How about Colosians 2:11-12?

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Jeri Tanner

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Staff member
It requires a commitment to the system / teachings / person that one is a disciple of.

Being a disciple is an active thing. It's not a passive thing. One has to work at being a disciple.

It's quite illuminating to read up one what "discipleship" meant in the context of 1st Century Judaism. One didn't just become a disciple because someone taught things at you.
Just a thought- there can be the conflation of the idea of a serious, committed, knowledgeable disciple with someone in the position of discipleship- someone perhaps just initiated into a discipleship, or who is interested on some level, following a teacher, exposed to a teacher, etc. In Scripture, some named specifically as Jesus’ disciples were a chapter or so later saying he was possessed by a demon, and in another place they left him.

An infant is initiated into this life of discipleship by baptism. They are willing disciples and continue on willingly as children, because God made them that way, to desire to follow after their parents’ ways (in general of course, ha!) Only later in life will they prove to have become disciples who will love and continue with Christ, or among those leave him and so end their discipleship. But there is absolutely nothing strange about the idea of a parent putting his child into a discipleship situation or position as an infant. God claims that infant of believing parents, does he not.

It comes down to what baptism is to show forth, and what’s being said in baptism, and who’s saying it.
 

Ben Zartman

Puritan Board Sophomore
If you're asking for examples from the biblical narrative, I think it is wise to heed Bavinck when approach the baptism issue from this angle:

"We need to overcome our astonishment over the fact that the New Testament nowhere explicitly mentions infant baptism. This fact can be explained by saying that in the days of the New Testament, the baptism of adults was the rule, and the baptism of infants, if it occurred at all, was the exception. It was the period in which the Christian church had been founded and expanded by conversions from Judaism and paganism. It is precisely that transition that is clearly depicted in baptism. Adult baptism is therefore the original baptism; infant baptism is derivative; the former must not be conformed to the latter, but the latter must be conformed to the former. The validity of infant baptism does not lapse on that account, nor does it need tradition to sustain itself, as Roman Catholicism asserts. For also that which can be deduced from Scripture by legitimate inference is as binding as that which is expressly stated in it. This is how the church acts every minute of the day in the ministry of the Word, in the practice of life, in the development of its doctrine. It never stops with the letter but under the guidance of the Holy Spirit deduces from the data of Scripture the inferences and applications that make possible and foster its life and development. And this is also how it acts when it moves from adult baptism to infant baptism. Scripture indicates the general rule when baptism may and must be administered, and the church applies that rule concretely in the context of life. It does not have to say somewhere that children may be baptized. It says enough when it regards children in the same way as adults who have come to the point of professing their faith, and it never once mentions the administration of baptism to adults who were born of Christian parents."

—Herman Bavinck, Holy Spirit, Church, and New Creation, ed. John Bolt, trans. John Vriend, vol. 4, 4 vols., Reformed Dogmatics (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2008), 526.​
Taylor,
I wasn't asking because I believe that their absence puts the final nail in his coffin--I was simply illustrating that the demand Scott made of me was invalid.
 

Ben Zartman

Puritan Board Sophomore
Just a thought- there can be the conflation of the idea of a serious, committed, knowledgeable disciple with someone in the position of discipleship- someone perhaps just initiated into a discipleship, or who is interested on some level, following a teacher, exposed to a teacher, etc. In Scripture, some named specifically as Jesus’ disciples were a chapter or so later saying he was possessed by a demon, and in another place they left him.

An infant is initiated into this life of discipleship by baptism. They are willing disciples and continue on willingly as children, because God made them that way, to desire to follow after their parents’ ways (in general of course, ha!) Only later in life will they prove to have become disciples who will love and continue with Christ, or among those leave him and so end their discipleship. But there is absolutely nothing strange about the idea of a parent putting his child into a discipleship situation or position as an infant. God claims that infant of believing parents, does he not.

It comes down to what baptism is to show forth, and what’s being said in baptism, and who’s saying it.
That's just it--baptists don't believe that baptism is something God does to you. It is something men do, to testify to what God has already done. So we disagree that God "claims the infant of believing parents." Our theology of belonging to God is different. For us, either you belong to God all the way, having been actually regenerated, or you are, as Paul says, the children of wrath. Strange, that he would have been a member of the covenant community, with the sign placed on him at birth, and still said he had been of the children of wrath. Or maybe not, if we have our theology straight.
 

