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efficient_cause's picture

efficient_cause

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Can somebody actually be "de-baptized"?

Here's an interesting article from Time Magazine:

http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1891230,00.html

 

Like the subject header says, can someone really be "de-baptized"? It seems to me, like the bishop says in the article, it's really something between someone and God, or, if you don't believe in God, in a person's own heart and mind.

Why then the need for a certificate?

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crazyheart's picture

crazyheart

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I have been told - that once you are baptised - you are baptised - only once.

lastpointe's picture

lastpointe

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I can understand the impulse but i dont' know why people would bother.

 

If you no longer believe and reject the religion of your parents, then just get on with your life.

 

 

Arminius's picture

Arminius

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Hi efficient_cause:

 

In Roman Catholicism, one can be ex-communicated, which means officially expelled from the Church, by the Church. I don't know whether other denominations have similar expulsions.

 

If you want to expell yourself from your Church, nothing is stopping you.

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PrettyKitty

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Not contrary but along-side Crazyheart's comment I have to add that that was the belief up until the Anabaptist's came along. Just look at the name to know what I mean.

Churches such as the Catholics baptized their members at birth, without giving the babies a choice, now I know babies aren't capable to say "yes please I would like to be baptized" or "no thank you". But the real argument was that if you live in a faith and are brought up living in it why not show your faith and dedication to that belief when you're older and capable of making the decision.

And here come the Anabaptist's. They were Catholics that had already been baptized but wanted to be the ones saying with their own mouths and words "yes lord I wish to be bathed with your spirit" rather than "goo goo gaa gaa".

So yes you can be baptized however many times you wish, but the relevance (if you're not in it with all your body and soul) gets weaker and weaker every time you do.

I agree with you Efficient_Cause on the "why the paper". But you should know MANY religions don't even hand out pieces of paper anymore, (pretty much just Catholics). And baptism has become widely known as cleansing the soul, so essentially not going down to the River Jordan one week and washing yourself in the water could actually in some parts of the world qualify you as... un-baptized.

musicsooths's picture

musicsooths

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We baptize as infants with the parents acting on the child's behalf with the added note that they may wish to reaffirm their baptism with confirmation. We also baptize children - adults who ask us to do so We do  make sure they understand the entire concept of baptism. 

 

You are not able to rescind your baptism.

If you choose not to continue to follow I agree ignore the fact that it happened and get on with your life. Being baptized will not mess up your life.

revjohn's picture

revjohn

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Hello efficient_cause and welcome to WonderCafe.

 

efficient_cause wrote:

It seems to me, like the bishop says in the article, it's really something between someone and God, or, if you don't believe in God, in a person's own heart and mind.

 

No.  One cannot be de-baptized.  Baptism is a sacrament which represents a covenant between God and the individual being baptized.  The covenant stands on the integrity of the participants but it is not a contract where one defaulting releases the other from any obligation.

 

Covenants are agreements that God takes with responsibility to the individual and agreements that the individual takes with responsibility to God.

 

I could, if I so chose, violate my own integrity and abandon my covenantal vows.  Until God does the same the covenant is still intact.

 

One could symbolically or ritually perform action meant to reverse the sacrament I think that would simply be for show.  I seriously doubt that if God entered into covenant with the individual in the first place that God is going to just shove off.

 

efficient_cause wrote:

Why then the need for a certificate?

 

The certificate is the congregation's witness to the action of covenanting.  Baptism is still efficient without it.

 

Grace and peace to you.

John

Xango's picture

Xango

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revjohn wrote:

One could symbolically or ritually perform action meant to reverse the sacrament I think that would simply be for show.  I seriously doubt that if God entered into covenant with the individual in the first place that God is going to just shove off.

Who's to say which ritual is just for show?

 

I don't think the question here is whether or not people can debaptize themselves. The point is that they ARE DEBAPTIZING themselves. What I wonder is why?

revjohn's picture

revjohn

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Hi Xango,

 

Xango wrote:

Who's to say which ritual is just for show?

 

Valid point.

 

For the sake of argument then:

 

1)  Baptism is empty ritual.  If this is so then nothing needs to be undone and the ritual of debaptism accomplishes what?  How does one undo what never has been done?

 

2) Baptism is sacrament.  If this is so it is a covenant made with God and God has promised not to break covenants that God has made so . . .unless one can convince God to give-up on or walk away from the covenants that God has made then the ritual accomplishes nothing so far as God is concerned.

 

There might be a third scenario but it escapes me at the moment.

 

It strikes me that the purpose of de-baptism is to essentially slip God and tradition the finger.  If that is what is wanted sleeping in on Sunday mornings and never giving God or tradition the time of day works just as well and requires less energy.

 

If God, the Church or whomever badger the individual about non-attendence slip them the finger and they'll get the idea that you aren't interested.

 

Grace and peace to you.

John

crazyheart's picture

crazyheart

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The campaign has become so popular — with nearly 1,000 certificates downloaded each week — that the NSS has started taking orders for certificates printed on parchment, at $4.50 each; they've sold nearly 2,000 in just three weeks. "Every time the Pope says something outrageous we get another rush on the certificate,"  ( from article)

 

I don't think the United Church in all of Canada issues 1,000  baptism certificates in a week.

boltupright's picture

boltupright

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I don't get this.  Debaptising?,, Batism is in my belief anyways a statement & action of fath that signifies ones commitment to the faith. Evangelicals usually say it signifies ones rebirth of the spirit. If you no longer believe in that faith, then you are no longer under that commitment, right?

What good is the statement of faith if it no longer applies to whoever chooses to deny the faith?

 

Bolt

revjohn's picture

revjohn

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Hi boltuprising,

 

boltupright wrote:

I don't get this.  Debaptising?,, Batism is in my belief anyways a statement & action of fath that signifies ones commitment to the faith,

 

That understanding applies only to a limited form of baptism which is somewhat erroneously labelled "believer's baptism."

 

From the article submitted it would appear that what is being reacted against would be paedobaptism (infant baptism).  Apart from that there are some denominational practices that are probably part of the mix.  Roman Catholic and Anglican churches identify infants baptized in their congregations as RC or Anglican for life and those names will always be on the congregational rolls.

 

Theologically they identify inclusion into the universal Catholic Church (what baptism signifies) as being equivalent to membership in a denomination and congregation.  There are other ritual observances that come into play as the baptized infant comes into their own understanding of the tradition and how they belong.  Typically this is referred to as confirmation or profession of faith.

 

Though there are different forms to the practice all should understand the sacramental nature of the action in that it represents something that is going on in the spiritual realm more than it does somebody getting wet.  It is the action which seals the covenant between God and the individual.

 

Infant baptism takes the action of baptism and aligns it with the Hebrew practice of circumcision which marked the individual as a Hebrew and distinct from other surrounding tribes.  Adults could be circumcised to be included within Judaism.  All male children born into Judaism were obligated to be circumcised.

 

I suspect this is more about people rebelling against something done to them without their express consent.  And what is especially galling is that it was a religious something done to them without their express consent.

 

The action is part of the increasing polemics between the religious and non religious communities.

 

boltupright wrote:

If you no longer believe in that faith, then you are no longer under that commitment, right?

 

It isn't a contract boltupright it is a covenant.  It is a matter of integrity.  The individual can walk away from their covenantal vows and, in the event of a paedobaptism they aren't even doing that since it is the parents who take vows on the child's behalf.  God never backs away from the covenantal vows that God makes.

 

So, at most half of the covenant lies in tatters.  It will never be less than that if God's integrity is part of the equation.

 

boltupright wrote:

What good is the statement of faith if it no longer applies to whoever chooses to deny the faith?

 

God doesn't deny the individual even if the individual denies God.  "I will be your God.  You will be my people" means that and since that promise rests on God's ability to keep it.  It will outlast even the nicest of parchment papers saying otherwise.

 

Grace and peace to you.

John

boltupright's picture

boltupright

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boltuprising! LOL!!! That's a good one!!!

 

Covenant, HHHmmmm, I was always under the impression that a covenant can be broken. this is why it was nessisary for God to change the covenant with man from being a covenant of the law, to a covenant of grace.

We are His people when we choose to be His people, if we don't choose to be His people, He doesn't force us, does He? So I believe that the covenant is conditioned on the choice we make.

This is how I see it.

 

Bolt

 

 

 

Bolt

InannaWhimsey's picture

InannaWhimsey

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This subject reminds me of a famous riff by Bill Cosby: "My father established our relationship when I was seven years old. He looked at me and said, "You know, I brought you in this world, and I can take you out. And it don't make no difference to me, I'll make another one look just like you."

 

Perhaps some people, who happen to be Authorities, are Miserable Sadists and live in that Reality and like inflicting their misery on others (it gets them hard/wet). The best defense against this, I think, is a hearty guffaw.

 

Still baptized,

Inannawhimsey

GordW's picture

GordW

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Can a bell be unrung?  No.

Can I go about my life as if I have never heard the bell, or if I heard it once as if it never made a difference?  Yes.

At the same time, while one can not be re-baptised one does need to re-affirm the faith of her/his own baptism for him/herself.  Frequently is preferable.

But since baptism doen't really "do" anything it can't be undone.  Baptism recognizes a pre-existent truth, that being that we are beloved accepted and forgiven children of GOd who, as far as GOd is concerned, can never be cast away.  SOme people do choose to walk away from that inheritance but God never does.  GOd is faithful to GOd's people--even when they choose to forget whose they are.

crazyheart's picture

crazyheart

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GordW - well said

boltupright's picture

boltupright

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GordW wrote:

Can a bell be unrung?  No.

Can I go about my life as if I have never heard the bell, or if I heard it once as if it never made a difference?  Yes.

At the same time, while one can not be re-baptised one does need to re-affirm the faith of her/his own baptism for him/herself.  Frequently is preferable.

But since baptism doen't really "do" anything it can't be undone.  Baptism recognizes a pre-existent truth, that being that we are beloved accepted and forgiven children of GOd who, as far as GOd is concerned, can never be cast away.  SOme people do choose to walk away from that inheritance but God never does.  GOd is faithful to GOd's people--even when they choose to forget whose they are.

