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Infant baptism


Brenda

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Does anyone know where in the Bible it's mentioned? Or IOW, how/when did it start?

Thanks!

I had a Catholic tell me of a passage in the NT which records the apostles or some disciples entering someone's house and they "baptized all the family". The implication being that infants were present and were also baptized.

Hardly a clear indication that babies should be baptized.

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I had a Catholic tell me of a passage in the NT which records the apostles or some disciples entering someone's house and they "baptized all the family". The implication being that infants were present and were also baptized.

Hardly a clear indication that babies should be baptized.

Personally, I believe that it stems from the false teaching that as descendants of Adam and because man has a sinful nature we are born sinful.

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As most Catholics and others who practice infant baptism will admit, there is no explicit reference to such. Instead, Catholics and Presbyterians and others will point to household baptisms as implicit evidence for such; the argument runs that only the head of the household believed, but everyone, including infants, were baptised, in the Book of Acts (as well as other arguments; tying in one being an infant when one was circumcised in the Old Covenant, arguing one should be baptised in the New as an infant, too).

A very good book on the history of baptism in the first five centuries of Christianity is that of Everett Ferguson' Baptism in the Early Church, published by Eerdmans.

James White (yes, *that* James White) and Bill Shishko debated on the issue of household baptisms a few years ago, and the debate can be found in two-parts on MP3 format. It can be found:

http://inthylight.wordpress.com/2006/12/08/james-white-and-bill-shishko-infant-baptism-debate-mp3s/

Of course, both men reject baptismal regeneration; those who believe in baptismal regeneration and original sin argue that one must be baptised to remit such a sin on one's soul (e.g., Catholicism).

Hope this helps in some way.

Robert Boylan

Tralee, Ireland.

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It's amazing to me that we (or at least I can speak to myself) take what we're given at face value. If there's one thing I've learned from all this "investigation", it's that I never knew anything about religious references, history, etc. In terms of infant baptism, I'd always just assumed "that's the way it was", because I'd never been introduced to anything differently. Infant baptisms are a big deal in my family (as I'm sure some of you can relate). It makes perfect sense to me, knowing what I know now, that infants are not baptized, from the LDS perspective. At the same time, I find it curious that I've read some criticisms (here and elsewhere) of the "LDS" way of baptizing 8 years olds (I seem to remember one thread that showed a Utah judge prohibiting such a baptism in a divorce decree, based on her belief that 8 year olds are too young). I guess there's no pleasing everyone....

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Does anyone know where in the Bible it's mentioned? Or IOW, how/when did it start?

Thanks!

Hi Brenda,

It is clear to me that it (infant baptism) started with the very first Christians and this practice continues today by many followers of Christ.

Act 16:15 Lydia was converted "She was baptized with her household"

Acts 16:33 The jailer was converted "He was baptized with all his family"

1 Corinthians 1"16 Paul writes in his greetings letter "I did baptize also the house of Stephanas"

In all cases, households or families were baptized. Clearly we do not "KNOW" how old these children were. Some were surely at the age of reason but surely others were infants. Also, if the infants were NOT baptized, surely there would have been exceptions written by the many Early Church Father's and or in Holy Scripture that would at least hint at this exception of infants.

In short (Whether you happen to agree or disagree with the present practice/value of infant baptism), it was indeed started with the first Christians on the Planet and is clearly supported by Holy Scripture and the Early Church Father's.

Peace,

Ceeboo

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Hi Brenda,

It is clear to me that it (infant baptism) started with the very first Christians and this practice continues today by many followers of Christ.

Act 16:15 Lydia was converted "She was baptized with her household"

Acts 16:33 The jailer was converted "He was baptized with all his family"

1 Corinthians 1"16 Paul writes in his greetings letter "I did baptize also the house of Stephanas"

In all cases, households or families were baptized. Clearly we do not "KNOW" how old these children were. Some were surely at the age of reason but surely others were infants. Also, if the infants were NOT baptized, surely there would have been exceptions written by the many Early Church Father's and or in Holy Scripture that would at least hint at this exception of infants.

In short (Whether you happen to agree or disagree with the present practice/value of infant baptism), it was indeed started with the first Christians on the Planet and is clearly supported by Holy Scripture and the Early Church Father's.

