Thursday, September 20, 2007

A Baptist Not-So-Hypothetical

Imagine for a moment that you are a member of a certain church. This church contains many devout believers. Every member has suffered persecution for his faith. In fact, the entire congregation has had to flee its home country due to the dire peril that it has brought upon itself for its bold testimony of the truth. The congregation affirms the trustworthiness and accuracy of the Bible. The congregation is evangelistic. The congregational leadership has a bold vision for the group. But the congregation sprinkles infants. A member of the congregation arises and asserts that it is a sin—that it is Antichristian—to sprinkle infants. He asserts that it is a sin to remain a part of any church that does so. He starts to convince others that his is the biblical position. He promises to leave the church if it does not concur with his views. And then he does leave, taking a group with him. Remember, you are supposed to be imagining that you are a member of this very church. Some agree with this man that infant baptism is a sin and they follow him out. Others do not believe that infant baptism is a sin, or even if it is, they do not believe that it is a serious enough matter to split the church, so they stay behind and sail off to America in the Mayflower. What will you do? Do you agree with this man? Do you think him right enough to follow him out of fellowship with the other congregants and into his new group? Who is the man? He's John Smythe. A few years later, he's Roger Williams. And if you are a member of a Baptist church, you have followed him out into this church split. Did you make the right decision? And what implications does your answer have for your actions?

47 comments:

Ron P. said...

Bart,

It is sin. It is not a matter of interpretation, as is the case with other issues (eschatology etc.). There can be no other reading of the text but to make disciples and THEN immerse (baptizo) them.

Failure to change their practice, would be biblically defined, as unrepentant sin.

I would have to leave. This is an issue that gives cause for the breaking of fellowship, with grace and love, yet with unwavering conviction and standing on clear biblical principle.

Ron P.

Tim Guthrie said...

I am with Ron.

Why is this so hard for people to grasp?

Beats me!!!!

Wes Kenney said...

I made a comparison with church discipline on Geoff Baggett's blog, and he responded by suggesting that one had absolutely nothing to do with the other. Could this be why we have lost church discipline?

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I see them as being very closely related. If we're going to discipline someone by excluding from membership in the church, it had better be because they are sinning, and they are unrepentant. What lesser excuse can be made for refusing to plant a church with someone?

Scott Gordon said...

Bart,

Who is this Smythe? Now, I'm quite familiar (though not a huge fan) with John Smyth!

;-)

If these are indeed one and the same and we are merely observing a typographical anomaly then the circumstance described is real and not hypothetical...if not we're still in imaginary land.

Honestly, I appreciate the use of history to prove a point for 'our team.' I thought historical analogy was only the purview of 'Grace and Truth According to You.' (Man am I gonna get slapped for that one.)

Hey, bro, don't taze me!
:-)

joerstewart said...

Wow - Praise God we're getting down to the bare bones. I love Steve Grosey's analogy and I hope he posts here since no one really wants to deal with his questions. This strikes at the heart of the gospel.

Grosey's Messages said...

Thanks Joe for your kind comment.. and please copy and paste the part that you feel is appropriate. I too find it strange that folks don't see that a baptist (ic) understanding of Baptism flows from understanding the grace of God in the gospel and the response of faith.
Gotta go, we are having a great evangelistic thrust this weekend... pollies are all invited, radio has been running hot, I am hopeful of tv coverage, Bobby Welch is coming and we are looking to the Lord for blessing! Pray for us please.
Steve

Ron P. said...

Bart,

If I may add some more...

With regards to this (as well as other Baptist Distinctives), I find the claims about lack of cooperation, Landmarkism, Fundamentalism etc... to be diverting, almost amusing, and most of all, lacking.

The essence of the matter boils down to Biblical obedience. We as Baptists have stood on that claim as the incontrovertible basis of who we are: A People of The Book!

Being humble and loving in taking a Biblical stand on Baptism, does not require, nor warrant being weak, appeasing, ecumenical, irenic, or whatever other word you wish to use to describe the failure to be obedient and uncompromising of the truth of God's Word.

We have had some Baptists throughout our history who have not been humble. We have them today. That is why I am grateful for such men as Drs. Paige Patterson and Malcolm Yarnell (and SO many more). They have shown throughout their ministries an uncompromising, principled stand on Biblical truth, yet even with love and humility.

Over the years, I have seen firsthand the many times that Dr. Patterson has been very gracious, yet firmly holding to the inexorable truth of God's word. Dr. Yarnell's gracious and humble writings with David Rogers and blog commenters, has been a refreshing example of a man of great integrity, conviction, humility and love. They have set a great example for us to follow.

