A response to http://www.apuritansmind.com/Baptism/HopkinsEzekielDoctrineSacramentInfantBaptism.htm
"1. The first is this: Infants are members of the Church of Christ', and, therefore, to be baptised."
Argument is that infants were part of the Jewish "Church" in the OT
BUT JEWS were also ethnic and the OT practices were external - harbingers of the fulfillment to come in Christ and to reflect the internal reality of those in Christ.
"Again, that the infants of believing parents are members of the Church of Christ, appears from this, that they who deny them to be members of the visible Church of Christ, must of necessity make them to be members of the visible kingdom of the devil"
WHAT??? I am satanic because I won't baptize my children until God has drawn them to Himself???
I thought the FACT that I am a Christian nullifies any "kingdom of the devil" claim on me!
"So that, when they are in our Catechism said to be made members of Christ in their Baptism, the meaning only is, that now they are owned and publicly acknowledged to be such, by their solemn admission into the society of Christians. They are Christians nati; born Christians, by the covenant: Christianity is their birthright, and their native privilege."
Aren't we born in sin?????? Look at Scripture!!!
"2. The Second argument to prove Infant Baptism may be formed thus: Infants are Christ's disciples; and, therefore they ought to be baptized."
The argument is that circumcision was practiced on infants on the 8th day and there is citing of Acts 15:5, 10. Circumcision is NOT baptism. I have had both done. Jesus had both done. And if we are going to be "legalistic" with requirements, then maybe persons who do not baptize their infants on the 8th day are of the kingdom of the devil. That would be ludicrous!
"3. Another argument may be drawn from the text: " He loved the Church, and gave himself for it, that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water." From whence I thus argue: Those for whom Christ gave himself that they might be saved, he doth likewise intend to bring to salvation, by sanctifying and cleansing them with the washing of baptismal water: but he gave himself likewise for infants, that they might be saved; for he expressly tells us, that of such is the kingdom of heaven, not only of their conditions, but of their condition; and, therefore, infants are ordinarily to be cleansed with the washing of water in Baptism. I do not say that none can or shall be saved without Baptism."
I'm glad he put that last sentence but it does sound like he is claiming baptism saves, which I am sure he would agree with me that it does not!
"Baptism is the ordinary means appointed by God for the sanctifying and cleansing of those, for whom Christ gave himself to bring them to salvation. "
Counterargument: Does Christ elect all infants born to believers?
I agree that infants not understanding baptism being a reason to not baptize them is a weak argument to not. However, if one argues that baptism represents the inward reality of being in Christ as Romans 6:4 points out, then one can argue from there that infants are born in sin and are not in Christ. Yet, God can elect them...and does. Yet, no man can know or presume this!
He argues that "it is plain in Scripture, that infants are disciples" of the Church. If it were plain, we would not be having this discussion. The only thing that is plain is that infants were born among the Jews and Christians.
"3. But then, again, they object, that such a place they can and do produce: and that is. Mat. xxviii. 19, where our Saviour gives commission to his disciples, to go and teach all nations, baptizing them. Here it is clearly expressed, that they are first to be taught, before they are baptized; and, consequently, Infants, who are incapable of being taught, are thereby rendered incapable of being baptized."
"For answer to this, you must consider, (1) That there is a vast difference between a Church in its first institution, and a Church in its progress and continuation."
That is like the evolutionist using punctuated equilibrium as "proof."
He argues how children of a believer are holy as specified in 1 Corinthians 7:14. The interpretations of this are various, but this does not argue in favor or against paedobaptism. See http://www.joelgarver.com/writ/bibl/holykids.htm
This quote from http://www.christiancourier.com/articles/943-does-the-marriage-of-an-unbeliever-to-a-believer-sanctify-the-unbeliever also sheds light:
"Rather, the sense seems to be that the unbeliever, being in close proximity with the Christian spouse, is in a sort of "set apart" environment - cut off from the total and extreme godless influence of the world. The end result is the happy possibility that the sinner may be won to the Lord through Christian influence."
And again some good insight here: http://bibletools.org/index.cfm/fuseaction/Bible.show/sVerseID/28502/eVerseID/28502
1 Corinthians 7:14 is not doctrinal regarding baptism. It shows that the Christian parent offers a special environment to both the child and the spouse.
In looking at another site (http://bible.cc/1_corinthians/7-14.htm) about 1 Corinthians 7:14, I found this quote: "Anabaptists would have us defer baptism till maturity as the child cannot understand the nature of it. But a child may be made heir of an estate: it is his, though incapable at the time of using or comprehending its advantage; he is not hereafter to acquire the title and claim to it: he will hereafter understand his claim, and be capable of employing his wealth: he will then, moreover, become responsible for the use he makes of it [Archbishop Whately]."
Yet, in the orignal article at hand from apurtiansmind.com, there is the argument that the children "are holy, and therefore members of the Church" to which we must consider membership. True membership of God's church means that one is in Christ. Yet, with Covenant Theology, this is extended to persons who are not necessarily saved and members of His visible church. I liken true church membership to regeneration. I find it difficult in the Christian Era to see that one can be in covenant with God without Christ or truly be a member of His Holy Church Catholicus outside of a relationship with Jesus Christ.
We cannot assume who is an heir. This challenges the presumption of paedobaptism.
I find this article in the paragraph almost cynical: "If, therefore, they condemn Infant Baptism, because infants cannot enter into covenant with God; they do but thereby pretend to be wiser than God: and tell him, that he may possibly be a loser by transacting with those, who perhaps hereafter may plead nonage, and that they could not be obliged by any thing transacted in their minority."
First, I do not condemn paedobaptism. I simply find credo-baptism more easily concluded scripturally. I don't see harm in paedobaptism if done as long as one doesn't preach salvation by baptism which doesn't appear to be the case. I do not pretend to be wiser than God to tell Him he is "possibly a loser by transacting with [infants]" since I do not presume that He has transacted with them.
He uses Deuteronomy 29:10-13 well in argument, but his assumption is that the Nation of Israel equals the Church and vice versa and that baptism equals circumcision and vice versa. He fails to remember the external rituals (such as sacrifice) in the OT that point to the internal realities of believers in Christ in the NT. With the New Covenant in Christ, there is no need for sacrifice and there is no need for the externals since the internal has taken place for THOSE who are IN CHRIST.
I would be curious, given his argument, why we should not be Messianic Jews or Hebraic Christians.
And while theology is a worthy discussion, how much of this is man's paradigm thrown atop scripture. I could address both credo-baptists and paedo-baptists in this manner.
I have mentioned Covenant Theology a couple of times of which paedobaptism is one manifestation. According to http://www.puritanpublications.com/Books/SimpleOverview.htm, "The three main theological covenants of the Bible are the Covenant of Redemption, the Covenant of Works and the Covenant of Grace."
There is a good challenge to this view. A Biblical pastor and friend of mine wrote the following in regards to Covenant Theology: "I personally find some dispensationalists pushing their point too much and the Covenant approach being more easily explained. There is clearly a covenant with the OT saints and He clearly tells us that we are under a New Covenant in the NT (which was predicted in Jeremiah 31:31). But to my reading, the insistence of covenant people and reformed people (not exactly the same) that the church is the New Israel and that Israel has no literal future and that there is no literal millennial rule of Christ are as unbiblical as the insistence of many people that election is merely foreknowledge. Besides, how do we limit the covenants of covenant theology to Mosaic and New? What about Noahic? Abrahamic? Davidic? I don't want to get off into a whole discussion of covenant versus dispensational, however. (This link may supply a helpful comparison http://4himnet.com/bnyberg/dispensationalism01.html.)"
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