Friday, August 03, 2012

Ex Opere Operato baptismal regeneration is not Biblical!

This is an excellent book that explores the issue of baptism, specifically infant baptism in the early church. Baptism in the Early Church, by Hendrick F. Stander, and Johannes P. Louw. My purpose here is not so much to argue against infant baptism, but to argue against baptismal regeneration of the Roman Catholic Church and it's priestly ex opere operato doctrine. But this subject will automatically likely animate Lutherans and other Protestants who have a different form of baptismal regeneration to want to comment on this issue. That's fine, as we have been doing in the com boxes here. And because this issue also tends to automatically bring in issues of infant baptism with it, I feel the need to mention this book up front. So, I mention this book up front (along with the other book shown at the end of the article) as the best defense I have seen, for believer's baptism being the original view of the apostles and the early church. It was written by 2 men who are paedo-baptists (practice infant baptism or are members of an infant baptism tradition church.) These 2 men admit that infant baptism was a historical tradition that started later. James Renihan summarizes in the Foreward:
"Essentially, they argue that infant baptism was not the practice of the Apostles and their immediate successors, but developed through the convergence of several factors. Gradually, paedobaptism came to be the majority position in the church, but probably not until the later part of the fourth century." (James Renihan, page 10, Foreward, Baptism in the Early Church)
Something else I wrote in the com box discussion when it was brought up that Luther would probably not have joined with Zwingli in his opposition to the Roman Catholic Church, because of their disagreement over the Lord's supper:
I think it is sad - the disunity that Luther had with Zwingli over the Lord's supper issue; and the statements that Luther made about Zwingli are scandalous and RC apologists use those statements all the time. I like the unity around the gospel that the movement of "together for the gospel" demonstrates - www.t4g.org - Baptists (Dever, Mohler, Piper), Presbyterians (Ligon Duncan, R. C. Sproul, Carl Truman), Charismatic Calvinists(C. J. Mahany, Matt Chandler), Dispensationalists(McArthur), etc. I am glad for that and that the old days of the wars of Europe over Christian doctrine are over.
So, we are unified in the gospel and in Christ against the errors of the Roman Catholic Church, and specifically here, ex opere operato and baptismal regeneration. Infant baptism is a secondary issue over which we can disagree about, and Evangelical Protestant churches are free to practice and teach their convictions about it and defend it biblically, but maintain gospel unity and fellowship in conferences and networks such at "together for the gospel" and "the gospel coalition", but RC baptismal regeneration is a doctrine and practice that divides us and that doctrine is a heresy and contrary to justification by faith alone in the Scriptures.

Now, to my main point of this post! 

 The Roman Catholic Church teaches that the work of the priest [* see at end] - performing the ceremony of baptism on the recipient (infants mostly, and adult converts who have never been baptized in the name of the Trinity, etc.) actually causes the person to be born again and confers grace on that person. They teach that the water of baptism literally washes their souls, when performed by the RC priest, when he says the words in Latin, "in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit". The Latin phrase, "ex opere operato" means "from the work, it works", which is to say that the action and duty and performance of the ceremony actually does something to the recipient.

 This is totally unbiblical. 

1 Corinthians 10:1-5
 For I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud and all passed through the sea; 2 and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea; 3 and all ate the same spiritual food; 4 and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ. 5 Nevertheless, with most of them God was not well-pleased; for they were laid low in the wilderness.

  Hebrews 3:16 -4:2
 16 For who provoked Him when they had heard? Indeed, did not all those who came out of Egypt led by Moses? 17 And with whom was He angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness? 18 And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who were disobedient? 19 So we see that they were not able to enter because of unbelief. Therefore, let us fear if, while a promise remains of entering His rest, any one of you may seem to have come short of it. 2 For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard.

 Note: “all were baptized” – I Cor. 10:2

 So all were baptized physically "into Moses" - but not all had faith. Internal faith is the key. All Jewish males were circumcised, but many did not have faith, and the NT says, "neither circumcision or uncircumcision means anything, what counts is a new creation" - Galatians 6:15 See also Romans 9:8 - "it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of promise . . . "

Note:
 “nevertheless, with most of them God was not pleased” – I Cor. 10:5
“we see they were not able to enter because of unbelief” – Hebrews 3:19
“the word did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard” – Hebrews 4:2

 “Without faith it is impossible to please God” – Hebrews 11:6
 “the just shall live by faith” – Romans 1:17; Romans 3:28-4:16; 5:1; Galatians 2:16, 20, chapter 3-5, etc.

 So, Luther’s justification by faith alone is the key, “the doctrine on which the church stands or falls” (whatever James Swan’s research revealed, if he actually said the exact words or others after him conflated several statements together.

 So, the Roman Catholic form of baptismal regeneration is totally unbiblical, and the ex opere operato understanding of performance/work/doing the motions of the ceremony is not Biblical either. Baptismal regeneration seems to be one of the earliest mistakes of the early church, which, as far as extant evidence goes, the earliest instance of it is in the writings of Justin Martyr (between 148-161 AD). But Justin does not teach infant baptism at all, in fact he says things like baptism is for those "who choose and repent" (First Apology 61, cited in the chapter by Steven McKinon, "Baptism in the Patristic Writings", in Believer's Baptism: Sign of the New Covenant in Christ. Edited by Thomas Schreiner and Shawn D. Wright, 2006, B & H; p. 171.) For a full book defense of Believer's Baptism -

TUAD ("Truth Unites and Divides), in the com boxes mentioned above,  added a reference to an article in Themelios on Baptismal Regeneration and Luther here.   It is very good, and also argues against the Federal Vision movement. 

[* ]  Addendum:  A Roman Catholic who goes by "TheDen" pointed out that others may baptize people, not just the priests.  I had forgotten about that.  Thanks for pointing that out; I sincerely desire to be accurate.  Here is what the Roman Catholic Catechism says:
1256 The ordinary ministers of Baptism are the bishop and priest and, in the Latin Church, also the deacon. In case of necessity, anyone, even a non-baptized person, with the required intention, can baptize, by using the Trinitarian baptismal formula. The intention required is to will to do what the Church does when she baptizes. The Church finds the reason for this possibility in the universal saving will of God and the necessity of Baptism for salvation.


250 comments:

1 – 200 of 250   Newer›   Newest»
Joe said...

Hi Ken.

Hopefully you do not mind bringing our conversation about IB and BR to this thread...but did find this quote on Justin Martyr:

"And both men and women who have been Christ's disciples since infancy, remain pure, and at the age of sixty or seventy years ..." (Justin Martyr, First Apology,15:6 -- AD 110-165)

Think it gives evidence, rather strongly, he believed in IB.

in Him,

Joe

Ken said...

I don't mind; that's a good reference that Stander and Louw don't mention.

I figured the comments would go in this direction fast . . .

I don't buy the argument that "since infancy" automatically means that they were baptized as an infant, (the same argument is made for Polycarp, and similar to the reference you made to Irenaeus) but certainly that is a good "proof-text" for your position. I don't have more time right now, I need to go, and Lord willing, able to look at that more in depth and comment on it later.

It seems Cyprian was the first one to argue for "on the eighth day" parallel with circumcision, around 250 AD, so "infant" could mean a 5 year old - and I think that there are those who are that young that have made a credible child-like profession of faith.

steelikat said...

Joe,

"Ken, I am not arguing that an infant has the same faith/trust or understanding as one 80 years in the faith. "

let me begin with (caveat) I'm no theologian (/caveat); I'm just speaking from my own experiences and things I've thought about.

I would say be careful about putting "faith and understanding" together like that. Before relating faith and understanding in your discussion with Ken, distinguish them.

I wonder if part of the problem is that Ken does not separate faith from understanding, that he somehow sees faith as a kind of understanding or dependent on understanding. He observes that as children grow, their understanding grows. He extrapolates backwards and concludes that newborns have little to no understanding. Then he takes that critical step: "since babies have no understanding, they cannot have faith." As a Lutheran, you are unlikely to make that error because you did not learn that faith is a kind of understanding, that faith is something that a man produces with his own intellectual powers--it's a gift from God that He can give to any man.

Is there a relationship between faith and understanding? I think there must be a relationship of some kind but we must start by distinguishing them. Faith is not a kind of understanding nor does anybody have to have understanding to have faith. Faith is like trust, and anyone who has had normal children sees the trust they naturally have in their mothers, before they exhibit any understanding whatsoever.

Truth Unites... and Divides said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Truth Unites... and Divides said...

"Essentially, they argue that infant baptism was not the practice of the Apostles and their immediate successors, but developed through the convergence of several factors. Gradually, paedobaptism came to be the majority position in the church, but probably not until the later part of the fourth century."

All the more reason for paedobaptists to be conciliatory towards credobaptists.

Excellent post, Ken!

steelikat said...

Ken,

I think you are missing something very important:

You are trying to find a way to say that baptism is a work, but you know better than to suggest that little babies "work" when they get themselves baptized. You say, therefore, that baptism is a work that the minister does when he baptizes the baby.

I think you are savvy enough to know that Protestants who believe in baptismal regeneration do not have the beliefs about the priest and "ex opere" that you describe here. "However," perhaps you would say, "the minister believes himself to be doing a good work--and if paedobaptism is correct--is doing a good work, therefore paedobaptism+baptismal regeneration is justification by works."

If that's what your line of thinking resembles, you are overlooking the point that if the work of baptism is nothing but God doing what he promises, regenerating the one being baptized, it is totally irrelevant whether the minister is doing a good work. The baby is doing nothing, and it is the baby whose justification we are talking about.

As Joe has alluded to, God may bring a sinner to repentance and conversion by the preaching of His word by that same minister who baptized that baby the day before. Is the minister doing a good work by his preaching? Surely he is--I think it's the best of good works, don't you? And yet you don't doubt the sinner's justification or fear that he's made the error of works-justification.

If you say that we shouldn't baptize infants and trust that God has regenerated them because baptizing is a work-- and you are going to be consistent--you have to say that we shouldn't preach the gospel either, since preaching is a work.

Works is irrelevant to the question, unless you are talking about God's works. That's what the question boils down to, is it true or not that baptism is truly a sign and promise of regeneration and justification? If it is, then we can have confidence that He regenerates the baby who is baptized and gives the baby faith. Understanding? Who knows? Personally I don't remember if I had understanding when I was born and babies cannot tell is if they have it. But understanding is different than faith. Faith is not dependent on understanding it's dependent on whether God has given it to us.

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

Steelikat: "That's what the question boils down to, is it true or not that baptism is truly a sign and promise of regeneration and justification?"

Steelikat,

Are you saying that God promises that all those who are baptized in the name of the Holy Trinity are regenerated and justified?

Lvka said...

In historic Christian thought, our Christian life is the fruit of our Baptism, in a synergistic manner, akin to Christ's Parable of the Sower. Our regeneration does not happen automatically, but it's not independent of our baptism either.
___________________________________

Saint Cyprian merely said that the ancient habit of baptizing babies immediately after birth should continue unhindered, and that delaying their baptism until the eighth day is not mandatory. (The acts of the African Council are available online, at CCEL and in other places).

steelikat said...

TUAD,

You suggest that baptism is a work since "submission to baptism is an act of obedience to God that is done in addition to believing the gospel"

Babies don't submit to baptism. They are simply baptized, it is something done to them without any submission on their part. They don't believe the gospel until after they are baptized (for babies, regeneration and faith are a consequence of baptism and don't ordinarily precede it).

No one who was baptized as a baby thinks that he was saved because of his obedient submission. No one who was baptized as a baby submitted to baptism. If you are worried about works, it's credobaptism you should worry about, since it is only people who were baptized as older children or adults who obediently submitted to being baptized.

Anyways, I thought you were all about works. Isn't it you who were concerned about all those millions of Norwegians who were baptized but who "are in Hell" because they didn't do enough good works and just believed in Christ's promises instead?

I'm being a little flippant; I'm not happy about the abandonment of the practice of religion in Norway either, but seriously it isn't those Norwegians' good works or lack thereof that is the problem, or how bad their sins are.

steelikat said...

TUAD

"Are you saying that God promises that all those who are baptized in the name of the Holy Trinity are regenerated and justified?"

Obviously if a nonbeliever hypocritically or cynically got himself baptized, he wouldn't be saved. In that case, I would say that he really wasn't baptized, he was just gotten wet. You could call that a fake baptism.

You are going off on a tangent. We are talking about infant baptism here.

Joe said...

Hi Ken.

Regarding, I Cor 10 (all were baptized)...ignoring the issue of BR for a second, and looking at IB, would you agree that there were infants and children "not of age" that were included in this group? I can hardly see anyone saying no. That being the case, Paul certainly has no problem with the idea of an infant/child being baptized.

So I think this verse/passage is strong support for IB.

As far as Cyprian, from my understanding of history, Lykva is correct. They had a discussion, on whether to continue baptizing 2 or 3 days after birth, or 8 days following circumcism. Whether he was the first to connect baptism/circumcism, I do not know, but highly doubt it.

Not sure where or how you get the idea that an infant could be 5 years old however...that is not what Cyprian and the meeting was about, from my understanding.

in Him,

Joe

TheDen said...

Ken,

The Roman Catholic Church teaches that the work of the priest

First off, the Church doesn’t say it has to be the work of a priest. Anyone can baptize.

They teach that the water of baptism literally washes their souls,

We teach it because it’s in Scripture:

Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ loved the church and handed himself over for her to sanctify her, cleansing her by the bath of water with the word, that he might present to himself the church in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. (Ephesians 5: 25-27)

This text is specifically talking about Baptism. We are washed by water (in Baptism) so that we might be holy without blemish. What do you think this means?

when he says the words in Latin, "in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit". Again, not a priest (and not in Latin). We say “In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit” because that’s what Christ commands. (Matthew 28:19)

Baptism is very scriptural. Just because you don’t agree with it doesn’t mean it’s not.

Brigitte said...

Before we wonder about how many people were baptized in nominally Christian homes, churches and countries, we should also look closer at American theology and its effects.

I have been wearing myself out, with only one other orthodox Christian on the site, (another Lutheran, the other synod) at this blog: http://www.nakedpastor.com/

Have a look at today's comic, for example: Man says to Jesus: "I am worried about losing my faith" Jesus says to him "Sucks, doesn't it."

This man, ex-pastor, has no trouble generating tons of friendships with people who have left the Evangelical scene.

So, what I am saying is, there are plenty of people who "submitted" to believer's baptism, who are no longer in the church and very cynical about it, and in great pain, actually, which should not be dismissed.

So, the problem is not with baptism, as is just simply assumed.

Joe said...

Hi Steelikat.

You said: I wonder if part of the problem is that Ken does not separate faith from understanding, that he somehow sees faith as a kind of understanding or dependent on understanding. He observes that as children grow, their understanding grows. He extrapolates backwards and concludes that newborns have little to no understanding. Then he takes that critical step: "since babies have no understanding, they cannot have faith." As a Lutheran, you are unlikely to make that error because you did not learn that faith is a kind of understanding, that faith is something that a man produces with his own intellectual powers--it's a gift from God that He can give to any man.

Excellent thoughts/points. I know Luther often pitted faith against reason, which I assume would be synonymous to understanding.

Quoting Luther: Let us look at the reason why they hold that children do not believe. They say; Since they have as yet not come to use their reason they cannon hear God's Word; but where God's Word cannot be hear, there can be no faith; "Faith Cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God," etc. Tell me, is one who judges God's works in this way, according to our ideas, speaking like a Christian? Children have not come to the use of their reason, you say, therefore they cannot believe? What if you have already fallen from faith through this reason and the children had come to faith through their unreason? My friend, what good does reason do when faith and GOd's Word are concerned? Is it not a cat that reason most violently resists faith and the Word of God so that because of it, no one can come to faith or put up with God's Word unless reason is blinded and put to shame? A man must die to reason and become a fool, so to speak, yes and must become more unreasoning and irrational than any young child if he is to come to faith and accept God's grace, as Christ says Matt 18:3 "Except ye be converted and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven." How often Christ points out to us that we must become children and fools and how often He condemns reason!

Again, tell me, what sort of reason did the little children have whom Christ caressed and blessed and assigned to heaven? Surely they too, where as yet without reason. WHy, then, does He order that they be brought to Him, and why does He bless them? Where did they get the faith that made them children of the kingdom of heaven?

But since their reason so besets men, we must attach them with their own wisdom. Tell me, why do you baptize a man after he has come to the use of his reason? You reply: He hears the word of God and believes. I ask: How do you know? You say: H confesses as much with his mouth. SHould I say: What if he is lying and deceiving? After all, you cannot see his heart. Well then, if in this instance you baptize only beause a man has outwardly professed faith but are uncertain of his faith and must wonder whether he has more within his heart than you can observe, then neither his hearing nor confessing nor faith is of any avail; for it may be mere delusion and not a real faith. Who, then, are you to say that outward hearing and confessing are necessary for Baptism, that where these are not present we should not baptize and that where they are present we should?...It is true that you must admit: You have not right to do or to know more than that the person to be baptized be brought to you and that you are asked to administer Baptism; and you must believe, or rather, simply commit to God whether or not he really believes in his heart. Thereby you are excused, and you baptize correctly..."


(man that was much to type, hopefully not major errors)

in Him,

Joe

Joe said...

typo...."Is it not a cat that reason most violently resists"

a few sentences in on first paragraph quoting Luther. should be "Is it not a FACT that reason..."

steelikat said...

Joe,

Thank you! That is wonderful and more than worth the time you took to type it. I'm going to read it again and meditate on it.

steelikat said...

Bridgitte

Sorry about spelling your name wrong repeatedly. I'm scandahoovian/german so I'm used to it being spelled differently but I like the French spelling better.

"So, what I am saying is, there are plenty of people who "submitted" to believer's baptism, who are no longer in the church and very cynical about it, and in great pain, actually, which should not be dismissed...So, the problem is not with baptism, as is just simply assumed.

You're right about that and I know people will say "well, they never truly converted in the first place" but thát's just reading one's own theological assumptions into it. We cannot know that they didn't truly convert.

steelikat said...

Brigitte,

I did it again!

I must have an obsessive fascination with the letter "D"

steelikat said...

Wikipedia says "Brigitte" is the French AND German spelling. I guess it's the Swede in me that's to blame.

Brigitte said...

steelikat, don't worry about it. It happens a lot; I don't know why with the possibility of just scrolling up a bit. :)

"well, they never truly converted in the first place" but thát's just reading one's own theological assumptions into it. We cannot know that they didn't truly convert.

"They never truly converted" is very dismissive of all kinds of issues and not really ok.

Ken said...

Regarding, I Cor 10 (all were baptized)...ignoring the issue of BR for a second, and looking at IB, would you agree that there were infants and children "not of age" that were included in this group? I can hardly see anyone saying no. That being the case, Paul certainly has no problem with the idea of an infant/child being baptized.


Good point for infant baptism; but not for Baptismal regeneration. I think the "into Moses" is a key and the fact that it is an OT covenant context; etc. and all male children had to be circumcised on the 8th day - that is an OT truth.

I think that the New Covenant changes that aspect of it - which is one of the main issues between paedo-baptism vs. credo-baptism.

I hope to flesh that out later if necessary.

Ken said...

Ken wrote:
The Roman Catholic Church teaches that the work of the priest

TheDen wrote:
First off, the Church doesn’t say it has to be the work of a priest. Anyone can baptize.

Yes, you are right about that, as far as I know, there are other RC apologists who told me that years ago ! I had forgotten about that.

I will try to point that out and make it more accurate, after I find the official RC statement on that. Hopefully, it is in the Catechism.

I sincerely thank you - you, as far as I can tell, are the only Roman Catholic commenter so far, which is more of what I wanted to address; but we have Lutherans and other Protestants very motivated to comment. (which is fine; so far; an excellent discussion.

The rest of your comments are wrong, and Lord willing, address them later.

TheDen said...

Ken,

You're welcome.

CCC 1256 talks about who can baptize.

Baptism in general starts at CCC1213.

There is too much in Scripture that talks about Baptism specifically to ignore.

I am sincerely interested to hear your thoughts on Ephesians 5.

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

Steelikat: "Obviously if a nonbeliever hypocritically or cynically got himself baptized, he wouldn't be saved. In that case, I would say that he really wasn't baptized, he was just gotten wet. You could call that a fake baptism.

You are going off on a tangent. We are talking about infant baptism here."


How about a non-believer who was baptized as an infant by a Lutheran pastor at the insistence or request of his/her parents? Did this non-believer just get wet as a baby through a fake baptism?

steelikat said...

TUAD,

It's impossible for a baptized baby to be a non-believer since when he is baptized God gives him faith, thus making him a believer. You know that. Don't insult me AND yourself by playing "dumb" with me.

steelikat said...

OK, I need to know, is the irony intentional or unintentional?

"Unintelligent statement."
TUAD, about Brigitte!

I kid you not, it's in the comment box of the Bowling for Dollars article.

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

Q: "How about a non-believer who was baptized as an infant by a Lutheran pastor at the insistence or request of his/her parents? Did this non-believer just get wet as a baby through a fake baptism?"

Supposed A: "It's impossible for a baptized baby to be a non-believer since when he is baptized God gives him faith, thus making him a believer. You know that."

So are you saying that all those infants who are baptized in the name of the Holy Trinity are regenerated and justified as believers? And this is what Lutheran pastors teaches, and this is what Lutheran parents believe, and this is what baptised infants later believe when they grow up and are told this by their parents and/or Lutheran pastor?

So that when someone asks this baptized Lutheran, "Are you a Christian?" they answer, "Yeah, I was baptized as a baby."

steelikat said...

TUAD:

Troll. You have already asked that question, over and over and over again, like an annoying four-year-old, and you've already repeatedly got your answer, from me and from others. In a four-year-old it's understandable.

Try again. As often as you convincingly pretend you are not a childish troll, I'll treat you as if I don't know you're a childish troll. I won't answer the same questions more than once, you have to come up with new ones that are not minor variations on the one that you've asked over and over.

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

Q: "So are you saying that all those infants who are baptized in the name of the Holy Trinity are regenerated and justified as believers? And this is what Lutheran pastors teaches, and this is what Lutheran parents believe, and this is what baptised infants later believe when they grow up and are told this by their parents and/or Lutheran pastor?

So that when someone asks this baptized Lutheran, "Are you a Christian?" they answer, "Yeah, I was baptized as a baby."


Steelikat, is your answer to the above questions, a "Yes"?

I just want to make sure that I understand and represent Lutheran baptismal doctrine correctly.

Or suppose this happens: When someone asks this baptized Lutheran, "Are you a Christian?" they answer, "I dunno. I was baptized as a baby. But I don't go to church, our family doesn't go to church, I don't remember the last time I read the Bible or prayed, but I know it's been years. I live and believe just like anyone who hasn't been baptized. Am I a Christian because I've been baptized? You tell me."

Questioner: "I don't know if you're a Christian."

Lulu Lutheran rushes in: "You're a Christian! You're a Christian! You've been baptized as a baby! You've been regenerated and justified as a Believer when you were baptized as a baby. YOU. ARE. A. CHRISTIAN. YOU'VE. BEEN BAPTIZED."

Baptized antinomian Lutheran: "Thank you Lulu." Turns to questioner: "You heard her. I've been baptized. That makes me a Christian."

Joe said...

Hi Ken. you said:

Good point for infant baptism; but not for Baptismal regeneration. I think the "into Moses" is a key and the fact that it is an OT covenant context; etc. and all male children had to be circumcised on the 8th day - that is an OT truth.

I think that the New Covenant changes that aspect of it - which is one of the main issues between paedo-baptism vs. credo-baptism.

I hope to flesh that out later if necessary.

Me: Yea, I think it a very clear example of how Paul would have had a continuity in mind of the signs of the covenant and who they should be given to. So, given that you now see that infants can have faith/trust/etc...and that Paul in the example of I Cor 10 views baptism, and you ready to hop on board with the doctrine of IB? :)

I guess I do not see I Cor 10 either supportive or contradictory to BR. There are so many other versus one could use for BR. Plus, the authoritative Lutheran Satire video, should settle the BR debate. :)


http://youtu.be/JwxHzo0QVYY

In Him,

Joe

Joe said...

Hi Ken.

I thought we briefly discussed who was the first to link circumcism/baptism...but cannot find that post for some reason. Probably just overlooking...

However, I did also find this quote (puritanboard.com) on Justin Martyr about the link between them as well:

"And we, who have approached God through Him (Christ), have received not carnal, but spiritual circumcision, which Enoch and those like him observed. And we have received it through baptism, since we were sinners, by God's mercy; and all men may equally obtain it."

So, we also have Justin linking the two even earlier. Though not explicit evidence for IB in Justin, do think it certainly is evidence that he supported IB...albeit implicitly.

In Him,

Joe

steelikat said...

TUAD

If someone repeatedly asked you, over and over, if you sexually pursue small children even after you had denied it several times you would complain that he was trying to make you out to be a pedophile. You would be right to complain, and that person couldn't hide behind "it's only a question" It may have been a question the first time he asked, but when he kept asking it over and over after you denied it, it became an accusation hiding behind a "question."

Similarly, when you keep making up absurd insulting little speeches and putting them into the mouths of the "Lutherans" you've made up even after you have _repeatedly_ been told, by many people, in this blog and elsewhere, that those speeches don't resemble anything real Lutherans would say, you are lying. Maybe the first time or two it was an honest question on your part, but after being repeatedly told, over and over, that Lutherans don't say those things you tell a lie about Lutherans when you continue to "ask" if they do.

And do you think that anybody takes you seriously when you shed crocodile tears over your worries that the people you are lying about (but not the one lying about them!) are going to Hell? I think you've made it clear to anyone who knows how you are obsessively talking about it, wanting to talk about almost nothing else, that you hate them and hope they do go to Hell.

steelikat said...

TUAD

So every time you have in the past asked and will in the future ask about Christians:

Question 1 "Do Christians say": (something you've made up that resembles what Christians say but is slightly wrong)?

Followed by

Question 2 "Do Christians say:" (some insulting absurd little lie that you've made up that you know very well no one would say)?

The answer to question 1 has always been and will always be "something like that, but not exactly"

and the question to answer 2 has always been and will always be "of course not, as you know, stop lying about Christians by repeatedly asking stupid insulting fake "questions" like that!"

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

Lulu Lutheran has heard and read from Lutheran pastors and other Lutherans the doctrinal teachings of baptismal regeneration such as this:

o "Is it true or not that baptism is truly a sign and promise of regeneration and justification? If it is, then we can have confidence that He regenerates the baby who is baptized and gives the baby faith."

o "It's impossible for a baptized baby to be a non-believer since when he is baptized God gives him faith, thus making him a believer."

Lulu Lutheran has read and heard this Lutheran dogma for many years.

She witnesses the following conversation:

Questioner to an antinomian baptized Lutheran: "Are you a Christian?"

Antinomian baptized Lutheran: "I dunno. I was baptized as a baby. But I don't go to church, our family doesn't go to church, I don't remember the last time I read the Bible or prayed, but I know it's been many years. I live and believe just like anyone who hasn't been baptized. Am I a Christian because I've been baptized? You tell me."

Questioner: "I don't know if you're a Christian."

Lulu Lutheran then rushes in: "You're a Christian! You're a Christian! You've been baptized as a baby! You've been regenerated and justified as a Believer when you were baptized as a baby. YOU. ARE. A. CHRISTIAN. YOU'VE. BEEN BAPTIZED."

Lulu Lutheran has given assurance of salvation to her fellow Lutheran based upon the objective fact of his/her baptism. Did Lulu Lutheran say and do the right thing? If she said the wrong thing, what was it that she said that was wrong? And what should she have said instead?

Ken said...

Joe wrote:

". . . and you ready to hop on board with the doctrine of IB? :)"

No; not at all.

But the video was funny and clever; for the Lutheran viewpoint of baptism. I am not convinced that the verses it brings up means that water baptism has power in itself to cause new birth or gives grace to the recipient automatically, or "ex opere operato" (from the work, it works effectively).

Romans 6:1-7; Titus 3:5 (the emphasis is on the internal cleansing of the Holy Spirit); John 3:5; I Peter 3:21; Acts 2:38 - none of these are teaching that baptism automatically just by the act of going through the ceremony physically in water - and with the words, "in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit" - none of these verses show that the doing of physical baptism automatically causes new birth or regeneration. Baptism in water, in the name of the Trinity, is an external symbol of the internal reality of having already been spiritually born again. Same for Ephesians 5:25-27 - "the washing of the water by the word" is the work of the atonement (v. 25 - "Christ loved the church and gave HImself up for her") that is applied by the Holy Spirit at the time of conversion (repentance and faith) - 1 Corinthians 12:13 - the Spirit baptizes us at conversion and people who have repented and trusted in Christ want to be baptized in water, giving testimony and showing their entry into the body of Christ. The cleansing is an internal cleansing - John 15:3 - Jesus cleansed the disciples by His word working in their hearts. 1 Peter 3:21 - it is not the external removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience = repentance and crying out for cleansing of the soul and conscience.

Since Ephesians 4:5 does say there is only one baptism - and since we appear to have two baptisms -
1. the internal/unseen Spirit baptism

2. and physical water baptism,


and God's word cannot be contradictory, I don't think it means "only one time for baptism" (the argument that one cannot be re-baptized after repentance and faith later after already being baptized as a baby, etc.)

nor can it mean "only one way / mode of water baptism" (immersion or pouring or sprinkling) -

it has to mean that there is only one internal reality at conversion, and that same one internal reality is externally demonstrated/pictured/testified to in water baptism.

Ken said...

Joe wrote:
However, I did also find this quote (puritanboard.com) on Justin Martyr about the link between them as well:

"And we, who have approached God through Him (Christ), have received not carnal, but spiritual circumcision, which Enoch and those like him observed. And we have received it through baptism, since we were sinners, by God's mercy; and all men may equally obtain it."

So, we also have Justin linking the two even earlier. Though not explicit evidence for IB in Justin, do think it certainly is evidence that he supported IB...albeit implicitly.

I don't think so - I understand the paedo-baptist argument at Colossians 2:11-12, but it only shows that there are some parallels of OT circumcision with NT baptism - it shows that both symbolized an internal cleansing - Deut. 10:16; 30:6; Jeremiah 4:4 - if there is no faith and repentance, it doesn't matter what was done to the baby - all it was was the "removal of dirt from the flesh" (1 Peter 3:21).

That is the point of the passages in 1 Cor. 10 and Hebrews 3-4 and 11 - if there was no faith, the physical circumcision was only that; if there was no faith in the hearts of people who were "baptized into Moses" - then the baptism (whatever it means - being "into Moses" ( ? - male circumcision; under his leadership, going through the Red Sea and following Moses, being under the cloud, part of the OT community, etc. )

The parallel with the OT is that the physical came first - circumcision - but if no faith, it was no good, it did nothing. It cannot change your soul.

the New covenant work of God is different and new - the Spirit comes first, giving the internal reality of new birth/regeneration/repentance and faith and then later we picture / testify / show repentance and faith and commitment by being baptized in water.

The fact that Paul says that OT circumcision is no longer a command/binding and juxtaposes it with faith in Galatians and being a new creature (Gal. 6:15) is instructive.

Colossians 2:12 also shows that the circumcision is about internal spiritual circumcision and not for infants because of the phrase, "in which you were raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead". It is true repentance and faith in Christ and His resurrection from the dead, that proves the internal reality of new birth/regeneration/conversion/cleansing to us, not water baptism. Water baptism, after repentance and faith, pictures it and shows it.

Ken said...

Better:

The fact that Paul says that OT circumcision is no longer a command/binding and juxtaposes it as an anti-thesis against faith (alone and not by works) in Galatians and Romans and being a new creature (Gal. 6:15) is instructive.

Ken said...

see also Romans 2:28-29

steelikat said...

TUAD

"Lulu Lutheran has heard and....

You are lying. "lulu" is a cartoon character you made up in your head, real Lutherans do not speak like the cartoon characters you made up.

You are lying about Christ (Matthew 25:40)

Everybody reading this knows that you are not telling the truth. Nobody reading this has any respect for you. Don't you know that a real man has integrity and tells the truth? Pagans who never knew Christ would have too much self respect to do what you are doing. Yet you are pleased with yourself for unrepentantly lying about people. If you can't feel repentant, how can you not at least feel ashamed and embarrassed?

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

Steelikat: "real Lutherans do not speak like the cartoon characters you made up."

The invitation was extended again and again to "real Lutherans" to see what they would say. So go ahead, Steelikat. You're a "real Lutheran. What would you have said in place of what Lulu Lutheran said given this background:

Lulu Lutheran has heard and read from Lutheran pastors and other Lutherans the doctrinal teachings of baptismal regeneration such as this:

o "Is it true or not that baptism is truly a sign and promise of regeneration and justification? If it is, then we can have confidence that He regenerates the baby who is baptized and gives the baby faith." (Steelikat, a real Lutheran)

o "It's impossible for a baptized baby to be a non-believer since when he is baptized God gives him faith, thus making him a believer." (Steelikat, a real Lutheran)

Lulu Lutheran has read and heard this Lutheran dogma for many years.

She witnesses the following conversation:

Questioner to an antinomian baptized Lutheran: "Are you a Christian?"

Antinomian baptized Lutheran: "I dunno. I was baptized as a baby in a Lutheran parish. But I don't go to church, our family doesn't go to church, I don't remember the last time I read the Bible or prayed, but I know it's been many years. I live and believe just like anyone who hasn't been baptized, if you get my drift. Am I a Christian because I've been baptized? You tell me."

Questioner: "I don't know if you're a Christian."

Lulu Lutheran then rushes in: "You're a Christian! You're a Christian! You've been baptized as a baby! You've been regenerated and justified as a Believer when you were baptized as a baby. YOU. ARE. A. CHRISTIAN. YOU'VE. BEEN BAPTIZED."

Lulu Lutheran has given assurance of salvation to her fellow Lutheran based upon the objective fact of his/her baptism. Did Lulu Lutheran say and do the right thing? If she said the wrong thing, what was it that she said that was wrong? And what should she have said instead? What would a "real Lutheran" have said to the baptized antinomian Lutheran instead of what fictitious Lulu Lutheran said?

steelikat said...

TUAD

"The invitation was extended again and again to "real Lutherans" to see what they would say...."

So you BRAG that you are liar and blame Lutherans because they don't force you to learn what Lutheranism really is?

OK, How about if I convince myself you at pedophile and tell the police and everyone you know, and then say, "well, if he isn't a pedophile he can convince me?"

You have been corrected several times, in this blog and in others, and you completely ignore the people who correct you--and go on telling the calumnies and lies about Lutheranis that you are still repeating.

To repeat infamous and horrible things about people, without taking the time to do the research to make ABSOLUTELY sure that the things you are saying is true, is a lie. No Christian would do that and no atheist with a normal human conscience would do it. What you are doing is sociopathic, it's sick.

Shame on you! How do you live with yourself?

steelikat said...

Consider an atheist (I know people like this, I'm not making this up) who is a gentleman and who learned right and wrong in childhood, who learned, for example, that although it's OK to give someone the benefit of the doubt and say something nice about him even if he only suspects the nice thing is true but isn't absolutely sure, it is never OK, that it is a horrible lie, to say something bad about somebody unless he's done the research necessary to determine if the bad thing is true. If that atheist saw what TUAD is doing and thought he were a Christian, would he be attracted to Christianity? Of course not! No one with a conscience would be attracted to a faith that allows believers to do something as horrible as he is doing and not even feel guilty about it!

Of course I know TUAD is just trolling and I have no reason to think he is a Christian, but a non-Christian is going to take him at his word. What are you going to say to a non-Christian whose conscience wouldn't let him have anything to do with a faith that allows people to slander whole classes of people like that and brag about it--to say "well it's their job to prove I'm wrong?"

steelikat said...

TUAD

I just looked back at your previous comments (I was trying to figure you out, I couldn't understand what would drive somebody to such a degraded condition that he would behave this way and not be at least embarrassed) And I saw this, something I had skimmed over earlier and immediately forgotten:

"I just want to make sure that I understand and represent Lutheran baptismal doctrine correctly."

Of course you have no business spreading such horrible rumors about Lutherans and how they talk WITHOUT studying Lutheran doctrine and understanding it, and you certainly have no right to "represent" Lutheran doctrine in your ignorance, but are you serious? Do you really want to understand Lutheran doctrine? I have never taught a correspondence course but I am a teacher, I've taught both religious and secular subjects, and I can help you with that. Are you really willing to take the time to learn the catechism, meet and get to know Lutherans and learn how Lutherans think well enough so that you could reproduce at least somewhat authentic-sounding dialogs between Lutherans?

What is your life schedule like right now? Do you have time to spend at least an hour EVERY day, plus some Sunday field trips? Are you willing to submit to me as your teacher?

PeaceByJesus said...

"Ex opere operato," "from the work, it works", fits well with Rome effectively declaring truth by fiat, that whatever she speaks in accordance with her scope and subject-based criteria, is infallible, although in this case the form is not what makes it infallible, but is how the Catholic is sppsd to know that it is.

However, since this is somewhat imprecise, and there is no infallible list of all infallible pronouncements to date, RCs differ as to how many there are. Nor does the RC have an infallible interpreter of their magisterium.

Thus the infallible magisterium does not eliminate the problem of fallible interpretation of Rome, it just moves it to from Scripture as the supreme source to the magisterium.

As regards paedobaptism, it is also important to state that Rome holds to baptism of desire as salvific, in which the desire is counted as the act, though, consistent with the ecclesiolatry of Rome, even this comes short in providing an "indelible mark" (long before Sharpies were invented) on the soul.

Nor is BOD explicitly infallibly taught, resulting in it being another thing that Catholics disagree about.

I see baptism in Scripture as being concomitant with the salvation decision, a confession of the Lord Jesus in body language, expressing and testifying to saving faith in the heart, akin to Rm. 10:9,10.

And that this can be the occasion in which one comes to faith, and even a catalyst to take that step, but that it is faith which appropriates justification in the heart, which is expressed in confirmation of a complete, confessional saving faith.

And the Reformers clearly taught that the kind of faith that was salvific was one that would effect manifest works (given the opportunity).

And to Swan's texts from Hebrews can be added,

"To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins. " (Acts 10:43)

"While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter, " (Acts 10:44-46)

" Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? " (Acts 10:47)

"Who shall tell thee words, whereby thou and all thy house shall be saved. And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning. " (Acts 11:14-15)

"And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe. And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us; And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith." (Acts 15:7-9)

Joe said...

Brother Ken.

". . . and you ready to hop on board with the doctrine of IB? :)"

No; not at all. But the video was funny and clever; for the Lutheran viewpoint of baptism...

Well, it was worth a shot. :) Figured it would take more than clearly answering a few of your objections. Have you ever read "Christian Baptism" by John Murray? It, along with Sproul, had mainly converted me to IB. All of my objections to IB were had irrefutable answers to, with these two resources really. I realize BR is a tougher pill to swallow from your vantage point, and did take me much longer to embrace as well.

But I hope, if nothing else, I have answered your objection that infants cannot have faith, and shown that Paul (Corinth) explicitly uses and example of baptism that would by your admission have to include infants and those not of age.

Anyhow, may I ask what your objections to IB are now, that I hopefully eliminated at least one of them?

I think the video was both hilarious and informative. There is another one about Zwingli and baptism as here.

http://youtu.be/PHv4s_hYs4c


You said: I am not convinced that the verses it brings up means that water baptism has power in itself to cause new birth or gives grace to the recipient automatically, or "ex opere operato" (from the work, it works effectively).

Well, I would agree. The power is not in the water but in God's word that will accomplish what it intends, not come back void. To be honest, I am still newer to the Lutheran faith and view of things, so I do not know much about the "ex opera operate" concept. Will look into though. But, according to the Lutheran view, as I understand, the efficacy of baptism depends on faith. If faith is not present, then it profits nothing really (suppose one could argue for some benefits, like being placed within the household of faith, etc).

in Him,

Joe

Joe said...

Brother Ken.

Romans 6:1-7; Titus 3:5 (the emphasis is on the internal cleansing of the Holy Spirit); John 3:5; I Peter 3:21; Acts 2:38 - none of these are teaching that baptism automatically just by the act of going through the ceremony physically in water - and with the words, "in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit" - none of these verses show that the doing of physical baptism automatically causes new birth or regeneration. Baptism in water, in the name of the Trinity, is an external symbol of the internal reality of having already been spiritually born again. Same for Ephesians 5:25-27 - "the washing of the water by the word" is the work of the atonement (v. 25 - "Christ loved the church and gave HImself up for her") that is applied by the Holy Spirit at the time of conversion (repentance and faith) - 1 Corinthians 12:13 - the Spirit baptizes us at conversion and people who have repented and trusted in Christ want to be baptized in water, giving testimony and showing their entry into the body of Christ. The cleansing is an internal cleansing - John 15:3 - Jesus cleansed the disciples by His word working in their hearts. 1 Peter 3:21 - it is not the external removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience = repentance and crying out for cleansing of the soul and conscience.

I will try to go thru these in another post(s)

Since Ephesians 4:5 does say there is only one baptism - and since we appear to have two baptisms -
1. the internal/unseen Spirit baptism

2. and physical water baptism,

and God's word cannot be contradictory, I don't think it means "only one time for baptism" (the argument that one cannot be re-baptized after repentance and faith later after already being baptized as a baby, etc.)

nor can it mean "only one way / mode of water baptism" (immersion or pouring or sprinkling) -

it has to mean that there is only one internal reality at conversion, and that same one internal reality is externally demonstrated/pictured/testified to in water baptism.

I am unclear as to the purpose of distinguishing 2 different baptisms here really. Sorry. And in your concluding remarks, it seems to me that you have two baptisms as well. If I am understanding you correctly, and perhaps not, there is an internal baptism at conversion/faith..and then another one when one goes through the physical ceremony of baptism. Obviously your point of view is that they do NOT happen at the same time, so it would seem that your paradigm always has two...and mine has one sometimes and 2 sometimes. But either way, I do not see this as a violation of Ephes "one baptism".

As far as being rebaptized....I actually was. But regret it. As Sproul argues, he thinks it is a slap in the face to God. Like we are asking God to repeat his promises as if we did not believe Him the first time.

in Him,

Joe

Joe said...

Brother Ken.

Me: So, we also have Justin linking the two even earlier. Though not explicit evidence for IB in Justin, do think it certainly is evidence that he supported IB...albeit implicitly.

You: I don't think so - I understand the paedo-baptist argument at Colossians 2:11-12, but it only shows that there are some parallels of OT circumcision with NT baptism - it shows that both symbolized an internal cleansing - Deut. 10:16; 30:6; Jeremiah 4:4 - if there is no faith and repentance, it doesn't matter what was done to the baby - all it was was the "removal of dirt from the flesh" (1 Peter 3:21).

Me: First, in the very least, it does show that Cyprian was not the first to link the two, and Justin does much earlier. Which, if nothing else, we both learned.

Second, I would agree that if there is no faith, then it profits nothing, at least compared with the reality of what baptism signifies.


That is the point of the passages in 1 Cor. 10 and Hebrews 3-4 and 11 - if there was no faith, the physical circumcision was only that; if there was no faith in the hearts of people who were "baptized into Moses" - then the baptism (whatever it means - being "into Moses" ( ? - male circumcision; under his leadership, going through the Red Sea and following Moses, being under the cloud, part of the OT community, etc.

Me: Well, I guess I do not disagree with anything here. Maybe I should be? Perhaps a more experienced Lutheran can correct any mistakes. :)

The parallel with the OT is that the physical came first - circumcision - but if no faith, it was no good, it did nothing. It cannot change your soul.

Me: Again, agree here. To clarify...the physical came first with children, not adults in the OT as well with NT. Also, I do not think this is the ONLY parallel between the two.

the New covenant work of God is different and new - the Spirit comes first, giving the internal reality of new birth/regeneration/repentance and faith and then later we picture / testify / show repentance and faith and commitment by being baptized in water.

Me: Where does the NT say the work of God is different now? I submit that the whole NT shows a continuity of understanding, and no change on who the sign of the covenant is given to. Except that it is more inclusive now. There is not female, male, Jew, Greek, etc. But again, under your paradigm, I see the NT being less inclusive and totally altering the longstanding command of God of whom the sign of the covenant should be given to, with no evidence of this extremely drastic change! The prostelyte converts to Judaism even baptized their infants. I would say your above is correct for adults, as those who practice IB still practice adult baptism and require a profession of faith before baptizing...and yet sins are still washed away in baptism as the NT declares.

The fact that Paul says that OT circumcision is no longer a command/binding and juxtaposes it with faith in Galatians and being a new creature (Gal. 6:15) is instructive.

Me: Right. The heresy that one had to keep the law/circumcism to be saved is incorrect. But this does not say anything about baptism here. Nowhere, that I know, does the NT put down baptism. When it is mentioned, it is always a powerful, important work of God, that does make us a "new creature".

in Him,

Joe

steelikat said...

Ken and Joe

Trent defined the term "opus operatum" to mean the sacrament "produces the grace irrespectively of the merits of either minister or recipient"

Lutherans, on the contrary would say something like, as C. F. W. Walther put it:
“Just as Scripture does not teach (as the simplest Christian knows) that the mere outward act of hearing the Word saves any one, just as little does it teach that the Sacraments save thus. The mere symbol, placed before men’s eyes, does not produce the salutary effect, but indicates what the Word proclaims."

Ken said...

Joe wrote:
Well, it was worth a shot. :) Figured it would take more than clearly answering a few of your objections. Have you ever read "Christian Baptism" by John Murray?

I seem to recall that that was one of the works that I read among others years ago, I read the best that the infant baptism position offered and compared it with Paul K. Jewetts, Infant Baptism and the Covenant of Grace and Fred Malone’s “A String of Pearls Unstrung” – those 2 books, along with the other 2 books that I mention in the article above, along with John Piper’s chapter in “Brothers, We are Not Professionals”, convinced me that credo/beleivers/disciples baptism is the correct Biblical view. McArthur debated Sproul in a famous debate, and in my opinion McArthur won that debate. I have Dr. White’s debates against Robert Strimple and Gary Johnson, and his debate against Bill Shisko, and have listened to Dr. White’s debate against Dr. Gregg Strawbridge twice (when it was live; and when it was on the “wayback” machine – 24 hour Dividing Line playing back of past shows. (at www.aomin.org, in case you don’t know about that.)
Gregg S. is a personal friend of mine, and we also debated informally at the time of his change from a baptistic view to the paedo-baptism view. So, there is nothing new in this debate that I have heard and wrestled with before.


It, along with Sproul, had mainly converted me to IB.

I don’t see how; Sproul, when confronted by McArthur in debate, melted, in my opinion.

. . .
But I hope, if nothing else, I have answered your objection that infants cannot have faith,

Since I think that John the Baptist is an exception, and Psalm 8 and 22 are not talking about justifying faith, it is very weak to hang those ideas on our own children and as a paradigm for local church baptism and discipleship.

and shown that Paul (Corinth) explicitly uses and example of baptism that would by your admission have to include infants and those not of age.

Paul’s usage does not teach infant baptism for NT local church practice, but he is describing an Old Covenant weakness - the weakness of thinking that physical presence in the community and going through ceremonies will in themselves create faith or make one a true believer. That “all were baptized into Moses” in the Exodus, but those that did not have faith perished and were not able to enter the promised land. They were not true believers, even though they were physically present in the community. Hebrews says the new covenant is better. Piper does a good job of showing that in his short chapter in his book, “Brothers, we are not Professionals” (Chapter 18 – “Magnify the Meaning of Baptism”.

Ken said...

What is weird about the Lutheran satire video on Zwingli and baptism is that the cartoon character taking the Lutheran view, was the same character in the other video who took the contrary position.

David Waltz said...

Hi Ken,

Have a couple of points to make: first, three very important works on this subject are absent in this discussion (at least I did not see them mentioned, but may have missed it)—Baptism In The Early Church, Everett Ferguson, 2009, 953 pages; Did The Early Church Baptize Infants?, Kurt Aland, English trans. 1963, 119 pages; The Origins of Infant Baptism, Joachim Jeremias, English trans. 1963, 91 pages. Ferguson's work it far and away the most comprehensive, and up to date, treatment on this subject, while the latter two are essentially a published debate between two brilliant NT scholars.

Second, I find much of the polemic against infant baptism to be quite similar to approach anti-Trinitarians take when arguing against the doctrine of the Trinity—e.g. teaching not found explicitly in Scripture; teaching was a post-Apostolic development/corruption.


Grace and peace,

David

Lvka said...

I find much of the polemic against infant baptism to be quite similar to approach anti-Trinitarians take when arguing against the doctrine of the Trinity


You are not alone, David...

Ken said...

David,
All of those works are mentioned, quoted from, and discussed in the other works I have mentioned.
The ones I mentioned (Jewett, Piper, Schreiner and Wright, Stander and Louw) have, in my opinion, fully answered all of their points/arguments.

The other point you make about comparing the debate between infant vs. believer's baptism as somehow on the same level as the Holy Trinity . . . is just insulting to the true God and seems blasphemous.

Lvka said...

Ken,

just because the stakes are higher doesn't mean that the approach is any different... Both betray a deeply-flawed understanding of the Holy Trinity.

Ken said...

Joe's linking to the "Lutheran Satire" videos also lead me to view the Christian History summary of the Reformation - particularly "4a" = in which Zwingli is the main focus. I had not realized, or I suppose, forgot, that one of the first "anabaptists" was Felix Mantz, who was executed by drowning, because he had himself re-baptized. It says he was a student of Zwingli, which I went back and pulled out my seminary text books on the Reformation, and sure enough, it does say that also. Weird how I had forgotten about that.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&v=FI2oFvEUfXE&NR=1

That is a sad and tragic thing. I am glad we are over that extremism today.

Ken said...

David W. and Lvka -

I don't see the approach or method similar at all.

Lvka said...

Its fundamental error consists in viewing the human being as an individual, and not as an integral part of an extended family (as the ancient Jews would've). Applied to the doctrine about God, this gives rise to unitarianism; applied to man, which was made in God's triune image, this gives birth to the exclusion of believers' children from Holy Baptism.

Ken said...

Human beings are both individuals and members of a family.

for salvation, each person much bear his own burden - Galatians 6:5 and each person will stand individually before God in the judgment - Romans 14:10-12; 2 Cor. 5:10, Revelation 20:10-15.

Your mistake is applying something to God, that has nothing to do with the doctrine of God. No one I have ever met has made that ridiculous and stupid parallel.

Lvka said...

Why do you feel that the passages in question are relevant to the discussion? (I don't recall saying that we'll burn in hell for someone else's sin... do you?)


No one I have ever met has made that ridiculous and stupid parallel.

I never said that you've met the writer of Genesis... only that his observation about the relationship between God and man is relevant to the topic at hand...

David Waltz said...

Hello again Ken,

Thank for responding; you wrote:

==David,
All of those works are mentioned, quoted from, and discussed in the other works I have mentioned.
The ones I mentioned (Jewett, Piper, Schreiner and Wright, Stander and Louw) have, in my opinion, fully answered all of their points/arguments.==

Me: Since I own Stander and Louw's book (read it quite awhile ago), I was able to check and see if the three books I mentioned above were indeed "discussed", as you replied—FACT, ONLY ONE OF THE THREE I REFERENCED IS IN THE BIBLIOGRAPHY (Aland's book). Ferguson's book wasn't even published until 2009, so I knew it would not be in it.

The book edited Schreiner and Wright was printed in 2007, so I know that it also could not have mentioned Ferguson's massive tome, though it does mention the books by Aland and Jeremias.

As for Paul K. Jewett, he died in 1991 !!!

And lastly, John Piper; I do not own this book, but a Google Books search revealed that he does not quote any of the three books I referenced.

Very difficult to take the above cited portion your response seriously...

==The other point you make about comparing the debate between infant vs. believer's baptism as somehow on the same level as the Holy Trinity . . . is just insulting to the true God and seems blasphemous.==

Me: I am not comparing the importance of the two doctrines, but rather the method of attack that is employed by their respective opponents—a huge difference Ken.


Grace and peace,

David

Ken said...

David,
Thanks for taking the time to track all that down.

I stand corrected and apologize for my rash statement.

I have definitely seen Jeremias and Aland's book talked about in other works on the debate between infant and credo baptism.

However, I and pretty sure I have also seen Ferguson's book mentioned in other places, so maybe I am confusing the issue with many other books and articles I have read on the subject.

Is Ferguson's book an update of an earlier work?

Joe said...

Hi Ken.

You said: ...it with Paul K. Jewetts, Infant Baptism and the Covenant of Grace and Fred Malone’s “A String of Pearls Unstrung” – those 2 books, along with the other 2 books that I mention in the article above, along with John Piper’s chapter in “Brothers, We are Not Professionals”, convinced me that credo/beleivers/disciples baptism is the correct Biblical view.

Yea, I have not read/listened to these works you have listed, (except what I state below) and maybe they would convince me as well. I am just wondering what your objections would be and what arguments in brief that they offer against IB.

I have heard a McArthur/Sproul debate and thought Sprouls arguments were much better. Honestly, I do not see any valid argument for credo baptism at all. Though maybe they had a few debates, so not sure if it was the same one. I heard a Sproul/Begg debate as well that, IMHO, Sproul won too. I have not heard those other debates, and will check into them if they are still available there.

Since I think that John the Baptist is an exception, and Psalm 8 and 22 are not talking about justifying faith, it is very weak to hang those ideas on our own children and as a paradigm for local church baptism and discipleship.

Well, even if John is an exception, you cannot say infants cannot have faith/trust then. Also, why would John be the only one? Besides, baptism is not administered to those whom we know for sure have faith, even in the case of adults. Again, God's explicit commands in the OT were that the sign of the covenant given to those you think cannot (with few exceptions) have faith. And at least until now, I have not seen any evidence that this radical change has been changed in the NT, and only evidence that is has continued, and continued in way that it is a more inclusive/gracious covenant (females, gentiles).

Concerning Psalm 8, 22...yea, we disagree as to their witness. You look for a mature faith in an infant, and judge their faith is not good enough for God....where I say, the text explicitly says something else. More texts could be given as well. But we see faith as a gift from God, not dependent on human understanding.


Paul’s usage does not teach infant baptism for NT local church practice, but he is describing an Old Covenant weakness - the weakness of thinking that physical presence in the community and going through ceremonies will in themselves create faith or make one a true believer. That “all were baptized into Moses” in the Exodus, but those that did not have faith perished and were not able to enter the promised land. They were not true believers, even though they were physically present in the community. Hebrews says the new covenant is better. Piper does a good job of showing that in his short chapter in his book, “Brothers, we are not Professionals” (Chapter 18 – “Magnify the Meaning of Baptism”.

I agree that Paul's usage in Corinth is not directly teaching that infants should be baptized, as that was not the context. My point however, is that I think it does give considerable weight to know that Paul uses the term to apply to infants...which the credo baptist would never do. So we see in the NT baptism referring to an example in the OT and vice versa. Knowing the ingrained and longstanding practice of infant circum...it seems the most illogical stance to say that the early Jews in the NT would have thought of such a radical change in their practice, especially given the NT corroboratory evidence, and without miraculous activity as needed similar to show that gentiles were now included. Concerning Piper, is this work/chapter online anywhere?

Also, those infants that were baptized into Moses, though some ended up unfaithful, all certainly benefited greatly with this baptism, as infants do with NT baptism.

in Him,

Joe H

Joe said...

found this article that summarized Aland/Jeremias.

http://gregscouch.homestead.com/files/Infantbap.html

Admittedly, I know nothing about this Greg Johnson other than his bio there (presbyter pastor)...but this work seems balanced, in terms of criticizing both sides. Though, I have not read Aland or Jeremias work's either...so someone who has read these works would be a better judge.

Lvka said...

Since Baptism is the way into the Kingdom of Heaven (John 3:5), and since Christ said that children already partake of that spiritual reality (Matthew 18:2-3; 19:13-15; Luke 18:15-17), denying them Baptism seems absurd. Just like the Calvinist dogma of Total Depravity also seems absurd when compared to the same passages, and others as well.

Joe said...

What is weird about the Lutheran satire video on Zwingli and baptism is that the cartoon character taking the Lutheran view, was the same character in the other video who took the contrary position.

yea, he mixes up the characters from time to time.

here is another one for your enjoyable, that is not directly about baptism but touches on it. fyi...there is always a small clip after the credits.


http://youtu.be/tFX8i8RQPEU

David Waltz said...

Good morning Ken,

Yesterday evening, you posted:

== David,
Thanks for taking the time to track all that down.

I stand corrected and apologize for my rash statement.==

Me: My pleasure; and apology accepted (but not needed, we all make mistakes in the combox).

==I have definitely seen Jeremias and Aland's book talked about in other works on the debate between infant and credo baptism.==

Me: Their published 'debate' (I forgot to mention Jeremias first book which precipitated the 2 books I mentioned) is probably the most concise and cogent representations of each of the two sides of the issue (IMHO).

==However, I and pretty sure I have also seen Ferguson's book mentioned in other places, so maybe I am confusing the issue with many other books and articles I have read on the subject.==

Me: Since its publication in 2009, Ferguson's massive tome (953 pages) has become the 'standard' work on the subject.

==Is Ferguson's book an update of an earlier work?==

Me: No, but he may have written some papers on the subject prior to the publication of the book itself.


Grace and peace,

David

David Waltz said...

Hi Joe,

You wrote:

== found this article that summarized Aland/Jeremias.

http://gregscouch.homestead.com/files/Infantbap.html

Admittedly, I know nothing about this Greg Johnson other than his bio there (presbyter pastor)...but this work seems balanced, in terms of criticizing both sides. Though, I have not read Aland or Jeremias work's either...so someone who has read these works would be a better judge.==

Thanks for the link. I own, and have read, all 3 works referenced by Johnson, and found his assessments to be 'spot-on'.

Some important Patristic evidences from not referenced by Aland, Jeremias, and Johnson are found in the writings of St. Patrick, Columba and others, of Ireland. A very interesting essay on this subject can be accessed online at:

http://www.anabaptistnetwork.com/node/162


Grace and peace,

David

PeaceByJesus said...

Lvka,

Since John 3:5 cannot be referring to baptism without preventing it from being a imperative command, seeing as the Holy Spirit makes it clear that souls were regenerated and forgiven prior to baptism; (Acts 10:43-47; 11:18; 15:8,9)

And seeing that the Holy Spirit clearly states repentant whole-hearted faith is a requirement for baptism; (Acts 2:38; 8:36,37)

And seeing as wherever there is a fuller description of households being baptized then it indicates the subjects were able to comprehend and believe what was spoken; (Acts 16:32,34)

And if being childlike (that being a characteristic of the elect), means that little children already partake of that kingdom, being already in it, then arguments for infant baptism for salvation seem absurd.

Lvka said...

Adam was also childlike when he fell. The power of the Holy Spirit that descends upon those that are baptized (Luke 3:22; John 1:33) gives them the power to resist evil and persist, persevere, and progress in what is good.

The ones upon whom the Holy Spirit descended were baptized afterwards (which would have never happened otherwise, since the Apostles did not know at that time what to do with Gentiles who were not keeping the law of Moses).

John 3:5 does refer to baptism, since water is mentioned.

The mature persons in question [who were also the heads of their household] were baptized with their entire household (ie: kids, slaves, etc). That's what the word means. The Bible doesn't say "only they were baptized, and the rest of their house was not, because [insert post-Enlightment reason]".

PeaceByJesus said...

Simply because water is mentioned in Jn. 3:5 does not mean He is referring to baptism, versus making a distinction between natural and spiritual birth (water brought forth life in Gn. 1:20), which answer by Christ corresponds to the question of Nicodemus who referred to natural birth.

And as said, if Jn. 3:5 verily, verily refers to water baptism, then it would be understood as an absolute literal necessity, and not allow a bunch of people being born again prior to baptism.

As for the attempt to explain this away by teaching that the Holy Spirit falling on the Gentiles in Acts 10:44 was just so that the apostles would realize they were accepted by God and baptize them,

1.The Holy Spirit did not simply fall on them as some Catholics assert, rather than being forgiven and receiving the Holy Spirit in regeneration. (Acts 15:8,9) Thus if these were born again prior to baptism, then it removes Jn. 3:5 as a literal imperative necessity and command.

2. However, while speaking in tongues confirmed that the Gentiles had believed, yet the apostle Peter certainly did know what to do with Gentiles before he baptized them, and would have baptized them had they expressed faith otherwise, such as the Ethiopian eunuch did, (Acts 8:37) as God had already revealed to him that He was no respecter of persons, and that he was not to consider the Gentiles as different.

Nor did Peter tell them to be baptized for the forgiveness of sins, but that "through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins." (Acts 10:43)

As for little children, if they are innocent as Adam, and if sin is not imputed to them, and thus are part of the kingdom of God already, then they do not need salvation, thus baptism would not be for the forgiveness of sins as per Catholicism, but only for power.

And in the case of whole households being baptized, as expressed, wherever there is more than the mention of a household being baptized, the details indicate the baptized were able to both hear the word and respond, which infants cannot.

And Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his house... " (Acts 18:8)

"they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house. " and he "rejoiced, believing in God with all his house." (Acts 16:32,34)

Considering the salvific importance Catholicism places upon baptism, it is simply inconceivable that the Holy Spirit would not provide at least one clear example of infant baptism. Likewise for praying to saints, etc.

But which at least testifies against the Islamic assertion that the Bible was changed to support church doctrine. Instead Catholicism channels its competing traditions to provide what Scripture fails to provide real warrant for, under the premise that they are infallible.

Edward Reiss said...

Peace by Jesus,

"Simply because water is mentioned in Jn. 3:5 does not mean He is referring to baptism, versus making a distinction between natural and spiritual birth (water brought forth life in Gn. 1:20), which answer by Christ corresponds to the question of Nicodemus who referred to natural birth."

No one is saying that "simply because water is mentioned" that the passage in question is about baptism. The passage is about baptism because the rebirth is by "water and the Spirit." From a Lutheran standpoint, this IS baptism--water united with the spirit or word.

PeaceByJesus said...


No one is saying that "simply because water is mentioned" that the passage in question is about baptism.


Yes, someone did say "John 3:5 does refer to baptism, since water is mentioned," and i was countering that argument.

And it remains that at the least baptism cannot be an absolute necessity for regeneration, seeing as souls were definitely born again prior to that, while what this and other texts teach is that it is the faith behind the baptism (or other expressions), faith which confessing the Lord Jesus in baptism both requires and expresses, that appropriates justification, with confession of Christ confirming this faith.

"For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. " (Romans 10:10)

"Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. " (Matthew 10:32)

I see baptism as being either overly magnified by some, as if the act itself worked grace even if the subject was not aware of what faith even is, and or as absolutely necessary for regeneration, or marginalized by others as a superfluous act, with little appreciation of what it is confessing. But God is a God of balance who cannot be restricted to ritual, though He ordains them, and they can be a means of conveying grace (as in laying on hands: 1Tim. 4:14)

For some baptism can be the occasion of conversion, that of coming to the faith it requires, while for others conversion precedes it, but the key thing is that salvific faith is one that works obedience towards its Object, baptism normatively being the first formal outward expression of that.

And as God blesses obedience by giving more grace, so being baptized can result in the subject receiving grace, but not as per "ex opere operato."

Lvka said...

I believe your reasoning to be incorrect for the following reasons:


If, in some special cases, God has special solutions, this should not lead us to disconsider His normative word or commandment. We do not doubt that if someone -for objective reasons- does not make it to Baptism s/he will lose his soul if s/he already believed in the Lord and repented of sins.

Saint Paul, for instance, tells us of pagans themselves, who had no knowledge of God's revelation, that "the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent" (Acts 17:30). In other words, God makes a logic concession without at the same time leading us in the other extreme: namely that "it's ok; you don't have to repent, or believe, and be baptized, etc".

To put it in even more simpler terms: Just because God has mercy on whomever He will have mercy (Romans 9:15, 18) does not mean that we should push Him or tempt Him by not doing our duty (what He commanded us to do). And to make God a slave of a certain form is also incorrect.
___________________________________

We know from Acts and Galatians 2:11-14 that Peter and others lead a sort of double-life when it came to receiving Gentiles into the Church.
___________________________________

It's not "explainig away", it's part of the repeating (recurring) theme of Acts: starting with Peter's dream about clean and unclean animals, continuing with the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the pious Gentile family, and ultimately culminating with the Apostolic Synod of Acts 15.
___________________________________

Just because they haven't sinned yet doesn't mean that they are not inclined to it from their mother's whombs, or that they will preserve their child-like purity. You seem to have a narrow view of sin as only guilt. Sin is an ontological affliction from which all have to be washed, including sinless babes.
___________________________________

The New Testament did not invent the practice of baptism. Jewish prozelite baptism (of which the Chirstian one is an extension) did not refuse the children of believing parents that converted to Judaism. We cannot simply ignore this reality.
___________________________________

"The details indicate" no such thing... that you seem to interpret them as such (due to a post-Enlightment world-view) is not the writer's fault, nor that of the Catholic and Orthodox Church. Perhaps, if you were to look in the Scripture for support for your unspoken assumption (culturally-based and taken for granted) that "children cannot believe", you probably will find some things there that might surprise you...

Joe said...

Hi PeacebyJesus.

You said: And seeing that the Holy Spirit clearly states repentant whole-hearted faith is a requirement for baptism; (Acts 2:38; 8:36,37)

Me: Well, no. With adults, only a profession of faith is required. Obviously we cannot see the heart of anyone. But this requirement would not be required with infants. God's explicit commands for the sign of the covenant are given to the children of professed believers.

And seeing as wherever there is a fuller description of households being baptized then it indicates the subjects were able to comprehend and believe what was spoken; (Acts 16:32,34)

Infants can have faith/trust/praise God as explicity said in scripture. Even if they could not, see above.

And as said, if Jn. 3:5 verily, verily refers to water baptism, then it would be understood as an absolute literal necessity, and not allow a bunch of people being born again prior to baptism.

Why would this have to be an "absolute necessity"?

Nor did Peter tell them to be baptized for the forgiveness of sins, but that "through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins." (Acts 10:43)

Acts 22:16 - And what ar you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on his name."

Considering the salvific importance Catholicism places upon baptism, it is simply inconceivable that the Holy Spirit would not provide at least one clear example of infant baptism. Likewise for praying to saints, etc.

The Holy Spirit did provide one example, actually hundreds. I Cor 10:2 - "they were all baptized". :) Plus, I think the scarcity of examples of IB is explainable and fitting the situation of the early church.

What is much more inconceivable is:

1) that the practice of giving the sign of the covenant to the children of believers, that was explicity commanded by God, punishable by excomm...was dramatically altered to now not be given to these children in
a) a better covenant
b) more gracious covenenat
c) more inclusive covenant

...without a single word or hint at this changing, and all the corroballative evidence of the continuity of the status of chilren in the NT.

2)The universal practice of IB in the late 2nd century, if not earlier.

in Him,

Joe

Joe said...

...also, not that I am a historian, but all the evidence that I have found so far from the ealy church explicitly shows that regeneration of some sort happens at baptism.

“This means that we go down into the water full of sins and foulness, and we come up bearing fruit in our hearts, fear and hope in Jesus and in the Spirit. Epistle of Barnabas

"They were obliged,” he answered, “to ascend through water in order that they might be made alive; for, unless they laid aside the deadness of their life, they could not in any other way enter into the kingdom of God. … For,” he continued, “before a man bears the name of the Son of God he is dead; but when he receives the seal he lays aside his deadness, and obtains life. The seal, then, is the water: they descend into the water dead, and they arise alive. And to them, accordingly, was this seal preached, and they made use of it that they might enter into the kingdom of God.” (Shepherd of Hermas)

“I will also relate the manner in which we dedicated ourselves to God when we had been made new through Christ; lest, if we omit this, we seem to be unfair in the explanation we are making. As many as are persuaded and believe that what we teach and say is true, and undertake to be able to live accordingly, are instructed to pray and to entreat God with fasting, for the remission of their sins that are past, we praying and fasting with them. They then are brought by us where there is water, and are regenerated in the same manner in which we were ourselves regenerated. For, in the name of God, the Father and Lord of the universe, and of our Saviour Jesus Christ, and of the Holy Spirit, they then receive the washing with water. . . . The reason for this we have received from the Apostles.”Justin Martyr


And this food is called among us Εὐχαριστία [the Eucharist], of which no one is allowed to partake but the man who believes that the things which we teach are true, and who has been washed with the washing that is for the remission of sins, and unto regeneration, and who is so living as Christ has enjoined. Justin Martyr

And we, who have approached God through Him, have received not carnal, but spiritual circumcision, which Enoch and those like him observed. And we have received it through baptism, since we were sinners, by God’s mercy; and all men may equally obtain it.Justin Martyr

And when we come to refute them [i.e. those heretics], we shall show in its fitting-place, that this class of men have been instigated by Satan to a denial of that baptism which is regeneration to God, and thus to a renunciation of the whole [Christian] faith.Irenaues

And again, giving to the disciples the power of regeneration into God, He said to them, “Go and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” (Matthew 28:19) … “The Lord also promised to send the Comforter, who should join us to God (St. John. 16:7). For as a compacted lump of dough cannot be formed of dry wheat without fluid matter, nor can a loaf possess unity, so, in like manner, neither could we, being many be made one in Christ Jesus without the water from heaven. And as dry earth does not bring forth unless it receive moisture, in like manner we also, being originally a dry tree, could never have brought forth fruit unto life without the voluntary rain from above. For our bodies have received unity among themselves by means of that laver which leads to incorruption; but our souls by means of the Spirit. Wherefore both are necessary, since both contribute towards the life of God.” Irenaeus(A.H., III.17)

For as we are lepers in sin, we are made clean, by means of the sacred water and the invocation of the Lord, from our old transgressions; being spiritually regenerated as new-born babes, even as the Lord has declared: “Unless a man be born again through water and the Spirit, he shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” Irenaeus

in Him,

JoeH

Edward Reiss said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Edward Reiss said...

PeacebyJesus,

"Yes, someone did say "John 3:5 does refer to baptism, since water is mentioned," and i was countering that argument."

I think you misread the argument. It is obviously not merely because water is mentioned, but that water and rebirth is mentioned.

PeaceByJesus said...

Lvka,

Acts 17:30 does not mean they did not mean they do not have to to repent and believe to be saved, or that God did not judge, as Sodom etc. and Rm. 1 illustrates, but that God showed great longsuffering in overlooking their idolatry done in their sin-induced darkness, "Who in times past suffered all nations to walk in their own ways" (Acts 14:16), before bringing judgment.

But now as they are given light and grace He commands them to respond in repentance.

Nor does Romans 9:15, 18 refer to exceptional acts of mercy contrary to His established norm, but of God granting repentance in saving or damning souls according to predestination.

This does not mean God cannot show exceptional grace, which miracles are, but rather than the conversion of Cornelius and company simply being an exception, i see it as consistent with the precise soteriology of N.T. Scripture, in which Abraham was counted as righteous by faith, before he was circumcised.

While baptism is yet commanded for souls such as Cornelius - the absence of which would be an exception, as saving faith must be one that confesses the Lord Jesus, and baptism is the ordained formal means of first doing so - yet it is faith which appropriates cleansing and justification.

And some Catholics do "explain away" the Cornelius conversion by denying they were born again prior to baptism, or that otherwise Peter he would have refused to baptize them if they had only responded like the Jews in Acts 2:37.

As for Peter and others leading a sort of double-life when it came to receiving Gentiles into the Church, not really with Peter, as there is a difference btwn an instance of departure in living what you profess, and what you manifestly believe, and Peter had eaten with Gentiles and justified it with theology.

James, the head of the main church, is the one is questionable, giving well-meaning advice to the foremost evangelist Paul, which almost got him murdered. (Acts 21)

The fact that the Jews had baptism, as well as circumcision, does not justify paedobaptism under the New Cov., as under the Old Cov. there was no requirement to first believe, and in further clear contrast to the New, it was commanded to circumcise children and servants - but not women. Unlike placing people into a physical kingdom because they were born Hebrew, under the New one must personally repent and believe to be part of the kingdom of Christ.

See here for more on the differences.

If Catholics are going to baptize infants perhaps it would be consistent to allow them to receive the Eucharist as well, as being a new covenant in His sinless shed blood.

As for "the details" in household baptisms, they do indeed indicate the subjects could hear and believe, as they is what they show.

And it is because i search the Scriptures that i contend that infants cannot repent and believe, rather than children, which words you put in my mouth. For indeed, souls need not be very old to be able to "know to refuse the evil, and choose the good," (Is. 7:16) and in fact young children are the best candidates for conversion, before they being to learn how to rationalize guilt away.

I am somewhat open however to infant baptism as a covenantal sign, but the danger then is that of the baptized later presuming they need no personal conversion, which is the predominate situation in Catholicism. I was one, and know the vast difference.

As for having a narrow view of sin as only guilt, while i do affirm man as having an inherited sinful nature, yet i do not see eternal damnation being on the basis of something the person was not accountable for, but that it is "according to their works." (Rv. 20:12) Otherwise unbaptized infants are in Hell.

Lvka said...

Catholics did innitially allow children to Holy Communion, as the Orthodox do until this day, but -when they later started to commune the laity only with bread- since babes cannot eat hard food, they were communed later in life, when they were able to chew.
___________________________________

I still think you should look at what we objectively know from history (Jews baptized children, early Christian baptized children) and put objectivity above personal ideas and original research.

In case you haven't noticed yet, you still haven't actually been able to put forth a single scriptural passage that mentions babes as unfit to believe or enter into a relationship with God. As obvious as certain ideas may seem to us, they may not have been shared by previous generations (like the ones that wrote the Bible).

Your statement that belief was not a requirement for circumcision or baptism in OT times is utterly absurd: why do you think they converted in the first place, and even undergone the painful process of circumcision, if they did NOT believe ? Especially to such a frowned-upon religion as Judaism ?
___________________________________

Abraham, whom you mention, was a lesser saint than John the Baptist, about whom Christ Himself said that he was the holiest man to ever have been born of a woman, AND YET the least in the Kingdom is greater than him. Why ? Because he lacked faith in Christ ? We know from the Bible that this is not the case. So what is the difference then between OT saints and NT ones, if they both had faith in the Messiah?

The difference is the grace of the Holy Spirit, which came abundantly through Christ (John 1:17). This power of the Holy Spirit descends upon persons baptized in His name, as it did upon Him at His Baptism. It is given by the laying on of hands by apostles, bishops, and priests in chrismation. They did not have this things in the OT.

You mention our faith, but this is only half of the equation: the other half is God's grace, given through baptism and the rest of the Christ-given sacraments. When we go to God with faith and repentance, He comes to us with His grace. And I really don't remember Him excluding children from this (Matthew 18:2-3; 19:13-15; Luke 18:15-17). You can't put your own ideas before Christ's actual words.

Ken said...

http://beggarsallreformation.blogspot.com/2011/06/between-orange-and-trent.html

At the bottom of this article are plenty of links to articles about baptismal regeneration, and the proper interpretations of John 3:5 and Titus 3:5, and other passages.

PeaceByJesus said...

I still think you should look at what we objectively know from history (Jews baptized children, early Christian baptized children) and put objectivity above personal ideas and original research

Rather, you need to look what Scripture has to say and what it does not, rather than wrong ideas which were perpetuated by traditions of men. And if you want to follow the post apostolic church “fathers”, then you choose must who to follow, whether to “wait to till the end of the third year, or a little more or less, when they may be able to listen and to answer something about the Sacrament; that, even though they do not perfectly understand it, yet at any rate they may know the outlines.” (Gregory Nazianzen [329 – 390] And that “according to the circumstances and disposition, and even age, of each individual, the delay of baptism is preferable; principally, however, in the case of little children....let them become Christians when they have become able to know Christ...Let them know how to “ask” for salvation, that you may seem (at least) to have given “to him that asks...If any understand the weighty import of baptism, they will fear its reception more than its delay: sound faith is secure of salvation.” (Tertullian; http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0321.htm)

You might even wait till on your deathbed to be baptized, as some did in the early church.

And if you want to follow the Jews, then baptism would not be a fulfillment of circumcision, as they considered them two different acts.

In addition, the EOs can also fight with Rome over what tradition teaches the formula and mode is to be.

you still haven't actually been able to put forth a single scriptural passage that mentions babes as unfit to believe or enter into a relationship with God.

That is absurd; as that is your problem, as you cannot find even one recorded instance of infants being baptized, versus those who did believe, and what is plainly stated is that of repentance and faith (two sides of the same coin) preceding baptism. And Abraham, which is to be our example, was first justified by faith, and then was given the faith-confirming sign of circumcision, “that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised [or baptized]; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also. (Rm. 4:11) Thus we have souls being saved prior to baptism, Scripture failing to support your premise that baptism was treated as circumcision as regards infants. Nor will you find females receiving circumcision, and then under the New Covenant simply being baptized because their husbands did, as personal faith is required.

As obvious as certain ideas may seem to us, they may not have been shared by previous generations (like the ones that wrote the Bible).

Which applies to you, as these writers must have forgot to add that needed detail of infants being baptized, contrary to what it provides for major doctrines, and that “neglect” also applies to praying to the departed, etc.

Your statement that belief was not a requirement for circumcision or baptism in OT times is utterly absurd:

I see. So we are to suppose that infants do morally “know to refuse the evil, and choose the good” at 8 days old (being lost before that).

As regards the idea that no one would undergo the pain of circumcision or submit to such a frowned-upon religion as Judaism unless they were converted in heart, economics were one reason in Gn. 34, and it is highly doubtful these Hivites meant to choose the God of Abraham by this act, while all the male servants of Israel were not given a choice in the matter, except by escape.

PeaceByJesus said...

Pt. 2

Abraham, whom you mention, was a lesser saint than John the Baptist

The point of Paul is that faith appropriated justification before circumcision, which correspondent to baptism to a degree, while your assertion that the latter conveys regenerative grace ex opere operato even to the ignorant innocent is what is not proved.

It is given by the laying on of hands by apostles, bishops, and priests in chrismation.

Laying on of hands refers to ordination, besides healing, and baptizing was not restricted to apostles (which remained in Jerusalem after the initial persecution, and Phillip of Acts 8:12 was an anointed deacon) or bishops, nor again is there a separate clerical class entitled priests.

This power of the Holy Spirit descends upon persons baptized in His name

Again, as explained, this can happen at baptism, but also before baptism (and even post baptism: Acts 8:14-17), with its evident regeneration, while in the light of what Scripture reveals about regeneration and the reality of the multitudes who have been manifestly born again after being baptized as infants, to claim that the power of the Holy Spirit descends upon baptized infants as in Catholicism is absurd and nigh unto blasphemous, and negates the whole argument for it insofar as evidence is concerned!

I posit that the evidence is against baptized Catholic infants having been born again, and thus exhibiting the profound changes which this results in, or even being of superior character than unbaptized evangelicals or even others, other things being equal. I myself, despite having been infant baptized and raised in a very devout Catholic home and quite sincere in faith, this did not result in my knowing Christ until i personally, after tearful repentance, placed my faith in the Lord Jesus for salvation at age 25. And which testimonies abound. Nor does paedobaptism result in superior spirituality in areas where Catholicism predominates, versus Southern Baptists etc. for instance, and instead there is overall a negative contrast.

You mention our faith, but this is only half of the equation: the other half is God's grace, given through baptism and the rest of the Christ-given sacraments.

God does work through others, and God blesses acts of obedience by giving grace, but which is largely perfunctory professions or mere form in Catholicism, and in institutionalized Protestantism as well. The church of the living God evidences that it is so with manifest regeneration and evangelism and holiness, and living by faith in such as way that God must show Himself alive for them.

And yes i do come short in this, but i do know the profound difference between what Catholicism overall evidentially fosters (though i think the Orthodox are overall more committed and less arrogant), versus conversion and the life of faith resulting from souls coming to God as souls damned for their works - not saved because of their merits or the that their church, or because they were baptized as infants - and destitute of any means or merit whereby they may escape our just and eternal punishment in Hell Fire and gain eternal life with God. And who thus must cast all their whole hearted faith upon the mercy of God in Christ, trusting the risen Lord Jesus to save them by His sinless shed blood, and so follow Him. (Rm. 3:9 - 5:1) Thanks be to God.

Lvka said...

The act or word metioned in the New Testament was not a New Testament invention. It preceded the New Testament by centuries, and continued until the present day. No scripture or tradition amends the practice in any way.

The first examples of people who delayed it until late in life come from the fourth century, and not sooner than that. (Saint Gregory, Saint Constantine, Saint Basil the Great, etc). The reason they did that was because of a heresy that was rampant in their time, based on a very rigid and narrow view of Hebrews 10:26.

Tertullian himself was a convert from North Africa. His views are based on his personal experience, but that doesn't change the fact that the North African Church always baptized the children of Christian parents in the first few days after birth, as I said in my very first comment on this post.

The fact that circumcision is a sign of faith and that Abraham was a believer prior to circumcision defeats your view rather than supporting it, because it seems that God Himself was of the opinion that babes can believe in Him, otherwise why DEMAND they be baptized at eight DAYS after birth rather than eight YEARS, for instance ? In other words, Abraham's age did not seem to matter (at least not to God or Moses) when it came to faith in the true God, whose sign or symbol circumcision was.

The reality of Genesis 34 was not the same as the reality of first century Jews, brutally oppressed by Romans in their own country.

I never said that only clergy can baptize. All I said was that -in the entire New Testament-, ONLY Apostles, bishops, and presbyters are seen laying their hands over people to receive the Holy Spirit. This is called chrismation.

Why does the fact that some people who received the grace of the Holy Spirit in baptism as babies never show forth any fruit disturb you? Haven't you heard what Christ said in the Parable of the Sower and in the Parable of the Talents ?

Joe said...

PeacebyJesus.

And it is because i search the Scriptures that i contend that infants cannot repent and believe, rather than children, which words you put in my mouth. For indeed, souls need not be very old to be able to "know to refuse the evil, and choose the good," (Is. 7:16) and in fact young children are the best candidates for conversion, before they being to learn how to rationalize guilt away.

Where in the scriptures does it declare that infants cannot have faith? Is this Is 7:16 your evidence?...or are there other references? I have shown examples above that explicitly say that infants can have faith, and it would seem to be by logic and the overall teaching about faith/works/grace/sin...that it would be clear that they indeed can. God can give gifts, including faith, to anyone, even without their conscious knowledge of it. Do you still have faith in your sleep? Or because you are unconscious, do you lose it then? If adults are dead in sin, it sounds like your stance would be an alive infant is less capable of faith then a spiritually dead adult, no?

I am somewhat open however to infant baptism as a covenantal sign, but the danger then is that of the baptized later presuming they need no personal conversion, which is the predominate situation in Catholicism. I was one, and know the vast difference.

Good to hear you are open to it. Catholics/Lutherans and all who perform IB, to my knowledge, do not end their christian instruction, training, pilgrimage, etc...with baptism.

From a Q/A Lutheran LCMS document:
Q: How does faith play a role in infant Baptism? Is faith later taken care of when the child is
confirmed?
A: Lutherans believe that the Bible teaches that a person is saved by God's grace alone through faith alone in Jesus Christ. Baptism, we believe, is one of the miraculous means of grace (together with God's written and spoken Word) through which God creates the gift of faith in a person's heart. Although we do not claim to understand how this happens or how it is possible, we believe (because of what the
Bible says about Baptism) that when an infant is baptized God creates faith in the heart of that infant. This faith cannot yet, of course, be expressed or articulated, yet it is real and present all the same (see, e.g., 1 Pet 3:21; Acts 2:38-39; Titus 3:5-6; Matt. 18:6; Luke 1:15; 2 Tim.3:15; Gal. 3:26-27; Rom. 6:4; Col. 2:11-12; 1 Cor. 12:13).
Parents and sponsors of a baptized child bear the responsibility of teaching this child God's Word so that the child's faith may remain alive and grow (Matt. 28:18-20). Confirmation is a time-honored church tradition (not required by God's Word, but-we believe-useful nonetheless) in which the child baptized as an infant is given the opportunity to confess for himself or herself the faith that he or she was unable to confess as an infant. Faith is not "created" at confirmation, but rather confessed for all to hear, so that the church can join and rejoice in this public confession, which has its roots in the faith which God Himself created in Baptism.

in Him,

Joe

Lvka said...

Baptism is not merely a sign of faith, it is an aid to faith. Grace descending upon human will devoid of power (Romans 7:5-25).

Joe said...

PeacebyJesus.

A few posts up, you said and linked reasons what the differences are with the signs of the covenant.

In that desiringgod.com article, it had 5 points:

1) In every New Testament command and instance of baptism the requirement of faith precedes baptism. So infants incapable of faith are not to be baptized.

False, as clearly shown above. Infants are capable as the scriptures teach, in several places.

2) There are no explicit instances of infant baptism in all the Bible. In the three "household baptisms" mentioned (household of Lydia, Acts 16:15; household of the Philippian jailer, Acts 16:30–33; household of Stephanus, 1 Corinthians 1:16) no mention is made of infants, and in the case of the Philippian jailer, Luke says explicitly, "they spoke the word of the Lord to him together with all who were in his house" (Acts 16:32), implying that the household who were baptized could understand the Word.

False. Paul says that the whole nation of Israel went through a baptism. (I Cor 10). Infants were obviously included...unless they took a different path than their parents and everyone else. :) Concerning household baptisms, I could agree that they do not necessarily prove their were infants involved, but I think they do not have to either. If the continuity of the family structure and who the sign of the covenant is given is shown in the NT, it is a strong case there would also be infants baptized in these households, assuming some of them had infants.

3) Paul (in Colossians 2:12) explicitly defined baptism as an act done through faith: ". . . having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God." In baptism you were raised up with Christ through faith—your own faith, not your parents' faith. If it is not "through faith"—if it is not an outward expression of inward faith—it is not baptism.

Well, again, infants can have faith, and it is their "faith in the working of God".

....cont

Joe said...

4) The apostle Peter, in his first letter, defined baptism this way, ". . . not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience—through the resurrection of Jesus Christ" (1 Peter 3:21). Baptism is "an appeal to God for a good conscience." It is an outward act and expression of inner confession and prayer to God for cleansing, that the one being baptized does, not his parents.

If I am understanding this correctly then, he is arguing that we are saved by asking God for a good conscience"...which seems antithetical to faith alone, and a doctrine of works. see http://youtu.be/TjcrsZFVyKw

5) When the New Testament church debated in Acts 15 whether circumcision should still be required of believers as part of becoming a Christian, it is astonishing that not once in that entire debate did anyone say anything about baptism standing in the place of circumcision. If baptism is the simple replacement of circumcision as a sign of the new covenant, and thus valid for children as well as for adults, as circumcision was, surely this would have been the time to develop the argument and so show that circumcision was no longer necessary. But it is not even mentioned.

Well, one could use this type of logic for many doctrines and questions that arose, and hence is really not all that useful of an argument. The fact is Paul in Colosians does link the two. Their is no dispute as to what the sign of the OT was and what the sign of the NT is, period. The fact that nothing is mentioned here in Acts about this, IMHO, is actually more evidence that the practice of given the sign to children of believers was assumed and kept.

If we expect something to be discussed, if there was a change, and a very dramatic change for the Jews, both in who gets the sign of the covenant and prostelyte baptism....I think if we would expect something to be said that the practice for thousands of years, of given the sign to infants of believers, is now to cease!!!

But we do not see this, we see evidence to the contrary through the NT.

In Him,

Joe

PeaceByJesus said...

The first examples of people who delayed it until late in life come from the fourth century, and not sooner than that. (Saint Gregory, Saint Constantine, Saint Basil the Great, etc). The reason they did that was because of a heresy that was rampant in their time, based on a very rigid and narrow view of Hebrews 10:26.

That was only one example i provided in contrast to your inference that infant baptism was consistent with the the early church, although some supported waiting until the child had some comprehension.

In addition to Gregory, Tertullian quoted before, Athanasius (296-298 -373) writes in combating the Arians,

For not he who simply says, 'O Lord,' gives Baptism; but he who with the Name has also the right faith. On this account therefore our Saviour also did not simply command to baptize, but first says, 'Teach;' then thus: 'Baptize into the Name of Father, and Son, and Holy Ghost;' that the right faith might follow upon learning, and together with faith might come the consecration of Baptism. (Discourse 2 Against the Arians, 42; http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/28162.htm)

Even earlier, Justin Martyr, writing about 155 AD states in, “Christian baptism,”

I will also relate the manner in which we dedicated ourselves to God when we had been made new through Christ; lest, if we omit this, we seem to be unfair in the explanation we are making. As many as are persuaded and believe that what we teach and say is true, and undertake to be able to live accordingly, are instructed to pray and to entreat God with fasting, for the remission of their sins that are past, we praying and fasting with them...

And for this [rite] we have learned from the apostles this reason. Since at our birth we were born without our own knowledge or choice, by our parents coming together, and were brought up in bad habits and wicked training; in order that we may not remain the children of necessity and of ignorance, but may become the children of choice and knowledge, and may obtain in the water the remission of sins formerly committed. (Justin, First Apology Chapter 61; http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0126.htm)

Justin contrasts the being children without our own knowledge or choice by birth, with becoming the children of choice and knowledge by baptism.

This once again illustrates the problem with so-called church fathers, as they seldom are unified in everything or in depth, and being a diverse group they are not equal, and can hold erroneous beliefs and example ignorant exegesis of Scripture. No less than Jerome, in trying to support his extreme view of virginity versus marriage (all sexual intercourse is unclean), surmises, "If we are to pray always, it follows that we must never be in the bondage of wedlock, for as often as I render my wife her due, I cannot pray.”

And, “You surely admit that he is no bishop who during his episcopate begets children. The reverse is the case—if he be discovered, he will not be bound by the ordinary obligations of a husband, but will be condemned as an adulterer. “

And on First Corinthians 7:

It is good, he says, for a man not to touch a woman. If it is good not to touch a woman, it is bad to touch one: for there is no opposite to goodness but badness. But if it be bad and the evil is pardoned, the reason for the concession is to prevent worse evil.

Then on Genesis 1,

This too we must observe, at least if we would faithfully follow the Hebrew, that while Scripture on the first, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth days relates that, having finished the works of each, “God saw that it was good,” on the second day it omitted this altogether, leaving us to understand that two is not a good number because it destroys unity, and prefigures the marriage compact. Hence it was that all the animals which Noah took into the ark by pairs were unclean. Odd numbers denote cleanness. (St. Jerome, Against Jovinianus Book 1 Chapters 7,13,16,33 http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf206.vi.vi.I.html)

PeaceByJesus said...

Pt. 2

So much for two by two evangelism.

Nor was Jerome alone in his imbalanced view regarding sexual relations, which i am certain you are interested in, considering your odd, if honest web pages with video on fasting as well as semi erotic “liturgical ballet” etc., which i find inappropriate (not that i have arrived, overcoming rebellion in my heart, etc.).

Tertullian argued that second marriage, having been freed from the first by death, “will have to be termed no other than a species of fornication,” (An Exhortation to Chastity,'' Chapter IX) partly based on the reasoning that such desire to marry a women must involve sexual ardor. Augustine among others held that whenever it comes to the actual process of generation, the very embrace which is lawful and honourable cannot be effected without the ardour of lust, even if this was not imputed to the elect. (On Marriage and Concupiscence (Book I, cp. 27) Justin held marriage was only “so that we may bring up children.” (First Apology 29)

Such things are not the only reason i place far less weight upon what CFs believed than Catholics (who divide on what Tradition teaches), as while they have some value, and i do not doubt their piety, i find Scripture vastly superior in writing, and overall quite clear by God's help, and corrective of some of what these CFs as well as Catholicism believes.

The fact that circumcision is a sign of faith and that Abraham was a believer prior to circumcision defeats your view rather than supporting it, because it seems that God Himself was of the opinion that babes can believe in Him, otherwise why DEMAND they be baptized at eight DAYS after birth rather than eight YEARS, for instance ?

You are again assuming what needs to be proved, that in every case one had to believe to be circumcised, and that every infant possesses that capability, that even retarded babies understand both language and their need for salvation from sin, and the Object of faith they must believe in. It is you who cannot prove that, while again, Scripture does testify of a coming to an age of reason.

Instead of infants believing, as with dedication, the parent was acting on behalf of the child, and thus in contrast to the commands on baptism, the command to circumcise specifies infants, and is not preceded by a command to teach and repent and believe in relation to the basic truths taught. This contrast is not going away nor is it overcome by appeal to a tradition of men.

The reality of Genesis 34 was not the same as the reality of first century Jews,

Nor is that the case today in much of the world, and this example counters your argument that souls who were circumcised would not do so unless they it signified conversion.

PeaceByJesus said...

Pt. 3

I never said that only clergy can baptize. All I said was that -in the entire New Testament-, ONLY Apostles, bishops, and presbyters are seen laying their hands over people to receive the Holy Spirit.

No, you said, “This power of the Holy Spirit descends upon persons baptized in His name, as it did upon Him at His Baptism. It is given by the laying on of hands by apostles, bishops, and priests in chrismation. They did not have this things in the OT.”

Besides presbyters not being titled priests (nor do Greek lexicons or other scholarly sources suggest that "presbyteros" means "priest" instead of "elder" — International Standard Version), Moses did lay his hands on Joshua in conveying the fullness of the spirit of wisdom, (Dt. 34:9) while Ananias laid his hands on Paul, perhaps in conveying the Holy Spirit before baptism, and is simply called “a certain disciple' and “a devout man.” (Acts 9:10-18; cf. 22:12-16) And it is doubtful the apostles laid hands on all 3000+ souls on the day of Pentecost, while again, in Acts 8:14-17 there is a post-baptism receiving of the Holy Spirit. And you will not find a distinction between “falling on” and “receiving.” Nor is it true that no believers in the OT did not have the Holy Spirit in them. (1Pt. 1:11) Then Ephesians 1:13 states, “...in whom also after that ye believed [or believing], ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, " So much for tying God down to a strict formula. Those who seek the Lord will find Him, preaching usually convicting him to do so, and He gives the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him in faith, believing on the Lord Jesus Christ.

Why does the fact that some people who received the grace of the Holy Spirit in baptism as babies never show forth any fruit disturb you?

That was not my actual argument, but that it disturbs me because this is the norm, the majority of Catholics being liberal in moral and theological views, or so blindly devoted to Rome (i know you are Orthodox) that they basically preach a church, with whom we find no spiritual fellowship in Christ. Thus evangelical type churches, even in this age of spiritual declension, abound with former Catholics who found manifestly found salvation and show far more commitment and conservative values, and a fellowship in Christ due to a shared Scripture-based conversion and relationship with Christ.

In this age of superficiality, increasingly there are those who think they are saved because they simply prayed a prayer but who have no real heart and life changes, but they are far more likely to hear preaching that convicts them “of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment,” (Jn. 16:9) in churches that hold the Scriptures as supreme and meet people who have been manifestly born again.

As a former Roman Catholic who became born again while a Catholic, and after that profound change remained there for 6 years, faithfully attending services and seeking to serve God, before the Lord led me out, I know both sides both experientiallly and doctrinally, but my main concern is the salvation of souls.

Lvka said...

In ancient times -[as until today in traditional societies]- family-fathers were the rulers of their households, having full power over their wives and children. -- For instance, in First Corinthians 7:36-38 we see the power of a pater familias to determine the destiny of his daughter(s). We also know of the Fifth Commandment to honor one's parents, and about men being the head of their wives (Saint Paul). -- So, as you can see, the NT did not introduce any change in these regards.

I did not say that ancient Christians ran around baptizing random babies: all I said was that in many instances they baptized entire families, including wives and children. So, if you thought that the passages in Athanasius or Justin Martyr are meant as a witness to the non-existence of infant baptism in the early church then you are mistaken.

Furthermore, Justin's words about us being born without our will but being born again wilfully echo the words of other Fathers, who, being synergists in their view of salvation, wrote that we are born without our will but are not saved without it, so I don't understand what contradiction you see in their common testimony.

Meat-consumption and intercourse are not unclean, but addiction or bondage to them is idolatry, as no man can serve two masters, nor are we to serve creatures instead of the Creator.

I don't understand what you find so "doubtful" about it, since we both agree that they did baptize all 3,000 of them on the same day, and the two things were part of the same act [triple immersion in the Name of the Holy Trinity, followed by the laying on of hands].

To lay one's hands upon someone for blessing was not NT invention, nor do I recall saying as such. I also don't recall saying that the OT righteous were utetrly devoid of the presence of God's Holy Spirit. All I said was that whatever was there in the OT, it cannot be compared to what we have now through Christ (John 1:16 and 10:10). The overwhelming, abundant outpouring of the Holy Spirit in NT times cannot be compared in degrees of magnitude to what came before: otherwise, entire passages of the NT would make no sense.

The word "priest" comes from the Greek "presbyteros", so I don't see your point.

Lvka said...

I also don't understand why you seem to think that the presence of the Holy Spirit in chrismation (the laying on of hands in Acts 8) is supposed to prove its absence in Holy Baptism. All sacraments are bearers of the Holy Spirit's presence [sacrament = sacred = holy : Holy Ghost], hence why we don't tolerate the lack of epiclesis in Catholic liturgies [the invocation of the Holy Spirit over the holy gifts]. I also don't understand why chrismation is not practiced by pious Bible-believing Protestants, given its clear scriptural warrant, especially prevalent in tne Book of Acts.

Lvka said...

Ananias heald Saul of his physical blindness. One doesn't have to be clergy to work miracles, as is evident from both Scripture and Church history.

Lvka said...

You also don't seem to remember what I told you in a previous comment: Jewish prozelyte baptism (ie, the baptism of converts) did receive the convert's children. Christian baptism did not change that. (It added some distinctly Christian elements to it, such as tripple immersion, but restricting the convert's children from participation, that simply never happened).

PeaceByJesus said...

Joe, sorry for not responding to you, but with other activities and fatigue, i just responded to the person i began with, and think saying much more will be redundant as you are overall both making the same arguments. I will respond to a few points of your last posts however.

As contending that the scriptures teach in several places that infants are capable of believing, as said, that is an unproved assumption, and despite your assertion there is not text that shows that, so
that all those baptized could comprehend their need and the Object of their faith, while in contrast Scripture does indeed point to coming to an age of reason. (Is. 7:16) Little children can believe, some as young as 3 i would say.

As regards Jn. 3:5 being imperative, if one must born again to be part of the Kingdom of God, and Jn. 3:5 means baptism is the only way, then you cannot allow an exceptions such as result in a major ecclesiastical change. There was no problem with Gentiles

As far as 1Cor. 10:2, that is a stretch, as we are referring to the Christian ordinance of baptism, and the immersion of 1Cor. 10:2 was not for the remission of sins and or receiving the Holy Spirit, nor was Jesus baptism in Mt. 20:22, which is another baptism, and which some apostles would also face. While infants being circumcised does not prove they could believe, and to my knowledge Roman Catholics do not believe infants can and must be able to believe, to make a personal decision for Christ and consciously choose Baptism in order to be baptized, but i do not know what you are.

As regards 1Pt. 3:21 meaning we are saved by asking God for a good conscience, the word for “answer” in “the answer of a good conscience toward God” only occurs once, and seems to mean a seeking or demand, while in context it is describing this as the result of salvation, versus exterior cleansing.

It can be argued that this refers to baptism being a “like figure,” not the fulfillment of a type as in Heb. 9:24, but another symbol which saves because this act is signifying faith, that being what Scripture says appropriates justification, (Rm. 4:3-8; 10:9,10) as in Acts 10, resulting in the good conscience that one seeks. But if there is a seeking going on then this eliminates those who do not realize they need cleansing from being the recipients of baptism.

As regards expecting something to be said in the N.T. that giving infants circumcision as believers is now to cease, this continues to presume infants can themselves believe, which is what is not proved, but is contrary to what we know of infants and of souls coming to an age of moral reasoning.

And explicit stating that this has changed is no more necessary than stating that it is no more restricted to males, but in contrast to the Old Testament, by failing to command infant baptism, while stating that teaching, repentance and faith precede baptism, and that men [anēr] and women [gunē] (Acts 8:12, and which there distinguishes between adults and children: Mt. 15:38), then support for a change is seen.

However, as said, my objection is more due to what paedobaptism typically effects, that of an assumed salvation, and rarely or never hearing preaching that convicts them of their need for salvation as damned and destitute sinners, who thus cast all their repentant faith in the Lord Jesus to save them on His blood-expense and credit. To God be the glory.

PeaceByJesus said...

Addiction or bondage is not what sexual relations were restricting it to, but any.

I don't understand what you find so "doubtful" about it, since we both agree that they did baptize all 3,000 of them on the same day, and the two things were part of the same act [triple immersion in the Name of the Holy Trinity, followed by the laying on of hands].

I understand you must try to defend this, but you have 12 men baptizing about three thousand souls, by triple immersion, in one day. Presuming they found a large enough body of water to immersion them. Someone can do that math, but i think that is unrealistic. Nor do i agree laying on of hands was the same thing, which it is not in Acts 19:5 either, which again, in Acts 10 this preceded baptism.

To lay one's hands upon someone for blessing was not NT invention, nor do I recall saying as such. I also don't recall saying that the OT righteous were utetrly devoid of the presence of God's Holy Spirit.

You said “ONLY Apostles, bishops, and presbyters are seen laying their hands over people to receive the Holy Spirit...They did not have this things in the OT.”

But at least Moses did lay hands, and persons were filled with the Holy Spirit, and did not simply have His presence, but He was not poured out “upon all flesh” that believed. (Acts 2:17)

Ananias heald Saul of his physical blindness. One doesn't have to be clergy to work miracles, as is evident from both Scripture and Church history.

The Scripture says, "And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost. And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized. " (Acts 9:17-18)

Thus Paul was filled with the Holy Spirit, either apart from laying on of hands or through Ananias, which is strongly indicated as he laid hands on Paul while saying he would see and be filled, and Paul ended his fast before he was baptized. In either case it was not through the hands of an apostle that Paul received the Holy Spirit of God.

You also don't seem to remember what I told you in a previous comment: Jewish prozelyte baptism (ie, the baptism of converts) did receive the convert's children. Christian baptism did not change that. (It added some distinctly Christian elements to it, such as tripple immersion,

You ignore that i said if you want to go by the Jews then baptism is different than circumcision, and that the commands regarding baptism are different than that for circumcision, not teach, repent and believe with all thine heart, (Mt. 28:19; Acts 2:28; 8:36,37) without any command or even apparent reference to baptizing infants, versus "he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in your generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any stranger, which is not of thy seed. " (Genesis 17:12)

And the infallible Orthodox can debate the infallible RCC as to what Tradition really teaches the mode and ritual of baptism is to be (at least we agree it is should be full immersion), among other things. (http://www.ocf.org/OrthodoxPage/reading/ortho_cath.htm; http://orthodoxinfo.com/inquirers/charmov.aspx http://orthodoxinfo.com/inquirers/charmov.aspx/www.the-pope.com/wvat2tec.htmll)

Lvka said...

The text seems pretty clear-cut: I don't know what you have to object:

Acts 2:38  Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. 41  Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.

The same for Acts 19:5-6:

Acts 19:5  When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6  And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.

I said Apostles, not "the Twelve". We call Christ's seventy Disciples `apostles` because they also were `sent` by Him (Luke 10:1). Ananias was a Disciple (Acts 9:10).

Baptism wasn't different than circumcision when it came to accepting little children.

Joe said...

PeacebyJesus.

Joe, sorry for not responding to you, but with other activities and fatigue, i just responded to the person i began with, and think saying much more will be redundant as you are overall both making the same arguments. I will respond to a few points of your last posts however.

No problem brother, I realize all of our time is limited.

As contending that the scriptures teach in several places that infants are capable of believing, as said, that is an unproved assumption, and despite your assertion there is not text that shows that, so that all those baptized could comprehend their need and the Object of their faith, while in contrast Scripture does indeed point to coming to an age of reason. (Is. 7:16) Little children can believe, some as young as 3 i would say.

Well, the scriptures are explicit in teaching that infants can have faith, trust and praise to God. See above for references. If you want to interact as to what I provided, great...but you are just asserting that infants cannot, and I have shown examples to the contrary. The scriptures do not point to an age of reason for receiving the sign of the covenant. Is 7:16 has absolutely nothing to do with the sign of the covenant, to be frank. Again, the command of God was to give the sign of the covenant and to that which the sign points, to children of believers 8 days old.

As regards Jn. 3:5 being imperative, if one must born again to be part of the Kingdom of God, and Jn. 3:5 means baptism is the only way, then you cannot allow an exceptions such as result in a major ecclesiastical change. There was no problem with Gentiles

Well, again, we do not teach that baptism is absolutely necessary. Sorry, I am not sure what the Gentile comment is relating to...I am sure this my fault.

As far as 1Cor. 10:2, that is a stretch, as we are referring to the Christian ordinance of baptism, and the immersion of 1Cor. 10:2 was not for the remission of sins and or receiving the Holy Spirit, nor was Jesus baptism in Mt. 20:22, which is another baptism, and which some apostles would also face.

We of course have to go by what evidence we have in the NT, since there is not explicit teaching to baptize infants or to not baptize infants or to baptize adults that were brought up in a Christian household. Nonetheless, we see Paul using the idea of baptism to this period of the Jews, where many infants would have been included of course. If there was a dramatic change in who receives the sign, it would seem highly doubtful that Paul would use the term. Interestingly enough, he also speaks of the spiritual food and drink (Lord Supper) in vs 3, and goes on to elaborate on the Lord's Supper a bit. Clearly he is speaking in sacramental terms of baptism and the Lord's Supper here. So we see Paul using baptism to describe OT situations and circumcism to describe NT situations...which seems to point to Paul see a continuity with the sign within the covenants as opposed to a very dramatic shift. If there was a this dramatic change in the sign giving, where infants were now excluded, Paul would be confusing his audience in referring the Red Sea as a baptism. Also, I see no relevance to Matt 20:22

cont..

Joe said...

As regards 1Pt. 3:21 meaning we are saved by asking God for a good conscience, the word for “answer” in “the answer of a good conscience toward God” only occurs once, and seems to mean a seeking or demand, while in context it is describing this as the result of salvation, versus exterior cleansing.

Yes, a result of salvation, from baptism. Yes, the water over the body is also coupled with the Word which then cleanses the interior.

It can be argued that this refers to baptism being a “like figure,” not the fulfillment of a type as in Heb. 9:24, but another symbol which saves because this act is signifying faith, that being what Scripture says appropriates justification, (Rm. 4:3-8; 10:9,10) as in Acts 10, resulting in the good conscience that one seeks. But if there is a seeking going on then this eliminates those who do not realize they need cleansing from being the recipients of baptism.

Not sure I understand the "like a figure" comment, sorry. But, every time baptism is mentioned, it does not have to include all elements of it. Sure, baptism for adults, again, there has to be a realization of a need for cleansing, but obviously not for infants.

As regards expecting something to be said in the N.T. that giving infants circumcision as believers is now to cease, this continues to presume infants can themselves believe, which is what is not proved, but is contrary to what we know of infants and of souls coming to an age of moral reasoning.

What? This does not presume infants can themselves believe. The practice of infant circum was performed not on the basis that they can believe, but on the basis on God's command. Though I definitely think the can have faith (it is God's gift, if God can give it too a dead person, surely can for an alive person, and examples given above)...that really is not the point.

We have a situation where God commanded the sign to infants in the OT. We have no retraction or change taught in the NT. We have a more generous, gracious, inclusive NT. We have explicit evidence that, the continuity of the sign as to whom it is given has changed in a more inclusive way (females), and at least implicit evidence, if not explicit, that the status of children of believers remained constant. And yet, now according to your paradigm I am supposed to believe there was a radical change with no mention of it (and evidence against it), all because when adults were converted to christianity, the NT shows they had to believe before receiving the sign?? Again, this has not changed either...as those wanting to convert to Judaism, had to give a profession of faith as well.


cont

Joe said...

And explicit stating that this has changed is no more necessary than stating that it is no more restricted to males, but in contrast to the Old Testament, by failing to command infant baptism, while stating that teaching, repentance and faith precede baptism, and that men [anēr] and women [gunē] (Acts 8:12, and which there distinguishes between adults and children: Mt. 15:38), then support for a change is seen.

Repentance, faith, etc...does precede baptism for adult converts. That has always been the same in both covenants. So, the fact that adult converts have to have a profession of these things before baptism, says absolutely nothing about a change or deals at all with the children of believers. Instead of a change to the status of children of believers, we see a evidence of continuity. (I Cor 10, I Cor 7, Acts 2:38, "households", Jesus rebukes the disciples for forbidding infants, etc). Also, the NT obviously gives evidence that females are included now.

However, as said, my objection is more due to what paedobaptism typically effects, that of an assumed salvation, and rarely or never hearing preaching that convicts them of their need for salvation as damned and destitute sinners, who thus cast all their repentant faith in the Lord Jesus to save them on His blood-expense and credit. To God be the glory.

Okay. Obviously we disagree on who the sign should be given to and what it effects. Well, my church teaches all the time about the need for our Saviour, confessing our sins, repenting, etc (and yet holding to the biblical doctrines of IB, BR)...as they are filled in our liturgy and preached from the pulpit. I have been a member of a few churches in my life (lutheran, reformed, baptist, non-denom) and all to some degree stressed all these things. Granted, in my non-denom/baptist experience it was mainly and almost only about make a decision for Jesus, which got really old as most of us already did. Whereas the Reformed/Lutheran were much more balanced, IMHO.

in Him,

Joe

steelikat said...

Peace By Jesus:

"Someone can do that math, but i think that is unrealistic."

Whenever I see something like "someone can do that math" I take it as a challenge that I feel compelled to take on.

If you figure a six-hour "work day" (say eight hours minus breaks and a siesta in the middle), that would be over a minute per person, more than enough time. Their would have been time to have a potluck afterwards, with hours of fellowship.

PeaceByJesus said...

To Lvka,

The text seems pretty clear-cut: I don't know what you have to object: Acts 2:38

I understand that it seems clear to you that 12 men (who likely had not eaten, as orthodox Jews did not eat or drink before 9 am on a Sabbath or holy day, and Pentecost) could find a large enough body of water nearby, and then to lay hands on each of 3,00 souls and baptize them, or vice versa, in about 7 hours, but it still seems an unreasonable attempt to make the Scripture conform to your tradition.

As one researcher calculates (and see next post), “Who baptised these 3,000 people? If only the 12 Apostles did the baptizing and laying on of hands, each one would have had to baptize and lay hands on 250 people. That would give them less than 2 minutes for each person working steady for eight hours. If all 120 disciples (Acts 1:15) participated in the baptism and laying on of hands, they could devote 15 minutes to each person and finish in 6¼ hours.” (http://www.servantsnews.com/sn0301/baptism.htm)

As for Acts 19:5-6, that shows the laying on of hands in conveying the Holy Spirit to be subsequent to baptism, rather than baptism being the laying on of hands, which i understood you as meaning.

I said Apostles, not "the Twelve". We call Christ's seventy Disciples `apostles` because they also were `sent` by Him (Luke 10:1). Ananias was a Disciple (Acts 9:10).

Then you should have stated that a few posts back, and while “sent” (“apostellō”) describes what Christ commanded, “apostolos'” refers to who the apostles were, which the 70 are not called, nor do we have any record of the them past Lk. 10, and all fled at the death of Christ, nor does anything identify Ananias as one of them. And all believers were called disciples, (Acts 11:26) and the Great Commission pertains to them as well, thus the whole church “that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word." (Acts 8:4)

Baptism wasn't different than circumcision when it came to accepting little children.

Again, that is an assertion not an argument, and my distinctions stand.

PeaceByJesus said...

steelikat,

If you figure a six-hour "work day" (say eight hours minus breaks and a siesta in the middle), that would be over a minute per person, more than enough time. Their would have been time to have a potluck afterwards, with hours of fellowship.

Well let's see. Presuming Peter ended preaching (which included “many other words”) even by 10, they began baptizing by 11 after traveling to the places of baptism, and if they took just a one hour break, then in order to baptize 3,000 souls in in 6 hours it would require doing 500 per hour, which figures to 125 every 15 minutes (doing this in my head) and about 8.3 people per minute. 12 men could indeed spend a over a minute per person.

But they had to either find a large enough body to do mass baptisms close by (the Dead Sea was closest i believe, but almost 22 miles), or find available pools (a few did exist) of running water large and deep enough to fully immerse and handle that many bodies. Using household ones would not work due to the number and these were mostly strangers. And if each person is baptized individually, moving into position in the deep part of the pool to be baptized, and if going down helping each person up 3 times slowed the baptizers down by fatigue, requiring frequent rests as time went on, and if indeed there was laying on of hands and prayer over each person as well, then i think it would end up taking at least an average of at least 3 minutes between person, over the course of 6 hours (the Jewish day ended at sunset). Close enough i suppose, though it presumes 3,000 bodies being fully immersed 3 times in large pools, and prayed over, without much rest for the baptizers.

But my objection against it is moot if “apostles” includes the anonymous 70 sent forth in Luke 10, as presuming they were still faithful.

PeaceByJesus said...

Joe,

No problem brother, I realize all of our time is limited.

Thanks for understanding.

Well, the scriptures are explicit in teaching that infants can have faith, trust and praise to God. See above for references

I looked but did not see any, except those which are claimed inferences.

Is 7:16 has absolutely nothing to do with the sign of the covenant,

It does not need to, as the statement refers to coming to a time of reason, that "For before the child shall know to refuse the evil, and choose the good, the land that thou abhorrest shall be forsaken of both her kings. " (Isaiah 7:16)

And which concurs with "Moreover your little ones, which ye said should be a prey, and your children, which in that day had no knowledge between good and evil, they shall go in thither, and unto them will I give it, and they shall possess it. " (Deuteronomy 1:39)

Well, again, we do not teach that baptism is absolutely necessary.

Who is “we?” But what i am saying is that as regeneration is imperative, and if Jn. 3:5 refers to baptism as the means of regeneration, then it must be considered an imperative, and not something that may be preceded by regeneration, or a ritual even taking place before souls receive the Holy Spirit.

Paul would be confusing his audience in referring the Red Sea as a baptism. Also, I see no relevance to Matt 20:22

No he would not, anymore than John the Baptist was by his reference to another baptism, (Mt. 3:11) or the Lord was to even another type of baptism, which is where Mt. 20:22 comes in. The word for baptism (baptizō) means immerse, and can refer to different experiences. And Cornelius received both the baptism of the Spirit first then water baptism, even if they can be one event in expressing faith.

Not sure I understand the "like a figure" comment, sorry.

In Scripture you have a figure and the true, as in Heb. 9:24, in which the holy places made with hands are the figures (corresponding (“antitype”), that is, a representative, counterpart) of the true, that is of that which is in heaven, and the Ark is representative of salvation, illustrating cleansing and deliverance from judgment, and which baptism is also, that of the redemptive reality which is appropriated by the faith which baptism requires and expresses.

This does not presume infants can themselves believe. The practice of infant circum was performed not on the basis that they can believe, but on the basis on God's command.

It seemed to me that what was being argued by another.

We have explicit evidence that, the continuity of the sign as to whom it is given has changed in a more inclusive way (females), and at least implicit evidence, if not explicit, that the status of children of believers remained constant. And yet, now according to your paradigm I am supposed to believe there was a radical change with no mention of it (and evidence against it),..

As you have evidence of inclusivity, so we have evidence of exclusivity, that of teach, repentance and wholehearted faith going before baptism, and the only recorded instances of baptism with any relevant detail being to those who could hear and believe, rather than commanding circumcising of infants who had no knowledge between good and evil.

For myself i cannot ignore the stated requirements for baptism, or believe infants can repent and believe on the Lord Jesus to save them, and that they were baptized, but that the Holy Spirit did not think it important to confirm this, though it is critical for their salvation, while making it clear souls could be regenerated before baptism.

PeaceByJesus said...

Pt. 2
Repentance, faith, etc...does precede baptism for adult converts. That has always been the same in both covenants. So, the fact that adult converts have to have a profession of these things before baptism, says absolutely nothing about a change or deals at all with the children of believers.

Yes it does, as Paul preached faith to the whole household in Acts 16:30,31, and thus he rejoiced, “believing in God with all his house.” And Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue, also “believed on the Lord with all his house.” (Acts 18:8) Nor does the Holy Spirit say that only adults were preached repentance and faith. And those who are able to hear, that is comprehend, are those who are able to believe. (cf. Acts 4:4)

my church teaches all the time about the need for our Saviour, confessing our sins, repenting, etc

That is better, but this can be done as if they were believers due to baptism, without making them realize they need a day of salvation as souls who can repent and believe as damned and destitute souls, as described.


BTW, as other do, i would find it helpful if you put the text you are responding to in italics, rather than your own, as i find it easier to follow. Thanks.

Lvka said...

1. It's really what the plain text says, I still don't understand your point.

Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. 41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.

2. It's not an 'assertion' that Jewish prozelyte baptism received the convert's children. That was what the word "baptism" meant to the people using it.

Lvka said...

baptism being the laying on of hands, which i understood you as meaning

Oh, boy...

Haven't I told you already that the laying on of hands is what we today call chrismation ? (Aren't you a former Catholic, for Pete's sake ?)

Look...

Let's rest our discussion for a while, and -while you're resting- read the Book of Acts, calmly, slowly, and attentively. You'll see there that two things (rites) go 'hand in hand': baptism and the laying on of hands. That they require faith and repentance. And that in most cases they're followed by speaking in tongues. And that the only ones laying their hands over people in order for them to receive the Holy Spirit are either Apostles (+the Seventy), elders, or bishops [the same holds true if one were to extend the reading to Epistles]. Also notice also how the office of an Apostle is called 'bishoprick' in Acts 1:20, and how the terms `elder` and `bishop/overseer` are used more or less interchangeably. And while you're doing this, bear in mind that -until this day- the Orthodox Church has the two rites as parts of the same service (baptism and chrismation form one single church service).

steelikat said...

Peace by Jesus

I had in mind a lake, there are so many of them where I'm from. I forgot they were in a desert. Oh well, if they were Swedish Baptists they could've done it, and still had time (several hours, including "goodbyes") for a little lunch afterwards, prepared and served up the ladies of the congregation. And maybe Peter could have gone fishing and multiplying, to make it a "shore lunch", while the other apostles took care of the baptizing.

PeaceByJesus said...

As for Acts 19:5-6, that shows the laying on of hands in conveying the Holy Spirit to be subsequent to baptism, rather than baptism being the laying on of hands, which i understood you as meaning.

Oh, boy...

Haven't I told you already that the laying on of hands is what we today call chrismation ? (Aren't you a former Catholic, for Pete's sake ?)


Actually, i was too young to remember, or to know what i was doing, but sorry for the misunderstanding. I see that you had clarified that laying on of hands was subsequent to going under the water, though being filled with the Holy Spirit former could be a prior event. As for being a former Catholic, while in one or more Roman Catholic baptismal rite, part of the prayer before the subject is baptized asks God to send His Holy Spirit to dwell with him (her), yet there is a distinction between this and Orthodoxy:

“The mystery of anointing or laying hands to invoke the Holy Spirit after baptism is called Chrismation in Eastern Tradition and Confirmation in Roman Catholicism.” “A significant difference between the two is that in the West, Confirmation was eventually separated from Baptism, whereas in Orthodox Christianity, Chrismation has always been done right after Baptism, because the Lord himself was anointed by the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove right after his ascent from the Jordan.”

“Because the bishop (in West) could not be there for every baptism, the faithful had to wait, sometimes for many years, until the bishop could come and do a mass confirmation. This led to the practice of receiving Holy Communion ("first holy communion") before being Chrismated / Confirmed, that is without being fully initiated.

It is to be noted that since Vatican II, Roman Catholic priests are allowed to perform confirmations with holy Chrism (like the Orthodox), but the (erroneous) tradition of not confirming infants after baptism remains. (http://www.orthodoxanswers.org/answer/27/)

“Chrismation, the gift of the Holy Spirit, is performed in the Orthodox Church by anointing all parts of the person’s body with the special oil called holy chrism.” “The sacrament of chrismation, also called confirmation, is always done in the Orthodox Church together with baptism. Just as Easter has no meaning for the world without Pentecost, so baptism has no meaning for the Christian without chrismation. In this understanding and practice, the Orthodox Church differs from the Roman Catholic and Protestant churches where the two sacraments are often separated and given other interpretations than those found in traditional Orthodoxy.”

That is more than is needed, but along with Roman Catholic rejection of the premise that infants can and must believe in order to be baptized, we see that within Catholicism there is contention between two “one true” churches about what tradition and Scripture teaches on this subject (as well as other important ones), as such is not restricted to Sola Scriptura, while the Catholic premise of sola ecclesia extends beyond Catholicism and includes cults. (http://oca.org/orthodoxy/the-orthodox-faith/worship/the-sacraments/chrismation)

PeaceByJesus said...

Pt. 2

Let's rest our discussion for a while, and -while you're resting- read the Book of Acts, calmly, slowly, and attentively. You'll see there that two things (rites) go 'hand in hand': baptism and the laying on of hands. That they require faith and repentance. And that in most cases they're followed by speaking in tongues

My objection to infant baptism has been because of a rather careful reading of Acts, as again, unlike the command to circumcise, Acts shows that teaching, repentance and believing are to precede baptism, with zero manifest examples of infant baptism or specific command to baptism them, which was primary under the Old Covenant, with any additional details as regards household baptisms (Acts 16:32,34; 18:8) indicating all the baptized were capable of the required (Acts 2:38; 8:36,37; cf. Eph. 1:13; 1Cor. 15:2) comprehension and believing.

Thus what needs to be proved to support Orthodox infant baptism is that all elect infants have moral cognizance and believe on the Lord Jesus, which is contrary to what Scripture most clearly states in regards to this. (Dt. 1:39; Is. 7:16)

Furthermore, as regards baptism and the laying on of hands, while more detailed accounts most often show these two events as generally going together, the laying on of hands is only twice recorded as subsequent to baptism when going together, yet as baptism is one thing and and laying on of hands is another, the latter can precede baptism.

This is relevant to presuming that in Acts 2:38 the reception of their Holy Spirit awaited the laying on hands, but which cannot only be assumed, as there is no mention of this, and the Holy Spirit is promised if they repent and are baptized. In the next record of baptisms that act is defined as one separate from the laying on of hands, (Acts 8:12,14,16,17), as they were validly baptized but apparently lacked regeneration, and which is explained by restricting the conveyance of the Holy Spirit to apostles and bishops/elders. Which will be examined.

In the next instance of baptism (Acts 8:38) no mention or inference is made of laying on of hands, though it is an even more detailed account, and the eunuch goes on his way rejoicing, an inference that he had the Holy Spirit, and without any church presently to go to.

In the next instance of baptism the one laying hands on Paul (Ananias) to be filled with the Holy Spirit is simply called “a certain disciple” and “a devout man,” and which account best infers that the filling of Paul with the Holy Spirit went along with receiving his sight through the laying on of hands, which preceded baptism. (Acts 9:16-18)

In order to reconcile this with the premise that only apostles and elders could convey the Holy Spirit, it is asserted that the 70 set apart (apostellō) to preach by the Lord in Lk. 10 were apostles and included Ananias. However, as expressed, that assertion is a presumption that cannot be proved, as the 70 are not identified, and is contrary to the distinct identification of the apostles (apostolos) of the Lord, (Mt 10:2; 2Pt. 3:2) and who were in Jerusalem during the first persecution. (Acts 8:14)

Moreover, those whom Christ sent forth to preach were not simply the 70 in Lk. 10, but Phillip the deacon was as well, (Acts 8:26ff) and whom the apostles had laid hands upon, (Acts 6:6) while the whole persecuted church preached the Word, (Acts 8:4) as the Great Commission (Mt. 28:19,20) pertains to them also.

In the next recorded account of baptisms, the filling of the Holy Spirit precedes both baptism and the laying on of hands, (Acts 10:47) these being washed, sanctified and justified (Acts 15:8,9; 1Cor. 6:11) by the faith which baptism requires and expresses, as a testimony that salvation was by grace and not by works and had come to the Gentiles. (Acts 15:1-31)

PeaceByJesus said...

Pt. 3

The next 3 recorded accounts of baptism say nothing about laying of hands, (Acts 16:15,33; 18:8) though the next does, (Acts 19:5,6) this corresponding to Acts 8:16,17, but in that case it did not immediately follow baptism as it awaited apostles.

The belief that laying of hands in chrismation was restricted to apostles or bishops/elders (one office: Titus 1:5-7) is found outside Acts, but which is that of anointing of the sick, (Ja. 5:14) and ordination. (1Tim. 4:14; cf. 5:22)

Thus a careful reading of Acts shows laying on of hands to receive the Holy Spirit subsequent to baptism as only manifestly occurring twice, ( Acts 8:16,17; 19:5,6) while once likely preceding baptism, (Acts 9:16-18) and once (Acts10:47) not requiring laying on of hands to receive the same Gift which the 3,000 were promised in Acts 2:38 upon repentance and baptism, while the rest of recorded baptisms do not mention laying on of hands. (Acts 2:38; 8:38; 16:15,33; 18:8)

And contrary to restricting this to apostles and elders, Ananias is not said or shown to be either, and apart from him we only see the apostles of the Lord laying on hands to convey the Holy Spirit as part of the baptismal event, but elders were involved in ordination, (Acts 6:6; 1Tim. 4:14; cf. 5:22) and by those identified as prophets and teachers in commissioning. (Acts 13:3) In addition, nothing is said about using oil when accompanying baptism, and which is mentioned in anointing of the sick, but actual laying on of hands is not. (Ja. 5:14)

In addition, if we examine the laying on of hands in the Old Testament, we see that this was for ordination and the filling with the Spirit, even if one already possessed Him, (Num. 27:18-23; Dt. 34:9; cf. Num. 11:17) and we see the use of oil in so doing, (1Sam. 10:1; 16:13,14) but not in circumcision. And in the N.T. (Mt. 9:18; Mk. 5:23; 6:5; Lk. 4:40; 13:13; Acts 28:8) we see the Lord and apostles also laying on hands in healing.

That they require faith and repentance.

Which again is an Orthodox problem, as it is contrary to what Scripture says on the subject and to what we know of the ability of infants, though they can be filled with the Holy Spirit even in their mother's womb (good argument against abortion) .

And that in most cases they're followed by speaking in tongues

Which, unlike Rome, the Orthodox reject as continuing.

And that the only ones laying their hands over people in order for them to receive the Holy Spirit are either Apostles (+the Seventy), elders, or bishops [the same holds true if one were to extend the reading to Epistles].

This is dealt with above, as a careful reading of Acts and the Epistles does not support the use of apostellō meaning all those who were so set apart were apostolos, nor as restricting the those who were sent forth (apostellō) to the Seventy, versus all disciples. (apostellō denotes what one does, which extends to many types of persons, while apostolos refers to a specific class of set apart men.) And only in ordination are elders included.

Also notice also how the office of an Apostle is called 'bishoprick' in Acts 1:20, and how the terms `elder` and `bishop/overseer` are used more or less interchangeably.

I have already substantiated that they denote the same pastoral office, but while the function of an apostles includes being an overseer, the office of apostle is distinct from bishops/elders. (Acts 15:4,23)

PeaceByJesus said...

Pt. 4

the Orthodox Church has the two rites as parts of the same service (baptism and chrismation form one single church service

That can be held as a valid norm, though other accounts make no mention of it, even the detailed one of Acts 8:26-39, while receiving the Holy Spirit (Acts 10:47) and laying on of hands can precede baptism, (Acts 9:17) by a devout believer. But there is the problem with apostolic authority based upon formal decent under the premise of assured infallibility.

And as regards Orthodox infant baptism, a careful reading of Scripture weighs against this being justified, especially under the premise that infants believe, as it has not and cannot be established that infants have the moral cognizance to recognize themselves as sinners in need of redemption, and to identify the Lord Jesus as their savior and trust in Him. Nor do i think such are in need of salvation due to inherited guilt, (Dt. 24:16) for though we suffer the effects of our father's choices here for evil and for good, (Dt. 5:9,10; Jn. 4:37,38) yet eternal damnation is not on the basis of what our fathers did (though we sin as a consequence), but what we ourselves have done. (Lk. 10:12; Rm. 2:6; Rv. 20:12-14)

Lvka said...

In Acts 10, the Spirit descends in the presence of the Holy Apsotles, after Peter's sermon, confirming his dream and encouraging them to receive Gentiles into the Church. (It did not descend apart from their presence there, nor did it ever again descend in this direct manner thereafter).

The fact that neither deacons nor laity had this power is clear from Acts 8. Otherwise the Holy Spirit would've descended upon them when Philip the deacon baptized them. [This is especially poignant inasmuch as we're told that "signs & wonders" have been done through Philip in verse 13: and yet the Spirit was conspicuously absent; it never descended]. And Simon the Wizzard, who has already been baptized by that time, would've never asked the Apostles for "that power", but would have *already* possessed it as a baptized member of the Church, who did believe in Philip's preaching of Christ (also verse 13).

Lvka said...

All that I can tell you is that the Seventy, just like the Twelve, had received a special power from Christ Himself (Luke 10:9, 10:17). They cannot be compared to the others in this regard, not even to the Seven deacons.
___________________________________

Chrism has nothing to do with oil. Oil is for healing wounds (eg, the Parable of the Good Samaritan), hence its mention by James in connection to the Healing-service. Chrism, on the other hand, is from where we have "Christ", ie, the annointed One. Who annoints Him? The Father. And with what does the Father annoint Him? With the Holy Spirit [when John baptized Jesus in the Jordan]. Hence the link (with roots in the OT annointing of Priests and Kings) with the power of the Holy Spirit:

1 Samuel 16:13; Isaiah 61:1; Luke 4:18; etc.

Lvka said...

Faith and repentance are required of the believing parents, and this has an effect on their children, as is clearly shown in Scripture:


Mark 9:24  And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears: Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief. etc.

Matthew 15:22  And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying: Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou Son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil. 28  Then Jesus answered and said unto her: O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.

The same thing holds true for baptism, which, in Jesus' time, did not exclude the children of believers.

Joe said...

PBJesus,

I looked but did not see any, except those which are claimed inferences.

Psalm 8, 22, John the Baptist, Matt 21:16, etc.

it does not need to, as the statement refers to coming to a time of reason, that "For before the child shall know to refuse the evil, and choose the good, the land that thou abhorrest shall be forsaken of both her kings. " (Isaiah 7:16)

And which concurs with "Moreover your little ones, which ye said should be a prey, and your children, which in that day had no knowledge between good and evil, they shall go in thither, and unto them will I give it, and they shall possess it. " (Deuteronomy 1:39)


Certainly, we agree that an infant grows in knowledge and how to express knowledge. But this is not incompatible with an infant having faith/trust/praise to God in their own way. Again, if a dead person can hear the Word of God and have faith, a living infant can certainly do so, as God can decide to give this gift of faith to them. Also, do you lose your faith when you are unconscious?

Plus, of course it has to deal with the sign...that is what we are discussing. This concept you raise has no bearing at all as to who is supposed to get the sign of the covenant. Infants were commanded to in the OT, despite the versus you offer here. And we see continuity in the NT as to the status of infants/children, with no evidence for a complete dramatic reversal.

Who is “we?” But what i am saying is that as regeneration is imperative, and if Jn. 3:5 refers to baptism as the means of regeneration, then it must be considered an imperative, and not something that may be preceded by regeneration, or a ritual even taking place before souls receive the Holy Spirit.

"We" is the Lutheran, Orthodox and RC tradition, and others who practice IB & BR.

Nuts, my baby needs assistance. :)

Will finish up hopefully tonight.

in Him,

Joe

Joe said...

PBJesus,

No he would not, anymore than John the Baptist was by his reference to another baptism, (Mt. 3:11) or the Lord was to even another type of baptism, which is where Mt. 20:22 comes in. The word for baptism (baptizō) means immerse, and can refer to different experiences. And Cornelius received both the baptism of the Spirit first then water baptism, even if they can be one event in expressing faith.

I agree that all "baptism" has to refer to NT Baptism as the sign of the covenant. But looking at the passage in context, Paul is describing the rebirth of the Jews out of Egypt, and using "baptism" to refer to this situation...and using the spiritual food/drink analogy as well. I doubt the Jews would have missed the parallels between the rebirth at baptism to which Paul speaks elsewhere about baptism, and the Lord Supper to sustain us after Baptism. Given what Paul and really the entire NT says about baptism, and the importance/efficacy it brings...I think the evidence weighs heavily that this is not just another "baptism"...but analogous to THE baptism of the NT, in which Paul speaks so strongly.

You: As regards expecting something to be said in the N.T. that giving infants circumcision as believers is now to cease, this continues to presume infants can themselves believe, which is what is not proved, but is contrary to what we know of infants and of souls coming to an age of moral reasoning.

Me: This does not presume infants can themselves believe. The practice of infant circum was performed not on the basis that they can believe, but on the basis on God's command.

You: It seemed to me that what was being argued by another.


What? This is your argument. That infants should not receive baptism because they cannot believe. But, again, this undercuts God's direct command on who should get the sign. One, yes, I do presume, since scripture says so, that infants can believe, and Two, even if they could not, it would not matter. The sign is given to those it is given by God's command, not our all powerful judgement on who can and in fact does have legitimate faith.

As you have evidence of inclusivity, so we have evidence of exclusivity, that of teach, repentance and wholehearted faith going before baptism, and the only recorded instances of baptism with any relevant detail being to those who could hear and believe, rather than commanding circumcising of infants who had no knowledge between good and evil.

No. We do have evidence of inclusivity to be sure, but you have not given any evidence for exclusivity. Again, not to sound like a broken-record...but ADULTS required to have repentance and faith prior the sign of the covenant is not a change, it is no different than the OT practice. We, IB'ers would expect this to be the case in the NT for adults, as it was in the OT. This requirement of faith before baptism, not to dismiss your entire argument to easily, has absolutely nothing to do with the requirement for infants and children. None, at all.

For myself i cannot ignore the stated requirements for baptism, or believe infants can repent and believe on the Lord Jesus to save them, and that they were baptized, but that the Holy Spirit did not think it important to confirm this, though it is critical for their salvation, while making it clear souls could be regenerated before baptism.

Good, then don't ignore them and follow what God has commanded by giving the sign to adults that repent and children of these adults. And yes, people can be regenerated before baptism.

In Him,

Joe

steelikat said...

Peace by Jesus and Joe re infant faith,

Also, the Deuteronomy and Isaiah quotes were about knowledge. Faith is not kmowledge.

Joe said...

Correction....

I said "I agree that all "baptism" has to refer to NT Baptism..."

Should have been "I agree that all "baptisms" do not have to refer to NT..."

PeaceByJesus said...


Lvka,

In Acts 10, the Spirit descends in the presence of the Holy Apsotles, after Peter's sermon, confirming his dream and encouraging them to receive Gentiles into the Church

The Holy Spirit did not simply descend in the presence of the Holy Apostles, but these received the Holy Spirit even as the apostles did, with their hearts being purified by faith, being baptized with the Holy Spirit. (Acts 11:15-17; 15:8,9) Thus unless you think they were orphans, spiritually they were part of the church, (1Cor. 12:13) and thus Peter formally manifested that by baptizing them in identification with the Lord Jesus.

It did not descend apart from their presence there, nor did it ever again descend in this direct manner thereafter.

Actually, Peter was evidently the only apostle there, the others simply being called “they of the circumcision” who “came with Peter,” and which were necessary as in the mouth of 2 or 3 witnesses shall every word be established,” (1Cor. 1:31) And if you want to restrict the reception of the Holy Spirit to those who had the gospel preached by an apostle (which a certain cult contends) then you must relegate other converts as unregenerate who responded to the gospel through souls who were not apostles

The fact that this is only recorded once does not disallow this as setting a precedent and happening again, and another record of a possible Gentile conversion, that of the Ethiopian eunuch (who may have been African) through deacon and evangelist Phillip does not have any laying on of hands to receive the Holy Spirit, and it is hardly tenable to suppose he was not at least regenerated. And if the Grecians of Acts 11:20 were uncircumcised Gentiles as some think and the text allows, then this may be an additional contrast to the two manifest instances of laying on of hands to receive the Holy Spirit subsequent to baptism. ( Acts 8:16,17; 19:5,6) Instead of in Acts 8, the text only states "Then tidings of these things came unto the ears of the church which was in Jerusalem: and they sent forth Barnabas, that he should go as far as Antioch. Who, when he came, and had seen the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord." (Acts 11:22-23) Had these heard through an apostle then they would not have sent Barnabas (evidently an apostle: Acts 14:14).

The fact that neither deacons nor laity had this power is clear from Acts 8. Otherwise the Holy Spirit would've descended upon them when Philip the deacon baptized them.

I trust it is understood that baptizing itself is not the same thing as laying on of hands, which Phillip did not do to these Samaritans, (cf. Jn. 4:39) only they were baptized. The plain reading of the text does indicate these were not regenerate, though considering what baptism represents, (Rm. 6) and what believing procures, (Jn. 7:39) it does seem incongruous that souls who believed on the Lord Jesus and were baptized, thus manifesting saving faith, (Mk. 16:16; Rm. 10:9,10) were not regenerated, thus being not in the Kingdom of God according to baptismal regeneration. Many believe this falling upon and reception was the baptism with the Holy Spirit, that sometimes being a separate endowment, as the Lord had breathed on the apostles prior to Pentecost to receive the Holy Spirit (Jn. 20:22). In any case, being Samaritans it was necessary to establish apostolic authority, apostles and prophets being the ecclesiastical foundation. (Eph. 2:20; though spiritual authority is not on the basis of formal decent, but Scriptural substantiation in word and in power).

2 b cntd.

PeaceByJesus said...

Pt. 2
However, as expressed, we only have two manifest examples of laying on of hands by apostles to receive the Holy Spirit subsequent to baptism, while the conversion of Paul has him being filled with the Holy Spirit through the laying on of hands of simply a devout disciple (and see further on), while the conversion of the Ethiopian eunuch simply being baptized seems to suffice, else you have a man left to go on his way rejoicing without even being born again.

Thus the premise that one cannot receive the Holy Spirit in conversion except through the laying on of the hands of an apostle and actually only has two manifest examples, both being that of apostles, and making Ananias of a mysterious anonymous group of 70 is unsupported, and as written is supports being filled with the Holy Spirit through a devout male disciple.
It also leaves other baptized converts as unregenerate, and disallows the explicit affirmation of Gentiles receiving the Holy Spirit before baptism as setting a precedent, at least for Gentile converts, as was the Jewish Pentecost. Nor do we have any example of simply elders laying on hands to convey the Holy Spirit as part of the baptismal event, unlike in ordination.

All that I can tell you is that the Seventy, just like the Twelve, had received a special power from Christ Himself (Luke 10:9, 10:17). They cannot be compared to the others in this regard, not even to the Seven deacons.

So you have a special class of people whom are supposed to be greater than the anointed deacons such as Stephen, who being “full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people,” or Philip with “the miracles which he did. For unclean spirits, crying with loud voice, came out of many that were possessed with them: and many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed," (Acts 8:6-7) which is what the 70 also did, but whom Scripture does not identify and keep track of, and are never mentioned again. Nor are they referred to as apostles, but which are classed with them in order to make Ananias part of this anonymous group and conform to Orthodox tradition. Sorry, i do not buy it, any more than Britain being the lost tribes of Israel. This is not how doctrines are to be made.

Chrism has nothing to do with oil.

Well, one of your own sources see it has having something to do with it, even if symbolically. “Chrismation, the gift of the Holy Spirit, is performed in the Orthodox Church by anointing all parts of the person’s body with the special oil called holy chrism.”


Faith and repentance are required of the believing parents, and this has an effect on their children, as is clearly shown in Scripture: Matthew 15:22; Mark 9:24


Certainly, as all we do affects others, and by faith we can procure grace being given to others, but what is clearly shown in Scripture is that repentance and faith in salvation is something that one must personally choose. No one is shown being converted who could not exercise this, which is commanded, though prayer and work by others in the Lord can be effectual in seeing others converted. (Rm. 10:1; 2Tim. 2:25)

PeaceByJesus said...

Joe,

Psalm 8, 22, John the Baptist, Matt 21:16, etc.

Just as i suspected. These texts certainly do not “clearly show” infants are capable of repentance and faith, but are forced to support that premise. Matt 21:16, "Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise?," in context refers to children “saying, Hosanna to the Son of David,” which the chief priests and scribes understood and were grieved. Thus the babes and sucklings in this text refers to children who were literally linguistically praising God, which infants do not.

In Lk. 10:21 “babes” also refers to those who were enlightened, which was uttered after the Lord's disciples had returned rejoicing: "In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight," In Jn. 21:5 the Lord calls His apostles “children.”

Moreover, Matt 21:16 follows the LXX rendering of Psalm 8:2, which does not refers to infants literally praising God, but is in the context of God's power being manifest in creation, "O Lord our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens. Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger. When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained..." (Psalms 8:1-3ff, KJV)

While “strength” (‛ôz, from ‛âzaz, to be stout) here does primarily mean strength, power in its 93 occurrences, in this context infants can be said to praise the Lord because God strengthens them, raising up for Israel those who will fight for Him, while the devil works to kill.

And it must be understood that this is poetic language, which can say such things as, "the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands, " (Isaiah 55:12) which does not teach that trees are sentient creatures who can volitionally believe and clap their hands, yet we should cry, "Let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord. " (Psalms 150:6) And Psalms 139:15 has infants being made deep in the earth.

As for Psalms 22:9, this states, "But thou art he that took me out of the womb: thou didst make me hope when I was upon my mother's breasts," but which no more teaches infants can literally identify the invisible God as an object of faith than “I may tell [count] all my bones” (v. 17) means a literal count, rather than hyperbole, which infants likewise consciously trusting in God is. Though as referring to the Divine Messiah these things could be taken literally, even if He was not literally “a worm, and no man...” or surrounded by “many bulls,” (Ps. 22:6,12) yet this is not teaching infants can make choices as to whether to repent and believe on the Lord or not, and literal texts refer to an age of moral reasoning.

Again, if a dead person can hear the Word of God and have faith, a living infant can certainly do so, as God can decide to give this gift of faith to them.

The hearing of the physically dead such as in that of Lazarus (Jn. 11) was indeed a miracle, as was the Baptist being filled with the Holy Spirit from his mothers womb, or Philip being supernaturally transported, however, what you do not have is any proof that infants have the moral ability to comprehend their need of salvation and choose the Lord Jesus to save them, while the people of God are clearly stated to have had no knowledge between good and evil, morally speaking.

PeaceByJesus said...

Pt. 2

Also, do you lose your faith when you are unconscious?

Believers sleep and awake as a children of God, but souls do not become believers while unconscious, which is morally correspondent to infants.

Plus, of course it has to deal with the sign...that is what we are discussing. This concept you raise has no bearing at all as to who is supposed to get the sign of the covenant. Infants were commanded to in the OT, despite the versus you offer here. And we see continuity in the NT as to the status of infants/children, with no evidence for a complete dramatic reversal.

It has critical bearing, for as shown, rather than the baptism of infants being commanded, which was primary in the Old Testament, with no command for them to repent and believe, the commands to baptize are preceded by the command to teach, repent and believe under the New Covenant, with not even one manifest mention of infants doing so.

I agree that all "baptisms" do not have to refer to NT. But looking at the passage in context, Paul is describing the rebirth of the Jews out of Egypt, and using "baptism" to refer to this situation.....I think the evidence weighs heavily that this is not just another "baptism"...but analogous to THE baptism of the NT, in which Paul speaks so strongly.

That 1Cor. 10:2 supports infant baptism once again presupposes that types are always fully analogous to what they portray, (contra Gal. 4:25,26, etc.) and making the immersions in the cloud and in the sea, and which included a mixed multitude of believers and unbelievers, and who could also eat solid food, fully analogous to NT baptism faces the same (and more) obstacles of circumcision, as again, unlike all those of 1Cor. 10:2, to be baptized and to actually become part of the “Israel of God,” and the Kingdom of God (Col. 1:13) requires personal repentance and faith.

And as for Paul speaking so strongly on baptism, what he did was explain what it represented, (Rm. 6) while he himself rarely baptized, as Christ sent him to preach the gospel, (1Cor. 1:17; cf. 15:1-4) that being the power of God unto salvation, (Rm. 1:16) which one believes and is baptized.

One, yes, I do presume, since scripture says so, that infants can believe, and Two, even if they could not, it would not matter. The sign is given to those it is given by God's command, not our all powerful judgement on who can and in fact does have legitimate faith.

And the command of God under the New Covenant is to teach, repent and believe before baptism, and as Scripture clearly states there is a time of coming to moral reasoning, and as in contrast to circumcision, the NT provides no real evidence infants were baptized, thus we should should only baptize those who can hear and respond to the gospel message, "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.," (Romans 10:13) rather than presuming infants can repent and believe, and demanding that one text regarding what baptism signifies, (Col. 2:11,12) and which requires faith, is teaching full correspondence with circumcision.

No. We do have evidence of inclusivity to be sure, but you have not given any evidence for exclusivity.

No, once again, you have zero evidence of inclusivity under the New Covenant, that infants were baptized, and at best you only have the mere mention of household baptisms, while wherever any additional details are given then they reveal the baptized were souls who could believe. Nor can you establish that infants can repent and believe, while clear Scriptures refer to a coming of moral reasoning.

PeaceByJesus said...

Pt. 3

We, IB'ers would expect this to be the case in the NT for adults...This requirement of faith before baptism, not to dismiss your entire argument to easily, has absolutely nothing to do with the requirement for infants and children. None, at all.

That is absurd. It has everything to do with it, as that is the New Testament command, which was for all, and the attempt to explain the record of believers baptism away as being due to only adults being baptized is refuted by the statements that whole household believed. Thus you must be able to establish that infants as young as 8 days old have the moral reasoning to refuse the evil and choose the good, even to the degree that they objectively know they are sinners in need of salvation, and can identify and choose Christ as their Lord and Savior, but which you cannot.

Good, then don't ignore them and follow what God has commanded by giving the sign to adults that repent and children of these adults.

They cannot and need not repent and believe, anymore than they could or needed to while still in the womb. And if baptism is necessary for salvation then the aborted are lost.

And yes, people can be regenerated before baptism.

On that the Scriptures and I agree, but as per, “whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins. " (Acts 10:43b) Thanks be to God

PeaceByJesus said...

>>Moreover your little ones, which ye said should be a prey, and your children, which in that day had no knowledge between good and evil, they shall go in thither, and unto them will I give it, and they shall possess it. " (Deuteronomy 1:39)<<

steelikat said...

Certainly, we agree that an infant grows in knowledge and how to express knowledge. But this is not incompatible with an infant having faith/trust/praise to God in their own way.

Neither this nor Is. 7:16 refers to an infant growing in knowledge, but as having no moral understanding, being able to “know to refuse the evil, and choose the good.”

Also, the Deuteronomy and Isaiah quotes were about knowledge. Faith is not kmowledge.

Sorry, but faith requires the ability to identify the object of faith and knowledge of it, and motivation to trust, thus faith comes from hearing the Word of God, (Rm. 10:17) and which in salvation requires comprehension of moral need and the moral ability to choose between two options.

Joe said...

PBJesus,

Just as i suspected. These texts certainly do not “clearly show” infants are capable of repentance and faith, but are forced to support that premise. Matt 21:16, "Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise?," in context refers to children “saying, Hosanna to the Son of David,” which the chief priests and scribes understood and were grieved. Thus the babes and sucklings in this text refers to children who were literally linguistically praising God, which infants do not.

I suspect you suspected since these were included above. :)

Yes, children were verbally praising God, which infants cannot do (in the form Hosanna to the Son of David). But how does that matter? Infants can praise God in other ways, in their own way. Jesus mentions children, to be sure, which can verbally say Hosanna...but He also includes infants, plain and simple, hence infants can praise God. Certainly, if God can cause the “stones to cry out”, and donkeys to speak, then infants can praise God.

In Lk. 10:21 “babes” also refers to those who were enlightened, which was uttered after the Lord's disciples had returned rejoicing: "In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight," In Jn. 21:5 the Lord calls His apostles “children.”

Do not see this as all that applicable. So, He can refer to his disciples as children in terms of knowledge/wisdom. So what.

Moreover, Matt 21:16 follows the LXX rendering of Psalm 8:2, which does not refers to infants literally praising God, but is in the context of God's power being manifest in creation, "O Lord our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens. Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger. When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained..." (Psalms 8:1-3ff, KJV)

While “strength” (‛ôz, from ‛âzaz, to be stout) here does primarily mean strength, power in its 93 occurrences, in this context infants can be said to praise the Lord because God strengthens them, raising up for Israel those who will fight for Him, while the devil works to kill.


Yes, “infants can be said to praise the Lord because God strengthens them”. So we have infants praising God...which was my point.

cont...

Joe said...

And it must be understood that this is poetic language, which can say such things as, "the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands, " (Isaiah 55:12) which does not teach that trees are sentient creatures who can volitionally believe and clap their hands, yet we should cry, "Let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord. " (Psalms 150:6) And Psalms 139:15 has infants being made deep in the earth.

Yes, there can be a poetic nature in poetry. :) But though it can be poetic, there is actual truth there, otherwise the poetry is not poetry but nonsense.

As for Psalms 22:9, this states, "But thou art he that took me out of the womb: thou didst make me hope when I was upon my mother's breasts," but which no more teaches infants can literally identify the invisible God as an object of faith than “I may tell [count] all my bones” (v. 17) means a literal count, rather than hyperbole, which infants likewise consciously trusting in God is. Though as referring to the Divine Messiah these things could be taken literally, even if He was not literally “a worm, and no man...” or surrounded by “many bulls,” (Ps. 22:6,12) yet this is not teaching infants can make choices as to whether to repent and believe on the Lord or not, and literal texts refer to an age of moral reasoning.

The text clearly says in your version “hope”, in the NIV “trust”. I do not claim to fully understand how in fact infants or John the Baptist could have faith/trust/hope/joy about their God. But, I do not limit God in what gifts He can give to whom at any age. Even if this was hyperbole, like poetry, there is actual truth there or it cannot be hyperbole. How do you know David could not count his bones...or Jesus could on the cross anyhow? Perhaps they could not count every single one, perhaps the medical community had a count...I do not know, nor do I think it matters really. I am not claiming this text teaches that infants can make choices....I am claiming this passage gives evidence that God can give an infant a gift, a gift of faith - “You brought me out of the womb, you made me trust in you...” That is what the text says. Sure it is not a mature faith that you think is totally necessary for God’s standards...but it is in my opinion evidence of a faith, albeit an infant faith.

The hearing of the physically dead such as in that of Lazarus (Jn. 11) was indeed a miracle, as was the Baptist being filled with the Holy Spirit from his mothers womb, or Philip being supernaturally transported,

So you agree that John was filled with the Holy Spirit. Great. If it can be shown that an infant, or even one not even born yet, can have communion with God, then my point stands. If faith links us to God, then this example clearly shows John was given faith. Yes indeed a miracle. It is a miracle than any person, infant or adult can be saved. We clearly see in scripture that God can cause a dead man to hear and obey (Lazarus), that God gifts faith to those who are spiritually dead (Ephes), and God communing with one not even born yet…and yet you say this:

however, what you do not have is any proof that infants have the moral ability to comprehend their need of salvation and choose the Lord Jesus to save them, while the people of God are clearly stated to have had no knowledge between good and evil, morally speaking.

Sigh. I do not need to show a moral ability to comprehend. I need to show, for purposes of BR (not IB) that they indeed can have faith, which I have…both logically and scripturally. I really do not understand how you could believe one not born yet could be filled with the Holy Spirit and joy at hearing about His Savior, believe God can make a physically dead person hear, walk and have faith, believe God could give faith to one spiritually dead and not capable of believing….and yet limit God’s power and ability by saying that He cannot give faith to an infant.

cont..

Joe said...

Believers sleep and awake as a children of God, but souls do not become believers while unconscious, which is morally correspondent to infants.

Well, no. Believers were first not only unconscious, but also dead (spiritually)….when they were given faith. Again, this shows that God is not dependent on whether one is conscious or not to bless them or given them the gift of faith.

It has critical bearing, for as shown, rather than the baptism of infants being commanded, which was primary in the Old Testament, with no command for them to repent and believe, the commands to baptize are preceded by the command to teach, repent and believe under the New Covenant, with not even one manifest mention of infants doing so.

Why does baptism of infants have to be commanded? Yes, adults are commanded to repent and believe before baptism in the NT….as was the same under the OT. No difference. Infants of believers were given the sign of the covenant in the OT….without any command to do otherwise in the NT, and evidence that the status of children is not only the same under the NT but MORE inclusive.

That 1Cor. 10:2 supports infant baptism once again presupposes that types are always fully analogous to what they portray, (contra Gal. 4:25,26, etc.) and making the immersions in the cloud and in the sea, and which included a mixed multitude of believers and unbelievers, and who could also eat solid food, fully analogous to NT baptism faces the same (and more) obstacles of circumcision, as again, unlike all those of 1Cor. 10:2, to be baptized and to actually become part of the “Israel of God,” and the Kingdom of God (Col. 1:13) requires personal repentance and faith.

Yes, I understand that types are not always fully analogous to what they portray. Often times, they are even deeper, richer and better than the original type….which could be said in this scenario here. This was only a baptism “into Moses”…and yet they all (which would no doubt have included infants) were saved during this act. Now, we are baptized into Christ…were not saved from an earthly way now, but spiritually. Not sure why you point out the “solid food” bit. Are you saying none of these people were infants? Yes, being part of the Kingdom of God requires faith, which baptism can give.

cont...

Joe said...

And as for Paul speaking so strongly on baptism, what he did was explain what it represented, (Rm. 6) while he himself rarely baptized, as Christ sent him to preach the gospel, (1Cor. 1:17; cf. 15:1-4) that being the power of God unto salvation, (Rm. 1:16) which one believes and is baptized.

Well yea, what it represented and accomplished...”baptism saves you”. Type - Noah was saved by the water. Reality - We are saved in Christ through water baptism.

Concerning I Cor 1 and Paul baptizing (Jordan Cooper, Reformed turned Lutheran says this):

"First, in response to this argument it must be that the text does not directly address the effect of baptism; to infer from this text that baptism serves a symbolic, covenantal, or representative purpose is stretching the text beyond what is exegetically tenable. Second, if anything is to be inferred from this text, it seems that Paul‟s writing necessitates something beyond a purely symbolic approach. Paul is assuming that those who baptized the individual in the congregation would be so identified with the one receiving the sacrament that those receiving baptism would attribute their Christian life to the hands of the baptizer. It is apparent that Paul assumes a saving efficacy in the baptismal act because he states that those who were baptized would view their baptizer as a savior. If one were baptized by Paul, he fears that the baptized might place in Christ‟s own role as instrumental in one‟s salvation. This is apparently the reason why Paul negated baptizing in Corinth. Paul demonstrates this misunderstanding of the Corinthian church by rhetorically asking, "was Paul crucified for you?" Apparently some in the congregation were claiming to be followers of the one who performed the sacramental act, negating Christ‟s role in one‟s conversion. It is highly unlikely that a practice considered a symbol or sign without soteriological efficacy would cause such division allowing one to be so identified with the baptizer so as to neglect Christ‟s role in salvation.

There is further evidence of the Corinthian‟s belief in baptismal efficacy through their obscure practice of baptizing the dead. Paul asks, “Otherwise, what do people mean by being baptized on behalf of the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why are people baptized on their behalf?”14 This question is asked in the midst of Paul‟s great discussion of resurrection which details both Christ‟s resurrection and the resurrection of humankind upon Christ‟s return. The purpose of Paul‟s question is to demonstrate that the Corinthians presuppose the doctrine of resurrection when baptizing on behalf of the dead. When the Corinthians baptize the dead, they do so with a view to resurrection. If baptism was a purely symbolic act, demonstrating one‟s faith, there would have been no purpose in baptizing on behalf of the dead. If baptism brings one into the covenant community of the church apart from regeneration as in Calvin‟s approach, baptizing for the dead is also logically incoherent. However, if the Corinthians viewed baptism as a means of salvation, the reason for baptizing the dead is apparent. Seemingly the Corinthians assumed that baptism on behalf of either an unbeliever or Christian who had not received baptism would assure their resurrection. This is the only context in which Paul‟s rhetoric is sensible in arguing that the concept of baptism for the dead presupposes a doctrine of resurrection.
Paul‟s letter to the Corinthians presupposes that the gathered church views baptism as a means of salvation. This is demonstrated in their willingness to attribute their salvation to and follow the one who administered their baptism. It is also apparent in the obscure practice of baptizing on behalf the dead wherein the Corinthians sought to assure the redemption of those who had passed on through being baptized on their behalf.


cont...

Joe said...

And the command of God under the New Covenant is to teach, repent and believe before baptism, and as Scripture clearly states there is a time of coming to moral reasoning, and as in contrast to circumcision, the NT provides no real evidence infants were baptized, thus we should should only baptize those who can hear and respond to the gospel message, "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.," (Romans 10:13) rather than presuming infants can repent and believe, and demanding that one text regarding what baptism signifies, (Col. 2:11,12) and which requires faith, is teaching full correspondence with circumcision

Yes, repent and believe before baptism for those who can profess Christ…as it was in the OT. But the NT says nothing about dramatically altering the command of God and removing the practice of giving the sign then as well to children of believers. Instead, we see evidence that the NT continues to treat children no different than the OT. Certainly, no explicit command to baptize infants…but if the practice of given the sign to infants was continued, we should not expect to find such a command. Whereas if the practice of giving the sign to infants was all of a sudden ended, we would expect to find some evidence for it, but alas, so far anyhow, you have only shown that the sign should not be given to those adults/children that are able, who do not repent/believe first….which is no different from the OT practice.

The concept of “calling upon the Lord” was not started in the NT, as you know. In the OT the adults called upon the Lord and yet gave the sign to their infants.

No, once again, you have zero evidence of inclusivity under the New Covenant, that infants were baptized, and at best you only have the mere mention of household baptisms, while wherever any additional details are given then they reveal the baptized were souls who could believe. Nor can you establish that infants can repent and believe, while clear Scriptures refer to a coming of moral reasoning.

Well, you said prior there that was evidence of inclusivity…and now you are saying there is zero. What changed? Yes, there is inclusivity that the status of children was not changed in the NT. All the infant/children remarks from Jesus, I Cor 10, I Cor 7, the NT is a more inclusive, gracious covenant, household baptisms, “for you and your children”, etc…all point to this. And, it has been established, that infants, even before they are born, can have communion with God and faith, per John. Moral reasoning has nothing to do with who the sign should be given to…at all. The two scriptures you provided ironically were in the OT, where they gave the sign to infants. The NT is more inclusive and a more gracious covenant…except under your paradigm.

cont...

Joe said...

That is absurd. It has everything to do with it, as that is the New Testament command, which was for all, and the attempt to explain the record of believers baptism away as being due to only adults being baptized is refuted by the statements that whole household believed.

Well, obviously I disagree that it is absurd. We both agree that adults have to express faith to be given the sign/seal and that this was required in both covenants. But this speaks nothing to the inclusion or status of infants of believers. Our disagreement is if these infants should receive the sign of the new covenant....like they were commanded in the OT. Not sure how this is absurd. Hmm, perhaps a different way of explaining would be helpful. If one would assume, now I understand you do not - but just go with it, that infant baptism was the practice of the New Covenant....the examples of adult baptisms, and the requirement of faith before baptism would be expected, and not contradict the practice of IB. Or, put another way, if the Jews were doing the same activities as described in Acts (evangelizing, etc) under the Old Covenant paradigm...we would still see adults being circumcized after a profession of faith...without contradicting the practice of IC.

How does household baptism refute my point? Perhaps there is a misunderstanding here. I am sure I was inarticulate somehow. Okay, I think I know what you may be saying here. I did not mean to imply that children that have the ability to profess Christ cannot be given baptism...of course not. Anyone that had to the ability to profess faith in Christ, within NT times, could and should certainly be baptized. As we see in the household baptisms. My point was that the examples of baptisms of those who can profess faith (adults or children that have the ability) that we see in the NT, have no bearing on whether infants of these believers should also receive the sign. Since this would have been the practice of the Jews under the OT (requiring profession for those able), and they did give the sign to their infants as commanded by God....the requirement of a profession of faith does not deal at all with the practice of giving the sign to those who do not have this ability.

Thus you must be able to establish that infants as young as 8 days old have the moral reasoning to refuse the evil and choose the good, even to the degree that they objectively know they are sinners in need of salvation, and can identify and choose Christ as their Lord and Savior, but which you cannot.

Why would I have to establish that infants as you as 8 days old have moral reasoning? Under the OC, which is less gracious - less inclusive, circum was not based on this, but the command of God. We have no evidence that this has changed in the NT, and evidence that it has continued.

I do thank you for the conversation brother, as I can learn more your perspective, and actually attempt to articulate mine.

in Him,

Joe

Lvka said...

Oil is made from olives, and served in ancient times as balsam for wounds. (And alcohol served as disinfectant, as it still does). Hence its use in healing-services (James 5:14).

Chrism is made from fruits and served as perfume (fragrant oil), being used after washing (hence its use after baptism).

Their symbolism is completely different, despite their common `oily` nature.
___________________________________

You seem to think that the giving of the Holy Spirit through the laying on of hands is the same as it being present in ANY manner or intensity in a person... this is simply not the case.

When someone comes to ask to be baptized, he comes with faith and repentance: these are already the works of the Holy Spirit touching his soul. But is His work complete by this alone? No. That's why He guides the soul to baptism first, then chrismation, then communion, so that it might become stronger and stronger in faith and deed, gaining ever more spiritual power to live the Christian life.

Now, let's review them in order:

When the Apostles baptized the 3000 on Pentecost, they did receive the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38).

I didn't say that more than one Apostles/elders/bishops are necessary to perform chrismation (Acts 10).

Nor did I say that only Apostles have the laying on of hands.

We are not told that the Eunuch received the Holy Spirit upon Baptism, nor that Philip laid his hands upon him (Acts 8). It's just not there.

Despite their various charismatic gifts, the deacons are never said to have given the Holy Spirit to anyone by the laying on of hands. This is especially clear in Acts 8. They received it upon their ordination, no doubt, when the Apostles laid their hands upon them, but we are never told that they themselves can "replicate" their own gifts (ie, they can heal or prophecy, but they cannot make others into healers or prophets).

In conclusion, to make Ananias into an exception is not plausible.

Lvka said...

In case I wasn't clear enough in my previous comment: whenever an Apostle baptizes, the Holy Spirit is given. But whenever a deacon baptizes, the Spirit is absent, and Apostles are sent to complete the job.
___________________________________

In baptism, the Spirit's cleansing power is present: but it's not enough to be clean: one must also be stregthened and enriched with its power (hence why so many kinds of fruits are used to create holy chrism, fifty in number, another allusion to Pentecost). But is it enough to be cleansed and enriched in spirit? No. Our bodies must also be fortified by Christ's body and blood in holy communion (since we must be pure in both body and spirit).

Lvka said...

In case you haven't noticed, there are many people in the NT who are called "Apostles" besides the Twelve: we see this in Paul's Epistles.

Christ's disciples or followers didn't just vanish into thin air. True, many left Him in John 6:60 and 6:66. But `many` does not mean `all`. And just as the number of the Twelve was completed when Jude hung himself (losing his crown), so we believe that the number of the Seventy was also completed (by James, Paul, and others, who were obviously not part of the original Seventy, yet Scripture calls them Apostles nonetheless).

PeaceByJesus said...

Joe,

Yes, children were verbally praising God, which infants cannot do (in the form Hosanna to the Son of David). But how does that matter? Infants can praise God in other ways, in their own way. Jesus mentions children, to be sure, which can verbally say Hosanna...but He also includes infants, plain and simple, hence infants can praise God.

It matters because the context defines who is being referred to by “babes and sucklings,” that of children saying “Hosanna...” plain and simple. There simply is no example of infants literally articulating praise of God here, nor anywhere, as a result of repentance and choosing to worship God.

Certainly, if God can cause the “stones to cry out”, and donkeys to speak, then infants can praise God.

Now you are appealing to what God can do, not what Scripture reveals Him doing as a matter of course , which is that of making infants conscious they are sinners and repenting and believing the Lord Jesus for salvation. Even some sort of praising God need not indicate that.

Do not see this as all that applicable.

It reveals how prophetic and poetic language can be applied, for as in Matt 21:16 it refers to those who are at least able to actually articulate praise to God.

Yes, “infants can be said to praise the Lord because God strengthens them”. So we have infants praising God...which was my point.

No; literally choosing God and articulating praise to God is not in that verse, but the manner in which they “praise” Him is by manifesting that God gives them strength. (cf. Ps. 148:4) For indeed, “the whole earth is full of his glory." (Is. 6:3) And “His glory covered the heavens, and the earth was full of his praise. " (Habakkuk 3:3b) However, it may be prophetically applied to literal praise, but which again, refers to children who were able to do so.

Yes, there can be a poetic nature in poetry. :) But though it can be poetic, there is actual truth there, otherwise the poetry is not poetry but nonsense.

That there was actual truth behind it was affirmed and explained, but which does not supply the needed affirmation that infants as young as 8 days old can repent and believe.

The text clearly says in your version “hope”, in the NIV “trust”. I do not claim to fully understand how in fact infants or John the Baptist could have faith/trust/hope/joy about their God.

It is not infants but one infant who rejoiced in the womb. And like the Virgin Birth, it is the nature of Revelation to reveal when something is extraordinary, from from the age of Methuselah to the strength of Samson to the number of toes of Goliath, to the supernatural transport of Phillip, etc., etc. All of which are singular miraculous exceptions, but you are asserting all elect infants have a miraculous ability to see their need for salvation and choose the Lord Jesus to save them, which proof is not supplied, and is contrary to what is stated as regards the moral cognition of infants. That is no more supported than that the apostles were regularly transported as Phillip once was. (Acts 8:39)

Sigh. I do not need to show a moral ability to comprehend.

Actually you do.

I need to show, for purposes of BR (not IB) that they indeed can have faith, which I have…both logically and scripturally. ...limit God’s power and ability by saying that He cannot give faith to an infant.

What BR means is not clear, but we are on the subject of infant baptism, and for which you can only appeal to a single miraculous event for support, which is special pleading. This is not a matter of limiting what God can do, but of proving a unique miraculous ability is given to all elect infants, proof of which simply is not there and is contrary to what we do know,.

PeaceByJesus said...

Pt. 2

Nor does empirical evidence of fruit indicate baptized children evidenced they are full of the Holy Spirit versus non-baptized infants in SS-type evangelical families, etc., other things being similar, and from my 40+ years of experience in a predominately Catholic area, i would say the latter overall leave a relative negative testimony in this.

Believers were first not only unconscious, but also dead (spiritually)….when they were given faith.

They were spiritually dead, but had the ability to make moral choices between good and bad, (Rm. 2:14) and were enabled to believe on the Lord Jesus. Thus even unsaved souls are called to make moral choices. (Dan. 4:27)

Again, this shows that God is not dependent on whether one is conscious or not to bless them or given them the gift of faith.

God could have enabled Jonah to swallow a whale, but he only thing that Scripture establishes is that converts were morally cognizant souls who could choose Christ over sin. Demons have faith, but salvific Abrahamic faith is one that trusts Christ to save them, which infants need not and do not do.

Why does baptism of infants have to be commanded? Yes, adults are commanded to repent and believe before baptism in the NT….as was the same under the OT. No difference.

It needs to be commanded or made manifest that they did repent and believe before baptism, as there is a critical difference, as explained. The command to circumcise begins with 8 day old infants, and servants had to be as well, with no requirement of teaching, hearing, repentance and faith as a precondition for them, (Gn. 17:9-14) both aspects being in contrast to the New. (And Philemon indicates that having a believing slave master did not necessarily mean the slave was.)

without any command to do otherwise in the NT, and evidence that the status of children is not only the same under the NT but MORE inclusive.

As with the moral laws, it is the nature of Scripture to affirm continuity and to manifest correspondence, but in this case all we have one text (Col 2:11-12) which only provides a correspondence between circumcision and baptism as regards their signification. In so doing it reveals circumcision being a type of the spiritual circumcision one receives by faith, “that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter.” (Rm. 2:29) And which baptism signifies, but which requires faith:

“In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.”

And as it requires repentant faith, baptism is only more inclusive as regards women being included, while no infants are shown being baptized, the kingdom being spiritual and entered by personal faith, with details of household conversions stating the baptized were those who believed.

Yes, I understand that types are not always fully analogous to what they portray. ... This was only a baptism “into Moses”…and yet they all (which would no doubt have included infants) were saved during this act.

You keep trying to make this more fully analogous to NT baptism in order to support paedobaptism, but the NT does not do this, and if it were then repentance and faith would not be required for it, as this was not required of those who came were led by the cloud (Ex. 13:21,22) and came through the sea (Ex. 14) in following Moses (it was later that they entered into covenant), whom this mixed multitude quickly rebelled against when affliction arose, (Ex. 16) indicating they had no root. (Mk. 4:6) And once again, the mass baptisms of Acts 2 were those who received the word, and repented and were baptized.

PeaceByJesus said...

Pt. 3

Yes, being part of the Kingdom of God requires faith, which baptism can give.

Nowhere does the Holy Spirit say or show that, but instead faith is a prerequisite for baptism. (Acts 2:38; 8:37)

Type - Noah was saved by the water. Reality - We are saved in Christ through water baptism.

Both were types — the like “figure” — representing what faith appropriates, “purifying their hearts by faith.” (Acts 15:9) Baptism “saves” due to the faith it requires and expresses, which can precede baptism, as Abraham's justification preceded circumcision, but which “fulfills,” justifies that this faith is salvific, a “complete” faith, versus being inert. (cf. Rm. 10:9.10; Mt. 10:32; Ja. 2:18,23)

Concerning I Cor 1 and Paul baptizing

All that text by the Lutheran is irrelevant. The point is that in contrast to, “Paul speaks so strongly on baptism,” besides explaining what it represented, the foremost evangelist baptized just a few of the Corinthians, even though he was their spiritual father, (1Cor 4:15) saying, "For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel." (1 Corinthians 1:17a) For conversion is by believing the gospel message, by the kind of faith that is shown by being baptized.

Yes, repent and believe before baptism for those who can profess Christ…as it was in the OT.

Rather than an artificial allowance for those who cannot choose and believe, there is only one message, that being the one that requires hearing and faith, thus the only ones who were baptized were those who could believe and profess.

But the NT says nothing about dramatically altering the command of God and removing the practice of giving the sign then as well to children...

It does indeed, as first, the NT does not teaches circumcision as fully correspondent to baptism, while it abrogates the ceremonial command to circumcise, it being typological of the circumcision made without hands, while again, requiring teaching, hearing, repentance and faith in order to be baptized, and only manifesting that those could believe were baptized, never infants.

Instead, we see evidence that the NT continues to treat children no different than the OT.

No we do not, but just the opposite. All you have is the mere mention of two households being baptized, (Acts 16:15; 1Cor. 1:16) while explicit commands to believe are elsewhere given, (Acts 2:38; 8:37) as well as that baptized households were those who believed. (Acts 16:32,34; 18:8)

The concept of “calling upon the Lord” was not started in the NT, as you know. In the OT the adults called upon the Lord and yet gave the sign to their infants.

But again, being circumcised did not necessarily mean you chose to be a believer in heart, thus infants and slaves could be circumcised, while under the New Covenant hearing, repentance and faith is required.

>>No, once again, you have zero evidence of inclusivity under the New Covenant,<<

Well, you said prior there that was evidence of inclusivity…and now you are saying there is zero.

The former was in regards to the Old Testament, while the latter is in regards to the New.

“...for you and your children”, etc…all point to this.

No it does not, but that "the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call," (Acts 2:39) is a reception that is conditioned upon repentance and faith, as the previous verse states.

And, it has been established, that infants, even before they are born, can have communion with God and faith, per John.

All that is established is that God can grant miraculous exceptions, and that He makes such notable ones evident, but this does not even infer that all elect infants can choose Christ to save them, as conscious sinners.

PeaceByJesus said...

Pt. 4

Moral reasoning has nothing to do with who the sign should be given to

Which is why there is a manifest distinction between circumcision and baptism.

Well, obviously I disagree that it is absurd. We both agree that adults have to express faith to be given the sign/seal and that this was required in both covenants. But this speaks nothing to the inclusion or status of infants of believers.

One one hand you try to argue that infants have moral reasoning, and which fails, while on the other you deny that it is needed, which also fails under the New Covenant which requires comprehension and faith, and in which the correspondence between circumcision and baptism is limited to what they represent, and with the efficacy of baptism being by faith.

My point was that the examples of baptisms of those who can profess faith (adults or children that have the ability) that we see in the NT, have no bearing on whether infants of these believers should also receive the sign. Since this would have been the practice of the Jews under the OT (requiring profession for those able), and they did give the sign to their infants as commanded by God..

All of which is based upon the false premise of an extended correspondence, which is more than what the one text that shows some linkage provides, and which is contrary to the distinctive commands given as a prerequisite to baptism, and the manifest details of those who were baptized.

Why would I have to establish that infants as you as 8 days old have moral reasoning?

Because of what i just stated.

I do thank you for the conversation brother, as I can learn more your perspective, and actually attempt to articulate mine.

True also here, but i think it is time to move on, and my mine burden is that of lost souls who do not realize their need for salvation, as they not only presume they became such as infants, but are thus never called to realize their desperate need for conversion, as damned and destitute sinners. Probably Johnathan Edwards preached to such with his “Sinners in the hand of angry God” sermon.

PeaceByJesus said...

Lvka,

You seem to think that the giving of the Holy Spirit through the laying on of hands is the same as it being present in ANY manner or intensity in a person... this is simply not the case. When someone comes to ask to be baptized, he comes with faith and repentance: these are already the works of the Holy Spirit touching his soul.

I do believe in a second work of grace on the strength of Scripture and testimonies and their fruit, though it can all happen in conversion, yet the theology behind it is imprecise, as is yours. “Touching his soul' is not necessarily the same as indwelling, that of being “born again,” which is necessary for conversion. Souls in the NT did not simply have the Holy Spirit fall upon them without receiving the Holy Spirit.

When the Apostles baptized the 3000 on Pentecost, they did receive the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38).

As promised if they would repent and be baptized, with no mention of a further act being necessary. And this was the same gift the apostles had received, and which Cornelius and company also received. (Acts 11:15-17)

I didn't say that more than one Apostles/elders/bishops are necessary to perform chrismation (Acts 10). Nor did I say that only Apostles have the laying on of hands.

You said “apostles” (plural), while no elders/bishops laid hands on souls as apart of the conversion event, but only in ordination.

We are not told that the Eunuch received the Holy Spirit upon Baptism, nor that Philip laid his hands upon him (Acts 8). It's just not there.

Meaning, according to your theology, he could not have received the Holy Spirit upon Baptism, but was left to go back to his churchless country as yet unregenerate.

Despite their various charismatic gifts, the deacons are never said to have given the Holy Spirit to anyone by the laying on of hands. This is especially clear in Acts 8..

That is based on one case, and as said, to have souls who believed and were baptized being yet unregenerate, left out of the Kingdom of God, is a challenge, while we have 3,000 saved because they repented and were baptized, and a Gentile Pentecost which required no laying on of hands or baptism to be filled the Holy Spirit, while you have another conversion with laying on of hands to be filled with the Holy Spirit through a non-apostle.

Thus i think what is “especially clear” is that God is not restricted to one model, but can use devout disciples, though normally it was through apostles that the laying on of hands was done. But which power i do not see Catholic churches in particular manifesting (not that i am an apostle either).

In case I wasn't clear enough in my previous comment: whenever an Apostle baptizes, the Holy Spirit is given. But whenever a deacon baptizes, the Spirit is absent, and Apostles are sent to complete the job

“Whenever” requires the 12 apostles finding deep water and baptizing 3,000 souls in about 7 hours, with thrice immersion (9,000 immersions), plus praying over them, as well as rejecting the Holy Spirit's statement that the apostle Peter baptized souls which were already regenerated, and it also requires making Ananias an apostle, which Scripture does not. Thus you are left with two examples, but it is expected that being apostles, the Holy Spirit would be given through them, while the “whenever a deacon baptizes” us based upon a solitary and problematic example, which is countered by the Ananias one, thus necessitating the pure speculation that he was of the anonymous tribe of 70 “apostles,” in order to make this conform to Orthodox theology.

PeaceByJesus said...

Pt. 2

In conclusion, to make Ananias into an exception is not plausible.

Rather, what is not plausible is to make Ananias to be part of a group of anonymous 70 who are asserted to be apostles, when Scripture does not do either (nor were they manifestly more powerful than Phillip, who also did what they did), while naming apostles and describing Ananias as a “certain disciple” and “devout man.” And given the variety of ways in which God worked, it is presumptuous to reject that God could have worked through this man, and does through the like today.

In baptism, the Spirit's cleansing power is present: but it's not enough to be clean: one must also be stregthened and enriched with its power...

The Gentiles of Acts 10 realized both before baptism, and the 3k souls at Pentecost were promised this if they would repent and be baptized, and it is unlikely that the Ethiopian eunuch did not receive the Holy Spirit.

But is it enough to be cleansed and enriched in spirit? No. Our bodies must also be fortified by Christ's body and blood in holy communion (since we must be pure in both body and spirit).

It is the word of God's grace and worship and prayer that strengthens believers, (Acts 20:32; Jude 1:20) as well as fellowship, (Heb. 10:25) while in that respect the Lord's Supper is to strengthen the body by remembering the Lord's selfless sacrificial death for us, and examining whether we live accordingly, and exampling this in the way we take part in the agape feast. It was because the Corinthians were not effectually recognizing each other as members of the Body that Paul said they actually were not coming together to eat the Lord's Supper. As shown here, while a fuller examination is here, though that is a whole new topic.

Meanwhile, i can let you argue with your Roman brethren whether infants can and must believe to be baptized, while i reject that they can, as well as proxy faith salvation.

Lvka said...

Baptism regenerates (cleanses). That's why water is used. Either way, I don't really understand why you resist the words of Scripture so much.

The 'Gentile Pentecost' did not happen outside of Apostolic presence, despite the fact that the people in question were pious long before Peter ever came into their house (Acts 10:2, 10:22, 10:35). And, as you can see, the Spirit's presence is not merely insinuated, nor does the text just leave us guessing. -- The same is true for the other instances as well.

I see you also haven't interacted with the existence of other Apostles than the Twelve, on which Scripture is clear. Nor were you able to give a single clear example of the Spirit descending through a non-Apostle.

You also keep ignoring the co-existence of three things: that both Jews and early Christians baptized children, that the faith of parents heals their children, and the Jesus told us not to stop the children from coming to Him. You also ignore all OT typology explicitely mentioned by Paul and Peter concerning baptism, which types did not exclude the little ones either.

Either way, this post was about baptismal regeneration: I think the Book of Acts is clear about what happens in Baptism and in the laying on of hands, that people are regenerated by them through the giving or descent of the Holy Spirit, so the point has been made.

Lvka said...

You ignore all these *Biblical* things in the name of an idea, an idea nowhere actually found in Scripture, albeit you deem it to be self-evidently true because of the age and culture WE live in (ie, "children can't believe, end of story"), while simultaneously NOT realizing that Christ and the Apostles did NOT live in OUR age and culture.

You also refuse to believe in baptismal regeneration despite the MANY biblical examples of people who just-so-happened to be regenerated through it by the descent of the Holy Spirit and the laying on of hands. (Unless you think the Spirit either does not regenerate, OR that is is NOT present in Baptism, contra Matthew 3:16; Mark 1:9-10; Luke 3:21-22; John 1:31-33).

Lvka said...

Apparently, Scripture itself doesn't reject "proxy faith salvation", since both children were saved from the power of demons through the "proxy faith" of their parents.

Lvka said...

Your error consists in combining things of faith (Scripture) with pre-conceived worldly ideas.

For instance: the Arians took the words of praise: "Glory to the Father through the Son in the Holy Spirit", as well as many other Biblical passages where the words `through the Son`, or `through Christ`, or `in the [Holy] Spirit` appear, and then coupled these expressions with the current Greek philosophy of their time, which taught that "to different prepositions correspond different natures", hence arriving at the un-bliblical and un-scriptural conclusion that Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are of different natures, and -as a direct implication- the last two Persons of the Holy Trinity aren't divine (as the Father is). You basically do the same thing, only on a lesser issue. And -in your case- the idea is taken from Enlightment philosophy instead of Greek philosophy. Seriously, why do you think that no one stopped babies from baptism before the great changes in Western philosophical thought occured some 500 years ago? Do you think it's all just some big coincidence? Why do you think cultures who weren't part of that particular culture never got such an idea in the first place?

Joe said...

Brother PBJesus,

Thanks for your further discussion. I will engage your remarks, but I may not have time for a week or so...since this is a very busy week, and it is getting harder to stay with the conversation. I will probably putting together a word doc, so I can see our conversation in total, and then comment.

in Him,

Joe

PeaceByJesus said...

Baptism regenerates (cleanses). That's why water is used. Either way, I don't really understand why you resist the words of Scripture so much.

Rather, it is the faith that baptism requires and expresses that appropriates justification and cleansing: "For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. " (Romans 4:3) "How was it then reckoned? when he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision. And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also: " (Romans 4:10-11)

Thus Cornelius and company were likewise first justified and cleansed before baptism. (Acts 15:8,9)

"And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us; And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith." (Acts 15:8-9)

And which cleansing is represented by water. But I do understand why you resist the words of Scripture so much, as you have a tradition of a particular church to uphold.

The 'Gentile Pentecost' did not happen outside of Apostolic presence,

Which is to be expected, seeing as these were apostles, but conveyance of the Holy Spirit through men is not shown to be limited to those who were apostles: Acts 9:10-18.

I see you also haven't interacted with the existence of other Apostles than the Twelve, on which Scripture is clear.

Then there is a problem with your reading, as i have indeed interacted with this more than once, showing (at the least) that the idea that Scripture is clear on this is absurd. To reiterate, clarify and expand, the 70 of Luke 10 are anonymous, and are never called apostles (apostolos), and are heard of no more as a group, nor were they given any unique power which was not generally promised to “them that believe.” (Lk. 10:17; Mk. 16:17,18), nor did they manifest any unique power that the deacon-evangelist Phillip did not, who also did many healings and cast out demons by the power of God. (Acts 8:6,7)

Apostellō (sent in Lk. 10:1) is not the same as apostolos (apostle), though it is related to that, but the former in usage denotes being sent, and applies to various types of persons who are set apart for a service. Apostolos is more technical, and almost always (out of 81 occurrences) refers to a specific group of uniquely qualified and attested to disciples who were commissioned for service, and who are or have been identified, (Mt 10:2; Acts 1:15-26; 1Cor. 9:1; 2Cor. 12:12) and are distinct as a group from brethren and elders. (Acts 11:1; 15:23; 16:4) Thus apostellō can refer to any “sent” persons, including Pharisees, (Jn. 1:24) lost Gentiles, (Acts 11:13) while apostolos never refers to the lost. Simply because one was sent does not make such “apostles of the Lord,” (2Pt. 3:2), nor does being given power to work the miraculous. There is also apostolē, used 4 times in referring to any who were commissioned as witnesses to Christ. (Acts 1:25, Rom. 1:5, 1Cor. 9:2, Gal. 2:8)

PeaceByJesus said...

Pt. 2 Nor were you able to give a single clear example of the Spirit descending through a non-Apostle.

What a double standard. You demand a “clear example” of this, while all you have to disprove the example of it is conjecture that Ananias was part of your 70 anonymous apostles, which cannot be proved and is not inferred by any language, description or context, nor can you provide one clear example of infants being baptized which would overcome the explicit requirements for baptism, nor any text showing the needed fullness of correspondence between circumcision and baptism.


The Holy Spirit is not careless, and abundantly evidences that He knows how to identify who was an apostle, but thrice identifies Ananias (“Yah has been gracious”), referring to him no more than “a certain disciple at Damascus,” “a man named Ananias,” and “a devout man, according to the law, having a good report of all the Jews which dwelt there.” (Acts 9:10,12, 22:12) And who testified that he had heard “how much evil he [Paul] hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem,” And who later Barnabas took “and brought him to the apostles” in Jerusalem. (Acts 9:27)

Thus the 70 are not called apostles, nor do we have any evidence of the names of any of the 70, apart from the 12 apostles, nor of their continuity as a group, while the description of Ananias is that he was no more than a devout Jewish disciple among the many dwelling in Damascus, in distinction to the 12 at Jerusalem. But who is forced to become part of an anonymous group of 70 in order to support a certain tradition of men, that being its source and necessity.

You also keep ignoring the co-existence of three things: that both Jews and early Christians baptized children, that the faith of parents heals their children, and the Jesus told us not to stop the children from coming to Him. You also ignore all OT typology explicitely mentioned by Paul and Peter concerning baptism, which types did not exclude the little ones either.

Rather, it is you who have been ignoring things, as once again i have responded to these issues on this, either to you or to Joe. Because some Christians did something according to Tradition does not establish doctrine, and yet some of the earliest “fathers” wanted to wait until a child could reason, while the fact that in Scripture households were baptized does not mean infants were, while children who can morally comprehend their needs for salvation and trust the Lord Jesus (and could be as early 3 or 4) should be the primary source of conversions.

I also stated that while God can give grace to souls in response to prayer, conversion requires personal repentance and faith, as commanded, and thus we have no record of souls being saved who could not comprehend their need for salvation and respond in faith.

Nor does Jesus command to prevent children from coming to Him refer to not making them converts without their will, but such wresting of Scripture is what is required to support a tradition of men.

Nor did i ignore the two examples of typology mentioned by Paul and Peter concerning baptism, but showed that these are limited to what they represent, and must be forced to fully correspond to baptism. As expressed, Col. 2:11-12 only provides a correspondence between circumcision and baptism as regards their signification, and in so doing it reveals circumcision being a type of the spiritual circumcision one receives by faith, “that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter.” (Rm. 2:29) And which baptism signifies, but which requires faith: “In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.”

PeaceByJesus said...

Pt. 3

Circumcision did not require personal faith, as both 8 year old infants as well as all slaves were circumcised, but teaching, hearing repentance and faith preceded baptism under the New Covenant.

And now was repentance and faith required for those who came were led by the cloud (Ex. 13:21,22) and came through the sea (Ex. 14) in following Moses (it was later that they entered into covenant), whom this mixed multitude quickly rebelled against when affliction arose, (Ex. 16) indicating they had no root. (Mk. 4:6) In contrast, candidates for salvation were commanded, "Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. " (Acts 2:38) And "See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? " (Acts 8:36) If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. " (Acts 8:37)

You ignore all these *Biblical* things in the name of an idea, an idea nowhere actually found in Scripture,..children can't believe, end of story"), while simultaneously NOT realizing that Christ and the Apostles did NOT live in OUR age and culture.

You are rapidly becoming one who should not be taken seriously. I am not ignoring these attempts to support infant baptism, and in fact among other things i have showed that Scripture supports the premise that infants are not morally cognizant enough to “know to refuse the evil, and choose the good,” (is. 7:16) thus the children of those who fell in the wilderness due to disobedience were not held accountable, as “in that day...they had no knowledge between good and evil.” (Dt. 1:39)

And human nature has not changed since the Fall, and the attempts to argue infants have the moral ability to choose Christ to save them as sinners amounts to special pleading.

You also refuse to believe in baptismal regeneration despite the MANY biblical examples of people who just-so-happened to be regenerated through it by the descent of the Holy Spirit and the laying on of hands

You must have chosen the wrong thread and poster, as this is another false charge, as i have stated that i believe baptism can be the occasion of conversion, and have affirmed the only two manifest cases in which souls received the Holy Spirit thru the laying on of hands of an apostle, (Acts 8:14-17; 19:4,5) and the one by a devout disciple which you must force to be an apostle; (Acts 9:10-18)

And i also carefully showed from Acts the problems with trying to force texts to say what they do not (Acts 2:41; 8:36-40) in order to restrict this reception to laying on of hands, and that this reception is not restricted to baptism with the laying on of hands, (Acts 10:43-47) but that it is the faith behind baptism that appropriates justification. (Acts 15:8,9; cf. Rm. 4:10,11)

Apparently, Scripture itself doesn't reject "proxy faith salvation", since both children were saved from the power of demons through the "proxy faith" of their parents.

Rather, what is “apparent” is that you cannot find one example of souls being born again without personal faith on their part, while the prayer of the righteous can obtain healing and deliverance and mercies from things in this life, eternal redemption requires volitionally entering into a personal faith relationship, thus the appeal is always for souls to believe, calling all everywhere to repent. (Acts 17:32) Jesus healed bodies, but called them to then believe on Him. (Jn. 9) As much as Paul “heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved,” that would not save them.

PeaceByJesus said...

Pt. 4

Your error consists in combining things of faith (Scripture) with pre-conceived worldly ideas.

That charge testifies to desperation, but it is your error that is after the manner of worldly religion, as read infant baptism as a doctrine into Scripture when neither that nor infants having the capability necessary to repent and believe is there, in order to support an extraBiblical developed tradition.

why do you think that no one stopped babies from baptism before the great changes in Western philosophical thought occured some 500 years ago?

You seem to have forgotten that infant baptism finds dissent even early on. (http://www.christian-history.org/infant-baptism.html)

You have resorted to making false charges here which indicates you are not reading my responses through, while little more need be said if at all, thus i think it is time to move on.

PeaceByJesus said...

Joe, i think this subject is fairly well; exhausted, as i am. Time to move on.

Lvka said...

Saying that baptism, just like circumcision, require faith, is one thing.

But, in case you haven't noticed, the fulness of God's power did not descend upon Abraham and Isaac at their circumcision. Circumcision was a symbol, a type, not the full-blown reality of what that which was represented.

BAPTISM, on the other hand, is NOT a MERE "sign". It is the actual descending of God's grace and power, as we clearly see in Acts.
___________________________________

Sorry if I wasn't clear enough: I was refering speciffically to the following passages:

a. Barnabas in Acts 14:14;
b. Paul in Romans 11:13;
c. Andronicus and Junia in 16:7;
d. James, the brother of God, in Galatians 1:19.

They weren't from among the Twelve yet are called Apostles.
___________________________________

All I said was that, since all other NT examples of the descent of the Holy Spirit have Apostles in them, I am inclined to put Ananias among them, not outside them. Seems the logical thing to do. [Especially given what I just said in the previous paragraph].
___________________________________

Since the words of Scripture were not spoken in a vacuum, their meaning is the one of their age. Baptism did NOT exclude children in Christ's time, NOR is the idea of a parent's faith acting for one's children un-scriptural: This was the New Testament reality, plain and simple.
___________________________________

In case you haven't noticed, that passage from Tertullian testifies to the existence of infant baptism in his time... (Read it again, and pay attention to what he is describing there as taking place).

Lvka said...

Abraham circumcised his own house, and many baptized their own house. But NO ONE went to baptize someone else's house and family, nor did I ever say such a thing. A family-father (pater familias) had power over his own family, but not over other people who weren't part of it. [eg, 1 Corinthians 7:36-38]. This was the Biblical view, and all other ancient nations had the same understanding.

Lvka said...

Perhaps further elaboration on the Seventy is necessary on my part ? The Twelve were chosen according to the number of the tribes of Israel (Matthew 19:28; Luke 22:30; Galatians 2:7-8).

Notice how only Luke, Saint Paul's companion, mentions them in his Gospel: this is because Paul was Apostle to the Gentiles (Romans 11:13; 1 Timothy 2:7; 2 Timothy 1:11; Galatians 2:7-8). Now, according to both OT Scriptures, as well as pre-Christian Jewish tradition, the number of Gentile nations was about 70 in number (Genesis 46:27 has "70" in the MT and "75" in the LXX; Acts 7:14 quotes from the LXX; the Letter of Aristeas has 72). This is the reason why Christ appointed the Seventy as well, and not just the Twelve. As you can see, their purpose is no less important than that of the Twelve: Galatians 2:7-8. That's why both Peter and Paul are celebrated together on the same day, June 29th, to show that God's plan is for both Jews and Gentiles until today: that Peter, the head of the Twelve, whose lot was the Circumcision, is no more and no less than Paul, the most pre-eminent among the Seventy, whose mission was to the Gentile nations.

That's why we have no Apostles today: because their number is fixed according to Scripture, and it was only then supplemented when Judas and the ones from John 6:60-66 lost their souls. (That's why "new blood" was chosen, like Matthias, Paul, etc, but only to fulfill the number that fell, and didn't continue afterwards, like with bishops, priests and deacons).

Lvka said...

Notice also how Saint Luke's Gospel has seventy-(two) names in Christ's genealogy (if we count both "God" and "Jesus"): also in connection to what I just wrote earlier. (That's also why it goes all the way down to Adam [the father of all mankind], and doesn't just stop at Abraham [the patriarch of the Jewish people], like Saint Matthew does in his Gospel, written speciffically for the Jews).

Joe said...

Joe, i think this subject is fairly well; exhausted, as i am. Time to move on

Well, you do not have to respond then to my concluding remarks. Hopefully I have given you some things to consider as you have given me. I will try to conclude my thoughts with assuming you intend not to respond, by not asking questions, etc...

Thanks for the discussion.

in Him,

Joe

PeaceByJesus said...


Circumcision was a symbol, a type, not the full-blown reality of what that which was represented.
BAPTISM, on the other hand, is NOT a MERE "sign". It is the actual descending of God's grace and power, as we clearly see in Acts.


Shouting will not make baptism that of laying on of hands, though they are seen twice going together through apostles, and one through a devout disciple, as the Samaritans had indeed “only” been baptized by deacon-evangelist Phillip, with laying on of hands being a subsequent event. But what Scripture shows is that a living faith is what is counted for righteousness, and which baptism requires and expresses.

Sorry if I wasn't clear enough: I was refering speciffically to the following passages:
a. Barnabas in Acts 14:14;
b. Paul in Romans 11:13;
c. Andronicus and Junia in 16:7;
d. James, the brother of God, in Galatians 1:19.
They weren't from among the Twelve yet are called Apostles


As i noted here in my response to you, Barnabas was evidently an apostle, and he is given manifest special attention, while Paul is a given, but making Andronicus and Junia apostles is another overreach, though you are not alone (and also is invoked by feminists as Junia can be female). They are never called apostles, unlike the rest, and all you have is that they “are of note among the apostles,” which fairly implies that as veteran faithful saints of the primitive church, now imprisoned, they were known and especially held in esteem by the apostles due their virtuous love and service, like as Lazarus, Mary and Martha were in the Lord's ministry.

If you want to make apostles out of such on that basis, more warranted would be Paul's “partner and fellowhelper “Titus, one of the “messengers [apostolos] of the churches,” (2Cor. 8:23) and Epaphroditus, Paul's “brother, and companion in labour, and fellowsoldier, but your messenger [apostolos]..”

As for the James of Gal. 1:19, the “brother of the Lord,” it is not clear if this one of the persons named James in Mt. 10:2,3, with “brother” meaning cousin.

However, none of this establishes these or anyone to be one of the 70 apostles, nor is Ananias shown to be of them, and you actually have more warrant, if anecdotal and insufficient, to make Junia an apostle (providing the name is male) than Ananias.

All I said was that, since all other NT examples of the descent of the Holy Spirit have Apostles in them, I am inclined to put Ananias among them, not outside them. Seems the logical thing to do.

It is logical to do so to conform to your doctrine, but (once again) as you only have two examples (Acts 8:14-17; 19:5,6) of apostles laying on hands in conveying the Holy Spirit as part of the post baptism event (nothing but repentance and faith and baptism being said for the 3k souls), leaving (consistent with your doctrine) the baptized, wholehearted Ethiopian (apparently Gentile) believer of Acts 8 to go on his way rejoicing to a churchless country as an unregenerate soul;
and as in the next chapter the Holy Spirit describes the conveyance of the Spirit as being through a devout disciple, living apart from the apostles;
and as in the next chapter the Gentiles were regenerate and washed without any laying on of hands;
and as there is nothing that establishes the anonymous 70 as all being apostles, nor that Ananias was one,
then it would be not be logical to assert God is establishing a doctrine that the Holy Spirit is only conveyed through the hands of apostles after baptism (elders only being mentioned in ordination), which fosters ecclesiolatry, versus that He still gives the Holy Spirit through the laying on of hands of devout believers, especially as manifest apostles (2Cor. 6:1-10; 12:12) are so hard to find if it all (especially in Catholicism), and that He also regenerates souls without either baptism or chirsmation.

PeaceByJesus said...

Since the words of Scripture were not spoken in a vacuum, their meaning is the one of their age. Baptism did NOT exclude children in Christ's time, NOR is the idea of a parent's faith acting for one's children un-scriptural: This was the New Testament reality, plain and simple.

Repetition will not make what Scripture refutes true. You still have zero manifest evidence of infant baptism, or of such a level of correspondence to circumcision, while Scripture explicitly shows teaching, hearing, repentance and believing as prerequisites to baptism. That is not time-bound, but is for all generations.

In case you haven't noticed, that passage from Tertullian testifies to the existence of infant baptism in his time... (Read it again, and pay attention to what he is describing there as taking place).

While stating,. “If any understand the weighty import of baptism, they will fear its reception more than its delay: sound faith is secure of salvation,” it certainly it does affirm the existence of infant baptism; errors began early, and at one time even Arianism predominated, but the fact is that opposition to infant baptism by men such as Justin about 155, Tertullian 210 AD, Athanasius (circa 350), Eastern Orthodox Archbishop Gregory Nazianzen (329 – 390) — who provide witness for waiting till children can understand, they not being able to prior — testify against this being a set doctrine. (Other testimonies: http://www.truthmagazine.com/archives/volume31/GOT031263.html)

It is also of note that the Catholic Encyclopedia (Confirmation) states that “when infant baptism became customary, confirmation was not administered until the child had attained the use of reason.” And RCs say the restriction against infants receiving the Eucharist is not simply because they are then able to chew it as you claim, but because they need to understand the (claimed) difference between ordinary and consecrated bread.

Quam Singulari, under Pope Pius X, while opposing greater caution in waiting until Catholics were round 10-12, stated that they were to wait until an “age of discretion, both for Confession and for Holy Communion,” and that while “a full and perfect knowledge of Christian doctrine is not necessary...”, “ “the age of discretion for Confession is the time when one can distinguish between right and wrong, that is, when one arrives at a certain use of reason, and so similarly, for Holy Communion is required the age when one can distinguish between the Bread of the Holy Eucharist and ordinary bread-again the age at which a child attains the use of reason.” (http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Pius10/p10quam.htm)

Fourth Council of the Lateran in 1215, said in Canon XXI, "All the faithful of both sexes shall, after reaching the years of discretion, shall...devoutly receive the Sacrament of Holy Eucharist at least at Easter time.."

And which “years of discretion” Trent affirmed, as one must discern between the sacred and the profane, and thus her paedobaptism is not based upon the premise that infants can repent and believe, in contradiction to you.

But as you evidence you are unreasonably committed to defend your error over that of Scripture or CFs or Rome, i doubt much further discussion is needed.

Lvka said...

And yet, the Holy Spirit did not descend upon them when they believed, but only when the Apostles laid their hands on them. Faith is necessary, of course, but not sufficient, in order for the descent of the Holy Spirit to take place.

Yes, Titus was also among the Seventy, and so was Theophilus: but I only stuck to those who are called so explicitely in Scripture.

No, the brothers of the Lord were not among the Twelve, as they did not believe in Him prior to His resurrection (eg, John 7:5).

Many Apostles were married, and their wives helped them in their missionary activity (1 Corinthians 9:5). The same is true for Junia, Andronicus' wife, who aided her husband in his apostolic ministry. (Just like Peter's/Cephas's wife, for instance, was not part of the Twelve, so was Junia also not part of the Seventy).

Things have implications. They do not necessarily have to be stated explicitely for them to be true.

Your conclusions are not `impossible`, but they are forced, or unlikely. They are also anachrosnitic. I like to stick with what is plausible, not merely possible.

I'm not denying the tremendous role that Roman Catholicism played in the birth of Protestantism: Augustine-grace, Jerome-canon, Scholasticism-age requirements for Eucharist and Confrimation, etc. You are the sons of your Fathers.

Lvka said...

You just keep ignoring context. Sometimes it's historical context: as in the case of Jewish and early Christian baptism. At other times, it's textual context, such as the first half of Acts 10, which makes it pretty clear why Peter never would've laid a finger on the Gentiles from the chapter's later half, and why God had to take the initiative. Or you keep saying that a parent's proxy faith cannot save his or her child(ren), when the Gospel shows otherwise in at least two palces. Then you also ignore Christ's own words about letting the children come to Him. I think you even said that the eunuch Philip baptized was a Gentile or convert: he wasn't. He was a Falasha [Ethiopians who kept the Torah: remember how Moses ahd an Ethiopian wife ? Numbers 12:1]. You keep telling me that do this and that to conform to my own religion: in case you didn't know, one can change his religion, so that's a pretty dumb statement. (What? You think I'm Orthodox out of inertia? That I was "born this way" ? That I suffer from some unknown mental affliction that prohibits me to change religions?) How on earth Protestants were able to just "miss" the importance of ordination and the very existence of chrismation is simply beyond me... If I were Protestant, I'd be somewhere inbetween Lutherans and Anglicans: the rest just doesn't cut it. It's like they're afraid of drawing conclusions, or like they are running away from logic, from trying to put the two and two together, avoiding the direct and logical implications of things...

PeaceByJesus said...

And yet, the Holy Spirit did not descend upon them when they believed, but only when the Apostles laid their hands on them

You are merely repeating the same myopic exegesis i countered, as it was not “only when the Apostles laid their hands on them,” but also through a devout disciple, and even before baptism, while your doctrine would also send the rejoicing Ethiopian away to a churchless country as unregenerate. It also equires 12 disciples doing 9,000 immersions in about 7 hours, as you cannot establish that the 70 alleged apostles were so, or that they were baptizing in Acts 2 as apostles, or that Ananias was one of them.

Faith is necessary, of course, but not sufficient, in order for the descent of the Holy Spirit to take place.

Repeating it will not overcome what Scripture affirms, "And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. " (Acts 15:9)

Titus was also among the Seventy, and so was Theophilus: but I only stuck to those who are called so explicitely in Scripture.

Another tradition wanting for Scriptural proof, and rather than sticking to to those who are explicitly called apostles in Scripture, your doctrine requires 70 more more unsubstantiated apostles.

No, the brothers of the Lord were not among the Twelve, as they did not believe in Him prior to His resurrection (eg, John 7:5).

Indeed, not biological brothers, as "I am become a stranger unto my brethren, and an alien unto my mother's children. " (Psalms 69:8)

Many Apostles were married, and their wives helped them in their missionary activity (1 Corinthians 9:5)

True, and that and more is contrary to Rome's required clerical celibacy (save for EO converts), but which does not make Andronicus or Junia an apostle, and of the 70, based upon the premise that they were “of note among the apostles,” which applies to both.

They do not necessarily have to be stated explicitely for them to be true.

We are talking doctrine, not speculation, and you have neither explicit support nor any real proof that these and Ananias were of the 70 apostles, but which is speculation, or that all elect infants repent and believe at baptism, or that the laying on of hands by an apostle is necessary to receive the Holy Spirit.

I like to stick with what is plausible, not merely possible.

No, you must make what is merely possible into a fact in order to support a doctrine that rejects they could even even possibly be wrong about infant baptism.

I'm not denying the tremendous role that Roman Catholicism played in the birth of Protestantism: Augustine-grace, Jerome-canon, Scholasticism-age requirements for Eucharist and Confrimation, etc. You are the sons of your Fathers.

And we are both indebted to the Jews, but which does not mean we must wholly follow them, while you both argue about who is the one true Church based upon your premise of sola ecclesia, under which you infallibly define yourself as infallible, and conform tradition Scripture and history to support you. Thus they resist objectively dealing with what challenges their cherished tradition of men.

You just keep ignoring context. Sometimes it's historical context: as in the case of Jewish and early Christian baptism. At other times, it's textual context, such as the first half of Acts 10, which makes it pretty clear why Peter never would've laid a finger on the Gentiles from the chapter's later half, and why God had to take the initiative.

You keep ignoring that i did not ignore what i wrote. That Peter was shown that God was no respecter of persons was stated, and which rejected the paedobaptist polemic that he needed to hear the Gentiles speak in tongue to baptize them, which he did not even mention as a condition for forgiveness, but promises remission of sins by believing on Christ, with God manifestly confirming this when they thus did.

PeaceByJesus said...

Pt. 2

Or you keep saying that a parent's proxy faith cannot save his or her child(ren), when the Gospel shows otherwise in at least two palces.

No, the gospels do not show souls being made regenerated children of God by proxy faith, versus God having mercy upon souls due to intercession, and healing chastised souls, granting forgiveness in that sense, as per James 5:14-16. In addition, Jesus Himself prayed to God to forgive lost souls, (Lk. 23:34) as did Stephen, (Acts 7:60) but which did not make them believers. The disability of the palsied man was also not cognitive, but physical. (Mk. 2:3-12)

Then you also ignore Christ's own words about letting the children come to Him.

I ignored no such thing, but expressed that this was not about making converts without their knowledge and will, as in paedobaptism. I myself have worked to see many children choose Christ, by His grace and mercy.

I think you even said that the eunuch Philip baptized was a Gentile or convert: he wasn't. He was a Falasha

It is you who must make unequivocal statements which you cannot prove. I referred to him as a “possible Gentile,” “who may have been African.” The 4th century Church historian Eusebius identifies Candace's treasurer as the first gentile convert to Christianity, (http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf201.iii.vii.ii.html#iii.vii.ii-Page_105, Cp,. 1:13) and before that the Lord commended the faith of the Gentile Syrophoenician woman. (Mark 7:25-30; Mat. 15:21-28) Perhaps more likely the Ethiopian eunuch was a Jew, yet we cannot prove that based on which objective analysis, as Scripture does not say this, which would be expected, and the origin of Ethiopian Judaism is lost in antiquity, and is based on different theories. However, this is not a critical detail.

As for the rest of your opinions, they indicate that you would have opposed a preacher out in the desert eating locus and wild honey, and an Itinerant Preacher from Nazareth, neither of whom had the sanction of those who sat in the seat of Moses, but who presumed a level of veracity above that which was written, and thus they challenged the authority of this Nazarene, (Mk. 11:28-33) who reproved them by Scripture. (Mk. 7:1-16) Thus the church has born in dissent from those who claimed authority on the basis of historical decent, and as inheritors of promises of Divine presence and preservation, (Lv. 10:11; Dt. 4:31; 17:8-13; Num. 23:19,23; Is. 41:10, Ps. 89:33,34; Mal. 3:6) while its founder and His church established their authority on Scriptural substantiation, in text and in power. (Mt. 22:23-45; Lk. 24:27,44; Jn. 5:36,39; Acts 2:14-35; 4:33; 5:12; 15:6-21;17:2,11; 18:28; 28:23; Rm. 15:19; 2Cor. 12:12, etc.)

By such the church of the living God is manifest, versus its institutionalized counterpart. May all who truly name the name of Christ better evidence that they are of the former in truth, myself included.

Lvka said...

It also requires 12 disciples doing 9,000 immersions in about 7 hours

Which is stated *explicitely* in Acts 2:41 : "Then they that gladly received his word were BAPTIZED: and the SAME DAY there were added unto them about 3,000 souls".
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And WHEN exactly did He purify their hearts by faith ? When Peter went to them. Not sooner. And not after he left.

As I said this before: DO NOT reduce the teachings of Scripture. The Bible mentions ALL these things as going together (faith, repentance, baptism, the laying on of hands), and -to my knowledge- "what God joined together let no man take apart".
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Another tradition wanting for Scriptural proof

Which you so graciously provided [in the case of Titus] in your previous coment(s) without me even asking you to. :-)
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Speculation and direct implication are two different things. We can't run away from drawing conclusions based on inter-textuality.
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Children are not 'lost souls', nor is demonic influence on the same level as physical illness. (There are exorcisms in baptism as well, so the parallel isn't random). Sin is demonic, just as possession.
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He was non-Jewish with respect to race, not religion (why do you think he was reading from Isaiah?)
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I stand firm in Christ's teachings as the Pharisees stood in Moses: they erred because the Messiah was still to come, so to put him as an absolute was unwise, but there is no second Messiah after Jesus, so I don't see your point [Galatians 1:8]. Do you want me to *oppose* His teachings? :-\ What would you have me do ?

Jesus is present in holy baptism: Romans 6:3-5. Jesus said: let the children come to Me (and I don't recall Him making any age distinctions when He said that). Put the two things together and draw a conclusion.

He is also present in communion. He said: let the children come to Me (without specifying any age-restrictions). Draw the conclusion.
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I also don't know why it matters to you so much whether Ananias was an Apostle or not: the point was that Paul was regenerated through him by the laying on of hands and by baptism, both taken with faith in Christ, and with repentance for his past sins against His body the Church.
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I didn't say that regeneration happens without faith and penance.
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I also told you ages ago to stop saying that the eunuch wasn't regenerated: baptism washes away our sin (Acts 2:38; 22:16) and makes us able to enter into the Kingdom of God (John 3:5). A baptized member can also baptize otehrs, which is exactly what he did, according to the historic tradition of the Church, bringing many souls for Christ and founding the first Christian community in his native land, which is Oriental Orthodox until today.

PeaceByJesus said...

It also requires 12 disciples doing 9,000 immersions in about 7 hours

Which is stated *explicitely* in Acts 2:41 : "Then they that gladly received his word were BAPTIZED: and the SAME DAY there were added unto them about 3,000 souls".


Absolutely amazing. Out of this verse we have triple immersion by 12 apostles (plus laying of hands) being explicitly taught! No wonder you can see things that are not as if they are.

And WHEN exactly did He purify their hearts by faith ? When Peter went to them. Not sooner. And not after he left. As I said this before: DO NOT reduce the teachings of Scripture. The Bible mentions ALL these things as going together (faith, repentance, baptism, the laying on of hands), and -to my knowledge- "what God joined together let no man take apart".

I am not reducing Scripture, as it is a given that Peter in particular should be there, but it is you who adds to the the teachings of Scripture, by adding laying on of hands to the 3,000 being thrice immersed (based upon one strain of extraBiblcal tradition), and making Ananias one of the 70 apostles, and effectively leaving the Ethiopian eunuch as unregenerate, and making faith, repentance, baptism, and the laying on of hands by an apostle always all going together in conversion, when only two examples manifest that, and the very text at issue says nothing about laying on of hands, these already having received the Gift of the Holy Spirit, which the apostles also received without laying on of hands.

Which you so graciously provided [in the case of Titus] in your previous coment(s) without me even asking you to

You are seeing something that is not. I provided Titus as a more viable candidate based on language, as i can be more objective than you in my exegesis, but which does not make this uncircumcised Greek (Ga. 2:3) one of the 70, nor Ananias.

Speculation and direct implication are two different things

The above additions are speculations.

Children are not 'lost souls', nor is demonic influence on the same level as physical illness.

And as eternal judgment is based on what one has done themselves, so they need not what baptism is said to provide. Unbaptized infants are not lost, even though some CFs thought they were. The innocent who had no knowledge of good or evil went into the promised land.

He was non-Jewish with respect to race, not religion (why do you think he was reading from Isaiah?)

A fair inference, despite his origin and the words of Eusebius, but what you assert cannot be established and is only speculation, while being a man of substance it is also possible he bought the scroll while in Jerusalem, and read it for the first time with a seeking Gentile heart.

I stand firm in Christ's teachings as the Pharisees stood in Moses: they erred because the Messiah was still to come, so to put him as an absolute was unwise, but there is no second Messiah after Jesus, so I don't see your point.

The point was that the basis for authority is interpretation of tradition etc. based upon historical decent, and thus cannot allow Scripture as opposing them, and thus you would naturally side with the Pharisees and chief priests, over One who opposed them based upon Scripture being the supreme transcendent authority, which He showed by establishing His claims upon its substantiation, in word and in power.

PeaceByJesus said...

Jesus is present in holy baptism: Romans 6:3-5. Jesus said: let the children come to Me (and I don't recall Him making any age distinctions when He said that). Put the two things together and draw a conclusion.

The conclusion is that you do not prevent the children from coming to church and to be prayed for and over, and loved into the kingdom, as the apostles essentially tried to do, and let them believe in Christ if they want, but that is not the same thing as supposing to make them Christians as infants when they cannot repent and believe, and as required to be baptized. You are essentially adding to Scripture, as if Christ baptized infants, but which He did not do.

Pt. 2 I also don't know why it matters to you so much whether Ananias was an Apostle or not:

How can you say you do not know why it matters, when it is your argument that the Holy Spirit was only conveyed through the laying on of hands of apostles (and elders), and thus you must make Ananias one of the supposed 70 anonymous apostles. But you cannot.

also told you ages ago to stop saying that the eunuch wasn't regenerated: baptism washes away our sin (Acts 2:38; 22:16) and makes us able to enter into the Kingdom of God (John 3:5). A baptized member can also baptize otehrs, which is exactly what he did, according to the historic tradition of the Church, bringing many souls for Christ and founding the first Christian community in his native land, which is a

I never saw you say this, while what i have said more than once is that your tradition (that the Holy Spirit was never conveyed through deacons) leaves this man unregenerated, with no one to lay hands on him in his churchless destination, yet he purportedly is the founder of the Ethiopian Oriental Orthodox.

You are largely flailing away and it would be best to give it a rest.

Lvka said...

Sorry, I understood you to mean that baptizing 3,000 people on the same day would've been too much.

My point was that the text has them receiving the Holy Spirit as a consequence of repentance and baptism by an Apostle (Acts 2:38).
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Christ did not say "Don't let the chidren come to Me, because they are pure, so they don't need Me anyway" either.
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We're told explicitely that "[he] had come to Jerusalem for to worship" (Acts 8:27). So he was not a pagan when he came there.

The existence of Ethiopians who kept the Torah, and who are called Fallashas, is not "speculation". They still exist until today.
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Not really. It was just something I noticed while reading Acts. I wasn't really aware of this stuff before. I mean, apart from knowing that chrismation "exists", or that ordination requires the imposition of hands. Then I noticed (while browsing through Acts), that ALL Christians, and NOT JUST those ordained, had the imposition of hands, which reminded me of stuff some Protestants were saying, that we're all actually Priests, and that the Church supposedly changed this teaching. But then I also noticed how, albeit ALL Christians receive(d) the Holy Spirit, NOT ALL could also give it to others: not even deacons (Acts 8). So the wheels in my head began to turn...
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As far as I'm concerned, Scripture itself implicitely condones infant baptism by merely using the word itself, which had a clear, precise and specific meaning at the time the NT was being written. And since neither Scripture nor Church Tradition ever say anything to the contrary of that, the situation seems clear.

It is not "impossible" for us to make an exception in the case of baptism... but it would be un-reasonable, or implausible, making Scripture less harmonious with itself (albeit more harmonious with OUR own age and culture: but WE didn't write the Bible).
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I told you many things, since you didn't seem to be aware of any of it (which frankly took me quite by surprise)... but no, it wasn't exactly a central or pivotal point in OUR discussion: we're merely discussing baptismal regeneration here. If you want to make Ananias into an exception, as the only non-ordained person who is EVER said to have given the Holy Spirit to anyone (whether in the Bible or outside of it), it's fine by me... it just doesn't seem very logical or plausible to me, that's all..
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I did actually write it before, albeit you probably missed it, having to respond to so much and so new stuff all at once...

My argument has been that there's divine power present there in the Holy Sacraments, and not just mere symbolism -- and I tried to show this by refering to the descent of the Holy Spirit upon Christ at His own baptism by John in the Jordan, as well as what we see happening through His Holy Apostles in Acts. Or course, faith and repentance have to be present there, in order for this to happen and bear fruit (God's work isn't "magic"), but it cannot be reduced to these ALONE.

PeaceByJesus said...

>>It also requires 12 disciples doing 9,000 immersions in about 7 hours<<

My point was that the text has them receiving the Holy Spirit as a consequence of repentance and baptism by an Apostle (Acts 2:38).

You have them receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit by the apostles laying hands on them and praying, after being thrice immersed, which Acts 2 does not state, and my point was that you cannot establish that the anonymous 70 were apostles and assisted in this, nor that the mode was triple immersion, nor that they laid hands on all these as well in order to receive the Holy Spirit. And that the latter is based on only 2 manifest examples, while another simply has it by a devout disciple, with no apostle present, nor were any in another conversion which has no laying of of hands, unless a deacon did so, (Acts 8:36-40) while another has neither baptism or laying on of hands. (Acts 10:43-47) And bishop/elders are only indicated as conveying the Holy Spirit in ordination.

Christ did not say "Don't let the chidren come to Me, because they are pure, so they don't need Me anyway" either.

Incorrect: Man is created to walk in communion with God whether fallen or not, and Adam and Eve did not need redemption before the Fall, nor do angels, but they had and have communion with God. And there was no doubt an attraction between the innocent children and the loving Son of God, God manifest in the flesh, nor should anyone prevent infants from being prayed for and dedicated to God, but which does not make them believers, which must be by personal choice.

We're told explicitely that "[he] had come to Jerusalem for to worship" (Acts 8:27). So he was not a pagan when he came there. The existence of Ethiopians who kept the Torah, and who are called Fallashas, is not "speculation". They still exist until today.

You are correct insofar as he not being a pagan (i was going by memory), and it remains that it is a likely inference that he was a Fallasha, versus a proselyte, though neither can be proved, yet the issue is that if laying on of hands by an apostle is necessary to receive the Holy Spirit, then this convert was left to go on his way unregenerate to churchless country. And which shows (if your theory of the Ethiopian church is correct) how God can begin a church through other than an apostle, though they would confirm it.

But then I also noticed how, albeit ALL Christians receive(d) the Holy Spirit, NOT ALL could also give it to others: not even deacons (Acts 8). So the wheels in my head began to turn...

But again, this restrictive theology (that laying on of hands by an apostle is necessary to receive the Holy Spirit) is not uniform and is only based on two accounts, and presupposes that the anonymous 70 were apostles and baptizing in Acts 2, which is far from being established, and marginalizes the regeneration and redemption in Acts 10, except to support the premise that an apostle must be involved, which requires that Ananias be one of the 70, which is pure speculation, and by implication also leaves the Ethiopian unregenerate.

In addition, to make Orthodox priests out to be apostles is an insult to the latter, (2Cor. 12:12) nor was there even a separate class of clergy entitled priests, while Catholicism hardly examples manifest regeneration among its members. And by which the early church saw God attesting to His Truth and how He was working. (Acts 15)

PeaceByJesus said...

Pt. 2

In short, the Lord's commission to teach, baptize etc. cannot be restricted to one formal class of disciples, nor laying of hands, and the book of Acts testifies to how God works , which is primarily through leadership, but is not restricted to that, anymore than it was when God raised up men to reprove those who sat in power in the OT, as well as John the Baptist and the Lord Himself, and thus the church began. For spiritual authority rests not on historical decent or self-proclamation, but upon Scriptural substantiation in word and in power.

As far as I'm concerned, Scripture itself implicitely condones infant baptism by merely using the word itself, which had a clear, precise and specific meaning at the time the NT was being written. And since neither Scripture nor Church Tradition ever say anything to the contrary of that, the situation seems clear.

Indeed, the precise and specific meaning was that souls identified themselves with the Lord Jesus in baptism by repentance and faith, being "buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. " (Romans 6:4) "having obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness." (Romans 6:17,18)

The idea that baptism so fully corresponds to circumcision, in which infants and slaves were commanded to be baptized, is a forced level of correspondence, as the solitary text which shows an analogy between their two does not provide this, but simply shows them as representing a spiritual work, which is realized “through the faith of the operation of God.” (Col. 2:11,12)

As teaching, hearing and repentance and believing are clearly shown as preceding baptism, and with souls being purified by faith, and as Scripture nowhere shows baptism taking place apart from believing, then Scripture does contradict infant baptism. You can only speculate that infants can comprehend the gospel — “the power of God unto unto salvation to every one that believeth” (Rm. 1:16) — and repent and believe, but this cannot be proven, and Scripture evidences that they do not have that degree of moral comprehension.

I told you many things, since you didn't seem to be aware of any of it (which frankly took me quite by surprise)... but no,

Without referring to what you said, i cannot know what you think you told me.

If you want to make Ananias into an exception, as the only non-ordained person who is EVER said to have given the Holy Spirit to anyone...

Which account and description as him simply as a certain devout disciple is not careless, while your premise leaves the subject of the prior account as unregenerate, and the next account supports regeneration apart from baptism or imposition of hands.

I did actually write it before, albeit you probably missed it, having to respond to so much and so new stuff all at once...

I surmise you are referring to your assertion that “I told you ages ago to stop saying that the eunuch wasn't regenerated,” which i cannot find, but you did say that “we are not told that the Eunuch received the Holy Spirit upon Baptism,” and your doctrine does leave him as unregenerate, and apart from the Kingdom of God, as you allow no one to receive the Holy Spirit apart from the hands of an apostle, or at least their presence., even if you hold “there's divine power present there in the Holy Sacraments.”

Lvka said...

I don't see the Spirit being given apart from Apostolic presence in Acts:

Acts 2; Acts 8; Acts 10; Acts 19.

You want to make Acts 9 into an exception: I don't.

If we are to look outside of Acts, we have 1 Timothy 4:14 + 2 Timothy 1:6, and Hebrews 6:1-2.
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Now that I've mentioned Hebrews 6:1-2, please remember what I wrote in one of my earlier comments:

The Bible mentions ALL these things as going together (faith, repentance, baptism, the laying on of hands), and -to my knowledge- "what God joined together let no man take apart".
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Regarding the Eunuch, here are a few paragraphs from my earlier comments, just to put it all into perspective:

You seem to think that the giving of the Holy Spirit through the laying on of hands is the same as it being present in ANY manner or intensity in a person... this is simply not the case.

When someone comes to ask to be baptized, he comes with faith and repentance: these are already the works of the Holy Spirit touching his soul. But is His work complete by this alone? No. That's why He guides the soul to baptism first, then chrismation, then communion, so that it might become stronger and stronger in faith and deed, gaining ever more spiritual power to live the Christian life
.

I also don't understand why you seem to think that the presence of the Holy Spirit in chrismation is supposed to prove its absence in Holy Baptism. All sacraments are bearers of the Holy Spirit's presence [sacrament = sacred = holy : Holy Ghost]

In baptism, the Spirit's cleansing power is present: but it's not enough to be clean: one must also be stregthened and enriched with its power
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As I said: It is not "impossible" for us to believe that a parent's faith might have no effect on his child in baptism, but it is highly unlikely, given both biblical and historical context. In the first one, children are saved from under the power of the evil one through their parent's faith, and the other one tells us that both Jews and early Christians baptized the believers' children on account of their parents' faith.
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Yes, baptized people can baptize other people: but they cannot lay their hands on them merely on account of being chrismated (or Acts 8 would make little or no sense).

Lvka said...

God calls us through His All-Holy Spirit.

Faith or disbelief is how the MIND can react to His call.

Repentance or the hardening-of-the-heart is how the HEART can react to the same call.

Baptism is how we are cleansed from sin and evil, by dying to temptation [in immersion] and resurrecting to life [in emersion] together with Christ. Thrice, in the name of the Trinity, as Jesus taught us in Matthew 28:19, and also as a symbol of the sign of Jonah. -- This only happens when we approach it in faith (Matthew 3:7-11; Luke 3:7-16).

Chrismation, or the laying-on-of-hands, is how we receive the Holy Spirit and all its power in the fullest manner possible.

Communion, or the Holy Eucharist, is how we receive Christ Himself in the fullest possible manner. As with baptism, God will destroy those who approach it without faith and repentance (First Corinthians 11:27-32).

Tis is the manner in which "[we] might be partakers of the divine nature" (2 Peter 1:4), and "are changed into [God's] image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord" (2 Corinthians 3:18).

PeaceByJesus said...

Acts 2; Acts 8; Acts 10; Acts 19. You want to make Acts 9 into an exception: I don't.

Rather than uniformity, as said and shown, you can only speculate but not prove the anonymous 70 were apostles and assisted in baptizing the 3,000 with triple immersions and laying on of hands in Acts 2, and that Ananias was of them in Acts 8, while you simply have an apostle present in Acts 10 when the Gentiles received the Gift of the Holy Spirit. And your rigid doctrine still leaves the Ethiopian as an unregenerate convert and church planter.

If we are to look outside of Acts, we have 1 Timothy 4:14 + 2 Timothy 1:6, and Hebrews 6:1-2.

The first two seem to refer to a post conversion gift in ordination in which elders were involved, while the latter only mentions the doctrine of baptisms. And while as expressed, it should be considered normative that this conveyance was done through leadership, yet the problem remains that Catholicism's apostles are manifest not such, while it turns bishops/elders into a unique separate class entitled priests, yet in Scripture the only priesthood is that of all believers, as saith Peter, (1Pt. 2:5) offering themselves and praise and other offerings to God.

Faith or disbelief is how the MIND can react to His call. Repentance or the hardening-of-the-heart is how the HEART can react to the same call.

Actually, one cannot believe on the Lord Jesus without a basic repentance, (Jn. 3:19-21) and in salvation believing is what does with his heart, (Mk. 8:23; Acts 8:37; Rm. 10:9) and the devil can take it out of those whose faith is superficial, (Lk. 8:12)

Chrismation, or the laying-on-of-hands, is how we receive the Holy Spirit and all its power in the fullest manner possible. Communion, or the Holy Eucharist, is how we receive Christ Himself in the fullest possible manner.

If this was regulated by the FDA then it would be fined for false advertizing.

But nothing you wrote solves anything as regards justifying paedobaptism, or how the Ethiopian convert was born again without an apostle laying on hands.

Lvka said...

As I said, many of the innitial Seventy left Christ in John 6, so we don't know how many were left.

Up until a few centuries ago, the work day lasted for 16-18 hours a day, then only relatively recently in history did it dropp down to 12-14 hours, until it finally became the standard 8-10 hours a day we have today. Baptism by threefold immersion does not last more than [a fraction of] a minute, so the whole thing could not have lasted longer than 3,000/12/60 = 4 hours: about a quarter of the work-day, especially since we're told that it all began at 9 AM, or "on the third hour" (Acts 2:15).
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My "rigid doctrine" doesn't "leave the eunuch unregenerate", nor unable to found churches.
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1 Peter 2:5 is merely a quotation from Exodus 19:6, or Isaiah 61:6. It no more does away with a NT priesthood than the other two verses do away with OT 'priests'.

As I said, "priest" comes from presbyter: that's what the word properly means. "OT priest" is NOT its *proper* meaning ! [Albeit one can say that the former is a type of the latter, just like Levites are a type of deacons, since they assited OT priests just like the latter were elected speciffically for the purpose of assisting the Holy Apostles: Acts 6:1-4 -- but that's a different story].
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I used chrismation as an example (instead of baptism) because what happens "there" is more obvious in Acts, and it happens repeatedly. And the point was that, just like the laying on of hands is not a mere symbol, but the Holy Spirit actually descends, the same holds true for baptism and the eucharist as well. And we know this because Christ told us certain things about these rites. We may not see this with our physical eyes, as it was the case in Acts for what happened in chrismation, but we see it with the eyes of faith.

And BTW: there's no link between infant baptism and baptismal regeneration: Calvin and his followers hold to the former, but deny the latter. Evangelicals deny both, but that doesn't mean they are related.

Lvka said...

The Jews used "heart", while the Greeks used "mind" ('nous'). The OT and the Holy Gospels use the former, except Luke, which -just like Paul's Epistles- uses both, since it was addressed at Gentile converts. But the two words denote the same concept, elsewhere called `the inner man` (Paul), etc.

PeaceByJesus said...

As I said, many of the innitial Seventy left Christ in John 6, so we don't know how many were left.

John 6 does not identify these as the 70, while the hypotheses such as by Epiphanius on the 70 includes the seven deacons of Acts 6 in their number, making the Phillip of Acts 8 an apostle of that class, yet your hypotheses excludes this. As said, your tradition here is speculation which you must present as fact.

Up until a few centuries ago, the work day lasted for 16-18 hours a day...

Actually, the Jewish day ended at sundown (about 6 pm)

threefold immersion does not last more than [a fraction of] a minute since we're told that it all began at 9 AM..

That is when Peter began his preaching, which was not simply what is written as “with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation...” Then finding water deep enough for 3k souls, and being mostly strangers, then each one going under the water and up again 3 times, and laying on of hands and prayed over for the reception of the Holy Spirit, along with the need for periodic rest, could take more time then 12 men might reasonably be expected to accomplish in about 7 hours (approx 8.3 people per minute if in 6 hours of actual work), as expressed before.

However, in Acts 8:16 baptism is not the same as laying on of hands, and the promise of Acts 2:38 was that if they repented and were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, then they would receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, which the apostles had received without laying on of hands, likewise the Gentile counterparts in Acts 10, and which further act is not recorded as happening in Acts 2.

That it did can be a reasonable assumption, however, as shown, Acts does not provide a uniform testimony of apostles laying on hands in conveying the Holy Spirit in conversion, and your doctrine yet rests upon only two accounts of this occurring, and thus the unprovable assertion that Ananias was an apostle, and the marginalizing of Acts 10, and which still leaves the Ethiopian to go on his way rejoicing as an unregenerate believer and church planter.

My "rigid doctrine" doesn't "leave the eunuch unregenerate", nor unable to found churches.

It does indeed, and promotes ecclesiolatry, as you disallowed the deacon Philip from being one of the 70, and thus from conveying the Holy Spirit.

1 Peter 2:5 is merely a quotation from Exodus 19:6, or Isaiah 61:6. It no more does away with a NT priesthood than the other two verses do away with OT 'priests'...

You are ignoring the distinction. I affirmed the general priesthood of all believers, as that is what 1Pt. 2:5 refers to, but specified a separate class called priests, versus bishop/elders, as being unwarranted.

As I said, "priest" comes from presbyter: that's what the word properly means

And as substantiated before the translation of presbuteros (elder) as “priest” in English (from Latin) is not due to that being its meaning in Greek, but was a consequence of assigning a unique sacerdotal function to NT elders, and thus making .presbuteros functionally equivalent.

PeaceByJesus said...

Pt. 2

The the Greek word presbuteros “” (not "presbyter") is NOT the word for “priest” (“hiereus”), and is clearly used in distinction from it, nor does it denote a unique sacrificial function, as it simply means “senior” as in maturity, or age or a senior position, as in referring to the leaders of the NT church under the apostles. Also, ”episkopeo"̄ (translated as “bishop”) means “superintendent” or “overseer.” [from “epi” and “skopos” (“watch”) in the sense of ”episkopeo"̄ to oversee, (Strong's), which refers to what elders do, overseers (bishops) and elders denoting those of the same office, (Titus 1:5-7) never being used in distinction, unlike hiereus.

As explained here , The root, “presbys” means “old.” The comparative form makes it mean “older.” We see this generic use in Luke 15:25 where the brother of the Prodigal is called the “older brother.” Thus a presbyteros is an older person or an “elder...” What if all the people within the church who had the title “priest” began to be called “elder?”

The web site of International Standard Version (not my preferred translation) states,

No Greek lexicons or other scholarly sources suggest that "presbyteros" means "priest" instead of "elder". The Greek word is equivalent to the Hebrew ZAQEN, which means "elder", and not priest. You can see the ZAQENIM described in Exodus 18:21-22 using some of the same equivalent Hebrew terms as Paul uses in the GK of 1&2 Timothy and Titus. Note that the ZAQENIM are NOT priests (i.e., from the tribe of Levi) but are rather men of distinctive maturity that qualifies them for ministerial roles among the people.

Therefore the NT equivalent of the ZAQENIM cannot be the Levitical priests. The Greek "presbyteros" (literally, the comparative of the Greek word for "old" and therefore translated as "one who is older") thus describes the character qualities of the "episkopos". The term "elder" would therefore appear to describe the character, while the term "overseer" (for that is the literal rendering of "episkopos") connotes the job description.

To sum up, far from obfuscating the meaning of "presbyteros", our rendering of "elder" most closely associates the original Greek term with its OT counterpart, the ZAQENIM. ...we would also question the fundamental assumption that you bring up in your last observation, i.e., that "the church has always had priests among its ordained clergy". We can find no documentation of that claim. (http://isv.org/catacombs/elders.htm)

PeaceByJesus said...

Pt. 3

As even some Roman Catholic sites acknowledge,

The term "presbyteroi" simply means ("elder", or old man), and has no sacrificial overtones. The word that does have sacrificial overtones in Greek is not used for Christian clerics in the New Testament. (http://www.askacatholic.com/_WebPostings/Answers/2011_04APR/2011AprCanYouTellMeTheFirstReference.cfm)

Unfortunately, the Latin word sacerdos, which is the semantical equivalent of the Greek word ‘?????? (hiereus), has no semantical equivalent in a number of modern languages, such as German, French, and English...the word presbyteros took on the meaning of sacerdos by the very nature of Christ's explication of the presbyterate, to preside at the celebration of the Eucharist [per Catholicism]. (http://catholicforum.fisheaters.com/index.php?topic=744379.0;wap2)

As a result, “presbyter soon lost its primitive meaning of 'ancient' and was applied only to the minister of worship and of the sacrifice.” (http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/12406a.htm)

Jewish elders as a body existed before the priesthood, most likely as heads of household or clans, and being an elder did not necessarily make one a Levitical priest. Despite the Scriptural distinctions in titles, Rome made the word “presbyteros” (elders) to mean “priest” by way of functional equivalence, supposing that the bishops turn bread and wine into the literal body and blood of Christ which is then physically consumed.

As Catholic writer Greg Dues in “Catholic Customs & Traditions, a popular guide” states,

"Priesthood as we know it in the Catholic church was unheard of during the first generation of Christianity, because at that time priesthood was still associated with animal sacrifices in both the Jewish and pagan religions."

"When the Eucharist came to be regarded as a sacrifice, the role of the bishop took on a priestly dimension. By the third century bishops were considered priests. Presbyters or elders sometimes substituted for the bishop at the Eucharist. By the end of the third century people all over were using the title 'priest' (hierus in Greek and sacerdos in Latin) for whoever presided at the Eucharist."

Lvka said...

Dear man, that's what Acts 2:41 says, that they were baptized on the same day. I don't understand what your problem is. If you don't believe the Bible, there are other religions out there.

From 5 or 6 AM, when people woke up and began work, and until 6 PM, when the sun went down and human activity drew to a close, there are 12 hours of time. Four hours are a third of that time. Peter's sermon wasn't long, but short and to the subject. You also make it sound like all people had to enter the water at the same time, or as if the Apostles baptized themselves 3,000 times. A baptism (the actual dipping) doesn't take more than part of a minute (unless you think that they held people under water for more than 15-20 seconds during each dip). Neither maths nor scripture seem to be on your side on this. -- I'd know: I'm an engineer.
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The word "priest" is NOT a "translation": it is the evolution of the Greek "presbyter" which became "prester", by the suppression of the "y" between B and T, and then "priest".

etymonline.com/index.php?term=priest

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Senator and sheik also mean elder: what's your point ? You think all old men are "elders" ? Elders was how the Jews called the leaders of the synagogues, who lead the worship service.
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Either way, I don't understand what ANY of this has to do with the topic at hand.

Joe said...

PeacebyJesus,

Sorry for the delay. Have many family and house projects going on.

Since, you are still conversing with Lvka...I assume you are not totally exhausted as expressed before, so I will assume you intend to respond. But understand if not.

Will try to provide more context than normal since it has been a bit.

Me: Yes, children were verbally praising God, which infants cannot do (in the form Hosanna to the Son of David). But how does that matter? Infants can praise God in other ways, in their own way. Jesus mentions children, to be sure, which can verbally say Hosanna...but He also includes infants, plain and simple, hence infants can praise God.

You: It matters because the context defines who is being referred to by “babes and sucklings,” that of children saying “Hosanna...” plain and simple. There simply is no example of infants literally articulating praise of God here, nor anywhere, as a result of repentance and choosing to worship God.


Yes, context matters. In context, Jesus is quoting Psalm 8 that specifically mentions children AND infants. This, coupled with Jesus’ repeated teaching that the Kingdom of God belongs to literal infants (and that we have to become like these)…it points to literal infants having the ability to praise God in some sense. Children can actually say “Hosanna”…infants cannot, and yet infants are said to praise God, albeit an infantile praise. As John did in his own way. Again, I am not arguing that these infants are articulating Hosanna as a "result of repentance and choosing to worship God". One does not have to in order to praise God or even have faith.

Me: Certainly, if God can cause the “stones to cry out”, and donkeys to speak, then infants can praise God.

You: Now you are appealing to what God can do, not what Scripture reveals Him doing as a matter of course , which is that of making infants conscious they are sinners and repenting and believing the Lord Jesus for salvation. Even some sort of praising God need not indicate that.


Yes, I appeal to what God can do and did, as Jesus did the same. Salvation is a gift, it is a miracle, “few find it”. A donkey spoke, and the stones WOULD have cried out if these children and infants did not praise God. So, under your paradigm, it appears you give rocks more ability to praise God than infants. In terms of what God does as a matter of course...well, He “ordained praise from children and infants”...and the several Psalms that speak as such were liturgy for the community of faith. It was the natural course to view infants and children as part of the covenant that the Lord is their God.

cont..

Joe said...

You: In Lk. 10:21 “babes” also refers to those who were enlightened, which was uttered after the Lord's disciples had returned rejoicing: "In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight," In Jn. 21:5 the Lord calls His apostles “children.”

Me: Do not see this as all that applicable.

You: It reveals how prophetic and poetic language can be applied, for as in Matt 21:16 it refers to those who are at least able to actually articulate praise to God.


Of course, poetic language can be applied to different situations with different nuances and meanings....I do not dispute that. But that does not remove the fact that the Psalms still explicitly speak of infants praising-trusting-hoping God from birth. It seems from my vantage point that you completely reduce the Psalms to nothing but poetic language that are applied to other concepts, besides the original or first meaning.

Me: Yes, “infants can be said to praise the Lord because God strengthens them”. So we have infants praising God...which was my point.

You: No; literally choosing God and articulating praise to God is not in that verse, but the manner in which they “praise” Him is by manifesting that God gives them strength. (cf. Ps. 148:4) For indeed, “the whole earth is full of his glory." (Is. 6:3) And “His glory covered the heavens, and the earth was full of his praise. " (Habakkuk 3:3b) However, it may be prophetically applied to literal praise, but which again, refers to children who were able to do so.


As above, I never claimed that infantile praise was literally choosing God and articulating praise to God in the way you are referring. Again, amen…God gives them the strength, strength to do what but praise Him. The passage of Psalm 8 speaks of how God uses the lowly to silence to avenger/foe. What is more lowly, than a helpless, utterly dependent - infant? It fits the analogy perfectly. Similar to the concept of I Cor 1:28/etc...of how God uses the lowly and foolish things to shame the strong, nullify the things that are, etc. Infants are a perfect example of our salvation, as Jesus demanded thus by saying we must become like them. We must become like those without the ability of moral reasoning (if indeed they do not have any).

Me: Yes, there can be a poetic nature in poetry. :) But though it can be poetic, there is actual truth there, otherwise the poetry is not poetry but nonsense.

You: That there was actual truth behind it was affirmed and explained, but which does not supply the needed affirmation that infants as young as 8 days old can repent and believe.


Never claimed that infants can “repent” in the way we normally think of repent...nor do I know. But, the texts in the Psalms we have been discussing (and others similar that we have not - Psalm 71:5-6 - “from birth I have relied on you”...we see trust, reliance, praise and the acknowledgement that the Lord is their God.

cont..

Joe said...

The text clearly says in your version “hope”, in the NIV “trust”. I do not claim to fully understand how in fact infants or John the Baptist could have faith/trust/hope/joy about their God.

It is not infants but one infant who rejoiced in the womb. And like the Virgin Birth, it is the nature of Revelation to reveal when something is extraordinary, from from the age of Methuselah to the strength of Samson to the number of toes of Goliath, to the supernatural transport of Phillip, etc., etc. All of which are singular miraculous exceptions, but you are asserting all elect infants have a miraculous ability to see their need for salvation and choose the Lord Jesus to save them, which proof is not supplied, and is contrary to what is stated as regards the moral cognition of infants. That is no more supported than that the apostles were regularly transported as Phillip once was. (Acts 8:39)


Out curiosity how many examples would deem the fact that infants can have faith satisfy you? You asked for one example, and now you agree that there is one...and have been given evidence that there is more examples via the Psalms. But obviously you disagree, with no evidence that infants cannot have faith besides the idea of inseparably binding “moral reasoning” to faith, that John did not require. But I do not. Quoting Rich Lusk (Paedofaith - I have not read it, only snippets):

“Their faith is not discursive or reflective; rather it is intuitive and (because of the Spirit’s work) instinctive. It is not conscious, but infants do not have to be conscious of their faith in to order to have it. After all, they are not conscious of any of their members or faculties – though they still possess them nonetheless. Children are alive without “knowing” it as a matter of cognitive assent or rational reflection; in the same way they can have relational faith without being able to reflect on that fact or analyze it. They know and trust their mothers even from before birth, even though they do not know or assent to any propositions about them. Their faith is not discursive or reflective; rather it is intuitive and (because of the Spirit’s work) instinctive. It is not conscious, but infants do not have to be conscious of their faith in to order to have it. After all, they are not conscious of any of their members or faculties – though they still possess them nonetheless. Children are alive without “knowing” it as a matter of cognitive assent or rational reflection; in the same way they can have relational faith without being able to reflect on that fact or analyze it. They know and trust their mothers even from before birth, even though they do not know or assent to any propositions about them.”

Me: Sigh. I do not need to show a moral ability to comprehend.

You: Actually you do.


No, that is just silly. You agree that they can have faith, even if you think John is an exception. What moral ability and comprehension he was able to have in the womb, I do not know....nor need to know.

I do not know what the full natural capabilities of infants are...nor do you. Again, we do not give the sign of the covenant based upon an all knowing-infallible ability to determine if one does have faith in the case of one “of age” or if an infant has the ability to have faith (though clearly they do). We give the sign to whom God says to. To one “of age”...a profession of faith, and to their infants.

cont...

Joe said...

Me: I need to show, for purposes of BR (not IB) that they indeed can have faith, which I have…both logically and scripturally. ...limit God’s power and ability by saying that He cannot give faith to an infant.

You: What BR means is not clear, but we are on the subject of infant baptism, and for which you can only appeal to a single miraculous event for support, which is special pleading. This is not a matter of limiting what God can do, but of proving a unique miraculous ability is given to all elect infants, proof of which simply is not there and is contrary to what we do know,


Well, not sure what is unclear about BR...but we have been talking about IB and BR intermittently. Wow, the case of John is my “single miraculous support” for IB? Have you read anything I have contributed? I do not want to sound harsh, but this is absolutely ridiculous. Please reconsider or reread my posts about IB. Both given the sign to infants of believers and the effects of baptism (“putting on Christ”) are not at all contrary to what we know. I hold that it is what we know from the scriptures.

Concerning the empirical evidence...well, I am glad the true gospel is not dependent on empirical evidence, nor does this hold any water anyhow. The sign of the covenant is not a cure all. It needs to be nurtured, watered, and God gives the increase. Faith can die. The same argument could be said of adult baptism or those who make an alter call. Most of Billy Graham’s “converts” do not have much empirical evidence of fruit either. So common, your better than that.

Me: Believers were first not only unconscious, but also dead (spiritually)….when they were given faith.

You: They were spiritually dead, but had the ability to make moral choices between good and bad, (Rm. 2:14) and were enabled to believe on the Lord Jesus. Thus even unsaved souls are called to make moral choices. (Dan. 4:27)


So, you are saying that though one is spiritually dead, he could chose God? Yes, adults can and must make choices in life, but from my point of view, unless one is born again, he cannot chose God or His kingdom...so the analogy sticks. Infants do not have the spiritual ability to chose God, and may or may not have the natural ability to make choices...and those of age do not have the spiritual ability to chose God, and they have the natural ability to make choices. And if God regenerates an infant or and adult...they both have the ability to have faith. Either case, they both do not have the spiritual ability to chose God prior regeneration. And when faith is given, it is not lost whether one is unconscious or not.

Me: Again, this shows that God is not dependent on whether one is conscious or not to bless them or given them the gift of faith.

You: God could have enabled Jonah to swallow a whale, but he only thing that Scripture establishes is that converts were morally cognizant souls who could choose Christ over sin. Demons have faith, but salvific Abrahamic faith is one that trusts Christ to save them, which infants need not and do not do.


Scripture establishes that the converts “of age” were morally cognizant, and that infants can be cognizant in some fashion, and that infants do need to salvation. They are not saved for the simple act of being born. Quite the opposite.
Agree that demons have some element of faith, but not trust. And my argument is that infants can have trust in God in some form. Though it is an infantile faith....a seed faith. But it is faith nonetheless. And we know that even the smallest possible faith...can move mountains and grow into a tree, that looks quite different and mature than its seed form.

cont..

Joe said...

It needs to be commanded (baptism of infants) or made manifest that they did repent and believe before baptism, as there is a critical difference, as explained. The command to circumcise begins with 8 day old infants, and servants had to be as well, with no requirement of teaching, hearing, repentance and faith as a precondition for them, (Gn. 17:9-14) both aspects being in contrast to the New. (And Philemon indicates that having a believing slave master did not necessarily mean the slave was.)

If we expect something to be commanded in regards to this discussion in scripture, IMHO, it would be that the sign of the covenant given to infants of believers would be radically changed and altered to removing this sign from them since the NC is a more gracious, inclusive, and better covenant...that is a fulfillment of the Abrahamic covenant in which the sign was given to infants. It would be extremely counter to what was their practice of the sign and understanding of the NC...without even considering the NT evidence for the continuation of the practice. To have nothing said of this drastically impactful idea happening screams (from silence) that it did not and they continued to give the sign to their infants. In light of the situation, to say that we need a specific command in the NT to continue the prior practice of including the sign to infants is illogical and backwards indeed. The idea of repentance for adults is not “in contrast to the new”. It is the same. An adult, like Abraham, had to express faith before the sign...whereas their infants did not.

Me: without any command to do otherwise in the NT, and evidence that the status of children is not only the same under the NT but MORE inclusive.

You: As with the moral laws, it is the nature of Scripture to affirm continuity and to manifest correspondence, but in this case all we have one text (Col 2:11-12) which only provides a correspondence between circumcision and baptism as regards their signification. In so doing it reveals circumcision being a type of the spiritual circumcision one receives by faith, “that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter.” (Rm. 2:29) And which baptism signifies, but which requires faith:

And as it requires repentant faith, baptism is only more inclusive as regards women being included, while no infants are shown being baptized, the kingdom being spiritual and entered by personal faith, with details of household conversions stating the baptized were those who believed.


I have no problem with baptism requiring faith...in terms of providing the benefits of baptism. Without faith, baptism drowns us. But again, baptism provides faith. Coll 2 shows that there is a parallel between baptism and circumcism, which lends strong support to the practice of IB. But that is not the only biblical concept that links the two. They both are the sign/seal of the covenant....which is obvious over both covenants. This fact also, lends very strong support to the practice of IB. We see the concept of corporate solidarity being continued in the NT (I Cor 7), we see households baptized, we see that this is to “you are your children”...all lending support that the sign is still to be given to infants. This one fact of “you and your children” is probably sufficient in itself really. To the first century Jew, I doubt they will miss the parallel to Gen 17, and the last thing they would consider is....only to my children of age, and now my real young ones are excluded from this precious gift.

cont...

Joe said...

You keep trying to make this (baptized into Moses) more fully analogous to NT baptism in order to support paedobaptism, but the NT does not do this, and if it were then repentance and faith would not be required for it, as this was not required of those who came were led by the cloud (Ex. 13:21,22) and came through the sea (Ex. 14) in following Moses (it was later that they entered into covenant), whom this mixed multitude quickly rebelled against when affliction arose, (Ex. 16) indicating they had no root. (Mk. 4:6) And once again, the mass baptisms of Acts 2 were those who received the word, and repented and were baptized.

You keep trying to make the fulfillment less efficacious than the type to support a dramatic change to who gets the sign. But the fulfillment is better than the type. First, a profession of faith for those of age would be required for those who came through the sea. They had to leave Egypt...following God as they looked to the pillar of cloud/fire. They reaped the benefits of following God via Moses. So that is the same as the NT requirement of a profession of faith prior the sign for those able to act on their choice. The multitude of infants in this bunch did not have to have a profession of faith, and yet reaped the benefits of their parents faith. As this is also the same NT. But, the type here is salvation in an earthly sense...whereas baptism saves from a heavenly sense. Second, yea, many rebelled as some had no root, or lost their trust, etc...as you have mentioned, we see this in IB as well. Faith can die. Third, the mass baptisms in Acts would have included infants for sheer fact of “to you and your children”. But then we have the issue that around 25% of the recorded baptisms were households. And getting back to the first century Jew, this language would have undoubtedly been understood to include all children. The prophecy of Joel was that the Holy Spirit would be given to “ALL flesh”...not all flesh except for those who are not age 3 yet.

You: Both were types — the like “figure” — representing what faith appropriates, “purifying their hearts by faith.” (Acts 15:9) Baptism “saves” due to the faith it requires and expresses, which can precede baptism, as Abraham's justification preceded circumcision, but which “fulfills,” justifies that this faith is salvific, a “complete” faith, versus being inert. (cf. Rm. 10:9.10; Mt. 10:32; Ja. 2:18,23)

The NT does not teach that baptism represents. Constantly and repeatedly, it teaches that it is not a mere symbol or representation. It is the reality...”baptism saves”...in a way anti-type to the ark. But one was earthly, the other heavenly. We see a pattern here. Peter explicitly shows that the ark was the type and baptism is the fulfillment. Of course, faith is always an important part and cannot be separated from the ark or baptism.

All that text by the Lutheran is irrelevant. The point is that in contrast to, “Paul speaks so strongly on baptism,” besides explaining what it represented, the foremost evangelist baptized just a few of the Corinthians, even though he was their spiritual father, (1Cor 4:15) saying, "For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel." (1 Corinthians 1:17a) For conversion is by believing the gospel message, by the kind of faith that is shown by being baptized.

Hmmm. How is it irrelevant? Perhaps engaging his arguments and showing how it is irrelevant would be instructive to show your point. Cooper shows that it would be impossible to have both the divisions/focus on the baptizer and baptism for the dead happen if baptism was a mere symbol in the NT church. And one must ask why Paul says this, given the extreme importance that the entire rest of the NT gives it, including himself. It was because of the problems that it caused and focus they gave to the one who baptized.

cont...

Joe said...

Me: Yes, repent and believe before baptism for those who can profess Christ…as it was in the OT.

You: Rather than an artificial allowance for those who cannot choose and believe, there is only one message, that being the one that requires hearing and faith, thus the only ones who were baptized were those who could believe and profess.


Well, this is what you still have not shown. Not sure what you mean by “artificial allowance”...but it was God’s command to give the sign to infants of believers. Nothing artificial about that. We see those of age being converted and then baptized...as we would expect. We see evidence for the continuation of giving the sign to children of these believers as well...and correlation with circumcism.

Me: But the NT says nothing about dramatically altering the command of God and removing the practice of giving the sign then as well to children...

You: It does indeed, as first, the NT does not teaches circumcision as fully correspondent to baptism, while it abrogates the ceremonial command to circumcise, it being typological of the circumcision made without hands, while again, requiring teaching, hearing, repentance and faith in order to be baptized, and only manifesting that those could believe were baptized, never infants.


Well, I agree that circumcism and baptism are not identical or fully correspondent, as indicated elsewhere. But they share the essentials as they both sign/seal union and communion with God, the removal of sin/defilement, and the righteousness of faith. I do not see anything in baptism that would now render a significant class of people (infants under 3) now fit to receive this covenantal gift, and every reason to think that it has expanded instead of contracted.

“...for you and your children”, etc…all point to this.

No it does not, but that "the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call," (Acts 2:39) is a reception that is conditioned upon repentance and faith, as the previous verse states.


Well, no. It does not say that even for infants it is conditioned upon repentance. The first century Jew certainly would not have taken it this way, especially in light of the similar language with Gen 17 and the OC sign of circumcism. So your argument is that when they heard “you and your children”...they would ONLY think of their children of age, despite giving the sign of a less inclusive covenant to their infants? Of course, Peter mentions repentance...his captive audience is those of age. He is not going to preach (and consequently Luke write) and ask infants to respond, and yet, includes “children” as in the OC sign that would undoubtedly include infants. Anyhow, the sign for adults when coming to faith in Israel also was conditioned upon repentance...Abraham believed first, then he was given the sign. So again, we do not have any change here.

Me: Moral reasoning has nothing to do with who the sign should be given to

You: Which is why there is a manifest distinction between circumcision and baptism


The distinction between the signs has nothing to do with moral reasoning. There is no evidence that the sign of the NC cannot be given to those who do not have moral reasoning, provided it is given to infants of professed believers. The moral reasoning passages again were during the OC...in which they did give the sign to those you think do not have moral reasoning. Yes, the signs are not identical...but the essential meaning is the same.

cont..

Joe said...

You: One one hand you try to argue that infants have moral reasoning, and which fails, while on the other you deny that it is needed, which also fails under the New Covenant which requires comprehension and faith, and in which the correspondence between circumcision and baptism is limited to what they represent, and with the efficacy of baptism being by faith.

I have not tried to argue that infants have moral reasoning...at least as adults do. I do not know what they have exactly. I have argued that either way, if they do or do not have moral reasoning....one can make an argument for IB. Again, the sign is not given to anyone on the basis of knowing if their is actual faith present in one of age, or if infants have moral reasoning. If that was the case, no one would ever be baptized. It is based on God’s command. Restating my first point, we both agree that those of age need to express faith prior baptism or circumcism...but this says nothing of their infants.

Me: My point was that the examples of baptisms of those who can profess faith (adults or children that have the ability) that we see in the NT, have no bearing on whether infants of these believers should also receive the sign. Since this would have been the practice of the Jews under the OT (requiring profession for those able), and they did give the sign to their infants as commanded by God..

You: All of which is based upon the false premise of an extended correspondence, which is more than what the one text that shows some linkage provides, and which is contrary to the distinctive commands given as a prerequisite to baptism, and the manifest details of those who were baptized.


Well, that is a big area where we disagree. I see more continuity between the covenants and dealings of God with his people before and after Christ, whereas you see more discontinuity. And as explained elsewhere, I think the evidence is solidly on my side.

Again, these distinctive commands given as a prerequisite to baptism to those of age, say nothing about the status of their infants...zero...because it would be the same situation before Christ.

Me: Why would I have to establish that infants as you as 8 days old have moral reasoning?

You: Because of what i just stated.


I have refuted this a few times now.

You: and my mine burden is that of lost souls who do not realize their need for salvation, as they not only presume they became such as infants, but are thus never called to realize their desperate need for conversion, as damned and destitute sinners.

We need to die, be "converted" every day. Our faith has to be lived out each day. But the scriptures treat children raised in a household of faith differently than you. Jesus treats infants differently than you. 99.9% of the church up to the 1600 gave the sign of Baptism to infants..and taught BR. If there are churches that do not continue to nurture, teach, and instruct their members in the faith after infant baptism, than that is malpractice, and no fault of the God ordained rite of giving the sign and its effects of the covenant to infants of believers.

in Him,

Joe

PeaceByJesus said...

Dear man, that's what Acts 2:41 says, that they were baptized on the same day. I don't understand what your problem is. If you don't believe the Bible, there are other religions out there.

This is insolent. How can you not understand when it has been spelled out to you so many times? You only have two examples of apostles laying on hands in conversion in conveying the Holy Spirit, and in order to defend your doctrine then you must make Ananias out to be one of the anonymous 70, which you assert where apostles (in which you included the uncircumcised Titus), but which is only speculative, and you also have them doing baptisms and laying on of hands in Acts 2, which also cannot be proven, nor is it mentioned that any did, while your doctrine effectively leaves the Ethiopian enuch to go on his rejoicing as an unregenerate church planter.

From 5 or 6 AM, when people woke up and began work, and until 6 PM, when the sun went down and human activity drew to a close, there are 12 hours of time.

Irrelevant. It is the actual time that the 12 apostles had to baptize, after Peter ended his preaching and exhortation, organized and found sufficient deep pools to baptize 3,000 people essentially 3 times, and lay hands on them and pray that is at issue. I do not dispute the 12 apostles could, but the threefold immersions and laying on of hands is not stated nor the latter as a condition to receive the Holy Spirit, and puts stress on the time period.

as if the Apostles baptized themselves 3,000 times

That is what the text says, but you make that 9,000 immersions, and assert the anonymous 70 were apostles and some were helping to baptize, which is more speculation.

The word "priest" is NOT a "translation": it is the evolution of the Greek "presbyter" which became "prester", by the suppression of the "y" between B and T, and then "priest"

Which does not make it accurate, and as your source says, it came from prestere, from V.L. [Vulgar Latin]...in O.T. sense, a translation of Heb. kohen, Gk. hiereus, L. [Latin] sacerdos” [sacred] which does not mean “elder” regardless of the “evolution” due to sacerdos being applicable to both bishops and priests. Bishop/Elders are indeed holy, as are all believers, being saints, but while all are also priests, “elder” refers to an office as regards church leadership offices, and not a distinct class of sacerdotal priests.

You think all old men are "elders"?

As noted, “presbuteros” (elder) can mean an older person as well as a pastor, but it specifically is use to denote the person who holds the office of “episkopos,” (bishop), which means “overseer.” Nowhere does the NT refer to Bishop/Elders as priests, except indirectly by way of inclusion as part of the general priesthood of all believers, not a distinct class of sacerdotal priests.

Elders was how the Jews called the leaders of the synagogues, who lead the worship service.

And Jewish elders as a body existed before Israel had a priesthood, most likely as heads of household or clans, and being an elder did not necessarily make one a Levitical priest. Thus the chief priests are in distinction to elders in such places as Lk. 22:66; Acts 22:5. And again, in the church Bishop/Elders not called priests, which was a latter invention.

Either way, I don't understand what ANY of this has to do with the topic at hand.

Just another example of forcing Scripture to support a tradition of men.

PeaceByJesus said...

Joe,

Since, you are still conversing with Lvka...I assume you are not totally exhausted as expressed before, so I will assume you intend to respond. But understand if not.

This debate extends beyond paedobaptism, and yet it has basically gone so far that we should rest our case on the issues debated.

As for your response, i see nothing new.

God’s command to give the sign to infants of believers.

He did not, and instead set forth teaching, hearing, repentance and faith as going before baptism. (Mt. 28:19; Acts 2:38; 8:36-37)

We see evidence for the continuation of giving the sign to children of these believers as well...and correlation with circumcism.

You have no manifest examples of infants being baptized, and only have one limited analogy between circumcision and baptism, in which faith is required for the efficacy of baptism.

. I do not see anything in baptism that would now render a significant class of people (infants under 3) now [not] fit to receive this covenantal gift, and every reason to think that it has expanded instead of contracted.

We see differently, and it is also a presumption to hold that slaves were also baptized if the owner was.

The first century Jew certainly would not have taken it this way,

That presumes they say circumcision as being baptism, but the Jews both circumcised and baptized converts.

Of course, Peter mentions repentance...his captive audience is those of age

And the households of the Philippian jailer and that of Crispus believed the gospel and were baptized, as did many other Corinthians (Acts 16:30-34; 18:8) which is also confirmed elsewhere, (Acts 8:12) and nowhere do we see souls being baptized who could not. And the gospel which Paul preached was that of “repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ." (Acts 20:21; cf. 26:20)

they would ONLY think of their children of age, despite giving the sign of a less inclusive covenant to their infants?

The text simply refers to the promise of salvation being to their children, which it is, as well as to their children's children, upon the same conditions as the adults were given.

Anyhow, the sign for adults when coming to faith in Israel also was conditioned upon repentance...Abraham believed first, then he was given the sign.

No, as infants and slaves had to be. And as Abraham was justified before he was circumcised, so it is faith which appropriates justification in the new, though it be a faith which effects obedience, and thus is expressed in baptism.

There is no evidence that the sign of the NC cannot be given to those who do not have moral reasoning..,

Their certain is evidence, due to the stated prior conditions, and the record that those who were baptized has believed, even in households where any further description is provided. All that is left are two texts which simply mention two different households as having been baptized.

I have not tried to argue that infants have moral reasoning...at least as adults do.

They must in order to fulfill the explicit commands to be be baptized.

Well, that is a big area where we disagree. I see more continuity between the covenants

We do, but going from the general to the specific, there are differences, and what is needed for one to become part of the spiritual kingdom of Christ being one of them.

But the scriptures treat children raised in a household of faith differently than you. Jesus treats infants differently than you.

Rather, the Scriptures clearly stated repentance and faith as prerequisites for baptism, while showing neither John or Jesus baptizing any infants, but such should be dedicated to the Lord, and prayed for, and their conversion not hindered, but loved into conversion.

PeaceByJesus said...

Pt. 2

99.9% of the church up to the 1600 gave the sign of Baptism to infants.

Which does not mean the NT church did, any more than they followed a supreme Pope in Rome, and believed in praying to the departed, purgatory, indulgences, etc, which necessitated the Reformation, but which had to unlearn some things.

. If there are churches that do not continue to nurture, teach, and instruct their members in the faith after infant baptism, than that is malpractice..

We are odds on paedobaptism, and are being redundant, but as said, my concern is that of the multitudes who are taught they are Christians and treated as such due to being baptized (most of this being sprinkling) as infants, but who, like myself, never had a day of salvation then they came to God as souls damned for their works - not saved because of them - and destitute of any means or merit whereby they may escape our just and eternal punishment in Hell Fire and gain eternal life with God. And who thus must cast all their whole hearted contrite faith upon the mercy of God in Christ, trusting the risen Lord Jesus to save them by His sinless shed blood, (Rm. 3:9 - 5:1) and which is expressed in baptism.
On that necessity i wish all agreed.

Lvka said...

Again: this is all fine and dandy, but what on earth does it all have to do with the topic at hand ? And why are you repeating stuff about me that I told you repeatedly is not true ? (Such as me supposedly believing that the eunuch was not regenerated ?) Do you know me and my faith better than I do ?

My point was that the sacraments, baptism included, are not merely symbolic in nature, but that the Holy Spirit actually is at work there, as we can see at Christ's own baptism, and in Acts. That was it, and I still haven't seen you do anything to actually refute it.

PeaceByJesus said...

Again: this is all fine and dandy, but what on earth does it all have to do with the topic at hand ?

What does it all have to do with the topic at hand? Everything, if are going to promote your doctrine that one receives the Holy Spirit in conversion through the laying on of hands of an apostle!

And why are you repeating stuff about me that I told you repeatedly is not true ? (Such as me supposedly believing that the eunuch was not regenerated ?) Do you know me and my faith better than I do ?

“Such as” nothing, as that is the logical conclusion of your position as you have most clearly expressed it. As in

“This power of the Holy Spirit descends upon persons baptized in His name, as it did upon Him at His Baptism. It is given by the laying on of hands by apostles, bishops, and priests in chrismation. They did not have this things in the OT.” (5:13 AM, August 09, 2012)

And that,

“the two things were part of the same act [triple immersion in the Name of the Holy Trinity, followed by the laying on of hands].” (8:34 AM, August 12, 2012)

And,

“whenever an Apostle baptizes, the Holy Spirit is given. But whenever a deacon baptizes, the Spirit is absent...” (10:44 PM, August 17, 2012

If you believe souls can be regenerated, receiving the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in conversion, without the laying on of hands by an apostle, versus “absent” apart from that, then you need to clearly say this. Instead, all i see you providing is ambiguous descriptions as your last one:

My point was that the sacraments, baptism included, are not merely symbolic in nature, but that the Holy Spirit actually is at work there, as we can see at Christ's own baptism, and in Acts. That was it, and I still haven't seen you do anything to actually refute it.

Most certainly i believe the Holy Spirit actually is at work in conversion, and that souls are actually indwelt by the Holy Spirit in regeneration upon repentant faith in the gospel, by which they are born again and enter into the kingdom of God. If by “the Holy Spirit actually is at work” you mean that this indwelling can happen apart from laying on of hands by an apostle, and which the Scriptures do testify to, (Acts 9:17,18; 10:43-ff) then you have yet to say so.

Lvka said...

Since I see you like quoting me so much, here are a couple of other things I wrote:

You seem to think that the giving of the Holy Spirit through the laying on of hands is the same as it being present in ANY manner or intensity in a person... this is simply not the case.

In baptism, the Spirit's cleansing power is present: but it's not enough to be clean: one must also be stregthened and enriched with its power.

When someone comes to ask to be baptized, he comes with faith and repentance: these are already the works of the Holy Spirit touching his soul. But is His work complete by this alone? No. That's why He guides the soul to baptism first, then chrismation, then communion, so that it might become stronger and stronger in faith and deed, gaining ever more spiritual power to live the Christian life.

Lvka said...

Acts 10:44  ¶While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.

Peter, to my knwoledge, was an Apostle.
___________________________________

If Ananias would've been a deacon or something lesser, he wouldn't have had that power, as it would contradict Acts 8, and Acts 18:24-19:7. I don't like "exceptions" that put Scripture at odds with itself. Truth is self-coherent, and I believe Scripture to be true.

PeaceByJesus said...

Since I see you like quoting me so much, here are a couple of other things I wrote:

You seem to think that the giving of the Holy Spirit through the laying on of hands is the same as it being present in ANY manner or intensity in a person... this is simply not the case...


Lvka, i quote you because you accused me of saying things about you that are not true,
yet this is what follows is simply more of the same ambiguity that is the problem. “Cleansing power is present,” “the works of the Holy Spirit touching his soul,” does not say the Holy Spirit has regenerated and indwelt the believer, he/she being made alive (born again) and part of the Kingdom of God by faith in the gospel. As you apparently restrict this to the laying on of hands then my conclusion remains that the Ethiopian went on his way without the Holy Spirit in him, as per your words, “But whenever a deacon baptizes, the Spirit is absent...”

Acts 10:44 ¶While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. Peter, to my knwoledge, was an Apostle.

Which only substantiates my claim, that regeneration can take place by believing the words of the apostle, "To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins," (Acts 10:43) apart from laying on of apostolic hands.

That an apostle must be actually present for this promise to be realized is not what this or any other like promise provides. And of course, unless you allow Protestant apostles, then your doctrine would render all Protestants unregenerate, even though those who hold the Scriptures being supreme as the wholly inspired word of God overall testify to more evidence of regeneration than their institutionalized Catholic or Protestant counterparts, though both are overall in decline.

If Ananias would've been a deacon or something lesser, he wouldn't have had that power, as it would contradict Acts 8, and Acts 18:24-19:7.

That presumes a uniformity that is not there, but thus you confirm that you hold the converted Ethiopian eunuch as unregenerate, the Spirit being “absent,” which you must, as that and Acts 9 and 10 contradicts your premise that the laying on of apostolic hands is necessary to receive the Holy Spirit, and which only has two texts which manifest that as occurring his way.

Nor does Acts 18:24 refer to Apollos having apostolic hands laid on him to receive the Holy Spirit, and as “this man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John,” and was only instructed by two non-apostles more perfectly in the way of God, it is actually another testimony of conversion and regeneration apart from the hands of an apostle. And who "helped them much which had believed through grace: For he mightily convinced the Jews, and that publickly, shewing by the scriptures that Jesus was Christ." (Acts 18:27-28)

Those disciples of John in Acts 19:1-6 were a different class, who had “not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost," (Acts 19:2) versus Apollos who was instructed in the way of the Lord and being fervent in the spirit, spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord. Hardly the fruit of an unregenerate man.

Truth is self-coherent

And what is coherent is that God did submit according to your strict formula in Acts, and rather than forcing the Scriptures and God to conform to your ecclesiastical eisegesis which, among other things, makes Ananias to be an apostle, and leaves the eunuch without the Spirit, i must allow Him to do as He ever did, as He manifests it, and which He does through those who repent and believe the gospel.

Lvka said...

Here's something else I wrote:

I also don't recall saying that the OT righteous were utterly devoid of the presence of God's Holy Spirit. All I said was that whatever was there in the OT, it cannot be compared to what we have now through Christ (John 1:16 and 10:10). The overwhelming, abundant outpouring of the Holy Spirit in NT times cannot be compared in degrees of magnitude to what came before: otherwise, entire passages of the NT would make no sense.


What you still don't seem to understand is that being cleansed or regenerated through Baptism is not the same as the laying on of hands: otherwise why would Acts, and Hebrews 6:1-2, mention them as distinct acts ? Also notice how Paul calls them "the *principles* of the doctrine of Christ".
___________________________________

The same God also left the people who believed in Christ and were baptized by deacon Philip devoid of that overwhelming outpouring of the Holy Spirit until the Apostles took notice of what has happened, and went there. Unlike in the case of Apollos, you can't say that Saint Philip didn't knew about the Holy Spirit's existence... did he forget ? Was he "sloppy" ?

PeaceByJesus said...

What you still don't seem to understand..

Actually, i pointed out long ago that baptism was not the same as the laying on of hands, as per Acts 8:16, and that repentance and baptism were the only requirements given for the gift of the Spirit in Acts 2:38, and that the apostles themselves and the Gentiles received this Gift without laying on of hands.

However, you said the Spirit was absent in the baptism by Phillip, and now you makes it to be lacking the "overwhelming outpouring of the Holy Spirit," but despite your advocation of coherence, you continue to avoid affirming that which you stated i wrongly accused you of denying, that the Ethiopian eunuch was regenerated, having been born again, receiving the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, thus he went on his way rejoicing,

Yes or no.

As for Apollos, you are once again ignoring things and reading into the text in order to make it conform to your doctrine, as it does not say that did not know about the Holy Spirit's existence, but that as shown, unlike those in Act 19:2-6, "This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord." (Acts 18:25)

Lvka said...

The works of the Spirit are many in number: regeneration is but one of them. Faith and repentance are also. But, as we can see in both Acts and Hebrews, they are not the same as that overwhelming power which comes through the Apostles, and through elders (1 & 2 Timothy).

Lvka said...

Acts 18:24  ¶And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus. 25  This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John. 26  And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly. 27  And when he was disposed to pass into Achaia, the brethren wrote, exhorting the disciples to receive him: who, when he was come, helped them much which had believed through grace: 28  For he mightily convinced the Jews, and that publickly, shewing by the scriptures that Jesus was Christ. 19:1  ¶And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, 2  He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. 3  And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John's baptism. 4  Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. 5  When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6  And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.

Joe said...

You have no manifest examples of infants being baptized, and only have one limited analogy between circumcision and baptism, in which faith is required for the efficacy of baptism.

Nor do I need any specific examples. We have no explicit teaching to baptize or not baptize infants. We have no examples of children of believers being baptized as adults either. Thus, we have to go by inferences and implicit evidence to build our cases. And we explicitly see the continuation of corporate solidarity of the children of believers in the NT (I Cor 7:14).

We see 4 out of the 12 or so baptisms recorded mentioning households, and in the Jewish context, this would most certainly include their infants. This is confirmed by the explicit teaching of how children are viewed in the NC.

Further, we would expect not to have examples of it, if the practice was assumed. It would be much easier to say “household”…instead of listing each individual member, since the Jewish community had an understanding of what household meant, and it included their children under 3.

M: I do not see anything in baptism that would now render a significant class of people (infants under 3) now [not] fit to receive this covenantal gift, and every reason to think that it has expanded instead of contracted.



Y: We see differently, and it is also a presumption to hold that slaves were also baptized if the owner was


Well, that is a good question as to whether slaves were baptized or not. My initial reaction would be yes, but, suppose one could argue that from Acts 2:39 that since it is to “you and your children”…slaves would not be included.

Nonetheless, it would still be expanded for the sheer fact of females now receiving the sign and the emphasis and direct command to go to the gentiles both drastically expand the covenantal sign. This is congruous and indicative of the NC being more inclusive, gracious, and better - unlike your paradigm.

cont...

Joe said...

M: The first century Jew certainly would not have taken it this way,

Y: That presumes they say circumcision as being baptism, but the Jews both circumcised and baptized converts.


Well, yea, they are linked as Paul says. Yes, the Jews did both. How does that support your argument? They baptized the infants of the gentile converts as well. So, this would even make it more illogical and counter to their context of now not including their infants with the sign of the covenant. So we see the sign given to infants under the Abrahamic covenant, we see the sign of circum and baptism given to gentile converts and their infants….and yet now under the fulfillment of the Abrahamic covenant, which is more gracious and inclusive, we are to think that the first Christians would have thought to now not include those under 3 (your number)? This just flatly completely ignores the context of the situation and time.

M: Of course, Peter mentions repentance...his captive audience is those of age

Y: And the households of the Philippian jailer and that of Crispus believed the gospel and were baptized, as did many other Corinthians (Acts 16:30-34; 18:8) which is also confirmed elsewhere, (Acts 8:12) and nowhere do we see souls being baptized who could not. And the gospel which Paul preached was that of “repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ." (Acts 20:21; cf. 26:20)


Well, this presumes “household” would now all of a sudden exclude those under 3…which we have no evidence for and strong evidence against. When the Jews converted the Gentiles, the same idea, adults had to have repentance before circum and baptism...and yet they gave the sign of the covenant to their infants as well. So once again, your comments have no bearing whatever on the issue.

M: they would ONLY think of their children of age, despite giving the sign of a less inclusive covenant to their infants?

Y: The text simply refers to the promise of salvation being to their children, which it is, as well as to their children's children, upon the same conditions as the adults were given.


Again, it appears that you ignore the context of the situation. To argue that the Jew at the time would not see a correlation between Gen 17 –“to you and your seed” – and now infer that their children under 3 would not receive the sign of the covenant is simply irresponsible.

As John Murray says in "Christian Baptism":

We are not in a position to appreciate the significance of this unless we bear in mind the covenant relation established by God and clearly revealed in the OT. It is in the light of Genesis 17:7, “And I will establish my covenant between me an thee and thy see after thee throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto the an to thy seed after thee” that this word of Peter is to be understood. It is this principle, institution, or arrangement alone that gives meaning to Peter’s appeal.

Now what does this imply? It demonstrates that Peter, in the illumination and power of the Spirit of Pentecost, recognized that there w as no suspension or abrogation of that divine administration whereby children are embraced with their parents in God’s covenant promise. It is simply this and nothing less that Acts 2:39 evinces.

We may well ask: what was there in the revelation of the OT or in the teaching of Jesus which would give the least support or even plausibility to the supposition that in the denotation of those designated “children” a line of distinction must be drawn between little infants and grown-ups? To institute such discrimination would be the resort of desperation, would be without any warrant in the context usage.

Joe said...

M: Anyhow, the sign for adults when coming to faith in Israel also was conditioned upon repentance...Abraham believed first, then he was given the sign.

Y: No, as infants and slaves had to be. And as Abraham was justified before he was circumcised, so it is faith which appropriates justification in the new, though it be a faith which effects obedience, and thus is expressed in baptism.


Not sure what your disagreeing with here. Adults would not be circum before repentance/faith, per Abraham…as in the NC. Sure adult slaves were circum, but the adult converts, had to have express faith first....like Abraham.

M: There is no evidence that the sign of the NC cannot be given to those who do not have moral reasoning.., 



Y: Their certain is evidence, due to the stated prior conditions, and the record that those who were baptized has believed, even in households where any further description is provided. All that is left are two texts which simply mention two different households as having been baptized


Again, this presumes there is a dramatic change in what constitutes “household” in the mind of the Jew. In households where there is further description says nothing about if there were infants included or not. If it was assumed, there would be no reason to mention infants specifically being baptized. We see the practice of corp solidarity (of children) explicitly set forth in the NT...which would render references infants within the 4 or 5 household baptisms as redundant.

M: Well, that is a big area where we disagree. I see more continuity between the covenants

Y: We do, but going from the general to the specific, there are differences, and what is needed for one to become part of the spiritual kingdom of Christ being one of them.


Yes, there are differences to be sure. But, we have Jesus specifically and explicitly teaching that infants in the community of faith, are part of the Kingdom of God, and that adults must become like them in order to be part of it, the linkage between circum and baptism, continuation of corp solid, the NC as a fulfillment and built upon Abraham, and on and on.

cont...

Joe said...

M: 99.9% of the church up to the 1600 gave the sign of Baptism to infants.

Y: Which does not mean the NT church did, any more than they followed a supreme Pope in Rome, and believed in praying to the departed, purgatory, indulgences, etc, which necessitated the Reformation, but which had to unlearn some things


These other issues were not held to in the early church nearly to this degree, if at all. So it is a apples to oranges comparison that is invalid. The Reformers, at least some, attempted to bring the church back to a more pristine period...whereas your paradigm brings us to a point that never was, and have started something new and contrary to any period of the Judeo-Christian faith.

M: If there are churches that do not continue to nurture, teach, and instruct their members in the faith after infant baptism, than that is malpractice.. 



Y: We are odds on paedobaptism, and are being redundant, but as said, my concern is that of the multitudes who are taught they are Christians and treated as such due to being baptized (most of this being sprinkling) as infants, but who, like myself, never had a day of salvation then they came to God as souls damned for their works - not saved because of them - and destitute of any means or merit whereby they may escape our just and eternal punishment in Hell Fire and gain eternal life with God. And who thus must cast all their whole hearted contrite faith upon the mercy of God in Christ, trusting the risen Lord Jesus to save them by His sinless shed blood, (Rm. 3:9 - 5:1) and which is expressed in baptism. On that necessity i wish all agreed.


Yes, redundancy is setting in. If you would just change your thinking, we would be fine. :)

Children, including infants, should be treated as Christians, as members of the covenant….as Jesus did. Yes all this is “expressed” in baptism…but also given. But of course, salvation does not stop with baptism, for many it is the starting point…and must be nurtured for a lifetime. There are abuses to all church rites and practices…but these abuses do not negate the practice thereof and the reality they bring.

At one point early on in this conversation, you said you were open to infant baptism. What did you mean by that, because it sure sounds like you are not?

Lastly, after my 8 or so posts, you said: "As for your response, i see nothing new."

Sigh. There were several things that were brought for the first time...so I will treat your silence as not having an answer or just too tired.

in Him,

Joe

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