Are baptized infants "born again children?"
The reason why I ask, besides the obvious, is this repent, repent, repent self flagelation I think come in part from trying to work out this salvation that supposedly you can't earn: one of the ironies of Calvinist theolgoy and the Protestant ethic.
Ah one of my conundrums, because before I would have railed tooth and nail against infant baptism- the problem is that Peter didn't seem to have a problem when baptized Cornelius' household, which from what I can tell in my feeble-ish attempts- means adults through babies and was a very specific word used in that verse- which is funny because supposedly many of those in my ilk are very concerned with original languages and such. But I'm appearing to dodge the issue, forgive me.
By my protestant experience an infants baptism would be meaningless because the infant hadn't made the "choice" which is also hard for me to reconcile with my former Calvanistic approach to salvation- because if that view was correct they didn't have a "choice" anyway, so would it matter? This whole area has moved from a rigid limited understanding to me to more of a "?".
Your point is well made, there is that wierd tension between works and faith- and these people seem especially confused; but there's the other problem, their salvation is defined almost singularly by the letter as "getting to heaven"- fire insurance. Thus, if there are works involved it means you must think the "works" are brownie points; the thought that works aid in a larger view of salvation- restoring the Image of God within us, a marvelous synergy if you will- this doesn't seem to properly cross their minds (or my own at times). Why are they carrying out these acts; to grow? I think not. It looks like they're trying to do something to assuage God's wrath. And that is
irony, because that's what they would accuse Orthodox and Catholics of doing.