Infant Baptism

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by TJAcorn, Apr 28, 2001.

  1. TJAcorn

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    How come we baptist believe that infant baptism should not be practised by Christian families? Doesn't God still have a covenant with us to bless our children?

    Trevor
     
  2. SaggyWoman

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    Does blessing require baptism?

    How is infant baptism biblical?
     
  3. Squire Robertsson

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    It's 10:13pm PDT now so I'm not going to do a run through my concordence on this post. However, one of the Baptist distinctives is Believers' Immersion. Meaning
    • <LI>Immersion is the only valid form of this Ordinance and<LI>This ordinance is for Believers only.
    Your question speaks to b. above. As an infant cannot be a Believer, an infant is not a valid canidate for the Ordinance. There are no doubt valid reasons for some type of dedication service for new borns and their parents. But that is better addressed in another thread.

    I am y'r serv't in Christ,
    Robertsson

    [ April 29, 2001: Message edited by: The Squire ]

    [ June 22, 2001: Message edited by: The Squire ]
     
  4. Dr. Bob

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    How many examples of babies (unbelieving) being baptized are found in the NT?

    I've heard some lame arguments that say, "well in a couple of places it says their whole house". Now, I am a logic prof, so will simply say that does not hold water. It is an argument from a priori assumption that a "house" = infants.

    I believe and "my whole house believes" but brother, it's been 25 years since we had an infant around here!!

    So, laying aside the fallacious non-proof, please answer my question: <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>How many examples of babies (unbelieving) being baptized are found in the NT?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
     
  5. TJAcorn

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    Of course none. I wouldn't expect that there would be since the new testament deals with new believers and little is said about their families.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>
    I've heard some lame arguments that say, "well in a couple of places it says their whole house". Now, I am a logic prof, so will simply say that does not hold water. It is an argument from a priori assumption that a "house" = infants.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    You are quite right but there could still be the possibility that there were infants.
    Did you ever wonder why the jailer's entire house was baptized when as far as we know only he believed? I've heard it said that he went home and witnessed to them and got them saved but we don't know that. I'm wondering if it might have something to do with the manner in which God views a Christian family (and since the jailor was the head of his home he then would have a "Christian" family in God's eyes).

    Trevor

    I have a couple verses I would like to bring up now and use later in the discussion.

    Genesis 17:5-7
    "Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee.
    And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee. And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee."


    Galatians 3:7-9
    "Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.
    And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham."

    [ June 28, 2001: Message edited by: JBotwinick ]
     
  6. Barnabas H.

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    "TJAcorn," please check the Word of God and see what it says on this subject. The jailer was not the sole person who believed in his household! Let's read the Word together and observe:

    Acts 16 (30) "And brought (the jailer) them (Paul & Silas) out (of the jail), and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? (31) And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. (32) And they (Paul & Silas) spake unto him (the jailer) the word of the Lord, AND TO ALL THAT WERE IN HIS HOUSE. (33) And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; AND WAS BAPTIZED, HE AND ALL HIS, STRAIGHTWAY."

    Romans 10 (13) "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. (14) How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?"

    So you see, the Jailor was not alone who heard the word of God from Paul and Silas, but his entire household and they all understood and believed of what has been spoken by the two. In order to believe, one must understand what to believe in - so they were all mature enough to believe and be baptized by Paul and Silas. [​IMG]

    [ June 28, 2001: Message edited by: JBotwinick ]
     
  7. tentpreacher

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    INFANT BAPTISM
    ====================
    As with sprinkling, the doctrine of infant baptism cannot be found in the New Testament without adding to it.
    Scripture logic cries out against infant baptism. The very mode (immersion) makes it illogical and impractical. The teaching surrounding baptism automatically prohibits it.

    THE BIBLE SPEAKS!
    ====================
    MATT. 28:19 - "Teach all nations, baptizing them" - Teaching or preaching must precede baptism. See Acts 2:41

    ACTS 8:36,37 - Eunuch. "What doth hinder me to be baptized?" Phillip, "If Thou believest with all thine heart." Believing is a prerequisite of baptism. See, Mark 16:16.

    ACTS 2:38 - "Repent and be baptized everyone of you." Repentance must precede Baptism. See, Luke 24:47.

