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What About Sacraments?, Redux: Baptism, Pt. 3 (Articles of Faith Series)

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December 6, 2020 12:01 am

What About Sacraments?, Redux: Baptism, Pt. 3 (Articles of Faith Series)

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December 6, 2020 12:01 am

The sons of light wrap up a focused conversation on topics and questions around the first of the two main Protestant sacraments/ordinances: baptism. We hope you enjoy this deep dive.

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Beginning with all things were made through him and without him was not anything made that was made in him was life and the life was the light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it. We were all born and raised in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, commonly referred to as the Mormon all of us have left that religion have been drawn to faith in Jesus Christ. Based on the teachings name of our podcast outer brightness reflects John 19 calls Jesus, the true light gives light to every we have found life beyond Mormonism to be brighter than we were told in the light, we have is not our own. It comes to us from without. Thus, outer brightness. Our purpose is to share our journeys of faith in what God has done in drawing us to his son. We have conversations about all aspects of the transition fears, challenges, joys, and everything in between were glad you found us and we hope you'll stick around listening. However, this contrast for post-Mormons who are drawn by God, to walk with Jesus rather than turn away out of this brightness brightness wailing and gnashing of teeth. Here except for Michael's finger that is angry that is angry.

That is why Matthew, the nuclear columnist Michael BX Mormon apologist Paul Bunyan. Another passage from first Peter chapter 3 verse 21 has been used to show that water baptism is necessary and saves quote baptism, which corresponds to this now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body, but as an appeal to God for good conscience through the resurrection of Jesus Christ." So here's a question for discussion. How can we understand this verse in the wider context of this portion of Peter's epistle and how can we understand this when it talks about baptism and how it saves.

So does save doesn't justify or does it save us in another fashion.

So these are some questions we'd like to talk about so I'll turn over to Paul first to to discuss this passage so I think for this passage, especially is important to look at the broader context context of the passage and contrast that with LDS theology, looking looking at the way that you thought theology, Jesus passage in a way that Orthodox Christian theology views this passage. The reason I say that is what when LDS look at the broader context of this passage they use, they tend to use first Peter 319 and 20 is a proof text for their view of the afterlife and I and I also have to be Saving fares to Latter Day Saints that when I first left the LDS church. I was in the discussion group on Facebook and this passage came up and the Christians in our group were explaining that Peter was talking about angels in prison and not disembodied human spirits, and they said that Jesus was proclaiming his victory over these fallen Angels and I was at that time still laboring under the obvious assumptions about the nature of angels and so I wasn't just incredulous at what they were saying, but I couldn't even grasp what they were saying because by at the time.

My knowledge of my knowledge and understanding of the theology of the New Testament writers was so lacking that I literally could not see what the Christians were talking about when they were talking about those being angels and in prison and not disembodied human spirits and so I say that because of the latter-day St. I don't think I'm I was taught to view the New Testament writings in their own context and on their own terms. I think that rather I was taught to fit in LDS narrative of human progression onto the New Testament and read it in that manner, and doing so I think that this passage especially results in a very different understanding of the New Testament than the authors themselves had and so that that LDS lands through which I was reading the Bible is, is this is that that it applies to this passage, so human spirits were created by God is spirit children to him in the pre-mortal world in that world. There was a war caused by Lucifer over the topic of human agency and those spirits who followed Lucifer and rebelled against God in the pre-mortal world. They were cast out and condemned to never gain a physical body and they were thus stands to never be able to progress to godhood. They are said to have not keeps that if not kept their first estate in LDS parliaments. All other human spirits to dim rebel in the pre-mortal world are said to be to have been sent to earth.

The mortal world by God to receive a physical body and to be tested to see if they'll obey all God's commands when they're not in his presence. Those who are faithful on earth are center of Their second estate, and then upon death.

The spirits of humans are separated from their bodies. The bodies lie in the grave until the resurrection and the spirits go to either Paradise or to spare prison, and Paradise is said to be a place of happiness in the post-mortal world reserved for those who have been baptized into the LDS church and who have remained faithful. The spirits of those humans who did not receive the LDS gospel and ordinances on earth they go to spare prison Latter Day Saints believe that there is a myth that there is missionary work being performed in spare prison righteous stance passed from Paradise to spare prison prison to preach and if the spirit in prison receives the LDS gospel and ordinances performs in LDS temples on their behalf baptism for the dead confirmation for the dead, and that spirit can progress to paradise those spirits who accept the LDS gospel in spare prison and then accept further LDS temple ordinances performed in the LDS temples on their behalf. Washing and anointing endowment and eternal stealing of their marriage if they were married on earth, and they then become eligible to inherit the celestial kingdom after the resurrection and final judgment so turning back to the past to hand when LDS look at the section of first Peter.

They believe that first Peter 319 specifically teaches that Jesus kicked off the missionary efforts to the disembodied dad in spare prison, suggesting that he went there between his death and resurrection. So first Peter 320 then for LDS Latter Day Saints ties directly to the idea that one must be baptized by someone who holds the proper priesthood authority. Baptism is invalid and ineffectual in the world, so before I go on with you to say that I've accurately describes LDS teachings there. Yes that is good to me. So the contrast between LDS theology and New Testament teaching here in this passage couldn't be more stark. So the all the New Testament worldview is crisis centric. It puts Christ Jesus at the center of the theological framework. The LDS view is anthropocentric, it puts humans in their destiny at the center of the theological framework and as a result, the supernatural worldview of the New Testament authors is completely lost in the LDS interpretation. So understanding. This section of first Peter and context spirits who are said to be in prison here are fallen angels are not the spirits of dead humans is LDS theology claims on cross reference this passage with the computer to form five, Peter covers the same material and he says quote for if God did not spare angels when they stand, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness, to be kept until judgment."

