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#31 of 41 Old 04-18-2011, 10:01 AM
 
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Obscureepiphany's post pretty much sums up the Orthodox position.  

 

You also have to keep in mind the Orthodox have a very different view of what Salvation is, how one receives the gift of salvation and why one needs it, than most protestant denominations do. Salvation is more of a process for us rather than a moment in time.  Christ saved us all when he died on the cross.  We are continuously working out our salvation by participating with Him in becoming holy, and we will be saved at the final judgment if he so decides.  He can save whomever he wants and we beg for His mercy at all times for all people, but in the mean time we need to live like we believe Him and participate in our own journey towards holiness that we might please Him.  Baptism is for the remission of sins.  It is hard to be Holy without remission of sins.  We do  not believe it is merely a symbol or outward sign or public declaration, right of passage or photo op.  It is a Holy mystical, sacrament, instituted and blessed and sanctified by God himself where he imparts his grace to us to help us on our journey.  YAY!!!  

 

But asking an Orthodox Christian if someone must be baptized to be saved begs the question "what is salvation".
 

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Originally Posted by obscureepiphany View Post

I've noticed that, although the original poster asked for scripture, no one has cited any. OP, you are quite correct that, before one is baptized, one should have clarity on the purpose of baptism. The Bible gives us that purpose: the remission of sins (Acts 2:38).  I would ask you to seriously consider the following:

 

1) Can one be saved without partaking of the benefits of Christ's death? "Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?" Romans 6:3

2) Can one be saved without being spiritually circumcised? "In [Christ] also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;" (Colossians 2:11-13)

3) Can one be saved without the remission of sins? "Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." (Acts 2:37-38). Baptism is not because sins have already been remitted: "For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins." (Matthew 26:28), but in order to have sins remitted

4) Can one be saved without putting on Christ? "For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ." (Galatians 3:27).

5) Can one be saved without being in the body of Christ?"For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit." (I Corinthians 12:13) The body is the church (Colossians 1:18), to which the Lord adds those who are being saved (Acts 2:47). How is one added? (Acts 2:41)

6) Can one be saved without having his sins washed away? "And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord." (Acts 22:16)

7) Can one be saved without having a new life in Christ? "Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life." (Romans 6:4). According to this verse, how can one be a Christian before they are baptized and then still be a Christian after baptism? If one has a new life after baptism, and they were a Christian before baptism, then the Christian life is the old life! One must be born of water as well as spirit in order to be a Christian (John 3:3-5).

8) Can one be saved who cannot wear the name of Christ? "Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?"
(1 Corinthians 1:12-13). Paul here points out that in order to where someone's name on a religious sense: a) the person must have been crucified for you, and b) the person must have authorized your baptism.

9) Can one be saved without being saved? "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned." (Mark 16:16). There are two statements here. One that tells us what to do to be saved, and one that tells us what to fail to do to be condemned. If one wants to be condemned, all they must do is fail to believe. If one wants to be saved, he must look at the first statement. (See also I Peter 3:20, 21)

Offered in Christian Love,

Elizabeth


Here are some links on the Orthodox view of Salvation:

http://orthodoxinfo.com/inquirers/inq_salvation.aspx

http://fatherstephen.wordpress.com/2008/05/21/the-orthodox-church-and-personal-salvation/

 

Two GREAT videos:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WosgwLekgn8

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=16a_1285963583

 

Links about baptism:

http://orthodoxwiki.org/Baptism

http://www.saintbarbara.org/faith/sacraments/baptism/baptism.cfm

http://www.goarch.org/chapel/liturgical_texts/baptism  This is the actual service and prayers that accompany Baptism.

this is long.  I didn't read it all but looks meaty.  http://www.orthodox.net/articles/orthodox-baptism-explanation.html

 

 


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#32 of 41 Old 04-18-2011, 12:12 PM
 
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Originally Posted by lilyka View Post

Obscureepiphany's post pretty much sums up the Orthodox position.  

