What about I Corinthians 10:1-2? “The New Testament says that one must first repent and believe, and then they are to be baptized. There is no scriptural description of infant baptism or the need for infants to be baptized, period. 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. The defence Paul gives to them against all these possible lying philosophies, is to extol the sufficiency of Christ. The abuse of something does not condemn its proper use. 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. Yet Scripture even speaks of infants not only having faith, but exercising it! Other church bodies such as Lutherans and Presbyterians baptize the infants of believers as well as older new believers. 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… Why do churches baptize infants when the Bible doesn’t explicitly command us to? They did this because they judged most of the baptisms in other churches as false and worthless, since they rejected infant baptism. The Argument Against Infant Baptism Fails. Check . How does emersion (being lifted out of water) symbolise Christ's resurrection? 44:3; Ezek. By examining the problems in infant baptism, we have also shown how people should be baptized properly. The Baptist will point out that Christ said that “the field is the world,” as if this meant that the tares in the world are not also present in the church. Historically, in national or state churches with lax or non-existent church discipline, the erroneous practice of indiscriminately baptising infants to fill the church with more and more of the ungodly gave plentiful support to the extreme position of the Anabaptists who denied infant baptism altogether. Most generally the idea of washing seems to be intended, as being a very basic change from dirty to clean by use of water. Admittedly it does not say explicitly that there were infants, which is why we would prefer to use stronger arguments. The inconsistency of the Baptists is that baptised adults can be unregenerate, hypocrites, and apostatise, just as much as those who were baptised as infants. They do not need to, for example, worry about obtaining the help of angels, because Christ is the head of all angels. 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! 8:2), and Christ refers to this in order to rebuke the Pharisees for complaining at the praise of young children (Matt. 5:1-8; II Cor. Principle # 4: To deny infant baptism is to deny the “everlasting” character of one of three “everlasting signs” given in the Old Testament. 4:11-14). Who were immersed in the Red Sea, the children of Israel (which definitely included infants! 12:24; Exod. We know it did not necessarily mean that every single person in his house is elect and saved, as Rom. , and Scriptural responses to them. And even if it was meant to symbolise modern burial practices, why use water instead of soil, dirt, and earth? Notice also, that this means we are the proper recipients of the inheritance promised to Abraham, described to him as the land of Canaan to given as an “everlasting possession.” Romans 4:13 explains that this meant that Abraham, with us, would be heir of the world (cf. It's speaking about the further implications of the reality of being united to Christ which it calls baptism in Christ, and describes as being “planted.” If it was speaking about the mode of the sacrament, then planting would be appropriate picture. The Baptist complains that not all the babies are saved. MacArthur later concedes that infant baptism "started appearing in the second and third century." Credobaptist objections have typically challenged this premise, stressing points of discontinuity across the biblical covenants. Derek argues for the legitimacy of paedobaptism, Andrew argues for the credobaptist view, Matt moderates, and fun is had by all. 10:22; Heb. Scripture nowhere advocates or records any such thing as the baptism of an infant. I need 6 arguments against having a Believers baptism (I have 6 arguments for). Those opposed to infant baptism argue that only believers should be baptized. Surely this meant that in the way of his believing, his household would also be saved? We believe in baptising the infants of believers, not the infants of the ungodly. Ive tried looking it up but it all seems to be arguments for and against infant baptisms. Sanctification is explained in Romans 6 as a change in us that occurs as a result of our union with Christ. 3. Does this nullify the symbolism of baptism, and its benefit to the elect through faith? The word Anabaptism means to “re-baptise.” This was a group which became infamous for its violent revolution, its hyper-spirituality, and even for trying to set up a millennial kingdom of God on earth. Arguments against paedobaptism. 