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This subject came up at a recent Bible study I attended.  Is it an acceptable form of baptism?  What do you all think?

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Amanda, this is an excellent point, which goes to the heart of how we view the faith. 

 

I don't think that Bible-believing Christians (however you want to define that on the Protestant/evangelical side) are opposed to a) any form of sacramental blessing or sprinkling of kids and b) we are not opposed to the Biblical point of view on the doctrine of Original Sin needing cleansing. 

 

What becomes the rub, as I have demonstrated with Sharon, is this idea that somehow the cure for Original Sin is baptizing babies. It is not. The scripture clearly defines that the progression for curing Original Sin is:

1. Repentance (turning to God in Christ, by acknowledging need for salvation). 

2. Placing Faith (trust, belief, consecration) in Jesus for the remission of sins.

3. Obeying His command in Baptism (the prime act of obedience for the believer). 

4. Becoming a disciple of Jesus and His teachings.  

(See Matthew 28:18-20)

 

We may debate how efficacious Baptism is, as part of the 3rd step in that salvation process; but we cannot deny that Scripture has given this to us as a requirement, as an act of obedience for the Believer

 

The problem with Sharon, the Catholics and the practice she defends is that they deny the rational decision for obedience of the New Believer, whether at 7 or 70, to take a stand and be publicly baptized as a statement of their faith and consecration to Jesus. 

 

This is because they have become convinced that "the Church is their mother" and that the Pope is the mediator to God for them. Therefore they believe that the priest who is ordained by Papal authority is able to remove their stain of original sin through a ritual performed on them as infants. When in fact, by trusting in an organization to be their proxy, they are in fact denying the Command of Christ himself for personal obedience and consecration to a clearly stated order. 

 

Notice how Sharon has still never acknowledged being Baptized as an adult believer. Notice how she has dodged that question every time. And notice how she has had to cleverly try to obfuscate the issue of the Word of God having preeminence. 

 

She's very good at it, not realizing that she has been trained to actually deny Christ, by denying the Word, in favor of the teachings of the Church. This is seminal to the entire argument. It's why she can't see what is written before her in the Bible as having authority. She has to go back and read what others have told her to think, rather than letting Scripture speak to her directly. She must go to her proxy first. 

 

As I said earlier: baptize your babies, sprinkle them, bless them and put on fancy garments for the day. But don't you dare tell an adult believer that this was the same as standing before God and men to declare your own death, burial and resurrection in the waters of Baptism. It is not, and it is wrong to do so. 

 

I am confident that the Apostles would agree. 

 

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I have not judged Sharon's salvation, her state of Grace nor said she has denied Christ. 

 

What I wrote was "When in fact, by trusting in an organization to be their proxy, they are in fact denying the Command of Christ himself for personal obedience..."

 

I agree that many Catholics are very devout. Some of my most beloved family were so. But, what I saw with them, as I am seeing in Sharon, is a determination to let someone else tell them what God wants, what God's word says. This is dangerous. Especially when you get to the point where something is shown plainly to you and you still reject it in favor of cleverly devised traditions. 

 

Read what Jesus said to the Scribes and Pharisees. He warned them with warnings as stern as you can state in their cultural understanding.

 

Sharon has available to her all the light that can be given, but is rejecting it in favor of what her church is teaching. That is unwise. 

 

LT,

 

Yes, we still disagree, but I still think it is unfair that you insist in calling my arguments as 'assumptions'.

 

The definition I provided for  'evidence' summarized the meaning intended for the word as per the diccionary I consultedc. I saw no need for adding anything to it.

 

I am glad you think it's fit for us to drop the discussion. Although I strongly reject the weak arguments provided by those who oppose infant baptism, I have NO intention to change any-one's mind. I don’t see how this would help me build up my faith.

 

I am absolutely convinced that fundamentalism and Sola Scriptura must be avoided at all costs. I see the dangers of it very clearly: thousands of churches, hundreds (maybe thousands) of conflicting views.  The ONLY way to avoid it is by submitting to the apostolic teachings, which are loyal to the Word of God as transmitted and intended by Jesus.

