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Author Topic: Infant vs. Believer Baptism  (Read 9203 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #270 on: April 17, 2012, 01:18:27 AM »

Allright.I just came back from Church and the priest was saying that the faith of the mother is transmitted to the child she is bearing.What do you guys say, make of it?
Three thoughts come to mind.

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

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

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

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

Six years sometimes... Takes a toll  

wow i had no idea! Shocked
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« Reply #271 on: April 23, 2012, 10:08:26 PM »

I want to chime in from an anabaptist POV, because I teeter between EO and Anabaptist (as weird as that sounds)

My wife and I have 5 children and we have brought all of them up since the moment they were born.

There is no way, no how, no if ands or buts that I will ever accept any celibate monk who has never had children to tell me that they are damned if they die without baptism as infants or children.

Christ said "ones such as these belong to the kingdom of heaven".

A baby or child does not understand what life is about nor what is happening to them.  They are fully dependent on the parents for guidance and to bring them up in Christ.  It is ultimately up to them to decide if they wish to be part of the church and follow God's will or not.

This is EXACTLY why you see EO children flee from the church even though they had baptism and communion when they get older.  It's because they did it because there was no choice.  They had no rational, nor freewill to follow Christ.  There is no decision as a baby, they get dunked and have no idea what happened to them.  There isn't some kind of magic mojo that suddenly makes them a believer in the church.  Ultimately, when they are older and set out in this world as an adult, they make the decisions for their faith.

A baptized infant grows and could believe as a child because mommy & daddy do, then later deny God.... Then what?
An unbaptized child who is "innocent", could believe because they see mommy & daddy.  Then it is their choice to be baptized into the church.

There are many instances of both infants and adults being baptized.   That doesn't mean every single infant should be baptized.  You never know, they could have done it because they were wandering around on foot a lot in vast lands.....  Then there are those who know of all this early stuff, history, and still were baptized later.... Ask Constantine.

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« Reply #272 on: April 23, 2012, 11:00:31 PM »

I want to chime in from an anabaptist POV, because I teeter between EO and Anabaptist (as weird as that sounds)

My wife and I have 5 children and we have brought all of them up since the moment they were born.

There is no way, no how, no if ands or buts that I will ever accept any celibate monk who has never had children to tell me that they are damned if they die without baptism as infants or children.

Christ said "ones such as these belong to the kingdom of heaven".

A baby or child does not understand what life is about nor what is happening to them.  They are fully dependent on the parents for guidance and to bring them up in Christ.  It is ultimately up to them to decide if they wish to be part of the church and follow God's will or not.

This is EXACTLY why you see EO children flee from the church even though they had baptism and communion when they get older.  It's because they did it because there was no choice.  They had no rational, nor freewill to follow Christ.  There is no decision as a baby, they get dunked and have no idea what happened to them.  There isn't some kind of magic mojo that suddenly makes them a believer in the church.  Ultimately, when they are older and set out in this world as an adult, they make the decisions for their faith.

A baptized infant grows and could believe as a child because mommy & daddy do, then later deny God.... Then what?
An unbaptized child who is "innocent", could believe because they see mommy & daddy.  Then it is their choice to be baptized into the church.

There are many instances of both infants and adults being baptized.   That doesn't mean every single infant should be baptized.  You never know, they could have done it because they were wandering around on foot a lot in vast lands.....  Then there are those who know of all this early stuff, history, and still were baptized later.... Ask Constantine.



You always have a choice. They made the choice to leave. You think delaying baptism changes that choice? (assuming there is no Grace imparted through Baptism)
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« Reply #273 on: April 24, 2012, 01:05:22 AM »

I want to chime in from an anabaptist POV, because I teeter between EO and Anabaptist (as weird as that sounds)

My wife and I have 5 children and we have brought all of them up since the moment they were born.

There is no way, no how, no if ands or buts that I will ever accept any celibate monk who has never had children to tell me that they are damned if they die without baptism as infants or children.
Battling the windmills again, yesh? I've never heard that Orthodoxy teaches or ever taught such a monstrosity as this.
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« Reply #274 on: April 24, 2012, 09:47:39 AM »

Quote
I want to chime in from an anabaptist POV, because I teeter between EO and Anabaptist (as weird as that sounds)

My wife and I have 5 children and we have brought all of them up since the moment they were born.

There is no way, no how, no if ands or buts that I will ever accept any celibate monk who has never had children to tell me that they are damned if they die without baptism as infants or children
Orthodoxy does not teach this firstly, secondly how does celibacy, or being a monk innately disqualify someone to speak on spiritual matters?

So, if my priest never raised a girl, he can not counsel me concerning such things? Really?

Quote
This is EXACTLY why you see EO children flee from the church even though they had baptism and communion when they get older.  It's because they did it because there was no choice.  They had no rational, nor freewill to follow Christ.  There is no decision as a baby, they get dunked and have no idea what happened to them.  There isn't some kind of magic mojo that suddenly makes them a believer in the church.  Ultimately, when they are older and set out in this world as an adult, they make the decisions for their faith
They made their choice. however, you are stating the above as if it is only an EO problem. I fled protestantism as fast as I could. Does that mean I was a protestant not of my own choice? Your logic does not make sense.

Quote
here are many instances of both infants and adults being baptized
Yep

Quote
That doesn't mean every single infant should be baptized
Really? Since when?

Quote
There is no decision as a baby, they get dunked and have no idea what happened to them.  There isn't some kind of magic mojo that suddenly makes them a believer in the church.  Ultimately, when they are older and set out in this world as an adult, they make the decisions for their faith
"Crispus, the synagogue leader, and his entire household believed in the Lord"

Kind of hard to turn that one aside.

