Has Your Understanding of Baptism Changed?

Discussion in 'Baptism' started by Tom Hart, Sep 11, 2019.

  1. No change

    11 vote(s)
    17.7%
  2. Paedo-baptism to credo-baptism

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. Credo-baptism to paedo-baptism

    35 vote(s)
    56.5%
  4. Wrestled with credo-baptism, but settled on paedo-baptism

    3 vote(s)
    4.8%
  5. Wrestled with paedo-baptism, but settled on credo-baptism

    7 vote(s)
    11.3%
  6. Currently paedo-baptist struggling with credo-baptism.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  7. Currently credo-baptist struggling with paedo-baptism.

    4 vote(s)
    6.5%
  8. Other

    2 vote(s)
    3.2%
  1. Johnathan Lee Allen

    Johnathan Lee Allen Puritan Board Freshman

    These things exactly! For both my wife and I. We wrestled since about March of 2018 (though I was wrestling with ecclesiology a little before this) and fought like mad to keep my Baptist convictions. I was reading and listening to a lot 1689 Federalism resources but found myself with more questions than answers. I finally made the full jump to accepting covenant baptism nearly a year ago. My wife followed a little after in January-ish of this year. We got our four kiddos baptized and are absolutely loving it. Coming inline with Covenant theology as the Bible faithfully teaches has touched every aspect of our lives.

    A big thank you to a lot of people here who helped us out with accepting these changes and about changing churches due to these convictions.
     
  2. RPEphesian

    RPEphesian Puritan Board Sophomore

    I started life out as credobaptist. Not reformed though. When I became more reformed beginning in 2010 I retained the credobaptist conviction.

    There are many facets to how I came to the position because I was a strongly-convinced credobaptist. With the baptism passages not saying a thing about infants, and Hebrews 8, CB seemed to have a rock-solid case. Plain on the face of Scripture. Whenever I listened to credobaptist materials they were to me unassailable.

    I wasn't honest in my studies though. I did make some previous "investigations" into the other side which basically meant listening to one sermon that was pro-paedo, or maybe opening John Murray's book for five minutes, feeling my head spin, and then resorting back to Spurgeon because that was easier to comprehend. When people who understood it better than me tried to talk with me about it I tended to shut them down in some polite manner or another. In some part too I really did just find it confusing because it treats so many big issues at once. Though in later reflections I felt in conscience I wasn't being honest and was making excuses to shelf it and not study it.

    I had reasons to stay credobaptist too. I had been RB for a while, I was a deacon at an RB church, and I couldn't stand the thought of leaving them since they were small. Also in my initial Reformed years (but only initially) I thought paedobaptism to be detestable and distortive of the Gospel. I could not possibly imagine getting any comfort whatsoever from a covenant where Christ somehow intercedes or mediates for the unconverted and then the mediation isn't effective. I still remember sitting in church thinking how angry I was at the whole idea.

    I started coming to my senses a little, realizing I wasn't honest, and one day I just prayed, "Lord, I have no idea what to make of this issue. Show me what's right, and I will follow you wherever the Scriptures lead me."

    We were getting ready to move from Texas to MI (which also meant away from our RB church). One morning I was reading Romans 11. I just decided for curiosity sake to see what it is that paedobaptists see in the text that supports their view, not really intent on engaging the subject matter closely.

    I was floored. Right in front of me was the New Covenant visible/invisible distinction I had been denying. Christ the Mediator, the root of both Israel AND the New Covenant church. I could not deny it.

    Seeing as we were in the midst of moving we decided together that we would study the issue. Lydia was having questions because many of the things she was reading in the Bible simply were not fitting with her theological framework. So we committed over the time to come that we would dig into the issue and decide whether we had been wrong.

    I was fully determined from the outset that if I was going to believe this doctrine, it would be because I really did see it in the Scriptures, as the CBs I have known made a big splash that PBs do not get their doctrine from Scripture, or interpret everything in such a loosy-goosy fashion that no honest or impartial student of the Word would ever do. So the Scriptures would be the sole and primary authority. We did read materials on both sides (I've probably read more from Baptists than Paedobaptists in the time before settling). We prayed a lot over it. I did attempt to involve my elders (keep in mind we were now 900 miles away) and at least did read the materials they asked me to read, and I've tried to have one of my good long-term friends involved who is a convinced CB. I got on here and hashed out a debate or two just to see how well the PB arguments hold up even though I had not yet decided.

    So, being fully convinced from the Scriptures themselves, we both committed to the Household Baptist position.

