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# 00558 :  Marthoma church beliefs
I have noticed that the Marthoma church has many who are very spiritual and have a thirst for God. As assemblies, we also have many common doctrines with the Marthoma church. However, what are some beliefs of the Marthoma church that we cannot agree with based on the scriptures? Contributions from Dr. Johnson Philip and others will be appreciated.

Post by : ljames  View Profile    since : 6 Apr 2005


Reply by : tvarghese   View Profile   Since : 7 Apr 2005 1:14:28 AM Close

Marthomites practice and teach child baptism. They have priesthood and an administrative system which are not as per Bible
They celebrate various festivals, Christmas, Easter, etc. which is against Bible.

This itself shows they are far away from the basic dictrines as per Holy Bible.

If one does not practice as Lord commanded he cannot be sincere to God.

May I look forward to hear more from the Lord's servants.
Regards
tvarghese

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Reply by : pb   View Profile   Since : 7 Apr 2005 3:18:01 AM Close
As a person who has a lot of close friends including clergy in the Mar Thoma Church, what I have understood as some of the basic teachings of that church are:

1. Baptismal regeneration
2. Infant baptism/baptism by sprinkling as a precondition to membership of the church
3. Celebacy of the bishops
4. Bishops covering their head while praying and conducting services
5. Endorsing, supporting and being part of the World Council of churches, by uniting with other churches which have more serious errors than the Mar Thomites.
6. A written litergy which is repeated by priests and members
7. Priests being ordained to do all spiritual activities
8. Ordination of all priests and bishops
9. Special dress and ornamentations for priests, bishops, Metropolitans
10. Widespread use of the statue of cross and the cross sign indicated on the body of the people by themselves and by the priests at different times
11. Repetition of the disciple's prayer rather than use it as a model prayer
12. Transubstantiation of the elements at the Lord's Supper
13. Church as a denomination with its eccleciastic hierarchy
14. No known code of conduct for members and communicant members, and no action taken against known alcoholics, smokers and people of non-biblical ways of living.
15. No teaching of separation from unbelievers and from nominal christians.

There may be other beliefs of the Mar Thoma Church which other participation of the forum may kindly indicate.

As I write this, I must say that there are several priests and members of Mar Thoma Churches who are truly born again and several who have received believers' baptism with immersion (secretly), and they live a Godly life. But they do not separate themselves from others who are not like them and put up with the above-mentioned 15 errors that I have noticed.

Many of us know that the early brethren in Kerala were people who understood these truths and separated themselves and started gathering separately as small groups.

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Reply by : drjcp   View Profile   Since : 7 Apr 2005 4:18:18 AM Close
Thanks PB for making my job easy.

I request that you now pick up some of the more serious problems from the above list and add a bit more explanation so that the person who posted the question might understand the problem thoroughly.

I will chip in when necessay

Johnson C. Philip

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Reply by : brownsugar   View Profile   Since : 7 Apr 2005 5:07:40 PM Close
The marthoma church has the bigest church membership in India, but has little churches. Its is protestant, not evangelical! If you want to picture the martmomites- they are a mix, twist and mash with episcopal and lutheran combined. They are a offshoot of the catholic church.
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Reply by : ljames   View Profile   Since : 7 Apr 2005 10:57:26 PM Close
There seems to be some reforms in the Marthoma church. Anyone aware of the so called reforms?
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Reply by : pb   View Profile   Since : 8 Apr 2005 3:05:33 AM Close
Sorry I am not aware of any reforms in the Mar Thoma Church recently. Originally the Mar Thoma Church was the byproduct of reformist ideas from Abraham Malpan and others. There were great men like Sadhu Kochukunju Upadeshi (a person who received believers' baptism), KN Daniel (who sowed the seed for the Evangelical Church of which he was never a part)and others. But the reformists did not have much place in the MT Church. They had to send a priest to get organiend as bishop from Antioch. They followed several of the rituals and prctises of the Orthodox Church. Even some of the litergy is the same; like "Daivame Nee sudhamullavanakunnu (three times with cross mark on the bodies of people and by the achen etc.).

Some among the MT church are evangelical minded. They invited a baptist like Dr. John Haggai to preach at Maramon Convention. Late Dr. Alexander Mar Thomas was a Faculty at the Haggai Institute at Singapore. Dr. George Samuel, an evangelical is still a MT member.

But I must confess that I am unable to see any reforms in the MT church (please know that I live among MT members and have close connections with members and the clergy).

