Pca Bco 12-5 & 11-2

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Steve Dixon

Puritan Board Freshman
Under Chapter 12-5, the Church Session is charged with, among other things, "to see that parents do not neglect to present their children for Baptism".

How does it square with 11-2 (Church Courts) :judge: which states, "First, they can make no laws binding the conscience; but may frame symbols of faith, bear testimony against error in doctrine and immorality in practice, within or without the Church, and decide cases of conscience."

Is someone "neglectful" :oops: if he, as a matter of "conscience", willfully refrains from having his infant children Baptized?

How are these portions of the BCO interpreted by the PCA as it relates to the issue of credo-Baptism? How are they applied in the churches?

Do these two parts of the BCO need to reconcile or are they already friends :handshake:?

May the Lord bless you!
 

greenbaggins

Administrator
Staff member
The PCA regards infant baptism as very important. The charge is that such not neglect baptism. The PCA does not require people to believe in infant baptism in order to join. What should happen if a credo-baptist family joins a PCA church is that the leadership carefully and fully explain to them the biblical basis for infant baptism, and urge them to do their duty in baptizing their children. However, as far as I know, very few PCA churches would actually discipline (in terms of excommunication) a family for not doing so.
 

fredtgreco

Vanilla Westminsterian
Staff member
Every PCA church should use discipline with its members with respect to infant baptism. The question is how that discipline should be carried out. Discipline takes many forms - from the informal to the formal. From counsel to excommunication.

My personal opinion would be to permit a non-paedobaptist to join (in light of the PCA's sole requirement of a credible profession of faith, and not confessional subscription by members) and to exhort, counsel and encourage (pastoral discipline) families to not neglect infant baptism.

More often than not, a family that stays committed to a PCA church for a length of time where tolerance is exhibited, but the truth of the Scripture is consistently and unashamedly proclaimed from the pulpit and in education classes, will come to adopt paedobaptism.
 

Presbyterian Deacon

Puritan Board Graduate
Under Chapter 12-5, the Church Session is charged with, among other things, "to see that parents do not neglect to present their children for Baptism".

How does it square with 11-2 (Church Courts) :judge: which states, "First, they can make no laws binding the conscience; but may frame symbols of faith, bear testimony against error in doctrine and immorality in practice, within or without the Church, and decide cases of conscience."

Is someone "neglectful" :oops: if he, as a matter of "conscience", willfully refrains from having his infant children Baptized?

How are these portions of the BCO interpreted by the PCA as it relates to the issue of credo-Baptism? How are they applied in the churches?

Do these two parts of the BCO need to reconcile or are they already friends :handshake:?

May the Lord bless you!
These two parts of the BOCO are already friends.

The charge to see that parents not neglect infant baptism is not a charge to bind consciences of members who believe otherwise to a paedobaptist positon, but a charge to teach, admonish, exort and instruct parents about the importance of the biblical view of covenat baptism.
 

Presbyterian Deacon

Puritan Board Graduate
Every PCA church should use discipline with its members with respect to infant baptism. The question is how that discipline should be carried out. Discipline takes many forms - from the informal to the formal. From counsel to excommunication.

My personal opinion would be to permit a non-paedobaptist to join (in light of the PCA's sole requirement of a credible profession of faith, and not confessional subscription by members) and to exhort, counsel and encourage (pastoral discipline) families to not neglect infant baptism.

More often than not, a family that stays committed to a PCA church for a length of time where tolerance is exhibited, but the truth of the Scripture is consistently and unashamedly proclaimed from the pulpit and in education classes, will come to adopt paedobaptism.
Pastor Greco:

I agree, and have seen this to be true in my own experience. When I joined the Presbyterian Church in 1996, I was still a craedo-baptist. By the time my son was born a year later, through much personal study and pastoral teaching and counsel, I had become convinced of the truth of covenant baptism of infants. So much so, that I had my son baptised on the 8th day.

A wonderful book, instrumental in my understanding and adopting the paedo position is: Children of the Promise: The Biblical Case for Infant Baptism, by Robert R. Booth (P&R Publishers) 1995.
 

