Are Sacraments Fundamentals?

It seems rather common these days in the PCA for folks to deny that sacraments are gospel issues. The way the intinction debate went is an excellent example showing us how the PCA tends to think about the sacraments. So many people claimed that intinction does not threaten the gospel, so why should we bother? In fact, rather unkind words were thrown in the face of anyone arguing the opposite case (legalistic, Pharisaic, overly narrow, etc.). I have written a fairly comprehensive (all of the most important secondary literature was consulted) paper on intinction, arguing that the Bible is against the practice, because of the symbolism of separating body and blood being closely connected to death. Even intinction is a matter of the clarity of the gospel being preached in the sacraments.

The matter of the recipients of either sacrament is a fundamental of the system. We obviously hold that this is true with regard to the recipients of baptism, since we do not ordain credobaptists in the PCA. Yet, inconsistently, most of the PCA regards the age of the recipients of the other sacrament as non-essential. Why would the age of the recipients of baptism be essential, whereas the age of the recipients of communion not be essential? The only reason I can think of in this regard is that we have let pragmatics and precedent take over. The single most cited reason why we should allow people to believe and teach this (even if they are not allowed to practice it) is that we have allowed this in the past, and that, going back to Wolfgang Musculus, it has been “part of the Reformed tradition,” whatever that nebulous standard implies. To respond, there is nothing in the BCO that establishes past precedent as constricting future action.

As I have written in the past, there are 17 places in the PCA Constitution that assume credo-communion, such that an advocate of PC CANNOT claim a difference with only one part of our standards. The difference is FAR more fundamental. The PC advocate has a completely different view of how the sacrament works. Reformed theology has always claimed an active component in the reception of the LS, unlike what is required in baptism, which is wholly passive. The PC advocate denies the distinction between the sacraments, ironically demonstrating that he has not thrown off his Baptistic assumptions enough.

If the sacraments are not gospel issues, then why should we not ordain someone who holds to transubstantiation? Consubstantiation? Memorialist? Usually, we’re not willing to go there. But then, that would mean that we view some sacramental issues as gospel issues, and other issues as not gospel issues. Perhaps this is true. I, for one, am not willing to die on the whole grape juice versus wine debate, though since Jesus used wine, I see no reason why we should ever have switched to anything else. But this is a different question from the recipients of the sacraments.

So, this blog post is addressed to the evangelical middle of the PCA: I plead with you to consider the evidence, dig through the material, and recognize that the Reformed tradition has always viewed the sacraments as fundamental to the system. They are not peripheral. Our forefathers were willing to die over differences regarding the sacraments. That is because the sacraments preach the gospel. They are gospel issues.

633 Comments

  1. January 29, 2015 at 10:28 am

    “The PC advocate has a completely different view of how the sacrament works.”

    You sort of explained this, but I would love to see a longer investigation into this.

  2. January 29, 2015 at 10:31 am

    Who would deny that sacraments as Gospel issues. The Reformers only said that they were grace for the weak, not merit for the strong. One is the true gospel, and one ain’t.

  3. January 29, 2015 at 12:18 pm

    Is it not possible for us to distinguish between what brothers in Christ and even fellow evangelical pastors may disagree upon in general from what Presbyterian ministers in particular must agree upon? Sometimes it seems that in our discussions at Presbytery (speaking generally) we focus on the former rather than the latter when discussing candidates for ordained ministry.

    Sometimes it seems as if we mistakenly suppose that “striking at the vitals” of our system of doctrine does not mean striking at the vitals of what it means to be a Presbyterian minister in particular, but only what constitutes one as an evangelical in general.

    I’d be curious to hear what the majority of TE’s in the PCA consider to be actually striking at the vitals and what isn’t.

  4. Roy Kerns said,

    January 30, 2015 at 9:58 am

    The sacraments preach the Gospel. What a novel idea! No, wait. Doesn’t God call them Signs?

    Herein lies irony. Confusion at minimum bordering on false Gospel taught when the Sacraments themselves in sign language deny that confusion.

    May pastors teach what the signs say. In language that the children present can follow. Then maybe the adults will hear, understand, and reject confusion.

    Care about the salvation of children (and adults)? Then instead of merely going thru ritual motions, same ol’ same ol’, tell them what they see. Tell them how baptism signifies a coming baptism with fire, how by its very small amount of water (and with no soap, at that) it hints at the great need for cleansing. Tell them how baptism promises (Seals, guarantees) that those whom God cleans are clean indeed. Ask them about dying if they don’t eat the food and drink the water mom puts before them, explaining that the Supper presents the reality that Christians cannot continue without relying on the work of the Christ who does not save them in sin, but from sin, enabling them to persevere.

  5. greenbaggins said,

    January 30, 2015 at 10:10 am

    Andy, I would be interested as well. Probably what you will get is a list very similar to the list that the fundamentalists put out in the 1920’s and 1930’s. A list of about 12 cardinal doctrines. Everything else is peripheral. This usually acts as a confession within the confession. Ironically, we are the ones who typically get accused of being narrow, when it is they who are narrowing the contents of orthodoxy.

  6. truthunites said,

    January 30, 2015 at 12:09 pm

    GB: “Probably what you will get is a list very similar to the list that the fundamentalists put out in the 1920’s and 1930’s. A list of about 12 cardinal doctrines.”

    Did that old list of cardinal doctrines by the Presbyterian fundamentalists contain specifics about baptism and communion?

  7. Alan D. Strange said,

    January 31, 2015 at 8:31 am

    No, the so-called “Five Fundamentals” affirmed by the 1910 GA (and re-affirmed by the 1916 and 1923 Assemblies) had to do with the inerrancy of the Bible, the virgin birth of Christ, the penal susbstitutionary atonement of Christ, Christ’s literal (physical) resurrection, and the historicity and veracity of Christ’s miracles.

    The Auburn Affirmation of 1923-4 said both that such GA declaration of particular doctrines was unconstitutional (because not done through proper process) and that the Fundamentals as set forth were merely theories, there being other acceptable theories to explain the subject matter treated therein. The GA Commission of 1925 erected to deal with the fallout from all of this ultimately led to the re-organizing of Princeton and the triumph of the Auburn Affirmationists.

  8. Andrew said,

    February 1, 2015 at 7:24 pm

    Some random thoughts on the difference treatment of baptism and communion.

    i) There is no confessional ‘age’ at which it is appropriate to take communion, nor could there be without being open to accusations of arbitrariness. This means an inherent level of ambiguity, and a range of practical options, over the age of communion which is not an issue with baptism. One could give communion at the age of 5 and be a credocommunnioist; another might wait till 18. By itself this leads to a good deal of forbearance about age

    ii) The Confession describes neglecting baptism as a ‘great sin’. it does not, so far as I recall, make any similar explicit judgement of the seriousness of paedocommunion.

    iii) Both advocates of paedocommunnion and presumably the ‘middle ground’ do not accept the 17 areas of disagreement which you have mentioned, as being ones which PC advocates do or ought logically to hold to.

    iv) I am not sure that the post makes clear the basis for making the age of receiving such a big deal. The Standards are as clear that wine and bread are the correct elements, and that issue has implications for other areas of theology (e.g. regulative principle). Now I am all for encouraging generosity myself and wouldn’t harass the weaker brothers with their grape juice. But it is peculiar to see how Lane, who likes to exhort us to greater confessional integrity, shows such cavalier disregard for confessional teaching when it is an issue that doesn’t animate him in the way that paedocommunion does.

  9. roberty bob said,

    February 1, 2015 at 9:52 pm

    So, the church minister baptizes an infant [who is passive]; the church, then, will have to teach the child what his baptism means [union with Christ and membership in God’s covenant people], and how baptism calls for faith[fulness].

    Now, if the church allows the young [untaught] child to come to the Lord’s Table, the church will have to teach the child what eating Christ’s flesh and drinking Christ’s blood means, and how this sacrament of communion calls for faith[fulness].

    The duty of evangelizing / discipling / catechizing the child is the same with both sacraments. The goal is to lead the child to Christ, and faith in his name. This paedo-communion position is consistent — as is the baptist position.

    The baptist forbids both baptism and Lord’s Table until the child is seen to have reached an age of accountability when he is capable of making a responsible profession of faith. Not until then is the child baptized and permitted to commune at the Lord’s Table.

    The classic Reformed position allows ignorant infants to be baptized, who have no idea what their baptism demands of them while, at the same time, requiring them to wait until their profession of faith for admission to the Lord’s Table. This is not a consistent position

  10. Ron said,

    February 2, 2015 at 9:18 am

    The classic Reformed position allows ignorant infants to be baptized, who have no idea what their baptism demands of them while, at the same time, requiring them to wait until their profession of faith for admission to the Lord’s Table. This is not a consistent position/b>

    RB,

    Does the inconsistency go away if the Lord’s Supper is a covenant renewing sealthat requires discernment?

  11. roberty bob said,

    February 2, 2015 at 10:50 am

    Those who partake of the Lord’s Supper must not do so in an unworthy manner; the church rightly discerns the body of Christ by admitting to the Table all those who are members of that body — and of the the Lord’s family. The entire family eats together; no better way to bond and belong. To forbid the younger members of the family from sitting at the Table is an “unworthy manner” kind of thing. If you really want to see the little children grow in their faith, forbid them not from coming to the Table where their very faith will be nurtured and strengthened. It seems to work that way for grown-ups. Why not for children?

  12. Ron said,

    February 2, 2015 at 2:10 pm

    RB,

    I don’t think you answered my question.

  13. roberty bob said,

    February 2, 2015 at 3:15 pm

    Oh, you must mean that all those who eat and drink at the Lord’s Table are capable of professing their faith and confessing their sins. Baptized children who don’t know the full content of their faith cannot possibly profess it; and if they don’t know the total depravity of their sin nature, then they cannot confess their sins. Therefore, it is the little ones who are unable to discern who Jesus is and what he did for them. Well, then, by all means forbid them to partake. That would be consistent.

    How can they be involved in a covenant renewal sacrament that they cannot fully understand?

  14. Ron said,

    February 2, 2015 at 4:07 pm

    Therefore, it is the little ones who are unable to discern who Jesus is and what he did for them. Well, then, by all means forbid them to partake. That would be consistent.

    Thanks, RB. Now then, if to eat in a worthy manner requires some level of discernment, then all children who are deemed discerning in this manner are worthy to partake.

    At the very least, if adults can partake unworthily, then why can’t children partake unworthily too? Why do you believe children are incapable of *not* being unworthy if adult members can eat in a damning, unworthy manner?

  15. Ron said,

    February 2, 2015 at 4:18 pm

    Typo – see revised

    Thanks, RB. Now then, if to eat in a worthy manner requires some level of discernment, then all children who are deemed discerning in this manner are worthy to partake.

    At the very least, if adults can partake unworthily, then why can’t children partake unworthily too? Why do you believe children are incapable of being unworthy if adult members can eat in a damning, unworthy manner?

  16. roberty bob said,

    February 2, 2015 at 5:42 pm

    The little children need the discipline of the Lord as much as the big adults. Little children who are obedient in accordance to the measure of faith given to them — age appropriately — should have no barriers keeping them from coming to the table.

  17. Ron said,

    February 2, 2015 at 8:45 pm

    It would seem that you believe that covenant infants cannot but partake in a worthy manner. IOW, they can only partake in a worthy manner. I would suggest that anyone who cannot possibly partake in an unworthy manner doesn’t need the grace offerred in the sacrament.

  18. roberty bob said,

    February 2, 2015 at 10:08 pm

    I say that If the little children need the grace offered in the sacrament, then they ought to partake of it. I hear you saying that the little children due to their sin, ignorance, or unformed faith are ipso facto unworthy of partaking; hence, they cannot access the grace that is offered in the sacrament. Who needs the grace offered in the sacrament? Only the worthy partakers? If they are worthy already, then what will the grace of the sacrament do for them?

    What a fine merry-go-round we have here!

    If all who are baptized are clothed in Christ, then our baptized infants are included among those clothed in Christ. What disqualified them, then from eating and drinking at the Lord’s Table? Is it that they know not what they do — their inability to discern what the sacramental meal is all about?

  19. Don said,

    February 2, 2015 at 10:50 pm

    roberty bob 18,
    It’s not clear to me that “need[ing] the grace offered in the sacrament” is the best, or even a Biblical, criterion for determining who should partake.

  20. Ron said,

    February 3, 2015 at 8:43 am

    RB,

    I’ll leave you to the others and the article I linked you to. You might try understanding what being worthy means, what the warnings preduppose and the relevant differences between mind-engaged communion and monergistic regeneration. Not sure but you might seem to have a magical view of the sacraments.

  21. roberty bob said,

    February 3, 2015 at 11:39 am

    “a magical view” ???

    Well, my view is just as magical as you believing that an eight-day old infant — who knows not what is being done unto him — is clothed with Christ and counted as a brother of our Lord Jesus in the covenanted family of God.

    My view is that such a little one who belongs to the family has a place at the table. When does the little feller get to eat? If he’s not allowed to eat, what disqualifies him? Is it something wrong that he has done, something he hasn’t yet done, or something he doesn’t know?

  22. February 3, 2015 at 12:47 pm

    Ron, have you considered the reason RB says need the grace offered in the sacrament. From RC perspective until nature is loaded up with grace, no heaven. Its from the faulty view that fallen human nature can prepare and receive grace ( soul substance). Evangelical theology speaks of nature being dead in need of redemption. When Adam and Eve sinned, the created ( nature) world was corrupted, severely impaired. They were in a fallen world, outside the garden. when John says the light came into the world, creation did not receive Him. But to as many as God saw fit to save, they were redeemed from the outside with grace, not grace internally building on fallen human nature. The grace Nature interconnection is rejected in Evangelical theology and its synergistic climb thru the acts of the church to glow. Abraham was pulled out of fallen creation when he believed and he was declared righteous before the bar of God. Fallen nature played no role in this. It is a supernatural work of heaven. To many times Protestants get caught up into RC view of nature, which is pretty snazzy, able to cooperate to merit more internal grace. False religion.

  23. roberty bob said,

    February 3, 2015 at 1:20 pm

    My view has nothing to do with the RC nature / grace stuff. There are many Reformed churches that allow and invite their little children to the Lord’s Table. They belong to the covenant family, so they ought to be fed. It’s that basic. The question I asked is crucial: what doth hinder them from coming? Are the little ones deemed unworthy partaker until they reach an age of discernment? What does it mean to discern the body of Christ?

  24. Don said,

    February 3, 2015 at 1:55 pm

    They belong to the covenant family, so they ought to be fed.

    Where does this “ought” come from? Because it feels good? Because it sounds like a nice idea? Are you even attempting to interact with what the Bible says regarding who should partake?

  25. roberty bob said,

    February 3, 2015 at 7:14 pm

    The Bible doesn’t say that baptized covenant children shouldn’t. They have standing in the family of God — and clothed with Christ — right?

    Where does your “ought not” come from?

  26. February 3, 2015 at 8:44 pm

    Rb, if baptism regenerated then why would Paul say, test yourself to make sure your in the faith. He would say can I see your infant baptismal certificate.

  27. Don said,

    February 3, 2015 at 11:25 pm

    roberty bob 25,
    My more charitable response is that you are trying to argue the normative principle (the less charitable response is that you simply aren’t answering the question, but I hope that’s not the case). You should realize that you’re not going to get far with that, with this audience.

    As for your question, I believe 1 Cor 11:28-29 has been pointed out to you already. There is no clear exception for those who are too young to examine themselves.

  28. roberty bob said,

    February 4, 2015 at 6:37 am

    The most astonishing thing happened in church last Sunday when the infant was baptized. Though he could not say the words, the little feller made a pledge of a good conscience toward God [I Peter 3:21]. Yes, he pledged his allegiance to King Jesus and promised to fight with all his might against the world, the flesh, and the devil.

    Oh, but he’s too young to make a pledge like that! Then why did the little feller let himself be baptized? He should have resisted, saying “I’m not old enough to make such a serious pledge.” But baptism IS the making of that pledge now, isn’t it? And who is making that pledge if not the one being baptized? Oh, his parents are making that pledge for him, are they? The church is making that pledge on his behalf. As they make a disciple out of him, they’ll teach him how to make good on the pledge he made when he was cradled before the font.

    It seems to me, you Presbyterian baby baptizers, that you are making an exception here. Yet you won’t make an exception for the little children with the “examine yourself” for the Lord’s Supper.

    I wonder why that is.

  29. Jack Bradley said,

    February 4, 2015 at 11:48 pm

    So well said, RB. And all of your above.

  30. February 6, 2015 at 9:10 am

    Listen, faith saves, not baptism. Peter says baptism saves, the appeal to God for a clean conscience, not the external washing. Circumcision didnt save men according to Paul. If the child placed saving faith in Christ, he Is saved. His decision to get baptized didnt save Him. God regenerates thru the Spirit and the washing of the Word. Why woukd Paul say examine yourself to make sure you are in the faith if your baby certificate got you in. Baptism is a sign and seal, it doesnt regenerate. K

  31. Jack Bradley said,

    February 6, 2015 at 1:50 pm

    Of course baptism itself does not regenerate, Kevin. I’ve interacted on this blog’s paedocommunion threads numerous times, and have addressed this charge of ritualism/sacerdotalism repeatedly. I would direct you to the archives. And to the OPC majority report on Paedocommunion:

    http://tinyurl.com/lqrjnu

    Pastoral experience in the teaching of covenant children about the sacraments indicates that the fears of some that “young children cannot understand the sacraments” is not well-grounded. Indeed the very opposite seems to be the case. Covenant children, not being laden with so much of the confusing intellectual baggage which many adult communicants carry, are often able at a very early age to come to a clear and accurate appreciation of the significance of the Lord’s Supper. It was not, after all, young children that invented the dangerous errors of “transubstantiation” or the “sacrifice of the mass.”

    . . . A young child may not be able to grasp all the nuances of sacramental theology with respect to the symbolism of the Lord’s Supper – though they often do better than they are given credit for (adult communicants do not set a very good standard to follow). But is that what Paul is calling them to in the passage? We think not. Further, the very common tendency in our churches to identify this “discernment” (and the “self-examination” that is seen to attend it) with the act of “making a credible (public) profession of faith” is even farther from the context. We have argued elsewhere that such a requirement has no grounds elsewhere in Scripture, and warrant certainly cannot be found here either (without considerable forcing of the passage to say what we want it to say).

  32. February 6, 2015 at 3:24 pm

    Jack, what I am saying apart from faith noone can understand a sacrament. Children are under the care of God. They will understand if and when God wants them to understand. If a kid believes but doesnt understand sacraments yet, God knows that. In due time they will understand. Its not like thd Parent has to run the baby over to Roman baptism or the Mass to get that Eucharist to live. Get busy. God is Soveriegn. I hope I havent misunderstood you. K

  33. Jack Bradley said,

    February 6, 2015 at 4:03 pm

    Kevin, I think what you fundamentally misunderstand is that the children of Christians are to be regarded as Christians and that they are to be nurtured as Christians.

    I would direct you to some of Rob Rayburn’s work:

    http://www.faithtacoma.org/content/2008-01-13-am.aspx

    http://sermons.faithtacoma.org/Exodus/Exodus13.12.1-49.Jun19.05.htm

  34. roberty bob said,

    February 6, 2015 at 7:36 pm

    to #33 Jack Bradley . . .

    You are so right.

    We do not know the precise moment when the Holy Spirit moves to bring about the new birth / regeneration. God only knows. What we know is that in baptism the infant / child / youth / adult is joined in covenant membership with the church, which is the body of Christ. This sacrament, or holy ritual, does that. I, and others, liken it to a wedding in which a man and a woman are united in marriage; regardless of how long they have been in love and committed to each other, there is that particular moment when they enter into a marriage covenant. So, it is silly to think that nothing happens in the sacrament of baptism, or, that what does happen may actually happen years after the sacrament is administered, or not at all. All baptized persons are to be regarded as Christians and treated accordingly; they have that status or standing in the covenant community. So, all of you who were baptized have put on Christ! ALL. Thus, all are exhorted to clothe themselves with love and compassion — all the character traits of Christ. Whether ALL are born anew / regenerated is another question altogether, and has no bearing on how we regard them with respect to their standing in the covenant.

  35. Jack Bradley said,

    February 6, 2015 at 8:18 pm

    Triple ditto, RB.

  36. February 7, 2015 at 10:28 pm

    Jack, thanks.

  37. roberty bob said,

    February 8, 2015 at 7:43 pm

    I am curious about this statement from the post . . .

    “The PC advocate denies the distinction between the sacraments, ironically demonstrating that he has not thrown off his Baptistic assumptions enough.”

    I was not aware that a PC advocate [like me] grounds his belief on Baptistic assumptions. The baptistic assumptions of which I am aware are that baptism is only to be administered to one who professes his faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, and that only professing baptized members shall be admitted to the Lord’s Table. My assumptions are quite at odds with such Baptistic assumptions as I maintain that the newborn child of faith-professing parent(s) of a local congregation ought to present the child for baptism so that he may be adopted into the faith-family of Christ. The gospel promise is for believers and their children, so the church admits the covenant child into her membership in order to nurture his faith and disciple him for a life of obedient service for his Lord and Savior. Admitting the covenant child to the Lord’s Table is consistent with the view that those baptised into Christ are in union with him. Where there is union, there should be communion in order to strengthen that covenantal bond.

  38. roberty bob said,

    February 8, 2015 at 9:10 pm

    “baptism, which is wholly passive” — from the above post

    ” . . . well, he [Jesus] is baptizing, and everyone is going to him” — John 3:26

    “And now, what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on his name.” — Acts 22:16

    I just finished reading from several presbyterian church websites in which their doctrinal position on sacraments is explained. It was as just as I was let to expect: baptism is the passive sacrament, so you can baptize infants who do not know what is going on, and who cannot get up and go on their own to be baptized; the Lord’s Supper is claimed to be the active sacrament, so only those who know what it is all about in their minds — and can profess with their mouths the truth that is symbolically conveyed through the sacrament — are worthy of it.

    It’s easy to demonstrate how taking bread and eating, and then taking the cup and drinking is a activity. How, then, do you demonstrate that baptism is not an activity, but a passivity? I don’t see how anyone can demonstrate that from the biblical texts on baptism. Show me.

  39. Zrim said,

    February 10, 2015 at 9:35 am

    If the sacraments are gospel issues and the Reformed tradition has always viewed the sacraments as essential to the system, one is left wondering why those who deny in faith and practice paedobaptism (i.e. Baptists) are routinely made members of Presbyterian churches.

  40. roberty bob said,

    February 10, 2015 at 11:31 am

    I thought that baptists who joined Presbyterian churches had to be in agreement with the doctrine and practice of infant baptism. Which Presbyterian churches are admitting baptists into their membership?

    What do you know, Zrim, that I don’t know. I can’t be a Presbyterian because I’m Dutch. I tried once, but didn’t get any good vibrations.

  41. Zrim said,

    February 10, 2015 at 12:08 pm

    RB, if I can be Reformed as a Slav, you can be Presby as a Dutch. But admitting Baptists as members is a ubiquitous American Presbyterian practice.

  42. February 10, 2015 at 12:36 pm

    The doctrines of Sovereign grace have flooded Baptist churches. They would consider themselves fully reformed from the beast. After all Credo baptism was the predominant early practice in the church. I consider myself reformed and am a credo baptist. But the arguments on both sides are strong. I consider Reformed Presbyterians as dear brothers in Christ. K

  43. Reed Here said,

    February 10, 2015 at 3:11 pm

    Roberty, the PCA accepts members who disagree on infant baptism.

  44. roberty bob said,

    February 10, 2015 at 9:24 pm

    to #43 Reed . . .

    “the PCA accepts members who disagree on infant baptism.” — Reed

    What might this possibly mean?

    1) So, those disagreeing members are not disagreeing with the gospel.

    2) So, the practice of baptizing infants is not a gospel issue.

    3) The PCA has lost its conviction on a crucial gospel issue and will not defend it anymore.

    4) The PCA’s ordained ministers must believe in infant baptism, but the non-ordained may opt to disbelieve in infant baptism.

    5) The Sacraments are Fundamentals to some in the PCA.

    6) Now I know why I never joined the PCA.

  45. Reed Here said,

    February 11, 2015 at 7:51 am

    Roberty, thanks for your kind words.

  46. De Maria said,

    February 11, 2015 at 12:35 pm

    Lol! Love it.

    Great arguments, Roberty. The western rite of the Catholic Church, however, no longer accepts infants at the Eucharistic meal because of the discernment issue.

    Of course, we do, baptize infants.

    It is interesting however. Although, as far as I know, no Bishop of the western rite of the Catholic Church allows infant communion. But, it seems to still be practiced in the Eastern rites of the Catholic Church.

    This seems to be an authority issue. Because, for comparison, we have a similar situation, with another Sacrament, Confirmation. Although many Bishops in the west require that Confirmation be postponed to an age of discernment (Example, the Bishops of the US). Many Bishops int the west, still permit infant Confirmation (Example, the Bishops of Mexico).

    There is, however, no disagreement that the Bishop has the authority to make this decision for his own Diocese. I don’t know if this is the case for infant communion. But I don’t hear of any serious disagreements amongst the hierarchy trying to force the issue one way or the other.

  47. rfwhite said,

    February 11, 2015 at 12:57 pm

    greenbaggins: A brief personal anecdote …

    During a pastoral internship outside the PCA almost 35 years ago, I was instructed that soteriologically reformed congregations ought not to divide over credobaptism and paedobaptism.

    Nowadays, we who subscribe to the Westminster Standards are exhorted not to divide over paedocommunion and credocommunion.

    In both cases the solution offered to the church’s teachers who differ on the sacraments is effectively a vow of silence that binds a man’s conscience against teaching on the sacramentology of Scripture.

    Can we do better and still fulfill the Great Commission in a way that recognizes the essential role of the sacraments in that fulfillment?

  48. roberty bob said,

    February 11, 2015 at 1:56 pm

    My guess is that the PCA, taking root predominately inside the Baptist stronghold [the South] found it expedient to go soft on the doctrine and practice of infant baptism so as to be attractive to prospective members with Baptist upbringing.

    roberty bob
    m.div. rts jackson
    not a member of pca
    never attracted by the pca

  49. Zrim said,

    February 11, 2015 at 2:21 pm

    RB, ding. Big tent alert.

  50. February 11, 2015 at 11:12 pm

    Of course the Catholic guys arent going to understand. Even walking their dog is required for salvation. Just keep piling on the cross. Last time I checked RB and DeMaria ” having been justified by faith” not baptism. Its a sign. The girls werent circumcised in the OT, they were saved by faith, just like Abe.

  51. De Maria said,

    February 12, 2015 at 7:09 am

    Kevin Failoni said,
    February 11, 2015 at 11:12 pm

    Of course the Catholic guys arent going to understand. Even walking their dog is required for salvation.

    Kevin, what do you hope to gain by that outrageous lie?

    Just keep piling on the cross. Last time I checked RB and DeMaria ” having been justified by faith” not baptism. Its a sign.

    What are you even talking about? Is this a subtopic of which I wasn’t aware?

    The girls werent circumcised in the OT, they were saved by faith, just like Abe.

    Have you ever heard of Rahab?

  52. roberty bob said,

    February 12, 2015 at 11:17 am

    Good Day Kevin,

    Baptism may well be a sign, but it is most assuredly not an empty sign which is administered to no effect.

    Christ commissioned his apostles to go and make disciples, baptizing them. You make it sound like baptism is optional, having nothing to do with one’s salvation and standing in the body of Christ.

    Kevin, I don’t think you take the sacraments seriously.

  53. De Maria said,

    February 12, 2015 at 11:43 am

    I’m glad you made sense of what he said. I assumed he was just Catholic baiting, again.

  54. roberty bob said,

    February 12, 2015 at 12:47 pm

    Hi De Maria . . .

    ” . . . made sense of what he said?”

    It’s more like recognizing the beat of a particular drummer!!

  55. Steven said,

    February 17, 2015 at 12:49 pm

    Lane, perhaps you’ve answered this somewhere before, or perhaps it a question you don’t wish to answer, but I’ll ask out of personal curiosity. If you were to find yourself in a church which practiced intinction (say you’re traveling), would you partake? Less subjectively, would you think it permissible not to partake? Inversely, would you think it obligatory for someone opposed to intinction not to partake? Or would your objective take fall somewhere in the middle, perhaps up to conscience?

    I ask as someone who is himself opposed to intinction and wondering ‘how opposed’ one ought to be when the two options would appear to be between: breaking of the unity that communion is, inter alia, designed to make present to our senses; and a disregard for the proper mode of a sacrament.

  56. greenbaggins said,

    February 17, 2015 at 5:54 pm

    Good questions, Steven. I cannot in good conscience partake of intincted elements, because it is no longer remembering Christ’s death. The symbolism of intinction is that of life (blood in the body), whereas the proper use of the elements has the sacramental elements separate, so as to symbolize blood separated from body. If I were to find myself in such a situation, I would not partake. Of course, there is more than one reason why a person would not partake, so the elders of a church ought not to find that problematic. As for others, they will need to follow their conscience on this matter. I could not dictate to them. I would recommend they not partake. But whether they are convinced by my arguments is up to them, presuming they have even seen my arguments.

  57. Reed Here said,

    February 18, 2015 at 11:08 am

    Simple observation, intinction fundamentally changes the imagery of the Last Supper. Jesus used specific actions to convey specific meaning. Intinction blurs what Jesus teaches, as does (at least blurs) all man’s additions to God’s worship commands.

    Given the significance of the Lord’s Supper, I’d not participate where intinction occurs for just that reason. I’d liken this to someone who preaches a moralistic sermon. I may be polite and not leave in the middle of the service, but I am certainly not going to receive such preaching, listen to it within the intention of taking it to heart.

  58. February 20, 2015 at 10:45 pm

    Robert bob, I most certainly take the sacraments seriously. And if I have given any other indication, I apologize. I have a Reformed position on them. I do not believe Rome’s view they are merit for the strong as opposed to grace for the weak. I do not buy Rome’s incarnationalism which the arly church rejected. We are incorporated into Christ body thru the Spirit, not the flesh. Grace doesnt come through fallen human nature or creation. God gave us physical things a signs, but the grace fallen human nature innerconnection is bogus.Grace comes from heaven supernaturally through the Spirit. And Rome’s incarnationalism is idolatry. We worship God in the only acceptable way, in Spirit and in truth. K

  59. Ron said,

    February 21, 2015 at 12:47 pm

    Grace doesnt come through fallen human nature or creation.

    Kevin,

    I think you might be conflating from and through, origin and means.

    As I pointed out elsewhere, God was pleased to use holy men, moved by the Holy Ghost, to communicate the very word of God. These men were fallen humans through which the Scriptures have come. In the like manner water, bread and wine are also means by which God communicates the gospel of grace. So, what do you mean that grace doesn’t come through such means? That grace comes only from God does not mean that grace does not get communicated through consecrated means, does it?

  60. roberty bob said,

    February 21, 2015 at 4:51 pm

    Hi Kevin . . . #58 . . .

    Ron #59 explains why your expressed view on the sacraments made me wonder why we should have them at all; your expressed view seems to bypass the sacramental elements altogether. What’s the use?

  61. February 21, 2015 at 10:56 pm

    Ron im talking about the fault RC axiom that there is a continuum between grace and fallen nature, creation. Evangelical theology doesnt accept the nature grace innerconection of Rome. We believe through the fall nature, creation, was severly damaged. Adam and Eve were kicked out of the garden. Creation will be destroyed by firecsomeday and therecwill be a new heavens and earth. When Jesus came into the world creation, fallen human nature received Him not. And John said we are not born of flesh and blood, but of God. RC believe that nature was wounded but can prepare for grace and grace elevates nature outside itself to divinity. We believe grace comescfrom heaven and redeems nature and makes us a new creation. Rome’s need for the embodiment of grace leads to there second faulty axiom the church being the prlongation of the incarnation as God and man cooperate, and the church is the sacrament through which this mediation happens as co mediation thru the acts of the church finishes His uniquely finished work. Fallen nature is not receptive to grace apart from the supernatural work of the Spirit thru the gospel.

  62. Ron said,

    February 22, 2015 at 10:44 am

    Kevin,

    Your discussion with RB doesn’t stand much chance of advancing if you try to defend your specific claims with generalities.

    My single point above addresses a specific claim of yours that needs to be abandoned or else modified to such an extent that it no longer resembles the original.

    It is false that God doesn’t use created things as vehicles of grace. At the very least, please don’t pass this view of yours off as Reformed.

  63. February 22, 2015 at 12:31 pm

    Ron, last time I checked grace is demerited favor from God to man that comes in the gospel thru the agency of the Spirit. In Reformed theology sacraments are signs and seals, confirmation of God’s grace that is given by the Spirit of God. The sign isnt the thing signified. Calvin said a sacrament is outward SIGN by which the Lord assures us inwardly of his loving promises. His strngthens our faith. It is God’s witness to us of his favor towards us. I refer you to the best book written in 50 years, Roman Catholic Theology and Practice by Greg Allison. I hope all my reform bretren will read it. God bless you Ron k

  64. Ron said,

    February 22, 2015 at 1:38 pm

    The Westminster standards: “The sacraments become effectual means of salvation, not by any power in themselves, or any virtue derived from the piety or intention of him by whom they are administered, but only by the working of the Holy Ghost, and the blessing of Christ, by whom they are instituted.”

    Given what’ve you’ve said, the sacraments can in no sense become effectual by the working of the Holy Ghost. But the standards deny this minimalist theology.

    Again, the standards: “As the body and blood of Christ are not corporally or carnally present in, with, or under the bread and wine in the Lord’s supper, and yet are spiritually present to the faith of the receiver, no less truly and really than the elements themselves are to their outward senses; so they that worthily communicate in the sacrament of the Lord’s supper, do therein feed upon the body and blood of Christ, not after a corporal and carnal, but in a spiritual manner; yet truly and really, while by faith they receive and apply unto themselves Christ crucified, and all the benefits of his death.”

    Given what you’ve said, one does not by faith, in a spiritual manner, feed upon Christ through the vehicle of the elements. Yet, again, the standards disagree.

  65. Ron said,

    February 22, 2015 at 6:24 pm

    Brother Kevin,

    I was thinking of you on my drive to evening worship and I concluded we must be talking past each other. Reason being, you obviously affirm the foolishness of preaching, but it’s through (there’s that word again) the agency of beautiful fallen feet that the good news gets spread. Accordingly, you cannot actually mean what your words convey. That you are even adressing us with words so that God might grant the grace of understanding undermines what I think you’ve been saying, that God doesn’t communicate grace through created means.

  66. roberty bob said,

    February 22, 2015 at 9:52 pm

    Everyone here at greenbaggins recognizes that sacramental actions with created things [sprinkling / pouring the water, eating the bread, drinking the cup] signify or represent specific acts of God’s saving grace.

    We had a guest pastor administering the Lord’s Supper at our church today, and he only said that the bread and the cup are reminders of the life laid down for our sins and of the blood shed for a full atonement. He did not say the act of eating the bread and drinking the cup is a participation in Christ’s atoning death; only a reminder of what he did when he died.

    I find that rather weak — almost a failure to acknowledge that the sacrament not only signifies, but also seals [in a covenant way] the salvation benefits of Christ’s death to all who partake in faith. If the sacrament is merely a reminder, you can dispense with it at no great loss. You can remind yourself in a thousand other ways that Jesus died for you.

    Is a the wedding ritual merely a reminder the a man and a woman love each other and have promised to abide in that love for as long as they both live? Or does the wedding ritual seal that love and make it binding in a covenant way? Well, if it doesn’t do that, then why would anyone ever want to get all dressed up for a wedding, exchange rings, kisses, and eat cake?

  67. Ron said,

    February 23, 2015 at 7:54 am

    RB,

    Too often in my estimation during the administration of the sacraments we hear what they aren’t as opposed to what they are. It’s one thing only to explain the memorial aspect of the Sacrament, which is what you experienced, but to explicitly deny the sealing and spiritual aspect of the sacrament is dreadful. Not only have we lost biblical language. We’ve jettisoned sacramental theology. We won’t reclaim the former without laying hold of the latter. Rather than hearing “baptism doesn’t save” I’d like to hear how baptism does save! Baptism has become a wet dedication, but not to God.

  68. February 23, 2015 at 9:50 am

    Ron, I agree with you about ” the sealing and spiritual aspect of the sacrament” I do not deny this. What I deny is the grace fallen nature interconnection of Rome. Grace redeems and renews nature, it doesn’t elevate it outside itself. In Rome nature is only wounded but still able to be a conduit for the embodiment of grace. In reformed theology nature is dead in sins and must be born again. And when i say nature, Im talking about fallen human nature. Fallen nature has no capacity for grace apart from being born again and receiving a new nature. And this is all a work of the Spirit thru the gospel. And yes I believe in the foolishness of preaching. Thanks brother. K

  69. February 23, 2015 at 10:38 am

    Brother Ron, is this statement acceptable to you. There is in every sacrament a spiritual relation, or sacramental union, between the sign and the thing signified, when it comes to pass that the names and effects of the one are attributed to the other. This should not be understood that the sacraments are salvific, that is neither the the purpose nor the effect of baptism or the Lord’s supper. Though not effective for salvation, however, they do confer God’s blessings and mercy on the recepients. Thanks K.

  70. Ron said,

    February 23, 2015 at 11:28 am

    Kevin,

    I don’t think I can communicate my point any more clearly. I’ve even offered examples for your interaction.

  71. February 23, 2015 at 1:27 pm

    Ron, why are you avoiding the question,. You either agree or disagree with the statement. You say we have jettisoned sacramental theology. So if you would can you address my statement. K

  72. roberty bob said,

    February 23, 2015 at 1:46 pm

    in reply to Ron at #67 . . .

    “I’d like to hear how baptism DOES save.” — Ron

    So would I . . . because it does. By rightly administering this sacrament, and by truthfully preaching the gospel, it will be made clear that baptism saves and it will be made clear how baptism saves.

  73. Ron said,

    February 23, 2015 at 1:58 pm

    Kevin,

    I, of course, affirm that portion of the Confession you referenced. However, I also affirm the portions of the Catechism I referenced. I also pointed out how your literal statements deny the Catechism.

    I’m afraid this discussion of ours is getting nowhere. Maybe Reed or Lane can explain to you the impasse since I’ve obviously failed.

  74. February 23, 2015 at 4:05 pm

    Ron you said ” Id like to hear how baptism does save.” Peter says by an appeal to God for a clean conscience. Apart from the regeneration by the Word thru the agency of the Spirit to faith, it doesnt save. Thats why Paul says, test yourself to make surevyour in the faith. Apart from faith, notta. Am I not right be saying even pedobaptist dont believe infant baptism is tied to faith, that would be an RC thing. K

  75. February 23, 2015 at 4:10 pm

    Roberty bob, in response to your post in 66 the scripturecsays the Spirit blows where and how HE wills, not at the behest of a secondary cause. Christ meets us in the gospel when and where He chooses. K

  76. roberty bob said,

    February 23, 2015 at 5:57 pm

    Kevin, I take it that you are married to a woman who is your wife. You are a husband; together you are husband and wife.

    When did you become husband and wife and enter the state of holy matrimony? Was it when the Holy Spirit moved your heart towards hers and her heart toward yours so that you knew that you were one in heart, and therefore in love? Were you married at that instant? Or were you married in a ritual ceremony with vows, rings, kisses, and cake?

    I know your answer. You were married when the Holy Spirit moved your hearts toward each other. You didn’t need the vows and rings and kisses and cake. No. No. No. No.

    To you, the wedding ritual only symbolizes that you were already married to each other because you most certainly did not have the wedding in order to get married — to SIGN and SEAL the entrance into this marriage covenant.

  77. February 23, 2015 at 7:59 pm

    Roberty Bob, Salvation is all a work of God. Im a monergist. God calls us thru his Word by the agency of the Spirit, the washing of the Word, regeneration, to faith, repentance, justification etc. Baptism is a sign and seal and confirmation of the grace we receive by faith. I am a credo baptist.

  78. roberty bob said,

    February 23, 2015 at 10:06 pm

    “Salvation is all a work of God.” — Kevin

    Is Baptism all a work of God? If it is a work of God, what does God accomplish through baptism? If baptism is a seal — and you have agreed that it is — then does that seal do when applied to you? I’m only curious.

  79. February 24, 2015 at 8:07 am

    roberty bob siad ” is baptism a work of God” Baptism isn’t salvation. When i read your arguments and when Ron says ” I’d like to hear how baptism does save.” It doesn’t save. Ephesians 2:8 ” For by grace you have been saved by faith, it is not that of yourselves, it is a gift of God, not of works” You see baptism in there? It says nothing coming from ourselves. You want me to interpret that for you. You can’t have anything to do with it. Salvation is a supernatural work of of God. He calls and regenerates people thru the Word by the agency of the Spirit. Paul said he didn’t come to baptize, but preach the gospel. Baptism is a sign and seal, it does not guarantee faith. There are many infantly baptized people in this world that have NO faith. The washing of regeneration is by the Word by the work of the Spirt. K

  80. roberty bob said,

    February 24, 2015 at 11:04 am

    “I baptize you, roberty bob, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”

    Explain what just happened here with roberty bob when he was baptized. Like most of the Presbyterian and Reformed posters here at Green Baggins, roberty bob was baptized as an infant — and he remains a believer in Christ and a worshiper of God every Lord’s Day. He is married to one wife, honors his marriage vows, trains up his four children in the way of the Lord.

  81. February 24, 2015 at 11:21 am

    Roberty bob you said in post 66 ” he didnt say tgat eating the bread and drinking the cup is participation in the atoning death of Christ” I would be very careful with this statement. The finished work of Christ is not replaced by the ministry, or acts of the church. The church is not the same as Christ in the world. Christ meets us in the gospel when He chooses thru the agency of the Spirit. Yes He meets us in the elements of the church, but He also meets us elsewhere. Churches dont connect us to God. Christ is mediator, not the church. No church owns God. We can imitate Him, obey Him, pass on His message, carry on his mission, but we cant participate in what is unique finished work. He accompkished that himself. He said all power on heaven and earth has been given ME. When someone tells another their sins are forgiven, this is a statement about something thats already true, thecdeclaration doesnt make it true.we dont increase in union with Christ, or adoption, or justification, as Rome does thru an increase of the special juju. We receive all of Him, and allof the Spirit. John 1:12. K

  82. February 24, 2015 at 11:37 am

    Roberty bob, As I said in Reformed theology baptismal regeneration is rejected. It is entry into the covenant family, the church, it is a promise of forgiveness to those who believe. It is not a profession of faith or assurance faith will follow.He cleanse us through the washing of the Word because of his mercy, where and how the Spirit wills. Notice when Jesus to Nicodemus he could not have meant baptism. Nicodemus didnt even know what that was. He was talking about the washing of the Word thru the Spirit. Our salvation isnt perfected by water, nor does water have the power of rebirth, nor is baptism the cause of salvation. Paul says take account of yourself to make sure your in the faith. If infant baptism saved, why would that statement be said. K

  83. roberty bob said,

    February 24, 2015 at 1:09 pm

    “It [baptism] is entry into the covenant family, the church” — Kevin

    I agree. So, then, baptism is necessary if one would gain entry into the covenant family, the church. A person enters and is received into the church when he or she is baptized. A person becomes a member of the body of Christ when he or she is baptized. There is no other way to enter now, is there?

  84. February 24, 2015 at 4:48 pm

    Roberty bob, We are incorporated into Christ’s body through the Spirit, not baptism. Christ meets us in the Gospel through the agency of the Spirit, not baptism. The church is not the same as Jesus in the world. Christ is the mediator of salvation. The church is not the provider of grace, but the recipient of grace. It is the SPIRIT that brings fiducia to the heart. Water does not have the power of rebirth. That is the work of the Spirit through the washing of the Word. Abraham believed God and was justified BEFORE he was circumcised. Baptism is a sign and seal and confirmation of God’s grace. We are called, regenerated, repent and believe etc. all the work of God. K

  85. roberty bob said,

    February 24, 2015 at 7:01 pm

    Baptism. Take it or leave it. It does not matter. It is not necessary.

  86. February 24, 2015 at 8:07 pm

    Robert bob, cmon, who said it doesnt matter. I said it doesnt save. ” For by grace you have been saved through faith, not that of yourself, it is a gift of God, not a result of works.” Can it be any clearer.K

  87. Ron said,

    February 24, 2015 at 9:05 pm

    Kevin,

    Can the sacraments become effectual means of salvation by the working of the Holy Spirit?

    Do those who worthily communicate in the Supper feed upon the body and blood of Christ in a spiritual manner and by faith apply unto themselves all the benefits of the cross?

  88. roberty bob said,

    February 24, 2015 at 9:44 pm

    Jesus said, Unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood you have no life in you.

    Does this act of eating and drinking occur at the Lord’s Table? Or is the eating and drinking done at the Lord’s Table merely a symbolic reenactment of the eating and drinking that is done spiritually at another time and another place?

    Once again, Kevin, your expressed views of the sacraments leads me to believe that you got married quite some time before your wedding day. Your wedding was a symbolic ritual of an earlier spiritual event between you and your wife. You really were wed before your wedding day. I can come to no other conclusion.

  89. Reed Here said,

    February 25, 2015 at 8:18 am

    I suggest a strong dose of Turretin is in order for all.

  90. Ron said,

    February 25, 2015 at 9:39 am

    Reed,

    Been wondering where you’ve been. :)

    Did Turretin think that God’s grace, which comes from Him alone, is never dispensed through created things?

  91. February 25, 2015 at 10:10 am

    I strongly suggest Greg Allison’s book Roman Catholicism Theology and Practice. Best book in 50 years. Trueman and Horton write reviews. It will be the best 20 bucks you can spend. It will answer all your questions. God bless. Thanks Lane and Reed and all who do this site. Its great.

  92. Ron said,

    February 25, 2015 at 10:54 am

    Kevin,

    Do Trueman or Horton deny that created things can be a means of grace?

    At the very least, please don’t confuse what I’ve been saying with what RB has been saying.

  93. roberty bob said,

    February 25, 2015 at 11:19 am

    I won’t pretend to know the instant at which a person is regenerated by the operation of the Holy Spirit. When I baptize an infant child born of believing Christian parents, I regard the baptized infant as a member of Christ’s body, the church. I believe that the Lord has named her and claimed her as His adopted daughter [or son, as the case may be]. I do not view this infant as a pagan or unbeliever. The little one belongs to Jesus, and is a Christian. This little one will learn to sing Jesus Loves Me, and to pray to her Heavenly Father in Jesus’ name, and to listen to the Word of God, and to walk in a way that is worthy of her calling. Since I believe that God has promised to be her God, I do not wonder when God will get around to regenerating her, or creating faith in her. I assume that God will be gracious to her as she, with the love and nurture of the church, avails herself of the means of grace.

