Laughable arguments – baptism, immersion, and Adventists

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Baptism of Christ - Francesco Albani

Baptism of Christ – Francesco Albani

Often in discussion with Adventists, they will use strange ways to avoid answering a question, or to refute an argument in an imaginative (almost schizophrenic) way. Often they’ll just change the subject. But sometimes they make themselves look very, very weird. You sometimes wonder if they can even reason properly. I’m not sure why that is – are they just trolls baiting you, or is there some sort of mental block against the obvious preventing them from seeing it?

Here are some examples. I started correcting some of the spelling but then gave up. I must acknowledge that this sort of irrational argumentation is not found in every Adventist circle, and these specific instances below are limited to one group of online Adventists. But the general way of going about discussing things is not uncommon in my experience.

Yesterday I wrote a blog post on baptism based on my discussions, much of it verbatim from what I’d written on Facebook. At one point I reposted it all together. When confronted with the biblical evidence about sprinkling / pouring, this is what I got:

Adventist: Guy, you are talking of some thing off the topic

Huh?

The topic was whether or not baptism is by full immersion only, and whether or not sprinkling is an acceptable form of baptism. Acts 8:38-39, 1 Cor 10:1-2, Luke 11:38, Heb 9-10, Acts 2:17, Acts 10:45-48, Acts 10:45-48 – how on earth are these off topic?

Or did the Adventist just not want to address these verses and explain why my interpretation was wrong?

Another thing some Adventists do is simply ignore whatever biblical texts you quote, and pretend you didn’t quote them at all. Or they just are not interested in hearing your side of the story, so they don’t read what you write, and just continue quoting the verses they’ve selected.

Adventist: Stephen Korsman, have you ever read John:3:23? Did you see the reason why John the Baptist used Enon? Read there and tell me what you understand? Secondly, have you ever read Matt:3:15? What did Jesus say? Read there and tell us. Thirdly, have you ever read your dictionary? What does the word Baptism mean?

Me: Neither text says they were fully immersed. You’re reading that into the text. The Greek word baptizo can mean immersion but it can also mean washing by pouring.

Adventist: Stephen Korsman, have you really ready the verses? Have you really read Matt:3:16? What does “coming out of the water” mean?

It was after that that I put together most of the text in yesterday’s post.

And they ignored what I said:

Adventist: Jesus was immersed in water (baptised) and it’s what Adventism follows. Matt:3:15-16.

Two sentences in the Adventist parts above are worth highlighting:

1. What does the word Baptism mean?
2. What does “coming out of the water” mean?

To these Adventists, “baptism” means immersion. For them, baptism so absolutely requires full immersion that it’s part of the definition, and there is a mental block against any biblical notion that baptism could be more than that.

And to these Adventists, “coming out of the water” can only mean that the person was fully submerged to begin with.

I asked: A child is walking in a stream and the mother says “Come out of the water!” Does that mean the child was completely submerged?

Adventist reply: Stephen, does the verse i gave u talk about immersion as walking?

Either a clear inability to process an analogy that damages their use of the phrase, or deliberate trolling.

Me: In Acts 8:39, when Philip comes “out of the water” does that mean he was fully immersed? If “out of the water” means full immersion, why was Philip fully immersed while he baptised the eunuch?

Donkey, Boston Public Library

Donkey, Boston Public Library

The Adventists changed to another aspect of their position, and ignored the question. In fact, I asked the question repeatedly throughout the discussion, and it was always ignored.

I think they subconsciously realised that an answer was going to be a destructive one for their theology, and so they just mentally blocked it out.

They just continued:

Adventist: Brother, how do you understand the phrase “went up straightway out of the water”? Isn’t it suggest that he was immersed?

Other answers I got to specific questions about baptism that they refused to answer:

Adventist: BAPTISM IS FULL IMERSION IN WATER EVEN IF U FABRICATE IT TO WHAT XTENT BUT THE BIBLICAL FACT REMAINS.

