Category Archives: Reflections, Implications

Auto-Baptism Last Friday (DID. 7.1-4)

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Of course as a believer in the DIDACHE, I eventually had to get around to having a DIDACHE baptism. (Though, as an infant in 1951, had been given the of a Methodist-Episcopal Church.) 

The day itself, June 20, 08, was rather magical and well ordered.  For weeks prior, I had been under a sense of pressure to meet a deadline on an assignment, due 5:00 p.m. PDT June 20.  (If I had missed it, even by a few days it would not have mattered to my client; but the DIDACHE instructs us to let our words be fulfilled with action [2.5]; and so I forced myself to perform as promised, for that reason; and it felt good to do what is required.  The Lord arranged so that, somehow, at precisely 5:00 pm and not a moment earlier, my work was delivered by a series of emails.  This serendipity seemed like a sign.)

F a s t i n g

For this baptism I fasted in preparation as required (DID. 7.4). Incidentally, there is strong support for this practice in the history of the pre-Conciliar Christianity. The significant of fasting, as I understand and experience it, is that it works spiritual cleansing or purging. Daily life sullies us; fasting ejects evil spirits. And if we ourselves are not so plagued, then our fasting can benefit others. We should thus fast on their behalf, especially if they hate us. (DID. 1.3).

After fasting all day (incidentally, the longest day of the year), I recited the catechism (DID 7.1) at 7:30, in preparation. At precisely 7:59 I entered the water. (The time marked the solstice, the northern latitudes being closest to the sun; and we know from recent archaeology that the sect from which our Lord originated, were devotees of solar rather than lunar astronomical observance.)  And 7:59 corresponded with the sunset in my city, La Mesa, California.  

A u t o – B a p t I s m

I baptized myself.  Just me, going under.

I had thought about asking someone else to baptize me, but that would have caused problems and contradictions, because, implicitly and explicitly the baptizer in this rite is a believer in the DIDACHE catechism; and, so far, I am the only person I know who believes the DIDACHE as the authentic founding charter of the true Church, to be obeyed.  So, as Matthew’s Gospel notes, it is important to conform to the Word:

Then Jesus came from Galilee to Jordan, to John, to be baptized by him.  (14)  But John restrained Him, saying, I have need to be baptized by You, and do You come to me? 

(15)  And answering Jesus said to him, Allow it now, for it is becoming to us to fulfill all righteousness. Then he allowed Him.  (16)  And Jesus, when He had been baptized, went up immediately out of the water. And lo, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting upon Him. (Mat 3:13-16 )

And so I am self-baptized obedience to the DIDACHE, in the name of the Lord; and also in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit (as there is a possibility that the two formulae evolved and are both preserved in the DIDACHE). 

As I underwent baptism, I did not see the Holy Spirit descend as a dove (but this happened earlier, in a wonderful dream on Oct. 9, 07, about which perhaps I will write).  Instead of a dove, two cute and playful little neighborhood children splashed in the pool with me a few feet away. I can’t think of witnesses I would rather have had.

Then home and dinner. Then spent the weekend fiddling with CMS software for a DIDACHE Gospel website in progress to supersede the weblog.

And the Spirit was being gentle and loving, but also, was bringing many things to mind, sins, directing me to examine my conscience and on cleanse it and keep it clean, by experiencing remorse for my sins.  

All Saturday and Sunday, ‘interesting’ signs followed. Among these events, concerning an altogether different Scripture issue, are told in a separate post (The ‘Atoning Blood’ of Paulianity vis-a-vis Salvation in the DIDACHE).

It was then on either Saturday or Sunday that I felt strongly led to the Psalms.

Easily, in reading the very first one, I made this personal discovery that they underlie the DIDACHE. (And hence are of course the basis of true saving Gospel of God in the Lord Christ).  This is really no earth-shaking insight; doesn’t every adult Christian knows that the events in the Gospel of Matthew often parallel the Psalms. The Lord often quotes them. 

But, somehow, in the past 9 months of my DIDACHE studies it had escaped my attention just how thoroughly based on the Psalms of David, the DIDACHE truly is. 

(And note ‘of David’; because Psalms of Asaph and Psalms for the sons Korah are also in the book, and there is another story to be told here as well, I think.)

It was, I’ll admit, a strange auto-baptism, as it is a strange one-man religion. Somehow, over the weekend, I receive a newsgroup mail with the signature quoting Martin Luther’s most famous words, I think it goes ‘Hier stehe ich, ich kanst nicht anders.’ So for me, Hier werde ich getauft. Was sonst kann ich tun?

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Filed under Chapter 07, Reflections, Implications

The DIDACHE-Gospel and True Perfectionism (DID. 1.4, 6.2, 10.5, 16.2)

Both the DIDACHE and New Testament underscore the goal and purpose of the Gospel and its brand of salvation: it is that a person attain perfection.

