Is infant baptism unbiblical?

Marumorose

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Infant baptism is not mentioned in the Bible neither is anyone saved by baptism only faith alone saves so is infant baptism unbiblical?
Infant baptism is unbiblical because infants committed No sins. Jesus Christ said the Kingdom of God belongs to chilldren because Heaven is Not for sinners. Baptism is for forgiveness of sins
May God Bless You
 
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J_B_

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Infant baptism is unbiblical because infants committed No sins. Jesus Christ said the Kingdom of God belongs to chilldren because Heaven is Not for sinners. Baptism is for forgiveness of sins
May God Bless You

This is a Lutheran forum, and that is not a Lutheran position.
 
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J_B_

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Infant baptism is not mentioned in the Bible neither is anyone saved by baptism only faith alone saves so is infant baptism unbiblical?

The Bible actually does mention Baptism saving. See 1 Peter 3:21. Baptism is not a magical guarantee where you are forcing a child into heaven against their will. The baptized can still fall away. However, in Lutheran terms Baptism is a Sacrament - one of the means of grace.

The Bible never says you shouldn't baptize children, so why would we withhold an amazing gift that can foster faith? Baptism is not the first time God indicates his concern for children and provides for them. Consider the temple dedications - something Mary & Joseph did for Jesus (Luke 2:21 ff).

If you want to know what the Bible doesn't say, it never says children are without sin. Rather, it says everyone is sinful (Romans 3:23). Nor does it say we "make a decision for Christ". Rather, it says no one can come to God unless Jesus brings them (John 14:6).
 
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J_B_

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I’m lutheran but i don’t always listen to the lutheran position because it might very often be against the bible.

The rules of this forum do not allow non-Lutherans to openly advocate for non-Lutheran theology. It's OK for non-Lutherans to ask questions and participate in discussions, but they are not allowed to argue that we are wrong. That belongs in other forums.

As to whether Lutheranism is true to the Bible, there are many branches, so we would need to clarify which branch of Lutheranism we are discussing. I am not familiar with Lutheranism in Norway, so I can't say much about it.

But I will say I hear this a lot - this idea that no church is right, only I am right, only I know the truth of the Bible. That is a dangerous position. You need to be involved in a community of mature Christians so you can support and correct each other.
 
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Laestadian05

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Mr Jb when infant baptism is not mentioned in The Bible the Church does not always have right. Our founder Martin Luther said that all jews that would not accept Christ must be killed and thats unbiblical. When Some of Luthers teachings are unbiblical that Means Much of our church is unbiblical.
 
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J_B_

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Mr Jb when infant baptism is not mentioned in The Bible the Church does not always have right. Our founder Martin Luther said that all jews that would not accept Christ must be killed and thats unbiblical. When Some of Luthers teachings are unbiblical that Means Much of our church is unbiblical.

All people are sinful. All people make mistakes, and that includes Martin Luther. The Lutheran church does not claim Luther was infallible, but it does not follow that making one mistake means everything he did was wrong.

If we applied that same logic to you, since you once made a mistake, everything you say would be wrong. I'm sure you agree that is not correct.

Who decides what is Biblical? You? By yourself?

If you picked up a book on quantum physics, will you understand all of it just because you can read? No. A teacher must explain quantum physics to you. It is the same with the Bible. Just because you can read doesn't mean you know perfectly what it all means.
 
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Daniel9v9

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Hey, great question! We certainly believe, teach, and confess that infant Baptism is Biblical, and I think there are several things we should consider. I've copied and pasted some text from an earlier post that may be helpful. I'd be glad to elaborate on any of this if you're interested. God bless!

(Original thread:
Attending An LCMS Church But Have Some Problems With Their Theology

I also expand a bit on it here:
Question about Adult Baptism)

Baptism
It may be good to start with that God's Word does not forbid Baptism of infants. That's only assumed if we think that Baptism is a work that we do for ourselves or for God. But this is not how Baptism is expressed in Scriptures. The Christian Church is commanded to Baptise in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, but the individual receives Baptism as a gift. That is, God gives the gifts of His Word and Sacraments through the Church. So God is the one doing the work, and His Law and Gospel, and Baptism and the Eucharist are gifts.

