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Featured Infant Baptism

Discussion in 'Sacramental/Ordinance Theology' started by Natsumi Lam, Apr 23, 2019.

  1. truefiction1

    truefiction1 Fool

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    Yes, because it is by Baptism that our infants are initiated into the people of the New Covenant in Christ's blood. The Old Covenant initiation was circumcision.
    God can, and does.
     
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  2. Halbhh

    Halbhh The wonder and awe Supporter

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    Going past the justifications (and remembering I'm not advocating infant baptism), the best convincing explanation given to me was in person -- that God himself causes the effects in baptism, not us, and that baptism thus has a powerful effectiveness (I'm not recalling the exact wording which was somewhat better).
     
  3. Natsumi Lam

    Natsumi Lam Preparer of the Bride Supporter

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    Then how does the " church" know for infants?

    The bible does not support that one person can choose salvation for another.

    Please provide biblical support.
     
  4. Ttalkkugjil

    Ttalkkugjil Spiritual Director

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    God has chosen salvation for certain individuals.
     
  5. Natsumi Lam

    Natsumi Lam Preparer of the Bride Supporter

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    Then why baptize every infant? Out of fear? Just incase?
     
  6. JacksBratt

    JacksBratt Searching for Truth

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    No.. what I'm saying is that we are all sinners and, even though parents would love to sprinkle their infant with some water and bring them salvation... that's just wishful thinking.

    Every human has to accept that they are a sinner... on their own. You cannot do it for them.

    However. Those that are incapable of comprehension of the fact that they are sinful... are not held accountable and damned.

    Are you saying that a Cerebral Palsy child, Severely autistic, mentally retarded children and adults OR an infant that cannot even comprehend what breathing is, food is, night, day.. whatever...... are going to be sent to hell when they don't even know that they have done wrong?

    That is your "loving God"?
     
  7. Ttalkkugjil

    Ttalkkugjil Spiritual Director

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    Since when has every infant been baptized?
     
  8. JacksBratt

    JacksBratt Searching for Truth

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    Salvation is acceptance of the fact that you are a sinner and humbling yourself to the fact that there is nothing that you can do on your own, to save yourself, and... that Christ died for you...in your place..

    God's grace is this pardon for penalty that you are rightly deserved of.

    Not being sprinkled or dunked...
     
  9. truefiction1

    truefiction1 Fool

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    Yes, it most certainly does, because salvation was "of the Jews" (John 4:22), and the Jews always circumcised their own children as the rite of initiation into the Life of the people of the Covenant (Genesis 17:10-11). Jesus Christ taught His disciples to Baptize (initiate into) people into His New Covenant, and then to teach them Christ's commandments (Matthew 28:19-20), and so "entire households" (Acts 16:33) were received into the Church this way. How do we know that infants who were baptized were the people of the New Covenant? By their fruit, of course. Holy Martyrs Faith, Hope, and Love were merely 12, 10, and 9 years old when their confessions faith in Christ, which they had been raised in from birth, cost them their lives in this fallen world. How old do you claim a person must be in order to have faith? Are you the person who should get to decide the age for everyone? Who should get to decide besides God, Who say's "Suffer the little children to come unto me, for to such belongs the Kingdom of God"? (Matthew 19:14)
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2019
  10. Halbhh

    Halbhh The wonder and awe Supporter

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    I don't quite agree with all the elaborations in Calvinism. I think we must cooperate with God's Grace, and the prodigal must turn, once the conditions for turning are put on him/her, and has to choose, but...

    This is still the key thing -- God ultimately has salvation in his hands, and it's not whether parents chose to baptize an infant instead of letting a child decide on their own later, that decides. Instead, God decides. And we can expect from such examples as 1 Peter 3:18-20 for example, the overall expectation that He doesn't choose to let those who can be saved randomly be lost -- they would have to choose to reject him with a full adult consciousness in order to be lost, it seems to me. I think no one that had a child die without being baptized need fear at all.
     
  11. JacksBratt

    JacksBratt Searching for Truth

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    God died for everyone... God chose everyone...

    However... we must chose Him... An infant cannot chose anything..It's oblivious... We can't do anything for it in a spiritual sense.
     
  12. Natsumi Lam

    Natsumi Lam Preparer of the Bride Supporter

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    Please stay on subject we are talking about every infant brought to baptism. Same questions apply.
     
  13. FenderTL5

    FenderTL5 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Well in fact, no.
    Our Tradition does not teach "original sin (which is why I put it in quotes)" the same way that is taught in the west. It would seem that you don't either? That would be unusual for Protestant thought, which is why I asked.
    otoh, we do bring children into the New Covenant with baptism, the same way Jews were circumcised (or proselytes were baptized) into the Old Covenant.
     
