Paedo + Credo Courtship

Discussion in 'Family Forum' started by smhbbag, Jun 26, 2005.

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  1. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritanboard Commissioner

    Is baptism elementary? Scott, I know you did not mean to degrade the sacrament. From a covenantal perspective, it is at the forefront, i.e. Gods command, and points to the covenant that all Presbyterians hold dear proven in their obedience in placing the sign on their infant children. Baptism is the sign of the covenant. The WCF calls it a great sin to withold it from our children. If the wife to be has no conviction to this doctrine, problem solved. Most Presbyterians that I know do not have the correct understanding of this doctrine either; no conviction, even though they subscribe to the WCF.

    If it was my daughter, and she lived in my house, obviously I have failed to a degree as she has no idea of her own baptism and what it means. If she does understand, she will NOT settle for anything less than what God has commanded.

    ~A suggestion to all the single people out there: Your wife should come from like-minded churches. You should preferably find your wife while in service to the Lord; you all serving elbow to elbow. You should know her walk. You should know how she interacts with her family; how she treats the brethren. If she comes from a theologically different understanding, how well do you really know her; I mean, obviously, you attend different churches!

    Whetever the case, again, if there is no conviction there, htere is no conviction there.

    [Edited on 6-30-2005 by Scott Bushey]
     
  2. pastorway

    pastorway Puritan Board Senior

    You guys make it sound like a sin to marry a person who varies from you on secondary theological matters, but the truth of the matter is that the person GOD HAS CHOSEN for us to marry often comes from a different background!!

    Let's not make the requirements for who to marry so narrow that we have to open up the Puritan Board Monastery and Abbey.

    Phillip
     
  3. wsw201

    wsw201 Puritan Board Senior

    Philip,

    I don't think baptism is a secondary issue since the vast majority of Baptist Churches will not accept a person as a member (much less a believer) unless they have been baptized under believers baptism and they will also require immersion (no sprinkling allowed). From a Baptist perspective, it sounds rather primary.
     
  4. Puddleglum

    Puddleglum Puritan Board Sophomore

    As a single person, thanks for the suggestion. One question . . . what if you have a theologically different understanding than the church you belong to - i.e. you're credo in a paedo church (or vice versa)? (My experience has been that this isn't that uncommon). Then most, if not all, of the potential mates at your church are going to disagree with you . . .
     
  5. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritanboard Commissioner

    Let me clearify. I would never intentionally look for a mate that wasn't of a paedo or like-minded conviction. If in fact God did something in regards to a credo believer (like he did in Calvin's life), If it didn't matter to the mate and she agreed to baptise the children; no problem. If she disagreed, we are not equally yoked! I could never sacrifice Gods covenant for a mate. As I have said, the WCF calls it a great sin:

    V. Although it be a great sin to contemn or neglect this ordinance,[13] yet grace and salvation are not so inseparably annexed unto it, as that no person can be regenerated, or saved, without it;[14] or, that all that are baptized are undoubtedly regenerated.[15]

    13. Gen. 17:14; Matt. 28:19; Acts 2:38; see Luke 7:30
    14. Rom. 4:11; Acts 10:2, 4, 22, 31, 45, 47
    15. Acts 8:13, 23

    Zipporah called Moses husband of blood for not circumcising his child!

    Exo 4:25 And Zipporah took a stone and cut off her son's foreskin, and caused it to touch his feet. And she said, You are a bridegroom of blood to me.

    More importantly:

    Gen 17:10 This is My covenant which you shall keep, between Me and you and your seed after you: Every male child among you shall be circumcised.
    Gen 17:11 And you shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin. And it shall be a token of the covenant between Me and you.
    Gen 17:14 And an uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin, his soul shall be cut off from his people; he has broken My covenant.

    My last two cents:
    If the mate (the woman) is subjecting herself to the man as federal head, she should submit to his credentials for leadership; keeping to the idea that what he brings to the table is biblical (or for that matter, if she does not trust him in this regard, she should not marry such a man). In this, if the man is credo, she should be credo, if paedo, be paedo.