Who can receive Baptism?
Everyone. Christ has commanded us to make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and that certainly includes children. We can think of it this way: Make disciples and then baptise them. And also, make disciples by baptising them. Both are true.

God wishes to save children
God's love for children is apparent throughout the Bible. In Matthew 19:14 and Matthew 18:10-14, our Lord teaches us that He invites children into His kingdom.

The Gospel is for all
It’s true that children are pure relative to adults, but every human being is a sinner before God. We are all born in sin and are by nature children of wrath (Ephesians 2:3). Psalm 51:5 we read: “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.” Yet, we are not without hope, for the Gospel is also for all. In Acts 2:38-39, we read that Baptism is for us and for our children, and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to Himself. That is, God's promise of grace is for all, regardless of age, and it is given through His Word and Sacraments as gifts to us. An adult and a child are equally helpless to save themselves — they both need Jesus.

One must be born of water and the Spirit
Our Lord says in John 3:5: “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” To be in the kingdom of God means to have been born of water and the Holy Spirit, which means Baptism. So we can rightly understand from this that children are ordinarily adopted and welcomed into the kingdom of God through Baptism. An adult may hear the Gospel and believe, or he may hear the Gospel, be baptised and believe, but a child can receive the Gospel through Baptism and be raised in the faith.

Children are to be raised in the faith
The model for Church membership in the Bible is not that children should give their life to Jesus when they reach a certain age. That idea is foreign to the Scriptures. In the Great Shema, in Deuteronomy 6:4-8, we get a clear command and picture of what it means to be God's people and that this very much includes children. The Bible does not command children to wait to accept God, but rather that children can belong to God and be raised in the faith.

Baptism and its relationship to circumcision
If we understand what circumcision is and consider how central it is in the Old Testament, it gives us context for Baptism in the New Testament. When Paul in Colossians 2 connects circumcision to Baptism, we should contemplate the whole body of doctrine regarding circumcision, and understand that it found its fulfilment in Christ, who gives us Baptism as a new kind of circumcision; a circumcision of the heart by the Holy Spirit (Romans 2). According to the old Law, circumcision was ordinarily for baby boys, though also for adult men, however, we can rejoice in that the gift of Baptism is certainly nothing less than that — it is greater! It is a gift for everyone!

Children can have faith
It would be a mistake to confuse faith with intellectual ability, because we know from God's Word that the Holy Spirit can work faith in children, even in the womb. We can call to mind Psalm 71:5-6 or Matthew 21:16, for example. Or consider how John, filled with the Holy Spirit, leapt for joy in Elizabeth's womb in Luke 1! He certainly had faith. Faith, as we learn in Ephesians 2:8 is a gift from God, and this gift is ordinarily given to children through Baptism, but also through God’s Word.

The peace of Christ to you!
 
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RileyG

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Infant baptism is unbiblical because infants committed No sins. Jesus Christ said the Kingdom of God belongs to chilldren because Heaven is Not for sinners. Baptism is for forgiveness of sins
May God Bless You
This is a Lutheran forum, and they practice infant baptism.

God bless
 
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MonaphychosConstantine

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the baptism saves you doctrine is intertwined with the Christology of the two natures of Christ in 1 Peter 3:21 and the omnipresence of Jesus; Lutheranism is not about logic and rationalism but mysteries. IX. Christ's Descent into Hell
"we simply believe that the entire person, God and man"
 
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ViaCrucis

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Mr Jb when infant baptism is not mentioned in The Bible the Church does not always have right. Our founder Martin Luther said that all jews that would not accept Christ must be killed and thats unbiblical. When Some of Luthers teachings are unbiblical that Means Much of our church is unbiblical.

We don't follow Luther, we follow Jesus, and we believe the Scriptures.

If we split people by all manner of metrics--age, sex, marital status, race, ethnicity, language, etc we'll find that the Bible doesn't explicitly mention most kinds of people being baptized. For example, there's no mention of an Irishman being baptized in the Bible; but we still recognize that Irishmen, being human beings, sinners, and those for whom Christ came to save (which is everyone) are included in the Great Commission. The same can be said of the elderly, or the infirm, or the blind, or people born with certain genetic disorders.

