This Is Intended
To Promote Thinking
A friend recently posted a question on Facebook about infant baptism.
It seemed like he was genuinely asking, not saying, or baiting. He addressed his question to “scholar” types.
The essence of the question was:
When the Bible mentions baptizing an entire family (household) when the head of the house is baptized, does this imply infant baptism?
It’s a good question. The Book of Acts does record two incidents when one person – the head of a household – believed and was baptized. Lydia was one and the other was the superintendent of the city jail.
The interesting thing is, in both cases, all the family members were baptized at the same time.
It doesn’t specifically say each family member confessed or believed but the idea that faith comes before baptism is so well established in Scripture it doesn’t need to be repeated ad nauseam.
Both incidents occurred in Philippi and you find the details in Acts 16.
The question naturally arises:
Does this imply infant baptism?
The short answer is “no it doesn’t” but that isn’t much of an argument. There are many churches that baptize infants – I was sprinkled as an infant in a Presbyterian Church – so the question can’t be easily dismissed. It is an established practice.
Here are my reasons for thinking infants were not involved: Read more
A Person’s Capacity
Is Determined By
The Number Of Secrets
In a previous post I covered 11 Negative Friendships To Avoid. Now that that’s out of the way we can look at the positive benefits of a great friendship. These are the things we’re all looking for and hope to find in a friendship.
A good friendship is . . . Read more
Friends Are Rarely
The word Friend, like the word Family, has been romanticized. It evokes idealized images of a perfect world and warm fuzzies for all.
The assumption is, a true friend can only be upright and a friendship can only be good for us. The reality is, again like family, a friendship can sometimes be very bad.
But we can’t allow that possibility to put us in a permanently guarded state. Sometimes the friends we make are the only ones available. They’re in our face, so to speak. We don’t have a choice so we make the best of what’s available.
Imperfect friends and friendships can still be very good. What we must avoid are the extremes.
Defining The Negative Friendship
All friendships have hurtful moments but an abrasion here or there doesn’t make it negative. A friendship becomes negative when it is more hurtful than beneficial over the long haul.
Personality is an issue but not absolutely. A person’s nature is built in and is neither intrinsically good or bad. An idiosyncrasy that irritates some people will endear us to others.
From the examples that follow it is clear that negative is a character issue and that is what spoils the mix.
One reason we gravitate to these not-so-good-for-us friendships is they are like crutches. They reinforce our disabled thinking, and that begs the question. How many people really want to change? How many of us intentionally choose friends because they are good for us and not easy. Having friends who endorse our faults relieves the pressure.
Like the song says . . .
Some of them want to abuse you and some of them want to be abused.
It’s easier to stay as we are, and people who allow that are good for the friendship even if the friendship isn’t good for us.
That’s not how friendships are supposed to work but it does happen.
The truth is Friendship implies Equality, and good ones involve give and take. I wouldn’t say friendships will ever be absolutely equal, or absolutely good for us, but there should be a balance.
The following emotionally unbalanced extremes are ones we should avoid. Read more
No One Is Automatically
A Friend Or Enemy
Not Even Family
It’s very easy to think of friends and family as two different things. We inherit family and we choose friends, but can they migrate? Can one ever be the same as the other?
The Bible mentions three different categories of individuals other than family:
- Everyone else in between
But the relationships we have with people are dynamic. No one is born a Friend or Enemy. Instead everyone starts out in the middle, neutral, and then moves one way or the other. We might illustrate it like this:
Family is not represented on this graph and rightly so. No family member automatically fits into any one of these categories. There’s overlap as the following illustration shows.
Obviously, we tend to think of family members as “like” friends, but are they really?
We also never associate family with enemies even when the comparison is justified. Read more
God Uses Illness
To Heal Us
In Different Ways
Mention John chapter 11 and most people think of Resurrection. No surprise there. The chapter records Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead and most sermons on that chapter focus mostly on that event. It’s the dominant topic. It’s hard to study the chapter and not think about resurrection but it’s also obvious. Maybe there is something else in the chapter we should look for.
If we poke the context a little, other lessons might surface. Read more