The core doctrines of Christianity are always more important than the contested doctrines of denominations. Yet still, My Beliefs are Steadfast and Personal concerning my theology and doctrine. So, when I hear someone teach something that I disagree with, I become indignant. Not usually overtly angered, but I muddle what I was taught over and over in my mind. Then I usually calmly respond. This devotional blog of mine becomes a pulpit for me to teach what I believe to be true, and I believe scripture substantiates.
So, when a Doctor of Missions and Intercultural studies, the Vice-President of a university, who is also my instructor says something that I do not believe, I’m compelled to refute what was taught. Not directly to him as if I were his instructor, of course, because I need to complete the course to continue in my studies. But in this Blog environment, I can vent. Virtually all of my teacher's doctrines are dead-on accurate, but not in this case.
The Doctrines in Question – And Why My Beliefs are Steadfast and Personal
My problems with his instruction started when he began teaching about the sacraments. Now, I will not be able to provide a complete explanation of why I believe differently than Dr. Feddes. I will list what he believes versus what I believe. I would have to write a book on each subject to substantiate my position fully, and I just don’t have the time.
Baptism – He believes in sprinkle baptism of both adults and babies. He believes that there is a Biblical precedent for entire families being born again and then baptism for all of them. Acts 16:15, Acts 16:31-33, Acts 18:8, 1 Corinthians 1:16. Now you would think that is overwhelming evidence. But you would be failing to apply the entire Word of God to the subject. The Word of God says that you must willingly believe by faith and believe in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus and accept Him as your Lord and Savior. Babies cannot be born-again because they do not have the knowledge to accept Christ yet. Neither can an entire family be born-again, just because the head of the household believes by faith. I believe that in each of the situations listed in Acts and 1 Corinthians, the head of the house was born-again first or at the same time as the rest of his family. And then they were baptized.
Furthermore, you must apply the whole of scripture to each situation. So, if you, as an individual, must accept Jesus as Lord and Savior, then family baptism is erroneous. So, I believe you cannot baptize babies because it is a useless exercise. You can dedicate babies to the Lord, but you shouldn’t baptize them. Also, you cannot baptize whole families because each individual must profess his faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior individually. An excellent article on the subject of Baptism is Why I’m a Baptist. I don’t believe in the author’s Amillennial views, but his views on Baptism are spot-on.
Millennium – The millennium is very hotly contested. Dr. Feddes has Amillennial views. This position means that he believes all the writings in Revelation are symbolic. He thinks we are in the millennium now, and he provides various scriptures to back up his point. But he also believes that there is no rapture as described in John 14:1-3, 1 Corinthians 15:51-54, and 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17. He feels the rapture is, apparently, an ongoing thing. I guess he believes that as people die, they are raptured. But that doesn’t make any sense in light of the scriptures above. He fails to identify how people were raptured and how they managed not to take the mark of the beast. He leaves you assuming that not choosing salvation is the “mark of the beast” and saved people never took the “mark,” but that’s not what scripture says.
So, I believe that we are not in the millennium. I am a Pre-tribulation and pre-millennial believer. That means that I believe the rapture of the church will happen first, then the tribulation, and then the millennium, as clearly written in scripture. You can learn more by typing in the Search line of my website, “End Time,” or visit Educating our World and read and download entire books on the subject by Don Stewart, free.
My Beliefs are Steadfast and Personal
I’ll stop there for now, but something tells me I’ll have more to write about next week. When you get the end times wrong, you get much of scripture wrong. You become an Amillennial, replacement theologist. You believe that what we see now in the world is the best Christ can do, and you become a conformist. People, we are not currently living in the millennial kingdom of Christ. Revelation describes the millennial as an almost paradise on earth. Reminiscent of the Garden of Eden but with Satan bound and only the sinful nature of people polluting the scene. Does it look like that on earth today? Do you believe Satan is indeed bound already? Do you see people blindly obeying government authority without regard for the precepts of God? We are not in the Millennium.
Furthermore, you do not baptize infants (infant dedication is okay), and you do not baptize entire families, just because the head of the household professes faith. You just don’t. Salvation is an entirely individual experience. You are born-again, and then you are baptized. Baptism is a sacrament and, therefore not necessary for salvation. You get baptized as an outward profession of your faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior. And as a form of worship in obedience to the command to “be baptized.”