Bringing It All Together

Here is something I posted on Scot McKnight’s blog:
Someone earlier said the following: “baptism is not constitutive of our salvation or of our relationship with God.” This is part of what I see as the problem of the individualistic influence of the reformation. Baptism and salvation parallel very closely in many scripture texts. What I think happens is that all of us define salvation very differently. The Kingdom of God is the reign and realm of God at work in the world… it is the salvation of those who have experienced injustice and unrighteousness at the hands of the oppressive and it is the judgment of those who have acted unjust with their power and authority– those in the latter crowd must repent, turn from their wicked ways, give up their place, and become servants; those in the former crowd must learn to forgive, reconcile, and accept those who have caused them pain. Baptism introduces both groups of people– the forgiving oppressed and the repentant oppressors– into a community that practices and lives out such a way of life. As such it is salvation coming into their lives. At least that is the way that it was supposed to be

Note: It seems to be clear that baptism was a cultural ritual of the Middle East before and during the time of Jesus that was carried into the future through Christianity. Baptism as such has lost its cultural meaning; thus, it is possible that it has lost its spiritual meaning as well. My next post will address this idea as it pertains to Communion/Eucharist.)

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