Problems denying infant baptism

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Taufgesinnter, Jul 18, 2006.

  1. Taufgesinnter

    Taufgesinnter
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    I would've loved to have been able to retain my belief in credobaptism over pedobaptism, but my objections to infant baptism melted in the face of early church history. Although this forum is called a debate forum, I'm not really looking so much to defend infant baptism as to see what answers someone can come up with against the following points, taken from an article by Jordan Bajis at the Greek Orthodox website. These were sort of the nails in the coffin for me regarding opposition to infant baptism.

    • There is no record of a post-apostolic invention of infant baptism, when it began and who began it, or where it originated. It is mentioned, and assumed to be the normal Christian practice, in the second century, and described in the third century as the traditional practice handed down by the apostles.
    • There are no protests against the validity of infant baptism from anyone in the early church, even those regarded as heretics, except for those who advocated waiting until one's deathbed, although some other people supported waiting until the age of three for baptism.
    • God established a covenantal, corporate relationship with the tribes of Israel in the Old Testament, yet some today interpret the New Testament as abolishing the faith of an entire household with the father at its head in favor of a solely individualistic faith--not Biblical.
    • What about the many Biblical meanings and early Christian understandings of baptism other than the one defining it as a visible sign of inward repentance, meanings such as the sacrament of regeneration (Titus 3:5), a grafting into the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:13), a passage from the reign of Satan into Christ's authority (Romans 6:17), the expression of the manifestation of God (Luke 3:21,22), an admission into God's covenant (Colossians 2:11), the Lord's act of adoption and our putting on of Christ (Galatians 3:26,27)? Why should these things be taken away from the small child of a Christian family?
    • If it was the norm to baptize children at a later age, why is there no evidence in Scripture or early church history of instruction given to parents on how to help their adolescent children prepare for baptism?
    • If it is granted that baptism is for the remission of sins, why would the Church ever want to give baptism to infants if there were nothing in the infants which needed remission? Would not the grace of baptism, in this context, seem superfluous?
    Add to these points, mostly taken word for word from Bajis' article, the archaeological record dating to circa A.D. 200 showing epitaphs of little babies who had been baptized "as believers," and my stand against infant baptism wilted.

    Any responses?
     
  2. webdog

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    Argument from silence...strike one.
    Another argument from silence...strike two.
    Comparing apples to oranges. Christ died for sinners...not nations only.
    Baptism always follows faith.
    ...because you don't prepare for baptism...you prepare for salvation, to stand before God someday.
    Baptizing an infant would be the same as baptizing a family pet. Neither knows what sin is.
     
  3. Marcia

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    I'm with Webdog on this one. :thumbs:
     
  4. Magnetic Poles

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    I agree that an infant has no concept or awareness of sin or baptism. Christians who adhere to the practice seem to have it more as a commitment that the parents will raise the infant in a Christian home, teaching it the tenets of the faith; not so much that the child is already a Christian. The baptism is really a dedication of sorts. When the child is old enough to believe, then they can select confirmation and church membership. Seems to me that baptism is one word being used for two different things here, thus causing a conflict that need not exist.
     
  5. Joseph M. Smith

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    I like, after a fashion, your idea of one word being used for two different things, because those of us who are "credobaptists" (never heard that term before, but I like it) do not think of infant "baptism" as baptism at all. But its practicioners do, on the basis of a covenant-people concept, and think of it as conveying the gift of salvation, quite apart from the active faith of the participant.

    My wife's sister and her family are all Presbyterians, and her little grandson is to be "baptized" this coming Sunday. It has amused me, but probably irritated her sister, when my wife stumbles and speaks of the "baptism, christening, dedication, whatever"!
     
  6. Bro Tony

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    What was practiced in the 2nd and 3rd century church has little relevance as to whether or not someone is being biblical. The "church fathers" and the practice of the early church is not our standard--our standard is the Word of God. Paul said even before he closed his writings that already all had left him. Bottom line, if the Scripture teaches it, it is biblical and we should practice it. If the Scripture teaches only baptism for those who are saved, then that is what we should practice. Biblical or traditional you choose----as for me I choose to follow the Scripture.