You can look. Also in June 6 where it says quote and angels who did not keep their own domain, but abandoned their proper abode, he is kept in eternal bonds under darkness for the judgment of the great day so we can note a couple of things about these passages. First, the Angels that are in reference that are being referenced same in some way, and as a result, God cast them into hell or prison.

Second, their sin involves not staying in their proper abode. Some biblical interpreters connect these fallen Angels with Genesis 61, before due to the fact that both Peter and Jude are covering similar ground and Jude quotes from a text from the second Temple. First, scenic, and that text from which Jude quotes in verses 14 and 15.

It expands on the fallen angels described in Genesis 614. This connection is even more striking when one considers the first unit presents the flood in Genesis as God's judgment of the sin introduced to humanity by these fallen Angels and Peter references the flood in first Peter chapter 3, so the New Testament more broadly presents Jesus's incarnation, death and resurrection as God's ultimate triumph over Satan and these fallen Angels in the classic texts referring to Christ's preeminence. Paul the apostle wrote in Colossians 115 quote he is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities all things were created through him and for him. Bible interpreters are generally agreed that when verse 16 refers to thrones, dominions, rulers and authorities.

It's a reference to various categories of angels, all of whom were created through and for Christ.

According to Paul, interpreters are also generally agreed that when Peter wrote that Jesus proclaimed to the spirits in prison. He was proclaiming his victory over them. In the chaos that they had caused among humanity. So Peter was not as obvious teaching suggest saying that Jesus was proclaiming the gospel to disembodied spirits of deceased humans to give them another chance to believe that robs the New Testament of the supernatural worldview which flows naturally from the Old Testament and there is way more that can be set on on these topics and how Jesus's victory over the demons are fallen Angels is woven throughout the New Testament, but the question here that you asked Matthew is is about first Peter three and how what it says about baptism specifically does baptism save us. So having laid the groundwork of the strip supernatural worldview that is held by Peter. I'm going to read from Dr. Michael Heiser, but the unseen realm because he unpacks this pack. This passage really well. He says first Peter 13.

Our first Peter 314 to 22. I'm sorry is one of the more puzzling passages of the New Testament set against the backdrop of the divine counsel worldview. However, it's actually quite comprehensible. He quotes first Peter 314 through 22, which says, but even if you might suffer for the sake of righteousness. You are blessed and do not be afraid of their intimidation or be disturbed but set Christ apart as the Lord in your hearts, always ready to make a defense to anyone who asked you for an accounting concerning the hope that is in you, but do so with courtesy and respect. Having a good conscience, so that in the things in which you are slandered, the ones who malign your good conduct in Christ in the same, for it is better to suffer for doing good if God wills it, than for doing evil for Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, in order that he could bring you to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit in which he also went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison were formerly disobedient, when the patience of God waited in the days of Noah while an ark was being constructed in which a few, that is, eight souls were rescued through water and also corresponding to this baptism now saves you without the removal of dirt from flash, but an appeal to God for a good conscience, the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who is at the right hand of God, having gone into heaven with angels and authorities and powers having been subjected to him as the end of the second of the first Peter passage and then Heiser goes on to say, the overall theme of first Peter is that Christians must must withstand persecution and persevere in their faith.

That much is clear in this passage, but what's with. But what's with baptism, the ark, Noah and spirits in prison and does this text say that baptism saves us to understand what Peter is thinking we have to understand the concept of the scholars have called types or typology technology as a kind of prophecy and then Heiser goes on to define a type is basically an unspoken prophecy is an event person or institution that foreshadows something that will come, but which isn't revealed until after the fact and then skipping ahead a little bit to his section where he starts getting into unpacking this passage in particular. He says Peter saw a theological analogy between the events of Genesis 6 in the gospel and resurrection. In other words, he considered the events of Genesis 6 to be types or precursors to New Testament events in the and ideas just as Jesus was the second Adam, for Paul, Jesus is the second eunuch for Peter eunuch descendent to be imprisoned, fallen Angels to announce their doom and in the second Temple text first Peter first Peter 314 to 22 has Jesus descending to the same spirits in prison to tell them that they were still defeated, despite his crucifixion God's plan of salvation and kingdom rule had not been derailed. In fact, it was right on schedule.

The crucifixion actually meant victory over every demonic force opposed to God.

This victory declaration is why first Peter 314 to 22 ends with Jesus, risen from the dead, and set up the right hand of God above all angels, authorities and powers. The messaging is very deliberate and has a supernatural abuse of Genesis 614 at its core. So how does this relate to baptism our focus for answering that question his two terms in verse 21. Baptism is an appeal to God for a good conscience through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The two highlighted words need reconsideration in light of the divine counsel worldview. The word most often translated appeal in verse 21 is best understood as pledge here, meaning that it has elsewhere.

Likewise, the word conscience does not refer to the inner voice of right and wrong in this text. Rather, the word refers to the disposition of one's loyalties usage.

That is also found in other contexts and Greek literature. Baptism then is not what produces salvation.

It quote unquote saves in that it reflects a hard decision of pledge of loyalty to the risen Savior, in effect, baptism in the New Testament theology is a loyalty oath, the public avowal of who is on the Lord side in the cosmic war between good and evil. But in addition to that is also a visceral reminder to the defeated fallen Angels. Every baptism is a reiteration of their doom in the wake of the gospel in the kingdom of God. Early Christians understood the typology of this passage and its link back to the fallen Angels of Genesis 6 early baptismal formulas included every renunciation of Satan and his angels for this very reason. Baptism was and still is spiritual warfare still baptism does not save but it's it's it's a holy war. It's represents God's victory over the Angels that rebelled against him and and corrupt humanity.