 

I will add nothing but a heartfelt thank you for you charity in this discussion!

 

God bless

Yael

 

Yael, your quote: "I am absolutely convinced that fundamentalism and Sola Scriptura must be avoided at all costs. I see the dangers of it very clearly: thousands of churches, hundreds (maybe thousands) of conflicting views."

 

Here's the problem with your logic, Yael:

 

You are making an assumption that the Catholic church is in perfect agreement. Which it is not. Not now and not throughout history. There are practices of the venerated St. Patrick which would not have been tolerated by Rome in Luther's time. Yet, Luther - an amazingly scholarly Catholic Priest/Monk would clearly have been recognized as a great scholar today, had he not made his stand against the practice of indulgences in his day, sparking the reformation.

 

Indeed, there are many factions within Roman Catholicism throughout history. Dominicans and Franciscans have been at odds during much of history. And who in today's church could tolerate such an intolerant and abusive man as St Anthony? He would be rejected in today's church.

 

What about generic Catholicism? Have you not heard of the many councils, which have had radically different opinions through history? Are you not aware that Rome is but one of many Catholic Bishopricks?

 

Or how about the great schism of the Iconoclasts?

 

Your logic is easily defeated by Roman Catholic history.

 

Christ said "The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.

(John 3:8)

 

In context, he was saying that he and his followers did not need authority from the established religious order of that day. How much more are we today, free to follow the Holy Spirit's leading.

 

Yes, it means there may be heresy and division. Yes, it means we have to discern truth from error. But, that's exactly what the Apostle John was getting at in every one of his epistles. "Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world." (1 John 4:1) If there was one almighty authorized organization on earth that we should follow, it would have been ridiculous to make that statement. He would have just said "follow the doctrine of the official church". But he did not.

 

He said we are to test the spirits. In other words, be discerning. But, test them by what measure? What might be the one rule we can test all things by? If it's not the Word of God, then by what measure may we determine if they are from God?

 

This site itself has been used to reach more people than you and I can count. It was not authorized nor funded nor approved by any church or cardinal. It was founded to the glory of Christ, by the leading of the Holy Spirit.

 

In fact, the Vatican is following the lead of this ministry in having recently created social and internet media outreaches. But, this site was well ahead of all that.

 

Sorry Yael, but you are mistaken.

 

Blessings in your search. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.

 

~Scribe

 

Yael, you are certainly wise enough and mature enough a person to know that there is never a possibility of proving a negative as you have posted here. That's false logic, a non-sequitur.

 

You asked LT: >>Can you prove that there weren't any children?

Plainly, it is not up to him to do so. Since you are attempting to prove the case FOR infant baptism, then you must make that point. LT and many of us have shown that Scripture is devoid of either example or command in this regard. The point we are making is that Baptism is for the Convert, not for an un-knowing child. You continue to counter that, by attempting to say that Scripture is insufficient. As I have done with Sharon, I heartily encourage, I exhort with you everything I have, to reconsider that stance.

 

You cite Origen and Polycarp, whom I have the utmost admiration for their faithful examples. However, they are not the same, not even close to equivalent, as the Word of God.

 

You have said: >>"Then I can present the early fathers writtings. And you have nothing else!"

 

For men like LT and I, we want nothing else. Give me Jesus, in his Word. He is sufficient, his Word is sufficient. The Bible is sufficient. I need nothing more. We want nothing more. I consider the teachings of men, as long as they are leading me to the Word and through the Word. I will listen to no one who departs from it. The early fathers in Origen's day were still looking for what could be considered Canon and what was not. They did not have the full scope available as we do now. They had not the time, nor the tools to study it, as has been done for the 1700+ years since.

 

We will not be judged by the words of men, but by the Word of God. We will not be judged by the early church fathers, but by Jesus who made it very clear that His Word is above traditions, above men and above all other authorities. 

