Wednesday, September 05, 2007

BAPTISM

One interesting part of the Christian life is working out how we feel about the ordinances of the church, namely communion and baptism. How this relates to church membership also adds another angle to the mix.
This post got me thinking. The issue at hand is baptism. We know the modes of baptism are different. We also know that the reasons for baptism are different for some. The question I have is ...
Can someone join your church (or should they be able to) if they have not been baptized in the mode that your church recognizes and for the same reasons your church recognizes?
Should that person be allowed to join AND participate in communion?
I welcome your comments as this discussion is normally a good one.




315 comments:

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dsstanfield said...

Now this ought to be a good one!

Baptism. An issue near and dear to my heart. I attend a Reformed Presbyterian Church where we obviously practice Covenant baptism.

I can defend Covenant Baptism as being Scriptural, as well as sprinkling or pouring as the mode.

Having said that, let me say that our church does not require a person who has been immersed to be "rebaptized" (as if you could) upon joining our church. Also, the Lord's Table is open to all professing Christians who have been baptized, (either dunked or sprinkled) and are members of good standing in an evangelical church.

I think it is a little presumptuous of our Baptist brothers to require a person to be "rebaptized."

Let the debate begin. I have a feeling that I may be outnumbered on this one :) !

Dead Theologians said...

ds,

I am a reformed Baptist. I know how "near and dear" this subject is. I am passionate about it. I am opinionated about it and like most of us, I am convinced about it. I look forward to the "exchange." I will share my views as we progress in this.

Everyone, please remember to be kind in sharing your views. No fiery darts on this one. Put those back in your quiver for a "Predestination" post.

DT

dsstanfield said...

DT,

You know the picture you placed over your post looks suspiciously Presbyterian to me. John would have a hard time immersing Jesus in that knee deep water.

I figured you were a Reformed Baptist brother. We have many good friends who are. Let me ask you this:

Would you allow someone to take communion at your church who had been sprinkled as an infant? What about church membership?

No fiery darts from me...

dss

JSU said...

Alright, I'll get this ball rolling.

Personally, I don't feel that infant baptism is a proclamation of salvation. So if a Christian wished to join a church, but he/she had only been baptized as an infant, I think a proclamation by baptism should be made that they were saved. If that person had been saved and baptized previously, then it would be unnecessary to make them be "rebaptized" in the church they wished to join. I think it's wrong of churches to say that they MUST be baptized in their church (like Church of Christ). As long as the Christian has been baptized after salvation, I don't care if they were sprinkled or dunked. So long as they proclaimed Christ's saving grace in their life.

I agree DSS, if they are professing Christians they should be allowed to participate in the Lord's Supper.

I'm assuming the fetal position for protection :)

Henry (Rick) Frueh said...

Without going into sprinkling which I was and wasn't saved, there is no such thing as joining a church.

The Lord's Supper is for believers who examine their own hearts, baptism is not alluded to within that context.

Rebaptizing if one was baptized before as a believer is unnecessary. BTW - I was baptized as an infant in the Lutheran Church, when i became a believer I baptized myself in the Gulf of Mexico, and then I was baptized later in a baptist church in New York.

Which one do you accept?

JSU said...

DT,

I'm a 1689er.

Dead Theologians said...

dss,

You said "John would have a hard time immersing Jesus in that knee deep water."

I am sure John took Jesus over to the deep section so that he could be totally immersed. :)

As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him.
Matthew 3.15-17

It is hard to sprinkle when it says He came up out of the water.

Our church practices open communion. As long as someone is born again they can participate.

Membership is different. I think immersion is important but the mode is not so much an issue for me as the reason for baptism.

Typically any Baptist church will require you to be baptized by immersion AFTER salvation. The issue is have they been baptized since they have been saved. This is a clear issue that baffles me as to why there is disagreement over this. It is an act of obedience.

The convenant issue (which I do have problems with) is a future post that I want to bring up. I do know that other Prebyterian folk will need to address that here as it pertains to baptism.

I was holding out until others posted. I have been "outed."

DT

dsstanfield said...

"As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him.
Matthew 3.15-17

It is hard to sprinkle when it says He came up out of the water."

Coming out of the water is not necessarily coming from under the water. If Jesus had been immersed, He would require to have been taken out of the water, instead of coming out of it by His own action.

The Greek word in Matt. 3:16, translated "out of" is "apo." It primarily signifes "from." It is also found in the seventh verse of this chapter, and is translated "from"... "Flee from the wrath to come."

Look at these passages:

Luke 2:4: "And Joseph also went up from Galilee."
Did he emerge from under the soil of Galilee?

Song 3:6: "Who is she coming up from the wilderness? Did the spouse emerge or ascend from under the sands of the desert?

Gen. 17:22: "And God went up from Abraham."

John 11:55: "And many went out of the country up to Jerusalem." Did they emerge out of the earth?

I believe in believer's baptism. If an adult were to be regenerated, and had never been baptized, then baptism is a sign of their obedience.

dsstanfield said...

Henry (rick),

Which of your baptisms do you consider valid?

dss

dsstanfield said...

Hey jsu!

"As long as the Christian has been baptized after salvation, I don't care if they were sprinkled or dunked."

Here is where the rubber meets the road, so to speak.

Can one ever know for sure that a person has been saved?

Baptists insist that a person must be saved before baptism. Is there a passage in Scripture that states this?

Dead Theologians said...

dss,

The emphasis for me is "he went up out of."

Does your church require new converts to be baptized?

This is not a dart but I have wondered if my Presbyterian brethren just did not want to tangle with Rome over the issue of baptism so they left it alone and continued in the practice.

Where is approved workman on this Rome comment?

DT

Dead Theologians said...

Everyone,

I was sad and happy to hear of D. James Kennedy's passing.

Read this quote...

“Now, I know that someday I am going to come to what some people will say is the end of this life. They will probably put me in a box and roll me right down here in front of the church, and some people will gather around, and a few people will cry. But I have told them not to do that because I don’t want them to cry. I want them to begin the service with the Doxology and end with the Hallelujah chorus, because I am not going to be there, and I am not going to be dead. I will be more alive than I have ever been in my life, and I will be looking down upon you poor people who are still in the land of dying and have not yet joined me in the land of the living. And I will be alive forevermore, in greater health and vitality and joy than ever, ever, I or anyone has known before.”

D. James Kennedy, Ph.D.

dsstanfield said...

Hey DT,

"Does your church require new converts to be baptized?"

Yes, if they have never been baptized.

I don't take your comment on Rome as a fiery dart. Although, I would strongly disagree with it.

dsstanfield said...

My Baptist Friends,

Say you have someone who professes Christ and is baptized, only later to leave the faith. Years later that person comes back and says that now they have been regenerated. Do you baptize them again? If so, how many times? What if they leave and then return again?

Henry (Rick) Frueh said...

I think the one that I immersed myself. I'll find out one day. Surely not the one in which I was a non particpating infant. I was also circumsized so I am covered anyway you look at it!

Steve said...

DS,

You asked if someone who was baptized leaves the faith, comes back and says they've now been born-again, should he be re-baptized.

I don't think so. Once is enough to covenantally unite him to Christ. Like a husband who says I do, cheats for 10 years, repents and seeks forgiveness. You wouldn't re-marry him. The first 'I do' united him to his bride.

DT,

She' right about the greek. Also, the greek for baptize can be faithfully translated immerse, sprinkle, or pour.

My church dunks, and I think it best emulates our full burial and resurrection with the Lord. The water represents God's grace that fully covers our sinfulness. If only my head was sprinkled, I would think my arms and legs weren't safe! :(

Henry (Rick) Frueh said...

Is baptism identification or covenant? If covenant then sprinkling or immersion is OK. If identity then immersion.

Because the new covenant is one of personal faith, infant baptism is a shadow of the law and has no place in the New Testament.

Church membership - unscriptural

Communion - any believer

Rebaptize a believer - no

dsstanfield said...

Does the NT speak to water baptisms or spirit baptisms more?

What verses would you use to support water baptisms?

Also, how many times have you ever witnessed a household baptism in a Baptist church? Out of the ten seperate recorded baptisms in the NT, 5 were household, 1 was a eunuch with no children, and one was Paul with no children. You also have Pentecost as well, when families as such were not present, being that the vast congregation was composed of persons from different places, many coming from a great distance.

Still, though not present as families, the Pentecost hearers are reminded that the promise is unto them AND THEIR CHILDREN. (Acts 2:39)

dsstanfield said...

Henry (rick),

Throughout the OT you see God constantly working through families. Now, in the NT it is every man and woman, boy and girl for themselves???

If you have a man and wife who are Christians, but they have three children who have not made a profession of faith yet, is that still a Christian home? If so, why? The number of unbelievers is greater than the number of believers.

Maybe there is something to federal headship.

By the way, if the NT contradicts the OT, then there must be two separate gospels...

Any thoughts on this?

dss

Steve said...

Federal Headship---sounds like someone's been reading Douglas Wilson. His book 'Federal Husband' is a must for all husbands.

Henry (Rick) Frueh said...

The word "Christian" applies to individual believers and cannot be used as a canopy over nations or families. If the man is a Christian and his wife and five sone are not is that a Christian home? It is a non biblical question, the word Christian refers to individuals.

However, I Corinthinas does touch on the "sanctified" issue of unsaved spouses but that is another issue of some form of divine protection carried over from the believer. It doesn't go into detail though.

The verse in Acts you quote quite simply presents the gospel as transgenerational.

dsstanfield said...

Hey Steve,

I quit reading Wilson when he started espousing his Federal Vision teachings i.e. baptismal regeneration. Up until that time, I did enjoy a number of his books, especially "Reforming Marriage."

Federal headship is taught throughout the Bible, starting with Adam being the head of the human race in the covenant of works. Christ is our second Adam, who also federally represents all the elect. He has done what Adam failed to do.

dsstanfield said...

Again,

how many households baptisms have you ever witnessed or performed?

Henry (Rick) Frueh said...

Christ was the "last" Adam, not the second which may imply more to come.

dsstanfield said...

You are right Henry (rick). "Last" Adam is a much better way of putting it!

Kim T said...

I am thankful to Rick for the zeroing in on some key biblical distinctions:

1)The word "Christian" applies to individual believers and cannot be used as a canopy over nations or families. Therefore, asking if a home is a Christian home or nor is a non biblical question, the word Christian refers to individuals.

2)Is baptism identification or covenant? If covenant then sprinkling or immersion is OK. If identity then immersion.

3)Because the new covenant is one of personal faith, infant baptism is a shadow of the law and has no place in the New Testament.

4)Church membership - unscriptural

5)Communion - any believer

6)Rebaptize a believer - no

Thank you. Most helpful and susinct.

JSU said...

Rick,
I loved your comment, "The word 'Christian' applies to individual believers and cannot be used as a canopy over nations or families." This was very well said.

DSS,
As for the Scriptures you requested, you later answered them yourself by referring to the eunuch, Paul, and the family that were baptized after salvation. There is no direct command, but there are recurring examples in the NT. The Israelites were also baptized by John the Baptist after they repented.

dsstanfield said...

Good Morning Everyone.

Let me back up and lay some ground work here. The Bible teaches that children of believers are members of the New Covenant. They have been included in the prophecies of the coming New Covenant.

Look to the following verses:

Jer. 32:38-40 "...and their children after them."
Is. 59:21 "...your descendants, nor from the mouth of your descendant's descendants."
Ezekiel 37:24-26 "...they, their children, and their children's children, forever..."
Psalm 103:17-18 "...and His righteousness to children's children"
Luke 1:48-50 "...from generation to generation"
Acts 2:39 "...the promise is to you and to your children, and to all w ho are afar off, as many as the Lord will call."

If we were to use the historical/grammar approach, we would be required to understand words as the first readers or listeners understood them.

How would Peter's listeners have heard him? Many modern believers do not know their OT's. However, the audience Peter was speaking to most certainly did! None of the Jews that Peter was speaking to would have thought that he meant the children of believers were now to be excluded unless they came into the covenant on their own as a separate individual. The debate for them was over whether or not the Gentiles had to include their children in the New Covenant by "means of circumcision," not whether the Jewish Christians had to start excluding their children.

Children of believers are members of Christ's kingdom. Jesus said:

"Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven." Luke tells us "Then they also brought infants to Him that He might touch them; but when the disciples saw it, they rebuked them. But Jesus called them to Him and said, 'Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God.'" Luke even names some of those brought to Christ as infants (brephos). Let me say that here we are not talking about baptism. We are talking about the relationship between Christ, His kingdom, and the infants and children of believers. Children are evident in the passage.

The gospel is for the families of the earth.

Acts 3:25: "You are sons of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying to Abraham, 'And in your seed all the families fo the earth shall be blessed.'"

The gospel is also for the nations of the earth. The Great Commission evidences that.

The gospel is for the generations of the earth.

Is. 65:23: "They shall not labor in vain, nor bring forth children for trouble; for they shall be the descendants of the blessed of the Lord, and their offspring with them."

Most modern churches, being Baptistic in their thinking have an individualistic approach. I am not saying that because you have a believing mother and father, that it is certain all the children will be saved. There are instances in Scripture where that did not happen (Jacob and Esau). It is possible to be "IN" the covenant but not "OF" the covenant.

Our children are members of the church. They worship with us. They learn to call God, Father. They pray. I have often wondered why Baptist allow their children to do these things if they aren't considered Christians until a profession has been made.

Our covenant children are exhorted to "remember their baptism" where God's mark was put upon them (just as circumcision in the OT). For their baptism to be a blessing, faith must be added to it. When our children make a profession of faith, the elders examine them. They are then admitted to the Lord's Supper.

dsstanfield said...

DT, Henry (rick), JSU, Steve,

Have you ever witnessed a household baptism? They are biblical. I already cited that out of the 10 separate recordings of baptism in the NT, 50% were household baptisms. Why do you not see this today in the modern evangelical (Baptistic) church?

They occur within our denomination.

Do you consider the children that God has sovereignly placed in a Christian household to be any different from the children he sovereignly placed in a Mormon/JW/Muslim family?

Henry (Rick) Frueh said...

You cannot use OT SCriptures which mention children and create a New Testament teaching without New Testament teaching in the epistles. The household baptism you observe may be nice, but it is not taught anywhere in the New Testament.

