"I went to Jerusalem to become acquainted (Gk. istoria) with Cephas" - Paul's words from Galatians 1:18.

No Matter the Tar Tossed at Ken Starr, He Is Most Certainly a Coup for Baylor U.

This afternoon I visited with Brooks Douglass, former Oklahoma Senator and Special Assistant in the Oklahoma State Attorney General's office, about the hiring of his friend, Ken Starr, to be President of Baylor University. Brooks and I were across the hall dorm acquaintances at Baylor University in the early 1980's. Brooks spent his early years in Brazil with his International Mission Board missionary parents, Richard and Marilyn (Sue), and his younger sister, Leslie. Brook's father left the IMB to become pastor of the Putnam City Baptist Church, in suburban Oklahoma City. On October 15, 1979, two men, Glen Ake and Steven Hatch, entered the Douglass home, bound Brooks and his parents with rope, robbed the home of valuables, and then raped Brook's twelve year old sister. Finally, in order to leave no witnesses, the two men shot all four family members as they lay bound hogtied on the floor. Southern Baptist pastor Richard Douglass (43) and his wife Marilyn (42) were both killed. Brooks and Leslie were severely injured, but survived. The murders gripped the nation for weeks while law enforcement sought to capture the killers. Both Ake and Hatch were eventually captured. Hatch has been executed, and Ake has been denied parole four times.

Brooks and I visited on the set of Heaven's Rain, a feature movie about the murders and the power of forgiveness, being filmed this month in Oklahoma City. Brooks wound up getting his law degree and working in politics and law enforcement out of a desire to protect the weak and defenseless victims of criminal activity as the perpetrators of those crimes made their way through the criminal court system. While in California pursuing some additional legal training, Brooks become well acquainted with Ken Starr and his wife Alice while Ken served as Dean of the Law School at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California. I informed Brooks Douglass that his friend had been named President of Baylor University. There was a look of shock on Brooks face, and then a broad smile.

Brooks was thrilled--for his alma mater Baylor. Why? It seems that the Ken Starr is a down to earth, conservative evangelical Christian with a brilliant mind and some pretty powerful connections throughout the United States. Unlike the media's portray of Ken Starr during the Clinton era, Ken is no conservative ideologue. He has a legal mind second to none. He has demonstrated an ability to raise enormous amounts of money at Pepperdine, and the students and faculty love him. Brooks told me that two current United States Supreme Court justices had clerked for Starr, and if it had not been for the Lewinsky debacle, Ken Starr would be the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court today. Brooks said Ken Starr's Christian values, established connections, and track record of superb leadership makes Ken Starr a five star hire by Baylor University. I was pleased to hear such a strong recommendation from a man I respect.

Then I begin to read the blogs of Southern Baptist religious ideologues about Ken Starr's hiring at Baylor. Most of them are not happy. Why?

Ken Starr is not Baptist enough. Though Ken and his wife are devoted followers of Jesus Christ, that is not enough. Though he and Alice were longtime members of McLean Bible Church, a conservative evangelical church in Washington, D.C.-- that still isn't enough. The fact that he has been baptized upon his profession of faith in Jesus Christ isn't enough, for he hasn't been "baptized in a Baptist church." The fact that he will be "joining" a Baptist church upon arrival in Waco doesn't quite cut the mustard either. That's just a "farce," according to Bart Barber, a trustee and employee at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Ken Starr is not a true, blue-blood Baptist. He shouldn't be President of Baylor University because being a Baptist is more important than being a Christian. {Edit: Bart Barber says that I have misunderstood the point of his blog. He writes in his post: "If you will no longer require that your presiding officers (at Baylor) actually BE Baptists, please stop coercing them into joining Baptist churches." I freely admit not always comprehending things correctly, and apologize to Bart if I have misunderstood he was inferring Ken Starr wasn't Baptist enough to be an approprate choice for the office of President of Baylor University.}

Listen to this quote from a Southern Baptist pastor named David Worley:
"Sooooooo, I wonder what (Baptist) Church might receive Starr and his wife without requiring them to be baptised first? Or, will they both willingly get baptised (sic) in this Baptist Church? Interesting, huh?"
That kind of thinking reminds me of the trustees at the IMB who said they would rather pay thousands of dollars to fly a Southern Baptist pastor from the United States to China to baptize a convert than to allow a SBC missionary who was not "properly credentialed" to perform it.

I think that we Southern Baptists, unfortunately, are becoming more and more known for being Southern Baptists than devoted followers of Jesus Christ. When we are more concerned about the President of Baylor University being baptized in baptist waters than we are the spiritual condition and maturity of the man who takes the office, then we have sacrificed our "Christian" heritage on the alter of religious ideology. Soon, there will be little difference between the ritualism of us Southern Baptists and that of Mormons who must baptize in special places, wearing special underwear, at the hands of a special under... er, well, you get the idea.

Take it from a person with the same last name as the first President of Baylor University in Waco, Texas--Ken Starr is a great hire.

In His Grace,


Wade Burleson

136 comments:

Jeff said...

It might be his church of christ background which you neglected to mentioned.

Francis J. Beckwith said...

Thanks for your thoughtful post, Wade.

Frank

Hope said...

Wade,
It isn't that he isn't baptist enough...he isn't baptist. I think he is a great man and will make a great president, but if Baylor is going to be a Baptist school shouldn't the president be baptist? What would you think about one of our seminaries hiring him as president?

Byron said...

If Ken Starr isn't Baptist enough to belong to a Baptist church, what about all those 8 million on the Baptist church rolls? One could argue that they are not Baptist enough, either, simply by virtue of the fact their absence proves some measure of unbelief in Baptist theology. And to me, that's a much larger problem than where Ken Starr chooses to go to church on Sunday morning.

OK, I'll be quiet now.

Denn said...

Pot calling the kettle black.

Over a million CP dollars have gone into the hiring of a Church of Christ minister to allow one faction of the SBC to gain and retain control of the SBC meetings and therefore, the convention. Hypocrisy runs rampant when power is the goal.

BTW, his name is Barry McCarty, longtime chief parliamentarian. Let’s hope that Ken Starr is of a different mindset.

Chris Ryan said...

Wade,

Being Southern Baptist has nothing to do with it - Baylor has only loose connections to the SBC these days (as I'm sure you already know through your daughter).

And I have no doubt that he has excellent professional credentials and will be a great fundraiser.

It *is* that I would think the President of a flagship Baptist institution should be Baptist.

Baylor's vision is to combine the best of Christian faith with the best of intellectualism. Christian faith is most certainly not limited to the Baptist tradition. I would want anyone who read this to smack me if I said otherwise.

I realize, too, that the boundaries of denominationalism are breaking down all around us (and thankfully so). So his attendance at non-Baptist churches does not necessarily connote agreement with everything the other church believed (Gone are the days where people go to churches only because they are Baptist or because they are Presbyterian. No pastor today will look out over the congregation and say that everyone in that congregation believes like historical baptists.)

And the fact that he is willing to join a Baptist church here in Waco is encouraging (and Matt can quit worrying because he will have no trouble finding a church that will accept his baptism so long as he was baptized as a believer as Wade suggested he is).

But the fact that he does not arrive here as a committed Baptist is worrysome. I know he can raise funds, but will they be from the Baptists who have historically supported this school? And I know he will raise funds, but will those who wouldn't support a thoroughly Baptist institution support Starr and then expect some shifts in ideology? The last President was fired, in large part, for trying to change the symbols of the school. Start messing with the historically Baptist identity and I fear more than a firing could ensue.

I hope that Starr will succeed, but I have misgivings as to whether or not he really was the best man for the job.

Bob Cleveland said...

The president of the school should be the one who will do the best job. If the naysayers can't see that, and if they don't trust the search committee that made the arrangements, then let the naysayers get out, and leave a Godly man alone to do the job he was hired to do.

Southern Baptists were known for prejudice many years ago. Much more of this sort of hogwash, and we will be, again. We've just lowered the bar.

Oh, yes. It ought to tell us something that the best man for the job WASN'T a Southern Baptist.

Bart Barber said...

Bob,

I couldn't agree with you more. Those who bother to read my post will find it to say nothing akin to what Wade has alleged. Baylor ought to hire whomever they wish. Starr may turn out to be a great choice for them.

I'm simply saying that Ken Starr should be free to attend church wherever he wishes, rather than being forced by Baylor to join a Baptist churhc.

Ron said...

I would be interested to know how much time Brooks spent with Ken Starr in order to become well acquainted with him. We in Arkansas have had a great deal of time to get to know Ken Starr and see his Christian values in action. This goes all the way back to his days as a Church of Christ student at Harding University. He marched through Arkansas much like Sherman marching through Georgia, willing to destroy or bankrupt anyone standing in the way of his goals. Even the leading statewide newspaper in the state was happy to see him go despite its pro-Republican editorial policy.
He should have no trouble raising funds through his political connections with his friends in the Council on National Policy like Paul Presser and Paige Patterson. He could also call on the tobacco companies he collected millions from while representing them and also serving as special prosecutor.
He was hired as special prosecutor thought the influence of Jesse Helms and Lauch Faircloth the senators from North Caroline when the previous special prosecutor Robert Fiske found that White House lawyer Vince Foster had committed suicide. They refused to accept this and hired Starr to prove he was murdered by the Clintons. Starr quickly came to the same conclusion as Fiske but kept the Foster family on hold for years until the end of the Whitewater investigation when he admitted the evidence was that it was suicide. He was too afraid he would be fired also unless he gave them the conservative ideologues the report they were demanding.
Despite his legal brilliance, even after spending close to 70 million dollars, he could not convict the Clintons on any Whitewater related issues, much less travelgate or filegate or anything else except lying about an embarrassing sexual encounter.
If you want a character reference for Starr, you might ask Susan McDougal. He threatened to have her parents arrested and thrown in jail on made up tax charges unless she was willing to lie about her business dealings with the Clintons.
Sorry Wade, I have great respect for your judgment but you haven’t been able to see up close the character and Christian values of Starr the way we in Arkansas have.
I predict this presidential hire will last no longer than the last one for Baylor University.

