DISCUSSION FORUMS
MAIN MENU
Home
Help
Advanced Search
Recent Posts
Site Statistics
Who's Online
Forum Rules
Bible Resources
• Bible Study Aids
• Bible Devotionals
• Audio Sermons
Community
• ChristiansUnite Blogs
• Christian Forums
• Facebook Apps
Web Search
• Christian Family Sites
• Top Christian Sites
• Christian RSS Feeds
Family Life
• Christian Finance
• ChristiansUnite KIDS
Shop
• Christian Magazines
• Christian Book Store
Read
• Christian News
• Christian Columns
• Christian Song Lyrics
• Christian Mailing Lists
Connect
• Christian Singles
• Christian Classifieds
Graphics
• Free Christian Clipart
• Christian Wallpaper
Fun Stuff
• Clean Christian Jokes
• Bible Trivia Quiz
• Online Video Games
• Bible Crosswords
Webmasters
• Christian Guestbooks
• Banner Exchange
• Dynamic Content

Subscribe to our Free Newsletter.
Enter your email address:

ChristiansUnite
Forums
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
August 11, 2020, 06:48:10 PM

Login with username, password and session length
Search:     Advanced search
Our Lord Jesus Christ loves you.
282853 Posts in 27483 Topics by 3790 Members
Latest Member: Goodwin
* Home Help Search Login Register
+  ChristiansUnite Forums
|-+  Theology
| |-+  Debate (Moderator: admin)
| | |-+  Infant baptism??
« previous next »
Pages: [1] 2 Go Down Print
Author Topic: Infant baptism??  (Read 2657 times)
BlessedX2
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 9


I'm a llama!


View Profile
« on: October 14, 2005, 07:32:46 PM »

Hi, I've been doing some research and I can't understand why Catholics baptize babies, it just seems completly unbiblical to me.   I know that they use the verse that says "the whole house hold" was baptized but I know a lot of house holds where there are no babies... seems like a weak argument, and if you can stretch it and say that obviously babies were baptized you could then use it to say that dogs and cats were also bapitzed.  I've always understood that the outward act of baptism was suppose to represent something that already happened in our hearts.   A baby cannot "give their life to the Lord"  they can be dedicated but they cannot choose to serve the Lord.  So why do churches baptize babies?
Logged
LittlePilgrim
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 195


Little pilgrim, walking down the road of life...


View Profile
« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2005, 09:18:18 PM »

As I understand it, to use that verse the catholic church must understand the whole household as having infants. This wasn't necessarily the case.
Infant baptism is nothing. But Catholic's hold baptism as a requirement for salvation. People were told numerous times to 'Repent and be baptized'. However, this repentance and baptism were ALWAYS preceded by a belief in Jesus Christ as their personal savior. An infant is too young to make that decision. Baptism is an outward expression of an inward event. It is our way of publicly identifying with Christ's death, burial and resurrection. It in no way is required for salvation. Smiley
Logged

For I am only human, not some hero of the faith/ I'm merely an example of God's mercy and His grace/ I keep my eyes on Jesus when my gains become a loss/ As I stumble to the cross. -Stumble, Timothy Mark
Shammu
Global Moderator
Gold Member
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 32362


B(asic) I(nstructions) B(efore) L(eaving) E(arth)


View Profile WWW
« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2005, 12:35:43 AM »

The New Testament only speaks of baptism by immersion. However, some may point to the book of Ezekiel to validate baptism by sprinkling:

Ezek 36:25 Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.
Ezek 36:26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.

Sprinkling of water was part of Israel's ritual cleansing ceremonies Numbers 8:7, 19:13, 17-21, which Ezekiel alludes to, but not a single instance of baptism by this method can be verified anywhere in the New Testament. Baptism was only by full immersion. The common practice today of baptism by sprinkling or pouring is simply not supported by the New Testament. It is therefore, nothing but the tradition of men.

Yet, some may point to Pentecost and use the following rational to justify baptism by pouring:

Acts 2:41 "At Pentecost, the thousands who were baptized could not have been baptized by immersion -- Jerusalem had no body of water large enough. The converts must have been baptized by pouring."

The Baptism of Infants, in 1250 born with a fallen human nature and tainted by original sin, children also have need of the new birth in Baptism to be freed from the power of darkness and brought into the realm of the freedom of the children of God, to which all men are called. The sheer gratuitousness of the grace of salvation is particularly manifest in infant Baptism. The Church and the parents would deny a child the priceless grace of becoming a child of God where they not to confer Baptism shortly after birth.
ref. Cf. Council of Trent (1546): DS 1514; cf. Col 1:12-14. and Cf. CIC, can. 867; CCEO, cann. 681;686, 1.

