Paedo-Baptism Answers How confident are you in Paedo-baptism?

How confident are you in Paedo-Baptism?

  • Convicted

    Votes: 24 52.2%
  • Convinced

    Votes: 19 41.3%
  • Persuaded

    Votes: 1 2.2%
  • Uncertain

    Votes: 2 4.3%

  • Total voters
    46
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Wretched Man

Puritan Board Freshman
I’ve been struggling for a while now with infant baptism. I was formerly a paedo-baptist having been raised Catholic and later attended PCA churches. However, a few years ago, I became persuaded by the Credo-Baptist position.

Upon studying the matter more closely over the last few months, I’ve come to acknowledge the Presbyterian position is very strong and I no longer suspect many of you (at least those on this blog) hold the position simply based on tradition. At this point, I would say “it’s complicated” and can’t arrive at a sound conclusion as I go back and forth between the arguments.

I’m still slightly persuaded by the Credo-Baptist position, but am open to changing my mind. (Attending an OPC church and having small children and hopefully more to come also pressures me all the more to conform which I wish I could).

I was curious, if I may candidly ask, how confident are you (paedo-Baptists) in your practice of infant baptism?

Edit to include definitions for poll choices:
“Convicted” - no doubts, it is firmly what you believe and anyone who thinks contrarily is wrong or perhaps in sin.
“Convinced” - very certain, no longer wrestling with it
“Persuaded” - not fully convinced, but reason it is most likely correct
“Uncertain” - reformed Baptists might possibly be right on this subject...:think:
 
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Jake

Puritan Board Senior
Don't forget to also consider the nature of church government and authority (independency vs. connectedness of the Presbyterian model) which is very important as well.
 

Smeagol

Puritan Board Senior
Become a Presbyterian and you can still support both Credo-Baptisms and Household Child Baptisms too! For the OP, I am currently Convicted, Convinced, and Persuaded. Though yes at times, as a former Baptist, I have been uncertain.
 

Wretched Man

Puritan Board Freshman
Could you flesh out what you mean by convicted and persuaded, in contrast to convinced?
“Convicted” - no doubts, it is firmly what you believe and anyone who thinks contrarily is wrong or perhaps in sin.
“Convinced” - very certain, no longer wrestling with it
“Persuaded” - not fully convinced, but reason it is most likely correct
“Uncertain” - reformed Baptists might possibly be right on this subject...:think:
 

RobertPGH1981

Puritan Board Sophomore
Don't forget to also consider the nature of church government and authority (independency vs. connectedness of the Presbyterian model) which is very important as well.

Why is the form of Government important in terms of the Presbyterian model? Not sure what you mean by independency and connectedness.
 

usernamecrtamil

Puritan Board Freshman
Why is the form of Government important in terms of the Presbyterian model? Not sure what you mean by independency and connectedness.

Ηistorically speaking, Baptists (General, Reformed, or otherwise) have stressed the "independence" of the local church apart from any form of larger and connected governing church body. This is over and against the Presbyterian form of church Government which stresses that the church is governed by Presbyters/Elders by way of larger connected bodies i.e. a local session or group of elders, a Presbytery or regional governing body of Elders, and lastly a General Assembly. This is a very important distinction between Presbyterians and Baptists, as it doesn't provides sound and Biblical points of accountability and Eldership rule.
 
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De Jager

Puritan Board Sophomore
I am an engineer so I work in percentages. I would say I am 90-95% sure, sometimes higher.

I am sure enough that we just presented our little one for baptism. I am sure enough that when it comes time to debate or discuss, I know which side I'm on and which side I will defend.
 

RobertPGH1981

Puritan Board Sophomore
Ηistorically speaking, Baptists (General, Reformed, or otherwise) have stressed the "independence" of the local church apart from any form of larger and connected governing church body. This is over and against the Presbyterian form of church Government which stresses that the church is governed by Presbyters/Elders by way of larger connected bodies i.e. a local session or group of elders, a Presbytery or regional governing body of Elders, and lastly a General Assembly. This is a very important distinction between Presbyterians and Baptists, as it doesn't provides sound and Biblical points of accountability and Eldership rule.

I was trying to understand how this is linked to Baptism itself. Is it because if somebody leaves one Presbyterian church they can't just go to a different church?
 

