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Author Topic: Believer's Baptism  (Read 50949 times) Average Rating: 0
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David Young
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« Reply #225 on: March 19, 2009, 12:49:15 PM »

gas stations (you all say "petrol" on the other side of the pond, right?), ...tire changing

Yes; we also say "tyre"! ("Tire" is what happens to you when you have to push the car.)

Seriously, these posts are very helpful as well as interesting. I like what you say about what God does for us in baptism, for that is what we have lost sight of in Evangelicalism, again as you probably rightly say, as an over-reaction to Roman Catholic teaching. I doubt that we are alone in this very human (if regrettable and impoverishing) tendency to over-react, and we see it also in the way many Evangelicals have (I think) over-reacted against the excesses of the Charismatic Movement so as virtually to exclude the Holy Spirit from their daily lives and experience.

I am not supposing that we shall ever come to adopt exactly the Orthodox view of what God does for man in baptism, but I do think we should learn from you and give a good deal more thought to it, for the Bible has much to say on the matter. I suspect we shall; retain a firm hold on the belief that baptism should be applied only to believers, and of course I believe we are right to do so: but we should give a good deal more attention to teaching those believers what God is going to do for them when they go through the waters.

It is interesting that this thread has more replies on this board than any other theme except the supremacy of Peter - which matter at least requires no debate among us, I suspect! Peter Botsis and Ian Paisley could certainly plagiarise each other's books on that theme! It shows that baptism is felt to be a very important matter.

One thing I often wonder is, how is our Lord's prayer ever going to be answered, that his disciples should be one? It cannot be in the glory, for it is specifically 'that the world may believe'. It seems supremely unlikely that it will come to pass by every Christian converting to Holy Orthodoxy, or every Christian becoming a Baptist. Will we ever reach a belief in "one Lord, one faith, one baptism", which is to be seen on the front wall of so many of our churches?

I must away... but I think progress is being made.

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« Reply #226 on: March 19, 2009, 02:01:35 PM »

your definition of "Faith" is tainted by the Western European experience and how "reason" is applied to essentially mystical experiences.

To the Western mind set, "faith" means agreement with a laundry list of propositions.

The paradigm is similar to a court of law.

Do you ever get the frustrating feeling, when discussing with Protestants or Catholics, that the Orthodoxy they perceive is not the real thing, and that you are talking about different things, albeit it under the same words? I suspect you do - and of course, so do we regarding the Evangelical faith!

I think there is a lot of confusion in your post.

First, you are quite correct in saying that western Christianity places much more emphasis on the role of reason or logic than Orthodoxy does - which, as I have written all along, is one of the features I find attractive about Orthodoxy. We are almost obsessively given to producing long, detailed, analytical confessions of faith, or tomes of systematic theology, with no loose ends, and no unanswered questions about God or man.

However, we do not confuse that with faith, as a gracious experience or event or means (whatever the word is) which effects forgiveness of sin and union with God in Christ.

Maybe the confusion arises partly because the word 'faith' has two different meanings, even in scripture. The Faith once delivered to the saints is of course a body of teaching, hence one can legitimately speak of a dogmatic analysis of beliefs as a 'confession of faith'. But the Bible also uses faith in the sense of belief, trust, reliance. That is an experience.

Now I am not enough of a church historian to discuss pre-18th century Evangelical spirituality with you, but I do know that the Methodists used to claim that the doctrine of assurance was one of the gems of real Christianity which they re-discovered and brought back to the prominence it deserved - the privilege of every Christian to know he is a child of God. That is far beyond the mere mental assent to a body of dogmas which you see Protestantism as - and maybe (I don't know) you would be right if you homed in on the period, say, 1520-1720. You'd just have to discuss that with someone else - though I could give some quotations from the Fathers and the mediæval church, from Clement of Rome onwards, to show that the inner assurance of living faith has never been absent from Christian spirituality: it is certainly not something the Methodists invented in the 18th century.

It is true that there was a movement named after a man called Robert Sandeman in about the 1830s which brought death to a lot of Baptist churches (and perhaps others?), for his teaching was indeed just what you describe - the notion that mental assent to the propositions of Christianity is all that is needed to save the soul. But such teaching is discredited, its baneful fruits have been sadly observed, and the churches of his persuasion (called "Scotch Baptists" over here in Britain, or Bedyddwyr Albanaidd in Wales) have virtually died out.  (I believe Prime Minister Lloyd George belonged to one.)

It has to be admitted that you find some fairly extreme Evangelicals who are purveying a rather new approach to scripture which so exalts their relationship with the text of scripture that it largely replaces a relationship with the Holy Spirit, and their religion is rather clinical and cerebral. But they are not typical of the last 300 years or so of developing piety and experience.

The final thing that makes me think your post contains things that have become confused but which don't belong together is the reference to law courts. It is true that western Christianity was (and remains) heavily influenced by Roman society with its strongly legal structure, and it is true that a major way in which we portray the work of Christ at Calvary is as a legal transaction, that is, he took the penalty due to our sin and died the death due to us, being punsihed in our stead. Theologically it is called 'penal substitution'. This is one perfectly biblical way of looking at the Cross, though not of course the only way. It is also true that we separate (correctly, I think) justification, which changes our status, from sancification, which changes our nature. A man is justified by faith, in an instant - that is, pardoned, declared not guilty before the judgement of God. But it takes a life-time of growth in stature, grace and sanctification to produce the image of God in him. This is why we say we are saved, whilst you say you are not saved (and it follows, why we assume you must be right about yourselves!): if there is reason to believe a man has justifying faith, we say he "is saved", thus homing in on the first event in salvation; whereas you good people home in on the perfection of the restored image of God at the end of what you call theosis, and (quite rightly) you say you aren't there yet. But to take the scriptural and Evangelical analogy of a forensic declaration of pardon, of 'not guilty', and to assume that is all we see in the matter of faith, is a misunderstanding of what we teach and indeed what we experience and strive to build on in our ongoing daily walk with our common Lord.

Now all this is not directly relevant, perhaps, to the questions I raised about how you understand baptism, but I do feel that the Bible puts faith (as properly understood) and baptism together, whereas for one reason or another they are often separated, both by you and by us. I need not repeat the questions, for they are posted above. Do continue your attempt to make me understand your answers.


I didnt mean to imply that Protestants believe that all you need is mental acceptance of the propositions of the faith ( though that seems to still be true in many cases). I was trying to put in order which comes first, mental acceptance ( Faith/belief in religious tenets) or Baptism.

I think you have helped the discussion with your description of the two kinds of faith, "Faith" in the dictems of the Church ( the Deposit of Faith as you well noted) or Faithful Acts.

It seems to me that the prerequisite for Baptism is not acceptance of a list of propositions and dogma's. You rightly noted the Deposit of Faith. Is a person expected to understand and accept the entire deposit of faith, some of it, the more important parts of it ? Who decides all this and who judges how well you have accepted them? I am aware that in practice each Protestant Church sets their own standards. So the standard is pretty arbitrary and let's not forget we are talking about kids from ages 8 to about 13 if I am not mistaken. So I am inclined to think that the type of "Faith" prescribed by the Scriptures for Baptism is not this first type of faith at all.

The second kind of "Faith" is the Faithful Act. It requires no mental calculation or reasoning through various complicated idea's but rather physical obedience, being actually immersed in water and prayed over.

Finally you keep asking what is gained by Infant Baptism  over mental agreement
( which you want to come first).  We simply contend that Baptism is required and there is no reason to delay it. We say all things are better done and more grace filled after you are Baptised including when you are old enough to reason through the tenets of Christianity and accept them. Your soul  has already been transfigured to a closer likeness to God. That is perhaps the benefit you keep asking us to explain to you. But this benefit only makes sense and can be nurtured and grown within the Church by all the other salvic practices it offers. 
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« Reply #227 on: March 19, 2009, 03:07:46 PM »

Quote
a magnificent change has occurred, an unspeakable change. God forgives all your sins, and infuses divine life into you. He seals you with the Power from on high ... You die with Christ, and rise with Him, participating in the mystery of His death and resurrection in a unique way. You become a child of God, incorporated into Christ's Body. I can't even write it down, because it is beyond me. It is literally like night and day, like death and life. ... a change has occurred in the man or woman who is baptised, even though they look the same as before, even though they still have the same sinful habits and tendencies. This should not grieve us or scandalise us or make us think baptism is useless. We are the better for it, for we are better equipped to fight.

As Mor Ephrem put it in a post many moons ago. But there are two matters I do not grasp - and probably a good number more as well!

1) The scriptures always put faith and baptism together, but as they are so often separated in time,
I had hoped to have the time and bent to answer your worthy posts, but I haven't been able.

