PDA

View Full Version : Is foot washing an ordinance?



itsafreegift
Jul 21st 2010, 02:35 AM
I am somewhat familiar with the arguements of those who say it IS an ordinance. I would really like to hear from those who say it is NOT an ordinance. State your case from the Bible please. It may be helpful.

crossnote
Jul 21st 2010, 03:47 AM
If you want to call Communion, Baptism, and foot 'ordinances' you may, I'd rather call them gifts from God. If you also place foot washing as an ordinace it takes on the distinctive of a commandment rather than something we do out of a willing and thankful heart.
I think foot washing is a summary of what our service should be to one another...where the greater is serving the weaker for their edification. There is a great poem posted on this forum somewhere I just read (I think sung by Michael Card) called 'The Basin and the Towel'.

notuptome
Jul 21st 2010, 12:13 PM
Do or do not but understand the reason why. Why water baptism? Why partake of the Lords table? Why wash feet?

Our local assembly does not wash feet but we do celebrate the Lords table and we do water baptize believers. We do teach that the washing of the disciples feet by the Lord symbolizes our need, after we are saved, to confess our daily sins to Him that we may have fellowship and walk with Him in paths of righteousness.

For the cause of Christ
Roger

Firefighter
Jul 21st 2010, 12:26 PM
Do or do not but understand the reason why. Why water baptism? Why partake of the Lords table? Why wash feet?

Our local assembly does not wash feet but we do celebrate the Lords table and we do water baptize believers. We do teach that the washing of the disciples feet by the Lord symbolizes our need, after we are saved, to confess our daily sins to Him that we may have fellowship and walk with Him in paths of righteousness.

For the cause of Christ
Roger

What he said. So many people miss that for some reason...

john 13:8-10 "No," said Peter, "you shall never wash my feet." 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, "A person who has had a bath needs only to wash his feet; his whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you." 11For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean.

kay-gee
Jul 21st 2010, 12:50 PM
I believe it is a representation of all out service to our brethern, the household of God. In that time and culture, to wash peoples feet was a custom, when guests were recieved into the home. It was almost always servants that performed the task. It is no wonder that Jesus would have chosen this common little ritual to demonstrate humility and service. In our modern day, we don't walk around with dirty feet as they did then. Don't forget...dirt roads, animal dung everywhere etc...but I do believe there are countless ways that we can meet the needs of our fellows and keep the spirit of the symbol alive.
As for a church ordinance, I hesitate, on the grounds that I find no other examples as the NT progresses, of this as something performed as it was at the last supper. Baptism...myriads of examples. Lords Supper...On the first day of week (Acts 7:21), The early believers remained steadfast in this observance (Acts 2:41) was taking place n Corinth (1st Corinthians 11:17ff). This must be observed today by Lords decree. (vs. 26)
I used to wonder about Hebrews 6:2. It talks about washings being elementary teachings. But other translations render this as "baptisms" so that is more likely the meaning. Also in 1st Timothy 5:10, there is a reference (speaking about widows) to washing the feet of saints. By context though, it seems that it is all under general hospitality and good works.

My conclusion, to the best of my knowledge is this, I don't believe that it was ordained as a church rite, but it is no way breaking scripture to observe, if a church desires to do that.

I hope I have been of some help.

all the best...

kay-gee
Jul 21st 2010, 01:07 PM
What he said. So many people miss that for some reason...

john 13:8-10 "No," said Peter, "you shall never wash my feet." 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, "A person who has had a bath needs only to wash his feet; his whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you." 11For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean.



I have pondered this as well. We know that baptism remits sins (Acts 2:38) This would acknowledge the bath part of the equation. Perhaps the foot washing is symbolic of "baptizing" away the dust of the world each week as we enter the presence of Gods assembly. Remember how they were once instructed to knock the dust off there shoes of certain places.
I don't really know though. It is an interesting topic.

all the best...