Peace,

Ceeboo

Hi Ceeboo.

Bold mine, I would disagree with the notion that infant baptisms were indeed started with the first Christians. Your argument from Acts, disregards the possibility that infants were not in any of the aforementioned households and to assume that there were infants in the household is speculative. Furthermore previous to these household baptisms we could preface Peters statement earlier in the book of Acts.

Act 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Repentance is a precursor to baptism and repentance is a cognitive process that implies the understanding of sin. This would seem to exclude infants, so I don't think your posited evidence actually does implicitly argue the point.

Also worth noting is Chapter 7 from the Didache (The Teaching of the 12 Apostles)

Chapter 7. Concerning Baptism. And concerning baptism, baptize this way: Having first said all these things, baptize into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, in living water. But if you have no living water, baptize into other water; and if you cannot do so in cold water, do so in warm. But if you have neither, pour out water three times upon the head into the name of Father and Son and Holy Spirit. But before the baptism let the baptizer fast, and the baptized, and whoever else can; but you shall order the baptized to fast one or two days before.

Though not canonized, the Didache is certainly one of the earliest Christian writings we have outside the canon and the point it makes in regards to baptism shouldn't be discounted in a traditional sense.

Bold mine. This point of being ordered to fast for a day or so would certainly fall outside the realm of cognition for an infant.

Regards,

Mudcat

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I've read in the Bible where it talks about whole households, but I can't agree that it clearly includes infants. You have to agree that they MAY have meant entire households of older children and adults. It doesn't specifically say either way, so either one is a possibility. And I don't think it talks about sprinkling anywhere in the Bible, which is a process (I assume) necessary--other than immersion-- for baptizing infants.

My theory, on the assumption that the LDS practice is what God intended, is that all other Christian methods & beliefs of baptism evolved from the original correct doctrine. And what, per my assumption, was the original correct doctrine? Possibly being born in the covenant. The only ordinance that the LDS Church performs with infants is temple sealing.

Is there anything in Catholic or other Christian doctrine that talks about linking babies into families somehow? Or possibly linking babies to Christ/God through baptism? I've read this somewhere and would love to have it clarified.

Thank you!!

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Hi Brenda,

It is clear to me that it (infant baptism) started with the very first Christians and this practice continues today by many followers of Christ.

Act 16:15 Lydia was converted "She was baptized with her household"

Acts 16:33 The jailer was converted "He was baptized with all his family"

1 Corinthians 1"16 Paul writes in his greetings letter "I did baptize also the house of Stephanas"

In all cases, households or families were baptized. Clearly we do not "KNOW" how old these children were. Some were surely at the age of reason but surely others were infants. Also, if the infants were NOT baptized, surely there would have been exceptions written by the many Early Church Father's and or in Holy Scripture that would at least hint at this exception of infants.

In short (Whether you happen to agree or disagree with the present practice/value of infant baptism), it was indeed started with the first Christians on the Planet and is clearly supported by Holy Scripture and the Early Church Father's.

Peace,

Ceeboo

I have no problem with the Catholic church or its representatives here on this forum making infant baptism a 'family thing', although the passages you provide do not warrant the requirement that infants be baptized. It is only speculation to assume so.

I do, however, take issue with modern day Catholic voices presenting this as the justification for infant baptism while conveniently forgetting that the teachings of the Catholic church, which prescribed a hell for those babies who were not baptized, is never mentioned.

In order to answer the first question on infant baptism, one must also answer the question: "Where in the Bible is the doctrine of babies going to hell?"

Also overlooked in this discussion is the fact that before the Bible was published for the general public, people had to take the word of the church as their only source. If the church said so, that is the way it was. So in reality the church could invent doctrine to suit its needs. This power in the early RCC over an ignorant but faithful people led to abusive doctrine such as babies go to hell if not baptized.

Furthermore, the requirement for infant baptism in order to avoid a firer hell stems from the incorrect doctrine that we are born under the burden of Adam's original sin and are held to account for his transgression.

When Christ restored the truth to the earth He provided scripture in the BOM that addressed the question of infant baptism. He also prescribed the prophet Joseph Smith to write the 2nd Article of Faith stating: "We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam

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Hi Ceeboo.

