In researching for last week's message it was important to me to get a handle on what exactly happened at the Council of Nicea in AD 325. It was important because Dan Brown claims, through one of his characters in The Da Vinci Code, that it was at this particular council that Jesus' divinity was voted upon and that up to that point none of his followers actually claimed he was divine. [If you're interested in the message, it can be found here]
What was interesting to me was the Nicean creed that came from that gathering. It was a written document basically summarizing what the 300+ bishops believed. The line that caught me off gaurd said, "...we acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins."
It caught me off gaurd because I would venture to say, if you gathered 300+ church leaders today from across the board, the majority would not believe this. They would agree that baptism is Biblical and should be done, but that it has nothing to do with the forgiveness of sins.
I've got to be honest with you. I'm often left to feel like a freak as I wonder why my movement seems to be one of the few that believes that there is a spiritual cleansing that takes place during baptism. It just felt reassuring that a group of leaders, so close to the conception of the church, felt the same way I do.