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Source: (consider it) Thread: Re-Baptism ?
RdrEmCofE
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quote:
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.
But infants of believers are excluded from it and have to remain outside it, (according to Baptist theologising), until they are old enough to 'choose' to enter it, (as if we choose Christ, rather than The Father choosing us for Christ, as clearly stated by Christ). Jn. 15:16, 6:65, 17:9, 17:11, 17:24, And even Paul recognised that 'faith' is granted to man by God. Rom. 12:3.

The questions I pose therefore are:

(1) Do you believe your infants to be in the covenant?

(2) If you say they are, (and I think you have, since you seem to think they are 'guaranteed salvation'), by what theological reasoning, according to your understanding of scripture, are they IN it?

(3) If you say they are not, how according to scripture, are you so confident that they are 'guaranteed salvation'? You must be aware that there is no 'guaranteed salvation' for anyone outside The New Covenant, for it is only within it that its promises are fulfilled.

If you say they have it at birth, when do they lose the 'guarantee'? If at some point they lose the 'guarantee' what happens between their losing the 'guarantee' and them hearing and positively responding to the Gospel, confirmed by baptism? Are they not in a precarious position salvation wise?

Can you not see the bind your theology has gotten you into regarding the confidence you have in your own children's salvation status between birth and their first understanding and responding to the Gospel invitation, which may be many years after birth?

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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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Perhaps it's time to correct another out of date conception?

Unbaptised babies.

It appears that we all trust in the mercy of God towards the helpless. The era of fear that Hell is populated with the bones of unbaptised babies is gone.

Like Kaplan Corday, I never believed that. It seemed grotesquely removed from any understanding that the Lord our God is good.

Perhaps it is better to use the term ordinances. I think in practice the nonconformist approach to both baptism and communion is best described as sacramental because we follow the commands of Jesus on both matters. Communion may be a memorial, but we still use bread and wine. The water may not effect any change, that has not already occurred in the heart, but we use it anyway.

The water, the bread, the wine, are seen as indispensable to our actions, but mainly as indispenable symbols. We use them because Jesus said do this in remembrance of me, baptise the disciples who have joined you.

So we don't really know why the bread and wine and water are essential. The symbol argument is a theory. Because we are resistant to the notion of 'magical acts' requiring a specially set aside 'priestly class' to make them work.

It really is time to confine these arguments to history. The imperative is to build welcoming communities and to lay down our arms about the different ways we do that. When you dig down deep enough, we have remarkably similar motives for what we do differently.

[ 07. February 2018, 12:26: Message edited by: Barnabas62 ]

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RdrEmCofE
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quote:
[Barnabus:] Unbaptised babies.

It appears that we all trust in the mercy of God towards the helpless. The era of fear that Hell is populated with the bones of unbaptised babies is gone.

Like Kaplan Corday, I never believed that.

Neither do I.

quote:
It seemed grotesquely removed from any understanding that the Lord our God is good.
[Overused]

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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:
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.

The right thing to do in a case of that sort would be for the priest to stop the proceedings and explain to the congregation that baptism is entirely a voluntary affair and the only reason babies are baptised is because they are entitled by virtue of having at least one believing parent who has secured the child's qualification to be included in thier parent's covenant with God.

Followed by a request to be invited to the child's non-baptism bun-fight for a piece of cake and a booze-up, to celebrate the child's ability to express its opinion so forcibly when intimidated by a bunch of control-freak adults who should have got the whole thing out of the way when the child was young enough not to raise objection.

I imagine any Jewish parent in OT times would have been charged with physical assault or child abuse had they irresponsibly left circumcision of their baby boy until the age of the little girl you mentioned.

At 8 days old I guess the male child would have no memory of the discomfort involved. I don't see any regrets from Jesus Christ at the fact that he had 'had it done to him, in accord with the law'. Luke 2:22-24, Luke 2:39. He was clearly too young to remember it all.

The New Covenant being in all respects 'A better covenant' has no requirement for circumcision or letting of blood, the only blood required was that of Christ himself.

Baptism is entirely voluntary and it is not IMPOSED upon infants or adults. Infants are only baptised on the basis that they have an entitlement to it as a demonstration of their standing within the Christian community, under the self same covenant as their believing parent/s.

I admit, given the paucity of knowledge of Covenant theology in the average Anglican pew, the priest would have an uphill task of explaining it all, especially to nominal attendees who have little or no interest in the subject, but are merely there out of respect for the wishes of Granny, Grandad, mum, dad or whoever, not out of any interest in Covenant Theology or even in God or their own salvation.

Such is the nature of the problem which has been largely caused, not by infant baptism, nor by credo-baptism, but by the church's failure to educate itself and its parishioners in the Doctrine of Covenantal Salvation in the New Testament era of Grace.

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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:
[Mr Cheesy] 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. . . . . . . . . eveything else you said . . .

Except that 'basically' is an important proviso because the opt-out churches also believe strongly in credo-baptism for those to whom it is appropriate.

[Overused]

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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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Callan
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Originally posted by Mr Cheesy:

quote:
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.

All I can say is that this isn't my experience. I am reminded of the story of the American gentleman who was asked if he believed in infant baptism: "Believe in it? Heck, I've seen it done!"

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SvitlanaV2
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In the Pentecostal churches I know of it's common for children to be baptised around 8 years of age. But they will have been raised in a religious environment, and know what to expect. They're also required to be able to give their consent.

[ 07. February 2018, 14:27: Message edited by: SvitlanaV2 ]

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:
In the Pentecostal churches I know of it's common for children to be baptised around 8 years of age. But they will have been raised in a religious environment, and know what to expect. They're also required to be able to give their consent.

To an extent yes, but in reality the age gets pushed ever downwards, and it's often dubious exactly what the children are consenting to.
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RdrEmCofE
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quote:
To an extent yes, but in reality the age gets pushed ever downwards, and it's often dubious exactly what the children are consenting to.
If only these parents knew about the covenant provisions God has made for their infants and children, they would not be so concerned for their eternal destiny that they try to rush them to a commitment they lack the intellectual maturity to comprehend fully.

Children of believers are entitled to be allowed to grow into an understanding of the privileges afforded them by God under the terms of the covenant He has undertaken with their parent/s. Right up until they feel ready to take full responsibility upon themselves, for undertaking the discipline of living through faith, the Godly life, God enables with the help of His Holy Spirit, his children to live.