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« Reply #275 on: April 24, 2012, 10:51:02 AM »

I want to chime in from an anabaptist POV, because I teeter between EO and Anabaptist (as weird as that sounds)

My wife and I have 5 children and we have brought all of them up since the moment they were born.

There is no way, no how, no if ands or buts that I will ever accept any celibate monk who has never had children to tell me that they are damned if they die without baptism as infants or children.

Christ said "ones such as these belong to the kingdom of heaven".

A baby or child does not understand what life is about nor what is happening to them.  They are fully dependent on the parents for guidance and to bring them up in Christ.  It is ultimately up to them to decide if they wish to be part of the church and follow God's will or not.

This is EXACTLY why you see EO children flee from the church even though they had baptism and communion when they get older.  It's because they did it because there was no choice.  They had no rational, nor freewill to follow Christ.  There is no decision as a baby, they get dunked and have no idea what happened to them.  There isn't some kind of magic mojo that suddenly makes them a believer in the church.  Ultimately, when they are older and set out in this world as an adult, they make the decisions for their faith.

A baptized infant grows and could believe as a child because mommy & daddy do, then later deny God.... Then what?
An unbaptized child who is "innocent", could believe because they see mommy & daddy.  Then it is their choice to be baptized into the church.

There are many instances of both infants and adults being baptized.   That doesn't mean every single infant should be baptized.  You never know, they could have done it because they were wandering around on foot a lot in vast lands.....  Then there are those who know of all this early stuff, history, and still were baptized later.... Ask Constantine.



You always have a choice. They made the choice to leave. You think delaying baptism changes that choice? (assuming there is no Grace imparted through Baptism)

Ask Constantine.  Huh

A baby is innocent, and has no choice in the matter.   The only thing that baptizing an infant does is believing that some kind of mojo is going to make them a Christian.  Even our lord said that "one such as these belong to the kingdom of heaven".

I don't believe that the framework is as defined as the modern EO church dictates.  Certainly it was not in Constantine's day or else he would have been baptized immediately.

By belief, we choose to be baptized when you have a believer's baptism.  It's a matter of choice, a matter of faith, and a matter of freewill.

An infant, knows nothing, and even pees and poops in the holy water that the priest "breathes" the holy spirit into (I've seen it) because they know nothing of what is going on.
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« Reply #276 on: April 24, 2012, 11:09:02 AM »

Quote
A baby is innocent, and has no choice in the matter.   The only thing that baptizing an infant does is believing that some kind of mojo is going to make them a Christian
So circumcision had the mojo to make children Jewish then?

Quote
I don't believe that the framework is as defined as the modern EO church dictates.  Certainly it was not in Constantine's day or else he would have been baptized immediately
Sorry yesh, this is seriously ignorant of history. Constantine could not have been baptised at birth because he was raised a pagan. Not only that, Constantine wanted to enter the Kingdom of God as pure as possible so he waited till the last second. This was actually a pretty common belief at the time. His son, Constantius II did the same thing, however Constantine, son of Constantine was probably baptised as an infant as all records state he was raised from birth as a Christian.

I would also add about Constantine, that he still had half of the Roman world that viewed him as the head of the Roman (and therefore pagan) religion. If he just converted at the Milvian bridge and got baptised, he'd have not lived much longer.


The argument of Constantine's baptism does not even come close to entering into this discussion.

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« Reply #277 on: April 24, 2012, 11:10:12 AM »

A baby is innocent, and has no choice in the matter.   The only thing that baptizing an infant does is believing that some kind of mojo is going to make them a Christian.  Even our lord said that "one such as these belong to the kingdom of heaven".

I don't believe that the framework is as defined as the modern EO church dictates.  Certainly it was not in Constantine's day or else he would have been baptized immediately.

By belief, we choose to be baptized when you have a believer's baptism.  It's a matter of choice, a matter of faith, and a matter of freewill.

An infant, knows nothing, and even pees and poops in the holy water that the priest "breathes" the holy spirit into (I've seen it) because they know nothing of what is going on.

I agree with you that things were not so cut and dry as some would argue (I'm not saying those people are in this thread necessarily). However, I'd like to make two points here. First, baptism is a ceremony that brings someone into a community, the body of Christ. Someone could possibly be in the community without baptism (practically or otherwise), but that doesn't make the sacrament useless. It's about grace and healing... and not all grace and healing has to do with sins. Corruption (because we live in a fallen world) is not necessarily sin, but it has an impact even on infants. In Orthodoxy salvation is not just about the forgiveness of sins, but the transfiguring of creation.

Second, as I mentioned in this post (which has some other thoughts on the subject), there is this passage to consider: "So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy." (Rom. 9:16).  God's mercy, His grace, is not dependent on our will, our faith, our actions, or anything else in us. True, our actions and will do usually have an important part to play, a necessarily part many times, but not all times.
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« Reply #278 on: April 24, 2012, 11:13:53 AM »

Sorry yesh, this is seriously ignorant of history. Constantine could not have been baptised at birth because he was raised a pagan. Not only that, Constantine wanted to enter the Kingdom of God as pure as possible so he waited till the last second. This was actually a pretty common belief at the time. His son, Constantius II did the same thing, however Constantine, son of Constantine was probably baptised as an infant as all records state he was raised from birth as a Christian.

I would also add about Constantine, that he still had half of the Roman world that viewed him as the head of the Roman (and therefore pagan) religion. If he just converted at the Milvian bridge and got baptised, he'd have not lived much longer.


