John, it is truly shortsighted to blindness to deny what the Bible clearly proclaims. What does the Bible say is the purpose of baptism? Is it not to wash away sins? (Acts 22:16). Can a person be saved in their sins, or are they saved from their sins?
Short answer, NO!
Baptism CAN NOT wash sins. If it did then Christ’s atonement means nothing. Further if the sins are forgiven on an “act” of baptism then salvation is earned by something you do and therefore can not be received by grace anymore.
Baptism is a beautiful act, one that I think a believer should partake in but not because it has any merit on grounds of washing away sins or attain salvation by its mean.
This argument is really no different than what the Jews had in the early church, which is that a person must be circumcised to obtain salvation even though he has put his faith in Christ. Man’s old favorite thing… to do something, to obey and to please God, to achieve a free gift with a work, on a merit he wants to earn. But grace makes it all redundant and the sooner we realize it the better.
On August 30th last year, I wrote somewhat of a controversial post titled “Love thy gay neighbor”. One of my friends, over the phone told me that I had gone overboard with it and that if someone was a liar or a thief would I love them too? He is not a bad person but he wanted to convey his point and so he did and I gently explained to him why I wrote what I wrote and that I stood by it. Yes I do support the gay cause, I say this at a risk of offending my close friends but I have good reasons to hold on to what I believe and I love my friends and hope that they see my reasons too. But back then when I told my friend this, he replied:
“But shouldn’t we condemn sin?”
And it caught my attention. Because I have was hoping he would say:
“But shouldn’t we love the sinner?” he didn’t say that.
This regrettably shows the attitude we Christians on the upfront have adapted. It is strictly not about the gay issue, it is about every issue that we take an offense to. Talking with my friend six months back, I realized this is what the church generally is teaching our congregations and our children, they teach them to condemn, we may not have been teaching them this aggressively but that scale tips because we teach them this attitude passively by playing it out in front of them. Through our actions we validate our error and pass it on.
Our focus has shifted. We are called the house of God, but we are moving towards the point where we are a house of legalistic people who pick out gnats but leave the greater truths of the gospel, love and mercy, aside. What difference is there among us and the pharisees of Christ’s time, if we are only looking to condemn, let that be people or sin, we don’t care; the whole point of Christ dying for sinners is lost when we engage in this behavior. Read more
So, there is this guy I know. He is not someone with great wit or style, no scientific achievements or even a good educational background. This guy belongs to an average family, I would not call it a rich family, a poor one, may be close to trailer folks. From a background like this, one can not boast any real world connections in politics and society. Suffice to say, he is an average guy, may be at times even more average than us. But there is something very unique about him. In fact it is so unique that at times he seems like the only one who actually has it. The truth is he is now one of the most well known personalities in the world.
When I first got to know this guy, I was met with a plethora of myths and legends about him. Some say he was born of a virgin; what? you have heard about this? okay, then please read a little more. So it was said he was born of a virgin. I am also told that this is the same claim that many people throughout history have held. Read more
The beauty of the cross is that it is ugly. Seriously, the cross is ugly. It is the symbol of an ugly death that happened for the sake of ugly sins, and it is for ugly people to come and fall down on their knees in repentance.
Wow! Just amazing, it is a must read guys.
The gospel is for ugly people too.
I’m not actually mad at God. I don’t believe in the fucker.
I am sure if you are a Christian and on the internet you might have read these words more than often. Words that might just piss you off or at least that is what the author originally had in mind. Most of the time what usually follows is that Christians often try to justify God in his actions. They sometimes give excellent rationale and at other times they say something dumber than dumb. Most Christians and I am talking about some hardcore Christians, might just turn back and give the same dosage of abusive language to the author. But in all of this, what Christians do not realize that at the moment they tried to justify God’s actions, they ended up in a trap.
Lets face it, you cannot defend God, convincingly. You can offer explanations and all that but the truth is no one is bound or obliged to believe how you think your God is good. To an atheist, a Muslim praising his God, a Buddhist praising Buddha and a Christian praising Jesus is all the same. Most atheists display a remarkable ignorance of faith and its inner working. And so very often if you are going to quote your bible, my bet is it is not going to work because to the atheist it is a “crap load of fabricated stories”. Read more
I found this very beautiful, and I hope it may change your lookout on people around you.
I dreamt death came the other night
And Heaven’s gate swung wide.
An angel with a halo bright
Ushered me inside.
And there! To my astonishment
Stood folks I’d judged and labeled
As “quite unfit,” “of little worth,”
And “spiritually disabled.”
Indignant words rose to my lips
But never were set free,
For every face showed stunned surprise –
Not one expected me!
Source: Albert W. Daw Collection
A while back on a forum this discussion popped up and I know this comes up often when atheists try to blame God (as if he exists for them). The following is a comment from a very nice atheist poster I know. The names have been changed.
… to be honest, I think it would be equally sick if God forgave Hitler. I mean, it would be pretty sad to see Gandhi burning eternally in Hell while Hitler lived an eternity of joy and happiness…I mean, for that to even be a possibility is so wrong.
But I say, why do you think that God forgiving Hitler sick or Gandhi burning in hell is unacceptable. While the former was a madman, the latter was almost a saint as far as actions are concerned but regardless of what those people did, you can not out-weigh grace by works. That is the point of which I think atheists, IMHO, have a superficial understanding. The gospel is not about what you did, but about what Christ did. You are seeing it the other way around through some sort of karma that is working behind the scene, well that ain’t the gospel and it certainly isn’t Christianity either. Read more