The Highway

Paedocommunion

Posted By: Ehud

Paedocommunion - Fri Jan 26, 2007 6:50 AM

Greetings Highway, <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/ClapHands.gif" alt="" />

I hope that all are doing well. It has been a while since I have posted anything anywhere but I have been checking up on ya'll from time to time. I will be honest and admit that I have come to have some FV sympathies and I understand the guidelines and purpose of this forum and will graciously take my leave if I ever cross over the boundary in discussing such issues. I know of two other folks who were recently banned from a message board because they had links to Douglas Wilson and Jeffery Meyers on a page that was linked in their signature. That being said I think Paedocommunion/early childhood communion is worthy of some attention.

I attempted to search for some previous threads on this subject and did find some helpful comments. A man must examine himself (1 Cor 11:28). But if we refuse 3-year olds on this passage alone, then we have got some other texts to deal with. Primarily, "If a man will not work, he shall not eat" (2 Thes 3:10). If we approach this passage the same way as 1 Cor then a lot of 2-year olds will go hungry tonight at the family table. And what is to keep Presbyterians from using the Baptist hermeneutic against baptizing children "Repent and be baptized" (Acts 2:38). If a 2-year old cannot examine himself at the table, then how is an infant to repent at the baptismal font? Sure this doesn’t automatically interpret 1 Cor 11 for us but I could sure see how someone might want to reevaluate their interpretation of Cor 11.

As for the improper eating/drinking at the Lord's table I'd have to pose another question to padeobaptist including myself, "Isn't their a greater punishment for those who reject their baptism?" In other words the possibility of future judgment doesn't keep us from obeying the Lord and baptizing our children, therefore if we use the same covenantal application to the Lord's table shouldn't we also have the same trust in obeying God as we do with baptism?

Thirdly, 1 Cor 11:25 commands us to "Do this in remembrance of Me" eis tnv emnv avamvnsiv (please forgive my unbearable Greek to English rendering). However, the genitive "tnv emnv" can be translated not only "of Me" but also as "My" rendering the passage "Do this in(eis) My memorial." Throughout scripture when a memorial comes before God, He remembers His covenant and His promises. Just as when God places the rainbow in the heavens after the flood it is a memorial to God that He will never destroy the Earth with water. When Cornelius prays in Acts 10, his prayers are a memorial before God and He remembers His covenant with Abraham to bless the nations. The emphasis with memorials is on what God remembers and not us. Thus, when the church eats and drinks, God remembers His covenant with us in the sacrifice of His son upon the cross. This treatment of 1 Cor 11:25 has been dealt with at large by others so I won't go further.

I quoted the following from you, Pilgrim, from the other thread on the attractiveness of FV.
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IMHO, Paedocommunion is inseparable from "hyper-covenantalism" and its prerequisite(s) of presumptive regeneration, presumptive faith, etc. The ONLY legitimate warrant for one to attend the Lord's Table is that the individual possess a living faith in the Lord Christ. And the Church's responsibility is to make sure that there is a valid profession of faith, since it is impossible to make an infallible judgment in some cases as to one's actual spiritual state. A secondary requirement is that the one who professes faith be able to comprehend to some degree the institution of the Lord's Supper and thus be able to "discern the body", i.e.,. to examine oneself.


I guess I'd have to ask you to define hyper-covenantalism to understand your first point. But "discerning the body" brings up another question. Why is it that whenever Paul is speaking about the elements, he always uses "bread and cup" or "body and blood". But here when Paul commands us to discern the body (1 Cor 11:29) he doesn't tell us to discern the body and the blood. Certainly we could infer that body means "body and blood" together but by itself this could also refer to the church body. Paul does refer to the church as "the body" in several places in this letter (10:17, 12:12). And the passage emphasizes that none are to be left out of the supper. "When you come together to eat, wait for one another"(11:33). A 2-year old at my church sits down in his seat, hears the proclamation of the Jesus' death, and in his eating and partaking with everyone else to some extent, I believe, he does know that he is apart of the body of Christ.

Now if we want "discern the body" to mean that we are to comprehend the fullness of Christ's death and resurrection and the glory and majesty and the wisdom and greatness of the love of God in such an event, then I say "Let he who has been God's advisor, be the first to cast out the little ones."

I'd like nothing more than to mull this over.

Faris
Posted By: Pilgrim

Re: Paedocommunion - Fri Jan 26, 2007 5:39 PM

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Ehud said:
I will be honest and admit that I have come to have some FV sympathies and I understand the guidelines and purpose of this forum and will graciously take my leave if I ever cross over the boundary in discussing such issues.

Ehud,

Let me first say that when I read this, although it wasn't so much of a surprise since NPP/FV is taking many captive lately, but rather it made my heart heavy. When the soul of someone I know is in danger, it hurts me deeply.


Galatians 1:6-9; 3:1-3 (ASV) "I marvel that ye are so quickly removing from him that called you in the grace of Christ unto a different gospel; 7 which is not another [gospel] only there are some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, should preach unto you any gospel other than that which we preached unto you, let him be anathema. 9 As we have said before, so say I now again, if any man preacheth unto you any gospel other than that which ye received, let him be anathema. . . . 3:1 O foolish Galatians, who did bewitch you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was openly set forth crucified? 2 This only would I learn from you. Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? 3 Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now perfected in the flesh?




Ehud asks about paedocommunion:

1) The Lord's Table is a sacrament which the Lord Christ instituted for believers wherein He communes with them by His Spirit. Without possession of a true saving faith, which is the fruit of regeneration, there can be no Communion.

2) The Elders are given the "keys of the kingdom" and rule over the Church which includes examining those who would desire to join a church. One of the prerequisites is a valid profession of faith. Thus at bare minimum, one must be able to answer questions concerning God, Christ, sin, salvation, exhibit a spirit of repentance and articulate their faith. Infants and most children are unable to meet those requirements.

3) A second requirement for one who would take of the Lord's Table is that they be able to "discern the body", i.e., they are capable of examining themselves. Again, the ability to do this requires that one be in possession of some knowledge both of sound doctrine and of themselves; the latter being restricted to those who are indwelt by the Spirit (regenerate). Again, infants and most children are not capable of examining themselves.

4) Although no man is able to infallibly judge the spiritual state of another's soul, it is still given to the Elders of the Church to discern whether or not, as best as they are able, if one is a believer in Christ and thus qualified to partake of the Lord's Table. Zwingli was in error when he determined that the Table is nothing more than a "memorial". Likewise, the Roman State Church is mistaken as to the "Real Presence", aka: transubstantiation and assigning to the Table a salvific element.

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Ehud then writes:
I'd have to ask you to define hyper-covenantalism to understand your first point.

Broadly speaking, I define "hyper-covenantalism" as anything that assigns a salvific element to the Covenant of Grace, i.e., salvation is owned, totally or in part, on the basis of belonging to the covenant community. The Scriptures teach that one is a bona fide covenant member in a spiritual sense, because they are saved; not vice versa. True believers are de facto covenant members. Thus those who embrace "hyper-covenantalism" invariably hold that infants of believers are to be assumed regenerate or belong to some quasi-saved/potentially saved state because they are "in the covenant" via a parental relationship. I've expressed how this view is not biblical and antithetical to the doctrines of grace on numerous occasions here and thus I will not repeat it. In summary, one does not possess salvation to any degree because they are members of the covenant community, aka: a church, whether by making a profession of faith or by proxy, being a child of believing parents. There simply is no biblical warrant to support this view.

To return just briefly to the matter of NPP/FV, the entire foundation of this heresy is based upon the erroneous formulation of "Second Temple Judaism" (N.T. Wright, Saunders, et al). Although there are few at the present time who have published thorough critiques and refutations of this heresy, the ones that are available are worth reading. One I particularly recommend is The Gospel of free Acceptance in Christ, by Cornelis P. Venema and published by Banner of Truth.


Genesis 3:6 (ASV) "And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat; and she gave also unto her husband with her, and he did eat."

Matthew 16:6 (ASV) "And Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees."



[Linked Image]

In His grace,
Posted By: J_Edwards

Re: Paedocommunion - Fri Jan 26, 2007 5:50 PM

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Ehud states,

I attempted to search for some previous threads on this subject and did find some helpful comments. A man must examine himself (1 Cor 11:28). But if we refuse 3-year olds on this passage alone, then we have got some other texts to deal with. Primarily, "If a man will not work, he shall not eat" (2 Thes 3:10). If we approach this passage the same way as 1 Cor then a lot of 2-year olds will go hungry tonight at the family table. And what is to keep Presbyterians from using the Baptist hermeneutic against baptizing children "Repent and be baptized" (Acts 2:38). If a 2-year old cannot examine himself at the table, then how is an infant to repent at the baptismal font? Sure this doesn’t automatically interpret 1 Cor 11 for us but I could sure see how someone might want to reevaluate their interpretation of Cor 11.

The Scripture is very clear that infants are not suppose to work (Eph. 6:1-4; 1 Tim. 5:8) – you are (even Jesus as a child had to be protected (Matt 2:12-14, etc.). Your faulty hermeneutic is taking a verse meant for adults (2 Thess 3:20) and applying it illogically and unbiblically to infants! In addition, the scripture does not state that an infant must examine himself before baptism — just like they did not examine themselves prior to circumcision, however the Scripture DOES state that a man MUST examine himself prior to the Lord’s Table (1 Cor. 11:28) and an infant is not capable of this action!

As above, “Repent and be baptized” is meant for adults, but you are applying it to infants – a faulty hermeneutic. If you will simply look at the “household baptisms” in the NT then you will see while one party in the family repented, the scripture remains silent on the repentance of the rest of the family members and yet they were baptized (Acts 16:15; 16:33, 1 Cor. 1:16, etc.). In addition, Peter (1 Pet. 3:21) clearly shows that ALL Noah’s family were baptized and yet for sure we know that not ALL of them truly repented, or were true believers. Or, look at 1 Cor. 10 when all were baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea. Were these infants repentant? And please don't even begin to tell me that infants practiced the Passover in the OT – your explanation of how they drank at least 4 cups of wine would be very amusing to say the very least. Your argument is based on “a partiality of scripture” which conveniently leaves the rest of the truth untold!

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Ehud states,

As for the improper eating/drinking at the Lord's table I'd have to pose another question to padeobaptist including myself, "Isn't their a greater punishment for those who reject their baptism?" In other words the possibility of future judgment doesn't keep us from obeying the Lord and baptizing our children, therefore if we use the same covenantal application to the Lord's table shouldn't we also have the same trust in obeying God as we do with baptism?

Since a man MUST examine himself (1 Cor 11:28) to partake of the Lord’s Table the argument cannot be “the possibility of future judgment doesn't keep us from obeying the Lord and baptizing our children,” but one of disobeying the holy writ, as written. Your argument has no foundation in light of 1 Cor. 11:28.

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Ehud states,

Thirdly, 1 Cor 11:25 commands us to "Do this in remembrance of Me" eis tnv emnv avamvnsiv (please forgive my unbearable Greek to English rendering). However, the genitive "tnv emnv" can be translated not only "of Me" but also as "My" rendering the passage "Do this in(eis) My memorial." Throughout scripture when a memorial comes before God, He remembers His covenant and His promises. Just as when God places the rainbow in the heavens after the flood it is a memorial to God that He will never destroy the Earth with water. When Cornelius prays in Acts 10, his prayers are a memorial before God and He remembers His covenant with Abraham to bless the nations. The emphasis with memorials is on what God remembers and not us. Thus, when the church eats and drinks, God remembers His covenant with us in the sacrifice of His son upon the cross. This treatment of 1 Cor 11:25 has been dealt with at large by others so I won't go further.

You have misread the Scripture. While your point that God remembers his covenant is true it is also true that YOU MUST remember what he did as well. Paul’s wording is not unique. He is quoting from Luke 22:20 here. How does your argument stand up against Luke? Is it Jesus who needs to remember, or his disciples? The context shows that it is the disciples (poured out for you) and thus the Lord’s Table is for the “the disciples of Christ” in the New Covenant who profess Christ as Saviour and not for those who are merely members of the covenant (infants).

And your Greek needs some context please. Look at the verse in its context:

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1 Cor 11:23 For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread:

24 And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this [you, vs 26] do in remembrance of me.

25 After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, this cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.

26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come.

27 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.

28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.

29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.

30 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.

31 For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.

32 But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.

33 Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another.

34 And if any man hunger, let him eat at home; that ye come not together unto condemnation. And the rest will I set in order when I come.

Clearly the context reveals that God remembers his covenant – so much so that he remembers his curses that are associated with it as well. Paul is beseeching the Corinthians – not God – “to remember” in lieu of the curse that will be (and has been) immanent if they don’t! And please don’t forget that 1 Cor. 10 leads up to 1 Cor. 11 and speaks of the table as well – our remembrance of it (15f). Clearly, in 1 Cor. 10 Paul is speaking to the Corinthians “that can understand” what the Supper is all about! Once again you would have us to ignore the whole text of Scripture to accept your interpretation — something a saint of God is not willing or should not be willing to do!

I am sure Pilgrim will respond in kind to the remainder of your post. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/igiveup.gif" alt="" />
Posted By: CovenantInBlood

Re: Paedocommunion - Fri Jan 26, 2007 8:17 PM

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And what is to keep Presbyterians from using the Baptist hermeneutic against baptizing children "Repent and be baptized" (Acts 2:38).