All right, but it's really neat stuff and all really enjoyed listening to those quote sounds something else. I can't say interesting something to the groundwork even say it like once or twice so we will have two allotments of stating interesting yeah I wasn't I wasn't predicting urine to go into the ball spirits in prison thing but arsons are talking about baptism.

I think it's really interesting and it relates to BAP know that as of the dead. So I guess it does relate to the topic and I went out is because it is if you talk about this passage that always with Latter Day Saints always comes up because it's one of their key contacts that they use so it's it's something that you do have to be ready to address with them and definitely is interesting because I was looking up because Democritus commentary on this really quickly and I thought as I had one interpretation my mind but I guess he had the basically had the same interpretation that your you're discussing that it's not talking about spirits who are in the spirit world as Latter Day Saints yet, but as as supernatural beings that were disobedient and he gives some interesting reasoning for that I was I was like I was also checking the ESV study Bible may say that there's I'm sure that there is even more interpretations, but they say that there's three primary ones. The first one, and I've heard this before to fix from some reforms. I just wanted to put that out there. It says the first interpretation understand spirits referring to the unsaved human spirits of Noah's day Christ in the spirit proclaim the gospel in the days of Noah, through Noah, the unbelievers who heard Christ preaching did not obey in the days of Noah and are now suffering judgment. Several reasons support this view. First reason Peter calls Noah Harold of righteousness, where Harold represents the Greek Keryx or Kerrick creature, which risk corresponds to the noun at Caruso proclaim in first Peter 319. A second reason, Peter says the spirit of Christ was speaking through the Old Testament prophets. This Christ could have been speaking through Noah as an Old Testament prophet third reason, the context indicates a Christ was preaching through Noah, who is in a persecuted minority, and God saved Noah, which is similar to the situation. Peter's time, Christ is now preaching the gospel through Peter and his readers to persecuted minority, and God will save them and then the second interpretation is the one that you explained that they are the spirits of males fallen angels or fallen beings in the third view. It's interesting here it says in the third view some of advocated the idea that Christ offered a second chance of salvation to those in hell this interpretation, however, is in direct direct contradiction with other Scripture, so it refers to the parable of the rich man and Lazarus and Hebrews 927 with the rest of first Peter and therefore must be rejected on biblical and theological grounds leaving either of the first he views as the most likely interpretation. So even if you disagree with that into patiently met with Pauline on there and there may be some that advocate this interview. You know that it's not that Christ went to hell and proclaimed the gospel to them in the spirit prison or wherever. However they want to call it is more Christ is proclaiming the gospel through Noah in the days of Noah and they rejected this gospel so that's yet it's so those two interpretations to me seemed the most likely but yeah I tend to lean more towards the one that you described, but it is.

It is interesting passage because Peter is such an interesting author.

He's keep ties all of these different aspects of Scripture and in a historical music. These historical events on Scripture. I mean he's talking about in the beginning of chapter 3 stock about husbands and wives wisely subject your husbands. Be respectful. You know husbands don't take care of your wise and understanding and then he goes on to suffering for righteousness sake. And then he's a posing no wine. He pulls in the ark and all that in baptism minutes so many things going on at once. And yeah, I think.

I definitely think this is one of the most difficult passages to interpret and I've talked to people in some people just admit they don't really know precisely hundred percent what it's saying but you can know we were talking before and are in our discussion before we start recording sometimes you may not be able to say positively 100%. This is exactly what it means, but we can. Based on this this immediate context in a global context. We can know what it's not saying I think you are the kind of talk a lot about that Paul about week. We know it's not saying that Jesus went to the spirit prison and gave people who didn't hear the gospel or disobey the gospel a second chance of salvation we can know for sure that that's not what saying, well, well, hold on one second layer though because at least in the King James version.

First Peter 319, the way it reads here is that he went and preached to the spirits in prison. I think that's kinda interesting because usually the word preach, you know, in the Christian context is is a positive thing right like hey, this is the word if you accept it you have yet hope with some kind of wondering how that is in a different translation but I know that yeah sorry because you haven't it's generally translated proclaim in other sessions and that's why they say that he was proclaiming victory to the to the fallen angels and in going back to the I referenced that the conversation ended the Facebook discussion that I was in probably a likely write about 10 years ago. Now there was discussing this passage in and that was one of the claims that the one Christian was making his had had to do with the Greek word and how it's translated for you preached versus proclaimed in an accident.

That conversation about the Greek and how to translate is one of the things that made me want to go and study in a in a Christian seminary sets really is really interesting because it just seems like there's a couple instances where just the weight of the King James version is written and you know you pair that with LDS theology, and it just seems to really build a trap for Latter Day Saints where you know that from the earliest mindset. It says preach you now and it doesn't seem like that argument really works as well because it's like, well, it says preached here and in that usually has a positive connotation and I had a similar experience with that. When I was trying to you know Argie was in Latter Day Saints about Hebrews and and I was like oh, it is likely that the Bible says that plaintiff dictation happens after perfection and the like.

No, it doesn't like improvements. I go to Hebrews you know where it says by one sacrifice he is perfected for ever them that are being sanctified less with the ESV says the King James version says he is perfected forever. Those who are sanctified and and I saw that I shared one of those moments were like is Calvinism through like does God not want them saved because this is a perfect trap like it's just almost found out is just one of those those thoughts that I had like, how can it be like with like, just in adjusting the use was impossible to get out of it. Based on the way the things were worded as interesting that that's how I like I like what Heiser does and in kinda staying faithful to the fact that that that both Peter and Jude are our related material and they are covering the same ground and that there there referencing you know that the dissent of the waters in Genesis 146 Genesis 61, for the reason I like that it ties together New Testament theology really well like I was on my conversation with one of our listeners stated about the Trinity earlier and he deceives give me a hard time about while Trinity is not in the Bible you typical LDS arguments against the Trinity and and I just made the point of you know, he made a point about a certain pass Festival does the passage state that are you making an inference and he admitted that he was making an inference Festival. You know the Trinity. Although you say it's it's extra biblical it.

