FRANCIS A. SCHAEFFER: BAPTISM (INFANT BAPTISM - Baptistic Arguments)

Al-Maghtas ruins on the Jordanian side of the Jordan River are the location for the Baptism of Jesus and the ministry of John the Baptist. - Wikipedia

Baptistic Arguments

Let us look at the usual Baptistic arguments against infant baptism.

a) "Believe and be baptized." Notice that the same thing was said in effect to Abraham concerning circumcision, "Believe and afterward be circumcised," but that it is altogether clear that the sign of his personal faith was to be applied also to his child.

Further, in the case of the first days of the Christian era, everyone who believed was of necessity baptized an adult, because, the new Testament teaching being new, no one would have been previously baptized as an infant. The same thing is true on any new mission field of any day. There are no baptized infants until there are some Christian parents.

b) Often those who are Baptistic ask why we baptize both boys and girls, when only males were circumcised in the Old Testament. Galatians 3:28 gives the answer: "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye all are one in Jesus Christ." In this era, there is no difference between the man and the woman before the Lord in worship.

c) The question is sometimes asked, "If baptism took the place of circumcision, why did baptism and circumcision exist side by side for a time among the Jewish Christians?" Many Jewish believers in the early Christian Church kept various Old Testament practices at least until the time of the destruction of Jerusalem. As long as these were not thought of as adding something to Christ's finished work for personal salvation, they were allowed. Notice in this regard Paul's circumcision of Timothy, Acts 16:3, and also his partaking in the Temple worship, Acts 21:20, 26. The Bible says that Paul did these things for the sake of the believing Jews who still kept these practices. The answer, therefore, as to why baptism and circumcision existed together for a time is that this was part of the gradual clarifying of the dispensational changes.

d) Perhaps the most used Baptistic argument is that there is no definite command in Scripture in baptizing babies. There is also no command in Scripture to change the day of worship from the seventh day to the first. In certain parts of the United States, there is a small group known as the Seventh Day Baptists. I feel that they are mistaken on both of these counts, but at least they have the virtue of consistency. To be consistent, everyone who is Baptistic should worship on the seventh day.

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