Thursday, September 26, 2013

Infant Baptism, Objections Answered, 8

8. Another objection often raised by the opponents of infant baptism is that we have the same historical evidence for infant communion as we have for infant baptism. It is asserted that the evidence of infant communion in the history of the early church invalidates the historical testimony we find in favor of infant baptism.

In answering this objection, I will freely grant that the practice of administering communion to children, and sometimes even to infants, has been practiced in various parts of the Christian church from a very early period. It is still practiced to this day in some circles.

Its history run briefly as follows: About the middle of the 3rd century we encounter it in the practice of some of the African churches. They had misconstrued Christ's words, “Except you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.” They erroneously held that a participation in the Lord's Supper was essential to salvation. But it is a great injustice to the cause of infant baptism to represent it as resting on no better ground than infant communion. There are three notable differences between the two. 

A. Infant baptism has solid and decisive scriptural support. Infant communion does not.

B. The historical testimony to infant communion is greatly inferior to that which we possess in favor of infant baptism.

There is no historical record of anyone practicing infant communion before the time of Cyprian. On the other hand, we find Justin Martyr referring to people in his day who were baptized as infants during the apostolic era.

C. Infant communion does not possess anything like the general and universal acceptance infant baptism has had throughout church history.

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