Is it heresy for Baptists to baptize a baby? One pastor’s example sets off a deb …

Adults are baptized while the congregation sings at nondenominational CrossPoint megachurch in Nashville on Sunday, May 17, 2015. Religion News Service photo by Heidi Hall
Adults are baptized while the congregation sings at nondenominational CrossPoint megachurch in Nashville on Sunday, May 17, 2015. Religion News Service photo by Heidi Hall

Adults are baptized while the congregation sings at nondenominational CrossPoint megachurch in Nashville on Sunday, May 17, 2015. Religion News Service photo by Heidi Hall

(RNS) The baptism of a Dayton, Ohio, infant — a scene heartwarming and commonplace for Catholics and mainline Protestants — is touching off accusations of doctrinal heresy in the evangelical world.

In April, an influential American Baptist Churches USA pastor performed the rite, which most Baptists believe is reserved for Christians who are able to make a mature confession of faith. Although there are dozens of Baptist denominations in the U.S., the news made instant waves among those who know and understand Baptist teachings.

Ed Stetzer photo courtesy of LifeWay Christian Resources.

Ed Stetzer, executive director of LifeWay Research. Photo courtesy of LifeWay Christian Resources

Before long, a Southern Baptist seminary president compared the notion of Baptists baptizing infants to vegetarians eating steak.

But while denominations squabble about doctrine, the Southern Baptist Convention, the nation’s largest Protestant denomination, routinely immerses children age 5 and younger. A task force report based on 2012 figures said that age group was the only one seeing growth in numbers of baptisms, although a top researcher in the denomination said that’s no longer the case.

In light of new survey data showing a decline in the number of self-professing Christians, some have wondered whether denominational heads are urging younger baptisms as a way to provide a membership boost.

Others discounted that theory.

“There’s pressure to go downward in age because parents are kind of convinced that their kids are understanding it earlier, and it’s easier to baptize kids,” said Ed Stetzer, executive director of LifeWay Research.

Yolanda Smith photo courtesy of Yolanda Smith.

Yolanda Smith, a Yale Divinity School research scholar who specializes in Baptist theology and the black church. Photo courtesy of Yale Divinity School

“I don’t think it is a preservationist instinct,” he said. “It’s more of a precociousness instinct.”

The meaning of infant baptism varies slightly among denominations that practice it. In the Middle Ages, the Roman Catholic Church encouraged infant baptism after fears arose that babies not baptized might die without the chance of salvation. Today, the sacrament is still understood to wipe away original sin inherited from Adam and Eve.

Baptists, on the other hand, believe the practice is rooted in Jesus’ own baptism story, said Yolanda Smith, a Yale Divinity School research scholar who specializes in Baptist theology and the black church.

In the biblical account, Jesus was baptized as an adult, and his immersion symbolizes dying to sin and being reborn — a foreshadowing of his death and resurrection, Smith said. For Baptists, making that choice also symbolizes full integration into the church.

The Rev. Rodney Kennedy, the First Baptist Church of Dayton pastor who baptized the 7-month-old boy,  said the fact that his church accepts members who were baptized as infants without immersing them as adults influenced his decision. He said the backlash doesn’t surprise him.

“The Christian community needs to have a conversation about baptism,” said Kennedy, a seminary professor who has served terms as president of the Dayton Area Baptist Association. “Our nation is becoming progressively pagan, and we’re going to sit here and argue about when we need to baptize people? … I am no longer interested whether confession of faith comes before or after baptism.”

He said he performed the baptism with the support of his church’s executive council and faced no repercussions from his denomination and no loss of membership.

David Dark, author of “The Sacredness of Questioning Everything” and assistant professor of religion and the arts at Belmont University in Nashville, said people’s beliefs have always been fluid, but that fact is getting more attention.

“I think that there is the growing belief that, even if we don’t share every approach to religion with people of other traditions or faiths, everyone is in the same relationship with God the way that we’re in the same relationship with oxygen,” he said. “Increasingly, we receive the wisdom whatever the source without policing the boundaries of traditions.”

But Jason Allen, president of Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, who wrote a popular blog post on the subject, was adamant: “Baptizing infants is not Baptist,” Allen said. “It’s a disqualifier.