It's an inference from Scripture right from all all of Scripture and said to me, admit it ties together all of the scriptural teaching on the nature of God better than anything else I've seen and so that's why when the Trinitarian but this this passage with with the way that Heiser ties in ties in with the supernatural worldview is it.

Is this the same way for me right ties together New Testament theology in a way that makes sense.

A lot of other difficult passages, and so we didn't even know some interpreters I respect like John MacArthur.

He'll go as far as this is saying yes this is referencing fallen Angels, but when you just Jude. He he almost box a little bit at the fact that Jude uses first Enoch, because it it almost had a lot of fun and I can't speak for why he does, but I suspect it's because he she feels almost like it is walking into a trap that will then why is in first Enoch part of the canon right if Jude is quoting from it. But you know Paul quotes from Roman poets and those Roman poets are part of the canon either exactly.

So just just because something is quoted in Scripture and alluded to it doesn't mean that that itself is that it is an inspired writing. And so Latter Day Saints will will give you a hard time if you talking about Jude in this passage to but ultimately I don't think we have to be afraid.

As Christians, of really understanding biblical theology and and what the world view was that the that the New Testament authors had because that worldview is what led what has led to the historic Christian creeds.

You know the understandings of the early church fathers that led to the creeds they day they were within that world as well. So anyway, just my plug for the buckle theology gesture proclamation essay that I said interesting and then Michael. He also said interesting, so I only got one more interesting left what you just said it twice more. So, dear Don, I said it you think so and I think is sufficient to left, so okay out is really good discussion and insight. I don't have anything else to add to that, so should be so going a different direction that I envisioned.

But it was really great so I think I'm really glad we be just that kind of take a little bit of a crack at it I don't I'm likely goes and dances.

Paul did on this, but it's kind of funny looking at this verse again because I know you that I use this as an LDS apologist, but I know it appeared in my book the biblical defense of Mormonism. This verse but I don't think I really talked about context at all. I think I just threw this verse and did Naipaul that that is correct you you you said in first Peter 320 Peter says that baptism states and you moved on to a different passage right because I pretty much believe that this verse spoke for itself and that it was so strong that there was no need to explain anything here and you know you are now looking at this verse. It does appear special. You're looking at it by itself to be a very strong verse saying that baptism saves us, you know, just just being an English guy who writes like that seems to be what it is saying there says, looking back through Romans chapter 4 which is probably my favorite chapter in all of Scripture were called really just lays down the gospel and was fascinated to see you. He doesn't mention baptism, even one time in that chapter, and is likely if it's that important than why isn't it here Elise is talking about about faith and even saying that if it's works and we have something to boast of, and I know that is a latter-day St. You know my baptism was something that I felt that I could boast about.

My dad baptized I was keeping the covenants you know I was on the path to righteousness and visa kinda stuck out to me as you know Paul asked this question in Romans chapter 4, he says no way was righteousness counted to Abraham was it before circumcision or was it after an icy Italian with with first Peter two and asked the same question about Noah because I would say when did Noah find favor in the eyes of the Lord was it before the flood, or was that after the flood and the Scripture say that he found favor in the is of the Lord before the flood occurred as I think that there is a parallel between those two of those two passages, and so yeah I don't I don't believe now that that baptism saves us, at least not in the sense of just being justified and pronounced clean and it's it's funny to because it says right here in this verse, autism, which corresponds to this now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body, but as an appeal to God for a good conscience to the resurrection of Jesus Christ of this was you guys this experience, but as a latter-day St. ice swear that they actually used the metaphor of removing dirt from your body to explain what baptism did that it will washes us clean like in the way that taking a shower, washes us clean only cleans us from from sin, but here it's expressly saying that it's not like the removal of dirt from the body so I can confirm that they did teach that. Okay.

Thank you. I'm not crazy. I appreciate that Paul and so yeah it's it's usually it's really deftly saying here you know it doesn't stay within the stance that it is removing stains from our souls is not taking it away from us and washing us in the way that we thought it did when we were Latter Day Saints, but it is to go to a good conscience. So yeah, I just wanted to share that. Now let's good packet I could see that specific clause in two different ways.

I could see the way you said that you know it's not saying that the water itself. Somehow washes away sin, you know, in and of itself, but I can also see it because I know that you know we have we have friends that are Lutherans and some Anglicans will use this passage and say that you know they'll use that as evidence of baptismal regeneration, so we kind of been talking a lot about that in the other passages but just to bring it up. You know they believe in baptism or it regeneration such that when their infants are baptized actually are. The Holy Spirit actually does work through that sacrament to regenerate the child give the child faith know basically bring the child to new life as a Christian. And so I could see them reading his passages saying I was not talking about like a physical removal of dirt, you know like it's not actually literally cleaning the baby's body it's it's it's a spiritual inward cleansing economy. I could see that I can see them as may be seen, Peter is saying it's not a physical change that's going on, but a spiritual one deeply something I'm not saying I agree with that. I'm just saying that if Ira Luther and that's kind of how I would probably read this passage.

Yeah, I could see that. I guess the question that I would have for that would just be you know, I guess it's different when you're baby but for an adult you wouldn't get baptized before having face right so made it almost makes it sound like there equal or you know you could just be baptized and that counts, and then you'll you'll get your face if you get baptized first so I guess I don't understand Lutheranism really so I guess that's that is where my mind goes first. You know is, then it do I need to have faith to be baptized in this Scripture seem to teach that you do like the unit actually cc that body of water says well it what hinders me from being baptized and filled says if you believe then you may, yeah, from what I've read from Lutheranism. They also like I have LC MS to loose the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod so there like one of the more I think conservative Lutheran use because there's a lot you know it withing the Lutheran and Anglican users there could be a lot of differences, but they said here in this is strictly asked questions page. He said that they not believe baptism is absently necessary for salvation.