[ 07. February 2018, 20:01: 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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SvitlanaV2
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chris stiles

Well, as this thread shows, baptism (and re-baptism) is subjected to a whole raft of interpretations, official and otherwise, so I wouldn't doubt that the Pentecostal approach is shifting in that respect.

Sometimes I feel that Pentecostals want to have their cake and eat it. They like the protective element offered by infant baptism, but they also like the drama of baptism as a transformative event in a conscious believer's life.

Perhaps this is because Pentecostalism, while being a Protestant movement, also represents a sort of 're-catholicised', mystical form of Christianity.

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Kaplan Corday
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quote:
Originally posted by RdrEmCofE:
[QUOTE] Do you believe your infants to be in the covenant?

If you are asking me about my own children, no, of course we did not get them christened as babies.

Why on earth would we?

As babies and small children, before any age of accountability, they were covered by Christ's saving work had they died - in common with all babaies and small children, of Christians and non-Christians.

When grown up and responsible, their having been christened while completely unconscious of the event, would not have made an iota of difference to their need to trust and obey Christ for themselves - at which point they would enter the new covenant described in the NT.

The only reason for christening them would have been a command or precedent for doing so in the NT, and such command and/or precedent is totally non-existent.

In its absence, the only remaining reason for christening babies is a confusion between the OT and NT covenants, of the sort displayed by the Judaizers in the Galatian church.

In the light of the ongoing failure by some Christians 2000 years later to comprehend this difference, and their attempts to eisegetically wrest the scriptures (KJV Rules OK!) to justify their confusion, one can only sigh, "Plus ca change...."

[ 08. February 2018, 00:12: Message edited by: Kaplan Corday ]

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RdrEmCofE
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quote:
If you are asking me about my own children, no, of course we did not get them christened as babies.

Why on earth would we?

As babies and small children, before any age of accountability, they were covered by Christ's saving work had they died - in common with all babies and small children, of Christians and non-Christians.

First let me make perfectly clear, I am not suggesting that your infant children are not covered under the terms of God's covenant with you as believing parents. God keeps his promises even when we don't. Your children are securely IN the covenant even though you refuse to allow them the sign and seal of that covenant, which in OT terms would have been circumcision at 8 days old, but in NT practice is baptism. Also, since The New is better than the Old, your children would not be "cut off from God's people" merely because you have failed to keep your obligation to fulfil the terms of God's covenant with yourself, by acknowledging God's ownership of your infants, by submitting to God's ordinance to administer to them the sign and seal of that covenant, which once was circumcision, but now is baptism. Gen. 17:14. Ps 132:11-12, Prov. 5:6-7, Prov. 7:24, and especially Ezk. 16:21.

quote:
That thou hast slain MY children, and delivered them to cause them to pass through the fire?
(mere italics still does not seem enough of an emphasis, I would much rather have boldened the word to remind me to thump the pulpit rail and raised my voice to DRAMATISE the word MY, to drill it as deeply into my congregation's consciousness as a Spirited delivery can accomplish).

Your children, you rightly surmise are indeed "covered by Christ's saving work", but as to the theological justification for your contention you can point to no clear command or precedent anywhere in the New Testament for supporting or believing that fact. Notwithstanding the plain scriptural fact that they are NOT YOUR CHILDREN. NOT if you are yourself under God's Covenant in Christ's blood. Christ has "bought you with a price", 1 Cor. 6:20, 7:23, everything therefore that is yours is God's property, it legally belongs to God.

Your children, are IN the covenant already, by virtue of God's covenant with you, their believing parent. They have no choice, but that places them in the privileged position of "being God's property" in the unique respect of being under God's covenant.

The children of unbelieving, unconverted, unregenerate parents are NOT under God's covenant, because neither are at least one of their parents.

THEY are entirely only under prevenient Grace, which though generously allowing them all the potential benefits of this life, (including the possibility of hearing the Gospel, responding to it, and gaining all the additional benefits of living under The Covenant), does not actually include any promise by God that their children after them shall have the shepherding that Christ gives to HIS OWN sheep. Matt. 10:6, 15:24, 18:11, Luke 15:4, Jn. 17:12, 18:9. 2 Cor.4:3.

I do hope you will take the trouble to look up the references. In sermons I would quote all of them, and explain their relevance, but in a post they just take up too much space.

[ 08. February 2018, 09:56: 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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mr cheesy
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Ye gods. Are you not able to understand that people passionately disagree with you?

Just arrogantly and stridently stating your opinion doesn't make it right. In fact, as I've already pointed out, your beliefs make no sense to a credobaptist. Simply repeating them in an angrier tone doesn't help discussion.

[ 08. February 2018, 10:06: Message edited by: mr cheesy ]

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arse

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Callan
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quote:
Originally posted by chris stiles:
quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:
In the Pentecostal churches I know of it's common for children to be baptised around 8 years of age. But they will have been raised in a religious environment, and know what to expect. They're also required to be able to give their consent.

To an extent yes, but in reality the age gets pushed ever downwards, and it's often dubious exactly what the children are consenting to.
There are all sorts of interesting questions raised by the issue of "informed consent". I once Christened a child of five, growing up in a lapsed Catholic household, who came home from school one day and announced that she wanted to be Baptised and go to church. Now, to be fair dad took her to church on a regular basis and it was pretty much implicit in the conversation that if she said "actually, no" one Sunday morning she could have stayed at home and watched Ceebeebies, But the idea that a five year old has a definitive capacity to decide between all the worlds religions, and lack thereof, and judiciously conclude that she ought to be Baptised at St. Agatha's By The Gasworks is probably mistaken. I think the choices are either only Baptise adults after a rigorous programme of catechesis or Baptise anyone and so conduct yourself that, even if they subsequently decide that Richard Dawkins of the Buddha are actually on the money with regard to this one, that they have somehow benefitted from your ministrations.

I believe pretty strongly in infant baptism, but I think the real issue for which we will answer in the Day of the Lord's Coming is not how we initiated people into the community but how we treated them when they had signed up.

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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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LutheranChik
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Living in Amish country can also make one skeptical of “ informed consent.” Baptism is a requirement for marriage, so it seems a little odd that teens all seem to get religion right around the time that they settle on a steady boyfriend or girlfriend.

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RdrEmCofE
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quote:
Ye gods. Are you not able to understand that people passionately disagree with you?

Just arrogantly and stridently stating your opinion doesn't make it right. In fact, as I've already pointed out, your beliefs make no sense to a credobaptist. Simply repeating them in an angrier tone doesn't help discussion.

