Should I wait to baptize daughter?

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hammondjones

Puritan Board Sophomore
The happy news is that my wife and I just recently welcomed our third child into our family just this past week, a daughter, Evangelina. Normally, we'd have her baptized at the earliest convenience, but...

The unhappy news is that we are strongly considering looking for a new church home. The church left the PCA a few years ago, and recently called a credobaptist as the new pastor, all while (supposedly) retaining the PCA BCO and Westminster Standards. This among other issues. I could go on, but you get the picture. We're still taking counsel and praying about it, but we are feeling like we may have to leave.

With regard to my daughter's baptism, I'm considering the following options:
1. Have the new (credo) pastor baptize her. He has said that he is willing to do that, even though he doesn't understand it or think it's biblical, out of, I assume, deference to way that the church has operated in the past.
2. Have one of the paedobaptist REs baptize her.
3. Delay her baptism until we decide whether or not we are leaving and/or have joined a new church. Potentially many months down the road.

One the one hand, I'd like to go ahead and have it done by the new pastor, since his personal beliefs don't invalidate the baptism (in the Donatist sense). But, on the other hand, I feel like the baptism would put an additional bond between this church and our family, which perhaps I ought not enter into if I know that we will likely be leaving sooner rather than later.

Advice?
 

Reformed Covenanter

Cancelled Commissioner
1. Have the new (credo) pastor baptize her. He has said that he is willing to do that, even though he doesn't understand it or think it's biblical, out of, I assume, deference to way that the church has operated in the past.

No, because you are asking a man to do something he does not believe in and thus to commit a sin.


2. Have one of the paedobaptist REs baptize her.

No, the Westminster Confession teaches that the sacraments are to be administered by a minister of the Word, lawfully ordained. A ruling elder is not a minister of the Word and is thus disqualified from administering the sacraments.


3. Delay her baptism until we decide whether or not we are leaving and/or have joined a new church. Potentially many months down the road.

Are you not able to go to a PCA church somewhere and get her baptised there?
 

Jake

Puritan Board Senior
Would it be possible for another minister to come in to baptize the child, as some sort of compromise? I'm not sure how having a credobaptist minister in a Westminister-confessing church works, but I believe this is how the FPCNA does it. If there is a credobaptist minister in a congregation and a couple is of paedobaptist convictions, another minister will come to baptize the child. However, this is more of an established practice and a denomination that has ministers of both convictions. But I imagine there might be could be an agreement between a local pastor and your session.
 

Jack K

Puritan Board Doctor
we are strongly considering looking for a new church home.

I'm not sure that thinking about changing churches is definitive enough to justifiy delaying the baptism. If you were actually in the process of leaving the church, then maybe waiting would be the right move. But if you're only thinking about it, then your current church is your church and you should treat it as such until the time comes that you actually move on.

The above suggestion of a paedo-believing pastor performing the sacrament at your church, with the approval of your church's leadership, does sound like something to explore. Are there others in your church who've faced the same dilemma? It would seem like an issue that's either come up before or is likely to come up again, and one your elders ought to think through beyond just the matter of your particular case. A pastor acting against his convictions does not sound like a good, lasting solution.

A ruling elder is not a minister of the Word and is thus disqualified from administering the sacraments.

But if the church is no longer PCA, the issue of who is a ruling elder as distinct from a Minister of the Word (or teaching elder) may no longer be so clear.
 

hammondjones

Puritan Board Sophomore
I'm not sure how having a credobaptist minister in a Westminister-confessing church works
A pastor acting against his convictions does not sound like a good, lasting solution.
Long term, I don't believe that it will work, which is no small part of my concern.

Quote Originally Posted by Jack K View Post
But if the church is no longer PCA, the issue of who is a ruling elder as distinct from a Minister of the Word (or teaching elder) may no longer be so clear.
As I understand it, the OP refers to ruling elders in distinction from the minister.
Yes, that was what I meant, but Jack is right, that kind of distinction is not going to be made by very many in the church, even among the session, which I think will hear my concern, but not share or quite understand it ( i.e., that a ruling elder is not a minister of Word and Sacrament).



The above suggestion of a paedo-believing pastor performing the sacrament at your church, with the approval of your church's leadership, does sound like something to explore. Are there others in your church who've faced the same dilemma? It would seem like an issue that's either come up before or is likely to come up again, and one your elders ought to think through beyond just the matter of your particular case.

We and one other family are the first to face this issue. The new pastor has not yet been installed, but this eventuality was anticipated. In fact, the first two options I listed were the ones given to me by the session. I had not thought of bringing in someone else to administer, but I do think I will bring up my concerns and that possible alternative with them and see what they have to say about it.

Thanks, all
 

nick

Puritan Board Freshman
So they left the PCA to go where?

I wouldn't wait given the circumstances you present, but wouldn't let the current preacher go against his convictions. Maybe a retired Presbyterian minister in the area. Your REs may know one.
 
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