 

You also have to keep in mind the Orthodox have a very different view of what Salvation is, how one receives the gift of salvation and why one needs it, than most protestant denominations do. Salvation is more of a process for us rather than a moment in time.  Christ saved us all when he died on the cross.  We are continuously working out our salvation by participating with Him in becoming holy, and we will be saved at the final judgment if he so decides.  He can save whomever he wants and we beg for His mercy at all times for all people, but in the mean time we need to live like we believe Him and participate in our own journey towards holiness that we might please Him.  Baptism is for the remission of sins.  It is hard to be Holy without remission of sins.  We do  not believe it is merely a symbol or outward sign or public declaration, right of passage or photo op.  It is a Holy mystical, sacrament, instituted and blessed and sanctified by God himself where he imparts his grace to us to help us on our journey.  YAY!!!  

 


Yes, YAY to that!  Thanks for adding this because I couldn't figure out how to approach the whole 'what does it mean to be saved' thing.  

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#33 of 41 Old 04-20-2011, 04:06 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Purple Sage View Post

 

(...)

Second, no one on this thread, I don't think, has said that God can't choose to save anyone He wants with or without baptism.  But that doesn't mean that it isn't required of those of us who are able and aware of His command to do it.  There's a difference.  I'll use myself as an example - I'm not baptized yet, but if I were to die today I have hope that God will have mercy on me and not hold it against me that I haven't been baptized yet.  I have every intention of being baptized when my priest decides that it's the right time.  Now, if I decided it didn't really matter if I ever got baptized and felt that I held the correct beliefs (faith alone) and that's all that counts, then that would be a different story.  Then my faith that Jesus meant what He said in John chapter 3 would be meaningless, dead...that's how I feel about it, anyway.  In other words, I have faith in Christ so therefore I will get baptized.....not, 'I have faith in Christ so therefore I do not need to get baptized.'  Big difference.


Exactly - God can and does save anyone He wants to, and is not limited by baptism or non-baptism; but that does not change our duty to be baptized if we are able.

 

A problem I often run into in talking with Protestants is the "necessary" issue. If I understand correctly, a big part of Protestant history involved getting rid of many excessive or worldly things which had developed in the RC church. The idea that cutting out "unnecessary" rituals, customs, or displays is purifying seems to be part of the Protestant world view, if I am interpreting right. Protestant friends have asked if I consider it necessary to have icons, incense, various church rituals, etc. in order to be saved. From the Orthodox perspective, it is simply the wrong question. Nothing is necessary for me to be saved except God's will that I be saved. In fact, that is the only thing that really counts. From our Church's history, we know of people who have been saved without baptism, without having read or heard the Bible, without ever entering a church, without really knowing who God or Christ is, let alone without receiving any of the other Sacraments or blessings of the Church. Theoretically, that would mean everything the Church has to offer is unnecessary and should be eliminated, including the Bible and baptism itself.

We tend to look at it from the other direction. We are trying to find out way to Heaven, and that can be a struggle. Discarding sacraments, etc. because we might be able to manage without them is like the climber trying to scale Everest without resorting to oxygen. The only reason to attempt it would be so he can brag that he managed the climb without artificial assistance. Our "climb" is far more serious, and we cannot afford to take risks. We will accept anything that might give us a better chance of reaching our goal. Oxygen? Sure. Tent, blankets, space heater and energy bars? We'll take them all. We also gladly accept the Sherpa guide, and if necessary the emergency helicopter ride back down the mountain. That is how we see things like the Sacraments: not "is this really necessary?" but "if it can help me reach salvation, hand it over, along with anything else you got!" 

 

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#34 of 41 Old 04-20-2011, 04:32 PM
 
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Exactly - God can and does save anyone He wants to, and is not limited by baptism or non-baptism; but that does not change our duty to be baptized if we are able.

