Puritan Board Junior
What about Baptist churches that have no infants? Would they be considered a true church right up until that first baby is born?
They still exclude infants by their confession and deny the covenant membership of infants in other congregations of Christ.
-----Added 6/15/2009 at 10:05:46 EST-----
In any case, the argument...
1. It is a mark of a true church that P;
2. Church Q does not P;
3. Church Q is not a true church
... is fallacious. Specifically, the argument is an instance of the No true Scotsman logical fallacy. We can easily re-state the argument as follows...
1. All true churches practice paedobaptism;
2. Credobaptist churches are not true churches
This fallacy is a form of circular argument, with an existing belief being assumed to be true in order to dismiss any apparent counter-examples to it. The existing belief thus becomes unfalsifiable.
The fallacy is in moving the boundaries of the category in question, so that what you want to say about this category becomes true by definition, and no evidence can ever prove you wrong. All true churches are paedobaptist, because no church that does not practice paedobaptism is allowed to count as a true church.
I'm not sure if I understand your reasoning here. Are you under the impression that I blindly assume that paedobaptism is a mark of the true church without Scriptural testimony? I assure you that I am so convinced by what I see as the firm testimony of the Scriptures.
-----Added 6/15/2009 at 10:08:33 EST-----
I was on my new little gadget when I posted above. (It is a pain to type on, but I like it ) And couldn't fully post what I wanted. Scott Bushey's comments are not something to be dismissed. Many of you weren't on the PB when this discussion came to full fruition. It was intense to say the least. It also was damaging. In some cases seriously damaging. Now, lest anyone say that I'm pulling a 'why can't we all just get along' let me say that I am a convinced credobaptist. I think it is error to baptise infants. I'm not wishy washy on that. That is not to start a debate. Just so you know that I do have standards of doctrine and practice.
Yes, the PB is an anomaly; and a good one. It exists with an underlying tension that occasionally becomes very visible. That tension can serve to sharpen us, but it can also damage us if it bursts forth unchecked.
The line of thinking in the OP, with all respect, is fundamentalism. It leads to a continual contraction of orthodoxy. Left unchecked you may well find yourself the only one left on the planet that is 'orthodox'. Don't laugh. I've seen it happen. And, I've seen it happen more than once. Fundamentalism takes many forms, and it is always dangerous and destructive. The Reformers knew this and took safeguards against it. But, as is often the case, their children and grandchildren did not.
Please hear my heart on this matter. Discuss orthodoxy, discuss sacraments / ordinances, discuss orthopraxy but, please, if someone holds to an historic confession that differs from yours do not make the step of saying that their faith is in vain, their church is not a true church, etc. It does no good. None at all.
If I've offended you by this post, it is not my intention. I've just seen too much blood shed on this issue, both on the net and in real life. I don't want to see it again.
I appreciate your position, but please refrain from judging the convictions mentioned in the OP as fundamentalism. Such criticism could be easily extended to all those who have stood their ground against the egalitarian tides of modern evangelicalism. Why are gender issues considered to be the breaking point and the sacraments secondary matters?