Reformed Baptist Converting to Reformed Paedobaptist (A Practical Question)

Discussion in 'Baptism' started by pslagle2012, Nov 26, 2016.

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  1. pslagle2012

    pslagle2012 Puritan Board Freshman

    This is my first post. I am on something of a theological journey right now. I have always been a Reformed Baptist from the time I was saved, however just recently I have started questioning my understanding of the covenants and baptism. I'm about five inches from "conversion" to the Paedobaptist viewpoint. I have a non-Reformed Baptist wife with two children under three and I have made my situation known to her. My question is, what is the Biblical approach to this situation where a person is married to a strongly Baptist person, his church and family are strongly baptist and he is converting to Presbyterianism? Should we both agree on infant baptism before baptizing our children, should I not push to have our children baptized in the name of loving my wife and her family (as I know they would be bothered by this)? I know this is not addressed in scripture but am just looking for a little guidance.
     
  2. Gforce9

    Gforce9 Puritan Board Junior

    I have been through a similar situation and received some very wise advice from Rev. Buchanan here on the PB.....seek his counsel. Your situation is a little more "delicate" than was mine.....
     
  3. Stope

    Stope Puritan Board Sophomore

    Besides padeo bap, what is the difference between "reformed baptist" and "reformed"?
     
  4. Parakaleo

    Parakaleo Puritan Board Sophomore

    Welcome, brother! A quick response is that you absolutely should have your children baptized. This is addressed in Scripture, when Paul makes it clear in several places that the husband is the head of the family and accountable to God for those entrusted to him. God has established you as their father, even communicating His divine attribute "fatherhood" to you (and not to your wife).

    However, I would also add the advisement of "first things, first". They can't be baptized until you are a member of a Paedobaptist church. During that process, your pastor and elders will be able to greatly help you with whatever family issues there might be.
     
  5. Contra_Mundum

    Contra_Mundum Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger Staff Member

    Short answer, you want to move forward as a family. And the way to move forward is to be a leader who the rest want to follow; and to love your partner in marriage/parenting into walking comfortably by your side because she's learned to trust you.

    So, no, you don't want to make such a move a matter of legality. Just from the brief description above, I'd say it doesn't appear that less damage would be done by pushing for this issue to be resolved ASAP. If you desire to obey the Lord in things religious and churchly, PRAY that God will open the door in his direction.

    Your wife and kids would do well to discover that Reformed and covenant theology has made husband/dad a better man and better Christian, and not just someone obsessed with a clever new way of doing the faith-merry-go-round. He has learned to love God and Christ better by means of this clearer picture he has gained; and those around him are thereby blessed.

    Do you have family devotions? If not, I recommend instituting them. And use the moments entrusted to you for bite-sized teaching on Reformed theology, and on covenant theology. It can be done; it takes time; it's worth the investment. Try using these 4 volumes to tell the Bible's grand story with wife and children: https://www.amazon.com/Promise-Deliverance-Creation-Conquest-Canaan/dp/0888150024. You are on a hermeneutical path--not simply a reorganization of some biblical facts--which leads quite often into a happy reappraisal of Christ in relation to you and everything else that you can see.

    See how that exercise goes. Pray to find a Christ-centered, Reformed-minded church nearby. Asking God to draw your wife into the riches of a Reformed soteriology is something you probably need answered, well before raising the issue of baptism and all the rest.

    Understand that some people who go off their former tracks/ruts (as you seem to have) end up unstable; and by following a pied-piper on their "theological journey" they end up passing right through suitable pasture into realms of false promises of security. That's why you need the help of belonging to a trustworthy church with a reliable ministry.

    Back to the baptism-matter once more. I like to describe infant-baptism as a conclusion, not a reason for action. Baptizing infants is what one would expect, given a certain theology of baptism. Establish the theology as biblical, and the practical conclusion is natural. But what I have seen is people treating baptism as little more than a skin-deep practice. They do not understand it is a plant with deep roots, far more than the surface reveals. Baptism is an anchor on a long chain; and if one is precipitously cut from his moorings by a sudden "switch" on a matter he thinks of too simply, he may be surprised to find himself adrift at sea. You will need that chain when you have found a quieter anchorage.
     
  6. Edward

    Edward Puritan Board Doctor

    Basically, the difference between the London Baptist Confession and the Westminster Confession of Faith.
     