They sang as our Lutheran fathers have always taught baptism confirms the grace of God upon adults who have already come to faith and strengthens them in their faith even as the Lord's what it seems like there yeah you is a it's it's similar.

It seems like when it comes to adult conversion were pretty much unified across the board with your present Presbyterian or Methodist or Baptist or whatever you know yet that faith. First, repentance first and then your baptized so I don't I never encountered a case where there is a difference in that the only difference is when we decide on okay who are infants proper subjects of baptism and if they are you know is by pouring by sprinkling by immersion, etc. okay yeah I know problem at all with that definition that you read that sounds great to me to do anything else that none on that question.

No, I found a really great page that has similar views to what I hold there they hold in 1689 Baptist convention and so this is actually a commentary on the confession and basically they they post several quotes from church leaders that are that are relevant to this particular passage ice is Albert Barnes noted on this clause. Speaking of first Peter 321 not a mere external washing, however solemnly done. No outward ablution or purifying saves us with that which pertains to the conscience. This important clause is thrown into guard the statement from the abuse to which it would otherwise be liable.

The supposition that baptism has of itself, purifying and saving power to guard against this, the apostle expressly declares that he means much more than a mere outward application of water and then John Gill wrote four to baptism, professed profession of faith in Christ and of the doctrine of Christ in a pure conscience is requisite and baptism persons make up public confession of God and openly put on Christ before men. The sense seems plainly lists that then is baptism rightly performed and it's and answered when a person conscious to himself of its being an ordinance of Christ and of his duty to submit to it does do so upon profession was faith in Christ in obedience to his command, and with a view to his glory in doing what she discharges a good conscience towards God and being thus performed. It saves and I already read from the D. The Baptist catechism. I think it's also the lessons are larger catechism, let me political my tabs on my millions of tabs open right now.

Okay, so this is question 161 in the Westminster larger catechism, I think it's 9896 98 so I got the baptism Baptist catechism at the same question.

How did the sacraments become effectual means of salvation answer, the sacraments become effectual means of salvation not been any power in themselves or any virtue derived from the piety or intention of him, by whom they are administered so parentheticals knowing of this document. The intentions of the pastor as a preacher he's giving.

The sacrament is missing it's it's not rely on his on his desires or intention.

Continuing on, but only by the working of the Holy Ghost and the blessing of Christ, by whom they are instituted. So in themselves sacrament on a power to to save but through those who have faith.

They do become effectual to salvation.

So yes, so faith, repentance in the sacraments. They all go together so you can't you can't separate these things from the efficacy of the sacrament itself, whereas the Roman Catholic view is that is that they believe X operate El Prado which basically means in the working work in the work working that in doing the sacrament you actually RF effectually giving salvation to the person so they believe that just the sole instrument of justification is not faith but actually baptism, whereas reformed view is at the sole instrument of justification is faith's want to talk a little bit more about this to so he's referring to Noel on the ark and are being saved in the ark and so he uses this kind of analogy, and Polly Mehta Artie talked about this bit but so everything in Christ and in the Bible is Krista centric. Everything points to Christ. And so when we see Noah and these eight people on the ark that are being saved by God and their being brought through the water. As you mentioned Michael there.

They were favored by God that you they'd already know had already's received favor from God beforehand, and the ark represents Christ, so they are protected in this ark who brings them through the waters to salvation, and so I think peers trying to make this connection between the waters that were poring over them in and they were saved being in Christ, and been covered in the water to this idea, baptism confessing Christ and being in Christ, and so it's not you know it wasn't the water that save them or it wasn't arcing. I wasn't the water to say that it was God's Christ, you know, that saved us the status spiritually.

Just as when God led them on the ark through the waters, you know, God save them and so that's why says it's not a removal of dirt from the body, but as an appeal to God for good conscience through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

So it's it's in the sense that through faith we professed our faith to God and we are we truly have faith in Christ.

It's true that that that baptism saves that we are saved is not in the mere washing from the water itself. And so this is why the reformed always noise make a point to point to the sacraments and the sign what what what it actually is and what it's pointing to that which is the thing that signified so there's a sign which is baptism of water and what it signifies a salvation regeneration, being in Christ, redemption, salvation, all that so there's the sign which is the water baptism but what it's pointing to is salvation which the sign doesn't necessarily give you so you know you can receive the signed but not have what it signifies that the hope is that you only give the sign of the covenant of baptism to those who have what it signifies or you have shown profession of faith and who do show fruits of repentance, so they should. They should go part and parcel together. It's not like you can really tear them apart and I think sometimes that's where you get problems is when people try to separate spiritual baptism from water baptism and say this patches passages only talk about spiritual baptism. This ongoing saga water baptism because I think the authors kind of saw, you know, they foster strong connection between the two that if something was saved.

They were immediately baptized in water so it's it's kind of a modern invention that we try to separate those two into completely different categories, whereas in the early church. They they saw such a strong connection that if you are saved you are baptized you know if there there was as Polly mentioned in the past.

There is not a large contingent of Christians who were not baptized. There were exceptions, but that was not the normative experience so sorry.

Keep rambling on and it's good to bring Bruce a good point. So this play off a couple of things so dream box so we were talking about the separation of water baptism Spirit baptism and how sometimes people try to say that one passage is talking only about spiritual baptism is usually talking about water baptism.

Why do you think there is that discussion when we think the historical Christian context is for that discussion.