Big Daddy Weave said...

Lilley got ousted in large part because of the interlocking BU drama? Is that your interpretation, Chris? Were you a student here then?

I don't recall if the interlocking BU mess made the national news but the denial of tenure to 12 of 30 candidates in one year certainly did as did the Faculty Senate's vote against Lilley.

I have no problem with a non-Baptist in Pat Neff Hall. Lilley was, after all, a Presbyterian elder before joining a Baptist church in Waco.

The Board of Regents should have rescinded the policy requiring that the President be a Baptist. That would be the appropriate course of action. As it stands right now, that policy is kinda a joke.

Debbie Kaufman said...

Not Baptist enough? I don't understand that term. But to those who are crying this...Did anyone read every word of the opening post?

As for a Church of Christ background, Max Lucado is Church of Christ and he understands Grace and the grace of God better than most Baptists. His writings ooze it.

James Hunt said...

"That kind of thinking reminds me of the trustees at the IMB who said they would rather pay thousands of dollars to fly a Southern Baptist pastor from the United States to China to baptize a convert than to allow a SBC missionary who was not "properly credentialed" to perform it."

Interesting that we divide up the responsibilities of the Great Commission between those only "credentialed" ministers can perform while at the same time declaring the Great Commission is for everyone.

The convention should be the slave of the Kingdom of God...not the other way around. It seems that many have inverted priorities: Declaring the value of a particular affiliation of Christian experience over our common union with all believers of all time of all stripes because of our common fellowship of the Holy Spirit. Sad.

Now, off to go examine my OWN sinful baggage and repent.

Rex Ray said...

Wade,
Your post has: “…Richard Brooks (43) and his wife Marilyn (42) were both killed.”

“Richard Brooks” should be “Richard Douglass”. (I know…just a typo. Smile)

If Ken Starr believed he was saved through faith before he was baptized, then his baptism should be accepted in any Baptist church.

But if Starr believed he was NOT saved until he was baptized, then he should not be allowed to join a Baptist church until he changes his mind and is re-baptized.

This line of thinking started with Anabaptist in 215 AD with their requiring believers to be rebaptized if they had only been baptize as babies and has continued until today.

To me, ‘believing you must be baptized to be saved’ is right up there with "you must be circumcised to be saved".

If Starr believes this and is accepted in a Baptist church, then it’s just one more step in showing Baptists are not Baptists anymore.

WTJeff said...

Wade,

I'm not fan of the SBC fundamentalists, but I think you've misread Bart Barber's post. He flat out states that the "farce" is forcing someone who is not a baptist to join a baptist church. While I'm not surprised in the least at the "Volfann"'s remarks (just continually dumbfounded) it does appear Dr. Barber is addressing another subject altogether.

Lydia said...

"Over a million CP dollars have gone into the hiring of a Church of Christ minister to allow one faction of the SBC to gain and retain control of the SBC meetings and therefore, the convention. Hypocrisy runs rampant when power is the goal."

Interesting. And he keeps showing up in the oddest places...like the imfamous post pedophile scandal church wide meeting at BBC. he was quite good at making sure folks could not speak out. So, he was a Church of Christ pastor?

Gene S said...

I don't agree with Ken Starr's politics or role played in the Whitewater/Lewinski thing with the Clintons.

Now that he is "President," he will likely have his chance at destractions from his main duty of raising money and inspiring growth at Baylor. What goes around always comes around!

As to his joining a "Southern Baptist Church" is just shows our pretense of religion when money is the main goal along with prestige.

Emory University, my alma mata, has elected several Presidents after my time. In addition, they got the largest gift ever given a private University from the Candler (Coca Cola) family shortly after my graduation. It was so large they spent 10 years just developing a long range plan to wisely use it without destroying the campus just "building buildings."

Strangely, there has never been a issue as to which church the new President attended. Being President of a major school has little, really, to do with what church you go to---Except in "crazy Baptist central"---Texas.

Being a Baptist in NC or the Southeast is far different from being out there in the Midwest. Could it have anything to do with the rascals and fanatics being run out of the South after the Civil War?

I have lived in places where Pirates settled. Their genes definitely reside in the cut throats they sired, and who are doing business and running churches there.

We just have it in small places rather than the whole state!

By the way, Noonday, Texas, outside Tyler IS specifically named for the community where I served Noonday Baptist Church just South of Woodstock, GA. The founder served as Treasurer at my church and simply moved to a promising new area outside the burned out remains of Atlanta.

I am the first to say, "There were no warts to be found on that good Georgian." Don't accuse me of overstating my case, because too many CR folks came out of Texas--and might be descendents of scally wags--our term for someone who needs to "go west, young man, go west (so we don't have to put up with your wicked ways anymore)"!!!

Gene S said...

Ron said:

"He was hired as special prosecutor thought the influence of Jesse Helms and Lauch Faircloth the senators from North Caroline when the previous special prosecutor Robert Fiske found that White House lawyer Vince Foster had committed suicide."

That is a corner of the story I had not know before. Too bad Jesse and Lauch didn't migrate to Texas or Arkansas where ultra-conservatives prosper best. Like Lester Maddox of GA, they were perfectly described by H.L. Menkin as: "Conservatives are nothing but my contemporary ancestors!"

Byron--

You made the first good observation of total truth in this blog!!

Where should I send your cupon for a free bucket of chicken at KFC???

Way to go, man!!!

Gene S said...

"Despite his legal brilliance, even after spending close to 70 million dollars, he could not convict the Clintons on any Whitewater related issues, much less travelgate or filegate or anything else except lying about an embarrassing sexual encounter.
If you want a character reference for Starr, you might ask Susan McDougal. He threatened to have her parents arrested and thrown in jail on made up tax charges unless she was willing to lie about her business dealings with the Clintons."

Is Ken Starr a cousin to PP & PP--or did he learn his skills from the really old master of control--W.A. Criswell, himself???

I nominate him as the new leader candidate for any of our 3 vacancies on Boards and Agencies. He has just the right amount of fleshiness from fried chicken and a smile like the rattlesnake about to bite you--in my opinion, of course!

Ben said...

Since when did Bible Churches become Baptist Churches??? Check the average Bible Church out and you will find that they have no set beliefs on baptism. Like Evangelical Free and Missionary Alliance churches most will accept sprinkling or infant baptism as valid baptisms.

Lest any of you doubt me, check out Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship Church, pastored by Tony Evans. In their doctrinal beliefs, nothing is mentioned about the mode or subjects of baptism.

There is a huge difference between Baptist churches and Bible churches.

Lydia said...

Come on, Ron. Little Rock during the Clinton years was a bastion of corruption they brought to Washington.

Ken Starr was their favorite whipping boy and he was given an impossible assignment considering the liars and cheats he had to deal with. Even to the point of destroying official documents they were charged to turn over!

Funny how this stuff always ends up being understood along political lines. Democrats good. Republicans bad.

Are you going to claim the Clinton's and their cohorts were victims of Ken Starr? Give me a break.

Just Foster as an example. His suicide? Well, what happened IN his office after they found him? Since his office was 'sanitized' by Maggie Williams under the order of Bernie Nussbaum, the investigation SHOULD have proceeded as if they had something to hide.


I could go on and on but won't. But it is strange that during the Clinton years many democrat Christians defended slimey his behavior saying his private life (that he brought into the oval office with underlings) had nothing to do with his governing.

If the CBF has credibility problems, Bill Clinton is the biggest reason.

Bob Cleveland said...

Bart,

I appreciate that explanation and I'm glad we agree about him.

And you are absolutely right .. being Baptist ought not to be any sort of criteria for that job. Doing the job should. I fear we may have some folks around who are there because they're "baptist", regardless of how they do their job.

:)

Lydia said...

The bottomline is that Bart does not consider Baylor as real "Baptist".

Jeff said...

Ben, I doubt you. I know plenty of Bible churches, and they will not accept sprinkling.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

I could think of more Baptists that would be bad for Baylor off the top of my head than Ken Starr.

After Starr increases the endowment by 1 Billion and leaves, I vote for Chris Ryan for the next President of Baylor "Billions and Billion of Years" University.

K

Kevin M. Crowder said...

I accept sprinkling and infant baptisms to be valid baptisms if done in the name of the triune God. Why would they not be? And what are they not valid for? Having eternal life? Being obedient? Being a Baptist University President?


If we are really a stickler for method and mode then should not we void all baptisms administered by men of the cloths whose lives do not meet a certain standard? Men who have been caught molesting children and women? So a baptism by water immersion is OK even if administered by the devil?

Ken Starr's profession of faith in Christ is enough for me.

Gene S said...

Lydia, my dear, politics has become a sleezy business on both sides. Had you read the Moral Majority bulletin inserts, it would convince you the Republicans are Angels while Democrats are devils.

Frankly, I don't think we will find a political solution to sin and greed, rather a religious one. The more laws we pass and rules we have to protect the Stock Market and Financial Industry, the more they found loopholes to still take advantage of investors.

Right now, us taxpayers are the ones losing our shirts because all our tax money sent to the Big Boys is still in their pockets with little or no relief to us!

If we had honesty in Government and big business, every GM product would be 61% cheaper to those of us taxpayers who now own that percentage of the company.

Would you like to rephrase your thinking in light of this???

Bill said...

I agree with the BI camp very, very little, nice guys though they may be. But I think you have misread Bart's post.

Gene S said...

Food for some thought before we continue this character assasination / defense:


BEST POEM IN THE WORLD

I was shocked, confused, bewildered

As I entered Heaven's door,

Not by the beauty of it all,

Nor the lights or its decor.

But it was the folks in Heaven

Who made me sputter and gasp--

The thieves, the liars, the sinners,

The alcoholics and the trash.

There stood the kid from seventh grade

Who swiped my lunch money twice.

Next to him was my old neighbor

Who never said anything nice.

Herb, who I always thought

Was rotting away in hell,

Was sitting pretty on cloud nine,

Looking incredibly well.