Bold mine, I would disagree with the notion that infant baptisms were indeed started with the first Christians. Your argument from Acts, disregards the possibility that infants were not in any of the aforementioned households and to assume that there were infants in the household is speculative. Furthermore previous to these household baptisms we could preface Peters statement earlier in the book of Acts.

Regards,

Mudcat

Hi Mudcat,

Thanks for the perspective.

I can appreciate you not agreeing with me (Several have and surely several will continue to do so)

Yes, it is possible that no infants were in any of the households (Not likely IMHO) and it is also my opinion that if there were "exceptions", clearly they would have been spoke of in Holy Scripture and or at least hinted of by the numerous Early Church Father's writing's.

Furthermore, when considering the books of the NT that were written later in the 1st century (during the time when said children were raised in Christian homes), we find no example of a child who was raised in a Christian home who was baptized later upon "making a decision to come to Christ". On the contrary, they clearly were already Christian and have already been baptized in Christ (To me, this is further evidence of "all baptized" from the very beginning. I realize and respect that many of my separated brothers in Christ disagree, Mudcat included.

If infant baptism were not the rule, then we should see references of the children of Christian parents joining the Church only after they have come to the age of reason, and there are no such examples of this in Scripture.

IMHO, those Christians who practice of infant baptism have much common ground with the very early Christians.

Lastly, when the Christian Church began, there were obviously no "cradle Christians",(All were adult converts).

Anthooo, I appreciate your perspective Mudcat. I simply and respectfully agree to disagree.

Peace,

Ceeboo

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I hope that 3DOP, Soren, or another Catholic will post in this thread, as they are able to articulate the theological bases for Catholic doctrine better than I can. However, I hope that I will be able to show how Catholics typically see this issue:

Firstly, it is important to realize that from the Catholic position, just because something is not explicitly mentioned in the Bible does not make it false. Catholics believe that the Church came before the Bible, not the other way around. Catholics also do not believe that the Bible is the final or sole authority.

As others have already mentioned, there is no verse in the Bible that states that infants must be baptized. Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, and others that practice infant baptism instead see various verses as pointing towards the validity of the practice. The "household" argument has already been brought up. I personally think that it is a very weak argument, since it assumes many things, especially that infants were part of those households. The other popular verses are Colossians 2:11-12 (KJV):

11In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:

12Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.

The Catholic/Orthodox/etc. interpretation of this passage is that baptism is being equated with circumcision, and is the "new" circumcision, given to males and females. Because circumcision was given to infant males, baptism can therefore be given to infant males and females. I believe that these two arguments (households and circumcision) are the main Biblical passages that are pointed to by those that practice infant baptism.

You may also be interested in this article from the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America on Infant Baptism:

http://www.goarch.org/ourfaith/ourfaith7067

And I don't think it talks about sprinkling anywhere in the Bible, which is a process (I assume) necessary--other than immersion-- for baptizing infants.

For Catholics and Orthodox, baptism (whether infant, child, or adult) is done by immersion or pouring, never sprinkling. Sprinkling in Catholicism is a blessing, done at certain liturgies. It renews baptismal promises. In the Eastern Catholic and Orthodox Churches, immersion baptism is the norm for infants and adults, with pouring done if immersion is not possible (as the Didache states).

Is there anything in Catholic or other Christian doctrine that talks about linking babies into families somehow? Or possibly linking babies to Christ/God through baptism? I've read this somewhere and would love to have it clarified.

Catholics believe that baptism is the entrance into God's family. Infants are baptized so that they may be part of that family.

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Does anyone know where in the Bible it's mentioned? Or IOW, how/when did it start?

Thanks!

It finds its foreshadowing in the Old Testament and fulfillment in the Apostolic Church. Abraham was the first to whom it was revealed the necessity of a ceremony for infants that requires faith on the part of the child's parents.

