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Source: (consider it) Thread: Re-Baptism ?
RdrEmCofE
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quote:
"Those who object to infant baptism do so based on an understanding of what baptism means that those of us who baptize infants don't share. The premise that such a baptism is illegitimate because there is no choice is a false premise in the context of what we understand Scripture to say about baptism."
quote:
"Those who object to infant baptism do so out of ignorance of Scripture and a faulty understanding of what baptism really is."
Since neither of these supposed quotes came from me. They are both misquotes of what I originally stated and so neither is truly representative.

In your first misquote the tacit implication is that infant baptisers and adult baptisers do not share an understanding of what baptism means. This is in fact far from true, because paedobaptisers also baptise adults and expect a confession of faith from them. How else are adults expected to join the church?

If the premise of the legitimacy of baptism is based solely on ability to 'make a choice', then adult baptisers have to face the fact that their premise inevitably excludes not only infants but many adults, through no fault of 'faithlessness' or 'lack of qualification'.

No mealy mouthed modified form of words can soften the blow. The facts must be faced.

Your second misquote similarly distorts what I actually wrote.

In reply to : "That's been taken as a message that Christians have to make their own choices; and that infant baptism accomplishes nothing, because the infant hasn't made a choice".

I actually wrote: "This kind of reasoning is based upon ignorance of scripture".

Which it is, and I gave my reasons for stating so.

To the statement : "You are setting forth one understanding of infant baptism. Some churches that practice infant baptism have a different understanding."

I replied : "I agree, yes but I doubt if any of the alternative justifications put forward for it are based on any verifiable scriptural basis".

Without discussing at length all the various justifications that might be offered or appealed to by churches that practice infant baptism, (mostly not actually derived from scripture probably), I don't see how it is possible to say whether or not they may be founded legitimately on scripture. Until I know what those reasons might be I am at liberty to be skeptical about their claim to a scriptural basis.

Perhaps you should read Marcel's book.

https://www.the-highway.com/InfantBaptism_Marcel.html

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Love covers many sins. 1 Pet.4:8. God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, not holding their sins against them; 2 Cor.5:19

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RdrEmCofE
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How does one delete a duplicated post?

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Love covers many sins. 1 Pet.4:8. God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, not holding their sins against them; 2 Cor.5:19

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L'organist
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posted by RdrEmCofE
quote:
Since neither of these supposed quotes came from me. They are both misquotes of what I originally stated and so neither is truly representative.
Well, if you (and/or the original quoter) headed up your quotes with the name of the person you are quoting then perhaps confusion could be avoided?

Just a suggestion...

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Baptist Trainfan
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quote:
Originally posted by RdrEmCofE:
How does one delete a duplicated post?

I don't think you can, after a few minutes - only hosts can do that.
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Nick Tamen

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quote:
Originally posted by L'organist:
posted by RdrEmCofE
quote:
Since neither of these supposed quotes came from me. They are both misquotes of what I originally stated and so neither is truly representative.
Well, if you (and/or the original quoter) headed up your quotes with the name of the person you are quoting then perhaps confusion could be avoided?

Just a suggestion....

That was my fault. I’m the one who formatted things that way. Neither statement was a quote, nor did I intend to suggest otherwise. I meant them both as examples of how the discussion could go. I thought that was clear from how I worded things. But...

I also thought it would help readability and show these as two hypothetical options if they were indented, and the only way I know to do that is in a quote box. Because they weren’t quotes, I didn’t use the normal quote bolding. But I totally forgot that the quote box would actually say “quote,” and I failed to pick up on that in preview.

So, my bad on creating an inaccurate suggestion and impression, and I apologize to RdrEmCofE and to anyone trying to follow along for confusing things.

I’ll come back later with a more substantive reply, but I did want to clear this up more quickly. Sorry.

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The first thing God says to Moses is, "Take off your shoes." We are on holy ground. Hard to believe, but the truest thing I know. — Anne Lamott

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Nick Tamen

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RdrEmCofE, my apologies again for muddying the water and being unclear in what I was saying.

I also apologize if I have misunderstood what you’ve been saying. I certainly have not meant to mischaracterize your position. My impression of what you’ve said was based on statements like this:
quote:
Originally posted by RdrEmCofE:
quote:
You are setting forth one understanding of infant baptism. Some churches that practice infant baptism have a different understanding.
I agree, yes but I doubt if any of the alternative justifications put forward for it are based on any verifiable scriptural basis.
I read this as saying that the understanding of infant baptism—the doctrinal basis for baptizing infants—you have put forth is the correct one, and that any other standing is incorrect and unscriptural. Were you saying something else?

I'll readily admit that I may have read some of your other statements in the light of how I read what is quoted above. If I was mistaken in doing so, I apologize. But that reading seems to be confirmed when you say:
quote:
It is not their sincerity I doubt, it is their definition of legitimacy which, in the case you mention, is based upon their own erroneous understanding of the Biblical Doctrinal basis for the baptism of infants. They simply do not understand what scripture says about the position of the infants of believers in God's economy of Salvation and they clearly can't be bothered to find out by studying the relevant passages themselves. Selective interpretation rarely established sound doctrine.
Likewise, it seems to be confirmed a few posts up, when you say:
quote:
To the statement : "You are setting forth one understanding of infant baptism. Some churches that practice infant baptism have a different understanding."

I replied : "I agree, yes but I doubt if any of the alternative justifications put forward for it are based on any verifiable scriptural basis".

