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Source: (consider it) Thread: Re-Baptism ?
Mudfrog
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quote:
Originally posted by RdrEmCofE:
quote:
The Spirit is not possessed by the church as a resource to be given out like some equipment out of a store cupboard. HE is God who moves where he wills and everyone who comes to faith in Christ receives him directly from the Father and the Son by grace through faith.
Agreed!

Allow me however to indulge my pedantic aspergeryness to point out that The Holy Spirit is not actually a 'He'. She is not actually an 'It' either, nor is 'It' a 'She' strictly speaking. (Though I think I read somewhere that The Holy Spirit is referred to in scripture in Hebrew and Greek feminine terms).

Maybe that is why we men find the Holy Spirit the least understandable 'person' of the Trinity.

The problem with describing the Holy Spirit as a 'she' (apart from the fact that he is described as the Spirit of Jesus - which confuses things!) is that as I heard Andrew walker suggest once, if the Holy Spirit is a she, then being 'sent' by Father and Son, tends to make 'her' a subordinate female to the masculine persons of the Trinity.

It is akin to the unfortunate pictures of the Holy Trinity that depicts the Godhead as an old man, a young man and a dove...

Or as I describe it: 2 blokes and a bird.

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"The point of having an open mind, like having an open mouth, is to close it on something solid."
G.K. Chesterton

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Baptist Trainfan
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
You can see how it looks when two of you are double-decking posts where you "state the obvious".

It isn't obvious. It is a minority position held by a very small number of people that only makes sense in your specific religious context.

I never used the word "obvious". And I don't see why it only "makes sense" in "our specific religious contexts".

[ 03. January 2018, 10:49: Message edited by: Baptist Trainfan ]

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
I never used the word "obvious". And I don't see why it only "makes sense" in "our specific religious contexts".

You don't understand why your logic only works in a Baptist context? Sorry, I can't explain that to you.

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Enoch
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quote:
Originally posted by RdrEmCofE:
... Allow me however to indulge my pedantic aspergeryness to point out that The Holy Spirit is not actually a 'He'. She is not actually an 'It' either, nor is 'It' a 'She' strictly speaking. (Though I think I read somewhere that The Holy Spirit is referred to in scripture in Hebrew and Greek feminine terms). ....

If this is a problem, it is a quirk of English grammar, not theology.

The Holy Spirit is a person, but not being incarnate, has no gender. English has three singular pronouns, 'he', 'she' and 'it'. One is used for a male person, one for a female person, and one for a thing, whether physical or abstract. Although one sometimes encounters references to the Holy Spirit using 'it' that is very seriously misleading. As soon as one thinks about it, one also realises that it is seriously derogatory.

It is conversational usage to use 'they', which is plural, to refer to an unknown person, where you don't know who they are yet, but the more pompous grammarians don't quite approve of it. Besides, usage doesn't allow it of a person once one knows who one is talking about.

So, a person, to be a person, has to be 'he' or 'she'.

Until the mid-1980s. that was no problem. The Holy Spirit was 'he'. It's much more important that the Holy Spirit is marked as a person than it is that that also means grammar has to allocate him a gender. Since the 1980s this has become a bit of a 'scratch-where-it-itches'. Because 'she' is an even stronger gender marker than 'he', using 'she' as the pronoun for the Holy Spirit, is making a statement, for its own sake, and one that would be theologically both more erroneous and distracting.


The bit about other languages doesn't really work or offer anything sensible. English is unusual among European languages in having the very rigid gender rule that gender is determined strictly by ontology. As above, a male person is 'he'. A female person is 'she'. A thing is 'it'. Virtually the only exceptions are the limited use of 'she' to describe ships, and how far one can get away with referring to a newborn baby as 'it' - in which case, definitely not in the hearing of his or her mother.

In French, Welsh, and also Hebrew, which as it happens is not a European language, everything has to be grammatically masculine or feminine. But that doesn't make tables or ideas male or female. In Latin, Greek and German there's also a neuter gender. But in all these, there's no automatic correlation between grammatical gender and objective reality.

As it happens, 'spirit' is feminine in Hebrew, neuter in Greek and masculine in Latin. But that doesn't reveal anything.

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Higgs Bosun
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It so happens that 25 years ago, I assisted a friend in the production of his MA thesis, which was on Colossians 2:11-12, the Circumcision/Baptism analogy and Infant Baptism. It was concerned with the development of these in the patristic period. I have a copy of the published article which was a summary of that thesis.

From this, I gather that the earliest certain references to the practice of infant baptism were from Tertullian (c200) and Origen (later). Tertullian objected to the practice. Origen supported it, and also knew about the analogy between circumcision and baptism, but did not use that analogy in support of infant baptism.

Cyprian in a letter written after a synod in 253 uses the analogy as an argument for infant baptism.

Moving on, from the article:
quote:
Although writing nearly a century later than Cyprian, Gregory Nazianzen gives an insight into how the analogy with circumcision may first have been used in connection with infant baptism. Gregory assumes that repentance and faith are prerequisites for baptism: children, he maintains, should normally be about three years old before they are baptized since at this age they are at least capable of a partial understanding of what baptism means. However, he uses the analogy between circumcision and baptism to justify the baptism of infants in extremis.

I think it is clear that the practice of baptising infants developed fairly slowly in the early church, and not all by any means were in favour. I get the impression that it was more common in the West than the East.
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Gramps49
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quote:
Originally posted by RdrEmCofE:
The infants of believing parent(s) are declared by scripture to be 'Holy' 1 Cor. 7:14, It is according to the faith of just one or both parents that their child is rendered 'holy to God' and not 'unclean'. Therefore the child has a RIGHT to be baptised as a sign and seal of its associate membership of The Church of Jesus Christ, who died for him/her.

I have problems with the idea that if an infant is baptized, he or she becomes only an associate member of the church.