Of course I do, yes. That is why I am passionately in disagreement with them because I passionately hold my opinions just as they do.

I have no problem appreciating the extent of Kaplan Corday's passionately held beliefs, I just question his reasons for believing them, and he questions mine. There is nothing arrogant in either of our deliveries of what we passionately believe to be a true understanding of scripture. We are both believers, it is just our understandings that differ.

What is wrong with being passionate about what we believe? Christ was passionate about what he believed to be the truth and, according to scripture, "WE have the mind of Christ".

I suspect that the kind of dispassionate, intellectual discourse approved of by the scribes of Jesus' day was the cause of the people's observation:
quote:
" And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine: For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes." Matt. 7:28-29.
My observation is that passionless discourse usually emanates from people who are not passionate about what they believe. What they claim to 'believe' can usually be ignored because they apparently can't be bothered enough to even be passionate about it themselves.

Kaplan Corday and myself are having a passionate debate about matters of some importance to both of us. Kindly Butt out if you can't contribute positively, Mr Cheesy.

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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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mr cheesy
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Really. Your solution is to continue badgering a view you disagree with and telling others who tell you that you are talking past another person to "butt out".

You seem to ignore the facts that many of us have seen this discussion many times before, and that we've seen people with your level of arrogance wind opponents up before.

In fact, I think your "biblical" approach is utter bollocks and you wouldn't know constructive discussion if it but you around the face.

It isn't about "passion", it is about being a total dick when you blindly attempt to educate others.

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arse

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by Callan:

There are all sorts of interesting questions raised by the issue of "informed consent".

Well, the issues are raised because the context stresses informed consent and is otherwise very decisionistic.

The same thing applies within the SBC which has also seen increasing numbers of very young children being baptised alongside a theology that rejects infant baptism and is decision focused.

The twist is that at least in some of those Pentecostal/Charismatic groups paedocommunion of a kind is practised.

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RdrEmCofE
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quote:
In fact, I think your "biblical" approach is utter bollocks
In which case I can safely ignore your ignorant assertions.

Now stop Trolling and join the debate instead of attempting eye surgery with a plank in your eye.

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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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mr cheesy
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I am not trolling by any sense of the definition. I actually don't usually get involved in baptism discussion because I can see both sides to the argument, and because people so often assert that their view is the only possible way to understand the issue, ignoring the fact that other views on baptism start from a very different place of understanding.

I have tried explaining this to you several times but you are not listening.

Credobaptists do not accept your premises about adults, their children and baptism. However many times you post angrily and however many times you make massive theological mountains over single verses, you are not going to impress anyone because you are talking over their heads.

No credobaptist accept that salvation for children comes via their believing parent. It doesn't matter how many times you insist it is true, they simply don't think like that. Deal with it.

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arse

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by RdrEmCofE:


I imagine any Jewish parent in OT times would have been charged with physical assault or child abuse had they irresponsibly left circumcision of their baby boy until the age of the little girl you mentioned.

What a load of humbug this is, by the way. There are example of OT characters who are circumcised as adults.

Ironically given your predilection for making wild theological assertions based on single verses talking about whole households/families being baptised, Genesis 34:24 says that all the men in a city were circumcised, leaving no option for this to be simply about 8 day old boys. Similarly in Joshua 5. And Abraham apparently circumcised himself.

quote:

The New Covenant being in all respects 'A better covenant' has no requirement for circumcision or letting of blood, the only blood required was that of Christ himself.

The irony being that apparently the new covenant is not necessary for circumcised Jews who are inheritors of the promises to their forefathers. Why would they need to be baptised if they've inherited the promise by circumcision and baptism is the new covenant version of circumcision?

quote:
Baptism is entirely voluntary and it is not IMPOSED upon infants or adults. Infants are only baptised on the basis that they have an entitlement to it as a demonstration of their standing within the Christian community, under the self same covenant as their believing parent/s.
Credobaptists do not believe that any individual has any entitlement via their believing patents. Credobaptists believe that the covenant is between God and and individual - and that whatever parents do or don't believe is nothing to do with it.

There are no grandchildren in the kingdom of God, only children. As the saying goes.

quote:

Such is the nature of the problem which has been largely caused, not by infant baptism, nor by credo-baptism, but by the church's failure to educate itself and its parishioners in the Doctrine of Covenantal Salvation in the New Testament era of Grace.

No. The problem is pedo-baptism. What can possibly be the problem with baptising a 6 year old if their parents want it and the child doesn't? Your position makes zero sense.

[ 08. February 2018, 15:10: Message edited by: mr cheesy ]

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arse

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RdrEmCofE
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quote:
No credobaptist accept that salvation for children comes via their believing parent. It doesn't matter how many times you insist it is true, they simply don't think like that. Deal with it.
That is exactly the point. I am, as you suggest 'dealing with it'.

No atheist accepts that salvation is necessary at all, but that is no valid reason to pass up opportunity to convince them otherwise, if they are willing to engage in exploratory debate.

To be thus engaged requires one to put one's own case, while pointing out the weakness of the others reasoning, offering alternatives which they might find convincing.

I do not consider the conversation between myself and Kaplan Corday to have reached a fruitless impasse yet. He has throughout given as good as he has got, and the subject has been 'aired' from both his and my perspective, in our relative understandings of what is contained in Holy Scripture.

I agree that standing either side of defensive barricades hurling abuse at one another is unproductive, but I would suggest that neither he nor I have been guilty of that.

It was yourself that started hurling abuse by using the terms 'arrogant', 'strident' etc of another posters literary style, without addressing a single one of my arguments from scripture in a sober manner, merely being contemptuously dismissive using the term 'utter bollocks'.

Such invective unmasks your pretense, (excuse the American spelling), at scholarly sobriety.

Now perhaps you will allow the debate to continue without further interruption!

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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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What a load of humbug this is, by the way. There are example of OT characters who are circumcised as adults.
And your point exactly is? Of course there were, because they had not been circumcised at 8 days as God required and as The Law therefore stipulated.

quote:
The irony being that apparently the new covenant is not necessary for circumcised Jews who are inheritors of the promises to their forefathers. Why would they need to be baptised if they've inherited the promise by circumcision and baptism is the new covenant version of circumcision?
I suggest you get a TARDIS and go back and ask Peter on the Day of Pentecost. There was probably not a single male person among the 3000 baptised that day who were not also already circumcised. What reason did Peter give on that occasion for their necessity for baptism, pray tell me? Paul gives very good reason for baptised gentiles not to be circumcised by equating baptism with circumcision.

quote:
Credobaptists do not believe that any individual has any entitlement via their believing parents.
That is because they have separated Old and New Testaments and try to treat the New Covenant as if the Old Covenant was torn up and abolished. They are unable under such a delusion to explain how "An Everlasting Covenant" Gen.17:13, can meet such an abrupt abolishment, and something completely different, (though better), be put in its place.

