Question about Christening rules

Discussion in 'New Members' started by Ben Fielding, Jan 21, 2023.

  1. Ben Fielding

    Ben Fielding New Member

    Posts:
    3
    Likes Received:
    1
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Religion:
    Church of England
    Hi,

    I live in London having been born in Australia where I was christened in the Anglican church and later confirmed in my teenage years. I'll be brutally honest and say that between school and now, while I have never lost my faith in the Lord and Jesus I didn't attend church regularly, but especially haven't done so since I moved to London.

    This changed for me late last year when my son was born. This spured me to think about how I had negleted my faith but more importantly that I needed to make preperations for my son to be christened.

    I went to my parish church (a few streets away) and I have been told that my son will not be baptised by the church unless I have been attending for six months. Is this normal? If it is thats ok and I have been now been attending church for the last 3mths, but the more I reflect on it the more it seems a little unusal. I never thought that decisions I made about my life would ever disqualify my son from being christened/baptised (ie. the church won't accept my son at the moment because I haven't been attending on a regular basis).

    Just wanting to find out if this requirement seems pretty normal for a child to be accepted by the church?

    thanks

    Ben
     
  2. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

    Posts:
    1,811
    Likes Received:
    1,324
    Country:
    USA
    Religion:
    Anglican (ACNA)
    Yes that’s pretty normal, because to raise a Christian family is not easy, what with forming your child, having godparents with a faith strong enough to speak for your son, and such.. The Church wants to make sure that the parents are spiritually and mentally prepared to raise up a whole new little Christian who will spend his life trying to live holy and resist the world, the flesh, and the devil
     
  3. Ben Fielding

    Ben Fielding New Member

    Posts:
    3
    Likes Received:
    1
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Religion:
    Church of England
    @anglican74 - thanks for response and reassurance.
     
  4. AnglicanAgnostic

    AnglicanAgnostic Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    586
    Likes Received:
    275
    Country:
    New Zealand
    Religion:
    none
    Why don't you remind the vicar of his legal responsabilities.

    Canon B 22 Of the baptism of infants, paragraph 4 is unambiguous in identifying the duty of the clergy,

    ‘No minister shall refuse or, save for the purpose of preparing or instructing the parents or guardians or godparents, delay to baptize any infant within his cure that is brought to the church to be baptized, provided that due notice has been given and the provisions relating to godparents in these Canons are observed.’

    The fuller appreciation of this issue can be found here
    https://lawandreligionuk.com/2012/09/03/baptism-canon-law-and-the-church/
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2023
  5. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    2,330
    Likes Received:
    1,229
    Country:
    United States
    Religion:
    Episcopalian
    In my experience (in the U.S.), this isn’t normal.
     
  6. Ben Fielding

    Ben Fielding New Member

    Posts:
    3
    Likes Received:
    1
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Religion:
    Church of England
    @Invictus and AnglicanAgnostic - cheers.

    The last few months since returning to regular chruch attendance haven't been the best, I mean don't get me wrong its not like my hands are clean and I did just turn up at church some 3mths ago and asked about being able to have my son christened, but at the same time I did it becuase my mum and dad were travelling over from Australia for the birth and both are elderly and unwell.

    The first question they asked after they knew mum and baby were ok was if they could buy him his first bible and could the christening be done while they were visiting. This prompted me to finally get my backside in gear and get up to church afer all these years, which is when I was met with this 6mth rule.

    My parents have since had to return to Australia so that oppertunity was lost to celebrate the christening as a full family and since then it has bugged me a little bit, but I know in the grand scheme of things getting my son christened is a lot more important than the grandparents being there.
     
    Invictus likes this.
  7. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    2,813
    Likes Received:
    1,288
    Country:
    UK
    Religion:
    CofE
    Some might think it 'normal' but in fact according to Anglican Church Law, it is illegal to refuse baptism to any parisioner, (i.e. someone who merely lives in the parish), unless it is clearly evident that their request is incincere or any of the Godparents are not themselves baptised into the Christian faith. Oddly, the parents don't have to have themselves been baptised, and I simply can't think why this should be so, except perhaps it is a legal oversight and a rather stupid mistake.

