For Paedobaptists--Jeremiah 31:31-34

Discussion in 'Baptism' started by Covenant Joel, Jul 22, 2004.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Covenant Joel

    Covenant Joel Puritan Board Sophomore

    This is mainly a question for paedobaptists. I would describe myself as being one who sees a ton of what paedobaptists are saying in Scripture, and find most of the Scriptural evidence to support that position, but that are still some passages that I can't get around. Jer 31:31-34 is one of them. How do you understand this as it relates to the nature of the New Covenant and therefore the inclusion/non-inclusion of children in the New Covenant, since it says "all will know Me."


    Thanks,
    Joel
     
  2. C. Matthew McMahon

    C. Matthew McMahon Christian Preacher

    "Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah -- "not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the LORD. "But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. "No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,' for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more." I love this passage.

    The Dispensationalist will say: Jeremiah is prophesying that the New Covenant to come is going to be different than the Old Covenant in that it is in the heart. The Old Covenant was not in the heart. This is the New Testament writers' point in Hebrews 8. Those in the New Testament church will be saved and regenerate. The New Testament presumes a regenerate membership in the church when they write. Regenerate people are the only ones in the New Covenant. Jesus will radically bring about a new kind of way in dealing with men. There will be no more need to teach the law because God will teach it to men and write it on their hearts. Pentecost shows us this when the Spirit comes and now dwells in men.

    This is nonsensical. Romans 8:9 "But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. [b:9cbcf54339]Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His."[/b:9cbcf54339] Abraham was as much saved and filled with the Spirit as any Christian.

    We ask this question, "Is Jer. 31 speaking of a new covenant?"

    One says, "New." It's right there in black and white. "New!"

    I understand that, but you should always take time to do a word study or two, and be sure of your syntax and grammar. Even though we are talking simplistically about the covenant, we should address the word here. This is a little deeper than how we have been talking, and may be a bit technical. The Hebrew word is not just the simple "new" but "renew" or "refresh." The word for "new" is an adjective that is used 53 times in the Old Testament. It comes from the verb form of the word. That verb form is its root and its basic meaning. When we trace the verb through the Old Testament, it is used to mean, "renew or repair;" cf. Isa 61:4; 2 Chron. 24:4, 12; Psalm 51:10 (12) Lam. 5:21; 1 Sam. 11:14; 2 Chron. 15:8; Job 10:17; Psalm 104:30; Psa. 103:5; 2 Chron. 24:4; 24:12; and etc. The idea around the word itself as an adjective means taking something already existing and "renewing it" - either repairing it to a previous state or in taking something that was already and making it better. As both a noun and adjective this word refers to things new in this sense, and to things restored. Now some like to think that this word is exclusively meant as "brand new." But this does injustice to its use in the Old Testament. They will quote verses like, Exodus 1:8. Now there arose up a new king over Egypt," or Isaiah 43:19. "I will do a new thing." These surely seem like "new" is "brand new don't they?

    There is more to it than just quoting a verse or two. For example, without going into great detail, is the station of "kingship" new or not? Is having a new king something brand new or a renewal of the class of kingship? How does the Hebrew mind think about this? How does the rest of Scripture demonstrate this? A new king does not make the class of "kingness" new, although a new king is a good element of fulfillment to kingship. What about Isaiah 43:19 - how would you explain new things that God does? Does God do "new" things, or is He eternally immutable? It seems we have a theological conundrum. How would one reconcile the eternal immutably of God, and Him doing "new things?" I mean, after the act of creation and containment of creation, does He change from doing old things to doing new things?

    The answer to that is yes and no. For God, no. He never does "new" things. It is not like He had a plan, made a mistake, and decided to do something "new." But in our eyes, the realities surrounding the fulfillment of anything God does makes it new to us. For instance, if I have an old car, say a 1979 Ford Fairmont, and I buy a new car, that car is a brand new car in relation to the junk car I am giving to the junkyard. But if I take the old Fairmont and "mint it out" then the old car becomes new. It is not really "new" but "renewed." Yet, when I sit in it, it surely is a new car to me. It puts a smile on my face to drive it.

    Think of this: The Lord's mercies are completely new every morning, but also "renewed" every morning. (Lam. 3:23). Job desired that his glory was "fresh" in him, Job 29:20. This does not mean "new" but renewed. God's glory cannot be "new," as in brand new since it always is. A survey of the Old Testament will show that such a "renewing" in Hebrew is considered as new, though its cognate is old, and simply refreshed. It is almost never used of "new, as in "brand new," even when God says he does "new things" or "new kings" are put on thrones. There is more to the Hebrew mind and language than thinking one dimensionally about words.

