Family Disagreements on Baptism

Discussion in 'Family Forum' started by shawn737, Aug 27, 2019.

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  1. shawn737

    shawn737 Puritan Board Freshman

    My wife and I got married 10 years ago. We met at church. It is a Baptist Church. Her dad is the pastor. I was Baptist at the time, but over many years found my way into Presbyterianism. I have attended a Presbyterian church on some Saturday nights, and even sometimes on Sunday mornings. However, going to two churches is difficult and it creates some division in the family. Because of that, I have decided to solely attend the family's Baptist church in spite of their none TULIP views and their staunch Dispensationalism.

    However, I do have a question. We are trying for a child. I think it would be very difficult to deny Baptism, covenant membership to this child, but the Baptist church obviously won't baptize until a public profession can be articulated.

    The Prebyterian church I've attended will baptize the baby due to the extenuating circumstances. My wife is supportive of baptizing the baby.

    Should we just baptize the baby at the Presbyterian Church but to maintain unity with the family continue to attend the Baptist church? Or some other idea?
     
  2. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritanboard Commissioner

    Hard situation. The hard-line answer is you are the federal head of the family and u should make the call where the family worships. I know this is a touchy situation and one must deal with their weaker vessels appropriately. The deck would seem to be loaded against you for the obvious reasons.
     
  3. Romans922

    Romans922 Puritan Board Professor

    Uh, what kind of Presbyterian church is that? Name, location? Doesn't sound...sound in doctrine.

    Also, https://www.puritanboard.com/help/signature/
     
  4. shawn737

    shawn737 Puritan Board Freshman

    Well, when I say “going to two churches causes division in the family” it is because I used my headship and we left the church for 2 years. It wasn’t good. So that option isn’t an option anymore.
     
  5. chuckd

    chuckd Puritan Board Sophomore

    Talk to her Dad about it and see what he thinks. His #1 objection would be that it is a works based righteousness. Be well researched on what the Reformed position actually is in contrast to Roman Catholic in order to give a defense if needed. Here is a good summary:
    https://rscottclark.org/2012/09/a-contemporary-reformed-defense-of-infant-baptism/

    He may simply say he disagrees, but is understanding of your views.
     
  6. shawn737

    shawn737 Puritan Board Freshman

    No more Saturday night services. Guess it was the trend at the time for contemporary worship.
     
  7. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritanboard Commissioner

    Shawn,
    I hear you loud and clear. Very difficult and touchy situation, for sure. No clear cut answer, sadly.

    I guess I could say that Christ came to cause division in the family unit, but thats not gonna help u. :p
     
  8. shawn737

    shawn737 Puritan Board Freshman

    He does understand and though he doesn’t love the idea, he doesn’t make a big deal out if it. We’re all just trying to make the right decisions in a non ideal situation.
     
  9. BLM

    BLM Puritan Board Freshman

    Shawn, I echo Scott's acknowledgement of the difficult situation you are in and feel for you brother. Leading one's family well can be challenging in ordinary circumstances and the issues you are wrestling with are very tough ones. I'm afraid it might not be possible to give specific council to your specific situation, but I'll attempt to offer some advice from afar.

    While being respectful of your father-in-law, I think it is important to remember he gave her hand to you in marriage. You are joined together as one flesh and together are your own family. The fact your father-in-law is also your pastor certainly adds a tremendous amount of weight to any decision you make, but it's ultimately your decision to make and not his. I write this as one who has had my own challenges at times with my father-in-law.

    I've known people over the years who have been in similar situations and the best outcomes were of those who decided to be consistent as a family in practice even if the beliefs of one spouse were at odds. Whatever you and your wife decide to do I would warn against attending separate churches in the future.
     
  10. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Doctor

    What if the child once adult believer wanted to get baptized again?
     
  11. Romans922

    Romans922 Puritan Board Professor

    That's called rebaptism
     
  12. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritanboard Commissioner

    Oy.
     
  13. earl40

    earl40 Puritan Board Professor

    Baptism is for the universal church, and not a particular church. The Lord's Supper is for an individual church. If you and your wife want to have your child baptized I believe you should do it.
     
  14. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritanboard Commissioner

    Typically, for a Presbyterian church to baptize an infant, the parents need to be a member in the church.
     
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  15. shawn737

    shawn737 Puritan Board Freshman

    I've known people over the years who have been in similar situations and the best outcomes were of those who decided to be consistent as a family in practice even if the beliefs of one spouse were at odds. Whatever you and your wife decide to do I would warn against attending separate churches in the future.[/QUOTE]

    Thank you for your reply. Do you mean “consistent as a family” referring to just my wife and I, or consistent with extended family as well?

    And do you warn against my wife and i attending separate churches from each other or us separating from her family?
     
  16. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Doctor

    Depends upon the Baptist local church, as some would see it as bring valid Baptism for first time!
     
