Presbyterians and Methodists

Discussion in 'Off-topic' started by Malum Prohibitum, Feb 13, 2007.

  1. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    He cites to an authority for the proposition that two of Jesus' disciples may have been violating Roman weapon control laws. I will have to check on that, as it is not one I have heard before.
     

  2. pro2am

    pro2am New Member

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    That is interesting. It is consistent with my research prior to getting a GFL. I am a Christian and wanted to know what the Bible said about weapons and/or self defense. All of the citations in the paper are consistent with what I found as well.

    I found that God doesn't expect me to stand still while an assailant stabs me to death or I wouldn't have purchased a gun and applied for my GFL. Using a gun or other weapon to hurt someone out of anger is a totally different story.

    I'm not sure if the the posting is just because of the "violation of roman law" part, but if anyone here calls himself/herself a Christian, its a good read for some other lessons too.
     
  3. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    Nah. The posting is because there are Methodists and Presbyterians who visit here and do not know that their denominations are lobbying for gun control and, worse, claiming to their attendees that they are "giving money to God" when in reality they take the money and give it to Sarah Brady and others that the attendees might find distasteful.

    A more complete list of these gun control churches may be found here in a thread titled The Religious Left.
     
  4. kkennett

    kkennett New Member

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    I am a Presbyterian elder and proud of the heritage of the presbyterian church in America. That being said, the denomination (PCUSA) is in a state of crisis at the moment as a result of the liberal bureaucrats non-responsiveness to the membership (and their abandoning Scripture). The problems are well known: ordination of gays, authority of scripture, divestiture from Israel, abortion, etc. Suffice it to say, without a thesis on the movements within the denomination, that the 'evangelicals' as we are now known, are rising up. The part of the denominational crisis that saddens me most is this: many of our best minds and efforts are not being spent on the missional work of the Great Commission, but on infighting and bickering.

    This particular issue that MP highlights is, quite obviously, one of several on which I differ profoundly from my denomination's official stance.
     
  5. kkennett

    kkennett New Member

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    Luke 22:36 NIV He said to them, "But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one.

    Or, from the Message: 36 -37He said, "This is different. Get ready for trouble. Look to what you'll need; there are difficult times ahead. Pawn your coat and get a sword. What was written in Scripture, 'He was lumped in with the criminals,' gets its final meaning in me. Everything written about me is now coming to a conclusion."
     
  6. kkennett

    kkennett New Member

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    And as for the giving of the money to the Bradys part, many many local churches, my own included, are beginning to designate their giving to the higher bodies of the denomination. That will, hopefully, choke off that sort of thing.
     
  7. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    kkennett, there is no attack on any individual here, especially including you. I was aware of your affiliation with this particular denomination from the Religious Left thread. My post certainly was not aimed at you, as I knew you were already aware of this issue. But I feel compelled to point out to other people on a "gun site" what the liberal churches are doing (I use "liberal" in the same sense as the political one: Political liberals are those who "liberally" interpret the Consitution, and religious liberals are those who "liberally" interpret the Bible). I find most people are blissfully unaware of this sort of activity and what it is their money is doing. Kind of like union members and union dues.

    I see my job as making people aware so that they can make choices.

    As to the Presybeterian denomination in particular, though, here is their own official statement on gun control straight from the horse's mouth. I have to say it is pretty scary stuff.
     
  8. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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  9. kkennett

    kkennett New Member

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    MP, the issue that you bring up is one near and dear to my heart. The critical distinction to be made, for followers of Jesus Christ, is that between discipleship and membership. There are many church members who are not disciples. What I mean by discipleship is daily living out the faith revealed in Scripture and forged through a personal relationship with the Savior. "If you love me, you will follow my commands." and "How will they know we are his disciples? By our love for one another." This is the 'agape' love - one of action and not of feelings. Within the PCUSA, there are several groups working very hard to bring about the missional focus on discipleship. Our particular church is one. Whether we will succeed or not is not clear to me at this point. It breaks my heart daily to think of the discord that saps the work of God's church here on earth. As far as I can see, there is only faith, and Man does not get to define it.

    What use, if any, are denominations (i.e., higher bodies)? Mainly the pooling of resources and governance of the congregations. All three of the major church governance schemes have their problems (e.g., hierarchical like Catholics can stray due to the influence of one; congregational, like Baptists, can develop into sects; and repbulican, like presbyterians & methodists, can become bodies following popular opinion). Oddly, all three forms, done in compliance with the plain teachings of Scripture, can be positive influences for the work of the Church universal. The only other use I can find for denominations is to denote and promote varying styles of worship which feed varying believers. Style of worship is not the same as theology. The apostle Paul's ministry can largely be summed up, "when in Rome do as the Romans do, when in Greece, as the Grecians, as long as you preach the gospel." For it is not what goes into man that makes him unclean, but what comes out. Thus Paul said, eat whatever food you want, keep your local heritage and customs, as long as they are not sinful.

