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Discussion in 'Family Forum' started by smhbbag, Jun 26, 2005.
Sounds like the situation with my girlfriend and myself.
I want to make clear that I think Baptists can be great and godly people. I don't have anything against baptists (and nobody here has suggested that they do either). My point is that spouses should be of one mind on essential issues like baptism. That is why I suggested that Jeremy find a nice baptist. There are plenty around.
As Hebrews states, doctrines related to baptism are part of "core" Christianity. You should not be divided with your spouse on core issues. Heb 6:1-2 reads: "Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death,and of faith in God, instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment."
Whatever a couple's views on elementary issues like baptism are, they should be the same.
[Edited on 6-27-2005 by Scott]
I certainly have a high view of the union between families that occurs in marriage, and of her father's authority. I am currently discussing this with her brother-in-law (Westminster grad, I believe) and will be with her father shortly. The fact that I am going to these great lengths before pursuing her should be evidence enough that I know the weight of it.
This may turn out not to be an issue at all, actually. We spoke on the phone for a little over 2 hours last night just on this issue. She has been waffling and asking a lot of questions, and bottom line, she said "I'm definitely in limbo on it right now. I have no response to your arguments or those texts, and I don't think that I have any right to assume now that children of believers are NC members." Well, that's pretty much the whole debate right there.....but I encouraged her to wait until I had more lengthy discussions with her brothers and father on the matter, who will give much better defenses of their position (most likely).
I definitely fired them up a bit when I said that Hebrews 10:26-30 offers a solid proof that NC membership solely for regenerates. She sent them a written exegesis I did on that text - it wasn't written solely for them. But it definitely got their blood going Their chief proof-text was the very first one I wanted to use for my point. They were also caught a bit off-guard by the fact that I do hold to much of the same CT as they do - the CoG, CoW, CoR, unity of the Church in all ages and recognizing the incredible continuity between the covenants. We'll see how that talk goes later this week.
Putting myself in her father's position.....I honestly don't think I would give a Credo the permission to pursue my daughter in courtship. If it was a paedo pursuing my daughter, I'd be just as hesitant. The issues are that important, and I am definitely beginning to see that more clearly.
As to "there are plenty of good baptist girls out there"...HAHAHAHAHA. Every single baptist girl I know shuns modesty, isn't passionate to study God's holy Word, is Arminian Dispensational Premill (even if they don't know that's what they are), has a low view of the value of true womanhood and the family, has a maximum on the number of kids she'd want, thinks public schools are fine and dandy, embraces seeker-sensitivity, has no humble or quiet spirit and is basically like a gold ring in a pig's snout. I know dozens of Baptist girls that are active in their local churches and ministries - and there are only a few (well, one, and she's very much taken) exceptions to this rule. It's depressing.
Sorry for the outburst, but it really is my first reaction . I've always told my buddies that my best bet was to find a strong Presbyterian girl and then get her on the right page on baptism. That statement was always just a joke, but then it started to come true.
[Edited on 6-28-2005 by smhbbag]
When you go to the bigger churches you find that kind of stuff with the girls dressing and acting immodestly. I think the fathers should be taken out behind the wood shed myself but that's a different thread.
My church belongs to the SBConvention but we hold to the Doctrines of Grace. We are Credos (Weirdos here on the PB - J/K) and we are even Futuristic Premillists. The young ladies in our church are very modest because their parents teach their children God's Word and they, especially their moms, are modest. About 95% of our children are home schooled exclusively. My wife and I have agreed to "stop" with 4 children for now but if God wants us to have more children then more children will be born to us.
But I just can't handle slaw on my BBQ ! Of course, I like Kraut on my Brats and I live in GA. They consider me weird but I am a Scots - Irish - German - American but I don't drink - go figure.
This is another problem - the corruption of covenant members (her). You are undoing the work her parents and family instilled in her and, if you succeed, you will place an obstacle between her and her family.
