Is Infant Baptism a required belief/practice?

Discussion in 'Sacraments, Sacred Rites, and Holy Orders' started by Religious Fanatic, Nov 28, 2017.

  1. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    Could you please point me to the full document online, so I can read the surrounding context? I'm trying to sort out this issue.
     
  2. Fidei Defensor

    Fidei Defensor Active Member

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    What I meant by Matthew 28:19 and Mark 16:16, was did the ecclesia decide to do Infans Baptismus because they took the words of the Lord to heart and wanted to be sure they baptized people, even babes.

    For Christus says, “Go make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.” (Matthew 28:19). Most Infant Baptisms have the parish priest or pastor saying “I baptize thee in the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit: or In Nomni et Patri, et Fili, et Spiritus Sancti Amen.”

    What I am implying is that churches might have introduced Infans Baptismus so that they could be sure to obey the command of Christ to baptize (Matthew 28:19, Mark 16:16), for we prove our love for Him if we obey His commands:
    “If you love me, keep my commands.
    16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—
    17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.
    18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.
    19Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live.
    20 On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.
    21Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”
    22 Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, “But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?”
    23 Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.
    24Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.“ (John 14:15-24 NIV).
     
  3. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    I am already considered a heretic from true Anglicanism, on this forum, though I am a lay minister in The Church of England.

    However you seem to have noticed the laxity of baptismal discipline that persists in the Anglican church. Parents do not even have to be baptised themselves for the church to agree to baptise their infants. Only the Godparents need to be baptised and only 'preferably' also confirmed. Few Anglican clergy understand the Biblical doctrines upon which infant baptism rests, and prefer merely to 'follow church tradition' rather than justify their baptismal policy by the scripture itself. At least the Baptists are sure of their position regarding infant baptism, (even if they are wrong about it). The Anglican church, as you pointed out, seems not to have 'reformed' quite sufficiently enough to have adopted a scripturally supported and closely reasoned theological position on baptism, either infant or adult. Very lax, in my opinion. There should be far more refusals to baptise the infants of non-church attenders and those who are themselves unbaptised should be baptised themselves before the church even entertains baptising their infants. Shamefully sloppy praxis, in my opinion.
    .
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  4. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    What you suggest may possibly be so, who knows? What I know though is that there is no biblical basis for baptising infants except the Covenant promises of God. If we believe that God keeps his promises to believers and their offspring, then their infants may be baptised and accepted into the visible church and assumed to be regenerate unless and until they provide absolute evidence that they are not.
    .
     
  5. Fidei Defensor

    Fidei Defensor Active Member

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    You bring to mind a very interesting set of Scriptures:

    “They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved, you and your household.” (Acts 16:31)

    “And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.“ (1 Corinthians 7:13-14 NIV).

    In the prism of John 3:14-18, John 6:40, Philippians 3:9, and Romans 10:9-10 the interpretation is that by staying with an unbeliever they might come to belief in Jesus and the same for a household and children. But still, it is a fascinating set of Scriptures.
     
  6. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

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    The Westminster confession was drafted by dissenters who violently overthrew the Church of England, persecuted her ministers, and installed their own dissenters, various Presbyterians with invented/fanciful church governments, and utterly rejected the Anglican formularies as incorrect- they threw out the articles of religion, and outlawed the Book of Common Prayer...

    That is not to say that all citations they’ve found for baptism are incorrect, but rather that I wouldn’t use them as indicative of Anglican doctrine, born as it was out of rebellion and schism and often heresy
     
  7. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

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    In that case, If you repent of this heresy and indeed truly aim to submit your mind and heart to the teaching of the Church of England whose servant you profess to be, instead of adopting vain self-seeking opinions, you would consider this:
    AF1EE467-B75B-4F5F-B0DD-1239669ABF20.jpeg
     
  8. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    Okay, I've read from the 1572 Catechism regarding baptism....
    Baptism-1572-Anglican-Catechism.jpg

    I think my image of the section gives us more of the surrounding language from which we may understand its meaning.

