Hebrews 6:1-12

Hebrews 6:2 - Hmm, the ESV says "instructions about washings" instead of "instructions about baptisms" like the NIV (my emphasis). The footnote says "Or baptisms (that is, cleansing rites)". As a COC'er, I'm sensitive about that kinda stuff, but it makes me wonder.

Hebrews 6:1-2 - The list of elementary doctrine here is interesting. Most who call themselves Christian would understand the inclusion of faith, repentance, resurrection and eternal judgment. Less, perhaps, baptisms & laying on hands. Laying on hands makes me wonder, it's not something I've experienced in any of the churches I've been a part of.

Hebrews 6:4-6 - I have understood these verses to refer to someone who left the Lord, as an explanation that one can give up their salvation. Taken alone, they seem to say just that. But putting them in the context of 'leaving the elementary teachings', that understanding gives me pause. It doesn't make sense that Paul was saying "Let's mature, because if you fall away you're doomed." I dunno, maybe, what do you think?

Hebrews 5:11-6:12 - There does seem to be an undertone here that ties our salvation with our depth of understanding. That bothers me a bit, as I would have said that you don't need to be deep to be saved. I'm not sure yet what to do with that. Am I reading too much into the passage? Just because my understanding makes me squirm, does not mean I should dismiss it, but neither should I dismiss my misgivings. Any thoughts?

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I've been part of two churches now where elders observed the practice of laying on hands.

At Highland in Abilene, elders commissioned missionaries and new or departing members - including Angi and me when we moved to Little Rock - by laying their hands on our shoulders, huddling around us in prayer.

I understand that the elders at my current church home, Pleasant Valley, will pray over gravely ill people, placing their hands on them as they do.

I don't know how much of it is ritual or ceremony or command or example or necessary inference ... and how much of it is just a natural expression of love, concern, fellowship, and a deep desire to channel God's blessing while asking for it on behalf of someone in their flock.



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  • I've been part of two churches now where elders observed the practice of laying on hands. At Highland in Abilene, elders commissioned missionaries and new or departing members - including Angi and me when we moved to Li...

    Keith Brenton
    Hebrews 6:1-12
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