For now, just briefly:

"What father among you, if his son asks for bread, would give him a stone, or if he asks for a fish, would give him a snake instead of the fish?" Luke 11:11

My sons had faith very early, when a few months, that I wouldn't give them stones or snakes.  They knew that of God too.
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« Reply #228 on: March 19, 2009, 04:38:32 PM »

I didnt mean to imply that Protestants believe that all you need is mental acceptance of the propositions of the faith ( though that seems to still be true in many cases).

As you observe further down, "in practice each Protestant Church sets their own standards. So the standard is pretty arbitrary". Sadly one has to admit that this is the case. Some churches are very nominal, and baptism is little more than a family tradition. I am sure that many youngsters get baptised in that context who have little idea and less faith of what Christianity really is. Probably nobody has really told them. It ought not to happen, but it does.

Serious pastors of course will talk privately with the person to be baptised, and will make sincere efforts to ensure that the Faith is both understood and believed. You write, "let's not forget we are talking about kids from ages 8 to about 13." That is rather young, in my experience, and I don't think I have ever seen anyone that young baptised, though I have heard of cases, of course, and have no reason to think they were mistaken. If I were asked to guess, I would say probably a majority are aged ca 15-19, though of course both younger and older are often dipped. (As you know, I was 19.)

Quote
It seems to me that the prerequisite for Baptism is not acceptance of a list of propositions and dogma's. ... Is a person expected to understand and accept the entire deposit of faith, some of it, the more important parts of it?

In churches where the religion is a serious engagement not a mere family tradition, rather more than "acceptance of a list of propositions and dogmas" is definitely looked for: some experience of God's grace, some consciousness of the Spirit's working in the heart and life, are sought. How much should one be required to understand? Certainly not "the entire deposit of faith", otherwise no-one would ever get into the water! Some, as you observe, are still aged in single figures; some have low mental intelligence even in adult life. I think the word "trust" would point us in the right direction: Is the candidate for baptism trusting Christ for salvation, and not relying on his own works? Does he grasp the idea that Christ must be his only Saviour?

Quote
Who decides all this and who judges

This is where a sensitive and understanding pastor (in your case, priest) comes into his role.

Quote
The second kind of "Faith" is ...  physical obedience, being actually immersed in water and prayed over.... Your soul  has already been transfigured to a closer likeness to God

Yes, the obedience is important. I am of course biassed, because when I was baptised, this was largely the motivation I had: obedience to the Lord's command. As I wrote on a previous post, I had little teaching or knowledge of what God might do for me in baptism - though I believe in mercy he did it anyway - but I knew that public identification with him in his prescribed way was required of my as part of my discipleship.

This brings us to a related but different question: not how much of The Faith should a candidate understand, but how much does he need to understand about baptism itself? I am heartened by passages like Romans 6.3ff, where it is obvious that the Christians in Rome had not understood the deeper significance of their baptism, but Paul never suggests it hadn't 'worked' for them: he only takes trouble to explain what had really happened. There are, I think, thousands in this situation today. I believe I was one of them, but I am learning.

And of course I have for long emphasised that baptism also makes one a member of Christ's church in the open, visible way. We emphasise this too little in many of our churches: the individual aspect of personal obedience to Christ is rightly stressed, but many preachers under-emphasise the fact that the person being baptised is publicly joining the Body of Christ, with all the privileges and responsibilities that entails.
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« Reply #229 on: March 19, 2009, 08:48:13 PM »

I didn't mean to imply that Protestants believe that all you need is mental acceptance of the propositions of the faith ( though that seems to still be true in many cases).

As you observe further down, "in practice each Protestant Church sets their own standards. So the standard is pretty arbitrary". Sadly one has to admit that this is the case. Some churches are very nominal, and baptism is little more than a family tradition. I am sure that many youngsters get baptised in that context who have little idea and less faith of what Christianity really is. Probably nobody has really told them. It ought not to happen, but it does.

Serious pastors of course will talk privately with the person to be baptised, and will make sincere efforts to ensure that the Faith is both understood and believed. You write, "let's not forget we are talking about kids from ages 8 to about 13." That is rather young, in my experience, and I don't think I have ever seen anyone that young baptised, though I have heard of cases, of course, and have no reason to think they were mistaken. If I were asked to guess, I would say probably a majority are aged ca 15-19, though of course both younger and older are often dipped. (As you know, I was 19.)

Quote
It seems to me that the prerequisite for Baptism is not acceptance of a list of propositions and dogma's. ... Is a person expected to understand and accept the entire deposit of faith, some of it, the more important parts of it?

In churches where the religion is a serious engagement not a mere family tradition, rather more than "acceptance of a list of propositions and dogmas" is definitely looked for: some experience of God's grace, some consciousness of the Spirit's working in the heart and life, are sought. How much should one be required to understand? Certainly not "the entire deposit of faith", otherwise no-one would ever get into the water! Some, as you observe, are still aged in single figures; some have low mental intelligence even in adult life. I think the word "trust" would point us in the right direction: Is the candidate for baptism trusting Christ for salvation, and not relying on his own works? Does he grasp the idea that Christ must be his only Saviour?

Quote
Who decides all this and who judges

This is where a sensitive and understanding pastor (in your case, priest) comes into his role.

Quote
The second kind of "Faith" is ...  physical obedience, being actually immersed in water and prayed over.... Your soul  has already been transfigured to a closer likeness to God

Yes, the obedience is important. I am of course biassed, because when I was baptised, this was largely the motivation I had: obedience to the Lord's command. As I wrote on a previous post, I had little teaching or knowledge of what God might do for me in baptism - though I believe in mercy he did it anyway - but I knew that public identification with him in his prescribed way was required of my as part of my discipleship.

This brings us to a related but different question: not how much of The Faith should a candidate understand, but how much does he need to understand about baptism itself? I am heartened by passages like Romans 6.3ff, where it is obvious that the Christians in Rome had not understood the deeper significance of their baptism, but Paul never suggests it hadn't 'worked' for them: he only takes trouble to explain what had really happened. There are, I think, thousands in this situation today. I believe I was one of them, but I am learning.

And of course I have for long emphasised that baptism also makes one a member of Christ's church in the open, visible way. We emphasise this too little in many of our churches: the individual aspect of personal obedience to Christ is rightly stressed, but many preachers under-emphasise the fact that the person being baptised is publicly joining the Body of Christ, with all the privileges and responsibilities that entails.


Thanks, that helps me to understand your position better.

It strikes me that even the best example of a "Serious Pastor " who takes his time to question the person, is extraordinarily arbitrary. I just cant picture the Church Fathers sanctioning such a method. Maybe that's just me, but it really has the flavor of late day Western Europe and not the Early Church. I also cant imagine the Early Church every denying an Infant Baptism. But as you mentioned earlier, we have a far different idea of the practice of Christianity with Theosis at center stage. A bike wont help you swim across a river.

Let's wait for Isa.
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« Reply #230 on: March 20, 2009, 05:16:58 PM »

even the best example of a "Serious Pastor " who takes his time to question the person, is extraordinarily arbitrary. I just cant picture the Church Fathers sanctioning such a method.

From the picture we get in Paul's pastoral epistles to Timothy and Titus I think the role of church elders/presbyters/bishops/pastors is such as to suggest they would indeed sit down with an enquirer into the Faith and explain it to him, and if he professed to believe, would ensure he had really understood the essentials of Christianity (what Christ has done for him, what he must do to obey Christ) and had trusted himself to Christ before baptising him. The references to confessions of faith in scripture, and more fully in not-much-later tradition (let us even write Tradition) imply the same. Isn't this what was done with catechumens, and still is (or ought to be)?
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« Reply #231 on: March 20, 2009, 09:18:55 PM »

even the best example of a "Serious Pastor " who takes his time to question the person, is extraordinarily arbitrary. I just cant picture the Church Fathers sanctioning such a method.

From the picture we get in Paul's pastoral epistles to Timothy and Titus I think the role of church elders/presbyters/bishops/pastors is such as to suggest they would indeed sit down with an enquirer into the Faith and explain it to him, and if he professed to believe, would ensure he had really understood the essentials of Christianity (what Christ has done for him, what he must do to obey Christ) and had trusted himself to Christ before baptising him. The references to confessions of faith in scripture, and more fully in not-much-later tradition (let us even write Tradition) imply the same. Isn't this what was done with catechumens, and still is (or ought to be)?

I think we are mixing up two different subjects, infant Baptism and Baptism of converts.

The Orthodox Church is extremely conservative when it coes to reciveing new converts. I was personally a catechumen for two years which is not at all atypical.

