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Showing posts from April, 2018

Should Orthodox Churches Re-baptize Individuals and Re-ordain Ministers Coming from Mainline Denominations?

What constitutes Christian baptism and ordination?  This question has arisen in a new way in our day as the once orthodox, mainline denominations have turned away from the true convictions of the historic, Christian Church.  To put the matter bluntly, if orthodox ministries, missions, denominations, and churches do not recognize the baptism and ordination of persons received into cultic groups such as the Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Unitarians, and Christian Science Church, we might well ask whether we should now accept once-orthodox groups that have jettisoned their beliefs and practices for new-fangled teachings that deny both Scriptural and Church authority.
To be sure, the Church has had various reasons to ask this question throughout its history.  Ulrich Zwingli addressed the issue of ‘re-baptism’ in response to the arguments of Anabaptists in the 16th century.  The Anabaptists called for adult baptism and did not recognise the baptism of infants as baptism.  (Thus, they did not…

The Half-Gospel and the Celebration of Christian Holy Days by Orthodox Evangelicals in the Post-Christian West

Let us imagine that some interdenominational, Protestant, and theologically orthodox group in the West has been given the task of hosting a conference to address the celebration of Christian holidays—holy days.  The task, we shall assume, is considered important for three reasons: (1) in the post-Christian, neo-pagan culture of Western countries, the non-Christian celebrations are taking over the festive practices of Christian holy days; (2) in the post-Christian West, the message of the Christian holy days is increasingly associated with abstract values that reduce the historical realities of Christian faith to mere metaphors for existential preaching; and (3) in the West, the culture has, over time, deformed wings of the loosely associated Evangelical movement such that there are those who actually preach a false or half-Gospel and fail to witness the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the world.
As to the first reason, think of the celebration of Easter.  Firstly, this i…