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Moderated Forums => Orthodox-Other Christian Discussion => Orthodox-Protestant Discussion => Topic started by: David Young on March 07, 2012, 08:26:23 AM

Title: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: David Young on March 07, 2012, 08:26:23 AM
This thread started here: http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,19312.msg720243.html#msg720243 (http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,19312.msg720243.html#msg720243)

-PtA




baptism ... is effectual for salvation

Sorry to come back to this again, but it seems to me that it is faith which effects salvation. How can baptism without faith effect salvation? John's baptism was a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins: the repentance was necessary, and was of course joined with baptism (as Christian baptism should join repentance and faith): people showed openly their repentance by being baptised, watched (I believe) by God, angels and men, as today. But without repentance and faith, how do you manage to believe that the baptism in itself is effectual? That is what my mind cannot penetrate about your teaching on the matter.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: primuspilus on March 07, 2012, 08:29:25 AM
baptism ... is effectual for salvation

Sorry to come back to this again, but it seems to me that it is faith which effects salvation. How can baptism without faith effect salvation? John's baptism was a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins: the repentance was necessary, and was of course joined with baptism (as Christian baptism should join repentance and faith): people showed openly their repentance by being baptised, watched (I believe) by God, angels and men, as today. But without repentance and faith, how do you manage to believe that the baptism in itself is effectual? That is what my mind cannot penetrate about your teaching on the matter.
Baptism of itself is nothing. Baptism for "fire insurance's sake" is nothing. Look in the scriptures, see how many times "Believe and be baptised" is used, in that order, affecting salvation. Even Christ Himself said this more than once.

PP
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: katherineofdixie on March 07, 2012, 11:30:28 AM
Roman tomb inscriptions and the practice of Christians gathering on the anniversary of someone's martyrdom to pray.

I think you need to be more specific than that. If you can, give us the inscriptions in the original Latin and Greek, with translation, and tell us what they prayed. I have prayed at Dodoni, but I wasn't praying to Zeus.

The tomb inscriptions were infants and small children who were baptized. We've been over this before.

Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: David Young on March 07, 2012, 11:40:22 AM
The tomb inscriptions were infants and small children who were baptized. We've been over this before.

How do we know that? What do they say? When were they written?

Another question: if, for the sake of argument, we say they were written within a generation of the apostles, and if they specifically state that these children had been baptised before an age at which they might reasonably be expected to have had faith, and if we assume from that that the apostolic church practised infant baptism - to get back to the theme of the thread, would that exclude from being part of "the true church" those who practise baptism only after conversion, which was certainly another (we think, the only) apostolic practice?

We also practise child baptism, if seldom. Indeed, we have a girl of 11 or so being baptised soon, probably the youngest I have ever known in my nearly 50 years as a Christian. But she has faith: there is no problem. We are not discussing child baptism, but infant (baby!) baptism. That is what I find it impossible to justify, if repentance and faith are also a requirement for the correctness of the rite.

But I fear this thread is beginning to diversify into various themes. Mea culpa, perhaps.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: Manalive on March 07, 2012, 12:06:23 PM
baptism ... is effectual for salvation

Sorry to come back to this again, but it seems to me that it is faith which effects salvation. How can baptism without faith effect salvation? John's baptism was a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins: the repentance was necessary, and was of course joined with baptism (as Christian baptism should join repentance and faith): people showed openly their repentance by being baptised, watched (I believe) by God, angels and men, as today. But without repentance and faith, how do you manage to believe that the baptism in itself is effectual? That is what my mind cannot penetrate about your teaching on the matter.
Baptism of itself is nothing. Baptism for "fire insurance's sake" is nothing. Look in the scriptures, see how many times "Believe and be baptised" is used, in that order, affecting salvation. Even Christ Himself said this more than once.

PP


Why does the Orthodox Church baptize infants then? Baptism is a necessity for salvation because it washes away your sins. Has sin not entered this world and does it not effect everyone born into it? Without baptism the belief in ancestral sin is rendered mute. Does sin not affect every man until they are of "reasonable" age? Are we capable of being sinless and in no need of the Mysteries of the Church that Christ gave us in that case?


St. Cyprian on the baptism of infants:
Quote
Moreover, belief in divine Scripture declares to us, that among all, whether infants or those who are older, there is the same equality of the divine gift. Elisha, beseeching God, so laid himself upon the infant son of the widow, who was lying dead, that his head was applied to his head, and his face to his face, and the limbs of Elisha were spread over and joined to each of the limbs of the child, and his feet to his feet. If this thing be considered with respect to the inequality of our birth and our body, an infant could not be made equal with a person grown up and mature, nor could its little limbs fit anti be equal to the larger limbs of a man. But in that is expressed the divine and spiritual equality, that all men are like and equal, since they have once been made by God; and our age may have a difference in the increase of our bodies, according to the world, but not according to God; unless that very grace also which is given to the baptized is given either less or more, according to the age of the receivers, whereas the Holy Spirit is not given with measure, but by the love and mercy of the Father alike to all. For God, as He does not accept the person, so does not accept the age; since He shows Himself Father to all with well-weighed equality for the attainment of heavenly grace.
http://synaxis.org/cf/volume05/ECF05THE_EPISTLES_OF_CYPRIAN_00000058.htm

Quote
...and nobody is hindered from baptism and from grace--how much rather ought we to shrink from hindering an infant, who, being lately born, has not sinned, except in that, being born after the flesh according to Adam,[5] he has contracted the contagion of the ancient death at its earliest birth, who approaches the more easily on this very account to the reception of the forgiveness of sins--that to him are remitted, not his own sins, but the sins of another.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: David Young on March 07, 2012, 12:13:01 PM
Baptism  ... washes away your sins.

Then what do you good people say happens to a person who (like me, for my mother was Anglican and my father Methodist) was baptised in early infancy, but one who never turns to the Lord in repentance and faith, and lives and dies without love for God in his heart? Is he saved or lost?
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: primuspilus on March 07, 2012, 12:15:30 PM
Since the Church baptises infants........
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: katherineofdixie on March 07, 2012, 12:33:58 PM
an age at which they might reasonably be expected to have had faith

What age is that? Where do you find it in Scripture?

We have gone over this many times before and I have provided you with ample evidence that infant baptism was practiced in the early Church and continued to be up until the Anabaptists got so upset about it around 1500 or so. Even your beloved reformers believed in it.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: katherineofdixie on March 07, 2012, 12:36:48 PM
Baptism  ... washes away your sins.

Then what do you good people say happens to a person who (like me, for my mother was Anglican and my father Methodist) was baptised in early infancy, but one who never turns to the Lord in repentance and faith, and lives and dies without love for God in his heart? Is he saved or lost?

That would be up to God, who truly knows his heart, not me. Not my call who is lost or saved. What would you say about someone who had followed your prescription (after being baptised at some mythical age of understanding) but who lived and died without love for God in his heart? Is he saved or lost?
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: Manalive on March 07, 2012, 12:40:09 PM
Baptism  ... washes away your sins.

Then what do you good people say happens to a person who (like me, for my mother was Anglican and my father Methodist) was baptised in early infancy, but one who never turns to the Lord in repentance and faith, and lives and dies without love for God in his heart? Is he saved or lost?

"Jesus answered, 'I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit.'"

Salvation is a process and baptism is a part of that process. Not an end all, be all event. We draw toward the Lord by participating in the life of Christ. Its meaning is more than a symbolic act. We are participating in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ whcih baptism is a part of.

Without repentance and faith the process stops. The grace that comes with baptism extends a great deal, but I can't judge the state of a soul whether they are baptised and continued to draw closer to Christ or turned away. (I am unsure if the allegory you stated extended to your parents, but if it did, I will pray for your parents that the Lord have mercy on them.)

Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: David Young on March 07, 2012, 12:55:03 PM
an age at which they might reasonably be expected to have had faith

What age is that? Where do you find it in Scripture?

We have gone over this many times before

Scripture doesn't say, and neither can I of course; I am no psychologist, but if I were pressed, I would imagine that understanding has dawned by the age of 7 - but do not interpret that as saying it cannot be younger.

Yes we have. Part of the problem is that you dwell in an enclosed system. If I went as far along your line as to say that most people in our churches are baptised from about the age of 14, tailing off sharply to those above 80, and (using your teaching) concluded that at that point their sins were washed away and they became true Christians, you would possibly go on to say that our baptism isn't valid anyway - that it "doesn't work" - because we haven't got priests in apostolic succession. And, as you rightly observe, we go round and round in circles. As GreekChef used to say (where is she?), Orthodoxy is not a cafeteria.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: David Young on March 07, 2012, 12:58:45 PM
What would you say about someone who had followed your prescription (after being baptised at some mythical age of understanding) but who lived and died without love for God in his heart? Is he saved or lost?

I have never known anyone to be baptised at a mythical age, but in the real world I would fear that such a one was lost. Is it not written that without faith, it is impossible to see God? And - worrying thought - is there not a holiness without which no-one will see the Lord?
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: David Young on March 07, 2012, 01:03:22 PM
Salvation is a process and baptism is a part of that process. ... Without repentance and faith the process stops.

Thank you. That makes sense.

Quote
(I am unsure if the allegory you stated extended to your parents, but if it did, I will pray for your parents that the Lord have mercy on them.)

Thank you - but I was only giving their denominations to show why I went through infant baptism, which I prefer to call christening. I myself was baptised when I was 18, believing the rite should be linked with faith, which by then, by God's mercy, dwelt in my heart.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: Ortho_cat on March 07, 2012, 02:17:23 PM
Salvation is a process and baptism is a part of that process. ... Without repentance and faith the process stops.

Thank you. That makes sense.

Quote
(I am unsure if the allegory you stated extended to your parents, but if it did, I will pray for your parents that the Lord have mercy on them.)

Thank you - but I was only giving their denominations to show why I went through infant baptism, which I prefer to call christening. I myself was baptised when I was 18, believing the rite should be linked with faith, which by then, by God's mercy, dwelt in my heart.

we do not believe that the receiving of God's grace is solely dependant upon our own cognitive awareness...
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: katherineofdixie on March 07, 2012, 02:34:30 PM
an age at which they might reasonably be expected to have had faith

What age is that? Where do you find it in Scripture?

We have gone over this many times before

Scripture doesn't say, and neither can I of course; I am no psychologist, but if I were pressed, I would imagine that understanding has dawned by the age of 7 - but do not interpret that as saying it cannot be younger.


If you admit that it can be younger, then I have to ask:
at what age do you draw the line, then, and what criteria do you use to decide whether understanding has dawned sufficiently for someone to be baptized?
For example, does your church allow people of limited mental capacity to be baptized?
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: stanley123 on March 07, 2012, 05:03:21 PM
For example, does your church allow people of limited mental capacity to be baptized?
Yes it does. For example, the RCC allows infants to be baptised.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: Ortho_cat on March 07, 2012, 05:17:22 PM
For example, does your church allow people of limited mental capacity to be baptized?
Yes it does. For example, the RCC allows infants to be baptised.

i think she was addressing the question to our resident baptist friend...
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: primuspilus on March 07, 2012, 05:21:27 PM
For example, does your church allow people of limited mental capacity to be baptized?
Yes it does. For example, the RCC allows infants to be baptised.

i think she was addressing the question to our resident baptist friend...
I still say he's a spy for the EP.....unless ther's a Baptodox church that we're all unaware of.

PP
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: Ortho_cat on March 07, 2012, 05:52:11 PM
For example, does your church allow people of limited mental capacity to be baptized?
Yes it does. For example, the RCC allows infants to be baptised.

i think she was addressing the question to our resident baptist friend...
I still say he's a spy for the EP.....unless ther's a Baptodox church that we're all unaware of.

PP

there's at least this guy...

http://baptodox.blogspot.com/
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: David Young on March 07, 2012, 05:57:28 PM
at what age do you draw the line, then, and what criteria do you use to decide whether understanding has dawned sufficiently for someone to be baptized?
For example, does your church allow people of limited mental capacity to be baptized?

To the last question, yes. To the first question, there isn't a particular age as defined in months or years.

The middle question is really the heart of the matter. I have never been in a position to find out, as all the people I have baptised have been from their teens to their 40s or 50s. A child's ability to express some commitment to Jesus Christ must surely vary from child to child, and it would take a counsellor or pastor with greater child-related gifts than mine to handle that matter. I do not think it often arises in real situations, but I am sure it must do occasionally. If I ever found myself in that situation, I would need to seek advice from someone of greater wisdom or experience in such a matter.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: David Young on March 07, 2012, 06:01:18 PM
we do not believe that the receiving of God's grace is solely dependant upon our own cognitive awareness.

I'd go along with that, and it would be interesting to ponder in what situations it might apply. But for baptism, the person needs to ask to be baptised, and must therefore have some "cognitive awareness". Receiving God's grace and being baptised are not coterminous.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) on March 07, 2012, 06:07:51 PM
we do not believe that the receiving of God's grace is solely dependant upon our own cognitive awareness.

I'd go along with that, and it would be interesting to ponder in what situations it might apply. But for baptism, the person needs to ask to be baptised, and must therefore have some "cognitive awareness". Receiving God's grace and being baptised are not coterminous.

You would be right certainly in the case of an adult. However, in the case of an infant, why are we insisting that the same standards should apply? We have the example in the Scriptures and the experience of the Apostolic Church that infants were indeed baptized. Was the baptism of all of these babies in vain? For so many centuries? The mind boggles to think that Christians did not come do their senses until the Anabaptists finally broke the code! :D
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: mabsoota on March 07, 2012, 06:13:31 PM
i went to an orthodox baptism on sunday. as the baby (2 1/2 months) went under for the 3rd time, there appeared the most amazing peaceful smile on his face. it lasted for most of the service. at one stage he was sleeping and then stirred in his sleep and gave us the biggest smile i ever saw on a little kid. his aunt is sure he saw angels and i agree with her.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: LBK on March 07, 2012, 06:22:47 PM
David Young, in your opposition to infant baptism, have you not considered this?

Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise?


And where and when did Christ utter those words?
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: Ortho_cat on March 07, 2012, 06:25:57 PM
And we know from scripture that people were bringing infants to Christ for blessings. The apostles tried to hinder them, but Jesus rebuked the apostles and said bring them to me. Why bring them to Christ if they are unable to understand or ask for what they are receiving? Obviously because this is not a prerequisite for receiving God's grace. In addition, I think we do not give infants enough credit; i think they understand a lot more than we realize, especially in terms of God and his grace. Christ used infants and their faith as role models several times and told us not to hinder them in coming to Him. I don't see how we could do otherwise but to allow them to come to Christ in the waters of baptism and through the eucharist.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: stanley123 on March 07, 2012, 08:25:47 PM
For example, does your church allow people of limited mental capacity to be baptized?
Yes it does. For example, the RCC allows infants to be baptised.

i think she was addressing the question to our resident baptist friend...
Sorry. I thought it was a general question.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: Mivac on March 07, 2012, 09:30:14 PM
we do not believe that the receiving of God's grace is solely dependant upon our own cognitive awareness.

I'd go along with that, and it would be interesting to ponder in what situations it might apply. But for baptism, the person needs to ask to be baptised, and must therefore have some "cognitive awareness". Receiving God's grace and being baptised are not coterminous.

Have to feel real sorry for those people who suffer brain injury or other brain ailments who lose "cognitive awareness."  Not only have the lost the ability to be baptized, but have also lost the capability to have faith.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: LBK on March 07, 2012, 09:48:10 PM
we do not believe that the receiving of God's grace is solely dependant upon our own cognitive awareness.

I'd go along with that, and it would be interesting to ponder in what situations it might apply. But for baptism, the person needs to ask to be baptised, and must therefore have some "cognitive awareness". Receiving God's grace and being baptised are not coterminous.

Have to feel real sorry for those people who suffer brain injury or other brain ailments who lose "cognitive awareness."  Not only have the lost the ability to be baptized, but have also lost the capability to have faith.

To add, those born with intellectual impairment or having suffered permanent cognitive impairment at birth or shortly afterwards would also be denied baptism according to those criteria.

What say you, David Young? Are such folks, truly and completely innocent, to be denied baptism? And, if it is permitted to baptize such folks, then why shouldn't "normal" infants be baptized?
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: David Young on March 08, 2012, 04:05:16 AM
people were bringing infants to Christ for blessings.

As do we. It is customary, when a couple have a new baby, for the baby to be brought to church and brought to the front where the minister will take him/her in his arms and ask for God's blessing on the new person and the life that has just begun. It is often called a "dedication", in which the parents also promise to bring up the child in the fear and admonition of the Lord.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: David Young on March 08, 2012, 04:16:06 AM
those born with intellectual impairment or having suffered permanent cognitive impairment at birth or shortly afterwards would also be denied baptism according to those criteria.

What say you, David Young? Are such folks, truly and completely innocent, to be denied baptism?

Quote
people who suffer brain injury or other brain ailments who lose "cognitive awareness."  Not only have the lost the ability to be baptized, but have also lost the capability to have faith

The question in the second quotation is easier to address than the earlier one. It seems to me that we all "lose the ability to be baptised" at some point, usually of course at death - unless you're a Mormon! Tragically, such people will have sinned away their day of opportunity in a life of thoughtlessness about God, not unlike those who were swept away by the flood in the story of Noah. (I assume you are referring to people who suffer such accidents in later life, and that their ability to understand and respond is completely obliterated.)

In re the former question, you are, I think, trying to peer into matters which God has not revealed. People often speculate as to what happens to children who die in infancy, and the usual tack is to refer to David, whose baby died and who said the child would not return to him, but he would go to it. But in the final analysis, the scriptures are given to us to make us wise to salvation, that is, to teach us how we may know and serve God in this world. They are not given to take away all need to trust that "the Judge of all the earth will do right", answering our curiosity, however pressing the questions may be for those whose families are affected by tragedy. The call is to trust God, not to share his unrevealed knowledge. Beyond that I cannot go: there are some things God has chosen not to tell us.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: Alpo on March 08, 2012, 04:20:49 AM
I used to be strongly against infant baptism due to my Pentecostal upbringing. Then I started to think of salvation of infants. Since Bible says that no one can be saved without faith and nobody teaches that all infants are going to Hell I figured out that of all available doctrines in Christendom there are more or less two options:

1) Infants have faith so they can be baptized.
2) Infants are not automatically saved so they must be baptized in order to save them.

On both counts infants can be baptized. Of course we can speculate that infants share the same positions that those pagans who have never heard the gospel. But I don't think any denomination teaches that.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: David Young on March 08, 2012, 04:59:46 AM
Infants are not automatically saved so they must be baptized in order to save them.

This only works, of course, once you believe that baptism in and of itself effects salvation.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: Alpo on March 08, 2012, 06:30:39 AM
Infants are not automatically saved so they must be baptized in order to save them.

This only works, of course, once you believe that baptism in and of itself effects salvation.

Of course but I was talking about available options that there is. Since all believe that infants can be saved and that we can't be saved without faith there must be some way through which they can be saved. For most of the Christendom baptism is that way.

My childhood's Pentecostalism couldn't answer how infants are saved. It automatically assumed that they are saved but didn't properly answer the question how they are saved. I wonder if Baptists have any better answers?
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: primuspilus on March 08, 2012, 09:06:34 AM
Quote
My childhood's Pentecostalism couldn't answer how infants are saved. It automatically assumed that they are saved but didn't properly answer the question how they are saved. I wonder if Baptists have any better answers?
I was taught that children before a certian age are not responsible for their sin. however, once they know right from wrong, they are responsible. Gotta love such ambiguity. :laugh:

PP
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: David Young on March 08, 2012, 09:23:03 AM
infants ... It automatically assumed that they are saved but didn't properly answer the question how they are saved. I wonder if Baptists have any better answers?

Yes: ones like me say we don't know.

But others make the same assumption as your Pentecostal acquaintances, which, I agree, is quite unsatisfactory. I think it is better to say that the hidden things belong to God, and that at present we see through a glass darkly on some matters. There is no need for us to know the answer, and I believe God has deliberately left it so, perhaps so that we may learn better to trust his love and justice. Eve's temptation in the Garden was to reach out for knowledge that, for the time being at least, was not intended for her.

There are of course many such questions to which we have no answer. As Primuspilus's post says (following yours), it can lead to ambiguity. Especially, I cannot see how an Augustinian view of original sin can be reconciled to the salvation of infants. Better to confess ignorance, but many of my Evangelical comrades cannot bear not to have all the answers.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: David Young on March 08, 2012, 09:24:29 AM
children before a certian age are not responsible for their sin. however, once they know right from wrong, they are responsible.

You are right: that is what they say, but I have not seen it in the Bible.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: primuspilus on March 08, 2012, 09:34:31 AM
children before a certian age are not responsible for their sin. however, once they know right from wrong, they are responsible.

You are right: that is what they say, but I have not seen it in the Bible.
I think it talks about age of accountability in the OT, but I do not think that it is referencing salvation, as the parents were responsible (circumsicison, etc)

PP
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: JamesRottnek on March 08, 2012, 09:52:58 AM
those born with intellectual impairment or having suffered permanent cognitive impairment at birth or shortly afterwards would also be denied baptism according to those criteria.

What say you, David Young? Are such folks, truly and completely innocent, to be denied baptism?

Quote
people who suffer brain injury or other brain ailments who lose "cognitive awareness."  Not only have the lost the ability to be baptized, but have also lost the capability to have faith

The question in the second quotation is easier to address than the earlier one. It seems to me that we all "lose the ability to be baptised" at some point, usually of course at death - unless you're a Mormon! Tragically, such people will have sinned away their day of opportunity in a life of thoughtlessness about God, not unlike those who were swept away by the flood in the story of Noah. (I assume you are referring to people who suffer such accidents in later life, and that their ability to understand and respond is completely obliterated.)

In re the former question, you are, I think, trying to peer into matters which God has not revealed. People often speculate as to what happens to children who die in infancy, and the usual tack is to refer to David, whose baby died and who said the child would not return to him, but he would go to it. But in the final analysis, the scriptures are given to us to make us wise to salvation, that is, to teach us how we may know and serve God in this world. They are not given to take away all need to trust that "the Judge of all the earth will do right", answering our curiosity, however pressing the questions may be for those whose families are affected by tragedy. The call is to trust God, not to share his unrevealed knowledge. Beyond that I cannot go: there are some things God has chosen not to tell us.

You have skirted the question.  Do you baptize people of limited mental capacity?
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: Alpo on March 08, 2012, 10:04:04 AM
Yes: ones like me say we don't know.

Thank you for honesty. I have hard time understanding a concept where God incarnated in order to tell people how to get saved but left most of the humankind i.e infants and young children out of the plan he told us but that's an honest answer if nothing else.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: primuspilus on March 08, 2012, 10:15:52 AM
Quote
You have skirted the question.  Do you baptize people of limited mental capacity?
Because of the belief of "Believer's Baptism" it does not matter really if one is baptised or not. So I think that if they were unable to understand what was happening, they would not be.

PP
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: katherineofdixie on March 08, 2012, 10:45:23 AM
Several things occur to me as I read this thread.
1. There is evidence, both historical and from the Fathers, that infant baptism was practiced from the earliest days.
2. There is Scriptural evidence, at least inferred ("households" etc.) and nowhere is baptism of infants prohibited.
3. For the Church to have gotten such a basic practice wrong (i.e. infant baptism) would mean that she was already apostate in the lifetime of disciples of the Apostles.
4. "Age of reason" for baptism is un-Scriptural, and indeed even people who espouse this concept cannot define it or put a limit on it. David has said that he does not know how young someone can be - so why not infants?
So-called "believer's baptism" has always seemed to me to limit God's grace to people who are able to cognitively have a particular kind of religious experience. What happens to everyone else?

Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: Ortho_cat on March 08, 2012, 12:13:07 PM
Quote
My childhood's Pentecostalism couldn't answer how infants are saved. It automatically assumed that they are saved but didn't properly answer the question how they are saved. I wonder if Baptists have any better answers?
I was taught that children before a certian age are not responsible for their sin. however, once they know right from wrong, they are responsible. Gotta love such ambiguity. :laugh:

PP

As far as I know, Orthodoxy teaches this...
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: Alpo on March 08, 2012, 12:14:47 PM
Quote
My childhood's Pentecostalism couldn't answer how infants are saved. It automatically assumed that they are saved but didn't properly answer the question how they are saved. I wonder if Baptists have any better answers?
I was taught that children before a certian age are not responsible for their sin. however, once they know right from wrong, they are responsible. Gotta love such ambiguity. :laugh:

PP

As far as I know, Orthodoxy teaches this...

Source?
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: Ortho_cat on March 08, 2012, 12:23:24 PM
Quote
My childhood's Pentecostalism couldn't answer how infants are saved. It automatically assumed that they are saved but didn't properly answer the question how they are saved. I wonder if Baptists have any better answers?
I was taught that children before a certian age are not responsible for their sin. however, once they know right from wrong, they are responsible. Gotta love such ambiguity. :laugh:

PP

As far as I know, Orthodoxy teaches this...

Source?

I've read it in several books, one by St. Theophan, where he talks about raising children. "Path to Salvation", I believe. We don't teach that people inherit the guilt of sin from their fathers. How can a child that is not aware of their sins (know right from wrong) be held accountable for such? I've always heard that babies/infants are blameless in the eyes of the Lord. I was taught that once a child gradually becomes aware, and at that point they should start practicing confession. Anyhow, I'll look for more sources...(if anyone still disagrees)

Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) on March 08, 2012, 01:01:43 PM
Several things occur to me as I read this thread.
1. There is evidence, both historical and from the Fathers, that infant baptism was practiced from the earliest days.
2. There is Scriptural evidence, at least inferred ("households" etc.) and nowhere is baptism of infants prohibited.
3. For the Church to have gotten such a basic practice wrong (i.e. infant baptism) would mean that she was already apostate in the lifetime of disciples of the Apostles.
4. "Age of reason" for baptism is un-Scriptural, and indeed even people who espouse this concept cannot define it or put a limit on it. David has said that he does not know how young someone can be - so why not infants?
So-called "believer's baptism" has always seemed to me to limit God's grace to people who are able to cognitively have a particular kind of religious experience. What happens to everyone else?



Superb summation. May I add one consideration? Regarding the conversion of the entire household, the Scriptures have many citations:

The promise of the angel to the gentile man in Acts 11:13-14: "13 He told us how he had seen an angel appear in his house and say, ‘Send to pa for Simon who is called Peter. 14 He will bring you a message through which you and all your household will be saved.’ "

Lydia and her household in Acts 16:14-15: "14 One of those listening was a woman from the city of Thyatira named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth. She was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message. 15 When she and the members of her household were baptized, she invited us to her home. “If you consider me a believer in the Lord,” she said, “come and stay at my house.” And she persuaded us."

The jailer and his household in Acts 16:29-34:  "29 The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. 30 He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” 31 They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.” 32 Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. 33 At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his household were baptized. 34 The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God—he and his whole household."

Stephanas and his household in 1 Corinthians 16:  "16 (Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I don’t remember if I baptized anyone else.)"

It seems to me that we can look at this from the perspective of the household, rather than any individual member of the household. I think that those household members, who did not have the cognitive functions that seem to be required amongst Baptists--like infants, mentally or intellectually impaired folks, were baptized as part of the group, with the expectation that the group would be responsible for their spiritual growth and welfare. Indeed, I have heard many an Orthodox priest who instructs the parents of an infant to be diligent in bringing them up in the Church.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: Alpo on March 08, 2012, 01:14:47 PM
We don't teach that people inherit the guilt of sin from their fathers.

I agree. But we believe in Original/Ancestral Sin. That's why infants are baptized: to wash away the sin. We are not Baptists.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: katherineofdixie on March 08, 2012, 01:16:33 PM
Exactly.
Even more interesting, I think, is that "household" had a specific meaning in Roman society. We think of the household as just a family when the reality was that it was not just the nuclear family, but included extended family (uncles, cousins, distant relatives, even ex-inlaws), slaves, clients, business partners etc. The pater familias or patron made all the decisions for the family, whether business or personal.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: Ortho_cat on March 08, 2012, 02:56:09 PM
We don't teach that people inherit the guilt of sin from their fathers.

I agree. But we believe in Original/Ancestral Sin. That's why infants are baptized: to wash away the sin. We are not Baptists.

Yes, I am aware of this, but I was referring to individual sins being held accountable to the person. That is, a child is held accountable for his personal sins to the degree he is aware of them.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: David Young on March 09, 2012, 05:34:24 AM
most of the humankind i.e infants and young children

I suspect most infants grow up into years of discretion, rather than dying in infancy. Nevertheless, your point is valid, even if it should turn out that your statistic is mistaken. Indeed, if there had only been one sinner, would our Lord still have come and died to save him? These are mysteries about which I feel it is wise for me to be silent.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: David Young on March 09, 2012, 05:41:56 AM
nowhere is baptism of infants prohibited..

There would be little point in prohibiting something which no-one had thought of anyway.

Quote
For the Church to have gotten such a basic practice wrong (i.e. infant baptism) would mean that she was already apostate in the lifetime of disciples of the Apostles.

Firstly, I am not persuaded that infant baptism began so early, and secondly I do not think many people equate infant baptism with apostasy - else what shall of say of my Anglican, Methodist and Presbyterian brethren among many others?

Quote
. "Age of reason" for baptism is un-Scriptural, and indeed even people who espouse this concept cannot define it or put a limit on it.

Agreed.

Quote
"believer's baptism" has always seemed to me to limit God's grace to people who are able to cognitively have a particular kind of religious experience. What happens to everyone else?

Your question is similar to such speculations as: What happens to those who never hear the Gospel? What happened to people who lived before Christ came? It is a valid question, but it is an entirely different issue from the matter of baptising those who have heard and believed. As I said before, I not not see God's grace and baptism as coterminous.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: LBK on March 09, 2012, 05:47:25 AM
most of the humankind i.e infants and young children

I suspect most infants grow up into years of discretion, rather than dying in infancy. Nevertheless, your point is valid, even if it should turn out that your statistic is mistaken. Indeed, if there had only been one sinner, would our Lord still have come and died to save him? These are mysteries about which I feel it is wise for me to be silent.

You still haven't addressed this:

David Young, in your opposition to infant baptism, have you not considered this?

Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise?


And where and when did Christ utter those words?

And, please, no skirting around the question, as you are wont to do.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: David Young on March 09, 2012, 08:13:22 AM
where and when did Christ utter those words?

And, please, no skirting around the question, .

Me? Skirt around the question?! Well, our Lord was in the Temple and children, obviously old enough to speak coherently and to have some concept of what was going on, were calling out, "Hosanna to the Son of David!" Our Lord then quoted Psalm 8. The cries of such children (in Mt 21) and of the babes and sucklings in the poetry of Ps 8 tell of God's glory.