Do you think it you think it flows from the Zwingli in view that's really interesting offshoot argues that my Thing another Matthew go Google sit synonyms for interesting you think. I think it could be that I think it's probably a reaction to from Catholicism know that they will want to stay while this can't be water baptism because in this would say that this would imply that you know we can were justified by water baptism rain on.

I mean like it. It seems almost like a reaction to to Roman Catholic theology, but like you said it could also be reaction. On the other side costly to Zwingli and theology where it's more of what I understand of Zwingli, cute cute he thought was more of a profession. He knows my profession of faith rather than an actual sacramental impartation of grace through baptism so I could so I could see them trying to say. Well, it's not talking about water baptism here. It's only talking the spirit baptism because because then that would kind of go counter to their to their theology so I could I could see that I'm not saying that there are no it's it's hard because there's no perfect theologian and all, always. There's potential possible valid interpretations of any particular passage.

So I think it would depend on the passage in question, but yeah, I could deftly see that that that someone has their systematic theology and then to try to fit every passage in it they say. Well, this can't mean water baptism because in that would mean I have to change my understanding. Deuteronomy, so I'm not sure that's kind of what you're getting at is in and discover the fine point on one of those one of us getting at is that no we all can sometimes face the danger of bringing to the text of Scripture and understanding that comes from a latent interpreter and kind of credit retrofitting that onto the text of the Bible latter-day Saints do that explicitly with the teachings of Joseph Smith and and sometimes they rightly criticized Christians for doing the same thing with you know the teachings of Luther the teachings of Calvin or or whoever else theologian that that someone may be studying and that can be dangerous. You know, as you noted Matthew in your in your response to my question is that you know that the New Testament writers seem to see kind of an intimate connection between the spiritual regeneration and and and baptism so it's it's it's not necessarily the right approach to try to bring some later interpreters approach to it, which may be a reaction as you sent to Roman Catholicism a right reaction to to something that may have been wrong but even so, you should come to the text of the Scripture and try to understand on its own context, Agatha.

The other thing I want to try to follow-up on a little bit on what you said is this where you were talking about my camera with the exact wording that you are using from the confession, but maybe it may be a theologian, I can publish with your reading forefront of the time, but you are talking about that.

It doesn't have to do with the right intentions of the person performing the ordinance right in thinking about that I realize will be but we kinda had the conversation, we kinda haven't had yet. Around this and baptism that's important to latter-day Saints is, is this idea priesthood right and and having the right authority to perform the sacrament or an ordinance so what people would you say to latter-day St., that would say okay that's that's great you may you may have a few baptism in terms of imparting grace and in the New Testament sense, but is still not done with the right authority slow. How would you answer that critique make money for my thoughts on the go first.

Michael, I think the first thing that comes to my mind is just what we've been talking about here that that baptism is not something that actually justifies us, then why is the need to be done under any sort of proper authority at all. I may think that once you take that position. It really takes the strength out of the LDS argument of the need to have the right authority to do to do it because it just assumes that that baptism has this this saving power that it's a holy covenant between you and God and the need to have somebody with the authority to allow you to make that oath to God and to me it's not enough hosts its units. It's me showing you know my allegiance and my loyalty to God. But it is a an outward sign of an inward inward change and it doesn't matter if the person has has the proper authority, you know I'm making a statement and outside source doesn't affect that. So you see, it is kind of like, well, the fact that we are justified by faith, by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone and it's not an absolute necessity to be appetizing water than it doesn't mean that we need to be baptized by one with authority, at least in the sense of receiving salvation.

That's kind of what you're saying right yeah yeah exactly yeah I would agree with that.

Meanwhile I do so I do believe that elders and deacons in the church do have authority but I don't think it's a special sacerdotal sacramental.

You know, like special authority like they they nurse priesthood you know that like the saints and some of the other traditions believe can like Anglicans and the Lutherans. I do believe in, like, you know, but that sort of priestly order but more but more certainly, but it latter-day Saints in the Roman Catholic Church, so I would say that elders are the ones that should give baptism you know in a in a normal church setting because they're the ones that are the ministers of the new covenant, the other the ones that have the authority spiritual authority over their flock. But I don't think that it negates the D's are looking for the efficacy or the distinction of that water baptism if they if they're not in an elder and this is kind of like a big debate in the early church. The Donatist controversy was about whether they were ordained priest or not, is whether they were clinical worthy. You know they were there were some there are some in the faith to deny the faith after persecution are those who found the sin, and so kind.

The Donatist position was that you know they shouldn't those who receive sacraments from those people. They should be an old and they should have to redo those sacraments because they are not valid but then it was decided that that's not the case is not about the person giving the sacraments about the one receiving it, and it's and a recovery quit that that catechist question from us was a commission says it's the sacraments become effectual means of salvation, not skipping some parts not by the intention of him, by whom they are administered.

It's not the priest or the minister giving it to them, but only by the working of the Holy Ghost and the blessing of Christ, by whom they are instituted.

So it's Christ instituted the sacraments are these ordinances and so he sanctions them. You know he he is the one that that blesses them and says okay these sacraments are valid and I give those them to though and they should be given to those who have faith in me and it's by the working Holy Spirit that it's know that there actually that grace is actually minister to the faithful. So I mean on one hand, I do agree that in some sense, they should be performed by those who have some authority I can elder or spitting on missionary that's given authority to preach in that area but there is nothing in Scripture that says you have to have a special priest at the only priest we know of in the new covenant is Christ is the high priest of the new covenant so there's no there's no priesthood given to the apostles were there given authority and power. But there's no there's no priesthood attached to that do not mean that's kind of like an overlaying of LDS theology onto the Scriptures rather than just reading the Scriptures themselves again and if I could just share a passage to this kind goes along with an added one more thought to that, but his doctrine and covenants 121 verse 37 is talking about the LDS priesthood. It says that they may be conferred upon us. It is true, but when we undertake to cover our sins, or to gratify our pride are vain ambition what exercise control or dominion or compulsion upon the souls of the children of men in any degree of unrighteousness. Behold, the heavens, withdraw themselves, the spirit of the Lord is grieved and when it is withdrawn.

