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OscarAnthony
Mar 21st 2008, 01:34 AM
Dear Brothers and Sisters, :hug:

Those memorable years that I’ve spent in the Lutheran Church were full of good times. Whatever fellowship we had was enjoyable. Together, we enjoyed God-honoring conversation, studied together, and even ate with one another. Each Sunday was something I always looked forward to. From what I remember, our traditions were very beautiful and so was our music. There was always something for me to learn. Next to the Bible, my favorite book was Luther’s Small Catechism and I studied it intently.
Times have changed and I must move on. What I mean is that I can no longer be a part of the Lutheran Church, yet I will continue to keep my faith in Christ.
“Why the sudden farewell?” you may ask.
I will explain why I have found myself drifting away from the Lutheran Church:

It all started when I delved into such Bible verses as John 3:5, which says, “Except a man be born of the water and of the spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God” and Acts 2:38 which tells us, “Repent and be baptized every one of you...for the forgiveness of your sins.”

Luther’s Small Catechism says that baptism “works forgiveness of sins, delivers from the death and the devil, and gives eternal salvation to all who believe this,” but then Ephesians 2:8,9 says “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.”
I wondered “How can baptism give eternal salvation to us, if our salvation is not achieved by works?”

For hours, I argued with myself about these verses and Luther’s teachings.
“What is this ‘water’ that I read about in John 3:5?” I wondered. :hmm: The Lord revealed to me that this water is not baptismal water like we’ve always been taught that it was. Uh oh!
He told me that this water is the same water that filled our mother’s wombs, which is the natural birth (as in “My water broke!”). Wow! And to think that each and every one of us was floating in some kind of liquid prior to birth (the adult human body is about 60% water). Henceforth, natural birth is being born of the water (amniotic fluid).
Being born of the spirit is when we choose to put our faith in Jesus Christ alone, repenting from our sins, and allowing Him to cleanse us from our unrighteousness. Then, and only then, can we be born again, which brings me to Acts 2:38, “Repent and be baptized...”
Remember, I did not make up any of this. In fact, I thought I was losing my mind, when I first received this revelation. But, you can’t win an argument with God.
I have often wondered why it is that our ministers would often baptize babies, even if Acts 2:38 does NOT say “Be baptized and repent”? The Lord has shown me that He put this verse in that particular order for a special reason, and it was to teach us that repentance comes before baptism. Acts 2:41 says “…they that gladly received his word were baptized.” Water baptism always followed repentance, throughout the New Testament. I couldn’t argue with God about that. By the way, I even asked myself “How can a little baby say ‘I wee-pent’ if the Bible puts repentance before baptism, and if a baby doesn’t even know the definition of ‘sin’ and ‘baptism’?”
“Repent (first) and be baptized (second), for the forgiveness of your sins.”
For the forgiveness of my sins? :hmm:
Do I have to get baptized to have my sins forgiven? By no means! Baptism is for people whose sins are forgiven.
How do I know that??
The Greek word for the word “for”, in this verse, is “eis.” “Eis” does not mean “in order to get,” but it means “for the reason that” or “because of.” So, in other words, I have learned that we must be baptized for the reason that Jesus has forgiven our sins. The sacrament of baptism is symbolic of Christ’ death and resurrection. Baptism, in Greek, is “bautizo” which means “immerse (dip)” not “sprinkle.” Besides that, I just had to ask myself why Jesus got baptized as an adult, and never as an infant. And if Jesus did it that way, doesn’t it mean we should do likewise? I think so.
Luther’s Large Catechism tells us that baptism "overcomes and takes away sin."
On the other hand, Revelation 1:5 says, "And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood."
Now, I am not knocking Martin Luther, but I beg to differ from what his Large Catechism says. Never have I found a verse in the Bible that says anything about Jesus washing us in a baptismal font. Only the baptism in the blood of Jesus, not in any kind of water, can take away our sins. (Revelations 1:5)
Again, I’m not making any of this up. God has shown me all of this, as much as I was unwilling to accept it at first.
Besides, whose opinions matter the most?
God’s or Luther’s?
Oh, and even a well-educated man like Martin Luther can make a doctrinal error or two.
It happens. I mean, nobody’s perfect, which is why we need to study the Bible very carefully, and with so much prayer. Even our pastors, wise and intelligent as they are, must seek guidance from the Holy Spirit, before preaching every sermon (John 14:26).
In Luther’s Small Catechism, I also read that we are to confess our sins and “receive absolution and forgiveness from the confessor as from God himself.”
Sure, we are commanded to forgive (not stay angry at) our debtors, but do any of us have the power to cleanse people from their sins? I mean, “who can forgive (cleanse people from) sins but God only?” as it says in Mark 2:7.
God only warned us against unforgiveness, because it can damage us spiritually and open the door for evil to come upon the person we hate or hold anger against (see Matthew 5:22 & 1st John 3:15).
If it is true that we have to confess our sins to the pastor, then why can’t we just go directly to God and say “Be merciful to me a sinner” like the publican we read about in Luke 18:13. It’ll save me a trip to the pastor’s office.

My point is that God never gave us the power to take away other people’s sins, or else the blood of Jesus would lose its value and the cross would be made of none effect
(1 Corinthians 1:17).

This is another reason why I found myself in disagreement with some of Martin Luther’s teaching. Therefore, I cannot be a Lutheran, while disagreeing with any Lutheran doctrine.
My place in the Lutheran Church is lost, therefore I am not even worthy of partaking in the Holy Eucharist, at any Lutheran parish.
I just can’t see how the bread and wine are not just symbols of Christ’ body and blood.

Have you ever seen this old commercial that goes “This is your brain (you see an egg), this is drugs (you see butter in a frying pan), this is your brain on drugs (you see the egg being fried in the butter). Any questions?”

I find that Holy Communion is no more of an analogy than this commercial. Yet, I still believe that these emblems must only be received by those who know its profound meaning.
At any rate, it was a pleasure to worship with all of you on those eagerly-awaited Sunday mornings. The Lord has called me to move on to a different kind of church. One where they follow the doctrines of Christ and not of Paul, Apollos, Cephas, or any other man
(1 Corinthians 1:11-17).
And now, my Lutheran friends and neighbors, I bid you a fond farewell. And peace to you. :hug:

With the Love of Christ,
Bro. Oscar Anthony

Studyin'2Show
Mar 21st 2008, 01:48 AM
Interesting first post. :lol: Are you under the impression that this is a Lutheran message board? :confused

OscarAnthony
Mar 21st 2008, 01:53 AM
Interesting first post. :lol: Are you under the impression that this is a Lutheran message board? :confused
This is a message board for Christians of all denominations.

Studyin'2Show
Mar 21st 2008, 02:21 AM
Okay, I was wondering since your post is to Lutherans when the majority of those here are not Lutheran. :hmm: I guess this was something you needed to get off your chest. However, this is the Apologetics and Evangelism forum. Did you want this thread to discuss the apologetics against Lutheran doctrine? By the way, welcome to the boards. You may want to post in the Introductions (http://bibleforums.org/forumdisplay.php?f=19) forum so we can get to know you and vice-versa.

God Bless!

RevLogos
Mar 22nd 2008, 01:16 AM
You're loosing me on a couple of points. Could you state more clearly the objections?

I think I get you don't like infant baptism.
Not sure if you don't like baptism by sprinkling instead of full immersion.
Anything else with baptism?

You feel the pastor has power to forgive?

And something with communion?

Thx.

Pleroo
Mar 22nd 2008, 02:11 AM
Brother Anthony,

Welcome. :) I've been a member here for some time, and have seen few fellow Lutherans come through here. Always felt a little like the odd (wo)man out. :lol: It's ironic to me that after not having been here in quite some time, one of the first posts I saw when I checked in tonight was yours.

It can be a very emotional thing to let go of beliefs you once held. But it's freeing, too, when you realize that no denomination holds the monopoly on truth and it is okay to question the teachings you grew up with. God is big enough to handle our questions and our searching.

Obviously, for a time in your life, being part of a Lutheran congregation was a blessing to your faith. If you feel God is calling you to move on from that association, I don't bid you "farewell". :) The communion of the saints is not dependent upon denominational affiliation or physical proximity, but on the Spirit that dwells in each of us and brings us into communion with God and with each other. Peace, brother, and blessings. :hug:

OscarAnthony
Mar 23rd 2008, 10:09 PM
Okay, I was wondering since your post is to Lutherans when the majority of those here are not Lutheran. :hmm: I guess this was something you needed to get off your chest. However, this is the Apologetics and Evangelism forum. Did you want this thread to discuss the apologetics against Lutheran doctrine? By the way, welcome to the boards. You may want to post in the Introductions (http://bibleforums.org/forumdisplay.php?f=19) forum so we can get to know you and vice-versa.