DMcFadden

Puritanboard Commissioner
More often than not, a family that stays committed to a PCA church for a length of time where tolerance is exhibited, but the truth of the Scripture is consistently and unashamedly proclaimed from the pulpit and in education classes, will come to adopt paedobaptism.
Fred, your characterization caused me to stop and reflect on my own pastoral experience -- both in terms of teaching, tolerance, and outcomes.

I suspect that you are exactly on target. However, another case is also true.

More often than not, a family that stays committed to a [Baptist] church for a length of time where tolerance is exhibited, but the truth of the Scripture is consistently and unashamedly proclaimed from the pulpit and in education classes, will come to adopt [credobaptism].

In fact, we can probably substitute any number of doctrinal distinctives in the slot and come up with an empirically accurate statement, including issues of charismatic practice and many other things that neither you nor I would approve of doctrinallly.

Isn't it fun to see through a glass darkly!?! Once we take a presupppositional fork in the road, all of the education in the world usually serves to confirm us in that path and blind us to contrary lines of interpretation regardless of how legitimate. For more than three decades I have endeavored earnestly to approach the inerrant Word of God with an honest and faithful exegetical hand. All of my study merely confirmed my credobaptist first principles without a whole lot of second thoughts, doubts, or contrary notions. Now, in middle age, my crisis with being a conservative in a mainline denomination brought me to a fresh reconsideration of things that I have not thought seriously about in decades. Who knows where this current reconsideration will lead? My reading of Reformation documents, the Puritans, WCF materials and commentary, and (in the next few months) people like Robertson on covenant theology, are making a significant impact on my thinking. But, thanks, Fred, you and my sis and brothers on this board provide a wonderful environment for this old dog to return ad fontes to the Scriptures afresh.
 

fredtgreco

Vanilla Westminsterian
Staff member
Every PCA church should use discipline with its members with respect to infant baptism. The question is how that discipline should be carried out. Discipline takes many forms - from the informal to the formal. From counsel to excommunication.

My personal opinion would be to permit a non-paedobaptist to join (in light of the PCA's sole requirement of a credible profession of faith, and not confessional subscription by members) and to exhort, counsel and encourage (pastoral discipline) families to not neglect infant baptism.

More often than not, a family that stays committed to a PCA church for a length of time where tolerance is exhibited, but the truth of the Scripture is consistently and unashamedly proclaimed from the pulpit and in education classes, will come to adopt paedobaptism.
Pastor Greco:

I agree, and have seen this to be true in my own experience. When I joined the Presbyterian Church in 1996, I was still a craedo-baptist. By the time my son was born a year later, through much personal study and pastoral teaching and counsel, I had become convinced of the truth of covenant baptism of infants. So much so, that I had my son baptised on the 8th day.

A wonderful book, instrumental in my understanding and adopting the paedo position is: Children of the Promise: The Biblical Case for Infant Baptism, by Robert R. Booth (P&R Publishers) 1995.
Sterling,

I agree. My experience was similar. We joined a PCA church in 1996 as well. I distinctly remember telling the pastor that "He would never baptize my kids." We found out a couple of months later that my wife was expecting. I did a comprehensive study on the topic, reading just about everything that there was (including several resources not in print) and became a paedobaptist. A couple of years later I was ordained an elder. Now I am a pastor, and more convinced than ever. But I realize that not everyone sees the doctrine, and I seek to teach them with patience.
 

larryjf

Puritan Board Senior
Under Chapter 12-5, the Church Session is charged with, among other things, "to see that parents do not neglect to present their children for Baptism".

How does it square with 11-2 (Church Courts) :judge: which states, "First, they can make no laws binding the conscience; but may frame symbols of faith, bear testimony against error in doctrine and immorality in practice, within or without the Church, and decide cases of conscience."
I was under the impression that paedobaptism was NOT the Session "making" a law that binds the conscience, but rather God's law.
 

Pilgrim

Puritan Board Doctor
Every PCA church should use discipline with its members with respect to infant baptism. The question is how that discipline should be carried out. Discipline takes many forms - from the informal to the formal. From counsel to excommunication.

