Shattered_Life
11-28-2006, 03:22 AM
So my parents read this magazine article to my brother and I this morning...they think it's a sign from God that we're not doing something right. Um...? Anyway.

The article said you haven't really recieved the "gift" of the Holy Spirit until you are baptized (yes, we all know that's important when you become a Christian...), AND get hands laid on you AND get spoken to in tongues.

What? In my...2 yrs of being a Christian I've never heard this. But still...now this article is trying to tell me I'm not really baptized because no one talked to me in tongues, etc?

What are your guy's opinions on this? There were Bible verses mentioned too, but I don't have them off hand. I'll get them later.

Thanks.::]

skynes
11-28-2006, 03:55 AM
That's a load of trash with absolutely ZERO validity to it.

Baptism is not necessary to receive the Holy Spirit as is proven in Acts when Gentiles received the Spirit without being baptised or prayed over or anything.

Praying in tongues also irrelevant to Baptism, it is a gift of the Spirit described in 1st Corinthians and it also says that the spirit gives out Gifts as HE Wills, not as we will.

Based upon what you've said this is another example of using a magic formula to twist God's arm behind His back and force Him to do something.

somasoul
11-28-2006, 04:16 AM
You're not a real Christian until you can speak in tounges and walk on water.............and turn water into girly mixed alcoholic beverages.

http://i82.photobucket.com/albums/j248/franks80ta/DRINKS.jpg

Tromos
11-28-2006, 06:00 AM
Baptism is not necessary to receive the Holy Spirit as is proven in Acts when Gentiles received the Spirit without being baptised or prayed over or anything.


God can do anything. Yet we are instructed to be baptized.

When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, "Brothers, what shall we do?"

Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call."

- Acts 2:37-39

In fact, I would be interested in seeing your reference to the receipt of the Holy Spirit by the Gentiles without baptism.

As for the speaking in tongues thing, that's a popular belief, particulrly amongst Apostolics. If nothing else, it serves to help them believe themselves to be the only authentic Christians.

You're not a real Christian until you can speak in tounges and walk on water.............and turn water into girly mixed alcoholic beverages.

I'm not there yet myself. I can do the first two, but I can only turn water into Keystone Light so far. A long way to go yet, I'm afraid...

;D

skynes
11-28-2006, 09:28 AM
God can do anything. Yet we are instructed to be baptized.


But nowhere are we instructed to be prayed over in tongues or instructed to be laid on by hands at a baptism

In fact, I would be interested in seeing your reference to the receipt of the Holy Spirit by the Gentiles without baptism.

Done.

Acts 10

44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word.

45 And those of the circumcision who believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also.

46 For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God. Then Peter answered,

47 "Can anyone forbid water, that these should not be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?"

48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then they asked him to stay a few days.

You're not a real Christian until you can speak in tounges and walk on water.............and turn water into girly mixed alcoholic beverages.

I can't speak in tongues. I can walk only on the underside of the surface of water, which pretty useless since I can't breathe under there... as for the beverages... I can turn alcohol into water... but not the other way round.

Tromos
11-28-2006, 10:55 AM
Excellent. Thank you for the Biblical quote. So it seems quite clear that the Holy Spirit can be received without first being baptized, yet the first thing Peter does afterwards is command their baptism. Since they already had the Holy Spirit, what was the point? Obviously there is some other benefit to baptism that is also extremely important, otherwise why would Peter bother? Is it enough that Jesus said to do it and instructed his apostles (and through them, us) to do it to the world? Perhaps we don't know the reason and never will, but we were told to do it and it's a matter of obedience.


I can turn alcohol into water... but not the other way round.

:D LOL Yeah, well, we all have to start somewhere ;)

NightCrawler
11-28-2006, 01:08 PM
I wonder if they are looking to Acts 19 for the doctrine. (mind you, I recognize Skyne's quote, and totally agree with his conclusion)

Acts 19:
4Paul said, "John's baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus." 5On hearing this, they were baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. 6When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied. 7There were about twelve men in all.