Without discussing at length all the various justifications that might be offered or appealed to by churches that practice infant baptism, (mostly not actually derived from scripture probably), I don't see how it is possible to say whether or not they may be founded legitimately on scripture. Until I know what those reasons might be I am at liberty to be skeptical about their claim to a scriptural basis.

At the very least, it seems odd at best to be skeptical that any understanding of baptism other than yours (and, I guess, Marcel's) has a Scriptural basis. If you do not know what the arguments are, how can you possibly prejudge their probable illegitimacy?

quote:
Perhaps you should read Marcel's book.
I have, I think, a pretty good grasp of the understanding you're putting forth. Based on what you've said, that understanding of why the church baptizes infants sounds quite consistent with the classical Reformed understanding—not surprising, since Marcel was a French Reformed pastor—which is where I’ve lived all of my 5+ decades. It is very familiar territory, and it’s pretty much an understanding I share. So I really don’t need to be schooled on it, thanks all the same.

But I’ve also endeavored to at least be familiar with the understandings of other paedobaptist churches—Roman Catholic, Lutheran, Anglican, Wesleyan and Orthodox. And I can see that while there are definite commonalities, there are also differences in understanding, both with regard to the role of baptism in salvation and in the role of faith in the baptism of infants. (You might want to read some Martin Luther.)

As a Christian in the Reformed Tradition, I do think that the Reformed understanding of infant baptism best reflects the Scriptural basis for the practice, but I would never present the Reformed understanding as the only proper Christian understanding. And I would be very hesitant to flatly describe an objection to infant baptism as predicated on a false premise unless I was pretty comfortable that it would be a false premise under all understandings of why the church baptizes infants. What is a false premise with regard to the Reformed understanding might not be such a false premise with regard to, say, the Lutheran understanding.

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The first thing God says to Moses is, "Take off your shoes." We are on holy ground. Hard to believe, but the truest thing I know. — Anne Lamott

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RdrEmCofE
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quote:
RdrEmCofE, my apologies again for muddying the water and being unclear in what I was saying. I also apologize if I have misunderstood what you’ve been saying.
A sincere apology should always be graciously accepted even if no apology was required. It was a simple mistake, obviously no offence intended. Thank you for offering one anyway. Gladly accepted.

quote:
I read this as saying that the understanding of infant baptism—the doctrinal basis for baptizing infants—you have put forth is the correct one. . . .
A correct one, not the correct one, and correct only in the sense that it is doctrinally in accord with the full thrust of OT and NT scripture.

quote:
And many sincere Christians who rely on Scripture would say that any view of baptism that sees as legitimate the baptism of a person [who] has not made a decision to follow Jesus and be baptized, rests on a false premise, a false understanding of what baptism is.
The false premise is this: That scripture states that "Any view of baptism that sees as legitimate the baptism of a person who has not made a decision to follow Jesus and be baptized, rests on a false premise, a false understanding of what baptism is.

The false premise is that scripture unequivocally states it. It does not.

Certainly in the immediate post Pentecost church the majority of baptism's would have been of cognitive, decision making adults, but given the Jewish understanding of The Covenant and in view of the fact that the New Covenant is better than the Old, it is unlikely that believing parents would neglect to bring their infant children under the New Covenant by baptism, as they had done previously by circumcision. The two sacraments, circumcision and baptism thereafter were treated synonymously, with baptism replacing circumcision as the sign and seal of The New Covenant.

The false premise therefore arises out of a presumption that only adults can be baptised because only adults can 'decide'. This is not supported by scripture, it is merely a circular argument put forward by those who think scripture supports it, (as an argument).

It is based only on the assumption that a verbal confession of faith is necessarily and exclusively a pre-condition of every form of scripturally endorsed baptism, (of which there is then assumed to be only one), e.g. adult baptism of those able to comprehend and articulate a statement of faith in Jesus Christ. (Circular reasoning)

Infant baptism, if we are considering only the Biblical doctrine underlying the practice, has a different doctrinal basis than does adult baptism. Therefore to apply to both, pre-conditions which only apply to adults, is to misunderstand the basis upon which infants are baptised and that misunderstanding is based upon a false premise. i.e. that infant baptism should supposedly require the infant to be capable of 'making a decision'.

According to scripture, it does not.

Infant baptism has entirely different pre-conditions, based upon different scriptural considerations.

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Love covers many sins. 1 Pet.4:8. God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, not holding their sins against them; 2 Cor.5:19

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Golden Key
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quote:
Originally posted by Nick Tamen:
quote:
Originally posted by chris stiles:
quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
There's a story about...St. Augustine, IIRC. He was sitting outdoors somewhere, and heard a voice saying "God has no grandchildren". That's been taken as a message that Christians have to make their own choices; and that infant baptism accomplishes nothing, because the infant hasn't made a choice.

If the story originates with St Augustine, then it took around a millennia for the message to be taken that way.
Who knows how accurate this is, but The Internet seems to point to the statement starting with Corrie Ten Boom, who is quoted as saying: "Does being born into a Christian family make one a Christian? No! God has no grandchildren.” It has been quoted by a wide variety of people, including paedo-baptists. It generally appears to be understood to speak to the need of passing the faith along to the next generation.

Perhaps the St. Augustine connection came in because Peter R. Augustine, an evangelist from Dominica, wrote a book entitled God Has No Grandchildren.

Ok, I just did some poking around online. It's variously attributed to many different people, or marked as an old saying.

So I looked up "St. Augustine heard voice". I'd forgotten about the similar story where he heard a child's voice repeatedly telling him to "take up and read" the Bible.