My personal opinion would be to permit a non-paedobaptist to join (in light of the PCA's sole requirement of a credible profession of faith, and not confessional subscription by members) and to exhort, counsel and encourage (pastoral discipline) families to not neglect infant baptism.

More often than not, a family that stays committed to a PCA church for a length of time where tolerance is exhibited, but the truth of the Scripture is consistently and unashamedly proclaimed from the pulpit and in education classes, will come to adopt paedobaptism.
The will either do that or possibly eventually leave. Of course some who stay do not have children or have grown children and so it's of no practical significance to them unless they are teaching credo and/or immersionist views in the church. The question is, how many churches consistently and unashamedly proclaim paedobaptism? I've heard the term "baptisterian" from enough sources of differing views to know that it's not just FVers who have that view of some of our churches.

Personally, I don't think I could have ever joined a Presbyterian church while still holding credo views. I came out of a church that was strongly anti-paedobaptist and influenced by works like Verduin's Reformers and their Stepchildren and although I had respect for many paedobaptist preachers, I basically didn't consider paedo churches to be churches at all or at the very least not properly ordered ones since they rejected regenerate church membership, something that at that time I thought should be obvious to anyone who didn't have blinders on. That the FV was gaining a lot of publicity on the internet at about the time I was considering the issue (2004-2005) didn't help matters any. The fact that Jacob (Ivanhoe) joined the OPC in my area while he was in college and every other sentence out of his mouth back then seemed to start with either "Bahnsen said" or "Bahnsen thought" didn't help either, considering my background. :lol: The pastor was also known to have been close to Bahnsen. Not finding a credo church in the area that I felt comfortable joining and not being entirely comfortable with a somewhat charismatic EPC church that welcomed Baptists with open arms, I studied the issue and was finally convinced of Presbyterianism and joined the OPC. Since moving to an area with a couple of FIRE churches and a couple of other baptistic possibilities as well, I reexamined the issue once again to make sure that I hadn't just convinced myself of paedobaptism and joined the OPC because there weren't any other options, but I remain a convinced paedobaptist and Presbyterian.
 

Steve Dixon

Puritan Board Freshman
Thank you, all.
There is significant disagreement on this issue among sincere believers, as you well know. I'm not sure it's fair to assert that if someone searches the Scriptures enough or is diligently taught by the church he will necessarily embrace paedo-Baptism. Credo-Baptists could make the same claim conversely. Some accept it and some don't. Some accept it with minimum diligence and reflection in order to fit in. I don't think the ones who fail to embrace it are in sin any more than those who do embrace it are in sin.
Don't you think the principle articulated in Rom. 14:23, "But the man who has doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin" has application here? If someone consents to have his infant baptized against his conscience, is he not sinning?

I think the reference in BCO 12-5 is referring to someone who believes the doctrine of infant Baptism and neglects to see to it that it is applied to his children. To that person, it would be sinful. There is no "neglect" on the part of credo-Baptistic adherent in the PCA. The term "refusal" and not "neglect" would be the more appropriate term if that were the case. That seems to be the only way to reconcile these two parts of the BCO.
 

fredtgreco

Vanilla Westminsterian
Staff member
Thank you, all.
There is significant disagreement on this issue among sincere believers, as you well know. I'm not sure it's fair to assert that if someone searches the Scriptures enough or is diligently taught by the church he will necessarily embrace paedo-Baptism. Credo-Baptists could make the same claim conversely. Some accept it and some don't. Some accept it with minimum diligence and reflection in order to fit in. I don't think the ones who fail to embrace it are in sin any more than those who do embrace it are in sin.
Don't you think the principle articulated in Rom. 14:23, "But the man who has doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin" has application here? If someone consents to have his infant baptized against his conscience, is he not sinning?

I think the reference in BCO 12-5 is referring to someone who believes the doctrine of infant Baptism and neglects to see to it that it is applied to his children. To that person, it would be sinful. There is no "neglect" on the part of credo-Baptistic adherent in the PCA. The term "refusal" and not "neglect" would be the more appropriate term if that were the case. That seems to be the only way to reconcile these two parts of the BCO.
Two things:

1. I was actually trying to say what Chris said. If someone sits under the unashamed teaching and declaration of an important doctrine like infant baptism, it is my experience that they will either adopt the doctrine or find another church. The exception would be someone who feels absolutely no stake in the issue (e.g. someone who has no children or grandchildren presently).