Shattered_Life
11-28-2006, 03:07 PM
^Yessss Acts 19 was it. Thanks for all your input so far, guys.

terrasin
11-28-2006, 05:32 PM
You're not a real Christian until you can speak in tounges and walk on water.............and turn water into girly mixed alcoholic beverages.

http://i82.photobucket.com/albums/j248/franks80ta/DRINKS.jpg

If only...

CJ

skynes
11-28-2006, 10:29 PM
Excellent. Thank you for the Biblical quote. So it seems quite clear that the Holy Spirit can be received without first being baptized, yet the first thing Peter does afterwards is command their baptism. Since they already had the Holy Spirit, what was the point? Obviously there is some other benefit to baptism that is also extremely important, otherwise why would Peter bother? Is it enough that Jesus said to do it and instructed his apostles (and through them, us) to do it to the world? Perhaps we don't know the reason and never will, but we were told to do it and it's a matter of obedience.



I'd say it's a physical sign of salvation, a sign of the covenant so to speak. In the same way that the Jews had circumcision as a physical sign of Jew-ness, we have baptism.

Baptism has nothing to do with receiving the holy spirit or receiving salvation. Circumcision did nothing too (at least nothing I'm aware of), yet it was still done.

Tromos
11-29-2006, 04:59 AM
Baptism has nothing to do with receiving the holy spirit or receiving salvation.

Wow. That's a pretty bold statement. In fact, it seems to border on divine revelation that knows God's ultimate Plan. God told us to do it and you've just dismissed it as little more than symbolic drama. That's a dangerous rope to walk.

Even if it is just a symbol of the dedication of our bodies and minds to God, it's a symbol that we have been clearly instructed to perform. It seems to me that the statement "it isn't necessary" could easily be extrapolated to "God's instructions aren't important if I don't feel like it".

Last I checked, my life was God's gift to me, not my gift to Him.

skynes
11-29-2006, 08:19 AM
Wow. That's a pretty bold statement. In fact, it seems to border on divine revelation that knows God's ultimate Plan. God told us to do it and you've just dismissed it as little more than symbolic drama. That's a dangerous rope to walk.

Even if it is just a symbol of the dedication of our bodies and minds to God, it's a symbol that we have been clearly instructed to perform. It seems to me that the statement "it isn't necessary" could easily be extrapolated to "God's instructions aren't important if I don't feel like it".

Last I checked, my life was God's gift to me, not my gift to Him.


What? Whose post were you reading!?...

I said baptism is not necessary for either salvation or receiving the Holy Spirit. Which it's not. As the passage I gave clearly showed.

Never once did I say its pointless, nor did I say it shouldn't be done. Nor did I toss it aside as symbolic drama.

What I said was:

I'd say it's a physical sign of salvation, a sign of the covenant so to speak. In the same way that the Jews had circumcision as a physical sign of Jew-ness, we have baptism.

If you believe otherwise, please show scripture that supports it.

MeNtAlCaSe
11-29-2006, 08:30 AM
Baptism is a visible picture of an invisible reality. Upon trusting Christ, you were baptized by the Holy Spirit into the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. This is something that we can't actually “see.” Water baptism pictures the fact that, as a believer, you are buried with Him (immersed in water) and raised with Him (coming out of the water) to new life.

not my words, but does match my thoughts. Baptism is a public way of showing others you are a follower of Christ, and lets other followers know who you are, and gives them the chance to guide you. You can say you're committed in your mind, but when you go through a physical ceremony, (for most), the change is cemented.

again..not my words...but my thoughts...
Many believers are baptized simply as an act of obedience to Christ’s command in Matthew 28:19. In addition, others see it as a way to publicly confess their faith in Christ. It can be an outward sign to family members and friends that you have decided to follow Jesus. Water baptism can be a special moment where you physically sense what God has done for you in Christ.

Tromos
11-29-2006, 08:38 AM
Sorry. Limitations of the Internet again, I suppose.

The attitude I inferred from your post was that baptism was not necessary, purely symbolic and therefore not important. Clearly that was an error on my inference, not an implication on your part.

