Did Luther Teach "Believer's Baptism"?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Dr. Bob, Oct 31, 2010.

  1. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob
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    Article IV Small Catechism by Luther

    What does Baptism give or profit?--Answer.
    It works forgiveness of sins, delivers from death and the devil, and gives eternal salvation to all who believe this, as the words and promises of God declare.

    So this raises questions.​

    Baptism forgives sin?
    Baptism delievers from death/devil?
    Baptism gives eternal salvation?​

    HOW? How does any magic-water do for my soul what Christ has already done on the cross?​

    To WHOM? Luther says this magic-water does it "to all who believe this".​

    Obviously this eliminates babies who cannot believe "this" (doctrine). So is baptism "mis-placed" on an infant and should be for a "believer"?​

    Odd today that we applaud Luther for the moral courage to start openly trying to reform and clean up a perverted church, but we surely can't agree with his continued adherence to perverted doctrine. Neither he nor Luther's followers repudiate the heresy of infant baptism for salvation. Of all the false doctrines taught by "christians" today, the idea of salvation through baptism is one of the most damning!​

    Thoughts?​
     
  2. preachinjesus

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    Its pretty easy to stand back 500 years later and call the shots theologically so to speak. Luther was a strong believer in pedo-baptism and would agree to sprinkling for conversions later in life. Of course this shouldn't be surprising since Luther was a doctorate of divinity in the theology of the Roman Catholic Church. The big disagreement between he and Calvin wasn't over baptism but over the celebration of the Eucharist.

    Luther, like other Catholics, believed that baptism was partially salvific, just like other sacraments. Baptism is a means of continuing to appropriate grace from God. :)
     
  3. Tater77

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    The Catholics think that the act of Baptism and Salvation are one ceremony of sorts. The infant baptism was to wash away the stain of original sin so that the child was only responsible for its own sins after that. If the baby died, it would go to Heaven having committed no sin on its own. This is in the Catholic catechisms currently.
     
  4. HankD

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    I was saved while in military service, being a cradle Catholic I went back to the RCC.
    After two years of discussions/disputes with priests concerning doctrine and practices,
    I left the Church of Rome and looked into associating with Anglo-Catholic and Lutheran churches.

    I found that they simply redefined and/or tweaked the meanings of certain RCC dogma to make them more palatable.
    My RCC "baptism" was acceptable to them and a valid "sacrament".

    My continued search lead me to baptistic churches.

    About a year after that both my wife (a former Mormon) and I were re-baptized together in a Baptist Church in Boston.

    I guess we are both true Anabaptists.

    Personally, I see no point in celebrating Reformation Day because as you point out, it didn't go far enough.

    True, doctrinal purity had come a long way in the major protestant denominations in the years following the reformation, but most have now succumbed to liberalism and are dead (or at least in a coma).

    I have attended some services of non-baptist Bible and Reformed churches which are true to word of the message of salvation by grace through faith and I am always bewildered that they can't seem to shake the pado-baptist grave clothes.
    While they don't see their mode of baptism as a rite of removing "original sin" it is supposedly related by imagery to the "sprinkling of the New Covenant".

    HankD
     
  5. th1bill

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    i have one friend that is RC and because of his positions i believe him to be saved and then there is a fundamental Baptist friend of mine that married a Catholic lady and without conversion is teaching in a RC Church, unusual? I would say so but it would appear that the Priest there disagrees with RC Doctrine also.

    I knew the very moment that the Holy Spirit over came me and my Baptism was "my" public statement of faith and public declaration of beginning obedience to the Savior, Jesus, the Christ. When an infant is baptized, all that occurs is that the parents are fooled and the little person gets wet.

    I do believe that we should dedicate our young infants but that needs to be defined in the Church Statement. In my Church Family, when we dedicate a new born we, the Church, are promising to do our best to help the parents to raise a Young Christian.

    I also understand the allusion in the OP to the Followers of Luther. I do not nor do I advocate the following of anyone but our Christ. The following of this or that man has resulted in corruptions such as Jonestown, the Waco mess and hundreds, probably thousands, of smaller corruptions. The act of avoiding the fiascoes is not difficult. God has had 66 small books and letters recorded for our instruction ad all we need do is to spend a few moments in prayer and a few minutes to read 3 to 5 chapters a day. When we allow the Word of God to be the measuring stick for our actions and seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit that indwelt us the moment we were saved, we begin to live the Holy Life that is dedicated to God and we will not be deceived by the errant ideas of men.
     