 

Hi GordW 

 

I don't understand why you would say that this "baptisim" is like a bell that can't be unrung, then go on to say that one should re-affirm their faith in this baptism. Are you saying that the "act" of baptism should take place to re-affirm the faith in it?

And if so, could you explain why you would think this would be nessisary if it is like a bell that can't be "unrung"?

Also, being cast away is a term that I didn't use as referance, I was more referring to "walking away". As walking away from the grace of God, IMHO isn't a great choice at all, but that's the way I see it.

 

Bolt

revjohn's picture

revjohn

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Hi boltupright,

 

boltupright wrote:

boltuprising! LOL!!! That's a good one!!!

 

My apologies.  This week on the Daily Show with the Tea Parties has been taking a toll.

 

boltupright wrote:

Covenant, HHHmmmm, I was always under the impression that a covenant can be broken.

 

A covenant can be broken by the individuals involved.  For that to happen both parties have to agree for the covenant to be broken.  A covenant is like a divided hiway.  Traffic can be jammed in one direction and still flow freely in the other.  A contract is like a two-lane hiway.  When traffic jams for one it also impacts traffic in the other direction.

 

You and I can walk away from our part of the covenant whenever we want.  If our covenant partner refuses to walk away then our covenant partner will continue to maintain the integrity of their covenantal vows.

 

God's integrity is so firmly a part of God's character that God is not going to drop what God has promised.

 

boltupright wrote:

this is why it was nessisary for God to change the covenant with man from being a covenant of the law, to a covenant of grace.

 

That is a dispensationalist understanding of covenantal history and it is an abomination.  Different covenants are struck at different times with different purposes.  The existence of a new covenant does not invalidate a pre-existing covenant because God's integrity is being guarded by God's self.

 

The Covenant at Sinaii was for the Hebrews coming out of Egypt.  It was to shape them as a nation.  It is also a covenant of grace because it is a covenant given not earned.  The Davidic covenant doesn't negate the covenant struck at Sinaii it is more like an appendix to and it also is a covenant of grace because there is no way David earned what God promised. 

 

The "New" Covenant ratified through Christ does not abolish the pre-existing Sinaii and Davidic Covenants as if those previous covenants were too difficult for God to honour.  It adds another Covenant and includes those who are not part of the Sinaii covenant.

 

boltupright wrote:

We are His people when we choose to be His people, if we don't choose to be His people, He doesn't force us, does He?

 

Did you make yourself boltupright?  Are you God?  What of Creation is not God's by right?  You can glory in belonging or you can kick against the goads.  How do you discern that you are free to choose unless God is first free to offer?

 

boltupright wrote:
 

So I believe that the covenant is conditioned on the choice we make.

 

You can enter in but once in you are always in.  What we find out about you when you decide you want out is that you are not a person of honour or integrity.  You are double-minded and fickle.  God is a person of honour and integrity and God is neither double-minded or fickle.  You cannot offer a covenant to God.  You cannot compel God to act.

 

boltupright wrote:

This is how I see it.

 

You aren't alone.  Works is a very intoxicating worldview.

 

Grace and peace to you.

John

boltupright's picture

boltupright

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revjohn wrote:

Hi boltupright,

 

boltupright wrote:

boltuprising! LOL!!! That's a good one!!!

 

My apologies.  This week on the Daily Show with the Tea Parties has been taking a toll.

 

boltupright wrote:

Covenant, HHHmmmm, I was always under the impression that a covenant can be broken.

 

A covenant can be broken by the individuals involved.  For that to happen both parties have to agree for the covenant to be broken.  A covenant is like a divided hiway.  Traffic can be jammed in one direction and still flow freely in the other.  A contract is like a two-lane hiway.  When traffic jams for one it also impacts traffic in the other direction.

 

You and I can walk away from our part of the covenant whenever we want.  If our covenant partner refuses to walk away then our covenant partner will continue to maintain the integrity of their covenantal vows.

 

God's integrity is so firmly a part of God's character that God is not going to drop what God has promised.

 

boltupright wrote:

this is why it was nessisary for God to change the covenant with man from being a covenant of the law, to a covenant of grace.

 

That is a dispensationalist understanding of covenantal history and it is an abomination.  Different covenants are struck at different times with different purposes.  The existence of a new covenant does not invalidate a pre-existing covenant because God's integrity is being guarded by God's self.

 

The Covenant at Sinaii was for the Hebrews coming out of Egypt.  It was to shape them as a nation.  It is also a covenant of grace because it is a covenant given not earned.  The Davidic covenant doesn't negate the covenant struck at Sinaii it is more like an appendix to and it also is a covenant of grace because there is no way David earned what God promised. 

 

The "New" Covenant ratified through Christ does not abolish the pre-existing Sinaii and Davidic Covenants as if those previous covenants were too difficult for God to honour.  It adds another Covenant and includes those who are not part of the Sinaii covenant.

 

boltupright wrote:

We are His people when we choose to be His people, if we don't choose to be His people, He doesn't force us, does He?

 

Did you make yourself boltupright?  Are you God?  What of Creation is not God's by right?  You can glory in belonging or you can kick against the goads.  How do you discern that you are free to choose unless God is first free to offer?

 

boltupright wrote:
 

So I believe that the covenant is conditioned on the choice we make.

 

You can enter in but once in you are always in.  What we find out about you when you decide you want out is that you are not a person of honour or integrity.  You are double-minded and fickle.  God is a person of honour and integrity and God is neither double-minded or fickle.  You cannot offer a covenant to God.  You cannot compel God to act.

 

boltupright wrote:

This is how I see it.

 

You aren't alone.  Works is a very intoxicating worldview.

 

Grace and peace to you.

John

Works? 

 

God's integrity? I don't question God's integrity at all.

 

I honestly don't think you are understanding me at all. What has works got to do with it John? If you understood me you wouldn't ask me if I was God, why would you ask me  such a question?  Am I rubbing you the wrong way or something?

 

I'm talking about choice, are you going to tell me that a choice is works?

 

I heard this on this forum before & I didn't comment on it as I thought it would be futile as it didn't make a bit of sense to me how someone would describe "a thought" "a choice" as works as in works toward salvation, as in doing good deeds thinking that it is what seals the relationship & the reward of an inheritance. This is what many think of this inheritance as being, "a reward", which in turn usually results in people feeling compelled that they have to do good works for it.

A choice is a choice,singular. Shure there are many choices one must make in their relationship with God, but in order to START that relationship, one needs only to make ONE choice, just ONE. Will I come home? or will I not come home? The will is what makes the difference. One must have a free will, to make a choice, correct?

 

Now when salvation is descibed as something that is given by God's grace, & not obtained through works. Well it describes works as being plural, works being more than one work or in other words WORKS meaning more that one work. So how can one describe this ONE "choice" as being WORKS, Plural?

Do you get what I'm saying here John? This grace needs to be accepted by a choice, singular, not works, plural. lest anyone should boast, How can anyone boast because of a choice? a single choice, what is so boastful about that?

It shure doesn't seem as if the son who made the choice to come home felt he had anything to "boast" about if he was coming home thinking he would be a servant in his Fathers house!!!

 

I do know that an inheritance isn't something you earn through works, I don't consider it so much as a reward to be quite honest.

I look at it as more of a responsibility than anything. The reward is the relationship we have with God through Jesus the Christ. you are either part of the covenant of God or you are not. & it is a matter of choice. You can choose to  squander the inheritance, or you can choose to be partakers in a "share" in the inheritance.

This depends on a choice, & this is what the covenant is about!!!

 

The parable of the prodigal son explains that when the son left, He squandered his share of the inheritance. When He returned, He didn't even have time to express his repentance, yet his Father was so happy to see him He threw arms around him & threw a party.NOW THAT IS GRACE!!!!

But, did he still have a share in the inheritance? Not according to this parable.

The son who stayed & was faithful recieved all that was left of his Fathers estate.

Was the son who left cast away? No!  He was welcome to be back home again, but his share was no longer his anymore.

The prodigal son made a choice. He left, & he took his share with him & squandered it away. Did he work for this share he wasted? No, He was his son.

 

He made a choice to come home if only to be a slave! But the Father welcomed him as His son again when He came home. But He wasted His share of the inheritance. What if he didn't choose to come home? Would he still be eating with the swine? Well we would hope not!  It would seem that it was all about the choices he made John.

 

Now I don't make the choice for anyone but myself as far as my relationship with the Father, & this goes for everyone. What is our choice?

 Are we going to eat with the swine? God forbid! Shure his son was still his son, but the Father didn't know where his son was, he was lost, by only a choice to leave home.

Or are we to come home if even to be a servant? Well the Father still called him His son!  Or are we going to share in an inheritance?A loving & caring Father would say, Make good choices, & provide the nessisary information to teach us how to make these good choices.

There are conditions to the inheritance, that we don't squander it away here, instead of charishing it in our hearts until it arrives at the appointed time.

 

All this is explained clearly as choices, can we walk away from the covenant?

I've done it a few times already until I finally understood the message of love, instead of the message of  judgement.

This means everything to my new walk with God, as I walked more alone before, because I didn't know His love like I do now.

 

For me to walk away now seems unfathomable, & I believe with all my heart, this was intended from the beginning to establish this type of realtionship with all, ALL!!!

 

I have a hard time believing  that this is an abomination John. The word abomination I've heard described other things, not this perception of grace & His covenant.

You are a minister John? please accept these words as a friendly heart felt suggestion, to choose your words wisely.

 

 

Bolt

 

Panentheism's picture

Panentheism

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Choice - God has chosen to relate to all sentient reality - that is God's character and God remains committed to that relationship of love and never gives up.  In our sense never changes in intent.

 

Choice - God never forces only works through persuasion.

 

Choice - all sentient reality has some level of self determination, (free will). Thus we can choose to close our eyes and heart and eyes to the love God offers - As John says that is one side of the covenant - but the covenant is still there even if we choose to destroy all that God has loved.

Baptism is a ritual act or symbol of God's gift of love that includes all - that is why many churches support infant baptism.   It is a rite of passage that forms identity and that identity sometimes does not take and sometimes is rejected - but symbolically from God's side is still there - even if we leave it behind... we cannot choose to say God has left the room for God has not, even if we don't want God in the room - and we can choose to live as if God is not there...