    Last things: I have just completed a three year span on my church's Session and am now on the committee who is looking for a replacement for our retiring senior pastor. I pray everyday that we will find another courageous man of God who shares this vision.
     
  10. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    In all fairness, kkennett, I do not believe Paul ever applied this statement you so loosely paraphrase to worship, nor did he use it to sanction denominationalism or notions of various sects constituting the "church universal." Rather, he made the statement you so loosely paraphrase when speaking of not being an offense to the locals by his manner or custom so that he would not be hindered in preaching the gospel (in which he did not hesitate to give offense so long as he spoke the truth).

    Indeed, Paul spent a great deal of time in his first letter to the church at Corinth warning them about factions and disunity. Why did he not just write to instruct them to divide into their own little denominations with manmade names and traditions and still constitute the "church universal?" It would have been a lot easier for him.
     
  11. kkennett

    kkennett New Member

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    I completely agree. I think that was exactly my point, perhaps not well said. If the people down the street from you want to sing songs with horns instead of strings and sprinkle instead of dunk, that ought not cause you to break into factions, separate on the theology, and ultimately hold animosity toward one another. The church ought to be able to accommodate these differences without all the separations that have occurred throughout history. Alas, the church has been, and will be until the second coming, governed by flawed sinners who have made poor choices and failed to love another above all. Where the rubber meets the road is discerning the cultural from the moral. I am appalled by the PCUSA's stance on abortion and lack of certitude regarding homosexual ordination. I know some, however, who are appalled by the practice of sprinkling instead of full immersion, and place that issue on the same level as homosexual ordination. How much blood has been shed in the name of 'transsubstantiation' for the Mass? The European monarchs largely tried to use the faith to preserve their particular culture and feudal power structure. America's founding fathers found the faith lead them to a different conclusion (thankfully). This process of discernment and error has brought us to this point. The humans in the churches at Corinth, Phillipi, Ephesus, Collosa, Thessolonica, and all the others struggled with the same sinful, fallen nature with which we struggle today. Paul was there to guide them. Would that we had a Paul rise up today!
     
  12. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    Appalled? Well, what does the word "baptism" mean? I do not mean the English word that seems to have whatever modern connotations people want to pour into it to justify a manmade practice (for example, sprinkling :D ), but what did it mean in the New Testament (as that is my standard) when written there.

    bapto means to dip or immerse. It has no other meaning. Baptizmo means the same. Cheo is pour, and rhantizo is sprinkle. The English word, baptism, was simply invented, using transliteration, so that the church leaders at the time would not have to explain their unbiblical practice. Interestingly, whenever bapto or baptizo appear in nontheological contexts, they are always translated to dip or to immerse, not "to baptize." Cf. Rev 19:13 ("a robe dipped in blood").

    Therefore, "baptism by sprinkling" is really an oxymoron, and "baptism by immersion" is a redundancy.

    And how is one "buried" by a sprinkling?

    Romans 6:3-4
    New American Standard again

    3Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death?
    4Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.

    See also Col. 2:12.

    Sprinkling and pouring are post-apostolic innovations, arising centuries after the closing of the canon of scripture. It was unknown to the first century church, acting under instruction given by divine inspiration. The first recorded act of "sprinkling" was Novatian, in A.D. 250, who was on his deathbed (although he did not die). Eusebius wrote in his Ecclesiastical History, a copy of which I have on my shelf, that Novatian was thereafter barred from being a church officer, which tells us this innovative practice was not even accepted at this late date, after so many other apostasies had already taken place.

    And none of these men were directly inspired by God. I point to this uninspired testimony just to illustrate how late in history "sprinkling" as a substitute for immersion arose.

    In sum, there is no New Testament authority for "baptism" by sprinkling or pouring, just as there is no New Testament authority for worship with horns (or strings). The next question for you to consider is whether biblical authority matters. May one worship in a way which God has not commanded (note I did not say commanded not, which would be different).

    Please read the first few verses of Leviticus 10 before providing any answer.

    If biblical authority matters, and I submit that it does, then I believe in holding steadfastly to that biblical pattern provided in the New Testament in matters of salvation and worship and not condoning unauthorized practices and traditions.

    Unity must exist in truth, not acceptance of untruth. You recognize this principle yourself when you draw the line at homosexual ordination.

    So, no, I do not think that those who believe in baptism must claim some unity with those who believe in sprinkling. Rather, I believe they should try, with gentleness and respect, to educate them, always being ready to give an answer when asked.
     