I wish all Baptists would strive to have such balance of humility and conviction.

Ya'll have a great day!

Ron P.

Anonymous said...

Bart,

May I take this to the next level in discussion? Whereas we cannot dictate what other churches allow, should we as a church that practices correct theological baptism be in fellowship with churches that are under the SBC banner, but do allow people to join who were batized in an unscriptural manner as we who uphold the Bible believe?
And should we allow them to be in our fellowship, or assoication, at the local, state or national level?

I really would like for you and those who comment here take it to this next level.

Chuck

volfan007 said...

bart,

i always like the history lessons you bring into the present day discussions. it brings a lot of weight and light to the issue.

if you come up this way sometime, i'll treat you to a might good catfish dinner. we have several places up this way that sure do know how to cook catfish.

ok?

david

Les Puryear said...

Bart,

You say that paedobaptism is sin. Presbyterians are convinced they are following the Great Commission when they do paedobaptism. Matthew 28:19 says "Go and make disciples." Now it could be interpreted that the next part of the passage is "how" to make disciples. How? By baptizing them and teaching them (v19b-20).

My paedobaptist friends would say they are following the scriptures. They baptize newborns as a sign of God's covenant with His people very similar to our baby dedication service. They would also say that infant baptism identifies that this child is part of a covenant family and will be raised to know and love Christ.

They will also say that paedobaptism is NOT salvific. The individual will still have to personally receive Christ as Lord and Savior to be saved. Would you call this perspective "unrepentant sin"? I would not. It's a different understanding than we have, but I'm not going to say they are wrong.

Is it possible that maybe, just maybe, we are wrong? I don't know. What I do know is that salvation comes by faith in Christ, not by mode or application of baptism.

BTW, brother, scripture is more authoritative than history.

And yes, I am just as baptist as you are. :)

Les

volfan007 said...

les,

i'm not bart, but i dont remember bart ever saying that baby baptizers are lost and going to hell. i did hear him say that they're wrong about this. that paedobaptism goes against the clear teaching of the bible concerning baptism.

les, do you not agree that they are wrong? if not, then why does your church not baptise babies?

david

Tim Rogers said...

Brother Les,

I do not know about your "baby dedication" services, but mine say nothing about the covenant that God has made with the family the baby is born into. Our baby dedications are a time when the parents dedicate to raise that baby in a home where Christ is honored. The Church responds that they will maintain a church home where Christ is honored. Salvation for the child is never referenced, and salvation of the parents is required in order to raise the child in a home where Christ is honored.

Covenant theology has nothing to do with a baby dedication service. Thus they are not like the Presbyterian pedobaptism services.

Blessings,
Tim

Les Puryear said...

Tim and David,

It's obvious you guys have no idea about covenant theology. I've already said what I think about right and wrong on this issue.

Never mind. This is useless.

Les

Bart Barber said...

Les,

So how about the $64,000 question? Do you split away from the congregation or not?

Les Puryear said...

Bart,

In the immortal words of Holly Hunter in "O Brother Where Art Thou?", "I said my piece and counted to three."

Les

Anonymous said...

les,

To me, you make sense. I just don't think this is an issue that anyone can be absolutely certain about.

It bothers me that some on both sides of the issue are SO sure they're right.

Dave

Bart Barber said...

Dave,

I articulate for you my original point that brought all of this up.

If you are not certain that the Bible teaches believer's baptism, then on what authority do we divide the Body of Christ over it? I fully respect the person who either (a) somehow concludes in favor of pedobaptism and is Presbyterian, although I think he is in error, or (b) suspects that believer's baptism might be correct, but thinks it isn't much of a big deal, and therefore is Congregationalist or Presbyterian (thereby returning whence we split over believer's baptism).

What I don't understand is being SO certain of believer's baptism as to divide the Body of Christ denominationally, yet not being certain enough to call it error and sin.

In other words, I think that the level of certainty required for action ought to be HIGHER than the level of certainty required for words.

Robert Hutchinson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Robert Hutchinson said...

i'm not sure what i would have done if i had grown up in the church of england and these brothers were led to re-baptize themselves as believers and encouraged others to do the same.

i have a loyalist spirit. that is why i continue to hope and pray for greater cooperation within the sbc. so i probably would have stayed a member of the church of england.

i would like to think i would have left the church of england after all the persecution began. that's were real sin began to occur.

as a church of england guy back then i probably would have asked myself, "what church gave this smyth guy the authority to baptize himself and all those other folk?"
And I probably would concluded that them re-baptizers were a false church.

as a baptist i think to myself, "what a powerful testimony of following your convictions regarding the practice of the Christian faith based on ones personal understanding of scripture. may every man have that freedom and may every man let God be the judge."

