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RELIGION, CURRENT EVENTS, TECHNOLOGY Subscribe to the breaking newsWhat is RSS?
FRONT PAGE  |  12/17/2014
THURSDAY, SEP 15, 2011  |  59 comments
Pastors Say Identifying With Denomination Will Become Less Vital
A majority of pastors with denominational affiliation believe it is vital to be part of a denomination, but a majority also believe that the importance of identifying with a denomination will diminish over the next 10 years.

Despite the convictions of identity, however, nearly two-thirds of pastors (62 percent) believe the importance of identifying with a denomination will decline over the next decade.

Survey participants were asked, “I believe that the importance of being identified with a denomination will diminish over the next 10 years.” Twenty-eight percent of pastors strongly agree and 34 percent somewhat agree. Fifteen percent somewhat disagree, and 18 percent strongly disagree. Five percent don’t know. ...


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· Page 1 ·  Found: 59 user comment(s)
News Item9/20/11 5:29 PM
John UK | Wales  Find all comments by John UK
SteveR wrote:
John,
In the our Reformed tradition Baptism is one of two sacraments, the other being the Lords Supper.
Its a Blessing to me to hear that you understand that we should examine ourselves before partaking in this as commanded
In the same reverance, we carry over the same caution to the sacrament of Baptism.
Yes indeed Steve. It helps no-one if a baptism takes place without being as certain as humanly possible that the candidate has been called of God and is now justified and in the body of Christ.

I remember when I was baptised, I had to give a lengthy testimony to two elders, and then do a weekly course with the pastor for six weeks, along with twelve other candidates, where we learnt about the fundamentals of the faith to ensure we were true converts. I didn't like it at the time, because I simply wanted to obey Jesus in baptism, but I now realise, with all the pseudo conversions going on, that it is become necessary. Without such checks, the church may soon fill up with nominal Christians (tares) and thus cause a whole heap of trouble later on.

But I'll never forget all the smiling faces when it was my turn for baptism, as I looked around the congregation and saw their own joy at one more sinner professing their faith.

59

News Item9/20/11 4:32 PM
SteveR  Find all comments by SteveR
John,
In the our Reformed tradition Baptism is one of two sacraments, the other being the Lords Supper.

Its a Blessing to me to hear that you understand that we should examine ourselves before partaking in this as commanded

In the same reverance, we carry over the same caution to the sacrament of Baptism.

58

News Item9/20/11 4:17 PM
John UK | Wales  Find all comments by John UK
SteveR wrote:
John,
1) Is Baptism a 'sacrament' to you?
2) Are you in favor of a NT Maccabbeanish forced Baptism?
3) How about the Lords Supper? Offer that to everone as well?
Steve
1. Peter said "Repent and be baptised.." but I don't know what you call it, sacrament, ordinance, I don't know. That's for the theologians and those who baptise.
2. Certainly not.
3. All who claim to be justified by faith. There are warnings in the NT that we should examine ourselves, not be examined by other converted sinners.
57

News Item9/20/11 4:08 PM
SteveR  Find all comments by SteveR
John UK wrote:
Ah yes, that is a good Baptist argument, and one which I would hold myself, that only the converted elect may be baptised upon confession of faith in Christ and repentance towards God.
Sorry Steve, I thought you were a paedobaptist.
John,

1) Is Baptism a 'sacrament' to you?
2) Are you in favor of a NT Maccabbeanish forced Baptism?
3) How about the Lords Supper? Offer that to everone as well?

56

News Item9/20/11 3:58 PM
John UK | Wales  Find all comments by John UK
SteveR wrote:
The L in TULIP stands for Limited Atonement. The definition of the whole world is reduced to those who are the Elect for sacraments.
John 17:9 I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.
Ah yes, that is a good Baptist argument, and one which I would hold myself, that only the converted elect may be baptised upon confession of faith in Christ and repentance towards God.

Sorry Steve, I thought you were a paedobaptist.