The subject at hand is denying infants Baptism until they are old enough to jump through a few hoops . It think the record is just as clear that the Church Baptised infants from the earliest years.
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« Reply #232 on: April 06, 2009, 12:27:10 PM »

Sorry to bring this thread up again after a week or two, but after Presbytera Mari got POTM from this thread (αχια, btw), I caught up some on the thread and saw this:

I am interested to learn why Orthodox insist on the triniatarian formula for baptism (in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit"). We find this in the Gospel; in Acts we find people being baptised "in the name of the Lord Jesus" (twice) and "in the name of Jesus Christ" (also twice).

Forgive me if this has been said before in the thread (it seemed to dwell on this for a bit, then go back to the OT, though I could have missed it in later posts), but the question got me thinking about something in a blogpost of mine (HERE):

"...this is more an issue of exactly into what or (in our case) into Whom we seek to baptize those coming into the Orthodox Church.

"There are some -- the Baptists, for example -- who baptize with single immersion because, as they say, the Lord was buried once, not thrice, and we are baptized into his death, as St. Paul says (though, strangely to me, they deny that baptism is itself the moment wherein this baptism into His death is accomplished, in spite of their insistence that the rite reflect this very truth). So the objective, for them, is to reflect the burial and resurrection of our Lord as the already-finished τελος, or goal, towards which the baptism retroactively points.

"The Orthodox would say that, though we are, indeed, baptized into His death, we are thus baptized so as to participate in the life of the undivided Trinity, hence our insistence on triple immersion. Three dunks, one baptism = Three persons, one Godhead. It is into this that we are ultimately baptized, and such a form reflects the much-developed trinitarian theology of the Church."
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« Reply #233 on: April 06, 2009, 12:37:26 PM »

Sorry to bring this thread up again after a week or two, but after Presbytera Mari got POTM from this thread (αχια, btw), I caught up some on the thread and saw this:

Thanks, DavidBryan.  Interestingly, I just noticed that Cleopas never responded to that post.  I would still really like to read his response (Cleopas, if you're reading this, I would love to pick up that discussion!  Feel free to respond to that post!  It's post #68)!

Quote
I am interested to learn why Orthodox insist on the triniatarian formula for baptism (in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit"). We find this in the Gospel; in Acts we find people being baptised "in the name of the Lord Jesus" (twice) and "in the name of Jesus Christ" (also twice).

Forgive me if this has been said before in the thread (it seemed to dwell on this for a bit, then go back to the OT, though I could have missed it in later posts), but the question got me thinking about something in a blogpost of mine (HERE):

"...this is more an issue of exactly into what or (in our case) into Whom we seek to baptize those coming into the Orthodox Church.

"There are some -- the Baptists, for example -- who baptize with single immersion because, as they say, the Lord was buried once, not thrice, and we are baptized into his death, as St. Paul says (though, strangely to me, they deny that baptism is itself the moment wherein this baptism into His death is accomplished, in spite of their insistence that the rite reflect this very truth). So the objective, for them, is to reflect the burial and resurrection of our Lord as the already-finished τελος, or goal, towards which the baptism retroactively points.

"The Orthodox would say that, though we are, indeed, baptized into His death, we are thus baptized so as to participate in the life of the undivided Trinity, hence our insistence on triple immersion. Three dunks, one baptism = Three persons, one Godhead. It is into this that we are ultimately baptized, and such a form reflects the much-developed trinitarian theology of the Church."
Absolutely beautifully said, couldn't have said it better myself!!!
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« Reply #234 on: April 06, 2009, 12:53:52 PM »

Sorry to bring this thread up again after a week or two, but after Presbytera Mari got POTM from this thread (αχια, btw), I caught up some on the thread and saw this:

I am interested to learn why Orthodox insist on the triniatarian formula for baptism (in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit"). We find this in the Gospel; in Acts we find people being baptised "in the name of the Lord Jesus" (twice) and "in the name of Jesus Christ" (also twice).

Forgive me if this has been said before in the thread (it seemed to dwell on this for a bit, then go back to the OT, though I could have missed it in later posts), but the question got me thinking about something in a blogpost of mine (HERE):

"...this is more an issue of exactly into what or (in our case) into Whom we seek to baptize those coming into the Orthodox Church.

"There are some -- the Baptists, for example -- who baptize with single immersion because, as they say, the Lord was buried once, not thrice, and we are baptized into his death, as St. Paul says (though, strangely to me, they deny that baptism is itself the moment wherein this baptism into His death is accomplished, in spite of their insistence that the rite reflect this very truth). So the objective, for them, is to reflect the burial and resurrection of our Lord as the already-finished τελος, or goal, towards which the baptism retroactively points.

"The Orthodox would say that, though we are, indeed, baptized into His death, we are thus baptized so as to participate in the life of the undivided Trinity, hence our insistence on triple immersion. Three dunks, one baptism = Three persons, one Godhead. It is into this that we are ultimately baptized, and such a form reflects the much-developed trinitarian theology of the Church."

St. Cyril of Jerusalem also points to, in the one baptism as in His one death, the three-days being symbolized by the three immersions. (On Baptism, in the book Lectures on the Christian Sacraments, SVS Press, pp. 60-63)
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« Reply #235 on: April 06, 2009, 02:55:50 PM »

St. Cyril of Jerusalem also points to, in the one baptism as in His one death, the three-days being symbolized by the three immersions. (On Baptism, in the book Lectures on the Christian Sacraments, SVS Press, pp. 60-63)

Ahhhh...I did not know this.  Very nice.  Thanks.  And...

Absolutely beautifully said, couldn't have said it better myself!!!

Thanks.
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« Reply #236 on: April 26, 2009, 05:25:57 AM »

My Orthodox Study Bible (page 217) in an article entitled "The New Birth" says:

Without our repentance and faith, however, immersion in water would be of no effect.

We all agree on that. As Baptists, we make baptism follow repentance and faith; as Orthodox, and thus pædobaptists, you make baptism precede repentance and faith (except in the case of unbaptised converts from outside). But I cannot understand the logic of your practice. If baptism is without effect unless joined at some stage with repentance and faith, why don't you do as we do, and wait till people have repented and believed, then baptise them? It seems to make more sense; it helps to avoid baptising people who live and die without faith and without God (though of course there will always be some who make false professions of faith, in any church which baptises only those who have professed faith); and , I believe, it is more biblical.
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« Reply #237 on: May 25, 2009, 07:13:48 PM »

Interesting Argument for Infant Baptism

I wonder what you might think of this argument my priest posed in his homily yesterday on the Gospel reading for the Sunday of the Blind Man:  John 9:1-38.  In this reading we see a symbol of baptism in the Pool of Siloam in which Jesus tells the blind man to wash himself.  Very likely, the blind man had no idea who it was that spoke to him and told him to wash in the pool (though he knew the man's name was Jesus).  He evidently had just enough faith to go ahead and obey the directive, anyway.  Only after he has washed does he develop an ever-deepening insight into the identity of the man Jesus Christ who gave him sight, a growing discernment that hailed Jesus first as a prophet, then as a man from God, then as God Himself and worthy of worship.

So, my question:  Did Jesus require that the blind man fully acknowledge Himself as Lord and God before sending him to the pool to wash (i.e., to pursue baptism)?  No, He did not.  Rather, Jesus used the pool (i.e., baptism) as the means to opening the man's eyes to begin the process of conversion.  So, then, why do some wait until a baby grows up enough to receive proper training in the faith and be able to assent personally to the doctrines of the Gospel before they have the person baptized?  Why not use baptism as the means of beginning the process of catechizing the infant, just as Jesus used a type of baptism to begin the process of revealing Himself to the man born blind?
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« Reply #238 on: May 25, 2009, 09:15:43 PM »

Interesting Argument for Infant Baptism

I wonder what you might think of this argument my priest posed in his homily yesterday on the Gospel reading for the Sunday of the Blind Man:  John 9:1-38.  In this reading we see a symbol of baptism in the Pool of Siloam in which Jesus tells the blind man to wash himself.  Very likely, the blind man had no idea who it was that spoke to him and told him to wash in the pool (though he knew the man's name was Jesus).  He evidently had just enough faith to go ahead and obey the directive, anyway.  Only after he has washed does he develop an ever-deepening insight into the identity of the man Jesus Christ who gave him sight, a growing discernment that hailed Jesus first as a prophet, then as a man from God, then as God Himself and worthy of worship.

So, my question:  Did Jesus require that the blind man fully acknowledge Himself as Lord and God before sending him to the pool to wash (i.e., to pursue baptism)?  No, He did not.  Rather, Jesus used the pool (i.e., baptism) as the means to opening the man's eyes to begin the process of conversion.  So, then, why do some wait until a baby grows up enough to receive proper training in the faith and be able to assent personally to the doctrines of the Gospel before they have the person baptized?  Why not use baptism as the means of beginning the process of catechizing the infant, just as Jesus used a type of baptism to begin the process of revealing Himself to the man born blind?