The Covenant is in fact one and the same Covenant in both the Old and New dispensations. The New Covenant is NEW because it is the Old Covenant with major more gracious amendments and additions won for us all by Christ at the atonement. Nevertheless God foresaw the extension of The nationally exclusive Old Covenant with Abraham, Israel and Judah, to embrace ALL nations, for those that believe.

quote:
Credobaptists believe that the covenant is between God and and individual - and that whatever parents do or don't believe is nothing to do with it.
You seem to think that what people believe makes a single whit of difference to what God has ordained. Amazing!

quote:
No. The problem is pedo-baptism. What can possibly be the problem with baptising a 6 year old if their parents want it and the child doesn't? Your position makes zero sense.
My position was that the child had chosen and that choice should be respected. The ceremony should have been halted. Clearly the 6 year old had not been prepared by her parents and baptism is not compulsory, even for a 6 year old, regardless of the wishes of the parents. The church should have postponed the ceremony until such time as a sensible decision could be agreed upon by both parents and child.

I repeat: pedo-baptism is not the problem, the problem is general ignorance of God and the way He operates, according to the evidence contained in Holy 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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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by RdrEmCofE:
You seem to think that what people believe makes a single whit of difference to what God has ordained. Amazing!

Yawn. Obvious now you state it like that I suppose: what you state is the only true, ordained, word of God. Those who think differently aren't just disagreeing with you, they're disagreeing with God.


quote:
My position was that the child had chosen and that choice should be respected. The ceremony should have been halted. Clearly the 6 year old had not been prepared by her parents and baptism is not compulsory, even for a 6 year old, regardless of the wishes of the parents.
Why do you suddenly think that a six year old knows better what is good for them than a parent? Do you somehow think that a child screaming that they don't like injections somehow over-rides the right of a parent to insist that they have life-saving surgery? Or is this nonsensical position simply about baptism?

quote:

The church should have postponed the ceremony until such time as a sensible decision could be agreed upon by both parents and child.

Unless you can point to something official stating this, I'm going to put this down as an opinion not a recognised practice.

Again, if you are trying to tell me that baptism is something that a parent can promise for a child, you can't them somehow claim that a six year old is capable of deciding that they don't want it.
quote:


I repeat: pedo-baptism is not the problem, the problem is general ignorance of God and the way He operates, according to the evidence contained in Holy Scripture.

Repeat whatever you like. I think the problem here is that you seem to think that it is perfectly fine to make promises for a non-verbal infant but that somehow a six year old is capable of making a better decision than their parents.

I've seen babies grizzling through baptism. Are they also not indicating that they don't want it? What's the difference? Surely nobody is seriously claiming that a six year old understands - or is capable of rejecting - the covenant in baptism.

[ 08. February 2018, 16:15: Message edited by: mr cheesy ]

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arse

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BroJames
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Babies grizzling through baptism are generally hungry, needing to be changed, awake when they want to be asleep, or picking up adult stress.

One of the problems of this debate is that there is an underlying lack of clarity about what baptism primarily is. Is it primarily seen as an act of Christian obedience and a statement faith, or is it primarily an effectual sign of God's grace to be received by faith?

IMHO, as a matter of pastoral common sense, children old enough to want to take an active part, and especially once they are old enough to remember the experience in later life, need to be involved in the process and happy with it. In that respect it is different from (say) vaccination, because unlike vaccination, the value of baptism is related to how someone (who remembers it) receives and feels about it.

Personally, I would encourage parents who are people of faith to have their infant children baptised, but I wouldn't insist on it (even if I had the power), and I wouldn't judge them for not doing so. I'm more concerned about their conscientious commitment to helping their children grow in faith

I have also had a number of occasions when the initiative for baptism has been taken by the children themselves (8-11 y.o.), and has taken the parents somewhat by surprise.

I believe there is a good biblical case for infant baptism, but I also recognise the arguments from a credo-baptist point of view. Both viewpoints are held by people who take the Bible perfectly seriously, and I don't think we are going to solve on an internet forum a conundrum which has troubled the church for over 400 years, and been the subject of several books.

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by BroJames:


I believe there is a good biblical case for infant baptism, but I also recognise the arguments from a credo-baptist point of view. Both viewpoints are held by people who take the Bible perfectly seriously, and I don't think we are going to solve on an internet forum a conundrum which has troubled the church for over 400 years, and been the subject of several books.

Generally agree with this - except that I think the biblical case is actually pretty weak in both directions and riddled with contradictions.

Which makes my hackles rise when anyone talks as if their position is the only valid biblical one and that the other is obviously not very good at comprehension or listening to God.

I've had the reverse conversation with several Baptist ministers, and every time their condescending attitude drives me nuts.

Fair enough to disagree, but it seems to be one of those issues where the divide is so great that both sides cannot hear what the other is saying.

[ 08. February 2018, 17:25: Message edited by: mr cheesy ]

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arse

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RdrEmCofE
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quote:
what you state is the only true, ordained, word of God. Those who think differently aren't just disagreeing with you, they're disagreeing with God
Anyone who is unwilling to question their understanding of what God says in scripture when challenged by an alternative possible understanding is not worshiping with their whole mind.

quote:
Why do you suddenly think that a six year old knows better what is good for them than a parent? Do you somehow think that a child screaming that they don't like injections somehow over-rides the right of a parent to insist that they have life-saving surgery? Or is this nonsensical position simply about baptism?
I don't suddenly think anything like that. My thoughts are that the child expressed an opinion that deserves to be treated seriously, not just ignored. Your vaccination analogy is inappropriate because it suggests that baptism is equivalent, it is not. Baptism, either credo or pedo does not inoculate against sin.

