[House Church Talk] house baptisms
David at innglory.org
Thu Jan 1 15:28:34 EST 2004
Hi Bruce. I don't believe in baptizing infants either, but I have
considered the arguments before and like Cliff, I am not sure you
appreciate the presuppositions involved.
> I hardly think it is a "presupposition" to say that one
> cannot "make disciples" of infants, do you?
It is a presupposition because the argument from those who baptize
infants is that we bring infants into covenant with God through our
parental authority. Therefore, we do make them disciples of Christ
simply by virtue of the fact that we are their parents. In Judaism,
this was commanded in the form of circumcision on the 8th day. The
infant has no choice in being a Jew. He was born into it and
circumcised. In the same way, it is argued that parents can baptize
their infants as a sign of the covenant their children have with God
through the authority of their own covenant with God. The Scriptures
teach that our children are sanctified by the believing parent (e.g., 1
Corinthians 7:14). This is the basis for infant baptism.
> Do you think it is a presupposition to say that infants
> cannot believe on the Lord Jesus with all their heart?
It is a presupposition to say that infants cannot experience faith in
Jesus Christ, but I doubt that too many would disagree with it! :-)
> It is evident regarding all the household baptisms
> in scripture that all that were baptized believed.
That is not evident at all. That is a presupposition of the clearest
kind. If a document turned up indicating that the jailer had a 6 month
infant in his household who also was baptized, it would not contradict
the Bible but it would contradict the presupposition that infants did
not participate in baptisms.
> What IS an unwarranted presupposition is that EVERY
> household includes infants and therefore household
> baptisms prove that infants were baptized!!!
Again, I am not advocating for infant baptism, but only wish to address
some of the logical presuppositions involved. It seems to me that
baptism functions with faith in order to be meaningful, but I also
recognize that baptism might function in other ways too, such as in a
symbolic function of showing forth a covenant relationship with Christ.
The problem I have with infant baptism is that when the child is old
enough to believe upon Christ and express faith, then does he enter
baptism again or have we taken away from him a vehicle whereby his faith
might be adequately manifested? Right now I side with the latter
perspective so I do not baptize infants, only believers, but I am open
to hearing those who think they can clarify the issue further.
Peace be with you.
David Miller, Beverly Hills, Florida.
House Church Talk is sponsored by the House Church Network.
House Church Talk has been renamed. These discussions, via the web, now occur at the Radically Christian Cafe.