Gnostic Doctrine

Wednesday, 28 July 2021

infant baptism

Infant baptism





History
The origins of infant baptism are uncertain.

The first incontestable evidence for the practice of infant baptism comes in the writings of Tertullian. He asks,Why should innocent infancy be in such a hurry to come to the forgiveness of sins? Let them come while they are maturing, while they are learning, while they are being taught what it is they are coming to. Let them be made Christians when they have become able to know Christ. (On Baptism 18.5 quoted in Pelikan, 290)

Cathar teachings shared by the Waldensians became defining features of Protestant belief. Many of these teachings follow from the rejection of Roman Catholic "tradition" in favour of scripture. Examples include the rejection of a priesthood, the rejection of graven images and the idolatry associated with them, rejection of the cults of saints and relics, denial of Purgatory, and a rejection of the Roman Church's sacraments.

Protestants, like Cathars, rejected the medieval Roman doctrine of transubstantiation and infant baptism.

For the Cathars, infant baptism with water was not merely unscriptural, it was an appanage of the bad god Jehovah, and had been expressly rejected by Christ. (Taken from https://www.cathar.info/cathar_legacy.htm)

The doctrine of baptism
BAPTISM is an act of obedience required of all who believe the Gospel. It is a bodily immersion in, and not a face-sprinkling or head-pouring with, water. Its administration to infants, in any form, is unauthorized and useless;* it is only enjoined on those who have intelligence enough to believe the glad tidings of the kingdom of God and the things concerning the name of Jesus Christ. To such, it is the means of that present (legal) union with Christ, which is preparatory to perfect assimilation at the resurrection. It is, therefore, necessary to salvation.

If the reader of the New Testament will substitute for the words 'baptise' and baptism'wherever used, the words *pour' or ' sprinkle,' or their substantives, he cannot fail to perceive that such construction is frequently senseless and incongruous: but if he will use the words to immerse' or 'immersion,' he will readily perceive that they harmonise in every instance with the sense and figure


The evil effect of inquiring of God's word in order to sustain an adopted theory, is manifest in the pertinacity with which theologians wrest the scripture, in order to build up one of their imaginations—infant baptism. The Saviour says, Mat. xix. 14, " Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me, for of such is the kingdom of heaven." If the kingdom of heaven be sinless, then little children are sinless, for such as they compose it the Lord himself hath declared. Paul asserts, Rom. iv. 15, "Where no law is, there is no transgression;" and John says, I. Epis. iii. 4, " Sin is the transgression of law." But the wildest theorist has never yet pretended that infants can transgress or be amenable to any law, human or divine. No transgression no sin, say the apostles, and thus with their Great Master bear testimony to the innocence of children. Baptism is instituted by the Lord for remission of sins. Surely nothing but a strong delusion could persuade mankind to take from the penitent believing sinner this gracious institution, this balm for all his fears, and confer it on those who can neither believe nor sin.

Infants are made the subjects of a religious ceremony to regenerate them because of original sin; on account of which, acoording to Geneva philosophy they are liable to the flames of hell for ever! If original sin, which is in fact sin in the flesh, were neutralized, then all "baptismally regenerated" babes ought to live for ever, as Adam would have done had he eaten of the Tree of Life after he had sinned. But they die; which is a proof that the "regeneration" does not "cure their souls"; and is, therefore, mere theological quackery. 

Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized  shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
-*Maarrkk xvi, 16, l<f.

Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a man be born of water, and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.—/no. iii, 6. Then Peter said unto them, Repent and be baptized every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ. * * * Then they that gladly received his word were baptized.
—Actt ii, 38, 41.

And when they (the people of Samaria) believed Philip, preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both MEN AND WOMEN.—Acts viii, 12.

And he commanded the chariot to stand still; and they went down into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and HE BAPTIZED HIM.—Actt viii, 39.

Paul (after his conversion) arose and WAS BXTTizvD.—Acts ix, 18.

Lydia was BAPTIZED, and her household.—Acts xvi, 15.

The keeper of the prison (at Philippi) * • * v a s BAPTIZED, he and all his straightway, * * * believing in God with all his house.—Acts zvi, 27, 33, 34.

When they (twelve men at Ephesus) heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.—Acts xix, o.

The like figure whereunto even BAPTISM DOTH ALSO NOW SAVE us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.—1 "Peter iii, 21.

At what age should one be immersed?

Preferably when one has reached the age of reason, however infant Baptisms or baby sprinkling, are meaningless and useless.

We reject that infant baptism or baby sprinkling is a doctrine of Scripture. [Baptism is only valid upon a confession of understanding the complete Will and purpose of God. It is the outward manifestation of an inner conviction — Mark 16:16; Acts 8:12.]


We reject that baptism is not necessary to salvation. [Baptism establishes a covenant-relationship, and is an act of obedience required for salvation — Acts 2:38.]

We reject that a knowledge of the Truth is not necessary to make baptism valid. [Baptism is only valid upon a knowledge of God’s revealed will and purpose, and an open declaration and confession thereof — Acts 8:12.]

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