  7. Gforce9

    Gforce9 Puritan Board Junior

    Jason,
    It is a bit more complicated matter than the surface indicates. It has to do with how each side sees the unveiling of God's plan (the covenants). Continuity-vs-discontinuity, who belongs in the covenant, is the new entirely "new" or is it the further unfolding of the CoG.......
     
  8. pslagle2012

    pslagle2012 Puritan Board Freshman


    Thank you for this post. There's a lot of wisdom here, and I will indeed focus on loving my wife and leading my family.
     
  9. ChananBachiyr

    ChananBachiyr Puritan Board Freshman

    Boy oh boy, this is a big issue!
    Rev. Buchanan's instruction is indeed wonderful, follow after that!

    I'm actually in the same boat as you, but without kids.
    Recently started to study covenant theology and I saw its legitimacy, now I have the duty and privilege of leading my wife to truthful theology and a Presbyterian church tomorrow, Lord willing. (My 3rd time to a Presbyterian church in my entire life, pretty sure its her 1st.)

    Rev. Buchanan's point of making it a matter of legality is spot on. I hope that you've been discussing your studies with your wife primarily and your children secondarily as God provides time and opportunity. I don't know how your wife is when it comes to following your theological leading, but if she is anything like mine, you may be pleasantly surprised!
    Mine is actually very willing and open because she knows that I've been putting so much time, study and prayer into the decisions I've made concerning where we attend church and what doctrines we believe, but above all I know that God is at work in our home and marriage to teach me and in turn teach her.
    I know He will do the same for your family as you make your theological concerns known to your wife.
    And as Pastor Law said, when you find a church, your pastor and elders will be of tremendous importance as they help you and your family along.
    Be sure not to "pass through" the pasture! :D

    Praying for you, friend.
     
  10. Reformed Covenanter

    Reformed Covenanter Puritan Board Doctor

    I am not trying to be insensitive to your difficulties (far from it), but the situation is addressed in scripture. First, households were baptised in scripture with no questions asked if everyone was "comfortable" with the situation. Second, God was going to kill Moses because he did not get his son circumcised owing to his wife's opposition. Consequently, the head of a home must ensure that the covenant-sign is applied to those under his authority irrespective of whether or not his spouse agrees. We can pray, however, that your wife and yourself will soon come to be of one mind on this subject.
     
  11. lynnie

    lynnie Puritan Board Senior

    http://frame-poythress.org/indifferentism-and-rigorism/

    This is a most excellent essay by Vern Poythress of Westminster Theological Seminary, for Baptists, about baptizing young children who show a regenerated tender heart for the Lord, even as young as two. It might greatly help your wife to be amenable to baptizing them soon if you do end up wanting to do so (I am assuming they show evidence at this age of simple faith.) It is a very beautiful theological work. Don't let the title throw you.

    I am home sick, I feel terrible. Isn't it nice to be able to read! I can't imagine being illiterate.
     
  12. jwithnell

    jwithnell Moderator Staff Member

    Have you been going to a church that systematically preaches through whole books of the Bible? If not, your wife likely will know certain scriptures well, but lack an understanding about redemptive history and the covenant that holds everything together. Seek such a church, if at all possible, or listen as a family to Presbyterian sermon series available online. That way, y'all can grow at the same time, and disagreement on baptism may, in God's mercy, fade.
     
  13. pslagle2012

    pslagle2012 Puritan Board Freshman

    Thank you everyone for your responses. My wife is Reformed leaning but might be more of a 3 or 4 point Calvinist. She comes from a Fundamentalist Baptist family but she appreciates Christ-Centered, Reformed teaching. We go to a 9 Marks-esque Baptist church. She may be open to having our children Baptized but I know she would not be comfortable leaving our church, especially going to a Presbyterian church. She feels strongly about Baptist church government. I agree with most of you who say that I need to lead her gently and make it a matter of prayer. Leaving our church over it would be very hard as we love the people there, yet I am only getting more convinced. This is definitely an uncomfortable time in my theological walk with God.
     
  14. py3ak

    py3ak They're stalling and plotting against me Staff Member

    Patrick, given that you are already embedded in what sounds like a solid church it would be good to talk with one or more of the elders about what you are going through. Maintaining good relationships is worth some effort. Furthermore, people's convictions on this topic sometimes fluctuate; you'll want to make sure you are fully persuaded in your own mind before committing to a course of action that might undermine your own stability and that of your family (as Rev. Buchanan well observed above).

    Perhaps you've already done that, and if so that's really great. It's part of honoring them to let them know when something big changes.
     
