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Baptism and Infant Baptism
The Evangelization Station ^ | Written by John Lee and Frank Bompas. Printed with ecclesiastical approval.

Posted on 10/25/2010 9:27:38 AM PDT by GonzoII

Baptism and Infant Baptism

The Bible attests that baptism is the way a person becomes part of the “Body of Christ”, the Church. At the end of his speech at Pentecost, Peter told his hearers what they had to do to be saved: “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38). Note that Peter said “everyone”, not just adults. In Catholic belief, the Latin term “ex opere operato”, which literally means “from the work performed”, expresses the essentially objective mode of operation of grace imparted in the seven sacraments, by God’s Spirit, (of which baptism is the first) and its independence of the subjective attitude of either the minister or the recipient. Thus, even though infants are too young to understand and accept baptism, they can nevertheless be baptized.

Without baptism you cannot enter the kingdom of heaven

Through baptism, converts to Jesus Christ first received forgiveness of their sins, the gift of the Holy Spirit, and became members of the community of Christians, the Church. Does baptism have anything to do with salvation? Jesus said: “He who believes and is baptized will be saved” (Mk 16:16). He told Nicodemus that “unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God” (Jn 3:5). The Church of New Testament times responded to this teaching by immediately baptizing all new converts (See Acts 2:38, 41; 18, 8; 19:5; 22:16). Paul explained that baptism unites believers to Jesus in his death so that they will also share in his resurrection (Rom 6:35). Baptism then is also a “means” to salvation.

Baptism starts the process of salvation

From the earliest Christian centuries, the Church has baptized either by immersing or by “pouring” the water over the head of the person while praying the Trinitarian formula (Mt 28:19). Nowhere does the Bible say how much water is to be used (see Acts 9:36:37), otherwise we would be seeking salvation “by works”, and not by the grace imparted in the sacrament of Baptism. “The Church does not know of any means other than baptism that assures entry into eternal beatitude; this is why she takes care not to neglect the mission she has received from the Lord to see that all who can be baptized are „reborn of water and the Spirit'. God has bound salvation to the sacrament of Baptism, but he himself is not bound by his sacraments” (Catechism of the Church §1257)

The evidence that water Baptism starts the process of salvation is overwhelming in the Bible. However, a common evangelical bias, or prejudice, can be stated like this “Nothing we do with our bodies in the physical realm has anything whatever to do with God’s dealings with our eternal souls in the spiritual realm”. This bias has its roots in an ancient Gnostic heresy called Manichaeism, which the Catholic Church dealt with centuries ago. This evangelical notion that we should worship like angels, without the aid of our bodies, leads evangelicals to reject not only the Eucharist and Baptism, which they style “ordinances”. These are Sacraments of the New and eternal Covenant.

Living in a personal relationship with God

Evangelicals and fundamentalists are under the erroneous impression that Catholics do not believe in “having a personal relationship with the Lord”. The Catechism of the Catholic Church clearly states: “The mystery of the faith requires that the faithful live in a vital and personal relationship with the living and true God” (§2558). Most Catholics pray to this effect when receiving their First Communion, at Confirmation or on a daily basis or whenever they receive the Body and Blood of Christ in Communion during the Catholic worship service, the Mass. The expression, however, is not found in the Bible. It is a product of our present cultural way of thinking. A more Biblical expression is: “following Christ”.

INFANT BAPTISM

Circumcision and Baptism are both rites by which people come into a special Covenant (not “ordinance”) relationship with God (see Exodus 12:48). “Repent and be baptized, everyone of you ….. This promise is for you and your children and for all those …..” Peter tells us in Acts 2:38-39. Jesus also said that no-one can enter heaven unless born again of water and the Holy Spirit (Baptism) (Jn 3:5). In Mt 19:14, Jesus urged: “Let the children be, do not keep them back from me, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these”. The fundamentalists’ argument that this does not apply to infants since the children referred to are able to approach Christ on their own, is incorrect, since the parallel texts (Lk 18:15) and the original Greek texts use the word for “infants in arms” (little children who are unable to approach Christ on their own).

More importantly, Paul likens baptism to circumcision, and it was mainly infants who were circumcised under the Old Law (see Col 2:11-12). Circumcision of adults in Judaism was rare, there being few converts. If Paul, in making this parallel, meant to exclude infants from Baptism, it is strange that he did not say so. In everyday life people use water for cleanliness and hygiene as a precaution against dirt and disease. Water in one form or another is also an absolute necessity if a person is to stay alive Among the Jews of Palestine ritual cleansing with water was a common practice. It was this ritual cleansing to which Jesus gave a deeper spiritual meaning. He did this by connecting the Holy Spirit’s working in the believer’s life in a particular way with water. It is by the Holy Spirit’s working in the water of baptism that the spiritual corruption of sin is washed away and a new life with God is begun (Jn 3:5, Titus 3:5, Jn 7:37-38). Naturally enough, the people we read about being baptized in Scripture, are adults because they were converted as adults. This makes sense because Christianity was just starting out and there were no “cradle Christians”, no people brought up from childhood in Christian homes.

