You are raising objections but not answering my challenges. The oikos issue is not an issue. The issue is: A - is baptism synoymous with circumcision, ie, are they different signs of the same reality? B - Are we partakers of the promises of Abraham as the true Israel? C - Does the New Covenant organically grow out of the Old and is it foundational on the Old, ie, the Old is preparatory and the New fulfills? D - If the first 3 are true then where is the NT injunction that the sign of the covenant in the NT is now not given to children when Peter explicitly says that the same promise is still the same as far as the children are concerned? If the first 3 are not true, as Dispy's maintain, then the rest of the argument is moot. But if it is established that Christ is the fulfillment of the covenant made with Abraham and that NT believers are part of those same promises then the last question is legitimate and the burden of proof is not on the Covenant baptist position but on the Believers only position. By virtue of reasoned argument there is a case,it is not watertight, pardon the pun, but it is a case. Immersion as a mode has absoluely no case; believers only may have a case but so do Covenant baptisers. Answer the points above, but if you refute them, prove it from Scripture.
MurrayA wrote: Precisely what I said! If "household" means for example the extended family, or nuclear family plus the retinue of servants etc, or both, then the "household" argument proves too much. It allows for baptism of grandchildren, uncles, aunts, nephews, and who knows what, iow. more than what the paedobaptist argument will itself allow. You would be back with the so-called "half-way covenant" (with a vengeance!), which paedobaptists today profess to repudiate. If an argument proves too much, then it proves nothing at all.
You have to see this in the light of the OT. Who did Abraham have to circumcise? All who were directly under his headship. Now I know that in the NT adults must give profession of faith before baptism. But the position of children under the headship of the covenant head stays the same. I don't know anyone in the covenant baptist camp who would support the entire extended family. But the promise is to you AND TO YOUR CHILDREN. Ask yourself, what promise? That will answer most questions. Did the Jews at Pentecost know what promise Paul was talking about? You will find there was only one promise, to which all other promises were subject. The promise of the New Covenant. And Peter says kids are still part of it.
As an adult it is imperative, and Biblical, that profession of faith precede Baptism. This has nothing to do with the mode, but with the subjects. I also believe in Believers Baptism. If an adult converts to Christ he/she should be baptised (by pouring/sprinkling) after their confession. This is in line with OT theology as well. But I also believe that the children of that person are now also members of the covenant. The eunuch was converted as an adult. Of course Philip expected him to confess Christ prior to baptism. But this does not disprove the covenant baptism of infants. Nor does the text prove immersion. Going down and coming up out of the water only makes sense. You cannot go up to the water, for it is always down. You have to go into the water because you cannot walk on it. This does not prove immersion. Nor does the text negate the argument that children of believers should be baptised.
The household argument is not strong enough to base anything on. It may, in my opinion, be used as a secondary support, but is too weak to stand on its own. It is possible that there were children in the households. The word certainly implies a family, and it is indicated that whole families were baptised on the basis of the confession of the family head. What is does od is what Jago said - shows the continuation of family lines as established in the OT. If there was a text which instructed us to baptise children, there would never have been an argument. But there is likewise no text which forbids the baptism of children. That in the book of Acts it speaks clearly of faith THEN baptism is easy to understand. Being primarily a book which deals with the Apostles missionary endeavours in which they preach to adults means the record gives conversion and baptism of adults. You also find no record of an adult baptism of someone who was raised in a Christian home. I would encourage anyone who is serious about this topic, whatever their position, to read some of the good literature available on the subject. Pierre Marcel wrote an excellent treatise, as did Herman Hanko in "We and our Children" which is a refutation of David Kingdon's "Children of Abraham".
Mike wrote: Won't bother arguing which method is best, but perhaps we should at least follow the Lord's example, and be baptised as an adult. Where does that leave paedobaptism?
It leaves it on another thread, the one about the subjects of Baptism. Read my recent comments there. I will state again now though - I firmly believe immersion to be unscriptural. But when it comes to covenant baptism (don't like peado or christening), I am the first to admit that there is no watertight case. In all theology your view of the parts is determined by your view of the whole, and vice versa. If you see two parts, two seperate covenants etc you are more or less dispensational and you will never recognise the organic relationship between OT and NT. I believe the nature of Scripture is covenantal from beginning to end. One covenant of grace with two forms of administration. OT church was Jews only and sacraments were Passover and Circumcision. NT church is universal and sacraments are Communion and Baptism. The signs may have changed, but that which they signify stays the same. If it stays the same, I believe it is you who must prove that in the new covenant the sign is now NOT given to children born into the covenant.