The argument of Constantine's baptism does not even come close to entering into this discussion.

I don't think this particular issue is a strong evidence against infant baptism as practiced today, but I do think you are dismissing it too quickly. If not St. Constantine, then consider the example of St. Gregory the Theologian. His father was a bishop (and a saint), and yet he wasn't baptized as an infant either. In fact, he didn't get baptized until he almost died at sea and promised God that he would get baptized if he lived.
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« Reply #279 on: April 24, 2012, 11:18:20 AM »

Quote
I don't think this particular issue is a strong evidence against infant baptism as practiced today, but I do think you are dismissing it too quickly. If not St. Constantine, then consider the example of St. Gregory the Theologian. His father was a bishop (and a saint), and yet he wasn't baptized as an infant either. In fact, he didn't get baptized until he almost died at sea and promised God that he would get baptized if he lived
I understand, but baptism at the time of death was a very prevalent idea simply because there would be NO chance for anything to keep you from entering the Kingdom of God as you are completely sinless at death. There were tons of folks who did it. That does not mean that they did not believe in infant baptism.
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« Reply #280 on: April 24, 2012, 11:35:49 AM »

I want to chime in from an anabaptist POV, because I teeter between EO and Anabaptist (as weird as that sounds)

My wife and I have 5 children and we have brought all of them up since the moment they were born.

There is no way, no how, no if ands or buts that I will ever accept any celibate monk who has never had children to tell me that they are damned if they die without baptism as infants or children.

Christ said "ones such as these belong to the kingdom of heaven".

A baby or child does not understand what life is about nor what is happening to them.  They are fully dependent on the parents for guidance and to bring them up in Christ.  It is ultimately up to them to decide if they wish to be part of the church and follow God's will or not.

This is EXACTLY why you see EO children flee from the church even though they had baptism and communion when they get older.  It's because they did it because there was no choice.  They had no rational, nor freewill to follow Christ.  There is no decision as a baby, they get dunked and have no idea what happened to them.  There isn't some kind of magic mojo that suddenly makes them a believer in the church.  Ultimately, when they are older and set out in this world as an adult, they make the decisions for their faith.

A baptized infant grows and could believe as a child because mommy & daddy do, then later deny God.... Then what?
An unbaptized child who is "innocent", could believe because they see mommy & daddy.  Then it is their choice to be baptized into the church.

There are many instances of both infants and adults being baptized.   That doesn't mean every single infant should be baptized.  You never know, they could have done it because they were wandering around on foot a lot in vast lands.....  Then there are those who know of all this early stuff, history, and still were baptized later.... Ask Constantine.



You always have a choice. They made the choice to leave. You think delaying baptism changes that choice? (assuming there is no Grace imparted through Baptism)

Ask Constantine.  Huh

A baby is innocent, and has no choice in the matter.   The only thing that baptizing an infant does is believing that some kind of mojo is going to make them a Christian.  Even our lord said that "one such as these belong to the kingdom of heaven".

I don't believe that the framework is as defined as the modern EO church dictates.  Certainly it was not in Constantine's day or else he would have been baptized immediately.

By belief, we choose to be baptized when you have a believer's baptism.  It's a matter of choice, a matter of faith, and a matter of freewill.

An infant, knows nothing, and even pees and poops in the holy water that the priest "breathes" the holy spirit into (I've seen it) because they know nothing of what is going on.

So what? Is perfect knowledge a prerequisite for a sacrament's effectiveness? Who really understands the grace of God, anyway? Nobody understands perfectly how God works or why He does what He does. Even catechized adults may as well be infants in the face of the knowledge of God.
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« Reply #281 on: July 28, 2012, 10:12:32 AM »

One thing which I haven't understood about your theology of baptism is this. (Let's write only about when you baptise a convert to Christianity, so that you are in that case doing the same as we do, otherwise we'll wander off on a tangent.)

A Moslem, atheist, Jehovah's Witness, or whoever, comes to faith in Christ in a frame of sincere repentance for sin and true belief in our Lord and Saviour. Some time later - days, weeks, months - you baptise him. What difference do you see in his relationship with God, his spiritual condition, between the time between his conversion and his baptism, and the time after his baptism? What difference does baptism make, that repentance and faith do not make?
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« Reply #282 on: July 28, 2012, 10:46:50 AM »

One thing which I haven't understood about your theology of baptism is this. (Let's write only about when you baptise a convert to Christianity, so that you are in that case doing the same as we do, otherwise we'll wander off on a tangent.)

A Moslem, atheist, Jehovah's Witness, or whoever, comes to faith in Christ in a frame of sincere repentance for sin and true belief in our Lord and Saviour. Some time later - days, weeks, months - you baptise him. What difference do you see in his relationship with God, his spiritual condition, between the time between his conversion and his baptism, and the time after his baptism? What difference does baptism make, that repentance and faith do not make?


1.The Sacrament of Baptism joins the person to the Mystical Body of Christ, the Church

2. Christian Baptism is about what God does.

3. A candidate who takes up faith and is repentant desires to be a Christian. But in fact, he is not yet a Christian until Baptism 

 "The Orthodox Church does not belittle personal faith in an adult who seeks baptism, but instead insists that the whole emphasis of baptism is not an what the baby does or the parents or the godparents, but on what God does."