    Considering the context of Jeremiah 31. Chapters 30-33 have an overall structure that uses a repetition of "Behold" four times. It structures the "Restoration" ideas surrounding "Israel" and "Judah." (Restoration passages are VERY important.) They were in exile and God is promises to bring them out of exile and renew the covenant He had with them. He is not going to renew it like the covenant he made with Moses - with burdensome Laws, so to speak. Rather, He will fulfill it in Christ. The context of Jeremiah is comparing Abraham's covenant with the Mosaic Law, the tablets of stone, and the promises of the Lord to Abraham, of which we know Christ is the fulfillment. Abraham's covenant is not new. It is refreshed, renewed, fulfilled, completed, etc., in Christ (which ultimately points to the use of this passage in Hebrews 8). For instance, we are dealing with the same God, the same law, the same people (the elect), the same fallen status of people (in sin), the same status of God (gracious and longsuffering, but also judicious), the same status of justification (by faith alone), the same stipulation (blood covers sin), the same provision of the stipulation (Christ), and the same reward (peace with God and everlasting life). What is really new?

    Now a classic Dispensationalist will say, "I would have said that regeneration is the new thing - the law written on the heart." But that does not seem to fit well. Was Abraham regenerate??

    The greater context does not limit Jeremiah 31 to just "regenerate people." The restoration ideas do not limit the passage to merely an internal aspect to the covenant. If that were really true, then things like the Lord's Supper, and Baptism, outward and external sacraments in the New Covenant, would not be necessary. But Jeremiah 31 is not simply speaking about something internal - it is much bigger than that. It includes Israel's children, and the fulfillment of all the promises to Abraham. Jeremiah 30:20 says, "Their children also shall be as before, And their congregation shall be established before Me; And I will punish all who oppress them." And Jeremiah 31:17, right before our passage says this, "There is hope in your future, says the LORD, That your children shall come back to their own border." Listen to what Jeremiah 32:18 says, "You show lovingkindness to thousands, and repay the iniquity of the fathers into the bosom of their children after them -- the Great, the Mighty God, whose name is the LORD of hosts." And we should not forget Jeremiah 32:39 says, just a chapter after, but in the same context, "then I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear Me forever, for the good of them and their children after them." If it is really just about "a regenerate church membership" then why mention the "good of the children?" Oftentimes Jeremiah 31:31ff is ripped from its context, and misread.

    Now we are talking about a "renewed Covenant" or a "refreshed Covenant" in Jesus Christ [i:9cbcf54339]which makes a lot of difference.[/i:9cbcf54339]

    Next question: What covenant is in contrast with this renewed or refreshed covenant in this passage? Is it Abraham's? No. It's the Mosaic covenant. The covenant here is a renewing, or refreshing of the Abrahamic promise over the scaffolding of the Mosaic covenant.

    The covenant made with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, one that the Messiah will bring in, is going to be the Abrahamic Covenant fulfilled.

    What about writing the law on the heart?

    It is clear that the contrast is one of regeneration. But ask, was Abraham regenerate?

    Is Paul stupid to use Abraham as the Father of our faith?

    We would have to say "yes, Abraham was regenerate."

    Was he saved by grace through faith? Yes.

    Did he have the Spirit indwelling him as you and I do? Romans 8:8!!

    If this is the case, what makes this renewed covenant in Jeremiah 31 different?

    What about Hebrews 8? It quotes this at length surrounding the ministry of Jesus as High priest forever? Is Hebrews wrong? What is wrong is the interpretation of Jeremiah 31 that YOU bring to Hebrews 8. Hebrews 8 quotes the whole passage in Jeremiah. But what if you misunderstand Jeremiah 31? Will you ever understand Hebrew 8? No!

    This is a renewed covenant, the scaffolding of the Mosaic covenant is gone, and the writing is on the heart. But this is not new, it is the renewed covenant of Abraham, and that is an important point. What else is different about this renewed covenant?

    It says no one will teach his neighbor saying know the Lord for they shall all know me from the least to the greatest. Isn't this regeneration? But it can't be that since it is the renewed covenant of Abraham fulfilled in Christ. Many think this meant that those in the New Testament church would be regenerate. That is why "our church only baptizes people on profession of faith."

    It cannot be talking about regeneration and just regeneration. Abraham, as you said, was regenerate and that happened before this promise. So Jeremiah's "newness" or "renewed" covenant is not just talking about regeneration alone. Let's ask this question: Do we have teachers today?

    Yes, we have teachers today.

    But the text says we will not have any more teachers in this renewed covenant. No one will "teach one another saying..."

    But we have teachers today. Are we saying the New Covenant is not now?

    No.

    The New Covenant, or Abrahamic Covenant, is a "now and not yet" covenant. In the Old Testament the Abrahamic Covenant was awaiting its fulfillment. But Abraham was saved. It was a "now" and "not yet" covenant. It was "now and not yet" in promise. Jeremiah, though, is quite plain and we need to take the text as it stands. In the New Covenant there will be no more teachers. The verb "teach one another" is "they teach one another." It is third person. "No one [they] will teach his neighbor." In the fulfillment of the New Covenant, the renewed covenant of Abraham, there will be no more teachers. When will everyone, from the least in the kingdom to the greatest in the kingdom, know the Lord? And remember, this is a time when there are no more teachers.

    We would have to say in heaven. Only in heaven will everyone know the Lord completely and in heaven there will be no teachers.