    Bro Tony
     
  7. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: Infant baptism and the doctrine of original sin as introduced to the Church by Augustine were inseparably tied. The only alternative to accepting this perversion of Scripture was to suffer at the hands of the rulers of the Church holding power over all contrary opinions just as was afforded Pelagius when he opposed this unscriptural practice. The ruling powers, of which Augustine was principal, forced him into silence and oblivion. Pelagius saw almost every thing that he had ever written meet the flames of Augustine’s fires. Anyone that opposed Augustine’s notion that sin lied in the constitution of the flesh rather than the will was automatically a heretic according to Augustine, and to deny infants the cure, as Augustine saw it, for this original sin, was beyond heretical.

    HP: Oh yes there was. As I mentioned one such voice of reason was Pelagius.
    HP: You seem to be equating the relationship of God with the children of Israel with salvation. Such is simply not the case. No one in the OT had a covenantal relationship with God as concerning salvation on the basis of their ancestry. The covenantal relationship assuredly granted them special rights, privileges, and opportunities not directly afforded to the Gentiles, but that in no way implies that salvation was automatic if one was a Jew by birth.
     
  8. Jim1999

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    Pedobaptists have two views of infant baptism. For one lot it is the same as circumcision......a covenant promise to raise the infant in the teachings of the word...then follows confirmation, when the child realizes the Christ as Saviour.

    The second believes that infant baptism, like circumcision, handles original sin....when at confirmation, one realizes the Christ in personal salvation from all sins past, present and future. I was raised under the second in the Church of England, hence the reason for getting an infant baptized within the first few weeks after birth.

    One can argue from the scriptures until blue in the face, but both the former views also draw on scripture to support their views.

    On the meaning of the Greek word for baptism, indeed it does mean immerse....Even the Anglican Church immersed candidates right up to Queen Elizabeth I. She was immersed. To this day, the Anglican Church will immerse believers upon their request and Anglican priests are obligated to fulfil the candidates request.

    I happened to be immersed as an adult believer and Anglican at the time. My baptism was later accepted as legitimate by the Baptist Church in the UK. Thank you very much.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  9. Bro. Curtis

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    Is one baptized into a church, or is one baptized & recieved into a family of believers ?
     
  10. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: How did circumcision handle original sin?? The Jews did not believe in original sin.
     
  11. Brother Bob

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    The thing that bothers me more about infant baptism is the fact that child grows up thinking it has already met all the requirement for Salvation and may come up short all because of parents insisting on infant baptism. Some realize when they do come to know sin they are lacking something and are baptized. Others go through life and die relying on the wisdom of their parents and not on the commandments of God. That is just me and how I feel about infant baptism, that it gives a child false security. peace
     
  12. LeBuick

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    We dedicate infants or present them to gOD but I've yet to hear one repent and confess Christ.
     
  13. BobRyan

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    #1. IN Romans 2 we are told that "Circumcsion is of the heart by the Holy Spirit" we are not told "circumcision is baptism".

    #2. even the RCC admits that the first century church did not practice infant baptism.

    From Catholic Digest (Parenthesis mine in the quotes below) from the June 1999 article. Article by Bill Dodds begins on page 42 and is titled “Baptism Comes Full Circle”. (Page 42 is just a picture of an infant being sprinkled – so no actual words on that page).

    Please see www.catholicdigest.org for the full article that hints to the changes that have evolved over time.



    "
    in the early (dark ages) middle ages when entire tribes in northern Europe were being converted, the whole clan was
    baptized if the chief chose to be...by the end of the eighth century, what before had taken weeks (of preparation and process by
    non infants) had been greatly abridged. Children
    received three exorcisms on the sundays before easter, and on holy
    saturday;..youngsters were immersed three times.
    "

    "
    the rite was further abridged when the tradition of child or infant receiving communion at baptism fell into disfavor.