This fosters the idea that a young person cannot receive communion until a later date. Some denominations will have first communion around ten or will expect the person to be "confirmed" before communion

It is my understanding that once a person, regardless of age, becomes baptized, they are full members of the church. At my congregation we allow even toddlers to take communion because they are full members of the church and, therefore, have all the rights and privileges of church membership.

Granted, there are some legal concerns with that since in Washington State a person cannot legally vote in a corporation until that person is 16 and congregations are considered legal corporations, but kids don't want to sit through boring meetings anyway.

Just a small point about the difference between the idea of "confirmation" vs "Reaffirmation of the Faith:" confirmation implies there are two parts to the process, a) the individual confirms the faith in which he or she is baptized, and b) the church confirms that the individual has sufficient faith to, shall we say, cross the bridge. However, in "Reaffirmation of the Faith" it is solely on the individual to reaffirm his or her faith--the church has no need to confirm anything.

While I am at it, I was raised in a conservative Lutheran Synod. That Synod would have problems accepting the baptism of a former member of the Latter Day Saints of Jesus Christ because they do not have a traditional view of the Trinity. To them, there are three different gods in the Godhead. Likewise, in Jehovah Witness, they have a modality view of God, meaning Jesus is a little less divine than Jehovah. And I just heard from a pastor of that Synod saying it is having problems with people that are baptized in the name of "the Creator, the Redeemer, and the Sanctifier" which some other denominations are beginning to allow as a way of getting around the gender issues traditional names for God presents.

Myself, I have little problem with the Creator, Redeemer, Sanctifier language. I still would hesitate to accept a Jehovah Witness baptism, and I am undecided about an LDS baptism. Therefore I would likly rebaptize if a Mormon came forward, and definitely babtized if a Witness converted.

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RdrEmCofE
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quote:
As it happens, 'spirit' is feminine in Hebrew, neuter in Greek and masculine in Latin. But that doesn't reveal anything.
Quite so, very mysterious, yet ironically it is The Holy Spirit who has revealed almost everything we know about God, and that is in reference mostly to the life, character and teaching of Jesus of Nazareth.

As I said: Maybe that is why we men find the Holy Spirit the least understandable 'person' of the Trinity.

In light of what you say however, perhaps I should have said "Maybe that is why we all find the Holy Spirit the most mysterious 'person' of the Trinity."

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Love covers many sins. 1 Pet.4:8. God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, not holding their sins against them; 2 Cor.5:19

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Mudfrog
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Creator, Redeemer and Sanctifier?
No, a thousand times, no!

Is Jesus not the Creator as well as the Father?
Is God (the Father) not in Christ (The Son) reconciling the world to himself and therefore actively in the task of redemption?
Indeed, did Jesus not ask the Father to sanctify us?

I think the feminists amongst us are merely trying to divide the Trinity into little non-gender specific boxes.

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"The point of having an open mind, like having an open mouth, is to close it on something solid."
G.K. Chesterton

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Gramps49
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Going to the gender issue of the Word. In the Septuagint it is rhema which is feminine and is often used to as a translation of dabar, the Word of God. Logos is also used as well.

Rhema is the spoken Word of God. Note how the writer of John in the first chapter uses logos instead of rhema.

It really gets crazy to try to give God a gender identity. We describe God using anthropomorphic terms because of our limitations as humans, but as more and more feminist theologians come online, we need to move away from gender-specific pronouns referring to God, in my book.

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RdrEmCofE
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quote:
Myself, I have little problem with the Creator, Redeemer, Sanctifier language. I still would hesitate to accept a Jehovah Witness baptism, and I am undecided about an LDS baptism. Therefore I would likly rebaptize if a Mormon came forward, and definitely babtized if a Witness converted. Gramps49
Very good points, all of them. My concern though would not be about whatever language the LDS or JW proselyte was baptised with but the practical mechanics of how they believe their future walk with God as a Christian shall now proceed.

Intellectual acceptance on their behalf of standard Trinitarian formulas are not really enough, (nobody really understands them anyway).

I would like to see in them a declared reliance upon Jesus Christ as both Lord and Saviour, for everything concerning human salvation and the forgiveness of sins, and a pledge to cooperate with the holy spirit in their ongoing sanctification.

I would then leave them safely in the very capable hands of their Lord and Saviour.

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Love covers many sins. 1 Pet.4:8. God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, not holding their sins against them; 2 Cor.5:19

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St. Gwladys
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Sorry to put in a tangent - Gramps49, in the Church in Wales, ANYONE who has been baptised may receive communion. In the case of children, it is with the parents/guardians permission, and non alcoholic wine is made available if the parents/guardians are unhappy about the child receiving alcohol.

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"Careful what you say sir, we're on board ship here"
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Enoch
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On a thread some months ago, there was some discussion about somebody encountering the use of the Creator, Redeemer and Sanctifier as a baptismal formula, and whether that was valid or not. I seem to recollect that the almost universal view expressed was that it was not, was a travesty and would be worse than Outrage. It would not be recognised as a baptism by anyone else. Worse, a minister using it could even be endangering the eternal status of the unwitting victim on whom they were imposing it.

The CofE requires baptism in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. So a person baptised according to some other formula is not baptised. If there was doubt whether the sacrament had been properly, I'm under the impression it would need to be administered/re-administered conditionally so as to make sure.

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Gamaliel
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Call me old-fashioned (chorus: 'You're old-fashioned!') but I too have grave concerns about tri-partite formularies that don't correlate with 'Father, Son and Holy Spirit.'

A liberal vicar I know regularly uses the formula when pronouncing the Benediction, 'In the name of God, our Creator, Redeemer and Friend ...'

Yes, God is all those things, but what's he saying here? Is it a Unitarian formula by the back door?

You could be a Modalist and refer to God as 'Creator, Redeemer and Friend.'

No, no, a thousand times no ...