RJ said...

I don't see how one could be honest to Scripture and reason and remain in a church that got half of the church ordinances wrong. I'd have to leave the church. And referring back to the paedobaptists viewing their infant baptizing as a fulfillment of the Great Commission and relating to the covenant is a stretch. The Scripture reads "to make disciples, baptizing them..." No where do we see a construction forming the possibility of: "baptize them making them into disciples".

-rj

Luke said...

Bart,
In spite of the fact that this issue has run just about every rabbit trail that could have been run, I still GET your original idea. Why did/do we split if the other is not in sin? OR Why did/do they split from us if we are not in sin? If we are splitting just for the simple reason of personal preference(not sin) and driving such hard lines of division, we are doing great damage to the body of Christ is what I still hear you saying. Even though different particulars are being raised about this issue, eventually, it would come to that considering that every split would have to be looked at in order to determine if it was truly based upon Scriptural foundation. In which case, there would be a lot of, dare I say it, dare I go there, "unrepentant, practicing sin" christians. Wow, that is as hard to type as it is to conceive. I pray that God will give you great wisdom as you continue to bring this issue to light.

Wayne Smith said...

Bart,

We should all Walk the Walk and Talk the Talk, Please read these Bible verses and Hug Your Brothers and Sisters in Christ.

Ephesians 4

4:1-16 Unity of the Spirit
and
4;17-32 The Christian’s Walk

In His Name

Wayne Smith said...

Dr. Bart Barber,
Are you calling all of these Great Men of God Unrepentant Sinners???

John Owen
Jonathan Edwards
B. B. Warfield
C. S. Lewis
Dr. D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
Dr. R. C. Sproul
Dr. Edmund P. Clowney
Dr. James Kennedy
J. I. Packer
Dr. Tim Keller

And the list goes on:

In His Name

volfan007 said...

wayne,

what would you call an infant baptism? right or wrong?

what would you call sprinkling instead of immersing? right or wrong?

david

Wayne Smith said...

VALFAN007 Alias David

If you study and know Covenant Theology you will find the answer to your question. I have been Baptized both ways, so I’ am covered. These Godly Men I listed above know and studied God Word far more than I will ever be able. I respect these Theologians for what they have contributed to God’s Kingdom. If you want to continue Putting Down those that might know far more than you do, you may continue. God and God Alone will be the Judge in the Name of Jesus Christ.
I would be Honored to Break Bread with any of those I listed above, what about You David.

I Pray this will answer your Question.

In His Name

volfan007 said...

wayne,

a simple one word answer would answer my two questions.

is infant baptism right or wrong?

is sprinkling, or pouring instead of immersion right or wrong?

david

Wayne Smith said...

VALFAN007 Alias David,

I answered your Question,
You VALFAN007 Alias David be the Judge as You like to play GOD.

Ephesians 4

4:1-16 Unity of the Spirit
and
4;17-32 The Christian’s Walk



In His Name

volfan007 said...

wayne,

i do not like to play God. you are very erroneous in your judgements. i'm scratching my head about why you cant answer too very simple questions though. i will answer plain and simple and clear.

infant baptism is wrong. sprinkling and pouring are wrong.

wayne, do you see here how a simple question can be answered in a simple, understandable way?

david

Wayne Smith said...

VALFAN007 Alias David,

Did any of the Men I listed above say it was wrong? Why do you think these Godly Men were wrong?

Beings you are a man of the Book, how do you read and what does Rev 13:8 say to you?

In His Name

volfan007 said...

wayne,

if those men believed in infant baptism that you listed...then they were wrong about that. if they believed in sprinkling, then they were wrong in thier vie2w of baptism. i still love them in the Lord, and i appreciate all that they did for Christ, but they were wrong!

now, why dont you answer what i've asked you?

also, i've read and re read rev. 13:8....what's your point?

david

Wayne Smith said...

VALFAN007 Alias David,

When were all the names of God’s chosen people written in the Lamb’s Book of Life?

In His Name

Luke said...

I am not answering for David, per se, it is just that I have been dealing with this passage for a while and Luke 11:50 really opened up to me what the passages in Revelation mean.