2. To not believe in infant baptism is sinful. To be fair, to the credobaptist, to believe in infant baptism is also sinful. Saying that does not mean we should excommunicate each other, or throw rocks. But it is healthy to acknowledge that obeying God's Word is important. (And my baptist friends agree with me on this one).
 

Mushroom

Puritan Board Doctor
Couple of comments:

1. Fred's statement about "unashamedly" teaching the doctrine of infant baptism is very pertinent. I've sat through many baptisms at a PCA church where the Pastor spent most of that time apologizing for the practice to the credos in the pews.

2. A beloved brother I know has been a member of a PCA church for more than 10 years, is a youth Sunday School teacher and member of the 'worship team', and has remained a credobaptist all along. Great guy; weak Session. Never understood why we tend to let the theologically iffy folks have our children's ears, but it happens all the time, even where I am now. Recently a member who'd been teaching a youth class just up and disappeared without any explanation to the Session because the Pastor was wanting to know when he'd like to baptise his newborn. He was open about being credo when he joined, and didn't like that kind of meddling. After a conversation with me wherein I said that the meddling was a good thing from my perspective (a Pastor and Session doing their job), he spouted some NCT drivel and shagged.

All the ecumenicism aside, I don't want credo-baptists teaching my children the scriptures. I have credo friends I love, but on this I think they're wrong, and so (supposedly) does my denomination. So why would a PCA Session allow this sort of thing? I always get looked at like I'm an alien or something when I have protested it.
 

Steve Dixon

Puritan Board Freshman
I remain unconvinced that BCO 12-5 "to see that parents do not neglect to present their children for Baptism", applies to credo-Baptists members in the PCA. While the BCO is the third leg of the PCA's constitutional stool, it is a bit ambiguous on this point. If it were unambiguous, credo-Baptists would be disciplined and I don't know of a credo-Baptist who was ever disciplined in the PCA for not having their children Baptized. The adherence to this doctrine is not a requirement for membership in the PCA so I don't see how someone could be disciplined for refusing to have their children baptized as a matter of conscience. This is not a matter of "neglect" for the credo-Baptist, it is a matter of conscience. After having made a diligent effort to understand it, I don't believe it's sinful to come to a conclusion about a particular non-essential point of doctrine . I would point to eschatology. If we discover from our Lord upon His return, that amillenialists were correct, does that make post-millenialists sinful? "Whatever is not from faith is sin" Rom. 14:23. I am, by faith, a credo-Baptist.

The way I have observed this practiced in a teaching setting in the PCA is that, anyone who held to a particular view that was out of accord, would make it known to their Session and would agree to refrain from teaching that view. That has worked well where I have seen it practiced. Do Spurgeon, Bunyan, Begg, Mohler, Piper, and Dever have nothing to offer the PCA and its members individually?

Brad, I am not advocating for credo-Baptistic Sunday School teachers in the PCA but I surely hope you are not suggesting that anyone other than a paedo-Baptistic Presbyterian has anything constructive to offer you and your children. You are primarily responsible for your children's Biblical instruction and your children will likely discuss this doctrine with a credo-Baptist at some point. May they be driven to the Word as the Bereans were.

If the member you mentioned was open about being a credo-Baptist why would the pastor suppose that he would want his infant Baptized contrary to his conscience? I hope the pastor was more respectful but if he wasn't I can possibly understand why that member would leave. BTW, "great guys" aren't "theologically iffy". That's a rather pejorative term for a brother.
 

