Saturday, June 30, 2007

STILL THINKING ON THE BAPTISM ISSUE . . .

Thank you to all of you brothers and sisters who have been praying for us on the issue of the proper subjects of baptism. I just wanted to give you all an update.

We are continuing to take this slowly, but through talking with our elders and thinking and discussing it out more, we still have our doubts about infant baptism. It seems to me that both sides have excellent points to make, and both sides have arguments, and arguments that respond to arguments, and arguments that respond to arguments' arguments, ad infinitum.

Having said that, we are considering dropping the issue. I want to let it sit for a while, but I know that, when a case comes up in a court of law, when true and reasonable doubt is present, the case is dismissed.

Currently, I have true and reasonable doubt about the issue of infant baptism. I have dialogued with paedobaptist friends where they tried to answer these issues. On the surface, the answers seemed to be somewhat satisfactory, but after probing it a bit further, I am still unsure.

When this chapter in our life comes to a close (probably in a couple of months, I hope), I will do a final post on this issue.

Please continue to pray for us. I know that there have been godly men on both sides of this issue in the history of the Church. Our only wish, as I know both credos and paedos wish as well, is to obey God's Word in this area of our life and our childrens' lives.

I also wish to open up my blog for any comments from credo brothers or paedo brothers for fruitful discussion if you wish.

May our Lord continue to guide His Church into all truth.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

What is your reasonable doubt that you are holding on to? You never say in your post.

Josh Brisby said...

Anonymous,

Depending on where we come down on all of this, I plan on doing a final post on this issue (perhaps in a couple of parts), in which I will also open it up. Currently, we are at a time in our life in which we have many cares (especially with one of our sons), and so we have currently taken a break from studying the issue. I do plan on reconvening the study as soon as possible.

Philpilgrim said...

"Doctrine Unites!" has a post on this subject:

http://doctrineunites.wordpress.com/2007/03/23/43/

Anonymous said...

Josh,
How has everything been going? I have not heard from you in a while. Later...


B.J.

Josh Brisby said...

B.J.,

We're doing well. We are staying busy...mainly dealing with therapy for Gabriel and what not. We are looking for funding for an early intervention program for him with regards to his high spectrum autism. So, we are staying busy. How are you guys doing? Give me a call.

RubeRad said...

Hey Josh,

Reuben from Hoagies & Stogies here. I went through the same transition myself a few years back (but I never started as a Presbyterian!).

I suspect that your research has already eclipsed anything I can offer, but you can read about it here -- if you want to wade through 150 comments! What it came down to for me was newly understanding covenant theology -- that Israel was a church under age, through which salvation came by faith (Abraham believed, and it was counted to him as righteousness). And yet, in the OT, ALL covenant baby boys were circumcised at 8 days -- way before any confession could be possible.

In particular, Gen 17:23-27 makes conspicuous the point that Ishmael, who was obviously not a child of promise -- even Ishmael was circumcised.

Baptism is a sign of God's grace, not our decision.

BTW, I haven't seen anybody on your blog link yet to Dennis Johnson of WSCAL.

I see you are coming to H&S: Ordination of Women. Are you planning on going to the Gene Cook/Paul Manata debate the next night? If not, make sure you at least get the audio afterwards.

Bless you brother! See you at H&S!

Ron Smith said...

Bro,

1. Have your bride call mine. My wife's phone broke and she lost all her contact numbers.

2. I am happy to see you revisiting this issue. I can tell you from personal experience, children can be taught at a very young age to genuinely worship their Lord. We as parents teach them to believe so many things and, by God's grace, they believe us. Praise be to God, that is just how He made children. The knowledge of the Gospel should be no different in that respect. If we teach them to believe it, they will believe it. If we teach them often to believe it, they will know how important it is. (Deut 6)

Whether or not you present your children to the minister for baptism, or they present themselves at a later date, let me exhort you to teach them to believe that Jesus is theirs. I tear up as I write this because I know so many Christian parents who leave the ‘decision’ up to their kids, and of course, having a sinful nature, their children often choose autonomy over theonomy. Take a note from God’s parenting book. Don’t leave the choice up to them.

Jesus loves your children. He died for them. God is their Heavenly Father and is grieved by their sin. They need to be taught to repent and pray 'sinner’s prayers' as soon as they can sin, put two hands together, and 'repeat after me'. They need to be taught to trust and obey. If you do this in faith, God will use you to save your children.

3. Let’s have a beer sometime soon. I’ll drive up to you. Eight five eight, three five seven, five one zero four

Grace and Peace in Christ,
Ron Smith

VA ~Susan said...

Josh,
I came across an old blog entry of yours today and being a reformed Baptist I could say a hearty "amen" to your thoughts I read there.
http://joshbrisby.blogspot.com/2005_12_01_archive.html

Then I saw this recent entry on baptism and see you are still going over it. I take it you are in a paedo church and the issue has come up for you to decide something. Being a reformed Baptist in a paedo church, I can really sympathize with you. Our kids were both grown when we joined our present paedo church, so it was not an issue for us, but for younger couples it can be so much harder.
I would suggest listening to Dr. Fred Malone's online talks on the Founders site. He is very good. Most importantly, just read the Bible. I cannot find infant baptism mentioned even once in there!

Anonymous said...

Someone said.....
"Baptism is a sign of God's grace, not our decision."

Then how does an infant "walk in newness of life" after being "buried with him by baptism into death"? Romans 6:4.

God is not willing that any should perish. So if people aren't saved, is God's will thwarted? Or do people have a choice in salvation? "Whosoever believeth on him shall have everlasting life." "Believeth" is an individual choice; it's a verb of personal intent. God didn't create pre-programmed robots moving around the chessboard. He knows what choices you'll make; but that does not mean he makes them for you. If he did, why are unrepentant sinners condemned to hell?
These are some of the problems I see with the whole "Reformed" movement, be it Presby or the newly created Reformed Baptist movement.
I'll pray for your studies on this issue and hope that God reveals His truth through His Word....and His Word alone. But I think some of your "confusion" about so fundamental an issue as believer's baptism is a symptom of hitching your wagon to Reformers who think they've improved slightly on the Catholic gameplan. True Baptists aren't Reformers or Protestants. It saddens me to see Baptists embrace Calvin, a man who, like Luther, persecuted the Baptists in his day.
I'd encourage you to read "The Trail of Blood" for some perspective.

http://www.baptistpillar.com/bd0172.htm

Josh Brisby said...

Anonymous,

Welcome to The Reformed Oasis!

Just as a matter of commenting protocol, it's best to limit your comments to the subjects at hand. If you want to discuss Arminianism vs. Calvinism, it might be best to wait until I post on the subject, or you can e-mail me at solaschristos@yahoo.com.

Again, welcome to The Reformed Oasis!