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Source: (consider it) Thread: Re-Baptism ?
Gamaliel
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Thing is, though, Exclamation Mark you can't separate scripture from tradition (small t) because scripture no more stands alone in your tradition than in does in anyone else's ...

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Gamaliel
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Meanwhile, Kaplan appears to be channelling Steve Langton ...

Shhhh, Kaplan, he might hear you and join us here ...

[Biased] [Razz]

Killing fellow believers, yes, very egregious. A pity someone didn't tell the Munsterites that as well as Theodosius, Constantine and the usual suspects ...

As for hubris, it seems to me that we could explore some more irregular verbs here:

You are hubristic for claiming that your Church has direct Apostolic Succession and that mine doesn't.

I'm not hubristic for claiming that my ranting gathered conventicle is on equal terms with those who claim the above ...

And so it goes on.

You are hubristic for believing yourself to be a true Christian because someone said some magic words and sprinkled water on your head when you were a baby.

I'm not hubristic for claiming to be 'saved' simply because I 'prayed the sinner's prayer' or put my hand up in a meeting ...

And so it goes on. Both ways and all ways round.

[Help] [Roll Eyes]

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Gwai
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Gamaliel, snide personal attacks on other shipmates are not needed. Particularly unnecessary when the person isn't even here.

Gwai
Purgatory Host

--------------------
A master of men was the Goodly Fere,
A mate of the wind and sea.
If they think they ha’ slain our Goodly Fere
They are fools eternally.


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Gamaliel
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[Hot and Hormonal]

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Enoch
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As I said earlier on this thread,
quote:
Originally posted by me
it is difficult to extract from scripture any specific guidance on the baptism or otherwise of the children of parents who are already Christians.

and
quote:
Also originally posted by me
I'd likewise challenge anyone to demonstrate from scripture that the baptism of the children of Christian parents must be deferred until they reach an age to decide for themselves. The guidance is not there. I don't think it can be done. This dilemma is something that scripture alone just does not cover.

People have asserted both ways on this thread, based on theologians who agree with them, their denominational practice, or early tradition. As it happens I accept the value of early tradition. I agree with what Gamaliel has implicitly said about scripture's relationship with it. However, those who advocate credo-baptism-only tend often to be sola scriptura also. For those that are, I'm still holding open the challenge to demonstrate from scripture alone either that position or what the Christians of the New Testament era did about their children - and that's without saying 'as X says it says', or 'they must have done Y because that fits with what we think now'. -.

I still don't think it can be done. It's a question scripture does answer.

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ExclamationMark
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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
Thing is, though, Exclamation Mark you can't separate scripture from tradition (small t) because scripture no more stands alone in your tradition than in does in anyone else's ...

I know but I wanted to get at the roots untainted as far as possible by overthinking or overwriting.
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ExclamationMark
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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
[Hot and Hormonal]

Come on Gamaliel jump off the fence for once you know it makes sense
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Gamaliel
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quote:
Originally posted by ExclamationMark:
quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
Thing is, though, Exclamation Mark you can't separate scripture from tradition (small t) because scripture no more stands alone in your tradition than in does in anyone else's ...

I know but I wanted to get at the roots untainted as far as possible by overthinking or overwriting.
You can't. It's impossible. It's like that bloke who set up the Churches of Christ in the USA.

He said he wanted to read the Bible as if he were the first person to have done so.

What a daft thing to say.

There, that's coming off the fence ...

There are days when both my wife and I wish we'd had our kids baptised as infants rather than having them 'dedicated' and hoping they'd come to faith later on.

Ok, so there'd be no guarantee that this would have ensured they'd have owned or practised the faith themselves.

Yes, I am ambivalent but I can't see how I can be otherwise having moved in both paedobaptist and credo-baptist circles.

I remain squeamish about indiscriminate infant baptism but not at all opposed to it in the case of children of believing parents.

Perhaps I am a mass of contradictions.

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Gamaliel
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The blushing face was in response to a hostly rebuke, EM. I accept the rebuke.

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Nick Tamen

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Enoch has it right, I think.

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Kaplan Corday
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quote:
Originally posted by RdrEmCofE:
there is obviously very little hard evidence for it in NT scripture

there is little direct reference to the baptism of infants in NT scripture

Correction: There is no mention whatsoever of christening babies in the NT.

You still fail to grasp the difference between the covenantal terms of the OT and NT.

What Christians from both Jewish and and Gentile backgrounds in the NT had to understand, was that the new covenant was not an automatic result of physical birth circumstances, but a conscious decision to recognise and follow Christ as Lord.

quote:
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.
You are grasping at straws.

This is a desperate and invalid analogy, because the salient factor is not gender, but age and comprehension.

The capacity for a conscious faith commitment which brings a person under the new covenant is absent from a baby, but exactly the same for a man and a woman.

FWIW, I have happily lived and worked and worshipped all my life with Christians who believe and practise paedobaptism, along with many other things which I regard as adiaphora, but if anyone insists on making it an issue, then the facts have to be pointed out.

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Kaplan Corday
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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
Killing fellow believers, yes, very egregious. A pity someone didn't tell the Munsterites that as well as Theodosius, Constantine and the usual suspects ...

I am currently re-reading Meic Pearse's The Great Restoration: The Religious Radicals of the 16th and 17th Centuries, and been reminded again of the neanderthal theocrats who for centuries were wont to bellow "WHAT ABOUT MUNSTER?" every time the topic of Anabaptists came up.

Apparently they are not yet quite extinct.

Using Munster as an exhaustive definition of Anabaptism demonstrates all the theological and polemical sophistication of summing up evangelicalism by Westboro Baptist, Roman Catholicism by clerical sexual abuse, or Orthodoxy by anti-Semitism.

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Gamaliel
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I've heard Meic speak. Good bloke. Fellow Welshman.

