In answer to posts on the Credo-baptist forum here

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CalvinandHodges

Puritan Board Junior
Hi:

Iconoclast writes:
Hello Rob,

If I follow the "logic" of your post, You say:
I would then point out that disciples are not converts.Go ye therefore, and disciple all nations, baptizing them .
So Rob, are you saying that the Great Commision advocates baptizing all the unbelievers in the nations,[bringing them under the church teaching] as you seem to be putting the cart before the horse?
If you do not accept that the commision is to make disciples {true disciples}
we do not want to "make Judas,or those in Jn.6:66"
In your zeal to put forth your padeo position,you are twisting the great commision, playing with the definition of the word disciple.

It seems as if it is a false premise.

Anthony D'Arienzo
Sunday School Teacher
Hope Reformed Baptist Church:
Medford, N.Y.

Anthony:

The definition of a "disciple" or "learner" is one that excludes every single individual in a nation. A "disciple" is one who is under the teaching authority of the Church. The Great Commission clearly teaches us to baptize disciples. The question concerning infant baptism is whether or not the definition of a disciple can be placed upon the children of believers.

If the Scriptures command believing parents to disciple their children, "Bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord," then it does not forbid the children of believers the external rite of Baptism.

The credo-baptist position of "converts only" is not found in the Scriptures. A convert is a subcategory of "disciple," and, therefore, converts are baptized. But the criteria for baptism is not conversion, but being a disciple of Jesus.

To give you an example: I could go to a college Biology class and learn (be discipled) about Evolution, but that does not mean I believe it.

Blessings,

Rob
 
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PuritanCovenanter

Moderator
Staff member
Rob,

So, to be a learner is what makes one a disciple? There is no discipline or practice involved? I find your analogy of being taught evolution in a classroom and disicpleship very lacking. Plus, there is the cognitive nature of being a follower and disciple. Just my humble opinion.

Discipleship has to do with adhering to and following something. It is more than just being a learner.

dis·ci·ple (dĭ-sī'pəl)
n.
1. One who embraces and assists in spreading the teachings of another.
2. An active adherent, as of a movement or philosophy.

BTW Rob....

I think you should also repost your rebuttal in the other thread you are really responding to so the conversation can still flow over there. No need to stop that one.
 
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MRC

Puritan Board Freshman
Rob,

So, to be a learner is what makes one a disciple? There is no discipline or practice involved? I find your analogy of being taught evolution in a classroom and disicpleship very lacking. Plus, there is the cognitive nature of being a follower and disciple. Just my humble opinion.

Discipleship has to do with adhering to and following something. It is more than just being a learner.

dis·ci·ple (dĭ-sī'pəl)
n.
1. One who embraces and assists in spreading the teachings of another.
2. An active adherent, as of a movement or philosophy.

BTW Rob....

I think you should also repost your rebuttal in the other thread you are really responding to so the conversation can still flow over there. No need to stop that one.

I don't speak original languages, but I have read in several reliable places that the intent of the originals for doctrine is teaching and disciple is learner. As an active "adherent" to the doctrine of the Bible it would be evident through exhibition of moral law, which we would do as we are learners of such teaching.
 

Iconoclast

Puritan Board Junior
Hello Rob,

A square is a rhombus, a rhombus is not a square
All Converts are disciples, not All disciples are converts,
The word for disciple comes from a latin root word,I am told.
A child born into a believing home is holy in that he has the advantage of believing parents raising him according to biblical instruction.
The child can learn from the parent. When the Spirit savingly quickens the child,they can rightly be said to be saved disciples of the Triune God. Anything short of a saving reception of divine truth they remain unsaved disciples,as those who in Jn 6:66 went away from Jesus.

you said;
The credo-baptist position of "converts only" is not found in the Scriptures. A convert is a subcategory of "disciple," and, therefore, converts are baptized. But the criteria for baptism is not conversion, but being a disciple of Jesus.
We "find it everywhere" in scripture. It is easy.Look for the word believers.Then many times you find the word baptism, as in the believers were baptized .Then sure enough it usually says ,they continued in the word and, doctrine, or the word and prayer.
They heard the word preached or taught,they believed by the grace and mercy of God. they were scripturally baptized.[A couple of times whole households believed and were baptized at the same time. It is almost hard not to see it.
The Great Commission clearly teaches us to baptize disciples.

Yes after they believe. Make disciples[all that is involved with that] baptizing them.
 