Mushroom

Puritan Board Doctor
I remain unconvinced that BCO 12-5 "to see that parents do not neglect to present their children for Baptism", applies to credo-Baptists members in the PCA. While the BCO is the third leg of the PCA's constitutional stool, it is a bit ambiguous on this point. If it were unambiguous, credo-Baptists would be disciplined and I don't know of a credo-Baptist who was ever disciplined in the PCA for not having their children Baptized. The adherence to this doctrine is not a requirement for membership in the PCA so I don't see how someone could be disciplined for refusing to have their children baptized as a matter of conscience. This is not a matter of "neglect" for the credo-Baptist, it is a matter of conscience. After having made a diligent effort to understand it, I don't believe it's sinful to come to a conclusion about a particular non-essential point of doctrine . I would point to eschatology. If we discover from our Lord upon His return, that amillenialists were correct, does that make post-millenialists sinful? "Whatever is not from faith is sin" Rom. 14:23. I am, by faith, a credo-Baptist.
I don't disagree with anything you say there. I have no problem with credos joining PCA Churches. But it is appropriate to bar them from church office, as is common practice.
The way I have observed this practiced in a teaching setting in the PCA is that, anyone who held to a particular view that was out of accord, would make it known to their Session and would agree to refrain from teaching that view. That has worked well where I have seen it practiced. Do Spurgeon, Bunyan, Begg, Mohler, Piper, and Dever have nothing to offer the PCA and its members individually?
The practice as you describe sounds fine to me, and those folks have plenty to contribute.
Brad, I am not advocating for credo-Baptistic Sunday School teachers in the PCA but I surely hope you are not suggesting that anyone other than a paedo-Baptistic Presbyterian has anything constructive to offer you and your children. You are primarily responsible for your children's Biblical instruction and your children will likely discuss this doctrine with a credo-Baptist at some point. May they be driven to the Word as the Bereans were.
Here may be where we differ. While I have no problem sitting through a class taught by a credo myself as an adult, I would not want my children to do so. Can you tell me of any part of theology that is not in some way colored by one's view of the sacraments? A Sunday School teacher occupies an important and influential position in a child's life, why would I want mine taught by one with which I so much disagree? I am primarily responsible, as you say, and I view that responsibility as requiring that their exposure to error not be through the adherents of same. Erroneous theology must be presented as just that... error. No offense, brother, but I firmly believe credo-baptism to be error. That is why I am a member of a PCA Church. If I held to credo-baptism, it would be because I thought paedo-baptism were error, and I would not be a PCA member, but instead a member of a Reformed Baptist Church (if they do membership, don't know). I consider most reformed credos to be brethren, but they are brethren in error.
If the member you mentioned was open about being a credo-Baptist why would the pastor suppose that he would want his infant Baptized contrary to his conscience? I hope the pastor was more respectful but if he wasn't I can possibly understand why that member would leave. BTW, "great guys" aren't "theologically iffy". That's a rather pejorative term for a brother.
Well, as I found out later, the Pastor had been under the impression that he had come around to covenant theology, but was apparently wrong on that. The last I heard, the fellow left because he had come to the conclusion that paedo-baptism and covenant theology were error that he could no longer abide, so he's gone to an SBA Church. That is precisely why I would not want a professed credo teaching my children in a Church-organized setting. They are, in my view, theologically iffy. I actually see that term as rather polite, so I am confused by your "perjorative" label of it. Would you prefer that I call them "sacramentally and covenantally twisted"?

Funny thing, though. I've NEVER seen a Baptist Church of any kind that would accept my family as members, or especially that would allow a paedo-baptist teach children Sunday School. So if that type of exclusion really bothers you, the local Reformed Baptist Church would be a good place to start trying to weed it out, and hey, you might even like the fact that they agree with your sacramental view.
 

Steve Dixon

Puritan Board Freshman
Brad,

I cannot figure out how to quote you inside that cool box so I'll have to do it the old fashioned way.

"Can you tell me of any part of theology that is not in some way colored by one's view of the sacraments?"

Sure, every bit of our theology colors our view, but it's a matter of degree. I would submit that one's eschatology can do more coloring than the question of baptisim.

"Erroneous theology must be presented as just that... error. No offense, brother, but I firmly believe credo-baptism to be error.

Of course you would think it's in error just as I consider your view to be in error. No offense taken.

"That is why I am a member of a PCA Church. If I held to credo-baptism, it would be because I thought paedo-baptism were error, and I would not be a PCA member, but instead a member of a Reformed Baptist Church (if they do membership, don't know)."

