UnderGround Forums
 

HolyGround >> If a Christian Soldier kills someone...


1/25/12 10:42 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
TheStewedOwl
1 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 01/25/12 10:45 PM
Member Since: 6/8/02
Posts: 7915

Reverend John, in addition to the "whole families" and "entire households" being baptized (which almost certainly included children) references in Acts 16:15 and Acts 16:27-33 and 1 Cor 1:16, there are numerous scriptural references where God bestows blessings, or forgiveness, or healing, on one person because of the faith and spiritual diligence of another. This would seem to also apply, in the views of many, to the act of a parent asking for the blessings of the Holy Spirit through the infusion of Grace, on their child:

Genesis 18:16-33
Mt 8:5-13
Mt 15:21-28
Lk 7:1-20
Lk 18:15-17

...among many other scriptural references to such matters.

It can also be noted, from a scriptural standpoint, that the jailer of Paul and Silas, whose family was all baptized, that "without delay he and all his were baptized." It is unlikely that a simple jailer (who was prepared to commit suicide over a perceived failure at his job) would have slaves or servants. If he only had a wife and no children, the normal locution would be "he and his wife were baptized"; "he and all his implies at least two others, and maybe more, so probably children. Could be his mother-in-law, could be a slacker son who hadn't moved out of the house, but it could as easily be a babe-in-arms. Again, no scriptural warrant against the practice can be seen here.

Many also interpret Acts 2:37-4 ("Repent and be baptized...this promise is made to you and to your children") as a specific reference to infant baptism, although personal interpretation of scripture could certainly lead to different views, such as a generational promise.

There is no scriptural injunction _against_ infant baptism, so arguments that it is non-scriptural would seem to be an Argument From Silence, which is among the weakest forms of argument. There are numerous forms of worship within both the Evangelical and Catholic communities for which there is no scriptural warrant, so why infant baptism should be singled out as non-scriptural seems to be a little problematic to me. Jesus' command to receive Baptism (Jn 3:5) is a universal command - it is not restricted to adults within scripture, as was pointed out by juijitsuboxer - "Let the children be, do not keep them back from me; the Kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." (which also seems, to me at least, to indicate that innocent children will likely go to Heaven).

While a common objection to this, and similar orders to baptize all people (children apparently included) as in Acts 22:16 ("Rise up, and receive baptism, washing away your sins at the invocation of His name") is that such verses require the person to be able to physically approach Christ on their own, but the parallel text is "Then they brought the little children to him" (Luke 18:15), followed with the same words as in Matthew 19:14. Some translations even translate this as "infants".

While all the people in the Bible we read about who are baptized (with the probable exception of the younger members of those "whole households") are adults, this should be read with the understanding that the Christian faith was just beginning, and there were no "cradle Christians" at this point in history.

The best scriptural evidence for me is that Infant Baptism is part of a Covenantal relationship with God. Circumcision was the normative way to bring a child (at least, a male child) into the Covenant (Gen 17:1-14); per Cor 2:11-15, Baptism has now replaced circumcision in this regard. Jewish parents covenanted with God, acting on behalf of their infant, through circumcision. Christian parents now covenant with God, on behalf of their infant children, through the sacrament of Baptism, the New Circumcision.

Circumcision in the Jewish community was of course done largely among infants, with the exception of the rare adult convert to Judaism. If Paul, when making the parallel in Corinthians, wanted to exclude infants from baptism, it was odd that he didn't say so.

Non scriptural, of course, but the early Church did practice infant baptism, as seen in the writings of Origen and John Chrysostom. There is no record of early Church fathers condemning it, but did discuss _when_ they should be baptized, as at the Council of Carthage in 252 AD.

Just my feelings on the subject.