Looks like either I conflated the quote and the story; or someone else did, and I read their idea.

Sorry.

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Erroneous Monk
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quote:
Originally posted by RdrEmCofE:


If the premise of the legitimacy of baptism is based solely on ability to 'make a choice', then adult baptisers have to face the fact that their premise inevitably excludes not only infants but many adults


That's a good point.

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by RdrEmCofE:

Certainly in the immediate post Pentecost church the majority of baptism's would have been of cognitive, decision making adults, but given the Jewish understanding of The Covenant and in view of the fact that the New Covenant is better than the Old, it is unlikely that believing parents would neglect to bring their infant children under the New Covenant by baptism, as they had done previously by circumcision.

Actually, given the then current Jewish understanding of The Covenant, it's not surprising that the evidence of how the immediate post Pentecostal church in scripture shows that it is unlikely that believing heads of households would neglect to bring their entire households under the New Covenant by baptism, as they had done previously by circumcision.

[ 31. January 2018, 13:35: Message edited by: chris stiles ]

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RdrEmCofE
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quote:
it is unlikely that believing heads of households would neglect to bring their entire households under the New Covenant by baptism, as they had done previously by circumcision.
Indeed, as scripture itself tacitly testifies. Acts 16:15, 16:33, 18,8, and some others. (Though we should be at pains to point out that these passages are by no means the basis of the Biblical doctrine under which the baptism of infants is scriptural and legitimate.)

From Abraham onwards, for a period of twenty centuries, children were expressly recieved into the church from the time of their birth if they were born of Israelite parents. or as minors if they belonged to families of which the father had been converted to Judaism. Through 20 centuries not only tradition and ritual, but religious and theological thought fashioned by the promises and prescriptions of the covenant of grace, which is the foundation doctrine of the Old Testament, confirmed in all points in the New, owed their organic character to this covenant. Has the force and vigour of this conception according to which children ought to receive the sacrament of the covenant been truly represented? In reality, the silence of the New Testament regarding the baptism of children militates in favour of rather than against this practice. To overthrow completely notions so vital, impressed for more than two thousand years on the soul of the people, to withdraw from children the sacrament of admission into the covenant, the Apostolic Church ought to have received from the Lord an explicit prohibition, so revolutionary in itself that a record of it would have been preserved in the New Testament. Not only, however does the eternal covenant remain intact in the New Testament, but in Jesus Christ it reaches its supreme fulfilment. Had our Lord wished the reception of children into this ever valid covenant to be discontinued He would have said so in order that no one might be in any doubt.

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Love covers many sins. 1 Pet.4:8. God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, not holding their sins against them; 2 Cor.5:19

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RdrEmCofE
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I have reminded myself that the thread title is Re-Baptism?

I was baptised in infancy by the Rev. Wellesy-Orr in 1945 by effusion, at St Paul's Kingston on Thames.
I was re-baptised, (if that is as others want to describe it, I don't), in the sea by a friend who was the third generation son of three successive Baptist Ministers. This happened while I was serving as a team member, youth leader and musician on a Scripture Union Beach Mission.

So clearly I have no objections to the notion that re-baptism is harmless.

Whether it is necessary depends entirely upon how the baptismal candidate views the meaning and purpose of what they will undergo.

Submitting to multiple baptisms is however as illogical as submitting to multiple circumcisions. The two sacraments are theologically synonymous. Multiple circumcisions are for obvious reasons impracticable, while multiple baptisms, though practicable remain illogical.

In both cases once should be enough to convince one that it has fully occurred, if being convinced it has actually happened is really that important to you.

Adherants of adult only baptism presumably accept the illogicality of further multiple 'goes at making it work properly this time' etc. on the grounds that baptism is a 'Once for all time' commitment. They would raise objection to Joe Bloggs, baptised last year in the big bath tub of The Church of the Holy Whatever, to great celebration, when Joe comes along wanting to 'go through it all once more', because he wasn't quite sure he was really sincere last time, and he's scared God might be cross, (having had a run of bad luck for some recent months).

[To be sure, I'm postulating as inept an adult 'decision making' baptismal candidate as one could imagine, not suggesting the possibility that many actually exist.]

I would be inclined to say to Joe Bloggs, "OK. But I hope you have REALLY thought it all through properly this time because if you come again asking me to dunk you again NEXT year I will think you are just messing me around and I shall tell you not to be such an insufferable idiot".

Do we really think it matters a jot to God whether anyone is baptised more than once? I don't think so.

So what should we think REALLY matters about baptism and why shouldn't people baptised as infants be allowed to ignorantly 'do it all again properly' in order to convince THEMSELVES that they actually know they believe in God, this time?

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Love covers many sins. 1 Pet.4:8. God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, not holding their sins against them; 2 Cor.5:19

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Leorning Cniht
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quote:
Originally posted by RdrEmCofE:

Adherants of adult only baptism presumably accept the illogicality of further multiple 'goes at making it work properly this time' etc. on the grounds that baptism is a 'Once for all time' commitment.

I thought I remembered a statement upthread that it was routine practice for some Southern Baptist churches to baptize all new members, even those who had been previously immersed as adults in some other place.
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RdrEmCofE
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quote:
I thought I remembered a statement upthread that it was routine practice for some Southern Baptist churches to baptize all new members, even those who had been previously immersed as adults in some other place.
But Southern Baptists, (everything you need to know about them is encapsulated in the name), must be a special case. They probably wouldn't recognize the illogicality of it if it stared them in the face, jumped on them and bit them in the neck. [Killing me]

They certainly don't seem to recognize any other denomination as legitimately qualified to do it 'properly', but themselves. With that kind of mindset, what could you expect?

