10 Best Baptist Arguments Against Infant Baptism and Covenan

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C. Matthew McMahon

Christian Preacher
Dear Baptist Brethren,

I have a friend at chruch who is not an Internet junky. He is not on the board. He is working through some issues and asked me to post this to get a response he can think through. I will print it out after a week or so for him.
__________________________
Request:
Could all those who consider themselves as Reformed Baptists, or similar, please post, in brief, (like one sentence or two) your ten best arguments against Infant Baptism.

In other words, if you were going to help convert John Owen into a Baptist, what are your ten best arguments to win him over?
_____________________________

He really wants something that interacts with Infant Baptism, or disgareements with Covenatn Theology. And would like Scriptural arguments as well as philosophical.

This may be a tall order, but your help is appreciated.

Thanks Guys!

PS - this is not, in any way, intended to stir up a debate - so all Paedos are not allowed to respond to anything posted in this thread.
--the management
 

pastorway

Puritan Board Senior
That's a TALL order....being brief!!!:tongue:

I would suggest that he order and listen to the baptism debate between MacArthur and Sproul. (3 CDs)

Here is my list, not in any particular order:

1. Infant Baptism in not in the Scriptures.

2. Those in the Bible who we see being baptized are all baptized after hearing and publicly professing belief in the gospel.

3. Baptism is never referred to as a replacement sign for circumcision. In fact, the two are never compared at all in the Scriptures. (If baptism replaced circumcision, why did the Council at Jerusalem fail to tell the Gentiles that they did not need to circumcize BECAUSE circumcision was now replaced by baptism?)

4. The New Covenant is comprised of the elect only. (Jer 31:31-34; 1 John 2:20; Hebrews 8) Why would we give the covenant sign to one who is not in the covenant? We are not in the New Covenant until we are saved.

5. Infant Baptism, and Full Covenant Theology, denies the doctrine of Unconditional Election. God does not elect you based on who your parents are and what they believe.

6. Infant Baptism denies Limited Atonement, too. The New Covenant is a Covenant in Christ's blood. For whom did He die and shed His blood? The elect. To say one who is not elect and not atoned for is in the covenant of His blood means Jesus died for all men and those excluded are excluded by their choice or by their failure to "take advantage" of the atonement, potentially made for them.

7. Infant Baptism denies the regenerate nature of the church by purposefully including some non-elect in the membership of the church. One is a sheep or a goat. Goats are not members of the herd! (1 John 2:19; Matthew 7:21-23)

8. Baptism is a public profession of personal faith in Christ, signifying the reality of being born again. Can an infant profess faith?

9. If God promises that the children of believers are in covenant with Him, why then are there some children of believers who are never saved?

10. As Jesus is the only Mediator between God and men, what is His role as Mediator in the New Covenant? Part of that role as mediator is that He intercedes for Covenant Members. Jesus does not pray for the world, but only for the elect. (John 17:9).

These are 10....off the top of my head.....I may think of more and revise the list later.

I am sure others will have more to add.
Phillip



[Edited on 6-21-2003 by pastorway]
 

Harrie

Puritan Board Freshman
10 wonderings

I've read "Children of Promise" of Booth and I must say that is it quite convincing.

However, I still wonder

1. why females didn't get a covenant sign in the Old Covenant and they did get it in the New Covenant.

2. Why the argument for infant baptism does not lead to the conclusion of infant communion.

3. Why did Paul had to rebaptize two people? Is true understanding of the covenant sign that important? If a baby does think of baptism that it is just something wet on his head, than he didn't understand why he was baptized so Paul would have baptised him again.

4. If sprinkling is the right mode.

5. If the baptism of a child who's parents weren't real believers is valid according to CT. (i was baptized as a child, but i wonder if my father is a true believer)

6,7,8 (i had written something here, but i removed because it wasn't really serious, and it wasn't funny at all, forgive me)

9. Why Paul relates circumsizion to keeping the law (Gal 5:3), if it was a sign of rightniousness by faith(not by works).