GordW's picture

GordW

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boltupright wrote:

Hi GordW 

 

I don't understand why you would say that this "baptisim" is like a bell that can't be unrung, then go on to say that one should re-affirm their faith in this baptism. Are you saying that the "act" of baptism should take place to re-affirm the faith in it?

And if so, could you explain why you would think this would be nessisary if it is like a bell that can't be "unrung"?

Also, being cast away is a term that I didn't use as referance, I was more referring to "walking away". As walking away from the grace of God, IMHO isn't a great choice at all, but that's the way I see it.

 

Bolt

I never said baptism was like a bell that can be unrung.  I said just as a bell can't be unrung then neither can baptism be undone. 

ANd the re-affirmation of baptismal faith can happen many ways.  Water may or may not be involved.  In fact for those of us who practice paedo-baptism (as John calls it) said re-affirmation is encouraged once the child reaches a certain age.  (Unfortunately many see such a processs, formerly called confirmation, as some sort of graduation ceremony).

Baptism, as I said, really doesm't do anything as much as it recognizes a pre-existent reality.  Inorder for that reality to make a difference in our lives we need to re-affirm our acceptance of that reality and commit ourselves to live as if it matters.  It is not reenacting or re-doing the baptism any more than a renewal of marriage vows is a second marriage.

boltupright's picture

boltupright

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Panentheism wrote:

Choice - God has chosen to relate to all sentient reality - that is God's character and God remains committed to that relationship of love and never gives up.  In our sense never changes in intent.

 

Choice - God never forces only works through persuasion.

 

Choice - all sentient reality has some level of self determination, (free will). Thus we can choose to close our eyes and heart and eyes to the love God offers - As John says that is one side of the covenant - but the covenant is still there even if we choose to destroy all that God has loved.

Baptism is a ritual act or symbol of God's gift of love that includes all - that is why many churches support infant baptism.   It is a rite of passage that forms identity and that identity sometimes does not take and sometimes is rejected - but symbolically from God's side is still there - even if we leave it behind... we cannot choose to say God has left the room for God has not, even if we don't want God in the room - and we can choose to live as if God is not there...

My point exactly.

If we choose to disregard the covenant, what good it it? God keeps up his end, this I do not dispute at all.

But If we disregard it, what is our most gracious God to do? He has already provided all that is nessisary for this covenant to be ratified, So all it taked is a choice, How much easier do you think He can make this covenant for us to be part of?

I can't make the call whether God will overlook what He teaches in the bible about how we become "His people" & How He becomes "our God".

This step belongs between the indevidual & God.

 

But I will not overlook what the bible says to me about this matter.

 

 

Bolt

revjohn's picture

revjohn

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Hello boltupright,

 

boltupright wrote:

Works? 

 

Works.  You are not arguing covenant you are arguing contract when you suggest that if you, as the human agent walk then the covenant is null and void.

 

Works.  The only way the "contract" works is if the human agent continues to work.

 

Whenever human agency is required for efficacy (what we do to maintain good standing) we are discussing works.  Whenever we discuss divine efficacy (what God gives to us through God's compassionate love) we are discussing grace.

 

boltupright wrote:

God's integrity? I don't question God's integrity at all.

 

You do even if you don't recognize it.  I suspect that is because you think "contract" when "covenant" is what God enters into.  The two terms do not represent the same thing.

 

If, as you suggest, a covenant can be broken by human agency then you have directly assaulted God's integrity and God's ability to keep the promises that God makes.  Humans can break and/or violate their covenantal vows that does not break the covenant.

 

Marriage is the simplest "covenant" to use as an illustration.

 

A and B are married.  They have entered into a marriage "covenant".  A betrays B in some manner.  A has broken a covenantal vow.  Is A still married to B?  When does the marriage covenant between A and B fail to exist?

 

boltuprising wrote:

I honestly don't think you are understanding me at all.

 

That is a possibility.  It might be so for a number of reasons.  Not all of them lay the blame for misunderstanding on my door step.

 

boltupright wrote:

What has works got to do with it John?

 

I have outlined, very briefly above, the issue of agency which informs works righteousness.  I have also, very briefly connected where that agency is lifted up by you in what you explain of your understanding.  It is quite possible that I have missed something or, it is possible that you have.

 

boltupright wrote:

If you understood me you wouldn't ask me if I was God, why would you ask me  such a question?  Am I rubbing you the wrong way or something?

 

If you understood me you would understand that I have not attacked your person I have attacked your position.  The question is asked bluntly in order for you to see that your agency cannot and never should be seen as roughly equal to God's.  The question would not have been asked if you had not betrayed a works tendency in treating covenant as if it were contract.

 

boltupright wrote:
 

I'm talking about choice, are you going to tell me that a choice is works?

 

Yes.  I am going to tell you that choice is a work.  Further, I am also going to share, before you can ask, that faith is also a work.  What comes into play is "who" is doing the work.  If God does the work we recieve the benefits as grace.  If we do the work all benefit is payment according to our merit.

 

boltupright wrote:

I heard this on this forum before & I didn't comment on it as I thought it would be futile as it didn't make a bit of sense to me how someone would describe "a thought" "a choice" as works as in works toward salvation,

 

It does keep popping up and more often than not it is me who is taking issue.

 

Again.  When Salvation is posted as something I have to do be it think a certain way or pray a specific prayer or even accept what God has offered I am the one who has the power of agency and what I do, I do for myself.  That is the heart of works righteousness. 

 

Salvation is by grace so that none can boast.  "I accepted Jesus and therefore I am saved" is a boast.  The fact that the first person singluar figures prominently in the comment gives it away.  It also places I as the subject who does all the work.

 

"Jesus saved me" is not a boast.  Jesus is the subject I am the object all action in the sentance is done by Jesus.  Work is still being done but since it is done on my behalf I recieve the benefits of it as a ift of grace.

 

It is a far more humbling statement because it acknowledges that something was done for me.  Something I could not do for myself.

 

boltupright wrote:

as in doing good deeds thinking that it is what seals the relationship & the reward of an inheritance. This is what many think of this inheritance as being, "a reward", which in turn usually results in people feeling compelled that they have to do good works for it.

 

Agreed.  Good works essentially being doing the right stuff and it extends to saying the right things and thinking the right things and believing the right things and all of that hinges not on what God has done, will do or is doing it hinges on what we have done, will do or are currently doing.

 

It places primary importance for action on the individual.  If that is, as a matter of fact, the way things are supposed to be Paul is very much in error and salvation is not a matter of grace and all who are saved do well to boast.

 

I think Paul was right on the target.

 

boltupright wrote:

Will I come home?

 

Here you have rendered yourself as the primary agent of grace.  The prodigal makes a decision to return home.  Not pridefully but desperately.  He does not seek station or rank he is about to beg to be recieved as a servant because being a servant is better than dying a nobody.

 

His father's mercy preceeds that decision and influences that decision and it is the decision of the father to agree with the request that saves the prodigal in the end.  The Prodigal is not saved because he chose to come home.  The prodigal is saved because his Father permitted it and welcomed it.

 

It is not the prodigal's house to barge into.  He will only come in if he is given permission to enter.  The father holds all the cards and the prodigal knows it which is why he goes back admitting that he is not worthy of the priviledge.

 

boltupright wrote:

One must have a free will, to make a choice, correct?

 

Correct.  Theologically free-will exists only up until the fall in the garden when humanity is corrupted.  You could argue unconvincingly that the will was never corrupted, that somehow the human will is immune to human sinfulness.  If the will has been corrupted it can never be set free of its own power it would need to be freed by something that has the power.

 

We have the freedom to make choices but we do not have freedom of will.  Our wills are corrupted and gravitate towards what pleases ourselves more than they do what pleases God.  Works righteousness proves this by allowing the individual to claim responsibility for their own salvation.

 

boltupright wrote:

So how can one describe this ONE "choice" as being WORKS, Plural?

 

A work is a work.  If it is my work and I am saying that this one work is what I needed to accomplish to enter heaven than I have argued this work makes me righteous.  Whether it is one or several the result is the same.  I do the work.  I reap the benefit.

 

Unless God saves none are saved.

 

Grace and peace to you.

John

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boltupright wrote:

Panentheism wrote:

Choice - God has chosen to relate to all sentient reality - that is God's character and God remains committed to that relationship of love and never gives up.  In our sense never changes in intent.

 

Choice - God never forces only works through persuasion.

 

Choice - all sentient reality has some level of self determination, (free will). Thus we can choose to close our eyes and heart and eyes to the love God offers - As John says that is one side of the covenant - but the covenant is still there even if we choose to destroy all that God has loved.

Baptism is a ritual act or symbol of God's gift of love that includes all - that is why many churches support infant baptism.   It is a rite of passage that forms identity and that identity sometimes does not take and sometimes is rejected - but symbolically from God's side is still there - even if we leave it behind... we cannot choose to say God has left the room for God has not, even if we don't want God in the room - and we can choose to live as if God is not there...

My point exactly.

If we choose to disregard the covenant, what good it it? God keeps up his end, this I do not dispute at all.

But If we disregard it, what is our most gracious God to do? He has already provided all that is nessisary for this covenant to be ratified, So all it taked is a choice, How much easier do you think He can make this covenant for us to be part of?

I can't make the call whether God will overlook what He teaches in the bible about how we become "His people" & How He becomes "our God".

This step belongs between the indevidual & God.

 

But I will not overlook what the bible says to me about this matter.

 

 

Bolt

 

The covenant is always good - it never expires - God saves for God is in the redemption business -whether we want it or not..

To say what good is it, is to miss the point of the covenant.

 

By the way there is a slight difference with John - we both agree that free will can be misused - but I don't speak of it as the 'fall' - free will just is and is not given or lost but can be misused.

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GordW wrote:

boltupright wrote:

 

Hi GordW 

 

I don't understand why you would say that this "baptisim" is like a bell that can't be unrung, then go on to say that one should re-affirm their faith in this baptism. Are you saying that the "act" of baptism should take place to re-affirm the faith in it?

