October 27, 2012
It’s all yours today.
Yes, it is.
March 3, 2014
August 29, 2013
November 30, 2017
first….and can’t get THAT little quote outta my head
Love that quote!
Up till 2:30 this morning working on a problem in a server room. It used to be that my involvement in server rooms in the middle of the night was attempting to keep servers running. Since I left that life, and started a whole new direction, I am now back in server rooms fixing the cooling systems to keep the servers running.
Funny how that worked out.
Music is up for the week. Feel free to drop by.
speaking of servers, someone sent me this link and i find it very scary
Did my Arminian quote kill the atmosphere up in here OR WHAT?!?!
Im not getting it, why would the link to the google servers story at dailymail scare anyone?
Here’s something that should scare anyone who was considering voting for this candidate
Here’s the story…
As a graphic designer I create images for marketing efforts but there is a hard and fast rule about ‘shopping news photos, that you must never manipulate to mislead, which means you don’t add missing audiences, or tweak the color to “editorialize”.
G, … be amazed and enjoy and keep those turbines rollin’ … ? …
as to voting … well, anyone thinking that we vote for the people who run the country … hmmm …
G…The thing about conspiracy theories is you have to assume a high level of competence, whereas in a political campaign it’s safe to say you have a lot of incompetents volunteering for the team and a lot of stupid things will happen over the course of the campaign.
Romney has a ton of money, a very nice lead in the national polls (Gallup +5), and your claim is that not only did he sit down with his staff and order them to start photoshopping this crowd to deceive for size – BUT, he entrusted someone with zero photoshopping skills to do the job?
You ARE putting the blame on Romney right. He knew and approved this deception. Because you write that this should scare someone from voting for the guy. No way it is one of the thousands and thousands of people working for the campaign. No, this is backroom, midnight hour, sinister planning.
If you brave the waters away from sites like the Daily Kos, you will see this story elsewhere and plenty of Obama supporters saying to the effect “Look, Romney is a tool who I have no desire to defend, but this is a bad Instagram panoramic stitch job and we look like idiots trying to make this out to be a huge scam”
Then you can read pages and pages of comments with people who want to believe the conspiracy line, arguing with those making the bad instagram argument. Both sides filled with tech experts explaining what one can and can’t do with this picture and with photoshop and phone panoramic shots. Such is the nature of politics – going back and forth. Knock yourself out and watch out for the black helicopters.
I am agreeing with Em’s #9
“as to voting … well, anyone thinking that we vote for the people who run the country … hmmm …”
Here is the sort of exchange I’m thinking makes sense..(but not as fun to read as the ones I reference above).
Poster A) This is the new iPhone panorama feature, nothing more. It’s not photoshop at all. Iphone iOS6 has a built in panorama option where the user turns his camera in oder to get the wide angel.
Poster B) The photo in question HAS been altered, just as the diagram illustrates. The cloning definitely is there. I would like to see the original, unaltered photo, to see why they might have done it. It’s most likely that someone tried to stitch together three photos to create a panorama, and the cloning was done to hide the seams. That would also explain the fish-eye lens effect, which would result from standing in one place, pivoting while taking the photos, and then trying to reconcile the differences in perspective. If they are actually trying to exaggerate the size of the crowd, then shame on them. If they just didn’t have the right camera to photograph the whole arena in one frame, they need to shove a crowbar in their wallets and get the right equipment. Hint: PhotoShop ain’t it.
Poster A reply) I’m not saying that it’s unaltered. I’m saying that the photo is automatically altered by the iPhone feature. There is no “original, unaltered photo.” This was tweeted from his Instagram account (a smartphone app) along with two other photos in a collage also created by an iphone app. There doesn’t appear to be any attempt to mislead here. If you have a problem with the photo, take it up with Apple, not Romney.
It’s a cell phone photo, most likely tweeted 5 minutes after it was taken.
See here for more iPhone panorama photography, and you’ll get what I’m talking about: http://forums.appleinsider.com…
(From National Review’s comment section on this story)
Here’s what should give some of you the creeps. (insert sinister music here)
Through a closely held equity fund called Solamere, Mitt Romney and his wife, son and brother are major investors in an investment firm called H.I.G. Capital. H.I.G. in turn holds a majority share and three out of five board members in Hart Intercivic, a company that owns the notoriously faulty electronic voting machines that will count the ballots in swing state Ohio November 7. Hart machines will also be used elsewhere in the United States.
In other words, a candidate for the presidency of the United States, and his brother, wife and son, have a straight-line financial interest in the voting machines that could decide this fall’s election. These machines cannot be monitored by the public. But they will help decide who “owns” the White House.
This is terrifying news.
Six degrees of Kevin Bacon, Romney-style!
Why should you care AV asks – well…..from the same site, did you not know that…
They are especially crucial in Ohio, without which no Republican candidate has ever won the White House. In 2004, in the dead of election night, an electronic swing of more than 300,000 votes switched Ohio from the John Kerry column to George W. Bush, giving him a second term. A virtual statistical impossibility, the 6-plus% shift occurred between 12:20 and 2am election night as votes were being tallied by a GOP-controlled information technology firm on servers in a basement in Chattanooga, Tennessee. In defiance of a federal injunction, 56 of Ohio’s 88 counties destroyed all election records, making a recount impossible. Ohio’s governor and secretary of state in 2004 were both Republicans, as are the governors and secretaries of state in nine key swing states this year.
If you don’t know all this, you just simply aren’t reading the correct websites. 😉
John Wesley’s maxim…
3 thumbs up!
Bottom line, it’s from his official Tumblr. No conspiracy. The candidate in question approved of the post because the official site posted it.
