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Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by JesusFan, Oct 20, 2011.
Isn't that part of those theological positions/systems?
Because according to the Baptist doctrines, it's not biblical.
It is a part of covenant theology, but not Baptist Reformed Theology.
Covenant Theology is not exclusively paedobaptist. In fact, Fred Malone's book, "Baptism of Disciples Alone" explains that the most consistent Covenental position is believer's baptism. Fred was a paedobaptist turned credo-baptist based on what he saw was apparent contradictions.
The issue is directly related to the Abrahamic Covenant. As a Covenant Theologian, I believe that the promise to Abraham was conveyed to me, that I am the offspring of Abraham and the child of promise. However, the sign and seal of the covenant does change immensely. Thus, the sign and seal of the covenant needs to be defined by the New Testament, for that reason I go to the pages of the New Testament.
Thought this was a no brainer
they are BAPTISTS
reformed theology does not equal paedobaptism
Must be due to working excessive hours at work, as I do know that is the reason why those Christians holding to such would not baptise Infants, as they are baptists! Duh!
So why ask the question if you know the answer?
It's JesusFan's 'gift'.
Dr. John MacArthur, and several other Reformed Baptist do in fact accept members into their congregation who have been sprinkled/poured as infants. This is documented in the debate on baptism between MacArther and Sproul in the question and answer tape.
I have personally spoken to ministers on the staff of Alstar Begg in Cleveland ohio and he equally receives member into his assembly with pedobpatism.
The Reformed ecclesiology is consistent with this practice and they are attempting to make the local congregation consistent with the membership of the universal invisible body of Christ and baptism is something they are sacrificing to attain that unity.
Dr. MacArthur is not covenantal, so that is not exactly on topic.
Yet, there are a number of people who do accept paedo-baptism if the person coming into the congregation is convinced this was a valid Baptism. I disagree and believe it inconsistent, however there are people who hold that viewpoint. They believe in believer's baptism but believe baptism should not be a dividing line.
Would you be a member of a church like that?
I knew the answer, but the "light bulb" for me dod not turn on until started reading the postings back, has my "Duh I Know that" moment!
I have never heard of that happening, at least among those who would hold to believers baptism accepting as being valid infant baptisms... Understand reasoning behind it...
COULD a baptist church do the same?
Would they ONLY accept reformed baptisms, assuming NO RCC etc?
I think you are talking to me. The answer is yes, I could belong to a church that both disagreed with me in the area of Baptism and in the area of accepting people who wanted to join our church without being reBaptized.
My reasoning is quite simple.
1. The issue of Baptism in this case is not an issue of a church failing to be a true church (though, some issues of Baptism could, like in the case of Baptismal regeneration/campbellites)
2. While Baptism is an important issue, it is not an issue that I believe should divide Godly believers. While I believe it is right for a church to say, "Only Baptized believers will be admitted for membership", I don't think this should be a litmus for whether I join a church.
3. There are more important issues within a church that must be met, in some cases you may not be able to find a church that matches these more important issues.
For the record, every church that holds to my viewpoint that I know, would also agree with me that they would not use that as a criteria for joining a church. One of the most prominent scholars who has written on this exact issue has said that he would never use this issue as a criteria for whether or not to join a church. However, he would not Pastor a church that believed otherwise.
Dr. MacArther is depensational in regard to eschatology but he is Reformed in the sense of "Reformed Baptists" in the sense of calvinistic soteriological ecclessiogly.
There are essentials to be a Christian and for others to recognize you as such. Just so, there are essentials to be a "New Testament" congregation and for others to recognize you as such.
Please find any example in the New Testament that any assembly consisted of unimmersed Christians or any example or principle where baptism in the sense of New Testament defintion of baptism does not follow confession of faith in Christ BEFORE membership in a congregation?
If you cannot find examples or precepts then what basis do you have for what you call "my viewpoint"? Is the Scriptures SILENT about beleivers baptism? Is the Scripture silent about immersed believers as members of New Testament congregations? If it is not SILENT then do you have any Biblical basis whatsoever to hold a different "viewpoint" or to be non-differential?
We are arguing two different issues. First, I agree with believer's baptism is proper and paedo is not. However, this is not an essential issue to be a church nor is it the most important issue when choosing a church, which was my point.
First, it is not the most important issue in deciding if you are a true church. The true church exists within Presbyterian and Baptist circles. I believe John and Charles Wesley were both members of a true church as was John Knox. I believe a true church can exist but be mistaken on the mode and timing of Baptism. They may be in error, but they can still remain a true church.
Secondly, there are more important issues within a church. Namely, the proper preaching and listening to the Word of God. Thus, if I was deciding between two churches and one baptized infants but preached faithfully the Word of God but the other one believed in Believer's Baptism but whose sermons were topical and not expository, I would choose the church who preached faithfully the Word of God over the one who believed in believer's baptism.
While I hold to believer's baptism, I am not prepared to say that one who disagrees is no longer a "true church" nor am I willing to say that this issue is more important than other issues.
This was a debate that went on among the Particular baptists in the 17th Century. John Bunyan would receive into his congregation folk who had been 'christened' as infants and felt unwilling to be baptized as adults. William Kiffin strongly opposed him. Their discussions can be found on-line somewhere or other.
The reason that some baptistic churches will permit unbaptized people into membership is that they want to encourage folk to leave liberal denominations like the Anglicans and Methodists. Such people have been brought up to believe that they were validly baptized as infants and can have real problems in understanding that they need to be baptized again (as they see it).
I myself was 'christened' as an infant, and when I was saved as an adult in a Brethren church, I struggled for quite a while with the concept of adult baptism. When I finally decided to be properly baptized, my mother was quite upset for a while because she felt that I was turning my back on the provision she had made for me. It was a difficult time.
Caring Baptist churches will be gentle with people coming out of liberal paedobaptistic denominations. In my experience, most of them will come around to believers' baptism if the concept is explained carefully to them and if they are given time.
So when these "paedo" (non) baptized Baptist church members want you to sprinkle their newborn, what do you Baptist elders do?
Well obviously, they don't do it. At least, not in Britain so far as I know.
BTW, the big evangelical Anglican church near where I live will do baby dedications on request and baptizes adults by immersion.