And if so, could you explain why you would think this would be nessisary if it is like a bell that can't be "unrung"?

Also, being cast away is a term that I didn't use as referance, I was more referring to "walking away". As walking away from the grace of God, IMHO isn't a great choice at all, but that's the way I see it.

 

Bolt

I never said baptism was like a bell that can be unrung.  I said just as a bell can't be unrung then neither can baptism be undone. 

ANd the re-affirmation of baptismal faith can happen many ways.  Water may or may not be involved.  In fact for those of us who practice paedo-baptism (as John calls it) said re-affirmation is encouraged once the child reaches a certain age.  (Unfortunately many see such a processs, formerly called confirmation, as some sort of graduation ceremony).

Baptism, as I said, really doesm't do anything as much as it recognizes a pre-existent reality.  Inorder for that reality to make a difference in our lives we need to re-affirm our acceptance of that reality and commit ourselves to live as if it matters.  It is not reenacting or re-doing the baptism any more than a renewal of marriage vows is a second marriage.

 

Quote: "I never said baptism was like a bell that can be unrung.  I said just as a bell can't be unrung then neither can baptism be undone." 

 

Yeah that is what I said that you said, read it again! & you still didn't answer my question.

 

Why re-affirm this baptism if it is just a ritual & has nothing to do with the actual baptism?

If one walks away, but yet returns as did the prodigal son. The Father accepts him as his son. No ritual involved there. No secret handshake. No payola.

The Father accepts him as his son even before he repents, or says anything to The Father. Why?

Baptism is what signifies our acceptance of choosing to be part of Gods' family, we are baptised in the spirit.

Are we His childeren? Yes. Can we choose to leave & waste our share of the inheritance?Yes.

Can we ever be seperated from Gods' Love? Absolutely NOT!

Can we ever seperate ourselves from God? Yes. Can we break the covenant? Yes.

Now tell me why you think baptism should be re-affirmed "frequently". if it cannot be broken?

If one chooses to eat with the swine, what is God to do?

 

Bolt

 

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Panentheism wrote:

boltupright wrote:

Panentheism wrote:

Choice - God has chosen to relate to all sentient reality - that is God's character and God remains committed to that relationship of love and never gives up.  In our sense never changes in intent.

 

Choice - God never forces only works through persuasion.

 

Choice - all sentient reality has some level of self determination, (free will). Thus we can choose to close our eyes and heart and eyes to the love God offers - As John says that is one side of the covenant - but the covenant is still there even if we choose to destroy all that God has loved.

Baptism is a ritual act or symbol of God's gift of love that includes all - that is why many churches support infant baptism.   It is a rite of passage that forms identity and that identity sometimes does not take and sometimes is rejected - but symbolically from God's side is still there - even if we leave it behind... we cannot choose to say God has left the room for God has not, even if we don't want God in the room - and we can choose to live as if God is not there...

My point exactly.

If we choose to disregard the covenant, what good it it? God keeps up his end, this I do not dispute at all.

But If we disregard it, what is our most gracious God to do? He has already provided all that is nessisary for this covenant to be ratified, So all it taked is a choice, How much easier do you think He can make this covenant for us to be part of?

I can't make the call whether God will overlook what He teaches in the bible about how we become "His people" & How He becomes "our God".

This step belongs between the indevidual & God.

 

But I will not overlook what the bible says to me about this matter.

 

 

Bolt

 

The covenant is always good - it never expires - God saves for God is in the redemption business -whether we want it or not..

To say what good is it, is to miss the point of the covenant.

 

By the way there is a slight difference with John - we both agree that free will can be misused - but I don't speak of it as the 'fall' - free will just is and is not given or lost but can be misused.

Ok, I'll try to clarify my point, I'm not saying that the covenant is closed to anyone who chooses to walk away from it.

The covenant is still there. I understand this.

But how can the covenant be of benefit to anyone who chooses to walk away from it?

It is a bebefit when someone chooses to return, yes, YES!

 

If I was to ever marry, I look at this as a covenant between the both of us, & it would be considered a binding contract til death, until one chooses to that this relationship is no longer one that is described in the contract. What good is the contract if the relationship has failed?

In the scriptures it decsribes that divorce is a failier to the marriage covenanat between the couple, & is looked upon as a failier of the motivation of the covevanat and the way Jesus describes divorce is that is is a binding contract, a covenant that should never be broken, but because the heart of man is full of unforgiveness, that is is permissable for divorce to take place, or the covenant is now of no effect.

 

Bolt

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Ok, here I go with the oddball opinion.

 

For some people, adult baptism is viewed as doing nothing more than announcing Christian faith in a public fashion. The faith is there before the pronouncement. If that is true, then those people may feel a need to "renounce" that same faith in a public way.

 

For some people, baptism is about obtaining membership. If they no longer wish to be a member, they may want to renounce the ceremony that initiated them. Removal of your name for the current rolls, does not blot you from the historic rolls. (More about the need some feel for accurate historic records of belief to follow.)

 

For some people, the need to announce belief (or non-belief) firmly is important for today and also for tomorrow. When the past is examined there is often a one time event of baptism cited to claim they were adherents or believers. The same is applied to those who make a statement against faith and they are claimed to be non-believers. If we understand our own need to be clear, can we accept others who feel the need to make it clear? As believers,  people can grab times we spoke out against religion or church... and posthumously claimed we were non-believers. Is that ok, for us? I think not. Is it ok, when a one time event is used to mark the person as a believer? I have to say no. (Good for goose is good for the gender...oh and that loving the neighbour as self...) Is it important that people know that people were or were not believers? How about converts?

 

When we weigh in as baptism as covenant, do we contemplate that baptism is not about God (one God, many faiths),  but that it is about Christianity? It is a rite in Christianity.  It is a sacrament of a specific religious belief.

 

When called to weigh in on baptism, do we really wish to weigh in that it is a bell that cannot be unrung? That it is about covenent and God and not about the person entering into it? Does this have repercussions we do not contemplate? 

 

Are we aware that the Mormons do posthumous baptism of Jewish dead by proxy? That there is posthumous baptism of Jewish Holocaust victims? Is this a bell that cannot be unrung? Once baptized, always baptized? The baptismal records, as public historical records, will show future generations a revisionist view that people were Christian when they were not in life.

 

What about forced baptism that are a part of our collective past?

 

Doing genealogy work for Jews it is noted for posterity where there were forced conversions or posthumous baptisms. There are, in my opinion, wrongful baptisms. They don't reflect religious choice. Then there should, IMO, be a way to revoke any implications of that rite and renounce the church that carried it out.

 

We look narrowly, in our own opinion, with our own lens... until we are called to look wider.

 

Should baptism be something that can be undone? Yes, to me. If it is not something they want recorded or that they did not consent to, then I say yes.

 

We also forget that in some faiths, baptism is or is not valid or can need "redone". If, as we are positing, done is done... then we are not acknowledging that done is not always done.

 

We are not acknowledging the various beliefs regarding when it should be done... when it can be done... how it is done (sprinkle, chunk or dunk)....

 

Peace

StevieG

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Can somebody be "de-loved"? No.

 

One can cease to love the other, but if the Other is God, s/he will never cease loving you. Ritual, certificate, or not.

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boltupright,

baptism needs to be re-affirmed frequently to remind us what it means to be children of the covenant.  It has nothing really to do with the act but everything to do with us.

stevieg raises another valid point of discussion.  What is a baptism?  WHen is it meaningful and when is it a mere ritual entered into for show or under duress?  DOes hte answer to that question impact the "undoability" of it?  Or if it is without meaning for some reason is it even really done?

In some ways I do think a stronger theological argument can be made for believers baptism that infant or young child baptism. At the very least we have to admit that there are different theological rationales and meanings for the two types,

 

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revjohn wrote:

Hello boltupright,

 

boltupright wrote:

Works? 

 

Works.  You are not arguing covenant you are arguing contract when you suggest that if you, as the human agent walk then the covenant is null and void.

 

Works.  The only way the "contract" works is if the human agent continues to work.

 

Whenever human agency is required for efficacy (what we do to maintain good standing) we are discussing works.  Whenever we discuss divine efficacy (what God gives to us through God's compassionate love) we are discussing grace.

 

boltupright wrote:

God's integrity? I don't question God's integrity at all.

 

You do even if you don't recognize it.  I suspect that is because you think "contract" when "covenant" is what God enters into.  The two terms do not represent the same thing.

 

If, as you suggest, a covenant can be broken by human agency then you have directly assaulted God's integrity and God's ability to keep the promises that God makes.  Humans can break and/or violate their covenantal vows that does not break the covenant.

 

Marriage is the simplest "covenant" to use as an illustration.

 

A and B are married.  They have entered into a marriage "covenant".  A betrays B in some manner.  A has broken a covenantal vow.  Is A still married to B?  When does the marriage covenant between A and B fail to exist?

 

boltuprising wrote:

I honestly don't think you are understanding me at all.

 

That is a possibility.  It might be so for a number of reasons.  Not all of them lay the blame for misunderstanding on my door step.

 

boltupright wrote:

What has works got to do with it John?

 

I have outlined, very briefly above, the issue of agency which informs works righteousness.  I have also, very briefly connected where that agency is lifted up by you in what you explain of your understanding.  It is quite possible that I have missed something or, it is possible that you have.

 

boltupright wrote:

If you understood me you wouldn't ask me if I was God, why would you ask me  such a question?  Am I rubbing you the wrong way or something?

 

If you understood me you would understand that I have not attacked your person I have attacked your position.  The question is asked bluntly in order for you to see that your agency cannot and never should be seen as roughly equal to God's.  The question would not have been asked if you had not betrayed a works tendency in treating covenant as if it were contract.

 

boltupright wrote:
 

I'm talking about choice, are you going to tell me that a choice is works?

 

Yes.  I am going to tell you that choice is a work.  Further, I am also going to share, before you can ask, that faith is also a work.  What comes into play is "who" is doing the work.  If God does the work we recieve the benefits as grace.  If we do the work all benefit is payment according to our merit.

 

boltupright wrote:

I heard this on this forum before & I didn't comment on it as I thought it would be futile as it didn't make a bit of sense to me how someone would describe "a thought" "a choice" as works as in works toward salvation,

 

It does keep popping up and more often than not it is me who is taking issue.

