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7 years ago  ::  Jan 03, 2011 - 10:39AM #11
holst
Posts: 245

So, God requires a pubic display in which a little cup of water is poured upon your head before he will admit you to paradise?  That makes very little sense.



So if that is baptism, then I would say the simple answer is: NO.


 


But if we expand baptism to have many possible processes and appearences, i.e purely spiritual, or physical, which could be something known only to the individual and God, then I would say yes that is required in order for one to know God and be saved by him.


 

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7 years ago  ::  Jan 03, 2011 - 10:53AM #12
Dutch777
Posts: 9,144

Holst:


Let's remember that catholic theology recognizes three forms of baptism: water, blood and desire.  The latter has been given the expanded understanding to include the desire to seek the highest moral and ethical good, if not specifically defined as "God".  Predicated upon 1Jn.4:16, I'd add "baptism of agape".

The Path
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lake
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There.

So Walk
Your own
DharmaPath
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Mindful

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7 years ago  ::  Jan 03, 2011 - 1:15PM #13
Cjbanning
Posts: 282

In some ways, there's a tension between two ways of asking the question, revolving around what we mean by "necessary" and what we mean by "salvation." The question "is X necessary for salvation?" where salvation is defined as "not going to Hell" is, essentially, an attempt to game the system: it's trying to find out what's the absolute least we have to do without "losing the game," so to speak. For those of us who find the doctrine of eternal damnation problematic to begin with, it's asking the wrong question.


(On reflection, it's not eternal damnation per se which is the problem so much as the Reformation doctrine that we inherently deserve eternal damnation as a result of our total depravity, rather than damnation being something we bring onto ourselves by actively and knowingly opposing God. I think the latter understanding is perfectly compatible with the orthodox understanding of original sin being our tendency to choose evil as a result of our wounded--but not totally depraved--nature.)


The other way of asking the question is "what am I called to do in order to become my most authentic self (as a Christian)?" (where "becoming my most authentic self" is essentially what we mean by salvation) without assuming that falling short of becoming our most authentic selves is going to result in us being poked by pitchforks forever and ever, amen. In response to that question, I don't think there's anything absurd in noting that Church tradition is fairly clear in teaching that, yes, "a pubic display in which a little cup of water is poured upon your head" (whether as a child or an adult, and of course never denying that full immersion represents a valid sacrament as well) is necessary.


Baptism by water is, I think, the fullest and best enactment of the sacramental infusion of grace, a good and rightful thing. Whether it's necessary basically depends on what you're asking it is necessary for.

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"This is my prayer: that your love may overflow more and more with knowledge and full insight to help you to determine what is best." -- "St. Paul's" [deutero-Pauline] Epistle to the Philippians 1:9-10

"Come now, let us argue it out, says the LORD." -- First Isaiah 1:18
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7 years ago  ::  Jan 03, 2011 - 5:32PM #14
LordToWhomShallWeGo
Posts: 91

Hello and Happy New Year,


How I see it, a sacrament is a visible manifestation of an invisible reality.  The reality is our (or our parents') desire for us to participate in God's salvaltion.  This becomes visible to the rest of the community by partaking in the rite of being sprinkled with or immersed in water.


To me this suddenly made sense when, even before I was ever engaged to my now husband, we had a silent moment in a chapel and at that point I knew we were married, I felt God giving us his stamp of approval.  Two months later we were engaged and ten months after that we celebrated our marriage with family and friends.  The invisible reality was that we were married at that moment in the chapel.  The visible sign was our marriage celebration.  For the community, it was necessary that we go through the sacrament of being married so that the reality of what we experienced invisibly became visible to them.


Does this make sense?


Claire

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7 years ago  ::  Jan 04, 2011 - 1:06AM #15
holst
Posts: 245

All who love God, seek God, and try to follow Christ are in the same state which is equal to any 'baptism'.  No hocus pocus or outward signs are needed.

