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Bill "Papa" Lee

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

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...

"the teaching of the NT epistles that bear Paul's name is authoritative

and binding for Christians today."

...

Certainly if a person joins a church in which that provision is

an important part of the church's creed, he/she is bound to support

that same creed -- or eventually be disfellowshiped as non-Christian.

That should take care of about 90% of all "Christians," except for a

few "liberal" or "latitudinarian" sects.

If I do not accept the Letter to the Hebrews as Pauline, does that

fact, in and of itself, make me a non-Christian? Possibly so, among

the Southern Baptists, Assemblies of God, etc.

If I relegate ALL of the epistles attributed to Paul, to the status

of the "Church Fathers" (Clement, Origin, Justin Martyr, etc.), would

that act make me a non-Christian?

Probably so, in the eyes of many religious folks.

It is not a response that I worry about very much, however.

UD

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Certainly if a person joins a church in which that provision is

an important part of the church's creed, he/she is bound to support

that same creed -- or eventually be disfellowshiped as non-Christian.

That should take care of about 90% of all "Christians," except for a

few "liberal" or "latitudinarian" sects.

If I do not accept the Letter to the Hebrews as Pauline, does that

fact, in and of itself, make me a non-Christian? Possibly so, among

the Southern Baptists, Assemblies of God, etc.

If I relegate ALL of the epistles attributed to Paul, to the status

of the "Church Fathers" (Clement, Origin, Justin Martyr, etc.), would

that act make me a non-Christian?

Probably so, in the eyes of many religious folks.

It is not a response that I worry about very much, however.

UD

Spot on...don't tell a KJV 1611 person otherwise.

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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.

How about Paul's words recorded in Acts? You know like "not sparing the flock", are they binding on Christians today?

Oh, and what about the words of the other Apostles. Are they subordinate to (your interpretation of) Paul's?

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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?

Are your interpretation of Paul's words preeminent to Jesus' words? How about the other Apostles?

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Matt 3:14 But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?

15 And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him.

Matt 28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

19

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...

Mark 16:16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved;

but he that believeth not shall be damned.

...

Of course the Book of Mormon clarifies such a precept even more

carefully -- saying that he who is not baptized (even if a believer)

damned. I suppose it is meant to be "all one ball of wax;" but the

BoM passage is arguably more "plain and precious" than is Mark.

UD

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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?

Yes, provided that it is correctly understood and interpreted. Paul is notorious for saying things that are "hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest" (2 Peter 3:16). My experience is that Evangelicals are among the worst offenders of those "unlearned and unstable" folks who "wrest" the writings of Paul.

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If I do not accept the Letter to the Hebrews as Pauline, does that

fact, in and of itself, make me a non-Christian? Possibly so, among

the Southern Baptists, Assemblies of God, etc.

giveth me a break

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BCSpace,

You wrote:

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

Okay. So do I. But there are some here who, perhaps for rhetorical purposes, have denigrated Paul or who have suggested that Paul's teachings carry less weight than those of, say, the Synoptic Gospels.

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ELF,

Thanks for your careful response. If I understand you correctly, you are saying that you accept Paul's writings as authoritative and binding except where they disagree with modern revelation. Right?

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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Vance,

You wrote:

How about Paul's words recorded in Acts? You know like "not sparing the flock", are they binding on Christians today?

Oh, and what about the words of the other Apostles. Are they subordinate to (your interpretation of) Paul's?

You already know my answers to those questions, Vance.

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Vance,

You wrote:

Are your interpretation of Paul's words preeminent to Jesus' words? How about the other Apostles?

Again, you know the answers to these questions already. All of the Bible is equally God's word. Paul's words are not preeminent over those of Jesus. The words of Jesus in the Synoptics are not more inspired than the words of Jesus in the Gospel of John. And my interpretation of their words is not preeminent over any of them.

The religion that elevates some (alleged) scripture over other scripture, or some people's interpretations of scripture over the scripture itself, is not mine, it is yours. It is your religion that claims that the modern scriptures "clarify" (read: correct) the Bible. It is your religion that claims that the words of the living prophet today take precedence over the words of the Bible.

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Uncle Dale,

You wrote:

If I do not accept the Letter to the Hebrews as Pauline, does that

fact, in and of itself, make me a non-Christian? Possibly so, among the Southern Baptists, Assemblies of God, etc.

This is a ridiculous statement. Speaking as someone who has taught in numerous Southern Baptist churches, Assemblies of God churches, and other conservative, Bible-believing churches, I can categorically dismiss your suggestion as absolutely false.

For the record, I, along with the vast majority of conservative evangelical biblical scholars, do not think Paul wrote Hebrews.

