Category Archives: Christianity

The Presbyterian Heresy

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It’s Infant Baptism of Course. But Why, and What is Baptism Anyway.

The Presbyterian church believes that baptism was a ” sign and a seal” . It is a common view but not a Biblical one. The Bible describes circumcision as a sign and a seal only.

Today I’ll just look at this passage.

Colossians 2:8 See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells sbodily, 10 and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority. 11 In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, 12 having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead. 13 And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, 14 by cancelling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. 15 He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.

 

As water baptism requires hands, I don’t think it is too big a leap to assume they refer to the baptism of the Holy Spirit, as it fits the description.

And lets consider the meaning of sign and seal. These are physical things that can be seen, not that we want to see a circumsion, baptism will make you wet for a time, but it is not a lasting thing. We dry off. The Holy Spirit is what lasts and makes a Christian different.

Here’s another question, how can you be buried with Christ in baptism by being sprinkled with water?

The early baptisms were done in a river, so it is logical to believe they involved immersion as this verse speaks of being buried and raised.

 

Can homosexuals become pastors in the Christian religion

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9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality,
10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.
11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

1Corinthians6

This is a passage that can lead to a belief that if you sin after becoming a Christian you lose your salvation. It isn’t however, but it is clear that issues such as practicing homosexuals wishing to be pastors should not be accepted.

Avoid who?

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9 I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people-
10 not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world.
11 But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler-not even to eat with such a one.
12 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge?
13 God judges those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.”

1Corinthians5
This passage should be a must read for every reporter. I’m sick of the confusion about this matter. Christians do associate with people who are not Christians who are sexually immoral,
greedy, swindlers, or follow another religion. In this passage a person who is not a Christian is referred to as a person of the world. We are not to associate with someone who is calling themselves a Christian but who is sexually immoral, greedy, worshipping other gods(idolator) reviler(don’t know what that is) drunkard, or a swindler.
The reason we avoid such “Christians” is because they could effect the whole church.
We need to pay less attention to the sins of those who do not follow Jesus and more to those who do.
So yes there are excommunications

The Leven of malice and evil

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6 Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump?
7 Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.
8 Let us therefore celebrate the festival, not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

1Corinthians5
If you were to read this wish out reading the rest of the book of 1Corinthians who knows what you might think it would mean. This is why we read in context, that is with understanding of the rest of the book and in this case it is important to have read Exodus. In Exodus when the people of Israel were finally leaving Egypt, they were told by God via Moses, to have a Passover feast. During the night of this feast the angel of death passed by the doors of the Israelites because they followed the instructions of God to the letter.
The instruction we remember most is that of the painting of lamb’s blood on the doorway of the house. This is remembered because the blood of Jesus is now protects us. There was however another rule concerning the bread, the bread was not to have yeast in it. Leaven, I believe is a little leftover doe that you place in a new batch of doe in order to add the yeast.

For seven days no leaven is to be found in your houses. If anyone eats what is leavened, that person will be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he is a sojourner or a native of the land.

Exodus12
This was called the feast of the unleavened bread.
Now Paul in the above scripture compares the church to a new lump of doe and Christ to our Passover lamb. The old leaven is compared to malice and evil, as opposed to the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

So now for the application. As Christians we should not have malice and evil in our hearts but instead we should be sincere and truthful.

Sexual Immorality in the Church

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1 It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that is not tolerated even among pagans, for a man has his father’s wife.
2 And you are arrogant! Ought you not rather to mourn? Let him who has done this be removed from among you.

1Corinthians 5
And now we get an example of the sort of false teaching that Paul is concerned about. The church is always being attacked for not being lenient enough toward sexual immorality but here Paul is clear that we are not lenient about these matters. This fellow he uses as an example, some guy who has been sleeping with his fathers wife is to be removed from the church. (It is to be pointed out however that in the second letter this fellow seems to have repented and is to be forgiven).

Paul the Apostle, buffeted and homeless

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6 I have applied all these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, brothers, that you may learn by us not to go beyond what is written, that none of you may be puffed up in favor of one against another.
7 For who sees anything different in you? What do you have that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it?
8 Already you have all you want! Already you have become rich! Without us you have become kings! And would that you did reign, so that we might share the rule with you!
9 For I think that God has exhibited us apostles as last of all, like men sentenced to death, because we have become a spectacle to the world, to angels, and to men.
10 We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are wise in Christ. We are weak, but you are strong. You are held in honor, but we in disrepute.
11 To the present hour we hunger and thirst, we are poorly dressed and buffeted and homeless,
12 and we labor, working with our own hands. When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure;
13 when slandered, we entreat. We have become, and are still, like the scum of the world, the refuse of all things.

As Christians no one is better than another and we can’t be judged by the standards of this world. If the apostles struggled with getting food, clothing were treated with dishonour, then we can expect the same. The idea that if you are not rich , you do not have enough faith is ruined by this verse, Paul had faith, but look to verse 11. If God has answered your prayers and given you good things it does not mean you are more important than anyone else.

How must we see the leaders of the church?

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1 This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God.
2 Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found faithful.
3 But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by any human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself.
4 For I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not thereby acquitted. It is the Lord who judges me.
5 Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then each one will receive his commendation from God.

1 Corinthians3

Paul and Apollos worked together as a part of the same team. Paul as an apostle but here he has been emphasising himself mainly as a gospel preacher, and Apollos as the trainer or teacher, paster. It is tempting even now to see these people as special and above the rest. Paul explains that they should be seen only as stewards of Christ. He once again emphasises the importance of Jesus. Now he confirms in verse 2 that it is important that stewards remain faithful. That is that they share the mysteries of God truthfully. However whether or not he is being faithful is only for God to decide. So now we read Paul’s words in trust that they are the inspired word of God. It is not our job to judge him but it is God’s. We need to be aware of judging others.
I am aware that there are some well known preachers who are not teaching good stuff. In church history the Roman Catholic Church had to be stopped. So a really good question is where is the boundary for action, this passage has me believing that we must blindly trust everything that passes from the pastors lips. I don’t believe that is true.