Two points here:

1) How is the hermeneutic used to oppose paedocommunion "Baptist"? Presbyterianism historically has always opposed paedocommunion, and on the basis of Paul's command that those who partake in the supper must first "examine themselves."

2) What's so bad about Baptists? I mean this question in all seriousness. I have encountered several FV proponents who have the most condescending attitudes toward our Reformed Baptist brethren, even one who wondered why Presbyterians would want to be more like Baptists than like Roman Catholics or the Eastern Orthodox!
Posted By: Ehud

Re: Paedocommunion - Fri Jan 26, 2007 11:12 PM

First, I was only meaning that if a Presbyterian was true to his hermeneutic for "Repent and be baptized" as not speaking to infants then he has no reason to assume that "a man must examine himself" is speaking to infants either. Because the defense given in a Presbyterian/Baptist discussion is always that "Repent and be baptized" is not a passage referring to infants.

Secondly, I wasn't trying to imply bad things about baptists. In fact, I meant to imply that a Baptist is more consistent in his interpretation of "Repent and be baptized" with "A man must examine himself."
Posted By: Pilgrim

Re: Paedocommunion - Fri Jan 26, 2007 11:57 PM

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Ehud said:
First, I was only meaning that if a Presbyterian was true to his hermeneutic for "Repent and be baptized" as not speaking to infants then he has no reason to assume that "a man must examine himself" is speaking to infants either. Because the defense given in a Presbyterian/Baptist discussion is always that "Repent and be baptized" is not a passage referring to infants.

But a historic Presbyterian IS true to his hermeneutic in both allowing infants to be baptized and in disallowing them to come to the Table. The two sacraments in question, i.e., baptism and the Lord's Table are decidedly two different things which have their own and different purposes. The former is for inauguration into the covenant community and a declaration of salvation by the Church to those who actually possess faith. The latter is applicable and open to all who have faith and profess to own it with the ability to discern themselves in preparation to partake of it. Each is exclusionary in their own way; i.e., the purpose and requirements of each are not synonymous and thus cannot be compared. You are trying to compare apples and oranges. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

In His grace,
Posted By: Ehud

Re: Paedocommunion - Sat Jan 27, 2007 4:58 AM

Joe,

I never wanted to interpret 2 Thes 3:20 as referring to infants. I only did that to make a point. Whenever we read 2 Thes 3:20 we don't question the fact that this is an "adults only" passage. We say, "Of course an infant’s eligibility to eat food at the family table cannot be based upon his ability to work." That would be both insane and ridiculous.

But again the 1 Cor 11 passage says that "A man must examine himself." Why do we automatically assume this is both a "child and adult" passage?

Again I agree that "Repent and be baptized" is meant for adults. I whole heartedly agree with that! This only begs the question again. Why is "let a man examine himself" not only meant for adults?

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Since a man MUST examine himself (1 Cor 11:28) to partake of the Lord’s Table the argument cannot be “the possibility of future judgment doesn't keep us from obeying the Lord and baptizing our children,” but one of disobeying the holy writ, as written. Your argument has no foundation in light of 1 Cor. 11:28.


This is precisely what I'm debating. Is "a man" referring to the adult or both adults and infants?

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And please don't even begin to tell me that infants practiced the Passover in the OT – your explanation of how they drank at least 4 cups of wine would be very amusing to say the very least


Are you saying that each person eating the Passover was required to drink 4 cups of wine a piece? I did not understand this to be the case, but would like to know more.

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Is it Jesus who needs to remember, or his disciples? The context shows that it is the disciples (poured out for you) and thus the Lord’s Table is for the “the disciples of Christ” in the New Covenant who profess Christ as Savior and not for those who are merely members of the covenant (infants).


If Jesus is saying "Do this as My memorial" then it is specifically Jesus who is remembering? The bow in the clouds is for the promise to the world that it will be safe from destruction of the flood. But that protection comes through God's remembering His covenant.

Genesis 8:

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12And God said, "This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: 13I have set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. 14When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds, 15I will remember my covenant that is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh. And the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. 16When the bow is in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth." 17God said to Noah, "This is the sign of the covenant that I have established between me and all flesh that is on the earth."


I put the recipients in bold face because they are mentioned here several times too just like in Corinthians but the memorial, I think, is clearly for God.

I am all for the people of God to exam themselves at the table, but the problem at Corinth is that some folks are excluding other folks for whatever reason it may be. Chapter one deals with some of this as some say that they are of Apollos and some are of Christ and some are of Paul, but Paul says that we are all of the same loaf (1 Cor 10:17). Furthermore Paul starts chapter 10 with the eating and drinking of Israel in the wilderness that we cannot help but think that it included the children.

I Cor 10:1-5
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1I want you to know, brothers,[a] that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, 2and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, 3and all ate the same spiritual food, 4and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ. 5Nevertheless, with most of them God was not pleased, for they were overthrown in the wilderness.


When there was starvation throughout the camp, do we suppose that the children ate the manna? When there were only waters of bitterness do we not suppose that the children also drank from the "spiritual Rock that followed them" that Rock being Christ? The warning against judgment tells us that just because we are all eating and drinking together does not mean that we get a free pass.

Suppose a 90 year old grandfather who has been active in the church, has been seen to have a credible profession of faith for his entire life, and is in good standing, suppose he becomes senile or suffers from Alzheimer’s disease, are we to deny this weak old man in his years the opportunity to commune just because his intellect is sub par? Judgment will definitely come because of disobedience just as in rejection of baptism. The point of the passage is to quit being disobedient not to quit coming to the table. Of course if someone is not baptized, excommunicated they should not be allowed to partake because they are not apart of the body. However, does our Lord not bid the babes to come to him? Does our Lord not bid the feeble and even the weak to come taste and see? What does it say about our understanding of the gospel when we reject the weaker baptized members of our body?

I do not wish to reject, overlook, or misinterpret any of God's word.

Faris
Posted By: Ehud

Re: Paedocommunion - Sat Jan 27, 2007 5:08 AM

Pilgrim,

I do undestand that historic Presbyterianism is to allow for infants at the font but to withold them from the table until they have made a valid profession. But when a Presbyterian defends the passage "Repent and be baptized" as only referring to adults, I mean to say that historic Presbyterianism contradicts itself when it then shifts gears and denies the children at the table.

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The latter[Lord's table] is applicable and open to all who have faith and profess to own it with the ability to discern themselves in preparation to partake of it


I understand that this is what we Presbyterians have asserted, but I'm questioning if this is what the text is teaching.
Posted By: J_Edwards

Re: Paedocommunion - Sat Jan 27, 2007 7:13 PM

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Ehud states,

This is precisely what I'm debating. Is "a man" referring to the adult or both adults and infants?

Since Paul’s letter is addressed to the adults in Corinth and he expects them to judge wisely (1 Cor. 10:15, etc.) it is apparent that the passage is addressed to adults, as infants: (1) could not understand, (2) could not discern, etc., etc., etc. And there would be no reason for children to have to understood or discerned since they did not partake of the LS. However, least ye forget, infants and children are to obey their parents (Eph. 6:1) and they are to be raised in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Eph. 6:4) - part of this instruction being 1 Cor. 11:28, etc....

There were no drunken diapers to change [Linked Image]

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Ehud states,

Are you saying that each person eating the Passover was required to drink 4 cups of wine a piece? I did not understand this to be the case, but would like to know more.

Each Jew is obligated to drink four cups of wine at these specific times during each Seder (i.e. order): the first at the start of the Seder, following Kiddush; the second before the meal, after reciting the Haggadah story; the third following the Grace After the Meal; and the last after completing Psalms of Praise (Hallel). The Four Cups represent the four expressions of deliverance promised by God (Ex. 6:6-7), "I will bring out," "I will deliver," "I will redeem," and "I will take." The Babylonian Talmud states,

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"Nor shall a person have less than four cups of wine." ....Rabhina, however, said: "At all events, the four cups cannot be conjoined, for each one represents a different duty."

At times a fifth cup was added symbolizing Elijah the Prophet.

Maybe where you are confused is that the children just because they did not partake of the elements still participated in the meal [at least the older children]. The children’s participation in the Passover Meal is to ask questions. For instance the youngest child would ask, "Why is this night different from all other nights?" After the asking of a specific question, the main portion of the Seder, Magid, gives over the answers in the form of a historical review. At different points in the Seder, the leader of the Seder will cover the matzot and lift his cup of wine; then put down the cup of wine and uncover the matzot — all to elicit questions from the children.

Here are some quotes from famous rabbis concerning the Passover and children:

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R. Jehudah, said: "What benefit would children derive from wine? They should rather be given nuts, parched corn, etc., on the eve of Passover, so as to keep them awake at night, and that may make them inquire into the reason of the festivity."

It was said of R. Aqiba, that he would deal out nuts and parched corn on the eve of Passover to the children, in order to keep them awake and have them ask for reasons.

Boraitha, R. Eliezer said: On the night of the Passover the unleavened bread is snatched out of the children's hand in order to keep them awake and have them ask for the reason.

Thus, above we see covenant inclusion, but element exclusion (just as we should have today). In addition, the Apostle Paul would not have tolerated drunken children and infants at the LS, just as he did not condone drunkenness for adults (Rom. 13:13; 1 Cor. 10:7; 11:21; Gal. 5:21; 1 Thess. 5:7). Nor, could have infants consumed four containers of wine. But of course this topic is not in Scripture, because it didn't come up? I wonder why? <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/scratch1.gif" alt="" />

Since drunkenness is a sin at the LS (1 Cor. 11:21), the children, even according to Jewish Passover custom, would not have partaken of the elements, though they would have participated in the meal in the form of asking questions, etc. and in the Passover meal had other sustenance [but not the elements] so they could have stayed awake and learned! It should be noted that the LS does not last as long as the Passover meal [festival held from the 14th to the 21st day of the Jewish month of Nisan], and thus, additional sustenance would probably be unwarranted in the modern day LS. In addition, it should be stated that in some sects of modern day Judaism (not all sects) the children [various ages depending on sect, but not infants] do participate by drinking grape juice. However, there is no evidence of this practice in the OT.

Moreover, because some desire to ridicule God's Word saying that 1 Cor 11 is the only text that speaks against paedo-communion, as if one Word of God is not sufficient to condemn their error, the counting of lambs before Passover is significant for our discussion. How many lambs? How did the Jews come up with a number? Richard Bacon recounts,

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on the basis of Deuteronomy 16:2, we would expect to see participants (covenantal adult males) going to Jerusalem to keep the Passover. Additionally, on the basis of our understanding of Exodus 12:26-27, we would expect to see the children of the participants involved in catechism. Moreover, based on Exodus 12:3-4 and 12:21, we would expect to see a counting of adult males (a.k.a. "men") taking place around the time of the Passover. Finally, based on Numbers 9:1-6 and II Chronicles 30:8, we would expect to see an increased awareness and concern over ceremonial cleanness....

Jewish boys – normally thought to be 12 yoa, or older – and men partook of Passover meal. However, even Christ who was 12 yoa went to Jerusalem during Passover, but there is not a record of his participation in the Passover Meal (Luke 2:40 ff). But even if ones implies in the text that he did, Jesus "waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him" and thus he was eligible! As Bacon states, "This was no infant at the Passover; not even the infant Savior."

In addition, John tells us in John 6:4 that the Passover was near. Why did he include this information? This explains why a great number of people were on the road. Why is this number significant? Because they had to count of males so we can discern the number of lambs needed for Passover! Moreover, notice another peculiar item about the text. While we do not know the age of the lad in the party who gave his lunch to Andrew, we may surmise from Luke 2:40 ff., that he was at least twelve years old. The Greek word that is translated "lad" in John 6:9 is paidavrion which, according to Bauer's Greek-English Lexicon, means "a youth who is no longer a child" or "a young slave." This is another hint that the numbering of the males is going on. Numbering consisted of those that partook of the Passover and included the "men of Israel." Numbering such as this is normal in biblical times (John 6:1-13 together with Matt.14:15-21, Mark 6:30-44, and Luke 9:12-17). Bacon continues,

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In John 6:10, the disciples (i.e., the apostles) made the men sit down on the grass; and we are told that the men numbered about five thousand. The disciples then distributed fish and barley loaves to them that were set down (v. 11). After gathering up twelve baskets full of fragments, the passage tells us, "then those men, when they had seen . . . " (v. 14). The parallel passage in Matthew is even clearer, for in Matthew 14:21 we read, "And they that had eaten were about five thousand men, beside women and children." It is very clear that the count was of men only (not because this was Passover, but because Passover was nigh).

The word used in Matthew 14:21 is often made to read besides, as though the men were in addition to women and children who were also present but uncounted. Although that alone would be sufficient to prove that the counting for the lambs was a counting of men only, the underlying Greek is even more devastating to the paedocommunionist's view. The Greek of v. 21 is chôris gunaikon, i.e. chôris plus genitive. The primary meaning of chôris plus genitive is "separated from someone, far from someone, without someone" (e.g. I Corinthians 11:11, which reads, "Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord" [emphasis added]). Note also that the cognates of this preposition have similar meanings. The verb means "divide" or "separate" and the noun, chôrismos, means "a division." So Matthew 14:21 at least teaches that the men (only) were numbered for the Passover feast.