If someone knows, please share it with us so that we can clarify with our MT friends and achens.

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Reply by : pb   View Profile   Since : 8 Apr 2005 3:11:44 AM Close
Correction:

In the above post, line 7, first word, must read: ordained.

Sorry for the typographical error.

I also wish to add that what I mean by reforms above is Spiritual reforms and not administrative, constitutional or organizational reforms.

Thanks and with regards to all our dear MT friends who are on this forum.

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Reply by : tomj   View Profile   Since : 8 Apr 2005 11:24:50 AM Close
Dear PB:

You wrote "Transubstantiation of the elements at the Lord's Supper".

I never knew that Mar Thoma church believed in this. Could you reconfirm this?

Tom J

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Reply by : tomj   View Profile   Since : 11 Apr 2005 12:15:34 AM Close
Contd.

I hope you would look at these verses and see the awesomeness of the salvation given to us. “ The greatness of salvation is derived from the fact that it is decided in detail before the foundation of this world by the will of God. The detail includes, the process of salvation and product of salvation” (Quoted from GPK – So great salvation).

Let me personalize it here. God planned and purposed my (Tom J) salvation before he laid the foundation to this world. By the ‘counsel of His own will’, before Genesis 1:1, God granted me this awesome privilege of being His child! The same thing is true in the case of every saved person. Please read the following verses prayerfully.

Eph 1:3-6

3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, 4just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, 5having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, 6to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.

1 Peter 1:18- 20

18knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, 19but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. 20He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you.

Contd.

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Reply by : tomj   View Profile   Since : 11 Apr 2005 12:17:46 AM Close
Contd.

Now, coming back to the point of ‘irreverence’, let me state that when you rather mockingly ask the question whether such and such person or group would be in heaven, I believe you are mocking at the very essence and purpose of an eternal God who holds everything by the word of His power.

I don’t believe you know the magnitude of defiance you (supposedly a Christian) are flinging at the face of our Creator, who in His grace allowed some of us to be His children. Please try to understand the awesomeness of this great salvation, which took place by ‘the counsel of His own will’, and be thankful if you have indeed experienced it. If not, please read what I wrote in the thread ‘going to hell’ and I pray that you would become one who was ‘chosen before the foundation of the world’. (Now those who might ask the question; ‘if I am chosen I would be in heaven any way, if not why bother’ might be just challenging God’s plan and suggesting that you know better than God himself!)

Forget about all these petty arguments. The most important thing is to be saved and experience the forgiveness that’s available through faith in His finished work.

In any case, please stop asking whether so and so would be in heaven. Let’s not play God. Give Him the honor and praise that He alone deserves.

Ps 29:3-9 “3The voice of the LORD is over the waters; The God of glory thunders; The LORD is over many waters. 4The voice of the LORD is powerful; The voice of the LORD is full of majesty. 5The voice of the LORD breaks the cedars, Yes, the LORD splinters the cedars of Lebanon. 6He makes them also skip like a calf, Lebanon and Sirion like a young wild ox. 7The voice of the LORD divides the flames of fire. 8The voice of the LORD shakes the wilderness; The LORD shakes the Wilderness of Kadesh. 9The voice of the LORD makes the deer give birth, And strips the forests bare.”

He indeed is an awesome God! Yet He patiently waits for me, and you, to make us ‘conform to the image of Lord Jesus Christ’!

Regards,
Tom J

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Reply by : tomj   View Profile   Since : 11 Apr 2005 8:25:30 AM Close
Dear Readers:

The above posting had three different sections. I am positive that the first section was there when I posted. Now it is missing. So, for those who might be wondering what was in the first section, let me recap it briefly.

I was writing to varghese P who was asking whether so and so would go to heaven and making a mockery of God's eternal plan of salvation.

Please continue to read starting with two frames above this posting.

Regards,

Tom J

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Reply by : wkirubakaran   View Profile   Since : 16 Apr 2005 10:09:42 AM Close
What is the difference between Marthomites and Jacobites

Regards
W.Kirubakaran

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Reply by : Philip1   View Profile   Since : 16 Apr 2005 11:15:19 AM Close
12. Transubstantiation of the elements at the Lord's Supper
I would like to ask, Please check with some one of the traadtion before one makes a statement. It is true that Holy communion is treated with great respect in the Marthoma Church but "Transubstantiation" is not their belief on Communion.
As with many blanket statements that are often made on this forum.
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Reply by : drjcp   View Profile   Since : 16 Apr 2005 11:20:55 AM Close
Transubstantiation is not officially affirmed by Mar Thoma Church. It is officially affirmed as an essential belief by the Roman Catholic church.

