Whenever I would quote Ephesians 4 where Paul talks about “one Lord, one faith, one baptism” I meant that the one baptism was the specific way I was baptized. That is, one had to be immersed following a verbal confession of Jesus as the Son of God, and it needed to be done with the complete understanding that one wasn’t saved until they came up out of the water.
In other words, the one baptism is mine, not yours.
When I would talk about the one true church established by Jesus on the day of Pentecost in Acts 2, I was talking about my specific group, not yours.
When I would talk about one way, one pattern, or one rule, I meant the ones I happened to be following, not yours.
I didn’t believe in predestination in the Calvinistic sense, but I sure enough believe I won the lottery!
There are a little over 1.1 million members of the Churches of Christ in the US. Of course, that doesn’t count for all of the divisions over cups, Sunday school, fellowship halls, preaching schools, praise teams, women’s roles, instruments, etc.
So to be extremely generous, the “one true church” that I was born into makes up less than 0.34% of the US population.
Talk about “few there be that find it!”
Sure, I didn’t believe in predestination, but had I been born one house down, I would have missed out on eternal salvation and would have been damned to Hell for an eternity.
Look at that figure and seriously ask yourself, “Is that the best God can do? Is that the best the gospel can do?”
Is the message of Jesus only effective enough to convert way less than 0.34% of the US population, not to mention the global number of .025%! And, again, that’s generous. That assumes that every Church of Christ fellowships every other congregation, which they don’t.
Friends, how can this be? Is this really the God we serve? A God who has a success rate of less than a quarter of a percent? In other words 3,999 souls out of 4,000 are doomed for eternal conscious torment because they don’t believe, worship, and teach as I do!
There has to be something off.
Grace has to be better than that.
Surely. Surely God can do better than that.
So the next time you hear someone condemn everyone “in the denominations,” really take the time to think about what they’re saying. They are saying that if you meet 4,000 people, only one of those might be going to Heaven. Only one of those might really love God, depending on if they have a fellowship building or worship without instruments, of course.
I just don’t see how this could be. I pray you can see the problem here too.
So, what then IS the “one baptism”? Does any, every and even no baptism, equate to salvation? Just curious…
It is worth considering that by these logical deductions, Heaven will mostly be populated by innocents who never chose to go there. That can’t be right.
I would say there will be a lot of babies and children who never “chose” to go there.
Yes, according to conventional CoC theology, so many more will be in Heaven who will have never chosen to go there than the number of those who will have chosen Heaven that it supports the point you have made. A gospel suited to salvation of the world cannot be so insipid. It raises questions about what we have thought the gospel to be.