Beautiful.  I love this!  It says so well what I think many of us have been trying to say all along...
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« Reply #239 on: May 26, 2009, 02:28:22 AM »


Acts 14:23 When they had appointed elders[lit. presbyters/priests for them in every church, having prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord in whom they had believed.
Whew! what a long thread. I just wanted to say that I made an observation regarding this specific biblical quote. My Douay-Rheims Bible has the word "priests" where as other translations might have "elders".


14:22(23) And when they had ordained to them priests in every church and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, in whom they believed. (Douay-Rheims Bible)
 

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« Reply #240 on: May 26, 2009, 05:05:40 AM »

Without having trudged through the entire thread, I wanted to say that what constitutes as a "believer's baptism" is pretty subjective anyway.  I have know many baptist children who were baptized between the ages of six and ten.  Is a situation like this really any different than infant baptism?

It seems to me to be a staged 'choice.'  If the child is that young and has absolutely no exposure to any belief system outside that of their parents', isn't this just the illusion of choice?  Don't you have to have exposure to other spiritual traditions to believe one over any other?  Never mind the fact that the parents tell their child that if they do not do this, they will go to hell.  There is intense social pressure within the church, and any young child in the community with the unusual contentiousness to persistently deny the truth of Christianity would cause concern and even shame to fall upon the family.  I can not imagine any child being about to make such a 'choice' any more than an infant could, but somehow those who consecrate their children must bear the scorn of these believer's baptism advocates?

Waiting until children are a little older is still just as much of a socialization and initiatory process, and anyone who thinks otherwise is just delusional.  Getting baptized as a child or teenager is as inevitable as getting one's first driver's license or graduating high school.  Everybody expects it at around a certain time, and that's when it will happen.  Never mind the fact that many of these groups advocate multiple baptisms if a teenager is not 'sure' they were 'saved' or 'understood' the baptism well enough at an earlier age.  You have to 'know that you know that you know', so if there is any doubt within the initiate in adolescence as to the validity of an earlier 'ordinance', then it is simply redone to assure the certainty of her or his 'salvation experience.'

I feel that these children are coaxed into pseudo-conversion experiences.  It's their personal choice to join the group, even though it's the only group they know of, and just happens to be the tradition of their parents, family and friends. Roll Eyes  No "conversion" takes place in a technical sense.  It is merely an affirmation of what they have learned up to that point.  It is an initiation rite masquerading under the guise of informed assent to particular propositions and conversion to a new reality.

My apologies if this has already been commented on earlier in the thread.
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« Reply #241 on: May 26, 2009, 07:42:09 AM »


Acts 14:23 When they had appointed elders[lit. presbyters/priests for them in every church, having prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord in whom they had believed.
Whew! what a long thread. I just wanted to say that I made an observation regarding this specific biblical quote. My Douay-Rheims Bible has the word "priests" where as other translations might have "elders".


14:22(23) And when they had ordained to them priests in every church and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, in whom they believed. (Douay-Rheims Bible)

ChristusDominus, the original Greek word used in these passages is presvyteros, meaning elder. Presvyteros is also the root word for the English word priest. No controversy here, my friend.
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« Reply #242 on: May 26, 2009, 11:21:19 AM »

Without having trudged through the entire thread, I wanted to say that what constitutes as a "believer's baptism" is pretty subjective anyway.  I have know many baptist children who were baptized between the ages of six and ten.  Is a situation like this really any different than infant baptism?

It seems to me to be a staged 'choice.'  If the child is that young and has absolutely no exposure to any belief system outside that of their parents', isn't this just the illusion of choice?  Don't you have to have exposure to other spiritual traditions to believe one over any other?  Never mind the fact that the parents tell their child that if they do not do this, they will go to hell.  There is intense social pressure within the church, and any young child in the community with the unusual contentiousness to persistently deny the truth of Christianity would cause concern and even shame to fall upon the family.  I can not imagine any child being about to make such a 'choice' any more than an infant could, but somehow those who consecrate their children must bear the scorn of these believer's baptism advocates?

Waiting until children are a little older is still just as much of a socialization and initiatory process, and anyone who thinks otherwise is just delusional.  Getting baptized as a child or teenager is as inevitable as getting one's first driver's license or graduating high school.  Everybody expects it at around a certain time, and that's when it will happen.  Never mind the fact that many of these groups advocate multiple baptisms if a teenager is not 'sure' they were 'saved' or 'understood' the baptism well enough at an earlier age.  You have to 'know that you know that you know', so if there is any doubt within the initiate in adolescence as to the validity of an earlier 'ordinance', then it is simply redone to assure the certainty of her or his 'salvation experience.'

I feel that these children are coaxed into pseudo-conversion experiences.  It's their personal choice to join the group, even though it's the only group they know of, and just happens to be the tradition of their parents, family and friends. Roll Eyes  No "conversion" takes place in a technical sense.  It is merely an affirmation of what they have learned up to that point.  It is an initiation rite masquerading under the guise of informed assent to particular propositions and conversion to a new reality.

My apologies if this has already been commented on earlier in the thread.

Excellent post, Alveus! I can verify that this is the real truth, unfortunately. Some parents have even been known to bribe their teenage children into "joining the church" (i.e. getting baptized) by promising them a car, or some other extravagant gift... Roll Eyes, all the while virtuously condemning those who practise infant baptism as not obeying the Bible.
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« Reply #243 on: May 26, 2009, 01:20:26 PM »

Beautiful.  I love this!  It says so well what I think many of us have been trying to say all along...

Indeed - and your words have not been without effect! But what you have brought me to think is not that people should be baptised younger (i.e. as infants), but rather that in baptism God does a good deal more within us as a sacrament than we Baptists usually know, think or teach.

It seems ironic to me (not speaking as a spokesman for anyone else, of course) that we Baptists have got the form right, but have lost hold of part of the inner meaning. Not all of us, for I am not the only one who takes a more sacramental view - though I suspect others have derived it from the Bible, whereas it was only you good Orthodox who prompted me to meditate along these lines.

What I would love to see in our churches ("our" that is Evangelical which practise believers' baptism) is a union of the form and the sacramental meaning.

At least I can preach it myself! But when I do, no-one seems to 'bat an eyelid'. It is as if the belief in the illumination, or confirmation, or sealing which God gives in baptism is latent in their minds as part of the truth, but something which is not actually actively taught and held.

Anyway, thank you for moving me in that direction.
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« Reply #244 on: May 26, 2009, 01:40:41 PM »

I have know many baptist children who were baptized between the ages of six and ten.  ... just as much of a socialization and initiatory process, ... Getting baptized as a child or teenager is as inevitable as getting one's first driver's license or graduating high school.  Everybody expects it

You'll all get fed up with me saying this, but I feel fairly sure you are discussing an American practise rather than one which is Baptist as such. As you surmise, this has in fact been commented on before on these threads (or this thread), and I said then, and now repeat, that I have never seen anyone baptised that young in more than 40 years among various churches which practise believers' baptism here in Britain. I belong to a Baptist church; I was baptised in the Brethren; I spent a while among Pentecostals and Charismatics: in none of them do I recall such a young baptism.

Quote
many of these groups advocate multiple baptisms if a teenager is not 'sure' they were 'saved' or 'understood' the baptism well enough at an earlier age.  ... it is simply redone to assure the certainty of her or his 'salvation experience.'

Here again I have never heard of this. Indeed Romans 6, and doubtless other scriptures, make it plain that some people were baptised in the early church without grasping its full implications. I think some people have been re-baptised if it becomes apparent that they underwent an earlier dipping before they became Christian; I believe I have heard of it; but I don't think I have ever witnessed it, nor that I know anyone in that situation. If it does happen over here, it must be pretty rare.

Quote
I feel that these children are coaxed into pseudo-conversion experiences.  ... No "conversion" takes place

Quite so. I heartily agree, and anyone sincerely understanding the significance of baptism would regard it as deplorable.

But this is surely no more of a deception than the baptism of an infant who later thinks he/she is safe because the rite was performed, yet has no desire or intention to follow the Lord. Is not this precisely what 1 Corinthians 10 teaches? At whatever age a person is baptised, infant or much older, if he is not made aware that it must be accompanied by personal life-long discipleship, he is deceiving himself, or being deceived by a false teacher. There is no such thing as ex opere operato. I am sure that there are many Orthodox and many Baptists who have been through the prescribed rituals and think they are on the way to heaven, whilst their hearts remain dark and far from God, strangers to the eternal life Christ gives.
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« Reply #245 on: May 27, 2009, 09:23:01 PM »

Interesting Argument for Infant Baptism

I wonder what you might think of this argument my priest posed in his homily yesterday on the Gospel reading for the Sunday of the Blind Man:  John 9:1-38.  In this reading we see a symbol of baptism in the Pool of Siloam in which Jesus tells the blind man to wash himself.  Very likely, the blind man had no idea who it was that spoke to him and told him to wash in the pool (though he knew the man's name was Jesus).  He evidently had just enough faith to go ahead and obey the directive, anyway.  Only after he has washed does he develop an ever-deepening insight into the identity of the man Jesus Christ who gave him sight, a growing discernment that hailed Jesus first as a prophet, then as a man from God, then as God Himself and worthy of worship.