God Bless!

I didn't know where else to put this thread. I mean, doesn't "Apologetics" mean that we get to talk about doctrines? School me if I'm misinterpreteing the meaning of this word.

Studyin'2Show
Mar 24th 2008, 12:01 AM
I didn't know where else to put this thread. I mean, doesn't "Apologetics" mean that we get to talk about doctrines? School me if I'm misinterpreteing the meaning of this word.Usually someone asks a question or begins with a statement about a specific question that has to do with how to answer difficult questions we may face when evangelizing. Your post seemed more personal, almost like a testimony. Also, if you want to discuss doctrinal issues based on scripture, you may want to take a look at the Bible Chat forum (http://bibleforums.org/forumdisplay.php?f=7).

God Bless!

IBWatching
Mar 24th 2008, 03:41 PM
...And now, my Lutheran friends and neighbors, I bid you a fond farewell. And peace to you. :hug:

With the Love of Christ,
Bro. Oscar Anthony


As someone who left the Lutheran church (LCMS) after my first 24 years of life, some of the thoughts in your post were eerily familiar to me.

If you would care to tolerate my opinions, I would be more than happy to discuss with you why I had to leave the Lutheran church myself. But only if you are up to it. ;)

OscarAnthony
Mar 27th 2008, 05:38 PM
You're loosing me on a couple of points. Could you state more clearly the objections?

I think I get you don't like infant baptism.
Not sure if you don't like baptism by sprinkling instead of full immersion.
Anything else with baptism?

You feel the pastor has power to forgive?

And something with communion?

Thx.

My friend, it is not that I dislike infant baptism. I think it's a very beautiful tradition. But, in the Bible, I never found any accounts of people being baptized as babies. Even Jesus (our prime Example) was presented in the Temple, as an infant, then water baptized (immersed) when He got much older.
The pastor of the non-denominational church that I visited is a Spirit-filled, Spirit-led man of God who preached all about baptism by immersion, after a baby was being dedicated that day. He even said "I'm not the one who says these things about baptism. It is God who says it."
That was when I was convinced that baptism by immersion is actually the proper way to do it, and that God doesn't really want us to baptise our children until they start to understand the meaning of baptism.

People (not even pastors) cannot remove anyone's sins, no matter what authority God has given them. "I forgive you" (said by us) = "I won't hold any grudge against you." We cannot forgive (take away, atone for) anybody's sins, not even our own. (Leviticus 17:11)

Communion is a symbol. If the bread and wine were literally flesh and blood, wouldn't that be a bit cannibalistic?

Well, my friend, I hope that answers everything for you. :)
God bless. And stay strong. :hug:

OscarAnthony
Mar 27th 2008, 05:43 PM
As someone who left the Lutheran church (LCMS) after my first 24 years of life, some of the thoughts in your post were eerily familiar to me.

If you would care to tolerate my opinions, I would be more than happy to discuss with you why I had to leave the Lutheran church myself. But only if you are up to it. ;)


Sure, my friend, please tell me all about it. It will be a blessing to share experiences with someone who's gone down the same road. :):)

OscarAnthony
Mar 27th 2008, 05:44 PM
Usually someone asks a question or begins with a statement about a specific question that has to do with how to answer difficult questions we may face when evangelizing. Your post seemed more personal, almost like a testimony. Also, if you want to discuss doctrinal issues based on scripture, you may want to take a look at the Bible Chat forum (http://bibleforums.org/forumdisplay.php?f=7).

God Bless!

Thanks for the tip. :) I'll look into that.

RevLogos
Mar 28th 2008, 01:49 PM
My friend, it is not that I dislike infant baptism. I think it's a very beautiful tradition. But, in the Bible, I never found any accounts of people being baptized as babies. Even Jesus (our prime Example) was presented in the Temple, as an infant, then water baptized (immersed) when He got much older.
The pastor of the non-denominational church that I visited is a Spirit-filled, Spirit-led man of God who preached all about baptism by immersion, after a baby was being dedicated that day. He even said "I'm not the one who says these things about baptism. It is God who says it."
That was when I was convinced that baptism by immersion is actually the proper way to do it, and that God doesn't really want us to baptise our children until they start to understand the meaning of baptism.



Many denominations accept infant baptism. I can tell you the Biblical rationale for doing this. According to the Bible, if one person is saved in a household, the entire household is baptized and saved. Look at the story of Zacchaeus in Luke 19:1-10. In 19:9 Jesus says his whole household is saved because of Zacchaeus faith.

More specifically, in Acts there are several cases where entire households were baptized because one person was saved, saving the whole household. There is no reason to assume the households would not have children. In Acts 10 the household of Cornelius is baptized. Acts 16:15 another household is baptized. Again in 16:31. The jailer's household in 16:33. The Crispus household in 18:8.

The message is if one person in a household is saved, baptize them all and they're all saved.

RevLogos
Mar 28th 2008, 01:52 PM
Communion is a symbol. If the bread and wine were literally flesh and blood, wouldn't that be a bit cannibalistic?



Is this what Lutherans actually believe, that the bread and wine actually turn into real blood and flesh as you eat it? Are you sure?

I have heard that some fundamental sects say this, but it was told to me by a very liberal Christian who very much disliked any kind of fundamentalism.

RevLogos
Mar 28th 2008, 01:56 PM
That was when I was convinced that baptism by immersion is actually the proper way to do it

I am sure everyone agrees immersion is the method used in the bible. But quite a few denominations do sprinkling, not just Lutherans, and I don't think it's that big a deal. I know some Christians believe that if one is baptized by sprinkling they will go to hell. But that's false. Sprinkling works just as well.

IBWatching
Mar 28th 2008, 04:03 PM
Is this what Lutherans actually believe, that the bread and wine actually turn into real blood and flesh as you eat it? Are you sure?...

Transubstantiation = Belief that bread and wine turn into actual Body and Blood of Jesus Christ when you partake of it. This is RCC stance.

Consubstantiation = Belief that bread and wine are already Body and Blood of Jesus Christ before you partake of it. This is Lutheran stance.

A very good question was asked by may classmate in our Lutheran Confirmation classes when I was 13. He asked our pastor where one can buy the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, since it was apparent it was purchased somewhere for use on Sundays, etc. The pastor said that was not a "healthy question" to ask, but never really answered my classmate's question in the way he meant it.

Of course, I now believe that the Lord's Supper was just for the reason Jesus said it was, "In Remembrance of Me". Not a sacrament, as both the Catholics and Lutherans treat it.

IBWatching
Mar 28th 2008, 04:29 PM
Before I get into the theology of why I left, I need to give you some background. I was born into the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. I am purely half-German. I was baptized by sprinkling when I was 11 days old. I was never a "jack" Lutheran when I was one. I attended Lutheran day school K-8, confirmed at age 13, choir, candlelighter, usher, Evangelism Explosion II graduate, Sunday School teacher. I was a "75%'er". Someone who spent about 75% of my free time at church or involved in some kind of church related activity. My home church had 2,700 confirmed members, but only 900 or so showed up for the 2 Sunday morning services. The rest showed up during Advent and Lent.

Now that I have established that I wasn't just a "casual" Lutheran, I'll focus on my life in the years just preceding my departure from the church. In the summer before I started college, my Lutheran youth pastor asked me if I ever felt at times that "You needed Jesus". My answer to him was kind of a cop-out, as I believed in Jesus in the sense that He was real and alive, but I had never had someone ask me anything about a personal relationship with Him. So I filed it away in my mind.

After college, I came back home and felt I should get more involved in the church. I joined what was the second training class in that church of James Kennedy's Evangelism Explosion II. As we were going out presenting the Gospel to people who had visited the church (Sunday AM, weddings, funerals - they were big on guest lists), the more I witnessed, the more I became troubled. Here we were, out telling people they need Jesus as a Personal Savior, that we can have a relationship with Him, yet I had never experienced anything close to that all the years I was Lutheran.

So I finally took the advice I had been giving people myself and on the night of January 28th, 1973, I knelt and prayed and asked Jesus into my life. Nothing has been the same since. :)

RevLogos
Mar 28th 2008, 05:43 PM
Transubstantiation = Belief that bread and wine turn into actual Body and Blood of Jesus Christ when you partake of it. This is RCC stance.

Consubstantiation = Belief that bread and wine are already Body and Blood of Jesus Christ before you partake of it. This is Lutheran stance.



I believe in both of these cases the bread and wine represent the true and real presence of Jesus, not physical blood and flesh. In the actual language used, both of these state the substance of the bread or wine is Jesus. The word "substance" is very important.

