Naked Bible Podcast Episode 10 Uploaded

Posted By on May 19, 2012

The series on baptism continues with another discussion of a problem passage, Acts 2:38.

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2 Responses to “Naked Bible Podcast Episode 10 Uploaded”

  1. Doug O says:

    A great podcast. I grew up in a Pentecostal UPC tradition that bases much of its salvation theology on its interpretation of Acts 2:38. I grew up singing Acts 2:38 hymns, and rare was the Sunday evening sermon that didn’t mention Acts 2:38. Now, when I engage a Pentecostal of this tradition in theological conversation, the question becomes, how soon will it be into the discussion that they quote Acts 2:38?

    The UPC tradition teaches that Acts 2:38 presents the plan of salvation in that, to be saved, you must 1.) repent (which they say means asking forgiveness), 2.) be dunked with the words, “in the name of Jesus” spoken over you (if other words are spoken, then it doesn’t count. If you are not dunked, then it doesn’t count, and you will go to hell, even if you meet the other steps), and then 3.) speak in tongues as the initial (and most important) evidence of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. After all, how can you know if you are going to heaven unless you speak in tongues?

    Leaving aside the challenges with steps 1 and 3, their justification to elevate the act of baptism to such an integral part of salvation is the passage where Nicodemus asks Jesus about being born again, and Jesus replied, “You must be born of the water and the spirit.” Clearly, they reason, the “born of the water” must mean baptism, and “born of the spirit” must be speaking in tongues. Again, I sang hymns reinforcing this tortured, forced meaning on that text. But they add all sorts of tortured, forced meaning onto the Bible (including, but not limited to, denying the Trinity and forcing specific standards onto the congregants in order to “stay saved”, including selling hair extensions in the local UPC church book store -so when a short-haired woman gets “saved”, she can then buy and install the hair, and thus remain acceptable to God.

    If this sounds like a therapy session, it is. I’ve been recovering from the spiritual abuse for 15 years. I recall the moment I realized that what Jesus did on the cross was sufficient for me, and that no action on my behalf could earn me salvation: at that moment, the world literally became brighter. Grace is truly amazing.

    Anyway, this year, I felt convicted to be re-baptised. The first time I was baptized, I thought I was accomplishing something towards my salvation. This time, I announced that I was on the Lord’s side and He did it all for me, and was baptized.

    This is a great series.

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