    Thank you Anglican Agnostic. You got there before me. :thumbsup:

    Unfortunately a lot of Anglican churches have been 'infected' by 'Americanised' notions influenced by Baptist style theology. Although they still baptise infants they seem to know nothing of Covenant Theology and how that affects the effects and purpose of infant baptism. Neither do they understand the extent of parental and God parents responsibility before God to bring up these children, who belong to God, - in the fear and nurture of The Lord -. It is a sign of a growing ignorance of Anglican understandings of the way the grace of God operates among his own people. I recommend reading "The Biblical Doctrine of Infant Baptism" by Pierre Ch. Marcel (Translated by Philip Edgcumbe Hughes)
    .
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2023
    Shane R, Invictus and Ben Fielding like this.
  8. CRfromQld

    CRfromQld Moderator Staff Member

    Posts:
    258
    Likes Received:
    119
    Country:
    Australia
    Religion:
    Anglican
    We had our children baptised when we weren't ourselves going to church. I think this did two things;
    • It kept the door open for us to start attending later.
    • It started me thinking about the place of faith in my life.
     
  9. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    3,656
    Likes Received:
    1,843
    Country:
    USA
    Religion:
    Christian attending ACNA
    I doubt that many people will spend the money and read the book, but perhaps you could summarize the most decisive points for us? :)
     
  10. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    2,813
    Likes Received:
    1,288
    Country:
    UK
    Religion:
    CofE
    Certainly, I can. :clap:

    CONTENTS

    AUTHOR'S FOREWORD

    TRANSLATOR'S FOREWORD

    INTRODUCTION

    FIRST PART

    GENERAL STUDY OF THE SACRAMENTS

    I. THE MEANING OF THE TERM

    II. THE RELATION BETWEEN THE WORD AND THE SACRAMENTS

    THE CONSTITUTIVE ELEMENTS OF THE SACRAMENTS

    A. Priority of the Word.

    B. Points of Resemblance between the Word and the Sacraments

    C. The Efficacy of the Sacraments

    D. Points of Dissimilarity between the Word and the Sacraments


    SECOND PART

    THE COVENANT OF GRACE

    Preliminary Remarks

    1. THE OBJECTIVE ASPECTS OF THE COVENANT OF GRACE

    A. The Covenant in History

    B. The Promises and Characteristics of the Covenant

    C. The Sacraments of the Covenant:
    Comparison of the Sacraments of the Old
    and New Testaments

    D. The Church in the Covenant

    II. THE SUBJECTIVE, INDIVIDUAL, AND ECCLESIASTICAL ASPECTS OF THE COVENANT OF GRACE

    THE BENEFICIARIES OF THE COVENANT:

    A. To Whom is the Covenant of Grace Offered?

    B. The Covenant of Grace, Place of Vocation and Election

    C. The Children of the Covenant

    D. Children in the Church

    E. The Unconverted in the Covenant and in the Church

    THIRD PART

    BAPTISM: SACRAMENT OF THE COVENANT OF GRACE

    Preliminary Remarks

    1. TI!E BAPTISM OF ADULTS AND PROSELYTES

    WHAT IS THE MEANING AND SIGNIFICANCE FOR ADULTS OF THE BAPTISM THEY HAVE RECEIVED?

    A. Baptism as a Sign and Seal

    B. Baptism as a Means of Grace

    C. The Necessity of Baptism

    D. The Subjective Aspects of Baptism

    E. On What Conditions can Baptism be Administered to Adults?

    2. THE BAPTISM OF CHILDREN

    A. The Silence of the New Testament

    B. The Children of Believers are born within the Covenant of Grace

    C. The Covenant is the Sole Basis of Infant Baptism

    D. The Objectivity of Infant Baptism

    E. Children are Legitimately Baptised, without Faith or Repentance because they belong to the Covenant

    F. How do Doctrine and Faith Precede Baptism?

    G. Baptism and Regeneration

    H. Baptism a Means of Grace for the Child

    I. Responsibility of Church, Parents, and Children

    CONCLUSION
     
    Invictus likes this.
  11. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    2,330
    Likes Received:
    1,229
    Country:
    United States
    Religion:
    Episcopalian
    One could probably find the same points discussed in public domain presentations of Reformed doctrine, e.g., Hodge, Berkhof, Warfield, etc., if the price of the book is an issue.
     
