Infant Baptism: Doctrinal error? Who should we ask?

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by BobRyan, Jun 15, 2007.

  1. BobRyan

    BobRyan
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    All agree itis "THE ONLY" one mentioned in the Bible.

    But "why" should we be careful NOT to ask Baptists about this subject but only ask those groups that reject the Bible instruction on believer's baptism?

    Why should we adopt such a practic of avoiding those who hold to the Bible (sola scriptura) position on this subject? why should that carry weight at all if we are really interesed in Bible truth??

    in Christ,

    Bob
     
  2. Eliyahu

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    I am very sure that the Believers Baptism by Immersion is the only mode permissible in the Bible.

    1) Believers Baptism:
    Acts 8:37 - 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"

    Matt 28:19 - Go ye therefore,
    and TEACH all nations, baptizing them...
    We cannot teach the Infants.

    Mark 16:16 -
    He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved
    He that doesn't believe is not expected to be baptized.

    Acts 2:38 -
    Repent and be Baptized...
    Baptism without repentence means nothing but a disobedience.

    Acts 16:31 -
    Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house(hold).
    " If you believe in Jesus, you will be saved, and then your household will believe in Jesus and they will be saved"

    This happened actually there:

    Acts 16:34 -And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them, and rejoiced,
    Believing in God with all his household
    Jailor's household all believed in Jesus and therefore they were baptized.



    2. Why is the Infant Baptism a problem?

    Thereby Satan could bring millions of unbelievers into the Christendom, and the churches have become the assemblies of the mixtures of believers and unbelievers, eventually the corruption of the church.

     
  3. Agnus_Dei

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    Since Sola Scriptura is the mantra in these parts, show the class where in the Holy Scripture does it specifically prohibit the baptism of infants.

    You also can’t be bold enough to suggest that in Acts 16:15, 33 and 1 Corinthians 1:16, which states that an individual and his whole household were baptize didn’t include no small children. I’m sure Paul and other Apostles baptized other whole household’s that aren’t recorded in Holy Scripture and surely they had small children, especially since birth control was virtually non-existence.

    In addition Paul makes a connection between Baptism and circumcision in Colossians 2:11-13. Israel was the Church before Christ (Acts 7:38, Romans 9:4) and circumcision was given to 8-day old boys, which was the seal of the covenant God made with Abraham, which applies to us also (Galatians 3:14,29). It was a sign of repentance and future faith (Romans 4:11). Infants were just as much a part of the covenant as adults (Genesis 17:7, Deuteronomy 29:10-12, cf. Matthew 19:14). Likewise, baptism is the seal of the New Covenant in Christ. It signifies cleansing from sin, just as circumcision did (Deuteronomy 10:16, 30:6, Jeremiah 4:4, 9:25, Romans 2:28-9, Philippians 3:3). Infants are wholly saved by God's grace just as adults are, only apart from their rational and willful consent. Their parents act in their behalf.

    In regard to the Immersion as the only permissible mode, we should understand that words don’t often obey dictionary terms. When a new idea related to an old one comes along, people will often take an old word and use it in a new way…example: Take the word “link”, at one time link was understood to be a part of a chain. In 2007, a “link” will be understood as a piece of computer code that takes one from one website to another. So, baptizo means both immersion as well as to wash

    We see the above example played out in the Didache written in Greek about 80AD and interestingly, uses the word baptizo to describe baptism by infusion or pouring:

    But concerning baptism, thus baptize ye: having first recited all these precepts, baptize in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, in running water; but if thou hast not running water, baptize in some other water, and if thou canst not baptize in cold, in warm water; if thou hast neither, pour water three times on the head, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

    Granted the Didache isn’t Holy Scripture, but we can determine by this document that the native Greek speakers could and did use the word baptizo to mean something besides immersion in water.
    -
     
    #3 Agnus_Dei, Jun 15, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 15, 2007
  4. billwald

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    On the other hand, Baptists so badly want to baptize their babies that they have invented baby dedication. There is less NT support for baby dedication than for baby baptism. Why did Jesus say "Let the Children come unto me?"

    Why is it that babies are the only subject for dedications entered into by married Baptists? I suggest you pastors on the list try a paycheck dedication and see what happens.
     