The point I'm making isn't that Munster somehow negates all the crap that went on elsewhere, but simply to point out how simplistic the radical reformers = good, everyone else = shite schtick that seems so popular in some circles.

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Gamaliel
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Plus, if you'd read my post properly you'll have seen that I was accusing all sides of hubris. I wasn't picking out the Anabaptists for particular censure.

I must admit, though, that I do have sympathy with Richard Baxter's charge against the 'Papists' and 'Greeks' that they thought they were top dog because they were bigger than everyone else and again the Anabaptists that they thought they were holier than everyone else ...

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Enoch
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quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
... but if anyone insists on making it an issue, then the facts have to be pointed out.

Kaplan Corday, when you speak so easily of the facts having to be pointed out, I think you are conflating a fact, with something that can't really be classed as a fact.
quote:
Correction: There is no mention whatsoever of christening babies in the NT.
I agree. That is a fact.

However,
quote:

You still fail to grasp the difference between the covenantal terms of the OT and NT.

What Christians from both Jewish and and Gentile backgrounds in the NT had to understand, was that the new covenant was not an automatic result of physical birth circumstances, but a conscious decision to recognise and follow Christ as Lord.

is a mixture of fact and interpretation. The fact bit is that the new covenant was proclaimed not to be the automatic result of physical birth circumstances. It is, however, either your interpretation or the interpretation of those you happen to follow and respect, how Christians of the New Testament generations might have applied that to baptism and/or the initiation of the children of believing parents. To say, 'well they must have thought, or done, x because that is what I think must follow from what they said', is a deduction you are making. It is not transmitting something that is in the New Testament.

--------------------
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RdrEmCofE
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quote:
Kaplan Corday What Christians from both Jewish and and Gentile backgrounds in the NT had to understand, was that the new covenant was not an automatic result of physical birth circumstances, but a conscious decision to recognise and follow Christ as Lord.
And what you fail to recognise is that exactly the same conditions pertained in the OT. Not every circumcised person was a Jew according to Paul, only those who had faith like Abraham, and tried to keep The Law, the circumcised of heart.

a conscious decision to recognise and follow Christ as Lord, is a bit of a 'cart before horse' statement when it comes to the children of believers. It is even a bit 'cart before horse' in the case of adults, who (being sold in trespasses and the rebellion of sin) are incapable of expressing any kind of 'decision' to obey and follow Christ until they are empowered by The Holy Spirit to do so through the hearing of The Gospel.

But in the case of the children of believers, THEY are already Holy in God's eyes. THEY only have the option to either CONTINUE under the Covenant God has with their parent/s or REJECT it and become reprobate just as did sinful Israelites such as The Sons of Korah.

Conversely the children of unbelievers are not Holy in God's eyes. THEY will need to respond to the Gospel and though under God's Grace until such time as they are able to decide, (if they ever are), they will need to make Covenant with God by positively responding to The Gospel when they hear it preached in The Power of The Holy Spirit.

The children of believers however will hear and respond to the Gospel while already under The Covenant, and therefore only have the option to either REMAIN under it, or LEAVE and face the consequences.

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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:
Kaplan Corday What Christians from both Jewish and and Gentile backgrounds in the NT had to understand, was that the new covenant was not an automatic result of physical birth circumstances, but a conscious decision to recognise and follow Christ as Lord.
And what you fail to recognise is that exactly the same conditions pertained in the OT. Not every circumcised person was a Jew according to Paul, only those who had faith like Abraham, and tried to keep The Law, the circumcised of heart.

a conscious decision to recognise and follow Christ as Lord, is a bit of a 'cart before horse' statement when it comes to the children of believers. It is even a bit 'cart before horse' in the case of adults, who (being sold in trespasses and the rebellion of sin) are incapable of expressing any kind of 'decision' to obey and follow Christ until they are empowered by The Holy Spirit to do so through the hearing of The Gospel.

But in the case of the children of believers, THEY are already Holy in God's eyes. THEY only have the option to either CONTINUE under the Covenant God has with their parent/s or REJECT it and become reprobate just as did sinful Israelites such as The Sons of Korah.

Conversely the children of unbelievers are not Holy in God's eyes. THEY will need to respond to the Gospel and though under God's Grace until such time as they are able to decide, (if they ever are), they will need to make Covenant with God by positively responding to The Gospel when they hear it preached in The Power of The Holy Spirit.

The children of believers however will hear and respond to the Gospel while already under The Covenant, and therefore only have the option to either REMAIN under it, or LEAVE and face the consequences.

All children are Holy in God's eyes just as all are created in God's image.

What you are giving me here is a church predicated on privilege not founded on grace and faith.

I don't have an issue with paedobaptism - I'm a godparent and take that seriously. My only issues are:

1. Where it is being used as a kind of magic: rather than as a demonstration of Grace. Baptism doesn't save you whether performed by Priest or Minister or whether enacted on a baby or a confessing believer. If it did, then you enter a theology of salvation by works.

2. Where specious (although well meaning arguments) are employed to demonstrate its antiquity or covenantal connections. Take it as it is - a blessing, a grace. I do the same for baptising adults. In itself it doesn't save but as with anything that involves the grace of God, "something" always happens at baptism.

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Gamaliel
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A few quick observations ...

I seems to me that just as it is axiomatic that Theodosian and Erastian forms of Christianity will inevitably lead to hegemonic coercion and abuse, there is a mirror-image inherent danger of extremes within more voluntarist or sectarian forms.

Yes, the Inquisition, yes non-Anglicans not allowed into Oxford before the 1850s or the Royal Family barred from marrying Catholics ...

But yes also Munster, yes also Waco, yes idiosyncratic interpretations of scripture and examples of exclusivism ...

All these things must be resisted whatever our 'churchmanship'.

