Is Infant Baptism a required belief/practice?

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

  1. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    XXVII. Of Baptism.
    Baptism is not only a sign of profession, and mark of difference, whereby Christian men are discerned from others that be not christened, but it is also 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, Faith is confirmed, and Grace increased by virtue of prayer unto God.

    The Baptism of young Children is in any wise to be retained in the Church, as most agreeable with the institution of Christ.​

    My view is that we undervalue Baptism. Baptism is a mark of difference. This suggests that difference should be in some way apparent - not simply invisible. Of course Baptism is a sacrament not magic, so there is a requirement that it be received rightly. Infant Baptism is to be retained, suggests that the idea of 'the whole household' is still in mind, despite the clear leaning toward individualism implied in the reformed positions already being at least apparent by the time the articles were first published.

    Whilst I think that regeneration and conversion are clearly related there are some clear differences in how they are understood. Conversion is more clearly understood in the greek word metanoia meaning 'to turn around' or 'go in another (perhaps opposite) direction'. Regeneration suggests new growth, and in the context of Baptism it seem to imply that this is the result of being grafted into a new root stock - namely Christ and his Church.

    Of course Justification and Sanctification are not unrelated, however they are not identical either, and in a way neither is a simple term.

    Dost thou, in the name of this Child, renounce the devil and all his works, the vain pomp and glory of the world, with all covetous desires of the same, and the carnal desires of the flesh, so that thou wilt not follow nor be led by them?
    I renounce them all.
    BCP
    ______________________________________________

    Do you turn to Christ?
    I turn to Christ.

    Do you repent of your sins?
    I repent of my sins.

    Do you renounce evil?
    I renounce evil.
    Common Worship
    ___________________________________________

    Do you reject the devil and all rebellion against God?
    I reject them.

    Do you renounce the deceit and corruption of evil?
    I renounce them.

    Do you repent of the sins that separate us from God and neighbour?
    I repent of them.

    Do you turn to Christ as Saviour?
    I turn to Christ.

    Do you submit to Christ as Lord?
    I submit to Christ.

    Do you come to Christ, the way, the truth and the life?
    I come to Christ.
    Common Worship
    ______________________________________________

    Our expectations of those who come for Baptism have traditionally not be onerous, and in the life of the Church there have been those who seek to make our expectations higher and those who seek to make them relaxed. The Creed that belongs with Baptism is the Apostle's Creed, though I notice that there is some movement towards more relaxed expressions of faith.
     
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  2. Fidei Defensor

    Fidei Defensor Active Member

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    I had the priviledge of being Baptized in the Jordan River. To be baptized where our Lord was baptized (Matthew 3:13), and John the Baptist baptised people was a great blessing. ❤️✝️
     
  3. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    A wonderful venue for such a commitment and demonstration of obedience to Christ.

    John's baptism however was, on his own admission, not the one that really counts where the Holy Spirit is concerned. Matt.3:11, Luke 3:16. Acts 19:1-6.
     
  4. Fidei Defensor

    Fidei Defensor Active Member

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    Indeed, here is a case I made recently in this thread:

    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.
     
  5. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

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    This may be the missing link here: many people are trying to inject evangelical, puritan, and dissenting theology and read Anglican doctrines in light of that, which I would say is counter-productive, because Anglicanism preserves the original teaching of the early Church and is not concerned with popular or latest theologizing... We should all think that way, and abandon new developments, because new developments are by definition a departure from the truth once delivered to the saints
     
  6. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Excuse me? Hunting for heresy has always been a true mark of the apostolic faith, from the earliest era in the Early Church, and especially in the Old Testament with God vomiting the heretics out of his mouth (God's own words)

    For this reason the Church of England, the episcopal church, the Anglican Church in North America, all have heresy courts, and heretics have been tried at these trials in recent decades

    It is a noble thing to zealously search for truth, defend pious opinions, and reject falsehood which has mutated the Church in modern times, and has completely destroyed Anglicanism in the 20th century,