Rodney Kennedy photo courtesy of Rodney Kennedy

The Rev. Rodney Kennedy, the First Baptist Church of Dayton pastor who baptized the 7-month-old boy. Photo courtesy of First Baptist Church Dayton

“If you are baptizing someone, regardless of age — 4 or 44 — and they don’t have a sufficient understanding of the gospel, or they do understand and their heart has not been pierced by it, it’s an injustice to that person. They’ll be inclined to think they have a right standing before God.”

A recent Southern Baptist Convention task force found a two-decade decline in baptism and issued a report last year encouraging parents and church leaders to “make the claims of Christ clear to the Next Generation.”

Alvin Reid, evangelism professor at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C., who served on that task force, said the idea was to focus on young people from middle school through college.

It’s troubling to hear about 3-year-olds being baptized, Reid said, but he said he was not aware of any Southern Baptist church that receives people into membership who have been baptized as infants. Most Southern Baptist churches require a believer’s baptism.

“We have to understand that people don’t come to church because we put out a sign and put on a pageant. We have to be missional and living the gospel.”


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  • When Jesus was baptized, he was anointed with holy spirit from his Father, God, and became the Messiah (Matthew 3:17). It did not symbolize his dying to sin since he was a perfect man and died as such.

    However, the benefits of that ransom sacrifice will soon be applied to imperfect mankind on earth during his upcoming millennial rule from God’s kingdom or heavenly government (Daniel 2:44; Matthew 4:17).

    The end result at the end of that rule will be an end to inherited sin and imperfection (Romans 5:12) so that man can finally live forever with perfection on earth (Revelation 21:3,4) and without death.

  • Perhaps they were happy to baptize a seven-month old because they were satisfied that his grasp of Christian theology was as good as anybody else’s in the place.

  • The Apostles baptized complete households, including infants, according to Scripture. The Catholic Tradition has always been the cleansing of the person from Original Sin, and purifying the soul. The child is then a member of the Church. Parents do this out of the same parental love that makes their children go to school, eat vegetables, take medicine, etc. The Protestants changed or condemned many things they had no authority, their current “traditions” have almost no true historical validation.

  • The way the Early Church has always understood baptism, is that it joins a soul to the Body of Christ (Gal 3:27, 2Cor 5:17), and fills that soul with the very Life of God (Titus 3:5). When it is said that Baptism removes Original Sin, it simply means that once Adam & Eve fell from Grace, their souls lost the Life of God within them (sanctifying grace), and they could not pass on what they did not have. Baptism, now restores the soul back to its Original Grace, the Grace found in the souls of Adam & Eve. But as for whether children should be baptized, well who could withhold the free gift God now offers. If Jesus could be circumcised at 3 days old, then what gives? Baptism is the new circumcision (Col 2:11-12). It is how we are saved (1Ptr 3:21). And whole families can be baptized together (Acts 18:8). When Jesus was baptized, he merely energized the waters of Baptism, showing us what happens in Baptism (the Father, the Spirit, and our Lord take up residence in souls) Luke 3:22.

  • In the Free Methodist church we do child and adult baptisms, but the baby baptism are essentially the same as a dedication. It doesn’t assure salvation, but is a sign of commitment between the parents and God and a welcoming of the child nto church community. I wish more churches would hesitate to use the “H” word (heresy) just because there is disagreement on minor theological issues. We CAN disagree and still be friends. We CAN disagree and still encourage, pray and even work with each other. While we should hold tightly on to the MAJORS in our theology, let’s minor on the minors and not let those things put us at emnity with fellow believers.

  • No Infant Baptism. In view of the fact that ‘hearing the word,’ ‘embracing the word heartily,’ and ‘repenting’ precede water baptism (Ac 2:14, 22, 38, 41) and that baptism requires the individual to make a solemn decision, it is apparent that one must at least be of age to hear, to believe, and to make this decision. An argument is made by some in favor of infant baptism. They refer to the instances where ‘households’ were baptized, such as the households of Cornelius, Lydia, the Philippian jailer, Crispus, and Stephanas. (Ac 10:48; 11:14; 16:15, 32-34; 18:8; 1Co 1:16) They believe that this implies that small babies in those families were also baptized. But, in the case of Cornelius, those who were baptized were those who had heard the word and received the holy spirit, and they spoke in tongues and glorified God; these things could not apply to infants. Also, here the Scriptural record specifies that the ones baptized were, not infants, but “men and women.”— READ Acts 8:12.