As for good baptist girls, you might check out churches and organizations (eg. conferences) that are affiliated with the Founders Conference of the Southern Baptist Convention. There are many good people there, men and women. I am sure that there are many fathers who would be willing to die to have their daughter marry a person like you.
Also, if the absence of morality in baptist circles is so widespread that you realize you must seek a mate in presbyterian and reformed circles, perhaps that should give you cause to consider the whether these problems are associated with baptist views.
"My church belongs to the SBConvention but we hold to the Doctrines of Grace."
Yes, I too know many good and godly women who are baptists, all of whom are or would make excellent wives.
You can compromise and methodize them or more aptly presbyterianize them-- and sprinkle a little water on 'em when they're young, and then give them a real full-submersion believer's baptism in a river upon confession of faith just like Jesus and other credo-baptists have.
This reflects the inherently schismatic nature of baptist views.
I agree, the inherent schismatic break is always from that side. "If you'll just do it our way then we can fully accept you." But it is always played as if the other side is the schismatic arguing an non-essential doctrine. Very ironic.
I also agree with Scott and don´t want to give the impression of viewing a credo follower (which includes other non-baptist), much like my former self, as any less a Christian. God forbid! The sermons that enrapture my soul as to the Gospel the most come basically from three Luther, Calvin and Spurgeon. Three different groups but all one voice and powerfully clear on justification, Law and Gospel (lamentably missing very much today in all denominations). Likewise there are far too many in ALL the denominations that have lost the central tenant of the Reformation and the Scriptures "“ namely justification. Odd how that is where the battle always is.
It is hard and painful to see this dividing wall (baptism), yet I´ve not been able myself to resolve it. Because there is implication in the theology of baptism. In one sense baptism can become an idol and a bad debate, but in another sense it really is an essential debate.
In terms of marriage it would be next to impossible for a credo and paedeo to be married and retain their views without just ignoring the glaring differences.
Until she is married to another man given by her father she is under her father's spiritual care and guard. Perhaps, Jeremy, you should discuss this with her father and not through her.
hmmm...i have to confess i don't really understand this.
I do agree she is under her father's authority...but her, or anyone else's belief on baptism should be based on what she thinks the bible says about it...her father's opinion doesn't really factor at all...
I don't really see what discussions with the parents could do to solve this problem...regardless of their response, they cannot force her to change her view on baptism.
I've tried to be very conscious of this, but because of various providential circumstances - discussing it with her father is not nearly as easy as with her or her brothers. As I mentioned, I will be discussing it with him, and I'm expecting that from this point on, the majority of my interaction on this issue will be with her brother-in-law and father.
Once we really got down to some tough issues and texts, and I was really pressing her on some points (nicely! I do have a vested interest here ), I definitely felt a bit uneasy about doing this without having her male family members, especially her father, present. This man is most certainly worthy of my greatest respect, and the last thing I want to do is to undermine his authority and role. I've come to see that if I go about this respectfully and properly - involving her parents and brothers - and they go unconvinced by my arguments but she is.....that divide in their family comes from the Word, not me. Believe it or not, it was discussion over this issue that first really got us to know each other, initiated mostly by her. I am definitely not on a crusade or in some sort of Credobaptist "Cage Stage." I only hope that her family sees that. I have way too few strong Reformed friends to go burning bridges by inciting people and starting debates
You have no idea how much that last line was encouraging to me. Thank you brother for the reassurance. I suppose my immedate, local circle just doesn't give me a broader perspective on the quality of women (and fathers) that may be out there.
Second, I am in a Founders church, and the elders, along with most of the congregation, are strongly Reformed. My pastor (Dr. Andrew Davis) has preached at Founders Conferences in the past, and after 5 years preparing the congregation with a God-centered worldview by preaching Gen. 1-12, Romans 1-8 and Phillippians....he just finished up Romans 9 from the pulpit. Most of the regular members are great and Reformed. Just not the young people. The 'college ministry' (I hate those) is particularly Warren-esque. I looked long and hard for a local body here, and this is by far the best I could do. The preaching is unbeatable, but the rest definitely leaves something to be desired.