The Catholic Church teaches that the act of Baptism cleanses one of original sin, hence the perceived need to baptize infants, so that should they die, they will die in a state of sinlessness and enter heaven. The thought being that the infant that dies without baptism, dies still tainted by Adam's inherited sin, and so cannot enter heaven. This kind of thinking stems from a total misunderstanding of the purpose and function of baptism and how sin of any kind is forgiven by God. These then are the scriptural references cited above by the Catholic Catechism to support infant baptism. Angry  

I hope this helps you out.

Resting in the hands, of Jesus.
Bob

1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Logged

Satisfied MInd
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 27


I'm a llama!


View Profile
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2005, 05:34:23 AM »

As I understand it, to use that verse the catholic church must understand the whole household as having infants. This wasn't necessarily the case.
Infant baptism is nothing. But Catholic's hold baptism as a requirement for salvation. People were told numerous times to 'Repent and be baptized'. However, this repentance and baptism were ALWAYS preceded by a belief in Jesus Christ as their personal savior. An infant is too young to make that decision. Baptism is an outward expression of an inward event. It is our way of publicly identifying with Christ's death, burial and resurrection. It in no way is required for salvation. Smiley

I wholeheartedly agree with your assessment that infants do not have the ability to believe and therefore do not need to be baptized.  However i take issue with the statement "It in no way is required for salvation." There are numerous verses that say otherwise.

Mar 16:16 ASV
(16)  He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that disbelieveth shall be condemned.

Act 2:38 ASV
(38)  And Peter said unto them, Repent ye, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ unto the remission of your sins; and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Rom 6:4 ASV
(4)  We were buried therefore with him through baptism unto death: that like as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we also might walk in newness of life.

Rom 6:4 ASV
(4)  We were buried therefore with him through baptism unto death: that like as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we also might walk in newness of life

Also in Matt 7 the Lord states
Mat 7:21 ASV
(21)  Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father who is in heaven.

Therefore as it is the will of the of God that we should be baptized as noted in the verses above it is required as is belief, confession and repentance. It is no more important as the other things but equally important you have to have all of them.

Thank you for the consideration on the matter  Smiley
Logged
ollie
Gold Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2215


Being born again, .....by the word of God,


View Profile
« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2005, 08:30:33 PM »

As I understand it, to use that verse the catholic church must understand the whole household as having infants. This wasn't necessarily the case.
Infant baptism is nothing. But Catholic's hold baptism as a requirement for salvation. People were told numerous times to 'Repent and be baptized'. However, this repentance and baptism were ALWAYS preceded by a belief in Jesus Christ as their personal savior. An infant is too young to make that decision. Baptism is an outward expression of an inward event. It is our way of publicly identifying with Christ's death, burial and resurrection. It in no way is required for salvation. Smiley
"However, this repentance and baptism were ALWAYS preceded by a belief in Jesus Christ as their personal savior. An infant is too young to make that decision."

Belief is preceded by hearing the gospel. An infant cannot hear the gospel, in understanding, that will bring him/her to faith that will lead to repentance and baptism.

ollie
Logged

Support your local Christian.
LittlePilgrim
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 195


Little pilgrim, walking down the road of life...


View Profile
« Reply #5 on: October 16, 2005, 09:34:37 PM »

Very nicely said, Ollie. Ahem, now, Satisfied.

Quote
I wholeheartedly agree with your assessment that infants do not have the ability to believe and therefore do not need to be baptized.  However i take issue with the statement "It in no way is required for salvation." There are numerous verses that say otherwise.


I disagree. Read below. I'll take it one verse at a time.

Quote
Mar 16:16 ASV
(16)  He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that disbelieveth shall be condemned.

He that believes is listed first. Baptism comes affter belief. But note the rest of the verse. But he that DISBELIEVES shall be condemned. It does not say 'he that believes but is not baptized will be condemned'. The most important thing is belief.

Quote
Act 2:38 ASV
(38)  And Peter said unto them, Repent ye, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ unto the remission of your sins; and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

The baptism Peter is speaking of is not merely the baptism of water, my friend. First came repentance, true sorrow and turning away from sin. Secondly, Peter speaks of receiving the Holy Spirit. That is baptism. To be saved, one is not required to be baptized by water. That is merely an outward expression of an inward event, a way for the Christian to publicly identify with his Savior, Jesus Christ. The first baptism must be spiritual. The Christian's spirit must be cleansed and renewed by Christ's blood.

