Saturday, June 18, 2011

Evoking memories, of when they invoked “The” name.

Apostolic - Pentecostals make a big deal about what it means to be born again. I understand that there’s countless arguments that attempt to refute the Apostolic position, but I still believe that the Apostolic movement is favored by the text. In this post, I would like to focus on a particular truth that encompasses both the text, and the time surrounding the text.

The book of Acts roughly covers a span of 30 years, so although we might read it in a few days, its important to remember that its chronicling three decades.When a person (this includes Apostles) decides to sit down and write the events that occurred during a 30 year time period, there’s a lot they have to leave out. One doesn’t need to be a theologian to figure this out. Not only is the writer faced with the challenge of transmitting knowledge, but they also have to determine what part of that knowledge is worth retelling. This concept is especially true when it comes to a person who lived thousands of years ago, and is trying to write things down on a pricey piece of parchment.

So where dose that put the Luke (the author of Acts)? When Luke reflected on the 30 years of missionary work that he did with Paul and others, he concluded that baptism in Jesus name, and the infilling of the Holy Ghost, were things that were definitely worth retelling, and transmitting. To Luke, these were fundamental issues that helped to define the meaning, and purpose of the last 30 years. If this were not so, he would have not included them in his writings. Luke found it astounding that while Peter preached, people spoke in tongues, and that Paul had the audacity to re-baptize twelve of John “THE BAPTIST” disciples! Never mind that Paul told people, “Christ sent me not to baptize”.

What’s even more incredible about the 30 year time frame of Acts, is that three decades is plenty of time for a religious group to change their method of baptism. But alas, no change ever came, and no one ever inquired as to wether they got the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost right. From Jerusalem to Corinth, from Ephesus to Galatia, and from beatings to persecutions, the Apostles kept invoking the singular name of Jesus every time they baptized people. Acts is a celebration of what can happen when a group of people preach the same message, to a world that’s in a constant state of flux.

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