Revelation 13:8 can easily be interpreted by Luke 11:50. From that passage, it is seen that the word "Before" is not what is in mind as in "before the foundation" but rather, from the beginning of creation until now. So I'll answer the question, the names are written down WHEN they believe, from the beginning of creation until now. By the way, that same wording is found in Revelation 17:8 and there, the word "Before" as in "before the foundation" is not there as well. It simply means from creation until now just as it means in Luke 11:50.

volfan007 said...

luke,

interesting.


wayne,

i see that you did not answer the main questions, but tried to dodge them. that makes me wonder a lot of things. i tell you what. i'll answer your question about revelations if you will clearly answer my two questions about baptism. deal?

david

Wayne Smith said...

Luke,

You obviously don’t believe in Predestination, Election and the Chosen of God before the foundation of the World.
Six times John referred to the book of life (Rev. 3:5; 13:8 [cf. comments there]; 17:8; 20:12, 15; 21:27). (Rom_8:29; Rom_9:11; Eph_1:4,Eph_1:5). I can give you more Bible Verses if you will give me your e-mail address.

In His Name

Luke said...

Wayne,
You forgot one, Revelation 22:19. Apparently, this one needs to be avoided because being removed from the book of life is a pretty serious theological consideration.

You can make all the assumptions about me that you like but somewhere in there, be sure you assume that I do not like black-eyed peas. At least on that one, you would be correct. :)

I was really hoping for a response to the verse in Luke compared to Revelation that I offered. As far as wanting to give me more verses about what you've listed, I do own a concordance and a Bible. But I really would like a response to the Luke passage. It is germane to this discussion because its construct is the same.

volfan007 said...

wayne still dodges my two questions...sigh!

david

Wayne Smith said...

VALFAN007 Alias David,

I believe in the Baptist Believers Baptism as I was Baptized this way at age 40. I also question why so much is made of the Water Baptism and not the Spiritual Baptism of being Born Again. I know far more Christians of other Denominations that are Born Again than I do in the Baptists Churches. They were all Baptized by either sprinkling or pouring and have been The some of the best witnesses for the Lord Worldwide.



In His Name

KWS said...

Bart,

There is an interesting discussion going on over at the Together for the Gospel website surrounding infant baptism. Mark Dever, John Piper, Ligon Duncan and others are contributors. Blessings.
KWS

volfan007 said...

wayne,

so, i take it from this once again vague answer that you do believe that infant baptism is wrong, and that sprinkling is wrong.

man, this is like pulling teeth.

david

Wayne Smith said...

Luke,

Please e-mail me at smith.we@gmail.com and I will give you as much as can be found in all my Commentaries.

Eph 1:4-5

Title: Cambridge Annotated Study Bible NRSV
Author:

1:4 He chose us. The concept of God’s choosing, with reference to the
Christian community, is mentioned relatively seldom in the New Testament (Lk
6:13; Jn 13:18; 15:19; 2 Thess 2:13; 1 Cor 1:27-28; Jas 2:5), but becomes
stronger in later Christian writings; it rests on Old Testament precedent (see Deut
14:2). Before the foundation of the world. Cf. Mt 25:34; Lk 11:50; Jn 17:24; 1
Pet 1:20; Heb 4:3; 9:26; Rev 13:8; 17:8. Holy and blameless. Cf. Col 1:22, also
Eph 5:27.

In His Name

Luke said...

Wayne,
I appreciate your effort here. I really do. I will email you as well but please do not take any of my preceding comments here to mean that I do not have anything more than a Bible and Concordance. I have a reasonable library for a pastor of which I might add includes, BB Warfield, AW Pink, J MacArthur, Geisler, Stanley, Ryrie, Henry, Wiersbe, Phillips, Vines, Feinberg, Morris, Shepard, Guthrie, Robertson, you get the idea I hope.

Now, as per our discussion here. You tossed out Rev 13:8 and were seeking an interpretation. I did that using Luke 11:50 because of the construct of the phrase, "from the foundation" which does not read "from before the foundation".

Mt 25:34; Lk 11:50; Rev 13:8; 17:8 All have the same phrase. This passage Jn 17:24 is quite interesting because here, Jesus refers to himself and uses the "before" word which so many try to read into the other passages. Hebrews 4:3 and 9:26 both lack before and stand in the light of Luke 11:50. What is meant is not BEFORE the foundation of the world but from creation to the "now" of the passage.