Servant89
Jul 21st 2010, 01:12 PM
One time in San Jose CA I took a shower and got dressed and went out to check out the pool area, when I got out I saw people playing voleyball in the sand court. I took my shoes off and I played for 10 minutes, when I got out and tried to put my shoes I realized what the BIble passages talk about. I felt clean I (except my feet), I played very little and I did not move much. I was clean except for my feet which were dusty. I felt the need to clean my feet and only my feet. In Bible times, there were no socks, no shoes, only sandals. In Bible times, many people felt like I felt that day, only they felt it often. Today we almost never feel clean except for the feet like people felt so often in Bible times. It is written:

Tit 3:14 And let our's also learn to maintain good works for necessary uses, that they be not unfruitful.

I can not see God instituting a rite that violates Tit 3:14. I think the passage says to us instead of cleaning feet, do dishes, cut grass, clean toilet, do favors for others that most people wont dare volunteer because the greatest one in the kingdom of God is the servant of all.

Shalom

kay-gee
Jul 21st 2010, 01:33 PM
Hi Servant89. Eloquently put. Good points.

all the best...

Frecs
Jul 21st 2010, 02:00 PM
Tit 3:14 And let our's also learn to maintain good works for necessary uses, that they be not unfruitful.

I can not see God instituting a rite that violates Tit 3:14. I think the passage says to us instead of cleaning feet, do dishes, cut grass, clean toilet, do favors for others that most people wont dare volunteer because the greatest one in the kingdom of God is the servant of all.

Shalom

That is what I was hoping to hear discussed in the thread I started called "The Basin and the Towel"......

Though, I will say this, if you have even done a "foot washing" it is a humbling experience and puts things into perspective that nothing else does really....except perhaps wiping someone's b.....:blush:

Redeemed by Grace
Jul 21st 2010, 03:58 PM
Only if one's footeth stinketh... :rofl::rofl:

Sorry, the door was open.....:pp

thedee
Jul 21st 2010, 05:38 PM
I am somewhat familiar with the arguements of those who say it IS an ordinance. I would really like to hear from those who say it is NOT an ordinance. State your case from the Bible please. It may be helpful.

I believe that the washing of ones feet means for us believers to refresh one another. Here are some scriptures:

"For they refreshed my spirit and yours. Therefore acknowledge such men." - 1 Cor 16:18
"Therefore we have been comforted in your comfort. And we rejoiced exceedingly more for the joy of Titus, because his spirit has been refreshed by you all." - 2 Cor 7:13
"The Lord grant mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, for he often refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain" - 2 Tim 1:16
"For we have great joy and consolation in your love, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed by you, brother" - Philemon 1:7

BroRog
Jul 21st 2010, 06:03 PM
I am somewhat familiar with the arguements of those who say it IS an ordinance. I would really like to hear from those who say it is NOT an ordinance. State your case from the Bible please. It may be helpful.We can't prove a negative. The onus is on those who say it is. If they can show me where it says that foot washing is an ordinance, then I accept it. Until then, I'm free to wash my own feet.

RabbiKnife
Jul 21st 2010, 06:05 PM
We can't prove a negative. The onus is on those who say it is. If they can show me where it says that foot washing is an ordinance, then I accept it. Until then, I'm free to wash my own feet.

And free to wash the feet of your brother, too!

:)

Let's face it. Except for the RCC, the vast majority of believers hold that partaking in communion is not a sacrament in a salvific sense. Sure, it is a "means of grace" if that is understood to mean something less than a means necessary for salvation. Same is true for baptism, with some exceptions to those that hold to baptismal regeneration.

Washing of the saints feet is no different that the other two. Remember, in that culture, washing the feet of a guest was a normal part of every day life, unlike being baptized or celebrating Passover. So, there was no need to instruct NT believers to the practice outside of the Gospels. Everyone just did.

For those who have never participated in the washing of the saints feet, I challenge you to experience the joy.

BroRog
Jul 21st 2010, 06:05 PM
Do or do not but understand the reason why. Why water baptism? Why partake of the Lords table? Why wash feet?

Our local assembly does not wash feet but we do celebrate the Lords table and we do water baptize believers. We do teach that the washing of the disciples feet by the Lord symbolizes our need, after we are saved, to confess our daily sins to Him that we may have fellowship and walk with Him in paths of righteousness.