    Being an officer of any institution means that you are subject to the edicts and rules of the said institution... Be it a corporation, and association, or a divine fellowship such as the Church of God

    IF you do not intend to be subject and to obey the said institution, then you violate your submission to them, and by all rights must get out, or else be a hypocrite...And if you do not intend to be subject and obey the Church, then you are a heretic, by definition, and cast out from the fellowship of the faithful into the eternal darkness, where the worm dieth not


    Yes. It is
     
  7. JoeLaughon

    JoeLaughon Well-Known Member Anglican

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    This Lutheran publication lists out the archaeological evidence.
     
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  8. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    No publication I can see Joe. Can you post it again?
     
  9. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    Meanings of words do change. We could find any number of words that today do not mean what they meant in the 1500s or 1600s.

    I queried my pastor yesterday to get his view. He confirmed that the meaning of "regeneration" is one of those words whose meaning has changed from what it was when that BCP passage was written. I asked him if he could explain briefly what the meaning used to be, and he said, "Not in 5 minutes." (He was otherwise occupied at the time.) But he said he had a book in his library which takes about 30+ pages (!) to elaborate on this. He also said that this issue has caused no end of trouble in the church, and I can see why. Quite frankly, interpreting the word with the current, modern meaning does violence to dozens of Bible verses which indicate that saving grace attaches through faith of the individual and therefore does not attach through the administration of a ritual or formulary. If you want to call Tiffy a heretic on this issue, then call me a heretic too, because I will believe the Bible one million times before I believe your interpretation of one word written hundreds of years ago in a non-canonical text.
     
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  10. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    There are some people who believe that only a baptism in running water (as in a river) is valid! Such are the vagaries of inflexible thinking among "know-it-all" fringe Christians.
     
  11. Fidei Defensor

    Fidei Defensor Active Member

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    For myself I believe any means of baptism by water, whither submerged, dripped on head, or soaked by a blessed pitcher. The truth is Jesus was likely only sprinkled or had some water poured on Him in the Jordan. The Jorden River is very strong, even today there are metal poles there to hold on to so you don’t drift away.
     
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  12. Fidei Defensor

    Fidei Defensor Active Member

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    The link for the Lutheran Publication doesn’t show. :confused:
     
  13. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    You have here a very good point. Anglican Traditionalists regard those 1500's / 1600's texts in the same sacrosanct way as Muslims regard the Koran. They would not desire to see them translated into modern language. believing, as they do, that they should be read in the language they were written in. In the case of the Koran that was Arabic. In the case of the Formularies it was Elizabethan English. Elizabeth the First not Elizabeth the Second. The KJ version of the Bible has been revised many times since its original publication, because of major shifts in the meanings of words. In some cases the meanings have actually become the direct opposite now to their original meaning in context. A very simple example would be Luke 10:41, Phil.4:6. The change was already underway when the KJV was being translated. Compare the meaning implied by the same word in Titus 3:8, Phil.4:10. In Luke 10:41 and Phil.4:6 the meaning is 'anxiety', i.e. full of care, 'care-full'. In Phil.4:10 and Tit.3:8 the meanings are 'compassionate concern' and 'painstaking diligence'.

    We should not treat the formularies and what they say as being self explanatory statements of fact in the plain understandable language we were taught in school and use in our daily conversation. They are ancient documents and deserve better treatment than face value, ignorantly heedless presumption concerning their original meaning. Also the work of reformation and enlightenment was by no means complete when they were written, just better than the ignorance that preceeded them, because scripture itself declares our understanding in this present dispensation, to be 'incomplete'. 1 Cor.13:8-10.

    'Regeneration' is a word that describes an invisible act of God within an individual. At best baptism can only externally symbolise this 'Act of God' through faith. In infant baptism it can't actually confer 'an invisible and internal act of God' upon an individual at the instant of the outward and visible sign, but it can symbolise for the believing parents an absolute assurance that the 'Act of God' within their infant, will most assuredly take place in time, and has already taken place in eternity, if they truly believe it to be so.

