Yes, children were present in household baptisms. Biblical evidence.

John Owen

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Yep, the promise is for those who repent. I'm having a hard time with a newborn repenting in any recognizable way and requesting baptism ("and be baptized").
Exactly. Infants can provide no evidence of repentance or faith.
 
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BobRyan

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Exactly. Infants can provide no evidence of repentance or faith.

They agree "to nothing"
They "Repent of nothing"
They "understanding nothing"


and since they are mere infants - that is as it should be.

We might as well talk to them about calculus as to speak to them about abstract concepts such as faith.
 
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John Owen

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They agree "to nothing"
They "Repent of nothing"
They "understanding nothing"

and since they are mere infants - that is as it should be.
Right, and they should be held to no covenant promises.
 
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The Liturgist

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Yes, it is my understanding they were included in households.

Indeed, if you look at the earliest canon laws of the church it makes it evident that persons who were in those categories were baptized frequently and in extremely large numbers, since there are multiple canons relating to their proper treatment and the relationship between them and the master of the house.
 
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The Liturgist

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They agree "to nothing"
They "Repent of nothing"
They "understanding nothing"


and since they are mere infants - that is as it should be.

We might as well talk to them about calculus as to speak to them about abstract concepts such as faith.

Firstly, it doesn’t matter since the benefits of baptism require cognition only in those capable of cognition, which is why in emergencies we can baptize someone with a very low GCS number. It is an open question whether or not the brain dead can be baptized; I would say conditionally because, distressingly and on rare occasions brain death has been misdiagnosed.

However, I propose in the case of baptism, from my observations in the baptism of infants, they do indeed understand that something good has happened much of the time.
 
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The Liturgist

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Exactly. Infants can provide no evidence of repentance or faith.

They don’t need to since baptism functions noetically; the Holy spirit interacts not with their conscious mind but on a more profound level. The sponsors, or godparents, are charged with ensuring they are raised in the faith and also in some liturgical traditions act on their behalf with respect to the affirmations of faith. In Islamic societies where a risk of abduction exists, specifically Egypt and Bosnia, the Coptic Christians and Bosnian Catholics also permanently imprint a tiny cross, in the case of the Copts in the diaspora usually on the back right hand just above the wrist, but it could be elsewhere, which devalues them to prospective Muslim abductors and in the event they are in some manner abducted, the abductor would have to remove the mark which I daresay given its location would not be possible without the use of lasers, so thus historically this was a viable protective measure.


Right, and they should be held to no covenant promises.

Such promises really don’t attach to the infant but to the godparents who serve to ensure the parents raise the infant in the faith, or in the event of their demise, that the child’s spiritual needs are looked after, for example, in the case of my church or the Eastern Orthodox or certain high church continuing Anglicans or some Methodists, this would include catechesis and regular reception of the Eucharist.

The substantial difference of course between Baptists and us is that we affirm that Baptism is actually regenerative, that Chrismation provides the seal of the Holy Spirit, and that the bread and wine of the Eucharist do actually become in a real sense the Body and Blood of Christ and convey real grace. Interestingly both Lutheran and Calvin affirmed this (baptismal regeneration, and in Luther’s case, the physical presence of Christ in the Eucharist, and in Calvin’s case, the spiritual presence of Christ in the Eucharist) aside from Chrismation, which is mainly a practice of the various Eastern churches (Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Eastern Catholic, the Assyrian Church of the East and the closely related Ancient Church of the East, and I believe some Eastern Protestant churches
perhaps the Mar Thoma Syrian Church in Kerala, India or the Ukrainian Lutherans, and also Western churches that have bought into Eastern Christian ideas).

I am pretty comfortable adhering to infant baptism considering it was documented in the early church, in the second century, with no mention of it being a recent innovation, and by all subsequent Patristic and Scholastic theologians, as well as Luther, Calvin and Cranmer and their followers such as Luther’s disciple Melancthon and the Calvinist founder of the Presbyterian Church of Scotland, John Knox, and the majority of the denominations of the Christian church today.