  13. kkennett

    kkennett New Member

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    :D MP, I love a good debate. I am familiar with the origins of the physical practice of baptism, as well as the New Testament baptism with the Holy Spirit, which surely is an immersion if ever there was one. My wife used to be a practicing, devout Catholic, who was schooled entirely in Catholic schools. Never before going to our church had she experienced the love and care of a true family of believers. If I look at the transformation in her life it is amazing. However, she has had to get past any number of serious hurdles such as the 'baptism' issue. If the New Testament commanded that now circumision and uncircumcision was no longer relevant to receiving the saving power of Christ (which it did), how can the whetted surface area achieved during baptism be any different. To put it another way, if I spend my entire life placing my faith in his redeeming grace (which is all I need), seeking to follow his commands, studying his Word, attempting servant leadership, and returning back to his grace when I fail, and then I reach the pearly gates and he says, 'off to Hell with you, as you weren't baptized properly', I will have worshiped a god unworthy of the sacrifices of the saints. Perhaps he'll just, 'I really did mean immersion, but you can come in anyway.'

    All that being said, apparently my third child is going to be born later today, so I have to be going. I will ask those properly baptized to pray for us. :wink:
     
  14. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    First of all, let me state that I do not adopt the Catholic position on baptism (or almost any other matter), as it is inconsistent with the New Testament. Catholicism is one of those few religions where they overtly bind their traditions on men (they believe their traditions to be just as binding as the bible). Most religions at least make some pretense that they are following the bible as their only authority.

    Well, maybe he will. But can I go around teaching people that he will do what he has explicitly said he will not do? I do not think I can rely on that! Nor would I want you to.

    Mark 16:16

    He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned

    Acts 2:38

    "Brethren, what shall we do?"

    38Peter said to them, "Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

    Note the purpose stated in each of these. One is Jesus speaking and the other is Peter, under the direct inspiration of the Holy Spirit in a miracle whereby everybody was hearing him in their own language (to demonstrate the truth of what he was saying).

    And about faith and baptism. In Paul's letter to the Christians at Galatia, he spoke about circumcision and the law, as a tutor leading people to Christ, and he explicitly declared that Christians were no longer under that tutor. Did he then declare, as you have done, that baptism was not a requirement to be "in Christ?" Yes? No? He directly linked faith and baptism.

    Galatians 3:26-27

    25But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.

    26For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.

    27For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.

    Baptized linked with shall be saved. Mark 16:16. Baptized linked with the purpose of "for the remission of sins." Acts 2:38. Baptized into Christ. Clothed yourselves with Christ. Both linked to faith in Christ Jesus. Galations 3:26-28.

    Peter had something else to say about baptism as well.
    1 Peter 3:21
    Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you-- not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience--through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

    In other words, baptism is not the mere "wetting of the flesh," as you put it, but it is linked to your faith in the saving grace of Christ Jesus and an appeal to God for a good conscience, one that is forgiven of its sins.

    For now, I will leave the issue of baptism with the Holy Spirit for a separate discussion, as the biblical examples are exceedingly rare and used for occasions when something very special, a change, needed to be taught, (as happened on the first day of the Christian church, in Acts chapter two, during Pentecost, a portion of which is quoted above), with one exception, which is to comment that the "baptism" certainly was not a "sprinkling" with the Holy Spirit! :lol:


    :shock:

    We certainly will! [-o< Let us know as soon as possible that all is well with your wife and third child!
     
  15. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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  16. Macktee

    Macktee New Member

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    This has been an interesting and informative thread, so please don't take this the wrong way. I have no wish to dinigrate your beliefs or practices in any way whatsoever. But... (Isn't there always a "but"?)

    But, please don't expect the rest of us to agree with or abide by your beliefs. They're killing people right now in Iraq and other places over relatively minor differences in theology. Don't let it happen here. I'd hate to think Baptists and Unitarians would break out into a shooting war over differences in beliefs.

    Personally, I think all religions are based on superstitions but as long as your superstitions don't infringe on my lifestyle, I don't care.

    Not being able to buy booze on Sunday in GA..... I care!

    Wanting to teach my grandkids the bible in public school..... I care!

    Going to church on Sunday morning and crowding into Applebees aftewards, I really don't give a rat's ass!

    Banning "Harry Potter" from school libraries..... I care!

    Most religious practices do not affect me in any way, so I do not have a problem with them and would defend your right to practice your beliefs. Just don't ask me to join in.

    It has been interesting reading your posts. Please continue. This forum offers a real wide view of the world and I love it!




    .
     
  17. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    Macktee,

    With all due respect returned to you, neither I nor anybody else has demanded that everybody subscribe to my (or their) beliefs, so I am not sure what is the point of the beginning of your post?

    With respect to the Iraq comment, nobody on this thread has recommended beheading Macktee over his beliefs. :shock: I will go back and re-read the entire thread just to be sure, but I think I would have noticed that if somebody had! :D

    :lol:
     
  18. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    I actually favor repealing the law criminalizing selling alcohol on Sundays.


    But the "Unitarians" comment goes too far. I think we need to send in the swat team in on those people. They harbor and abet child molestors.
    :x