Of course God is spirit and gender-neutral in that respect - the Holy Spirit isn't a fella, but he's not a woman either ... although yes, Sophia or Divine Wisdom is given a feminine sense in the Old Testament but it depends on how much weight you put on that in an ontological sense ...

'Ruach' is feminine in Hebrew, I think - as has been alluded to upthread.

But no, no, no, let's have 'Father, Son and Holy Spirit' please.

Give me that ol' time religion, good religion as it used to be, ol' time religion ... Hallelujah good enough for me ...

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Praise the Lord for He is kind.

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Rossweisse

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quote:
Originally posted by Gramps49:
......That Synod would have problems accepting the baptism of a former member of the Latter Day Saints of Jesus Christ because they do not have a traditional view of the Trinity. To them, there are three different gods in the Godhead. ...

Not only that, but they believe in a "plurality of Gods," and that any right-living Mormon man can become a god (with his own planet and a collection of wives with whom to sire "spirit children") himself.

This is polytheism, of course, and not Christianity as most of us would recognize it. I don't think it's just the words that matter, but the way in which those words are understood.

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I'm not dead yet.

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RdrEmCofE
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quote:
there was some discussion about somebody encountering the use of the Creator, Redeemer and Sanctifier as a baptismal formula, and whether that was valid or not. I seem to recollect that the almost universal view expressed was that it was not, was a travesty and would be worse than Outrage. It would not be recognised as a baptism by anyone else. Enoch
The whole point of baptism is to establish a point of delineation between an old life and a new life in Christ. The words used i.e. In the name of The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are not a magic formula which needs must be followed in case the whole shebang goes wrong and the person doesn't get properly 'saved'. The 'saved' part of the whole thing has already happened by the Grace of Almighty God. The whole ceremony is only a public declaration of that which has already occurred.

quote:
For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you. Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ; and I got dunked in the name of Abba, Jesus and Spirit of God; and I got poured over in the name of The Creator, the Redeemer and the Sanctifier and I got properly dunked in the name of The Father, Son and Holy Ghost.

Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?
I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius; Lest any should say that I had baptized in mine own name. And I baptized also the household of Stephanas: besides, I know not whether I baptized any other.

For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. 1 Cor. 1:11-17

This makes quite clear that baptism is not in the name of anyone, even an apostle, but of God. Theologically speaking then it can be argued that Jesus is acceptable as a name of God. Father is also acceptable as a descriptive name of God. Yahweh and 'I AM' could even be used as names of God. Jesus however is reported by Matthew as saying that baptism should be in the name of all three persons of the godhead. The Father, AND the Son, AND the Holy Spirit.

I tend to think that whether we refer to the Holy Ghost or the Holy Spirit by 'name' is immaterial since we do not HAVE a name for the Holy Spirit, apart from perhaps 'ruach Elohim, 'pneuma etc. and they are descriptions not names.

I have no objection to sticking with good old CofE praxis and using Father, Son and Holy Ghost, though ghost is confusing to the modern theologically untrained mind, so Holy Spirit is probably a better option.

Is is probably not the actual words used that are important though. It is what the baptised person understand them to mean, in terms of just who this baptism is being conferred and bestowed by;

The person dunking them or Almighty God in all three, Persons.

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Love covers many sins. 1 Pet.4:8. God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, not holding their sins against them; 2 Cor.5:19

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L'organist
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posted by RdrEmCofE
quote:
I have no objection to sticking with good old CofE praxis and using Father, Son and Holy Ghost, though ghost is confusing to the modern theologically untrained mind, so Holy Spirit is probably a better option.

Is is probably not the actual words used that are important though. It is what the baptised person understand them to mean, in terms of just who this baptism is being conferred and bestowed by;

The person dunking them or Almighty God in all three, Persons.

And its to be profoundly hoped that any such confusion isn't added to by the celebrant choosing In Christ alone as a closing hymn for the ceremony...

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Rara temporum felicitate ubi sentire quae velis et quae sentias dicere licet

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Nick Tamen

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quote:
Originally posted by Gramps49:
It is my understanding that once a person, regardless of age, becomes baptized, they are full members of the church. At my congregation we allow even toddlers to take communion because they are full members of the church and, therefore, have all the rights and privileges of church membership.

Without question, this is one of those areas where we have to be careful generalizing, because understandings will differ from tradition to tradition and denomination to denomination. What exactly is understood as the meaning of confirmation would be another one of those areas.

Your understanding, for example, would not be true of my tribe (the PC(USA), which is in full communion with your tribe). Yes, we would say that baptism makes one a member of the church, welcome to receive communion and to receive other ministries of the church. But we also say that only those who have been confirmed/made a public profession of faith can vote in church meetings or be ordained to ordered ministry in the church.

quote:
Originally posted by RdrEmCofE:
The whole point of baptism is to establish a point of delineation between an old life and a new life in Christ.

And here's another one of those areas where understandings will differ. Large swaths of Christianity would disagree that this is "the whole point of baptism."

quote:
The words used i.e. In the name of The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are not a magic formula which needs must be followed in case the whole shebang goes wrong and the person doesn't get properly 'saved'. The 'saved' part of the whole thing has already happened by the Grace of Almighty God. The whole ceremony is only a public declaration of that which has already occurred. . . .

Is is probably not the actual words used that are important though. It is what the baptized person understand them to mean, in terms of just who this baptism is being conferred and bestowed by;

The person dunking them or Almighty God in all three, Persons.

And here's yet another one of those areas. Indeed, I'd hazard a guess that the majority of the world's Christians do believe that the precise use of the traditional words is necessary for a valid baptism, if for no other reason than obedience to the command of Christ as recorded in Matthew.

Shoot my tribe is certainly encouraging of appropriate use of inclusive language generally and expansive language about God particularly. And as I already noted above, we'd agree that baptism is an effective sign of what God has done, is doing and will do—it's about God's action, not ours. But the use of "Father, Son and Holy Spirit" in baptism in non-negotiable.

