Infidel "Conversion" and Fitness for Baptism - Zachary Crofton

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jw

j
The Rev. Zachary Crofton on Infidel Conversion & Baptism (very different from the majority report of our day!)


Q. By what must Infidels converted to the Faith be judged, within the Covenant, and fit Subjects to be baptized[?]

A. By making a profession of saving faith, which may be done by men in the gall of bitterness, and bond of iniquity; not by a saving profession of faith, importing sincerity of grace, nor by a well ordered conversation; for God's Ministers must judge by a present visible sign, and they cannot search the heart: And plants are to be set in the Church before we look for fruit; Baptism is a bond unto amendment of life.
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
Interesting.

How would this impact a missionary among an unreached people-group? What policies would result from this?
 

jw

j
Interesting.

How would this impact a missionary among an unreached people-group? What policies would result from this?
A lot of ink could (and has) been spilled, I'm sure, on the subject. But -from a Westminster/Presbyterian perspective- it simply means that baptizing professors of faith is their entry to the covenant, not proof/evidence of their election. Their willingness to be disciples/learners is their willingness to come under Christ's authority as meted out by His kingdom. They may prove, in the end, to be tares among the wheat, but the purview of church leadership is not to discern a disciple's regeneration, but to teach them all things whatsoever Christ has commanded, and to shepherd them, love them, discipline them, etc.
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
A lot of ink could (and has) been spilled, I'm sure, on the subject. But -from a Westminster/Presbyterian perspective- it simply means that baptizing professors of faith is their entry to the covenant, not proof/evidence of their election. Their willingness to be disciples/learners is their willingness to come under Christ's authority as meted out by His kingdom. They may prove, in the end, to be tares among the wheat, but the purview of church leadership is not to discern a disciple's regeneration, but to teach them all things whatsoever Christ has commanded, and to shepherd them, love them, discipline them, etc.
It seems that baptists would have to admit this as well. I would catechize new "converts" for 6 months prior to baptism and some of them would still depart from the faith.
 

jw

j
It seems that baptists would have to admit this as well.
Indeed. We (WCFers) confess baptism is unto Discipleship, as opposed to Discipleship being unto baptism, either by the profession of one who has never been in the church, or by virtue of both or one of the parent's profession. Neither instance is a guarantee of regeneration, or necessarily indicative of it. Thankfully, we do not possess the reigns of such things, but rather only the means of God's appointment, He being the effectuator (a new word) of such.
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
Indeed. We (WCFers) confess baptism is unto Discipleship, as opposed to Discipleship being unto baptism, either by the profession of one who has never been in the church, or by virtue of both or one of the parent's profession. Neither instance is a guarantee of regeneration, or necessarily indicative of it. Thankfully, we do not possess the reigns of such things, but rather only the means of God's appointment, He being the effectuator (a new word) of such.
I agree....but

Shhhhhhh....you might convince me to come over to the dark side. ;)
 

jw

j
I won't in the future either maybe. :)

p.s. you get a sale's commission if you are the one that leads me out of the folly of credobaptism. ;)
I am not inclined to call it folly, in all (or maybe even most) cases. We, too, affirm "believer's baptism," in the sense that if one has not grown up in the church, they are admitted via baptism, just like converts of old would've been. Plus, many a godly Baptists have gone before me, and I would not impute to them -at least- an intent of folly, though I believe antipaedobaptism to be error. All that said, Brother, I lack the power required to change minds & hearts. But I am happy to express what I think the Bible teaches. Duty is ours, results are God's.
 
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