6:4), but rather gives us confidence that it is not all in vain! One cannot be a citizen of this spiritual kingdom and not be a member of the church. Using Colossians 2:11-12, another attempt to defend infant baptism has been based on the idea that baptism “replaces” circumcision. Luke says specifically that infants were carried by their parents, and that Christ blessed them. Does not the sprinkling of water on a helpless baby who does nothing far better illustrate that God is the one alone who saves us by the sprinkling of the blood and Spirit of Christ, entirely of grace, according to His unconditional election, before we have done any works whatsoever? If the opponent of infant baptism could point to one case of an adult baptism in the New Testament where the person who is being baptized as an adult was the child of Christian parents when that person was an infant, then they would have a relevant case to point to, in fact that would be all it would take to change me on that. 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? In describing how full and complete and sufficient Christ is for them, Paul first points to His full divinity. Infant baptism is objectionable for several reasons. 32:15; Isa. Those who oppose infant baptism are therefore accusing the Church of exceeding its qualifications by speaking of what God does in the midst of the community.” Berkouwer is rightfully noting that if those who baptize their infants are not doing so according to God’s command then they are attributing things to God which are untrue. Water baptism pictures spiritual baptism; the washing of regeneration (from which proceeds both justification and sanctification) which saves us (I Pet. Romans 4:11 calls circumcision a sign and seal of the righteousness of faith. This claim is very short-sighted. One argument in support of the baptism of infants comes from the fact thatcontroversy over the practice is conspicuously absent from the history of theearly church. It is actually re-baptism that nullifies what baptism is supposed to signify. 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. Reformed paedobaptism generally argues from continuity with the Abrahamic covenant, situating infant baptism as a continuation of infant circumcision. This being the case, the Colossian Christians are already complete in Him, and need nothing more. 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. They rely on people's ignorance of the Reformed position. The arguments against infant baptism generally fall into two categories. Is this not also what the sign of baptism is? 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. 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. 2:27-28), and children of Abraham (Gal. Therefore we believe in promised, not presumed, regeneration, but only as Acts 2:39 qualifies the promise by, “as many as the Lord our God shall call.” This means we also bear in mind that there may be reprobate children of the flesh too. Then later, in some denominations, the child is re-baptized. 9:6-8 explains. Donate Now. Since the Reformed believe in infant salvation, it would be totally inconsistent if we did not baptise infants. Another old Anabaptist belief was the idea of a pure church with only regenerate membership. To do so, he points to their baptism as proof that they have been circumcised. Besides, if all children were equally precious to God, how does the Baptist explain the slaughter of the Canaanite men, women, and children, the slaughter of the Amalekites, or the dashing of Babylon's little ones against the rocks in Psalm 137? There are other possible references to infant baptism at earlierdates, but these references are somewhat unclear in their meaning. 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). Many other denominations use infant baptism for the parent's benefit. What would “immersed unto Moses” even mean? 30:6; Rom. According to this argument, since “circumcision was done to infants,” then infant baptism is a biblical practice (“Infant Baptism,” n.d.). For these reasons, they were persecuted as a dangerous, violent, and divisive sect. 2:6). 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. “I have baptized you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”- Mark 1:8 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. 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. The Baptist confession that is closest to the Reformed faith is the London Baptist Confession of 1689 (LBCF) which is mostly the same as the Westminster Confession (WCF) of the Presbyterians. In fact, when one considers that it is the sign of the covenant with us and our children, it must be! Baptists use many arguments against the position of infant baptism, but they are poor arguments: in this article we examine the most common. It … While Matt, Derek, and Andrew practice staying in-place, they decide to take up the topic of who the proper subjects of baptism are? Yet, we cannot differentiate between the wheat and tares (Matt. Faith is required for salvation and that is not imparted through baptism. 9:13-14; Heb. One, the burden of proof rests on those who would deny children a sign they had received for thousands of years. In the Middle … 9:10). It is an argument from silence that infants were included in these three occasions. Moreover, what does "a special care for children" actually mean? They were sometimes called the Radical Reformation, but not all the Anabaptists were as radical as this. Their error comes from thinking that Romans 6 is speaking about the sacrament. 