Regarding the veracity of those who post on blogs, well…
“…it’s, I say, it’s a joke son!”
~ Foghorn Leghorn, 1958
I accidentally put this on Michael’s TGIF article, which was not the appropriate place. When a moderator wakes up please remove my #31 over there.
Here is a great blog post article on Infant Faith – by a former evangelical, former Calvinist turned Lutheran.
I think he hits the nail on the head – be sure to read the comments.
otherwise, just remain in the state of denial. 😉
We all know how faith occurs and can see when it is birthed in people. The real question is, Are we serving young people by swaddling them in the cocoon of an assumed and imagined faith based on paedobaptism?
The welcoming into the community of faith seems like a plus, as does the expectation of a life with Christ. But overall I just do not know whether it helps them.
When I got saved and experienced a clear change in lifestyle, the opinion of my (beloved) Episcopal godfather (a priest) was that this was simply the outward expression of what had happened in my baptism many years earlier.
He is a wonderful and good man, but that was just … dumb.
I know when I got saved, and to obfuscate that is just … wrong.
PP Vet, good words and, in reading this morning, i’m wondering – about a lot of things, actually – but your #18 has me wondering if we really know what we say when we use the term “saved” … for myself, and it sounds like for you also, it refers to the second (spiritual and eternal) birth; and which is one more term that the Church seems to be all over the map on … life IN Christ seems to confuse us … we are in perilous times, perhaps – dunno
I have a friend on facebook that insists on worshiping the pastor of her church about every other post. Unfortunately, the pastor is none other than “rooster boy” Levi Lusko, of Skippy understudy fame. There are few people on the planet who make me physically incapable of containing my anger.
I first ran into “rooster boy” when he lectured me about taking theological stands on things that might divide or confuse, at a youth conference, where I was specifically asked by the regional leadership to speak on a particular topic. Then he unloaded two of the most benign and boring “sermons” to a room full of about 250 teens. One was “e-mails from Jesus”, and the other was “text messages from God”. They were as plastic and empty as any sermon I had ever heard.
I fight the urge daily to unload my opinion on people worshiping a created thing.
If you see people idolizing a pastor, what do you do?
Ignore them. They eventually get upset with their idols and grow up…or they don’t.
just one comment on Reuben’s good question … what do you do when you see people idolizing a pastor who is faithful to his calling – a good pastor? it is still – IMHO – sin, is it not?
“…or they don’t.”
That is what I fear.
It sounds like you just blew over the scripture references.
But I do take issue with a couple of points.
1.) You seem to think that the receiving person has to do something. In other words, God did not save you until you gave him permission. To say it a different way, God didn’t actually save you, he just fulfilled a request on your part.
2.) You think that the purpose of salvation is to change your lifestyle. What about the “unsaved” who were already living at the lifestyle heights you finally achieved through salvation – are they ahead of you?
3.) Your only evidence of salvation seems to be internal – you know only what you feel, and can’t really claim a promise.
I think your Episcopal guy knew what he was talking about.
I’ve been through this to the max with someone close to me.
You can fight and argue with them till hell freezes over or you can wait for the Holy Spirit to do a maturation process that may take almost as long.
I decided that such matters are God’s problem, not mine.
There is a “block from newsfeed” feature.
‘It sounds like you just blew over the scripture references.’
Meet the new Skip…same as the old Skip.
MLD, what would paedobaptists says to a wayward youth such as I was: start walking in the salvation you received years ago when you were baptized as a child?
I suppose that could work.
But doesn’t that smack of false assurance?? How and when, if ever, could the paedobaptized walk out from under that state of grace?
I suppose those who make an adult decision for Jesus never walk out from their “state of grace.” Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight.
The facts say otherwise. The number of converts from Billy Graham Crusades active in the faith a year later is way under half.
Decision theology leaves in its wake what historians call “burned over districts.” These are people who were ‘converted’ (but many times, not really) out of a shallow, emotional response to the Gospel. As a result, real churches can’t operate in those venues.
How someone comes to Christ — .it’s asinine to argue about which methods are valid and which aren’t.
It usually just comes down to my experience versus yours.
For example, I can show you 100 people at my Lutheran church who were baptized as infants who are still active in their church. Some 80 90+ years later.
Staying power beats shiny, one-shot Xnity any day of the week.
John Stott: “American evangelicalism is a mile wide and an inch deep.”
He said it probably 10 years or more ago. Still true.
considering the number of infant baptisms that have occurred throughout Christendom and our numbers on the world scene in the adult world throughout history as well as today, i strongly suspect that the recidivism of babys claimed by the parents for redemption through priestly rituals is probably proportionately lower than that of those adults who have come forward at Billy Graham’s (& others’) invitations to receive Christ … does that tell us anything about efficacy of human effort one way or the other? probably …
“How someone comes to Christ — .it’s asinine to argue about which methods are valid and which aren’t.” i can say amen to that
Lutheran beat me to it. Have you never known someone to “walk” the aisle”, make the pledge, stick around for a fair amount of time, fall away, backslide or whatever you want to call it and then 20 yrs later “come back to the faith that born in them at their confession of faith years before.
But then again, we have a differnce of opinion as to who does the saving.
I am sure that if I asked you “did you contribute anything to your salvation?” that you would replt “no” – so why do you demand that the baby contribute to their own salvation.
If you do answer that you contributed to your salvation, then you have put my argument into checkmate… but then we have a different issue.
So I think you are both saying, a previously paedobaptized person is just as much in or out of a state of grace as an adult convert.
OK I understand that (I disagree of course).
Furthermore you are saying that there is no evidence that the adult conversion is any more likely to “take” than the paedobaptism.
