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Lito Cruz

Nice, I will mention this in my blog.


John R.

Here's another one for the list on slide #7:

"Unless you are baptized, you cannot be saved."

I look forward to listening to the podcast.


The Christian Pharisees also take a gift of God and makes it a command. For example, Holy Baptism gives the gift of salvaiton and the forgiveness of sins, but the Christian Pharisees makes it into a command, an "ordinance" as a sign of following Christ (man's actions not God's action). The Jewish Pharisees took circumcision as being a sign of God's promise to make it an article of the Law.

Larry - KY


That is true. When I was a SB that tormented me, “did I get it right”, timing, etc…for a LOOOOONG time. It piled on my despair. The only person “rededicating” (walking the aisle again and again) as much or more Sundays than I was – was a friend who was an ex-Roman Catholic. Looking back I find that richly ironic. I use to wonder, “Either I’m the worse Christian ever or worse not really one, or these other folks that never rededicate must live super saintly lives”, and I didn’t mean it sarcastically back then, but REALLY despairingly.

I wonder how strong the Pharisee parallel is. I mean in principle it’s exactly the same, but in terms of “do most mean to do that” I wonder. If you had ask a baptistic person in such a stark way, they’d deny it, in fact they do. I’ve a great friend, a baptist, strong Gospel otherwise, my closest in the faith, and we discuss this a lot. When we get right down to that point I cannot for the life of me see what it is we are seeing differently other than the gift nature of Baptism. At some point he actually sees it as a gift but yet won’t baptize his or children/infants. I’m really not sure where the disconnect lay and I’ve picked it apart with him a 1000 times.

It is sad in a sense among many like I was, terrorized hearing of the Gospel but wondering if it was FOR ME. And baptism in PARTICULAR played the main part here. Because I was looking for something else to prove I had been given faith to in turn prove my baptism was valid/true/real. But every where I’d look about my life I’d see nothing that could pass the muster of the Law (though I didn’t really make the Law connection explicitly, I just knew God required perfection). And you cannot look at faith itself because that’s the thing your trying to assess, “do I really believe”, is a deadly search and seeking operation.

When I FINALLY saw baptism as objective Gospel in the water, a gift of God’s name given to me regardless of my faith arose, it was like taking the world off of my crushed back. At first I didn’t want to believe it, it sounded TOO good, TOO easy. The old man in me was saying, “Your just looking for an easy way out your so desperate to ease your conscience of its sins.” But when I did I tell other Baptist, “Once you see the Gospel in the water, once you see Christ there, there’s NO way or means or argument that can be made to take Him from you and make you go back to the baptistic view. It would be like, as far as the sacraments are concerned in general and baptism in particular, trying to make me deny Christ or take Him from me…I’d rather die first.” Seeing it as gift is BETTER than well thought out logical arguments. Though good arguments should be made to counter, but the Gospel in the water will suffice even the weakest of those who cannot argue well or are “logically” out gunned.

I have a theory that among Baptist the REAL fear is the same old man fear I had…it’s just simply too good to be true. To the old man that’s ALWAYS the reaction, fear of an UTTER gift from God. Getting away from our works is literally taking a leap of faith on a word of promise. The old man just doesn’t want to give it up else he, the religious doer, MUST die by necessity to the naked truster. The old man would much rather be grounded in something “he did”, he is actually much more secure there. The old man tells the new man within when the new man is trying to go to baptism as gift, “You fool, if you eat that it will kill you!” It is a very real inward war in which the old man, if you started out Baptistic, has constructed great walls to defend himself in his understanding of baptism. What tore it down for me was ultimately a Law Gospel assault. The Law would not let me rest in that I could never ascertain did “I get it right”, and I was submerge at 33, so it was not an infant issue for me personally or mode issue, PURE timing of faith. The Law just kept annihilating every thought process I’d go through. And I raked my conscience raw for years. I’m not being hyperbolic when I say it consumed me for 7 years 24/7 of every literally waking hour I had. I raked my thoughts that much. But the Law was relentless and the deeper I’d go the worse it got. Then when I saw the Gospel in the water, BAM. The old man did try to pull me back, but at last I knew that was a dead end.


Larry - KY

March 30, 2007

“The Christian Pharisees also take a gift of God and makes it a command. For example, Holy Baptism gives the gift of salvation and the forgiveness of sins, but the Christian Pharisees makes it into a command, an "ordinance" as a sign of following Christ (man's actions not God's action). The Jewish Pharisees took circumcision as being a sign of God's promise to make it an article of the Law.”