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Love covers many sins. 1 Pet.4:8. God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, not holding their sins against them; 2 Cor.5:19

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LutheranChik
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quote:

So what should we think REALLY matters about baptism and why shouldn't people baptised as infants be allowed to ignorantly 'do it all again properly' in order to convince THEMSELVES that they actually know they believe in God, this time?

It matters in that ritual reflects what we believe. If we believe that baptism is a sacrament, that it is God who is the deciding agent in conferring grace, but we behave as though the efficacy of baptism hinges on someone’s decision to “accept Christ” — then we’re being inauthentic to our own understanding of baptism. We’re muddling our theology, to the detriment of people trying to understand what we believe, teach and confess, and why we do the things we do.

As noted in other posts, there are plenty of ways for catholic churches to help people “ get” their baptisms or rededicate themselves to the Christian faith without resorting to re- baptizing them. There are also ways for churches to help families affirm their family baptisms. The church I used to attend would give each family a handmade banner with the baptized member’s baptism date; the baptismal candle, to light each year on that anniversary; and a book that the family could read together about “ The Day You Were Baptized.”

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RdrEmCofE
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quote:
It matters in that ritual reflects what we believe. If we believe that baptism is a sacrament, that it is God who is the deciding agent in conferring grace, but we behave as though the efficacy of baptism hinges on someone’s decision to “accept Christ” — then we’re being inauthentic to our own understanding of baptism.
I say Amen to that, of course, but which is more important,that we appear to others as 'authentic' to our understanding, or that we do, within reason, everything we can to establish someone more firmly in The Faith.

I have re-affirmed my baptism vows countless times but I do not think this has enhanced my prospect of salvation one single whit. My prospect of salvation was sealed at my first baptism or it was not sealed at all but that is because I have faith in it. What about those who don't because they have been beguiled by the prejudices of adult only baptizers.

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Love covers many sins. 1 Pet.4:8. God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, not holding their sins against them; 2 Cor.5:19

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by RdrEmCofE:
quote:
it is unlikely that believing heads of households would neglect to bring their entire households under the New Covenant by baptism, as they had done previously by circumcision.
Indeed, as scripture itself tacitly testifies. Acts 16:15, 16:33, 18,8, and some others. (Though we should be at pains to point out that these passages are by no means the basis of the Biblical doctrine under which the baptism of infants is scriptural and legitimate.)

Infant baptism is just a particular case of the general principle - the 1st century church believed - as did the Jewish culture from which they came from - in covenantal headship.

You get corruptions of this idea later, where everyone in a tribe is baptised because the chief converted, and so on.

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RdrEmCofE
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quote:
You get corruptions of this idea later, where everyone in a tribe is baptised because the chief converted, and so on.
The whole concept of baptism became subverted in the centuries following the Early Church period.

Both the tendency toward baptising infants to 'save them from damnation' and the postponement of baptism until the onset of death for fear of committing sin after being baptised, both of which became common practice in the church after the 3rd century, are perversions of the scriptural understanding and reason for baptism.

Just as the Reformation recovered a better understanding of many other aspects of the faith of the early church, so with baptism. Very few, if any of the Reformers however decided to take issue with the practice of baptising infants of believers. That should tell us something about either the extent of their comprehension of scripture or the extent of their zeal for reform. Can we believe they just overlooked and tolerated the practice and were simply unconcerned about it? Surely not.

Baptists of course seem to think that it was their denomination alone that led the gallant charge into Reformation enlightenment. Obviously then infant baptism was for them, sadly in need of reform, being the 'heresy' they ignorantly deemed it to be.

[ 31. January 2018, 19:14: Message edited by: RdrEmCofE ]

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Love covers many sins. 1 Pet.4:8. God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, not holding their sins against them; 2 Cor.5:19

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Jengie jon

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Be careful. The magisterial reformation maintained on the whole infant baptism. The radical reformation on the whole did not. The patterns in the English speaking world are all mixed up, so that English Non-Conformity is a hodge-podge of both radical and magisterial Reformations. Luther, Calvin and co are all magisterial Reformers. While you can see adult baptism among the Baptists, you can see radical views on the individual among Quakers.

Jengie

[ 31. January 2018, 19:23: Message edited by: Jengie jon ]

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Nick Tamen

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RdrEmCofE, thank you for your graciousness and the clarification provided in response to my earlier post. I do appreciate it.

quote:
Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:
quote:
Originally posted by RdrEmCofE:

Adherants of adult only baptism presumably accept the illogicality of further multiple 'goes at making it work properly this time' etc. on the grounds that baptism is a 'Once for all time' commitment.

