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Author Topic: Believer's Baptism  (Read 51259 times) Average Rating: 0
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Cleopas
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« on: February 20, 2008, 04:04:50 AM »

The NT explicitly teaches believer's baptism. That is that those who have personally placed faith in the Savior's atoning work are then baptized. No where does the NT explicitly teach infant baptism. Some would argue it is implied. But that would contradict the plain and explicit record of Scripture.

Our Lord instructed that we baptize those who convert (Matt. 28:19-20). This assumes personal ability and mental capacity to do so. Clearly then infants are excepted.

Our Lord teaches that those who believe and are baptized shall be saved (Mark 16). Clearly this is linking baptism with the individual's placing saving faith in Christ. Indeed, baptized or not,our Lord adds "he that believeth not, shall be damned." This underscoring the futility of any other kind of baptism besides believer's baptism.

When the Eunuch inquired of Phillip what hindered him from being baptized since water was present, Philip responded that he must believe with His whole heart (Acts 8:36). Again baptism follows individual or personal belief.

I realize that this is a divergent view to many among Catholic and Protestants. I am not sure where the Orthodox officially stand on the issue. Nevertheless, it is my firm conviction based on the reading of God's word.

What say ye?
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« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2008, 05:36:14 AM »

The NT explicitly teaches believer's baptism. That is that those who have personally placed faith in the Savior's atoning work are then baptized. No where does the NT explicitly teach infant baptism. Some would argue it is implied. But that would contradict the plain and explicit record of Scripture.

First of all brother I would contest that the record of scripture is plain and explicit. Also if this was such an important teaching I believe Christ would have mentioned it to the Apostles. What about the Jewish rite of circumcision to the children did they have a believers circumcision? As the Baptism was given instead of circumcision.
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« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2008, 03:51:32 PM »

Great posts, both of you.

Cleopas, what you have to realize is that the NT was written during a unique period of history. Christianity was new, and baptism was not done until the time of John. Therefore, all people who were being baptized while the NT was being written were converts. For converts, we're right there with you; they must make a profession of faith in order to be baptized. In our baptism service, the candidate must state three times their intention to renounce Satan and all his works, and then state three times their intention to join themselves to Christ.

However, for children it is different. As Prodromas pointed out, baptism is "circumcision of the heart" (Romans 2:29). Which Jewish child made a profession of faith before he was circumcised? Did not the faith of his parents lead him to participate in this covenant? In the same way, a child is baptised because of the faith of their parents. But still, the parents or godparents make the profession of faith, the intention of the child to renounce Satan and all his works and to join themselves to Christ. It is then the responsibility of the parents and godparents to train that child to renounce Satan and join themselves to Christ. The profession of faith is not made without regard for the child but rather with all solemnity, knowing that the one who speaks for the child carries the responsibility for that child's faith.
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« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2008, 04:50:07 PM »

Great posts, both of you.

Cleopas, what you have to realize is that the NT was written during a unique period of history. Christianity was new, and baptism was not done until the time of John. Therefore, all people who were being baptized while the NT was being written were converts. For converts, we're right there with you; they must make a profession of faith in order to be baptized. In our baptism service, the candidate must state three times their intention to renounce Satan and all his works, and then state three times their intention to join themselves to Christ.

However, for children it is different. As Prodromas pointed out, baptism is "circumcision of the heart" (Romans 2:29). Which Jewish child made a profession of faith before he was circumcised? Did not the faith of his parents lead him to participate in this covenant? In the same way, a child is baptised because of the faith of their parents. But still, the parents or godparents make the profession of faith, the intention of the child to renounce Satan and all his works and to join themselves to Christ. It is then the responsibility of the parents and godparents to train that child to renounce Satan and join themselves to Christ. The profession of faith is not made without regard for the child but rather with all solemnity, knowing that the one who speaks for the child carries the responsibility for that child's faith.

This is very well said!

If I may add a little...

Actually, I'll just post a link, if that's okay.  I think this article on goarch.org addresses the question pretty thoroughly.  Mods, if I'm not posting the link correctly, feel free to change it.  Thanks!

http://www.goarch.org/en/ourfaith/articles/article7067.asp

What I think is important about this article, which is pertinent to our discussion here, is his scriptural basis.

Quote
Peter's Sermon
The first time the Gospel was ever proclaimed was on the day of Pentecost by the Apostle Peter. In his Spirit-inspired sermon he made it clear that the blessing and promise of salvation was not just for adults, but for children as well.

"And Peter said to them, 'Repent and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and your children, and for all who are far off as many as the Lord our God shall call to Himself " (Acts 2:38,39).

It is also interesting to note that this quote from Peter's Pentecostal sermon does not merely state "... the promise is for you and children," but "for you and your children," which makes it clear that the children mentioned here were young enough to still be considered under the protection and authority of their parents. This is underscored when one understands that it was common for women and men to marry at the very young ages of twelve and thirteen, respectively. From this it becomes reasonable to assume that these children to whom Peter refers were young juveniles or, at the very least, in their preadolescence.

The Baptism of Households
Although this is only indirect Scriptural evidence, the fact that the Bible mentions that entire "households" were baptized does make it seem probable that children and infants were included. "Now I did baptize the household of Stephanas . . . " (1 Corinthians 1:16) (An angel spoke to Cornelius saying) "Send to Joppa, and have Simon, who is called Peter, brought here; and he shall speak words to you by which you will be saved, and all your household " (Later, when Peter arrived at (Cornelius' household) "... he ordered them to be baptized."(Acts 11:13b, 14; Acts 10:48a) "And when she (Lydia of Thyatira) and her household had been baptized . . . " (Acts 16:15a) "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you shall be saved, you and your household . . . and immediately he was baptized, he and all his household. " (Acts 16:31, 33b) We know that the Greek word oikos, translated "house" or "household," has traditionally included infants and children in its meaning for several reasons. There is no evidence of this word being used either in secular Greek, Biblical Greek,or in the writing of Hellenistic Judaism in a way which would restrict its meaning only to adults. The Old Testament parallel for "house" carries the sense of the entire family. The Greek translation of the original Hebrew manuscripts (completed in 250 B.C.) uses this word when translating the Hebrew word meaning the complete family (men, women, children, infants). Similarly, we know that the phrase "he and his house" refers to the total family; the Old Testament use of this phrase clearly demonstrates this by specifically mentioning the presence of children and infants at times.

No Baptism of Older Children of Christian Parents Recorded
If the baptism of infants was not acceptable during New Testament times, then when does Scripture mention the alternative - the baptism of the children of Christian parents once they have matured out of infancy? The Bible never gives one example of the baptism of a Christian child as an adult. It is important that Scripture also does not speak of an "age of accountability or reason" (which many pinpoint at 13 years) when a child's capacity to believe the Gospel is developed enough so that he can receive baptism. Neither does the Bible state that every child is in a "suspended state of salvation" until they have reached this age, which one would have to believe if he held to the "age of accountability" theory.