Quote
Rom 6:4 ASV
(4)  We were buried therefore with him through baptism unto death: that like as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we also might walk in newness of life.

Look at what I said above. Baptism can mean two different things. It can be inward, our outward. John the Baptist said that he baptized with water, but the One to come after him would baptize all with the Holy Spirit.

Quote
Rom 6:4 ASV
(4)  We were buried therefore with him through baptism unto death: that like as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we also might walk in newness of life.

Read the verse in its context. Paul is speaking of spiritual matters. The baptism he mentions is the second kind; That is, he is speaking of baptism by Christ's blood, the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Smiley

Quote
Also in Matt 7 the Lord states
Mat 7:21 ASV
(21)  Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father who is in heaven.


The Bible is also clear that apart from God, we can do no good thing. We can do no righteous work. To do His will, we must first be born again. We must accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and personal Savior. Those are the ones Jesus speaks of here.

Quote
Therefore as it is the will of the of God that we should be baptized as noted in the verses above it is required as is belief, confession and repentance. It is no more important as the other things but equally important you have to have all of them.

You make the mistake of the pharisees. They too focused on outward acts. Baptism does not save. God is concerned with what is in our heart. He wants us to obey Him out of love, to do His will out of desire.

Is it not Christ who did the work on the cross? Is it not His blood that saves us? Is it not true that no good deed we do can earn or inherit salvation for us? To say that Baptism is required for salvation is to say that Christ's work on the cross is not enough. It is, in a sense, to demean His sacrifice. It is by Grace we are saved; not by works. It is by Christ's blood, not baptism, that we are saved. Baptism is (as I have said above) only our way of identifying with Christ's sacrifice, and commiting ourselves to Him. Smiley
Logged

For I am only human, not some hero of the faith/ I'm merely an example of God's mercy and His grace/ I keep my eyes on Jesus when my gains become a loss/ As I stumble to the cross. -Stumble, Timothy Mark
Soldier4Christ
Global Moderator
Gold Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 59558


One Nation Under God


View Profile
« Reply #6 on: October 16, 2005, 10:15:35 PM »

Amen LittlePilgrim,

I would like to add though to the following comment you made.

Quote
That is merely an outward expression of an inward event, a way for the Christian to publicly identify with his Savior, Jesus Christ.

While I agree that it is not a requirement for salvation. We are also to be baptised with water to show obedience to Him. This is not just for the outward appearance to other men but for ourselves. To show our willingness to obey Him in all things.

Satisfied,

Take note what Paul says in the following verses:

1Co 1:16  And I baptized also the household of Stephanas: besides, I know not whether I baptized any other.
1Co 1:17  For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.

Paul led many people to salvation through Christ, yet he did not baptize but one family. If baptism with water were a requirement for salvation then Paul failed his job with many people. This we know that he did not fail in.

As LittlePilgrim said, baptism in water is of our works. It is something that we ourselves physically do.

Eph 2:8  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Eph 2:9  Not of works, lest any man should boast.



Logged

Joh 9:4  I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.
Satisfied MInd
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 27


I'm a llama!


View Profile
« Reply #7 on: October 16, 2005, 11:54:55 PM »

Very nicely said, Ollie. Ahem, now, Satisfied.

Quote
I wholeheartedly agree with your assessment that infants do not have the ability to believe and therefore do not need to be baptized.  However i take issue with the statement "It in no way is required for salvation." There are numerous verses that say otherwise.


I disagree. Read below. I'll take it one verse at a time.

Quote
Mar 16:16 ASV
(16)  He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that disbelieveth shall be condemned.

He that believes is listed first. Baptism comes affter belief. But note the rest of the verse. But he that DISBELIEVES shall be condemned. It does not say 'he that believes but is not baptized will be condemned'. The most important thing is belief.

It was totally unnecessary for Jesus to say  'he that believes but is not baptized will be condemned' because one who does not believe in Jesus cannot be saved, whether baptized or not(Mk 16:16) And, besides, one who does not believe in Jesus would have no sensible reason to be baptized in the name of Jesus.

Quote
Act 2:38 ASV
(38)  And Peter said unto them, Repent ye, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ unto the remission of your sins; and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

The baptism Peter is speaking of is not merely the baptism of water, my friend. First came repentance, true sorrow and turning away from sin. Secondly, Peter speaks of receiving the Holy Spirit. That is baptism. To be saved, one is not required to be baptized by water. That is merely an outward expression of an inward event, a way for the Christian to publicly identify with his Savior, Jesus Christ. The first baptism must be spiritual. The Christian's spirit must be cleansed and renewed by Christ's blood.

