The Call to Repentance Over Baptism

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Me Died Blue

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Ryan,

I would say the simple answer is that while all paedo confessions view a credo practice of baptism as being sinful, they do not in fact view it as being outside the bounds of orthodoxy. From the paedo view, the Westminster Confession is clear on that:

Although it be a great sin to condemn or neglect his ordinance, yet grace and salvation are not so inseparably annexed unto it, as that no person can be regenerated, or saved, without it: or, that all that are baptized are undoubtedly regenerated. (28.5)

Furthermore, since there are different degrees of sin, Presbyterian ecclesiology does not view excommunication as the ultimate outcome for every one of them, even in some cases of unrepentance. In the recent thread that inspired the creation of this one, I just quoted a post of Fred Greco's from a few months back, but I'll quote it again here since it is dealing exactly with the issue you mention of a paedo or credo layman being able to fellowship in a church confessing his view on baptism to be sinful:

Now back to the matter of "discipline". Discipline takes all sorts of forms, the problem is what many think of discipline, they only think of trials and excommunications. But actually pastoral counsel, admonition and rebuke are just as much discipline as charges and trials. The difference is one of degree not of kind. So I would in fact discipline a member of my church who failed to baptize his children, but for me, that would take the form of admonition and rebuke not charges and trials. Why? You might ask. Is because I view it to be a more serious sin not to join and be a member of the church and to fail to baptize one's children. To be very honest with you I would be more except with my session if they permitted a person to be a "visitor" for two years and then if they allowed a Baptist to join the church. I would encourage the Baptist to join the church, with the knowledge that he was going to be subject to preaching, teaching, and encouragement that would continually and directly contradict his beliefs on baptism.
 

Semper Fidelis

2 Timothy 2:24-25
Staff member
Chris,

Isn't it funny how that thread echoes so closely some of the recent controversy. I had almost forgottent that I brought some of the same stuff up.
 

larryjf

Puritan Board Senior
Personally, i don't see how this situation would come up in my life since the church that i attend would have 3 things...
  1. Rightly preaching of the word of God
  2. Rightly exercising discipline
  3. Right administration of the sacraments
So since i don't believe credo-baptism is a proper administration of that sacrament i would not become a member of a credo church.

However, i don't know that i would consider credobaptism a sin.
 

etexas

Puritan Board Doctor
Personally, i don't see how this situation would come up in my life since the church that i attend would have 3 things...
  1. Rightly preaching of the word of God
  2. Rightly exercising discipline
  3. Right administration of the sacraments
So since i don't believe credo-baptism is a proper administration of that sacrament i would not become a member of a credo church.

However, i don't know that i would consider credobaptism a sin.
I also would simply view Credo-Baptism an improper Sacramental Administration, not a sin.....more of a flawed view of application of the Sacrament.:2cents:
 

BobVigneault

Bawberator
I'm still a Baptist at heart though I'm a member of the OPC. I can give an argument (not too deep) for both modes of baptism. It is not an sin to hold either conviction. If I am able to adopt my kids (before they become adults) I will have all of them baptized as a visible sign and seal of the covenant. I can go back and forth between arguments pretty QUICKLY. Because of the rapidity with which I can change support I am from this day forward to be known as a Speedo-Baptist.
 

non dignus

Puritan Board Sophomore
Teaching erroneous doctrine is certainly a sin. Simple dialogue on PB could very easily be considered teaching because we are often speaking to persuade.
 

Barnpreacher

Puritan Board Junior
Ryan,

I would say the simple answer is that while all paedo confessions view a credo practice of baptism as being sinful, they do not in fact view it as being outside the bounds of orthodoxy. From the paedo view, the Westminster Confession is clear on that:



Furthermore, since there are different degrees of sin, Presbyterian ecclesiology does not view excommunication as the ultimate outcome for every one of them, even in some cases of unrepentance. In the recent thread that inspired the creation of this one, I just quoted a post of Fred Greco's from a few months back, but I'll quote it again here since it is dealing exactly with the issue you mention of a paedo or credo layman being able to fellowship in a church confessing his view on baptism to be sinful:

Chris,

That's a very good post. Along with Rich's posts last night it cuts to the heart of what I was asking. This is the reason why Baptists and Presbyterians can fellowship with one another and still hold that the other's view of baptism is wrong.