Johnson C. Philip

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Reply by : alexander   View Profile   Since : 1 Sep 2005 3:35:59 PM Close
What is the difference between marthoma church and evangelical church of india and st:thomas evangelical fellowship of india which is heade by bishop alexander .The evangelical church headed by bishop koshy.can you please explain to me.and also what is their belief.
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Reply by : tibyjoseph   View Profile   Since : 23 Nov 2006 4:11:58 AM Close
I dont agree with some of the posts here..
First of all there is no church thats perfect bcoz no human is perfect.Surely marthoma church is very different from the roman catholic chuch

At the same time there are some unbiblical things like baptism that goes over there. i know it well bcoz im from marthomite background but now born again and baptized.The pentescostal churches in kerala are also legalistic lot bcoz of things like wearing ornaments and clothes you wear.I feel that god looks at my heart but man would look at the external as well.I'm happy that I hve found churches also in kerala that believes in the word of god rather than rules and legalism set forward by men.

I have also seen such things that legalism and ornament stuff is only in kerala. Even pentecostal churches outside kerala arenot legalistic and worry abt the dress codes..I guess rather than pointing finger at other churches,let us look at ourselves. we are saved by god's grace rather than our works and performance

I believe that there are lot of believers in the marthoma church ..and mind you lot of christian malayalam songs that we all sing have their source in them...

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Reply by : royz97   View Profile   Since : 26 Nov 2006 9:01:46 AM Close
Respected Sirs,

DO we are all are Obeying the laws of the Lord. As i have seen many denominations, every one says they are superior to other, Are they obeying Lord,

Why after 2000 years still India have 92% Hindus, its due to our unfaithfulness towards LORD and disobedience to Lord, Still He forgives us

In my place I happen to have a new friend and once he called me for a party and in that he was drinking wine and he offered me, but i told him, I not drink, my religion not allows me to drink,
He was laughing on me he told that your people are the famous in drinking wine and in their religious programes and celebrations they drink with their families.It was something new i have told him

So whats the Witness going towards the people, we can only show our superiority over our own denominations but not value the will of Lord

Today Christianity is in a bad condition. people don't like christians anymore due to their works

how can we Preach the Love of Lord
How can we be united to Glorify Our Lord Jesus.
Can we win these big country for Lord Jesus
or we only want to glorify our self, our dinominations, our people,

why christian not think that If Jesus was in my place wht he had done.

why we not love eachother, why we not help each other for the spiritual growth of one other

www.jesus4friends.tk

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Reply by : royz97   View Profile   Since : 30 Nov 2006 9:32:36 AM Close
Why anybody not replying me
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Reply by : thomasdelhi   View Profile   Since : 30 Nov 2006 10:47:55 PM Close
brother,

Today's Christianity in general does not have any resemblance of real Christianity. You can say European countries are christian countries and everyone knows who they are.

So let us focus on matters among believers which makes more sense. And they are a very small minority of the so called Christians. Sadly many belivers also behave like unbelievers. But still let us try to make as much as good impact as possible.
thanks
thomas

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Reply by : bthomas   View Profile   Since : 7 Dec 2006 2:52:52 PM Close
Bash the marthomites, bash the Pentecostals, and bash everyone else, other then the great Indian Brethren Assembly denomination.

No where in the Bible does it say that only one church denomination goes to heaven and the rest goes to hell. Those who are saved go to heaven.

By the way, many of the things that you have said about the Mar Thoma church is wrong. Please don't spread your own propaganda.

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Reply by : trds   View Profile   Since : 24 Oct 2007 3:30:52 PM Close
I am bringing this thread up so that we may not miss any part of that discussion.
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Reply by : imphal67   View Profile   Since : 31 Oct 2007 9:08:04 PM Close
weather we are mar thomites, pentecostals, brethern, CSI, or fundamentalist flag waving Evangelical christians from america, It all comes down to this from the bible:"for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God." we all deserve to spend eternity in hell, but God through his unlimited mercy sent his only begotten son to die for us that if we invite him into our hearts and accept him as Lord and saviour, we will be saved from eternal damnation.
as a mar thomite, I found some of the comments directed towards my church personnely offensive. weather one believes in child or adult baptism is irrelevant. With regard to clebrations of christmas and easter as unchristian, I agree that these two holidays have become very commercialized here in smerica. But if a believer wants to celebrate these two holidays in their uncommercialized pure forms, it will not make him/her any less of a christian
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Reply by : samuel.v.j   View Profile   Since : 31 Oct 2007 11:09:59 PM Close
Dear " imphal67 " in Christ,
<<weather one believes in child or adult baptism is irrelevant >>

Is not baptising the first command of Jesus christ after salvation to be followed, to his disciples after resurrection before accension. If we are saved the outward demonstration of witnessing Jesus Christ as our savior is Baptism. Brother, what is your opinion as you are a brethren of Marthoma church.