    The renewed covenant made with the house of Israel and Judah is the Abrahamic covenant fulfilled in Christ. It is set in contrast to the ceremonial and judicial laws given at Sinai because the blood of bulls and goats do not really save. Jesus Christ inaugurates the coming of this new kingdom and renewed covenant. In doing so, the New Covenant is "now" for us, since we are saved; but it is also "not yet," in that in heaven all people will know the Lord form the least to the greatest. There are teachers now in inaugurating the renewed covenant, but there will be no teachers then. There are saved people now, just as in the Old Testament, but the "knowing" is complete only in heaven. No church, anywhere, is made up of all regenerate people, and is without teachers or pastors. Many people think that the New Testament church is supposed to be made up of only regenerate members. That is why dispensational churches only want to baptize regenerate people, those who simply make a profession of faith, and leave the children out. Although, in reality, they have no "proof" in any way of ensuring the person is saved, but they will baptize them anyway. But Jeremiah is not talking about excluding or including people in this way. In the time of Abraham, even people like Esau were included in the covenant, and the New Covenant, is not consummation with a completely regenerate "membership" until we get to heaven. Only then will we have no more teachers.
     
  3. C. Matthew McMahon

    C. Matthew McMahon Christian Preacher

    Paul, its because of thier backwards hermeneutic. Hebrews 8 stops short of the verse you quoted so credos figure that's all they need to pay attention to - as if the writers of Hebrews did not understand the Jeremiah chapters in context. :rolleyes:
     
  4. VanVos

    VanVos Puritan Board Sophomore

    I'm sure you're aware of the argument that in the New Covenant you are only a desendant by faith in Christ. Gal 4:29, Rom 4:16. Maybe I do have a "backwards" hermeneutic in the sense that I use the New testament to interpret these old testament prophetical passages. Is it not dispensationalism that reads and emphasis old testament over the new? (I know that you might miss understand or disagree with what I'm saying here, but it's just food for thought)

    VanVos
     
  5. luvroftheWord

    luvroftheWord Puritan Board Sophomore

    There's nothing wrong with using the New to interpret the Old, so long as you remember that the New cannot contradict or change the Old. If an Old Testament prophecy about the New Covenant expressly included the children of believers when it was written, the New Testament cannot contradict this meaning. It can expound on it and explain it, but never contradict it, otherwise we are left at best with a hermeneutic of severe discontinuity, and at worst we have a contradictory Bible.
     
  6. C. Matthew McMahon

    C. Matthew McMahon Christian Preacher

    :thumbup:

    Vanvos,

    The problem is that it is not [i:3717e75a7d]exclusively [/i:3717e75a7d]those who have faith in Christ that are in the NC. (Which is explaiend above by Jeremiah alone).
     
  7. luvroftheWord

    luvroftheWord Puritan Board Sophomore

    Nice. :thumbup:
     
  8. VanVos

    VanVos Puritan Board Sophomore

    Thanks for your thought I'm going to continue to study this subject.

    VanVos
     
  9. C. Matthew McMahon

    C. Matthew McMahon Christian Preacher

    Pastor Jonathan,

    The key text to "exclusivism" of the regenerate in the NC is the Jeremiah passage. Study that passage and read everything you can on it. It is a key text. Seen as the restoration passage it is, it sheds a whole new light on exegetical work down on it in context.
     
  10. Covenant Joel

    Covenant Joel Puritan Board Sophomore

    Not withstanding what has been said, I still am not satisified. I do not believe like the dispensationals who say it is totally new. However, if it is indeed renewed, there should be some differences. Obviously there are: no more blood sacrifices etc, because it was fulfilled in Christ. But the text seems to be saying that what is different about it is that "they shall all know Me." Now, as I understand it, you are saying that this is speaking from the point of view that when the New Covenant is completely fulfilled --in heaven-- then all will indeed know Christ. But that does not seem to do justice to the text itself. It says ALL will know Him, and it does not indicate that that will take place at the "end" of the new covenant, but rather the New Covenant is to be characterized by that. Such that, those who are actually in the New Covenant have experienced regeneration and do not need someone to tell them, Know the Lord

    Thoughts?

    Joel
     
  11. Covenant Joel

    Covenant Joel Puritan Board Sophomore

    Not withstanding what has been said, I still am not satisified. I do not believe like the dispensationals who say it is totally new. However, if it is indeed renewed, there should be some differences. Obviously there are: no more blood sacrifices etc, because it was fulfilled in Christ. But the text seems to be saying that what is different about it is that "they shall all know Me." Now, as I understand it, you are saying that this is speaking from the point of view that when the New Covenant is completely fulfilled --in heaven-- then all will indeed know Christ. But that does not seem to do justice to the text itself. It says ALL will know Him, and it does not indicate that that will take place at the "end" of the new covenant, but rather the New Covenant is to be characterized by that. Such that, those who are actually in the New Covenant have experienced regeneration and do not need someone to tell them, Know the Lord

    Thoughts?

