Author Topic: Church customs delivered by the apostles  (Read 543 times)

Offline xachialpha

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Church customs delivered by the apostles
« on: June 28, 2017, 12:13:55 PM »
Hello,
During my listening and reading of content on this website, I have not yet seen a particular topic that has become of interest to me lately. It concerns the study of customs/traditions/ordinances that are recorded in the scripture. Are they perpetual or temporary? What is the manner in which we are to practice them? Is the method of practice flexible or not?
So here are the ones that I can list off the top of my head:

1. The Lord's Supper
2. Baptism
3. Foot washing
4. Greet one another with a holy kiss (picture the cheek to cheek kind seen in places outside the U.S.)
5. Headcoverings
6. Singing, as a group or an individual

Numbers 3,4, and 5 are what I am most curious about because these have not been practiced in the baptist churches I have grown up in. Culture is the big reason for why present churches do not continue these customs.

I would like some discussion on these. What experiences does everyone have with these? What has your own study come up with?

Thank you for any input.

Offline Masha

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Re: Church customs delivered by the apostles
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2017, 02:30:30 PM »
Hi Jared,
I have the understanding that the only ordinances are the numbers 1 and 2, The Lord Supper and Baptism. That is what the Bible specifically say to do.
    Mat 28:19, Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
    Luk 22:19, And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.

The other ones are not mentioned as things that we are supposed to do, or to do regularly.

I have never done any footwashing or greeting with a kiss of those in any church. Me and my husband have done it together:-) and in Dutch culture it is common to kiss eachother on the cheeks 3 times. :-) (But I dont think that counts:-) Holland must be one of the most ungodly countries in the world.

Headcovering:  1Cor 11: 6, For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered. So that would suggest it is neccesary. Ive been to chruches that do that: The sevenday adventist and the strict reformed.
But  :   1Co 11:15, But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.
I understand from that that a womans long hair is her covering therefor she does not need to be covered in another way anymore.

Singing: the Bible says in so many verses to sing joyfully and bring glory to God through our praises. I believe it is a beautiful way to worship the Lord, and is a great way give Him glory. Yet Ive been to churches where the singing dominated the gathering in such a way that the Bible was put on the backburner. I think that is wrong. The Word of God, and studying the Word should be the main activity of a gathering of Christians.
I do love to sing praises to God during the day, especially with my children and while Im doing my household work.

Hope this helps:-)
Masha

Offline TonyaJ

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Re: Church customs delivered by the apostles
« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2017, 03:15:28 PM »
 Well, I can say that the Bible says we are to remember Jesus by breaking the bread and drinking the juice/wine, but not in the stable as a baby.  It seems to me that baptism is not required but greatly encouraged in the Scriptures. The rest of it, I cannot comment.
Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, 2 Cor. 6:17

Offline anvilhauler

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Re: Church customs delivered by the apostles
« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2017, 04:23:47 PM »
Hi Jared

Interesting points you make but in accordance with the rules of the forum you should let everyone know about yourself, just so everyone knows where you're coming from.
Psalm 119:165 Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.

Offline creationliberty

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Re: Church customs delivered by the apostles
« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2017, 06:32:49 PM »
The registration agreement you electronically signed and agreed to says (and the bold is in the original agreement as a highlight to make sure you acknowledge it):
"We also require new members to visit the "Introduce Yourself" section and let everyone know who you are by telling us a little about yourself."
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. -2Ti 2:15
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Offline xachialpha

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Re: Church customs delivered by the apostles
« Reply #5 on: June 30, 2017, 12:47:34 AM »
Concerning the question of practicing foot washing as a symbolic act and in obedience to the following:

John 13:13-17
(13)  Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am.
(14)  If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet.
(15)  For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.
(16)  Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him.
(17)  If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.

My personal observations from this and other passages.