A more appropriate analogy might be a 6year old not wanting to be black or British or in the NHS. Negotiating a better understanding in the circumstances would require more than just overriding the child's ignorant preference as it would with vaccination or going to school.

quote:
Unless you can point to something official stating this, I'm going to put this down as an opinion not a recognised practice.
How very legalistic of you.

quote:
Again, if you are trying to tell me that baptism is something that a parent can promise for a child, you can't them somehow claim that a six year old is capable of deciding that they don't want it.
I have been telling you nothing of the sort. I have only said that according to scripture God has promised covenant provision for the infants of covenant keepers.

quote:
I think the problem here is that you seem to think that it is perfectly fine to make promises for a non-verbal infant but that somehow a six year old is capable of making a better decision than their parents.
Not true. The 6 year old is still under her parents authority but they have no God given mandate to impose a ceremony on a child who clearly is unprepared for it. The question of whether a babe in arms is 'prepared' for a public ceremony does not arise. Whether the baby cooperates or not is also irrelevant since there are many things that infants are inclined not to cooperate in. Parents get used to it. They quickly get to know what is best for their child if they are good parents and good parents do not force a 6 year old to go through a public ceremony unprepared, then when the child objects or is fearful, make no attempt to understand, comfort her and remove the reason for her unnecessary but very real, distress.

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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:
Generally agree with this - except that I think the biblical case is actually pretty weak in both directions and riddled with contradictions.
I would conversely say that, given certain different a priori starting points the biblical case for both is pretty strong. But since both positions arrive at different conclusions because they started from different theological perspectives it is not surprising that two different conclusions were arrived at. The contradictions you seem to think exist are there simply because scripture is chock full of them anyway, on just about whatever subject one cares to study in any depth. With better understanding comes the ability to reconcile some of the supposed contradictions. To my mind that is what makes theology interesting.

quote:
Fair enough to disagree, but it seems to be one of those issues where the divide is so great that both sides cannot hear what the other is saying.
I agree! That is no reason however to cease debate if it might engender at least an appreciation of the other 'point of view', and therefore help to keep 'the unity of The Spirit in the bond of peace'.

[ 08. February 2018, 18:55: 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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Eutychus
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hosting/

RdrEmCofE, mr cheesy, your attention is drawn to Commandment 3: attack the issue, not the person

Cool it, both of you.

/hosting

[ 08. February 2018, 19:42: Message edited by: Eutychus ]

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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RdrEmCofE
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quote:
[ BroJames ] One of the problems of this debate is that there is an underlying lack of clarity about what baptism primarily is. Is it primarily seen as an act of Christian obedience and a statement faith, or is it primarily an effectual sign of God's grace to be received by faith?
I would say it is actually both, so the word primarily does not necessarily apply. The Disciples spent 3 and a half years with Jesus and never really understood him. What is so difficult for us to face is that we have had nearly 2000 years of not understanding him.

So pedantic condemnations of infant baptism and ignorant adherence to traditional practices without knowing the scriptural reason that the church has for over 1800 years, traditionally practiced them, both fall into the category of ignorance of scripture.

So it would seem that Baptism has become split into two almost separate components, each emphasised by two different dissenting, opposing parties. 1 Cor. 10-31 comes to mind.

It is the Primarily word that is the key because once baptism is deprived of its overall meaning and one aspect is held Primary over the other, things go badly wrong. The same goes for whether the metaphor of baptism Primarily signifies 'death' and 'resurrection' of the 'new man' or whether it is representative and symbolic of 'cleansing of sin' and 'renewal of life'. The answer of course is that the New Testament uses BOTH analogies, with the 'cleansing aspect' appearing marginally more times than the 'death and resurrection' symbolism.

The recent diversion of the thread discussion towards pedo or credo baptism and the rights or wrongs of one, (not the other because no one disagrees about that), has taken us away somewhat from the issue, which is re-baptism.

But just before we continue more on the thread title I would like to add this googlie or curve ball to the Biblical discussion.

When Paul wrote his second letter to Timothy, (and lets just all assume he did), he wanted to encourage Timothy to stand up for himself when challenged by those older and in their own eyes wiser than himself.

In order to encourage Timothy, Paul never referred to his baptism, which I find somewhat surprising. Paul referred to Timothy's lineage of Christian heritage and The Laying on of Hands that he had received from Paul on a previous visit. Both Timothy's mother Eunice and his Grandmother Lois were faithful believers. His father is not mentioned. (perhaps explained by Acts. 16:1). It is quite possible that Timothy's problem with older people in his community hinged on the fact that they had no recollection of Timothy being baptised as an adult, therefore like Baptists of today they questioned the validity of his faith. Paul had Timotheus circumcised when they visted Derbe and Lystra. Acts.16:1. Paul later on in his ministry changed his mind on the issue of circumcision of Gentiles and declared it unnecessary and the equivalent of baptism. It is perfectly in keeping with the obvious acceptance of infant baptism by the church well before the Biblical cannon was formed, that the tradition grew more common with each succeeding generation of Christians because it fitted well with their originally Jewish understanding of Covenant, of family responsibility to God and a complete lack of Apostolic censure of the practice. This explaining both the lack of evidence of the practice in the New Testament, (presumably closed by 130 AD), and also the lack of any Apostolic disapproval of the practice.

We are then left with two apparently opposing factions nowadays, one for infant AND adult baptism as appropriate, the other against infant baptism, claiming adult baptism to be uniquely valid, (based entirely upon a perceived complete lack of direct evidence for it in NT scripture.)

Surely it is the principle that Church Practice should be dictated by what is NOT found in scripture, that needs to be called into question here.

If this is going to be lifted up as an overriding principle, then how else might the church have to reevaluate its conduct in order to achieve complete consistency in accord with this principle and is the principle logical anyway. There are many things not recorded in scripture, Jn. 21:25. Are we supposed to ban women from receiving communion because, there is no recorded incidence of it ever happening in scripture?

pedo-baptists justify their practice, some on the grounds of very long standing tradition within the church going back before the Bible cannon existed, some on the grounds of Covenant Theology starting with the Old Testament and continuing, unbroken but enhanced, into the New. I can't help feeling, as a pedo-baptist under censure from credo-baptists, a bit the way Timothy might have felt when his pastoral validity was called into question by supposedly more qualified 'believers'.

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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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SvitlanaV2
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
I think the biblical case is actually pretty weak in both directions and riddled with contradictions.

Which makes my hackles rise when anyone talks as if their position is the only valid biblical one and that the other is obviously not very good at comprehension or listening to God.

I've had the reverse conversation with several Baptist ministers, and every time their condescending attitude drives me nuts.