  • The word “heresy” shows the dark heart of bible-believing Christianity. I’m all for using it. Let’s get what they really feel out where everyone can see it.

  • “There’s pressure to go downward in age because parents are kind of convinced that their kids are understanding it earlier, and it’s easier to baptize kids,” said Ed Stetzer..”

    Indoctrination is the only way to keep Christianity alive. Because it makes no sense if anyone thinks about it for even a second.

    God so loved the world that he became his only son
    And demanded he be slaughtered on a cross.

    That is like saying, “Santa so loved the world that he gutted his favorite reindeer”

    If you don’t get this crazy story forced into your head as a child
    it disintegrates completely at the first application of any thought.

  • That’s interesting Max, but your zeal fails you again. Many people don’t come to faith until adulthood…sometimes late adulthood after mature and thoughtful reflection. You need to get a smaller brush.

  • Acts 2:37-39: “Repent and be baptized, every one of you … for the forgiveness of your sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and your children and to all…whom the Lord our God calls to Him”.
    Compare Matt 19:14: ” …but Jesus said, “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven,” with John 3:5: “Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.”
    Parents speak for their children before the age of reason.

  • Max Ive been listening to you for a while now and while i dont agree with you, I have to admit youre a riot

  • I dont think it matters either way, or if you even dont get a chance to get baptized at all. You think Jesus is gonna throw away his death on the cross for you because you didnt have water dripped on your head

  • @Diogenes,

    “your zeal fails you again.”

    I admit I have developed a zeal in going after ridiculous claims; be it Sasquatch, mermaids or magic baptisms.

    I do not wish for religion to disappear – only that those people who actually doubt the insane, barbaric proposition that a human being had to be tortured murdered for their personal benefit please grant themselves permission to abandon this shameful nonsense.

    Baptizing babies does not bother me – but telling them as they grow that it was more meaningful than a public skinny dip is ridiculous and demeaning to a person’s intellect.

  • Bottom line here is this: Catholics and mainline Protestants believe that, first and foremost, God is the actor in baptism – God claims them, washes them, and gives the Holy Spirit. For Baptists and others, the one being baptized is the actor – they commit their lives to Christ, as far as their human, fallible obedience allows them. Now, what to say about the different understandings of being sinful in spite of one’s baptism – there’s where the debate about grace can take place.

  • @MarkE

    “God is the actor in baptism…”

    How do you know this?
    What information do you have which you are withholding?

    Man picks up baby. Says some words. Dunks baby. Says some words.
    Baby cries.

    Where does God do something?
    And why should the baby be forced to grow up to agree that God did something?

    And if God’s laws are written on our hearts anyway – as Christians claim – what is the point of getting wet?

  • True, but if we are joined to the Body of Christ in Baptism (Gal 3:27), and in reality, heaven is the perfected Body of Christ (1Cor 12:12-27), then where does that leave the unbaptized? Years ago, the Church wrestled with this, and ended up stating theologically that unbaptized righteous souls will certainly get to heaven, but will not have the full vision of the Father (Limbo). Even St. Paul speaks of various levels in heaven in 2Cor 12:22. So why would we hold back the grace of God for children? Maybe that is why so may of our youth have turned to paganism, as they don’t have the grace to believe (Eph. 2:8).

  • “The sprinkling-style baptism of a Dayton, Ohio, infant — a scene heartwarming and commonplace for Catholics…”

    Wrong. A self-described “Religious News Service” ought to get basic facts right.

    In a Catholic baptism, water is poured over the adult or child; or, if desired, the one baptized can be immersed.

    No “sprinkling.”

