Pedo baptism & Baby Dedication

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by Bro Tony, Sep 3, 2004.

  1. Bro Tony

    Bro Tony
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    It was stated in the forum thread that there really was no difference between the Anglican church practice of baptizing infants and the dedication of infants in Baptist's Churches. This practice seems to have been defended to justify the belief that the translators of the KJV had no real theological problems.

    What do you Baptist say? Is pedo-baptism a legitamate Bible doctrine. Is it the same as dedicating a baby?

    Bro Tony
     
  2. Michael52

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    No, pedo-baptism is not a legitamate Bible doctrine.

    The "baby dedication" we do in the Churches, should rightfully be called a "parent dedication". The ceremony is for the parents to express their commitment before God and the congregation that they will raise the child in a God honoring manner. The little tyke obviously doesn't have a clue at this point.
     
  3. Debby in Philly

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    To my knowledge, the two have little in common.

    Baby Dedication in the Baptist Church gives no benefit to the child directly, but simply offers the parents a way to formally promise, in front of witnesses, that they will strive to bring the child up "in the nurture and admonition of the Lord."

    But I am certain that our Anglican brethern do not see it that way. In my understanding, infant baptism is done in order to "make the child a Christian," somehow misticaly having the effect of forgiving the child's "original sin."

    One reason Baptist baby dedications are done without water is to make it clear that baptism is for believers only. Baptism by immersion is a means of publicly proclaiming one's faith in Christ and desire to follow Him. Believer's baptism in and of itself has no mystical spiritual benefit either, other than the satisfaction of knowing that one has followed the Lord's command.
     
  4. Bro Tony

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    I agree with both of you. It is strange that there are professing Baptist who refuse to see the difference. They apparently are ignorant of the history of the church. They cannot see that the Anglicans carried the practice of the RCC over to their church. They don't relize that the Anglican Church is not a result of reformation but of a King that would not submit to Rome and change his ways. It was not a doctrinal matter.

    People who refuse to discern the difference are likely to repeat the doctrinal errors of the past.

    Bro Tony
     
  5. Craigbythesea

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    Although I do not believe that infant baptism is effectual in cleansing the infant from original sin, I could make a strong case for it using the New Testament Scriptures. I could not, however, make a case for dedicating babies using the New Testament Scriptures.

    Lest we Baptists become too high and mighty regarding our beliefs on this matter, we might do well to remind ourselves that the very large majority of Christians do not share our view.
     
  6. APuritanMindset

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    From my understanding of Church History, infant baptism was going on long before the RCC and Anglican churches were in existance. Some extrabiblical writings from the first century, I believe the Didache, even talk of how to do it. I will look and see if I can find a quote.
     
  7. HankD

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    No one mentioned the fact (or I missed it) that the Church of England calls baptism a "sacrament" retaining the romish doctrine that it is a channel through which flows special grace (namely to remove original sin).

    CofE People were severely punished (King James and High Court) for speaking out against infant baptism.

    He had a definite dislike for anabaptists.
    John Bunyan (Pilgrim's Progress) spent 12 years in prison for "believers baptism".

    Had we lived then and there (merrie olde Englande), we too might be in a dungeon or missing our ears, another favorite penalty for being an anabaptist.

    HankD
     
  8. APuritanMindset

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    Here is a quote from a website and a link to the article. It looks like it wasn't mentioned until the second century, but I remember reading something from the first century that gave directions on how to do it, but I don't remember what it was or anything. I was wrong about it being the Didache. But here is the quote:

    http://www.st-luke.org/infant_baptism.htm
     
  9. Craigbythesea

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    Where is Puritan’s 8:24 Post? I had to post a message in this thread in order to get Puritan's post to come up on my computer. This happens to me often. Even 30 minutes after a post has been made, I often can not access it on my computer unless I post a message following it. Does anyone else have that problem?
     
  10. Craigbythesea

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    Here is the first part of an article by a Lutheran Pastor:

    Infant Baptism in Early Church History

    by Dennis Kastens

    From the beginning of New Testament Christianity at the Feast of Pentecost (Acts 2: 38-39) to our time, unbroken and uninterrupted; the church has baptized babies. Entire households (Jewish, proselytes and Gentiles) were baptized by Christ’s original 12 Apostles (I Corinthians 1: 16; Acts 11: 14, 16: 15, 33, 18: 8) and that practice has continued with each generation.