It appears that Jesus was giving them a practice that he intended to be habitual (wash one another's feet), just like the recent practice Jesus gave of the bread and the cup right before he washed their feet. So, how and when did we figure out that the supper was perpetual but this succeeding practice was only for the early church? Is there an apostle's teaching in Scripture that instructs us to discontinue this humbling practice? Maybe the coffin of "culturally irrelevant" has buried this church custom? What is it about passing around bread and juice or dunking someone under the water that is much more relevant to us today than this symbolic practice? I have come to believe that each of these traditions, the Lord's Supper, Baptism, Foot Washing has an important lesson and reminder for the body of Christ; communion with Christ, the burying of the old man and the raising of the new man, and humility and service towards one another especially the greater towards the lesser in the Body.


Whatcha think?

Offline creationliberty

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Re: Church customs delivered by the apostles
« Reply #6 on: June 30, 2017, 01:25:46 AM »
If you have a verse that says "This do in remembrance of me" in the context of foot washing, please present the Scripture for that.
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. -2Ti 2:15
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Offline Masha

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Re: Church customs delivered by the apostles
« Reply #7 on: June 30, 2017, 03:23:35 AM »
(14)  If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet.
(15)  For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.

I can see how you would interpret this as a command/recommendation to do this regularly, yet I think the washing of the feet was a symbolic act that Jesus did, to show his willingness to serve and humble Himself. There is no Bibleverse that says to do this in remeberance of Jesus, as Chris points out.
I believe the point is that we likewise should serve other and humble ourselves.
Footwashing was a custom in those days as people wore sandals or nothing at all and they got their feet dirty. So when entering into someones home, or having a meal they would wash their feet.
    Gen 18:4, Let a little water, I pray you, be fetched, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree:
   Gen 24:32, And the man came into the house: and he ungirded his camels, and gave straw and provender for the camels, and water to wash his feet, and the men's feet that were with him.

Nowadays we wear socks and shoes, so there is no need for feetwashing in the practical sense, our feet are simply not dirty.
The spiritual meaning of it though, is that we, in love, serve one another and that we humble ourselves.

The tricky part is this: It would be oh, so easy if we could just wash each others feet, and be done with it. DOING something like that would just be another THING TO DO, and a few more points on our chart. I think the difficulty and danger with these THINGS WE DO, is that we can do these things, but OUR HEART might not be in it , and then it totally useless and pointless. It's kinda like :    2Co 3:6, ∂ Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.
We can try to follow this letter of the law, but without His spirit it is absolutely of none effect. I see this in all the churches and groups of Christians. There is something in the human nature that just loves to go for the works! It gives us a sense of accomplishment , yet we have no accomplishments, that why we needed Jesus to come and save us from our sins! ( Ephesians2: 8, For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
    9, Not of works, lest any man should boast. )

The point we need to understand from the footwashing is this:

    Phillipians 2: 1, ∂ If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies,
    2, Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.
    3, Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.
    4, Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
    5, Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

God bless you as you read His word!
Shalom
Masha

Offline anvilhauler

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Re: Church customs delivered by the apostles
« Reply #8 on: June 30, 2017, 11:19:28 PM »

So here are the ones that I can list off the top of my head:

1. The Lord's Supper
2. Baptism
3. Foot washing
4. Greet one another with a holy kiss (picture the cheek to cheek kind seen in places outside the U.S.)
5. Headcoverings
6. Singing, as a group or an individual


1. The Lord's Supper

Jesus' usual teaching when He was with the disciples and the general public
John 6 Authorized (King James) Version (AKJV)
31 Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat. 32 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. 34 Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread. 35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.

Jesus' teaching much later on the night He was to be betrayed
Luke 22 Authorized (King James) Version (AKJV)
14 And when the hour was come, he sat down, and the twelve apostles with him. 15 And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer: 16 for I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God. 17 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, Take this, and divide it among yourselves: 18 for I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come.

19 And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. 20 Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.

21 But, behold, the hand of him that betrayeth me is with me on the table. 22 And truly the Son of man goeth, as it was determined: but woe unto that man by whom he is betrayed! 23 And they began to enquire among themselves, which of them it was that should do this thing.