I nudged Jesus, 'What's the deal?

I would love to hear Your take.

How'd all these sinners get up here?

God must've made a mistake.

'And why is everyone so quiet,

So somber - give me a clue.'

'Hush, child,' He said, 'they're all in shock.

No one thought they'd be seeing you.'



JUDGE NOT!!

foxofbama said...

Couple comments:

One)Mitch Randall of a Church in Norman has a blog up about Baylor and Starr picked up by www.ethicsdaily.com today.
2)The Waco Tribune has a Q and A with Starr at their online site this morning, with Baylor's Board chair sitting in the room.
3)Gene S's anecdote about Helms, Faircloth and Starr is fascinating,but it fails to mention that Helms' choice to head the NC GOP in the 80's was SBC parliamentarian Barry McCArty; who I am fairly certain comes from the same denomination as Starr, Church of Christ.
And then their is the History of Helms operative Sam Currin with James Dunn and the BJC.

4)Gene S has some things to learn about Lester Maddox; and I am not certain about his prophetic voice when it comes to Charles Marsh and Gen Boykin

5)A key question for KenStarr and the direction of Baylor is how does Starr come down in the question of Texas SChool Board and the founding fathers, coincidentally a week long top ten story at the NEW York Times this week highlighting the reservations of some of us what happens in Texas too often doesn't stay there.

Even so Baylor had a great conference this past year on 400 years of the Baptist Contribution including the likes of Nancy Ammerman and Randall Balmer.

I have several friends of influence in their community and I wish them well though for sure this is a stunner.

Barry Hankins, Wade Burleson, Ginny Brant and Brent McDougal need to talk; and Bruce Gourley.

Denn said...

LYDIA,

It isn’t odd at all that Barry McCarty “showed up” at Bellview to control matters since their former pastor was the one who found him, trained and supervised his every appearance and helped him write the “script” for each convention. During the year they would talk and get together regularly and prepare a notebook to be carefully followed by the current president. (Who may or may not be present in the meeting.)

In the early years McCarty would stand next to the presiding officer and prompt almost everything he said. It is clearly visible on the tapes and became a “point not well taken” among more ethical Baptists. The CR “takeoverests” owe their complete success to these truths and to many who sent their monies to the CP to help the fragmentation of the SBC through manipulation possible.

Wade Burleson said...

Folks,

I often type late at night with no editor. Sorry for the couple of typos regarding Richard Douglass. Thanks, Rex and Bob, for pointing them out to me. They are corrected.

wade

Dr. Michael Kear said...

I find myself agreeing with Bart Barber and Bob Cleveland. Baylor should be able to hire whomever they want - and hopefully the best person for the job. But they should also allow Starr to be who he is. If he is Church of Christ, then let him be Church of Christ. To make him become "Baptist" just looks fake to me. If he's the best man for the job, then hire him to do the job, but leave his religious conscience alone. If being a Southern Baptist is a prerequisite for the job, then hire a Southern Baptist. Otherwise, hire the best person and let them be who they are.

Joe White... said...

So Wade, you "often type late at night with no editor." It appears that you often read late at night without a translator as well. Otherwise, you might have understood the point of Bart Barber's post and not misrepresented him as a "Southern Baptist religious ideologue".

Will you admit you misread his post or at least misunderstood his point? I doubt it. If Bart "were I to present the sun at your front door you would insist it was still night." And... while "the evidence is crystal clear. You are blinded by ideology."

Maybe you ought to reread his post before you toss anymore tar. Just a suggestion.

Wade Burleson said...

I believe you may find that it states in the charter and bylaws that the President of Baylor will be a member of a Baptist church while President. I think the new President is fulfilling the charter.

Blessings,

Wade

Christiane said...

It has been reported that Ken Starr is known for the methods he has used (or tried to use) to convince people testify in certain cases.

I have read, but may have been mis-informed, that the methods included saying that he would see to it that a person's parents would be investigated and interrogated, and also in one case, a woman was told that the circumstances involving her legal adoption of a Romanian orphan would be 'looked into'.

Is there anyone here who can help me to understand if these reports are true;
and if they are, how Ken Starr's 'legal methods' in these matters were both ethically wholesome AND Christian ?

Or was Ken Starr truly victimized by false reports concerning his treatment of potentiao witnesses?

I was troubled by those reports and would welcome enlightenment about this matter.

I do realize that Ken Starr is a powerful fund-raiser, and a prominent name in certain circles. He is reported to be a Christian person.

Chris Ryan said...

BDW,

I was not a student at the time. However, as someone in a graduate program here now, I have had the opportunity to hear about it from several students and faculty who were here then. As they have described it to me, trying to change symbols made students and alumni mad and ired the professors a bit. When tenure was denied to so many qualified facutly, it served as the straw to break the camel's back. But by that point, his time was limited anyways.


Kevin,
I appreciate your vote of confidence. I'll have to decline, though, seeing as how begging for money has never been something I'm confortable with. Now if you want to nominate me for a faculty position!! :)

foxofbama said...

The Waco Tribune has a Q and A session with Ken Starr at their website many of you will want to see

Lydia said...

Christiane, It would help if you would provide links to your accusations.

Byron said...

Gene, thanks but send a prayer my way instead. It's cheaper for you, less calories for me, and will do us both good. ;)

C W M said...

The reality is that one's "Baptism" is not a "Baptist" issue, it is a Biblical issue. It is simply wrong to acknowledge a "baptism" as viable, that is not truly "Biblical." I do not know Mr. Starr. I have pastored in Searcy, Arkansas. If his baptism is of the same mode, meaning, method, and authority as those related to Harding University, his baptism is not "Biblical". It is not that we make such an issue of it, but that the Bible makes it an issue. And insisting that a Biblical ordinance fall in line with the Biblical picture is not being an "idealogue" it is being faithful to the scriptures.

Dr. Michael Kear said...

I had to smile at Mitch Randall's comment on Ethics Daily: "Starr has suggested that he will join a Baptist church as soon as he assumes his duties at Baylor. Really? I wonder if Starr's denominational metamorphosis occurred after careful theological reflection and prayer or after a contract was placed before him?"

Gene S said...

L's--

Dick Cheney and Ken Starr have the same mantra: "The end justifies the means to it."

It's no where near what Jesus advocated about loving enemies and forgiving one another. Does this give us any clue why Baptist endeavors are failing these days???

It matters not the mode of baptism or even what church he belongs to. What matters is not how high he jumps, but how straight he walks when he hits the ground.

Therein could be a serious problem. This thing is getting long tentacles reaching back to the Parlimentarian for the early days of CR takeover.

Is it possible we now have a new conservatism which reaches across denominational lines in which Jerry Falwell, for example, had prominent mega church SBC pastors on his Board along with Pat Robertson????? Are we playing fast and lose with separation of church and state??? Does the house in Washington, DC, with the religio-politicians call any shots here???

We could have a terrorism we had not even recognized at work here as we weed through the layers and connections!

Francis J. Beckwith said...

Dick Cheney and Ken Starr have the same mantra: "The end justifies the means to it."

In defense of Starr, in the Lewinsky case, the means justified the ends. That is, the special prosecutor law and its requirements put Starr in a position that his own integrity forced him to pursue.

This is why the special prosecutor law is dangerous. It creates an ad hoc fourth branch of government with virtually no accountability. Ironically, a less virtuous person would have not pursued the Clinton stuff in such a dogged fashion.

Gene S said...

So what part of violating his Oath of Office and the Constitution did a dalience with Monica touch.

We were sidetracked with scandal for almost 2 years---and Ken Starr didn't notice the havoc his investigation was creating for all of our government!

I fail to see it as anything really beside politics at its worst while the needs of the Country suffer terribly. A narrow and mean political assassin is not my idea of a trustworthy individual, not matter what his degree or brainpower.

A Pharasee is a Pharasee--and they gladly killed Jesus trying to eliminate some loving and forgiving on this earth!!!

New BBC Open Forum said...

"I accept sprinkling and infant baptisms to be valid baptisms if done in the name of the triune God. Why would they not be? And what are they not valid for?"

Uhhh... why would they be? And what would they be valid for?

From the BF&M 1963 and 2000 versions (at least they didn't change this section):

1. "Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer in water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It is an act of obedience symbolizing the believer's faith in a crucified, buried, and risen Saviour, the believer's death to sin, the burial of the old life, and the resurrection to walk in newness of life in Christ Jesus. It is a testimony to his faith in the final resurrection of the dead."

I've never seen an infant that was capable of any of that.

Having said that, I don't have a big problem with churches that practice paedobaptism as a dedication ceremony (it's more for the parents than the child anyway since the child isn't going to remember it), but it's not believer's baptism nor is it a substitution for believer's baptism which, no, is not required for salvation.

2. "Being a church ordinance, it is prerequisite to the privileges of [Baptist] church membership and to the Lord's Supper."

So if you want to join a Baptist church, you need to have been dunked at some point after your salvation. Personally, I do not believe that has to have been in a Southern Baptist church or by an ordained Southern Baptist minister that doesn't practice a PPL (the whole concept of which, as another commenter said, I find silly, but the emphasis should be on the first "P" -- "private"). That, Kevin, is what sprinkling and infant baptism would not be valid for.

Also, I'm conflicted on baptizing people who are severely physically or mentally incapacitated. (Forgive me if those are considered politically-incorrect terms now. It's hard to keep up.) I'll never forget the sight of a preacher in a Baptist church years ago attempting to baptize a mentally-challenged (Down syndrome) young adult. I did not question the young man's capacity, however limited it may have been, to understand salvation or that he was indeed saved, but he was scared to death of the water, and the pastor literally had to wrestle him to get him into the baptistry, much less under the water. The pastor came out just as soaked as the young man. It was terrifying for the young man and embarrassing and painful to watch. I always wondered if that's what stuck in this man child's mind or if he joyfully continued in his relationship with the Lord. On what should have been a joyful day, he didn't look very happy. Or what if someone is a respirator-dependent quadriplegic? How do you ever immerse someone like that? Just practical questions I always wondered about but was afraid to ask.