  • “They’ll be inclined to think they have a right standing before God.” – THE HORROR!!! The idea that someone might think that they have right standing before God purely through what He did for them – namely being crucified and baptizing them into that crucifixion without any merit or effort on their part, rather than by the goodness of their own works in making a public confession. How can the Church survive such heresy?
    Oh wait, the Church somehow survived 1500 years doing it before the enlightened Baptists discovered that the apostles had apparently taught the Church wrong through all those centuries..

  • Infant Baptism is one of those ‘traditions’ of the Church that the Baptists proverbially (no pun intended) “threw the baby out with the bath water.” If Baptists would go back to some of the great minds of the Church–say, Saint Thomas Aquinas, who predates the Reformation (aka, the “revolution”), they would find plenty of rationale for infant baptism.

  • Jesus answers, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.”

  • Correction: The water was poured over the baby at his baptism. As the baptizing pastor, I wanted to make this correction to the idea that sprinkling was used.

  • No is there any examples that it was forbidden, but people since Augustine’s time, for questionable reasons, have objected to infant baptism.

  • Baptists baptize voluntarily as adults as part of faith; however, there is nothing in core Baptist faith the says one may not also baptize a child. They just consider it as something which in their understanding of their ecclesiastical obligations as being a nullity.

  • Perhaps it makes more sense this way; “God so loved the world that He sent his only son that whoever believes in him (and followed his example not to take part in the anger and sin of the world, but to love despite whatever was done to him, even to the point of being abandoned, tortured, mocked and killed…only to respond in forgiveness, and return saying “peace be with you” ) might have eternal life.” It would make more sense to you as a way to live. God did not say to His son “I want you to be tortured and killed” he sent him to show us the way to love unconditionally and to obey His commandments to love God and neighbor with everything, including his life. The torture was not from God, but from the sinful hearts of men.

  • And to the criminal of the cross he said ” today you will be with me in paradise”. The mystery of God’s mercy is not for us to explain, but to be in awe of. The best reason to be baptized, if you have the opportunity, is because Jesus was baptized and we want to be like him, and Because the apostles said repent and be baptized…. I’ll take their advice happily.

  • Max, Jesus established Baptism, and its effects are clear: Titus 3:5: “…he saved us, not because of deeds done by us in righteousness, but in virtue of his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal in the Holy Spirit.”

  • We know that God is the actor in baptism because we believe. We believe because the story of Jesus in the Gospels, and the growth of the church in Acts tells us that baptism is part of this sacrement of starting over in Jesus Christ, “being born from above” as Jesus said.
    It is not the water that does this, but the Holy Spirit. The man dunks the baby, or pours the water…the man acts in faith, God acts through His Holy Spirit, the water acts symbolically to wash away the sinful life, to rise again from the chaos of the depths, to pass through The midst of the sea, or through the Jordan river, like the Israelites. Take any of these, or all of them….
    Either way it is a new beginning in Faith….that is how we know!

  • @Jenkins,

    “God did not say to His son ‘I want you to be tortured and killed'”

    I’m sorry but that is precisely what God intended according to your Christian religion – Jesus came only for that purpose:

    “Behold, the lamb of god, who takes away the sins of the world” – (John 1:29)

    Lambs were slaughtered as a sacrifice upon the altar for Yahweh for hundreds of years. But now the blood of Jesus was intended to be spilled – it was ‘holy’ blood – the only kind which was suitable to god (for some reason). The torture was inevitable.

    The question you need to ask yourself is, ‘how does this spilling of blood amount to god’s love?’

    What sort of a God turns into his own son only for the purpose of making a sacrifice of himself to himself as a ransom for humanity ?!

    For 2000 years theologians have tried to spin this legend into all sorts of meanings – but it is truly unbelievable.

  • @Jenkins,

    “today you will be with me in paradise”.

    This is from Luke 23:43.
    And it obviously has to be false, for Jesus was supposed to lay dead in the tomb for three days following his crucifixion. The death of Jesus (as in the utter absence of God for a period) is an important part Christian theology. ‬

    So ‪If the thief went to Paradise “today” he did so without ever seeing Jesus there.‬ And Jesus did not ascend to Heaven for 40 more days according to the Gospel – so the thief waited for Jesus for a long time.

    So Jesus was not with the thief in Paradise on that day as he said he would be.
    Jesus lied or the Bible is baloney.