    The Early Church

    Polycarp (69-155), a disciple of the Apostle John, was baptized as an infant. This enabled him to say at his martyrdom. "Eighty and six years have I served the Lord Christ" (Martyrdom of Polycarp 9: 3). Justin Martyr (100 - 166) of the next generation states about the year 150, "Many, both men and women, who have been Christ’s disciples since childhood, remain pure at the age of sixty or seventy years" (Apology 1: 15). Further, in his Dialog with Trypho the Jew, Justin Martyr states that Baptism is the circumcision of the New Testament.

    Irenaeus (130 - 200), some 35 years later in 185, writes in Against Heresies II 22: 4 that Jesus "came to save all through means of Himself - all, I say, who through him are born again to God - infants and children, boys and youth, and old men."

    Church Councils and Apologists

    Similar expressions are found in succeeding generations by Origen (185 - 254) and Cyprian (215 - 258) who reflect the consensus voiced at the Council of Carthage in 254. The 66 bishops said: "We ought not hinder any person from Baptism and the grace of God..... especially infants. . . those newly born." Preceding this council, Origen wrote in his Commentary on Romans 5: 9: "For this also it was that the church had from the Apostles a tradition to give baptism even to infants. For they to whom the divine mysteries were committed knew that there is in all persons a natural pollution of sin which must be done away by water and the Spirit."

    Elsewhere Origen wrote in his Homily on Luke 14: "Infants are to be baptized for the remission of sins. Cyprian’s reply to a country bishop, Fidus, who wrote him regarding the Baptism of infants, is even more explicit. Should we wait until the eighth day as did the Jews in circumcision? No, the child should be baptized as soon as it is born (To Fidus 1: 2).

    To prevent misunderstanding by rural bishops, perhaps not as well-schooled as other or even new to the faith, the Sixteenth Council of Carthage in 418 unequivocally stated: "If any man says that newborn children need not be baptized . . . let him be anathema."
     
  11. Bro Tony

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    I read your posts and I thank you. I am one who does not hold the early church fathers to the same position as the Apostles. That some in the early church practiced pedo=baptism does not justify it biblically. I know of no NT Scripture that justifies or even teaches infant baptism. That some practiced it early in church history just demonstrates to me what the Apostle Paul declared, that all had already left him. Remember much of Paul writings were to correct errors and even false teachings in the early church.

    Bro Tony
     
  12. Craigbythesea

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    Baptists, Pentecostals, and Charismatics in such groups as the Calvary Chapel movement believe that paedobaptism is little more than a waste of water. The traditional churches, however argue that the Baptists, Pentecostals, and Charismatics place their new-born infants in grave danger of eternal damnation by refusing them baptism. Their argument is based on such Scriptures as:

    Rom. 3:23. for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

    Rom. 5:12. Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned--
    13. for until the Law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law.
    14. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come.

    Notice that in Rom. 5 Paul teaches that we have all sinned in Adam, and that he proves his teaching by pointing out that even prior to the giving of the Law everyone eventually succumbed to death even though “sin is not imputed when there is no law.” And of course even the new-born infants died. From Paul’s point of view, this was proof that they sinned in Adam. This teaching is, of course, known as the doctrine of original sin.

    Because all have sinned, including new-born infants, Christ provided a remedy, namely salvation by grace through faith. Obviously, however, new-born infants are incapable of faith, and the Church for the most part has taught that since the means of salvation by grace through faith is water baptism,

    1 Pet. 3:21. Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you—not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience—through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,

    new-born infants can be saved from original sin by the means of water baptism. Therefore, the Church, for the most part, has baptized new-born infants for more than 1900 years.

    This raises the question of why Baptists reject these teachings and teach instead that new-born infants should be dedicated. It is getting late in the evening, so I will let someone else answer this question.
     
  13. HankD

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    If the blood of bulls and goats could never take away sin, neither can water.

    There is only one hope.

