Open Your Bible and Consider ...
The Society for the Prevention of Salvation for the Unshriven Dead [SPUD] attacks and denies the early Christian practise of Baptism for the Dead for the Salvation of the Dead. Why do they ?
If Baptism for the Dead as believed and practised by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a false belief based on a wrong understanding of 1 Corinthians 15.29, then it need not concern anyone that is not a Latter-day Saint. Yet deniers of the Biblical and Christian teaching and rite cannot leave it alone!
Have they asked themselves why the practice of proxy Baptism for the Dead was practiced by the earliest Christians only to be forbidden by the Roman Catholic Church in the 4th century? Could it be banned if it wasn't practised? The very fact that it was banned confirms that it was practised by Christians in the first Christian centuries. Had it not been so, it would have been farcical to prohibit it. It would be like banning the riding of bicycles in an organ loft before bicycles were even invented.
If it is a false doctrine that does not accomplish what Latter-day Saints believe it does, then why is it such an issue for non-Latter-day Saint Christians? If it is false and meaningless, then how is it hurting those that are not Mormons?
Is anyone hurt by believing that the earth is flat, that the moon is made out of green cheese, that the sun circles the earth, or that, as the Bible says, the earth is square and has four corners, or that the original biblical monographs were originally written in Jacobean English?
My Great-Great-Grandfather James Bray
Then there is the question of my great-great-grandfather, James Bray, clothier of Deighton and a Christian church planter and funder? Most non-Latter-day Saint Christians do not have an answer to the question:
“What will happen to my great-great-grandfather James Bray - a founder member of the Highfield Schism and founder member of the Highfield Independent Chapel Huddersfield and contributor to the Highfield Chapel Building Fund - who was excommunicated by the powers-that-be of Highfield Independent Chapel in the year of our Lord 1790 for refusing to prevent his daughters from dancing?
Are the terpsichorean elegances of my great aunts sufficient to preclude their sire from passing through the gates of heaven to enjoy the company of old frinds, family, the Lord Jesus Christ and his Father-Creator-God?
That vexed question must wait for its answer for the present, but the question about the ultimate destination of the unshriven and unbaptised demands a ready answer from believers of the Jesus Christ found in the Holy Bible.
But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts:
and be ready always to give an answer
to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope
that is in you with meekness and fear. --1 Peter 3:15
Silence Reigns - And No One Gets Wet
Whether we admit it or not, many beside myself are in this same predicament. But no answers come from the opponents of the Latter-day Saint belief in baptism and the offer of salvation for those that died beyond the pale of Christianity. They do not baptise by proxy in behalf of their kindred dead that knew not Christ during mortality. They simply abandon them, or else satisfy themselves that their parents and grandparents are doomed to eternal torment.
Enter The Society for the Prevention of Salvation of the Unshriven Dead
But, even for those that cannot believe their loving God would be so unjust as to condemn for not accepting what they have not heard, the Society for the Prevention of Salvation of the Unshriven Dead places obstacles in their way and insists that theirs must be the final word on the matter.
How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed?
And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard?
And how shall they hear without a preacher? --Romans 10:14
Their Proof Text Barricade
SPUD's prooftext is Hebrews 9:27:
And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgement
It is obvious that this sentence is incomplete as it is presented and is part of a larger issue. But, according to SPUDs that is the opening and closing of that case. So, must we accept their diktat that that’s it! Must we, therefore, let the pressing question fall?
The passage is of no comfort to those that subscribe to the school or sect of Johannine realised eschatology that determines a man saved and safe as soon as he opts for Jesus as his Lord and Saviour. His judgement comes, not after death, but while he is alive and so he faces no judgement after death. The difficulty of that view in light of Hebrews 9:27 is obvious.
Does it not strike you, if you are a reasonable person, and reason is allowable to Christians, that it is odd that any would speak against a practice that would bring more people into the fold of Christ and extend the opportunity of salvation to millions upon millions of people whose only wrong was their innocence of being born in times and places where good news of the infinite atonement of Jesus Christ was not then available to them?
They Change God's Love and Limit Christ's Atonement
Yet again it is necessary to man the barricades against the unruly hordes that have no purpose in life except to stand in the way of God's Justice and Love for His creatures and limit the scope and bounds of the Infinite Atonement of Christ Jesus so that the unChristianised are left floundering in the roiling waters of eternity having had their hands crushed by the blows delivered to them as they attempt to climb aboard the Ark of Salvation.
That the Gospel of Jesus Christ has more than its fair share of stumbling blocks, both Jesus, Paul, and other have noted. A major one is that we mortals cannot easily understand God's reasons nor grasp the full extent of his purposes.
For example, it is puzzling to non-Christians to understand why Christians believe that our Saviour Jesus Christ had to suffer, bleed, and die in the place of humanity in order to achieve something that we are unable to achieve for ourselves.
They, like Christians, cannot understand our insistence on the necessity of surrogacy where another stands as proxy for us to accomplish that which we have not the power to do for ourselves, but which, if left undone, disqualifies us from entering into the presence of God, and thereby bars us from obtaining the salvation and exaltation we are promised as the fruits of obedience.
Jesus Stands For Us To Save Us
That Jesus took upon himself our sins, our faults, our sorrows, and our condemnations, so that none of the consequences or stains of our wrongdoing would remain to prevent us entering into the presence of God is fundamental to all expressions of Christian thinking. Therefore, proxy or surrogacy is the foundation on which the Christian drama is built.
Jesus invites men and women to be part of the team he calls to become engaged in the ministry of saving souls. Those that extend the invitation stand in the place of Jesus as proxy and witnesses for him to spread the Good News or Gospel; of Jesus Christ and to teach the promises. If Jesus was the only one able to invite people to "Come unto Christ" he would hardly get through the works because of the astronomical number of people in the world. Those that serve on this team act under authority as proxies for Jesus.
And the Unshriven. What of them?
Let's look at them on HERE.