I'm not sure about the original issue of the thread concerning baptism being denied to solders. Given the (quite sizable) number of early Christian martyrs who were soldiers (including entire martyred units, like the Theban Legion and the 40 Martyrs of Sebaste), I'd also like to find the original cites. That's not to say individual Church fathers may have denied it.
1/25/12 10:50 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Ali
666 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 1/1/01
Posts: 8702
inlikeflynn - While there is nothing said explicitly about an age of accountability, it is inferred based on what it does say about God's character. Do you really think that a two year old, who has no capacity to understand the Gospel, would go to hell, and that this is consistent with the picture we have of God through the revelation of Jesus?


While not about Jesus, because Old Testament...

"...he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the parents to third and fourth generation" it says in Exodus, at least.

I'm not defending that, nor do I believe it, but it's the sort of thing that has to be taken into account when we start to think about what we know of the "character" of God.

(Perhaps you think all that has changed by the time of the New Testament. And fair enough. I much prefer the rev's version of Christianity to most that I encounter; but many versions leave lots of room for an arbitrary and vindictive God).
1/25/12 11:14 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
TheStewedOwl
1 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 6/8/02
Posts: 7917
Ali - 
inlikeflynn - While there is nothing said explicitly about an age of accountability, it is inferred based on what it does say about God's character. Do you really think that a two year old, who has no capacity to understand the Gospel, would go to hell, and that this is consistent with the picture we have of God through the revelation of Jesus?


While not about Jesus, because Old Testament...

"...he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the parents to third and fourth generation" it says in Exodus, at least.

I'm not defending that, nor do I believe it, but it's the sort of thing that has to be taken into account when we start to think about what we know of the "character" of God.


I've witnessed that substance abuse and physical and sexual and emotional abuse and poverty and poor parenting skills can punish kids down through multiple generations as well, which certainly isn't fair but our own sins have an impact upon others. It may simply be a poetic way of affirming the same thing, Ali.
1/25/12 11:49 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
colubrid1
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 10/6/02
Posts: 1446
inlikeflynn - While there is nothing said explicitly about an age of accountability, it is inferred based on what it does say about God's character. Do you really think that a two year old, who has no capacity to understand the Gospel, would go to hell, and that this is consistent with the picture we have of God through the revelation of Jesus?


Does a tribal man who never heard the gospel go to hell?


1/25/12 11:54 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Ali
666 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 01/25/12 11:58 PM
Member Since: 1/1/01
Posts: 8703
TheStewedOwl - ... It may simply be a poetic way of affirming the same thing, Ali.


Yes, I know. "May be" is all well and good. Note I'm not defending any particular interpretation, just saying there's plenty of room for those who want to damn infants. Plenty of dependence on magical rituals to save them. Plenty of room for attributing such "character" to God, His ways not being ours and all. You see it on this thread.

I find it really revolting, actually.
1/26/12 12:22 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
colubrid1
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 01/26/12 12:30 AM
Member Since: 10/6/02
Posts: 1447
double post
1/26/12 12:29 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
colubrid1
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 10/6/02
Posts: 1448
well how do we know if a child goes to hell? How do we know the heart?

If a tribal man that never heard the gospel starts to worship a stick (idolatry). He will go to hell. If he looks around and responds to Gods visible and invisible attributes and seeks him, he won't.

But we have the gospel. And some of us have children. I would rather err on the side of extreme caution and start teaching them as early as possible, than to rely on a dunk in water babtism.

We are depraved and immoral and have no ability except that faith God has given us to believe.


God once wiped out mankind with water (the flood). Children perished under that same judgement. That same God yesterday is the same today. Jesus was the exact replica of God in the flesh. Christ is the exact image of the invisble God.
1/26/12 1:05 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
inlikeflynn
1 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 9/11/06
Posts: 882
colubrid1 - 
If a tribal man that never heard the gospel starts to worship a stick (idolatry). He will go to hell. If he looks around and responds to Gods visible and invisible attributes and seeks him, he won't.


We don't. It's not up to us to judge other people's hearts.