55

News Item9/20/11 3:20 PM
SteveR  Find all comments by SteveR
John UK wrote:
1. Yes
2. Quite. So you see my difficulty? If circumcision was forced on every male Jew because of their genealogy, that is, God was in the camp of the Jews and nowhere else, then where is God now? The gospel is universal, that is, it is to be preached everywhere to everybody, so God is present everywhere throughout the world.
If paedobaptists want to have baptism as a fulfilment of OT circumcision, then the antitype must follow the type; namely, the whole world should now be baptised, because "God so loved the world".
Personally I believe that believers only should be baptised because baptism is a physical representation of an inward spiritual reality. Therefore an unconverted child should not be baptised.
I'm sorry if I've not put that well.
The L in TULIP stands for Limited Atonement. The definition of the whole world is reduced to those who are the Elect for sacraments.

John 17:9 I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.

54

News Item9/20/11 3:13 PM
John UK | Wales  Find all comments by John UK
SteveR wrote:
Paedobaptists will receive members by a profession of faith.
I dont believe we are called to attempt a NT version of Maccabean evangelism and force baptisms on every creature
1. Yes
2. Quite. So you see my difficulty? If circumcision was forced on every male Jew because of their genealogy, that is, God was in the camp of the Jews and nowhere else, then where is God now? The gospel is universal, that is, it is to be preached everywhere to everybody, so God is present everywhere throughout the world.

If paedobaptists want to have baptism as a fulfilment of OT circumcision, then the antitype must follow the type; namely, the whole world should now be baptised, because "God so loved the world".

Personally I believe that believers only should be baptised because baptism is a physical representation of an inward spiritual reality. Therefore an unconverted child should not be baptised.

I'm sorry if I've not put that well.

53

News Item9/20/11 2:55 PM
SteveR  Find all comments by SteveR
John UK wrote:
Thanks a lot Steve. Now let me think aloud a minute.
1. Yes.
2. a) Every male Jew was circumsised, because of genealogy, also any Gentile who became a Jew by faith in Jehovah. This brought them into the covenant camp of the Hebrews, living with prophets and the laws etc. This was an advantage but did not guarantee salvation.
b) In the new covenant, salvation is extended to the whole world, with believers coming into a covenant relationship with God, whether from the Jews or Gentiles.
c) With the great commission being to "preach the gospel to every creature" surely every creature should be baptised, not just children of believers? If all "Israel" was circumsised whether true believers or not, and OT "Israel" was chosen by God for a covenant? Is not the covenant now universal?
Paedobaptists will receive members by a profession of faith.

I dont believe we are called to attempt a NT version of Maccabean evangelism and force baptisms on every creature

52

News Item9/20/11 2:47 PM
Jim Lincoln | Nebraska  Find all comments by Jim Lincoln
Ah, SteveR and John UK, in agreement on error, I will point out We Must Stand Against False Doctrine is important!

Baptism, is something we should and will do, but it is an ordinance and not a sacrament. Controversies Concerning Baptism and Water Baptisms in the Bible.

It is one thing to point out the minimum requirements to be considered a Christian, i.e., "Only Scripture," "Only Christ," "Only Grace," "Only Faith," and "To God Alone Be Glory", but we are to strive for perfection in understanding what God says to us in His Word, anything less is failing to obey God.

By the way, Jehovah has never been the name of God, a constructed term from the Middle Ages.

The Names of God wrote:
...Yahweh (YHWH): Comes from a verb which means “to exist, be.” This, plus its usage, shows that this name stresses God as the independent and self-existent God of revelation and redemption (Gen. 4:3; Ex. 6:3 (cf. 3:14); 3:12).
51

News Item9/20/11 2:25 PM
John UK | Wales  Find all comments by John UK
SteveR wrote:
Salvation is of the Lord, not on our creeds.
John, I dont know exactly what you are asking, but in the Reformed Paedobaptist position Baptism is how we distinguish our children from the children of non believers. Its analogous to the mark of the Covenant that we saw as circumcism in the Old Testament. It doesnt not indicate faith, but is an outward demonstration of our faith in the promise of the clensing of sin by the Blood of Christ.
Thanks a lot Steve. Now let me think aloud a minute.

