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#35009 Fri Jan 26, 2007 2:50 AM
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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.
Quote
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

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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.

Quote
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."



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Ehud #35011 Fri Jan 26, 2007 1:50 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!

Quote
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.

Quote
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:

Quote
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="" />


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Ehud #35012 Fri Jan 26, 2007 4:17 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!


Kyle

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CovenantInBlood #35013 Fri Jan 26, 2007 7:12 PM
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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."

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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="" />

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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?

Quote
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?

Quote
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.

Quote
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:

Quote
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
Quote
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

Last edited by Ehud; Sat Jan 27, 2007 3:13 AM.
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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.

Quote
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.

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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....

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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,

Quote
"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:

Quote
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!

Pilgrim #35018 Sat Jan 27, 2007 3:39 PM
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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

J_Edwards #35019 Sat Jan 27, 2007 4:51 PM
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Joe,

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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

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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,


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simul iustus et peccator

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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.


Reformed and Always Reforming,
Pilgrim #35022 Sun Jan 28, 2007 2:03 AM
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Ehud Offline OP
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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.

Ehud #35023 Sun Jan 28, 2007 2:04 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="" />


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