Sunday, April 04, 2004

The Boys of Summer are back! Yeah baby! The Red Sox opened the season against Baltimore this evening in Baltimore on a cold, dark, windy night. The game is still going on, and the Sox are down 6-2, but it's just opening night. They might comeback yet, even if they don't..there are 161 games after this one. Baseball isn't a sprint, it's a marathon.

It's been a very mixed weekend. It started off pretty good and rolled well into today, when the other shoe dropped on it.

Now Friday night I skipped out on a guys night of beer and cards, or for some smokes (pipes and cigars I think). I had a great reason though. Yes, it was a woman. Dare I say it a very lovely young lady. A model, a woman of class and grace, and a really good friend of mine. Who I know reads this blog from time to time, so I don't want to use to many superlatives. The work she does with international students and teaching them English and sharing the Gospel with them is just amazing and really inspiring. I'm very much in admiration of all she's been able to do and continues to do. What can I say, she's an inspiration and one of the greatest women I know. It's always good to hang out with you, Amanda. I don't think you realize how much you'll be missed this summer, but the work you're going to be doing to serve the Lord overseas is what you've been called to do. So in the meantime, hopefully we can make the most of it before you leave. Ok, Andy...happy that you know who I was hanging out with and just talking to for about 4 hours Friday night that was so important to skip out in the guys?? It was great and I'd do it again anyday of the week and 3x on the weekend!

So that was Friday. Saturday was a very lazy day. Slept in and due to forecasted rains, decided against going to Snook and ChilliFest, though it didn't rain all day. I ended up doing a bit of shopping at Hastings and was able to find some music and movies, You've Got Mail, Lonesome Dove and the Dwight Yoakam:Reprise Please Baby 4 CD set. I got home, and decided to watch the Patriots season highlight DVD, finally got through that and felt like dusting off the old classic. One of those DVDs I don't keep out in plain sight, cause the guys would bust my chops about it, but Audrey Hepburn in "Breakfast at Tiffany's" is just a classic movie, so I watched it. From there Josh made dinner at his place so I met some of the crew over there, then on to Tuscany's after which we went out ways. Ben Vastine and I then headed to the Redlight District (aka. Laura's place) at the invite of Laura Schulte to celebrate the 21st B-day of Laura Deschamps! Happy Birthday to her! Granted her b-day was today and we were contributing to the delinquency of an under aged person, after midnight, it was cool. I got home at 1, turned the clock ahead and went to bed at what was now 2:15 AM. Waking up at 9:00.

Today, was the other shoe. I went to church at WPC as usual and it was the Easter Cantata. Don't get me wrong on this, but I think it would be better served to have it outside the time of the service. To me, it takes the focus of the service and removes it from the LORD, something about whipping out the camcorder and taping the kids singing just doesn't seem right to me.

Anyway, after the service Pastor Wade grabbed me aside for a moment as I was leaving. As I've mentioned in previous posts, I am going through the process of becoming a member at WPC and I was aware that tonight was the meeting of a few us with some of the elders to give out testimony and to answer the five specific questions that are asked as part of the profession of faith. I'll give a summary for those who are not familar with the PCA and the reformed faith (i.e. my family members reading this, some of whom I know aren't all that happy about this, but I can only pray through sharing the Gospel with them and through prayer will come to understand)
The questions involve:

1. the aknowledgement of myself as a sinner in the sight of God, fully deserving of His displeasure and without hope, except for in His sovereign mercy

2. my belief in Jesus Christ as the Son of God, the Savior of Sinners, and upon who alone I rest upon for my salvation.

3. my commitment to live for Christ

4. My pledge to support the church

5. My submission to the government and discipline of the church and studying its purity and peace.

Also tonight I was able to meet with Wade and two of the elders to give my testimony and answer any question they may have had.

Anyway, back to this afternoon. Wade informed me that my having been baptized in the Roman Catholic church might be a problem. He along with some other members of the session are of the belief that the Roman baptism is not a valid baptism. I have alway beleived in one baptism and I do not see the validity or the scriptual basis for a second. John Calvin, in his
Institutes of the Christian Religion, supports my argument that despite the Roman church being apostate, the baptism was still conducted in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It was not done in the name of Rome or the papacy. Baptism is not of man, but of God, no matter who adminsters it. I was not baptized into the Roman church, but into faith in Jesus Christ. It was no hinderance to Jews to be circumcised by impure and apstate priests; nor was that sign void and needing to be repeated. It was sufficient means by which to return to the real source. Calvin used the following analogy "Among men, if a letter is sent, provided the handwriting and seal are sufficiently recognized, it makes no difference who or of what sorth the carrier is. In like manner, it ought to be enough for us to recognize the hand and seal of our Lord in his sacraments, whatever carrier may bring them." I can't say it better myself.
Knox and Augstine also support my view. The Wesminster Confession of Faith also notes that baptism is a sacrament that is only performed on a believer once, but it does not define a what is considered a valid baptism.

I don't want to sound closed minded to the idea, but Wade and I are meeting for lunch sometime this week to discuss this, (Andy should join us too, for he is very interested in hearing Wade's position on this subject. ) however, I can not see anyway supporting this view in either scripture or the arguments of Calvin and Knox (I have yet to read through Augustine and I am not sure how much weight his opinion would hold because it was pre-reformation). So Wade will need to make one air tight argument to support his view. I would be saddened if this point would prevent my membership at WPC, but I can not based upon what I know, see the validity of a second baptism. A part of me even has considered that by agreeing to it, I am performing some work to gain favor with God. Which in and of itself is against the teachings of scripture as seen in

II Timothy 1:9 " who has saved us and called us to a holy life-not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace."

Titus 3:5 "he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy...."

If the righteousness of works brings anything to justify us, then we are falsely said to be justified by grace.

I might be wrong on this point, but it's something that has crossed my mind and I can't help but feel that by agreeing or accepting a rebaptism, I am agreeing to a work.

If this is going to be such a sticking point, I can not help but believe that I am better off not becoming a member of WPC rather than submit to something that I believe to wrong. Of course, that opens a whole bunch of other things, such as probably finding another reformed church in the area, because I think it would be a bit uncomfortable to remain at WPC.

So my friends, just pray that things will work out according to God's will.

On that note and after the Sox loss...I am going to bed.

from Proverbs 27:19

"As water reflects a face, so a man's heart relects
the man."

Also, sorry for any typos or mispellings, I did this without my glasses on and I don't feel like running a spell check.-Ed

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