Infant baptism in the New Testament

Does the Bible say that infants and young people can be baptized? There are some good indications. Lydia was converted with all her household (Acts 16:15). The expression “with all one's household” in Jewish usage meant the inclusion, not only of children but of servants. The jailer of Paul and Silas was converted by them. We are told that “without delay, he and all his household were baptized” (Acts 16:33). And in his greetings to the Corinthians, Paul recalled that, “Yes, and I did baptize the household of Stephanas” (1 Cor 1:16). In the case of the jailer, “He and all his” must refer to himself and at least two others. If it were just the jailer and his wife it would read “he and his wife”, but it says “He and all his”, which must include children, as well. The scripture evidence here leans in favor of infant baptism. There is nothing in the Bible that says infants and young children were unsuited to Baptism. Infant baptism in the early Church.

Fundamentalists do not pay much attention to historical evidence, yet early Christian practice clearly shows that infants were baptized. Origen, for instance, in the 3rd century, wrote: “The Church received from the apostles the practice of giving baptism also to infants, though they do not have sins of their own: so that there may be given to them holiness, righteousness, adoption, inheritance, brotherhood with Christ and that they be his members”. This and other quotes from esteemed Fathers of the Church of the early centuries, such as Origen and John Chrysostom, in their writings “Commentarii in Romanos 5:9” and “Catechesis ad illuminandos”, cannot go unheeded. The Ecumenical Council of Carthage in the year 252 AD debated the fact, not that infants should not be baptized, but that it should not be withheld from them until the eighth day of birth, as with circumcision, with the Jews. There was no record in the early Church of anyone condemning infant baptism, showing that it was common practice.

Other outstanding leaders in the early Church testifying to the Church’s practice of infant baptism are Polycarp of Smyrna (167/8 AD), Justin Martyr (died 165 AD), Cyprian of Carthage (C. 249 AD), and Hippolytus of Rome (170-236 AD), Irenaeus of Lyons (120-202 AD). St Augustine of Hippo in the 4th century taught strongly of the necessity of Baptism for wiping away “original sin” – the sin of our first parents, which we all inherit. The 16th Synod of Carthage (418 AD) definitely condemned those who denied baptism to new-born babies.

The most common question about infant Baptism is: “How can a parent or guardian’s faith substitute for the faith of a child?” It is noteworthy that Jesus did not pose this question. When Jairus asked Jesus to raise his young daughter from the dead (Mk 5:22-43) or another father asked Jesus to expel a demon from his son (Mk 9:17-27), Jesus acted with power because of their faith, not the faith of their children.

How much more would Jesus desire to free children from an even worse bondage, the bondage of sin, and raise them to eternal life, in response to the faith of their parents and of the whole Christian community. But the Catholic Church also teaches that the parents of the baptized child must provide a faith environment that will prepare the child to make a personal commitment to Jesus Christ on reaching maturity.

Nothing is sadder than the sight of those little plots of ground in some cemeteries, particularly in America, where children have been buried in separate, often unconsecrated sections, simply because their parents adhered to denominations who do not believe in infant Baptism.

CONFIRMATION

Confirmation is the sacrament of the Church for the full outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the life of a baptized Christian. The Holy Spirit first comes into a person at baptism (Acts 2:38) but the Acts of the Apostles also speaks of the prayer for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit (Acts 8:15-17). “When Paul laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them and they spoke with tongues and prophesied”. (Acts 19:6). Later on, an anointing with oil was also added to the Sacrament. Through the Sacrament, the Holy Spirit empowers God’s people to proclaim the Good News with power, to live the message and to continue Jesus’ mission and ministry in the world. Expectant faith is necessary to experience and receive the full power of the Spirit. Many today have come to know this power in a fuller way through the “baptism (or release) of the Spirit.”

Written by John Lee and Frank Bompas. Printed with ecclesiastical approval.

The Evangelization Station
23260 Joaquin Gully Rd. Unit 6
Twain Harte, California, 95383USA
Telephone: 209-728-5598
E-mail: evangelization@earthlink.net
www.evangelizationstation.com
Pamphlet 032


TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; History; Theology
KEYWORDS: baptism; freformed
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Mt 19:14 “Let the children be, do not keep them back from me, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these

Jn 3:5 Jesus answered: Amen, amen I say to thee, unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

Acts 2:38 But Peter said to them: Do penance, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of your sins: and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. 39 For the promise is to you, and to your children

It's seems to me Lord that you want those curtain climbers baptized, but could you have talk with these folks (see below)?

1 posted on 10/25/2010 9:27:42 AM PDT by GonzoII
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To: GonzoII

“....repent and be baptized...”

Kinda means you have to know what repent mean and do that as well. Being dunked under water or being sprinkled with water is a bath / shower without the first part of repentance. A child that does not know right from wrong does not know what repenance means and is therfore not able to repent.


2 posted on 10/25/2010 9:32:10 AM PDT by taxcontrol
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To: GonzoII

As a Reformed Presbyterian you have no argument from me on infant baptism.


3 posted on 10/25/2010 9:33:11 AM PDT by LatinaGOP
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To: GonzoII

“Baptism starts the process of salvation”

Here I always thought it was the accepting of Christ as ones’ saviour.


4 posted on 10/25/2010 9:34:18 AM PDT by Grunthor (Tax cuts for the poor! If the poor can keep more money they may start hiring again!)
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To: taxcontrol

“...repent and be baptized...” refers to adult converts. Just as the children of adult converts to Judaism were included in the covenant via circumcision once the adult convert had himself been circumcised, so are the children of adult converts to Christianity called to baptize their children as their inclusion in the new covenant where there is neither man nor woman, slave nor free....