  15. pslagle2012

    pslagle2012 Puritan Board Freshman

    I have not mentioned it yet, but plan to soon. It is a great church that holds to a covenantal Reformed Baptist understanding of scripture.

    I have so far only told my wife as my family and my church would be very taken back by it. I feel a growing sense that it is God's will that I have my children baptized as I read the word, one of which is only a week old. I know that this is way too premature to go head on with it right now though.

    I know my church would never baptize them. Has anyone ever come across a situation where someone who was a member of a Baptist church took their children to a Presbyterian minister only to have their children baptized? This is far from ideal I know, but just curious.
     
  16. Romans922

    Romans922 Puritan Board Professor

    Keep the focus here then in the family (then after work towards understanding of covenant theology, which will determine what to do on baptism). Get the theology down before the practice. Calvinism logically works in a systems (when talking about the 5 points). If you take one away the whole thing fails or contradicts. Put it positively, if you agree with 1 then the 4 remain necessarily follow. Maybe start a thread here on PB asking some really good resources (maybe even instructional videos) on the 5 points. I know RC Sproul has a good series on it. Then if you keep researching you'll find Calvinism is much more than 5 points. :) [THIS ALL SAID IN CONTEXT OF WHAT REV. BUCHANAN SAID - Follow that].
     
  17. Edward

    Edward Puritan Board Doctor

    I would have some concerns about the baptism if the parents were willfully not joining the church, but see this thread from a few years ago for some discussion on permissibility:

    http://www.puritanboard.com/showthread.php/73891-Baptizing-the-child-of-a-non-member

    I'll clarify my post there to note that in the PCA, the parents are apparently optional for the baptism, "After previous notice is given to the minister, the child to be baptized is to be presented, by one or both the parents, or some other responsible person, signifying the desire that the child be baptized"
     
  18. jwithnell

    jwithnell Moderator Staff Member

    Baptism is not so much an individual or even a family act, but the reception of a precious covenant child into the visible church. The rest of a particular congregation stands with the parents to assist them in the rearing of that child.
     
  19. zsmcd

    zsmcd Puritan Board Freshman

    I do not have time as of now to read every response to your initial thread, though I am sure you have received some wise advice. I was recently in a similar, though not entirely so, position with my wife and daughter. My wife was simply not familiar with the paedobaptist position and it made her uncomfortable since it reminded her of a sort of "high church" Roman Catholic ritualism. However, as I slowly began to show her, via family worship and daily conversation, what baptism signified, God's promises to our children, and their covenantal standing, she began to feel more comfortable and encouraged. I tried to focus not so much on the "getting the children wet" part and tried more to emphasis their membership within the church, the promises of God, continuity of Scripture, and our responsibility to raise them in the fear and admonition of the Lord. After we sorted all of that out, it was easier for her to understand why the sign and seal of baptism is to be given to our children as members of the household of God. So in short - slowly shepherd your wife and children through these things and show the goodness of God's mercies and promises that he reveals through his covenants. Also, it would help to place yourself in a community that practices these truths, with elders that will help you think through how to best handle it. I simply called a local PCA pastor and asked him to meet for coffee, he is now my pastor and I am exceedingly grateful for his help in our transition. And lastly, start treating your children as covenant children, if you have not already. Don't just desire for your children to receive the sign, but pray for the thing signified and point your children toward it. Hope that helps.
     
  20. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Professor

    Reformed and Baptists do disagree on Timing of water Baptism, its very meaning assigned to it, and also to areas of how churches are to be lead and structured. Baptists also tend to be more of seeing New Covenant and Old One as separate the sense was a brand new Covenant, not enlarging on the Old one...

    In my experience, reformed baptists do indeed have the 1689 Confession of faith, but do not seem to regard it quite the same way as preby do the 1647 Confession...

    So while both share many beliefs, still some significant differences...
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 28, 2016
  21. Stope

    Stope Puritan Board Sophomore

    Im a Baptist that attends a 9Marksesque church as well, I too am Reformed in my leanings (and day by day I am even more so), however, in my opinion there is ZERO need to attend a different church. At the end of the day you are in a sound body, why would you leave that? Thats like being traded from the Indians to the Cubs in my opinion...

    As far as baptizing your child: Id put it this way to your wife - since paedo MIGHT be the correct approach, and since there is nothing forbidding paedobap, then it can ONLY DO GOOD and not HARM. Maybe thats too black and white but its what I have thought to this point
     
  22. Contra_Mundum

    Contra_Mundum Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger Staff Member

    May I ask, Jason, how seriously do you take the Lord's Supper?