Icon O'Clast wrote: Yeah, we should be nice to each other, like Jesus was nice to the Pharisees. we really should be more Christlike. Doesn't it say somewhere that He went to the Pharisees, put a loving arm around them and said,"Brothers, let's not fight. Let us love each other, despite our differences. They are meaningless differences anyway. Concentrate on what unites us, not divides us." You can read that in Matthew 23 I think. Or we could be nice like Paul was to Peter when he had a quiet word to him in the corner so he wouldn't be embarrassed about his little social gaffe regarding treating the non-jews like dirt. I think that one is in Galatians 2:14.
Icon - you may be right, but has anyone ever told you that sarcasm is the lowest form of wit? The love the Bible speaks of primarily is brotherly love. We may differ in denominational differences, and may feel we have the right to discuss them and defend our views, but Christian fellowship can not be based just on agreement. It must be based on the finished work of our Lord Jesus Christ. Paul and Peter did not cease to be brothers in the Lord, anymore than Paul and Barnabas did when they had a falling out over Mark.
Doesn't the Bible say several times that we will know people by their fruits? The sort of fruit John the Baptist called fruit of repentance? Is this not what James meant when he said that faith without works is dead? John gives the clearest explanation for apostate believers or those who fall away finally after a credible profession of faith. "They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they have been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us" (I John 2:19).
There are many baptisms in the OT but only one in the NT, of which the OT ones are a picture. The "Buried with Him" texts do NOT talk about water baptism, but about that which baptism signifies, ie the true baptism. Only Baptist textbooks maintain Bapto must always be immersion. This has been proven untrue many times. RWDale's "Classic Baptism" has conclusively proven the word can mean many things, immersion being an uncommon meaning. Other meanings include to dye, drown, sprinkle, bruise. It does NOT mean immerse first, last and always. The question is, did the OT Jews immerse in their purification rites? Baptism and purification are synonymous (Jn3:25,26). If John had been immersing, the heresy-hunting pharisees would have nailed him. Instead, they saw in his actions a fulfillment of Messianic prophecy (Jn1:25). So where in the prophets did it say Christ would immerse? It DID say He would sprinkle(Is52:15; Ez36:25). In the Hebrews 9 text re diverse baptisms ask yourself, how can you have diverse or various kinds of immersions? The text itself gives the OT examples; vs13 is found in Numb19:17-18, vs 19 in Ex 24:6,8 and vs 21 in Lev 8:19 and 16:14. Check them for yourself. And Hebrews calls these sprinklings BAPTISMS. Scripture must prove Scripture and I think my case is proven.
Following your debates with interest. I said before I do not think either side has a watertight argument. My argument is this: IF circumcision and baptism signify the same truths, ie, membership in the covenant, WHY has the organic structure changed without a word in the NT. The church was started by and to Jews who knew intimately about the covenant and how children were born into it and part of it and therefore received the sign of it. If such a monumental change was to be made there MUST be mention of it. IF you don't believe they are totally synonymous consider this; Christ's death is referred to as both a circumcision(Dan9:26; Col2:11) and as a baptism(Mt20:22; Lk12:50). They are both signs and seals of the righteousness of faith. They do NOT mean someone is saved. Both Jacob and Esau were circumcised. They only mean you are a member of the covenant, ie, of the visible church. The child was born into it. The bought slave or proselyte was grafted into it. It is an outward sign of inward change, in an adult of visible change, in a child born of believing parents it is a promise of God's faithfulness in this regard. Nowhere does it negate human responsibility - although the Bible clearly states we are not able to create that necessary inward change ourselves.