I thought I remembered a statement upthread that it was routine practice for some Southern Baptist churches to baptize all new members, even those who had been previously immersed as adults in some other place.
That was me who said that, and it is the case. Not all, or even most, Southern Baptist churches by any stretch, but some. However, such "re-baptisms" are not done in order to make sure it's "done right" this time. That—dare I say it—would be a false premise. It has to do with a very different understanding of both baptism and of church than those who believe baptism is inherently a one-time thing operate with.

quote:
Originally posted by RdrEmCofE:
But Southern Baptists, (everything you need to know about them is encapsulated in the name), must be a special case. They probably wouldn't recognize the illogicality of it if it stared them in the face, jumped on them and bit them in the neck. [Killing me]

As an American Southerner, I'm afraid that I must strongly demur to the suggestion that everything one needs to about them and their ability to recognize illogic is encapsulated the name "Southern Baptist." Is it the "Southern" part or the "Baptist" part that is all-telling?

quote:
They certainly don't seem to recognize any other denomination as legitimately qualified to do it 'properly', but themselves. With that kind of mindset, what could you expect?
This is a significant over-generalization. As one who has lived his life surrounded by Southern Baptists in a culture dominated by Baptists in general and Southern Baptists in particular, I can assure you that there are very few things one can reliably say "they" do or do not recognize as a denomination. Most Southern Baptists churches do recognize the baptisms of other credobaptist churches, and some will even recognize the baptisms of those baptized as infants under certain circumstances. As I said above, the position of those churches that do re-baptize those already baptized as believers has nothing to do with "doing it properly" and everything to do with their understanding of baptism and of the meaning of "church."

By the way, in case you're not aware, the Southern Baptist Convention is the largest Baptist denomination in the world, and the largest Protestant denomination in the U.S.

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The first thing God says to Moses is, "Take off your shoes." We are on holy ground. Hard to believe, but the truest thing I know. — Anne Lamott

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LutheranChik
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RdrEmCofE: What to do with people beguiled by the prejudices of adult-baptism advocates? Well, it may be an uphill battle in cultures like ours where “ feelings-n-stuff” regularly trump both reasoned discussion and common sense ( having just read about anti- vax types feeding their autistic children bleach to “ cure” autism)...but I guess my first resort would be to ask them what it is they wish to be/think is to be achieved by re- baptism; provide them with a robust defense of their original baptism that is less about good theology “ winning” and more about them understanding that they are already beloved, redeemed children of God, set free to live God and care for their neighbors; and them see if there is some other action that would ritually assure them of that. Do I think God cares if someone is re- baptized? Of course not. But it sends the wrong message to the faith community — that baptism is so insignificant that it’s subject to “do- overs” as many times as the baptized feels that s/he is insufficiently “ Christian.”

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RdrEmCofE
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quote:
that baptism is so insignificant that it’s subject to “do- overs” as many times as the baptized feels that s/he is insufficiently “ Christian.”
Exxacctly! And there is the problem in a nutshell!

Baptism is only ever as efficacious in terms of 'salvation', (as estimated by the baptised), as the baptised believes it is.

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Love covers many sins. 1 Pet.4:8. God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, not holding their sins against them; 2 Cor.5:19

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RdrEmCofE
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quote:
Nick Tamen: Is it the "Southern" part or the "Baptist" part that is all-telling?
As a Brit, marooned on this side of the pond, I admit my knowledge of 'Southern' comes mostly from Tom Lehrer

https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=tom+lehrer+i+want+to+go+back+to+dixie&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-b&gfe_rd=cr&dcr=0&ei =By1yWufVHuyA8Qfk04P4DA

And my understanding of Baptist is that they make a big thing out of 'Baptism' it seems to be their raison d'etre and distinguishing feature of their unique brand of theology.

Please forgive my ignorance. [Hot and Hormonal]

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Love covers many sins. 1 Pet.4:8. God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, not holding their sins against them; 2 Cor.5:19

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by RdrEmCofE:
Very few, if any of the Reformers however decided to take issue with the practice of baptising infants of believers. That should tell us something about either the extent of their comprehension of scripture or the extent of their zeal for reform. Can we believe they just overlooked and tolerated the practice and were simply unconcerned about it? Surely not.

It's possible in your zeal to lecture that you missed my point. Anyway, I have no issues with infant baptism.
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Kaplan Corday
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quote:
Originally posted by RdrEmCofE:
Very few, if any of the Reformers however decided to take issue with the practice of baptising infants of believers. That should tell us something about either the extent of their comprehension of scripture or the extent of their zeal for reform.

"Very few" of the Reformers (the Anabaptists were a significant exception) were able to break away from the Constantinian legacy of a coercive state church, which included, inter alia, encouragement of anti-Semitic violence (Luther), burning heretics (Calvin) and drowning Anabaptists (Zwingli).

That should "tell us something" about caution in drawing conclusions from their alleged "comprehension of scripture".

A non-sequiturial mentality which argues that christening babies must be right because the magisterial Reformers continued it, is on a par with the cowboy exegesis which maintains that the first Christians must have christened babies because they had inherited a Jewish covenantal mindset - despite the fact that there is not a single NT precedent or command to support the practice.

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RdrEmCofE
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quote:
It's possible in your zeal to lecture that you missed my point. Anyway, I have no issues with infant baptism.
Sorry about that. I noted your point and agreed with it, then went on a rant which I thought extended the point of agreement. Sorry the extension must have seemed like a rebuttal. It was not intended that way. [Hot and Hormonal]

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Love covers many sins. 1 Pet.4:8. God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, not holding their sins against them; 2 Cor.5:19

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RdrEmCofE
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quote:
Kaplan Corday: A non-sequiturial mentality which argues that christening babies must be right because the magisterial Reformers continued it, is on a par with the cowboy exegesis which maintains that the first Christians must have christened babies because they had inherited a Jewish covenantal mindset - despite the fact that there is not a single NT precedent or command to support the practice.
First: I never argued that 'christening babies must be right because . . . .'

Second: There were many things, as you correctly point out, that the Reformers did not reform or deal with, but infant baptism was certainly neither ignored by them or considered a subject 'ripe for reform'. One would have thought that something as fundamental to the faith as baptism would have been high on their list of 'things to get straight', but it was not.