So, my question:  Did Jesus require that the blind man fully acknowledge Himself as Lord and God before sending him to the pool to wash (i.e., to pursue baptism)?  No, He did not.  Rather, Jesus used the pool (i.e., baptism) as the means to opening the man's eyes to begin the process of conversion.  So, then, why do some wait until a baby grows up enough to receive proper training in the faith and be able to assent personally to the doctrines of the Gospel before they have the person baptized?  Why not use baptism as the means of beginning the process of catechizing the infant, just as Jesus used a type of baptism to begin the process of revealing Himself to the man born blind?

Absolutely I agree.  This also touches a bit on the topic of how much catechesis is required before one is received into the Church.  I have seen one person recommend that we lengthen it to three years.  It was in an article that was a respinning of the "12 things I wish I had known..." that I ran across as a link on a parish website, as I recall, which struck me as a bit extreme of a suggestion to broadly apply throughout the Church.     
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« Reply #246 on: February 09, 2011, 09:22:22 PM »

why do people get baptised?
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« Reply #247 on: February 09, 2011, 09:36:14 PM »

why do people get baptised?

My daughters were infants, they didn't have much of a choice... so they got baptized 'cause my wife said so Smiley As for theological reasons... I dunno, entrance in the Church, washing of sins (wait, what?), communion with God, I'm sure something along those lines is true, though I'm not positive what...
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« Reply #248 on: February 10, 2011, 12:55:37 AM »

If Baptism and Chrismation and Communion are Spiritual food to the baby, those who withhold these from the baby are withholding it's food, starving it spiritually, a horrific act. That is what is taught in the ACOE.
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« Reply #249 on: February 10, 2011, 02:10:51 PM »

why do people get baptised?

The usual reasons among us are: to confess pubicly our faith in Christ; and to obey his command to be baptised. Few Baptists (I think) take a sacramental view of baptism, but I believe that God's blessing given in baptism to the person who is baptised is such that a third reason ought to be added, namely, to receive by God's grace in the act, that is, the inward spiritual blessing imparted by the Holy Spirit in the outward sign. I see no objection to the use of the word sacrament to describe this.

If I am preaching at (or performing) a baptism, or teaching about the meaning of the rite, I tend also make reference to 1 Cor. 10 where the people were "baptised into Moses": they took Moses as their leader in passing through the water, and we, in baptism, are committing ourselves to Christ as our Leader - our Lord - before God, angels and men. It is of course a life-long commitment.

So, there are four reasons from my angle; I believe they are in the Bible.
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« Reply #250 on: February 10, 2011, 03:33:33 PM »

why do people get baptised?

The usual reasons among us are: to confess pubicly our faith in Christ; and to obey his command to be baptised. Few Baptists (I think) take a sacramental view of baptism, but I believe that God's blessing given in baptism to the person who is baptised is such that a third reason ought to be added, namely, to receive by God's grace in the act, that is, the inward spiritual blessing imparted by the Holy Spirit in the outward sign. I see no objection to the use of the word sacrament to describe this.

If I am preaching at (or performing) a baptism, or teaching about the meaning of the rite, I tend also make reference to 1 Cor. 10 where the people were "baptised into Moses": they took Moses as their leader in passing through the water, and we, in baptism, are committing ourselves to Christ as our Leader - our Lord - before God, angels and men. It is of course a life-long commitment.

So, there are four reasons from my angle; I believe they are in the Bible.


In Orthodox Christianity you are grafted onto the vine which has God as it's source. You are transformed by his grace. It is not so much about formula's or calculations or making a deal.
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« Reply #251 on: February 10, 2011, 05:16:18 PM »

why do people get baptised?

The usual reasons among us are: to confess pubicly our faith in Christ; and to obey his command to be baptised. Few Baptists (I think) take a sacramental view of baptism, but I believe that God's blessing given in baptism to the person who is baptised is such that a third reason ought to be added, namely, to receive by God's grace in the act, that is, the inward spiritual blessing imparted by the Holy Spirit in the outward sign. I see no objection to the use of the word sacrament to describe this.

If I am preaching at (or performing) a baptism, or teaching about the meaning of the rite, I tend also make reference to 1 Cor. 10 where the people were "baptised into Moses": they took Moses as their leader in passing through the water, and we, in baptism, are committing ourselves to Christ as our Leader - our Lord - before God, angels and men. It is of course a life-long commitment.

So, there are four reasons from my angle; I believe they are in the Bible.


Yet you do not believe that the Holy Spirit is received at baptism...that would occur during the believer's profession of faith, correct?
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« Reply #252 on: February 10, 2011, 05:21:16 PM »

In Orthodox Christianity you are grafted onto the vine which has God as it's source. You are transformed by his grace. It is not so much about formula's or calculations or making a deal.

Indeed, and with us too, as we believe: but the ingrafting, the transformation, (we believe) are effected by the Spirit. None of it, either baptism, faith, or anything else, is really "making a deal" so much as simply receiving God's gift of forgiveness and new life in Christ, by grace. The giving is all on God's side. Baptism is, of course, a biblical way of publicly demonstrating one's faith and one's commitment to Christ's Lordship, not as part of a "deal", but as the grateful response of a believing and would-be obedient heart.
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« Reply #253 on: February 10, 2011, 05:30:51 PM »

In Orthodox Christianity you are grafted onto the vine which has God as it's source. You are transformed by his grace. It is not so much about formula's or calculations or making a deal.

Indeed, and with us too, as we believe: but the ingrafting, the transformation, (we believe) are effected by the Spirit. None of it, either baptism, faith, or anything else, is really "making a deal" so much as simply receiving God's gift of forgiveness and new life in Christ, by grace. The giving is all on God's side. Baptism is, of course, a biblical way of publicly demonstrating one's faith and one's commitment to Christ's Lordship, not as part of a "deal", but as the grateful response of a believing and would-be obedient heart.
I think that most Orthodox Christians would argue that they also believe that is is accomplished by the Holy Spirit, but that the Holy Spirt accomplishes it through Baptism.
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« Reply #254 on: February 10, 2011, 06:37:48 PM »

In Orthodox Christianity you are grafted onto the vine which has God as it's source. You are transformed by his grace. It is not so much about formula's or calculations or making a deal.

Indeed, and with us too, as we believe: but the ingrafting, the transformation, (we believe) are effected by the Spirit. None of it, either baptism, faith, or anything else, is really "making a deal" so much as simply receiving God's gift of forgiveness and new life in Christ, by grace. The giving is all on God's side. Baptism is, of course, a biblical way of publicly demonstrating one's faith and one's commitment to Christ's Lordship, not as part of a "deal", but as the grateful response of a believing and would-be obedient heart.

But in the case of an Infant, he cant come to any conclusions or pass a quiz, so it sounds like  he can not be grafted onto the body of Christ by your understanding. He is denied, which we would consider a very harsh action against him. We are very clear that children can be grafted onto Christ through Baptism. The full grace of God is not withheld from children.

As we have discussed before, we certainly expect an adult to make a profession of faith and explicitly reject any prior religion. But to  exclude children from Baptism because they cant do that seems to diminish the  reason for and effects of Baptism.  

And finally, I thought our earlier discussion of the history of Baptism in the Chruch made it very clear that this has been the practice of the Christian Church from the very beginning of it's existence. I was under the impression that the prior discussion was definitive. I guess not.

 
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« Reply #255 on: February 10, 2011, 06:52:10 PM »

Here is a quick story of a miracle related to an infant's Baptism that I heard just last week from my Godfather. My Godfather John visits a Monastery every other week in Up State New York, which is where he learned of this.

A family that also visits the same Monastery was told that the Baby they were expecting had a terrible birth defect in her heart and would not live more than a few minutes after birth. They were urged to get an abortion which of course they refused. They had planned to have the baby buried at the Monastery.

When it came time for the birth they had a Priest present in order to immediately Baptized the baby as soon as it was born. The baby came, was Baptized and then reposed in just a few minutes.

The Priest left the hospital and was driving away when he realized that he had not put a Baptismal Cross around the neck of the child, so he turned around and went back to the hospital.

When he asked the nurses if he could see the child so he could do this, he was told the child had been long dead and was about to be taken down to the morgue but they allowed it.