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. Is "Open Time" Really Being Open to the Spirit? Actually the historical defence is so painfully absent for the Anabaptist position that many Anabaptists resorted to a theology of restorationism. Even so, it doesn't speak about immersion. Beyond this, we can argue that infant baptism is potentially detrimental. 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. 3:8-29). The word has also been used to describe dyeing clothes a different colour, a person becoming drunk with wine, or in the example above, the children of Israel all taught under the ministry of Moses. This shows that it is indeed legitimate to study scriptural principles by which ecclesiastical practices can be deduced. I already have 1. Nor does it ever say there were no infants. 12:10), then sprinkling or pouring are the most appropriate methods. As I stacked up the “For” and “Against” columns in my research, there was always a Protestant Answer against the practice of infant baptism. I never leave comments on discussion boards, but that reference to John 21:25 was inexcusable. Matthew 28:19 shows Jesus told disciples to both make disciples and baptise them; A baby can't be a disciple, as a baby is too young to understand the Christian faith; In order to do as Jesus commanded, the Church should support families and help educate children in the Christian faith in all its fullness to as many people as possible. 1:2; Heb. Yet, John MacArthur claims that circumcision has nothing to do with symbolising salvation. Baptists claim the Reformers did not go far enough because they were afraid of Rome. The Reformed recognise that the goal of church discipline is not rigorously to try to root out all the reprobate, but to seek the holiness of each member. In closing, its worth stating clearly that baptism does not save, as circumcision did not. Many have wrong superstitions about the Lord's Supper too. Initially I tried to provide succinct and effective refutations of these very common Baptist arguments. While this view of church history could be effectively shown to be totally false, the authority is Holy Scripture, not differing views of history. In this message, Dr. Sproul, who believes and teaches that the church should baptize infants, gives the case against infant baptism. 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. The child is too young to understand what is going on. Nevertheless, they formed a third separate group in distinction from the Reformers and the Romanists at the Reformation. Their idea of the reality of a regenerate church is never a reality. Born in themid fourth century (358 A.D.), Augustine wrote, "Thisdoctrine is hel… 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. Remember that this is an everlasting covenant (Gen. 17:7-11). 24:8; Num. Nevertheless, God does promise to save our children, not head-for-head, but according to the election of grace (Rom. First, infant baptism is an unauthorized change in God's pattern for baptism. There are always tares among the wheat. Why would the Reformers compromise on this issue, when justification by faith alone was already more than enough to have them burnt? We are welcoming them into the church- it's unfair if babies and young children are left out 2. He is a dispensationalist who believes (like many Anabaptists did), in a future millennial kingdom, specifically for the ethnic Jews. It is long held tradition. 3. Notice, we baptise infants, not to make them church members, but to give them the divinely appointed sign of this membership, since Christ has already declared them to be members of His church and kingdom. I grant that from their faulty perspective, this is not what they think they are doing, but if infant baptism is valid (as we have seen), then they are actually re-baptising. Paired together they seem to be totally effective at destroying any doubts. This position is not simply Baptist, it is Anabaptist, because it means we all need to be re-baptised. 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. 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. 21:16). Age of Children is Never Mentioned. 13:29, 38). Although not conclusive all by themselves, there are several other arguments that corroborate a paedobaptist reading of the New Testament. ), then baptism can be too. You've completed 0/10 lectures in this Teaching Series, The mission, passion and purpose of Ligonier Ministries is to proclaim the holiness of God Therefore, just as Scripture teaches, we believe in the promised salvation of our children. The promise of salvation is given just as much to adult believers as to their children (Acts 2:39), though we know that there may be reprobates among the children of the flesh, just as much as there may be hypocrites among the adults. The text does not support infant baptism in any way; it’s just not there. It is, therefore, impossible to support infant baptism from the Bible. This is the argument that Peter made in Acts 10:47, when he saw that the Gentile house of Cornelius had truly received salvation, and were therefore already members of the body of Christ: “Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptised, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?”