Holy and blameless. Cf. Col 1:22, also Eph 5:27. As far as I can tell, these two passages have everything to do with purity but have no direct relationship to "before" the foundation of the world. So I am unclear of your connection here. And as far as 1 Cor 1:27-28 and James 2:5 and seeking wisdom from God, if this is meant to be a slight towards me...I'll just leave it at that.

Luke 6:13; John 13:18; John 15:19 all have direct reference to the Original Disciples of Jesus, the 12.

2 Thessalonians 2:13 lacks the word "before" the beginning and can easily be argued that it refers to Creation and not before.

Deuteronomy 14:2 has no connection that I see to Revelation 13:8


I Peter 1:20 is also a direct reference to Jesus himself as well.


Now finally Ephesians 1:4-5. This passage expressly uses the phrase "before the foundation of the world" and in reality, mitigates against your interpretation of Rev 13:8, 17:8 and the others.

And since I have chosen to try to respond to all of your references here except I did not do a great exposition of Eph 1:4-5 because you probably wouldn't like it anyway. I do have one question for you and would like a serious reply.

Revelation 22:19...What say ye? If they had a part, they lose it. If you say they really did not have a part, then you argue against the Scripture itself. What say ye? Can a person lose their part?

I'll email ya now.

By the way, I am not shouting, angry or any of that jazz. I am really trying to show why I believe what I believe. A little more about myself.

I am a Dispensationalist more along the lines of MacArthur. I believe in a literal 6 day creation. I believe the first 11 Chapters of Genesis actually happened and are not myth. I believe in the resurrection, I believe Jesus was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit over a Virgin, I believe the Word of God is inspired, infallible and inerrant. I believe that Bart's premise that if churches are not separating over issues of sin, they should not be separating and the very act of separation could very well indeed be sin. I believe Jesus is personally and visibly coming back(of course, I'm a dispy spooky fundy) so I've been told. I told ya these things so you and any reader can have the advantage of knowing from whence I am coming. I graduated from Florida Baptist Theological College(Baptist College of Florida now), New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary under the presidencies of Leavell and Kelley. I like spinach and carrots, just not cooked. I eat corn straight off the stalk, yes I shuck it first. I love splitting firewood and chopping down trees. And yes, finally and ultimately, I proclaim that Jesus lived, died and was resurrected and that by coming to or believing in Jesus by faith a person experiences salvation. But I believe that a faith that has no evidence is a dead faith. I attest to the fact also that I personally profess and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as MY Lord and Savior.

Sorry Bart for the off topic here.

volfan007 said...

luke,

you sound like my kind of man. God bless you, bro.

david

Luke said...

Vol,
You only like me cause the Tigers do not play the Vols. :)

Grosey's Messages said...

G'day there Bart,
Here is a comment by a continuing presbyterian minister upon an EVANGELICAL service of infant baptism in a presbyterian church by a presbyterian minister.
He said to remind you that World wide, the evangelicals do not outnumber the liberal and baptismal regeneration presbyterians.

"I have attached some notes on the required topic of baptism. I don't know if this is what you wanted. There are dozens of formulae that can be used in baptism; a minister is not bound to use any of them, he can use what ever he likes. I have copied a modern evangelical formula from the PCA Book of Worship and added some comments.

Please be careful not to add my name to the document or I may have to call you as a witness to my heresy trial. Fortunately they don't burn heretics these days! Although torture may still be a possibility!


Leading up to the actual baptism, the pastor would read passages of Scripture such as; Ezekiel 36:25-28, Acts 2:39, Mark 10:13-16.

Preliminary Statement:

Because the practice of the baptism of infants rests on God’s covenant of grace with believers and their children, it requires personal faith in Jesus Christ on the part of the parents. Therefore, it is necessary for those presenting their children for baptism to answer certain questions.

The minister shall say to the parents who shall stand:

Who is your Lord and Saviour?
Response: Jesus Christ in my Lord and Saviour.


Do you trust in the righteousness of Christ alone for your salvation?
Response: I do.


Do you promise to obey Him?
Response: I do.

Or Lord Jesus has commanded us to teach those who we baptize in His name. Do you promise to teach (NAME) from the Scriptures how to trust in Christ as his/her Saviour and to follow Him as Lord?
Response: I do.


Do you promise to pray for (NAME) and to set him/her a godly example in your actions, that by God’s grace, he/she may be a faithful follower of our Lord Jesus Christ all his/her days?
Response: I do.

As part of your godly example, do you promise to be regular and diligent in meeting with God’s people on the Lord’s Day?
Response: I do.

The minister shall say:

The Lord bless you and your child and graciously enable you to keep these promises.