Darrell said...

If you want to learn from the best, i challenge you to take one class with Dr Gloer at Baylor. Oh my, what a man of God. What a teacher!

Gene S said...

New BBC--

That is what you call a preacher with his head up his A**. Wish I could be a little more PC, but I can thank of no other description.

Consider it a Kion Greek translation some of the fishermen with Jesus would use. They knew stupid when they saw it!!

Christiane said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kevin M. Crowder said...

New BBC,

I do not consider the BFM of any generation to be a valid expression of biblical truth. Sure there is truth within the BFM, but it is not a document upon which I stand nor will ever stand as a matter of faith and practice, nor ecclesiastical guidance.

So when you use it to prove a stance on baptism, I am forced to say "who cares?"

Jon L. Estes said...

"With all respect, there is always another choice for anyone in a political situation who is morally conflicted:

resignation."

I will give KS the right to make his own choice in conscience in the job he was called to fulfill. I don't think resignation was an option for him. I do think resignation should have been the option for BC.

The moral conflict was probably not with KS but with those he was investigating.

Priesthood of the believer is not just a Baptist identifier but if we are honest with it... any Christian can be a baptist. Maybe not by title but by priesthood of believer. If we truly hold this as a Christian right, then all interpretations are welcome. (well almost all - there is a line drawn on both sides on the subject of tithing). ;-)

Christiane said...

Dr. Beckwith has written this:
"In defense of Starr, in the Lewinsky case, the means justified the ends. That is, the special prosecutor law and its requirements put Starr in a position that his own integrity forced him to pursue."

Could he not have resigned instead?

We are not to do evil that good may come (Romans 3:8)

Christiane said...

Sorry JON ESTES,

I deleted the comment you quoted from. I thought that the verse from Romans would be a better reference.

Oops.

Love, L's

Tom Parker said...

Jon Estes:

Are you kidding BC resign! For what?

Most all of our President's have done something they should have resigned for--why only BC, why not GB?

I think you are being mightly political here and plus it does not matter anymore.

Robert said...

Gene S: Would you kindly leave your toilet mouth in the WC. Thanks

It seems to me that liberals all came out of the woodwork on this one.

Ben: Like Jeff I believe you to be error on what Bible churches teach concerning the mode of baptism.
My mother and my brother and many other friends attend Bible churches and I am not aware of any that teach contrary to Baptist doctrine.
Also considering that that movement came out of DTS not likely to be true.

This is being generally considered postive by most SBC people that I know .....cool.
I pray for him.

Robert I Masters

Jon L. Estes said...

"Could he not have resigned instead?

We are not to do evil that good may come (Romans 3:8)"

I did not read into Beckwith's comments that KS was going to have to do evil. I read into it that he would have to deal with much evil and this is where the conflict existed.

Francis J. Beckwith said...

Dr. Beckwith has written this:
"In defense of Starr, in the Lewinsky case, the means justified the ends. That is, the special prosecutor law and its requirements put Starr in a position that his own integrity forced him to pursue."

Could he not have resigned instead?

We are not to do evil that good may come (Romans 3:8)


What was the evil? You may have not liked what he did, but that does not make it evil.

What would be the basis of resignation? He's a lawyer with a client, the U.S. government. Lawyers don't resign their posts unless it violates their professional responsibilities.

Jon L. Estes said...

"Jon Estes:

Are you kidding BC resign! For what?

Most all of our President's have done something they should have resigned for--why only BC, why not GB?

I think you are being mightly political here and plus it does not matter anymore."

My comments were made in relation to the subject at hand. KS and his investigation around BC.

Thanks Tom for letting us know that wrong doing is something you are aware most all Presidents have done.

Being accused is not the same as being guilty. Just in case you needed to know.

Lydia said...

A Pharasee is a Pharasee--and they gladly killed Jesus trying to eliminate some loving and forgiving on this earth!!!

Tue Feb 16, 02:51:00 PM 2010

So the "pharisee", Ken Starr was trying to kill the "Christlike", Bill Clinton?

Gene S said...

Francis, my friend--

No lawyer resigns because--to do so ends his stream of income from the case. Most lawyers I know are about money and winning--forget a strong sense of ethhics.

Example: My lawyer neighbor was describing for me a divorce case where he was representing the man. The wife was suing for divorce, in part, because he was using drugs and wasting much money. Before the trial began my neighbor was out on the man's 3 level cabin cruiser. He heard the sound of partying on the upper deck.

He went up the ladder and smelled the odor of burning leaves on the 2nd deck. Immediately, he stopped his journey AND since he had not "seen" the activity as a ward of the Court, he was not obligated to report it!

It's along the lines of, "It depends on what the definition of 'is' is!!!" God deliver us from lawyers and Pharisees who were the legal side of Judaism.


Lydia--

You are making your argument by trying to put words in my mouth!

You decide who the Pharisee is! In this case they both were and the average person has enough sense to know when time is wasted and monkey tails are showing!

I share with all a delightful approach to lawyers done by my neighbor (not the lawyer) at the anual basketball game between the Doctors and Lawyers of Beaufort County. At halftime they have a contest over who can tell be best joke on a Doctor or Lawyer.

My friend asked, "What are a dozen lawyers all tied to engine blocks and thrown off the boat into the Pamlico River?"

Answer: "A darn good start!!!!"

Yeah, he won!

Tom Parker said...

Jon Estes:

Bottom line BC finished both of his terms of office.

Gene S said...

http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/Politics/story?id=7922704&page=1

Check this one out for public observations about the importance of infidelity these days.

In the case of Ken Star chasing Bill Clinton, it made us the laughing stock of the world to think we could spend so much time and money on such trivial stuff. For them, we were "keeping up appearances" despits the world knowing men have affairs--especially powerful ones.

Personally, I don't like it. It diminishes their integrity, but King David messed up and God still used him for good.

Think about it!

Tom Parker said...

Gene S:

For some it is always political. BC was a Democrat and the republicans could not stand his being in office.

I believe another President was called teflon and BC was something mighty close to this.

I'm not sure what was accomplished with all the money that was spent on the investigation of the Clintons.

I do know of another recent President that should have been impeached.

Lydia said...

Bottom line BC finished both of his terms of office.

Tue Feb 16, 06:35:00 PM 2010

Thanks to Ross Perot

Christiane said...

The comment about Romans 3:8 speaks about the moral 'limits' of the nature of what may be done in order to achieve a certain end.

Apparently from that verse, what is 'evil' is never justified by the end result. The nature and extent of other activities are not mentioned.

Jon, It is possible that I did misinterpret Dr. Beckwith's remark about Ken Starr's situation. It is hard to have a dialogue in a blog setting. But still, we try.

I am much in the dark about the nature of the legally-approved and ethically-approved techniques permitted to be used by members of the legal profession as regards their treatment of uncooperative 'witnesses'.

There must be a line between what is 'acceptable' and what is considered 'unethical'.

I am wondering if such a line has ever been defined by the legal profession. I know that one mark of any profession is that it has a defined strict code of ethics.

No need to respond. But I sure would like to learn more about this, if possible.

My concern centers on the learning more about the treatment of certain uncooperative witnesses as it involved their families:
and in one specific case, the questioning of the legal status of a witnesses' adoption of a child from another country.

I would like to understand more about all of this.

Amy said...

I believe the comment stream has gotten off on a rabbit trail of Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky. The original and primary question -- does Ken Starr belong at Baylor?

Yes, if Baylor is ready to sever even more thoroughly its Baptist roots. Yes, if Baylor wants to carry the mantra of a Christian university and not a distinctly Baptist university. Yes, if Baylor puts possible potential ahead of principles. Therefore, if the answer is yes, Barber is right that it is hypocritical for the university to ask Ken Starr to join a Baptist church.

No, if Baylor wants to continue to be uniquely Baptistic in vision and scope. No, if Baylor wants to claim to be more concerned about scholarship and not notoriety. No, if Baylor seeks to remain a relevant voice in Baptist issues and matters.

However, as an ETBU alum I am happy for them to go because it means more money for my school!

BTW, name dropping is irrelevant to the discussion. For if it was than I would recommend that everyone only use a certain brand of detergent.

Amy Downey (that "e" has cost my family millions)

Debbie Kaufman said...

Amy: Could you site reasons for your statement above? I read the original post which gives evidence contrary to what you are saying here.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Here is what I am hearing by some, and I admit that I could be wrong in this assessment:

Since Baylor is not "Baptist enough" or not the kind of Baptist one might "identify" with, then BU does not have the right to 1. call itself Baptist, 2. hire a would-be Baptist, 3. hold to any sort of principles, since they don't agree with one's "identity."

I find that to be fundamentally messed up and manipulative. Dr. Starr's willingness to join a Baptist congregation says more about his Christianity than it does anything else. This might be, among other things, the reason he could bring peace and prosperity to Baylor "Billions and Billions of Years" University.


K

Wade Burleson said...

Kevin Crowder,

It's getting scary around these parts.

We are in agreement.

:)

Just kiddin ya.

Gene S said...

Folks--

We have entered into an age of disception when it comes to politics. What is claimed is seldom true. What is deserving of punishment, can be overlooked. Let's take a quick look:

JFK--morally corrupt, politically inspiring. Killed by assasination.

LBJ--a pit bull with charm & the ability to twist arms. Restored and deepened the Viet Nam War / added War on Poverty to cost factor / never been a more astute politition / knew the workings of Congress to the ultimate degree.

Richard Nixon--full of vengence and full of dirty tricks to get into office and stay there / driven by fear and lack of morals in politics. He didn't chase women, but he did chase power without morals.

Jimmy Carter--brought, possibly, the most personal integrity to the office. Seriously criticized for being an outsider / unable to offset the Oil Embargo or Embassy hostages.

Ronald Reagan--good actor / average President. Got a total pass on the Iran / Contra affair of trading arms for hostages. Ollie North became a darling of conservative Christians. Probably close to as corrupt as Nixon.