Quote
as you are wont to do
There are questions to which I admit I do not know an answer - or, in some cases, where I suspect that God has nowhere revealed an answer - but I don't think it is my wont I waffle vaguely, perhaps like the apocryphal preacher whose sermon notes prompted him at one point, "Argument weak here - shout louder."
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: David Young on March 09, 2012, 10:07:11 AM
The Matthew passage is historical narrative; the psalm is poetry. It seems to me that Jesus says that if the poem can say what it does about babes and sucklings, surely older, articulate children in the Temple can offer him genuine praise. Do you not perceive the glory of God as Creator in the cries, gurgles, laughs and so on of babes? Indeed, do you not perceive his creating glory also in the sounds and songs or birds and animals, yea of the strong wind in the treetops? It would not (I think) be hard to find psalms or other passages that say so: "Thou rushing wind that art so strong," says the Franciscan hymn. Indeed, the trees even clap their hands. But all this is not talking about baptism, which symbolises (inter alia) our death to the old life of sin and our rising again as "new creaures" to new life in Christ.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: Mivac on March 09, 2012, 10:19:10 AM
The Matthew passage is historical narrative; the psalm is poetry. It seems to me that Jesus says that if the poem can say what it does about babes and sucklings, surely older, articulate children in the Temple can offer him genuine praise. Do you not perceive the glory of God as Creator in the cries, gurgles, laughs and so on of babes? Indeed, do you not perceive his creating glory also in the sounds and songs or birds and animals, yea of the strong wind in the treetops? It would not (I think) be hard to find psalms or other passages that say so: "Thou rushing wind that art so strong," says the Franciscan hymn. Indeed, the trees even clap their hands. But all this is not talking about baptism, which symbolises (inter alia) our death to the old life of sin and our rising again as "new creaures" to new life in Christ.

Psalm 22:26 The poor will eat and be satisfied; they who seek the LORD will praise him--may your hearts live forever!

Those babies, the cries, gurgles, laughs from them, are all praising the Lord.  So, again, is that faith?  If not, why do they seek Him? 

The Church is more than just a group of human persons, it is the Body of Christ, the continued incarnation of our Lord, to be baptized into this Body is far more than symbolism, it is the actualization of being raised again as "new creatures" in His Body the Church.

Again, Who is Christ Jesus?  He is the incarnate God, but He is also the many the Church.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: katherineofdixie on March 09, 2012, 12:16:28 PM
Quote
For the Church to have gotten such a basic practice wrong (i.e. infant baptism) would mean that she was already apostate in the lifetime of disciples of the Apostles.

Firstly, I am not persuaded that infant baptism began so early, and secondly I do not think many people equate infant baptism with apostasy - else what shall of say of my Anglican, Methodist and Presbyterian brethren among many others?
What indeed. That they (and we) are right and the Anabaptists got it wrong?
But we have given you ample evidence that it did begin so early. The entire households mentioned in Scripture for example. You are (willfully?) ignoring evidence.
Baptism is foundational Christian theology. If the Church was baptizing "wrong" that early, then she had seriously gone off the rails in the lifetime of disciples of the Apostles.
Quote
. "Age of reason" for baptism is un-Scriptural, and indeed even people who espouse this concept cannot define it or put a limit on it.

Agreed.[/quote]

Then if you can't define it or put a lower age limit on it, why not infant baptism?

Quote
"believer's baptism" has always seemed to me to limit God's grace to people who are able to cognitively have a particular kind of religious experience. What happens to everyone else?

Quote
Your question is similar to such speculations as: What happens to those who never hear the Gospel? What happened to people who lived before Christ came? It is a valid question, but it is an entirely different issue from the matter of baptising those who have heard and believed. As I said before, I not not see God's grace and baptism as coterminous.

But we also baptize those who have heard and believed. We don't limit it only to infants. It's only those of the Anabaptist persuasion who seek to limit baptism to people who can articulate a cognitive religious experience of a particular kind.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: David Young on March 09, 2012, 12:51:15 PM
they (and we) are right and the Anabaptists got it wrong?

We are talking about the Western church, of course. No - my thought is that "they" (Lutherans, Calvinists and then the others) took it over from the mediæval church, and - desiring to retain it - attempted to justify it. In other words, what came first was what they (the Reformers etc) wanted to believe, and they found ways to persuade themselves of its veracity. I believe this is fairly common among religious groups.

When Protestants adopted infant baptism, it was also tied in with the concept of territorial churches, rather than - as we believe - with membership of Christ's body through personal faith (professed in baptism) for the remission of sins.

The covenantal theology of Presbyterians is different from the sacramental theology of Orthodoxy.

Quote
Baptism is foundational Christian theology.

Yes.

Quote
Then if you can't define it or put a lower age limit on it, why not infant baptism?

Because it is believers' baptism.

Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: katherineofdixie on March 09, 2012, 12:55:45 PM
Quote
Then if you can't define it or put a lower age limit on it, why not infant baptism?

Because it is believers' baptism.


So, someone has to be able to articulate a particular religious experience in order to be baptized? But you don't know at what age that would be?
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: David Young on March 09, 2012, 12:56:40 PM
I think two things are happening on this thread. One is that we have drifted rather a long way from GreekChef's original theme of "one true church?" The other is that we are casting Bible verses, logic and historical data at each other, and thereby, as we consider and prepare them for casting, each 'side' becomes more persuaded of the rightness of its position, through being made to think about it anew and then almost endlessly repeating it. Having reached a total of nearly 25,000 views, I suspect we may almost have exhausted the topic.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: David Young on March 09, 2012, 12:59:03 PM
someone has to be able to articulate a particular religious experience in order to be baptized? But you don't know at what age that would be?

Someone has to be able to articulate belief in Christ in order to be baptized, but it will not be at exactly the same age for every developing person.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: Ortho_cat on March 09, 2012, 01:02:28 PM
someone has to be able to articulate a particular religious experience in order to be baptized? But you don't know at what age that would be?

Someone has to be able to articulate belief in Christ in order to be baptized, but it will not be at exactly the same age for every developing person.

Do you agree that baby John in his mother's womb expressed faith in Christ (he lept for joy) when they first "met"?
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: Ortho_cat on March 09, 2012, 01:14:32 PM
and also what of this verse:

Lk 18:17 "I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it."

Certainly Jesus believed that little children (gr. paidion, literally a little child, an infant, little one.)
can receive the kingdom of God. We see this same greek word used to refer to Jesus as an infant when the wise men came bearing gifts, and when Jesus received the children for blessings.

So why should we hinder these little ones to receive all the mysteries of the kingdom of God (since Christ says they are able to receive it), particularly baptism into Christ and communion with him?
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: David Young on March 09, 2012, 01:46:25 PM
Do you agree that baby John in his mother's womb expressed faith in Christ?

We are becoming a bit abstruse here. I do not know what that unborn child, destined to be the greatest man who had arisen, experienced, but of course it was a response to the presence of the Son of God. To go further would, I think, be speculation, not certainty.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: David Young on March 09, 2012, 01:56:33 PM
why should we hinder these little ones to receive all the mysteries of the kingdom of God ...

You have, I sense, come close to the nub of the matter by using the phrase the mysteries. I certainly agree that if they have been baptised, they should also be allowed to take Communion. I do not know enough Gk to discern whether your exegesis of the verse is correct or not (which is not to say I think you are wrong: I do not know). We should receive the kingdom as a child receives things, in simple trust and gratitude. I cannot say whether the verse is saying that we should receive the kingdom as a paidion (is that the word?) receives the kingdom. But even if it does, it only serves to bring the 'illuminand' (as I believe you say) to an age somewhere between the one where you baptise them and the one where we would be likely to; it does not establish infant baptism. By your concept of a "holy mystery" you obviously open the door to the possibility of infant baptism, if you view it as working ex opere operato. But we are in danger of sliding over into yet another well-trodden circle, namely the nature of the sacraments/ordinances.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: primuspilus on March 09, 2012, 02:00:29 PM
Quote
By your concept of a "holy mystery" you obviously open the door to the possibility of infant baptism
Since infants that were 8 days old were circumsized, its a harder hill to climb fighting against infant baptism. God already blessed the sealing of infants.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: katherineofdixie on March 09, 2012, 05:43:54 PM
I think two things are happening on this thread. One is that we have drifted rather a long way from GreekChef's original theme of "one true church?"

Well, yes and no. In a certain sense, if the Church has gotten this basic foundational dogma/understanding/practice wrong (that is, practicing infant baptism in addition to adult baptism for centuries, give or take) then it almost cannot be the One True Church (if you follow me). Obviously you and I would disagree on this point.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: Mivac on March 10, 2012, 11:12:17 AM
I think two things are happening on this thread. One is that we have drifted rather a long way from GreekChef's original theme of "one true church?"

Well, yes and no. In a certain sense, if the Church has gotten this basic foundational dogma/understanding/practice wrong (that is, practicing infant baptism in addition to adult baptism for centuries, give or take) then it almost cannot be the One True Church (if you follow me). Obviously you and I would disagree on this point.


One thing I had to come to terms with was the Sovereignty of God and who the Trinity is in unity, also the Church and if the Church was wrong on the basics what does that say about God the Holy Spirit?  God the Father? God the Son?  To me, to continue to hold to my old baptist views, I was essentially living a life of contradiction from what scripture teaches concerning the Church and her nature and that of the nature of the Trinity and the unity of all.   Essentially, I had to step out of myself and enter into Him e.g. the Church, even though I believed I was in the OK with God being baptist which was not true.  I realized that if unity is so important to me, I could only do one thing and enter into the unity of the faith by starting with me first, let go of what I want and follow what He wants.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: FountainPen on March 11, 2012, 09:20:40 AM
I'm not about to hold someone responsible who doesn't have the ability to respond. I would hold the person responsible for that person, responsible.

/lolsigh

I have always thought that babies and others who are not able to give a response to God that we can be witness to, might be able to communicate with God in a way that only God and themselves are privy to. Baby John being a great example.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: mabsoota on March 11, 2012, 12:01:42 PM
this is true, fountain pen.
as i saw in my friend's nephew's baptism (post above) and as i see in the life of my own severely disabled friend. just because we can't communicate with someone, it doesn't mean that God has the same problem!
 ;)
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: katherineofdixie on March 12, 2012, 10:53:19 AM
this is true, fountain pen.
as i saw in my friend's nephew's baptism (post above) and as i see in the life of my own severely disabled friend. just because we can't communicate with someone, it doesn't mean that God has the same problem!
 ;)

In my former church, I had a mentally handicapped teenager in my youth group. Although Mary could communicate, she was basically on about a 5 or 6 yr. old level. There was some concern by others about whether or not she could be confirmed (a fairly big deal in the Lutheran Church) because "she didn't understand." So I asked her, "Mary, what happens when you go up for Communion?" She smiled the biggest, sweetest smile you ever saw, opened up her arms wide and said, " I meet Jesus there!"
'Nuff said.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: FountainPen on March 12, 2012, 11:34:22 AM
Well, i wonder if there is any need for child baptism then.

I do find the whole "you and your household" references a bit tenuous.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: primuspilus on March 12, 2012, 11:37:06 AM
Well, i wonder if there is any need for child baptism then.

I do find the whole "you and your household" references a bit tenuous.
How so? Especially in the light of infant circumsicision in the OT. There is already a precedent.

PP
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: FountainPen on March 12, 2012, 12:09:23 PM
Well, i wonder if there is any need for child baptism then.

I do find the whole "you and your household" references a bit tenuous.
How so? Especially in the light of infant circumsicision in the OT. There is already a precedent.

PP

Baptism in New Testament times is not analagous to circumcision in Old Testament times and certainly doesn't supersede it.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: Melodist on March 12, 2012, 12:13:29 PM
Well, i wonder if there is any need for child baptism then.

I do find the whole "you and your household" references a bit tenuous.

We are born into bondage to sin and death, not because of our own peronal sins, but becasue of the nature that we received from our parents. Baptism is where we are brought into God's covenant as His people. This is why infants are baptized.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: Ortho_cat on March 12, 2012, 12:14:32 PM
Well, i wonder if there is any need for child baptism then.

I do find the whole "you and your household" references a bit tenuous.
How so? Especially in the light of infant circumsicision in the OT. There is already a precedent.

PP

Baptism in New Testament times is not analagous to circumcision in Old Testament times and certainly doesn't supersede it.

10And you are complete in him, who is the head of all principality and power:

11In whom also you are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:

12Buried with him in baptism, in which also you are risen with him through the faith of the working of God, who has raised him from the dead.

13And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, has he made alive together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;

14Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: Melodist on March 12, 2012, 12:18:40 PM
Ortho_cat beat me to it.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: FountainPen on March 12, 2012, 12:24:48 PM
Well, i wonder if there is any need for child baptism then.

I do find the whole "you and your household" references a bit tenuous.
How so? Especially in the light of infant circumsicision in the OT. There is already a precedent.

PP

Baptism in New Testament times is not analagous to circumcision in Old Testament times and certainly doesn't supersede it.

10And you are complete in him, who is the head of all principality and power:

11In whom also you are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:

12Buried with him in baptism, in which also you are risen with him through the faith of the working of God, who has raised him from the dead.

13And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, has he made alive together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;

14Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;


Acts 15

"and certain men which came down from Judaea, taught the brethren, and said "except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved".

A major meeting was arranged to discuss this and gasp! Not a single mention of baptism? 

Surely if baptism is the New Testament counterpart of circumcision, the whole question could have been resolved by stating that they had been baptised?
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: Melodist on March 12, 2012, 12:31:04 PM
Well, i wonder if there is any need for child baptism then.

I do find the whole "you and your household" references a bit tenuous.
How so? Especially in the light of infant circumsicision in the OT. There is already a precedent.

PP
Baptism in New Testament times is not analagous to circumcision in Old Testament times and certainly doesn't supersede it.

10And you are complete in him, who is the head of all principality and power:

11In whom also you are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:

12Buried with him in baptism, in which also you are risen with him through the faith of the working of God, who has raised him from the dead.

13And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, has he made alive together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;

14Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;
Acts 15

"and certain men which came down from Judaea, taught the brethren, and said "except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved".

A major meeting was arranged to discuss this and gasp! Not a single mention of baptism? 

Surely if baptism is the New Testament counterpart of circumcision, the whole question could have been resolved by stating that they had been baptised?

Alternative interpretation to Col 2:11-12?
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: Ortho_cat on March 12, 2012, 12:51:07 PM
Well, i wonder if there is any need for child baptism then.

I do find the whole "you and your household" references a bit tenuous.
How so? Especially in the light of infant circumsicision in the OT. There is already a precedent.

PP

Baptism in New Testament times is not analagous to circumcision in Old Testament times and certainly doesn't supersede it.

10And you are complete in him, who is the head of all principality and power:

11In whom also you are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:

12Buried with him in baptism, in which also you are risen with him through the faith of the working of God, who has raised him from the dead.

13And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, has he made alive together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;

14Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;


Acts 15

"and certain men which came down from Judaea, taught the brethren, and said "except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved".

A major meeting was arranged to discuss this and gasp! Not a single mention of baptism?  

Surely if baptism is the New Testament counterpart of circumcision, the whole question could have been resolved by stating that they had been baptised?

I see that as a rather unconvincing hypothetical.

The whole point of Acts 15 is to demonstrate that the believers are not under the old covenant laws of Moses. The fact that they do not mention baptism is irrelevant; the decree from the council in Acts is not meant to be a catechism. It was done to create provisions which addressed specific issues at the time. Note that circumcision isn't even mentioned in the decree that went out.

However, you did not address the verse which I presented, which clearly shows that baptism is fulfillment of the old testament circumcision, and is in fact called "the circumcision of Christ". We still have to deal with this verse, we cannot simply "cover it up" with another verse that doesn't even address baptism specifically.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: primuspilus on March 12, 2012, 01:08:50 PM
I would also like to add, that even scholars who do not believe in infant baptism agree that a household in this period includes wives, sons, daughters, slaves, those that live in their house (an elderly mother for example). This is irrefutable. There is overwhelming proof of this in history.

PP
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: David Young on March 12, 2012, 02:15:28 PM
Since infants that were 8 days old were circumsized, its a harder hill to climb fighting against infant baptism.

Not so! You are confusing two different things. Circumcision and baptism are both the sign of becoming a member of God's people: for the Jews, it was by physical birth (the sign was circumcision); for Christians it is the new birth, wrought by the Spirit through faith (the sign is baptism). Each sign should be performed to show that someone has indeed joined God's people.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) on March 12, 2012, 02:46:19 PM
Pastor Young--You might find the following quotation from Saint Gregory Palamas interesting.

...Baptism alone is not sufficient to make a person a disciple of the Gospel; keeping God’s commandments, all of them is also necessary.  For He says, ‘Teaching them to observe,’ not just certain things, but ‘all things whatsoever I have commanded you.’  So James, the Lord’s brother, did well to write, ‘Whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all’ (Jam. 2:1).  When someone falls into sin and does not pick himself up from the pit of iniquity through repentance, he becomes, through that sin, a transgressor of the law of grace.  ‘So speak ye,’ says the Scripture, ‘and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty’ (Jam. 2:12).  Christ’s law is a law of liberty, for through Holy Baptism He has made us free from the law of sin and death (cf. Rom. 8:2).  If we do not strive through blameless deeds and words to guard our freedom to the end, or, when it slips away, to summon it back through repentance, we shall be condemned by that liberating law itself for failing to keep the freedom given to us.  

Saint Gregory Palamas, “Homily Thirty-Eight,” The Homilies of Saint Gregory Palamas, Vol. 2,
Christopher Veniamin (ed), Saint Tikhon’s Seminary Press, South Canaan, PA, p. 188.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: PeterTheAleut on March 12, 2012, 02:50:35 PM
Since infants that were 8 days old were circumsized, its a harder hill to climb fighting against infant baptism.

Not so! You are confusing two different things. Circumcision and baptism are both the sign of becoming a member of God's people: for the Jews, it was by physical birth (the sign was circumcision); for Christians it is the new birth, wrought by the Spirit through faith (the sign is baptism). Each sign should be performed to show that someone has indeed joined God's people.
Which is exactly why we baptize infants: to incorporate them into the community of God's people, the Body of Christ. Just as infants were not required to make a profession of faith when they were joined to God's people via the circumcision of the Old Covenant, so also are infants not required to make a profession of faith when joined to God's people via the baptism of the New Covenant.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) on March 12, 2012, 02:51:11 PM
Pastor Young--Here is another selection that may be of interest. This one does not relate directly to baptism, but pputs baptism in perspective:

"Who shall roll away the stone from the door of the sepulchre...for it (is) very great? (Mark 16:3). Who rolled it away? An angel, at God's command. He will likewise roll away the stone of insensibility from our hearts, when the time is right for this. We must show faithfulness to the Lord during times of callousness, faintheartedness, doubts, coldness, times of sorrow, illness and various misfortunes. We must exert our willpower to strengthen faith in ourselves when, by God's allowance, it seems to be all but extinguished. He permits this in order that we may show again and again what it is we are striving for, where our choice lies.

There is a saying among the elders: a good deed is either preceded or followed by a temptation. A good deed, such as heartfelt prayer, or especially Holy Communion, will not pass without the devil taking revenge. He uses all his might to prevent fruitful prayer and/or communion. If unable to achieve this, he then tries to spoil everything after the fact, so that not a trace of the benefit acquired remains. This is very familiar to all those who have some experience in spiritual endeavor. For this reason it is necessary to ask the Lord, with humility and contrition of heart, that He preserve us from the snares of the devil, who acts either directly upon the soul, or indirectly, through people subject to his power.

Do not be surprised at this. This warfare is fierce. Except the Lord build the house, in vain do they labour that build it. Except the Lord guard the city, in vain doth he watch that guardeth her, (Psalm 126:1-2). We must surrender ourselves into the compassionate hands of God, acknowledging before Him our weakness and inability to guard ourselves from visible and invisible foes. Do not be afraid. The devil does not do what he would like, but only that which God allows him to do. Take a look at the book of Job.

May God's blessing always be with you. Never despair. May Christ's Cross always serve to remind you of God's boundless love toward fallen man. Is this thought not enough to inspire one to wholly give oneself over into God's hands? One must make at least a small effort to seek the Kingdom of God, and then the Lord will not leave such a person without His help and comfort. The Lord loves you! Have patience with the Lord."

This beautiful meditation comes from the book Letters to Spiritual Children published by Nikodemos Orthodox Publication Society in New York in 1997. My priest made it available to subscribers to what he calls his "Wisdom List" (email list) If anyone is interested, please drop me a PM.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) on March 12, 2012, 02:57:43 PM
Pastor Young--Here is another selection that may be of interest. This one also does not relate directly to baptism, but puts baptism in perspective as my previous post did. However, this one is from Elder Cleopa of Romania, a modern day hesychast, who might be of interest to you as I understand you had been to Eastern Europe.

"What follows is an excerpt from an article written by His Grace, Atanasije (Jevtic), Retired Bishop of Zahumlje and Herzegovina (Serbian Orthodox Church), entitled “Teachings of the Blessed Elder Cleopa.”

The Holy Fathers say (this is how Fr. Cleopa began to express concisely his spiritual experience to us, inherited from the Holy Fathers and personally experienced by him, as every one of his words clearly confirms) that on the path of salvation one is tempted by the devil from eight sides: from the front, from behind, from the left, from the right, from above, from below, from inside, and from the outside.

1. One is tempted from behind when one continuously remembers the sins and evil deeds one has committed in the past, recalling them anew in one’s mind, reshuffling them, engaging them, despairing because of them, and contemplating them sensually. Such a remembrance of how we have sinned in the past is a demonic temptation.

2. One is normally tempted from the front through fear at the thought of what the future holds: of what will happen to us or to the world; of how much longer we will live; of whether we will have anything to eat; of whether there will be a war or any other kind of serious and frightful event to come; and, in general, by making all kinds of guesses, predictions, prophecies, and everything else that induces fear of the future in us.

3. One is tempted by the devil from the left through the call to commit obvious sins and to behave and act in ways that are known to be sinful and evil, but which people do nonetheless. This temptation is a direct call to sin openly and consciously.
...
Against each of these temptations – from behind, from the front, from the left, from the right, from above, from below, from inside, and from the outside – one must fight by means of watchfulness(the Elder used precisely this Slavonic word [trezvenie]), that is, attentiveness, carefulness, and wakefulness of soul and body; wakefulness and vigilance of spirit; sobriety and discernment; attention to one’s thoughts and actions; or, in a word: judgment. On the other hand, by means of constant prayer that invokes the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, that is, through unceasing prayer. (Here Fr. Petronius added in Greek: “Prosochi kai prosefchi” – that is, as the Holy Fathers put it, “by attention and prayer.”)

In other words (the Elder added), the Holy Fathers said that the battle against all temptations and passions consists in the following: guarding all one’s mind, soul, and body from temptation – this is our ascetic struggle, from our human point of view; from the Divine side, one must continuously and prayerfully call upon the help of the All-Merciful Lord Jesus Christ – and this is that unceasing and primary prayer of the hesychasts called the Jesus Prayer: “Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me, a sinner!”

Read the rest at  http://www.pravmir.com/elder-cleopa-on-the-eight-sources-of-temptation/ (http://www.pravmir.com/elder-cleopa-on-the-eight-sources-of-temptation/)
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: ialmisry on March 12, 2012, 03:35:17 PM
Well, i wonder if there is any need for child baptism then.

I do find the whole "you and your household" references a bit tenuous.
If you knew anything about 1st century Mediterrean society, Roman and Jewish law, and the definition of household (and there is plenty of material on that) etc., you wouldn't.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: David Young on March 12, 2012, 03:43:55 PM
This beautiful meditation comes from the book Letters to Spiritual Children published by Nikodemos Orthodox Publication Society in New York in 1997.

Thank you. Regrettably, Orthodox books are very hard to find in Britain. They occasionally crop up in charity or second-hand bookshops, otheriwse the only other source I know is the theology section of Blackwells in Oxford, which is a secular bookshop. Also, books are expensive here in comparison with the USA.  :(
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: katherineofdixie on March 12, 2012, 04:02:19 PM
This beautiful meditation comes from the book Letters to Spiritual Children published by Nikodemos Orthodox Publication Society in New York in 1997.

Thank you. Regrettably, Orthodox books are very hard to find in Britain. They occasionally crop up in charity or second-hand bookshops, otheriwse the only other source I know is the theology section of Blackwells in Oxford, which is a secular bookshop. Also, books are expensive here in comparison with the USA.  :(

Amazon.com!
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: JamesR on March 12, 2012, 05:07:42 PM
John's baptism was a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins...

St. John actually did not Baptise people, that was an older Jewish ritual called a Mikvah which was preserved for Jews who had sinned and become ritually unclean. Christian Baptism is compared to circumcision, which Jews did to infants when they were eight days old to grant them entrance into the Holy congregation of God's people, not the Mikvah.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: LBK on March 12, 2012, 05:16:03 PM
Quote
"Mary, what happens when you go up for Communion?" She smiled the biggest, sweetest smile you ever saw, opened up her arms wide and said, " I meet Jesus there!"

Thanks so much for this, katherineofdixie! Out of the mouths of babes, indeed! This simple, little one truly puts the learned to shame. Blessed are the poor in spirit, for they shall see God.

What say you, David Young?
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: JamesR on March 12, 2012, 05:22:06 PM
Infants are sinless, why would they need forgiveness? Orthodoxy does not accept original sin. Baptism will not save anybody in itself anymore than circumcision would save a disobedient Jew, and just as one becomes uncircimcised through disregarding the Law, a Christian can become un-Baptised through not following the new Law prescribed by the Church. Baptism is indeed a vital part of salvation, however it is only one step in the process. By Baptising infants we are being good parents and bringing our children one step closer to Christ, by allowing them to participate in His death and resurrection and inherit a blessing from Christ, and so that when they are at a cognitive age to focus on their spiritual life, their Baptism will have already been taken care of; they will already be a member of God's people and can begin. Baptism is like a parent giving their child a headstart in their spiritual life. If you are familiar with the Nicene creed, we believe that '...Baptism for the remission of sins and unto life everlasting...'. Since Infants are sinless, the Baptism of infants is to bring upon them the second promise; life everlasting as a member of God's flock. Wouldn't you want to give this to your child?
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: mabsoota on March 12, 2012, 05:39:32 PM
re: orthodox books; i recommend www.lulu.com and especially anything written by father peter (i am not really that biased! i read some of his writings before i met him and liked them) or anyone from the british orthodox church. i don't know the other orthodox writers, but i expect there is lots of good stuff there.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: David Young on March 12, 2012, 06:58:38 PM
Amazon.com!

Not making excuses - but I like to browse in a book, look at its style, material, write-ups etc, before buying.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: Aindriú on March 12, 2012, 08:36:53 PM
Amazon.com!

Not making excuses - but I like to browse in a book, look at its style, material, write-ups etc, before buying.

You still read analog books?!  :o :D
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: LBK on March 12, 2012, 08:40:28 PM
Amazon.com!

Not making excuses - but I like to browse in a book, look at its style, material, write-ups etc, before buying.

You still read analog books?!  :o :D

Some of us here are old enough to be your parent. Or grandparent.  ;) :laugh:
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: Aindriú on March 12, 2012, 08:48:32 PM
Amazon.com!

Not making excuses - but I like to browse in a book, look at its style, material, write-ups etc, before buying.

You still read analog books?!  :o :D

Some of us here are old enough to be your parent. Or grandparent.  ;) :laugh:

True. True.  :D
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: mountainman on March 12, 2012, 09:27:10 PM
seems to me this question is analogous to our understanding of why abortion is a sin...  we do not depend on nor feel a need to calculate the self awareness of the fetus in order to establish the value of a human being... in the same manner we do not depend solely on the cognition or "ability to respond with reason" of a person as a criteria for baptism.   We are born into a world that has fallen into a sick condition and as such it is the incumbent responsibility of christian parents along with the sponsors to ensure that a baby born into this environment is given the medicine (baptism/chrismation) as well as brought into the hospital (the church)...  The mystery of baptism extends far beyond the ability of the recipient for reasonable or cognizant response... do not believe for a moment however that a new born infant is unable to respond and demonstrate faith... in fact their entire life shows forth a greater faith than our own demonstrated by their utter dependance on and faith in the love and care of their parents!
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: LBK on March 12, 2012, 09:33:29 PM
seems to me this question is analogous to our understanding of why abortion is a sin...  we do not depend on nor feel a need to calculate the self awareness of the fetus in order to establish the value of a human being... in the same manner we do not depend solely on the cognition or "ability to respond with reason" of a person as a criteria for baptism.   We are born into a world that has fallen into a sick condition and as such it is the incumbent responsibility of christian parents along with the sponsors to ensure that a baby born into this environment is given the medicine (baptism/chrismation) as well as brought into the hospital (the church)...  The mystery of baptism extends far beyond the ability of the recipient for reasonable or cognizant response... do not believe for a moment however that a new born infant is unable to respond and demonstrate faith... in fact their entire life shows forth a greater faith than our own demonstrated by their utter dependance on and faith in the love and care of their parents!

David Young, what say you to this?
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: PeterTheAleut on March 13, 2012, 12:41:46 AM
Baptism will not save anybody in itself anymore than circumcision would save a disobedient Jew, and just as one becomes uncircimcised through disregarding the Law, a Christian can become un-Baptised through not following the new Law prescribed by the Church.
Technically, in the eyes of the Church, even apostasy cannot undo one's baptism, as evidenced from the fact that we will not rebaptize apostates. However, apostasy can undo any spiritual benefit baptism may have conferred and render the apostate even worse off than he was before his baptism.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: David Young on March 13, 2012, 04:11:24 AM
we will not rebaptize apostates. However, apostasy can ... render the apostate even worse off than he was before his baptism.

We would entirely agree with both parts of this post.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: David Young on March 13, 2012, 04:15:25 AM
it is the incumbent responsibility of christian parents along with the sponsors to ensure that a baby born into this environment is given the medicine (baptism/chrismation) as well as brought into the hospital (the church)...

David Young, what say you to this?

I would say that we wholly agree with it is the incumbent responsibility of christian parents along with the sponsors to ensure that a baby born into this environment is given the medicine, but we would understand the 'medicine' as the truth of the Gospel, and baptism as the former baby's response to that truth as he or she grows into awareness of its power. Christmation we do not have, and to discuss the reception of the Holy Ghost would probably take us beyond the theme of this particular thread.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: mountainman on March 13, 2012, 05:55:27 AM
how is one then to receive this truth of the gospel without the reasoning faculty?
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: David Young on March 13, 2012, 08:27:00 AM
how is one then to receive this truth of the gospel without the reasoning faculty?

We've had this conversation, or one very similar, before. A small number of you Orthodox seem to look for confirmtion of your beliefs in the small number of people who lie at the extremes of humanity - infants who die a few days old, people who (without coming to faith beforehand) suffer such devastating cerebral injury that they are no longer sapient, and perhaps others. What I replied was that I see the Bible as given to us to teach us how to respond to God in faith and discipleship: not given to us to answer our curiosity and the conundrums we can think up about those whom we must leave to the wisdom, justice and compassion of God.