It is a denominational tradition and not a New Testament command. It doesn't matter whether anyone has senn it or been a part of one, that is irrelevant. When Jesus gave Paul the revelation of the church face to face, He instructed Paul to be the teacher of that same information. Paul never mentions household baptism.

"In" or "of" the covenant is man made. Again, they may be the traditions of your denomination but they are not Biblical as outlined in the New Testament. How does one get in the covenant of Christ? By personal faith, not baptism on the coatails of your parents. It might be nice to witness but so is infant christening. Both are unscriptural and rose within a denomination.

dsstanfield said...

Henry (rick):

You stated:

"The household baptism you observe may be nice, but it is not taught anywhere in the New Testament."

Acts 16:15, Acts 16:32-33, I Cor. 1:14, Acts 18:8, I Cor. 1:16, Acts 11:14

These verses alone prove that the baptism of families was a common practice in apostolic times. Do we ever read in the NT of parents acting on the modern Baptist principle- leaving their children unbaptized after they themselves had become members of Christ's Church? There is not one solitary example to be found in the NT where a child of a professed Christian parent is allowed to grow up to adult age without baptism, and then baptized on the profession of his own faith in Christ.

There is a basic continuity between the Old and New Testaments. The New Testament flows out of the Old and builds on its foundation.

Look at the following passages that confirm OT authenticity and validity:

Matt. 4:4 Jesus states man shall live on EVERY WORD that proceeds from the mouth of God. Here he quotes from and refers to the OT.
Matt. 5:17-19
Acts 17:11 The Bereans were commended for examining the OT daily.
Romans 15:4 OT is for our instruction
I Cor. 10:11 OT for our instruction
2 Tim. 3:15-17 sacred writings that are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is Christ Jesus (OT)

Christ and the writers of teh NT repeatedly quote from and apply the OT Scriptures to NT believers.

God alone may exercise the preprogative to amend his Word. In other words, Christians may not declare any portion of God's Word void, including any portion of the OT.

Following your hermeneutic (correct me if I am wrong), if there is not a direct command in the NT, the church should not allow it.

What about women taking the Lord's Supper?
What about attending public worship?
What about family prayer?
What about observing the first day of the week instead of the seventh?

Are there direct commands for these found in the NT? If not, should we practice them?

Henry (Rick) Frueh said...

"Following your hermeneutic (correct me if I am wrong), if there is not a direct command in the NT, the church should not allow it."

Irrelevant, truth by silence? There is nothing in the NT forbidding footwashing every service either, but although some observe it it is not taught in the NT epistles. They too claim it was practiced in NT times, but that does not make it a church teaching.

The household you quote in I Cor. does not mention children. If you claim that househould baptism including children is taught (not Acts) in the epistles TO THE CHURCH, then I have no way of disproving it Scripturally.

Your method of arriving at NT truth picks places of Scripture from all over the Bible and leaves others. There is no teaching in the NT about worshiping on Sunday, but we do it because of tradition and observing the resurrection. We are not taught to meet on any certain day.

God's Word is true throughout, but if you do not rightly divide the Word we are left with a collage. All church doctrine must be gleaned from the epistles. That is why foot washing is not observed as a church ordinance, it is not taught in the epistles. Why do some churches command it? Becuase they take it from the gospels.

Jesus worshiped on Saturday, should we? How can a child, not as yet inhabited by the Spirit, be allowed to take communion? Can that child examine himself? Can they fully understand what they are doing?

You quote Acts as church teaching. Should we anoint handkerchiefs? They did it in Acts. Should we only meet in houses? That is the example, the ONLY example in Acts. You of all people should be in favor of that with your emphasis on the church treating housholds as small communities of faith. Should we sell all we have and distribute it among each other? They did it in Acts. Should we circumcise on the eith day? They did it in the OT.

In Malachi you observe the tithe, but in that same book they are commanded to keep incense lit always. Do you do that? The Lord says that the priests are from Levi, are your pastors from that tribe? Why do you get to observe the tithe and not everything else? Paul says if you are going to do part of the law you must do it all. No sections, all.

All Scripture is inspired. Some is historical, some is narrative, some is poetry, some is Moses' law, some is prophetic, some present the life of Jesus, but ONLY the church epistles are authoritative for church teaching and observances.

Many things in Acts were later refined as the embryonic church grew. Paul had to instruct James in Jerusalem and even then James commanded believers to avoid strangled things. Do you? Why not? Because James was wrong and later Paul expounded upon attempting to bring the law into the church. Peter did not even know Gentiles could be saved until Cornelius. Acts is a historical narrative of the early church but cannot be used as church doctrine. That is why the Church of Christ belkievs baptism saves because Peter on the day of pentecost said it washes sins away. He was wrong but God's grace was sufficient to overcome a flawed gsoepl presentation.

If acts and the OT are to be observed by the church, well let's see it. As for me, I'll stck with the revelator to the church, Paul. Like Moses was to Israel, so is Paul to the church.

Dead Theologians said...

dss,

This was an area that I knew would come up.

Following your line of thinking children of believers are already saved. If that is the case then they do not need to be born again.

DT

dsstanfield said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dsstanfield said...

Good Morning DT,

You stated:

"Following your line of thinking children of believers are already saved. If that is the case then they do not need to be born again."

No.

Look at Jacob and Esau, both received the sign of the covenant (OT - circumcision), both were in the covenant (i.e. under its ordinances, worship and protection), but Jacob was the only one "OF" the covenant (i.e. the elect).

Circumcision was a sign and seal of the covenant of grace under the old administration, just as baptism is a sign and seal of the covenant of grace in the New Covenant.

Read Hebrews 3 and 4. Why did these OT followers of God fail?

Henry (Rick) Frueh said...

"Circumcision was a sign and seal of the covenant of grace under the old administration, just as baptism is a sign and seal of the covenant of grace in the New Covenant."

Where does it say that and make that comparison in the New Testament? It would be an easy sentence to say, where is it. Cirumcision is part of the law, baptism does not identify us with the covenant, it identifies us with Christ. Paul says the law was a shadow of things to come, but Christ is the SUBSTANCE.

The OT saints were saved by grace abd obeyed the law, we are saved by grace not by another grace/law, we are saved by faith in the Messiah. You cannot keep the law, you are a saved lawbreaker. When I sin I do not break the law, I disobey Christ who is my life.

This law teaching is unscriptural and plain in Galatians, Throw out the bondwoman, she shall not have any place with Isaac, a type of Christ. You do a disservice to Christ by adding law, Christ is the end of the law to all who believe. I believe.

dsstanfield said...

Henry (rick),

"The household you quote in I Cor. does not mention children. If you claim that househould baptism including children is taught (not Acts) in the epistles TO THE CHURCH, then I have no way of disproving it Scripturally."

Would you agree that neither does it exclude children? Which would be most probable in a household, children or no children?

Out of the five household baptisms in the NT, are you willing to emphatically say that there absolutely were NO children or infants present? Take a survey of your average neighborhood. Were you to randomly select five houses in your neighborhood (unless you live in a retirement village) what would the verdict be? Children or no children??

dsstanfield said...

Henry (rick),

"Where does it say that and make that comparison in the New Testament?"

Colossians 2:11-12

"And in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ; having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead."

Paul is identifying the signs of circumcision and baptism with each other.

Henry (Rick) Frueh said...

ds - You can reason all you want, you of all people who have consistantly held up God's Word should know that means nothing. The liberals reason because the Word doesn't fit their agenda.

The New Testament doesn't teach children baptism at all. It teaches believer's baptism that identifies with Christ. I do not know if they baptized children or infants in Acts, it doesn't matter, the early church did a lot wrong (the church today also).

It all sounds good and family values and all that, but itios not TAUGHT inthe New Testamen therefore it is the teachings of men no matter how well reasoned and how well intentioned.

Luther - Unless you can convince me by Scripture (and even he fell short)

Henry (Rick) Frueh said...

""And in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ; having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead."

But it is a comparison of dissimilarity not of like signs. Notice he doesn't say a baptism of covenant, he says it identifies with the PERSON of Christ. The New Testament covenant is IN CHRIST, not in any observances.

Dead Theologians said...

dss,

A couple of years ago I sat down to lunch with Ray Ortlund Jr., then pastor of 1st Pres of Augusta. I pointed asked him about infant baptism. I told him that I wanted to see scripture to support this. He told me that it was mainly inferred and that he could not directly give me any. He then told me that he would like to send me some Iain Murray literature that might "help me understand it."

I then invited a prominent and respected presb. minister in our area to lunch and asked the same. He looked at me and said 'I cannot show your scripture."

DT

Henry (Rick) Frueh said...

What did circumcism resemble? Nothing, it was just a sign of God's commandment concerning the covenant. The blood that was shed of course forshadowed Christ. What did the Passover represent? The blood and the lamb forshadowed Christ.

Today what does the Lord's Supper represent? It tell us Christ. What does baptism represent? It tells us Christ. No more shadows, no more ceremony, no more joining a covenant through ordinances, it all is Christ.

Paul says do not return to the beggarly elements, the weakness which was the law. The covenant is Christ Himself.

dsstanfield said...

Henry (rick):

Look up the word "oikos." The word "oikos" relating to persons ALWAYS includes little children.

Gen.34:30
Num. 16:27,32
Deut. 25:9
Ruth 4:12
Psalm 113:9
I Sam. 2:33

When the Jews then read that Lydia and her house (oikos), the jailer and his house (oikos), and the house (oikos) of Stephanas were baptized, would they not attach the same idea to the word "oikos" that their sacred writers done for upwards of two thousand years, and understand it to mean a man's or a woman's children--infants included?

Dead Theologians said...

dss,

You said "Paul is identifying the signs of circumcision and baptism with each other"

This is not good reasoning. If this is the case then why are girls not "circumcised"? Otherwise girls are not protected, are they?Physically I understand it (girls not be being circumcised) but trying to prove this from scripture does not appear possible.

DT

Henry (Rick) Frueh said...

No teaching, only reasoning. Liberal theology.

Hey DT, we have ended up on the same side, what's up wit dat? Let me ask you a question, I respected DJ Kennedy and he was a man of God, but he was a pillar of the packaged gospel presentation with a shallow sinner's prayer, correct?

Do you see that also?

dsstanfield said...

DT,

My husband had the SAME experience. He asked the same question to over 10 Presbyterian pastors, and only 1 actually showed that it mattered and used the Bible to prove the case of Covenant Baptism. That man was Joe Morecraft.

My husband and I laugh over the first encounter he had with Joe. My husband told Dr. Morecraft that he was reformed except in the area of infant baptism. Joe told him "Son, go get your Bible." He then began to show my husband, using the Scriptures why Infant Baptism was Scriptural and commanded by God. As my husband was leaving Joe's office, Joe's parting words were, "Son, you are Presbyterian, you just don't know it yet."

That was over 10 years ago, and my husband now pastors a RPCUS church.

If you have time, and really want to understand what Presbyterians believe, copy and paste the following in your address bar. Listen to one or some of the following sermons.

http://www.sermonaudio.com/search.asp?speakerWithinSource=&subsetCat=speaker&subsetItem=Joe+Morecraft+III&mediatype=&keyword=chalcedonpresbyterian&keyworddesc=Chalcedon+Presbyterian+Church&currsection=sermonssource&AudioOnly=false&SourceOnly=true&keywordwithin=baptism&x=0&y=0

Out of curiousity, were the Presbyterian pastors you questioned from the PCA denomination?

dss

Henry (Rick) Frueh said...

All New Testament teachings about baptism are with the indentity with Christ not covenant, The covenant theology is what eroneously gives place to the Old Testament circumcism mirror and includes infants like Sproul does.

After a sinner belives on Christ he is baptized. After a sinner believes on Christ he can take communion.

dsstanfield said...

All,

I am on the way out the door. I am taking my "household" ;) to the library. I look forward to continuing this discussion when we return.

dss

Kim T said...

dss,

I hesitate to comment because I know that I know so little and am so unlearned in the Word of the LORD. I also know of my own disposition to think myself right and wise and knowledgable- my proclivity to sin with pride.

So, I need keep my words brief, lest I blend my opinions and thoughts and reflections in with that which is truth, thus obscuring truth sinfully.

You quote Jesus's instructions to the disciples to let the little children come unto Him as proof that believers children are in Christ's Kingdom. In Matthew, Mark, and Luke where this occurence of Christ blessing the children is recorded Jesus is speaking to the crowds. These children were in the crowd. And Jesus spoke of His Kingdom belonging to ones such as these. That those who are in His Kingdom come to Him utterly dependent trusting in Him for their all, as little children are dependent. It is not representative of the revealed Word of God say that these verses are refering to children of believers. Nor, to say that Christ is saying these children are in the Kingdom.

John records Christ's clear teaching on who is in His Kingdom. John 1:12-13 Yet to all who received Him , to those who beleived in His name, He gave the right to become children of God-- 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision, or a husband's will, but born of God.

You have provided many of the wonderful references in scripture of God's promises to 'make Himself a people.'
Jer. 32:38-40 "...and their children after them."
Is. 59:21 "...your descendants, nor from the mouth of your descendant's descendants."
Ezekiel 37:24-26 "...they, their children, and their children's children, forever..."
Psalm 103:17-18 "...and His righteousness to children's children"
Luke 1:48-50 "...from generation to generation"
Acts 2:39 "...the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord will call."
We know that God alone is the absolute promise keeper. In Him there is no faltering or sin or change. If in fact these verses meant that all children of the Hebrew nation and/or all children of regenerate believers would be saved, then they would. We know that they are not all saved. So these verses must mean something else. The promise must not be to a specific nation, or a specific family, or a specific community. It must not be a visible or earthly defined group. It must be a grouping that is spiritually defined: a group of Spirit indwelt and Spirit chosen people.

And we are taught in Jeremiah that all those who are in the New Covenant know Him. Knowing Him is equivilent to being in the New Covenant, to being in Christ. As well, those in the New Covenant are those who have had their iniquity forgiven and who have their sins remembered no more.

Jer 31:31-34 Heb 8:8-12

31 “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, 32 not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the Lord. 33 But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34 And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”

approvedworkman said...

I am back after having spent three days,with family, in Phoenix,Az, one of the few places on earth which might prove the existence of purgatory.I lived there 24 years, :-(
Anyway I came back with the flu so I appreciate your prayers.