    There was no urgency to be in line with Reformed doctrine. There was no sentimentality or unsanctified parental emotions. I dreaded taking this position for fear that it would ultimately harm the spiritual walk of my children, perhaps even lead them to hardened presumption, so let it be clear that there was no determination that we were going to believe this position whatever it takes. We believe it on the basis of Scripture.

    And Scripture alone.
     
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  3. RJ Spencer

    RJ Spencer Puritan Board Freshman

    I have a similar timeline, it was April when I came to fully accept the paedo position. The continuation of the covenants and the Philippian jailer story convinced me of the Presbyterian view. Read the end of that story in the ESV, the wording is very interesting. Acts 16:34.
     
  4. StephenMartyr

    StephenMartyr Puritan Board Freshman

    It's changing at the moment, slowly from credo to paedo. I'd still like to learn more.

    The first things that started to get me thinking? Looking into Presbyterianism for the first thing. From that to hearing Sproul, reading here and books. Not necessarily in that order. It's been a good year or so looking at this doctrine.

    No, it hasn't remained the same. I'm currently struggling with the difference between paedo and oiko baptism. They seem similar? The thing that tipped me over to the paedo position was a paper by Ryle, the one on baptism in his book Knots Untied. Read through that on my lunch times at work for a bit. Then read the commentary on the Philippian jailor by Matthew Henry (a tiny portion) and just other material in general.

    [/QUOTE]

    I voted for the " Currently credo-baptist struggling with paedo-baptism." position because I haven't seen myself land 100% in the paedo position. By that I mean I'm not able to explain it or defend the position to someone. I'm tipped towards it. Still in the learning phase! :think:

    I'm up to talk via conversation to someone who can go point 1, 2, 3 and on with me.
     
  5. Johnathan Lee Allen

    Johnathan Lee Allen Puritan Board Freshman

    @StephenMartyr
    "No, it hasn't remained the same. I'm currently struggling with the difference between paedo and oiko baptism. They seem similar?"

    Oiko, paedo, household, covenant baptism are typically all the same. Some of the choice in language can have to do with selecting terms that have less unwarranted, negative connotations amongst certain brothers and sisters. The views on baptism among sisters and brothers, such as myself, who hold to the Reformed/Presbyterian view on baptism might vary on how old a "cutoff" age might be. However, these are not great subjects of disagreement and often come down to the preference or conviction of individual sessions.
     
  6. RPEphesian

    RPEphesian Puritan Board Sophomore

    To me it's just that. I find paedobaptist to be an unhelpful term. Doesn't get down so well the principle. "Household" does, or at least better. I think the term paedobaptist likely exists because Baptists exclude a demographic we don't, thus infants and small children are at the center of the contention.
     
  7. Johnathan Lee Allen

    Johnathan Lee Allen Puritan Board Freshman

    Well stated, brother. Thank you.
     
  8. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Doctor

    Since becoming Reformed in my understanding of the scriptures, have seen more sure believer's baptism is, but also much more aware why some still infant baptize!
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2019
  9. Herald

    Herald Administrator Staff Member

    When I joined this board (August 2005) I was a Baptist who was struggling with credobaptism. I thought that by joining the Puritan Board it would be the final domino to fall before accepting paedobaptism. Instead of accepting paedobaptism, my Baptist distinctives strengthened. I read more. I discussed more. I prayed more. Even though I wanted the cover to cross over it did not happen. The best laid plans of mice and men...
     
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  10. StephenMartyr

    StephenMartyr Puritan Board Freshman

    At church today (CANRC) they had everything in one service: a profession of faith, then his three kids got baptised and it was the Lord's Supper! It was crazy! :) But the Table was closed so I couldn't partake. That's okay. That's how they do it.

    Interested how they did baptism.
     
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  11. Bill The Baptist

    Bill The Baptist Puritan Board Graduate

    Actually I know quite a few people who switched from paedo to credo, but most would never remain on this board after making such a switch. Not sure what that says about this board :scratch:
     
  12. Johnathan Lee Allen

    Johnathan Lee Allen Puritan Board Freshman

    That's a beautiful picture right there! Praise God!
     
  13. De Jager

    De Jager Puritan Board Freshman

    So happy for you. It is beautiful to see while families brought into the church. Regardless of our view of baptism, we can agree on that.
     
  14. timfost

    timfost Puritan Board Junior

    I'd love to see every Baptist on this board switch to the Presbyterian view, except I'm torn with you, since your username would then be a 9th commandment violation. Even if the mods could change your username, "Bill the Paedo" or "Bill the Presbyterian" just doesn't have the same ring. "William the Wesleyan" sounds better, but then you'd have to leave the board, which would be sad. ;)

    As always, I enjoy our conversations and am glad that Baptists are part of the board. Someday in glory we'll all agree and the correct party won't even say "I told you so."
     
