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Doctrine in dialogue format

 

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Busybody Reports

TWO BAPTISMS

they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.


"Hi-de-ho everybody. This is Michael Jay Busybody in the church right around the corner in Anytown, USA. It's going to be a very busy day for me as I've been invited to attend two separate baptisms, each on the opposite side of town from one another. So if you'd care to accompany me we'll sit and watch the proceedings. Hush now, the pastor is about to instruct the baptizee."


"Mr Jones, you are about to undergo the most important experience of your life. You are in the process of becoming a child of God, a King's son, redeemed and sanctified, without sin, cleansed from all iniquity past and future. From this moment on you will have a place reserved for you in Heaven that no one can take from you, not even yourself regardless of your future behavior. Do you understand the importance and the significance of the journey you are about to embark upon Mr Jones? If so, I now baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. There Brother Jones, you are now a child of Heaven waiting for the rapture and your well-deserved wings and crown."


"Pastor Mesmeric, first I'd like the thank you for inviting me to your baptismal service, and I only have a brief moment before I must be otherwise engaged. However there is a question I'd like to ask you if I may. You've been a pastor of a church for quite a number of years as I understand it. In that time have you performed many baptisms such as the one you conducted today?"

"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."


"That was indeed an interesting experience. Now we're entering the church where my second baptismal service will be held. We're none to early, the pastor is about to address the one to be baptized."


"Mr Smith, you are about to undertake one of the most significant and life changing endeavors you will ever encounter. It's important that you understand the importance and the impact of the decision you've made. Jesus said in Luke 14:28 that before we partake of His ministry we must first sit down and count the cost of our decision. We must understand that the road we're to embark upon is not one of roses but of thorns and thistles, of tribulation and persecution. Your life will no longer be your own but you will be a servant of your Lord, ready and willing to unquestioningly respond to your Lord's command. This step you're about to take is but the beginning of your journey. It's not those who begin the race but those who succeed in reaching the finish line, those who persevere who will receive the crown. Your past sins will be wiped clean, you will in the future, through the assistance of the Holy Spirit, strive to attain the perfection of God in order to be worthy to stand in His presence. The things of this world you hold dear, even to your status and your feelings of self worth, will now be foreign to you and your goal and your efforts will be that of the Spiritual and not of the carnal as it has been in the past. With this understanding I now baptize you in the....."

"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."


"The pastor has concluded his service. After all the parishioners have said their good-byes I'll see if I can have a word or two with him. What we witnessed at this baptism was certainly a departure from the first. I'm hoping to learn what has caused the difference in the two baptisms."


"Mr Busybody, thank you for attending my service today. And I hope you were able to get something out of the event that will be of assistance to you."

"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."



23And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. 24For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it. 25For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away? (Luke 9:)

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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