However I am proud of the fact that an Irish-Dutch ancestor (we had assumed he was English) did lead the first group of Baptist pilgrims to the New World, where they settled on Long Island after experiencing persecution by the Puritans in New England, and I do love the hardline stance of most of the SBC against abortion (although it worries me the more traditional candidate supported by Dr. Albert Mohler did not win at the conference this year), and speaking of Al Mohler, since the repose of Pope John Paul II and Dr. James Kennedy and the resignation of Benedict XVI, I regard him as the foremost moral theologian in terms of his influence and the scope of his work, particularly since the major leaders of the Eastern church are obscure in the West. I think Baptists deserve a lot of the credit for the repeal of Roe vs. Wade, and Roman Catholics also, as well as other conservative Christian denominations, since the mainline churches unfortunately stopped caring about this issue and in some cases even became pro-choice, like the United Church of Christ. And Dr. Mohler remains the most visible authoritative figure opposing abortion, opposing sexual immorality, and opposing euthanasia, so the fact that he would disagree with my views on sacramental theology does not diminish my respect for his work.

Thus in explaining this to you my goal is to provide information on why we believe what we believe without opposing Baptists or bashing the conservative Baptist denominations, because I have extreme respect for them as places that have preserved holiness.
 
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The Liturgist

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By the way, on a less confrontational note, if anyone knows of an SBC church that has traditional hymns and organ music such as was common until the 1990s with the rise of the praise and worship band, and that streams their traditional services, ideally on YouTube, please let me know so I can cite them as an exemplary church in terms of worship. I have already identified a Christian Church/Disciples of Christ parish and I think they are credobaptists.
 
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Derf

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I am pretty comfortable adhering to infant baptism considering it was documented in the early church, in the second century
Could you provide that documentation from the 2nd century?
 
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The Liturgist

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Could you provide that documentation from the 2nd century?

Not only the 2nd, but the 3rd.

Irenaeus
“He [Jesus] came to save all through himself; all, I say, who through him are reborn in God: infants, and children, and youths, and old men. Therefore he passed through every age, becoming an infant for infants, sanctifying infants; a child for children, sanctifying those who are of that age . . . [so that] he might be the perfect teacher in all things, perfect not only in respect to the setting forth of truth, perfect also in respect to relative age” (Against Heresies 2:22:4 [A.D. 189]).

Hippolytus
“Baptize first the children, and if they can speak for themselves let them do so. Otherwise, let their parents or other relatives speak for them” (The Apostolic Tradition 21:16 [A.D. 215]).

Origen
“Every soul that is born into flesh is soiled by the filth of wickedness and sin. . . . In the Church, baptism is given for the remission of sins, and, according to the usage of the Church, baptism is given even to infants. If there were nothing in infants which required the remission of sins and nothing in them pertinent to forgiveness, the grace of baptism would seem superfluous” (Homilies on Leviticus 8:3 [A.D. 248]).

“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 [original] sin, which must be washed away through water and the Spirit” (Commentaries on Romans 5:9 [A.D. 248]).

Cyprian of Carthage
“As to what pertains to the case of infants: You [Fidus] said that they ought not to be baptized within the second or third day after their birth, that the old law of circumcision must be taken into consideration, and that you did not think that one should be baptized and sanctified within the eighth day after his birth. In our council it seemed to us far otherwise. No one agreed to the course which you thought should be taken. Rather, we all judge that the mercy and grace of God ought to be denied to no man born” (Letters 64:2 [A.D. 253]).

“If, in the case of the worst sinners and those who formerly sinned much against God, when afterwards they believe, the remission of their sins is granted and no one is held back from baptism and grace, how much more, then, should an infant not be held back, who, having but recently been born, has done no sin, except that, born of the flesh according to Adam, he has contracted the contagion of that old death from his first being born. For this very reason does he [an infant] approach more easily to receive the remission of sins: because the sins forgiven him are not his own but those of another” (ibid., 64:5).
 
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Derf

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Not only the 2nd, but the 3rd.

Irenaeus
“He [Jesus] came to save all through himself; all, I say, who through him are reborn in God: infants, and children, and youths, and old men. Therefore he passed through every age, becoming an infant for infants, sanctifying infants; a child for children, sanctifying those who are of that age . . . [so that] he might be the perfect teacher in all things, perfect not only in respect to the setting forth of truth, perfect also in respect to relative age” (Against Heresies 2:22:4 [A.D. 189]).

