Confirmation

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wsw201

Puritan Board Senior
[quote:214bf5f943][i:214bf5f943]Originally posted by twogunfighter[/i:214bf5f943]
Wow didn't know that I would start a paedocommunion thread. :bigsmile: [/quote:214bf5f943]

Don't worry, it'll turn out to be a thread on baptism :yes:
 

Me Died Blue

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
[quote:efd3373169][i:efd3373169]Originally posted by Paul manata[/i:efd3373169]
[quote:efd3373169]
So in that sense, that's why I think the burden of proof would logically stand on those who want to withold the sacrament from infants
[/quote:efd3373169]

well, I'm sure the OC parents withheld it from their infants.....because it is [i:efd3373169]physilogically[/i:efd3373169] impossible for infants to digest lamb chops.

Also, the phrase "they asked what it was about" implies that they had some level og cognative awareness. So, one could say that I am not necessarily against [i:efd3373169]paedo[/i:efd3373169] communion-since a paedo/child may take communion if they have that level. Now, what we are really talking about, if we want to get technical, is [i:efd3373169]brethos[/i:efd3373169] communion. That is, [i:efd3373169]infant[/i:efd3373169]. If you cannot prove that [i:efd3373169]infants[/i:efd3373169] partook then what link do you have for [i:efd3373169]infant[/i:efd3373169] communion? I have that link with baptism.

Also as B.B. Warfield has said, contrary to me died blue, is that they are for our children...BUT at their appointed time. That is, though they are members of the church, just as Israelite children were, there are certain priviledges that come when they are older. An analogy might help. My child was born in America, thus he is an American citizen. But, does he have all the priviledges of American citizens? No. He cannot vote, drive, by beer, etc. He is still a citizen and is no less a citizen than others. Those rights are for him as long as he continues to uphold his obligations as an American.

Some might protest: Ex. 12 says that it is for your children. Well, not everytime the Bible talks about "your children" does it mean infants. In II Tim we read that an elder is to have believing children. So, does anyone think that means that we must wait until a canidate's children are old enough to believe before he can be ordained? Again, here, we have language which presupposes cognative understanding applied to the children, just as we do in Ex. 12. My paedobaptist brothers might object: well, there is cognative language applied to baptism but you say that presupposes adults; not infants. But I can show, and they agree, with the link between circumcision and baptism-which is undistuped that infants were subjects of. So, we now come full circle, where is the evidence that [i:efd3373169]infants[/i:efd3373169] partook of the passover?

-Paul [/quote:efd3373169]

Again, I haven't really thought about the issue with regard to the passover/communion analogy that much, and linking those two is not why I believe in it. My main issue with paedocommunion (or brethos-), again, is that it seems contradictory to me to take [i:efd3373169]God's spiritual promises[/i:efd3373169] to our children seriously (i.e. in baptism), yet not regard them as proper recipients of the sacrament that signifies [i:efd3373169]the very thing by which those promises are purchased[/i:efd3373169]. [b:efd3373169]THIS[/b:efd3373169] is why I believe the burden of proof is on the credocommunionist, and I already explained above why I do not yet see 1 Corinthians 11 as a sufficient passage to shift that burden.

Chris
 

Me Died Blue

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
[quote:119d40d185][i:119d40d185]Originally posted by Paul manata[/i:119d40d185]
[quote:119d40d185]
again, is that it seems contradictory to me to take God's spiritual promises to our children seriously (i.e. in baptism), yet not regard them as proper recipients of the sacrament that signifies the very thing by which those promises are purchased.
[/quote:119d40d185]

First, I do regard my child as a proper recipient...at his appointed time.[/quote:119d40d185]

This doesn't really get at the issue. A credobaptist could just as easily respond with the same answer regarding baptism when we ask them why they don't consider their children proper recipients of it. What I'm trying to show is that our baptized children are eligible for the Lord's Supper [i:119d40d185]once they are baptized[/i:119d40d185].

