Being an amateur reformational credobaptistic theologian, I just want to list some of the things that trouble me about the practice of baptizing infants, also known as Paedo-Baptism.
I have a problem with Paedo-Baptism because . . .
- It knowingly and willingly brings unregenerate people into the church. While my Paedo brothers and sisters will say that Credo-Baptists do the same thing, we do it unknowingly and certainly unwillingly. The NT talks very strongly against those who would appear to be a believer and are in the church, but in actuality are of the world. If this practice of welcoming the unregenerate into the church were such a desired thing by God, I would expect to see something to that effect in the NT.
- It presumes upon God something that He has not promised. Paedo’s say they baptize their children because they expect God to save them as they say He has promised to do. This is, quite simply, a dangerous presumption to make and, no matter what Paedo’s say to the contrary, makes God out to be a liar when He does not save someone who has been baptized as an infant. I have such a hard time with the idea that God doesn’t fulfill all of His promises. I know Paedo’s will say that the promises are concerning the covenant community, but what does that mean? It makes the covenant community out to be a joke instead of the Bride of Christ.
- This false presumption leads to a false assumption, that the infants who are baptized do not need to be evangelized. Coming from a camp which champions total depravity, this assumption seems so out of place and strange. It is another example of how infant baptism affects so many other areas in problematic ways. My first mission field is my family, my children. Why would I ever assume they are saved and do not need to hear the gospel?
- The only explicit examples we have in Scripture of those being baptized are ones who have first expressed repentance and faith. This one requires no other commentary as it clearly speaks for itself.
- The only command in Scripture we have telling us who to baptize says it is to be those who have first become disciples, which requires repentance and faith prior to the ordinance of baptism.
- The new covenant as described in Jeremiah 31 includes only those who know God, and have had His law written upon their hearts. An unregenerate infant simply does not fit this description.
- While Paedo Baptists say that those baptized as infants possess all the rights and privileges that accompany membership into the church, they deny infants and young children access to the Lord’s Table, when there is no command in Scripture to deny the Table to any member of the new covenant who is in good standing. If Peado’s presume the baptized infant to be regenerated and saved (based upon God’s promise) then why can’t they presume the baptized infant can examine themselves prior to coming to the table?
- It goes contrary to the Regulative Principle.
- On this issue, it comes to its conclusions by running the new covenant practice of baptism through the OT practice of circumcision, reversing the truth that the OT is in the NT revealed (the NT interprets the OT).
- It gives the person baptized a false sense of security, especially when the parents consider and treat the prematurely baptized person as though they were a believer, when in fact they very well may not be.
- Paedo Baptism inserts commands and meanings about baptism into OT texts concerning circumcision that just aren’t there.
- When taken to its logical conclusion, Paedo-Baptism is really a covenant of works system and not a covenant of grace. This is evident in that the baptized infant is presumed to be saved and part of the new covenant until such time as they prove themselves to be a covenant keeper or a covenant breaker. This is quite problematic because the new covenant cannot be broken.
- It flattens the new covenant into something that is virtually indistinguishable from the old covenant. While Scripture calls it new and better, Paedo Baptism calls it identical, except that it’s scope is wider. From Scripture, baptism is NOT identical to circumcision, as seen by who is baptized in Scripture and who is circumcised in Scripture.
While there may be more reasons I could list for why I have a problem with Paedo-Baptism, I will conclude this post with the one that I believe is the most convincing, and provides the most serious blow to the doctrine of baptizing unregenerate infants into the church. Here it is . . .
- THERE IS NO WAY A NEW BELIEVER, COMING TO THE ISSUE OF BAPTISM FOR THE FIRST TIME AND WITH NO OUTSIDE INFLUENCES, WILL EVER CONCLUDE THAT INFANT BAPTISM IS A PRACTICE THAT CAN BE SUPPORTED FROM SCRIPTURE, OR IS COMMANDED BY GOD. SIMPLY PUT, THERE IS NO WAY ONE READS THE BIBLE ALONE AND COMES AWAY AS A PAEDO-BAPTIST, BECAUSE IT IS JUST NOT THERE.
One God in three Persons, the Deity of Christ, The Lord’s Supper, Monergism, Total Depravity, Regeneration before Faith, and Credo-Baptism…all of these are easily seen in Scripture. Paedo-Baptism is a figment of the imagination (well, it is non-existent in Scripture, anyway).
My journey from Arminianism over to Reformational Theology and the doctrines of grace was a rather easy process (what I mean by that is it was easy to see from Scripture alone). Once I began to study the topic of God’s sovereignty for myself and let the word of God speak for itself, it was impossible to ignore that TULIP was the truth. However, NO WHERE in my journey did I ever come across or notice anything even close to anything resembling the practice, theology or necessity of baptizing infants. Why is that? Why, in my hunger to learn as much as I could about this new and incredible truth of who God is and how He works in the salvation of His elect, did I NEVER see Paedo-Baptism anywhere in Scripture? The answer is, because it is not there.HT: Voice of the Sheep