Mark 6:44 seems also to bear this out, for Mark informs us "they that did eat of the loaves were about five thousand men." Period! Also Luke 9:13-14 says that "all this people" consisted of "about five thousand men." The only gospel that mentions women and children insists that the men were apart from them with the Passover nigh (Matthew 14:21; cf. John 6:4).

Moreover, we might add that Peter was married (Matt. 8:14-15) and must ask if wives and children attended Passover, where were his in Luke 22:1f? In addition, no servants were present (Ex. 12:45; John 13:4f ). Thus, unless you are accusing the Christ of conducting an improper Passover meal, clearly, your interpretation of Scripture does injustice to God's intent for his people!

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Ehud states,

If Jesus is saying "Do this as My memorial" then it is specifically Jesus who is remembering? The bow in the clouds is for the promise to the world that it will be safe from destruction of the flood. But that protection comes through God's remembering His covenant.

That is a big "if" that will not hold up under scrutiny of the Holy Text. Yes Jesus is being remembered, but by WHOM is he being remembered by? Answer: YOU. The LS is not merely a memorial for God (see below)! The children aren’t capable of remembering for they have yet to have been taught by: (1) the Holy Spirit, (2) the church, (3) you, etc.

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Ehud quotes Genesis 8:12f and states,

I put the recipients in bold face because they are mentioned here several times too just like in Corinthians but the memorial, I think, is clearly for God.

We play no part in the sign of the rainbow [i.e. it is a mongeristic rainbow], but we do play a part in the LS [synergistic LS]! In the LS you and him do the remembering of his covenant and its stipulations Why is it that you are blind to the covenant curses enforced at the LS and mentioned by Paul for improper discernment of the elements? Clearly, the text is not merely speaking of God remembering, but of the participant to have a proper remembrance so he/she will not fall under the curse. Your system would involve bringing the covenant curse upon your own children or God failing to properly remember and then cursing his children. Which error did you choose? <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/shrug.gif" alt="" />

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Ehud states,

Furthermore Paul starts chapter 10 with the eating and drinking of Israel in the wilderness that we cannot help but think that it included the children.

You have three serious problems here: (1) this is a not a reference to the Passover Meal, but of the manna and water from the Rock, i.e. daily sustenance, (2) even if it was the LS how children participated is shown historically above, and (3) Paul, nor Moses, nor the Jews condone infant drunkenness! Your drunken diaper apologetic does not fit!

God provides daily sustenance for all his children (Luke 12:24f, etc.). However, the LS is for those who have understood and rightly discern the Table, just as Passover was.

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Ehud states,

However, does our Lord not bid the babes to come to him? Does our Lord not bid the feeble and even the weak to come taste and see? What does it say about our understanding of the gospel when we reject the weaker baptized members of our body?

The children should participate as they are part of the covenant – they just don’t partake! The LS if properly conducted should involve the children in attendance of this covenant meal so they: (1) may learn, (2) may understand, (3) may mature in grace, (4) to ask questions, etc. however they are not to partake of the elements as is apparent from church history and the text of Scripture. You have equated non-partaking with non-participation, which is not a correct hermeneutic or the idea of what the Scripture teaches. Even unrepentant sinners, not in the covenant, but attending the meal participate (the Holy Spirit can deal with them inciting them to ask, “Why can’t I partake? What makes me different from these?,” etc., compare Heb. 6:1-6), but should not partake!
Posted By: Ehud

Re: Paedocommunion - Sat Jan 27, 2007 7:39 PM

Pilgrim,

Would you say that these men are hyper-covenantilist and their views on baptism present a danger to the faith?

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We must realize that at whatever time we are baptized, we are once for all washed and purged for our whole life. Therefore, as often as we fall away, we ought to recall the memory of our baptism and fortify our mind with it, that we may always be sure and confident of the forgiveness of sins.

-John Calivn, Institutes, 4.15.3

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And so we uttterly condemn the vanity of those who affirm the sacraments to be nothing else than naked and bare signs. No, we assuredly believe that by Baptism we are engrafted into Christ, to be made partakers of his righteousness, by which our sins are covered and remitted.

-John Knox's 1560 Scots Confession

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Elect infants do ordinarily receive the Spirit in baptism, as the first efficient principle of furture actual regenreation...It is most agreeable to the institution of Christ, that all elect infants that are baptized....do ordinarily receive, from Christ, the Spirit in baptism, for their first solemn initiation into Christ, and for their future actual renovation, in God's good time, if they live to years of discretion, and enjoy the other ordinary means of grace appointed of God to this end.

-Cornelius Burges, Westminster divine, The Baptismal Regeneration of Elect Infants, 1629
Posted By: Ehud

Re: Paedocommunion - Sat Jan 27, 2007 8:51 PM

Joe,

Quote
Since Paul’s letter is addressed to the adults in Corinth and he expects them to judge wisely (1 Cor. 10:15, etc.) it is apparent that the passage is addressed to adults, as infants: (1) could not understand, (2) could not discern, etc., etc., etc. And there would be no reason for children to have to understood or discerned since they did not partake of the LS. Least ye forget, infants and children are to obey their parents .... (Eph. 6:1).


I could easily turn this around to defend credobaptism.

"Since Peter being the teacher of "Repent and be baptized, was going to the house of Cornelius knew that infants could not repent and therefore in the household baptisms Peter excluded the infants."

As for Ephesians 6:1, it says that "Children are to obey their parents in the Lord ." If our children are not Christians then how do we teach them to obey us? To teach them the commandments of God apart from the redeeming work of Christ sounds like moralism to me.
Children should obey. Why? Because it is the right thing to do. Should we teach our children that they can do the right thing apart from the saving grace of Christ?!?! To tell a 2 year/3 year old that they must obey the parent but that they are not yet able to obey God would seem to bring on a type of schizophrenia. I don't yet have a familly so maybe I am speaking out of turn here.

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Each Jew is obligated to drink four cups of wine at these specific times during each Seder (i.e. order): the first at the start of the Seder, following Kiddush; the second before the meal, after reciting the Haggadah story; the third following the Grace After the Meal; and the last after completing Psalms of Praise (Hallel). The Four Cups represent the four expressions of deliverance promised by God (Ex. 6:6-7), "I will bring out," "I will deliver," "I will redeem," and "I will take."


<img src="/forum/images/graemlins/scratch1.gif" alt="" />I guess what I'm asking here is, "What Biblical passage does God command that each person drink four cups of wine?" I'm stumped but it wouldn't be the first time. After 4 glasses of wine I'm not sure I'd be able to talk theology. Those guys must have been championes. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/cheers2.gif" alt="" />

I will take some extra time and attempt to digest the Bacon quotes.

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Why is it that you are blind to the covenant curses enforced at the LS and mentioned by Paul for improper discernment of the elements?


I'm not blind to them. I'm just looking at them differently than you are. I see "discerning the body" meaning to recognize that all of God's people ar e all to partake of one loaf, that though there are many members there is only one body and Christ being the head. I see discerning the body as recognizing that there is now in Christ neither Jew nor Greek nor rich nor poor but that all of God's people are to eat the supper together. I Cor 11:33 "So then, my brethern, when you come together to eat, wait for one another." My understanding is that to refuse Christians, who have been baptized into Christ, the supper is to not judge the body rightly. I am very aware of the curses.

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however they[infants] are not to partake of the elements as is apparent from church history


Really?

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After describing baptism as "regeneration," Clement of Alexandria (c. A.D. 150-210) writes,

As soon as we are regenerated, we are honoured by receiving the good news of the hope of rest. . . receiving through what is material the pledge of the sacred food.


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The liturgical instructions of the Apostolic Constitutions (late fourth century) also attest to paedocommunion

let the bishop partake, then the presbyters, and deacons, and sub-deacons, and the readers, and the singers, and the ascetics; and then of the women, the deaconesses, and the virgins, and the widows; then the children; and then all the people in order, with reverence and godly fear, without tumult.

Constitutions of the Holy Apostles, 8.2.13


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Augustine (354-430) also mentions paedocommunion repeatedly. Here are a few examples. Discussing original sin, Augustine comments,

They are infants, but they receive His sacraments. They are infants, but they share in His table, in order to have life in themselves.

Works, Vol. 5, Sermon 174:7

Why is the blood, which of the likeness of sinful flesh was shed for the remission of sins, ministered that the little one may drink, that he may have life, unless he hath come to death by a beginning of sin on the part of some one?

And what else do they say who call the sacrament of the Lord's Supper life, than that which is written: "I am the living bread which came down from heaven;" and "The bread that I shall give is my flesh, for the life of the world;" and "Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink His blood, ye shall have no life in you?" If, therefore, as so many and such divine witnesses agree, neither salvation nor eternal life can be hoped for by any man without baptism and the Lord's body and blood, it is vain to promise these blessings to infants without them. Moreover, if it be only sins that separate man from salvation and eternal life, there is nothing else in infants which these sacraments can be the means of removing, but the guilt of sin. . .

On the Forgiveness of Sins and the Baptism of Infants,
Bk. I, ch. 33
Posted By: Pilgrim

Re: Paedocommunion - Sat Jan 27, 2007 11:24 PM

Quote
Ehud said:
As for Ephesians 6:1, it says that "Children are to obey their parents in the Lord ." If our children are not Christians then how do we teach them to obey us? To teach them the commandments of God apart from the redeeming work of Christ sounds like moralism to me.
Children should obey. Why? Because it is the right thing to do. Should we teach our children that they can do the right thing apart from the saving grace of Christ?!?! To tell a 2 year/3 year old that they must obey the parent but that they are not yet able to obey God would seem to bring on a type of schizophrenia. I don't yet have a familly so maybe I am speaking out of turn here.

Ehud,

You have done a masterful job of making my point for me. "Hyper-covenantalism", which as I previously defined for you, is most always based upon the erroneous doctrine of presumptive regeneration. And as I have argued elsewhere with others who hold to the same heretical view of presumptive regeneration, to embrace this view of necessity denies the fundamental doctrines of grace, e.g., Total Depravity, Unconditional Election, Limited Atonement, Irresistible Grace and Perseverance of the saints. IF, as you have at least intimated, believe that all baptized (or even not baptized) children of believers are to be deemed "Christians", i.e., they have been regenerated and thus united to Christ by faith, then you are forced to defend some radical views which are inconsistent with those fundamental doctrines. If nothing else, an infant of a believing parent who has been baptized and thus deemed "Christian" cannot ever fall away, i.e., he/she is eternally guaranteed preservation by God and thus will infallibly inherit eternal life. Further, you will have to show that God's election is inclusive of ALL baptized covenant children. The Lord's Table is restricted to only those who have actually and truly come to faith. All others who do not possess saving faith eat and drink to their condemnation.


1 Corinthians 11:28-29 (ASV) "But let a man prove himself, and so let him eat of the bread, and drink of the cup. 29 For he that eateth and drinketh, eateth and drinketh judgment unto himself, if he discern not the body."


I seriously doubt you are willing or capable of dealing with the contents of that Pandora's Box..... are you? Once you step on that slippery slope it is very difficult if not impossible to gain your footing and to return to a place of security.

NPP/FV is a poisonous fruit. Those who insist on eating it will surely die. Take heed therefore and guard your soul with diligence, for I fear that the allurements of NPP/FV have become to you as that which is: "good for food, and that it is a delight to your eyes, and that this teaching is to be desired to make one wise." Be not as Hymenaeus and Alexander who made shipwreck of the faith.

Lastly, contra your faulty logic, i.e., children unable to obey their parents unless they are "Christians", aka: regenerate . . . The Gospel calls upon ALL men, unregenerate men to obey God, to conform themselves perfectly to the law of God and to repent of their sins and believe upon Christ. Of a truth, no one no not one is capable of doing these things, yet they are responsible to do so. Further, it is by God's benevolence that unregenerate men are able to live relatively peaceful lives, adhering to various laws of their land and thus children also are capable of adhering to their parent's instructions. The natural man, although totally depraved in nature is not utterly depraved and is thus capable of rendering reasonable obedience to authority.

In His grace,
Posted By: J_Edwards

Re: Paedocommunion - Sun Jan 28, 2007 1:00 AM

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Ehud, slanderously states,

I could easily turn this around to defend credobaptism.

"Since Peter being the teacher of "Repent and be baptized, was going to the house of Cornelius knew that infants could not repent and therefore in the household baptisms Peter excluded the infants."

This was already dealt with in my very first post condemning the heretical and in some cases the apostate position of paedo-communion, FV, etc… . (see Calvin below for more).

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Ehud states,

As for Ephesians 6:1, it says that "Children are to obey their parents in the Lord ." If our children are not Christians then how do we teach them to obey us? To teach them the commandments of God apart from the redeeming work of Christ sounds like moralism to me.

So, since Eph. 6:1 is addressed to the church, now you assert that all children of believers are elect against Scripture (Rom. 9:11f) – for otherwise they will not obey? Who is teaching the commandments of God apart from the redeeming work of Christ now? – apparently you are!

You are still thinking that non-partaking is non-participation. Scripture states you should teach your children (Deut. 4:10; Deut. 6:1f; Eph. 6:1-4, etc.). This is not moralism, but biblicism. When children see their parent(s) partake of the elements (i.e. participation, AGAIN compare Heb. 6:1-6, etc.) questions will arise and should arise and “engagement” of “the truth” begins. They are in fact participating though should not be partaking!