Adventist: no biblical support

Adventist: Baptism Full Imersion In Water Satan Will Never Divert My Atention By All Means Even Thru His Agents Over That..

Adventist: i think they are blaspheming God.in mat 28:18_19 jesus comands us to immerse and in john14:15 jesus say if u love keep m

I asked the Adventist who made the last statement where in Matt 28:18-19 Jesus commanded immersion, and he ignored my question.

One Adventist did partially think about Heb 9-10, and said:

Adventist: The blood sprinkling represents the shedding of Jesus’ blood on the cross for cleansing and remission of sins and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. While that of water sprinkling is a symbol of baptism of water and Holy Ghost.

But wait …

My response: Well, we have actually made some progress. <Name> agrees that sprinkling is a symbol of baptism in the Bible.

Adventist reply: Stephen, do not misconceive my statement. If you had gone through my last write up, you could have comprehend that I never said so.

My reply: Actually, you did say so. Your exact words: “water sprinkling is a symbol of baptism”.

No further response.

Back to the issue of going into and coming out of water, one Adventist who didn’t read, or mentally blocked, what I wrote about Acts 8, said this:

Adventist: Stephen, are these two phrases the same?
“went up straightway out of the water”?
“comes out of the water”

My explanation was rather lengthy – but at the end I asked a simple question.

Me: <Name> … which one of those means full immersion and which one does not?

No response again. Evidence ignored. Mental block in place.

The following highlights the point I made above – baptism, to these Adventists, is synonymous with immersion and non-pouring and non-sprinkling, so any evidence to the contrart is blocked out.

After providing evidence from Heb 9-10:

Me: Why can’t you accept that the Bible uses the word baptismos to refer to sprinkling?

Adventist: Nothing Like That In The Bible Or In The Verses Uv Quoted. Sprinkling Is Not Baptism At All. Woe Onto Them That Quotes The Scpture To Suit There On Iniquity!!

A little later:

Adventist: #Korsman u r really lost.pray every hard that ur eye should b opened.we gonna welcome u to SDAC any where around the world

Me: Calling me lost doesn’t change what the Bible says and the fact that you’re all ignoring it.

Adventist: What z the fact really.show to me the verse

I had done that several times, but I reposted anyway.

Jesus doesn't like lies being told about Christians.

Jesus doesn’t like lies being told about Christians.

That was when I got this one I cited above:

Adventist: Guy, you are talking of some thing off the topic

I took each verse, quoted it, and asked why it was off topic.

Adventist reply: U ar just supporting ur undertanding about that text u quoted but it willn’t convince me to believe i will only belief wat z in d Bible……!

I think these Adventists have been taught a few of the verses that support their view, and they’ve learned to mentally block anything to the contrary, even if it’s from the Bible.  I think it’s a form of cognitive dissonance – when faced with two conflicting facts (one being what the Bible says, and the other being what they have been indoctrinated to believe), they undergo some sort of logical shutdown.

I previously wrote another post about Adventist tactics to avoid dealing with actual facts. Read it here: Shame on you – Adventists, dishonesty, and the Catholic Church

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2 comments

    • Eric Sanchez on May 25, 2015 at 6:57 pm

    Stephen,
    Thank you for all the hard work in defending the faith. To me you are one of the best apologists that defends the Catholic Church against Adventists. The apologists at Catholic Answers could learn a lot from you. You are also correct, when presented with biblical verses that are contrary to what they believe they shut it out and ignore it or in some cases perform a sort of mental gymnastics and come up with imaginative and illogical ways to explain it away.

    1. Thanks! I learn a lot from them too; I think there is less about Adventism there than there should be, given its prominence in the anti-Catholic world, and their attempts to evangelise us. And if the Adventist Dr Ben Carson runs for US President, there will be more coverage of them – and Catholics need to know about them and how to resist their teachings.

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