If anything, 'the fact that there is not a single NT precedent or command to support the practice.' is indicative of the known fact that it was going on from the earliest recorded activities of the church. Yet there is never a single NT reference by a single Apostolic authority condemning its practice. There is no 'cowboy exegesis' involved. Only an almost complete ignorance on behalf of 'exclusively adult baptism adherents', of the terms, provisions and promises from God, of both Old and New Covenants, (in fact there is only one), concerning the infants of believers.

I recommend you read https://www.the-highway.com/InfantBaptism_Marcel.html

and then the whole book: The Biblical Doctrine of Infant Baptism by Pierre Ch. Marcel,
ISBN 0 227 6785 9

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Love covers many sins. 1 Pet.4:8. God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, not holding their sins against them; 2 Cor.5:19

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RdrEmCofE
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quote:
Nick Tamen the position of those churches that do re-baptize those already baptized as believers has nothing to do with "doing it properly" and everything to do with their understanding of baptism and of the meaning of "church."
Or 'mis-understanding' depending on whose scriptural point of view is held up as a yardstick. I am naturally suspicious of any denomination which claims to be able to 'understand better' than all others and has clearly defined for themselves the meaning of 'church'. Whose 'church' is it anyway, and who is it that defines its meaning? Are they claiming to know the mind of Christ? I think they should come clean before they dissect and condemn tenets of theology they seem not to understand.

quote:
By the way, in case you're not aware, the Southern Baptist Convention is the largest Baptist denomination in the world, and the largest Protestant denomination in the U.S.
Interesting, but size alone is no guarantee of sound doctrine. Wide is the road and many that may be going that way and very 'right' they may feel about their chosen orientation. A 'little flock' is more likely to be in possession of the truth, according to the recorded estimate of one influential person I could mention.

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Love covers many sins. 1 Pet.4:8. God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, not holding their sins against them; 2 Cor.5:19

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Nick Tamen

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quote:
Originally posted by RdrEmCofE:
quote:
Originally posted by Nick Tamen:
By the way, in case you're not aware, the Southern Baptist Convention is the largest Baptist denomination in the world, and the largest Protestant denomination in the U.S.

Interesting, but size alone is no guarantee of sound doctrine.
Of course not. I didn’t say it was. I provided that information for two reasons:

First, I mentioned it as a way of illustrating to any non-American who might not be familiar with them, that when Americans talk about Southern Baptists we're not talking about small, mostly rural "country church" Baptists in the South. We're talking about a large and influential association of Baptist churches all across the U.S., about whom lots of information is readily available.

And second, I thought that providing that information, and giving the proper name of the Southern Baptist Convention, could provide a helpful entry point to anyone who wanted to learn about Southern Baptists rather than make assumptions about them.

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The first thing God says to Moses is, "Take off your shoes." We are on holy ground. Hard to believe, but the truest thing I know. — Anne Lamott

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Dave W.
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quote:
Originally posted by RdrEmCofE:
Indeed, as scripture itself tacitly testifies. Acts 16:15, 16:33, 18,8, and some others. (Though we should be at pains to point out that these passages are by no means the basis of the Biblical doctrine under which the baptism of infants is scriptural and legitimate.)

From Abraham onwards, for a period of twenty centuries, children were expressly recieved into the church from the time of their birth if they were born of Israelite parents. or as minors if they belonged to families of which the father had been converted to Judaism. Through 20 centuries not only tradition and ritual, but religious and theological thought fashioned by the promises and prescriptions of the covenant of grace, which is the foundation doctrine of the Old Testament, confirmed in all points in the New, owed their organic character to this covenant. Has the force and vigour of this conception according to which children ought to receive the sacrament of the covenant been truly represented? In reality, the silence of the New Testament regarding the baptism of children militates in favour of rather than against this practice. To overthrow completely notions so vital, impressed for more than two thousand years on the soul of the people, to withdraw from children the sacrament of admission into the covenant, the Apostolic Church ought to have received from the Lord an explicit prohibition, so revolutionary in itself that a record of it would have been preserved in the New Testament. Not only, however does the eternal covenant remain intact in the New Testament, but in Jesus Christ it reaches its supreme fulfilment. Had our Lord wished the reception of children into this ever valid covenant to be discontinued He would have said so in order that no one might be in any doubt.

RdrEmCofE, did you write any of this post yourself, or is it all an uncredited quotation from your favorite book?
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Golden Key
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Errr...children were not "received into the church", because there weren't churches yet.

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ExclamationMark
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quote:
Originally posted by RdrEmCofE:
I am naturally suspicious of any denomination which claims to be able to 'understand better' than all others and has clearly defined for themselves the meaning of 'church'.

Of course, that applies to the CofE too. Rather renowned in some quarters for its arrogance and hubris on such matters.
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RdrEmCofE
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quote:
Of course, that applies to the CofE too. Rather renowned in some quarters for its arrogance and hubris on such matters.
I repeat:

I am naturally suspicious of any denomination which claims to be able to 'understand better' than all others and has clearly defined for themselves the meaning of 'church'.

But I am not responsible for the arrogance and hubris of previous generations of churchmen, and neither are you. They lived in different times and behaved according to the norms of their era. I think any denomination with more than a 100 year history has skeletons in its cupboard, including yours, if you are affiliated to one.

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Love covers many sins. 1 Pet.4:8. God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, not holding their sins against them; 2 Cor.5:19

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Enoch
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quote:
Originally posted by RdrEmCofE:
... I am naturally suspicious of any denomination which claims to be able to 'understand better' than all others and has clearly defined for themselves the meaning of 'church'. ...

