Do We Really Understand Fellowship?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by TCGreek, May 17, 2008.

  1. TCGreek

    TCGreek
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    For sometime now I've been meditating on Paul's message in Romans 14-15 and the riveting conclusion he draws at 15:7:

    So Presbyterians baptize infants, and some nondenominational group doesn't share our eschatology, Should we still fellowship them as part of the body of Christ.

    I mean going to their worship services every now and then!
     
  2. Palatka51

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    If baptizing infants is eternal salvation I don't see how I could fellowship with that group. However if you are talking about having conversation with another on an everyday basis, then yes, by all means we should be engaged in friendly fellowship.
     
  3. donnA

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    I think it's a bad idea to go to any church who baptizes infants. By going we give approval to an unbiblical pratice, in other words, we compromise.
     
  4. HankD

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    Hi sister Donna,

    On the other hand, it would be better IMO to fellowship at a Bible Presbyterian church than a liberal Baptist church.

    For me the fundamentals doctrines of the Trinity, the Incarnation and deity of Christ, the inspiration and infallibility of the Word of God and salvation by grace through faith plus nothing are paramount.

    But I think you are correct about baptism. One ought to be very careful that such a church which practices infant baptism does NOT teach that it removes "original sin".

    That gives water the same power as the blood of Christ.

    Bible Presbyterians do not hold to that teaching.

    Traditionally, Presbyterian believers hold that water baptism is a sign or seal of the New Covenant. If the child does not want to "confirm" that covenant when he/she reaches the age of accountability, so be it.
    Let them go their way.


    HankD
     
  5. donnA

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    Sounds pretty RCC to me. And not biblical at all.
     
  6. TCGreek

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    Are those who practice infant baptism Christians?

    Have you ever studied why they practice infant baptism?
     
  7. nunatak

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    Good points. The question then, does baptism remove the guilt and punishment of sin, including original sin, or is baptism no more or less than a sign of the covenant? Now, I do not ask rhetorically, I really do not know. I would like to know what the Scripture teaches on this. Did the early church baptize infants?
     
  8. Allan

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    I guess you answer lies in what makes a person a Christian?

    Do they share what you understand regarding the salvation message.
    Paul himself seperated himself from those of a false gospel and told other to do likewise.

    If a church believes infant baptism saves or removes original sin, then they hold to a false gospel.

    If they hold it is merely symbolic (sign of the New Covenant as brother Hank stated) and that the child in the future must make himself/herself come to faith in Christ that they might be saved then they would not be preaching a false gospel. However, I would say they must also teach that the person faith must again be baptised in obedience to the command of Christ after they are saved or become a believer (thus believers baptism). The baptism of an infant done symbolically or as a sign would then be only a tradition of men and thus no saving virtue in it, but still having a moral aspect in and toward that childs parents who are dedicating him or her to the Lord.

    I would say Fellowship could be given.
     
    #8 Allan, May 18, 2008
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  9. Allan

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    There is much research on the matter but here is a good but brief summary:
    infant baptism
     
    #9 Allan, May 18, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: May 18, 2008
  10. Zenas

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    Maybe, and it depends on what you mean by "early church." There are three instances in the New Testament where whole households were baptized. Peter baptized the household of Cornelius; Paul baptized the households of Lydia and the Philippian jailer. Since infants were not expressly excluded, they may have been included. We just don't know.

    By the end of the Second Century it is fairly clear that infants were being baptized. Irenaeus wrote circa 180 A.D.: "He came to save all through Himself,--all, I say, who through Him are reborn in God,--infants, and children, and youths and old men." Against Heresies, Ch. 2. We know from his other writings that Irenaeus equated being born again with baptism. Therefore, he was here speaking of persons who had been baptized.
     
  11. Allan

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    That is a leap in logic and deriving doctrine where scripture is silent. Scripture states baptism is done to and for those who are believers. To leap to the 'assumption' that whole household means there were infants there (when none are recorded as being there) it taking extreme licence with silence.

    Irenaeus makes absolutely no mention of baptism of infants but simply states "he came to save all" and then states from infants to adults. The practice of infant baptism was not the norm until approx. 5th century though it is seen in a couple of writters as earlier as 3rd but more notably 4th century. There were what was called "clinic baptisms" for children who were dieing or nearing death. Now a good question to ask to why were they needing to baptized if infant baptism was commonly practiced by the churches? You will find the inscriptions of such were children of varying ages of a month to almost 3 years of age.

    Here is a good article as well
     
    #11 Allan, May 19, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: May 19, 2008
  12. convicted1

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    The BIG problem I have with baptizing infants is this: the water baptism is to answer a good conscience towards God, and not for the putting away the filth of the flesh. Now, how can a baby answer this, plus, what filth would they put away, if the water baptism actually put away the filth of the flesh? It causes people to fall short of God's Glory if you baptize them as infants, IMO. If you asked one of them who was baptized as infants if they were a CHRISTian, they would more than likely say "yes, because I was baptized as a baby". Where is the repentance in such a statement. So this is why I would not fellowship with such a church. It's just like DonnA stated in an earlier post, "It sounds like RCC to me".

    Willis
     
  13. David Lamb

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    In the case of Cornelius, we have Peter's words Acts 10.46:

    For they (Peter and those with him) heard them (Cornelius and those with him) speak with tongues and magnify God. Then Peter answered,"

    Can little babies speak with tongues and magnify God? Similarly, can they exercise belief in God? Yet Acts 16.34 says that the jailer believed in God "with all his household":

    Now when he had brought them into his house, he set food before them; and he rejoiced, having believed in God with all his household.

     
  14. Allan

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    Well stated David.
     
  15. HankD

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    Bible Presbyterian churches make statements of faith such as this church (Faith Presbyterian) and though I don't agree with infant baptism, I wouldn't have a problem with fellowship in this church
    Found in the public domain at http://www.faithpresbyterian.org/about/baptism/

    HankD
     
  16. TCGreek

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    Allan, I've read proponents of infant baptism, and they in no way attached salvation to it.

    For example, I listened to a debate between RC Sproul and John MacArthur on the issue, and Sproul, who is pedobaptist, argued from a covenant relationship.
     
  17. TCGreek

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    I've worshiped and fellowshiped at an Episcopalian church recently.

    Before we passed judgment on our brothers and sisters who are Anglican, we need to understand why they practice infant baptism.

    I'm in no way saying that it is scriptural.
     
  18. Zenas

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    TC, I'm curious what you mean by "fellowshipped." Are you saying you shook hands with those around you, went to lunch with them, or participated in their communion service? If the latter, were you blessed by doing so? Why or why not? Would you serve communion to Anglicans visiting your church? to Catholics? Why or why not?

    For many years it has been a practice in my church that if there are visitors at the communion service the pastor invites all baptized believers to participate at the Lord's table. Most participate when invited; some do not.
     
  19. TCGreek

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    As I said, I've worshiped at an Anglican type church.

    Once you're a Christian, then we're on the same team and it is my Christian responsibility to fellowship and worship with you.

    Two Lutherans were at my church on last Sunday.

    We prevent no one from partaking of the Lord's table.
     
  20. Whowillgo

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    I believe we must be very careful in judging another man's servant. The two closest pastor friends I have are (1) a Calvary Chapel pastor (2) a Grace Brethern Pastor. Although we disagree on some issues, Baptism being one of them we share the same Gospel which I believe is the qualifier scripturally for fellowship.
     

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