10. If there is other good literature on this subject.

[Edited on 6-21-2003 by Harrie]

[Edited on 6-23-2003 by Harrie]
 

BroBret

Inactive User
Mine will be similar to Phillip's:

1. Following covenant Theology thought, circumcision and for males only would still be going on because there is nothing in God's word changing it to baptism.
2. No evidence of Infant Baptism in the word of God.
3. Only believers are baptized in the N.C.
4. Household Baptism do not mention that infants were baptized.
5. Household Baptisms also show that the Household believed. Can infants believe?
6. No where in the New Covenant, not even one place, even as the church was getting older, is the question asked if a new believer had already been baptized as an infant.
7. Nothing said about infant baptism at the Jerusalem Council which was a perfect opportunity when dealing with the circumcision issue. James could have said something like: "why are you guys making a big deal about circumcision anyway, you are supposed to be baptizing infants," but he didn't ;)
8. According to 1Cor. 7:14 children are sanctified by a believing parent without the need of infant baptism.
9. Water Baptism is identifying with the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. Infants cannot do that.
10. Infant Baptism doesn't make sense in light of sovereign election. We cannot know if a child of believing parent(s) is one of the elect.

Thank you for the opportunity to share :thumbup: Brother Bret
 

Fernando

Puritan Board Freshman
What they said...

pastorway and BroBret have stolen my thunder, but I'll add an 11th:

The writings of the first 150 years of the church (Didache, Shepherd of Hermas, Justin Martyr) describe believer's baptism without any mention of infant baptism. It's not just a question of an argument from silence; they discuss and describe who and how in such a way that believers are the subjects of baptism.
 

cupotea

Puritan Board Junior
THANKS PASTORWAY

I know a pastor that is Baptist but still believes that baptism replaces circumcision. I like your statement that if baptism replaces circumcision why didn't the council at Jerusalem say so.:bouncy:
 

BroBret

Inactive User
Hey Matthew: Maybe you can share that with the Abbotts if they are still not resolved on the issue :eek: :lol: :tongue:

Brother Bret
 

grace2U

Puritan Board Freshman
Just one other point to add:-
If whole households were baptized on the faith of the 'Pater familias', what about unbelieving or devout pagan wives? Were they baptized by force if they were unwilling? [don't mock! Charlemagne did just that in the 9th Century and Moslems are circumcising by force in Indonesia and elsewhere today]. What about older children (say, 10-16 years old)? Did they have to believe before they were baptized? Surely not; if infants were included then there can be no objection to baptizing everyone.
Blessings,
Steve
 

cupotea

Puritan Board Junior
What does baptism have to do with the promise?

I have noticed that in Galatians 3:29 to be heir to the promise you have to be Christ's. So what good is infant baptism if the promise is to those of faith? That seems to be Paul's point in Galatians. The promise is not to those who do anything, but it is to those who believe.
What do you think, Pastorway?:duh::grin:
 

Fernando

Puritan Board Freshman
baptism and circumcision

Picking up on pastorway's point #3:

If baptism has replaced circumcision, then Galatians would have been written differently. Paul would have told them flat out that circumcision was unnecessary because it had been replaced with baptism. End of letter, end of discussion. That's the way a Covenant paedobaptist would have argued, but Paul doesn't.
 

Monergism

Puritan Board Freshman
If limited atonement, then regenerate New Covenant membership.

In the Old Covenant, the high priest makes an offering for all the people of the covenant (Heb 9:7). The same is true for Christ's offering for the people of the Covenant of Grace. And so, Christ, as high priest of the New Covenant, does the same thing, making an offering for all the people of the New Covenant (Heb. 2:17; 13:12). Christ's offering is himself (Heb. 9:26; 10:10), it is a fully propitiatory, substitutionary atonement (Heb 2:17), and it perfects those for whom it is offered (Heb. 10:14-18). The members of the New Covenant, then, have been atoned for by the once for all offering of Jesus Christ, and hence, are all regenerate.
 

Ranger

Puritan Board Freshman
I've heard some Reformed Baptists argue that there is a connection between baptism and circumcision based on Colossians 2:11-12, but that in the Old Covenant, membership was based primarily on birth, and therefore circumcision followed those standards. In the New Covenant, membership is based on new birth, and therefore circumcision under the New Covenant comes in the form of believer's baptism.

Although that does make a certain amount of sense, I'm more inclined to believe what Pastor Way has stated though.
 

PuritanCovenanter

The Joyful Curmudgeon
Staff member
I will Have something. I haven't had any time on the internet this weekend. I am short on it today. Give me a few days.

Randy

P.S. I believe Christ has always been a High Priest. He didn't execute His office on our behalf until the fullness of time.