5 posted on 10/25/2010 9:35:56 AM PDT by LatinaGOP
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To: taxcontrol

“A child that does not know right from wrong does not know what repenance means and is therfore not able to repent.”

and therefore sprinkling a bit of water on the poor kid means nothing to him/her.


6 posted on 10/25/2010 9:36:01 AM PDT by Grunthor (Tax cuts for the poor! If the poor can keep more money they may start hiring again!)
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To: GonzoII
As a Mormon, I am in disagreement with Infant Baptism.

Disagree or not, just so you know where we come from on the issue.

http://scriptures.lds.org/en/moro/8/10-21#10

7 posted on 10/25/2010 9:41:15 AM PDT by Ripliancum ("If a wise man contendeth with a foolish man, whether he rage or laugh, there is no rest." Prov.29:9)
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To: taxcontrol
"Kinda means you have to know what repent mean and do that as well. Being dunked under water or being sprinkled with water is a bath / shower without the first part of repentance. A child that does not know right from wrong does not know what repenance means and is therfore not able to repent."




Infant Baptism

by Mark J. Bonocore

Is it correct and Apostolic to Baptize infants and children before the age of reason?

Well, first of all, it must be admitted that there is no specific reference to infant Baptism in the Scriptures. However, that's really beside the point, since there is nothing that speaks against infant Baptism either; and, as you and I were discussing at the Oratory, there is also no Scriptural account of Baptizing retarded or mentally-imbalanced people, yet the Church has always done so.

Case in point, in Matthew 17:14-18, we are told how Jesus cast out a demon from a young boy because of an appeal by the boy's father:

"When they came to the crowd, a man approached, knelt down before Him, and said, 'Lord, have pity on my son for he is a lunatic and suffers severly...."

And Jesus heals the boy because of the father's faith. Now, obviously, it was not possible for this boy to have faith in Jesus on his own. He was psychologically and spiritually disturbed (whether naturally or supernaturally); yet Jesus used the father's faith to make him whole again. So, if such a thing is possible with demonic possession, why should Baptism be any different?

Many retarded and/or insane people do not have the ability to reason so as to "accept Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior" (as the Evangelicals say ;-) Yet, didn't Jesus come to save them as well? Don't they need to be Baptized into Christ? (Rom 6:3; Gal 3:27)

Well, if so, then why should we assume that the ability to reason is necessary for Baptism? Why can't babies be Baptized before they reach the age of reason?

Well, an Evangelical might tell you that it's because the ability to reason is necessary before one can sin. And, indeed, that is very true. We Catholics have an old expression:

"If there's no knowledge, then there's no responsibility. If there's no responsibility, then there's no sin."

So, our Evangelical brothers and sisters try to apply this to Baptism. In the case of an infant or a retarded person, they will say that these lack the ability to reason, and therefore they are free of guilt. And, again, that is very true. However, think about what it implies. :-) What this implies is that infants and retarded people do not need a Savior! Which, to us Catholics, is completely ridiculous. :-)

We know from Scripture itself that Christ came to save everybody, including infants and retarded people. He is their Savior just as much as He is the Savior of rational, healthy adults.

So, the real issue with those who deny infant Baptism is that they deny the reality of what we call original sin, something which non-Catholics usually confuse with "original guilt" (which Catholics DO NOT believe in). For example, we do not hold that a child is born guilty of sin. That is not the Catholic position at all. Rather, we believe that the child is personally innocent; however, because of the sin of Adam and Eve, the child is born with a "macula" (in Latin, a "dark spot") -- a lack of the light of God's grace in the soul (something the Virgin Mary did not lack, and so she is the Im-maculate Conception).

This lack of God's light (grace) is why we have an inclination toward sin; and all people (whether they have the ability to reason or not) suffer from it. Yet, in Baptism, we receive the Holy Spirit, and become adopted sons and daughters of God. The light of God's grace dwells in our souls, and so we have the ability to overcome our sinful inclinations and live as the children of God we are called to be.

And this is why we believe that Baptism is a Sacrament. It is not something which we do to ourselves, but it's something that is done to us by God through the ministry of His Church. We merely accept it; or someone else accepts it for us.

Source:

http://www.philvaz.com/apologetics/a26.htm


8 posted on 10/25/2010 9:41:53 AM PDT by GonzoII ("That they may be one...Father")
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To: GonzoII

A baby is not capable of repentance, as it has no understanding of right or wrong. Secondly, repentance means you acknowledge your sin and make an effort not to do this again. A child has neither of these capabilities. Thirdly, no man may speak or promise on behalf of another man - you cannot repent for my sins, nor I repent for yours.

The child is simply nothing more but a puppet in a ceremony, having neither voice, vote or understanding of the covenant he is being entered into.

If we were to actually bother to read the bible, you would read that multitudes were preached to, and children were encouraged to learn. The bible states that men and women were baptized, but NEVER a child. This includes Jesus Christ, who went to a temple as a child, but was not baptized until he reached the age of accountability, and fully understood and willfully accepted the covenant he was to enter into.


9 posted on 10/25/2010 9:42:41 AM PDT by Hodar (Who needs laws .... when this "feels" so right?)
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To: Grunthor
Here I always thought it was the accepting of Christ as ones’ saviour.

Well now you know better.

10 posted on 10/25/2010 9:43:37 AM PDT by verga (I am not an apologist, I just play one on Television)
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To: Hodar
"The child is simply nothing more but a puppet in a ceremony, having neither voice, vote or understanding of the covenant he is being entered into."