In the DIDACHE, perfection can be refined as moral, spiritual and economic.

The stakes are absolutely enormous; nothing could be more so: those who attain perfection will enter eternal heavenly life; those who fall short will be excluded (see DID. 16.2). Whether a ‘second chance’ of some kind, or reincarnation(s) and/or corrective purgatory are available to those who do not enter immediately,we are not told.

Purgatory and Protestant Over-Reaction?

There is, of course, voluminous testimonial evidence regarding a Purgatory, revealed in visions of Christian saints and mystics.  In the Protestant Reformation, the notion of Purgatory was famously a central issue of dispute, as the Sale of Indulgences amounted to a kind of quasi-extortionistic ‘bailout racket,’ if you will,  to which Martin Luther objected.

Curiously, the DIDACHE expresses a similar idea in stating that one should ‘ransom’ ones’ sins by giving money to the poor (DID. 4.6).

This notion makes perfect sense to me.  However, to Protestants it is so repugnant that it sparked of the entire Reformation!

The Root Idea of Perfection

Underlying the Reformation-era conflict is the basically same issue behind the 1st century conflict, between the DIDACHE-Gospel Apostolate notion which stresses, four time, the necessity of being ‘perfect’ “Or Else!”    and Paulianity, with it’s radically different solution. 

It is hard to think of a more crucial issue in all of human life!  For not only is attainment of moral-spiritual-economic perfectionism the basis for deciding one’s eternal fate in Christianity, but in Hinduism and in the ancient philosophy of the Greeks as well. 

When you think about it, what could possibly be more important?  This is Jesus’ point precisely, too, when he declared: “What does it profit a man to gain the whole world, if he lose his soul?” And also, “He who tries to save his life will lose it, but he who loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s shall find it.” And in several other texts.

Thus we see a remarkable consistency of positions regarding the necessity and goal of attaining ‘perfection in triplicate’ (moral, spiritual, economic) in some moral philosophies, religions, and in “both” rival Christianities; in the latter case, the only question is, how is this to be done?

For the most liberal Christians the answer is sola fide:  faith alone.  This came from Paul and was picked up and made into the Protestant creed, by Martin Luther.

Yet, it was and is roundly rejected by other apostles, especially by James in his letter; and also in more moderate terms in the Sermon on the Mount and elsewhere.

This perfection-getting is truly the central question of life!

If you attain perfection    by whatever means!      you surely will attain God’s favor!  In the Judgment, He will decide whether you need to “go back to Reform School,” i.e., to Purgatory or reincarnation.  Or, He may decide that you are irreparable and beyond remedy.  Or, He may declare you perfect.

Conclusion: Are Delusion and Folly Pervasive Today among ‘Paulianity Protestants’?

The DIDACHE-Gospel and other reliable sources all tell us that ‘you reap what you sow.’  Despite this, Martin Luther was so caught up in his over-reaction to some questionable Catholic doctrines, that he brazenly advised the ridiculous opposite extreme and (reportedly at least) wrote, Sin boldly’!   Such was the certainty and trust that he put in his own reading of Paul (a dubious source, obviously, in the first place!) 

Thus today, a strong theme of Protestantism and of all of Christianity tells us that we are ‘free from the law.’ 

The real nub of the problem is that, while we are indeed free from the worthless Torah of its 613 rituals and commandments, we who are disciples of Christ and the Teaching He brought, are emphatically subordinate to His Commandments.

And these are not     like the Torah’s “sheaves-and-shekels sheikhdown”     useless and vain religious tenets.  They are virtues, practices, policies and moral codes, the obedience to which will save our souls and save the world.

Yes, we fall short; as James put it, we all stumble in many ways.  But this does not entail that the ‘Law is a curse’ or that we should toss it aside, in the name of ‘faith alone.’  This logic from Paul and the Reformation is truly catastrophic, both for the world (which has become unsustainably over-developed, in large part due to the developmental, imperial, technological and capitalistic excesses of Protestantism-inspired nations) and for individuals.

What a tragedy that we were deceived and led astray from the Word of Life in the DIDACHE-Gospel.  May the Father be merciful in forgiving us and granting us  time and opportunity henceforth to make amends!  Amen

 

Concordance of perfect, Perfection”  in the DIDACHE and New Testament

DIDACHE:

1.4 Avoid the fleshly and bodily passions. If someone strikes you on your right cheek,
turn the other to him also, and you will be perfect. If someone forces you to go
one mile, go with him two. If someone takes your coat, give him your shirt
also. If someone takes away from you what is yours, do not ask for it back,
since you cannot.

6.1 See that no one leads you astray from this way of teaching, since the one
who does so teaches apart from God. 6.2 If you are able to bear the whole
yoke of the Lord, you will be perfect, but if you cannot, do what you can.