    It says, A Sacrament is an outward testifying of God’s good will and bountifulness towards us through Christ, by a visible sign, representing an invisible and spiritual grace... So, baptism is a outward (visible) testimony that represents the grace inside the person.
    These are the two parts of baptism: the outward sign and the inward grace.
    The outward sign, we see performed.
    The inward part (forgiveness of sins and regeneration), we can't see.

    Now it gets interesting...
    Ma. Show me the effect of Baptism yet more plainly.

    Sch. Where by nature we are the children of wrath, and none of God’s Church or household, we are by baptism received into the Church, and assured, that we are now children of God, and joined and grafted into the body of Christ, and become his members, and do grow into one body with him....
    Ma. What is required of persons to be baptised?

    Sch. Repentance and faith.

    Aha! the effect of baptism is reception into the Church and assurance of the recipient's status as God's children, provided that the recipient has repentance and faith. (A baby has neither.)
    Ma. Why then are Infants baptised, which by age cannot perform these things?

    Sch. Because they be of God’s Church ;  and God’s blessing and promise made to the Church by Christ  ( in whose Faith they are baptised )  pertaineth unto them. Which, when they come of age, they must themselves learn, believe, and acknowledge, and endeavour in their lives to express the duty at their Baptism promised and professed.

    Okay then, baptized infants are not said in this Catechism to have received forgiveness of sins and regeneration; rather, it says they are baptized because they are part of God's church family, "and God's blessing and promise made to the Church... pertaineth unto them." But if they are to be regenerated, they must still believe and act "when they come of age."

    This seems to be completely consistent with the 27th Article which, as I observed earlier, does not say that baptism acts to confer regeneration but instead says that baptism acts as "a sign and seal" of whatever regeneration already exists within the recipient. (After all, if the an unbeliever were to come in and pretend to believe and thus were baptized, the baptism would not confer regeneration to him, either.)

    I also found the following pertinent statements"
    Robert Letham said, "The Reformed confessions are clear on the connection between baptism and regeneration. While they consistently oppose the Roman Catholic doctrine of ex opere operato, which asserts that the sacraments are efficacious by the fact of their use, they are equally severe on those who would reduce baptism and the Lord's Supper to mere symbols."
    "We cannot in Faith say, that every Child that is baptized is regenerated by God's Holy Spirit; at least it is a disputable point, and therefore we desire it may be otherwise expressed." -- Savoy Conference, 1661
    "To maintain that every child who is baptized with water is at once regenerated and born again, appears to turn the sacrament of baptism into a mere form, and to contradict both Scripture and the Thirty-Nine articles." -- J.C. Ryle

    I note also Mark 16:16-- He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. We see that, as a general principle, one who believes should also become baptized; but on the other side of the coin, it does not say that he who is baptized not shall be damned, rather, belief in Jesus (faith) is the truly determinative factor. This is bolstered by the numerous scriptures which tell us that we are saved by grace through faith (not through faith plus baptism), that the work God requires is to believe in Jesus (John 6:29)(not to believe plus be baptized), etc.

    It appears to me that the language of the 1572 Catechism can be somewhat confusing and misleading if a small piece is taken out of its overall setting and context. I can understand, when reading some of the materials, how a person could easily come to think that regeneration is conferred via baptism. Yet when taking all as a whole, including the Bible's admonitions concerning salvation and eternal life, I think it is more accurate to conclude (as my rector explained to me) that paedobaptism is more of a welcoming into the church family than a sign of actual regeneration. If Article 26 is to be seen as the controlling doctrinal statement, then I don't see it saying that we must reach the baptism = regeneration conclusion.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2019
  9. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    duplicate post, sorry
     
  10. Fidei Defensor

    Fidei Defensor Active Member

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    I believe in water baptism. Let me put that first.

