Ordinances

 

 

Baptism should be or may be administered to infants

 

 

 

Baptism is administered to infants by the following people: Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodoxes, Lutherans, Anglicans, Methodists, Reformed, Presbyterians, Waldenses, Nazarenes and others.

Roman Catholic Church: "By Baptism all sins are forgiven, original sin and all personal sins, as well as all punishment for sin. ... The Church does not know of any means other than Baptism that assures entry into eternal beatitude; this is why she takes care not to neglect the mission she has received from the Lord to see that all who can be baptized are 'reborn of water and the Spirit.' God has bound salvation to the sacrament of Baptism ... Baptism not only purifies from all sins, but also makes the neophyte 'a new creature,' an adopted son of God, who has become a 'partaker of the divine nature,' member of Christ and co-heir with him, and a temple of the Holy Spirit. ... From the baptismal fonts is born the one People of God of the New Covenant" (The New Catholic Catechism, 1994, # 1263,1257,1265,1267).

Eastern Orthodox Church: "We confess one baptism for the remission of sins" Constantinopolitan [or Nicene] Creed, 381). ‘Our sacraments, however, not only contain grace, but also confer it on those who receive them worthily ... Through baptism we are spiritually reborn" (Council of Florence, 1438-45). ‘When one asserts his faith in the Son of God, the Son of the Ever Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, he accepts first of all the words of faith into his heart, confesses them orally, sincerely repents for his former sins and washes them away in the sacrament of Baptism. Then God the Word enters the baptized one, as though into the womb of the Blessed Virgin and remains in him like a seed’ (The Journal of the Moscow Patriarchate, Russian Orthodox Church, Issue No. 4, 1980). ‘Sacraments ... are not simply symbols of divine grace, but sure agents and means of its transmission. ... [through baptism one] becomes a member of the church of Christ, being liberated from the controlling power of sin, and being reborn in the new creation in Christ" (International Eastern Orthodox-Old Catholic Theological Dialogue Commission, 1985).

Lutheran Church: "Baptism effects forgiveness of sins, delivers from death and the devil, and grants eternal salvation to all who believe, as the Word and promise of God declare. ... It is not the water that produces these effects, but the Word of God connected with the water, and our faith which relies on the Word of God connected with the water" (Luther's Small Catechism, 1529, IV). "It is taught among us that Baptism is necessary and that grace is offered through it. Children, too, should be baptized, for in Baptism they are committed to God and become acceptable to him. On this account the Anabaptists who teach that infant Baptism is not right are rejected" (The Augsburg Confession, 1530, IX). "Being by nature sinners, infants as well as adults, need to be baptized. Every child that is baptized is begotten anew of water and of the Spirit, is placed in covenant relation with God, and is made a child of God and an heir of his heavenly kingdom" (Baptism formula used by Lutheran pastors in baptizing infants, The New Analytical Bible and Dictionary of the Bible, Chicago: John A. Dickson Publishing Co., 1973).

Anglican Church: "Baptism is a sign of Regeneration or New-Birth, whereby, as by an instrument, they that receive Baptism rightly are grafted into the Church; the promises of the forgiveness of sin, and of our adoption to be the sons of God by the Holy Ghost, are visibly signed and sealed.... The Baptism of young Children is in any wise to be retained in the Church, as most agreeable with the institution of Christ" (The Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion, XXV, XXVII).

Methodist Church and Waldensian Church: "Sacraments are ... signs of grace ... by the which he doth work invisibly in us, and doth not only quicken, but also strengthen and confirm our faith in him. ... Baptism ... is also a sign of regeneration, or the new birth. The baptism of young children is to be retained in the Church" (The Articles of Religion, 1784, XVI, XVII). The Italian Waldensian Church joined the Methodists, therefore their doctrine on baptism is the same as that of the Methodists.

Reformed Church: "We condemn the Anabaptists, who deny that young infants, born of faithful parents, are to be baptized. ... We therefore are not Anabaptists, neither do we agree with them in any point that is theirs" (The Second Helvetic Confession, 1566, chapter XX).

Presbyterian Church: "Baptism ... is a sign and seal of the covenant of grace, of his ingrafting into Christ, of regeneration, of remission of sins ... Dipping of the person into the water is not necessary; but baptism is rightly administered by pouring or sprinkling water upon the person. Not only those that do actually profess faith in and obedience to Christ, but also the infants of one or both believing parents are to be baptized. ... by the right use of this ordinance the grace promised is not only offered, but really exhibited and conferred by the Holy Ghost, to such (whether of age or infants) as that grace belongeth unto, according to the counsel of God's own will, in his appointed time" (The Westminster Confession of Faith, 1646, XXVIII).

Church of the Nazarene: ‘Baptism being a symbol of the new covenant, young children may be baptized, upon request of parents or guardians who shall give assurance for them of necessary Christian training’ (Articles of Faith XII)

 

Confutation

 

In the days of the apostles water baptism was ministered only to people who believed in the Lord. Therefore water baptism cannot be administered to infants, for they have not believed in the Lord since they are not yet able to accept the Gospel.

Here are some biblical passages which clearly affirm that in the early Church water baptism was administered only to people who believed. “Then they that gladly received his word [the word of Peter] were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls” (Acts 2:41); “But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women” (Acts 8:12); “And Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his house; and many of the Corinthians hearing believed, and were baptized” (Acts 18:8). As you can see, in the light of these biblical passages, a person can’t be baptized unless he has repented and believed in the Gospel.

If a priest or a pastor poured or sprinkled some water upon your head when you were an infant, and you are a child of God, know this, that what your Church calls ‘baptism’ is not the true baptism which was instituted by Jesus Christ. Therefore you still need to be baptized. Leave your Church immediately and join a Church which teaches and practices the true water baptism (by immersion, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit).

 

 

 

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