The Saving Power of Christ's Presence in Holy Baptism
Although an opponent of infant baptism, Dr. Jewett, in his book Infant Baptism and the Covenant of Grace, makes a very logical conclusion about baptism if it is understood to be a release of supernatural power:

"... one believes that baptism washes away the guilt of eternal sin, so that any one departing this life without it is in danger of eternal damnation, he will have good reason to conclude that infants should be baptized. In fact, the question of infant baptism can hardly be raised without such a sacramental theology, since an affirmative answer is a foregone conclusion."

Certainly if there were a taint of sin upon each who is born in this world, there would be a need for every person to be cleansed from this impurity before leaving the temporal life. The Bible's "sacramental theology" states that there is such a need since "... through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men."  (Romans 5:12) For this reason " ... there are none righteous, not even one" (i.e. not infants). (Romans 3:10) How are these young ones saved from the sin they have received from Adam's race? They are saved through the regenerative power of baptism and the faith of the Church (i.e. the Christian faithful):

"He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration baptism) and renewing by the Holy Spirit." (Titus 3:5)

"Repent, and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins." (Acts 2:38)

"Jesus answered, 'Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God.' " (John 3:5)

"... when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through the water, and corresponding to that, baptism now saves you." (1 Peter 3:20,21)

Baptism is not just a symbolic testimony of what God has done in the heart of an adult believer, but is in itself a dynamic means of actually effecting the power of the Gospel (the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ) in a life (Romans 6:4). Christian baptism is the means whereby we encounter and identify with Jesus Christ Himself. This is one of the reasons why Paul explains baptism as the manner in which we genuinely "put on" or "clothe" ourselves with Christ (Galatians 3:27). This is not just a metaphor, the Lord actually transforms a person through his baptism.

The Old Testament Symbols of Salvation and Baptism Include Infants:
Circumcision, the sign of God's covenant between the people of Abraham and Himself, was performed on every male child who was eight days old (Genesis 17:12). Many see a direct parallel between circumcision and Christian baptism in Scriptural passages such as Colossians 2:11,12: "And in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of flesh by the circumcision of Christ; having been buried with Him in baptism ..." If baptism is the "New Testament circumcision" there can definitely be no objection to "sealing" the infant of a consecrated Christian family in Christ's New Covenant.
Moses' leading his people through the Red Sea is seen as an Old Testament foreshadowing of Christian baptism. The following New Testament passage clearly points to this: "For I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, and all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them, and that rock was Christ." (1 Corinthians 10:1-4) It is worthwhile to note that "all were baptized" through Moses' leadership in crossing over the Red Sea. He did not leave the infants or children on the shores of Egypt to become prey to the angry armies of Pharaoh because they were not old enough to believe in the promise of the Old Covenant. Rather, entrusted to the arms of their parents' faith, they were carried through the "baptism of Moses."
The saving of Noah's entire family by the ark can also be seen as a prefigurement of a baptism which includes infants. All that needs to be said, as in the case of Moses' passing through the Red Sea, is that the entire family was on board the ark. Why should we leave infants out of the ark of baptism?
Secular Philosophy Redefines "Faith" and "Personhood"
Larry Christenson, in his pamphlet "What About Baptism", quotes Edmund Schlink (author of The Doctrine of Baptism) as stating that the rejection of infant baptism was based on the secular philosophy of the sixteenth century which assured man's individuality, and was not the result of a new Scriptural inquiry:

"'Belier was seen in rationalistic and volitional terms, as an act of the mind and the will. 'Because an infant cannot think or decide, it cannot have faith, and therefore should not be baptized.' To this day. that is the only argument raised against the validity of infant baptism. One tosses off the sentence as though it were self-evident truth: 'A child can't believe.' But that 'truth,' upon examination, is neither self-evident, nor is it Biblical."

As Christenson goes on to say, faith is not merely a product of reason but relation. It is a relationship of love and trust, a relationship which is not limited to the mind. Some Scriptures which support the possibility of an "infant faith" are these:

"Yet Thou are He who didst bring me forth from the womb; Thou didst make me trust when upon my mother's breast." (Psalm 22:9)

"And whoever causes one of these little ones who believe to stumble, it would be better for him if with a heavy millstone hung around his neck, he had been cast into the sea." (Mark 9:42)

"For behold, when the sound of your greeting [Theotokos] reached my ears [Elizabeth], the baby [John the Baptist] leaped in my womb for joy." (Luke 1:44)


I also find his questions and conclusions compelling...

Quote
SOME FINAL COMMENTS AND CONCLUSIONS:
The evidences I have so far presented I believe merit attention by themselves. I would like, however, to make a number of random yet significant comments and observations about the area of infant baptism before I close this article.


Many times the debate regarding infant baptism is a defensive one; those who propose that adult baptism is the only valid form challenge those who practice infant baptism to prove that it is an acceptable practice. What if those who exclusively favor adult baptism were interrogated? What answers would they give to questions which up until now have been virtually unaddressed? Questions such as these:

If infant baptism is a later invention, when did it begin and who began it? Where did it originate?
Why are there no protests against the validity of infant baptism from anyone in the early Church?
Where is anything found in Scripture that expressly forbids the baptism of infants or children?
How is it that God established a covenantal, corporate relationship with the tribes of Israel in the Old Testament, but you interpret the New Testament as abolishing the faith of an entire household with the father at its head in favor of a solely individualistic faith?
Where does Scripture prescribe any age for baptism?
Even if there were a special age when someone's faith reached "maturity," how could one discern that? Doesn't faith always mature? When is faith mature enough for baptism and when is it not? Who can judge?
Where in Scripture does it say that children are free from the effects of the Fall simply because they are not old enough to believe? (Even creation is under the curse of mankind's fall - Romans 8:19-21).
What about the many Biblical meanings and early Christian understandings of baptism other than the one defining it as a visible sign of inward repentance, meanings such as the sacrament of regeneration (Titus 3:5), a grafting into the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:13), a passage from the reign of Satan into Christ's authority (Romans 6:17), the expression of the manifestation of God (Luke 3:21,22), an admission into God's covenant (Colossians 2:11), the Lord's act of adoption and our putting on of Christ (Galatians 3:26,27)? Why should these things be taken away from the small child of a Christian family?
If it was the norm to baptize children at a later age, why is there no evidence in Scripture or early Church history of instruction given to parents on how to help their adolescent children prepare for baptism?
If it is granted that baptism is for the remission of sins, why would the Church ever want to give baptism to infants if there were nothing in the infants which needed remission? Would not the grace of baptism, in this context, seem superfluous?
In essence, laying aside all the polemics and prejudices and academic intricacies, what Scriptural principle is being violated if a child is baptized and matures in his faith?
There is a good reason why these questions are hard to answer for those who exclusively advocate adult baptism: infant baptism is not an innovation, it is the practice of the Early Church.