Mathew 28:
19Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

To teach and get understand what is being taught, what do you think a child which is bieng born or one year can be taught about the salvation.

I am not at all criticising any denomination, I have a great respect for all fellow human biengs, As I have written in one the threads my father was a Marthoma clergy when he accepted Lord as his personal savior, learned the word of God, knew the truth from the scriptures, witnessed the Lord in waters , and is a Gospel missionary in a remote place in India, and to note the Late thirumeni was my dads classmate, and we have close relations with all the old age fathers and bishops Marthoma till date. I respect them.


Yours in Christ
Samuel.V.J

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Reply by : imphal67   View Profile   Since : 2 Nov 2007 9:36:55 PM Close
dear V.J samuel,
I believe baptism is a one time deal. my brother and sister and I received baptism through our church. our parents had us baptized when we were born because their intention was that one day all three of us would come to accept Jesus as our Lord and saviour. baptism is only a means towards that end(that moment in your life when you come to accept jesus as your Lord and saviour). For me personnely, that meoment happened in the spring of 1983. Now, my wife and I have two wonderful children of our own. We had our son baptized in the Mar thoma church when he was one year old, and our daughter was also baptized when she was 4 months old. My wife and I believe that this simple act of pouring some water on our Childrens head does not complete the process. It will only be completed when one day they make the personel decision to accept Jesus as their Lord and Saviour.
yours in Christ,
imphal67
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Reply by : chackoipe   View Profile   Since : 3 Nov 2007 8:14:56 AM Close
Dear Brothers
According to the question, Brothers have given their opinion about other denominations, where christians are coming together and worship the Lord.

Our Lord Jesus Christ taught us the love of heavenly father, how we have to express to others:
"I tell you,love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven"

There are so many in this world those who are guiding others towards heaven but they themselves are away from it. That is why Jesus Christ already warned about it in advance. It is better not to judge others, but look towards the Lord and lead a good life according to the Lord's wishes in our every day life. No one is perfect but the one who can bring perfection in us is only the Lord Jesus Christ, that too by his grace.

Is there any denomination, who can give guarantee about the perfection of the soul, No, no one except the precious blood of our Saviour, who has given himself and bought us, and leading us towards the right destination. He knows our weakness so he is interceding for us.

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Reply by : samuel.v.j   View Profile   Since : 3 Nov 2007 8:35:41 AM Close
Dear "imphal67" in Christ,

<<my brother and sister and I received baptism through our church. our parents had us baptized when we were born because their intention was that one day all three of us would come to accept Jesus as our Lord and savior>>

Dear brother , please do brief, why the baptism was done when you three were born, Is it scriptural, and let it not happen anytime, if anytime any of you three could not accept as Lord Jesus Christ as yours personal savior when you get old enough, to understand the word of God, will the baptsim when you were infant will make any differnce.

<<We had our son baptized in the Mar thoma church when he was one year old, and our daughter was also baptized when she was 4 months old. >> Is it for a membership in the gathering .


Yours in Christ
Samuel.V.J

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Reply by : hithere   View Profile   Since : 3 Nov 2007 4:00:38 PM Close
JESUS NEVER BAPTIZED ANYONE

John 3:22
After these things Jesus and His disciples came into the land of Judea, and there He remained with them and baptized.

John 4:1-3
Therefore, when the Lord knew that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John (though Jesus Himself did not baptize, but His disciples), He left Judea and departed again to Galilee.

John 4:1-2 is an explanation of John 3:22. In 3:22, John reveals that Jesus and his disciples were in the land of Judea, and that they were baptizing. In 4:2, the apostle fills us in on the details; telling us that "...Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John (though Jesus Himself did not baptize, but His disciples)..." If 3:22 contradicts 4:2, then 4:1 also contradicts 4:2! However, 4:2 is an explanation of the previous statements.