    Joel
     
  12. Dan....

    Dan.... Puritan Board Sophomore

    Paul Manata wrote,
    [quote:5a8361e7ee]
    I always see baptists quoting Jer. 31-34, but for some reason they never quote verse 36...
    [/quote:5a8361e7ee]


    ...to which Webmaster replied:
    [quote:5a8361e7ee]
    its because of thier backwards hermeneutic. Hebrews 8 stops short of the verse you quoted so credos figure that's all they need to pay attention to - as if the writers of Hebrews did not understand the Jeremiah chapters in context.
    [/quote:5a8361e7ee]


    Maybe I'm just dense, but I do not see at all where verse 36 is contradictory to the Baptistic view that only the elect are actually in the New Covenant.

    All those verses that Paul Manata listed do indeed refer to our physical offspring. Our God is a God to many generations. I've said it befroe and will say it again: I am a believer today because of God's faithfulness to His promise. My grandparents trusted Him. God's promise was fulfilled to them in that they bore children who trusted in Christ, and their children have borne children who have trusted in Christ. I believe that the promise of God is good also for me and my children after me. He has worked among the descendants of those who have trusted in Him down through the centuries, and will continue to bless children's children until all things be fulfilled, in this age, and in the age to come.

    This does not at all contradict that only the elect are in the New Covenant. God has been pleased to gift His children with other children who are His children. There are elect from generation to generation, and of such is the New Covenant, for all shall know Him.
     
  13. pastorway

    pastorway Puritan Board Senior

  14. Dan....

    Dan.... Puritan Board Sophomore

    [quote:111839d882]
    How do you look at this?
    [/quote:111839d882]
    Aforetime the promise was to them and to their descendants; in this present time, the promise is to them and to their descendants. Unchanging God, unchanging promise.

    The children of Jacob were in a national covenant. Though this national covenant has passed away, the promise has not changed. He is a God to us and a God to our descendants after us.

    [quote:111839d882]
    Maybe it is our different approach but all those verses scream inclusion to me.
    [/quote:111839d882]

    The promises are not all-inclusive (to claim they are all-inclusive would be absurd). Yet the promises are fulfilled in each generation among those who are converted to the God of their fathers.
     
  15. notgollum

    notgollum Inactive User

    I hope this post isn't swaying too much from the original topic.
    I am not entering this discussion with any original take on what scripture teaches concerning children of believers but I come at this as a parent and one who until very recently has been a Calvinistic Baptist for many years. I realize the concern that Baptists have of Covenant Children taking their salvation for granted. I have also observed what I have come to believe as the negative effect in treating our kids as if they are unregenerate until the so-called "age of accountability".
    With so many of these discussions being centered on presuppositions and the hermeneutic one holds it is often easy to end up believing in whatever was the last best book or argument written on the subject.
    My question is to the board is...What can we see from church history esp.
    The first and second century and also how newly converted first century Jews saw their children.
    I can't imagine that they would not see a continuance from the Old Covenant to the New concerning the position of their children in God's community. It seems to me that the Baptistic view is relatively new in the scheme of things regarding the kids of a believing family. As a believer for a 1/4 of a century in Baptistic Churches I have observed too many kids who have had doubts about their salvation and have been looking for some unusual conversion experience in order to justify their getting baptized. Many of these kids have been so blessed being brought up in a believing home with parents obeying the command in Deut concerning the raising of children. The Padeo's kids from what I have seen have a great advantage over the Credo's in their assurance.

    Sorry if I went on or went off topic.
     
  16. john

    john Inactive User

    If Baptism is a continuation of God's covenant to His children then should we stop baptising girls.
    Who changed the covenant to include girls?
    I view this argument in the same way I view the keeping of the Sabbath.
    Who changed the day?

    If a change came about regarding the way to deal with our offspring then it would have been made clear as it was with circumcision.
    The glimpses we get of whole families being baptised is ambiguous whereas the circumcision of the heart is not ambiguous. We do continue as of old but now in the reality of which the mutilating of the flesh was just a forshadow.
    I am not a Baptist though I attend a Baptist church. I am myself a Christian.
    As for the history of the Church then the Baptists are not really Protestant. They were on the scene all the way through the Dark Ages and known as the Waldenes.
    Calvin and the others referred to them as anabaptists and reserved some vitriol for them when in fact they should have been recognised as the Children of God who took the heat for such a long time.
    I think there are references about them dating back to the first century and were known as the Waldenes.
     
  17. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritan Board Doctor

    [quote:39509ae1f8="notgollum"]I hope this post isn't swaying too much from the original topic.
    I am not entering this discussion with any original take on what scripture teaches concerning children of believers but I come at this as a parent and one who until very recently has been a Calvinistic Baptist for many years. I realize the concern that Baptists have of Covenant Children taking their salvation for granted. I have also observed what I have come to believe as the negative effect in treating our kids as if they are unregenerate until the so-called "age of accountability".
    With so many of these discussions being centered on presuppositions and the hermeneutic one holds it is often easy to end up believing in whatever was the last best book or argument written on the subject.
    My question is to the board is...What can we see from church history esp.
    The first and second century and also how newly converted first century Jews saw their children.
    I can't imagine that they would not see a continuance from the Old Covenant to the New concerning the position of their children in God's community. It seems to me that the Baptistic view is relatively new in the scheme of things regarding the kids of a believing family. As a believer for a 1/4 of a century in Baptistic Churches I have observed too many kids who have had doubts about their salvation and have been looking for some unusual conversion experience in order to justify their getting baptized. Many of these kids have been so blessed being brought up in a believing home with parents obeying the command in Deut concerning the raising of children. The Padeo's kids from what I have seen have a great advantage over the Credo's in their assurance.