Reformed Covenanter

Cancelled Commissioner
I am as convinced that infant baptism is taught in scripture as I am convinced that the doctrine of the Trinity is biblical. I have no more reason to doubt that the logical deductions needed to prove the validity of infant baptism than I have to doubt the logical deductions needed to prove the Trinity.
 

Wretched Man

Puritan Board Freshman
By these definitions can anyone really be "convicted"? No doubts? Ever?
We can certainly be convicted about many doctrinal truths (I.e. Jesus Christ is God). With regards to infant baptism, that’s a good question and I’m surprised so many have selected this option. Based on your description later, I’d probably categorize you as “convinced”.
 

jwithnell

Moderator
Staff member
I am absolutely convinced the scriptures teach infant baptism but I'd stop short of calling a brother's viewpoint sin, especially when it falls within one of the confessional standards recognized here on PB.
 

timfost

Puritan Board Senior
I am absolutely convinced the scriptures teach infant baptism but I'd stop short of calling a brother's viewpoint sin, especially when it falls within one of the confessional standards recognized here on PB.

I think we do not have to shy away from calling something sin if we believe it's unbiblical. If the Reformed are correct about baptizing infants as part of the household, Baptists are neglecting a biblical mandate, which is always sin. However, a) it is not willful on their part, and b) they approach scripture from the same point of view that we do, namely that it is the very word of God and true in its entirety. I neither want to blow such sin out of proportion, nor do I want to say it's unimportant. I believe that most Baptists would say the same of our viewpoint.
 

Jake

Puritan Board Senior
I was trying to understand how this is linked to Baptism itself. Is it because if somebody leaves one Presbyterian church they can't just go to a different church?

I think it's very important to consider in terms of church membership. As someone like OP who is persuaded of the LBCF but is considering joining the OPC, it would be mean joining a body which is not independent. It was a bit of a tangent, but I was pointing out there were other theological issues to think through in this situation. I think church government is incredibly important and should not be taken lightly in Christians considering joining a church, but often the discussion in switching is just over paedobaptism.
 

retroGRAD3

Puritan Board Sophomore
Don't forget to also consider the nature of church government and authority (independency vs. connectedness of the Presbyterian model) which is very important as well.
This is one of the main reasons I found myself in an OPC (church government). The biggest though is that it is reformed and I believe that is the most faithful confession to the Bible.
 

Wretched Man

Puritan Board Freshman
This is one of the main reasons I found myself in an OPC (church government). The biggest though is that it is reformed and I believe that is the most faithful confession to the Bible.
I have generally leaned towards independent/autonomous forms of church government. But in view of all the local church bodies that have been led astray within the PCA as well as Baptist churches, I now appreciate the more central oversight of the OPC church. I consider them as fellow elders and church members providing guidance and accountability that may occasionally be lacking across various congregations and elder boards.

I am interested in joining the OPC as a member and agree with the vast majority of the Westminster Confession. The only part I get hung up on is infant baptism, which at this point in my life with young children, is a prominent issue.
 

Smeagol

Puritan Board Senior
Nathan,

You may find this resource helpful (Authored by one of our own PBers). My wife and I both found it informative, convincing, and easy to follow. We were both raised in the SBC, so we needed it laid out on as basic of terms as possible initially.


P.S. I have decided how to respond to the poll. I consider myself Perconvinted on Household (Infant) Baptism!!:detective:
 
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Contra_Mundum

Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger
Staff member
The following comment is just me, my preferences and all that, over the manner of presenting the question for the poll.

Because I regard the baptism of infants as a proper consequence of classical covenant theology, for me the question is not a practical one at all ("...confident in the practice of infant baptism"). For me, the issue is whether I am professing and practicing the faith of Abraham.

"How confident are you in the substance, the hermeneutics, the effects of covenant theology?" I have no other paradigm. I have no idea where I could go from here, unless I was embracing an alternative way of reading the Bible while practicing what I continued to call Christianity.
 

Reformed Covenanter

Cancelled Commissioner
Nathan,

You may find this resource helpful (Authored by one of our own PBers). My wife and I both found it informative, convincing, and easy to follow. We were both raised in the SBC, so we needed it laid out on as basic of terms as possible initially.


P.S. I have decided how to respond to the poll. I consider myself Perconvinted on Household (Infant) Baptism!!:detective:

Grant, who is the author?
 