    Or another question, how seriously do you take "asking Jesus into your heart?"

    There are Christians who take the latter vastly more seriously than the former, even though the former is in the Bible (and is really serious) and the latter isn't anywhere in Scripture.

    I'm using the questions to make a point, hopefully. The point is not to doubt the absolute necessity for personal faith in Christ. The point is to see how inevitable is man's manufacture of non-negotiable, substitute "serious business" for the BIBLE's non-negotiable, "serious business."

    Your comment which I quoted strikes me as a possible instance. You seem less concerned to practice a divinely ordained rite (baptism) correctly, accurately, precisely as God established it; and more willing to take a pragmatic risk: that in the absence of some red flag (you can't see one...) try infant baptism and hope for the best!

    That approach makes me wonder: is there anything out there that is not prohibited in Scripture, but you think is universally unhelpful (black swans notwithstanding)?

    And, is there anything in your experience, practiced universally (or seemingly so) that is NOT dictated by Scripture, but has come to have the status of a "sacrament?" I'll ask the same question differently: is there something your church does, though not plainly a Scriptural commandment, if the practice was dropped would probably split the church, or cause a pastor to lose his job?

    Possible example: some churches have a flag or two in the worship hall. What would happen if it/they were removed?

    My appeal to you is, that you should study the matter of baptism long and hard, before you offer such opinions as above. And I'm talking about your own Baptist inclinations.

    People who are baptized are "planted" in the soil of Christ's kingdom. If you wish, think of a sapling, something that already has some growth in leaves and roots. So, in your Baptist church that's how you take your plants; they are transplanted with some mature development from the wide, wild world at large into your church's garden soil.

    Your comment strikes me as reflecting the idea that the only meaningful aspect of baptism is that it puts a new visible stalk on the surface of the ground. Just part of the green carpet.

    I suggest, the reality is that when one of those stalks is carelessly "pulled up by its baptism," it is not likely to be a happy result. Changing one's views of baptism touches one of the church's sacraments, and is thus by nature the most serious of business. Such IS the case objectively, even if one has not assessed it to be the case.

    Please take it more seriously. At least as seriously as whatever else in the church you do consider non-negotiable.
     
  23. Stope

    Stope Puritan Board Sophomore

    I, as well as many other Baptists, take it as serious as it was intended... What makes you think his current church (or mine) do so any less?

    Not sure what youre asking; but if you are assuming my church (or his) uses this "call" then you are incorrect. Folks are called to repent and believe in Jesus

    Indeed there are, my church is not of the sort (and I would assume since his is 9 Marks that his isnt either)

    I agree with you

    Brother, it is a FACT that the Bible is NOT clear (you would say it is, and others would say it is not... And when I say "others" I dont mean the dude at the coffee shop reading Max Lucado, but I mean men of God in the Baptist tradition)

    What do you mean?

    As for my church, and what the Bible teaches there are no other than baptism and the Lords Supper (I have heard of some who believe that handling snakes and feet washing as something to do, but I neither think that nor do I know of these folks)

    No there is nothing

    Thanks for the example. Indeed, as said above, since there is no Biblical mandate for this it wouldn't be un-biblical to remove a flag (as far as my congregation, Im not sure we have one)

    As mentioned above, many men of God, both whom we would call brothers in Christ, land on both sides.

    You are correct

    What do you mean here brother?

    But call a spade a spade; this is a NEGOTIABLE. To say otherwise is a lie right? Let me put it this way, is John Piper and Mark Dever fools and blinded and not taking baptism seriously?

    Baptism is non-negotiable, but the age is.

    NOTE: I have only read "Putting Amazing Back Into Grace" and thats the extent of my understanding of paedo baptisim, I however would be willing to read more if you recommend a free resource online? I would hate to take too lightly something that you feel is of the utmost importance and would find it necessary to seek wisdom
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 29, 2016
  24. Contra_Mundum

    Contra_Mundum Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger Staff Member

    Jason,
    Perhaps my intent was missed. Maybe go back and reread my post, and start by purging the thought that I'm promoting my favored practice of baptism.

    Your advice for the OP regarding paedobaptism is, "Go ahead, no harm can come from it." How is that not a blasé approach to one of the church's two sacraments? Surely, from a Baptist's perspective some harm, perhaps great harm can come, and has come, from the practice of infant-baptism! I think your advice a) doesn't respect the Baptist view enough; and 2) doesn't show sufficient concern for either party to this matter, but especially for the wife.