  17. earl40

    earl40 Puritan Board Professor

    "The Presbyterian church I've attended will baptize the baby due to the extenuating circumstances. My wife is supportive of baptizing the baby." :)
     
  18. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Doctor

    Thank you for your reply. Do you mean “consistent as a family” referring to just my wife and I, or consistent with extended family as well?

    And do you warn against my wife and i attending separate churches from each other or us separating from her family?[/QUOTE]
    It can be hard to have family attending different churches, as differing doctrines and theology get tied up here when that happens. Depends on which doctrines and practices one sees as primary, and which can agree to disagree on!
    I was Baptist when met my wife, and she was attending Pentacostal church, but over time the Lord persuaded her to come over to the Baptist way.
     
  19. De Jager

    De Jager Puritan Board Freshman

    I am not going to pretend this isn't a hard situation. But what stood out to me is what I bolded.

    Aside from the baptism thing, do you really want your kid(s) to learn doctrine contrary to the doctrines of grace, and also learn a system of theology that renders half of the bible essentially useless for non-Jews?

    So maintain family unity or sit under correct doctrine? We are not talking about some tangential issues here, if they deny the doctrines contained in TULIP, then that is dangerous. I am still recovering from my days of Arminian evangelicalism.

    That's my 2 cents. Take it for what it is worth. If you need to talk, feel to PM, brother. :)
     
  20. shawn737

    shawn737 Puritan Board Freshman

    Leaving the family church is obviously traumatic. But to have to stay in complete agreement with the theology of the church that you got married at when you were 21 also seems quite limiting.

    I lean toward what earl40 said. Baptism is for the universal church, baptize the baby, but stay at the church. Reinforce the truths the church teaches at home. Correct and clarify at home what is incorrect at church. Not an easy thing, but seems better than leaving altogether.
     
  21. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritanboard Commissioner

    I saw that, Earl. :)

    Andrew Barnes wrote in response:

    To which, I echo.
     
  22. shawn737

    shawn737 Puritan Board Freshman

    They never confirmed they would do it. Perhaps I have assumed too much.
     
  23. TylerRay

    TylerRay Puritan Board Senior

    Shawn,
    Why are you still at the Baptist church?
     
  24. shawn737

    shawn737 Puritan Board Freshman

    The question is why am I BACK at the Baptist church. Because family life flows so much better when we’re there. And it’s a conservative bible preaching church. Not a prosperity gospel type place. It’s like a little MacArthur type church. Truth is spoken most of the time.
     
  25. De Jager

    De Jager Puritan Board Freshman

    You said they don't believe in TULIP??
     
  26. shawn737

    shawn737 Puritan Board Freshman

    They lean reformed. Visitors have asked if is reformed because it sounds that way. But no, when pressed, you won’t get a specific TULIP defense. But a lot of talk about being elect and chosen. Confusing? Yeah, a bit.
     
  27. TylerRay

    TylerRay Puritan Board Senior

    Does your wife insist upon it, or your in-laws?
     
  28. shawn737

    shawn737 Puritan Board Freshman

    No one insists. This underlying tension is just not there like it is when we were going somewhere else. When a child is brought in, I think that would only be amplified
     
  29. Jack K

    Jack K Puritan Board Professor

    It sounds like this has been a growing difficulty for some time. It probably needed to come to a head, especially since the church you and your wife are attending together is Arminian and dispensational. If you continue to grow in Reformed thinking, you simply won't be happy there. Having a child may be the event that forces some hard decisions, but necessary ones.

    It would help if you could be clearer about what sort of family division results from attending the Presbyterian church. If it is division between your nuclear family and your wife's family, I would lean toward respectfully making the break. After ten years, it's time to no longer "cleave to father and mother" and instead be one as husband and wife. Take great pains to do this in a way that honors her parents as much as possible, but they need to let her go.

    But if the division you are speaking of is a division between you and your wife, the situation is not as easy. You have a responsibility not only to lead your wife spiritually but also to do so with gentleness and sacrificial love, taking great care not to exercise authority in a way that drags her to a church that assails her conscience, or makes her take vows she disagrees with, or makes her feel trapped in a foreign faith. Your church decision, then, must not be merely about what you deem best but about what you deem best for her.

    In that case I would suspect that you, as the man in the relationship, need to take great pains to really listen to your wife and learn how to love her well, and talk about that with her. And so I would also suspect you could use some help, as a couple, from wise and trustworthy Christian friends or elders who are removed enough from the family dynamics and can help you see clearly how to proceed together, and in loving agreement. Is there an "unbiased" couple the two of you both respect and trust, with whom you could talk this through?
     
  30. BLM

    BLM Puritan Board Freshman

    My use of "family" includes you, your wife, and any children the Lord blesses you with in the future. The "consistency" is in terms of instructing future children in matters of faith and practice. With regards to my warning against attending separate churches, that was intended specifically for you and your wife.
     
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