On the 'works' thing, I'm not sure that paedobaptism falls into that category as nobody is saying that the faith of the parents, the faith of the priest or minister or anything of that kind 'saves' the recipient. Heck, lay people can baptise in extreme circumstances in the RCC so it's not as if it HAS to be a priest.

Sure, there are cultural accretions and it lends itself to misunderstanding and abuse - but the same can be true for the evangelical 'sinner's prayer' and other forms of 'making a commitment' to use a particular piece of parlance.'

Credo-baptists and paedobaptists can end up talking past each other and I suspect that's happening to a certain extent here.

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

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Gamaliel
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It seems to me that whatever form of baptism we espouse, God's action in salvation is acknowledged or evoked.

There are caricatures on both sides.

Another irregular verb:

'The way we do it is based on grace and faith ...'

'The way you do it is based on mumbo-jumbo, privilege and works ...'

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

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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Gamaliel
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FWIW and all that said, and at the risk of accusations of fence-sitting, I do think we owe an big debt to the radical reformers and the Anabaptists for contributing to a paradigm shift away from imposed forms of religious observance and a move towards intentionality.

Of course, it wasn't only as a result of their often costly witness but that was a major contributor to the process.

The witness of often eccentric sects such as the Diggers, Quakers and so on played into this process.

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

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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RdrEmCofE
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quote:
All children are Holy in God's eyes just as all are created in God's image.
For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy. 1 Cor. 7:14

Perhaps you can explain to me what 'unclean' means when applied to children of parents who have no Covenant relationship with God, (i.e. unbelieving in Christ's atonement), and what 'holy' means when applied to the child of at least one believing parent, whose faith in the atonement of Christ is evidence to God of their Covenant with Him.

All children are 'loved by God' for sure, as we know from the teaching of Jesus Christ, they are recipients of God's Prevenient grace, as are all human beings because of the atonement. Were they not, they and we would be under immediate condemnation.

quote:
What you are giving me here is a church predicated on privilege not founded on grace and faith.
Nothing of the sort. Everything is of the Grace of God, we merely apprehend that grace by faith and in spite of being Holy to God, covenant children must still close with the covenant THEMSELVES, by act of faith or reject it and become covenant breakers and renegades in later life.

Yes, to be born under God's Covenant with one's parent is a 'privilege' but with privilege also comes 'responsibility' not expected by God of 'unclean' children from birth. This is a matter rarely discussed or understood even by adherents of infant baptism, much to the disadvantage of those infants who they have signed and sealed into God's Covenant. Breaking Covenant with God is far more serious than just being an 'unclean child', and as yet an 'unsaved', sinner under prevenient grace.

quote:
I don't have an issue with paedobaptism - I'm a godparent and take that seriously.
But do you understand the terms of The Covenant that your godchildren are baptised into? Will it be explained to them their need to close with the full implications of having a 'two way' Covenant relationship with God. The gifts of God are irrevocable, but punishment ensues from the misuse of them for purposes other than God intended.

quote:
1. Where it is being used as a kind of magic: rather than as a demonstration of Grace. Baptism doesn't save you whether performed by Priest or Minister or whether enacted on a baby or a confessing believer. If it did, then you enter a theology of salvation by works.
Here we are talking of the ignorant misuse of infant baptism. That is to be condemned, just as the ignorant misuse of credo-baptism which also is anathema.

quote:
2. Where specious (although well meaning arguments) are employed to demonstrate its antiquity or covenantal connections. Take it as it is - a blessing, a grace. I do the same for baptising adults. In itself it doesn't save but as with anything that involves the grace of God, "something" always happens at baptism.
Infant baptism is a sign and seal of the infant's covenant status by virtue of his/her believing parent's faith in Christ's Atonement. Skepticism regarding the probity of infant baptism denies the very special consolation of believing parents, that Our Lord wills that their children are fully welcomed into the communion of His Church. By refusing the sign of the covenant for our children we are not far from believing that they are not in the covenant. Indeed many a Baptist I have known has been greatly concerned that their children 'are not yet saved'.

The reason why Satan does his utmost to deprive our children of the ceremony of baptism is that he may efface from our gaze this attestation that the Lord has ordained for confirming to us the blessings which He desires them to enjoy, and that thus at the same time we may forget, little by little, the promise which He has given us for them. From this there must follow not only ingratitude and contempt for God's mercy towards us, but failure to instruct our children in the fear and discipline of His law and in the knowledge of His Gospel.

--------------------
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:


1. All children are Holy in God's eyes just as all are created in God's image.

For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy. 1 Cor. 7:14


2. Perhaps you can explain to me what 'unclean' means when applied to children of parents who have no Covenant relationship with God, (i.e. unbelieving in Christ's atonement), and what 'holy' means when applied to the child of at least one believing parent, whose faith in the atonement of Christ is evidence to God of their Covenant with Him.

3. All children are 'loved by God' for sure, as we know from the teaching of Jesus Christ, they are recipients of God's Prevenient grace, as are all human beings because of the atonement. Were they not, they and we would be under immediate condemnation.

quote:
What you are giving me here is a church predicated on privilege not founded on grace and faith.
Nothing of the sort. Everything is of the Grace of God, we merely apprehend that grace by faith and in spite of being Holy to God, covenant children must still close with the covenant THEMSELVES, by act of faith or reject it and become covenant breakers and renegades in later life.

4. Yes, to be born under God's Covenant with one's parent is a 'privilege' but with privilege also comes 'responsibility' not expected by God of 'unclean' children from birth. This is a matter rarely discussed or understood even by adherents of infant baptism, much to the disadvantage of those infants who they have signed and sealed into God's Covenant. Breaking Covenant with God is far more serious than just being an 'unclean child', and as yet an 'unsaved', sinner under prevenient grace.