So the question isn't does the Bible explicitly mention infants and small children being baptized? The question is what is the meaning and purpose of Baptism, and who is the Gospel for? And the answer to those questions are very clear in Scripture: The Gospel is for everyone, for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God; and Baptism is the good and gracious means of grace by which God grants us new birth (John 3:5, Titus 3:5), washes us with His word (Ephesians 5:26), forgives us our sins (Acts of the Apostles 2:38), unites us to Jesus Christ's life, death, and resurrection (Romans 6:3-4, Colossians 2:12-13), and yes, truly does save us (1 Peter 3:21).

So when you read the Large Catechism saying what it says concerning baptism, it has nothing to do with what the sinful and fallible Luther has to say on the matter; but rather you can know that what is being said truly is biblical--because it is.

It has nothing to do with Luther, and everything to do with Jesus Christ and His Gospel.

-CryptoLutheran
 
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Markie Boy

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As one trying to understand the concept, and one that was baptized as an infant, I struggle some.

We know, and all Christians agree, baptizing understanding adults is OK - we have direct example of it in scripture.

The Bible is silent on saying do or don't baptize babies. Early debates between Origen and Tertullian seem to show that it really was not a set thing from the Apostles - if someone has early church evidence otherwise I'd be very interested.

One practice makes no sense. If baptism is the entering into the church - delaying communion for children makes no sense. Either they are members or not, and members share the Lord's Supper. But this practice sort of has created semi-members, until an age of reason???
 
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Daniel9v9

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As one trying to understand the concept, and one that was baptized as an infant, I struggle some.

We know, and all Christians agree, baptizing understanding adults is OK - we have direct example of it in scripture.

The Bible is silent on saying do or don't baptize babies. Early debates between Origen and Tertullian seem to show that it really was not a set thing from the Apostles - if someone has early church evidence otherwise I'd be very interested.

One practice makes no sense. If baptism is the entering into the church - delaying communion for children makes no sense. Either they are members or not, and members share the Lord's Supper. But this practice sort of has created semi-members, until an age of reason???

Yeah, perhaps it can be helpful to consider it in these terms:

In the New Testament age, it was a time of mass conversion, and the Scriptures say that this included entire households. (cf. Acts 11:13-14, Acts 16:30-34). And if we consider the norm for children in both the OT and NT Church, it is not that they should wait to accept God, but rather, that they should be brought up in the faith.

So, while Jesus' words "Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven" are not said in the context of Baptism directly, it's quite appropriate to apply them to Holy Baptism. For, our Lord also says: "Amen, men, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God." And in Acts we find this kingdom connected with Baptism: "But when they believed Philip as he preached good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women."

To my knowledge and as I understand it, Baptism of infants in the early Church era was non-contentious, which explains why it wasn't debated. It only became questioned later, but according to Origen, he says: "The Church received from the Apostles the tradition of giving baptism even to infants. The Apostles, to whom were committed the secrets of the divine sacraments, knew there are in everyone innate strains of sin, which must be washed away through water and the Spirit." So he rightly connects this to our Lord's words in John 3, quoted above.

I think the earliest allusion to Baptism of children that I know of is what Justin Martyr wrote: "Many, both men and women, who have been Christ's disciples from childhood, remain pure ..."

In short, there's no Biblical example or reason why we should delay Baptism to a certain age. The natural reading and church history are in the favour of that Baptism is for all.

Now, what about the Eucharist? Must children wait to receive the sacrament? Well, children who are incapable of consuming the elements aside, it's my understanding that there's no reason to hinder youth from coming to the Lord's table. But even so, that doesn't mean that babies are less Christian. It just means that those who are physically able and prepared for receiving the Eucharist may have their troubled consciences consoled by the great Gospel promise of our Lord. But we can take comfort in knowing that this same promise is also given to us in Baptism and in God's Word. So my point here is to emphasise that we don't want to draw a hard distinction between the Gospel preached, or heard or read through God's Word, and Baptism, and the Eucharist, for it is all the same Gospel promise. Only one is heard (or read), and the others are received in tangible form.

God bless!
 
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FaithT

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Yeah, perhaps it can be helpful to consider it in these terms:

In the New Testament age, it was a time of mass conversion, and the Scriptures say that this included entire households. (cf. Acts 11:13-14, Acts 16:30-34). And if we consider the norm for children in both the OT and NT Church, it is not that they should wait to accept God, but rather, that they should be brought up in the faith.