Great quote by Fred. I understand and agree with him completely on that issue. Especially since when I took the church that I am at six years ago I was very much steeped in easy-believism and dispensationalism and free will etc. After my 180 degree turn I've come to understand that I have to be very patient with the people as I have tried to help them come to terms with the Doctrines of Grace and many reformed doctrines.

Thanks for that post.
 

Barnpreacher

Puritan Board Junior
I'm still a Baptist at heart though I'm a member of the OPC. I can give an argument (not too deep) for both modes of baptism. It is not an sin to hold either conviction. If I am able to adopt my kids (before they become adults) I will have all of them baptized as a visible sign and seal of the covenant. I can go back and forth between arguments pretty QUICKLY. Because of the rapidity with which I can change support I am from this day forward to be known as a Speedo-Baptist.

Interesting post, Bob. That's where I am at right now, but I think it's only because I have been such a strong credo for most of my life. If I make the switch completely to the paedo camp it will probably be because I am convinced enough that the credo camp is wrong.
 

Herald

Administrator
Staff member
Furthermore, since there are different degrees of sin, Presbyterian ecclesiology does not view excommunication as the ultimate outcome for every one of them, even in some cases of unrepentance. In the recent thread that inspired the creation of this one, I just quoted a post of Fred Greco's from a few months back, but I'll quote it again here since it is dealing exactly with the issue you mention of a paedo or credo layman being able to fellowship in a church confessing his view on baptism to be sinful:


Quote:
Now back to the matter of "discipline". Discipline takes all sorts of forms, the problem is what many think of discipline, they only think of trials and excommunications. But actually pastoral counsel, admonition and rebuke are just as much discipline as charges and trials. The difference is one of degree not of kind. So I would in fact discipline a member of my church who failed to baptize his children, but for me, that would take the form of admonition and rebuke not charges and trials. Why? You might ask. Is because I view it to be a more serious sin not to join and be a member of the church and to fail to baptize one's children. To be very honest with you I would be more except with my session if they permitted a person to be a "visitor" for two years and then if they allowed a Baptist to join the church. I would encourage the Baptist to join the church, with the knowledge that he was going to be subject to preaching, teaching, and encouragement that would continually and directly contradict his beliefs on baptism.

Chris - thank you for quoting what Fred had to say. I don't believe Fred is weakening his paedo position one iota in his comments. It is similar to my response to Ryan a few posts back. I'm glad that it came from the "fingers" of a paedo. I also failed to view church discipline in the same manner as Fred. He's right. Discipline takes many forms. Pastoral counseling, admonition and rebuke are all part of it. I appreciate that reminder for my ministry.
 

Herald

Administrator
Staff member
Because of the rapidity with which I can change support I am from this day forward to be known as a Speedo-Baptist.

Seeing as you are also a male model, the thought of you in a Speedo is enough to vacate my breakfast! :lol:
 

Barnpreacher

Puritan Board Junior
Chris - thank you for quoting what Fred had to say. I don't believe Fred is weakening his paedo position one iota in his comments. It is similar to my response to Ryan a few posts back. I'm glad that it came from the "fingers" of a paedo. I also failed to few church discipline in the same manner as Fred. He's right. Discipline takes many forms. Pastoral counseling, admonition and rebuke are all part of it. I appreciate that reminder for my ministry.


Bill,

You're right, this is right along with your posts as well. It's not that I didn't appreciate your posts, but I just wanted to see it from a paedo perspective as opposed to a credo perspective. I'm very glad to see it put that way by Fred and others. It's the same type of stand I take at my church, but it was also a good reminder for my ministry as well.
 

Herald

Administrator
Staff member
David - to what degree do you view credo baptism as a sin? If a member of your church suddenly adopted a credo conviction, would you be in favor of a Matthew 18 approach, up to and including excommunication?
 

non dignus

Puritan Board Sophomore
David - to what degree do you view credo baptism as a sin? If a member of your church suddenly adopted a credo conviction, would you be in favor of a Matthew 18 approach, up to and including excommunication?