Over and over again I am told that is incorrect to allow infants to be baptized because the Scriptural order is to first believe, and then to be baptized (Mark 16:16). The error in this thinking is not that it is incorrect to have an adult believe before he is baptized, but that one cannot apply a command intended for adults to infants. The Bible was not written to infants and is therefore not going to direct them to do anything. They are under the care of their parents who can hear, understand, and believe. Additionally, there is an important distinction to be made between baptizing an infant and an adult believer-one has the need to repent, the other does not.

It is also important to recognize that the New Testament records the beginnings of the Christian people. This accounts for it reading like a missionary diary in a number of places. I am certain that were I to begin an apostolic work in a totally heathen country, and to write to the people there or to record my progress in preaching the Gospel to them, I would not mention infant baptism even once.

Some may ask why Sts. John Chrysostom, Gregory of Nanziansus, Basil the Great, and Jerome were all baptized as adults, even though they had at least one Christian parent. The earliest evidence that Christian parents refrained from having their child baptized immediately after birth is in the middle of the fourth century (Gregory was the first example of this in 360 A.D.). None of these men postponed their baptism because of faith, however. Surely Gregory and John Chrysostom at 30, Jerome at 20, and Basil at 27 (at which ages they were baptized) had reached the "age of reason" and individual faith long before then. They postponed their baptisms on the false premise that they could better assure themselves a place in heaven if they minimized the times they sinned after baptism. None of these men ever challenged the validity of infant baptism.

Baptism in and of itself, of course, is not enough. It must be accompanied by genuine faith. No parents should be allowed to baptize their infant if they themselves have not made an expressed commitment to serve Jesus Christ and raise their child in accordance with God's Word. As adults, we are called to accept the challenge of our baptism and live dedicated lives for Christ. If we do any less, we have rejected Christ and the gift of salvation He has made available to us since our birth.

Going full circle, I now end this article with the question with which I began it: "Should I be baptized again?" Given that our infant baptism is valid, the Scriptural answer to that question is clear" "There is ... one Lord, one faith, ONE baptism." (Ephesians 4:4,5) If you have been baptized once, there is no need to be baptized again. Let us then determine to bear witness to the truth of our baptism by living for Him who died and rose for us.

Sorry this is such a long post!  Again, mods, feel free to alter where needed!



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« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2008, 06:37:02 PM »

The NT explicitly teaches believer's baptism. That is that those who have personally placed faith in the Savior's atoning work are then baptized. No where does the NT explicitly teach infant baptism. Some would argue it is implied. But that would contradict the plain and explicit record of Scripture.

Our Lord instructed that we baptize those who convert (Matt. 28:19-20). This assumes personal ability and mental capacity to do so. Clearly then infants are excepted.

Our Lord teaches that those who believe and are baptized shall be saved (Mark 16). Clearly this is linking baptism with the individual's placing saving faith in Christ. Indeed, baptized or not,our Lord adds "he that believeth not, shall be damned." This underscoring the futility of any other kind of baptism besides believer's baptism.

When the Eunuch inquired of Phillip what hindered him from being baptized since water was present, Philip responded that he must believe with His whole heart (Acts 8:36). Again baptism follows individual or personal belief.

I realize that this is a divergent view to many among Catholic and Protestants. I am not sure where the Orthodox officially stand on the issue. Nevertheless, it is my firm conviction based on the reading of God's word.

What say ye?

Baptizing children in the Holy Universal Apostolic Orthodox Church:

St Matthew Chapter 19 Verses 13 through 15
13: Then were there brought unto him little children, that he should put his hands on them, and pray: and the disciples rebuked them.
14: But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.
15: And he laid his hands on them, and departed thence.


The above is in ‘no way’ the only reference to the biblical truth that all children of the righteous are to be brought to God and His Church by the dispensation of Grace noted above and not kept away which is an overt act of judgment against the innocent that the Lord holds power to not you or me.  Denying anyone Gods blessing no matter what age is in affect ‘playing God’. We are not to judge each other in this way nor (pretend to) hold charge of the powers of the mysteries of God. These are gift of God through His grace given through the power of the Holy Spirit alone. The Church denies know one. God denies.

For Universal Apostolic Orthodox Church this does not confuse or dismiss the fact that the Church also is to maintain the “believers baptism”(as you  all prefer to say) for the older person who can and shall be baptized NOT by the same dispensation of Grace but must confess Christ is Lord and Savior like the Ethiopian eunuch .  Both cases are valid biblical practices found in the Holy Scripture and tradition and are thus supported and maintained in the Orthodox Church as to be expected.

So you will find both the innocent and the “believer” at the pool of salvation in the Holy Orthodox Church.

PS>>>>

I am stunned to know that people have kids that are growing up heathens outside of Gods Church.

I know a person whos daughter married a muslim since her argument was "I am not Christian so!"

The parents (non-denominational) are mortified. They are loosing there off spring (an only child) to false religions because nobody cared enough to 'bring' the child to Christ. The mother (though hurt) says "well God intended this". It is amazing how people like this seem to know Gods every move. Maybe they do know.

Lord have mercy.

This is terrible indeed.

Peace

Oh one last thing: The father was baptised Orthodox recently. Hallelujah!!!

There is hope
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"ETHIOPIA shall soon stretch out her hands unto God".....Psalm 68:vs 31

"Are ye not as children of the ETHIOPIANS unto me, O children of Israel"?....Amos 9: vs 7
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« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2008, 07:15:28 PM »

Infants are Baptized to be united with Jesus in the good faith of the Parents. The same is true for those who are severely mentally retarted. They are baptized in the faith of their caregiver or gaurdian.

Jesus told us that the Kingdom of God is for infants and children too.

Luke 18:14-16 KJV

"14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

 15And they brought unto him also infants, that he would touch them: but when his disciples saw it, they rebuked them.

 16But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God."


Not only was the person who believed saved but also that person's houshold.

Acts 16:31
"They replied, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household ."




Salvation is not just a mental assent of the mind. It is a salvation of the whole person. What will you do with those who are severely mentaly retarted? If salvation was simply mental knowledge then how can they be saved?


If Romans chapter 6 is seen as only mere symbolism then our unity with Jesus is nothing more than mere symbolism. But our unity is much more than that. It is real. It is mystical. It is supernatural.

Thus

Infants are Baptized to be united with Jesus in the good faith of the Parents.


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« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2008, 07:35:53 PM »

Also, Cornelius' ENTIRE HOUSEHOLD was baptized.  That is a very good story to take a deeper look at (Acts 10). 
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« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2008, 08:59:57 PM »

However, we have no substantial proof that there were infants in his household, do we?
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« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2008, 12:14:32 AM »

We don't, but it doesn't matter. All of Cornelius' household was baptized because of Cornelius' faith, which sets a precedent for baptizing children based on the faith of their parents.
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« Reply #9 on: February 22, 2008, 02:05:38 AM »

However, we have no substantial proof that there were infants in his household, do we?