    Tiffy likes this.
  12. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    2,813
    Likes Received:
    1,288
    Country:
    UK
    Religion:
    CofE
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2023 at 6:04 PM
  13. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    3,656
    Likes Received:
    1,843
    Country:
    USA
    Religion:
    Christian attending ACNA
    That is a table of contents, smarty pants. Not a summary! :facepalm:
     
    Tiffy likes this.
  14. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    2,813
    Likes Received:
    1,288
    Country:
    UK
    Religion:
    CofE
    It is a very difficult book to summarise. The headings in the contents help outline the extent and depth of the subjects covered. You are letting your American attention span dictate the time and expense you're willing to devote to your search for knowledge on the subject. Then again your quest for brevity might be just because you may have already made up your mind on the matter, :laugh: so are reluctant to invest the time or the purchase price. My copy is double underlined and highlighted in the important sections, and I nearly ran out of highlighters. :laugh:

    The book's own summary goes as follows:

    The Biblical Doctrine of Infant Baptism has established itself, since its first publication in English in 1953, as the authoritative treatment of a subject that is frequently discussed without a full understanding of its Biblical background. The virtue of Dr Marcel's book is that it treats of its highly complex subject within the broad context of the theology of justification and of grace without ever losing sight of the Biblical evidence. It is only when he has shown, after a careful study of both Old and New Testaments, the position of a child within the Covenant of Grace that he turns his attention to the specific subject of baptism. The author's vindication of the doctrine of infant baptism is the more impressive because it does not rely upon archaeological or patristic evidence about the practice of the early Church - convincing as that evidence may be - but on the evidence of Scripture.
    .
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2023 at 6:33 PM
  15. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    2,330
    Likes Received:
    1,229
    Country:
    United States
    Religion:
    Episcopalian
    Wrong post.
     
    Rexlion likes this.
  16. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    3,656
    Likes Received:
    1,843
    Country:
    USA
    Religion:
    Christian attending ACNA
    Oopsy-daisy. :blush:
     
    Invictus likes this.
  17. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    3,656
    Likes Received:
    1,843
    Country:
    USA
    Religion:
    Christian attending ACNA
    You're right in that I'm not willing to spend $29 on a book that I know I won't agree with. But I would read it (or as much of it as I can stomach, until I toss it aside in disgust while muttering about the scriptures it disregards) if it didn't cost anything.

    So if someone were to offer to mail me a copy, I'd supply my address.... :D
     
  18. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    2,813
    Likes Received:
    1,288
    Country:
    UK
    Religion:
    CofE
    Here is the text from just 6 pages, (complete with what I thought important to highlight 40 years ago. I'd highlight even more now. :) )

    D. THE OBJECTIVITY OF INFANT BAPTISM

    It is necessary to emphasise strongly the essential objectivity of the basis of infant baptism, which is identical on this point with the objectivity which we have studied on the subject of adult baptism. The basis of infant baptism is the promise of the covenant and of all the blessings which it conveys. God is sovereign in His choice. He makes decisions and it is not for us to discuss the methods of His grace. The sequence, God's action - man's response, is determinative on the subject of the baptism of adults baptised by reason of their incorporation into the covenant by God's free grace, offered prior to every procedure of man, and the sign and seal of which they receive by baptism. This sequence, God's action - man's response, prevails also in connection with God's decree to regard the children of believers as being in the covenant and to set them within the sphere of His grace. In both cases faith is the response of man to the initiative of God.

    The child cannot protest against this treatment of himself by God any more than against the fact that his parents give him their name, or that he receives their nationality. As far as these facts are concerned, the child is at first entirely passive; and this is also the case when God, in a manner sovereign and beyond all debate, places him in the covenant. To receive the sign of the covenant, the child has no more need of understanding the position in which he is set than he has of giving his personal permission for his inclusion in his own family.

    The taking hold of a child by God does not depend initially, any more than does that 'of an adult whom He calls to faith, on the knowledge which the subject can have of this decision. It is because he is taken hold of by God that the child is able to believe. As a member of God's people, by a divine decree he has the right to bear the seal of it, and we have the obligation to give it to him. Once again, membership of the Church is not bound to a faith which has been confessed beforehand.