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Uncle Dale,

You wrote:

This is a ridiculous statement. Speaking as someone who has taught in numerous Southern Baptist churches, Assemblies of God churches, and other conservative, Bible-believing churches, I can categorically dismiss your suggestion as absolutely false.

For the record, I, along with the vast majority of conservative evangelical biblical scholars, do not think Paul wrote Hebrews.

Perhaps times have changed since I served my student pastorate in an American Baptist Convention

congregation, in Columbus, Ohio. In a congregation far less conservative than the Southern

Baptist group down the street, there were "sola scriptura" parishioners who relied upon a

100% literalistic reading of their King James Version Bibles. If the title page said that it

was Paul's epistle, then all controversy was settled -- Paul wrote Hebrews, as he was moved

by the Spirit of God -- end of discussion.

But that was nearly 40 years ago, in an enclave of slavish literalism -- I'll give the

Southern Baptists and AoG members of 2010 the benefit of the doubt, that they do not nowadays

promote such stuff.

My greater point is that, in my relegating Paul to the same status as Augustin, etc., that there

are most certainly Christians who would refuse to fellowship me. I have met just that sort of

resistance from Missouri Synod Lutherans, just in my disagreeing with one minor point of the

Apostles' Creed.

I speak from experience. If your experience has been different, then that fact encourages

my innate optimism --- but I also know what I have encountered in my years of association

with the Christians, as a professing Latter Day Saint.

Dale R. Broadhurst

web-host, OliverCowdery.com

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Dale,

Do you relegate the Gospels or any of the other books of the NT to the same category as that of Augustine and the other church fathers? Or just Paul?

I'd be interested to know what that "one minor point of the Apostles' Creed" is that you don't accept.

Perhaps times have changed since I served my student pastorate in an American Baptist Convention

congregation, in Columbus, Ohio. In a congregation far less conservative than the Southern

Baptist group down the street, there were "sola scriptura" parishioners who relied upon a

100% literalistic reading of their King James Version Bibles. If the title page said that it

was Paul's epistle, then all controversy was settled -- Paul wrote Hebrews, as he was moved

by the Spirit of God -- end of discussion.

But that was nearly 40 years ago, in an enclave of slavish literalism -- I'll give the

Southern Baptists and AoG members of 2010 the benefit of the doubt, that they do not nowadays

promote such stuff.

My greater point is that, in my relegating Paul to the same status as Augustin, etc., that there

are most certainly Christians who would refuse to fellowship me. I have met just that sort of

resistance from Missouri Synod Lutherans, just in my disagreeing with one minor point of the

Apostles' Creed.

I speak from experience. If your experience has been different, then that fact encourages

my innate optimism --- but I also know what I have encountered in my years of association

with the Christians, as a professing Latter Day Saint.

Dale R. Broadhurst

web-host, OliverCowdery.com

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Dale,

Do you relegate the Gospels or any of the other books of the NT to the same category as that of Augustine and the other church fathers? Or just Paul?

For my own spiritual purposes, I set the words of Jesus

above and beyond the instructional teachings of those who

came after him. For example, I read the Q-sayings with a

higher degree of edification than I read Revelation.

Among the non-Jesus materials, the epistle of James

especially "speaks to me." I'm glad that some ancient

Catholic Council decided to retain it in the canon.

But I take my cue from my Jewish extended family, whose

members place the Torah on a higher level of holiness

and importance than "the prophets" and "the writings."

Martin Luther was among those reformers who contemplated

a deutero-canonical status for some NT texts. Luckily for

me his poor opinion of the "strawy epistle" of James was

not well received by his fellow Protestants.

I'd be interested to know what that "one minor point of the Apostles' Creed"

is that you don't accept.

I do not accept creeds in general, unless they are composed exclusively

of scriptural quotations, minus any theological interpretation. But the

point my Lutheran friends found so disturbing, was when I said that there

was no need for a Jesus-follower to accept that he was born of a virgin --

and especially not the related doctrinal expansions of St. Anne's

immaculate conception, nor the perpetual virginity of Mary. Some of my

views were received as "possible;" but the fact that Mary's hymen was

in tact both before and after Jesus' birth seemed un-negotiable.

Perhaps different Lutherans would have been less adamant in upholding

the creedal statements -- at least I hope so.

UD

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How about Paul's words recorded in Acts? You know like "not sparing the flock", are they binding on Christians today?

Oh, and what about the words of the other Apostles. Are they subordinate to (your interpretation of) Paul's?

In many groups...

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All of the Bible is equally God's word.

Really?

So the words of Jesus are not more important that the words of others?

I am wondering what God had to say to Moses about this.

Deu 18:18 I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.

19 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.

