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  #1  
Unread 2nd September 2011, 06:10 PM
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Infant or Believer's baptism?

In the Methodist tradition, I understand infant AND believer's baptism are practiced. I will be asking about this in RCIA when it comes up or something like it.

I personally am convinced believer's baptism should be practiced. I remember feeling so proud and happy when I was 13. I chose baptism over being confirmed in Luther's Church (PM me if you want to know why).

My question for anyone in any denomination is: Is baptism a two-way covenant? Meaning, are we required to give ourselves to God in baptism? Are we allowed to become members of God's family through our parent's decision to have us baptized as infants?
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Matthew 11:28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Last edited by rturner76; 2nd September 2011 at 10:29 PM.
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  #2  
Unread 2nd September 2011, 10:32 PM
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Most assuredly, God does not convert anyone by proxy. I have always been puzzled by Lutheran theology that strongly stresses salvation by faith alone in Christ alone and then turns around and stresses salvation by faith through baptism as a method of transferring faith from adults to infants. Is it no wonder that many of these infants grow up to be heathens?
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Unread 3rd September 2011, 03:14 PM
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Originally Posted by rturner76 View Post
In the Methodist tradition, I understand infant AND believer's baptism are practiced. I will be asking about this in RCIA when it comes up or something like it.

I personally am convinced believer's baptism should be practiced. I remember feeling so proud and happy when I was 13. I chose baptism over being confirmed in Luther's Church (PM me if you want to know why).

My question for anyone in any denomination is: Is baptism a two-way covenant? Meaning, are we required to give ourselves to God in baptism? Are we allowed to become members of God's family through our parent's decision to have us baptized as infants?
No, God doesn't save someone by proxy. Neither does God save someone by simply signing up to the covenant. Signing up to the covenant is not the same thing as receiving salvation. Bringing believers into the covenant is sort of a "it's high-time" event for people who have been near to faith and learning from Christ Jesus as disciples, prior to faith.

Baptism definitely involves a 2-way covenant. And your parents can indeed sign you up for a covenant as a child with expectations that you consider God your God, being representatives for you.

For thousands of years western and ancient cultures had this view of covenants being familial. The New Covenant is no exception -- "the house of xx" being baptized appears no less than four times in Scripture due to a family head converting. Genesis 17 points out that the Abrahamic covenant is instituted from the words of God in this way.

The New Covenant involves disciples and believers in the faith. It's quite clear that the personal faith of the disciple is hugely important in the New Covenant -- however, a disciple is not always a believer, and the gospels and letters reflect or assume that distinction a number of times as well.

Historically, the American experience has chipped away at this idea. The only covenant left which can marginally indenture its members is the family covenant. Other indentureship contracts (outside military service) are not legal in the USA after the Civil War. Family bonds themselves are coming apart.

So it's easy to conclude that people raised so far distant from a world in which it was normal -- even survival -- to bind oneself to a family unit, won't find it sensible or consistent to do so.
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Unread 3rd September 2011, 05:55 PM
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Very insightful post. I must admit I did not discern the answer yet to the questions. I don't know that there is a concrete answer or more just opinions about the subject
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Unread 9th March 2012, 04:22 PM
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This is a great question and one I have thought about at length. Let me ask you guys a question? What was the requirement for God's chosen people to enter into the old covenant?
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Unread 21st March 2012, 01:34 PM
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Originally Posted by rturner76 View Post
In the Methodist tradition, I understand infant AND believer's baptism are practiced. I will be asking about this in RCIA when it comes up or something like it.

I personally am convinced believer's baptism should be practiced. I remember feeling so proud and happy when I was 13. I chose baptism over being confirmed in Luther's Church (PM me if you want to know why).