As for the necessaity of baptism, one of the primary quotes comes from John 3 when Jesus is speaking with the Pharisee Nicodemus who is asking what the whole "born again" thing means. Jesus' answer seems to imply that baptism by both water and the Holy Spirit are necessary for salvation when He says:

"I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit." - John 3:5

skynes
11-29-2006, 08:53 AM
Sorry. Limitations of the Internet again, I suppose.

I getcha, no worries.

"I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit." - John 3:5

In the verses before Jesus gives the context. He is referring to birth, first a physical birth (born of water) then a spiritual birth (born of the Spirit). No mention of baptism at all.

fifi la bomba
11-29-2006, 09:10 AM
that's deep... i never thought of that verse like that before...

haha we were talking about this on the steelroots forums, baptism that is. i'll say it again: water baptism is not necessary for gaining salvation, but an outward expression of an inward change in you life. it's like preaching in the middle of a city, except that you do it in a church or at the lake. you're showing those around you in a tangible sense that you have decided to follow Christ whole-heartedly and therefore are willing to be dunked under, which we all know is symbolic of dying to the flesh and coming up alive in the Spirit.

Tromos
11-29-2006, 09:42 AM
In the verses before Jesus gives the context. He is referring to birth, first a physical birth (born of water) then a spiritual birth (born of the Spirit). No mention of baptism at all.

Unless you keep reading. In the verses following, Jesus is baptizing people like crazy, so much so that the followers of John the Baptist come to him asking if it's okay that this "other guy" is baptizing so many people. Clearly, baptism with water was a major part of Jesus' ministry.

Tromos
11-29-2006, 09:45 AM
i'll say it again: water baptism is not necessary for gaining salvation, but an outward expression of an inward change in you life.

And I think it's deeper than that. While it may or may not be necessary for salvation, I don't think it's a personal preference thing. I believe that if you are serious about Jesus then it is your duty to be baptized.

fifi la bomba
11-29-2006, 09:54 AM
exactly the point i was trying to make... sorry if i wasn't totally clear.

drumchick101
11-29-2006, 01:36 PM
I'm going with skyness because one can get "saved," have their life changing experience, speak in tounges and live by God will and hear His voice all without getting baptized. I mean, I spoke in tounges at age eight, yet didn't get baptized until thriteen.

Baptism isn't the actual dieing of our sins...it's a public decleration that we promise to do so. We die to our sins and ourselves everyday by a choice, whether we are baptized or not. Baptism is basically your announcement that you are going to follow Jesus. However, I believe this is a key beginning to a life with Christ.

><sarah><

Tromos
11-29-2006, 05:03 PM
I'm going with skyness because one can get "saved," have their life changing experience, speak in tounges and live by God will and hear His voice all without getting baptized. I mean, I spoke in tounges at age eight, yet didn't get baptized until thriteen.

Baptism isn't the actual dieing of our sins...it's a public decleration that we promise to do so. We die to our sins and ourselves everyday by a choice, whether we are baptized or not. Baptism is basically your announcement that you are going to follow Jesus. However, I believe this is a key beginning to a life with Christ.

Agree to disagree I suppose. I continue to defend baptism as necessary, but not sufficient.

breakthesilence
11-29-2006, 08:44 PM
baptism in the holy spirit and baptism in water are two completely separate things. to the original poster, i'd be wary of the article. there are so many things i've read that seem to differ from and contradict the very things the bible says in regards to the Holy Spirit, more than any other topic.
neither water nor Spirit baptism is necessary for salvation, but God wants them for us & instructs us to partake in them. obviously He has some purpose in mind. baptism in the Holy Spirit (which involves the laying on of hands) fills us with the power of the Spirit and is extremely important in helping us to follow God--He is the Counselor who was sent for us. the Spirit helps us to hear God's voice and He shows us truth and... everything God wants for us to be able to do for the fulfillment of His plans and for His glory. we then are able to receive the gifts of the Spirit as He sees fit. He will give us one of the gifts at a moment that we need it to follow what God wants us to do. praying in tongues (different from the listed gift of speaking in tongues) is important because we are praying through the Spirit and thus according to God's will. and, oh, it changes things.
water baptism is more symbolic, but it is something God has instructed us to do and He blesses our obedience to Him. i don't know as much about water baptism; i myself have not been baptized in water except when i was a baby but i don't consider that. i do want to learn more about it though & get baptized.
sorry if this post is ambiguous or unclear, i am getting tired... yeah.

lamb_servant72
11-30-2006, 02:56 AM
Where have you been all of my life?! LOL;D

I understood you completely, Heidi. I want to add that I do know people who have received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit without the laying on of hands, but my experience has been that it is usually with the laying on of hands.