George H.W. Bush--patrician / winner in Gulf War / no scandal / no great accomplishments / average.

Bill Clinton--poor country boy from Arkansas / full of lust for power / ladies man / his wife likely did the thinking while he did the smoozing / no budget deficit when he left office.

George Bush, III--pretended righteous religiosity / reformed alcoholic (maybe) / became cowboy with 9/11 / suspicion over lack of defense on 9/11 / got us into Iraq over WMD which have never been found / spent $10 for every $1 collected in taxes / left with the economy in shambles not enforcing rules for banking and financial industries.

Barack Obama: did work for a living at one time / minority / talks well and is inspirational / after 1 year things are not much better / reorganizing over promise that government should be transparent / now loosing majority in the Senate to clobber Republicans.


No party is perfect. Ken Starr is certainly not perfect. We are in a mess. Baylor wants to be bigger and better. Baptists are not the most insightful religious group ever.

Our favorite passtime: CONFESSING THE SINS OF OTHERS!!!!

New BBC Open Forum said...

KMC,

Can you please give me a scriptural basis for paedobaptism and sprinkling? I'm genuinely interested in this as so many denominations practice it. There must be some reason besides a desire to save water!

Dr. Michael Kear said...

"Dr. Starr's willingness to join a Baptist congregation says more about his Christianity than it does anything else."

Agreed.

Imagine if he'd been offered Notre Dame or BYU.

Steve said...

Gene S - if your current day job doesn't pan out, DO NOT consider becoming a historian. You appear to know more about Daily Kos than recent U.S. history.

Those of us who drooled over the idea of impeaching George Bush are advised to quit experimenting with the mushrooms.

Steve said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gene S said...

What's wrong, Steve--"Too simple for ya'??" (as Sara Palin would say)

Byron said...

The problem with the whole baptism thing for me is that for Baptists it is more about the outward symbol than the inward reality. I can fellowship with Presbyterians and can consider them "spiritually" baptized with the inward reality. I do not however say that paedobaptism and sprinkling are Biblical, in my opinion, or that this constitutes a valid Biblical baptism (which should include both). But another problem with Baptist baptism is that it can sometimes be an outward symbol with no inward reality (of salvation), either. If someone is not spiritually baptized, then he or she can get wet as many times as it takes to feel good or be accepted, and all that is accomplished is the outward symbol. We cannot see into the heart.

Jeff said...

All I can say is....W.W.R.D.???


What Would Rufus Do?

Absolutely Spot On Wade.

Jeff

Ron said...

I guess I find the actions of the Baylor trustees in hiring Ken Starr strange. Why would a major Baptist University hire someone with no history of Baptist involvement or understanding of Baptist beliefs. I doubt if those he convinced to give money to a very conservative California law school will also be excited to contribute to a liberal arts Texas university that has been accused of left leaning tendencies. He is a lawyer and not an academician. Baylor trustees are free to do as they wish but it is still puzzling.

Lydia thinks that Little Rock corrupted the purity of Washington, DC. She must get her information from the Clinton Chronicles distributed by Jerry Falwell. Perhaps she forgot about the Republican Watergate scandal, or the Reagan-Bush Savings and Loan scandal or the Reagan-Bush Iran-Contra affair where Reagan sold weapons and arms to Iran and then used the money to buy airplanes for the Contras that were used to smuggle drugs into the US. As far as destroying official documents, she must be thinking of Oliver North’s time in the basement of the White House when they destroyed so many documents they burned up the shredding machines. We have already discussed the Chaney-Rove inspired revealing the identity of a CIA agent. As a conservative who believes in the rule of law, I oppose all of those actions. Only a misguided liberal would make excuses for the kind of ignoring of decency and ethical standards represented by these corrupt acts.

Lydia, here is a website you asked for concerning Starr’s threatening Julie Hiatt Steele with taking her adopted son away from her if she would not cooperate with him. Here is also a story of his trying to intimidate the 16 year old son of another person he was trying to prosecute. Starr lost track of any search for truth in his zeal to serve his political masters.

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,989728,00.html

Former Democratic state chairman and longtime Clinton ally Herby Branscum, a banker, was indicted by Starr on four felony counts for what a jury ultimately decided was a teller's error. The Bank of Perry County, which Branscum owns, failed to report to the Treasury Department the disbursement of $28,500 in perfectly legal cash withdrawals by Clinton's 1990 gubernatorial campaign. The Clinton campaign itself had reported the transaction to the state election commission.
Acquitted in the only jury trial ever lost by an independent counsel, Branscum nevertheless had his life turned inside-out for months and spent a small fortune defending himself. Starr's team even dispatched FBI agents on a futile quest to interview Branscum's 16-year-old son at his high school -- futile because, as the prosecutors surely should have known, Arkansas law forbids interviewing a minor child outside the presence of his parents or an attorney. The episode struck many observers as pure harassment.

Ron said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ron said...

I couldnt get the link to paste but here it is on two lines. Maybe you can still get it to work.

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/
article/0,9171,989728,00.html

Amy said...

Debbie,

To what specifically are you asking? The question is whether or not Starr is a plus or minus for Baylor. Giving my opinion. Remember when many had one that did not fall into lockstep agreement with others?

Thy Peace said...

NPR > Fresh Air with Terry Gross > 'Clinton Vs. Starr': A 'Definitive' Account.
For the past nine years, Duquesne law professor Ken Gormley has worked on what he calls the "definitive neutral historical piece" about President Clinton's impeachment. His new 800-page book The Death of American Virtue: Clinton vs. Starr analyzes the events leading up to Clinton's impeachment, while offering new revelations about many of the key players.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Wade,

We have always been in agreement over more than we disagree. You wanna call women in the p-pit OK, then I can find a thousand words to sling. You wanna knock PP's guns and ammo and petting zoo? I got guns and ammo too. Wanna knock dear ol' Dorothy's crumpets and tea? Please join us. But on other matters where we agree I call it like I see it. Pray your topics stay on my good side. :)

Gene S said...

Thy Peace--

I have just begun to read the fascinating article you cite. It is repleate with drama and information important to this discussion.

It pretty well destroys the idea of anyone's perfection to the point of casting stones at the President.

What a story coming from a non-partisan writer like I am trying to be, myself!

I am always concerned when anyone tries to present himself as a person without feet of clay. Most of us lack such perfection AND closer examination reveals just how much clay there is around and in those feet!

This is, indeed, most interesting!

Wade has truely opened a can of worms in this one and it deserves more than a passing glance. Wade really didn't do it. It is the leaders at Baylor who made their choice, and the quality of Ken Starr deserves another close look!

Lydia said...

"I guess I find the actions of the Baylor trustees in hiring Ken Starr strange. Why would a major Baptist University hire someone with no history of Baptist involvement or understanding of Baptist beliefs."

Why is CJ Mahaney preaching at the 2010 SBC Pastors Conference? He has no history of being Baptist and comes from the cultic shepherding movement. SGM is cultic.

Is it because he gives quite a bit of money to SBTS?

Lydia said...

Time magazine is neutral?

Clinton was born and bred on corruption. Did you ever hear his mother speak?

I have two words for you when it comes to Clinton: Jack Pallidino

Tom Kelley said...

Gene S said...
What a story coming from a non-partisan writer like I am trying to be, myself!


Thanks, Gene, I got a good laugh out of that. All I can say is, try harder! :)

Bob Cleveland said...

Something tells me that, if a bunch of bloggers sitting at their computers were the best folks to pick a University president, that's how the trustees would go about it.

It's kind of like the folks sitting in the 30th row on the 3rd base side calling balls & strikes.

:)

One Salient Oversight said...

New BBC.

Presbyterian visitor here.

The theology goes like this:

1) God's people have been the same from Eden until now.

2) Before Christ, God's people were found in the nation of Israel.

3) After Christ, God's people are found in the visible church.

4) God has always saved people as a group, not simply individual persons. Israel = The Church = A Group of people.

5) God gave the Israelites a ongoing reminder of their salvation - Passover.

6) Jesus instituted an ongoing reminder of our salvation - The Lord's Supper. This replaced the Old Covenant Passover festival.

7) God also instituted among the Israelites a once-off ceremony that marked them as belonging to God's people - circumcision.

8) In the New Testament, Baptism is seen as a once-off ceremony that marks a person as belonging to God's people. This replaced the Old Testament need for circumcision

9) Circumcision was performed on the infants of God's Old Covenant people.

10) So therefore Baptism should also be performed on the infants of God's new Covenant people.

New BBC Open Forum said...

OSO,

Thank you. I've never heard that.

Debbie Kaufman said...

Amy: Giving your opinion based on facts is usually more credible. Especially when a Christian gives an opinion, and I was just asking you to provide the facts.

For example: Here is an interview with Ken Starr published yesterday from the ABP. It seems that Ken Starr has been a member of the church in McLean Virgina that Wade mentioned in his post with a link from 1979-2004.

Interview With Ken Starr

Ron said...

If he was Dean of a law school in California for the last several years, why was his membership in a church in Virgina all that time? Does it sound like he was an active member?

Tim Marsh said...

I am concerned that the largest Baptist university in country, with aspirations to become a "Top Tier" University, made this move. This is the same school that turned down Tom Corts in favor of Robert Sloan and forced out Brad Creed from Truett (my alma mater, Samford University, profitted with both these decisions).

Now they hire Ken Starr??? I cannot imagine someone with more baggage assuming this role.

Rex Ray said...

One Salient Oversight,
1) You said, “God’s people have been the same from Eden until now.”

Today, God’s people have the Holy Spirit to guide and teach them, whereas before; ‘everyone did what they thought was right’.

2) You said, “God has always saved people as a group, not simply individual persons.”

Does that mean you don’t believe John 3:16; that you’re saved because you’re an American or some other group?

3) You said, “Circumcision was performed on the infants of God's Old Covenant people. So therefore Baptism should also be performed on the infants of God's new Covenant people.”

That reasoning looses credibility real fast when Circumcision was for only 50% of infants, and you’ve increased it to 100%.

