On 9/7/2016, I joined the website discussion board, Bible and Faith Discussions – Christian Viewpoint. I was still trapped at home, unable to return to work yet. I had to find ways to entertain my untrapped mind and spirit. I posted three comments. I read several comments by others.
On 1/29/2021, I posted again:
I have stopped by here many times over the years. I haven't visited, to drink coffee with y'all, in a while. My website, which I own, will catch you up on my 'life, such as it is.' https://www.appalachianirishman.com. I'm working on my book, to be published, 'Light at the End of the Tunnel.' My website tells you how to contact me directly. Otherwise, I may stop by again, in a few weeks or months.
I had views. I received one comment, so far. I have replied. (It was a fine comment.)
1/31/2021: Βαπτίζω in the Context of Grace
On 1/30/2021, the website administrator posted an article, to start a new discussion topic. The post is titled, “Do we need to be baptized to be saved?” The article drew my interest.
On 1/31/2021 (today), I posted my reply:
I am honored to be the first to comment on your 1/30/2021 post.
On 3/7/2009, on my website, I wrote “Why I Left.” Over the last almost 12 years, I have re-read my article many times, such as today. I still will not change one word. My unpublished book, “Light at the End of the Tunnel,” expands greatly on my 3/7/2009 article. I plan to publish.
The CoC had the formula: faith + repentance + confession + immersion (to be saved, not after one thought he had been saved) + faithful living = salvation. (The Baptist, whose faith glows, by example in life, as Mom's did, wasn't “saved,” if immersion was after having thought to have been saved by prayer. I know. I remember – even in my own sermons of decades ago.)
The CoC had that formula. I hope the CoC has matured, in the last couple of decades.
The formula is not: 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 = 5. The formula is 1 (faith that includes the others) = 1 (salvation, everlastingly).
The formula is: genuine and active faith, in response to God's grace. That faith includes repentance, confession, βαπτίζω, and living in appreciation of God's gift. (God doesn't demand perfection. He expects faithfulness.) This is the faith that takes us Home!
Βαπτίζω is defined: “I dip, submerge, but specifically of ceremonial dipping; I baptize” (https://greeklexicon.org/lexicon/strongs/907/). My God is bigger than the quibble on the mode of “immersion” or “baptism.” I know many fine Christian examples, who were “sprinkled” as adults. That was their genuine and active faith response to God's grace. Their lives demonstrate the Lord living in them. They are saved by their genuine and active faith, despite any doctrinal imperfections, such as the mode of baptism. (The correct mode of baptism is immersion, as per the Greek and New Testament examples, but I digress.)
My God honors a Christian's genuine and active faith response to his grace, through his Son. If that person's faith is incorrect on certain precise doctrinal details, then my God is bigger than that!
The earthly father instructs his son: “if you dig up the weeds in the garden, mow the yard, pick some ripe corn from the garden and bring it inside, and take a bath, then I will give you your allowance for the week.” The son, eager to honor his good father, digs up weeds and, accidentally, a few beans. He mows the yard, including some of his mother's flowers. He picks corn, several ripe but a few not ripe. Outside, he takes a garden hose and douses himself, with water, over his head and down his face. (He is hot and sweaty.) His father comes outside, just as the garden hose shower is done. His earthly father, a good man, says, “Well, you did a good enough job. You tried. You honored me. Here's your weekly allowance, son. Now, let's go HOME.”
If a good, earthly, father would do that (as my father did, similarly), how much more will our perfect heavenly Father do? (Dad didn't have the extra money to pay me an allowance, as a side note, for humor.)
God expects faith, not doctrinal perfection. Faith should guide us to be as exact doctrinally as we can be. Salvation is based on faith, not perfection in doctrinal understanding. I rest my case. My case is biblical. I can prove it. My God is bigger than that!
By the way, my website, https://www.appalachianirishman.com, will include my remarks on this topic. Your name will not be mentioned. My website protects privacy. I see numbers of readers only. I do not know who they are or where they are. You are welcome to comment on my website. Thank you for administering this discussion board.
Kindest regards, in Christ,
Marion W. Ferrell (aka M. Fearghail as “the Appalachian Irishman”)
On 9/17/2022, the anniversary of Dad's birthday, I updated this article, by improving the formatting and by adding this conclusion only.
On 9/17/2022, I affirm my words, of 1/31/2021. I don't do much on the website discussion board Bible and Faith Discussions – Christian Viewpoint. I write articles here.
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