[quote:119d40d185][i:119d40d185]Originally posted by Paul manata[/i:119d40d185]
Second, explain the promises of baptism and the promises of communion.[/quote:119d40d185]

The promises of baptism are that 1) the recipient is a member of God's external covenant community, and 2) thus is likely (in the same sense that one who makes an external profession is "likely" to actually be a true Christian) to be a member of His internal covenant community as well (hence presumptive regeneration). The promises of the Lord's Supper is that one has received forgiveness of sins, and been united with Christ and counted righteous with Him--in other words, the promises signified in the Lord's Supper are those that all members of the invisible covenant are guaranteed. And membership in the external covenant along with God's promises (related to baptism) give grounds for presuming membership in the internal, grounds that are just as reliable as a "coming forward for salvation" or an external profession of faith. This is why I think all baptized people are from that point forward eligible for the Lord's Supper.

[quote:119d40d185][i:119d40d185]Originally posted by Paul manata[/i:119d40d185]
Third, it is not contradictory. I am not saying A and ~A.[/quote:119d40d185]

Maybe that wasn't quite the right word to use. I basically mean it seems [i:119d40d185]inconsistent[/i:119d40d185] to me.

[quote:119d40d185][i:119d40d185]Originally posted by Paul manata[/i:119d40d185]
Fourth, I baptise my child based on the command of the Bible (I hope I don't have to explain that necessary inference counts as a command to a paedobaptist). Where is the command to give them the Lord's supper? What you need to do is to show a link between communion and passover.[/quote:119d40d185]

Let me start by giving the primary reason I believe we should baptize our children, which is because of verses like the following (ESV):

Genesis 17:7 "And I will establish my covenant between me and you [Abraham] and your offspring after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you."
Deuteronomy 30:6 (emphasis mine) "And the LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your offspring, so that you will love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live."
Psalm 103:17-18 (emphasis mine) "But the steadfast love of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him, and his righteousness to children's children, to those who keep his covenant and remember to do his commandments."
Proverbs 3:33 (emphasis mine) "The LORd's curse is on the house of the wicked, but he blesses the dwelling of the righteous."
Proverbs 11:21 (emphasis mine) "Be assured, an evil person will not go unpunished, but the offspring of the righteous will be delivered."
Isaiah 54:13 "All your children shall be taught by the LORD, and great shall be the peace of your children."
Isaiah 59:21 (emphasis mine) "'And as for me, this is my covenant with them,' says the LORD: 'My Spirit that is upon you, and my words that I have put in your mouth, shall not depart out of your mouth, or out of the mouth of your offspring, or out of the mouth of your children's offspring,' says the LORD, 'from this time forth and forevermore.'"
Isaiah 65:23 "They [God's people] shall not labor in vain or bear children for calamity, for they shall be the offspring of the blessed of the LORD, and their descendants with them."
Jeremiah 32:39 (emphasis mine) "I will give them [the elect] one heart and one way, that they may fear me forever, for their own good and the good of their children after them."
Acts 2:39 "For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.'"
1 Corinthians 7:14 "For the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy because of her husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy."
Psalm 22:9-10 "Yet you [God] are he who took me [David] from the womb; you made me trust you at my mother's breasts. On you was I cast from my birth, and from my mother's womb you have been my God."
Luke 1:14-15 (emphasis mine) "And you [Zechariah] will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his [John the Baptist's] birth, for he will be great before the Lord. And he must not drink wine or strong drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother's womb."

We cannot know anyone's election but our own for sure, so we can only presume it based on educated evidence. For adult converts, we take their profession of faith to be evidence that God has regenerated them. For our children, we take God's promises like those above to be evidence that God has (or will) regenerated them, evidence that is at least as reliable as outer profession.

The Lord's Supper signifies the engrafting into Christ by His death on the Cross, and the reception of the benefits purchased at the Cross. My argument for paedocommunion is the same as that for paedobaptism: We cannot know for sure whether someone else is truly worthy to take the Lord's Supper, but can only presume based on educated evidence. For adults, an external profession of faith is evidence that God has regenerated them and thus that they are worthy to take the Supper. Likewise, for infants, why would the above promises of God not be sufficient evidence that they are worthy recipients at that time?