As distinct from individuals who make such claims or who speak as though they work from that assumption?

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RdrEmCofE
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quote:
As distinct from individuals who make such claims or who speak as though they work from that assumption?
Including individuals who make such claims. I have not. The assumptions others make with regards to one's own theological insight are often just that, assumptions.

I may be content to go under the label 'Christian'. I am not responsible for every assumption that others might infer from that.

Perhaps if I wanted complete confirmation on whether or not I am actually one I should consult a Calvinist or Southern Baptist, they seem to think themselves supremely qualified to advise me on the subject.

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Love covers many sins. 1 Pet.4:8. God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, not holding their sins against them; 2 Cor.5:19

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Nick Tamen

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quote:
Originally posted by RdrEmCofE:
Perhaps if I wanted complete confirmation on whether or not I am actually one I should consult a Calvinist or Southern Baptist, they seem to think themselves supremely qualified to advise me on the subject.

Your assumptions are showing. Again.

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The first thing God says to Moses is, "Take off your shoes." We are on holy ground. Hard to believe, but the truest thing I know. — Anne Lamott

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Gee D
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quote:
Originally posted by RdrEmCofE:
I may be content to go under the label 'Christian'. I am not responsible for every assumption that others might infer from that.

Perhaps if I wanted complete confirmation on whether or not I am actually one I should consult a Calvinist or Southern Baptist, they seem to think themselves supremely qualified to advise me on the subject.

To which Calvinists do you refer? There are many different churches which have derived from Calvin's teachings.

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Not every Anglican in Sydney is Sydney Anglican

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Nick Tamen

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quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:
To which Calvinists do you refer? There are many different churches which have derived from Calvin's teachings.

And chief among those many different churches is the one in which the author whose book he keeps recommending was a pastor.

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The first thing God says to Moses is, "Take off your shoes." We are on holy ground. Hard to believe, but the truest thing I know. — Anne Lamott

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Kaplan Corday
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quote:
Originally posted by RdrEmCofE:
One would have thought that something as fundamental to the faith as baptism would have been high on their list of 'things to get straight', but it was not.

One would have thought that something as fundamental as not murdering fellow-believers might have been high on their list too, but it was not.

quote:
the known fact that it was going on from the earliest recorded activities of the church.
There is no evidence whatsoever, only tendentious partisan inferences, for paedobaptism in the NT era.

It emerged in subsequent centuries - as did, for example, the aforementioned Constantinian (and later, the worse Theodosian) theocracy

quote:
Yet there is never a single NT reference by a single Apostolic authority condemning its practice.
Naturally, because it did not exist.

quote:
terms, provisions and promises from God, of both Old and New Covenants, (in fact there is only one), concerning the infants of believers.
The covenant for Israel was national and ethnic.

No-one got to choose whether they were under it, and if you defied its conditions you could die.

The Christian's covenantal relationship with God is a result of a decision to believe and obey, something of which a baby is incapable.

Countless children born to Christians have shown no evidence of faith in the first place, and countless others have consciously rejected their parents' faith.

The fact that we recognise as Christians only those children of Christians who make a conscious decision to go on in the faith, demonstrates that Christianity is always a matter of choice, not of birth.

Someone born to Christian parents who decides, when capable of thought, to follow the faith, is no different from someone from a non-Christian background who decides to follow the faith.

Both, as Christians, are under the covenant, and each because of a conscious decision to believe and obey.

Babies who die before reaching a stage of accountability (whenever that might be; God knows), no matter what the spiritual standing of their parents, and whether or not they had their children christened, are automatically included under the covenant of grace - unless you want to join Augustine in believing that hell is full of unbaptised babies.

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ExclamationMark
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quote:
Originally posted by RdrEmCofE:
quote:
Of course, that applies to the CofE too. Rather renowned in some quarters for its arrogance and hubris on such matters.
I repeat:

I am naturally suspicious of any denomination which claims to be able to 'understand better' than all others and has clearly defined for themselves the meaning of 'church'.

But I am not responsible for the arrogance and hubris of previous generations of churchmen, and neither are you. They lived in different times and behaved according to the norms of their era. I think any denomination with more than a 100 year history has skeletons in its cupboard, including yours, if you are affiliated to one.

I am affiliated to one and yes hubris and arrogance is alive and well in the CofE. I saw it - with many others - this week.

It was very much "this is what we are doing", join in.

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Higgs Bosun
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It is generally agreed, I think, that the NT has no certain reference to infants being baptised. Further, very early references in the Fathers are mostly inference. The earliest certain reference to infant baptism is that of Tertullian in his 'Homily on Baptism' (c200). He was against it, which perhaps means that it was a relatively recent and contentious innovation.

Origen (somewhat later and further east) knew about infant baptism and also saw an analogy between baptism and circumcision, but did not connect the two. He saw the analogy in the light of an intelligent response to the Gospel.

I have read that the earliest use of the analogy between baptism and circumcision as an argument for infant baptism was by Cyprian in reporting the result of a synod in Carthage in 253. However, the notion that infants shared in the sin of Adam, and needed to be cleansed took precedence of the baptism/circumcision analogy.

Gregory Nazianzen, a century later, assumed the necessity for repentance and faith for baptism. Therefore, he said that children should not be baptised until they are about three years old, when they can have some understanding.

In short, the actual evidence is that the baptism of infants in the early centuries of the Church was practised by some and not others, and for different reasons.

I would also comment that the covenental, domincal sacrament is surely the eucharist:
quote:
This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.