Herald

Administrator
Staff member
Rob, we're having this discussion on my FB page (of which you're a part of). Here is my response as originally posted on FB:

While "mathetes" in the generic form may mean a disciple, the inference of the Great Commission is on "pisteou", belief. This is supported if you compare Mark's version of the Great Commission with Matthew's. The paedo model fails miserably in the context of the Great Commission if it seeks to interpret "mathetes" independent of being born again. There is a plain normative interpretation of the Great Commission that paedos and credos should agree on. In short, I don't believe this is where paedos want to fall on their sword.
 

Porter

Puritan Board Freshman
"Christ enjoins that those who have submitted to the gospel, and professed to be his disciples, shall be baptized; partly that their baptism may be a pledge of eternal life before God:, and partly that it may be an outward sign of faith before men." (John Calvin on the Great Commission, re: baptism of disciples)

(Too bad he displays inconsistency a couple paragraphs later)... :smug:
 

Porter

Puritan Board Freshman
Rob,

Though there are scriptural references to nominal disciples, as well as the fact that there were "the intimate 12", that does not mean there is no distinction between they and a "soteriologically distinct" class called disciples.

Your statement...
The credo-baptist position of "converts only" is not found in the Scriptures. A convert is a subcategory of "disciple," and, therefore, converts are baptized. But the criteria for baptism is not conversion, but being a disciple of Jesus.
...is erroneous because Christ Himself speaks regarding "true disciples" and links them to His sovereign saving act of liberating them from their bondage (John 8:31-37):

"31 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, "If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." 33 They answered Him, "We are Abraham's descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can You say, "You will be made free'?" 34 Jesus answered them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. 35 And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. 36 Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed. 37 "I know that you are Abraham's descendants, but you seek to kill Me, because My word has no place in you."

John Calvin commenting on the above:

"he means that many profess to be disciples who yet are not so in reality, and have no right to be accounted such. He distinguishes his followers from hypocrites by this mark, that they who falsely boasted of faith give way as soon as they have entered into the course, or at least in the middle of it; but believers persevere constantly to the end. If, therefore, we wish that Christ should reckon us to be his disciples, we must endeavor to persevere."

So the credo-baptist position of "converts only" is most certainly found in the scriptures - "disciple" (in its truest sense, as defined by Christ) is synonymous with "believer" (another term that has a nominal class in the scriptures, like disciple, but which has a distinct sense separate from that meaning: one who is saved. That is what I mean by "believer"), and "convert", and "Christian", and ("insert other term to describe the predestined-called-justified-glorified here"). The criteria for baptism is conversion, or that state of being a true disciple of Christ - one who "abides in His word", a characteristic only possible for those whom He has made free. The testimony of the book of Acts is clear on the this logical and chronological order to belief and baptism.

To make the great commission into some mandate to make nominal disciples who are simply under the instruction of the church, or into a mandate envisioning - in addition to actual believers - the baptizing of covenant children who can apostatize, is to denigrate the glory of the theological and divine reality behind that commission which is Christ "subduing his elect people to himself - his effectual calling of them, and bringing them under his government, wherein, by his word and Spirit, he doth conquer their stubbornness and enmity, and make them a willing people to himself" (Shorter Catechism). Though, of course, the Great Commission takes place by, and within the context of, the church, the making of disciples envisions the preaching of Christ and Him crucified enjoined by the effectual and inviolable calling of God so that the one called "follows the Lamb wherever He goes" (Rev. 14:4), and "keeps the commandments of God and...the testimony of Jesus Christ" (Rev. 12:17). These are the disciples that are baptised - believers -and no others. This is what we see in Acts, the fulfillment of the great commission - the disciples preach the gospel, those who gladly receive the word (they being the ones appointed to eternal life - Acts 13:48) are baptized, and these same are added to the church and instructed to observe all that Jesus commanded. Notice the parallel passage, to Matthew 28:18-20, in the Gospel of Mark:

"And He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned". (Mark 16:15-16)


You also said:
If the Scriptures command believing parents to disciple their children, "Bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord," then it does not forbid the children of believers the external rite of Baptism.
This does not follow by logic, only by forcing your prior commitment to presbyterian tradition upon the scriptures and making an invalid link between raising children biblically and covenantal consecration, or the administration of the ordinance of baptism to one who is the recipient of biblical instruction. The scriptures make no such link. The command to instruct children does not necessitate paedobaptism, nor does it necessitate the understanding that these children are in the covenant. The command to instruct children, raising them in the admonition of the Lord necessitates...instructing children, raising them in the admonition of the Lord. A baptist (of the reformed variety) recognizes the importance of the biblical mandate for biblical parenthood, while maintaining the integrity of the New Covenant - its character as an inviolable covenant ratified by the perfect blood of Jesus Christ (securing the indefectibility of covenant members), and upholding the exact identity between the beneficiaries of particular redemption and those who are members of that covenant.