There is quite a time gap between Jesus teaching that he is the bread of life and his instructions on the night on which he was betrayed as to what his disciples are to continue to do in remembrance of him.  Jesus being the bread of life is the teaching about salvation being through him but although the last supper has the same items of the bread and the wine it is not about the salvation of the soul but rather about being in one accord as a congregation and caring for one another. 

Typical passages from Acts


Acts 2:42 Authorized (King James) Version (AKJV)
And they continued stedfastly in the apostlesí doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

Acts 2:46 Authorized (King James) Version (AKJV)
And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,

Acts 20:7 Authorized (King James) Version (AKJV)
And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.

Acts 20:11 Authorized (King James) Version (AKJV)
When he therefore was come up again, and had broken bread, and eaten, and talked a long while, even till break of day, so he departed.

Acts 27:35 Authorized (King James) Version (AKJV)
And when he had thus spoken, he took bread, and gave thanks to God in presence of them all: and when he had broken it, he began to eat.


This really comes out in 1Corinthians when Paul is teaching and rebuking the church about the practice of taking the bread and the wine selfishly but not being charitable to others in the congregation.


In the first part of 1Corinthians Paul is doing the usual teaching about the gathering together and the breaking of the bread and the taking of the cup and that we are all together and should be in one accord and caring for one another

(As we all know, eating a small piece of bread and drinking a small amount of grape juice is not what saves someone.  Hence another thing where the Roman Catholic Cult gets it completely wrong.  I also see people at work eating pizza in the evenings and drinking wine   .....  they must be saved so many times over).

1 Corinthians 10:16-7 Authorized (King James) Version (AKJV)
The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?
For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread.

but later Paul begins rebuking about their behaviour when they come together for what was obviously communual meals that included the breaking of the bread and the taking of the cup


17 Now in this that I declare unto you I praise you not, that ye come together not for the better, but for the worse.

20 When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lordís supper. 21 For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken. 22 What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise you not.

27 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. 28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. 29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lordís body. 30 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. 31 For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. 32 But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world. 33 Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another. 34 And if any man hunger, let him eat at home; that ye come not together unto condemnation. And the rest will I set in order when I come.


So what Paul is teaching here is that the gatherings are not for everyone to get together and have their fill.  Those who are better off should eat at home before they come along to the communual meal so when they join in they will only eat a small amount.  In the church though there will be others who do not have so much and for them this should be a chance for them to have a good meal in good company and they should not be going away hungry.  Hence coming together unto condemnation wasn't about having sins unrepented of but coming along to the supper anyway, it was about not being charitable and being selfish.  Paul had already mentioned there were going to be some there who ......   hmmmm   ....   maybe shouldn't be and that was why there were divisions etc

1Corinthians Authorized (King James) Version (AKJV)
18 For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it. 19 For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.

So to comment about this being on the list that Jared posted, I think if we were able to we would regularly get together and have communual meals and break bread and take of the cup together, but alas, we are scattered throughout the world so there is not much chance of doing that.  However, our heart attitudes towards one another is just as if we had done these things together and so we have done what was required of us by this teaching.  I guess you could say this is like being a Jew inwardly but not with outward appearance and of course like the circumcision of the heart rather than outwardly.



Psalm 119:165 Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.

Offline xachialpha

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Re: Church customs delivered by the apostles
« Reply #9 on: July 03, 2017, 07:12:19 PM »
Am I reading the previous comments correctly? In order for the present church to continue customs of the early church, the passage must have the exact phrase, "This do in remembrance of me."? I thought the passage from John 13 was reasonably direct in Jesus' intention for the disciples to wash one another's feet in accordance with the example he just established. The scripture does not suggest that it was Jesus' intent for this to be a one time event. Even 1 Timothy 5:10 suggests that this became a practice within the church in that it could be used to identify the widows who had a godly character that was worth the support of the church. Also, based on the context in John 13, it immediately followed the Passover meal that is used to teach and practice the custom of the Lord's Supper. It can be reasonably proposed that these two customs of the church can even be practiced together, one after the other. Jesus did that very thing. I ask myself, are we his servants greater than he our Lord like the passage says. Who had or has the authority to discontinue this practice?