    This however does not mean that the infant themselves will not have responsibility for any aspect of their promised salvation. Phil.2:12. Sanctification is a process of increasing cooperation with God's purposes. It is essentially required even of the Regenerate. Heb.12:14.
     
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  14. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    I think we can all agree that the original Book of Common Prayer is 100% accurate and valid in how it understood baptism to mean regeneration, as those words stood then. We can also agree that some folks today understand these words in a different light. But not all: I don't read evangelical writings, and not being polluted by this shift in terminology I still have only the one meaning for regeneration: namely, New Birth, a refashioned soul that has been remade by God. That soul may still sin and fall away into perdition, but it is the only type of soul that can enter into salvation. It's not very complicated to me personally. I'm not sure why we are putting changing modern definitions on a pedestal over the original and authentic apostolic definitions of things.
     
  15. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    That has a nice, pious ring to it. :D

    Ah, a question. Since the BCP was written 1500 years after the apostolic age, why would the "apostolic definition" of a word in the BCP come into play?

    We do need to know if modern definitions of words are different from ancient definitions, or else we will misunderstand the words. Examples:
    "Naughty" once meant "to have nothing"
    "Aweful" once meant "worthy of awe"
    "Desire" once meant "to gaze at the stars"
    Sometimes word meanings change rapidly! "Gay" just a few decades ago meant "joyful" or "happy".

    We're not "putting changing modern definitions on a pedestal." But the "original meaning" of this BCP word (which wasn't apostolic) simply is no longer the "authentic meaning" of the word.
     
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  16. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    To me, the sources to go back to are the Scriptures and the early church, with the word now translated as "regeneration" going back to the origin words of regeneratio (Lat.) and παλιγγενεσία (Gr.).

    I notice that "παλιγγενεσία," regeneration, is different from "μετάνοια," conversion. I also observe that the use of this word "regeneration" (regeneratio/παλιγγενεσία) was used in the sense of signifying a New Birth all the way back in the apostolic era.

    Even the etymology of the Latin re-generatio indicates a new, re-, generatio.

    The use in the BCP seems to me perfectly defensible. However in the modern times, the equivocation and conflation between regeneratio and conversio (or in greek, between παλιγγενεσία and μετάνοια) I see as a dangerous departure from apostolic theology. Regeneration is not the same as conversion. They have two distinct words, and two different meanings. The Anglican Reformers knew what they were doing.
     
  17. JoeLaughon

    JoeLaughon Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Sorry everyone:

    http://www.holycrossdakotadunes.org/~resources/newsletter/Crossnotes 2010-05.pdf

    The publication is referencing this research cited by the Congregation of the Faithful:

    "Many inscriptions from as early as the second century give little children the title of 'children of God', a title given only to the baptised, or explicitly mention that they were baptised: cf., for example, Corpus Inscriptionum Graecarum, 9727, 9801, 9817; E. Diehl, Inscriptiones Latinae Christianae Veteres (Berlin 1961), nos. 1523(3), 4429A."
     
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  18. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    g3824. παλιγγενεσία paliggenesia; from 3825 and 1078;
    (spiritual) rebirth (the state or the act), i.e. (figuratively) spiritual renovation; specially, Messianic restoration: — regeneration.
    AV (2) - regeneration 2;
    new birth, reproduction, renewal, recreation, regeneration hence renovation, regeneration, the production of a new life consecrated to God, a radical change of mind for the better. The word often used to denote the restoration of a thing to its pristine state, its renovation, as a renewal or restoration of life after death the renovation of the earth after the deluge the renewal of the world to take place after its destruction by fire, as the Stoics taught the signal and glorious change of all things (in heaven and earth) for the better, that restoration of the primal and perfect condition of things which existed before the fall of our first parents, which the Jews looked for in connection with the advent of the Messiah, and which Christians expected in connection with the visible return of Jesus from heaven.other uses of Cicero's restoration to rank and fortune on his recall from exile of the restoration of the Jewish nation after exile of the recovery of knowledge by recollection

    Matthew 19:28, Titus 3:3-5.