Peace!

Cam
 

CalvinandHodges

Puritan Board Junior
Greetings:

It seems to me that the credo-baptist position cannot get beyond the idea of the true/false distinction when it comes to converts or to disciples. It is God who knows who His true converts are - not us. However, by utilizing passages referring to the Divine Knowledge, and then applying those passages to the external Covenant the credo-baptist has made a theology that is not consistent with the Scriptures. Cam, for example, writes above:

...is erroneous because Christ Himself speaks regarding "true disciples" and links them to His sovereign saving act of liberating them from their bondage (John 8:31-37):
Here we have the argument of "true disciples." The question follows: Who knows who the "true disciples" are? Do Credo-baptists make the claim that they have the Divine Knowledge of these things? IF we are to baptize only "true disciples" then who is to be baptized?

They then back off of this and say we baptize because of a "credible profession of faith." However, a "credible profession of faith" is necessary for a convert not for a disciple. I believe that one can be a disciple of Jesus Christ, but not a convert - Judas was considered a disciple of Jesus Christ, but who would say that he was a convert? In John 6:65ff the Apostle uses the term "disciple" in reference to the many of Christ's "disciples" who turned away and walked not with Jesus anymore. Now, prior to this event they were considered disciples and would have been eligible for baptism if such was applicable at the time:

From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him, Jn 6:66
Cam continues, "a disciple (in its truest sense as defined by Christ)..." is equivocating on the Scriptural use of the term "disciple." There are true disciples, and there are false disciples, but the argument that Cam is making is "we baptize only true disciples." At least that is the appearance of his writing.

A disciple is simply one who is under the teaching authority of another - a student, Mk 2:18. Moses also had disciples, Is 18:6. The problem with the arguments from all of the credo baptists here is that a convert is necessarily a disciple, but a disciple is not necessarily a convert. I think that enough Scripture has been shown that proves this distinction. Thus, I will not be forced into a tautology by having to repeat this point. If you do not believe it, then fine - if you can show me that Judas was not referred to in the Scriptures as a disciple, then I may believe you. I will grant to you that Judas was not a "true disciple." But, that is not what you have to prove - you have to prove that Judas was not a disciple of Jesus at all. Judas was a "disciple" but not a "convert."

Now, the question that I am raising is whether or not the children of believers can be considered disciples (in the large sense of the word) of Jesus Christ? Cam does not seem to think so:

This does not follow by logic, only by forcing your prior commitment to presbyterian tradition upon the scriptures and making an invalid link between raising children biblically and covenantal consecration, or the administration of the ordinance of baptism to one who is the recipient of biblical instruction. The scriptures make no such link. The command to instruct children does not necessitate paedobaptism, nor does it necessitate the understanding that these children are in the covenant. The command to instruct children, raising them in the admonition of the Lord necessitates...instructing children, raising them in the admonition of the Lord. A baptist (of the reformed variety) recognizes the importance of the biblical mandate for biblical parenthood, while maintaining the integrity of the New Covenant - its character as an inviolable covenant ratified by the perfect blood of Jesus Christ (securing the indefectibility of covenant members), and upholding the exact identity between the beneficiaries of particular redemption and those who are members of that covenant.
Cam is rewriting the argument in order to make it clear from his credo-baptist prejudices. IF a person is "simply a recipient of biblical instruction" then such a person is not a disciple. A person who comes to a church and listens to a sermon is a recipient of biblical instruction - assuming the sermon is Biblical - but such a person is not a disciple. The command for the children of believers is much more than this, "Bring up the child in the nurture and admonition of the Lord," is a good description of the discipleship process. Such people who are under this process are usually considered disciples. I would again bring up the example of Judas - who was under the discipleship process (thus referred to as a disciple), but not a convert.

The command to bring up children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord - is this a command unique to the New Covenant? I ask rhetorically: Did Abraham bring up his children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord? Isaac? Jacob? The people of Israel? Is this not the way that the Covenant of Grace was passed down from generation to generation in the Old Testament? Just because there is an expansion of the Covenant of Grace in the New Covenant - from Jews only to Jews and Gentiles - does this mean that the children of believers are no longer to be discipled? That they are cut off from this access they have to the Covenant of Grace? If the sign of the Covenant of Grace was given to them in the Old Testament, then why should the sign of the Covenant of Grace not be given to them in the New?

