, , , ,


In his interesting piece on this issue, quiavideruntoculi admits there is no Scriptural warrant for infant baptism but provides a list of argument why his church does it all the same. It is always possible to justify to oneself unscriptural practices, and when you’ve raised enough unscriptural practices into your church, you can even fool yourself into thinking that makes it OK; but for me, and for many Baptists, Scripture counts, and you can add what you like, but criticising others for sticking to Scripture seems a little on the odd side of odd. So let me run through why we Baptists practice what we do.

The first reason is obvious; there is no Scriptural warrant for anything else. Yes, it might be the case that infants were baptised, but it is never mentioned. Indeed, when the Council of Jerusalem made it clear that converts dd not have to be circumcised, the Apostles nowhere said that infants must, therefore, be baptised; why not, if, as qvo maintains, baptism i the mark of entry into the church for children as well as adults?

All those we learn of in Scripture who are baptised are after they have come to accept Christ; now, if that was the case with children and babies, we should expect to be told; we aren’t. Are babies able to accept Christ and repent of their sins? Of course not, so all anyone baptizing them is doing is performing an act they think will have some magical effect on the baby. You can’t be numbered among the elect just because your parents say so. Christians enter into a covenant with God – babies cannot do that, and you an I cannot do it for them. It all, frankly, smacks of magic.

I can find no mention in the Didache or Justin Martyr, or any of the early texts of this practice, and for qvo (or is he just quoting some ill-informed rubbish from his own church?) to drag in the Anabaptists as though modern Baptists have any connection with them is unworthy – as he’d know if he’d spent five minutes studying the subject; his practice of telling others what it is they believe is, to be fair to him extended to his own Pope – but in this case is unimpressive – as all arguments from total ignorance are.

The Roman Catholic Church will not allow non-believers to receive communion, as it holds it is a sacrament, but it is quite happy to confer another sacrament on those who do not believe, and indeed, by their condition, cannot do so. Jesus specifically says that those who are believed and baptised will be saved, but of course, what is his word against that of a Pope? Yes, at some point the church began the practice of infant baptism, but that is my argument – that it was not there from the beginning, and to object to Christians following the practice of Jesus is to insist that you know better.

Of course, for those who do know better than the Pope, I guess that’s no problem?