I am a Presbyterian because, among other things, I strongly adhere to both reformed soteriology and in Presbyterian polity. I do understand the distinctives of the polity and consider my Reformed Baptistic brethren to be in error on this point. Not in sin, but in error. Presbyterianism, after all, is a denomination, named not for its Reformed soteriology, but for its polity.

"I consider most reformed credos to be brethren, but they are brethren in error."

Well, I consider most paedos to be to be brethren too. Why, some of my best friends are paedos. :wink:


"They are, in my view, theologically iffy. I actually see that term as rather polite, so I am confused by your "pejorative" label of it. Would you prefer that I call them "sacramentally and covenantally twisted"?"

"Theologically iffy", is "polite"?? I'd hate to get you mad! How about, "a brother with a differing view on a nonessential point"? In all things, charity.


"Funny thing, though. I've NEVER seen a Baptist Church of any kind that would accept my family as members, or especially that would allow a paedo-baptist teach children Sunday School. So if that type of exclusion really bothers you, the local Reformed Baptist Church would be a good place to start trying to weed it out, and hey, you might even like the fact that they agree with your sacramental view."

If only it were that simple. I know I'm stating the obvious, but Baptists (named after what they do), cannot recognize one baptized as an infant. Paedos, however, have to recognize one baptized at any age. It's not that the paedos are more tolerant or that the credos are more exclusionary, it's that neither system will allow for any other way. In other words, a credo cannot accept the baptism of an infant and a credo cannot not accept the baptism of a Baptist (or broadly evangelical believer). An adult cannot go back in time and be baptized as an infant any more than a child can go forward and be baptized as an adult. The mode, effusion vs. immersion, we could discuss as exclusionary, but not the timing.

 

Steve Dixon

Puritan Board Freshman
I said, "In other words, a credo cannot accept the baptism of an infant and a credo cannot not accept the baptism of a Baptist (or broadly evangelical believer).

Should have said, "In other words, a credo cannot accept the baptism of an infant and a paedo cannot not accept the baptism of a Baptist (or broadly evangelical believer)."
 

Archlute

Puritan Board Senior
Couple of comments:

1. Fred's statement about "unashamedly" teaching the doctrine of infant baptism is very pertinent. I've sat through many baptisms at a PCA church where the Pastor spent most of that time apologizing for the practice to the credos in the pews.
Sadly, this is all too often true, and I, for one, would like to see it change. Credos who are in attendance should be in the position of receiving instruction, and the minister should not feel that he is silently being dictated to on the matter.

However, during the baptism of our last child at a PCA in the PacNW, I looked out over the watching congregation (consisting of a sizable majority of baptistic/non-Reformed members), and could see nothing but frowns and glares on all of the faces excepting those of the pastor's and elders' families. So I can see why some may feel the need to ward off the visual attack.
 

TimV

Puritanboard Botanist
The Bowen Case, which you can get from the Stated Clerk's office in Atlanta by requesting it sent to you by email is the PCA's current stance on the subject. The case was written by Dr. Aquila who was the 2006 Moderator of the General Assembly.

In the PCA one can be a member and refuse to baptise their children, but cannot be ordained as either an Elder or Deacon. If a Session has ordained Baptists as Officers they are still Officers, but they are called "Officers out of conformity" and the church court system can be used to, after a period of time when they have been given counseling and urged to change, take away their ordination.
 
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fredtgreco

Vanilla Westminsterian
Staff member
Couple of comments:

1. Fred's statement about "unashamedly" teaching the doctrine of infant baptism is very pertinent. I've sat through many baptisms at a PCA church where the Pastor spent most of that time apologizing for the practice to the credos in the pews.
Sadly, this is all too often true, and I, for one, would like to see it change. Credos who are in attendance should be in the position of receiving instruction, and the minister should not feel that he is silently being dictated to on the matter.

However, during the baptism of our last child at a PCA in the PacNW, I looked out over the watching congregation (consisting of a sizable majority of baptistic/non-Reformed members), and could see nothing but frowns and glares on all of the faces excepting those of the pastor's and elders' families. So I can see why some may feel the need to ward off the visual attack.
Adam,

I did exactly as I described - teaching unashamedly and unapologetically - during a recent baptism. And the result:

the father of one of our new member families, who come from a baptist background, came up to me later in the week and thanked me for my words.