So, while Jesus' words "Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven" are not said in the context of Baptism directly, it's quite appropriate to apply them to Holy Baptism. For, our Lord also says: "Amen, men, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God." And in Acts we find this kingdom connected with Baptism: "But when they believed Philip as he preached good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women."

To my knowledge and as I understand it, Baptism of infants in the early Church era was non-contentious, which explains why it wasn't debated. It only became questioned later, but according to Origen, he says: "The Church received from the Apostles the tradition of giving baptism even to infants. The Apostles, to whom were committed the secrets of the divine sacraments, knew there are in everyone innate strains of sin, which must be washed away through water and the Spirit." So he rightly connects this to our Lord's words in John 3, quoted above.

I think the earliest allusion to Baptism of children that I know of is what Justin Martyr wrote: "Many, both men and women, who have been Christ's disciples from childhood, remain pure ..."

In short, there's no Biblical example or reason why we should delay Baptism to a certain age. The natural reading and church history are in the favour of that Baptism is for all.

Now, what about the Eucharist? Must children wait to receive the sacrament? Well, children who are incapable of consuming the elements aside, it's my understanding that there's no reason to hinder youth from coming to the Lord's table. But even so, that doesn't mean that babies are less Christian. It just means that those who are physically able and prepared for receiving the Eucharist may have their troubled consciences consoled by the great Gospel promise of our Lord. But we can take comfort in knowing that this same promise is also given to us in Baptism and in God's Word. So my point here is to emphasise that we don't want to draw a hard distinction between the Gospel preached, or heard or read through God's Word, and Baptism, and the Eucharist, for it is all the same Gospel promise. Only one is heard (or read), and the others are received in tangible form.

God bless!
Question. You quoted Origen and the early church Apostles, tradition, but aren’t Lutherans not supposed to rely on Apostolic tradition?
 
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Daniel9v9

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Question. You quoted Origen and the early church Apostles, tradition, but aren’t Lutherans not supposed to rely on Apostolic tradition?

Lutherans value tradition, but tradition must be governed by God's Word. Our Roman Catholic, Eastern and Oriental Orthodox, and to a lesser degree, Anglican friends, however, believe in the doctrine of Holy Tradition, which is to say that tradition and Scripture are of equal authority. They are not. For first of all, there are many strands of tradition, and secondly, it's not clear what parts of tradition are supposed to be from God and what is supposed to be from man. The Bible, on the other hand, is clear, for it is entirely God's Word.

So, we argue on the basis of Scripture alone, but we can also show examples from Church history if it's useful.
 
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FaithT

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Lutherans value tradition, but tradition must be governed by God's Word. Our Roman Catholic, Eastern and Oriental Orthodox, and to a lesser degree, Anglican friends, however, believe in the doctrine of Holy Tradition, which is to say that tradition and Scripture are of equal authority. They are not. For first of all, there are many strands of tradition, and secondly, it's not clear what parts of tradition are supposed to be from God and what is supposed to be from man. The Bible, on the other hand, is clear, for it is entirely God's Word.

So, we argue on the basis of Scripture alone, but we can also show examples from Church history if it's useful.
Ok thanks!
 
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Markie Boy

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Lutherans value tradition, but tradition must be governed by God's Word. Our Roman Catholic, Eastern and Oriental Orthodox, and to a lesser degree, Anglican friends, however, believe in the doctrine of Holy Tradition, which is to say that tradition and Scripture are of equal authority. They are not. For first of all, there are many strands of tradition, and secondly, it's not clear what parts of tradition are supposed to be from God and what is supposed to be from man. The Bible, on the other hand, is clear, for it is entirely God's Word.

So, we argue on the basis of Scripture alone, but we can also show examples from Church history if it's useful.

A great balance. This is what is keeping me asking about Lutheranism. When I was in Catholicism I saw many traditions that were mandatory, but not Biblical or Apostolic.

On the other end, when I brought up the Didache, to baptist pastor, he had never even heard of it. It's the most essential writing outside the Bible I think when it comes to church history - yet seminaries would give degrees without ever having touched on it? And they too have developed their own traditions that are not Biblical or historical, like "once saved always saved".

I guess I think history and tradition help us understand scripture.
 
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