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Thread: Biblical Support for Infant Baptism/Adult Baptism?

  1. #1
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    Biblical Support for Infant Baptism/Adult Baptism?

    I'm new to Christianity, so I'm just now getting around to this area of study

    I never really thought about Baptism until I heard a Christian radio host (forgot which denomination) adamantly condemn Believer's/Adult baptism.

    I remember his tone during the rant, and it almost seemed like he considered the practice to be evil

    Can someone explain the infant vs. adult baptism controversy and provide the biblical support for both positions?

    1.) Were infants baptized in the Bible or early Church?
    2.) Since adults were baptized in the Bible, wouldn't it be a legitimate form of baptism?
    3.) Is there anything WRONG with adult baptism?
    4.) Is Baptism necessary?

    I was baptized as an infant in a Protestant denomination - just curious
    God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. - Psalm 46:1-3

  2. #2
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    Yes, baptism is necessary...Acts 2:38, Mark 16:16

    No..infant Baptism was not practised by the early church. Only those capable of believing were baptised. Acts 8:37. This by necessity excludes infants and those with out the capacity to understand and believe the gospel.

    Only adults were baptised as far as biblical examples would show

    all the best...

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by TheAnswer99 View Post
    I'm new to Christianity, so I'm just now getting around to this area of study

    I never really thought about Baptism until I heard a Christian radio host (forgot which denomination) adamantly condemn Believer's/Adult baptism.

    I remember his tone during the rant, and it almost seemed like he considered the practice to be evil

    Can someone explain the infant vs. adult baptism controversy and provide the biblical support for both positions?

    1.) Were infants baptized in the Bible or early Church?
    2.) Since adults were baptized in the Bible, wouldn't it be a legitimate form of baptism?
    3.) Is there anything WRONG with adult baptism?
    4.) Is Baptism necessary?

    I was baptized as an infant in a Protestant denomination - just curious
    Greetings Answer,

    Anyone who would say believer's baptism is evil, is just plain and simply wrong. Not all who become believers began life in a covenant home with believing parents. So there are many who come to faith as adults, who too need to follow our Lord in baptism upon profession of faith.

    The tension between those who practice infant baptism and those who don't comes from misunderstanding covenantal continuity. For the one who insists that only believer's baptism is bibical, I would ask has God somewhere in Scripture said that infants and children are not to be included among the covenant body as they were under the old covenant? Nowhere in Scripture will find an explicit command to baptize children...however we do find examples of "whole household" baptisms. Whether or not those households included infants or not is not relevant, for the reason of whole household baptism was not upon profession of faith, but rather done according to convenantal continuity.

    In the old covenant God included eight day old infants among His covenant body. Commanding they be given the sign of circumcision. Circumcision was not the sign of salvation, it was the sign of covenant inclusion. In the new covenant Christ has given the sign of water baptism, not as a sign of salvation, but still as a sign of covenant inclusion. The sign has changed, but the covenant has not. When we practice infant baptism, we are saying we believe that God's covenant with mankind is One, and we find no reason to discontinue what God has commanded as a "sign", that is not the means of salvation, but points us to the one baptism that does save...i.e. Holy Spirit baptism.

    So Scripture commands both believer's baptism, and covenantal inclusion of even infants and children be admitted into the covenant body through means of the sign...so too infant baptism being the sign that includes even them. For what profit had the Jews? Much in every way! For they had the oracles of God! What profit have those who join themselves through baptism with Christ's covenant body? Much in every way! For Christ has given His gospel of salvation to His church! Faith unto salvation comes through hearing, and hearing by the Word...AMEN!

    Many Blessings,
    RW

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    Ok, well I have questions about myself and my girlfriend then:

    1.) I was baptized as a child but never truly believed until the past year...do I need to be/should be baptized as an adult now that I am born again?

    2.) My girlfriend has never been baptized as she was raised by non-Christians. Should she/does she need to have adult baptism?
    God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. - Psalm 46:1-3

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheAnswer99 View Post
    I'm new to Christianity, so I'm just now getting around to this area of study

    I never really thought about Baptism until I heard a Christian radio host (forgot which denomination) adamantly condemn Believer's/Adult baptism.

    I remember his tone during the rant, and it almost seemed like he considered the practice to be evil

    Can someone explain the infant vs. adult baptism controversy and provide the biblical support for both positions?

    1.) Were infants baptized in the Bible or early Church?
    2.) Since adults were baptized in the Bible, wouldn't it be a legitimate form of baptism?
    3.) Is there anything WRONG with adult baptism?
    4.) Is Baptism necessary?

    I was baptized as an infant in a Protestant denomination - just curious.
    ...
    1.) I was baptized as a child but never truly believed until the past year...do I need to be/should be baptized as an adult now that I am born again?

    2.) My girlfriend has never been baptized as she was raised by non-Christians. Should she/does she need to have adult baptism?
    Well welcome aboard, Answer. Those are a lot of good and challenging questions, and of a healthy curiosity for any Christian. We continue to have many robust discussions over baptism in our little online community, and many of the questions the subject of baptism raises have very diverse answers from Christians, all based in Scripture and seeking to honour God and follow Christ’s teachings. As with your experience with the Christian radio host, many Christians tend to get quite worked up over issues we care so deeply about. Most all of us count Christian baptism as one of the most sacred elements of Christian belief and practice.

    And so the main question of your OP is who qualifies for baptism. Much of the answer depends on what one believes baptism to be, and there are at least 5 or so main divisions of thought on the matter. I won’t take the time in this post to explain and defend each, but suffice it to say that’s where a lot of the controversy is based – what is baptism?