OK I understand that (also, as does Em, I disagree).
But my original question was only along the lines of, What is the posture toward the wayward paedobaptized, and how do we deal with them without conveying a false assurance?
From your answers I believe you would say, the same way we would deal with the wayward adult convert, there is no difference.
If so, again, I understand (still disagree of course).
Repentance is always the way back to the Lord. Doesn’t matter how you came into Christ.
Infant Baptism: A Duty of God’s People
Dr. Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
As Christians we all ought to be concerned to do all those things which God has commanded us and to avoid those things God has forbidden. This should be true in every endeavor of life (1 Cor. 10:31; Matt. 4:4). Thus, it obviously should be true in the formal worship of the Lord in the Church. Church practices must be defensible from the Bible, which is the Word of the Living God and the only rule God has given for faith and practice (2 Tim. 3:16-17).
Many who are not of the Reformed heritage allege it is improper to baptize infants. Some see infant baptism as a vestige of Roman Catholicism, expressive of an undue concern for historic tradition, rather than a concern for Biblical fidelity. A. H. Strong called it a “rag of Romanism.” Alexander Campbell deemed it as among “the relics of Popery.” John R. Rice wrote that “all modern denominations which use these customs got them from Roman Catholics.” Others, not so much opposed to the rite, consider it a mere dedicatory rite for the benefit of the parents and grandparents. This effectively regards it as no true baptism at all. Such positions are greatly misinformed.
Contrary to such views, Bible-believing Presbyterianism (and Anglicanism –dm) deems infant baptism a Christian duty firmly rooted in Scriptural precept and principle. In addition, we regard its neglect a serious failure of Christian duty before the Lord of the Covenant. Outlined below is a brief, non-technical and introductory demonstration of the biblical mandate obligating the baptism of the infants of believers.
Let us begin with some basics.
1. The Essential Unity of the Bible
Presbyterians are a “people of The Book.” Presbyterians firmly believe that both the Old and New Testaments are God-breathed and profitable to God’s people. Though there is obvious progress and development in Scripture, the Bible is, nevertheless, one Book.
We may demonstrate the unity of Scripture from a variety of angles. Let us simply note three of these. First, a unity of purpose overarches both testaments. The Bible displays the glory of the God (Deut. 5:24; Psa. 8:1; Rev. 4:11; Rom. 16:27) and the way of salvation to men (Isa. 12:1-3; 55:1-7; Eph. 1; Rom. 1:16). These twin themes (doxology and soteriology) are constant in both parts of the Bible: “Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of Your name; and deliver us, and provide atonement for our sins, for Your name’s sake!” (Psa. 79:9). “After these things I heard a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying, Alleluia! Salvation and glory and honor and power belong to the Lord our God!” (Rev. 19:1).
Second, a unity of principle undergirds both testaments. The Law of God is God’s righteous pattern for man’s conduct (Exo. 20:1-17; Psa. 119; Matt. 5:17-19; Rom. 3:31; 1 Jn. 3:22). The Law of God is the foundational principle and source of biblical ethics in both testaments: “Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and Your law is truth” (Psa. 119:142). “The law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good” (Rom. 7:12).
Third, a unity of people connect both testaments. The New Testament church is a continuation and expansion of the Old Testament people of God. Since this concept has been so misunderstood since the mid-1800s (with the arising of dispensationalism) I will more fully rehearse its evidence: (1) Both peoples are called a “church,” or “congregation,” or “assembly.” These words in the original languages of Scripture are synonyms meaning “a called out gathering” (Exo. 12:6; Lev. 4:13; Jer. 26:17; Matt. 18:17; Eph. 5:23-33). The New Testament itself calls the Old Testament people a Achurch@ (Acts 7:38; Heb. 2:12) and our “fathers” (1 Cor. 10:1).
(2) The Old Testament people are set apart for the true gospel, just as are the New Testament people: “And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, ‘In you all the nations shall be blessed’” (Gal. 3:8; cp. Rom. 1:1, 2). “For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it” (Heb. 4:2).
(3) The New Testament people are said to be grafted into and become one with the Old Testament people, just as a branch is grafted into a tree (Rom. 11:1-24) and a brick is placed into a building (Eph. 2:11-20). (4) The New Testament people are called by terms distinctly associated with the Old Testament people. Christians are called “the seed of Abraham” (Gal. 3:6-9, 29), “the circumcision” (Phil. 3:3), a “royal priesthood” (Rom. 15:16; 1 Pet. 2:9; Rev. 1:6; cp. Exo. 19:6), a “temple” (1 Cor. 3:16; 6:19; 2 Cor. 6:16: Eph. 2:19), and “the Israel of God” (Gal. 6:16).
Biblical faith does not know of two holy books of divergent purposes, nor of two contrasting ethical principles, nor of two distinct peoples of God, any more that it knows of two True Gods. Furthermore, both testaments are the Word of God given to man (2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Pet. 1:20-21). Being such, the principles and precepts contained in either testament can only be annulled or modified by God Himself (Deut. 4:2; 12:32; Matt. 15:6; Rev. 22:18). Since God’s Word is perfect truth (John 17:17) “the Scripture cannot be broken” (John 10:35). Principles and precepts established in the Old Testament continue into the New Testament, unless God himself repeals them — as he did in the case of the precepts commanding animal sacrifices (Heb. 9-10), circumcision (Acts 15:1-2, 7-10; 1 Cor. 7:19; Gal. 5:6), food laws (Acts 10:10-16; 1 Tim. 4:3), and other such ceremonial-typological laws.
Having noted this we will now consider the particular Scripture principles forming the immediate bases of infant baptism. Let us begin in the Old Testament revelation.