The credo-baptist answer, "Not believers ... not the Seed of Abraham," But the New Covenant criteria is not conversion, but being a disciple - being under the teaching authority of the Church. And, my beloved brothers and sisters, such is the definition of the children of believers.

Blessings,

Rob
 
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Christusregnat

Puritan Board Professor
The main verb in Matthew 28 is "make disciples." The two participles describe how the nations are "made disciples": viz, by baptizing them and teaching them. In other words, baptizing and teaching describe how the nations are made disciples.

The baptist model is make disciples, and then once they have been made disciples indeed, THEN you can baptize them. Not so with Scripture. A covenant child is made a disciple by baptizing them and teaching them (or raising them "in Christ").

Cheers,
 

Herald

Administrator
Staff member
Adam,

Matthew 28 and Mark 16 nowhere deal, directly or obliquely, with covenant children; at least not in the paedo understanding of the term. I have already sufficiently proven that the disciples referred to in Matthew 28 are the same disciples as Mark 16. They are one in the same. Mark 16 removes any ambiguity as to whether these were disciples separated from saving faith. Saving faith is not implied, it is essential to the understanding of the text. Also, what were these disciples being taught? In Matthew 28 Jesus says, "teaching them to observe all that I commanded you." This is congruent with any person who has just come to faith in Christ; they are to be taught how to live like Christians.

Honestly, this thread is the most amazing thing to me. I don't hide my disagreement with the paedo position, but I know more than a few paedos who think using Matthew 28 as a defense for paedobaptism is like trying to make lemonade from tomatoes. It's just not there. You're forcing the text to fit into a paradigm. It's eisegesis at it's worse.
 

Grimmson

Puritan Board Sophomore
I am not going to retype everything in which I said in http://www.puritanboard.com/f123/what-credobaptist-answer-62007/#post800707 , but if there are any questions I would be happy to answer here since the place of discussion has changed.

We as credos baptize for two reasons, being on the divine command and the confession of faith.
Do Credo-baptists make the claim that they have the Divine Knowledge of these things?
No, we recognize in the visible church there will be false converts within the church and will be separated out from the sheep on the Last Day. We see the church built upon the confession of Peter from Matthew 16. Therefore making the foundation for baptism to being able to confess that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God. It is not based on looking into a person’s heart and seeing how sure they are in the faith or if they are truly regenerate. To make the claim that we used secret Divine Knowledge would be a false misrepresentation of the Baptist position. The reason why we do not baptize infants, but willing to baptize children, is because infants can not provide a simple confession of faith. We really don’t know in the end who the true believers are, but we do know who can provide a confession of faith.

They then back off of this and say we baptize because of a "credible profession of faith." However, a "credible profession of faith" is necessary for a convert not for a disciple.
We see that a convert becomes a disciple, and not the other way around. Why? It is simple, because it is based on the confession of faith and is then built on top of that as the person becomes a disciple after conversion. How does one become a disciple? By becoming initiated into the church through baptism after conversion takes place. That is exactly the model that we see in Acts.

They then back off of this and say we baptize because of a "credible profession of faith." However, a "credible profession of faith" is necessary for a convert not for a disciple. I believe that one can be a disciple of Jesus Christ, but not a convert - Judas was considered a disciple of Jesus Christ, but who would say that he was a convert?
First I want to make something clear. Judas was a convert visibly and also a disciple as being part of the twelve. But he was a false convert and false disciple as we see in John 6:69-71. I include that we in verse 69 to include Judas. Likewise, we have many false converts in our churches and the fact they leave, shows that they were not true converts to begin with. As long as a person can provide a confession of faith and do not perform any action to place them under church disciple we should accept that same person into church. You cannot knowing be a disciple if you have not been converted first. Conversion is the first step of being a disciple, and without it you are not a true disciple. Why? Because you are not knowingly following Christ.

Does it matter if the disciple does not know Christ? I would make the argument and would use Tertullian (early third century) to back myself us in Chapter 3 of his Apology, that a disciple is one that is following the master or “original instructor”/”“founder” of the system in which it is named after. However, can one follow a system, like Christianity, and not know Christ? He is the center of our entire religious system.
Without Christ all you have is Law and no Gospel. Without Gospel one has no hope or promise of salvation. If you do not have a simple understanding of the Gospel then you have no hope and are lost. Therefore placing the baptized infant not in the Gospel that the child has no understanding in, but of Law.