 

I believe that you need to deeply reconsider both the meaning of baptism and the mode of baptism you are defending - it is unscriptural, that is to say it is against the plain teaching of the Bible. Therefore it is without authority from God. If you sincerely believe that infant baptism is equal to the scriptural Baptism of an adult convert then you need to make two changes:

 

a) begin fully immersing babies, as the word baptizo means "dunk".    - and -

b) get serious about Baptizing adults when they have reached a point of deciding to follow Christ for themselves. 

 

Otherwise the entire argument you are making for the rite of infant baptism is a symbol of an adult's conversion Baptism, to which you do not adhere.

The argument for infant baptism assumes that it causes an important change in the baptized infant: it regenerates the child, remitting Original Sin.  The argument was that babies who died with Original Sin would go to Hell.  However, the Catholic Church no longer teaches this.  In fact, it says it never taught this.  So why is infant baptism considered to be important by some?  Calvin said that baptism is the New Covenant equivalent of circumcision, but I think that nearlly all Reformed Christians would agree that circumcision never saved anyone.  So, again, what is it for?  If it's just a religious ritual that admits a believer to a particular faith community, then I think the anxiety about it disappears.

it is unscriptural, that is to say it is against the plain teaching of the Bible. Therefore it is without authority from God.

 

We have shown many many scriptures to support the baptism of the babies of believing members of the faith therefore statements like this are at the very least uncharitable.

Since there is no 'plain teaching of the Bible' on this topic we can be obediant to the authority from God and realize that different Christians have different ways of obeying our Lord's command to go therefore and Baptise all people.

Just remember that we are all trying our best to obey our Lord.

Sharon, you have shown Scriptures that you speculate support the Catholic practice of Infant baptism. But, you have not >>"shown many many scriptures to support the baptism of the babies". You have shown quotes of the early church that you speculate support the current practice of infant baptism. But, if i had the time, I know I could easily show you that they did not practice it as you do today!!

 

You have not at all, not one single time, proven from scripture that your belief in Infant baptism, to the exclusion of baptizing mature believers, is taught in the Bible. You have also refused to actually answer this point, when anyone has made it here. I have called you on it numerous times! 

 

You simply have not proven anything, except that you hold the teachings of your church above the Bible! 

proven from scripture that your belief in Infant baptism, to the exclusion of baptizing mature believers,

 

Scribe,

 

I do not believe and have never supported infant baptism to the exclusion of baptizing mature believer.  I am sorry if you got that impression.

 

And btw: In our Church, a person between the ages of 7 to 70 would need to be baptised as an adult which means after years of study, a full confession of faith, and by total immersion. I know because my boys are not allowed to get baptized until they have another full year of classes under their belt!

 

Sharon

None of the opposers of infant baptism in this forum have proven from scripture that infant baptism is not to be performed!

Yael,

There was a period of time (about 2000-3000 yrs) when there was no law. Without law to show you where you are sinning, there is no sin. 

Jesus said...

 

 Let the Children Come to Me
13 mAnd they were bringing children to him that he might touch them, and the disciples nrebuked them. 14 But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, o“Let the children come to me; pdo not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. 15 qTruly, I say to you, whoever does not rreceive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” 16 And she took them in his arms and blessed them, tlaying his hands on them.
Therefore, a child belongs to God until he reaches the age of reason. (The time he knows what sinning is)
Baptism should be unnecessary for this period of time. The importance of baptism is a public acknowledgement of Christ as one's Savior. It need to be done after the age of reason commences to show an acknowledgement of sins that have been committed in the past. A child is incapable of acknowledging a sin. 
If a child is baptized, what does it mean to him? It doesn't save him, no more than he is already. Confession of Christ as Savior is what saves a person. When the child gets older, he needs to be baptized again to make a public declaration of his belief in Christ. It is to display a death to sin.
Blessings,
Rita

 

Good word Rita.. :-)

 

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