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seanjol
Member



Joined: 2004/11/12
Posts: 55
Charleston, SC

 Re:

Taylor said,

"the paedobaptist would appeal to the fact that for the majority of redemptive history, God has dealt with believers and their children. Therefore, they place the burden of proof on the credobaptist to show why God stopped including the children of believers in the covenant."

The old covenant does show God dealing with Abraham and his seed. When you get to the new covenant, or testament, salvation is shown being brought to jews, greeks, romans, etc., many of whom had no part of the covenant of Abraham through circumcision. It would seem to me that when the apostles met in Acts 15 and they were dealing with the issue of circumcision and the those of the covenant, that they would have said "now we don't require you gentiles to circumcise your infants, baptize them and that will be a parallel symbol." They never said this.

I just don't understand a large group of theological thinking that place such emphasis on Sola Scriptura keeping this doctrine alive from Catholicism. Calvin and Luther after all were Catholic priests at one time.

I think that as with most doctrines, the burden of proof should be greater on finding the reasons for a doctrine (i.e. paedobaptism) than for the negative against it. When we tell others of how we are saved "by Grace through faith" we give scripture after scripture of how that is true. We don't say, we believe this and it is up to you to prove it wrong without giving them chapter and verse to back us up.

It really seems that in reformed circles, infant baptism is almost equated with infant salvation. That scares me greatly.


_________________
Sean

 2008/12/9 12:59Profile
TaylorOtwell
Member



Joined: 2006/6/19
Posts: 927
Arkansas

 Re:

Sean,

I will try and respond more later.

But, just to point out something that is commonly thrown around in talking about this.

Paedobaptism is not "left over" from Catholicism. The practice was occurring very early in church history, even before the time of what we now call the "Catholic church".

Have you read Calvin's Institutes on baptism? That may help you understand what the reformers were thinking. I think it is about 30 pages long, if I remember correctly.

Regarding Brother Washer's comment about it being a golden calf of the reformation, if I understand correctly, did he equate it with the "pray a prayer" mentality of today? I think that, while I greatly respect Paul Washer, his comment is inaccurate historically. The reformers and Puritans stressed to the baptized children of believers to make their calling and election sure, which is evident in their writings. To equate it with the salvific prayer mentality of today is a stretch historically, in my opinion.


_________________
Taylor Otwell

 2008/12/9 13:07Profile
seanjol
Member



Joined: 2004/11/12
Posts: 55
Charleston, SC

 Re:

Ron,

This is something I was telling my pastor the other day. We have a group of children who grow up in the church, were baptized as infants and are part of the covenant, many who show no fruit of salvation. It does seem to make election hereditary. Are the promises to you and your children concerning salvation? Is baptism a sacrament (sign) of salvation? The covenantal child that I think of so often as a negative to the presbyterian way of thinking is Esau. "Jacob I have loved yet Esau I have hated." Wasn't Esau part of the covenant? Is the covenant a one of particular blessing to those who partake in it or one of particular salvation?

I truly am not asking these questions as if I know, only asking them to show sincere doubt about a doctrine of a church that I am active in and love.


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Sean

 2008/12/9 13:09Profile
seanjol
Member



Joined: 2004/11/12
Posts: 55
Charleston, SC

 Re:

Thanks for responding Taylor.

You are quite right about early church fathers.

Origen wrote:

"Every soul that is born into flesh is soiled by the filth of wickedness and sin. . . . In the Church, baptism is given for the remission of sins, and, according to the usage of the Church, baptism is given even to infants. If there were nothing in infants which required the remission of sins and nothing in them pertinent to forgiveness, the grace of baptism would seem superfluous" (Homilies on Leviticus 8:3 [A.D. 248]).

"The Church received from the apostles the tradition of giving baptism even to infants. The apostles, to whom were committed the secrets of the divine sacraments, knew there are in everyone innate strains of [original] sin, which must be washed away through water and the Spirit" (Commentaries on Romans 5:9 [A.D. 248]).

In his writings you can clearly see the beginnings of the belief of salvation as being related to infants.

Cyrpian Wrote:

"If, in the case of the worst sinners and those who formerly sinned much against God, when afterwards they believe, the remission of their sins is granted and no one is held back from baptism and grace, how much more, then, should an infant not be held back, who, having but recently been born, has done no sin, except that, born of the flesh according to Adam, he has contracted the contagion of that old death from his first being born. For this very reason does he [an infant] approach more easily to receive the remission of sins: because the sins forgiven him are not his own but those of another" (ibid., 64:5).