Jeri Tanner

Moderator
Staff member
That's just it--baptists don't believe that baptism is something God does to you. It is something men do, to testify to what God has already done. So we disagree that God "claims the infant of believing parents." Our theology of belonging to God is different. For us, either you belong to God all the way, having been actually regenerated, or you are, as Paul says, the children of wrath. Strange, that he would have been a member of the covenant community, with the sign placed on him at birth, and still said he had been of the children of wrath. Or maybe not, if we have our theology straight.
And yet, the children of believing parents are holy; meaning sanctified unto God, set apart (1 Corinthians 7:14)
 

Taylor Sexton

Puritan Board Junior
Yes. He was a disciple of Jesus...
So, confession that Jesus is the Christ isn't necessary, then, to be a disciple?

It requires a commitment to the system / teachings / person that one is a disciple of.

Being a disciple is an active thing. It's not a passive thing. One has to work at being a disciple.
With all due respect, brother, this narrowing appears arbitrary to me. Building upon what Jeri said above, it is difficult to see how a child who is "raised in the nurture and admonition of the Lord" is not being discipled. Sure, they may not have yet made a conscious decision to follow Christ, but, to me, that does not negate the fact that they are very much being discipled by their parents. Otherwise, what do we do with the admonition to teach our children to love the Lord (Deut. 6)? Therefore, to narrow "disciple" to only someone who has made a conscious decision and effort to follow another seems to ignore the broader aspects of biblical discipleship.

Taylor,
I wasn't asking because I believe that their absence puts the final nail in his coffin--I was simply illustrating that the demand Scott made of me was invalid.
Gotcha. I understand. Sorry for the confusion on my part, brother.
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
Sorry to have delayed my response--I have a full time job and other duties. But here we go: Paul says we are risen with him though the faith of the operation of God. Being "risen with him" I take to mean "born again." Baptism is the sign of this having been done. So, clearly: I do believe that in order to be a disciple you must first be born again. Are there disciples who are not? Sure. They are false ones, and there are many of them, but that doesn't invalidate the principle. How can you learn of Him, who is meek and lowly of heart, if you are at enmity with Him? A disciple is not merely learning facts; he is learning to be like Christ, through sanctification.
I will gladly show you a case of the sign delayed when you show me a case of baptism applied to an infant.
Water Baptism in the NT was the person testifying that they were now a covert and disciples of Jesus, and were now part of a local assembly of fellow believer's in Him.
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
Disciples are baptized per Mt 28. Households were baptized in the NT. Households by nature include any present infants. Since there is no indication that the baptism was delayed for any on account of their inability to profess or to wait upon better proof of regeneration, ergo any present infants were disciples.

"Discipleship" is a word that will be determined by theological context in light of whether Scripture teaches exclusive professor's baptism or Household baptism. You must assume one position or the other first.
NT disciples of Jesus were those who were taught about Him and received that teaching.
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
That's just it--baptists don't believe that baptism is something God does to you. It is something men do, to testify to what God has already done. So we disagree that God "claims the infant of believing parents." Our theology of belonging to God is different. For us, either you belong to God all the way, having been actually regenerated, or you are, as Paul says, the children of wrath. Strange, that he would have been a member of the covenant community, with the sign placed on him at birth, and still said he had been of the children of wrath. Or maybe not, if we have our theology straight.
Grest point, as not until the Lord saves the lost sinner, all are seen as not being part of the Community if Faith, but still dead in Adam.
 

Jeri Tanner

Moderator
Staff member
@Taylor Sexton, I thought it was worth finding that exchange from an older thread:

"Ephesians 6. Fathers are to use their natural authority, which includes a range of actions proper to the nature of their authority as civil superiors, to bring up their children in the fear and admonition of the Lord. Ecclesiastical authority is entirely "ministerial" as opposed to "magisterial," that is, it is an act of service in the name of the Lord. It lays no claim to civil superiority."


How is it that a Christian father is not discipling his children? (My question to Rev. Winzer)

"The specific actions connected with "discipling" are baptising and teaching in the name of the Lord, neither of which a father as a father is equipped or authorised to do."
National Center for Family Integrated Churches: morphing into a denomination?
 

Taylor Sexton

Puritan Board Junior
It's worth pointing out, as it was once pointed out to me here on PB, that children are discipled by the church, not parents.
Yes, that's good. Thanks for the correction here. I was basically using "disciple" more broadly, but your point is very well-taken and received!
 

Taylor Sexton

Puritan Board Junior
@Taylor Sexton, I thought it was worth finding that exchange from an older thread:

"Ephesians 6. Fathers are to use their natural authority, which includes a range of actions proper to the nature of their authority as civil superiors, to bring up their children in the fear and admonition of the Lord. Ecclesiastical authority is entirely "ministerial" as opposed to "magisterial," that is, it is an act of service in the name of the Lord. It lays no claim to civil superiority."