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  15. Reformed Covenanter

    Reformed Covenanter Puritan Board Doctor

    I think we could get around that problem by inserting a footnote: "Bill is now a Baptist in the proper sense." :stirpot:
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2019
  16. timfost

    timfost Puritan Board Junior

    Yes, like John. :)
     
  17. StephenMartyr

    StephenMartyr Puritan Board Freshman

    Preston the Presbyterian? :banana:
     
  18. Stephen L Smith

    Stephen L Smith Moderator Staff Member

    :stirpot:
     
  19. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    I have gone through 3 protracted bouts of studying through Paedobaptism, once in seminary, once about 10 years ago, and once about last year. Sorry guys. Lane and Pastor Bruce almost had me there. But not quite. I'm probably such a disappointment. But at least now I know that you are all not just halfway Catholics who want to hold on to baby sprinkling, but that the reasoning makes sense. In Indonesia we work with many reformed folks.
     
  20. RPEphesian

    RPEphesian Puritan Board Sophomore

    Thank you much for these words.

    I've not given up. Long as you stick around and we can induce a fourth :)
     
  21. Herald

    Herald Administrator Staff Member

    Harley, funny. I was thinking the same about you. LOL
     
  22. RPEphesian

    RPEphesian Puritan Board Sophomore

    Fair enough, give it your best!

    In all seriousness I find the discussions to be edifying. Nothing like hammering out the Word of God with zeal so long as done in love. I keep telling myself I'm gonna pull back a little... never do. Though I seriously need to give my mind to topics much more immediately necessary.
     
  23. De Jager

    De Jager Puritan Board Freshman

    Bill The (Oiko) Baptist
     
  24. Herald

    Herald Administrator Staff Member

    Brother, actually the fire-in-the-belly to debate baptism has gone out. For me, the issue was the nature and scope of the New Covenant. Once that issue was resolved my baptism position was settled. I don't want to make it seem like it was an easy decision. I wrestled with it for years. I still profit from reading new treatments on the subject but I'm debated out.
     
  25. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Doctor

    I came to the same position on this issue when persuaded by scripture that the real entry into the NC was having faith in Jesus, being then indwelt/sealed by the Spirit, and that baptism was outward sign of that inward work of God!
     
  26. De Jager

    De Jager Puritan Board Freshman

    Funny thing is, it is upon understanding the NC that really helped me gain confidence in the reformed position. I think some of the underlying assumptions that RBs hold with regards to the NC can be wrong: the main one being that Jeremiah 31 teaches that the NC is purely an internal thing and that there no longer is an outward administration of the covenant. Even more specifically the phrase "they will all know me from the least to the greatest" seems to be a hinge on which the debate turns. When I understood that phrase in the context of the rest of the book of Jeremiah, it was made plain that this phrase indicates a pervasiveness, but not an exhaustiveness. For example in Jeremiah 6, the prophet speaks of everyone dealing falsely and being greedy, from the least to the greatest. This could not possibly mean all the covenant people exhaustively 1) because that would include Jeremiah and that's not the point and 2) God has always had a remnant. Therefore, it is best to interpret this as a pervasive wickedness which has infected the people of God, in all ranks and files of life - from the prophet down to the priest. That is just one example of the usage of that phrase. Jeremiah 31 is no different. See the following extremely helpful links.

    https://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=312152013124
    https://heidelblog.net/2012/11/baptism-the-doctrine-that-caused-tears-1/
    https://heidelblog.net/2012/11/baptism-the-doctrine-that-caused-tears-2/
    https://heidelblog.net/2012/11/baptism-the-doctrine-that-caused-tears-3/
     
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  27. Jeri Tanner

    Jeri Tanner Moderator Staff Member

    Somewhere on the PB is a thread in which the quoted passage in Hebrews is showed to be in the context of the end of the ceremonial priesthood, and the inauguration of the priesthood of believers (if I'm saying that right). It fits.
     
  28. Jeri Tanner

    Jeri Tanner Moderator Staff Member

  29. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Doctor

    To he NC is the fulfillment of the Jeremiah 31prophecy, and as such, was at the time of Jesus, when Messiah came and died and rose again.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2019
  30. Reformed Bookworm

    Reformed Bookworm Puritan Board Junior

    Brother, do you remember the discussion on the other thread about the prospect of you slowing down to edit your posts for mistakes and to ensure clarity? The very subject matter you are discussing warrants such care and better precision.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2019

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