As for the baptism issue, the main diffrence with the rcc and the presbyterian church is that Rome baptizes into your "holy mother the church" They are insuring membership and growth of their "culture" and have more in common with mormonism than they would care to admit.
I am baptized into Christ's death and resurrection.(That is not synonymous with the rcc, btw.)

As for infant baptism, I do not see it in the Scriptures. Baptism is for all who come to believe in Christ. An infant cannot make that decision.
John's baptism was more in line with a "mikva" and requred full immersion.(This could relate to the the washings referred to in Hebrews 6:2)

In my church we are baptized by immersion and we do not baptize infants. However we do not require re-baptism for anyone baptized by any other denomination or fellowship. I would encourage those who were baptized as infants to be baptized as I was, and as both my son and daughter were baptized as babies at the local Rcc simply to make my "in-laws" happy. They were later baptized by immersion in the San Juan River (an appropraite name)in southwest Colorado, in their teen years.

dsstanfield said...

Hello kim t,

Please don't hesitate to offer your comments. I enjoy forums like this because they always challenge me to get back in to the Word!

May I comment on this:

"That those who are in His Kingdom come to Him utterly dependent trusting in Him for their all, as little children are dependent. It is not representative of the revealed Word of God say that these verses are refering to children of believers. Nor, to say that Christ is saying these children are in the Kingdom."

To me this argument can not be used. On the one hand you say that the Lord only means that of persons "like children" in moral character, the kingdom of heaven is composed. Then on the other hand you say "but children are not fit to be members of that kingdom."

So then the question becomes, If the children themselves are unfit to be members of that kingdom, how can others be so because they are like children?

The words, "of such," imply "a right" or "possession." It is the same form of expression which our Lord uses in Matt. 5:3:

"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven;" and again in verse 10.

The elect and the covenant members are not identical sets of people, neither in the Old Covenant or in the New Covenant. The difference between the covenants is that the promises in the New are much better. This will result in the ratio of believer to unbeliever drastically changing. The history of the New Israel will not be dismal like the Old Israel.

Would you say that every person who has been baptized upon profession of faith is one of the elect?

dss

Kim T said...

dss,

I would say that most people in today's generation that have been baptized as "professing believers are unregenerate." Gospel reductionism is rampant along with easy believism and decisionism. The bulk of evangelism is gospel starved in the teachings they receive. Glory be to Him.

It is indeed grevious. God's name is blasphemed among the nations.

My comfort is in that Jesus told us this would happen. He is Sovereign and He will be exalted and His Name will be glorified among the nations. And He is making for Himself a people.

Kim T said...

O me, I previewed my previous comment and then edited it (t thought) by adding 'Glory be to HIM' to the end of my comment. I see I missed the mark and added it at a most awkward place in the flow of thought. My appologies.

dsstanfield said...

The Scriptures make a clear distinction between the children of believers and those of unbelievers.

I Cor. 7:14: "For the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband; else were your children unclean, but now are they holy (hagia)."

The apostle here is dealing with a case of frequent occurrence in the first planting of Christianity, where one parent was a believer and the other an unbeliever. The question he was dealing with was, "How are the children of such a union to be regarded by the Church?"

They are "holy." Not that they are naturally purer or better than others, for by nature we are all "children of wrath." It is covenant holiness of which the apostle is speaking. Children of a believing parent are holy, as the people of Israel were holy (Lev. 20:26, Ezra 9:2; Deut. 7:6; Deut. 14:2, etc.). They are separated from the world and stand in covenant relationship to God. (Not necessarily a SAVING relationship, a covenant relationship.)

Calvin:

"The children of the Jews, because they were made heirs of the covenant, and distinguished from the children of the impious, were called a holy seed; and, for the same reason, the children of Christians, even when only one of the parents is pious, are accounted holy; and according to the testimony of the apostle, differ from the impure seed of idolaters."

Steve said...

AW,

Good to see you back. I was wondering when you would jump into this theological chess game.

Mrs Stanfield,

You're love of the word and knowledge of scripture is impressive and much needed in todays culture.

As with all, I would hope that outside of certain doctrinal issues you remain open minded on the infant baptism thing. It is something that I still study and remain open about, but lean more to "believers" baptism.

I admire men like RC Sproul, Douglas Wilson, and the like and still learn much from these men even today. (BTW- Wilson doesn't teach baptismal regeneration. He has stated clearly that in order to be saved, one must profess faith in Christ.

Consider this, Jesus commanded the following: 19(A) Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,"

What was pointed out to me by a Pastor recently is that the command implies that those being baptized are first disciples of Christ. 'Make disciples,...then baptize them.'

But I do believe we should raise our children as Christians in obedience to the word in Eph.6:4, Prov. 22:6, etc.

This is what we strive for in our home as I do embrace covenant headship and see the teachings for such a belief in scripture.

Baptism should not be denied to children who profess faith and desire to be baptized, which happen early in their life if their being raised properly and the parents have their hearts.

Henry (Rick) Frueh said...

Spurgeon was once challenged to debate the issue of infant baptism. The format was the infant proponent would get up and recite a Scripture verse suuporting infant baptism, then Spurgeon would get up and quote a verse in opposition.

The infant man stood and said, "For my first verse supporting infant baptism I quote from the words of our Lord, "Suffer the little children to come unto me and forbid them not"".

Spurgeon then stood and said for my first verse I quote, "there was a man from the land of Uz whose name was Job", and he sat down.

The other man leapt to his feet and said "What does that have to do with infant baptism?"

Spurgeon replied, "What did your veres have to do with it?"

It must be taught, not implied. The Bible is replete with implications but only sound teaching can be embraced by the Lord's church.

Dead Theologians said...

Steve,

You might want to do some studying in the Auburn Avenue Theology area. Check out this quote.

"Raise your right hand if you knew that the Westminster Confession taught baptismal regeneration.... Baptism means that the one baptized has a sign and seal of the covenant of grace, the one baptized has been grafted into Christ, he has the sign and seal of regeneration, forgiveness of sins, and the obligation to walk in newness of life." Doug Wilson, Reformed Is Not Enough (Moscow, ID: Canon Press, 2002), 103.

DT

Dead Theologians said...

Rick,

Touché!!

DT

Dead Theologians said...

Rick,

In reference to your question about EE I do believe that it was too much of a "canned presentation."
There have been a lot of comments over the years that EE was soft on man's sinfulness and God's holiness.

When I teach witnessing classes I emphasis going through your personal testimony:
1. Your life before Christ
2. How you received Christ
3. Your life since receiving Christ.

DT

dsstanfield said...

Steve,

Please call me Deborah.

Thank you for your kind words. I do love God's Word and want to be obedient to it.

Let me ask you this. If the children of believers were to be excluded from the Covenant, wouldn't this be a good place to do it. After all He could have said, Baptize all the professing Christians from every nation....

Baptize the nations....not just the professing Christians. I am assuming infants are part of nations. Could this imply covenant household baptism?

Also, how do you make disciples..

First you baptize, then teach.... This also could be in line with covenant baptism.

Just some thoughts.

dsstanfield said...

Henry (rick),

Does your church allow women to take the Lord's Supper? It is not taught in the New Testament.

And, as I have demonstrated, household baptisms were practiced in the NT. Shouldn't apostolic example be enough of a command? After all, that is why we worship on the first day of the week now instead of the seventh.

Has anyone looked up or considered the word "oikos?"

dsstanfield said...

I have great respect for Spurgeon. I just wished they would have pitted him against someone who would have begun their defense of covenant baptism correctly from the Old Testament.

I am sure many of you are familiar with the website "A Puritan's Mind." Have you ever read Dr. McMahon's articles concerning Covenant Baptism?

Dr. McMahon was once a credobaptist. As a paedobaptist, he goes back and refutes the papers he wrote in defense of believer's baptism. They are well done and worth a read.

http://www.apuritansmind.com/Baptism/Baptism&InfantBaptism.htm#Articles%20on%20Baptism/Infant%20Baptism:

I have to go now. We have Ladies' Bible Study tonight in my home. With the lesson being on the Decrees of God, I am looking forward to some great discussion tonight.

Until tomorrow friends!

dss

Henry (Rick) Frueh said...

ds - Now you are being ridiculous. There is no male or female in Christ, believers take communion.

Dead Theologians said...

dss,

You said "Dr. McMahon was once a credobaptist. As a paedobaptist, he goes back and refutes the papers he wrote in defense of believer's baptism. They are well done and worth a read."

Dr. McMahon is a Prebyterian. He goes to Christ Presbyterian (RPC).

DT

dsstanfield said...

Good Morning DT,

I may have not made myself clear. Dr. McMahon was once a Reformed Baptist (credo), he is now a Reformed Presbyterian (paedo).

Here is the title of his first article:

My Retraction: A 15-year Baptist turns Paedobaptist and Becomes Reformed.
A little bit about my journey in understanding how Covenant Theology is the overwhelming these of God's Redemptive plan, and how God sanctified me further. A Baptist turns to be a theologian of Covenant Theology. How could such a thing happen?

dsstanfield said...

Howdy Henry (rick),

You stated:

"It must be taught, not implied. The Bible is replete with implications but only sound teaching can be embraced by the Lord's church."

I was just trying to show you that sometimes we have to deduce things from Scripture. We have no example of women taking the Lord's Supper. We don't have a direct command.... Give women the Lord's Supper. Yet, women do take the supper based on the verse you quoted. Now, some take that verse to mean women can also hold places of authority in the church. I despise that position because it contradicts the Bible in other places.

dsstanfield said...

We haven't even made it to the mode of baptism. I hope that I have at least shown (concerning the recipients of Baptism) that Presbyterians don't baptize their infants out of tradition or sentimentality. We believe it is a God given command to give the sign and seal of the covenant to our children. Just as Old Israel applied the sign of circumcision to their covenant children (by the way, God never said "Stop giving the sign to your children, so there is that same principle applied: Once God gives a command it is not to be repealed unless He does it Himself), so too is the New Israel to give the sign and seal of the covenant to their children.

Once again, this all comes down to hermeneutics. I reviewed some of Dr. McMahon's papers yesterday. He gives a much better, more concise argument than I ever could. One thing he wrote stands out:

If you begin with the New Testament and work backwards, you will always end up Baptistic and dispensational.

If you are seriously looking at this, please read his articles:

http://www.apuritansmind.com/Baptism/Baptism&InfantBaptism.htm#Articles%20on%20Baptism/Infant%20Baptism:

dsstanfield said...

Should we get the ball rolling concerning the mode of baptism?

While Baptists believe that in every case of baptism the person or thing baptized is moved and put into and under the baptizing element, I deny this.

Scripture baptism, so far as the mode can be ascertained, was performed by applying the baptizing element upon the recipient i.e. sprinkling or pouring.

Here is something to ponder:

In all cases of the use of water or blood, in the OT, as an emblem of purification in respect to persons, sprinkling was the mode used. In Hebrews 9:10, the apostle speaks of these ceremonial purifications of persons, and calls them baptisms (baptismois). The Bible calls that a baptism which the Bible tells us was performed by sprinkling....

The only people that were immersed were the Egyptians and the people outside the Ark during the Flood :)

Kim T said...

9 And God said to Abraham, “As for you, you shall keep my covenant, you and your offspring after you throughout their generations. 10 This is my covenant, which you shall keep, between me and you and your offspring after you: Every male among you shall be circumcised. 11 You shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and you. 12 He who is eight days old among you shall be circumcised. Every male throughout your generations, whether born in your house or bought with your money from any foreigner who is not of your offspring, 13 both he who is born in your house and he who is bought with your money, shall surely be circumcised. So shall my covenant be in your flesh an everlasting covenant. 14 Any uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin shall be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant.” Genesis 17:9-14

43 And the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “This is the statute of the Passover: no foreigner shall eat of it, 44 but every slave that is bought for money may eat of it after you have circumcised him. 45 No foreigner or hired servant may eat of it. 46 It shall be eaten in one house; you shall not take any of the flesh outside the house, and you shall not break any of its bones. 47 All the congregation of Israel shall keep it. 48 If a stranger shall sojourn with you and would keep the Passover to the Lord, let all his males be circumcised. Then he may come near and keep it; he shall be as a native of the land. But no uncircumcised person shall eat of it. 49 There shall be one law for the native and for the stranger who sojourns among you.” Exodus 12:43-49

2 At that time the Lord said to Joshua, “Make flint knives and circumcise the sons of Israel a second time.” 3 So Joshua made flint knives and circumcised the sons of Israel at Gibeath-haaraloth. 4 And this is the reason why Joshua circumcised them: all the males of the people who came out of Egypt, all the men of war, had died in the wilderness on the way after they had come out of Egypt. 5 Though all the people who came out had been circumcised, yet all the people who were born on the way in the wilderness after they had come out of Egypt had not been circumcised. 6 For the people of Israel walked forty years in the wilderness, until all the nation, the men of war who came out of Egypt, perished, because they did not obey the voice of the Lord; the Lord swore to them that he would not let them see the land that the Lord had sworn to their fathers to give to us, a land flowing with milk and honey. 7 So it was their children, whom he raised up in their place, that Joshua circumcised. For they were uncircumcised, because they had not been circumcised on the way. Joshua 5:2-7

6 And say to the rebellious house, to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord God: O house of Israel, enough of all your abominations, 7 in admitting foreigners, uncircumcised in heart and flesh, to be in my sanctuary, profaning my temple, when you offer to me my food, the fat and the blood. You have broken my covenant, in addition to all your abominations. 8 And you have not kept charge of my holy things, but you have set others to keep my charge for you in my sanctuary. 9 “Thus says the Lord God: No foreigner, uncircumcised in heart and flesh, of all the foreigners who are among the people of Israel, shall enter my sanctuary. Ezekiel 44:6-9

Israel was a visible nation. God's covenant with Israel required that all males who lived in a Hebrew household be circumcised- to have the visible mark on their body of being part of a visible nation; they took on the sign of God's covenant with Abraham. It was an abomination to not do so. Circumcision saved no one, nor changed no man's heart. Yet, it was required under God's covenant with the Abraham and his descendants. When households became identified with the nation of Israel or when slaves or servants of other nations were added to a Hebrew household, all males were required to be circumcised in obedience to God's command- and thus they took the sign of the Old Testament covenant people. It was a visibly identifiable people. And of those people, only a remnant were actually circumcised in heart by the supernatural and Sovereign work of God through His Holy Spirit.