5.
quote:
I don't have an issue with paedobaptism - I'm a godparent and take that seriously.
But do you understand the terms of The Covenant that your godchildren are baptised into? Will it be explained to them their need to close with the full implications of having a 'two way' Covenant relationship with God. The gifts of God are irrevocable, but punishment ensues from the misuse of them for purposes other than God intended.

6.
quote:
1. Where it is being used as a kind of magic: rather than as a demonstration of Grace. Baptism doesn't save you whether performed by Priest or Minister or whether enacted on a baby or a confessing believer. If it did, then you enter a theology of salvation by works.
Here we are talking of the ignorant misuse of infant baptism. That is to be condemned, just as the ignorant misuse of credo-baptism which also is anathema.

7.
quote:
2. Where specious (although well meaning arguments) are employed to demonstrate its antiquity or covenantal connections. Take it as it is - a blessing, a grace. I do the same for baptising adults. In itself it doesn't save but as with anything that involves the grace of God, "something" always happens at baptism.
Infant baptism is a sign and seal of the infant's covenant status by virtue of his/her believing parent's faith in Christ's Atonement. Skepticism regarding the probity of infant baptism denies the very special consolation of believing parents, that Our Lord wills that their children are fully welcomed into the communion of His Church. By refusing the sign of the covenant for our children we are not far from believing that they are not in the covenant. Indeed many a Baptist I have known has been greatly concerned that their children 'are not yet saved'.

8. The reason why Satan does his utmost to deprive our children of the ceremony of baptism is that he may efface from our gaze this attestation that the Lord has ordained for confirming to us the blessings which He desires them to enjoy, and that thus at the same time we may forget, little by little, the promise which He has given us for them. From this there must follow not only ingratitude and contempt for God's mercy towards us, but failure to instruct our children in the fear and discipline of His law and in the knowledge of His Gospel.

1. This is written to the church not to everyone. Sanctification here comes through relationship (wife, husband)

2. The children were dedicated to another deity. This means they are now Christ's. It doesn't cover children who have not been so involved

3. Yes by a conscious commitment which therefore makes baptism redundant. if you follow your argument

4. You are grading sin here. The bible only knows of this in context of sinning against the Holy Spirit

5. Yes to both parts.

6. Yes I agree. But I respectfully suggest you look to your own corner where the implications that it is baptism which regenerates is implicit in the rite. There are issues with credo baptism too of course but that's for me and my ilk to sort out. It's not required here as we are open membership.

7. Children are in the covenant until they sin. baptism may be a consolation but its not a requirement.

8. Please don't shift not pile on the blame. It's not all Satan's work. By stating it as you do you are traducing the considered decisions of many godly people and are (personally) condemning them and their children to hell when God does not. One decision on baptism will not necessarily be followed by the rejection you assert on others' behalf.

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RdrEmCofE
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quote:
1. This is written to the church not to everyone. Sanctification here comes through relationship (wife, husband)
And you are saying that sanctification does not, according to Paul extend, through relationship to the offspring of believing husband and wife? Is that it?

God has always considered children to be in relationship with their parents. Why should He suddenly change His mind on the matter after 2000 years.

quote:
2. The children were dedicated to another deity. This means they are now Christ's. It doesn't cover children who have not been so involved
How can we possibly know that? Does Paul say so? No he does not. If as you say, "They are now Christ's", HOW has that state of affairs come to pass? By what theological reasoning can you reach this conclusion if, (at the same time you are saying), the only means of entering The Church is by confession of faith by an adult?

quote:
3. Yes by a conscious commitment which therefore makes baptism redundant. if you follow your argument
Not so: Baptism is only redundant if it is superstitiously thought to confer salvation on the infant. That is not a legitimate purpose for infant baptism, neither is it a reformed basis for the sacrament only an ignorant apprehension of its probity by those critical of its application.

quote:
4. You are grading sin here. The bible only knows of this in context of sinning against the Holy Spirit
Nonsense! Covenant breakers were punished by God in the OT. God did not punish the Nations for being outside of the Covenant, they had no responsibility to abide by its rules and no special privileges afforded them by virtue of it. It was hoped by God that The Nations would eventually be embraced by The Covenant and be afforded the same privileges and responsibilities as Israel. The New Covenant is the Consummation of that unfolding plan of salvation. Christ is the mediator of The Covenant and The Gospel is the means by which it is now promulgated. Just so today, much will be expected of those to whom much is given. Luke 12:48.

quote:
7. Children are in the covenant until they sin. baptism may be a consolation but its not a requirement.
Nonsense! Children who sin, (and they will often do it), remain in the covenant until such time as God decides they are fully responsible for their behaviour. Their parents are immediately responsible to God for their children's behaviour until such time as God decides otherwise.

Baptism, I agree, is not a requirement, but it is far more than a mere consolation. Baptism, for infants, is a visible demonstration of the child's authentic right to be considered a member of Christ's church. The child has met all the requirements for such membership and is entitled to the sign and seal of the Covenant relationship with God that began when they entered the world as progeny of a believing parent, (in fact probably even before that, when they were knit together in their mother's womb).

It is a great evil for our children to be strangers to the people of God, strangers to the covenant. Believing parents sin gravely against the souls of their own children when they neglect to consecrate them to God by the institution of baptism, even if these children should ultimately choose to be blotted out of the book of life.

quote:
8. Please don't shift not pile on the blame. It's not all Satan's work. By stating it as you do you are traducing the considered decisions of many godly people and are (personally) condemning them and their children to hell when God does not.
I don't believe in Hell. At least not the kind of hell that most people's imaginations conjure up. I am quite content to let people indulge their imaginations to their medieval hearts content. I like the work of Hieronymus Bosch but I think he was far off the mark with his imaginings. They are decidedly nonbiblical. Many godly people have some very ungodly imaginations though, even when they may themselves be completely unaware 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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Kaplan Corday
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quote:
Originally posted by RdrEmCofE:
The children of believers however will hear and respond to the Gospel while already under The Covenant, and therefore only have the option to either REMAIN under it, or LEAVE and face the consequences.