. The Ligonier Ministries site requires Javascript, but you’ve got Javascript disabled. John MacArthur's points are listed briefly as headings, and my answers are below. 3:7). In WCF 1:6, the authority of that which “by good and necessary consequence may be deduced from Scripture” is asserted. Tertullian treats infant baptism as … Many more examples could be given which demonstrate a use of “baptise” which cannot mean “immerse” (e.g. In a great house, there are vessels present for different purposes; some noble, others ignoble (II Tim. Caleb Wait on April 7, 2020. What about household baptisms (Acts 16:15, 33; 1 Corinthians 1:16)? Today, these three groups are still present, and readers must consider with which group they must be identified, to be in communion with the true church of the past. If Christ blesses someone, and all authority on heaven and earth belongs to Him, surely they cannot be cursed, and are therefore saved. The picture should fit the reality. Infants cannot believe, therefore, infants cannot be regenerated. This would mean that all Reformed and Presbyterian churches are full of people who have never been baptised. 1:5), David who was made to hope when a suckling (Ps. He also told His disciples, “of such is the kingdom of heaven.” If these infants brought to Christ are actually citizens of the kingdom of heaven, how can we refuse them baptism? It is a proof that they WILL help their child grow and believe. Instead God has a purpose with the close contact of the elect and reprobate, even placing reprobate children, like Esau, in covenant homes, amidst elect children. Paul in this passage is here speaking to the Colossians about the sufficiency and pre-eminence of Christ. In contrast, Colossians 2:11-12 identifies … By contrast, circumcision initiated people (including infants) into a theocracy, which did have unbelievers in it. They rejected Rome, but also claimed that the Reformers did not go far enough. 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! This does not make us lazy in bringing up our children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Eph. Some of his arguments are also repeated here. And if baptism means immersion, how can emersion be part of the symbolism and practice? Opposition to infant baptism is not a new phenomenon. We do not need to give Baptists one single verse that proves it. In 180 A.D. (about two decades prior to Concerning Baptism) Irenaeus’ Against Heresies describes how “ infants, and children, and boys, and youths, and old men ” are “ born again. Baptism Is the Entry Into the Church. The following is a list of various arguments that are leveled against infant baptism. 39:29; Joel 2:28-29; Zech. Sean writes with a question that I have received at least once before. The commonly held views of the Anabaptists included refusing to submit to civil government in favour of setting up an alternative theocracy via rebellion (or alternatively, strict pacifism), refusing to take oaths, communion of goods, denial of personal property, direct revelations via prophecy, a future millennial kingdom, and of course, re-baptising converts to their religion. 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. Thanks to a Lutheran (with whom I have strong disagreement), Charles Wiese, for directing me to this article. 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. Paul wants them to know that they have no insufficiency by not being circumcised. Since baptism signifies then that we are Christians through faith, that is, the true children of Abraham, it has exactly the same meaning and function as circumcision did. If circumcision does mean ethnic identity, this means the circumcised are to be counted as the children of Abraham. 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. 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. Five Arguments for the Mode of Baptism Being Pouring (or Sprinkling) 1. Most Baptists repeat the same, very poor, arguments. God tells us whom to baptize. 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. The Case against Infant Baptism. The most common argument against infant baptism goes like this. 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. 2:18-20). Scripture simply never says specifically that every single person in the house believed first in any of the examples of household baptisms. I have pointed out where possible the connection with the philosophies and the heritage of the Anabaptists at the time of the Reformation. 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. 11:14-16). 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. This also shows that they really exclude in every sense their children from the church and kingdom of Christ, since they deny that an infant can be regenerate (yet somehow many Baptists also believe that all those who die infancy go to heaven, including infants in heathendom). If they die young then they are not unique examples arguments against infant baptism God is indeed legitimate to study scriptural by. 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