Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Sprinkled or Baptized?

#237: Hello again folks! Last weekend we were over in Wales again with good friends; helping them along a little. Every time that we go over there we have to go on the ring road around Shrewsbury. As soon as you approach the River Severn; there is a sign on the roadside proudly exclaiming "Shrewsbury - Birthplace of Charles Darwin". I have to tell you that this annoys me in no small degree! It's another sign of the times me thinx. I have deliberately avoided talking about all the spin surrounding Darwin's 200th birthday hype. Because there are other more important topics to cover and I don't wish to engage at present in drawing even more attention to this subject - there are more than enough good believers enjoining that battle - and I will add my voice when the time is right. Having said that, one thing that does come to mind is that people are more than willing to celebrate so-called man's wisdom than repent and return to the Lord; Whose ways are much higher than ours could ever be.
Now back to the core subject of today's blog. While in Wales one does not only eat lamb! When folks work together they fellowship together - or so I've found. Whilst gettings my hands dirty, I have had a few conversations with my friend Dickon. One of the issues we talk about [often] is the CoE. "Here we go again!" I hear you say! But not only the CoE; indeed any 'christian' sect or religious denomination that seeks to add layers of men and/or the commandments of men [in other words: nicolaitism - please read Revelation chapters two and three - this is the 'thing' that the Lord truly hates] to the 'true' early church model. I like what Dickon said to me last weekend. He said that just as one needed circumcision in the OT period [even before the Law] to 'join the club'; it seems that in the NT era, one needs to be baptized to 'join the club' now and not only that - the church can supply all your needs according to its riches in grace in place of the Lord's direct provision; it seems.
I am speaking as one who was not baptized as an infant; but someone who was sprinkled at the age of 16 [because I knew no better at the time - you don't want to know how I fitted into a font!] and then who was truly baptized at the age of 28 [when I did know better]. That any baby or unregenerate soul can be baptized [and I use the term loosely] without an understanding of True Salvation is horrendous. But for it to be used to 'join up' someone to a largely man-made organization is frightening. I've lost count of the folks who honestly believe, because they were sprinkled/'baptized' as infants, that they are Christians, are saved and are headed to heaven as a result of an act performed in their ignorance &/or innocence at such an early age and despite what they do in their 'accountable' years of life.
The other day I watched an interview on a Sunday morning 'religious' TV programme where a man, now a self-confessed atheist, had now got hold of an 'Unbaptism' Certificate to divorce himself from the CoE! You can, again, see the correlation here between wrong doctrine and wrong conduct. Genuine baptism is a heartfelt; obedient act as unto the Lord representing physically outwardly what has already happened inwardly. State religion turns it the other way around into an initiation ceremony where the subject is, in most cases, entirely unaware of what is happening. We get the word 'baptize' from the Greek word 'baptizo' and it means 'to fully immerse' or 'be fully immersed'. I was not baptized at the age of 16; I was sprinkled. But I was scriptually baptized at the age of 28. And there is a world of difference between the two.
Have you been sprinkled or are you baptized? Do you know the Lord? I have just one [1] tip for you: Ask Him! or - in other words - "If in doubt; Ask!" ... our God is The Answer. God and all you have been given is all you need my friends.
God bless you and God bless Israel ... KJS ... 31-March-2009

1 comment:

Gary said...

there is more evidence in the NT supporting infant baptism than there is condemning the practice:

1. "Baptize all nations" does not include an age restriction in the Great Commission (GC).

2. There is no mention in the GC of requiring an older child/adult "decision for Christ" prior to baptizing! Isn't that really, really odd? If the only means of salvation is an adult "decision for Christ", why would Christ not mention this in his final comments to his disciples before ascending to heaven? Why didn't he say, "Go into all the world, and lead people to Christ by telling them to pray and ask me into their hearts. Then, teach them everything I have commanded you, including being baptized as a public profession of faith."

Nope. That isn't what he said, is it?

Baptize, baptize, baptize, baptize, baptize. It is repeated over 100 times in the NT. "Be born again" is mentioned twice, and "accept Christ/make a decision for Christ is NEVER mentioned in the NT!

The simple, plain rendering of multiple passages of Scripture state the following:

1. It is the power of God's Word that saves.
2. The Word saves only those who have been predestined by God to be saved. You will never understand how infant baptism/salvation is possible if you believe that sinners have a free will regarding spiritual matters and are required to make a "decision" before God is allowed to save them. You must believe in (Single, not Double) Predestination to understand Infant Baptism.
3. When God quickens the spiritually dead souls of those he has predestined, at some point in their lives, they become spiritually alive and therefore believe and repent. There is NO decision on the part of the sinner.
4. God is not limited to the "when" of salvation. God can save an adult by the preaching of his Word BEFORE baptism, and God can and does save sinners by the power of his Word spoken/pronounced during Baptism.

The Church has always believed this. Baptism IS necessary for salvation, in that if one rejects or neglects to be baptized, he demonstrates he does not have true faith, and very likely will go to hell when he dies. But, baptism is NOT mandatory, in that God can and does save outside of baptism as was the case with all the OT saints, the thief on the cross, and many martyrs over the last 2,000 years.

It is the lack of faith/belief that damns, not the lack of baptism.

In conclusion, Christ did not give any age restrictions for baptism. Christ did not require a "decision for Christ" prior to being baptized. Christ did not require believing PRIOR to baptism. More than five entire households, filled with servants and slaves, were baptized. It is mathematically virtually impossible that none of these households had infants or toddlers, and Scripture says that the ENTIRE household was baptized. There is no mention of an exception for the infants and toddlers.