The minister, then addresses the congregation:

This sacrament lays special responsibility upon you, the people of God. Will you be faithful to your calling as members of the Church of Christ, so that, by God’s grace, this child may grow up in the knowledge and love of Christ?

If you accept this responsibility, please say, I will.

Then the minister shall pour or sprinkle water on the child’s head, saying:

(NAME) I baptize you in the name of the Father ad the Son and of the Holy Spirit. The blessing of God Almighty, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, descend upon you and dwell in your heart forever.

The Congregation will then sing the Aaronic Blessing (Numbers 6:24-27).

Thereafter addressing the congregation, the minister shall say:

We receive (NAME) into the care of Christ’s Church, that as a member of the covenant community, he/she may be nurtured and strengthened, and continue as Christ’ faithful servant to his/her life’s end.


The Lord be with you as you fulfill this solemn trust, and may he abundantly fulfill in you his word.

The prayer is offer for the child, and the parents for the Lord’s blessing to remain faithful to Him for their entire life.

COMMENTS:
• This is one of a number of baptismal formulae used for infant baptism within the Presbyterian Church of Australia. It is the one used most commonly by evangelicals.
• Baptism is a public profession by the parents to bring up their child in the Christian faith.
• However, those parents who are poorly taught or nominally Christian can answer the questions without any real conviction. Many even believing in a form of baptismal regeneration –that their child is “now done” and will go to heaven.
• The process really fails to encourage and emphasize the need for the child to be converted and enter into a personal saving faith in the Lord Jesus. Although this would be assumed and the child would come under evangelical teaching in his/her life within the church, the whole process has a sense of once baptized I am a Christian in the church and I don’t need to do anymore.
• The covenantal nature of baptism is based heavily upon Acts 2:38-39 and 1Corinthians 7:14. In Acts 2 I believe that the passage that states that, “the promise is for you and your children and all who are far off” is not referring to infant children but to future generations and those not physically present at the “Pentecost event,” described in Acts 2. In this passage, the promise requires personal repentance –the promise is that those who repent will be forgiven and receive the Holy Spirit.


• The whole concept of infant baptism or covenantal baptism is a wholesale copy of the nationalistic covenant set up by the Lord with Israel (under the old covenant). Passages like Jeremiah 31:31-34 would indicate the day when this nationalistic covenant would cease and the Lord would institute a NEW COVENANT that is not like the old one. The New Covenant requires a personal relationship with the Lord where the Lord will write His Law on the hearts of believers."

Luke said...

Okay,
Seeing I'm not getting takers on Revelation 22:19 and due to the fact that I see Grosey lurking :>) in the shadows, I am going to offer my own understanding.

The passage does not say a name will be removed from the book of life but it does say that the persons "part" in the book of life will be taken out. It implies if not more than loudly states that there is a place for all. Otherwise, this verse becomes meaningless to say that "your part that you never had and does not exist will be removed". That would be like me saying I'll steal your car that you don't have.

How many times will you forgive me Bart for chasing this rabbit? :)

Luke said...

Hey Grosey,
If, as your friend stated that they can choose from many formulae or not use one at all, why don't those whose consciences are convicted that some of them are wrong just not use them but instead make their own? It may not be the direct approach to challenging their groups teachings on Baptism but it would allow them the opportunity to make this more of a parent dedication rather than necessarily a baby baptism. I know, I know. I do not practice baby baptism at all and it would seem that I'm caving here but I am rather trying to see from the perspective of those you have mentioned before who say it bugs them to say some of those formulae and to help them move towards a practice that would not be damaging to their conscience.

Grosey's Messages said...

Good question Luke,
Well, the parents mostly expect and demand baptismal regeneration views of infant baptism.
When they don't get it, (and from evangelicals they don't, usually) they make complaints to Presbytery.
In our case in Australia, where more thanhalf of the Presbyteries were liberal, the pastor gets struck off for not conducting a baptismal regeneration infant baptism.
They are sacked.
Full stop.
and after that? No further ministry.
Nothing. Nada.
Effectively liberal presbyteries force evangelicals to conform to heretical practises.
Why? umm just like in the SBC, moderates and liberals don't like conservaive evangelicals... they are too..evangelical!
Its a little worse than in Baptist churches, because while an evangelical may have the support of his church in a liberal/ or moderate convention (i.e. BGCT) and be able to continue in ministry inspite of pressure from without, in the Presbyterian system this just doesn't work.
The Presbytery decides everything for all local churches (even to the color of the paint on the wall in the manses).
Steve