As an Arminian, I am amused by the contradiction in which those of Reformed persuasion entangle themselves with their peculiar take on covenant, ie children of believers are automatically saved, but can choose to lose that salvation, in defiance of the doctrine of the perseverance of the saints.

As an Arminian, too, I believe in the NT truths that God's loves all people (children and adults); that Jesus died for all people; that God wants all people to be saved; and that he extends a genuine invitation to them to accept the gospel, and provides prevenient grace to enable them to do so.

In the light of this, anyone who is still trying desperately to cling on to covenant barriers and restrictions on the OT pattern, has simply failed to grasp the significance of the Christ event.

The delusion that children of believers are automatically saved, while the children of unbelievers are not, is not only wrong-headed, but wicked and blasphemous.

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Kaplan Corday
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quote:
Originally posted by RdrEmCofE:
For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy. 1 Cor. 7:14

Believe me, I have spent a lifetime listening to Christians cite obscure verses (like a magician producing a rabbit from a hat) in support of dodgy doctrines, so I am inured and unfazed.

The hermeneutical principle of the analogy of faith teaches that difficult pericopes are to be interpreted in the light of clearer and more numerous passages, and the NT nowhere teaches that children are automatically saved by being born into a Christian family, so whatever I Cor.7:14 is teaching, it is not teaching that, any more than it is teaching that the non-Christian spouses of Christians are automatically saved.

I admire your ingenuity and tenacity, but while it is quite interesting, you will continually and inevitably shipwreck yourself on the rock of complete and utter absence of paedobaptism in the NT.

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:

I admire your ingenuity and tenacity, but while it is quite interesting, you will continually and inevitably shipwreck yourself on the rock of complete and utter absence of paedobaptism in the NT.

Paedobaptism is just a special case of household baptisms.
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Barnabas62
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Kaplan Corday

I've spent the whole of my life of faith in a church which practises believers baptism.

And I think you are wrong. Certainly as a matter of history, baptism of infants goes back a very long way. There are references by Irenaeus (Against Heresies - late 2nd century), by Origen (early third century), who mentions infant baptism as "traditional and customary", Tertullian (early 3rd century) who mentions that it was customary to baptise infants with sponsors speaking on their behalf. The evidence is that from at least the 3rd century, infant baptism was a standard practice. We're talking about well before the Ecumenical Councils of the 4th and 5th Century.

However you (or I) may wish to read scripture re this (and you underestimate the room for disagreement), infant baptism as an established church practice has a very long pedigree. It was practised alongside the adult baptism of converts.

Theologically, to dismiss it is to dismiss the grace of God towards infants. It is also to dismiss the practical value of welcoming babies into the family of God, of encouraging parents and godparents to support them in both their practical and spiritual growth.

In my local congo, babies are welcomed into the church, their parents and indeed the whole church make promises of both practical and spiritual support. We just don't use water. But the intention is the same as if we did. We just have a different view of the efficacy of the water.

So our sacramental view is different to those who practise infant baptism. But it is better to be humble and accept that the church has been doing it for a very long time, in support of both tradition and scripture. There really is no place for any sense of superiority about believers' baptism.

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RdrEmCofE
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quote:
[Kaplan Corday] The hermeneutical principle of the analogy of faith teaches that difficult pericopes are to be interpreted in the light of clearer and more numerous passages, and the NT nowhere teaches that children are automatically saved by being born into a Christian family, so whatever I Cor.7:14 is teaching, it is not teaching that, any more than it is teaching that the non-Christian spouses of Christians are automatically saved.
So your contention is that this is a 'difficult pericope' to be interpreted by clearer and more numerous passages.

It is only a difficult pericope because you cannot explain it within the context of the theological edifice you have constructed around the single principle of credo-baptism.

In 1 Cor. 7:14. Paul confirms that the children of believers are 'holy'. (Nothing is said about them being automatically 'saved' as you try with your distinctive brand of theology, to impose on the text or infer that I have suggested).

Like the rest, this text ought not to be considered as a direct proof of the baptism of children, but as a confirmation of the covenant. It shows, in fact, that all the advantages of the covenant formerly accorded to the believing Jewish family are now made available to the Christian family.

In order to prove that a Christian husband or wife ought not to leave the unbelieving partner, Paul uses an argument which ought, in the Church, to be unquestioned and accepted by all: " Your children are holy and not unclean" he says. This being so, the believing partner sanctifies the unbelieving partner. By the faith of one only the entire conjugal union is sanctified.

(Here is what the non-Jewish modern credo-baptist mind cannot comprehend about the covenant and thus treats Paul's statement as a difficult pericope). The main point of Paul's argument is that children of a family in which the father or the mother is a believer are reckoned to the believing partner, even if it is the wife.. Here it is faith which dominates everything.

The children of believers are not however 'holy' by nature, but only by the privilege of the covenant. Just as credo-baptist converts do not become 'holy' by nature, but only by imputation. Our 'righteousness' being as it were 'put on as a garment' which rightly belongs to Christ.

You unfortunately seem trapped in your own meaning construct and therefore are unable to interpret 1 Cor.7:14 in any meaningful way within the paired down, poorly formed covenant understanding you have espoused.

Once we create meaning for ourselves, our brains are designed to hold on to that meaning. We are biased toward the meaning our mind has made, and we don’t want to let go of it. Even if we see evidence that contradicts the meaning we created, we often ignore it and keep on believing anyway.

I have explained the 'pericope' (or 'religious text' for those of us who don't often use rare words), but did my explanation make any sense to you? Probably not.

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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:
The delusion that children of believers are automatically saved, while the children of unbelievers are not, is not only wrong-headed, but wicked and blasphemous.
The delusion is your own, read back through what I have said, you will find no mention of 'children of believers being 'automatically saved'. That is entirely your own construct, no more than a straw man or Aunt Sally to knock down and appear to win points. Deliberate obfuscation.