The substance is not the physical molecules or properties, but what it means. As an example, the Bible is the Word of God. No it isn't, it's a collection of paper, ink and glue. So we can say that the substance of the Bible is the Word of God but the physical properties are just paper, ink and glue. Likewise the substance of the sacrament is that of Jesus, but the physical properties are just bread and wine.

IBWatching
Mar 28th 2008, 08:21 PM
I believe in both of these cases the bread and wine represent the true and real presence of Jesus, not physical blood and flesh. In the actual language used, both of these state the substance of the bread or wine is Jesus. The word "substance" is very important.

The substance is not the physical molecules or properties, but what it means. As an example, the Bible is the Word of God. No it isn't, it's a collection of paper, ink and glue. So we can say that the substance of the Bible is the Word of God but the physical properties are just paper, ink and glue. Likewise the substance of the sacrament is that of Jesus, but the physical properties are just bread and wine.

All semantics aside, this issue still comes down to how one interprets the "This is my Body" and the "This is my Blood" spoken by Jesus at that Passover meal. That's the foundation of it all. How one sees the "ink paper and glue" in that particular location of God's Word is what is going to determine what one believes.

If you read my post, you are no longer arguing with me. I couldn't care less if my definitions of transubstantiation or consubstantiation appeal to you. They don't mean anything to me anymore. What I posted I posted from my memory of those days. For better or worse. ;)

IBWatching
Mar 28th 2008, 08:49 PM
After I was Saved, I gained an immediate thirst for the Word. Having only the KJV I grew up with, reading was slow but the meditation time was very fruitful. Ironically, I went over the same texts which had spurred Luther to reform, except for the first time I was understanding them for myself.

Meanwhile, getting into the Word was changing my attitude in the LCMS. I was feeling more and more confident from the Word and wasn't afraid to start challenging at first the methods and then the theology of the church. The senior pastor there noticed this, misread me and was excited for me to take a SS class for HS kids. I promptly got into hot water, making a statement which caused one of my students to remark that he was going to tell his folks what I said. I retorted to him to make sure his parents read the Scripture I gave him before they judged me so that they wouldn't end up looking foolish. That class lasted 1 quarter before I resigned, telling the senior pastor that I wasn't right for the teaching required.

With that one exception, my departure from the church was actually smooth and went unnoticed by many. In fact, as long as 8 years later, one church member thought I had merely transferred to another church within the city. My great aunt was said to have remarked "I fear for that boy's Salvation". My only thought when I was told this was "How ironic."

My last Sunday in the church was in Feb 1975. Over 4 years later, two elders finally came to my house and said they would take me off the church membership rolls. One of them asked me why I left. I simply told him that I started to read the Bible for myself. Not just the parts in the catechism, the rest of it also.

Shortly after I was Saved, I came into contact with some fellowship with Believers outside the LCMS. When they heard how I had only recently become Saved despite being raised in the LCMS, they were happy yet unsurprised. Both of them had also been raised inside mainline denominational churches and had also been Saved recently. We met often and challenged each other often from the Word to investigate the doctrine which we had been raised with. Our question was the same. HOW could we all be raised in "Christian" churches yet not be Saved?

Because two of us had been raised in churches with sacraments, we joined together in our search for the answer by starting with that part of theology.

RevLogos
Mar 28th 2008, 09:06 PM
All semantics aside, this issue still comes down to how one interprets the "This is my Body" and the "This is my Blood" spoken by Jesus at that Passover meal. That's the foundation of it all. How one sees the "ink paper and glue" in that particular location of God's Word is what is going to determine what one believes.

If you read my post, you are no longer arguing with me. I couldn't care less if my definitions of transubstantiation or consubstantiation appeal to you. They don't mean anything to me anymore. What I posted I posted from my memory of those days. For better or worse. ;)

I don't think I've been arguing at all, just trying to understand. I thought all Protestant denominations viewed Communion as a sacrament, more than just a memorial of the death of Jesus. I also don't think any church believes the wine and bread actually become blood and flesh molecules. That's sort of gross.

IBWatching
Mar 28th 2008, 10:05 PM
First, a disclaimer. What I may say about Lutheran theology in general, or specifically that of the LCMS, is my perception from when I was in the Lutheran church, and nothing more. Before I may offend any of my Lutheran Brothers or Sisters, let me say that I hold no bitterness toward the LCMS nor do I regret having been in that church. I still retain many friends from those days. Some of the training I received in Lutheran day school remains with me today and is indeed taught in many other Christians schools yet today. In many respects, my days in the LCMS prepared me for the plans God had for me much in the same way that being a Jew prepared Paul for his ministry. Some of the foundational truths common among evangelicals came with me when I left.

I seek no debates, nor do I want to unwittingly "sway" current Lutherans from leaving that church, as it may not be God's Will for them. What I do intend to do is contrast what I was taught and my perception of it with what I discovered when I finally started reading the Bible for myself.

To become a member in the LCMS in those days, you first had to be baptized. Most of the kids I grew up with were baptized as infants, just as I was. But the LCMS also required baptism of adult "believers". I have no idea of whether the LCMS had a position on the "age of accountability", but most children, when they reached the age of 13 (teenaged) were asked to confirm (it's called confirmation classes) their faith by taking and being "examined" through a catechism class based on Luther's Small Catechism (derived from Luther's Large Catechism). Once a person had done this, they were considered members of the church and could partake of the Lord's Supper.

Because infant baptism was somewhat abstract for me, having been something my parents did to me, without any recognition on my part, taking the Lord's Supper for the first time was a serious thing. Back then, this often took place on Palm Sunday, adding even more meaning to the day. Once you were a member, the church began a "communion count" on you. Every time you took it, they marked it down. At the end of the year, the pastors and elders knew who hadn't taken communion during the year, or who had not taken it often. Letters were sent from the church office "encouraging" these members to partake more often, and "reminding" them that church membership could be revoked if no activity was present over a period of time. This is not conjecture, as I received a letter myself a year or so after I had left the church. Some Lutherans refuse to believe that the church does this, but that is understandable since they may always take communion and are never in danger of receiving one.

The Lord's Supper was an integral part of Lutheran worship back then, as evidenced by what I just said. And because it was the most visible, most tangible part of my connection to the LCMS, it was also what I based my faith on. I had never been taught anything but that the Lord's Supper was a sacrament, a "means of Grace" by which one could exercise their faith and have true "contact" with Jesus Christ's Body and Blood.

So serious was this doctrine that the church would not give the communion to anyone but members. Anyone who was a visitor would not be allowed to the altar to partake. Didn't matter whether they were Christian or not. They weren't members. My perception back then was that if the church allowed anyone but members to partake, those "visitors" would be damned by their participation.

Next, what the Bible showed me.

IBWatching
Mar 28th 2008, 10:42 PM
...I thought all Protestant denominations viewed Communion as a sacrament, more than just a memorial of the death of Jesus...

Only if Protestant is defined by certain non-catholic denominations. Many Baptist churches view it simply as an ordinance, and for the sole reason of remembering Him.

RevLogos
Mar 29th 2008, 05:45 PM
To become a member in the LCMS in those days, you first had to be baptized. Most of the kids I grew up with were baptized as infants, just as I was. But the LCMS also required baptism of adult "believers". I have no idea of whether the LCMS had a position on the "age of accountability", but most children, when they reached the age of 13 (teenaged) were asked to confirm (it's called confirmation classes) their faith by taking and being "examined" through a catechism class based on Luther's Small Catechism (derived from Luther's Large Catechism). Once a person had done this, they were considered members of the church and could partake of the Lord's Supper.


I grew up going to a Methodist church. The UMC does things the same way. I was officially confirmed at 13 after taking their confirmation classes, but I was baptized as an infant.

I understand the arguments for the infant baptism, which I posted earlier. However I'm with you in that as an adult, one needs to make their own personal decision. It was very important to me personally to be baptized again when I made the decision to follow Christ. Especially since in the intervening years I had become a lukewarm backslidden Christian.

OscarAnthony
Mar 29th 2008, 10:14 PM
Is this what Lutherans actually believe, that the bread and wine actually turn into real blood and flesh as you eat it? Are you sure?

I have heard that some fundamental sects say this, but it was told to me by a very liberal Christian who very much disliked any kind of fundamentalism.

Lutherans believe that the body and blood of our Lord are present in the bread and wine. So, in other words, the emblems would not be merely symbols, according to Martin Luther. Now, don't get that confused with the Roman doctrine of transubstantiation, which is a bit similar, but teaches that the bread and wine convert into the body and blood of our Lord.

OscarAnthony
Mar 29th 2008, 10:47 PM
Brother Anthony,

Welcome. :) I've been a member here for some time, and have seen few fellow Lutherans come through here. Always felt a little like the odd (wo)man out. :lol: It's ironic to me that after not having been here in quite some time, one of the first posts I saw when I checked in tonight was yours.