Now, everyone is going to ask you to list scripture supporting the difference between praying in tongues and speaking in tongues (one of the gifts of the Spirit).

I tried to begin a step by step "instruction" on it last year, but when my first point (which could only be made if we accepted that Acts 8, particularly verses 14-16, were in chronological order) hit a brick wall, I decided to let everyone study it for themselves.

Tromos
11-30-2006, 05:16 AM
neither water nor Spirit baptism is necessary for salvation

"I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit." - John 3:5

So there is some other way to be "born of the Spirit"? Please explain.

Tromos
11-30-2006, 05:25 AM
And I guess I wanted to add this to the discussion. This is taken from the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod website:

That Baptism is God's means of imparting His grace is especially clear in Romans 6. St. Paul writes, "Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried there with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father we too might walk in newness of life."

The Greek phrase used here, "by baptism," is composed of the preposition dia with the genitive case tou baptismatos. Beyond dispute, grammatically Paul is speaking about Baptism as the instrument through which God incorporates people into Christ and His saving work.

skynes
11-30-2006, 07:11 AM
Unless you keep reading. In the verses following, Jesus is baptizing people like crazy, so much so that the followers of John the Baptist come to him asking if it's okay that this "other guy" is baptizing so many people. Clearly, baptism with water was a major part of Jesus' ministry.

Later on in the chapter has little (if anything) to do with Jesus' conversation with Nicodemus. The focus later is an argument between the Jews and john's Disciples.

If Jesus wanted Nicodemus to be baptised in order to be saved He would have turned round and said "Nicodemus, you must be baptised by me!"

Clearly, baptism with water was a major part of Jesus' ministry.

This is a single verse in the whole of the Gospels that says Jesus baptised people. Yet the rest of all 4 books are dedicated to His teaching by example, His healing the sick and lame, His preaching the Word of God.

This verse doesn't say who was baptised either, or if Jesus did this regularly. It just says that on this one occasion Jesus baptised people

The Greek phrase used here, "by baptism," is composed of the preposition dia with the genitive case tou baptismatos. Beyond dispute, grammatically Paul is speaking about Baptism as the instrument through which God incorporates people into Christ and His saving work.

Dispute! They're wrong. Blatantly utterly wrong. Paul himself said he couldn't remember who he's baptised in one particular church. That alone says that if baptism was necessary to be saved he would have made sure 100% no doubt about it that every single person there would be baptised.

(just to be clear, I'm not being a big meanie. the quote emphasises that this is 'beyond dispute' so I'd thought it'd be amusing, for me anyway, to be blunt in disputing it, lol.)

----------------

I've had a thought on why baptism is important.

john 14:15 "If you love Me, keep My commandments. "

Jesus commanded us to be baptised, no dispute there.
Jesus said that if we love Him, we will keep His commandments, no dispute there either.

So by being baptised, we are showing the world, ourselves and Christ that we do indeed love Him, for we are obeying something He commanded.

I still maintain that baptism by itself (being dunked underwater) has no power. Otherwise I should be superman due to the number of baths I've had. Even if a Pastor or whoever dunks me, it still has no power.

It is not needed to be saved, for salvation is not an external action, but a drastic spiritual change. I suspect it follows what James says "Faith without works is dead". We are not saved by works, we are saved by Faith, but if we are truly saved, then our actions will be reflected by our salvation.

---------------------------------------

Quick question: What of the people who are hydrophobic?

fifi la bomba
11-30-2006, 07:18 AM
amen skynes! not necessary, but commanded and required of us... preach it! :D

Tromos
11-30-2006, 08:16 AM
Quick question: What of the people who are hydrophobic?