Neither have I said anything about the children of unbelieving parents 'going to hell'. False accusation: Entirely your own words, not mine.

Wicked and blasphemous: Yes, IF I had said it, which I had not.

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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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Barnabas62
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An interesting addendum to my post. It appears from church history that the practice of infant baptism predated the establishment of the canon of scripture by at least a century. So I find it pretty amusing that the tradition of infant baptism should be criticised using the traditional texts of scripture, which came later.

I don't mind anyone arguing that the early church message emphasised believe and baptised. It also stressed the imminence of the last days. The practice of infant baptism may well have had something to do with the reality that the last days might be further in the future, so there might be several generations of Christians to come. In that context the early references to household baptism may well have been found helpful in answering questions about the welcoming of babies into the Christian communities.

It does seem to make sense to look at this ancient practice in the context of church history, rather than just applying a particular view of the canonical scripture, and the sacraments.

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Callan
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Originally posted by Barnabas62:

quote:
I don't mind anyone arguing that the early church message emphasised believe and baptised. It also stressed the imminence of the last days. The practice of infant baptism may well have had something to do with the reality that the last days might be further in the future, so there might be several generations of Christians to come. In that context the early references to household baptism may well have been found helpful in answering questions about the welcoming of babies into the Christian communities.

The earliest Baptisees would, of course, have been adults because there was no tradition of taking little Stacy to the church to have her 'done' c33AD. The people being Baptised would have been people who heard the proclamation of the Gospel and believed and who would, by definition, have been adults. We do know of cases where people with their whole household were Baptised which suggests to me that infant Baptism may have been practiced by the Early Church, but without a TARDIS we have no way of confirming this.

The strongest reason - for me - for the practice of paedobaptism is that the Church is a community and communities are comprised of adults who can decide stuff for themselves and children and other people who can't. What is the justification for leaving the latter out of the community. I used to take communion to a lady with a mentally handicapped daughter. There was no question of the daughter being mentally competent enough to accept her Baptism - ever. What is the justification for leaving her out of the Church? So I Baptise anyone who asks me nicely. If people are daft enough to put themselves and their children into the hands of the Living God, who am I to stand in their way.

I have no problem with credobaptist rebaptisms, in the Baptism or Anabaptist tradition. They are not just doing it to annoy people, they are doing it because they think it is important. They regard it as a sacrament tied up with one's recognition of Jesus as Lord. In the C of E we have Confirmation for that sort of thing. But, pragmatically, as humans we need rituals to welcome children into the community and to acknowledge people becoming fully fledged adult members. I would, as per the OP, have a problem with an Anglican church rebaptising people but that is another matter. Parenthetically, my one encounter with an HTB plant in an urban priority area was entirely positive. This isn't to say that other people haven't had other experiences.

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How easy it would be to live in England, if only one did not love her. - G.K. Chesterton

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by Callan:

In that context the early references to household baptism may well have been found helpful in answering questions about the welcoming of babies into the Christian communities.

We do know of cases where people with their whole household were Baptised which suggests to me that infant Baptism may have been practiced by the Early Church, but without a TARDIS we have no way of confirming this.

But again, infant baptism in this scheme is just a special case of something that would happen within the context of a household baptism.

Because the question to ask for those placing credo baptism in opposition to paedo baptism is; on the basis of whose profession of belief was the rest of the jailers household being baptised?
[Similarly, on the basis of whose belief was the rest of Abraham's household circumcised in Gen 17]

I'll return to the rebaptism question later as ISTR reading some material that suggested that there were two distinct ways in which it surfaced post the magisterial Reformation - and would want to review that first before responding.

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RdrEmCofE
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Callan [Overused]

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Barnabas62
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quote:
Originally posted by Callan:

The strongest reason - for me - for the practice of paedobaptism is that the Church is a community and communities are comprised of adults who can decide stuff for themselves and children and other people who can't.

Agree entirely; it is what I was trying to say, but not as succinctly. We've argued about this too much in the past; some mutual respect and understanding is in order.

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RdrEmCofE
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quote:
[ Callan ] The earliest Baptisees would, of course, have been adults because there was no tradition of taking little Stacy to the church to have her 'done' c33AD. The people being Baptised would have been people who heard the proclamation of the Gospel and believed and who would, by definition, have been adults.
Yes but little Satacy, (or her equivalent) quite possibly was hanging around mum and dad when they were listening to Peter's Pentecost sermon. Her parents would have heard Peter's proclamation:

quote:
"Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ." Acts 2:38.
Had she been even only just old enough to ask mum and dad, "Does every one of you mean me as well."

Peter would have clarified the situation when he added.

"For the promise is to you and your children and to all that are far off, every one whom the Lord our God calls to him". Acts 2:39.

So the principle is there right from the day of Pentecost when about three thousand souls were baptized, and there is no absolute guarantee, (given the Jewish understanding of Covenant), that all those souls were adults.

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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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Kaplan Corday
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quote:
Originally posted by Barnabas62:
Certainly as a matter of history, baptism of infants goes back a very long way.

The evidence is that from at least the 3rd century, infant baptism was a standard practice.

infant baptism as an established church practice has a very long pedigree. It was practised alongside the adult baptism of converts.

I am quite aware of all this, and have never denied the antiquity of paedobaptism.

All I have pointed out is that it is nowhere described or taught in the NT, and that we are on very dubious grounds when we attempt to treat post-NT developments (I cited as an example the state persecution of heretics) as normative and prescriptive.

quote:
Theologically, to dismiss it is to dismiss the grace of God towards infants.
I am sorry, but that really is a very silly and untrue thing to say.

God extends his grace to babies every bit as much as to adults, and their salvation is guaranteed (whether they are the children of Christians or not) should they die before the age of accountability.