It can be a very emotional thing to let go of beliefs you once held. But it's freeing, too, when you realize that no denomination holds the monopoly on truth and it is okay to question the teachings you grew up with. God is big enough to handle our questions and our searching.

Obviously, for a time in your life, being part of a Lutheran congregation was a blessing to your faith. If you feel God is calling you to move on from that association, I don't bid you "farewell". :) The communion of the saints is not dependent upon denominational affiliation or physical proximity, but on the Spirit that dwells in each of us and brings us into communion with God and with each other. Peace, brother, and blessings. :hug:

Wow, Sister, that was so sweet of you! :hug: I'm so glad and so refreshed that you understand where I'm coming from. You are so right about the communion of saints not being dependant on denominational affiliation and physical proximity. It should never be. Oh, how I have always wished that denominations didn't tend to seperate us. This is something I struggled with.
Some people have come down hard on me for sharing such a testimony with them. Some said "Goodbye", in a cold sort of way. Others said things like "You are one lost sheep! I pray that God brings you back to the fold."

But, you, on the other hand? You are so nice about it. You just demonstrated how a true Christian ought to act towards others, even if they don't have all of the same beliefs. :) I thank you from the bottom of my heart for not judging me or criticizing me, but for loving me unconditionally. Key word, unconditionally. Oh, and thanks for the warm welcome. I needed it.
May God continually bless you. :hug:

Pleroo
Apr 1st 2008, 11:11 PM
Hello again Brother Anthony :),

I'm blessed indeed to know that my post played some part in making you feel welcome. Am I wrong in thinking that you have just recently left the Lutheran church? Your posts give a hint that perhaps you're feeling a bit bruised still. :( I pray that you will find healing from whatever wounds may have been inflicted on you, and forgiveness for any harm done to you. :pray:

I'm not surprised that our fellow Lutherans responded to you as they did when you shared your thoughts with them. In general, I think we Christians tend to feel a bit threatened when someone disavows beliefs that were previously held in common. It's sad that we can so often hurt each other out of fear, or even good intentions. It may be a normal human thing to do, but that doesn't make it any less difficult to bear when you're on the receiving end.

It's not that the things you spoke of - infant baptism and the Lord's Supper - are any less important to me. I believe they are both wonderful gifts of an exceedingly gracious God. He understands how bound we are to the physical -- The Word became physical flesh because we needed Him to. And so, it is not at all difficult for me to accept that when Jesus said, "This is my body, this is my blood," He was well aware that a physical means of connecting to His very real presence would be a blessing to us, a way to make His grace more tangible for us frail beings who are desperately in need of that grace.

And, too, with infant baptism. I believe that we were all "dead in sin", only able to come to faith through the working of the Spirit in our hearts. I believe this to be true of adults and infants alike. So, it's not at all hard for me to accept that when I was baptized as an infant, this was part of how my heavenly Father worked faith in me. I don't pretend to be able to put the process of how God works this miracle of faith in a person's heart into a neat little orderly box. But I have no doubt that He is as able and willing to work these things in a infant's heart as He is in an adult's.

But, that being said, these are the conclusions I have come to after my own search for truth in these matters, and I am not unaware of how others can come to different conclusions. I've learned by experience that it can be a hindrance to a growth in faith and in His love to hold too tightly to any doctrine. So I pray that I always remember to hold lightly to these things, while still treasuring them, allowing the Spirit to correct and reprove me as I am ready to receive, and as He sees fit.

Just my thoughts, for what they're worth. Father bless and keep you, brother. :hug:

IBWatching
Apr 2nd 2008, 05:04 PM
I grew up going to a Methodist church. The UMC does things the same way. I was officially confirmed at 13 after taking their confirmation classes, but I was baptized as an infant.

I understand the arguments for the infant baptism, which I posted earlier. However I'm with you in that as an adult, one needs to make their own personal decision. It was very important to me personally to be baptized again when I made the decision to follow Christ. Especially since in the intervening years I had become a lukewarm backslidden Christian.

I was also "rebaptized" (by immersion) after I left the LC. :)

Sherrie
Apr 2nd 2008, 07:56 PM
Hello OscarAnthony and glad you could join the board.

Yes, I was born and raised Lutheran (Missouri Synod). Lived the growing life in Lutheran Children Family Services and the orphanage. I think I understood completely your thoughts of what your original post was.

In the 70's I left the Lutheran Church, and joined another church where I received baptism by water. I also had a much better view of what baptism meant to me. The same with communion.

I pray you continue to grow and mature in Christ Jesus; that he give you wisdom and understanding as you follow Him.
Sherrie

Br. Barnabas
Apr 2nd 2008, 09:14 PM
Transubstantiation = Belief that bread and wine turn into actual Body and Blood of Jesus Christ when you partake of it. This is RCC stance.

Consubstantiation = Belief that bread and wine are already Body and Blood of Jesus Christ before you partake of it. This is Lutheran stance.

A very good question was asked by may classmate in our Lutheran Confirmation classes when I was 13. He asked our pastor where one can buy the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, since it was apparent it was purchased somewhere for use on Sundays, etc. The pastor said that was not a "healthy question" to ask, but never really answered my classmate's question in the way he meant it.

Of course, I now believe that the Lord's Supper was just for the reason Jesus said it was, "In Remembrance of Me". Not a sacrament, as both the Catholics and Lutherans treat it.

Transubstiation is the belief that at the consecration of the elements they become the body and blood of Jesus. Just thought I would clear that up.

I believe that Luther actually thought that trans was wrong and that he said the elements remained bread and wine but also became the body and blood of Jesus. I think he called it sacramental union. Correct me if I am wrong, I am a bit rusty on Luther since the Anglicans split from the the Catholic a few years later.

joztok
Apr 11th 2008, 01:06 PM
I really liked what you wrote!


“Repent (first) and be baptized (second), for the forgiveness of your sins.”
For the forgiveness of my sins? :hmm:
Do I have to get baptized to have my sins forgiven? By no means! Baptism is for people whose sins are forgiven.
How do I know that??
The Greek word for the word “for”, in this verse, is “eis.” “Eis” does not mean “in order to get,” but it means “for the reason that” or “because of.” So, in other words, I have learned that we must be baptized for the reason that Jesus has forgiven our sins. The sacrament of baptism is symbolic of Christ’ death and resurrection. Baptism, in Greek, is “bautizo” which means “immerse (dip)” not “sprinkle.” Besides that, I just had to ask myself why Jesus got baptized as an adult, and never as an infant. And if Jesus did it that way, doesn’t it mean we should do likewise? I think so.

That is awesome! I learnt some cool things from that.


My point is that God never gave us the power to take away other people’s sins, or else the blood of Jesus would lose its value and the cross would be made of none effect
(1 Corinthians 1:17).True. He has not given us the power to take away sin. But we can unburden any brethren, saved or not, in Christ's authority to remind them and speak into their lives that THEY ARE FORGIVEN!
We can empower them by reminding them of Christ's work.

Br. Barnabas
Apr 11th 2008, 04:47 PM
Sorry I missed this the first time that I read the letter you wrote. But the last post brought it up and I noticed it. Just so you know "eis" in Greek means "to, into, at" depending on the case that the word it is used with takes. It does not mean "for" "gar" means "for."

Besides that I agree with the Scriptures and the Creeds that state that baptism is for the remission of sins (1 Peter 3, Acts 2, 22).

christbearer84
Apr 21st 2008, 11:20 PM
Saints, this is my first post here. So a little about me before I post my thoughts: I am a professing Lutheran, however I have been doubting the very doctrines you are discussing here. I am considering leaving my friends at the congregation with prayer and humility, but I only want to serve God and I cannot continue in erroneous scripture and doctrine once I learn about it. I pray God will show me through his Word what is correct.

I wish to share what my study bible says on 1 Peter 3:21, which I feel hits the nail on the head, but further study and the application of hermaneutics is required before I stand firm on this. Here goes:

"Water symbolizes baptism. There is a double figure here. The flood symbolizes baptism, and baptism symbolizes salvation. The flood was a figure of baptism in that in both instances the water that spoke of judgment (in the flood the death of the wicked, in baptism the death of Christ and the believer) is the water that saves. Baptism is a symbol of salvation in that it depicts Christ's death, burial and resurrection and our identification with Him in these experiences (see Rom 6:4).
Now saves you also. In reality, believers are saved by what baptism symbolizes - Christ's death and resurrection. The symbol and reality are so closely that the symbol is sometimes used to defer to the reality.
Pledge of a good conscience towards God. The act of baptism is a commitment on the part of believers in all good conscience to make sure that what baptism symbolizes will become a reality in their lives.
Save you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ. In the final analysis people are saved not by any ritual, but by the supernatural power of the resurrection."
Zondervan NIV study bible, Page 1933

Then when we speak of infants, it only seems logical to see that there are no direct instances of infant baptism in the Bible (correct me if I'm wrong) so with the above in mind, can't we conclude that since the infant doesn't know what's going on, that perhaps the theology behind it being that they're saved when scripture says otherwise means that we shouldn't bother with baptism until we understand what Christ did for us?