    "
    and because baptism was now viewed as essential for acceptance into heaven, the church offered a shorter "emergency"
    rite for infants in danger of death. By the beginning of the 11th century, some bishops and councils pointed out that infants
    were always in danger of sudden death and began to encourage parents not to wait until holy Saturday ceremony
    "

    <>

    [/quote]
     
  14. Darron Steele

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    I believe the Scriptures teach against "infant baptism." 1 Peter 3:21 says
    "El bautismo que corresponde a esto ahora |os| salva (no quitando las inmunicias del cuerpo, sino como la aspiración de una buena conciencia hacia Dios) mediante la resurrección de Jesucristo” (RVR 1995|RVA|RVR 1995)
    translated "The baptism that corresponds to this now |you| saves (not removing the filths of-the body, but as the aspiration of a good conscience toward God) through the resurrection of Jesus-Christ."
    This passage calls baptism "an appeal to God for a clear conscience" (NASB) or "the aspiration of a good conscience toward God" = desire to replace a bad conscience = repentance. It calls baptism 'repentance'; in other words, it identifies baptism "as" repentance = representation of repentance. This means that where there is no repentance, there is no baptism. Hence, "baptism" of infants or other pre-repentants is against what Scripture teaches about baptism.
     
    #14 Darron Steele, Jul 18, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 18, 2006
  15. mojoala

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    Let's change some words to see if it still makes sense.

    I agree that an infant has no concept or awareness of sin or circumcision. Jews who adhere to the practice seem to have it more as a commitment that the parents will raise the infant in a Jewish home, teaching it the tenets of the faith; not so much that the child is already a Jew. The circumcision is really a dedication of sorts. When the child is old enough to believe, then they can select confirmation and synogogue membership. Seems to me that circumcision is one word being used for two different things here, thus causing a conflict that need not exist.
     
    #15 mojoala, Jul 19, 2006
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  16. mojoala

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    Gen. 17:12, Lev. 12:3 - these texts show the circumcision of eight-day old babies as the way of entering into the Old Covenant - Col 2:11-12 - however, baptism is the new "circumcision" for all people of the New Covenant. Therefore, baptism is for babies as well as adults. God did not make His new Covenant narrower than the old Covenant. To the contrary, He made it wider, for both Jews and Gentiles, infants and adults.


    Job 14:1-4 - man that is born of woman is full of trouble and unclean. Baptism is required for all human beings because of our sinful human nature.

    Psalm 51:5 - we are conceived in the iniquity of sin. This shows the necessity of baptism from conception.

    Matt. 18:2-5 - Jesus says unless we become like children, we cannot enter into heaven. So why would children be excluded from baptism?

    Matt 19:14 - Jesus clearly says the kingdom of heaven also belongs to children. There is no age limit on entering the kingdom, and no age limit for being eligible for baptism.

    Mark 10:14 - Jesus says to let the children come to Him for the kingdom of God also belongs to them. Jesus says nothing about being too young to come into the kingdom of God.

    Mark 16:16 - Jesus says to the crowd, "He who believes and is baptized will be saved." But in reference to the same people, Jesus immediately follows with "He who does not believe will be condemned." This demonstrates that one can be baptized and still not be a believer. This disproves the argument that one must be a believer to be baptized. There is nothing in the Bible about a "believer's baptism."

    Luke 18:15 – Jesus says, “Let the children come to me.” The people brought infants to Jesus that he might touch them. This demonstrates that the receipt of grace is not dependent upon the age of reason.

    Acts 2:38 - Peter says to the multitude, "Repent and be baptized.." Protestants use this verse to prove one must be a believer (not an infant) to be baptized. But the Greek translation literally says, "If you repent, then each one who is a part of you and yours must each be baptized” (“Metanoesate kai bapistheto hekastos hymon.”) This, contrary to what Protestants argue, actually proves that babies are baptized based on their parents’ faith. This is confirmed in the next verse.

