Saturday, April 11, 2009

My First Seder, Gene Shelburne on Baptism

I have a biblical Hebrew reading group that meets for a few hours almost every Tuesday night. One of the participants serves as the director of a Christian synagogue here in Amarillo.

He invited me to come to their Passover Seder which was held last night (Friday). Why not Thursday night? It has something to do with the new moon, counting days, etc. I took their word for it.

Anyway, Michele and I went and stayed for most of it. An interesting experience. One thing I notice is that the more I'm exposed to rabbinic interpretation, the more I get a feel for what's going on in the New Testament, how very Jewish it is.

Ever been to a seder? I know of some churches that have had them. Ever been a part of something like that? I'd like to hear about it.

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People in the Churches of Christ think we have a point about baptism. Many of us don't want to be contentious or ugly about it (though some do). It's just that we believe the New Testament teaches that baptism isn't some command to be obeyed a couple weeks after you take Christ into your heart. To us, it appears that in the Bible baptism is an integral part of the salvation experience, a faith-repentance-baptism experience that marks off a person's entry into the kingdom of God's dear Son.

But how do you say that; say what we are convinced the Bible says, without picking a religious fight? I think Gene Shelburne did a very good job of it in today's Amarillo Globe-News. Here's his article, Baptism allows faithful a rebirth in the spirit of Christ.

Nicely done, Gene.


Arlene Kasselman said...

Frank, we usually host a seder every year, we did not this year. It is a moving experience and gives our communion new life.

preacherman said...

Great post!
You have very interesting subjects. Keep up the great work with your blog. I try to read when I feel well enough to do so. God bless all you do brother.

Adam Gonnerman said...

I missed this when you published it. Glad I saw it in the "Previous Posts" section. The Presbyterian church I was a member of for a couple of years after leaving the Catholic church in which I was raised held a Seder service on Maundy Thursday every year. It was modified in some aspects, but it was a good and meaningful time of worship and fellowship.