10.5 Remember Lord your Church, to preserve it from all evil and to make it  perfect in your love. And, sanctified, gather it from the four winds into your kingdom which you have prepared for it. Because yours is the power and the glory for ever.

16.2 You shall assemble frequently, seeking what your souls need, for
the whole time of your faith will be of no profit to you unless you are perfected
at the final hour.

 

Matthew’s Gospel:

(Mat 5:48)  Therefore be perfect, even as your Father in Heaven is perfect.

(Mat 19:21)  Jesus said to him, If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you shall have treasure in Heaven. And come, follow Me.

(Mat 21:16)  And they said to Him, Do you hear what these say? And Jesus said to them, Yes, have you never read, “Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings You have perfected praise?”

 

New Testament:

Perfect

(Mat 5:48)  Therefore be perfect, even as your Father in Heaven is perfect.

(Mat 19:21)  Jesus said to him, If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you shall have treasure in Heaven. And come, follow Me.

(Luk 6:40)  The disciple is not above his master, but everyone who is perfect shall be like his master.

(Joh 17:23)  I in them, and You in Me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that You have sent Me and have loved them as You have loved Me.

(Act 3:16)  And His name, through faith in His name, has made this man strong, this one whom you see and know, His name made firm. And the faith which came through Him has given him this perfect soundness before you.

(Rom 12:2)  And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, in order to prove by you what is that good and pleasing and perfect will of God.

(1Co 2:6)  But, we speak wisdom among those who are perfect; yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the rulers of this world, that come to nothing.

(1Co 13:10)  But when the perfect thing comes, then that which is in part will be caused to cease.

(2Co 12:9)  And He said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore I will rather glory in my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may overshadow me.

(2Co 13:11)  Finally, brothers, rejoice. Perfect yourselves; encourage yourselves; mind the same thing; be at peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.

(Gal 3:3)  Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, do you now perfect yourself in the flesh?

(Php 3:12)  Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect, but I am pressing on, if I may lay hold of that for which I also was taken hold of by Christ Jesus.

(Php 3:15)  Let us therefore, as many as are perfect, be of this mind. And if in anything you are otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this to you.

(Col 1:28)  whom we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, so that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.

(Col 4:12)  Epaphras greets you, he being of you, a servant of Christ, always laboring fervently for you in prayers, that you may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.

(1Th 3:10)  night and day praying exceedingly for me to see your face and to perfect the things lacking in your faith?

(Heb 2:10)  For it became Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons into glory, to perfect the Captain of their salvation through sufferings.

(Heb 7:19)  For the Law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did, by which we draw near to God.

(Heb 9:9)  For it was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices that could not make him who did the service perfect as regards the conscience,

(Heb 9:11)  But when Christ had become a high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building

(Heb 10:1)  For the Law which has a shadow of good things to come, not the very image of the things, appearing year by year with the same sacrifices, which they offer continually, they are never able to perfect those drawing near.

(Heb 11:40)  for God had provided some better thing for us, that they should not be made perfect without us.

(Heb 12:23)  to the general assembly and church of the first-born who are written in Heaven, and to God the judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,

(Heb 13:21)  make you perfect in every good work to do His will, working in you that which is well pleasing in His sight through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.

(Jas 1:4)  But let patience have its perfect work, so that you may be perfect and entire, lacking nothing.

(Jas 1:17)  Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness nor shadow of turning.

(Jas 1:25)  But whoever looks into the perfect Law of liberty and continues in it, he is not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work. This one shall be blessed in his doing.

(1Pe 5:10)  But the God of all grace, He calling us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a little, He will perfect, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.

(1Jn 4:17)  In this is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment, that as He is, so also we are in this world.

(1Jn 4:18)  There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear, because fear has torment. He who fears has not been perfected in love.

Perfected:

(Mat 21:16)  And they said to Him, Do you hear what these say? And Jesus said to them, Yes, have you never read, “Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings You have perfected praise?”

(2Ti 3:17)  that the man of God may be perfected, thoroughly furnished to every good work.

(Heb 5:9)  And being perfected, He became the Author of eternal salvation to all those who obey Him,

(Heb 7:28)  For the Law appoints men high priests who have infirmity, but the word of the swearing of an oath, after the Law, has consecrated the Son forever, having been perfected.

(Heb 10:14)  For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are sanctified.

(1Jn 2:5)  But whoever keeps His Word, truly in this one the love of God is perfected. By this we know that we are in Him.

(1Jn 4:12)  No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwells in us, and His love is perfected in us.

(1Jn 4:18)  There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear, because fear has torment. He who fears has not been perfected in love.

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Filed under Chapter 01, Chapter 06, Chapter 10, Intertextuality: Pro-DIDACHE, Noting False Teachings, Reflections, Implications