    But when Jesus says “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,” (Matthew 28:19, criss ref. Mark 16:16) does He mean water baptism? Because John the Baptist, The Baptizer himself said, “ baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit,” (Mark 1:8), and “John answered them all, "I baptize you with water. But one who is more powerful than I will come, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” (Luke 3:16).

    Did not Jesus preform the fire and Holy Spiritus baptism in these ways:

    21Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”22And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.23If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” (John 20:21-22)

    7He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority.8But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.“ (Acts 1:7-8) This more closely connects baptism and disciplsehip seen Matthew 28:19.

    “When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues a as the Spirit enabled them.” (Acts 2:1-4).

    My question is this, is Jesus referring to the baptism of water or fire (Holy Spirit) in Matthew 28:19 and Mark 16:16? John the Baptist would seem to argue fire and Spirit (Luke 3:6). In fact, Jesus never once baptizes anyone in water in the Four Gospels, New Testament. But He does baptize the Apostles in the Holy Spirit (John 20:20-22).

    And remeber the Holy Spirt comes from Jesus and the Father (John 15:26, John 14:26).

    Again, I believe water baptism matters, it did to the apostles:

    1While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul passed through the interiora and came to Ephesus. There he found some disciples2and asked them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you became believers?”

    “No,” they answered, “we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.”

    3“Into what, then, were you baptized?” Paul asked.

    “The baptism of John,” they replied.

    4Paul explained: “John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the One coming after him, that is, in Jesus.”

    5On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6And when Paul laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied. 7There were about twelve men in all.” (Acts 19:1-7).

    Perhaps Christ meant both baptisms: water and fire. But the Scriptures when cross referenced do seen to lean towards fire (Holy Spirit Baptism) which comes with Gifts (1 Corinthians 12:4-12, 1 Corinthians 14:26-40).

    Addendum:

    The best resolution is that water baptism is symbolic you repent (Acts 19:4) and believe in Jesus (Gospel, John 3:16-18) and is public confession (Matthew 10:32, Romans 10:9) and the fire baptism is the Holy Spirit and Power. So most its both.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2019
  11. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

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    To me, the catechism and the commentary primarily just show how the Formularies has been immediately interpreted and understood by the Church when they were promulgated, so with the catechism we seem to see exactly how the Elizabethan church understood baptism and the Anglican doctrine thereof

    That being said, these commentaries are obviously not binding, in the way that the Formularies themselves are binding... they’re just witnesses to the Church of the time of their writing

    If we’re looking for a controlling Formulary (as you put it) on baptism, it wouldn’t be Article 27, which was written for a different context, although it does directly connect baptism with regeneration (but it was aimed to answer a Romish error, not an evangelical/Puritan error, so we could want more detail than it provides)

    Instead, i would say the controlling Formulary would be the BCP itself, the liturgy of the rite of Baptism, wherein we see the following exchange:

    (link: http://justus.anglican.org/resources/bcp/1662/baskerville.htm)

    E64EC4FC-82DA-4EEB-8AE9-8FDD06036C60.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2019
  12. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Hey guys, are we sure we’re not confusing “sign” with “symbol” in this conversation? Saying the water baptism is “just a sign” doesn’t give enough weight to the insight and the wisdom in the Anglican doctrine of holy baptism.

    Today, to us, a sign is an empty gesture, itself void of any substance. Like a street sign. But a “sign” in Early Modern English was a direct transposition of the Latin word “signum,” immediately and directly connecting the res significans with the res significandi, the sign signifying and the thing signified. It’s like a quantum link between two worlds, the heavenly realm and the material realm. The thing here on earth is directly connected with the thing in heaven.

    To wit, we can affirm that baptism IS a sign of new birth, but much more than today’s street sign, it is a *signum*, a quantum link, between what we just saw and the new birth that just took place in heaven.

    Obviously the priest doesn’t regenerate the baby by himself — only God can do that. This is where the Romans err. But the priest’s words do indicate that the baby *has* just been regenerated by God. That’s the connection. And the baby can sin, fall away from the faith, and be one of the reprobate, even after regeneration (see Article 16.)
     