No one should ever doubt the power of the Word of God, preached or taught.
 

Archlute

Puritan Board Senior
Couple of comments:

1. Fred's statement about "unashamedly" teaching the doctrine of infant baptism is very pertinent. I've sat through many baptisms at a PCA church where the Pastor spent most of that time apologizing for the practice to the credos in the pews.
Sadly, this is all too often true, and I, for one, would like to see it change. Credos who are in attendance should be in the position of receiving instruction, and the minister should not feel that he is silently being dictated to on the matter.

However, during the baptism of our last child at a PCA in the PacNW, I looked out over the watching congregation (consisting of a sizable majority of baptistic/non-Reformed members), and could see nothing but frowns and glares on all of the faces excepting those of the pastor's and elders' families. So I can see why some may feel the need to ward off the visual attack.
Adam,

I did exactly as I described - teaching unashamedly and unapologetically - during a recent baptism. And the result:

the father of one of our new member families, who come from a baptist background, came up to me later in the week and thanked me for my words.

No one should ever doubt the power of the Word of God, preached or taught.
Praise God, Fred. Thank you for sharing that, as it is an encouraging report of which to hear.

Earlier in my experience within Reformed churches, having moved from a congregation with a rather militant session who always seemed to be extremely exercised over the issue of baptism, I was surprised to come to a church where the pastor was always encouraging and conversational about the subject with those who were as yet unconvinced. He told me that, as he believed that no minister could change another man's heart on the issue without the Holy Spirit convincing him first, that he just prayed for them and thoughtfully discussed the Scriptures with them as occasion arose. Of course he was right, and the fruit that his ministry bore (and still now bears) is encouraging testimony to one minister's humble and confident reliance upon the work of the Holy Spirit as he followed Paul's admonition that a servant of the Lord be "kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness."
 

DMcFadden

Puritanboard Commissioner
Interesting. Very interesting.

Even in our post-denominational era, why would a baptist want to join a presbyterian church and then complain about infant baptist? My attitude would be the same as it was in joining the PB. If you are planning to unite with a group dominated by a majority of people with a view different from your own, it is only respecful to either shut up entirely or to adopt the posture of a humble learner and to prayerfully exam if you could be wrong. If my wife and I ever move to the midwest (to be near our married kids), I can imagine that a PCA congregation might very well be the one we would join. While I have NEVER baptized anyone but a believer (and hundreds of those), being in a confessionally Calvinist church would be more important to me than our differences over baptism.
 

raekwon

Puritan Board Junior
Interesting. Very interesting.

Even in our post-denominational era, why would a baptist want to join a presbyterian church and then complain about infant baptist? My attitude would be the same as it was in joining the PB. If you are planning to unite with a group dominated by a majority of people with a view different from your own, it is only respecful to either shut up entirely or to adopt the posture of a humble learner and to prayerfully exam if you could be wrong. If my wife and I ever move to the midwest (to be near our married kids), I can imagine that a PCA congregation might very well be the one we would join. While I have NEVER baptized anyone but a believer (and hundreds of those), being in a confessionally Calvinist church would be more important to me than our differences over baptism.
Exactly.

As an aside, I joined Grace Central three years ago as a reformed credobaptist (albeit, a reformed credobaptist that believed that those who'd previously been baptized as infants did not need to be re-baptized).

I'm now an elder, so . . . obviously my view on baptism shifted some time in there. :lol:
 

TimV

Puritanboard Botanist
Even in our post-denominational era, why would a baptist want to join a presbyterian church and then complain about infant baptist?
Things like that just never occur to them. Our "coordinator of missions" was a not only an open baptist when he was ordained a Deacon, but he himself had never been baptised. The young man wasn't being tricky or anything, he just didn't know.
 

Steve Dixon

Puritan Board Freshman
I don't know of any paedobaptists that don't accept the baptism of a Baptist as valid.
What I said was that a paedo cannot not accept the Baptism.... You and I are saying the same thing.

As far as what the rest of you have said, I totally agree. If someone joins a church with a confessional view that differs from their own, they should be totally respectful. No frowns people! The law of love should rule.
 
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