There are several differences between our understanding of baptism and those in other branches of Christendom. Consider the mode of baptism. Some baptize by immersion and others prefer sprinkling or pouring. Similarly, consider the subjects of baptism. Some baptize on profession of faith only (i.e., adult converts) while others also baptize the children of believers. There are other differences too. Some traditions will re-baptize people who have fallen away after baptism and return to the faith. I once saw a young man baptized for the third time after he “re-dedicated” his life to Christ. Finally, there is great discussion about what baptism does or doesn’t do. In order to insure that this series of reflections and instructions will be the most beneficial, we will begin this week with a brief historical … Read More »
This week we will be receiving a number of people who have joined our fellowship, so this WWDWWD will focus on church membership. Shortly after my conversion I was part of a church that rejected the idea of church membership. Couple this idea with the low commitment level that permeates Southern California and public reception of members seems like an odd thing.
Last week we looked at what exactly the confessions are. Today we will try to answer the question of why we use them. Let’s focus on five reasons.
First, the Bible includes within it confessions and affirmations of faith. In the pages of Scripture we find that the church was not taught a string of pearl-like Bible quotations,
Last year we used the Children’s Catechism and Westminster Shorter Catechism as a means of affirming and confessing our faith. We have also used the Apostles’ Creed and the Nicene Creed. And this year we are using the Heidelberg Catechism. This practice raises a number of questions. This week we will tackle the questions, “What are the documents?” and “Why are we not using the Bible?” Next week we will tackle “why” we use them.
First, as far as confessions go, everyone has a confession.
The short answer to the first question is that these are an historic expression of the Christian faith handed down to us by the church, which codify for us what Christians believe and why we believe it. Christians believe certain things about what the Bible teaches. If we reject those … Read More »