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  13. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    W. H. Griffith Thomas had this to say on the subject; could he have a valid point?
    "Baptismal Regeneration is twofold. Regeneration is birth into the visible Church; conversion is birth into the Church invisible...So that Baptism is the introduction of the recipient, whether adult or child, into a new condition or relation. It must not be overlooked that since the Puritan age Regeneration has come to mean renovation or conversion. But this was not the meaning of the Reformers, nor has the idea been changed in the Prayer Book."
     
  14. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    At the time when Jesus spoke those words to the apostles, the baptism they were familiar with was water baptism. So it seems most likely to me that water baptism was the intended meaning. In addition, this is the interpretation which seems to have come down to us through the ages within the church's understanding.

    Interesting hypothesis, though.
     
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  15. Fidei Defensor

    Fidei Defensor Active Member

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    I respect that you did not discard my case for it being both water and fire (Spirit) baptism. I can agree with you about the water baptism because of Acts 19:1-11, Romans 10:9 and Matthew 10:32. Water baptism is the symbol of our conversion and belief in Jesus as well as the confession (Romans 10:9-10).

    I believe we should have both water baptism and the Fire baptism (Luke 3:16, Acts 2:1-4, Acts 19:1-11).
     
  16. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    Yes, both.

    I was baptized as an infant. Yet when I was about 7 years old, as I awoke on Easter morning and I realized for the first time in my life that Jesus had died and risen for me. I laid in bed with my eyes tearing up and whispering, "Thank you, Jesus. Thank you, Jesus." At that moment I hardly even cared about the Easter basket waiting for me downstairs.

    By the time I went off to college (first year), I was doubting and questioning my faith. The next summer while reading Malachi Martin's "Hostage to the Devil," I came to the conclusion that Satan was real, and therefore God must be real as well. So I prayed and asked God to fill me with the Holy Spirit so there would be no room inside me for an evil spirit (like the possessed people in the book). I had prayed many, many times in my life and never heard or felt anything out of the ordinary, so I expected to hear and feel nothing unusual this time. But I was shocked and awed to suddenly feel the mighty, holy, majestic Presence of the Holy Spirit inside me! He 'spoke' to me in mental images for a bit, representing Himself to my limited mind as being like the brightest light ever, but more than light: He is all the love, all the goodness, and all the wisdom in the universe. I 'saw' shafts of this light connecting Him to other people all over the world, and one of those beams of light now connected to me. And then the images ceased, but I could still feel Him inside me.

    I went around with a huge grin on my face for about the next two weeks! The greens seemed greener and the blues seemed bluer. I went to church and found that the liturgical prayers held more significance than ever before. I've never been the same since.

    If I say, “I will not mention him, or speak any more in his name,” there is in my heart as it were a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I am weary with holding it in, and I cannot. (Jeremiah 20:9)
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2019
  17. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    In spite of the few heretic hunters of the Anglican persuasion, who by their fruit are an embarrassment to true Anglicanism, Matt.10:17, and an embarassment to Christ and his teaching, I am not, and never have been a 'Servant of The Anglican Church'. I am a minister in The Anglican Church, set in authority, both above and below, and a servant of Christ and no other. Indeed not even a 'Servant' but a friend. John 15:15.

    Heresy is not decided by documentation or the edicts of fools.

    I refer you to Joes recent post concerning the difference between viewing baptism as a right which 'achieves' something, as opposed to a rite that 'signifies' something.
    .
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2019
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  18. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    There is another possible interpretation too:

    Christ said "I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father but by me". If an unbeliever consents to remain 'married', i.e. joined in a bond of mutual love and respect, to a true believer, because of love for that believer, then they must love Christ also, because Christ is at the centre of the person they love. There are many reasons that a person may appear to be 'unbelieving', and non-believing is not 'unbelieving', we were all once non-believers until we became believers. An unbeliever is someone who has already finally decided not to believe. A non-believer is someone like Thomas the Twin, who, through internal integrity and loyalty to 'The Truth', requires evidence for belief.