How does the Kingdom of heaven belong to them then?

11 posted on 10/25/2010 9:45:40 AM PDT by GonzoII ("That they may be one...Father")
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To: Ripliancum
Disagree or not, just so you know where we come from on the issue.

Give it a couple of decades nd you guys will get another message and change 180 degrees

12 posted on 10/25/2010 9:45:45 AM PDT by verga (I am not an apologist, I just play one on Television)
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To: verga

Here I always thought it was the accepting of Christ as ones’ saviour.

Well now you know better.

Yep. Silly Bible.


13 posted on 10/25/2010 9:47:02 AM PDT by Grunthor (Tax cuts for the poor! If the poor can keep more money they may start hiring again!)
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To: taxcontrol

I was raised Methodist, and then went to Southern Baptist and now in a non-denominational evangelical church.

Personally, I think infant baptism is more of a promise the parents make to God to raise the infant up in a Christian household.

Then when the child is old enough, he can join the church (or confirmed in the Catholic church) and that’s when the full affect of the baptism takes place. The part that needs faith and repentence.

My children were baptized as infants. Then my son wanted to be baptized when he was older, and my daughters want to be baptized again in our current church.

I liked baptizing my kids because I was making a pact with God. I was dedicating them to him. (My husband is not very religious. He respected my decision in this matter.)


14 posted on 10/25/2010 9:47:03 AM PDT by luckystarmom
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To: GonzoII

Good article!


15 posted on 10/25/2010 9:48:56 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: LatinaGOP
"Just as the children of adult converts to Judaism were included in the covenant via circumcision once the adult convert had himself been circumcised, so are the children of adult converts to Christianity called to baptize their children as their inclusion in the new covenant where there is neither man nor woman, slave nor free...."

Que bien, señora!

16 posted on 10/25/2010 9:48:56 AM PDT by GonzoII ("That they may be one...Father")
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To: GonzoII
If this theology is right, then Ephesians 2:8-10, and John 14:6 are lies, and the thief on the cross never entered heaven...

Faith alone in Christ alone.

17 posted on 10/25/2010 9:49:41 AM PDT by NorCoGOP (OBAMA: Living proof that hope is not a plan.)
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To: Hodar
If we were to actually bother to read the bible,

Et tu Hodar

1 Peter3:21 This prefigured baptism, which saves you now. It is not a removal of dirt from the body but an appeal to God 7 for a clear conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers subject to him.

18 posted on 10/25/2010 9:50:11 AM PDT by verga (I am not an apologist, I just play one on Television)
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To: Salvation

Good article!

Thanks!


19 posted on 10/25/2010 9:50:19 AM PDT by GonzoII ("That they may be one...Father")
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To: Grunthor
Yep. Silly Bible.

You may consider reading the whole Bible not jsut the cliff notes your pastor gives you.

1 Peter 3:21 This prefigured baptism, which saves you now. It is not a removal of dirt from the body but an appeal to God 7 for a clear conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers subject to him.

20 posted on 10/25/2010 9:53:17 AM PDT by verga (I am not an apologist, I just play one on Television)
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To: NorCoGOP
"Faith alone in Christ alone."

Then how do the mentally retarded enter heaven seeing that they cannot exercise an act of faith and yet Christ came to save everyone?

21 posted on 10/25/2010 9:56:35 AM PDT by GonzoII ("That they may be one...Father")
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To: taxcontrol
At what point does one decide a child knows right from wrong and is able to make the decision to be baptized?

I grew up in a Southern Baptist church and all my friends and I at some point responded to an altar call and were baptized. I was 9 years old at the time and looking back don't believe for a moment that I had a true conversion at the time, but wanted to be baptized because it seemed the "right time". I didn't actually start walking with the Lord until I was an adult. I wonder how many of those friends are actually walking with the Lord right now. I have siblings who answered an altar call and were baptized when they were kids as well who are in no way living a Christian life nor do they profess Christ anymore.

I also know of adults who have been baptized over and over again because the last one wasn't real, but this latest one is the real thing and so on and so on.

As a recovering baptist, it took me a long time and study to accept infant baptism, but looking at covenant theology it stands to reason that just as God included children in the promise via circumcision, so he also would include them in the promise via baptism. "In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead." Colossians 2:11-12

22 posted on 10/25/2010 9:57:00 AM PDT by LatinaGOP
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To: GonzoII

That is perhaps the greatest blessing of the atonement. For the forgiveness of our sins applies to everyone.


23 posted on 10/25/2010 10:00:26 AM PDT by Hodar (Who needs laws .... when this "feels" so right?)
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To: taxcontrol

see Mark 10:13-15, They brought young children to Him... Suffer the little children to come to me....Whoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he stall not enter..

Most translations today state infant instead of young or little children as that is a better translation.. Obviously this implies that infants can have faith..


24 posted on 10/25/2010 10:00:26 AM PDT by scbison
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To: GonzoII

Ergo, Ephesians 2:8-10 - it is by Grace we have been saved - receiving that which cannot be earned...pure and simple.


25 posted on 10/25/2010 10:01:45 AM PDT by NorCoGOP (OBAMA: Living proof that hope is not a plan.)
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To: verga
"1 Peter3:21 This prefigured baptism, which saves you now."