This thought above by Steve, which is extremely packed and insightful, gives me yet another thought. The ordinance or believers only position arises not from Scripture but mainly as an anti-RC doctrine. That doctrine on baptism is not so much Scriptural as it is anti-RCC. Its genesis seems to from the early Anabaptist who stated that the CHIEF, not secondary, but CHIEF deception of the Pope as the antichrist was the baptism of infants (Contrast this with Luther who saw the CHIEF problem a denial of the Gospel). At its on set the Anabaptist reaction was to just “correct an article of law” from Rome herself and not see the Gospel in Baptism. Hence, they merely derived another law, man made at that. It is a battle of “my law is better than your law”.

As a side note that idea attached to the antichrist as stated by the Anabaptist misdirects what the antichrist REALLY does and that is the main work of the devil, to blind the eyes of men from the Gospel. That is to say, the Anabaptist by making this, infant baptism, the “chief” deception of the antichrist were, ironically, serving the antichrist and helping TO blind the eyes of men from the Gospel. From this their churches deformed into highly legal systems and the ordinance/believers only view becomes a law. The yeast of the Pharisees seems so small, but at length it creates a loaf of legal bread centuries later. And in many derived systems from this we have exactly that in the sacraments.

Similarly take Zwingli and his view of the Supper as merely memorial. Luther saw the problem. We ask ourselves what was the yeast being sprinkled? It’s so small it seems not even there and hard to find. Yet Zwingli through his reasoning sprinkled the yeast of the Pharisees. Where? Well the view of memorial only forces at length that the supper be based upon the individuals powers of recall, emotion and even imagination to be anything. The work lay on the shoulders of the partaker to ‘make something of it’. It moves from something being GIVEN to you to something you are DOING. Its very very very subtle and not just rank works. It’s not “works” as in “swinging a pick” or “digging with a shovel”. It’s not that obvious. But spiritually it is some heavy lifting for it ceases entirely to be a gift and entirely to being something I MUST be doing and doing well. And the better I do it the better it should be for me. Starting to sound like real works to heaven now is it not! So, I work and work and work mentally and spiritually at it. Because after all I want the best from it, the Supper as memorial, I want to work it up so well that I find something rewarding from it. Who doesn’t. So I begin to work at it on the mental, emotional and spiritual level. But here’s the irony, the more I work at it to get “good” from it, the more it becomes nothing but an arduous task and labor that I am secretly hating (this is perhaps why some today just go through the motions, tired of working it up so they plod along). I work more for more but as I work more for more the work overwhelms the trivial “more” I think I’m getting. It truly becomes a dry well with a whole in the bottom, a vacuum I’m filling up (law) to have something from (I think) and not an over flowing spring of life (Gospel). It becomes like a command “to be happy”, a law to be fulfilled rather than being filled to be happy (Gospel). Trying so hard to BE happy, one is anything BUT happy. By laboring to BE happy one becomes increasingly miserable, the very opposite of happy. There in lay the yeast of the Pharisee that Zwingli introduced and that all memorial/ordinance positions on the Lord’s Supper become, they become double dry holes not giving water and taking all you throw into them.

Today this proves itself out in the fact that the Lord’s Supper, and baptism as well, have become to those in that line of ‘belief’ the least thing in the church and hardly considered. The Lord’s Supper is relegated to a quarterly thing at best. But making it infrequent actually reveals the problem. Why? Because it is said that ‘we make it infrequent to keep it special’. Well, that does in fact prove the point that one really doesn’t see the Sacrament as a gift FROM heaven and are in fact requiring works to “make it special” – mental, emotional, powers of imagination works to achieve the “special”, that is ‘get some good out of it’. The purpose FOR the infrequent use proves that it must come from the person within because that’s the whole point of doing it infrequently…to keep it special. However, if it is a gift from God, and it is, then you’d want it not infrequently but FREQUENTLY would you not! Doing it infrequently would NOT even be necessary for a gift from God is a gift from God in and of itself.

No wonder Jesus warned, “beware of the yeast of the Pharisees”. If I could paraphrase for emphasis, ‘beware of the hardly visible, seemingly small and insignificant, what we blindly tend to say non-essential introductions that will at length explode into another religion of the Pharisees”. The yeast of the Pharisees will produce the bread of the Pharisees eventually.



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