We are depraved and immoral and have no ability except that faith God has given us to believe.


It sounds like you are a Calvinist. How do you reconcile a God whose essence is love, but who chooses only to save a select few?
1/26/12 8:42 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
reverend john
147 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 1/1/01
Posts: 28345
Jesus blessed the children, he did not have them baptised. I have already admitted that the scriptures about "his whole household" are compelling. However, household is actually the word oikos, which means extended family and servents, not just those that live in your house.

When Paul talks about baptism he says that it is a dying and raising with Christ. It is not others doing something for you. Now I fully believe that others faith directly effects our own, the friend that was carried on the mat to Jesus was one such occasion, where the faith of those on the roof, was the impetus for his own forgiveness.

The problem I see, is that the church is meant to be a covenanted community. To be born into such makes no sense to me, and the truth is, makes no sense to the infant baptizing churches either. Which is why they instituted a ritual, or sacrament that is actually extra biblical (which doesn't mean its wrong necessarily) confirmation.

rev
1/26/12 10:26 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
reverend john
147 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 1/1/01
Posts: 28347
ArthurFonzerill - how many christiain religions have confirmation?


Well I know Roman Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran, and Orthodox all have confirmation, not sure about the others, there are a bit too many to keep track of :)

rev
1/26/12 11:38 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
colubrid1
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 10/6/02
Posts: 1449
ArthurFonzerill - "If a tribal man that never heard the gospel starts to worship a stick (idolatry). He will go to hell. If he looks around and responds to Gods visible and invisible attributes and seeks him, he won't"



thats why I think the rational christian must believe in purgatory

the whole 'savage' thing cant have any other explanation





18 For (AJ)the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who (AK)suppress the truth [l]in unrighteousness, 19 because (AL)that which is known about God is evident [m]within them; for God made it evident to them. 20 For (AM)since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, (AN)being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. 21 For even though they knew God, they did not [n]honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became (AO)futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 (AP)Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and (AQ)exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and [o]crawling creatures.
24 Therefore (AR)God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be (AS)dishonored among them. 25 For they exchanged the truth of God for [p]a (AT)lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, (AU)who is blessed [q]forever. Amen.
1/26/12 11:56 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
inlikeflynn
1 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 9/11/06
Posts: 883
Ali - 
inlikeflynn - While there is nothing said explicitly about an age of accountability, it is inferred based on what it does say about God's character. Do you really think that a two year old, who has no capacity to understand the Gospel, would go to hell, and that this is consistent with the picture we have of God through the revelation of Jesus?


While not about Jesus, because Old Testament...

"...he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the parents to third and fourth generation" it says in Exodus, at least.

I'm not defending that, nor do I believe it, but it's the sort of thing that has to be taken into account when we start to think about what we know of the "character" of God.

(Perhaps you think all that has changed by the time of the New Testament. And fair enough. I much prefer the rev's version of Christianity to most that I encounter; but many versions leave lots of room for an arbitrary and vindictive God).


I won't lie, I struggle to make sense of a lot of stuff in the OT. I try to view everything through the lense of Jesus, him being the clearest representation of God that we have.
1/26/12 12:26 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
colubrid1
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 10/6/02
Posts: 1450
ArthurFonzerill -


when jesus came (and even jesus said he didnt come for non-jews), it was at a time where the world was civilized enough that basic survival was no longer the most important factor



hih? I hate to break it to you but man is getting more immoral.
1/26/12 3:27 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
inlikeflynn
1 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 9/11/06
Posts: 884
ArthurFonzerill - ^^ what that?


