“What About Isms”


     Jeremiah Nortier of the Apologetic Dog YouTube channel has an obsession with attacking the Church of Christ. He absolutely despises the Biblical doctrine and teaching of Baptism. And myself being an added soul to Christ’s Church as Acts chapter 2 verse 47 proclaims of those who are being saved, I was a natural target of his derision. I didn’t play his silly game so he defriended me on Facebook so to make sure he doesn’t accidentally have to view my posts I blocked him from being burdened with such a travesty.

Jeremiah for whatever reason came at me on Facebook and started an argument with me over some hypotheticals that may occur during the act of baptism, which is called by Peter “an answer of a good conscience toward God”. (1 Peter 3-21)  Jeremiah didn’t argue that water is involved as some like to argue. No, his argument was something like this;

 “What about someone who’s hand didn’t go under during baptism”.

  I asked him where in scriptures are we commanded to teach anything other than what Jesus commanded? I told him have that person contact me and we can study the question together. Of course the person didn’t exist so Jeremiah says something like  “So you can’t or refuse to answer?”. LOL!

  First let’s look at a few of the basic verses concerning the doctrine of baptism and why it is important. The first comes after the resurrection of Jesus before His ascension and He gives His disciples a command saying:

  Matthew 28:18-20 “And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, “teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen".

Again the book of Mark records the command this way:

  Mark 16:14-17 “Later He appeared to the eleven as they sat at the table; and He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had risen. And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.


  So far, I don’t see any command from the Lord to go any further or deeper into hypothetical or “What about isms”. His commands are plain, easy to understand, and should be respected with reverence and not argumentation and debate and flooded with “what abouts and what ifs?”.

 Pay particular notice to the way Matthew records the Lord’s command. It begins with Jesus saying, “All authority has been given to me”. If we believe Jesus is Lord and we trust in Him as we claim, why would we risk our souls on “What about isms” in an effort to argue and debate His simple command?

 Look at Acts 2 where Peter is giving the first biblically recorded sermon in his obedience to the Lord’s command. Most of chapter 2 Peter is preaching Christ and His crucifixion and resurrection and that He is now Lord. Peter finishes the sermon with this;  Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.” Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. “For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.” Notice how not ONE person is recorded to argue with Peter and say “Peter, we don’t have to be baptized to have our sins forgiven!”. Not ONE stood up and said “What about if my hand doesn’t go under the water?” No, 

it simply says, “they were pricked to the heart”! They wanted their sins forgiven. Some of these people were witnesses and partakers of the crucifixion of the Lord just as Peter pointed out by saying in verse 36, “Whom you crucified”. Their conscience was pricked and as an answer to a  good conscience toward God they repented and were baptized just as commanded for the remission of their sins. “Yeah but what about so and so and what if”. All of that is not covered so far and those questions are not commanded to be answered. If you want a good conscience toward God you’ll do what He commands and He promises to forgive.

  Look at Acts chapter 8 and the account of the Ethiopian eunuch hearing the gospel of Jesus preached to him by Philip. We’re told the eunuch didn’t understand who Isaiah 53 was talking about. Philip began at those scriptures and began preaching Jesus to Him. From verses 35-39 we see the Ethiopian wanted to be baptized and so they both went into the water and Philip baptized him. Notice again we’re not told “what about” if the Ethiopian’s hand didn’t go under, or what about if the water hadn’t been there, or any other hypotheticals like that. The Ethiopian heard the gospel of Jesus preached to him and he answered with a good conscience toward God by believing and being baptized just as commanded. Notice what Philip said to him when he said “here’s water, what hinders me from being baptized?”. Philip responded with “If you believe with all your heart you may”. The Ethiopian replied “I believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God”.

The Ethiopian answered the command without argument. He didn’t object by saying “I’m saved by Grace alone, through Faith alone, in Christ alone so there’s no need for obedience”. But that is exactly what Jeremiah Nortier teaches and has a disdain for the thought of being obedient to God for salvation.

 I want to look at one more thing concerning obedience and a good conscience toward God. This is in 2 Peter chapter 2, verses 4-11:

 It begins with God not sparing the angels who sinned, He cast them down to be reserved for judgment. He destroyed the world with water, but spared Noah and his family. He destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah but spared righteous Lot. In verse 9 of chapter 2 Peter then tells us this;

then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment,

 Peter doesn’t go into hypotheticals with Noah and how he built the ark, or if Noah asked God if he could put port holes every so many feet to look out, or how Lot asked “what about the babies in the cities?” Peter simply says        the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and how to reserve the unjust for judgment. No “what about isms”, no “what ifs”. God gave us His son and His word. What else is there? There is one time I can think of where Jesus answered a “what about” and it was answered perfectly. In John 21 Jesus is telling Peter by what death he would glorify God. Peter then asks “but Lord what about this man”? Jesus replied: “If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you? You follow Me.”

 It's really that simple. “What about a person being baptized if a hand does not go into the water?”.

 What is that to us? God knows how to deliver the godly, we follow Christ. I’m not going to follow a “what about ism”. I’m going to follow His word as best I can.

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