    For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; KJV Tit.3:5.

    It seems clear to me that we can derive some principles concerning baptism generally from this use of the word 'regeneration' in the context in which it appears.

    (1) It is inextricably linked to a conscious change of heart in the individual. Taking us from a 'foolish state' of being 'deceived', 'serving a multitude of lusts', 'living in malice and envy' etc. to a different and renewed state of knowledge of God's Grace in the kindness and love of Our Saviour, Jesus Christ.

    (2) This 'change of state' is neither achieved within the individual by 'works of righteousness' in themselves, or by Ceremonial Rites, but by the actual ministry, within the individual, of The Holy Ghost.

    (3) Regeneration is metaphorically here linked to 'cleansing' by the word 'washing', rather than 'death to self' as appears in other verses of the scripture regarding the same spiritual experience.

    Regarding the baptism of infants it seems clear from this to me, (I might be wrong), that 'Regeneration', (in any temporal sense), can only be assumed in an infant as a 'Potential Event', which by faith we believe will take place or is from this point in time, from now on, 'taking place', within the individual.

    Infants cannot go from being 'foolish', 'deceived', 'disobedient' etc into a state of grace, brought about by knowledge of the love of Christ their Saviour, until they have grown, learned, repented of their sins and taken firm hold of their Salvation in Christ by a robust and lively faith.

    We Anglicans believe that God has solemnly promised that the children of believers are Holy and that they are God's children, not just our own property. We believe that the promises of God are all 'Yes' and 'So be it', 2 Cor.1:20, no exceptions. We therefore believe that a believer's infants are entitled to baptism as a sign and seal of God's Ownership, and that God has given a pledge to the parents that their infant is from the point of baptism onward through their life, directly under the tutorship of God and the guidance of The Holy Spirit, throughout their life on earth.

    What they do with that astonishing privilege is largely up to them, but God will at key moments in their life offer them opportunity to deepen their relationship with Him and satisfactorily fulfil their obligations toward Him. We expect the results of God's work within them to be apparent by the time they come for Conformation, but in my own case a 'true conversion' took place much later, and baptism in the Holy Spirit later still.

    God is in no way subject to the apparent linearity of time, as we are.
    .
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2019
  19. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

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    This is the root of all error, for it absolutely doesn't matter (in terms of doctrine!) what seems or doesn't seem to you, or me, or any individual Christian... The only thing that matters for doctrine is what the Scriptures have been seen to say "at all times and in all places, and to all people" -- according to the Vincentian canon

    The sacred scriptures are not to be interpreted by mere appearances, or individual preferences

    We interpret them corporately, as the Church, across time and space...

    It is completely antithetical to Anglicanism to have one person say that the scriptures "seem" to say A to him, and for another person to say that the scriptures "seem" to say B to him

    No,
    "The Church hath Power to decree Rites or Ceremonies, and Authority in Controversies of Faith" (Article 20)
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2019
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  20. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    If your logic was followed to the letter, there could BE NO Controversies of Faith. WE are the church, the believing body of Christ, each of us, not some quasi-political authoritarian ecclesiatical organisational hierarchy uniquely armed with 'the truth' and seeing only itself as repository of all knowledge of God.

    If an interpretation of scripture or imposition of doctrine, defies logic, it is wrongly understood and wrongly imposed, because both the scripture and the doctrines derived from them should be subject to common sense examination, and in agreement with each other, and just like everything else in God's universe can be assumed to be fundamentally logical.

    If your understanding of the matter were correct, there would never have been a Reformation. It would have been extinguished by dint of Ecclesiasical Authority, and in fact was in some danger of being so at some points in history.

    And before anyone else picks me up on my typo, it is Confirmation, though 'conformation' might also be another way of viewing what should happen. Rom.8:29.
    .
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2019