2. The Principle of Family Solidarity
The Bible teaches that God establishes the family as a Creation ordinance of perpetual obligation (Gen. 1:27-28; 2:22-24; Matt. 19:4-6). That the family is of central importance in the Bible is evident upon the following considerations: (1) Numerous family genealogies are preserved in Scripture, thus demonstrating a concern for the preservation of family lineages (e.g., Gen. 5; 10; Num. 1). (2) Families were considered a high and holy heritage from the Lord (Psa. 127; 128; Isa. 8:18). (3) To be childless is lamentable (Gen. 25:41; 30:1; Exo. 23:26; Deut. 7:14; Psa. 113:9; Jer. 22:30). (4) Responsibilities before God center around family life (Deut. 6:4ff; Psa. 78:1-8; Prov. 13:22; 19:14). (5) Express moral obligations protecting the family are established in the Ten Commandments (Exo. 20:12, 14, 17).
Consequently, in the Old Testament God all-merciful specifically instituted his gracious covenant with family generations as beneficiaries of the covenant, rather than restricting the covenant to individuals. His mercies and blessings were particularly promised to the families of believers, as in the case of Noah (Gen. 9:9), Abraham (Gen. 17:2-7)) and others (Deut. 28:4; Psa. 103:17-18; 115:13,14). Also in keeping with this principle of family solidarity, his chastenings and curses ran in family generations (Exo. 20:5; Deut 5:9; Hos. 9:11-17).
In the Old Testament, then, godly families are obliged to recognize two important truths: First, when God’s grace claimed a person, God’s rule extended over all that that person possessed. For example, in the law of the tithe God claimed the first tenth of one’s production as a sign that he had a right to all of it (Deut. 14:22; Mal. 3:10). Second, when God’s grace claimed a person, that person’s household was set apart as holy unto the Lord. For example, the children of God’s people were forbidden to marry non-believers “for thou art an holy people” (Deut. 7:1-6). Truly God kept the family central in his gracious dealings with his covenant people in the Old Testament Revelation.
3. The Old Testament Sign of the Covenant
Indisputably, circumcision was the sign of God’s gracious covenant with his people in the Old Testament era (Gen. 17:10-14). Circumcision must be properly understood as a pre-condition to grasping the import of baptism, which as I will show, is the New Testament counterpart to Old Testament circumcision.
Unfortunately circumcision is too frequently deemed to be a purely national and racial sign of external, non-spiritual privileges in God’s Old Testament dealings with his people. Circumcision, however, was the sign of the covenant in its deepest spiritual meaning. Three fundamental concepts are tied up in the symbolism of circumcision.
First, circumcision was a sign of union and communion with God. At its institution with Abraham, God declares: “I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee. . . . And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token (sign) of the covenant betwixt me and you” (Gen. 17:7, 11). Note carefully that God calls himself personally Abraham’s God: “I will be a God unto thee.” God is not so united in covenant with unbelieving people. In Amos 3:2 he says: “thee and thee only have I known (intimately loved) of all the families of the earth.” In Psalm 147:19-20 we read: “He sheweth his word unto Jacob, his statutes and his judgments unto Israel. He hath not dealt so with any nation: and [as for his] judgments, they have not known them. Praise ye the LORD.” The very heart of God’s gracious covenant was this concept of union and communion with God, which recurred over and again in the Old Testament: “I will be your God and you will be My people” (Gen. 17:7; Exo. 5:2; 6:7; 29:42, 45, 46; Lev. 11:45; 26:12,45; Deut. 4:20; Deut. 7:9; 29:14-15; 2 Sam. 7:24; Psa. 105:9; Isa. 43:6; Jer. 24:7; 31:33; 32:38; Eze. 11:20; 34:24; 36:28; 37:23; Hos. 1:10; Zech. 8:8; 13:9; 2 Cor. 6:18; Rev. 21:3, 7).
Second, circumcision was a sign of the removal of defilement. That is, it represents cleansing from sin. This is confirmed by God’s repeatedly calling upon his people to “circumcise their hearts” (Deut. 10:16; 30:6; Isa. 52:1; Jer. 4:4; 6:10; 9:25-26; Eze. 44:7-9). Clearly then, the outward, physical cutting away of the filthy foreskin from the organ of generation of life was symbolic of the inward, spiritual removal of defilement from the center of one’s life, from the heart. Those with “uncircumcised hearts,” therefore, were deserving of God’s judgment (Lev. 26:41). Of such people God commanded: “Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your hearts” (Deut. 10:16).
Third, circumcision was the seal of the righteousness of faith. The New Testament apostle to the gentiles Paul clearly teaches this truth in Romans 4:11: “And he (Abraham) received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had . . . .” Circumcision was vitally related to faith. As an external sign it pictured and sealed internal faith, as the Bible clearly says.
At this point we must recall that circumcision — which represented union with God, cleansing from sin, and faith — was expressly commanded by God to be applied to infants: “And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in your generations . . . .” Note well that the sing of God’s deeply spiritual covenant was to be applied to infants! The family was clearly included in the outworking of God’s grace to his people in the Old Testament .
4. New Testament Covenantal Responsibility
As previously noted, given the inspired nature of Scripture any principle God ordains in his word continues until he himself (speaking through one of his inspired prophets or apostles) annuls or modifies it. As we enter the New Testament revelation, two things stand out regarding the principle of family solidarity and the inclusion of infants in the covenant community. First, we find no command anywhere in the New Testament, whether logically implied or by expressly stated, repealing this vital, centuries old, God-ordained practice. Second, ample, clear evidences demand the principle’s continuation in this area.