In Hebrews 8:11 we have a promise that all we know the Lord who are under the New Covenant. Does this mean we should baptize just anyone without a confession of faith with the hopes that they will come to know the Lord someday in the future? What stops me from grabbing a hose and spraying down my unbelieving neighbors with water, besides the fact am a Baptist? Acts 2, we see the beginning of a general pattern of the preached word and then conversion. After conversion then we see Baptism. This even includes the Baptism of the Philippian jailer and his household, who we see believed in God from the end of Acts 16:34. I would also make the case that the women present with Lydia at the riverside were also a part of her household, heard the word of God, was converted and was baptized there. The fact that these entire households believed should be classified as a miraculous work of God and should not been seen as an argument for Infant Baptism because all believed and no infants were present. So the thing that stops me from baptizing my unbelieving neighbors is the fact that God has an ordained means for bring people into Baptism and that is through conversion as shown by a simple confession of faith. The Lord will bring who he desires and that through the preached word of the Gospel. So parents should be teaching their children the gospel, and when that accept and receive the truth then they can be baptized. Then by the Grace of God could they be part of the New Covenant because they know our beloved Lord.

The command to bring up children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord - is this a command unique to the New Covenant? I ask rhetorically: Did Abraham bring up his children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord? Isaac? Jacob? The people of Israel? Is this not the way that the Covenant of Grace was passed down from generation to generation in the Old Testament? Just because there is an expansion of the Covenant of Grace in the New Covenant - from Jews only to Jews and Gentiles - does this mean that the children of believers are no longer to be discipled? That they are cut off from this access they have to the Covenant of Grace? If the sign of the Covenant of Grace was given to them in the Old Testament, then why should the sign of the Covenant of Grace not be given to them in the New?

The credo-baptist answer, "Not believers ... not the Seed of Abraham," But the New Covenant criteria is not conversion, but being a disciple - being under the teaching authority of the Church. And, my beloved brothers and sisters, such is the definition of the children of believers.

I think it is important so that we do not talk past each other to explain a Baptist view of Genesis 17. Hopefully Rob, and others can see and understand the criteria we have for baptism as it is a part of the covenant of Grace as seen through the eyes of the Abrahamic covenant.
Number 1) Father of multiple nations
Number 2) The covenant will be between Abraham and his offspring
Number 3) Everlasting Covenant to be the God of the offspring
Number 4) everlasting possession of the land of Canaan
Number 5) covenant will be keep for eternity
Number 6) all uncircumcised males in the household will be circumcised, or else cut off
Number 7) all in he household includes those that are bought with money

These seven come straight from Genesis 17. Now in the historical sense is Abraham the father of many nations? Yes, you can see that continuing to read Genesis. The main question for the sake of continuity is whether or not he is our father? The question is yes again, but in a different way. He our father spiritually in faith for all those who believe, not for all those that might believe (See Romans 4:11). This is an important point because the condition for truly being in the Covenant of Grace as it related to salvation is not based on a possible condition of believing, but instead real present believing. And those who believe are not just given to the immediate offspring of Abraham, but to all those that believe in faith; which includes Gentiles. I promise of salvation going back to Adam, where the Covenant of Grace was intuited. The Covenant continues to this day in Christ as a everlasting covenant, that will never fad away. Canaan was eventually taken over by the Babylonians, does that mean God has failed to give it to Israel as an everlasting possession? No, because attached to it in faith would be the promise of that peace that we all will enter into in faith by Christ and this will be an eternal possession. Through Christ we are able to keep this covenant for all eternity. In Christ we become circumcised in the heart by the Holy Spirit. He takes out that heart of stone and replaces it with a heart of flesh. And Jesus bought us with his precious blood so that we can be called Sons of God. Therefore being in the household of God in faith. Children under Abraham and Moses were to be circumcised physically, but such is not the case for the gentile. In Christ we are all to be baptized, but do we baptize infants on the basis of the covenant? Yes and no. We baptize those in the covenant of Grace who are the spiritual children of Abraham, those who believe. Here is our continuity, we baptize the babies of the faith and those are the one who have just converted into the faith as being new children of Abraham. Outside believing Christ you are carnal, of the flesh in Adam. It is only through the Spirit of God one can believe through the receiving of the Gospel that one attains salvation in faith by Grace

There is no promise of salvation outside the receiving of the Gospel as an individual. A child is not saved by a Christian parent’s confession, but through the received promise of God in faith by their own confession. Now it is proper and right for a child’s confession to be like a parents, for the duty of the parent is to teach the scriptures to the child as there are brought up in the faith. But one thing must be clear they are born in Adam and not into the church. It is for that reason a parent must teach the law and the gospel, so that the child can respond as a convert to the gospel and truly be a disciple of the Christ and the scriptures.
 