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The first thing God says to Moses is, "Take off your shoes." We are on holy ground. Hard to believe, but the truest thing I know. — Anne Lamott

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SvitlanaV2
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I wonder which is more important in a baptism - the water or the liturgy used.

Many will insist that they're equally important. Yet there are those above who disapprove of 're-dedication ceremonies' that involve full immersion but avoid baptismal liturgy. But why complain about such ceremonies if they don't actually involve the all-important liturgy and therefore cannot be baptisms?

Indeed, from one angle one could argue that the CofE's quasi-baptismal re-dedications are more theologically acceptable and consistent than what seems to happen in the Baptist churches.

According to what I read here, the Baptists either insist on re-baptism, or else make re-baptism entirely optional for new members. The latter suggests that re-baptism is becoming viewed as a pastoral issue driven by an individual agenda rather than by an official theology or practice.

And that's not to mention the American Baptist churches mentioned above that re-baptise every newcomer who joins, just to make sure! (But I'm sure they're not alone. There must be some Pentecostals who do the same thing.)

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:

Many will insist that they're equally important. Yet there are those above who disapprove of 're-dedication ceremonies' that involve full immersion but avoid baptismal liturgy. But why complain about such ceremonies if they don't actually involve the all-important liturgy and therefore cannot be baptisms?

Because - no pun intended - they muddy the water.
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Enoch
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RdrEmCoE, I don't think what you're described is quite within how most of the CofE would regard as the range of orthodox understandings on baptism.

Baptism is a sacrament, an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace. It's the sacramental act that marks becoming a Christian. It's hardly even a Reformation understanding - I'd put it as a much more recent one than that - to think one can completely separate the spiritual meaning of baptism from the act. That seems to me to be the baptism equivalent that corresponds to an even more extreme memorialist understanding of the Eucharist than the most Zwinglian of Protestants.

This is much clearer where one is talking of an adult convert who has come to faith, is under instruction, but has not yet been baptised. They are in rather a similar position vis à vis God as a couple who are engaged but not yet married are vis à vis each other. And just as marriage is a real act that gives effect to commitments the couple are committing themselves to, and which changes their status humanly at that moment, as part of the ceremony, so baptism is a real act to which a person commits themself, which somebody performs to them and which changes their status spiritually.

Yes, being saved happens by the grace of God, but as to whether it happens when they believe or when they have both believed and been baptised is only an issue that matters if a person has the misfortune to die when they have believed but are still under instruction. God is merciful, and I believe in that event he would be merciful. I'd be less confident if a person were to say 'well I've believed; so that's all right then. I don't need to get baptised. It's just something external. It doesn't really matter.' That seems to be presuming on God's mercy. And I'd have thought it would be spiritually negligent, conceited and dangerous for a person in authority to tell other people that was OK not to be baptised. Likewise, when the gospel of Matthew clearly tells us what form of words to use, for a person responsible in the church for conducting baptisms, deliberately for some foible of their own, to choose to use a different form of words. It would be comparable to saying 'well I don't like water. It's too material. So let's leave that bit out'.

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
Worse, a minister using it could even be endangering the eternal status of the unwitting victim on whom they were imposing it.


You really think God is like that? Really?

Don't be daft. This is the creator of the Universe, the omnipotent Lord of All, apparently, and you really think he's going to say "your vicar's theology wasn't up to snuff. Welcome to eternal torment"?

--------------------
Might as well ask the bloody cat.

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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(I'd got as far as to say that it seems to me that since there are such conflicts over theology that there's clearly no convincing answer from Scripture, Tradition or Reason, since everyone using all three disagrees, it's just possible that God doesn't care very much about theology. This seems entirely consistent with a Jesus who taught very little in the way of systematic theology but had a lot of negative stuff to say about people who did.

Put it another way, lighten up. Is God really out there trying to trip us up?)

--------------------
Might as well ask the bloody cat.

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SvitlanaV2
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quote:
Originally posted by chris stiles:
quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:

Many will insist that they're equally important. Yet there are those above who disapprove of 're-dedication ceremonies' that involve full immersion but avoid baptismal liturgy. But why complain about such ceremonies if they don't actually involve the all-important liturgy and therefore cannot be baptisms?

Because - no pun intended - they muddy the water.
So it is the water, then....

I think the problem with Christianity is that it lacks spiritually engaging rituals for highlighting the process transformation.

Confirmation doesn't do it. I don't want to list my ignorant, outdated and probably inaccurate ideas of what the confirmation process must be like in various churches, but I don't get the impression that it's always experienced as a powerful and spiritual thing. It's not necessarily sufficient for someone looking for a strong, moving and deeply inspirational Christian ritual. And what if someone has already undergone this not very exciting process, like the guy in the OP?

The CofE could ban these quasi-baptisms and discourage emotionalism, but then it might lose those more emotional people to other denominations. Alternatively, I know of one Anglican who was rebaptised by the Baptists, but continued to attend a CofE church. So no confusing CofE ceremonies to 'muddy the water' on its own territory, but individuals would be free to have their special ritual elsewhere, in a spirit of ecumenicalism.

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:

I think the problem with Christianity is that it lacks spiritually engaging rituals for highlighting the process transformation.

So do most religions. The ones that are big on these tend to be fairly exclusivist cults.
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John Holding

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Our current rector manoeuvres skillfully around many of the issues raised above. She baptiszs in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit -- required under our canons, which reflect an ecumenical international agreement. But on a weekly basis, she blesses at the end of the service in the name of the Triune God who creates, redeems and sustains.