Hippolytus
“Baptize first the children, and if they can speak for themselves let them do so. Otherwise, let their parents or other relatives speak for them” (The Apostolic Tradition 21:16 [A.D. 215]).

Origen
“Every soul that is born into flesh is soiled by the filth of wickedness and sin. . . . In the Church, baptism is given for the remission of sins, and, according to the usage of the Church, baptism is given even to infants. If there were nothing in infants which required the remission of sins and nothing in them pertinent to forgiveness, the grace of baptism would seem superfluous” (Homilies on Leviticus 8:3 [A.D. 248]).

“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 [original] sin, which must be washed away through water and the Spirit” (Commentaries on Romans 5:9 [A.D. 248]).

Cyprian of Carthage
“As to what pertains to the case of infants: You [Fidus] said that they ought not to be baptized within the second or third day after their birth, that the old law of circumcision must be taken into consideration, and that you did not think that one should be baptized and sanctified within the eighth day after his birth. In our council it seemed to us far otherwise. No one agreed to the course which you thought should be taken. Rather, we all judge that the mercy and grace of God ought to be denied to no man born” (Letters 64:2 [A.D. 253]).

“If, in the case of the worst sinners and those who formerly sinned much against God, when afterwards they believe, the remission of their sins is granted and no one is held back from baptism and grace, how much more, then, should an infant not be held back, who, having but recently been born, has done no sin, except that, born of the flesh according to Adam, he has contracted the contagion of that old death from his first being born. For this very reason does he [an infant] approach more easily to receive the remission of sins: because the sins forgiven him are not his own but those of another” (ibid., 64:5).
I appreciate the thorough reply. I'd heard several of the 3rd century examples. Your 2nd century example isn't talking about baptism, but salvation, which 2 things shouldn't be equated. So it seems the practice of infant baptism is first actually documented in the 3rd century. That's not to say it isn't significant, but it puts it about 150 years after the apostles, who warned repeatedly of false teachers.
 
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ViaCrucis

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If we, as the Church, aren't raising up disciples of Jesus Christ to faith and reprentance, then that's quite the problem.

Which is why when the infant is brought to the gracious waters of Holy Baptism we are committing ourselves to that very thing--just as we do when an adult convert is baptized. It doesn't make any difference, because the precious blood of Jesus Christ which washes away all sin doesn't discriminate on whether we are infants or adults, poor or rich, slave or free, Jew or Greek. Christ died for all.

Repentance isn't a human work that earns salvation from God, repentance is the call to us to carry our cross as followers of Jesus. So whether one is baptized as a child and raised up in faith and repentance, or if one comes later, is baptized, and continues to grow in faith and repentance, it is the same grace of God, the same saving work of Christ, and the same Holy Spirit at work conforming us to the image of Christ.

Salvation isn't checking off a list of things to do. Salvation is Christ's work, ours by the grace of God, through faith.

The moment men deny the works and gifts of God in favor of their own works there's a problem. Which is precisely what has happened by denying God's means of grace: Word and Sacrament.

The fact that so many here are making this an issue of the human power of cognition, of human ability to say the right things, do the right things, and believe the right theological propositions--rather than talking about Jesus Christ and His Gospel--is evidence of this. See how men have done away with Jesus and put themselves in the center, that they might boast in the glory of their works; rather than boast in the cross of Jesus Christ.

-CryptoLutheran
 
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The Liturgist

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I appreciate the thorough reply. I'd heard several of the 3rd century examples. Your 2nd century example isn't talking about baptism, but salvation, which 2 things shouldn't be equated. So it seems the practice of infant baptism is first actually documented in the 3rd century. That's not to say it isn't significant, but it puts it about 150 years after the apostles, who warned repeatedly of false teachers.

However, none of those I cited, with the possible and fiercely debated exception of Origen, are looked upon as false teachers, and furthermore there is no historical record of credobaptism or a prohibition against the baptism of infants ever existing in the early church.