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Ehud states,

Children should obey. Why? Because it is the right thing to do. Should we teach our children that they can do the right thing apart from the saving grace of Christ?!?! To tell a 2 year/3 year old that they must obey the parent but that they are not yet able to obey God would seem to bring on a type of schizophrenia. I don't yet have a familly so maybe I am speaking out of turn here.

As I stated in my former post, “However, least ye forget, infants and children are to obey their parents (Eph. 6:1) and they are to be raised in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Eph. 6:4) - part of this instruction being 1 Cor. 11:28, etc....” and now I may add, “Because it is the right thing to do,” not because Ehud says so, but because the Bible says so! <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/drop.gif" alt="" />

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Ehud states,

I guess what I'm asking here is, "What Biblical passage does God command that each person drink four cups of wine?" I'm stumped but it wouldn't be the first time. After 4 glasses of wine I'm not sure I'd be able to talk theology.

Those guys must have been championes.

Oh, excuse me but from your posts I thought you were drunk -- [Linked Image]

As far as Scripture maybe you just need to re-study the LS as given by Christ? Do you know what the Analogy of Scripture is? Do you know how to employ it in your interpretation of the text? Simply, the LS was a Passover meal and seems to have followed the pattern in the Mishnah. In the NT synoptics, we find reference to the First Cup, also known as the Cup of Blessing (Luke 22:17); to the breaking of the matzoh (Luke 22:19); to the Third Cup, the Cup of Redemption (Luke 22:20): to reclining (Luke 22:14): to the charoseth or the maror (Matt. 26:23f), and to the Hallel (Matt. 26:30). And did you ever notice in this text how Jesus allows Judas the opportunity to examine himself before his betrayal –(cf. 1 Cor. 11:28)!

Tolle Lege, tolle lege!

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Ehud attempts to quote Clement of Alexandria, Constitutions of the Holy Apostles, and Augustine.

First one must wonder why all of a sudden you love the RCC? Federal vision And Rome Together. I said church history, not heresy!

Second, Clements quote is from a belief that grounds itself in “baptismal regeneration.” Clement of Alexandria makes this very clear – thus refuting your own thesis of LS before regeneration! <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/drop.gif" alt="" />

Third, you are really reaching with the Constitution of the Holy Apostles. Why didn't quote the part right after your quote which says, "And let the bishop give the oblation, saying, The body of Christ; and let him that receiveth say, Amen. And let the deacon take the cup; and when he gives it, say, The blood of Christ, the cup of life; and let him that drinketh say, Amen. (1) And let the thirty-third psalm be said, while the rest are partaking. "The age of the children is not mentioned, but it appears they are old enough to speak and understand (not infants). However I do note that it states, "Except a man be baptized of water and of the Spirit, he shall by no means enter into the kingdom of heaven." I don't have time to reveal all the discrepancies of this document, but one wonders if you just did not read far enough (another sentence) or ... CHA. [search word "baptism" and "children"]

Moreover, while Augustine was right on many things, he still needed to learn much more. Here are some quotes of his "baptismal regeneration" stance,

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How many rascals are saved by being baptized on their deathbeds? And how many sincere catechumens die unbaptized, and are thus lost forever! ...When we shall have come into the sight of God, we shall behold the equity of His justice. At that time, no one will say: Why did He help this one and not that one? Why was this man led by God's direction to be baptized, while that man, though he lived properly as a catechumen, was killed in a sudden disaster and not baptized? Look for rewards, and you will find nothing but punishments! ….For of what use would repentance be, even before Baptism, if Baptism did not follow? ...No matter what progress a catechumen may make, he still carries the burden of iniquity, and it is not taken away until he has been baptized. (The Faith of Our Fathers, Fr. Jurgens, bk. 3, 1496; On the Gospel of St. John, Chapter 13, Tract 7.)

Note that I speak now both to the faithful and to catechumens. What did I mention in connection with the spittle and the clay? This: the Word became flesh. The catechumens can hear this; but just listening to it does not accomplish that for which they were anointed. Let them hasten to the font if they seek the Light. (The Divine Office, bk., p. 1620, from Fourth Week in Lent, Treatise 44 on John.)

Of course, I could further point out the fact that Augustine was not consistent in his baptismal stance as well,

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Contradicting his above teaching, St. Augustine, in City of God, teaches that an unbaptized catechumen—meaning he has explicit faith in Jesus Christ and the Most Holy Trinity and an explicit desire to be baptized—can be justified if he dies unbaptized and as a martyr.

St. Augustine: “I have in mind those unbaptized persons who die confessing the name of Christ. They receive the forgiveness of their sins as completely as if they had been cleansed by the waters of baptism. For, He who said: ‘Unless a man be born again of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God,’ made exceptions in other decisions which are no less universal: ‘Everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge him before my Father in heaven’; and again: ‘He who loses his life for my sake will find it.’ So, too, in the psalm: ‘Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.’ For, what could be more precious than a death, which remits all sin and amasses merit? Men, unable to defer their death, who are baptized, and thus depart from life with all their sins forgiven, are not equal in merit to those who have not postponed death, although they could have done so, because they preferred to lose life by confessing Christ than, by denying Him, to gain time for Baptism.” (City of God, Bk. XIII, Chap. 7.)

In another of his works, On Baptism (De baptismo), St. Augustine contradicts himself by teaching baptism is actually administered, invisibly, to worthy catechumens who seemed to die without it.

St. Augustine: “Baptism is ministered invisibly to one whom has not contempt of religion (the Catholic Religion) but death excludes.” (On Baptism, Against the Donatists (De Baptismo), Bk. IV, Chap. 22.)

RJMI, The Baptism Controversy.

When I speak of Church History I mean that consistent with the Bible, not the errors that abounded. Apparently, you believe everything you read, except the truth, to be the truth and seem unable to properly discern the Scripture apart from a lie (2 Tim. 2:24-26)! I guess we may now assume you believe in “baptismal regeneration,” as well. As Calvin says "human traditions . . . deceive under the appearance of wisdom" (Institutes of the Christian Religion, IV:x:11).

As Richard Bacon surmises, Calvin was a careful student of ecclesiastical history and was fully cognizant of the fact that paedocommunion had begun to be practiced in approximately 250 A.D. Nevertheless he applauded its discontinuance as being scriptural (Institutes, IV: xvi: 30). Furthermore, Calvin did not cite Popish authorities or traditions for excluding infants from the Lord's Supper, but cited the fact that infants and young children were excluded from the Passover. Calvin stated,

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At length they object, that there is not greater reason for admitting infants to baptism than to the Lord’s Supper, to which, however, they are never admitted: as if Scripture did not in every way draw a wide distinction between them. In the early Church indeed, the Lord’s Supper was frequently given to infants, as appears from Cyprian and Augustine (August. ad Bonif. Lib. 1); but the practice justly became obsolete. For if we attend to the peculiar nature of baptism, it is a kind of entrance, and as it were initiation into the Church, by which we are ranked among the people of God, a sign of our spiritual regeneration, by which we are again born to be children of God; whereas, on the contrary, the Supper is intended for those of riper years, who, having passed the tender period of infancy, are fit to bear solid food. This distinction is very clearly pointed out in Scripture. For there, as far as regards baptism, the Lord makes no selection of age, whereas he does not admit all to partake of the Supper, but confines it to those who are fit to discern the body and blood of the Lord, to examine their own conscience, to show forth the Lord’s death, and understand its power. Can we wish anything clearer than what the apostle says, when he thus exhorts, “Let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup”? (1 Cor. 11:28.) Examination, therefore, must precede, and this it were vain to expect from infants. Again, “He that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.” If they cannot partake worthily without being able duly to discern the sanctity of the Lord’s body, why should we stretch out poison to our young children instead of vivifying food? Then what is our Lord’s injunction? “Do this in remembrance of me.” And what the inference which the apostle draws from this? “As often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord’s death till he come.” How, pray, can we require infants to commemorate any event of which they have no understanding; how require them “to show forth the Lord’s death,” of the nature and benefit of which they have no idea? Nothing of the kind is prescribed by baptism. Wherefore, there is the greatest difference between the two signs. This also we observe in similar signs under the old dispensation. Circumcision, which, as is well known, corresponds to our baptism, was intended for infants, but the passover, for which the Supper is substituted, did not admit all kinds of guests promiscuously, but was duly eaten only by those who were of an age sufficient to ask the meaning of it (Exod. 12:26). Had these men the least particle of soundness in their brain, would they be thus blind as to a matter so very clear and obvious?

Please take your time and read Bacon carefully. I do not agree with him in areas of his theology however on this issue he is orthodox. However by the time you have another brew and are ready to post again I probably will not be around for some time ... so hopefully someone else will <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/bash.gif" alt="" /> you.
Posted By: Ehud

Re: Paedocommunion - Sun Jan 28, 2007 6:03 AM

I absolutely hate falling on the negative side of you and Joe's posts. I am humbled by your exhortations. Know that in everything I have done my best to be slow to speak and quick to hear.

I realize that I didn't make myself clear in my reference to Eph 6:1. Certainly I did not wish to say that the unsaved are not responsible and should not be commanded to repent and trust and obey God. I affirm that men are totally depraved and also totally responsible for their actions. I also affirm with you that it is the grace of God that keeps men from following after their own lusts to the point of destruction. In addition I do not believe that anyone is a Christian apart from baptism (i.e. born of blood) and of course I know about the thief on the cross.

The emphasis I meant to bring out with Eph 6:1 was this: Christ says, "If you love me, you will keep my commandments" (John 14:15). If we do not call our children Christian, then by default they do not love Christ. So ,it seems to me, the best we can do with our children is to teach them to obey exclusively through fear of punishment apart from them loving Christ. This smells fishy to me. I can't help but think that it is wrong somehow to indirectly reinforce our holy baptized children that they are to obey without loving Christ. This means we can't even teach our children to pray in Jesus' name because they are not Christian. Yet Paul uses the peculiar language, "in the Lord." Does God really want children to obey their parents apart from loving Christ in Eph 6:1? Joshua says, "As for me and my house we will serve the Lord." Were 2-year olds apart of Joshua's household? I don't know. But whoever is in that house is going to be serving the Lord.

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And as I have argued elsewhere with others who hold to the same heretical view of presumptive regeneration, to embrace this view of necessity denies the fundamental doctrines of grace, e.g., Total Depravity, Unconditional Election, Limited Atonement, Irresistible Grace and Perseverance of the saints.


If you are going to say I hold to presumptive regeneration as a heretical view and deny Total Depravity, etc. don’t you have to say it about Calvin too?

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But we must realize that at whatever time we are baptized, we are once for all washed and purged for our whole life. Therefore, as often as we fall away, we ought to recall the memory of our baptism and fortify our mind with it, that we may always be sure and confident of the forgiveness of sins.
-John Calvin Institutes 4.15.3


How does one escape calling Calvin a presumptive regenerist? I don't think you would speak of baptism the way Calvin does here. Please correct me if I am wrong about that. However, Calvin would never say nor would I that Baptism is a free ticket or a zap of magical power.
Posted By: J_Edwards

Re: Paedocommunion - Sun Jan 28, 2007 6:04 PM

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Ehud states.

The emphasis I meant to bring out with Eph 6:1 was this: Christ says, "If you love me, you will keep my commandments" (John 14:15). If we do not call our children Christian, then by default they do not love Christ. So ,it seems to me, the best we can do with our children is to teach them to obey exclusively through fear of punishment apart from them loving Christ. This smells fishy to me. I can't help but think that it is wrong somehow to indirectly reinforce our holy baptized children that they are to obey without loving Christ. This means we can't even teach our children to pray in Jesus' name because they are not Christian. Yet Paul uses the peculiar language, "in the Lord." Does God really want children to obey their parents apart from loving Christ in Eph 6:1? Joshua says, "As for me and my house we will serve the Lord." Were 2-year olds apart of Joshua's household? I don't know. But whoever is in that house is going to be serving the Lord.

Calling a cat a dog does not make it a dog and calling children “Christian” does not make them love Christ! Your philosophy reeks!

Things may smell fishy to you, but children are to be disciplined. The Word of God is not smelly when it says,

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Proverbs 13:24 He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him.

Proverbs 22:15 Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it far from him.

Proverbs 23:13 Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you punish him with the rod, he will not die.

Proverbs 23:14 Punish him with the rod and save his soul from death.

What you do not seem to understand is that the covenant begins with more of a one way relationship – God’s loving the children (especially the elect; 1 Tim 4:10) of his covenant. It is later, if the child is elect, that while learning to love God – God’s way, as taught by the Holy Spirit and his means – the children’s parents, the church, the Word, the sacraments, worship, etc. – that the relationship becomes more two way! Moreover, as has already been pointed out to you, all mankind has an obligation to fully worship God – whether lost or saved. Man’s chief end is to glorify God and enjoy him forever (WSC - Q1; Psa. 73:25-26; 1 Cor. 10:31). This means that they have an obligation to love God fully and wholly for who he is … Thus, check your nose. Your scent is off – maybe its the two types of clothing you are wearing at present (FV wolf and sheep’s clothing)?