Also note the REAL water that saved Noe being called the LIKE FORM by Peter:

"...Noe, when the ark was a building: wherein a few, that is, eight souls, were saved by

water

. 21 Whereunto baptism being of

the like form

, now saveth you also..."
26 posted on 10/25/2010 10:04:32 AM PDT by GonzoII ("That they may be one...Father")
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To: verga

So babies have an unclear consciousness? Where does this verse state that children are baptized? Feel free to search both old and new Testaments ... Infant baptism is a relatively new construct.

My research material is at home, I can share if you like, but it will need to be this evening.


27 posted on 10/25/2010 10:06:51 AM PDT by Hodar (Who needs laws .... when this "feels" so right?)
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To: GonzoII

Well, let’s put this article right up there on the Top 5 list for sloppy prooftexting and sorry excuse for exegesis.

Using this method, a person could cut and paste an argument for any silly thing in the world.

Looky here, Mama, I got all these verses that, when I put em all together in a special line-up and squint one eye, it tells me that yer Aunt Imogene is the second coming of Moses’ sister Miriam. Shazam.


28 posted on 10/25/2010 10:07:19 AM PDT by lurk
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To: Grunthor

“I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ, my Lord, or come to Him. but the Holy Spirit has called me by the Gospel, enlightened me with His Gifts, sanctifed and kept me in the true faith. Explanation to the third article of the Apostle Creed... Eph 2:8&9”By Grace are you saved through faith and that not of your selves. It is a Gift of God; not of works, lest any man should boast.


29 posted on 10/25/2010 10:08:14 AM PDT by scbison
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To: NorCoGOP
" it is by Grace we have been saved - receiving that which cannot be earned...pure and simple."

Yes baptism through which we receive grace is a gift. I said nothing about it being earned., and it's requirement cannot be more clearly stated than it already is in Scripture.

30 posted on 10/25/2010 10:10:54 AM PDT by GonzoII ("That they may be one...Father")
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To: GonzoII

Interesting.


31 posted on 10/25/2010 10:15:53 AM PDT by NucSubs
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To: GonzoII

Agree. I knew a Lutheran pastor who did some chaplaincy work in a Baptist Hospital in Nashville and whenver there was dought about survival of the infant because complications, they would have him baptize their child just to play it safe. I always found that interesting.


32 posted on 10/25/2010 10:18:47 AM PDT by scbison
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To: GonzoII

Agree. I knew a Lutheran pastor who did some chaplaincy work in a Baptist Hospital in Nashville and whenver there was dought about survival of the infant because complications, they would have him baptize their child just to play it safe. I always found that interesting.


33 posted on 10/25/2010 10:19:05 AM PDT by scbison
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To: Hodar
"Infant baptism is a relatively new construct."

I'm not sure what you consider new:


II. Infant Baptism

"And many, both men and women, who have been Christ's disciples from childhood, remain pure and at the age of sixty or seventy years..." Justin Martyr, First Apology, 15:6 (A.D. 110-165).

"And when a child has been born to one of them, they give thanks to God [baptism]; and if moreover it happen to die in childhood, they give thanks to God the more, as for one who as passed through the world without sins." Aristides, Apology, 15 (A.D. 140).

"Polycarp declared, 'Eighty and six years have I served Him, and He never did me injury: how then can I blaspheme my King and Saviour?" Polycarp, Martyrdom of Polycarp, 9 (A.D. 156).

"For He came to save all through means of Himself--all, I say, who through Him are born again to God--infants, and children, and boys, and youths, and old men." Irenaeus, Against Heresies, 2,22:4 (A.D. 180).

"I, therefore, brethren, who have lived sixty-five years in the Lord." Polycrates, Fragment in Eusebius' Church History, V:24:7 (A.D. 190).

"And they shall baptise the little children first. And if they can answer for themselves, let them answer. But if they cannot, let their parents answer or someone from their family." Hippolytus of Rome, Apostolic Tradition, 21 (c. A.D. 215).

"[T]herefore children are also baptized." Origen, Homily on Luke, XIV (A.D. 233).

"For this reason, moreover, the Church received from the apostles the tradition of baptizing infants too." Origen, Homily on Romans, V:9 (A.D. 244).

"Baptism is given for the remission of sins; and according to the usage of the Church, Baptism is given even to infants. And indeed if there were nothing in infants which required a remission of sins and nothing in them pertinent to forgiveness, the grace of baptism would seem superfluous." Origen, Homily on Leviticus, 8:3 (post A.D. 244).

"But in respect of the case of the infants, which you say ought not to be baptized within the second or third day after their birth, and that the law of ancient circumcision should be regarded, so that you think one who is just born should not be baptized and sanctified within the eighth day...And therefore, dearest brother, this was our opinion in council, that by us no one ought to be hindered from baptism...we think is to be even more observed in respect of infants and newly-born persons…" Cyprian, To Fidus, Epistle 58(64):2, 6 (A.D. 251).

"It shows no crease when infants put it on [the baptismal garment], it is not too scanty for young men, it fits women without alteration." Optatus of Mileve, Against Parmenium, 5:10(A.D. 365).

"Have you an infant child? Do not let sin get any opportunity, but let him be sanctified from his childhood; from his very tenderest age let him be consecrated by the Spirit. Fearest thou the Seal on account of the weakness of nature?" Gregory Nazianzen, Oration on Holy Baptism, 40:17 (A.D. 381).