The scripture says 'household'. This includes children whether they were actually there or not.

What are you missing here?
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« Reply #10 on: February 22, 2008, 09:37:02 AM »

However, we have no substantial proof that there were infants in his household, do we?

Is there substantial proof that Jesus existed?  Maybe that's a tacky answer but the normal understanding of household includes children.  Especially during that era. 

But the other responses bring up good points as well...
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« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2009, 12:38:03 PM »

Since today is the joyous occasion of Epiphany (Christ's own baptism), this seems like an appropriate time to resurrect this thread, as it has come up recently elsewhere in discussion.

I would like to humbly ask David Young and Cleopas to comment on what was said, in light of it coming up elsewhere.  Since the evidence seems fairly clear to me, I would really enjoy learning the Protestant rationale for disagreeing.

In Christ,
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« Reply #12 on: January 06, 2009, 01:29:27 PM »

The NT explicitly teaches believer's baptism. That is that those who have personally placed faith in the Savior's atoning work are then baptized. No where does the NT explicitly teach infant baptism. Some would argue it is implied. But that would contradict the plain and explicit record of Scripture.

Our Lord instructed that we baptize those who convert (Matt. 28:19-20). This assumes personal ability and mental capacity to do so. Clearly then infants are excepted.

Our Lord teaches that those who believe and are baptized shall be saved (Mark 16). Clearly this is linking baptism with the individual's placing saving faith in Christ. Indeed, baptized or not,our Lord adds "he that believeth not, shall be damned." This underscoring the futility of any other kind of baptism besides believer's baptism.

When the Eunuch inquired of Phillip what hindered him from being baptized since water was present, Philip responded that he must believe with His whole heart (Acts 8:36). Again baptism follows individual or personal belief.

I realize that this is a divergent view to many among Catholic and Protestants. I am not sure where the Orthodox officially stand on the issue. Nevertheless, it is my firm conviction based on the reading of God's word.

What say ye?

Thou standest in need of instruction in God's word.

For one, the earliest controversy about the age of baptism is in North Africa under Cyprian.  The question was whether it was proper to baptize infants younger than 8 days (when the Hebrews were circumcized).  The answer was in the affirmative, but even if it wasn't, 8 days isn't  the believers baptism you seek.

Just quick (my break is almost over): the other evidence we have of converts to Judaism was the whole household (and that included children) were baptized.  Context.
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« Reply #13 on: January 06, 2009, 02:41:52 PM »

With regard to baptism, the Lord said:

"Amen, amen, I say to thee, unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God". (John 3:5).

Jesus did not stipulate that the baptised person be an adult to enter the Kingdom of God, but He underlined that a man is born to eternal life through baptism. Why the need to deprive babies and children of the divine grace and prevent them from entering the Kingdom of God? Do some people think that God's grace can be wasted or abused? 
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« Reply #14 on: January 06, 2009, 07:32:53 PM »

With regard to baptism, the Lord said:

"Amen, amen, I say to thee, unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God". (John 3:5).

Jesus did not stipulate that the baptised person be an adult to enter the Kingdom of God, but He underlined that a man is born to eternal life through baptism. Why the need to deprive babies and children of the divine grace and prevent them from entering the Kingdom of God? Do some people think that God's grace can be wasted or abused? 

I like this response!  Smiley
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« Reply #15 on: January 06, 2009, 07:39:16 PM »

The NT explicitly teaches believer's baptism. That is that those who have personally placed faith in the Savior's atoning work are then baptized. No where does the NT explicitly teach infant baptism. Some would argue it is implied. But that would contradict the plain and explicit record of Scripture.

The NT says nothing on non-alcoholic wine either, but yet we had this exchange:

Just thought I would point out the Grape Juice has existed for only about 100 years. Before that it was nearly impossible  to make "Grape Juice" because pasteurization did not exist. Anyone who has ever worked with grapes should know that the juice of a grape begins fermentation almost instantaneously. Grapes have one of the highest concentration of sugars of any fruit and this is what makes them perfect for making wine. With other fruit wines it becomes necessary to add sugar into the process in order to get the sugar level to point where fermentation will occur.

The operative word there being nearly. Wink

The cultures of man before that time, indeed even the Jews of Christ own time, had numerous ways of making and preserving the fruit of the vine so that it could be used or consumed without intoxicating the recipient.

The most normal was to dilute the fermented wine with water. We find even among the heathen that to drink undiluted wine was considered evil. Depending on the Mediterranean culture and custom, wine was diluted from as little as 3 parts water for every 1 part wine to as much as 20 parts water to every 1 part wine (3:1, to as much as 20:1). So, In essence, the people of Bible times essentially had their their own form of "non-alcoholic" wine.

Add to that the fact that fermentation as we know it today, aided with technology and additional sugar (meaning that wines back then were naturally less alcoholic by nature than modern wines), and the virtual non fermented state of normal wine consumption is made even clearer.

Then their is a concentrated "jelly like" substance (mustsum I believe, as one poster already pointed out) that was produced that left the paste non-alcoholic.

And there is more but memory fails me at the moment.

Needless to say, given this as a context, no one arguing for the casual use of a known intoxicant under the NT, based on Scripture's references to the use of wine, has any real basis to support their claim.

Sort of. I believe that the recreational use, abuse, or consumption of intoxicants is prohibited by Scripture. I  count undiluted (and I might add not sufficiently diluted) wine as strong drink, and as such off limits to believers.


If some do become intoxicated from consuming the wine of Christ's blood, then does that not make Christ the minister of sin (i.e. drunkenness -- Galatians 5:19-21)?

Wouldn't that make Christ the minister of sin at Cana? As the host made clear (John 2:10), the stuff was alcoholic, and they had been drinking.

Also, given St. Paul's warning in I Corinthians 11:21, the early Church clearly was using wine.  And given what verse 22 says, it would seem the place and the time of the consumption of too much strong drink was the issue, not the strong drink.

Eh, for English-speakers, yes. But I've heard a Coptic priest call it wine but insist that it was not fermented (I've brought that one up before on OC.net).  Maybe other cultures don't make the Grape Juice / Grape Wine distinction - heck, in the New Testament it is sometimes just called the Fruit of the Vine, but obviously referring to wine.

I don't know what language your priest was speaking: the word in Arabic (and Hebrew and Aramaic, btw) for wine itself means "fermented."  I'll have to look up to remind myself if the Coptic word can ever mean "grape juice."  The Coptic word is the same one used by the Ancient Egyptians for wine (and they definitely meant fermented).

The operative word there being nearly. Wink

The cultures of man before that time, indeed even the Jews of Christ own time, had numerous ways of making and preserving the fruit of the vine so that it could be used or consumed without intoxicating the recipient.