Before actually defending the above two observations, let us consider some of the implications inherent in the assumption that family generations are excluded from the covenant community of the New Testament era. If families are no longer a part of the covenant community nor partakers and beneficiaries of God’s covenant, we must ask why. Would this imply that the New Covenant (instituted by Christ in Luke 22:20) is less generous than the Old Covenant, thereby accounting for the exclusion of the family unit? Or perhaps the New Covenant is lesser in efficacious power, thus explaining its being ineffectual where there is no personal, self-conscious faith? Are infants of believers today more depraved than they were in the Old Covenant era? Is the family of lesser significance now than then?
The answer to each of these questions must be a resounding, “No!” The New Testament clearly continues the principle of family solidarity and infant inclusion in the covenant community. Consider the following evidences:
First, Christ himself treats little children and infants in a way demonstrating God’s covenantal concern for them. In this regard the following passages should be read and compared: Matthew 18:1-6; 19:13-14; Mark 9:36-37; Luke 18:15-17. Let us make a few significant observations on this matter.
(1) The little children are brought to him by others: “then there were brought unto him little children” (Matt. 19:13; cp. Mark 10:13). They do not come on their own spiritual initiative. In fact, some of these children are too young even to walk: “and they brought unto him also infants” (Luke 18:15).
(2) When Christ says, “Of such is the kingdom of God” (Matt. 19:14), he is speaking about the realm of covenantal blessings in terms of New Covenant terminology. John 3:3 and 1 Corinthians 6:10, for example, clearly employ “kingdom of God” in this sense. Jesus is not merely saying: “Grown people ought to have simple faith like that which is illustrated in these.” We may say this on the basis of the following evidence:
(a) Some of these are infants incapable of demonstrating self-conscious faith (Luke 18:15). Jesus is angered that the disciples keep these children and infants themselves away. He wants these little ones themselves presented to him: “And they brought unto him also infants, that he would touch them: but when his disciples saw it, they rebuked them. But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein” (Luke 18:15-17).
(b) The account in Matthew does not even mention childlike faith at all: “Then were there brought unto him little children, that he should put his hands on them, and pray: and the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven. And he laid his hands on them, and departed thence” (Matt. 19:13-15).
(3) Jesus actually performs a significant, spiritual act upon these children and calls down divine, spiritual blessings upon them: “Then there were brought unto him little children, that he should put his hands on them and pray . . . . And he laid his hands on them, and departed thence” (Matt. 19:13, 15). The laying on of hands is a deeply significant religious action appearing in several connections in the New Testament: the ordaining of deacons to office (Acts 6:6), the conferring of the Holy Spirit (Acts 8:17), the setting apart of men for missionary activity (Acts 13:3), and the imparting of spiritual gifts (1 Tim. 4:14; 2 Tim. 1:6). It is no mere cute ceremony.
Second, Peter expressly structures the New Testament’s first post-Pentecost sermon in terms of the covenant and the principle of family solidarity. Following upon the Pentecostal miracle Peter ends his sermon, urging: ARepent and be baptised everyone of you in the name of Jesus Christ . . . for the promise is unto you and to your children@ (Acts 2:38, 39). Given the Jewish audience (Acts 2:14, 22, 36) steeped in 1500 years of Old Testament covenantal thought patterns (cp. Stephen’s rehearsal of Jewish history in Acts 7) the promise is quite naturally structured. Peter expressly includes children in the promises of God here in this first New Covenant sermon. Were Peter concerned to get his hearers to understand that the old principles were radically changed (by omitting the family unit), he certainly would not have phrased this particular exhortation and promise in this manner — especially in the context of urging faith in Christ, repentance from sin, and baptism. The principle of family solidarity is clearly operating in this evangelistic context.
Third, children in the New Testament churches are addressed as “saints” (“saint” in Greek means “one set apart” and is used of Christians). The salutations of the letters to Ephesus and Colassae show they are written expressly to the “saints” (Eph. 1:1; Col. 1:2). Yet in both letters, words of instruction are specifically addressed to “children” in those churches. For example, Ephesians 6:1 says, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord; for this is right.” Colossians follows suit (Col. 3:20, 21). Thus, in speaking to different groups of “saints” no differentiation is made between children and adults in terms of their status in the church, or between believing and unbelieving children. The children of the saints are included in the covenant community, just as are wives (Eph. 5:22) and husbands (5:25).
Fourth, Paul teaches the child having only one believing parent is, nevertheless, “set apart” (i.e., is distinguished) from the children of an unbelieving family. First Corinthians 7:14 reads: “For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now they are holy.” We should note that the children of believing parents are considered both “sanctified” and clean in contrast to the children of unbelievers, who are unsanctified and “unclean” in regard to God’s gracious dealings with his people. Paul is working here from the Old Testament principle of family solidarity. He refers to this principle under different symbols in Romans 11:16, where he states: “If the first piece of dough be holy, the lump is also holy; if the root be holy, the branches are holy.”
Fifth, household baptisms episodes are frequent enough in the New Testament to suggest the continuance of the principle including infants with believing parents in the covenant. Of the twelve baptism episodes recorded in the New Testament, three are whole-house baptisms (Acts 16:14; 16:33-34; 1 Cor. 1:16). If the New Testament actually presented a strictly individualistic emphasis in terms of the faith, one should wonder why only Lydia believes, while her entire household is baptized: “And a certain woman named Lydia . . . , which worshiped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened . . . . And when she was baptized, and her household, she besought us . . .” (Acts 16:14,15). It is certainly easy enough for Luke to specify that all in the family believe, for he does this in Acts 18:8: “And Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his house . . . .”
