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220 – August, 08 – This Day in Baptist History Past


 

JohnLightfoot

Baptism has always been by Immersion                                                                        

At Westminster in England on August 8, 1644, after another warm dispute, it was voted that “’pouring or sprinkling water on the face’ was sufficient and most expedient.” This event was reported by the historian, Dr. John Lightfoot, who was present. Out of this meeting came the Westminster Confession of Faith, “a creedal standard for all Presbyterian churches.” This conference was called on June 1, 1643. Some Episcopalians, Independents, and Puritans were present but no Baptists. Lightfoot’s entry for Aug. 7, 1644 tells of a “great heat” in the debate over the issue of baptism.  Rabbi Coleman, a great Hebrew scholar and Marshall, a great pulpit orator insisted that the Hebrew word tauveleh – dipping, demanded immersion “overhead.”  The vote was 24 for dipping, 25 against it. How did this Presbyterian body, without a Baptist in it, come to such a “great heat” on this subject of immersion if it were a novelty and among believers in England at that time? The answer is clear. Immersion was practiced from the days of the N.T. Dr. Philip Schaff, a member of the German Reformed Church, wrote:  In England immersion was the normal mode down to the middle of the 17th century. The New Catholic Edition of the Holy Bible with the imprimatur of Francis Cardinal Spellman states: “St. Paul alludes to the manner in which Baptism was ordinarily conferred in the primitive church, by immersion. The descent into the water is suggestive of the descent of the body into the grave, and the ascent is suggestive of the resurrection to a new life.” The ordinance of believer’s baptism has historical perpetuity from the days of the apostles until now.

Dr. Greg J. Dixon: From: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson, pp. 325-26.

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Republican Congressman Sends Bibles to His Fellow Legislators


BY MICHAEL GRYBOSKI , CHRISTIAN POST REPORTER

August 6, 2014|3:20 pm

(PHOTO: FLIKR CREATIVE COMMONS)

The Gutenberg Bible, first printed book.

A Mississippi Congressman who belongs to the Republican House Whip leadership has sent copies of the Holy Bible to all members of the United States Congress.

Rep. Steven Palazzo of Mississippi sent the Good Book to his peers last week, along with a note including the official Congress letterhead.

“On a daily basis, we contemplate policy decisions that impact America’s future. Our staffs provide us with policy memos, statistics and recommendations that help us make informed decisions,” wrote Palazzo in the letter.

“However, I find that the best advice comes through meditating on God’s Word. Please find a copy of the Holy Bible to help guide you in your decision-making.”

The Reverend Rob Schenck, head of the Washington, DC – based group Faith and Action, told The Christian Post that he supported Palazzo’s Bible distribution.

“Rep. Palazzo is to be commended for sending Bibles to his members of Congress. For a Christian, sharing a Bible is one of the most meaningful things one can do for somebody you care about. So, it’s meaningful and generous,” said Schenck.

“Good for the Congressman. I’ll pray that his actions have a salutary effect on the thinking and actions of Congress as a whole. We need more of his kind of thing in Washington.”

Schenck also told CP that the Bibles were more likely to reach their intended audience because it was a peer like Palazzo sending them rather than an outside group.

“Bibles have been delivered to members by various groups and it’s always worth doing, but many times Bibles from the outside, so to speak, are intercepted by staff or diverted somewhere else,” said Schenck.

“When a Bible comes directly from a colleague, it’s far more likely it will land in the hands if it’s intended recipient.”

Palazzo’s gift went to all members of Congress, including those who do not consider themselves Christian, according to Sahil Kapur of Talking Points Memo.

“Palazzo’s letter was treated as a gesture of good will, including by non-Christian members of Congress who also received a copy of the Bible,”wrote Kapur.

“The first Muslim elected to Congress, Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), wrote back with a thank-you note. His office and other offices wouldn’t discuss the letter on the record.”

Not everyone was supportive of the move. The Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, spoke with concern about elected officials using the Bible as a pretext for public policy.

“When a politician calls for using the Bible as the basis for public policy, what he or she is really saying is, ‘Let’s use the Bible as I interpret it as the basis for public policy’,” said Lynn, according to TPM.

“Rather than look to the Bible or any other religious book to craft our nation’s public policy, we would do well to examine another source instead, one that was actually created to guide governance. It’s called the Constitution.”

Geoff Earle of the New York Post noted that Palazzo’s gift of a Bible to each member of Congress may be a timely act.

“Lawmakers will have plenty of time to study the Bible’s discourses on avarice, sloth, vanity and depravity. The letter went out Tuesday — right before the start of a month long congressional recess,” wrote Earle.

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