    DO YOU KNOW?
    ====================
    That the first recipients of baptism were adults. Infant baptism was a later development that led to sprinkling. - Chambers Encyclopedia, Vol 2, Pg.112

    There's no direct evidence in New Testament for infant baptism. - Interpreters Bible Dict. Vol 1, Pg. 352

    The earliest Christian literature makes no reference to baptism of infants. - Encyclopedia Britannica, Vol 3, Pg 138

    The first mention of infant baptism was about 185 A.D. Not universal until 6th Century. - History of Church, by WALKER, Pgs 87,88

    That 350 Lutheran pastors of W. Germany wish to abandon infant baptism. Many of these same pastors refused to baptize their own infants. They felt that baptism should be understood first by the recipient. - Time Magazine, Pg 58-May, 1968

    That Karl Barth of Swizterland, the best known Theologian of 20th Century said, "There is not Biblical basis for infant baptism-this tradition is simply an old error of the church." - Time Magazine, Pg 58-May, 1968

    A child should be old enough to receive teaching, believe, and repent of sin before being baptized. Dedicating children to God and asking Him to bless them is Biblical. This Jesus did in Luke 18:15-17, Matthew 19:13-15

    [ June 28, 2001: Message edited by: JBotwinick ]
     
  8. TJAcorn

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    My question is: Why does one have to be baptized after he is saved?


    In Genesis 3:7 we learn that God made an everlasting covenant with Abraham and his seed. We also learn that the sign of this covenant is circumcision (Gen. 17:11). Not only this but this sign was to be given to infants (Gen. 17:12). Now in our present situation baptism is a picture of the blood covenant that God now has with us, his chosen people. We learn from Gal. 3:7-9 that we (the church) are now the children of Abraham and that we are the recipients of the blessing given by God in Gen. 17. Remember that the covenant was everlasting which means that it is still for today and if we are now the children of Abraham than this covenant applies to us!
    Colossians 2:11-13
    "In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;"

    Now it seems to me from these verses that baptism and circumcision are related signs. So if circumcision could be given to an infant why can't baptism? You might say that baptism represents something that God has already done in one's life therefore it cannot be given until a person believes. But why then did God allow infants to be circumcised even though they had not expressed their faith? Could it be that due to their parents and the covenant God had made with Abraham's seed that they were made the recipients of God's covenant(yet unbelieving themselves) and if this covenant applies to us still (being the children of Abraham) should we not apply the sign of this covenant to our children? (that sign no doubt being baptism)

    Someone explain this verse to me:

    I Corinthians 7:14


    [ May 01, 2001: Message edited by: TJAcorn ]

    [ June 28, 2001: Message edited by: JBotwinick ]
     
  9. Dr. Bob

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    Trevor asked the meaning of: <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>The offspring of a union of Christians is blessed and sacred (nothing to do with being born again here). The offspring of a non-christian union is a curse.

    By the saved spouse staying with the mate, the offspring is classified with the good rather than the bad. It's just a simple logical statement. Don't read more into it.

    Most Protestants try to equate circumcision as the "seal" of the old covenant with sprinkling babies as the "seal" of the new. If God had meant these to be parallel, don't you think it would be clearly stated.

    But instead of clarity we see NO reference (none, zero, zilch) to babies being baptized, NO reference to baptism as a seal of a covenant, NO parallel at all.

    Hey, I think God was clear, after all! ;)
     
  10. TJAcorn

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    Originally posted by tentpreacher:
    DO YOU KNOW?
    ====================
    That the first recipients of baptism were adults. Infant baptism was a later development that led to sprinkling. - Chambers Encyclopedia, Vol 2, Pg.112

    The first Christians were adults so of course infant baptism wasn't practiced until later, that is until they had children

    There's no direct evidence in New Testament for infant baptism. - Interpreters Bible Dict. Vol 1, Pg. 352

    yep!

    The earliest Christian literature makes no reference to baptism of infants. - Encyclopedia Britannica, Vol 3, Pg 138

    The oldest Christian literature being the New testament (see previous question)

    The first mention of infant baptism was about 185 A.D. Not universal until 6th Century. - History of Church, by WALKER, Pgs 87,88

    Funny that it was mentioned only a couple generations after Paul's writings! seems like this "first mention" is nice evidence to support the practice!

    That 350 Lutheran pastors of W. Germany wish to abandon infant baptism. Many of these same pastors refused to baptize their own infants. They felt that baptism should be understood first by the recipient. - Time Magazine, Pg 58-May, 1968

    Not talking about Lutherans here. If they don't feel it's biblical then that's their business.