Peter speaks of receiving the Holy Spirit AFTER baptism.
You also speak of the "first" baptism. That would imply a "second" baptism. Ephesians 4:5 notes that there is ONE baptism.

Quote
Rom 6:4 ASV
(4)  We were buried therefore with him through baptism unto death: that like as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we also might walk in newness of life.

Look at what I said above. Baptism can mean two different things. It can be inward, our outward. John the Baptist said that he baptized with water, but the One to come after him would baptize all with the Holy Spirit.

He did to the apostles (Acts 2)  and also to the first Gentiles to whom the Gospel was extended (Acts 11)  Baptism of the Holy Spirit was by the authority of Jesus, not men.

Quote
Rom 6:4 ASV
(4)  We were buried therefore with him through baptism unto death: that like as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we also might walk in newness of life.

Read the verse in its context. Paul is speaking of spiritual matters. The baptism he mentions is the second kind; That is, he is speaking of baptism by Christ's blood, the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Smiley

Jesus was baptized in water. The Ethiopian eunuch was baptized in water, Cornelius and his family were baptized in water. If Holy Spirit baptism were the "one baptism" mentioned in scripture, why then did Peter say in 1 Peter 3:21 that "baptism doth also now save us"? The baptism Peter was speaking of was "in like figure" to all the water that flooded the earth in the days of Noah, (1 Peter 3:20).


Quote
Also in Matt 7 the Lord states
Mat 7:21 ASV
(21)  Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father who is in heaven.


The Bible is also clear that apart from God, we can do no good thing. We can do no righteous work. To do His will, we must first be born again. We must accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and personal Savior. Those are the ones Jesus speaks of here.

Quote
Therefore as it is the will of the of God that we should be baptized as noted in the verses above it is required as is belief, confession and repentance. It is no more important as the other things but equally important you have to have all of them.

You make the mistake of the pharisees. They too focused on outward acts. Baptism does not save. God is concerned with what is in our heart. He wants us to obey Him out of love, to do His will out of desire.

why then did Peter say in 1 Peter 3:21 that "baptism doth also now save us"?

Isn't confession an "outward act?"  (Romans 10:9-10)

Is it not Christ who did the work on the cross? Is it not His blood that saves us? Is it not true that no good deed we do can earn or inherit salvation for us? To say that Baptism is required for salvation is to say that Christ's work on the cross is not enough. It is, in a sense, to demean His sacrifice. It is by Grace we are saved; not by works. It is by Christ's blood, not baptism, that we are saved. Baptism is (as I have said above) only our way of identifying with Christ's sacrifice, and commiting ourselves to Him. Smiley

If scriptures that mention faith without baptism "prove" that we do not need baptism(John 3:16, Acts 16:31, Romans 10:9-10, Acts 10:43) then would it not follow that scriptures which connect baptism to salvation without mentioning faith would likewise prove that faith is not essential to salvation, e.g. Acts 22:16, I Pet 3:21?

Thank  you for the discussion
Logged
Satisfied MInd
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 27


I'm a llama!


View Profile
« Reply #8 on: October 16, 2005, 11:59:58 PM »

Amen LittlePilgrim,

I would like to add though to the following comment you made.

Quote
That is merely an outward expression of an inward event, a way for the Christian to publicly identify with his Savior, Jesus Christ.

While I agree that it is not a requirement for salvation. We are also to be baptised with water to show obedience to Him. This is not just for the outward appearance to other men but for ourselves. To show our willingness to obey Him in all things.

Satisfied,

Take note what Paul says in the following verses:

1Co 1:16  And I baptized also the household of Stephanas: besides, I know not whether I baptized any other.
1Co 1:17  For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.

Paul led many people to salvation through Christ, yet he did not baptize but one family. If baptism with water were a requirement for salvation then Paul failed his job with many people. This we know that he did not fail in.


As LittlePilgrim said, baptism in water is of our works. It is something that we ourselves physically do.

Eph 2:8  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Eph 2:9  Not of works, lest any man should boast

Jam 2:17 ASV
(17)  Even so faith, if it have not works, is dead in itself.

Jam 2:24 ASV
(24)  Ye see that by works a man is justified, and not only by faith.

Logged
Soldier4Christ
Global Moderator
Gold Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 59558


One Nation Under God


View Profile
« Reply #9 on: October 17, 2005, 12:35:36 AM »

Amen LittlePilgrim,

I would like to add though to the following comment you made.