 

Again.  When Salvation is posted as something I have to do be it think a certain way or pray a specific prayer or even accept what God has offered I am the one who has the power of agency and what I do, I do for myself.  That is the heart of works righteousness. 

 

Salvation is by grace so that none can boast.  "I accepted Jesus and therefore I am saved" is a boast.  The fact that the first person singluar figures prominently in the comment gives it away.  It also places I as the subject who does all the work.

 

"Jesus saved me" is not a boast.  Jesus is the subject I am the object all action in the sentance is done by Jesus.  Work is still being done but since it is done on my behalf I recieve the benefits of it as a ift of grace.

 

It is a far more humbling statement because it acknowledges that something was done for me.  Something I could not do for myself.

 

boltupright wrote:

as in doing good deeds thinking that it is what seals the relationship & the reward of an inheritance. This is what many think of this inheritance as being, "a reward", which in turn usually results in people feeling compelled that they have to do good works for it.

 

Agreed.  Good works essentially being doing the right stuff and it extends to saying the right things and thinking the right things and believing the right things and all of that hinges not on what God has done, will do or is doing it hinges on what we have done, will do or are currently doing.

 

It places primary importance for action on the individual.  If that is, as a matter of fact, the way things are supposed to be Paul is very much in error and salvation is not a matter of grace and all who are saved do well to boast.

 

I think Paul was right on the target.

 

boltupright wrote:

Will I come home?

 

Here you have rendered yourself as the primary agent of grace.  The prodigal makes a decision to return home.  Not pridefully but desperately.  He does not seek station or rank he is about to beg to be recieved as a servant because being a servant is better than dying a nobody.

 

His father's mercy preceeds that decision and influences that decision and it is the decision of the father to agree with the request that saves the prodigal in the end.  The Prodigal is not saved because he chose to come home.  The prodigal is saved because his Father permitted it and welcomed it.

 

It is not the prodigal's house to barge into.  He will only come in if he is given permission to enter.  The father holds all the cards and the prodigal knows it which is why he goes back admitting that he is not worthy of the priviledge.

 

boltupright wrote:

One must have a free will, to make a choice, correct?

 

Correct.  Theologically free-will exists only up until the fall in the garden when humanity is corrupted.  You could argue unconvincingly that the will was never corrupted, that somehow the human will is immune to human sinfulness.  If the will has been corrupted it can never be set free of its own power it would need to be freed by something that has the power.

 

We have the freedom to make choices but we do not have freedom of will.  Our wills are corrupted and gravitate towards what pleases ourselves more than they do what pleases God.  Works righteousness proves this by allowing the individual to claim responsibility for their own salvation.

 

boltupright wrote:

So how can one describe this ONE "choice" as being WORKS, Plural?

 

A work is a work.  If it is my work and I am saying that this one work is what I needed to accomplish to enter heaven than I have argued this work makes me righteous.  Whether it is one or several the result is the same.  I do the work.  I reap the benefit.

 

Unless God saves none are saved.

 

Grace and peace to you.

John

 

Faith without works is dead!

There are indeed conditions on our part, for one to teach that the relationship & this covevant that God has so graciously modified for us to choose to accept & find much less overbearing then the last covenant, but to go the extra mile & say that it requiers nothing on our part to attain the most benefit from it is BAD TEACHING IMHO!

Are you to disregard the parable all together?

You don't respond to that at all you just respond to the rest yet no referance to the parable,,WHY?

The whole idea behind this covenant is for us to recognize, learn & accept God's character as something we should take on as our character, & be like Him in every way that is humanly possible. Like His Son showed was possible.So us being "agents" requier responsibility, & that is no small matter.

If you want to believe that this is the case that there is nothing we do on our part to complete this covenant as it is motivated.

That is up to you. But if you so choose to teach this, then you are indeed teaching a lie.

& that comes with a price.

 

Bolt

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boltupright,

John's point of view is the REformed POV.  IT is what salvation by grace alone means in Lutheran terms.  Are there other points of view?  Certainly.  That doesn't making waht John is saying a lie.

Salvation is not due to anything we do.  It is not even predicated on our acceptance of our status as forgiven and accpeted.  IT is all on God.  But of course salvation, acceptance, forgiveness, and welcome home are all meaningless if we don't choose to respond and believe and accept.

That still doesn't make it any less real.

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You're baptized as an outward sign of what you believe to be an inward reality.

 

You believe you have died to your old way of living and been reborn in Jesus. Thus, you are immersed into water (symbolizing the ground) and are lifted out of it (symbolizing the act of being given salvation).

 

As to de-baptism, the Bible makes no mention of such a thing.

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-jubilee- wrote:

You're baptized as an outward sign of what you believe to be an inward reality.

 

You believe you have died to your old way of living and been reborn in Jesus. Thus, you are immersed into water (symbolizing the ground) and are lifted out of it (symbolizing the act of being given salvation).

 

As to de-baptism, the Bible makes no mention of such a thing.

THis of course is but one interpretation of baptism.  ANd a very Biblical understanding at that.  Mind you it is one that is nonsensical in the case of infant/child baptism.  Even for adult/believer baptism it is not the only interpretation.

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GordW wrote:

boltupright,

John's point of view is the REformed POV.  IT is what salvation by grace alone means in Lutheran terms.  Are there other points of view?  Certainly.  That doesn't making waht John is saying a lie.

Salvation is not due to anything we do.  It is not even predicated on our acceptance of our status as forgiven and accpeted.  IT is all on God.  But of course salvation, acceptance, forgiveness, and welcome home are all meaningless if we don't choose to respond and believe and accept.

That still doesn't make it any less real.

That is essentially what I'm trying to convey here, GordW, I hope you are understanding this.

I'm hoping that John understands this, & anyone who is a Teacher of these things.

 

 

Bolt

----------'s picture

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revjohn wrote:

That understanding applies only to a limited form of baptism which is somewhat erroneously labelled "believer's baptism."

 

Erroneous perhaps in that there's no guarantee that the person being baptized is actually a believer. Still, I do consider it better than paedobaptism, in which thousands of babies may get sprinkled on every year and never later accept salvation. Baptism by immersion is the Biblical standard.

 

Quote:
Typically this is referred to as confirmation or profession of faith.

 

Which can be found in the Bible...?

 

Quote:
Though there are different forms to the practice all should understand the sacramental nature of the action in that it represents something that is going on in the spiritual realm more than it does somebody getting wet.  It is the action which seals the covenant between God and the individual.

 

It seals nothing. It is but a symbol.

 

Quote:
Infant baptism takes the action of baptism and aligns it with the Hebrew practice of circumcision which marked the individual as a Hebrew and distinct from other surrounding tribes.  Adults could be circumcised to be included within Judaism.  All male children born into Judaism were obligated to be circumcised.

 

Aligns it? In the mindset of the churches which practice it.

 

Quote:
God doesn't deny the individual even if the individual denies God.

 

What God starts he finishes.

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Actually I may just have provided a bridge between you and John.

NOTHING we do changes our status as beloved/forgiven/accepted/saved (fill in your word of choice here) children of God.  NOthing takes us there, nothing removes us from there.  That is what John is saying (as I understand him).  That is grace, that makes our works irrelevant -- not that it doesn't matter what we do, just that it can't change our status as children of the covenant GOd.

John appears to hear you saying (and I can see why) that what we do does make a difference in our status.  That is works righteousness.  (Interestingly I find that some, not all, who claim to be strong advocates for grace over law, spend much of their time enforcing a egalistic form of works righteousness)  THat is where the difference John is making between contract and covenant comes into play.

Of course if I am misreading John he will tell me.

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GordW wrote:

-jubilee- wrote:

You're baptized as an outward sign of what you believe to be an inward reality.

 

You believe you have died to your old way of living and been reborn in Jesus. Thus, you are immersed into water (symbolizing the ground) and are lifted out of it (symbolizing the act of being given salvation).

 

As to de-baptism, the Bible makes no mention of such a thing.

THis of course is but one interpretation of baptism.  ANd a very Biblical understanding at that.  Mind you it is one that is nonsensical in the case of infant/child baptism.  Even for adult/believer baptism it is not the only interpretation.

Granted!

But to say salvation depends on the baptism isn't a correct statement then would you agree?

Entering into the covenant requiers nothing as you all say it is established through Jesus the Christ.

But as the indevidual learns & as God is revieled to the indevidual, it is up to the indevidual to choose to live as one who is in the covenant. If one chooses to be decieved into thinking that the covenant isn't real or that they would rather do things according to their desires & motives, Well that is just a lucifarian way of thinking. & look where it got him!

He is eating with the swine! The difference is that satan has no choice to come home, he is home already.

 

 

Bolt

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EZed

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efficient_cause wrote: "can someone really be "de-baptized"?"

 

EZ Answer: What is the baptismal equivalent to a hymenorrhaphy?

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GordW wrote:

Actually I may just have provided a bridge between you and John.

 

Er... GordW... who are you talking to?

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Panentheism

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We do not need baptism from God's side - redemption is what God does in every nono second.  However, baptism is a rite of passage in the anthropological sense - it is why I see infant baptism as important for it welcomes a child into a wider family than the one they are born into - and it also means that the parents will raise, create an identity that will direct the child.  Yes we continually reaffirm by our living that symbol so yes what we do in response is important.  If we take seriously we are redemned by God we will live a life of peace and justice for we want to help the aim of God toward that reality to be acheived - for, in part, God needs us -  our response is needed in action but not for redemption, for that is done.

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GordW

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-jubilee- wrote:

GordW wrote:

Actually I may just have provided a bridge between you and John.

 

Er... GordW... who are you talking to?

Bolt, but you and I were posting at about the same time

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SG

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See for thousands of years, we keep throwing our hands in the air and saying, "What can we do?" We also add, "it is done" and "what can we do about it now?".... We don't answer any questions with answers, we just ask more like "What do you want us to do?"

 

We don't want the answer sometimes if it calls on us for something.... To acknowledge it, address it and make it right....

 

There must be something done to address "wrongful baptism". We prefer to not  think that baptism can be wrong. It can be.