I guess a thoroughgoing Augustinian would have to say that an unbaptised baby who dies is damned for sharing (not Adam's nature, but) Adam's sin and guilt. I do not suppose either you or I are such Augustinians, are we?

Our Lord said to one of his disciples, who asked about someone else's fate, "What is that to you?" What we, who are able to understand, must do is to respond to the call and commands of Christ - to believe, be baptised, remember him in the breaking of bread, and make every effort to add virtue, good works and sanctity to our faith. What we do not know is how God will deal with those who are not able to make such a response.

Beyond that I cannot go: I do not know, and I do not believe it has been revealed.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) on March 13, 2012, 08:43:31 AM


Beyond that I cannot go: I do not know, and I do not believe it has been revealed.

But, it has been revealed both in the Scriptures (the many instances of households being baptized) and the practice of the Church from the earliest of times. The main problem here is the insistence for everything to make perfect sense, rather than taking certain things in faith.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: FountainPen on March 13, 2012, 09:35:20 AM
how is one then to receive this truth of the gospel without the reasoning faculty?

We've had this conversation, or one very similar, before. A small number of you Orthodox seem to look for confirmtion of your beliefs in the small number of people who lie at the extremes of humanity - infants who die a few days old, people who (without coming to faith beforehand) suffer such devastating cerebral injury that they are no longer sapient, and perhaps others. What I replied was that I see the Bible as given to us to teach us how to respond to God in faith and discipleship: not given to us to answer our curiosity and the conundrums we can think up about those whom we must leave to the wisdom, justice and compassion of God.

I guess a thoroughgoing Augustinian would have to say that an unbaptised baby who dies is damned for sharing (not Adam's nature, but) Adam's sin and guilt. I do not suppose either you or I are such Augustinians, are we?

Our Lord said to one of his disciples, who asked about someone else's fate, "What is that to you?" What we, who are able to understand, must do is to respond to the call and commands of Christ - to believe, be baptised, remember him in the breaking of bread, and make every effort to add virtue, good works and sanctity to our faith. What we do not know is how God will deal with those who are not able to make such a response.

Beyond that I cannot go: I do not know, and I do not believe it has been revealed.

Excellent points.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: Ortho_cat on March 13, 2012, 09:40:26 AM
how is one then to receive this truth of the gospel without the reasoning faculty?

We've had this conversation, or one very similar, before. A small number of you Orthodox seem to look for confirmtion of your beliefs in the small number of people who lie at the extremes of humanity - infants who die a few days old, people who (without coming to faith beforehand) suffer such devastating cerebral injury that they are no longer sapient, and perhaps others. What I replied was that I see the Bible as given to us to teach us how to respond to God in faith and discipleship: not given to us to answer our curiosity and the conundrums we can think up about those whom we must leave to the wisdom, justice and compassion of God.

I guess a thoroughgoing Augustinian would have to say that an unbaptised baby who dies is damned for sharing (not Adam's nature, but) Adam's sin and guilt. I do not suppose either you or I are such Augustinians, are we?

Our Lord said to one of his disciples, who asked about someone else's fate, "What is that to you?" What we, who are able to understand, must do is to respond to the call and commands of Christ - to believe, be baptised, remember him in the breaking of bread, and make every effort to add virtue, good works and sanctity to our faith. What we do not know is how God will deal with those who are not able to make such a response.

Beyond that I cannot go: I do not know, and I do not believe it has been revealed.

David, do you hold the belief that unless something is found clearly and explicitly in scripture, then God has not revealed it to us?

Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: David Young on March 13, 2012, 09:40:51 AM
Beyond that I cannot go: I do not know, and I do not believe it has been revealed.
The main problem here is the insistence for everything to make perfect sense,

You cannot construe Beyond that I cannot go: I do not know to be an insistence for everything to make perfect sense.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: David Young on March 13, 2012, 09:55:19 AM
do you hold the belief that unless something is found clearly and explicitly in scripture, then God has not revealed it to us?

I believe the word is adiaphora. Our belief is that the Old and New Testaments (not the Apocrypha) were given by inspiration of God and are sufficient, authoritative and final in all matters of faith and practice. There are, of course, many issues which are not settled within those sacred pages, and we are not required to accept them: some matters are not touched on at all, others are dark and unclear, open to more than one sincere interpretation. We are, of course, required to strive for a good conscience, but I cannot (nor do I wish to) deny my fellow the title Christian because he disagrees with me on secondary, unclear or ambiguous beliefs and practices. One is a Calvinist, another believes Christ died to make salvation available to all people; one believes the sabbath was shifted from Saturday to Sunday, another holds all days alike; one baptises infants (for reasons you well know), another believes that faith and repentance are prerequisites; one believes the Church has wholly replaced Israel, another believes God has still a purpose for his ancient people; one believes Genesis 1-11 is literal historical truth, another sees those chapters as containing an amount of God-given myth which teaches important religious truths; one holds a sacramental view of the Lord's Supper, another believes that taking the bread and wine is a purely symbolic and reverent memorial of Christ's Passion on the sinner's behalf... and so on and so forth.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: katherineofdixie on March 13, 2012, 10:37:55 AM
Amazon.com!

Not making excuses - but I like to browse in a book, look at its style, material, write-ups etc, before buying.

You still read analog books?!  :o :D

Some of us here are old enough to be your parent. Or grandparent.  ;) :laugh:

I have to confess that even though I received a Kindle for Christmas, I immediately went out and bought a cover that makes it look like an old book!
One of my young friends asked me if that made me feel better about having the Kindle. ;D
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: katherineofdixie on March 13, 2012, 10:42:30 AM
secondary, unclear or ambiguous beliefs and practices

But baptism is not a secondary, unclear or ambiguous belief or practice. It is, as you have agreed with me, a foundational Christian belief and practice.

Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: primuspilus on March 13, 2012, 10:46:36 AM
Quote
We are, of course, required to strive for a good conscience, but I cannot (nor do I wish to) deny my fellow the title Christian because he disagrees with me on secondary, unclear or ambiguous beliefs and practices
Its not a secondary or ambiguous belief. Protestantism made it ambiguous. However, as I have said before, alot of American Protestants can learn alot from you David.

PP
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: David Young on March 13, 2012, 11:33:08 AM
But baptism is not a secondary, unclear or ambiguous belief ... It is, as you have agreed with me, a foundational Christian belief

Yes, I do and indeed must agree, for Hebrews 6.1-2 puts it there, and of course the command to repent, believe and be baptised is frequent in Holy Writ. What we are discussing is not whether baptism is optional - we all agree that it is not. Rather, we are debating the question of when it should be applied. My friends who were 'baptised' as infants sincerely regard themselves as baptised believers; they are not consciously disobeying the Lord's command, and indeed in the years 1963-1968 I received much blessing during my time in Methodist and Anglican churches. Also, I suspect you believe that the person baptising must be a priest within apostolic succession.

In addition, discussion (not here, I think) sometimes wanders into whether baptism should be by immersion, as we practise, by affusion (pouring), or by sprinkling. We all agree that it must be in water. Here, we have also entered into the matter of the inner meaning, symbolism, efficacy, grace (however one sees it) of baptism. It is my suspicion that if a person genuinely believes he is a baptised Christian, then God accepts that sincere belief and intention, even though some of us have obviously misunderstood some points - not that that means we can assume liberty not to do our utmost to obey what we do believe is the command.

But we all agree that baptism is not an optional extra for specially religious people.

This opens a different question: what do we make of people like the Salvation Army, or the early Quakers, with no baptism? I think they are disobedient to the Lord's command, but I find it hard to view them as 'unsaved' (as we Vangies say): reading George Fox or William Booth shows too much of Christ in their thought and life to make that a credible conclusion, I think.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: Ortho_cat on March 13, 2012, 12:55:35 PM
do you hold the belief that unless something is found clearly and explicitly in scripture, then God has not revealed it to us?

I believe the word is adiaphora. Our belief is that the Old and New Testaments (not the Apocrypha) were given by inspiration of God and are sufficient, authoritative and final in all matters of faith and practice. There are, of course, many issues which are not settled within those sacred pages, and we are not required to accept them: some matters are not touched on at all, others are dark and unclear, open to more than one sincere interpretation. We are, of course, required to strive for a good conscience, but I cannot (nor do I wish to) deny my fellow the title Christian because he disagrees with me on secondary, unclear or ambiguous beliefs and practices. One is a Calvinist, another believes Christ died to make salvation available to all people; one believes the sabbath was shifted from Saturday to Sunday, another holds all days alike; one baptises infants (for reasons you well know), another believes that faith and repentance are prerequisites; one believes the Church has wholly replaced Israel, another believes God has still a purpose for his ancient people; one believes Genesis 1-11 is literal historical truth, another sees those chapters as containing an amount of God-given myth which teaches important religious truths; one holds a sacramental view of the Lord's Supper, another believes that taking the bread and wine is a purely symbolic and reverent memorial of Christ's Passion on the sinner's behalf... and so on and so forth.

whew, that's alot of gray area there! :o
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: David Young on March 14, 2012, 05:29:21 AM
whew, that's alot of gray area there! :o

Yes, it is. In re baptism, obviously either you or we have got it wrong. I wonder how the apostles would think if they could get into a time machine and travel forward in time to the 17th or 21st centuries. Thing is, I suspect they wrote as they did because what they taught and practised was obvious to them, and it never occurred to them either that we would stop baptising infants, or that you would invent such a rite. Similarly with other issues on which people sincerely differ. (By "sincerely", I mean people whose heart desires to submit to the Lord's ways and will, not people who decide to say, "I'm blowed if I'm going to accept that!")
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: mountainman on March 14, 2012, 06:30:37 AM
David, your observations are very reasonable  ;).  It is true that faith and repentance are required prior to baptism.  That is why the child has godparents.  Their faith and repentance commends the child to God.  If this seems strange to you, it is perhaps because you overemphasize or even idolize individuality within the Body.  It seems to me that everything we do in the orthodox church is a participation in something larger than ourselves, including salvation.  As we are resurrected together, so we are saved together.  Likewise, the baptism of one into the body of Christ is a reliving or a re-experience of baptism for all those who participate.  In fact, we really don't do anything alone.  I think the reality of this is only made plain through participation and cannot be properly understood "reasonably".
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: Aindriú on March 14, 2012, 07:13:48 AM
David, your observations are very reasonable  ;).  It is true that faith and repentance are required prior to baptism.  That is why the child has godparents.  Their faith and repentance commends the child to God.  If this seems strange to you, it is perhaps because you overemphasize or even idolize individuality within the Body.  It seems to me that everything we do in the orthodox church is a participation in something larger than ourselves, including salvation.  As we are resurrected together, so we are saved together.  Likewise, the baptism of one into the body of Christ is a reliving or a re-experience of baptism for all those who participate.  In fact, we really don't do anything alone.  I think the reality of this is only made plain through participation and cannot be properly understood "reasonably".

It also assumes that Baptism doesn't convey any Grace, and/or have any function beyond a ritual of external action. That is, it is something we do merely because Jesus told us to, and not because it is physically(spiritually) beneficial to us.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: FountainPen on March 14, 2012, 07:42:29 AM
David, your observations are very reasonable  ;).  It is true that faith and repentance are required prior to baptism.  That is why the child has godparents.  Their faith and repentance commends the child to God.  If this seems strange to you, it is perhaps because you overemphasize or even idolize individuality within the Body.  It seems to me that everything we do in the orthodox church is a participation in something larger than ourselves, including salvation.  As we are resurrected together, so we are saved together.  Likewise, the baptism of one into the body of Christ is a reliving or a re-experience of baptism for all those who participate.  In fact, we really don't do anything alone.  I think the reality of this is only made plain through participation and cannot be properly understood "reasonably".

It also assumes that Baptism doesn't convey any Grace, and/or have any function beyond a ritual of external action. That is, it is something we do merely because Jesus told us to, and not because it is physically(spiritually) beneficial to us.

A ritual of external action can be as real, spiritual and full of grace in the heart of the individual performing the action and the rest of the congregation who witness it.

You're the one who's making the assumptions.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: David Young on March 14, 2012, 08:54:47 AM
It also assumes that Baptism doesn't convey any Grace, and/or have any function beyond a ritual of external action.

I wouldn't go that far. Surely any act of willing obedience conveys grace, deepens, enriches and strengthens the believer's faith and his relationship and closeness to the Lord. Baptism and the Lord's Supper are of course specific commands, and must surely convey grace when obeyed in the right spirit (otherwise we eat and drink judgement upon ourselves).
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: PeterTheAleut on March 14, 2012, 10:00:46 AM
What about the narrative of the paralytic whose friends tore a hole in the roof and let him down through it to place their paralyzed friend in front of Jesus so He would heal him (which we heard in the Gospel reading for this last Sunday's Divine Liturgy)? I think this is just about as good an example as you'll find in the Gospel of Jesus healing a man (and forgiving his sins) because of the faith of others, which is essentially what we're asking Him to do when parents and godparents come together to have a baby baptized.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: primuspilus on March 14, 2012, 10:21:22 AM
I never thought of that Peter. That is an excellent point.

PP
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: katherineofdixie on March 14, 2012, 10:35:07 AM
When I was a Protestant, I became increasingly troubled by the question, "But how do we know?" Such as, how do we know that infant baptism is ok? How do we know that women can be ordained? Is communion a memorial only or is it the Body and Blood of Christ? And on and on. Sincere, devout Christians could read the same verses in Scripture and come to totally different and indeed diametrically opposed interpretations. My understanding was no better or worse than anyone else's and vice versa.

(Of course, I suppose that this assumes that there is objective and not only subjective truth. This seems to be an increasingly unpopular assumption.)

So the argument is that infant baptism is wrong, according to a particular understanding. Even though there is ample evidence from history and by inference at least from Scripture, as well as no prohibition. What to do? What to believe?

Should we then conclude that the majority of Christians for centuries got a foundational Christian belief and practice wrong, and that no one noticed it or thought it was important until the Reformation? (and note that many of the Reformers believed in the practice.)

Or should we use the Vincentian Canon to decide - St. Vincent of Lerins who said that "we must hold what has been believed everywhere, always, and by all."

Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) on March 14, 2012, 10:48:12 AM
David, your observations are very reasonable  ;).  It is true that faith and repentance are required prior to baptism.  That is why the child has godparents.  Their faith and repentance commends the child to God.  If this seems strange to you, it is perhaps because you overemphasize or even idolize individuality within the Body.  It seems to me that everything we do in the orthodox church is a participation in something larger than ourselves, including salvation.  As we are resurrected together, so we are saved together.  Likewise, the baptism of one into the body of Christ is a reliving or a re-experience of baptism for all those who participate.  In fact, we really don't do anything alone.  I think the reality of this is only made plain through participation and cannot be properly understood "reasonably".

It also assumes that Baptism doesn't convey any Grace, and/or have any function beyond a ritual of external action. That is, it is something we do merely because Jesus told us to, and not because it is physically(spiritually) beneficial to us.

A ritual of external action can be as real, spiritual and full of grace in the heart of the individual performing the action and the rest of the congregation who witness it.

You're the one who's making the assumptions.

I think that Andriu and you are in the same page. He was reiterating what he thinks is the anabaptist position.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) on March 14, 2012, 10:55:50 AM
But baptism is not a secondary, unclear or ambiguous belief ... It is, as you have agreed with me, a foundational Christian belief

Yes, I do and indeed must agree, for Hebrews 6.1-2 puts it there, and of course the command to repent, believe and be baptised is frequent in Holy Writ. What we are discussing is not whether baptism is optional - we all agree that it is not. Rather, we are debating the question of when it should be applied. My friends who were 'baptised' as infants sincerely regard themselves as baptised believers; they are not consciously disobeying the Lord's command, and indeed in the years 1963-1968 I received much blessing during my time in Methodist and Anglican churches. Also, I suspect you believe that the person baptising must be a priest within apostolic succession.

In addition, discussion (not here, I think) sometimes wanders into whether baptism should be by immersion, as we practise, by affusion (pouring), or by sprinkling. We all agree that it must be in water. Here, we have also entered into the matter of the inner meaning, symbolism, efficacy, grace (however one sees it) of baptism. It is my suspicion that if a person genuinely believes he is a baptised Christian, then God accepts that sincere belief and intention, even though some of us have obviously misunderstood some points - not that that means we can assume liberty not to do our utmost to obey what we do believe is the command.

But we all agree that baptism is not an optional extra for specially religious people.

This opens a different question: what do we make of people like the Salvation Army, or the early Quakers, with no baptism? I think they are disobedient to the Lord's command, but I find it hard to view them as 'unsaved' (as we Vangies say): reading George Fox or William Booth shows too much of Christ in their thought and life to make that a credible conclusion, I think.

Why should we even try to judge whether anybody else is saved? The Lord can indeed be working with those outside our own churches and we would not know much about it (The position of Metropolitan Philaret by the way). That would not prevent us from discussing such topics as infant baptism because this discussion might bring greater clarity to our understanding of our own position, in addition to the understanding of others. In doing so, we tacitly acknowledge that each other's worth to the Lord. I am not really trying to have you change your mind, Pastor Young, as I am trying to explain my own understanding and convictions. I am very happy and thankful that we can do so with civility and in the spirit of brotherhood.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: Ortho_cat on March 14, 2012, 11:27:01 AM
What about the narrative of the paralytic whose friends tore a hole in the roof and let him down through it to place their paralyzed friend in front of Jesus so He would heal him (which we heard in the Gospel reading for this last Sunday's Divine Liturgy)? I think this is just about as good an example as you'll find in the Gospel of Jesus healing a man (and forgiving his sins) because of the faith of others, which is essentially what we're asking Him to do when parents and godparents come together to have a baby baptized.

the same thing when the centurion goes to ask Jesus to heal his servant (well the healing part anyways).
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: David Young on March 14, 2012, 12:07:50 PM
I am not really trying to have you change your mind, Pastor Young, as I am trying to explain my own understanding and convictions. I am very happy and thankful that we can do so with civility and in the spirit of brotherhood.

Likewise.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: Ortho_cat on March 14, 2012, 02:14:52 PM
whew, that's alot of gray area there! :o

Yes, it is. In re baptism, obviously either you or we have got it wrong. I wonder how the apostles would think if they could get into a time machine and travel forward in time to the 17th or 21st centuries. Thing is, I suspect they wrote as they did because what they taught and practised was obvious to them, and it never occurred to them either that we would stop baptising infants, or that you would invent such a rite. Similarly with other issues on which people sincerely differ. (By "sincerely", I mean people whose heart desires to submit to the Lord's ways and will, not people who decide to say, "I'm blowed if I'm going to accept that!")

well we know we have clear testimony regarding infant baptism being practiced in the church from at least the 2nd century, and we see no sign of conflict or disagreement in any of the writings of the ECF's regarding the legitimacy of such a practice. I think that says quite a bit (Note that the only disagreement regarding infant baptism in the early church was whether or not to wait until the 8th day, as was the tradition with circumcision). We know that Irenaeus (who upholds the practice of infant baptism in his writings) was born into a Christian home, probably around the year 140 AD, and being from Smyrna, was most likely baptized by Polycarp (the bishop of Smyrna at the time), who was a direct disciples of John. If there was such a controvery regarding this practice in the early church (which would be necessary from a Protestant standpoint, because they claim the practice is not apostolic) where is the evidence of such? All evidence points to infant baptism being the norm in the church from the very beginning, with even scripture suggesting such.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: Marc1152 on March 14, 2012, 02:43:26 PM
whew, that's alot of gray area there! :o

Yes, it is. In re baptism, obviously either you or we have got it wrong. I wonder how the apostles would think if they could get into a time machine and travel forward in time to the 17th or 21st centuries. Thing is, I suspect they wrote as they did because what they taught and practised was obvious to them, and it never occurred to them either that we would stop baptising infants, or that you would invent such a rite. Similarly with other issues on which people sincerely differ. (By "sincerely", I mean people whose heart desires to submit to the Lord's ways and will, not people who decide to say, "I'm blowed if I'm going to accept that!")

well we know we have clear testimony regarding infant baptism being practiced in the church from at least the 2nd century, and we see no sign of conflict or disagreement in any of the writings of the ECF's regarding the legitimacy of such a practice. I think that says quite a bit (Note that the only disagreement regarding infant baptism in the early church was whether or not to wait until the 8th day, as was the tradition with circumcision). We know that Irenaeus (who upholds the practice of infant baptism in his writings) was born into a Christian home, probably around the year 140 AD, and being from Smyrna, was most likely baptized by Polycarp (the bishop of Smyrna at the time), who was a direct disciples of John. If there was such a controvery regarding this practice in the early church (which would be necessary from a Protestant standpoint, because they claim the practice is not apostolic) where is the evidence of such? All evidence points to infant baptism being the norm in the church from the very beginning, with even scripture suggesting such.

If the Apostles had not allowed infant Baptism and then all of a sudden it was allowed, how can there be no record of this monumental change? No discussion, no objections..nothing. No hint at all in the historial records... Hard to believe. Can Mr. Young explain this?

Thanks
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: David Young on March 14, 2012, 05:35:32 PM
Can Mr. Young explain this?

He (= I) could probably find references to support our beliefs from early Christian writings, but I am off to Sicily, and by the time I get back, the question will have gone cold and been superseded. (We have often discussed this topic, so I dare say some such references are scattered among my various scribblings on the Forum.)
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: Aindriú on March 14, 2012, 06:12:55 PM
David, your observations are very reasonable  ;).  It is true that faith and repentance are required prior to baptism.  That is why the child has godparents.  Their faith and repentance commends the child to God.  If this seems strange to you, it is perhaps because you overemphasize or even idolize individuality within the Body.  It seems to me that everything we do in the orthodox church is a participation in something larger than ourselves, including salvation.  As we are resurrected together, so we are saved together.  Likewise, the baptism of one into the body of Christ is a reliving or a re-experience of baptism for all those who participate.  In fact, we really don't do anything alone.  I think the reality of this is only made plain through participation and cannot be properly understood "reasonably".

It also assumes that Baptism doesn't convey any Grace, and/or have any function beyond a ritual of external action. That is, it is something we do merely because Jesus told us to, and not because it is physically(spiritually) beneficial to us.

A ritual of external action can be as real, spiritual and full of grace in the heart of the individual performing the action and the rest of the congregation who witness it.

You're the one who's making the assumptions.

It's not an assumption. Many protestant sects openly vocalize this concept, that the acts are done in order to be obedient, only.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: Aindriú on March 14, 2012, 06:16:10 PM
It also assumes that Baptism doesn't convey any Grace, and/or have any function beyond a ritual of external action.

I wouldn't go that far. Surely any act of willing obedience conveys grace, deepens, enriches and strengthens the believer's faith and his relationship and closeness to the Lord. Baptism and the Lord's Supper are of course specific commands, and must surely convey grace when obeyed in the right spirit (otherwise we eat and drink judgement upon ourselves).

So, then the question is "Is the Grace conveyed because of our obedience, or because of something special in the act itself?" That is "Does the blessed bread and water have a deeper nature/ Does Baptism change a person physically (spiritually)?"
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: mabsoota on March 14, 2012, 06:50:10 PM
during my protestant trinitarian baptism, i experienced truly the grace and power of God. it was a lovely experience. i hadn't realised it was supposed to be 'only a symbol'.
i was a pre teen kid.

it was a little bit like a small taste of the deep beauty of my first orthodox Holy Communion.

so, i do believe God works outside the orthodox church, and if u want to keep missing out on the deepest dimension to yr spiritual life, u can stay outside. but i pray u never give up searching until u find what u r looking for.
 :)
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: Marc1152 on March 14, 2012, 11:01:09 PM
Can Mr. Young explain this?

He (= I) could probably find references to support our beliefs from early Christian writings, but I am off to Sicily, and by the time I get back, the question will have gone cold and been superseded. (We have often discussed this topic, so I dare say some such references are scattered among my various scribblings on the Forum.)

Okay, it's important to see that you make the assertion that the change from refusing infants and children baptism to accepting them soon after the time of the Apostles is documented. We can wait to see the documentation and read the debate that this sea change must have cause till you get back...Alert the press.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: LBK on March 15, 2012, 12:08:39 AM
Can Mr. Young explain this?

He (= I) could probably find references to support our beliefs from early Christian writings, but I am off to Sicily, and by the time I get back, the question will have gone cold and been superseded. (We have often discussed this topic, so I dare say some such references are scattered among my various scribblings on the Forum.)

As has happened so often previously, David Young has a convenient dodge to answering pertinent and prickly questions.  ::)
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: Marc1152 on March 15, 2012, 12:23:42 AM
Can Mr. Young explain this?

He (= I) could probably find references to support our beliefs from early Christian writings, but I am off to Sicily, and by the time I get back, the question will have gone cold and been superseded. (We have often discussed this topic, so I dare say some such references are scattered among my various scribblings on the Forum.)

As has happened so often previously, David Young has a convenient dodge to answering pertinent and prickly questions.  ::)

Well sometimes people have to leave town. I will be sure to remind him about this when he gets back. 
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: katherineofdixie on March 15, 2012, 11:43:28 AM
Not to pile on and I hope that David enjoys his trip, but IIRC we have reached this point with him many times before, and had to start all over again.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: FountainPen on March 16, 2012, 08:48:40 AM
He probably realises they'd be dismissed rather than answered that might be why.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: katherineofdixie on March 16, 2012, 09:06:37 AM
He probably realises they'd be dismissed rather than answered that might be why.

If I understand this, and I'm not quite sure I do, it's absolutely not the case.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: Ortho_cat on March 16, 2012, 11:19:13 AM
He probably realises they'd be dismissed rather than answered that might be why.

we're not in the business of dodging facts/questions here, we've got nothing to hide.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: Marc1152 on March 16, 2012, 11:53:34 AM
He probably realises they'd be dismissed rather than answered that might be why.

Hardly.. it would be monumentally important if he can provide some documentation. More likely he cant but let's wait and see.

Here is the question. If the Apostles performed "Believers Baptism" in the manner of today's Protestants then they refused to Baptize infants and children. But early on we know that the Church did in fact Baptize infants and children. The question is then how did this change occur without discussion? To alter a fundamental sacrament without anyone noticing, discussing it pro or con much less have a council decide to approve the change, seems to us to be an impossibility.  
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: FountainPen on March 16, 2012, 01:45:51 PM
He probably realises they'd be dismissed rather than answered that might be why.

Hardly.. it would be monumentally important if he can provide some documentation. More likely he cant but let's wait and see.

Here is the question. If the Apostles performed "Believers Baptism" in the manner of today's Protestants then they refused to Baptize infants and children. But early on we know that the Church did in fact Baptize infants and children. The question is then how did this change occur without discussion? To alter a fundamental sacrament without anyone noticing, discussing it pro or con much less have a council decide to approve the change, seems to us to be an impossibility.  

Here's the thing: what if they should never have started to baptise children in the first place?

If children (example baby John) have some kind of communion with God, maybe they don't need it, maybe they never did. The scriptures clearly teach a baptism of repentance and babies so obviously cannot and need not, repent.

Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) on March 16, 2012, 02:48:59 PM
He probably realises they'd be dismissed rather than answered that might be why.

Hardly.. it would be monumentally important if he can provide some documentation. More likely he cant but let's wait and see.

Here is the question. If the Apostles performed "Believers Baptism" in the manner of today's Protestants then they refused to Baptize infants and children. But early on we know that the Church did in fact Baptize infants and children. The question is then how did this change occur without discussion? To alter a fundamental sacrament without anyone noticing, discussing it pro or con much less have a council decide to approve the change, seems to us to be an impossibility.  

Here's the thing: what if they should never have started to baptise children in the first place?

If children (example baby John) have some kind of communion with God, maybe they don't need it, maybe they never did. The scriptures clearly teach a baptism of repentance and babies so obviously cannot and need not, repent.



That may indeed be what Pastor Young thinks as well. But, as we discussed above, it is hard to get around he fact that babies were baptized from the earliest of times. If the latter is ignored, then one is put in a position of picking and choosing; the Holy Scriptures lose their preeminent position and, one's predilections reign much more so than even for a person who operates under sola scriptura.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: katherineofdixie on March 16, 2012, 03:10:02 PM
He probably realises they'd be dismissed rather than answered that might be why.

Hardly.. it would be monumentally important if he can provide some documentation. More likely he cant but let's wait and see.

Here is the question. If the Apostles performed "Believers Baptism" in the manner of today's Protestants then they refused to Baptize infants and children. But early on we know that the Church did in fact Baptize infants and children. The question is then how did this change occur without discussion? To alter a fundamental sacrament without anyone noticing, discussing it pro or con much less have a council decide to approve the change, seems to us to be an impossibility.  

Here's the thing: what if they should never have started to baptise children in the first place?

If children (example baby John) have some kind of communion with God, maybe they don't need it, maybe they never did. The scriptures clearly teach a baptism of repentance and babies so obviously cannot and need not, repent.




Do Scriptures record that whole households repented and were baptized?


And if they never should have started in the first place, that means that Christians for 1500 or so years were getting a foundational belief and paractice wrong, with no records and no controversy, until the Anabaptists discovered the truth.
How likely is that?
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: Ortho_cat on March 16, 2012, 03:10:47 PM
I have a strong feeling that the verses that refer to househoulds being baptized were done so after the conversion of the man of the house. That is, it was his responsibility to lead his family in faith, and after he converted, the rest of his family was baptized based on his faith. Perhaps it isn't PC today, but I think this is how the culture functioned back then.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: katherineofdixie on March 16, 2012, 03:18:44 PM
I have a strong feeling that the verses that refer to househoulds being baptized were done so after the conversion of the man of the house. That is, it was his responsibility to lead his family in faith, and after he converted, the rest of his family was baptized based on his faith. Perhaps it isn't PC today, but I think this is how the culture functioned back then.

Yes, a household in the Roman Empire could, and mostly did, include not only the nuclear family, but extended family, uncles, aunts, cousins, slaves, and even business partners and proteges. The pater familias had pretty much total control over everyone, and made the decisions for the entire household.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: Marc1152 on March 16, 2012, 04:29:00 PM
He probably realises they'd be dismissed rather than answered that might be why.

Hardly.. it would be monumentally important if he can provide some documentation. More likely he cant but let's wait and see.

Here is the question. If the Apostles performed "Believers Baptism" in the manner of today's Protestants then they refused to Baptize infants and children. But early on we know that the Church did in fact Baptize infants and children. The question is then how did this change occur without discussion? To alter a fundamental sacrament without anyone noticing, discussing it pro or con much less have a council decide to approve the change, seems to us to be an impossibility.  

Here's the thing: what if they should never have started to baptise children in the first place?

If children (example baby John) have some kind of communion with God, maybe they don't need it, maybe they never did. The scriptures clearly teach a baptism of repentance and babies so obviously cannot and need not, repent.