The most normal was to dilute the fermented wine with water. We find even among the heathen that to drink undiluted wine was considered evil. Depending on the Mediterranean culture and custom, wine was diluted from as little as 3 parts water for every 1 part wine to as much as 20 parts water to every 1 part wine (3:1, to as much as 20:1). So, In essence, the people of Bible times essentially had their their own form of "non-alcoholic" wine.

Add to that the fact that fermentation as we know it today, aided with technology and additional sugar (meaning that wines back then were naturally less alcoholic by nature than modern wines), and the virtual non fermented state of normal wine consumption is made even clearer.

Then their is a concentrated "jelly like" substance (mustsum I believe, as one poster already pointed out) that was produced that left the paste non-alcoholic.

And there is more but memory fails me at the moment.

Needless to say, given this as a context, no one arguing for the casual use of a known intoxicant under the NT, based on Scripture's references to the use of wine, has any real basis to support their claim.

Even if the above were true, the fact remains, for example, that the host at Cana explicitely (the word used means "to drink to intoxication") says that they had gotten drunk, no matter how diluted the wine.

The reason why I bring this up is that I notice that you do not quote the NT here, but depend on extra-biblical information.  Why the skittishness about the extra-biblical (and biblical) info on infant baptism?
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« Reply #16 on: January 07, 2009, 04:34:12 PM »

The NT explicitly teaches believer's baptism. That is that those who have personally placed faith in the Savior's atoning work are then baptized. No where does the NT explicitly teach infant baptism. Some would argue it is implied. But that would contradict the plain and explicit record of Scripture.

Our Lord instructed that we baptize those who convert (Matt. 28:19-20). This assumes personal ability and mental capacity to do so. Clearly then infants are excepted.

Our Lord teaches that those who believe and are baptized shall be saved (Mark 16). Clearly this is linking baptism with the individual's placing saving faith in Christ. Indeed, baptized or not,our Lord adds "he that believeth not, shall be damned." This underscoring the futility of any other kind of baptism besides believer's baptism.

When the Eunuch inquired of Phillip what hindered him from being baptized since water was present, Philip responded that he must believe with His whole heart (Acts 8:36). Again baptism follows individual or personal belief.

I realize that this is a divergent view to many among Catholic and Protestants. I am not sure where the Orthodox officially stand on the issue. Nevertheless, it is my firm conviction based on the reading of God's word.

What say ye?


Given that every baptism in the New Testament was one of conversion it is not possible for there to be a president for infant baptism. Infant baptism is something that happens to a child when it is born into the Church, this could not happen in the New Testament given that the Church was itself in its infancy. We must rely upon history and tradition as witness to the fact that infant baptism was an early practice. I personally would take the line that the child to be baptised has been born into belief and it is part of their life from birth. They may not understand their faith intellectually or even consciously but through baptism, chrismation and holy communion they come to know Christ and have a child like relationship with him (as he commanded us all to do). If they fall away later in life it is no different than a candidate for believers baptism falling away after he/she has received the grace and forgiveness of the washing away of sins.
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« Reply #17 on: January 08, 2009, 07:24:20 AM »

The scripture says 'household'. This includes children whether they were actually there or not.

Hogwash! It includes only those who were in His household. It is quite ocncevoeable that no infants or children of inability to personally place faith in Christ were present at that time in that household. To argue otherwise is ludicrous.

You are arguing here from silence, reading into "household" what you do not know is there.
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« Reply #18 on: January 08, 2009, 07:30:42 AM »

Given that every baptism in the New Testament was one of conversion it is not possible for there to be a president for infant baptism. Infant baptism is something that happens to a child when it is born into the Church, this could not happen in the New Testament given that the Church was itself in its infancy. We must rely upon history and tradition as witness to the fact that infant baptism was an early practice. I personally would take the line that the child to be baptised has been born into belief and it is part of their life from birth. They may not understand their faith intellectually or even consciously but through baptism, chrismation and holy communion they come to know Christ and have a child like relationship with him (as he commanded us all to do). If they fall away later in life it is no different than a candidate for believers baptism falling away after he/she has received the grace and forgiveness of the washing away of sins.

Really? Did Christ temporarily suspend procreation and birth among His followers? Did He not set a child in their midst? Were not children present during various aspects of His ministry? Were His disciples not then baptizing?

No, the evidence indicates childen were present, infants were born, and YET Christ ONLY teaches and commands believers immersion in water as a sign of repentance and belief.
Hence there is no biblical authoirty for infant baptism. Does that prevent the practice? Nay. Nor does it endorse it or affirm any special grace conveyed by it.

In fact, this hits upon another iunfdamental difference between us, fellow believers in Christ though we be. Baptism for believers underscores the validity of the idea that no grace is actually conveyed through the practice itself. That is, baptism is NOT a means of grace. It is rather an affirmation of the acceptanbce of that grace, and an intitiation into the communitty of those so graced to be followers of Christ.
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« Reply #19 on: January 08, 2009, 07:58:28 AM »

Given that every baptism in the New Testament was one of conversion it is not possible for there to be a president for infant baptism. Infant baptism is something that happens to a child when it is born into the Church, this could not happen in the New Testament given that the Church was itself in its infancy. We must rely upon history and tradition as witness to the fact that infant baptism was an early practice. I personally would take the line that the child to be baptised has been born into belief and it is part of their life from birth. They may not understand their faith intellectually or even consciously but through baptism, chrismation and holy communion they come to know Christ and have a child like relationship with him (as he commanded us all to do). If they fall away later in life it is no different than a candidate for believers baptism falling away after he/she has received the grace and forgiveness of the washing away of sins.

Really? Did Christ temporarily suspend procreation and birth among His followers? Did He not set a child in their midst? Were not children present during various aspects of His ministry? Were His disciples not then baptizing?

No, the evidence indicates childen were present, infants were born, and YET Christ ONLY teaches and commands believers immersion in water as a sign of repentance and belief.
Hence there is no biblical authoirty for infant baptism. Does that prevent the practice? Nay. Nor does it endorse it or affirm any special grace conveyed by it.

In fact, this hits upon another iunfdamental difference between us, fellow believers in Christ though we be. Baptism for believers underscores the validity of the idea that no grace is actually conveyed through the practice itself. That is, baptism is NOT a means of grace. It is rather an affirmation of the acceptanbce of that grace, and an intitiation into the communitty of those so graced to be followers of Christ.


Listen to what Peter said to the people with regard to the promise of the Holy Spirit:

Acts 2:39-41

For the promise  is for you and your children, and for all who are far away, as many as the Lord our God will call to himself.” With many other words he testified and exhorted them saying, “Save yourselves from this perverse generation!” So those who accepted  his message were baptized, and that day about three thousand people were added.

Do you really presume that Peter only meant the salvation of adults from the perverse generation, asking the parents in the crowd to distinguish themselves from their babies/children? 

