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Sunday, March 17, 2013

Believers Baptism Vs. Infant Baptism / Debate & Love

Recently we listened to a debate online on credobaptism (believers baptism) & paedobaptism (infant baptism) that included John MacArthur & R.C. Sproul.

I have some people I consider friends online that hold to paedobaptism who are reformed Presbyterians, but I believe in credobaptism.  

The debate (scroll down a ways to get to the audio or links depending on your browser) did not change my mind about the Bible, but I did appreciate the civil nature that often seems to be lacking in discussions on this subject.
I know that we all hold strong views of our understanding of Scripture, and when we care about people we want them to have the same beliefs that we do.

I have determined in recent times to try to show love and grace toward people that I disagree with on this subject.   I can't promise perfection though!  For either side it puts people off when a respected pastor is attacked or when people call each other sinners when both sides agree that physical baptism does not save / justify.  Disagreements can be polite, can't they?

For the record, I waited until I was 17 to be baptized.  I could have been baptized earlier, but I do think that a lot of churches I've been to make baptism overly intimidating (which it shouldn't be).   They want to interview you which makes you feel like you have to be worthy to be baptized (or have taken a class & made sure you have a testimony they are satisfied with).  I understand that they want to see that you understand what the Gospel is, but they could just ask that.
I felt like my testimony wasn't good enough, because I became a Christian as a young child.  I struggled with sin even as a believer.  My faith has grown over the years, but I have also had times of doubt (because of sin & later long after baptism also getting my focus off God onto what critics say). 
After awhile I felt guilty for waiting so long to be baptized.  So, even as a credobaptist I believe that churches should baptize young children who have professed faith (and weren't forced into it).

I cried the evening I got baptized.  I had memorized what I was going to say (which I would have said differently if it was now and not then).  They were having us practice and mine didn't sound like what I thought they expected of me.  (I did not enjoy making speeches in front of people either even when I had to for school - at one of the times when I wasn't being homeschooled.  I'm not good at it and am rather shy.)

To my reformed Presbyterian friends: I hope that you will also show me Christian love and grace and not attack my former pastor John MacArthur, Jr. within my view or hearing.   
I was willing to listen to both sides, so perhaps you will appreciate that.
I certainly appreciate you and have respect for you guys.
Thank you!

Part 1:  Believers Baptism - John MacArthur
http://www.ligonier.org/learn/series/baptism_debate/credo-baptist-position/?format=audio
 


Part 2: Infant Baptism - R.C. Sproul
 http://www.ligonier.org/learn/series/baptism_debate/historic-paedo-baptist-position/


For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh.
But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter; and his praise is not from men, but from God. 
Romans 2:28-29 NASB

For neither is circumcision anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation. 
Galatians 6:15 NASB

6 comments:

  1. "The wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23)

    The fact that children die shows that they are subject to the consequences of sin just like adults. If children are not held responsible by God for the Original Sin inherited from their Grandfather Adam, they would never die until they reach an Age of Accountability, when "their eyes are opened to the knowledge of Good and Evil".

    But the Bible never mentions an age of accountability. Instead, it teaches that "the whole world (is) held accountable to God" (Romans 3:19), Psalms 51:5, Eph. 2:3.

    Just because something doesn't seem fair, doesn't mean it is not true. As Paul says in Romans, who are we the created to question the Creator.

    All human beings, including infants, are born sinners and are in need of a Savior to redeem them from original sin and the penalty of that sin: death...both physical and spiritual.

    Gary
    Luther, Baptists, and Evangelicals

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  2. Maybe the Infant Baptism debate has been approached from the wrong direction. Instead of starting with our disagreements, let's start with what Baptists/evangelicals and orthodox Christians AGREE upon: All persons who believe and have faith in Christ as their Savior should follow his command and be baptized as soon as possible.

    So the next question is: Can an infant believe and have faith?

    Evangelical and Baptist brothers and sisters in Christ: If I can prove to you from Scripture that infants not only can but DO believe and have faith, would you accept infant baptism as Scriptural?

    http://www.lutherwasnotbornagain.com/2013/09/the-bible-says-that-infants-can-have.html

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    Replies
    1. The problem would not be solved, because a baby cannot verbally make a profession of faith, so how would you know? The subject did come up recently about John the Baptist, etc. having the Spirit in the womb, although Saul also had the Spirit of God come on him and later depart from him (this is all prior to Jesus death and resurrection). I just was looking over another message by MacArthur on the subject of infant baptism that really goes into a lot of detail on the Biblical side (although not on babies believing): http://www.gty.org/resources/sermons/80-194/A-Scriptural-Critique-of-Infant-Baptism

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  3. WATER BAPTISM, DO INFANTS QUALIFY?

