f The Wittenberg Door: The Dangers of Being a Credobaptist

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Commenting on Christendom, culture, history, and other oddities of life from an historic Protestant perspective.

Friday, May 05, 2006

The Dangers of Being a Credobaptist

I became a Calvinist while attending a Calvary Chapel. That pretty much sealed my fate there. After being driven out, we providentially landed at the Reformed church that we have been at for the last 12 years. It took no time at all for me to take the final step into the Reformation.

Being, at the time, the father of two young children, I was confronted with the question of pedobaptism. Before I even launched the study that would eventually result in my wholehearted adoption of the doctrine, one question stuck out to me, even before I became Reformed: What about my children?

The Credobaptist Answer to a Questioning Conscience

In the Old Covenant (OC), the children were certainly included. But, coming out of a baptistic tradition, all that I could formerly hope for was that one day they would walk an isle and pray a prayer. It’s seemed that in the OC, God was much more gracious when it came to children.

Credobaptists, whether consciously or unconsciously, ask themselves the same question: What about the children. The answer has been baby dedication. The problem is, there’s not Biblical support for such a practice. Even so, they (and, me too at one time) simply accepted it because it met a psychological need.

The Danger of a Wrong Answer

It is not my intention in this post to try to persuade credobaptists to change their minds. Instead, I’m asking that my credobaptist readers carefully search the Scriptures on this issue. Answer the questions, What about my children? And Why would the OC children be part of the convenant and receive it’s sign, but not the New (and better) Covenant children?

The stakes are high, as pointed out at the Out of Control blog. Here’s an excerpt:

Baptism and circumcision both point to the same reality--the washing away or the cutting away of sin (see Colossians 2:11-12). Both also signify the entrance into the visible church in their respective testaments. This being said, it is a very scary thought when you read this passage. God is saying that those who reject the sign of the covenant are rejecting what the sign points to. The true Jew knew that circumcision does not save a person; just as the true Christian today knows that baptism does not save a person. And yet, a rejection of the sign was a rejection of the covenant itself.

You can read the rest of this post here.

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Blogger Gordon Cloud said...

This is an interesting post. It is definitely thought provoking. How do you arrive at the conclusion that baptism is the sign of the New Covenant? Would this make baptism a part of salvation?

I did want to let you know that Rob Somers gave your blog a recommendation in a survey I was conducting on my own blog this weekend.

Have a blessed weekend!

7:39 AM  
Blogger The Wittenberg Door said...

Greetings, Gordon. To your first question, check out Colossians 2. To your second question, no it’s not, that’s through faith alone in Christ alone. (Although there are a few versus that seem to link it to it, such as Acts 2:38 and in Col. 2. I think it has to do with how closely associated the sign is from the thing signified. I still have some work to do in this area.)

Also, thanks for letting me know about the recommendation. That’s very encouraging. I’ll check out both your and Rob’s blogs. Thanks for coming by.

10:19 AM  
Blogger Gordon Cloud said...

Thanks for your answer. If I may pose another question, would not the baptism of Colossians 2 be referring to the spiritual baptism of I Cor. 12:13?

6:05 AM  
Blogger The Wittenberg Door said...

Hello again, Gordon. I’m not clear as to the meaning of your question. I haven’t studied 1 Cor. 12, but my first take on the passage mentioned, in the context of the chapter, is that this is referring to the work of the Spirit, beginning at conversion, to fit the members of the body of Christ together. Col. 2, with its reference to circumcision, seems to me to be referring to the sign of the covenant (water baptism), not the thing it’s meant to signify (salvation). Since the sign and the thing signified can’t be the same thing, then I don’t see how this could be referring to “Spirit baptism” (i.e., the work of the Spirit at salvation).

PS. I’m guessing that that’s what you meant by “Spiritual baptism.” Please let me know if I’ve misunderstood you.

12:23 PM  

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