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« Reply #20 on: January 08, 2009, 08:13:09 AM »

The scripture says 'household'. This includes children whether they were actually there or not.

Hogwash! It includes only those who were in His household. It is quite ocncevoeable that no infants or children of inability to personally place faith in Christ were present at that time in that household. To argue otherwise is ludicrous.

Since the Scripture is clear "No one says Jesus is Lord but by the Holy Spirit," and the Gentiles were baptized AFTER the Holy Spirit came on them, and St. John the Baptist recognizing Christ in the womb after the Holy Spirit filled St. Elizabeth, those having "inability to personally place faith in Christ would include all those in the household, that the Holy Spirit was not limited by their disability, and age was no disability.

Quote
You are arguing here from silence, reading into "household" what you do not know is there.
I'll bring up your mustum/non-alcoholic wine etc. example again.  From the use of the term in the Bible (and includes the LXX, btw), and other contemporary evidence, it is clear that children were ALWAYS in the picture, whether children, grandchildren, servants' children etc.
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« Reply #21 on: January 08, 2009, 08:22:59 AM »

Given that every baptism in the New Testament was one of conversion it is not possible for there to be a president for infant baptism. Infant baptism is something that happens to a child when it is born into the Church, this could not happen in the New Testament given that the Church was itself in its infancy. We must rely upon history and tradition as witness to the fact that infant baptism was an early practice. I personally would take the line that the child to be baptised has been born into belief and it is part of their life from birth. They may not understand their faith intellectually or even consciously but through baptism, chrismation and holy communion they come to know Christ and have a child like relationship with him (as he commanded us all to do). If they fall away later in life it is no different than a candidate for believers baptism falling away after he/she has received the grace and forgiveness of the washing away of sins.

Really? Did Christ temporarily suspend procreation and birth among His followers? Did He not set a child in their midst? Were not children present during various aspects of His ministry? Were His disciples not then baptizing?

No, the evidence indicates childen were present, infants were born, and YET Christ ONLY teaches and commands believers immersion in water as a sign of repentance and belief.

You are reading that into the text.

Does the Bible say women were baptized?   I don't recall.  Perhaps women shouldn't be baptized (before you laugh, remember, a number of religions take exactly this stand).  Woman and were children were present, but remember, when they counted the thousands fed at the multiplication of loaves, they only mention the number of men.

Which, looking at examples from scripture and contemporary sources, we know that women and children were including in the legal AND religious decisions of the father.

Quote
Hence there is no biblical authoirty for infant baptism. Does that prevent the practice? Nay. Nor does it endorse it or affirm any special grace conveyed by it.

In fact, this hits upon another iunfdamental difference between us, fellow believers in Christ though we be. Baptism for believers underscores the validity of the idea that no grace is actually conveyed through the practice itself. That is, baptism is NOT a means of grace. It is rather an affirmation of the acceptanbce of that grace, and an intitiation into the communitty of those so graced to be followers of Christ.


Then why is it called the "laver of regeneration?"  Why does Christ speak of the Spirit in being born again?

As many who have baptized, of any age,  into Christ, have put on Christ.  Alleluia.
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« Reply #22 on: January 08, 2009, 09:18:24 AM »

That is, baptism is NOT a means of grace. It is rather an affirmation of the acceptanbce of that grace, and an intitiation into the communitty of those so graced to be followers of Christ.


It is eluded to by Paul all the time when he talks of us sharing in Christs death so we can share in his life. We share in this through death and rebirth in the immersion of baptism. However if you really want to see that grace was seen as being confired in Baptism here are some quotes from first century Christian accounts of baptism. The earliest of these probably predates some of the Gospels.



Letter of Barnabas 11:1–10 (A.D. 74)
Quote
"Regarding baptism, we have the evidence of Scripture that Israel would refuse to accept the washing which confers the remission of sins and would set up a substitution of their own instead. Observe there how he describes both the water and the cross in the same figure. His meaning is, ‘Blessed are those who go down into the water with their hopes set on the cross.’ Here he is saying that after we have stepped down into the water, burdened with sin and defilement, we come up out of it bearing fruit, with reverence in our hearts and the hope of Jesus in our souls"


The Shepherd of Hermas 4:3:1–2 (A.D. 80)
Quote
"‘I have heard, sir,’ said I, ‘from some teacher, that there is no other repentance except that which took place when we went down into the water and obtained the remission of our former sins.’ He said to me, ‘You have heard rightly, for so it is’"


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« Reply #23 on: January 08, 2009, 10:17:47 AM »

The scripture says 'household'. This includes children whether they were actually there or not.

Hogwash! It includes only those who were in His household. It is quite ocncevoeable that no infants or children of inability to personally place faith in Christ were present at that time in that household. To argue otherwise is ludicrous.

You are arguing here from silence, reading into "household" what you do not know is there.
Are you actually arguing that "his household" refers to Christ's household rather than Cornelius'? That's the most bizarre interpretation I've ever heard.
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« Reply #24 on: January 08, 2009, 10:39:55 AM »

Are you actually arguing that "his household" refers to Christ's household rather than Cornelius'? That's the most bizarre interpretation I've ever heard.

No. Not at all.
Sorry I was unclear.

Also, please forgive my typos. It has been a long night, and often I don;t catch them all on the first proof read. Most of the forums I post on have an indefinite edit feature, unlike the timed edit limit here. Sooo ... I can't fix things after the fact very easily here, if I don't do it immediately.  Embarrassed laugh
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« Reply #25 on: January 08, 2009, 12:01:02 PM »

I wonder how much predestination theory makes its way into the doctrines of credobaptists.

i.e., one assumes that someone won't die until they are old enough to be Baptised and make a decision for themselves. Which therefore assumes that all the children who die shortly after birth or before an age of reasoning without being Baptised were therefore predestined to be wicked and wouldn't have accepted Baptism in later life. I don't even know where to begin with such a theory to be honest...

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« Reply #26 on: January 08, 2009, 12:39:54 PM »

I wonder how much predestination theory makes its way into the doctrines of credobaptists.

i.e., one assumes that someone won't die until they are old enough to be Baptised and make a decision for themselves. Which therefore assumes that all the children who die shortly after birth or before an age of reasoning without being Baptised were therefore predestined to be wicked and wouldn't have accepted Baptism in later life. I don't even know where to begin with such a theory to be honest...



Me neither! I certainly don't believe it.
I believe the the atoning work of Christ provides for the gracious cover of the yet illmatured human being (with respect to moral culpability and accountability).
But, that is a different subject.
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« Reply #27 on: January 08, 2009, 12:54:43 PM »

In fact, this hits upon another iunfdamental difference between us, fellow believers in Christ though we be. Baptism for believers underscores the validity of the idea that no grace is actually conveyed through the practice itself. That is, baptism is NOT a means of grace. It is rather an affirmation of the acceptanbce of that grace, and an intitiation into the communitty of those so graced to be followers of Christ.