  • @Greg1,

    “by the washing…”

    I must repeat the question.
    How do you know that anything more than a rinse is happening?

    Man dunks baby. baby cries.
    What part of that did god do?

  • @Jenkins,

    “Faith….that is how we know!”

    So Faith is a valid way to “know” things?
    Why do you deny the Muslims their knowledge then?
    According to their Faith, which you say leads to knowledge, Allah is the only God.

    Muslims “know” through faith that Allah is perfect.

    Muslims “Know” through faith that the Q’uran, Surah & Hadith are the only perfect books:

    Muslims “Know” through faith things like this:
    “Infidels are those who say ‘God is one of three in a Trinity.” – Allah (Sura 5:73)
    “Make war on the infidels who dwell around you.” – Allah (Sura 9:123)

    Faith cannot be a way to “know” a darn thing!

  • Baptism has become an empty gesture devoid of any real meaning. Certainly we no longer baptize with the Holy Spirit; that ended when true Christianity ended with the end of the apostolic era probably about 200AD. Subsequently religion became a man-made thing sponsored by the government to control the masses.

  • Those are all better said …”believe” than “know”

    What Christians “know is that God is love and love is greater than the other things of the world.

  • Christian tradition, an St Pauls letter say that Jesus arose, but that he first descended. I don’t mean to set off a theological firestorm but the tradition is that he descended to the dead, he’ll, Sheol, and set free those awaiting the messiah. So the mystery of this you cannot argue against since it is not so clearly defined, just as God’s mercy is not so clearly defined that we can say with certainty who is saved. Only God knows this.

  • For some reason, I could not reply directly to you…

    A God who is Love!
    That is the kind of God who would sacrifice himself for humanity. Humanity is his creation, what better way to demonstrate the true meaning of love?

    The folly that you see, is because you see suffering and death as the ultimate evil, but the ultimate evil is to be without love.

    All love requires a sacrifice of some sort… Our sacrifice for the good of another… A sacrifice of our money to feed the hungry, a sacrifice of our sleep, to change a diaper, a sacrifice of our discomfort to comfort another, the sacrifice of our life to save our brothers in arms…

    God did not choose that Jesus was tortured and killed but he took the chance that it would happen (yes, I know He is omniscient) but, had the men relented, And accepted Jesus’ word, He would not have died, and that still would have been saving.

    Evil being what it is, things didn’t happen that way, but his death and suffering overcame evil,…

  • You make an assumption as well, that is equally valid or invalid, depending on which side of the argument one takes. Because cornelius’ had no infants, does not mean the others did not as well. This is a weak argument either way.

  • @Jenkins,

    Why is a Muslim’s faith only ‘belief’?
    But your Christian faith is ‘knowledge’?

    And why shouldn’t Muslims throw the same argument
    right back at you?

    Your loyalty to your ‘faith’ is just an emotional attachment to an illogical argument – and it excuses every horrible religious decree ever made.

    “Kill Homosexuals” – GOD (Leviticus 20:13)

    Civilization needs to abandon these barbaric codes.

  • @Jenkins,

    “So the mystery of this you cannot argue against…”

    How convenient for you.

    Obviously you don’t mind mysteries, so why not just accept it that life is a mystery?

    Claiming a legendary man/god can be in 3 places at once is not ‘a mystery’ – it is pretending, it is lying and it is superstition.

  • @Jenkins,

    “A God who is Love! ..would sacrifice himself…”
    Arranging for the torture and murder of your son is criminal – not love.
    God births us onto a conveyor belt heading directly to Hell
    A place God made for us! But if we let Jesus take the ride instead, we can go to Heaven? This is not love. It is insanity and scapegoating.

    “the ultimate evil is to be without love.”
    Only psychopaths have no capacity to love. Primitive people knew nothing about mental illness.

    “All love requires a sacrifice of some sort”
    Absolutely not.
    Only devotional, abject subjugation requires sacrifice. The sort of silly worship Kings demanded of their subjects. That isn’t love, but fear!

    “God did not choose that Jesus was tortured and killed”
    Yes he did.
    (John 3:16)
    Killing of a first born son as a gift to a god. Primitive blood sacrifice.

