Monday, December 29, 2008

Baptism

This is the next post replying to my anonymous commenter…the rest of my responses should be more brief than the prior one.

Baptism:

Early Christian churches, practiced baptism of youth (not infants) by immersion by the father of the family. The local congregation had a lay ministry. An early Christian Church has been re-constructed at the Israel Museum, and the above can be verified. The Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) continues baptism and a lay ministry as taught by Jesus’ Apostles. Early Christians were persecuted for keeping their practices sacred, and prohibiting non-Christians from witnessing them.

Some of that is true, but that doesn’t mean that mormonism is also true. As I pointed out previously, correcting an error with a greater error is not a restoration! I will agree wholeheartedly that the New Testament model of the church was a lay ministry, but also that the earliest church was not a hierarchical organization but instead small gatherings of believers often in homes, not in meeting houses with basketball courts and satellite links to Salt Lake City. I have posted with some regularity recently on my main blog affirming the lay ministry model (see here) but that affirmation does not necessitate or support mormonism. I also will affirm that paedobaptism, the baptism of infants of believing parents is not a correct practice. Many, many Christians deny infant baptism. On the other hand, baptizing someone because they turn eight is not a correct practice either!

That early Christians hid their “sacred” ceremonies I am not so certain about. They were certainly often in hiding because of persecution. Again, we get no citation so I cannot be sure where that claim comes from. Early Christians were persecuted for many things, but it is an enormous leap to think that the reason they were persecuted, as implied here, is that they were conducting secret mormon temple ceremonies. It is a chicken and egg situation, were they persecuted because they were in hiding or were they in hiding because of persecution? The latter seems far more plausible.

What we have here is an argument that points out some truths, but then makes the assumption that mormonism is the correct prescription for meeting these truths. Getting some aspects of ecclesiology correct doesn’t outweigh gross errors in theology proper.

2 comments:

Pip said...

Ecellent rebuttal -just because the dots are parallel doesn't mean they connect!

Pip said...

Excellent rebuttal -just because the dots are parallel doesn't mean they connect!