De Jager

Puritan Board Sophomore
I have generally leaned towards independent/autonomous forms of church government. But in view of all the local church bodies that have been led astray within the PCA as well as Baptist churches, I now appreciate the more central oversight of the OPC church. I consider them as fellow elders and church members providing guidance and accountability that may occasionally be lacking across various congregations and elder boards.

I am interested in joining the OPC as a member and agree with the vast majority of the Westminster Confession. The only part I get hung up on is infant baptism, which at this point in my life with young children, is a prominent issue.

I understand this, as I wrestled with it a lot too, mostly before I was married though.

I would say however that it is always a prominent issue. The question gets to the heart of the status of children of believers in the church of God. We confess that they are "disciples" (learners) who are rightful heirs of the Kingdom of God, but of course who must embrace the gospel promises by faith.

Some resources that I found helpful in my study:

 

Wretched Man

Puritan Board Freshman
The following comment is just me, my preferences and all that, over the manner of presenting the question for the poll.

Because I regard the baptism of infants as a proper consequence of classical covenant theology, for me the question is not a practical one at all ("...confident in the practice of infant baptism"). For me, the issue is whether I am professing and practicing the faith of Abraham.

"How confident are you in the substance, the hermeneutics, the effects of covenant theology?" I have no other paradigm. I have no idea where I could go from here, unless I was embracing an alternative way of reading the Bible while practicing what I continued to call Christianity.
I would categorize you as “convicted“ then. I envy you and the others who feel the same way, as I do not. Perhaps (or likely) I just haven’t studied this enough yet.
 

Stephen L Smith

Administrator
Staff member
You may find this resource helpful (Authored by one of our own PBers). My wife and I both found it informative, convincing, and easy to follow. We were both raised in the SBC, so we needed it laid out on as basic of terms as possible initially.

I have also found this very helpful as a former Baptist. I would say study the whole course on Covenant Theology as that will give you a great framework for studying the Baptism question. https://www.ruinandredemption.com/curriculum

I would put it this way. Studying Baptism without the covenant is like owning a dog. You get limited dogma. But studying Covenant Theology in its fullness is like owning a cat. You get theology at its greatest purrrfection. :stirpot:
 

Andrew35

Puritan Board Sophomore
I have also found this very helpful as a former Baptist. I would say study the whole course on Covenant Theology as that will give you a great framework for studying the Baptism question. https://www.ruinandredemption.com/curriculum

I would put it this way. Studying Baptism without the covenant is like owning a dog. You get limited dogma. But studying Covenant Theology in its fullness is like owning a cat. You get theology at its greatest purrrfection. :stirpot:
Studying baptism as a dispensationalist is like owning a raccoon. Sure, they're cute when they're little, but when they grow up, they bite you, and open the screen door with their clever little hands, and attack the old neighbor lady, and just generally cause chaos all around the neighborhood... :mad:

Sorry, got a little out of control there.
 

Ed Walsh

Puritan Board Senior
“Convicted” - no doubts, it is firmly what you believe and anyone who thinks contrarily is wrong or perhaps in sin.

For 40 years I have been as "convicted" of infant baptism as I am that infant circumcision was the practice of the Old Covenant saints. The subjects of baptism are infinitely more important than the mode.
 

Wretched Man

Puritan Board Freshman
For 40 years I have been as "convicted" of infant baptism as I am that infant circumcision was the practice of the Old Covenant saints. The subjects of baptism are infinitely more important than the mode.
If you are convicted that infants were baptized or Biblically intended to be baptized in the early church times based purely on Scripture (despite no explicit references or commands to baptize infants) without any traditional influence, that's great.
 

RPEphesian

Puritan Board Junior
If you are convicted that infants were baptized or Biblically intended to be baptized in the early church times based purely on Scripture (despite no explicit references or commands to baptize infants) without any traditional influence, that's great.

I'm pleased that you've begun this theological journey. Spiritual riches await you!

The experience you describe in your post, was exactly mine. My credo theology suffered an awful breach one morning when in my devotionals I read a Scripture passage that shook up my theology. After that, was a determined study to search out the issue of baptism from the Scriptures and to see if it really was New Testament practice. Not church history, not on the authority of the Reformers, but Sola Scriptura. Those who hold the position and have studied it well will affirm they feel no need to quote church history or the Reformers to give authority to their position (though these are useful secondary supports), and that Scripture alone is sufficient to make--and does make--the case for household baptisms.
 
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