If in the NT, when household baptism is spoken of, the practice is the same manner of application as OT circumcision, then baptism of all household members was required. So adults, then, who did not believe as the master of the household did would also have been baptized. Not only little children would have been baptized, but all persons to show this was a "covenant home." And by the same application, then, (refering to verse in 1 Cor 7:14) an unbelieving spouse would have been required to be baptized. We read of no such thing. The bible does not teach this. And, as far as I know, it has never been part of the churches teaching throughout history.

It is biblically consistent then to say that the household baptisms we read of in the New Testament were extraordinary circumstances in which the Holy Spirit came with regenerating power, giving new hearts, new minds , new eyes to see, new ears to hear and new hearts that repented, believing the gospel to all persons in those homes "of ability to believe".

Henry (Rick) Frueh said...

"I despise that position because it contradicts the Bible in other places. "

Bingo. Comparing Scripture with Scripture.

dsstanfield said...

Good Morning Kim t,

You see here in lies part of the problem:

"And, as far as I know, it has never been part of the churches teaching throughout history."

It has been taught. We are so ignorant of church history (I am definitely including myself here).

Dr. McMahon says this:

"But at least take this to heart, if you are a Baptist - in your position, you must, if you are at least humble and honest, agree with me that your position is relatively new. It sprung up in the 17th century. It was not held until the heretical Anabaptists appeared on the scene. That means that the church has been wrong about her theology for 1700 years until you, my friend, and your partners in this new fangled theology, got it right. It means that God, in all His great wisdom and providence, waited 1700 years before He "enlightened" His ambassadors to the truth of how He wanted His church run. It even, on a base level, questions the very providence of God in the way He deals with His church. It calls into question Jude's admonition, that the faith HAS been once delivered to the saints. But you, friend, are saying that we have all had it wrong, and that we are just getting it right. You, friend, are saying that the historical position of the church's ecclesiology, by the greatest minds the church has known, were, for all intents and purposes, completely wrong about how the church should be run, and what God desired for His church. Not only did we not know the truth, but God allowed His church to purposefully languished for one thousand seven hundred years until the Baptists came along. They all had it wrong. And you, and a few others, have it right. (On that note alone, ponder promptly and heavily.)"

Here is a short list of all who believe infant baptism to be biblical:
John Owen. Dabney, Edwards, Calvin, Turretin, Ames, Adams, Goodwin, Manton, Caryl, Charnock, Bridges, Trail, Newton, Flavel, Watts, Case, Robinson, Gurnall, Boys, Burroughs, Love, Perkins, Murray, Hodge, Berkhof, Luther, Augustine, Heywood, Baxter, Jenkyn, Cunningham, Henry, Bolton, Swinnock, Rutherford, Gillespie, Knox, Wickliffe, Sibbs, Watson, Clarkson, Brooks, Hus, Toplady, Alexander, James, A’brakel, Whitaker, Van Til, Brown, Scougal, Hall, Lloyd Jones, Vincent, Dyke, Alliene, Steele, Mead, Bayly, Pearse, Ranew, Symonds, Shepherd, Doolittle, Miller, Ainsworth, Shaw, Greenhill, Warfield, Willison, Stoddard, Hopkins, Plumer, Gouge, Beza, Tyndale, Foxe, Greenham, Hooper, Dod, Kuyper, Ridderbos, Dering.....the list could continue

dsstanfield said...

Henry (rick),

I have always believed in comparing Scripture to Scripture.

The difference between you and I is that I allow the OT to speak, whereas you place a muzzle on it.

You are only using 1/3 of your Bible, while I attempt to use all of mine.

ALL SCRIPTURE (Old and New Testaments) is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable FOR DOCTRINE, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Henry (Rick) Frueh said...

No, you only use PART of the Old Testament, the parts you desire. There are thousands of everse in the OT that you do not obey. Why?

See, you pick and choose. I say the OT is good for prophesy, history, poetry, understanding the law, Christ in the OT, the lives of the saints, the messianic lineage, and much, much more. All inspried and all goo for edification so please don't inaccurately say I "muzzle" the Scriptures.

The New Testament is for church doctrine not the Old. If you blieve the Old Testament is for the church obey it ALL. If you don't, then you are muzzling some.

Dead Theologians said...

dss,

As I mentioned yesterday since you don't circumcise your daughters (understandibly so) do you baptize your infant daughters? If so, why?

There simply cannot be any efficacy in the act of baptism as I highlighted Doug Wilson does.

DT

dsstanfield said...

Hey DT,

The Lord has blessed my husband and me with daughters only, so your question also becomes a personal one.

We believe that the New Covenant is a better covenant and more inclusive than the Old.

Whereas only the male children received circumcision in the old administration, now male and female both may receive the sign and seal of the covenant i.e. baptism.

How can the New Covenant be a better Covenant if it excludes the children of believers? The Old Covenant included believer's children.

Are your children members of your church?

d.

Dead Theologians said...

Everyone,

Schleiermacher, wrote, "All traces of infant baptism which have been asserted to be found in the New Testament, must first be inserted there."

DT

Dead Theologians said...

Deborah,

My born again son is. My daughter is 16 mos. old.

DT

Henry (Rick) Frueh said...

The Old Testament was a covenant understanding. The New Testament is not one of preaching a covenant, it is the preaching of the gosple of Jesus Christ. No longer is it a contract, it is a Person. We are not in a covenant, we are in Christ.

This is another Old Testament principle that has been New Testamatized. We are not just believers on one side of a covenant agreement with God, we are new creatures in Christ. Priests and kings. Children. Adopted. This is not just a covenant as mirrored in the OT, this is an everlasting covenant not found in an agreement but found in the blood of Christ.

Only those who believe will be saved and parents cannot believe for their children. What happens if a child at age 1 dies? Corinthians SEEMS to indicate a different view for Christian's children but nothing is taught clearly.

My grandchildren may be set apart by God because of the parent's faith, but it never says what that means. Children are only members of the body of Christ when they believe. Until then they are not the same as circumcised males.

BTW - not all circumcised males in Israel were believers, so it was still a matter of faith. Today there are no pre-faith outward ceremonial signs, only post faith signs of identity.

dsstanfield said...

DT,

I am certainly no German philosopher, but even I can see that for Baptists to assume either that there were no children in the households baptized in the NT, or that all who were baptized made a profession of faith is also insertion.

Would you concede to that?

Henry (Rick) Frueh said...

ds - I do not assert anything because it is immaterial. They did many things in Acts and the early church that were later refined in the epistles. It has no bearing on truth whatsoever, if they anointed handkerchiefs in Acts and it isn't taught to the church in the epistles then it was a dispensational deal that was not for us to emulate.

All of it, footwashing, handerchiefs,avoid things strangled, and even if they did baptize children means nothing unless it became a teaching. If they did baptize children it may have been their attempt to mirror circumcism and Paul cleared that up later. What the church DID in the early years or DOES TODAY for that matter is not the basis for truth.

It must be taught in the Scriptures otherwise every man does what he sees implied. (As a matter of fact they do that now - hence denominations)

dsstanfield said...

DT,

When God saves a man, does everything that man has belong to Him?

How about that man's time?

How about that man's possessions?

How about that man's resources?

How about that man's family?

Let me reiterate, just because a man (or woman) is saved, it does not mean that his/her children are going to be saved based on their parent's profession.

It does mean that they belong to God, to either regenerate or to condemn.

Henry (Rick) Frueh said...

ds - with your recent comment you can point to I Corinthians "sanctified" teaching. Yes, but not a lot of detail but thsoe things are sanctified by the believing husband/mate. But how can you jump from that to believer's baptism? It is incongruous. Baptism is not to sanctify, it is not to present children as part of the covenant, it is a believer's identifying publicly with Jesus Christ.

Simple and majestic simultaneously. It is not to reflect on a family or a denomination or a church or anything, it is to represent Christ and Christ alone, death, burial, and resurrection.

Henry (Rick) Frueh said...

Also, with a few minor exceptions (muzzle Scripture) the exchange has been respectful and calm. That is how we should discourse within a Christian context.

dsstanfield said...

Henry (rick):

A good Baptist would say the following:

"But how can you jump from that to believer's baptism? It is incongruous. Baptism is not to sanctify, it is not to present children as part of the covenant, it is a believer's identifying publicly with Jesus Christ."

Baptists identify baptism as being a sign of faith, or a sign that one has received the forgiveness of sins. Taking any sacrament to be a sign of faith, righteousness, justification, salvation, inward spiritual transformation leads to many problems. There are simply too many people who have been admitted to the sacraments by what seemed at the time to be credible professions of faith, who later demonstrate that they have deserted the gospel, just as Demas in 2 Tim. 4:10.

A good Presbyterian will say that baptism signifies and seals that those who believe will be washed from their sins and accounted righteous before God.

Kim said...

dss,

I have just come back on line and have only read your immediate posting after mine from 6:40 am. I stopped as to not get my head muddled up in going in many different directions.

I must apologise for my lack of clarity in communicating.

What I was saying is that I have no knowledge, that in the history of "the church" (meaning the true bride of Christ) all people in a household were required to be baptized if the master of the house or owner of the house became a believer. We do not ever read in scripture that if you are the head of the house and you become a believer, that when you are baptized, so is your unbelieving (read God hating, sin-loving and unregenerate) wife, and your unbelieving children, and your unbelieving unmarried adult offspring still at home, and all your unbelieving servants.

Under the Old Covenant, as we read in the verses I provided, all the males in the homes of Abraham's descendants were to be circumcised. When a slave was purchased or taken, or a servant was brought to live in, it was required by law that they be circumcised.

approvedworkman said...

Rick
I agree, re: demeanor in these comments.

I always found this passage to be most compelling.

1 Peter 3:
"18For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, 19in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison, 20 because they formerly did not obey, when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water. 21Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected to him."

The word "appeal" also is translated as "answer or inquiry"
It would denote a repentance or turning toward God as obedience.
Baptism is an outward sign of an inner conversion. It doesn't "save" us. Truly the ark, a type of Christ, became the means of carrying Noah through the waters of death and into new life, but first Noah had to believe, by faith, that the ark needed to be built. Noah was saved in the same way as Abraham, i.e. he believed God. They heard the Word of God and faith came. This is how we are all "saved"
Faith without works is dead, however works outside of faith are "dead works".
It would seem by studying the stories of Noah, Abraham(along with Lot) etc. that household salvation could be a reality. However, there is no indication that the infants, toddlers were baptized, as that step could have been taken by them at a later age.

Henry (Rick) Frueh said...

Household baptism would be Scriptural if all were of age, all had been born again, and that all had come to faith somewhat together. I have seen that, but not under age children.

Dead Theologians said...

dss,

I concede on your one point. But let's just lay it out.

Ray Ortlund admitted to me that in reality infant baptism was very close to what we Baptists believe to be "baby dedication."

You asked me does not the whole family belong to God after the man is saved? I say yes. But I also say yes before the man is saved. Everything belongs to the Lord.

I am seriously afraid that Presbyterians and other denoms. that baptize infants think that this places infants in a state of protection similiar to if not even salvation. This cannot be.

DT

Kim T said...

It was asked-
"How can the New Covenant be a better Covenant if it excludes the children of believers? The Old Covenant included believer's children."

The Old Covenant was with a visible physical nation. It included visible physical children. And it was a shadow or forshadowing of the New Covenant made in Christ's own blood. It is with invisible spiritual nation, indwelt by God's own Spirit- all of whom have new hearts of flesh and all of whom are being cleansed from their uncleanliness and idolatry- all being conformed to the image of His Son.

Hebrews 12:22-29 22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, 23 and to the assembly [1] of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, 24 and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.
25 See that you do not refuse him who is speaking. For if they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less will we escape if we reject him who warns from heaven. 26 At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” 27 This phrase, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of things that are shaken—that is, things that have been made—in order that the things that cannot be shaken may remain. 28 Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, 29 for our God is a consuming fire.

Those who are in the new covenant, the covenant of Christ's blood have received a kingdom that cannot be shaken.

Hebrews 8:6,
6 But as it is, Christ has obtained a ministry that is as much more excellent than the old as the covenant he mediates is better, since it is enacted on better promises.

God Word tells us that the New Covenant is superior because it has been enacted on better promises, which it goes on to say are:

Hebrews 8:8-13
8 For he finds fault with them when he says: [3]

“Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord,
when I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel
and with the house of Judah,
9 not like the covenant that I made with their fathers
on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt.
For they did not continue in my covenant,
and so I showed no concern for them, declares the Lord.
10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel
after those days, declares the Lord:
I will put my laws into their minds,
and write them on their hearts,
and I will be their God,
and they shall be my people.
He delivers them from their idolatries and uncleanlinesses. 36:25,29 ; 37:23 Zehariah 13:1
11 And they shall not teach, each one his neighbor
and each one his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’
for they shall all know me,
from the least of them to the greatest.
12 For I will be merciful toward their iniquities,
and I will remember their sins no more.”
13 In speaking of a new covenant, he makes the first one obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.

Those in the new covenant will continue in it. They will not, cannot forsake it or walk away. It is better because He puts His laws right in the minds of those in the New Covenant and writes them on their heart. He is their God and they are His people. No one in the New Covenant needs to be told to know the LORD for they all shall know Him, from the least to the greatest. He remembers their sin no more.

And from Ezekiel:
He removes their heart of stone and gives them a heart of flesh 36:26; 11:19
He causes them to walk in His statutes and keep His rules and obey them 11:20
He gives all in the New Covenant one way and one heart 11:19
He puts His Spirit in those of the New Covenant 11:19; 36:26,27

Scripture is rich with listings and references to the better promises of the New Covenant. And they are all tied to the certainty of His glorifying work in the lives of those who are in the New Covenant.

Henry (Rick) Frueh said...

OK, I now am impressed with ds and Kim's love and knowledge of the Word. You ladies are true followers of the Lord Jesus and great to converse with!

dsstanfield said...

Hey Kim,

"We do not ever read in scripture that if you are the head of the house and you become a believer, that when you are baptized, so is your unbelieving (read God hating, sin-loving and unregenerate) wife, and your unbelieving children, and your unbelieving unmarried adult offspring still at home, and all your unbelieving servants."

Can you prove to me from Scripture that in all the household baptisms mentioned in the NT, EVERY member made a profession of faith? Do the Scriptures say EVERY person was regenerate in that household?