If he confessed to the consistory his conviction he would be admonished not to spread his view. If he refused to baptize his children that would be cause for extreme discipline.
 

Herald

Administrator
Staff member
If he confessed to the consistory his conviction he would be admonished not to spread his view. If he refused to baptize his children that would be cause for extreme discipline.

Okay, I'm not far from you on that, but from a credo perspective. If a parent has a child who professes faith in Christ and refuses to allow his child to be baptized, it would become a discipline issue. In our case we would proceed circumspectly. The age of the child, whether the parents and elders trust that they child was able to grasp law and gospel, the reason for the parents withholding their child from baptism...all of these would play a part in how the elders would address the situation.
 

BobVigneault

Bawberator
Because of Paul's exhortation in Romans 14:5b "Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind." I can't call one's conviction on the mode of baptism 'a sin'.

We are to be FULLY convinced. Matters of conviction are important. In all matters of truth we are to discern the matter according to wisdom, we are to assess the matter according to scripture and to engage one another in brotherly love. We are not to be 'loosey-goosey' or to deny the importance of the matter.

Mode of baptism is one of those issues that cannot be solved to a dogmatic degree because it has pleased the Lord to leave us without extrinsic teaching from the scripture. Good and godly men will come down on both sides as a result.

Good and godly men will also have their goodness and godliness tested by these types of issues. Constrained by Christs power and his Law of Love that frees us to have right relationships - kingdom building relationships - we have the obligation to disagree greatly and yet seek fellowship in a manner worthy of the gospel with those IN Christ. The failure to do this will cause us to use our convictions to cause schisms which is indeed a sin.
 

etexas

Puritan Board Doctor
Because of Paul's exhortation in Romans 14:5b "Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind." I can't call one's conviction on the mode of baptism 'a sin'.

We are to be FULLY convinced. Matters of conviction are important. In all matters of truth we are to discern the matter according to wisdom, we are to assess the matter according to scripture and to engage one another in brotherly love. We are not to be 'loosey-goosey' or to deny the importance of the matter.

Mode of baptism is one of those issues that cannot be solved to a dogmatic degree because it has pleased the Lord to leave us without extrinsic teaching from the scripture. Good and godly men will come down on both sides as a result.

Good and godly men will also have their goodness and godliness tested by these types of issues. Constrained by Christs power and his Law of Love that frees us to have right relationships - kingdom building relationships - we have the obligation to disagree greatly and yet seek fellowship in a manner worthy of the gospel with those IN Christ. The failure to do this will cause us to use our convictions to cause schisms which is indeed a sin.
:ditto:
 

CDM

Puritan Board Junior
Ryan - you're missing one very important fact in your hypothetical. What does the church believe? If it's a Baptist church it is going to be credo (or else it isn't Baptist). If it's a Presbyterian church it is probably paedo. If a paedo brother is in a credo church and calls on his credo brother to repent, well the call isn't going very far. It would be dead in its Matthew 18 tracks. The same if it were the other way around.

David - to what degree do you view credo baptism as a sin? If a member of your church suddenly adopted a credo conviction, would you be in favor of a Matthew 18 approach, up to and including excommunication?

Bill,
You've mentioned Matthew 18 a couple of times in this thread. I assume you are referring to vv.15-17:

15Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.

16But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.

17And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.

18Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

19Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.

20For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

21Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?

22Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.​

How does this apply to the hypothetical being discussed? If one Credo in a Presbyterian church was not baptizing his children it isn't a sin against me[or any one person] per se. I wouldn't go to him and say he has sinned against me and then upon his refusal to acknowledge this go and get witnesses, then take him before the church [leadership]. Look at Peter's question in v.21.

Matt. 18 is addressing when someone is personally sinned against by another isn't it? These *non-baptizing* sins are public sins that would be dealt with by the leadership. Matt. 18 isn't a catch-all.

Forgive me. Could we define fellowship?
:ditto: This would be helpful.
 