  6. jaigner

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    Sweet mercy. You call this a heresy? Infant baptism is not heresy, Bob. It's nowhere close. Denying the divinity of Christ is heresy. Infant baptism is not.
    You put Christians in quotes as if one cannot be a Christian and believe this?

    Ridiculous.

    It's no secret that Luther is not always reliable, much of which may be due to the moodiness resulting from his depression, but much of Luther's theology is life-changing, especially for his time. His theology of the cross changed my life. I remember reading it in grad school with tears streaming down my face, saying "Why didn't anyone teach me this when I was growing up?" If Baptists would teach the best of Luther's theology, they would be much better off today.

    To call him a heretic is to compromise any notion of theological intellect.

    Ridiculous.
     
  7. jaigner

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    I got so worked up at the absurdity purported above that I forgot to address the OP.

    Baptism for Luther was a means of grace. It was not, in itself, salvific.
     
  8. michael-acts17:11

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    The heresy of infant baptism is that the child is given a false sense of salvation. When older, he will look to his baptism as the point of salvation & will reject any future witness by believers. It is therefore one of the greatest of heresies for it damns the soul to hell through a false confidence in a false salvation.
     
  9. Luke2427

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    This is not true. He MAY do this but many millions have not done this. To say that he will is a hasty generalization.
     
  10. Max Kennedy

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    I look at it that God used the events, even if the man wasn't perfect - its still a pivotal event that should be read about.
     
  11. matt wade

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    It's heresy whether you want to believe it is or not. Would it be heresy to say that you can be saved by just being a good person? Of course it would, any works based salvation is heresy. Infant baptism is a works based salvation and it is heresy.
     
  12. jaigner

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    Again, it is a sacrament, not a salvific act. A sacrament is a means of grace.

    People who believe in infant baptism do so from a Biblical vantage point. Just because you or I disagree does not make them heretics. I think on the renewed earth, we will look back and see many issues in which we all were mistaken.
     
  13. jaigner

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    That is completely unacceptable. Many people have a false sense of salvation.

    Again, baptism is sacramental, a means of imparting grace, not a salvific act.

    Calling Luther a heretic is a horrific misunderstanding of historical theology.
     
  14. matt wade

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    I know it does not impart salvation, but those having their infants baptized believe it does. Those infants then grow up with a false sense of security.
     
  15. jaigner

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    An evangelical paedobaptist does not believe baptism is salvific. Not one no matter how hard you look, you won't find one. It's also a perversion of Luther's theology, which is clearly sola fide.

    Most mainline do not believe this, either.
     
  16. Debby in Philly

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    I believe the Missouri Synod Lutherans teach that while salvation is based on faith, not of works, baptism grants the recipient something like the "capacity for faith," so that remission of sins is possible. So that in their reading of Ephesians 2:8, "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:" the antecedent of "that" is "faith", which is given in baptism (sprinkling).
    Or at least that's what I understood from reading some VBS materials they produce. Of course in my reading of it, there is nothing about water.
     
  17. matt wade

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    Won't find one? I grew up in the Episcopalian Church. They believed it.
     
  18. Jim1999

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    I also grew up in the Church of England. Infant baptism, under the Abrhamic covenant, rid the infant of original sin. One's salvation came at Confirmation, when one was to realize Christ as Saviour.

    Even these churches have different viewpoints from church to church, depending on the local bishop.

    I guess this is where the so-called age of consent, or age of understanding, whichever label wants to apply, comes in.

    The covenant promise is to raise that child in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

    The wording in the Book of Common Prayer does suggest baptismal regeneration, but is explained by the various bishops along with covenant theology.

    These are not my viewpoints, but what I grew up with in the Anglican Church. I attended private Anglican boy's boarding school right through to what you call Grade 13 High School.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  19. jaigner

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    Was it an evangelical church? Or was it mainline Episcopalian? If it was evangelical, it was not salvific.
     
  20. matt wade

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    It was part of The Episcopal Diocese of Florida.

    You can believe whatever you want to believe, but there are many, many churches out there that teach that infant baptism saves the child. Those children continue through adult life trusting their eternity to that sprinkling they had as a baby. I meet and talk to people all the time that believe this.
     

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