Our church would baptize a man's unbelieving wife (if she was not hostile) and children. What I am saying is that baptism replaced circumcision... They signify the same thing, but it is most certainly NOT that the person receiving the sign is regenerate. (If you have time, read what I wrote concerning a Presbyterians view of baptism.)

You stated this:
"Those in the new covenant will continue in it. They will not, cannot forsake it or walk away."

Why all the warnings then in Hebrews to the members of the New Covenant?

Hebrews 6:4-7: "For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and having tasted the heavenly gift (covenant membership perhaps?), and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to open shame."

Old Covenant membership does not equal salvation.

New Covenant membership does not equal salvation. (Otherwise what are we going to do with all those unregenerate baptized individuals who once made a profession of faith????)

Henry (Rick) Frueh said...

"Our church would baptize a man's unbelieving wife (if she was not hostile) and children."

That is heretical teaching. It makes a mockery of baptism by identifying lost sinners with Christ. It gets stranger as it goes. Can the unbelieving person take communion also?

dsstanfield said...

DT,

Please don't allow one misinformed Presbyterian pastor to speak for all other Presbyterians. The state of Presbyterianism today is nowhere close to what it once was in the past.

Baby dedication is never commanded of believers, nor found in the Bible.

Would you agree that there are certain blessings that children in covenant homes have? Has God changed his mind concerning the children of believers?

Henry (Rick) Frueh said...

There may be some special divine attention payed to children of believers, that is HINTED at in Corinthians. But there is no redemtion given to anyone without being born again. Our children are only born once until they believe.

dsstanfield said...

Henry (rick),

No, at our church the table is fenced by the elders. Only those who have made a credible profession of faith, and who have an understanding of what it means to examine themselves may partake of the table.

Because we understand that salvation is a work of God's sovereign grace and not according to man's free will, the baptizing of covenant homes makes perfect sense. It is a sign that this family needs God's saving grace and is totally dependant upon Him to make their baptism effectual. There is nothing they can do to save themselves, not baptism, not a profession, not walking the aisle and shaking the preacher's hand, not repeating the sinner's prayer, or checking a box at VBS. Salvation is only of the Lord.

dsstanfield said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dead Theologians said...

dss,

Yes, children of believers enjoy the blessings of a saved father or mother and the protection that that brings. Do they have the same peace, assurance, forgiveness, and etc that the saved have? Absolutely not.

DT

Dead Theologians said...

dss,

The idea that the church (the saved) and Israel are the same is not Scriptural. Hence the question is a leading question.

DT

Henry (Rick) Frueh said...

God continues to watch over Israel in a mysterious way that will one day be revealed. When an unbelieving Jew dies it is the same as an unbelieving Gentlie, but God has some future for Israel known only to Him.

The children in a believing home hopefully get the favor of God that comes from God's favor shown to their parents. There is NO COVENANT shown to an unbelieving infant, an unbelieving child, an unbelieving teenager, and unbelieving spouse, none. Only those washed in Christ's blood by faith are in covenant with God.

Kim T said...

Greetings dss,

I will be brief in my answers to your questions and try not to paste things in the wrong place.

Can you prove to me from Scripture that in all the household baptisms ...?

It is enough that we have no biblical examples, nor are we taught to, nor commanded to force baptism on all members of a household in which the head of the household has been converted- regenerated by the Holy Spirit and brought to salvation.

In the Old Covenant, because circumcision was a 'sign of the covenant' they were commanded to force (or require) that sign be placed on all male members of the household for the life of that household. So, new members coming in the home of all ages and positions were circumsised.

I think this is a good place to point out a significant difference in understanding as to what New Testament teaches is the sign and seal of the New Covenant. The New Testament teaches the deposit of the Holy Spirit in our hearts is the sign and sealing of our belonging to Him- being in the New Covenant. It is an invisible seal. Our seal, sign of the New Coveant is of and from and in the Holy Spirit. It shows outwardly in the evidence of the faith gifted by the Holy Spirit.

2 Cor 1:20-22
For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory. 21 And it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us, 22 and who has also put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.
Ephesians 1:13-14
In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in Him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of His glory.
Ephesians 4:30
And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
2 Tim 2:19 19
But God's firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity.”
2 Cor 5:5
He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.


Our church would baptize a man's unbelieving wife (if she was not hostile) and children. What I am saying is that baptism replaced circumcision...

From reading the scriptures I do not believe they signify the same thing. So our presupposition is different. (An aside: by following the same rules of the God's OT covenant people- and believing circumcision and baptism signify the same thing, then, the wife hostile or not would be baptized. Circumcision was required.)


Why all the warnings then in Hebrews to the members of the New Covenant?

All the warnings are to all of those who profess to be in the New Covenant. Many profess and few enter in. Many will say to Christ on that day 'Lord, Lord' and He will say ....


Hebrews 6:4-7: "For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and having tasted the heavenly gift (covenant membership perhaps?), and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit,

The author of the letter to the Hebrews is addressing what man has done, experienced and professed.


Old Covenant membership does not equal salvation.

True


New Covenant membership does not equal salvation. (Otherwise what are we going to do with all those unregenerate baptized individuals who once made a profession of faith????)

False. New Covenant membership does equal salvation. That is part of the glory (perhaps all of the glory- because everything else flows from the saving work of the Holy Spirit) of the New Covenant. All who are His, all whom He elected will be saved. All those unregenerate baptized individuals who die unregenerate glorify God in their death when He justly condemns them to His eternal wrath.

dsstanfield said...

DT,

"Do they have the same peace, assurance, forgiveness, and etc that the saved have? Absolutely not."

I agree. Only the regenerate have those things...

We do have the following inclusions of children from Scripture:

Psalm 127:3: God claims the children of His people as His "heritage."

Gen. 17:7: Children are particularly specified in the covenant which God made with Abraham

Gen. 19:12: God dealt favorably with the children of Lot for their father's sake.

Gen. 7:1: God told Noah, "Come thou and all thy house into thy ark, for THEE have I seen righteous"

Acts.7:38, Num. 1:46: The Church in the wilderness consisted of six hundred thousand men besides women and children.

Deut. 29:10-13: Children are mentioned in the renewal of the Church's covenant engagements just before the death of Moses.

"Ye stand this day all of you before the Lord your God; your captains...YOUR LITTLE ONES... your wives... that thous shouldest enter into covenant with the Lord thy God and into His oath, which the Lord thy God maketh with thee this day."

Joel 2:16 When God commands His church to be gathered, the children are included:

"Gather the people, sanctify the Church (ekklesian), assemble the elders, gather the CHILDREN, and THOSE THAT SUCK THE BREASTS."

2 John 1: Children are addressed by the apostles as members of the church. "The elder unto the elect lady and her children, whom I love in the truth"

I John 2:13: He addresses little children.

Paul , writing to the Churches of Ephesus and Colosse, addresses himself to "saints and faithful in Christ Jesus," terms never applied to any but baptized persons, and then he specifies CHILDREN among the several classes addressed (Eph. 1:1, compared with Eph. 6:1-3; Col. 1:2, compared with Col. 3:20).

If the OT saints and the NT apostles allowed children membership, should we deny them?

Kim T said...

I think this will be my final comment.

dss, I am so thankful that the LORD opened the door to have this discussion with you. I thank Him foremost, and I thank you, too.

Rick,DT,jsu, and approvedworkman, many of your comments have been such a blessing by hitting the nail on the head so as to clarify biblical truth for me. The LORD used them to allow my mind to open up to and gain a deeper understanding for Him and to know Him better.

Thank you all. May the LORD bless you with unbound abundance in the knowledge of Him. Joy to you.

Henry (Rick) Frueh said...

"2 John 1: Children are addressed by the apostles as members of the church. "The elder unto the elect lady and her children, whom I love in the truth"

I John 2:13: He addresses little children"

What can you say to that hermaneutics?

Henry (Rick) Frueh said...

Come on ds, now the straw gets extremely slim. What does "For truth's sake, WHICH DWELLS IN US" mean to you (next verse.)

Last verse, The children of thy elect lady greet thee.

These are either new believers or saved children.

JSU said...

Don't leave us Kim. We are glad to have your input.

Rick,
You made some great points on this post. I would have to agree that the baptizing of unsaved spouses and children is heretical and a mockery of the baptism. Honestly, I would be scared if my church performed that.

I also agree that God does have something special for Israel. They are His people, but the Christians are His church. The church and Israel did not merge into a single unit when Christ came, they are separate. That is why it is very special to meet a Messianic Jew.

JSU said...

I also reject baby dedications. I believe this is unscriptural and wrong of Baptists and others to perform. The only scriptural "baby dedication" was Samuel. That was a child that was given and dedicated to God. If parents aren't going to leave their toddlers with the pastor to grow up inside the church for the rest of their lives, don't have a baby dedication. LOL.

Henry (Rick) Frueh said...

The name "baby dedication" misrepresents it. If a church is going to observe it (it's not a church doctrine), it should be called parent's "Publice Accountability" day.

approvedworkman said...

Rick
"Household baptism would be Scriptural if all were of age, all had been born again, and that all had come to faith somewhat together. I have seen that, but not under age children."

I agree. 3 of my brothers and I literally came to saving faith together.
Children are a different issue.

Kim thanks for your kind words though I contributed the least in this discussion.
Good show to all.

dsstanfield said...

approved workman,

When you and iggy go at it, I usually agree with you. I can't agree with you on this one though.

You said:

"if all were of age, all had been born again, and that all had come to faith somewhat together. I have seen that, but not under age children."

What is the age? Where is that found in Scripture?

Glenn said...

Hi guys,
I hope you all do not mind if I join in the discussion. Having read the comments, I must admit that i agree with Mrs. Stanfield on this one.
I want to also compliment everyone on how polite and friendly this debate has gone (that is usually not the case!)

jsu,
I see why you are having such a hard time in believing in covenant (infant) baptism. As stated earlier, the heart of the issue is a hermeneutical one. The same dispenstational aprroach you use to see a division between the Church and Israel is the same one that leads you to deny the binding validity of the Old Testament commands upon the Church today(ie. to place the sign of the covenant upon your children).
If as was stated earlier in the debate, the only rule for faithand practice for the Church today is that recorded in the epistles,(according to henry- "All church doctrine must be gleaned from the epistles.") --then what about beastiality. Does this mean that it is an acceptable practice today seeing that it is not comdemned anywhere in the epistles or any other New Testament book for that matter? Would one in your church be a candidate for discipline if he were engaged in such a known activity? If so, on what grounds?

Henry (Rick) Frueh said...

The beastility is covered under uncleaness, wickedness, and others. Same as pedophilia or necrophilia. The New Testament also makes the claim that some things are even taught by nature itself.

But for instance, if your husband died his brother would not be allowed to marry you according to the New Testament.

dsstanfield said...

Just when I was starting to feel like the Lone Ranger.....

Welcome Glenn!

dss

JSU said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JSU said...

Welcome Glenn!

Thanks for the input. From my studies of Covenant theology and discussion with other Presbyterians, I find it lacking of Scriptural support. It seems that this entire doctrine is built upon a few vague verses that they believe are implied. If I had point-blank Scriptures that support Israel and the church as one, infant baptism is the new circumcision, then I would concede.

I have spoken with other Presbyterians that assured me that my unsaved sister would turn to Christ eventually because she is within the Covenant. That is where I draw the line.

dsstanfield said...

jsu,

When I look at my three children, I pray that the Lord will have mercy on them and save them. I have hope that He will, but ultimately the choice is His.

Genesis 17:7: "And I will establish my covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and your descendants after you."

What would your Presbyterian friends make of Jacob and Esau? Both were in the Covenant, but God only elected Jacob to be of the Covenant.

dsstanfield said...

Hey jsu,

Would this verse convince you that the Church is Israel?

Gal. 6:15-16 “Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is a new creation. Peace and mercy to all who follow this rule, even to the Israel of God.

I have already been through this with Henry (rick) to no avail. Here are some verses for you to consider. Throughout the NT, you have the Apostles applying “Israel” passages to Christians. Why? Because the Israel of the OT (“racial Israel”) has been replaced by the Israel of the NT, the Christian Church.

Look at Matthew 21:43: “Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit.” Jesus is stating that “the kingdom of God,” which Israel had in OT times, was transferred to anyone (regardless of race) who did the will of God.

OT: Israel is beloved of God. (Ex. 15:13, Deu. 33:3, Ezr. 3:11)
NT: Christians are beloved of God (Rom 9:25, Eph. 5:1, Col. 3:12, I John 3:1)

OT: Israelites are the children of God. (Ex.4:22, Deu. 14:1, Isa. 1:2&4, Isa. 63:8, Jer. 31:9, Hos. 11:1)
NT: Christians are the children of God. (John 1:12, John 11:52, Rom. 8:14, II Cor. 6:18, Gal. 3:26, Philip. 2:15, I John 3:1)

OT: Israel is the Flock of God and of the Messiah. (Psa. 78:52, Psa. 80:1, Isa. 40:11, Jer. 23:1, Jer. 31:10, Eze. 34:12, Mic. 5:4, Zec. 10:3)
NT: The Christians are the Flock of God and of the Messiah. (John 10:14, Heb. 13:20, I Pet. 2:25, I Pet. 5:2 & 3)

OT: Israel is the Field of God. (Jer. 12:10)
NT: The Christians are the field of God. (I Cor. 3:9)

OT: Israel is the House of God. (Num. 12:7)
NT: Christians are the House of God. (I Tim. 3:15, Heb. 3:2, Heb. 10:21, I Peter 4:17)

OT: Israelites are the children of Abraham. (II Chr. 20:7, Psa. 105:6, Isa. 41:8)
NT: The Christians are the children of Abraham. (Rom. 4:11 & 16, Gal. 3:7 & 29, Gal. 4:23 & 28 & 31)

OT: Israelites are the chosen people. Deu. 7:7, Deu. 10:16, Deu. 14:1, Isa. 43:20-21)
NT: Christians are the chosen people. (Col. 3:12, I Pet. 2:9)

OT: Israel is Israel.
NT: Christians are Israel. (John 11:50-52, I Cor. 10:1, Gal. 6:15-16, Eph. 2:12, 19)

OT: The New Covenant is with Israel. (Jer. 31:31, 33)
NT: The New Covenant is with Christians. (Luke 22:20, I Cor. 11:25, 2 Cor. 3:6, Heb. 8:6,8,10)

OT: Israel is an olive tree. (Jer. 11:16, Hos. 14:6)
NT: Christians are an olive tree. (Rom. 11:24)

OT: Israelites are the Priests of God. (Exo. 19:6)
NT: Christians are the Priests of God. (I Pet. 2:5 & 9, Rev. 1:6, Rev. 5:10)

OT: Israel is the wife (or bride) of God. (Isa. 54:5-6, Jer. 2:2, Eze. 16:32, Hos. 1:2)
NT: The Christians are the wife (or bride) of God. (II Cor. 11:2, Eph. 5:31-32)

Henry (Rick) Frueh said...