 

If it can be, then there has to be an avenue to correct the wrong, period.

 

We can pretend it is anceint history and forced conversion. We don't like looking at our present or not too recent past.

 

What about Mormon baptism of Jewish Holocaust victims?

 

What about the "Hidden Child"? They were Jewish children who got through WWII hidden in orphanages, convents, with other families.... Their baptisms may have kept them alive, with those records, but what about their baptisms? What about the Vatican instructing to prevent baptized Jewish children from going home to their families that survived? What about the cointinued refusal to open the baptismal records of those children?

 

60 years later, can't we make a move to begin to make it right? Can't we even acknowledge it? Can't we offer some avenue, some way of one day rectifying it?  

 

It is about making it right....

 

Do we understand that children of unbaptized Jews were taken from them and baptized and given Christian education once in our past? It was also done with Aboriginal children.

 

If those aboriginal children were baptized by coercion, force, against their parents will.... how do we make it right?

 

How do we make it right, if we simply turn our heads?

 

It requires more than "once baptized, always baptized"....

 

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StevieG wrote:

Do we understand that children of unbaptized Jews were taken from them and baptized and given Christian education once in our past? It was also done with Aboriginal children.

 

If those aboriginal children were baptized by coercion, force, against their parents will.... how do we make it right?

 

It occurs to this Baptist that everyone who experiences paedobaptism does so by coercion.

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SG

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Paedobaptism is at least consented to by the parents who must consent on behalf of children.  

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revjohn

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Hello boltupright,

 

I aplogize for not completely responding to your post initially as is my custom.  Sometimes things come up which interrupt and today was one of those days.  Rather than let the response sit I sent what I had finished.

 

I will now continue to respond to the rest of your post.

 

boltupright wrote:

This grace needs to be accepted by a choice, singular, not works, plural.

 

If the grace needs to be accepted in order for it to be of effect the primary agent is the one who does the work of recieving not the one who has done the work of offering.  Trying to hang your argument on whether it is work which saves but not works is a non-starter

 

boltupright wrote:

How can anyone boast because of a choice?

 

They can boast because they have so ordered salvation that it requires their choice.  Salvation in that system does not belong to God it belongs to the one who chooses it.

 

boltuprising wrote:

a single choice, what is so boastful about that?

 

Now you are arguing for matter of degree as if a slight boast is not boastful whereas a large one is.  Boasting is, whether it be huge or slight, making important something that truly is not.  With respect to salvation it is more important that it be offered to me than it is that I accept it.

 

boltupright wrote:

It shure doesn't seem as if the son who made the choice to come home felt he had anything to "boast" about if he was coming home thinking he would be a servant in his Fathers house!!!

 

It isn't meant to and for good reason.  The only time the prodigal uses first person first language is to demonstrate who is responsible for his screwing up.  He admits culpability.  He doesn't demand anything but rather he begs for mercy and because the Father is so inclined  mercy is given.  The prodigal understands the character of the father's grace because it has been demonstrated to him while he lived in the home.

 

His father was generous to his servants a generosity that is not matched anywhere in his travels.  It is his father's generosity which compells him to come home it was his will which caused him to squander his inheritance and get himself into such deep trouble to begin with.

 

boltupright wrote:

I do know that an inheritance isn't something you earn through works, I don't consider it so much as a reward to be quite honest.

 

The prodigal is not going home for his inheritance he is going home for his life.  It is about survival and to survive he needs to swallow pride and return home with his tail between his legs because he has nothing else to appeal to.

 

He is banking on his father, always generous with the hired help, being willing to hire him on so that he at least will get fed.

 

What he gets when he returns is not a renewed inheritance nor is it a reward for smartening up.  It is the compassion of a father for his child.  Inheritance is money.  A child is a relationship.  It is a covenant.  Should the father loose his entire fortune he is still the prodigal's father that relationship can never change even if the father had decided to deny the son.

 

boltupright wrote:

I look at it as more of a responsibility than anything. The reward is the relationship we have with God through Jesus the Christ. you are either part of the covenant of God or you are not. & it is a matter of choice.

 

You simply do not grasp the enormity of what you are saying.

 

I have been very careful and very deliberate.

 

There are two actors in the covenant.  God and the individual.  The individuals says, "I will love you and I will obey you."  God says, I will love you and I will provide for you."  Neither of those statements are conditional.  The individual can change his mind.  God will not.  The individual has violated his covenant vows.  God has not.  The individual can live a life completely antithetical to the life laid out in the covenantal vows.  God will not.

 

The covenants that God enters into rest entirely upon the character and integrity of God.  The only way to demolish such a covenant is to have God change the character of God or the integrity of God.

 

boltupright wrote:

You can choose to  squander the inheritance, or you can choose to be partakers in a "share" in the inheritance.

 

Agreed.  The son remains a son either way.  And it is that primal relationship, that primal covenant which is the prodigal's salvation in the parable.  The parable all but sets the reader up to not see merit in the choice by pointing out the choice track record of the prodigal in the first place.  All of which was also freely entered into.

 

boltupright wrote:

This depends on a choice, & this is what the covenant is about!!!

 

Entering into covenant requires the offer of covenant and yes that can be rejected.  Covenants do not offer escape clauses.  There are no time limitations, there are no loopholes there are no backdoors.  Walking away from a covenant doesn't break the covenant it illustrates the character of the one who has walked away from the covenant.

 

boltupright wrote:

The parable of the prodigal son explains that when the son left, He squandered his share of the inheritance. When He returned, He didn't even have time to express his repentance, yet his Father was so happy to see him He threw arms around him & threw a party.NOW THAT IS GRACE!!!!

 

Correct.  The grace is found in the father's welcoming not the son's returning.  Just as the same grace is demonstrated by the father going out to the older brother who had remained faithfully present.  The parable is not about choices made it is about the grace of the father.  It is a poorly named parable.

 

boltupright wrote:

But, did he still have a share in the inheritance? Not according to this parable.

 

He left a son and returns a son.  He was dead when he left and alive when he returned.  You are focussing on the externals not the foundations.

 

boltupright wrote:

The son who stayed & was faithful recieved all that was left of his Fathers estate.

 

True he would.  But not until his father died.  That is how an inheritance works.  Until Dad kicks off everything is still dad's which is why dad doesn't need permission to kill the fattened calf or put a ring and a cloak on the younger son.

 

boltupright wrote:

Was the son who left cast away? No!  He was welcome to be back home again, but his share was no longer his anymore.

 

No his share was his but he blew it and no he wasn't entitled to anymore and yet he isn't finishing the parable serving others at a feast as one might expect to find a servant doing he is the guest of honour.  He enjoys his fathers largesse and big brother sulking outside understands exactly what is going on.

 

Dad is blowing his inheritance on that rotten brother of his. 

 

boltupright wrote:

the prodigal son made a choice. He left, & he took his share with him & squandered it away. Did he work for this share he wasted? No, He was his son.

 

Correct it was his through the primal covenant of relationship.  That is grace given to him.  The grace of the father is shown in the fact that while the inheritance could run out asl long as the father lived he would never need to be reduced to slopping pigs in a foreign country again.

 

boltupright wrote:

He made a choice to come home if only to be a slave! But the Father welcomed him as His son again when He came home. But He wasted His share of the inheritance. What if he didn't choose to come home? Would he still be eating with the swine? Well we would hope not!  It would seem that it was all about the choices he made John.

 

He made a choice to come home if only to be a slave!  He has no way to force his father to take him on as a slave!  He gets more than he would have asked for because that is what the father decides to give.  The parable is only about his choices in so far as it shows how completely and utterly they are folly.  What the parable requires, at its heart, to speak to anyone.  Is a father who loves unconditionally not a son who places conditions.

 

boltupright wrote:

Now I don't make the choice for anyone but myself as far as my relationship with the Father, & this goes for everyone. What is our choice?

 

Which is you choosing to live in or out of relationship.  You enter into a covenant which God has designed and God makes effective through the integrity of God.  There are no back doors or ways out of the covenant.

 

You can choose to live outside of relationship but you cannot choose (once entered) to live outside of covenant.

 

The choice to enter into covenant does not come in a vaccuum.  For you to make that choice you need to trust that such a covenant exists and you need to trust that such a covenant is offered to you.  That trust rests on the character and revelation of God not yourself so even getting you to a place where you could choose to enter into a covenant has been all God's work.

 

boltupright wrote:

Shure his son was still his son, but

 

Way to minimize the foundational relationship of the parable!  Relationship with God counts for nothing in the light of the power of choice eh?

 

boltupright wrote:

Well the Father still called him His son!

 

Whose choice is that?  How important is that to the parable?

 

boltupright wrote:

Or are we going to share in an inheritance?A loving & caring Father would say, Make good choices, & provide the nessisary information to teach us how to make these good choices.

 

Which this good father did and that, in the end informs the prodigal to realize where real security lay.  In his father's house and under his father's grace.  It is this grace which provides the freedom for the prodigal to have a choice to begin with.

 

boltupright wrote:

There are conditions to the inheritance, that we don't squander it away here, instead of charishing it in our hearts until it arrives at the appointed time.

 

The only condition to the inheritance is that one is an heir to begin with.  Apparently you don't need to wait for the old man to kick the bucket you can get your share early.  Once the inheritance is gone it is gone.  The inheritance is a benefit of the covenant it is not the ends of the covenant.  The relationship, father to son, is the covenant.

 

boltupright wrote:

All this is explained clearly as choices, can we walk away from the covenant?

 

No.  You cannot walk away from the covenant.  Turn on your covenantal promises, that you can do.  Take God out of the covenant?  Not a chance.  God holds the covenant together it doesn't fail unless God fails.

 

boltupright wrote:

I've done it a few times already until I finally understood the message of love, instead of the message of  judgement.

 

No you haven't.  You have turned your back on the vows and you may have turned away from God that doesn't render God powerless by a longshot.  It doesn't make you any less God's not even minutely less because God remains your God just as God promised God would be your God.

 

As far as you finally coming to understand.  That wasn't your effort either.  That was the Holy Spirit breaking your stiff-necked pride until you realized you couldn't do it on your own and like the prodigal you turned back to God hoping that God would welcome you back.