[Edited on 6-28-2005 by smhbbag]
"I agree, the inherent schismatic break is always from that side. "If you'll just do it our way then we can fully accept you." But it is always played as if the other side is the schismatic arguing an non-essential doctrine."
Let me clarify. I am suggesting that the credo doctrine is schismatic in that refusal to recognize infant baptism disrupts the unity of the visible church. Baptism marks the entrance into the visible church. To deny someone's baptism (say a person baptized as an infant) is to deny their position in the visible church.
Jeremy: I bet there is a network for like minded young people to meet (even if they are not in the same area). If not there should be.
I wouldn't be so sure that it would simply be the word. I think there would be more to it than that. If she is serious about you (as you are about her) that will come into play. Love can make you do some strange things. Plus, she may not be as well grounded in the sacramentology of the Dutch Reformed faith as to be able to understand all the ins and outs of your agruement as the brother-in-law or her father is. Unfortunately, a lot of women are not as "into" theology as they should be.
Also, you will have to face the issue that Scott brought up earlier and that is that a Baptist Church will not accept her baptism and will require her to be "baptized" under believers baptism if she wants to join the church. Does she understand this?
I often hear this said about Baptist churches, but I've never seen it. I'm sure it's like this some places, but just for an example, I'm pretty sure Pastor Way's church does not demand a credo-baptism for membership. Yet, I certainly do think that she should be baptized as a believer, and have made that clear to her.
This has definitely crossed my mind, and I was careful of it. She is quite able to express and define her Covenant Theology, and give basic defenses of the concepts and proof-text a bit....but as far as real exegetical defenses - she's never really had to do so. Thus, when I questioned her more thoroughly on the texts she used, she didn't have all that much to go on. This is whyI mentioned earlier that when she said she was beginning to be convinced of my argumention, I encouraged her to wait until I'd discussed it more thoroughly with her father/B-I-L. Then, she could glean a lot from our discussion and not be so hasty in the way she approached it. She's certainly "into" theology - but her main studies and interests have not been exegetical defenses of infants in the NC . All of her friends are Reformed paedo's, so that's pretty understandable.
[Edited on 6-28-2005 by smhbbag]
[Edited on 6-28-2005 by smhbbag]
I'll throw in (and two cent is proabably more than it's worth) :
I would consider my family greatly blessed should my recently baptized daughter (whom I intend to have catachised in Reformed theology) grow up and marry a godly Reformed-Baptist man who will in turn instruct their children to fear the Lord.
...there are a lot worse things to worry about in prospective husbands....
So long as you have the blessing of her father and so long as she is not uncomfortable submitting to your authority, I don't see why this should be a great issue. Ultimately, as the head of your house, you are the one responsible before God as to whether or when your children are baptized.
[Edited on 6-28-2005 by Dan....]
"If you'll just do it our way then we can fully accept you."
As if it don't hear that sentiment from Presbyterians. You guys crack me up!
But it is always played as if the other side is the schismatic arguing an non-essential doctrine. Very ironic
Well if you read pass the tongue-in-cheek part, you would see my not seeing it as non-essential... hence not compromising on believer's baptism.:bigsmile:
Mark: This is a bit individualistic. Consider Proverbs 1:8-9: "Listen, my son, to your father's instruction and do not forsake your mother's teaching. They will be a garland to grace your head and a chain to adorn your neck."
Jeremy is encouraging the girl to forsake her father's and mother's teaching, when Proverbs says that she has a duty to embrace this teaching.
I have a Southern Baptist background and my experience is that this requirement is the norm and that infant baptisms are rejected. Pastor Way's church is unusual in this respect and you should not expect to find one like it in the various locales you may find yourself moving to during your life. What does your present church do?