  5. DHK

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    Where does the Bible specifically prohibit the baptism of animals? The Catholics have a service for their pets every year here.
    Where does the Bible specifically prohibit the baptism of bells? Pope John XXIII baptized a bell.
    It is not what the Bible is silent on. It is what the Bible commands. The commands: Repent and be baptized; Believe and be baptized. It is evident that bells, pets, and infants cannot believe or repent, and therefore cannot be baptized.
    Does it even matter. Can they believe? Can they repent?
    Israel was never "the church." The church started at Pentecost and not a day before. There was no church before that day.
    Circumcision does not apply to us. Salvation is entirely by faith. What would you have women to do? Do they also receive salvation via circumcision?
    And will you circumcise your future daughters? Salvation is by faith not by works. Every person must have faith in the shed blood of Christ.
    No it doesn't. You can't find that in the Bible. It is symbolic of a believer's death to sin and his resurrection to a new life with Christ. (Rom.6:3,4)
    Jeremiah laughs in your face. Read Jer.2:22
    No water can cleanse you from your sin; whether in baptism or otherwise. That is a superstition; just as superstitious as the Hindu's washing their sins away in the Ganges River. Nowhere in the Bible does it teach the baptism cleanses us from sin. In fact it is just the opposite:

    1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
    Parents can do nothing for the salvation of their children, except to teach them the gospel as they grow older. An infant cannot believe and thus cannot be saved. Their destiny, if they die, is left in God's hands.
    They don't obey RCC terms. When studying the Bible we use Biblical definitions. The only definition of baptidzo is immersion.

    It is translated once or twice as wash. But even then the washing was by dipping, and thus immersion. The primary meaning of the word is immersion. That is an undeniable fact. You are looking for a scapegoat.

    Then it is wrong isn't it?

    And that is not what the Bible teaches; therefore ignore it and reject it. We believe what the Bible teaches, not what man teaches.
    Not true. It is a man's document that has many mistakes in. The Bible is our final authority in all matters of faith and doctrine. In no way are we to subject ourselves to the fallible teaching of man.

    Isaiah 8:20 To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.
     
  6. Eliyahu

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    Acts 8:
    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.

    Infants cannot confess such faith!

    How can you be sure? It seems that you have not read my post carefully.

    Acts 16:34
    34 And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house

    You must explain how the babies believed in God at the jailor's house.

    You are copying the typical arguments from the Catholic sites. How could the baptism be the same as Circumcision?
    If so, why didn't God specifiy that even the Baptism should be done for the babies on the 8th day after birth?
    As for Circumcision, it is specified as the 8th day, where is the date for the Baptism? Doesn't it alreay insinuate that the date should be after the Salvation?
    Col 2:11-13 is a good example to disprove your arguments.
    verse 11 equalizes the Circumcistion with the Salvation like the Crucifixion,
    verse 12 talks about the Baptism which is like the Burial and the Resurrection,
    verse 13 talks about the forgiveness from the sins thru the whole process.
    So, it distinguish the effects of Circumcision and Baptism.

    Your own reference refutes your own argument.

    you are mixed up between OT and NT. Jesus ask the disciples to allow the children to come to Him so that they may listen to the Gospel. That is the point. How could you invent such human tradition out of such teachings?
    The main aspect of the baptism is the declaration of the faith. It affirms the salvation of the Believer who was born again already.
    You are continuing to invent a new mode of Salvation!
    Are you saved by virtue of your parents?
    How could the following verses support the Infant Baptism?

    Dt 10:16 - 16 Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiffnecked.

    Can Infants repent and get their foreskins of their hearts circumcised?

    Jeremiah 4:4
    Circumcise yourselves to the LORD, and take away the foreskins of your heart, ye men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem: lest my fury come forth like fire, and burn that none can quench it, because of the evil of your doings.

    Can Infants remove the foreskins of their hearts?

    Your own reference disproves your claim again!


    Can the Infants open their heart to be circumcised? Your own reference embarasses you!

    Dt 30 : 6 And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live.

    Can the Infants Love the Lord their God with all their Heart, and with all their Soul? your own reference betrays you again!