    Before Tina and I weremarried, she was still Arminian minded. I knew she was my wife when she came to the understanding of the D's OG.

    [Edited on 6-30-2005 by Scott Bushey]
     
  6. Ex Nihilo

    Ex Nihilo Puritan Board Senior

    Indeed. That's why I see this as an even more serious issue for single women. A man can always try to teach and convince the woman. If I found a nice young credo man who was susceptible to my convincing, I don't think I could look to him as a spiritual head.
     
  7. Scott

    Scott Puritan Board Graduate

    "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."

    Wayne: I have had this experience too with other people. I have seen situations like this shame the father, especially ones who hold officer positions. And not just from padeo to credo but from credo to paedo. In my experience, the reactions of credo parents to the baptisms of their grandbabies can be extreme.

    [Edited on 6-30-2005 by Scott]
     
  8. Scott

    Scott Puritan Board Graduate

    "Is baptism elementary? Scott, I know you did not mean to degrade the sacrament."

    Scott B: I think we may be saying the same thing. By "elementary" I mean foundational, or one of the most important matters. The Hebrews passage I cited places it with other fundamental doctrines.
     
  9. Scott

    Scott Puritan Board Graduate

    On the parental authority issue, think of it this way. From a paedo father's perspective, a credo's attempt to persuade the daughter to reject's the father's teaching is wrong. From the father's perspective, the party that is presently foreign to the family (the suitor) is trying to persaude the daughter to violate the relevant instructions from Proverbs (which likewise necessarily involves a rejection of the father's authority).

    Of course the credo suitor thinks his interpretation of baptism is right. And of course the padeo father thinks his interpretation of baptism is right. It is a truism that everybody thinks their private interpretations of scriptures are right (or else they would not hold them). So, who is charged with authority to teach and instruct children in biblical doctrine? The parents and the church are primary and authoritative, although others have lesser supportive roles.

    The suitor is not an authority in the daughter's life. The father is. When there is a debatable issue of scripture, the daughter should look to the father not the suitor, who has no formal or authortative relation to the family yet.

    I am not saying that the lines are clear and bright - few lines of authority are.

    Scott
     
  10. Puddleglum

    Puddleglum Puritan Board Sophomore

    Okay. :) The headship thing makes sense . . . if the woman can submit to the man, then it isn't an issue; if she can't, then there's a problem. (If she can submit, while disagreeing, I'm wondering how strong her convictions are? She may end up agreeing anyways). So in that regards, this whole issue is more one that women have to struggle with than men . . .
     
  11. Puddleglum

    Puddleglum Puritan Board Sophomore

    Okay, I can sort-of see that.

    Agreed - parents are given the authority to teach their children; the church also has authority.

    How long do you think parents have authority over their children's lives? I recognize that the command to honor our parents is good for forever, but, isn't there a decline in parental authority? Do parents still have authority over adult children?

    If a person becomes convinced that their parents are wrong - don't they have a responsibility NOT to imitate their parents? (Though there does seem to be some danger in this case of changing just to please the significant other).

    True. :)
     
  12. Scott

    Scott Puritan Board Graduate

    "How long do you think parents have authority over their children's lives? I recognize that the command to honor our parents is good for forever, but, isn't there a decline in parental authority? Do parents still have authority over adult children?"

    Well, one point would be marriage. For example, Numbers 30 provides that a woman's authority to contract is limited by her father unless she is married, in which case it is her husband. We had similar laws like this in the United States until the 1960s or so. Anyway, we see the transition of authority with marriage.
     
  13. Augusta

    Augusta Puritan Board Doctor

    With girls they are under their father's authority until they are given to a husband. This is still part of the marriage ceremony today. The father "gives away" the bride to the future husband. We (women) are never left without someone who is our head. That headship is passed to our husband.