    That Karl Barth of Swizterland, the best known Theologian of 20th Century said, "There is not Biblical basis for infant baptism-this tradition is simply an old error of the church." - Time Magazine, Pg 58-May, 1968

    Karl who? (just kidding) It is interesting to note that Jonathan Edwards THE BEST THEOLOGIAN EVER IN AMERICA accepted infant baptism

    A child should be old enough to receive teaching, believe, and repent of sin before being baptized. Dedicating children to God and asking Him to bless them is Biblical. This Jesus did in Luke 18:15-17, Matthew 19:13-15

    God didn't think it was wrong to have an infant circumcised before he was saved.

    not to be ungrateful but these copy and paste posts are very aggravating to answer. I'd much rather answer short and brief objections (like the powerful one by Dr. Bob which I am still stumped over)
     
  11. Dr. Bob

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    Trevor - Forgive me, but I can't quit being a logic professor. You quoted <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Those opposed to infant baptism need to be honest enough to admit that baptism is not prescribed for only professing believers; Scripture simply indicates that those who profess belief in Christ ought to be baptized, logically not at all implying that there could not be another category of people who are appropriately baptized.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>Whoever thought that up was defying every rule of logic and evidence I know!

    The only authority and the only place where we can find out who is or who is not a candidate for baptism is the Word of God. Men's ideas mean nothing.

    So the Bible teaches only believers (and by true logical inference, not babies since they cannot believe) are to be baptized.

    But, says your authority, there may be other categories of people to be baptized that are not mentioned in the Bible. And the moon might be made of green cheese! We are people of the BOOK.

    [ June 28, 2001: Message edited by: JBotwinick ]
     
  12. Damon

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    Dr. Bob,

    I do hope you'll forgive me for butting in.

    &gt; Whoever thought that up was defying every rule of logic and evidence I know!

    Actually, I don't know where you've been teaching logic, but you're wrong on this one. The argument that you are making here, against Trevor [and I'm not saying that I think that infant baptism is appropriate] is the same argument that folks use to argue for baptismal regeneration in Mk 16.16. You're argument is based on silence. That, my dear logic prof, is a logical fallacy [i.e., the claim that because a thing is not mentioned it must not be the case]. Unless we have a passage that claims that only believers can be rightly baptized then the argument is merely inductive based on the number of instances in which folks are baptized [and frankly, there aren't that many different instances].

    &gt; So the Bible teaches only believers (and by true logical inference, not babies
    &gt; since they cannot believe) are to be baptized.

    First [if we're talking about logic here] we don't know that babies can't believe, we only know that we are unaware of any that have believed. At best, this is an inductive argument, and as a logic prof, I'm sure you're aware of the many problems involved with induction. Second, the Bible teaches that believers are to be baptized, but I've yet to see anyone here who's produced a passage in which the Bible says that only believers are to be baptized. Thus, unless we have such a scripture all our arguments are based on silence. Finally, even if we concede the first points, I still want to know what the qualitative difference between an infant and a 4 year old is.

    Damon
     
  13. TJAcorn

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Dr. Bob Griffin:
    The only authority and the only place where we can find out who is or who is not a candidate for baptism is the Word of God. Men's ideas mean nothing.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I suppose that the man made doctrine of the trinity means nothing too? of course it does! men's ideas DO mean something if they are based on scripture and the laws of logic. One man says that the Bible teaches that you must be saved BEFORE you are baptized and another man says that the Bible teaches that baptism is more than just a symbol that you have been saved and that it can be given before salvation.

    Who am I to believe? at this point they are BOTH man's ideas and both based on logic yet scripture proofs are in the lacking.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> We are people of the BOOK. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    And people who believe in infant baptism may also be "people of the BOOK"!! because they would interpret it different then us by no means makes them not "of the BOOK"! we are seeking the TRUTH not division! Presbyterians are "of the BOOK" too and usual seem to know it a little better than we baptist do.



    Trevor

    [ June 28, 2001: Message edited by: JBotwinick ]
     
  14. Chris Temple

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    Uh... the doctrine of the Trinity is man-made? :confused:

    [ June 28, 2001: Message edited by: JBotwinick ]
     
  15. TJAcorn

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    :rolleyes: Um...truth is I didn't think to much before I wrote that statement :(

    My thinking was that that doctrine was reason out (using scripture) by men.

    But this does not mean that it is man-made. Man simply discovered the truth.

    Instead of the Trinity I think a better example would be tithing. Since it is an old testament principle which we still apply today.

    Trevor

    Sorry about the confusion!