The false teachers the Apostles warned of we actually know the identities of, names emblazoned in infamy in the annals of the Church: Simon Magus, Cerinthus, Nicolas the Deacon, Marcion, Valentinus, Severian, Tatian, Mani, Arius, Eunomius, Nestorius, and many others. A good general listing of them can be found in the Fount of Wisdom of St. John of Damascus from the 8th century, which lists all of those cited by both St. Irenaeus and St. Epiphanius of Salamis and adds to them more recent heretics like Nestorius. The only slight problem was that at the time the Oriental Orthodox were confused with the Monophysite followers of Eutyches, which was a completely different sect that eventually degenerated into Tritheism under John Philoponus.

In general, however, the early church did an amazingly good job at identifying and categorizing the false teachers depending on their specific error.

Now of course, I accept Baptists as valid Christians without hesitation and am not seeking to imply heterodoxy. Indeed I very much respect Baptists, disagreeing vehemently only with the Landmark Baptists because in their effort to distance themselves from Roman Catholicism they proposed they are connected with certain sects which we actually know quite a lot about, and in many cases even have fragments of their scripture, and if they were to read some of these no one could object if they recoiled in horror.
 
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Derf

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However, none of those I cited, with the possible and fiercely debated exception of Origen, are looked upon as false teachers, and furthermore there is no historical record of credobaptism or a prohibition against the baptism of infants ever existing in the early church.

The false teachers the Apostles warned of we actually know the identities of, names emblazoned in infamy in the annals of the Church: Simon Magus, Cerinthus, Nicolas the Deacon, Marcion, Valentinus, Severian, Tatian, Mani, Arius, Eunomius, Nestorius, and many others. A good general listing of them can be found in the Fount of Wisdom of St. John of Damascus from the 8th century, which lists all of those cited by both St. Irenaeus and St. Epiphanius of Salamis and adds to them more recent heretics like Nestorius. The only slight problem was that at the time the Oriental Orthodox were confused with the Monophysite followers of Eutyches, which was a completely different sect that eventually degenerated into Tritheism under John Philoponus.

In general, however, the early church did an amazingly good job at identifying and categorizing the false teachers depending on their specific error.

Now of course, I accept Baptists as valid Christians without hesitation and am not seeking to imply heterodoxy. Indeed I very much respect Baptists, disagreeing vehemently only with the Landmark Baptists because in their effort to distance themselves from Roman Catholicism they proposed they are connected with certain sects which we actually know quite a lot about, and in many cases even have fragments of their scripture, and if they were to read some of these no one could object if they recoiled in horror.
I may have overstated my point. I wasn't trying to imply that these guys were "false teachers", but that they might have been influenced by some false teaching in the 150 years. It wouldn't have to be an instantaneous handover to heresy, but would slowly slide into it. One of the things that would need to happen is a re-interpretation of those passages, like Rom 9, that specify faith as the deciding factor rather than, say, circumcision or lineage, but since that was so soundly rebuffed by Paul, it would have to be something Paul approved of, with a subtle twist. Regenerative baptism fits the bill perfectly to replace circumcision. And once that's accepted, the logical next step would be to apply it to infants, replacing the Jew's lineage claims.
 
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ViaCrucis

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I may have overstated my point. I wasn't trying to imply that these guys were "false teachers", but that they might have been influenced by some false teaching in the 150 years. It wouldn't have to be an instantaneous handover to heresy, but would slowly slide into it. One of the things that would need to happen is a re-interpretation of those passages, like Rom 9, that specify faith as the deciding factor rather than, say, circumcision or lineage, but since that was so soundly rebuffed by Paul, it would have to be something Paul approved of, with a subtle twist. Regenerative baptism fits the bill perfectly to replace circumcision. And once that's accepted, the logical next step would be to apply it to infants, replacing the Jew's lineage claims.

It would have had to happen awful fast.

