Infant Baptism

Discussion in 'Free-For-All Archives' started by Michael Wrenn, Sep 22, 2001.

  1. Michael Wrenn

    Michael Wrenn
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    I just now found the "Infant Baptism" topic in the "Best Threads" category; I read it all and enjoyed it tremendously.

    Here is another defense or basis for infant baptism; I'd like to know what all of you think of it. I hope Baptists and non-Baptists will reply. Here it is:

    Based on John 1:9, all humans have the Light of Christ in them from the beginning of their lives. We are saved by grace through faith, as the Bible says, and since grace comes first (prevenient grace), this giving of the Light of Christ might be seen as the beginning of the process of spiritual baptism, and that all infants might thus be looked upon as partial members of the Body of Christ. Then, when they come to faith and are regenerated, their spiritual baptism is completed, and they are made full members of the Body of Christ. Therefore, an infant could be baptized with water to symbolize the beginning of this process, and when the infant later comes to faith in Christ, he/she could receive a further baptism--not a rebaptism--to symbolize the completion of this process.

    This theory runs counter to Baptist views of baptism and also to current mainline Protestant paedobaptist thought. It is, however, in at least partial accord with some earlier paedobaptist views of baptism.

    Well, what do y'all think? I'd really like to get all your opinions.
     
  2. Brother Adam

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    John 1:9

    The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world.

    Huh? Where does this say "from the beginning of their lives?

    Until Next Post, Adam
     
  3. Brother Adam

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    I have searched the Bible for even one verse that implied infant baptism and could not find it. Yes there are passages that could be used if you start with the idea that infant baptism is valid and then apply the verses to infant baptism. It took God many years to break me on this topic but he finally did so I don't expect any of you to agree with me or even be willing to be presuaded.

    Until Next Post, Adam
     
  4. Lorelei

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    I would say you just added to the scripture. It is a man made doctrine taking the Word of God out of context. The verses you stated just simply do not say what you said.

    It runs counter to Baptist views for just that reason. We do not add and twist scripture to make it mean something it was never intended to mean.

    ~Lorelei
     
  5. Don

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    Mr. Wrenn, the way I read your post, what you've proposed is "partial salvation."

    Sorry; I happen to believe that you're either saved, or you're not.
     
  6. Eladar

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    Michael,

    I dealt with this issue too, but in the opposite direction. I was born into the Lutheran Church where they do baptize(sprinkle) babies. I came to the conclusion that I wasn't baptized. How this affects my relatives who were born and died in the Lutheran church only God can decide. God called me to be baptized and I was.

    In my study of baptism, only people who have decided to be baptized did so. A dedication is one thing, but to call it a baptism is quite another. It is sort of like calling a homosexual union a marriage. A marriage is God's covenental union between a man and woman. To take something else and call it a marriage, is just man changing what God created. I believe this to be very unbiblical.
     
  7. Purple Lady

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    Personally - I was sprinkled in the Episcopal Church as an infant, confirmed in the Lutheran Church as a young adult (mid 20's), left the Lutheran Church the following year, started attending a Seventh-Day Adventist Church (because my husband was involved many years prior to our meeting), realized my need for Believer's Baptism, went to a church for ex-SDA's where I got Baptised. When the church folded for lack of any purpose of existence, I studied the different beliefs of other denominations to see where I fit. I attended, then later joined a SBC church. I can say that it was the Believer's Baptism that counts.
     
  8. Michael Wrenn

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    Wow, this is good stuff from all of you. I believe we have only scratched the surface, though. I'd like to further respond:

    Flyfree (Adam),

    You said it took God many years to break you on this topic; could you elaborate?

    Lorelei (nice name, BTW),

    I've seen Baptists twist the scriptures plenty; I've seen some Baptists on this board do it, too.

    Don,

    No, I'm trying to discern the place of infants in relation to Christ and His church. So, let me ask you, what is their status? Are they "saved" or what?

    Tuor,

    I tend to agree with you, but I still wonder about infants and their relation to the body of Christ. Also, my own personal experience comes into play here: I was raised by devoted Christian parents; I was baptized in a Baptist church when I was ten years old, but that wasn't when I first accepted Christ as my Savior. Actually, for as far back as I can remember, I believed and had faith in Christ; I can't remember a time when I did not. So, when was I regenerated and spiritually baptized? Did these things happen in a moment--instantaneously--or were they gradual processes? For me, there was no specific moment which before that moment I didn't believe and after it I did. That's why I wonder if spiritual baptism might, sometimes at least, be a process as well as a culminating event.

    What do all of you think?

    Purple Lady,

    Thanks. While raised Baptist, I have also spent some time in the Episcopal Church. I liked the liturgy but not the excessive sacramentalism.
     
  9. Eladar

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    Michael,

    I am alot like you. [​IMG]

    I can't remember a time that I didn't know that Jesus is the Son of God. From what I can see, there is only one baptism and that is when we do it of our own accord, not someone else's. Once we do that, then we have been baptized. Baptism doesn't save. Abraham was found righteous because he believed. This was well before he was circumsized.

    To tell you the truth, I don't believe it is important to know exactly when you were saved, or how. It is only important to know that you have Jesus in your heart and that you are ever growing in your faith and understanding of what it means to be a Christian.