    Sorry if I went on or went off topic.[/quote:39509ae1f8]

    My sentiments exactly. In fact, the credo does not raise their child w/ any assurance, but with just the opposite. The assrance I raise my children with is that where we may be faithless, God is faithful. It is His promises that are yes and amen < in Christ>. They are constantly told to receive, accept, believe, repent, persevere, pray and run.
     
  18. notgollum

    notgollum Inactive User

    Scott...We have to get our dogs together!

    :thumbup:
     
  19. C. Matthew McMahon

    C. Matthew McMahon Christian Preacher

    [quote:c44fce2b04]If Baptism is a continuation of God's covenant to His children then should we stop baptising girls.
    Who changed the covenant to include girls? [/quote:c44fce2b04]

    When did the OT [b:c44fce2b04]not[/b:c44fce2b04] include girls?

    Were girls "circumcised" in the OT? If they were not, then they are cutt off from among God's people, and not allowed to participate in the Passover.

    In mentioning infants, some see problems with Females. Females were not circumcised. Would we contend that they are then baptized? Let me say this, forget baptism for a moment. We are jumping ahead because we have not established that children should be baptized at all yet. But I think an important aspect of the Old Testament covenant has eluded you and we should take it up now. Females were circumcised. We know, in certain medical ways, that women can be "circumcised" of sorts. But nowhere in the Old Testament does God command that women are to be circumcised. That woudl be wrong to a certain degree. Read Exodus 12:48, "And when a stranger dwells with you and wants to keep the Passover to the LORD, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near and keep it; and he shall be as a native of the land. For no uncircumcised person shall eat it."

    Who is not allowed to eat the Passover?

    No uncircumcised person.

    How then, could females eat of it? If NO uncircumcised person is to eat of it, no one with a foreskin, and women, anatomically do have that in a smaller degree, then what could God be talking about here?

    The male is circumcised on the foreskin. It is cut. Covenants, as we know, are cut. When God made a covenant with Abraham he passed through the animal parts and ratified the cutting of the covenant. He passed through the blood of the covenant. Males are cut, and the sign of the covenant is in their flesh. But females, EVERY FEMALE SEED passes through the midst of the covenant every time procreation takes place. The female seed passes through the male procreative organ, right in the middle of the circumcision made in blood. A covenant, then, is cut every time the child of covenant promise is conceived. The reality of it is ratified on her. Females are virtually circumcised by passing through the covenant sign, and the males are both virtually and actually circumcised to continue the sign in the own flesh.
     
  20. Dan....

    Dan.... Puritan Board Sophomore

    Scott Bushey wrote
    [quote:b77cd523ae]
    In fact, the credo does not raise their child w/ any assurance, but with just the opposite.
    [/quote:b77cd523ae]

    Well amen!!!! Praise God for faithful credo (and paedo)-baptistic churches who will not give their children some false assurance that all is well because they are the children of covenant parents, but rather will faithfully preach the gospel to them that they must repent and be converted lest they die in their sins. May it never be that we should tell our children that all is well when all may not be well.
     
  21. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritan Board Doctor

    Scott previously wrote:
    [quote:b09aaffc9d]
    My sentiments exactly. In fact, the credo does not raise their child w/ any assurance, but with just the opposite. The assrance I raise my children with is that where we may be faithless, God is faithful. It is His promises that are yes and amen < in Christ>. They are constantly told to receive, accept, believe, repent, persevere, pray and run.[/quote:b09aaffc9d]

    Dan's reesponse:
    [quote:b09aaffc9d]
    Well amen!!!! Praise God for faithful credo (and paedo)-baptistic churches who will not give their children some false assurance that all is well because they are the children of covenant parents, but rather will faithfully preach the gospel to them that they must repent and be converted lest they die in their sins. May it never be that we should tell our children that all is well when all may not be well.[/quote:b09aaffc9d]

    Dan,
    Do you see any of the components you mention missing from my rationale?
     
  22. JohnV

    JohnV Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    [quote:164052950f]Well amen!!!! Praise God for faithful credo (and paedo)-baptistic churches who will not give their children some false assurance that all is well because they are the children of covenant parents, but rather will faithfully preach the gospel to them that they must repent and be converted lest they die in their sins. May it never be that we should tell our children that all is well when all may not be well.[/quote:164052950f]
    Why is this so hard to get over? I've been Paedo all my life, and I've never entertained the notion that all is well just because my kids have been baptized. Oh, sure, it is there among those who are doctrinally lax in everything else too, but it's not part and parcel of the Paedo position. Besides, Paedo's don't own the market on the "all is well" notion. Assurance, like what Scott speaks of, yes, by all means; but thinking the job is over just because we baptized our children at infancy? It doesn't even make sense. Why are we always answering these objections?