The Epistles of Ignatius, c. 107 AD

"Let my spirit be counted as nothing for the sake of the cross, which is a stumbling block to those that do not believe, but to us salvation and life eternal. 'Where is the wise man? Where is the disputer?' Where is the boasting of those who are styled prudent? For our God, Jesus Christ, was, according to the appointment of God, conceived in the womb by Mary, of the seed of David, but by the Holy Spirit. He was born and baptized, that by His passion He might purify the water." - Ignatius to the Ephesians, 18

What do you suppose Ignatius means here when he says that Christ, by His passion He might "purify the water". What water do you think Ignatius has in mind here?

The Epistle of Barnabas, c. 70 - 130 AD

"This means, that we indeed descend into the water full of sins and defilement, but come up, bearing fruit in our heart, having the fear and trust in Jesus in our spirit." - Epistle of Barnabas, 11

What water do you suppose the writer of Barnabas means here, what water do we descend into?

Justin Martyr in his First Apology, c. 130-140 AD

"I will also relate the manner in which we dedicated ourselves to God when we had been made new through Christ; lest, if we omit this, we seem to be unfair in the explanation we are making. As many as are persuaded and believe that what we teach and say is true, and undertake to be able to live accordingly, are instructed to pray and to entreat God with fasting, for the remission of their sins that are past, we praying and fasting with them. Then they are brought by us where there is water, and are regenerated in the same manner in which we were ourselves regenerated. For, in the name of God, the Father and Lord of the universe, and of our Saviour Jesus Christ, and of the Holy Spirit, they then receive the washing with water. For Christ also said, 'Unless you be born again, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.'" - Justin Martyr's First Apology, 61

Which is more likely, that the second and third generation of Christians, willing to die for Jesus, just abandoned the faith as soon as the apostles were gone? Or that they persevered in the faith which they had received from the beginning?

Because we're not talking 150 years, we're talking, at most, just a couple decades.

-CryptoLutheran
 
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Derf

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It would have had to happen awful fast.

The Epistles of Ignatius, c. 107 AD

"Let my spirit be counted as nothing for the sake of the cross, which is a stumbling block to those that do not believe, but to us salvation and life eternal. 'Where is the wise man? Where is the disputer?' Where is the boasting of those who are styled prudent? For our God, Jesus Christ, was, according to the appointment of God, conceived in the womb by Mary, of the seed of David, but by the Holy Spirit. He was born and baptized, that by His passion He might purify the water." - Ignatius to the Ephesians, 18

What do you suppose Ignatius means here when he says that Christ, by His passion He might "purify the water". What water do you think Ignatius has in mind here?
What do YOU think he meant by "purify the water"? Are you saying the water now has supernatural powers? Why stop at infants? shouldn't we just shower the whole world with that water, without permission from anyone? Then EVERYONE will be regenerated, right?
The Epistle of Barnabas, c. 70 - 130 AD

"This means, that we indeed descend into the water full of sins and defilement, but come up, bearing fruit in our heart, having the fear and trust in Jesus in our spirit." - Epistle of Barnabas, 11

What water do you suppose the writer of Barnabas means here, what water do we descend into?
Just because we descend as the old man and ascend as the new man, doesn't mean the water is what does the transformation. We see that with Cornelius and others who reveal their state BEFORE they are baptized.
Justin Martyr in his First Apology, c. 130-140 AD

"I will also relate the manner in which we dedicated ourselves to God when we had been made new through Christ; lest, if we omit this, we seem to be unfair in the explanation we are making. As many as are persuaded and believe that what we teach and say is true, and undertake to be able to live accordingly, are instructed to pray and to entreat God with fasting, for the remission of their sins that are past, we praying and fasting with them. Then they are brought by us where there is water, and are regenerated in the same manner in which we were ourselves regenerated. For, in the name of God, the Father and Lord of the universe, and of our Saviour Jesus Christ, and of the Holy Spirit, they then receive the washing with water. For Christ also said, 'Unless you be born again, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.'" - Justin Martyr's First Apology, 61

Which is more likely, that the second and third generation of Christians, willing to die for Jesus, just abandoned the faith as soon as the apostles were gone? Or that they persevered in the faith which they had received from the beginning?

Because we're not talking 150 years, we're talking, at most, just a couple decades.