That may indeed be what Pastor Young thinks as well. But, as we discussed above, it is hard to get around he fact that babies were baptized from the earliest of times. If the latter is ignored, then one is put in a position of picking and choosing; the Holy Scriptures lose their preeminent position and, one's predilections reign much more so than even for a person who operates under sola scriptura.

Something else occurred to me today. Christian's continued to circumcise their infant boys during the Apostolic era. That's indisputable. At the council of Jerusalem they debated the need for Gentiles to be circumcised in order to convert as we all know. But the bulk of "Christians"
 ( followers of Jesus, the term "Christian" had not been coined yet) were Jews.

So you would have to argue that Christians circumcised their newborn males but didn't Baptize them. Very very hard to beleive. Plus the mind set is the same. The infant could enter the eternal covenant with God via circumcision without attaining the age of reason, with no consent on his part but with the consent and spiritual guidance of his parents and relatives who stood up for him.  
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: PeterTheAleut on March 17, 2012, 01:09:15 AM
He probably realises they'd be dismissed rather than answered that might be why.

Hardly.. it would be monumentally important if he can provide some documentation. More likely he cant but let's wait and see.

Here is the question. If the Apostles performed "Believers Baptism" in the manner of today's Protestants then they refused to Baptize infants and children. But early on we know that the Church did in fact Baptize infants and children. The question is then how did this change occur without discussion? To alter a fundamental sacrament without anyone noticing, discussing it pro or con much less have a council decide to approve the change, seems to us to be an impossibility.  

Here's the thing: what if they should never have started to baptise children in the first place?

If children (example baby John) have some kind of communion with God, maybe they don't need it, maybe they never did. The scriptures clearly teach a baptism of repentance and babies so obviously cannot and need not, repent.
If that were the case, though, then Jewish boys wouldn't have needed to be circumcised on the eighth day after birth. Communion with God has never been a strictly individual thing.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: FountainPen on March 17, 2012, 10:37:43 AM
He probably realises they'd be dismissed rather than answered that might be why.

Hardly.. it would be monumentally important if he can provide some documentation. More likely he cant but let's wait and see.

Here is the question. If the Apostles performed "Believers Baptism" in the manner of today's Protestants then they refused to Baptize infants and children. But early on we know that the Church did in fact Baptize infants and children. The question is then how did this change occur without discussion? To alter a fundamental sacrament without anyone noticing, discussing it pro or con much less have a council decide to approve the change, seems to us to be an impossibility.  

Here's the thing: what if they should never have started to baptise children in the first place?

If children (example baby John) have some kind of communion with God, maybe they don't need it, maybe they never did. The scriptures clearly teach a baptism of repentance and babies so obviously cannot and need not, repent.




Do Scriptures record that whole households repented and were baptized?

It says they were saved, nothiing more than that.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: Aindriú on March 17, 2012, 10:49:23 AM
He probably realises they'd be dismissed rather than answered that might be why.

Hardly.. it would be monumentally important if he can provide some documentation. More likely he cant but let's wait and see.

Here is the question. If the Apostles performed "Believers Baptism" in the manner of today's Protestants then they refused to Baptize infants and children. But early on we know that the Church did in fact Baptize infants and children. The question is then how did this change occur without discussion? To alter a fundamental sacrament without anyone noticing, discussing it pro or con much less have a council decide to approve the change, seems to us to be an impossibility. 

Here's the thing: what if they should never have started to baptise children in the first place?

If children (example baby John) have some kind of communion with God, maybe they don't need it, maybe they never did. The scriptures clearly teach a baptism of repentance and babies so obviously cannot and need not, repent.




Do Scriptures record that whole households repented and were baptized?

It says they were saved, nothiing more than that.


John 3:
Quote
3 Jesus answered and said to him: Amen, amen, I say to you, unless a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. 4 Nicodemus said to him: How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born again? 5 Jesus answered: Amen, amen, I say to you, unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh: and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Wonder not that I said to you: You must be born again. 8 The Spirit breathes where he will and you hear his voice: but you know not whence he comes and whither he goes. So is every one that is born of the Spirit.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: FountainPen on March 17, 2012, 10:50:57 AM
Do you all hold the view of infant baptism because of the covenant of grace?
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: FountainPen on March 17, 2012, 10:53:05 AM
He probably realises they'd be dismissed rather than answered that might be why.

Hardly.. it would be monumentally important if he can provide some documentation. More likely he cant but let's wait and see.

Here is the question. If the Apostles performed "Believers Baptism" in the manner of today's Protestants then they refused to Baptize infants and children. But early on we know that the Church did in fact Baptize infants and children. The question is then how did this change occur without discussion? To alter a fundamental sacrament without anyone noticing, discussing it pro or con much less have a council decide to approve the change, seems to us to be an impossibility. 

Here's the thing: what if they should never have started to baptise children in the first place?

If children (example baby John) have some kind of communion with God, maybe they don't need it, maybe they never did. The scriptures clearly teach a baptism of repentance and babies so obviously cannot and need not, repent.




Do Scriptures record that whole households repented and were baptized?

It says they were saved, nothiing more than that.


John 3:
Quote
3 Jesus answered and said to him: Amen, amen, I say to you, unless a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. 4 Nicodemus said to him: How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born again? 5 Jesus answered: Amen, amen, I say to you, unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh: and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Wonder not that I said to you: You must be born again. 8 The Spirit breathes where he will and you hear his voice: but you know not whence he comes and whither he goes. So is every one that is born of the Spirit.

Yes and it is clearly a baptism of repentance.

Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: Aindriú on March 17, 2012, 11:03:11 AM
He probably realises they'd be dismissed rather than answered that might be why.

Hardly.. it would be monumentally important if he can provide some documentation. More likely he cant but let's wait and see.

Here is the question. If the Apostles performed "Believers Baptism" in the manner of today's Protestants then they refused to Baptize infants and children. But early on we know that the Church did in fact Baptize infants and children. The question is then how did this change occur without discussion? To alter a fundamental sacrament without anyone noticing, discussing it pro or con much less have a council decide to approve the change, seems to us to be an impossibility. 

Here's the thing: what if they should never have started to baptise children in the first place?

If children (example baby John) have some kind of communion with God, maybe they don't need it, maybe they never did. The scriptures clearly teach a baptism of repentance and babies so obviously cannot and need not, repent.




Do Scriptures record that whole households repented and were baptized?

It says they were saved, nothiing more than that.


John 3:
Quote
3 Jesus answered and said to him: Amen, amen, I say to you, unless a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. 4 Nicodemus said to him: How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born again? 5 Jesus answered: Amen, amen, I say to you, unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh: and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Wonder not that I said to you: You must be born again. 8 The Spirit breathes where he will and you hear his voice: but you know not whence he comes and whither he goes. So is every one that is born of the Spirit.

Yes and it is clearly a baptism of repentance.

If it is only repentance then water would not be necessary, and a mere confession of faith appropriate.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: genesisone on March 17, 2012, 11:28:02 AM

Do Scriptures record that whole households repented and were baptized?

It says they were saved, nothiing more than that.

Acts 16 says more than "nothing" twice (NKJV):

Quote
14 Now a certain woman named Lydia heard us. She was a seller of purple from the city of Thyatira, who worshiped God. The Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul. 15 And when she and her household were baptized, she begged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay.” So she persuaded us.

Quote
31 So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.” 32 Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. 33 And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their stripes. And immediately he and all his family were baptized. 34 Now when he had brought them into his house, he set food before them; and he rejoiced, having believed in God with all his household.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: Ortho_cat on March 17, 2012, 11:46:30 AM
Do you all hold the view of infant baptism because of the covenant of grace?

"The covenant of grace promises eternal life for all people who receive forgiveness of sin through Christ. He is the substitutionary covenantal representative fulfilling the covenant of works on their behalf, in both the positive requirements of righteousness and its negative penal consequences (commonly described as his active and passive obedience). It is the historical expression of the eternal covenant of redemption. Genesis 3:15, with the promise of a "seed" of the woman who would crush the serpent's head, is usually identified as the historical inauguration for the covenant of grace."

We don't really hold to the covent of grace model, that's more reformed theology than anything.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: FountainPen on March 17, 2012, 11:50:48 AM

Do Scriptures record that whole households repented and were baptized?

It says they were saved, nothiing more than that.

Acts 16 says more than "nothing" twice (NKJV):

Quote
14 Now a certain woman named Lydia heard us. She was a seller of purple from the city of Thyatira, who worshiped God. The Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul. 15 And when she and her household were baptized, she begged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay.” So she persuaded us.

Quote
31 So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.” 32 Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. 33 And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their stripes. And immediately he and all his family were baptized. 34 Now when he had brought them into his house, he set food before them; and he rejoiced, having believed in God with all his household.

It says nothing about infants that's for sure. So a fundamental practice is based on no explicit command.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: FountainPen on March 17, 2012, 11:53:44 AM
Do you all hold the view of infant baptism because of the covenant of grace?

"The covenant of grace promises eternal life for all people who receive forgiveness of sin through Christ. He is the substitutionary covenantal representative fulfilling the covenant of works on their behalf, in both the positive requirements of righteousness and its negative penal consequences (commonly described as his active and passive obedience). It is the historical expression of the eternal covenant of redemption. Genesis 3:15, with the promise of a "seed" of the woman who would crush the serpent's head, is usually identified as the historical inauguration for the covenant of grace."

We don't really hold to the covent of grace model, that's more reformed theology than anything.

Where is this quote from?
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: Ortho_cat on March 17, 2012, 11:56:19 AM
wiki
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: Aindriú on March 17, 2012, 11:56:47 AM
St. Hippolytus, who died at around 236 AD, was a presbyter in the church of Rome. In one of his writings, Traditio Apostolica, he mentioned baptism of children.
Quote
And at the hour when the cock crows they shall first pray over the water.
When they come to the water, let the water be pure and flowing.
And they shall put off their clothes.
And they shall baptize the little children first. And if they can answer for themselves, let them answer. But if they cannot, let their parents answer or someone from their family.
And next they shall baptize the grown men; and last the women, who shall [all] have loosed their hair and laid aside the gold ornaments [which they were wearing]. Let no one go down to the water having any alien object with them.
And at the time determined for baptizing the bishop shall give thanks over the oil and put it into a vessel and it is called the Oil of Thanksgiving.
source (http://www.kofc.org/catechism/getreftext.action?part=2&sec=2&chap=1&par=1419&fnote=102)


St. Cyprian, who took the Episcopate of Carthage somewhere between 218-249 AD, also mentioned infant Baptism in a dispute over when(if delayed like carnal circumcision) it should be administered to an infant.
Quote
2. But in respect of the case of the infants, which you say ought not to be baptized within the second or third day after their birth, and that the law of ancient circumcision should be regarded, so that you think that one who is just born should not be baptized and sanctified within the eighth day, we all thought very differently in our council. For in this course which you thought was to be taken, no one agreed; but we all rather judge that the mercy and grace of God is not to be refused to any one born of man. For as the Lord says in His Gospel, The Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them, Luke 4:56 as far as we Can, We must strive that, if possible, no soul be lost. For what is wanting to him who has once been formed in the womb by the hand of God? To us, indeed, and to our eyes, according to the worldly course of days, they who are born appear to receive an increase. But whatever things are made by God, are completed by the majesty and work of God their Maker.

...

5. For which reason we think that no one is to be hindered from obtaining grace by that law which was already ordained, and that spiritual circumcision ought not to be hindered by carnal circumcision, but that absolutely every man is to be admitted to the grace of Christ, since Peter also in the Acts of the Apostles speaks, and says, The Lord has said to me that I should call no man common or unclean. Acts 10:28 But if anything could hinder men from obtaining grace, their more heinous sins might rather hinder those who are mature and grown up and older. But again, if even to the greatest sinners, and to those who had sinned much against God, when they subsequently believed, remission of sins is granted— and nobody is hindered from baptism and from grace— how much rather ought we to shrink from hindering an infant, who, being lately born, has not sinned, except in that, being born after the flesh according to Adam, he has contracted the contagion of the ancient death at its earliest birth, who approaches the more easily on this very account to the reception of the forgiveness of sins— that to him are remitted, not his own sins, but the sins of another.
Letter 58 (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/050658.htm)
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: PeterTheAleut on March 17, 2012, 12:06:03 PM

Do Scriptures record that whole households repented and were baptized?

It says they were saved, nothiing more than that.

Acts 16 says more than "nothing" twice (NKJV):

Quote
14 Now a certain woman named Lydia heard us. She was a seller of purple from the city of Thyatira, who worshiped God. The Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul. 15 And when she and her household were baptized, she begged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay.” So she persuaded us.

Quote
31 So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.” 32 Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. 33 And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their stripes. And immediately he and all his family were baptized. 34 Now when he had brought them into his house, he set food before them; and he rejoiced, having believed in God with all his household.

It says nothing about infants that's for sure. So a fundamental practice is based on no explicit command.
And what's wrong with that?
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: PeterTheAleut on March 17, 2012, 12:12:01 PM
Do you all hold the view of infant baptism because of the covenant of grace?

"The covenant of grace promises eternal life for all people who receive forgiveness of sin through Christ. He is the substitutionary covenantal representative fulfilling the covenant of works on their behalf, in both the positive requirements of righteousness and its negative penal consequences (commonly described as his active and passive obedience). It is the historical expression of the eternal covenant of redemption. Genesis 3:15, with the promise of a "seed" of the woman who would crush the serpent's head, is usually identified as the historical inauguration for the covenant of grace."

We don't really hold to the covent of grace model, that's more reformed theology than anything.

You admit after this post that you copied this from the Internet. I need you, therefore, to post a link to the source where you copied this or pm me the link so I can append it to your post. 72 hours should be enough time for you to do this.

Thanks.

-PtA
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: FountainPen on March 17, 2012, 12:13:49 PM
I should have asked what Orthodox believe about the old and new covenants and what makes the new one, new but i thought that might be too broad and off topic even if relevant to Peter's link of circumcision and baptism.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: Ortho_cat on March 17, 2012, 12:19:21 PM
Do you all hold the view of infant baptism because of the covenant of grace?

"The covenant of grace promises eternal life for all people who receive forgiveness of sin through Christ. He is the substitutionary covenantal representative fulfilling the covenant of works on their behalf, in both the positive requirements of righteousness and its negative penal consequences (commonly described as his active and passive obedience). It is the historical expression of the eternal covenant of redemption. Genesis 3:15, with the promise of a "seed" of the woman who would crush the serpent's head, is usually identified as the historical inauguration for the covenant of grace."

We don't really hold to the covent of grace model, that's more reformed theology than anything.

You admit after this post that you copied this from the Internet. I need you, therefore, to post a link to the source where you copied this or pm me the link so I can append it to your post. 72 hours should be enough time for you to do this.

Thanks.

-PtA


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Covenant_theology#Covenant_of_grace
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: Aindriú on March 17, 2012, 12:20:25 PM
I should have asked what Orthodox believe about the old and new covenants and what makes the new one, new but i thought that might be too broad and off topic even if relevant to Peter's link of circumcision and baptism.

I do think it's relevant.

Colossians 2:
Quote
4 Now this I say, that no man may deceive you by loftiness of words. 5 For though I be absent in body, yet in spirit I am with you, rejoicing, and beholding your order and the steadfastness of your faith which is in Christ. 6 As therefore you have received Jesus Christ the Lord, walk in him: 7 Rooted and built up in him and confirmed in the faith, as also you have learned: abounding in him in thanksgiving. 8 Beware lest any man cheat you by philosophy and vain deceit: according to the tradition of men according to the elements of the world and not according to Christ. 9 For in him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead corporeally. 10 And you are filled in him, who is the head of all principality and power. 11 In whom also you are circumcised with circumcision not made by hand in despoiling of the body of the flesh: but in the circumcision of Christ. 12 Buried with him in baptism: in whom also you are risen again by the faith of the operation of God who has raised him up from the dead. 13 And you, when you were dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, he has quickened together with him, forgiving you all offences: 14 Blotting out the handwriting of the decree that was against us, which was contrary to us. And he has taken the same out of the way, fastening it to the cross. 15 And despoiling the principalities and powers, he has exposed them confidently in open show, triumphing over them in himself.
http://newadvent.org/bible/col002.htm

Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: FountainPen on March 17, 2012, 12:25:12 PM
I should have asked what Orthodox believe about the old and new covenants and what makes the new one, new but i thought that might be too broad and off topic even if relevant to Peter's link of circumcision and baptism.

I do think it's relevant.

Colossians 2:
Quote
4 Now this I say, that no man may deceive you by loftiness of words. 5 For though I be absent in body, yet in spirit I am with you, rejoicing, and beholding your order and the steadfastness of your faith which is in Christ. 6 As therefore you have received Jesus Christ the Lord, walk in him: 7 Rooted and built up in him and confirmed in the faith, as also you have learned: abounding in him in thanksgiving. 8 Beware lest any man cheat you by philosophy and vain deceit: according to the tradition of men according to the elements of the world and not according to Christ. 9 For in him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead corporeally. 10 And you are filled in him, who is the head of all principality and power. 11 In whom also you are circumcised with circumcision not made by hand in despoiling of the body of the flesh: but in the circumcision of Christ. 12 Buried with him in baptism: in whom also you are risen again by the faith of the operation of God who has raised him up from the dead. 13 And you, when you were dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, he has quickened together with him, forgiving you all offences: 14 Blotting out the handwriting of the decree that was against us, which was contrary to us. And he has taken the same out of the way, fastening it to the cross. 15 And despoiling the principalities and powers, he has exposed them confidently in open show, triumphing over them in himself.
http://newadvent.org/bible/col002.htm



Yes, circumcision of the heart is now today.

Baptism has always been practiced, it's not a replacement.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: genesisone on March 17, 2012, 12:29:46 PM

Do Scriptures record that whole households repented and were baptized?

It says they were saved, nothiing more than that.

Acts 16 says more than "nothing" twice (NKJV):

Quote
14 Now a certain woman named Lydia heard us. She was a seller of purple from the city of Thyatira, who worshiped God. The Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul. 15 And when she and her household were baptized, she begged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay.” So she persuaded us.

Quote
31 So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.” 32 Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. 33 And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their stripes. And immediately he and all his family were baptized. 34 Now when he had brought them into his house, he set food before them; and he rejoiced, having believed in God with all his household.

It says nothing about infants that's for sure. So a fundamental practice is based on no explicit command.
Unfortunately, it's pretty hard to believe that these families were without children of various ages. You can support your position only by adding "(family/household) except for the children" or "the adults of (the family/household)". Very strange that you suggest that the only families who converted to Christianity as recorded in the New Testament were families without children. Is that your position? i.e. that only individuals and families without children became Christians during the Apostolic era?
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: PeterTheAleut on March 17, 2012, 12:34:29 PM
I should have asked what Orthodox believe about the old and new covenants and what makes the new one, new but i thought that might be too broad and off topic even if relevant to Peter's link of circumcision and baptism.

I do think it's relevant.

Colossians 2:
Quote
4 Now this I say, that no man may deceive you by loftiness of words. 5 For though I be absent in body, yet in spirit I am with you, rejoicing, and beholding your order and the steadfastness of your faith which is in Christ. 6 As therefore you have received Jesus Christ the Lord, walk in him: 7 Rooted and built up in him and confirmed in the faith, as also you have learned: abounding in him in thanksgiving. 8 Beware lest any man cheat you by philosophy and vain deceit: according to the tradition of men according to the elements of the world and not according to Christ. 9 For in him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead corporeally. 10 And you are filled in him, who is the head of all principality and power. 11 In whom also you are circumcised with circumcision not made by hand in despoiling of the body of the flesh: but in the circumcision of Christ. 12 Buried with him in baptism: in whom also you are risen again by the faith of the operation of God who has raised him up from the dead. 13 And you, when you were dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, he has quickened together with him, forgiving you all offences: 14 Blotting out the handwriting of the decree that was against us, which was contrary to us. And he has taken the same out of the way, fastening it to the cross. 15 And despoiling the principalities and powers, he has exposed them confidently in open show, triumphing over them in himself.
http://newadvent.org/bible/col002.htm



Yes, circumcision of the heart is now today.

Baptism has always been practiced, it's not a replacement.
It's not a replacement only in that we baptize even girls and women.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: Marc1152 on March 17, 2012, 12:47:07 PM

Do Scriptures record that whole households repented and were baptized?

It says they were saved, nothiing more than that.

Acts 16 says more than "nothing" twice (NKJV):

Quote
14 Now a certain woman named Lydia heard us. She was a seller of purple from the city of Thyatira, who worshiped God. The Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul. 15 And when she and her household were baptized, she begged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay.” So she persuaded us.

Quote
31 So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.” 32 Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. 33 And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their stripes. And immediately he and all his family were baptized. 34 Now when he had brought them into his house, he set food before them; and he rejoiced, having believed in God with all his household.

It says nothing about infants that's for sure. So a fundamental practice is based on no explicit command.

And yet, clearly that's what they did. I wonder what the Apostles and direct disciples of Christ understood that you don't?

If there really was a change from the Apostles performing a Protestant styled "Believers Baptism " ( ie refusing to Baptize children) it would have been discussed.

Tertullian discusses infant Baptism somewhere around the year 200 to 206 A.D. It's clear from what he wrote that this was not some new innovation but was already a established sacrament. That means at the infant Baptism was norm before 200 AD.

And yet, no mention anywhere of the Church changing course from "Believers Baptism" (an obvious fantasy projection of a Protestant heresy onto the Apostles) to accepting children. Impossible.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: FountainPen on March 17, 2012, 01:18:35 PM

Do Scriptures record that whole households repented and were baptized?

It says they were saved, nothiing more than that.

Acts 16 says more than "nothing" twice (NKJV):

Quote
14 Now a certain woman named Lydia heard us. She was a seller of purple from the city of Thyatira, who worshiped God. The Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul. 15 And when she and her household were baptized, she begged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay.” So she persuaded us.

Quote
31 So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.” 32 Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. 33 And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their stripes. And immediately he and all his family were baptized. 34 Now when he had brought them into his house, he set food before them; and he rejoiced, having believed in God with all his household.

It says nothing about infants that's for sure. So a fundamental practice is based on no explicit command.
Unfortunately, it's pretty hard to believe that these families were without children of various ages. You can support your position only by adding "(family/household) except for the children" or "the adults of (the family/household)". Very strange that you suggest that the only families who converted to Christianity as recorded in the New Testament were families without children. Is that your position? i.e. that only individuals and families without children became Christians during the Apostolic era?

No, my position is: if it doesn't say explicitly, then don't squish and squash verses and church fathers this way and that, to back up a practice that does not have an explicit directive from Christ.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: FountainPen on March 17, 2012, 01:21:22 PM

Do Scriptures record that whole households repented and were baptized?

It says they were saved, nothiing more than that.

Acts 16 says more than "nothing" twice (NKJV):

Quote
14 Now a certain woman named Lydia heard us. She was a seller of purple from the city of Thyatira, who worshiped God. The Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul. 15 And when she and her household were baptized, she begged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay.” So she persuaded us.

Quote
31 So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.” 32 Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. 33 And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their stripes. And immediately he and all his family were baptized. 34 Now when he had brought them into his house, he set food before them; and he rejoiced, having believed in God with all his household.

It says nothing about infants that's for sure. So a fundamental practice is based on no explicit command.

And yet, clearly that's what they did. I wonder what the Apostles and direct disciples of Christ understood that you don't?

If there really was a change from the Apostles performing a Protestant styled "Believers Baptism " ( ie refusing to Baptize children) it would have been discussed.

Tertullian discusses infant Baptism somewhere around the year 200 to 206 A.D. It's clear from what he wrote that this was not some new innovation but was already a established sacrament. That means at the infant Baptism was norm before 200 AD.

And yet, no mention anywhere of the Church changing course from "Believers Baptism" (an obvious fantasy projection of a Protestant heresy onto the Apostles) to accepting children. Impossible.

"no mention anywhere..." it's funny because when i tried to use that to qualify my position (http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,43536.msg720673.html#msg720673), it was dismissed.

I'm sure it was an established sacrament by that time, but not one that Christ commanded.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: Aindriú on March 17, 2012, 01:25:07 PM

Do Scriptures record that whole households repented and were baptized?

It says they were saved, nothiing more than that.

Acts 16 says more than "nothing" twice (NKJV):

Quote
14 Now a certain woman named Lydia heard us. She was a seller of purple from the city of Thyatira, who worshiped God. The Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul. 15 And when she and her household were baptized, she begged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay.” So she persuaded us.

Quote
31 So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.” 32 Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. 33 And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their stripes. And immediately he and all his family were baptized. 34 Now when he had brought them into his house, he set food before them; and he rejoiced, having believed in God with all his household.

It says nothing about infants that's for sure. So a fundamental practice is based on no explicit command.
Unfortunately, it's pretty hard to believe that these families were without children of various ages. You can support your position only by adding "(family/household) except for the children" or "the adults of (the family/household)". Very strange that you suggest that the only families who converted to Christianity as recorded in the New Testament were families without children. Is that your position? i.e. that only individuals and families without children became Christians during the Apostolic era?

No, my position is: if it doesn't say explicitly, then don't squish and squash verses and church fathers this way and that, to back up a practice that does not have an explicit directive from Christ.

We have been showing this:
-Jesus commanded to baptize.
-Baptism is necessary for salvation, as commanded by Jesus.
-The apostles baptized whole families.
-Baptism is the new circumcision.
-The early church baptized infants.

You desire to claim: That Baptism isn't necessary until someone decides it is? Don't let me mince your words, but I think that's where we are at.

The burden of proof is on you, as we are continually establishing precedent that Jesus intended baptism for ALL to include children.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: FountainPen on March 17, 2012, 01:28:38 PM

Do Scriptures record that whole households repented and were baptized?

It says they were saved, nothiing more than that.

Acts 16 says more than "nothing" twice (NKJV):

Quote
14 Now a certain woman named Lydia heard us. She was a seller of purple from the city of Thyatira, who worshiped God. The Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul. 15 And when she and her household were baptized, she begged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay.” So she persuaded us.

Quote
31 So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.” 32 Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. 33 And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their stripes. And immediately he and all his family were baptized. 34 Now when he had brought them into his house, he set food before them; and he rejoiced, having believed in God with all his household.

It says nothing about infants that's for sure. So a fundamental practice is based on no explicit command.
Unfortunately, it's pretty hard to believe that these families were without children of various ages. You can support your position only by adding "(family/household) except for the children" or "the adults of (the family/household)". Very strange that you suggest that the only families who converted to Christianity as recorded in the New Testament were families without children. Is that your position? i.e. that only individuals and families without children became Christians during the Apostolic era?

No, my position is: if it doesn't say explicitly, then don't squish and squash verses and church fathers this way and that, to back up a practice that does not have an explicit directive from Christ.

We have been showing this:
-Jesus commanded to baptize.
-Baptism is necessary for salvation, as commanded by Jesus.
-The apostles baptized whole families.
-Baptism is the new circumcision.
-The early church baptized infants.

You desire to claim: That Baptism isn't necessary until someone decides it is? Don't let me mince your words, but I think that's where we are at.

The burden of proof is on you, as we are continually establishing precedent that Jesus intended baptism for ALL to include children.

I don't dispute children can be baptised.

I don't dispute that baptism is necessary.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: PeterTheAleut on March 17, 2012, 02:06:01 PM

Do Scriptures record that whole households repented and were baptized?

It says they were saved, nothiing more than that.

Acts 16 says more than "nothing" twice (NKJV):

Quote
14 Now a certain woman named Lydia heard us. She was a seller of purple from the city of Thyatira, who worshiped God. The Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul. 15 And when she and her household were baptized, she begged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay.” So she persuaded us.

Quote
31 So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.” 32 Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. 33 And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their stripes. And immediately he and all his family were baptized. 34 Now when he had brought them into his house, he set food before them; and he rejoiced, having believed in God with all his household.

It says nothing about infants that's for sure. So a fundamental practice is based on no explicit command.

And yet, clearly that's what they did. I wonder what the Apostles and direct disciples of Christ understood that you don't?

If there really was a change from the Apostles performing a Protestant styled "Believers Baptism " ( ie refusing to Baptize children) it would have been discussed.

Tertullian discusses infant Baptism somewhere around the year 200 to 206 A.D. It's clear from what he wrote that this was not some new innovation but was already a established sacrament. That means at the infant Baptism was norm before 200 AD.

And yet, no mention anywhere of the Church changing course from "Believers Baptism" (an obvious fantasy projection of a Protestant heresy onto the Apostles) to accepting children. Impossible.

"no mention anywhere..." it's funny because when i tried to use that to qualify my position (http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,43536.msg720673.html#msg720673), it was dismissed.
Arguments from silence are not always bad logic. If you can establish convincingly that the party whose silence you're citing had such compelling reason to say something that their silence clearly shows ignorance of the matter, then the silence can indeed be very loud. Your argument from silence was dismissed because you showed no evidence whatsoever that the apostolic council of Acts 15 had any reason to address the subject of baptism. Marc's argument from silence, OTOH, gives us some good background information to show why the silence of the early Fathers on any change in baptismal practice matters.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: PeterTheAleut on March 17, 2012, 02:09:13 PM

Do Scriptures record that whole households repented and were baptized?

It says they were saved, nothiing more than that.

Acts 16 says more than "nothing" twice (NKJV):

Quote
14 Now a certain woman named Lydia heard us. She was a seller of purple from the city of Thyatira, who worshiped God. The Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul. 15 And when she and her household were baptized, she begged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay.” So she persuaded us.

Quote
31 So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.” 32 Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. 33 And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their stripes. And immediately he and all his family were baptized. 34 Now when he had brought them into his house, he set food before them; and he rejoiced, having believed in God with all his household.

It says nothing about infants that's for sure. So a fundamental practice is based on no explicit command.
Unfortunately, it's pretty hard to believe that these families were without children of various ages. You can support your position only by adding "(family/household) except for the children" or "the adults of (the family/household)". Very strange that you suggest that the only families who converted to Christianity as recorded in the New Testament were families without children. Is that your position? i.e. that only individuals and families without children became Christians during the Apostolic era?

No, my position is: if it doesn't say explicitly, then don't squish and squash verses and church fathers this way and that, to back up a practice that does not have an explicit directive from Christ.
And why is your personal opinion important in this discussion? What dogmatic precedent can you cite to suggest that we are to follow only those practices that Jesus mandated explicitly in the Scriptures?
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: Mivac on March 17, 2012, 02:10:03 PM
I should have asked what Orthodox believe about the old and new covenants and what makes the new one, new but i thought that might be too broad and off topic even if relevant to Peter's link of circumcision and baptism.

I do think it's relevant.