    Romans 2:
    28 For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:

    In other words, the true believers are not the people who are changed by flesh circumcision but the people who are truly born again by Holy Spirit.

    Again your own Bible reference reject your claim.

    If the infants are wholly saved, then when they start to lose their salvation? You are inventing a new mode salvation. Are you saying your parent can earn the salvation on behalf of you?

    This thread is not for the mode of Baptism such as Sprinkling or Immersion, but, can you bring the details of the Didache, such as who wrote it, when was it written, how many copies of it extant, who preserved it, etc?

    Many ECF's are the manufactured Antiques, I believe. Yah, they may have been the far -later invented by order ( or even recently made by measure and order)

    For your reference, baptizo was used for washing hands as well, but it was because people had to dip and soak their hands into the water.
    When John the Baptists started the baptism, it was based on the OT truth, which was called Rahats in Mikveh. You can read it in Leviticus 14:8

    Infants cannot confess the Belief and cannot learn the truth, and therefore they were not included in the sacrament.
    Baptism is not the matter of loving children, but the confirmation of the Faith and the Declaration of the Crucifixion and the Resurrection of the Believer.

    YOur own references refute your own claims and arguments, thank you for bringing such Bible references. I like that!
     
    #6 Eliyahu, Jun 15, 2007
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2007
  7. Eliyahu

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    What Jesus instructed there was that the children should be allowed to listen to the Gospel. If the baptism was necessary for the children, the disciples must have baptized them, but the Bible doesn't say so.
    I am not a Baptist and none of our assemblies ( so-called Plymouth Brethren) do so, but I hear such practice for the first time.
     
  8. BobRyan

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    #1. Your statement is helpful because you admit to the obvious - this is not taught in scripture. So we agree on that part sir -- well said!

    #2. Your statement is helpful because you show that you clearly see the practice of infant baptism is directly opposed to the Protestant principle of sola scriptura. So we agree sir -- well said!

    #3. Your statement is helpful because it argues that the BASIS for "allowing" infant baptism is to first show that it does not contradict what the Bible teaches. Which gives it at "best" the "athority of man -- not God" and so "a personal preference" but not as a "law or rule".

    Example 1: Suppose we prefer to wear sports coats on every Tuesday -- does the Bible prohibit wearing a sports coat on tuesdays.

    Example 2: Suppose we sprinkle our infants each morning with flower petals before breakfast and pray for their safety? Does that violate some Bible teaching?

    Example 3: Suppose we prefer to torture those we deem to be heretics. Does the Bible prohibit such behavior??



    Question:

    How do we determine "What man-made-tradition is prohibited by the Bible"?

    Answer:

    A. Define the actual historic man-made tradition. (i.e. Be honest and accurate)

    B. Search to see if it negates/nullifies/abolishes some Bible teaching? Does it contradict a Bible teaching?

    Infant baptism then is incredibly SIMPLE to test using this obvious method.

    It is defined by the RCC as something FAR MORE than "baby dedication" - it is a magic power that the priest has to mark the soul of an infant and cause that infant to enter in to the New Covenant instead of being left at risk of LIMBO.

    In ALL cases (RCC or not) it is used to REPLACE the Bible command for the individual to actively and deliberately "repent of their sins and be baptized" .



    #1. Does the Bible teach that the pastor has "magic powers to mark the soul of infants"? No! Making stuff up like that as the RCC does is then -- wrong.

    #2. Does the Bible teach that Baptism is for those who DO NOT repent? No -- the Bible says that we are to "repent and be baptized" - so replacing baptism WITH an every morning ritual of flower petal sprinkling or a baby dedication of any type is prohibited. You may feel free to wear your sports coat AND to toss flower petals around on your children all day long - but that does not satisfy the Bible requirement for Baptism - in the least!

    #3. Does the Bible teach that you can make stuff up as REPLACEMENTS for what God commands? - No!

    #4. Does the Bible teach that you can "invent magic powers" for the clergy and then "pretend" that they actually have powers to change the soul, convert bread into god, forgive sin etc? NO!

    Without that "magic" what is happening when the infant gets its daily ration of flower petal sprinkling by the parents each day? Answer - NOTHING but a nice little family tradition!! It does absolutely NOTHING to address the Bible command regarding Baptism!

