Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Correspondence--between Hoss and a COC evangelist (Part 2)

Here is my correspondence with a COC evangelist. The blue font is the "Church of Christ" and the black arial is my response. --Eli Caldwell

Hello again,
   The baptism of the Great Commission is "into Christ" (Rom. 6:3; Gal. 3:27). Therefore, you should not be disturbed that Grider and other gospel preachers do that. "By one Spirit we were baptized" in 1 Corinthians 12:13 simply means "by the influence or guidance of the Spirit" (see v. 3).

It looks like you just combined "baptism into Christ" with "baptism with water". I take it that it is your position that being baptized into water is the same thing as being baptized into Christ. However, that is scripturally wrong as well as illogical. Is Christ a tank of water? No. Then baptism into water cannot be baptism into Christ. There is no verse in the Bible that says water baptism is "into Christ". It is always said to be "with water". You cited verses on baptism into Christ and matched them with water baptism without proving from the Bible that they are the same. That is dangerous ground.

I can easily prove that baptism into Christ is not water baptism.

Reason #1: God-given common sense. Christ is not a tank of water or a river, therefore baptism into water cannot be baptism into Christ.

Reason #2: 1 Corinthians 12:12-13, 18 "For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit....But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him." It is abundantly clear from the Bible that baptism into Christ is done "by one Spirit" and that God sets the members in the body. And again, in Colossians 2:12, baptism into Christ is "through the faith of the operation of God". Baptism into Christ is an operation of God by the Holy Spirit. That is what the Bible says. You stated ""By one Spirit we were baptized" in 1 Corinthians 12:13 simply means "by the influence or guidance of the Spirit"", but that is not what the Bible says. What it SAYS is that God set the members into Christ according to verse 18.

Reason #3: Water baptism is an operation of man. In reference to John, the Bible says "And were baptized of him in Jordan", "come to his baptism", "I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance", and "to be baptized of him" (Matt. 3:6-13). Water baptism is not "by one Spirit" or an "operation of God", it is an operation of man.

You have verses that say that baptism into Christ is the same thing as being baptized into water, please give them. And I don't mean match a verse on water baptism and post it beside a verse on baptism into Christ. I mean specifically show from Romans 6, Galatians 3, 1 Corinthians 12, etc. that the baptism into Christ is actually baptism into water. OR specifically show from Matthew 3, John 4, etc. that water baptism is "into Christ''.



   The "washing of regeneration" in Titus 3:5 is clearly water baptism. Other translations say "water of rebirth" (NRSV), "bath of regeneration" (Goodspeed), etc. It is exactly what Ananias had in mind when he told Saul of Tarsus to "rise..and wash" in baptism (Acts 22:16).


How is the washing of regeneration "clearly" water baptism when it is said to be a washing of REGENERATION and not water? How is it "clearly" water baptism when it is said to be by "the Holy Ghost" and not by man or water? are the words "water", "river", "Jordan", etc. even found in the entire book of Titus? Nowhere. And in 1 Corinthians 6:11 the washing is clearly said to be "by the Spirit of our God". I assume the only reason you even make this claim is because the word "washed" is used and it reminds you of water?

Showing the readings in other translations will not persuade me. I have many translations such as the 1599 Geneva, 1545 Luther, reproduction 1611 KJB, NIV, NKJV, ESV, HCSB, NASB, NRSV, RSV, and a few others. I have also read many books on manuscript evidence and different translations. In light of comparing the different versions and reading the manuscript evidence, I am fully persuaded that the King James Bible is the infallible word of God. This is sometime called "King James Onlyism". 

You said on you baptism video that the word of God was perfect, and that is what I believe also. Which means that means I cannot accept a book that contradicts the KJB.

Just a note: the NRSV is a very liberal translation and is not as literal as the KJB. It is also not supported by very many manuscripts. Most modern versions are translated from the Catholic Vatican manuscripts, Vaticanus and Siniaticus. These two manuscripts contradict each other 7,000 times, they add OT apocrypha and NT apocrypha, they omit thousands of words (NIV--64,000), and as you know they omit the last 12 verses of Mark. (Vaticanus also omits the pastoral epistles and Revelation I believe)

I recommend that you read the books on manuscript evidence and the bible versions by Dr. Peter Ruckman, Dr. Samuel Gipp, Dr. DA Waite, Dr. Jack Moorman, as well as David Daniels and Laurence Vance.   

Since you said that you believed the Bible was perfect, which Bible did you mean?


    Cornelius was not baptized in the Holy Spirit to be saved. The text never says that. In fact, Peter told us exactly why Cornelius was baptized in the Holy Spirit in Acts 15:8 -- to bear witness to Jews that uncircumcised Gentiles could be saved. You are confusing Holy Spirit baptism with other acts of the Spirit. Did you know that there are only two recorded cases of Holy Spirit baptism in the NT? It was never commanded for all people, nor did those who receive it ever encourage others to do the same. We are "led by the Spirit" as we follow His revealed teachings in Scripture. It is not a supernatural overwhelming or immersion.