Porter

Puritan Board Freshman
Hi Rob.

I just want to ask you three questions before I respond. (By asking these questions I am simply seeking answers that contain 5 words or less):

  1. When you, or your church, administers the ordinance of the Lord's Supper, who is it being administered to?
  2. When you, or your church, "baptize" infants, who are they the children of?
  3. When you address people as "my beloved brothers and sisters", who are these brother and sisters (or what do brother and sister" mean)?

I am obviously asking these questions for a particular reason, but please answer simply and without being silly (like saying, "their parents" for #2). :D

Thanks!
Cam
 

CalvinandHodges

Puritan Board Junior
Greetings:

Crimson writes:

We see that a convert becomes a disciple, and not the other way around. Why? It is simple, because it is based on the confession of faith and is then built on top of that as the person becomes a disciple after conversion.
Are you telling me that a person is converted to Christianity without any teaching, or discipleship, whatsoever?

Cam:

To answer with 5 words or less would not be helpful - I will give a brief answer to your questions:

1) The criteria for the Lord's Supper is different than the criteria for Baptism. Therefore, I would give the Lord's Supper to one who is able to "discern the Lord's body" etc... In short, to Communicant members of the Church.

2) Infants are baptized because they are the children of one or more Christian parents.

3) A beloved brother or sister is anyone who is outwardly in the New Covenant.

Blessings,

Rob
 
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Grimmson

Puritan Board Sophomore
Greetings:

Crimson writes:

We see that a convert becomes a disciple, and not the other way around. Why? It is simple, because it is based on the confession of faith and is then built on top of that as the person becomes a disciple after conversion.
Are you telling me that a person is converted to Christianity without any teaching, or discipleship, whatsoever?

Maybe I wasn’t clear in my posts. Converts come by responding to the gospel and then they become disciples through baptism. It is more then just some teaching. You must remember how a disciple is defined. It is not defined as just a learner, but a follower of a particular system. People were called Christians in Antioch because they were following Christ knowingly.

Under Rob’s definition of disciple everyone that walks by the street and hears a bit of the Law and the Gospel, if not the whole presentation, is a disciple; specially after you spray them with water in the Triune name. I am sure I would be hard pressed even within the paedo-community who would apply such a definition of a disciple as just being a learner. Yes there is teaching involved in relation to proclaiming the Gospel, but this alone does not constitute in relation to the hearers who is a disciple.

I will let Cam respond to Rob’s three answers.
 

CalvinandHodges

Puritan Board Junior
Hi:

What do you think I mean when I pointed out the following:

All converts are disciples, however,

Not all disciples are converts.

Blessings,

Rob
 

Iconoclast

Puritan Board Junior
The main verb in Matthew 28 is "make disciples." The two participles describe how the nations are "made disciples": viz, by baptizing them and teaching them. In other words, baptizing and teaching describe how the nations are made disciples.

The baptist model is make disciples, and then once they have been made disciples indeed, THEN you can baptize them. Not so with Scripture. A covenant child is made a disciple by baptizing them and teaching them (or raising them "in Christ").

Cheers,

Adam. like Rob in the original post your formula
In other words, baptizing and teaching describe how the nations are made disciples.
speaks of unbelievers baptism,followed by church teaching= a disciple.......this is what MT 28 teaches? Belief does not seem to have anything to do with it, as is stated in your brief quote. I do not think you mean to say this,do you?
Is that idea kind of close to the shadow of the Roman baptismal regeneration concept?
If belief is not important [it is important,but we cannot tell who "really" believes] why would you not look to baptize anyone and everyone?
 

Peairtach

Puritan Board Doctor
In connection with this, and probably for another thread, there is as lower level of evidence required for baptism than there is for the Lord's Supper. A credible profession of faith necessary for one's baptism or that of one's children, whereas there is an accredited profession required for the Lord's Supper.

Does the Apostle say "Let a man examine himself " in the case of baptism?
 

CalvinandHodges

Puritan Board Junior
Hi:

Grimmson I do not believe that you understand the point that I am making. The term "disciple" is used in Scripture in a larger sense than the term "convert." There are more disciples than converts. I do not believe that you can do justice to the word "disciple" as it is used in Scripture simply as a synonym for "convert." Such is Bill's argument as well: that is, that the term "disciple" simply means "convert" and that is it. The problem with this overly simplistic approach is that the Scriptures tell us that not all disciples are converts. I have shown this in past posts.