    In case you have been wondering what I have been saying, and perhaps are confused . . . !

  94. February 25, 2015 at 11:23 am

    Ron, this is great question. And I’m trying to reconcile the faulty axiom that Allison and DeChirco charge rightly of Rome of the fallen human nature grace interconnection, in that nature embodies grace and grace elevates nature, and that God’s uses water and bread etc. as a means of grace. This first faulty axiom leads to the other faulty axiom, as the Roman church sees itself as the agency of salvation, replacing the finished work of Christ. I believe what Horton says, churches don’t connect us to God, no church owns God, the church isn’t the same as Jesus in the world, He meets us in the Gospel where and when He chooses. Grace comes from heaven through the Spirit of God. Apart from faith, the Spirit and the Word, its just bread, water. Maybe Lane or Reed can weigh in on this. Churches aren’t extensions of incarnation. And I’m afraid many Protestants are buying this stuff. It can obey Him, pass on His message, imitate Him, carry out His mission, but it can’t usurp his finished work. Like Spurgeon said God came to put us in a saved state, not a savable state. I’m not confusing what your saying with rb but when you said “tell me how baptism does save” it made me ponder. After much study on the early church, the early fathers reject the incarnationalism of Rome as idolatry. I direct you to Tim Kauffman’s blog, and article Rome’s novelty. All this tap of inarnationalism and charges of Nestorian being thrown out by Rome’s so called apologist. I say so called because not many exegete scripture, they just throw out Aristotelian charges. They read the book of John like a metaphysics essay. Anyway this is a great discussion Ron . K

  95. roberty bob said,

    February 25, 2015 at 11:44 am

    Kevin,

    In your view, do God-given means of grace exist?

    By “means” I mean things that people make use of in order to receive the grace that God gives.

    Is the preaching of the Gospel a means of grace?
    Is [the sacrament of] baptism a means of grace?
    Is [the sacrament of] the Lord’s Supper a means of grace?
    Is church discipline [i.e. discipleship!] a means of grace?

  96. truthunites said,

    February 25, 2015 at 12:03 pm

    Roberty Bob (only),

    Do you think the thief on the Cross next to Jesus is in Heaven?

    (If you please, a simple plain answer to simple plain questions).

  97. roberty bob said,

    February 25, 2015 at 12:13 pm

    to #96 . . .

    Jesus said to the one thief [not the other]: Today you will be with me!

    So, of course.

    Why do you ask?

  98. truthunites said,

    February 25, 2015 at 12:50 pm

    Just bear with me, Roberty Bob.

    Was the conversion of the thief on the Cross a one-off event in terms of a spiritually regenerating conversion just before death?

    I.e., do you think there have been others throughout history and even today who can and have been spiritually regenerated to Christ right before death?

  99. Ron said,

    February 25, 2015 at 1:14 pm

    Ron, this is great question. And I’m trying to reconcile the faulty axiom that Allison and DeChirco charge rightly of Rome of the fallen human nature grace interconnection, in that nature embodies grace and grace elevates nature, and that God’s uses water and bread etc. as a means of grace.

    Kevin,

    I think your preoccupation with Rome’s view of nature-grace is preventing you from seeing that I’ve been pointing you to something else. You say you’re Reformed in this area yet you have clearly denied the WLC – the view that God can and often does administer grace through created means. To say to me things like “Evangelical theology speaks of nature being dead in need of redemption” is unnecessary for it distracts us with things that we already (obviously) agree upon.

    I’m not confusing what your saying with rb but when you said “tell me how baptism does save” it made me ponder.

    The Confession speaks of the efficacy of baptism while also maintaining the balance that grace and salvation are not so inexorably tied to it that one cannot be regenerated or saved without it. However, that caveat presupposes something you deny – the theology of the Divines – the grace exhibited in baptism can indeed be conferred by working Holy Spirit (even at a time other than the moment of baptism). And, the grace conferred can be linked to a proper use of the Sacrament. You deny all this. You deny that the Sacrament ever plays any part whatsoever in God’s grace bestowed. I’m not here to debate what I believe to be the Biblical point, but to ask you to acknowledge that your view is not Westminster. Even if I were a minimalist as you are, I would hope I’d recognize what the Westminster standards teach on the matter.

  100. roberty bob said,

    February 25, 2015 at 1:36 pm

    to #98

    As far as I know, the Holy Spirit can regenerate the sons and daughters of fallen Adam at any time — from conception in the womb to the last breath before the tomb. So, no, the thief on the cross was not a one-off event; this happens all of the time. The same holds true for those who are regenerated while in the womb [as was John the Baptizer]; two of my four children may very well have emerged from the womb as fully regenerate. I can’t prove it, but up til now there is no evidence to the contrary.

  101. truthunites said,

    February 25, 2015 at 1:49 pm

    Thanks for your answer Roberty Bob.

    In your humble fallible estimation, are there people in Hell who have been baptized in the name of the Trinity and/or have also partaken of the Communion Elements?

  102. Ron said,

    February 25, 2015 at 1:56 pm

    RB,

    I suspect you’re being asked this because some might think that you believe baptism is necessary for salvation. I have not taken you that way, but it does fit with the question. I’m more inclined to infer that you think baptism regenerates automatically. Is it your position that baptism isn’t necessary for regeneration but it is sufficient for regeneration? Does it always work?

  103. Ron said,

    February 25, 2015 at 2:06 pm

    I was referring to this question: “Do you think the thief on the Cross next to Jesus is in Heaven?”

    Now the more recent question from TU pertains to the sufficiency of baptism. I suspect you do think it is possible for a baptized one to perish. However, were all such ones regenerate for a time through baptism?

  104. roberty bob said,

    February 25, 2015 at 2:18 pm

    to #101 . . . There are people who eat and drink judgment unto themselves by coming to the Lord’s Table while they, with hardness of heart, sin rebelliously; they are unrepentant. One’s baptism does not guarantee one’s final state. One’s baptism is entrance into God’s covenanted community where the two-edged sword of God’s Word holds sway. Judgement begins in the House of God. Some pass though it saved; others not.

    to #202 . . . I believe that baptism is the bath of the regeneration to which the Apostle Paul refers in his Epistle to Titus. Nevertheless, I do not believe that the infant born to covenant parents is unregenerate until the moment of his baptism, at which point it happens. The Holy Spirit will do as He pleases, choosing the time and place for the act of regenerating. I’ve never regarded the infants born of covenant parents to be unregenerate. Why should I? They are Christians and will be brought up in the way of the Lord — in the Faith — so I expect to see evidence of that. Of course, we don’t always see it. I choose to believe what Paul says: All of you who were baptized have put on Christ / have clothed yourselves with Christ! Tell me who are the exceptions here, when the Apostle says ALL?

    Does baptism always work? Do you mean, does baptism always bring about a regenerate, heaven-bound believer in Christ? Sadly, NO. This doesn’t mean that baptism sometimes [or often?] doesn’t work. It works just as the Lord intended.

  105. Ron said,

    February 25, 2015 at 2:31 pm

    I’m satisfied. I might even add that I think that infants born of professing believers have an interest in the covenant, are to be regarded as holy in Christ and, therefore, should be baptized. Their standing precedes their baptism, which is one reason why it is a great sin to neglect the ordinance.

  106. truthunites said,

    February 25, 2015 at 2:37 pm

    Roberty Bob: “One’s baptism does not guarantee one’s final state.

    Do you mean, does baptism always bring about a regenerate, heaven-bound believer in Christ? Sadly, NO.”

    Hi Roberty Bob, given your kind and honest answers above and preceding, it is observed that baptism is neither necessary, nor sufficient for salvation.

    Therefore, with respect to Green Baggins’ title question: “Are Sacraments Fundamentals?”

    Would you be fine if one were to say “No” to that question?

  107. Ron said,

    February 25, 2015 at 4:24 pm

    Fundamental to what, the institutional church?

  108. truthunites said,

    February 25, 2015 at 5:45 pm

    o “Hi Roberty Bob, given your kind and honest answers above and preceding, it is observed that baptism is neither necessary, nor sufficient for salvation.

    Therefore, with respect to Green Baggins’ title question: “Are Sacraments Fundamentals?”

    Would you be fine if one were to say “No” to that question?”

    o “Fundamental to what, the institutional church?”

    Fundamental to the Gospel of Salvation.

  109. Ron said,

    February 25, 2015 at 6:00 pm

    Your question seems terribly simplistic to me. Surely God is not merely interested in pardoning sinners but transforming them. Are the ordinary means of grace by which sinners are transformed into the image of Christ (progressively sanctified) “fundamental” to the gospel of salvation? Yes, when we consider that the whole of salvation includes sanctification. Moreover, the gospel finds context within the covenant; yet the covenant is administered in part by signs and seals within the orbit of the church. You don’t want to abstract the gospel from the recreation – the church, do you? And, I’m sure you don’t want to consider the church apart from its true marks, etc.

  110. February 25, 2015 at 6:21 pm

    Ron, who are you talking too?

  111. Ron said,

    February 25, 2015 at 6:23 pm

    Kevin,

    I was addressing TU.

  112. truthunites said,

    February 25, 2015 at 6:31 pm

    o “Therefore, with respect to Green Baggins’ title question: “Are Sacraments Fundamentals?”

    Would you be fine if one were to say “No” to that question?”

    o “Your question seems terribly simplistic to me.”

    Simply taking Green Baggins’ title question seriously.

  113. February 25, 2015 at 6:34 pm

    truthunites, do you hold the reformed position on the sacraments ? Thanks in advance. K

  114. roberty bob said,

    February 25, 2015 at 6:42 pm

    Try Mark 16:15-16 on for size . . . Jesus supposedly said this . . .

    “Go forth to every part of the world, and proclaim the Good News to the whole creation. Those who believe it and receive baptism will find salvation . . . .”

    If you don’t care for that from the allegedly fake double ending to Mark’s Gospel, then stick with the Great Commission you’ve always trusted in Matthew 28.

  115. roberty bob said,

    February 25, 2015 at 6:46 pm

    to Ron at #105 . . .

    I concur. Neverthelesss, I see baptism as a sacramental ceremonial rite similar to that of a wedding ceremony in which the sign and seal are administered. Just as husband and wife mark their wedding day as the day they got married — began their marriage — so for the baptized infant this is the day he is received into the covenant community.

  116. roberty bob said,

    February 25, 2015 at 8:25 pm

    to #106 . . .

    I don’t recall ever saying, or even implying, that baptism is unnecessary for salvation. If I held to that belief, then I would have to ask whether it is necessary at all. Since Christ commanded the church to baptize, it sounds to me as though it is needful, or necessary, to administer baptism. You don’t believe that baptism is necessary for salvation. OK, then. For what is it necessary? Or is it not necessary at all?

  117. February 25, 2015 at 8:40 pm

    Phillipians jailer to Paul ” what must I do to be saved. Paul ” believe on the Lord Jesus and you will be saved” anybody see any baprism?

  118. Ron said,

    February 25, 2015 at 8:42 pm

    RB,

    I then take back that I’m satisfied. How can you say water is necessary for salvation and say this:

    “As far as I know, the Holy Spirit can regenerate the sons and daughters of fallen Adam at any time — from conception in the womb to the last breath before the tomb. So, no, the thief on the cross was not a one-off event; this happens all of the time. The same holds true for those who are regenerated while in the womb [as was John the Baptizer]…”

    If one is regenerate in the womb and dies before being baptised, isn’t he saved?

  119. roberty bob said,

    February 25, 2015 at 9:10 pm

    to 118 . . .

    It was not I, but Jesus, who said — if you believe Mark 16:16 — that baptism is necessary. Those who believe the gospel and are baptized will be saved. Do you want to claim that Jesus did not say this? OK. But if he said it, did he mean that baptism is included with believing the gospel as necessary for one’s salvation?

    I’m questioning you all on whether baptism is necessary. If so, necessary for what? Salvation? Just an act of obedience? For joining the church?

    Any regenerate person who dies before having reasonable opportunity for baptism to be administered would of course be saved.

  120. Ron said,

    February 25, 2015 at 9:39 pm

    1. I don’t recall ever saying, or even implying, that baptism is unnecessary for salvation. [Translation: Baptism is necessary for salvation and I’ve never denied that.]

    2. Any regenerate person who dies before having reasonable opportunity for baptism to be administered would of course be saved. [Translation: Baptism isn’t necessary for salvation.]

    RB,

    Aside from these opposing remarks, you’ve now introduced “reasonable opportunity”, which gets you further into trouble. What about the man who becomes regenerate and trusts in the Savior but puts off baptism for a year or two having come under bad teaching. Certainly a reasonable amount of time would have elapsed.

  121. roberty bob said,

    February 25, 2015 at 9:55 pm

    Every Reformed Church of which I’m aware operates on the principle of reasonable opportunity. The baby is born, and a date is arranged for the baptism. The minister and elders do not come to the birthing room and baptize the baby the moment he enters the world.

    As for the man who becomes regenerate, the Lord knows who are His own. I suppose that you would regard the man as saved even if he stays outside the church and is never baptized. I would not regard such a man as saved. People who want to be saved get into the Ark, the Church, through the door of entry: baptism. The final judgement on his status before God is God’s to make.

  122. Ron said,

    February 25, 2015 at 10:09 pm

    You don’t know how I’d regard such a one and how anyone regards such a one is irrelevant to the point. The point is that your stricture of “reasonable time” was just overturned by the scenario of a saved man who was not properly discipled with respect to baptism.

  123. roberty bob said,

    February 25, 2015 at 10:21 pm

    Well, then, you should find that unbaptized saved man, then, and teach him how he needs to be baptized. Show him why it is necessary for his . . . O, never mind! No one around here can tell me what baptism is necessary for . . . only that it is not necessary for salvation.

    And he said to me, Saul, what are you waiting for. Be baptized and wash your sins away.

  124. February 25, 2015 at 10:36 pm

    Roberybob, whats your fixation. We are comanded to be baptized. But Peter plainly says baptism nowcsaves you, not the washing externally but the appeal to God for a good conscience. The water doesnt exact regeneration, but the washing of the Word which brings us to faith. Then God stamps us sealed. We have so many examples of saved people who werent baptized in scripture. The Apostles were never baptized. Peter gives his big speech in Acts and He never mentions it. Paul said he didnt come to baptize, but preach the gospel. K

  125. Ron said,

    February 26, 2015 at 7:25 am

    RB,

    Your frustration might stem from a recent realization that God doesn’t need baptism to transport sinners to glory. Now you are left to wrestle why the ordinance(s)?

    There are many reasons for the ordinances. Maybe God has chosen to save (convert or sanctify) some only by such means. Without getting into a discussion on counterfactuals, maybe God would have the degree or strength of your faith predicated upon a rightful employment of His Sacraments. Maybe God has preinterpreted the use and goal of the sacraments (and personal devotion for that matter) in every case. Or maybe it’s just as simple as God wants to commune with you at His table because He loves you. Why do you measure the value of such things by the standard of whether it will get you to heaven? Isn’t God’s salvation more than that? Is heaven all there is to “I will be your God and you will be my people”?

  126. Ron said,

    February 26, 2015 at 8:16 am

    No one around here can tell me what baptism is necessary for . . . only that it is not necessary for salvation.

    RB,

    I believe many posters and lurkers could share meaningul truth about the sacraments with you. Maybe you haven’t seen a lot of that because your position has been less than consistent and I, for one, thought it best to interact with faulty notions first. For lack of a better word, you’ve been caught in your own inconsistency over the necessity of baptism and now you stomp your feet and demand understanding. Even if nobody could answer your question and discern the problem with its premise, don’t you realize that all that would mean is that you’re an ignoramus just like the rest of us?

    You have been shown that God need not bring people home through baptism, so any frustration you have over this would be better accompanied by seeking help in a more humble spirit. My concern is you will continue to suppress your realization that God doesn’t need baptism. Your posture is baptism is either necessary or useless. Frankly, I find this dilemma you’ve created childish. I say that for your own good. Somebody (FV?) has bewitched you.

  127. roberty bob said,

    February 26, 2015 at 11:17 am

    I get it now.

    Salvation = Regeneration or Being Born Anew
    that can happen anytime and anywhere at the Spirit’s behest

    Baptism = the Sacramental Union with the Body of Christ
    this has no direct connection to Regeneration or Salvation

    A person can be saved through regeneration and secure for eternity in heaven without getting around to being baptized [he could be hindered from this any number of ways].

    Ordinarily a regenerated born anew person will be baptized to signify and seal his new birth and be united with his brothers and sisters in the body of Christ. This is a good thing that ought to be done, but even if it is not done his salvation is assured. Even though the Church is the Ark of Salvation, there are saved people who never enter the Ark through the sacrament of baptism and who never partake of the sacramental meal which is the Lord’s Supper. That’s unfortunate, but it’s OK because they have been regenerated.

    Strictly speaking, the sacraments are not necessary for salvation.

  128. Zrim said,

    February 26, 2015 at 11:30 am

    RB, as one with many sympathies for your line of reasoning here, perhaps instead of “necessity” the word is “inevitable,” i.e. baptism is inevitable to salvation? Necessity does convey something I think you’d deny, in fact have, namely that baptism works ex opere operato. At the same time, I think your concern is for the unintended undermining of the import of baptism that often arises in Reformed circles that have been unduly influenced by anti-sacramental tendencies where it becomes more important to clarify what baptism DOESN’T do than what it DOES. “Inevitable” might at once reduce expectation while also not undermining it. (It seems to help in the common squabbling over the dictum that “good works are necessary for salvation.”)

  129. roberty bob said,

    February 26, 2015 at 11:41 am

    You are right, Zrim. I have never said that baptism works ex opere operato. Even so, I wouldn’t let myself say that baptism is unnecessary for salvation [in the broader sense]. If salvation is to be narrowly defined as one thing: regeneration / being born anew, then one can cordon off the church from that and claim that God saves people all of the time who are never brought into the church through baptism and who never experience the communion of the saints in the Lord’s Supper.

    If the Mark 16:16 quote is accepted as a genuine saying of our Lord, then take note how Jesus includes being baptized with believing the gospel. The norm is most assuredly that those who hear the gospel in faith — believingly — are then baptized and added to the church’s number.

  130. truthunites said,

    February 26, 2015 at 12:08 pm

    Observations.

    Green Baggins: “It seems rather common these days in the PCA for folks to deny that sacraments are gospel issues.”

    Me: “Hi Roberty Bob, given your kind and honest answers above and preceding, it is observed that baptism is neither necessary, nor sufficient for salvation.

    Therefore, with respect to Green Baggins’ title question: “Are Sacraments Fundamentals?”

    Would you be fine if one were to say “No” to that question? (Fundamental to the Gospel of Salvation, that is)”

    Roberty Bob: “Strictly speaking, the sacraments are not necessary for salvation.”

  131. truthunites said,

    February 26, 2015 at 12:16 pm

    Kevin Failoni, #42: “After all Credo baptism was the predominant early practice in the church. I consider myself reformed and am a credo baptist.”

    Kevin, two things for you:

    #1. Did you notice this by Roberty Bob in #129:

    “The norm is most assuredly that those who hear the gospel in faith — believingly — are then baptized and added to the church’s number.”

    Believingly, and then baptized.

    #2. Here is a link to an article and a book that may be of benefit and interest to you:

    FAQ on Baptism in the Early Church.

    Excerpts:

    o Is there evidence for infant baptism exist before the second part of the second century?

    “There is general agreement that there is no firm evidence for infant baptism before the latter part of the second century.” (p. 856)

    o Does this mean that infant baptism didn’t exist?

    “This fact does not mean that it did not occur, but it does mean that supporters of the practice have a considerable chronological gap to account for. Many replace the historical silence by appeal to theological or sociological considerations.” (p. 856)

  132. Ron said,

    February 26, 2015 at 12:34 pm

    “There is general agreement that there is no firm evidence for infant baptism before the latter part of the second century.” (p. 856)

    Does this mean that infant baptism didn’t exist?

    “This fact does not mean that it did not occur, but it does mean that supporters of the practice have a considerable chronological gap to account for. Many replace the historical silence by appeal to theological or sociological considerations.” (p. 856)

    Seems more reasonable to me that credo-only proponents must produce the outrage that would have ensued had the apostolic tradition been overturned in favor of infant baptism. Samuel Miller anyone?

  133. roberty bob said,

    February 26, 2015 at 12:35 pm

    to #130 . . . T U

    I think that Ron and Kevin and a few others here are saying NO to the question of whether the sacraments are fundamental to salvation because salvation has been narrowly defined [strictly speaking, to being born anew / regenerated]. If that’s ALL there is to being saved, then I must concede that there is salvation outside the church, and that the entry [or union] sacrament, baptism, and communion sacrament, the Lord’s Supper are of no avail — unnecessary — for salvation.

    As I said earlier, The Lord knows who are his own. The Spirit, like wind, blows and goes where God pleases with the power to impart new birth. That’s God’s business. I suppose that there are “saved” people who are never united with / received into the church through baptism and who never communicate at the Lord’s Table. Surely, this is not the norm. The norm is that those who are saved have been joined to the community which is Christ’s body.

    I have a son who has been living with the same one woman for six years now, and they have a daughter together, and they love each other. All of this happened without wedding vows, exchange of rings, kisses, and cake. Should I ask him when they are going to get married? Either they are married by now, or the wedding ritual ceremony is not necessary.

  134. Ron said,

    February 26, 2015 at 12:46 pm

    “Reformed circles that have been unduly influenced by anti-sacramental tendencies where it becomes more important to clarify what baptism DOESN’T do than what it DOES.”

    Amen, Zrim. In my experience this is not an OPC problem, but my OPC pastors always delighted in the biblical and confessional view of the sacraments. The order of worship is also quite good I think.

    I’d even say that if one is teaching baptism aright, most evangelicals will at first glance think it sounds like Romanism. Similarly, if one teaches grace aright it might be thought that he’s teaching that we should sin so that grace might abound.

  135. roberty bob said,

    February 26, 2015 at 12:47 pm

    My quote — “. . . hear the gospel in faith — believingly — and then baptized . . . ” is not for propounding a credobaptist view of baptism; it is for tying baptism to saving faith. It should go without saying that adults who hear and believe the gospel will be baptized with credo.

    No one thus far has commented on our Lord’s saying recorded in Mark 16:16.

  136. roberty bob said,

    February 26, 2015 at 12:50 pm

    WOW, Ron #134 . . .

    you really ARE interested in what baptism DOES!!

    Baptism incorporates! Right?

  137. Ron said,

    February 26, 2015 at 12:51 pm

    “I think that Ron and Kevin and a few others here are saying NO to the question of whether the sacraments are fundamental to salvation”

    RB,

    Please go back and read again. Aside from my laboring efficacy with Kevin, what about this? “Are the ordinary means of grace by which sinners are transformed into the image of Christ (progressively sanctified) “fundamental” to the gospel of salvation? Yes, when we consider that the whole of salvation includes sanctification. Moreover, the gospel finds context within the covenant; yet the covenant is administered in part by signs and seals within the orbit of the church. You don’t want to abstract the gospel from the recreation – the church, do you? And, I’m sure you don’t want to consider the church apart from its true marks, etc.”

  138. Zrim said,

    February 26, 2015 at 12:57 pm

    I’d even say that if one is teaching baptism aright, most evangelicals will at first glance think it sounds like Romanism.

    Bingo, Ron. Whatever else can be said, a P&R church knows it doing something right when the evangelicals visit and say in response to everything from the practiced doxology to sacramentology, “Way too Catholic.”

  139. Ron said,

    February 26, 2015 at 1:01 pm

    Infants of believers have an interest in the covenant and a right to the rite. It has replaced circumcision, hasn’t it? Accordingly, through baptism they’re admitted into the church visible. One day, once our systematic theology becomes more bedrock for the Reformed community, maybe we’ll be able to leave off “visible” and just say “church” without anyone misunderstanding.

  140. Ron said,

    February 26, 2015 at 1:03 pm

    Last post was to RB.

    “Way too Catholic.”

    Yup, Zrim, that can be a very good sign that we’re on the right course.

  141. truthunites said,

    February 26, 2015 at 1:11 pm

    Roberty Bob, #133: “I have a son who has been living with the same one woman for six years now, and they have a daughter together, and they love each other. All of this happened without wedding vows….”

    Roberty Bob, according to your understanding of Holy Scripture, do you believe that your son committed the sin of fornication?

  142. roberty bob said,

    February 26, 2015 at 1:15 pm

    Is “way too Catholic” Catholic enough for a Catholic? Wondering???

    Ron, I absolutely do not want to abstract the gospel from the recreation of the church. Thus my persistent questioning on what is necessary.

    I’ve left off “visible” and “invisible” from my usage of “church.”

    Baptism has indeed replaced circumcision. I baptize infants.

  143. roberty bob said,

    February 26, 2015 at 1:19 pm

    God knows, #141.

    My point is that he / they bypassed the wedding rite . . . in the same way that some of the regenerate manage to keep their distance from the sacramental rites of the church. Their salvation [apparently] is not in jeopardy. Although God knows.

  144. roberty bob said,

    February 26, 2015 at 1:26 pm

    to T U at #141 . . .

    If it is possible for a man to marry a woman without the ritual ceremony, then this couple, who have remained faithful to each other from day one, have not committed fornication.

    If it is possible for a man to be saved without the ritual ceremony of baptism, then that man is saved.

  145. Ron said,

    February 26, 2015 at 1:31 pm

    RB,

    The only thing necessary for salvation is union with Christ, which can occur for people incapable of responding to the gospel. In that respect, baptism isn’t necessary. However, the sacraments are fundamental to the church just like the ministry of the Word is fundamental to the church. Moreover, the sacraments play a key if not anessential role in our assurance and overall relationship with the Lord, both individually and corporately. To disregard them as of no use if they’re not absolutely necessary for conversion would be tragic.

  146. roberty bob said,

    February 26, 2015 at 1:37 pm

    totally agree, Ron #145. totally!!!

  147. Ron said,

    February 26, 2015 at 1:46 pm

    Warms my soul, RB.

    “In your arms, Lord Jesus Christ, children have a place: brought to you to feel your touch, Lord, bless them with your grace.

    Wash them at the fountain, Lord, opened for our sin; we baptize with water’s symbol: yours to cleanse within.

    Teach us, Lord, to teach your child; guide us as we guide. Lead this little one to know you, joyful at your side.” Edmund Clowney

  148. Zrim said,

    February 26, 2015 at 1:58 pm

    Ron, if as you rightly say “the sacraments are fundamental to the church just like the ministry of the Word is fundamental to the church,” I’m curious as to your own opinion on the common Presbyterian practice of making those who deny their right administration members of the church, i.e. making credo-baptists members of a paedo-baptistic Presbyterian church.

  149. truthunites said,

    February 26, 2015 at 2:24 pm

    #142: “Baptism has indeed replaced circumcision. I baptize infants.”

    Roberty Bob, are you a pastor?

  150. roberty bob said,

    February 26, 2015 at 2:30 pm

    #149 T U . . .

    was a pastor / now a ministry elder / school bus driver / off to work now

  151. Ron said,

    February 26, 2015 at 2:50 pm

    Zrim,

    Without reservation I believe one can have a credible profession of faith while disagreeing with infant baptism. With that in mind, I don’t see how a brother in Christ can be kept from communicate membership. (Obviously they’re not to be ordained or ever promote their aberrant views within the assembly.) Naturally, I also think that if a member has a change of mind from the Reformed view to the credo-only view I wouldn’t think that he’d qualify for excommunication.

    FWIW, I think that one reason there are so many baptists is that Reformed folk like to have conferences with guys like Drs. Piper and MacArthur. I know, how narrow of me… But,doesn’t such an amalgamation of preachers communicate that baptism isn’t so very important? Given liberty in this area, I just don’t think the good outweighs the bad. Oh, how catholic we’ve become in our willingness to put aside differences! :-) I guess if one had the gifts of a Spurgeon I might think differently but I don’t think most of the well known baptists would be recognized if they converted to the Reformed camp.

    I also think that too many Reformed elders (even pastors) don’t have a robust enough view of the covenant and don’t see the beauty and profundity of infant baptism. That’s another reason why there are so many baptists, I think. If there were “better” Presbyterians maybe there would be less baptists. (If you haven’t guessed, I don’t consider baptists who affirm TULIP Reformed, though I’m grateful that God has granted soteriological understanding to many of our baptist brethren. Nonetheless, they’re still the protestants of the protestants. Their ecclesiology is deficient and it even often manifests itself in a works rather than grace-oriented sanctification. I digress.)

  152. February 26, 2015 at 3:21 pm

    Ron, Piper and MacArthur wouldn’t say that baptism isn’t important. Cmon man!

  153. Zrim said,

    February 26, 2015 at 3:26 pm

    Ron, thanks. So it’s permissible then for a credible profession of faith to include a denial of what you concede is “fundamental to the church”? I’m not sure how that follows. Either baptism isn’t essential and thus may be denied or it is essential and thus mayn’t be denied, but how it can be essential and denied seems like round holes and square pegs.

  154. February 26, 2015 at 3:29 pm

    Ron said, I don’t consider Baptist who affirm Tulip Reformed. I attend a bible church and I can tell you our Reformed Baptist brothers consider themselves the ones truly Reformed from the beast. And for you to posit that Reformed Baptists don’t share the sovereign doctrines of grace is crazy. ” Their ecclesiology manifests itself in a works rather than grace sanctification” Asinine statement. K

  155. Ron said,

    February 26, 2015 at 3:39 pm

    Kevin,

    That they’d verbally say baptism is important is not germane to what is being communicated by their actions let alone interpreted by the masses. But in any case, I am more concerned with what Reformed pastors are communicating. Are Piper’s insights and gifts of communication so needed at a Reformed conference that we should risk communicating that he’s not in great sin for not baptizing babies? Think about it. He couldn’t be ordained in any Reformed denomination but he’s in demand at Reformed conferences.

  156. Ron said,

    February 26, 2015 at 3:44 pm

    And for you to posit that Reformed Baptists don’t share the sovereign doctrines of grace is crazy.

    Kevin,

    Allowing for your use of “Reformed Baptists” – that you could get that from this is remarkable. I wrote, “I don’t consider baptists who affirm TULIP Reformed, though I’m grateful that God has granted soteriological understanding to many of our baptist brethren.”

    Where did I say that those you consider “Reformed Baptist” the doctrines of grace?

  157. Ron said,

    February 26, 2015 at 3:52 pm

    Ron, thanks. So it’s permissible then for a credible profession of faith to include a denial of what you concede is “fundamental to the church”? I’m not sure how that follows. Either baptism isn’t essential and thus may be denied or it is essential and thus mayn’t be denied, but how it can be essential and denied seems like round holes and square pegs.

    Zrim,

    I guess our difference seems to be that I think one can have a impoverished doctrine of the church where it pertains to children and baptism while trusting in Christ alone. The former can be improved upon in sanctification, but it need not impinge upon one being credibly poor in spirit or hungering and thirsting after righteousness. Are you saying that all baptists do not have a credible profession of faith by virtue of their views on covenant children?

  158. truthunites said,

    February 26, 2015 at 3:52 pm

    Roberty Bob, #133: “I have a son who has been living with the same one woman for six years now, and they have a daughter together, and they love each other. All of this happened without wedding vows….”

    Roberty Bob, at any point in time did you ever think that your son was committing the sin of fornication?

  159. Ron said,

    February 26, 2015 at 3:55 pm

    typo correction in bold, Kevin…

    And for you to posit that Reformed Baptists don’t share the sovereign doctrines of grace is crazy.

    Kevin,

    Allowing for your use of “Reformed Baptists” – that you could get that from this is remarkable. I wrote, “I don’t consider baptists who affirm TULIP Reformed, though I’m grateful that God has granted soteriological understanding to many of our baptist brethren.”

    Where did I say that those you consider “Reformed Baptist” don’t affirm the doctrines of grace?

  160. Zrim said,

    February 26, 2015 at 4:34 pm

    Ron, I’m saying it doesn’t make much sense to say on the one hand that baptism is an essential and on the other that those who deny said essential may be members of the church. I’m also saying I don’t see how it follows that a credible profession can include a denial of an essential.

    Assuming you agree that the nature of Christ is essential, are you saying that one denying Jesus’s full humanity should be made a member of the church? Or would you say that “one can have a impoverished doctrine of the church where it pertains to Jesus’ full humanity while trusting in Christ alone. The former can be improved upon in sanctification, but it need not impinge upon one being credibly poor in spirit or hungering and thirsting after righteousness”?

  161. Ron said,

    February 26, 2015 at 4:56 pm

    Kevin,

    Nobody appreciates being misrepresented and misquoted. You recently misrepresented me with this: ” And for you to posit that Reformed Baptists don’t share the sovereign doctrines of grace is crazy.” That’s not what I communicated. What I said was, “I don’t consider baptists who affirm TULIP Reformed, though I’m grateful that God has granted soteriological understanding to many of our baptist brethren.” I gladly acknowledged and am grateful that so-called Reformed Baptists embrace sovereign grace.

    You not only misrepresented me – you also put quotes around something I didn’t say. You quoted me as saying: “‘Their ecclesiology manifests itself in a works rather than grace sanctification’ Asinine statement. K”. That’s not what I wrote. What I wrote was, “Their ecclesiology is deficient and it even often manifests itself in a works rather than grace-oriented sanctification.” Big difference.

    I have good reason to believe these were honest mistakes but please be more careful. Thanks. :)

  162. Ron said,

    February 26, 2015 at 5:21 pm

    Zrim,

    I think there is a significant difference between what one believes concerning the person and work of Christ and one’s understanding of the sacraments. So, I think your analogy is off.

    Again, do you believe that a wrong belief about covenant baptism disqualifies one from the table? Would you vote to excommunicate such a one? I doubt it, so I think you should reconcile your logic with what I believe to be your your better instincts. Maybe this will help. I think I detect a possible equivoval aspect to your train of thought. You might be reasoning according to an improper falkacy of transfer. You might be transferring the “essential” qualities of one doctrine to another doctrine. That the sacraments are essential to the a proper understanding of the church does not imply they are essential objects of saving faith.

  163. truthunites said,

    February 26, 2015 at 5:30 pm

    Observations, (added to).

    Green Baggins: “It seems rather common these days in the PCA for folks to deny that sacraments are gospel issues.”

    Me: “Hi Roberty Bob, given your kind and honest answers above and preceding, it is observed that baptism is neither necessary, nor sufficient for salvation.

    Therefore, with respect to Green Baggins’ title question: “Are Sacraments Fundamentals?”

    Would you be fine if one were to say “No” to that question? (Fundamental to the Gospel of Salvation, that is)”

    Roberty Bob: “Strictly speaking, the sacraments are not necessary for salvation.”

    Ron: “That the sacraments are essential to the a proper understanding of the church does not imply they are essential objects of saving faith.”

  164. Ron said,

    February 26, 2015 at 6:09 pm

    Penny for your thoughts, TU.

  165. truthunites said,

    February 26, 2015 at 6:19 pm

    Thanks for the good belly laugh on this one, Ron:

    “Are Piper’s insights and gifts of communication so needed at a Reformed conference that we should risk communicating that he’s not in great sin for not baptizing babies?”

  166. Ron said,

    February 26, 2015 at 6:51 pm

    Well, it’s better than a cry of lament I suppose.

    From even a so-called Reformed Baptist perspective, how can one consider the two Johns Reformed? this has always puzzled me. Does the London Baptist Confession allow for dispensationalism in chapter 31? Does it make room for the gifts in chapter 1? Have we reduced “Reformed” to such a low denominator as not to just include confessional Baptists but also charasmatics and dispensationalists who cannot affirm anything remotely catholic? I love John MacArthur but let’s be honest. He even got a Reformed pass when he was in the closet about the L in TULIP.

  167. February 26, 2015 at 7:26 pm

    Ron, what are you talking about MacArthur believes in limited atonement. Sproul and Horton and MacArthur are some of the few who have the guts to call Rome what it is. The word in the WCF. And it starts with an A. God bless you brother Ron. K

  168. Ron said,

    February 26, 2015 at 7:49 pm

    Kevin,

    That John now affirms Limited Atonement doesn’t mean he wasn’t given a Reformed pass when he didn’t.

  169. Ron said,

    February 26, 2015 at 8:17 pm

    Kevin,

    I have benefited much from John’s ministry, mostly indirectly through my wife who grew up at Grace Community. He’s also a very fine preacher. I with you am grateful that he speaks out against Rome but so does senior saint Jack Chick. A holy hatred against Rome isn’t a very high bar but admittedly it has become increasingly rare. In any case, my appreciation for Dr. MacArthur doesn’t blind me to the fact that he’s not Reformed on the covenant, sacraments or end times.

  170. February 26, 2015 at 8:42 pm

    Ron, your wife grew up at Grace. I was saved at Grace during a MacArthur sermon on Mathew 7 in 1980. It was my home church for years. K

  171. Ron said,

    February 26, 2015 at 8:58 pm

    She was baptized there in 1981, New Years Eve. :)

    Just curious, how did you get saved from a text that doesn’t apply to the church but to Israel? :)

  172. Ron said,

    February 26, 2015 at 9:02 pm

    Hey Kevin,

    The text that God used to bring me into the church was the wide and narrow gate. You too?

  173. roberty bob said,

    February 26, 2015 at 10:13 pm

    to #158 T U . . .

    Oh, there were a great many sins which were [are] of concern to me; the fact that he has stayed with this one woman and is slowly learning to be a better husband and father gives me more comfort than the fact that he has committed a particular sin.

    The reason I brought up the relationship is to show that the reality [in this case a marriage] can exist without going through the ceremonial rite [the wedding, with its sign & seal]. I’m merely applying what I have learned here about union with Christ in relation to baptism, the union sacrament. You can have the true union without the union sacrament.

  174. February 26, 2015 at 10:33 pm

    Ron, yes Ron. I was a professional musician, into every bad thing imaginable, having an affair with a married woman in SF, and MacArthur preached the morning I went on narrow is the gate. After the service, he presented the gospel. God saved me right there. I quit stopped everything the day. And actually it was 1981, not 1980. And I was baptized sometime after Christmas, it may have been New Years eve. Wow. I’ll never forget that sermon. I got to know John pretty well, and always told him how God used his preaching in my life. Were you guys involved in any college group there or singles? K

  175. Ron said,

    February 27, 2015 at 4:26 am

    I bet it was a powerful sermon!

    My wife was active at Grace and attended The Master’s college. She always speaks highly of John and a particular college pastor, Mark Hardy. Obviously, those were formative years, so I’m grateful for the ministry. I’m quite certain that Lisa is the mother and wife she is because of how God has seen fit to bless the fruit of that ministry.

    Lisa was thirteen when baptized so your paths mightn’t have crossed, other than possibly that evening. Big place. Unlike me, she grew up in the church whereas I left Rome in my teens only to become more irreligious. I clearly married up. God is good.

  176. February 27, 2015 at 9:31 am

    Ron, ya I married way up too. Great to hear your story. John’s preaching has always had an impact on my life. I love it when he hangs with the Reform guys like Sproul and Horton. I think MacArthur looks at the Scottish Reformers and says it doesnt get better than that. K

  177. Zrim said,

    February 27, 2015 at 10:10 am

    I think there is a significant difference between what one believes concerning the person and work of Christ and one’s understanding of the sacraments. So, I think your analogy is off.

    Ron, the point is that you take both Christology and baptism as essential, and yet you’re willing to let error on one go (baptism) but not the other (Christology). You don’t see how this is arbitrary and suggests it’s your understanding of what “essential” and its implication means is what’s really off? You previously said this:

    “I think that one reason there are so many baptists is that Reformed folk like to have conferences with guys like Drs. Piper and MacArthur. I know, how narrow of me… But, doesn’t such an amalgamation of preachers communicate that baptism isn’t so very important? …I also think that too many Reformed elders (even pastors) don’t have a robust enough view of the covenant and don’t see the beauty and profundity of infant baptism.”

    Bingo. But, Ron, I’d suggest that the very latitudinarianism you point out here is at work in your latitude on allowing those who deny what we confess as essential membership. You’re ironically making things easier for those who “communicate that baptism isn’t so very important.” It’s precisely what you convey when you make credos members.

    Again, do you believe that a wrong belief about covenant baptism disqualifies one from the table? Would you vote to excommunicate such a one? I doubt it, so I think you should reconcile your logic with what I believe to be your your better instincts. Maybe this will help. I think I detect a possible equivoval aspect to your train of thought. You might be reasoning according to an improper falkacy of transfer. You might be transferring the “essential” qualities of one doctrine to another doctrine. That the sacraments are essential to the a proper understanding of the church does not imply they are essential objects of saving faith.

    Not the table, membership. Credible profession of Christ alone for salvation is sufficient for the table (i.e. welcome visiting Baptists who so confess), but membership must be in accord with what the church teaches is essential (what is secondary is latitude). So, yes, should a member come to deny what is essential, discipline is in order. I don’t see how that’s a problem (unless latitudinarianism is at play). As far as your suggestion of “an improper fallacy of transfer,” again, I think your problem is arbitrariness and misunderstanding of what essential means. It would be easily solved if you just reformed your view of sacraments as essential to non-essential.

  178. roberty bob said,

    February 27, 2015 at 11:35 am

    Is baptism the one and only way by which a person [a believer or infant born to parents who are church members] is received into the Church of our Lord Jesus Christ?

    Is there any other way that you know of?

    Is this a true statement? Baptism signifies one’s union with Christ, and seals that union when baptism is administered and the person baptized is received into the Church.

  179. Ron said,

    February 27, 2015 at 11:58 am

    Not the table, membership. Credible profession of Christ alone for salvation is sufficient for the table (i.e. welcome visiting Baptists who so confess), but membership must be in accord with what the church teaches is essential (what is secondary is latitude).

    Zrim,

    So, you’d allow one to partake of the covenant meal and presumably receive the water rite of entrance into the church but not allow him church membership? You’re OK with one receiving Christ’s body and blood without being in submission to the government of Christ’s church, the overseers of the sacraments? How may one commune lawfully if it’s impossible for him to be excommunicated? At best your answer is that such persons would have to be members at baptist churches in order to commune at a Reformed church, but what’s your biblical precedence for that? Imagine for a moment no baptist churches in the first century, yet say one was baptistic. Should such a one have been able to commune apart from any possibility of membership and submission to a baptist session? The reductio of your position is the tearing asunder of membership from membership privileges.

  180. truthunites said,

    February 27, 2015 at 12:02 pm

    Zrim, #177: “Credible profession of Christ alone for salvation is sufficient for the table (i.e. welcome visiting Baptists who so confess), but membership must be in accord with what the church teaches is essential (what is secondary is latitude).”

    R2Ker Zrim, if a pastor/elder is aware of an unrepentant sin by someone who is about to partake of the Communion Elements in that particular pastor/elder’s church, does that pastor/elder have a responsibility to fence off the Table and not allow that person to partake, or no, there is no responsibility by the pastor/elder in this particular church worship matter?

  181. Zrim said,

    February 27, 2015 at 12:14 pm

    Ron, what I’m ok with is visitor who, after a brief description to fence the table of what describes true faith and life and what describes a hypocritical faith and life, is either encouraged or discouraged by the mysterious work of Holy Spirit to partake. (Baptism is another matter—nobody visits a church with an infant expecting baptism on the spot for what I think are obvious reasons.) I affirm a spiritual fencing of the table, not a spiritual and physical closing of it. The former is the long practice of the Reformed, the latter Lutheran and RC. What I am opposing is affirming by membership those who deny what we confess as essential.

    But I note that you have conveniently avoided my points, which are clear and apparently giving you trouble, by turning the conversation in another direction (a hypothetical about the early church). I’ll entertain them once you answer my points.

  182. Zrim said,

    February 27, 2015 at 12:15 pm

    TUAD, what’s 2k have to do with it? But my last response to Ron should answer that.

  183. truthunites said,

    February 27, 2015 at 12:22 pm

    Zrim, have the Reformed ever physically fenced the Table? Did John Calvin physically fence the Table?

    If so, do you approve of Reform pastors/elders who physically fence the Table?

  184. Ron said,

    February 27, 2015 at 1:40 pm

    Zrim,

    The only question asked of me committed the fallacy of a loaded question (also called the fallacy of a complex question). You wrote: “You don’t see how this is arbitrary and suggests it’s your understanding of what “essential” and its implication means is what’s really off?” Should I answer “yes” or “no”?

    The most astute way of addressing such a rhetorical tactic is to challenge the assumptions upon which the fallacy is based, which I believe I did. I do not believe I avoided the very heart of your post (let alone out of convenience). The rest of your post I found to be mere noise as it was an avoidance of the fallacy of transfer, which is critical to your argument. So, rather than waste your time, I tried to advance the discussion by reaching down to the bottom of the funnel and addressing your un-argued presupposition, upon which all else follows. In a reductio fashion I presented back to you the logical conclusion of your governing premises, which leaves you with communicates that are beyond the pale of possible excommunication, a theological monstrosity indeed. I even went so far as to address the only retort I could imagine that one might have who held to such a position. Yes, it had to do with the first century church, to which you object my bringing up. But, if your paradigm is sound, then it should survive that contextual state of affairs.

    The bottom line is, given the unbiblical precedence for the final trajectory of your position (independent-communicates!) – there must be something unbiblical with at least one premise upon which your conclusion follows.

    Zrim, may I suggest that when you get serious about defending this thesis of yours, do present it to your session and then write an overture for your presbytery’s review.

    Cheers.

  185. Zrim said,

    February 27, 2015 at 2:00 pm

    TUAD, not to my knowledge, no (though I have heard of brawls breaking out). But, no, a physical fencing seems a lot like reaching out to stead an ark.

  186. Zrim said,

    February 27, 2015 at 2:01 pm

    Ron, thanks. Lessons in logic (especially those used to elaborately duck simple points) are my cue to bow out.

  187. truthunites said,

    February 27, 2015 at 2:17 pm

    Q: “Zrim, have the Reformed ever physically fenced the Table? Did John Calvin physically fence the Table?”

    A: “TUAD, not to my knowledge, no (though I have heard of brawls breaking out).”

    Q: “If so, do you approve of Reform pastors/elders who physically fence the Table?”