I hope that was biblically sound.
With love,
Chris

Studyin'2Show
Apr 22nd 2008, 11:26 AM
Then when we speak of infants, it only seems logical to see that there are no direct instances of infant baptism in the Bible (correct me if I'm wrong) so with the above in mind, can't we conclude that since the infant doesn't know what's going on, that perhaps the theology behind it being that they're saved when scripture says otherwise means that we shouldn't bother with baptism until we understand what Christ did for us?I believe God has revealed this to you.

God Bless!

Organist
Apr 23rd 2008, 11:26 AM
Being a Lutheran myself, and finding no objection to Luther's teaching and theology regarding baptism (which seem to be doctrine on which you take issue and argue at length), I feel instead of letting you bid us "farewell" this would be a good opportunity to point out that in the "Affirmation of Baptism" service found on page 234 of the new Evangelical Lutheran Worship
hymnal published in 2006 by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (used for both Confirmation of youth and welcoming adults from other church bodies), the explanatory paragraph reads, "Affirmation of Baptism may be used at many time in the life of a baptized Christian. It is especially appropriate in youth or adulthood (confirmation) . . . as a sign of renewed participation in the life of the church."

So, we stand with open arms just as the prodigal son's father eagerly awaited his return and ever ready to embrace and welcome you to a banquet! You guessed, it the meal was prepared by Christ himself in which his own body and blood ate "in, with, and under" the bread and wine of Holy Communion. If you return to an ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America) congregation, the feast is generally ready every single Sunday, or at least only a week or so later, if the LCMS (Lutheran Church Missouri Synod) or WELS (Wisconsin Synod Lutheran Church) congregation still adheres to bi-monthly schedule for communion!

OscarAnthony
May 3rd 2008, 02:10 AM
Saints, this is my first post here. So a little about me before I post my thoughts: I am a professing Lutheran, however I have been doubting the very doctrines you are discussing here. I am considering leaving my friends at the congregation with prayer and humility, but I only want to serve God and I cannot continue in erroneous scripture and doctrine once I learn about it. I pray God will show me through his Word what is correct.

I wish to share what my study bible says on 1 Peter 3:21, which I feel hits the nail on the head, but further study and the application of hermaneutics is required before I stand firm on this. Here goes:

"Water symbolizes baptism. There is a double figure here. The flood symbolizes baptism, and baptism symbolizes salvation. The flood was a figure of baptism in that in both instances the water that spoke of judgment (in the flood the death of the wicked, in baptism the death of Christ and the believer) is the water that saves. Baptism is a symbol of salvation in that it depicts Christ's death, burial and resurrection and our identification with Him in these experiences (see Rom 6:4).
Now saves you also. In reality, believers are saved by what baptism symbolizes - Christ's death and resurrection. The symbol and reality are so closely that the symbol is sometimes used to defer to the reality.
Pledge of a good conscience towards God. The act of baptism is a commitment on the part of believers in all good conscience to make sure that what baptism symbolizes will become a reality in their lives.
Save you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ. In the final analysis people are saved not by any ritual, but by the supernatural power of the resurrection."
Zondervan NIV study bible, Page 1933

Then when we speak of infants, it only seems logical to see that there are no direct instances of infant baptism in the Bible (correct me if I'm wrong) so with the above in mind, can't we conclude that since the infant doesn't know what's going on, that perhaps the theology behind it being that they're saved when scripture says otherwise means that we shouldn't bother with baptism until we understand what Christ did for us?

I hope that was biblically sound.
With love,
Chris

You hit the nail right on the head:)

The infant does not know what is going on. I've heard this before and it makes so much sense.

Oh, and check this out, I just discovered something about Matthew 28:19. It does not say "Go ye therefore, and baptize all nations in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, making disciples of them "

Instead, it puts teaching before baptism, not after it. "Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost"

First, discipleship. Second, baptism. The baptism candidate has to be taught (discipled) before getting baptized. Never the other way around.

Flesh and blood didn't reveal this to me. Otherwise, I would've never looked at it that way.

Therefore, baptism is a symbol of salvation, not a source or salvation.

I hope this helps.

OscarAnthony
May 3rd 2008, 02:28 AM
Being a Lutheran myself, and finding no objection to Luther's teaching and theology regarding baptism (which seems to be the doctrine on which you take issue and argue at length), I feel instead of letting you bid us "farewell" this would be a good opportunity to point out that in the "Affirmation of Baptism" service found on page 234 of the new Evangelical Lutheran Worship
hymnal published in 2006 by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (used for both Confirmation of youth and welcoming adults from other church bodies), the explanatory paragraph reads, "Affirmation of Baptism may be used at many time in the life of a baptized Christian. It is especially appropriate in youth or adulthood (confirmation) . . . as a sign of renewed participation in the life of the church."

So, we stand with open arms just as the prodigal son's father eagerly awaited his return and ever ready to embrace and welcome you to a banquet! You guessed, it the meal was prepared by Christ himself in which his own body and blood ate "in, with, and under" the bread and wine of Holy Communion. If you return to an ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America) congregation, the feast is generally ready every single Sunday, or at least only a week or so later, if the LCMS (Lutheran Church Missouri Synod) or WELS (Wisconsin Synod Lutheran Church) congregation still adheres to bi-monthly schedule for communion!

I thank you for the warm welcome and the cordial invitation. :)
That is so sweet of you. :hug:

:hmm: But, where does the Bible talk about an "affirmation of baptism"? Is there a verse that teaches us about confirmation? What verse tells us that the body and blood of our Lord are "in, with, and under" the bread and the wine?

I still can't be Lutheran unless I find Scriptural proof for such teachings.
Sorry.

Matt14
May 3rd 2008, 02:42 AM
Hi OscarAnthony, welcome to the board.

I have no problem with you leaving the lutheran church. I applaud it, in fact. However, I do have one point to correct from your initial post.


The Greek word for the word “for”, in this verse, is “eis.” “Eis” does not mean “in order to get,” but it means “for the reason that” or “because of.” So, in other words, I have learned that we must be baptized for the reason that Jesus has forgiven our sins.

"Eis" does, in fact, have a meaing of forward motion, toward something. Acts 2:38 does mean repent and be baptized "toward, in order to receive" the remission of sins.

Eis is never translated "because of" in the New Testament. Here's is the Strong's entry:

G1519
εἰς
eis
ice
A primary preposition; to or into (indicating the point reached or entered), of place, time, or (figuratively) purpose (result, etc.); also in adverbial phrases.: - [abundant-] ly, against, among, as, at, ward, before, by, concerning, + continual, + far more exceeding, for [intent, purpose], fore, + forth, in (among, at unto, -so much that, -to), to the intent that, + of one mind, + never, of, (up-) on, + perish, + set at one again, (so) that, therefore (-unto), throughout, till, to (be, the end, -ward), (here-) until (-to), . . . ward, [where-] fore, with. Often used in composition with the same general import, but only with verbs (etc.) expressing motion (literally or figuratively.


Here is an important passage to compare:

Mat 26:28 For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed [B]for (eis) many for the remission of sins.

In this passage, Jesus says His blood was shed for the remission of sins, and this "for" is the Grek word "eis." It means that His blood was shed "toward" the remission of sins. It DOES NOT mean that Jesus shed His blood "because of" the remission of sins.

God bless!

Matt

lynngehringer
May 4th 2008, 05:59 PM
As a former Lutheran of many years and am now a member of a more contemporary church, I know the sadness of leaving yet knowing there is something that might be a better fit. While attending the Lutheran church, I found myself going through the motions of the rituals rather than truly feeling them. The church I now attend and love does not have these rituals and I must say that on occasion I miss them.

As an example, we do not say the Apostle's Creed, so instead of it being a detriment, I play and sing the following - thanks to the late, great Rich Mullins. (It also does not hurt my feelings that I also play the hammered dulcimer!)

"Creed"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aHWoDwxyKUE

Lynn

"Whatever you did to the least of these, you did to Me."
Matthew 25:40

awestruckchild
May 4th 2008, 09:53 PM
Dear Brothers and Sisters, :hug:

Those memorable years that I’ve spent in the Lutheran Church were full of good times. Whatever fellowship we had was enjoyable. Together, we enjoyed God-honoring conversation, studied together, and even ate with one another. Each Sunday was something I always looked forward to. From what I remember, our traditions were very beautiful and so was our music. There was always something for me to learn. Next to the Bible, my favorite book was Luther’s Small Catechism and I studied it intently.
Times have changed and I must move on. What I mean is that I can no longer be a part of the Lutheran Church, yet I will continue to keep my faith in Christ.
“Why the sudden farewell?” you may ask.
I will explain why I have found myself drifting away from the Lutheran Church:

It all started when I delved into such Bible verses as John 3:5, which says, “Except a man be born of the water and of the spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God” and Acts 2:38 which tells us, “Repent and be baptized every one of you...for the forgiveness of your sins.”