And yes anyone who is a member of the covenant may and should pray in Jesus name. Jesus when he spoke to the disciples, (which included the lost and saved), said, “When ye pray” and not “if your elect then pray” (Luke 11:1f). Did not Judas pray? Did not Judas participate in the ministry of Christ? Did not Judas, an adult, participate in the LS to an extent – though warned by Christ of his immanent betrayal. (And please note, the One that said suffer the little children to come to me did not say such in the Passover he conducted, did he? They weren’t present!). Even the fallen of Israel (Rom. 9:6) worshiped God in some form – and so did their children to the extent allowed by Judaic worship.

In addition, as has been explained several times there are several ways of being “in the Lord.” I have pointed you to the Jews in Hebrews 6:1-6 who were “in the Lord,” by “elementary teachings about Christ,” but not “of the Lord” by new birth – unless God permit!

Lastly, you quote Calvin, in defense of your “baptismal regeneration,” but the question arises, “Do you understand him?” “Do you understand the language he used and not merely moving him into our century and redefining what he actually meant?” Have you read the Institutes or just occasionally quote them? – my guess would be the later.

Calvin was not perfect to say the very least. After all he is a mere man, not God. His views on Romans 5 are even somewhat RCC (see, Murray). He did say some confusing things – if one is not keen to his language, intent, and the struggles of his day they can even misunderstand him – much like Scripture (2 Pet. 3:15-17) at times. One such example is,

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For as God, regenerating us in baptism, ingrafts us into the fellowship of his Church, and makes us his by adoption, so we have said that he performs the office of a provident parent, in continually supplying the food by which he may sustain and preserve us in the life to which he has begotten us by his word (4.17.1).

However, you must understand Calvin – that he has in view something objectively presented in baptism and subjectively received by faith. This is seen in his Antidote to the Counsel of Trent, where he wrote,

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That this may be more clear, let my readers call to mind that there is a two-fold grace in baptism, for therein both remission of sins and regeneration are offered to us. We teach that full remission is made, but that regeneration is only begun, and goes on making progress during the whole of life (1.5).

As Rich Lusk states, Calvin believed baptism was an objective, effectual means of salvation, but it did not guarantee salvation. In fact, baptism only blessed those who received it (subjectively) in faith. To Calvin, baptism is a good faith offer of new life, but the grace of baptism isn’t necessarily irresistible. Calvin also that the “ordinary method in which God accomplishes our salvation is by beginning it in baptism and carrying it gradually forward during the course of life.” He says, Baptism is a sign or figure or symbol of regeneration; but God’s signs are not empty: “I understand it to be a figure, but still so that the reality is annexed to it; for God does not disappoint us when he promises us his gifts. Accordingly, it is certain that both pardon of sins and newness of life are offered to us in baptism and received by us.” In other words, regeneration is not only symbolized in baptism; it is held out, to be received by faith.

As Lusk concludes,

Obviously, then, Calvin believed in an efficacious baptism. To deny this is to suggest that God makes “sport” of us, mocking us with empty symbols that do not fulfill their promises. But Calvin spells out what this efficacy means with a fair degree of precision. He properly distinguishes the outward sign itself from the thing signified, and insists on the necessity of faith for the reception of the thing signified. The objective and subjective are carefully delineated. The sacraments maintain their objective efficacy and force, even if by hardness of heart, men reject the blessing of the sacrament. To be sure, “The power of the mystery [the sacrament] remains in tact, no matter how much wicked men try to their utmost to nullify it . . . [M]en bear away from this Sacrament no more than they gather with the vessel of faith.” He says, “Yet, it is one thing to be offered, and another to be received . . .the Sacrament is one thing, the power of the Sacrament another.” Calvin clearly distinguished the objective means (the sacrament) from the subjective receptor (faith). While discussing the Lord’s Supper, he uses a most appropriate illustration for baptism: “[T]here is here no reason to lose faith in the promises of God, who does not stop the rain from falling from heaven, although rocks and stones do not receive the moisture of rain.” (4.17.33-34). Calvin also wrote, commenting on 1 Cor. 11:27: “the efficacy of the sacraments does not depend upon the worthiness of men . . . nothing is taken away from the promises of God, or falls to the ground, through the wickedness of men.” Baptism is objectively a means of salvation, but what God offers and gives in baptism must be received by faith in order for it to take effect. In other words, baptism functions analogously to the preaching of the gospel.

Ehud your use of “baptismal regeneration” is nothing near what Calvin’s was. In addition, you live in a different era and are responsible for the said use of terms/phrases describing your view today and should only co-join them to the same term in the past, if the terms/phrases are being used the same way. Your present use is heretical to its core – Calvin is more precise and orthodox, though in some places I do believe his writing needed improvement (not unlike the lot of us—especially myself).

PS: We fear for your soul. FV is a dangerous heresy that at times, like other heresies, may lead one to apostasy! But if that is God’s providence, then so be it.

PSS: We hate for you to be on the other side (the negative side) as well.

I wasn't expecting to have any time to post today, but I am glad that the providence of God allowed it. I have to take my leave now. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/hello.gif" alt="" />
Posted By: Pilgrim

Re: Paedocommunion - Sun Jan 28, 2007 6:44 PM

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Ehud said:
. . . In addition I do not believe that anyone is a Christian apart from baptism (i.e. born of blood) and of course I know about the thief on the cross.

Unfortunately, the inspired writers of the Bible do not share your view(s).


John 3:33, 37, 39 "I know that ye are Abraham's seed; but ye seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you. . . . They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham's children, ye would do the works of Abraham. . . . They answered unto him, We are Abraham's seed, and have never yet been in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free?"

John 1:12-13 (ASV) "But as many as received him, to them gave he the right to become children of God, [even] to them that believe on his name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God."

Luke 3:8 (KJV) "Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to [our] father: for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham."


One's salvation does not depend either in whole or in part upon baptism. Nor does salvation come through heritage, either of the flesh or by familial relation, e.g., being a child of a professed believer, nor by association, e.g., being a member of a church body. The Bible nowhere teaches salvation by sacrament nor by covenant relationship, whether in whole or in part, such as what Rome and NPP/FV teaches. Becoming a "Christian" is dependent upon one thing and that only "SOLA GRATIA". Salvation is of the Lord from beginning to end. It is the sovereign act of the Holy Spirit that comes to a sinner and gives him/her life, recreating the dead soul, opening the eyes, unstopping the ears and giving understanding to the truths of God. Faith is implanted within the heart so that at the name of Jesus, the person irresistibly falls at His feet and embraces Him with their whole being, calling upon the Lord for mercy and forgiveness in the name of Christ Jesus. Baptism does not offer or give this; it declares this truth, that all who repent of their sins and believe upon Christ are surely washed of their sins and accepted of God in Him. Covenant relationship by birth is also a blessing of the Lord yet is not salvific. It is simply the means by which the Word of Truth comes so that those who are elect of God will be drawn to Christ and redeemed by His blood when they repent and believe upon Him. The Church holds only to and tenaciously to "Justification by faith alone in Christ alone!": SOLA FIDE & SOLOS CHRISTOS. Synergism is NOT an option.

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Ehud sinks deeper into the doctrine of the Pharisees with:
The emphasis I meant to bring out with Eph 6:1 was this: Christ says, "If you love me, you will keep my commandments" (John 14:15). If we do not call our children Christian, then by default they do not love Christ. So ,it seems to me, the best we can do with our children is to teach them to obey exclusively through fear of punishment apart from them loving Christ.

Reductio absurdum. You are resting your conclusion upon a false premise; children of believers are to be presumed regenerate, aka: "Christian". Whereas the Scriptures teach that "ALL are born in sin and are children of wrath." (Rom 3:23; Eph 2:3) The entire Old Testament record of the children of Israel, "covenant children", testifies that the vast majority perished in unbelief. Moses called these rebellious covenant children to repentance on many occasions. All the Minor Prophets preached against the sins of God's "covenant children". Jeremiah preached against resting upon one's circumcision as a sign of one's acceptance with God. (Jer. 4:4) When we get to the end of the old covenant, we see John the Baptist preaching out against "Covenantal Monism" and presumptive regeneration. (Matt 3:9) The Lord Christ found His greatest antagonists among the most esteemed "covenant children" of His day; the Pharisees who believed salvation was of being a member of the covenant community Israel and keeping all the law. Sound familiar? Paul also wrote against these falsehoods in his epistles, e.g.,


Galatians 3:27-29 (ASV) "For as many of you as were baptized into Christ did put on Christ. 28 There can be neither Jew nor Greek, there can be neither bond nor free, there can be no male and female; for ye all are one [man] in Christ Jesus. 29 And if ye are Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, heirs according to promise."


Notice Paul does not say, "as many of you as were baptized in water did put on Christ". And further, it is only those who belong to Christ who are considered heirs according to promise. And how does one come to belong to Christ? Not by being born of the flesh, or of blood or of the will of man, but of God. The new birth is NOT part and parcel of being born of believing parents, nor is it part and parcel in baptism. Being born of God is again the free sovereign work of the Holy Spirit upon those whom the Father has eternally predestined and elected to salvation in Christ. Esau was no less a covenant child than Jacob, yet he had no place in God's kingdom.

What you should teach children to pray is, "God have mercy upon me a sinner! Lord, show me my sin and grant that I may repent of it. Great God, create within me a new heart so that I may know the necessity and beauty of Christ and thus believe upon Him with a true faith." These are the types of prayers children should be taught to pray until God the Spirit brings life to their dead souls. Our concern should be their salvation, not their willingness to obey us as parents. They are to obey and they can obey to a great degree their parents without Christ. They are capable of obeying and do obey their parents out of a familial love (storge). Fear, whether it is of punishment or loss of a job, or..... is certainly legitimate as well. The kingdom of God is not to be seen as the fulfillment of B.F. Skinner's Waldon II idea of Utopia.

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Ehud then asks:
If you are going to say I hold to presumptive regeneration as a heretical view and deny Total Depravity, etc. don’t you have to say it about Calvin too?

That John Calvin was a godly man who had many things write when it came to biblical doctrine, he was not infallible. He even admitted as much. And his view on baptism, specifically as to that of infants and their covenantal standing, is one of those areas where he erred. Unfortunately, he didn't totally break from the Catholic teaching on baptism as did Luther failed to separate from their teaching on the "Real Presence". It is true that Calvin teaches, or at least strongly implies, that children of believers in baptism are to be deemed "true" members of Christ's church. In this I have no qualms in seeing Calvin as being wrong there. The Continental churches carried this error to a much greater expression thanks particularly to Abraham Kuyper. But the conservative Congregationalists, e.g., John Owen and later Jonathan Edwards, had no part with this heresy of presumptive regeneration. No doubt you are familiar with Edward's calling children, "Little vipers in diapers"? Many of the Presbyterians wanted no part in this error either although some did. It has always been true that heresy knows no boundaries.

In His grace,
Posted By: Ehud

Re: Paedocommunion - Sun Jan 28, 2007 10:39 PM

a side note

John 1:12-13 was the exact verse I was referencing. What I meant was children are not christians by blood but by baptism.
Posted By: Pilgrim

Re: Paedocommunion - Sun Jan 28, 2007 10:57 PM

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Ehud said:
a side note

John 1:12-13 was the exact verse I was referencing. What I meant was children are not christians by blood but by baptism.

Neither adults, nor children, nor infants are "christians" by baptism but rather by regeneration of the Spirit and through repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Rome teaches what you are proposing; not Calviniism but most importantly, not Scripture.

In His grace,
Posted By: Ehud

Re: Paedocommunion - Mon Jan 29, 2007 12:29 AM

Joe,

I have no problem with the Rich Lusk's quotes. I'd also add that he has a book out affirming paedofaith. I'll ask you the same think you asked me:

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“Do you understand him?” “Do you understand the language he used and not merely moving him into our century and redefining what he actually meant?” Have you read [Lusk] or just occasionally quote [him]? – my guess would be the later.


I also have no problem affirming that people can reject/deny their baptism bringing greater judgment upon themselves.

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Ehud your use of “baptismal regeneration” is nothing near what Calvin’s was


I'm not sure that I've given you my definition of baptismal regeneration other than affirming what Calvin wrote. I have said that baptized individuals are baptized into Christ and can be called Christian.

Romans 6:2-4
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2By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? 3Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.


Are infants baptized into Christ or are they not?

Galatians 3:26-28
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for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. 27For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave[a] nor free, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.


Are infants one in Jesus Christ with us adults or are they half-way covenant chumps? Have infants put on Christ? If baptism puts on Christ, but infants can't put on Christ then why are we baptizing them?

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Calling a cat a dog does not make it a dog and calling children “Christian” does not make them love Christ! Your philosophy reeks!


You are exactly right! Me calling someone a Christian does not make them a love Christ. However, it is God Almighty in His divine providence and love who places children in gospel homes and it is He who says "as many as have been baptized have put on Christ." My "reeking philosophy" is attempting to deal with this.

As for the proverbs you quote, I have no problem with disciplining children. Even God disciplines his children otherwise they would be illegitimate children. So if anything the love of God is expressed to baptized children in the disciplining that comes from godly parents. My only problem is teaching children the commandments of God apart from the greatest commandment.

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And yes anyone who is a member of the covenant may and should pray in Jesus name. Jesus when he spoke to the disciples, (which included the lost and saved), said, “When ye pray” and not “if your elect then pray” (Luke 11:1f). Did not Judas pray? Did not Judas participate in the ministry of Christ? Did not Judas, an adult, participate in the LS to an extent – though warned by Christ of his immanent betrayal.