    Sorry, Dan; I know better than to think that you would assert irresponsibility upon the Paedo's. It's just that I hear it over and over and over again. And the fact that it happens has nothing to do with the baptism debate: it's an entire other problem having to do with latititudinarianism instead, I think. And that exists in other baptism views as well.

    Just had to get that out. I feel better now. Come to think of it, I may not after people start reading this.
     
  23. Dan....

    Dan.... Puritan Board Sophomore

    Scott,

    If you do not have a problem with my rationale, then why are you bashing the Baptists for teaching this?

    John,

    I have no animosity for any paedo-baptist churches who do faithfully warn their children that if they do not repent and are not converted they will die in their sins, rather I am happy for them. (Notice that I said "[i:9d7dce835e]faithful credo (and paedo)-baptistic churches [/i:9d7dce835e]").

    My concern is why Scott seems to have an axe to grind against credo-baptistic churches when we seek to faithfully admonish our children to repent. Why does he have a problem with this?
     
  24. JohnV

    JohnV Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    Dan:

    I'm not so sure that you see the same axe being ground as Scott does. But even so, is the right answer to grind an axe right back?

    It is part of the Paedo confession that baptism belongs in the setting of covenant. So it is a must in the eyes of the Paedo. It is even in the confessions. Once it is seen as fitting in with all of Scripture, it bears certain necessities upon the believer. It is these things, I believe, that Scott and others are "grinding" at. It has become a matter of obedience, not point of view anymore.

    Maybe we could do better in understanding that it does not have the same effect on those who cannot see it. Still, we would not be very faithful or understanding if we did not put the same necessity upon it that is there, regardless of whether it is seen; and recognizing that the other side may just be doing the same thing. It seems to be an uneven debate that way. Yet on the other hand it is even, for both sides feel as convicted as the other.

    We could all do better, I suppose, in knowing that grinding axes reveals only intent, and does nothing for the discussion.
     
  25. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritan Board Doctor

    [quote:70c7f3b0a8="Dan...."]Scott,

    If you do not have a problem with my rationale, then why are you bashing the Baptists for teaching this?

    John,

    I have no animosity for any paedo-baptist churches who do faithfully warn their children that if they do not repent and are not converted they will die in their sins, rather I am happy for them. (Notice that I said "[i:70c7f3b0a8]faithful credo (and paedo)-baptistic churches [/i:70c7f3b0a8]").

    My concern is why Scott seems to have an axe to grind against credo-baptistic churches when we seek to faithfully admonish our children to repent. Why does he have a problem with this?[/quote:70c7f3b0a8]

    Dan,
    "Bashing and axe grinding"??? Let me start with another qoute of your's Dan:
    [quote:70c7f3b0a8]He is a God to us and a God to our descendants after us. [/quote:70c7f3b0a8]

    I am assuming you are using this term to describe the status of your children in God-no? The biblical connotation from the paedo perspective is indeed different than how you interpret it. For God to be "a God" to my child means much more than I understood as a credo. In fact, I used the idea erroneously. It was unbiblical. As was previously posted above, in historic Israel, how did Abraham interpret this admonition and promise? For God to promise to Abraham that He would indeed be his childrens God was not based upon the recipients faithfulness to God but Gods immutable faithfulness to Abraham and his seed.

    Dan,
    How do you reconcile the idea that on one hand you claim this piece of scripture and yet on the other deny it by your actions with your chiLdren? On Tuesday you tell them in devotions to pray the Father and on Wednesday you tell them they are at odds with Him and He is not their Father that day. Is this not schizophrenic? This IS the conundrum in the baptists theology. This cannot be reconciled. I know; I was a Baptist. One of the reasons I am now Paedo is that this issue is reconciled; scripturally, comfortably. There is no more tension. No conundrum.

    No axes Dan, no bashing. Just the truth.
     
  26. Dan....

    Dan.... Puritan Board Sophomore

    [quote:2a2c27084a]
    It is part of the Paedo confession that baptism belongs in the setting of covenant. So it is a must in the eyes of the Paedo. It is even in the confessions. Once it is seen as fitting in with all of Scripture, it bears certain necessities upon the believer.
    [/quote:2a2c27084a]

    I understand that. But that is not what David (notgollum), and Scott in their respective responses were saying. Neither David, nor Scott mentioned baptism in their critiques of Baptist practice toward their children.

    David said,
    [quote:2a2c27084a]As a believer for a 1/4 of a century in Baptistic Churches I have observed too many kids who have had doubts about their salvation and have been looking for some unusual conversion experience in order to justify their getting baptized. Many of these kids have been so blessed being brought up in a believing home with parents obeying the command in Deut concerning the raising of children. The Padeo's kids from what I have seen have a great advantage over the Credo's in their assurance.
    [/quote:2a2c27084a]

    ...to which Scott replied....
    [quote:2a2c27084a]
    My sentiments exactly. In fact, the credo does not raise their child w/ any assurance, but with just the opposite. The assrance I raise my children with is that where we may be faithless, God is faithful.
    [/quote:2a2c27084a]

    David faulted Baptists for leading their children to look for some "unusual conversion experience". I'm not exactly sure what he meant by "unusual conversion experience", but if he is implying something of a mystical nature, then his experience with baptists has been much different than has mine.