Colossians 2:
Quote
4 Now this I say, that no man may deceive you by loftiness of words. 5 For though I be absent in body, yet in spirit I am with you, rejoicing, and beholding your order and the steadfastness of your faith which is in Christ. 6 As therefore you have received Jesus Christ the Lord, walk in him: 7 Rooted and built up in him and confirmed in the faith, as also you have learned: abounding in him in thanksgiving. 8 Beware lest any man cheat you by philosophy and vain deceit: according to the tradition of men according to the elements of the world and not according to Christ. 9 For in him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead corporeally. 10 And you are filled in him, who is the head of all principality and power. 11 In whom also you are circumcised with circumcision not made by hand in despoiling of the body of the flesh: but in the circumcision of Christ. 12 Buried with him in baptism: in whom also you are risen again by the faith of the operation of God who has raised him up from the dead. 13 And you, when you were dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, he has quickened together with him, forgiving you all offences: 14 Blotting out the handwriting of the decree that was against us, which was contrary to us. And he has taken the same out of the way, fastening it to the cross. 15 And despoiling the principalities and powers, he has exposed them confidently in open show, triumphing over them in himself.
http://newadvent.org/bible/col002.htm



Yes, circumcision of the heart is now today.

Baptism has always been practiced, it's not a replacement.

If Baptism is the same and just about repentance both OT and NT, then why did Paul bother to rebaptized those who only had the Baptism of John?

Acts 19:19 And it happened, while Apollos was at Corinth, that Paul, having passed through the upper regions, came to Ephesus. And finding some disciples 2 he said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?”

So they said to him, “We have not so much as heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.”

3 And he said to them, “Into what then were you baptized?”

So they said, “Into John’s baptism.”

4 Then Paul said, “John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him who would come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.”

5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: FountainPen on March 17, 2012, 02:29:07 PM

Do Scriptures record that whole households repented and were baptized?

It says they were saved, nothiing more than that.

Acts 16 says more than "nothing" twice (NKJV):

Quote
14 Now a certain woman named Lydia heard us. She was a seller of purple from the city of Thyatira, who worshiped God. The Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul. 15 And when she and her household were baptized, she begged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay.” So she persuaded us.

Quote
31 So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.” 32 Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. 33 And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their stripes. And immediately he and all his family were baptized. 34 Now when he had brought them into his house, he set food before them; and he rejoiced, having believed in God with all his household.

It says nothing about infants that's for sure. So a fundamental practice is based on no explicit command.
Unfortunately, it's pretty hard to believe that these families were without children of various ages. You can support your position only by adding "(family/household) except for the children" or "the adults of (the family/household)". Very strange that you suggest that the only families who converted to Christianity as recorded in the New Testament were families without children. Is that your position? i.e. that only individuals and families without children became Christians during the Apostolic era?

No, my position is: if it doesn't say explicitly, then don't squish and squash verses and church fathers this way and that, to back up a practice that does not have an explicit directive from Christ.
And why is your personal opinion important in this discussion?

I was stating my position, not my opinion. I've given sources as to why i believe what i do.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: PeterTheAleut on March 17, 2012, 02:32:47 PM

Do Scriptures record that whole households repented and were baptized?

It says they were saved, nothiing more than that.

Acts 16 says more than "nothing" twice (NKJV):

Quote
14 Now a certain woman named Lydia heard us. She was a seller of purple from the city of Thyatira, who worshiped God. The Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul. 15 And when she and her household were baptized, she begged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay.” So she persuaded us.

Quote
31 So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.” 32 Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. 33 And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their stripes. And immediately he and all his family were baptized. 34 Now when he had brought them into his house, he set food before them; and he rejoiced, having believed in God with all his household.

It says nothing about infants that's for sure. So a fundamental practice is based on no explicit command.
Unfortunately, it's pretty hard to believe that these families were without children of various ages. You can support your position only by adding "(family/household) except for the children" or "the adults of (the family/household)". Very strange that you suggest that the only families who converted to Christianity as recorded in the New Testament were families without children. Is that your position? i.e. that only individuals and families without children became Christians during the Apostolic era?

No, my position is: if it doesn't say explicitly, then don't squish and squash verses and church fathers this way and that, to back up a practice that does not have an explicit directive from Christ.
And why is your personal opinion important in this discussion?

I was stating my position, not my opinion.
Position... opinion... What's the difference?

I've given sources as to why i believe what i do.
Such as...
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: Marc1152 on March 17, 2012, 03:34:07 PM

Do Scriptures record that whole households repented and were baptized?

It says they were saved, nothiing more than that.

Acts 16 says more than "nothing" twice (NKJV):

Quote
14 Now a certain woman named Lydia heard us. She was a seller of purple from the city of Thyatira, who worshiped God. The Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul. 15 And when she and her household were baptized, she begged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay.” So she persuaded us.

Quote
31 So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.” 32 Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. 33 And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their stripes. And immediately he and all his family were baptized. 34 Now when he had brought them into his house, he set food before them; and he rejoiced, having believed in God with all his household.

It says nothing about infants that's for sure. So a fundamental practice is based on no explicit command.
Unfortunately, it's pretty hard to believe that these families were without children of various ages. You can support your position only by adding "(family/household) except for the children" or "the adults of (the family/household)". Very strange that you suggest that the only families who converted to Christianity as recorded in the New Testament were families without children. Is that your position? i.e. that only individuals and families without children became Christians during the Apostolic era?

No, my position is: if it doesn't say explicitly, then don't squish and squash verses and church fathers this way and that, to back up a practice that does not have an explicit directive from Christ.

Apparently the Apostles performed Infant Baptisms as did all those taught by them. Who are you again?
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: Aindriú on March 17, 2012, 03:59:29 PM
No, my position is: if it doesn't say explicitly, then don't squish and squash verses and church fathers this way and that, to back up a practice that does not have an explicit directive from Christ.

Apparently the Apostles performed Infant Baptisms as did all those taught by them. Who are you again?

 :D ;D ;)
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: FountainPen on March 17, 2012, 06:14:47 PM

Apparently the Apostles performed Infant Baptisms as did all those taught by them. Who are you again?

Not surprised you prefixed with "Apparently...".
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: Azul on March 17, 2012, 07:48:08 PM
Baptism is the door of entrance into the Church.. One cannot partake of the mysteries of the Church and actively participate in the life of the Church without Baptism.The Bible does not explicitly say that infants were baptized but it speaks of thousands being baptized at a time and of houses being baptized.While it wasn`t the general use infants were being baptized also.. We can see this from the writings of the fathers and even from the acts of early local councils such as the Council of Chalcedon in 256.

Baptism is given even to infants as a result to the Abrahamic Covenant whom like all covenants is transcended in Christ.Paul identifies Baptism with the Circumcision of Christ , or Christ was circumcised when he was an infant.In the Orthodox Tradition Christ circumcised circumcision, completed it, met its final fulfillment, ended it and made it obsolete.According to the Bible no one defiled (unregenerated by the waters of Baptism) should enter into the Church hence Baptism is the door of entrance into the Church.Much more Ezekiel prophecized of this in an allegory saying that no one uncircumcised will enter into the New Temple.This discussion can also go further unto what belief really is and if Baptism is only for believers.

Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: Marc1152 on March 17, 2012, 09:23:28 PM

Apparently the Apostles performed Infant Baptisms as did all those taught by them. Who are you again?

Not surprised you prefixed with "Apparently...".

That all you got?

 
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: FountainPen on March 18, 2012, 09:00:46 AM

Apparently the Apostles performed Infant Baptisms as did all those taught by them. Who are you again?

Not surprised you prefixed with "Apparently...".

That all you got?

 

Is that all that matters to you is what i've "got"?
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: Aindriú on March 18, 2012, 10:23:59 AM
Not surprised you prefixed with "Apparently...".

That all you got?

 

Is that all that matters to you is what i've "got"?
[/quote]

OOoooooh. Let's play the question game!


Do you really think that all that matters to me is what you've got?

Seriously, though. You didn't help above when I was trying to figure out what you're disputing.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: FountainPen on March 19, 2012, 07:14:52 AM
Not surprised you prefixed with "Apparently...".
That all you got?
Is that all that matters to you is what i've "got"?
OOoooooh. Let's play the question game!

Do you really think that all that matters to me is what you've got?

Seriously, though. You didn't help above when I was trying to figure out what you're disputing.

I wasn't trying to be helpful.

I have decided to be indifferent.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: LBK on March 19, 2012, 07:20:34 AM
Not surprised you prefixed with "Apparently...".
That all you got?
Is that all that matters to you is what i've "got"?
OOoooooh. Let's play the question game!

Do you really think that all that matters to me is what you've got?

Seriously, though. You didn't help above when I was trying to figure out what you're disputing.

I wasn't trying to be helpful.

I have decided to be indifferent.

Ah, the mark of someone who realizes she's lost the argument.  ::)
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: PeterTheAleut on March 19, 2012, 09:06:45 AM
Not surprised you prefixed with "Apparently...".
That all you got?
Is that all that matters to you is what i've "got"?
OOoooooh. Let's play the question game!

Do you really think that all that matters to me is what you've got?

Seriously, though. You didn't help above when I was trying to figure out what you're disputing.

I wasn't trying to be helpful.

I have decided to be indifferent.
Just a hint: If you really want to engage us in a discussion/debate, respectfully put forth your argument and let us voice our opinion of it. You do your arguments no good at all to get overly involved in the petty tit for tat as you do.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: FountainPen on March 19, 2012, 12:54:27 PM
Peter, what's the point!? I mean, my final authority is Holy Scripture, yours is the Church. So when i give you sources and evidence for a thing and you disagree, there isn't anywhere to go other than "...because the Church says so." thus there is nothing more i could ever produce that would effect a change of view because the Church says it's the True Church and has the correct belief and of course that must be true because the Church said it!

I've decided it's pointless.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: FountainPen on March 19, 2012, 12:57:01 PM
Not surprised you prefixed with "Apparently...".
That all you got?
Is that all that matters to you is what i've "got"?
OOoooooh. Let's play the question game!

Do you really think that all that matters to me is what you've got?

Seriously, though. You didn't help above when I was trying to figure out what you're disputing.

I wasn't trying to be helpful.

I have decided to be indifferent.

Ah, the mark of someone who realizes she's lost the argument.  ::)
That's quite sad because this isn't about arguing and winning, it's about life and truth!
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: Ortho_cat on March 19, 2012, 12:59:34 PM
Peter, what's the point!? I mean, my final authority is Holy Scripture, yours is the Church. So when i give you sources and evidence for a thing and you disagree, there isn't anywhere to go other than "...because the Church says so." thus there is nothing more i could ever produce that would effect a change of view because the Church says it's the True Church and has the correct belief and of course that must be true because the Church said it!

I've decided it's pointless.

Why is scripture what we say it is? Because the Church said so... ;)
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: FountainPen on March 19, 2012, 01:05:38 PM
Peter, what's the point!? I mean, my final authority is Holy Scripture, yours is the Church. So when i give you sources and evidence for a thing and you disagree, there isn't anywhere to go other than "...because the Church says so." thus there is nothing more i could ever produce that would effect a change of view because the Church says it's the True Church and has the correct belief and of course that must be true because the Church said it!

I've decided it's pointless.

Why is scripture what we say it is? Because the Church said so... ;)

Orthodoxy in a nutshell.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: Ortho_cat on March 19, 2012, 01:14:57 PM
Peter, what's the point!? I mean, my final authority is Holy Scripture, yours is the Church. So when i give you sources and evidence for a thing and you disagree, there isn't anywhere to go other than "...because the Church says so." thus there is nothing more i could ever produce that would effect a change of view because the Church says it's the True Church and has the correct belief and of course that must be true because the Church said it!

I've decided it's pointless.

Why is scripture what we say it is? Because the Church said so... ;)

Orthodoxy in a nutshell.

Ah, my intentions were to point out that to rely on the bible as final authority is to rely on the church, because the church compiled what we know to be the bible.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: katherineofdixie on March 19, 2012, 01:15:16 PM
...my final authority is Holy Scripture, yours is the Church.

Not quite. Your final authority is your personal individual understanding/interpretation of Holy Scripture, which is something entirely different.
Holy Scripture may indeed mean what you say it means - or it may not. How can you be so sure that you are right and everyone else, for centuries, has been wrong?
For the Orthodox, the Apostolic Church, the Body of Christ, guides us in our interpretation/understanding.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: FountainPen on March 19, 2012, 01:18:35 PM
Peter, what's the point!? I mean, my final authority is Holy Scripture, yours is the Church. So when i give you sources and evidence for a thing and you disagree, there isn't anywhere to go other than "...because the Church says so." thus there is nothing more i could ever produce that would effect a change of view because the Church says it's the True Church and has the correct belief and of course that must be true because the Church said it!

I've decided it's pointless.

Why is scripture what we say it is? Because the Church said so... ;)

Orthodoxy in a nutshell.

Ah, my intentions were to point out that to rely on the bible as final authority is to rely on the church, because the church compiled what we know to be the bible.

Ah,*whoosh*, sorry.

#smiles
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: FountainPen on March 19, 2012, 01:22:46 PM
...my final authority is Holy Scripture, yours is the Church.

Not quite. Your final authority is your personal individual understanding/interpretation of Holy Scripture, which is something entirely different.
Holy Scripture may indeed mean what you say it means - or it may not. How can you be so sure that you are right and everyone else, for centuries, has been wrong?
For the Orthodox, the Apostolic Church, the Body of Christ, guides us in our interpretation/understanding.


Not quite.

That's what annoys me that Orthodox would think non-Orthodox so arrogant. (in general Katherine)

I personally rely on biblical scholars with big letters after their name.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: Ortho_cat on March 19, 2012, 01:31:44 PM
Peter, what's the point!? I mean, my final authority is Holy Scripture, yours is the Church. So when i give you sources and evidence for a thing and you disagree, there isn't anywhere to go other than "...because the Church says so." thus there is nothing more i could ever produce that would effect a change of view because the Church says it's the True Church and has the correct belief and of course that must be true because the Church said it!

I've decided it's pointless.

Why is scripture what we say it is? Because the Church said so... ;)

Orthodoxy in a nutshell.

Ah, my intentions were to point out that to rely on the bible as final authority is to rely on the church, because the church compiled what we know to be the bible.

Ah,*whoosh*, sorry.

#smiles

np ;)
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) on March 19, 2012, 01:33:26 PM
...my final authority is Holy Scripture, yours is the Church.

Not quite. Your final authority is your personal individual understanding/interpretation of Holy Scripture, which is something entirely different.
Holy Scripture may indeed mean what you say it means - or it may not. How can you be so sure that you are right and everyone else, for centuries, has been wrong?
For the Orthodox, the Apostolic Church, the Body of Christ, guides us in our interpretation/understanding.


Not quite.

That's what annoys me that Orthodox would think non-Orthodox so arrogant. (in general Katherine)

I personally rely on biblical scholars with big letters after their name.

So you rely on biblical scholars who have lived centuries after the events rather than the original disciples and their disciples, etc...?
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: FountainPen on March 19, 2012, 01:39:33 PM
...my final authority is Holy Scripture, yours is the Church.

Not quite. Your final authority is your personal individual understanding/interpretation of Holy Scripture, which is something entirely different.
Holy Scripture may indeed mean what you say it means - or it may not. How can you be so sure that you are right and everyone else, for centuries, has been wrong?
For the Orthodox, the Apostolic Church, the Body of Christ, guides us in our interpretation/understanding.


Not quite.

That's what annoys me that Orthodox would think non-Orthodox so arrogant. (in general Katherine)

I personally rely on biblical scholars with big letters after their name.

So you rely on biblical scholars who have lived centuries after the events rather than the original disciples and their disciples, etc...?

Yes, i know of a man who is a great biblical scholar and whose daddy was one too. Maybe his daddy was and his before and so on and so forth right back to Jesus!
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: xariskai on March 19, 2012, 02:07:48 PM
Forgive me if some of this has been said -long thread!

This topic is, of course, hotly debated within Protestantism as well, with scholars on both sides claiming biblical and historical warrant while sometimes also candidly admitting a lack of absolute slam dunk exegetical "proof." If such absolute exegetical proof were possible one wonders why all the fuss for the last few centuries including our own within Protestantism.

A hidden) premise of the thread title is "infants cannot have faith"; however Luther (and I believe also Calvin) regarded infants as having a kind of "faith." If infants *can* have a sort of faith, believer's "versus" infant baptism would be a false dichotomy, and support for the former would not count as ipso facto evidence contra the latter.

Some passages cited in favor of this thesis include Psalm 8:2 ("Out of the mouths of babes and nursing infants you have perfected praise"; quoted by Jesus in Matt 21:16) and Luke 1:15b, 41: "He [John the Baptist] will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother's womb..."; "...and it happened, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, that the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit." It is argued that even before birth in this instance some kind of faith/cognizance would have to be present for the unborn John to have reacted -not just as a biological organism might to a sound, but *joyously* to the presence of Mary, then pregnant with the Maker of the starfields.

I am not sure how one would argue that the unborn John could display a reaction of both recognition and *joy* while at the same time being utterly devoid of faith of any sort. I am also not sure how one would argue that *praise of God* is possible without some sort of faith in God, although I would be interested to hear such a theory if anyone cares to offer one.

That even a babe in the womb can receive grace is also often claimed evident from Lk 1:15. Other commonly cited examples are found here. (http://www.amazon.com/Paedofaith-Rich-Lusk/dp/0975391429)

Some (not all) Lutherans will object to the baptism of John example as playing a part in *their* defense of infant baptism in that they hold prior faith, even mentioned as an alternative possibility, is not the best way to represent the Lutheran perspective, although it is nevertheless commonly cited by other Lutheran and many Roman Catholic writers.

I think the common hidden assumption which would balk at the above passages is tied to the presumption that faith *must* be correlated with a specific capacity for discursive reasoning in every case (which seems challenged e.g. by suckling infants seeming to *need* "some" sort of faith in God to actually *praise* God), or even to what extent biblical data requires us to posit propositional awareness is a sine qua non of faith, a broad debate in and of itself with examples such as the faith of the OT prostitute Rahab typically being called into court. I will leave the details aside and simply mention it in passing here as it will doubtless come to the reader's mind. But the scripture assigning faith to infants seems to clearly break the self-evidence of the argument for absolute necessity of such a connection between faith and propositional capacity as many see it. Life is larger than logic, and so is faith, and God is able to relate in and through all things to our "hearts "as well as to our heads. This is not to say propositional knowledge is irrelevant to faith (a notion perhaps more akin to Buddhism), for once it begins to factor in we realize it becomes inescapable as it constitutes our being in the world one way or another; ideas do have consequences, and they are at least in scripture dialectically relatable to faith, not strictly prior or consequential. But they are arguably never the primary thing; encountering God in the manner he has laid down for us -not merely as a manner, but as Energy- arguably is, e.g. in the askesis of prayer, in the Eucharist, and so on. This is clearly evident in the biblical doctrine that holiness is transmissible MERELY BY TOUCH, another notion which has been largely lost in the Protestant West.

Of course paedofaith does not necessarily entail paedobaptism, which is another can of worms I will not bother to open in depth at this time. The biblical evidence considered alone (in a sort of artificial vaccuum) has been deemed ambiguous either way by some very good scholars. However if the evidence can be deemed ambiguous and interpreted in different ways, what determines which choice is individually affirmed? Tradition, tacitly or explicitly/perceived or not, plays a role in *every* theological trajectory within Christendom bar none. Scholarship is not hermetically sealed from the sociology of tradition -an almost universally discounted notion in contemporary philosophy (even science cannot be wertfrein or "value free"); in fact traditions grounded in scholarship are among the most conservative of all forms of tradition (liturgical tradition being, I think, the most conservative).

It often goes unrecognized by Protestants on a sort of outmoded hermeneutic characteristic of outmoded Enlightenment foundationalism, and indeed supposing doctrines can be "proved by the scripture" like this one, when even within Protestantism there are strong proponents of every position at the highest level of academic theological and exegetical competence, seems rather dubious IMHO, else why has the debate continued for so many centuries after the Reformation? Neither does sola scriptura avoid extra biblical information in terms of the vast studies about the philological historiography of the biblical languages which look beyond the scriptures themselves to, yes, culture and tradition, the endless attention to backgrounds in ancient Judaism, historical, liturgical, rhetorical, and other sitz im leben, and on and on, and yet a giant wall is put up by some Protestants when it comes to the early fathers (though admittedly all do not do this -I never did before becoming Orthodox and essentially considered myself paleo-orthodox (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paleo-orthodoxy) for quite some time before personally making the move to Orthodoxy- but many certainly do) even when certain theological points, like the belief in the possibility of apostasy and so on, were universally held with no exceptions whatsoever in every major geographic region where early Christianity spread from the earliest attested dates, and among those for whom Koine Greek was a mother tongue to boot, and among those who had direct lines of descent among their revered teachers to the apostles themselves.

Another poster provided the following helpful information, which I'll append in closing as my post is already getting too long for most to bother with...

From Vespers for the feast of the Nativity of St John the Baptist:
"You were shown to be a prophet and Forerunner from your mother's womb, O John, Baptist of Christ, leaping up and rejoicing within her when you beheld the Queen, bearing the Timeless One who was begotten of the Father without mother, coming to her handmaid and to you, who shone forth from a barren woman and an elderly man according to God's promise. Elizabeth conceived the Forerunner of grace, and the Virgin conceived the Lord of glory. Both mothers kissed each other, and the babe leapt up, for within her womb the servant praised the Master. And the mother of the Forerunner marvelled and cried out: "How is it that the Mother of my Lord should come to me? May He who has great mercy save a despairing people!"

From the Litia:
"Today Elizabeth gives birth to the ultimate prophet, the first of the apostles, the earthly angel and heavenly man, the voice of the Word, the soldier and Forerunner of Christ, who leapt up beforehand in token of the promise, and before his birth proclaimed the Sun of righteousness; and she rejoices. Zechariah is astonished in his old age, putting aside his silence like a bond imposed upon him; and as the father of the voice he prophesies: "For you, O child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High and shall go forth to prepare the way for Him.: Therefore, O angel, prophet, apostle, warrior, Forerunner, baptizer, preacher and instructor of repentance: As the voice of the Light and Word, pray unceasingly for us who keep your memory with faith."
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: Azul on March 19, 2012, 03:10:18 PM
@xariskai I must confess I never understood the Orthodox position on this.Do we say that infaints have faith?Are infants baptized on account to their faith?All infants have faith?
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: katherineofdixie on March 19, 2012, 03:57:01 PM
...my final authority is Holy Scripture, yours is the Church.

Not quite. Your final authority is your personal individual understanding/interpretation of Holy Scripture, which is something entirely different.
Holy Scripture may indeed mean what you say it means - or it may not. How can you be so sure that you are right and everyone else, for centuries, has been wrong?
For the Orthodox, the Apostolic Church, the Body of Christ, guides us in our interpretation/understanding.


Not quite.

That's what annoys me that Orthodox would think non-Orthodox so arrogant. (in general Katherine)

I personally rely on biblical scholars with big letters after their name.

So you rely on biblical scholars who have lived centuries after the events rather than the original disciples and their disciples, etc...?

Yes, i know of a man who is a great biblical scholar and whose daddy was one too. Maybe his daddy was and his before and so on and so forth right back to Jesus!

Oh, dear, so your authority is not Holy Scripture, but rather unnamed Biblical scholars?  It's still interpretation - you've just made the decision to trust them instead of the Church. Same song, you know, just second verse.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: LBK on March 19, 2012, 05:23:17 PM
...my final authority is Holy Scripture, yours is the Church.

Not quite. Your final authority is your personal individual understanding/interpretation of Holy Scripture, which is something entirely different.
Holy Scripture may indeed mean what you say it means - or it may not. How can you be so sure that you are right and everyone else, for centuries, has been wrong?
For the Orthodox, the Apostolic Church, the Body of Christ, guides us in our interpretation/understanding.


Not quite.

That's what annoys me that Orthodox would think non-Orthodox so arrogant. (in general Katherine)

I personally rely on biblical scholars with big letters after their name.

So you rely on biblical scholars who have lived centuries after the events rather than the original disciples and their disciples, etc...?

Yes, i know of a man who is a great biblical scholar and whose daddy was one too. Maybe his daddy was and his before and so on and so forth right back to Jesus!

Oh, dear, so your authority is not Holy Scripture, but rather unnamed Biblical scholars?  It's still interpretation - you've just made the decision to trust them instead of the Church. Same song, you know, just second verse.

Bravo, Katherine!
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: genesisone on March 19, 2012, 05:36:58 PM
Yes, i know of a man who is a great biblical scholar and whose daddy was one too. Maybe his daddy was and his before and so on and so forth right back to Jesus!
I noticed the "maybe"; our line of historical continuity is not a "maybe". Can you name the man, his daddy, his daddy, his daddy...? If not, why do you trust them? For that matter, even if you can name them, why do you trust them to have interpreted the Scriptures correctly?

There are some very competent scholars out there (both now and in past years) but a lot of biblical scholarship is highly questionable (both now and in past years), e.g. some contemporary studies of the "historical Jesus". You know what I'm talking about.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: PeterTheAleut on March 20, 2012, 01:57:03 AM
...my final authority is Holy Scripture, yours is the Church.

Not quite. Your final authority is your personal individual understanding/interpretation of Holy Scripture, which is something entirely different.
Holy Scripture may indeed mean what you say it means - or it may not. How can you be so sure that you are right and everyone else, for centuries, has been wrong?
For the Orthodox, the Apostolic Church, the Body of Christ, guides us in our interpretation/understanding.


Not quite.

That's what annoys me that Orthodox would think non-Orthodox so arrogant. (in general Katherine)

I personally rely on biblical scholars with big letters after their name.

So you rely on biblical scholars who have lived centuries after the events rather than the original disciples and their disciples, etc...?

Yes, i know of a man who is a great biblical scholar and whose daddy was one too. Maybe his daddy was and his before and so on and so forth right back to Jesus!
Everyone can trace his ancestry back to someone who was alive in Jesus's days. That doesn't prove anything.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: FountainPen on March 20, 2012, 07:23:03 AM
Yes, i know of a man who is a great biblical scholar and whose daddy was one too. Maybe his daddy was and his before and so on and so forth right back to Jesus!
I noticed the "maybe"; our line of historical continuity is not a "maybe". Can you name the man, his daddy, his daddy, his daddy...? If not, why do you trust them? For that matter, even if you can name them, why do you trust them to have interpreted the Scriptures correctly?

There are some very competent scholars out there (both now and in past years) but a lot of biblical scholarship is highly questionable (both now and in past years), e.g. some contemporary studies of the "historical Jesus". You know what I'm talking about.

G1, I only said "Maybe" in case anyone in green asked me to provide evidence to back up what i was saying. I can only provide evidence for the aforementioned and his dad.

The argument that information handed down is correct simply because there is an unbroken line of succession is ridiculous! If Peter had buttoned up his shirt incorrectly, then everyone after him would have done so as well.

I'm aware of the scriptural banner that gets waved next, that "...the gates of hell shall not prevail..." etc. Again i find that unconvincing for the simple fact that one or two beliefs or practices being incorrect, does not make the opposite true, that the gates have indeed prevailed. The Church can survive intact i have no doubts and still have incorrect beliefs and practices attached to her, distracting her from being fully functional.

Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: FountainPen on March 20, 2012, 07:47:10 AM
For that matter, even if you can name them, why do you trust them to have interpreted the Scriptures correctly?

There are some very competent scholars out there (both now and in past years) but a lot of biblical scholarship is highly questionable (both now and in past years), e.g. some contemporary studies of the "historical Jesus". You know what I'm talking about.

I do know what you're talking about and you do have a valid point. My answer is, i trust God's Holy Spirit to guide me which makes me teachable. If God wanted to show me that the Orthodox church was his only true church, or that (in this instance) infant baptism is sound, he would. I think other people might say that the Spirit guides them but what they really mean is, only if what they learn agrees with their own world view. To some extent, as has been said before, that applies to all of us but i can only speak for myself here and speak honestly about my own will. I know the heart of 'man' is deceitful above all things, i've had first hand experience of it within myself and from others. I trust that The Spirit can get through to me despite my biases, because it's the most important thing to me at this time -- i have a very healthy fear of God and i don't idolise my own ability to determine truth at all.

So we're all fallible and sinful beings which means i would not trust that the church you describe, in all its history, would not have been subject to various diversions from the truth once taught. I don't doubt that many church fathers might agree on an issue or that the church has produced hymns, traditions, scripture and icons that all seems to suggest the same belief but that doesn't necessarily mean that the belief in question, is truth. It makes sense that you could produce a concensus, sure, as it is all a product of the very same church so of course.

Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: DennyB on March 20, 2012, 08:49:06 AM
For that matter, even if you can name them, why do you trust them to have interpreted the Scriptures correctly?

There are some very competent scholars out there (both now and in past years) but a lot of biblical scholarship is highly questionable (both now and in past years), e.g. some contemporary studies of the "historical Jesus". You know what I'm talking about.

I do know what you're talking about and you do have a valid point. My answer is, i trust God's Holy Spirit to guide me which makes me teachable. If God wanted to show me that the Orthodox church was his only true church, or that (in this instance) infant baptism is sound, he would. I think other people might say that the Spirit guides them but what they really mean is, only if what they learn agrees with their own world view. To some extent, as has been said before, that applies to all of us but i can only speak for myself here and speak honestly about my own will. I know the heart of 'man' is deceitful above all things, i've had first hand experience of it within myself and from others. I trust that The Spirit can get through to me despite my biases, because it's the most important thing to me at this time -- i have a very healthy fear of God and i don't idolise my own ability to determine truth at all.

So we're all fallible and sinful beings which means i would not trust that the church you describe, in all its history, would not have been subject to various diversions from the truth once taught. I don't doubt that many church fathers might agree on an issue or that the church has produced hymns, traditions, scripture and icons that all seems to suggest the same belief but that doesn't necessarily mean that the belief in question, is truth. It makes sense that you could produce a concensus, sure, as it is all a product of the very same church so of course.



Christianity is not a just a "Jesus and Me" proposition!!! The truth you may claim is being revealed apart from a consensus,but this is still subjective at best,you need to ask what is objective reality when comfronted with the truth. Christ established human authority within the Church in order to affirm objective truth,and not some mere subjective opinion,of one or more individuals.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: genesisone on March 20, 2012, 09:10:50 AM
For that matter, even if you can name them, why do you trust them to have interpreted the Scriptures correctly?

There are some very competent scholars out there (both now and in past years) but a lot of biblical scholarship is highly questionable (both now and in past years), e.g. some contemporary studies of the "historical Jesus". You know what I'm talking about.

I do know what you're talking about and you do have a valid point.
I really do like your answer and the spirit in which you gave it. I trust that my thoughts written here will be equal to that.

