This is a wrong view of Scripture and logic. Mark 7:4; Heb. The Baptist argument against infant baptism upon the grounds that infants cannot believe, therefore they cannot be baptized, is also unfortunately and unintentionally, an argument against infant salvation. Circumcision was a sign and seal of physical birth into the Jewish nation, and baptism is a sign and … If the Corinthians think that they can claim that their profession of faith in baptism made them right with God, but continue in their ungodly living, they are greatly deceived. And how can the claim be made that God has a special care for children when the claim is also made that they are not regenerate, not members of the church, and cannot have faith! We believe in this promised regeneration, not on the basis of the baptism of our children, but rather we baptise them on the basis of this covenant promise of God. 9:6-8). The best argument for infant baptism is in history, but please stop warping the scriptures to make it possible for what you think to be found there. While Matt, Derek, and Andrew practice staying in-place, they decide to take up the topic of who the proper subjects of baptism are? If Christ commands the very angels not to try to uproot the tares before the final judgment, in case they uproot the wheat, how much more should the Baptists heed this command? Admittedly it does not say explicitly that there were infants, which is why we would prefer to use stronger arguments. The text does not support infant baptism in any way; it’s just not there. 32:15; Isa. According to the Baptists, baptism is reserved only for believers who have professed faith in Jesus Christ. Even if it were possible to flee the reprobate entirely, we still bring the wicked world with us in our old sinful nature. In fact, when one considers that it is the sign of the covenant with us and our children, it must be! Their idea of the reality of a regenerate church is never a reality. John MacArthur's points are listed briefly as headings, and my answers are below. It is an argument from silence that infants were included in these three occasions. He positively rejoices in their steadfastness and admonishes them to continue to walk in the way in which the first began their Christian walk, in Christ, in order to again warn them against those who would seek to rob them by means of deceit and empty philosophies about the things of this world instead of Christ. This does not make us lazy in bringing up our children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Eph. John the Baptist made a direct comparison between baptism in water and baptism in the Holy Spirit. First, infant baptism is an unauthorized change in God's pattern for baptism. He was not simply referring to the infants who were not even able to come of themselves, but to the parents who had to carry the babes in their arms! Donate Now. If circumcision does mean ethnic identity, this means the circumcised are to be counted as the children of Abraham. Therefore citizenship in the kingdom, just as much as membership in the church, is symbolised in baptism. While the Reformed recognise that God has a purpose with hidden tares in the church, the Baptists try to root out the tares and in doing so root out the wheat (Matt. There's usually two main arguments against infant Baptism that I hear from people: It's not in the Bible. Surely this meant that in the way of his believing, his household would also be saved? There is no clear and explicit example in the Bible where infants or babies were baptized or are commanded to be baptized, in the New Testament including Acts of the Apostles. Tertullian treats infant baptism as … Sean writes with a question that I have received at least once before. By this baptism they are united to Christ in His death (therefore they have died to sin; not only to its guilt, but also to its power), and also in His resurrection (therefore though they were dead in their sins, described as uncircumcision, they are now made alive). This is because the covenant is with Christ, the promised seed of Abraham, who is also the only Mediator of the covenant, and we, with Abraham and all who believe, are in Him. There is no scriptural description of infant baptism or the need for infants to be baptized, period. We may with equal authority compare Scripture with Scripture, to make a conclusive logical construction based upon many relevant passages. In contrast, Colossians 2:11-12 identifies baptism with circumcision. The Baptist complains that not all the babies are saved. Beyond this, we can argue that infant baptism is potentially detrimental. Thus, I take it that this is an argument that is mooted in Particular Baptist circles: First, the evidence that the second century church did practice infant baptism is fairly strong. 3. 1:5), David who was made to hope when a suckling (Ps. The church most certainly is in the world (but not of the world, John 17:11, 14-16), and therefore the tares sown in the world will be found in the church also. Tagged: Baptist, infant baptism, covenant, circumcision, We are no longer meeting for public worship due to COVID-19 restrictions: online services only on Sundays 11am and 5.30pm, A Review of John MacArthur's Five Arguments Against Infant Baptism, Essentials of Reformed Doctrine: Lesson 1 (“The Knowledge of God”). 