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Doctrine in dialogue format
they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.
"Indeed I have Mr Busybody. Today's baptism is but an example of the thousands of baptisms I've performed, saving souls from an eternity of fire and brimstone and assuring them a place in the awaiting arms of their Savior."
"Thank you Pastor Mesmeric, and now I must be on my way. My next interview awaits me as I speak."
"Uh, um, hold on the Rev. Just a minute. I never reckoned on all those things you just said. I thought I was getting a free ticket to Heaven, not all them things you just said. Sorry Rev, but the deal's off."
"I believe I did Pastor Veracious, though I must confess to being late for the service due to a previous engagement. But what I saw of the baptismal service certainly opened my eyes and caused me to have some questions I'd like to ask you if I may."
"Certainly Mr Busybody. And what are the questions you would like to ask me?"
"To begin with Pastor Veracious the words you used during the processes of your baptism is quite a contrast to those I've heard pronounced over the one being baptized at all other services I've attended. And the behavior of the one being baptized is one I've never seem previously. Can you tell me a little about your unique form of baptism, and would you tell me how many successful baptisms you've conducted during your ministry."
"As to your last question Mr Busybody, in all my many years as a pastor I would say I've only had a hand full of those who actually completed their baptism, although, as today, I've had many who have begun the ritual. As for my unique style of baptism, I don't find it unique at all but rather strictly according to the Word of God. Water, you see, is not what cleanses a person and prepares them for their presence before the Lord. The tank of water is merely an outward presentation of what is supposed to be occurring within the one being baptized. What follows the dip in the water is what cleanses a person, not what happens in the water itself. Do you understand what I'm saying Mr Busybody?"
"Not really Pastor Veracious. I haven't heard these words before except spoken in rhetoric. I would need time to digest the words and assimilate them. I'm not one inclined to accept what I hear on a superficial level, and what I heard today is a lot of meat that requires a great deal of chewing if you know what I mean."
"I do indeed Mr Busybody, and I wish everyone who listened to my sermons would take that attitude."
"Thank you for understanding my position Pastor Veracious. I do have a question off the top of my head I'd like to ask. If you're having so much difficulty with your baptisms, that is, if so few people will respond to what you say to them at their baptism, wouldn't it be expedient for all involved if you softened your words just a little? What you told the man today was a hard pill for anyone to swallow. Perhaps a little gentler hand might add more souls to your tally."
"It's not my tally as you call it I'm concerned with Mr Busybody. I might be able to create an appearance of success on this end of the conversion process, but when the one involved reaches the other end, the Judgement Seat, they will find they've in fact done nothing but soothed their conscience for a short period of time. It's my job to let people know what they're getting themself in to, not to salve their conscience."
"I see. Well thank you Pastor Veracious for your candor and for your information. I've enjoyed my experience today, and I hope my listening audience has learned a thing or two about baptisms as have I."
26If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. 27And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. 28For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? (Luke 14:)
1Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, 2Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. (Heb 6:)
7Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. 8For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. 9And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. (Gal 6:)
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