He put the Cross around the neck of the child who then opened her eyes and revived. They priest said they looked straight into each others eyes and then the child passed away again.

My God father says that he has visited the child's grave at the Monastery and says prays there.

People ask why become Orthodox and we answer that we witness every miracle known to the Church even today. Here we have a case of resurrection of the dead ! What more can anyone ask?  
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« Reply #256 on: February 11, 2011, 09:52:11 AM »

The NT explicitly teaches believer's baptism... Clearly then infants are excepted...
Forgive me if some of this has been said -long thread!

The middle (hidden) premise above is "infants cannot have faith"; however Luther (and I believe also Calvin) regarded infants as having a kind of "faith."

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 joyously to the presence of Mary, then pregnant with the Maker of the starfields, and that even a babe in the womb can receive grace is evident from Lk 1:15. Other commonly cited examples are found here. Some 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 commonly cited by other Lutheran and many 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 propositional information in every case, 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 necessity of such a connection between faith and propositional connection as many see it. This is not to say propositional knowledge is irrelevant to faith, 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.

Of course paedofaith does not necessarily entail paedobaptism. 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, plays a role in every theological trajectory within Christendom whether this is recognized or not. 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 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.
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« Reply #257 on: February 11, 2011, 02:18:11 PM »

I thought our earlier discussion of the history of Baptism in the Chruch made it very clear that this has been the practice of the Christian Church from the very beginning of it's existence. I was under the impression that the prior discussion was definitive. I guess not.

There is no clear, unambiguous reference to the baptism of infants till a long time after the apostles. But let's not revisit that debate, for it would only be repetition, and it is all still there on the threads, and of course in many books on church history.
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« Reply #258 on: February 11, 2011, 04:07:47 PM »

I thought our earlier discussion of the history of Baptism in the Chruch made it very clear that this has been the practice of the Christian Church from the very beginning of it's existence. I was under the impression that the prior discussion was definitive. I guess not.

There is no clear, unambiguous reference to the baptism of infants till a long time after the apostles. But let's not revisit that debate, for it would only be repetition, and it is all still there on the threads, and of course in many books on church history.

The council of Carthage, in 253, condemned the opinion that baptism should be withheld from infants until the eighth day after birth.  There also was a writing by Origen around the same time attesting to the practice. Is this considered 'a long time' after the apostles? That's a matter of opinion. It was certainly well before most Protestants agree that the apostolic faith was 'corrupted' by Constantine; that is, after it became the state religion of Rome. In fact, the Christians were still experience widespread persecution during this time. What is also odd, however, is that if infant baptism wasn't done in the time of the apostles, and it had started sometime thereafter, you would think that there would be writings that discussed this sudden change in practice, and no doubt the related controvery, no? In fact, what we find is the opposite, specifically in regards to the above council; they were condemning the practice of witholding infants from baptism until a certain period of time had elapsed, in this case 8 days.

Also, what are we to make of all the references in the NT that speak of "baptizing so and so, along with their household?" This sounds rather inclusive to me. Surely some of these households included infant children? Perhaps no, there isn't conclusive evidence in the scripture to prove that infant baptism occured during the apostolic times. So then, how then can you confidently say that it isn't apostolic? I understand if you would withhold judgment, but to condemn it without biblical support seems to go against the fundamental tenant of 'sola scriptura'.

edit: I found an earlier reference to infant baptism. I'm sure this has been included in this thread somewhere, but i'll add it to my post for the sake of completion.

Irenaeus, about 180 A.D., who speaks of “all who through Christ are born again to God, infants and children and boys and young men and old men” (Against Heresies 2:22:4, or 2:33:2)
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« Reply #259 on: February 11, 2011, 04:13:16 PM »

I'm a believer, I'm a believer if I try...sorry got into a Shrek mood reading the topic title.
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« Reply #260 on: February 12, 2011, 10:47:55 AM »

I thought our earlier discussion of the history of Baptism in the Chruch made it very clear that this has been the practice of the Christian Church from the very beginning of it's existence. I was under the impression that the prior discussion was definitive. I guess not.

There is no clear, unambiguous reference to the baptism of infants till a long time after the apostles. But let's not revisit that debate, for it would only be repetition, and it is all still there on the threads, and of course in many books on church history.

Let the little ones come to him, please stop this practice tantamount to spiritual starvation of babies by witholding baptism,chrismation, and communion from them. There is actually a fast in the ACOE for parents who didn't baptise their infants and let them die without a baptism, a sin which if not absolved will lead straight to hell and which neccesitates severe repentance. All who are without Christ are condemned please don't withhold baptism from babies. Nobody but protestants who fell away from the Apostolic Churches founded by the Lord Jesus practice adult baptism to anybody reading this thread.
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« Reply #261 on: February 19, 2011, 08:32:47 PM »

Tertullian wrote a treatise against Infant Baptism sometime between 200 and 206 AD. Clearly he was arguing his case against a practice already well established.

So that means the Protestent claim that the Apostles only performed Adult Baptism is hard to see. It must have ended very early on. How could the Apsotles have denied Baptism to children and then have the enirty of the Church switch to allowing Child Baptism with absolutely no disucssion much less a full blown Council.

I suggest this absence in the historical record is far more damning then their claims that there is no Scriptural Support for Childhood Baptism. In fact the scriptures mention whole housholds being Baptised. Are we really to beleive there were no children in any of them?

Where is evidence of a change from the Apostles refusing Baptism to Children to the Chruch performing such Baptisms? Where is the documentation? Where is the discussion? Where is the Council? Are we really to accept that this was done in the dark of night?   
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« Reply #262 on: February 19, 2011, 08:51:55 PM »

Tertullian wrote a treatise against Infant Baptism sometime between 200 and 206 AD. Clearly he was arguing his case against a practice already well established.

So that means the Protestent claim that the Apostles only performed Adult Baptism is hard to see. It must have ended very early on. How could the Apsotles have denied Baptism to children and then have the enirty of the Church switch to allowing Child Baptism with absolutely no disucssion much less a full blown Council.

I haven't read his work on this.  Does it refer to this as an established custom?  I'm curious, because Tertullian and others also wrote against newly emerging practices that weren't well established.

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I suggest this absence in the historical record is far more damning then their claims that there is no Scriptural Support for Childhood Baptism. In fact the scriptures mention whole housholds being Baptised. Are we really to beleive there were no children in any of them?

Where is evidence of a change from the Apostles refusing Baptism to Children to the Chruch performing such Baptisms? Where is the documentation? Where is the discussion? Where is the Council? Are we really to accept that this was done in the dark of night? 

Good point. I think it would require evidence, not just a lack of Scriptural support, to effectively make that claim.
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« Reply #263 on: February 19, 2011, 10:23:52 PM »

Tertullian wrote a treatise against Infant Baptism sometime between 200 and 206 AD. Clearly he was arguing his case against a practice already well established.

So that means the Protestent claim that the Apostles only performed Adult Baptism is hard to see. It must have ended very early on. How could the Apsotles have denied Baptism to children and then have the enirty of the Church switch to allowing Child Baptism with absolutely no disucssion much less a full blown Council.

I haven't read his work on this.  Does it refer to this as an established custom?  I'm curious, because Tertullian and others also wrote against newly emerging practices that weren't well established.

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I suggest this absence in the historical record is far more damning then their claims that there is no Scriptural Support for Childhood Baptism. In fact the scriptures mention whole housholds being Baptised. Are we really to beleive there were no children in any of them?

Where is evidence of a change from the Apostles refusing Baptism to Children to the Chruch performing such Baptisms? Where is the documentation? Where is the discussion? Where is the Council? Are we really to accept that this was done in the dark of night? 

Good point. I think it would require evidence, not just a lack of Scriptural support, to effectively make that claim.

You can google on his name and read his treatise. The year 200 is pretty early just to begin with.
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« Reply #264 on: February 20, 2011, 12:59:37 PM »

Tertullian, treatise on BAPTISM 18,4 (c. AD 200-206)

"According to circumstance and disposition and even age of the individual person, it may be better to delay Baptism; and especially so in the case of little children. Why, indeed, is it necessary -- if it be not a case of necessity -- that the sponsors to be thrust into danger, when they themselves may fail to fulfill their promises by reason of death, or when they may be disappointed by the growth of an evil disposition? Indeed the Lord says, 'Do not forbid them to come to me' [Matt 19:14; Luke 18:16].

"Let them come, then, while they grow up, while they learn, while they are taught to whom to come; let them become Christians when they will have been able to know Christ! Why does the innocent age hasten to the remission of sins? ...For no less cause should the unmarried also be deferred, in whom there is an aptness to temptation -- in virgins on account of their ripeness as also in the widowed on account of their freedom -- until they are married or are better strengthened for continence. Anyone who understands the seriousness of Baptism will fear its reception more than its deferral. Sound faith is secure of its salvation!"