 

A problem I often run into in talking with Protestants is the "necessary" issue. If I understand correctly, a big part of Protestant history involved getting rid of many excessive or worldly things which had developed in the RC church. The idea that cutting out "unnecessary" rituals, customs, or displays is purifying seems to be part of the Protestant world view, if I am interpreting right. Protestant friends have asked if I consider it necessary to have icons, incense, various church rituals, etc. in order to be saved. From the Orthodox perspective, it is simply the wrong question. Nothing is necessary for me to be saved except God's will that I be saved. In fact, that is the only thing that really counts. From our Church's history, we know of people who have been saved without baptism, without having read or heard the Bible, without ever entering a church, without really knowing who God or Christ is, let alone without receiving any of the other Sacraments or blessings of the Church. Theoretically, that would mean everything the Church has to offer is unnecessary and should be eliminated, including the Bible and baptism itself.

We tend to look at it from the other direction. We are trying to find out way to Heaven, and that can be a struggle. Discarding sacraments, etc. because we might be able to manage without them is like the climber trying to scale Everest without resorting to oxygen. The only reason to attempt it would be so he can brag that he managed the climb without artificial assistance. Our "climb" is far more serious, and we cannot afford to take risks. We will accept anything that might give us a better chance of reaching our goal. Oxygen? Sure. Tent, blankets, space heater and energy bars? We'll take them all. We also gladly accept the Sherpa guide, and if necessary the emergency helicopter ride back down the mountain. That is how we see things like the Sacraments: not "is this really necessary?" but "if it can help me reach salvation, hand it over, along with anything else you got!" 

 


 

You said that perfectly, that is exactly how I feel as well. I have many Protestant friends(I am actually the only Catholic), and none of them understand why I am and some dislike the Catholic church because of all of it's "extras" that they don't see as necessary. I am not Orthodox, I am Roman Catholic, but the two are similar in many things. All of the rituals ect. might not be needed, but they are far older than any other Christian tradition out there(and the church was actually started by Paul), so I put a lot of merit in that, and as you said every bit helps.


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#35 of 41 Old 04-20-2011, 09:58 PM
 
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Brilliantly said!  clap.gif
 

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Originally Posted by mamabadger View Post




Exactly - God can and does save anyone He wants to, and is not limited by baptism or non-baptism; but that does not change our duty to be baptized if we are able.

 

A problem I often run into in talking with Protestants is the "necessary" issue. If I understand correctly, a big part of Protestant history involved getting rid of many excessive or worldly things which had developed in the RC church. The idea that cutting out "unnecessary" rituals, customs, or displays is purifying seems to be part of the Protestant world view, if I am interpreting right. Protestant friends have asked if I consider it necessary to have icons, incense, various church rituals, etc. in order to be saved. From the Orthodox perspective, it is simply the wrong question. Nothing is necessary for me to be saved except God's will that I be saved. In fact, that is the only thing that really counts. From our Church's history, we know of people who have been saved without baptism, without having read or heard the Bible, without ever entering a church, without really knowing who God or Christ is, let alone without receiving any of the other Sacraments or blessings of the Church. Theoretically, that would mean everything the Church has to offer is unnecessary and should be eliminated, including the Bible and baptism itself.

We tend to look at it from the other direction. We are trying to find out way to Heaven, and that can be a struggle. Discarding sacraments, etc. because we might be able to manage without them is like the climber trying to scale Everest without resorting to oxygen. The only reason to attempt it would be so he can brag that he managed the climb without artificial assistance. Our "climb" is far more serious, and we cannot afford to take risks. We will accept anything that might give us a better chance of reaching our goal. Oxygen? Sure. Tent, blankets, space heater and energy bars? We'll take them all. We also gladly accept the Sherpa guide, and if necessary the emergency helicopter ride back down the mountain. That is how we see things like the Sacraments: not "is this really necessary?" but "if it can help me reach salvation, hand it over, along with anything else you got!" 

