Friday, August 31, 2012

Baptism Means To Apply Water – Any Way You Choose!

Getting Right to the Point!

Baptism Means To Apply Water – Any Way You Choose!

Some Christian churches boldly proclaim and insist, “Baptism must be by complete immersion only!” The only thing is, the Bible doesn’t actually say that anywhere.

Jesus commands Baptism, to be sure. However, the word used in the original Greek New Testament is “baptizo,” and every Greek dictionary says that the first and most natural meaning is simply, “apply water.” That’s it, nothing more, nothing less.

True, there are Bible passages about being “buried with Christ” (Romans 6:4), and the church often speaks of “drowning the Old Adam” (Luther’s Catechism), but there also verses about, “being sprinkled” by the saving blood of Christ (Hebrews 10:22), and God grace being “poured out” on us (Titus 3:6). The fact is, it is absolutely and totally impossible to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt, either from Scripture or history, that one method of baptism is commanded by God, or was used exclusively by Jesus and His Apostles

So, all those who adamantly insist and demand only one way to baptize, are, in fact, "all wet!" – and causing unnecessary doubt and confusion in the Church. In other words, they’re just plain wrong! And that's the point!



Warren Malach said...

With reference to the "Getting the Point" series of posts, are these posts being made because of the existence of a controversy within the WELS regarding these subjects?

Pastor Spencer said...


Thanks for your question.

No, these posts are not in reference to any controversies in the WELS, at least none that I know of.

As I explained when I began them, they are "outreach" newspaper ads I am running in our local paper here in AZ. Their purpose is two-fold: to direct attention to our church as a true Bible-teaching church, and to do a little Biblical teaching to the public, even if they never show up at a worship service.

The topics generally follow the historic Christian Church Year, with some of them more closely related to secular or national holidays. In addition, they address wrong ideas, misconceptions, and outright false doctrines of sectarian churches or cults prevalent in our area, and in most parts of the U.S.

Again, thank you for being a reader.

Pastor Spencer

Warren Malach said...

Thank you for explaining the purpose of the "Getting the Point" posts in this forum.

I would like to lay this concern before the forum and ask if it warrants contacting NPH. I am a new member of the WELS and am NOT making any comparisons with other synods' literature when I express my unhappiness with how the subject of the "authorship" of the Books of the Bible was treated on a regular basis in the devotions in the last issue of NEDITATIONS. In that I would consider the devotions to be a "teaching tool" as with the "Getting the Point" posts in this forum, I was bothered by the regular use of such language as the following in the first week alone:

June 4th: "Paul reminds us..."

June 5th: "Paul points out..."

June 7th: "Paul puts it simply and bluntly..."

Only ONCE in the first week of devotions is the divine inspiration of the Bible passage quoted clearly stated:

June 6th: "Inspired by the Spirit, John wrote..."

This is also a tendency which I have noticed in modern Bible commentaries by "conservative" Lutherans. While I do NOT want to deny the role of the human author used by the Holy Spirit in the writing of the Books of the Bible, it concerns me that the doctrine of Divine Inspiration is NOT being regularly and properly "applied" in how such devotions are worded. Should I contact NPH to express my concerns? Thank you!

Pastor Spencer said...


As one who has written often for Meditations, I know there is a great deal of pressure to write within a certain number of words, and so sometimes "shortcuts" are taken. I don't think it means anything one way or the other.

However, I would certainly encourage you to share your concerns with the editors. They are all always open to comments and suggestions.

God bless!

Pastor Spencer

Warren Malach said...

Thank you, Pastor Spencer! I never questioned the belief in the Divine Inspiration of Scripture of the writers of the MEDITATIONS devotions, only the language used.

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