rob,

Thanks for the reply.

As I recall the text state that Jesus was baptised to fulfill all reightessnous. That is a little bit different than " Jesus got baptized to show that he was associating himself with sinners".

Any how, I did state that I was not looking for a debate and you answered my questions very satisfactory.

Can I get a comment from you on your take of what Zerinus is stating? Of course it might not even be worth it.

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Mola,

If the Bible does not clearly teach that something is necessary for salvation, I take it that it is not necessary. For example, although one might be able to construct a plausible-sounding argument that footwashing is necessary for salvation (based on John 13:8 ), given the fact that an (at least) equally plausible interpretation would conclude that footwashing is not necessary for salvation, I would conclude that it is not necessary. In other words, I put the burden of proof on someone who says that a particular ritual or obligation is necessary.

The fact is that the Bible doesn't clearly teach that baptism is necessary for salvation. Let me comment briefly on the texts you cited.

  • Jesus did not get baptized for his salvation, as I assume we both agree. Nor did he get baptized to teach us that we need it more than he did. That doesn't make sense, because he didn't need it at all. Jesus got baptized to show that he was associating himself with sinners; he had come to take their sin (i.e., the punishment due them because of their sin) on them. I don't see any way to reason from Jesus' baptism to the conclusion that our baptism is a prerequisite for salvation.
  • You say that Acts teaches that baptism "brings about" a remission of sins. It says no such thing. It says that people were baptized "for" the remission of sins. That "for" means "to bring about" is at least questionable. After all, the NT also speaks of baptism "for repentance," and few people claim that baptism brings about repentance!
  • Peter does say that baptism saves us, but then he qualifies his statement by explaining that it is not the water that removes dirt from the body that he means but the appeal to God for a good conscience through Christ's resurrection (1 Pet. 3:21). In other words, Peter uses the word "baptism" as a shorthand for what baptism symbolizes or represents. To illustrate the point, suppose a wife says to her husband, "That ring on your finger gives me the right to know where you've been all night" (!). She doesn't mean literally that the ring gives her the right, but that what the ring symbolizes or represents gives her that right.

As for why one should accept my interpretation over someone else's (LDS or otherwise), I can only say that this question can be asked about anyone's interpretation, so the question gets us nowhere. The proper answer is that we should accept whatever answer best fits what the text says without going beyond it to impose requirements on people that are not clearly laid down in the Bible. Thus, the issue is not which interpreter should be believed, as if it's a matter of which person or group one will uncritically trust, but which interpretation does the best job of integrating together everything that the text says. Making this about me is a mistake. It's not about me, it's about what God's word actually (there's that word again!) says.

You have a point of sorts. The Bible alone is often capable of multiple interpretations, which explains the fragmentation of Protestantism into as many pieces are there are possible interpretations. The Mormons have a unique solution to that problem, and that is the modern revelation and modern scriptures of the Church. We know that baptism is required for salvation because it is unambiguously and unequivocally stated in the modern scriptures of the Church

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101 Reasons Why Water Baptism is Not Necessary to be Saved

Conclusion:

(a) We get to heaven by God

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