    Scott replied by critiqueing that credo-baptists fail to give their children "assurance".

    Hence my response that I am thankful to God for credo and paedo baptist churches who do not give their children some false assurance. Any "assurance" that we give to our children, of whom we do not know whether they be in Christ or not, is false assurance.

    Now, it could be that Scott and I are interpreting the term "assurance" differently. If he is using assurance as "assurance of salvation", which is how I would use and interpret the term, then my critique stands, because to give one's child the assurance that he/she is in a right relationship with God even though the child may still be outside of Christ is to give the child a false assurance, and is a dangerous error.

    Now it could be that Scott meant something different by the word "assurance" when he said, "[i:2a2c27084a]the credo does not raise their child w/ any assurance, but with just the opposite[/i:2a2c27084a]".

    Maybe I misunderstood, which is quite possible (and I hope probable), but what he said appears to be a critique of the fact that we tell our children that unless they repent they will perish outside of Christ. What is wrong with us telling this to our children? Is this not the gospel that they need to hear? I'm sure we all agree on this, right? Then what is it that Scott is criticizing?


    Scott,

    [quote:2a2c27084a]
    I am assuming you are using this term to describe the status of your children in God-no?
    [/quote:2a2c27084a]

    Eschatologically? Yes. Temporally? No. I believe that God will be a God to my children. As to whether their present status (temporally speaking) is in Christ or still in Adam, I do not know. The promise of God leads me to presume election; it does not lead me to presume regeneration.


    [quote:2a2c27084a]
    The biblical connotation from the paedo perspective is indeed different than how you interpret it
    [/quote:2a2c27084a]

    First, as I'm sure we are all aware; there is not just one paedo perspective. Even among confessional Presbyterians, there are those who hold presumptive regeneration, those who hold presumptive election, and those who hold neither. To assume your interpretation as "the peado prespective" is unfair to the rest.


    [quote:2a2c27084a]
    How do you reconcile the idea that on one hand you claim this piece of scripture and yet on the other deny it by your actions with your chiLdren?
    [/quote:2a2c27084a]

    Nothing to reconcile. As I do not presume that my child is regenerate, I do not presume that my child is right with God. Yes, we are approaching the promise from different avenues.

    [quote:2a2c27084a]
    On Tuesday you tell them in devotions to pray the Father and on Wednesday you tell them they are at odds with Him and He is not their Father that day.
    [/quote:2a2c27084a]

    How do you know what I do? How do you know that this is what "all" or "most" baptists do? Can you judge that by your limited experience with baptists (and I'm sure that my experience is just as limited as yours with baptists) that this is standard baptist procedure?
     
  27. Dan....

    Dan.... Puritan Board Sophomore

    Paul,

    [quote:62adbac6c2]
    So Dan, if I understand you correctly you say that the promise still stands.
    [/quote:62adbac6c2]

    If God would be a God to Abraham and his descendents, to Jacob and his descendants, to David and his descendents, to all those in the nation of Israel who trusted Him and to their descendants, then I see no reason why God would not be a God to me and my descendants. If God has worked among the generations of those who have trusted Him in the past, then why should we expect any different from Him now?

    [quote:62adbac6c2]
    God told Abraham to give the covenant sign to all his male offspring and promised to be a God to them. God is still a God to them but circumcision represented (stricktly?) a national marker. This is one reason why the command of God to give them the covenant sign stands no more.
    [/quote:62adbac6c2]

    Circumcision was an ordinance of positive institution which is no longer required. All males in Israel were required to be circumcised, regardless of whether their parents were believers or not (Lev 12:3). In this way I see circumcision as a national ordinance of a national covenant (Ex 19:6) between God and the nation of Israel. As the national covenant (as an outward administration of the covenant of grace) has passed away (Heb 8:13), so also has the ordinance (Gal 5:6).

    Yet the promise remains (Gal 3:29). The same promise given to God's people throughout the Old Testament is still for God's people today.

    [quote:62adbac6c2]
    Honestly I have never heard a baptist say that the promise was still for our physical children. If you could, can you point me to other baptists who argue this way?
    [/quote:62adbac6c2]

    I have not either. However, I would be hard pressed to find where 1689 Confessional Baptist authors have denied that the promise has any application to our descendants. If you could point me to where some have outrightly denied that God's promise (to bless the descendants of those who trust Him) is for us today, then please do, as I'd like to see why they would argue against it. I'll have to ask some of the more educated men in my church to see what they know.
     