"The fact that we are Christians is not due to any act on our part; it is due to the act of God in Christ through the Holy Spirit."

http://www.orthodoxchristian.info/pages/Baptism.htm
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« Reply #283 on: July 28, 2012, 10:51:27 AM »

A candidate who takes up faith and is repentant desires to be a Christian. But in fact, he is not yet a Christian until Baptism 

It is inconceivable that during all the centuries of Christianity, no-one has ever come to repentance and faith, but died before being baptised. Where did such people go upon dying? To be "with Christ, which is far better," or among the unblieving and the lost? (I am not being argumentative for the sake of it: I genuinely wonder what you think.)
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« Reply #284 on: July 28, 2012, 11:47:04 AM »

A candidate who takes up faith and is repentant desires to be a Christian. But in fact, he is not yet a Christian until Baptism 

It is inconceivable that during all the centuries of Christianity, no-one has ever come to repentance and faith, but died before being baptised. Where did such people go upon dying? To be "with Christ, which is far better," or among the unblieving and the lost? (I am not being argumentative for the sake of it: I genuinely wonder what you think.)

God's mercy is not mechanical. God will save whomever he will save.

But for our part, we are directed to Baptize and ask for the Holy Spirit to descend upon the person.


Here is a bit of idle speculation on my part. I am happy to stand corrected if necessary.

What if a person slips through and really has no Faith at all but still gets Baptized? It happens, right? Maybe they are about to get married and out of convenience agrees to "Convert". They fake it and/or  the Priest doesn't do a good job of discerning if the person is sincere. 

Are they still grafted onto the Body of Christ? Are they now Christian? I think the answer is yes. They have sinned by miss representing themselves but the far larger sin falls upon the Priest.

They are even questioned during the rite of Baptism. "Do you renounce all former heresy and error?" (sometimes this heresy is named specifically)... they must answer:  "YES"   

"Do you renounce Satin and all his works?"

"I do"

"Do you renounce Satin and all his works?"

"I do"

"Do you renounce Satin and all his works?"

"I do"

"Have you renounced Satin and all his works?"

"I have"

"Turn and spit upon him"

The person turns and actually spits.

The are fully immersed three times, tonsured and chrismated with holy oil.

They are baptized, they are wiped clean by the Grace of God and the descent to the Holy Spirit upon them.

So, now if they are not truly repentant or have no real faith in Christ or harbor hidden beliefs they are like a barren field.
The person who has Faith and Repentance is a fertile field. So God's grace, like a seed, can fall upon what is fertile or what is barren.

By rule we do not ask God to come down upon a barren field, but it happens from time to time. Sometimes, simply by the Mystical Power of Baptism and by being actually grafted onto Christ the person benefits and a once barren field becomes fertile. God is Great.
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« Reply #285 on: July 28, 2012, 11:47:36 AM »

A candidate who takes up faith and is repentant desires to be a Christian. But in fact, he is not yet a Christian until Baptism 

It is inconceivable that during all the centuries of Christianity, no-one has ever come to repentance and faith, but died before being baptised. Where did such people go upon dying? To be "with Christ, which is far better," or among the unblieving and the lost? (I am not being argumentative for the sake of it: I genuinely wonder what you think.)
Those who were martyred were baptized in their blood (e.g. martyrs 39 and 40 of the 40 Martyrs of Sebastia).
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« Reply #286 on: July 28, 2012, 11:57:31 AM »

Here is a bit of idle speculation on my part... What if a person slips through and really has no Faith at all but still gets Baptized?

I have no doubt at all that it happens among us fairly frequently, especially when people with Baptist parents reach, say, their early teens. Later in life they look back and realise it never really meant anything personally to them at all; it was a family tradition, and they wanted to conform. Tragic, but it happens.
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« Reply #287 on: July 28, 2012, 12:38:20 PM »

One thing which I haven't understood about your theology of baptism is this. (Let's write only about when you baptise a convert to Christianity, so that you are in that case doing the same as we do, otherwise we'll wander off on a tangent.)

A Moslem, atheist, Jehovah's Witness, or whoever, comes to faith in Christ in a frame of sincere repentance for sin and true belief in our Lord and Saviour. Some time later - days, weeks, months - you baptise him. What difference do you see in his relationship with God, his spiritual condition, between the time between his conversion and his baptism, and the time after his baptism? What difference does baptism make, that repentance and faith do not make?


The Lord thought that it made  a difference. Also, baptism is so much more than a private assent, a private repentance, a private belief. It is a public declaration, a public action, a public cooperation and a public commitment. And, this is only on the part of the person being baptized or of his parents, sponsors and the congregation. 

From your perspective, I suppose you can look at it as a pot of stew (I am not being flippant; I am into cooking and this is the easiest analogy for me). The rough order is: want to make the dish, decide to do it (the conversion process), gather  the ingredients, prep them, put them in the pot (catechumenate), and cook them (the work of the Holy Spirit through the priest, the one being baptized, sponsors and congregation). Only after that is the stew a stew, no?
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« Reply #288 on: July 28, 2012, 01:18:17 PM »

A candidate who takes up faith and is repentant desires to be a Christian. But in fact, he is not yet a Christian until Baptism 

It is inconceivable that during all the centuries of Christianity, no-one has ever come to repentance and faith, but died before being baptised. Where did such people go upon dying? To be "with Christ, which is far better," or among the unblieving and the lost? (I am not being argumentative for the sake of it: I genuinely wonder what you think.)