John

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RdrEmCofE
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quote:
Baptism is a sacrament, an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace. It's the sacramental act that marks becoming a Christian.
No it does not. It is the ACTUAL ACT of GOD within the baptismal candidate that marks actual baptism. That is the inward and invisible grace. The outward and visible sign is merely a concession by God to our insensitivity and dullness of understanding of the truly spiritual. Sacraments perform no magic act, they are merely aids to understanding the invisible works of God. Though the two, Spiritual Bestowal of Inward Grace and Visible, Sensual, Tactile, substantial, sacramental seal and sign, may happen almost simultaneously for some, they may be separated by a quite definite period of time for others.

You speak as if God is obliged to bestow inward invisible grace upon a baptismal candidate just because all the ceremonials have been correctly adhered to. That sounds more like magic to me.

quote:
This is much clearer where one is talking of an adult convert who has come to faith, is under instruction, but has not yet been baptised. They are in rather a similar position vis à vis God as a couple who are engaged but not yet married are vis à vis each other. And just as marriage is a real act that gives effect to commitments the couple are committing themselves to, and which changes their status humanly at that moment, as part of the ceremony, so baptism is a real act to which a person commits themselves, which somebody performs to them and which changes their status spiritually.
More magic eh? Do you seriously think that God has to wait until a minister pronounces a couple man and wife before God counts them as 'one flesh'. Nonsense. If they have already consumated the marriage, then they are already married in God's estimation. That is why it is inadvisable to couple oneself with a prostitute.

Do you not know that he who joins himself to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, "The two shall become one flesh." 1 Cor. 6:16

quote:
Yes, being saved happens by the grace of God, but as to whether it happens when they believe or when they have both believed and been baptised is only an issue that matters if a person has the misfortune to die when they have believed but are still under instruction.
If by being 'saved' you mean 'their sins are no longer held against them', then being 'saved' is not only by the grace of God but it also happened nearly 2000 years ago when:

"in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them". "For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." I believe the OUR and the WE are referring to the entire human race.

Only might become the righteousness of God because that then comes under the heading of Sanctification, and that can only follow Justification, (a judicial decision made by God regarding the sinner, that their sins are forgiven), and Obedience to Christ, (enabled by The Holy Spirit). That is what in effect should be demonstrated at adult baptism. A willingness to Obey Christ and accept his free gift of salvation through his act of atonement on the cross.

quote:
God is merciful, and I believe in that event he would be merciful.
(The church decided early on that any candidate for baptism who died, [particularly if martyred], before being baptised would be 'saved'). Many catechumens often waited many months for baptism, even nearly a year if they had just missed Easter.

quote:
I'd be less confident if a person were to say 'well I've believed; so that's all right then. I don't need to get baptised. It's just something external. It doesn't really matter.' That seems to be presuming on God's mercy.
It is a mistake to think that it is 'our belief' that entitles us to baptism. It doesn't. Belief is only the means by which we become aware of God's act of atoning sacrifice on our behalf. Without the sacrifice, belief is of no avail. It is by God's Grace that we come to baptism, not though anything that we might supply, even 'faith'.


quote:
And I'd have thought it would be spiritually negligent, conceited and dangerous for a person in authority to tell other people that was OK not to be baptised.
I agree. But not dangerous to the person wanting baptism. The mere fact that they want baptism may be evidence that God has already been at work in them. They may just need to be asked WHY they want it.

quote:
Likewise, when the gospel of Matthew clearly tells us what form of words to use, for a person responsible in the church for conducting baptisms, deliberately for some foible of their own, to choose to use a different form of words. It would be comparable to saying 'well I don't like water. It's too material. So let's leave that bit out'.
As a 'liturgical formula' it has always struck me as being strange though. What is the NAME of The Father? WE know the NAME of The SON, Jesus, or more accurately Joshua since Jesus is the Greek translation of Joshua, the name he was given at birth, (there being no 'sh' sound in NT Greek as there was in Hebrew and Aramaic, so his name appears in the Greek language of the Gospels as Jesus.). And what is the NAME of the Holy Spirit we may ask? So even using the time honoured 'formula' we are still not baptising in the Father's NAME or in The Holy Spirit's NAME, are we.

--------------------
Love covers many sins. 1 Pet.4:8. God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, not holding their sins against them; 2 Cor.5:19

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Nick Tamen

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quote:
Originally posted by RdrEmCofE:
quote:
Baptism is a sacrament, an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace. It's the sacramental act that marks becoming a Christian.
No it does not. It is the ACTUAL ACT of GOD within the baptismal candidate that marks actual baptism. That is the inward and invisible grace. The outward and visible sign is merely a concession by God to our insensitivity and dullness of understanding of the truly spiritual. Sacraments perform no magic act, they are merely aids to understanding the invisible works of God. Though the two, Spiritual Bestowal of Inward Grace and Visible, Sensual, Tactile, substantial, sacramental seal and sign, may happen almost simultaneously for some, they may be separated by a quite definite period of time for others.

You speak as if God is obliged to bestow inward invisible grace upon a baptismal candidate just because all the ceremonials have been correctly adhered to. That sounds more like magic to me.

And you speak as if you misunderstand what many Christians mean by “sacrament” (or “mystery”). It's fine if you don't agree with the understandings of various Christian traditions, but it doesn’t change the fact that the opinions you assert are not shared by all Christians. And I'll repeat what mr cheesy said earlier: it'd be helpful to tone down the stridency and discuss rather than lecture.

quote:
As a 'liturgical formula' it has always struck me as being strange though. What is the NAME of The Father? WE know the NAME of The SON, Jesus, or more accurately Joshua since Jesus is the Greek translation of Joshua, the name he was given at birth, (there being no 'sh' sound in NT Greek as there was in Hebrew and Aramaic, so his name appears in the Greek language of the Gospels as Jesus.). And what is the NAME of the Holy Spirit we may ask? So even using the time honoured 'formula' we are still not baptising in the Father's NAME or in The Holy Spirit's NAME, are we.
Well, if you don't like the formula, you might want to take it up with Yeshua. (There was no J sound in Hebrew or Aramaic either, so Joshua is also Anglicized), since he's the one who commanded us to use it.