[quote:119d40d185][i:119d40d185]Originally posted by Paul manata[/i:119d40d185]
Fifth, I view communion as an active process. We are to take it in "rememebrence" of [b:119d40d185]Him[/b:119d40d185] (I am not geting into the innate knowledge children have of God here, but rather that specific knowledge of Him and His sufferings). The Lord's supper is for "those displeased with themselves."[/quote:119d40d185]

This is a good point. Still, I think that whether Jesus did or did not intend for His disciples to give the Supper to their children when He instituted it, He would have said this either way. For instance, if He did in fact intend for them to do so, He still could have said this directing it at the church body and each family in general. In such a case, even if a specific infant doesn't intellectually understand the Supper any better than they initially understood their baptism, the family and church as a whole would still be taking the Supper in remembrance of Christ.

[quote:119d40d185][i:119d40d185]Originally posted by Paul manata[/i:119d40d185]
Sixth, No less a exegete as John Calvin said that if you give infants/young children the Lord's supper you may as well be poisoning them. I mean, we should at least be very, very, cautious with a practice that can cause people to "sleep" if taken in an unworthy mannor.[/quote:119d40d185]

I realize Calvin took the opposite position in this case, but as has been said by others on this board, we must at least be open to the fact that one generation (yes, even one as wise and godly as the Reformers) may not have gotten [i:119d40d185]everything[/i:119d40d185] right the first time.

[quote:119d40d185][i:119d40d185]Originally posted by Paul manata[/i:119d40d185]
Seventh, it seemed individualistic in the NT, i.e., there were NO "household" Lord suppers.
-Paul

[Edited on 3-18-2004 by Paul manata]

[Edited on 3-18-2004 by Paul manata]
[/quote:119d40d185]

This is a great point. I'll have to think about this a little. It is indeed to note that there are examples of household baptisms but bot household communions. But actually, are there many recorded specific instances of communion at all? I don't recall at the moment. Let me know of any recorded specific instances you can think of.

Chris

P. S. Truth be told, I actually [i:119d40d185]want[/i:119d40d185] to believe that the Bible inevitably teaches [i:119d40d185]against[/i:119d40d185] paedocommunion, and that the Lord's Supper is only for [i:119d40d185]professing[/i:119d40d185] Christians. This is because presently, it is a major exception I have to take to the WCF, and while I of course believe Sola Scriptura, I would like to be able to believe that the WCF is as close to Scripture as I can. But right now, I simply can't yet say in good conscience that I honestly believe there to be biblical evidence for limiting the Lord's Supper to professing people. I truly hope that I eventually realize something I haven't yet noticed, but as of yet I can't simply tell myself I intellectually and Scripturally believe in credocommunion, because...well, I don't.

[Edited on 3-19-2004 by Me Died Blue]
 

Me Died Blue

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Paul, you keep trying to bring up the link between passover and communion, saynig that I can't show a link...let this be heard clear once more: "I AM NOT BASING MY ARGUMENT ON THAT!" Right now, I'm not so much trying to argue in favor of paedocommunion anymore as I am trying to show you what objections to credocommunion remain in my mind. As I said in my last post, I in fact [i:86c1638ed9]want[/i:86c1638ed9] to take the same position on the Lord's Supper as the WCF does. But there are still a few issues and arguments that seem to me to favor paedocommunion, and I am trying to clearly state them in hopes that some of you here will be able to help me refute them in my own mind, if that makes sense. And the link between passover and communion is not one of them. I agree with you that one cannot show that infants partook of the passover, and thus cannot claim a link between the two. But I still cannot get over the arguments for paedocommunion I gave above, relating to the external/invisible covenants and presumptive regeneration and election. [i:86c1638ed9]That[/i:86c1638ed9] is the argument in my mnid right now that won't allow me to let go of paedocommunion in my mind, and [i:86c1638ed9]it[/i:86c1638ed9] is the argument to which I'm trying to understand the credocommunionist rebuttal, so that I can perhaps understand it in a new light myself, and can abandon paedocommunion in good intellectual conscience. But as of yet, you (or anyone else) haven't once responded to that argument and explained why and/or how it is refuted from Scripture.