Do you believe babies that die that are NOT baptized, go to hell?

Instead of preaching the Gospel, maybe we should kidnap all the babies in the world for a few minutes , baptized them and then everyone would go to heaven.

rebeca cole said...

He can join my Southern Baptist Church without being baptized again.. not all SBC churches require that you be baptized into their church.

Christiane said...

Hi REX RAY,

It's me, L's

I know you can help here. With all this talk of baptizing someone 'again', it occurred to me that I don't understand what Baptists think happens to a person when they are baptized.

Is it simply an outward ceremony of initiation into that particular individual Church, or is it considered to be more?

I saw your comment on Paul Burleson's blog and I thank you for that: it raised MY spirits.

I am called now into a season of deep reflection, repentance, and prayer. During this time, I will pray for you and Belle, and for the many people on this blog; the few whose needs are known to me, and also for those whose needs are known only to Our Lord.
Love you dearly, and may He keep you in His Keeping.
L's

Amy said...

Debbie,

It is interesting that you bring up facts, especially when you have a habit of changing facts to suit your position (remember the Holocaust post of a few years ago when you claimed something and then recanted ... I do).

Anyway, I was giving the pros and cons of hiring Starr. Go back and read my post. There was no criticism just some very relevant observations. You took it as criticism because it was not a lockstep agreement of Burleson.

One question -- have you ever disagreed with Burleson? If so, tell us about it

foxofbama said...

Many of you will want to go over to www.abpnews.com and see the site's Opinion piece by David Wilkinson.

I made a comment there referencing this blog and Wade's pilgrimage to the Baptist Covenant last fall in Oklahoma, a journey I applaud.
I do have some reservations about Baylor, though.

I want to thank Thy Peace for the link here to the NPR Fresh Air segment.
I listened to all 42 minutes this morning and it is fascinating indeed.
Ron, I hope you and others will google up the 94 tnr (new republic) review by Sidney Blumenthal of the 48 TExas race between Coke Stevenson and LBJ.
I think it says a lot about the legacy of Judge Pressler skewing this choice of Starr as Baylor President.
I may be wrong.

Rex Ray said...

Christiane,
Thanks for you’re comment of Paul Burleson’s blog.

You asked what Baptists think happens to a person when they are baptized.

In short: NOTHING. We believe when a person is baptized, it is a SYMBOL of what HAS happened. If a ‘saved person’ was never baptized, he would still be in God’s Kingdom just like the thief at Calvary – “Today, you will be with me in Paradise.”

One of the first solders to die in Patton’s Fourth Armored Division died in my father’s arms saying, “Yesterday, I thought I’d be killed, and I asked Jesus to save me. He stepped into my heart and I was so happy I thought I’d live forever. Tell my mother I’ll meet her in heaven.”

A saved person is not baptized into a local church, or even into the Universal Church of Christ, but is a symbol that he is in the Universal Church of Christ.

Being baptized allows a person to join any Baptist church and to take the Lord’s Supper which is remembering what Jesus did at Calvary. “Do this in remembrance of me.” (Luke 22:19)

L’s, I don’t know what you mean when you said, “May He keep you in His Keeping.”

“I give them eternal life, and they will never perish—ever! No one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all. No one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. The Father and I are one.” (John 10:28-30)

This is one of the many Scriptures why Baptists believe ‘Once saved – always saved’.

Christiane said...

Thank you, REX

That expression means: 'may He watch over you'

It is a blessing. And a prayer at the same time.

Your explanation helps me to understand the reason for objections to baptizing babies. Looking at it from your perspective, it makes finally makes sense. Also, your explanation corresponds to the practice of having a person being baptized to do it 'upon their profession of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ'.
Thanks for taking the time to explain this. I knew I could count on you for help.

Here's another blessing, a very ancient one:
May the Lord be with you.
Love, L's

jsladder said...

Rex, I was an attentive member of Rev. Douglas' teachings. Regarding the once saved always saved, he preached on that subject one Sunday morning. I caught him after the service and discussed reading between the lines. I said that the scripture does not say anything about one's not 'jumping' out of his hands. Though I am a licensed Southern Baptist Minister, I was open to understanding exceptions to the rule, and reading between the lines, but nothing compares to the depth of understanding when God puts His Living Word on your heart. There's no argument when He directs you in a direction that is not church popular. Blessings, all.

Bob Cleveland said...

With reference to Baptism, when Peter got up and spoke that 3 minute sermon on the day of Pentecost, the people asked "Brothers, what shall we do?" Peter's answer was "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins".

I won't get into the argument about whether it's necessary for salvation, but it seems clear that being baptized is to be an act of one's will, in faith.

I figure this particular statement has a special importance, as it seems to be the very first description of how to be saved, under the conditions as they are today .. namely an incarnate Jesus crucified, buried, resurrected and ascended, and an indwelling Holy Spirit in believers.

I figured they'd want to be especially clear in such a case.

Debbie Kaufman said...

Amy: It's very rare when I do disagree.


Question: Have you ever agreed with him? :)

Debbie Kaufman said...

remember the Holocaust post of a few years ago when you claimed something and then recanted ... I do)

No, I do not remember. If I see something that changes my mind, I am known to do that...alot. And I apologize when I am wrong...I do that too...a lot.

As for remembering, I'm sure you do! :)

Debbie Kaufman said...

Ron: In the article I linked to he taught Sunday school and began other groups in the church, sounds active to me. I don't know you will have to ask Ken Starr.

Lydia said...

NPR is a good source? You mean the government funded folks who make zillions off Barney but cry if they get funds cut?

lorenh said...

Lydia: I've found NPR to be an outstanding resource for information. And, as far as I know, they don't make anything off of Barney.

Maybe you're thinking about PBS.

Word Verification: fibel=when a person fibs about someone in writing.

Lydia said...

"Lydia: I've found NPR to be an outstanding resource for information. And, as far as I know, they don't make anything off of Barney.

Maybe you're thinking about PBS."

They are both funded by the public. And you are right...one is TV and the other radio. My bad. they are all the same to me...government funded.

And yes, PBS does make money off Barney. And NPR is outstanding source of info for "you", I presume. I would not trust it with a 10ft pole. You don't remember Nina Totenburg going after Clarence Thomas with a vengence?

Both love government funding so they lean toward the left.

Chris Ryan said...

Lydia,

You have to give NPR this:

They have Garrison Keiller which means they have "Lake Woebegone." Amazing!!

Kevin M. Crowder said...

I love "Fresh Air" w/ Terry Gross

Lydia, are you afraid you are going to become a liberal feminist if you watch NPR? O wait, you'z already close to that...


K

Lydia said...

They have Garrison Keiller which means they have "Lake Woebegone." Amazing!!

Wed Feb 17, 05:59:00 PM 2010

HUGE liberal leftist. They are always well off. Ever notice that? Like Warren Buffet and George Soros.

Lydia said...

"Lydia, are you afraid you are going to become a liberal feminist if you watch NPR? O wait, you'z already close to that..."


Kev, you are just confused because you cannot put me in a femi-nazi box or a pink box with a plastic fish on it. I do not fit in the categories your idols have devised for us gals. :O)

Gene S said...

L's--

Rex did a great job of describing baptism to you. It is one of those things--there are 2--which we call Ordinances rather than Sacraments.

Much of SBC theology is more a revolt against Catholicism and Church of England (Episcopal) than it is a newly conceived theology.

"Ordinance" means it is ordered by the Baptist church as a symbol of our faith. The elements of Communion do not become the body and blood or Christ, but symbolize Christ's body and blood shed for us as a sacrifice for our sins.

Baptism, in the same way, is something we do to symbolize the death of our old life and ressurection to a new one in Christ. Where Catholics view it as a Sacrament, without which one cannot enter the kingdom of heaven, we view it as a symbolic act to be practiced by immersing the entire body in water. That was the reason for taking the name "Baptist" as an attempt to show we are immersed into a New Life in Christ.

Historically there has been some controversy about whether one was baptised in a stream, river, creek, or in a fancy pool inside the church. Some even criticized the fact the pool in the church was heated as opposed to cold as was the River Jordan. Us Baptists love to fight about most anything!!

Early on, Baptists considered it a specific act for a specific church which had to be repeated if you changed churches--inter-church competition was the source of this. Later, it was considered that baptism in any Baptist church gave one the right to change their membership to another church "of like faith" by simply transference of church letter from the old church to the new. The old church had to vouch that the person was "in good standing." Otherwise a person could come on his statement he was such.

In Frontier days the act of belonging to a church and "in good standing" with that church was some kind of a testament to a person's virtue. In the monthly Conference meeting a person found to be "out of fellowship" could be ousted by a majority vote and have to rejoin, and be re-baptised to become "in good standing" again.

I base this on my reading of the Minutes of the Noonday Baptist Church north of Atlanta whose actual minutes were dated back to 1835 and could be handled and read. For example, a man was cast out for "possessing pigs not his own." Other people were cast out for "loosing their faith"--in one such case the lady became a Methodist!

As a rule, Baptist churches were more pragmatic than dealing with abstract theology over baptism. What was consistent was that it was not a Sacrament, but an Ordinance. In some cases, reading between the lines, leds one to conclude certain "social outcasts" were more prone to be excluded than those who were in the "right" social group. In some cases, people were ousted, re-admitted, then ousted again. "Once saved / always saved" was a matter of serious debate and divided many Baptists one from the other.

Gene S said...

(cont.)

Today, many speak of "joining the church" rather than "accepting Christ as Saviour." This, again, indicated the social nature of the relationship rather than its spiritual nature. For me, the spiritual nature of the public commitment to Christ is what is important! Once that commitment is made in a true fashion, you don't "backslide" out of it. The "backslider" was a fake to begin with.

Along the way, Baptists have been afflicted with a social understanding of church membership as against a spiritual reason for being a member of a Baptist Church. The reason we have many non-attenders who claim they are members is that a social understanding prevails on membership.