What is more, a belief in credo-baptism is in no way incompatible with a commitment to nurturing any children who happen to be in a church environment, whether they are the offspring of church members, hangers-on, visitors, unknowns (in the case of temporary respite care, fostering, or adoption) or whoever.

quote:
There really is no place for any sense of superiority about believers' baptism.
I reiterate what I said upthread, that I have always been committed to peaceful co-existence between paedobaptists and credobaptists, and only defend credobaptism if it is attacked by paedobaptists with a "sense of superiority".
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Kaplan Corday
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quote:
Originally posted by RdrEmCofE:
Yes but little Stacy, (or her equivalent) quite possibly was hanging around mum and dad when they were listening to Peter's Pentecost sermon. Her parents would have heard Peter's proclamation:

Had she been even only just old enough to ask mum and dad, "Does every one of you mean me as well."

There would not be the slightest problem with baptising a little girl who (unlike an uncomprehending baby) can communicate, can understand at some level the concept of a commitment to Jesus, and has the volitional capacity to choose to be baptised.


quote:
"For the promise is to you and your children and to all that are far off, every one whom the Lord our God calls to him". Acts 2:39.
To suppose, in the context of the verbal interraction between Peter and his hearers (v.37), that Peter had in mind unconscious babies, is to draw to snapping point a very long bow indeed.

Give us a break.

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Barnabas62
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quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
quote:
Originally posted by Barnabas62:
Theologically, to dismiss it is to dismiss the grace of God towards infants.

I am sorry, but that really is a very silly and untrue thing to say.

God extends his grace to babies every bit as much as to adults, and their salvation is guaranteed (whether they are the children of Christians or not) should they die before the age of accountability.

How do you know that? From scripture, I mean.

I think it can be inferred from the NT picture is God as loving father. But I can't remember any specific scriptural confirmation. Perhaps you know one?

This is a vital point. As I described above, in my local church the welcoming of babies shares just about everything featured in infant baptism, apart from the water. Our understanding of baptism as a sacrament is different. But it is only an understanding.

There are millions of Christians, by far the majority, whose understanding is different. I can accept the possibility that the grace of God is at work in infant baptism, despite my different understanding of the sacrament.

If you can accept that possibility, then I withdraw my observation.

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RdrEmCofE
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quote:
God extends his grace to babies every bit as much as to adults, and their salvation is guaranteed (whether they are the children of Christians or not) should they die before the age of accountability.
Sounds nice, but can we have chapter and verse on exactly what scripture you base that assertion?

We infant baptizers can justify the assertion that the infants of believers are guaranteed salvation by virtue of God's covenant with their parent/s and can cite scripture to support the assertion.

Can you?

You presumably believe that entry to the church and therefore the covenant, can only be obtained by a visible confession of faith in the Lordship of Christ, and baptism. How is it, (according to scripture, as you seem to understand it), that your children who until the age of cognizance, are incapable of confessing faith in Jesus Christ are guaranteed salvation (whether they are the children of Christians or not)?

Chapter and verse please.

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RdrEmCofE
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quote:
To suppose, in the context of the verbal interraction between Peter and his hearers (v.37), that Peter had in mind unconscious babies, is to draw to snapping point a very long bow indeed.
Only to someone who has little understanding of how the Pentecostal Jewish hearer would have understood Peter's speech referring to the promise for their children.

As far as they were concerned, this would mean children from only 8 days old, the age at which boys were circumcised, (as Jesus was himself), as a sign and seal of their God instituted covenant promises and responsibilities.

If you tried to tell one of those 3000 that their baby could not be baptized and share in the same covenant promises that the parent was about to receive by baptism, (i.e. the forgiveness of their sin and the gift of The Holy Spirit), they would probably have refused to go through with it. You certainly could not sell them the idea that they were about to enter A BETTER COVENANT than the Old One that included their boy children from 8 days old onwards.

But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. Heb. 8:6.

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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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Barnabas62
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quote:
Originally posted by RdrEmCofE:

Chapter and verse please.

Well, of course I made the same point, from within the Baptist tradition.

But frankly, we need more mutual generosity. Like this from Callan

quote:
I have no problem with credobaptist rebaptisms, in the Baptism or Anabaptist tradition. They are not just doing it to annoy people, they are doing it because they think it is important. They regard it as a sacrament tied up with one's recognition of Jesus as Lord.
I want to be friends despite our differences of understanding. It doesn't really bother me if you find my understanding to be inferior, or heretical, or just plain wrong. I'm prepared to accept that we may be wrong, or have an incomplete understanding. Why is it such a big deal to say "we know in part"?

Like Callan says, we don't do what we do to annoy people; we find a value in keeping alive the concept of "believe and be baptised".

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RdrEmCofE
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quote:
Like Callan says, we don't do what we do to annoy people; we find a value in keeping alive the concept of "believe and be baptised".
And a very good and Biblical concept it is too, (for adults and cognizant children).

Credo-baptists so often seem to assume that infant baptizers are guaranteeing salvation, (as if that were possible).

No one is guaranteed salvation, even confessing adults.

OSAS is a damnable heresy which runs a coach and horses through the whole idea of sanctification and perseverance of the saints.

ALL baptised souls need to remain in God's Grace by living in power of The Holy Spirit and remaining faithful to Christ and his teaching. This applies as much to babies as it does to adults.

No one is guaranteed salvation until they hear a special someone whisper in their ear, in the hour of their death, "Well done thou good and faithful servant".

[ 06. February 2018, 23:09: 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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Barnabas62
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I presume that OSAS means 'Once Saved, Always Saved'?

On this question I urge a reverent agnosticism! It's up to God who joins the sheep and who the goats, an issue in discussion elsewhere.