    A: “But, no, a physical fencing seems a lot like reaching out to stead an ark.”

    Really? God regarded the steadying of the Ark to be a terrible sin.

    Suppose a Reform church’s leadership physically fenced the Table, and had actually physically refused someone to partake of the Communion Elements.

    According to your statement above, you’d regard that particular Reform leadership to be committing pastoral misconduct for physically fencing the Table off, yes?

  188. Zrim said,

    February 27, 2015 at 2:30 pm

    TUAD, it’s been a while but I can’t say I’ve missed your inanity. The point is that fencing the table is a spiritual act. The words of fencing are briefly spoken and it is then left to the Holy Spirit to move persons accordingly. How hard is that? Seems to me to take matters into one’s own hands is to presume one knows better than the Spirit.

  189. Ron said,

    February 27, 2015 at 3:08 pm

    Physically fencing the table is vague. If an elder reaches past somebody who is not permitted to partake, that is a physical act. The alternative would be to physically offer the elements to the person. To do the former is not to take away from the Spirit’s role. Rather, it’s to work in accordance with the Spirit.

  190. Ron said,

    February 27, 2015 at 3:23 pm

    The words of fencing are briefly spoken and it is then left to the Holy Spirit to move persons accordingly. How hard is that? Seems to me to take matters into one’s own hands is to presume one knows better than the Spirit.

    To put it plainly, I detect a false dilemma. That the Spirit has a role doesn’t mean that the Lord’s undershepherds don’t have another role, especially an assisting and complimentary role. (These aren’t logic lessons.)

  191. truthunites said,

    February 27, 2015 at 3:29 pm

    Ron: “If an elder reaches past somebody who is not permitted to partake, that is a physical act.”

    Yes, clearly. Suppose an elder knows that a member of his church is committing an unrepentant sin. He sees that member approach the Table to partake of the Communion Elements.

    If the elder does not physically prevent this partaking, then the unrepentant member will consume and partake of the Communion Elements.

    Does the elder bear a moral, spiritual responsibility to God, to the office of eldership, to the flock that he serves, and to the unrepentant sinner partaking of the Communion Elements unworthily to physically intervene and stop the partaking of Communion?

    Or has the elder already completely fulfilled his responsibility by orally invoking a spiritual fence around the Table?

  192. Ron said,

    February 27, 2015 at 3:35 pm

    Suppose a Reform church’s leadership physically fenced the Table, and had actually physically refused someone to partake of the Communion Elements.

    TU,

    The elders should not put the elements in front of somebody. If the person exerts himself in order to eat (especially if the congregation knows he may not) this is a matter for the civil authorities. They have the authority and duty to preserve the peace of the church, yet while heeding the guidance of the church.

  193. Ron said,

    February 27, 2015 at 3:38 pm

    I trust my last response addresses your more recent query.

  194. Zrim said,

    February 27, 2015 at 3:42 pm

    That the Spirit has a role doesn’t mean that the Lord’s undershepherds don’t have another role, especially an assisting and complimentary role.

    Ron, who said the undershepherds don’t have a role? It’s to read the words of fencing (i.e. here’s who is invited and encouraged, here’s who’s warned to abstain).

  195. Zrim said,

    February 27, 2015 at 3:42 pm

    TUAD, at some point each person must be allowed to be held responsible in either direction. Otherwise you have overbearing babysitters instead of undershepherds.

    Would you have an elder force feed someone who is eligible but for some wrong reason thinks he is unworthy and thus deprives himself of the means of grace?

  196. truthunites said,

    February 27, 2015 at 3:43 pm

    Ron,

    Just to confirm for the sake of clear understanding and communication, your answer to my questions of:

    o Does the elder bear a moral, spiritual responsibility to God, to the office of eldership, to the flock that he serves, and to the unrepentant sinner partaking of the Communion Elements unworthily to physically intervene and stop the partaking of Communion?

    o Or has the elder already completely fulfilled his responsibility by orally invoking a spiritual fence around the Table?

    … is “No” and “Yes” respectively, correct?

  197. truthunites said,

    February 27, 2015 at 3:47 pm

    Zrim,

    Would you answer “No” and “Yes” to the following questions as well:

    o Does the elder bear a moral, spiritual responsibility to God, to the office of eldership, to the flock that he serves, and to the unrepentant sinner partaking of the Communion Elements unworthily to physically intervene and stop the partaking of Communion?

    o Or has the elder already completely fulfilled his responsibility by orally invoking a spiritual fence around the Table?

  198. Ron said,

    February 27, 2015 at 3:51 pm

    Zrim,

    This was the either-or fallacy I had in mind: “Seems to me to take matters into one’s own hands is to presume one knows better than the Spirit.”

    To act as if one knows better than the Spirit would be to act contrary to biblical precept. To work in concert with the Spirit is not to act as if one knows better than the Spirit. To physically prevent something that the Spirit prompts against need not be to exercise one’s will contrary to the Spirit.

  199. Ron said,

    February 27, 2015 at 3:58 pm

    The elders have the moral responsibilty to let the Word fence the table. However, if they’re aware that one shouldn’t partake, they have the responsibility not to serve such a one. If the person exerts himself on the spot, I think the response is a matter of conscience but if all brawl would ensue I think it would be wise to let the person eat. However, I think the session should then solicit civil authority for the next communion service.

  200. Ron said,

    February 27, 2015 at 4:02 pm

    Would you have an elder force feed someone who is eligible but for some wrong reason thinks he is unworthy and thus deprives himself of the means of grace?

    No, Zrim. If the person thinks he’s unworthy then to eat, then to willfully eat would be a sin of conscience. And, to be forced to eat would be on par with a PC snack!

  201. truthunites said,

    February 27, 2015 at 4:27 pm

    If there be members of Reform or Presbyterian churches who do not subscribe to Paedo-baptism, and who also partake of the Communion Elements, then the clergy of these churches are to be commended for fulfilling their moral responsibility of their office by orally invoking the spiritual fence around the Elements.

    If there be members of Reform or Presbyterian churches who are unrepentantly committing sexual sin that the pastors/elders are knowledgeable of, and who also partake of the Communion Elements, then the clergy of these churches are to be commended for fulfilling their moral responsibility of their office by orally invoking the spiritual fence around the Elements.

  202. Zrim said,

    February 27, 2015 at 4:30 pm

    TUAD, Ron’s response in #199 seems more or less right.

    I would just clarify that to the extent that it’s within the reasonable power for an elder to withhold he should do so. But know of only two ways to distribute: 1) to those sitting in pews in which the trays are passed–barring an elder awkwardly following the tray across knees, this leaves it up to an ordinary member to exercise discretion, which I trust we all agree is out. This leaves us with simply trusting the Spirit to work within and letting one drink judgment on himself, which isn’t what anybody wants but there have to be reasonable limits 2) personally distributing to those who come forward from their pews and to the table. I can see it being withheld in this instance, saying to a man that it is a violation of my conscience to aid in the drinking of judgment on another.

  203. truthunites said,

    February 27, 2015 at 4:38 pm

    Zrim: “personally distributing to those who come forward from their pews and to the table. I can see it being withheld in this instance, saying to a man that it is a violation of my conscience to aid in the drinking of judgment on another.”

    Zrim, I sincerely appreciate the concreteness of your illustration.

    Let us suppose that this is the manner in which members of this local church partake.

    Further, the pastor/elder distributing the elements knows of unrepentant sin of the person coming forward to partake. The pastor/elder refuses to serve the Communion Elements, withholding the elements.

    Would you consider this physically fencing off the Table?

  204. roberty bob said,

    February 27, 2015 at 6:22 pm

    Jesus didn’t physically prevent Judas from partaking of the first Lord’s Supper. Judas, however, was warned lest he partake in an unworthy manner.

  205. Ron said,

    February 27, 2015 at 7:12 pm

    Judas’ sin hadn’t yet been manifested in doctrine or lifestyle.

  206. truthunites said,

    February 27, 2015 at 8:19 pm

    Ron: “However, if they’re aware that one shouldn’t partake, they have the responsibility not to serve such a one. If the person exerts himself on the spot, I think the response is a matter of conscience but if all brawl would ensue I think it would be wise to let the person eat. However, I think the session should then solicit civil authority for the next communion service.”

    Suppose after receiving the solicitation, the civil authority declines for whatever reason (lack of available officers, not wanting to get involved in a private church affair, etc…)

    At the next Communion service should the pastor/elders do the same as before and let the unrepentant sinner partake as before because orally invoking the spiritual fence is sufficient?

  207. Ron said,

    February 27, 2015 at 9:08 pm

    Just hope it’s in the deep south where men are men…

  208. Zrim said,

    February 27, 2015 at 10:30 pm

    TUAD re #203, sorry but it’s getting hypothetically tedious. This started when I said (at #181) that I affirm a spiritual fencing of the table, not a spiritual and physical closing of it. The larger point to Ron was to distinguish between fencing the table and discriminating membership. And it was to suggest that while I see room to include visiting credo-baptists at the table who are otherwise credible and orthodox, I don’t see any for their more permanent membership for reasons I’ve already stated here. All of which is in keeping with the point of this post that the sacraments are indeed fundamental and lie at the heart of the gospel. Would that American Presbyterian churches that think so reconsider the practice of affirming by way of membership those who oppose what we affirm as essential (or reassess the sacraments as essential to align better with actual practice).

    And with that, I’ll take my exit. Thanks.

  209. Ron said,

    February 27, 2015 at 11:09 pm

    TU,

    I agree with Zrim, we can go too far with the hypotheticals.

    I was, of course, jesting with my last post. I hope I didn’t offend. Seriously though, your question pertains to matters of conscience, but I sincerely doubt that the police wouldn’t get involved. I suspect they would if the person was a threat or once caused harm.

    Let’s give it a rest, OK? :)

  210. truthunites said,

    February 28, 2015 at 1:04 am

    Zrim: “I don’t see any for their [credo-Baptists] more permanent membership for reasons I’ve already stated here.”

    #1. If a Reform or Presbyterian church has credo-baptist members who kindly yet staunchly refuse to subscribe to paedo-baptism, do you suggest excommunication?

    #2. If a Reform or Presbyterian church has credo-Baptist members who kindly yet staunchly refuse to subscribe to paedo-baptism, do you make it an explicit and unequivocal discussion with all church members by the pastor and church elders that anyone who doesn’t subscribe to paedo-baptism is not to partake of the Communion Elements in the Lord’s Supper?

  211. roberty bob said,

    February 28, 2015 at 7:13 pm

    Hello T U . . .

    The Reformed Churches of which I have been a member would not allow credo-baptists to join if they were resistant to covenant baptism [which, of course, approves of infants of church members to be baptized]. Baptists, to whatever extent they claim to be Reformed, do not adhere to covenant theology in the way that the Reformed do; they are resistant to it. It is therefore unwise to admit them to Reformed church membership — unless they are well along the pathway to embracing the covenant theology. TULIP Is not enough.

  212. March 3, 2015 at 10:16 am

    Can anyone here tell me how influential the Federal Vision movement within the Presb. church has been in since 2002? Thanks for anyone who can answer. K

  213. roberty bob said,

    March 3, 2015 at 11:35 am

    That which you call Federal Vision is the commonly accepted strain of Reformed and Covenant Theology that is prevalent among the Dutch. When the English finally caught on to it, with all of the accompanying cage rattling, it sparked a crisis in the Presbyterian church. Most of us Dutch just shrug. There was Federal Vision long before any theology going by that brand got the Presbyterians’ attention!

  214. March 3, 2015 at 1:09 pm

    It should have sparked a crisis, they were gospel issues, correct?

  215. roberty bob said,

    March 3, 2015 at 1:13 pm

    Tell me which gospel issues they sparked, and why they should have been sparked?

  216. truthunites said,

    March 3, 2015 at 2:08 pm

    Kevin Failoni, #124: “The Apostles were never baptized.”

    Hi Kevin, if you please, how did you arrive at this conclusion?

  217. March 3, 2015 at 3:25 pm

    TU, im sorry, I dont make a habit of answering questions of people who dont answer my questions. I asked you a question, you didnt answer it, which is your perogative. God bless. K

  218. March 3, 2015 at 3:28 pm

    RB, smuggling their character into God’s work of grace, messing with justification. It aint on the table. K

  219. truthunites said,

    March 3, 2015 at 3:41 pm

    Kevin Failoni, #124: “The Apostles were never baptized.”

    Suppose Kevin Failoni’s assertion is true. And the Apostles were never baptized.

    Obviously, the Apostles participated in the very first Lord’s Supper. So the Apostles had Holy Communion without being baptized!

    There’s nothing in Scripture forbidding the partaking of Communion by the unbaptized, and per Kevin Failoni’s assertion, the Apostles did so.

  220. Ron said,

    March 3, 2015 at 3:53 pm

    That which you call Federal Vision is the commonly accepted strain of Reformed and Covenant Theology that is prevalent among the Dutch.

    Utter tosh, RB

    Can anyone here tell me how influential the Federal Vision movement within the Presb. church has been in since 2002? Thanks for anyone who can answer. K

    Kevin,

    It has split some churches, confused some saints and I suspect weeded out some tares. Hopefully, though, it will make us better covenant theologians, just like indulgences sparked a more clear understanding of pardon by grace alone.

  221. March 3, 2015 at 4:57 pm

    Ron, well said. You notice that Truthunites cat asks allot of questions and never answers any. Sly fox.

  222. Ron said,

    March 3, 2015 at 6:47 pm

    “Suppose Kevin Failoni’s assertion is true. And the Apostles were never baptized.”

    Obviously the apostles were baptized.

    “Obviously, the Apostles participated in the very first Lord’s Supper. So the Apostles had Holy Communion without being baptized!”

    Be careful, TU. What if John’s baptism wasn’t Christian baptism? What then?

  223. truthunites said,

    March 3, 2015 at 7:12 pm

    Kevin Failoni, #124: “The Apostles were never baptized.”

    versus

    Ron, #222: “Obviously the apostles were baptized.”

    Ron, same question, “if you please, how did you arrive at this conclusion?”

  224. Ron said,

    March 3, 2015 at 7:25 pm

    TU,

    I don’t particularly care for this approach of yours. The Mods already saw fit to delete one of your posts, which was aimed at sowing discord. And, although the answer to your question is rather elementary, given your M.O. I’ll leave it to you to explain this to Kevin.

  225. March 3, 2015 at 9:03 pm

    Ron, what about the regulative principle, if its not in scripture……. You are arguing from silence on the Apostles being baptized. K

  226. Ron said,

    March 4, 2015 at 4:31 am

    Kevin,

    You probably mean Scripture alone and not regulative principle. In any case, you’ve undermined your own rule of inference by asserting something that Scripture doesn’t state, that the apostles were not baptized.

    Jesus required baptism. Are you suggesting that His apostles disobeyed their Lord on this? I can offer other arguments but they’re Reformed in nature and I don’t think you’d accept the exegesis with respect to water. So, I’ll leave it to you. Whether you think John’s baptism was sufficient or not, did the apostles refuse to obey?

  227. Ron said,

    March 4, 2015 at 4:31 am

    Kevin,

    You probably mean Scripture alone and not regulative principle. In any case, you’ve undermined your own rule of inference by asserting something that Scripture doesn’t state, that the apostles were not baptized.

    Jesus required baptism. Are you suggesting that His apostles disobeyed their Lord on this? I can offer other arguments but they’re Reformed in nature and I don’t think you’d accept the exegesis with respect to water. So, I’ll leave it to you. Whether you think John’s baptism was sufficient or not, did the apostles refuse to obey?

  228. March 4, 2015 at 8:03 am

    Ron said, ” obviously the Apostles were baptised” Ron, we have as much evidence in scripture for the Apostles being baptized as we have for examples for infant baptism. Notta. K Last time I checked Jesus went into the Jordan to be baptized. God bless brother. K

  229. Ron said,

    March 4, 2015 at 8:42 am

    Kevin,

    I’ve come accustomed to your misrepresentations, distortions and non-responses.

    It was pointed out that your assertion that the apostles were not baptised did not live up to your stricture of an argument from silence. That makes your assertion inconsistent. Secondly, not all arguments from silence are fallacious. The ones that are have the burden of proof, which makes your assertion arbitrary and incredible. Certainly the burden of proof is upon you to bring forth evidence that the apostles disobeyed the Great Commision. Or are you going to say that we should just assume the apostles did disobey the command to be baptized until it can be proven they didn’t? What’s your evidence for your assertion? Should we also assume that each apostle murdered because Scripture doesn’t tell us they didn’t? Frankly, there’s a much greater chance they didn’t disobey on baptism than they committed murder and the latter isn’t very likely at all.

  230. Reed Here said,

    March 4, 2015 at 8:43 am

    Kevin, simple observation. We also have notta evidence that they were not baptized. Both “were” and “weren’t” are inferential arguments.

    Your position rests on the absence of evidence, the absence of any positive statement saying they were baptized. It may just mean that this detail of the Apostles’ lives was not recorded.

    The argument that they were baptized rests on at least a few inferences. First, the one Ron said, obedience to an express command. It is hard to imagine that the ones given the Great Commission did not themselves submit to its commands.

    Second would be the example of the Apostle Paul, who we are told was baptized. Do we want to say that the last Apostle obeyed the Lord, but the other 12 didn’t?

    Third would be the example of those in Ephesus who only had received John’s baptism. On learning more fully the gospel, they were baptized in Jesus’ name. If the Apostles also received John’s baptism, why would we expect that they did not also receive Jesus’ baptism, just like these men?

    Yes, all these are inferential arguments. But they are based on other texts that have particular application to the question at at hand. Unless you can think of any other inferential arguments to the opposite, does it not seem safer to take a humbler position and conclude something like: most likely, in keeping with the universal pattern in Scripture, the Apostles were baptized in Jesus’ name?

  231. Ron said,

    March 4, 2015 at 8:47 am

    What he said, Kevin. :)

  232. Reed Here said,

    March 4, 2015 at 8:47 am

    Also Kevin, there is no regulative principle of Scripture, at least not as you’ve defined it. That is actually a dispensational informed hermeneutic. Not throwing stones, just one former dispensational telling what he’s learned.

  233. March 4, 2015 at 9:25 am

    Reed, your not throwing stones. Im not a dispensationalist. Paul said he didnt come to baptize. And yes your basing your conclusions on inferences, as you stipulated.

  234. Ron said,

    March 4, 2015 at 10:04 am

    “Also Kevin, there is no regulative principle of Scripture, at least not as you’ve defined it. That is actually a dispensational informed hermeneutic.”

    So Reed, this means women can partake of the Supper and we shouldn’t assume the apostles beat their wives?

  235. roberty bob said,

    March 4, 2015 at 11:35 am

    Yes, and Jesus himself did actually baptize many people. As some of John’s [the Baptizer] disciples pointed out to their master . . . .

    ” . . . well, he is baptizing, and everyone is going to him.” — John 3:26

  236. Ron said,

    March 4, 2015 at 12:13 pm

    RB,

    Now imagine that Jesus was baptizing disciples yet the apostles didn’t participate. Or better yet, Jesus desired that he himself submit to John’s baptism but didn’t require that his apostles submit to such types of rites.

  237. Don said,

    March 4, 2015 at 2:21 pm

    roberty bob 237,
    No. Jesus did not personally baptize anyone. John 4:2.

    Whether Jesus baptized his disciples previous to this point in the Fourth Gospel’s narrative, or whether their previous baptism by John was good enough (at least for those who had been his disciples), cannot be answered from any evidence in the text.

  238. Ron said,

    March 4, 2015 at 4:14 pm

    Don,

    I’d be interested in your thoughts.The way I reconcile 3:26 with 4:2 is by noting that under Jesus’ ordinance such baptisms although administered by disciples (4:2) were no different than had Jesus himself administered them; so much so that it can be said that He did (3:26). To have been been baptized by Jesus or DePace wouldn’t matter since all Christian baptisms are done by Christ as long as they’re administered by a lawfully ordained servant.

    In any case, no matter how we interpret that, because baptism was required for the people of God, it’s unthinkable that the apostles weren’t baptized.

  239. Reed Here said,

    March 4, 2015 at 4:45 pm

    Kevin, maybe this will help.

    I’m saying you are using inferential arguments too.

    I’m saying your’s are weaker, in fact you only have one, an inference based on silence, never a strong argument.

    I’m saying you are using a dispensationally informed hermeneutic,

    I mean nothing unkind. I do mean to offer clear criticism.

  240. Don said,

    March 4, 2015 at 4:53 pm

    Ron 240,
    That doesn’t seem to be the point that some commenters here are making, who seem to be arguing that Jesus personally did the baptizing. Yes, people in John 3-4 were being baptized as followers of Jesus. No, Jesus did not perform the dripping or dunking himself (whichever method you prefer).

  241. Ron said,

    March 4, 2015 at 5:22 pm

    Fine, but it’s not germane to any point I have made, which Reed corroborated.

  242. roberty bob said,

    March 4, 2015 at 6:42 pm

    The #240 post is the best way to reconcile whether Jesus personally did or didn’t baptize; in any event, baptism was being administered in the presence of Jesus and his disciples — and this act was distinguished from the baptizing activity of John.

    It was reported to John that everyone was going over to Jesus now for baptism. This is the Evangelist’s way of saying that Jesus is indeed the One Who Was to Come, to whom all others must give way.

    The fact that the Apostle Paul said that he came to preach the gospel and not to baptize does not mean that he never baptized anyone, for indeed he baptized the jailor’s household in Philippi; the norm for Paul’s ministry was to plant churches and then appoint elders / pastors who administered subsequent baptisms.

  243. roberty bob said,

    March 4, 2015 at 6:51 pm

    to #238 . . . Ron . . . I tried to imagine what you asked me to imagine, but I find this unimaginable; at least from John 3:36 what we now know as Christian baptism had its beginning. Some of Jesus’ first called disciples were followers of John the Baptizer; he pointed them to Jesus. So, Christian baptism for all of Jesus’ disciples.

    Apollos [later on] was only acquainted with the ministry and baptism of John; after Paul got him up to speed on Jesus, Apollos was included in the company of twelve who were then baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus [Acts 19:1-7] — by that non-baptizer named Paul, no less!

  244. truthunites said,

    March 4, 2015 at 6:58 pm

    Reed, #230: “Second would be the example of the Apostle Paul, who we are told was baptized. Do we want to say that the last Apostle obeyed the Lord, but the other 12 didn’t?”

    Let’s suppose that Judas Iscariot was baptized, per Reed’s point above.

    I’ve read on this thread about baptism being covenantal, of covenant theology, of baptism conferring that you are a part of the Church family through God’s covenant with the Church.

    Look where Judas ended up. In Hell.

  245. roberty bob said,

    March 4, 2015 at 7:09 pm

    to #246 . . .

    Judas was seized with remorse and confessed his act of betrayal to Israel’s elders as he tried to return the 30 pieces of silver. The elders did not accept his confession, and made no effort to administer pastor care to this covenant child.

    Perhaps Judas has a Heavenly Father who answered Jesus’ prayer: Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.

    Never mind. Everyone knows where Judas ended up.

  246. March 5, 2015 at 9:24 am

    Reed said ” Kevin, ” Im saying yours are weaker, in fact you only have one, an inference based on silence, never a strong argument.” Reed, let me get this straight, you who believe in infant baptism where the scripture is completely silent, are telling me my argument is weak because of inference from silence. Got it. Your bro Kevin.

  247. roberty bob said,

    March 5, 2015 at 2:15 pm

    meanwhile . . . down by the River . . . What are you waiting for? Be baptized and wash your sins away!

  248. Reed Here said,

    March 5, 2015 at 4:53 pm

    Kevin, no. 248, tell me, where does Scripture either say “do not baptize babies”, or give an example where a baby was denied baptism?

    Kevin, I’m a bit discouraged by something a shallow cavalier response to my effort to treat you and your argument seriously. A bit disrespectful.

    Aside, regarding arguments from silence and infant baptism, your response suggests you are not studied up on this as you argument demonstrates. Maybe a bit more brotherly humility.

  249. March 6, 2015 at 8:37 am

    Reed, the scripture does not say, do not baptize babies. It also doesnt say baptize babies. Reed I have studied this subject. But dont make it seem you have biblical support for infant baptism. You have to stipulate its NOT in scripture. And yes you can say the bible doesnt say women take communion, and the Trinity, etc. Circumcision is not Baptism.Jesus went in the Jordan to be baptized. Baptizo means immerse. Baptism accompanies faith. Babies dont have faith. We have multiple examples of believers baptism in scripture, and we have 0 of infant baptism. Your up, God bless K

  250. roberty bob said,

    March 6, 2015 at 10:04 am

    to Kevin at #251 . . .

    “Circumcision is not Baptism.” — Kevin

    “In him [Christ] you were also circumcised, in the putting off of the sinful nature, not with a circumcision done by the hands of men but with the circumcision done by Christ, having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead.” — Colossians 2:11-12

    So, then . . .

    Baptism is Circumcision. — The Apostle Paul

    Just as circumcision granted admission into God’s family beginning with Abraham, so baptism now grants admission into God’s family through our Lord Jesus Christ. Circumcision was the OT rite of entry into the covenant people of God. Baptism is the NT rite of entry into the covenant people of God.

  251. Ron said,

    March 6, 2015 at 10:40 am

    “We have multiple examples of believers baptism in scripture, and we have 0 of infant baptism. Your up, God bless K”

    Kevin,

    Believers baptism is not contrary to the Reformed position. Rather, it comports with it so you may not use that observation to bolster your case.

    You are correct, there is no recording of an infant baptism in the NT. Can you point to an instance in which a covenant child grows up to make a credible prodession of faith and is then baptized?

  252. March 6, 2015 at 11:16 am

    Robert Bob, ” Just as circumcision granted admission into God’s family beginning with Abraham, so baptism now grants admission into God’s family through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Really? Where does scripture say baptism is the entry into God’s family. ” For by grace you have been saved through faith” Was Paul wrong? Can babies enter God’s family without a profession of faith? Faith has always been the entry way into this holistic salvation. The Spirit calls and regenerates people thru the washing of the Word to faith and repentance, not baptism. Is baptism the promise of faith, or the sign and seal of faith?

  253. March 6, 2015 at 11:42 am

    Hi Ron, ya I know that believers baptism isnt contrary to Reformed teaching. Have you read Malone’s book, a former pedobaptist, I think its called Baptism of believing disciples alone. Infants werent circumcised as children of believers in the OT, but as the offspring of Abraham. Genesis 17:9. K

  254. Ron said,

    March 6, 2015 at 11:58 am

    Kevin,

    Since you acknowledge that (i) the Reformed position adheres to believers baptism and (ii) you aren’t able to identify a single instance in Scripture in which a covenant child grew up and then received believer’s baptism, then all recorded instances of baptism in the NT adhere to the Reformed position. If you don’t think that is sound, please explain.

    No, I have not read the book.

  255. roberty bob said,

    March 6, 2015 at 12:08 pm

    to #255 . . . Kevin . . .

    “Can babies enter God’s family without a profession of faith?” — Kevin

    Yes. The babies born to parents who are members of the church, which is the family of God, are received into the family via baptism. Reformed churches administer this baptist to infants prior to their profession of faith. In this, they are in line with the OT in which the rite of entry was administered ordinarily on the 8th day — as we see in the case of our Lord Jesus.

    Well, this is what Reformed churches do. We do not read the Bible quite the way that you do, Kevin. But we do read it, and we find the warrant for infant baptism on the basis of the OT rite of entry, which was circumcision. Baptism is the circumcision of the NT, as Paul the Apostle attests. Now, you may read Paul differently than we do; but we do read Paul and understand what he is saying.

    Furthermore, some of us in the Reformed camp believe that it is more the rule than the exception that the Holy Spirit regenerates the infants of believers while they are yet in the womb — in the same manner as OT John the Baptizer. We do not have doubts about our babies being regenerated, or of having faith appropriate to their young age, until we see evidences that would raise such doubts. From day one we are proclaiming gospel truth to our children and making disciples of them, and we have confidence that the Lord will make good on his promises, which are for them as well as for us.

  256. truthunites said,

    March 6, 2015 at 12:17 pm

    The Regulative principle of worship in Christian theology teaches that the public worship of God should include those and only those elements that are instituted, commanded, or appointed by command or example in the Bible. In other words, it is the belief that God institutes in Scripture whatever he requires for worship in the Church, and everything else should be avoided.

    Ron, #254: “You are correct, there is no recording of an infant baptism in the NT.”

    Regulative Principle ……… “[T]here is no recording of an infant baptism in the NT.”

    Duly noted.

  257. Ron said,

    March 6, 2015 at 12:24 pm

    TU,

    Do you ever string together a series of premises in which the conclusion follows?

  258. truthunites said,

    March 6, 2015 at 12:44 pm

    Laughter is not only good for the soul, but sometimes you get a good abdominal workout too!

    Thanks Ron for providing more good belly laughter today.

  259. Ron said,

    March 6, 2015 at 12:49 pm

    TU,

    It’s seemingly impossible to have an exchange with you. You ask questions and quote people but I’ve yet to see you argue anything. As for the point I think you’d like to make, good and necessary inference is on par with explicit instruction. With that in mind…

    1. An Old Covenant precept was that whenever possible the sign of entrance into the covenant was to be placed upon all who were to be regarded as God’s people

    2. Children of professing believers were to be regarded as God’s people under the Old Covenant

    3. Children of professing believers whenever possible were to receive the sign of entrance into the Old Covenant by way of precept (1, 2)

    4. God’s precepts may not be abrogated without explicit instruction or good and necessary inference

    5. God never abrogated the Old Testament precept regarding who was to receive the sign of entrance into the Old covenant

    6. The sign of entrance into the New Covenant is water baptism

    7. God’s precept is that children of professing believers receive the sign of entrance into the New Covenant (3, 4 and 5)

    8. God’s precept is that children of professing believers receive water baptism (6, 7)

  260. truthunites said,

    March 6, 2015 at 1:10 pm

    Kevin, #256: “Have you read Malone’s book, a former pedobaptist, I think its called Baptism of believing disciples alone.”

    Here are some other resources:

    Q4: What are some of the books that helped you along in the process to credobaptism and can you tell us a little about some or all of them?

    A4: There are a number of books which were influential in my study of this subject. I will list some of the most persuasive: Fred Malone’s The Baptism of Disciples Alone, Mike Renihan’s Antipaedobaptism in the Thought of John Tombes, Henry Danvers A Treatise on Baptism, David Kingdon’s Children of Abraham, Samuel Waldron’s Biblical Baptism: A Reformed Defense of Believer’s Baptism, Richard Barcellos’ Paedobaptism or Credobaptism?, and especially Paul K. Jewett’s Infant Baptism and the Covenant of Grace. But perhaps the studies that were more convincing than anything else were two lecture series, one was William Einwechter’s The Great Debate Over Baptism and the Covenant and the other was Pastor Greg Nichols’ tape series on “Infant Baptism.” It is also interesting that the “failed” attempts of several paedobaptist books also had a great affect on my thinking on this subject. That is, the proponents of infant baptism simply did not answer the questions raised against paedobaptism.

    Q5: Do you think infant baptism violates the Westminster Confession’s doctrine of the regulative principle of worship? If so, how?

    A5: Yes, I do believe that the practice of infant baptism is a violation of the “regulative principle” of worship. I explain this in some detail in my forthcoming book on the subject, but (as cited in my book) basically the problem is this: If there is no express command given in Scripture to baptize infants, and if there is no direct evidence for the practice of infant baptism, then to administer infant baptism in the worship service is a violation of the regulative principle. I would suggest that those interested in finding out more on this matter see what I have said in my book. Fred Malone also deals with this issue in his The Baptism of Disciples Alone.”

    Excerpted From:

    Part II: Interview with Dr. Crampton (from paedobaptism to credobaptism)

    ———

    o “if there is no direct evidence for the practice of infant baptism, then to administer infant baptism in the worship service is a violation of the regulative principle.”

    o “You are correct, there is no recording of an infant baptism in the NT.”

    And the logical conclusion is…. ?

  261. Ron said,

    March 6, 2015 at 1:21 pm

    So you deny that good and necessary inference is on par with explicit command?

  262. truthunites said,

    March 6, 2015 at 1:27 pm

    So do you affirm that infant baptism in the worship service is a violation of the Regulative Principle of Worship?

  263. March 6, 2015 at 1:29 pm

    RB, the new covenant was made with believers, the elect only. Reformed Pres although recognize the continuity and discontinuity of the OT and NT, miss the movement. They tend to judaize the NT, and Christianize the Old. Circumcision guaranteed certain specific covenant promises. You coul be in God’s family and enjoy covenat benefits, and on your wat to hell. The new covenant is made with believers, there are no benefits outside of being elect. Reformed Baptists would recognize the blessings of being raised in a christian family. But there are dicontinuitys between covenants. The new being made with believers only and unbreakable. John 1:11 and 13, born of God, not flesh and blood. Baptism is a sign of believing. K

  264. Ron said,

    March 6, 2015 at 1:31 pm

    Reed,

    And you say I can be obtuse? :)

  265. roberty bob said,

    March 6, 2015 at 1:32 pm

    The credo-baptists read the Bible differently, and reason differently than we paedo-baptists; they cannot be persuaded by mortal men, only by the Holy Spirit in His chosen time and way.

    They believe the same about us. We are from different planets!

  266. March 6, 2015 at 1:35 pm

    TU, Jewetts book is outstanding. K

  267. Ron said,

    March 6, 2015 at 1:38 pm

    “RB, the new covenant was made with believers, the elect only.”

    Kevin,

    The set of believers is not to be equated with the set of elect. Do you mean that the new covenant was made with the elect or with believers?

  268. Reed Here said,

    March 6, 2015 at 1:41 pm

    Kevin, this list is not about baptism, so I’ll not engage your comments in detail. I was only writing to make this simple factual observation: both credo and padeo baptists function on the basis of inferential arguments. There are neither explicit positive commands nor negative prohibitions in Scripture for either.

    Both positions rest on inferential arguments, just like the question of whether or not the apostles were baptized.

    If you agree, so be it. Please, however, stop your condescending language. It is just rude.

    Finally, you may have studied the padeo baptism position. Yet your comments demonstrate yorur understanding is lacking. As a former credo baptist, might I suggest, again, a bit more humility.

  269. March 6, 2015 at 1:45 pm

    TU, fascinating, infant baptism violating the regulative principal of worship. What is the name of your book, if you can say? K

  270. Reed Here said,

    March 6, 2015 at 1:46 pm

    Kevin, no. 248: the “weaker inferences” comment from me was in reference to your comments on the Apostles’ baptism, not infant baptism. You changed the subject

  271. roberty bob said,

    March 6, 2015 at 1:46 pm

    to #265 . . . Kevin . . .

    So, your Reformed Baptist babies are . . .

    1) pagans [outsiders to the Faith / in need of conversion to the Faith]

    2) unbelievers [unable to believe due to mature content of the Faith]

    3) unbelievers [in need of repentance and conversion]

    4) dedicated by their parents to the Lord [who will evangelize them]

    5) not responsible for their acts until they reach age of accountability

    6) not Christians until they come of age [10-12] and profess their faith

    7) not members of God’s covenant people until they profess their faith
    ……….

    Are all of these true, or only some of them?
    Which one(s) are the most true to your view?

  272. truthunites said,

    March 6, 2015 at 1:57 pm

    Kevin, #269: I have not written any book on the matter.

    BTW, you’re doing fine.

  273. Ron said,

    March 6, 2015 at 1:57 pm

    TU,

    Your handle should suggest you delight in uniting over truth but your posts seem generally evasive. You imply that infant baptism denies the regulative principle yet that principle does not deny the Reformed understanding of good and necessary inference. Rather than showing any interest in discussing that point you opted to avoid it. In any case, the Reformed are in accordance with the RP with respect to infant baptism because of good and necessary inference.

  274. truthunites said,

    March 6, 2015 at 2:19 pm

    Ron,

    Do you do stand-up comedy by any chance? I’m just making an inference based on how much laughter you elicit from me.

    Anyways, with regards to #273, here’s something to chew on:

    “Presbyterians often state that the authority for infant baptism comes from necessary inference of Old Testament circumcision of infants, not from positive command, example, or institution in the New (Warfield, Berkhof, Murray, et al). In fact, they candidly and regularly admit that there is no command or example of infant baptism in the New Testament or anywhere else in Scripture.

    Baptists often reject Presbyterian infant baptism by showing that the Paedobaptist (“infant Baptist”) brand of covenant theology erroneously allows necessary inference from Old Testament circumcision to overrule the only positive institution of baptism in the New Testament, that of disciples alone. However, few recognize that this Presbyterian error of infant baptism is a violation of their own “regulative principle of worship.” On the other hand, Baptists have held historically to the very same regulative principle of worship and practice, the baptism of disciples alone, because of it.

    Baptism is one of the sacraments [inappropriate term] which has been instituted by Christ. Thus it is regulated by God, limited by His revealed will, and prescribed by Holy Scripture. This regulation extends to the subjects of baptism. Who are to be baptized? How? Why? To answer these questions we must ask a more basic one: What has been instituted by Christ [and what is it intended for or to show]?

    Christ’s institution of baptism, in its mode, meaning, and subjects is to be regulated by the Word of God. Yet Baptists and Paedobaptists agree that the only subjects of baptism which can be conclusively determined by Scripture are professing disciples. Infants are included only by necessary consequence, a normative addition which is never commanded in the Bible. Therefore, the practice of baptizing babies violates the regulative principle.

    Amazingly, Paedobaptist apologist, Pierre Marcel, actually states that God only gives us general instructions concerning the doctrine of baptism and then leaves it up to us to determine its practical application to infants. This is done, he argues, by “normative principles” and therefore does not need to be prescribed literally by Scripture. He compares the practice of infant baptism to the work of application in preaching. This is a woefully inadequate comparison when one considers the Westminster Confession’s inclusion of sacraments is under the regulative principle of worship.

    It is even more astonishing to see how he uses the lack of biblical instruction concerning the baptism of adults who were born to Christian parents. He makes these adult children of believers a special class and then cites the Bible’s silence regarding their baptism to justify the baptism of infants. The Scripture is not silent on the baptism of adults born of Christian parents. They, along with everyone else, including boys and girls of every age are commanded by the Lord through the Scripture to repent and believe the gospel. Those who do, regardless of their backgrounds, should be baptized (Acts 2:41) like the first century believers of NT times.

    To make a special class out of the adult children of believers and then to equate the Scripture’s silence regarding them with its silence on infant baptism is preposterous. Such thinking can lead anywhere, even back to the seven sacraments of Roman Catholicism. After all, the Scripture is no more silent on infant baptism than it is on the administration of last rites.

    When God instituted circumcision, He was very specific to identify its subjects. This is why male infants were circumcised in keeping with the regulative principle. Now in this New Testament era, are we to assume that the regulative principle concerning the subjects of the sacraments “instituted by Christ” (baptism and the Lord’s Supper), limited by God’s revealed will, and prescribed by Holy Scripture, are to be left to our application as if it were an uncommanded circumstance of worship? Obviously not. According to the regulative principle, the only subjects of baptism “instituted by Christ” and prescribed in Holy Scripture are disciples.

    In Ex.12 every child ate of the Passover feast. But when Presbyterians celebrate the Lord’s Supper, the children are excluded because the NT commands us to examine ourselves and not to take it in an unworthy manor. Why are the children (even if baptized as infants) not permitted to partake until they profess faith in Christ and are able to examine their own hearts? – Because the principle of interpretation known as “good and necessary inference” was being misapplied from the OT into the NT. Since Abraham, our father in the faith, circumcised his children as infants, it is appropriate by inference for us as Christians to baptize our infant children. Do the inferences from the OT overrule principles and commandments of the NT for our practice as Christians? No, the NT content has priority in determining how the OT is fulfilled in it. The NT makes it clear that the reality of our burial and resurrection with Christ is through personal faith (Col.2:12). Therefore the Baptist position regarding believers’ baptism and communion is in keeping with NT revelation.

    {The transfer of the OT principle of whole family participation in the Passover meal and all male (patriarchal) participation in circumcision into the NT Lord’s Supper and baptism is not an inference that is logically necessitated at all. There is continuity between the OT and NT figures and illustrations because the Bible is a unity and all revelation and covenants are given by the one unchanging God. But it is a violation of the NT interpretive authority to equate the OT practices with those of the NT due to a failure to understand the individual or personal accountability emphasized in the call of Christ pictured in these ordinances. A covenant is a promise, oath, bond, or pledge by God defined by the revelation which establishes it. The defining characteristics of an OT covenant do not govern the New Covenant because they are both preparatory and materially different in their content. With the appearance of Moses and Elijah as a comparison, the Father’s word to us comes to the apostles, “This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased, listen to Him” (Mt.17:2-5).}

    The supposed inference which establishes infant baptism has opened the door to other difficulties within the Reformed and evangelical Christian world – theonomy, paedocommunion, and applications of the regulative principle of worship which in fact have transformed it into the old normative principle.

    Why we do what we do in worship, how the sacraments of the church are to be observed, and what the Word specifically says about the subjects of baptism are questions that must be answered from the Bible.”

    Excerpted From:

    Here

  275. roberty bob said,

    March 6, 2015 at 2:31 pm

    to #263 Kevin . . .

    “The new covenant was made with believers, the elect only.” — Kevin

    “The time is coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the House of Israel and with the House of Judah. . . .
    I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord. For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” — Jeremiah 31:31, 33-34

    Is this the new covenant to which you refer? Is this the new covenant instituted by our Lord Jesus Christ? If so, with whom was it made? Who is included? Who is excluded?

  276. Ron said,

    March 6, 2015 at 2:41 pm

    TU,

    Cutting and pasting someone else’s long winded position is hardly going to help a concise discussion between present parties. Regarding recent claims:

    1. Much has been made about believers baptism in the NT, yet as I’ve pointed out, those instances comport with the Reformed position.

    2. Much has been made about arguments from silence, yet as it has been pointed out both sides argue from silence.

    3. Much has been made about the regulative principle, yet a proper understanding of regulative principle does not deny good and necessary inference.

    4. Kevin has conflated the set of all elect with the set of believers.

    I’ve put forth a deductive argument for covenant baptism. I can also put forth a deductive argument for the typical Chantry type baptist argument. I can also put forth a refutation of that argument. All of that is not difficult, but until we can get past points 1-4 in this post it’s a waste of time to go any further.

  277. Ron said,

    March 6, 2015 at 3:17 pm

    A number of people have been helped by this polemic for covenant baptism. Through this effort I’ve even been invited, on more than one occasion, to infant baptisms by parents who were “won” to the Reformed position through the aid of the post. At the very least, I think it addresses the heart of the traditional Calvinistic Baptist position. It also addresses a fatal slip-up by Reformed folks, which gets to why I think so many Baptists don’t understand the biblical reasons for infant baptism. As I’ve said elsewhere, I think there are so many Baptists because so many non-Baptists don’t know why they shouldn’t be Baptists. There’s a lot of blame to go around, I think. :)

    I sincerely pray it’s read by my Baptist brethren, if not also my Reformed brethren.

    I’m done debating on this subject in this forum. I’m, of course, willing to discuss this with anyone off line, preferably on the phone. I just can’t afford to give this thread much more time. (My stand-up comedy acts calls, TU.)

    May the Lord richly bless all who love the Lord Jesus Christ.

  278. De Maria said,

    April 10, 2015 at 12:08 pm

    Reed Here said,
    February 18, 2015 at 11:08 am

    Simple observation, intinction fundamentally changes the imagery of the Last Supper. Jesus used specific actions to convey specific meaning. Intinction blurs what Jesus teaches, as does (at least blurs) all man’s additions to God’s worship commands.

    Given the significance of the Lord’s Supper, I’d not participate where intinction occurs for just that reason. I’d liken this to someone who preaches a moralistic sermon. I may be polite and not leave in the middle of the service, but I am certainly not going to receive such preaching, listen to it within the intention of taking it to heart.

    Intinction blurs what Jesus teaches???

    I don’t see how. The separation of the Body (Bread) and Blood (Wine) signify Christ’s death. But the resurrection of Christ restores the life to the Body and thus the blood which is the life of the Body. Therefore, intinction, reuniting the Body and Blood, is an apt representation of the Resurrection of our Lord.

  279. De Maria said,

    April 10, 2015 at 12:11 pm

    TU and Ron,

    The Sacraments are works of our Lord Jesus Christ. In Scripture, when parents brought their children to be healed by Christ, Christ healed them on the basis of the faith of the parents. The same occurs in Baptism where children are healed of original sin by our Lord Jesus Christ at the behest of the faithful parent.

    Matthew 15:28 Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.

  280. Reed Here said,

    April 10, 2015 at 1:49 pm

    De Marie: but that is not how Jesus gave us the sacrament. Your insight may be theologically sound. Your connection of the insight to the practice goes against what Jesus explicitly taught.

    I’m much more inclined at this point in my life to believe that neither adding to nor subtracting from the word means exactly that, and leave things at that.

  281. De Maria said,

    April 10, 2015 at 4:34 pm

    Hi Reed,

    you said,
    April 10, 2015 at 1:49 pm

    De Marie: but that is not how Jesus gave us the sacrament.

    We believe it is.

    Your insight may be theologically sound. Your connection of the insight to the practice goes against what Jesus explicitly taught.

    You mean, “what Jesus explicitly taught,in Scripture.

    Whereas, we don’t believe that everything which Jesus did is in Scripture.

    John 21:25 And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.

    I’m much more inclined at this point in my life to believe that neither adding to nor subtracting from the word means exactly that, and leave things at that.

    I understand. If I had been indoctrinated in your tradition, I might perhaps be of the same opinion.

    The difference between you and I, Reed, is that I have been taught, in Scripture and by the Teaching of my Church which I believe also wrote that Scripture, that Jesus Christ appointed the Church to Teach all He commanded.

    Specifically speaking of the Eucharistic consecration, when the Priest consecrates the Body and Blood separately, he does not stop there. That is, however, that with which most people, even most Catholics, are familiar.

    However, as the Mass continues, at the Agnus Dei (Lamb of God) the Catholic Priest then breaks off a piece of the consecrated Host (Breaking of the Bread) and adds it to the consecrated Cup (Commingling). This is to signify the resurrection.

    This is an excerpt from the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom which has been passed down unchanged from the 4th century:

    Priest (After the fraction of the sacred Bread, the priest says in a low voice): The Lamb of God is broken and distributed; broken but not divided. He is forever eaten yet is never consumed, but He sanctifies those who partake of Him.