    It is not simply a question of knowing who wants to receive baptism and to take its responsibility, that is, of knowing who wants to be a Christian! It is also a question of knowing whom Christ requires to take a responsibility, with whom amongst men God wishes to meet in the freedom of His love and sovereignty, from whom He awaits the profession of Christian faith. Scripture reveals to us that such persons are not only those to whom the Word is proclaimed beforehand and who are capable of understanding it, but others with them, the children of the covenant, so that the Word may be proclaimed to them and they may believe. With its promise that God's Word will not be without effect in those to whom He swears that ' He will circumcise their heart so that they may hear His voice, and love Him, and perform His commandments, the covenant is the seed-bed of election. the place of Christian vocation. God has decided that He will act primarily and above all in the posterity of believers whom He claims as His personal possession: the human faith which follows is thus a consequence of the divine decision.

    It is objected that this does violence to the child's liberty and that he ought to have the right to determine his choice for himself: he ought to " demand" baptism, that is to say, he ought to demand to be made a member of God's people. It is for the child to determine his spiritual setting I

    We reply that such a requirement, which at first sight manifests such a concern for the child's heart and his liberty and personal decision, is stamped with the mark of philosophical idealism, of the individualism and subjectivism which we have already so often unmasked; and that it does not sufficiently take into account what the Bible teaches us concerning our personal corruption from birth, nor its manner of regarding children and Christian education.

    Is the child required to make a decision concerning his membership of the race of Adam or the sin which he inherits from birth? Can he make a choice? Is not his solidarity with all humanity one of the first objective facts of his life? The New Testament teaches us that to begin with we are all by nature children of wrath, born in bondage, and of ourselves incapable of any good thing. Are these things matters for reflection which can be set before a child when he is growing so that he may make a personal decision and advise us of his opinion? Obviously not, unless we make of sin a notion entirely different from that which is revealed to us in Scripture and sink into Pelagianism. The solidarity of parents and children in sin and wretchedness is real; it is an objective fact regarding which nobody, small or great, is consulted and which is imposed on all as an inexorable law. By the divine will, however, another law and ordinance of God is revealed to us, namely, the solidarity within the covenant of children and parents in grace and blessing. In Scripture children are always counted with their parents and reckoned in solidarity with them. Notable blessings are accorded to them in virtue of the faith and obedience of their parents. Ex. 20:6; Dt. 1:36-46.; Dt. 4:40; Dt 5:29; Dt. 12:25-28; Ezek. 37: 25 ; Zech. 10: 9; etc. The texts which we have cited in our section on the solidarity of the family should be added.

    This is a new and perfectly objective fact, resting on a divine decree, the complete justice of which God reveals to us in the perspective of the covenant. God acts justly to the child of the covenant who shares in the sin of his forbears, without his having been consulted or having been able to If demand" participation in it, when He also, by His grace, causes him to share in the faith and obedience of his parents and assures him that he will not be a slave of Satan. God wishes to justify this child although he belongs to a sinful race. Who will dispute His right to do so? It is for this reason that in the covenant the grace and blessings of God are transmitted from child to child and from generation to generation. Gen. 9:12; Gen.17: 7-9; Ex.3:15; Ex.12:17; Ex. 16:32; Dt.7:9; Ps.105:8-45. ; -etc. It is for this reason that in Scripture little children share in the worship which their parents render to God. They are under the obligation of serving God in the same way as their parents. Dt.6:2; Dt.30:2; Dt. 31:12-30. ; Josh.24:15; Jer.32:39-41. By them they ought to be taught the works. and commandments of God in virtue of the just demands of the covenant. Ex.10:2; Ex.12:24-27; Dt.4:9-43.; Dt.7:5-7; Dt.11:18-21; Dt.29:29; Josh. 4:6-7; Josh.4: 21-23; Josh.22:24-27. It is as Christian posterity that little children are exhorted in the Lord by the Apostles Eph. 6:1-3; Col.3:20 ; 2 Tim. 3:15; 1 Jn. 2:13, and that they know Him and stand before the throne of the Lamb. Jer. 31:33-40., quoted in Heb. 8:11-13; Rev. 11:18; Rev. 19:5; Rev. 20:12. [ These three last texts are taken here as referring to little children and not to the " little people" or the "humble" of the earth as opposed to the rich and powerful. ]
    Scripture knows absolutely nothing of a neutral education which permits children to choose in a free and autonomous manner whom they wish to serve when they have grown up. On the contrary, their definite participation in the covenant is the sole means by which they can ultimately make a free, voluntary, and conscious choice. If God had not placed His hand upon them in advance so that they might believe, if they were not in certain respects "chosen," "set apart," liberated from the lost world which is delivered over to Satan, if they were not "holy" through the privilege bestowed by the covenant, how could they ever make any other choice than to remain in that bondage which would lead them to revolt and to ruin? To pose the problem of the personal liberty of children in abstract terms and to make it a matter of theoretical reflection, is to do violence to the children and to be guilty of an injustice towards them. The sole liberty of the man left to his own abilities, whether he be child or adult, is to sin, freely, voluntarily, consciously, and even with pleasure, and to run to destruction. According to the scriptural view, there is no choice between good and evil apart from the special grace of God; apart from the efficacious and irresistible grace of God there is no salvation apart from the special grace of God; apart from the efficacious and irresistible grace of God there is no salvation.