There is no contradiction.

http://www.lookinguntojesus.net/ata20020825.htm

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Reply by : imphal67   View Profile   Since : 3 Nov 2007 4:50:37 PM Close
Dear Brother Samuel,
Child baptism or adult baptism is irrelevant. Jesus didn't tell Nicodemus:Unless you accept baptism, you cannot enter the kingdom of God. But I believe he told him to the effect That:Unless a person is born again he cannot enter the kingdom of God. No retribution is mentioned in the bible for not taking baptism. If there are any consequences for not taking baptism, than any other persons with more knowledge of the bible than me can feel free to point it out.
But the end game is this: There will be serious consequences if individuals reject Christ.
yours in Christ,
imphal67
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Reply by : samuel.v.j   View Profile   Since : 3 Nov 2007 10:52:31 PM Close
Dear "imphal67" in Christ,

When are we called Christians, <those who follow Christ>, inorder to inherit the heavenly kingdom, we have to be born again the first and foremost things, and when we continue our life in this world, then what are Jesus Christ commands and ordinances.
Mathew 28:
19Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

When we are born again we are redeemed from our transgression and sin , transgression are the works of flesh and, sin the things which we were supposed to do what was commanded and when we deny it , it becomes a sin.

When we believe the scriptures, let us believe as it is, lets not take bits ad pieces.

When Jesus Christ speaks to Nicodemus , it was Jesus Christ himself, the act of sacrifice was not yet completed, when the command at Mathew 28 is instructed, it is our resurrected savior before accension gives his last instruction to his disciples what they have to do after his ascension.


Yours in Christ
Samuel.V.J

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Reply by : hithere   View Profile   Since : 4 Nov 2007 1:24:04 PM Close
I dont believe in child baptism but I found an interesting article.

http://www.imarc.cc/baptize/waswift.html

"I am thoroughly and clearly convinced that pouring or sprinkling water upon a person in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost, is the proper mode of baptism, pouring and sprinkling coming from the same root word".

"There are thousands in our churches who are confused about the mode of water baptism. Many persons have joined immersionist churches simply because they did not understand the full meaning of water baptism."


http://www.imarc.cc/baptize/waswift.html

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Reply by : samuel.v.j   View Profile   Since : 4 Nov 2007 10:07:53 PM Close
Dear brethren in Christ,
Let the scriptures be our guide and the The Holy spirit guide us what we have to do.
If there is an article <<http://www.imarc.cc/baptize/waswift.html>> in the web world, there is also articles like this in the net
http://www.gospelway.com/salvation/baptism_action.php

The Action (Mode) of Baptism:
Sprinkling, Pouring, or Immersion?
Should baptism according to the gospel of Jesus Christ involve sprinkling, pouring, or immersion? Some denominations sprinkle water on the subject, others pour water, others immerse in water, and still others say it does not matter. What action or "mode" is the correct way to baptize? What should a Christian believe according to the Bible?
Introduction:
In Matthew 28:18-20 Jesus commanded all people of all nations to be baptized.
Clearly baptism is an important requirement, yet it is also one of the most misunderstood topics in the gospel. What did Jesus mean when He said to baptize people?
The purpose of this study is to consider the action or "mode" involved in baptism.
Physically, what should be done when one is baptized? Is baptism sprinkling, pouring, or immersion?
I. Different Views about the Issue
A. Some Denominations View This as a Matter of Choice
Some churches sprinkle or pour water on the person's head. Most churches say there are several acceptable choices regarding the action involved in baptism. Others only immerse. Consider statements from various "Christian" denominations:
"Baptism may be administered by sprinkling, pouring, or immersion, according to the choice of the applicant" - Church of the Nazarene Manual, 1972 ed., p. 33.
"What is the meaning of the word 'baptize'? 'Baptize' means to apply water by washing, pouring, sprinkling, or immersing" - Luther's Small Catechism, par. 244, p. 170.
"Dipping of the person into the water is not necessary; the Baptism is rightly administered by pouring or sprinkling water upon the person" -
Contd/-
Samuel.V.J

