Baptism - Private Or Part Of A Church Service?

Barnabas

Inactive
This is a non-point. Circumcision is a command to the parent to perform or have performed on their sons.

If God hadn't instructed parents to circumcise their sons, then I would have no bases to ask why don't argue with God about circumcision. It's very simple, try to follow:

1) God commanded converts to be circumcised.
2) God had babies circumcised.

1) God commanded converts be baptized.
2) You say baby baptism is invalid because of #1.

See your problem?
 
If God hadn't instructed parents to circumcise their sons, then I would have no bases to ask why don't argue with God about circumcision. It's very simple, try to follow:

1) God commanded converts to be circumcised.
2) God had babies circumcised.

1) God commanded converts be baptized.
2) You say baby baptism is invalid because of #1.

See your problem?

The problem is yours. #1 concerns people who have realized that they are sinners in need of a Saviour. Infants have no such conviction, nor are they capable of it. The command is to those who have faith and have demonstrated it.
 
Where religion makes a command and God doesn't, it is not of God, so should not be done.

I think that's where the divide comes from; those who DO practice infant baptism believe it does come from God and that those who don't are disregarding what God has commanded...and then those who DON'T practice infant baptism believe that those who do are disregarding what God commanded.

Perhaps we should first begin with the Scriptures. Which verse condemns infant baptism?
 
I think that's where the divide comes from; those who DO practice infant baptism believe it does come from God and that those who don't are disregarding what God has commanded...and then those who DON'T practice infant baptism believe that those who do are disregarding what God commanded.

Perhaps we should first begin with the Scriptures. Which verse condemns infant baptism?

How can infant baptism come from God when He has ordained it for only those who repent and believe? If God hasn't commanded us concerning our children except only to train them up in the word, and in the way they should go, then you add to scripture, and He has something to say about that.

Proverbs 30:6
Do not add to His words,
Lest He rebuke you, and you be found a liar.

Which scriptures clearly command us to submerge our children in the waters of baptism? Where is it commanded that we baptize someone without their consent, or without their profession of faith?
 
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How can infant baptism come from God when He has ordained it for only those who repent and believe? If God hasn't commanded us concerning our children except only to train them up in the word, and in the way they should go, then you add to scripture, and He has something to say about that.

Wonderful question, JamesJohn. I think this is a very important question we all must dive into from time to time, especially with so much disagreement on this subject.

If it's the Christian equivalent to circumcision, then we ought to look at how circumcision is administered...it could be administered to adult converts to Judaism who had to have personal faith in the God of Israel, but it could also be given to the infants of those who were Hebrews so that they could share in the blessings of God's covenant -- even before they had a conscious understanding. Consequently, the same thing happened with baptism; we can either embrace the Christian faith as adults -- with personal faith in Christ and be baptized -- or we can be baptized as children of believers so that we might share in the New Covenant and its blessings, even before we can understand those. This is why, for instance, in Catholicism, while an infant may be baptized, adults and teenagers aren't baptized instantly because they can, like the Jewish adults, hold a personal faith in Jesus. This is why teens and adults go through RCIC and RCIA before baptism and profess their faith first.

So the position that those who do accept infant baptism is that this is something God instituted with circumcision as the predecessor and that we carry on through the New Covenant. Though we especially honor the notion that those at the age of reason must do one thing before the other.

Paul links the connection between circumcision and baptism in Colossians 2 where he said we have received the circumcision of Christ having been buried with him in baptism.

Which scriptures clearly command us to submerge our children in the waters of baptism? Where is it commanded that we baptize someone without their consent, or without their profession of faith?

You and I are meeting half-way on this, which is good :)
There is no direct verse where it says "baptize infants as well as adults," just as there is also no verse that says "Do not baptize infants, for baptism is only for those at the age of reason."

Having said that, as you know, there are passages that talk about whole households being baptized, and certainly raises the possibility (some might argue probability) that there were infants or people below the age of reason being baptized.
 