I once had a good Catholic neighbor who stated to me he didn't understand us Baptists and attendance. He was clear that on 2 occasions a Catholic never misses church: Easter and Christmas. He had wisely observed how many take a vacation to the beach at Easter over attending church. Christmas was about as bad. He just couldn't understand our lax attitude toward going to church at such special times.

I agree with him! If church becomes more of a social club than a part of the Kingdom of God, we get ourselves into all kinds of trouble. For Ken Starr to "join the Baptist church" just so he can be President of Baylor rings with superficiality to me.

If he accepted Christ as his Saviour, no matter what the mode of baptism, Romans 10:8-9 puts it simply: "He is saved.!"

At times, I'm not sure many Baptists understand being saved because their actions do not reflect being saved from the old contentious and unforgiving self to a new creature in Christ. d"They will know we are Christians by our love" says it all to me.

Hope this helps you understand our somewhat "wierd" relationship to being baptized.

Christiane said...

Thanks to BOB and GENE for the info on Baptist 'baptism' practices and beliefs.

I think REX mentioned something that resonates with me: that a person can be 'baptized by desire' in the way of St. Dismus, the 'Good Thief' who was crucified with Our Lord. This form of baptism is recognized by my Church.

We also recognize another form of baptism in my Church:
'baptism by blood'. For example, when someone studying to become a Christian (a catechumen) was martyred BEFORE he or she could be baptized formally at Easter in ancient Church, they were considered to be baptized in their own blood.
These people had already chosen Christ as their Lord and were in process of learning His Teachings and attending the 'Liturgy of the Word' (first part of the eucharistic service), but were executed because of their faith in Christ:
so we say these martyrs were 'baptized by blood'.

Thanks to everyone for kindly sharing, or how could I come to better understand the precious faith so dear to the people here. Much love, L's

Christiane said...

Sharing: A Lenten Canticle 'Come, Let Us Return To The Lord'
Taken from the Book of Hosea, Chapt. 6

"Come, let us return to the Lord; for He has torn,
that He may heal us;
He has stricken, and he will bind us up.

After two days he will revive us; on the third day He will raise us up, that we may live before Him.

Let us know, let us press on to know the Lord; His going forth is sure as the Dawn;

He will come to us as the showers,
as the spring rains that water the earth."

Come, let us return to the Lord.

Chris Ryan said...

Lydia,

His political leanings aside, that is absolutely the most humerous radio program I've ever had the pleasure of listening to. And his command of language is amazing.

"Ohh, pumpkin pie... that great exercise in mediocrity. Well, haven't you noticed thta the best pumpkin pie really isn't that different than the worst?" One of the most classic Thanksgivings episodes off all time (Charlie Brown and Peanuts topping the list, of course!).

Gene S said...

Christiane--

The "Baptism in blood" conotes that one is saved irregardless of actual baptism, as indicated by the Apostle Paul in his letter to the Romans.

What always interests me about Catholics is their ability to incorporate practices outside the norm and still call it "Catholic." My most clear-cut example is the Catholic Charismatic Movement. Whereas, being practitioners of glossolalia, instead of kicking them out, they are added on.

In Baptist circles--FMB "prayer talk" being an example--they are cast out and declaired heretical since it doesn't meet the satandards of BF&M!

It is a rather dramatic example of inclusive Christianity vs. exclusive control of narrowly dictated ways and words!

Bob Cleveland said...

Incidentally, Christiane, The Baptist Faith & Message, our consensus statement of faith, defines a church as ".. an autonomous local congregation of baptized believers .." which might explain why Baptism by immersion is somewhat of an "entrance requirement" for the SBC churches of which I am aware.

New BBC Open Forum said...

L's,

Rex, Gene, and now Bob have provided an excellent description of "Baptist" baptism and what it symbolizes. I think of it like a wedding band. A wedding band is a symbol, a witness to others, that you're married, but it doesn't make you married.

I have to say OSO's explanation of the reasoning behind infant baptism is unlike anything I've ever heard. I would like to hear Kevin explain it because I'm almost certain I've heard a different explanation, one that made more sense to me. I just can't remember what it was!

Alan Paul said...

Ron do you have proof to back your accusations up? I assume you do since I am sure you don't want to be involved in spreading innuendo, rumors and gossip. I'd love to see links, etc. or a retraction.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

New BBC,

OSO did a pretty good job of explaining the Presbyterian view, from one perspective. But you can ask 10 Presbys that same question and get 10 different answers. Same goes for Baptists and their view.

But the difference in the 2 views though is that Baptists view baptism as symbolic only of our union with Christ. ("Buried with Christ in baptism...") Whereas Covenant Theology teaches that Baptism is a "sign and seal" of the Covenant which the God of the Covenant has made with the "Israel of God--The People of God--The Church of the Living God." Now the post-cross reality is Spiritual and not physical as with the OT cutting off of the flesh. We are now Spiritually washed by the sprinkling of the Blood of the Redeemer. (Which was still the case Pre-Cross. But by nature of BEING Pre-Cross, the physical cutting off was necessary.)

The Westminster Confession does not concede that the act of water baptism is salvific though some Covenant Theologians do hold to this on the basis of 1 Peter 3:21 alone. I confess to being unclear as to Peter's exact meaning of this and have wrestled with several interpretations.

Presbyterians have a couple small holes in their theology which they get around by the use of "Communicant" and "Non-Communicant" members. Where to place baptized infants has been an historical problem as well. One of my very good friends feels it is wrong to deny baptized infants and children the elements of the Lord's Table. Yet the BCO demands it, or at the very least gives local presbytery prerogative. (I'd have to check this fact--I should, but do not own a BCO.)

Infant baptisms are not simply "dedication ceremonies" and to make them that defiles not only the sacrament of baptism but also the process by which we "dedicate babies." The two practices are mutually exclusive. Though one might argue that covenant baptism suffices for both.

The only infants who can be baptized in the Presbyterian Church are babies of Communicant (Baptized) members. They are baptized into the covenant community through the grace of Christ extended from the faithful parent(s). It is the "ordinary means of salvation." That is to say this grace will upon ordinary means, mature the infant into a mature follower of the Lord Jesus Christ. But not always so is the case. This is recognized and mourned in the Presbyterian Church as with all faiths that the child would grow up in the grace of the Covenant Community and stray to damnation.

Why is the Covenant Community so important? OSO hit the nail on the head by stating that Christ saved/saves His people in groups--flocks--Congregations. We are a people designed for fellowship and communion. "In Christ...the Body, building itself up in love."

"But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin." (1 John 1:7. See also 1 John 1:3)



K

One Salient Oversight said...

Rex,

That reasoning looses credibility real fast when Circumcision was for only 50% of infants, and you’ve increased it to 100%.

Not me. I didn't do it. All I did was describe a presbyterian position.

Do you believe babies that die that are NOT baptized, go to hell?

Only the regenerate go to heaven. I do not believe in baptismal regeneration and neither does Presbyterian / Reformed beliefs. The idea is that circumcision / baptism are outward signs while only God knows the heart. Plenty of circumcised people die and go to hell, as do plenty of baptised people - even those baptised as an adult.

Instead of preaching the Gospel, maybe we should kidnap all the babies in the world for a few minutes , baptized them and then everyone would go to heaven.

That's not my position but I can see where you're coming from.

One Salient Oversight said...

Rex,

Sorry I didn't see the other two points.

Today, God’s people have the Holy Spirit to guide and teach them, whereas before; ‘everyone did what they thought was right’.

The regenerate have always had the Holy Spirit, even before Christ. The operation and work of the Spirit in the lives of the regenerate changed after Christ.

Does that mean you don’t believe John 3:16; that you’re saved because you’re an American or some other group?

The individual is saved and becomes part of the group. An individual is called by God through the Gospel. When he/she repents and has faith, he/she becomes part of the group. The Gospel is neither solely individualistic nor solely corporate - it is both.

One Salient Oversight said...

BBC,

I have to say OSO's explanation of the reasoning behind infant baptism is unlike anything I've ever heard.

Here's some quotes and links:

The case for baptizing believers’ infants (a practice that the New Testament neither illustrates nor prescribes nor forbids) rests on the claim that the transition from the “old” to the “new” form of God’s covenant that was brought about by the coming of Christ did not affect the principle of family solidarity in the covenant community (i.e., the church, as it is now called). Infants were therefore to be baptized, as Jewish male infants had previously been circumcised, not to confer on them covenant status, but to attest the covenant status that by God’s sovereign appointment their parentage had already given them.

J.I. Packer

Children were included in the covenant of grace in the Old Testament, through the sacrament of circumcision, and in the New Covenant (called the "better covenant"), God has not changed in his good intentions toward our children (Ac. 2:38, 35) and circumcision has been replaced with baptism (Col. 2:11). Therefore, our children must be brought into the covenant of grace and united to Christ through baptism as the people of God in former times were brought into the covenant through circumcision.

Michael Horton

One Salient Oversight said...

Kevin,

The only infants who can be baptized in the Presbyterian Church are babies of Communicant (Baptized) members.

Some Presbyterian denominations practice that. Mine doesn't. Essentially anyone who is born again and who attends the church is allowed to have their kids baptised. We don't baptise the children of unbelievers.

BTW - Baptists who join Presbyterian churches do not have to be re-baptised to become communicant members. In fact they don't even have to agree with pedobaptism to become members.

Rex Ray said...

Kevin,
You said: “Why is the Covenant Community so important? OSO hit the nail on the head by stating that Christ saved/saves His people in groups--flocks—Congregations.”

After you said this, I’ll quote One Salient Oversight giving a rebuttal and I’ll say amen:

“Only the regenerate go to heaven. I do not believe in baptismal regeneration and neither does Presbyterian / Reformed beliefs. The idea is that circumcision / baptism are outward signs while only God knows the heart. Plenty of circumcised people die and go to hell, as do plenty of baptized people - even those baptized as an adult.”

Kevin in your Scripture quoting, I believe you’ve confused “fellowship and communication” as necessary to being “saved”.