^ only way to view the OT as logical, just, and consistent (since some christians try to claim it doesnt contradict the NT at all)

is that it was about survival and pre-civilization


then it was about the survival of the jews, so there are lots of health related dietary/sanitary laws, and when it came to warfare, they wouldnt have survived if they didnt obliterate their enemy, women and children included


when jesus came (and even jesus said he didnt come for non-jews), it was at a time where the world was civilized enough that basic survival was no longer the most important factor


Yeah, that's mostly the way I look at it. Still hard to get past the genocide stuff.
1/26/12 10:08 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
TheStewedOwl
1 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 6/8/02
Posts: 7920
reverend john - Jesus blessed the children, he did not have them baptised. I have already admitted that the scriptures about "his whole household" are compelling. However, household is actually the word oikos, which means extended family and servents, not just those that live in your house.

When Paul talks about baptism he says that it is a dying and raising with Christ. It is not others doing something for you. Now I fully believe that others faith directly effects our own, the friend that was carried on the mat to Jesus was one such occasion, where the faith of those on the roof, was the impetus for his own forgiveness.

The problem I see, is that the church is meant to be a covenanted community. To be born into such makes no sense to me, and the truth is, makes no sense to the infant baptizing churches either. Which is why they instituted a ritual, or sacrament that is actually extra biblical (which doesn't mean its wrong necessarily) confirmation.

rev


Rev, I understand your points. I would say, from my POV, that there are scriptural references to confirmation, as in Acts 8:14-17 and Acts 19:5-6. The usual scriptural reference to Confirmation as distinct from Baptism is 2 Cor 1: 21-22.

The best scriptural evidence for Confirmation for me is Hebrews 6:2 (""Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment") This essentially lays out in order the steps in the Christian journey towards salvation: repentance, faith, baptism, confirmation, resurrection, and judgment. "The laying on of hands" here cannot refer to the laying on of hands in ordination or healing, as they are not done for every Christian and are so not part of the steps to salvation.

The early patristic writings also lay out the sacrament of confirmation in some detail, from Theophilus of Antioch and Tertullian on.
1/27/12 10:55 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
reverend john
147 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 1/1/01
Posts: 28349
dont see how the 2 cor verse has anything to do with confirmation. Interesting point on the Hebrews scripture though. Again, I believe the ideology between the two practices is very similar. In a infant baptism culture they are welcoming the child into the community of faith as a child, covering it spiritually, making a commitment as a community to look after it, encourage it in the faith, and help the parents. Which is basically the same as what is done in the "sacrament" of baby dedication. In confirmation, the person who has reached the age of accountability makes a personal decision to become part of the church, and commits to both following the church teachings and doctrines and submitting to its discipline, just like baptism in the tradition I am in.

There actually is no difference in the value of baptism in my opinion, its just placed in different places. I find baptism to be a symbolic act, that is so profound, being buried with Christ and becoming part of the community of resurrection. I personally feel like this is so important for the individual to cognitively make this choice.

I also do not believe in a God that sends children to hell, or even purgatory. I believe original sin is actually a slightly warped picture of the truth.

rev
1/28/12 7:08 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Ridgeback
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 7/3/07
Posts: 26969
 The Orthodox don't  have confirmation for the record.  Our infants are "baptized and receive the Holy Spirit" when they are around 40 days old and they are full members of the body from that point on.  The receive communion every Sunday.  When they are able to sin they begin confession but that is the only thing that really changes in their "status."    Of course any person is free to leave the church as he grows so baptism is not considered a guarantee of salvation, which it never was in the NT.  

Jesus was circumsized and taken to the temple without his consent.  The Jews had no concept of keeping children out of the fold until they were old enough to "understand" the faith.  