Calvin 3.20.17
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Since no man is worthy to present himself to God and come into his sight, the Heavenly Father himself, to free us at once from shame and fear, which might well have thrown our hearts into despair, has given us his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, to be our advocate [1 John 2:1] and mediator with him [1 Tim 2:5; cf. Heb 8:6 and 9:15], by who guidance we may confidently come to him, and with such intercessor, trusting nothing we ask in his name will be denied us, as nothing can be denied to him by the Father.


If we teach our children to pray in Jesus' name then why can we not call our baptized children Christians?

Faris
Posted By: Pilgrim

Re: Paedocommunion - Mon Jan 29, 2007 1:17 AM

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Ehud said:
. . . I have said that baptized individuals are baptized into Christ and can be called Christian.

. . . Are infants baptized into Christ or are they not?

Are infants one in Jesus Christ with us adults or are they half-way covenant chumps? Have infants put on Christ? If baptism puts on Christ, but infants can't put on Christ then why are we baptizing them?

If we teach our children to pray in Jesus' name then why can we not call our baptized children Christians?

1) You say that infants can be called Christian because they are baptized into Christ. It is not as if you were proposing that calling them "Christians" is simply one of convenience or politeness, but rather you are declaring something about their spiritual condition. The fundamental issue is, Who in Scripture is designated a "Christian"? Is it those who are baptized? or perhaps those who are members of a local congregation? or is it one who has been regenerated by the Spirit of God and thus is consequently converted, i.e., they have shown forth repentance and professed faith in the Lord Christ? In EVERY instance where Paul uses the phrase, "in Christ", he is speaking about an actual union with Christ by grace through faith. There are those who falsely believe and call themselves Christian. And there are situations where a false profession albeit a very convincing one is wrongly discerned by others to be genuine. But nowhere in Scripture can we find that one is called "Christian" without evidence that would support that title.

2) IF infants are actually and truly "baptized into Christ", then they are indeed Christians. This MUST mean therefore that they have been eternally predestinated, elected, called and will persevere to the end. (Rom 8:29, 30) IF infants have been truly "baptized into Christ", then they are justified; i.e., God has declared them innocent, righteous for Christ's sake based upon the merits of His atonement in their behalf. There is therefore no need nor warrant to preach the Gospel to them as there is no need nor warrant to do so to any truly saved individual. Conversion is a one-time occurrence and is not to be repeated as is done in so many modern evan-jelly-cal churches in their insidious Alter Calls. IF they are truly "in Christ", then the focus should and must be upon their sanctification. And lastly, IF they are truly "in Christ", then they can never lose the salvation they allegedly have. This is exactly what the Pharisees taught; covenant children are eternally secure because they have been been circumcised and are God's chosen.

3) I agree totally with Jonathan Edwards in that children are not "half-way covenant chumps". There is no "half-way covenant" as his grandfather Stoddard taught and which those who hold to presumptive regeneration sometimes teach, i.e., although children are "in Christ" they can deny their faith and thus perish. But Edwards correctly taught that children are by nature "children of wrath" and are in no less need of regeneration and conversion than any adult. Neither being children of believing parents nor baptism can or does change their natural spiritual state. And Edwards was no Baptist and neither am I. (not that being a Baptist is such an evil thing as some paedobaptists would have everyone believe) One is either "in Christ" and thus eternally saved. Or, one is outside of Christ and in dire need of being saved. Either one's sins have been remitted for the sake of Christ and having been united to Him. Or, one is dead in sins and in need of a Saviour. There is no half-way salvation either.

Then why do we baptize infants? Because they are externally related to the covenant and are therefore to be given the sign of the covenant. They are "holy", i.e., they are set apart from non-covenant children in that God has mercifully given that they are born to believing parents and raised in the admonitions of the Lord through which; i.e., the means, the Gospel comes. They are also given the privilege of being reared in the Church where the Word of God is faithfully preached, again one of the "means of grace" and from which faith comes by the Spirit's work in the heart of the elect. (Rom 3:1; 9: 4, 5) Would you have us believe that Esau was considered a "Christian" by O.T. standards? Would you have us believe that Esau, being a covenant child and having received the sign of the covenant was therefore "in Christ" and was justified before God no less than Abraham? Having the means of grace is not the same as having been given saving grace.


Acts 2:37-39 (ASV) "Now when they heard [this,] they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and the rest of the apostles, Brethren, what shall we do? 38 And Peter [said] unto them, Repent ye, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ unto the remission of your sins; and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For to you is the promise, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, [even] as many as the Lord our God shall call unto him.


The promise of remission of sins (salvation in Christ) is given to only those whom the Lord "calls" [to faith], i.e., the inner calling (regeneration and irresistible grace) which infallibly leads to true conversion; repentance and faith. There is no unqualified promise of salvation to the children of believers who are baptized. This is simply biblical Soteriology 101 in the classic Reformed style.

In His grace,
Posted By: Ehud

Re: Paedocommunion - Mon Jan 29, 2007 2:08 AM

I'm not claiming that any of this is easy.

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IF infants are actually and truly "baptized into Christ", then they are indeed Christians. This MUST mean therefore that they have been eternally predestinated, elected, called and will persevere to the end. (Rom 8:29, 30) IF infants have been truly "baptized into Christ", then they are justified; i.e., God has declared them innocent, righteous for Christ's sake based upon the merits of His atonement in their behalf.


John 15
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1"I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. 2Every branch of mine that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. 4Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. 5I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. 6If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. 7If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. 9As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. 10If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love. 11These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.


Galatians 5
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2Look: I, Paul, say to you that if you accept circumcision, Christ will be of no advantage to you. 3I testify again to every man who accepts circumcision that he is obligated to keep the whole law. 4You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified[a] by the law; you have fallen away from grace.


I think there is a way in which we can speak of all baptized folk being in Christ and a way in which we can speak of baptized folk being removed from Christ [i.e. those who passed through the Red Sea, drank from the spiritual Rock that was Christ, etc].

I like Romans 8:29,30 a lot. I really do, but I also want to like John 15 too.
Posted By: Pilgrim

Re: Paedocommunion - Mon Jan 29, 2007 4:35 AM

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Ehud said:
I'm not claiming that any of this is easy.

I think there is a way in which we can speak of all baptized folk being in Christ and a way in which we can speak of baptized folk being removed from Christ [i.e. those who passed through the Red Sea, drank from the spiritual Rock that was Christ, etc].

I like Romans 8:29,30 a lot. I really do, but I also want to like John 15 too.

Ah yes..... John 15. I vividly remember when I was at WTS and Norman Shepherd was still teaching there that this was one of his favorite passages also. At least in part, he would defend his heresy by often quoting it. Of course, things have developed greatly since Mr. Shepherd's removal from that once bedrock of conservative Calvinism. His views have been "refined" and made far more enticing with the use of vague language and alleged scholarship. So today we have NPP and FV. WTS also has changed for now there is at least one professor teaching the very thing which got Mr. Shepherd dismissed.

Although it is very difficult if not impossible for the average church-goer to read the plethora of academic books and papers written by these so-called "scholars" and erudite protagonists of these damnable heresies, the matter IMHO is very simple. It all boils down to the basic understanding and implementation of the old "Analogy of Faith", i.e., comparing Scripture with Scripture. For example, take this idea you stated above, which btw contradicts the fifth point of Calvinism, "Preservation of the Saints". Can one find clear statements which speak of and teach of what it means to be "in Christ"? You bet you can. The "clear" passages always interpret the less or unclear passages. One simply cannot get around Paul's use of the phrase "in Christ" to mean being spiritually united to Christ which is infallibly connected to His vicarious substitutionary atonement, the sending of the Spirit to awaken the elect and to call them irresistibly to repentance and faith in Christ. To those "in Christ" eternal life is an unassailable promise from God to them. But, you would like to also believe that one could be "in Christ" yet not have such a guarantee, and I strongly suspect..... UNLESS.... they "keep covenant", i.e., they live a life of obedience. Of course, those of us who have not succumbed to the wiles of the Evil One know right well what this is. It is "synergism"... a works salvation which cannot save. It is to do as Rome has done for centuries, conflate forensic justification and consequent sanctification. When I asked Mr. Shepherd if we should impress upon our children their need of Christ and to repent and believe upon Him unto salvation, he adamantly objected to any such thing. When asked further what then should we teach our children, he replied, "Teach them to be obedient to the covenant".

Well sir, I know of no passage where the Lord God commands men to "be obedient to the covenant". What I do read, however, is to reconciled to God, repent of your sins and trust your whole being to Christ Jesus. And if your faith is genuine, you will most naturally seek to keep God's commandments for to do so is most pleasing to Him. The Apostle James was inspired to write such and make clear that those with a true living faith will exhibit that faith in their good works. Yet, none of their good works which they do in any way contribute, increase nor improve upon their justification. For justification is that one-time declaration of God that the believing sinner is "not guilty" in Christ Who has both paid the penalty for their sins and imputed to them His own perfect righteousness. And all who come to Christ with a true living faith will never be lost. Thus, John 15 CANNOT mean that God will take any away who are "in Christ".

You do not have the right to redefine what the Scriptures teach about being "in Christ" to suit some novel idea which mitigates against the sovereign free grace God. You have no warrant to confuse the salvation which is all of grace with one that intermixes faith and works.

The Reformers were NOT wrong in their understanding of justification. The Puritans were NOT mistaken on these matters and thus the WCF, WSC, WLC, Heidelberg Catechism, Baptist London Confession, 39 Articles, Savoy Declaration, et al do not need revision based upon some spurious postulation about Second-Temple Judaism. Salvation is NOT about "covenant", but about Christ. You are either "in Christ" and possess all things in Him for all eternity or you are outside of Christ and are liable to damnation.

Yes, it is possible that Augustine was wrong, that Martin Luther erred, that John Calvin was mistaken, as was Knox, and Melanthon, and Owen, and Edwards, and Spurgeon and countless others. But tell me my young friend.. what are the odds that they were ALL wrong and Dunn, Sanders, N.T. Wright, Norman Shepherd and a few others today are right about a matter fundamental to the faith?


Galatians 1:6-9 (ASV) "I marvel that ye are so quickly removing from him that called you in the grace of Christ unto a different gospel; which is not another [gospel] only there are some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, should preach unto you any gospel other than that which we preached unto you, let him be anathema. As we have said before, so say I now again, if any man preacheth unto you any gospel other than that which ye received, let him be anathema."

Justification: "If the purity of this doctrine is in any degree impaired the Church has received a deadly wound and brought to the very brink of destruction. Whenever the knowledge of it is taken away, the glory of Christ is extinguished, religion abolished, the Church destroyed and the hope of salvation utterly overthrown. - John Calvin "The Necessity of Reforming the Church" p. 42


In His grace,
Posted By: J_Edwards

Re: Paedocommunion - Mon Jan 29, 2007 2:34 PM

Quote
Ehud states,

I have no problem with the Rich Lusk's quotes. I'd also add that he has a book out affirming paedofaith.

Yes, Ehud I know all this -- I've read "Paedofaith" and even attended a worship service at his church (Trinity Pres) in Al in the past. However, I did not say I agree with all Lusk's theology did I? I stated I agreed with his anaylsis of what Calvin believed which is different than what baptismal regeneration means today - which you attempt to defend.

Since Pilgrim has graciously but decisively addressed the rest of your points, I will merely add that you do not understand the difference of being in the covenant and being in Christ. Though at times they are related at other times they are miles apart. i.e. not all Israel is Israel.

Hebrews 5:12-14. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/hello.gif" alt="" />
Posted By: Ehud

Re: Paedocommunion - Wed Jan 31, 2007 6:44 PM

Quote
Yes, it is possible that Augustine was wrong, that Martin Luther erred, that John Calvin was mistaken, as was Knox, and Melanthon, and Owen, and Edwards, and Spurgeon and countless others


<img src="/forum/images/graemlins/flee.gif" alt="" />Whoaa! I got to put the brakes on here. I did in no way mean to tear down the works of these men nor did I mean to imply that I deny salvation by grace alone. Again I affirm whole heartedly that God has elected a multitude of people from before the foundation of the world and that they have been predetermined to be saved and none of them will be lost. Absolutely. All who remain in Christ to the end, do so by the grace of God. For there is no good thing that dwells in the flesh apart from the Holy Spirit.

Due to time constraints at the present, I'll have to reply in more detail later.
Posted By: Pilgrim

Re: Paedocommunion - Wed Jan 31, 2007 7:48 PM

Quote
Ehud said:
<img src="/forum/images/graemlins/flee.gif" alt="" />Whoaa! I got to put the brakes on here. I did in no way mean to tear down the works of these men nor did I mean to imply that I deny salvation by grace alone. Again I affirm whole heartedly that God has elected a multitude of people from before the foundation of the world and that they have been predetermined to be saved and none of them will be lost. Absolutely. All who remain in Christ to the end, do so by the grace of God. For there is no good thing that dwells in the flesh apart from the Holy Spirit.