The term "baptized in the Holy Spirit" is not in the Bible. As you know, there are at least 6-7 baptisms in the Bible.

1.) Baptism "with water" (Matt. 3:6-13, Mark 16:16, etc.)
2.) Baptism "with the Holy Ghost" (Matt. 3:11, Acts 2)
3.) Baptism "with fire" (Matt. 3:10-12)
4.) Baptism in death/suffering (Matt. 20:22-23, Mark. 10:38-39, Luke 12:50)
5.) Baptism "unto Moses" (1 Cor. 10:1-2)
6.) Baptism "into Christ" (1 Cor. 12:12-18, Gal. 3:26-28, Eph. 4:1-6, etc.)

Not one of those is baptism "in the Holy Spirit". The text never says that.

Now about the Cornelius case. I agree that baptism with the Holy Ghost is not a command. However, it is only for saved people which I can prove easily.

John 14:16-17 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

John 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.

Romans 8:8-9 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

Romans 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

The world cannot receive the Holy Spirit. Therefore Cornelius had to have been saved in order to receive the Holy Spirit.

They that are in the flesh (out of the Spirit) CANNOT please God, but Cornelius magnified God (Acts 10:46).

The Holy Ghost led Cornelius and the Gentiles to speak with tongues (Acts 10:46), they were sons of God.

This is also a good note to add to you comments on 1 Cor. 12:13. Even IF what you say is true, that baptism into Christ is actually baptism into water, then that would prove that people are saved before water baptism. Because anyone that is led or guided by the Holy Spirit is a son of God, the world cannot receive Him (Rom. 8:14, John 14:16-17, 16:13).

You said, "Cornelius was not baptized in the Holy Spirit to be saved. The text never says that. In fact, Peter told us exactly why Cornelius was baptized in the Holy Spirit in Acts 15:8 -- to bear witness to Jews that uncircumcised Gentiles could be saved." However, you are not giving the full story.

This is what Acts 15:7-9 says,
"And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe. And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us; and put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith."

The pouring out of the Holy Ghost did bare the Gentiles witness, but this baptism with the Holy Ghost DID save Cornelius and that is what the text says. " them the Holy Ghost....purifying their hearts".  God gave the Holy Ghost to the Gentiles upon the hearing of faith and that purified their hearts. That is exactly what Paul teaches (Eph. 1:13, Gal. 3:1-3).


    Christ revealed the truth directly to Paul. There is no question about that. And the reason Paul puts so much emphasis on that fact is because critics were challenging his authority. However, nowhere does he ever suggest that his revelation was contrary to that of Peter, James, and John. MAD advocates make a distinction where God never did. Paul preached what Peter preached (Gal. 1:23).


The scriptures do suggest that Paul preached a revelation contrary than that given to Peter. Peter himself said that what Paul wrote was hard to be understood.

2 Peter 3:15-16 And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.

Obviously Paul and Peter preached the same faith in Christ and Christ being the way (John 14:6, Acts 4:12). That is not the issue. The point of MAD is that Christ gave different teaching to Paul according to the revelation of the mystery that had been hid in God (Eph. 3:1-9). 

The faith that Paul destroyed was Christ, that He was the Son of God. That is the gospel of God (Rom. 1:1-7) that both Peter and Paul preached.

Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

Acts 9:20-21 And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God. But all that heard him were amazed, and said; Is not this he that destroyed them which called on this name in Jerusalem, and came hither for that intent, that he might bring them bound unto the chief priests?

Galatians 1:23 But they had heard only, That he which persecuted us in times past now preacheth the faith which once he destroyed.

However, Paul and Peter obviously preached different gospels of salvation. Peter plainly stated that works of righteousness were required for salvation (Acts 10:35) and Paul plainly said that they were not (Titus 3:5). Peter plainly taught that water baptism and laying on of hands by the apostles was required to receive the Holy Ghost (Acts 2:38, 8:12-17) while Paul plainly taught that you receive the Holy Spirit through the hearing of faith (Eph. 1:13, Gal. 3:1-3). Peter was plainly sent to baptize (Matt. 28:19, John 4:2) but Paul was plainly sent not to baptize (1 Cor. 1:17). Peter taught that you should sell all that you have for salvation and not lay up money on earth (Matt. 6:19-34, 19:16-24, Mark 6:7-9, 10:17-23, Luke 9:1-4, 12:15-34, Acts 2:44-45, 3:1-6, 4:32-37, 5:1-11) while Paul taught that you can lay up (2 Thes. 3:7-12, Eph. 4:28, 1 Cor. 16:2, 2 Cor. 9:6-7, 12:14).