    So the gross error is not that you dared to toss flower petals at your own child - the gross error is in INSERTING that bogus man-made tradition as a substitute for the Word of God!!

    Question: Why do people pretend that this point is so hard to get??

    in Christ,

    Bob
     
  9. BobRyan

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    "Having ears they do not hear"
    #1. After ADMITTING that we have no Bible examples of infant baptism you try to invent one by arguing from the VOID of what the Bible does not say!

    That would be like arguing "the dogs and cats, plants and rugs should be baptized because a person AND all that is in their household got baptized in Acts 10". The error there is that you argue from the void of what the text does NOT say.

    #2. As the text of Acts 11 points out those that "HEAR" the Word and accept it are baptized. Infants do not have that ability. In fact as the Bible would have it "having ears they do not hear" they have no understanding of the words!!

    #3. Most importantly -- your attempt to argue from the void of what scripture does NOT say to find "practice" that edits/extends/negates the explicit Bible instruction on Baptism - is helpful because it exposes your need to change/edit/abolish what the explicit teaching is on that doctrine! It is bold and explicit in that it DOES NOT argue the Bible PURPOSE of baptism "REPENT and Be Baptized" rather it seeks to "imagine" an example in scripture that IGNORES the Bible basis for Baptism as stated explicitly THEN it tries to argue that "the practice once imagined" is sufficient grounds for IGNORING the "teaching actually given" in scripture on a given doctrine!! Your method then completel unmasks the underlying motive!

    That is pure doctrinal error sir! No matter WHAT the doctrine you are trying to "edit" or abolish!!

    For example - Israel practiced idolatry at times - that did NOT abolish/negate/edit the commands AGAINST it!

    in Christ,

    Bob
     
    #9 BobRyan, Jun 15, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 15, 2007
  10. BobRyan

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    On the contrary -- I am sure 'they did NOT" throw flower petals at their infants and "IMAGINE" that this DID anything AT all to address the Bible instruction to "repent and be baptized"!!

    You are simply telling yourself stories to help rationalize the fact that your man-made-tradition is blatantly opposed to scripture.

    in Christ,

    Bob
     
  11. BobRyan

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    He never says "corresponding to infant circumcision we now practice infant baptism"!! No - not even in Col 2 or in ALL of Colossians!!

    Rather in Romans 2 at the end of the chapter Paul argues the OPPOSITE! He states that the REAL NT spiritual VALUE of circumcision is "circumcision of the HEART done by the Holy Spirit" and SEEN in the CHOICE of the "individual to obey the Law".

    Your argument has completely collapsed when you ask that we look at the Bible case for REAL spiritual circumcision in the NT!

    The Bible has totally debunked your man-made tradition sir.

    in Christ,

    Bob
     
  12. BobRyan

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    Wrong. Gal 3 does not argue that "Circumcision saved Abraham" NOR that women were excluded from salvation, NOR does it teach that OT infants were "repenting and being born-again" through circumcision NOR that OT infants "received forgiveness of sins" through that practice!

    wrong. The OT never claimed that an infant expressed repentance OR faith by being circumcised!

    The Bible NEVER claimed that the repentance and faith of a relative or ancestor can be taken as a replacement proxy for your OWN repentance and faith. I.e NO Bible command "repent and have faith for someone ELSE so that they can be baptized".

    in Christ,

    Bob
     
  13. BobRyan

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    After many attempts at error - you finally state one thing correctly.

    The OT promises regarding "land" and national identity included the children. GIRLS as well as boys were considered "Jews" and could inherit the real estate promises.

    But in your strained efforts to spin that into "they were saved in the OT as infants by some ritual" did you mean to claim that you do NOT sprinkle female infants today with the flower petals??? Did you mean to argue that GIRLS do NOT need Baptism!!?

    Or is this just a wild "reach" for your argument?

    There is NO text that says "you are cleansed from sin by circumcision".

    There is NO text that says "Circumcision represented cleansing from sin".

    RATHER in Romans 2 we find that the true SPIRITUAL significance of the old ritual is in the NEW BIRTH work of the Holy Spirit for the person that CHOOSES to follow God in obedience!

    The Bible never says "baptize your infants and APART from repentance and faith they will then be saved"!!