For the cause of Christ
Roger

How did you get that idea from the text? I don't see anything in the passage that talks about sin or forgiveness.

BroRog
Jul 21st 2010, 06:22 PM
And free to wash the feet of your brother, too!

:)

Let's face it. Except for the RCC, the vast majority of believers hold that partaking in communion is not a sacrament in a salvific sense. Sure, it is a "means of grace" if that is understood to mean something less than a means necessary for salvation. Same is true for baptism, with some exceptions to those that hold to baptismal regeneration.

Washing of the saints feet is no different that the other two. Remember, in that culture, washing the feet of a guest was a normal part of every day life, unlike being baptized or celebrating Passover. So, there was no need to instruct NT believers to the practice outside of the Gospels. Everyone just did.

For those who have never participated in the washing of the saints feet, I challenge you to experience the joy.Everytime I read discussions like this I can't help thinking of the movie "The Life of Brian." I don't think Jesus wanted his disciples to take him literally as if clean feet was the issue. And I don't think he indended that we make this into a rule to obey as if keeping the rules was what it was all about. God can make a computer that will obey his rules.

Wasn't Jesus teaching his disciples a lesson? And what was that lesson? We need clean feet? This is one time in which he actually tells us the meaning of his actions.

John 13:16 "Truly, truly, I say to you, a slave is not greater than his master, nor is one who is sent greater than the one who sent him.

Washing feet is something that a slave does for a master. And so his point is this. You all know me as master, and so you should be washing my feet. But I am washing your feet in order to demonstrate that even I, as you master, am willing to serve you. Likewise, you should be willing to serve each other. If that means washing each others feet, that's fine. But that isn't the point of it. We serve each other in all kinds of ways and more importantly, we have the attitude of a servant who lives among servants, knowing that I am no better than you and you are no better than me. Jesus wasn't instituting another set of rules to follow. He was illustrating an abstract point using a concrete example.

BroRog
Jul 21st 2010, 06:24 PM
I believe that the washing of ones feet means for us believers to refresh one another. Here are some scriptures:

"For they refreshed my spirit and yours. Therefore acknowledge such men." - 1 Cor 16:18
"Therefore we have been comforted in your comfort. And we rejoiced exceedingly more for the joy of Titus, because his spirit has been refreshed by you all." - 2 Cor 7:13
"The Lord grant mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, for he often refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain" - 2 Tim 1:16
"For we have great joy and consolation in your love, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed by you, brother" - Philemon 1:7

I agree. This is very much in the spirit of what Jesus was saying. It's not the only thing he had in mind but this type of thing fits.

thedee
Jul 21st 2010, 07:35 PM
I agree. This is very much in the spirit of what Jesus was saying. It's not the only thing he had in mind but this type of thing fits.

When I say to "refresh" one another I don't mean to physically wash someones feet. There are many ways to refresh another believer.... like giving them encouragement.

RabbiKnife
Jul 21st 2010, 07:37 PM
It is always refreshing to have my feet washed.

:)

crossnote
Jul 22nd 2010, 01:37 AM
One big difference, baptism and the Lord's Supper are connected to a promise, there is no promise attached to foot washing.

notuptome
Jul 22nd 2010, 11:55 AM
It is always refreshing to have my feet washed.

:)
How true especially when one considers that it is the Lord Who is washing the feet of the believer.

For the cause of Christ
Roger

Firefighter
Jul 22nd 2010, 01:06 PM
One of the best foot washings I have ever seen took place outside of any church ceremony. Allow me to paint you a picture...

There is a homeless lady who just completely lost it (mentally) after being gang raped for several continuous days. She now flutters in and out of anything resembling coherent thought. She wears at least ten layers of clothing all over her body (even in the hundred degree summers around here) to help make sure that any would be rapists have a hard time getting to "her". She NEVER bathes because that would require her getting naked and that is just not going to happen. She, to put it mildly, stinks beyond belief to the point of nausea. Some guys from a local church had gathered some shoes to give to the homeless and ran into Judy. He offered her a brand new pair and she accepted. He asked her to sit down and took off her old shoes only to find ten pairs of socks. Some of them peeled off easy enough but some had to literally be cut off of her feet. When he was finished removing her socks, he then gently washed the nastiest feet you can imagine. When he had scrubbed them clean, he put on a brand new pair of sock and a brand new pair of shoes. I cry now thinking about someone who cared enough to humble himself down and lovingly and gently take the time to help Judy in such a way. I thought to myself, "Wow! This guy really gets it!"