Quote
My answer is, i trust God's Holy Spirit to guide me which makes me teachable. If God wanted to show me that the Orthodox church was his only true church, or that (in this instance) infant baptism is sound, he would. I think other people might say that the Spirit guides them but what they really mean is, only if what they learn agrees with their own world view. To some extent, as has been said before, that applies to all of us but i can only speak for myself here and speak honestly about my own will.
I do believe that God will not in every case lead a heterodox Christian to the Orthodox faith. He may have His reasons for leaving them there. Sometimes, for the believer, there are difficulties that are simply not overcome. Sometimes the Orthodox faith is not presently clearly enough to draw the heterodox believer into it.

You speak from your experience. In my case, I had been an Evangelical Protestant all my life. I went through a series of crises that left me with questions that my faith couldn't answer - I don't mean that I was losing faith, my faith in Christ as my Saviour was always intact, but that Evangelicalism as I knew it couldn't take me where God was leading me spiritually. On a bit of a whim, I visited an Orthodox service and have missed scarcely a Sunday since. I knew immediately that that was where God could show me what He wanted for my life. Rather than finding reasons to join the Orthodox Church, I was looking for reasons to not join, as I really did not want to leave the denomination I had known all my life, and all the people who were (and mostly still are) my friends.
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I know the heart of 'man' is deceitful above all things, i've had first hand experience of it within myself and from others. I trust that The Spirit can get through to me despite my biases, because it's the most important thing to me at this time -- i have a very healthy fear of God and i don't idolise my own ability to determine truth at all.
And that's why once I learned that I could trust the Church on some important issues, I could trust her on other matters as well.
Quote
So we're all fallible and sinful beings which means i would not trust that the church you describe, in all its history, would not have been subject to various diversions from the truth once taught. I don't doubt that many church fathers might agree on an issue or that the church has produced hymns, traditions, scripture and icons that all seems to suggest the same belief but that doesn't necessarily mean that the belief in question, is truth. It makes sense that you could produce a concensus, sure, as it is all a product of the very same church so of course.
Yes, the Church has gone through periods of real struggle with belief and practice. That's why the Ecumenical Councils were called - to deal with many of these matters that were throwing the Church into turmoil.
The argument that information handed down is correct simply because there is an unbroken line of succession is ridiculous! If Peter had buttoned up his shirt incorrectly, then everyone after him would have done so as well.
I know you're deliberately making a bit of a stretch here  :D, so no quibbles with that. However, succession is more than just historical continuity of keeping the episcopal throne warm. There must also be continuity of belief. Yes, practices may change over time - but belief must not.

As part of my Lenten reading, I'm enjoying "Hymns on Paradise" by St Ephrem the Syrian, who lived during the 300s. In Hymn VI, Stanza I, he writes: "The keys of doctrine which unlock all of Scripture's books, have opened up before my eyes the book of creation...." As early as that - probably before the canon the New Testament was even firmly fixed - the saints of the Church relied on what they were being taught in order to interpret Scripture correctly. It's quotes like that which convince me of a continuity of belief over the centuries.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: primuspilus on March 20, 2012, 09:38:04 AM
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The argument that information handed down is correct simply because there is an unbroken line of succession is ridiculous!
Luckily, we have writings too :)

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My answer is, i trust God's Holy Spirit to guide me which makes me teachable
The same answer all the other 36,000 denominations say too coincidentally.

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If God wanted to show me that the Orthodox church was his only true church, or that (in this instance) infant baptism is sound, he would
He did, folks can ignore him though....and do to this day.

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So we're all fallible and sinful beings which means i would not trust that the church you describe, in all its history, would not have been subject to various diversions from the truth once taught
Hence the councils.

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The Church can survive intact i have no doubts and still have incorrect beliefs and practices attached to her, distracting her from being fully
So if the holy Spirit is guiding the Church, that means there are more fundamental questions that have to be asked.

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Yes, i know of a man who is a great biblical scholar and whose daddy was one too. Maybe his daddy was and his before and so on and so forth right back to Jesus!
I would seriously doubt anyone who can so readily trace their ancestry back that far.....outside of some hereiditary title or something.


PP
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: PeterTheAleut on March 20, 2012, 09:38:41 AM
Yes, i know of a man who is a great biblical scholar and whose daddy was one too. Maybe his daddy was and his before and so on and so forth right back to Jesus!
I noticed the "maybe"; our line of historical continuity is not a "maybe". Can you name the man, his daddy, his daddy, his daddy...? If not, why do you trust them? For that matter, even if you can name them, why do you trust them to have interpreted the Scriptures correctly?

There are some very competent scholars out there (both now and in past years) but a lot of biblical scholarship is highly questionable (both now and in past years), e.g. some contemporary studies of the "historical Jesus". You know what I'm talking about.

G1, I only said "Maybe" in case anyone in green asked me to provide evidence to back up what i was saying. I can only provide evidence for the aforementioned and his dad.

The argument that information handed down is correct simply because there is an unbroken line of succession is ridiculous!
And we don't even speak of apostolic succession in such crude terms, so thanks for the straw man.

If Peter had buttoned up his shirt incorrectly, then everyone after him would have done so as well.
Argument from absurdity doesn't make a good point, either.

I'm aware of the scriptural banner that gets waved next, that "...the gates of hell shall not prevail..." etc. Again i find that unconvincing for the simple fact that one or two beliefs or practices being incorrect, does not make the opposite true, that the gates have indeed prevailed. The Church can survive intact i have no doubts and still have incorrect beliefs and practices attached to her, distracting her from being fully functional.
But first, you need to prove that our practice of infant baptism (the subject of this thread) is incorrect, especially considering that even some of the mainline Protestant denominations still follow this practice. So far it seems that you're hellbent on avoiding that task and would rather fight the straw man caricatures of your own making.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: PeterTheAleut on March 20, 2012, 09:47:17 AM
For that matter, even if you can name them, why do you trust them to have interpreted the Scriptures correctly?

There are some very competent scholars out there (both now and in past years) but a lot of biblical scholarship is highly questionable (both now and in past years), e.g. some contemporary studies of the "historical Jesus". You know what I'm talking about.

I do know what you're talking about and you do have a valid point. My answer is, i trust God's Holy Spirit to guide me which makes me teachable. If God wanted to show me that the Orthodox church was his only true church, or that (in this instance) infant baptism is sound, he would.
I think He's trying to show you. You just won't listen.

I think other people might say that the Spirit guides them but what they really mean is, only if what they learn agrees with their own world view.
The same could be said of you, and probably even more truthfully.

To some extent, as has been said before, that applies to all of us but i can only speak for myself here and speak honestly about my own will. I know the heart of 'man' is deceitful above all things, i've had first hand experience of it within myself and from others. I trust that The Spirit can get through to me despite my biases, because it's the most important thing to me at this time -- i have a very healthy fear of God and i don't idolise my own ability to determine truth at all.
Actually, it seems to me that you do idolize your ability to determine truth.

So we're all fallible and sinful beings which means i would not trust that the church you describe, in all its history, would not have been subject to various diversions from the truth once taught.
Yes, it is indeed true that many within the Church fell prey to various diversions from the truth once taught. They and their followers are no longer part of the Church.

I don't doubt that many church fathers might agree on an issue or that the church has produced hymns, traditions, scripture and icons that all seems to suggest the same belief but that doesn't necessarily mean that the belief in question, is truth.
But they make a very good witness to the truth of the belief in question.

It makes sense that you could produce a concensus, sure, as it is all a product of the very same church so of course.
And it makes a lot more sense that you can produce a consensus of one, since that's certainly a lot easier.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: FountainPen on March 20, 2012, 09:50:34 AM
Two P's in a pod.

And you both wonder why i disengage.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: FountainPen on March 20, 2012, 10:01:43 AM
For that matter, even if you can name them, why do you trust them to have interpreted the Scriptures correctly?

There are some very competent scholars out there (both now and in past years) but a lot of biblical scholarship is highly questionable (both now and in past years), e.g. some contemporary studies of the "historical Jesus". You know what I'm talking about.

I do know what you're talking about and you do have a valid point.
I really do like your answer and the spirit in which you gave it. I trust that my thoughts written here will be equal to that.

Quote
My answer is, i trust God's Holy Spirit to guide me which makes me teachable. If God wanted to show me that the Orthodox church was his only true church, or that (in this instance) infant baptism is sound, he would. I think other people might say that the Spirit guides them but what they really mean is, only if what they learn agrees with their own world view. To some extent, as has been said before, that applies to all of us but i can only speak for myself here and speak honestly about my own will.
I do believe that God will not in every case lead a heterodox Christian to the Orthodox faith. He may have His reasons for leaving them there. Sometimes, for the believer, there are difficulties that are simply not overcome. Sometimes the Orthodox faith is not presently clearly enough to draw the heterodox believer into it.

You speak from your experience. In my case, I had been an Evangelical Protestant all my life. I went through a series of crises that left me with questions that my faith couldn't answer - I don't mean that I was losing faith, my faith in Christ as my Saviour was always intact, but that Evangelicalism as I knew it couldn't take me where God was leading me spiritually. On a bit of a whim, I visited an Orthodox service and have missed scarcely a Sunday since. I knew immediately that that was where God could show me what He wanted for my life. Rather than finding reasons to join the Orthodox Church, I was looking for reasons to not join, as I really did not want to leave the denomination I had known all my life, and all the people who were (and mostly still are) my friends.

While it seems like you eventually entered Orthodoxy from a point of strength, i worry about people entering into any new church from a dissatisfaction of their current one. I am guarded against that myself as i think how you start out sets the tone for your identity within that church and the entire way you receive from that point onwards.


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And that's why once I learned that I could trust the Church on some important issues, I could trust her on other matters as well.
I don't agree with that logic.


Quote
There must also be continuity of belief. Yes, practices may change over time - but belief must not.

Surely it's the practice of infant baptism that we're examining here?
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: primuspilus on March 20, 2012, 10:35:11 AM
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Surely it's the practice of infant baptism that we're examining here?
Based on belief of its legitimacy and spiritual gain.

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I don't agree with that logic.
lets put this a different way. If you trust your pastor on spiritual matters, you would not trust him in other aspects? Really?

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While it seems like you eventually entered Orthodoxy from a point of strength, i worry about people entering into any new church from a dissatisfaction of their current one.
It depends on what you are dissatisfied with, but I can generally agree with this statement. I know for me, I came to the realization that my protestant background did not flush with biblical and historical Christianity, once you got past proof texting.

PP
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: genesisone on March 20, 2012, 10:36:11 AM

While it seems like you eventually entered Orthodoxy from a point of strength, i worry about people entering into any new church from a dissatisfaction of their current one. I am guarded against that myself as i think how you start out sets the tone for your identity within that church and the entire way you receive from that point onwards.
Yes, that is really true - you (generic) will likely take your dissatisfaction - and the attitude behind it - along with you.

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And that's why once I learned that I could trust the Church on some important issues, I could trust her on other matters as well.
I don't agree with that logic.
And yet you (i.e. FountainPen) trust certain scholars to lead you into a better understanding  ???. Or are you so determined that what you believe is right that you will reject anything and everything that conflicts with your belief? I really don't think that is true. The mere fact that you are discussing these points for so long suggests that you are looking for answers beyond your previous experience. (Whether or not you accept the answers you find here is another matter, of course.)
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There must also be continuity of belief. Yes, practices may change over time - but belief must not.

Surely it's the practice of infant baptism that we're examining here?
Perhaps I used the wrong word here. I was thinking about things like architecture, music styles, etc. One's whole understanding of baptism will include an understanding of who should be and may be baptized.

Fuller disclosure here: my Evangelical background was in the Methodist/Wesleyan heritage where infant baptism is practised - this was not a problem with my becoming Orthodox.

Have you had discussion with Protestants who baptize their infants?
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: FountainPen on March 20, 2012, 10:54:33 AM
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And that's why once I learned that I could trust the Church on some important issues, I could trust her on other matters as well.
I don't agree with that logic.
And yet you (i.e. FountainPen) trust certain scholars to lead you into a better understanding  ???. [/quote]No, i trust the Spirit ultimately however, the biblical scholars widen my understanding of the text, surrounding history and Christian culture at the time.

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Or are you so determined that what you believe is right that you will reject anything and everything that conflicts with your belief? I really don't think that is true. The mere fact that you are discussing these points for so long suggests that you are looking for answers beyond your previous experience.
Of course. Not so much answers but certainly new information.

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(Whether or not you accept the answers you find here is another matter, of course.)
I would if they were convincing.

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There must also be continuity of belief. Yes, practices may change over time - but belief must not.

Surely it's the practice of infant baptism that we're examining here?
Perhaps I used the wrong word here. I was thinking about things like architecture, music styles, etc. One's whole understanding of baptism will include an understanding of who should be and may be baptized.

Fuller disclosure here: my Evangelical background was in the Methodist/Wesleyan heritage where infant baptism is practised - this was not a problem with my becoming Orthodox.

Have you had discussion with Protestants who baptize their infants?

Yes. Most of which come from a Covenant Theology stance, which is why i asked about this earlier.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: primuspilus on March 20, 2012, 11:01:31 AM
Quote
No, i trust the Spirit ultimately however, the biblical scholars widen my understanding of the text, surrounding history and Christian culture at the time
Which oddly enough, was the Church. However, these scholars tend to downplay that.

PP
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: PeterTheAleut on March 20, 2012, 11:54:06 AM
No, i trust the Spirit ultimately however, the biblical scholars widen my understanding of the text, surrounding history and Christian culture at the time.
1. How does the Spirit talk to you?
2. How do you know you're not merely substituting your own personal opinions and whims for the guidance of the Spirit?
3. The Church follows the Spirit, so when we say we trust the Church, we are ultimately following the Spirit. How is your following of the Spirit any different from ours?

Quote
Or are you so determined that what you believe is right that you will reject anything and everything that conflicts with your belief? I really don't think that is true. The mere fact that you are discussing these points for so long suggests that you are looking for answers beyond your previous experience.
Of course. Not so much answers but certainly new information.

Quote
(Whether or not you accept the answers you find here is another matter, of course.)
I would if they were convincing.
Can you give us a well-defined reason why you don't find our answers convincing?
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: FountainPen on March 20, 2012, 12:20:24 PM
No, i trust the Spirit ultimately however, the biblical scholars widen my understanding of the text, surrounding history and Christian culture at the time.
1. How does the Spirit talk to you?

Like i said before. You wonder why i disengage and respond in a way that you don't like. This is why, this presuppositional, stereotypical, bovine schatology.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: primuspilus on March 20, 2012, 12:30:54 PM
No, i trust the Spirit ultimately however, the biblical scholars widen my understanding of the text, surrounding history and Christian culture at the time.
1. How does the Spirit talk to you?

Like i said before. You wonder why i disengage and respond in a way that you don't like. This is why, this presuppositional, stereotypical, bovine schatology.
It was just a question. Just because someone says the Spirit spoke to them, does not mean He did. Especially since everyone says that they follow the Spirit. They all cant be correct FP.


PP
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: Marc1152 on March 20, 2012, 02:09:55 PM

Apparently the Apostles performed Infant Baptisms as did all those taught by them. Who are you again?

Not surprised you prefixed with "Apparently...".

That all you got?

 

Is that all that matters to you is what i've "got"?

I guess I was looking for a substantive answer.. I realize it is unlikely you can provide one.

Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: katherineofdixie on March 20, 2012, 02:13:18 PM
I think those are reasonable questions. Why would they be offensive?
I don't think it's unreasonable to ask for a little explanation of the process, especially when you're asking us to take your word that the Church has been baptizing the wrong people for centuries, for example.

YMMV, of course, but even if I was absolutely convinced that the Spirit spoke to me, I would still test it against (to paraphrase St. Vincent of Lerins) what the Church has always taught at all times and in all places. I would also run it by my priest and a couple of trusted friends.

After all, doesn't Scripture tell us to test the spirits?
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: FountainPen on March 20, 2012, 02:39:54 PM
I think those are reasonable questions. Why would they be offensive?
I don't think it's unreasonable to ask for a little explanation of the process, especially when you're asking us to take your word that the Church has been baptizing the wrong people for centuries, for example.

YMMV, of course, but even if I was absolutely convinced that the Spirit spoke to me, I would still test it against (to paraphrase St. Vincent of Lerins) what the Church has always taught at all times and in all places. I would also run it by my priest and a couple of trusted friends.

After all, doesn't Scripture tell us to test the spirits?

Katherine, it would be a reasonable question had i been going on about the Spirit "talking" to me, yes.

I hadn't even mentioned anything about that.

It is clear the only reason Peter posted his question in that way is because that is what 'most Protestants' say.

I am not 'most Protestants'; i am not here representing the Protestant church.

/ragequit?

Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: FountainPen on March 20, 2012, 02:42:03 PM

Apparently the Apostles performed Infant Baptisms as did all those taught by them. Who are you again?

Not surprised you prefixed with "Apparently...".

That all you got?

  

Is that all that matters to you is what i've "got"?

I guess I was looking for a substantive answer.. I realize it is unlikely you can provide one.



No you weren't Marc so don't try and elevate yourself post pettiness.

Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: PeterTheAleut on March 20, 2012, 03:30:51 PM
I think those are reasonable questions. Why would they be offensive?
I don't think it's unreasonable to ask for a little explanation of the process, especially when you're asking us to take your word that the Church has been baptizing the wrong people for centuries, for example.

YMMV, of course, but even if I was absolutely convinced that the Spirit spoke to me, I would still test it against (to paraphrase St. Vincent of Lerins) what the Church has always taught at all times and in all places. I would also run it by my priest and a couple of trusted friends.

After all, doesn't Scripture tell us to test the spirits?

Katherine, it would be a reasonable question had i been going on about the Spirit "talking" to me, yes.

I hadn't even mentioned anything about that.
You say that you trust the Spirit. That implies that He communicates to you in some way. I didn't ask the question because "that's what 'most Protestants' say". I asked the question in direct response to something YOU said.

I believe the Holy Spirit speaks to me (through the Church), so I see nothing wrong with anyone admitting that. I just want to know how you believe the Holy Spirit speaks to you, since you say you trust Him.

It is clear the only reason Peter posted his question in that way is because that is what 'most Protestants' say.
Maybe you should ask me why I say something rather than presume to know my mind?

I am not 'most Protestants'; i am not here representing the Protestant church.
And I'm not addressing you as though you were merely another Protestant.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: katherineofdixie on March 20, 2012, 03:41:10 PM
It is clear the only reason Peter posted his question in that way is because that is what 'most Protestants' say.

I am not 'most Protestants'; i am not here representing the Protestant church.

/ragequit?



Forgive me, you may not be "most Protestants" but I (and I'd be willing to bet most people here) do hear that a lot from Protestants, who use it to refute our beliefs or praxis - that the Spirit leads them to truth or at least correct understanding. (Heck, a lot of us used to be just that kind of Protestant!)
Doesn't it seem somewhat unlikely that the Spirit has told someone somethingthat goes against Christian belief/teaching/praxis for the first 1500 or so years?
That kind of assurance, quite frankly, scares me. Because I know how many times I've convinced myself that something was ok or that God surely wanted me to do it, when in reality, it was my own ego or desires that was speaking, and not the Holy Spirit at all.
Of course, this is probably not true for you.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: FountainPen on March 20, 2012, 09:31:09 PM
I don't believe the Spirit "talks" to people, so no, it's not true of me personally.

I think we all have a good conscience on a personal level and collectively the Spirit guides the church.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: Aindriú on March 20, 2012, 09:32:53 PM
I don't believe the Spirit "talks" to people, so no, it's not true of me personally.

I think we all have a good conscience on a personal level and collectively the Spirit guides the church.

Which church?  ;)
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: FountainPen on March 20, 2012, 09:38:24 PM
You say that you trust the Spirit. That implies that He communicates to you in some way.
no it really doesn't.
Quote
I didn't ask the question because "that's what 'most Protestants' say". I asked the question in direct response to something YOU said.
Which was what exactly please?

Quote
I believe the Holy Spirit speaks to me (through the Church), so I see nothing wrong with anyone admitting that. I just want to know how you believe the Holy Spirit speaks to you, since you say you trust Him.
He doesn't "speak" to me.

Quote
It is clear the only reason Peter posted his question in that way is because that is what 'most Protestants' say.
Maybe you should ask me why I say something rather than presume to know my mind?
Maybe you should try taking your own advice.

Quote
I am not 'most Protestants'; i am not here representing the Protestant church.
And I'm not addressing you as though you were merely another Protestant.
I know you don't think you are, you probably don't mean to either but yes, you did do.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: Marc1152 on March 21, 2012, 12:06:46 AM

Apparently the Apostles performed Infant Baptisms as did all those taught by them. Who are you again?

Not surprised you prefixed with "Apparently...".

That all you got?

  

Is that all that matters to you is what i've "got"?

I guess I was looking for a substantive answer.. I realize it is unlikely you can provide one.



No you weren't Marc so don't try and elevate yourself post pettiness.



I'm afraid not.

Here is the question at hand in case you've forgotten: Where is the documentation that the Church changed it's original  practice of denying  Baptism to Infants to allowing it?

David's long standing claim is the the practice of so called "Believers Baptism"  was the practice of the Apostles.. We know with certainty that infant Baptism was the practice of the Church before the year 200 since Tertullian discusses it near or around the year 200.
It's hard to believe that the Church changed this sacrament without discussion. Impossible really. But that's the claim.

So I was hoping for a substantive replay. A bit of documentation. At least some reasonable explanation of why there isn't any or why the Chruch never met about or discussed such an important change. But all we get from you is obfuscation.

Maybe David will do better, once he gets back.   
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: PeterTheAleut on March 21, 2012, 01:07:03 AM
Quote
I didn't ask the question because "that's what 'most Protestants' say". I asked the question in direct response to something YOU said.
Which was what exactly please?
That you trust in the Holy Spirit.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: FountainPen on March 21, 2012, 07:48:35 AM
Forgive me if some of this has been said -long thread!

This topic is, of course, hotly debated within Protestantism as well, with scholars on both sides claiming biblical and historical warrant while sometimes also candidly admitting a lack of absolute slam dunk exegetical "proof." If such absolute exegetical proof were possible one wonders why all the fuss for the last few centuries including our own within Protestantism.
Yes it has been and will be debated within Protestantism until Christ returns no doubt. One thing i'm convinced of is that neither side of the argument has that "slam dunk" proof you refer to, even though they would like to think they do.

A hidden) premise of the thread title is "infants cannot have faith"; however Luther (and I believe also Calvin) regarded infants as having a kind of "faith." If infants *can* have a sort of faith, believer's "versus" infant baptism would be a false dichotomy, and support for the former would not count as ipso facto evidence contra the latter.
I do wholeheartedly agree; infants have faith. There's no doubt in my heart and mind this is true as there is strong evidence to support that claim.

Some passages cited in favor of this thesis include Psalm 8:2 ("Out of the mouths of babes and nursing infants you have perfected praise"; quoted by Jesus in Matt 21:16) and Luke 1:15b, 41: "He [John the Baptist] will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother's womb..."; "...and it happened, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, that the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit." It is argued that even before birth in this instance some kind of faith/cognizance would have to be present for the unborn John to have reacted -not just as a biological organism might to a sound, but *joyously* to the presence of Mary, then pregnant with the Maker of the starfields.

I am not sure how one would argue that the unborn John could display a reaction of both recognition and *joy* while at the same time being utterly devoid of faith of any sort. I am also not sure how one would argue that *praise of God* is possible without some sort of faith in God, although I would be interested to hear such a theory if anyone cares to offer one.

That even a babe in the womb can receive grace is also often claimed evident from Lk 1:15. Other commonly cited examples are found here. (http://www.amazon.com/Paedofaith-Rich-Lusk/dp/0975391429)

Some (not all) Lutherans will object to the baptism of John example as playing a part in *their* defense of infant baptism in that they hold prior faith, even mentioned as an alternative possibility, is not the best way to represent the Lutheran perspective, although it is nevertheless commonly cited by other Lutheran and many Roman Catholic writers.

I think the common hidden assumption which would balk at the above passages is tied to the presumption that faith *must* be correlated with a specific capacity for discursive reasoning in every case (which seems challenged e.g. by suckling infants seeming to *need* "some" sort of faith in God to actually *praise* God), or even to what extent biblical data requires us to posit propositional awareness is a sine qua non of faith, a broad debate in and of itself with examples such as the faith of the OT prostitute Rahab typically being called into court. I will leave the details aside and simply mention it in passing here as it will doubtless come to the reader's mind. But the scripture assigning faith to infants seems to clearly break the self-evidence of the argument for absolute necessity of such a connection between faith and propositional capacity as many see it. Life is larger than logic, and so is faith, and God is able to relate in and through all things to our "hearts "as well as to our heads. This is not to say propositional knowledge is irrelevant to faith (a notion perhaps more akin to Buddhism), for once it begins to factor in we realize it becomes inescapable as it constitutes our being in the world one way or another; ideas do have consequences, and they are at least in scripture dialectically relatable to faith, not strictly prior or consequential. But they are arguably never the primary thing; encountering God in the manner he has laid down for us -not merely as a manner, but as Energy- arguably is, e.g. in the askesis of prayer, in the Eucharist, and so on. This is clearly evident in the biblical doctrine that holiness is transmissible MERELY BY TOUCH, another notion which has been largely lost in the Protestant West.
No disagreements here accept to smile at your last sentence when i think of the Toronto Blessing #winks

Of course paedofaith does not necessarily entail paedobaptism, which is another can of worms I will not bother to open in depth at this time.
These worms are where i start to get a little picky with my food.

The biblical evidence considered alone (in a sort of artificial vaccuum) has been deemed ambiguous either way by some very good scholars. However if the evidence can be deemed ambiguous and interpreted in different ways, what determines which choice is individually affirmed? Tradition, tacitly or explicitly/perceived or not, plays a role in *every* theological trajectory within Christendom bar none.
I'll give a tentative nod.

Scholarship is not hermetically sealed from the sociology of tradition -an almost universally discounted notion in contemporary philosophy (even science cannot be wertfrein or "value free"); in fact traditions grounded in scholarship are among the most conservative of all forms of tradition (liturgical tradition being, I think, the most conservative).
Okay, another tentative nod.

It often goes unrecognized by Protestants on a sort of outmoded hermeneutic characteristic of outmoded Enlightenment foundationalism, and indeed supposing doctrines can be "proved by the scripture" like this one, when even within Protestantism there are strong proponents of every position at the highest level of academic theological and exegetical competence, seems rather dubious IMHO, else why has the debate continued for so many centuries after the Reformation? Neither does sola scriptura avoid extra biblical information in terms of the vast studies about the philological historiography of the biblical languages which look beyond the scriptures themselves to, yes, culture and tradition, the endless attention to backgrounds in ancient Judaism, historical, liturgical, rhetorical, and other sitz im leben, and on and on, and yet a giant wall is put up by some Protestants when it comes to the early fathers (though admittedly all do not do this -I never did before becoming Orthodox and essentially considered myself paleo-orthodox (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paleo-orthodoxy) for quite some time before personally making the move to Orthodoxy- but many certainly do) even when certain theological points, like the belief in the possibility of apostasy and so on, were universally held with no exceptions whatsoever in every major geographic region where early Christianity spread from the earliest attested dates, and among those for whom Koine Greek was a mother tongue to boot, and among those who had direct lines of descent among their revered teachers to the apostles themselves.
this is too jam packed full of juicy worms for me to comment on each as i think we'd be off in all different directions.

Another poster provided the following helpful information, which I'll append in closing as my post is already getting too long for most to bother with...

From Vespers for the feast of the Nativity of St John the Baptist:
"You were shown to be a prophet and Forerunner from your mother's womb, O John, Baptist of Christ, leaping up and rejoicing within her when you beheld the Queen, bearing the Timeless One who was begotten of the Father without mother, coming to her handmaid and to you, who shone forth from a barren woman and an elderly man according to God's promise. Elizabeth conceived the Forerunner of grace, and the Virgin conceived the Lord of glory. Both mothers kissed each other, and the babe leapt up, for within her womb the servant praised the Master. And the mother of the Forerunner marvelled and cried out: "How is it that the Mother of my Lord should come to me? May He who has great mercy save a despairing people!"

From the Litia:
"Today Elizabeth gives birth to the ultimate prophet, the first of the apostles, the earthly angel and heavenly man, the voice of the Word, the soldier and Forerunner of Christ, who leapt up beforehand in token of the promise, and before his birth proclaimed the Sun of righteousness; and she rejoices. Zechariah is astonished in his old age, putting aside his silence like a bond imposed upon him; and as the father of the voice he prophesies: "For you, O child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High and shall go forth to prepare the way for Him.: Therefore, O angel, prophet, apostle, warrior, Forerunner, baptizer, preacher and instructor of repentance: As the voice of the Light and Word, pray unceasingly for us who keep your memory with faith."
I think i'd be astonished too -- poor man.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: FountainPen on March 21, 2012, 07:57:29 AM
Quote
I didn't ask the question because "that's what 'most Protestants' say". I asked the question in direct response to something YOU said.
Which was what exactly please?
That you trust in the Holy Spirit.

Yes i trust in the Spirit's guidance.

Many people might say that he talks to them, i'm not one of them.

I don't know how he guides before you ask, i leave that up to him.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: PeterTheAleut on March 21, 2012, 09:42:06 AM
Quote
I didn't ask the question because "that's what 'most Protestants' say". I asked the question in direct response to something YOU said.
Which was what exactly please?
That you trust in the Holy Spirit.

Yes i trust in the Spirit's guidance.

Many people might say that he talks to them, i'm not one of them.

I don't know how he guides before you ask, i leave that up to him.
Then it seems I'm defining "speak" a bit more loosely than you are.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: primuspilus on March 21, 2012, 09:44:26 AM

Apparently the Apostles performed Infant Baptisms as did all those taught by them. Who are you again?

Not surprised you prefixed with "Apparently...".

That all you got?

  

Is that all that matters to you is what i've "got"?

I guess I was looking for a substantive answer.. I realize it is unlikely you can provide one.



No you weren't Marc so don't try and elevate yourself post pettiness.



I'm afraid not.

Here is the question at hand in case you've forgotten: Where is the documentation that the Church changed it's original  practice of denying  Baptism to Infants to allowing it?

David's long standing claim is the the practice of so called "Believers Baptism"  was the practice of the Apostles.. We know with certainty that infant Baptism was the practice of the Church before the year 200 since Tertullian discusses it near or around the year 200.
It's hard to believe that the Church changed this sacrament without discussion. Impossible really. But that's the claim.

So I was hoping for a substantive replay. A bit of documentation. At least some reasonable explanation of why there isn't any or why the Chruch never met about or discussed such an important change. But all we get from you is obfuscation.

Maybe David will do better, once he gets back.   
I look forward to that as well...

PP
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: FountainPen on March 21, 2012, 11:10:36 AM
Quote
I didn't ask the question because "that's what 'most Protestants' say". I asked the question in direct response to something YOU said.
Which was what exactly please?
That you trust in the Holy Spirit.