My own understanding from the gospels is that complacency is really not a good idea when it comes to Christian discipleship. I believe Christians should get stuck into the work of the kingdom, get stuck into following Christ. And leave the management of eternity to the eternal God. Self obsessed focus on whether or not we are saved bothers me. A privatised gospel emphasising self-interest in salvation seems a long way removed from Jesus' well known paradox that seeking to keep our lives is a recipe for losing them. Service of others based on love of God and others is our categorical imperative.

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Who is it that you seek? How then shall we live? How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?

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Nick Tamen

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quote:
Originally posted by Barnabas62:
This is a vital point. As I described above, in my local church the welcoming of babies shares just about everything featured in infant baptism, apart from the water. Our understanding of baptism as a sacrament is different. But it is only an understanding.

There are millions of Christians, by far the majority, whose understanding is different. I can accept the possibility that the grace of God is at work in infant baptism, despite my different understanding of the sacrament.

and
quote:
Well, of course I made the same point, from within the Baptist tradition.

Barnabas, I don't want to send the thread down a tangent—though I guess it isn’t too off-topic—but may I ask a quick question? Do British Baptists refer to baptism as a "sacrament"? Or communion, for that matter? I only ask because, with little exception, Baptists on this side of the pond affirmatively reject the use of the term "sacrament."

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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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Baptist Trainfan
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Traditionally British Baptists talk of "ordinances" rather than "sacraments". However I suspect that the usage is changing and "sacrament" is more often used than it once was, partly because "ordinance" sounds so old-fashioned! Just my opinion though.
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Kaplan Corday
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quote:
Originally posted by Barnabas62:
quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
quote:
Originally posted by Barnabas62:
Theologically, to dismiss it is to dismiss the grace of God towards infants.

I am sorry, but that really is a very silly and untrue thing to say.

God extends his grace to babies every bit as much as to adults, and their salvation is guaranteed (whether they are the children of Christians or not) should they die before the age of accountability.

How do you know that? From scripture, I mean.
No, I can't produce proof texts.

My conviction is based on what I understand of the character of God from the Bible.

As I said upthread, if you or anyone else derives a different understanding from Scripture, and chooses to hold Augustine's belief that hell is full of unbaptised babies, then I wish you joy of it.

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Kaplan Corday
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quote:
Originally posted by RdrEmCofE:
But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. Heb. 8:6.

It is a better covenant because it is based on grace, not adherence to the Law; is offered to all humankind, Jew and Gentile alike; and is offered on the basis of understanding, communication and relationship, not mere accident of birth.

You seem determined to misunderstand the Christian era of covenant, and do everything possible to push it back into the old, discredited and now obsolete model from the OT.

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Kaplan Corday
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quote:
Originally posted by RdrEmCofE:
you will find no mention of 'children of believers being 'automatically saved'.

Your theory of covenant says that babies are born into it by virtue of having Christian parents, and that they can later on choose to leave it.

If they are not saved, ie Christians, while supposedly under the covenant, then there is no point in their being under it.

They are either saved, and since they have no say in it, it is perfectly reasonable to describe them as automatically saved, or they are not, in which case there is no point to covenant membership.

Choose the alternative on which you prefer to skewer yourself.

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
There would not be the slightest problem with baptising a little girl who (unlike an uncomprehending baby) can communicate, can understand at some level the concept of a commitment to Jesus, and has the volitional capacity to choose to be baptised.


This is a bit of a sweeping statement - many credobaptists would "have a problem" with baptising a young child who did not have the capacity to understand the full implications of what they were doing.

I don't have figures, but in my experience Baptists do not tend to baptise anyone under 12 and it is much more likely to be a practice for church kids between 14-18. In my experience even this latter age band is too young and can cause confusion and disillusionment in subsequent years (often early 20s).

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Incidentally, the most painful baptism experience I ever witnessed was of a child of about 6 in an Anglican church. The child clearly didn't understand what was happening to them but knew that they didn't want or like the attention.

Hence they screamed "nooooo, I don't want it" throughout the whole thing.

I'm not sure what the Anglican priest is supposed to do in these circumstances, but the congregation stood agog and IIRC everyone just tried to get through it as quickly as possible.

In my muddled and contradictory understanding of baptism, it seems to me that any child between about a toddler and say 14-16 shouldn't be baptised other than in extreme circumstances.

Children are not capable of understanding the line between their faith and their parents (and/or other adults) and are not really capable of understanding to any sensible level what it is that they are doing.

To me the only two options are to baptise as an infant or as an independent adult. Anything in the middle, in my view, is bad.

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arse

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:


They are either saved, and since they have no say in it, it is perfectly reasonable to describe them as automatically saved, or they are not, in which case there is no point to covenant membership.

Choose the alternative on which you prefer to skewer yourself.

If I may, I'd gently suggest that you and your interlocutor are talking past each other because your theology is fundamentally different and you are both judging the other by a standard they don't accept.

Baptists, Mennonites and others are basically "opt in" faiths. Anglicans, Lutherans, RCs etc are basically opt-out faiths.

In the former, you can never really be considered a full member of the church until you consciously sign up and say/do some specified things. This is often tied to an understanding that "getting saved" is something that happens in a particular, defined, instant to every believer.

In the latter, the understanding isn't about "being saved" in an instant and one is considered to be "in" until such time as you make some kind of positive decision to leave.

So it doesn't really make any sense to talk about the pedobaptisers practicing the idea of "automatic salvation" of children. It is more that they understand the faith to be a river which at any given moment in life one is in until one chooses to get out.

A child cannot get out, they're carried along by many arms of people within the faith until such time as they make some other decision. There is nothing "automatic" about the salvation, it is simply that pedobaptisers understand grace to mean that one is given the benefit of the doubt until such time as that clearly isn't appropriate whereas - in a crude sense - the credobaptists assume nothing until someone of sound mind signs up on the bit of paper.

It's a totally different way of understanding belief and church membership.

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arse

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