Can infant baptism be Scriptural?

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by riverm, Aug 17, 2005.

  1. riverm

    riverm
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    Not wanting to “hijack” other threads, but ascund made this statement in the “What makes a church Scriptural” thread.

    I am somewhat familiar with the Catholic view of infant baptism. An infant is baptized to remove the original sin and once he or she reaches the age of accountability he or she goes through confirmation; it’s my understanding as an outsider anyway.

    Is the Lutheran view of infant baptism the same or are they different?

    Also how do we defend these verses that are used to support infant baptism?

    Acts 16:15 And when she was baptized, and her household, she besought us, saying, If ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide there. And she constrained us.

    Acts 16:33 And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway. Some versions have interpret this as …all his family

    1 Corinthians 1:16 And I baptized also the household of Stephanas…

    With the above verses, how do we defend that there couldn’t have been infants in these households or families that were baptized?

    Blessings
     
  2. Chemnitz

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    The Lutheran teaching concerning infant baptism is different from the RCC view of baptism.
    We teach that it is a removal of all sin not just original sin. We do not attempt to quantify and divide God's grace as the RCC tends to do. With all of the means (Word, Baptism, Holy Communion) that God uses to deliver His grace He gives it all.
     
  3. webdog

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    Where, though, does it state the "family" WERE infants? It is clear in the Bible that you believed, THEN were baptized. Because of this, the family couldn't have been infants, or if they were, when they were old enough to comprehend sin and Christ's sacrifice, they were baptized. Can an infant believe, or comprehend for that matter?
     
  4. Chemnitz

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    Oh I almost forgot, Confirmation in the Lutheran church is not a sacrament while it is in the RCC. Confirmation is something that is done for the good order of the church and to ensure that the person is capable of examining themselves before recieving communion in accordance to 1 Cor 11. Depending on the Lutheran Congregation there is variation of age when children are confirmed. I have seen everything from 5th -8th grade.
     
  5. webdog

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    Symbolism does not remove ANY sin, only Christ' blood does. Baptism in itself does nothing, whether catholic, lutheran, baptist, etc. Infant baptism does nothing except make a baby cry. [​IMG]
     
  6. Johnv

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    The aforementioned verses do indeed suggest that baptizing of one's household, including unsaved children, is permissible upon one's conversion.

    Hence, the issue of baptism modes is best left to a church's interpretation. By tradition, we Baptists interpret scripture as a whole to encourage a person to be baptized after he is saved. That is our way. It is supported by scripture. We need not insist that other folks are wrong just to support our interpretation.

    I'm certainly not gonna judge a presbyterian.
     
  7. webdog

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    The aforementioned verses do indeed suggest that baptizing of one's household, including unsaved children, is permissible upon one's conversion.

    Hence, the issue of baptism modes is best left to a church's interpretation. By tradition, we Baptists interpret scripture as a whole to encourage a person to be baptized after he is saved. That is our way. It is supported by scripture. We need not insist that other folks are wrong just to support our interpretation.

    I'm certainly not gonna judge a presbyterian.
    </font>[/QUOTE]So what would be the reason for an infant to be baptized? What would it "do"? If it's just for an outward appearance of sin being washed away, what sin does an infant have washed away? I think it is a important issue, and has to be weighed against other scripture, like everything else. Under this line of thinking, infants and little children could be offered communion, too.
     
  8. Johnv

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    I suspect it would be a sign of commitment that the saved head/heads of household have made with the children of the household to being them up in a God-centered home. It makes sense that this might have been what was going on in Acts 16. Since scripture doesn't give us any more detail, we simply don't know for sure, so I am not qualified to refute the interpretation of such.

    Personally, I don't have a problem with it. It's not my way, but I don't have a problem with it. I've been to the infant baptism of severl nieces and nephews whose parents were of the presbyterian or dutch reformed faith.
     
  9. Matt Black

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    As with AVL1984's thread, is the question in the OP even the correct question to be asking. By way of explanation, here's what I posted on the other thread:-

    Yours in Christ

    Matt
     
  10. bmerr

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    riverm,

    bmerr here. Matt makes a good point. Much depends upon our view of the Bible, specifically the NT. If it is our sole authority for what we teach and practice, then infant baptism is out.

    Biblically, there are four prerequisites to baptism, those being:

    - hearing Gods' word (Rom 10:17)

    - believing (John 3:16)

    - repentance (Acts 2:38)

    - confession (Acts 8:37)

    What infant can meet these requirements?

    The concept of "original sin" is also foreign to the Bible. Rom 5:12 is often misused to support the doctrine, but look at what it says:

    "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:"

    What does the text tell us that was passed to all men? Sin? No, death. Why? Because all have sinned.

    Hope this helps. I've got to go.

    In Christ,

    bmerr
     
  11. DHK

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    There is no example anywhere in the Bible of any infant being baptized.
    Faith in Christ always precedes baptism, which automatically eliminates any possibility of a Scriptural baptism for infants.
    Baptism for infants is akin to a pagan ritual if it is thought that it should wash away sin. For only faith in the blood of Christ can wash away sin. An infant is incapable of having faith. Water does not wash away sin.
    There is no necessity for an infant to be baptized other than to give him a bath or to try and drown the kid.
    DHK
     
  12. Johnv

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    I think we' covered that already. There is no express example of infants, but there are examples of persons becoming saved and then baptizing their whole households. It's not unreasonable to presume that children were in those households. I'm not saying that our Baptist interpretation is wrong. I'm only saying that it's possible to interpret scripture to allow (not require) for baptism of children in the household of a saved person.