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The first thing God says to Moses is, "Take off your shoes." We are on holy ground. Hard to believe, but the truest thing I know. — Anne Lamott

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by RdrEmCofE:
As a 'liturgical formula' it has always struck me as being strange though. What is the NAME of The Father? WE know the NAME of The SON, Jesus, or more accurately Joshua since Jesus is the Greek translation of Joshua, the name he was given at birth, (there being no 'sh' sound in NT Greek as there was in Hebrew and Aramaic, so his name appears in the Greek language of the Gospels as Jesus.). And what is the NAME of the Holy Spirit we may ask? So even using the time honoured 'formula' we are still not baptising in the Father's NAME or in The Holy Spirit's NAME, are we.

That's not how "in the name of" works. You are equivocating on the word "name." One can do something in the name of the Crown, or in the name of democracy, or in the name of generosity. Those things don't need a name. That's not what "in the name of" means.

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This is the last sig I'll ever write for you...

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RdrEmCofE
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quote:
Well, if you don't like the formula, you might want to take it up with Yeshua. (There was no J sound in Hebrew or Aramaic either, so Joshua is also Anglicised), since he's the one who commanded us to use it.
I think your literalist reading of that Great Commission command has inadvertently led you into misguided sacralisation of an otherwise straightforward visible, physical and verbal declaration of God's Grace toward underserving sinners, enacted in the metaphor or physical parable of baptism.

And if we are going to actually use the NAME of Jesus then it should be 'God Saves', because that is what Yeshua actually means. So why is it so sacrosanct to substitute the merely titular words, 'The Son', for the actual meaning of the name 'God Saves'. What's with the superstitious adherence to words and formulas hoping to ostensibly achieve the desired effect or believing that by so doing the 'effect' will be thus guaranteed?

When baptised using the actual name of 'The Saviour' the efficacy and author of the grace of baptism becomes self evident, i.e. God and only God, 'saves'. Further more Jesus is not, by himself, The Saviour. It is the Triune God that is involved in baptism, and that is the reason for Jesus issuing the adjunct, "In the name of the Father, AND Son AND the Holy Spirit.

quote:
"There is no other god besides me,
a righteous God and a Savior;
there is no one besides me." Isa. 45:21b.



--------------------
Love covers many sins. 1 Pet.4:8. God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, not holding their sins against them; 2 Cor.5:19

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Mudfrog
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quote:
Originally posted by L'organist:
posted by RdrEmCofE
quote:
I have no objection to sticking with good old CofE praxis and using Father, Son and Holy Ghost, though ghost is confusing to the modern theologically untrained mind, so Holy Spirit is probably a better option.

Is is probably not the actual words used that are important though. It is what the baptised person understand them to mean, in terms of just who this baptism is being conferred and bestowed by;

The person dunking them or Almighty God in all three, Persons.

And its to be profoundly hoped that any such confusion isn't added to by the celebrant choosing In Christ alone as a closing hymn for the ceremony...
Christ alone? As in one of the Reformation calls and one of the 4 distinctives of evangelicalism?

If not Christ alone then who would you like to share his throne? Mohammed? Confucius?
As far as I am concerned, In Christ Alone is not a 'Jesus Only' Pentecostal style song; it merely reflects that it's in Christ alone that we find salvation:

After all,
"God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ..." 2 Corinthians 5 v 29

and

"Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved." Acts 4 v 12

--------------------
"The point of having an open mind, like having an open mouth, is to close it on something solid."
G.K. Chesterton

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Gamaliel
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I rather suspect this comment was meant to be a joke, Mudfrog ...

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Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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RdrEmCofE
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quote:
That's not how "in the name of" works. You are equivocating on the word "name." One can do something in the name of the Crown, or in the name of democracy, or in the name of generosity. Those things don't need a name. That's not what "in the name of" means.
Hmm. The taste of sucked uncooked eggs, yeuch.

Your Freudian slip however reveals the fact that you still think in terms of 'making it work' by using the 'correct' words, the 'correct' way, to perform the efficacious salvific al magic, which God has already declared in scripture, done and dusted for us, at the cross.

Nothing wrong with your using the formula, I agree, but perhaps with dangerously superstitious sacramentalist thinking associated with its use.

--------------------
Love covers many sins. 1 Pet.4:8. God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, not holding their sins against them; 2 Cor.5:19

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Jengie jon

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quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
quote:
Originally posted by L'organist:
posted by RdrEmCofE And its to be profoundly hoped that any such confusion isn't added to by the celebrant choosing In Christ alone as a closing hymn for the ceremony...

Christ alone? As in one of the Reformation calls and one of the 4 distinctives of evangelicalism?

No simply citing a Worship Song which RdrEmCofE seems to object to.

Jengie

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"To violate a persons ability to distinguish fact from fantasy is the epistemological equivalent of rape." Noretta Koertge

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by RdrEmCofE:
Hmm. The taste of sucked uncooked eggs, yeuch.

Your Freudian slip however reveals the fact that you still think in terms of 'making it work' by using the 'correct' words, the 'correct' way, to perform the efficacious salvific al magic, which God has already declared in scripture, done and dusted for us, at the cross.

Nothing wrong with your using the formula, I agree, but perhaps with dangerously superstitious sacramentalist thinking associated with its use.

And here we see your true agenda.

I think "magic" is an apt description for actions of the deity. And, moreover, I think you've completely misunderstood the post you are replying to.

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arse

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Aravis
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Is there a difference, in any sense, between a child who has had a dedication ceremony as a baby and a child who has been baptised as a baby?
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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:

I think "magic" is an apt description for actions of the deity. And, moreover, I think you've completely misunderstood the post you are replying to.

I agree that RdrEmCofE misunderstood the post they were responding to. I don't think 'magic' is an apt description though - you don't make God act by cranking the handle and reciting the correct incantation.
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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Aravis:
Is there a difference, in any sense, between a child who has had a dedication ceremony as a baby and a child who has been baptised as a baby?