Replacement theology. Wrong on many levels and is what leads to a meshing of the Old and New Testaments. Let's go to elders, alcohol is a two sided argument.

1. Yes in moderation

2. No, never.

dsstanfield said...

Henry (rick):

You stated:

"Replacement theology. Wrong on many levels and is what leads to a meshing of the Old and New Testaments."

Can you prove it is wrong from the Scriptures? What would you say to the Scriptural examples that I provided? Keep in mind, I have many more than those I posted...

Henry (Rick) Frueh said...

ds - Are you new? The list of Scriptures and great Bible teachers that espoused a final dealing with Israel is legion. And the preponderance of Bible scholars never teach that Israel is the church. Paul himself says they have been plucked out because of unbelief and we have been grafted in.

But don't feel proud about it, says Paul, but fear because we stand by faith and God is able to GRAFT THEM BACK IN. How can God graft Israel back in if Israel is the church and already grafted in. Your theology isn't something new, and the Scriptural badminton uaually moves either side from their entrenched view, i.e. baptism.

The word Israel means God's people and can be used in that generic sense, but most time it is used to delineate the offspring of Abraham, the Jews.

Dead Theologians said...

dss,

If the church becomes Israel then can anyone explain the supernatural survival of Israel for thousands of years especially the last 2000 years.
What about Israel becoming a nation in the 40's after not existing beforehand (with not being a nation).

Scripture says that the Church is an entirely new creation, that came into being on the Day of Pentecost, and will continue until it is translated to Heaven at the Rapture (Ephesians 1:9-11; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17). The Church has no relationship to the curses and blessings for Israel. The covenants, promises, and warnings are valid only for Israel. Israel has been set aside in God's program during these past 2,000 years of dispersion.

DT

Henry (Rick) Frueh said...

OK, now I'm a liitle scared. I am in agreement with DT much more than I disagree. I'm losing sleep!

dsstanfield said...

Oh nooooo......

DT,

You aren't sending money to rebuild the temple or genetically engineer the red heifer are you????? ;)

I will address your thoughts later this afternoon. At present, I have to take my girls to youth orchestra.

d.

Henry (Rick) Frueh said...

My general view of how Christians should relate to Israel doesn't include the temple rebuilding or anything like that. We should pray for them and acknowledge God's place for them, but all Jews who now die without Christ are as lost as Gentiles. I do not unconditionally support the nation of Israel because I am a non-nationalist.

However I would not want to come against Israel either, the miracles that seem to accompany her when some nation does can be attributed to God's hand. There will come a day when the Jewish people recognize Christ as their Messiah and repent, and on that day all of the Jews living then will be saved. It will be a miracle that glorifies God and in some way finishes God's covenant with Abraham.

Still I think the church pays too much attention to Israel, and I love to study Jewish roots as they amplify the redemption that is Jesus, but I do not believe that churches should attempt to be Jewish.

One of the great signs I believe of the coming of our Lord is that many Jews that have come to Christ in the last fifty years. Whole ministries have been birthed to reach the Jewish people and I believe that is a precurser to the Jewish people turning to Christ en masse one day.

Exciting times we live in and as DT would agree some sad times as well.

Henry (Rick) Frueh said...

"When I look at my three children, I pray that the Lord will have mercy on them and save them. I have hope that He will, but ultimately the choice is His."

That is startling. I have posted a fictional dialogueover at FJL to show just how unreasonable that positionis. If I had to look at one of my children or grandchildren and think they might not have a chance to be saved I could not bear it. Do not fear though, ds, God has chosen a ton of Americans, a disproprtionate amount of Christian parents kids, so the chances that your kids are chosen are real good.

The Iranian and Iraq and Indian and Egyptian and Mexican mothers should have no comfort, not many of them are chosen.

http://judahslion.blogspot.com/

Henry (Rick) Frueh said...

"When I look at my three children, I pray that the Lord will have mercy on them and save them. I have hope that He will, but ultimately the choice is His."

BTW - your prayers are meaningless and are an insult to God. Who are you to invade His sovereignty and poison it with your fleshly desires? He will do what pleases Him and not what pleases you. And where do you get the hope that He will? You are a Calvinist but your heart desires are those of Wesley.

Steve said...

Rick,

Take it easy on Deborah. She's your sister to protect, not your brother to give a head-lock to.

DT,

Time for a post on replacement theology?

The church HAS NOT replaced Israel. Israel still has a future.

Henry (Rick) Frueh said...

Steve - I did not mean to demean her, but just to reveal the implications of the things she espouses. I think she is not easily offended and you are correct, she is my sister.

My younger sister!

dsstanfield said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dsstanfield said...

Henry (rick),

Who did God pluck out of the olive tree?

The unbelieving Jews.

Who remained in the olive tree?

The believing Jews, and then the elect Gentiles were grafted in.

Eph. 2:14 "For he Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of division between us."

Both groups are now ONE...

You said:

"There will come a day when the Jewish people recognize Christ as their Messiah and repent, and on that day all of the Jews living then will be saved. It will be a miracle that glorifies God and in some way finishes God's covenant with Abraham."

The Bible says that the covenant with Abraham is with the elect (both Jews and Geniles).

Galatians 3:29: "And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.

I would happily be called "your little sister!"

dsstanfield said...

DT,

You stated:
"What about Israel becoming a nation in the 40's after not existing beforehand (with not being a nation). "

I have friends who would say you are getting your eschatology out of the newspaper... :)

What do you make of the verses that I quoted from Ephesians and Galatians?

I found the following as well in John.

"And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be ONE flock and ONE shepherd.

What about Gen. 17:4-7?

"As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you, and you shall be a father of many nations. No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you a father of many nations. I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come from you. And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and your descendants after you."

Abraham was a father of MANY nations... the elect which come from every corner of the earth.

Fear not, Iranian, Iraqi, Indian, Egyptian, and Mexican mothers, the elect come from all over the earth.

"..and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice."

Henry (Rick) Frueh said...

"Both groups are now ONE..."

There is now no Jew or Gentile in Christ. But Paul clearly states that the veil of blindness still remains on Israel but one day the veil will be removed. In Revelation there will be 12,000 from each tribe going throughout the earth. The church has no tribes.

dsstanfield said...

Steve,

Thanks for your post. I assure you that at no time have I ever been angered by anything posted here. I do not take our theological differences personally. Any of you would be welcome in my home for fellowship. If we never meet in this life, I am definitely looking forward to meeting in the next!

In Him,

Deborah

Henry (Rick) Frueh said...

"Any of you would be welcome in my home for fellowship."

How about a "kill the keg" party?

dsstanfield said...

Henry (rick),

I am not sure what constitutes a "kill the keg" party...

I would say the 144,000 is a symbolic number representing the full number of Jewish Christians who escaped the doomed city before its destruction.

Eusebius:

"The whole body, however of the church at Jerusalem, having been commanded by a divine revelation, given to men of approved piety there before the war, removed from the city, and dwelt at a certain town beyond the Jordan, called Pella.

This group lived in the first century. We can confirm it in Rev. 14:4, which calls them the "firstfruits of God." Since the church age has been one long harvest of souls (Matt. 9:37f, John 4:35-38), the "first fruits" must have come in at the beginning of this time. You can compare it to James 1:1, 18 which also speaks of the Jewish believers as "first fruits." If this 144,000 referred to some future group living in the end times, one would expect them to be called the "last fruits."

Henry (Rick) Frueh said...

Come on ds, kill the keg from a former life is getting a keg and draining it at a party. It was an attempt at alcohol humor since I do not partake in any form...now.

dsstanfield said...

To all:

I asked my husband about Replacement Theology and he stated that I need to clarify. We are Reformed and Covenantal in our understanding of the Church and Israel. I assumed that Replacement Theology (from Henry rick's post) was new name for the position I hold. My husband said that is is a misunderstanding of what we believe. I stand corrected. I hope that I have not caused too much confusion.

The Church is Israel now.... meaning she has been grafted in to Israel. Israel (elect Jews) have never been cast aside or replaced in any way. The same covenant blessings and cursings found in Deut. 28 continue to apply to all of God's covenant people.

dsstanfield said...

Henry (rick),

I get it now! In my former life, I attended a few of those as well. I am blonde, so it takes me a little longer than some...

d.

Henry (Rick) Frueh said...

It is a form of what we would call replacement theology which in general means a melding of the chruch and Israel. I do not believe any covenant from the Old Testament applies to the church. Not needed since all our promises are in a better covenant in Christ.

Steve said...

Deborah,

You said:
"The Church is Israel now.... meaning she has been grafted in to Israel. Israel (elect Jews) have never been cast aside or replaced in any way. The same covenant blessings and cursings found in Deut. 28 continue to apply to all of God's covenant people."

This is not true! The church hasn't replaced Israel. Israel had/has a unique covenant with the Lord that will one day be finished. Right now, during the church age, Israel as a nation in covenant with Yahweh is in a state of arrested development so to speak. Yes, many born again Jews see Christ as Messiah and are part of the church, but one day all Israel will see Him as such and God will deal with them accordingly.

Now anyone who says they have all this figured out is a lunatic or liar, so I'm not dogmatically saying that what I believe is absolute truth. Only the Lord knows the secret things.

When the church age ends, Yahweh will continue His program or covenant with Israel.

Israel's covenant, and the "new" covenant with the church, both are a fulfillment of the Abrahamic covenant and build upon one another. Neither supercedes the Abrahamic, that's why Romans and Pauls other Epistles can say that we are children of Abraham.

The covenant with Israel came about 400 years after God's covenant with Abraham.

Everyone,

Have a wonderful Lord's day tomorrow!

dsstanfield said...

Henry (rick)

Have a go at this:

Romans 11:11-24 clearly teaches the unity of believers of all ages. The illustration of the olive tree in this passage is one of the better known sections of the book of Romans, but its meaning has not always been clear, especially to those who would separate Old and New Testament believers into distinct bodies. There are four main points in this text of Scripture that are relevant to our topic:

1. The cultivated olive tree is natural Israel.
2. The natural branches that are broken off are unbelieving Jews.
3. The good branches that remain are believing Jews.
4. The wild branches that are grafted into the good olive tree are believing Gentiles.

The most important thing to notice here is that there is only one good olive tree. In the Old Testament it had contained both unbelieving and believing Jews. But when Christ came, the unbelieving Jews were broken off leaving only the believing Jews. Believing Gentiles were then, and are now, grafted into this good olive tree - the believing remnant - the true Israel. Were dispensationalism true, the illustration would make no sense. Paul does not say that God plants a brand new olive tree into which He now grafts believing Jews and believing Gentiles. No, the believing Jews stayed right where they were in their covenant relationship with God. God brought Gentile believers into this already existing covenant relationship. The believing remnant of Israel, the true Israel, and the New Testament Church are one and the same body of believers. These believing Jews and Gentiles are the one good olive tree.

dsstanfield said...

Ever heard of Fred Malone? If any of you have time today, I invite you to read Dr. McMahon's refutation of Malone's "Baptism of Disciples Alone." After reading McMahon's rebuttal, were I a Baptist, I wouldn't reference Malone as one of the leading proponents against infant baptism.

http://apuritansmind.com/BookReviews/MaloneFredBaptismDisciplesAlone.htm

Here is a paragraph:

"The book is entitled “The Baptism of Disciples Alone: A Covenantal Argument for Credobaptism versus Paedo-Baptism.”  In the “Preface” there are a number of problematic statements and assumptions.  First, Malone says they should “evangelize their children."  That is good Baptistic language.  For him to pray with his children, or teach his children to pray, would be a violation of this language because he would be adopting Old Testament covenant concepts about raising up his children in a certain light.  It is good that Malone is consistent at least for now.  Second, Malone asks this question, “Is “repent and be baptized” a command that parents should obey for their children, or is it a command for their children to obey for themselves (Acts 2:38-41.”  This is a straw man.  Malone will continue to ask questions like this of the text that no Paedo-Baptist asserts in order to crush them as he goes along.  We will deal with the meaning behind this later when Malone treats it.  Third, he says, “Must they [parents] rely on “expert” theologians to explain their biblical duty toward their children for what they cannot see in Scripture for themselves?”[4]  Maybe another question should be “Why are there pastors and theologians in the body of Christ?”  “Why do they preach?”  “Why do they teach?”  “Why do they exist?”  Certainly it is to help people understand the whole counsel of God.  If parents were as studious as theologians, then they would not need them.  Pleading this point at all is nonsense.  The members of Baptistic churches I have attended have simply “gone with the flow” – they do not know why they believe what they do.  Usually they say, “I believe what the pastor tells me to believe.”  This is wrong, no doubt, and this is in every denomination.  But Malone is setting up another straw man here." 

Dead Theologians said...

dss,

How do you deal with Act 2.38-Repent and be baptized

What bothers me is Presby's that I know will encourage and promote infant baptism (which is still being inferred)and not encourage believer's baptism which is clear.

DT

Dead Theologians said...

dss,

Nothing personal but McMahon's comment is nothing but subjective opinions.

DT

Dead Theologians said...

dss,

A man is not a Jew if he is only one outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a man's praise is not from men, but from God (Rom 2:28,29).

Emphasis on heart.

Acts 16 seems to be the proof that paedobaptism proponents use.
Where does it say that the Philippian jailer had infants in his home?

Then the father realized that this was the exact time at which Jesus had said to him, "Your son will live." So he and all his household believed (John 4:53).
Did the infant "believe"?

DT

dsstanfield said...

DT,

I am walking out the door and had to hit refresh one more time on this old computer of mine. I feel like you all are old friends.

Of course our church practices believer's baptism. I have seen these types of baptisms occur as well. If you haven't been baptized, you are not allowed to partake of the Lord's Supper. Believer's baptism is commanded in Scripture and we have examples of it found in the NT (which actually make sense because the converts were adults who had never been baptized).