Quote
That is merely an outward expression of an inward event, a way for the Christian to publicly identify with his Savior, Jesus Christ.

While I agree that it is not a requirement for salvation. We are also to be baptised with water to show obedience to Him. This is not just for the outward appearance to other men but for ourselves. To show our willingness to obey Him in all things.

Satisfied,

Take note what Paul says in the following verses:

1Co 1:16  And I baptized also the household of Stephanas: besides, I know not whether I baptized any other.
1Co 1:17  For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.

Paul led many people to salvation through Christ, yet he did not baptize but one family. If baptism with water were a requirement for salvation then Paul failed his job with many people. This we know that he did not fail in.


As LittlePilgrim said, baptism in water is of our works. It is something that we ourselves physically do.

Eph 2:8  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Eph 2:9  Not of works, lest any man should boast

Jam 2:17 ASV
(17)  Even so faith, if it have not works, is dead in itself.

Jam 2:24 ASV
(24)  Ye see that by works a man is justified, and not only by faith.



Amen, but it is not the works that save. It is the works that prove that one is saved. This is what is being spoken of in James. For if a person says he has faith but does not show it through his actions (works) then it is no more than what the devils do.




Jam 2:18  Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.

Jam 2:19  Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.

Mat 12:33  Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit.

Take note again what Paul says:

1Co 1:17  For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.

What is the gospel? It is the good news of salvation. If baptism with water were a part of salvation would Paul mention these as two separate things? Would he not then consider baptism as a part of the gospel?


 
Logged

Joh 9:4  I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.
Corpus
Guest
« Reply #10 on: October 17, 2005, 10:09:17 AM »


Quote
The Catholic Church teaches that the act of Baptism cleanses one of original sin, hence the perceived need to baptize infants, so that should they die, they will die in a state of sinlessness and enter heaven. The thought being that the infant that dies without baptism, dies still tainted by Adam's inherited sin, and so cannot enter heaven. This kind of thinking stems from a total misunderstanding of the purpose and function of baptism and how sin of any kind is forgiven by God. These then are the scriptural references cited above by the Catholic Catechism to support infant baptism.

Dreamweaver,

I understand your disagreement, but not your anger in the above quote?




BlessedX2,

Your question is a good one, but one I'd suggest asking a Catholic rather than non-Catholics, only because you'll get a more accurate answer. I mean no offense here to my non-Catholic brethren here, only that it makes sense to go to someone practicing the faith one's questioning rather than others who practice a different faith. It would hardly be fair of me to ask my Catholic friends why Fundamentalists do this or that?

From what I understand of the Fundamentalist postion, baptism is not a sacrament, but an ordinance. It does not in any way convey the grace it symbolizes; rather, it is a public manifestation of the person’s conversion. Since only an adult or older child can be converted, baptism is inappropriate for infants or for children who have not yet reached the age of reason (generally considered to be age seven). Most Fundamentalists say that during the years before they reach the age of reason infants and young children are automatically saved. Only once a person reaches the age of reason does he need to "accept Jesus" in order to reach heaven. I'm sure all of ya'll will tell me if I got any of that wrong. Smiley

Since the New Testament era, the Catholic Church has always understood baptism differently, teaching that it is a sacrament which accomplishes several things, the first of which is the remission of sin, both original sin and actual sin—only original sin in the case of infants and young children, since they are incapable of actual sin; and both original and actual sin in the case of older persons.

Peter explained what happens at baptism when he said, "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit" (Acts 2:38). But he did not restrict this teaching to adults. He added, "For the promise is to you and to your children and to all that are far off, every one whom the Lord our God calls to him" (2:39). We also read: "Rise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on his name" (Acts 22:16). These commands are universal, not restricted to adults. Further, these commands make clear the necessary connection between baptism and salvation, a connection explicitly stated in 1 Peter 3:21: "Baptism . . . now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a clear conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ."

The criticism of infant baptism is not a new phenomenon. In the Middle Ages, some groups developed that rejected infant baptism, e.g., the Waldenses and Catharists. Later, the Anabaptists ("re-baptizers") echoed them, claiming that infants are incapable of being baptized validly. But the historic Christian Church has always held that Christ’s law applies to infants as well as adults, for Jesus said that no one can enter heaven unless he has been born again of water and the Holy Spirit (John 3:5). His words can be taken to apply to anyone capable of belonging to his kingdom. He asserted such even for children: "Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven" (Matt. 19:14).

