Is Infant Baptism a required belief/practice?

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

  1. Tiffy

    Tiffy Active Member

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    To be absolutely clear I am using the word inerrant to mean what some fundamentalist bible punchers would have us understand by it: i.e. the absolute words of God as if dictated through a psychic medium and recorded with the absolute accuracy of a photocopier.

    I am using the word infallible in a similar way: i.e. the impression that some bible punchers project, that every word of the KJV bible was dictated by God and means exactly whatever the preacher says it means today.
    .
     
  2. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

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    That is indeed what I was trying to say... the Church no more gave us the Bible than St Luke gave us the Gospel of Luke... they were the agents, sure, but behind it all was the far more relevant and powerful agency: the finger of God
     
  3. Liturgyworks

    Liturgyworks Active Member

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    This represents a common error of ecclesiology, but there is no cause for alarm, because this one is easy to make and generally results from confusion between the Local Church and the Church Catholic, and is to some extent a reaction against what one might consider the pretentious, if not to say, fatuous, conceits, of one Local Church in particular, that being the Church of Rome, which has conflated itself with the Catholic Church.

    But let us forget that the Roman Church in its present state exists and instead set our mind upon the rational concept of the Church as defined in Scripture, by St. Paul, the definition historically accepted by Rome before the Roman Church became fixated on temporal power and the politics of the Holy Roman Empire, during an era in which Rome had its greatest saints, like Jerome, Ambrose, Vincent of Lerins, Celestine, Isidore of Seville, Augustine, Hippolytus, Irenaeus, and Gregory the Dialogist, and existed in a union with the other self-governing Patriarchates and ecclesiastical provinces, some of which remained independent in the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Communion and some of which became free once more as provinces of the Anglican Communion.

    Herein we find the Church Catholic, which consists of the Local Churches, and St. Paul makes it very clear that just as we, the members of the Church, constitute the Bride of Christ, the Church Catholic is the very Body of Christ, with our Lord, the incarnate Logos, as its Head, a body onto which we are grafted through baptism; it has the power to produce and define scripture as it exists in a hypostatic union with the divine nature of the uncreated Trinity. Thus, it is proper to say that St. Luke the Evangelist, as a member and as an agent of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church confessed in the Nicene and Apostles’ Creeds, did produce for us the Gospel According to Luke and the Acts of the Apostles, and it is also proper to say that St. Athanasius the Apostolic as a holy hierarch of the Church did give us the canon of twenty seven books in the New Testament, in his 39th Paschal Encyclical, which other lawfully ordained, pious and holy hierarchs of the Church then adopted.

    The Bible as we know it from a Christian perspective was compiled by, in and for the Christian Church, by taking the Septuagint and later, starting under St. Jerome, Hebrew and Aramaic texts of the Old Testament (and under the Ethiopians, other material surviving only in Ge’ez), translating these into the different vernacular languages of the church (initially Latin, Syriac, Ge’ez in the case of the NT, Coptic, Classical Armenian and Classical Georgian, in that order, and later other languages like Church Slavonic and eventually English, thanks to the Anglican church following the apostolic tradition of translating liturgical texts and sacred scripture into an elevated form of the vernacular); it is a verbal icon of the Word of God and indeed of the Incarnation, in that the Logos, who cannot be contained by virtue of His uncreated Divinity, contains Himself in its pages.

    But before the sacred Gospels were written, the Gospel was preached orally by the Apostles: by St. Paul and his disciples Sts. Barnabus, Titus and Timothy, to the Gentiles of the Roman Empire and by St. Peter to the Jews, by St. Bartholomew and St. Andrew to the people of Armenia, Pontus, Scythia, and so on, by St. Philip, to the upper Nile, and by St. Thomas, and his disciples Addai and Mari, to the Aramaic speaking people of Edessa, Mesopotamia, Persia, and the Jews of Kerala in India. Of these missions those of Sts. Peter, Paul and Thomas were the most immediately successful, but the other Apostles planted the seeds of the Gospel message that would later blossom starting in the fourth century with another wave of evangelization, with missionaries like St. Gregory the Illuminator in Armenia, and still later, at the end of the sixth century, with St. Augustine of Canterbury, who evangelized the Angles (Anglians, a Nordic-Germanic people from Old Anglia, not to be confused with the English county; Old Anglia is in Schleswig-Holstein, a part of Denmark, like Jutland from whence came the Jutes, Denmark being the land from which most of the Nordic invaders of Britain originated) and reorganized the scattered flock of the Church in Britannia before the Western Empire lost control of that province. And St. Patrick, who along with various Coptic monks versed in the Egyptian ascetic tradition, evangelized Ireland.
     
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  4. Brigid

    Brigid Member

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    This is such a good and concise history!
     
  5. Rexlion

    Rexlion Active Member

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    I think I'd word it a bit differently: I'd say the Church has the authority (rather than "power") to record (not "produce and define") scripture as the Holy Spirit inspired His children, members of His body on earth, to so write. As for the idea that we, the Body of Christ on earth, are a part of the hypostatic union between Jesus' human and divine natures (with us mortals being thus considered as the 'human nature of Jesus Christ'), I think that might be a rather large stretch of theological imagination. I also think you might have come close to conflating the Word of God incarnate with the Word of God written (not the same thing, obviously, for the Son of God is not comprised of 66 'books'); but most likely that's just an improper use of the pronoun 'it' after the noun 'scripture.' ;)
     
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