Monday, September 2, 2013

Infant Baptism, Objections Answered, 1

We will now turn our attention to the various objections raised against infant baptism. We will deal with much of what has been handled before on this blog, but upon deeper reflection, there is much more that I see which can, should, and must be said in response to the various objections. In the final analysis many of the objections are simply permutations of the first one, but since they are raised individually, I will attempt to handle them individually.

1. The old, trusty rusty stand-by of those who reject the doctrine of infant baptism is the dog-eared, “There is no New Testament command for infant baptism.” This objection has been raised a million times – and utterly refuted each time too, yet this has not dampened the spirits of its adherents.

Let it be borne in mind that we do not feel compelled to find New Testament warrant for every Christian practice. This is the cornerstone principle of interpretation that undergirds our position: For nearly 2,000 years, believers were constantly assured through the covenant sign of circumcision of the inclusion of their infant children in the Church of God. Why should we even expect this principle to be reasserted? If this privilege were intended by God to continue, there was no need to reiterate that which was known and treasured by His people for millennia. Nothing substantial is said in the New Testament about the covenant standing of the children of believers because no substantial change occurred. To inform the 1st century Jewish believers that their children were included in the New Testament administration of the covenant of grace, when they had known this for 2,000 years, would be to light a candle in the sun. In short, assuming paedobaptist principles, we find exactly what we would expect to find.

But upon Baptist principles, we are left with an unsolvable enigma. Why, we must ask, is nothing said to these first Christians, who would naturally expect the inclusion of their infant children, to the effect that the covenant economy was so substantially changed that their offspring were cast out?

It is we paedobaptists who have the right to demand evidence from our Baptist friends as an explanation of the monumental change in the administration of the covenant that their position presupposes. If it be, as they say, that the New Testament is silent on the subject, this very silence is enough to undermine their cause, and to establish ours. It affords proof positive that no such change as that which is alleged, ever occurred. If you can believe that such a drastic change occurred without a whisper of an explanation, then you can believe anything.

But there is actually a flaw in the Baptist argument that there is no New Testament warrant for infant baptism. If the Scriptures were silent on this subject, that silence itself would be detrimental to their cause, as we have repeatedly shown. But beyond that, we have already shown much of the New Testament’s teaching which presupposes the church-membership of the infant children of believers. Christ Himself declares that the kingdom of God belongs to them. Peter, inspired by the Holy Spirit, declares, “The promise is to us and our children.” We repeatedly see the apostles baptizing whole families. And in this regard we must remember that this must’ve been how they understood the Great Commission. To complain of a lack of New Testament warrant, on these grounds, seems ludicrous.

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