Apart from the fact that they smell bad? ;D

What about them? Are they exempt from a divine command because of their "condition"? I would have to say "No". Just as I would have to say that people "predisposed" to homosexuality are not exempt from that moral rule by their "condition" either. But that's a whole other topic...


I still maintain that baptism by itself (being dunked underwater) has no power. Otherwise I should be superman due to the number of baths I've had. Even if a Pastor or whoever dunks me, it still has no power.

And I think this statement of yours really identifies our different views of what's going on in baptism. Not the flippant "Superman" part, but it seems like (and please correct me if I have once again incorrectly inferred your opinion) you see baptism as a human activity performed by humans just because we were told to do so. This perspective seems contrary to Jesus' ministry, which is that the work isn't the important part.

I see baptism as something divine done by God. Not symbolic of us, but a real means of conveying Grace by the Lord. Different from your morning shower because it is our opening of our hearts to God's gift of eternal life and, more importantly, it is God changing our hearts. We die in that water with Jesus and are reborn with Him in His resurrection. I see it as a holy epiphany, the second giving of life. If you want a legal comparison, I see it as the adoption that writes my name in the Book of Life and truly identifies me as an heir of the Kingdom.

Now, all that being said, I guess we can ask God when we join Him - if it matters. When and how did I become an heir to the Kingdom? Maybe that doesn't matter. I'm here now. Whether it was when I was baptized as an infant (Catholic) or when I confirmed that faith as my own as a teenager (Catholic) or when I confirmed an alternate faith as an adult (Lutheran) or some obscure point within all that when I fell on my face and prayed "Lord, I'm a worthless sinner. Forgive me and use my life to serve You", I don't actually know.

I suppose I can't use the "the vast majority of Christians in the world agree with me" argument, can I? :D

skynes
11-30-2006, 10:06 AM
And I think this statement of yours really identifies our different views of what's going on in baptism. Not the flippant "Superman" part, but it seems like (and please correct me if I have once again incorrectly inferred your opinion) you see baptism as a human activity performed by humans just because we were told to do so. This perspective seems contrary to Jesus' ministry, which is that the work isn't the important part.


I would say you don't know me very well... I take scipture and what it says very very seriously. God commanded us to be baptised, and I won't argue with that. It's in black and white, and sometimes red and white, that we are to be baptised. So I won't say it's a pointless human activity.

I see baptism as something divine done by God. Not symbolic of us, but a real means of conveying Grace by the Lord. Different from your morning shower because it is our opening of our hearts to God's gift of eternal life and, more importantly, it is God changing our hearts. We die in that water with Jesus and are reborn with Him in His resurrection. I see it as a holy epiphany, the second giving of life. If you want a legal comparison, I see it as the adoption that writes my name in the Book of Life and truly identifies me as an heir of the Kingdom.

I see baptism as something divine done by God.

In a spiritual sense, yes, in a literal physical sense... no. As John said in Matt 1: 8 "I indeed baptized you with water, but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit. "

but a real means of conveying Grace by the Lord.
I do not see grace imparted through baptism. I see grace imparted through the works of the Holy Spirit. Ephesians 2:8,9"For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. "

it is God changing our hearts.
In scripture I do not see the baptism as changing our hearts, I see the Holy Spirit changing hearts.
Colosians 5:17 "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. "

for the inevitable "how are you in Christ?" question

Romans 8:9 "But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. "

I do not see the one-off event baptism as us dying to sins, but something we do on a daily basis. You could argue romans 6 on that one, but I think Romans 6 isn't expressing what baptism does so much as it is showing what our stance on sin should be. "What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?"

As for our adoption, it is not Baptism that adopts us, it is by the spirit

Romans 8: 14-16

For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.

15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, "Abba, Father."

16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,

Now, all that being said, I guess we can ask God when we join Him - if it matters. When and how did I become an heir to the Kingdom? Maybe that doesn't matter. I'm here now.