I will confess I have not met with any church that practices foot washing. I really hadn't thought about it much until recently when I became much more intent on studying for myself who the church is to be, and what the church is to practice and teach to be faithful to Christ and not the pressures of the world. I now think it is lacking the full intent of the passage to exclusively spiritualize foot washing. It would be like me teaching a new Christian about baptism. I tell him the spiritual significance of baptism, but then tell him that we don't need to immerse under water anymore because it is the spiritual part that really matters. Is it acceptable to treat the Lord's Supper in the same manner? Maybe I start arguing that the Lord's Supper is unnecessary today because it is really a Jewish Passover meal and I am not a Jew like the earliest believers so it doesn't apply to me a Gentile or the other Gentiles I gather with. I personally do not think that is correct to do. These customs of the church have a physical act tied to a more spiritual implication and teaching. And neither part should be neglected. Both halves should be valued for its part.

These customs are not a matter of some Catholic merit, but faithful service. There is no promise that any of these church customs will automatically change a person just by performing them either.


Offline creationliberty

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Re: Church customs delivered by the apostles
« Reply #10 on: July 03, 2017, 07:51:34 PM »
Quote
Am I reading the previous comments correctly? In order for the present church to continue customs of the early church, the passage must have the exact phrase, "This do in remembrance of me."? I thought the passage from John 13 was reasonably direct in Jesus' intention for the disciples to wash one another's feet in accordance with the example he just established.
That's because what you're doing is what every other cult out there (like Catholics and Mormons and JWs) have done: they cherry-pick a single verse to get an interpretation that is WAY off of its context, and then they make traditions based on that false interpretation. Obviously, you have presented yourself as someone who is familiar with the Scripture, so I'm going to treat you as someone who is familiar with it, and that's why I need to sharply point that in order for you justify your interpretation, you had to start at verse 13; whereas I encourage people to read the whole chapter to get the context.

Before I begin in verse 1, I would point out to everyone else that nowhere in the rest of the NT does the church have a foot-washing tradition. They do have a tradition for communion later in the NT, which means the church continued that tradition, but the foot washing was not done as far as I'm aware, and there's a good reason for that. (Jared tries to say that it was done in 1Ti 5, but that is relating back to the meaning of John 13.)

Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end. And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him; Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God; He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself. After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded.
-John 13:1-4


Now, what Jared is suggesting is that all of us, including the women, should take off our clothes, gird ourselves with a towel (which means to wrap it around the waist), and wash each others' feet while drying them with the towel we're wearing. Why isn't the church doing that?

Now let's get the main point:

Then cometh he to Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet?
-John 13:6


So for communion, Jesus said to do that in remembrance of Him, but with this, He did not say to do that in remembrance of Him, and was asked why He was doing it. I'm curious too, so let's read on:

Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter.
-John 13:7


What we learned thereafter was that Jesus had to wash all of us clean.

Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me.
-John 13:8


The washing of each others' feet would then represent us having part with one another, not with Christ. It wouldn't make sense for us to do that. The foot washing was a physical representation to give them understanding that they need to be cleaned, and that Christ was the one to do it.

Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head.
-John 13:9


Peter first felt unworthy to be washed by Christ, but when Christ said he wouldn't have part with Him unless his feet were washed, he still did not understand, so he requested a full body wash. He didn't understand that Christ was talking of the spirit.

Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all.
-John 13:10


This is explaining that once a man is washed of the spirit, he needs not be washed again. The "clean, but not all" was referring to Judas:

For he knew who should betray him; therefore said he, Ye are not all clean. So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you?
-John 13:11-12


Christ didn't take them for complete morons. He wasn't asking them if they knew what foot washing was; He was asking them if they knew what He had done to them to see if they understood the symbolic nature of the washing of the spirit.

Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet.
-John 13:13-14


Not to say that we save one another by washing another's sin clean, because that would indicate that man can do what only God can do. If we are wash one another, then it is to share the Word of God for repentance and faith, and to also urge one another to sanctification and edification of the church, to keep the Bride of Christ clean for the Lamb.

For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.
-John 13:15


As Christ taught them, so they should go and teach others. (Matthew 28:19-20)

Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.
-John 13:16-17


This is all about the doctrines of Christ, as He explains more two chapters later:

Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.
-John 15:20


They do not persecute us because we wash each others' feet; they persecute us because we believe and teach on the doctrines of Christ. So I will leave the question up to everyone else, for you all to answer: What does the washing of the feet symbolize in John 13? It ought to be obvious to any Christian who sits down and reads those verses slowly, instead of keyword searching the word 'wash' or 'washed'.

My covering of this issue is not because there is mass confusion about what this says. Any of us could go and read this and understand it if we have the anointing of the Spirit of God. The reason I'm addressing this is to reveal to Jared the bad habit he has developed in taking Scripture out of its context; I don't know where he learned it from, but I pray that all of us in this church can help him remedy that because it's dangerous to push cherry-picked doctrines like that... that's how cults get started. (There are some cults today who do the foot washing rituals, falsely believing clean feet relates to holiness and salvation; the Catholic Church being one of them.)
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. -2Ti 2:15
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Offline anvilhauler

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Re: Church customs delivered by the apostles
« Reply #11 on: July 04, 2017, 04:49:55 AM »
Baptism is an outward sign to the world that the battle lines are drawn up and one has made a clear declaration as to which side they are on.  Baptism itself of course can never save a person and if they are baptised and then don't do as God instructs them to then it means nothing.  Conversely, there might be a person who is not baptised and yet they take the Word of God seriously and apply it to every aspect of their life.  Of the two which one is saved, or maybe, which one has the greater reward in Heaven? 

I got baptised shortly after I became a Christian.  In the church buildings just about everyone is baptised but as I found, they don't have any intentions of living up to the declarations that they have effectively made.  As I found, one doesn't challenge these people about such things unless one wants an earful of abuse.  Normally I would have mainly let them go their own way except that what they were doing all the time was undermining my role in my family as the provider and the protector and destroying my family. 

Matthew 21 Authorized (King James) Version (AKJV)
28 But what think ye? A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work to day in my vineyard. 29 He answered and said, I will not: but afterward he repented, and went. 30 And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and said, I go, sir: and went not. 31 Whether of them twain did the will of his father?
Psalm 119:165 Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.

Offline Masha

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Re: Church customs delivered by the apostles
« Reply #12 on: July 04, 2017, 08:48:10 AM »
What does the washing of the feet symbolize in John 13?

I believe it symbolises Jesus washing away our sins.

1Jo 1:7, But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

Totally agree with the cult-like way of reading Scriptures, and the dangers of taking things out of context. Seen so much of that around.

Do the catholics really wash feet?? I ve never seen that!
I quess would be a real point-scoring thing for the Pope to start washing the peoples feet, especially this pope with his image of being the poor-people-pope.


Offline Jeanne

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Re: Church customs delivered by the apostles
« Reply #13 on: July 04, 2017, 08:13:38 PM »
I agree with Masha in that I believe Jesus washing the disciples' feet symbolises Him washing away sin. However, I also believe that it was a symbolic act of the Master also being a servant as Jesus taught in Mark.

Mark 9:35 And he sat down, and called the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all. 36 And he took a child, and set him in the midst of them: and when he had taken him in his arms, he said unto them, 37 Whosoever shall receive one of such children in my name, receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me, receiveth not me, but him that sent me.

As a church, it would be physically impossible for us to wash one another's feet as this group is literally scattered all over the globe. The only way we can all meet together is over the Internet.