More detail is given in Luke’s account of this event, which reads: "Now they were bringing even infants to him that he might touch them; and when the disciples saw it, they rebuked them. But Jesus called them to him, saying, ‘Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of God’" (Luke 18:15–16).

Now some say this event does not apply to young children or infants since it implies the children to which Christ was referring were able to approach him on their own. (Older translations have, "Suffer the little children to come unto me," which seems to suggest they could do so under their own power.) Some conclude the passage refers only to children old enough to walk, and, presumably, capable of sinning. But the text in Luke 18:15 says, "Now they were bringing even infants to him" (Greek, Prosepheron de auto kai ta brepha). The Greek word brepha means "infants"—children who are quite unable to approach Christ on their own and who could not possibly make a conscious
decision to "accept Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior." And that is precisely the problem. Thos who refuse to permit the baptism of infants and young children, because they are not yet capable of making such a conscious act. But notice what Jesus said: "to such as these (referring to the infants and children who had been brought to him by their mothers) belongs the kingdom of heaven." The Lord did not require them to make a conscious decision. He says that they are precisely the kind of people who can come to him and receive the kingdom. If Jesus said "let them come unto me," who are we to say "no," and withhold baptism from them?

Furthermore, Paul notes that baptism has replaced circumcision (Col. 2:11–12). In that passage, he refers to baptism as "the circumcision of Christ" and "the circumcision made without hands." Of course, usually only infants were circumcised under the Old Law; circumcision of adults was rare, since there were few converts to Judaism. If Paul meant to exclude infants, he would not have chosen circumcision as a parallel for baptism.

This comparison between who could receive baptism and circumcision is an appropriate one. In the Old Testament, if a man wanted to become a Jew, he had to believe in the God of Israel and be circumcised. In the New Testament, if one wants to become a Christian, one must believe in God and Jesus and be baptized. In the Old Testament, those born into Jewish households could be circumcised in anticipation of the Jewish faith in which they would be raised. Thus in the New Testament, those born in Christian households can be baptized in anticipation of the Christian faith in which they will be raised. The pattern is the same: If one is an adult, one must have faith before receiving the rite of membership; if one is a child too young to have faith, one may be given the rite of membership in the knowledge that one will be raised in the faith. This is the basis of Paul’s reference to baptism as "the circumcision of Christ"—that is, the Christian equivalent of circumcision.

Continued...
Logged
Corpus
Guest
« Reply #11 on: October 17, 2005, 10:10:21 AM »

...continued

Nowhere in scripture does it explicitly forbid baptism of infants. Naturally enough, the people whose baptisms we read about in Scripture (and few are individually identified) are adults, because they were converted as adults. This makes sense, because Christianity was just beginning—there were no "cradle Christians," people brought up from childhood in Christian homes.

Even in the books of the New Testament that were written later in the first century, during the time when children were raised in the first Christian homes, we never—not even once—find an example of a child raised in a Christian home who is baptized only upon making a "decision for Christ." Rather, it is always assumed that the children of Christian homes are already Christians, that they have already been "baptized into Christ" (Rom. 6:3). If infant baptism were not the rule, then we should have references to the children of Christian parents joining the Church only after they had come to the age of reason, and there are no such records in the Bible.

But, one might ask, does the Bible ever say that infants or young children can be baptized? In the New Testament we read that Lydia was converted by Paul’s preaching and that "She was baptized, with her household" (Acts 16:15). The Philippian jailer whom Paul and Silas had converted to the faith was baptized that night along with his household. We are told that "the same hour of the night . . . he was baptized, with all his family" (Acts 16:33). And in his greetings to the Corinthians, Paul recalled that, "I did baptize also the household of Stephanas" (1 Cor. 1:16).

In all these cases, whole households or families were baptized. This means more than just the spouse; the children too were included. If the text of Acts referred simply to the Philippian jailer and his wife, then we would read that "he and his wife were baptized," but we do not. Thus his children must have been baptized as well. The same applies to the other cases of household baptism in Scripture.

Granted, we do not know the exact age of the children; they may have been past the age of reason, rather than infants. Then again, they could have been babes in arms. More probably, there were both younger and older children. Certainly there were children younger than the age of reason in some of the households that were baptized, especially if one considers that society at this time had no reliable form of birth control. Furthermore, given the New Testament pattern of household baptism, if there were to be exceptions to this rule (such as infants), they would be explicit.

The present Catholic attitude accords perfectly with early Christian practices. Origen, for instance, wrote in the third century that "according to the usage of the Church, baptism is given even to infants" (Homilies on Leviticus, 8:3:11 [A.D. 244]). The Council of Carthage, in 253, condemned the opinion that baptism should be withheld from infants until the eighth day after birth. Later, Augustine taught, "The custom of Mother Church in baptizing infants is certainly not to be scorned . . . nor is it to be believed that its tradition is anything except apostolic" (Literal Interpretation of Genesis 10:23:39 [A.D. 408]).

None of the Fathers or councils of the Church was claiming that the practice was contrary to Scripture or tradition. They agreed that the practice of baptizing infants was the customary and appropriate practice since the days of the early Church; the only uncertainty seemed to be when—exactly—an infant should be baptized. Further evidence that infant baptism was the accepted practice in the early Church is the fact that if infant baptism had been opposed to the religious practices of the first believers, why do we have no record of early Christian writers condemning it?

It is true that Christ prescribed instruction and actual faith for adult converts (Matt. 28:19–20), but his general law on the necessity of baptism (John 3:5) puts no restriction on the subjects of baptism. Although infants are included in the law he establishes, requirements of that law that are impossible to meet because of their age are not applicable to them. They cannot be expected to be instructed and have faith when they are incapable of receiving instruction or manifesting faith. The same was true of circumcision; faith in the Lord was necessary for an adult convert to receive it, but it was not necessary for the children of believers.

Furthermore, the Bible never says, "Faith in Christ is necessary for salvation except for infants"; it simply says, "Faith in Christ is necessary for salvation." Yet those who criticize Catholics for the practice must admit there is an exception for infants in their own faith unless they wish to condemn instantaneously all infants to hell. Therefore, the Fundamentalist himself makes an exception for infants regarding the necessity of faith for salvation. One can thus scarcely criticize the Catholic for making the exact same exception for baptism, especially if, as Catholics believe, baptism is an instrument of salvation.

It becomes apparent, then, that the Fundamentalist position on infant baptism is not really a consequence of the Bible’s strictures, but of the demands of Fundamentalism’s idea of salvation. In reality, the Bible indicates that infants are to be baptized, that they too are meant to inherit the kingdom of heaven. Further, the witness of the earliest Christian practices and writings validates the Catholic Church’s teaching on infant baptism. The Catholic Church is merely continuing the tradition established by the first Christians, who heeded the words of Christ: "Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of God" (Luke 18:16).
Logged
LittlePilgrim
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 195


Little pilgrim, walking down the road of life...


View Profile
« Reply #12 on: October 17, 2005, 11:05:21 AM »

All that, Corpus, and you have failed to make a decent argument, I am sorry to say. First off, I resent the idea that the catholic and protestant denominations are different faiths. We are all Christians. We all believe in Christ, His death, burial, and resurrection. THAT belief is all that is required for salvation. The trouble with the catholic faith is that you hold what the church says in equal importance to what the Scriptures themselves say. This simply cannot be. The Church, although it is supposed to be headed by God, is run, managed by flawed human beings.

The major problem I have with your concept of Baptism as a requirement for salvation is this. You are saying by your words and actions that Christ's attonement on the cross is not enough. You are saying that we must act and be baptized to be saved. The Bible is clear, friend, that OUR WORKS CANNOT SAVE US. I have said repeatedly on other places, "Righteous acts do not bring Salvation. Salvation brings righteous acts." Baptism is our way of publicly identifying with Christ and following His command in obedience.

You say that infant baptism removes original sin. My friend, this is not true. It is Christ's blood ALONE which has the power to remove sin, original and otherwise. If we commit a sin, do we lose salvation? Must we be baptized again? NO! First John 1:9 says, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from ALL unrighteousness." It does not say we must again ask for salvation or that we must be baptized again; Only that we must repent and ask forgiveness.

Also, the age of understanding is typically thought to be four or five years of age, depending on the child. This is not entirely Biblical, but nor does the Bible oppose it. That is a matter of belief only.

Yes, the entire households of those you mentioned were baptized, but as you yourself pointed out we are not told the age of those in the household. It is a stretch. You are reading things into the Bible that are simply not there. As was pointed out above, if the entire household included infants, than doubtless it included donkeys, horses, dogs, whatever other creature dwelt there. That is the same stretch.

You will NOWHERE in the Bible find Baptism listed as a requirement for salvation. ALWAYS before Baptism come repentence and belief!