*snicker* if you step into Calvinism you can say "Before time began"

Tromos
11-30-2006, 11:22 AM
I would say you don't know me very well... I take scipture and what it says very very seriously. God commanded us to be baptised, and I won't argue with that. It's in black and white, and sometimes red and white, that we are to be baptised. So I won't say it's a pointless human activity.

Of course I don't know you very well. That's why I'm going to such lengths to be polite :P I believe I've already inferred something you didn't imply and thrown it back at you once. I'm trying to avoid repeating that mistake. Let's just call this discussion part of my attempt to get to know you better. :)



In a spiritual sense, yes, in a literal physical sense... no.

I don't see the difference. I think spiritual changes are literal changes. I'm not convinced there is a "human plane" and a "spiritual plane". If you believe that Jesus was not just a human "chosen one" but was God, then it's further evidence that God intervenes with us at our level, not just at His.



I do not see grace imparted through baptism. I see grace imparted through the works of the Holy Spirit. Ephesians 2:8,9"For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. "
...
In scripture I do not see the baptism as changing our hearts, I see the Holy Spirit changing hearts.
Colosians 5:17 "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. "

Yes and yes and yes. Grace imparted by the Holy Spirit through the act of baptism. Changing of the heart by the Holy Spirit through baptism. See, we do agree! ;D



I do not see the one-off event baptism as us dying to sins, but something we do on a daily basis. You could argue romans 6 on that one

... and I most certainly would. This is one of those occasions wher I feel Paul is quite clear and overinterpretation just serves to support bad doctrine. But you already saw that coming, so ...



*snicker* if you step into Calvinism you can say "Before time began"

Um, no thanks. While Luther and Calvin were contemporaries, the differences in theology continue to be significant. Predestination and free will doctrines among them.

skynes
11-30-2006, 11:38 AM
I don't see the difference. I think spiritual changes are literal changes. I'm not convinced there is a "human plane" and a "spiritual plane". If you believe that Jesus was not just a human "chosen one" but was God, then it's further evidence that God intervenes with us at our level, not just at His.


Spiritual/Physical as in God does not reach down from heaven with His big hand and push you under the water... It was an attempt at a joke.

Yes and yes and yes. Grace imparted by the Holy Spirit through the act of baptism. Changing of the heart by the Holy Spirit through baptism. See, we do agree!

Lol, not quite. Grace imparted by the Holy Spirit alone, baptism not involved. Changing of the heart by the Holy Spirit alone, baptism not involved. heh heh.

Um, no thanks. While Luther and Calvin were contemporaries, the differences in theology continue to be significant. Predestination and free will doctrines among them.

Another attempt at a joke.

Tromos
11-30-2006, 06:33 PM
Yeah, I caught most of your attempts at levity. Kind of you to keep the mood light and friendly ;)

skynes
12-01-2006, 03:35 AM
Well I do try, it makes all the difference between discussion and heated argument.

Tromos
12-01-2006, 04:26 AM
In the end, we are all brothers and sisters in Christ. And while no one fights quite like family, you're probably right :)

And through my deep and mysterious powers of insight, would I be correct in assuming you favor orange over green on St. Paddy's day?

skynes
12-01-2006, 06:53 AM
And through my deep and mysterious powers of insight, would I be correct in assuming you favor orange over green on St. Paddy's day?

Nope, I favor the staying in doors out of the violence and trouble that inevitably happens on March 17.

Tromos
12-01-2006, 07:41 AM
Nope, I favor the staying in doors out of the violence and trouble that inevitably happens on March 17.

What? Common sense in Belfast? Blasphemy! :D

breakthesilence
12-01-2006, 09:54 AM
if i may add my thoughts once more...
my understanding of water baptism is that while it is a human act--something we do because God has commanded us--the fact is that God has commanded us, and therefore i believe God does act through it. He wouldn't command us to do something unless He had a purpose for it. i don't know what He does (i've not been water baptized myself) but the logical conclusion is that He does do something. it is not instrumental in our salvation, but being saved, it is something we do because God commands us. just like how God commands us to love others. well... maybe not just like but that's another discussion...