1. Yes.
2. a) Every male Jew was circumsised, because of genealogy, also any Gentile who became a Jew by faith in Jehovah. This brought them into the covenant camp of the Hebrews, living with prophets and the laws etc. This was an advantage but did not guarantee salvation.
b) In the new covenant, salvation is extended to the whole world, with believers coming into a covenant relationship with God, whether from the Jews or Gentiles.
c) With the great commission being to "preach the gospel to every creature" surely every creature should be baptised, not just children of believers? If all "Israel" was circumsised whether true believers or not, and OT "Israel" was chosen by God for a covenant? Is not the covenant now universal?

50

News Item9/20/11 1:55 PM
SteveR  Find all comments by SteveR
I feel the Credobaptist vs Paedobaptist controversy is one debate that should bring humility to all learned Christians. Brethren from both camps have built a foundation around each position, and each would sink into the sand if the other is correct.

Salvation is of the Lord, not on our creeds.

John, I dont know exactly what you are asking, but in the Reformed Paedobaptist position Baptism is how we distinguish our children from the children of non believers. Its analogous to the mark of the Covenant that we saw as circumcism in the Old Testament. It doesnt not indicate faith, but is an outward demonstration of our faith in the promise of the clensing of sin by the Blood of Christ.

49

News Item9/20/11 12:38 PM
John UK | Wales  Find all comments by John UK
That's okay ftd, I wish you well.

But maybe someone really acquainted with the WCF could translate this passage into plain language and tell me what it means for the baptised but unconverted children of covenanted parents.

Also could you tell me what the difference is between covenanted parents and born-again parents who are members of a Presbyterian church.

Westminster Confession of Faith::-
28/1. Baptism is a sacrament of the New Testament, ordained by Jesus Christ,[a] not only for the solemn admission of the party baptized into the visible Church,[b] but also to be unto him a sign and seal of the covenant of grace,[c] of his ingrafting into Christ,[d] of regeneration,[e] of remission of sins,[f] and of his giving up unto God, through Jesus Christ, to walk in newness of life:[g] which sacrament is, by Christ’s own appointment, to be continued in his Church until the end of the world.[h]"

* a. Mat 28:19.
• b. 1 Cor 12:13.
• c. Rom 4:11 with Col 2:11-12.
• d. Rom 6:5; Gal 3:27.
• e. Titus 3:5.
• f. Mark 1:4.
• g. Rom 6:3-4.
• h. Mat 28:19-20.

Thank you.

48

News Item9/20/11 12:18 PM
last post fromthedesk  Find all comments by last post fromthedesk
John UK wrote:
1. So the "promise" is unto "all". Correct. Therefore, following your logic, we should baptise "all".
2. And what exactly does this "baptism" of infants "do" for the children?
1. NO! John;
Thats NOT what I said. Please read all the words.
The children of **Covenanted Parents**

2. Westminster Confession of Faith::-
28/1. Baptism is a sacrament of the New Testament, ordained by Jesus Christ,[a] not only for the solemn admission of the party baptized into the visible Church,[b] but also to be unto him a sign and seal of the covenant of grace,[c] of his ingrafting into Christ,[d] of regeneration,[e] of remission of sins,[f] and of his giving up unto God, through Jesus Christ, to walk in newness of life:[g] which sacrament is, by Christ’s own appointment, to be continued in his Church until the end of the world.[h]"

* a. Mat 28:19.
• b. 1 Cor 12:13.
• c. Rom 4:11 with Col 2:11-12.
• d. Rom 6:5; Gal 3:27.
• e. Titus 3:5.
• f. Mark 1:4.
• g. Rom 6:3-4.
• h. Mat 28:19-20.

We have already covered all this in previous survey threads. I don't see any benefit continuing since Baptists prefer the bath to the shower.

47

News Item9/20/11 4:52 AM
John UK | Wales  Find all comments by John UK
RP wrote:
True religion 'in Christ' will start here.
Yes indeedy.

Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
Galatians 3:24 KJV

Once justified by faith and eternally secure, the new man, the new creature, says:

I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.
Psalms 40:8 KJV

46

News Item9/19/11 7:20 PM
RP  Find all comments by RP
Exodus 20:2-11 "I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it."
True religion 'in Christ' will start here.
45

News Item9/19/11 5:55 PM
FHP  Find all comments by FHP
"Religion statistics expert George Barna says, with a wry hint of exaggeration, America is headed for "310 million people with 310 million religions.""