And the protagonists of NPP/FV also purport to believe in exactly the same things ... BUT THEY DO NOT hold to the doctrines of free grace as expressed in the WCF, Belgic Confession, and other historic Reformed Confessions. And even Rome asserts that they believe in salvation by grace alone. So it is necessary to DEFINE your terms. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

YOU believe that all baptized infants of believers are regenerate.... thus of necessity, they are united in and to Christ and will be infallibly saved. IF would deny an infallible salvation for these alleged regenerate infants/children, then again, you have to deny at best a vicarious substitutionary atonement, aka: "Definite/Limited Atonement" and "Perseverance of the Saints". IF these alleged regenerate infants/children who you want to be allowed to partake of the Lord's Table have not necessarily been justified in Christ and will not be infallibly saved, then you must hold to some type of "synergism", which also mitigates against "Unconditional Election" which is exactly what NPP/FV teaches and which is damnable heresy.

So, go ahead and take your time and provide some "details" of your view(s) for us to examine. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

In His grace,
Posted By: Ehud

asking for clarification - Mon Feb 05, 2007 8:56 AM

...so I don't stick my foot in my mouth

By infalliby saved, I'm assuming that this means decreetally elect. Correct me if I am wrong on this. (not sure if decreetally is a word but it works for now)

In your estimation does the fact that I call someone a Christian necessitate that I know that he is infallibly saved?

Jeff, do you know that you are infallibly saved? Is it impossible for you to fall away? When Pauls says that we should take heed when we say we stand lest we fall(I Cor 10:12) how do you reconcile that we who are infallibly saved Christians are to understand this warning?

Mind you that I am not proposing that anyone who has been decreetally elected can ever fall away. Again I affirm that all who are saints(decreetally elect) will persevere(be saved completely) by the grace of God.

All I want to know is, how can non-decreetally elect babies be baptized by passing through the Red Sea, how can non-decreetally elect people drink from that spiritual rock that is Christ (I Cor 10:1-5) and perish, how can Judas Iscariot the one who has a devil be fed the cup by Christ himself, AND...

baptized children of God can't sit at the table and eat because we don't know their decreed election??? You have all these non-decreetally elect people doing all these serious acts by the hand of God Himself.

In Christ,
Faris
Posted By: Pilgrim

Re: asking for clarification - Mon Feb 05, 2007 8:11 PM

Quote
Ehud said:
By infallibly saved, I'm assuming that this means decreetally elect. Correct me if I am wrong on this. (not sure if decreetally is a word but it works for now)

Infallibly saved means that whoever God has predestinated to eternal life will be absolutely saved. There is no possibility that they will be lost. The decree of predestination not only expresses God's eternal will in regard for the salvation of the elect, but also the means by which that salvation is secured, preserved and finalized in space and time.

Quote
Ehud asks:
In your estimation does the fact that I call someone a Christian necessitate that I know that he is infallibly saved?

Of course not. But what it does necessitate is that you have a basis upon which to deem someone a Christian. There are no "de facto" Christians. They will bear the marks of regeneration and exhibit the fruits of it. Being a member of the covenant community is no "badge of honor" which entitles one to claim or be considered a "Christian", i.e., one who has been regenerated, converted and lives for Christ. And THIS I strongly suspect is where you have gone off the biblical path. Could it be, with your admitted "attraction" to NPP/FV that you have embraced the error (heresy) that what is most important is belonging to the covenant people of God (justification) within which one works out their justification? And thus, it is impossible to know assuredly that you are truly "justified" in the forensic sense which is how classic Calvinism has always used the term?

Quote
Ehud asks:
Jeff, do you know that you are infallibly saved? Is it impossible for you to fall away? When Pauls says that we should take heed when we say we stand lest we fall(I Cor 10:12) how do you reconcile that we who are infallibly saved Christians are to understand this warning?

I perceive this as an attempt to obfuscate the issue by introducing "infallible knowledge" as a substitute for "assurance of salvation". To possess the former would be to claim deity for only God knows anything infallibly. One could rightly ask, "Do you know infallibly that you exist and you are not simply the figment of another's imagination?" The Scriptures teach us that one who truly believes is given the Holy Spirit who testifies to their spirit that they are the child of God. (Rom 8:16, 17; 2Cor 1:22; Eph 1:13; 1Jh 4:13) NPP/FV echoes Rome's teachings on this subject whereby they say that it is impossible for anyone to really know if they are saved. This knowledge only comes at the Judgment, so they say. One's salvation is incomplete until the end. Thus it is incumbent for one to do good works their entire life in order to add to their "justification". Of course, "justification" according to NPP/FV is simply one's inclusion into the covenant community of God and denies that it is a one-time declaration that one's sins are remitted in Christ's vicarious substitutionary atonement. And thus being justified, they are not liable to judgment. (Jh 3:18; 5:24; Rom 4:7; 5:1, 2; 8:1, 2; Gal 3:13)

Quote
Ehud asks:
All I want to know is, how can non-decreetally elect babies be baptized by passing through the Red Sea, how can non-decreetally elect people drink from that spiritual rock that is Christ (I Cor 10:1-5) and perish, how can Judas Iscariot the one who has a devil be fed the cup by Christ himself, AND...

baptized children of God can't sit at the table and eat because we don't know their decreed election??? You have all these non-decreetally elect people doing all these serious acts by the hand of God Himself.

Are you now suggesting that ALL of Israel; every man, woman and child who passed through the Red Sea and drank of the water that flowed from the rock were saved? More so, are also suggesting that Judas Iscariot was saved because he partook of the Lord's Supper? <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/rolleyes2.gif" alt="" /> Again, one's association with the covenant people of God does not make one "in Christ" and thus "in covenant" with God. (Rom 9:6ff) One may be externally a member of the visible Church and not be internally a member of the Invisible Church; the true Church of Christ. Only those who have been regenerated and exhibit the marks of that regeneration are entitled to be called "Christian" and thus are entitled to partake of the Lord's Table. Baptism is a sign of entrance where the Lord's Table is that which is restricted to those who are actually ingrafted in Christ.

In His grace,
Posted By: Ehud

Re: asking for clarification - Mon Feb 05, 2007 10:43 PM

Quote
Are you now suggesting that ALL of Israel; every man, woman and child who passed through the Red Sea and drank of the water that flowed from the rock were saved? More so, are also suggesting that Judas Iscariot was saved because he partook of the Lord's Supper?


I am not in anyway suggesting that these folks were infallibly saved because it is obvious from myriads of scriptures that they are not. What I am suggesting is that there are throughout scriptures the participation and partaking (JEdwards categories) of spiritual things by non-infallibly saved persons because of the covenant membership.

I am also fully aware that not all Israel is Israel, but those who are "not Israel" are still referred to as God's people in some sense.

Exodus 10:3
Quote
So Moses and Aaron went in to Pharaoh and said to him, "Thus says the LORD, the God of the Hebrews, 'How long will you refuse to humble yourself before me? Let My people go, that they may serve me.


Some of these folks would die at the manufacturing of the golden calf, would they not?

Does God say leave behind those who are not infallibly saved? Could there have been infants among "my people" who were not infallibly saved? Absolutely. It seems under your definitions that we must presume none of the infants who came out of Egypt to be infallibly saved and at the same time they are referred to by God as "My people." I understand that there is some cognative tension here, but if the Bible speaks this way, why can't we speak this way?

In reference to another of my questions:
Quote
I perceive this as an attempt to obfuscate the issue by introducing "infallible knowledge" as a substitute for "assurance of salvation". To possess the former would be to claim deity for only God knows anything infallibly. One could rightly ask, "Do you know infallibly that you exist and you are not simply the figment of another's imagination?" The Scriptures teach us that one who truly believes is given the Holy Spirit who testifies to their spirit that they are the child of God.


My point in asking if you knew you were infallibly saved was not to prove that we can never know if we are saved, but that we never know of our election outside of Christ. In practice, when we are faced with temptation we don't say, "Oh, I'm decreetally elect therefore it doesn't matter" that would be trampl'n the grace of God. But we do keep looking to Christ, we abide in His love (John 15). Disclaimer: our abiding and perseverance is completely by the grace of God.

Quote
Only those who have been regenerated and exhibit the marks of that regeneration are entitled to be called "Christian" and thus are entitled to partake of the Lord's Table. Baptism is a sign of entrance where the Lord's Table is that which is restricted to those who are actually ingrafted in Christ.


I would love to know what is going on in the WSC question 94
Quote
What is baptism? A: Baptism is a sacrament, wherein the washing with water in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, doth signify and seal our engrafting into Christ, and partaking of the benefits of the covenant of grace, and our engagement to be the Lord's


Not only that. The scripture reference given for this question is none other than our beloved Romans 6:3.

Quote
Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death.


Please clarify for my sake. Are you going up against Augustine, Calvin, and the WSC on baptism?

I'd like to know what you think of Rich Lusk's thoughts:
Quote
This is not to say that there is no actual difference between the grace that the "truly regenerate" (e.g. elected to persevere) receive and the grace that future apostates receive. No doubt, there is a difference, since God has decreed and made provision for the perseverance of the one and not for the other (Eph 1:11). Systematic theologians certainly have a stake in making such distinctions a part of their theology, so the TULIP must stand unchallenged. Whatever grace reprobate covenant members receive is qualified by their lack of perseverance. Augustine rightly distinguished "predestination unto grace," which was only temporary, and did not lead to final salvation, from "predestination unto perseverance," which did issue forth eternal life. Perseverance is not merely the caboose on the end of the salvation train rather, its presence or absence qualifies one's whole participation in the ordo salutis.
The point here, however, is that this qualitative difference is not in view in warning passages such as Hebrews 6, and it is an illegitimate move to make it a part of one's exegesis. These passages simply speak of the undifferentiated grace of God. Morever, such a distinction is of no pastoral significance since it is one of the Lord's secrets (cf. Deut 29:29). It is simply impossible to determine who has persevering grace apart from the unfolding of time.


Would you take his last sentence to mean that we cannot know that we are saved? I think you and I both know that we are saved because we are in Christ. I'd still like to know your interpretation of John 15 though.


In Christ,
Faris
Posted By: Pilgrim

Re: asking for clarification - Tue Feb 06, 2007 12:30 AM

Quote
Ehud said:
I am not in anyway suggesting that these folks were infallibly saved because it is obvious from myriads of scriptures that they are not. What I am suggesting is that there are throughout scriptures the participation and partaking (JEdwards categories) of spiritual things by non-infallibly saved persons because of the covenant membership.

You would have to define "spiritual things" before I could respond to your proposition. From my reading of Scripture, which is in accord with the Reformed heritage, "spiritual things" connotes that which pertains to salvation. Thus non-elect individuals, whether in the womb or in their latter years participate nor partake of "spiritual things". That the non-elect benefit from the spiritual blessings bestowed upon the elect is true. But that is a decidedly different thing altogether.

Quote
Ehud said:
I am also fully aware that not all Israel is Israel, but those who are "not Israel" are still referred to as God's people in some sense.

Again, you seem to be wanting to equate being part of a covenant community to possessing some degree of God's favor/acceptance and thus those within the community are all to be considered "God's people" or in N.T. terminology, "Christian". There is no warrant to do this. Those who are saved by the grace of God have no need to be told to repent of their sins and believe upon Christ unto salvation for they already possess it. To put it another way, you are diminishing or even denying a distinction between the Visible and Invisible Church.

Quote
Ehud said:
Some of these folks would die at the manufacturing of the golden calf, would they not?

Does God say leave behind those who are not infallibly saved? Could there have been infants among "my people" who were not infallibly saved? Absolutely. It seems under your definitions that we must presume none of the infants who came out of Egypt to be infallibly saved and at the same time they are referred to by God as "My people." I understand that there is some cognative tension here, but if the Bible speaks this way, why can't we speak this way?

YOU are the one who is wanting to bring in this idea of "infallible salvation" or an "infallible knowledge" of salvation. I have repeatedly said that there is only One who has infallible knowledge about anything and everything; the Lord God. In the Church we possess only a fallible and finite knowledge, but nonetheless we can and do possess knowledge of the truth upon which we are to determine who belongs to Christ. Without evidence of regeneration, there is no warrant to presume another's salvation. (Rom 6; Jam 2:17ff) A child of believing parents may be entitled to an "associate membership" in the covenant community but it has no "voting rights" since it has not passed the initiation rights of giving a valid profession of faith, etc.

Quote
Ehud said:
I would love to know what is going on in the WSC question 94

Quote
What is baptism? A: Baptism is a sacrament, wherein the washing with water in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, doth signify and seal our engrafting into Christ, and partaking of the benefits of the covenant of grace, and our engagement to be the Lord's

Not only that. The scripture reference given for this question is none other than our beloved Romans 6:3.

Quote
Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death.

Please clarify for my sake. Are you going up against Augustine, Calvin, and the WSC on baptism?

Let me answer your last question last... "NO! I am in full accord with Augustine, Calvin and the WSC on the matter of baptism" in all that they say that is in accord with Scripture. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

Secondly, re: WSC Q:94 and the passages quoted . . . CONTEXT, CONTEXT and again I say, CONTEXT! A text out of context is nothing more than pretext. Just who is Paul addressing in those passages? Hint:... believers and them only. A baptized unbeliever is not "baptized into Christ", i.e., he/she is not united to Christ and thus a recipient of all the benefits merited for the elect. To even suggest such a thing is preposterous. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/rolleyes2.gif" alt="" />

Quote
Ehud said:
I'd like to know what you think of Rich Lusk's thoughts:

Quote
cut

Hogwash!! <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/rofl.gif" alt="" /> Unbelievers do NOT partake of ANY "grace", i.e., salvific blessings directly. As I have already noted, unbelievers do benefit from that which is given to believers but only indirectly. This is benevolence and nothing more.