    (Then the priest places a portion of the sacred Bread in the Cup saying:) The fullness of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

    I don’t think St. John would have introduced any foreign elements into the Mass and still been declared a Saint. It is in his liturgy because it was established practice.

    I, therefore, have no problem with “intinction”. Its a separate question but basically does the same thing. Commingles the Body and Blood of the Lord and thus aptly represents the Resurrection.

    It is rare in the western rite of the Catholic Church. But I don’t and won’t refuse it when offered.

  282. Ron said,

    April 11, 2015 at 11:49 am

    Whereas, we don’t believe that everything which Jesus did is in Scripture.

    DM,

    We believe this too. I’m a bit curious though what you might think you know regarding those things Jesus *did* that aren’t contained in Scripture. I’m not sure Rome claims to know these acts of Jesus.

    The difference between you and I, Reed, is that I have been taught, in Scripture and by the Teaching of my Church which I believe also wrote that Scripture, that Jesus Christ appointed the Church to Teach all He commanded.

    We too have been taught in Scripture and by the church that Jesus appointed the church to teach….And, we also believe that Scripture was penned by holy men of God (the church), under divine inspiration.

    As for me, I am self-taught. Self-indoctrinated. Where’s the problem?

    One problem might be is that you just said that you’ve been taught by Scripture and the church, just like us. The most charitable read is that you’ve been self taught as well as taught from Scripture and the church. These are hardly claims that are peculiar to your communion.

  283. De Maria said,

    April 11, 2015 at 12:05 pm

    Ron said,
    April 11, 2015 at 11:49 am

    DM,

    We believe this too. I’m a bit curious though what you might think you know regarding those things Jesus *did* that aren’t contained in Scripture. I’m not sure Rome claims to know these acts of Jesus.

    It is by faith that I believe these things. In the case being discussed, the Apostles speak of “breaking” the bread. That is the rite which occurs at the point of “commingling”. To me, it makes sense, that it is Jesus who taught the Apostles this terminology and practice.

    We too have been taught in Scripture and by the church that Jesus appointed the church to teach….And, we also believe that Scripture was penned by holy men of God (the church), under divine inspiration.

    Then we agree on that point.

    Further, because I believe that, then I see the New Testament as the first infallible document penned by the Church.

    As for me, I am self-taught. Self-indoctrinated. Where’s the problem?

    One problem might be is that you just said that you’ve been taught by Scripture and the church,

    Agreed.

    just like us.

    I believe you said that.

    The most charitable read is that you’ve been self taught as well as taught from Scripture and the church.

    Correct. Obviously, I didn’t learn these things in a vacuum.

    In addition, I credit God for teaching me through those vehicles.

    These are hardly claims that are peculiar to your communion.

    The difference, then, must be in degree. The degree to which you accept the teaching of your church and I accept the Teaching of mine.

    To illustrate, I believe God speaks to me through my Church. Do you believe that God is speaking to you through yours?

  284. Ron said,

    April 11, 2015 at 1:15 pm

    “To illustrate, I believe God speaks to me through my Church. Do you believe that God is speaking to you through yours?”

    Yes. For instance, she has taught me: “There is no other head of the Church but the Lord Jesus Christ. Nor can the Pope of Rome, in any sense, be head thereof…” Sorry, but you make it so easy sometimes. :)

  285. Ron said,

    April 12, 2015 at 9:30 am

    “Protestants say that you need not keep the Commandments.”

    From WLC:

    Q. 91. What is the duty which God requireth of man?

    A. The duty which God requireth of man, is obedience to his revealed will.

    Q. 98. Where is the moral law summarily comprehended?

    A. The moral law is summarily comprehended in the Ten Commandments, which were delivered by the voice of God upon mount Sinai, and written by him in two tables of stone; and are recorded in the twentieth chapter of Exodus; the four first commandments containing our duty to God, and the other six our duty to man.

    DM,

    The Catechism then goes on in great detail regarding each of the Ten. Maybe you’ve come across some antinomians in your day but not here and not within confessional Protestantism.

    I’m more concerned for you on judgement day than for anyone you might lead astray. I suspect your influence, like mine, doesn’t extend much beyond family.

  286. April 12, 2015 at 10:53 am

    Reed, be careful. DeMaria once told me that 1 John 2:27 referred to Catholic confirmation. Indeed he believes many things were said and taught not found in scripture.

  287. De Maria said,

    April 12, 2015 at 11:40 am

    Ron said,
    April 12, 2015 at 9:30 am….

    DM,

    The Catechism then goes on in great detail regarding each of the Ten. Maybe you’ve come across some antinomians in your day but not here and not within confessional Protestantism.

    I’m more concerned for you on judgement day than for anyone you might lead astray. I suspect your influence, like mine, doesn’t extend much beyond family.

    I am equally concerned for you, Ron. I’m not concerned about how far my influence extends. I simply plant and water. God gives the growth.

    Just to get back on track, do you have any impressions on the question of whether the Sacraments are fundamentals? Or even on the validity of intinction?

  288. Ron said,

    April 12, 2015 at 1:12 pm

    “Just to get back on track, do you have any impressions on the question of whether the Sacraments are fundamentals? Or even on the validity of intinction?”

    DM,

    These are mere desserts relative to the meat and potatoes of the gospel. And although I might be inclined from time to time to discuss such things with the household of faith, I wouldn’t want to give you a false impression regarding my opinion of your standing in Christ, predicated of course on your testimony over the past many months.

    Best of providence.

  289. De Maria said,

    April 12, 2015 at 3:37 pm

    Ron said,
    April 12, 2015 at 1:12 pm

    “Just to get back on track, do you have any impressions on the question of whether the Sacraments are fundamentals? Or even on the validity of intinction?”

    DM,

    These are mere desserts relative to the meat and potatoes of the gospel.

    The Sacraments are the meat and potatoes of the Gospel, Ron. They were established by Jesus Christ in order that we could receive His grace in abundance.

    The Eucharist, is the source and summit of the Faith of Jesus Christ.

    And although I might be inclined from time to time to discuss such things with the household of faith, I wouldn’t want to give you a false impression regarding my opinion of your standing in Christ, predicated of course on your testimony over the past many months.

    Well, I was simply trying to keep to the rules of the forum, since I have been admonished, in the past, to stick to the question at hand.

    However, as I told Reed, I am always ready, willing and able to discuss our differences and to compare them to the Word of God in Scripture and Sacred Tradition.

    Best of providence.

    And to you.

  290. Reed Here said,

    April 13, 2015 at 3:43 pm

    DeMarie, no. 281: indoctrinating dissembling aside, you said,

    “The difference between you and I, Reed, is that I have been taught, in Scripture and by the Teaching of my Church which I believe also wrote that Scripture, that Jesus Christ appointed the Church to Teach all He commanded.”

    No, that is no the difference between you and I here. I affirm the same. My Church simply adheres to what the Christ says, in the Bible, and does not add anything to that.

    But you know this is the difference. I’m surprised you would mischaracterize it in this manner.

  291. Reed Here said,

    April 13, 2015 at 3:50 pm

    DeMarie, no. 281: indoctrinating dissembling aside, you said,

    “I don’t think St. John would have introduced any foreign elements into the Mass and still been declared a Saint. It is in his liturgy because it was established practice.”

    I understand your use of this, and how it fits in with your Church’s scheme of the dual authority of the Bible plus tradition.

    You surely know that our reading of the Bible marks the declaration of John as a saint of dubious value. To be sure, to the extent that John’s life testifies of real faith in Christ, I consider him a saint, Biblically defined as all with real faith in Christ.

    Your Church’s affirming him as a saint actually mars his credibility, as your Church misunderstands and misapplies the doctrine of saints, and with great damage to the gospel (e.g., at least in regard to the treasury of the saints).

    So all this to hopefully clarify so there is no spinning when I say your appeal to authority here falls flat.

  292. Vincent said,

    April 13, 2015 at 4:49 pm

    Reed can you give examples of these:

    Your Church’s affirming him as a saint actually mars his credibility, as your Church misunderstands and misapplies the doctrine of saints

    How do you understand the doctrine of saints? Do you believe they can be prayed too and invoked for intercession?

  293. April 13, 2015 at 6:18 pm

    Vincent, i don’t want to speak for Reed, but praying to saints isn’t biblical. We are to pray to God through one mediator, Christ. The whole system of a hierarchal ladder of saints where one climbs by accumulated inherit righteousness strikes at the heart of the gospel. Namely, its a free gift. The treasury of merit is a great abuse. That some saints earned so many merits they can be “imputed” to someone else is wrong. Scripture says it’s appointed man once to die , then judgment. Incidentally Catholic doctrine has no problem with imputation from Mary to you, but from Christ to us, its a no go. My rule is, read Roman Doctrine, believe the opposite, arrive at biblical truth. So lets reverse Roman Doctrine. We don’t pray to saints but to God. We have one mediator, not many. And there is no hierarchy of merit, just the free gift. Mary hasn’t heard a prayer since the day she died. She isn’t omniscient.

  294. Reed Here said,

    April 13, 2015 at 6:59 pm

    Vincent, it will help me answer if I know a bit more about your background. Are you a practing RC, EO, Protestant, or pagan? If Protestant, denomination? Were you raised this, convert? How studied are you in Christianity and its various branches? Novice, avid student, lay theologian?

    Thanks.

  295. De Maria said,

    April 13, 2015 at 7:25 pm

    Reed Here said,
    April 13, 2015 at 3:50 pm

    DeMarie, no. 281: indoctrinating dissembling aside, you said,

    “I don’t think St. John would have introduced any foreign elements into the Mass and still been declared a Saint. It is in his liturgy because it was established practice.”

    I understand your use of this, and how it fits in with your Church’s scheme of the dual authority of the Bible plus tradition.

    Ok

    You surely know that our reading of the Bible marks the declaration of John as a saint of dubious value.

    Yes.

    To be sure, to the extent that John’s life testifies of real faith in Christ, I consider him a saint, Biblically defined as all with real faith in Christ.

    Ok

    Your Church’s affirming him as a saint actually mars his credibility, as your Church misunderstands and misapplies the doctrine of saints, and with great damage to the gospel (e.g., at least in regard to the treasury of the saints).

    Actually, it is your group which mars the gospel.

    So all this to hopefully clarify so there is no spinning when I say your appeal to authority here falls flat.

    Reed, its just an exchange of views. Look at the thread. You opined that intinction blurs what Jesus said. I disagreed. Did I say that you had to believe me? No. Did I say that you had to agree with me? No.

    All I did was highlight the difference between that which you believe and that which I believe.

    What you seem to be implying, Reed, is that I must agree with everything you say. Is that it?

    And yes, Reed, my authority is Jesus, speaking through His Church.

  296. De Maria said,

    April 13, 2015 at 7:44 pm

    Kevin Failoni said,
    April 13, 2015 at 6:18 pm

    Vincent, i don’t want to speak for Reed, but praying to saints isn’t biblical.

    In fact, we believe it is. It is founded on the Doctrine of the Communion of Saints. Scripture says the following:

    Matthew 17:3 And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him.

    This is shows two saints, speaking to Jesus on the mountain. That confirms that those who die in faith, are alive in Christ.

    Then Scripture says,

    Hebrews 12:23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, 24 And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.

    Note how we now live in union with the living Saints upon the mountain. Therefore, we believe that we can communicate with them, just as we ask other saints for their prayers;

    1 Timothy 2:1 I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;

    We are to pray to God through one mediator, Christ.

    That makes us mediators before Christ. And we continue to mediate after we have passed to the next life.

    The whole system of a hierarchal ladder of saints where one climbs by accumulated inherit righteousness strikes at the heart of the gospel.

    On the contrary, it is described in the Bible:

    Revelation 20:4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: ….

    1 Corinthians 6:3 Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?

    Namely, its a free gift.

    Given to those who keep the Commandments:

    Revelation 22:12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. 13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. 14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.

    The treasury of merit is a great abuse.

    On the contrary, Jesus recommends it:

    Matthew 19:21 Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.

    That some saints earned so many merits they can be “imputed” to someone else is wrong.

    I have not idea to what you are referring.

    Scripture says it’s appointed man once to die , then judgment.

    That’s Catholic Doctrine.

    Incidentally Catholic doctrine has no problem with imputation from Mary to you, but from Christ to us, its a no go.

    You’ll have to provide the Catholic Doctrine to which you refer. Sounds to me as though you’re simply making things up.

    My rule is, read Roman Doctrine, believe the opposite, arrive at biblical truth.

    Your rule is wrong. The fact is that everytime that a doctrine disagrees with Catholic Teaching, it also disagrees with the Bible.

    So lets reverse Roman Doctrine. We don’t pray to saints but to God.

    We pray directly to God and we ask our fellow saints to pray to God for us, as well.

    We have one mediator, not many.

    We are one Body with Christ and therefore pray and make supplications for all men, in Christ:

    1 Timothy 2:1 I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;

    And there is no hierarchy of merit, just the free gift.

    We understand the Scripture which says that God gives His gift freely, to those who obey His Son:

    Hebrews 5:9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;

    Mary hasn’t heard a prayer since the day she died. She isn’t omniscient.

    Mary, is alive with the Saints. And the Saints hear all the prayers of the faithful:

    Revelation 5:8 And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.

  297. Vincent said,

    April 14, 2015 at 4:36 am

    Reed I am college student who likes to study church history and doctrine during my spare time. I would consider myself high church Anglican, though I am still looking for answers and have not totally made up my mind yet.

  298. April 14, 2015 at 10:56 am

    DeMaria said in response to my statement that salvation is a free gift, ” given to those who keep the commandments” This is instructive for those Protestants who would seek some kind of ecumenical middle with the Roman Catholic false religion. DeMaria is put a condition on “free” Gift of righteousness” Obeying the commandments.” But if God gave salvation as a result of an action or ability it would no longer be a gift, but a reward. Acts says “as many as were appointed to eternal life believed” Again my rule states, read Catholic doctrine, believe the opposite, and arrive at biblical truth. God appointed those to eternal life and they believed. So good works can only be the consequence of salvation and not the condition DeMaria would saddle men with. Many of my Reformed brethren forget that our confession still call the Papacy antichrist, and we cannot fellowship in any way with that gospel or their people. Paul would never relent for one moment on the gospel, not one, Galatians 2:5. K

  299. De Maria said,

    April 14, 2015 at 11:22 am

    Kevin Failoni said,
    April 14, 2015 at 10:56 am

    DeMaria said in response to my statement that salvation is a free gift, ” given to those who keep the commandments” This is instructive for those Protestants who would seek some kind of ecumenical middle with the Roman Catholic false religion. DeMaria is put a condition on “free” Gift of righteousness” Obeying the commandments.” But if God gave salvation as a result of an action or ability it would no longer be a gift, but a reward.

    Have you not read in Scripture:

    Romans 2:7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: 8 But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath,

    And again:

    Revelation 22:12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. 13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. 14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.

    Acts says “as many as were appointed to eternal life believed” Again my rule states, read Catholic doctrine, believe the opposite, and arrive at biblical truth. God appointed those to eternal life and they believed.

    Scripture also says:

    Romans 2:13 (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.

    Hebrews 5:9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;

    Therefore, in order to attain eternal life, they had to believe and obey.

    So good works can only be the consequence of salvation and not the condition DeMaria would saddle men with.

    That doesn’t say that they were saved first. They were appointed to eternal life means that they had an appointment to keep.

    Many of my Reformed brethren forget that our confession still call the Papacy antichrist,

    Which ought to be another clue that your confession teaches false doctrine.

    and we cannot fellowship in any way with that gospel or their people. Paul would never relent for one moment on the gospel, not one, Galatians 2:5. K

    Galatians 2:5
    5 To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.

    You probably intended to post 2:8.

    But it is simple to compare your doctrines to Scripture and prove that it is you who preach a false gospel.

  300. Reed Here said,

    April 14, 2015 at 3:08 pm

    DeMarie, Kevin, o.k., now back to the topic.

  301. Reed Here said,

    April 14, 2015 at 3:24 pm

    Vincent, are you familiar with the RCC’s doctrines of sainthood and the treasury of the saints?

  302. Vincent said,

    April 14, 2015 at 6:28 pm

    Yes I am familiar with the treasury of the saints. The development of this doctrine in explicit form was the work of the great Schoolmen, notably Alexander of Hales (Summa, IV, Q. xxiii, m. 3, n. 6), Albertus Magnus (In IV Sent., dist. xx, art. 16), and St. Thomas (In IV Sent., dist. xx, q. i, art. 3, sol. 1). I don;t agree with the doctrine but am familiar with it. Do you believe in at least invoking and praying to saints? What denomination are you by the way?

  303. Eric W said,

    April 15, 2015 at 4:38 am

    Post:
    Our forefathers were willing to die over differences regarding the sacraments. That is because the sacraments preach the gospel. They are gospel issues.

    Response:
    The Apostles were confined to their generation and tasted death by the will of God. They preached the gospel. Apostolic succession is intended to preserve the Apostolic Preacher. It’s the foundation of Priestcraft. Isn’t the willingness to die (or just admiration for it) a seduction to continue the arts and instruments of certain forms of Priestcraft ? Reformation is needed here too.

  304. Reed Here said,

    April 15, 2015 at 8:18 am

    Vincent, I am reformed. Are you familiar with the reformed disagreements with these subjects?

  305. Vincent said,

    April 15, 2015 at 6:49 pm

    Yes I am aware with the disagreements. What is the Reformed view of Aquinas in general by the way?

  306. W.A. Scott said,

    April 15, 2015 at 8:33 pm

    I agree that Sacraments are fundamental when it comes to the Gospel and Salvation.

    This is the dominant view of the reformers and many of the Puritans. Thomas Watson’s short devotional work on the Lord’s Supper (one of the finest works in the Church Catholic on the Sacrament in my opinion) is a great example of this. Here’s a quick snippet from his book:

    “See, then, what entire affection we should bear to Christ, who gives us His body and blood in the Supper….In the Lord’s Supper, Christ bestows all good things. He both imputes His righteousness, and imparts His loving-kindness. He gives a foretaste of that supper which shall be celebrated in the paradise of God. To sum up all, in the blessed supper, Christ gives Himself to believers—and what more could He give?”

    I would encourage people to read the entire work–it’s available here:. http://www.gracegems.org/Watson/Lords%20Supper.htm

    God Bless, W.A.Scott

  307. April 15, 2015 at 9:59 pm

    W.A. Scott said ” I agree that Sacraments are fundamental when it comes to the Gospel and Salvation.” ” He both imputes His righteousness and imparts His loving kindness.” Are you saying they are necessary for salvation? The thief on the cross wasn’t baptized or participate in the Lord’s supper. Scripture says that we are justified by faith, which means it alone can receive our righteousness and bring Him to the heart. John 6 says coming and believing results in eternal life. The Reformers were incensed with Rome because they made a sacrament merit for the strong instead of grace for the weak. K

  308. Reed Here said,

    April 16, 2015 at 8:18 am

    Vincent, not sure how to answer your first question. It appears you understand the reason why I’m inclined to not accept DeMarie’s particular appeal to authority. He did so on the basis of doctrines I do not believe the Scriptures teach.

    As to what reformed in general think of Aquinas, I’m not qualified to offer an opinion.

  309. April 16, 2015 at 9:57 am

    Vincent, I consider myself a Calvinist. I will give you my opinion on Aquinas. I believe he was a heretic for 2 reasons. First, He put forth that a man was predestined to glory in some way according to his merit instead of just the goodness of God. Paul would not have this, Galatians 2:5, Ephesians 2:8. And second, He was responsible for idolatry and the worship of bread with transubstantiation. He called his work straw at the end of his life. He was the guardian of Roman Catholic theology which I believe is the worst profanation of Christianity. It is an apostate, false christianity, a front for the kingdom of satan. The true church has always known this and separated itself from that system, and suffered mightily for it. The biggest Roman lie Reformed buy ( amongst other Protestants) is that the early church was Roman Catholic. It wasn’t, not even close. “The Rise of Roman Catholicism” Tim Kauffman. K

  310. Vincent said,

    April 16, 2015 at 12:18 pm

    He also taught purgatory and indulgences. He came up with the whole treasurey concept.

  311. April 16, 2015 at 2:13 pm

    Vincent, ya, some men just couldn’t keep their semi pelagian hands out of the cookie bowl. He had to fulfill Aristotle’s dreams by connecting a christian faith ethic to a pagan philosophy to make the gospel more acceptable to natural man. Result, false gospel. Purgatory, the Mass, treasury, indulgences etc. is all about burning off your temporal punishment. Because you see in Catholicism Christ didn’t really do anything significant on the cross. Hence their rejection of psub. When 2 Corinthians 5:21 says “he was made sin” it really means he wasn’t made sin. The theme of Roman Catholicism is to undermine the sufficiency of Christ and scripture, and opt for faith in a church. But a church can’t save you. When one studies the early church -390, it becomes evident that Roman Catholicism is the foreign agent. Had they followed Augustine instead of Aquinas things may have been different, but then that wasn’t going to happen because God prophesied the apostasy which would come from within the church. It came right on time. 4th century. Mariology, Papacy, justification by faith plus works, Jerome’s mistranslations of the Vulgate, forbidding marriage, worship of relics, praying to saints, and whatever else they could pile on the cross. The Reformers too a cycle to the pile, and rescued the Apostles and early church from their hair splitting academics. The dismantled the ecclesial machinery that had developed that was mostly human in origin and content. Nothing is changed today. Its more pelagian today than at any other time in history. JPII told muslims, stay where you are, do your best, and your golden.

  312. Reed Here said,

    April 16, 2015 at 3:40 pm

    O.k., back on topic.

  313. Ron said,

    April 17, 2015 at 7:17 am

    Kevin,

    I wouldn’t want to detract from what is good, but…”The true church has always known this and separated itself from that system, and suffered mightily for it…”

    I’m curious, whether you are referring to the thirteenth century Waldenses? I’ve never been able to find their doctrine on justification. And, I’m of the opinion that being a protestor isn’t sufficient to make one Protestant. For instance, one can protest by appointing women to preach. Or a sect can appoint their own form of pope, a superintendent of sorts. These sorts of things occurred within the sects yet without a confession of the gospel.

    Feel free to hit me up off line so not to detail further.

  314. Ron said,

    April 17, 2015 at 7:19 am

    Excuse me, that’s derail.

    rondig1 comcast

  315. April 17, 2015 at 10:42 am

    Ron, Tim Kauffman is doing some great work on this in his present series on ” Out of His mouth” Whitehorse blog. His stuff on the Fathers is the best I have read. And I believe of all the modern theologians, he has exposed the error of RC an their doctrines as not existing in the early church better than anyone. He is a former Roman Catholic and in my oppinion an expert on it and the early church history. I don’t buy into a universal visible church. Peter in his last days left the saints to the Spirit and the Word. When one studies the early church fathers, it is clear to me that they understood that Christ was the bishop of His church from heaven thru the Spirit and the Word. Not to say that I don’t believe in visible churches, but not one with a home office in Rome. The biggest lie Protestants, Reformed, have bought from Catholics is the early church was Roman Catholic. It wasn’t. The early church were congregations in many places. As to the Waldenses, I can’t speak to their doctrine of justification, but they separated themselves from the Beast. You have actually peaked my interest to find their view on justification. I do however believe the church according to scripture will be persecuted, and if we look at those groups persecuted by Romanism we can find the church. Its always interesting that Rome has been the persecutor. The groups that separated themselves from the idolatry of bread worship, sacramental efficacy in the place of the atonement, and gospel of gracious works, the Papacy etc are documented. Kauffman does a thorough study of the early fathers and what you will find, they always maintained their categories perfectly, bread was never offered to God, only to men, and to God only praise and spiritual sacrifices. I don’t disagree with you that protest in itself identifies the true gospel. But I believe when the Reformers were kicked out, they didn’t go far enough. The very freedom’s Luther fought for from Rome, he ended up being a part of in Protestant state persecution. But I digress. I can’t say I don’t disagree with you other groups were in error. Of course we all know it hinges n the hinge. K

  316. April 17, 2015 at 11:02 am

    Back to the subject, if Sacraments are gospel issues then the thief on the cross has allot of explaining to do, and Paul was neglecting his job as apostle because he said he didn’t come to baptize but preach the gospel. He puts them in antithesis at least in some way. And if they were gospel issues, Paul said he didn’t come to do some part of the gospel. Hardly. This article starts out with ” are they gospel issues”. If this means that they are necessary to be saved, then I don’t see how this is different than Catholicism. Sacraments can take their rightful place as a sign, seal and confirmation of the grace received by faith. ” For by grace you have been saved thru Faith”

  317. roberty bob said,

    April 17, 2015 at 11:41 am

    From Acts 2:36ff . . .

    “Let all Israel accept as certain that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.”

    When they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the apostles, “Friends, what are we to do?”

    “Repent,” said Peter, “repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus the Messiah for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
    …….

    So, Peter preached the gospel. The people came under conviction, and asked what they had to do. Peter told them to repent and be baptized . . . and promised those who did so the gift of the Holy Spirit.

    Questions:

    Would the people be saved if they did not receive the gift of the Holy Spirit? [One cannot have Christ without having His Holy Spirit.]

    According to Peter, what actions are required in order to receive the Holy Spirit? [Repentance and Christian baptism are required.]

    Would any of these people have been saved [received the gift of the Holy Spirit] had they refused to repent? [No.]

    Would any of these people have been saved [received the gift of the Holy Spirit] had they refused to be baptised in the name of Jesus the Messiah for the forgiveness of their sins? [No. not according to Peter.]

    Does anyone disagree now that the sacrament of baptism is fundamental to the gospel of our salvation?

    Baptism was a gospel issue in Acts chapter 2. Very much so!

  318. April 17, 2015 at 12:46 pm

    roberty bob, Grace to You John MacArthur. ” Is water baptism necessary for salvation” great article. He goes through the exegesis of Acts 2:38. Incidentally, Peter never made water baptism necessary for salvation in his gospel presentations. He preached his great sermon from Solomon’s portico in Acts 3 and never mentions it. Paul told the Philippians jailer simply believe and you will be saved. Then he baptized him and his household.

  319. roberty bob said,

    April 17, 2015 at 1:16 pm

    to #318 . . .

    You are severing baptism from repentance. Peter binds repentance and baptism together. Track the ministry of Peter and Paul in Acts. Where you find a receptive hearing of the Gospel, there is the call to repentance and baptism. Yes, even Paul had a hand in the baptisms at Philippi and Ephesus. Whenever Pentecost comes to town [see the town in Samaria (Acts 8) and the gentile household of Cornelius (Acts 10)] you find repentance unto life, baptism, and the filling with the Holy Spirit all occurring.

    Of course you can find examples of persons who believed and were saved without the opportunity to be baptized. But you cannot escape the New Testament norm in which baptism is administered to all who repent. If you say that baptism is unnecessary, then I could counter by saying that repentance is also unnecessary. What is true of one is true of the other because they are inseparable.

    So, let me ask the questions again . . .

    Will anyone who refuses to repent receive the Holy Spirit?
    Will anyone who refuses to be baptized receive the Holy Spirit?

    My answers to those two questions are NO and NO.

    Your answers to those two questions appear to be NO and YES.

  320. April 17, 2015 at 1:37 pm

    319 Its not an issue of severing anything. Did I say someone shouldn’t be baptized or repent. You are tying baptism to regeneration. Salvation is the monergistic work of the Spirit thru the Word. Thats what scripture means by the washing of the Word or the washing of regeneration. Scripture and the early church were CLEAR, we are regenerated thru the Spirit and the Word, not the magic of physical water. If you believe that, go to Rome. You said “will anyone who refuses to repent and be baptized receive the Holy Spirit.” Wrong way to say it. Those who the Spirit regenerates thru the Word WILL repent and be baptized. If someone I share the gospel with today says to me I believe, and suddenly dies, is he not saved. When Paul said to the jailer believe and you will be saved, was he saved before he was baptized? Peter says baptism now saves you, NOT the washing of dirt from the body, but an appeal to God for a good conscience. Can someone appeal to God without being internally regenerated by the Spirit thru the Word? John said ” to as many as receive Him, He has given them the right to be children of God. We must attempt to understand verses like Acts 2:38 in proper context. K

  321. roberty bob said,

    April 17, 2015 at 2:26 pm

    “You are tying baptism to regeneration.” — Kevin

    Like the Apostle Peter, I am tying baptism to the Father’s promise to give the Holy Spirit to those who repent and receive Christian baptism.

    Do I believe that the Holy Spirit is then given at Christian baptism? Why would I not believe that? At what other moment, at what other event would you expect the promised Holy Spirit to be given?

    Peter does not say to all Israel, “I can see that you are under conviction of sin and that the Holy Spirit has just done a work of regeneration within you so that you are saved. Since you are now — by the looks of it — SAVED, take this first step of obedience and get yourself baptized in Jesus’ name to show that you are one of the regenerate who has repented of sin.”

    No, Peter tells those who are under conviction of sin to repent and be baptized in Jesus’ name SO THAT they may receive the promised gift of the Holy Spirit, and be added to the number of the believers.

    So, what did they do? They repented and were baptized in Jesus’ name.

    What was the outcome? They received the Holy Spirit as promised, and they were added to the number of the believers.

  322. April 17, 2015 at 6:56 pm

    robbery bob said, ” No, Peter tells those who are under conviction of sin to repent and be baptized so that SO THAT they may receive the promised gift of the Holy Spirit.” Hey man apply for the Roman Priesthood! Think about what you just said. A man can repent and be baptized before he receives the Spirit. Let’s call you the great pelagian! And on that condition he can receive the Holy Spirit. You do and God gives you grace. Unfortunately scripture says ” as many as were APPOINTED to salvation, believed” Take another stab at Acts 2:38, your’s won’t suffice.

  323. roberty bob said,

    April 17, 2015 at 8:21 pm

    Acts 2:38 . . . “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus the Messiah for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

    Kevin, I think that you are saying that these people of Israel who believed the Gospel preaching of Peter, and were cut to the heart with deep conviction ALREADY had the Holy Spirit within them, and were therefore regenerated [saved!]. By repenting now, and being baptized, they would put a SEAL on the regeneration that the Holy Spirit had wrought within them.

    I know that you wouldn’t re-write Acts 2:38 because you are not that kind of guy. So, tell me . . . why would Peter promise that they who repent and get baptized in the name of Jesus WILL receive the gift of the Holy Spirit if, in fact, they had already received the gift of the Holy Spirit BEFORE they repented and got baptized? Why doesn’t Peter say to them instead, “I see that you are under deep conviction; this is a good sign because it shows that you have been regenerated already, that you are being saved right now as we speak; good, go get baptized to confirm and seal the fact that the Holy Spirit has just now given you new birth.”

    Peter doesn’t quite say it that way now, does he? So, why doesn’t he?

    Tell me how I should read Acts 2:38. Explain it in your own words. Don’t refer me to John MacArthur.

  324. April 17, 2015 at 10:51 pm

    roberty rob, read MacArthur’s analysis of Acts 2:38 in the article I told you about and see if you agree. I think his view is plausible, and I would say in light of the other biblical evidence is probably right. Let me know. God bless. P.S. Water doesn’t regenerate. The washing of regeneration refers to what the Spirit does thru the Word. Nicodemas knew nothing of baptism. Regeneration must precede the other graces such as faith and repentance. Baptism is the sign and seal. This is my position.

  325. roberty bob said,

    April 17, 2015 at 11:34 pm

    MacArthur reasons that if baptism is necessary for salvation, then it needs to be mentioned in every New Testament setting in which the Gospel is preached. So, it matters not to him that Peter commands his hearers to repent and be baptized in Acts 2 because in a second preaching event cited in Acts 3 it is not mentioned that Peter gave the command to repent and be baptized. To satisfy MacArthur, it must be shown in the New Testament that Peter and Paul ALWAYS commanded those who heard their sermons to repent and be baptized. Where Christ says “whoever believes and is baptized shall be saved,” MacArthur asserts that it is the believing ONLY that counts toward one’s salvation, not the believing AND the baptism together. I don’t find his exegesis convincing. I think he imposes his own views on the scripture text.

    I do believe, of course, that a person is not regenerated without the Holy Spirit. Just as the original creation came in being [was born!] by the generation of the Holy Spirit, so being born anew [born again!] is a regenerating action of the Holy Spirit. I believer, however, that the Holy Spirit asserts His regenerating power in the baptismal rite. Just as the Holy Spirit descended upon our Lord at his baptism, so also . . . [you get the point, right?]. Why, in your view, are the two kept separate? You want to locate the new birth at some point always before baptism is administered. Why not locate the new birth at baptism? We do, after all, only confess One Baptism. Right? Or do you confess two of them?

    There are plenty of Reformed Christians who baptize their infants, believing that God’s promise to give His Holy Spirit may well occur at the baptism font. Why not there?

  326. April 18, 2015 at 1:11 am

    roberty bob said ” I believe that the Holy Spirit asserts His regenerating action in the baptismal right.” Prove this from scripture. We can then conclude, based on your view, the act of man is necessary for salvation. Yet Titus 3:5 says ” He saved us, not according to righteous deeds, but according to His mercy.” by the “washing of regeneration” This cannot mean baptism, because the apostle just eliminated all righteous deeds. Washing in the OT was the inside cleansing of sin ( the work of the Spirit thru the Word). The early fathers speak of the washing of the Word. It is not the water rite that cleanses, but the Holy Spirit thru the Word. Baptism is closely tied ( sign), but it isn’t the agent of regeneration. Galatians 3:2 ” This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of Law, or by hearing with faith. God brings us to faith by hearing the word and by the washing of regeneration of the Word thru the agency of the Spirit.

  327. roberty bob said,

    April 18, 2015 at 9:03 am

    Ananias to Saul of Tarsus: What are you waiting for? Be baptized and wash your sins away!

    There is one baptism — water AND Spirit are one. Why do you keep the Spirit as far away from the water as possible?

    You say that baptism is “the act of man.” I say that baptism is “the act of the Lord.” You are unable to acknowledge that powerful truth. What are you afraid of?

  328. April 18, 2015 at 10:48 am

    roberty bob, ” why do you keep the Spirit as far away from the water as possible.” I don’t. But they aren’t the same thing. You are making the sign and the thing signified, the same thing. You are Catholic. You believe in magic water. I can say to you why do you make physical water the Holy Spirit? It might comfort people who have family members that are wayward. But it’s a false comfort. I actually believe Baptism is an act of God. But only to believers. Don’t tell me we don’t have a bunch of infantlly baptized heathens running around this world with false security. We do. It is the Spirit thru the Word that creates faith in the heart, not baptism. K

  329. April 18, 2015 at 10:53 am

    Ron, as response to your point about the Waldenses, Tim Kauffman is actually tracing the church in his recent series ” The Visible apostolicity of the invisible church.” He is going to address the Vadois and where the church went with the rise of Roman Catholicism in the 4th century. If you are interested. God bless K

  330. April 18, 2015 at 10:56 am

    roberty bob, also, if you want an amazing look at baptismal regeneration in the early church, Tim Kauffman does an incredible job in his series about that subject in response to called to communion. K

  331. roberty bob said,

    April 18, 2015 at 12:26 pm

    “infantly baptized heathens running around the world with false security”

    These infantly baptized heathens would be the children of professing Christians now, wouldn’t they, to whom the Lord’s promise has been given?

    “I can say to you why do you make physical water the Holy Spirit” — K

    I don’t make physical water the Holy Spirit. Jesus said to Nicodemus that to see the kingdom of heaven a person must be born of water and the Spirit. WATER and Spirit. Water and SPIRIT. John 3:5 The two go together. Jesus says so. Tell me, Kevin, how BOTH Water and Spirit bring about this new birth. If this water of which Jesus speaks is not the water of baptism, then what is this water? The only water I know of that brings about a new birth — a crossing over from death to life — is the water of baptism. Reformed baptism liturgies — the forms that we read in church when administering baptism — all proclaim this truth. I know this for a fact.

    “It is the Spirit through the Word that creates faith in the heart, not baptism.” — K

    I never claimed that baptism creates faith in the heart. Of course it is the Spirit through the Word that creates faith in the heart. I am only agreeing with Jesus who said that one cannot enter his kingdom unless he is born of water [baptism] and Spirit [the regeneration of new life in the heart]. Nicodemus and Kevin and Bob cannot enter without being born of water and Spirit. What does it mean to be born of water and the Spirit? You think that Jesus does not mean baptism when he says “born of water.” What, then, does Jesus mean?

  332. April 18, 2015 at 2:02 pm

    Jesus said to Nicodemus that to see the kingdom of God a person would have to be born of water and Spirit” Ya, and since we know that Nicodemus would have no idea what baptism was, since it wasn’t instituted yet, your conclusion isn’t possible. You said ” those infantly baptized heathens would be children of professing Christians” So a man who has a son living with his girlfriend who denounces Christ is saved thru the parents being a Christian” Got it. Welcome to Rome. You continued, ” tell me Kevin how water brings about rebirth” It doesn’t. Its a sign of rebirth. Its a sign of the new covenant. The Reformed like to compare circumcision to baptism. Those who were circumcised in the OT, who were beneficiaries of the earthly promises of Israel, many were on their way to hell, because they didn’t believe.

  333. roberty bob said,

    April 18, 2015 at 2:46 pm

    Nicodemus would have known full well what baptism was as news of John’s baptism of repentance had been broadcast far and wide.

    But for you, the water of which Jesus refers in John 3:5 has no reference to baptism. What water, then, is Jesus talking about, and why did Jesus deny entrance to the kingdom for those who might come to it without water? WATER AND Spirit, Kevin. Jesus said so.

  334. April 18, 2015 at 4:07 pm

    So lets get this straight, Jesus had to explain to Nicodemus that being born again did NOT mean going back into his mother’s womb, but he would have understood Jesus reference to water as believers baptism ( different than John’s). If you believe that, I got some land in Florida to sell you. Kidding! We only have proof of believers baptism in scripture. And the argument that infant baptism is a violation of the regulative principle seems strong. I believe Reformed, although recognizing the discontinuity of the OT and the New, miss the movement. The New covenant is radically different. And Baptism isn’t circumcision. The only members of the New Covenant are believers. And we only have evidence of believers baptism. If you say baptism is necessary for salvation, then Paul was derilect to say he didn’t come to baptize, but to preach the gospel. Salvation comes thru hearing the word of God. Romans 10:17. Not through magical water. And yes Baptism is an gift of God. Here is what Peter said” Baptism now saves you, not the washing of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience- thru the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ” IOW without the work of the Spirit and the Word to bring about faith and repentance, there would be no baptism. The early church baptized believers. Infant baptism gushed as a state influenced monolithic christianizing of babies to identify them for the state with Constantine. Baptism is always identified with believing in the NT. Even in those household situations. No credobaptist would deny that children of believers receive blessing by being the children of believers. But members of the NC are believers. K

  335. roberty bob said,

    April 18, 2015 at 6:04 pm

    Paul understood his commission to be that of preaching the gospel from place to place — he was in a hurry to get the message out to the whole world; so he left it to the appointed elders to do the baptizing. On occasion, however, Paul himself did baptize as you full well know: in Philippi and Ephesus.

    Jesus’ disciples are shown to baptizing in John 3 after the Nicodemus meeting — with everyone going over to Jesus in order to be baptized. So, Christian baptism is taking place already — well before the Great Commission. Nicodemus, a leading elder of Israel, would have known what was going on in the ministry of Jesus. He knew enough to want desperately to meet with Jesus at night.

    You still haven’t explained, Kevin, what Jesus meant when he said that no one can enter the kingdom of heaven unless he is born of water and spirit. You are certain about the Spirit being necessary for the new birth, but you don’t much care for the water. Why is Spirit necessary in your view, but not water?

  336. April 18, 2015 at 7:28 pm

    Born of water and spirit. This reference to water Nicodemus would have directly understood in the OT usage to mean the internal cleansing ( washing) of sin. It wasn’t reference to physical water. Much like the term in Titus 3 ” the washing of regeneration” referring to the work of the Spirit in cleansing us and regenerating us.

  337. roberty bob said,

    April 18, 2015 at 8:18 pm

    Very good, Kevin. Ezekiel 36:24ff. Water and Spirit. “I will sprinkle clean water on you and you will be clean. I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.”

    Now that’s a new birth if ever I saw one! Baptism — the sprinkling of clean water — would signify the cleansing of the Spirit now, wouldn’t it?

  338. April 19, 2015 at 12:23 am

    Yes the sprinkling would signify the cleansing of the Spirit, but doesn’t Affect ( effect it) Never know which one is which. Jesus told Nicodemus the Spirit blows how and where He wills. The water follows the Spirit, not vice versa. K

  339. April 19, 2015 at 11:42 am

    roberty bob, also John Murray says in his book Redemption accomplished and Applied that the water in that verse does not refer to water baptism, but to the OT understanding of purification which Nicodemus would have understood. The Spirit is the agency of regeneration how and where HE wills, not at the behest of a secondary cause. Water doesn’t regenerate, the Spirit does by the washing of the Word. You said ” the infantly baptized heathens would be children of Professing Christians.” This statement is naive. Infantly baptized heathens are children of many people, other infantly baptized heathens, professing christians, etc. What does the condition of the parent have to do with the Spirit blowing where and how HE wills. The Reformed position says it is a promise. But if that person ends up not believing, did the Spirit renege on His promise. Thats why I believe the NT teaches that baptism is a sign of believing.

  340. roberty bob said,

    April 19, 2015 at 5:10 pm

    to #339 . . . Kevin . . .

    You used the term “infantly baptized heathen” in the first place, and I added that these would be the children of professing Christians. I did not say that profession of the all professing Christians is genuine. It does remain true, however, that all infants who are brought to the baptism font are brought there by professing Christian parent(s). My statement is not naive; I am not judging the spiritual health of the parents who are having their infants baptized; some of them would be in fine spiritual health and others in poor spiritual health. I am only saying that the parents are professing members and they are regarded as such my their respective churches. My wife and I have four children, all of them baptized in infancy or early childhood. Three have made an adult [mature] profession of faith; one has not yet done so. Of the three professors, one has turned away from Christ; the one non-professor worships every Lord’s Day on his own accord, but shows no interest yet in making his profession of faith on account of a seriously disabling hope destroying illness. So, two of our four are living in accord with their profession of faith. Do I view my wayward child and my not yet professing child as infantly baptized heathens? One might take such a view, but we pray that God will yet be gracious to them and draw them close — work repentance in the one, and bring healing and hope to the other.

    I have no doubt about the Spirit blowing where and how He wills. I do believe the Lord blesses His church when professing Christian parents bring their infant children to the baptismal font to receive the covenant sign and seal as they are admitted into the church / adopted into God’s worldwide family — with all of the promises [I will be your God, you will be my people], privileges, and responsibilities that admission entails.

    No, God does not renege on His promises. That’s why we hold fast to Him in faith.

  341. April 19, 2015 at 8:05 pm

    I also will pray that God would be gracious to your children. God bless K

  342. roberty bob said,

    April 19, 2015 at 8:45 pm

    Thank you, Kevin. It is good that we can pray for those that we only know — for now — through the world wide web. In the Age to Come I’m sure we will have much better connections. We’ll also be in agreement with one another as every truth comes to light. — RB

  343. April 19, 2015 at 9:06 pm

    Agreed

  344. De Maria said,

    April 24, 2015 at 11:13 pm

    Good to hear from you again, RB,

    It seems, Kevin, that you have a black and white view of the Sacraments. My impression, from your comments, is that you view them all as simply unnecessary. So, let’s take them one at a time.

    Christ said:

    Mark 16:16King James Version (KJV)

    16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

    Now, I know that some of you will disallow that verse. But there are others. For instance, Scripture also says:

    Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

    So, Kevin, POINT BLANK, do you say that Baptism is not a fundamental of the Gospel of Jesus Christ?

  345. roberty bob said,

    April 25, 2015 at 10:02 pm

    Good Day De Maria,

    This is how I understand Kevin’s viewpoint. Salvation boils down to one essential truth: regeneration or the new birth. This is a work of the Holy Spirit in the heart of the person who believes the gospel; in fact, the new birth (in a sense) precedes, if even by a split second, the actual act of believing. Since it is believers in Christ who step forward to be baptized [keep in mind that Kevin is a baptist and baptizing infants is not allowed], the new birth must have occurred before the sacrament is administered. The baptist finds it incredible that baptism could ever be the actual occasion for the new birth. The only thing that baptism can do is serve as a confirming sign that the person baptized in one who has already been born anew or saved by the regeneration of the Holy Spirit.

    This is quite different than the view that by baptism one is admitted into the body of Christ, the community of worshiping believers. Baptism, then, is very much a “union” sacrament. In that sense, no person can be saved until he is joined to the body of Christ. This would explain why our Lord Jesus holds believing the gospel and being baptized together so that he who believes and is baptized shall be saved.

    Just as Old Israel under the leadership of Moses was not saved from Pharaoh / Egypt until being baptized in the sea [the Red Sea crossing], so the New Israel under the leadership of Jesus is not saved until being baptized for the remission / washing away of sins.

    Kevin maintains that the water of baptism can only symbolically picture what the Holy Spirit — the real sin cleansing agent — has already done. Since the real action occurs in the realm of the Holy Spirit, water baptism does not [indeed cannot] effect anything. Therefore, baptism is not a gospel fundamental.

  346. April 26, 2015 at 10:18 am

    DeMaria, How are you? Hope you are well. It would not be correct to say that I have a view of the Sacraments that they are unnecessary. This would be unbiblical and foolish. Sacraments however don’t save, faith does. But Ephesians 2:8 is clear that we are saved by faith, not sacramental efficacy, but faith. And as J.C. Ryle said beware of a church that make the sacraments to much, since there are only 4 verses in all the Epistles on the Lord’s supper. Compare that to the word faith. Faith has always been the entry way into this holistic salvation for Paul. Of course faith is the result of God’s regenerating us thru the Spirit and the Word. Sacraments take their rightful place as signs and seals of God’s grace, but they are not the thing signified. Rome could never make the statement that Paul made to the jailer, ” believe on the Lord and you will be saved. I believe that the concept of sacramental efficacy in the place of the atonement is a false gospel. This was a big deal for the Reformers. Rome had made them merit for the strong, instead of free grace for the weak. I do not deny the importance of Baptism as you have pointed out in Mark 16. But the end of that verse says the one who does not believe will be damned. I believe true faith looks back on our baptism as a sign and reminder of who we belong to. I also believe that the Lord’s supper is looking back at the one time sacrifice at the consummation of the ages that saved us, reminding us by faith that that one sacrifice is a blanket across history that saved me. It is also an opportunity to confess our sins and commemorate that sacrifice which covers all our sins, past, present, future. It is also the opportunity to offer up the only sacrifices acceptable to God from the altar of our heart, spiritual sacrifices and thanksgiving for a salvation and sacrifice we remember. It is not a continual re breaking of the Lord’s body, as Trent clearly teaches, but a remembrance of the ONLY sacrifice. Rome needs to let Him off the cross to be Lord and Savior, He is risen. To answer your question I believe Ephesians 2:8, that we are saved by faith alone. Baptism is a sign for believers. Vermigli said faith was the firm and constant assent of the soul to the Word of God. Peter says baptism saves in that it is an appeal to God for a good conscience. This appeal can only be made if God calls a man through the word. Churches or rites or ceremonies don’t connect us to God, but the Spirit thru the washing of the Word, bringing faith and repentance. God bless.