We should note in this regard that many versions mistranslate Acts 16:34. For instance, the King James version reads: “And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house.” The New American Standard version has the correct rendering of this verse in a marginal reference at verse 34: “rejoiced greatly with his whole household, having believed in God.” The participle phrase “having believed in God” is in the singular form. Thus, it refers only to the jailer: the jailer believes in God; his household rejoices. Yet the whole household is baptized: “And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their stripes. And immediately he and all his family were baptized” (Acts 16:33). Note, too, that Paul indiscriminately presents the promise in terms expressing the principle of family solidarity: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house” (Acts 16:31; cp. also Acts 11:14).
These five considerations concerning the New Testament record indicate the continuing principles of family solidarity before God and the inclusion of infants of believers in the covenant. What then would preclude infants receiving the sign of the covenant promise — baptism?
5. The Sign of the New Covenant
In the New Testament we discover an express word from God repealing the rite of circumcision as the sign of the covenant (Gal. 3:1ff; 5:2ff; Acts 15:1-6, 24). As a blood-letting ceremony it is not compatible with the final phase of redemption, which has its final blood-letting in Christ=s death once-for-all (Heb. 9:12-14, 25-26; 10:10). Thus, God replaces a bloody rite with a bloodless covenant sign: baptism. That baptism takes over for circumcision as the sign of the covenant is clear from several considerations.
First, in Colossians 2:11, 12 Paul specifically relates the two rites, showing that baptism supersedes circumcision: “In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses.” The participle phrase in verse 12 (“having been buried with him in baptism”) is dependent upon and explanatory of the main verb in verse 11 (“ye are circumcised”). How then are we circumcised? By our baptism!
Second, both rites serve as initiatory introductions into the covenant community (i.e. the Church). In Genesis 17:9-14 (discussed earlier) circumcision is the initiation rite into the covenant community. The uncircumcised man is excluded from the covenant community (v. 14). In Acts 2:41 baptism becomes an initiatory rite: “So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and there were added that day about three thousand souls.”
Third, both rites are signs and seals of God’s gracious covenant love to his people. Compare Genesis 17:9-14 (on circumcision) with Galatians 3:27-29: “For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to the promise.”
Fourth, both rites represent the same deeply spiritual truths. Remember: circumcision signifies union with God, cleansing from sin, and faith (see Point 3). Baptism, too, symbolizes these three truths:
(1) The baptismal formula clearly expresses union and communion with God. In Matthew 28:19 we read: “Baptizing them in the Name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” Paul reflects on the significance of this baptismal union in several places: Romans 6:3: “Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?” Galatians 3:27: “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.”
(2) Baptism also portrays cleansing from sin: Acts 2:38: “Then Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.’” Acts 22:16: “Arise, and be baptized, and wash away your sins.” First Peter 3:21: “There is also an antitype which now saves us — baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.”
(3) Baptism also reflects faith: Mark 16:16: “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved.” Acts 8:12: “But when they believed Philip as he preached the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were baptized.” Acts 8:3638: “Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, “See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?” Then Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” And he answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” So he commanded the chariot to stand still. And both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him.” Acts 18:8: “Then Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his household. And many of the Corinthians, hearing, believed and were baptized.”
These four perspectives on baptism demonstrate conclusively that an intended, purposeful, and divinely ordained relationship exists between baptism and circumcision. Given the extensive arguments rehearsed above, on what grounds may we exclude infants from Christian baptism? Infants of the New Covenant era have as much right to the sign of the covenant as infants in the Old Covenant era.
6. Objections to Infant Baptism
Before concluding the argument for infant baptism, it might serve well to consider just briefly a few objections against it. Several common arguments are frequently urged against the practice.
First, “Nowhere in the New Testament do we read a clear, express command to baptize infants.”
This is certainly true. But as shown previously this is unnecessary in light of the unity of God’s Word between the Old and New Testaments. Express commands are not the only valid ones; good and necessary inferences are authoritative, as well. For instance, where does the New Testament explicitly allow women to partake of the Lord’s Supper? After all, at the original institution of the Supper, no women are present. Nowhere in the New Testament do we actually see women partaking of the sacrament. If one cites the Old Testament to show women were included in the Old Testament ritual meals, the reformed point is confirmed. Regarding covenantal inclusion, we should let 1500 years of covenant history in the Old Testament to receive its just weight in this regard.
Second, “Circumcision was for males only; why do reformed Christians baptize infant females?”
Though often employed against infant baptism, this argument fails of its point. Clearly, Lydia is baptized in the New Testament (Acts 16:15). In addition, by good and necessary inference we include females in the administration of the sign of the covenant. The New Covenant records an expansion of covenantal privilege: “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal. 3:27-28). Opposition to infant baptism requires a restriction of privilege.
Third, “What of the many infants of covenant children who grow up to be renegades and non-believers?”
Covenant rebellion is an unfortunate situation. It is not, however, solely a problem for those who baptize infants. What of the many adults who are baptized and turn out to be disgraces to the Church? Is not Simon baptized, although we soon learn he has no part in the faith (Acts 8:13, 21)? The same situation prevails in the Old Testament with circumcision (e.g., David’s son Absalom). Abuse of privilege does not annul a command of God, rather it intensifies accountability.
Fourth, “Infants cannot understand the meaning of baptism.”
The same protest could be urged against circumcision, which, nevertheless, was applied to infants. The same protest, as a matter of fact, could be lodged against Christ himself for laying his hands on the infants brought to him. Cannot God bless even those who do not understand?
7. Summary and Conclusion The case for infant baptism has been developed upon the following lines of consideration:
First, both testaments of the Bible are equally authoritative as revelation from God to his people. The two testaments are vitally inter-related. The New Testament is a continuation and expansion of the Old Testament.