But to be fair to them, if they didn't see their own position as particularly important than there would be no reason for their denomination to exist! Believer's baptism is their movement's one distinctive feature!

The CofE risks shocking its traditionalists when it 'tweaks' its baptismal policy here and there, but it doesn't risk its existence or status in doing so. By contrast, the evangelical denominations become more vulnerable when they tone down their position. This should be borne in mind when criticisiting them.

In the long run I think it's for the best that neither Jesus nor St Paul stressed one form of baptism over any other. It's made the religion more flexible, more adaptable to different conditions, different pastoral and psychological needs.

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Mudfrog
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There are two words I should like to get rid of from my Bible:

One is the word 'church' which the King James Bible translators deliberately used to translate the word 'ekklesia'. That word merely means any type of assembly or gathering - and Wycliffe had deliberately tranlated it as 'congregation' - but the translators used the word 'church' in order to maintain the authority of the Church of England and the King's control within it.

The word 'Church' was a loaded one because at the time it referred to one thing - the authoritative institution.


The second word is the word 'baptism.'
If I were to say that word to anyone and ask them what came to mind, they would undoubtedly reflect back a meaning depending on their ecclesiology - a child over a font, an adult in a tank; and always a Christian initiation ceremony, unrepeatable and sacramental.

However, that word 'baptiso' is not an ecclesiastical word; it's like ekklesia - it has been adopted and restricted to one meaning.
It simply means immersed - and the word we now use is merely the anglicised version because had the King James translators used the English word 'immerse' it would have destroyed the practice, as far as Biblical command was concerned, of sprinkling.
By inventing the word 'baptise' the translators and church authorities could continue to use the practice set up by Tradition over the centuries.

Had they translated the word as 'immerse' they would have reflected the actual practice of the Jerusalem church and the Apostles which was, when a Jewish man was converted to believe in Jesus as the Messiah, he went to be ritually immersed (a Jewish practice of ritual washing) in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

I have no argument with what it became in the latter Christian centuries; but I really do not think we can go back to the Acts of the Apostles for precedent, instruction, example or theology of Christian infant or adult baptism.

What we read about on the Day of Pentecost was nothing more than ritual washing. Not 'Baptism' in the Christian sacramental sense.

[ 08. February 2018, 21:13: Message edited by: Mudfrog ]

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"The point of having an open mind, like having an open mouth, is to close it on something solid."
G.K. Chesterton

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RdrEmCofE
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quote:
One is the word 'church' which the King James Bible translators deliberately used to translate the word 'ekklesia'.
Indeed, and it is a word which is applicable to God's people in both Old and New Testaments.

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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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Mudfrog
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quote:
Originally posted by RdrEmCofE:
quote:
One is the word 'church' which the King James Bible translators deliberately used to translate the word 'ekklesia'.
Indeed, and it is a word which is applicable to God's people in both Old and New Testaments.
But it does not refer to an hierarchical institution. That's the reason the KJV uses it. The Church under the King needed authority given to it and so the word 'church' was used to translate the word for 'congregation' or 'gathering' with the sole purpose of telling the people that James' Church was divinely ordained, and that, for example, the gates of hell would not prevail against 'his' Church.

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"The point of having an open mind, like having an open mouth, is to close it on something solid."
G.K. Chesterton

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RdrEmCofE
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quote:
But it does not refer to an hierarchical institution. That's the reason the KJV uses it. The Church under the King needed authority given to it and so the word 'church' was used to translate the word for 'congregation' or 'gathering' with the sole purpose of telling the people that James' Church was divinely ordained, and that, for example, the gates of hell would not prevail against 'his' Church.
We now witness the double irony therefore of homophobic American Republican Constitutional Enthusiasts of the King James Bible Only Brigade in the USA, accepting only a translation commissioned by a gay Monarch as their infallible theological yardstick.

I hesitated to say 'metric' because they still don't like that.

[Yipee]

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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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Your argument would hold more water were it not for the fact that the Eastern Orthodox Churches immerse babies when they baptise them, Mudfrog.

Christianity isn't simply an Anglophone thing.

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

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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Martin60
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From a little un-christened girl, the youngest of six, in an unchurched, hard drinking and soon to be broken home, in a non-church infants school my wife knew that God loved her. Always has. It's her earliest coherent memory. She submitted to Anglican christening prior to confirmation and was re-baptized by Baptists a few years later.

I think she was baptized by the Holy Spirit as a little girl regardless.

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Love wins

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Gamaliel
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I don't think anyone, paedobaptist or credo-baptist or 'dry-clean' Salvationist is saying that God is in any way bound or restricted by whatever mode is applied.

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

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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mousethief

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Baptism is for us, not for God.

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“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

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Kaplan Corday
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quote:
Originally posted by RdrEmCofE:
But just before we continue more on the thread title I would like to add this googlie or curve ball to the Biblical discussion.

Your speculative Timothy discursion is neither a "curve ball" nor a "googlie", but a covert admission of desperation.

Your ingenuity, prolixity and indefatigability are impressive and entertaining, but inevitably come to grief against two facts.

The first is your bewildering confusion over the difference between the use of covenant in the OT and the NT.

The other is the stubborn and embarrassing absence of any reference whatsoever to paedobaptism in the NT.

You can churn out more and more arcane sophistry in attempts to bypass these two immovable obstacles until you are blue in the face, but you are not going to convince anyone except yourself.

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RdrEmCofE
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quote:
[ Caplan Korday ] The first is your bewildering confusion over the difference between the use of covenant in the OT and the NT.
It is not I that am confused regarding the essential continuity between the Old Covenant and the New.

The Christian Church is not a new Church, (ecclesia), but is identical with that of Israel. There is but one olive tree and it lives on (Rom. 11:16 ff.) The Christian Church is founded on the same covenant and on the same Gospel: the promise of redemption by Christ. Because of the continuity of the covenant the new Israel is grafted into the old, and there is now but a single people.

This doctrine, according to which the Church is today founded on the Abrahamic covenant - in other words, that the plan of salvation revealed in the Gospel was revealed to Abraham and to the saints of the Old Testament, and that they were saved in exactly the same manner as has been the case with humankind since the coming of Christ, namely, by faith in Christ - this doctrine is not revealed to us in scripture in an accidental manner. It forms an integral part of the very substance of the Gospel. It is present in the teaching of our Lord, who came to fulfil and not to abolish the promise (Lk. 24:27), and who bade those who interrogated Him to search the Scriptures of the Old Testament if they wished to understand what He, the Christ, was teaching.