AFTER A PERSON IS SAVED, it is good to have fellowship and communication in a group, but Christ does NOT save the group as a group.

It’s true that all Christians are in a group bound for heaven, but each individual has to have a personal relationship with Jesus.



One Salient Oversight (OSO),
You said: “The regenerate have always had the Holy Spirit, even before Christ. The operation and work of the Spirit in the lives of the regenerate changed after Christ.”

I know from time to time the Holy Spirit came upon man before Christ, but if the disciples already had the Holy Spirit, why would Jesus say:

“It is for your benefit that I go away, because if I don’t go away the Counselor will not come to you. If I go, I will send Him to you. When He comes, He will convict the world about sin, righteousness, and judgment… When the Spirit of Truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth.” (John 16:7-13)

“And tongues, like flames of fire that were divided, appeared to them and rested on each one of them. Then they were all filled with the Holy Spirit…” (Acts 2:3-4)

OSO,
We may be ‘splitting hairs’, but overall, I think we pretty much agree. Nice talking with you.

Gene S said...

Kevin--

When you describe the particulars of Presbyterian infant dedication, I think you are touching on the way things which were "heart-touching and cute" quickly became inbeded in Early Church theology. Soon it was "salvation essential" that children receive the Sacrament of Baptism to be assured of a place in heaven.

I have watched this over my 63 years with Baptists. In the 50's there was never such a thing as a "Baby Dedication Service." We just had the altar call and told everyone they had to win someone to Christ each week or they were committing a "sin of omission."

With the induction of many from other denominations, I'm sure someone said, "Preacher, that there service they had when my child was born shore was sweet. Can we do one here?"

The Preacher thought well of it and figured it might get even more people to join so he put one together with little or no consideration to any theological implications.

It is just the same with Baptist Faith and Message. We were so non-creedal that most Baptists refused to say the part of the Apostle's Creed where the phrase "catholic church" occurs. Few had any idea "catholic" literally means "universal" rather than that "evil Catholic church that worships idols down the street." I'm not being smart--only reflecting the thinking of my growing up days as a Baptist youth.

Next, you have the controversy over Ralph Elliott's publication of his book on Genesis where the word, "myth" is used to describe some of the stories of Genesis.

Again, Baptist ignorance reigned! The typical uneducated Baptist assumed "myth" meant "fairy tale." In theological circles it means nothing like that. but Dr. (earned) J.D. Grey of Texas jumped on it and said Elliott must be fired for his heresy. He won in the land of "Ignernt Ba-be-tists." Like Paige Patterson / Albert Mohler / etc. he was rewarded with prestige and power! He became President of the SBC which he had lusted after for many years.

To assure it never happened again, the SBC passed a resolution that the SS Board create a statement on Baptist Faith and Belief. That first one spent several large paragraphs at the beginning to clearly state that Baptists don't have Creeds. This was just compilation of general beliefs which was not binding on any church or individual calling themselves "Baptist."

Now we have BF&M 2000 which is certainly a binding creed by which employees of Institutions and Agencies can be fired!

It is a simple description of how man with his brain and ego never seems to be satisfied with a loving and cooperative relationship to God and fellow believers. We are back to the days when frontier Baptists were convinced they were the only ones with the "right religion" and beliefs (baptism by immersion being one) and all others were going to Hell with certainty!!!

When I talk with Mormons who are honest, they hold the same tenants about the way to Heaven. If you don't accept the tenants of the Book of Mormon and Pearl of Great Price, you are eternally doomed. We try to call them a "cult," but are they any different than those brain pounding people of BF&M 2000?

Too often the pot is calling the kettle black! Just keep quiet around the corner of Heaven housing Baptists--don't mess with their belief that they are the only ones there!!!!!

Gene S said...

By the way---this is becoming one informative and intelligent string of discussions!!!

CONGRATULATIONS ONE AND ALL!!!

Kevin M. Crowder said...

"BTW - Baptists who join Presbyterian churches do not have to be re-baptised to become communicant members. In fact they don't even have to agree with pedobaptism to become members."

This impressed the heck out of me when I found this out last year. It is in no way in conflict with my view of baptism and begs the question why Baptists do not do the same.

K

Kevin M. Crowder said...

GeneS,

I am not a church historian but what I do know of the history of pedobaptism is that it is quite comprehensive and far reaching with traces back to the early church--even whole biblical families (Philippian Jailer, etc) being baptized "that night."

But here might be a practical reason for pedobaptism, at least it is the prevailing proof in my mind:

Is it not the Church who baptizes? Why then does it seem so important to some whether that baptism takes place at the beginning of the walk verses in the middle? I believe a life is better served joined to the Covenant Community through baptism at infancy (buried with Christ in baptism/washed by the sprinkling of His blood) and then trained and confirmed systematically through the means of the Bible, the historical confessions and especially the time-test catechisms of the faith. ("raised" to walk in the newness of life.)

I say "especially the time-tested catechisms not to downplay the Bible but to use them TO teach the Bible. Children are best taught young and early by rote catechal method. (obviously many disagree). Some Baptists parents are catching on to this. I hope the Lord will use me in but a small way to bring this to resurgence.

While many of you on here may scoff at the OC/OT/Law, the one thing that ought be gleeaned from the OT is the "pattern" of the "People of God/Israel" and how they relate to the "Israel of God-G6:16/Church."

These patterns and examples are helpful for they were determined by the God of the Covenant--Our God--The God of the New Covenant. His righteous requirements never change.


I am presently posting the questions and answers to the Heidelberg Catechism on Facebook and have been for many weeks. I am doing it slowly as to meditate upon each question. I encourage all off you to check out questions 12-18. No greater treatise for the need of a Savior has ever been given in my opinion. I wish I had learned this language in grammar school.

K

Ron said...

Alan Paul,
What accusations are you refering to? I think I gave some information on most of the issues I mentioned. Actually since Arkansas is my home I was able to follow closely his investigative tactics in Arkansas and I know a few of the people he attacked. As far as the reason for his being hired to prove Vince Foster was murdered by the Clintons or his long time work for the tobacco industry, these were all reported widely in the press and acknowledged by those involved. I could look up a few links but it would be easier if you either googled Gene Lyons, Susan McDougal, Julia Hiatt Steele, Ken Starr or others involved. There is more than anyone has time to read. To get the best first hand account of Starr's bullying tactics in Arkansas your could read Gene Lyons books, "Fools for Scandal" or "The Hunting of the President" or Susan McDougals book. They are on Amazon. I know you will welcome the opportunity to find the truth of about Ken Starr that we in Arkansas observed first hand.

Gene S said...

Kevin--

The "down side" to pedobaptism / group conversion / etc. is that people become members of the church without a commitment of the heart.

The worst thing that ever happend to Christianity was when Constantine converted and commanded the whole of the Roman Empire to be Christian.

With that came all kinds of wierd stuff based more on pagan practices than a soul commmitment to confessing Jesus is Lord.

Us Baptists have been accurately accused of dismissing infant baptism, but welcoming children who walk the aisle at age 5-6 into a full voting membership in the church.

We are sorely lacking in theological education, especially since 1979. We teach the facts of the Bible stories without pointing out the personal nature of salvation.

Today, a person can learn far more about theology and archaeology from the Discovery / History / National Geographic Channels than in a classroom at Seminary or the SS class.

Therefore, we have droves of people who "joined the church," yet never really accepted Christ as Saviour of Lord of life. Our theology is more the "American Way and God Bless America" than what is required in, as Bonhoeffer said, "The cost of discipleship."

It is an "easy Christianity," in my opinion full of sex, drugs, and rock-n-roll. Not much self-discipline these days!

Bob Cleveland said...

One more quick comment about baptism for children, as I recall it, from my days as a Presbyterian.

Presbyterians used to refer to "Covenant theology" .. that we are today under the same covenant that God made with Abram/Abraham, to be their God; that Jesus' reference to a new covenant really meant a new administration of the old covenant.

We also heard references to Acts 2:39:

"The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call."

Put that with 2 other thoughts: one is that the Philippian jailer was told salvation would be for him and his household, and also that Baptism isn't a symbol of death-burial-resurrection, but rather a sign of the covenant, and a model of the coming of the Holy Spirit.

So: baptize infants.

I didn't buy it then,especially that part about a "new administration" and I still don't, but I don't begrudge them their thinking. It's the Holy Spirit who reveals truth, not me.

Guess that wasn't quick. Oh well...

Rex Ray said...

OSO said… “Baptists who join Presbyterian churches do not have to be re-baptised to become communicant members. In fact they don't even have to agree with pedobaptism to become members."

Kevin said… “This impressed the heck out of me when I found this out last year. It is in no way in conflict with my view of baptism and begs the question why Baptists do not do the same.”

Kevin, would you accept something real and true over something fake and untrue?

One Salient Oversight said...

Rex,

Re: The work of the Spirit pre- and post- pentecost.

The Holy Spirit's regenerative work is common throughout both testaments. Post Pentecost, however, the Spirit's work was widened somewhat.

2 Corinthians 30:12 says that The hand of God was also on Judah to give them one heart to do what the king and the princes commanded by the word of the LORD. which must be a work of the Spirit.

John 14:16-17 says And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, 17even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you. That last line indicates both a pre-pentecost indwelling of the Spirit in the Apostles as well as a promised outworking post-pentecost.

Rex Ray said...

OSO,
Can’t let you have the last word – you might think I agree with you. Ha

You quote Jesus saying: “…for he dwells with you and will be in you” for ‘proving’ the Holy Spirit was with man continually before Pentecost.

Our disagreement is your saying ‘continually’ while I believe the Holy Spirit dwelt with man from time to time.

I believe actions speak louder than words. God told Moses to SPEAK to the rock and not HIT the rock as he was instructed to do the first time. If the Holy Spirit was CONTINUALLY with Moses, why did he and his brother decided to HIT the rock?

If the Holy Spirit dwelt continually with the Disciples, why did Peter say, “I go fishing?”

I mean Peter had given up – all was lost, but when the Holy Spirit was IN him – oh what a difference.