Who was God speaking of?

What does Peter say about this?

Acts 3:22 For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you.

23 And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people.

Who was Peter talking about?

Acts 3:20 And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you:

And what does Paul say about this?

Col 1:18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.

Does "in all things" include words? Does it include teachings? Should we not reconcile the words of all others to the words of Jesus, instead of reconciling the words of Jesus to the easily misunderstood words of Paul?

Paul's words are not preeminent over those of Jesus.

Obviously!

The words of Jesus in the Synoptics are not more inspired than the words of Jesus in the Gospel of John.

Obviously!

And my interpretation of their words is not preeminent over any of them.

Obviously! It is nice of you to say that. If only your actions matched your words.

The religion that elevates some (alleged) scripture over other scripture,

You mean like Moses' religion?

And Peter's religion?

And Paul's religion?

Their religion elevates the words of Jesus above all others.

or some people's interpretations of scripture over the scripture itself, . . .

Like you do?

. . . is not mine, . . .

Ah, but it is. You take your (mis)interpretation over the clear and plain words of the prophets.

it is yours.

Like Moses', Peter's, and Paul's.

It is your religion that claims that the modern scriptures "clarify" (read: correct) the Bible.

Yes, the modern words of Jesus take preeminence over the words of all others.

It is your religion that claims that the words of the living prophet today take precedence over the words of the Bible.

It is our religion that is the most compliant with the teachings found in the Bible.

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Vance,

You wrote:

Again, you know the answers to these questions already. All of the Bible is equally God's word. Paul's words are not preeminent over those of Jesus. The words of Jesus in the Synoptics are not more inspired than the words of Jesus in the Gospel of John. And my interpretation of their words is not preeminent over any of them.

The religion that elevates some (alleged) scripture over other scripture, or some people's interpretations of scripture over the scripture itself, is not mine, it is yours. It is your religion that claims that the modern scriptures "clarify" (read: correct) the Bible. It is your religion that claims that the words of the living prophet today take precedence over the words of the Bible.

Hard to believe that the words of Christ carry no more weight than his servants.

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Matt. 7: 14 14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

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Hard to believe that the words of Christ carry no more weight than his servants.

When Paul said that people should take a little wine for the stomach,

should we believe that the Risen Christ was speaking through Paul,

something like a puppeteer, and that the counsel was from Jesus, rather

than the puppet (Paul)?

If that is the view we take of scripture, then Paul's commandments

will indeed carry the same weight as God's commandments -- for Paul

was only the human voice for perfect Divine oracles.

Perhaps there are some Christians who look at scripture in those terms --

who can flop open their Bibles to some epistle and begin quoting "God"

in mid-paragraph -- because the Bible is a perfect Divine oracle.

???

UD

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When Paul said that people should take a little wine for the stomach,

should we believe that the Risen Christ was speaking through Paul,

something like a puppeteer, and that the counsel was from Jesus, rather

than the puppet (Paul)?

If that is the view we take of scripture, then Paul's commandments

will indeed carry the same weight as God's commandments -- for Paul

was only the human voice for perfect Divine oracles.

Perhaps there are some Christians who look at scripture in those terms --

who can flop open their Bibles to some epistle and begin quoting "God"

in mid-paragraph -- because the Bible is a perfect Divine oracle.

???

UD

My point is if you had General Conference and Christ were the concluding speaker

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My point is if you had General Conference and Christ were the concluding speaker

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Vance,

What Christ says through Moses, Isaiah, Paul, or John is just as much the word of Christ as what Christ said while walking around Galilee as reported by Matthew, Mark, or Luke. The whole Bible is the word of God. My interpretation is not more authoritative than the Bible. It is, however, more valid than the interpretations of false prophets, whoever they may be. So, for example, when Helen Schucman writes a book that claims to have been dictated by Jesus, but her book contradicts the Bible, I reject Schucman's book (A Course in Miracles). Does this mean I am elevating my interpretation of the Bible over Schucman's revelation? You betcha, because it is a false revelation. I am not embarrassed to take that stand. Likewise, I reject Mary Baker Eddy's book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, which is the foundational book of Christian Science, because it is not the inspired revelation that it claims to be. Will a Christian Scientist claim that it is my interpretation of the Bible that is wrong? Of course, but so what? The issue is whether they are right in their claim. I know this offends you, but I have the same opinion of the alleged revelations of Joseph Smith. It would be dishonest of me if I were to try to sugarcoat the matter and say otherwise.

All I said in my first post here was that I would be happy to discuss what Paul teaches about baptism with those who agree to accept what Paul teaches about baptism. That is an obviously reasonable position to take. Your shenanigans therefore have no bearing on the issue here.

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