    According to God, in order that the child may be able in due course truly to choose it is necessary for him to know that, through the divine good pleasure, he is reckoned in the number of the members of the covenant, and it is necessary for him to understand its promises and requirements as well as its blessings which God in His faithfulness bestows upon him. His choice, his option, his liberty then involve either the rejection of God's grace, the decision not to enter into the covenant, or the acceptance of this grace, the confirmation of the covenant. Otherwise there is no liberty, but only enslavement. Within the covenant, every other attitude does violence to the inalienable rights of the child.

    "It (baptism) declares, as being on its part real action upon man and power of disposal over him, that he stands, prior to all his experiences and decisions, within the sphere of Christ's lordship. Long before he can adopt an attitude to God, God has adopted an attitude to him. Whatever attitude he or she may take it Will take place within and on the ground of the attitude taken towards him or her by God. If they come to faith, that will be but the confirmation of the fact that they do possess God's promise, that they have been claimed, judged, and blessed by God. If they do not come to faith, neither will that be a possibility he or she was free to choose. They will sin against God's Word. He will display himself, certainly not as a free man, but as an unfree. She or he will not choose, she or he will be rejected. It is not a possibility but the impossibility that they will grasp. In a word, they would, even in their very unbelief, be measured by the Word of God, touched by its power. It is just God's previous attitude towards them that will constitute his unbelief unbelief, her sin sin. Only in the realm of grace, and there for the first time, is there faith and unbelief, righteousness and sin. Only through the power of the Word of God and through it for the first time are found the two categories, those that are saved and those that are lost." These are the words of Karl Barth, and, taking the peculiarities of his vocabulary into account, we can subscribe to this statement almost word for word. [the gender inclusive language in this paragraph however is my own].

    Karl Barth says again: "The baptised man differs from the unbaptised in all circumstances as one who has been placed under the sign of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, under the sign of His hope, His destiny, His advent, because of the divine decree accepted and expressed over him. He differs from the unbaptised in all circumstances; whether he reflects upon it "Or not, whether he takes notice of it or not, whether he does it honour or not, he is by that sign a designated man, by that representation a man who has been thereby conditioned. This is not of his own making; nor can he cease to be such of his own accord. He can put an end to the life given him by God. He cannot divest himself of his baptism, just as no one else can take it from him. He may become a Mohammedan, aesthete or atheist, a National Socialist or a Bolshevik, or-worst of all-a heretic, or a bad or a merely nominal Christian. He may become a Catholic. He does not however cease to stand under the sign." [ The Teaching of the Church regarding Baptism, pp. 59 f. All that Barth adds concerning the manner of considering other baptised persons we ourselves hold regarding all those who are born within the covenant. ] All this is remarkably true, not only of believers baptized as adults, but of children placed in the covenant and baptized in virtue of the promise.

    No one will dispute the redoubtable character of such a liberty whereby a person may reject the covenant, when one is conscious of the voluntary character of this revolt. It is just here that the true choice lies. - The children of believers who refuse to confirm the covenant are marked throughout all their life by the consciousness of their revolt. It is important to consider carefully, in accordance with Scripture, this aspect of the question. In all this the baptism of children is entirely to the praise and glory of God who makes His self-revelation to the posterity of believers.

    If the question is asked: Why not accept all this without, however, administering the sign of baptism? Quite simply the answer is (we shall return to this point), because according to Scripture we ought to take notice of the blessings which God offers us, not only in connection with the assurances which He grants us through His audible Word, but also through His sacraments, the visible Word, which act for us as signs, seals, and pledges. Word and sacraments cannot ever be dissociated in the Church.
     