He is relating remission of sins to being baptized as an infant.

Augustine wrote:

"By this grace baptized infants too are ingrafted into his [Christs] body, infants who certainly are not yet able to imitate anyone. Christ, in whom all are made alive . . . gives also the most hidden grace of his Spirit to believers, grace which he secretly infuses even into infants. . . . It is an excellent thing that the Punic [North African] Christians call baptism salvation and the sacrament of Christs Body nothing else than life. Whence does this derive, except from an ancient and, as I suppose, apostolic tradition, by which the churches of Christ hold inherently that without baptism and participation at the table of the Lord it is impossible for any man to attain either to the kingdom of God or to salvation and life eternal? This is the witness of Scripture, too. . . . If anyone wonders why children born of the baptized should themselves be baptized, let him attend briefly to this. . . . The sacrament of baptism is most assuredly the sacrament of regeneration" (Forgiveness and the Just Deserts of Sin, and the Baptism of Infants 1:9:10; 1:24:34; 2:27:43 [A.D. 412]).

He says that infants are ingrafted into Christ by this baptism. Is this supported in scripture?

Most of these men credit this doctrine as being handed down by the Apostles, yet they are so silent in the word of God on it.

Hopefully you saw what I wrote to Ron that I am not trying to argue or am I convinced. I seriously question a doctrine that is taught and believed by a church in which I am active and love dearly. I truly want to know if I am missing something.


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Sean

 2008/12/9 13:20Profile
TaylorOtwell
Member



Joined: 2006/6/19
Posts: 927
Arkansas

 Re:

Sean,

I want to know too! I am somewhat in the same boat as you, I am not convinced either way very strongly.

On one hand, I appreciate the covenantal, family emphasis of the paedo-baptists. And, the fact that God has made promises to "me and my seed after me" is comforting and encouraging.

However, the seeming silence regarding baptism of infants in the New Testament cannot be lightly passed over either.

I will post more if I have anymore thoughts.

Grace to you,
Taylor


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Taylor Otwell

 2008/12/9 13:23Profile
seanjol
Member



Joined: 2004/11/12
Posts: 55
Charleston, SC

 Re:

Thanks. Will be in prayer.


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Sean

 2008/12/9 13:24Profile
BeYeDoers
Member



Joined: 2005/11/17
Posts: 370
Bloomington, IN

 Re:

Taylor, Brother Washer might be inaccurate "historically" but he is accurate scripturally. History, the early fathers, Augustine, Calvin, you name it, mean NOTHING. The doctrine of baptism in the New Testament is quite clear. Its only similiarity to circumcision is that it is the outward covenant sign of belonging in the covenant. In the New Covenant, that is regeneration, which doesn't take place at birth or in infancy.


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Denver McDaniel

 2008/12/9 13:42Profile
philologos
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Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re:

Quote:
Philogos - the paedobaptist does not equate infant baptism with necessarily meaning that the infant is elect, yet at the same time, they do trust God for the promises to "them and their children".


That still sounds like hereditary election to me. If they are 'trusting' ie exercising faith I thought that was a gift of God? :-(

Don't trouble to explain it further... I don't want to put the thread on a tangent.


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Ron Bailey

 2008/12/9 14:07Profile









 Re:

Quote:
History, the early fathers, Augustine, Calvin, you name it, mean NOTHING. The doctrine of baptism in the New Testament is quite clear.



I agree with this completely. This is like if people 2,000 years ago started saying that since one of the "mid-church fathers" named Benny Hinn taught there were not three persons in the godhead, but nine... it must be true.

Scripture is the FINAL authority on all matters.

Krispy

 2008/12/9 14:36
narrowpath
Member



Joined: 2005/1/9
Posts: 1124
Germany NRW

 Re: Infant Baptism


I think we should ask the question why churches perform paedobaptism.

I found that for one they are influenced by the catholic teaching that holds when and unbaptized(sprinkled) child dies it cannot go to heaven.
Secondly, paedobaptism was and is performed by Reformed state churches that cannot deny their subjects church membership and are therefore bound to perform it.

Paedobaptism causes a false view of salvation.
John the Baptist himself denied baptism to unregenerate applicants.

 2008/12/9 17:59Profile





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