To take you absolutely literally - the latter baby can be baptised later in various churches (including Anglican) whereas the former cannot. Also in some (Anglican and other) churches, the latter baby would need to be baptised before going forward for confirmation whereas the former would not.

But perhaps that's not what you are asking?

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arse

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Jengie jon

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All right

The invoking of the Trinity is not a simple act and has to be read within the context of huge political ramifications.

Firstly, it is a requirement of Roman Catholic Church for recognition of Baptism

Secondly, it is also the requirement of many Protestant Churches following the Unitarian debacle of the 18th Century.

In other words, it is a 'flag' that marks the claim of holding of allegiance to orthodox Christianity. Just as changing the colours of the Union Jack leads to queries over where the allegiance lies so does changing words of the Baptismal formula.

Jengie

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"To violate a persons ability to distinguish fact from fantasy is the epistemological equivalent of rape." Noretta Koertge

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
quote:
Originally posted by Aravis:
Is there a difference, in any sense, between a child who has had a dedication ceremony as a baby and a child who has been baptised as a baby?

To take you absolutely literally - the latter baby can be baptised later in various churches (including Anglican) whereas the former cannot. Also in some (Anglican and other) churches, the latter baby would need to be baptised before going forward for confirmation whereas the former would not.

But perhaps that's not what you are asking?

Sorry I mixed up the former and latter baby in the above. [Hot and Hormonal]

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arse

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Mudfrog
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quote:
Originally posted by Aravis:
Is there a difference, in any sense, between a child who has had a dedication ceremony as a baby and a child who has been baptised as a baby?

Yes, In the dedication ceremony, no promises are made for the child, it is an occasion where the parents give thanks for the child and dedicate him/her to God, promising to teach the child the truths of the faith and bring them up to know about Christ.

The ceremony assumes nothing for the child, conveys no grace upon him/her and is not a sacrament or an ordinance.

--------------------
"The point of having an open mind, like having an open mouth, is to close it on something solid."
G.K. Chesterton

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RdrEmCofE
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quote:
No simply citing a Worship Song which RdrEmCofE seems to object to. Jengie jon
Seems being the operative word. I assure you that I not only have sung it often in full harmony, contributing my experienced tenor voice, but I also mostly agree with its theology.

quote:
'Til on that cross as Jesus died
The wrath of God was satisfied
For every sin on Him was laid
Here in the death of Christ I live.

I have never liked the possible implications of verse 4 though, but some fervent evangelicals seem to see no option other than worship and placate, (as they believe Jesus did), what they feel is a vengeful and wrathful God who would quite willingly drive his only son to a humiliating and painful death to arrange his acquittal of a violently guilty human race, set on murdering him because he offended their moral and religious sensibilities.

There are other far more convincing explanations of the atonement which do not call God The Father's parenting style quite so much into question.

My overview of scripture leads me to surmise that the crucifixion was not to satisfy the wrath of God, but quite the opposite. It is the ultimate demonstration of the Triune God's agonised forgiveness of his ignorant persecutors and libellous slanderers, the human race.

"Father forgive them, for they know not what they do".

To knowingly reject such a gracious and agonizing amnesty is irrefutable evidence of reprobacy.

--------------------
Love covers many sins. 1 Pet.4:8. God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, not holding their sins against them; 2 Cor.5:19

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by RdrEmCofE:
Seems being the operative word. I assure you that I not only have sung it often in full harmony, contributing my experienced tenor voice, but I also mostly agree with its theology.

How strange. You say this and then the following:

quote:
I have never liked the possible implications of verse 4 though, but some fervent evangelicals seem to see no option other than worship and placate, (as they believe Jesus did), what they feel is a vengeful and wrathful God who would quite willingly drive his only son to a humiliating and painful death to arrange his acquittal of a violently guilty human race, set on murdering him because he offended their moral and religious sensibilities.

How about employing your experienced tenor voice* in singing a song that contains more than 75% of theology that you agree with?

Also can you not see the issue when this song is sung in the context of a baptism? Which was the reason that someone introduced it into the discussion.

* nobody cares, by the way, about the quality of your voice.

[ 04. January 2018, 10:11: Message edited by: mr cheesy ]

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arse

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RdrEmCofE
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quote:
I think "magic" is an apt description for actions of the deity. And, moreover, I think you've completely misunderstood the post you are replying to.
I don't think there was any misunderstanding on my part of your statement:

quote:
That's not how "in the name of" works.
Your language indicates that you think somehow the correct recitation of the formula will achieve the desired effect. That's superstitious arm twisting of God, to ostensibly obtain something He has already freely given. i.e. "not holding our sins against us".

--------------------
Love covers many sins. 1 Pet.4:8. God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, not holding their sins against them; 2 Cor.5:19

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Mudfrog
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quote:
Originally posted by RdrEmCofE:
quote:
No simply citing a Worship Song which RdrEmCofE seems to object to. Jengie jon
Seems being the operative word. I assure you that I not only have sung it often in full harmony, contributing my experienced tenor voice, but I also mostly agree with its theology.

quote:
'Til on that cross as Jesus died
The wrath of God was satisfied
For every sin on Him was laid
Here in the death of Christ I live.

I have never liked the possible implications of verse 4 though, but some fervent evangelicals seem to see no option other than worship and placate, (as they believe Jesus did), what they feel is a vengeful and wrathful God who would quite willingly drive his only son to a humiliating and painful death to arrange his acquittal of a violently guilty human race, set on murdering him because he offended their moral and religious sensibilities.

There are other far more convincing explanations of the atonement which do not call God The Father's parenting style quite so much into question.

My overview of scripture leads me to surmise that the crucifixion was not to satisfy the wrath of God, but quite the opposite. It is the ultimate demonstration of the Triune God's agonised forgiveness of his ignorant persecutors and libellous slanderers, the human race.