And I will make thee increase, exceedingly, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee. And I will establish my covenant between me and thee, and between thy seed after thee in their generations, by a perpetual covenant: to be a God to thee, and to thy seed after thee. And I will give to thee, and to thy seed, the land of thy sojournment, all the land of Chanaan for a perpetual possession, and I will be their God. Again God said to Abraham: And thou therefore shalt keep my covenant, and thy seed after thee in their generations. This is my covenant which you shall observe, between me and you, and thy seed after thee: All the male kind of you shall be circumcised: And you shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin, that it may be for a sign of the covenant between me and you. An infant of eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in your generations: he that is born in the house, as well as the bought servant shall be circumcised, and whosoever is not of your stock: And my covenant shall be in your flesh for a perpetual covenant. The male, whose flesh of his foreskin shall not be circumcised, that soul shall be destroyed out of his people: because he hath broken my covenant.
---Genesis 17:6-14

There are a couple of important points to note about this passage and its context:

1) Abraham has already been promised that through Him "all the kindred of the earth shall be blessed". From these early times (Gen.12), it was already revealed that the blessings of God would extend through the seed of Abraham beyond his physical offspring. Of course we Christians understand what was an ambiguous promise in Genesis to be fulfilled with clarity when Christ was born of the Virgin Mary, a woman of the seed of Abraham.

2) Note the emphasis on Abraham's seed. It is the belief of Catholics that it is through Adam, and his seed, that original sin is passed from generation to generation. God tells Abraham he desires that His covenant "shall be in your flesh". Male circumcision shows how the contagion of Adam has been passed down from father to children. This is the reason why females have no corresponding ceremony in Abraham's circumcision since it is mainly pointing to the problem, without giving the complete solution.

3) It required faith in God's promises on the part of the parents of a child to bring it at eight days old for this new and painful ceremony. One recalls the wife of Moses erupting at him for obeying this law, calling him a bloody husband. It wasn't like today when everybody does it for health reasons in a hospital. One would think that there could be no consequences to the infant if the parents should fail in this regard, but no. The infant shall "be destroyed out of my people, because he hath broken my covenant."

------------------------

Abraham, Moses, and other faithful children of the Old Covenant were not slow to follow God's law, being also solicitous to fully initiate the male child into the covenant community at the age of eight days. Catholics believe that it is a similar blessing to be able to bring their children of both sexes to the saving waters of baptism which was prefigured in the circumcision given to Abraham:

In whom also you are circumcised with circumcision not made by hand, in despoiling of the body of the flesh, but in the circumcision of Christ: Buried with him in baptism, in whom also you are risen again by the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him up from the dead. 13 And you, when you were dead in your sins, and the uncircumcision of your flesh; he hath quickened together with him, forgiving you all offences:
---Col. 2:11-13

Yes, we are of the family that receives not the circumcision of Abraham, reserved solely for the physical children of Israel, but a circumcision "not made by hand" (surgical operation), not "in despoiling the body of the flesh" (cutting away of the foreskin of the males). So what is the "circumcision of Christ"? What does this Old Testament ceremony prefigure and fulfill? We read it in verse 12: The Christian is circumcised with circumcision not made by hand when he is "Buried with him in baptism". It is a non-surgical "operation of God" that does more than show where original sin comes from (although it does that too). Just as the eight day old male child of Abraham qualified for a circumcision which shows forth the source of original sin, so all the infant children of the spiritual offspring of Abraham's faith in Jesus Christ qualify for the new "circumcision of Christ" in destroying original sin in boys and girls too, who though not the source or carrying the seed of original sin receive it from their fathers. Just as the baby boys were received into the old covenant through the physical circumcision of Abraham, all children may be received into the new covenant through the spiritual circumcision of Christ.

The first historical reference to infant baptism is not recorded until about 200 AD where without denying the validity of infant baptism, Tertullian advises waiting. Tertullian argued that it was better for the child to come to the time of reason and being better able to participate more fully. It seems doubtful that the teaching associated with "the circumcision of Christ" where infants were also to partake of the covenant was in Tertullian's understanding. It also seems clear that one who opposed the practice would have appealed if possible to any knowledge that it was of recent origin. Significantly, he didn't challenge its Apostolic origin. Nor did he require a "rebaptism" when the child comes to reason. For him it was only a question of prudence. Tertullian ultimately went into schism. He should have been more humble instead of criticizing an Apostolic practice of the Church. Being unfamiliar with the reasons for the practice of infant baptism, his own logic led him down the wrong path. So even the first historical opponent of infant baptism is an encouragement to those who have a willingness to consider that the "circumcision of Christ" is baptism!