Frecs
Jul 22nd 2010, 01:43 PM
One of the best foot washings I have ever seen took place outside of any church ceremony. Allow me to paint you a picture...

There is a homeless lady who just completely lost it (mentally) after being gang raped for several continuous days. She now flutters in and out of anything resembling coherent thought. She wears at least ten layers of clothing all over her body (even in the hundred degree summers around here) to help make sure that any would be rapists have a hard time getting to "her". She NEVER bathes because that would require her getting naked and that is just not going to happen. She, to put it mildly, stinks beyond belief to the point of nausea. Some guys from a local church had gathered some shoes to give to the homeless and ran into Judy. He offered her a brand new pair and she accepted. He asked her to sit down and took off her old shoes only to find ten pairs of socks. Some of them peeled off easy enough but some had to literally be cut off of her feet. When he was finished removing her socks, he then gently washed the nastiest feet you can imagine. When he had scrubbed them clean, he put on a brand new pair of sock and a brand new pair of shoes. I cry now thinking about someone who cared enough to humble himself down and lovingly and gently take the time to help Judy in such a way. I thought to myself, "Wow! This guy really gets it!"

Oh, fine, make me cry!

notuptome
Jul 22nd 2010, 05:55 PM
One of the best foot washings I have ever seen took place outside of any church ceremony. Allow me to paint you a picture...

There is a homeless lady who just completely lost it (mentally) after being gang raped for several continuous days. She now flutters in and out of anything resembling coherent thought. She wears at least ten layers of clothing all over her body (even in the hundred degree summers around here) to help make sure that any would be rapists have a hard time getting to "her". She NEVER bathes because that would require her getting naked and that is just not going to happen. She, to put it mildly, stinks beyond belief to the point of nausea. Some guys from a local church had gathered some shoes to give to the homeless and ran into Judy. He offered her a brand new pair and she accepted. He asked her to sit down and took off her old shoes only to find ten pairs of socks. Some of them peeled off easy enough but some had to literally be cut off of her feet. When he was finished removing her socks, he then gently washed the nastiest feet you can imagine. When he had scrubbed them clean, he put on a brand new pair of sock and a brand new pair of shoes. I cry now thinking about someone who cared enough to humble himself down and lovingly and gently take the time to help Judy in such a way. I thought to myself, "Wow! This guy really gets it!"
Yeah just imagine how we appeared to the Lord before we were washed in His blood. Herein is love not the we loved God but that He loved us and gave His Son to be the propitation for our sins. 1 John 4:10

For the cause of Christ
Roger

Servant89
Jul 22nd 2010, 10:39 PM
One of the best foot washings I have ever seen took place outside of any church ceremony. Allow me to paint you a picture...

There is a homeless lady who just completely lost it (mentally) after being gang raped for several continuous days. She now flutters in and out of anything resembling coherent thought. She wears at least ten layers of clothing all over her body (even in the hundred degree summers around here) to help make sure that any would be rapists have a hard time getting to "her". She NEVER bathes because that would require her getting naked and that is just not going to happen. She, to put it mildly, stinks beyond belief to the point of nausea. Some guys from a local church had gathered some shoes to give to the homeless and ran into Judy. He offered her a brand new pair and she accepted. He asked her to sit down and took off her old shoes only to find ten pairs of socks. Some of them peeled off easy enough but some had to literally be cut off of her feet. When he was finished removing her socks, he then gently washed the nastiest feet you can imagine. When he had scrubbed them clean, he put on a brand new pair of sock and a brand new pair of shoes. I cry now thinking about someone who cared enough to humble himself down and lovingly and gently take the time to help Judy in such a way. I thought to myself, "Wow! This guy really gets it!"

That was truly a necessary use. Great testimony.

Shalom