Amen to the priesthood, or the authority of that man, so the problem with with the LDS system is you know you I would be terrified because if I was getting baptized in that system again I'd be wondering what how do I know that this person's priesthood is still valid and that they haven't just some small degree try to exercise dominion over somebody and if there priesthood is not there then I'm not saved by this ordinance, whereas what you are saying Matthew like yeah maybe somebody with authority should should do the baptizing, but that authority is not can it go away because they gave Cindy to some small degree like it will latter-day St., who's trying to to perform baptisms right now. I was can bring up that exact point Michael and and met the artist was can bring up the Donatist conflict controversy as well. It's interesting to me that the latter-day St. concert, the priest, it is as you said Matthew, is something retrofit back onto the Bible and it and it really is something that flows out of the Reformation right and ended the Roman Catholic view of priesthood and who has authority and then you know how the reformers were reacting to that as they were seeking to reform the church, and you know latter-day since like to quote Wesley. There's a quote like the Member exactly what it says they like to quote him in and in talking about authority. You know that the that he couldn't find anyone alive that have authority investment quoted in conference and they quote that is say this kind of evidence that while the Reformation couldn't go far enough because it didn't have a restoration of authority right so then you get to the LDS view which is really kind of fun interesting mixture of you know the whole New Testament concept of all believers being a royal priesthood, and the kind of very rigid view of the Roman Catholic Church, right and enter your point Michael about no unrighteous dominion elegant mixing point. You know if you have someone latter-day St. priesthood holder who is exercising unrighteous dominion.

Let's say he's beating his wife and he doesn't tell anyone about that and that's obviously something he's going to hide and and not not try to let get out of the walls of his own home right. But if he's doing that Ben according to LDS teachings. Amen to the priest of the Batman right any ordinances that he performs the powers of heaven have been removed and so really it's left up to bishops to try to be aware of whether or not they have anyone within the congregation's priesthood holder is not worthy of performing ordinances right and when you think about baptisms, the only time a father is interviewed by a bishop as to whether he is worthy to baptize us with this one is baptizing his children if use the word mission leader and the missionaries asked him to baptize an investigator who's coming and said that the LDS church is not interviewed in any kind of worthiness sense to perform the ordinance so Michael the problems you noted with the with the soup LDS system or a real, if that's the way God works it actually goes even deeper than that because everybody has their line of priesthood in Mormonism and maybe even if that leaders good, but the person note to people above him was unrighteous and beat his wife Van.

Amen to the priesthood of that man. He had nothing to pass on.

So if there's a chink anywhere in that chain then there is no legitimate priesthood and have brought this up to Dalia's apologist before and they've try to say that the baptisms and everything are still effective but I want to know where that is found that those ordinances still count when somebody is not worthy to use the priesthood, especially in light of the doctrine and covenants saying explicitly amen to the priesthood of that man. I don't think there's any other way to read that there is not and and really it undercuts their argument about the great apostasy right because part of part of the great apostasy supposedly was the loss of authority due to unworthiness right that that's the big argument that Talmage makes is that as the Roman Catholic Church fell into grave sin that the power of the priesthood was removed from the earth, so if that happened in the LDS church inside that happened in the Roman Catholic Church, according to latter-day St. teachings then why can't it happen in the LDS church and the answer is well God's promise they'll never take the priesthood away from the earth again. But as we been talking about that that the same challenges are present and so when you make the argument that the mother's just a promise that it will never happen again this to special pleading for your position. Yes it is by the way on. If you notice this, but I actually just did some negative apologetics deny snap yeah I can feel like a new ground today. Yeah, via the LDS me would not be happy with myself right now and I said the word shall not be spoken as a multisyllabic word I know are unaware. Kind of like when you started on the Lord's supper, so we may have to do an extent, but I guess we'll see. But I wanted I wanted to bring up how I would probably defendant as a latter-day St.

You know the idea that if you're if you you're in unrighteousness. You can lose that authority in your your ordinances will no longer count.

I think the way I would've answered it, is if you go to the book of Mormon is the example of King Noah in the book of Mosiah, think right where basically he and all the priests were kind of corrupted and they were evil and offended.

I preaches to them, and it pricks the heart of Elm of the elder [recounting us correctly and so Elm of the elder. He, like feels in his heart are our God tells them to leave and so he leaves a brings a group of followers to the waters of Mormon. Any preaches there baptize them in their lives.

No explicit historical recounting of his being ordained after his kind of conversion experience. I guess so presumably I would've said as latter-day St. while he was ordained as a priest in know when he was still in King Noah's court when he was still Kennewick in and they weren't practicing as it should. He still had that authority so that when he went to the waters of Mormon to baptize that authority still counted to see what I mean say that that baptism actually counted anywhere. I me know and and and I think personally you know from our point of view we see the book of Mormon as being early on in Joseph Smith's theological development so I don't think he was thinking along those lines of like okay do I make sure everybody has the right priesthood authority. I think he thought more in 1820, 9230. If he was thinking more along the lines of divine sanction or there's another word that they use, but this idea that if God commands you, then you have the authority to perform the work. Deuteronomy. So, since God commanded Alma he had you in in the commandments of the, the preaching and the baptism he was given that authority and not in not requiring laying on of hands to receive that authority. So I think that makes more sense in terms of joblessness theology of the time but but I'm just saying that's that's all I would've answered it as a leading latter-day St. so wanted to get your guises response to that. If it is letter to Sarah to bring up that objection made.