  14. StephenDiscipleofYHWH

    StephenDiscipleofYHWH Well-Known Member

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    Every human suffers the consequence of Adam and Eve's sin which is death. But human beings are not born in sin. Sin is transgression of the Law, how has a new born infant transgressed the Law? What sin did they commit? Being born a human is not a sin.
     
  15. FenderTL5

    FenderTL5 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    see my post 93, just above yours.
     
  16. Ttalkkugjil

    Ttalkkugjil Spiritual Director

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    God can do something for the infant. God can save the infant through baptism. That's how God saved me.
     
  17. JacksBratt

    JacksBratt Searching for Truth

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    Yes. Please post verses that support me saving any other person by my actions.
     
  18. JacksBratt

    JacksBratt Searching for Truth

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    I agree... I would love to have something that I could do that would insure the salvation of my loved ones...
    Thing is, I cannot even do anything to save my sorry butt.... let alone anyone else...

    Only Jesus has the power to save...
     
  19. archer75

    archer75 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I am not sure anyone here is interested, but here something about our confession's practice of infant baptism, which differs significantly from the RC doctrine that involves "original sin" passed on as a stain or guilt: "Original sin may be taken to mean: (1) the sin that Adam committed; (2) a consequence of this first sin, the hereditary stain with which we are born on account of our origin or descent from Adam." (CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Original Sin)

    In the Orthodox Church, we do baptize infants and young children, but we understand things a little differently. The following text is from this link:Infant Baptism: What the Church Believes | Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese. Please note: we do not teach that unbaptized infants are condemned to hell, etc.

    The assumption behind this objection to infant baptism, one which did not exist in the early Church or in the centuries which followed, is that faith is a product of reason. That to truly believe, our minds must be capable of understanding why we believe, or at least able to provide intellectual consent. For the adult convert to the Orthodox Church, intellectual consent is crucial. Baptism is not magic. It is a voluntary act of submission to God, a consent to live in relationship with God within the covenant He has established through His Son with a larger body of baptized believers, the Church. But at the same time, faith falls flat if it does not go beyond individual reason. It falls flat because it is so individualized, exclusive, and self-centered. Tertullian said famously that “one Christian is no Christian.” It is true that our faith must be personal, that we must have a personal relationship with God. But our faith must not be limited to that personal relationship alone. Our relationship with God is valid only if it is realized in communion with the whole Church.

    I’ve spoken of the Church as family, and I want to return to that image. Children can break fellowship with the family if they consider themselves outside the family’s fate. They are family members only in so much as they live as part of the family, accepting all the responsibilities and self-sacrifice that such family status demands. I don’t have to explain this to my children. They understand from birth that they belong to a larger group, and belong in the most intimate way. They know who their father and mother are and where to go for help and for security. The concept of ‘family’ is beyond them, but the reality of family life is not. In other words, children have a sense of belonging a dozen years or more before they understand what this belonging means.

    The earthly family is an image of the heavenly family, the family of the Kingdom of God. Children born to a Christian family are born again into the heavenly family through baptism. A child baptized in the Orthodox Church belongs to a spiritual family. This family bridges both heaven and earth, stretches backward and forward in time and includes both saints and angels. Children belong to this family exactly as each of my daughters belongs to my family. They know in a profound way that they belong long before they have some kind of cerebral understanding of that belonging.

    Our modern world so exults reason and cerebralism that young children are sometimes treated as not fully human, or are at least treated less seriously than adults because they can’t think like we do. The truth is that a child is a full human being. A child of any age is capable of expressing and participating in the glory of God. Christ Himself sanctified every age as God-bearing, since He was as much the perfect Word of God as an infant as when He was a grown man. We must remember that children are not second-class persons. Their baptisms are as significant to them and to God as adult baptisms. Even if they do not cognitively understand what that baptism means, they are certainly capable of intuitively understanding it.

    What if a child leaves or rejects Christ later in life?
    This is a real concern, but not a reason to keep children from full membership in the New Covenant by denying them baptism and communion. We should rather accept them as the Lord commanded us to do, because raising them up in the life in Christ will give them a much better chance of carrying this life beyond our parental guardianship. If someone has no intention of raising a child in Christ—if they have no intention of attending church, praying as a family in the home, teaching the Bible, encouraging questions about the faith, and giving their children every opportunity to experience the life of the Church—then they should in no way bring their child to be baptized.