The paragraph I posted, yes....but you have to read the rest of the paper. Have you ever read it in its entirety?

As a side note, my husband went to Fred Malone personally, wanting him to convince him of believer's baptism only (We were still Baptists). My husband walked away leaning more towards infant baptism because of Malone's answers.

I have to run... I will answer your last post if I have time during services today. It will require more digging.

Deborah
------------------------------------------
Henry (rick),

We are on Hebrews 13:17 again this Lord's Day. My husband is speaking on elders and their roles.... I should be armed for any discussion we may have were that to be made a future post!

Your younger sister.

Henry (Rick) Frueh said...

"As a side note, my husband went to Fred Malone personally, wanting him to convince him of believer's baptism only (We were still Baptists). My husband walked away leaning more towards infant baptism because of Malone's answers."

A person once asked me "With all the different teachings around in churches and in the media, who can you believe?".

I replied to her that it was my experience that most people believe the last person they heard.

dsstanfield said...

DT,

In Acts 2, Peter is addressing the "Men of Judea, Men of Israel, Brothers,...

As adults, they had to repent and be baptized...for the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone who the Lord our God calls.

Do you ever see in the NT an example of believing parents being baptized and baptism being withheld from the children? There is no outcry from the Jews whose children, by the way, had always been included in the covenant. Don't you think they would have cried, "What of our children?"

Out of curiousity, would you baptize a four or five year old who says they love the Lord and have repented of their sins?

Henry (Rick) Frueh said...

Peter's message was flawed. "baptized for the remission of sins" would later be corrected by Paul. To your children is just a transgenerational teaching.

I would hesitate to baptize a five year old, how many five year olds would ever say to believing parents "I'm not sure Jesus is the Savior"? Five year olds and most young children imitate their parents so their professions of faith must be tested.

Dead Theologians said...

dss,

I would set the 4-5 year old aside and give them some time. Time is not an issue since baptism is not what saves us.

DT

dsstanfield said...

Henry (rick),

"Peter's message was flawed."

Say What?

"I would hesitate to baptize a five year old, how many five year olds would ever say to believing parents "I'm not sure Jesus is the Savior"?"

About the same number as Baptist teenagers who walk the aisle at a youth evangelism camp due to peer pressure, or the number of children who check the box at a VBS that pressures children in to making a decision.

Baptism is NOT confirmation of salvation. IT CAN NEVER BE as only God knows a man's heart. Baptism is a SIGN of what must happen in order for the person to be regenerated. Consequently, that is why we sprinkle or pour rather than immerse, thus applying the element to the recipient. It is a picture of how the Holy Spirit must be applied to the recipient. (Throughout the Bible we see the Holy Spirit sprinkled or poured out.)

dsstanfield said...

DT,

As parents, we believe our 4 or 5 year old when they say they love us. Why do we have a problem believing them when they say they love God? Surely a good Calvinist would agree that God can choose to save anyone at any age.

Have you ever made a teenager or an adult wait before you baptized them?

Dead Theologians said...

dss,

You said "Why do we have a problem believing them when they say they love God? Surely a good Calvinist would agree that God can choose to save anyone at any age.

Have you ever made a teenager or an adult wait before you baptized them?"

Yes, I have made them wait.
Acts. 26.20 gives me my standard

but declared first to those in Damascus and in Jerusalem, and throughout all the region of Judea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent, turn to God, and do works befitting repentance.

I would like to see evidence of their repentance. It is dangerous to dunk sinners in the waters of baptism so to comfort them in their lost condition just because I don't want to offend them by making them wait.

DT

Henry (Rick) Frueh said...

How niave to say that you believe five year olds. Of course they say things to earn their parent's approval. And to point out that teenagers as well as adults make shallow professions of faith doesn't have anything to do with manipulating children. All your Scriptures are either OT or implications. Even many ardent Calvinists agree that nowhere in Scripture is infant baptism taught.

"Baptism is NOT confirmation of salvation."

There is no way to argue with such a departure from Scriptural teaching. He that believes and is baptized shall be saved. There is more Scripture that says that baptism washes away sins then there is about infants. It is a carryover from the Roman Catholic Church.

That is why the overwhelming number of truly evangelical churches do not baptize infants. It isn't because they deny Scripture, it's because there isn't any.

Henry (Rick) Frueh said...

Peter says "be baptized for the remission of sins" on the day of Pentecost. That is a flawed representation of the gospel, baptism does not forgive sins. The message of the gospel throughout the early church needed refinement and with the written Scriptures came correction.

Even when they met in Jerusalem James wanted to bring the Gentiles under the law, and Paul had to correct them all. James wanted to cirmcize the Gentile believers.

Acts can only support doctrine not create it.

Glenn said...

Hi guys,
boy,you all must spend alot of time at this sight. I am way behind on the conversation. Please let me first thank everyone for the warm welcome.

I must say that DS has held the covenantal line of defense well. I must add along with her several comments. please forgive me if i cover something twice.
Henry,
the Sriptures are full of support for the unity of the Church in both the Old and New Testaments. DS has clearly shown that the inclusion of the Gentiles is INTO the Tree of the Old Testament Church- it is not a new plant. I would love to know what other option of interpretation is valid for the text in Romans 11 if that is not its meaning. (this is but one of many texts to cite).

Dead theologian,
I must disagree with your comment that the Church began at Pentecost for several reasons:
1. As stated above the believers after the ressurection and ascension of Christ were ingrafted into a then existing covenant community of beleivers. (Rom. 11.1-25, Eph.2.11-22.
2. In Acts 7.38 Stephen refers to the Israelites in the Wilderness as the "Church" -- the "ekklesia" which is the common word for Church in the New Testament.
3. There is and has always been only one mediator-Jesus Christ, one means of salvation--by faith (hebrews 11 and Rom. 4.11) those of the Old Testament were only different in minors points such as the fact that the visible church of the Old Testament was comprised predominately of Israelites - now, predominately Gentile. Then localized to Israel as a central place of worship - now, diverse and dispersed throughout the world. Then, the gospel was in types and shadows forshadowing the coming Redeemer in anticipation. now, the people of God look back at the reality of His coming and stand in a simpler form of worship.
4. The "Jews" of the Old Testament were not necessarily ethnic but religious. this can be proven with a single verse from the Old Testament - In Esther 8:17 it states that "many among the peoples of the land became Jews, for the fear of the Jews had fallen on them" This verse clearly states that the heathern, Gnetile people of the land of Susa BECAME JEWS for fear of the Jews!! This statement proves what Paul asserts in Romans 2.28-29 - that is that the Jew is one who has been circumcised inwardly in the heart and not outwardly in the flesh. It is by the Spirit and not by lineage. Even John the Baptist declared that God could raise up children of Abraham from stones

Henry (Rick) Frueh said...

Rom.11:28-29 - As concerning the gospel they are enemies for your sakes, but as touching the election they are beloved for the father's sake. For the gifts and calling of God are without repentence."

Rom.11:25 -...lest you be wise in your own conceits; that blindness IN PART is happened to Israel until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.

How can blindness in part happen to Israel if they are now the church? And how can they be enemies if Israel is the church?

dsstanfield said...

Glenn,

I must say that I was so glad to see your return to this site. They points you made were excellent. Yesterday, I was struck with something else that I don't think I have mentioned.

The Old Covenant was an EVERLASTING covenant.

And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an EVERLASTING covenant, to be God to you and your descendants after you...

How then can we have a completely NEW Covenant in the NT?

I can buy a used car and it be "old," but it is "new" to me...

dsstanfield said...

DT,

You stated:

"I would like to see evidence of their repentance. It is dangerous to dunk sinners in the waters of baptism so to comfort them in their lost condition just because I don't want to offend them by making them wait."

And even then, you can never know for sure whether their profession is real. Three of the pastors, of Baptist churches I attended, have apostasized from the faith, including the "Calvinistic" Baptist who taught my husband and I the doctrines of grace. They were all "Christians" for many years and exhibited fruits of repentance. Two in particular were gifted teachers and many came to know the Lord through their ministries, yet they were as lost as any "goat."

dsstanfield said...

Henry (rick),

You stated:

"That is why the overwhelming number of truly evangelical churches do not baptize infants. It isn't because they deny Scripture, it's because there isn't any."

If our culture in the United States is any indicator of the doctrines taught by "the overwhelming number of truly evangelical churches," then I am sticking with Calvin's doctrines (biblical Christianity) and Geneva.

John Knox described Geneva during Calvin's ministry there as:

"The most perfect school of Christ that ever was in the earth since the days of the apostles."

As the Church is so goes the culture.

Glenn said...

Henry,
Please make the distinction that the Bible makes in relation to Israel - Not all of Israel is Israel. I purposefully used the term Israelites and Jews in differnt contexts. There was in Israel a visible Old Testament Church comprised of both Israelites (descendants from Abraham) and Jews (those who believed in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob - see Esther 8.17 and Rom. 2.28f) These are two differnt things in Scripture. An Israelite may not truly be a Jew at heart that is why in Deut. 30.6 they are commanded to circumcise their hearts. That is why in Romans 11 the illustration of Elijah is so relevant as well as that of Paul's own conversion. There were many Israelites who had been saved by God's gracious election --7,000 had not bowed the knee to baal vs. 4. Even Paul was proof that there would be a remnant of the Israelite people who would recieve grace until the time of mass conversion that would come upon the Israelite people in the future. This blessing of conversion in the future must not be seen as taking place by any other means than those God used to redeem even you and me - faith in Christ alone!.
We must also guard against believing that it is because they are somehow God's "other" people. This is not true either. The nation of Israel is apostate today. The only hope for them is the same as the only hope for America -repentance and faith in Christ.
I say all of this because this is the heart of the argument for infant baptism. there is and only has been one church and one people of God thourghout the ages.

dsstanfield said...

Glenn,


You said:
"there is and only has been one church and one people of God throughout the ages."

Yes! However, it would be easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for our Baptist brothers and sisters to admit that :).

If they were to admit that, then much of their theology (especially surrounding believer's baptism, the law, and eschatology) would begin to crumble.

Dead Theologians said...

Deborah,

I think the problem that I see here is that our Presb. friends like to look at the Bible allegorically in sections whereas your Baptist brethen are more of a literal lot.

To me, infant baptism is an arguement from silence. It simply cannot be support. Even inferring it is a stretch.

DT

Henry (Rick) Frueh said...

"Yes! However, it would be easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for our Baptist brothers and sisters to admit that "

Because we are so Biblically thick and you are so enlightened. If only we poor Baptists could make a camel go through a needle's eye we might have hope and see things as you do, the complete and unassailable truth.

dsstanfield said...

Henry (rick),

My intention was not to offend you.

I simply wanted to point out, that a Baptist can NOT hold to Glenn's statement because the basis of most of their theological arguments is that God has had two distinct groups of people.

Henry (Rick) Frueh said...

And if I said to some Baptist "However, it would be easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for our (fill in the blank) brothers and sisters to admit that because then there views of infant baptism and etc., etc., etc. would begin to crumble"

That openly reveals something but surely not a humble desire to seek truth, not when you already know it all and you are waiting for all the others to have their sand castles crumble. Such is the adolescent speech between commentors who agree.

Not only entrenched in doctrine which are we all, but show disdain for the intrasigence of others because that would free them to truth. Intransigence is a commodity that everyone shares.

dsstanfield said...

DT,

The Presbyterians I know let the Bible dictate what Scriptures are literal and what are allegorical. There is a place for both.

Jesus was not a chicken, yet he wanted to gather Jerusalem under His wings.

Dragons with seven heads and ten horns etc.

Baptists who are Dispensational in their eschatology are the most non literal interpreters of the Bible I know. Read one of the LaHaye books. Good fiction, terrible theology.

Glenn said...

I must agree with DS. The argument is a falacious one that argues from a supposed "literalism". Lets be honest guys, both sides take the Bible literally. Both sides use figures of speech and spiritualize texts of Scripture. The difference is on which texts are taken literally and which ones are spiritualized. I am a former staunch dispensationalist myself and will be fully ready to prove the point if needed. The hermeneutical discrepency is not a literal versus spiritual one it is a dispensational versus a covenantal one. OR RATHER- does God have two "chosen" people or one. Neither of you have proven that there are two. It seems you have no argument to the contrary.

Glenn said...

I would also like to state that this is not to become an ad homenim argument. And it is certainly not a Presbyterian versus Baptist issue --it is a desire to truly come to the truth of Scripture. If this is not the case then all of this time has been in vain wouldn't you agree.

I would like to respond to the statement about infant baptism being based upon the silence of Scripture and/or inference.
first, the argument from silence is a straw-man argument. there is plenty of evidence to support our position. One needs only take the time to read it. It is a thouroughly consistent argument that is substantiated by both testaments of the unified Word of God.
secondly, It is true that logical deduction and inference are used in the argument. This is constantly railed against by Credobaptist who themselves use the same hermeneutic for their own precious doctrines. SUCH AS-
1. Worshipping on Sunday as the Lord's Day.
2. Admitting Women to the Lord's Table.
3. The Cardinal of all doctrines of which even Athenasias himself stated that if one did not beleive he could not be a christian --THE TRINITY.

I know that DS stated these things earlier but it seems you do not want to truly look at the truth of such an argument against your position. We are fully prepared to analyze any aspect of our doctrine and the hermeneutical approach used to arrive at it. I am only waiting for a biblical response to the argument in order to continue the discussion on another level.

Henry (Rick) Frueh said...

Glenn - Did I understand you to say you do not believe in the Trinity?

Glenn said...

Good morning everyone,
No Henry,
I did not state that. What I stated was that it was a foundational doctrine clearly founded upon deduction and inference alone. I most certainly DO believe it. I am wondering why you do if you do not believe logical deduction and inference are as clearly legitimate means of deriving at the truth of Scripture as are declarative and imperative statements.
If inference and logical deduction are not legitimate for a subject such as a sacrament then how can we impose it upon our understanding of the very nature and perfections of God?

dsstanfield said...

Glenn,

You should have been here from the beginning. When I read your posts they make much more sense than my rambling.

I am certainly looking forward to reading y'all's responses to Glenn's post...

dss

Glenn said...

DSS,
I thought your comments were well stated. As I read the responses I did not see either a logical or orderly answer to your questions. All I am doing is trying to understand their line of reasoning as they come to the Scriptures. I hope this does not sound mean or in any way unloving but their argument seems to have many contradictions in it. Our approach to Scripture will determine our understanding and belief of it. This is why I am starting at the beginning.