Then why does Peter say Acts 2:38 "Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit?"

Πέτρος δὲ ἔφη πρὸς αὐτούς· Μετανοήσατε, καὶ βαπτισθήτω ἕκαστος ὑμῶν ἐπὶ τῷ ὀνόματι Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ εἰς ἄφεσιν ἁμαρτιῶν, καὶ λήψεσθε τὴν δωρεὰν τοῦ ἁγίου Πνεύματος.

The boldface literally means "into/for the forgiveness of sins."  He does not say "be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ [btw. meaning by His authority, like "stop, in the name of the law"] into the affirmation of the forgiveness of sins...." nor "as a sign of the forgiveness of sins..."

I wonder how much predestination theory makes its way into the doctrines of credobaptists.

i.e., one assumes that someone won't die until they are old enough to be Baptised and make a decision for themselves. Which therefore assumes that all the children who die shortly after birth or before an age of reasoning without being Baptised were therefore predestined to be wicked and wouldn't have accepted Baptism in later life. I don't even know where to begin with such a theory to be honest...



Me neither! I certainly don't believe it.
I believe the the atoning work of Christ provides for the gracious cover of the yet illmatured human being (with respect to moral culpability and accountability).
But, that is a different subject.

Is it?

What scripture do you have to back up your opinion?
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« Reply #28 on: January 08, 2009, 05:28:33 PM »

Are you actually arguing that "his household" refers to Christ's household rather than Cornelius'? That's the most bizarre interpretation I've ever heard.

No. Not at all.
Sorry I was unclear.

Also, please forgive my typos. It has been a long night, and often I don;t catch them all on the first proof read. Most of the forums I post on have an indefinite edit feature, unlike the timed edit limit here. Sooo ... I can't fix things after the fact very easily here, if I don't do it immediately.  Embarrassed laugh
Okay, the capital letter misled me.

Nevertheless, I want you to prove that there were no infants in Cornelius' household at the time of their baptism. This is necessary for your position, for if even a single infant can be found in his household, your position is rendered invalid.
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« Reply #29 on: January 09, 2009, 12:26:12 AM »


Then why does Peter say Acts 2:38 "Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit?"

Πέτρος δὲ ἔφη πρὸς αὐτούς· Μετανοήσατε, καὶ βαπτισθήτω ἕκαστος ὑμῶν ἐπὶ τῷ ὀνόματι Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ εἰς ἄφεσιν ἁμαρτιῶν, καὶ λήψεσθε τὴν δωρεὰν τοῦ ἁγίου Πνεύματος.

The boldface literally means "into/for the forgiveness of sins." 

Right. We are baptized for, or beacuse, of the forgiveness of sins.
Proof? Cornelius and his household.  Wink


Quote
Is it? What scripture do you have to back up your opinion?

I think so, yes.
I'd be happy to discuss it further in a new thread with you.
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« Reply #30 on: January 09, 2009, 12:28:35 AM »

Okay, the capital letter misled me.

Nevertheless, I want you to prove that there were no infants in Cornelius' household at the time of their baptism. This is necessary for your position, for if even a single infant can be found in his household, your position is rendered invalid.

I bet you do!  Cheesy But, no thanks. I have no need to prove what or who wasn't there. Wink The burden is on you. Your position must assume an infant present in order to use this passage in support of your belief in infant baptism.
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« Reply #31 on: January 09, 2009, 12:54:06 AM »


Then why does Peter say Acts 2:38 "Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit?"

Πέτρος δὲ ἔφη πρὸς αὐτούς· Μετανοήσατε, καὶ βαπτισθήτω ἕκαστος ὑμῶν ἐπὶ τῷ ὀνόματι Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ εἰς ἄφεσιν ἁμαρτιῶν, καὶ λήψεσθε τὴν δωρεὰν τοῦ ἁγίου Πνεύματος.

The boldface literally means "into/for the forgiveness of sins." 

Right. We are baptized for, or beacuse, of the forgiveness of sins.

I hesitate to be dogmatic on this, but maybe Ozgeorge and the rest of the Greeks or Greekophones can comment: you have been mislead by English polysemny.  Eis cannot mean "because," although it can mean that in English.  It denotes purpose and/or result.  Not cause.  For that you would have to use ὑπὲρ.


Quote
Proof? Cornelius and his household.  Wink

Proof of what?  That women can be baptized?  None are mentioned.

Works?  Acts 10:4.

Baptized because our sins are forgiven?  No such statement.  We are not even told that Cornelius or his household believed, just that they received the Holy Spirit.


Quote
Is it? What scripture do you have to back up your opinion?

Quote
I think so, yes.
I'd be happy to discuss it further in a new thread with you.

You serve, I'll play.
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« Reply #32 on: January 09, 2009, 10:05:49 AM »

Okay, the capital letter misled me.

Nevertheless, I want you to prove that there were no infants in Cornelius' household at the time of their baptism. This is necessary for your position, for if even a single infant can be found in his household, your position is rendered invalid.
I bet you do!  Cheesy But, no thanks. I have no need to prove what or who wasn't there. Wink
Right. If the evidence disappoints you, ignore the evidence. Roll Eyes

Quote
The burden is on you. Your position must assume an infant present in order to use this passage in support of your belief in infant baptism.
Sure, but only this passage. There is plenty more evidence for infant baptism, and simply because this passage is found not to be evidence for it does not render the doctrine invalid. Finding that the Apostles performed infant baptism, however, would render your position invalid immediately. Yours is the far more tenuous position.
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« Reply #33 on: January 09, 2009, 11:07:56 AM »

Okay, the capital letter misled me.

Nevertheless, I want you to prove that there were no infants in Cornelius' household at the time of their baptism. This is necessary for your position, for if even a single infant can be found in his household, your position is rendered invalid.
I bet you do!  Cheesy But, no thanks. I have no need to prove what or who wasn't there. Wink
Right. If the evidence disappoints you, ignore the evidence. Roll Eyes

Quote
The burden is on you. Your position must assume an infant present in order to use this passage in support of your belief in infant baptism.
Sure, but only this passage. There is plenty more evidence for infant baptism, and simply because this passage is found not to be evidence for it does not render the doctrine invalid. Finding that the Apostles performed infant baptism, however, would render your position invalid immediately. Yours is the far more tenuous position.

Not only that, but he has to explain how, since infant baptism became the norm for nearly a thousand years and you have to be baptized by a Christian (despite what the Vatican says), how can he or anyone validly baptize now.