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RdrEmCofE
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quote:
I am affiliated to one and yes hubris and arrogance is alive and well in the CofE. I saw it - with many others - this week.
No doubt, but we will all remain uninformed about it unless you choose to be less reticent. At the risk of derailing the thread, can you be more specific, without starting a rabbit run. Perhaps initiate another thread on the matter?

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Love covers many sins. 1 Pet.4:8. God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, not holding their sins against them; 2 Cor.5:19

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ExclamationMark
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quote:
Originally posted by RdrEmCofE:
quote:
I am affiliated to one and yes hubris and arrogance is alive and well in the CofE. I saw it - with many others - this week.
No doubt, but we will all remain uninformed about it unless you choose to be less reticent. At the risk of derailing the thread, can you be more specific, without starting a rabbit run. Perhaps initiate another thread on the matter?
No. It will reveal who I am irl and this is not a place to do that openly. I can assure you, though that it is true.
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Gamaliel
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Sure. Although this week I've seen some very impressive things in an Anglican context and heard some egregious things from a Baptist one, where the irony of a particular situation seemed list on the leadership of that particular congregation, and perhaps on most of the congregation too ...

But then, 'whataboutery' doesn't get any of us anywhere.

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Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

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RdrEmCofE
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quote:
I can assure you, though that it is true.
I have little doubt that it is true to a noticeable degree of any denomination in which human beings participate. Even the Apostles exhibited the traits of human frailty and the early church was full of it.

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Love covers many sins. 1 Pet.4:8. God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, not holding their sins against them; 2 Cor.5:19

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Gamaliel
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Both co-exist. The egregious thing I mentioned in connection with the Baptist congregation runs alongside some excellent and praise-worthy aspects.

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Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

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SvitlanaV2
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quote:
Originally posted by RdrEmCofE:
I am naturally suspicious of any denomination which claims to be able to 'understand better' than all others and has clearly defined for themselves the meaning of 'church'.

But I am not responsible for the arrogance and hubris of previous generations of churchmen, and neither are you. They lived in different times and behaved according to the norms of their era.

The effects of time are significant, I think. Theological distinctiveness seems to become less important over time. At most, it's meaningful in its role as a symbol of a community's shared heritage, rather than as vital understanding of the divine.

The trick for any denomination is in maintaining its numbers and distinctiveness while also accepting that its has nothing 'better' to offer than anywhere else. I think this is quite hard. AFAICS, in the English setting only the CofE can really get away with indulging theological diversity. The CofE simply has more going for it than most other groups.

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quote:
Originally posted by RdrEmCofE:
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I can assure you, though that it is true.
I have little doubt that it is true to a noticeable degree of any denomination in which human beings participate. Even the Apostles exhibited the traits of human frailty and the early church was full of it.
Can you please provide me with hard evidence of paedo baptism either from biblical times or the early church (please note that I am not interested in tradition for the purposes of this answer)
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Originally posted by Gamaliel:
Sure. Although this week I've seen some very impressive things in an Anglican context and heard some egregious things from a Baptist one, where the irony of a particular situation seemed list on the leadership of that particular congregation, and perhaps on most of the congregation too ...

But then, 'whataboutery' doesn't get any of us anywhere.

Of course. I agree.

Unfortunately, the response pretty much proved my contention

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Can you please provide me with hard evidence of paedo baptism either from biblical times or the early church (please note that I am not interested in tradition for the purposes of this answer)
Depends how early you mean by early.

If you mean the Apostolic period, there is obviously very little hard evidence for it in NT scripture, but a great deal of it in the OT, given that The Covenant always embraced infants from its inception, it was instituted by God and the promise extended to 'children of Covenant keepers' by God himself from its inception. This would rightly be taken by the human participants in that Covenant as being 'good'.

The New Covenant, is recorded in the New Testament as being 'A better Covenant'. It would hardly have been considered 'better' if it entirely excluded the children of believers from its promises.

It is obviously also a 'better' covenant because its sign and seal of membership is 'baptism' rather than circumcision, since baptism is equally applicable to both male and female infants, therefore it symbolizes a greater degree of equality between male and female under Covenant responsibility and privilege.

The fact that there is little direct reference to the baptism of infants in NT scripture is not a sensible reason for trying to suggest the practice did not take place or even that it was not very widespread after the first generation of believers had been baptised as adults. There would undoubtedly have been an expectation on the part of Jewish Converts to Christianity that their children were just as entitled to the sign and seal of the New and better Covenant, as they were under the Old and inferior Covenant, and undoubtedly would have felt equally obliged to obey the stricture that their infants must be sealed into it, or else 'cut off from God's people as a covenant breaker by edict from Almighty God'. Gen 17:14.

An argument resting on lack of specific mention in NT scripture for the prevention of infant baptism is as illogical, (given other supporting evidence for its practice), as would be the prevention of women receiving Communion.

Try as you may you will not see a single mention of a woman receiving communion anywhere in NT scripture, yet no sensible person, (given other supporting evidence for its general acceptance by the Christian community with obvious tacit Apostolic approval, with not a single Apostolic objection), would try to prevent women coming to the communion rail simply because the New Testament carries not a single specific example of one having done so, to receive the sacrament.

To ban infant baptism on the grounds that you suggest, should also therefore entail a ban on women receiving communion, (in the interests of logical consistency, using your criteria of 'no specific mention of it in NT Scripture').

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Love covers many sins. 1 Pet.4:8. God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, not holding their sins against them; 2 Cor.5:19

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