Second, God establishes the family as the arena of his grace and mercy and he reveals the principle of family solidarity. For centuries of covenantal history the seed of believers was included in God’s gracious covenant and in the covenant community. They even receive the sign of the covenant, just as the adult does.
Third, the New Testament abrogates the divinely instituted principle of family solidarity. Neither does it urge us to exclude infants from the covenant community. Nor does it instruct the early Christian community (composed largely of covenant-oriented Jews) to withhold the sign of the covenant from their children.
Fourth, the New Testament treats children as members of the covenant community, frames sermons in terms of the family solidarity principle, and records actions expressive of the covenant principle (i.e., household baptisms).
Fifth, baptism takes over the function of circumcision in the New Covenant era. Since circumcision (which pictured the same truths as baptism) was applied to infants, why should not baptism?
Often the Reformed Christian is put on the defensive regarding the issue of infant baptism. He is challenged to demonstrate the propriety of baptizing infants. This is unfortunate. Actually we should be challenging those who neglect baptizing their infants to give just, Scripturally-verifiable cause for excluding the infants of believers from the Church and baptism.
© Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr., Covenant Media Foundation, 800/553-3938
If we believed that a person could not walk away from salvation, I think we would be in a theological pickle. Only the OSAS folks have that issue.
I cant speak about others who baptize babies, but Lutherans believe that the gospel is even for the saved – a very non evangelical position. Even the saved get preached to about their sin and the gospel as the cure – repentance is the cure all.
So, the wayward at any moment can again be confronted with their sin and hear the gospel and come back.
But what did you think of the verses such as – besides the usual matra, “well it doesn’t mean what it says.” 😉
“Yet you are he who took me from the womb;
you made me trust you at my mother’s breasts.
On you was I cast from my birth,
and from my mother’s womb you have been my God.” (Psalm 22:9-10)
Good article – I need to go put in some eye drops after reading the screen that long. 🙂
Does anyone here in PhxP land have a copy of Explore the Book by J. Sidlow Baxter that you no longer need/want? Not sure I want to pay the $62 Amazon price.
all 350 pages of it, CK – just need a mailing address and it’s yours … i think probably Michael has my Email address … i’ve been culling and packing books the past couple weeks and i’m headed to the p.o. next week to mail a book to my grandson – good timing
I have no problem with those verses, MLD, but to me at least they do not definitively resolve the normativity of paedobaptism.
I just wanted to understand what you people 🙂 believe, and thanks to you and L I do, gracias.
I guess what I still do not fully understand is the intellectual, theological, and spiritual journey from evangelicalism to RC, LCMS, Orthodox, Anglican, or whatever. I cannot imagine that personal transition being shared much more humanly and accessibly than it is here, but I still cannot fathom it.
Thank you, Em, you are so kind! But I was actually looking for the 1700-plus page, 6 volumes in one edition. Digging a bit deeper, I found it at a textbook site for $26, with free shipping!
“I guess what I still do not fully understand is the intellectual, theological, and spiritual journey from evangelicalism to RC, LCMS, Orthodox, Anglican, or whatever.”
Join the club, I can’t fathom someone making the reverse journey leaving the LCMC going to evangelicalism – how do they do it and what is going through their mind?. 😉
CK, it’s a heavy tome condensed in one volume! 6 volumes must be impressive 🙂
RIP Russell Means.
“Explore the Book” – quote from forward: “…..as these studies were first prepared to be spoken, without thought of later publication, I have in various parts indulged a preacher’s rather than a writer’s liberty in appropriating from the writings of others. I can only hope … not … too near the dreaded boundary-line of plagiarism….”
seems to me that the problem of preachers using others words was discussed here last week … did/do some crossed the boundary-line? maybe it’s under the heading of nothing new under the sun …
Russell Means – had to look him up – wanted to be a lightening bolt after death? … sounds like he didn’t want to rest in peace – interesting character study
MLD (and/or Lutheran)- not to get too involved, but trying to remember something.
Did you (MLD) tell me once that the Lutherans take Jesus’ words about “Suffer the little children to come to me….unless you come as a little child…” to support infant baptism.
Thanks in advance.
(Reuben, Xenia and others can chime in here too)
Some saw him as a terrorist, others as a freedom fighter. I thought some of his goals were unattainable, but I think he tried to raise awareness of the plight of American Indians in general and the Lakotah in particular. Many of them live in deplorable conditions. I would hope and think Christianity is the answer for them, however history has a established a track record of atrocities done to them by people who claimed to know God.
AV, it would be one of many verses but not the only one.
AV, read the article, that verse is addressed.
I don’t remember saying what you asked.b Maybe it was MLD.
But I do think that it shows Jesus’s compassion for children. He said that they are part of His Kingdom. He certainly was “inclusive” of them. He said, “Do not keep them from coming to me.” That’s pretty bloody direct!
Lutherans also have lots of scriptural passages they believe support the baptism of infants. This passage (Matt. 19) I would classify as more of a narrative section. Lutherans are also kinda big on thematic theology, for lack of a better phrase.
On a more personal note, my wife was raised in the Lutheran church until she was about 12 or so. She has very warm memories of hearing, growing up in Lutheran Sunday School, and worshiop, how very much Jesus loved and cared for her. Still resonates with her today!
The article I posted at #17 I think addresses it.
But, I have said that before, but not quite the way you are bringing it up. It is not a one to one with baptism – but it is a one to one how someone comes to Jesus.
In the Gospel days, you were able to walk right up to him, or be brought to him and receive all the blessings. Not so today – Jesus has ascended into heaven, the cross is gone etc – so God has instituted physical means for people to “come” and receive the gifts Jesus delivered on the cross.