    The fact that an infant who dies without EVER being baptized - is still saved has NOTHING to do with your abuse and edit of the doctrine regarding Baptism!

    There is NO such THING as being "baptized on behalf" of anyone!!

    There is no such thing in all of scripture as "repenting and having FAITH in God" so that "someone ELSE can then be Baptized"!!

    "Corresponding to that Baptism now SAVES you - - NOT the magic holy water touching flesh BUT RATHER and APPEAL to God for a clean conscience" 1Peter 3.

    in Christ,

    Bob
     
  14. BobRyan

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    More importanly we can see that the ONLY reason they allowed an adult to be sprinkled INSTEAD of full water baptism was that they had NO other choice - No water was available !!

    Is it your "claim" that this is WHY you sprinkle people today with rose petals? Water dropplets? Has the world lost water?

    in Christ,

    Bob
     
  15. Zenas

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    The problem with this thread is the difference of beliefs in the need for baptism. Without exception, those who believe in infant baptism also believe in baptismal regeneration, i.e., a sacramental baptism which removes original sin and all other sin. If you believe this, and there is plenty of scriptural support for it, baptism of infants makes perfectly good sense. After all, it is not prohibed in Scripture and one could infer that there was infant baptism in the house of Cornelius, the house of Lydia and the house of the Philipian jailer.

    On the other hand, if you believe baptism is a symbolic death and burial of the old sinner and resurrection of the new believer, i.e., believer's baptism, then it makes no sense to baptise our babies because they are not capable of forming or expressing any belief.

    So this thread really gets us nowhere unless we are clear on what baptism really does.
     
  16. DHK

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    It does nothing but get you wet.
     
  17. BobRyan

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    IF the FUNCTION of Baptism is only applicable to a believer that has repented "repent and be baptize" then infant baptism dies a crib death.

    But even then you could argue for Baptismal regeneration for believers that are baptized. I am not sure that baptismal regeneration can be confined to only those groups that practice infant baptism.

    If you take the Bible view found in 1Peter 3 that "Baptism now saves you -- NOT the (magic and sacramental) touching of water to flesh (with all the right mantras added by a sufficiently powerful human) BUT rather the APPEAL to God for a clean conscience" then you are right -BABIES can not do that and the argument would be over. But people are slippery when it comes to avoiding Bible truth that would end the debate in a heartbeat sir!

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  18. Zenas

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    BobRyan says:
    "But even then you could argue for Baptismal regeneration for believers that are baptized. I am not sure that baptismal regeneration can be confined to only those groups that practice infant baptism."

    You're right on this point. The Churches of Christ (Stone/Campbell) passionately believe in baptismal regeneration but only for believers. Their mantra is to obey precisely what the Bible teaches and don't do anything the Bible doesn't expressly teach. Since infant baptism isn't expressly mentioned in the Bible, they don't do it.
     
  19. Zenas

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    BobRyan says:
    "If you take the Bible view found in 1Peter 3 that "Baptism now saves you -- NOT the (magic and sacramental) touching of water to flesh (with all the right mantras added by a sufficiently powerful human) BUT rather the APPEAL to God for a clean conscience" then you are right -BABIES can not do that and the argument would be over. But people are slippery when it comes to avoiding Bible truth that would end the debate in a heartbeat sir!"

    Bob, it is troubling that you would equate "sacramental" with "magic." Surely you have heard nonbelievers refer to the whole story of Christ's death and resurrection as fairy tales. I invariably tell them this is not something they would want brought up while standing before God in the judgment. Likewise, I think your outright rejection of sacramental theology (or so it seems) will not serve you well. Surely you don't reject the imparting of grace that goes with anointing the sick in James 5:14-16.

    I'm not sure what you mean by "sufficiently powerful human." It's my understanding that most churches that believe in sacremental baptism, including Catholics, don't require that baptism be conducted by a member of the clergy. It is only done that way due to custom and convenience, and most of them will accept the baptism of Baptist churches and others who baptise in the name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

    Finally, although I disagree with your interpretation of 1 Peter 3:21, I will acknowledge that this verse could be construed as you believe. Especially if your mind is closed to baptismal regeneration. But 1 Peter 3:21 does not stand alone for this principle. Even stronger statements are made in Acts 2:38 and Mark 16:16.
     