    I’ll just point out that from my own study of Scripture and the early Church, and my own beliefs about baptism, yes, infants were baptized in the Bible and the early Church. From the beginning of New Testament Christianity (Acts 2:38-39) all the way through to our generation, the Christian Church has baptized infants. Entire households of both Jewish and gentile converts were baptized by the Apostles (Acts 11:14; 16:15, 33; 18:8; 1 Cor. 1:16), which included all members of faith, both children and adults. The entire community of faith was baptized, as God includes both children and adults in His Kingdom. He does not exclude either children or the mentally infirmed on the basis of either their capacity or our ability of true discernment. Both infant baptism and adult baptism are legitimate forms of baptism, and there is only a “wrongness” about either in whatever manner, conscience, and/or belief and practice falls short of the perfect design of God, the which we various Christians have decided differences of opinion concerning.

    On the issue of whether or not baptism is necessary, it becomes very critical for us to exactly define what is intended in each case of our usage and application of both “baptism” and “necessity”, and these are generally what the controversy tends to be about. Those favouring adult baptism tend to emphasize baptism as an individual extension of one person’s belief and confession from man toward God and community. Those favoring an inclusion of children tend to emphasize the familial aspect of inclusiveness in God’s Kingdom, usually with overtones of covenant between God and His people (as also expressed through the circumcision we find in the Abrahamic covenant), as both belief from persons toward God and as acknowledging activity from God toward the person baptized. The debate is of course much richer and fuller than this, and with various subtleties of nuance, but each position is intended to do justice to what is found in the Christian Scriptures and honour God in faith and practice.

    I personally find it's OK for you to be baptised again, if you like, now that you're "born again", but I would recommend you discuss it with the pastor(s) of the particular conmmunity with which you're fellowshiping. And, yes, I'd encourage that your girlfriend also be baptised if she has come to accept Jesus as her Lord and saviour.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheAnswer99 View Post
    Ok, well I have questions about myself and my girlfriend then:

    1.) I was baptized as a child but never truly believed until the past year...do I need to be/should be baptized as an adult now that I am born again?

    2.) My girlfriend has never been baptized as she was raised by non-Christians. Should she/does she need to have adult baptism?

    Has the Lord impressed it upon either of your hearts to follow His example in participating in believer's baptism as a public confession of your faith?

    If so, then I'd say it will be a joyous and greatly fulfilling experience for you guys.

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    Quote Originally Posted by David Taylor View Post
    Has the Lord impressed it upon either of your hearts to follow His example in participating in believer's baptism as a public confession of your faith?

    If so, then I'd say it will be a joyous and greatly fulfilling experience for you guys.
    Good Advice Dave,... this would be my advice too...
    Many appear Righteous and Just because they say 'yes' to Jesus Christ , yet they don't do His Will.
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    Verily I say unto thee, the tax collectors and the prostitutes go into the Kingdom of Heaven before you do.
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    The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying. YEA, I have loved thee with an everlasting love; therefore with LOVINGKINDESS have I DRAWN THEE.
    Jeremiah 31:3

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by David Taylor View Post
    Has the Lord impressed it upon either of your hearts to follow His example in participating in believer's baptism as a public confession of your faith?

    If so, then I'd say it will be a joyous and greatly fulfilling experience for you guys.
    Quote Originally Posted by theBelovedDisciple View Post
    Good Advice Dave,... this would be my advice too...
    I too agree with TBD...the advise David gave is very good!

    Many Blessings,
    RW

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by grit View Post
    I’ll just point out that from my own study of Scripture and the early Church, and my own beliefs about baptism, yes, infants were baptized in the Bible and the early Church. From the beginning of New Testament Christianity (Acts 2:38-39) all the way through to our generation, the Christian Church has baptized infants.
    Where do you find these biblical references to infant baptism in the NT? I think the biblical and historical evidence supports the fact that infant baptism was not part of the Christian church until it was far too late for the practice to have had apostolic sanction. Baptism in the NT is “believer baptism” and infants do not have the capacity to believe the gospel message. One who is baptized without true faith and repentance simply gets wet. The NT does not record one infant being baptized.
    "There is no definite proof of the practice until after the 3rd century…This cannot be contested." ~ Lutheran professor, Kurt Aland on infant baptism

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheAnswer99 View Post
    Ok, well I have questions about myself and my girlfriend then:

    1.) I was baptized as a child but never truly believed until the past year...do I need to be/should be baptized as an adult now that I am born again?

    2.) My girlfriend has never been baptized as she was raised by non-Christians. Should she/does she need to have adult baptism?
    My suggestion would be yes, both of you should be baptized. Infant baptism is not a biblical doctrine. Baptism is for the believer and once one believes they need to be baptized.

    If you would like an in depth study of baptism you can find it here.

    http://www.pfrs.org/baptism/index.html

    Be sure to read the links at the upper left under baptism as they are part of the article. It is quite lengthy but well worth your time. It will give you a thorough understanding of baptism.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by TheAnswer99 View Post
    Ok, well I have questions about myself and my girlfriend then:

    1.) I was baptized as a child but never truly believed until the past year...do I need to be/should be baptized as an adult now that I am born again?

    2.) My girlfriend has never been baptized as she was raised by non-Christians. Should she/does she need to have adult baptism?
    Yes. But baptism in water is only half the story. See Col2, Titus3:5, there also has to be a committment to live a new life, to be raised from burial with Christ as a new creation. Even if we don't achieve that, the sincere attention needs to be there. Also there's the need for a "good confession" before baptism like Timothy: Who is Jesus, who is God, who is Adam? The understanding/belief/confession/intention is all much much more important than the water side of the act.

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