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« Reply #265 on: February 20, 2011, 02:44:06 PM »

Tertullian, treatise on BAPTISM 18,4 (c. AD 200-206)

"According to circumstance and disposition and even age of the individual person, it may be better to delay Baptism; and especially so in the case of little children. Why, indeed, is it necessary -- if it be not a case of necessity -- that the sponsors to be thrust into danger, when they themselves may fail to fulfill their promises by reason of death, or when they may be disappointed by the growth of an evil disposition? Indeed the Lord says, 'Do not forbid them to come to me' [Matt 19:14; Luke 18:16].

"Let them come, then, while they grow up, while they learn, while they are taught to whom to come; let them become Christians when they will have been able to know Christ! Why does the innocent age hasten to the remission of sins? ...For no less cause should the unmarried also be deferred, in whom there is an aptness to temptation -- in virgins on account of their ripeness as also in the widowed on account of their freedom -- until they are married or are better strengthened for continence. Anyone who understands the seriousness of Baptism will fear its reception more than its deferral. Sound faith is secure of its salvation!"



I get the impression that this could also be understood as not delaying baptism until one is able to understand and personally choose to believe, but also to just not get baptized period until you're confident that you won't fall back into any sin afterward. I know that there have been people at times who waited until their death bed to get baptized because of this.
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« Reply #266 on: February 20, 2011, 06:19:17 PM »

Tertullian, treatise on BAPTISM 18,4 (c. AD 200-206)

"According to circumstance and disposition and even age of the individual person, it may be better to delay Baptism; and especially so in the case of little children. Why, indeed, is it necessary -- if it be not a case of necessity -- that the sponsors to be thrust into danger, when they themselves may fail to fulfill their promises by reason of death, or when they may be disappointed by the growth of an evil disposition? Indeed the Lord says, 'Do not forbid them to come to me' [Matt 19:14; Luke 18:16].

"Let them come, then, while they grow up, while they learn, while they are taught to whom to come; let them become Christians when they will have been able to know Christ! Why does the innocent age hasten to the remission of sins? ...For no less cause should the unmarried also be deferred, in whom there is an aptness to temptation -- in virgins on account of their ripeness as also in the widowed on account of their freedom -- until they are married or are better strengthened for continence. Anyone who understands the seriousness of Baptism will fear its reception more than its deferral. Sound faith is secure of its salvation!"



I get the impression that this could also be understood as not delaying baptism until one is able to understand and personally choose to believe, but also to just not get baptized period until you're confident that you won't fall back into any sin afterward. I know that there have been people at times who waited until their death bed to get baptized because of this.

My understanding is that he was arguing that the person needs to understand what is occurring during Baptism. In any event, this was very early on.
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« Reply #267 on: February 20, 2011, 08:55:00 PM »

Either way, he ended up a Montanist, so I doubt his opinion has much relevance here... Undecided
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« Reply #268 on: May 09, 2011, 11:37:19 AM »

David Young,

I was reminded of this post because of the polls for post of the month (whatever year this was).
Since you have of late stated that you said everything there was to say about Believer's Baptism, I looked to see if you or Cleopas (it was he at whom this post was directly, but you so often say that you and he are of like belief) ever answered this post.  Interestingly, neither of you ever did.  Care to take a shot at it?  These questions still linger unanswered...



In esscence the term would apply to any in a given household. Thus, generally speaking, it coud include infants IF they were present in the home. However, to substantiate that one must be able to PROVE infants were in fact present. Besides, the context being that of baptism, which is directly connected Scripturally with a personal declaration of faith in Christ, limits the application of household here to only those in a given household who were personally capable of making such a declaration. In short -- believer's baptism provides' the context for understanding the application of household. To reason otherwise is to undo the statment of Scripture by adding to and broadening it. Indeed, contradicting it.
I'm sorry, what is your source for this?  Do you speak Liturgical Greek?  My husband does (fluently, as well as modern Greek-- in fact he has won awards for his translation and is currently consulting on some works that will be coming out of a monastery in Greece in the near future).  The term was used to denote ENTIRE families.  Now no, this doesn't mean that there absolutely WAS an infant or child in every household, but what are the chances that of all the households mentioned, there were NO children?  Slim to none.  We do not need to prove that infants were present.  As the term includes infants, you need to prove that they were NOT present.  You also need to prove that this was not a practice of the NT church. 

The term is not limited by Scripture, YOU are limiting it with YOUR interpretation of Scripture.  You realize that this is going to be a circular argument?  By binding yourself to the exact words of Scripture and refusing to acknowledge any other source (be it a source within the Church or a "secular" historical source), we are going to keep coming around to the same place.  That is, with your reply of "but the Scriptures don't specifically say infants!"

"Believer's Baptism" does not provide the context.  YOU are forcing a context which proves your point.  Not the same thing.

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I did not say children should never be baptized. In only insist that they be of sufficient mental ability to make a personal and true declaration of faith in Christ.
Why do you insist this when the Early Church did not?  Just curious.

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The age need not be given of baptismal candidates since due to the fact that baptism is expressly stated to be for believers the practice assumes each candidate of sufficient "age" able to believe for themselves -- child or no.
That's funny, I said the age need not be given!  Why?  Because infant baptism was done from the beginning.  It is incumbent upon you to prove that it wasn't. 

Oh, and the other reason is because infants can and do believe.  See below where I discuss my nephew and niece.  Not that they're some paragon of Christianity, and though I may tell you I think they're the smartest kids in the world, I know they're not able to understand God fully (being 3 and 1), but they most definitely love and have faith in Him!  I think their example will do just fine.

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-The saving power of Christ's presence in Holy Baptism (too long a point to explain here, it can be found in the article I posted above)
Disagree with the premise. Can Christ save in or through baptism? I suppose. Can and does Christ save prior to baptism? Yep. So, does salvation wait for baptism? Nope.
We are specifically told that baptism is needed for salvation.  Why would that be, if the rite of baptism itself had no saving power?  Romans 6:4 makes it clear:
"Romans 6:4   4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life."
The emphasis is on God and what HE does for us.  This is a fundamental difference between us.  And really, I think we will not be able to come to any kind of meeting of the minds until we agree on this: that Baptism is more than just a commitment we make to God.  It is something GOD does for us.  Baptism bears witness to God's action of choosing us to be members of His body.  Christ was not baptized because He needed to commit Himself to God.  He accomplished seven things by being baptized, not one of which was "to commit Himself to God" or any other such affirmation of His own faith (as stated in the Orthodox Study Bible):
1. He affirmed John the Baptist's Ministry
2. He was revealed by the Father and the Holy Spirit to be the Christ, God's beloved Son
3.  HE IDENTIFIED HIMSELF WITH HIS PEOPLE BY DESCENDING INTO THE WATERS WITH THEM
4. He prefigured His own death, giving baptism its ultimate meaning
5. He entered the waters, sanctifying the water itself (again--- sanctifying matter-- this is what I said in the Eucharist thread)
6. He fulfilled the many types given in the OT, as when Moses led the people from bondage through the red sea, etc.
7. HE OPENED HEAVEN TO A WORLD SEPARATED FROM GOD THROUGH SIN.

I stress numbers 3 and 7 because, indeed, baptism is a sign of God's action, of what HE does for US.  Yes, as adults being baptized, we must have faith and repentance, but OUR FAITH AND REPENTANCE OR LACK THEREOF DOES NOT, CANNOT, WILL NOT EVER TRUMP THE GRACE OF GOD AND WHAT HE DOES FOR US.  As my Grammy used to occasionally say, "Not everything is about you."  God forbid we just accept what God does, rather than trying to shove ourselves into the middle of His action and His plan, eh?

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Hence baptism is more a corollary of salvation, a witness to the inner work of saving grace and faith already present in those who have believed.
Show me where it says corollary, please.  All I have seen is where Christ tells us it is REQUIRED (John 3).  It is not a witness to US and OUR faith, it is a witness of GOD's work, GOD's action, GOD's grace.  Again, it ain't all about us.

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-The Old Testament symbols of Salvation and Baptism include infants (such as circumcision-- again, can be read above)
Indeed! Like as they were those born of the flesh, believers are those born again of the Spirit.
Their circumscision was literal and pertained to literal birth (infants, etc.) -- ours is metaphorical, spiritual and pertains only to those who have spiritually been reborn. You stumble here with Nicodemus. As paul expressed to the Cornthians concerning "birth from the grave" so to we can discern application here... There is a natural and there is a spiritual. Albeit that which is spiritual is not first, but that which is natural. Afterward that which is spiritual. Hence, only spiritual infants have a right to the waters of baptism.

