Monday, August 20, 2007

Baptism and church membership


  1. Anonymous7:43 AM

    I am following with delight the discussion on Baptism and church membership please continue to keep us informed.

    There is a nuance that seems missing and that is that there is a strand of Baptists, like myself, who hold with some variations that the local congregation is the "Body of Christ" and that there is no such thing as a "Universal Church".

    All parties in this debate hold to a "Universal Invisible Church." I believe it is this doctrine of the church which twists this debate, and whether one lines up with Aristotle or Plato as to what is real.

  2. So you don't agree with this part of the Seventh Day Baptist Statement?

    "We believe that the church of God is all believers gathered by the Holy Spirit and joined into one body, of which Christ is the Head."

    In any event, is it possible for someone who who has not been properly baptized [whatever "properly" is] to be a Christian? to be a member of the local church? to share communion with those who have?

  3. Anonymous7:16 PM

    Now Jim you know one who is as good as you or I about hairsplitting would offer you a different pair of glasses to wear when looking at the statement.
    Notice that the word church has a lower case c those who hold to a church universal would prefer an uppercase C, since it is lower case I assume it has a chance aAnyway of referring to the local congregation
    Notice the word gathered this is an eschatological moment that is yet in the future thus does not exist now or doI have room to suggest it is line with ecclesia an assembly, that exists now and is touchable and tangible fitting the pattern of a local congregation.
    That local congregation as per Paul to Corinth is the Body of Christ and Christ is the head. The rest of the statement concerning the local church then becomes descriptive.
    As for me it the local ongregation that sets the terms for the Lord's Supper
    The Lord’s Supper should not be taken outside the Covenant Community to which one belongs. My theology leads me to teach that only those who are Covenant members of the local congregation should participate Born again, having received Response-able Believer’s Baptism, and agreeing to the Covenant. Closed Communion.
    I have asa practicaelived with close communion meaning that a person is a believer and has been baptized.
    But I opposed any form of open communion.


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