"Father forgive them, for they know not what they do".

To knowingly reject such a gracious and agonizing amnesty is irrefutable evidence of reprobacy.

To possibly flog a dead horse and to allude to the discussion on Trinitarian identity, I might suggest that the argument against the wrath of God and it's satisfaction by the Son of God, would only stand up if the Son were adopted as such and were not eternally begotten.

If a 'vengeful' (where is that at all in Scripture?) God were to pluck a bloke from the crowd, choose him to become his firstborn Son and then smite him for the sins of his peers, then I would have the greatest sympathy with the anti-wrath, anti-satisfaction camp.

However, that is, as you know, simply not the case. As in baptismal formulae we must never divide the Trinity and, whilst the Father did not die on the cross, he did indeed - as Moltmann suggests - suffer the loss of his Son.
The wrath of God was visited upon himself, not on another outside his being and experience.

The Son, in his death, suffered his own wrath, being the Word who was with God and was God.
He satisfied himself by the giving of himself.

As we sang at Christmas,
He came down to earth from Heaven, who is God and Lord of all.
and
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see, hail the incarnate deity.

It was God himself on the cross as much as Jesus of Nazareth.

Let's not go down the ridiculous route that tries to claim that the cross was 'cosmic child abuse.'
God himself was judge and judged.

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"The point of having an open mind, like having an open mouth, is to close it on something solid."
G.K. Chesterton

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by RdrEmCofE:
I don't think there was any misunderstanding on my part of your statement:

quote:
That's not how "in the name of" works.
Your language indicates that you think somehow the correct recitation of the formula will achieve the desired effect. That's superstitious arm twisting of God, to ostensibly obtain something He has already freely given. i.e. "not holding our sins against us".
First it wasn't my statement. You were replying to Mousethief.

Second, your repeated assertion is wrong. Mousethief wasn't making a statement about reciting of a formula but was pointing out that "in the name of" simply means that you are doing something under the authority of something. As per his examples "in the name of the Crown" and "in the name of democracy" and "in the name of generosity".

In actual fact his point was even more oblique than this. You'd gone off on some tangent about why it was important to baptise in the name of the Father or the Holy Spirit even when we don't use their names - and Mousethief was correctly pointing out that you'd misunderstood what "in the name of" means, and that we clearly use the phrase "in the name of" without referring to the actual name of an individual and in cases where there is no actual named individual being referred to.

[ 04. January 2018, 10:22: Message edited by: mr cheesy ]

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arse

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Higgs Bosun
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quote:
Originally posted by RdrEmCofE:
You speak as if God is obliged to bestow inward invisible grace upon a baptismal candidate just because all the ceremonials have been correctly adhered to. That sounds more like magic to me.

I once visited a church on a Sunday, and during that service four babies were baptised. The minister announced that these four had now just been born again. He certainly seemed to think that the act of baptism effected new birth.
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Mudfrog
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In the name of refers to the character, the being, the essence and the authority of the person (or office) referred to.

By using Father, Son and Holy Spirit we reflect and testify to the character of God as Triune.

I still maintain that Jesus was making a Trinitarian statement about the nature of God and the name that one calls upon when making religious statements or observances.

Jews will refer to God as HaShem - literally 'the Name'
They will recite the Shema - Hear O Israel, the Lord our God is One...

I believe that Jesus changed 'the Name' of God in the washing ceremony - symbolising repentance and holiness - from the Shema, The Lord is One) to the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

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"The point of having an open mind, like having an open mouth, is to close it on something solid."
G.K. Chesterton

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Mudfrog
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quote:
Originally posted by Higgs Bosun:
quote:
Originally posted by RdrEmCofE:
You speak as if God is obliged to bestow inward invisible grace upon a baptismal candidate just because all the ceremonials have been correctly adhered to. That sounds more like magic to me.

I once visited a church on a Sunday, and during that service four babies were baptised. The minister announced that these four had now just been born again. He certainly seemed to think that the act of baptism effected new birth.
As a young SA officer I had to write a report about sacraments and I interviewed the Anglican Dean of a Northern Irish Cathedral.

I was surprised to hear him say that the water of baptism actually regenerated the child but that in conformation that child became what s/he already was.

(BTW He also told me he believed the Mass was a blasphemy - which surprised me even more and would have made a dynamite headline had I gone to the press with it!)

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"The point of having an open mind, like having an open mouth, is to close it on something solid."
G.K. Chesterton

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mr cheesy
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I think I generally agree Mudfrog. Hence I can't really see that it makes a difference about which language one uses in these situations. The important part is that one is asserting that the thing (ie baptism) is being done as part of the religion of the triune deity - rather than any other religion or deity.

But then I can't really see how it logically follows that the formulation must be "Father, Son and Holy Spirit" if one follows through with this thought. If the intention is to, in some way, cleave the action with the trinitarian deity then surely it doesn't make a whole lot of difference if one says "Father, Son and Holy Spirit" or "Creator, Redeemer and Sanctifier" or any other use of biblical titles for the persons of the godhead. Surely the implication of your above statement is that "in the name of" needs to be in the context of worship of the correct deity rather than using the correct form of words.

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arse

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Gamaliel
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Not so sure it would have made massive headlines, Mudfrog. Or at least it wouldn't back in the day.

Church of Ireland clergy tended to take a very 'low' view of the Eucharist to distinguish themselves from the RCs.

Some of the language they used could be quite intemperate.

I was at a conference this last summer where a leading Dominican scholar publicly denounced the current Pope as a 'heretic'. It turned out he'd also sent out press-releases to coincide with the conference in which he aired his grave concerns about the Papal stance on certain issues.

We were all taken aback.

In the event, the press release only seemed to appear in very specialised in-house RC 'trade press' ... it caused very few ripples anywhere else.

Still, it has to go into my, 'Did he really just say what I thought he said?' file ...

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Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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