  28. Puritan Sailor

    Puritan Sailor Moderator

    [quote:aef15eba32="Dan...."]Paul,

    [quote:aef15eba32]
    So Dan, if I understand you correctly you say that the promise still stands.
    [/quote:aef15eba32]

    If God would be a God to Abraham and his descendents, to Jacob and his descendants, to David and his descendents, to all those in the nation of Israel who trusted Him and to their descendants, then I see no reason why God would not be a God to me and my descendants. If God has worked among the generations of those who have trusted Him in the past, then why should we expect any different from Him now? [/quote:aef15eba32]
    The problem I see here though Dan is that Abraham, Jacob, and all the other faithful descendents did not apply the promise the same way as you are describing. They circumcisized their children because they were in covenant with God, not to bring them in covenant, and if they refused, the children were then cut off. The OT fathers treated their children as part of the covenant. They presumed that God was the God of their children until the children proved otherwise. If the children rejected God then they were cut off and presumed accursed. They presumed that their children had the necessary means (i.e. regeneration and/or faith, in later scriptural terms) to enjoy communion with God and understand the oracles they were raised under. Everything they did, rewards and punishments, were all done with reference to their covenant Father adn the redemption He accomplished for them. This is something they could not have done if they were presuming their children had not yet received God for themselves. They could not consistently teach their children to pray "Our Father..." when He is not their Father. Even instructions in prayer in both the OT and NT are given within the covenant context that God is their Father, not the devil, and that Christ is their mediator.
    [quote:aef15eba32]
    [quote:aef15eba32]
    God told Abraham to give the covenant sign to all his male offspring and promised to be a God to them. God is still a God to them but circumcision represented (stricktly?) a national marker. This is one reason why the command of God to give them the covenant sign stands no more.
    [/quote:aef15eba32]

    Circumcision was an ordinance of positive institution which is no longer required. All males in Israel were required to be circumcised, regardless of whether their parents were believers or not (Lev 12:3). In this way I see circumcision as a national ordinance of a national covenant (Ex 19:6) between God and the nation of Israel. As the national covenant (as an outward administration of the covenant of grace) has passed away (Heb 8:13), so also has the ordinance (Gal 5:6).

    Yet the promise remains (Gal 3:29). The same promise given to God's people throughout the Old Testament is still for God's people today.
    [/quote:aef15eba32]
    Circumcision was not administered to professing unbelievers. If a child was circumcised in Israel, it was presumed that they had God as their God and that he would be to their descendents too. It may have happened in times of national apostacy that unbelievers had their children circumcised but that was a time of disobedience, not the ideal. Ideally, there were no unbelieving parents because unbelievers were cut off. And circumcision was more than a national sign at least to Abraham, whom had all his children circumcised, even those whose descendents would be future enemies of Israel.
    Also, even though national Israel has served it's purpose as an outward administration of the covenant of grace, it was replaced by a new outward administration of the covenant of grace in the Church, with a new outward sign of covenant inclusion, baptism, and a new and broader understanding of what it means to be the visible people of God in the world.

    You also took issue with Scott's comments about what you teach your children. I don't think he was attacking you. He was simply commenting on the problem in baptist covenant theology. It is right to teach our children to pray. It is right to teach them their sinful condition, their need of Christ, and the consequences of rejecting Him. But how do you reconcile the two truths? Your children must have a mediator in order to pray, but if you presume they are unregenerate, then until they come to faith, there is no open door for them to pray. God will not hear them without their sins forgiven and righteousness imputed to them. They have no access to the throne of grace without Christ. So by teaching your children to pray in the name of Christ, your are presuming they do in fact have faith in Christ and access to the throne of grace, whether you intend to or not. In the peado scheme, both presumptions are held without discord, because God is the covenant Father of our children, and as they grow, we teach them all the oracles of God, the requirements, the reason they sin, the remedy for their sin, their mediator, and the rewards and curses for continuing in faith or rejecting Christ.
    In the absolute sense, we know that only the elect will believe and pray aright, but we don't live and work in the absolute sense, only God does. We must work with presumptions based upon promises and evidence when available. We know that not all Israel are Israel, but that is God's business. Our duty is to teach them the whole counsel of God, whether they are elect or reprobate because we cannot know that state absolutely.
     
  29. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritan Board Doctor

    Pat,
    Doesn't being in (even) the external covenant count for something?
     
  30. notgollum

    notgollum Inactive User

    [quote:5309f8e3d7]Dan wrote...
    David faulted Baptists for leading their children to look for some "unusual conversion experience". I'm not exactly sure what he meant by "unusual conversion experience", but if he is implying something of a mystical nature, then his experience with Baptists has been much different than has mine. [/quote:5309f8e3d7]

    Let me clarify.
    As a former Calvinistic Baptist and member of an "independent "ARBCA
    Congregation for the last seven years I can speak with some experience.
    Some members claim Covenantal blessings on their kids without totally believing Old Covenant promises. This leads to many teenagers who have been from day one taught from the scriptures by faithful parents but who still end up having a problem with their Christian identity.
    This is why I characterized them as looking for some unusual experience similar to what some of their parents had who came from non-Christian homes. Of course we exhort them to repent and believe (the church that I now attend does an excellent job of this). The problem is that we need not forbid these kids from singing "Jesus Loves Me" until some day that we have seen some absolute evidence of their conversion.
    Arguing that Padeo's give their kid's false assurance is an argument from extremes born out of the paranoia of Romish theology. Sound churches that are truly reformed balance the task of preaching and admonishing without withholding the wonderful promises that God has made to families who disciple their children and pray for the blessings of their labors.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page