    That is why you see some fathers here who take this very seriously. It is very nice to see. Today fathers just give their daughters away to whomever the daughter chooses. Which is usually a bad choice. :( Young women are not the best at picking life mates. Their criteria is usually how cute they are. :um:
     
  14. Scott

    Scott Puritan Board Graduate

    "If a person becomes convinced that their parents are wrong - don't they have a responsibility NOT to imitate their parents? (Though there does seem to be some danger in this case of changing just to please the significant other)."

    As I mentioned the lines are fuzzy. Certainly with respect to unbelieving parents there is an absolute duty to reject parental teachings about unbelief in God. With respect to believing parents, I expect that there are a number of factors that should be taken into account, such as age, wisdom of the parent, wisdom of the child, the amount of study, the source of ideas, etc.
     
  15. Scott

    Scott Puritan Board Graduate

    "That is why you see some fathers here who take this very seriously. It is very nice to see. Today fathers just give their daughters away to whomever the daughter chooses. Which is usually a bad choice. Young women are not the best at picking life mates. Their criteria is usually how cute they are."

    There is allot to be said for arranged marriages, although I don't see it as workable in our culture since virtually nobody practices it. I recently read an article about some Indians (from India, not Native Americans) who practice it with great success.
     
  16. biblelighthouse

    biblelighthouse Puritan Board Junior

    :amen: :ditto:

    It is workable in McKinney, TX. I go to McKinney Bible Church, and my brothers and sisters in Christ are just amazing in this way.

    (However, I would not quite call it an "arranged marriage", since the daughter does get to have input on the decision. The dads don't make their daughters marry if they don't want to do so. :) )

    The daughters do not just run around with whomever they want. When a young man is interested in a young lady, he approaches her dad. If he approves of the potential union, then the young man is given the blessing to pursue the young lady. But if the girl's dad rejects the suitor, then the young man is not permitted to pursue her.

    There have been quite a few honorable weddings and blessed marriages in our congregation over the past several years.

    Praise the Lord!
     
  17. Larry Hughes

    Larry Hughes Puritan Board Sophomore

    Jeremy,

    Just find a nice Jewish girl.

    Just trying to lighten things up a bit.

    Later,

    Larry
     
  18. biblelighthouse

    biblelighthouse Puritan Board Junior



    [​IMG]


    :lol:
     
  19. kevin.carroll

    kevin.carroll Puritan Board Junior

    I guess diving in late is better than not diving in at all. This is a HUGE problem in rural areas. While I was in Washington last week I met Trent Lott and he even kidded with me about the difficulties in being a Baptist (him) marrying a Presbyterian (her). Frankly, I lay the blame squarely at the feet of the teaching elders in not inculcating their concregations with the whats and whys of covenant theology.
     
  20. pastorway

    pastorway Puritan Board Senior

    to clarify, being unequally yoked is to be married to a non-believer.

    It is not to be married to someone that you at times disagree with, even on tough theological topics! Otherwise we are all unequally yoked.

    And the wrong idea might be misread into this discussion that a couple is not REALLY married until they agree in all major areas of theology, and that simply is not true. You can be REALLY married to a non-believer, you know! The Bible gives us instructions for what to do if we find ourselves in that situation.

    Phillip
     
  21. smhbbag

    smhbbag Puritan Board Senior

    ****UPDATE****

    Just thought I'd give you guys an update (haha, not that I'm that active around here, although I lurk every day).

    Well, I had some more conversations with her father on this topic, and continued to get to know her family better. To make a long story short, I asked for his permission to pursue her toward marriage, and he gave a hearty "yes." Needless to say, she gave the same answer he did :):banana: We've been courting for two months at this point, and things are going unbelievably well. But I'll spare you all the sappy details :)

    As for the paedobaptism issue, I have discussed this on 5 or 6 occasions with her, and frankly, the 'debate' started to take a much different tone after we were together. I just can't (and don't want to!) 'argue' with her in the same way I can with my best guy friends. So, after making much progress in those 5 or 6 discussions, we decided we would put the issue to rest until a much later date. We haven't had a *direct* discussion on it in about a month.