3DOP

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Ceebo,

On household baptisms, one has to read into them infant baptism and the like. Such is called eisegesis, and it begs many questions.

Furthermore, in passages that speak of baptism, it is always those who have the capacity to believe, something infants do not have (e.g., Acts 2:38; Matthew 28; etc [Mark 16:16 is disputed, being part of the longer Marcan ending]).

Infant baptism is a development within Christianity, being tied closely with the question of the nature of man's depravity and the nature of original sin. Throw in the overwhelming acceptance of baptismal regeneration (even anti-Catholics like Webster in his The Church of Rome at the Bar of History admits such a doctrine has "unanimous consent" amongst the Patristics), the acceptance of infant baptism being an accepted belief was inevitable.

Ferguson and other scholars, however, show that infant baptism (1) is not taught in the New Testament (thus the "implicit evidence" argument by the likes of Robert Sungenis and other Catholics and Presbyterians) and (2)was not practiced by the earliest Christians. This is not just a "Mormon" novelty; it is based in fact and exegesis. In other words, you are wrong in stating that it is clearly supported by these sources. Now, of course, if you are Catholic (I live in Ireland, so it is Catholic country <g>), you may argue the "development theory" like Newman did with doctrines like Catholicism's high Mariology (a member of the SSPX used this when I discussed Mormonism with him for three hours in his home a few weeks ago).

It is interesting, however, that the origial hand written manuscript of D&C 84 has John the Baptist being baptised in his mother's womb, not "in his youth" as the edited verse reads (see pp. 276-7 of the Manscripts Revelation book in the JS Papers). I believe the original revelation is, well, original/intended, as the modified form disrupts the chronology/movmenet of the passage; off-topic, but interesting . . .

Robert Boylan

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Considering that baptism as demonstrated by John the baptist and Christ himself was in the water by immersion, it's hard to imagine any infants during the time of Christ were taken to the water and immersed.

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I do, however, take issue with modern day Catholic voices presenting this as the justification for infant baptism while conveniently forgetting that the teachings of the Catholic church, which prescribed a hell for those babies who were not baptized, is never mentioned.

Was this ever a doctrine of the Catholic Church? Even the concept of the Limbo of Infants was never doctrinal. While it may have been widely taught, it was never actually a doctrine. It seems as if both the LDS Church and the Catholic Church are criticized for teachings that may have not been doctrines, may have been practices/policies but not doctrines, statements by Church authorities, etc.

Catholicism teaches that to go to Heaven, one must be free from "original sin" and any mortal sin. If one dies in mortal sin, they go to Hell. Baptism is believed to remit all sin, including "original" sin. Infants do not have any personal sins, so original sin is the only thing that is remitted. So, Catholics thought about what happens to unbaptized infants, who have no personal mortal sins to send them to Hell, yet die in original sin, which would preclude Heaven (here it is important to note that Catholics do not believe that God sends someone to Hell. People send themselves to Hell. By definition, a "mortal sin" requires full knowledge). Therefore, the concept of the Limbo of Infants was speculated on heavily. It was thought to be a place of natural joy, but without the presence of God. Now, this could be seen as a sort of Hell, in the sense that being outside of the presence of God is Hell. However, there is no eternal punishment as is received by those that die in mortal sin, and go to Hell.

Catholicism now teaches that one can also hope that God can save unbaptized infants in some manner. Catholics would say that God can act outside of the sacraments, and therefore hope that He can do so in this case. The International Theological Commission published "The Hope of Salvation for Infants Who Die Without Being Baptized", which can be read here:

http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/cti_documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_20070419_un-baptised-infants_en.html

So, a Catholic is free to believe in Limbo of Infants, and/or to hope that God saves them outside of baptism (perhaps similarly to baptism of desire).

In order to answer the first question on infant baptism, one must also answer the question: "Where in the Bible is the doctrine of babies going to hell?"

If one is coming from the Catholic/Orthodox perspective, one must also answer the question "Where in the Bible does it say that everything must be said in the Bible?" :P Then, one must also answer "Where does the Catholic Church teach that unbaptized infants go to Hell"? See above.