"Be it so, some will say, in the case of those who ask for Baptism; what have you to say about those who are still children, and conscious neither of the loss nor of the grace? Are we to baptize them too? Certainly, if any danger presses. For it is better that they should be unconsciously sanctified than that they should depart unsealed and uninitiated." Gregory Nazianzen, Oration on Holy Baptism, 40:28 (A.D. 381).

"'Unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.' No one is expected: not the infant, not the one prevented by necessity." Ambrose, Abraham, 2,11:79 (A.D. 387).

"We do baptize infants, although they are not guilty of any sins." John Chrysostom, Ad Neophytos (A.D. 388).

"And if any one seek for divine authority in this matter, though what is held by the whole Church, and that not as instituted by Councils, but as a matter of invariable custom, is rightly held to have been handed down by apostolical authority, still we can form a true conjecture of the value of the sacrament of baptism in the case of infants, from the parallel of circumcision, which was received by God's earlier people, and before receiving which Abraham was justified, as Cornelius also was enriched with the gift of the Holy Spirit before he was baptized." Augustine, On Baptism against the Donatist, 4:24:31 (A.D. 400).

"While the son is a child and thinks as a child and until he comes to years of discretion to choose between the two roads to which the letter of Pythagoras points, his parents are responsible for his actions whether these be good or bad. But perhaps you imagine that, if they are not baptized, the children of Christians are liable for their own sins; and that no guilt attaches to parents who withhold from baptism those who by reason of their tender age can offer no objection to it. The truth is that, as baptism ensures the salvation of the child, this in turn brings advantage to the parents. Whether you would offer your child or not lay within your choice, but now that you have offered her, you neglect her at your peril." Jerome, To Laeta, Epistle 107:6 (A.D. 403).

"Now, seeing that they [Pelagians] admit the necessity of baptizing infants,--finding themselves unable to contravene that authority of the universal Church, which has been unquestionably handed down by the Lord and His apostles,--they cannot avoid the further concession, that infants require the same benefits of the Mediator, in order that, being washed by the sacrament and charity of the faithful, and thereby incorporated into the body of Christ, which is the Church, they may be reconciled to God, and so live in Him, and be saved, and delivered, and redeemed, and enlightened. But from what, if not from death, and the vices, and guilt, and thraldom, and darkness of sin? And, inasmuch as they do not commit any sin in the tender age of infancy by their actual transgression, original sin only is left." Augustine, On forgiveness of sin and baptism, 39[26] (A.D. 412).

"The blessed Cyprian, indeed, said, in order to correct those who thought that an infant should not be baptized before the eighth day, that it was not the body but the soul which behoved to be saved from perdition -- in which statement he was not inventing any new doctrine, but preserving the firmly established faith of the Church; and he, along with some of his colleagues in the episcopal office, held that a child may be properly baptized immediately after its birth." Augustine, Epistle 166:8:23 (A.D. 412).

"'C. Tell me, pray, and rid me of all doubts, why little children are baptized?
A. That their sins may be forgiven them in baptism." Jerome, Against the Pelagians, 3:18 (A.D. 415).

"Likewise, whosoever says that those children who depart out of this life without partaking of that sacrament shall be made alive in Christ, certainly contradicts the apostolic declaration, and condemns the universal Church, in which it is the practice to lose no time and run in haste to administer baptism to infant children, because it is believed, as an indubitable truth, that otherwise they cannot be made alive in Christ."
Augustine, Epistle 167,7,21 (A.D. 415).

"Canon 2. Likewise it has been decided that whoever says that infants fresh from their mothers' wombs ought not to be baptized...let him be anathema." Council of Carthage, Canon 2 (A.D. 418).

"Concerning the Donatists it seemed good that we should hold counsel with our brethren and fellow priests Siricius and Simplician concerning those infants alone who are baptized by Donatists: lest what they did not do of their own will, when they should be converted to the Church of God with a salutary determination, the error of their parents might prevent their promotion to the ministry of the holy altar." African Code, Canon 47/51 (A.D. 419).

"[T]his concupiscence, I say, which is cleansed only by the sacrament of regeneration, does undoubtedly, by means of natural birth, pass on the bond of sin to a man's posterity, unless they are themselves loosed from it by regeneration." Augustine, On Marriage and Concupiscence, 1:23 (A.D. 420).

"Believest thou this?...When a newborn child is brought forward to receive the anointing of initiation, or rather of consummation through holy baptism." Cyril of Alexandria, Commentary on John, 7 (A.D. 428).

"Question XIX. Concerning those who after being baptized in infancy were captured by the Gentiles, and lived with them after the manner of the Gentiles, when they come back to Roman territory as still young men, if they seek communion, what shall be done?
Reply: If they have only lived with Gentiles and eaten sacrificial food, they can be purged by fasting and laying on of hands, in order that for the future abstaining from things offered to idols, they may be partakers of Christ's mysteries. But if they have either worshipped idols or been polluted with manslaughter or fornication, they must not be admitted to communion, except by public penance." Leo the Great [regn. A.D. 440-461], To Rusticus, Epistle 167 (A.D. 459).

"But with respect to trine immersion in baptism, no truer answer can be given than what you have yourself felt to be right; namely that, where there is one faith, a diversity of usage does no harm to holy Church. Now we, in immersing thrice, signify the sacraments of the three days' sepulture; so that, when the infant is a third time lifted out of the water, the resurrection after a space of three days may be expressed." Gregory the Great [regn. A.D. 590-604], To Leander, Epistle 43 (A.D. 591).