[Edited on 1-9-2005 by puritancovenanter]
 

Scott Bushey

Puritanboard Commissioner
Originally posted by Monergism
Originally posted by webmaster
If limited atonement, then regenerate New Covenant membership.

If limited atonement, then regenerate Old Covenant membership as well.

Christ wasn't hight priest of the Old Covenant.

Christs atonement crosses time as does His priesthood.

Compare the Greek in Hebrews 1:8 and Heb 6:20:

1:8 'Forever and ever'
6:20 'forever'

[Edited on 1-9-2005 by Scott Bushey]
 

pastorway

Puritan Board Senior
It is the New Covenant in His blood. His blood was not shed for the non-elect, hence the non-elect can in no way be members of the New Covenant in His blood.

Further, one could be a member of the Old Covenant and not be redeemed because the sacrifices of the Old Covenant were insufficient for the final atonment of sins. That is why the New Covenant is a better covenant with better promises and a better Mediator.

Phillip
 

PuritanCovenanter

The Joyful Curmudgeon
Staff member
I have been reinstalling my computer. In the meantime I have been thinking about the task at hand. If Iwas asked to defend my position to John Owen, I would not be able to do that at the level of competence that would be needed. I would have to defer to someone else. I don't know why he believed it except for the history and theology of the time. So I would refer to someone who understood his position. I think Mike Renihan did his doctorate on this topic.

Dr. Renihan has a book Titled Antipaedobaptism in the Thought of John Tombes/An Untold Story from Puritan England. I believe it would be a good help. I am going to read it this week.

I will give my few reasons why I believe in Credo baptism in a few days. My arguments may hold water and they may not. I have found myself re-examining a lot of what I believe recently. I am finding out I have forgotten so much because I didn't stay up on things and I didn't have anyone to interact with concerning what I have read. I love the Puritan Board. Thanks Matt, Scott, Fred and Pastor Way for all of your time. Yours to Paul and everyone else who participates.

I would apprediate it if this didn't turn into a thread the Paedo's argue so that I can see ten reasons without the debate. I still have not been convinced as the Paedo's are not convinced. I still want to respond to the other thread I was involved in and will. I truly don't like aguing this topic because so many people lose their heads and become condemning.

Please let the Baptist's respond. Thanks Randy



[Edited on 1-10-2005 by puritancovenanter]
 

JohnV

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Originally posted by joshua
Originally posted by webmaster
Dear Baptist Brethren...

- so all Paedos are not allowed to respond to anything posted in this thread.
--the management

Reiteration. :judge:

I was going to say, but I couldn't, so I didn't; but I wanted to. Now I have to kick myself out.

BTW, is there a statute of limitations on things like this?
OK, OK, I'm outta here too.
 

Monergism

Puritan Board Freshman
Originally posted by Paul manata
"If limited atonement, then regenerate New Covenant membership"

If that then atoned for people in hell.

I'll respond to this on the other thread later this week.
 

PuritanCovenanter

The Joyful Curmudgeon
Staff member
Originally posted by pastorway
It is the New Covenant in His blood. His blood was not shed for the non-elect, hence the non-elect can in no way be members of the New Covenant in His blood.

Further, one could be a member of the Old Covenant and not be redeemed because the sacrifices of the Old Covenant were insufficient for the final atonment of sins. That is why the New Covenant is a better covenant with better promises and a better Mediator.

Phillip

Circumcision preceeded the Covenant at Sinai. Genisis 17 So it wasn't necessarily linked to the sacrifices.

Circumcision was linked to promises evangelical, civil, familial. It doesn't necessarily have the same application for each individual. I believe Baptism is only evangelical .

[Edited on 1-10-2005 by puritancovenanter]
 

PuritanCovenanter

The Joyful Curmudgeon
Staff member
Sounds like we Baptist have a lot to work out. I just noticed that the original date to this thread goes back a ways. I would appreciate it if it could remain a Baptist only thread even though the forum is for debate. I think the Baptist need to figure out what they believe and Why they believe it.

Randy
 

VanVos

Puritan Board Sophomore
Also I think it should be added that from a Baptist perspective the New Covenant is inviolable therefore all it members can only recieve the promises of the covenant, the are no new covenant breakers. Hebrews 8:7-10, Heb 10:14-17. The is no category of some members receiving wrath.

VanVos

[Edited on 11-1-2005 by VanVos]
 
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