  347. April 26, 2015 at 10:25 am

    If Baptism is necessary for salvation, we would expect it to be presented whenever the gospel is presented. This simply isn’t the case. God bless

  348. roberty bob said,

    April 26, 2015 at 2:46 pm

    “If baptism is necessary for salvation, we would expect it to be presented whenever the gospel is presented. This simply isn’t the case.” — Kevin

    Kevin, you make extraordinary demands of the New Testament scriptures. You require EVERY record of Gospel preaching to state that those who believed the apostles’ message were baptized then and there. The fact that SOME of recorded incidents of Gospel preaching give no indication of baptisms to follow tells you that baptism is not necessary for salvation. Never mind the SEVERAL incidents early on in Acts which clearly demonstrate that an acceptance of the Gospel was accompanied by repentance, baptism, and the gift of the Holy Spirit.
    It would never have entered anyone’s mind — at in those days — that baptism was unnecessary.

    “Churches or rites or ceremonies don’t connect us to God . . . .” — Kevin

    The very purpose of baptism is to CONNECT the Christian believer to the BODY OF CHRIST — to the Lord & His Covenant People. It is a holy rite [sacrament] which brings a person into the membership of the Body of Christ. In the Reformed Churches of which I am acquainted, only those who have been baptized into Christ are admitted to the Lord’s Supper. Baptism is evidence of an actual connection with the Lord & His People. No Union, No Communion.

  349. April 27, 2015 at 2:02 am

    roberty bob, “The very purpose of baptism is to connect us to God.” Nice try defending that presupposition. It’s a sign. Wasn’t Abraham justified before he was circumcised. Romans 4. K

  350. roberty bob said,

    April 27, 2015 at 6:59 am

    Yes, Kevin . . . the same way that you were married to your wife before your wedding day when you said I do to each other and put the ring on your finger. That’s when you and she got connected. Hitched! Every year you remember the anniversary of your wedding day. Of course, that’s all symbolic because you were really married long before the wedding day ritual ceremony occurred. But what do know about rites that CONNECT?

  351. De Maria said,

    April 27, 2015 at 2:33 pm

    Kevin Failoni said,
    April 27, 2015 at 2:02 am

    roberty bob, “The very purpose of baptism is to connect us to God.” Nice try defending that presupposition. It’s a sign.

    Its both. Its an efficacious sign that brings about what it signifies.

    Wasn’t Abraham justified before he was circumcised. Romans 4. K

    Yes. But circumcision is ONLY a sign. It is not efficacious.

    We have a better Covenant with better promises. This is what Scripture says:

    Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

    You see, Baptism is the circumcision without hands.

    Colossians 2:11 In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: 12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. 13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;

    Baptism is the true circumcision of the heart:

    Romans 2:28 For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: 29 But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.

    Sincerely,

    De Maria

  352. roberty bob said,

    April 27, 2015 at 5:47 pm

    The Acts of the Apostles shows Gospel ministry in action. When the Gospel is preached and Christ’s name is believed in, baptism follows immediately with the Holy Spirit being received. These always go together. DeMaria is right.

  353. April 28, 2015 at 12:30 am

    DeMaria read 347. K

  354. April 28, 2015 at 12:32 am

    For by grace you have been saved thru faith. You guys remember that right.

  355. Don said,

    April 28, 2015 at 3:59 am

    roberty bob 352,

    baptism follows immediately with the Holy Spirit being received

    No. You are overstating your case. In Acts 8:14-17, the Holy Spirit was not received “immediately” after baptism, but only when the Apostles prayed and laid hands on the Samaritan believers. This is, of course, in contrast to Acts 10:44-48, where the Holy Spirit falls on the Gentile believers before baptism.

  356. De Maria said,

    April 28, 2015 at 9:15 am

    Kevin Failoni said,
    April 26, 2015 at 10:25 am

    If Baptism is necessary for salvation, we would expect it to be presented whenever the gospel is presented. This simply isn’t the case. God bless

    That’s because you go by Scripture alone, Kevin. Which means that you read Reformed novelties into the Word of God.

    But Jesus Christ established the Church and commanded the Church to TEACH all that He commanded. We know that Baptism is necessary from Church Teaching.

    And we know that the New Testament is based upon that Church Teaching. And we know that Church Teaching is directly from Jesus Christ.

  357. De Maria said,

    April 28, 2015 at 9:17 am

    Kevin Failoni said,
    April 28, 2015 at 12:32 am

    For by grace you have been saved thru faith. You guys remember that right.

    This is a reference to the grace we receive through the Sacraments, in this case Baptism, when we submit to them in faith:

    1 Peter 3:21 The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:

  358. De Maria said,

    April 28, 2015 at 9:29 am

    Don said,
    April 28, 2015 at 3:59 am

    roberty bob 352,

    baptism follows immediately with the Holy Spirit being received

    No. You are overstating your case. In Acts 8:14-17, the Holy Spirit was not received “immediately” after baptism, but only when the Apostles prayed and laid hands on the Samaritan believers.

    What you are overlooking is that this is still a Sacrament. It is the Sacrament of Confirmation:

    1304 Like Baptism which it completes, Confirmation is given only once, for it too imprints on the soul an indelible spiritual mark, the “character,” which is the sign that Jesus Christ has marked a Christian with the seal of his Spirit by clothing him with power from on high so that he may be his witness.121

    This is, of course, in contrast to Acts 10:44-48, where the Holy Spirit falls on the Gentile believers before baptism.

    Again, note that in neither case do the Apostles view these circumstances as an excuse to eschew Baptism. When St. Peter sees the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on St. Cornelius’ group, he doesn’t say, “BAPTISM is no longer necessary!”

    But instead, he says:

    45 And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.

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

    47 Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?

    48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.

  359. roberty bob said,

    April 28, 2015 at 2:13 pm

    So, Don, you want to quibble over “immediately?” How about “soon thereafter?”

    My point stands. Whether the filling of the Spirit comes before the baptism, or after the baptism, the Acts of the Apostles demonstrates beyond refutation that the two belong together.

    De Maria soundly makes the same point.

  360. Don said,

    April 28, 2015 at 3:41 pm

    De Maria 358,

    What you are overlooking is that this is still a Sacrament. It is the Sacrament of Confirmation

    I’m not sure what the “this” is that you refer to. Are you saying that the falling of the Holy Spirit upon believers is Confirmation? If so, then do you agree that sometimes people are baptized first, and sometimes confirmed first, per the two examples from Acts?

    roberty bob 359,
    If you’re going to argue that “follows immediately” is the same as “soon thereafter” is the same as “before” then no, I do not wish to quibble with you about that, but not because I agree with you.

    But if you are going to amend “always go together” to instead say “belong together” then I would agree.

  361. De Maria said,

    April 28, 2015 at 5:44 pm

    Don said,
    April 28, 2015 at 3:41 pm

    De Maria 358,

    What you are overlooking is that this is still a Sacrament. It is the Sacrament of Confirmation

    I’m not sure what the “this” is that you refer to. Are you saying that the falling of the Holy Spirit upon believers is Confirmation? If so, then do you agree that sometimes people are baptized first, and sometimes confirmed first, per the two examples from Acts?

    Which example shows the laying on of hands (i.e. Confirmation), first?

  362. Don said,

    April 29, 2015 at 12:36 am

    De Maria 361,
    How about you answer my question with an answer instead of another question. Specifically: What are you calling the sacrament of confirmation? Where do you see it in the text?

  363. April 29, 2015 at 8:56 am

    DeMaria said ” thats why you go to the scripture alone……but Jesus established the church” Ya and the practice in the early church was adult baptism. Infant baptism was basically a 4th century monolithic state influenced practice. Every Catholic theologian even says there ISNT one instance of Baby baptism in scripture. But DeMaria you read Catholic error into everything. You once told me that 1 John 2:27 was confirmation. I had a good laugh. God bless

  364. De Maria said,

    April 29, 2015 at 9:21 am

    Don said,
    April 29, 2015 at 12:36 am

    De Maria 361,
    How about you answer my question with an answer instead of another question.

    Ok, you asked.

    If so, then do you agree that sometimes people are baptized first, and sometimes confirmed first, per the two examples from Acts?

    No. There is no example of “confirmation first” in either of the examples from Acts.

    Specifically: What are you calling the sacrament of confirmation?

    The laying on of hands.

    Where do you see it in the text?

    Acts 8:17 Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.

  365. De Maria said,

    April 29, 2015 at 9:27 am

    Kevin Failoni said,
    April 29, 2015 at 8:56 am

    DeMaria said ” thats why you go to the scripture alone……but Jesus established the church” Ya and the practice in the early church was adult baptism.

    Infant baptism was taught by Jesus Christ. That is why the Church held that Doctrine in the beginning and continues to hold that Teaching.

    Infant baptism was basically a 4th century monolithic state influenced practice. Every Catholic theologian even says there ISNT one instance of Baby baptism in scripture.

    You are simply reading it out of the text:

    Acts 16:15 And when she was baptized, and her household, she besought us, saying, If ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide there. And she constrained us.

    What makes you think that this household does not include infants?

    But DeMaria you read Catholic error into everything.

    The Catholic Church wrote the New Testament based on the Teachings of Jesus Christ.

    You once told me that 1 John 2:27 was confirmation.

    That is correct.

    I had a good laugh. God bless

    But, you believe that Sacraments are fundamentals, right? Or have you changed your mind again?

  366. April 29, 2015 at 5:57 pm

    DeMaria said ” what makes you think that the household didn’t include infants” She had returned from a long journey for business, she had no kids. Please tell me her infants names. Was one of them named household? lol Cmon, DeMaria, your going to stake your whole position on infant baptism ” was taught by Jesus” on this scripture. You have a pattern bro, you say that Ephesians 2:8 is sacraments, 1 John 2:27 is confirmation, Acts 16:15 was Jesus taught baptism, next thing your going to tell me is the Hebrews 10:14 where it says one sacrifice perfected us means Jesus comes to earth daily and gets his body broken again and again, and Colossians 1:18 that says Jesus is the head of the church means the Pope is. You play loose with the scriptures. You said the catholic church wrote the NT.” Not the Roman catholics church. Catholic means universal, Roman is specific. If by sacraments are fundamentals you mean we are to be baptized and participate in the Lord’s supper yes, but if you mean necessary to be saved, no. Or else the thief wasn’t saved, the Apostles weren’t saved, and many others who believed and weren’t baptized or took the Lord’s supper. If they were necessary then Paul would not have said he was not sent to baptize but preach the gospel. God bless. You are one of the straight shooters from your side, and have always like you. K

  367. De Maria said,

    April 29, 2015 at 7:11 pm

    Kevin Failoni said,
    April 29, 2015 at 5:57 pm

    DeMaria said ” what makes you think that the household didn’t include infants” She had returned from a long journey for business, she had no kids.

    Says you. But I want to see the words in Scripture. Show me where Scripture says she had no kids.

    Please tell me her infants names. Was one of them named household? lol

    Apparently, you don’t even know the meaning of the term, “household”. They didn’t have to be her children. They could have been her grandchildren or those of her servants. Bottomline, Scripture does not rule out the possibility of children in her household.

    Cmon, DeMaria, your going to stake your whole position on infant baptism ” was taught by Jesus” on this scripture.

    There are many other Scriptures, this is just the one which we are discussing. And we’re only discussing it because you brought it up.

    You have a pattern bro, you say that Ephesians 2:8 is sacraments, 1 John 2:27 is confirmation, Acts 16:15 was Jesus taught baptism, next thing your going to tell me is the Hebrews 10:14 where it says one sacrifice perfected us means Jesus comes to earth daily and gets his body broken again and again,

    It is about the Eucharist. But the Eucharist is a re-presentation of the very same Sacrifice. It is not done again.

    and Colossians 1:18 that says Jesus is the head of the church means the Pope is.

    The Pope is the Shepherd which Jesus assigned to lead His Church.

    You play loose with the scriptures. You said the catholic church wrote the NT.”

    Yep.

    Not the Roman catholics church. Catholic means universal, Roman is specific.

    The Catholic Church is the Church which Jesus established and whose See is now in Rome.

    If by sacraments are fundamentals you mean we are to be baptized and participate in the Lord’s supper yes, but if you mean necessary to be saved, no.

    Mark 16:16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

    John 6:53 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.

    Or else the thief wasn’t saved,

    Jesus said He was.

    the Apostles weren’t saved,

    The Apostles were certainly baptized by Jesus and were confirmed of the Holy Spirit in Pentecost.

    and many others who believed and weren’t baptized or took the Lord’s supper.

    God is greater than His Sacraments.

    If they were necessary then Paul would not have said he was not sent to baptize but preach the gospel. God bless.

    St. Paul did not deny the importance of Baptism and in fact, baptized others when the need arose.

    You are one of the straight shooters from your side, and have always like you. K

    What? Who is this and what did you do with Kevin? ; )

    Thanks Kevin. Although our exchanges have been heated at times, I’m glad it hasn’t led to rancor.

    God bless you,

    Sincerely,

    De Maria

  368. April 29, 2015 at 7:33 pm

    DeMaria said ” apparently you don’t understand the meaning of household.” DeMaria, even Catholic theologians like Ott say there is no mention of infants being baptized in scripture. You can put forward that that is what households entailed, but you have nothing. In fact in MacArthur’s friendly debate with Sproul, John does a good job of handling each household situation, imho. DeMaria said ” but the Eucharist is the same representation of the same sacrifice.” Not according to Trent. They anathematize anyone that says it isn’t a true and proper sacrifice. Sacrificium. It is a true sacrifice, efficacious for sin, although unbloody. It is a re breaking of the Lord’s body. Of course the scripture says without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins, that would make the mass of no effect. Where in scripture did Jesus assign the Pope to lead his church. Peter said he was a fellow elder, not a Pope. Thanks.

  369. De Maria said,

    April 30, 2015 at 12:43 am

    Kevin Failoni said,
    April 29, 2015 at 7:33 pm

    DeMaria said ” apparently you don’t understand the meaning of household.” DeMaria, even Catholic theologians like Ott say there is no mention of infants being baptized in scripture.

    You’ll have to provide the quote in context, Kev. Otherwise, I will simply point out that Ott is a Catholic in good standing and he adheres to all Catholic Teaching. Therefore, I don’t believe you.

    You can put forward that that is what households entailed, but you have nothing.

    I have more than you, Kev. Because Scripture does not reject the practice.

    In fact in MacArthur’s friendly debate with Sproul, John does a good job of handling each household situation, imho.

    What does that have to do with the price of beans? Scripture still does not condemn the practice of infant Baptism.

    DeMaria said ” but the Eucharist is the same representation of the same sacrifice.” Not according to Trent. They anathematize anyone that says it isn’t a true and proper sacrifice.

    They anathematize anyone who denies it is the self same sacrifice.

    Sacrificium. It is a true sacrifice, efficacious for sin, although unbloody. It is a re breaking of the Lord’s body. Of course the scripture says without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins, that would make the mass of no effect.

    Unbloody doesn’t mean without blood. It means that it is the blood is not visible.

    1367 The sacrifice of Christ and the sacrifice of the Eucharist are one single sacrifice: “The victim is one and the same: the same now offers through the ministry of priests, who then offered himself on the cross; only the manner of offering is different.” “And since in this divine sacrifice which is celebrated in the Mass, the same Christ who offered himself once in a bloody manner on the altar of the cross is contained and is offered in an unbloody manner. . . this sacrifice is truly propitiatory.”

    Where in scripture did Jesus assign the Pope to lead his church.

    John 21:15-17

    Peter said he was a fellow elder, not a Pope.

    But Scripture says that he is the Rock upon whom Jesus Christ established the Church (Matt 16:18-19).


    Thanks.

    You’re welcome.

  370. April 30, 2015 at 1:36 am

    DeMaria, Trent says sacrificium, ask your Priest what it means, he will stop with the self same nonsense. Even Bryan Cross ponyed up to me and admitted it is a real and true sacrifice. It a re breaking of christ’s body. Revelation 1:17 “I was dead , and now I live forevermore.” Christ lives forever more DeMaria, he isn’t still on the cross. He is Risen! You remember that scripture. K

  371. Don said,

    April 30, 2015 at 2:05 am

    De Maria 368 (& earlier),
    OK, thanks for this explanation. You say confirmation is the sacrament of laying on of hands, once. Is it to ask that the Holy Spirit fall on those receiving this sacrament (Acts 8:17)? Or is it a sign that the Holy Spirit has sealed the believer (Eph. 1:13), as you seem to say in 358 (which appears to be a quote from somewhere)?

  372. Ron said,

    April 30, 2015 at 9:13 am

    Don / Kevin,

    Roman Catholics find themselves on the horns of an epistemological dilemma and in turn fall into a form of skepticism. By placing a mediator between God and men they render God’s living word inoperable. If their authority is Rome, then Scripture is rendered useless because any interpretation of any passage of Scripture must await adjudication for one to know what Scripture is saying. Yet when a Roman Catholic reads Scripture they demonstrate that they believe an infallible magisterium is unnecessary to know the truth. Roman Catholics live in a tension that they cannot reconcile. We all get that I think.

    Roman Catholics pay lip service to the authority of Scripture, for given an apparent discrepancy between Scripture and tradition Scripture always loses. For instance, Scripture teaches that all miracles appeal to the mind through the senses. Now then, imagine that Jesus looked as though he were sinking in water yet claimed to be walking on it. Or imagine that the Israelites drowned in the Red Sea but that tradition said they crossed over on dry ground and only looked as though they drowned. Should we believe such testimony in the face of contrary truth? So it is with the hocus-pocus of the mass. We are told we must believe, lest we risk hell(!), that the bread and wine has changed into the body and blood of the Lord; yet the elements continue to manifest the physical properties of bread and wine. Not only is there no biblical precedence to accept such obviously false claims, in principle we are warned and commanded not to do so! Yet such blind, irrational faith is required for one to be a good Roman Catholic. The skepticism created by Romanism begets doctrinal infidelity. No, demands it!

    Finally, Scripture has always taught that Scripture itself is to judge the teachers of God’s word. After all, if we were to allow the teachers to judge the Scriptures then the rejection of Christ by the religious leaders of his day would have been justified. There would be no Christianity! So it is with Rome. By placing herself above the Scriptures she too has fallen away – no less than the Jews. Or should we measure damnable heresies by degree? Roman Catholicism actually presents a bigger problem to true believers because she does hold to enough truth to be a more superior tempter.

  373. De Maria said,

    April 30, 2015 at 10:58 am

    Kevin Failoni said,
    April 30, 2015 at 1:36 am

    DeMaria, Trent says sacrificium, ask your Priest what it means, he will stop with the self same nonsense.

    The priest will tell me the same thing it says in the Catechism.

    Even Bryan Cross ponyed up to me and admitted it is a real and true sacrifice.

    It is, it is the continuation of the Sacrifice on Calvary. The problem seems to be that you don’t understand what “sacrifice” means.

    Read the account of the Passover Lamb in Scripture.

    It a re breaking of christ’s body.

    A re-presentation of His Sacrifice.

    Revelation 1:17 “I was dead , and now I live forevermore.” Christ lives forever more DeMaria, he isn’t still on the cross.

    What does this say, Kevin?

    1 Corinthians 2:2
    For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.

    <bHe is Risen!

    Amen!

    You remember that scripture. K

    Do you remember this one?

    Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

  374. De Maria said,

    April 30, 2015 at 11:08 am

    Don said,
    April 30, 2015 at 2:05 am

    De Maria 368 (& earlier),
    OK, thanks for this explanation.

    You’re welcome.

    You say confirmation is the sacrament of laying on of hands, once.

    Once? Nope. Depending on the context, the laying on of hands is part of the rite of Holy Orders, as well.

    1 Timothy 4:14 Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.

    Is it to ask that the Holy Spirit fall on those receiving this sacrament (Acts 8:17)?

    In the Sacraments, it is Christ who prays for us through the priest in order that the Holy Spirit will be given to those receiving the Sacrament:

    739 Because the Holy Spirit is the anointing of Christ, it is Christ who, as the head of the Body, pours out the Spirit among his members to nourish, heal, and organize them in their mutual functions, to give them life, send them to bear witness, and associate them to his self-offering to the Father and to his intercession for the whole world. Through the Church’s sacraments, Christ communicates his Holy and sanctifying Spirit to the members of his Body. (This will be the topic of Part Two of the Catechism.)

    740 These “mighty works of God,” offered to believers in the sacraments of the Church, bear their fruit in the new life in Christ, according to the Spirit. (This will be the topic of Part Three.)

    2 Corinthians 5:20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.

    Or is it a sign that the Holy Spirit has sealed the believer (Eph. 1:13), as you seem to say in 358 (which appears to be a quote from somewhere)?

    Yes, A quote from the Catechism. And it is both.

  375. De Maria said,

    April 30, 2015 at 11:35 am

    Ron said,
    April 30, 2015 at 9:13 am

    Don / Kevin,

    Roman Catholics find themselves on the horns of an epistemological dilemma and in turn fall into a form of skepticism. By placing a mediator between God and men they render God’s living word inoperable. If their authority is Rome, then Scripture is rendered useless because any interpretation of any passage of Scripture must await adjudication for one to know what Scripture is saying. Yet when a Roman Catholic reads Scripture they demonstrate that they believe an infallible magisterium is unnecessary to know the truth. Roman Catholics live in a tension that they cannot reconcile. We all get that I think.

    On the contrary, Ron. I don’t understand why the concept is so difficult for Protestants to understand. But apparently, it is, since you are not the only one with this objection.

    Here is the Teaching from the Catechism:

    113 2. Read the Scripture within “the living Tradition of the whole Church”. According to a saying of the Fathers, Sacred Scripture is written principally in the Church’s heart rather than in documents and records, for the Church carries in her Tradition the living memorial of God’s Word, and it is the Holy Spirit who gives her the spiritual interpretation of the Scripture (“. . . according to the spiritual meaning which the Spirit grants to the Church”81).

    And the idea is biblical. We don’t cast away tradition as Protestants have:

    2 Thessalonians 2:15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.

    Roman Catholics pay lip service to the authority of Scripture, for given an apparent discrepancy between Scripture and tradition Scripture always loses.

    On the contrary, Scripture uphold Sacred Tradition since Scripture is written on the basis of Sacred Tradition. Jesus did not write the New Testament. He established a Church and the Church wrote the New Testament based upon the Teachings of Jesus Christ.

    For instance, Scripture teaches that all miracles appeal to the mind through the senses.

    Chapter and verse please.

    Now then, imagine that Jesus looked as though he were sinking in water yet claimed to be walking on it. Or imagine that the Israelites drowned in the Red Sea but that tradition said they crossed over on dry ground and only looked as though they drowned. Should we believe such testimony in the face of contrary truth?

    But you’re making up a falsehood. Since Tradition and Scripture agree on both of these points.

    But let me give you an example.

    Let’s say that Luther comes along and says that we must each decide for ourselves what to believe based upon Scripture alone? He did that.

    Now, based upon that, we search the Scriptures to see if it is true. Scripture says:

    Hebrews 13:7 Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.

    How do you read that? I read that to mean that we learn our faith from our Priests (i.e. our rulers).

    Based upon that, we conclude that Protestants who hold Scripture alone, contradict the Word of God.

    So it is with the hocus-pocus of the mass. We are told we must believe, lest we risk hell(!), that the bread and wine has changed into the body and blood of the Lord; yet the elements continue to manifest the physical properties of bread and wine. Not only is there no biblical precedence to accept such obviously false claims, in principle we are warned and commanded not to do so!

    Show me your verse and let’s hold it up against this one:

    Hebrews 10:25-36King James Version (KJV)

    25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

    Here’s how I read it.

    Do not neglect to attend the Mass.

    26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,

    Because if you miss the Mass, intentionally, there is no other place where you can participate in Christ’s sacrifice for your sins.

    27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.

    But you will become one of the enemies of God, who will condemn you to everlasting fire.

    28 He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:

    Those who neglected to assemble for the Old Testament law were stoned to death.

    29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?

    How much worse of a punishment do you think is deserved of those who show their contempt for the body of Christ in the Holy Eucharist and for His blood of the New Covenant which was shed for you in order that you might be sanctified. Treating it as a common and unholy thing and doing so despise the grace of the Holy Spirit which is poured out for our salvation?

    30 For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.

    31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

    Be warned, those who do so will incur the wrath of God.

    That’s how I read it. And it is well within Catholic parameters. That is why the Catholic Church teaches that missing the Mass is a mortal sin.

    Yet such blind, irrational faith is required for one to be a good Roman Catholic. The skepticism created by Romanism begets doctrinal infidelity. No, demands it!

    You’re angry because we believe Scripture. You’re angry because in every point where you contradict the Catholic Church, you also contradict the Bible.

    Finally, Scripture has always taught that Scripture itself is to judge the teachers of God’s word.

    Let’s see:

    Matthew 18:17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.

    And again:

    1 Corinthians 6:3 Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?

    It is true that Scripture is used as a “rule”. But Scripture recognizes it is the Church which must apply the rule within the parameters of Sacred Tradition:

    Romans 6:17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.

    2 Thess 3:6 Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.

    After all, if we were to allow the teachers to judge the Scriptures then the rejection of Christ by the religious leaders of his day would have been justified.

    The Catholic Church does not judge the Scriptures. But the Catholic Church is the judge which Christ appointed to judge whether men obey the Word of God in Scripture and Tradition.

    There would be no Christianity!

    If it wasn’t for the Catholic Church.

    So it is with Rome. By placing herself above the Scriptures she too has fallen away – no less than the Jews. Or should we measure damnable heresies by degree? Roman Catholicism actually presents a bigger problem to true believers because she does hold to enough truth to be a more superior tempter.

    The Catholic Church is the teacher of the Wisdom of God.

    Ephesians 3:10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,

  376. Don said,

    April 30, 2015 at 11:51 am

    De Maria 374,
    I asked, in 371, if confirmation was supposed to ask that the Holy Spirit would be given, or a sign that the Holy Spirit had been given to the believer. Just to be clear, your answer is that this one-time event is both?

  377. Reed Here said,

    April 30, 2015 at 5:17 pm

    DeMarie: you affirm what Ron has said, that for the RCC Sacred Tradition is authoritative over Scripture:

    “Scripture uphold Sacred Tradition since Scripture is written on the basis of Sacred Tradition.”

    It amazes me how y’all can be so clear on your heresy and then turn around and deny it.

  378. April 30, 2015 at 7:33 pm

    Ron, well said in 372. I would also add that we are told to beware of false teaching that would rise up fro within the church. In fact many early church fathers were afraid it would come among them and they not know. Roman Catholics are unable to heed this teaching, because they are not allowed to judge the teaching they sit under. I submit, how can one keep themselves from idolatry, like we are commanded, and beware of false teachers, if we could not question the church. WCF says Reformed and always being reformed. 1 john 2:27 says we have no need of a teacher but we have an anointing from God that teaches us all things, and its true. The spirit by and with the word of God. That doesn’t mean we don’t listen to our confessions or listen to our teachers, but in the end it is the Spirit that keeps us from error thru the warnings of God’s word. Ask a Catholic to identify antichrist, they won’t do it. Our confessions haven’t wavered, The Papacy s antichrist, and a great Reformed theologian once said a person is under strong delusion not to see it. K

  379. April 30, 2015 at 7:41 pm

    DeMaria, Hebrews 13:7 must be balanced with direct commands to the congregations to beware of false teaching, and keep ourselves from idols. If we just abided by that verse to the exclusion of these warnings which we are told we can see as believers, then we wouldn’t be prudent Christians. That was the Reformers point councils have erred , and do error. Paul said if he or and angel would preach a different gospel let him be anathema. If an Apostle put himself under this possibility, no Pope will not be under the same scrutiny. Thats why you believe in a false head of the church, which can’t save you. We believe in the only head, who saves perfectly always. K

  380. roberty bob said,

    April 30, 2015 at 8:59 pm

    A question for Kevin . . .

    Is R C Sproul a false teacher for teaching the opposite view of infant baptism that your true teacher John MacArthur espouses?

    Might R C Sproul be the anti-Christ then?

  381. Ron said,

    April 30, 2015 at 10:11 pm

    RB,

    Let me answer the analogue. When MacArthur (i) preaches another gospel by which we must be saved, (ii) claims infallibility and (iii) declares himself Christ’s vicar on earth, he’ll then be a candidate.

    It’s hard for me to take your question seriously, or maybe you’re more a papist than you are willing to admit.

  382. Ron said,

    April 30, 2015 at 10:25 pm

    “The Papacy s antichrist, and a great Reformed theologian once said a person is under strong delusion not to see it. K”

    Even more spooked than these are the popes who would believe they are the earthly representative of the Second Person of the Trinity.

  383. April 30, 2015 at 10:54 pm

    roberty bob, no R.C. Sproul is a dear brother in the Lord. We all have error in our theology. But Rome’s error is with a gospel that says one is predestined to glory in some way according to their merit, instead of just the goodness of God. Paul wouldn’t have it, Galatians 2:5. And idolatry, transubstantiation, sacrament worship. We are called to worship God in Spirit and truth. The early fathers rejected Rome’s brand of incarnationalism as idolatry. J.C. Ryle said Catholicism is one giant system of Church worship, Mary worship, sacrament worship, saint worship. R.C. and John having different positions on baptism imho isn’t a deal breaker. K

  384. April 30, 2015 at 10:56 pm

    Ron said, ” or maybe your more of a papist than you are willing to admit” Actually they are easy to sniff out on these sites. And I have thought that from the beginning. I was going to ask RB if he went through RCIA? But i like the guy. K

  385. roberty bob said,

    May 1, 2015 at 1:28 pm

    Ron and Kevin,

    I did not intend for you to take my question seriously. Both of you are willing to tolerate doctrinal error. MacArthur and Sproul cannot both be right. Both of you find one or them [or the other] to be in error on the doctrine of baptism; but neither of you sees the other person’s error as a serious matter that puts the gospel at risk.

    My conclusion is that you do not hold the sacraments to be gospel fundamentals.

    * R C Sproul was one of my sem professors; He thought the world of Martin Luther, and he was a proponent of evidentialist apologetics while contenting against the presuppositionalism of the van Tillian school. Whether the anti-Christ influenced his views here might be open to debate with some people.

  386. Vincent said,

    May 1, 2015 at 2:28 pm

    Is not baptism how we are saved and justified in the first place? So if one errs on baptism (denies infant baptism) that does impact the gospel.

  387. Vincent said,

    May 1, 2015 at 2:33 pm

    “Roman Catholicism actually presents a bigger problem to true believers because she does hold to enough truth”

    Ron are you saying that Rome holds to enough truth to be saved? What is your view of Thomas Aquinas by the way?

  388. May 1, 2015 at 3:19 pm

    Vincent said ” Is not baptism how we are justified in the first place.” Romans 5:1 ” Therefore having been justified by faith” Can it be any clearer. How long you been coming here Vincent. Time to face the music. Scripture says repent and believe the gospel. Trust in the only head alone your for your salvation, Jesus Christ.

  389. May 1, 2015 at 3:23 pm

    Vincent said ” Ron what is your view of Thomas Aquinas?” Here’s mine. He was responsible for Transubstantiation and a gospel that says one is predestined to glory in a way according to their merit, instead of just the goodness and mercy of God. So he was involved in a false gospel and idolatry. You wander why God gave him revelation at the end of his life that his work was straw. K

  390. May 1, 2015 at 3:30 pm

    Ron said ” Roman Catholicism actually presents a bigger problem to true believers because she does hold to enough truth.” Enough for what? My rule is read roman doctrine, believe the opposite, arrive at biblical truth. Paul in Romans 10:1 didn’t think the Jews ( who certainly believed in grace) “held” to enough truth. He prayed for their salvation. And here is where robbery bob doesn’t get it. Sproul and MacArthur can disagree on baptism and believe the same gospel. Rome bass a different gospel. ” Worthiness of merit” isn’t the same as ” not that of yourselves” not of works” k

  391. Ron said,

    May 1, 2015 at 4:50 pm

    RB,

    You’re back peddling. I addressed the absurd notion regarding conditions for antichrist and your willful obstinance in not drawing obvious distinctions.

    Vincent, Rome denies the gospel and promotes a false gospel. If one is saved within the Roman communion, it can only be because she has misunderstood Rome or else was fortunate enough to hear the gospel read apart from priestly exegesis.

  392. Ron said,

    May 1, 2015 at 4:56 pm

    Kevin,

    Let me put it in familiar terms for you. The Harlot holds to many doctrines liberal Protestants have jettisoned. What makes her a whore is her adopting of paganism and Judaism yet without abandoning all true doctrine, like the person of Christ and the Trinity. Accordingly, she is a greater tempter than the Mormon or JW cult, for she holds to much truth.

  393. Ron said,

    May 1, 2015 at 5:02 pm

    “R C Sproul was one of my sem professors; He thought the world of Martin Luther, and he was a proponent of evidentialist apologetics”

    Small correction. He holds to the classical method and not evidentialism.

  394. May 1, 2015 at 6:12 pm

    Ron, your statement to Vincent in 391 is right on the mark, and i pray more Protestants would understand this. I could fellowship with maybe a bad Catholic, but if you are a good Catholic ( one who accepts the doctrines of the church, which they must do ) then i do not consider them brothers and sisters in Christ. And this really is the issue before us , are they co laborers for Christ, or the mission field. I’m not willing to throw away 500 years of martyrdom and missionary work to Catholics to embrace any part of that gospel. Obviously there are believers in that church despite all that has been piled on the cross. Good statement Ron. K

  395. De Maria said,

    May 1, 2015 at 6:46 pm

    Don said,
    April 30, 2015 at 11:51 am

    De Maria 374,
    I asked, in 371, if confirmation was supposed to ask that the Holy Spirit would be given, or a sign that the Holy Spirit had been given to the believer. Just to be clear, your answer is that this one-time event is both?

    That is correct. In Catholicism, we ask for and receive the Holy Spirit in every Sacrament. Confirmation confers a one time seal which completes Baptism.

    Here’s the official Teaching:

    III. THE EFFECTS OF CONFIRMATION

    1302 It is evident from its celebration that the effect of the sacrament of Confirmation is the special outpouring of the Holy Spirit as once granted to the apostles on the day of Pentecost.

    1303 From this fact, Confirmation brings an increase and deepening of baptismal grace:
    – it roots us more deeply in the divine filiation which makes us cry, “Abba! Father!”;117
    – it unites us more firmly to Christ;
    – it increases the gifts of the Holy Spirit in us;
    – it renders our bond with the Church more perfect;118
    – it gives us a special strength of the Holy Spirit to spread and defend the faith by word and action as true witnesses of Christ, to confess the name of Christ boldly, and never to be ashamed of the Cross:119

    Recall then that you have received the spiritual seal, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of right judgment and courage, the spirit of knowledge and reverence, the spirit of holy fear in God’s presence. Guard what you have received. God the Father has marked you with his sign; Christ the Lord has confirmed you and has placed his pledge, the Spirit, in your hearts.120
    1304 Like Baptism which it completes, Confirmation is given only once, for it too imprints on the soul an indelible spiritual mark, the “character,” which is the sign that Jesus Christ has marked a Christian with the seal of his Spirit by clothing him with power from on high so that he may be his witness.121

    1305 This “character” perfects the common priesthood of the faithful, received in Baptism, and “the confirmed person receives the power to profess faith in Christ publicly and as it were officially (quasi Ex officio).”122

  396. De Maria said,

    May 1, 2015 at 6:54 pm

    Reed Here said,
    April 30, 2015 at 5:17 pm

    DeMarie: you affirm what Ron has said, that for the RCC Sacred Tradition is authoritative over Scripture:

    “Scripture uphold Sacred Tradition since Scripture is written on the basis of Sacred Tradition.”

    It amazes me how y’all can be so clear on your heresy and then turn around and deny it.

    What does the word “uphold” mean to you? If a father “upholds” his son, is the son authoritative over his father?

    If God upholds you in your plight, are you authoritative over God?

    What heresy are you talking about? Are you saying that Scripture was not written on the basis of Sacred Tradition passed down by Jesus Christ? If not, then on what basis was it written?

  397. Vincent said,

    May 1, 2015 at 7:06 pm

    Ron can you explain how Rome’s gospel is false? I can give a guess. They teach infusion instead of imputation and teach the merits of work. Have you read the new book by Allison on Rome?

  398. Vincent said,

    May 1, 2015 at 7:07 pm

    If Rome repents and accepts sola fide, are then all the protestant churches bound to reconcile with her and seek reunion?

  399. De Maria said,

    May 1, 2015 at 9:53 pm

    Kevin Failoni said,
    April 30, 2015 at 7:41 pm

    DeMaria, Hebrews 13:7 must be balanced with direct commands to the congregations to beware of false teaching, and keep ourselves from idols. If we just abided by that verse to the exclusion of these warnings which we are told we can see as believers, then we wouldn’t be prudent Christians.

    Scripture gives you a clear solution to the problem. Go to the Church.

    Matthew 18:17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.

    You can’t solve anything by separating yourself from the Pillar and Foundation of Truth.

    1 Timothy 3:15 But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.

    That was the Reformers point councils have erred , and do error.

    But not ecumenical Councils which are in union with the Pope.

    Paul said if he or and angel would preach a different gospel let him be anathema. If an Apostle put himself under this possibility, no Pope will not be under the same scrutiny.

    St. Paul was not the Pope. Nor was he the entire Church. Jesus Christ guaranteed that the Pope nor the Church would ever fall when He gave St. Peter the keys and said “I will build my Church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it”.

    Thats why you believe in a false head of the church, which can’t save you.

    I believe Christ. And you don’t.

    We believe in the only head, who saves perfectly always. K

    If you believed Christ, you would believe that His Church stands today as it did when He installed it. Because Jesus Christ guaranteed it. But you don’t believe that. You believe the Church fell and apostatized. Proving your lack of faith in the Word of God.

  400. Ron said,

    May 1, 2015 at 10:20 pm

    “If Rome repents and accepts sola fide, are then all the protestant churches bound to reconcile with her and seek reunion?”

    Vincent,

    When Rome repents there will be no “her” to reconcile with, for her essential properties will be gone. Think about it.

  401. Ron said,

    May 1, 2015 at 10:35 pm

    Vincent, no I haven’t read Allison. Tell me though, do I make any relevant point here?
    http://reformedapologist.blogspot.com/2011/04/carl-trueman-need-for-contemporary.html?m=0

  402. Vincent said,

    May 1, 2015 at 10:38 pm

    Yes but I assume their episcopal polity will remain intact. So all Western churches are bound to go back into her fold as they where from 1000 ad to 1517 ad. There was one western church throughout the middle ages.

  403. Ron said,

    May 1, 2015 at 10:51 pm

    Vincent,

    Again, there’d be no magesterium by the nature of the case. Once she repents she’s gone. It’s an analytic truth. But I’ll play along. Would a child molester ask to babysit upon truly repenting? If he did, would the profession be credible?

  404. Vincent said,

    May 1, 2015 at 10:57 pm

    I think we have to distinguish between Romanism and the visible church of Rome. There was always a christian church in Rome since the 1st century. Rome was once a true church before it fell. When she repents, Romanism will be gone, but the visible See of Rome will be there only this time reformed and purified.

  405. Ron said,

    May 1, 2015 at 10:59 pm

    It just now occurs to me. Do you think that Protestants broke away from the church? Or better yet, do you believe that thinking Protestants believe their tradition is new? We believe that God reformed His church. The true apostolic succession is one of doctrine not relics. Even if you deny this, the church is not bound even to a Rome turned evangelical.

  406. Ron said,

    May 1, 2015 at 11:03 pm

    “I think we have to distinguish between Romanism and the visible church of Rome.”

    Christians are bound by a common confession. That said, what’s the difference between the Romanism as a confession and the doctine confessed by the alleged church of Rome? Nothing.

  407. Vincent said,

    May 1, 2015 at 11:13 pm

    Do you believe Rome was at one point “part of the church?” It fell away at one point. Even RC Sproul and Michael Horton believe that Rome was once a true church.

  408. Ron said,

    May 1, 2015 at 11:19 pm

    “Jesus Christ guaranteed that the Pope nor the Church would ever fall when He gave St. Peter the keys and said “I will build my Church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it”.”

    DM,

    The church is prevailing and will continue to prevail. On that point we have formal agreement (over words). Your unargued assertion is that Rome is the church. Please take up the challenge Bryan Cross never would. Put forth a deductive argument for a infallible succession of popes that must find its throne in Vatican City. IOW, how do you get to an infallible Francis from an alleged Pope Peter? Please be rigorous in your proof. Your proof-texting is tedious.

  409. Ron said,

    May 1, 2015 at 11:31 pm

    Vincent,

    I’ve addressed all your rejoinders. Your most recent query indicates no telos in sight. But, I’ll play along some more. Should members of the OPC join the PCUSA if she repents? Or, would it be more fitting that the repentant, newly converted and formally apostate pastors submit to elders who are more sound in faith and practice? Do you really think God would have his sheep submit to recently converted liberals or effeminate priests? Do you really think a contrite pope would man the pulpit or serve the supper?

  410. Don said,

    May 2, 2015 at 1:28 am

    De Maria 395,

    That is correct. In Catholicism, we ask for and receive the Holy Spirit in every Sacrament.

    Besides being demonstrably false (Acts 8:16, a sacrament in which the Holy Spirit was not received), this almost sounds as if men can push the Holy Spirit around–“We perform this ceremony on these people, now you have to fill them.” That sounds pretty dangerous.

  411. Ron said,

    May 2, 2015 at 9:41 am

    Don,

    DM said they ask and receive, but you are correct and not her / him. They don’t have to ask. It’s even more magical than that.

  412. May 2, 2015 at 10:09 am

    Vincent, I have read the new book by Allison of Rome. Best in 50 years. K

  413. May 2, 2015 at 10:14 am

    DeMaria, said ” scripture gives you a solution, go to the church.’ We are the church. Paul uses church as the metaphor for the body of Christ. Those warnings were written to believers. In your scenario, your might be appealing to a false body, and who would they answer to. You are making this judgment as a Catholic. As I said, if a plethora of early fathers could believe that the apostasy could come among them, then I am commanded by scripture to spot false teaching. Read Kauffman’s ” what the Fathers feared most” , K

  414. May 2, 2015 at 10:20 am

    Vinent said ” so western churches are bound to go back” No, and this is where Protestants buy the Catholic lie, that the we are separated from the church. When Rome anathematized the gospel at Trent, they excommunicated themselves from God’s true church, which is superintended by the Spirit and ruled by the Bishop of our souls from heaven. There is the true church. Not a visible church with a home office in Rome. The church was certainly catholic, just not Roman Catholic. Roman being specific, not universal. K

  415. May 2, 2015 at 10:25 am

    Vincent said, ” there has been a church in Rome since the beginning” This is true, but in about 380 we see the rise of Roman Catholicsm and all its heretical doctrines. Tim Kauffman ” The Rise of Roman catholicism” Read that article, it is as clear as day, the rise of the apostasy in the church, it came on time according to Paul in 2 Thessalonians. Remember the son of perdition is a man who puts himself up as God in the church. And Paul said this lawlessness was already at work. K

  416. May 2, 2015 at 10:44 am

    Ron said to DeMaria ” it all seems like man can push the Holy Spirit around” Ron, your on a roll. Exactly. Magic water baptism, God submitting to the regent of secondary cause. Jesus says the Spirit blows how and where HE wills. Yet O’brien says the Priest pulls Christ down from heaven and has complete control with Christ in his hands He makes God. He becomes God’s regent. You don’t know how true your statement is. The Spirit is controlled by the Roman church. Because the church is the agency of salvation in Rome. Essentially the church is Jesus Christ natural body, and they are on a joint incarnation thru the acts of the church propitiating their own sins. But Jesus said all power has been given ME on heaven and earth, not the church. The church can’t usurp the uniquely finish work of Christ. Churches aren’t continuations of incarnation. They can imitate, obey, carry out His mission, but they can’t replace Him as the agency of redemption. K

  417. Vincent said,

    May 2, 2015 at 4:37 pm

    So Rome became a bad church around 380 ad Kevin? What is your take on the Eastern Orthodox church and the schism of 1054 ad?

  418. May 2, 2015 at 4:52 pm

    Vincent, my take on the EO isn’t much different. In the end these two communions were never able to resolve the creature creator distinction, and this the reason for much of their error. i give the EO credit for not buying the Papacy schtick, but it’s still sacerdotalism, the eclessial machinery that developed in the church that was mostly human in origin and content. The Reformers rescued the Apostles and the early church from the hair splitting academics and this human institution, and returned us to the gospel of scripture. Hope I answered your question. K

  419. Vincent said,

    May 2, 2015 at 6:03 pm

    You mean the EO believe grace and nature are in harmony like Rome?

  420. De Maria said,

    May 2, 2015 at 6:26 pm

    Ron said,
    May 1, 2015 at 11:19 pm

    “Jesus Christ guaranteed that the Pope nor the Church would ever fall when He gave St. Peter the keys and said “I will build my Church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it”.”

    DM,

    The church is prevailing and will continue to prevail. On that point we have formal agreement (over words). Your unargued assertion is that Rome is the church. Please take up the challenge Bryan Cross never would. Put forth a deductive argument for a infallible succession of popes that must find its throne in Vatican City. IOW, how do you get to an infallible Francis from an alleged Pope Peter?

    1st. Let’s get your pejoratives straight. Rome is a city in Italy. That is your pejorative. You’re belittling the Church making it seem that it is a local institution which has nothing to do with the Catholic Church at large.

    2nd. The Catholic Church is the Church which Jesus Christ established. Yes, its headquarters is in Rome, but it is found throughout the world.