    This is not a matter of: "Do the sprinkle-baby thing; then later, if you gotta, get a real baptism, dunking and all." Is it possible that such perspective might be influencing your counsel? Regardless, the proposal you made seems like a purely pragmatic answer to a serious question, one that settles "do-I or don't-I" with a shrug in order to buy some "peace" that may give more time for study and persuasion.

    Isn't it infinitely better to come down on a position for oneself, afterward to aim at persuasion by the grace of God, or at a conscientious concession? I don't know why you would counsel someone to urge his wife to "just go along," when the topic is one of the marks of the church. Maybe you don't see what you said in that way. But the observation that the central factor is a "lack of prohibition" stands diametrically opposed to the fundamental principle of Reformed worship. Which is: what God has not instituted is not permitted.

    I'm not at all saying that MY view must be the serious view, being mine. I'm pretty sure Piper or Dever would say exactly what I said about your first piece of advice: it's bad. They'd say so because they agree with me that the church's rites are important, and non-negotiable. The only reason TO change one's view and his practice (either way he goes) is to realign in better conformity with what he comes to see is the unchanging standard set by the Word.
     
  25. Stope

    Stope Puritan Board Sophomore

    As always, thanks for the thoughtful response and willingness to suffer a laymen such as myself.

    I just re-read, and it does indeed appear you are advancing that paedo is the ONLY Biblical option amongst the faithful.. What then was your intent (I say that to my ineptness as I couldnt find the forest for the trees, sorry)

    2 things to be said:
    1. When I said "Go ahead, no harm can come from it." was an approach the OP can say to his wife that she could maintain her Baptist interpretations but still not worry that she is sinning

    I know you mean this rhetorical, but I say in full truth I dont see how it might appear to be "blasé". I dont write off yours, or others', interpretation as non meaningful, but as mentioned the jury is still out on the subject (hence the conversation exists amongst sound brothers)

    What sort of harm can be done? Im a Baptist, what harm could come from me interpreting the Bible in a debated area of age of baptism? I dont ask this in a rude way, its genuine; am I missing something that makes this view unhealthy?

    On the contrary, it was FOR the wife that I said that. I couldnt see how that would do any harm but ONLY close the gap

    Indeed it is influencing my response... In what ways is it unhealthy you think brother?

    If the ONLY issue is baptism, it neutralizes the ONLY issue...

    Yes, but assuming she remains unchanged, and he asserts his biblical role to lead out on this, perhaps he can share this thought to ease her fear that she is in some way acting in sin/negligence

    One of the marks of the church is Baptisim, and I unequivocally say do it (you, however, have associated paedeo with adult bap as the end)

    O I see what you are saying now... Well, that sthe point: the point is it COULD be paedeo OR it COULD be Believer, surely, since its 100% unclear that we will not be responsible for doing both in order to cover bases... Right?

    See above and I would love to hear why its bad given the fact that:
    1. It will ease her conscious
    2. It will ease his conscious by allowing him to do it
    3. God will be honored in both senarios

    And I agree

    I agree, but, since its a FACT that we cant know on this side of heaven which one is the "correct", we have to do th ebest we can with all options, so the question becomes, why is this a poor option? If no harnm comes and only good... or am I missing harm?

    DISCLAIMER: Im NOT saying what I think is the correct teaching/approach, Im ONLY saying what APPEARS at first glance, and am glad to get my thoughts down so that the likes of Rev Bruce can help me better understand and correct (or validate)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 29, 2016
  26. Contra_Mundum

    Contra_Mundum Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger Staff Member

    I think, maybe a fellow Baptist will communicate better than I from this point.

    His answers may supply what mine cannot. We need a mediating contributor.

    I don't doubt your sincerity. Or your passion for truth. I'm thankful for both.
     
  27. Ask Mr. Religion

    Ask Mr. Religion Flatly Unflappable

    Jason,

    Note that I have reformatted your two previous posts in response to Rev. Buchanan to use the quote function correctly. Please do not continue to simply repeat another's post with your responses without using the quote tags. If someone else responds to your posts without these tags it will soon become difficult to keep track of who is quoting whom.

    You seem to have completely misunderstood the general thrust of Rev. Buchanan's responses. You have affirmed your subscription to the Westminster Standards in your profile. You have taken no scruples to those Standards. You have explicitly stated you will not advocate views contrary to the very Standards you have affirmed.

    Yet, you proceed to advocate an opening position that a Baptist mother should not be troubled in conscience by having her infant children baptized...