    “his death and suffering overcame evil”
    Then why is the world the same as…

  • You don’t understand love if think that it doesn’t require you to sacrifice for another. And there are plenty of people, the world is full of them, that choose not to love, but to be indifferent to suffering, to be angry instead of forgiving, to choose to hate…all of these are offenses against love. And these people are not psychopaths, they are normal. That is choosing evil. Just like the men who condemned Jesus to the cross were interested in their self interest rather than the suffering of another.
    Has those men chosen love, had we all chosen love, Jesus would have no need to suffer.
    As for sacrificing His son instead of Himself, he did. That is the mystery of the trinity. Jesus and the Father are one, United in substance with he Holy Spirit. Jesus and the Father showed that Death is not the end.
    You misquoted John; God so loved the world…He SENT his only son that whoever believes might have eternal life.
    We are not doomed to Hell if we choose Love the way Jesus shows.

  • Jesus overcame evil, because he did not in any way succumb to the temptation to lash out, but even when being tortured and killed responded with forgiveness and love… If the world is still the same evil place, look in the mirror…it is so because instead of following Jesus’ example, we continue to act in self interest, indifference, hatred and anger… While given every opportunity to respond in love, to the suffering we see. The question we should ask instead of blaming God is “what can I do?”
    But instead we say that there is no God, what difference does it make. What a stupid religion…blah blah blah.

    Some of these things are mystery…. A lot of the world around us is mystery. Sometimes because our brains are limited. How can God be a trinity? How can a photon be a wave and a particle?

    Maybe what we don’t know should be looked at with humility; what can one man do against such hatred and evil? Go out to answer it with love.

  • Much of what you know is based on your faith. Your faith in whoever told you it was true and you believed them.
    Have you been everywhere in the world and seen it all to know those countries exist? Have you ever done experiments to,prove that matter is made of atoms and atoms made of protons and electrons? That whales swim all around the globe or that arctic terns circle the globe annually? Or do you take it on faith in those that report it? Much of what we know is on faith in the reports of others… MMR vaccine causes autism… People had faith in that but it was a lie, it wasn’t true, but they knew it caused autism based on faith.

    St John was a witness to Jesus and the resurrection and He knew that God was Love. That is who I trust on this to know it. Is it a belief? Yes. evidence? Some…

    Much of what you know may be based on less reliable sources that you have faith in. How much do any of us know? Great question for yourself…

    I agree life is a mystery.

  • Jenkins,

    How would infants know what “repenting” even means, or have an accurate knowledge of God, his son, Jesus, and Scriptures that were available then through scrolls?

  • Children should be able to make the choice on their own once they are mature enough to have an accurate knowledge of God and his son, Jesus, through a study of God’s Word, the Bible.

  • Max,
    Jesus was telling him: “Truly, I tell you today, you will be with me in paradise.” It would have been impossible for anything to take place on that day since Jesus died and was sleeping in death for 3 days and 3 nights. Jesus was eventually resurrected back to life by his Father, God, after that time.

    What did Jesus mean by his statement then? That he was forgiven and would be resurrected back to life on earth (Acts 24:15; John 5:28,29), becoming a paradise worldwide, as was originally intended for Adam and Eve, from the garden of Eden.

    This will take place during Jesus millennial rule from God’s kingdom in the near future, when worldwide miracles of bringing health to people and resurrecting the dead takes place. That wrongdoer who was forgiven is still asleep in death now (Eccl. 9:5,6,10).

    Unfortunately, many Bible translations put the comma in the wrong place: “Truly, I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” BIG difference there!

  • @Jenkins,

    “Or do you take it on faith in those that report it?”

    I take nothing on faith.
    Faith is believing in something when you have absolutely no evidence for it – at all.

    I have confidence in past performance – Not faith.
    The time to believe in something is when there is evidence for it.

    If a science experiment determines that atoms behave a certain way I can witness the experiment myself, read the report, follow the methodology and understand the conclusions.

    I do not have faith in my car’s brakes.
    I have confidence in past performance. If my brakes worked 10 minutes ago I witnessed their effectiveness and can gauge how much pressure to apply.