    3rd. Whether Bryan Cross responded to this or not is between you and he.

    4th. I, however, already responded to you on this in another thread. Refer to message # 233. In response to your #230 in the same thread.

    Or I can copy and paste it if you would prefer.

    Please be rigorous in your proof.

    I’m more rigorous in my proofs than you are in yours, Ron.

    Your proof-texting is tedious.

    At least I have Scripture to prove my beliefs. The absence of Scripture to prove yours, speaks volumes.

  421. De Maria said,

    May 2, 2015 at 6:42 pm

    Kevin Failoni said,
    April 30, 2015 at 7:41 pm

    DeMaria, ….Paul said if he or and angel would preach a different gospel let him be anathema. …. K

    Kevin,

    I guess you don’t realize that when St. Paul said this, he disproved both sola fide and absolute assurance of salvation.

    First of all, since he put himself in verse and said that he could be condemned, then he disproves OSAS.

    Secondly, since he says that he needs to preach the Gospel correctly in order to be saved, then he disproves salvation by faith alone.

    In addition, Kevin, St. Paul doesn’t say that if he preaches another gospel, you then should turn to the Bible and decide for yourself that he is wrong. YOU are reading that into the verse.

    But if we let Scripture interpret Scripture, we see that St. Paul is telling you to compare that which any man preaches to the Sacred Tradition which has already been preached to you. Let me show you:

    1 Thessalonians 2:13 For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.

    Notice that it is the preaching of the Apostles which is described as the Word of God.

    This is not a singular account. He says it again:

    2 Thess 3:6 Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.

    This is explicit. Withdraw yourselves from those who do not follow the Tradition which was received from the Apostles.

    So, this is not about Sola Scriptura.

    Nor does it mention that you have a right to question the Church. In fact, the assumption is that you will obey Jesus’ command. And Jesus commanded us to take these arguments to the Church:

    Matthew 18:17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.

    This is the time tested method which has been used throughout the centuries. See Arius v Athanasius for the classic example.

    This is why St. Paul describes the Church as the Pillar and Foundation of the Truth (1 Tim 3:15). Because the Church will always uphold the Truth of the Gospel.

  422. Ron said,

    May 2, 2015 at 10:10 pm

    DM,

    It appears to me you’re getting a bit exercised, maybe because you cannot proove from Scripture a perpetual papacy that is indexed to the bishop of Rome?

    I’ll start and end your proof for you. Just fill in the other premises.

    P1. Peter was the first pope

    Therefore, the current pope must be Francis

    If you could prove your only hope in life and death I would think you would have done so by now.

  423. May 2, 2015 at 11:05 pm

    DeMaria, Paul used the church as a metaphor for the body of Christ. And indeed it is the pillar and foundation of truth. And that truth is the Word of God. The Word existed before the church was thought of. Think about it. K To theLaw and to the Testimony. K

  424. May 2, 2015 at 11:07 pm

    DeMaria, since your interested in getting Ron’s pejoratives right, lets define catholic. It means universal. But Roman catholic isn’t universal, Roman being specific. K

  425. Ron said,

    May 2, 2015 at 11:15 pm

    “This is why St. Paul describes the Church as the Pillar and Foundation of the Truth (1 Tim 3:15). Because the Church will always uphold the Truth of the Gospel.”

    True, now prove Rome is a church let alone the church. While you’re at it, how would you explain the gospel to a child? How does the work of the cross get appropriated by faith when good works are causal, ritual water is causal and Muslim infidels can be saved under the system of the popes apart from faith in the Savior and water? Yet Rome in one of her more embarrassing moments also claimed that salvation entails being in fellowship with the pope, something that Protestants and Muslims aren’t. So, what is the good news, DM? Jesus opened the gates of heaven for those who would attain righteousness by works plus faith, yet when it comes to Muslims a desire for baptism had they known the truth? So much for grace.

  426. May 3, 2015 at 10:28 am

    DeMaria, God doesn’t dwell in buildings anymore, or in bread, but in the hearts of his people through faith alone. K

  427. De Maria said,

    May 3, 2015 at 5:02 pm

    Ron said,
    May 2, 2015 at 10:10 pm

    DM,

    It appears to me you’re getting a bit exercised,

    You’re the one complaining. I’m simply responding to your comments.

    maybe because you cannot proove from Scripture a perpetual papacy that is indexed to the bishop of Rome?

    I already provided my proof. Whenever you want to go over it, I’m ready.

    I’ll start and end your proof for you. Just fill in the other premises.

    P1. Peter was the first pope

    Therefore, the current pope must be Francis

    I would it put it this way.

    Scripture proves that Jesus appointed St. Peter as leader over His Church. Scripture also proves that Jesus established a perpetual Church. Therefore, the office of Peter (i.e. the Papacy) is perpetual as well.

    If you could prove your only hope in life and death I would think you would have done so by now.

    You must have me confused with someone else. I’m not here to prove anything to you. I’m simply here to compare your beliefs to Scripture and Catholic beliefs to Scripture.

    I can prove that Jesus appointed St. Peter as leader of His Church (Matt 16:18-19; John 21:15-17) and that Jesus established a perpetual Church (Matt 16:18-19; Eph 3:10).

    I can prove that Scripture says that the offices which Jesus appointed were supposed to be perpetual:

    Acts 1:20 For it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein: and his bishoprick let another take.

    2 Timothy 2:1 Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 2 And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.

    Now, show me where Scripture says that Peter’s office died with him.

  428. De Maria said,

    May 3, 2015 at 5:04 pm

    Kevin Failoni said,
    May 2, 2015 at 11:05 pm

    DeMaria, Paul used the church as a metaphor for the body of Christ. And indeed it is the pillar and foundation of truth. And that truth is the Word of God. The Word existed before the church was thought of. Think about it. K To theLaw and to the Testimony. K

    But not the New Testament, K. The New Testament was written by the Catholic Church on the basis of the Tradition which Jesus Christ established.

  429. De Maria said,

    May 3, 2015 at 5:05 pm

    Kevin Failoni said,
    May 2, 2015 at 11:07 pm

    DeMaria, since your interested in getting Ron’s pejoratives right, lets define catholic. It means universal. But Roman catholic isn’t universal, Roman being specific. K

    THAT is the Protestant pejorative, Kevin. The Catholic Church is the Church which Jesus Christ established. The Roman rite of the Catholic Church is one part of the whole.

  430. De Maria said,

    May 3, 2015 at 5:22 pm

    Ron said,
    May 2, 2015 at 11:15 pm

    “This is why St. Paul describes the Church as the Pillar and Foundation of the Truth (1 Tim 3:15). Because the Church will always uphold the Truth of the Gospel.”

    True, now prove Rome is a church

    Why would I do that? Rome is a city in Italy, as you well know.

    let alone the church.

    The Catholic Church is the Church which Jesus established. And that is proven by Scripture:

    1. The Bible clearly says that the Church is infallible:
    Ephesians 3:10 King James Version (KJV)
    10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,

    2. The institutional hierarchy is everywhere in the Bible.
    Jesus Christ made many disciples and from them appointed 12 Apostles and from them selected one Leader. He then commanded that Church to make disciples of the world the way that He had made disciples. And he said that any person who did not listen to the Church should be treated as a heathen.
    And the Apostles immediately began to appoint more officers to take their place.

    3. Catholic distinctives are everywhere in the Bible:

    The Church remits or retains sin when the sins are confessed to a Priest (John 20:23).

    Mary is described as “kecharitomene”, ever full of grace. Where one is full of grace, there is no sin (Luke 1:28).

    Mary’s Assumption into Heaven,Rev 12:1

    indulgences,Matt 19:21;
    Purgatory,Rev 2:10
    the Treasury of Merit,Matt 6:19
    the office of pope,Matt 16:18
    praying to saints,Matt 10:41; Luke 16:24

    Every Catholic distinctive is in Scripture. But I don’t see faith alone or Scripture alone. In fact, they contradict Scripture:

    Not by faith alone:
    James 2:24King James Version (KJV)
    24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.

    Not by Scripture alone:
    2 Thessalonians 2:15King James Version (KJV)
    15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.

    While you’re at it, how would you explain the gospel to a child?

    It is Protestants who leave children out of salvation. We baptize infants based upon the faith of their parents.

    How does the work of the cross get appropriated by faith when good works are causal,

    You’re mistaken. Nothing which man does, neither faith nor works, cause one’s salvation. Salvation is by the mercy of God.

    The idea is very simple.

    A man can’t save himself by his faith or by his works. But God will not save anyone who does not express his faith in good works.

    ritual water is causal

    We believe that God can work through material things. Just as Scripture shows that God cured people who touched the hem of Jesus cloak and the handkerchief of St. Paul. Even those who passed under the shadow of St. Peter.

    Water is no obstacle to God.

    and Muslim infidels can be saved under the system of the popes apart from faith in the Savior and water?

    Whether they can or can not, is God’s to decide.

    Yet Rome in one of her more embarrassing moments also claimed that salvation entails being in fellowship with the pope, something that Protestants and Muslims aren’t.

    You’ll have to provide the statement to which you are making reference. You either didn’t understand it or you are making it up.

    So, what is the good news, DM? Jesus opened the gates of heaven for those who would attain righteousness by works plus faith,

    Here’s how Scripture puts it:

    Hebrews 5:9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;

    Revelation 22:12-15King James Version (KJV)

    12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.

    13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.

    14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.

    15 For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.

    yet when it comes to Muslims a desire for baptism had they known the truth? So much for grace.

    You have enough trouble justifying your Protestant beliefs, your just confusing yourself by adding into it Muslim beliefs. I’m certain the Muslims don’t care about baptism and know even less about it.

    Stick to the subject. But perhaps you would rather confuse issues. You have not other choice since Scripture contradicts you.

  431. Ron said,

    May 3, 2015 at 5:56 pm

    “Scripture proves that Jesus appointed St. Peter as leader over His Church. Scripture also proves that Jesus established a perpetual Church. Therefore, the office of Peter (i.e. the Papacy) is perpetual as well.”

    DM,

    Thank you for offering a formal proof for the popes. No RC I’ve dealt with has taken up my challenge to do so. Maybe that’s because no RC I know thinks himself as clever as you. Or just maybe it’s because most RC’s I know are clever enough not to look so foolish by taking up such an impossible task.

    Let’s take a closer look at your proof. Let’s define:

    Jesus = A
    Peter = B
    Church = C
    Office of Peter (being equivalent to line of popes): = D, E, F…

    You proof of the popes reduces to:

    P1. A appointed B over C
    P2. A established perpetual C
    Therefore, perpetual office of B: D, E, F…

    Your proof is logically invalid. Your fallacy was in transferring the perpetuity of C to the office of B so that you might conclude with D, E, F… In a word, your conclusion does not follow from *your* premises.

    Therefore, it would seem that you aren’t deducing the perpetual office of Peter after all. You’ve simply announced your axiom as an unargued conclusion.

  432. May 3, 2015 at 6:25 pm

    DeMaria said to Ron, ” Nothing man does cause salvation, neither faith nor works, its by the mercy of God.” Beware of this slight of hand Ron. They don’t merit their start into salvation, but they sure as heck merit their continuance in grace. ” Worthiness of Merit” Here is how it works in RC. You do your level best and God gives you grace. Thats law. God gives us grace and we do. Thats grace. Justification in RC is the recognition of an intrinsic qualification for a reward, for Paul it was declaration about someone utterly unqualified. K

  433. May 3, 2015 at 6:31 pm

    DeMaria said ” we believe that God can work through material things.” Ya the early church fathers had a word for Rome’s brand of incarnationlism, idolatry. You have Christ tied down to early things. He is risen! Let Him off the cross. Grace doesn’t flow through fallen human nature, its supernatural and comes from above. It redeems nature and renews it, it doesn’t elevate it outside itself. When Christ came to his own, they rejected him. Fallen creation rejected him, and it will be destroyed. Grace comes from heaven. All this is mediated through the Spirit, not the flesh. K

  434. May 3, 2015 at 6:32 pm

    Should be earthly things.

  435. Ron said,

    May 3, 2015 at 8:53 pm

    “Beware of this slight of hand Ron.”

    Kevin,

    Copy. Her / His sophistry is telegraphed. Now watch the many words that will be used to improve upon the fallacious argument for the perpetual office of the alleged Pope Peter. These many words won’t come with any progression of thought mind you. No, we never see anything that resembles an argument from DM. Rather, all we get is bombarded by passages of Scripture with no accompanying argument. This is DM’s MO.

    Next to the fallacious proof for the pope, what I find most passing strange is that when the apostle speaks of the gifts given to men for the equipping and building up of the saints, he skips over the pope. In Ephesians 4 Paul acknowledges apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers but no papacy. If ever there was a deafening argument from silence that would be it. Imagine leaving out the perpetual office of the alleged head of the church when listing the gifts necessary for fostering growth and perfection in the church.

  436. De Maria said,

    May 3, 2015 at 9:59 pm

    Ron said,
    May 3, 2015 at 5:56 pm

    “Scripture proves that Jesus appointed St. Peter as leader over His Church. Scripture also proves that Jesus established a perpetual Church. Therefore, the office of Peter (i.e. the Papacy) is perpetual as well.”

    DM,

    Thank you for offering a formal proof for the popes.

    You’re welcome.

    No RC I’ve dealt with has taken up my challenge to do so. Maybe that’s because no RC I know thinks himself as clever as you.

    No one I’ve ever met has a higher opinion of himself than you have of yourself.

    Or just maybe it’s because most RC’s I know are clever enough not to look so foolish by taking up such an impossible task.

    The truth is true whether you believe it or not.

    Let’s take a closer look at your proof. Let’s define:

    Jesus = A
    Peter = B
    Church = C
    Office of Peter (being equivalent to line of popes): = D, E, F…

    You proof of the popes reduces to:

    P1. A appointed B over C
    P2. A established perpetual C
    Therefore, perpetual office of B: D, E, F…

    Your proof is logically invalid.

    I think it is perfectly valid.

    Your fallacy was in transferring the perpetuity of C to the office of B so that you might conclude with D, E, F… In a word, your conclusion does not follow from *your* premises.

    The conclusion follows perfectly from my premise. Jesus Christ established a perpertual Church and therefore intended that the Church always have a leader.

    It is a classic organization. Jesus established a corporation (corpus or body) and appointed a Board of Directors and a Chairman of the Board. The Church is an ongoing concern.

    Therefore, it would seem that you aren’t deducing the perpetual office of Peter after all. You’ve simply announced your axiom as an unargued conclusion.

    On the contrary, it is you who is announcing your unargued conclusions. As I challenged you and you refuse to answer. Show where Scripture says that St. Peter’s office died with him.

    This is a two way street, Ron. I’ve provided my evidence. Now, provide yours.

  437. De Maria said,

    May 3, 2015 at 10:02 pm

    Kevin Failoni said,
    May 3, 2015 at 6:25 pm

    DeMaria said to Ron, ” Nothing man does cause salvation, neither faith nor works, its by the mercy of God.” Beware of this slight of hand Ron. They don’t merit their start into salvation, but they sure as heck merit their continuance in grace. ” Worthiness of Merit” Here is how it works in RC. You do your level best and God gives you grace. Thats law. God gives us grace and we do. Thats grace. Justification in RC is the recognition of an intrinsic qualification for a reward, for Paul it was declaration about someone utterly unqualified. K

    And all of that, is by God’s grace. Scripture is clear:

    Romans 2:13 (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.

    Therefore, unless a man repents of his sins and turns to God and does God’s will, he won’t enter the Kingdom of heaven.

    Jesus said it quite well:

    Matthew 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

  438. De Maria said,

    May 3, 2015 at 10:09 pm

    Kevin Failoni said,
    May 3, 2015 at 6:31 pm

    DeMaria said ” we believe that God can work through material things.” Ya the early church fathers had a word for Rome’s brand of incarnationlism, idolatry. You have Christ tied down to early things. He is risen! Let Him off the cross.

    1 Corinthians 1:23 But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;

    Grace doesn’t flow through fallen human nature,

    Then all are lost. Because human nature is fallen.

    its supernatural and comes from above.

    To those who repent of their sins and turn to God:

    2 Corinthians 5:15 And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.

    It redeems nature and renews it,

    You don’t believe that. You don’t believe that grace actually washes away your sins.

    Whereas, we do believe that grace redeems our nature and washes away our sins, thus renewing and regenerating us in the image of the Son.

    it doesn’t elevate it outside itself. When Christ came to his own, they rejected him. Fallen creation rejected him, and it will be destroyed. Grace comes from heaven. All this is mediated through the Spirit, not the flesh. K

    Flesh is no obstacle to the Spirit. Flesh is not obstacle to God. If a man repents, God grants him grace:

    Ephesians 2:8-9
    For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.

    And that grace is given to us in the Sacraments. Where God sees our faith and declares us righteous and then pours the grace of the Holy Spirit in our souls.

  439. De Maria said,

    May 3, 2015 at 10:18 pm

    Ron said,
    May 3, 2015 at 8:53 pm

    “Beware of this slight of hand Ron.”

    Kevin,

    Copy. Her / His sophistry is telegraphed. Now watch the many words that will be used to improve upon the fallacious argument for the perpetual office of the alleged Pope Peter. These many words won’t come with any progression of thought mind you. No, we never see anything that resembles an argument from DM. Rather, all we get is bombarded by passages of Scripture with no accompanying argument. This is DM’s MO.

    I think I’ve done a great job of explaining my arguments. And of supporting them with Scripture.

    Whereas, I see none of that from your end. All you do is object and pretend that your objection counts as evidence.

    Next to the fallacious proof for the pope, what I find most passing strange is that when the apostle speaks of the gifts given to men for the equipping and building up of the saints, he skips over the pope. In Ephesians 4 Paul acknowledges apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers but no papacy.

    He didn’t mention Moses either. Jesus mentioned that Moses held a special function which was inherited by the Pharisees. Yet, St. Paul, in this verse, did not mention Moses.

    The reason being that Moses is included in the Prophets and therefore the reason that he didn’t single out St. Peter is because he is included in the Apostles.

    If ever there was a deafening argument from silence that would be it.

    On the contrary, Ron, the argument from silence is yours. You keep insinuating that the Papacy was not a perpetual office. Yet, Scripture strongly insinuates that all which Jesus established was to continue in perpetuity.

    Imagine leaving out the perpetual office of the alleged head of the church when listing the gifts necessary for fostering growth and perfection in the church.

    There was no need for him to mention it. Jesus had already done so and it was recorded in the Gospels.

    Matthew 16:18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

    Nowhere in Scripture is it denied nor rescinded.

  440. Ron said,

    May 3, 2015 at 10:51 pm

    DM,

    If your argument took a valid form, then the following argument would not only be valid, it should also appear sound to you since I’m going to use two premises you believe to be true. Accordingly, since you say that you’re employing a valid form in your argument for the papacy, you should then accept the conclusion of this next argument as reliable. But you will soon find that you reject the conclusion. That means you should reject the form of the argument. And, that also means you’ve not argued cogently for the papacy.

    1. Christ appointed apostles (plural) over the church

    2. Christ established a perpetual church

    Therefore: Apostles still exist and rule over the church

    You don’t agree with the conclusion yet the argument takes the exact same form as your perpetual papacy argument, and you agree with the two premises. Accordingly, I would now hope the form would become glaringly fallacious to you because by your own standards it leads to a false conclusion; yet you agree with the premises and have stood by the form. At this juncture, your issue is with basic rationality, not Protestant theology.

    I suggest you take this recent interaction of ours to someone you trust as having a basic understanding of these sorts of things. I wish you well.

  441. Ron said,

    May 4, 2015 at 8:33 am

    “he didn’t single out St. Peter is because he is included in the Apostles.”

    This doesn’t help your argument. Logic dictates that if you collapse the pope into the set of all apostles, then the pope becomes defunct with the identified set of twelve. You may not with any cogency establish a perpetual nature of a unique apostle from a text that does NOT single out the primacy of one among twelve. Either the church is to have a set of twelve apostles today or it’s to have zero. The text says APOSTLES with an S at the end. Nowhere does it imply a subset of one.

  442. May 4, 2015 at 11:21 am

    Everyone here, I hope you will go to “Out of His mouth” Whitehorse blog” Tim Kauffman, and read his most groundbreaking recent series on the church and baptismal regeneration. These series are a serious dismantling of CCC and Bryan Cross’s positions. K

  443. De Maria said,

    May 4, 2015 at 6:25 pm

    Ron said,
    May 3, 2015 at 10:51 pm

    DM,

    If your argument took a valid form,

    My argument is valid, Ron.

    then the following argument would not only be valid, it should also appear sound to you since I’m going to use two premises you believe to be true. Accordingly, since you say that you’re employing a valid form in your argument for the papacy, you should then accept the conclusion of this next argument as reliable. But you will soon find that you reject the conclusion. That means you should reject the form of the argument. And, that also means you’ve not argued cogently for the papacy.

    What you will show is your own error.

    1. Christ appointed apostles (plural) over the church

    But Christ appointed one man over the entire Church and the Apostles (Matt 16:18-19; John 21:15-17).

    2. Christ established a perpetual church

    Therefore: Apostles still exist and rule over the church

    That is true. Christ appointed 12 Apostles directly. And the apostolic office now rests in the Bishopric.

    857 The Church is apostolic because she is founded on the apostles, in three ways:
    – she was and remains built on “the foundation of the Apostles,” the witnesses chosen and sent on mission by Christ himself;

    – with the help of the Spirit dwelling in her, the Church keeps and hands on the teaching, the “good deposit,” the salutary words she has heard from the apostles;

    – she continues to be taught, sanctified, and guided by the apostles until Christ’s return, through their successors in pastoral office: the college of bishops, “assisted by priests, in union with the successor of Peter, the Church’s supreme pastor”:

    You are the eternal Shepherd
    who never leaves his flock untended.
    Through the apostles
    you watch over us and protect us always.
    You made them shepherds of the flock
    to share in the work of your Son. . . .

    Here’s your error. Christ appointed Simon over the entire Church and named Him Peter to indicate that He is the Rock on earth, representing the Eternal Rock who resides in heaven.

    But Jesus Christ did not say that Simon would remain on earth forever. Neither St. Peter nor the rest of the Apostles continue to walk this earth. They now live in heaven with Christ.

    But, their replacements came forth in the course of time and the Church appointed them to continue Christ’s Great Commission, to preach His Gospel to the entire world, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

    You don’t agree with the conclusion

    I don’t agree with the conclusion exactly as you phrased it because it is ludicrous to believe that the original 12 apostles are walking this earth today. But, the apostolic office remains and resides in the Bishops of the Catholic Church in the same way that the office of Peter now resides in Pope Francis.

    yet the argument takes the exact same form as your perpetual papacy argument, and you agree with the two premises. Accordingly, I would now hope the form would become glaringly fallacious to you because by your own standards it leads to a false conclusion; yet you agree with the premises and have stood by the form. At this juncture, your issue is with basic rationality, not Protestant theology.

    All it shows is that you are extremely literalistic. You are studying logic but do not know how to apply it logically.

    I suggest you take this recent interaction of ours to someone you trust as having a basic understanding of these sorts of things.

    And I offer you the same advice.

    I wish you well.

    And you as well.

  444. De Maria said,

    May 4, 2015 at 6:35 pm

    Ron said,
    May 4, 2015 at 8:33 am

    “he didn’t single out St. Peter is because he is included in the Apostles.”

    This doesn’t help your argument. Logic dictates that if you collapse the pope into the set of all apostles, then the pope becomes defunct with the identified set of twelve.

    Your logic dictates such a thing. But it is false logic with no basis in reason. It is obvious that St. Paul is not talking about that one singular office, just as he didn’t need to single out Moses from amongst the Prophets, even though Scripture identifies him as the mediator of the first Covenant.

    You may not with any cogency establish a perpetual nature of a unique apostle from a text that does NOT single out the primacy of one among twelve. Either the church is to have a set of twelve apostles today or it’s to have zero.

    Where is that written?

    The text says APOSTLES

    But not twelve apostles.

    with an S at the end.

    That is correct. And there are thousands of apostles today. As there are millions through the centuries.

    Nowhere does it imply a subset of one.

    Jesus appointed Simon as the leader of His Church. There is only one Simon. But He appointed others who could take his place.

    Or do you cast out Matt 16:18-19 and John 21:15-17.

    Your logic fails, miserably.

  445. Ron said,

    May 4, 2015 at 6:39 pm

    Mods,

    Feel free to weigh in on my recent exchange with DM. When someone for any reason is unable to recognize that his or her conclusion is not established by the preceding premises, it’s usually a good idea to part ways.

  446. Ron said,

    May 4, 2015 at 6:42 pm

    “And there are thousands of apostles today. As there are millions through the centuries.”

    Have fun with that one, Kevin. And all this time I thought she was RC. *shrug*

  447. Ron said,

    May 4, 2015 at 6:49 pm

    Oh and BTW, watch how DM will now equivocate over the title of apostle by now using the term in a non technical, general sense. I guess that makes me a prophet in some equivocal sense.

  448. May 4, 2015 at 7:18 pm

    Ron, great job. DeMaria never ceases to amaze with what he says !

  449. May 4, 2015 at 7:26 pm

    DeMaria, I hope you read Kauffman’s series on the church. He really exposes Bryan Cross reading of the early fathers as completely and totally out of context. Reading a central episcopate back into the early church was a giant error. And Tim meticulously puts it to bed, with what the Early Fathers wrote in context. I think you will find it interesting. K

  450. De Maria said,

    May 4, 2015 at 9:59 pm

    Ron said,
    May 4, 2015 at 6:39 pm

    Mods,

    Feel free to weigh in on my recent exchange with DM. When someone for any reason is unable to recognize that his or her conclusion is not established by the preceding premises, it’s usually a good idea to part ways.

    You’re the one with that problem, Ron.

  451. De Maria said,

    May 4, 2015 at 10:00 pm

    Ron said,
    May 4, 2015 at 6:49 pm

    Oh and BTW, watch how DM will now equivocate over the title of apostle by now using the term in a non technical, general sense. I guess that makes me a prophet in some equivocal sense.

    Hold your breath.

  452. May 4, 2015 at 11:12 pm

    DeMaria said ” you don’t really believe God wipes away your sins” i think you have us mixed up with your church, Rome. Colossians 2:13 says ALL our sins are forgiven, past, present and future. On the other hand, you much burn off your temporal punishment through sacraments ex opera operato. And what you don’t get scrubbed off, you can get scrubbed off with a few thousand years in sarlac. Oh, yes, you can get imputed to you the merit of all the saints that have much extra in your bag. And in 2008 if you payed some money for an indulgence and passed through the arch at the basilica you could burn a little more off, and probably some for your relatives. DeMaria, do you ever think about this stuff. You are very smart. K

  453. May 4, 2015 at 11:20 pm

    DeMaria said flesh is no obstacle to the Spirit. We are called to a spiritual relationship with God. We are incorporated into his body through the Spirit, not the flesh. Read what Paul has to say about “meats” versus ” grace” We are to worship in Spirit and truth. It is a person that is offered , not a derivative off that person. He is called the Spirit of Christ. The spirit of the Lord, the Lord of the Spirit. Read ” Novel Antiquity” Kauffman deals with the lust for Rome’s idolatrous incarnationalism. Incidentally, there are Reformed and other Protestant pastors buying into this stuff. Sad. God is Spirit the scripture says, and those who worship Him, do so in Spirit. K

  454. Vincent said,

    May 5, 2015 at 9:03 am

    Kevin I thought temporal punishment had nothing to do with forgiveness of sins but only with the consequences of it. Also does not the treasury consist of the merits of Christ too? If so does that mean that Christ imputes his merits to a catholic too?

  455. Vincent said,

    May 5, 2015 at 11:31 am

    Nope, I am afraid I am not him. Do I though get the similarity.

  456. May 5, 2015 at 6:18 pm

    Vincent, Christ’s atonement covers all sin, guilt and punishment. Thats why Paul can use the Aorist past tense in romans 5:1 ” therefore having been justified by faith. We are forgiven only because of what He did, not anything we do. So I reject any transfer of merit from one saint to another to burn off temporal punishment. Vincent thats the whole point of the difference between Catholicism and Christianity. The atonement didn’t really do anything for Catholics except gave them the opportunity to help propitiate their own sin. We , however sing, ” A mighty fortress is our God” He cancelled all debts and dercres against us Colossians 2 says, and forgiven us ALL our sins. Our sins and God’s death nailed to the cross. And the whole church said amen!

  457. May 5, 2015 at 6:19 pm

    That should say our sins and God’s wrath nailed to the cross. K

  458. Vincent said,

    May 5, 2015 at 7:35 pm

    I think Catholics say Christ paid for the eternal debt of sin and guilt as well. Bryan Cross told me that both eternal and temporal debt are removed at baptism. Though I do see the point you make.

  459. Ron said,

    May 5, 2015 at 8:01 pm

    “I think Catholics say Christ paid for the eternal debt of sin and guilt as well.”

    How so, Vincent? What does it mean to say that the Savior paid for the sins of those who are paying for them in hell? Most Protestants deny the intention of the cross too. What’s a bit more peculiar to Romanism is the view that one contributes to the work of the cross in order to be saved. This can occur in a purging place that is as deducible from Scripture as the papacy. Roman Catholics deny not just particular redemption but also the substitutionary atonement.

  460. Ron said,

    May 5, 2015 at 8:23 pm

    http://www.calledtocommunion.com/2010/04/catholic-and-reformed-conceptions-of-the-atonement/

    Check out the falsehoods on the Reformed view of penal substitution. The claim is that the Reformed view depicts the Savior as evil in God’s sight and hated by the Father. It’s hard to imagine how such a caricature could be put forth apart from deliberate intention to deceive.

  461. Vincent said,

    May 5, 2015 at 8:27 pm

    Anslem and Aquinas believed in a form of substitutionary atonement. I think Rome follows them in thought. If not then what theory does Rome hold to?

  462. Vincent said,

    May 5, 2015 at 8:29 pm

    Do you deny that a believer fell away and can be damned? You see to imly that you don’t when you say the following “What does it mean to say that the Savior paid for the sins of those who are paying for them in hell?”

  463. Vincent said,

    May 5, 2015 at 8:30 pm

    Is not the eternal debt of punishment remitted at baptism and penance?

  464. Ron said,

    May 5, 2015 at 8:33 pm

    An existential Hebrew Hebrew pinned to a neon cross, showing forth a symbol of love that satisfied God and tipped the balances so that we might save ourselves through works and future torment.

  465. Vincent said,

    May 5, 2015 at 8:35 pm

    Where did you get that from? Is that from the catechism?

  466. Vincent said,

    May 5, 2015 at 8:39 pm

    I had a Thomist describe Christ’s atonement in the following manner to me:
    rist’s Passion effected our salvation through merit, atonement, sacrifice and redemption. Atonement is only a part of the mystery

    By merit, because His work demand a reward for Himself, but also for us as members of His body. By atonement, because He offered something to God that was GREATER than the sins of man. This needs to be clear, Christ did not serve out sentence for us. He offered something of greater value to God. Or put another way,. one atones when one offers a good to the offended party that the offended party loves equally or more than he detested the offense. Because Christ’s action was of love and obedience, and because of the greatness of His life, as God and man, and because of the extent of His passion, the greatness of His action surpassed the evilness of sin. As such, by uniting ourselves to His will, we become parties to His offering, which was greater than any sin, then and now and from hence.

    Because of this, he who is not a member of Christ, is not a party to Christ’s offering. He shares not His merits, since those are available only to His members. And He shares not in atonement. A rough analogy would be if, say, a gang of kids threw rocks at a house, breaking the windows, damaging the siding. And one of the father’s offered the homeowner some good of far greater value as recompense, but one of the children refused to join with this generous man and refused to be a party to the atonement he offered. The child would then still be liable for his part. Only the boys who took the man up on his offer of making restitution for them are freed of their bond.

    Whereas if the father were able to take their guilt or the very penal punishment owed them, then either he does so only for the boys he has chosen (say his own, or the children he likes best) or he does so for all, regardless of them morally joining his action.

    Christ’s Passion also worked by sacrifice, because it was something that was fittingly offered for the honor of God, something worthy of Him.

    Christ also redeemed us (and here is the old ransom theory, appropriated by Aquinas) insofar as He both atoned for the debt of our sin and freed us from the bondage of Satan. By sinning we abandoned the service of God, and thus God permitted us to be bonded to Satan. By redeeming us, Christ restores us to the service of God, and thus freed us from the bondage of Satan. The payment was to God, not the devil as some crude versions have it.

    From this it should be clear that, yes, Christ atoned for us, but it was not penal substitution, but satisfactory punishment in substitution to the punishment owed our sins.

  467. Vincent said,

    May 5, 2015 at 8:45 pm

    Kevin I would like your input on what that Thomist wrote.

  468. May 5, 2015 at 8:50 pm

    Ron, great post 461. I’m still trying to find out what Christ did for Catholics on the cross except set a good example. To deny the full orbed psub is just another way Catholics reduce the sufficiency of Christ. In the end,they just won’t let him off the cross. Of course we know He is risen, having obtained eternal redemption.

  469. Vincent said,

    May 5, 2015 at 8:52 pm

    Kevin what is your take on what I posted in comment 467?

  470. Ron said,

    May 5, 2015 at 8:53 pm

    Vincent, it’s uncanny how similar you are to the Vincent who has frequented my site. In any case, what are your thoughts on synthesis and dialectic? Is the latter an end in itself, or do you have interest in the former too?

  471. De Maria said,

    May 5, 2015 at 9:52 pm

    Kevin Failoni said,
    May 4, 2015 at 11:12 pm

    DeMaria said ” you don’t really believe God wipes away your sins” i think you have us mixed up with your church, Rome.

    No. In fact, that is why, on another thread, Greenbaggins said, “Why Imputation Is Not a Legal Fiction
    August 18, 2014 at 11:23 am (Justification)
    A very common objection from Roman Catholics against the Protestant doctrine of imputation is that God declares someone to be innocent who is not, in fact, innocent. This is legal nonsense, to them….

    You don’t believe that God wipes away your sins. That is the legal fiction to which Greenbaggins made reference. You believe it is a “forensic” declaration which does not reflect the truth.

    Correct me if I’m wrong.

    Colossians 2:13 says ALL our sins are forgiven, past, present and future.

    Future? Before you commit the sin? Based upon past conversations that I’ve had with you, I’m assuming this is what you mean. But Scripture says:

    1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

    Therefore, we must repent from and confess our sins in order for God to forgive us. There is no carte blanche forgiveness of future sins.

    On the other hand, you much burn off your temporal punishment through sacraments ex opera operato.

    Nope. It is God who washes us of our sins:

    Titus 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

    And we really believe we are made new. We believe we are born again, children of God.

    And what you don’t get scrubbed off, you can get scrubbed off with a few thousand years in sarlac.

    Is that a reference to Star Wars?

    Oh, yes, you can get imputed to you the merit of all the saints that have much extra in your bag. And in 2008 if you payed some money for an indulgence and passed through the arch at the basilica you could burn a little more off, and probably some for your relatives.

    Well, you may not like the doctrine of merit and that doctrine of indulgences, but they are both taught by Jesus Christ:

    Matthew 6:20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:

    Those treasures of which Jesus speaks, those are merits. And when they are stored in the heavenly treasury, they can be used as indulgences.

    DeMaria, do you ever think about this stuff. You are very smart. K

    All the time, K. All the time.

  472. De Maria said,

    May 5, 2015 at 9:55 pm

    Kevin Failoni said,
    May 4, 2015 at 11:20 pm

    DeMaria said flesh is no obstacle to the Spirit. We are called to a spiritual relationship with God. We are incorporated into his body through the Spirit, not the flesh. Read what Paul has to say about “meats” versus ” grace” We are to worship in Spirit and truth. It is a person that is offered , not a derivative off that person. He is called the Spirit of Christ. The spirit of the Lord, the Lord of the Spirit. Read ” Novel Antiquity” Kauffman deals with the lust for Rome’s idolatrous incarnationalism. Incidentally, there are Reformed and other Protestant pastors buying into this stuff. Sad. God is Spirit the scripture says, and those who worship Him, do so in Spirit. K

    Jesus Christ is described in Scripture as a quickening spirit.

    1 Corinthians 15:45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.

    Jesus Christ came in the flesh:

    2 John 1:7 For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.

    Explain to me again how flesh is an obstacle to the Spirit of God?

  473. Vincent said,

    May 5, 2015 at 10:07 pm

    DeMaria tell me are the merits of Christ in the treasury infinite whilst the saints are finite?

  474. Ron said,

    May 5, 2015 at 10:17 pm

    Kevin says:

    Colossians 2:13 says ALL our sins are forgiven, past, present and future.

    DM says:

    Colossians 2:13 says ALL our sins are forgiven, past, present and future.

    Future? Before you commit the sin? Based upon past conversations that I’ve had with you, I’m assuming this is what you mean. But Scripture says:

    1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

    Therefore, we must repent from and confess our sins in order for God to forgive us. There is no carte blanche forgiveness of future sins.

    The elusive paradox that reconciles absolution with cleansing and sweet communion, something Tridentine RC’s cannot grasp:

    Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.”

    “Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!”

    Jesus answered, “Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean. And you are clean…”

  475. Ron said,

    May 5, 2015 at 10:27 pm

    Kevin,

    I appreciate that you grasp the cleansing-forgiveness spoken of in John’s epistle of fellowship and how that should be distinguished from the full forgiveness of sins we have upon receiving and resting in Christ. Your evangelistic focus is upon the latter, which is a fine thing. I think Jesus’ instruction of Peter might be helpful to anyone with ears to hear.

  476. May 5, 2015 at 10:31 pm

    Vincent, ” Be clear Christ did not serve to a sentence for us” Typical Catholic reduction. Actually Christ lived the Law in our place and fulfilled all righteousness. He continued ” the greatness of His action surpassed evilness of sin.” Actually He was made sin and we became the righteousness of God in Him” It doesn’t say we become righteous inherently, just like He didn’t become a sinner, but He who knew no sin, became sin ( imputation) and we become the righteousness of God in Him ( imputation). He continues ” by uniting ourselves to His will, we become partakers of His offering” This is false, as if in union with Christ we can partake in the uniquely finished atonement and propitiation only HE was qualified to make. We benefit from HIS atonement. When Paul says we share in the sufferings of Christ and make up what is lacking, Roman Catholics misinterpret this. What was lacking in His sufferings was the preaching of the gospel because He wasn’t able to speak. and thats how Paul shared in His suffering by preaching the gospel. It doesn’t mean we co propitiate our sins. I reject anything less than penal substitution. Isaiah says He was crushed for our sins, and numbered with sinners. By His stripes we are healed. This along with parallel passages Romans 8:1-4 cry substitution. Incidentally, its the only time Jesus says ” My God” My God” instead of father. He was addressing Him as His God, because God’s wrath and our sins were nailed to the cross, and we were freed. He was delivered over for our sins and raised for our justification. Vincent look at 1 Corinthians 15, Paul says an interesting thing, If christ wasn’t raised we are still in our sins and our faith is useless. Implying that we are no longer in our sins. Amen!

  477. May 5, 2015 at 10:33 pm

    Ron, amen to 476 brother. K

  478. May 5, 2015 at 10:44 pm

    DeMaria said explain to me” how is an obstacle to the Spirit of God” Because God has called us to a spiritual relationship with Him, the flesh profits nothing. We are incorporated into His body thru the Spirit, NOT the flesh. God is Spirit, we worship Him in Spirit and truth. Grace doesn’t come through fallen human nature. Yes he uses water and bread as signs, but grace comes fro heaven through the Spirit, not through fallen nature. I reject the nature grace interconnection of Rome, as i reject the church as the agency of redemption and an continuing incarnation. The bible never speaks of churches as continuing incarnation. Churhces don connect us to God, but He comes in the gospel where and how HE wills. He said all power has been given ME on heaven and earth, not the church. The church can imitate Him, obey Him, carry out Hiss mission, but it can’t usurp the unequal finished work that only belongs to Him. The church isn’t the substitution for christ’s natural body. The church is a metaphor for the body of Christ. The church is not the same as Jesus in the world . K

  479. De Maria said,

    May 6, 2015 at 6:32 pm

    Vincent said,
    May 5, 2015 at 10:07 pm

    DeMaria tell me are the merits of Christ in the treasury infinite whilst the saints are finite?

    What do you think?

  480. De Maria said,

    May 6, 2015 at 6:37 pm

    Ron said,
    May 5, 2015 at 10:17 pm

    Kevin says:

    Colossians 2:13 says ALL our sins are forgiven, past, present and future.

    DM says:

    Colossians 2:13 says ALL our sins are forgiven, past, present and future.

    Future? Before you commit the sin? Based upon past conversations that I’ve had with you, I’m assuming this is what you mean. But Scripture says:

    1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

    Therefore, we must repent from and confess our sins in order for God to forgive us. There is no carte blanche forgiveness of future sins.

    The elusive paradox that reconciles absolution with cleansing and sweet communion, something Tridentine RC’s cannot grasp:

    Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.”

    “Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!”

    Jesus answered, “Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean. And you are clean…”

    The Catholic Church understands it just fine. In fact, it brings us back to the subject of this thread. Are Sacraments Fundamentals? The answer is yes. Because Jesus is speaking about the washing of regeneration which is another name for Baptism. Those who have had a bath, those who are baptized, need only to go to confession and communion to remain in union with the Body of Christ. They are clean.

    So, what paradox is it that you find elusive?

  481. De Maria said,

    May 6, 2015 at 6:42 pm

    Kevin Failoni said,
    May 5, 2015 at 10:31 pm

    Vincent, ….He continues ” by uniting ourselves to His will, we become partakers of His offering” This is false, as if in union with Christ we can partake in the uniquely finished atonement and propitiation only HE was qualified to make. We benefit from HIS atonement. When Paul says we share in the sufferings of Christ and make up what is lacking, Roman Catholics misinterpret this. ….

    Then why does St. Paul say, again:

    Romans 8:17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

    And again, Scripture says:

    1 Peter 4:1 Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;

    Why is it important that one must suffer in order to inherit the glory with Christ?

  482. De Maria said,

    May 6, 2015 at 6:58 pm

    Kevin Failoni said,
    May 5, 2015 at 10:44 pm

    DeMaria said explain to me” how is an obstacle to the Spirit of God”

    You left out quite a bit. I asked:

    Explain to me again how flesh is an obstacle to the Spirit of God?

    Because earlier you said:

    Because God has called us to a spiritual relationship with Him,

    You’re avoiding the question. Jesus came in the flesh. How did the flesh hinder Jesus?

    the flesh profits nothing.

    Was the flesh and obstacle to Jesus?

    We are incorporated into His body thru the Spirit, NOT the flesh.

    That still does not address my question. Do you think that the flesh has some sort of power over God? Or why do you deny that God can give grace to a man who has repented of his sins? (#433).

    God is Spirit, we worship Him in Spirit and truth. Grace doesn’t come through fallen human nature.

    Well, you repeated it right here. Then how is anyone saved? Don’t you believe that grace is irresistible?

    Yes he uses water and bread as signs, but grace comes fro heaven through the Spirit, not through fallen nature. I reject the nature grace interconnection of Rome, as i reject the church as the agency of redemption and an continuing incarnation. The bible never speaks of churches as continuing incarnation.

    Then why is the Church the Body of Christ?

    Romans 12:5 So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.

    Churhces don connect us to God, but He comes in the gospel where and how HE wills.

    But He adds to the Church all who are connected to Him.

    He said all power has been given ME on heaven and earth, not the church.

    But the Church is joined to Him:

    John 15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

    The church can imitate Him, obey Him, carry out Hiss mission, but it can’t usurp the unequal finished work that only belongs to Him.

    That is Catholic Teaching.

    The church isn’t the substitution for christ’s natural body. The church is a metaphor for the body of Christ. The church is not the same as Jesus in the world . K

    Then why did Jesus say?

    Acts 9:4 And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?

    When Saul was persecuting the Church?

    Acts 22:4 And I persecuted this way unto the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women.

  483. May 6, 2015 at 10:10 pm

    DeMaria, the question in the reformation and hasn’t changed, are the merits of Christ applied to us the faith alone, or do we merit the merit of Christ. Number 1 is the gospel, and number 2 is false religion of Rome. K

  484. May 6, 2015 at 10:17 pm

    DeMaris, no one is denying that is God’s will for us to suffer. But our suffering isn’t meritorious in justification. Romans 8:17 is a statement about an already justified believer, it doesn’t justify the believer. If you recall Romans 8:1 the judgment was rendered, not guilty, to those trusting in Christ alone. You 17 verses to late! You guys turn everything around. We are justified before we are sanctified. You are sanctified before you are justified. Take the Roman colored glasses off and you will see the right order. 1 Peter 4:11, another verse that is descriptive, not prescriptive. Again get the order right. K

  485. Ron said,

    May 6, 2015 at 11:15 pm

    Kevin,

    The truth is not in her. That she may post here is a mystery to me. I’m not suggesting that all apparent unbelievers should be censured, but given her obstinate evasiveness, it’s my opinion she should be banned.

  486. May 7, 2015 at 8:49 am

    Ron, I believe DeMaria is a he, but not sure. I know how you feel Ron. Having said that, I have been kicked off Catholic blogs for no apparent reason and would probably defend DeMaria’s right to be here. But I do agree with your point. I just think down deep inside there is no hope in that false system, and I pray DeMaria will find the truth. But of course we know thats in the hands of God. K

  487. May 7, 2015 at 8:52 am

    Ron, my wife and I have lost all our Catholic friends because we chose to share a paper I wrote on the doctrine of justification in the Catholic church. As you know if you stand for the gospel you won’t be popular. K

  488. Reed Here said,

    May 7, 2015 at 9:22 am

    Might DeMarie’s deflection unto disingenuousness be nothing more than lack of comprehension?

    To be sure, in his flurry of recent comments he demonstrates he is consistent with the RCC flattening of the distinction between the Visible and Invisible Church. Like all well-trained RCCs, he flattens any material/spiritual distinctions. This leads to all sorts of errors.

    But I don’t think DeMarie even realizes this basic error in his Church’s interpretation of Scripture.