In His grace,
Posted By: Ehud

Again, I request more clarification - Tue Feb 06, 2007 4:41 AM

Quote
YOU are the one who is wanting to bring in this idea of "infallible salvation" or an "infallible knowledge" of salvation. I have repeatedly said that there is only One who has infallible knowledge about anything and everything; the Lord God. In the Church we possess only a fallible and finite knowledge, but nonetheless we can and do possess knowledge of the truth upon which we are to determine who belongs to Christ. Without evidence of regeneration, there is no warrant to presume another's salvation.


I don't think that I started using "infallibly saved" until you started using it. I might be mistaken though. My only point is those who perished in the wilderness are at one point referred to as the people of Yahweh. That's my only point. And my question follows that if God can refer to all of Israel as "My people" even though all of Israel is not Israel, then why can't we call our "holy" baptized babies "Christians"?

Quote
Let me answer your last question last... "NO! I am in full accord with Augustine, Calvin and the WSC on the matter of baptism" in all that they say that is in accord with Scripture


Isn't it misleading here to use the language "full accord." I know you qualify this with "all that they say that is in accord with Scripture" but you aren't really in full accord with Augustine and Calvin on the issue at hand.

Pilgrim says:
Quote
That John Calvin was a godly man who had many things write when it came to biblical doctrine, he was not infallible. He even admitted as much. And his view on baptism, specifically as to that of infants and their covenantal standing, is one of those areas where he erred. Unfortunately, he didn't totally break from the Catholic teaching on baptism...It is true that Calvin teaches, or at least strongly implies, ]that children of believers in baptism are to be deemed "true" members of Christ's church. In this I have no qualms in seeing Calvin as being wrong there.


JEdwards says:
Quote
Of course, I could further point out the fact that Augustine was not consistent in his baptismal stance as well


I agree that Augustine has some problems with baptism. But the point is he allowed for children to be called Christians, and to your admission Calvin allowed for children to be members of the true church. Now the WSC doesn't have a question, "What is baptism for unbelieving babies?" All it asks is "What is Baptism?" It seems to me that if the WSC wanted to make such an important disticntion as you have made that it would have taken the time to address the difference in baptism of believers and baptism of infants.

I knew what your response was to Romans 6:3. My point was that for the WSC to make it a scripture proof for the sacrament of baptism means that the WSC has in mind water baptism when it reads Paul in Romans 6:3.

How is this for context for the WSC?
Quote
Elect infants do ordinarily receive the Spirit in
baptism, as the first efficient principle of furture actual regenreation...It is most agreeable to the institution of Christ, that all elect infants that are baptized....do ordinarily receive, from Christ, the Spirit in baptism, for their first solemn initiation into Christ, and for their future actual renovation, in God's good time, if they live to years of discretion, and enjoy the other ordinary means of grace appointed of God to this end.


-Cornelius Burges, Westminster divine, The Baptismal Regeneration of Elect Infants, 1629

In Christ,
Faris
Posted By: Pilgrim

Re: Again, I request more clarification - Tue Feb 06, 2007 5:32 AM

Quote
Ehud said:
My only point is those who perished in the wilderness are at one point referred to as the people of Yahweh. That's my only point. And my question follows that if God can refer to all of Israel as "My people" even though all of Israel is not Israel, then why can't we call our "holy" baptized babies "Christians"?

You just ain't getting it, eh? <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/rolleyes2.gif" alt="" /> God referred to the nation of Israel as the "people of God" as a conglomerate which was the VISIBLE CHURCH within which were both believers and unbelievers. But by doing so it does not follow that God considered the unbelievers to be His "people". Nor does it follow that the appellation "people of God" was applied specifically to the unbelievers among them. And lastly, in case you don't get it yet.. it's one thing to address a congregation within which the pastor knows there are believers as "beloved in the Lord" but it doesn't mean that he considers everyone in attendance to be true Christians. Again, this heretical idea of one being "in the covenant" somehow qualifies one to be called a Christian or to be presumed regenerate is nowhere to be found in God's inspired word.

Quote
Ehud said:
I agree that Augustine has some problems with baptism. But the point is he allowed for children to be called Christians, and to your admission Calvin allowed for children to be members of the true church. Now the WSC doesn't have a question, "What is baptism for unbelieving babies?" All it asks is "What is Baptism?" It seems to me that if the WSC wanted to make such an important disticntion as you have made that it would have taken the time to address the difference in baptism of believers and baptism of infants.

On this point Augustine was dead wrong and Calvin erred. Neither had a biblical warrant for their respective views re: infants/children being regarded as "Christians". The question you raised about the WSC not including a section on baptizing unbelieving infants is irrelevant. Whether an infant of believing parents has faith or not is a mute issue because the faith of the recipient does not determine the efficacy or meaning of the sacrament. This is the error which Baptists have always laboured under unfortunately. What baptism means is propositionally true. The application of those truths depends upon the spiritual condition of the recipient. Thus where faith exists ALL of what baptism means is applicable. Where no faith is present, NONE of what baptism means is applicable at that time. However, if a child is eventually called of God by the Spirit, regenerated, given faith is therefore converted, then ALL that baptism signifies THEN applies. Receiving baptism is not to be understood as a cart blanche receiving of God's salvific grace. IF that were true then ALL who are baptized are of necessity heirs of eternal life in Christ Jesus. But we've been down that road already and you took a turn off right from the start.

Quote
Ehud said:
How is this for context for the WSC?

Quote
Elect infants do ordinarily receive the Spirit in
baptism, as the first efficient principle of furture actual regenreation...It is most agreeable to the institution of Christ, that all elect infants that are baptized....do ordinarily receive, from Christ, the Spirit in baptism, for their first solemn initiation into Christ, and for their future actual renovation, in God's good time, if they live to years of discretion, and enjoy the other ordinary means of grace appointed of God to this end.

I don't see where this does anything for your argument. In fact, it serves my argument quite nicely. Again, notice the CONTEXT of whom he speaks..... "elect infants". He is speaking objectively and not subjectively of every infant who is baptized. ONLY "elect" infants are guaranteed future regeneration and are called to faith, aka: conversion "in God's good time". There is nothing here that warrants presuming the regeneration of ALL infants nor of any infant in particular. He is simply but clearly referring to a specific group of infants; i.e., those who are "elect". A similar truth is found in the WCF:X:III-IV which states:

Quote
III. Elect infants, dying in infancy, are regenerated, and saved by Christ, through the Spirit, who works when, and where, and how He pleases:[13] so also are all other elect persons who are incapable of being outwardly called by the ministry of the Word.

IV. Others, not elected, although they may be called by the ministry of the Word, and may have some common operations of the Spirit, yet they never truly come unto Christ, and therefore cannot be saved: much less can men, not professing the Christian religion, be saved in any other way whatsoever, be they never so diligent to frame their lives according to the light of nature, and the laws of that religion they do profess. And to assert and maintain that they may, is very pernicious, and to be detested.

In His grace,
Posted By: Ehud

Fair enough - Tue Feb 06, 2007 6:16 AM

Quote
You just ain't getting it, eh? God referred to the nation of Israel as the "people of God" as a conglomerate which was the VISIBLE CHURCH within which were both believers and unbelievers. But by doing so it does not follow that God considered the unbelievers to be His "people".


Okay. Take this idea on home with John 15. Are those branches who are torn out, were they ever at one point abiding in the love of Christ?

Or maybe a better question is, how do you define "abiding in the love of Christ" in John 15?

Quote
Again, notice the CONTEXT of whom he speaks..... "elect infants". He is speaking objectively and not subjectively of every infant who is baptized. ONLY "elect" infants are guaranteed future regeneration and are called to faith, aka: conversion "in God's good time".


I'll forego the fact that you didn't mention that Cornelius says elect infants recieve the Spirit at baptism.

So we have examples of in the scriptures of infants being saved and we have examples of covenant children in the scriptures being reprobate. Both examples are given. Some could end up in the hand of God and some could not.

Another important question is, "What criteria are you using to presume that children are not true members of the church?" Since you have examples of saved infants as well as examples of non-elect infants why do you choose to assume all infants are not true members as opposed to all infants being true members of the church.

I think you'll say because they can't show fruit. I'll be gracious and give you the first three years of life, but after that, come'on, the kids in our church are praying with their parents at home, they proclaim to love Jesus, under the discipline of their parents they are learning to obey God. Granted their understanding is small but who can say they have great understanding to the One who has laid the foundations of the world. Even Jesus says "UNLESS you become like one of these..."

I'm not arguing that unweaned infants take communion. Let's go with three years of age. At three years, they can be seen to be true members of the church and take communion... do we have an agreement? <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/cheers2.gif" alt="" />?
Posted By: Pilgrim

Re: Fair enough - Tue Feb 06, 2007 7:04 PM

Quote
Ehud said:
Okay. Take this idea on home with John 15. Are those branches who are torn out, were they ever at one point abiding in the love of Christ?

Or maybe a better question is, how do you define "abiding in the love of Christ" in John 15?

The main emphasis of the allegory of the "Vine and Branches" is the distinction between two groups: 1) Those who bear fruit and who are actually abiding in Christ and 2) Those who do not bear fruit and who appeared to have been abiding in Christ. When one considers the historical occasion on which Jesus taught this allegory it becomes clear that at least in great part, Judas was to be an example to the disciples as one who fit in category #2 and the disciples were in category #1. This is even more clear when one considers chapter 13 and especially vvs. 10 and 11:

John 13:10-11 (ASV) Jesus saith to him, He that is bathed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all. For he knew him that should betray him; therefore said he, Ye are not all clean.


So, in regard to the two groups we have: 1) branches that bear fruit and are clean and 2) branches that bear no fruit and are not clean. Being "clean" is a definite reference to one who has been washed in the redeeming blood of Christ and therefore in reality and spiritually has been "in Christ". Those in the second group were only in close proximity to Christ outwardly, i.e., by appearances they were close to Christ. Their being "in the vine" does not necessarily mean that they were joined to Christ spiritually but in fact it was nothing more than an external relationship. Not all who are in the covenant are in the covenant. Not all those who were baptized into Moses were saved (1Cor 10:1-5). Another salient example can be found in John 8:30ff where many believed on Him but these same "believers" are those who claimed to have no need of Christ because they claimed to be "Abraham's seed", etc. What we see there are covenant members who outwardly even believed on Christ yet were rejected by Christ for their unbelief.

There are a number of other illustrations one would refer to in order to establish the fact that there are those who appear to be "in the vine (in Christ)" but who are not so, e.g., the parable of the Sower (Matt 13:3ff; Mk 4:3ff), those who were confessing members of various congregations (1Jh 2:19), et al.

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Ehud said:
So we have examples of in the scriptures of infants being saved and we have examples of covenant children in the scriptures being reprobate. Both examples are given. Some could end up in the hand of God and some could not.

Another important question is, "What criteria are you using to presume that children are not true members of the church?" Since you have examples of saved infants as well as examples of non-elect infants why do you choose to assume all infants are not true members as opposed to all infants being true members of the church.

I am aware of covenant children being saved, but that isn't the issue since we both agree that covenant children are in fact saved. The issue is whether or not one can presume that ALL infants of professing believers are saved, aka: presumptive regeneration either by virtue of their being born to believing parents and/or in baptism. There are only a few examples given of individuals who were apparently regenerate in the womb; David, Jeremiah? and John the Baptist. However, it is fallacious to assume these individuals to be paradigmatic and thus base a doctrine of universal fetal regeneration upon them. The overwhelming majority of covenant children within Israel perished in unbelief and therefore serve far better for one to presume the spiritual state of any and all infants including covenant children. If that were not enough, again there are the two texts which I have previously referred to and to which you have failed to make comment: Romans 3:9-18, 23 and Eph 2:1-5 to which can be added a plethora of texts which teach the inherent corruption of nature and alienation with God of the entire human race. So again, upon this massive repository of biblical evidence which consigns the entire human race to be under the just condemnation of God due to Original Sin; i.e., 1) imputed guilt and 2) inherited corruption of nature, one can only presume that infants/children are outside of Christ, enemies of God and are in dire need of regeneration and justification in Christ.

Being "in covenant" is NOT de facto salvation. Being "in the covenant" is NOT to be equated with being reconciled with God. Being a "member of the covenant" is not to be understood as a place where a person works out their salvation via alleged "good works" and if this is done consistently to the end they are then justified.

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Ehud said:
I think you'll say because they can't show fruit. I'll be gracious and give you the first three years of life, but after that, come'on, the kids in our church are praying with their parents at home, they proclaim to love Jesus, under the discipline of their parents they are learning to obey God. . . .

One may only hope that such perceived behaviour is genuine. But given that children will parrot adults and can be taught to emulate just about anything by those whom they respect, particularly their parents, such behaviour is hardly one to base a doctrine of paedo-communion. Secondly, even if such children of 3+ years of age were regenerate and possessed a saving faith in Christ this would still not meet the qualifications that one "examine themselves" and be able to "discern the body of Christ" before partaking of the Lord's Table. Being a believer is only part of the requirements to partake of the Table of the Lord. These other two requirements cannot be circumvented and to this date I have not read any reasonable arguments why they should be.

In His grace,
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