Take a close look at Colossians 2:11 and 12. This is one long sentence. It clearly explains to the Colossians, who had been told they needed to be physically circumcised, that they have been circumcised - with the TRUE circumcision which, as vs 13 goes on to explain, is regeneration. Circumcision is regeneration? Where have we heard that before. Anyway, Paul goes on to tell them WHEN they were circumcised in the heart (regenerated). It was when the Holy Spirit baptised them into Christ. Their true circumcision - of which physical circumcision was a picture - happened at their true baptism - of which water baptism is a picture. In this way - through that which BOTH circumcision and baptism portray - we have been raised with Him. Now if circumcision and baptism both refer to the same reality - and it is clear from other texts as well as this one that it does - then the question needs to be asked; Where does it say that children are NOT to be baptised? I know the usual suspects will scoff at this without coming back with solid Scriptural evidence. They don't concern me anyway, they don't listen no matter what you tell them. But those who have some integrity, have a close look at my exposition of that text and tell me where I am wrong.
You are talking to the wall Jago - some people can't see the truth right in front of their eyes. How can you miss the question asked to John the Baptist, "If you are not the Christ, why are you baptising?" This means they recognised what he did. If he had been immersing they would have asked what he was doing. Immersion does not ritually cleanse - all ceremonial and symbolic cleansing was done by pouring and sprinkling. Those who came to John knew that the Messiah would sprinkle water - that is what the prophets say. John then told them that Jesus would baptise them with the Holy Spirit. Then Holy Spirit comes upon you, as water does in pouring. You are not immersed into the Holy Spirit. The references are so clear you can only not see it if you are deliberately blind. Baptism is NOT a sacrament which depicts the work of Christ. It is a sacrament which depicts the work of the Spirit who applies the work of Christ to you. He comes upon you and regenerates you with the TRUE baptism, of which water is but a picture. This is called the washing of regeneration. Immersion gives the picture of burial and resurrection to the baptist - but that is a false picture.
jago wrote: I have just listened to one of Alexander Henderson's sermons from Still Water Revival. It was refreshing to see election explained in the 17th century. We are redeemed,and then God circumcises our hearts and ears so that we can hear and understand Him speaking to us. His passage was Ps 40. He spoke of v6 "mine ears hast thou opened" as the hole being put in the ear of a servant who does not wish to leave his master. It's really worth listening to but a bit hard to follow at first. v8 " I delight to do thy will, O my God; yea thy law is written in my heart"
When a slave was freed but did not want to go, he would stand close to the wall and an awl was put through his earlobe into the wall signifying he was now bonded to the master. It is the same reference as James uses when he calls himself a bondservant. It is a powerful text in Psalm 40, especially when seen in the light of Hebrews 10 and Christ's Priestly office.
KK - You miss the point mate. I am not talking about the subjects of baptism, but the mode. You cannoto prove immersion from that text - the text says nothing about the mode. Icon - in my opinion diverse baptisms cannot mean diverse immersions as that is not possible. Immersion is immersion, there is not much variation possible. But the OT purification rites which the text is referring to, are all done with sprinkling. There were sprinkling baptisms for atonement, baptism from the dead for purification, baptism from leprosy, baptism unto redemption in the passover etc. These were different sprinklings or pourings with different elements including water, blood, ashes etc. There was even the sprinkling of the book of the Covenant. These are all pictures of Christ and His church, symnbolised by sprinkling, laving and pouring. Heb 9:21-22, "Then likewise he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle and all the vessels of the ministry. And according to the law almost all things are purged(cleansed) with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission (forgiveness)." The terms for washing render 4 different Hebrew and 5 different Greek words. They make an interesting word study - but none of them lead to immersion.
Minnow wrote: Does that mean the OT saints were never circumcised in heart? Could never be circumcised in heart?
Of course not! As I said, there was always a remnant of election. But look at the 40 years wandering. They could not enter in because of unbelief, because of rebellion. Look at the time of the Judges, every man did what was right in their own eyes. Look at the ever increasing unrighteousness in the time of the kings, culminating in the exile. God sent prohpet after prophet, but they ignored them, imprisoned them and killed them. God remained true to His covenant promise - which can only be seen as fulfilled in Christ. Finally the owner of the vineyard sent His own Son. But Him they killed also. His murder may have been by the determined counsel and foreknowledge of God, yet it was murder and done with lawless hands. And those that murdered Him said, "His blood be upon our heads and the heads of our children." And the rest, as they say is history. The whole Olivet discourse (despite Dispy opinion) is a pronouncement of full and final judgement on Israel, the city, the temple and the whole false religion. Of course there were believers - and these could only be through the power of regeneration. But it was a remnant of election.