It was the reason that the thief on the cross did not need baptism – when you have Jesus right next to you telling you you are saved, it is a more direct route we don’t have.
However you look at it, adults are told to come with the same faith that a child has. Forgetting all the baptism stuff, my article was to show that babies/infants do have that faith.
I think that the Luke 18 passage is telling in that it uses the word for infant and then goes on and compares how they receive the kingdom.
I don’t use it by itsellf, but it does make a point.If an infant doesn’t have faith then Jesus is telling the adults to receive the kingdom with no faith – does that make sense?
Today was a great day at church – Reformation Sunday – we got to sing our fight song – A Mighty Fortress is our God
Always love the long, drawn out stump speeches for infant baptism – a Roman Catholic rite. But if a person just reads the Bible for themselves, without the lengthy dissertations by those who would try to convince them that infant baptism is the way to go, they’d never come to the conclusion that infants should be baptised. The “Great Commission” is to make disciples and baptise them. I have yet to meet any infants who are disciples.
Paul in Seattle,
That you for your post – I am however afraid that others will think I put you up to writing this as a softball for me to answer.
1.) A Roman Catholic rite?? First, even if that were true, does that make it wrong? I understand that the RCC believes in the Trinity, the Deity of Christ and the substitutionary atonement of Christ… just RCC rites?
2.) We know by history and archeology that the 2nd century church was baptizing babies – we find that by exploring the catacombs. Now that doesn’t prove that infant baptism is correct, but it does explode your view that it is a RCC rite.. as there was no RCC at the time.
3.) Now I will address who actually holds the RCC position (a preview – it is you) – We hold that infant baptism if nothing else shows that salvation requires nothing on our part, other than what God is dong for us in the salvation / baptism process. A Child is brought to God and God saves that person / baby.
Your position is that a baby is missing some ingredient that makes him unsavable – some ingredient that he must develop and at a certain age be able to present to God to show that he has now attained a position that now allows him to be called “savable”.
I do believe that this is a form of, if not works righteousness – at least a position held by the RCC that you are now worthy of salvation (or was that Wayne’s World?)
To your point about how disciples are made is laughable – the text reads that you are to go and make disciples – and the method for doing so is by baptism and by teaching. You don’t make a disciple then teach them.
If you ever are in the Orange County area come visit my church – I will take you to the nursery and Sunday School and show you rooms full of very young disciples – people who have been baptized and who are now in the teaching stage,.
One last question – does your church deny salvation to the babies in attendance?
Hey MLD – what about babies who die and weren’t baptized first? All in hell?
I could have worded this better to read –
Does your church WITHHOLD salvation from the babies in attendance?
I forgot to tag my first morning post with
Good morning Josh! 😉
The Bible doesn’t say – but the promise we can give is that those babies who are baptized are saved.
So, our comfort to the parents who loose an unbaptized baby is that God is merciful and just and will do the right thing.
Not the evangelical answer – “whew, good thing he didn’t reach an age of accountability.” 😉
Good morning. Waiting anxiously for Thinks I Think.
I was just curious as to how far the powers of the magic water reach.
Luther taught just the opposite, that there is no magic to the water, it is just plain water, but when mixed with the word of God, well it does do special things.
Just think of your view. In the anabaptist world, Jesus gave commands to do something that had no purpose nor any value. Your view is that baptism is just one more hoop you jump through to be a good Christian You know, Jesus standing off to the side saying “I wonder if people love me enough to do any stupid thing I ask. “submerge yourselves!” 😉
Yep, that’s my view 🙂
Sure it is – you were able to feel free to say that magic water was my view.
You need to be tougher than that on a Monday morning. 😉
I was tough, I smiled.
Good thing Jesus took a dip in the magic water when he was a baby…Oh wait 🙂
An interesting theology you have there – do what Jesus did, not what he said.
Infants may not show a lot of “discipleship” characteristics. But to say they’re not disciples is wrong. There are millions of Lutherans, Anglicans and Roman Catholics who were baptized as infants who continue in the One True Faith for their entire lives.
Yes, because in Jesus 4:28 he said “Baptize babies”
Good comeback Mld. Hey THINGs is up!
But see, you have the same problem with the Lord’s Supper – why do you allow women up to the Table. There is no command to commune women and we have no examples of women taking communion – yet you serve them
Wow, there’s a swerve. You implied in #63 that Jesus said to baptize babies. Now, we jump to women at communion? I can’t even follow that.
No, I never said Jesus said “baptize babies” – just like I don’t think he said “baptize grandfathers” – what I say is that Jesus says to baptize all nations – all people – and babies and grandfathers are included.
Now, if you say that the kinds of people have to be specified, then I want to see where the ladies are specifically listed as those to be served at the Lord’s Table. But I think you know that Jesus included them all.
Well, the baptizing all nations is in the same sentence as “make disciples”, but seeing as you have already argued that a baby can be a disciple, that conversation will be fruitless.
“Beware of Christians” … found this movie on Netflix last night; i hope for that, every minute spent here arguing for the efficacy or lack of in baptizing our babies, there is a least equal time spent every day praying for our young – infant baptism may or may not save souls, but i know a myriad of baptized babies that have wreaked havoc and grief in and out of the family of God as adults … the movie is by 4 beautiful and i think sincere young men of Faith – if you can watch and not be moved to pray for all like them (male and female), i question whether or not you might be one of those virgins who Michael says this morning need an oil change … (he has it backward, but it wouldn’t have been as catchy theologically corrected)
this is why the server farms and our dependence on them scares me – hope folks who do all their business on line – keep print-outs (and … kind of nice to see all those cars piled up in a puddle on Wall Street, tho 🙄
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