    Acts 2:39 - Peter then says baptism is specifically given to children as well as adults. “Those far off” refers to those who were at their “homes” (primarily infants and children). God's covenant family includes children. The word "children" that Peter used comes from the Greek word "teknon" which also includes infants.

    Luke 1:59 - this proves that "teknon" includes infants. Here, John as a "teknon" (infant) was circumcised. See also Acts 21:21 which uses “teknon” for eight-day old babies. So baptism is for infants as well as adults.

    Acts 10:47-48 - Peter baptized the entire house of Cornelius, which generally included infants and young children. There is not one word in Scripture about baptism being limited to adults.

    Acts 16:15 - Paul baptized Lydia and her entire household. The word "household" comes from the Greek word "oikos" which is a household that includes infants and children.

    Acts 16:15 - further, Paul baptizes the household based on Lydia's faith, not the faith of the members of the household. This demonstrates that parents can present their children for baptism based on the parents' faith, not the children's faith.

    Acts 16:30-33 - it was only the adults who were candidates for baptism that had to profess a belief in Jesus. This is consistent with the Church's practice of instructing catechumens before baptism. But this verse does not support a "believer's baptism" requirement for everyone. See Acts 16:15,33. The earlier one comes to baptism, the better. For those who come to baptism as adults, the Church has always required them to profess their belief in Christ. For babies who come to baptism, the Church has always required the parents to profess the belief in Christ on behalf of the baby. But there is nothing in the Scriptures about a requirement for ALL baptism candidates to profess their own belief in Christ (because the Church has baptized babies for 2,000 years).

    Acts 16:33 - Paul baptized the jailer (an adult) and his entire household (which had to include children).

    Baptism is never limited to adults and those of the age of reason. See also Luke 19:9; John 4:53; Acts 11:14; 1 Cor. 1:16; and 1 Tim. 3:12; Gen. 31:41; 36:6; 41:51; Joshua 24:15; 2 Sam. 7:11, 1 Chron. 10:6 which shows “oikos” generally includes children.

    Rom. 5:12 - sin came through Adam and death through sin. Babies' souls are affected by Adam's sin and need baptism just like adult souls.

    Rom. 5:15 - the grace of Jesus Christ surpasses that of the Old Covenant. So children can also enter the new Covenant in baptism. From a Jewish perspective, it would have been unthinkable to exclude infants and children from God's Covenant kingdom.

    1 Cor. 1:16 - Paul baptized the household ("oikos") of Stephanus. Baptism is not limited to adults.

    Eph. 1:1; Col. 1:2 - Paul addresses the "saints" of the Church, and these include the children he addresses in Eph. 6:1 and Col. 3:20. Children become saints of the Church only through baptism.

    Eph. 2:3 - we are all by nature children of wrath, in sin, like all mankind. Infants are no exception. See also Psalm 51:5 and Job 14:1-4 which teach us we are conceived in sin and born unclean.

    2 Thess. 3:10 - if anyone does not work let him not eat. But this implies that those who are unable to work should still be able to eat. Babies should not starve because they are unable to work, and should also not be denied baptism because they are unable to make a declaration of faith.

    Matt. 9:2; Mark 2:3-5 - the faith of those who brought in the paralytic cured the paralytic's sins. This is an example of the forgiveness of sins based on another's faith, just like infant baptism. The infant child is forgiven of sin based on the parents' faith.

    Matt. 8:5-13 - the servant is healed based upon the centurion's faith. This is another example of healing based on another's faith. If Jesus can heal us based on someone else’s faith, then He can baptize us based on someone else’s faith as well.

    Mark 9:22-25 - Jesus exercises the child's unclean spirit based on the father's faith. This healing is again based on another's faith.

    1 Cor. 7:14 – Paul says that children are sanctified by God through the belief of only one of their parents.

    Exodus 12:24-28 - the Passover was based on the parent's faith. If they did not kill and eat the lamb, their first-born child died.

    Joshua 5:2-7 - God punished Israel because the people had not circumcised their children. This was based on the parent's faith. The parents play a critical role in their child's salvation.
     