  489. Ron said,

    May 7, 2015 at 11:26 am

    Reed,

    Yes, but it’s the outright misrepresentations and trite responses to basic arguments that gets irksome after several months. Certainly you appreciate what I’m saying. I’ve called this person on falsehoods over and over again – obvious ones – like from the site linked to his / her name, where it claims that Protestants say we need not keep the commandments or even obey anyone other than Christ. Then there’s the matter of my laboring in the simplest of terms that the deductive argument that has been put forth for a perpetual papacy is simply fallacious. DM’s avoidance to engage speaks to character and discloses either an unwillingness or a lack of ability to actually debate, and has nothing to do with theological persuasion. If DM doesn’t know what constitutes a valid argument or that he / she is leaping over crucial premises in order to draw conclusions, then there’s still an integrity issue at work – that of not admitting a complete lack of understanding of what others are even talking about. In either case, this person is simply announcing opinions rather than interacting with positions regardless of the reason(s) behind such behavior.

    I feel better now. :)

  490. Reed Here said,

    May 7, 2015 at 11:29 am

    :) Yeah.

  491. roberty bob said,

    May 7, 2015 at 11:45 am

    Looking at #483 of De Maria . . . and I find sound biblical reasoning with regard to the church as the Body of Christ in the world; the example of Saul persecuting Christ by persecuting the Church is a convincing one.

    I don’t think De Maria lacks comprehension; if anything, he does not use — make distinctions based upon — the theological constructs approved by the greenbaggins crew.

    Meanwhile, looking at #433 of Kevin . . . I take note of an off-the-cuff remark that “fallen creation rejected Christ, and it will be destroyed.” If that is a blanket statement, then nothing could be more out of line with Jesus’ own gospel, as he proclaims that he did not come to destroy the world — yes, even the fallen creation that had rejected him — but to save the world through his own atoning blood. The uncomprehending De Maria took note of the #433 remark midway through his #483 rebuttal.

    What counts is that Kevin stands for the gospel [because he says so], while De Maria, who smooshes the invisible church into the visible one — the horrific error of failing to make necessary distinctions — must be wearing those “Roman colored glasses” which have made him blind to what is obvious to everyone else.

    As if Kevin isn’t wearing Spiritual colored glasses, which makes the body and all things material invisible — even non-existent!

  492. Ron said,

    May 7, 2015 at 12:39 pm

    I don’t think De Maria lacks comprehension; if anything, he does not use — make distinctions based upon — the theological constructs approved by the greenbaggins crew.

    RB,

    Is the following a matter of comprehension?

    DM’s proof of a perpetual papacy:

    “Scripture proves that Jesus appointed St. Peter as leader over His Church. Scripture also proves that Jesus established a perpetual Church. Therefore, the office of Peter (i.e. the Papacy) is perpetual as well.”

    It reduces to:

    P1. A appointed B over C
    P2. A established perpetual C
    Therefore, perpetual office of B: D, E, F…

    DM said, “I think it is perfectly valid… The conclusion follows perfectly from my premise.”

    RB, do you believe the conclusion logically follows from the p1 and p2?

    Then DM said: “Jesus Christ established a perpetual Church and therefore intended that the Church always have a leader.”

    Seems to me that this intention for a perpetual line of popes is not deducible from p1 and P2 but rather DM’s axiom.

    RB, you don’t see that the proof is formally invalid even if the conclusion were true? After all, how do the two premises imply that the divine intention could not have been to switch from an alleged pope Peter to a series of fallible judges, or even fallible elders? To put it plainly, does p1 and p2 logically preclude God altering the way in which His people are to be governed after the alleged first pope died? Do those two premises as a unit preclude governing by providential means that don’t require a papacy?

    Again, it’s an improper maneuver to transfer the perpetual property of the church to the perpetual property of an alleged first pope.

  493. May 7, 2015 at 12:51 pm

    Reed, in 489 Bingo!

  494. May 7, 2015 at 12:58 pm

    Ron, I have been going at it for a long time with DeMaria. Think of it this way. When you put your money in a machine and it spits out the same thing every time. The church wrote the bible, all verses about salvation means sacraments ex opere operato, apostles means one pope. The guy has amazing endurance He is the RC propaganda machine, and the cat can write in droves. lol K

  495. May 7, 2015 at 1:04 pm

    robertbob, Paul used church as a metaphor for the BODY of Christ. Of course Paul was persecuting Jesus, he was killing his people. That doesn’t mean that the church is the same as Jesus in the world. You cannot collapse the head into the body. We are the body and He is the head. And that relationship is mediated spiritually thru the Spirit. Churches don’t connect us to God, but He comes to us in the gospel as the Spirit blows. He said all power on heaven and earth has been given ME, not the church. Sorry Rome cannot usurp Christ as the agency of salvation. It can only pass on the Word, obey Him, and carry out His mission. But redemption belongs to God. God has jurisdiction on the conscience of man, not the church. K

  496. May 7, 2015 at 1:11 pm

    robertybob, look at John 1, He came to his people and they rejected Him. Fallen human nature rejected Him. The John says ” who were born, NOT of flesh and blood, nor of the will of the FLESH, nor of the will on man, but of GOD. No charge. K

  497. De Maria said,

    May 7, 2015 at 10:24 pm

    Kevin Failoni said,
    May 6, 2015 at 10:10 pm

    DeMaria, the question in the reformation and hasn’t changed, are the merits of Christ applied to us the faith alone, or do we merit the merit of Christ. Number 1 is the gospel, and number 2 is false religion of Rome. K

    I’m not really following what you’re saying there, K. But, I do know that Scripture says:

    2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

    Therefore, that means that God ascribes merit to our works and judges some good and some bad.

  498. De Maria said,

    May 7, 2015 at 10:33 pm

    Kevin Failoni said,
    May 6, 2015 at 10:17 pm

    DeMaris, no one is denying that is God’s will for us to suffer. But our suffering isn’t meritorious in justification. …. K

    But if you don’t suffer you can’t inherit the glory, K. So, if it isn’t meritorious, what is it?

    Romans 8:17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

    Notice how that says, “if we suffer with Him”.

    So, that means, you suffer with Him, you are glorified with Him.
    But if you do not suffer with Him, you will not be glorified with Him.

    That sounds like suffering with Christ is a requirement which must be fulfilled before you are glorified.

  499. De Maria said,

    May 7, 2015 at 10:35 pm

    Kevin Failoni said,
    May 7, 2015 at 8:49 am

    Ron, I believe DeMaria is a he,….

    I’ve told him several times, Kevin. Thanks for telling him again.

  500. De Maria said,

    May 7, 2015 at 10:41 pm

    Reed Here said,
    May 7, 2015 at 9:22 am

    Might DeMarie’s deflection unto disingenuousness be nothing more than lack of comprehension?

    To be sure, in his flurry of recent comments he demonstrates he is consistent with the RCC flattening of the distinction between the Visible and Invisible Church. Like all well-trained RCCs, he flattens any material/spiritual distinctions. This leads to all sorts of errors.

    But I don’t think DeMarie even realizes this basic error in his Church’s interpretation of Scripture.

    Basic error? Let me see what Scripture you’re talking about. We’ll compare interpretations.

  501. De Maria said,

    May 7, 2015 at 10:46 pm

    Ron said, (#490)
    May 7, 2015 at 11:26 am

    Reed,

    Yes, but it’s the outright misrepresentations and trite responses to basic arguments that gets irksome after several months. ….
    I feel better now. :)

    I’m glad you feel better. However, I know that I’ve addressed your comments, point by point. The problem is that you seem to expect me to agree with you just because you say so.

    That’s the difference between you and I. I don’t expect you to agree with me. But I do explain why I disagree.

  502. De Maria said,

    May 7, 2015 at 10:47 pm

    roberty bob said,
    May 7, 2015 at 11:45 am

    Looking at #483 of De Maria . . . and I find sound biblical reasoning with regard to the church as the Body of Christ in the world; the example of Saul persecuting Christ by persecuting the Church is a convincing one.

    I don’t think De Maria lacks comprehension; if anything, he does not use — make distinctions based upon — the theological constructs approved by the greenbaggins crew…..

    Thanks RB. You hit the nail on the head.

  503. De Maria said,

    May 7, 2015 at 10:59 pm

    Ron said,
    May 7, 2015 at 12:39 pm

    I don’t think De Maria lacks comprehension; if anything, he does not use — make distinctions based upon — the theological constructs approved by the greenbaggins crew.

    RB,

    Is the following a matter of comprehension?….

    Yes, Ron, yours. RB didn’t claim that I lacked comprehension. Reed did.

    It reduces to:

    P1. A appointed B over C
    P2. A established perpetual C
    Therefore, perpetual office of B: D, E, F…

    DM said, “I think it is perfectly valid… The conclusion follows perfectly from my premise.”

    RB, do you believe the conclusion logically follows from the p1 and p2?

    I wasn’t referring to your distillation of premises, Ron. I was referring to mine. Therefore I said,

    The conclusion follows perfectly from MY premise.

    Logical reasoning does not work if you don’t understand the premises being considered.

    Now, you believe the premise is that Jesus established a temporary Church. You believe another premise that Jesus appointed temporary offices of Apostles to last only one generation.

    I disagree with both of your premises.

    My premise is that Jesus established a permanent Church and created permanent offices as fundament parts of the organization which He intended for an ongoing concern.

    Now, A appointed B over C, makes sense for a perpetual office over a permanent Church.

    Do you comprehend my logic? Maybe YOU don’t agree with me because of your lack of comprehension. What do you think?

  504. May 7, 2015 at 11:21 pm

    DeMaria, how much suffering is necessary to inherit glory? When will we know we have suffered enough to make it? I heard a Priest say one day, we are all on a journey to perfection? And I thought to my self if you are on a journey to perfection, that ain’t good news. You know Romans 4 says that God justifies the ungodly man, apart from works, by believing in HIM who justifies the ungodly. Reformed look at the verse you provide as descriptive, not prescriptive. We must balance warning verses with the passages that teach justification. And here is the truth of what Paul said in Philippians 3, he considered all his righteousness as “skubalon”, dung. Not his sin, but his righteousness. He wanted to be found in the righteousness of another that comes by faith. He puts ALL of his righteousness in one column, and Christ’s in another. K

  505. Eric W said,

    May 8, 2015 at 4:12 am

    De Maria,
    The rock of Matt.16 isn’t Peter. It’s Christ, the Son of living God. Jesus started building His Church at Pentecost (I will build). Likewise, Peter was to receive the Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven later (I will give). If Church and Kingdom are not the same, then your arguments can’t get off the ground.

    What causes you to equate Church and Kingdom ? Or why did you think the initial building and key distribution coincide ?

  506. Ron said,

    May 8, 2015 at 7:53 am

    “Now, you believe the premise is that Jesus established a temporary Church.”

    Just more lack of comprehension, right up there with Protestants believe we aren’t required to do good works or obey anyone other than Jesus.

    “My premise is that Jesus established a permanent Church and created permanent offices as fundament parts of the organization which He intended for an ongoing concern. Now, A appointed B over C, makes sense for a perpetual office over a permanent Church.

    Everyone paying attention knows your premises. The point that still escapes you is that you didn’t *derive* from Scripture (as you implied you could) the permanent office of the papacy *from* the divine intention to establish a permanent church and the alleged installation of Peter as vicar. All you’ve done this time is announce your beliefs as a unit and given up on any attempt of derivation.

  507. Reed Here said,

    May 8, 2015 at 9:40 am

    Ron: and this response from DM demonstrates my point. I think he simply doesn’t understand. His inference to “my logic” vs. “your logic” screams of miscomprehension. He simply doesn’t get you are not disagreeing with his premises. You are disgreeing that his premises are actually based on what Scripture teaches. He doesn’t see that at present his premises read as nothing more than a position he has forced upon the Bible. That he can then logically order the Scriptures to submit to his position does not prove the premises. It proves he is good at logic after the fact, something most people find no problem with (we all find it easy to offer reasonable justification for our positions).

    And this then refutes Roberty Bobbity’s contention that Dm’s problem is that he is not fitting into the GB Crews’ scheme of things. You are asking for a form of argument that is validated apart from Scriptural appeal, in the same way that mathematics can be validated apart from Scriptural appeal. Maybe bobbin robin doesn’t get it either?

    I do wish they would stop for a second and consider that this kind of discussion (what we’re doing here with one another) is not an attack on their position. It is a request for valid discussion of their position, with “valid” not defined either by a Reformed or a Roman perspective, but agreeable to both systems.

    Then conversation with them might more forward. I am grateful for your and Kevin’s continued tenacity. I simply can’t afford to continue to speak with someone who says “blue,” and then when I ask “what do you mean ‘blue’?” they insist I’m not understanding them.

  508. truthunites said,

    May 8, 2015 at 10:10 am

    Post title: Are Sacraments Fundamentals?

    Baptism is a sacrament? Baptism is fundamental? Fundamental to what? Fundamental to Salvation? If an infant is baptized, then the infant has salvation? If the infant is not baptized, then the infant has no salvation?

    If baptism is a sacrament that is fundamental to salvation, then what about this story:

    Church Denies Infant Baptism to this Infant.

    Denial of requested baptism is a denial of requested salvation if it’s posited and claimed that baptism is fundamental to salvation.

  509. Ron said,

    May 8, 2015 at 10:27 am

    Reed,

    I’d be closer to accepting your position in toto if DM stated unequivocally that a perpetual papacy is not to be accepted as necessary inference of *Scripture*. That’s why I cannot accept that this is mostly about coming to the text with different lenses. No, it’s about DM transferring the perpetual nature of the church to the office of vicar. Here’s the main point so please walk with me a few more steps. :)

    Indeed, I agree with you 100% that we have different lenses than DM, but even different lenses do not necessitate invalid reasoning. On that we must agree. In that context, my issue is not differing starting premises arising from different perspectives or starting points. My issue is that DM believes that two premises: a first pope and a perpetual church – logically demands the conclusion of a perpetual papacy. The most strident RC could agree with me on this, but he’d be constrained to make an appeal to the popes to justify the popes. They’d have to say that it was God’s *intention*, at best hinted at in Scripture and revealed through tradition that there’d be a papacy. I labor the point, Reed, because DM wants to use Scripture as the authority from which he *derives* this teaching.

  510. Ron said,

    May 8, 2015 at 11:03 am

    Re read your post, Reed. Maybe we do agree without remainder. If not, close? Maybe a bit more clarification, and please do feel free to comment on my previous post and treat this as an ammendment.

    “You are asking for a form of argument that is validated apart from Scriptural appeal,”

    Yes, but wouldn’t you say that DM’s argument is not valid? I assume he thinks it is valid. So, maybe DM is not being as logical as you’re willing to say? Putting all this together, DM is imposing things on the text and due to blinders cannot see the irrationality. So, presuppositions are blinding reason?

  511. Reed Here said,

    May 8, 2015 at 11:08 am

    Ron, yes, we’re tracking the same. Both your clarifications are what I am saying.

  512. Reed Here said,

    May 8, 2015 at 11:10 am

    TU, no.509, interesting story and completely off topic. Sure you can build a bridge back to the topic, but far too unneeded a detour to make your points. No thanks.

  513. roberty bob said,

    May 8, 2015 at 12:26 pm

    Of the Twelve Apostles, Three — Peter, James, John — are shown time and again to be of the inner circle closest to the heart of Christ and his Kingdom ministry.

    Of the Twelves and of the Three, Peter is shown time and again to be the Leader; when Peter speaks, he speaks on behalf of them all.

    Christ gave the name Peter [a derivative of “ROCK”] to Simon, so that we know him respectively as Simon Peter, Peter, or Cephas [also a derivative of “ROCK”].

    Is it unreasonable, then, to believe that when Jesus says to the Christ-confessing Simon, “Thou art PETER, and upon this ROCK I will build my church!” that he is identifying Peter as the Church’s Premier Leader and Builder? Not unreasonable.

    Is it unreasonable to believe that when Jesus promises to give Peter the Keys of the Kingdom, it is to be understood that Peter, after Christ’s Ascension, will be the Church’s Lead Pastor? Not unreasonable.

    Is it unreasonable to believe that when Jesus restored Peter after his three-fold denial, that Christ’s purpose in this was to enable Peter to go forth and fulfill his duties — Feed My Sheep! — as the Church’s Lead Pastor? Not unreasonable.

    Is it any surprise, then, to see Peter as the Church’s Lead Pastor preaching the sermon on the Day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit was poured out in abundance and three thousand were added to the church? No surprise.

    Is it any surprise, then, to see Peter as the Church’s Lead Pastor being chosen by the Lord to begin the Gentile Mission when he proclaimed the gospel to the household of Cornelius? No surprise.

    Is it any surprise, then, that Peter should go to Rome to build Christ’s Church in the heart of the world’s empire, and that the Church in Rome would henceforth count it an honor that Peter had a key part in its founding? No surprise.

    Would any Christians during the early centuries of Christendom have thought it inappropriate to hold in high honor the Bishop [Lead Pastor] of the Church in Rome? Not that I know of.

    Might they have done so out of respect for the Apostle Peter? It seems that they did do.
    ………

    I’m only guessing that the Catholic line of logic followed by DeMaria in the above postings follows similar steps to this — although I cannot say for sure. If so, then the beliefs expressed are practically self-evident and do not beg for proof.

    The Protestant argument seems to be based on the belief that the Catholic Church under the leadership of the Bishop of Rome [the Pope] ceased being Christ’s Church on account of apostacy — thus rendering all of Rome’s claims null and void, including the biblical logic employed to defend Rome’s primacy as the true successors of Peter, the Church’s first Lead Pastor.

  514. May 8, 2015 at 1:32 pm

    Reed said of DeMaria, ” that he can logically submit the scripture to his position etc. ” Bingo! Welcome to Roman Catholicism! Romans 11:6 means merit the merit of Christ. Ephesians 2:8 means sacraments ex opere operato, 1 John 2:27 is confirmation. Colossians 1:17 means Pope. How is Roman Catholicism any different than Mormonism. They invent another story. K

  515. May 8, 2015 at 1:45 pm

    Truth unites, I like Michael Horton, but he has gotten dangerously close at times to purporting baptismal regeneration. But 1 Corinthians 1:17 I believe should be a warning to all Reforming types as us, on the position of baptism. If Paul says he was not sent to baptize but preach the gospel. This should instruct us that salvation comes thru ” hearing the gospel and believing.” We should add nothing else. Baptism can only be the confirmation of an inner faith. To say it is necessary is to add one work to grace. Titus 3:5 ” He saved us based solely by his grace and mercy. The merits of Christ are applied to us only by faith, and not meriting the merit of Christ in any way. K

  516. May 8, 2015 at 1:56 pm

    Robert bob, even Augustine saw the verse about the rock as the confession Peter made. The early church believed that that apsotolicy was given to all Bishops who upheld the once and for all delivered faith. And that Apostolicity was only valid as a Bishop in the catholic church everywhere upheld the those truths. Read how Cyprian layed the wood to Stephen and agrees with other Bishops that if pope Stephen wouldn’t recant he was separated from that apostolicity. In fact if you read the anti- Nicene fathers, there was great collegiality, and they were always speed slapping in a letter some wayward Roman Bishop. K

  517. May 8, 2015 at 2:00 pm

    roberty bob, have you gone thru RCIA yet. It only takes one year and 26 things you have to do before you can be initially justified and baptized into Rome. But Rome says those prerequisites are done by ” actual grace” so it really isn’t by works. I got some land in Florida to sell……lol Man i hope you stay away from that communion. It is a serious thing to participate in a Mass and bow to bread and wine. We should be encouraging God’s elect to leave the beast Revelations 18:4 ” come out from her my people” God bless.

  518. Ron said,

    May 8, 2015 at 2:55 pm

    RB,

    So, what you’re saying is that it’s not deducible by good and necessary inference that there’s a vicar of Christ at Rome? But even if we assign an 80% probability to each necessary step in your blockouse approach, it only takes three steps for this matter to become a coin flip. Keep adding such needed steps and the case becomes overwhelming in favor of the a Reformed view.

    I really appreciated the leap from honoring subsequent bishops at Rome to concluding their infallibility and primacy. Created stuff. Kinda akin to creation out of nothing. So, when did you give up on the chief cornerstone?

  519. Ron said,

    May 8, 2015 at 3:10 pm

    I’m going to complete this supposedly self-evident argument that you say needs no prroof. I’ll begin with last premise. You said,

    “Would any Christians during the early centuries of Christendom have thought it inappropriate to hold in high honor the Bishop [Lead Pastor] of the Church in Rome? Not that I know of.

    Might they have done so out of respect for the Apostle Peter? It seems that they did do.”

    Is this is how it’s to end, RB? “Is it unreasonable that with this high human bestowal of honor there should also come divinely appointed infallibility on matters of faith and practice?”

  520. De Maria said,

    May 8, 2015 at 5:02 pm

    Kevin Failoni said,
    May 7, 2015 at 11:21 pm

    DeMaria, how much suffering is necessary to inherit glory? ….K

    Why? Don’t you believe the Bible?

    Romans 8:17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

    The Bible says you have to suffer to be glorified with Christ. Do you deny it? Do you reject this verse?

  521. Reed Here said,

    May 8, 2015 at 5:13 pm

    DeMarie, that actually doesn’t answer Kevin’s question. It proves the fact of suffering. It does not answer his question, “how much” suffering. Maybe you could answer the specific question asked? Or even explain why you think Kevin’s question is wrong and therefore does not need to need to be answered.

  522. De Maria said,

    May 8, 2015 at 5:19 pm

    Eric W said,
    May 8, 2015 at 4:12 am

    De Maria,
    The rock of Matt.16 isn’t Peter.

    Yes, it is. Jesus renamed Simon, Peter, in order to show that he would be His representative on earth.

    It’s Christ, the Son of living God.

    Jesus, the Son of the Living God, is the Rock. And the Rock turned to Simon and said, “I name you, Rock, because I will build my Church upon you and the gates of hell will not prevail upon it.”

    Jesus started building His Church at Pentecost (I will build).

    The Church began its mission on Pentecost. But Jesus Christ had already selected His board of officers and His Chief Executive.

    Likewise, Peter was to receive the Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven later (I will give). If Church and Kingdom are not the same, then your arguments can’t get off the ground.

    The Catholic Church is the Kingdom of God on earth.

    What causes you to equate Church and Kingdom ?

    The keys which Jesus gave to St. Peter. He first established St. Peter as the Rock, or Foundation of His Church. Then said He would build His Church. Then He gave St. Peter the keys to the Kingdom of heaven.

    Or why did you think the initial building and key distribution coincide ?

    I don’t think “why” has anything to do with it. Jesus did it, I believe it.

  523. Eric W said,

    May 8, 2015 at 5:23 pm

    Roberty bob wrote:
    Is it unreasonable, then, to believe that when Jesus says to the Christ-confessing Simon, “Thou art PETER, and upon this ROCK I will build my church!” that he is identifying Peter as the Church’s Premier Leader and Builder? Not unreasonable.

    Response:
    Yes, it’s unreasonable (actually Antichristic) to believe that after viewing the context. The Church’s “Premier Leader” and “Builder” is Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God. Jesus said, “I will build.” That makes him the Builder. Also, he said, “My.” That makes him the Premier Leader. The cool thing is that Jesus started building and leading from Heaven.

  524. Ron said,

    May 8, 2015 at 5:27 pm

    Reed,

    I hope you can find time to keep DM on a shorter leash, as you just did. Then, once DM learns to answer questions rather then dodging them, maybe you might request that DM not begin so many responses with these sorts of prefaces: “Don’t you believe the Bible?”

  525. De Maria said,

    May 8, 2015 at 5:28 pm

    Ron said,
    May 8, 2015 at 7:53 am

    “Now, you believe the premise is that Jesus established a temporary Church.”

    Just more lack of comprehension, right up there with Protestants believe we aren’t required to do good works or obey anyone other than Jesus.

    Lol! You love drama, don’t you? Just state your true premise. And we can go from there.

    But, I doubt that you comprehend how to do that, or you would have done it.

    “My premise is that Jesus established a permanent Church and created permanent offices as fundament parts of the organization which He intended for an ongoing concern. Now, A appointed B over C, makes sense for a perpetual office over a permanent Church.

    Everyone paying attention knows your premises.

    If you knew my premises, why did you attribute other premises to my logic?

    The point that still escapes you is that you didn’t *derive* from Scripture (as you implied you could) the permanent office of the papacy *from* the divine intention to establish a permanent church and the alleged installation of Peter as vicar.

    Yes, I did. Why would Jesus establish a permanent Church and organize it with temporary offices? By establishing a permanent Church, He made clear His intentions that it was an ongoing concern. It doesn’t make sense that He would then outfit the permanent Church with temporary offices.

    The Church is the body of Christ. In modern terms, it would be called His corporation. Do you know of any corporation today, that is outfitted with temporary offices such that the organization will at some point run without someone in charge?

    All you’ve done this time is announce your beliefs as a unit and given up on any attempt of derivation.

    And all you’ve done is make say so statements without providing one shred of biblical support. You want me to believe that Jesus established a permanent Church but did not intend for it to have permanent leadership? Show me from Scripture.

  526. De Maria said,

    May 8, 2015 at 5:30 pm

    Reed Here said,
    May 8, 2015 at 9:40 am

    Ron: and this response from DM demonstrates my point. I think he simply doesn’t understand. His inference to “my logic” vs. “your logic” screams of miscomprehension. He simply doesn’t get you are not disagreeing with his premises. You are disgreeing that his premises are actually based on what Scripture teaches. ….

    Easy fix there, Reed. Just as I told him. Show me from Scripture.

  527. Ron said,

    May 8, 2015 at 5:57 pm

    Reed,

    Whether one considers DM’s reasoning merely twisted as opposed to satanic is not my concern.

    I’m delighted, however, that DM is now engaging you with these absurd, fallaciously-grounded requests. Have fun. :)

    Along with this most recent demand, DM might as well have asked for a refutation from Scripture that Tim Cook is not CEO of Apple. Of course, DM will fail to see the analogy, but that’s because DM doesn’t realize that the papacy, no less than Apple, is a human institution with an elected head who has nothing to do with Christ’s church. Then there are the unargued presuppositions that there must be a single head, an infallible head and a Romanist head. Why can’t there be multiple heads, all fallible and catholic in nature? :)

  528. Eric W said,

    May 8, 2015 at 5:59 pm

    De Maria, you wrote:
    The Church began its mission on Pentecost. But Jesus Christ had already selected His board of officers and His Chief Executive.

    Response:
    1. began its mission
    2. selected..officers…chief Executive

    I understand this to mean that Missionaries came before the Mission. So when did he start building (I will build) the church ?
    ————————–

    You wrote:
    The Catholic Church is the Kingdom of God on earth.

    Response:
    By RC definitions, the Holy Spirit dwells within the CC. The Holy Spirit was never absent from it. This means Jesus started building the CC at Pentecost. We must conclude that the K.of God on earth began at Pentecost. Peter received the Keys at this point.

    Now show us from the Bible that the “Catholic Church” began at Pentecost ? Give us some verses because I contend that the CC isn’t in the Bible.

  529. Ron said,

    May 8, 2015 at 6:09 pm

    “You want me to believe that Jesus established a permanent Church but did not intend for it to have permanent leadership? Show me from Scripture.”

    Reed,

    I’m seeing more evidence of lack of comprehension. Where did DM get the idea that we deny ecclesiastical rule? I guess I shouldn’t be surprised given the accusation that Protestants have no regard for God’s commandments and we only are required to submit to King Jesus.

  530. Reed Here said,

    May 8, 2015 at 6:28 pm

    DeMarie, no. 526: completely convoluted. I’m afraid Ron’s criticisms of you are more fair than you seem willing to hear.

    You are not proving that the Scriptures support your premises. This is because you have not demonstrated that your premise are actually necessary in the texts quoted.

    All you are doing is giving an interpretation to these passages that may be true if your premises are true.. Merely quoting a text of Scripture does not prove the text teaches your interpretation. IOW. you are simply proof-texting at this point.

    Take for example your question to Ron, “Why would Jesus establish a permanent Church and organize it with temporary offices?” This is an assumption on your part, not something you’ve proven from Scripture. Further, it is an assumption that you are then using to prove other assumptions.

    For example, we believe with you that Jesus established a permanent Church. We believe with you that God gave particular offices to this Church used to maintain and grow her to perfection. We believe with you that some offices were temporary, e.g., the office of Moses, the OT prophets, the Apostles. We believe with you that some offices are permanent, e.g., pastors, elders, deacons.

    What we disagree on, in this particular instance, is that the Bible establishes any office of pope, permanent or temporary. We disagree because we do not see it in Scripture.

    This is what Ron was asking you to lay out, the biblical grounds for this office. You in this quote are arguing on the basis of something we agree upon, the permanence of the Church. But then you build on this assumption a number of other assumptions that need to be proven. And you don’t.

    A permanent Church can exist without all office being permanent (something we agree on). A permanent church can also exist without some fabricated offices existing. The office of pope, permanent or temporary, in our understanding of Scripture, is a fabricated office. It is not provable from Scripture.

    It does no good to simply jump over the question of whether your premises are better than ours. Show it from Scripture. This is all Ron has been asking you to do. So far all you’ve done is reference passages you assume prove you point, without actually showing how they prove your point.

    I understand you are frustrated with our frustration. This, however, is not a factor of our differences in position. It is a frustration in how to go about demonstrating that one’s position actually is taught by the Bible. If I may be cute without trying to be pejorative, it does not promote understanding when either side gives itself over to pontificating.

    Maybe you could think about this overnight and take another stab in the morning?

  531. Ron said,

    May 8, 2015 at 7:11 pm

    Reed,

    Great post. Most of all, very kind.

    In my personal studies and devotion I’m going through Ephesians again. I’m struck anew by the wonders that the apostle would have us embrace by faith and due to these discussions, how these riches must elude the faithful RC: forgiveness of sins, adoption as sons, the sealing of the Holy Spirit and the hope of glory – a single set which is according to the divine lottery of election in Christ and the sovereign summing up of all things in Him. The indicative is of no use for one who would earn God’s good pleasure, making chapters 4-6 a burden as opposed to the natural outworking of our salvation in Him.

    If you don’t have it, maybe grab Peter T O’Brien’s work on the epistle. I might email you on 1:18b. I appreciate his exegesis and insight. Ferguson restricts it to a possibility, though a true insight just the same.

  532. May 8, 2015 at 7:20 pm

    DeMaria said ” do you know of any organizations today that operate with temporary office and without someone in charge. ” Ya, He told us who is in charge in Colossians 1:17, Christ. But you read the successor of Peter. Thats why our confessions say Christ is the ONLY head of the church, and there can be no other head thereof. These Popes die, and how could the church live if it’s head were dead. Christ is the only head of the church, and the church forever lives in Him. Christ did not come to earth to pour out his life for his people to have the pope come in and steal the glory. He didn’t come from heaven to earth, and he didn’t pour out his blood for his people. No mere man, sinner like us can be the head of the church. Read Colossians 1. K

  533. May 8, 2015 at 7:48 pm

    Ron, great post 532! And this statement by you is the best ” I’m struck anew by the wonders that the apostle would have us embrace by faith and due to these discussions, how these riches must elude faithful RC, forgiveness of sins, adoption as sons, the sealing of the Spirit and hope of glory.” Bingo Ron. One of the main reasons for our dear Reformers was to return the Laity to the great assurances of Scripture that Rome had stolen from them. I turned to a good Catholic friend I lost when I approached him with the gospel. The first thing he said to me was that each time he did the Mass he was being reconverted. The guy on Beggars All has a Luther quote that I had never heard, but reflects what I had always thought about the horror of the Mass for a soul. Listen ” Can anything be said that is more horrible than that the kingdom of the Papists is the kingdom of those who spit upon and recrucify Christ, the Son of God? Christ, who was once crucified and rose again- Him they crucify to themselves and in the church, this is, in the hearts of the faithful. With their rebukes, slanders, and insults they spit on Him, and with their false opinions they pierce Him through, so that He dies most miserably in them. And in His place they erect a beautiful bewitchment, by which men are so demented that they do not acknowledge Christ as the Justifier, Propitiator, and Savior but think of Him as a minister of sin, an accuser, a judge, and a condemner, who must be placated by our works and merit.” Your words ring with Luther. I told my friend that day that his participation in the Mass and thought that he was being reconverted each time, was unbelief. The righteous shall live by faith and be convinced of the full assurance the scripture gives through the Spirit by and with the Word. Our faith in a one time accomplished act is our assurance. Catholics don’t have that. Instead of knowing that the merits of Christ are applied to us thru faith alone in faith alone, they merit the merit of Christ, and rightfully lack the assurance of eternal life. K

  534. May 8, 2015 at 7:50 pm

    That should be faith alone in Christ alone.

  535. Reed Here said,

    May 8, 2015 at 8:27 pm

    Thanks Ron. Am working on Jonah, Genesis and Revelation right now. But would find time for anything you forward. Grateful.

  536. De Maria said,

    May 8, 2015 at 10:04 pm

    Ron said,
    May 8, 2015 at 10:27 am

    Reed,

    I’d be closer to accepting your position in toto if DM stated unequivocally that a perpetual papacy is not to be accepted as necessary inference of *Scripture*. ….

    Ron, Scripture explicitly states that the Church is a permanent organization. That certainly does not infer that it would possess temporary offices.

  537. De Maria said,

    May 8, 2015 at 10:15 pm

    Ron said,
    May 8, 2015 at 5:57 pm

    Reed,

    Whether one considers DM’s reasoning merely twisted as opposed to satanic is not my concern.

    I’m delighted, however, that DM is now engaging you with these absurd, fallaciously-grounded requests. Have fun. :)

    Along with this most recent demand, DM might as well have asked for a refutation from Scripture that Tim Cook is not CEO of Apple.

    Thank you for admitting that you don’t have Scripture to support your claim.

    Of course, DM will fail to see the analogy, but that’s because DM doesn’t realize that the papacy, no less than Apple, is a human institution with an elected head who has nothing to do with Christ’s church.

    It is you who doesn’t realize that the Catholic Church is described in Scripture. I believe Scripture, therefore I believe the Catholic Church was established by Jesus Christ. Let me show you. Every Catholic distinctive is in Scripture.

    indulgences,
    Matt 19:21;
    Purgatory,
    Rev 2:10
    the Treasury of Merit,
    Matt 6:19
    the office of pope,
    Matt 16:18
    praying to saints,
    Matt 10:41; Luke 16:24

    Then there are the unargued presuppositions that there must be a single head, an infallible head and a Romanist head.

    And there are your unargued presuppositons that it can’t be so. And your presuppositons are further weakened by the fact that Jesus Christ appointed one man to lead His Flock:

    John 21:17King James Version (KJV)

    17 He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

    And Jesus declared that this same man would possess the keys to the Kingdom of heaven and have the ability to lock and loose on earth and in heaven:

    Matthew 16:19King James Version (KJV)

    19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

    And as I mentioned earlier. Catholic distinctives are throughout the Bible. But we don’t see any Protestant doctrines in the Bible, except to contradict them.

    Why can’t there be multiple heads, all fallible and catholic in nature? :)

    Because Scripture doesn’t describe that situation. Scripture describes an infallible Church:

    Ephesians 3:10King James Version (KJV)

    10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,

  538. De Maria said,

    May 8, 2015 at 10:41 pm

    Ron said,
    May 8, 2015 at 6:09 pm

    “You want me to believe that Jesus established a permanent Church but did not intend for it to have permanent leadership? Show me from Scripture.”

    Reed,

    I’m seeing more evidence of lack of comprehension. Where did DM get the idea that we deny ecclesiastical rule?

    I got the idea from YOU, Ron. You said,

    P1. A appointed B over C
    P2. A established perpetual C
    Therefore, perpetual office of B: D, E, F…

    You proof of the popes reduces to:

    P1. A appointed B over C
    P2. A established perpetual C
    Therefore, perpetual office of B: D, E, F…

    Your proof is logically invalid. Your fallacy was in transferring the perpetuity of C to the office of B ….

    If you believe in the perpetuity of ecclesiastical rule, then you also are transferring the perpetuity of C to the office of B. The office of B being ecclesiastical rule.

    I guess I shouldn’t be surprised given the accusation that Protestants have no regard for God’s commandments and we only are required to submit to King Jesus.

    This is what Kevin says on that matter:

    Kevin Failoni said,
    April 14, 2015 at 10:56 am

    DeMaria said in response to my statement that salvation is a free gift, ” given to those who keep the commandments” This is instructive for those Protestants who would seek some kind of ecumenical middle with the Roman Catholic false religion. DeMaria is put a condition on “free” Gift of righteousness” Obeying the commandments.” But if God gave salvation as a result of an action or ability it would no longer be a gift, but a reward.

    But perhaps its just your lack of comprehension that is in the way. What if I asked you if you needed to keep the Commandments in order to be saved? What would be your answer, Ron?

    I’m guessing that Kevin’s answer would be, “no.” Therefore, I conclude that Protestants do not believe they need to keep the Commandments. But maybe your answer is different from what I believe Kevin’s would be.

  539. De Maria said,

    May 8, 2015 at 10:47 pm

    Eric W said,
    May 8, 2015 at 5:59 pm

    I understand this to mean that Missionaries came before the Mission. So when did he start building (I will build) the church ?
    ————————–

    Jesus Christ was the first missionary. And He began His mission long before He appointed others who would follow in His footsteps.

    Now show us from the Bible that the “Catholic Church” began at Pentecost ? Give us some verses because I contend that the CC isn’t in the Bible.

    I already gave you some verses. Therefore it is up to you, now, to provide some verses to support your contention. Then, the readers can compare to see whose claims stand up to Scripture.

  540. De Maria said,

    May 8, 2015 at 10:50 pm

    Eric W said,
    May 8, 2015 at 5:23 pm

    Roberty bob wrote:
    Is it unreasonable, then, to believe that when Jesus says to the Christ-confessing Simon, “Thou art PETER, and upon this ROCK I will build my church!” that he is identifying Peter as the Church’s Premier Leader and Builder? Not unreasonable.

    Response:
    Yes, it’s unreasonable (actually Antichristic) to believe that after viewing the context. The Church’s “Premier Leader” and “Builder” is Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God. Jesus said, “I will build.” That makes him the Builder. Also, he said, “My.” That makes him the Premier Leader. The cool thing is that Jesus started building and leading from Heaven.

    Jesus Christ, the premier Leader of the Church, appointed someone to lead His Church in His stead:

    John 21:17 He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

  541. De Maria said,

    May 8, 2015 at 11:02 pm

    Reed Here commented on Are Sacraments Fundamentals?.

    in response to greenbaggins:

    DeMarie, that actually doesn’t answer Kevin’s question. It proves the fact of suffering. It does not answer his question, “how much” suffering. Maybe you could answer the specific question asked? Or even explain why you think Kevin’s question is wrong and therefore does not need to need to be answered.

    It answers his question to the best of my ability. I don’t have the mind of God. I could ask Protestants a similar question. How much faith is enough to be saved?

    Here’s what I do know, however. If suffering is required, as Scripture says, then it is not by faith alone that one is glorified with Christ.

    Now, I have asked Protestants, in the past, “how much faith is enough to be saved?” Some have answered, “the faith of a mustard seed.” But the faith of a mustard seed is enough to move mountains. But it is not necessarily enough to be saved. Here’s what St. Paul says:

    1 Corinthians 13:2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.

    Certainly, he means, “I am nothing in the eyes of God.” And therefore, I’m certain that he means that he is not saved, unless charity is added to faith. Because he doesn’t appear the type to be concerned how he appeared in the eyes of other men.

    So, I hope you understand why I answered Kevin as I did.

    P.S. I couldn’t find your question on the thread. But when I tried to respond to your email, it brought me to the thread.

  542. De Maria said,

    May 8, 2015 at 11:09 pm

    Reed Here said,
    May 8, 2015 at 6:28 pm

    DeMarie, no. 526: completely convoluted. I’m afraid Ron’s criticisms of you are more fair than you seem willing to hear.

    You are not proving that the Scriptures support your premises. This is because you have not demonstrated that your premise are actually necessary in the texts quoted.

    All you are doing is giving an interpretation to these passages that may be true if your premises are true.. .

    There’s no need for me to do any more than that, Reed. Ron isn’t even doing that much. All he is doing is saying that I must be wrong, simply because he doesn’t believe it can be true. But he has not one Scripture to support his contentions. Scripture does not say that Jesus did not create a permanent office to lead the Church.

    His argument is summed up in this question:

    Ron asked, (#528), “Why can’t there be multiple heads, all fallible and catholic in nature?” :)

    It isn’t up to me to prove his bare assertion. It’s up to him.

  543. May 8, 2015 at 11:11 pm

    DeMaria said to Ron ” It is you who doesn’t realize that the catholic church is described in scripture” I don’t think that Ron would argue that the church described in scripture is catholic, just not Roman Catholic. 380 brought all the foreign doctrines of Roman Catholicism. The true church marked out by our Lord always separated itself from that system and payed a heavy price for it. The same relationship the Apostles had with the Judaizers, the true church has with Catholicism. Jesus said this ” But woe to the scribes and the pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut off the kingdom of heaven from people, for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.” We don’t find any church in scripture with Popes, Cardinals, Nuns, salvation by one’s own works, scapulars, worship of the Mother of Jesus, a sacerdotal system with a sacrificing priesthood, bowing to bread and win, the Mass, the forbidding of a Bishop to marry etc. DeMaria, you belong to a false Christianity. God bless K

  544. May 8, 2015 at 11:18 pm

    DeMaria, We believe that obeying God’s commandments are the result of saving faith, not the condition of justification. In Roman Catholicism you do and God gives you grace. Thats law. In Christianity God gives us grace and we do. Romans4:16 says if a Catholic wants to be saved by grace alone, it will have to be by faith alone. K

  545. Reed Here said,

    May 8, 2015 at 11:44 pm

    DM, simply stunning. I’ve edited this response three times now, trying to find a way to be clear. I’m going to try this one more time.

    I believe you are simply ignoring what I’ve said and asked. It may be that you just don’t understand. It may be that you don’t care to understand. I don’t know.

    In the interest of respect and a willingness to communicate, I’m going to ask again. Please re-read my observations. Please think about them. Please go back and look at what Ron originally asked.

    And then answer. What is the Scriptural argument, not your system’s argument, for the perpetual office of pope? Don’t just throw texts at us. Explain how they prove your point.

    And then show us the respect of actually considering our responses.

    Or, you can decide that we’re the incorrigible ones and just go away, claiming victory if you like.

  546. roberty bob said,

    May 8, 2015 at 11:52 pm

    in reply to #516 Kevin . . . about Michael Horton, whom you respect, but whose doctrine comes dangerously close to baptismal regeneration . . .

    Here’s a Michael Horton quote . . .

    “But water — the sign — is not the only thing involved in baptism. There is a convergence, a meeting of Word, Spirit, and Sign, and the result is baptism. Through the Word of the Gospel, the Spirit connects with this washing with water SOMEHOW to a real cleansing and regeneration.”

    Of course, Horton doesn’t explain the “SOMEHOW.” Nevertheless, Horton maintains that his take on baptism is within the bound of classic Reformed orthodoxy. I agree with him.

    Do any of you agree with Horton?

  547. Reed Here said,

    May 9, 2015 at 12:17 am

    Roberty Bobbity, please provide references for such quotes. Blog rules. Thx.

  548. May 9, 2015 at 1:41 am

    robertybob, ya and thats what i mean about Horton. Im like what does that all mean. He’s close to baptismal regeneration. But thats about as confusing as reading trigonometry. Its clear in my mind. Paul says faith comes thru hearing the word of God. And the Spirit regenerates through the washing of the Word. Since it is the Spirit who blows where and how HE wills, we can rule out any magic in the water. Baptism is a sign imho, Where does scripture say that ” there is a convergence of Word Spirit and Sign, and the result is baptism.” That sounds allot like baptismal regeneration. Maybe I’m reading this wrong. Im a big Horton fan, but with this, i don’t know. robertybob whats your big thing with baptismal regeneration?

  549. Don said,

    May 9, 2015 at 3:32 am

    Not to preempt Reed Here’s question in 548, but the Horton article is pretty easy to find with google, Thus when Kevin Failoni says

    we can rule out any magic in the water

    he is echoing exactly what Horton said immediately prior to the quoted passage: “The water in baptism is no different from the water in from the tap.”

    Now, I’m not sure whether KF holds to the standard Reformed view of baptism, but yes, it’s clear that Horton does. I suppose roberty bob raises that issue only as a rhetorical question.

  550. Eric W said,

    May 9, 2015 at 6:20 am

    De Maria, you wrote:
    Jesus Christ was the first missionary. And He began His mission long before He appointed others who would follow in His footsteps.

    Response:
    I understand this to mean that Jesus started building his church by his mere presence. He is the builder and cornerstone of the church. What’s the foundation for this builder ? The Rock of Matt. 16: Christ, the Son of the lviing God. Peter, as the Rock in Matt.16, is an antichristic substitute. This charge reaches Prot. and Catholics.
    ———————-

    You wrote:
    I already gave you some verses. Therefore it is up to you, now, to provide some verses to support your contention. Then, the readers can compare to see whose claims stand up to Scripture.

    Response:
    What verses ? We don’t find Catholic in any verses. This fact gives my contention the upper-hand.

  551. Eric W said,

    May 9, 2015 at 6:25 am

    De Maria wrote to Eric W:
    Jesus Christ, the premier Leader of the Church, appointed someone to lead His Church in His stead:

    Roberty bob wrote:
    ….that he is identifying Peter as the Church’s Premier Leader and Builder? Not unreasonable.
    ——————

    The “he” of Roberty bob is Jesus. Nothing more is required to prove my point. I’m throwing a victory party on the true Rock of Matt.16.

  552. De Maria said,

    May 9, 2015 at 7:07 am

    Eric W said,
    May 9, 2015 at 6:25 am

    De Maria wrote to Eric W:
    Jesus Christ, the premier Leader of the Church, appointed someone to lead His Church in His stead:

    Roberty bob wrote:
    ….that he is identifying Peter as the Church’s Premier Leader and Builder? Not unreasonable.
    ——————

    The “he” of Roberty bob is Jesus. Nothing more is required to prove my point. I’m throwing a victory party on the true Rock of Matt.16.

    Eric,

    Jesus Christ, the premier Leader of the Church appointed St. Peter the premier leader of the Catholic Church on earth. Jesus Christ, the Rock, named Simon, the Rock in order to show the world that He had appointed a leader for His Church.

    Sincerely,

    De Maria

  553. Eric W said,

    May 9, 2015 at 7:11 am

    The whole Premier Leader thing is really very silly. Jesus, as the Premier Leader, used his leader stuff to appoint a SL during his absence from the earth. Why, pray tell, did God not appoint a visible SL like the visible, incarnate SL Jesus before the incarnation ? Jesus was absent before the incarnation. Also, he had no one in his stead prior to the incarnation.