    What is one to make of this statement given your own statements affirming the Westminster Standards, which are clear to those of us that affirm them on the matter of "the correct approach" as we affirm the Standards accurately summarize the teachings of Scripture in all that they state. Furthermore, the means of grace defined therein are not something we take lightly.

    When pressed, you then begin to argue that "it is a FACT" that Scripture is unclear on this or that point, or that one's views of baptism is "But call a spade a spade NEGOTIABLE".

    Again, one wonders where you find anything in the Standards that declare this fact of negotiability that you are claiming.

    This is not really a paedo or a credo baptistic issue that is being raised about your terrible advice offered up. Yes, it was terrible. It is nothing more than a baptistic twist on Pascal's Wager.

    Whether one is paedo or credo is not really the root of your error. Rather it is your willingness to compromise where compromise is unwarranted by that which you claim to hold dear. I would be saying the exact same thing to a paedo baptistic believer who would advise a Mother than she can go ahead and have her children baptized once they reach a certain age wherein their profession of faith is clearly discernible.

    Your prods and two-steps in response to Rev. Buchanan are evidence of your lack of understanding of the weightiness of the topic at hand. Let's have no more of this. Accept the correction offered and move on.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2016
  28. Bill The Baptist

    Bill The Baptist Puritan Board Graduate

    Jason,

    I think perhaps you are not understanding what Rev. Buchanan is trying to communicate to you. He is not advocating for his view of baptism, what he is advocating for is that each of us hold to our particular view firmly. Baptism is a matter of extreme importance and not one to be taken lightly. You point out that there are many brilliant and faithful men on both sides of this debate, and this is no doubt true. However this does not mean that both sides are right. There is one view that is correct and one that is wrong, and each of us must in all earnestness and seriousness endeavor to determine which is which.

    Paige Patterson, who is the president of Southwestern Baptist Seminary, used to say "I have not always been right, but I have always been certain." This may seem arrogant on first glance, but upon reflection we can see that he is right. We know that in our fallen and finite state, we may indeed be wrong about many things, however it is our duty to study the Scriptures and seek to be certain in that which we believe. To do otherwise is to succumb to the folly of Pascal's wager, whereby we reduce faith and religion to matters of probability. To argue that we ought to practice multiple forms of baptism because we cannot be sure and because it does no harm is akin to arguing that we also ought to seek to keep all seven of the supposed sacraments in case the Catholics are right. Or that we ought to seek to speak in tongues in case the Pentecostals are right.

    As I tell my congregation, God is not our ATM machine and he is not our insurance policy. We do not worship God merely because he provides for us, although he certainly does. Nor do we worship God merely to escape judgment, although if we believe in him, we will. We worship God because he is God and because he is worthy of worship. We worship him because we are the creature and he is the creator. It is a good thing to be humble and to realize that you could be wrong, but it is dangerous to practice religion without conviction. We may indeed be wrong about many things, as indeed either the paedobaptists or the credobaptists are wrong about baptism, but we must still be certain in how we practice our faith or otherwise it is not a faith at all. I realize that your advice here was well-intentioned and aimed at preserving unity, but we must not value unity above fidelity. Each of us must decide which view of baptism we believe to be faithful with Scripture and with the revelation that God has given us, and we must hold that view with certainty until we are convinced otherwise. There is no middle position in matters of religion. I would counsel Patrick to pray and study Scripture and seek out wise counsel, but at the end of the day you must make a decision one way or the other.
     
  29. Andrew P.C.

    Andrew P.C. Puritan Board Junior

    For me, I think this is the best point made. I think the whole point made here is "practical faith". We could be right in our orthodoxy but be the worst in orthopraxy. I've been married long enough to understand that my wife is much more emotionally driven then myself (not necessarily true of all wives). I have learned that my approach to her with these things must be patient, loving, and kind. Sometimes we have to learn the meaning of "long-suffering" in order to be a faithful leader in our homes. I believe Rev. Buchanan gives very sound and much needed advice.

    Show patience towards your bride and pray that God will show her these things, as God is the only one who can guide the heart towards truth.

    "A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the Lord directeth his steps" (Prov. 16:9)
     
  30. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Professor

    Think that this highlights to us that there are some significant differences between how Presbyterian and Baptisys view the ordinance of water baptism, but woul d also add that this is not an issueto divide the Body of Christ over!

    As BOTh groups would also affirm that we must be saved by Grace alone faith alone.
     
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