    We should trust in God, knowing that whatever is happening in our life is to the glory of God. From everything we learn. If we didn't learn from it, it was a waste of time. We are maturing all the time. From our tribulations come growth. Does this mean we were any less a Christian before the tribulation than after? I don't think so. God has just given us the opportunity to grow. We are not growing into something new, just closer to our destination.

    I believe that we have both free will and are predestined. Through God all things are possible. The road we are on was created by God for God. Everything is for the glory of God. Even when it appears we have failed, God has His plan. We are incapable of diverting it. We, through our free willed decisions, work to fulfill God's plan. Along the way we grow in our understanding of what it means to be a Christian. No matter what we all fall short of achieving perfection, and God's grace covers our inevidable sin.

    In short, it is all good. [​IMG] Some people have God come into their lives all at once. Some people come into God from childhood. Neither group is superior, we are just workers hired at different times of the day, receiving the same wages.
     
  10. Brother Adam

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    Dear Micheal,

    When I said it took many years for God to break me I meant that I was one stubborn soul (still probably am :D). The truth about baptism had been revealed to me many times before, but I refused to budge because I was born in the RCC and raised Lutheran and i was taught infant baptism, so when the Spirit began to work on my heart I naturally rebelled against it because I believed the truth of the Bible was infant baptism. Nothing anyone ever said to me made me change my mind...nothing because I wouldn't let them tell me otherwise. I refused to. It eventually came down the the Lord breaking me. His spirit was a burden to me until I decided to follow Him. The story behind this can be found at:
    www.geocities.com/flyfree432/weekend.html

    Hope this helps clarify [​IMG]

    Until Next Post, Adam
     
  11. Brother Adam

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    Wow Tour and Micheal we are all alike, I too know no exact date of my salvation. I have always believed as long as I can remember [​IMG]

    Until Next Post, Adam
     
  12. Michael Wrenn

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    Adam,

    Thanks so much for sharing that!

    Tuor,

    So, do you view SPIRITUAL baptism as a process or instantaneous event, or both?
     
  13. Lorelei

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Michael Wrenn:

    Lorelei (nice name, BTW),

    I've seen Baptists twist the scriptures plenty; I've seen some Baptists on this board do it, too.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Micheal,

    Glad you like the name! [​IMG]

    Yes, you have reminded me of an important fact, I forgot that all baptists weren't perfect! Amazing as that may sound it is true. [​IMG]

    In general Baptists will agree that the Word is the final authority of any dispute and not man's interpretations of it. That is what I meant.

    ~Lorelei
     
  14. Lorelei

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    I don't remember the exact date and time, but I surely do remember the circumstances and the difference God has made in my life. The baptism came later.

    2 Corinthians 5:17 "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."

    If you never changed at all, did you become new?

    ~Lorelei
     
  15. Eladar

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    Michael,

    Those who are brought up in the way of the lord may receive their spiritual baptism that way. It is not the christening, it is the upbringing. I can't explain how God works. All I know is that I have always trusted in the Lord. That is good enough for me.


    Loreli,

    I am constantly changing. [​IMG]
     
  16. Michael Wrenn

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    Lorelei,

    A quote by Howard Cosell: "I've never been wrong; once I thought I was, but I was mistaken." (!) [​IMG]

    Tuor,

    So, wouldn't that be consistent with infant baptism if infant baptism is seen as being symbolic of a process, and if spiritual baptism is also a process?
     
  17. Rev. Joshua

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Lorelei:

    In general Baptists will agree that the Word is the final authority of any dispute and not man's interpretations of it. That is what I meant.

    ~Lorelei
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Lorelei - there is no reading of Scripture without interpretation.

    Joshua
     
  18. Eladar

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    I don't think so.

    As I said, baptism is something specific: An act a person does when they are called by God to do it.

    Infants have no idea about what is going on. For the infant it means nothing. I liken it to Mormons who baptize in the name of dead relatives. The dead person has absolutely no say so in the matter. It is meaningless.

    In the same way, an infant baptism is meaningless.

    Raising someone in the ways of the Lord is quite another matter. This is a biblical parental responsibility. Each of us must do our job. We can't so someone else's job.

    The true baptism of any individual can only take place when that person decides that God is calling them to do so, just as Abraham did as God called him to do. This is what I have come to believe.
     
  19. Michael Wrenn

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    Tuor,

    Are you talking about water baptism or spiritual baptism?
     
  20. Pauline

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    Michael Wrenn, Ephesians 4:5 says there is only one Lord, one faith, one baptism. So there wouldn't be baptism of an infant and then another baptism of the same person when he was older. However, it is likely the New Testament Christians did baptize infants -- for entire families were baptized and some of them were probably babies. Tuor, You said baptism doesn't save. But what about 1 Peter 3:21 and John 3:5? Catholics believe infant baptism cleanses from original sin and restores sanctifying grace, just as it does with adults. This gives the child a better start in life, more able to respond to grace. Because we are each dependent upon Christ and His grace, baptism is extremely important. It is how we are born again, i.e. born of water and of the spirit. Wouldn't this answer to your idea, Michael, of baptism helping the spiritual life of the child? What do you mean by "spiritual" baptism? Someone will ask then: what about the thief on the cross -- no water baptism in that case. True. Catholics also believe in a baptism of desire (God looks on the heart/the intention), and a baptism of blood. An example of the latter is the Roman soldier who was so impressed by a martyr's witness that he too stepped forward and declared himself a Christian. Of course, he paid for it with his blood. In Christ, Pauline
     

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