"Do you consider your children to be Christians?"

Discussion in 'General discussions' started by Pergamum, Jan 19, 2018.

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  1. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    Here is a sample conversation:

    Person: "People should not be forced into any faith. We should not coerce anyone into our own belief system."

    Me: "What about my own children, I raise them up from young to become Christians and teach them all other faiths are wrong."

    Person: "Do you consider your children to be Christians?"

    How do I answer as a baptist? I replied, "I believe they may have the seed of faith from very young." After all, they are raised in a Christian home. So what are they?

    What do baptists call their children?
  2. Doulos McKenzie

    Doulos McKenzie Puritan Board Freshman

    Consistently, you would have to call them unregenerate heathen... :chained:
  3. lynnie

    lynnie Puritan Board Senior

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  4. KMK

    KMK Moderator Staff Member

    Define 'Christian'.
  5. Jeff Low

    Jeff Low Puritan Board Freshman

    “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.”
    ‭‭Acts‬ ‭2:38-39‬ ‭

    “Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.”
    ‭‭Acts‬ ‭16:30b-31‬

    From my understanding, this properly pertains to our understanding of the covenant. In the Old Testament, the children of covenant parents are to be circumcised and seen as part of the covenant family and community.

    In the same strand, supported by the above passages, our children ought to be seen as organic members of the covenant family and community, also known as Christians.
  6. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritan Board Doctor

    Disciples are to be considered, Christians.
    Discipleship is never equated, in the absolute sense, with regeneration and conversion.
  7. AnnaBanana

    AnnaBanana Puritan Board Freshman

    Oh gosh, I'm chiming in here.

    Can a child really be considered a Christian until he/she confesses with their own mouth that the Lord Jesus Christ is their Savior? Because, I remember around the age of six my parents had me baptized and I'm just being honest here, I didn't really know what was going on. I knew it had to do with God, but it wasn't until I found Him on my own that I now understand my relationship with Him. I appreciate Him, I desire to please Him and long to be with Him. But, I cannot say that I felt the same way when I was younger.

    This kind of reminds me of a post that was recently posted about a new baby being born (Ryan&Amber) and the thread topic was something along the lines of a new worshiper of God. How do we know, for sure, that our children will be a worshiper of the Lord? Do you just assume and pray that they will because they will be brought up in that environment of knowing the Lord?

    I do understand that children can talk and speak for themselves when they are around the age of...four, five? And truly may confess to know the Lord. BUT, Can that just be because of the environment that they've been around? I don't know, I guess I'm rambling on about my own experience.

    Sorry for hijacking your thread!
  8. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Professor

    Yes, once they have received Jesus through faith and now have the Holy Spirit and Eternal Life.
  9. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Professor

    Our children, who still needs to get saved and become Christian due to the grace of God operating in their lives, just as we did as their parents.
  10. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Professor

    Christians are only those who have received the Lord Jesus as their Savior, and now have the Holy Spirit indwelling them.
  11. Parakaleo

    Parakaleo Puritan Board Sophomore

    My children are Christians in that they are baptized and have an outward connection to Christ and are counted among the people of God. However, they are warned nearly every day that if they do not have faith and do not believe the gospel that is preached to them, they are not true children of promise but are instead the children of bondage. We admonish them each day, saying, "Do you believe? Has God shown you grace? Where is your grace for your brother/sister?"
  12. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Professor

    Christians have to be indwelt though by the Holy Spirit, and to have eternal life in Christ Jesus.
  13. Ryan&Amber2013

    Ryan&Amber2013 Puritan Board Junior

    So, we lost our first child through a miscarriage. According to this logic you would have to say our child is under the judgment of God at this very moment. Through our understanding of the Scriptures, we think optimistically that our little one is safe in the Lord's love, worshipping Him, and we can agree with David and say "I know I will go to where our little one is."

    Do all infants who die go to a place of damnation for lack of profession and understanding? Surely not. Thankfully it is the work of God which saves apart from anything we can do.

    A Biblical understanding of covenant theology, in my opinion, will give us a more optimistic view of our children.

    Grace and peace.
  14. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritan Board Doctor

    I notice you are PCA; Do u understand that what you have written is a credo Baptist principle?

    We do look for outward confession as the child grows...for the supper and communication to the local church.