-CryptoLutheran
Your quote from Justin Martyr completely obliterates your position when he says, "I will also relate the manner in which we dedicated ourselves to God when we had been made new through Christ." You can see that he's talking about people who have been already regenerated, "had been made new", who then go on to dedicate themselves to God.

But, if they are really saying, as you seem to think, that the water is somehow "purified" and given a supernatural power, then they go against Peter when he said:
[1Pe 3:21 KJV] 21 The like figure whereunto [even] baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:

It's not the bath that saves, but the cleansing of the conscience. And yes, I could say that such a position could be developed pretty quickly in light of the importance the Jews made of circumcision.
 
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ViaCrucis

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What do YOU think he meant by "purify the water"? Are you saying the water now has supernatural powers? Why stop at infants? shouldn't we just shower the whole world with that water, without permission from anyone? Then EVERYONE will be regenerated, right?

When it is water connected with God's word, then it certainly is supernatural. Not the water, it's just water, but the word of God? God's word makes things happen. By His word He created the universe from nothing, by His word He made the sun still in the sky, by His word He made the waters part and Israel to walk on dry land. By His word He caused the wind and waves to silence, by His word He made the blind to see, the lame to walk, and the dead to rise. By His word He declares you forgiven.

So we read in Romans 10:17 that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of Christ. So when God declares that whoever is baptized into Christ has put on Christ (Galatians 3:27), and that whoever is baptized is baptized into Christ's death, buried with Him in baptism, and therefore raised up together with Christ to new life (Romans 6:3-4, Colossians 2:12-13), that whoever is born of water and the Spirit is born anew from God above (John 3:5) and that with the washing of water with the word Christ has cleansed us (Ephesians 5:26) I think we should take God's word seriously. He means what He says.

This argument that if we can baptize infants why not just start hosing down everyone fails to take into account that we who believe in baptismal regeneration and that infants and children are included understand that it's still a matter of faith. You don't go tackle the stranger on the street and drag him to church, but presumably--if you have children--you have raised/are raising them up as believers, teaching them in the things of Christ, taking them to church, etc. It's the same thing, it's just that we recognize baptism as the starting point of our journey as Christians, and so since we are going to be raising our children as believers, we baptize them, teach them, and preach to them the word of God; trusting not in human power and wisdom, but in God's power and grace to work and create faith in them. Just as He does for us.

Just because we descend as the old man and ascend as the new man, doesn't mean the water is what does the transformation. We see that with Cornelius and others who reveal their state BEFORE they are baptized.

Your quote from Justin Martyr completely obliterates your position when he says, "I will also relate the manner in which we dedicated ourselves to God when we had been made new through Christ." You can see that he's talking about people who have been already regenerated, "had been made new", who then go on to dedicate themselves to God.

Look at it again. They were made new when they dedicated themselves,

"I will also relate the manner in which we dedicated ourselves to God when we had been made new through Christ;"

And then goes on to say "Then they are brought by us where there is water, and are regenerated in the same manner in which we were ourselves regenerated." That's pretty clear.

But, if they are really saying, as you seem to think, that the water is somehow "purified" and given a supernatural power, then they go against Peter when he said:
[1Pe 3:21 KJV] 21 The like figure whereunto [even] baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:

Read that again, the waters of the flood and the salvation of Noah is a figure, a type, it points to the reality of what? Baptism. Which has nothing to do with washing dirty off the body, but has everything to do with the pledge of a new conscience toward God by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

The text is clear, Baptism isn't about getting the body clean, it's about the transformation that happens when we are regenerated, made new, for we are transformed as God turns us toward Himself with a new and clean conscience.

ὃ καὶ ὑμᾶς ἀντίτυπον νῦν σῴζει βάπτισμα οὐ σαρκὸς ἀπόθεσις ῥύπου ἀλλὰ συνειδήσεως ἀγαθῆς ἐπερώτημα εἰς θεόν δι᾽ ἀναστάσεως Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ

ho kai hymas antitypon nyn sozei baptisma ou sarkos apothesis rhypou alla syneideseos agathes eperotema eis theon di anastaseos Iesou Christou

And this prefigures baptism which now saves you, not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience through the resurrection of Jesus Christ

It's not the bath that saves, but the cleansing of the conscience. And yes, I could say that such a position could be developed pretty quickly in light of the importance the Jews made of circumcision.