You say this as if I am not being completely forthright with her father and mother - they know my intentions, and I am not doing this "under the table" or in a deceitful way. Her duty first and foremost is to Christ and His Word, and to put anything else on that plane, including her parents, is blasphemous. Absolutely, she should honor and respect them, and embrace their leadership in the Scriptures. And it is quite clear that I have encouraged her NOT to forsake her parent's teaching until she has a much firmer grasp of the issues and until I have longer discussions with her family on it. This way she can glean much more, and not reject her parent's teaching without great care, consideration and genuine conviction. But if that happens, she is duty-bound to reject the teaching of her parents if/when the Word of God tells her they are wrong.
Shall I refuse to share the Doctrines of Grace with my friends who have Arminian parents?
Jeremy: The Proverbs don't segregate out whether a child's rejection of her parents' teaching is open or hidden.
You are taking an individualistic view on this. Examine the Proverbs on the duty of children to embrace parental instruction. When do you believe exceptions apply? If it is anytime that an individual's private interpetation of scripture applies (such as your private interpretation of the meaning of baptism), this is quite a large exception, as all manner of errors have been introduced in the name of the scriptures.
You are doing well to involve her father as you have.
No doubt this is a tough one, my heart does go out to you, truly. Don't underestimate honest prayer about the truth regarding the issues at hand, including baptism itself - and seeking more light.
That's as neutral as I can put it without having to bear the ire of either side on this issue. It is a funny danger to be in - that is talk of baptism. If you try to examine from as pure a neutral stance in order to avoid conflict over this issue and just examine it - your compromising both. And if you take a position, either way, your causing conflict with the opposite side.
If the Lord has really pitched your hearts together, then it will work out. I don't mean that in a flippant romantic way but knowing the sovereignty of God for such things including our spouses.
It is great that your talking with her father - very very admirable of you and I personally admire that - not much of that around now days!
May our Lord Christ Light and Bless Your Way,
Scott, this is my opinion and i am open to correction;
The duty of children to embrace their parents teaching does not apply when the parents teaching is opposed to the bible.
While children are always to honour their parents, if their parents are not teaching according to the scriptures, they are to forsake that part of the teachings.
I am not very sure what you mean by 'individualistic'... could u explain?
I know a prospective husband should honour the woman's parents in most aspects of their courtship, but with regards to doctrine, what is true is true, regardless of her parents stand.
It was mentioned in this thread that prehaps it would be better to go for a Presbyterian girl, but if one truely believes in baptist teaching, then he or she wouldn't think that anyone else has the 'right' to be presbyterian..( or vice versa ) he would try to convert the other party regardless of whether marriage was an issue.
I understand your concern that someone should not be going about trying to change another's doctrine 'under the noses' of her parents...
but on the other hand i find it hard to accept that you need her parent's involvment to tell her the truth from God's word. ( I am talking strictly about courtship here...so i am not making any comments on which side is right regarding baptism). Also, the bible says we are to marry in the Lord..it never says their entire family must be in agreement with us as well.
Then you ignore raising up our children in the fear and admonition of the Lord completely. We are not talking about a pagan with a converting child to the faith here, but an inter Christian issue. This may be a shock to many Americanized Christians, though you live in Australia, but the youth director is not the spiritual leader of a child. A child is under the care of their Christian parent for their Christian upbringing. IF her parents are covenantal then the believers only position is the antibiblical position. Hence, they cannot just turn her over to what amounts to in their eyes a sinful view of the sacrament. And to be fair the vice versa would be true if the parents were baptistic.
By individualistic biblically he means non- or anti- covenantal, a.k.a philosophically relativistic.
If I understand you correctly, you're saying that if my (to use me as an example) parents are credo, it's wrong for me to switch to paedo. But that if my parents were paedo, it would be wrong for me to switch to credo.