  20. Agnus_Dei

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    For one Bob, you and DHK may reject infant baptism, but DHK or your pope (E.G. White) is hardly in any authority to interpret Holy Scripture and be certain YOU are correct. Protestantism itself is divided over the matter. Lutherans, Episcopalians and Methodists baptize infants, when Baptist and Pentecostals do not. All the above groups believe that Holy Scripture is the ONLY rule of faith, yet have come to different conclusions on infant baptism.

    Since no ones been able to show the class where in Holy Scripture where specifically the baptism of infants is prohibited or that infants were not apart of households, it becomes apparent in these cases that we remember the words of St. Paul to the Thessalonians that we are to hold fast to apostolic traditions that are not written down (2 thess 2:15).

    In terms of the Early Church Fathers we turn to Irenaeus in his (Against Heresies[AD 189]):
    He [Jesus] came to save all through himself; all, I say, who through him are reborn in God: infants, and children, and youths, and old men. Therefore he passed through every age, becoming an infant for infants, sanctifying infants; a child for children, sanctifying those who are of that age . . . [so that] he might be the perfect teacher in all things, perfect not only in respect to the setting forth of truth, perfect also in respect to relative age.​

    And again Irenaeus teaches in his (Fragment 34[AD 190]):
    And [Naaman] dipped himself . . . seven times in the Jordan’ [2 Kgs. 5:14]. It was not for nothing that Naaman of old, when suffering from leprosy, was purified upon his being baptized, but [this served] as an indication to us. For as we are lepers in sin, we are made clean, by means of the sacred water and the invocation of the Lord, from our old transgressions, being spiritually regenerated as newborn babes, even as the Lord has declared: ‘Except a man be born again through water and the Spirit, he shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven’ [John 3:5]

    So here we have an Early Church Father, Irenaeus, who not only writes of Infant baptism, but baptism regeneration and also confirms that Jesus came so even infants could be regenerated. Since Irenaeus was born into a Christian home in Smyrna around the year 140, this means that he more than likely was baptized around the same year. And if so, he would’ve been baptized by the bishop of Smyrna who at that time was St. Polycarp who was a personal disciple of the Apostle St. John.
    Again Bob, for I’ve explained this simple exercise to determine correct teaching before. But like that of my 6-year old, sometimes you have to repeat things over and over and s-l-o-w down so that they may comprehend. So let’s try this again…

    What did the Early Church use to determine correct doctrine from its inception?

    The Church has always understood heresy to be one of the gravest sins because, heresy has the potential to steal the Gospel message of its sin cleansing nature. When orthodoxy is distorted the Gospel message is skewed.

    So again, what has the Church always used to determine what is correct doctrine? As unfriendly as it sound to the often-myopic Protestant ear, the Church has used Tradition to determine what is orthodoxy.

    As I’ve stated before, there is a difference between Tradition and traditions. The big "T" Tradition is the tool by which the Church has determined correct Christian teaching. Tradition is determined by three things:

    1) antiquity (what has been believed from the very beginning);
    2) universality (what has been believed by all Christians everywhere);
    3) consensus (what has been agreed to be orthodoxy, especially by the Church Councils and great Church Doctors).

    The big "T" Tradition is quite different from tradition. Small "t" traditions are what we all have grown up in. These include the Baptist tradition, the Presbyterian tradition, the Roman Catholic tradition, the Lutheran tradition, the Wesleyan tradition, the Methodist tradition, the Quaker tradition, the Eastern Orthodox tradition, etc. Most of these small "t" traditions find themselves comfortable within the big "T" Tradition (often there may be a certain range in which a belief may be considered orthodox).

    When a person approaches the biblical text they do so with a certain interpretive paradigm. Lutherans approach with a Lutheran paradigm. Eastern Orthodox approach with an Eastern Orthodox paradigm. Reformed approach with a Reformed paradigm. Our paradigm determines our interpretation. We always bring some sort of means of interpretation to the text; we never truly use Scripture alone. The question is not whose system of doctrine is more biblical but rather whose doctrinal system is the orthodox interpretation of Scripture.
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