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7 years ago  ::  Jan 04, 2011 - 7:19AM #16
Dutch777
Posts: 9,144

Jan 4, 2011 -- 1:06AM, holst wrote:

All who love God, seek God, and try to follow Christ are in the same state which is equal to any 'baptism'.  No hocus pocus or outward signs are needed.




This is what I referred to in my earlier post as the universal baptism of agape.


Outward signs and symbols which convey deep meaning aren't "hocus pocus".  By the very fact of conveying deep meaning, they serve a function needed in human life.  One's lifetime, from birth to death, is filled with such symbolic gestures and functions.  In fact, the most complex system of symbols is language itself.

The Path
To Moon
lake
Doesn't Go
There.

So Walk
Your own
DharmaPath
And Be
Mindful

Dutch
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7 years ago  ::  Jan 04, 2011 - 1:19PM #17
RJMcElwain
Posts: 3,013

Jan 4, 2011 -- 1:06AM, holst wrote:


All who love God, seek God, and try to follow Christ are in the same state which is equal to any 'baptism'.  No hocus pocus or outward signs are needed.





I've tried to get my Rector to understand that.Wink

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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. Plato
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7 years ago  ::  Jan 06, 2011 - 5:40PM #18
Gshooter56
Posts: 1

Why do we fight water baptism so much?  I think its because our society and out churches, who believe in baptism have turned it into a negative thing.  We forget what baptism truely means.  How many times have you heard someone say or tell you that if you are not baptized you are going to hell?  I apologize if this has ever happend to you, and if it has i can understand a negative attitude towards baptism.  In fact i grew up in a church that taught this way and itt has caused my views on baptism to be a negative.  I always saw it as a simple commandment  DO THIS OR YOUR GOING TO HELL...  so it was just something i had to do in order to be saved.  just another step to salvation.  The way its being taught now adays seems to contradict Gods love and mercy, and i think thats why its so hard to believe in it.  But anyone who is truely walking in the Truth and the SPIRIT will see that water baptism is such a wonderful and beautiful act.  and to truely grasp what it means would be impossible for a true follower not to want to be baptized. 


What happends when you have been with a girl or a guy for sometime and you decide its time to commit to this person?  You get married you get a ring have a wedding and it SYMBOLIZES unity. The bible says The two bodies become one flesh. Remember marriage was created by God not man.  It is a commitment, well after reading verses on baptism, It is very similar to an earthly marraige


When you decide you want to follow Jesus and you get baptized you are spiritually marrying God.  It is such a great thing, bible says when you are baptized you are being buried WITH Jesus in his death, You are being raised WITH Jesus in his resurrection, and to walk in newness of life following his footsteps.  It also says that you are PUTTING ON Christ, like a UNITY.  Sound familiar?  It also says that it is a commitment to the Lord… it is the only SYMBOLIC thing God wants us to do.  HE WANTS YOU TO MARRY HIM.  You are deciding that you want to be with this person (GOD) the rest of your life, and that you want a commitment, so get baptized (Married) and become one with Jesus, like the bible says to.  “Repent and be baptized every one of you so that you may receive the INDWELLING of the holy spirit and the forgiveness of sins.”  Another example the INDWELLING of the holy spirit is a spiritual connection, to show God that you want to fully commit to him, and it seems maybe your SPIRIT becomes One with HIS SPIRIT.  The bodies become one flesh Earthly marriage.  And the spirits become one spirit, Baptism (spiritual marriage)


This is not a bad thing guys, it should not be debated. We should all WANT to be baptized into Jesus Christ.  WHY NOT…. Unless you are not committed to God why wouldn’t you be?  Don’t do it because you don’t want to go to hell… do it because you want to spiritually marry God, because you love him and your deciding to commit to him, and put on Christ.  There are lots of verses in the Bible about water baptism.  It seems to me that its something God wants us to do.  There are even people in the bible that got rebaptized, because they wanted to do it right... and I’m convinced it was a rebaptism of love, and I’m excited to get rebaptized because now I know what it truly means, I want to renew my vows.  Now I understand how beautiful it really is I want to do it not cause I have to. But because I really understand what it means, a marriage with God.  “Be baptized everyone of you to receive the forgiveness of sins… you can cheat (sin) on God, as long as your married to him he will take you back and forgive you.  See how that matches.  Can you see the connection between marriage and baptism, through the verses in the Bible?