Seems like if the writers of the Bible were nervous about infants being baptized they might have quickly pointed out that all the adult members of a household were baptized only.  The fact that no distinction is mentioned is very telling.  
1/29/12 5:50 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
reverend john
147 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 1/1/01
Posts: 28351
Actually they do have confirmation Ridge, I just didn't know it was during the babtism ceremony. That is what they call it when the bishop annoints the baby or convert with oil after the water.

rev
1/29/12 9:14 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Ridgeback
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 7/3/07
Posts: 26974
reverend john - Actually they do have confirmation Ridge, I just didn't know it was during the babtism ceremony. That is what they call it when the bishop annoints the baby or convert with oil after the water.

rev

 I've never heard it referred to as confirmation in any Orthodox church.  It is called Christmation or the "sealing with the gift of the Holy Spirit" any time I have heard or read about it.  This should make pentecostals very happy.  
And just a small correction.  It is almost always the priest who does it, of course acting under the authority of the bishop when he does so.  
1/29/12 9:43 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
reverend john
147 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 1/1/01
Posts: 28353
ArthurFonzerill - 
reverend john - dont see how the 2 cor verse has anything to do with confirmation. Interesting point on the Hebrews scripture though. Again, I believe the ideology between the two practices is very similar. In a infant baptism culture they are welcoming the child into the community of faith as a child, covering it spiritually, making a commitment as a community to look after it, encourage it in the faith, and help the parents. Which is basically the same as what is done in the "sacrament" of baby dedication. In confirmation, the person who has reached the age of accountability makes a personal decision to become part of the church, and commits to both following the church teachings and doctrines and submitting to its discipline, just like baptism in the tradition I am in.

There actually is no difference in the value of baptism in my opinion, its just placed in different places. I find baptism to be a symbolic act, that is so profound, being buried with Christ and becoming part of the community of resurrection. I personally feel like this is so important for the individual to cognitively make this choice.

I also do not believe in a God that sends children to hell, or even purgatory. I believe original sin is actually a slightly warped picture of the truth.

rev




does 'dedication' have any biblical or historical foundation or was it just put in to mirror baptism when the new protestants starting doing the adult/believer's baptism.



I was at a ("non-denominational") baptism a few weeks ago, and they tried to lay a lot of ground work with bible verses, including dedication


Well for most of Christian history infant baptism was practiced, so when those that challenged that practice were confronted with the idea of "what do we do with the children" they responded with dedication. I think there are a number of scripture vs that they would use, but particularly Jesus blessing the children.

And Ridge, I got the information from an official orthodox website. Perhaps in different traditions they call it different things. Might have mistaken the bishop thing

rev
1/29/12 11:01 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
reverend john
147 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 1/1/01
Posts: 28355
just because you believe baptism is a ritual for adult believers doesn't mean you wouldn't believe in the importance of parents making a commitment to raise their children in the way of the Lord. The church making a commitment to support the parents and the child. And the idea of offering that child's life to God. Don't really see whats odd at all. Just like I don't find you doing confirmation odd.

rev
1/30/12 9:28 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
reverend john
147 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 1/1/01
Posts: 28356
Every Sunday morning we have breakfast in the park with the homeless people that live there.

When we have our community dinners we have an agape feast, where we eat a communal meal and celebrate communion as part of that. Then we discuss passages of the gospels and how they apply to our lives. We talk about any issues we have had or are having, pray for one another and discuss how we will spend the money that people donate. Only rules is that it has to go to someone we have a relationship with, and everyone has to agree or at least consent.

I think you are missing the importance of communal covenant. Baby dedication the way I do it is about the community taking responsibility for their part in the raising of the child, as well as the parents, and making public promises. It is very similar to marriage in that regard.

rev
1/30/12 10:35 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
reverend john
147 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 1/1/01
Posts: 28358
But that is only Sunday morning. Our community dinner is Monday night. In addition we meet together throughout the week, having man night on Thursdays where the guys meet at a pub and talk over dinner. Having a community garden where we grow our own food. And we are doing special events this year where we will do public talks or multi media presentations on numerous topics.

The truth is however, that we aren't meant to cater to anyone. The gospel is very clear that we see Christ in the eyes of the outcast, so we must put ourselves into those contexts. A fireman, police or Er gets to do that vocationally, they just need to sacramentize their daily occupations.

rev

Reply Post

You must log in to post a reply. Click here to login.