  19. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    3,656
    Likes Received:
    1,843
    Country:
    USA
    Religion:
    Christian attending ACNA
    Thank you for that. :yes: This excerpt confirms my suspicions. The author does take some liberties with scripture.

    I will present an example. The heading of the author's discussion is "D. THE OBJECTIVITY OF INFANT BAPTISM". Thus, what he states should bear upon baptism. The author proceeds to give a philosophical reasoning why he thinks it is appropriate to baptize infants, but when it comes time to present scriptural basis he reverts to things other than baptism.

    God wishes to justify this child although he belongs to a sinful race. Who will dispute His right to do so? It is for this reason that in the covenant the grace and blessings of God are transmitted from child to child and from generation to generation. Gen. 9:12; Gen.17: 7-9; Ex.3:15; Ex.12:17; Ex. 16:32; Dt.7:9; Ps.105:8-45. ; -etc.
    Notice that the author is advancing the notion of a baptismal covenant by citing (not any scripture to support a baptismal covenant, but) verses dealing with other, disparate covenants God made in the past with other people. (Does any reader bother to look up these citations?) Gen. 9:12 concerns the sign of the rainbow and the promise to never again flood the earth! Gen. 17:7-9 tells of God's circumcision covenant with Abraham and his descendants; how does this prove the existence of a baptismal covenant? Exodus 3:15 has no reference whatsoever to a covenant. Ex. 12:17 likewise pertains not to a covenant but to the Passover meal ordinance. Ex. 16:32 has no covenant (let alone a baptism covenant) but merely commands that some manna be saved in a jar for descendants to see. We could examine the rest, but the fact is that none of the citations support the proposition: "The Objectivity of Infant Baptism". Unlike the circumcision covenant, God never once told anyone that there was a covenant of baptism, let alone that such a covenant applied to infants; instead, baptism in the NT consistently is applied to those who believe as an outward sign of (1) the inner change of the new birth which is received through faith, and of (2) the person's public acknowledgement of and willing submission to our Lord. The New Testament covenant is summed up by our Lord Jesus thusly: He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. (John 3:18) Baptism is a sacramental ordinance, not a covenant entrance prerequisite.

    One cannot deny that there is a sort of parallel between circumcision and baptism, but we should be careful to not read more into this than what actually is present. The Abrahamic covenant was a promise made to him and his physical descendants, and the covenant's seal and sign (physical circumcision) was absolutely required by God. The new birth is a 'circumcision of the heart' (accomplished spiritually by God), but nowhere does scripture indicate that the new birth is accomplished by the physical act of baptism, nor did God ever express an absolute requirement of baptism (Mark 16:16 is the closest we come to that, yet it is interpretable in more than one way and is best interpreted in light of the whole of scripture). In contrast, the physically-circumcised Israelites were not (with rare exceptions) "heart-circumcised" people.

    Yet there is a visible community of people who have entered into covenant with God via the new birth (that is, by grace and through faith), and these people include families which birth children (future believers, we hope and pray!). It seems reasonable to ceremonially mark the entrance of these youngsters into the "visible church" community. Some churches do this with a "baby dedication" ceremony. For those who utilize a baptismal ceremony for this purpose, IMO it would be most prudent for them to emphasize the difference between the visible church and the invisible church and to highlight the fact that baptism does not magically confer everything (including the indwelling Holy Spirit) which one receives through faith; in other words, great pains should be taken to prevent the mistaken impression that baptism makes one a full-fledged disciple of Jesus Christ (the RCC long ago succumbed to this grave error, and I suspect that a few Anglicans and Lutherans labor under this mistaken belief also).
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2023 at 6:45 PM
  20. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    2,330
    Likes Received:
    1,229
    Country:
    United States
    Religion:
    Episcopalian
    Nevertheless, it remains true that the Church of England followed the same track as the Zwinglians, Calvinists, and Lutherans in holding infant baptism to be consistent with sola Scriptura, and in recognizing it as an essential component of the sacramental monergism common to all the branches of the magisterial Reformation. Though I haven’t personally met any of these Baptist-style Anglicans, I can’t think of a good reason why a person who rejects infant baptism would want to be Anglican in the first place.
     
    Shane R and Tiffy like this.