Also overlooked in this discussion is the fact that before the Bible was published for the general public, people had to take the word of the church as their only source. If the church said so, that is the way it was. So in reality the church could invent doctrine to suit its needs. This power in the early RCC over an ignorant but faithful people led to abusive doctrine such as babies go to hell if not baptized.

This ignores that it is not only the "RCC" that baptizes infants, but other ancient churches (some that were out of communion with Rome earlier than others), such as the Eastern Orthodox, the Oriental Orthodox churches, the Assyrian Church of the East, etc. It is also interesting to read about the development of liturgy and iconography, since, if the Bible was published for the general public, could the general public actually read in the first place?

And again, it must be demonstrated that it was/is doctrine in any of these churches that unbaptized infants go to Hell.

Furthermore, the requirement for infant baptism in order to avoid a firer hell stems from the incorrect doctrine that we are born under the burden of Adam's original sin and are held to account for his transgression.

Catholicism does not teach that we are accountable for Adam's sin in the same sense that we are accountable for personal sins. I assume that LDS agree that the "original sin" did have an affect on us.

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

405 Although it is proper to each individual, original sin does not have the character of a personal fault in any of Adam's descendants. It is a deprivation of original holiness and justice, but human nature has not been totally corrupted: it is wounded in the natural powers proper to it, subject to ignorance, suffering and the dominion of death, and inclined to sin - an inclination to evil that is called concupiscence". Baptism, by imparting the life of Christ's grace, erases original sin and turns a man back towards God, but the consequences for nature, weakened and inclined to evil, persist in man and summon him to spiritual battle.

For those of you who do not believe in modern prophets it should be noted that this doctrine is supported in the Bible, both Old and New Testaments, in that the Messiah was to make a new covenant with the world (OT) and that Christ's Atonement made the Creation new by making us new creatures in it (NT).

Which of course Catholics agree with.

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Considering that baptism as demonstrated by John the baptist and Christ himself was in the water by immersion, it's hard to imagine any infants during the time of Christ were taken to the water and immersed.

Eastern Catholics and Eastern Orthodox baptize infants by immersion. In those churches, the normative practice for both infants and adults is immersion.

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Ceebo,

On household baptisms, one has to read into them infant baptism and the like. Such is called eisegesis, and it begs many questions.

Furthermore, in passages that speak of baptism, it is always those who have the capacity to believe, something infants do not have (e.g., Acts 2:38; Matthew 28; etc [Mark 16:16 is disputed, being part of the longer Marcan ending]).

Infant baptism is a development within Christianity, being tied closely with the question of the nature of man's depravity and the nature of original sin. Throw in the overwhelming acceptance of baptismal regeneration (even anti-Catholics like Webster in his The Church of Rome at the Bar of History admits such a doctrine has "unanimous consent" amongst the Patristics), the acceptance of infant baptism being an accepted belief was inevitable.

Ferguson and other scholars, however, show that infant baptism (1) is not taught in the New Testament (thus the "implicit evidence" argument by the likes of Robert Sungenis and other Catholics and Presbyterians) and (2)was not practiced by the earliest Christians. This is not just a "Mormon" novelty; it is based in fact and exegesis. In other words, you are wrong in stating that it is clearly supported by these sources. Now, of course, if you are Catholic (I live in Ireland, so it is Catholic country <g>), you may argue the "development theory" like Newman did with doctrines like Catholicism's high Mariology (a member of the SSPX used this when I discussed Mormonism with him for three hours in his home a few weeks ago).

It is interesting, however, that the origial hand written manuscript of D&C 84 has John the Baptist being baptised in his mother's womb, not "in his youth" as the edited verse reads (see pp. 276-7 of the Manscripts Revelation book in the JS Papers). I believe the original revelation is, well, original/intended, as the modified form disrupts the chronology/movmenet of the passage; off-topic, but interesting . . .

Robert Boylan

Hi Robert Boylan,

You're LDS I take it? I think Brenda is too. I do not imagine that I have "proven" the Catholic case for infant baptism. And I know you guys really hate our doctrine of original sin, so I know the emphasis on that won't win us any sympathy points, but I at least hope that you could see how, not believing in an apostasy, and having only "Former-day revelation", Catholics could easily be satisfied that the arguments and circumstances that can be laid out in favor of pedo-baptism are more than adequate to justify rejecting the logic of Terullian, which still seems to be the strongest argument against our position.