I'm sorry, explain to me how it is that you think I stumble with Nicodemus?
I think, rather, that you stumble with Paul, who tells us VERY clearly in Colossians:
"11 In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins[c] of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, 12 buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. 13 And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, 14 having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. 15 Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it. "

He directly likens Baptism to Chrismation, calling it the "circumcision of Christ."  He is clear that Baptism is the new circumcision.  He does not make one different from another.  So if, indeed, Baptism is the circumcision of Christ, then how can one object to giving that to infants?  YOU may make this faulty distinction, but HE doesn't.

As well, we see two direct pre-figurements in the Old Testament of baptism.  Lest we descend into Marcianism (discarding of the OT altogether), we are bound to recognize them, the first one most especially.

The first is Moses and the red sea.  We must recognize this pre-figurement, as the Apostle specifically tells us to in 1Corinthians 10:1-4.  He specifically says that they were "baptized into Moses."  Did Moses leave the infants and children in Egypt?  I daresay he didn't.  ALL were baptized into Moses.  And if Paul saw that the baptism of infants was a problem, he would have surely taken that opportunity to tell us!  Surely he would have stopped right then and mentioned that we should not baptize infants, since he was giving this specifically as an example.  If there was a place where the example differed from what was intended, he would have told us.

The second is Noah and the Ark.  And we know his whole family was there.

I basically just parroted what was said in the article I posted, adding my opinion here and there.  But since you didn't want to read the article, it left me no choice.  No problem.  I enjoyed it.  Smiley

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-Faith as relationship of love and trust not limited to the mind-- The OT and NT examples of infants recognizing salvation and having faith
I'm sorry, but you'll have to show me explicit Scriptural explanation that infants either recognized salvation or personally placed faith in salvation while in infancy. I see where God recognized infants, and graced them with divine purpose even form the womb. I see where confirmation of that purpose may be demonstrated by the infant, even pre-born, as in the case of John the baptist. But that is a far cry from infants actually understanding and applying saving faith in the person and work of Christ.
Are you telling me that when John the Baptist leapt in his mother's womb at the sound of the Theotokos' voice (she who carried his savior), that he DIDN'T recognize?!?  What, exactly, is it that you think he DID recognize?  You think he was just dancing at the sound of her pretty voice?  NO!  He recognized that HIS SAVIOR WAS NEAR, THAT HIS SALVATION WAS IN FRONT OF HIM!  It had nothing to do with the Theotokos.  Her purpose has always been only in relation to Christ.  And what is Christ's purpose?  Well, if we really have to go that basic, there's a problem.  This is a terribly legalistic and un-believing argument you are trying to present here.  John's divine purpose was TO RECOGNIZE THE SALVATION OF CHRIST!  It was the entire purpose of his existence... to pave the way for Him who came after, yet before him.  He did this even from the womb!  Are you telling me he DIDN'T?  whoa.

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Now, perhaps if they came from the womb actually speaking intelligently I would be inclined to consider such an exaggeration.
Yes, because, of course, the Bible was written for infants, right.  So it must instruct them specifically to get to the church and be baptized, else they won't be recognized as Christians!  Don't be ridiculous!  It is you who are exaggerating, my friend.  Exaggerating your own importance (I don't mean your importance personally, I mean as a human being) in God's plan-- He does the work in Baptism. 

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-The fact that the command of "believer's baptism" was one intended for adults, because the Bible was not written for infants- and the distinction between adult believers and infant- one needs to repent, the other does not (again, can be read above)
And yet, by defintion, one CANNOT be a believer if they have not repented!
Wrong!  Here I will just quote the article for you, rather than parrot it.
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Larry Christenson, in his pamphlet "What About Baptism", quotes Edmund Schlink (author of The Doctrine of Baptism) as stating that the rejection of infant baptism was based on the secular philosophy of the sixteenth century which assured man's individuality, and was not the result of a new Scriptural inquiry:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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-The fact that "infant baptism" was probably not recorded because the Gospel writers didn't see a need- it was rather obvious
Arguing from silence here. If you could give me a strong enough reason to entertain the Biblical validity for infant baptism (such as showing infants having sufficient reason and mental faculty to accept and place faith in Christ as Lord and Savior) then I might would entertain the notion as haing a semb lance of relevance. Otherwise, well, I cannot.
There are times when an argument from silence is perfectly valid.  This is one.  As in the example I gave above-- Paul gives us examples that we are to follow.  If he meant for us to except children, he would have specified that. 
As far as infants having faith in Christ, see above.  What other possible reason can you give (and PROVE!) for why John the Baptist leapt in his mother's womb?  Why would the Gospel have mentioned it?  Because he recognized that His Lord and Savior was near!  Not because he loved Mary's voice! 

And what exactly does, "these little ones who have faith" mean, anyway?

And what about coming to Christ as a child?  Matthew 18:3: "And he said: "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven."  What did he mean?  We should grow physically younger?  Nonsense!  We are to come to him as a child-- with trust, loyalty, total dependence, and FAITH EVEN THOUGH WE DON'T UNDERSTAND!  Apparently Christ thought children could have faith despite a lack of intellectual knowledge (they had knowledge of love and experience of faith).  Why don't you?

My heart and my experience tells me infants can have faith as well.  My little nephew, Nicholas and my niece, Emma both as babies, recognized Christ and His work and love.  I can tell you all kinds of stories of how they recognized Christ and His love- literally!  Wanting to kiss the icons for no apparent reason, pointing at them and laughing, hugging them (I know that they didn't learn that from their parents or anyone else-- we kiss icons, but I can't recall ever hugging one in front of them-- not that it's bad, we just haven't done it).  I can tell you that they converse with angels, but I'm sure you'll brush it aside as hogwash, since it doesn't explicitly say in the Bible that babies can recognize angels, even though we know this to be true through experience.  My nephew, Nicholas, is now three and a half.  He can't possibly understand God fully, but he sure does love Him, and he sure does have faith in Him!  You can't tell me that babies and children don't understand and expect me to buy it.  Ridiculous!  Tongue

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-The entire LIST of questions that are put forward in the second half of the article posted above (I'm not going to retype here, even though I've already been redundant by typing all the other points)
I appreciate the referece to the article. I am sure I wil enjoy perusing it, and others in the future. However, I did not come here to dilaog with an article, but with other particpants. Simply stated, I want to know what you think in your words, and engage you with mine. I want to interact with you, a being, and not with lifeless articles. Reference them, quote bite size excerpts from them, fine. Otherwise I will probably (as here) just skip right over them and keep on going.

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

Some of these, I feel sure, will be answered in the course of discussion.  Do me a favor, though, and if they are not answered in the rest of the discussion, answer them.   

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BTW just FYI, personally, when I post articles and quotes like that, it is not because I am trying to provoke or to dodge questions or anything.  It is because whoever wrote the article says exactly what I would like to say clearly and succinctly.  I figure it's better to just post the article (and reference it, of course) than to try and say the same things, as we know it can take me a long time to say what they can say quite fast.  I do it simply to not waste others' time.  I apologize if people don't like it when I post articles.  I rather enjoyed that particular one, though.

I understand, really. However, quotes of that length tend to stifle conversation (IMO). So do original comments and posts normally. But in your case, I have so come to enjoy your written expression of thought, your passion in engaging the subject, not to mention your tact and personability, that I find myself willing, even eager in most cases, to savor YOUR words. I can handle snippets of quotes from others added therewith for taste, but not much else. To use a metaphor that may have meaning to a chef  Cheesy -- I don't want a warmed over "meal" someone else prepared. I want your own unique fresh presentation of the dish.  Wink Grin
Metaphor appreciated!  On the other hand, all that has become of your refusal to read the article and respond is that it has forced me to parrot it and take up time and space doing so.  Your refusal to read it does not mean that I don't want answers to the questions and points made.  It just means that, even though you think it's saving time to skip it, it's actually just wasting time.  No offense, just being honest.

Also, I think the article on the original website was moved.  So to make sure I clearly reference my source, I will post the new web address below:
http://www.goarch.org/ourfaith/ourfaith7067

In Christ,
Presbytera Mari
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« Reply #269 on: May 09, 2011, 11:55:19 AM »

But let's not revisit that debate, for it would only be repetition,
It's not repetition if you didn't answer what was asked (see above post).  Smiley

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and it is all still there on the threads,
Which I searched and couldn't find where you or Cleopas answered the questions I asked above.

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and of course in many books on church history.
And yet I was admonished for asking y'all to read an article.  Now we're being referred to entire books?  I thought y'all wanted to discuss... (I know I'm referring to what Cleopas said and not you.  I'm just making a point)
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Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me.
Matthew 18:5
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