    In the scripural examples of adult persons being saved and baptised, yes. However, in the example of persons being saved and then baptising their whole households, scripture does not say that those inthe households were saved at that time. Again, interpretation of scripture to allow for a saved person to baptize persons in their household, regardless of salvific state, is possible. It is not the Baptist way, but we do not have the scriptural authority to disallow others from engaging in that practice.

    No arguement there. However, some religions like the Presbyterian and Dutch Reformed churches agree that an infant is incapable of having faith, and that water does not wash away sin. And these religions practice child baptism.
     
  13. DHK

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    I think we' covered that already. There is no express example of infants, but there are examples of persons becoming saved and then baptizing their whole households. It's not unreasonable to presume that children were in those households. I'm not saying that our Baptist interpretation is wrong. I'm only saying that it's possible to interpret scripture to allow (not require) for baptism of children in the household of a saved person.
    </font>[/QUOTE]You can't make an argument from silence. Pope John XXIII is said to have baptized a bell. :rolleyes:
    I wonder how much faith the bell had??
    Maybe they baptized their cats and dogs as well. Would you like to make an argument for that too. We do not argue from silence, but only from what the Scripture says.
    Again you are reading into Scripture things that are not there. The jailor's household for instance: Didn't you know that the man and wife had five married sons, with a total number of fifteen grandchildren all over the age of thirteen. They also had one daughter, an older teen, not married yet. Get your facts straight. There were no infants in the household.
    How do I know that information? In the same way that you know there were infants, except mine is more reliable because we know that no infant was baptized according to Scriptural teaching. You can't read into Scripture that which is not there. And faith and repentance always precedes baptism.
    So, what other religions do is their business. If they want to be wrong, then so be it.
    DHK
     
  14. Johnv

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    If that's the case to that extreme, then we ned to stop forbidding membership to saved persons who have not yet been baptized as believers. Scripture doesn't require baptism as a prerequisite for church membership.

    It does not say those people were saved. We only know they were members of the household.
    Uhhh, isn't that what I said? What other religions do is their business. When I am invited to a Presbyterian or Dutch Reformed baptism of children who are family members, I go, and I go happily.

    My only point of discussion here is that it's possible that scripture might support the idea of allowng baptism of members of a saved person's household, without regards to the salvific state of the members of said household. I personaly don't interpret scripture that way, and have chosen the Baptist interpretation. In those cases where all agree that water does not save, it's not an issue significant enough of having to accuse one another of false doctrine.
     
  15. webdog

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    I agree. This is one of those Baptist legalistic things that drive me nuts. Same thing with drinking.
    :rolleyes:
     
  16. bmerr

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    Johnv,

    bmerr here. Actually, one can make an arguement from the silence of the Scriptures. Silence is prohibitive. One example that comes to mind is in Heb 7:13-14. The context is a comparison between the priesthood of Christ and the Levitical priesthood. To explain why Christ could not be a priest under the Levitical system, the writer says,

    13 For he of whom these things are sopken pertaineth to another tribe, of which no man gave attendance at the altar.

    14 For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Judah; of which trive Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood.

    When God commanded that priests come from the tribe of Levi, He automatically excluded men from any other tribe from the office, even though He never said, "Not from Benjamin, or Judah, or Naphtali, etc..."

    It's actually more common than we may realize. When we see a female shape on a bathroom door, we understand that it's the women's restroom, without needing to see a sign that says, "No men allowed".

    Likewise, when we see that faith is prerequisite to baptism, those without faith, or who lack the mental capacity for faith, are excluded from being candidates for baptism.

    In Christ,

    bmerr
     
  17. DHK

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  18. Chemnitz

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    I have two questions.

    Who are you to tell if a person has faith? Only God can see into the hearts of man.

    Why is an infant incapable of having faith? Is reason a requirement for faith, is age a requirement of faith, is ability to communicate beyond cooing and crying a requirement to have faith?

    Ok make that a bunch of questions :D
     
  19. webdog

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    I have two questions.

    Who are you to tell if a person has faith? Only God can see into the hearts of man.

    Why is an infant incapable of having faith? Is reason a requirement for faith, is age a requirement of faith, is ability to communicate beyond cooing and crying a requirement to have faith?

    Ok make that a bunch of questions :D
    </font>[/QUOTE]How does one have faith? The Bible tells us that "faith comes from HEARING and HEARING from the Word of God". Go into your nursery Sunday and give all of the infants the plan of salvation. See how many respond. You will get a bunch of crying, smiling, and drool. For that matter, read the "roman road" scripture to a bunch of toddlers, and see how many respond. You will probably get a little better response, but more along the lines of "I have shoes", "I want my mommy", or "I want candy".
    It's not judging the hearts of infants, they cannot comprehend what you are telling them, not because there is some magic age you have to be, but because they don't understand yet.
     
  20. Pastor_Bob

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    I briefly scanned both pages of this thread. I don't believe this passage has been brought forth as of yet. If it has, I apologize.

    Acts 8:36 And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?
    37 And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (KJV)

    I heard a story that Charles Spurgeon was debating someone about this very topic. Spurgeon looked at his opponent and said, "You quote a verse supporting infant baptism, and then I’ll quote a verse against infant baptism." The fellow said, "Suffer the little children to come unto Me and forbid them not, for such is the Kingdom of Heaven." He looked at Spurgeon with a smile and said, "Now you quote a verse." Mr. Spurgeon looked back and said, "There lived a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job." The other man laughed, "What does that have to do with infant baptism?" Spurgeon replied, "Every bit as much as your verse had to do with infant baptism."

    The truth is, neither verse had anything to do with infant baptism. Baptizing a baby is to be found nowhere in the Bible. This practice of "baptizing" infants is sending thousands upon thousands of people to hell. It gives a false sense of security.
     

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