The problem I see with that, is that there's only one biblical view (I'm not going to add my 2-cents about which one it is right now). So, if the paedo side is correct, but my parents are credo, then whatever I do, I'm wrong - because I either keep a wrong belief to agree with my parents, or I disagree with my parents (which you seem to be saying is wrong) to hold to a correct belief.
That doesn't seem quite right.
Where does the church fit into this? (I realize this probably won't help Jeremy out!) I would think that the elders have more authority over me than my parents (at least in some ways). So if I'm in a paedo church with credo parents - who do I agree with? I'm either going to disagree with the church (which I would think would be at least as bad as disagreeing with my parents) or I disagree with my parents.
Isn't there a point where a person has to take responsibility for their own actions - and beliefs? If a child is now an adult, they're obviously responsible for their own actions; and I would hope that the same would apply to their beliefs.
No-one's perfect - including our parents. While I'm not going to be perfect, either - if I see something wrong in what my parents do or believe, isn't it good to not imitate that?
Larry, I don't quite understand how anything i said is inconsistent with a parent's duty to bring up their children. I was speaking from the perspective of a friend of the child, not the parents. In any case, i don't think any child is obliged in any way to hold to their parents teachings if those teachings are unbiblical. Obviously a child should consider very carefully and soberly before coming to such a conclusion though.
I don't see that it matters if the family is christian or not. No christian needs parental permission to hold to the truth...neither does any christian need the permission of a persons parents to try to persuade that person of the truth.
Just my views...no offense is meant
Regarding the issue that a child should follow the teaching of their parents is true, but at some point the child has to be responsible for what they believe. Since this young lady is obviously old enough to get married, she is old enough to make up her own mind. As far as the parents are concerned, if they raised her in the Church and taught her the Reformed faith, she shouldn't stray from it, but it appears she is waivering.
I brought up the issue of talking to her parents so you could avoid possible confusion and conflict with them later and I think this is a very prudent move on your part to talk with her father and other family members. But if you do marry her and she becomes a Baptist, don't think that will be the end of it. As an Elder I have had to deal with parents whose daughters married Baptists boys and became Baptists. They put up a good front but in the end they were not happy about it. They felt that they had messed up somewhere along the way.
So be prepared for the worst but hope for the best!
Adding on, I shouldnt follow everything my parents taught me. They were Roman Catholic. Yes, we need to obey our parents, and we also need to think for ourselves, and use the brain God gave us, with counsel of elders. By the way, (as an aside) you both in the end should be paedo.
a few random thoughts:
1. you are all making more of this than it needs to be. The doctrine of baptism in not the END ALL doctrine that we all must agree on for fellowship, love, marriage, or service to Christ.
2. the parties involved should guard their hearts and minds so as not to be tempted to change theoligical views in order to agree. You want to agree with the ones you love, but your conscience should be held captive to the Word of God, and not the theology of a prospective spouse.
3. a few IFS - IF her father agrees to the courtship and marriage, and IF you get married, and IF she is willinng to submit to your headship, and IF you are a loving husband dutifully fulfilling your God given role, THEN you have NOTHING to worry about. GO FOR IT.
4. As Dan stated quite rightly,
I would say the same were it my daughter and a Presbyterian suitor.
The Bible limits Christian marriage to just that - CHRISTIAN. Marry in the Lord. If this is the wife God has for you then all of this will work out and you will find marriage (and God willing, children) incredibly fulfilling and satisfying. Don't be in a hurry to change views. Don't think that this is an issue that will cuase GREAT turmoil in your marriage. Seek to understand God's roles for husbands and wives, and seek with all your hearts to fulfill those roles, keep Christ first in your home, and the secondary issues of disagreement will fade away - not just the doctrinal stuff.
Husbands and Wives do not have to agree on EVERYTHING - how boring would that be?? But they do have to know their roles and fulfill them in love to their mate and to Christ.