    [ June 28, 2001: Message edited by: JBotwinick ]
     
  16. melissa

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    First all you have to consider where infant baptisim originated. Roman catholic church. They belive if an infant dies before they are "Baptized" the infant will go to hell. This is true research it. catholics belive in pergatory, which logicly thinking would make the gospel of CHRIST a lie. The purpose of Belivers Baptisim is a public profession of CHRIST. It is symbolic. It requires a person to be completely submerged. When a person is baptized,him standing in the water is identifying with CHRIST on the cross,when he is completely submerged, he is identifying with CHRIST being buried, when he is brought up from the water, he is identifying with CHRIST resurrecttion.You do not have to be baptized to go to heaven. Example: The two thieves on the side of CHRIST, one was saved the other wasn't. He died and went to heaven. You please the LORD when you get baptized after you are saved. That is why it is called beliver's baptizim. Read Romans 10:10. An infant can not reason but a child can.Therefore some people are saved as very young children and baptized.Most baptist churches WILL NOT baptize a person unless they speak with that person to ask if they have accepted CHRIST as LORD and savior. I was saved 11 years ago when I was 16.My husband got saved alittle over a year ago. We were baptized together on March 10 of 2000. It was a wonderful experience. I am so glad I done as my LORD commanded ,and followed him in Baptizim.
     
  17. mtompset

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    This is my disclaimer. It may not be understandable to all, but it is meaningful to me. I'm a programmer. In programming, you do both positive and negative testing, and I find it annoying that people hate negative testers. So, if I come across doctrinally incorrect, just realize I'm doing negative testing, because it's necessary for a good job.

    But that aside, the issue of infant baptism is only important in the sense that baptism (regardless of age) does not save.

    However, I think there may be merit for infant baptism. In the sense that believer's baptism is us showing God's intervention on our behalf (ie. we are saved, and eagerly want to make a public declaration via baptism), infant baptism could be thought of as a parent's call for God's grace and mercy on the life of their child. I know we aren't into rituals and all, but perhaps it's like offering the child to be used for God's glory... sort of like Hannah gave up Samuel.

    Another passage infant baptizers frequently point out is the passage about the parents bringing the children to Jesus and Jesus telling the disciples to let them come. From what I've read, the word for children does not indicate a post-toddler who could wander from one city to the next unattended. And in one sense, perhaps infant baptism is merely bringing the child to God in the same way the parent's brought their children. Jesus blessed the children then. Perhaps God wants to bless some children through infant baptism.

    I'm being hypothetical, so that people do not jump all over me as a "pro-infant baptizer", but at the same time, it is important to realize, if praying on the behalf of others is acceptable, then why not infant baptism? Sure it's a ritual, but sometimes ritual gives us something concrete to grasp when talking about something intangible: God's blessing. Surely we want God's blessing on everyone's life. What's wrong with asking on the behalf of infants?

    Someone mentioned unchristened babies going to hell. Moses successfully petitioned God to not slay all of Israel, it makes sense to me that parents make the same sort of request on the behalf of their child. If we as enemies of God have become friends, then surely the vessel can have its purpose changed. And if anyone can change its purposes, it is God. So why not ask?

    Just some thoughts,
    Mark Tompsett
    ([email protected])

    [ June 28, 2001: Message edited by: JBotwinick ]
     
  18. Ars

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    First off, God could change, but in doing so, it would nullify all of scripture.

    1 Corinthians 14; 33
    For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

    God has given the word to not to confuse, but to teach, instruct:

    2 Timothy 3;16
    All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

    Infant Baptism shows nothing, does nothing but cause confusion among Christians. We Baptists, as Bible believers, have a dedication service for a child. This is where the parents publicly oath to raise their child "in the nurture and admonition" of the Lord. In addition, the membership of the church also commits itself to aiding the parents in their commitment to the Lord. The child does not become a member of the church nor is baptized.

    Baptizing an infant serves no purpose. The infant is already under God's protection. Scriptural baptism (immersion), biblically follows one's belief in the Lord Jesus and the person's public profession of faith. The ritual of infant baptism is unbiblical and misleading as to how a person is truly saved.

    I work in a field where programmers run rampant. And, I fully understand the concept of negative testing. I assist in it quite often. However, we as Christians cannot afford to be "negative testers" or thinking "maybe God really means this".

    2 Peter 1; 20
    Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.

    The Bible cannot be looked upon in an analytical method. The Bible is not meant to be a difficult thing to understand. It is only recently in our "enlightenment" that we feel we have to find more in the Bible than what there really is. There are no hidden codes. It is the Word of God.