Luther’s Small Catechism says that baptism “works forgiveness of sins, delivers from the death and the devil, and gives eternal salvation to all who believe this,” but then Ephesians 2:8,9 says “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.”
I wondered “How can baptism give eternal salvation to us, if our salvation is not achieved by works?”

For hours, I argued with myself about these verses and Luther’s teachings.
“What is this ‘water’ that I read about in John 3:5?” I wondered. :hmm: The Lord revealed to me that this water is not baptismal water like we’ve always been taught that it was. Uh oh!
He told me that this water is the same water that filled our mother’s wombs, which is the natural birth (as in “My water broke!”). Wow! And to think that each and every one of us was floating in some kind of liquid prior to birth (the adult human body is about 60% water). Henceforth, natural birth is being born of the water (amniotic fluid).
Being born of the spirit is when we choose to put our faith in Jesus Christ alone, repenting from our sins, and allowing Him to cleanse us from our unrighteousness. Then, and only then, can we be born again, which brings me to Acts 2:38, “Repent and be baptized...”
Remember, I did not make up any of this. In fact, I thought I was losing my mind, when I first received this revelation. But, you can’t win an argument with God.
I have often wondered why it is that our ministers would often baptize babies, even if Acts 2:38 does NOT say “Be baptized and repent”? The Lord has shown me that He put this verse in that particular order for a special reason, and it was to teach us that repentance comes before baptism. Acts 2:41 says “…they that gladly received his word were baptized.” Water baptism always followed repentance, throughout the New Testament. I couldn’t argue with God about that. By the way, I even asked myself “How can a little baby say ‘I wee-pent’ if the Bible puts repentance before baptism, and if a baby doesn’t even know the definition of ‘sin’ and ‘baptism’?”
“Repent (first) and be baptized (second), for the forgiveness of your sins.”
For the forgiveness of my sins? :hmm:
Do I have to get baptized to have my sins forgiven? By no means! Baptism is for people whose sins are forgiven.
How do I know that??
The Greek word for the word “for”, in this verse, is “eis.” “Eis” does not mean “in order to get,” but it means “for the reason that” or “because of.” So, in other words, I have learned that we must be baptized for the reason that Jesus has forgiven our sins. The sacrament of baptism is symbolic of Christ’ death and resurrection. Baptism, in Greek, is “bautizo” which means “immerse (dip)” not “sprinkle.” Besides that, I just had to ask myself why Jesus got baptized as an adult, and never as an infant. And if Jesus did it that way, doesn’t it mean we should do likewise? I think so.
Luther’s Large Catechism tells us that baptism "overcomes and takes away sin."
On the other hand, Revelation 1:5 says, "And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood."
Now, I am not knocking Martin Luther, but I beg to differ from what his Large Catechism says. Never have I found a verse in the Bible that says anything about Jesus washing us in a baptismal font. Only the baptism in the blood of Jesus, not in any kind of water, can take away our sins. (Revelations 1:5)
Again, I’m not making any of this up. God has shown me all of this, as much as I was unwilling to accept it at first.
Besides, whose opinions matter the most?
God’s or Luther’s?
Oh, and even a well-educated man like Martin Luther can make a doctrinal error or two.
It happens. I mean, nobody’s perfect, which is why we need to study the Bible very carefully, and with so much prayer. Even our pastors, wise and intelligent as they are, must seek guidance from the Holy Spirit, before preaching every sermon (John 14:26).
In Luther’s Small Catechism, I also read that we are to confess our sins and “receive absolution and forgiveness from the confessor as from God himself.”
Sure, we are commanded to forgive (not stay angry at) our debtors, but do any of us have the power to cleanse people from their sins? I mean, “who can forgive (cleanse people from) sins but God only?” as it says in Mark 2:7.
God only warned us against unforgiveness, because it can damage us spiritually and open the door for evil to come upon the person we hate or hold anger against (see Matthew 5:22 & 1st John 3:15).
If it is true that we have to confess our sins to the pastor, then why can’t we just go directly to God and say “Be merciful to me a sinner” like the publican we read about in Luke 18:13. It’ll save me a trip to the pastor’s office.

My point is that God never gave us the power to take away other people’s sins, or else the blood of Jesus would lose its value and the cross would be made of none effect
(1 Corinthians 1:17).

This is another reason why I found myself in disagreement with some of Martin Luther’s teaching. Therefore, I cannot be a Lutheran, while disagreeing with any Lutheran doctrine.
My place in the Lutheran Church is lost, therefore I am not even worthy of partaking in the Holy Eucharist, at any Lutheran parish.
I just can’t see how the bread and wine are not just symbols of Christ’ body and blood.

Have you ever seen this old commercial that goes “This is your brain (you see an egg), this is drugs (you see butter in a frying pan), this is your brain on drugs (you see the egg being fried in the butter). Any questions?”

I find that Holy Communion is no more of an analogy than this commercial. Yet, I still believe that these emblems must only be received by those who know its profound meaning.
At any rate, it was a pleasure to worship with all of you on those eagerly-awaited Sunday mornings. The Lord has called me to move on to a different kind of church. One where they follow the doctrines of Christ and not of Paul, Apollos, Cephas, or any other man
(1 Corinthians 1:11-17).
And now, my Lutheran friends and neighbors, I bid you a fond farewell. And peace to you. :hug:

With the Love of Christ,
Bro. Oscar Anthony


Thank you for this post!!!!!!
I am pretty stubborn in what the Holy Spirit has taught me too! Any remark, thought,teaching that says anything other than salvation is through Jesus alone and I immediately lose all interest. I don't care if the teaching is regarding water baptism or taking of eucharist or communion or a dependance on scripture alone rather than Jesus first - I won't regard any of them. Thanks again!

awestruckchild
May 4th 2008, 09:57 PM
Okay, I was wondering since your post is to Lutherans when the majority of those here are not Lutheran. :hmm: I guess this was something you needed to get off your chest. However, this is the Apologetics and Evangelism forum. Did you want this thread to discuss the apologetics against Lutheran doctrine? By the way, welcome to the boards. You may want to post in the Introductions (http://bibleforums.org/forumdisplay.php?f=19) forum so we can get to know you and vice-versa.

God Bless!

I think the entire letter was what we call "apologetics" wasn't it?

awestruckchild
May 4th 2008, 10:03 PM
Many denominations accept infant baptism. I can tell you the Biblical rationale for doing this. According to the Bible, if one person is saved in a household, the entire household is baptized and saved. Look at the story of Zacchaeus in Luke 19:1-10. In 19:9 Jesus says his whole household is saved because of Zacchaeus faith.

More specifically, in Acts there are several cases where entire households were baptized because one person was saved, saving the whole household. There is no reason to assume the households would not have children. In Acts 10 the household of Cornelius is baptized. Acts 16:15 another household is baptized. Again in 16:31. The jailer's household in 16:33. The Crispus household in 18:8.

The message is if one person in a household is saved, baptize them all and they're all saved.

This does not make sense to me. That would make the baptism in water the important thing when the repentance is needed....

IamBill
May 4th 2008, 11:20 PM
[SIZE=3]With the Love of Christ,
Bro. Oscar Anthony


Very Good Oscar :)

OscarAnthony
May 11th 2008, 01:49 AM
Hi OscarAnthony, welcome to the board.

I have no problem with you leaving the lutheran church. I applaud it, in fact. However, I do have one point to correct from your initial post.



"Eis" does, in fact, have a meaing of forward motion, toward something. Acts 2:38 does mean repent and be baptized "toward, in order to receive" the remission of sins.

Eis is never translated "because of" in the New Testament. Here's is the Strong's entry:

G1519
εἰς
eis
ice
A primary preposition; to or into (indicating the point reached or entered), of place, time, or (figuratively) purpose (result, etc.); also in adverbial phrases.: - [abundant-] ly, against, among, as, at, ward, before, by, concerning, + continual, + far more exceeding, for [intent, purpose], fore, + forth, in (among, at unto, -so much that, -to), to the intent that, + of one mind, + never, of, (up-) on, + perish, + set at one again, (so) that, therefore (-unto), throughout, till, to (be, the end, -ward), (here-) until (-to), . . . ward, [where-] fore, with. Often used in composition with the same general import, but only with verbs (etc.) expressing motion (literally or figuratively.