How is it that a Christian father is not discipling his children? (My question to Rev. Winzer)

"The specific actions connected with "discipling" are baptising and teaching in the name of the Lord, neither of which a father as a father is equipped or authorised to do."
National Center for Family Integrated Churches: morphing into a denomination?
Ah, yes, this is very helpful. Thank you!
 

Taylor Sexton

Puritan Board Junior
Water Baptism in the NT was the person testifying that they were now a covert and disciples of Jesus
Isn't this the question being discussed here? No offense, brother, but you have a tendency—and I've noticed this especially recently—to just assert things as fact, much of the time begging the very question of the discussion. It makes it very difficult to dialogue.

Grest point, as not until the Lord saves the lost sinner, all are seen as not being part of the Community if Faith, but still dead in Adam.
That would a strange, sudden, and otherwise unattested shift in economy from the Old Testament saints.
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
Isn't this the question being discussed here? No offense, brother, but you have a tendency—and I've noticed this especially recently—to just assert things as fact, much of the time begging the very question of the discussion. It makes it very difficult to dialogue.



That would a strange, sudden, and otherwise unattested shift in economy from the Old Testament saints.
We are now under a new and a better Covenant, correct?
 

SeanPatrickCornell

Puritan Board Sophomore
So, confession that Jesus is the Christ isn't necessary, then, to be a disciple?
Yes, but this doesn't prove what you think it proves (neither does it address what I was addressing).

Let me channel Peter's probably mindset at the time: "Whoever this Jesus is, he certainly knows a lot, has the power to do signs and wonders. Is he a prophet? Is he more? I am certainly intrigued and I want to learn from him. He said to follow him and so I shall, because whoever he is, he has something important to teach me. I am indeed his disciple!"

Here's what your line of thought leads to, if I were channeling Peter's mindset according to what you people are claiming being a disciple means: "I don't know who this Jesus guy is. He said to follow him and I had nothing better to do so I might as well follow him around to see what happens next until I get bored or hungry or remember that I have work to do. Honestly I don't really care what he has to say. Maybe I will learn something from him, maybe not. Whether I like it or not, I guess this means I am his disciple now. Whatever."

EDIT to add: In AD31 or AD32 or whenever Jesus was first gathering disciples, no one knew He was the Christ. To say that someone at that time must have confessed Him as Christ or else (by my definition) they weren't REALLY His disciples is silly. We in AD 2019 know fully well who Jesus is. We have a full revelation. Anyone who hears the Gospel and becomes a disciple of Jesus knows that Jesus is the Christ. If they don't confess this, then they are not a disciple of Jesus Christ.
 

Scott Bushey

Puritanboard Commissioner
"I don't know who this Jesus guy is. He said to follow him and I had nothing better to do so I might as well follow him around to see what happens next until I get bored or hungry or remember that I have work to do. Honestly I don't really care what he has to say. Maybe I will learn something from him, maybe not. Whether I like it or not, I guess this means I am his disciple now. Whatever."
U do understand that there are people in our churches, that are unregenerate. Being in that state, is exactly how u state it above. They don't really care; cannot understand spiritual things. Their father is the devil, yet, some are even members who have been baptized. Some just attend. Sitting under a preacher is akin to discipleship; unless of course u are prepared to say that only people who have the sign placed on them are disciples. A disciple is one who routinely sits under a teacher/preacher.

In regards to what was cited earlier by MW:

"The specific actions connected with "discipling" are baptising and teaching in the name of the Lord, neither of which a father as a father is equipped or authorised to do."
The above child/infant has no understanding; yet, he/she are disciples.
 

Jeri Tanner

Moderator
Staff member
Here's what your line of thought leads to, if I were channeling Peter's mindset according to what you people are claiming being a disciple means: "I don't know who this Jesus guy is. He said to follow him and I had nothing better to do so I might as well follow him around to see what happens next until I get bored or hungry or remember that I have work to do. Honestly I don't really care what he has to say. Maybe I will learn something from him, maybe not. Whether I like it or not, I guess this means I am his disciple now. Whatever."
I don't think anyone characterized a disciple as being like that, and definitely not Peter. However Christ did have disciples who ended up accusing him of having demons, and he had disciples who left him and followed him no longer. "Disciple" is the Scripture's definition of those people, not ours.
 
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Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
Yes, but this doesn't prove what you think it proves (neither does it address what I was addressing).