It's probably the best objection that they can make would think, but it still contradicts with the doctrine and covenants, says yeah that's that's the thing to do is like that. The text is pretty clear that yeah I don't think you go around then and I think Michael did you say that they still count Armitage and Paul Meno.

You apologist will say well it still counts, and not based on a righteousness anything that's on my mission president also told us because the missionary asked him what if a member baptize when her investigators turns out they are in deep sin did after your baptizing says no they don't. And I think also the argument that he used was well. It is not just the person giving the baptism that baptism has to be under the direction of some of priesthood keys do not mean so thereunder to the direction of the Bishop and of the stake presidency for the baptism in the confirmation of that like it's it's under the mission president really right if it saves investigator benefits. A member in the Lord and it would be under the bit the Bishop and the stake president so those keys email and the person may be righteous or not worthy of the priesthood. Those keys are what make it valid that the ordinance valid.

This is why the this was Adonis's Donatist controversy is so interesting read because we had. There was people who had denied their Christian faith to receive a document from the Rome Roman government that would allow them to buy and sell that you have during that particular Roman persecution of Christians that it was it was that I think I think farmer kindliness also are like the excuse fish comes from is the way that Christians at the time would identify themselves when they were buying and selling with one another was to draw that fishing in the dirt because the Roman Roman authority was was coming down on Christians and and and kind of kinda leave them out of the Empire by not allowing them to buy himself and so there were Christians who had an and church leaders who had you met in those circumstances, rather than starve.

They they had denied their Christian faith to get the paper that was needed. The official paper that was needed to allow them to buy and sell insulated the Donatists were the ones who said no and if you did that you're not worthy to be a leader in the church and perform ordinances right and the Catholic Church Roman Catholic Church transmitted made a ruling on it and said no. The ordinances performed by those people are still valid. Nobodies know he's losing their salvation over over that persecution right.

This is almost like the LDS church without persecution has gone through its own Donatist controversy that the challenges that for them.

The Donatists is their Scriptures snap how much you I had a thought team at the end of this is derailing the conversation too much, but you said likable.

If it's under the keys. You know it's it's all good, but Bishop interviews, a father to baptize his son and finds that the father is not worthy, he will not let the father baptize the child and if it is really the keys that matter, then why wouldn't he let the father baptize the child?

She always felt like okay the way that I resented my mind about it when I was latter-day St. was like okay if the Bishop interviews him. He feels that there's something wrong or he's ready to give the ordinance any signs them off when he sends them off. He's he's getting his seal saying you know I authorized person in baptism.

So it turns out he wasn't worthy, it would be. You note that guilt would go on the Bishop because they authorized it because they should know that they should have the gift of discernment to know whether that person can or can't do that when it's Deuteronomy.

That's kind of in my mind how I envisioned it. Yeah I was saying if during the interview.

The father came out and admitted that he wasn't worthy, that he would not be he would not be enabled to do the baptism is a takes out that whole argument. You know the keys are what really matter because if that was the case they would let the father do it, despite not being worthy by searching, that's interesting. I'll shoot I did it again I will not say anything interesting for the rest shall not stay shall not be spoken in response to your your argument, over some of the younger or elder. Matthew and I would just say that the article of faith is still cannon right with Latter Day Saints. So we believe the man musts house. I had a hold of God was God by proposition by the laying on of hands by the sword and performance of ordinances so far as I know that's still in the LDS can write right but what I'm saying is that heat he had been ordained by the laying on of hands, you know, when he was still inking those court and everybody was kind of crept a little bit so he still had that authority. He was just not using it righteously. But then when God called him out. Then he was using it righteously. Deuteronomy sound like the lineage from from from you note from priestess on her hand to hand by laying on of hands that still is there and it was dormant and but then when he came out repented. Then it was active or it was he was able to use it again is kind of house I just get hung up on why in the high priest in court."

Old Testament era would be performing Christian baptism on people. Sorry you hung up on those things as plot plot twist to turns out that, the elder was a Levite and naturally help the priesthood and it didn't matter if it was ordained to him or not. That's an interesting bit of history to let non-Mormons now that since it since there Levite state.

They have the right to the priesthood and so they don't need. They can but they can baptize by that authority they have and if there Bishop. They don't need counselors so when I got my when I got my patriarchal blessing. I was really like cross my fingers open for Levi's like I want to be the one Bishop with no counselors.

I was one of be like a one-man show you how.

I didn't know that. I guess did you get Ephraim's yeah yeah did you me to stop and know actually you know it's what's interesting my on my first wife.

She got Manasseh, but there were other siblings or family that got Ephraim.

I like how does that happen like your blood full blood siblings are from different tribes than you are like is that how you find out that you were adopted yet but is there because there I wonder has there ever actually been anyone that wasn't in for more Manasseh. I don't know.

I have never seen that there is there is a guy my mission who he wasn't. I never said everything is before me, but he served with my companion at the time and he was Jewish and I think he was actually from the tribe of Judah releases that he is Judah probably based on the fact that he came from Jewish heritage so as I when I know of that was from really from a different tribes than Manasseh vary from is heard the rumor. Like they say that if somebody comes into the ward and they have their from Levi that they immediately become the Bishop like whoever was the Bishop has to step down in the event that no okay RA rest under an interesting urban legend step aside.

Bishop Ford is yesterday a keeping count. Michael I lost count is all exceeded it at this point if I say it again, is it immense my present all yeah you have to turn in your resignation to the church. We thank you for tuning into this episode of the outer brightness podcast. We'd love to hear from you. Please visit the other brightness podcast page on Facebook. Feel free to send us a message there with comments or questions by clicking send a message at the top of the page. We would appreciate it if you give the page alike. We also have an outer brightness group on Facebook where you can join and interact with us and others.

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