Yes i trust in the Spirit's guidance.

Many people might say that he talks to them, i'm not one of them.

I don't know how he guides before you ask, i leave that up to him.
Then it seems I'm defining "speak" a bit more loosely than you are.

Then use "_" these around the word (as you have done now) or these (_) or these '_' or even these <_> or these *_* and as is commonly understood you won't be meaning the word in its most literal sense.





Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: FountainPen on March 21, 2012, 11:21:23 AM

Apparently the Apostles performed Infant Baptisms as did all those taught by them. Who are you again?

Not surprised you prefixed with "Apparently...".

That all you got?

  

Is that all that matters to you is what i've "got"?

I guess I was looking for a substantive answer.. I realize it is unlikely you can provide one.



No you weren't Marc so don't try and elevate yourself post pettiness.



I'm afraid not.

Here is the question at hand in case you've forgotten: Where is the documentation that the Church changed it's original  practice of denying  Baptism to Infants to allowing it?

David's long standing claim is the the practice of so called "Believers Baptism"  was the practice of the Apostles.. We know with certainty that infant Baptism was the practice of the Church before the year 200 since Tertullian discusses it near or around the year 200.
It's hard to believe that the Church changed this sacrament without discussion. Impossible really. But that's the claim.

So I was hoping for a substantive replay. A bit of documentation. At least some reasonable explanation of why there isn't any or why the Chruch never met about or discussed such an important change. But all we get from you is obfuscation.

Maybe David will do better, once he gets back.  

I don't do replays.

I am astounded at yours and PeePee's hope in a substantive reply if his claim is as you say, of such a "long standing" nature. Clearly he must have gone over his ground many times to neither side's satisfaction.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: orthonorm on March 21, 2012, 11:26:56 AM
This thread is getting worser by the post.

Two sides of the same coin arguing.

Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: primuspilus on March 21, 2012, 11:28:48 AM
Quote
I am astounded at yours and PeePee's hope in a substantive reply if his claim is as you say, of such a "long standing" nature
Wow, thanks for the urine reference.

Also, no. Im truly interested in David's analysis. I find him very informative and I like hearing (erm...reading) his point of view.

PP
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: FountainPen on March 21, 2012, 11:35:43 AM
Quote
I am astounded at yours and PeePee's hope in a substantive reply if his claim is as you say, of such a "long standing" nature
Wow, thanks for the urine reference.

Also, no. Im truly interested in David's analysis. I find him very informative and I like hearing (erm...reading) his point of view.

PP

Then i promise i won't shed a tear if you cease posting on this thread until he returns.

/winks
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: primuspilus on March 21, 2012, 11:43:54 AM
Quote
I am astounded at yours and PeePee's hope in a substantive reply if his claim is as you say, of such a "long standing" nature
Wow, thanks for the urine reference.

Also, no. Im truly interested in David's analysis. I find him very informative and I like hearing (erm...reading) his point of view.

PP

Then i promise i won't shed a tear if you cease posting on this thread until he returns.

/winks
Does that include responding to you when you post?
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: PeterTheAleut on March 21, 2012, 11:49:03 AM
PeePee's
Please don't use such juvenile insults as this in your posts again.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: Marc1152 on March 21, 2012, 12:08:07 PM
Quote
I didn't ask the question because "that's what 'most Protestants' say". I asked the question in direct response to something YOU said.
Which was what exactly please?
That you trust in the Holy Spirit.

Yes i trust in the Spirit's guidance.

Many people might say that he talks to them, i'm not one of them.

I don't know how he guides before you ask, i leave that up to him.

I have a Protestant friend who sometimes says he "feels the Holy Spirit" and asked if Orthodox also say this or something like it.

The answer no, at least I have never heard it mentioned and doesnt sound like anything we should go by to determine the authenticity of anything.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: FountainPen on March 21, 2012, 12:12:06 PM
Quote
I didn't ask the question because "that's what 'most Protestants' say". I asked the question in direct response to something YOU said.
Which was what exactly please?
That you trust in the Holy Spirit.

Yes i trust in the Spirit's guidance.

Many people might say that he talks to them, i'm not one of them.

I don't know how he guides before you ask, i leave that up to him.

I have a Protestant friend who sometimes says he "feels the Holy Spirit" and asked if Orthodox also say this or something like it.

The answer no, at least I have never heard it mentioned and doesnt sound like anything we should go by to determine the authenticity of anything.

And i regard it as nothing more than emotionalism.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: Marc1152 on March 21, 2012, 12:13:03 PM

Apparently the Apostles performed Infant Baptisms as did all those taught by them. Who are you again?

Not surprised you prefixed with "Apparently...".

That all you got?

  

Is that all that matters to you is what i've "got"?

I guess I was looking for a substantive answer.. I realize it is unlikely you can provide one.



No you weren't Marc so don't try and elevate yourself post pettiness.



I'm afraid not.

Here is the question at hand in case you've forgotten: Where is the documentation that the Church changed it's original  practice of denying  Baptism to Infants to allowing it?

David's long standing claim is the the practice of so called "Believers Baptism"  was the practice of the Apostles.. We know with certainty that infant Baptism was the practice of the Church before the year 200 since Tertullian discusses it near or around the year 200.
It's hard to believe that the Church changed this sacrament without discussion. Impossible really. But that's the claim.

So I was hoping for a substantive replay. A bit of documentation. At least some reasonable explanation of why there isn't any or why the Chruch never met about or discussed such an important change. But all we get from you is obfuscation.

Maybe David will do better, once he gets back.  

I don't do replays.

I am astounded at yours and PeePee's hope in a substantive reply if his claim is as you say, of such a "long standing" nature. Clearly he must have gone over his ground many times to neither side's satisfaction.


Nope, he has been unable to answer in the past or now it seems. How could such a major change in a central practice of the Church go undiscussed?

Could you at least try to guess?  
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: Azul on March 21, 2012, 01:32:34 PM
Just curious do infants have faith?Do they have another sort of faith than the adults?Are they baptized on account to their faith, to that faith?

Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: FountainPen on March 21, 2012, 03:10:18 PM
Just curious do infants have faith?Do they have another sort of faith than the adults?Are they baptized on account to their faith, to that faith?



Scriptures indicate that we are all given a measure of faith. I would suggest that it is different to saving faith though as someone could have the faith of a baby and yet end up turning away into Atheism all their life.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: Marc1152 on March 22, 2012, 10:55:59 AM
Just curious do infants have faith?Do they have another sort of faith than the adults?Are they baptized on account to their faith, to that faith?



Very young children have no guile. Christ  offers them up as an example of what adults should try to emulate.

Matthew 18:3
"And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven."

What some Protestants seem to mean by faith is a type of math. You must have the ability to calculate, pick and chose. After weighing  this proposition against another you come to a conclusion.

I have even heard that they quiz children before allowing them to be Baptized, ie grafted onto Christ.

That sort of calculating mind is for adults. That is why the Church has adults stand up for a child at Baptism and promise to teach them the Faith correctly. But the innocence of a child is an unspoiled fertile field in which to plant the seed of God's grace. Christ highly valued their openness and innocence. As we see in Scripture he said to be more like them not for them to be like us.     
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: primuspilus on March 22, 2012, 10:59:46 AM
Just curious do infants have faith?Do they have another sort of faith than the adults?Are they baptized on account to their faith, to that faith?



Very young children have no guile. Christ  offers them up as an example of what adults should try to emulate.

Matthew 18:3
"And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven."

What some Protestants seem to mean by faith is a type of math. You must have the ability to calculate, pick and chose. After weighing  this proposition against another you come to a conclusion.

I have even heard that they quiz children before allowing them to be Baptized, ie grafted onto Christ.

That sort of calculating mind is for adults. That is why the Church has adults stand up for a child at Baptism and promise to teach them the Faith correctly. But the innocence of a child is an unspoiled fertile field in which to plant the seed of God's grace. Christ highly valued their openness and innocence. As we see in Scripture he said to be more like them not for them to be like us.     

The biggest stumbling block in my faith is the math example you gave Marc. Im always thinking myself into a spiritual crisis. Thank you for posting that. You're right on the money.

PP
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: Azul on March 22, 2012, 11:07:59 AM
Well i think Christ was implying that infants believe in him

but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea. Matthew 18:6

and that they are example of faith and have the ultimate faith.


and said, "Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 18:3

So anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven. Matthew 18:4
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: Ortho_cat on March 22, 2012, 12:21:00 PM
Just curious do infants have faith?Do they have another sort of faith than the adults?Are they baptized on account to their faith, to that faith?



Very young children have no guile. Christ  offers them up as an example of what adults should try to emulate.

Matthew 18:3
"And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven."

What some Protestants seem to mean by faith is a type of math. You must have the ability to calculate, pick and chose. After weighing  this proposition against another you come to a conclusion.

I have even heard that they quiz children before allowing them to be Baptized, ie grafted onto Christ.

That sort of calculating mind is for adults. That is why the Church has adults stand up for a child at Baptism and promise to teach them the Faith correctly. But the innocence of a child is an unspoiled fertile field in which to plant the seed of God's grace. Christ highly valued their openness and innocence. As we see in Scripture he said to be more like them not for them to be like us.     

The biggest stumbling block in my faith is the math example you gave Marc. Im always thinking myself into a spiritual crisis. Thank you for posting that. You're right on the money.

PP

Yes, Orthodox believe that God chooses us, or "calls us out", not the other way around. We believe that if God brought you to an Orthodox Church, and you have an opportunity to baptize your child in the Church, it is God's will and providence that allowed you to do so.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: FountainPen on March 22, 2012, 03:04:28 PM

but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea. Matthew 18:6


Azul, do you have a way of checking this? I was taught this verse was about weaker brothers not children.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: PeterTheAleut on March 22, 2012, 03:28:27 PM

but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea. Matthew 18:6


Azul, do you have a way of checking this? I was taught this verse was about weaker brothers not children.
Do you believe that a passage of Scripture can have multiple meanings?
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: Azul on March 24, 2012, 06:11:17 AM
Just curious do infants have faith?Do they have another sort of faith than the adults?Are they baptized on account to their faith, to that faith?



Scriptures indicate that we are all given a measure of faith. I would suggest that it is different to saving faith though as someone could have the faith of a baby and yet end up turning away into Atheism all their life.

what is salvic faith, other than a state of being?what is salvic faith other than theosis?what is salvic faith other than being blameless?to whom does this blameless pertain if not to the child in us?
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: FountainPen on March 24, 2012, 10:25:59 AM
Just curious do infants have faith?Do they have another sort of faith than the adults?Are they baptized on account to their faith, to that faith?



Scriptures indicate that we are all given a measure of faith. I would suggest that it is different to saving faith though as someone could have the faith of a baby and yet end up turning away into Atheism all their life.

what is salvic faith, other than a state of being?what is salvic faith other than theosis?what is salvic faith other than being blameless?to whom does this blameless pertain if not to the child in us?

Saving faith causes repentance.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: FountainPen on March 24, 2012, 10:26:49 AM

but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea. Matthew 18:6


Azul, do you have a way of checking this? I was taught this verse was about weaker brothers not children.
Do you believe that a passage of Scripture can have multiple meanings?

Depends on the context.



Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: FountainPen on March 24, 2012, 10:29:11 AM
Primuspilus, sorry for my being childish.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: Marc1152 on March 24, 2012, 11:38:36 AM
Just curious do infants have faith?Do they have another sort of faith than the adults?Are they baptized on account to their faith, to that faith?



Scriptures indicate that we are all given a measure of faith. I would suggest that it is different to saving faith though as someone could have the faith of a baby and yet end up turning away into Atheism all their life.

what is salvic faith, other than a state of being?what is salvic faith other than theosis?what is salvic faith other than being blameless?to whom does this blameless pertain if not to the child in us?

Saving faith causes repentance.

So do you regularly go to confession?
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: Ortho_cat on March 24, 2012, 12:39:10 PM
Hmm David has been gone for a while...I hope the Vatican didn't detain him... ;)
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: PeterTheAleut on March 24, 2012, 01:24:47 PM

but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea. Matthew 18:6


Azul, do you have a way of checking this? I was taught this verse was about weaker brothers not children.
Do you believe that a passage of Scripture can have multiple meanings?

Depends on the context.
Would you please explain?
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: stanley123 on March 24, 2012, 02:43:47 PM
Do you believe that a passage of Scripture can have multiple meanings?
Could be. For example: Slaves, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in the sincerity of your heart, as to Christ;.Ephesians 6:5.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: FountainPen on March 25, 2012, 08:07:46 AM

but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea. Matthew 18:6


Azul, do you have a way of checking this? I was taught this verse was about weaker brothers not children.
Do you believe that a passage of Scripture can have multiple meanings?

Depends on the context.
Would you please explain?

It depends on whether the context the verse came from is broad and ambiguous as in this case where the 'millstone' verse could mean one of two things or a mixture of both.

Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: FountainPen on March 25, 2012, 08:10:39 AM
Do you believe that a passage of Scripture can have multiple meanings?
Could be. For example: Slaves, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in the sincerity of your heart, as to Christ;.Ephesians 6:5.

Yes, i think this word μικρός (mikros), could include slaves.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: Azul on April 16, 2012, 04:41:48 AM
Allright.I just came back from Church and the priest was saying that the faith of the mother is transmitted to the child she is bearing.What do you guys say, make of it?
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: Melodist on April 16, 2012, 08:41:28 AM
Allright.I just came back from Church and the priest was saying that the faith of the mother is transmitted to the child she is bearing.What do you guys say, make of it?

Three thoughts come to mind.

1. The child does receive communion through its mother while in the womb.

2. The child is going to grow up believing what the parents believe and not anything else, at least for a period of time. The only exception would be in a mixed faith marriage, in which case it may or may not be the faith of the mother in which the child is raised.

3. The child still needs to be baptized.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: Aindriú on April 16, 2012, 08:41:59 AM
Allright.I just came back from Church and the priest was saying that the faith of the mother is transmitted to the child she is bearing.What do you guys say, make of it?
???
Are you sure that's what he said?
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: stanley123 on April 16, 2012, 04:06:32 PM
Allright.I just came back from Church and the priest was saying that the faith of the mother is transmitted to the child she is bearing.What do you guys say, make of it?

Three thoughts come to mind.

1. The child does receive communion through its mother while in the womb.

So the child receives Holy Communion, even though he is not baptised.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: Melodist on April 16, 2012, 04:13:55 PM
Allright.I just came back from Church and the priest was saying that the faith of the mother is transmitted to the child she is bearing.What do you guys say, make of it?
Three thoughts come to mind.

1. The child does receive communion through its mother while in the womb.
So the child receives Holy Communion, even though he is not baptised.

The child receives its nourishment from its mother. We allow pregnant women to commune.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: stanley123 on April 16, 2012, 04:29:18 PM
Allright.I just came back from Church and the priest was saying that the faith of the mother is transmitted to the child she is bearing.What do you guys say, make of it?
Three thoughts come to mind.

1. The child does receive communion through its mother while in the womb.
So the child receives Holy Communion, even though he is not baptised.

The child receives its nourishment from its mother. We allow pregnant women to commune.
That is something I hadn't thought about. It seems like that should have some consequences worth elaborating on.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: Ortho_cat on April 16, 2012, 04:36:43 PM
Allright.I just came back from Church and the priest was saying that the faith of the mother is transmitted to the child she is bearing.What do you guys say, make of it?
Three thoughts come to mind.

1. The child does receive communion through its mother while in the womb.
So the child receives Holy Communion, even though he is not baptised.

The child receives its nourishment from its mother. We allow pregnant women to commune.
That is something I hadn't thought about. It seems like that should have some consequences worth elaborating on.

To introduce the child to the medicine of immortality while still in it's mother's womb, and to then deprive the child of the same for several years afterwards (8?), makes little sense to me.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: PeterTheAleut on April 16, 2012, 04:40:22 PM
Allright.I just came back from Church and the priest was saying that the faith of the mother is transmitted to the child she is bearing.What do you guys say, make of it?
Three thoughts come to mind.

1. The child does receive communion through its mother while in the womb.
So the child receives Holy Communion, even though he is not baptised.

The child receives its nourishment from its mother. We allow pregnant women to commune.
That is something I hadn't thought about. It seems like that should have some consequences worth elaborating on.

To introduce the child to the medicine of immortality while still in it's mother's womb, and to then deprive the child of the same for several years afterwards (8?), makes little sense to me.
For those Orthodox mothers who breast feed their babies, I imagine that the nourishment of Holy Communion would continue to reach their children indirectly through their milk. In that case, it's probably best to baptize infants at least before they're weaned.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: Ortho_cat on April 16, 2012, 04:46:09 PM
Allright.I just came back from Church and the priest was saying that the faith of the mother is transmitted to the child she is bearing.What do you guys say, make of it?
Three thoughts come to mind.

1. The child does receive communion through its mother while in the womb.
So the child receives Holy Communion, even though he is not baptised.

The child receives its nourishment from its mother. We allow pregnant women to commune.
That is something I hadn't thought about. It seems like that should have some consequences worth elaborating on.

To introduce the child to the medicine of immortality while still in it's mother's womb, and to then deprive the child of the same for several years afterwards (8?), makes little sense to me.
For those Orthodox mothers who breast feed their babies, I imagine that the nourishment of Holy Communion would continue to reach their children indirectly through their milk. In that case, it's probably best to baptize infants at least before they're weaned.

yes, good point. How long do we usually breast-feed babies? A year or so? After that those who don't commune infants would deprive them for 7 years at least.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: Marc1152 on April 16, 2012, 06:07:22 PM
Allright.I just came back from Church and the priest was saying that the faith of the mother is transmitted to the child she is bearing.What do you guys say, make of it?
Three thoughts come to mind.

1. The child does receive communion through its mother while in the womb.
So the child receives Holy Communion, even though he is not baptised.

The child receives its nourishment from its mother. We allow pregnant women to commune.
That is something I hadn't thought about. It seems like that should have some consequences worth elaborating on.

To introduce the child to the medicine of immortality while still in it's mother's womb, and to then deprive the child of the same for several years afterwards (8?), makes little sense to me.
For those Orthodox mothers who breast feed their babies, I imagine that the nourishment of Holy Communion would continue to reach their children indirectly through their milk. In that case, it's probably best to baptize infants at least before they're weaned.

yes, good point. How long do we usually breast-feed babies? A year or so? After that those who don't commune infants would deprive them for 7 years at least.

Six years sometimes... Takes a toll  
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: Ortho_cat on April 17, 2012, 01:18:27 AM
Allright.I just came back from Church and the priest was saying that the faith of the mother is transmitted to the child she is bearing.What do you guys say, make of it?
Three thoughts come to mind.

1. The child does receive communion through its mother while in the womb.
So the child receives Holy Communion, even though he is not baptised.

The child receives its nourishment from its mother. We allow pregnant women to commune.
That is something I hadn't thought about. It seems like that should have some consequences worth elaborating on.

To introduce the child to the medicine of immortality while still in it's mother's womb, and to then deprive the child of the same for several years afterwards (8?), makes little sense to me.
For those Orthodox mothers who breast feed their babies, I imagine that the nourishment of Holy Communion would continue to reach their children indirectly through their milk. In that case, it's probably best to baptize infants at least before they're weaned.

yes, good point. How long do we usually breast-feed babies? A year or so? After that those who don't commune infants would deprive them for 7 years at least.

Six years sometimes... Takes a toll  

wow i had no idea! :o
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: yeshuaisiam on April 23, 2012, 10:08:26 PM
I want to chime in from an anabaptist POV, because I teeter between EO and Anabaptist (as weird as that sounds)

My wife and I have 5 children and we have brought all of them up since the moment they were born.

There is no way, no how, no if ands or buts that I will ever accept any celibate monk who has never had children to tell me that they are damned if they die without baptism as infants or children.

Christ said "ones such as these belong to the kingdom of heaven".

A baby or child does not understand what life is about nor what is happening to them.  They are fully dependent on the parents for guidance and to bring them up in Christ.  It is ultimately up to them to decide if they wish to be part of the church and follow God's will or not.

This is EXACTLY why you see EO children flee from the church even though they had baptism and communion when they get older.  It's because they did it because there was no choice.  They had no rational, nor freewill to follow Christ.  There is no decision as a baby, they get dunked and have no idea what happened to them.  There isn't some kind of magic mojo that suddenly makes them a believer in the church.  Ultimately, when they are older and set out in this world as an adult, they make the decisions for their faith.

A baptized infant grows and could believe as a child because mommy & daddy do, then later deny God.... Then what?
An unbaptized child who is "innocent", could believe because they see mommy & daddy.  Then it is their choice to be baptized into the church.

There are many instances of both infants and adults being baptized.   That doesn't mean every single infant should be baptized.  You never know, they could have done it because they were wandering around on foot a lot in vast lands.....  Then there are those who know of all this early stuff, history, and still were baptized later.... Ask Constantine.

Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: Aindriú on April 23, 2012, 11:00:31 PM
I want to chime in from an anabaptist POV, because I teeter between EO and Anabaptist (as weird as that sounds)

My wife and I have 5 children and we have brought all of them up since the moment they were born.

There is no way, no how, no if ands or buts that I will ever accept any celibate monk who has never had children to tell me that they are damned if they die without baptism as infants or children.

Christ said "ones such as these belong to the kingdom of heaven".

A baby or child does not understand what life is about nor what is happening to them.  They are fully dependent on the parents for guidance and to bring them up in Christ.  It is ultimately up to them to decide if they wish to be part of the church and follow God's will or not.

This is EXACTLY why you see EO children flee from the church even though they had baptism and communion when they get older.  It's because they did it because there was no choice.  They had no rational, nor freewill to follow Christ.  There is no decision as a baby, they get dunked and have no idea what happened to them.  There isn't some kind of magic mojo that suddenly makes them a believer in the church.  Ultimately, when they are older and set out in this world as an adult, they make the decisions for their faith.

A baptized infant grows and could believe as a child because mommy & daddy do, then later deny God.... Then what?
An unbaptized child who is "innocent", could believe because they see mommy & daddy.  Then it is their choice to be baptized into the church.

There are many instances of both infants and adults being baptized.   That doesn't mean every single infant should be baptized.  You never know, they could have done it because they were wandering around on foot a lot in vast lands.....  Then there are those who know of all this early stuff, history, and still were baptized later.... Ask Constantine.



You always have a choice. They made the choice to leave. You think delaying baptism changes that choice? (assuming there is no Grace imparted through Baptism)
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: PeterTheAleut on April 24, 2012, 01:05:22 AM
I want to chime in from an anabaptist POV, because I teeter between EO and Anabaptist (as weird as that sounds)

My wife and I have 5 children and we have brought all of them up since the moment they were born.

There is no way, no how, no if ands or buts that I will ever accept any celibate monk who has never had children to tell me that they are damned if they die without baptism as infants or children.
Battling the windmills again, yesh? I've never heard that Orthodoxy teaches or ever taught such a monstrosity as this.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: primuspilus on April 24, 2012, 09:47:39 AM
Quote
I want to chime in from an anabaptist POV, because I teeter between EO and Anabaptist (as weird as that sounds)

My wife and I have 5 children and we have brought all of them up since the moment they were born.

There is no way, no how, no if ands or buts that I will ever accept any celibate monk who has never had children to tell me that they are damned if they die without baptism as infants or children
Orthodoxy does not teach this firstly, secondly how does celibacy, or being a monk innately disqualify someone to speak on spiritual matters?

So, if my priest never raised a girl, he can not counsel me concerning such things? Really?

Quote
This is EXACTLY why you see EO children flee from the church even though they had baptism and communion when they get older.  It's because they did it because there was no choice.  They had no rational, nor freewill to follow Christ.  There is no decision as a baby, they get dunked and have no idea what happened to them.  There isn't some kind of magic mojo that suddenly makes them a believer in the church.  Ultimately, when they are older and set out in this world as an adult, they make the decisions for their faith
They made their choice. however, you are stating the above as if it is only an EO problem. I fled protestantism as fast as I could. Does that mean I was a protestant not of my own choice? Your logic does not make sense.

Quote
here are many instances of both infants and adults being baptized
Yep

Quote
That doesn't mean every single infant should be baptized
Really? Since when?

Quote
There is no decision as a baby, they get dunked and have no idea what happened to them.  There isn't some kind of magic mojo that suddenly makes them a believer in the church.  Ultimately, when they are older and set out in this world as an adult, they make the decisions for their faith
"Crispus, the synagogue leader, and his entire household believed in the Lord"

Kind of hard to turn that one aside.

PP
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: yeshuaisiam on April 24, 2012, 10:51:02 AM
I want to chime in from an anabaptist POV, because I teeter between EO and Anabaptist (as weird as that sounds)

My wife and I have 5 children and we have brought all of them up since the moment they were born.

There is no way, no how, no if ands or buts that I will ever accept any celibate monk who has never had children to tell me that they are damned if they die without baptism as infants or children.

Christ said "ones such as these belong to the kingdom of heaven".

A baby or child does not understand what life is about nor what is happening to them.  They are fully dependent on the parents for guidance and to bring them up in Christ.  It is ultimately up to them to decide if they wish to be part of the church and follow God's will or not.

This is EXACTLY why you see EO children flee from the church even though they had baptism and communion when they get older.  It's because they did it because there was no choice.  They had no rational, nor freewill to follow Christ.  There is no decision as a baby, they get dunked and have no idea what happened to them.  There isn't some kind of magic mojo that suddenly makes them a believer in the church.  Ultimately, when they are older and set out in this world as an adult, they make the decisions for their faith.

A baptized infant grows and could believe as a child because mommy & daddy do, then later deny God.... Then what?
An unbaptized child who is "innocent", could believe because they see mommy & daddy.  Then it is their choice to be baptized into the church.

There are many instances of both infants and adults being baptized.   That doesn't mean every single infant should be baptized.  You never know, they could have done it because they were wandering around on foot a lot in vast lands.....  Then there are those who know of all this early stuff, history, and still were baptized later.... Ask Constantine.



You always have a choice. They made the choice to leave. You think delaying baptism changes that choice? (assuming there is no Grace imparted through Baptism)

Ask Constantine.  ???

A baby is innocent, and has no choice in the matter.   The only thing that baptizing an infant does is believing that some kind of mojo is going to make them a Christian.  Even our lord said that "one such as these belong to the kingdom of heaven".

I don't believe that the framework is as defined as the modern EO church dictates.  Certainly it was not in Constantine's day or else he would have been baptized immediately.

By belief, we choose to be baptized when you have a believer's baptism.  It's a matter of choice, a matter of faith, and a matter of freewill.

An infant, knows nothing, and even pees and poops in the holy water that the priest "breathes" the holy spirit into (I've seen it) because they know nothing of what is going on.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: primuspilus on April 24, 2012, 11:09:02 AM
Quote
A baby is innocent, and has no choice in the matter.   The only thing that baptizing an infant does is believing that some kind of mojo is going to make them a Christian
So circumcision had the mojo to make children Jewish then?

Quote
I don't believe that the framework is as defined as the modern EO church dictates.  Certainly it was not in Constantine's day or else he would have been baptized immediately
Sorry yesh, this is seriously ignorant of history. Constantine could not have been baptised at birth because he was raised a pagan. Not only that, Constantine wanted to enter the Kingdom of God as pure as possible so he waited till the last second. This was actually a pretty common belief at the time. His son, Constantius II did the same thing, however Constantine, son of Constantine was probably baptised as an infant as all records state he was raised from birth as a Christian.

I would also add about Constantine, that he still had half of the Roman world that viewed him as the head of the Roman (and therefore pagan) religion. If he just converted at the Milvian bridge and got baptised, he'd have not lived much longer.


The argument of Constantine's baptism does not even come close to entering into this discussion.

PP
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: Asteriktos on April 24, 2012, 11:10:12 AM
A baby is innocent, and has no choice in the matter.   The only thing that baptizing an infant does is believing that some kind of mojo is going to make them a Christian.  Even our lord said that "one such as these belong to the kingdom of heaven".

I don't believe that the framework is as defined as the modern EO church dictates.  Certainly it was not in Constantine's day or else he would have been baptized immediately.

By belief, we choose to be baptized when you have a believer's baptism.  It's a matter of choice, a matter of faith, and a matter of freewill.

An infant, knows nothing, and even pees and poops in the holy water that the priest "breathes" the holy spirit into (I've seen it) because they know nothing of what is going on.

I agree with you that things were not so cut and dry as some would argue (I'm not saying those people are in this thread necessarily). However, I'd like to make two points here. First, baptism is a ceremony that brings someone into a community, the body of Christ. Someone could possibly be in the community without baptism (practically or otherwise), but that doesn't make the sacrament useless. It's about grace and healing... and not all grace and healing has to do with sins. Corruption (because we live in a fallen world) is not necessarily sin, but it has an impact even on infants. In Orthodoxy salvation is not just about the forgiveness of sins, but the transfiguring of creation.

Second, as I mentioned in this post (http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,13089.msg615477.html#msg615477) (which has some other thoughts on the subject), there is this passage to consider: "So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy." (Rom. 9:16).  God's mercy, His grace, is not dependent on our will, our faith, our actions, or anything else in us. True, our actions and will do usually have an important part to play, a necessarily part many times, but not all times.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: Asteriktos on April 24, 2012, 11:13:53 AM
Sorry yesh, this is seriously ignorant of history. Constantine could not have been baptised at birth because he was raised a pagan. Not only that, Constantine wanted to enter the Kingdom of God as pure as possible so he waited till the last second. This was actually a pretty common belief at the time. His son, Constantius II did the same thing, however Constantine, son of Constantine was probably baptised as an infant as all records state he was raised from birth as a Christian.

I would also add about Constantine, that he still had half of the Roman world that viewed him as the head of the Roman (and therefore pagan) religion. If he just converted at the Milvian bridge and got baptised, he'd have not lived much longer.


The argument of Constantine's baptism does not even come close to entering into this discussion.

I don't think this particular issue is a strong evidence against infant baptism as practiced today, but I do think you are dismissing it too quickly. If not St. Constantine, then consider the example of St. Gregory the Theologian. His father was a bishop (and a saint), and yet he wasn't baptized as an infant either. In fact, he didn't get baptized until he almost died at sea and promised God that he would get baptized if he lived.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: primuspilus on April 24, 2012, 11:18:20 AM
Quote
I don't think this particular issue is a strong evidence against infant baptism as practiced today, but I do think you are dismissing it too quickly. If not St. Constantine, then consider the example of St. Gregory the Theologian. His father was a bishop (and a saint), and yet he wasn't baptized as an infant either. In fact, he didn't get baptized until he almost died at sea and promised God that he would get baptized if he lived
I understand, but baptism at the time of death was a very prevalent idea simply because there would be NO chance for anything to keep you from entering the Kingdom of God as you are completely sinless at death. There were tons of folks who did it. That does not mean that they did not believe in infant baptism.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: ZealousZeal on April 24, 2012, 11:35:49 AM
I want to chime in from an anabaptist POV, because I teeter between EO and Anabaptist (as weird as that sounds)

My wife and I have 5 children and we have brought all of them up since the moment they were born.