Another problem with Bill's position is that it creates a contradiction in the Scriptures as to what Jesus actually said. When giving the Great Commission did Jesus say "μαθητεύσατε" ("make disciples") or did He say, "πιστεύσας" ("he who believes"). By forcing an either/or situation Bill is imposing his own credo prejudices upon the text. What I am saying is that Jesus said both, and, that by combining the passages we have a complete thought:

"Make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, he who believes and is baptized shall be saved, and he who does not believe shall be condemned..."

The idea then is that we make disciples and baptize them - those who believe will be saved - those who do not come to faith shall be damned. The command then is to baptize disciples - not converts. A disciple does not need a credible profession of faith he simply needs to be a "student" or a "learner" or one who is seeking to learn the Gospel (under the teaching authority of the Church). The Bible tells us everywhere that the children of believers are under the teaching authority of the Church.

Thus, we baptize the infants of Christian parent(s) - because they are under the teaching authority of the Church.

Blessings,

Rob
 

PuritanCovenanter

Moderator
Staff member
So can a disciple be an infant? No understanding. No cognizant relationship? Can you relate these two terms to how the the New Testament uses them? I am not sure. I truly don't don't think you can make this assumption. I am not sure a disciple of Plato would.
 

CalvinandHodges

Puritan Board Junior
Hi:

The Bible tells us to disciple our children, "Bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the LORD." We do so from infancy. Thus, they are disciples, but not necessarily converts.

Another point that proves this is their Covenantal relationship - their parents are under the teaching authority of the Church, and, consequently, so are they.

Blessings,

Rob
 

kceaster

Puritan Board Junior
Is discipleship a NT practice only?

We know from the gospel record that the Pharisees had disciples, John had disciples, and Jesus had disciples. Discipleship was not a new concept.

The Hebrew letter lamed is shaped, and its meaning is derived from an oxgoad. An oxgoad was used to teach young oxen to plow straight. The letter lamed is also related to the concept of learner. As such, it is the basis for many words centering on learning. The teaching of children in the OT was discipleship and that carried right through to the NT. When one was an accomplished student, they would go up through the ranks and become a rabbi. Paul, at a young age, was sent off to be a disciple of Gamaliel. This is all well documented history.

To be sure, one could not just become a disciple, as if there was no life change or commitment on their part to adhere to the standards of their master. But for the very young, these decisions were made for them. And being obedient to their parents, they submitted themselves to their master.

So, why would we think that Christian discipleship can only be done to persons who have understood and are in agreement with, in toto, of the way of life of a disciple and submit themselves to it? A disciple is a learner, pure and simple. And even an infant learns.

What about the scriptures? Do they ever return void? When you read the bible to an infant, does that Word not do something? We teach them when we lie down, and when we rise, and when we walk along the way. Does that ever not do anything? It either brings them more closely to the Father, or it drives them away, but it is never neutral.

Our children are disciples just by virtue of us teaching them and bringing them under the teaching of the Church.

We can argue "true" disciple 'til the cows come home. But the fact of the matter is, that Jesus disciples were baptizing disciples in John 4:1. Those same disciples that were baptized then, completely deserted him 2 chapters over (John 6:66).

Since discipleship is not a new concept, we shouldn't automatically make the conclusion that adult converts are the only subjects of discipleship and baptism.

In Christ,

KC
 

rbcbob

Puritan Board Graduate
The word disciple μαθητης is used some 30 times in the book of Acts. How many of these uses clearly, in context, include infant/child learners? Which ones?
 

kceaster

Puritan Board Junior
The word disciple μαθητης is used some 30 times in the book of Acts. How many of these uses clearly, in context, include infant/child learners? Which ones?

Bob,

I assume some of those uses are plural. If it is used as a collective term, it could be all of them. I know ecclesia is a collective term and children are included in it. Otherwise, why would Paul specifically address the children in Ephesians 5 if they were not being discipled?

In Christ,

KC
 

rbcbob

Puritan Board Graduate
The word disciple μαθητης is used some 30 times in the book of Acts. How many of these uses clearly, in context, include infant/child learners? Which ones?

Bob,

I assume some of those uses are plural. If it is used as a collective term, it could be all of them. I know ecclesia is a collective term and children are included in it. Otherwise, why would Paul specifically address the children in Ephesians 5 if they were not being discipled?

In Christ,

KC

Kevin,

I understand your supposition. It is not difficult to find among the thirty references some which clearly have no children in view:

Acts 9:25 Then the disciples took him by night and let him down through the wall in a large basket.

Acts 9:26 And when Saul had come to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples; but they were all afraid of him, and did not believe that he was a disciple.

Acts 11:29 Then the disciples, each according to his ability, determined to send relief to the brethren dwelling in Judea.

