Christian Denominations/Heaven


#43

I don’t read baptism into this passage. Jesus is contrasting natural birth with spiritual birth. Born of water(natural birth) Spiritual birth through the Holy Spirit.
No ritual or ordinance saves…as a Friend I see all" outward rituals and rites do not save. It is Christ and Christ alone.
"A man can enter the waters if baptism a dry sinner and exit a wet sinner, but NO ONE who experiences the “baptism of Spirit” can remain the same.


#44

I continue to be perplexed why some separate the water of Baptism from the Spirit.
Martin Luther properly identifies baptism as not mere water.

Baptism is not simple water only, but it is the water comprehended in God’s command and connected with God’s Word.

http://www.bookofconcord.org/smallcatechism.php#baptism

And Christ Himself instituted Baptism as a means of His grace. So you are right, no ritual or ordinance saves, but Grace does, grace that is communicated to us through word and sacrament, including baptism.

And the baptism instituted by Christ is baptism of water and the Spirit.


#45

Luther had a similar view as Catholics have, concerning baptism. Except that he believed nobody is saved without water baptism. On the other hand, Catholics make some exceptions. The Catholic church teaches that some, especially some Christians and other monotheists, can be saved without water baptism, in case they have not committed any mortal sin or else have perfect contrition for the mortal sin they committed. So they can die saved, avoid hell, just spend some time in purgatory and then go to heaven. The Catholic church also allows speculation that if an unbaptized little child dies, then maybe such a child is saved anyway, the Catholic church has never decided to issue a specific doctrine on what happens to little children who die without water baptism. On the other hand, from all I have read, Luther was convinced that the Bible makes it clear water baptism is necessary for baptism and provides no exceptions. So an unbaptized person goes to hell after death, including unbaptized babies. He believed you must be born again, by water baptism accompanied automatically by Spirit baptism, that is what Jesus meant here, no exceptions, no other path to salvation. He believed baptism gives one faith, and then salvation can be lost only if one loses faith. So he believed even baptized babies have faith.
So there are some similarities and some differences here from Catholic teachings.


#46

I think one needs to be careful of how Luther viewed the fate of the unbaptized. AFAIK, Lutherans do not believe the unbaptized are necessarily condemned.

The LCMS does not believe that Baptism is ABSOLUTELY necessary for salvation. All true believers in the Old Testament era were saved without baptism. Mark 16:16 implies that it is not the absence of Baptism that condemns a person but the absence of faith, and there are clearly other ways of coming to faith by the power of the Holy Spirit (reading or hearing the Word of God).

https://www.lcms.org/about/beliefs/faqs/doctrine


#47

I understand your beliefs. I also understand that if such rituals and rites cannot be performed, then God who knows each heart will STILL honor the faith of the one seeking the rites and rituals and bestow that saving grace and mercy.
Quakers have no wish to place their trust in any ceremony conducted by others desperately in need of grace…what if the celebrant doesn’t use correct words or formula…such as water baptism, the wrong sequence of words could invalidate a “legitimate” baptism…no one by words or gestures can invalidate the Holy Spirit’s work nor stem the great river if grace that by faith is bestowed upon the petitioner…grace and mercy are given freely without measure or restriction on account of some "invalid or illicit " ritual not performed correctly on our behalf by another in need of such grace.


#48

Is a special agent such as a priest or minister necessary to confect the sacrament properly for a sacrament to be valid? If it is claimed certain rites and rituals ARE NECESSARY for salvation, then there most certainly is someone standing between us and Christ before salvic grace can be bestowed.
Christ alone is Baptizer.
Christ alone is our Eucharist and our communion is with him and him alone that joins us to the rest of the Body of Christ.


#49

I don’t think we disagree here.

As I’ve stated before, baptism is not the work of human beings, but a means of grace He alone Instituted.
Again from Luther:

Further, we say that we are not so much concerned to know whether the person baptized believes or not; for on that account Baptism does not become invalid; but everything depends upon the Word and command of God. [53]This now is perhaps somewhat acute, but it rests entirely upon what I have said, that Baptism is nothing else than water and the Word of God in and with each other, that is, when the Word is added to the water, Baptism is valid, even though faith be wanting. For my faith does not make Baptism, but receives it. Now, Baptism does not become invalid even though it be wrongly received or employed; since it is not bound (as stated) to our faith, but to the Word.

Just as He employed human hands to write His word, He employs human hands to administer Baptism. Do you fear the hands and writings of the former as you do the hands and words of the latter? It would have been just as easy for Paul to mis-write as it would be for a priest to misspeak.


#50

Again, do you trust that Paul and Luke, Peter and Matthew wrote things down accurately? Do you think they stood between us and His grace?
If not, what is then the difference?


#51

I do not accept your comparison if “word” and sacrament. Since I do not share in your sacramental theology…except to say Friends also share a “sacramental theology” among Friends…life is sacramental. Christ can be met in the eucharist as well as in a common shared meal…each may be a vehicle of grace…each may share the richness in Christ…he has potential to be manifest in the Eucharistic celebration or the shared meal among Friends.
It is He that “makes present” where two or three are gathered…
I can’t accept anything in the physical as having “holiness” attached to it…there’s nothing inherently “holy”…word nor sacrament.
Friends embrace a “eschatological theology”.
We are to make our world over into the Peaceable Kingdom…be stewards of our world…“make straight his paths”…we are the New Jerusalem, if Christ is ever to return, then we must for sure “make straight his paths” and present to him a world where the sheep lay lions, where his word would now be written upon our hearts and the Spirit of the Lord filled his people. We need no “church building”, we are his body, we are building material for his Temple…make the kingdom of God present…and begin living as though the Kingdom of God will never be a reality until we l, his body, begin to live as citizens of Another Country.
I understand your scriptural references.
As I do not accept the “sacrament/ word” comparison.
In many ways, Quaker understanding of eschatology informs our theology.
The scriptures is a record of humanities encounter with God…and how they understood and answered the Call…while holding to a loose belief of inspiration, they are still very human writings…our understanding of God, not necessarily his sacred word.


#52

I do believe the Bible is the sacred Word of God. The difference to me is that the letters these men wrote to the churches were also inspired by God to become Scripture. If they stood between us and His grace, I am not sure they knew that at the time they wrote. To me that is a huge difference between someone thinking/knowing they stand between us and God.


#53

I, of course, agree. I would find it odd for a priest/pastor to think he is standing between someone and God’s Grace.
I guess my point to @Childoftheday is that God has always made His will and grace known through men: Moses and the law, Nathan to David, the examples are too numerous to mention, not standing between us and His grace, but bringing it to us. Then, in theGreat Commission, we are commanded to do just that- baptize and teach.


#54

What if she has not been baptized?


#55

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