Let me channel Peter's probably mindset at the time: "Whoever this Jesus is, he certainly knows a lot, has the power to do signs and wonders. Is he a prophet? Is he more? I am certainly intrigued and I want to learn from him. He said to follow him and so I shall, because whoever he is, he has something important to teach me. I am indeed his disciple!"

Here's what your line of thought leads to, if I were channeling Peter's mindset according to what you people are claiming being a disciple means: "I don't know who this Jesus guy is. He said to follow him and I had nothing better to do so I might as well follow him around to see what happens next until I get bored or hungry or remember that I have work to do. Honestly I don't really care what he has to say. Maybe I will learn something from him, maybe not. Whether I like it or not, I guess this means I am his disciple now. Whatever."

EDIT to add: In AD31 or AD32 or whenever Jesus was first gathering disciples, no one knew He was the Christ. To say that someone at that time must have confessed Him as Christ or else (by my definition) they weren't REALLY His disciples is silly. We in AD 2019 know fully well who Jesus is. We have a full revelation. Anyone who hears the Gospel and becomes a disciple of Jesus knows that Jesus is the Christ. If they don't confess this, then they are not a disciple of Jesus Christ.
Peter reply back to Jesus showed a true disciple mindset, when he told Jesus He alone had words of eternal life! When the large crowds were deserting Jesus.
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
U do understand that there are people in our churches, that are unregenerate. Being in that state, is exactly how u state it above. They don't really care; cannot understand spiritual things. Their father is the devil, yet, some are even members who have been baptized. Some just attend. Sitting under a preacher is akin to discipleship; unless of course u are prepared to say that only people who have the sign placed on them are disciples. A disciple is one who routinely sits under a teacher/preacher.

In regards to what was cited earlier by MW:



The above child/infant has no understanding; yet, he/she are disciples.
A saved child can be, but not an infant!
 

Scott Bushey

Puritanboard Commissioner
At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?
And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them,
And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become
as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me.
But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. Matt 18

At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?
And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them,
And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become
as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me.
But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. Matt 19

And they brought unto him also infants, that he would touch them: but when his disciples saw it, they rebuked them.
But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.
Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein. Luke 18
 

Scott Bushey

Puritanboard Commissioner
'Infant' in Luke 18:

1. βρέφος, from Hom. and Pind., pap., means “young,” “fruit of the body,” as “embryo,” of animals, Hom. Il., 23, 266, of men, Sir. 19:11; Lk. 1:41, 44; “small child,” “infant,” 1 Macc. 1:61; 2 Macc. 6:10; 4 Macc. 4:25; Jos. Bell., 6, 205; Lk. 2:12, 16; 18:15; Ac. 7:19. ἀπὸ βρέφους, “from a child,” 2 Tm. 3:15; fig. 1 Pt. 2:2: ὡς ἀρτιγέννητα βρέφη.

Albrecht Oepke, “Παῖς, Παιδίον, Παιδάριον, Τέκνον, Τεκνίον, Βρέφος,” ed. Gerhard Kittel, Geoffrey W. Bromiley, and Gerhard Friedrich, Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1964–), 637.
 

Taylor Sexton

Puritan Board Junior
We are now under a new and a better Covenant, correct?
Absolutely. Rejecting children of believers from the community of faith would be much, much worse.

"Whoever this Jesus is, he certainly knows a lot, has the power to do signs and wonders. Is he a prophet? Is he more? I am certainly intrigued and I want to learn from him. He said to follow him and so I shall, because whoever he is, he has something important to teach me.
Ironically, the Baptist church at which I was a member for four years, and at which I interned, all while I was still a convinced Baptist, would not baptize somebody who said only this.

The Bible teaches us to make and teach disciples, do must be of age to be able to do those things.
Thankfully, my parents didn’t follow this philosophy, and therefore taught me many things in infancy. You could say they took me as their disciple, teaching me their ways and values.
 

G

Puritan Board Senior
Thankfully, my parents didn’t follow this philosophy, and therefore taught me many things in infancy. You could say they took me as their disciple, teaching me their ways and values.
Agreed. My 2nd child sat through 9 months of family worship while still in the womb. The 3rd child is currently doing the same!
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
Absolutely. Rejecting children of believers from the community of faith would be much, much worse.



Ironically, the Baptist church at which I was a member for four years, and at which I interned, all while I was still a convinced Baptist, would not baptize somebody who said only this.



Thankfully, my parents didn’t follow this philosophy, and therefore taught me many things in infancy. You could say they took me as their disciple, teaching me their ways and values.
None are into the Community of Faith as in the NC until been born again.
 
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