""We are a designer society. We want everything customized to our personal needs — our clothing, our food, our education," he says. Now it's our religion."

USAToday: "More Americans tailoring religion to fit their needs"

People say, 'I believe in Christ. I believe the Bible is a good book. And then I believe whatever I want.'

With 2,700,000 designer denominations, who needs the mainlines or their offspring?

44

News Item9/19/11 4:32 PM
RP  Find all comments by RP
Many years ago now, I studied the doctrine of Baptism to conclusion from the Scripture with the help of in one book/teacher who argued from both the Old and New Testament Scripture. I discovered in this man, one of God's gifts to his Church. He was a student of the word, willing to change his opinion when the Word had convinced him from His studies in the original languages. This book 'Holy Baptism: Keys that Unlock the Covenant' was the most Christ glorifying treatment on the subject that I had ever read. He so skillfully taught what the Jews were expecting in a Messiah and what had to be done to fulfill all righteousness to a Jewish mind. Sadly because most Gentile Christians do not know the Old Testament as well as they should or as well as the New, much is lacking in understanding that would lift up Christ in all his completeness as the Father's Anointed Prophet, Priest and King, who came to save his people from their sins. He left no stone unturned, in fact taking stoney-hearted Gentiles and making them children of Abraham by faith in Christ. This man was moved by the Word and Spirit to teach. His fear was not of his having been wrong before, that is common to man, but he feared being wrong about the teaching of the Scripture and the God of who gave it.
43

News Item9/19/11 3:53 PM
John UK | Wales  Find all comments by John UK
fromthedesk wrote:
John
Now the children of those parents who are already baptised believers therefore already in the Covenant of Grace - are to be baptised since this is the promise made by God in the Covenant. Loving parents would not only desire this but expect it, especially back in those Biblical times.
"For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call" Acts 2:39
1. So the "promise" is unto "all". Correct. Therefore, following your logic, we should baptise "all".

2. And what exactly does this "baptism" of infants "do" for the children? Or have you not even thought about that yet? Are you saying that all "baptised" children of believers are going to heaven? If not, I ask again, what benefit does it confer upon them?

42

News Item9/19/11 3:40 PM
fromthedesk  Find all comments by fromthedesk
John UK wrote:
We must think biblically when it comes to candidates. What did Philip require of the eunuch who requested baptism? What did Peter preach at Pentecost, "Repent and be baptised.."
John
The Eunuch was an adult thats why they were able to speak to each other.

Peter... repent and be baptised.... Again these are instruction involving adults.

Now the children of those parents who are already baptised believers therefore already in the Covenant of Grace - are to be baptised since this is the promise made by God in the Covenant. Loving parents would not only desire this but expect it, especially back in those Biblical times.

"For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call" Acts 2:39

WCF 28/4 Not only those that do actually profess faith in and obedience unto Christ,a but also the infants of one or both believing parents are to be baptized.b

a. Mark 16:15-16; Acts 8:37-38.
b. Gen 17:7, 9 with Gal 3:9, 14 and Col 2:11-12 and Acts 2:38-39 and Rom 4:11-12; Mat 28:19; Mark 10:13-16; Luke 18:15; 1 Cor 7:14.

41

News Item9/19/11 1:22 PM
John UK | Wales  Find all comments by John UK
fromthedesk wrote:
John;
How do you as a mere mortal read the heart of another sinner?
And prove he/she is truly a "believer"??
Ever heard of "William the Baptist"?
From Baptist - To Bible baptism.
Good ol' William, yes I have read that many years ago, and it changed my opinion on being dogmatic about mode. I eventually took Ian Paisley's take on mode, which is think is fair, even if confusing. They will sprinkle, pour or immerse, according to the wishes of the candidate.

We must think biblically when it comes to candidates. What did Philip require of the eunuch who requested baptism? What did Peter preach at Pentecost, "Repent and be baptised.."

Sure it is difficult, but this problem is common to Presbys and Baptists and Brethren alike. Someone, somewhere, has to make a decision to baptise or not. And I am aware that multitudes have been baptised who were never born again. But that is not my problem, is it?

However, in truth, it is generally quite easy to determine if God has called and justified a lost sinner and made them a saint. The new birth does has an effect, you know.

40
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