    I do not have faith in anything.
    I have confidence based on past performance – that which I have witnessed already.

  • @Jenkins

    “How much do any of us know?”

    The time to claim knowledge of something is when you have evidence for it – or you can demonstrate it.

    I know that the Bible is immoral. It recommends slavery.
    I know that the God of the Bible is immoral. He practices genocide.

    I say these things because they can be demonstrated. I have evidence.

    There is apparently no evidence that God exists.
    And faith in God or Jesus is no different from Faith in Allah, or Vishnu or any other god which ever supposedly lived but is now considered dead: Zeus, Aphrodite, Thor, Neptune, Apollo, etc..

    Furthermore, the Bible forbids the same faith it demands:
    “Thou shalt not bear false witness” – Yahweh
    This means if you didn’t see it don’t say you saw it!

    “Blessed is he who has not seen but believes” – JESUS
    This means if you didn’t see it, it doesn’t matter. Claim it to be true anyway!

    Religion is a total blunder.

  • What “thought”? Don’t see any in your comments.

    How can intellect be “insulted” if there’s none there to begin with?

  • @Scott,

    “How can intellect be insulted…?”

    Perhaps in your case these are not insults. To me they are.
    None of these Bible lessons are true:

    The Earth is 6000 years old
    Donkeys can talk
    Bats are a kind of bird
    Snakes can talk
    Shaving deserves capital punishment
    Rainbows did not happen before Noah, meaning there was no rain or sun before Noah!
    Eating shrimp is a capitol crime.
    Wearing some fabrics is worthy of death
    The mustard seed is the smallest seed.
    People can live inside of fish without air for 3 days
    Women should feel at fault if they are raped
    Men should cut off their wive’s hands
    Non-jews are dogs and swine – JESUS
    People should judge others harshly
    God wills that magic potions can work

    All of this is declared as fact in the bible.
    If your intellect is not insulted by this – you are a victim of much worse things than just religion.

  • I guess it depends on how you read the NT texts. You chose one point of view, but the same texts and be read differently. Are not children part of “all nations”? There is nothing in themission directive that tells us to only include adults. (In many accounts of the time, that would not necessarily have included women, esp. since, for example, the accounts of the feedings by Jesus, “there were three thousand men, not counting women…” But do we assume women are included in all nations or not? Also, do we have reason to know that “whole households” did not include children? At the time virtually all families would always have had one or more children, simply because there were usually large families, which meant children almost always present. I would rather take the chance of being inclusive and wrong then exclusive and wrong.

    Also, Jesus’ baptism is not a valld example, since it marked his assumption of his mission. That could not happen until he was an adult: 30…

  • Max. To one who has faith, the explanations we make are clear and logical, because we trust in the one whom we believe to do what he says. To one who does not have faith, it is impossible to believe what we state. Unfortunately, one cannot decide to believe, faith is a gift of God. You can reject faith, however, in which case, nothing makes sense.

    I’m sorry, that is the “mystery of faith”. And the Doctrine of the Trinity is probably the clearest example of faith. You cannot try to understand intellectually. You can only believe that it is true, by the witness in the bible.

    Pr chris

  • But your statement is only true if you follow Mormon believe in the Great Apostasy. For the rest of us, the age of the Spirit does not end with the year about 200 CE. It still hasn’t ended. The Spirit is still alive and active in the church.

    Pr Chris

  • In no place does the NT describe baptism as a symbol of a a person’s conscious decision to follow Jesus. Instead, Baptism is ALWAYS described as an instrument God uses to give gifts TO sinners and work spiritual life IN sinners. The reason unbelieving adults were taught first and then baptized is that unbelieving adults have a conscious opposition to the Gospel that needs to be overcome via preaching before they can receive baptism. Infants have no such conscious mental barrier to the Gospel and God’s Spirit. Of course, the faith infants are given in baptism needs to be nurtured as they grow older or else they can (and sometimes, sadly, do) reject Christ. Check out the book “Water With the Word” by Kelly Klages – a former Baptist and now Lutheran (LCMS) who studied Scripture on the issue of baptismal regeneration and infant baptism and concluded that both are very biblical: