Saturday, July 7, 2012

Infant Baptism


I can't say that I have ever truly understood the reasoning behind infant baptism within the Protestant tradition. Infant baptism in Catholicism makes sense, since that's just one of many good things that you can do to get grace and work your way toward heaven. But from the Christian standpoint that we are not saved by being born into a Christian household, that we do not “get more grace” because of baptism or any other sacrament, and that baptism is symbolic of salvation (being buried with Christ and rising again), infant baptism does not follow.

Three Symbols: Dedication, Infant Baptism, Believers-Baptism

Now, I believe in infant dedication. Often, parents will, in front of their local congregation, dedicate their child to the Lord. This seems awesome. But this is also a different symbolism than the symbolism of baptism and salvation. You see, all unbelieving children of Christians can be dedicated to God, and only the ones who eventually (by their admission anyway) come to faith in Christ and are born again will be baptized. The two symbols are complementary, not competitive.

Christians who follow the tradition of infant baptism will sometimes say that baptism is not symbolic of salvation, but symbolic of being in a covenant relationship with God (which unbelieving children are also in). Well, then, we have two baptisms – each is representative of a different thing. That leaves two possibilities: Either the two baptisms can be complimentary (one symbolizing the covenant relationship, and one symbolizing salvation/rebirth) OR Only of the ideas of what baptism represents is correct.

I reject the first hypothesis, that the two baptisms can be complimentary, because we read in the Scriptures:

“There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” Eph 4:4-6

So then, either believers-baptism is correct, or else infant baptism is correct.


The Mystery of Reformed Infant Baptism

With the Reformed point of view, infant baptism makes even less sense. You see, in a non-Calvinist sense of Covenental Theology, it may be believed that the children of believers are loved by God (who desires their salvation), and given extra grace, which makes their salvation more likely. But in Calvinism, you are either elect or you're not. You either are given so much grace that you cannot resist salvation, or so little grace that you cannot possibly repent. Therefore, the children of believers are in the same boat, the same situation, as any other non-believer: no one knows whether they are “elect” or “non-elect” until they come to faith (elect) or die unrepentant (non-elect). No one knows if God loves them, or will give them enough grace, until one of those two things happens.

The only favor God could show to the children of believers, in this worldview, is that He could save a higher percentage of the children of believers than of the world at large. Maybe in the world at large, He saves 1 out of every 25 people, but He also saves 1 out of every 5 children of believers. But this is just speculation, not a promise or covenant. So the baptism could not possibly symbolize this
extra favor” of higher percentage salvation which is not promised in the Bible. Therefore, in reformed tradition, this infant baptism can only symbolize a “Covenental relationship” in which God promises to save all of those He unconditionally elects, regenerates, and causes to have faith. But that covenant applies to the whole world. Why not baptize the world??


Which Baptism is Correct?

Well, who am I to say? I believe that Believer's baptism, which is symbolic of repentance, indwelling of the Holy Spirit, faith, salvation, having sins washed away, and dying with Christ and being raised again(death of the “old man” and regeneration), is correct. But this belief is only justified if that's what the Bible teaches is the true symbolism of Baptism:

Symbolisms mentioned: Repentance, indwelling of the Holy Spirit
“I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” Mt 3:11

[ONE EXCEPTION: Jesus needed no repentance, but was baptized anyway by John]

Symbolisms mentioned: Indwelling of the Holy Spirit
“I indeed baptized you with water, but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” Mk 1:8

Symbolisms mentioned: Faith, Salvation
“He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.” Mk 16:16

Symbolisms mentioned: Faith, Salvation
“Then those who gladly received his word were baptized...” Acts 2:41

Symbolisms mentioned: Dying with Christ and being raised again(death of the “old man” and regeneration)
“Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? 3 Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” Rom 6:2-4

Symbolism mentioned: Sins being Washed Away
“And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.” Acts 22:16

So, with the exception of Christ's Baptism, all of the symbolism associated with Baptism is associated with realities accompanying salvation: repentance, faith, sins washed away, salvation, being indwelt with the Holy Spirit, and dying to sin/being raised to newness of life. Not one of these is associated with the state of non-belief. Therefore, I would conclude that if there is truly only “one baptism” in Christianity, then believer's baptism must be that one, because it affirms the symbolism mentioned above in those eight verses quoted from the Scriptures.

What about households? These are also verses that refer to a whole household being Baptized:

“And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their stripes. And immediately he and all his family were baptized.” Acts 16:33

Well, the verse does not say whether everyone in his family believed or not. Based on the symbolism listed previously, I would say that baptism is reserved for believers, and would conclude that all of his family believed. Another verse about a (separate) entire household is consistent with my conclusion, because it spells out that the entire household believed:

“Then Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his household. And many of the Corinthians, hearing, believed and were baptized.” Acts 18:8

Therefore, it seems clear that Biblical Baptism is symbolic of repentance, faith, sins washed away, salvation, being indwelt with the Holy Spirit, and dying to sin/being raised to newness of life, not of some other coventantal relationship that does not include these elements.  Given that understanding, only those who profess repentance and faith should be allowed to be baptized, just like only professing believers should be allowed to participate in the Lord's Supper/Breaking of Bread.

94 comments:

andre said...

Thanks for the post, Rebekah, but speaking as one within the Reformed understanding, I see several misrepresentations here.

Reformed folks believe in one baptism, and it means the same thing for both adults and children. Admittance for adults and children is different. Christ and his apostles, after all, were speaking to adults in those passages you mention, and not to children. It's all about the context.

God has indeed made promises for the children of believing parents, as is clear in the OT. Nothing in the NT nullifies these promises, so they stand.

Also, the covenant is not for the whole world, although it will be someday. "The earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea." Baptism belongs to all those in the covenant, as it is the replacement for circumcision (as does communion, but I digress).

Also, baptism is a means of grace, and as Peter points out, "baptism now saves you." There is a deep connection between baptism and salvation, although it is of course not inseparable.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Rebekah,

Excellent post, excellent explanation.

As for Andre, the O.T. and its promises are for ISRAEL. That is one of the problems with the Reformed movement is that they claim Israel has been replaced by the Church. God's many promises were to Israel and Israel only.

Baptism is the symbol of accepting the faith. It does not save you. I'd suggest you reread the Peter passage rather than taking it out of context.

andre said...

All the promises are yea and amen for us in Christ. So many everlasting covenants and promises, are you suggesting that God is not faithful to these promises, Glenn?

As for context: "...when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ."

Peter is drawing a comparision: Noah saved by water, and we are saved by water (baptism). What do you think this means?

Skarlet said...

Andre,

Thank you for your thoughts, and additional information about perspective. I certainly do not claim to understand the reformed (or non-reformed) position on infant baptism completely; to me it does not make any sense, so any misrepresentations are unintentional.

First of all, I had never before heard the position (from any protestant) that baptism saves, or that it is means of grace. I go to a Presbyterian church, because my husband is a Calvinist and Presbyterian. But both my husband and the church say that baptism does not save. So that position (that baptism saves) is certainly not the general position of reformed infant baptism proponents.

I will go ahead and give you my understanding of the 1 Peter verses, and then explain why I believe your interpretation is not consistent with other Scriptures or with orthodoxy.

1 Peter 3:19-22
“by whom also He went and preached to the spirits in prison, who formerly were disobedient, when once the Divine longsuffering waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water.

There is also an antitype which now saves us—baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, angels and authorities and powers having been made subject to Him.”

You point out the “saved through water” part of the verse about Noah. This is speaking of the Ark. Noah and the other 7 were saved from God's judgment, by faith (required to build the ark for 100 years), through the Ark (which physically saved them). This history is brought up in the context of divine longsuffering: That is, before the ark sailed, God patiently waiting for 100 years to allow any repentance in that time, so that more people would sail on the ark and be saved when the time of judgment came.
Then, that story from history was used as a metaphor: That humans even now face God's judgment (though not in the form of a flood) and just like then, God provides an “ark” for us. In this case, the ark is baptism. NOT water baptism, but the cleansing of the conscience before God, which is possible through Christ's resurrection and His righteousness being used to cover us. You remember the verse I cited saying that baptism is symbolic of “washing away sins”? This verses uses it the same way. It speaks of salvation through cleansing: not physical cleaning, but the washing away of sins (cleansing of the conscience). So that's how I read the verse.

Now, orthodoxy teaches sola fida. That is, faith alone. Not faith + works. Not faith + baptism. Justification is through faith ALONE. So if you say that baptism saves, or that in that case of infants, it enacts even part of justification, then you speak against sola fide.

Furthermore, if your interpretation of Peter is correct, then works save as well. You see, if Peter's statement “There is also an antitype which now saves us—baptism” is taken to mean physical baptism, and it taken to mean that physical baptism saves, then we must also read James:

James 2:21 “Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar?”

And then, with the same method of interpretation, we shall come to the conclusion: justification is by works. That would be a faulty conclusion, though, since justification is by faith – and James is saying (in context) that all true faith (as opposed to dead faith) evidences itself through works. That works prove that the faith is true, and true faith results in justification.

Skarlet said...

...

“God has indeed made promises for the children of believing parents, as is clear in the OT. Nothing in the NT nullifies these promises, so they stand.”
“All the promises are yea and amen for us in Christ. So many everlasting covenants and promises, are you suggesting that God is not faithful to these promises, Glenn?”

First I will say that I believe there are promises to the children of believers in the N.T. as well as the O.T. Secondly, I agree that the Old Testament promises AND commands do not apply to us. We can learn from the law in the O.T. and notice “hey, God does not like murder” and therefore avoid murder. However, we do not follow all of the laws in the Old Testament, many of which were specifically for the Jews. In the same way, many of the promises were promised specifically to the Jews as a specific time.

If I promise David (my brother) “I will read to you later,” and then later I do NOT read to Tim, who overheard my promise to David, did I break my promise? Of course not. The promise was not made to David. So the question is not whether God is not faithful to his promises, but a question of who the promises were made to. Since the “Old Testament” (the Old Covenant) is distinguished completely from the “New Testament” (the New Covenant), the OT only applies to those under the OT, and the NT only applies to those under the NT. The Old Covenant does not apply to those under the New Covenant – which would be like fixing an old wineskin container with new wineskin; it would break it.

Now, concerning promises made to the children of believers in the NT, I believe those promises are real. But I do not believe that baptism is symbolic of those promises, because those promises do not include salvation. And as I pointed out, from Scripture, Baptism symbolizes ONLY things associated with salvation directly. So if the promises do not cover salvation, then they cannot be symbolized by baptism (which symbolizes salvation and things associated with salvation).

If you believe that the promises DO cover salvation – that God promises to save all children of believers, then A – show me the verses, and B – please explain all the apostate children of believers who never come to faith.

Skarlet said...

...

“Baptism belongs to all those in the covenant, as it is the replacement for circumcision (as does communion, but I digress).”

Ummm... three things.

#1 – Baptism belongs only to those who have repentance, faith, their sins washed away, salvation, are indwelt with the Holy Spirit, and have died to sin/been raised to newness of life. I have supported this position with many verses.

Please show me some verses that say that baptism is not symbolic of these things, but that baptism is (instead) symbol only of a coventant relationship in which God promises something (which, I may add, God promises stuff to all people. He promises salvation to any who believe – and that promise is made to all people).

#2 Where in the Bible does it say that Baptism means what Circumcision means? To be sure, once Baptism was relevant, Circumcision was obsolete (which is another proof that the Old Covenant does not cover us). But where do you get the idea that they mean the same thing? IF they do not mean the same thing, then this point does not stand against my view of the meaning of baptism.

#3 So you are saying that the non-elect should be allowed to take part in communion? If not all children of believers are saved, then the unsaved ones are “non-elect.” If you think they should be allowed to take part in communion, then you imply that non-elect people, admitted unbelievers, are allowed to take part in the communion. This is a position which the Bible speaks against:

1 Cor. 11:27-29 “Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.”



“Reformed folks believe in one baptism, and it means the same thing for both adults and children. Admittance for adults and children is different.”

Yes, I agree that they believe in one baptism. But what does that baptism represent? If it represents a covenant, which covenant, which promises, does it represent? If those promises do not include repentance, faith, sins washed away, salvation, being indwelt with the Holy Spirit, and dying to sin/being raised to newness of life, then those promises CANNOT be symbolized by baptism, since we already know from the Bible that baptism symbolizes those things.

So what do you think baptism symbolizes? And what about an adult child of believers? Would they be baptized without repentance or faith?

andre said...

Of course we are not justified by works, and I don't believe I said. I just quoted a verse, goshdernit.

To not go into too much length, I agree with Calvin that circumcision and baptism and alike in every way, except for administration.

And unfortunately you have given no verses that state that baptism belongs only to "those who have repentance, faith, their sins washed away, salvation, are indwelt with the Holy Spirit, and have died to sin/been raised to newness of life." You can't possibly pull that assertion from the texts; you can only make inferences (as I would do from most of those texts as well, but differently)

Also, according to the historic presbyterian articles of faith, the "grace promised is not only offered, but really exhibited, and conferred, by the Holy Ghost" in baptism. As I said before (and also says the confession), it is not inextricably tied to baptism, but God has chosen his ways of communicating His blessings with His church, which are His Word and sacraments. Does God do nothing in the sacraments? If not, why not?

Here is the chapter in the WCF that I am referencing: http://www.reformed.org/documents/wcf_with_proofs/

And as far as communion in concerned, the context of the 1 Cor. passage clearly indicates that Paul is not barring any certain age group from the table, only those who would abuse the sacrament, as the Corinthians were doing. If my child were to abuse the sacrament in much the same way as the Corinthians, then it would be appropriate for my pastor to deal with that problem as it arises.

Lastly, you say that I "imply that non-elect people, admitted unbelievers, are allowed to take part in the communion. This is a position which the Bible speaks against." As we don't know who is elect and who isn't, we don't have the privilege to disallow people from the table, unless they have proven themselves unworthy. Again, the Corinthians passage. And of course non-elect /= admitted unbeliever. Also, another way of disproving you point: Christ served the Passover meal to Judas, did He not? The sacraments have attendant blessings are curses (Heb. 10), and God protects His table how He sees fit.

andre said...

Also, here is a link to the best short treatment of the case for Reformed infant baptism that I know of: http://www.paedobaptism.com/files/baptisminthebible.pdf

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Andre:

The promises for us from the O.T. have to do with salvation by faith, as children of Abraham. We don’t have promises of land, for example, or any other promise to the nation of Israel under God’s covenant with them. No Christian taught that until Augustine, and the Reformed movement’s theology is strongly based on Augustine in every way.

Now, let’s take a look at the context of 1 Peter 3:21, beginning with vs 18 and ending with 22.

For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit, through whom also he went and preached to the spirits in prison who disobeyed long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water, and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a good conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at God’s right hand—with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him.

Notice the comparison: the ark to Jesus, the water of the flood to baptism. Noah was saved by the ark, Christians are saved through Christ. Baptism doesn’t clean you, but it is a “pledge of a good conscience toward God,” i.e., a symbol of your faith. Lastly, baptism only saves you “by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” It is a matter of placing one’s faith in the resurrection FIRST, and the baptism is the pledge that we have done so, and symbolizes our faith in the salvation received. There is nothing about baptism which saves a person who has not placed their faith in the atoning work of Christ.

One is forced to ask why Christ never baptized anyone, and why Paul baptized only a few, if baptism was required for salvation? Faith in Christ alone is what saves us from sin (John 3:16, 36; John 5:24; John 6:47; John 20:31; Acts 16:31; Rom. 1:16; Rom. 3:22,25; Rom. 10:9; Tit. 3:5; Eph. 2:8-9, 16; et al).

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Might I also note that circumcision was only for males. If baptism has replaced circumcision (which it has not), then females wouldn't be baptized.

andre said...

Glenn, it appears that we read the Scriptures in fundamentally different ways.

Again, "all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us."
What else could this possibly mean other than that we also may rest in all the promises of our forefathers? Christ has given us all things, and all the promises are ours. I don't want to leave any of them on the table.

And yes, the land promises continue, but the only difference is, we will inheret the whole earth instead of just the Promised Land. You see, the whole world has now become our Promised Land, as "the meek will inherit the earth."

And my only point with the Peter passage is that he is clearly comparing in a very striking the the means of salvation through water. I am saying that "baptism saves", inasmuch as the Noah and his family were "saved through water." God uses means of water to save his people in these examples that Peter brings up. That is the whole point of the conmparison. And of course Christ is the one who saves, but He stoops to use things such as preachers, water, bread and wine to convey his benefits.

And I am not prepared to argue that Paul or the other apostles only baptized "a few." Unless you are prepared to make the assertion that they only did what was recorded in Scripture, we have every reason to believe that they baptized thousands of people between them all in the lifetimes, not to mention lots and lots of babies. Unless, of course, they meant to be disobedient to Christ's command to baptize all nations.

And Christ never baptized anyone, because Christ had not institued the sacrament yet. John's baptism is not the same as Christ's baptism, as the latter is in the triune name, while the former was only a placeholder and not a sacrament at all.

And the main prooftext for baptism replacing circumcision is the following: "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 how does it follow that if baptism has replaced circumcision, then females would not be baptized? No one that I know of is claiming that they are identical in every way.

If you'd like to learn more about the Reformed doctrine of infant baptism, the above booklet that I linked is the best summary that I know.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Andre,

You are correct, we read the Scriptures much differently. I read them in context, while you try to fit them into a theological belief system which didn’t exist for the first 300 years of the Christian faith. God promised Israel a defined portion of land and yet you want to spiritualize it into Christians inheriting the earth! You have to spiritualize every promise God made to Israel in order to marginalize it away, and claim Israel has been totally replaced by Christians.

God did NOT use water to save Noah - he saved Noah via the ark. Paul specifically stated that he only baptized a few people (1 Cor. 1:14); if baptism was necessary for salvation, then why wouldn’t he have baptized more and even stated that it was necessary?

There is no evidence in Scripture that babies were baptized, nor is there evidence of such in the writings of the ante-Nicene fathers. The command to baptize all nations is not a command to baptize people who have not expressed faith in Christ. The profession of faith comes first and then baptism as a sign of that faith. In your theology, when Rome was forcing the baptism of pagan children they automatically were saved! I could be the worst heathen in the world and yet some Reformed person baptizes me and claims I am saved without me every professing the faith?

My favorite story: A man is an evil sinner, committing heinous acts as he drive trucks across the nation. One day he realizes he is unhappy with his life and checks into a motel for the night, finding there a Gideon’s Bible. He picks up the book and reads the entire N.T., is convicted by what he reads, gets down on his knees and confesses to God that he is a sinner and in need of a savior, and he then and there confesses Christ as his Lord and Savior. As he gets up he feels a great burden lifted and sees the need to change his life in accordance with the profession he just made. It’s 3AM and he’s hungry so he walks across the street for a donut and is hit by a truck and killed. Is he not saved because he wasn’t baptized?

Your “prooftext” for circumcision being replaced by baptism has nothing whatsoever to do with it. The passage is about spiritual circumcision of the heart, as Paul refers to in other passages. It does not say baptism replaced circumcision. What you just did is called eisegesis.

I am familiar with the Reformed false teaching on infant baptism. They essentially just carried the false belief over from Rome and added some ideas to it.

Skarlet said...

Andre,

I will take time and read the paedobaptism.com article you've linked to, before responding to your thoughts above. That way, I will have some more context with which to interpret your statements above.

andre said...

Hi Glenn,

You seem to be taking my statements way beyond what I have intended. I don't believe that I said that you can't be saved apart from being baptized; in fact, I said the opposite.

Obviously the theif on the cross wasn't baptized prior to his confession on the cross (but who knows, he may have been baptized before that), so we have an example before us that shows that God can still work outside his sacraments. But may not the exception prove the rule? If God does not convey speacial benefits through baptism, then why keep it around? If the sacraments are merely means of offering up personal devotion to God, can't we do that just as easily during singing praises to Him?

The answer would appear to be no. For in baptism God places His mark on an individual, and blesses them in ways not otherwise received. Likewise, in the Lord's Supper we feed on Christ's body and blood, although not physically of course. His presence in the eucharist truly offers us blessings (to those faithful) and curses (to the unfaithful). Some very helpful prooftexts are Heb. 6 and Heb. 10. So the pagan who is rebellious his whole life long, but was baptized as an infant and receives the elements week in and week out, does not receive the benefits of Christ's death. Quite the oppoisite, he receives special curses reserved for those who trample the blood of the covenant underfoot, the blood by which they were sanctified. The lord will judge His people (Heb. 10:29-30).

If you are interested in the historical doctrine of the real presence (not the Catholic aberration), I would suggest Keith Mathison's book, "Given for You"

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Andre,

If you make the claim that baptism gives salvation, then it has to give salvation; no ifs, ands or buts. But now you claim it doesn't give salvation.

Where does Scripture say God gives special benefits through baptism? All I see in Scripture is that a believer gets baptize as a symbol of being buried with Christ and identifying with Him. There is no magic in it which conveys salvation to a child who can't even understand what baptism is.

I am very familiar with the history of the "real presence," which started AFTER the end of the first century. It is not in Scripture.

Skarlet said...

Andre,

I've read through the article that you suggested. It had a lot of solid information and reasoning. The point of view put forward still seems entirely incorrect to me, but the author did a good job of making the alternative reasoning more easy to understand. I cannot reply to the whole article here in the comment section, so I will probably write a Part II to this blog post, which will answer the points made in the article you linked to.

To reply to your comments though...
“Of course we are not justified by works, and I don't believe I said. I just quoted a verse, goshdernit.”

Well, I never said that you claimed that we are justified by works. I was just saying that if you can take “There is also an antitype which now saves us—baptism” to mean: physical baptism confers part of salvation/justification, then “Was not Abraham our father justified by works” must mean: good works also confers part of justification.

Just logical consequence, that's all. I think that both conclusions would be invalid from context and the rest of the Scripture.


“To not go into too much length, I agree with Calvin that circumcision and baptism and alike in every way, except for administration.”

If both are signs of a promise, or a covenant, which promises are they signs of? The rainbow represents a different promise than circumcision. So it's not enough to say “these both symbolize God's promise to us!” You must go on to answer “what realities and promises and convental benefits do each of these symbolize?”

If they symbolize different promises, then that's an important distinction which might also effect our understanding of who to bestow the symbol upon.


“And unfortunately you have given no verses that state that baptism belongs only to 'those who have repentance, faith, their sins washed away, salvation, are indwelt with the Holy Spirit, and have died to sin/been raised to newness of life.' You can't possibly pull that assertion from the texts; you can only make inferences”

I read through the verses which spoke of the symbolism of baptism. Those symbolic meanings were listed. Which verse do you disagree with me about (regarding interpretation)? And what verses can you show me, which list any other symbol?

If no other verse lists any other symbolic meaning of baptism, then we should stick with the claim that baptism only symbolizes the above mentioned promises and realities.


“Does God do nothing in the sacraments? If not, why not?”

I do not believe that this is relevant to the discussion at hand. :) I have thoughts, but don't want to start a whole new tangent.


“the context of the 1 Cor. passage clearly indicates that Paul is not barring any certain age group from the table, only those who would abuse the sacrament,”

Yes, but allowing a person who has never professed faith to take communion is abusing the sacrament. If you allow an adult human who has never professed faith to partake, it would be an abuse. If you allow a child human who has never professed faith to partake, it would be an abuse. Same thing. And yes, the unregenerate can eat and drink judgment to themselves, as you mentioned. But why let your children destroy themselves that way?

As a side note, I read through all of the verses mentioned in the article you linked to, and NOT ONE promises eternal life/regeneration to the children of believers. Once saved, always saved. Those children who “fall away” without ever making a confession of faith were... guess what: never saved.

Skarlet said...

Andre,

I just noticed that you posted:

"For in baptism God places His mark on an individual, and blesses them in ways not otherwise received"

But you see, you have given no evidence that DENIES the symbolic meaning of baptism as listed in the verses above (repentance, faith, cleansing of sin, salvation, etc).

And also, you have given no evidence that SPELLS OUT other symbols of meanings of baptism. For example, what verse says that baptism is symbolic of "a mark of an individual who may be elect or non-elect in the end" or "other blessings" ?

Your opinion is good and fine, but if you wish to persuade anyone else (or even defend your position as anything but man-centered and arbitrary) you will need to offer biblical grounding.

andre said...

I'm not denying that baptism means those things. In fact, I agree with you. But to make them into requirements for baptism is another matter, which I don't think the texts do, nor require.

And this isn't simply about just studying the word "baptism" as often as it appears in Scripture. Here's a great quote from Douglas Wilson:

"During my early years as a convinced baptist, my approach was the same as what I have heard numerous times from others. If you want to understand Christian baptism, the thinking goes, then simply look up every place that Scripture speaks to the subject—get a concordance and look up baptism, baptized, baptist, and so on. . . .We must also consider what the Bible teaches about children, generations, promises, covenants, olive trees, olive shoots, descendants. . ."

As for for second point, I'm not sure what you're quoting, but baptism does indeed carry various blessings to the individual. So says the WCF: "The efficacy of Baptism is not tied to that moment of time wherein it is administered; yet, notwithstanding, by the right use of this ordinance, the grace promised is not only offered, but really exhibited, and conferred, by the Holy Ghost, to such (whether of age or infants) as that grace belongs unto, according to the counsel of God's own will, in His appointed time."

Here are they proof-texts they supply: GAL 3:27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. TIT 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; EPH 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word. ACT 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.

andre said...

And out of curiosity, do you think the church got it wrong for 1500 years? I know you're are tackling the Reformed view of infant baptism here, but why not pick on the infant baptist views of the Anglicans, Episcopalians, Lutherans, Methodists, Eastern Orthodox, or the Roman church?

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Andre,

YES, the church has gotten it wrong for 1500 years! There is no infant baptism mentioned in the N.T. or early church (eisegesis is used to force infant baptism into "household" texts). So did the church have it wrong the first couple hundred years?

Infant baptism is wrong no matter what group does it, but the topic of THIS post is only Reformed.

andre said...

Glenn, what leads you to suppose that infant baptism only began to be the norm in the third/fourth century?

You would think that one of the early church councils would have denounced this "great error," right? Why do you suppose that a vast majority of Christians throughout history have held to infant baptism?

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Andre,

I have been reading works of the ante-Nicene Fathers and find nothing about infant baptism in their writings so far (I’m only up to the end of the 2nd century). I have a book titled, The Early Christians in Their Own Words, which says there is no evidence of infant baptism before the third century. So counting the Bible’s teaching which doesn’t have infant baptism, there 200 years before infant baptism is found.

The councils dealt with heresy, which was the reason they were called usually. and by the first time of the Council of Nicea, infant baptism had invaded the Church.

When you say “vast majority of Christians throughout history,” you have to be talking about the Romanist church and its protestant offsprings. They practiced it because the Pope declared it and for no other reason. Besides which, numbers do not determine truth.

The Christians before 200 A.D., as well as the persecuted anabaptists from then on, held to believer’s baptism - as to all baptist-type churches today.

Skarlet said...

Andre,

“I'm not denying that baptism means those things. In fact, I agree with you. But to make them into requirements for baptism is another matter, which I don't think the texts do, nor require.”

Regarding what baptism means, it is a sign of a covenant, and a covenant includes one or more promises. Generally, covenants are also conditional – both sides have a part to play. In the Old Covenant, for instance, there were many conditional promises, such as: if you obey me, I will bless you, if you disobey me, I will curse you (God speaking as “I”).

So, what is God's promise in the New Covenant? If we say “God's promise, as symbolizes by Baptism, is to save those who trust in Jesus as Lord and Savior,” then ALL of mankind is currently in that covenant. If the baptism only means that a person is included in the New Covenant, then all non-believers should be baptised as well because the same promise applies to them, namely that: “God promises to save those who trust in Jesus as Lord and Savior.”

But if we say, “No, rather, the baptism symbolizes that a person has already had faith and repentance, and now God promises that their sin is washed away and promises to save them to the uttermost,” then of course only believers are included in this Covenant.

Infants (who are under the promise of salvation if belief) would not be under the promise of “I WILL save you to the uttermost.” So if we just speak of option 1 – that the coventant symbolized is salvation if belief – then all non-believers including infants should be baptized. If we just speak of option 2 – that the covenant symbolized by baptism is that God promises to save that person – then only professing believers are in that covenant.

So then, when you say that you agree with me that baptism “means those things,” you must be agreeing with me that Baptism symbolizes the promises mentioned in option 2. And if you believe that Baptism symbolized that God WILL save that person, then it's a misapplication to try to apply that promise to those who not even claim to have met the condition of justification (which is faith).

“We must also consider what the Bible teaches about children, generations, promises, covenants, olive trees, olive shoots, descendants. . ."

Which I have. :)

“...but baptism does indeed carry various blessings to the individual.”

By “various” here, you must be referring to blessings other than salvation. You try to give proof verses, but...

GAL 3:27 “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.”

“Putting on Christ” speaks of salvation, not of a non-salvific blessing.

TIT 3:5 “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;”

This also says that God saved us (according to His mercy). This does not speak of any non-salvific blessing.

EPH 5:25 “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word.”

This speaks of Christ washing His church (us!) with the water of the Word of God. In other words, God uses Scriptures to sanctify and purity us. This is not referring to physical baptism.

ACT 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.”

People are baptized after repenting. Again, I do not see mention of any non-salvific blessing here.

So, I don't see where the proof verses even address the subject.

Skarlet said...

...

“And out of curiosity, do you think the church got it wrong for 1500 years? I know you're are tackling the Reformed view of infant baptism here, but why not pick on the infant baptist views of the Anglicans, Episcopalians, Lutherans, Methodists, Eastern Orthodox, or the Roman church?”

Well first of all, I think that all Christians who practice infant baptism are well-meaning, but mistaken. Praying for the dead might also be well-meaning, but it does no good, and it's a misunderstanding of true doctrine. Similarly, baptizing babies is well-intended, but does not good, and is based on a misunderstanding of the doctrine and symbolism of baptism.

The reason I specifically mentioned Reformed Infant Baptism, in *addition* to the other types, is that is makes less sense than that other types. There are five options of what baptism symbolizes here:

1 – Children of Believers (CoB) are promised extra grace, which makes it easier for them to be saved
2 – CoB are promised salvation
3 – God promises that He might save CoB (if they are elect, if they believe, He will save them. And
not all are elect and believe).
4 – God promises that no CoB will be saved
5 – Baptism represents promises of blessings not relating to salvation

Now, any but the Reformed view will see the first option as legitimate. In the Reformed view, 1 is not an option. In all views, number 2 is not an option that people believe in. Many CoB reject Christ and die in unbelief. In view 3, the promise would apply to everyone in the world, not just CoB. No one believes option 4. And finally, all of the verses speaking about the symbolism of Baptism contradict option number 5.

So, logically, there are no other options but the five I have listed: Will save, might save, will make salvation easier, won't save, or has nothing to do with saving. And the Reformed folks reject all five. Therefore, I understand their view LESS than I understand the view of folks who believe in option #1. You see?

andre said...

I Pick #2. See God's promise to Abraham, et al.

Skarlet said...

Andre,

Just to make I'm understanding you properly, you pick #2 - that God promises to save all the children of believers?

So you believe that no child of a believer is non-elect?

No child of a believer dies with repentance/faith?

And no Jews up to the time of Jesus (who were all sons of Abraham) went to hell?

andre said...

I chose #2, which stated "God promises salvation to children of believers"

"And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee" Gen. 17:7

"As for me, this is my covenant with them, saith the Lord; My spirit that is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed's seed, saith the Lord, from henceforth and for ever" Is. 59:21

"And David my servant shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes, and do them.

"And they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob my servant, wherein your fathers have dwelt; and they shall dwell therein, even they, and their children, and their children's children for ever: and my servant David shall be their prince for ever. Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them: and I will place them, and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore" Ez. 37:24-26

This promise belongs to God's people, but God's people can kick against, and break covenant with God. The whole blessings and curses thing.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Andre,

The Covenant with Abraham, and Israel, and David, had nothing to do with individual salvation. It is a covenant between God an his chosen people, ISRAEL!!! God chose Abraham for service, and Israel was the line he chose for service through Abraham, and David's line was chose for the special service of ruling the kingdom. It is not about salvation.

And that is a major problem with Reformed/replacement theology. They read into God's choosing for service as if it choosing for salvation.

andre said...

So many promises, Glenn...it all comes back to how we read Scirpture differently; dispensationally vs. covenantally.

When God makes an everlasting promise, the only one who can revoke this promise is God Himself. That's why these promises to our forefathers (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David, etc) are so precious for us. They still apply to us, because God promised that they would forever. And He never goes back on His promises. Let God be true, and every man a liar.

And God promised to circumcise Israel's hearts. Moses and the Israelites drank from the rock in the wilderness, and the rock was Christ.

If God promised to save Israel, which he did, to wed the prostitute as his bride, is not the group made up of individuals? And we are the new Israel, expanded and more glorified.

Skarlet said...

Andre,

I must say! This is quite the fascinating discussion.

“I chose #2, which stated 'God promises salvation to children of believers'”

Before I answer the verses that you have provided, let me spell out the issue here. There are three options:

A – God promises salvation conditionally (like the whole blessing and cursing thing was conditional), which means that those who do not meet the condition are not saved, but God still kept His promise.

B – God promises salvation conditionally within Himself – that is, He promises to save His secret elect only. So anyone who He does make meet that condition is not saved, and God still kept His promise.

C – God promises salvation unconditionally to those who already have met the condition of being a Child of a Believer. In this case, if the child of the believer goes to hell, God did not keep His promise.

Now, if you state that “A” or “B” is correct, then you really should have chose option 3 (not option 2) from the previous list, which states:

“3 – God promises that He might save CoB (if they are elect, if they believe, He will save them. And
not all are elect and believe).”

That's conditional.

Now, if you choose the third option, which is that God promises unconditionally to save the children of believers – THEN if any child of a believer ever goes to hell, God has broken His promise.

I believe that many children of believer die in unbelief, and that they go to hell. Do you disagree with that? Or do you believe that God has broken His promise? Or do you believe that the promise was conditional after all?

Skarlet said...

...

"And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee" Gen. 17:7

This promise is only that God will be God to him and his descendants. No promise of salvation.


"As for me, this is my covenant with them, saith the Lord; My spirit that is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed's seed, saith the Lord, from henceforth and for ever" Is. 59:21

This promise only says that him and his seed will have God's words in their mouth. Not that they will be saved.

Ez. 37:21-28 "...Thus says the Lord God: “Surely I will take the children of Israel from among the nations, wherever they have gone, and will gather them from every side and bring them into their own land; 22 and I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king over them all; they shall no longer be two nations, nor shall they ever be divided into two kingdoms again. 23 They shall not defile themselves anymore with their idols, nor with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions; but I will deliver them from all their dwelling places in which they have sinned, and will cleanse them. Then they shall be My people, and I will be their God.

24 “David My servant shall be king over them, and they shall all have one shepherd; they shall also walk in My judgments and observe My statutes, and do them. 25 Then they shall dwell in the land that I have given to Jacob My servant, where your fathers dwelt; and they shall dwell there, they, their children, and their children’s children, forever; and My servant David shall be their prince forever. 26 Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them, and it shall be an everlasting covenant with them; I will establish them and multiply them, and I will set My sanctuary in their midst forevermore. 27 My tabernacle also shall be with them; indeed I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 28 The nations also will know that I, the Lord, sanctify Israel, when My sanctuary is in their midst forevermore.”

This says that Israel will be one nation, on the physical mountains of Israel, and one King will reign over them, and they will not be two kingdoms anymore, and that they will not defile themselves with any transgressions – that they will do God's commands – and that God will cleanse them and be at peace with them, and that the tabernacle will be rebuilt.

Now, if you put this together with “For they are not all Israel who are of Israel,” from Romans, you will see that this either refers only to Israelites by blood, or else Israel that includes those who through faith are cleansed by God and at peace with Him (ie elect, believers, those who are born again, those who are justified). Neither option includes the non-jewish non-elect, who are “not of Israel” any way you slice the cake!

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Andre,

Yes, we have a different way of interpreting Scripture: I practice exegesis and you practice eisegesis.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

By the way, there is a saying in apologetics: "If it is new, it isn't true; if it is true, it isn't new."

Augustine was responsible for replacement theology; prior to that the church taught that the promises for Israel were still for Israel, etc. Augustine brought in NEW teachings.
http://www.carylmatrisciana.com/site/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=377:the-error-of-a-millennialism&catid=82:replacement-theology&Itemid=54

andre said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
andre said...

"Yes, we have a different way of interpreting Scripture: I practice exegesis and you practice eisegesis."

That you for that insightful comment, Glenn, you have dissolved my arguments with this one piercing sentence.

And I'll gladly join you in the case against amillenialism, as I am not one myself.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Andre,
There was more in that article than amillenialism. It was about replacement theology, which we indeed have debated.

And I have demonstrated, as has Skarlett, that you practice eisegesis to get replacement theology as well as infant baptism. The plain reading of the text will not support you.

andre said...

Neither will it support you. You have failed to provide a single verse that says children may not be baptized.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Andre,

ALL the passages discussing people being baptized are speaking of those who believed FIRST and THEN were baptized. Children cannot make choices of that nature. Since that would be obvious to anyone reading the text, there would be no need to specifically so state.

However, you also have failed to provide a single passage which says children ARE to be baptized and argue from silence. You claim "household" baptisms included children, yet the passages state that such households believed first, which would certainly imply these were people mature enough to make such decisions.

William Birch said...

I changed my mind on this issue -- from a credobaptist to an infant baptism view. I don't want to debate it, only leave a funny.

I'm convinced Jesus' disciples were credobaptists. Luke records, "People were bringing even infants to him [Jesus] that he might touch them; and when the disciples saw it, they sternly ordered them NOT to do it" (Luke 18:15 NRSV). :^)

Skarlet said...

Andre,

You wrote, "Neither will it support you. You have failed to provide a single verse that says children may not be baptized."

Can you provide any verses that say that adult non-believers may not be baptized?

Or that adult non-believers may not receive communion?

William Birch said...

Whoa ... that was supposed to read: "I HAVE NOT changed my mind on this issue -- from a credobaptist view to an infant baptism view." My mind was thinking faster than my hand could type. I just wanted to leave a credobaptist funny. L8R.

Skarlet said...

Billy, that's a weight off my mind! lol Yesterday I was busy thinking to myself, "I wonder what Billy thinks supports the Infant Baptism model?" I thought about emailing and asking to hear your thoughts.

William Birch said...

I do plan to revisit the subject, however. I've enjoyed the dialogue in this thread.

I bought Michael Green's "Baptism: Its Purpose, Practice, and Power," and Joachim Jeremias's "The Origins of Infant Baptism: A Further Study in Reply to Kurt Aland." (I heard Jeremias spanked Aland.)

I'm actually open to the idea of infant baptism, or at least, I'm trying to be open to and objective about the subject. We'll see.

andre said...

"Can you provide any verses that say that adult non-believers may not be baptized?"

Are you really asking this question??

Skarlet said...

Andre,

Yes, I'm really asking the question. From my point of view, the reason that a non-believing ADULT cannot is baptized is the same reason that a non-believing INFANT cannot be baptized. Babies are people too! :)

So, I say that non-believing adults cannot be baptized due to the symbolism of baptism, which includes regeneration, repentance, and salvation. Since they do not have those real life elements, it would be an abuse to give them the symbol of those elements.

You do not hold to the same reasoning. So what verses do you use to say that adult non-believers cannot be baptized, etc?

taufmantel said...

What a nice post. It is great to see some unique content and interesting read for once. There is too much rubbish cycling around the blogs now, so keep up the great work.

Lana said...

you have all kinds of people reading this blog. :) write something else. :P

nahidworld said...

nice and iomportant post of Baptism .thanks for sharing this post.

Gary said...

Baptists and evangelicals are absolutely correct...there is no SPECIFIC mention in the New Testament that the Apostles baptized infants. There are references to entire households being converted and baptized, but we orthodox cannot prove, just from Scripture, that these households had infants, and neither can Baptists and evangelicals prove, just from Scripture, that they did not.

One interesting point that Baptists/evangelicals should note is that although there is no specific mention of infant baptism in the Bible...neither is there a prohibition of infant baptism in the Bible. Christians are commanded by Christ to go into all the world and preach the Gospel and to baptize all nations. No age restrictions are mentioned. If Christ had intended his followers to understand that infants could not be baptized in the New Covenant, in a household conversion process as was the practice of the Jews of Christ's day in converting Gentile households to the Covenant of Abraham, it is strange that no mention is made of this prohibition.

So, the only real way to find out if Infant Baptism was practiced by the Apostles is to look at the writings of the early Christians, some of whom were disciples of the Apostles, such as Polycarp, and see what they said on this issue.

And here is a key point: Infant Baptism makes absolutely no sense if you believe that sinners can and must make an informed, mature decision to believe in order to be saved. Infants cannot make informed, mature decisions, so if this is the correct Doctrine of Justification/Salvation, Infant Baptism is clearly false teaching. But the (arminian) Baptist/evangelical Doctrine of Justification/Salvation is unscriptural. Being forced to make a decision to obtain a gift, makes the gift no longer free. This is salvation by works!

Baptism is a command of God. It is not a work of man. God says in plain, simple language, in multiple locations in the Bible, that he saves/forgives sins in Baptism. We orthodox Christians accept God's literal Word. We take our infants to be baptized because God says to do it. Our infants are not saved because we perform the act of bringing them to the baptismal font...they are saved by the power of God's Word pronounced at the time of the Baptism. Christians have believed this for 2,000 years!

There is no evidence that any Christian in the early Church believed that sinners are saved by making a free will decision and then are baptized solely as a public profession of faith. None.

Gary
Luther, Baptists, and Evangelicals
http://www.lutherwasnotbornagain.com/2013/06/the-origen-of-baptistevangelical.html

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

When the scripture talks about whole household baptisms, they also say they were converted. You can’t convert an infant, since they cannot understand. Ergo, no infants were baptized. History demonstrates that infant baptism was unknown in the early church, and only came about after the teaching of baptismal regeneration.

The Bible would not have mention of prohibiting or sanctioning of infant baptism, since it wouldn’t make sense to mention the obvious. Infants can’t accept the Faith or deny it. Baptism always followed profession of faith. To use your argument from silence to say infant baptism is okay is a total non sequitur logic fallacy.

You are teaching unbiblical baptismal regeneration. Baptism does not bring salvation. This teaching was propagated by Rome and continued by faux Romanists from the Reformation who didn’t reform far enough - Calvinists, Lutherans, Anglicans, etc.

Show me from scripture where God’s word pronounced by clergy while baptizing a baby saves that baby.

There is no evidence that any Christian in the early Church believed that sinners are saved by making a free will decision and then are baptized solely as a public profession of faith. None.

You are 100% in error with this statement. That is the ONLY teaching in the Bible and in the first century writings. And that is NOT “Arminianism.”

Gary said...

Something for Baptists and evangelicals to think about: the Baptist doctrine of the "Age of Accountability" is nowhere to be found in the New Testament.

Isn't it strange that God provided a means for the children of his chosen people in the Old Testament to be part of his Covenant promises but is completely silent about the issue in the New Testament?

Jesus seemed to really love the little children but then turns around and never mentions how a Christian parent can be assured that if something dreadful happens to their child, that they will see that child again in heaven.

If the Baptist doctrine of adult-only salvation is correct...that means that God left our children in spiritual limbo. One must pray to God that little Johnnie accepts Christ the very minute he reaches the Age of Accountability, because if something were to happen to him, he would be lost and doomed to hell.

Do you really think that our loving Lord and Savior would do that to Christian parents??

Dear Christian parents: bring your little children to Jesus! He wants to save them just as much as he wants to save adults! Bring your little children and babies to the waters of Holy Baptism and let Jesus SAVE them!

The unscriptural "Age of Accountability" is the desperate attempt to plug the big "hole" in the Baptist doctrine of Adult-only Salvation/Justification: how does Jesus save our babies and toddlers?

Gary
http://www.LutherWasNotBornAgain.com

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Gary,
Only people with the ability to reason can either accept or reject Christ as savior. They are baptized AFTER, they accept the faith.

No one has claimed only adults are saved - what we say is that baptizing children does not give them salvation nor does it affect them in any way.

I think the Bible demonstrates that children do indeed have an "age of accountability" but it would be different for every child, depending up when he is able to understand and make choices. Until such time, I think the Bible demonstrates that children are saved, and I make the case here:

http://watchmansbagpipes.blogspot.com/2011/04/what-about-babies-and-salvation.html

Gary said...

I'm talking about infants and toddlers who are not capable of making an informed decision on any spiritual matter. Your belief system has no means of salvation or safety for them.

It is pure speculation that God saves all babies just because he is "merciful". The Bible says that ALL have sinned and come short of the glory of God. All means all, my brother. We are conceived AS sinners--that is from the Bible.

All sinners need redemption and the forgiveness of sins to enter heaven...even babies, according to Scripture. Any attempt to wiggle out of that and say that God turns a blind eye to a babies sinful status and lets them into heaven anyway is nothing more than putting words in God's mouth!

The Baptist/evangelical belief in adult-only Justification/Salvation leaves our babies and toddlers in spiritual limbo.

Bring your babies and toddlers to Jesus! He wants to save them in the waters of Holy Baptism. Don't listen to the Baptists and evangelicals. Their doctrines were invented in western Europe 1,000-1,500 years after Christ.

No Christian in the first 800-1,000 years of Christianity ever heard of such an outrageous concept as that God provides no means for our babies and toddlers to be part of his covenant promises.

Ask Baptists and evangelicals for any historical evidence to prove otherwise and they will make up the most outrageous excuses for why their belief system has no evidence to support its existence in the Early Christian Church. They will end up giving the same excuses that the Mormons and JW's give: we know it is true because our interpretation of the Bible clearly tells us it is true. All three are lies of the devil, only the Mormons and JW's are non-Christian cults and the Baptists and evangelicals are Christians, just misguided Christians.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Gary,
If you looked at the link I posted, I certainly prove that we do indeed have a means of safety and salvation. YOU think just because a child is sprinkled with water that makes him saved, and that is totally unbiblical. You teach baptismal regeneration.

You don't demonstrate understanding of what I wrote about God's mercy or the fact that we are born with a sinful nature but babies and infants can't sin - since sin is rebellion against God and they don't know enough to rebel.

To claim that babies/infants are saved by baptism is much more ridiculous than my demonstration from Scripture as to why they are saved without baptism. Baptism provides no salvific benefit - none, nada. That doctrine is what was invented a couple centuries after Christ - and invention of man. Nowhere in the history of the early church will you find infants being baptized.

Gary said...

The reason you don't understand the Doctrine of Baptism is because you do not understand the Doctrine of Faith. Is faith something the sinner makes a decision to receive or is faith something God gives as a free gift? The Bible says it is a free gift. A free gift does not require your decision before it is yours. God can give his free gift when he chooses, how he chooses and to whom he chooses.

Here is something for you to think about: What cured/washed away the disease of Naaman of Syria in the OT? His decision to go down to the Jordan or the power of God working in and through the water?

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Gary,
The "free gift" of Eph. 2:8-9 is grace. We are all given the faith to accept or reject God, and it is our responsibility to exercise that faith.

It appears you are the one with the bad doctrine, as demonstrated by your continued insistence that baptism provides salvation.

In the O.T. example, it was his faith. The water did nothing; it was merely the tool used to demonstrate his faith.

Gary said...


Ephesians 2:8-9 ESV

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

FAITH is the gift. It is not a faith that the sinner produces himself by his own intelligence and maturity. It is a faith, not of his own doing, it is a gift of God, not of works, lest HE or any other sinner may boast (of HIS faith).

The Bible says in the second chapters of both Ephesians and Colossians that the sinner is spiritually dead. Dead men don't make decisions. If God gives him the ability to choose to "accept" or reject him, then that sinner is no longer spiritually dead, but spiritually alive, alive in Christ. How can a sinner be alive in Christ?

Please provide the Scripture verse that says that God makes sinners just enough spiritually alive that they can make a decision and if they reject God, then they go back to being fully spiritually dead.

Gary said...

Regarding Naaman: If Naaman had prayed a prayer to God and said..."God I believe that you are the one, true God. I place my faith in you. Forgive me of my sins. Save my soul right now. I choose to make you my God and follow your ways." But he refused to follow God's command to go down to the Jordan and dip in the water...would he have been healed/saved?

Gary said...

"In the O.T. example, it was his faith. The water did nothing; it was merely the tool used to demonstrate his faith."

No, the water was the tool to demonstrate the power of the Word of God. Naaman was NOT saved by HIS faith, he was saved by the power of the Word of God, working in and through the water.

Yes, Naaman received the gift of healing through faith. Man is always saved by the power of the Word of God, received in faith. Without faith there is no salvation. Faith is always necessary in salvation, but faith is given as a gift from God, not of our work to produce it, and salvation always occurs by God's grace through the power of his spoken Word.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

I discovered why you read the Bible the way you do, and the reason for your belief in baptismal regeneration. You converted to Lutheranism, which is nothing but Roman Catholicism without a pope. That's the trouble with Luther - he didn't reform far enough. Your beliefs came from Augustine, not the Bible.

Gary said...

Yes, we Lutherans in the 1500's wanted to return the Catholic (universal Christian) Church to the beliefs of the Early Christians of the first three centuries after Christ.

Luther never prayed the Sinner's Prayer in a Baptist/evangelical adult born again experience, what he realized in reading Romans is that salvation really is FREE. God gives it freely. We do not have to do good works to assist or complete our salvation, as the Church of Rome was teaching at the time.

The doctrines of Lutheranism can be found in Scripture and confirmed in the writings of the early Christians.

The Baptist doctrine that a sinner has the ability to choose righteousness in a "decision for Christ" and the idea that baptism only serves the purpose of an act of obedience/public profession of faith cannot be found in Scripture nor in the writings of the early Christians.

I would be interested in your answers to my above questions. Instead of answering them, you attacked me. Please answer the questions.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Lutheranism just returned to 4th century Christianity, not the 1st. As noted, it is just Augustinianism and Romanism without a pope.

The Bible is what says the sinner has the responsibility to chose to accept Christ or reject him. Exercising one's faith is not a work. I used to be a Lutheran so I know very well Lutheranism - and my wife grew up in the Lutheran church.

I'm not playing your game on this post of answering your questions. Stick to the topic of the post.

Gary said...

Where in the Bible does it say that the sinner has the ability to choose or accept Christ?

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

All over the place. But that is not the topic of this post.

Gary said...

Dear readers of this blog:

There is NOWHERE in Scripture that states that sinners have the ability to make a decision whether or not to become righteous.

There is N0WHERE in Scripture that says that God gives sinners, who are spiritually dead in their sins, faith to make a decision.

What Scripture DOES say is that God gives his free gift of faith to sinners that he has predestined before the world existed to be his, then at a time of his choosing, he makes them spiritually alive and they believe, they are saved.

There is NOWHERE in Scripture that supports the Baptist belief that babies and infants are held unaccountable before God for the original sin that they inherited from Grandfather Adam. The Bible says "ALL have sinned and come short of the glory of God." All means all unless Baptists want to claim that God allowed yet another passage of Scripture to be mistranslated.

The Baptist/evangelical beliefs on Justification and Baptism were unknown to any early Christian, including the Apostles and their disciples. It is a Western European invention of the sixteenth century. It is false doctrine.

Gary said...

I completely agree with you, and so would Martin Luther, that we are saved by faith. The million dollar question is: how is faith produced/given? Does the sinner use his intelligence and maturity to make a "decision" to have faith or does God give faith as a free gift to the sinner?

If a gift is free, the recipient doesn't need to make a decision for it to be his. He doesn't need to ask for it, say a prayer for it, or make a decision to be baptized to obtain it. THE GIFT IS ALREADY HIS!

The Bible says that God gives the free gift of faith and salvation through only ONE means: through the power of the Word of God. So if it is God who is doing the saving, not dependent on any action or decision of man, God can save anyone, anytime, anywhere, and AT ANY AGE. The Bible teaches, and Christians have always believed since the Apostles, that God saves in two situations:

1. When an adult/older child hears the Gospel and God quickens them, gives them faith, and they believe.

2. When the infants/young children of converts and the infants/young children of Christian parents are brought to baptism and are saved by the power of God's spoken Word.

So should we go out and run all our non-believing neighbors under a garden hose to save them? No. The Bible does not teach this, nor has the Church ever taught this.

Baptists and orthodox Christians have been debating Scripture over this issue for almost 500 years. We will never reach agreement on this issue unless we do one thing:

Both groups should agree to look at the beliefs of the early Christians in the first three centuries after Christ and see what they believed. Can Baptists find ANY historical evidence that ANY Christian on earth in the first three centuries after Christ believed that baptism is simply and only an act of obedience/public profession of faith and that in baptism God does NOT forgive sins?

We have letters/writings from some of the disciples of the Apostles; NONE of them say anything even remotely close to the Baptist belief regarding baptism. Is it really possible that the true Gospel died with the Apostles, only to be resurrected 1,000-1,500 years later when baptistic believers "re-discovered" it???

You are intelligent people. How is it possible that there is not one single letter or document from the early Church that supports the Baptist position on Baptism?

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Gary,
Don't misrepresent what I said.

We don't have a choice to become righteous - we have the choice whether or not to accept the gift of salvation offered us in Christ. God doesn't force us to choose Christ - we have to choose to follow him.

Lutheranism is virtually identical to Calvinism, since both follow the doctrines of Augustine which claims we are unable to seek God on our own. However, the Scripture is rife with passages telling us to seek God, and that would be all lies if we are unable to do so. The N.T. is rife with passages telling us to place our faith in Christ, and if we are unable to do so, then they are all lies.

Nowhere in the BIble does it say that babies are condemned to hell without baptism, which is what my Lutheran pastor told me. I posted a link to my article demonstrating from Scripture that the Bible does indeed teach that children don't know right from wrong before a certain age, and that they are not condemned for this. God is not an unmerciful judge who says you go to hell just because you were too young to learn about Christ or even know what sin is. Baptism in Scripture was never taught as being salvific. That is heretical - it is making baptism a work for salvation.

It is the Lutheran/Calvinist version of Justification and baptism which was unheard of before the 4th century, and nowhere found in the Bible.

Take your Lutheranism elsewhere.

Gary said...

Romans 3:9-11 ESV

9 What then? Are we Jews[a] any better off?[b] No, not at all. For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin, 10 as it is written:

“None is righteous, no, not one;
11 no one understands;
no one seeks for God.
12 All have turned aside; together they have become worthless;
no one does good,
not even one.”

"Not even one" includes everyone. Every man, woman and child on planet earth is born into sin. There is none righteous, no not one.

Gary said...


Ephesians 2:1-5 ESV

2 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body[a] and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.[b] 4 But[c] God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—

"When we were dead in our trespasses, God made us alive." There is nothing in that verse that says anything about making a decision to be alive, or "accept Christ", or "make a decision for Christ", or "ask Christ into your heart"

God does the saving and he does it without the sinner's assistance or even his cooperation. That is the Word of God. Please provide Scripture which says that the sinner can choose righteousness in a Baptist/evangelical decision for Christ.

Gary said...

Colossians 2:13-14 ESV

And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, 14 by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.

Again, nothing mentioned about a decision.

God makes you alive and you believe. Period.

Please provide scripture to the contrary.

Gary said...


Romans 5:12 (ESV)

12 Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men[a] because all sinned—

"Death spread to all men"--I don't see any exceptions in that verse, unless you want to try and say that only men inherit sin from Adam, women, infants, toddlers and adolescents are exempt, and if they die, God does not hold them accountable.

A righteous God cannot tolerate sin. ALL humanity is under the curse. We are born in sin, "in sin did my mother conceive me".

The Baptist Age of Accountability is an invention to plug the big hole in the Baptist adult-only plan of Salvation. Without this made-up doctrine, there remains no means of salvation for our infants and toddlers in this sixteenth century theology.

"Suffer the babes to come to Jesus" as the Gospel of St. Luke states. Bring your babies and toddlers to the waters of baptism and Jesus promises to save them!

Gary said...

Baptists and evangelicals are right. Baptism is a work...a work of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost.

If God requires you to make a decision before he gives you the free gift of faith and salvation, then the gift is no longer free! "Decision Theology" is a theology of Synergism: Man assists/cooperates with God in his salvation.

Dear Christian brothers and sisters, God doesn't need your help to save you! Follow his commands and he promises to save you!

-Believe!
-Repent!
-be Baptized

That is how to become a disciple of Jesus Christ. That is how it has been since the days of the Apostles. You won't find the words "make a decision for Christ" or "accept Christ into your heart ANYWHERE in the Bible!

Believe, Repent, be Baptized!

"Why do you tarry, arise and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling upon the name of the Lord."

Christians have always believed that there have always been two ways into God's covenant: an adult sinner believes and is saved. His infants are brought into the covenant in Holy Baptism.

In both instances it is God who saves, the convert only obeys God's commands and lets God do the saving! God saves all by himself. He doesn't need nor will he allow a sinner's "decision" to help save him.

God bless you all and help you to see the true, 2,000 year old Gospel of the Christian faith.

Gary said...

"There is no other repentance than that which takes place, when we descended into the water and received the remission of our former sins." Hermas (circa 150)

"But there is no other way than this: to become acquainted with this Christ; to be washed in the fountain spoken of by Isaiah for the remission of sins." St Justin Martyr (circa 160)

"Christ has redeemed us by being crucified on the tree and by purifying us with water." St Justin Martyr (circa 160)

"The things proceeding from the waters were blessed by God, that this also could be a sign of men being destined to receive repentance and remission of sins, through the water and bath of regeneration- as many as come to the truth and are born again." Theophilus (circa 180)

"When we come to refute them [the Gnostics], we will show in its proper place that this class of men have been instigated by Satan to a denial of that baptism which is regeneration to God. Thus, they have renounced the whole faith. For the baptism instituted by the visible Jesus was for the remission of sins." St Irenaeus (circa 180)

"Man, with respect to that formation which was after Adam, having fallen into transgression, needed the bath of regeneration. Therefore, the Lord said of [the blind man] after He had smeared his eyes with the clay, ‘Go to Siloam and wash.’ By this means, He restored to him both confirmation and regeneration that takes place by means of the bath." St Irenaeus (circa 180)

"Scripture says, ‘And he dipped himself seven times in the Jordan.’ It was not for nothing that Naaman of old, when suffering from leprosy, was a symbol for us. For as we are lepers in sin, we are made clean from our old transgressions by means of the sacred water and the invocation of the Lord. We are spiritually regenerated as new-born babes, just as the Lord has declared: ‘Unless a man is born again through water and the Spirit, he will not enter into the kingdom of heaven.’" Irenaeus (circa 180)

"Being baptized, we are illuminated. Illuminated, we become sons. This work is variously called grace, illumination, perfection, and washing. Washing, by which we cleanse away our sins. Grace, by which the penalties accruing to the transgressions are remitted. Illumination, by which that holy light of salvation is beheld, that is, by which we see God clearly." Clement of Alexandria (circa 195)

© John J. Bombaro, PhD, 2011

"And he who has just been regenerated- as the name necessarily indicates- and has been enlightened, is immediately delivered from darkness, and instantly receives the light… Thus, also, we who are baptized, having wiped off the sins that obscure the light of the Divine Spirit, have the eyes of the spirit free, unimpeded, and full of light, by which alone we contemplate the Divine, the Holy Spirit flowing down to us from above." Clement of Alexandria (circa 195)

"John prophesied up until the baptism of salvation." Clement of Alexandria (circa 195)

"Happy is our sacrament of water, in that, by washing away sins of our early blindness, we are set free and admitted into eternal life . . . We, like little fishes, after the example of our Ichthus, Jesus Christ, are born in water." Tertullian (circa 198)

"Oh, miserable unbelief that denies to God His own properties, simplicity, and power! What then? Is it too wonderful that death should be washed away by washing?" Tertullian (circa 198)

St Irenaeus (d. 202) remarks, "For He came to save all through means of Himself all, I say, who through Him are born again to God, infants, and children, and boys, and youths, and old men" (Against Heresies, Book 1, Ch. 22.4).

In his commentary on Romans, Origin (d. 254) writes, "The Church has received from the apostles the custom of administering baptism even to infants."




Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Gary,
Thank you for being rude and inundating this site like a troll.

No one disputes that everyone is unrighteous before God. The dispute is whether or not children are saved by baptism. The fact is that they are not. It is nowhere found in the Bible or the teaching of the church fathers prior to the 3rd-4th century.

Everywhere in the N.T. it says that the individual has to give personal assent to believe Christ died for their sin. God offers the gift of salvation by His grace, but it is up to us to personally accept it. The gift is free. Just like a birthday gift - I don't pay for it, but if I don't take it then the gift remains there untaken.

Everywhere in Scripture it shows that the person first repents and places his faith in Christ and THEN is baptized. Infants cannot do that. Yet you lie and continue to claim we have salvation only for adults, even though I gave good biblical reasons in the article I linked which demonstrate why children are saved.

Now take your trolling twisting of Scripture elsewhere.

Gary said...

Are you Skarlet? Are you a "young Christian woman"? Are you the owner of this blog? When the owner of this blog tells me to stop posting comments, I will. Otherwise, I am practicing my right of Free Speech. I am preaching the Gospel, as taught by the Apostles and the earliest of Christians in the first 300 years of Christianity, as I have shown in a post above.

You, Glen, have given no Scripture verses to back up your belief that a decision is always required for salvation. Show us a verse of Scripture that says so! Explain to us how the baby John the Baptist received the Holy Ghost without making an informed "decision".

The Bible, if read literally, says that God saves by the power of his Word. And through the power of his Word, God can save when he wants, how he wants, and who he wants.

The Bible says that God uses his Word to save in two situations:

1. When an adult sinner hears the Word and is saved by the quickening of the Holy Spirit. He is saved immediately upon being quickened and believing. Period. He is saved without a decision. He is saved WITHOUT baptism.

2. God clearly states in multiple passages of Scripture that he washes away sins/forgives sins/ and saves in water baptism.

You and other Baptists and evangelicals only believe the first group of verses literally. You explain away the second group to mean something completely different than the plain, simple, literal text states.

You can call me a troll all you want. I will not stop preaching the Gospel until I am "thrown out" as was Paul. But you will have to be the owner of this blog and not an angry Ana-Baptist who can't defend his false doctrines.



Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Gary,
No, I’m not the owner of this blog. But I have asked you as a Christian brother to cease an desist from behaving as a troll and preaching Lutheranism rather than just addressing the subject of this post. You are not preaching the gospel as it was taught for the first 300 years, rather you preach Augustine’s version and Rome’s version brought in later.

God gives EVERYONE the knowledge of Himself, including “that which is known about God” (Rom. 1:19-20). Other passages point out that the knowledge of God is indisputable among men: Ps. 19:1; Eccl. 3:11b; Acts 14:17, 24-28; Job 12:7-8. We can and should understand God - Jer. 9:24.

It is the power of God’s Word which is given to us IF we seek God - nowhere in Scripture does it say God forces salvation on anyone - it is always a choice.

Scripture is rife with passages which say we are to seek God:
Deut. 4:29 - "But if from thence thou shalt seek the LORD they God, thou shalt find him,
if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul."
1 Chron. 16:11 – “seek his face”
1 Chron. 28:9 - “If you seek Him, He will be found by you”
2 Chron. 15:2 – “If you seek him…” Many more in 2 Chron.
Ps. 9:10 – “those who seek you”
Ps. 22:26 – “they who seek the Lord”
Ps. 34:10 – “those who seek the Lord”
Ps. 40:16 – “all who seek you”
Ps. 69:6 – “may those who seek you”
Ps. 119:10 – “I seek you with all my heart”
Is. 55:6 - “Seek the Lord while He may be found”
Jer. 29:13 - "And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me
with all your heart."
Hos. 10:12 – “it is time to seek the Lord”
Zeph. 2:3 - “Seek the Lord”
Acts 17:27 - “so that they should seek the Lord”
2 Cor. 3:12-18 - “Whoever turns to the Lord”
Heb. 11:6 - “He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him”

Passages are rife which say those who CHOOSE are those who are saved:
Ezra 8:22 – “everyone who looks to him”
Ps. 86:5 – “all who call to you”
Isa. 53:6 – “We all…have gone astray…laid on him the iniquity of us all”
Joel 2:32 - “Whoever calls on the name of the Lord”
Mark 16:15-16 – “all creation” and “whoever believes”
John 1:12 – “all who received him”
John 3:16-17 – “whoever believes” and “to save the world”
John 3:36 – “whoever believes”
John 5:24 – “whoever believes”
John 6:40 - "that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him"
John 6:47 – “he who believes”
John 7:37-38 – “If anyone is thirsty…Whoever believes”
John 11:26 - “and whoever lives and believes in me”
John 12:26 - “whoever serves me…My Father will honor the one who serves me”
John 20:31 – “by believing you may have life”
Acts 2:38 – “every one of you”
Acts 10:34-35 - “God does not show favoritism, but accepts men from every nation who fear Him”
Acts 10:43 – “everyone who believes”
Acts 13:38-39 - “I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. Through him everyone who believes is justified”
Acts 16:31 – “Believe…and you will be saved.”
Acts 17:30 – “all people everywhere”
Rom. 1:16 – “salvation of everyone who believes”
Rom. 3:22 - “This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.”
Rom. 5:18 - “the free gift came to all men”
Rom. 10:4 - “Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.”
Rom. 10:9 – “If you confess…and believe”
Rom. 10:13 – “Everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord”
1 Cor. 1:21 – “those who believe”
1 Tim. 1:15 – Christ came to save “sinners” (re. Rom. 3:23 all have sinned)
1 Tim. 1:16 – “those who would believe”
1 Tim. 2:4-6 – “who wants all men to be saved”… “a ransom for all men”
Titus 2:11 - “For the grace of God has appeared bringing salvation to all men”
Heb. 2:9 - “might taste the death for everyone”
2 Pet. 3:9 – “not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance”
1 John 2:2 - “propitiation for…the whole world”
1 John 4:14 – “Savior of the world”
1 John 4:15 - "Whosoever shall confess"
1 John 5:1 – “Everyone who believes”
Rev. 22:17 – “whoever is thirsty” “whoever wishes”

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Man does have the ability to choose to follow God:
Josh. 24:15: Choose to serve God.
2 Chron. 15:2 – “If you seek him…but if you forsake him” indicates choice
Ezra 8:22 – “everyone who looks to him” vs “all who forsake him” indicates choice
Ps. 10:4 – “does not” indicates choice not to seek God.
Ps. 86:5 – one chooses whether to call on God
Jeremiah 29:13 – choice of seeking God
Mark 16:16 – “whoever believes” and “whoever will not believe” indicates choice between the two
Luke 8:12 - The devil must prevent them from believing
John 1:12 – choice to receive or not
John 3:16-18 – “whoever believes” vs “whoever does not believe” indicates choice
John 3:36 – “whoever believes” vs “whoever rejects” indicates choice
John 5:24 – “whoever…believes” is a choice
John 5:40 – “you refuse to come to me”; refusal is a choice
John 20:31 – “by believing” indicates choice
Acts 16:31 – “Believe…” is choice
Acts 17:30 – choice of repenting
Rom. 1:16 – “to everyone who believes” makes it a matter of choice
1 Cor. 15:1-2 – the Gospel was received and taken a stand for, i.e. choice
2 Cor. 4:4 – Unbelievers must be blinded so they can’t choose
1 Tim. 1:16 – “those who would believe” vs those who wouldn’t is choice
Heb. 11:6 – must believe God exists, which means he must have the ability to believe or not
1 Pet. 3:1 – the husband has a choice to become a believer
Rev. 22:17 – “whoever wishes” indicates choice


WE choose, we profess, and by doing so we are saved. Rom 10:9. No baptism required. None, nada. What if I as a pagan one night in a motel decide that my life is the pits and I want a change. I happen to pick up the Gideons Bible and read the NT, become convicted of my sinful nature, bow before God confessing my sins, repent of my sinful life, and confess that Jesus will now be my lord and savior and that I know he died and was raised from the dead to pay for my sins. I get up feeling a load off my shoulders, that my life does have a purpose - to glorify God. I see it is 4AM and decide to walk across the street for a doughnut. BAM - I’m hit by a truck and die. Am I saved? YES. Was I baptized? NO. Baptism has no salvific value. It is only a symbol of the union with Christ.

And I am not an ana-baptist. I am a biblical Christian - not a Christian who places his faith more in the traditions and teachings of men like Luther and Augustine.

Gary said...

Dear Christian brother, you are obviously not reading my comments in their entirety. Let me be very succinct so hopefully you will read all of this comment.

Salvation comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. THAT is how we are saved. By the power of God's Word.

So you are 100% correct, the man in the example above who reads the Word (left by the Gideons) is SAVED the second he believes. If he dies before being baptized he will go to heaven. Why? Because of all the verses you mention above: if a sinner believes, calls, confesses Jesus Christ as Lord...he is saved!

Orthodox Christians, including Lutherans, have NEVER said that baptism is MANDATORY for salvation. Many believers have died before the opportunity to be baptized and we believe are in heaven with Christ at this very moment.

The question is: is God limited to WHEN he can use the Word to save sinners? Why are there so many verses that if read literally sure sound as if God forgives sins and saves in water baptism?

Could it be possible that God forgives sins in BOTH situations?? That is what I ask you to consider.

The Bible may sound to you like the sinner has a choice to seek righteousness, but the Bible very clearly in Ephesians, Colossians, and Romans says that sinner's are spiritually dead and cannot seek God. They can make a decision against God, but they are not capable, according to Scripture, to made a decision FOR God.

You keep saying that there is no evidence of Lutheran/orthodox beliefs in the early Church of the first 300 years after Christ. I will post again a link to a LONG list of quotes from the early Christians that agree with orthodox doctrine.

Please provide ANY historical evidence that ANY Christian in the first 300 years after Christ believed that baptism is only an act of obedience/public profession of faith.

Let's both calm down and LISTEN to each other. We both might learn something.

Gary said...

Link to statements by Early Christians on Baptism:

http://www.lutherwasnotbornagain.com/2013/06/the-early-church-fathers-believed-in.html

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Gary,

I am indeed reading your comments and find nothing but Lutheran doctrine. As I said, I used to be a Lutheran, and I taught the Catechism classes.

If baptism isn’t mandatory for salvation, then why baptize infants? What purpose does it serve? All examples from Scripture show that the person first accepted the faith and THEN was baptized. Just speaking Bible words over the infant doesn’t mean the God’s word is magically absorbed by the infant.

The very few passages discussing baptism with salvation are not speaking of the baptism itself giving salvation, rather the process leading up to the baptism. Baptism is spoken of as the completion of the processes of repentance and placing one’s faith in the work of Christ.

Again you misrepresent me, and I wonder if it’s intentional. I have never said a sinner has a choice to seek righteousness yet you keep saying that. I said a sinner has a choice to seek after God. If a person seeks the true God, scripture says “If you seek me you will find me.” God will honor those who seek Him (Heb. 11:6) by giving them more faith and the Word of God will grow to the point of placing one’s faith in the Work of Christ.

I looked at your list, and the very first item had nothing to do with baptism! I had to chuckle at that. But the rest say nothing about baptismal regeneration.. They say exactly what I’ve been saying, that the baptism is the symbol, “the seal” of what took place prior to it. Without repentance and faith in Christ, dunking someone in water does nothing for them. Notice that it’s towards the end of the 2nd century when “baptism which is regeneration to God” is mentioned, but the context appears to be baptism of the Spirit - which happens at the moment of salvation. Or, as stated previously, the context is the actions on the part of the person being baptized prior to the actual baptism. The baptism is the symbol, the seal. Nowhere do these men say anything about an unrepentant, unbeliever being baptized to regenerate them. Baptism by itself does nothing, which is why baptizing an infant does nothing.

The Didache, which was the first writing cited, actually gives rules for baptism which could not be followed by infants; it says that “All those who are convinced that what we say and teach is the truth have the faith [i.e., have salvation] and pledge themselves that they will have the strength to live accordingly. (Anyone who accepts baptism must feel the power [i.e. the Holy Spirit] in him to overcome himself.) All those who confess this [cf Rom. 10:9] are led to prayer. Fasting, they ask God’s forgiveness for their past sins. We also pray and fast with them. THEN we lead them to a place where there is water. They are born again.” [my emphasis. “born again” i.e., they are dunked and resurrect] It further states, “Furthermore, the washing of the one who is enlightened is also done in the name of Jesus Christ...” The one who is “enlightened,” i.e., the one who has received the Gospel and accepted it.

There is no scriptural warrant for baptizing infants. NONE. And you have yet to show me evidence of such before the third century.

Gary said...

Brother, if you can read all those quotes from the early Christians which I posted above and not see that they are talking about WATER baptism...it is a waste of our time to continue talking. "Water, water, water..." is mentioned repeatedly. Water means water. Is means is! Who are you, Bill Clinton?

As for the Didache quote: It says not to allow non-baptized persons to receive the Lord's Supper, inferring that they are still the equivalent to unclean dogs. I think it is obvious: Baptism will make the unclean "dogs" worthy to receive the Lord's Supper.

Of course the instructions for baptism in the Didache speak about adult baptism. The overwhelming majority of the converts in the early centuries of the Church were adults. Notice this however, there is no mention in the Bible or in the early Church that infants should NOT baptized, except for Tertullian, who had reasons that had nothing to do with the denunciation of baptismal regeneration. The reason that infant baptism is not mentioned is that every knew that was how households converted!

By the way, I love it when Baptists quote the Didache. The Didache also discusses the mode of baptism. What is the PREFERRED mode?: immersion in LIVING water, such as in a river or lake. However, pouring is an acceptable alternative.

A lot of Baptist churches need to get rid of their baptismal tanks if they want to follow the preferred method of baptism and use "living" water.

There is no mention in the Bible of women being allowed to partake of the Lord's Supper. Should we ban women from the Lord's Supper?

Here is an interesting note: No where in the New Testament do we see even one child of Christian parents undergo a "born again" conversion and then be baptized. Never. Not even with Timothy.

Gary said...

Acts 2:38-42 (ESV)

38 And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.” 40 And with many other words he bore witness and continued to exhort them, saying, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.” 41 So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.

It takes a pretty big stretch of the imagination to believe that this text is talking about a spiritual baptism and not water baptism. Most Baptists and evangelicals I talk to believe that this passage IS talking about water baptism. The problem, they say, is that the translation is incorrect or the sentence structure in English is incorrect.

Many Baptists/evangelicals believe that the "for" in verse 38 was mistranslated. It should have been translated as "because".

I believe that when God promised to preserve his Word he didn't just mean he would preserve it in the original Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek on 2,000 year old papyrus and parchment, but he would preserve his words/the message of the Gospel in the common languages of the people of the world, for all ages

There is no translation of the Bible on planet earth that uses "because" instead of "for" in Acts 2:38!

But for argument sake, let's say that these Baptists/evangelicals are correct. Let's replace the "for" in verse 38 in Acts chapter 2 with "because". What do we get:

"Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ BECAUSE OF the forgiveness of your sins and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit."

So to paraphrase: Your sins are already forgiven, so repent and be baptized and then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit??? Do Baptists and evangelicals really believe that sinner's have already had their sins washed spotless in the blood of the Lamb, their sins have already been forgiven prior to repenting? Now they just need to repent and be baptized in water to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost???

See what happens when we start questioning God's choice of words?

Wouldn't it be better to just believe the plain, simple reading of God's Word and THEN establish your doctrine? Baptists and evangelicals cannot read this passage and believe the simple English because they have already made up their minds that water baptism cannot be involved in any way with salvation.

Gary said...

By the way, Glen, in which Lutheran Church did you teach Catechism?

I became Lutheran first in the ELCA. They didn't teach me diddlee-squat! It is a liberal church that no longer emphasizes doctrine.

I am now in the Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod which holds to the ancient doctrines of the Early Church and upholds traditional Christian values. I would encourage you to take another look at Lutheranism:

www.lcms.org

The Piper's Wife said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Gary,

It really gets frustrating when you continue to misrepresent what I have written. Let me clarify again:

Notice that it’s towards the end of the 2nd century when “baptism which is regeneration to God” is mentioned, but the context appears to be baptism of the Spirit - which happens at the moment of salvation.

Nowhere in this statement was I discussing biblical passages. I was directing this comment to the citations you pointed to, and it was THOSE passages which, in context, appear to be talking about baptism in the Spirit. Not all those passages mentioned water, and in those that did there was no intimation that it was the water itself which saved them.

Non-baptized persons were considered not Christians for one reason - IF you are a Christian, you will be baptized. If a person claimed to be a believer and had not yet been baptized, then there would be a question as to whether he actually accepted the faith.

You make your argument for infant baptism from silence - that the Scriptures don’t speak against it, nor did the Didache speak against it. That’s like saying Jesus never said anything about homosexuality. Household conversions would by default mean adults since only adults can assent to faith. It did NOT mean infants were baptized. That is the only thing paedobaptists have - a claim that household conversions included baptizing infants. Pshah.

As for the mode of baptism in “living water,” continue to read. It says “if you have no living water, baptize in other water. If you cannot baptize in cold water, baptize in warm water. But if you do not have either, pour out water three times upon the person’s head in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.” Not every church has a viable river or creek nearby and so resort to “other water.”

There is no mention in Scripture of women NOT participating in the Lord’s Supper - the whole assembly participated and that would be understood. You are being foolish now.
Children are not mentioned for the most part in any of the N.T. letters, so you again argue from silence, with a nonsensical argument.

My wife was raised LCMS. When we began worshiping at an assembly 12 years after our marriage (I worked Sundays prior to that), we worshiped at LCMS because in my research I found them to be much closer to N.T. teachings than other mainline denominations, and the ELCA was never considered due to their very liberal ideology. We spent 8 years before I was fed up with tradition over the Bible. The LCMS is still too close to Romanism for my tastes, with their baptismal regeneration and consubstantiation, let alone the other Augustinian ideas.

Gary said...

Dear Brother,

You I and will never be able to reach agreement on infant baptism until we reach agreement on the core issue: What is the purpose of Christian water baptism?

If Baptists/evangelicals are correct, that water baptism is ONLY for the purpose of an act of obedience/public profession of faith, then I will be happy to declare to the world that infant baptism is unscriptural.

Why don't we do this. Let's look at all passages that mention Christian baptism in the New Testament, starting right after the resurrection---the beginning of the Christian era, and see if we can come to agreement on what the purpose of Christian water baptism really is. Let's start with Pentecost, in the second chapter of Acts. I will post it below, and you tell me what you believe the passage says. Ok?

Gary said...


Acts 2:37-41 (ESV)

Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” 38 And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.” 40 And with many other words he bore witness and continued to exhort them, saying, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.” 41 So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Gary,
The purpose of Christian baptism is the symbol of accepting the faith, a seal of our faith in public proclamation. It has no saving value.
(By the way, my last Lutheran pastor said that unbaptized babies, including those aborted, go to hell. That is the logical end of claiming baptism has saving value.)

I'm going to play your game with the first passage, and then I'm finished. These passages have been responded to probably thousands of times by good theologians. I'm just going to post ONE response by Norman Geisler and Ron Rhodes in their book, "When Cultists Ask":

CORRECTING THE MISINTERPRETATION: What Peter means here becomes clear when we consider the possible meaning of being baptized “for” the remission of sins in the light of its usage, the whole context, and the rest of Scripture.
First, the word “for” (eis) can mean either “with a view to” or “because of.” In the latter case, water baptism would be because they had been saved, not in order to be saved.
Second, people are saved by receiving God’s Word, and Peter’s audience “gladly received his word” before they were baptized (Acts 2:41).
Third, verse 44 speaks of “all who believed” as constituting the early church, not all who were baptized.
Fourth, later, those who believed Peter’s message clearly received the Holy Spirit before they were baptized. Peter said, “Can anyone forbid water, that these should not be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?” (Acts 10:47).
Fifth, Paul separates baptism from the gospel, saying, “Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel” (1 Cor. 1:17a nasb). But it is the gospel that saves us (Rom. 1:16). Therefore, baptism is not part of what saves us.
Sixth, Jesus referred to baptism as a work of righteousness (Matt. 3:15). But the Bible declares clearly it is “not because of righteous things we have done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit” (Titus 3:5 niv).
Seventh, not once in the entire Gospel of John, written explicitly so that people could believe and be saved (John 20:31), is baptism noted as a condition of salvation. Rather this Gospel instructs people to “believe” to be saved (cf. John 3:16, 18, 36).
It seems best to understand Peter’s statement like this: “Repent and be baptized as a result of the forgiveness of sins.” That this view looked backward to their sins being forgiven at the moment when they were saved is made clear by the context and the rest of Scripture. Believing or repenting and being baptized are placed together, since baptism should follow belief. But nowhere does it say, “He who is not baptized will be condemned” (cf. Mark 16:16). Yet Jesus said emphatically that “whoever does not believe stands condemned already” (John 3:18b niv, emphasis added). Scripture does not make baptism a condition of salvation.

Gary said...

This isn't a game. I want to understand your interpretation of Scripture and I want those following this discussion to clearly understand the Baptist/evangelical interpretation of Scripture. I do not intend to give my "Lutheran" interpretation until the very end of ALL the passages.

So what you are saying about the above passage is that this verse would be better understood if it had been translated thus:

“Repent and THEN be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ BECAUSE OF the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

So: Repent---be Baptized as a sign of your repentance/salvation--then receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Ok. Let's go to the next passage. And by the way, I don't intend to just post "my" verses on baptism. I'm going to post every passage that says anything about baptism or passages that discuss "water" in relation to spirituality.

ninest123 said...

ninest123 16.03
ugg boots, michael kors outlet, ugg boots, christian louboutin outlet, replica watches, ugg boots, ray ban sunglasses, burberry outlet online, cheap oakley sunglasses, michael kors outlet, nike outlet, oakley sunglasses, oakley sunglasses, tory burch outlet, chanel handbags, longchamp, michael kors outlet, jordan shoes, louis vuitton outlet, polo ralph lauren outlet, prada handbags, nike air max, louboutin shoes, nike free, louis vuitton outlet, louis vuitton, ugg boots, uggs on sale, michael kors outlet, louis vuitton, tiffany jewelry, burberry, louis vuitton, ray ban sunglasses, polo ralph lauren outlet, oakley sunglasses, louboutin outlet, tiffany and co, gucci outlet, prada outlet, longchamp outlet, oakley sunglasses, michael kors, nike air max, louboutin, michael kors outlet, ray ban sunglasses, replica watches, longchamp outlet

ninest123 said...

vans pas cher, ralph lauren pas cher, timberland, true religion jeans, oakley pas cher, air force, hermes, tn pas cher, coach purses, true religion jeans, nike air max, vanessa bruno, nike roshe run, nike free run uk, michael kors, true religion outlet, louboutin pas cher, ray ban uk, sac guess, nike blazer, north face, hogan, michael kors, sac longchamp, ralph lauren uk, burberry, air max, lacoste pas cher, replica handbags, ray ban pas cher, michael kors, hollister pas cher, true religion jeans, new balance pas cher, north face, nike air max, abercrombie and fitch, kate spade outlet, hollister, converse pas cher, mulberry, nike air max, nike free, michael kors, air jordan pas cher, longchamp pas cher, coach outlet, lululemon, kate spade handbags, coach outlet

ninest123 said...

nike roshe, oakley, insanity workout, new balance, iphone 6 cases, nike trainers, p90x workout, reebok shoes, hollister, north face outlet, ipad cases, bottega veneta, ghd, iphone 5s cases, babyliss, ferragamo shoes, iphone 6s cases, herve leger, longchamp, soccer jerseys, jimmy choo shoes, lululemon, iphone cases, timberland boots, vans shoes, soccer shoes, ralph lauren, iphone 6s plus cases, valentino shoes, nike roshe, hollister, nike air max, birkin bag, abercrombie and fitch, mcm handbags, giuseppe zanotti, celine handbags, north face outlet, hollister, instyler, chi flat iron, s5 cases, nfl jerseys, mac cosmetics, louboutin, beats by dre, mont blanc, baseball bats, wedding dresses, asics running shoes, iphone 6 plus cases, nike huarache

ninest123 said...

toms shoes, louis vuitton, moncler, moncler, canada goose, vans, barbour jackets, sac louis vuitton pas cher, supra shoes, moncler, canada goose, swarovski crystal, louis vuitton, canada goose outlet, moncler, links of london, ray ban, converse, barbour, coach outlet, montre pas cher, canada goose, converse outlet, bottes ugg, marc jacobs, wedding dresses, moncler, ugg boots uk, karen millen, lancel, canada goose, doudoune canada goose, ugg,ugg australia,ugg italia, hollister, pandora charms, juicy couture outlet, canada goose outlet, canada goose uk, pandora jewelry, replica watches, thomas sabo, ugg,uggs,uggs canada, louis vuitton, pandora jewelry, ugg pas cher, pandora charms, moncler outlet, gucci, swarovski, moncler, moncler, juicy couture outlet, louis vuitton
ninest123 16.03

chenlina said...

chenlina20160719
tory burch handbags
ray ban sunglasses discount
adidas outlet
louis vuitton outlet
ray ban sunglasses
true religion jeans
ghd hair straighteners
nike free runs
ralph lauren uk
running shoes
louboutin
nfl jerseys wholesale
oakley outlet
coach outlet store online clearances
coach factory outlet
coach outlet
polo ralph kids
abercrombie and fitch new york
christian louboutin shoes
kate spade handbags
louis vuitton
michael kors handbags
cheap ray ban sunglasses
coach outlet
michael kors outlet online sale
nike air max 90
louis vuitton outlet stores
toms shoes
toms outlet
kobe 9
timberland boots
jeremy scott shoes
michael kors outlet
ray ban sunglasses
cheap oakley sunglasses
coach outlet
ralph lauren
cheap jordan shoes
adidas superstar
true religion jeans
as

Post a Comment