My question for anyone in any denomination is: Is baptism a two-way covenant? Meaning, are we required to give ourselves to God in baptism? Are we allowed to become members of God's family through our parent's decision to have us baptized as infants?
Faith in Christ is the only way of salvation. Baptism is done after we have comitted to Christ. Therefore Baptism in itself cannot save you and cannot be transfered to infants.
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Unread 21st March 2012, 02:10 PM
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Originally Posted by brittany111 View Post
Faith in Christ is the only way of salvation. Baptism is done after we have comitted to Christ. Therefore Baptism in itself cannot save you and cannot be transfered to infants.
Where is this taught in the scriptures? What was required in the OT in order for someone to be part of the old covenant? What about what Peter states a matter of factly in 1 Pet 3:21?

Circumcision was required of the Jews in order to be in the family of God. Infants were circumcised. Baptism replaces circumcision in the new covenant Jesus established. Read Paul in Romans where he makes this point and doesn't argue it. He assumes it.

God bless,
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Unread 23rd March 2012, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by triplet347 View Post
Where is this taught in the scriptures? What was required in the OT in order for someone to be part of the old covenant? What about what Peter states a matter of factly in 1 Pet 3:21?

Circumcision was required of the Jews in order to be in the family of God. Infants were circumcised. Baptism replaces circumcision in the new covenant Jesus established. Read Paul in Romans where he makes this point and doesn't argue it. He assumes it.

God bless,
Here's another quote from the Bible outlining the importance of being within the Covenant family. God had appeared to Moses and told him to go to Egypt and free his people. Moses takes his family and starts to travel from Midian to Egypt.

Exodus, 4:24-26
24 On the journey, at a place where they spent the night, the LORD came upon Moses and sought to put him to death. But Zipporah took a piece of flint and cut off her son’s foreskin and, touching his feet, she said, “Surely you are a spouse of blood to me.” So God let Moses alone. At that time she said, “A spouse of blood,” in regard to the circumcision.

Zipporah was a Midianite and their custom was to circumcise their children at age 13. Moses had followed the way of Abraham on his first son and had him circumcised at 8 days; but had yielded to his wife and not circumcised his second son yet. God was wrathful that Moses had not been obedient to the Covenant given to Abraham, so wrathful that he was going to kill his servant right after appointing him as his prophet to the Hebrews in Egypt.
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Unread 31st March 2012, 11:16 PM
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Originally Posted by rturner76 View Post
In the Methodist tradition, I understand infant AND believer's baptism are practiced. I will be asking about this in RCIA when it comes up or something like it.

I personally am convinced believer's baptism should be practiced. I remember feeling so proud and happy when I was 13. I chose baptism over being confirmed in Luther's Church (PM me if you want to know why).

My question for anyone in any denomination is: Is baptism a two-way covenant? Meaning, are we required to give ourselves to God in baptism? Are we allowed to become members of God's family through our parent's decision to have us baptized as infants?
Speaking conventionally, baptism is the Sign and Seal of the Covenant of Grace. This would make it a unilateral in nature, see Abraham in Genesis. We are covenant breakers, God is the covenant keeper. I will not put any stock into my covenanting with God. That will only end in destruction. See Israel and Sinai.

Did Abraham's descendants have any say on their entrance into the nation of Israel? Where they not circumcised as infants? God's chosen people were set apart by His choosing. They bore the sign of God's choosing as an act of obedience.
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Unread 9th April 2012, 08:50 PM
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Originally Posted by rturner76 View Post
In the Methodist tradition, I understand infant AND believer's baptism are practiced. I will be asking about this in RCIA when it comes up or something like it.

I personally am convinced believer's baptism should be practiced. I remember feeling so proud and happy when I was 13. I chose baptism over being confirmed in Luther's Church (PM me if you want to know why).

My question for anyone in any denomination is: Is baptism a two-way covenant? Meaning, are we required to give ourselves to God in baptism? Are we allowed to become members of God's family through our parent's decision to have us baptized as infants?

Baptism is how we enter into the Covenant with God under the New Covenant principles...

John 3:5
Jesus answered, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God."

Being "born of water" is water baptism, and an infant can no sooner sign on the dotted line of a contract than a dog can, so according to scripture, baptism is of no good to a person not old enough to understand what they are doing. We enter into the Kingdom of God by receiving baptism, it must be a conscious decision by one who has at least reached the age of accountability.
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