6:4), but rather gives us confidence that it is not all in vain! 13:29). The argument is that the Abrahamic sign of circumcision is replaced by the infant baptism; that to deny infant baptism is to deny the unity of the Testaments. “Infant Baptism Is Not a Replacement for Circumcision” Why would the Reformers compromise on this issue, when justification by faith alone was already more than enough to have them burnt? , and Scriptural responses to them. 39:29; Joel 2:28-29; Zech. However, it is the theological heritage of their position, and their philosophy is closer, especially among Pentecostals (who are almost without exception Baptists), than they would like to admit. God tells us whom to baptize. 22:9), or even Christ. In the Middle … Using Colossians 2:11-12, another attempt to defend infant baptism has been based on the idea that baptism “replaces” circumcision. The Holy Spirit explains this to mean that through faith, not through the law, we are the recipients of all the promises and blessings of God in Christ, Abraham's seed (Gal. How does emersion (being lifted out of water) symbolise Christ's resurrection? The second argument is that infant baptism destroys the symbolism of Baptism, which defeats the point: Infant baptism is the origin of the sprinkling and pouring methods of baptism – as it is unwise and unsafe to immerse an infant under water. Faith is required for salvation and that is not imparted through baptism. This position is not simply Baptist, it is Anabaptist, because it means we all need to be re-baptised. MacArthur is right to condemn these false doctrines. Caleb Wait on April 7, 2020. Is "Open Time" Really Being Open to the Spirit? 5:1-8; II Cor. By this regeneration we are united to Christ, and therefore united also in His life, suffering, death, burial, resurrection, and even with His session at the right hand of God in heaven (Eph. Answers to some common arguments critics use in an attempt to nullify the need for baptism: Thief on the cross Invite Jesus into your heart through prayer (Rev 3:20) But baptism is a “work” and we are not saved by works…we are saved by faith alone. The symbolism does not describe the union itself, but the washing as a change in us resulting from that union. In this message, Dr. Sproul, who believes and teaches that the church should baptize infants, gives the case against infant baptism. 3:7). Furthermore it has to be pointed out that Reformed churches must reject the practice of indiscriminate national baptism, in which babies are all baptised with no regard to whether or not their parents are godly professors of the true Christian faith. 2:27-28), and children of Abraham (Gal. Yet simply on account of the faith of the head of the household here, all those in his house were baptised, just as we are taught about circumcision in Genesis 17. In time the reprobate may manifest themselves by their wickedness, and be put under discipline and eventually excommunicated, yet others remain hidden hypocrites, and still others who are elect may be excommunicated and later brought to repentance (I Cor. In WCF 1:6, the authority of that which “by good and necessary consequence may be deduced from Scripture” is asserted. 9:10). The defence Paul gives to them against all these possible lying philosophies, is to extol the sufficiency of Christ. Moreover, what does "a special care for children" actually mean? We are welcoming them into the church- it's unfair if babies and young children are left out 2. I never leave comments on discussion boards, but that reference to John 21:25 was inexcusable. This is the reality in Baptist churches too. The baptism symbolised in the sacrament is the work of God in us in the washing of our consciences (justification) and the washing away of our sins (sanctification) as a result of the indwelling Spirit by whom we are united to Christ. By examining the problems in infant baptism, we have also shown how people should be baptized properly. It … Derek argues for the legitimacy of paedobaptism, Andrew argues for the credobaptist view, Matt moderates, and fun is had by all. Your gift enables our worldwide outreach. 8:2), and Christ refers to this in order to rebuke the Pharisees for complaining at the praise of young children (Matt. Since the sacrament symbolises spiritual washing from sin, water used for washing is most appropriate. Although not conclusive all by themselves, there are several other arguments that corroborate a paedobaptist reading of the New Testament. The Case against Infant Baptism. What about household baptisms (Acts 16:15, 33; 1 Corinthians 1:16)? Some of his arguments are also repeated here. The arguments against infant baptism generally fall into two categories. Parents should decide what is best for their children. The Scripture do talk about believing and being baptized, but that is not a strong enough argument to know that they didn't make exceptions for babies of believers. 