    God Bless,
    Dave

    [ June 28, 2001: Message edited by: JBotwinick ]
     
  19. mtompset

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    Originally posted by Dajuid:
    First off, God could change, but in doing so, it would nullify all of scripture.

    My reply:
    I think there is a misunderstanding here. I said (or at least I thought I did), if anyone can change [a vessel of wrath's] purpose, it is God. I'm not talking about God changing Himself.


    Originally posted by Dajuid:
    Infant Baptism shows nothing,...

    My reply:
    Nothing?! Come on. If Believer's baptism shows an identification with Christ for the believer, then surely Infant baptism shows something. Whether it be about the parents or the child is irrelevant. Infant Baptism does show something.

    Originally posted by Dajuid:
    ... does nothing but cause confusion among Christians.

    My reply:
    The confusion is only a result of people not willingly to discuss possibilities. If you don't do the full gambit of testing, the program will likely crash and burn when put into production. Too often people shut their ears up, so that they can maintain a happy ignorance. That is far worse than a person wrestling with radical ideas. At least when you wrestle, you either win, lose, or are still wrestling. And that promotes growth, rather than the stagnation most people seem to prefer.


    Originally posted by Dajuid:
    We Baptists, as Bible believers, have a dedication service for a child. This is where the parents publicly oath to raise their child "in the nurture and admonition" of the Lord. In addition, the membership of the church also commits itself to aiding the parents in their commitment to the Lord. The child does not become a member of the church nor is baptized.

    My reply:
    So we baptists have removed infant baptism from the ritual of dedication. Is it wrong to do that? No, I don't think so. Is it right to do that? I'm not sure it is either right or wrong.

    It doesn't change the fact that in both cases parents desire the same thing. If we called it a baby dedication and used some mode of what some people call baptism, does it mean it is a baptism?

    I think the issue that most people fight against is the idea that infant baptism is a baptism. It isn't. The name is a mislabelling, but I don't think that prevents us from doing it any particular way.


    Originally posted by Dajuid:
    Baptizing an infant serves no purpose. The infant is already under God's protection.

    My reply:
    Infants aren't condemned to hell because all have sinned? Isn't that a waivering of God's standard? No seriously, if God let's in to heaven, children prior to this "age of accountability", then either all haven't sinned (sin by nature), or there is only sin by practice. This really is a side issue, so perhaps it should be addressed elsewhere.


    Originally posted by Dajuid:
    Scriptural baptism (immersion), biblically follows one's belief in the Lord Jesus and the person's public profession of faith. The ritual of infant baptism is unbiblical and misleading as to how a person is truly saved.

    My reply:
    So there were no babies sprinkled, poured, or immersed in the Bible? And I'm excluding the kind of liquid (ie. anointing with oil could be considered a "baptism" of sorts).


    Originally posted by Dajuid:
    I work in a field where programmers run rampant. And, I fully understand the concept of negative testing. I assist in it quite often. However, we as Christians cannot afford to be "negative testers" or thinking "maybe God really means this".

    My reply:
    It isn't a matter of "maybe God really means this". It is a matter of "Does God really mean this?"


    Originally posted by Dajuid:
    The Bible cannot be looked upon in an analytical method. The Bible is not meant to be a difficult thing to understand. It is only recently in our "enlightenment" that we feel we have to find more in the Bible than what there really is. There are no hidden codes. It is the Word of God.

    My reply:
    I disagree that the Bible can not be looked upon in an analytical method. God has called us to reason with Him (Isa. 1:18). God, through Paul, calls us to have our minds transformed, not conformed. If anything, God wants us to take what we do know and apply it. If we know how to think, then come reason, so we can go and reason. If we know how to feel, then come and be loved, so that we can show love. God meets us where we are. As one hymn writer wrote, "to us He'll condescend." If we analyze, God will give us data. And as such, the Bible is the perfect multi-dimensional matrix of data that reaches and applies to all parts of our lives, even now.

    Originally posted by Dajuid:
    God Bless,

    My reply:
    Numbers 6:24-26,

    Mark Tompsett
    ([email protected])

    [ May 14, 2001: Message edited by: mtompset ]
     
  20. TJAcorn

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    Anyhow, the orthodox position on infant baptism holds to the belief that after the infant is baptized he will not need to be baptized again whenever he accepts Christ as savior later in life. Baptist don't seem to like this idea. Also, since the infant will not be baptized again after salvation it would follow that infant baptizm is more than just dedication.

    Question: Why where infants circumsized in the Old Testament?

    Trevor

    [ June 28, 2001: Message edited by: JBotwinick ]
     

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