Mr. Erhardt, when the scriptures seemingly contradict you must "rightly divide the word of truth" (2 Tim. 2:15). The Bible will not make sense if Peter and Paul are suppose to have taught the same plans of salvation.


    The sharing of the early saints was to meet a need. We still meet needs today in churches of Christ. However, they retained their own homes, possessions, etc. For instance, Peter went to the "house of Mary" in Acts 12:12. Philemon not only "owned" his own house, which was large enough for the church to meet, but "owned" slaves. I sure hope you're not suggesting that Christians are commanded to sell their stuff to be saved? When there is a need, we meet that need.


Your very first sentence is contrary to what Jesus said. I suppose that is why you didn't give a scripture reference with it.

Jesus said that it was Gentiles (heathens) that gave thought for the next day and laid up treasure. He promised that those who forsook all and followed him, God would provide for them. Those who did not do this were not serving God and had little faith (Matt. 6:19-34). Do you have a savings account or retirement plan? Why? Jesus said not to give any thought for those things. Do you really follow Jesus's earthly ministry and gospel of the kingdom?

Jesus said that selling all and giving to the poor was a requirement for having eternal life and following Him (Matt. 19:16-24). He said that a rich man will hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven and that it would be easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle. Have you sold all? Then you do not have eternal life and you are not a follower of Christ according to the gospel of the kingdom.

In Luke 9:1-4 and Matthew 10:5-10 Jesus told His disciples not to have money, food, or more than one coat. Do you have those things? Well then you don't follow the gospel of the kingdom that Peter preached. Peter did not have silver or gold (Acts 3:1-6).

Peter's converts followed this commandment (Acts 2:44-45, 3:1-6, 4:32-37, 5:1-11), why don't you? Anyone who does not follow those commandments is a "fool" according to God and He will require your soul (Luke 12:15-34).

I am not "suggesting" anything. I just told you what the Bible says. I have attached the scripture references for you to see for yourself.  

    The designation "churches of Christ" is in the Bible (Rom. 16:16). It is also inferred in passages like Matthew 16:18, where Christ said, "I will build my church." Whose is it? The Baptist Church designation is as unscriptural as its plan of salvation, organizational structure, worship, work, etc. BTW, if I were inconsistent (and I am not), that still does not justify Baptist Church practices. As mom used to say, "Two wrongs don't make a right." Can you find scriptural authority for the Baptist Church or not?


Here are other designation that you missed

"churches of the Gentiles" (Rom. 16:4)

"churches of Galatia" (1 Cor. 16:1, Gal. 1:2)

"churches of the saints" (1 Cor. 14:33)

"churches of Asia" (1 Cor. 16:19)

"churches of God" (1 Cor. 11:16, 1 Thes. 2:14, 2 Thes. 1:4)

"churches of Macedonia" (2 Cor. 8:1)

"churches of Judea" (Gal. 1:22)

There are no name designations for local churches in the Bible. Paul addresses local churches based on their location sometimes and sometimes he calls them a "church of God" simply because the local church he is referring to is made up of saved people in God. Ditto with "churches of Christ".

Any local church made up of saved people is a church of Christ/God. That is a spiritual standing, not a denomination title. Just like the term "man of God" is referring to a spiritually mature man (2 Tim. 2:17) that belongs to God. Though the man's name is not "Man of God".

The word "Baptist" is in the Bible, and it is in description of a man (John) that preached the name of Christ and baptized for the remission of sins. The word is biblical and has a biblical association with a certain message.

I do not profess to be a Baptist, I contend with them on the "sinner's prayer" salvation and water baptism, I just go to church with my parents. But my Baptist pastor is a MAD that does not teach the "sinner's prayer" and does not put a lot of emphasis on water baptism. (there are a handful of MAD Baptist churches, not many)

Would you prefer a church call itself "The Church of the Gentiles", "The Church of God", or "The Church of Asia"? Those are biblical "designations".

There is no authority given in the Bible to call a local church anything in particular. If a church is made up of saved people than it is a church of Christ/church of God. But if it is made up of people in Asia then it is also a "Church of Asia".

To say that a local church must be called "the church of Christ" and does not have the authority to be called anything else is like saying that a "man of God" has no right to go by the name Larry.

I believe that we should be silent where the Bible is silent and speak where the Bible speaks. The Bible says nothing about how to name your local assembly and so I do not really care much about that issue.

If someone took down your church sign that says "church of Christ" and put up one that said "church of Allah" would that change your church designation? No, if you and your church are saved people than y'all would still be a church of Christ no matter what some sign says.

Do you disagree with that?

Thank you, --Eli "Hoss" Caldwell

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