 


Jesus says follow me…


I want to follow Jesus to a T… I want to try and be like him, to follow in his footsteps the best that I can.  And Jesus was also baptized.  And if Jesus was baptized, and Jesus says follow me…


why wouldn’t I?  How can It be wrong?  Why fight it?


 


Its necessary but its not a bad thing.  And if you are not baptized I have NO RIGHT to tell you that your going to hell… the bible says condemn not and you will not be condemned.  I say leave Gods perfect judgment to God.  But I can tell you that the bible also says baptism is necessary, and important, and if you realize what it means.  YOU WILL WANT TO DO IT.


 


Jesus also says if you are not born again you cannot enter the kingdom of God.  Man asks how am I born again Lord?   Jesus replies of water and spirit.   So please don’t let your pride get in the way, don’t fight it.  Commit fully to God, there is absolutely NO wrong in water baptism.  It is such a wonderful thing.  the only thing thats wrong with it is mans veiw of it.


 


God created an earthly marriage, and God created a spiritual marriage.


 


Earthly Marriage: The unity of a man and a woman/ becoming one flesh.


 


Baptism (Spiritual Marriage): the indwelling of the holy spirit/putting on of Christ.  Being put into the death burial and resurrection.


 


Sound familiar right?  God loves you and wants you.  He wants you to marry him, you can be his spiritual boyfriend girlfriend. But he wants a marriage he wants a commitment. That’s how I see baptism. 

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7 years ago  ::  Jan 08, 2011 - 8:19AM #19
Cjbanning
Posts: 282

Jan 6, 2011 -- 5:40PM, Gshooter56 wrote:


 You get married you get a ring have a wedding and it SYMBOLIZES unity





It does more than merely "symbolize" unity; it constitutes unity. That is, the unity experienced by those being married is effected by the operation of the sacrament itself; it's the sacrament of marriage (or, I will allow, a civil alternative) which makes the people be wedded. Until you do the wedding, you're not married. (Which is not to say your relationship won't be pleasing to God.)


Similarly, baptism is not merely a symbol of a relationship between God and the baptisand, but a means of grace in and of itself.

http://cjbanning.dreamwidth.org

"This is my prayer: that your love may overflow more and more with knowledge and full insight to help you to determine what is best." -- "St. Paul's" [deutero-Pauline] Epistle to the Philippians 1:9-10

"Come now, let us argue it out, says the LORD." -- First Isaiah 1:18
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7 years ago  ::  Jan 08, 2011 - 6:35PM #20
LitanyoftheSaints
Posts: 1,223

I was baptized as an adult, and I have to say that it was one of the most blessed days of my life.


On the surface, it may just look like a bowl of water , and I may just look like a person with a wet head, but it is so much deeper than that. A baptism is a welcoming, a new beginning, a comittment - a transformation.


When the priest placed oil on my forehead, it wasn't just a glob of oil. When I stood there, he said "you are marked as Christ's own forever."


That's pretty profound.

"The centrality of our mission is to love each other. That means caring for our neighbors. And it does not mean bickering about fine points of doctrine."- ++KJS
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"We are to be Christ's hands and feet and heart and mind and we cannot do that if we assume God's role of judgment. The judge's job is filled. God alone is judge! Those who would be Saviors of the Church and the people in it are also reminded that the Savior's job has been filled. Jesus Christ filled it once for all. "- Bishop Rodney Michel
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