    Be careful. Any type of the SL antitype must be “in his stead.” That doesn’t work for types of a future antitype. Every reason given for Jesus appointing a SL in his stead must account for why this appointment wasn’t from the very beginning. Yes, go back to Adam and ask why.

    Catholics force Jesus to give them a SL king. How do I know ? Read what De Maria wrote to me. The very words he wrote signifies his attitude of “forcing” Jesus:

    Jesus, the Son of the Living God, is the Rock. And the Rock turned to Simon and said, “I name you, Rock, because I will build my Church upon you and the gates of hell will not prevail upon it.”
    ——————

    Rock to Rock….King to King

  554. De Maria said,

    May 9, 2015 at 7:20 am

    Eric W said,
    May 9, 2015 at 6:20 am

    De Maria, you wrote:
    Jesus Christ was the first missionary. And He began His mission long before He appointed others who would follow in His footsteps.

    Response:
    I understand this to mean that Jesus started building his church by his mere presence.

    That’s true.

    He is the builder

    Correcto mundo.

    and cornerstone of the church.

    You do know this is a metaphor, right? Jesus is not a mere stone under a physical Church.

    What’s the foundation for this builder ?

    Jesus used a separate metaphor to explain the “material” He used to build His Church. And He started out with Simon, whom He named Peter.

    The Rock of Matt. 16: Christ, the Son of the lviing God.

    The Rock of Matt 16 is He whom Christ named Rock. His name was Simon.

    Peter, as the Rock in Matt.16, is an antichristic substitute.

    Christ named Him the Rock. Those who oppose Christ are anti-Christ.

    This charge reaches Prot. and Catholics.
    ———————-

    And who appointed you judge?

    You wrote:
    I already gave you some verses. Therefore it is up to you, now, to provide some verses to support your contention. Then, the readers can compare to see whose claims stand up to Scripture.

    Response:
    What verses ? We don’t find Catholic in any verses. This fact gives my contention the upper-hand.

    I’ll let the readers decide who has the upper hand.

  555. Eric W said,

    May 9, 2015 at 7:20 am

    Correction: SL should be PL…I kept thinking Supreme Leader

  556. De Maria said,

    May 9, 2015 at 7:22 am

    Eric W.

    Just because you don’t understand something doesn’t mean it isn’t true. But God doesn’t require us to understand. He just requires us to believe and obey:

    Hebrews 13:17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

  557. Ron said,

    May 9, 2015 at 7:23 am

    Reed,

    I believe there is an obstinate unwillingness and an “innocent” lack of understanding at work here. I think the latter is demonstrated here:

    “I got the idea from YOU, Ron…If you believe in the perpetuity of ecclesiastical rule, then you also are transferring the perpetuity of C to the office of B. The office of B being ecclesiastical rule.”

    I don’t come by my conclusion that way. Not even close. At the very least, “Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls…” The verse does not address the kind of authority, whether judges, kings, apostles, popes, elders or what have you. IOW, I don’t impose the perpetual nature of the church upon the nature of first century rule.

    So, here’s the point. The fallacious maneuver by which DM arrives at a perpetual ruling papacy is that of transferring the perpetual nature of the people of God, the church, to an office by which the people are to be governed. She assumes an alleged office and then grants the particular office a perpetual state.

    To your point, Reed, that we have authority in the church does not inform us of the kind of authority God has appointed. I even noted to DM, as have you, that we agree the office of apostle has passed. Much to my surprise, DM also disagree with that one.

  558. De Maria said,

    May 9, 2015 at 7:26 am

    Kevin, reference to 544 and 545,

    I’m not letting you off the hook. Answer the question.

    #521

    De Maria said,
    May 8, 2015 at 5:02 pm

    Kevin Failoni said,
    May 7, 2015 at 11:21 pm

    DeMaria, how much suffering is necessary to inherit glory? ….K

    Why? Don’t you believe the Bible?

    Romans 8:17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

    The Bible says you have to suffer to be glorified with Christ. Do you deny it? Do you reject this verse?

  559. Eric W said,

    May 9, 2015 at 7:31 am

    De Maria wrote:
    Jesus Christ, the Rock,

    It’s the tail wagging the dog. Peter is called Rock in Matt.16; therefore….

    1. Jesus is the Rock
    2. Jesus, the Rock, appoints a Rock in his stead.
    ———————-

    No wonder you can’t give up Peter being called Rock. It’s the tail with supreme wagging power. How do we know Jesus is a Rock who appointed a Rock in his stead ? Answer: Jesus called Peter the Rock. You implicate the Christ in an antichristic calling.

  560. Eric W said,

    May 9, 2015 at 7:36 am

    De Maria, you wrote:
    I’ll let the readers decide who has the upper hand.

    Response:
    Regarding the word “Catholic” in the Bible, I will let the non-reader decide. It’s not there to read.

  561. De Maria said,

    May 9, 2015 at 7:39 am

    Reed Here said,
    May 8, 2015 at 11:44 pm

    DM, simply stunning. I’ve edited this response three times now, trying to find a way to be clear. I’m going to try this one more time.

    I believe you are simply ignoring what I’ve said and asked. It may be that you just don’t understand. It may be that you don’t care to understand. I don’t know.

    That street runs both ways, doesn’t it?

    In the interest of respect and a willingness to communicate, I’m going to ask again. Please re-read my observations. Please think about them. Please go back and look at what Ron originally asked.

    I feel the same way, Reed. Please re-read my arguments and give them careful consideration.

    And then answer. What is the Scriptural argument,

    I’ve already given my answer. What is yours and Ron’s answer?

    not your system’s argument,

    The Catholic Church’s argument is the Scriptural argument.

    for the perpetual office of pope? Don’t just throw texts at us. Explain how they prove your point.

    I’m not here to prove anything to anyone, Reed. Perhaps this is the point which you don’t understand. I’m only here to provide the evidence for my point of view.

    I provide my evidence and explanations and you provide yours.

    And then show us the respect of actually considering our responses.

    Are you actually considering mine? Cause I get the impression that you aren’t even reading mine.

    Or, you can decide that we’re the incorrigible ones and just go away, claiming victory if you like.

    All that you had to do was ask, Reed. May God bless all of you. Especially you, RB. I hope to see you again.

    Sincerely,

    De Maria

  562. Eric W said,

    May 9, 2015 at 7:43 am

    De Maria, you wrote:
    But God doesn’t require us to understand.

    You speak for God at some level. Do you require us to understand what you just wrote ? Or should I just believe it and obey you ( “you” is flexible here) ?

  563. May 9, 2015 at 8:45 am

    DeMaria said the he, Jesus the premier leader of the church appointed Peter the the premier leader of the Catholic church n earth. But Colossians only names one head, Jesus. Answer me this, if popes are heads , then how does the church live when these heads die, or the years when their were no Popes.? Ephesians 5:24 says ” the church is subject to Christ” When the bible says He appointed Pastors etc. There is no mention of the office of Pope? K

  564. May 9, 2015 at 9:08 am

    DeMaria, I’m not avoiding anything. I told you that those with saving faith, truly justified, will suffer for Christ’s sake. But what you can’t maintain from that verse is my acceptance before God is based on my suffering? The bible says this is the will of God, that we are saved, Spirit filled, suffer, say thanks, sanctified. True Christians will exhibit these qualities. Christians will have a desire to obey God. But its different to say these are qualities of an already justified believer, and God justifies me based on the amount of suffering i have. You error greatly in your exegesis as many Catholics do by not interpreting scripture in context. RC’s pull scripture out to support their position. I remember reading Ott’s book and thinking wow, how much they don’t look at context. When we want to know about justification, we go first to the books and chapters and verses on justification. If Romans 5:,8:1 tell me that my acceptance before God is aorist past tense, then i don’t use a a verse on suffering to make those determinations. Right before that verse DM it says His Spirit bears witness with our spirit we are children of God, and heirs. Then it says if we suffer with Him. These are warnings to persevere, but they are not statements about our final acceptance. You said the bible says we have to suffer to be saved, but we say the bible says we are saved and that those who are saved will suffer. Again this all comes back to justification. You cannot get around Romans 11:6, if its by works its no longer by grace. The works i do, i do not. Our acceptance is solely based on His obedience, not ours. K

  565. Reed Here said,

    May 9, 2015 at 10:05 am

    ATTENTION! MODERATION WARNING

    Friends, one of the basic rules of this blog is that comments are to stay on topic of the original post. The moderators try to be gracious in applying that rule. One of the ways we do that is allowing a lot more leeway when the comments go beyond the first two hundred or so. We understand that by that time only a few may still be commenting, and they may very well be down in the weeds in their arguments, where the connection between the weed argument and the original post is not so obvious.

    At the same time, we try to watch for commenting which is in effect nothing more than disregarding the other person’s questions, and then bullying one’s way forward, basically not actually engaging in conversation. I believe that this latter is going on at this point in this thread. Further, the connection between the original post and the things being argued now is tenuous at best. Accordingly, I’m pulling the plug on all the current rabbit trails.

    If you have made a comment in the last fifty comments, you may make two more comments in response to something here that is not on-topic. [To wit: DeMarie, RobertyBob, Kevin Falloni, Ron D, Eric W, and Don, two “rabbit trail” comments each.] If you have been responding to more than one person, choose carefully whom you wish to respond to, for I will pull anything after your second comment.

    This only applies to comments not related to the original blog post. If you think a comment is so related, preface it with a comment for the moderators offering the rationale that demonstrates this. If we agree, the comment can go forward.

    Of course, any thread of comments that is directly connected to the original post, please continue.

    Two final admonishments:

    1. Remember the “no complaining on blog” rule. If you think a moderating action has been unfair, you may contact the moderators off blog, via email. We will gratefully review the situation with you and seek to deal fairly with you.

    2. You are a guest at this blog. Some of you are behaving in manners that are unbecoming the name Christian. Non-responses and short-responses that simply deny, to some one who has offered you detailed response, and asks for the same in return, are simply rude and disrespectful.

    As a moderator of this blog I will start calling you on these things. If you complain, I will delete your post, warn you to cease, and remind you that you may complain off blog via email. Persistent refusal to abide by these reasonable rules is demonstration of an incorrigible spirit. You will not be allowed to continue that here.

    One final thought on this. These actions are not a form of unjust censorship. You are free to say whatever you want. This blog is also free to ignore you. Such is not sin. No one make any complaints about shutting down conversation. Simply make sure your conversation is edifying and you can blather all you want. Continue with rudeness and disrespect and you will be ignored.

  566. Reed Here said,

    May 9, 2015 at 10:17 am

    DM, your insistence that KF acknowledge whether or not he agrees with Romans 8:17 is a deflection from the topic you were both discussing.

    Yes, he agrees with it, because it is in the Bible. Your contentiousness of “not letting him off the hook” is a form of bullying. The issue is that he does NOT agree with your interpretation of the verse.

    A respectful response would be to demonstrate from that verse, and the surrounding context, how the verse fits your position, namely that the Christian suffering that is an ordinary part of the Christian life is meritorious, thereby earning from God the reward of final justification.

    If you want to make that argument, do so, with one of your last two “rabbit trail” comments. Regardless, stop ignoring Kevin’s responses.

  567. Reed Here said,

    May 9, 2015 at 10:22 am

    DM, your responses to Ron and to Eric regarding the office of pope likewise have been less than responsive to what they’ve offered in response.

    In particular, most, recently, you’ve been ignoring what Eric has said to you in response to your use of Mt 16:18. You respond to his arguments with mere repetition of your premises and interpretation of the verse. You do not actually respond to his particular challenges to his arguments.

    Again, feel free to use one of your two “rabbit trail” responses to respond to him.

    Please do not bother to respond to my two comments to you. There is no need to waste them on me. If you think I’m wrong, then prove it by offering substantive responses to those two men (or Ron). That will suffice.

  568. Ron said,

    May 9, 2015 at 10:25 am

    Kevin,

    *True* RC’s have no spiritual understanding. They don’t grasp that it has been given to God’s elect both to believe in Christ and to suffer for His name sake. What is set forth in Scripture as the gift of sharing in the sufferings of the Christ so that we might become more like Him in life and death unto resurrection is misunderstood as being the ground of our acceptance in Him. The true RC knows nothing of being chosen, forgiven, adopted and forever sealed in Christ. We might say there is a veil over the Scriptures because their mediator and vicar are not Christ and the teaching ministry of the Spirit.

    It’s tragic that the spiritual realities the Lord would have us embrace and comfort us are diametrically opposed by the accuser of the brethren working in and through Roman Catholicism. For the believer, true theology will to one degree or another give way to doxology. True RCs know nothing of such faith and joy.

  569. Reed Here said,

    May 9, 2015 at 10:40 am

    Kevin, Don’s observation about Horton on baptism is tied sufficiently to the original post topic that some comments are appropriate.

    I caution you however, Roberty Bobbity’s quote strongly appears to be an example of a tactic of selectively quoting someone and taking them out of context. Don’s follow up with more from the same Horton article suggests that this is exactly what the bobbin robin has done.

    He may NOT be aware of it but he is engaging in a form of equivocation. In this case it is using the same or similar words said by another, and then takes them out of context to show they support his meaning, all the while the source’s use of the words demonstrates he means exactly the opposite. This type of equivocation is a form of slander, of bearing a false report about another. It is a great sin and to be avoided by those who are grateful for Jesus’ full justification of themselves.

    I hope RB will consider and amend his ways. Meanwhile, I want to urge you not to fall into the trap he laid for you. Horton does not believe in baptismal regeneration. It is slanderous to suggest so. Don’s followup quote should suffice for this conversation to demonstrate that.

    Aside, let me remind you that this is a blog owned by a Teaching elder who believes in believer baptism and padeo baptism, both expressions of what may be best called covenant baptism. Some of your comments in the past have suggested that maybe you are operating under some misapprehensions as to exactly what this position believes.

    That is not a criticism, but a friendly observation. I once held to believer only baptism. I remember the process of learning more fully the exact nature of the position. To be sure there are many defects along the way, and often these are espoused by men who think they are accurately representing the position. Such defections however can be addressed and perfected. Let me urge you to continue with the same caution with which you first responded to bobbin robin’s question and quote, and then maybe look a little closer and prove/disprove your concern. I’ll be grateful to help if I can.

  570. Reed Here said,

    May 9, 2015 at 10:42 am

    Ron, great response. Just a reminder, one “rabbit trail” comment left. Make it a good one. ;-)

  571. May 9, 2015 at 11:24 am

    Reed, i take your caution to heart and all your words. Thanks K

  572. May 9, 2015 at 11:27 am

    Reed, I actually am familiar with Horton’s views, so Rb isn’t going to snooker me. Horton is one of my favorite theologians. I don’t believe he teaches baptismal regeneration. He just gets close sometimes. But i could be wrong. K

  573. May 9, 2015 at 11:40 am

    Ron, 569, i couldn’t have said it better. I believeCatholics are dead in their sins, and according to 2 Thessalonians 2:11 under a delusion, unable to come to the truth. I could maybe fellowship with a bad Catholic, one who doesn’t follow that doctrine, but trusts in Christ alone, but a good Catholic, no way. Certainly there are believers in Roman church despite all Rome has piled on the cross. Sometimes I have to question how much i engage with them, because when we are warned to beware of false teachers, it means to hold your mind back from. K

  574. roberty bob said,

    May 9, 2015 at 11:51 am

    Not trying to snooker you, Kevin. You love Horton’s theology, so I only wonder if you are on board with Horton’s theology of baptism in which he sees the Word, the Spirit, and the Sign converging in the very administration of baptism. To say this is to say something quite different than baptism is only the Sign of an already accomplished regenerating action of the Spirit. Horton sees CONVERGENCE at the baptism font. I doubt that you see it that way. If there is convergence, then regeneration would occur while the rite is being administered.

    Remember, there is only one baptism — by water and Spirit. You don’t believe that Horton teaches baptismal regeneration. I believe that he teaches it that way the I understand it to work. Horton may not claim to be teaching baptismal regeneration, but his statement allows for it.

  575. Reed Here said,

    May 9, 2015 at 12:00 pm

    Roberty Bobbity, if by convergence you mean anything that merges sign with thing signified, you are quite mistaken on the Reformed understanding of the Bible’s teaching on baptism.

    The thing signified is never merged with the sign. The sign is just that, a sign. It does not in any manner yield the result of that which it pictures.

    It may be that your language is just deficient in making the necessary biblical distinctions, but that you do mean the essential separation of sign and signification. It not, you are not offering the correct understanding.

  576. Reed Here said,

    May 9, 2015 at 12:01 pm

    Kevin, one “rabbit trail” comment down (to Ron). One to go. :-)

    (Again, the comments relevant to baptism between you, RB, and me are excluded from this number).

  577. Reed Here said,

    May 9, 2015 at 12:03 pm

    RB, also, your if/then between convergence (whatever you mean) and regeneration do not necessarily follow. That is an inference that needs to be proven. It is not explicitly present.

    I would heartily disagree with you. I would also observe that how you’ve worded this IS NOT the Reformed understanding.

  578. Reed Here said,

    May 9, 2015 at 12:07 pm

    RB, finally, that you’ve left out tons of clarification from Horton’s teaching on baptism suggests that your conclusion is invalid. Indeed, more careful attention to what Horton has taught demonstrates that not only does he not allow for baptismal regeneration, he positively teaches against it.

    It may be that you are again exercising equivocation. You may be reading some of his words, missing others, and then assuming that his working definitions are the same as your’s that allow for baptismal regeneration.

    Again, this is misrepresentation, even if done in ignorance. Please try to be more careful.

  579. roberty bob said,

    May 9, 2015 at 12:23 pm

    I’m taking the above Horton quote at face value. I don’t know how to read the quotation any more carefully than I have done. Horton sees the Spirit present with the Word and the Sign [water] in the baptismal rite.

    Kevin finds Horton uncomfortably close to baptismal regeneration. I find Horton allowing for regeneration to occur at baptism, without stating that it does or that it must.

  580. Ron said,

    May 9, 2015 at 12:38 pm

    I’ll use my rabbit trail pass here, though it’s more a bunny trail. :)

    ” I could maybe fellowship with a bad Catholic, one who doesn’t follow that doctrine, but trusts in Christ alone, but a good Catholic, no way. ”

    Kevin,

    That’s almost a direct quote from John MacArthur. (Not saying you lifted it or anything like that.) He said the same thing in the ECT panel discussion with Sproul and Kennedy. A very solid video series. Saw it over fifteen years ago but it stuck with me.
    He has a fine way of driving home a point in an economy of words.

  581. May 9, 2015 at 12:38 pm

    RB, I actually agree that Horton has been accused of teaching baptismal regeneration. But I’m not qualified to speak on the entirety of Horton’s position, and maybe Reed can opine. Why do you as a Reformed Pastor hold to it? Can you tell us if you are RC now, it would help us to understand you fixation on it? I have an opinion that this view helps people with their lost friends and children, giving them a sense of hope, although imho a false one. Apart from faith no one can please God. So that the person who has faith has been truly regenerated through the washing of the Word by the agency of the Spirit through hearing. Reformed position on infant baptism is that it isn’t tied to the moment of faith, but it is a promise of the covenant. I would ask Reed if that means God ‘s promise guarantees faith, which I don’t think it does. Then my question is is God breaking his promise to the children of believers. I mean because we know their are unsaved children of believers. As far as baptism being necessary, I hold MacArthur’s position that if it were we would see baptism every time the gospel is preached, and that simply isn’t the case. Thats why as Circumcision is a sign, i believe baptism is a sign and confirmation of grace. K

  582. Reed Here said,

    May 9, 2015 at 12:47 pm

    RB, no, instead you are selectively taking Horton. even a simple reading of the prior context, as Don has shown, from the article from which you pulled your quote, shows you are at least misunderstanding him, and therefore improperly using him to support your conclusion. Again, not suggesting anything nefarious on your part, just some lack of care and attention.

    Yes, the Spirit is present with the water and word, rightly administered. Yes the Spirit can effect the spiritual baptism at that moment at which the material baptism sign is administered by the church; the one baptized with the sign can at that moment experience the new birth of the Spirit.

    That, however, IS NOT in any sense a form of baptismal regeneration. Nor does it allow for that. Baptismal regeneration in all its forms, except possibly the of sheer misuse of the phrase, means that in some manner their is an effecting connection between the sign and the signified. That is, baptismal regeneration proposes that in some manner the Spirit uses the material rite of baptism as a means through which He produces the result of cleansing from sin (and all that necessarily accompanies that act).

    This is neither what the Bible teaches nor what the Reformed position affirms. Not even Kuyper’s presumptive regeneration position holds that. Instead, in submission to the Bible, the Reformed position affirms that the Spirit may produce the result pictured in material baptism at the administration of the material rite, or he may do so before or after the administration of the material rite. But the relationship between sign and signified is only one of occasion, not of cooperative operation. The material rite is only the sign of the thing signified. It plays no operative role in the production of the Spiritual results of which it is a sign.

    It may be worthwhile to read up on some of this detail. I found Calvin and Turretin on both baptism and the sacraments in general. In particular they provide careful nuancing of the Bible regarding what is termed sacramental union.

  583. May 9, 2015 at 12:50 pm

    RB, can i suggest to you Tim Kauffman’s article on Whitehorse blog, his 6 part series that blows a hole in baptismal regeneration in the early church. He answers CCC without retort in his series on what the early fathers taught on regeneration. I hope you read it. K

  584. Reed Here said,

    May 9, 2015 at 1:00 pm

    Kevin, not enough time to give you questions just treatment, so just briefly.

    I think Roberty Bobbity attended a reformed seminary. I’m not sure if he graduated.He can inform otherwise. Unless I’m missing something I don’t know that he is a reformed pastor now or whether he ever was one. Again, he can correct us. I’d be curious too.

    As to the failure to receive the thing signified by those who received the sign, I’d refer you to Ishmael, Esau, and Simon Magus. All received a sign that in part pictures inclusion in the people of God. Yet all clearly rejected the thing signified by the sign. Note too that Simon’s reception of baptism occurred after professing faith. If this problem of failure between sign and signified is a real issue, then it is an issue for believer baptists as well.

    Alternatively, it is not a problem for either of our positions if we follow the Bible’s teaching that the sign IS NOT the same as the thin signified. At that point all we need to do is tabulate and coordinate all the qualifications Scripture makes in the relationship between sign and signified.

    Some receive the sign of baptism today, both in believer and padeo churches, who later reject the thing signified in the baptism. This is not a difference between the positions.

    If you are interested, I could send you the notes in the teaching unit I give on baptism to our congregation. I don’t expect it will convince you against your current position. I do think it might help answer some questions. As well, as a Ph.D. from Southern (Mohler’s school) friend of mine observes, you may find that we have far more in common on the doctrine of baptism than we have differences.

  585. Reed Here said,

    May 9, 2015 at 1:06 pm

    And Kevin, in the Scripture’s references to baptism faith is not expressly referenced in the picture baptism. It is, however, necessarily inferred, in that the the Spiritual results pictured all involve faith in some manner.

    We would say that faith is always involved in the material rite of baptism. That is the necessary internal response of the Christian involved in the rite, either professing believer or professing believer parents. We would differ in saying that baptism IS the expression of faith. That is not what baptism is a picture. And the Christian’s participation involves faith, just as it does in all rites that God has given His church.

  586. Ron said,

    May 9, 2015 at 1:13 pm

    As I said at a men’s study this morning, if we’re teaching grace properly, it will be misunderstood as antinomianism by the unlearned: shall we sin so that grace might abound? If we’re teaching election properly, it will be misconstrued by some as fatalism: how can God find fault? Similarly, if we’re teaching baptism faithfully, it will no doubt be misunderstood by some as baptismal regeneration. Is it surprising that sound theology has nuances?

  587. Reed Here said,

    May 9, 2015 at 1:28 pm

    Amen Ron. It is the problem of sin that results in all the confusion. When we are in the state of perfection, we will see with minds clear of all clutter the simple, singular elegance of God’s truth.

    For now, let us appreciate He cares enough to illumine His word, especially on the nature of the sacraments.

  588. truthunites said,

    May 9, 2015 at 1:58 pm

    Post Title: “Are Sacraments Fundamentals?”

    Reed, #583: “That, however, IS NOT in any sense a form of baptismal regeneration. Nor does it allow for that. … This is neither what the Bible teaches nor what the Reformed position affirms.”

    Ahhh, joyful clarity. Thanks to Reed, let’s now rule out baptism as being fundamental to regeneration.

  589. Reed Here said,

    May 9, 2015 at 2:33 pm

    TU: you know I haven’t done that. This post and comments are not a doctrinal dissertation on Baptism. I can comment on one part without losing all parts. Silly.

    [I’ll cut you some slack on a bit of misuse of Lane’s post title as well. ;-]

    Feel free to express in what way’s you think baptism is fundamental to regeneration. I agree that there are ways. I disagree that baptismal regeneration is one of them.

  590. May 9, 2015 at 2:37 pm

    TU, and the congregation said amen! lol

  591. May 9, 2015 at 2:38 pm

    Reed, thanks for your thorough answer in 585. K

  592. May 9, 2015 at 2:40 pm

    Reed, im not saying robertybob is guilty of this, but many RC’s on other blogs, and i know them, disguise themselves as Reformed to woo the weak to the Beast. K

  593. May 9, 2015 at 2:42 pm

    Reed, you won’t get any argument fro me that the sign isn’t the thing signified. I don’t believe Jesus is a wafer. K

  594. truthunites said,

    May 9, 2015 at 3:24 pm

    Me: “Ahhh, joyful clarity. Thanks to Reed, let’s now rule out baptism as being fundamental to regeneration.”

    Reed: “TU: you know I haven’t done that.”

    I certainly did think you did that. Are you saying that you DON’T rule out baptism as being fundamental to regeneration?

    Please be clear. Thanks.

  595. Reed Here said,

    May 9, 2015 at 4:17 pm

    TU, please re-read the last paragraph of my response to you in no. 590. I’ve been clear. You’re welcome.

  596. Ron said,

    May 9, 2015 at 4:57 pm

    Albeit not a superfluous rite, baptism is neither sufficient nor necessary for regeneration. But, when we consider that covenant infants can become regenerate apart from the Word, say in the womb, we can easily recognize that the Word too is neither necessary nor sufficent for regeneration. Notwithstanding, at least with respect to the Word, I trust nobody would say it’s not fundamental to the gospel. If we consider baptism, rightly exegeted, a word picture of the gospel, then we might see it in that light as being in some sense “fundamental” to the gospel. Or better yet, the gospel is fundamental to baptism! Moreover, if baptism has any part in marking out the church and if the church is in any sense fundamental to the gospel, then it would stand to reason that baptism marks out that which is fundamental to the gospel, even aside from baptism’s visual expression of the gospel.

  597. Reed Here said,

    May 9, 2015 at 5:00 pm

    Good Ron.

  598. May 9, 2015 at 5:11 pm

    Ron or Reed, not to change the subject, but I was reading this verse today and I think it can be used as a strong argument against pope as head. 1 Corinthians 11:3 ” But I want you to understand that Christ is the HEAD of the man, the man is the head of the woman, and God is the head of the church. Paul never got the DeMaria’s message. The pope got nixed from this order of headship. K

  599. May 9, 2015 at 5:15 pm

    Ron can regeneration happen apart from hearing the word of God Romans 10:17. IOW does the Spirit work apart from hearing the word. ” Did you receive the Spirit by works of law, or hearing with faith. Does the Spirit regenerate apart from hearing the word. Babies can’t hear and they cant believe. K

  600. Reed Here said,

    May 9, 2015 at 5:19 pm

    Kevin, 599, interesting. That’s your second “rabbit trail” comment. Ron and I have already spent our two also. We’ll have to leave comment on it till another.

  601. Reed Here said,

    May 9, 2015 at 5:29 pm

    Kevin, if conversion happens at baptism we don’t think that Spirit does this through the rite, but at the observance of the rite. We also follow Scripture in observing that baptism must be rightly administered. This includes the proclamation of the gospel, expressly in the three-fold name of Trinity.

    Further, there is some debate amongst Reformed theologians as to whether baptism can even be considered a converting ordinance. At the very least we agree that conversion preeminently takes place through the proclamation of the gospel, especially in preaching.

    I would be willing to go a bit further and say that I see nothing in Scripture that suggests any conversion occurs apart from the verbal proclamation of the gospel, usually in preaching. Other things may accompany this proclamation of the gospel, but there is no evidence of conversion when just those other things are present (e.g., deeds of love, baptism, etc.).

    Bringing into view here Ron’s comments below, we’re talking about what is the ordinary way God converts. We do know that God converted John the Baptist in an extraordinary manner (in utero). This surely was apart from the ordinary ministry of the word (verbally proclaimed) and also any other rite (e.g., circumcision, baptism). Note Kevin that this was a true conversion without hearing. An exception to the ordinary rule of Rom 10:17 to be sure, but one that does show God’s hands are not tied by man’s expectations. (Praise His name!)

    Finally, correct me if I am wrong, but do we actually have an example of someone being converted during their baptism? The Reformed emphasis on the possibility is not to affirm a necessity here (it must occurs sometimes during the administration of the rite). Instead this is an example of our Reformed forefathers being careful to say ONLY what the Bible says, neither adding nor subtracting from it. God can do whatever is consistent with His character. We are to put our hopes in what He has actually said He does.

  602. Ron said,

    May 9, 2015 at 5:36 pm

    “Ron can regeneration happen apart from hearing the word of God Romans 10:17. IOW does the Spirit work apart from hearing the word.”

    Kevin, I think you might be asking two vastly different questions, yet you said “in other words” as if they’re the same. The first question pertains to the realm of possibility whereas the second could possibly be taken as addressing what is ordinary. Of course I believe that elect infants dying in infancy are regenerated and united to Christ by the Spirit. Now if I believed that “hearing” the Word was necessary for union in such cases, I’d have a pretty magical view of the Word. In fact I’d have to ask whether the unintelligible Word (with respect to an unborn it’s unintelligible) would have to be in the native tongue of the unborn’s parents, or could the gospel in Chinese be efficient for an American fetus?

    “Babies can’t hear and they cant believe. K”

    Surely they can hear. They just can’t comprehend. Not sure what you’re driving at.

  603. Reed Here said,

    May 9, 2015 at 5:43 pm

    Ron, by “hearing” Kevin is just picking up on the ordinary means, as referenced in Rom 10:17. I think he actually means what you’ve said, hearing with comprehension.

  604. Ron said,

    May 9, 2015 at 5:49 pm

    Yes, I thought he might. But, I’m not sure what he’s driving toward. Are infants incapable of being regenerate in his estimation?

  605. truthunites said,

    May 9, 2015 at 5:54 pm

    Me to Reed: “Are you saying that you DON’T rule out baptism as being fundamental to regeneration?”

    Reed: “TU, please re-read the last paragraph of my response to you in no. 590. I’ve been clear.”

    Okay.

    #590: “Feel free to express in what way’s you think baptism is fundamental to regeneration. I agree that there are ways. I disagree that baptismal regeneration is one of them.”

    LOL! The same crystal clear clarity as Roberty Bob in #580 when he wrote:

    “Kevin finds Horton uncomfortably close to baptismal regeneration. I find Horton allowing for regeneration to occur at baptism, without stating that it does or that it must.”

  606. Reed Here said,

    May 9, 2015 at 6:20 pm

    TU: you are just being obnoxious.

    1. You are using “fundamental” in an unclear manner. You are certainly not using it the way Lane does in his original post. If you would like conversation on what you mean by “fundamental to regeneration,” then you need to first provide clarity, and not blame someone else for your lack of clarity.

    2. My response was a polite manner of saying I decline to involve myself with your question. It read like past questions you’ve asked in which you were not interested in advancing any understanding. Instead you are just interested in mocking.

    My unwillingness to play a game you started does not make me guilty of any lack of clarity. You are being ridiculous.

  607. May 9, 2015 at 6:35 pm

    Reed and Ron, Thanks for the answer. You both were clear. K

  608. Ron said,

    May 9, 2015 at 8:17 pm

    Love ya Man. More than that, I like you a lot. You’re a mighty soldier and a strong tower.

  609. roberty bob said,

    May 9, 2015 at 10:49 pm

    to Ron at #597, who says . . .

    ” . . . if baptism has any part in marking out the church . . . . ”

    Isn’t it by baptism that the church is marked out? One must be baptized in order to be received into the church’s membership, right?

    Yet you are saying that the sacrament of baptism would be fundamental to the gospel IF it has any part in marking out the church. Are you not certain that the sacrament of baptism does that?

    Why don’t you just say with conviction that the sacrament of baptism IS fundamental to the gospel because by it the church is marked out so that her members can be identified? That’s what I would say.

  610. Ron said,

    May 9, 2015 at 11:10 pm

    RB,

    With all due respect, what you would say is not a standard by which I would ever care to abide. I find your posts equivocal, usually contra-evangelical if not typically pro-papal. You’ve shown yourself to be at best double minded and unstable, and at worst a follower of Rome and a deceiver. I have nothing to say to you because I believe you twist the truth.

  611. May 9, 2015 at 11:28 pm

    Ron said to RB ” You’ve best shown yourself at best to be double minded and unstable, and at worst a follower of Rome and a deceiver.” I would have to agree. There is one Catholic i know who goes around posing as Reformed and does nothing but argue ardently Roman Doctrine, and try to woo weak Reformed to swim the Tiber. I believe RB is Roman Catholic. ” Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” K

  612. truthunites said,

    May 10, 2015 at 1:18 am

    Reed, #607,

    You’re being an obnoxious participant and an obnoxious moderator. However, with humility those attributes need not be an enduring character trait of yours.

    “If you would like conversation on what you mean by “fundamental to regeneration,” then you need to first provide clarity”

    The plain sense of the word “fundamental” is now proffered for your edification:

    fun·da·men·tal

    adjective
    1.
    forming a necessary base or core; of central importance.

    noun
    1.
    a central or primary rule or principle on which something is based.

    Now recall #589: “Thanks to Reed, let’s now rule out baptism as being fundamental to regeneration.”

    Reed, is there anything else that you don’t understand with regards to that statement, given that I’ve provided a basic definition of the word “fundamental” for you?

    Moreover, are you having cognitive problems tracking an argument?

  613. Ron said,

    May 10, 2015 at 8:42 am

    Terribly unjust, TU. I wish you’d stop.

  614. Ron said,

    May 10, 2015 at 1:44 pm

    Reed,

    If TUs attack was levied against anyone other than yourself I think you’d delete it. In your willingness to suffer unjustly and remain silent against such reckless accusations, I’d ask you to consider whether keeping the ninth commandment makes you responsible to protect your own good name. :) Whether you delete it or not, you’ve been a wonderful testimony to me. It’s clear you want to win people with love rather than admonishment. I’m slow but I’m learning.

  615. May 10, 2015 at 4:29 pm

    Reed said ” if this problem between sign and signified is a real issue, then it is an issue for believer baptists too.” The issue we are discussing is baptism fundamental in regeneration. You continue ” if conversion happens at baptism we don’t think the Spirit does this through the rite, but at the observance of the rite.” The fact that the sign of baptism doesn’t guarantee salvation in a believer being baptize either, should also indicate to you that it is “only the Spirit that enacts regeneration through the washing of the Word” and the execution of regeneration by the Spirit makes baptism in “no” way fundamental to regeneration. Baptism isn’t the active agent in any way in regenerating a man. It is God that writes the Law on the hearts, takes out the heart of stone and puts in a heart of flesh. He does this before one act of man. Baptism, can only be the external sign and seal of the inner regeneration that is the exclusive work of the Spirit by the washing of the Word, when and how HE blows. Using the word fundamental is adding something, and where does this stop. Thats how rome became Rome. How do you know when conversion happens at baptism the Sprit does it at the observance of the rite. Verses please? In the end Reed , can you explain again in what way Baptism is fundamental? No one saying it isn’t important, but fundamental? If the Spirit is the agent of regeneration through the washing of the Word, in what way is the the external rite, fundamental. Because here is where I’m going to agree with TU, when you start throwing around words like fundamental, it gives indication of necessity is some way, even though I no you don’t intend it in a full sense. Why say it has to be there at all, other than it is closely tied as the mark. God bless you Reed. K

  616. roberty bob said,

    May 10, 2015 at 5:19 pm

    Good Day Kevin #616

    You are saying, then, that . . .

    What the Spirit accomplishes internally — washing the sinner’s heart by the Word — is fundamental to the gospel because this act accomplishes regeneration which leads to conversion.

    What God does externally with the sprinkling / pouring of water upon the body in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit is not fundamental to the gospel because this act is only a word picture or sign of what the Spirit already did [or will do] internally.

    Furthermore, you have laid out the case like this . . .

    If something is said to be fundamental, this means that it is necessary.

    If it is claimed that baptism, the external sign, is fundamental, then it must be necessary for salvation [or, as you say, regeneration].

    SInce regeneration occurs internally and not externally, if follows that baptism [the external washing] is not necessary for salvation; therefore, it is not fundamental.
    ………..

    This is what I understand you to be saying. Have I understood rightly?

  617. May 10, 2015 at 6:42 pm

    RB, yes I think you summarized that well. That doesn’t reuse the importance of baptism as the sign and seal of this grace, nor the mark God puts on his people. But Apart from the inner work of the Spirit and the Word, blowing where and how HE wills, etc. Paul says the one who is circumcised inside is a believer, not the exterior rite. The exterior rite of Circumcision gave the Jew certain blessings and rights of the covenant, but a circumcised Jew who did not believe was on his way to hell. K

  618. roberty bob said,

    May 10, 2015 at 9:07 pm

    Thanks for your reply. Next set of questions, Kevin . . .

    Do you hold baptism to be the God-appointed means by which one is received into Christ’s Church, the community of the redeemed?

    If so, are you willing to say that baptism is fundamental [necessary] for admission to Christ’s Church, being received into her membership?

    Or, is one received into Christ’s Church the moment he is born from above by the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit, and that baptism will follow after that as the God-appointed way to testify of that truth?

    …………

    Are a man and a woman married when they come to a mutual agreement that they love each other dearly and exclusively — when they feel the spirit of love between them? Or are they married when they say their wedding vows in public and do the ritual actions [rings & kiss] that sign and seal those vows?

    Which of the above actions are fundamental [necessary] for the establishment of a marriage — the mutual feeling of love and life-long commitment between them, or that plus the witnessed wedding vows with sign & seal?

    …………

    I’m curious whether you view the marriage covenant in a similar way to the grace / salvation covenant in Christ.

  619. May 10, 2015 at 10:45 pm

    Believers are members Christ’s church. Those that the Spirit regenerates and brings to faith are members of his church. Those that God writes his laws on their heart, and who have a heart of flesh. Believers are the true members of the New Covenant. And Baptism is the NC sign of believing. You said are a man and woman married when they say their weeding vows. If you confess with your mouth……, and believe in your heart…… you will be saved. You see any baptism there? The Spirit regenerates through the washing of the Word, to faith, repentance, confession. Not Baptism. Baptism is the sign of believing. There are continuities and discontinuities between covenants, OT and NT. Reformed miss the movement. I believe circumcision is not like NT baptism. K

  620. roberty bob said,

    May 10, 2015 at 11:35 pm

    OK. I think I understand you, Kevin . . .

    Believers in Jesus are members of Christ’s Church even if they are never baptized and never join with their Christian brothers and sisters in a local congregation for worship, prayer, instruction, the Lord’s Supper.

    I must say that you are totally consistent in your belief. The Spirit regenerates a person; that person comes to faith, repentance, and confession. Saved in an instant! Henceforth — no matter what he says or does / doesn’t say or doesn’t do / no matter how he lives his life — he remains a member of Christ’s Church for all eternity.

  621. Don said,

    May 10, 2015 at 11:53 pm

    620/621,
    It would be helpful here if you two clarify whether you are referring to the visible or invisible church. The term “Christ’s church” may not be sufficiently clear for this conversation.

    I believe KF is referring to the invisible church in 620 whilst rb in 621 might be applying those words to the local church. But I would appreciate both of you to be more specific.

    PS I wouldn’t bother pushing the marriage analogy very far; eventually all you will be doing is highlighting the differences in a relationship between two people vs. a relationship between man and God.

  622. roberty bob said,

    May 11, 2015 at 12:13 am

    I was baptized into Christ and received into a visible church — a congregation of flesh & blood people. I heard the Gospel preached by a living preacher that I could see with my own eyes and hear with my own ears. I give account to the elders of my local visible church, and I participate in that church’s life to the fullest extent of my abilities.

    I am certain that Kevin has in mind an invisible church,

    G’Nite All!

  623. May 11, 2015 at 12:32 am

    RB, wait a minute, we are talking about regeneration. I have never said the way we live isn’t significant. True believers possess the Spirit and desire to obey God. We pursue holiness in our life. James 2 is clear, true faith is justified by its works. But we are not justified by anything we do, or the Holy Spirit’s work in us in sanctification. We are justified by the righteousness of Christ imputed to us through faith alone in Christ alone. Don is correct I’m talking about the invisible church. I don’t believe in a visible church with a home office. I believe in visible churches, but not one with a Home office in Rome. When Rome perverted the gospel it separated itself from the true church. And I agree with Don the marriage thing is lame, it isn’t a comparable analogy to a relationship between man and God. RB, if you don’t believe the right gospel, your baby baptism is insignificant. And I’m not sure you believe that a man is justified by faith alone in Christ alone. K

  624. Ron said,

    May 11, 2015 at 7:13 am

    “RB, wait a minute, we are talking about regeneration. I have never said the way we live isn’t significant”

    Kevin,

    Of course you didn’t. But by reading into your position a “free from the law, oh happy condition…” theology serves RB’s agenda much better than had he dealt with what you actually believe. You really don’t believe RB is interested in debating with integrity do you?

  625. May 11, 2015 at 8:33 am

    Ron, no I don’t believe he is debating up front, but under the guise of darkness. RB is a Roman Catholic, and my guess is since the cradle. K

  626. Ron said,

    May 11, 2015 at 8:46 am

    My guess is Protestant membership, FV-creed and strong RC sympathizer.

  627. May 11, 2015 at 11:24 am

    RB, will you be willing to tell us the truth? Are you a cradle RC posing as a former Reformed? Are you as Ron described? It shouldn’t be hard to be forthcoming, although I’m sure you are not obligated here to provide this info. But, if you are being less than truthful, it will mean a lot of acts of satisfaction. lol K

  628. roberty bob said,

    May 11, 2015 at 1:48 pm

    1 I confess Christ as my Savior and my Lord.
    2 I acknowledge my sin, and trust in Christ’s atoning blood.
    3 I believe, in line with Paul, that I am justified by faith, and have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
    4 I believe, in line with James, that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone; the works give evidence of a faith that is true and living.
    5 I believe that I have been saved by grace; salvation is the gift of God, not a wage or payment owed to me by God for what I have done for him.
    6 I believe, in line with John, that Christ calls me to love him and obey his commandments; keeping his commandments shows that the love for him is real and that I am abiding in the true vine.
    7 I believe that baptism is the union sacrament by which the Christian believer [or child of professing believer(s)] is received as a member of the church, the body of Christ. I do not believe that the water by itself regenerates as Jesus says “water and Spirit.” However, I hold that there is more going on in baptism than the baptized person giving his testimony or showing a word picture of the new birth. Our triune God is the prime actor in baptism — naming and receiving this one as his own and clothing him with Christ. Baptism is fundamental, and therefore necessary, in some sense. Nailing down what that means poses quite a challenge.
    8 I am not a member of the Roman Catholic Church.
    9 I am a member of a Protestant Church. Born / baptized into a Protestant Church — baptist during childhood and youth — returned to Protestant Church in young adulthood and have remained there.

  629. May 11, 2015 at 1:57 pm

    RB, clarify for me are you finally justified by faith alone in Christ alone, or by faith formed in love? IOW are the merits of Christ applied to you through faith alone, or do you merit the merit of Christ through sacraments? Worthiness of merit? IOW are you justified solely by the imputed righteousness of Christ that comes by faith alone, or by an accumulating inherent righteousness thru sacraments. Do you have to die inherently righteous to enter heaven, or will you enter heaven because of the obedience of Christ imputed to you through faith alone? K

  630. roberty bob said,

    May 11, 2015 at 2:37 pm

    justified by faith in Christ
    whose blood was shed for me
    as an atoning sacrifice for the
    forgiveness of my sins

    this is all that is necessary

  631. Ron said,

    May 11, 2015 at 3:36 pm

    Kevin,

    You might save some time by asking, “Are you now, or have you ever been, a member of the Federal Vision?” :)

    Aside from not stating “alone”, which maybe he will, you’re dealing with one who is obviously influenced by FV. That means you will met with evasive language. It’s what FV guys do best.

    With FV comes an exchange of (a) perseverance of all who are in union with Christ for (b) perseverance of the elect. With “b” the elect forgo assurance since union can lapse into disunion.

  632. De Maria said,

    July 27, 2015 at 2:14 pm

    Hi RB,

    You said,

    roberty bob said,
    May 11, 2015 at 1:48 pm

    1 I confess Christ as my Savior and my Lord.
    2 I acknowledge my sin, and trust in Christ’s atoning blood.
    3 I believe, in line with Paul, that I am justified by faith, and have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
    4 I believe, in line with James, that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone; the works give evidence of a faith that is true and living.
    5 I believe that I have been saved by grace; salvation is the gift of God, not a wage or payment owed to me by God for what I have done for him.
    6 I believe, in line with John, that Christ calls me to love him and obey his commandments; keeping his commandments shows that the love for him is real and that I am abiding in the true vine.
    7 I believe that baptism is the union sacrament by which the Christian believer [or child of professing believer(s)] is received as a member of the church, the body of Christ. I do not believe that the water by itself regenerates as Jesus says “water and Spirit.” However, I hold that there is more going on in baptism than the baptized person giving his testimony or showing a word picture of the new birth. Our triune God is the prime actor in baptism — naming and receiving this one as his own and clothing him with Christ. Baptism is fundamental, and therefore necessary, in some sense. Nailing down what that means poses quite a challenge.
    8 I am not a member of the Roman Catholic Church.
    9 I am a member of a Protestant Church. Born / baptized into a Protestant Church — baptist during childhood and youth — returned to Protestant Church in young adulthood and have remained there.

    I am stunned. But I admire your capacity to understand Catholic Doctrine and to explain it. In fact, you do so better than many practicing Catholics.

    As for me, it has been a pleasure talking to you.

    Sincerely,

    De Maria


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