The Apostles did the same. The Christians at Berea were praised because they examined the Scriptures every day in order to verify whether the doctrines taught by the Apostles accorded with this infallible norm (Acts 17:11.) These messengers of Christ made constant reference to the Old Testament in support of their teaching. Paul said that the Gospel which he preached had already been taught in the law and the prophets (Rom. 3:21 f.). He declared to the Gentiles that they were grafted into the old olive-tree so that they might partake of its root and sap (Rom. 11:17).

It is thus entirely illegitimate to maintain that there is an essential contrast between the New Testament covenant of grace and that same covenant in the Old Testament. The Gospel covenant of grace is the prolongation of the Abrahamic covenant. The Christian Church is the continuation of the Church of Israel.

You may disagree with these conclusions, in view of principles which you may esteem as superior, if that is so, I shall merely say that you do not appear to regard yourself as bound by the exegesis of the Apostles, especially Paul.

quote:
The other is the stubborn and embarrassing absence of any reference whatsoever to paedobaptism in the NT.
It is not an embarrassing absence it is perfectly explicable, if the church evolved the practice toward the end of the Apostolic period and it became well established before the Biblical cannon was fixed, as history and tradition attest.

As I have said before, if you wish to base your church praxis on the spurious principle of (If examples of the practice are missing from the New Testament it must therefore be forbidden) then you had better stop all the women in your church from receiving communion. Because there is not a single mention or example anywhere in the New Testament of a woman receiving the sacrament of The Lords Supper. I say it is your bogus principle that is the problem, not the fact that according to your principle they should be prevented from receiving.

Obviously a watertight case can easily be made for women receiving communion by use of other considerations besides the mere fact that no actual example of it exists throughout the whole of the NT scripture.

The same principles and considerations can just as easily be used to justify the baptism of infants.

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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:
[ Caplan Korday ] The first is your bewildering confusion over the difference between the use of covenant in the OT and the NT.
In conclusion, God has always had but a single Church in the world. The God of the Old Testament is our Lord : the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob is the God of our covenant and our Father.

Our Savior was the Savior of the saints who lived before his coming in the flesh. The divine Person who brought the Israelites out pf Egypt and led them through the wilderness, who appeared in all His glory to Isaiah in the temple, and towards whose coming the eyes of the people of God have from the beginning been turned in faith and hope, is the same whom we acknowledge as God manifest in the flesh, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Consequently, He who was head of the Theocracy is head of the Church. The blood which He shed for us has been shed from the foundation of the world, as well to atone for the transgressions committed under the first testament (Heb. 9:15) as for us and our salvation. The promise, whose fulfilment the twelve tribes who fervently served God night and day awaited (Acts 26:7) is precisely the promise upon which we rest. The faith which saved Abraham was, as far as its nature and its object were concerned, the very same as that which is the condition of salvation under the Gospel. "The city which has secure foundations, whose architect is God" (Heb. 11:10) is the Jerusalem resplendent with glory, the new heavens, to which we aspire.

Do you wish to to pretend that you possess a greater measure of the Holy Spirit than the Apostles and a better understanding of the 'secrets' of God?

To reject the authority of the Apostles on one point is to invalidate any authoritative appeal to them when our opinion happens to be in accordance with theirs!

If the exegesis of the Apostles is not binding, what other exegisis can claim to be able to bind our minds and hearts? For myself I feel myself bound, and not only bound, but constrained and persuaded by the exegesis of the Apostles, and at this point of the debate I can only say to you who disagree with me : Non Possumus.

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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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Your comments would hold more water, Kaplan, if there was only one Shipmate arguing for a paedo-baptist position. There appear to be several and not all of them are using the kind of discursive sophistry you describe.

Yes, I find the tangents about Timothy baffling and to be honest I find much of the Reformed covenantal emphasis to be a big yawn - it's all too legal and formal for my taste.

But I do think there's more to it than, 'It's not in the Bible so anyone who practices it is stupid and not as biblical as us superior evangelical credo-baptists,' which is how your argument sounds at times.

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

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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Aravis
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I attended a Baptist church with my parents as a child, and expressed a wish to be baptised at the age of 11. I knew what I was doing and my parents had nothing to do with the decision, though they agreed I could. I attended baptismal preparation classes, alongside several adults (including one man who was nearly 70; this wasn't an attempt to copy the cool older kids or anything).
Three days before the baptism, two of the deacons saw each of us individually to check we had understood what we were doing and were "ready". There were a lot of open-ended questions, the two men were in formal suits and it was like a formal interview. I was very nervous and although I'd already written out my testimony for Sunday (in place of a sermon, each candidate read out to the congregation their personal testimony of coming to faith before baptism) I didn't have it with me. I stammered my way through the questions and failed, basically. I was the only one to be told I couldn't, after all, be baptised that Sunday.
I didn't talk to my parents much about this. I did talk quite a lot to God and wrote a lot in my diary. I did wonder if I had failed God in not explaining my faith as I didn't want to think that God had failed me. I do vividly remember hearing a sermon on Job a couple of months later and feeling some reassurance that sometimes, when you couldn't understand why things happened, God was allowing you to be tested and you would be stronger in the end. I actually told the pastor this after the sermon and he said it didn't really apply to a decision about baptising people. I then started to cry, to my embarrassment. He looked equally embarrassed, which wasn't what I intended.

I think he talked to the deacons again. They arranged to see me again a few months later, and this time agreed that I could write the answers to their questions to reduce my nervousness. This was done without warning, in a side room on my own with just a pen and paper - presumably they wanted to ensure my parents hadn't helped! - but it was fine. I passed. I was therefore baptised at just under 12, alongside a number of teenagers. And it meant something completely different than it should have done. It was not an expression of my faith or my personal decision to follow Jesus; it was an expression of the church's acknowledgement that I wasn't a child, and a wish to put me into a category of people they could understand.

Posts: 689 | From: S Wales | Registered: Jun 2008  |  IP: Logged
RdrEmCofE
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quote:
[Aravis]. . . . .I didn't talk to my parents much about this. I did talk quite a lot to God and wrote a lot in my diary. I did wonder if I had failed God in not explaining my faith as I didn't want to think that God had failed me. . . . . .
May I say you had as an 11 year old a better understanding of God's involvement in your problem than has Kaplan Corday in all his mature years.

What most concerns me about your upsetting experience is the 'gatekeeping' that was going on, supposedly in the interests of the church rather than in your interests as a child of the covenant.