    Revelation 1:5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,

    HankD
     
  14. APuritanMindset

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    Here's a thought that came to me in reading what the other posts said.

    What if the baptism of infants was started by the early church (cuz there is NT Scripture that says that whole households were baptised) as a way to ease conscience? We Baptists have our own unbiblical doctrines about babies to ease conscience.

    Take age of accountability for example. The Bible never teaches that and yet we will tell someone their baby is in heaven if it is stillborn because it hadn't reached the age of accountability. What is the difference between saying that and sprinkling some water on a baby to ease the conscience of parents? I don't see much difference.

    And trust me. While infant baptism was taken to an end that said it was the means of grace and faith, us Baptists do a similar thing by saying that someone can't be saved until they reach the age of accountability but yet they go to heaven until then. We make the age of accountability a means whereby someone goes to heaven. And to go to heaven, you gotta be saved, and to be saved, you, you gotta have faith. What does the age of accountability do? It gives faith to a person who otherwise would not have it.
     
  15. HankD

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    Speak for yourself.

    NIV Deuteronomy 1:39 And the little ones that you said would be taken captive, your children who do not yet know good from bad-- they will enter the land. I will give it to them and they will take possession of it.
     
  16. Bro Tony

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    This is a very interesting discussion. I would agree with APM that Baptist have raised their desire to make sure children get to heaven by coming up with the "age of accountability" belief. It cannot be substantiated by Scripture, although there are those who teach it is inferred in Scripture, by David and his son.

    Craig, thanks for the input. I am not sure if you are stating that you are in agreement that baptism saves, or that you are just stating that has been a traditional view of most throughout church history. I have never met a Baptist, that I know of, that believed water baptism saved anyone. The quote from Peter should suffice to show that water baptism does not save. There is no faith expressed when infants are baptized, except maybe by the parents. But that leaves out personal faith.

    Also, as we look at Pedo baptism one may want to ask if it is Scripture because the mode is not immersion and the reason is not personal faith.

    Thanks for all the thoughts, I have enjoyed reading what you all have written.

    Bro Tony
     
  17. Bro.Bill

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    To me it is clear any dunking,sprinkling or the throwing of buckets of water on a person is not baptism unless a person is saved. We folow the Lord in Beleiver's Baptism.
    This is an interseting discussion. I would be interested to know WHAT is the age of accountability?
     
  18. Craigbythesea

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    The age of accountability under the O.T. Law was twenty years:

    Num 1429. your corpses will fall in this wilderness, even all your numbered men, according to your complete number from twenty years old and upward, who have grumbled against Me. (NASB, 1995)

    Are we to suppose from the O.T. Law that those teenagers who are not under the Law, and who have no faith in Christ, and who commit murder and mayhem of all sorts, go to heaven when they die?
     
  19. Craigbythesea

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    A further consideration of the age of accountability:

    Every single one of the persons under the age of 20 whose sin of grumbling against God was not imputed to them nonetheless eventually died. Death is the consequence of sin; where there is no sin, there is no death. Therefore we know that sin was still imputed to them even though they were under the age of accountability. Even if their only sin was the sin of Adam, that sin, in and of itself, is punishable by death, not immediately, but eventually.

    Babies die; they die because the sin of Adam is imputed to them, just as all other persons die because the sin of Adam is imputed to them. There is no “age of accountability” for original sin. Therefore, I ask: What is the Baptist remedy for original sin in babies? Does anyone have an answer from the Bible to this question?
     
  20. Pastor Larry

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    I would say the same thing that is the remedy in anyone that is not a baby ... The mercy of God. There is no clear teaching. The indication from Scripture is that babies do go to heaven (cf. 2 Sam 12). God, in his mercy, can take a baby to heaven just as he does for anyone else.

    I do not practice baby dedications at all. I find them lots of show and no substance. If parents are going to raise a child biblically, then marching down front for a Scripture reading, baby passing, and prayer won't change that. If they are not going to raise their child biblically, then the same ritual won't change that. I think we should be more concerned with sound biblical teaching on the family and a lot less concerned with dry baptism ... (Yes, I called baby dedications dry baptisms because there isn't a lot of difference ... they both do the same thing ... NOTHING [​IMG] ).
     

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