What did Christ say in Mark 16:16?But who will not believe will be condemned.. He did not say who will not baptize himself or be baptize and believe, but who will not believe
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« Reply #289 on: July 28, 2012, 04:03:47 PM »

The Lord thought that it made  a difference. Also, baptism is so much more than a private assent, a private repentance, a private belief. It is a public declaration, a public action, a public cooperation and a public commitment. And, this is only on the part of the person being baptized

I wholly agree; and there are a number of us of baptist persuasion and practice who feel that our theology of baptism is weak and inadequate, even though we believe we have the practice right. The average 'man in the pew' would probably say, if pressed, that baptism makes no difference, it is only an obedient outward sign of what has already happened inwardly. Take away the word 'only', and I am sure that is, inasfar as it goes, correct: but I am not alone in feeling there is a more divine, or if you like sacramental, side to the rite which we Baptists have lost hold of; and that it should be restored.

I am interested to know therefore what the difference is that baptism makes, in your view, in addition to the effect of repentance and faith: hence my question.

I do not doubt that when I have baptised people, and when I was myself baptised (age 18), whatever God does in baptism, he did in and for us: but I do not think we have been taught what it is.
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« Reply #290 on: July 28, 2012, 05:10:32 PM »

Quote
I want to chime in from an anabaptist POV, because I teeter between EO and Anabaptist (as weird as that sounds)

My wife and I have 5 children and we have brought all of them up since the moment they were born.

There is no way, no how, no if ands or buts that I will ever accept any celibate monk who has never had children to tell me that they are damned if they die without baptism as infants or children
Orthodoxy does not teach this firstly, secondly how does celibacy, or being a monk innately disqualify someone to speak on spiritual matters?

So, if my priest never raised a girl, he can not counsel me concerning such things? Really?

Quote
This is EXACTLY why you see EO children flee from the church even though they had baptism and communion when they get older.  It's because they did it because there was no choice.  They had no rational, nor freewill to follow Christ.  There is no decision as a baby, they get dunked and have no idea what happened to them.  There isn't some kind of magic mojo that suddenly makes them a believer in the church.  Ultimately, when they are older and set out in this world as an adult, they make the decisions for their faith
They made their choice. however, you are stating the above as if it is only an EO problem. I fled protestantism as fast as I could. Does that mean I was a protestant not of my own choice? Your logic does not make sense.

Quote
here are many instances of both infants and adults being baptized
Yep

Quote
That doesn't mean every single infant should be baptized
Really? Since when?

Quote
There is no decision as a baby, they get dunked and have no idea what happened to them.  There isn't some kind of magic mojo that suddenly makes them a believer in the church.  Ultimately, when they are older and set out in this world as an adult, they make the decisions for their faith
"Crispus, the synagogue leader, and his entire household believed in the Lord"

Kind of hard to turn that one aside.

PP
how could an entire household believe in the Lord if it included members who were only days or weeks old?
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« Reply #291 on: July 28, 2012, 05:13:37 PM »

Quote
A baby is innocent, and has no choice in the matter.   The only thing that baptizing an infant does is believing that some kind of mojo is going to make them a Christian
So circumcision had the mojo to make children Jewish then?


who said circumcision made children Jewish?  they had to be circumcised because they were Jewish
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« Reply #292 on: July 28, 2012, 06:10:06 PM »

St. Basil the Great

“For prisoners, baptism is ransom, forgiveness of debts, death of sin, regeneration of the soul, a resplendent garment, an unbreakable seal, a chariot to heaven, a protector royal, a gift of adoption” (Sermons on Moral and Practical Subjects: On Baptism 13:5 [ante A.D. 379]).

St. Clement of Alexandria

“When we are baptized we are enlightened. Being enlightened, we are adopted as sons. Adopted as sons, we are made perfect. Made perfect, we become immortal. ‘I say,’ God declares, ‘you are gods and sons all of the Most High’ (Psalm 81:6). This work is variously called grace, illumination, perfection, and washing. It is a washing by which we are cleansed of sins; a gift of grace by which the punishments due our sins are remitted; an illumination by which we behold that holy light of salvation – that is, by which we see God clearly; and we call that perfection which leaves nothing lacking. Indeed, if a man know God, what more does he need? Certainly, it were out of place to call that which is not complete a true gift of God’s grace. Because God is perfect the gifts he bestows are perfect” (The Instructor of Children 1:6, 26:1 [ante A.D. 202]).

We call it, the Gift, the Grace, Baptism, Unction, Illumination, the Clothing of Immortality, the Laver of Regeneration, the Seal, and everything that is honourable (Gregory of Nazianz , On Holy Baptism , Oratio XL)

St. John Chrysostom’s “Baptismal Instructions,” Talking to the newly baptized, he says (3d Instruction):
Let us say again: Blessed be God, who alone does wonderful things, who does all things and transforms them. Before yesterday you were captives, but now you are free and citizens of the Church; lately you lived in the shame of your sins, but now you live in freedom and justice. You are not only free, but also holy; not only holy, but also just; not only just, but also sons; not only sons, but also heirs; not only heirs, but also brothers of Christ; not only brothers of Christ, but also joint heirs; not only joint heirs, but also members; not only members, but also the temple; not only the temple, but also instruments of the Spirit.

Augustine on Baptism Against the Donatists, Book 4 : 1-2

 The comparison of the Church with Paradise(1) shows us that men may indeed receive her baptism outside her pale, but that no one outside can either receive or retain the salvation of eternal happiness. For, as the words of Scripture testify, the streams from the fountain of Paradise flowed copiously even beyond its bounds. Record indeed is made of their names; and through what countries they flow, and that they are situated beyond the limits of Paradise, is known to all;(2) and yet in Mesopotamia, and in Egypt, to which countries those rivers extended, there is not found that blessedness of life which is recorded in Paradise. Accordingly, though the waters of Paradise are found beyond its boundaries, yet its happiness is in Paradise alone. So, therefore, the baptism of the Church may exist outside, but the gift of the life of happiness is found alone within the Church, which has been rounded on a rock, which has received the keys of binding and loosing.(3) "She it is alone who holds as her privilege the whole power of her Bridegroom and Lord;"(4) by virtue of which power as bride, she can bring forth sons even of handmaids. And these, if they be not high-minded, shall be called into the lot of the inheritance; but if they be high-minded, they shall remain outside.