    When we decide to baptize a child we make the most solemn of promises to God. We are promising to do everything in our power to bring that child to Christ, and this is a promise that we can only make if we are doing everything we can to draw near to Him ourselves. Children take seriously what we take seriously. If they grow up in a home in which conversations about Christ, prayer, and reading from the Bible and the lives of the saints are part of normal daily life, they will feed off this as much as the food we put on their plates at the dinner table. Children are deeply impressed by candlelight and incense, by flowers at Pascha, by late-night processions during Holy Week, by palm leaves on Palm Sunday, by icons, by lake blessings at Theophany, and by vestments and altar service. All of this fascinates them and draws them into Christ. As a priest, I see just how real the life of faith is to children when they approach the chalice to receive communion. It is in their eyes, and I am humbled. When they see that we are excited and involved, they will become excited and involved. Raising a child in Christ is simple. Just be a child yourself in Christ. Take it seriously. Children take faith very seriously, and we should either honor that faith ourselves or we shouldn’t baptize them.

    But what if they do leave Christ? What if we do all that we can do and they still walk away? Wouldn’t it then have been better not to baptize them? Of course not! Would a responsible parent ever dream of keeping their child outside full family membership until they were sure that the child wants to be in the family? Peter Leithart, a Presbyterian and father of ten children himself, makes an excellent point in his book Against Christianity: “Romans normally excluded children from the dinner table until the age of fifteen or sixteen, at which age boys received the toga virilis that marked their entrance to manhood. Family dinner as we know it was a Christian invention, not some ‘natural’ form of family life. The family dinner is a reflection of the eucharistic meal, the meal that welcomed all members of Christ to the table. Opposition to communion of children is pagan and seeks to reverse the revolutionary table fellowship established by the Church. It is an attempt to return to Egypt.”

    The family that eats together should receive communion together, the one an image of the other. A child raised in the fullness of the faith has the greatest of foundations. Every human being is free to do God’s will or not. He wants us to choose to do His will. But even when He knows that we won’t, He still does not deny us food, clothing, or shelter. He does not deny us love, joy, long life, and children of our own. Will we be so afraid of what our children might do that we deny them the one thing everyone needs—communion in the Church and full membership in the life-giving covenant of Christ? Where is our faith? Where is our resolve? Where is our love for God and for our children? To whom is Christ speaking now, when He says, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them”?

    Will unbaptized children go to hell if they die?
    No. The Orthodox Church does not believe that children are born guilty of Adam’s sin and that unless freed of that guilt through baptism and communion they will die without God’s mercy. Such a notion is pernicious both for its barbarism and for its distortion of God. Do we really think that God is so small that He is bound by our rites, the rites He has given us? God is sovereign, and He will have mercy on whom He has mercy and judgment on whom He has judgment (Romans 9:15).

    We can talk about sin and guilt in three ways. First there is primordial sin, the sin of Adam. We understand this not in terms of inherited guilt, but in terms of a fallen world. Primordial sin introduced sickness, suffering, evil, and death into God’s perfect creation (1 John 5:19; Romans 5:12). We are born into Adam’s sin in that we are born into a fallen world. But without our participation, there is no guilt. Second, there is generational sin, which we see in terms of specific propensities to sin. A child of alcoholics, for example, will inherit not the guilt of his parents but the tendency to sin as they did, or other sins associated with this generational heritage. Again, we do not have to submit to this sinful heritage, we do not have to carry it on ourselves. Finally, there is personal sin, the stuff we do ourselves, whether as perpetuation of the general fallenness of this world, the generational fallenness of our parents or surroundings, or as the invention of sins of our own. A person becomes guilty when they personally sin. A child is not guilty until they make sin a personal decision, either consciously or unconsciously.

    It is true that baptism is the washing away of sin, and one could say that it seems senseless to baptize a child if they have no inherited guilt to wash away. However, Christ’s sacrifice, in to which we are baptized, was a sacrifice of His whole life as a submission to God— “not My will, but Yours, be done” (Luke 22:42)—and His death on the Cross not only washed away our sins, but also destroyed death itself. When we are baptized we are baptized into His life and death (Romans 6:4), and we become co-beneficiaries of a life which finally brought God and man into a union of love and a harmony of will. The infant is initiated into that union. This initiation will include the forgiveness of their sins, but is not limited to that forgiveness. The life and death of Christ, which reverses the primordial, generational, and personal falleness of this world, is what the child enters through baptism.
     
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  20. GingerBeer

    GingerBeer Cool and refreshing with a kick!

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    It no more forces salvation on the infant than its mother's milk forces life on the infant.
     
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