[House Church Talk] house baptisms

David Miller David at innglory.org
Fri Jan 2 10:39:23 EST 2004

Bruce wrote:
> David, as I clearly showed in my previous post, 
> scripture does demonstrate that all those who 
> were baptized within households BELIEVED!  So 
> such a document about which you hypothesize 
> above certainly WOULD contradict the Bible!

Your demonstration from Scripture apparently eludes me.  I hope you will
be patient with me and explain it further that my understanding might be
enlightened.  I certainly understand the point that the Scriptures
connect baptism with faith.  When a person believes, they then are
immediately brought to baptism.  However, based upon the rules of logic
alone, this observation does not negate the possibility that baptism
might be used in other circumstances unrelated to faith.  

Consider that baptism also is for the remission of sins.  The Scriptures
clearly teach this.  Even so, what about the baptism of Christ?  Was it
for the remission of sins?  Clearly not because the Scriptures teach
that he had done no sin.  Therefore, we have an understanding from
Scripture that while baptism is connected with the remission of sins,
this does not mean that baptism might not also serve some other purpose.
In like manner, seeing the connection between faith and baptism in
Scripture does not automatically mean that infants cannot be baptized
simply because we recognize that infants because of their mental
immaturity cannot believe.  In such cases, it might be possible for
baptism to serve another purpose than that served when a person enters
baptism with faith.  Again, please let me stress that I am not one who
practices infant baptism.  I speak only toward the logical necessity of
the argument.  I don't seem to have the logical surety about my
non-practice of infant baptism that you have.  I suppose it also weighs
upon me that men of faith who I greatly respect, such as John Wesley,
practiced infant baptism.

For reference sake, following are four passages indicating the baptism
of entire households:

And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of
Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened,
that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul. And when
she was baptized, and her household, she besought us, saying, If ye have
judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide
there. And she constrained us. (Acts 16:14-15 KJV)

And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes;
and was baptized, he and all his, straightway. And when he had brought
them into his house, he set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing in
God with all his house. (Acts 16:33-34 KJV)

And Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with
all his house; and many of the Corinthians hearing believed, and were
baptized. (Acts 18:8 KJV)

And I baptized also the household of Stephanas: besides, I know not
whether I baptized any other. (1 Corinthians 1:16 KJV)

Faith is mentioned in some of these passages, but not all.
Nevertheless, I am not sure that the mention of faith in some of these
passages necessarily means that infants were excluded.  If you asked me
if my whole household believes in God, I would say yes.  Yet, I have a
two year old daughter who has not yet expressed individual faith in
Jesus Christ (nor has she been baptized).  Yet, I consider her to be
part of my believing household.  I would not consider myself to be
bearing false witness to say that my entire household believes in Jesus
Christ.  If I was an unbeliever and upon hearing the gospel me and my
wife and my older children believed with me, then later someone said
that David and his whole household believed, I would not feel any
necessity to say, "wait a minute, there is a two year old in my
household who is not old enough to believe, so you need to correct that
statement."  Do you see where I am coming from?

Peace be with you.
David Miller, Beverly Hills, Florida.

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