Let My People Think

Archive for the ‘History’ Category

Meet Jesus Christ, our new CEO

Jesus in the BoardroomIn modern Western Christianity Jesus is thought to be confined to the church’s very limited sphere of influence. That typically includes issues of afterlife, personal morality, interpersonal relationships, and an assortment of marital and sexual issues.

As far as leadership, governance, and financial issues are concerned, those are typically confined to running a registered non-profit, which serves as an organizational shell for a given religious fellowship. Things like national governance, corporate governance, banking system, debt issues, welfare, immigration policies, healthcare, and many others are considered to be the prerogatives of a secular state. And since we accept the idea of separation of “church” and state, many honest-to-God Christians are quite content with such distribution of responsibilities.

So naturally, our Christian worldview is largely circumscribed by this bias, and typically doesn’t go outside of these unquestioned, culturally imposed boundaries.

However, this limited understanding is not supported by the Scriptures.

Here’s one litmus test for your theological prism. When you think about Sodom and Gomorrah and the reason for God’s displeasure with those cities, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? More likely than not, your answer is focused on issues of sexual nature. Now that you’ve answered this first question, then my next question is – are there any other reasons for God’s displeasure with those two cities that come to mind? Anything at all?
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Into what did the 3000 get baptized on the day of Pentecost

Baptism

I don’t know why this eluded me for so long, but in the past few days I had this hunch about the Acts 2 events, as pertaining to the question of baptism. Here’s an interesting twist that I’ve discovered.

Please follow me through Acts 2, all the way from the beginning of the chapter.

Acts 2
37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?
38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
[ … ]
41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.

pay close attention to v. 41. The ones that gladly received the word were baptized, and the same day were added 3000 souls / persons to the number of the outcalled (ekklesia, or church).

All the events in v. 41 – they heard the word, they gladly received it, were baptized, and they were added to the rest of the believers – all of these happened in the same day. That much is 100% clear from the passage. The specific question that I want to address is: can we clearly establish at all, as per the passage, that they were or were not water-baptized? Well, it turns out, we might be able to.
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