9:13-14; Heb. Gentile Christians are called true Jews (Rom. In contrast, Colossians 2:11-12 identifies … We know it did not necessarily mean that every single person in his house is elect and saved, as Rom. The administration of the Lord’s Supper to women is not in Scripture either, yet we all practise this. If they die young then they are not assured a place in Heaven But I can't think of anymore. There is no question that Origen was baptized as aninfant in 180 A.D., just 80 years after the death of the last Apostle, John theEvangelist. Historically the Anabaptists have been guilty of world-flight, thinking that the key to holiness lies in a physical, even geographical separation of the church from the world. According to this argument, since “circumcision was done to infants,” then infant baptism is a biblical practice (“Infant Baptism,” n.d.). 12:10), then sprinkling or pouring are the most appropriate methods. Following this to the point at hand, he proves, they do not need the Jewish physical circumcision, because they are circumcised with a better spiritual circumcision in Christ by which their sins are removed, in that they are buried with Christ by baptism. This is probably the most outrageous argument, and carries the flavour of the hyper-spirituality of the old Anabaptists. In describing how full and complete and sufficient Christ is for them, Paul first points to His full divinity. This false belief about the church also means that Reformed and Presbyterian churches are not true churches at all, since a true church is supposed to be seeking to have only regenerate membership according to this theory. Baptism Is the Entry Into the Church. Since the wheat is also in the world, we cannot imagine that Christ meant that there are no tares in the church. He is a dispensationalist who believes (like many Anabaptists did), in a future millennial kingdom, specifically for the ethnic Jews. Baptism as an ordinance. It is a proof that they WILL help their child grow and believe. While the baptism of infants illustrates the sovereignty of God in salvation, as well as the covenant of God maintained from generation to generation, the Baptist practice does not correctly symbolise the work of regeneration, or God's sovereignty in it, and certainly does not show anything about God's covenant with us and our children. This would completely overturn his presentation of the tares being mixed among the wheat, and the difficulty in discerning the difference between the two until harvest time. Even so, it doesn't speak about immersion. Paul in this passage is here speaking to the Colossians about the sufficiency and pre-eminence of Christ. I consider now that I have failed to be as succinct as I would have liked, but instead I hope at least I have produced a helpful level of comprehensiveness for the defence of the Reformed practice of infant baptism. That argument is valid, but it is not conclusive. Very early in the 3rd century Tertullian, who seems to have become attracted to an over-realized eschatology and to the perfectionism of the Montanists (though the charge that he became a Monta… Consider John the Baptist who leaps for joy in the presence of Christ (Luke 1:15, 41, 44), Jeremiah who was sanctified before birth (Jer. 3:20-21; Titus 3:5). 2:6-8). If regeneration can precede faith, why can't baptism? Consider also why the word baptise has been imported into the English language if using the word immerse would have been sufficient as a translation. John MacArthur's arguments here are representative, and taken from this article: http://www.gty.org/resources/sermons/80-369/is-infant-baptism-biblical#.Tp7nQpsUq30. Today, many Baptist groups still seek to rewrite history to support their position, even trying to paint a rosier picture of the Anabaptist movement. Some of them deal with the sinfulness of children, and others deal with the faith of children. They rely on people's ignorance of the Reformed position. He reminds them positively that all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are in Christ in order to warn them against men who would beguile them with enticing words. Passages that link faith to baptism (such as Acts 8:12; 18:8) simply show that faith, publicly professed, is a necessary condition for baptism. “The New Testament says that one must first repent and believe, and then they are to be baptized. Baptists use many arguments against the position of infant baptism, but they are poor arguments: in this article we examine the most common. God wills for them to be hardened in the church, and for the elect to be tested by them for their sanctification. Scripture simply never says specifically that every single person in the house believed first in any of the examples of household baptisms. 2. ” So infant baptism has been around a lot longer than Tertullian’s admonitions on the subject. Yet Scripture even speaks of infants not only having faith, but exercising it! Paired together they seem to be totally effective at destroying any doubts. I need 6 arguments against having a Believers baptism (I have 6 arguments for). 12:24; Exod. 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