As far as they were concerned, it seems to me, there were two possible aspects to their opposition to your being baptised.

(1) Concern perhaps for you and the validity of your commitment, (judging from an adult perspective regarding an 11 year old as being insufficiently cognisant of God's will for her and her's for God.) This was both misguidedly, patronisingly protective of you, and arrogant in its assumption that 'a girl, of your age' was incapable of hearing and knowing God's voice in the matter.

(2) Concern perhaps for their church, in that they saw themselves as the 'gatekeepers' who had been given the responsibility by God, (or their fellow elders), to ensure the sincerity and probity of each and every candidate, thus ensuring the unblemished perfection of their church.

In the first case, the irony is that their ignorance of the effects of being a covenant covered child prevented their discernment of the validity of your calling by God to close voluntarily, in your own right, with the covenant He already had with you through your parent/s covenant relationship with Him.

In the second, they had no right whatever to act as metaphorical pharisaical gate keepers to membership of Christ's Church, because only God and Christ himself have a mandate to exercise that function.

Your voluntary desire to draw closer to God in personal communion is entirely consistent with what God promises to the children of believers, in the scriptures.

quote:
But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him,
and his righteousness unto children's children;
To such as keep his covenant,
and to those that remember his commandments to do them.Ps. 103:17-18.

The ultimate irony is that their concern for themselves and their supposed concern for you had the unwarranted effect of challenging your faith instead of confirming it and revealing to you the possibility that your wishes were evidence that God was expressing His desire to complete the covenantal contract with you, and at such a young age.

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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

Posts: 255 | From: Southampton | Registered: Jan 2013  |  IP: Logged
Anselmina
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# 3032

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Aravis, I felt very sad reading some parts of your post, that because you didn't find the right words at the 'right' time you were, in the first instance, denied a particular gift of God's grace, that you knew was right for you. Though of course I recognize the responsibility the elders would have felt to ensure you knew what you were doing.

More generally applied, isn't one of the strengths of baptism the fact that it is action and Grace - not dependant on human intellect, language and set criteria, no matter how well meant? We share the communion meal (or should) because we are part of the family of Christ, not because we can source and understand the ingredients and keep our elbows off the table.

Can't baptism be that thing we do when words aren't enough and we just let God do something - whatever that is - through the water?

I know I'm over-simplifying it. But I personally dislike the endless verbosity of the Anglican baptism rites, which seem to major on crow-barring as much theology, doctrine, affirmations, and historical references as possible. It's as if the compilers got together and said: this could be our one and only chance to tell the visitors what this is all about, whack 'em with the whole enchilada! By the time I've finished with a baptism, I usually feel like I've run a mental and physical marathon!

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Irish dogs needing homes! http://www.dogactionwelfaregroup.ie/ Greyhounds and Lurchers are shipped over to England for rehoming too!

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Martin60
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Aravis, that made me angry. God bless you.

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Love wins

Posts: 17551 | From: Never Dobunni after all. Corieltauvi after all. Just moved to the capital. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Gamaliel
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I think Aravis's contribution and the responses to it highlight some of the ambivalence I feel about this whole area.

On the one hand you get the standard evangelical guilt-by-association stuff ... you know how it goes:

'Paedobaptists were/are complicit with all that Theodosian/Constantinian stuff unlike us purer and more biblical credobaptists ... Pah! All that mumbo-jumbo and robed priests muttering magic words. You don't find us going in for all that crap ...'

Then we hear of some of the crap that they do in for. Instead of a dick-head in a cassock and alb there are dick-heads in blue serge suits ...

Or worse, shorts and Hawaiian shirts.

[Razz]

'How dare those corrupt, Constantinian churches act as gate-keepers and decide who does or doesn't get baptised ...'

Hang on a minute ...

It cuts both ways. More biblical than thou so often equates to holier than thou and all the Pharisaical nastiness that goes with that.

The irony is that it's deemed to be ok because it's the gathered congregation that gets to decide how anal or otherwise it wants to behave ...

Trouble is, both sides can sound exceedingly arrogant.

I don't know how we get around that.

It's there.

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

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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Kaplan Corday
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# 16119

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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
But I do think there's more to it than, 'It's not in the Bible so anyone who practices it is stupid and not as biblical as us superior evangelical credo-baptists,' which is how your argument sounds at times.

There is "more to it".

It is rather a matter of (as in the case of other fellow-Christians with whom I disagree, such as YECers, Calvinists and dispensationalists): "I disagree with you, but am happy to live in peaceful co-existence with you unless you insist on coming out and asserting that your position is the only biblical possibility, in which case I will take you on".

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RdrEmCofE
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quote:
The irony is that it's deemed to be ok because it's the gathered congregation that gets to decide how anal or otherwise it wants to behave ...
I'm assuming by 'gathered' you just mean the 'cloud of witnesses' to the event, whatever faith community. Presumably if it is a rite being celebrated in 'their' church, then they will mostly be of a certain agreed standpoint on the meaning of what they are being presented with. This presumably enhanced by some words of explanation from whoever is conducting the event.

As individuals we all bring our own preconceptions whenever we attend a baptism and these tend to also be overlaid by denominational preconceptions, the degree to which our understanding is affected, we are probably mostly unaware.

Normally there is no problem. A Baptist congregation has a clear and agreed position on where baptism fits into their praxis. An Anglican, Lutheran, RC, Orthodox, Methodist, Presbyterian, United Reformed etc. would also agree on the principle of adult baptism, if the candidate is an adult, and on the principle of infant baptism if the candidate is an infant.

Where the problem pops up, and this is the thread subject, is when an adult who was previously baptised as an infant, wants to be baptised again, because either they feel 'unregenerate' or they have been told by others they are 'unregenerate', (and believe it), until they perform a certain ritual in a certain way.

It is at that point that perhaps the fur begins to fly and aspersions may be cast, by one faction or another. At that point 1 Cor. 1:10-31 should come into effect.

At such times, (if you happen to be a baptist at an infant baptism or an Anglican, RC etc at an adult Re-baptism), we should take to heart Paul's advice.
quote:
" . . my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and power, that your faith should not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God." 1 Cor. 2:4-5.
In other words, God already knows and understands the motivation of the candidate, whether (adult or infant), and will act accordingly. It's nobody else business but the candidates and God.

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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

Posts: 255 | From: Southampton | Registered: Jan 2013  |  IP: Logged



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