    Are infants proper candidates for baptism? Do babies meet the requirements to be baptized? The short answer is no.

    Acts 8:26-40 ....36 As they went along the road they came to some water; and the eunuch said, "Look! Water! What prevents me from being baptized? 37 [And Philip said, "If you believe with all your heart, you may." And he answered and said, "I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God."]

    Unlike the Ethiopian eunuch; babies cannot believe with all their heart. Infants cannot make the confession, that Jesus is the Christ and the Son of God. Babies do meet the requirements for water baptism.

    DAY OF PENTECOST

    Acts 2:22-37 Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, "Brethren, what shall we do?"

    There were no infants baptized on the Day of Pentecost. Why not?

    1. They could not believe in Jesus the Nazarene.
    2. Infants could not believe in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus.
    3. Babies could not realize that God made Jesus both Lord and Christ.
    4. Infants could not be pierced to the heart, nor could they ask, " Brethren, what shall we do?"

    Acts 2:38 Peter said to them,"Repent, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

    Infants do not need to repent; because they have no sin to repent from. Repentance means to turn from sin and turn toward God. Infants are not candidates for water baptism.

    Acts 2:41 So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand souls.

    There were no infants added to the church that day. Why not? Because babies could not receive Peter's word. Infants are not capable of understanding the gospel. Infants are not qualified to be baptized in water.

    THE JAILER AND HIS HOUSEHOLD SAVED

    Acts 16:31-34 They said, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.....33.....and immediately he was baptized, he and all his household. 34 ....having believed in God with his whole household.

    The jailer and his whole household believed before they were baptized. There were no babies baptized. Infants are not capable of believing. Infants are not qualified to be baptized.

    THERE IS NO BIBLICAL RECORD OF ANY CHRISTIAN THAT WAS BAPTIZED BEFORE THEY BELIEVED.

    INFANTS CANNOT BELIEVE THAT JESUS IS THE CHRIST. THEY ARE NOT QUALIFIED TO BE IMMERSED IN WATER.


    YOU ARE INVITED TO FOLLOW MY CHRISTIAN BLOG. http://steve-finnell.blogspot.com

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  4. Teenagers should NOT be baptized!

    I was reading my Bible on the topic of Baptism last night when, like a bolt of lightning, this revelation came to me: there is not one single example in the Bible of teenagers being baptized! Why didn't I see this before? Why haven't other Christians seen this glaring fact before? What are we doing baptizing teenagers if there is no specific mention of this practice in the Bible??

    "But teenagers are capable of making a mature, informed decision," you say.

    Really?

    Would you let your thirteen year old make a decision to buy a gun?
    Would you let your thirteen year old make a decision to drive a car?
    Would you let your thirteen year old make a decision to buy and drink alcohol?
    Would you let your thirteen year old make a decision to get married, move away from home, join the army, or volunteer to participate in cancer drug trials?

    No! Of course you wouldn't.

    So what makes you think that a teenager has the maturity to make a decision to choose which religion to join and which god to believe in?

    Logic, reason, and good ol' common sense make it clear that a thirteen year old does NOT have the maturity to make major life decisions, so what makes you think that he or she can make major "eternal life" decisions?

    The Bible does not explicitly mention baptizing infants...I mean teenagers...so this practice is just another Catholic false teaching and must be abandoned and replaced with the true teachings of the Bible: Only adult men and women should be baptized in a true Christian church.

    Since no Christian Church on planet earth follows this scriptural practice, which God has just revealed to me in my heart, I am starting my own Church as of today. We will only baptize adults over age 21.

    Our new Church will be called the "Garyites". We are the true Church.

    http://www.lutherwasnotbornagain.com/2013/09/faith-little-word-that-prevents.html

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    Replies
    1. God is the One who makes people capable of repentance and believing when they have heard the Gospel. This is not limited to adults. I'm not sure if your response is meant as pure sarcasm or not, but in Biblical times teenaged girls got married.

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