Here is an important passage to compare:

Mat 26:28 For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed [B]for (eis) many for the remission of sins.

In this passage, Jesus says His blood was shed for the remission of sins, and this "for" is the Grek word "eis." It means that His blood was shed "toward" the remission of sins. It DOES NOT mean that Jesus shed His blood "because of" the remission of sins.

God bless!

Matt

One word that I saw in this list of meanings for "eis" is "concerning". Another word for "concerning" is "about" or "regarding."
We are to be baptized "about" or "regarding" the forgiveness of sins.
Jesus shed His blood "towards" the forgiveness of our sins.
See how it depends on how you use the word "eis"?
Besides, why would Jesus withhold forgiveness from those who never got a chance to get water baptized?

Matt14
May 11th 2008, 02:54 AM
One word that I saw in this list of meanings for "eis" is "concerning". Another word for "concerning" is "about" or "regarding."
We are to be baptized "about" or "regarding" the forgiveness of sins.
Jesus shed His blood "towards" the forgiveness of our sins.
See how it depends on how you use the word "eis"?
Besides, why would Jesus withhold forgiveness from those who never got a chance to get water baptized?

You must ask yourself, then, why out of dozens of translations done by Greek scholars, including ones who believe baptism is not necessary for salvation, why did they not even translate "eis" as "concerning?"

The fact is that scholars over the years have not saw fit to "clarify" that word any further. It means exactly what it says.

God bless!

-

OscarAnthony
May 11th 2008, 03:49 PM
You must ask yourself, then, why out of dozens of translations done by Greek scholars, including ones who believe baptism is not necessary for salvation, why did they not even translate "eis" as "concerning?"

The fact is that scholars over the years have not saw fit to "clarify" that word any further. It means exactly what it says.

God bless!

-

The following is an excerpt taken from Biblefood.com:

'The work of Dana & Mantey in the Greek papyri find the use of "eis" as "because of", and demonstrate this usage in the N.T. examples also of Matt 12:41, where the men of Ninevah repented at (eis = because of) the preaching of Jonah, and Rom 4:20, where Abraham did not staggar [sic] at (eis = because of) the promise of God.'

Would it make sense if the original Greek translation meant to say "that the men of Nineveh repented in order to get the preaching of Jonah"?

Eis is a word that has so many meanings. I know it's confusing.

"In order to receive", in Greek, would contain the word "dechomai", which means to receive something (as a gift).

Strong's Greek Dictionary tells us that "to obtain" is "tugchano." So, in the verse I was talking about, "eis" does not mean "in order to obtain."
"Eis" is a word that has so many meanings. I know it's confusing.
Greek is not an easy language, hence the phrase "It's all Greek to me."

Greek is not an easy language, hence the phrase "It's all Greek to me."

Matt14
May 11th 2008, 08:55 PM
The following is an excerpt taken from Biblefood.com:

'The work of Dana & Mantey in the Greek papyri find the use of "eis" as "because of", and demonstrate this usage in the N.T. examples also of Matt 12:41, where the men of Ninevah repented at (eis = because of) the preaching of Jonah, and Rom 4:20, where Abraham did not staggar [sic] at (eis = because of) the promise of God.'

Would it make sense if the original Greek translation meant to say "that the men of Nineveh repented in order to get the preaching of Jonah"?

Eis is a word that has so many meanings. I know it's confusing.

"In order to receive", in Greek, would contain the word "dechomai", which means to receive something (as a gift).

Strong's Greek Dictionary tells us that "to obtain" is "tugchano." So, in the verse I was talking about, "eis" does not mean "in order to obtain."
"Eis" is a word that has so many meanings. I know it's confusing.
Greek is not an easy language, hence the phrase "It's all Greek to me."

Greek is not an easy language, hence the phrase "It's all Greek to me."
Matt. 12:41 is not an example of such a use. Read this:

http://www.christiancourier.com/articles/read/the_use_of_the_preposition__eis__in_matthew_1241

God bless!

-

Gentile
Jul 3rd 2008, 01:55 PM
I have been going to a RCC church for 30 years now. I am interested in testing the waters of the Lutheran church but I am hearing alot of negative things about the lutheran church? I did some reading about the lutheran church and to me it seemed very uplifting and more of what I am looking for than what the RCC has been giving me. Its all confusing when thinking about changing churches.

coffee cup
Jul 4th 2008, 07:45 PM
My friend, it is not that I dislike infant baptism. I think it's a very beautiful tradition. But, in the Bible, I never found any accounts of people being baptized as babies. Even Jesus (our prime Example) was presented in the Temple, as an infant, then water baptized (immersed) when He got much older.
The pastor of the non-denominational church that I visited is a Spirit-filled, Spirit-led man of God who preached all about baptism by immersion, after a baby was being dedicated that day. He even said "I'm not the one who says these things about baptism. It is God who says it."
That was when I was convinced that baptism by immersion is actually the proper way to do it, and that God doesn't really want us to baptise our children until they start to understand the meaning of baptism.

People (not even pastors) cannot remove anyone's sins, no matter what authority God has given them. "I forgive you" (said by us) = "I won't hold any grudge against you." We cannot forgive (take away, atone for) anybody's sins, not even our own. (Leviticus 17:11)

Communion is a symbol. If the bread and wine were literally flesh and blood, wouldn't that be a bit cannibalistic?

Well, my friend, I hope that answers everything for you. :)
God bless. And stay strong. :hug:


thats strange that you havent?
have you re read every thing the bible has to say on baptism?

because i find babies baptized the same place in the bible where it say's teen girls and boys were baptized even grandmas and grandpas were baptized. Diod you know that in the same exact place in the bible that even people of all the colors that represent the human race were even baptized. But then if you couldnt find infants being baptized you certainly would not allow these other people to be baptized either.

PERHAPS YOU BETTER LOOK AGAIN IN THE BIBLE .
LET ME KNOW IF YOU WANT HELP FINDING THIS PLACE

OscarAnthony
Jul 4th 2008, 07:56 PM
I have been going to a RCC church for 30 years now. I am interested in testing the waters of the Lutheran church but I am hearing alot of negative things about the lutheran church? I did some reading about the lutheran church and to me it seemed very uplifting and more of what I am looking for than what the RCC has been giving me. Its all confusing when thinking about changing churches.

As of now, I am no longer saying anything else about the Lutheran Church. :giveup: Yet, I still don't agree with many of its teachings anymore.
But, I bear nothing against any denomination, as long as it is a Christian denomination that teaches the Gospel in which Jesus is the only way to Heaven. Methodist, Presbyterian, Pentecostal, Baptist, etc.....Why should I care anymore?

If you believe that the Lutheran church is where God wants you, then go for it. I'll just leave you with one suggestion:

Through prayer, let the Holy Spirit lead you to the congregation that is right for you.

The church you're looking for must:

1. Teach that putting your faith in Jesus Christ, by repenting of your sins and accepting forgiveness for them, is the only way to recieve salvation. Not by doing good works such as getting water-baptised, taking communion, or any other physical act that only saved people can do.

2. Teach that the Bible is infallible and that it is the final authority.

3. Specialize in evangelism. Not just preaching the gospel, but living it (imitating Christ's goodness in speech and action).

4. Be a church that is filled with the Holy Spirit. It should be charismatic, but it just doesn't have to entail this bizarre act of "being slain in the spirit." I understand that some people are a little uneasy about that.

:) Finally, whatever church you choose to join, just make sure that you have a peace about going there. If something doesn't feel Scripturally right, then keep on searching.

God speed.

OscarAnthony
Jul 4th 2008, 08:06 PM
thats strange that you havent?
have you re read every thing the bible has to say on baptism?

because i find babies baptized the same place in the bible where it say's teen girls and boys were baptized even grandmas and grandpas were baptized. Diod you know that in the same exact place in the bible that even people of all the colors that represent the human race were even baptized. But then if you couldnt find infants being baptized you certainly would not allow these other people to be baptized either.

PERHAPS YOU BETTER LOOK AGAIN IN THE BIBLE .
LET ME KNOW IF YOU WANT HELP FINDING THIS PLACE

Yes, I've re-read it many times. I even spent years studying them. Still, I am unconvinced by your interpretation of such verses. But, no matter how different you and I think about who gets baptised, we can agree on one thing:

That Jesus Christ is our only Source of salvation (John 14:6).

coffee cup
Jul 4th 2008, 08:51 PM
[quote=OscarAnthony;1697505]Yes, I've re-read it many times. I even spent years studying them. Still, I am unconvinced by your interpretation of such verses. But, no matter how different you and I think about who gets baptised, we can agree on one thing:


so let me understand you .
since you refuse to see the inclusiveness of Holy baptism as Jesus instituted it in Mathew

You would reject any one holy baptism unless there were vived pictures of their "Race" or "age group" being baptized.
"ah what a fine christian that would be."