Henry (Rick) Frueh said...

OK, Glenn, I agree that two of the three you mention are gained from inference. Women take communion as believers, not as women (No male or female in CHrist).

As for the Trinity, it is implied but I do not hold it as a salvinic doctrine. I believe it but I'm not dogmatic because it is not clearly taught.

Worshiping on a particular day is also not taught, we do it because of implication that the early church did it.

So you are correct, some Baptists hold to implied doctrines as do other denominiations. I do not hold fast to those two you mentioned. If a person believed that Jesus was God and the Father and the Spirit were Jesus, fine as long as he believed in salvation by grace through faith.

If people want to worship on Tuesday afternoon, fine.

dsstanfield said...

Henry (rick),

You stated:

"As for the Trinity, it is implied but I do not hold it as a salvinic doctrine. I believe it but I'm not dogmatic because it is not clearly taught."

Do you believe Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses are Christians? Can one be a Christian who does not believe in the Trinity?

Glenn said...

Henry,
I do not want to chase a rabbit here and depart the subject at hand but let me say we MUST return to the statement about the Trinity not being necessary for salvation at a later time.
Your dogmatism about what you believe is irrelevant. the fact that you believe it is the point. You believe a doctrine that is inferred and understood by logical deduction alone.
All you have done is proven my point. You are inconsistant if you approve one doctrine by deduction and reject another. If for instance I said "the only cars allowed in a race are blue ones" and your car is, lets say, yellow; which of these statements is most true? a) only blue cars can race.
b)Henry's car can not race.
If I understand normal communication and rhetoric they are equally true statements yet one is declarative and the other deduced.
We use these principles every day and in every form of literature. The only time I hear anyone denounce it is from my Credo brothers who refuse to embrace what is clearly taught in Scripture - As clearly if not more than the Trinity itself.

Glenn said...

DSS,
you must be an apologist. You cut right to the heart of a matter and take no prisoners!

Glenn said...

I have to go to work now. I will check in later on. I hope that you all have a blessed day and thanks again for the wonderful conversation. GRACE TO ALL!

Henry (Rick) Frueh said...

There is a distinct difference between believing something and being dogmatic. Many people are dogmatic about everything.

Do you know any?

Glenn said...

Henry,
thanks for restating my point. My statement was "the fact that you believe it is the point. You believe a doctrine that is inferred and understood by logical deduction alone." My question then must be why do you condemn the Padeobaptist for doing the very same thing you do? Or - why is it ok for you but not for others?
If it is an unbiblical approach to interpretation neither side can, nor should they, do it. If this is the case then we both have a lot of bad theology to repent of wouldn't you agree?

Henry (Rick) Frueh said...

The point of contention is what are implied beliefs and what are obvious teachings? There are for simplicity's sake three categories.

1. Cardinal and salvitic doctrines. On those we must agree.

2. Important doctrines that can be energetically debated without rancor.

3. Non important issues that we believe but are fringe issues.

Now eveyone places their own doctrines inside one of those three categories. I am confident that you and I have the same doctrines in category #1, right.

Category #2 is where the heat comes from. I put the Trinity and the Sunday worship in the lower end of category #2. If they slip to #3, so be it.

Baptism would be somewhere in #2 would you agree?

Dead Theologians said...

Rick,

I realize the Lord is our Sabbath now but you said
Category #2 is where the heat comes from. I put the Trinity and the Sunday worship in the lower end of category #2. If they slip to #3, so be it.

You would not mind if the issue of the Trinity would be considered "not important"?

Oneness Pentecostalism?

DT

Henry (Rick) Frueh said...

I personally would not object to putting the Trinity in #3, however as you know the problem with the Oneness people is more serious than a disagreement over the nature of the Trinity.

They teach salvation by works and tongues as evidence of said salvation plus a form of baptismal regeneration. So I would say that their view of the Trinity is the least of their problems.

Dead Theologians said...

Rick, Being anti-trinitarian would have given you a haircut below the chin many years ago.

I would call that serious.

DT

Henry (Rick) Frueh said...

Maybe, but that would be man made. Think about it, the Trinity is very sketchy in its teaching. The Father is God, Jesus is God, and the Spirit is God. If some say that all three are One person with three manifestations, what harm is that?

We say they are three separate persons but they say one Person three manifestations. Somewhat semantical. As Glenn corectly noted that doctrine is based on implied Scriptures. Now couple that with the fact that even the believers in the Trinity cannot explain it, so I cannot make that a necessity. They would have sliced your head off on the Day of Pentecost for BELIEVING that doctrine.

Different times...

Glenn said...

henry,
please answer yes or no - do you believe in the Trinity?
If you do please quit avoiding the issue that I have clearly stated and that is - if you do believe in it at any level (1-3) you still believe it correct? If so then you have come to that beleif based upon logical deduction and inference. I do not see why it is so hard for you to simply admit that I am correct on this unless your commitment is to a system rather than truth.

Glenn said...

i do want to revisit the issue of the importance of Trinity for salvation but at this time I would like to atleast complete this topic seeing that the hermeneutic one uses is pretty foundational to any argument one uses.

Henry (Rick) Frueh said...

The difference is that I admit some sketchy Scriptural support for the Trinity and as such I am not dogmatic.

You do not admit even less sketchy support for infant baptism and yet you are adamant about it.

Different.

Glenn said...

Henry,
little or large support of Scripture is still support.

As for your view of "sketchy Scriptural support for the Trinity" I would greatly disagree. This is more of a commentary on you than the Scriptures. They are replete with verse after verse that support such a view beginning with the very first verse of Scripture!

As to me you stated "You do not admit even less sketchy support for infant baptism and yet you are adamant about it."
Where in the world did you get that?
I stated that in reference to infant baptisme it was taught "As clearly if not more than the Trinity itself."
Are you not reading my posts?
From my side of the debate I think you already see where my argument is going -- you can not be arbitrary or inconsistent or both in your interpretation. For you to use inference and then tell us that it is unacceptable is both!

Glenn said...

henry,
seeing that you do use inference as we do; I would now like to ask you to return to the next foundational discussion to infant baptism and that is the relationship between Israel of the Old Testament and the Church in the New. Have you examined that any more since it was brought up last and if so, do you still hold a distinction between the two as two chosen people of God or so you see them as one?

Glenn said...

Henry,
have I offended you? I hope that I have not. I truly wish to continue this discussion. I believe that the issue of the unity of the Church in the Old and New Testaments is critical to this discussion and would love to hear your input.

dsstanfield said...

Glenn,

I am still reading. I don't know what happened to everybody that was participating on this post. They mysteriously vanished......

For years I sat in a Baptist church and heard the pastor sneeringly call Presbyterians, "Baby Baptizers." I also remember clearly the references made to Presbyterians concerning their "Roman Catholic" views. (I think the words heretical and papal/papist were tossed around on here as well by my friend, Henry (rick).) I remember thinking that Presbyterians were theologically weak minded, immature Christians, at best. After finally finding a denomination full of Presbyterians who could defend Covenant baptism, I stood corrected. I also became convinced that God, through His Word, commands believing parents to have the sign of His covenant placed on their children. My husband and I had our oldest baptized at two and the other children baptized as infants.

This, I have never regretted.

Deborah

Dead Theologians said...

Deborah,

I think the major area that we disagree is the reason for baptism. If you view it as a convenant issue then baptism is ok with you. If I view it as baptism only after salvation then we have a stalemate.

I have read everything but I simply cannot ascribe to this view. To me, it is a mockery of one of the ordinances in the baptist church.

DT

dsstanfield said...

Good Morning DT!

I appreciate your honesty and frankness. I would love for you (or anyone else on here) to answer the following questions:

1. Why doesn't the Bible explicitly teach either paedobaptism or credobaptism?

2. What would the assumptions of the original audience have been in the absence of any explicit teaching on this subject?

3. Does the Bible anywhere demonstrate what the original audience assumed?

4. What does baptism symbolize?

5. Can the new covenant be broken?

Glenn said...

Hi DT,
good to see you back. I have been trying to address the very reason that we do disagree on the "reason for baptism". It is because we both have different systems of interpretation. One is a dispensational one and the other is a covenantal one. As with Henry, I would put this question back on the table - "Are there two people of God or one? or rather Does God have a speacial plan for the Israelites as the people of God distinct from the church?"

I like DS hear alot of talk about how wrong I am as a Presbyterian but have yet to have the first Baptist prove it from a consistent, logical, and literal approach from the Bible. I do not want to debate the issue in vain but for the sake of truth. -this issue is dear to me because I was raised a Baptist. My heart longs to see them embrace the truth of Scripture.
I believe that to ignore a clear command of God regarding the sacrament is a mockery by not following in obedience. All I desire is to prove that the command to put the sign of the covenant on your children stands even today only the outward elements of the sign have changed. If you are correct then I have been disobedient; If I am correct then you are. This makes it a topic worth serious discussion and not thoughtless exchanges. I believe both sides ought to defend their positions tenaciously from Scripture. Trust me, you want hurt my feelings. TRUTH is to important.

Glenn said...

Hi Deborah,
I hope I have not run Henry off from your discussion. I was only trying to get him to discuss one topic at a time and atleast answer the question I asked before we moved to the next.
Your questions are well worth answering. I would love to see where we all end up in answering them.

dsstanfield said...

Here is what's at stake.

"You shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and you. He who is eight days old among you shall be circumcised. Every male throughout your generations, whether born in your house or bought with your money from any foreigner who is not of your offspring, both he who is born in your house and he who is bought with your money, shall surely be circumcised. So shall my covenant be in your flesh an everlasting covenant. Any uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin shall be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant."
(Gen 17:11-14)

Also, I would like to bring to remembrance Moses and Zipporah.

"At a lodging place on the way the Lord met him and sought to put him to death. Then Zipporah took a flint and cut off her son's foreskin and touched Moses feet with it and said, 'Surely you are a bridegroom of blood to me!' So he let him alone. It was then that she said, 'A bridegroom of blood,' because of the circumcision.

Why was God seeking to kill Moses?

Baptism and circumcision both point to the same reality--the washing away or the cutting away of sin (see Colossians 2:11-12).

Baptism and circumcision signify the entrance into the visible church in their respective testaments. This should make us consider our thoughts concerning Covenant Baptism. It is worth studying and debating as it may have an affect on our family.

God says that those who reject the sign of the covenant are rejecting what the sign points to. The true Jew knew that circumcision does not save a person; just as the true Christian today knows that baptism does not save a person. If one rejects the sign, it is a rejection of the covenant itself.

Deborah

Glenn said...

My answers are as follows:
1) because baptism is a New Testament sacrament it did not need to be explicitly commanded. It like the sacrament of the Lord's Supper had a forerunner in the Old Testament where all of the requirements needed then were laid down clearly. When we come to the New Testament chronologically, we see that God did not need to restate what He had already said- only alter what needed to reflect the finished atoning work of Christ rather than the anticipatory atoning work.
_Thus the command to place the sign of the covenant on children of professing believers did not change only the outward elements from a bloody to a non-bloody rite.

2. the assumptions of the original audience in Acts would have been those formed from 1500 plus years of God's dealing with His people in the past. The Children were always included in the covenant and only a direct statement from God himself could change it. this repeal has never been found in the pages of the New or Old Testaments.

3. yes, Peter's words on Pentecost that the "Promise is to you and to your children..."
All of the household baptism in the New Testament - especially Acts 16 where the "Lord opened Lydia's heart to believe" but her whole house was baptized.
the Jailer who the text in the original clearly states that ONLY HE BELIEVED but his whole household rejoiced and was baptized. (only the ESV has correctly translated the verse.)
1 Corinthians 7.14 and the fact that the children of believers are not "common" but "holy".

4. Baptism sybolizes the work of the Holy Spirit in regenerating and uniting a person to Christ and his blessings of forgiveness and cleansing.
In that it is a SIGN it is to accurately picture what it points to. Regeneration is a monergistic act of God in which we are completely passive and unaware. We do not contribute to it any more than we did our natural births. What a picture it is for a helpless infant to be baptized.
this is the same thing that circumcision pictured and it likewas was done only once (as is regeneration) and applied to infants of believers.

5. Yes, by us but not by God. If the covenants of Scripture are the structure of Scripture and the only way God has and will deal with mankind, then how they are related is important. First they are successive and progressive in that as each new covenant was given it did not abrogate the previous one it only added to it. this is true of the New Covenant as well and so if the other covenants such as the Abrahamic and Mosaic could be broken so can the New which is the crowning covenant of fulfillment and realization.

I look forward to hearing everyone elses responses.

have a great day and may God bless each of you according to His riches and mercy.

dsstanfield said...

Can I just say "ditto" for me concerning what Glenn wrote for his answers.

I would like to add to #4 and #5.

#4: Nowhere does the NT explicitly teach that baptism is "an outward sign of an inward change." This is one valid aspect of its symbolism (implied in texts such as Rom. 6:4; Col. 2:12; 1 Pet. 3:21), but its symbolism is not limited to this. Colossians 2:11-12 implies that baptism now accomplishes what circumcision used to accomplish, and thus that it really is the new covenant sign. As a covenant sign, baptism symbolizes the entire covenant, not just one particular covenant blessing, and not even all covenant blessings alone. Like circumcision, it symbolizes both covenant blessings and covenant curses.

#5 Ultimately, the covenant will become unbreakable, but only when Jesus returns and gives us all the covenant blessings. Until then, we partake of blessings only partially, and the covenant remains breakable.

Dead Theologians said...

Glenn and Deborah,

I think as long as we interpret scripture through our denominational lense and not literally we will never be able to come to terms on this one.

You said "but have yet to have the first Baptist prove it from a consistent, logical, and literal approach from the Bible. I do not want to debate the issue in vain but for the sake of truth. -this issue is dear to me because I was raised a Baptist."

A literal approach?

Believe me, I want passionately to go over Matthew 28 and others sections and show you that infant baptism is such a stretch but I realize that our hermeneutical approach will stop us.

Boy, do I hate stalemates but I think this is one.

DT

Dead Theologians said...

Glenn,

You said "I believe that to ignore a clear command of God regarding the sacrament is a mockery by not following in obedience"

Sacrament? I know that the RCC church views baptism as a sacrament but does the Presbyterian view it this way?

DT

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