Herald

Administrator
Staff member
Chris, the process of church discipline operates in a similar fashion regardless of whether the offense is personal or doctrinal. If the offense is in a point of doctrine it may be a fellow brother or the eldership that points it out.
 

ReformedWretch

Puritan Board Doctor
Because of Paul's exhortation in Romans 14:5b "Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind." I can't call one's conviction on the mode of baptism 'a sin'.

We are to be FULLY convinced. Matters of conviction are important. In all matters of truth we are to discern the matter according to wisdom, we are to assess the matter according to scripture and to engage one another in brotherly love. We are not to be 'loosey-goosey' or to deny the importance of the matter.

Mode of baptism is one of those issues that cannot be solved to a dogmatic degree because it has pleased the Lord to leave us without extrinsic teaching from the scripture. Good and godly men will come down on both sides as a result.

Good and godly men will also have their goodness and godliness tested by these types of issues. Constrained by Christs power and his Law of Love that frees us to have right relationships - kingdom building relationships - we have the obligation to disagree greatly and yet seek fellowship in a manner worthy of the gospel with those IN Christ. The failure to do this will cause us to use our convictions to cause schisms which is indeed a sin.

:up::amen:
 

non dignus

Puritan Board Sophomore

Since the marks of the church are pure preaching, right use of the sacraments, and discipline; any departure from those would be a seceding from the church, or sedition.

While baptismal regeneration was jettisoned in the reformation, infant baptism was not. Only the radical sects practiced believers' only baptism then, and 90% of Baptistic churches today are Arminian. What does that tell you?

If it looks like sedition, smells like sedition, sounds like sedition.......?
 

satz

Puritan Board Senior
Forgive me. Could we define fellowship?

Actually I think this is a really good and important question. David, would you be willing to share your opinion? Obviously defining 'fellowship' as per the context of this thread.
 

VictorBravo

Administrator
Staff member
How can the 1689' not be construed as sedition?

:lol:

Were authors of the 1689 LBC under the authority of the Presbyterians? Not that I'm aware of.

Sedition:

Conduct or language inciting rebellion against the authority of a state.
Insurrection; rebellion.

The 1689ers were not in rebellion against the state because of the 1689 Toleration Act. And they weren't in a state of rebellion against any other church because they weren't members. No rebellion, no sedition. Maybe other things, but not this.
 

non dignus

Puritan Board Sophomore
Actually I think this is a really good and important question. David, would you be willing to share your opinion? Obviously defining 'fellowship' as per the context of this thread.

Fellowship is in degrees. It is like friendship but more intense being centered around common interests and abilities.

Christian fellowship is God's special gift to those who believe in the true God through the Holy Spirit by the blood of Christ. It is commanded.

But the highest form of Christian fellowship would be worshipping, communing, praying etc. on the Lord's day with those holding to the same creeds and confessions.
 

Herald

Administrator
Staff member
:lol:

Were authors of the 1689 LBC under the authority of the Presbyterians? Not that I'm aware of.

Sedition:

Conduct or language inciting rebellion against the authority of a state.
Insurrection; rebellion.

The 1689ers were not in rebellion against the state because of the 1689 Toleration Act. And they weren't in a state of rebellion against any other church because they weren't members. No rebellion, no sedition. Maybe other things, but not this.

Vic - well said. The poor Presbyterians. We Baptists usurped their gig and now we're guilty of sedition. David - feel free to convict us in the court of your private opinion. I hope you don't mind if we ignore the jury verdict and refuse to submit to the sentence.
 

non dignus

Puritan Board Sophomore
Vic,
Thanks for replying.

Were authors of the 1689 LBC under the authority of the Presbyterians? Not that I'm aware of.
They should have been under the authority of the general Protestant church and in accord with her standards.
Sedition:

Conduct or language inciting rebellion against the authority of a state.
Insurrection; rebellion.

The 1689ers were not in rebellion against the state because of the 1689 Toleration Act. And they weren't in a state of rebellion against any other church because they weren't members. No rebellion, no sedition. Maybe other things, but not this.


I'm thinking of Gal 5:20 where the word used might be dissension, division, disunion.

"Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these: fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousies, wraths, factions, divisions....."​
 
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