Baptism is only like circumcision in that it is the means of entrance into covenant. However the New Covenant requires a spiritual entrance, and that is only done by FAITH.

In Romans 2:29, Paul teaches about true circumcision, which is done in the heart, and is accomplished not by an outward act, but by the work of the Spirit.
 
Baptism is only like circumcision in that it is the means of entrance into covenant. However the New Covenant requires a spiritual entrance, and that is only done by FAITH.

Perhaps that's for another discussion. I'm not quite in agreement that it is only done by faith considering that we are not saved by faith alone. Though I don't want to cluster up the forum with sub-debates.

In Romans 2:29, Paul teaches about true circumcision, which is done in the heart, and is accomplished not by an outward act, but by the work of the Spirit.

Romans 2:29 is such a great reference to make, JamesJohn -- kudos to you for that. :)
This is important in recognizing that neither circumcision nor baptism are just things we do, but are very much active to the soul.
 
It is appropriate to seriously consider the verse concerning the practice of infant baptism.

Consider this by just humoring me for a moment...I know you don't accept this, but let's pretend for a moment that you do believe infant baptism is right with God, that He extends this blessing to those below the age of reason...if that was the case, do you believe that people might use this passage to go against those who decide to condemn infant baptism also?

Both you and I believe we cannot add or remove Scripture. It's a given. But to conclude that this verse now means we can't accept infant baptism is to avoid the question itself.

I don't mean to needle you, but could you provide the verse that condemns infant baptism?
 
Consider this by just humoring me for a moment...I know you don't accept this, but let's pretend for a moment that you do believe infant baptism is right with God, that He extends this blessing to those below the age of reason...if that was the case, do you believe that people might use this passage to go against those who decide to condemn infant baptism also?

Both you and I believe we cannot add or remove Scripture. It's a given. But to conclude that this verse now means we can't accept infant baptism is to avoid the question itself.

I don't mean to needle you, but could you provide the verse that condemns infant baptism?

You don't create a rite done in the flesh based on a religious belief which itself is based on silence. If God doesn't say to do it, you shouldn't do it., and in fact, it would be a sin to insist on it.
 
You don't create a rite done in the flesh based on a religious belief which itself is based on silence. If God doesn't say to do it, you shouldn't do it., and in fact, it would be a sin to insist on it.

But isn't that a self-refuting statement? You said that if it isn't stated, then it ought to be rejected. But if that statement itself isn't stated, shouldn't that too be rejected? It's a conundrum.
 
But isn't that a self-refuting statement? You said that if it isn't stated, then it ought to be rejected. But if that statement itself isn't stated, shouldn't that too be rejected? It's a conundrum.

If God is silent on something like infant baptism, it is not required and it is wrong for anyone to say it is. There is no conundrum. It's the wisdom of God.
 
If God is silent on something like infant baptism, it is not required and it is wrong for anyone to say it is. There is no conundrum. It's the wisdom of God.

The argument of those that accept infant baptism as valid through God's Word is that God wasn't silent on this. He made it clear through circumcision, through the divine tradition, through Church authority. This is why reject of infant baptism is much younger than the reformation itself.

Consider that the early Church Fathers raised in Christian homes (such as Irenaeus) would hardly have upheld infant baptism as apostolic if their own baptisms had been deferred until the age of reason. For example, infant baptism is assumed in Irenaeus’ writings in 'Against Heresies' (189 AD) (since he expresses both that regeneration happens in baptism, and also that Jesus came so even infants could be regenerated). Since he was born in a Christian home in Smyrna around the year 140, this means he was probably baptized around 140. He was also probably baptized by the bishop of Smyrna at that time -- Polycarp -- a personal disciple of the apostle John, who had died only a few decades before.

This is also very much so why the reformers didn't reject infant baptism and didn't even question it. Martin Luther himself wrote that baptism is "not a play thing."
 
God has never once instructed anyone to baptize infants. The command is made to those who believe and have repented, only.

