Wednesday, December 06, 2006

"Don't they baptize babies?"

(There is a point here, please bear with me. Thanks.)
A while back I posted a link to a page on baptism on mongergism.com-(This one here.) On that page there are a large number of links to articles on baptism, especially ones defending either paedo (infant/child) or credo (believers) baptism. One of my readers asked about the similarities between the Presbyterian & Roman Catholic views on paedobaptism. I've been working on that, but other things keep coming up and I am not happy with the current state of what I've written. But it is coming.

In writing it I did realize that credobaptists may read it and say, "So what?" From their perspective neither Presbyterians nor Roman Catholics have the correct view. The point of the article is not to defend paedobaptism, but to show the differences between two views on it.

This train of thought reminded me of when I first started attending a Presbyterian Church. My non-Presbyterian Christian friends often seemed amazed or concerned. I would often hear some form of the question, "Don't they baptize babies?" Often the tone of their voice was as if they were asking, "Don't they eat babies?" or some other atrocity. They were often amazed that although, yes, Presbyterians baptize babies, it isn't the cornerstone of their existence, belief and practice. It still happens, and we hear it from visitors.

Yes, Presbyterians do baptize babies. No, it doesn't make us aliens, monsters, or outcasts. We value our credobaptist brothers and sisters, and we share the same gospel, especially with those who are reformed. We learn from them, and they learn from us. Not all who hold to paedobaptism are Christians. Neither are all who hold to credobaptism. What you hold to about baptism may not affect your salvation, unless you tie salvation directly to baptism (for example those who hold to some form of baptismal regenration.) The PCA doesn't require members to hold to paedobaptism. The reason is we don't wish to add conditions to salvation that are not in the Bible.

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6 Comments:

Blogger Peter D. Nelson said...

You know pilgrim (funny I have a friend who goes by that moniker on the Highway who lives in Canada) if the credobaptists (I being in that group) were to accuse you of eating babies you'd have to be called
Baby eating Bishop of Bath and Wells

10:55 PM  
Blogger pilgrim said...

Ah, a Black Adder reference.

Thanks for stopping by...

10:40 AM  
Blogger Son of Man said...

"The reason is, we don't wish to add conditions to salvation that are not in the Bible." I love hearing things like this. That's the reason baptists and presbys get along. And no one really gets along with RCs.

8:12 PM  
Blogger pilgrim said...

Thanks for stopping by.

Yes there are things we can disgree on, and things that are essential.

That's where we draw the line for who are our brothers and sisters.
We draw the line where Scripture draws it.

12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your post is an example of why the PCA is only nominally Presbyterian. Having an agnostic view of the Sacraments and calling that agnosticism righteous seems antithetical to reveal religon. Your post implies that padeobaptism is just a quaint relic from times past. This was certainly not the view of the Reformers. Instead we should be calling our baptistic brothers and sisters to repentance and encouraging them to believe what God promised to believers and their families.

8:40 AM  
Blogger pilgrim said...

If you're going to disagree, you could at least make up a name.

Any way I disagree with your comment. Your view is bordering on legalism. Since one's view on baptism is not a requirement for salvation to add it is to add to scripture. We can not add to people's conscience what scripture does not require.

I fail to see how we would consider paedo baptism "just a quaint relic from times past."
All elders (teaching & ruling) are required to hold to it. It is taught and practiced. Candidates for the ministry and ordained ministers transferring into a new presbytery are examined on it-to ensure they understand it, and as far as humanly possible ensure it is believed. PCA members & ministers engage in debates and write books about paedobaptism. I have many conversations about it, and I have commented on several blogs defending paedobaptism. Your criticism is unfounded.

At least you called them "our baptistic brothers and sisters"

Also check out the link on my main page to the PCA Historical Center and rwad the various PCA position papers on baptism. You will see it is not considered "just a quaint relic from times past."

11:09 AM  

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