You mentioned Christ's words, "Let the little children come to Me and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these." (Just from memory. Not exact wording here. XD)

Christ wasn't referring to age when he said, 'such as these' but rather to their faith. God isn't concerned with our outward age. Look at Timothy. The apostle Paul exhorted him to not be discouraged by those who looked down on him because he was young. Faith, my friend, is what matters in this instance, the faith of a child, the innocence and purity of heart. A child is to young to understand the ways of the world. All he knows is what he is told, and he accepts it as true. He has faith because he does not know, but he believes, he trusts. Luke 18:15, your reference, is also ripped out of context. Ahem, a direct quote, if you'll allow me. (words in parenthesees are mine.)

Quote
People were bringing their babies to Jesus to have Him touch (Bless) them. When the disciples saw this, they rebuked them. But Jesus called the children to Him and said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like (with the attitude of) a little child will never enter it."-Luke 18:15-17

The baptism of I Peter is again not of water but the baptism of Christ's blood, the baptism of the Holy Spirit. You've ripped this verse out of context and omitted some important words. Let me do a direct quote here. Smiley (Words in Italics are my emphasis, not Peter's.)

Quote
For Christ died for sins once and for all, the righteous for the unrighteous to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body, but made alive by the Spirit, through whome also He went and preached to the spirits in prison who disobeyed long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it, only a few people, eight in all were saved through water. And this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also- not the removal of dirt drom the body, but the pledge of a good conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ...- I Peter 3:18-21

Baptism of water is a symbol of the baptism that saves us. The baptism that saves us, Corpus, is the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

Also, Peter's words in Acts are being misinterpereted by you. First, you'll note that baptism is (I can't count how many times I've said this now) PRECEDED by belief and repentence. The apostle says the PROMISE is not merely for those present, but for their children and grandchildren, and one might extend that to include all those born since that time. Peter was saying that the promise is not limited by time or generation. It is a confirmation of what the angel Gabriel spoke to Mary when he said, "Fear not, for behold I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to ALL PEOPLE."

I wish I had more time to get this post in order or to comment more, but unfortunately, I've got work to do. Pastor Roger, I'll leave the rest up to you. Smiley I think Corpus will get my point with what's here. XD
Logged

For I am only human, not some hero of the faith/ I'm merely an example of God's mercy and His grace/ I keep my eyes on Jesus when my gains become a loss/ As I stumble to the cross. -Stumble, Timothy Mark
Soldier4Christ
Global Moderator
Gold Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 59558


One Nation Under God


View Profile
« Reply #13 on: October 17, 2005, 11:43:46 AM »

I want to stress and give warning that this thread will not turn into a Catholic or Protestant bashing thread or a war between such, or it will be locked. There are many people of both faiths that understand and believe in Salvation through the shed blood of Jesus Christ.

I further want to say that there are many denominations that insert the doctrines of man and hold these things over the Doctrines of Jesus Christ. We are to be followers of Jesus Christ not followers of men.

While I am not a follower of Paul, I do believe that he knew, understood and taught salvation and baptism as Jesus did. Paul explains these things in great detail. He tells us that there is a difference between salvation (the gospel of Jesus Christ) and baptism. (read my prior posts)

LittlePilgrim stated it quite well when he said "Righteous acts do not bring Salvation. Salvation brings righteous acts." This is exactly what we are being taught in the book of James on the subject of works.

Logged

Joh 9:4  I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.
Corpus
Guest
« Reply #14 on: October 17, 2005, 01:12:16 PM »

Pastor Roger,

I can and will respect the prohibition against Catholic-Protestant bashing. Some of my words probably came off as accusatory and for that I apologize.

I am hopeful however that CU's prohibition will be equally enforced among its other members, some of whom have been particularly persistent in pointing out perceived faults, problem, etc.. with the Catholic faith, with no public warning issued on the thread in question.

In the end though, I regret that I can no longer participate at CU. I've enjoyed much of the wisdom and inspired words I've read here. There have been too many times though I've wanted to address something from a Catholic perspective but refrained simply to avoid a confrontation. I can already sense one brewing on this thread that will touch on much more than infant baptism.

My respect and thanks to BEP and Pastor Roger, both of whom I believe have strived their best to keep CU both civilized and fair for all involved.

respectfully,
corpus
Logged
Pages: [1] 2 Go Up Print 
« previous next »
Jump to:  



More From ChristiansUnite...    About Us | Privacy Policy | | ChristiansUnite.com Site Map | Statement of Beliefs



Copyright © 1999-2019 ChristiansUnite.com. All rights reserved.
Please send your questions, comments, or bug reports to the

Powered by SMF 1.1 RC2 | SMF © 2001-2005, Lewis Media