 

With us God can be out of sight and out of mind.  With God we are never either.

 

Please also note how your testimony reads as boast.  It tells nothing of what God does and much of what you have done.

 

boltupright wrote:

This means everything to my new walk with God, as I walked more alone before, because I didn't know His love like I do now.

 

Walking in ignorance is not walking alone.  You might feel alone but that is only becuase you invest more time in thinking about yourself instead of thinking about God.  God was just as present for you before as God is now.  The only thing that has changed is your knowledge of that presence

 

boltupright wrote:

For me to walk away now seems unfathomable, & I believe with all my heart, this was intended from the beginning to establish this type of realtionship with all, ALL!!!

 

What is it that you are referencing with "this" when you say "this was intended?"

 

boltupright wrote:

I have a hard time believing  that this is an abomination John.

 

I'm not surprised.  You seem to think that choice is on equal par with grace.  That this one work that you do is somehow equal to the gift that God gives and I am challenging that and saying it isn't so.

 

You percieve that as me attacking you when what is really happening is I am attacking your role.  God creates the covenant and invites you in.  Then and only then do you have a choice and unless God has been working on you to see clearly the state you are in you will not choose wisely.  Once in you are in forever because getting out of the covenant is something only God can bring into being and God has said no dice on that deal. 

 

That rankles because suddenly the choice that you thought you had no longer really exists (not that it really existed in the first place) and you feel diminished and unimportant.

 

You are unimportant when it comes to your salvation.  You effect absolutely no portion of it.

 

Your value is found in the truth that it is God who has chosen you and redeemed you.  Your value is what God sees when God looks at you not what you happen to think about yourself.

 

boltupright wrote:

The word abomination I've heard described other things, not this perception of grace & His covenant.

 

I do not apply abomination to either God's grace or God's covenant I apply it to the idea that my choice makes either of those things effective or that by choice I can nullify either.  That is the abomination.

 

boltupright wrote:

You are a minister John?

 

I am.

 

boltupright wrote:

please accept these words as a friendly heart felt suggestion, to choose your words wisely.

 

I am not in the habit of throwing words around carelessly.  I have used my words deliberately and precisely.

 

Grace and peace to you.

John

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StevieG wrote:

Paedobaptism is at least consented to by the parents who must consent on behalf of children.  

 

Do the parents have that responsability? That right?

 

Better to leave it til an age when the individual can decide for him/herself.

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revjohn wrote:

If the grace needs to be accepted in order for it to be of effect the primary agent is the one who does the work of recieving not the one who has done the work of offering.  Trying to hang your argument on whether it is work which saves but not works is a non-starter

 

The hungry homeless man on the street who is given an evening's meal should not be credited because he reaches out his hand to accept the food. The work is done by the giver of the repast. 

 

Accepting God's free gift of salvation is not a meritorious work. The glory belong to the giver. Thanks be to God for his amazing gift of salvation.

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boltupright

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StevieG wrote:

See for thousands of years, we keep throwing our hands in the air and saying, "What can we do?" We also add, "it is done" and "what can we do about it now?".... We don't answer any questions with answers, we just ask more like "What do you want us to do?"

 

We don't want the answer sometimes if it calls on us for something.... To acknowledge it, address it and make it right....

 

There must be something done to address "wrongful baptism". We prefer to not  think that baptism can be wrong. It can be.

 

If it can be, then there has to be an avenue to correct the wrong, period.

 

We can pretend it is anceint history and forced conversion. We don't like looking at our present or not too recent past.

 

What about Mormon baptism of Jewish Holocaust victims?

 

What about the "Hidden Child"? They were Jewish children who got through WWII hidden in orphanages, convents, with other families.... Their baptisms may have kept them alive, with those records, but what about their baptisms? What about the Vatican instructing to prevent baptized Jewish children from going home to their families that survived? What about the cointinued refusal to open the baptismal records of those children?

 

60 years later, can't we make a move to begin to make it right? Can't we even acknowledge it? Can't we offer some avenue, some way of one day rectifying it?  

 

It is about making it right....

 

Do we understand that children of unbaptized Jews were taken from them and baptized and given Christian education once in our past? It was also done with Aboriginal children.

 

If those aboriginal children were baptized by coercion, force, against their parents will.... how do we make it right?

 

How do we make it right, if we simply turn our heads?

 

It requires more than "once baptized, always baptized"....

 

 

I don't think there are many here who will say that baptism is the doorway to salvation.

 

Baptism takes place when one chooses to believe in the new creation, the spiritual rebirth through Jesus the Christ.

For people to sprinkle water on their child's forehead makes them signify that their child is dedicated to God,,,what is the harm?

Like many have said here the actual baptism is established through the covenant that God provides & the acceptance of this covenant.

 

For us to be emersed in water is more of an outward expression to all, that you indeed accept this baptism, this rebirth as you already have from the natural man to the spiritual man, & show it outwardly like others have stated here.

 

Now if one recieves this baptism that occurs when one accepts the covenant through Jesus the Christ, the only importance of showing it through the act of baptism in water is to in fact testify of ones belief in the rebirth of the spiritual man from the natural man.

 

And those who recieve this baptism have already recieved it then, so why re-affirm it over & over, unless one wants to show ones testimony of it over & over.

 

There are indeed better ways of showng the rebirth of the sprirtual man from tha natural man.

That is to take on the Spitiual Nature of God as much as one possibly can, this will speak volumes to those around you that no submersion in water can even compare.

 

Is it work? sometimes, but when one learns to love with the love of God it become easier & easier to where it isn't work anymore, it's pleasure!

 

 

Bolt

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boltupright wrote:

For people to sprinkle water on their child's forehead makes them signify that their child is dedicated to God,,,what is the harm?

 

Perhaps none, but why call it baptism

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revjohn

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Hi boltupright,

 

boltupright wrote:

Faith without works is dead!

 

Indeed faith without works is dead.  So far as I am aware only God has the power to resurrect and the individual generally is not asked for their preference.

 

Works are the fruits of faith.  They are not the fruits which lead to faith.  As such they are a benefit of the salvation given to us by grace not the means by which our salvation is assured.

 

boltupright wrote:

There are indeed conditions on our part,

 

No there are not.  The only conditions that exist are conditions that God controls.  Will God save us or will God not save us.  All salvation rests upon what it is that God decides.

 

boltupright wrote:

for one to teach that the relationship & this covevant that God has so graciously modified for us to choose to accept

 

This covenant is not a modification.  That is a dispensationalist mindset and it might interest you to know that dispensationalism was denounced as heresy by the early church.  Heresy is another word that I use sparingly.  I use it just as precisely as abomination.

 

This new covenant is ratified by the blood of Christ and is for the forgiveness of sins.  What part of your choice represents the blood of Christ?

 

boltupright wrote:

but to go the extra mile & say that it requiers nothing on our part to attain the most benefit from it is BAD TEACHING IMHO!

 

That's rich.  I advocate grace and you advocate works but I'm passing out the bad teaching.  The all caps aspect kind of diminished the humbleness of your opinion by the way.

 

boltupright wrote:

Are you to disregard the parable all together?

 

I have responded to the parable and I have explained that I had other obligations to attend to and I have apologized for posting a a complete and thorough response.  I trust that while you will no doubt be disappointed by the theology of the response that I have satisfied your demand for an answer.

 

I make note, for the sake of conversation, that your demanding more of me while barely even touching on my response to you is in bad form.  I make no such demands of you or your time.  I take what scraps you serve up.  Why you feel you deserve so much more than you are prepared to share is a puzzle to me.

 

boltupright wrote:

You don't respond to that at all you just respond to the rest yet no referance to the parable,,WHY?

 

As I have already explained myself above I will trust that answer has sufficiently been given.

 

boltupright wrote:

The whole idea behind this covenant is for us to recognize, learn & accept God's character as something we should take on as our character, & be like Him in every way that is humanly possible. Like His Son showed was possible.So us being "agents" requier responsibility, & that is no small matter.

 

We are to be agents of grace.  We are not to be agents of salvation.  Salvation belongs to God and God alone.  Only those with permission to sit on the throne can dare to consider that they are a part of it.

 

boltupright wrote:

If you want to believe that this is the case that there is nothing we do on our part to complete this covenant as it is motivated.

 

I did not want to believe that this was the case.  Like you I wanted to think that somehow I mattered.  I have been convinced by scripture that I matter so much to God that he didn't dare to leave my salvation anywhere that I could muck it up.

 

That is why it is Christ's blood that forgives and not my repentance.

 

That is why, when Christ cries out from the cross the cry is "It is finished." IT is finished.

 

boltupright wrote:

That is up to you. But if you so choose to teach this, then you are indeed teaching a lie.

& that comes with a price.

 

I teach this and it is no lie.  Sola Gratia.  Saved by grace.  It has been a tenant of the Reformed Christian faith for well over 500 years and it was not invented then, by no means, it rests on solid theological foundation stretching right back to Genesis  1 when all that came into being did so because of choice that God made.

 

Grace and peace to you.

John

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boltupright

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revjohn wrote:

Hello boltupright,

 

I aplogize for not completely responding to your post initially as is my custom.  Sometimes things come up which interrupt and today was one of those days.  Rather than let the response sit I sent what I had finished.

 

I will now continue to respond to the rest of your post.

 

boltupright wrote:

This grace needs to be accepted by a choice, singular, not works, plural.

 

If the grace needs to be accepted in order for it to be of effect the primary agent is the one who does the work of recieving not the one who has done the work of offering.  Trying to hang your argument on whether it is work which saves but not works is a non-starter

 

boltupright wrote:

How can anyone boast because of a choice?

 

They can boast because they have so ordered salvation that it requires their choice.  Salvation in that system does not belong to God it belongs to the one who chooses it.

 

boltuprising wrote:

a single choice, what is so boastful about that?

 

Now you are arguing for matter of degree as if a slight boast is not boastful whereas a large one is.  Boasting is, whether it be huge or slight, making important something that truly is not.  With respect to salvation it is more important that it be offered to me than it is that I accept it.