 



 


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#36 of 41 Old 05-14-2011, 08:57 AM
 
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Originally Posted by lilyka View Post

Obscureepiphany's post pretty much sums up the Orthodox position.  

 

Interesting! I didn't know that! Actually, i am not orthodox, or protestant. I'm a member of the church of Christ.

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#37 of 41 Old 05-20-2011, 04:04 PM
 
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Does anyone have any scripture references for why they think it is merely a symbolic gesture or ritual? 


The truest answer to violence is love. The truest answer to death is life. The only prevention for violence is for the heart to have no violence within it.  We cannot prevent evil through any system devised by mankind. But we can grapple with evil and defeat it, but only with love—real love.

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#38 of 41 Old 05-20-2011, 06:13 PM
 
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I started going to a bible study at a non-denominational church about three weeks. The first week we discussed baptism. Here is what I have from my notes.

 

--Baptism is an act of worship through which believers express their faith and commitment. "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit..." --Matthew 28:19

 

--While the word baptism means the process of immersion, submersion or to be fully wet; the immersion of the believer symbolizes his death to sin and his resurrection to the new life he now has in Christ.  So when you go into the water, you go into Christ with sin. Christ is the water, he washes away the sin and you rise as Jesus Christ did from the cross after paying for the sin of the world. My pastor expressed his belief that one does not need to be baptized in water in order to reach salvation. He said that you must be baptized into Christ in order to be saved. 

 

--"Or don't you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection."-- Romans 6:3-5

 

--"And this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also-- not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a good conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ..." 1 Peter 3:21

 

I believe that it is symbolic and that there can be ritual to it depending on the church.

 

I've been baptized twice in my life and I still strive to be a spiritual sponge not just of Christianity. 

 

I hope that helps. 

 


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#39 of 41 Old 05-20-2011, 08:58 PM
 
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That verse in context...

 

 

 

Quote:
18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit. 19 After being made alive, he went and made proclamation to the imprisoned spirits— 20 to those who were disobedient long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water, 21 and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who has gone into heaven and is at God’s right hand—with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him.

 

The symbolic water they are talking about is the water of the flood.  IT was a symbol of baptism.  They are not saying baptism is a symbol of anything.  As a matter of fact the verse says the water of the great flood was a symbol of the " baptism which now saves you".


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#40 of 41 Old 05-20-2011, 10:44 PM
 
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Perhaps metaphor would have been the best word to use. I think the other two verses are straight forward enough. Just trying to be helpful.


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#41 of 41 Old 05-26-2011, 07:50 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by lilyka View Post

Does anyone have any scripture references for why they think it is merely a symbolic gesture or ritual? 



I don't think it is merely symbolic or ritual, but I don't think I can believe it is the point at which you are saved. I think that if you are choosing to follow God and give yourself to Him you will get baptized because we are directed to do so. But the question I have comes from the way this pastor (at a churchw e left) explained it to me. He said instead of baptism being the first thing you do as a Christian, it is the last thing you do as a sinner. You are not saved until  you pass through the water.

 

I don't really have any scriptural references for why I question that, mainly conceptual problems with that. If I were to embrace that, I feel like I would have to change my view if who the Lord is.  I will put together my point in a more thought out manner and find scriptures that I lean on for my understanding of the Lord in ways I feel like they are incompatible..... for now my argument comes from ...

 

Isn't salvation by grace that none may boast so that 1. it is not based on anything physical so that our salvation cannot be judged and determined by earthly means 2. so that pastors don't feel as though they "hold the key" for eternal life. 3. baptism could become a source of pride and Pharisee type behavior.

 

Like I said in an earlier post; the question has already been asked of Jesus, "what must I do to be saved?" and He answered. Now we must also ask of a pastor "what must I do to be baptized?" seems like it adds a whole new dimension that seems like a potential yoke the same kind as Jesus specifically spoke against.

 

Now that I am getting started I do have a few scriptures to reference here, but my 2yo dd is getting fussy...... try to have my thoughts together more when I come back

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