All the more, then, because "we are fighting s for the honor and unity" of the Church, let us beware of giving to heretics the credit of whatever we acknowledged among them as belonging to the Church; but let us teach them by argument, that what they possess that is derived from unity is of no efficacy to their salvation, unless they shall return to that same unity. For "the water of the Church is full of faith, and salvation, and holiness"(6) to those who use it rightly. No one, however, can use it well outside the Church. But to those who use it perversely, whether within or without the Church, it is employed to work punishment, and does not conduce to their reward. And so baptism "cannot be corrupted and polluted," though it be handled by the corrupt or by adulterers, just as also "the Church herself is uncorrupt, and pure, and chaste."(7) And so no share in it belongs to the avaricious, or thieves, or usurers,--many of whom, by the testimony of Cyprian himself in many places of his letters, exist not only without, but actually within the Church,--and yet they both are baptized and do baptize, with no change in their hearts.
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« Reply #293 on: July 28, 2012, 06:10:06 PM »

St. Methodius of Philippi

"The illuminated take on the features and the image and the manliness of Christ. The likeness of the form of the Word is stamped upon them; and it is produced in them through sure knowledge and faith. Thus, Christ is born spiritually in each one...those who are baptized in Christ become, as it were, other Christs, through a communication of the Spirit" 16.
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« Reply #294 on: July 28, 2012, 06:10:06 PM »

Quote
I want to chime in from an anabaptist POV, because I teeter between EO and Anabaptist (as weird as that sounds)

My wife and I have 5 children and we have brought all of them up since the moment they were born.

There is no way, no how, no if ands or buts that I will ever accept any celibate monk who has never had children to tell me that they are damned if they die without baptism as infants or children
Orthodoxy does not teach this firstly, secondly how does celibacy, or being a monk innately disqualify someone to speak on spiritual matters?

So, if my priest never raised a girl, he can not counsel me concerning such things? Really?

Quote
This is EXACTLY why you see EO children flee from the church even though they had baptism and communion when they get older.  It's because they did it because there was no choice.  They had no rational, nor freewill to follow Christ.  There is no decision as a baby, they get dunked and have no idea what happened to them.  There isn't some kind of magic mojo that suddenly makes them a believer in the church.  Ultimately, when they are older and set out in this world as an adult, they make the decisions for their faith
They made their choice. however, you are stating the above as if it is only an EO problem. I fled protestantism as fast as I could. Does that mean I was a protestant not of my own choice? Your logic does not make sense.

Quote
here are many instances of both infants and adults being baptized
Yep

Quote
That doesn't mean every single infant should be baptized
Really? Since when?

Quote
There is no decision as a baby, they get dunked and have no idea what happened to them.  There isn't some kind of magic mojo that suddenly makes them a believer in the church.  Ultimately, when they are older and set out in this world as an adult, they make the decisions for their faith
"Crispus, the synagogue leader, and his entire household believed in the Lord"

Kind of hard to turn that one aside.

PP
how could an entire household believe in the Lord if it included members who were only days or weeks old?

Who says everything is explicitly spoken of in the Bible and that the Bible should be interpreted literally blank?
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« Reply #295 on: July 28, 2012, 06:10:13 PM »

Quote
I want to chime in from an anabaptist POV, because I teeter between EO and Anabaptist (as weird as that sounds)

My wife and I have 5 children and we have brought all of them up since the moment they were born.

There is no way, no how, no if ands or buts that I will ever accept any celibate monk who has never had children to tell me that they are damned if they die without baptism as infants or children
Orthodoxy does not teach this firstly, secondly how does celibacy, or being a monk innately disqualify someone to speak on spiritual matters?

So, if my priest never raised a girl, he can not counsel me concerning such things? Really?

Quote
This is EXACTLY why you see EO children flee from the church even though they had baptism and communion when they get older.  It's because they did it because there was no choice.  They had no rational, nor freewill to follow Christ.  There is no decision as a baby, they get dunked and have no idea what happened to them.  There isn't some kind of magic mojo that suddenly makes them a believer in the church.  Ultimately, when they are older and set out in this world as an adult, they make the decisions for their faith
They made their choice. however, you are stating the above as if it is only an EO problem. I fled protestantism as fast as I could. Does that mean I was a protestant not of my own choice? Your logic does not make sense.

Quote
here are many instances of both infants and adults being baptized
Yep

Quote
That doesn't mean every single infant should be baptized
Really? Since when?

Quote
There is no decision as a baby, they get dunked and have no idea what happened to them.  There isn't some kind of magic mojo that suddenly makes them a believer in the church.  Ultimately, when they are older and set out in this world as an adult, they make the decisions for their faith
"Crispus, the synagogue leader, and his entire household believed in the Lord"

Kind of hard to turn that one aside.

PP
how could an entire household believe in the Lord if it included members who were only days or weeks old?

one of this little ones [paidon] who believe in Me , Matt 18:4 ..

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« Reply #296 on: July 28, 2012, 06:23:00 PM »

Quote
I want to chime in from an anabaptist POV, because I teeter between EO and Anabaptist (as weird as that sounds)

My wife and I have 5 children and we have brought all of them up since the moment they were born.