Chris
 

Me Died Blue

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
[quote:52ef2da9af][i:52ef2da9af]Originally posted by Paul manata[/i:52ef2da9af]
[quote:52ef2da9af]
Paul, you keep trying to bring up the link between passover and communion, saynig that I can't show a link...let this be heard clear once more: "I AM NOT BASING MY ARGUMENT ON THAT
[/quote:52ef2da9af]

I think your missing my point. I am saying that you HAVE TO. It is fine if you want to show why you think it should be practiced, but(!) if the Bible doesn't teach it...so much for your opinion. You need to show that children took it...or that it can be inferred that they [i:52ef2da9af]did[/i:52ef2da9af]. Your argument does not do that. I don't need to address your argument because if the Bible doesn't teach that they did then your argument means nothing. You are close to committing the [i:52ef2da9af]intentional fallacy[/i:52ef2da9af]. I also believe that your argument is based on eisogesis. My point, again, you HAVE TO show that they partook or that it is inferred that they DID. If you cannot do either then you have nothing but a constrcuted argument without any biblical support.[/quote:52ef2da9af]

How I view the argument I kept referencing is that it's one from inference - but so is the paedobaptism argument, as there are no direct commands to baptize our children in the New Testament. The inferencial argument for paedobaptism is basically, "God gives our children many spiritual promises of blessing in Scripture. Elsewhere in Scripture, He commands us to baptize those for whose election we can find good grounds. One such ground is profession of faith, but God's spiritual promises of blessing are certainly just as reliable a ground. Therefore, by inference, God Scripturally wants us to baptize our children." I basically saw the inferential argument for paedocommunion in a similar light. And that's why I think that paedocommunion would be the biblical practice by inference, [i:52ef2da9af]unless[/i:52ef2da9af] a passage elsewhere could be shown to forbid it.

The passage pointed to by opponents of paedocommunion was always 1 Corinthians 11. However, I always bought the interpretation of 1 Corinthians 11 that Paul is not referring to thorough self-examination in a general sense, but simply addressing the problem of selfishness, haste and division that was going on at the Corinthian church at that time, and thus that he was only instructing us to make sure actions like that do not accompany our taking of the Supper.

However, I must admit, the verses you reminded me of in your above post and the one before it shed light on the 1 Corinthians 11 passage for me. For instance, the 2 Chronicles passage, after mentioning the error of the people, does [i:52ef2da9af]not[/i:52ef2da9af] correct it by saying, "May the good LORD provide atonement for everyone who [i:52ef2da9af]refrains from acting with greed, haste and vanity at the Table[/i:52ef2da9af]," but rather, "May the good LORD provide atonement for everyone who [i:52ef2da9af]prepares his heart to seek God[/i:52ef2da9af]." This, the Numbers passage and your comparison of the language surrounding the sacraments in the Old and New Covenants makes me realize that 1 Corinthians 11 is in fact not merely correcting the problem of open greed, haste and vanity at the Lord's Supper, but is in fact admonishing people to do a general self-examination.

Well, this is the second time someone on this board has persuaded me to change my view on a theological issue (the first being the second commandment with regard to images of God). 1 Corinthians 11 had for awhile been the "problem text" that wouldn't allow me to let go of paedocommunion, since I didn't see any Scriptural evidence that it was a general examination being referred to, rather than a specifically Corinthian-church problem. So thanks for pointing out how 1 Corinthians is not to be interpreted in the narrow sense I was thinking in, since Scripture is its own best interpreter, and those OT verses clearly show what Paul had in mind with the words "examine himself."

[quote:52ef2da9af][i:52ef2da9af]Originally posted by Paul manata[/i:52ef2da9af]
btw, do you think that infants should be able to vote at congragational meetings? O.k. that wasn't fair. How bout 2 yr olds?

-Paul

[Edited on 3-19-2004 by Paul manata] [/quote:52ef2da9af]

Even if I still had the same objections to restricting children from the Supper, I would definitely answer "no" to this question. Obviously they don't have the discernment and understanding necessary to do so, and after all, my whole argument for paedocommunion was based on the claim that they didn't need that discernment to come to the Supper, not that they already had it.

In Christ,

Chris
 

wsw201

Puritan Board Senior
Nice job Paul.

Unfortunately, the majority of modern peadocommunionist would agree that infants should not partake of the Supper. They would argue that because the command is to "take and eat" a person would have to be able to chew, and infants can't do that. So they usually say the child should be admitted to the table at say 12 or 18 months when they are capable of chewing food. So its not true "peado" communion.

Of course one of the big issues in the argument in my mind goes to the issue of authority. Who decides when the child is ready to partake of the Supper? The Church or the parent? and what should be required of a child in order to partake of the Supper?
 
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