 

boltupright wrote:

It shure doesn't seem as if the son who made the choice to come home felt he had anything to "boast" about if he was coming home thinking he would be a servant in his Fathers house!!!

 

It isn't meant to and for good reason.  The only time the prodigal uses first person first language is to demonstrate who is responsible for his screwing up.  He admits culpability.  He doesn't demand anything but rather he begs for mercy and because the Father is so inclined  mercy is given.  The prodigal understands the character of the father's grace because it has been demonstrated to him while he lived in the home.

 

His father was generous to his servants a generosity that is not matched anywhere in his travels.  It is his father's generosity which compells him to come home it was his will which caused him to squander his inheritance and get himself into such deep trouble to begin with.

 

boltupright wrote:

I do know that an inheritance isn't something you earn through works, I don't consider it so much as a reward to be quite honest.

 

The prodigal is not going home for his inheritance he is going home for his life.  It is about survival and to survive he needs to swallow pride and return home with his tail between his legs because he has nothing else to appeal to.

 

He is banking on his father, always generous with the hired help, being willing to hire him on so that he at least will get fed.

 

What he gets when he returns is not a renewed inheritance nor is it a reward for smartening up.  It is the compassion of a father for his child.  Inheritance is money.  A child is a relationship.  It is a covenant.  Should the father loose his entire fortune he is still the prodigal's father that relationship can never change even if the father had decided to deny the son.

 

boltupright wrote:

I look at it as more of a responsibility than anything. The reward is the relationship we have with God through Jesus the Christ. you are either part of the covenant of God or you are not. & it is a matter of choice.

 

You simply do not grasp the enormity of what you are saying.

 

I have been very careful and very deliberate.

 

There are two actors in the covenant.  God and the individual.  The individuals says, "I will love you and I will obey you."  God says, I will love you and I will provide for you."  Neither of those statements are conditional.  The individual can change his mind.  God will not.  The individual has violated his covenant vows.  God has not.  The individual can live a life completely antithetical to the life laid out in the covenantal vows.  God will not.

 

The covenants that God enters into rest entirely upon the character and integrity of God.  The only way to demolish such a covenant is to have God change the character of God or the integrity of God.

 

boltupright wrote:

You can choose to  squander the inheritance, or you can choose to be partakers in a "share" in the inheritance.

 

Agreed.  The son remains a son either way.  And it is that primal relationship, that primal covenant which is the prodigal's salvation in the parable.  The parable all but sets the reader up to not see merit in the choice by pointing out the choice track record of the prodigal in the first place.  All of which was also freely entered into.

 

boltupright wrote:

This depends on a choice, & this is what the covenant is about!!!

 

Entering into covenant requires the offer of covenant and yes that can be rejected.  Covenants do not offer escape clauses.  There are no time limitations, there are no loopholes there are no backdoors.  Walking away from a covenant doesn't break the covenant it illustrates the character of the one who has walked away from the covenant.

 

boltupright wrote:

The parable of the prodigal son explains that when the son left, He squandered his share of the inheritance. When He returned, He didn't even have time to express his repentance, yet his Father was so happy to see him He threw arms around him & threw a party.NOW THAT IS GRACE!!!!

 

Correct.  The grace is found in the father's welcoming not the son's returning.  Just as the same grace is demonstrated by the father going out to the older brother who had remained faithfully present.  The parable is not about choices made it is about the grace of the father.  It is a poorly named parable.

 

boltupright wrote:

But, did he still have a share in the inheritance? Not according to this parable.

 

He left a son and returns a son.  He was dead when he left and alive when he returned.  You are focussing on the externals not the foundations.

 

boltupright wrote:

The son who stayed & was faithful recieved all that was left of his Fathers estate.

 

True he would.  But not until his father died.  That is how an inheritance works.  Until Dad kicks off everything is still dad's which is why dad doesn't need permission to kill the fattened calf or put a ring and a cloak on the younger son.

 

boltupright wrote:

Was the son who left cast away? No!  He was welcome to be back home again, but his share was no longer his anymore.

 

No his share was his but he blew it and no he wasn't entitled to anymore and yet he isn't finishing the parable serving others at a feast as one might expect to find a servant doing he is the guest of honour.  He enjoys his fathers largesse and big brother sulking outside understands exactly what is going on.

 

Dad is blowing his inheritance on that rotten brother of his. 

 

boltupright wrote:

the prodigal son made a choice. He left, & he took his share with him & squandered it away. Did he work for this share he wasted? No, He was his son.

 

Correct it was his through the primal covenant of relationship.  That is grace given to him.  The grace of the father is shown in the fact that while the inheritance could run out asl long as the father lived he would never need to be reduced to slopping pigs in a foreign country again.

 

boltupright wrote:

He made a choice to come home if only to be a slave! But the Father welcomed him as His son again when He came home. But He wasted His share of the inheritance. What if he didn't choose to come home? Would he still be eating with the swine? Well we would hope not!  It would seem that it was all about the choices he made John.

 

He made a choice to come home if only to be a slave!  He has no way to force his father to take him on as a slave!  He gets more than he would have asked for because that is what the father decides to give.  The parable is only about his choices in so far as it shows how completely and utterly they are folly.  What the parable requires, at its heart, to speak to anyone.  Is a father who loves unconditionally not a son who places conditions.

 

boltupright wrote:

Now I don't make the choice for anyone but myself as far as my relationship with the Father, & this goes for everyone. What is our choice?

 

Which is you choosing to live in or out of relationship.  You enter into a covenant which God has designed and God makes effective through the integrity of God.  There are no back doors or ways out of the covenant.

 

You can choose to live outside of relationship but you cannot choose (once entered) to live outside of covenant.

 

The choice to enter into covenant does not come in a vaccuum.  For you to make that choice you need to trust that such a covenant exists and you need to trust that such a covenant is offered to you.  That trust rests on the character and revelation of God not yourself so even getting you to a place where you could choose to enter into a covenant has been all God's work.

 

boltupright wrote:

Shure his son was still his son, but

 

Way to minimize the foundational relationship of the parable!  Relationship with God counts for nothing in the light of the power of choice eh?

 

boltupright wrote:

Well the Father still called him His son!

 

Whose choice is that?  How important is that to the parable?

 

boltupright wrote:

Or are we going to share in an inheritance?A loving & caring Father would say, Make good choices, & provide the nessisary information to teach us how to make these good choices.

 

Which this good father did and that, in the end informs the prodigal to realize where real security lay.  In his father's house and under his father's grace.  It is this grace which provides the freedom for the prodigal to have a choice to begin with.

 

boltupright wrote:

There are conditions to the inheritance, that we don't squander it away here, instead of charishing it in our hearts until it arrives at the appointed time.

 

The only condition to the inheritance is that one is an heir to begin with.  Apparently you don't need to wait for the old man to kick the bucket you can get your share early.  Once the inheritance is gone it is gone.  The inheritance is a benefit of the covenant it is not the ends of the covenant.  The relationship, father to son, is the covenant.

 

boltupright wrote:

All this is explained clearly as choices, can we walk away from the covenant?

 

No.  You cannot walk away from the covenant.  Turn on your covenantal promises, that you can do.  Take God out of the covenant?  Not a chance.  God holds the covenant together it doesn't fail unless God fails.

 

boltupright wrote:

I've done it a few times already until I finally understood the message of love, instead of the message of  judgement.

 

No you haven't.  You have turned your back on the vows and you may have turned away from God that doesn't render God powerless by a longshot.  It doesn't make you any less God's not even minutely less because God remains your God just as God promised God would be your God.

 

As far as you finally coming to understand.  That wasn't your effort either.  That was the Holy Spirit breaking your stiff-necked pride until you realized you couldn't do it on your own and like the prodigal you turned back to God hoping that God would welcome you back.

 

With us God can be out of sight and out of mind.  With God we are never either.

 

Please also note how your testimony reads as boast.  It tells nothing of what God does and much of what you have done.

 

boltupright wrote:

This means everything to my new walk with God, as I walked more alone before, because I didn't know His love like I do now.

 

Walking in ignorance is not walking alone.  You might feel alone but that is only becuase you invest more time in thinking about yourself instead of thinking about God.  God was just as present for you before as God is now.  The only thing that has changed is your knowledge of that presence

 

boltupright wrote:

For me to walk away now seems unfathomable, & I believe with all my heart, this was intended from the beginning to establish this type of realtionship with all, ALL!!!

 

What is it that you are referencing with "this" when you say "this was intended?"

 

boltupright wrote:

I have a hard time believing  that this is an abomination John.

 

I'm not surprised.  You seem to think that choice is on equal par with grace.  That this one work that you do is somehow equal to the gift that God gives and I am challenging that and saying it isn't so.

 

You percieve that as me attacking you when what is really happening is I am attacking your role.  God creates the covenant and invites you in.  Then and only then do you have a choice and unless God has been working on you to see clearly the state you are in you will not choose wisely.  Once in you are in forever because getting out of the covenant is something only God can bring into being and God has said no dice on that deal. 

 

That rankles because suddenly the choice that you thought you had no longer really exists (not that it really existed in the first place) and you feel diminished and unimportant.

 

You are unimportant when it comes to your salvation.  You effect absolutely no portion of it.

 

Your value is found in the truth that it is God who has chosen you and redeemed you.  Your value is what God sees when God looks at you not what you happen to think about yourself.

 

boltupright wrote:

The word abomination I've heard described other things, not this perception of grace & His covenant.

 

I do not apply abomination to either God's grace or God's covenant I apply it to the idea that my choice makes either of those things effective or that by choice I can nullify either.  That is the abomination.

 

boltupright wrote:

You are a minister John?

 

I am.

 

boltupright wrote:

please accept these words as a friendly heart felt suggestion, to choose your words wisely.

 

I am not in the habit of throwing words around carelessly.  I have used my words deliberately and precisely.

 

Grace and peace to you.

John

Wow that is quite a position you are taking.

I guess all the loving & encouraging words of the Father that tell me how important I am & what part I play in the Kingdom of God have absolutely no merit at all, I'm just a worm!

Thaks for the enlightenment John, I realy don't have your time or patience to respond to all of that what you post, I prefer to just agree to disagree.

 

Bolt

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