There is no way, no how, no if ands or buts that I will ever accept any celibate monk who has never had children to tell me that they are damned if they die without baptism as infants or children
Orthodoxy does not teach this firstly, secondly how does celibacy, or being a monk innately disqualify someone to speak on spiritual matters?

So, if my priest never raised a girl, he can not counsel me concerning such things? Really?

Quote
This is EXACTLY why you see EO children flee from the church even though they had baptism and communion when they get older.  It's because they did it because there was no choice.  They had no rational, nor freewill to follow Christ.  There is no decision as a baby, they get dunked and have no idea what happened to them.  There isn't some kind of magic mojo that suddenly makes them a believer in the church.  Ultimately, when they are older and set out in this world as an adult, they make the decisions for their faith
They made their choice. however, you are stating the above as if it is only an EO problem. I fled protestantism as fast as I could. Does that mean I was a protestant not of my own choice? Your logic does not make sense.

Quote
here are many instances of both infants and adults being baptized
Yep

Quote
That doesn't mean every single infant should be baptized
Really? Since when?

Quote
There is no decision as a baby, they get dunked and have no idea what happened to them.  There isn't some kind of magic mojo that suddenly makes them a believer in the church.  Ultimately, when they are older and set out in this world as an adult, they make the decisions for their faith
"Crispus, the synagogue leader, and his entire household believed in the Lord"

Kind of hard to turn that one aside.

PP
how could an entire household believe in the Lord if it included members who were only days or weeks old?
Is belief merely a mental exercise?
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« Reply #297 on: July 28, 2012, 06:50:40 PM »




PP
[/quote]
how could an entire household believe in the Lord if it included members who were only days or weeks old?
[/quote]
Is belief merely a mental exercise?
[/quote]

No, it involves understanding, and action, that is to say, obedience to the commands of the Lord
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« Reply #298 on: July 28, 2012, 06:58:59 PM »




PP
how could an entire household believe in the Lord if it included members who were only days or weeks old?
[/quote]
Is belief merely a mental exercise?
[/quote]

No, it involves understanding, and action, that is to say, obedience to the commands of the Lord
[/quote]
And does this obedience require that we know, on the cognitive level of the mind, what we're doing?
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« Reply #299 on: July 28, 2012, 07:03:38 PM »

Quote
I want to chime in from an anabaptist POV, because I teeter between EO and Anabaptist (as weird as that sounds)

My wife and I have 5 children and we have brought all of them up since the moment they were born.

There is no way, no how, no if ands or buts that I will ever accept any celibate monk who has never had children to tell me that they are damned if they die without baptism as infants or children
Orthodoxy does not teach this firstly, secondly how does celibacy, or being a monk innately disqualify someone to speak on spiritual matters?

So, if my priest never raised a girl, he can not counsel me concerning such things? Really?

Quote
This is EXACTLY why you see EO children flee from the church even though they had baptism and communion when they get older.  It's because they did it because there was no choice.  They had no rational, nor freewill to follow Christ.  There is no decision as a baby, they get dunked and have no idea what happened to them.  There isn't some kind of magic mojo that suddenly makes them a believer in the church.  Ultimately, when they are older and set out in this world as an adult, they make the decisions for their faith
They made their choice. however, you are stating the above as if it is only an EO problem. I fled protestantism as fast as I could. Does that mean I was a protestant not of my own choice? Your logic does not make sense.

Quote
here are many instances of both infants and adults being baptized
Yep

Quote
That doesn't mean every single infant should be baptized
Really? Since when?

Quote
There is no decision as a baby, they get dunked and have no idea what happened to them.  There isn't some kind of magic mojo that suddenly makes them a believer in the church.  Ultimately, when they are older and set out in this world as an adult, they make the decisions for their faith
"Crispus, the synagogue leader, and his entire household believed in the Lord"

Kind of hard to turn that one aside.

PP
how could an entire household believe in the Lord if it included members who were only days or weeks old?

one of this little ones [paidon] who believe in Me , Matt 18:4 ..


paidion not just used for new-born infants - see Mark 9:24.  I've no objection to young children being baptised
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« Reply #300 on: July 28, 2012, 07:07:04 PM »




PP
how could an entire household believe in the Lord if it included members who were only days or weeks old?
Is belief merely a mental exercise?
[/quote]

No, it involves understanding, and action, that is to say, obedience to the commands of the Lord
[/quote]
And does this obedience require that we know, on the cognitive level of the mind, what we're doing?
[/quote]

not sure how it would be obedience otherwise
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« Reply #301 on: July 28, 2012, 08:25:06 PM »

One thing that strikes me about Orthodoxy is the way representatives accept responsibility for an infant until the infant grows up, but at that point the now-grown person is expected to respect the responsibilities. Grace came to him since infancy, grace does not require that we understand to work, and when we are baptized we become part of the Church. After that they must work with that obligation, and responsibility, and sacramental grace. You can't say "I don't like it" and ignore it.
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« Reply #302 on: July 29, 2012, 08:03:19 AM »

I`m not sure this is suitable for the Orthodox - Other forum , you know giving what is holy to the dogs , but another user on another orthodox forum (romanian) when we were discussing of the eucharist said that her priest told her that at the moment of the gifts are changed he feels more illuminated,more clear, sharp and refreshed like he could keep the liturgy going all day , etc.. I think these kind of effects are found in Baptism also.. The fathers call it Illumination through which we see God perfectly without nothing lacking, sharpness, clarity, chariot to heaven that to which we become instruments of the Holy Spirit and put under God's protection.. I think we would of felt this also, or felt them while we were infants(I was baptized an infant) or if we were re-baptized.. 
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« Reply #303 on: July 29, 2012, 05:04:51 PM »

i have only seen 3 infant baptisms (they happen before liturgy, so u have to get there very early!)
but each time, the baby's face has been shining like something really special is happening (even if they cried a little) and they all had that very peaceful look that i have come to associate with baptism (baby or older).
on one occasion, i was close enough to see the baby's face from the moment he came out of the water, and he was actively focusing his gaze on something outside the room (or bigger than the room) and smiling very peacefully.
his auntie and i are sure he saw the angels.

i think this is what is meant by illumination.
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« Reply #304 on: July 29, 2012, 07:48:55 PM »

One thing which I haven't understood about your theology of baptism is this. (Let's write only about when you baptise a convert to Christianity, so that you are in that case doing the same as we do, otherwise we'll wander off on a tangent.)

