Thursday, March 30, 2017

The Way Back: Ponderings

So I'm on a sort of binge thinking about what all the Church needs to get back to.  Some things are obvious and up front, but there are many ways different churches have deviated from orthodoxy over the years, and I don't think conservative Christians usually think of liberalism, for instance, as our responsibility, do we?   But Daniel prayed for all the sins of Israel, which he certainly hadn't committed himself.  So if a deviating church body considers itself to be Christ's then aren't their deviations our deviations too?   But of course we have enough of our own for starters:  Bible versions, head covering. 

And then there are the little things, the "secondary" issues that divide denominations.  My previous post was about psalm singing although it had never entered my mind before that such a practice could be something we need to get back to in order to recover orthodoxy.  I've certainly thought for years now that women's head covering is an important one most churches neglect.  Now I'm pondering the usual secondary issues like baptism.  I'm convinced that believer's baptism is orthodox but it would be hard to convince the denominations that believe in paedobaptism.  (Of course it would be hard to convince anyone of a differing opinion on any of these issues I mention.) 

I recently read somewhere --  I'm SO bad at keeping track -- that Zwingli favored believer's baptism but was influenced by the political trend of the times to paedobaptism -- not by scripture, but by common practice.  In scripture he found believer's baptism.  Something else confirmed my conviction about baptism:  I believe it was David Cloud who has a picture in one of his books (about the Bible versions I think), of a large baptismal font in which a person would be immersed, going back to ancient times.  Roman?  Sorry again I'm so bad at providing evidence.  I read things and put them aside and then remember them without any easy way to recover the evidence.  But this post is to be one of those skim-overs in the hope that I'll do a better job later.

Another issue that comes to mind is where ethnic Israel stands in relation to the Church.  This one is extremely polarized, some believing Israel has no place at all, others giving it such prominence the Church might as well not exist.  I believe strongly that scripture shows the Church to be the fulfillment of a great deal of what in the Old Testament is ascribed to Israel:  the "Israel of God" is believers, and ethnic Israel is certainly not made up of believers.  However, Paul's discussion in Romans 9 through 11 certainly implies a future for ethnic Israel, in repentance and conversion to Christ, and there are some passages in the writings of the Puritans and the Reformers showing their belief that God will ultimately restore the Jews.   There remains a huge area of varying interpretations to be sorted out. 

And by the way I've been reconsidering the Rapture again, thanks to the book "The Rapture:  Don't be Deceived" by Billy Crone.  He makes some good points in favor of the Rapture, but as usual I still find scripture that to my mind doesn't support it.  The problem with this as with so many other issues is that once a person gets convinced they put enormous emphasis on the proofs of their view and other views go begging.  I can say at this point at least that there is no other end times scenario convinces me anywhere near as much as Futurism, although Chris Pinto has made some good arguments in favor of Historicism at least for interpretations concerning the Antichrist as the Pope.   

  What am I suggesting?  How could all these different opinions find resolution?  Shall we have more conferences like the "Strange Fire" Conference where the big issues that divide churches are discussed?  I like the idea myself.

And we could always use some thorough review of why Roman Catholicism must be rejected. 

So there are some half-baked ponderings for today.