If it were just a bath, just getting wet, just water and nothing else, without God's word; you'd have a good point. But you can't say it's just water without throwing out your Bible in the process.

God doesn't stake His own Name on something that is meaningless, and He has staked His Name on Baptism: "baptize them in the name of the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit".

That's it's not about mere water doesn't change the fact that God uses that very water to accomplish His work.

The Son of God bore "mere flesh", but that very flesh is your and my salvation because it was His flesh that was nailed to the cross; it was not just "mere blood" that was shed, but the blood of the Son of God. It was on "mere wood" that our Savior was crucified, it was a "mere tomb" in which His body was laid.

Don't fall into the error of the Gnostics who regarded things to be worthless because they were matter. God uses material things. He always has. God doesn't declare physical things worthless, but rather sanctifies physical things for His purposes. He didn't choose to send angels out to preach the Gospel, but chose human beings. His word is written by human authors, with ink and parchment.

Why should it be incredible that He who says concerning "mere water" that He can use it as an external and outward physical sign to accomplish His very own saving work, that He should join together with that water His own word?

-CryptoLutheran
 
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bbbbbbb

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The very curious (at least to myself) thing is that those who profess to believe that the sacrament of baptism actually and truly saves individuals apart from any desire or other evidence on their part in salvation, are, in fact, the most restrictive in their provision of this essential sacrament. They restrict it to a rite to be performed within a sacred building (virtually always) and exclude the vast majority of sinners from it.

Why is that?
 
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ViaCrucis

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The very curious (at least to myself) thing is that those who profess to believe that the sacrament of baptism actually and truly saves individuals apart from any desire or other evidence on their part in salvation, are, in fact, the most restrictive in their provision of this essential sacrament. They restrict it to a rite to be performed within a sacred building (virtually always) and exclude the vast majority of sinners from it.

Why is that?

If someone came up to you and said, "I want to be baptized" and you took them them to a swimming pool, or to a parking lot and brought a bucket of water, then baptized them in the name of the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. Then hallelujah, they just got baptized.

So, well, you're wrong.

But as a matter of general practice the Church has virtually always made baptisms part of the full church experience. Churches usually have a baptismal font to make access to water easier. Pastors usually perform the rite of baptism so that the full experience can be shared and explained every time--the congregation hearing the words allows us to remember our own baptisms, and to give thanks to God. The entire congregation gets to participate in welcoming a new brother or sister into our midst and give glory to God. It has nothing to do with restrictive provisions, it's just a matter of good order and an ordinary way of doing things.

It's actually quite the opposite of what you said. The ones who restrict and put extra provisions on baptism aren't us, it's those who want to gate keep Baptism. We want people to be baptized.

You're the one arguing that certain kinds of people shouldn't be baptized, and are putting barriers in the way of baptism. Not us.

-CryptoLutheran
 
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bbbbbbb

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If someone came up to you and said, "I want to be baptized" and you took them them to a swimming pool, or to a parking lot and brought a bucket of water, then baptized them in the name of the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. Then hallelujah, they just got baptized.

So, well, you're wrong.

But as a matter of general practice the Church has virtually always made baptisms part of the full church experience. Churches usually have a baptismal font to make access to water easier. Pastors usually perform the rite of baptism so that the full experience can be shared and explained every time--the congregation hearing the words allows us to remember our own baptisms, and to give thanks to God. The entire congregation gets to participate in welcoming a new brother or sister into our midst and give glory to God. It has nothing to do with restrictive provisions, it's just a matter of good order and an ordinary way of doing things.

It's actually quite the opposite of what you said. The ones who restrict and put extra provisions on baptism aren't us, it's those who want to gate keep Baptism. We want people to be baptized.

You're the one arguing that certain kinds of people shouldn't be baptized, and are putting barriers in the way of baptism. Not us.

-CryptoLutheran

I have no doubt whatsoever that you want people to be baptized. However, you only want certain people to be baptized. You have definite restrictions concerning the sacrament of baptism, do you not?
 
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