Top Copyright 2001 - 2007 © by John Salza. All Rights Reserved.
johnsalza@scripturecatholic.com


34 posted on 10/25/2010 10:20:33 AM PDT by GonzoII ("That they may be one...Father")
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To: Hodar

Repentance is for those over the age of reason, since only those are capable of sin. A baby is not capable of commiting personal sin.

In infant Baptism, Original Sin, which all men naturally inherit, is washed away. In adults, both Original Sin and personal sin is washed away.

Since God gave parents authority over their children, they have the authority not only to name them, but also to speak in their name.


35 posted on 10/25/2010 10:27:09 AM PDT by Lauren BaRecall
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To: Hodar

I think Gonzo gave you examples of where Infants were baptized in the Bible and in other historians of the early Christian Church.

Infant baptism in the New Testament

Does the Bible say that infants and young people can be baptized? There are some good indications. Lydia was converted with all her household (Acts 16:15). The expression “with all one’s household” in Jewish usage meant the inclusion, not only of children but of servants. The jailer of Paul and Silas was converted by them. We are told that “without delay, he and all his household were baptized” (Acts 16:33). And in his greetings to the Corinthians, Paul recalled that, “Yes, and I did baptize the household of Stephanas” (1 Cor 1:16). In the case of the jailer, “He and all his” must refer to himself and at least two others. If it were just the jailer and his wife it would read “he and his wife”, but it says “He and all his”, which must include children, as well. The scripture evidence here leans in favor of infant baptism. There is nothing in the Bible that says infants and young children were unsuited to Baptism. Infant baptism in the early Church.

Fundamentalists do not pay much attention to historical evidence, yet early Christian practice clearly shows that infants were baptized. Origen, for instance, in the 3rd century, wrote: “The Church received from the apostles the practice of giving baptism also to infants, though they do not have sins of their own: so that there may be given to them holiness, righteousness, adoption, inheritance, brotherhood with Christ and that they be his members”. This and other quotes from esteemed Fathers of the Church of the early centuries, such as Origen and John Chrysostom, in their writings “Commentarii in Romanos 5:9” and “Catechesis ad illuminandos”, cannot go unheeded. The Ecumenical Council of Carthage in the year 252 AD debated the fact, not that infants should not be baptized, but that it should not be withheld from them until the eighth day of birth, as with circumcision, with the Jews. There was no record in the early Church of anyone condemning infant baptism, showing that it was common practice.

Other outstanding leaders in the early Church testifying to the Church’s practice of infant baptism are Polycarp of Smyrna (167/8 AD), Justin Martyr (died 165 AD), Cyprian of Carthage (C. 249 AD), and Hippolytus of Rome (170-236 AD), Irenaeus of Lyons (120-202 AD). St Augustine of Hippo in the 4th century taught strongly of the necessity of Baptism for wiping away “original sin” – the sin of our first parents, which we all inherit. The 16th Synod of Carthage (418 AD) definitely condemned those who denied baptism to new-born babies.

The most common question about infant Baptism is: “How can a parent or guardian’s faith substitute for the faith of a child?” It is noteworthy that Jesus did not pose this question. When Jairus asked Jesus to raise his young daughter from the dead (Mk 5:22-43) or another father asked Jesus to expel a demon from his son (Mk 9:17-27), Jesus acted with power because of their faith, not the faith of their children.

How much more would Jesus desire to free children from an even worse bondage, the bondage of sin, and raise them to eternal life, in response to the faith of their parents and of the whole Christian community. But the Catholic Church also teaches that the parents of the baptized child must provide a faith environment that will prepare the child to make a personal commitment to Jesus Christ on reaching maturity.

Nothing is sadder than the sight of those little plots of ground in some cemeteries, particularly in America, where children have been buried in separate, often unconsecrated sections, simply because their parents adhered to denominations who do not believe in infant Baptism


36 posted on 10/25/2010 10:27:32 AM PDT by scbison
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To: scbison

No one said children cant have faith.

Futher, there is a more profound and meaningful way of interpreting “...receiving the kingdom of God as a child...”. Namely a child is trusting and does not pre judge or hold on to old ideas. If a jew at the time of Jesus were to cling to the old teachings and apply them to their new testement faith, they would NOT be coming to the proper place to receive their salvation through grace not the law.

As for baptism, remember... it is repent and be baptized. It is not ... be baptized. REPENTANCE is key and something that most modern “nice” and “feel good” religions do not want to discuss today. One has to call their old ways sin and turn from their sinful ways. Yes it is still possible to mess up and yes we continue in our faith to try and be more Christ like daily. But without REPENTANCE, it is a shower / bath, not a baptism.


37 posted on 10/25/2010 10:28:49 AM PDT by taxcontrol
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To: Hodar
You may show me any material you like; right after you show me the verse taht specifically has jesus Saying "Do not under any ciorcumstance baptize children."

Any thing less is Eisegesis.

1 Peter specfically says that you must be baptized to be saved. How can a child be saved other wise? are you prepared tosay that every child that dies before baptism is in Hell?

38 posted on 10/25/2010 10:29:19 AM PDT by verga (I am not an apologist, I just play one on Television)
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To: lurk
Using this method, a person could cut and paste an argument for any silly thing in the world. Looky here, Mama, I got all these verses that, when I put em all together in a special line-up and squint one eye, it tells me that yer Aunt Imogene is the second coming of Moses’ sister Miriam. Shazam.