Regards,

3DOP

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I have no problem with the Catholic church or its representatives here on this forum making infant baptism a 'family thing', although the passages you provide do not warrant the requirement that infants be baptized. It is only speculation to assume so...

I would venture that it stems from an extrapolation of the OT and early-NT practice of infant circumcision.

The reasoning perhaps being that if they were old enough to enter into that covenant, that the same might apply to a new covenant.

Here's a discussion of that premise from a different apologetics site.

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hi 3DOP

==Hi Robert Boylan,

You're LDS I take it?==

Yes.

==I do not imagine that I have "proven" the Catholic case for infant baptism.==

From the evidence proponents of infant baptism produces, one can only provide implicit evidence of such; ultimately, the real question of the issue of *authority*, as I am sure you agree. within the parameters of Papal Infallibility (laid out in 1870 in Vatican I), as well as the "development of doctrine" concept (Newman et al.), it boils down to pope vs. prophet <g> That, and the nature of the depravity of man outside the saving grace of God (original sin). Of course, I would argue that Romans 5:12 does not teach the developed concept of Original Sin or anything like it was held by Catholicism and figures like Ambrose of Milan and Augustine, and the nature of depravity they and others held was a much later (and unscriptural) development.

== And I know you guys really hate our doctrine of original sin, so I know the emphasis on that won't win us any sympathy points, but I at least hope that you could see how, not believing in an apostasy, and having only "Former-day revelation", Catholics could easily be satisfied that the arguments and circumstances that can be laid out in favor of pedo-baptism are more than adequate to justify rejecting the logic of Terullian, which still seems to be the strongest argument against our position.==

Actually, I can appreciate it; one believes in baptismal regeneration; the concept of Adam's sin being held against one, regardless of personal sin, and other issues, I understand "why" such came about. With that being said, I would argue, and I think I would be on firm ground, that only by engaging in eisegesis of pertinent texts of the Bible can one argue that infants were baptised. Baptism is for believers, and belief is something infants are incapable of. To claim, as some do, that as infants were circumcised in the Old Covenant necessirates infant baptism (per the paedo-baptist use of Colossians 2), is off the wall--after all, only males were circumcised and circumcision was not salvific. As a Catholic, you accept baptismal regeneration, so you would agree that there is a fundamental difference between the sign of the New Covenant over the old; furthermore, both males and females are baptised; to mirror circumcision with baptising infants would require one to baptise males only. Of course, the New Covenant is a better covenant over the Old, with it having been perfected through Christ's work.

Some thoughts.

Robert B.

Regards,

3DOP

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I would venture that it stems from an extrapolation of the OT and early-NT practice of infant circumcision.

The reasoning perhaps being that if they were old enough to enter into that covenant, that the same might apply to a new covenant.

Here's a discussion of that premise from a different apologetics site.

And here's another thing. Clearly, infant baptism was well entrenched by the time of Terullian in 200 AD. I can see a Mormon arguing that it didn't start with the Apostles. By 240 AD Origen was saying that the Church had always done this practice without any contradiction. I submit to the Protestants who reject infant baptism as an Apostolic practice, that it argues strenuously for a very early Apostasy of the Christian church. I believe in infant baptism because I reject the doctrine of the Apostasy. Becuase I trust the fruit of second Century Christianity, I trust the practices of second Century Christianity and the doctrine that they imply. This leaves me very little room outside Mormonism or Catholicism. The subject of infant baptism alone places serious limits on compatible Protestant communities. Add the Eucharistic doctrines and the episcopal hierarchy and most evangelicals should be Mormons, Anglicans, Lutherans, Orthodox, or Catholic. Be evangelical in the sense of your zeal as a Catholic or whatever. But the Mormons do you a good service in showing that if the early church simply dumped all your doctrines, its hard to avoid a Great Apostasy and need for Restoration as per Joseph Smith. But remember we are here too. There is still a lot of room to be a Christian who doesn't critique the practices of the early church as Tertullian did. When a Christian rejects the practices of the early church, they are making Joseph Smith's case for him.