There is no way, no how, no if ands or buts that I will ever accept any celibate monk who has never had children to tell me that they are damned if they die without baptism as infants or children.

Christ said "ones such as these belong to the kingdom of heaven".

A baby or child does not understand what life is about nor what is happening to them.  They are fully dependent on the parents for guidance and to bring them up in Christ.  It is ultimately up to them to decide if they wish to be part of the church and follow God's will or not.

This is EXACTLY why you see EO children flee from the church even though they had baptism and communion when they get older.  It's because they did it because there was no choice.  They had no rational, nor freewill to follow Christ.  There is no decision as a baby, they get dunked and have no idea what happened to them.  There isn't some kind of magic mojo that suddenly makes them a believer in the church.  Ultimately, when they are older and set out in this world as an adult, they make the decisions for their faith.

A baptized infant grows and could believe as a child because mommy & daddy do, then later deny God.... Then what?
An unbaptized child who is "innocent", could believe because they see mommy & daddy.  Then it is their choice to be baptized into the church.

There are many instances of both infants and adults being baptized.   That doesn't mean every single infant should be baptized.  You never know, they could have done it because they were wandering around on foot a lot in vast lands.....  Then there are those who know of all this early stuff, history, and still were baptized later.... Ask Constantine.



You always have a choice. They made the choice to leave. You think delaying baptism changes that choice? (assuming there is no Grace imparted through Baptism)

Ask Constantine.  ???

A baby is innocent, and has no choice in the matter.   The only thing that baptizing an infant does is believing that some kind of mojo is going to make them a Christian.  Even our lord said that "one such as these belong to the kingdom of heaven".

I don't believe that the framework is as defined as the modern EO church dictates.  Certainly it was not in Constantine's day or else he would have been baptized immediately.

By belief, we choose to be baptized when you have a believer's baptism.  It's a matter of choice, a matter of faith, and a matter of freewill.

An infant, knows nothing, and even pees and poops in the holy water that the priest "breathes" the holy spirit into (I've seen it) because they know nothing of what is going on.

So what? Is perfect knowledge a prerequisite for a sacrament's effectiveness? Who really understands the grace of God, anyway? Nobody understands perfectly how God works or why He does what He does. Even catechized adults may as well be infants in the face of the knowledge of God.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: David Young on July 28, 2012, 10:12:32 AM
One thing which I haven't understood about your theology of baptism is this. (Let's write only about when you baptise a convert to Christianity, so that you are in that case doing the same as we do, otherwise we'll wander off on a tangent.)

A Moslem, atheist, Jehovah's Witness, or whoever, comes to faith in Christ in a frame of sincere repentance for sin and true belief in our Lord and Saviour. Some time later - days, weeks, months - you baptise him. What difference do you see in his relationship with God, his spiritual condition, between the time between his conversion and his baptism, and the time after his baptism? What difference does baptism make, that repentance and faith do not make?
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: Marc1152 on July 28, 2012, 10:46:50 AM
One thing which I haven't understood about your theology of baptism is this. (Let's write only about when you baptise a convert to Christianity, so that you are in that case doing the same as we do, otherwise we'll wander off on a tangent.)

A Moslem, atheist, Jehovah's Witness, or whoever, comes to faith in Christ in a frame of sincere repentance for sin and true belief in our Lord and Saviour. Some time later - days, weeks, months - you baptise him. What difference do you see in his relationship with God, his spiritual condition, between the time between his conversion and his baptism, and the time after his baptism? What difference does baptism make, that repentance and faith do not make?


1.The Sacrament of Baptism joins the person to the Mystical Body of Christ, the Church

2. Christian Baptism is about what God does.

3. A candidate who takes up faith and is repentant desires to be a Christian. But in fact, he is not yet a Christian until Baptism 

 "The Orthodox Church does not belittle personal faith in an adult who seeks baptism, but instead insists that the whole emphasis of baptism is not an what the baby does or the parents or the godparents, but on what God does."

"The fact that we are Christians is not due to any act on our part; it is due to the act of God in Christ through the Holy Spirit."

http://www.orthodoxchristian.info/pages/Baptism.htm
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: David Young on July 28, 2012, 10:51:27 AM
A candidate who takes up faith and is repentant desires to be a Christian. But in fact, he is not yet a Christian until Baptism 

It is inconceivable that during all the centuries of Christianity, no-one has ever come to repentance and faith, but died before being baptised. Where did such people go upon dying? To be "with Christ, which is far better," or among the unblieving and the lost? (I am not being argumentative for the sake of it: I genuinely wonder what you think.)
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: Marc1152 on July 28, 2012, 11:47:04 AM
A candidate who takes up faith and is repentant desires to be a Christian. But in fact, he is not yet a Christian until Baptism 

It is inconceivable that during all the centuries of Christianity, no-one has ever come to repentance and faith, but died before being baptised. Where did such people go upon dying? To be "with Christ, which is far better," or among the unblieving and the lost? (I am not being argumentative for the sake of it: I genuinely wonder what you think.)

God's mercy is not mechanical. God will save whomever he will save.

But for our part, we are directed to Baptize and ask for the Holy Spirit to descend upon the person.


Here is a bit of idle speculation on my part. I am happy to stand corrected if necessary.

What if a person slips through and really has no Faith at all but still gets Baptized? It happens, right? Maybe they are about to get married and out of convenience agrees to "Convert". They fake it and/or  the Priest doesn't do a good job of discerning if the person is sincere. 

Are they still grafted onto the Body of Christ? Are they now Christian? I think the answer is yes. They have sinned by miss representing themselves but the far larger sin falls upon the Priest.

They are even questioned during the rite of Baptism. "Do you renounce all former heresy and error?" (sometimes this heresy is named specifically)... they must answer:  "YES"   

"Do you renounce Satin and all his works?"

"I do"

"Do you renounce Satin and all his works?"

"I do"

"Do you renounce Satin and all his works?"

"I do"

"Have you renounced Satin and all his works?"

"I have"

"Turn and spit upon him"

The person turns and actually spits.

The are fully immersed three times, tonsured and chrismated with holy oil.

They are baptized, they are wiped clean by the Grace of God and the descent to the Holy Spirit upon them.

So, now if they are not truly repentant or have no real faith in Christ or harbor hidden beliefs they are like a barren field.
The person who has Faith and Repentance is a fertile field. So God's grace, like a seed, can fall upon what is fertile or what is barren.

By rule we do not ask God to come down upon a barren field, but it happens from time to time. Sometimes, simply by the Mystical Power of Baptism and by being actually grafted onto Christ the person benefits and a once barren field becomes fertile. God is Great.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: ialmisry on July 28, 2012, 11:47:36 AM
A candidate who takes up faith and is repentant desires to be a Christian. But in fact, he is not yet a Christian until Baptism 

It is inconceivable that during all the centuries of Christianity, no-one has ever come to repentance and faith, but died before being baptised. Where did such people go upon dying? To be "with Christ, which is far better," or among the unblieving and the lost? (I am not being argumentative for the sake of it: I genuinely wonder what you think.)
Those who were martyred were baptized in their blood (e.g. martyrs 39 and 40 of the 40 Martyrs of Sebastia).
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: David Young on July 28, 2012, 11:57:31 AM
Here is a bit of idle speculation on my part... What if a person slips through and really has no Faith at all but still gets Baptized?

I have no doubt at all that it happens among us fairly frequently, especially when people with Baptist parents reach, say, their early teens. Later in life they look back and realise it never really meant anything personally to them at all; it was a family tradition, and they wanted to conform. Tragic, but it happens.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) on July 28, 2012, 12:38:20 PM
One thing which I haven't understood about your theology of baptism is this. (Let's write only about when you baptise a convert to Christianity, so that you are in that case doing the same as we do, otherwise we'll wander off on a tangent.)

A Moslem, atheist, Jehovah's Witness, or whoever, comes to faith in Christ in a frame of sincere repentance for sin and true belief in our Lord and Saviour. Some time later - days, weeks, months - you baptise him. What difference do you see in his relationship with God, his spiritual condition, between the time between his conversion and his baptism, and the time after his baptism? What difference does baptism make, that repentance and faith do not make?


The Lord thought that it made  a difference. Also, baptism is so much more than a private assent, a private repentance, a private belief. It is a public declaration, a public action, a public cooperation and a public commitment. And, this is only on the part of the person being baptized or of his parents, sponsors and the congregation. 

From your perspective, I suppose you can look at it as a pot of stew (I am not being flippant; I am into cooking and this is the easiest analogy for me). The rough order is: want to make the dish, decide to do it (the conversion process), gather  the ingredients, prep them, put them in the pot (catechumenate), and cook them (the work of the Holy Spirit through the priest, the one being baptized, sponsors and congregation). Only after that is the stew a stew, no?
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: Azul on July 28, 2012, 01:18:17 PM
A candidate who takes up faith and is repentant desires to be a Christian. But in fact, he is not yet a Christian until Baptism 

It is inconceivable that during all the centuries of Christianity, no-one has ever come to repentance and faith, but died before being baptised. Where did such people go upon dying? To be "with Christ, which is far better," or among the unblieving and the lost? (I am not being argumentative for the sake of it: I genuinely wonder what you think.)

What did Christ say in Mark 16:16?But who will not believe will be condemned.. He did not say who will not baptize himself or be baptize and believe, but who will not believe
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: David Young on July 28, 2012, 04:03:47 PM
The Lord thought that it made  a difference. Also, baptism is so much more than a private assent, a private repentance, a private belief. It is a public declaration, a public action, a public cooperation and a public commitment. And, this is only on the part of the person being baptized

I wholly agree; and there are a number of us of baptist persuasion and practice who feel that our theology of baptism is weak and inadequate, even though we believe we have the practice right. The average 'man in the pew' would probably say, if pressed, that baptism makes no difference, it is only an obedient outward sign of what has already happened inwardly. Take away the word 'only', and I am sure that is, inasfar as it goes, correct: but I am not alone in feeling there is a more divine, or if you like sacramental, side to the rite which we Baptists have lost hold of; and that it should be restored.

I am interested to know therefore what the difference is that baptism makes, in your view, in addition to the effect of repentance and faith: hence my question.

I do not doubt that when I have baptised people, and when I was myself baptised (age 18), whatever God does in baptism, he did in and for us: but I do not think we have been taught what it is.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: freddief on July 28, 2012, 05:10:32 PM
Quote
I want to chime in from an anabaptist POV, because I teeter between EO and Anabaptist (as weird as that sounds)

My wife and I have 5 children and we have brought all of them up since the moment they were born.

There is no way, no how, no if ands or buts that I will ever accept any celibate monk who has never had children to tell me that they are damned if they die without baptism as infants or children
Orthodoxy does not teach this firstly, secondly how does celibacy, or being a monk innately disqualify someone to speak on spiritual matters?

So, if my priest never raised a girl, he can not counsel me concerning such things? Really?

Quote
This is EXACTLY why you see EO children flee from the church even though they had baptism and communion when they get older.  It's because they did it because there was no choice.  They had no rational, nor freewill to follow Christ.  There is no decision as a baby, they get dunked and have no idea what happened to them.  There isn't some kind of magic mojo that suddenly makes them a believer in the church.  Ultimately, when they are older and set out in this world as an adult, they make the decisions for their faith
They made their choice. however, you are stating the above as if it is only an EO problem. I fled protestantism as fast as I could. Does that mean I was a protestant not of my own choice? Your logic does not make sense.

Quote
here are many instances of both infants and adults being baptized
Yep

Quote
That doesn't mean every single infant should be baptized
Really? Since when?

Quote
There is no decision as a baby, they get dunked and have no idea what happened to them.  There isn't some kind of magic mojo that suddenly makes them a believer in the church.  Ultimately, when they are older and set out in this world as an adult, they make the decisions for their faith
"Crispus, the synagogue leader, and his entire household believed in the Lord"

Kind of hard to turn that one aside.

PP
how could an entire household believe in the Lord if it included members who were only days or weeks old?
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: freddief on July 28, 2012, 05:13:37 PM
Quote
A baby is innocent, and has no choice in the matter.   The only thing that baptizing an infant does is believing that some kind of mojo is going to make them a Christian
So circumcision had the mojo to make children Jewish then?


who said circumcision made children Jewish?  they had to be circumcised because they were Jewish
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: Azul on July 28, 2012, 06:10:06 PM
St. Basil the Great

“For prisoners, baptism is ransom, forgiveness of debts, death of sin, regeneration of the soul, a resplendent garment, an unbreakable seal, a chariot to heaven, a protector royal, a gift of adoption” (Sermons on Moral and Practical Subjects: On Baptism 13:5 [ante A.D. 379]).

St. Clement of Alexandria

“When we are baptized we are enlightened. Being enlightened, we are adopted as sons. Adopted as sons, we are made perfect. Made perfect, we become immortal. ‘I say,’ God declares, ‘you are gods and sons all of the Most High’ (Psalm 81:6). This work is variously called grace, illumination, perfection, and washing. It is a washing by which we are cleansed of sins; a gift of grace by which the punishments due our sins are remitted; an illumination by which we behold that holy light of salvation – that is, by which we see God clearly; and we call that perfection which leaves nothing lacking. Indeed, if a man know God, what more does he need? Certainly, it were out of place to call that which is not complete a true gift of God’s grace. Because God is perfect the gifts he bestows are perfect” (The Instructor of Children 1:6, 26:1 [ante A.D. 202]).

We call it, the Gift, the Grace, Baptism, Unction, Illumination, the Clothing of Immortality, the Laver of Regeneration, the Seal, and everything that is honourable (Gregory of Nazianz , On Holy Baptism , Oratio XL)

St. John Chrysostom’s “Baptismal Instructions,” Talking to the newly baptized, he says (3d Instruction):
Let us say again: Blessed be God, who alone does wonderful things, who does all things and transforms them. Before yesterday you were captives, but now you are free and citizens of the Church; lately you lived in the shame of your sins, but now you live in freedom and justice. You are not only free, but also holy; not only holy, but also just; not only just, but also sons; not only sons, but also heirs; not only heirs, but also brothers of Christ; not only brothers of Christ, but also joint heirs; not only joint heirs, but also members; not only members, but also the temple; not only the temple, but also instruments of the Spirit.

Augustine on Baptism Against the Donatists, Book 4 : 1-2

 The comparison of the Church with Paradise(1) shows us that men may indeed receive her baptism outside her pale, but that no one outside can either receive or retain the salvation of eternal happiness. For, as the words of Scripture testify, the streams from the fountain of Paradise flowed copiously even beyond its bounds. Record indeed is made of their names; and through what countries they flow, and that they are situated beyond the limits of Paradise, is known to all;(2) and yet in Mesopotamia, and in Egypt, to which countries those rivers extended, there is not found that blessedness of life which is recorded in Paradise. Accordingly, though the waters of Paradise are found beyond its boundaries, yet its happiness is in Paradise alone. So, therefore, the baptism of the Church may exist outside, but the gift of the life of happiness is found alone within the Church, which has been rounded on a rock, which has received the keys of binding and loosing.(3) "She it is alone who holds as her privilege the whole power of her Bridegroom and Lord;"(4) by virtue of which power as bride, she can bring forth sons even of handmaids. And these, if they be not high-minded, shall be called into the lot of the inheritance; but if they be high-minded, they shall remain outside.

All the more, then, because "we are fighting s for the honor and unity" of the Church, let us beware of giving to heretics the credit of whatever we acknowledged among them as belonging to the Church; but let us teach them by argument, that what they possess that is derived from unity is of no efficacy to their salvation, unless they shall return to that same unity. For "the water of the Church is full of faith, and salvation, and holiness"(6) to those who use it rightly. No one, however, can use it well outside the Church. But to those who use it perversely, whether within or without the Church, it is employed to work punishment, and does not conduce to their reward. And so baptism "cannot be corrupted and polluted," though it be handled by the corrupt or by adulterers, just as also "the Church herself is uncorrupt, and pure, and chaste."(7) And so no share in it belongs to the avaricious, or thieves, or usurers,--many of whom, by the testimony of Cyprian himself in many places of his letters, exist not only without, but actually within the Church,--and yet they both are baptized and do baptize, with no change in their hearts.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: Azul on July 28, 2012, 06:10:06 PM
St. Methodius of Philippi

"The illuminated take on the features and the image and the manliness of Christ. The likeness of the form of the Word is stamped upon them; and it is produced in them through sure knowledge and faith. Thus, Christ is born spiritually in each one...those who are baptized in Christ become, as it were, other Christs, through a communication of the Spirit" 16.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: Azul on July 28, 2012, 06:10:06 PM
Quote
I want to chime in from an anabaptist POV, because I teeter between EO and Anabaptist (as weird as that sounds)

My wife and I have 5 children and we have brought all of them up since the moment they were born.

There is no way, no how, no if ands or buts that I will ever accept any celibate monk who has never had children to tell me that they are damned if they die without baptism as infants or children
Orthodoxy does not teach this firstly, secondly how does celibacy, or being a monk innately disqualify someone to speak on spiritual matters?

So, if my priest never raised a girl, he can not counsel me concerning such things? Really?

Quote
This is EXACTLY why you see EO children flee from the church even though they had baptism and communion when they get older.  It's because they did it because there was no choice.  They had no rational, nor freewill to follow Christ.  There is no decision as a baby, they get dunked and have no idea what happened to them.  There isn't some kind of magic mojo that suddenly makes them a believer in the church.  Ultimately, when they are older and set out in this world as an adult, they make the decisions for their faith
They made their choice. however, you are stating the above as if it is only an EO problem. I fled protestantism as fast as I could. Does that mean I was a protestant not of my own choice? Your logic does not make sense.

Quote
here are many instances of both infants and adults being baptized
Yep

Quote
That doesn't mean every single infant should be baptized
Really? Since when?

Quote
There is no decision as a baby, they get dunked and have no idea what happened to them.  There isn't some kind of magic mojo that suddenly makes them a believer in the church.  Ultimately, when they are older and set out in this world as an adult, they make the decisions for their faith
"Crispus, the synagogue leader, and his entire household believed in the Lord"

Kind of hard to turn that one aside.

PP
how could an entire household believe in the Lord if it included members who were only days or weeks old?

Who says everything is explicitly spoken of in the Bible and that the Bible should be interpreted literally blank?
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: Azul on July 28, 2012, 06:10:13 PM
Quote
I want to chime in from an anabaptist POV, because I teeter between EO and Anabaptist (as weird as that sounds)

My wife and I have 5 children and we have brought all of them up since the moment they were born.

There is no way, no how, no if ands or buts that I will ever accept any celibate monk who has never had children to tell me that they are damned if they die without baptism as infants or children
Orthodoxy does not teach this firstly, secondly how does celibacy, or being a monk innately disqualify someone to speak on spiritual matters?

So, if my priest never raised a girl, he can not counsel me concerning such things? Really?

Quote
This is EXACTLY why you see EO children flee from the church even though they had baptism and communion when they get older.  It's because they did it because there was no choice.  They had no rational, nor freewill to follow Christ.  There is no decision as a baby, they get dunked and have no idea what happened to them.  There isn't some kind of magic mojo that suddenly makes them a believer in the church.  Ultimately, when they are older and set out in this world as an adult, they make the decisions for their faith
They made their choice. however, you are stating the above as if it is only an EO problem. I fled protestantism as fast as I could. Does that mean I was a protestant not of my own choice? Your logic does not make sense.

Quote
here are many instances of both infants and adults being baptized
Yep

Quote
That doesn't mean every single infant should be baptized
Really? Since when?

Quote
There is no decision as a baby, they get dunked and have no idea what happened to them.  There isn't some kind of magic mojo that suddenly makes them a believer in the church.  Ultimately, when they are older and set out in this world as an adult, they make the decisions for their faith
"Crispus, the synagogue leader, and his entire household believed in the Lord"

Kind of hard to turn that one aside.

PP
how could an entire household believe in the Lord if it included members who were only days or weeks old?

one of this little ones [paidon] who believe in Me , Matt 18:4 ..

Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: PeterTheAleut on July 28, 2012, 06:23:00 PM
Quote
I want to chime in from an anabaptist POV, because I teeter between EO and Anabaptist (as weird as that sounds)

My wife and I have 5 children and we have brought all of them up since the moment they were born.

There is no way, no how, no if ands or buts that I will ever accept any celibate monk who has never had children to tell me that they are damned if they die without baptism as infants or children
Orthodoxy does not teach this firstly, secondly how does celibacy, or being a monk innately disqualify someone to speak on spiritual matters?

So, if my priest never raised a girl, he can not counsel me concerning such things? Really?

Quote
This is EXACTLY why you see EO children flee from the church even though they had baptism and communion when they get older.  It's because they did it because there was no choice.  They had no rational, nor freewill to follow Christ.  There is no decision as a baby, they get dunked and have no idea what happened to them.  There isn't some kind of magic mojo that suddenly makes them a believer in the church.  Ultimately, when they are older and set out in this world as an adult, they make the decisions for their faith
They made their choice. however, you are stating the above as if it is only an EO problem. I fled protestantism as fast as I could. Does that mean I was a protestant not of my own choice? Your logic does not make sense.

Quote
here are many instances of both infants and adults being baptized
Yep

Quote
That doesn't mean every single infant should be baptized
Really? Since when?

Quote
There is no decision as a baby, they get dunked and have no idea what happened to them.  There isn't some kind of magic mojo that suddenly makes them a believer in the church.  Ultimately, when they are older and set out in this world as an adult, they make the decisions for their faith
"Crispus, the synagogue leader, and his entire household believed in the Lord"

Kind of hard to turn that one aside.

PP
how could an entire household believe in the Lord if it included members who were only days or weeks old?
Is belief merely a mental exercise?
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: freddief on July 28, 2012, 06:50:40 PM



PP
[/quote]
how could an entire household believe in the Lord if it included members who were only days or weeks old?
[/quote]
Is belief merely a mental exercise?
[/quote]

No, it involves understanding, and action, that is to say, obedience to the commands of the Lord
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: PeterTheAleut on July 28, 2012, 06:58:59 PM



PP
how could an entire household believe in the Lord if it included members who were only days or weeks old?
[/quote]
Is belief merely a mental exercise?
[/quote]

No, it involves understanding, and action, that is to say, obedience to the commands of the Lord
[/quote]
And does this obedience require that we know, on the cognitive level of the mind, what we're doing?
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: freddief on July 28, 2012, 07:03:38 PM
Quote
I want to chime in from an anabaptist POV, because I teeter between EO and Anabaptist (as weird as that sounds)

My wife and I have 5 children and we have brought all of them up since the moment they were born.

There is no way, no how, no if ands or buts that I will ever accept any celibate monk who has never had children to tell me that they are damned if they die without baptism as infants or children
Orthodoxy does not teach this firstly, secondly how does celibacy, or being a monk innately disqualify someone to speak on spiritual matters?

So, if my priest never raised a girl, he can not counsel me concerning such things? Really?

Quote
This is EXACTLY why you see EO children flee from the church even though they had baptism and communion when they get older.  It's because they did it because there was no choice.  They had no rational, nor freewill to follow Christ.  There is no decision as a baby, they get dunked and have no idea what happened to them.  There isn't some kind of magic mojo that suddenly makes them a believer in the church.  Ultimately, when they are older and set out in this world as an adult, they make the decisions for their faith
They made their choice. however, you are stating the above as if it is only an EO problem. I fled protestantism as fast as I could. Does that mean I was a protestant not of my own choice? Your logic does not make sense.

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here are many instances of both infants and adults being baptized
Yep

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That doesn't mean every single infant should be baptized
Really? Since when?

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There is no decision as a baby, they get dunked and have no idea what happened to them.  There isn't some kind of magic mojo that suddenly makes them a believer in the church.  Ultimately, when they are older and set out in this world as an adult, they make the decisions for their faith
"Crispus, the synagogue leader, and his entire household believed in the Lord"

Kind of hard to turn that one aside.

PP
how could an entire household believe in the Lord if it included members who were only days or weeks old?

one of this little ones [paidon] who believe in Me , Matt 18:4 ..


paidion not just used for new-born infants - see Mark 9:24.  I've no objection to young children being baptised
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: freddief on July 28, 2012, 07:07:04 PM



PP
how could an entire household believe in the Lord if it included members who were only days or weeks old?
Is belief merely a mental exercise?
[/quote]

No, it involves understanding, and action, that is to say, obedience to the commands of the Lord
[/quote]
And does this obedience require that we know, on the cognitive level of the mind, what we're doing?
[/quote]

not sure how it would be obedience otherwise
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: Asteriktos on July 28, 2012, 08:25:06 PM
One thing that strikes me about Orthodoxy is the way representatives accept responsibility for an infant until the infant grows up, but at that point the now-grown person is expected to respect the responsibilities. Grace came to him since infancy, grace does not require that we understand to work, and when we are baptized we become part of the Church. After that they must work with that obligation, and responsibility, and sacramental grace. You can't say "I don't like it" and ignore it.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: Azul on July 29, 2012, 08:03:19 AM
I`m not sure this is suitable for the Orthodox - Other forum , you know giving what is holy to the dogs , but another user on another orthodox forum (romanian) when we were discussing of the eucharist said that her priest told her that at the moment of the gifts are changed he feels more illuminated,more clear, sharp and refreshed like he could keep the liturgy going all day , etc.. I think these kind of effects are found in Baptism also.. The fathers call it Illumination through which we see God perfectly without nothing lacking, sharpness, clarity, chariot to heaven that to which we become instruments of the Holy Spirit and put under God's protection.. I think we would of felt this also, or felt them while we were infants(I was baptized an infant) or if we were re-baptized.. 
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: mabsoota on July 29, 2012, 05:04:51 PM
i have only seen 3 infant baptisms (they happen before liturgy, so u have to get there very early!)
but each time, the baby's face has been shining like something really special is happening (even if they cried a little) and they all had that very peaceful look that i have come to associate with baptism (baby or older).
on one occasion, i was close enough to see the baby's face from the moment he came out of the water, and he was actively focusing his gaze on something outside the room (or bigger than the room) and smiling very peacefully.
his auntie and i are sure he saw the angels.

i think this is what is meant by illumination.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: xariskai on July 29, 2012, 07:48:55 PM
One thing which I haven't understood about your theology of baptism is this. (Let's write only about when you baptise a convert to Christianity, so that you are in that case doing the same as we do, otherwise we'll wander off on a tangent.)

A Moslem, atheist, Jehovah's Witness, or whoever, comes to faith in Christ in a frame of sincere repentance for sin and true belief in our Lord and Saviour. Some time later - days, weeks, months - you baptise him. What difference do you see in his relationship with God, his spiritual condition, between the time between his conversion and his baptism, and the time after his baptism?

What difference does baptism make, that repentance and faith do not make?

To be fair one could ask this same question about baptism as understood by the Baptists.

"What difference does baptism make" is the wrong question to ask our Lord. Rather we should ask, "what would You have us to do?"

In this case we know what Christ would have us do because Christ in scripture directs His followers to baptize.

"What difference does it Must we understand before we follow? Then our understanding rather than Christ is our lord. The difference is that true repentance involves following the Lord's commands.

"What difference does it make?" We do not always know the answer to such questions. But we follow our Master's voice. Taste and see...

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10 Elisha sent a messenger to say to him, “Go, wash yourself seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will be restored and you will be cleansed.”

11 But Naaman went away angry and said, “I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the Lord his God, wave his hand over the spot and cure me of my leprosy. 12 Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Couldn’t I wash in them and be cleansed?” So he turned and went off in a rage.

13 Naaman’s servants went to him and said, “My father, if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more, then, when he tells you, ‘Wash and be cleansed’!” 14 So he went down and dipped himself in the Jordan seven times, as the man of God had told him, and his flesh was restored and became clean like that of a young boy.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: David Young on July 30, 2012, 03:48:03 AM
"What difference does baptism make" is the wrong question to ask our Lord. Rather we should ask, "what would You have us to do?"

In this case we know what Christ would have us do because Christ in scripture directs His followers to baptize.

"Must we understand before we follow? Then our understanding rather than Christ is our lord. The difference is that true repentance involves following the Lord's commands.

"What difference does it make?" We do not always know the answer to such questions. But we follow our Master's voice. Taste and see...[/quote]

Yes! This is what I've been saying, and it was my own attitude when I was baptised aged 18 - a desire to obey a dominical command. But I am sure there is more to baptism than obedience from our side; that is the root of my question here.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: David Young on July 30, 2012, 03:48:39 AM
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"What difference does baptism make" is the wrong question to ask our Lord. Rather we should ask, "what would You have us to do?"

In this case we know what Christ would have us do because Christ in scripture directs His followers to baptize.

"Must we understand before we follow? Then our understanding rather than Christ is our lord. The difference is that true repentance involves following the Lord's commands.

"What difference does it make?" We do not always know the answer to such questions. But we follow our Master's voice. Taste and see...

Yes! This is what I've been saying, and it was my own attitude when I was baptised aged 18 - a desire to obey a dominical command. But I am sure there is more to baptism than obedience from our side; that is the root of my question here.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: soderquj on July 30, 2012, 08:30:13 AM
Quote
"What difference does baptism make" is the wrong question to ask our Lord. Rather we should ask, "what would You have us to do?"

In this case we know what Christ would have us do because Christ in scripture directs His followers to baptize.

"Must we understand before we follow? Then our understanding rather than Christ is our lord. The difference is that true repentance involves following the Lord's commands.

"What difference does it make?" We do not always know the answer to such questions. But we follow our Master's voice. Taste and see...

Yes! This is what I've been saying, and it was my own attitude when I was baptised aged 18 - a desire to obey a dominical command. But I am sure there is more to baptism than obedience from our side; that is the root of my question here.


My understanding is in baptism we are actually united to Christ. We put off the old man and are renewed. In it our sins are truly forgiven and we are made clean and put on the armor of God, we begin our new life in Christ through the Church. Do I really understand it all even after 30 years I would have to say no, if understanding is required we will all fail as most is a mystery and only known to God.  It is only trough Gods grace that we can know/understand what we do, and follow in faith.  Christ said to come with the faith of little children, a child looks to their parents in complete faith can we not learn form this example.
Title: Re: Infant vs. Believer Baptism
Post by: Azul on July 30, 2012, 11:16:45 AM
i have only seen 3 infant baptisms (they happen before liturgy, so u have to get there very early!)
but each time, the baby's face has been shining like something really special is happening (even if they cried a little) and they all had that very peaceful look that i have come to associate with baptism (baby or older).
on one occasion, i was close enough to see the baby's face from the moment he came out of the water, and he was actively focusing his gaze on something outside the room (or bigger than the room) and smiling very peacefully.
his auntie and i are sure he saw the angels.

i think this is what is meant by illumination.

I think it means illumination of the soul and body.