    We've instead poured that time into going through Galatians verse by verse, and now we're well into Ephesians, and it has been quite fruitful. Although I do keep it at a relatively surface level, because I am quite aware of the dangers of establishing too much emotional/spiritual intimacy at this time. I'm not her covenant head....yet. But it has been wonderful to lead her through those scriptures.

    I believe I mentioned that before I asked for courtship, she had been thrust into a 'middle-ground' not really knowing what to think, namely because she knew of no textual rebuttal to some of the arguments I'd brought up. When asking for courtship, the first thing I brought up was the fact that if she said 'yes,' she's essentially agreeing to be bound my by conscience on the matter after (Lord-willing) the marriage. Submission on this issue would not be an option, but a duty. She said that, while she had some misgivings about the whole thing, she said that she could, with joy and confidence, place herself under my spiritual headship. So, we began....

    She has recently told me that she is now "98% Baptist," and that really the only things holding her back were 1) her strong paedo family tradition and 2) just an emotional discomfort that is inevitable during any major shift in doctrine. But, #2 was mostly resolved when there was a paedobaptism at her church, and she "will never be able to look at it the same way again." Evidently, she's been continuing to pour over the issue in her personal prayer and study time, even while we haven't discussed it at all for a month or so. And by all scriptural measures, she's now a Baptist.

    Now, dealing with her family's reaction to this change will not be easy - especially considering my GREAT love, respect and admiration of the godly heritage they have established over many generations. Pray for peace on that front. I'm confident it will be ok though - they know me and my heart, and that I'm not looking for another paedo notch in my belt. I can only hope that the respect I've gained from them thus far can help carry us through the difficulty that may come from it.

    Just thought of this thread a while ago, and thought I'd update you guys. Man, I do love the PB :) For those curious, a picture of us is on my xanga - http://www.xanga.com/home.aspx?user=smhbbag


    [Edited on 9-21-2005 by smhbbag]
     
  22. Puddleglum

    Puddleglum Puritan Board Sophomore

    Thanks for the update. Will be praying for the situation . . . oh, and about that picture - she's a lot better looking than you. :) (No offense meant . . . )
     
  23. smhbbag

    smhbbag Puritan Board Senior

    heh heh, oh I'm well aware :)

    But praise the Lord she'll deny it all day long! Somehow she still thinks she got the better end of this deal.

    And thank you so much for your prayers. Seriously.

    [Edited on 9-21-2005 by smhbbag]
     
  24. Poimen

    Poimen Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    I wish no pain or heartache to Jeremy but I am compelled to give a hearty amen to what both Scotts are saying. As a pastor of a Dutch Reformed church I would feel quite responsible if one of the girls in the church married a Baptist minded boy. This is a confessional issue and thus one of integrity and unity for our church. And I second the thought that the father would really be the one responsible for such an instance: where are his priorities?

    Heidelberg Catechism

    Q74: Are infants also to be baptized?

    A74: Yes, for since they, as well as their parents, belong to the covenant and people of God, and through the blood of Christ both redemption from sin and the Holy Ghost, who works faith, are promised to them no less than to their parents, they are also by Baptism, as a sign of the covenant, to be ingrafted into the Christian Church, and distinguished from the children of unbelievers, as was done in the Old Testament by circumcision, in place of which in the New Testament Baptism is appointed.

    [Edited on 9-21-2005 by poimen]
     
  25. rgrove

    rgrove Puritan Board Freshman

    Well, Baptismal issues aside... Now that I've seen the pictures, how in the world did you land a looker like that!? :D
     
  26. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritanboard Commissioner

    Presbyterian is as Presbyterian does.............
     
  27. pastorway

    pastorway Puritan Board Senior

    PRAISE the LORD that you are setting such an example in Christian courtship! PRAISE the LORD that you and your future wife are so committed to the Word of God and doing things HIS way. PRAISE the LORD that her father has given a hearty approval to the relationship. PRAISE the LORD that you were and are patient and motivated by love for God, her family, and her. PRAISE the LORD that I can rejoice with you as you rejoice!

    Phillip
     
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