    In Reformed circles, discipleship is synonymous with being a Christian. My daughter has been discipled since she was a babe; she is a Christian-possibly externally, but none the less. The church is made up of true believers and false; all have made a confession and have been baptized. So, to answer your question, yes, they can and are. Consider the Gen 17 and the Abrahamic covenant. All infants had the sign placed and were considered the 'people of God'. No covenant is abrogated.
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2018
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  15. GlorytoGod

    GlorytoGod Puritan Board Freshman

    I agree with you and also AnnaBanana. I am a life long Southern Baptist and walked the isle and was Baptized and “thought I was a Christian” as a late teen. I confessed my sins and that I believed that Jesus was my Lord and Savior and I was trying to be a good “moral” individual. I realized later after my real confession, repentance and conversion in my 20s that, as a teen, I was only just responding to the intense peer pressure of being one of the only young people left in the pew during the last night of a great revival week event with emotions and guilt running super high after what seemed like the twentieth stanza of just as I am. However, was I really regenerated as a result of being indwelt with the Holy Spirit. I don’t believe I was. Contrast that with my mid twenties real conversion when knew I was a Christian because I was a completely new creation in every way and hungered for God and his word and wanted to serve him with every ounce of my being. I believed the Holy Spirit was in my life giving me direction, guidance and discernment. I have 5 children and they are almost all full grown adults now (one is still a late teen) but each one has been raised in the church and witnessed their parents intense love of God and frequent praying and serving, teaching etc. They realize what is expected of them living in a Christian household so they all made confessions of faith earlier in their lives and were baptized and are very good moral-behaving kids and most of them teach and serve in the church. Do I believe they are all Christians. I do not but it is not something I can change and their salvation is not some conscious decision I can persuasively talk them into or something they have as a result of me being a Christian. Their salvation is only in the hands of our sovereign Lord. I can observe them and make an educated guess about their salvation based on my “fruit inspection” but I really do not know. I can only pray and hope they they are chosen and given the spirit but that is all. Sorry for the long post.
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2018
  16. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Professor

    The Lord can freely decide to place infants under the saving Grace of the Cross, but would see the normal process as being receiving Jesus through faith in Him and His work upon the Cross.
    I do see all aborted babies and those who die as babies as being covered by the Cross of Christ.
  17. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Professor

    The NC includes as members only those in Christ now, and that would be when they received Jesus through faith, and was baptized by the Spirit into Christ and the one true Church.
  18. Gforce9

    Gforce9 Puritan Board Junior

    There is an old thread wherein @Joshua was searching online for a pair of Regeneration Goggles and couldn't find them.....this thread indicates that maybe this needs to be revisited......
  19. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Professor

    the defining mark and evidence of being now included in the NC was the Holy Spirit now residing in you as per the scriptures.
  20. Gforce9

    Gforce9 Puritan Board Junior

    Rev. Law and Scott have given ample reason to think otherwise....
  21. Cymro

    Cymro Puritan Board Junior

    Ah David, your repeated insistence of applying your experience as an adult onto a child is unbalanced. You are denying that the work of the Spirit is limited to adult responses, and not to children. How could you as an adult in the days of Zachariah and Elizabeth disqualify John the Baptist on the grounds of your interpretation “Christians have to be indwelt by the Holy Spirit,”when we are told otherwise in scripture? Luke1:41, “Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.” (V67) “Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost,” and baby John, a foetus in the womb (v15) “he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb.” So he was indwelt before he was born! Having the same experience as the adults!
    Children of believers are members of the visible church and of the covenant community before baptism. And when baptised thereafter, are to be reminded of the sign and seal of the promise placed upon them and urged to exercise faith in the Christ of the promise.
  22. Cymro

    Cymro Puritan Board Junior

    Anna, the sign and seal of the promise placed upon you as a child remained with you, for the promise does not deteriorate in the passage of time or is removed. The work of the Spirit is secret and indiscernible in a young life generally, but the seed grew and bore fruit in the blessed conversion you experienced.
  23. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Professor

    All of those that you mentioned though fulfilled being indwelt by the Holy Spirit, so they would have met that requirement of having the Holy Spirit within them residing now.
  24. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Professor

    One has to be born again, per Jesus Himself, in order to be into his Kingdom, as the natural person is still lost in Adam and the Kingdom of Satan.
  25. Parakaleo

    Parakaleo Puritan Board Sophomore

    We must have language that can be used to distinguish between those who are outwardly and visibly part of the church (whom we hope are converted) and those who are elect and spiritually united to Christ (who really are converted). Without such language, how does a minister exhort those who are merely "called Jacob" to repent of their hypocrisy and be reconciled to God?

    What do you call someone who calls Christ, "Lord" and does mighty works in his name? A Christian, I would hope. Yet, there will be many like this who will be told to depart from Christ on the last day.
  26. Gforce9

    Gforce9 Puritan Board Junior

    @Dachaser : I was going to respond, but Rev. Law has stated the issue so much better than I........
  27. GlorytoGod

    GlorytoGod Puritan Board Freshman

  28. GlorytoGod

    GlorytoGod Puritan Board Freshman

    I certainly Believe children as well as adults can be Christians. Regardless of age I think the requirement would be an indwelt Holy Spirit in order to be a true Christian.
  29. Ryan&Amber2013

    Ryan&Amber2013 Puritan Board Junior

    Here are the two definitions of Christian:

    Relating to or professing Christianity or its teachings.

    A person who has received Christian baptism or is a believer in Jesus Christ and his teachings.
  30. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    Some context:

    In the country where I serve and in other countries every citizen must have an identity card. And on that card a religion must be written. For children of Christian parents "Christian" is written.

    I believe this leads to "Identity Card Christianity" without personal conversion.
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