And that is why we need the authority of the Roman Catholic Magesterium so that we don't have some many different sects with diametically opposed beleifs all claiming to be "Bible Alone"

39 posted on 10/25/2010 10:32:07 AM PDT by verga (I am not an apologist, I just play one on Television)
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To: GonzoII
OIh for crying out loud, there you go again confusing them with all those facts, you should be ashamed of yourself. /sarc

Nice list and thanks for giving the list, I will add it to my reference material

40 posted on 10/25/2010 10:35:37 AM PDT by verga (I am not an apologist, I just play one on Television)
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To: taxcontrol
As for baptism, remember...

Rmember it is Baptism now Saves you, nothing about repentance, baptism alone;

1 Peter 3:21 This prefigured baptism, which saves you now. It is not a removal of dirt from the body but an appeal to God 7 for a clear conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers subject to him.

41 posted on 10/25/2010 10:38:00 AM PDT by verga (I am not an apologist, I just play one on Television)
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To: luckystarmom

I was raised Methodist, and then went to Southern Baptist and now in a non-denominational evangelical church

if you were legitimately baptized anywhere, you are a Catholic....you can only be baptized into the Christian church and Catholicism is the only true Christian church on earth.....it was founded by Jesus Himself....not Martin Luther, Wesley, Zwingley, Calvin, Henry viii or joseph Smith. Now, you can be a fallen away Catholic if you like and join any one of many thousands of “what’s happening now” denominations....but that changes nothing


42 posted on 10/25/2010 10:40:21 AM PDT by terycarl (interested and informed)
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To: verga

You mean, give your eternal future over to the hands of corrupt men who like to pull doctrines such as Mary being the co-redemptrix, Mary being sinless, Mary being perpetually a virgin, and the 7 sacraments(the Galatian error codified) out of their fannies.

Sounds like fun.


43 posted on 10/25/2010 10:41:13 AM PDT by lurk
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To: GonzoII

...so explain the thief on the cross - he was saved by Jesus, but not baptized, yet promised to be in paradise...


44 posted on 10/25/2010 10:47:08 AM PDT by NorCoGOP (OBAMA: Living proof that hope is not a plan.)
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To: lurk
You mean, give your eternal future over to the hands of corrupt men who like to pull doctrines such as Mary being the co-redemptrix, Mary being sinless, Mary being perpetually a virgin, and the 7 sacraments(the Galatian error codified) out of their fannies. Sounds like fun.

Wow! What a great debate technique; you can't answer the evidence, You can't dispute the truth so you throw out a whole bunch of red herrings.

Listen Try and find some evidence to refute the topic we are discussing and get back to me. If you really want to discuss those other issues, start a new thread, ping me and I will discuss those seperately.

Until then stick tot he topic at hand.

45 posted on 10/25/2010 10:48:13 AM PDT by verga (I am not an apologist, I just play one on Television)
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To: Hodar

Hey Hodar ... when I was a young Catholic I was told the purpose of infant baptism was to “wash away” original sin to give “a fresh start” to the new young Christian...does anyone still talk about that angle or was I told wrong by those wacky nuns back in the 60s? ... magritte


46 posted on 10/25/2010 10:50:53 AM PDT by magritte ("There are moments, Jeeves, when one asks oneself "Do trousers matter?")
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To: verga
"there you go again confusing them with all
those facts, you should be ashamed of yourself."


............Just the facts........

47 posted on 10/25/2010 10:53:18 AM PDT by GonzoII ("That they may be one...Father")
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To: NorCoGOP

There are three types of Baptism, namely, by water, by blood (martyrdom), and desire. The thief was baptised by desire.


48 posted on 10/25/2010 10:55:07 AM PDT by Lauren BaRecall
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To: GonzoII
“(See Acts 2:38, 41; 18, 8; 19:5; 22:16). Paul explained that baptism unites believers to Jesus in his death so that they will also share in his resurrection (Rom 6:35). Baptism then is also a “means” to salvation.”

Sorry, baptism is NOT a means to salvation. All scripture listed above as support for this claim, all also reference believing in Jesus Christ, the real and only means to salvation. (except Rom 6:35 which isn't in my bible 1-23)

(John 14:6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.)

I remember being baptized (the first time), as a five year old. I remember it being a big deal, where I was the center of attention, and for once I was important. I did have it explained to me about the roll of my godparents (Ray & Dorothy), should that ever become necessary. I got a huge shiny stop watch as a gift. I got sprinkled, words were said, then it was over and I had no idea what it all meant except for some reason my parents were expecting to die prematurely.

Does a newborn have more understanding than a five year old? Baptize babies all you want, it won't save them, but it won't hurt them either. It very well may be a significant affirmation of God, and parents willingness to ask God to bless their child. All good things, but not salvation.

Are they saved by God's grace? I think so.
Age of accountability? I think so, although I don't think it is some arbitrary age, rather a specific point in ones life regardless of years of life. This is just my opinion, I will have to wait for the answer to this mystery to be shown to me.

49 posted on 10/25/2010 10:55:58 AM PDT by faucetman (Just the facts ma'am, just the facts)
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To: GonzoII

Were those in the house of Cornelius who were speaking in tongues as Peter delivered a sermon not saved until Peter baptised them?


50 posted on 10/25/2010 11:01:19 AM PDT by MHGinTN (Some, believing they can't be deceived, it's nigh impossible to convince them when they're deceived.)
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