Jeremiah 10:23 says, "It is not in man who walks to direct his own steps."

Anything we do that is a practice in Christianity has its beginning with God or else it is an invention of man. Human inventions are not acceptable according to Jesus in Matthew 15:9, where He says, "And in vain they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men."

Therefore, if a particular practice, like this one, is not authorized by scriptural charge, it's merely of human invention and is a vain act. When we go beyond what the Lord teaches to institute a practice and to participate in a practice that is at odds from the holy scriptures, is actually proving we do not have God.

2 John 1:9-11
Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son. 10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him; 11 for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds.
 
God has never once instructed anyone to baptize infants. The command is made to those who believe and have repented, only.

JamesJohn, I don't mean to prod at you, but you haven't made a further argument -- you're just repeating your statement, and it presupposes. God did instruct us to be baptized, and we've seen from Holy Scripture 1) what circumcision is, 2) what baptism is, 3) how we must regard baptism, and 4) that whole households were baptized. We know that Christ insisted that children be brought to Him, and even though their personal relationship with him has not developed, the blessings onto them aren't rendered null.

Jeremiah 10:23 says, "It is not in man who walks to direct his own steps."

Anything we do that is a practice in Christianity has its beginning with God or else it is an invention of man. Human inventions are not acceptable according to Jesus in Matthew 15:9, where He says, "And in vain they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men."

Great verse. Indeed -- our lives, in the fullness of the faith, are not ours, but God's. And tradition of man contradicts this notion, which is why tradition of man ought to be rejected. But you're presupposing that this means infant baptism is a tradition of man, because the counter argument is that rejection of this is actually a tradition of man. We don't see condemnation of it in the Scriptures -- we see understanding of baptism to those who come to the faith as adults, but it offers no limitation to them just as circumcision is the same case for them.

So while I 100% agree with you on these verses, it goes against your position -- with all due respect of course.

Therefore, if a particular practice, like this one, is not authorized by scriptural charge, it's merely of human invention and is a vain act. When we go beyond what the Lord teaches to institute a practice and to participate in a practice that is at odds from the holy scriptures, is actually proving we do not have God.

Consider this; you haven't offered one verse yet that condemns baptism of infants. But further, you haven't offered historical evidence nor divide of circumcision and baptism's relationship to infancy. It becomes an argument to ignorance to say "we don't know, therefore, it's a man-made tradition."

The argument in fact is that it is a man-made tradition to make this sort of rejection, especially since this idea of only baptizing adults came about much later (I think in the mid to late 17th century).

2 John 1:9-11
Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son. 10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him; 11 for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds.

Amen.
 
Jesus encourages us to teach our children of Him. We are to do that from their birth. It is our responsibility to teach them His ways and the word so that they will come to the Saviour early in life. He says absolutely nothing about baptizing unbelieving babies. It isn't necessary, as they are not at the level of understanding the importance of it.

You transgress by insisting on a man-invented tradition, and that it has any spiritual import, and not abiding in the doctrine of Christ as spoken of in 2 John 1:9-11.
 
Just curious and am reconciling your thoughts on Catholic doctrines...

Is the Baptism you referring to in the OP is a Catholic rite?

My question is, have you been in the rite of Confirmation as well?
I was never confirmed in the Catholic faith, no.
 
Jesus encourages us to teach our children of Him. We are to do that from their birth. It is our responsibility to teach them His ways and the word so that they will come to the Saviour early in life. He says absolutely nothing about baptizing unbelieving babies. It isn't necessary, as they are not at the level of understanding the importance of it.

You transgress by insisting on a man-invented tradition, and that it has any spiritual import.

It isn't really fair to say "unbelieving babies" because the two sides in Christianity understand baptism differently. Your side goes with believer's baptism. That's fine, but Catholics and many others look at it as the remission of the stain of original sin. (Eve eating the apple, all that stuff...) So it doesn't matter that the baby in question is as yet an "unbeliever" when the idea is we all have the stain of original sin at birth.
 
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