Minnow wrote: When will the OT saints be circumcised in heart, if not during their lifetime? Second coming? Deut 10:16 "Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiffnecked." Was this not really possible then?
The whole OT history is an indictment on Israel because they were rebellious, and inveterably unregenerate. It was only a remnant of election which stayed true to God. That whole history is proof positive that natural man is rebellious, ungodly, unjust and totally unrighteous.
Minnow - in all things, if you start with the wrong supposition you can never arrive at the right conclusion, like science which is based on evolution. Arminians start with the idea that God MUST play fair and give everyone a chance. They start with the premise that God loves everyone equally. Once you start from there, no matter where you go, you always end up wrong. Then even Paul's laborious explanations in Romans 9 about the Creator's right over the creation is pushed aside as not applying to us. No text you give them will convince them, because they cling to their supposition. Show them 100 texts (and there are many 100's)and you will not convince them. God loves everybody and everything depends on your decision. He loves you so much, won't you let Him into your heart. The funny thing is, they PRAY for someone's conversion. They ask God to do something which, according to their theology, He can't or won't do. He won't interfere in their free will, yet they ask Him. And when they pray, they sound more like Calvinists than Calvinists do. True Arminianism taken to its conclusion, is humanism and is anti-Christian. The primacy of the human will is the greatest sin - it is the sin which cursed all creation.
KK - the first text is similar to the Philip and the Eunuch text, which speaks of going down and coming up out of the water. If this means immersion then both Philip and the Eunuch were immersed. All it means is that water is always down. You never go up to the water. And you must go into it because you can not stand on top of it. The washing of regeneration text shows what I have continually tried to prove - that baptism is a picture of being regenerated, ie, cleansed from sin by the Spirit who applies the work of Christ to you. All OT texts which speak of the promise of the Spirit talk about sprinkling. You are not immersed in the Spirit, He comes upon you. That is why all OT cleansing rites were done by sprinkling or pouring. And amplified bibles are like study bibles, they push the agenda of those who publish them. If Jesus was not baptised by pouring/sprinkling then He did not fulfill all righteousness. If John had immersed in the Jordan, they would not have seen in that the prophecies of the promised Messiah - for He was said to come and clean by sprinkling. Nuff said!
Minnow wrote: Hey quote; Here is another quote with a question. How were they circumcised in heart, and what with?
Only God can circumcise the heart, although you are responsible for it. It is the removal of he works of the flesh by the power of the Spirit. "Circumcise yourselves to the Lord, and take away the foreskins of your heart" cried Jeremiah, but they cannot. But God has promised that, because man can not do it because of their total depravity and inability, He will do it (Dt30:6 cf10:16)Because in our natural state our heart is set against God, it needs to be circumcised. Our heart is against the Word of God, which is the means by which we are born again (IPet1:23cfGal3:16). Therefore our ears need to be circumcised so we can hear the Word(Jer6:10). Paul echoes this in Rom8 when he talks about circumcision of the heart being the mark of the true Jew. Again in Phil 3:3 he says "We are the circumcision." And why is that? Because we have been born again by the Spirit of God. Born again is the same as circumcised in the heart. We have been "baptised" by the Spirit - our natures have been changed and our heart is now sweet and loving towards God. This, acccording to some, happened according to the pleasure of our free will.
JD wrote: It is the neatest trick if you can get away with it to make a statement of theology and then tack a verse reference on the end of it as Mr J likes to do. It does make one look intelligent but the problem is that when those verses are looked up, often times they will actually refute the statement they are referenced to prove when the whole context is considered.
I wash my hands off you JD - you make a statement like that, accusing me of misinterpreting the Scripture and you give me NOT ONE EXAMPLE BACK, apart from your opinion. You are a waste of time! Oh and by the way, you never did give me that answer on the effect of sin on mankind. But it's ok, I know the answer and so does anyone else who reads their Bible. But that answer takes your pathetic theology and shows it for what it is - total falsehood. You never even checked those texts - and I am sure you never did to any of my posts. You just like to parade as someone who is learned. You may have learnt some things mate, but little of what you learnt is correct. Don't respond to my posts anymore, cos I sure won't be responding to yours.