    While the non-believing partner, (for love's sake), agrees to remain with the believing partner, they agree to remain with Christ, (by proxy). The Holy Spirit can work with that situation and thus the unbelieving husband has already, by his love for Christ, (in his believing wife), been santified. That is, he has already been 'set aside' from those who oppose Christ, by virtue of his love for his believing wife. Mark 9:40, Luke 9:50.

    ἄπιστος
    STRONG’S NUMBER: g0571
    Dictionary Definition g0571. ἄπιστος apistos; from 1 (as a negative particle) and 4103; (actively) disbelieving, i.e. without Christian faith (specially, a heathen); (passively) untrustworthy (person), or incredible (thing): — that believeth not, faithless, incredible thing, infidel, unbeliever(-ing).
    AV (23) - that believe not 6, unbelieving 5, faithless 4, unbeliever 4, infidel 2, thing incredible 1, which believe not 1;
    unfaithful, faithless, (not to be trusted, perfidious)incredible of things
    unbelieving, incredulous without trust (in God)
    SEARCH FOR g0571 ἄπιστος

    I do not believe that Paul used ἄπιστος intending to denote the negative aspects of unbelief, but to merely indicate the uncertainty of non-belief. Our use of the word unbelief in translation of ἄπιστος has attached, I believe, an unwarranted degree of denigration and blame, not intended by Paul.
    .
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2019
  19. Fidei Defensor

    Fidei Defensor Active Member

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    I cringe when anyone suggests someone is a heretic loosely. I consider myself a student of history, with an emphasis in Church History. Too many have used the word heterodoxy in causes that have caste a shadow on the Church, chief among the terrible examples of declaring people heretics is the Roman Inquisition, Spanish Inquistion, The Thirty Year’s War, St. Bartholomew Day Masscre, The Reign of Bloody Mary, the Purtian Rule of England, the Salem Witch Trials, and more.

    Heresy should be reserved for the true heterdox cults of Arianism, Nestorianism, Gnosticism, Mormonism, Jehovah Witnesses, ans more who refuse to confess the orthodoxy that Jesus Christ is God Incarnate (John 1:1-3, Colossians 1:16-18, Romans 10:9-10, Colossians 2:9, 2 Peter 1:1, Titus 2:13) and Son of God (1 John 4:15, Hebrews 1:1-14) and the only way to the Father and Eternal Life (John 14:6, John 3:14-18, John 6:40).
     
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  20. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    In doing some internet reading last night on the subject, it appears there are two or three 'camps' of Anglicans in regard to how this baptism issue is viewed. While it is a lively and significant subject, being called 'heretic' over it seems like something one would more likely experience in a Roman Catholic forum than an Anglican one (ask me how I know... ;) ).

    If "regeneration" in the original BCP meant the same thing as conversion, the spiritual transformation of the person or (in Jesus' words) being 'born again', then this transformation would take place in conjunction with, and as a result of, the sacrament of baptism. If it were so, this would seem to make a mockery of Ephesians 2, Galatians 3, Romans 10, John 6, John 3, and many other Bible passages. An unbeliever could be baptized, die the next day, and go to heaven. A believer who had not been baptized could go to hell. It doesn't ring true to me. It seems to make conversion more a matter of liturgical ceremony than of actual inner conviction or repentance. And the entire issue seems to hinge upon that single word in the BCP formulary. I think reasonable doubt can exist over the intended meaning of one word. I also think that the best way to evaluate that meaning, absent the ability to query the original writers of the BCP in some fashion (to read their other writings on the subject in question, for instance) is to fall back to inspired Scripture and to interpret truth in light of the Word of God. If we do that, I don't think we can easily go astray.

    God bless all.
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2019