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

i would like you to concider one point . oN HOW MUCH JESUS LOVED THE VERY LEAST THE LITTLEST
ones in his kingdom. Why he even held infants up as a example of faith in him to his deciples.

Luther once said the surest of all baptism's is infant baptism they cant come to Jesus as a judas as adult's or older children can.

coffee cup
Jul 4th 2008, 09:30 PM
I have been going to a RCC church for 30 years now. I am interested in testing the waters of the Lutheran church but I am hearing alot of negative things about the lutheran church? I did some reading about the lutheran church and to me it seemed very uplifting and more of what I am looking for than what the RCC has been giving me. Its all confusing when thinking about changing churches.


yes praise God there is not a church in the whole world that satan attacks more.
iF its a confessional LUTHERAN you can bet Satan will be attacking it both inside and out.

Why because We Preach and teach Jesus; like no other church in the whole world

Glad you decided to check confessional lutheranism out here are just some confessional lutheran web sites



http://www.whataboutjesus.com
htp://www.wels.net
http://www.angelfire.com/ny4/djw/lutherantheology.html

Studyin'2Show
Jul 4th 2008, 09:51 PM
thats strange that you havent?
have you re read every thing the bible has to say on baptism?

because i find babies baptized the same place in the bible where it say's teen girls and boys were baptized even grandmas and grandpas were baptized. Diod you know that in the same exact place in the bible that even people of all the colors that represent the human race were even baptized. But then if you couldnt find infants being baptized you certainly would not allow these other people to be baptized either.

PERHAPS YOU BETTER LOOK AGAIN IN THE BIBLE .
LET ME KNOW IF YOU WANT HELP FINDING THIS PLACEI believe the difference is that the people of different skin colors, the grandma and grandpas, the teen girls and boys all can do the one thing that is required to be saved....accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior. An infant has no intellectual mentality and can not do this. An infant, like the mentally impaired, is innocent and does not have the capacity to accept or reject Him, and God does not condemn the innocent. That's how I interpret it. But hey, if you want to baptize your children, I don't see the harm as long as both you and they understand that they will need to accept Him for themselves when they are able to make that choice.

God Bless!

coffee cup
Jul 4th 2008, 10:28 PM
a real lutherans would have checked out the context of John 3:5 . the many before and after verses . they show
Water baptism.THIS ALSO TELLS US LUTHERANS IT WAS NOT GOD WHO TALKED TO YOU.

You say your our brother in Jesus yet you reject his word and cling to your own reason in Judgement over GODS WORD . THIS (IS) MY BODY.

You also reject what the bible says about the office of the keys.


The only thing i have read that you dont reject . Thanks be to God.

is That Jesus bloody death has washed our sin's away in the eyes of God.
yet you reject the passages on baptism that assures and gives even little ones trust in this.

So how are they to be saved? certainly your still lutheran enough to know
trust in Jesus his merits alone . is the only way any one can be saved.

or have you also fallen in to the devils untruth that their are other ways to be saved besides trust in Jesus .
like not being accountable for one's sins

coffee cup
Jul 4th 2008, 11:06 PM
I believe the difference is that the people of different skin colors, the grandma and grandpas, the teen girls and boys all can do the one thing that is required to be saved....accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior. An infant has no intellectual mentality and can not do this. An infant, like the mentally impaired, is innocent and does not have the capacity to accept or reject Him, and God does not condemn the innocent. That's how I interpret it. But hey, if you want to baptize your children, I don't see the harm as long as both you and they understand that they will need to accept Him for themselves when they are able to make that choice.

God Bless!
So you do believe in others ways to heaven beside Jesus.

that flies in the face of God himself.

so you think Babies are innocent and don't need Jesus blood.
but all the bible verses say God holds them accoutable for their sin.

in fact go to your local cemetary and see if babies are accountable for sin.

the wages of sin is death if babies were innocent why is God holding them accountable by letting them die? they would not die if they were not accountable



AH ! NOW WERE GETTING SOME WHERE .

your not mean spirited you just do not understand ,


thats why you have trouble with infant baptism because it clearly shows were saved by Gods grace alone not by any act of ours such as accepting Jesus or not

IF FAITH CAME ABOUT BY OUR RATIONAL facilities

there would be no NEED of the Holy Spirit .


Faith IN JESUS is not something we accomplish for our selves it is a gift OF GOD SOMETHING GOD DOES TO US
just as ephesians 2:8-9 clearly say's.


There is no better model in the whole human race than a little baby infant
coming to faith in Jesus through baptism
That shows lutherans truly believe we are saved by Gods grace alone . and Not by our works such as accepting Jesus .



as the bible clearly says.

even the great bible verse on baptismal regeneration it self rejects the very thought that belief must always proceed baptism.

Studyin'2Show
Jul 4th 2008, 11:24 PM
coffee cup, I think you should try seasoning every post with love. You don't know me from Adam so don't attempt to analyze my faith from a few words on a page. :rolleyes: I WAS baptized as an infant and I can tell you with certainty that I was not saved until 31 years later when I accepted Yeshua as Lord and Savior. No ritual can save. As for going to the cemetery, I think it may be you who is missing the point. Physical death is nothing to me. Even those who are saved have their mortal bodies in the cemetery. Let me get this straight, you honestly believe God sends the soul of a stillborn child to hell? Scripture clearly tells us that He is a defender of those who can not defend themselves. The wages of sin is death, quite true, and that death is the second death. According to your theory, no Lutheran should have ever died physically. :hmm: Yet I believe even Lutherans have cemeteries.

God Bless!

coffee cup
Jul 5th 2008, 12:29 AM
coffee cup, I think you should try seasoning every post with love. You don't know me from Adam so don't attempt to analyze my faith from a few words on a page. :rolleyes: I WAS baptized as an infant and I can tell you with certainty that I was not saved until 31 years later when I accepted Yeshua as Lord and Savior. No ritual can save. As for going to the cemetery, I think it may be you who is missing the point. Physical death is nothing to me. Even those who are saved have their mortal bodies in the cemetery. Let me get this straight, you honestly believe God sends the soul of a stillborn child to hell? Scripture clearly tells us that He is a defender of those who can not defend themselves. The wages of sin is death, quite true, and that death is the second death. According to your theory, no Lutheran should have ever died physically. :hmm: Yet I believe even Lutherans have cemeteries.

God Bless!


very interesting
Let me understand this you who do not know me are accusing me of being unloving.

than your saying some thing i never said .

But i am being patient with you . I will even answer every one of your questions .

The reason all people die is because the wages of sin is death .




But with faith in Jesus thats not the end of the story . death has no sting for the believer in Jesus.Because their souls go immediatly up to heaven to be with Jesus and their bodys may even rot away but at the last trumpet
they will be come glorified and will be united with their souls.


Now you asked a question does a still born infant go to hell. AND THE ANSWER IS EASY . Not if God has given THIS INFANT faith in Jesus

you still have not seen that FAITH IN Jesus being our only savior from sin is the only thing that gives US all the benefits of Jesus HIS saving work On the cross. bENEFITS SUCH AS THE HEAVEN HE HAS WON FOR US .
eternal life

once again and lovingly and patiently .

Jesus "is "the one and only way to heaven .

Now to answer you why you were such a poor witness to others even though you were baptized in infancy .
and why as you claim not i when you were older you rejected Jesus.


read mathew 13:5-22 also hebrews 6:4-6 """ "2 peter 2:20 """" hebrews 10:22

Studyin'2Show
Jul 5th 2008, 02:05 AM
Sorry, coffee cup, but you have not taught me that faith in Yeshua is what saves, scripture taught me that long ago. It seemed that it was you that seemed to be advocating that it was baptism that would save a child? :hmm: It was I that stated that was not the case. It is faith in Yeshua and that ALONE that saves. That is what saved my eternal soul, not that my mother took me to a priest as an infant. But alas, it seems that you are sure of yourself and your interpretation, which is fine. Whatever floats your boat. But be assured that the Holy Spirit has led me to a completely different interpretation. So now what? Am I to follow you? I think not. I will continue to follow Him as He leads me and I would encourage you to do the same.

Now, after looking back through this thread, I can see why you, as a Lutheran, would come in on the offensive. The thread seems to be bashing Lutherans and probably should have been closed long ago. I have never been Lutheran, nor am I anti-Lutheran so I'm not the enemy here. We simply disagree on the point of infant baptism. Now, I did have my children dedicated to the LORD. Anyway, this thread is not edifying anyone nor does it have anything to do with apologetics or evangelism so I'm going to close it. If you'd like to continue to discuss the scriptural basis for infant baptism please start a thread in Bible Chat.

God Bless!