  17. mojoala

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    Here is another exegesis:

    1 Peter 3:21 The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:

    1 Peter 3:21 - Peter expressly writes that “baptism, corresponding to Noah's ark, now saves you; not as a removal of dirt from the body, but for a clear conscience. “ Hence, the verse demonstrates that baptism is salvific (it saves us), and deals with the interior life of the person (purifying the conscience, like Heb. 10:22), and not the external life (removing dirt from the body). Many scholars believe the phrase "not as a removal of dirt from the body" is in reference to the Jewish ceremony of circumcision (but, at a minimum, shows that baptism is not about the exterior, but interior life). Baptism is now the “circumcision” of the new Covenant (Col. 2:11-12), but it, unlike the old circumcision, actually saves us, as Noah and his family were saved by water.
     
  18. Darron Steele

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    Mark 16:16 is of doubtful authenticity. Not only do the two oldest manuscripts not include 16:9-20 between 16:8 and the next book, ancient translation manuscripts lack it, it is also lacking in a few other manuscripts, or in other manuscripts put in with an alternative ending, or marked.

    The forgery, however, says "believes and is baptized" or "believes and so is baptized." Both would be necessary to ensure salvation, but only "he that believeth not" guarantees condemnation.

    Your literal translation of Acts 2:38 does not match any interlinear New Testament in either Greek-English or Greek-Spanish that I have seen. In fact, the Zodhiates reference work Word Study New Testament With...[Greek Parallel <-> Parallel Greek] page 397 indicates that the stronger Greek verb command is repent and that baptism "does not have the same force" as to repent which is "direct command." In reversal of this, you have repent being an "if" and baptism being a "must."
    Well, maybe so, but the text has at 16:34b "He and his family were very happy because they now believed in God" (ICB). All were baptized because all were believers.

    I would extend this to all anonymous household baptisms.

    People do not get saved by completed baptism. The Latin Vulgate translation of the Bible translated into English has "For by grace you are saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, for it is the gift of God; Not of works, so that no many may glory" (Douay-Rheims Version) per Ephesians 2:8-9. Regardless of what one thinks about the role of completed baptism in salvation by faith, the ingredient for salvation is faith, not any deed done without any faith at all.

    I do not see a reference at 1 Peter 3:21 to circumcision. I see a reference to water and water baptism because water is what is discussed at the end of the previous verse and the verse is about baptism. The "filth of the flesh" is just the dirt we get on our bodies that would be washed anytime we step into water. Not introducing foreign topics and keeping the subject on water and water baptism seems to fit the context of the passage better. The passage then denies that this water bath saves us but rather what brings us to the water.
     
    #18 Darron Steele, Jul 19, 2006
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  19. mojoala

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    Well I don't have a Bible that does not have Mark 16: 9-20. So your argument has no bearing. My Bible and everybody elses has this and it's the WORD OF GOD.

    You better go spout your heresies somewhere else.

    EVERY SINGLE VERSE IN THE BIBLE IS INSPIRED BY GOD! PERIOD.
     
  20. Darron Steele

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    Okay: go read the margin notes of any modern translation you have at the end of Mark 16.

    What do they indicate?

    The TNIV separates 16:9-20, puts it in an entirely different typeface, and notes it as doubtful. The 1946-52 RSV did the same. They keep this addition because English readers are used to them.

    Every word of the Bible is given by God -- and ONLY the words given by God, NOT the ones added by presumptuous human scribes.

    As for `heresy,' personally, I am not the one who steps off the biblical text advocating non-Scriptural ideas such as pre-repentant baptism. I personally do not consider you a heretic, but if you want to direct that accusation, I think you are closer than I am. Somewhere else? From what I have been reading in your more recent posts on two threads, I am a lot closer to being a Baptist than you are, and this is a Baptist discussion board, so you telling me to get lost seems rather unfitting.
     
    #20 Darron Steele, Jul 19, 2006
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