A Moslem, atheist, Jehovah's Witness, or whoever, comes to faith in Christ in a frame of sincere repentance for sin and true belief in our Lord and Saviour. Some time later - days, weeks, months - you baptise him. What difference do you see in his relationship with God, his spiritual condition, between the time between his conversion and his baptism, and the time after his baptism?

What difference does baptism make, that repentance and faith do not make?

To be fair one could ask this same question about baptism as understood by the Baptists.

"What difference does baptism make" is the wrong question to ask our Lord. Rather we should ask, "what would You have us to do?"

In this case we know what Christ would have us do because Christ in scripture directs His followers to baptize.

"What difference does it Must we understand before we follow? Then our understanding rather than Christ is our lord. The difference is that true repentance involves following the Lord's commands.

"What difference does it make?" We do not always know the answer to such questions. But we follow our Master's voice. Taste and see...

Quote
10 Elisha sent a messenger to say to him, “Go, wash yourself seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will be restored and you will be cleansed.”

11 But Naaman went away angry and said, “I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the Lord his God, wave his hand over the spot and cure me of my leprosy. 12 Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Couldn’t I wash in them and be cleansed?” So he turned and went off in a rage.

13 Naaman’s servants went to him and said, “My father, if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more, then, when he tells you, ‘Wash and be cleansed’!” 14 So he went down and dipped himself in the Jordan seven times, as the man of God had told him, and his flesh was restored and became clean like that of a young boy.
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« Reply #305 on: July 30, 2012, 03:48:03 AM »

"What difference does baptism make" is the wrong question to ask our Lord. Rather we should ask, "what would You have us to do?"

In this case we know what Christ would have us do because Christ in scripture directs His followers to baptize.

"Must we understand before we follow? Then our understanding rather than Christ is our lord. The difference is that true repentance involves following the Lord's commands.

"What difference does it make?" We do not always know the answer to such questions. But we follow our Master's voice. Taste and see...[/quote]

Yes! This is what I've been saying, and it was my own attitude when I was baptised aged 18 - a desire to obey a dominical command. But I am sure there is more to baptism than obedience from our side; that is the root of my question here.
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« Reply #306 on: July 30, 2012, 03:48:39 AM »

Quote
"What difference does baptism make" is the wrong question to ask our Lord. Rather we should ask, "what would You have us to do?"

In this case we know what Christ would have us do because Christ in scripture directs His followers to baptize.

"Must we understand before we follow? Then our understanding rather than Christ is our lord. The difference is that true repentance involves following the Lord's commands.

"What difference does it make?" We do not always know the answer to such questions. But we follow our Master's voice. Taste and see...

Yes! This is what I've been saying, and it was my own attitude when I was baptised aged 18 - a desire to obey a dominical command. But I am sure there is more to baptism than obedience from our side; that is the root of my question here.
« Last Edit: July 30, 2012, 03:49:29 AM by David Young » Logged

"But if you bite and devour one another, take heed that you are not consumed by one another." Galatians 5.15
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« Reply #307 on: July 30, 2012, 08:30:13 AM »

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"What difference does baptism make" is the wrong question to ask our Lord. Rather we should ask, "what would You have us to do?"

In this case we know what Christ would have us do because Christ in scripture directs His followers to baptize.

"Must we understand before we follow? Then our understanding rather than Christ is our lord. The difference is that true repentance involves following the Lord's commands.

"What difference does it make?" We do not always know the answer to such questions. But we follow our Master's voice. Taste and see...

Yes! This is what I've been saying, and it was my own attitude when I was baptised aged 18 - a desire to obey a dominical command. But I am sure there is more to baptism than obedience from our side; that is the root of my question here.


My understanding is in baptism we are actually united to Christ. We put off the old man and are renewed. In it our sins are truly forgiven and we are made clean and put on the armor of God, we begin our new life in Christ through the Church. Do I really understand it all even after 30 years I would have to say no, if understanding is required we will all fail as most is a mystery and only known to God.  It is only trough Gods grace that we can know/understand what we do, and follow in faith.  Christ said to come with the faith of little children, a child looks to their parents in complete faith can we not learn form this example.
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« Reply #308 on: July 30, 2012, 11:16:45 AM »

i have only seen 3 infant baptisms (they happen before liturgy, so u have to get there very early!)
but each time, the baby's face has been shining like something really special is happening (even if they cried a little) and they all had that very peaceful look that i have come to associate with baptism (baby or older).
on one occasion, i was close enough to see the baby's face from the moment he came out of the water, and he was actively focusing his gaze on something outside the room (or bigger than the room) and smiling very peacefully.
his auntie and i are sure he saw the angels.

i think this is what is meant by illumination.

I think it means illumination of the soul and body.
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Every formula of every religion has in this age of reason, to submit to the acid test of reason and universal assent.
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