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Reply by : samuel.v.j   View Profile   Since : 4 Nov 2007 10:09:57 PM Close
Contd/-
How is baptism given? It is given by pouring water over the forehead of the person to be baptized ..." - A Catechism for Adults (Catholic), 1975 ed., p. 63.
B. Some Leaders of the Above Denominations Admit Immersion Is the Biblical Teaching.
"Luther urged, in opposition to the standard practice of pouring, that baptism should be by immersion. He pointed out that the word in the Greek language means 'To plunge something entirely into the water, so that the water closes over it,' and urged that immersion should be the mode of baptism. Today, however, the general practice of the Lutheran Church is to administer baptism by pouring, although immersion is also permitted" - A Compend of Luther's Theology, p. 167, via Handbook of Religious Quotations, p. 11.
John Calvin stated: "The word baptize signifies to immerse, and the rite of immersion was practiced by the ancient church" - quoted by Brents, p. 230f.
These quotations do not constitute conclusive evidence of the action of baptism, but should give people who practice sprinkling or pouring cause to consider the question we are studying.
C. Definitions of the Word "Baptize"
People often quote definitions from modern dictionaries.
This is used to prove the claim the word can mean sprinkling, pouring, or immersion. But modern dictionaries just define the word as used today. This does not prove what the word means in the language of the Bible.
Even our English words change meaning over time. "Gay" refers almost exclusively today to homosexuality, but it had no such meaning a century ago.
According to modern English dictionaries, the origin of the word "baptize" was a Greek word meaning "to immerse" (Random House College Dictionary). This describes the meaning used in Biblical Greek.
Dictionaries of Bible words show "baptize" means to immerse.
Thayer's lexicon on BAPTIZO says: "to dip, immerge, submerge."

Contd/-
Samuel.V.J


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Reply by : samuel.v.j   View Profile   Since : 4 Nov 2007 10:11:39 PM Close
Contd/-
Many other dictionaries show the basic, root meaning of the Bible word is to immerse. (See Vine, Arndt and Gingrich, etc.)
Remember, these dictionaries were written by members of churches that practice sprinkling and pouring. Surely they would have defined the words in a way that defended their church practice if they could have done so.
There are other Greek words for "sprinkle" (RANTIZO) or "pour" (CHEO). Had God wanted to authorize these, the words were available; but instead He chose a word the never means sprinkle or pour.
The Bible word for "baptism" means immersion, not sprinkling or pouring. But most people cannot study Greek to prove this. And dictionaries are written by fallible men. We need to search further, but surely we have reason to suspect modern sprinkling and pouring may not be correct.
D. Only the Bible Can Give a Conclusive Answer to This Question.
Matthew 28:18-20 - Jesus' command to be baptized is based on His authority over heaven and earth.
2 Timothy 3:16,17 - The Scriptures instruct us in righteousness and provide us to all good works. (James 1:25; 2 Peter 1:3; Ephesians 3:3-5)
Matthew 15:9 - Following the doctrines of men in such matters makes our worship vain.
Galatians 1:8,9 - Anyone who preaches differently from the gospel is accursed.
This issue can only be settled on the basis of Bible teaching, not on church creeds or traditions.
Note that we do not need a verse that expressly says, "Do not sprinkle or pour." If the Bible teaches us to immerse and never authorizes sprinkling or pouring, then the latter should be rejected as being human in origin and different from the gospel
[2 John 9-11; Colossians 3:17; Jeremiah 10:23; Proverbs 14:12; 3:5,6; Revelation 22:18,19; 1 Timothy 1:3; 2 Timothy 1:13]
________________________________________
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Reply by : samuel.v.j   View Profile   Since : 4 Nov 2007 10:15:08 PM Close
Contd/-
II. The Bible Evidence

The best way to understand a Bible command is to study the passages that refer to it in context comparing them to other passages on the subject. This is especially how we learn the meaning of words (children do this, so do authors of dictionaries).
Notice what baptism requires and consider what action fits what the Bible says.
A. Water
The element or substance used is not inherent in the word "baptize." But the element used in the baptism of the Great Commission - the baptism Jesus commanded everyone to receive - is water.
Acts 10:47,48 - "Can anyone forbid water, that these should not be baptized..." The command to be baptized refers to baptism in water.
Suppose someone wanted to be baptized in rose petals. Would that be obeying the command, or would that be changing it and following human doctrine? Note that no passage expressly says not to use rose petals, yet that would violate Scripture.
Other verses listed below also show the element in baptism should be water.
B. Much Water
John 3:23 - John baptized near Salim because there was much water there. John chose this particular location because baptism involves "much water."
Do sprinkling or pouring require much water? No! Baptism according to the Bible requires "much water." But sprinkling and pouring do not require much water.
Does immersion require much water? Yes, it requires enough to immerse someone in.
So Bible baptism requires "much water." Immersion fits, because it requires much water. Sprinkling and pouring do not fit, because they do not require much water. This helps us understand the meaning of "baptism" in the New Testament.
C. Coming to the Water
Acts 8:36-39 - They came to some water (v36).
Some folks think the eunuch pulled out a bottle of water and Philip used some of it to baptize him. Not so! The water used to baptize the eunuch was a body of water they came to as they traveled.