And actually, the burden is on him: all the other contemporary evidence shows that in 1st century Palestine, the Hebrews, and Roman society in general, etc. all show that the early Christians would be reading "all the household was baptized" as we are, i.e. assuming that included children.  In fact, the concept of family by necessity included children, i.e. childless families were penalized by the Roman state, and those who had five children were rewarded.  And if he tries to differentiate children by age, that won't work either: Roman law recognized the father's rights over his grown children, fully grown adult could be adopted (in fact, that is how the imperial family kept going), etc.  In other words, there was no such idea as "emancipation of a minor," "majority," "age of licens," etc. which the idea of a "believer baptism" requirement would need as support.
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« Reply #34 on: January 09, 2009, 11:21:28 AM »

The burden is on you. Your position must assume an infant present in order to use this passage in support of your belief in infant baptism.
Sure, but only this passage. There is plenty more evidence for infant baptism, and simply because this passage is found not to be evidence for it does not render the doctrine invalid. Finding that the Apostles performed infant baptism, however, would render your position invalid immediately. Yours is the far more tenuous position.

This is true... it is only one passage that we are speaking of here.  Even if one does not accept this passage (illogical, but still...), there is so much more evidence yet.  What do you say, Cleopas, to all the other evidence presented here(I'll kindly redirect you to the article I posted above as well, which eloquently and succinctly says what it would take many pages and bumbling paragraphs for me to say)?  May I humbly ask you to respond to the rest?

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« Reply #35 on: January 10, 2009, 03:25:16 AM »

Finding that the Apostles performed infant baptism, however, would render your position invalid immediately. Yours is the far more tenuous position.

Indeed! Yet, I submit, that no where in all the pages of the Holy Writ will one find any record of the Christian baptism of an infant (proper baptismal mode aside).
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« Reply #36 on: January 10, 2009, 03:30:33 AM »

Not only that, but he has to explain how, since infant baptism became the norm for nearly a thousand years and you have to be baptized by a Christian (despite what the Vatican says), how can he or anyone validly baptize now.

Do I now? I am reminded of when some came to our Lord and questioned His authorization to d the things he did. he agreed to answer if they would first answer His question. Do you recall that event? In like fashion to John, and to Christ, so it is of other Evangelical or non-Orthodox Christian ministers. Our authorization is from Heaven. We need not the permission of any ecclesiastical seat such as the Jews attempted to use as a barrier to the ministries of both the Baptist and the Lord.
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« Reply #37 on: January 10, 2009, 03:33:44 AM »

This is true... it is only one passage that we are speaking of here.  Even if one does not accept this passage (illogical, but still...), there is so much more evidence yet.  What do you say, Cleopas, to all the other evidence presented here(I'll kindly redirect you to the article I posted above as well, which eloquently and succinctly says what it would take many pages and bumbling paragraphs for me to say)?  May I humbly ask you to respond to the rest?

Sister, I really feel that my replies thus far have (at least in a generic fashion) addressed all such. Albeit, if you will provide a point by point list of specifc brief statements and/or arguments still lacking to which you want me to directly respond, I shall.

Fair enough?
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« Reply #38 on: January 10, 2009, 08:11:24 AM »

Finding that the Apostles performed infant baptism, however, would render your position invalid immediately. Yours is the far more tenuous position.

Indeed! Yet, I submit, that no where in all the pages of the Holy Writ will one find any record of the Christian baptism of an infant (proper baptismal mode aside).

No where in all the pages of the Holy Writ will one find any record of the Christian baptism of a woman.

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« Reply #39 on: January 10, 2009, 08:36:57 AM »

Not only that, but he has to explain how, since infant baptism became the norm for nearly a thousand years and you have to be baptized by a Christian (despite what the Vatican says), how can he or anyone validly baptize now.

Do I now? I am reminded of when some came to our Lord and questioned His authorization to d the things he did. he agreed to answer if they would first answer His question. Do you recall that event? In like fashion to John, and to Christ, so it is of other Evangelical or non-Orthodox Christian ministers. Our authorization is from Heaven. We need not the permission of any ecclesiastical seat such as the Jews attempted to use as a barrier to the ministries of both the Baptist and the Lord.


Even Christ admitted that the Pharisees sat in Moses seat, and even St. Paul apologized for speaking rudely to the High Priest Ananias (Acts 23:1-5).  How do you get to sit on the thrones of the Apostles, especially when those seats are presently occupied by their rightful successors?

It is not a question of permission. It is a question of authority.  As Hebrews notes, no one takes this authority upon himself, he is given it.  Who gave it to you?  As no one was validly baptised for at least 500 years, according to you, who was around to baptize you to baptize?  Or do you side with the Vatican, that Jews, Muslims, Atheists, etc. can validly baptize?

And of course, we are not talking about the baptism of John, and Holy Writ makes it adundately clear that there was a difference between John's baptism and baptism into the Lord.  It seems however, that your theology abolishes this distinction.  Am I reading it correctly?

Joseph Smith Jr., an Evangelical from upstate New York, saw the problem.  He claimed that St. John, now a resurrrected being (a god, or not yet?) and baptized Joe in the Susquehanna River in PA and ordained him to the aaronic priesthood.  When I was in Utah and Mormon Illlinois this past year, they had the images of the "event."

Making mormon theology rational.  That's a VERY scary place to be.

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« Reply #40 on: January 10, 2009, 11:35:28 AM »

No where in all the pages of the Holy Writ will one find any record of the Christian baptism of a woman.

Actually, there is. See Acts 16:12-15 below.

And from thence to Philippi, which is the chief city of that part of Macedonia, and a colony: and we were in that city abiding certain days. And on the sabbath we went out of the city by a river side, where prayer was wont to be made; and we sat down, and spake unto the women which resorted thither. And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul. And when she was baptized, and her household, she besought us, saying, If ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide there. And she constrained us.


« Last Edit: January 10, 2009, 11:38:05 AM by Cleopas » Logged

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« Reply #41 on: January 10, 2009, 11:42:24 AM »

Score 1 for the local Protestant.  Grin

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« Reply #42 on: January 10, 2009, 12:06:11 PM »

Score 1 for the local Protestant.  Grin

Never say something about the Sacred Text if you are unsure around a Bible-thumber...  Tongue

Yes, I've noticed that we haven't gotten an answer on the authority of the Pharisess, the difference of the Baptism of John, baptism being the cause and not of the result of the forgiveness of sins, etc.
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« Reply #43 on: January 10, 2009, 12:12:24 PM »

Score 1 for the local Protestant.  Grin

Never say something about the Sacred Text if you are unsure around a Bible-thumber...  Tongue

Yes, I've noticed that we haven't gotten an answer on the authority of the Pharisess, the difference of the Baptism of John, baptism being the cause and not of the result of the forgiveness of sins, etc.

I believe this stems from their disconnect from Baptism and entering into Covenant.
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« Reply #44 on: January 10, 2009, 12:17:38 PM »

Yes, I've noticed that we haven't gotten an answer on the authority of the Pharisess, the difference of the Baptism of John, baptism being the cause and not of the result of the forgiveness of sins, etc.

I've already stated my position on such things. I would merely be restating them. Simply put...
My authority to baptize comes from heaven, from the Lord Himself.
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