Acts 19:30 And when Paul wanted to go in to the people, the disciples would not allow him.

Can you find any which unambiguously intend to include children?
 

C. M. Sheffield

Puritan Board Graduate
Bob,

I assume some of those uses are plural. If it is used as a collective term, it could be all of them. I know ecclesia is a collective term and children are included in it. Otherwise, why would Paul specifically address the children in Ephesians 5 if they were not being discipled?

In Christ,

KC

KC,

Paul's direct address to the children in the church of Ephesus implies an ability on their part to understand and obey it! Paul would have no reason to address them otherwise. He might as well have directed the parents to "intruct your children to obey you in the Lord." He doesn't, he speaks directly to them, assuming they have the cognizant ability to understand and obey. Which would also mean they had the cognizant ability to understand and obey the Gospel.
 

kceaster

Puritan Board Junior
Kevin,

I understand your supposition. It is not difficult to find among the thirty references some which clearly have no children in view:

Acts 9:25 Then the disciples took him by night and let him down through the wall in a large basket.

Acts 9:26 And when Saul had come to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples; but they were all afraid of him, and did not believe that he was a disciple.

Acts 11:29 Then the disciples, each according to his ability, determined to send relief to the brethren dwelling in Judea.

Acts 19:30 And when Paul wanted to go in to the people, the disciples would not allow him.

Can you find any which unambiguously intend to include children?

Bob,

The problem is this: disciple is a pretty generic greek term. The philosophers had people who were called disciples. Just because the NT is in Greek - and that, koine, nonetheless - does not mean that every time the term for disciple is used, it needs to go through many definitions as to whom it is referring. And in your examples, of course there may not be young disciples in view by the nature of what's going on. But that doesn't mean a child cannot be considered a disciple. The young are excluded from these passages it would seem, but why should that mean they can't be disciples?

In Christ,
KC
 

kceaster

Puritan Board Junior
KC,

Paul's direct address to the children in the church of Ephesus implies an ability on their part to understand and obey it! Paul would have no reason to address them otherwise. He might as well have directed the parents to "intruct your children to obey you in the Lord." He doesn't, he speaks directly to them, assuming they have the cognizant ability to understand and obey. Which would also mean they had the cognizant ability to understand and obey the Gospel.

Pastor Sheffield,

The point is, he is instructing children which would assume that children are proper subjects for discipleship. He is teaching them the things Christ commanded, right? Can they not understand, even at 2 years old, what it means to be obedient to their parents? Can they not understand even earlier the word, 'no'? Here's an important one: can they not, in some way, understand love in the womb? At what point does the knowledge of the Creator come? If no one is without excuse, and we are knit together in our mother's womb by God, Himself, can they not understand God's Covenant love at least on some level that they either reject it, or if the Holy Spirit enables, to embrace it? If the Holy Spirit can regenerate in the womb, which we know He can, then how do we quantify the amount of cognizant ability it takes to reject Christ or embrace Him? When did Esau realize he was not chosen, and Jacob, that he was chosen? God knew. To a certain extent, the twins knew it in Rachel's womb.

Romans 1 is clear. It doesn't matter the age, all are without excuse. And even more than that, they know their Creator, even His eternal power and Godhead. I know that this passage seems to carry with it an age of rational thought and grown up action. But there are only two types: sheep and goats, righteous and unrighteous, vessels of honor and dishonor. Romans 1 must apply to all men, women, boys, and girls.

You said his direct address to them implied an ability on their part to understand and obey. That must mean that they were regenerate, right? But then you said he only assumed their cognizant ability to understand it. Do you realize that these would be exclusive of one another. Only the spiritual can understand and obey the spiritual, right? So is he only addressing the regenerate kids, here, or all the kids that can understand his words?

I think you're assuming regeneration, right? Under the baptistic framework,then, it would be useless to talk to children about any biblical truth unless it is known whether or not they are regenerate. That must be the logical conclusion of baptistic exclusion of children from the covenant.

However, Paul knew the power of the Holy Spirit speaking in the Scripture. He knew that the Word of God never returns void. In hopes of their eternal salvation, (just as much as he hoped the same for an adult) he promiscuously taught even the young disciples; knowing that if the Lord wills, they will hear and understand.

We can't know if disciples are regenerate. If we can't know that, then why are not very young children, even infants, allowed to be disciples? Being a disciple is more about placement in the covenant community and less about the level of understanding being examined. If that is not the case, then there are differing degrees of disciples and that does not seem apparent from Scripture.

In Christ,

KC
 
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