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Samuel.V.J

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Reply by : samuel.v.j   View Profile   Since : 4 Nov 2007 10:16:16 PM Close
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Other Bible examples also confirm that people who were baptized went to the water. (See John 3:23; Mark 1:9; etc.)
When people receive sprinkling or pouring, do they need to go to the water? No, the water can come to them, because not much is required.
When people are immersed, do they need to go to the water? Yes.
Again, immersion fits the Bible description of baptism. Sprinkling and pouring do not fit.
D. Going Down into the Water
Bible baptism involves going down into the water.
Acts 8:38 - Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and he baptized him. This shows why baptism involves "much water" - it must be enough for the people to go down into!
Do sprinkling or pouring require going down into the water? No. When denominations practice sprinkling or pouring, does the person go down into the water? No. But Bible baptism requires going down into the water.
When a person is immersed, must the person go down into the water? Yes, so immersion fits the Bible description of baptism, but sprinkling and pouring do not.
But some folks claim you can "go down into the water" and then sprinkle or pour water on the person.
This is how Jesus' baptism is sometimes pictured.
But is this what denominations do? Does the person go down into the water, then water is sprinkled on him? No! Why argue about what could be done if you are not doing it? This "argument" simply does not defend what denominations do!
Why don't denominational preachers take the candidate down into the water to sprinkle or pour? Because it does not make sense to go to all the trouble. And it would not have made sense in Bible times either. If Bible baptism was sprinkling or pouring, preachers would have done what preachers do today when they sprinkle or pour.
Bible examples help us see what the "baptism" means. The fact is that denominations that sprinkle or pour do not do what the Bible says baptism involves. Only immersion fits the description.
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Samuel.V.J
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Reply by : samuel.v.j   View Profile   Since : 4 Nov 2007 10:17:51 PM Close
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E. Coming Up Out of the Water
Acts 8:39 - After the eunuch had been baptized, he came up out of the water. In order to come up out of the water, he first had to be down in the water.
Mark 1:9,10 - Jesus was baptized "in" the Jordan River, then came up from ("out of" - footnote) the water.
When denominations sprinkle or pour, does the person then come up out of (or from) the water? No, because they never went down into it!
When people are immersed, do they come up out of the water? Yes!
Bible baptism requires coming to the water, going down into it, and coming up out of it. None of these are involved in sprinkling or pouring, but immersion requires all of them. Immersion fits the pattern of Bible baptism, but sprinkling and pouring do not.
F. A Burial
Colossians 2:12 - Buried with Him in baptism in which you also were raised with Him.
In baptism we are buried with Jesus and raised with Him. As He was buried in the earth, we are buried in baptism.
Are people buried and raised in sprinkling or pouring? When Jesus was buried, did they sprinkle a little dirt on Him, like folks do in sprinkling or pouring?
Matthew 12:40 - He was buried in the heart of the earth.
Matthew 27:60,66 - He was laid in a tomb hewn out of rock and a great stone covered the opening. He was completely enclosed in the element.
In baptism we are buried (completely enclosed and surrounded) in water, as Jesus was buried in the earth.
Romans 6:4 - We are buried with Him by baptism.
Some say baptism is "just a symbol" of Jesus' burial, so it does not matter how it is done. There is a symbolic element in baptism, but how does that prove that the action does not matter?
Do the passages say Jesus was buried, but it doesn't matter whether or not we are buried? It says we are buried and we are raised in baptism. The one to be baptized must be buried and raised. When denominations sprinkle or pour, is the person himself buried and raised? No. In immersion is the person buried and raised? Yes!
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Reply by : samuel.v.j   View Profile   Since : 4 Nov 2007 10:23:04 PM Close
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Actually, symbols are important. We have no right to change the symbols Jesus' authorized.
In the Lord's supper, Jesus authorized bread and fruit of the vine as symbols of Jesus' flesh and blood. This involves symbolism, but may we say the symbols do not matter so we may use hamburger and Coke?
Also, in baptism we are buried in water. If this is just symbolic and symbols don't matter, may we use milk or rose petals?
When God ordains actions, even if they involve symbolism, we must respect the act as God commanded it, instead of changing it. Baptism involves a burial and a resurrection like Jesus' burial and resurrection. Immersion fits both God's command and the symbolism He ordained. How can sprinkling or pouring symbolize a burial and a resurrection?
If we are going to change God's command to bury a person in baptism and raise him up, then we may as well use hamburger and Coke in communion and baptize people in rose petals.
The fact remains that immersion fits the Bible description of baptism. Sprinkling and pouring do not fit.
G. A Resurrection
The same passages that say we are buried in baptism also say we are raised in baptism.
Colossians 2:12 - Buried with Him in baptism in which you also were raised with Him.
Romans 6:4 - Just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
Sprinkling and pouring are not Scriptural baptism, because they involve neither a burial nor a resurrection. Only immersion fits.
H. A Washing of the Body
Hebrews 10:22 - We have our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Note the contrast between the sprinkling of the heart and the washing of the body.
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Reply by : samuel.v.j   View Profile   Since : 4 Nov 2007 10:24:44 PM Close
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Hebrews contrasts the Old Testament to the New Testament. The Old Testament involved sprinkling of animal blood and ceremonial washings. [Heb. 9:13; Lev. 14:1-9; chap. 15; 16:4,24; 22:6; Ex. 29:4,21; etc.]
In the New Testament, the blood of Jesus is sprinkled on our heart to cleanse us from sin. This must be spiritual, since it cannot be physical. [Heb. 9:14]
But what is washed with water? The body! Clearly, this refers to baptism. Just as with the Lord's supper, baptism involves both an inner meaning and an outer action. In baptism the heart is cleansed of sin when the body is washed in baptism.
Denominations sprinkle or pour water on the head. But Bible baptism involves washing the body. In immersion, the body is washed. Immersion fits the Bible descriptions of baptism. Sprinkling and pouring do not fit.

