Eating My Humble Pie

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I would like to express my deepest regret for being wrong about my fellow Reformed Christians. Though the doctrine of infant baptism or credo baptism is significant to both of us- It is not the Galatian heresy I thought a year ago. We may disagree about it and make it a test of membership-but to me it is no longer a matter of fellowship.

I just learn that after a year being a member of a fundamental baptist church-that I have more in common with Reformed Christianity than with a regular Baptist.And the issue I raised a year ago regarding believer’s baptism-whichI still hold especially from a new covenantal view -is in fact unknown from regular baptist. It does not even register on them. They don’t see the bible as a covenantal document! Thus the traditional covenant view maybe flat line-the regular baptist is non-existent. I rather based my hopes on the view of Geerhandus Vos or Meredith Kline to explain the progressive nature of biblical covenants than to wait for baptist christians to awaken from their stupor.

If a Christian parents wants to baptize his child-I am open to it as long as he understand it as a way to acknowledge Jesus lordship on his life and his family and that grace is always primary-and not our works or even faith. But yes -faith is important-that is why if someone, baptized in his infancy,-wants to rebaptize in his adult years-I will not posed any objections-as long as he believes that this is his response to Jesus’ Lordship and will not be repeated again in his adulthood.

Is this based on the covenant of Abraham? Yes- for faith always works outside -by showing works that prove his faith is real. Whether it is  in his life or those he loves. Is this disobedience to the precise command of our Lord? -No- for there is no direct command not to baptize children-and there is also no direct command that adults who were part of the covenant when they were children-not to be baptized anymore when they reached the age of reason. Our turbulent history bears witness to the injustice done by our Reformed forefathers to the Anabaptist and Baptist brethren. It also bears witness to the lack of steady doctrinal stand and clarity amongst baptist church which goes against confessional Christianity.

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Is this a novelty? I think the elders of Bethlehem’s church also thought about this but did not push through at the last minute. Better to raise the Reformed flag (chastised by history on its narrowness) than to raise a Baptist flag that has  no historical roots. Later post will provide the details of what I missed on being Reformed.

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3 responses to “Eating My Humble Pie

  1. Ray: Though the doctrine of infant baptism or credo baptism is significant to both of us- It is not the Galatian heresy I thought a year ago. We may disagree about it and make it a test of membership-but to me it is no longer a matter of fellowship.

    Greg: Amen brother, the basis of our fellowship is regeneration alone, not doctrinal distinctives like paedobaptism vs. credobaptism, Arminianism vs. Calvinism, continuationism vs. cessationism, premil. vs. amil., or Disp. vs. Covenant Theology vs. NCT. If God has regenerated a person, then He has accepted that person. And, if He has accepted him, then so should we.

    Ray: Is this disobedience to the precise command of our Lord? -No- for there is no direct command not to baptize children

    Greg: Yes, you’re correct that there is no EXPLICIT direct command. But, let’s suppose for a moment that our ethic is defined by explicit commands alone, not including logical implications from those commands. Then…

    1. There are no explicit commands against baptizing dogs. (Sorry for being ridiculous, but I’m just trying to illustrate a point 🙂

    2. There are no explicit commands against abortion, buying and displaying an idol, oral sex before marriage, being a pimp, po-rn, etc. But, we know they’re wrong by making logical implications from Christ’s commands.

    And, there are commands logically implying that paedobaptism is wrong…

    “Make DISCIPLES of all nations, baptizing THEM”
    “REPENT and be baptized”
    Etc.

    Ray, are you sure you need to eat such a big slice of humble pie? Maybe a smaller sliver will satisfy your appetite.

  2. Thanks for your comment brother.

    But you would understand that baptism is a question that cannot be easily answered by explicit statements. It is a theological question -drawn by implications from what covenantal viewpoint we stand.

    I still believed that baptism is always connected with faith-that is why I am trying to understand our paedobaptist brothers where they are coming from-which is that they want to acknowledged His Lordship even with their children as His property too-and they need their protection and grace. And I would agree with this-for I always call to Him especially when my 4 children are toddlers. Though if I am in the position of teaching now (which I will never be in my present church) -I could convinced them this could be also done by simple dedication.

    In this world we do make logical deductions from the Word of God. But they are not infallible. But yes- disciples means disciples.

    2 Tim3: 15 And that from a babe thou hast known the sacred writings which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

    The Greek word for this suggest an age much early than we credo-baptist would think as age of accountability. Is 1 year old a big difference with 3-4 years old? And yes – it is only speaks of a potential of salvation not salvation itself.

    Anyway I am still of journey-and I am still for the new covenantal theology-which baptist have no knowledge of. I felt like a former SDA/WCG who was suddenly converted -and found that fellow evangelicals have no issue with those OT Laws-and the big deal I had gone through. No one to sympathize-no one to understand the heartaches of why we allow ourselves be burden by the Old Covenant in the past.

    But I would reiterate my regret now-I have more in common with Reformed brothers than with baptist christians-and the one I cherish is in the one we are in common.

    I am in journey brother-help me. You may send your email to my personal email address.

  3. The real problem lies in the continuity/discontinuity application. Children of believers are holy to the Lord-but it is a misuse to apply baptism to them. It is also wrong to call them covenant children. The New Covenant does not proceed along blood lines-but by the Spirit. The children of Abraham in this age are believers in faith in Jesus Christ-those justified in His Name. Clearly infants are not justified in their infancy. But since children are holy to the Lord-they must be broguht with proper ediucation that befits their “holy” status. They just cannot use baptism -and act as if they confer covenant status to children. That is a danger similar to waht baptist are doing to their children-i.e. neglect of Christian education and upbringing.

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