This is taken from the link :<<http://www.gospelway.com/salvation/baptism_action.php>>


Yours in Christ
Samuel.V.J

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Reply by : imphal67   View Profile   Since : 5 Nov 2007 12:41:00 AM Close
<when are we called Christians>,
these are my core beliefs:
-inerrancy of the bible.
-salvation through grace('for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God...etc..etc.the end result is to accept Christ as Saviour)
-miraculous/virgen birth of Christ.
-all believers(those who have accepted Christ) regardless of denominations,belong to 'the body of christ'
a believers faith is not derived by picking and choosing what he/she likes from scripture, but rather by basing it on the overall message of the bible.
It just so happens that this particular believer happens to be from the Mar Thoma Church.I do not live for the Mar Thoma Church. I see this church as a tool which can be used to strengthen my faith. When my wife and I had our two children receive baptism in the Mar Thoma church, it was not done with the intention of inducting them into the church membership,but rather to help them to receive Christ one of these days. By having me baptized in 1967, My parents had simply fullfilled a responsibility as 'members of the body of Christ', to ensure that their son would start the journey on the path toward making that personel commitment to Christ.
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Reply by : samuel.v.j   View Profile   Since : 5 Nov 2007 1:01:30 AM Close
Dear " imphal67" in Christ,

<<inerrancy of the bible.>> very good, Is the word of God limited only to the Gospels. If so I would not continue.

<<salvation through grace('for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God...etc..etc.the end result is to accept Christ as Saviour)>> Yes you are right 100%
<<miraculous/virgen birth of Christ>> Yes you are right 100%

<<all believers(those who have accepted Christ) regardless of denominations,belong to 'the body of christ'>> you are right 100%


But what does Lord Jesus Christ instruct on his ascension and how does Apostles who were with Jesus Christ adhere to his instruction

Acts 2: 41-Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.

Do you think they didnt know the word of God, they were masters of the old testament law, they were more pious Jews than any of the pious christians now , and they gathered together for the feast of the day of pentecost from different parts of the world.

When does the church start growing
42And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

43And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.

44And all that believed were together, and had all things common;

45And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.

46And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,

47Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the CHURCH daily such as should be saved.


Yours in Christ
Samuel.V.J

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Reply by : sambudhanoor   View Profile   Since : 5 Nov 2007 2:36:56 AM Close
Dear Bro. Samuel

I fully in agreement with you that believers’ baptism is necessary, is done by immersion in water.

Beware, the web thread you pointed-out is promoting false doctrines also including water baptism is necessary for Salvation and loosing of Salvation etc.

One who loves Christ should obey his commandment also, one of his commandment is whoever believe should be baptized.

Mat 28:19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
Mat 28:20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen.

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