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hi 3DOP

==Hi Robert Boylan,

You're LDS I take it?==

Yes.

==I do not imagine that I have "proven" the Catholic case for infant baptism.==

From the evidence proponents of infant baptism produces, one can only provide implicit evidence of such; ultimately, the real question of the issue of *authority*, as I am sure you agree. within the parameters of Papal Infallibility (laid out in 1870 in Vatican I), as well as the "development of doctrine" concept (Newman et al.), it boils down to pope vs. prophet <g> That, and the nature of the depravity of man outside the saving grace of God (original sin). Of course, I would argue that Romans 5:12 does not teach the developed concept of Original Sin or anything like it was held by Catholicism and figures like Ambrose of Milan and Augustine, and the nature of depravity they and others held was a much later (and unscriptural) development.

== And I know you guys really hate our doctrine of original sin, so I know the emphasis on that won't win us any sympathy points, but I at least hope that you could see how, not believing in an apostasy, and having only "Former-day revelation", Catholics could easily be satisfied that the arguments and circumstances that can be laid out in favor of pedo-baptism are more than adequate to justify rejecting the logic of Terullian, which still seems to be the strongest argument against our position.==

Actually, I can appreciate it; one believes in baptismal regeneration; the concept of Adam's sin being held against one, regardless of personal sin, and other issues, I understand "why" such came about. With that being said, I would argue, and I think I would be on firm ground, that only by engaging in eisegesis of pertinent texts of the Bible can one argue that infants were baptised. Baptism is for believers, and belief is something infants are incapable of. To claim, as some do, that as infants were circumcised in the Old Covenant necessirates infant baptism (per the paedo-baptist use of Colossians 2), is off the wall--after all, only males were circumcised and circumcision was not salvific. As a Catholic, you accept baptismal regeneration, so you would agree that there is a fundamental difference between the sign of the New Covenant over the old; furthermore, both males and females are baptised; to mirror circumcision with baptising infants would require one to baptise males only. Of course, the New Covenant is a better covenant over the Old, with it having been perfected through Christ's work.

Some thoughts.

Robert B.

Regards,

3DOP

Hi again Robert B.,

It seems difficult to agree that a belief that is so widespread is "off the wall". I can see how you would think it is wrong, but I am disappointed that you apparently find it goofier than I ever could if were LDS. You say it is "off the wall" because "after all, only males were circumcised and circumcision was not salvific". I know I didn't persuade you, but again I am disappointed that you find my explanation for why females didn't qualify for circumcision to not even merit comment beyond "off-the-wall", while also ignoring the text which refers to the circumcision of Christ as baptism. But then you say that another reason the possible connection is "off the wall" is because it isn't salvific.

Circumcision isn't salvific in the same sense as baptism is, but clearly it prevents the male child from being "destroyed from out of his people" for breaking the covenant. This could be said to have salvific implications. Furthermore the Catholic Church permits the teaching that through circumcision, the male child received the remission of original sin:

Augustine says, writing to Valerius in answer to Julian (De Nup. et Concup. i.):"From the time that circumcision was instituted among God's people, as 'a seal of the justice of the faith,' it availed little children unto sanctification by cleansing them from the original and bygone sin; just as Baptism also from the time of its institution began to avail unto the renewal of man." I answer that, All are agreed in saying that original sin was remitted in circumcision. But some said that no grace was conferred, and that the only effect was to remit sin.
---Summa Theologica, Part III, Q. 70, art. 4

I am not saying that I prove my case to a Mormon. Far from it. But I simply think there is little appreciation for why Catholics believe what we do. We just can't abandon the Traditions that are given to us. It is ecclesiastical suicide and you Mormons would be the first to jump on it. But then when we show how from our own perspective, within our own presuppositions a practice is defensible, the LDS won't even admit that it makes any sense from OUR own perspective? I know otherwise. That's my biggest problem with trying to believe in a Great Apostasy. It just seems like there is eagerness to dismiss and refusal to try very hard to appreciate the Catholic counter-arguments. I could never be a Latter-day Saint that thinks the connection Catholics draw between circumcision and infant baptism is "off the wall" because "after all, only males were circumcised and circumcision was not salvific".

Sincerely,

3DOP

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==But then when we show how from our own perspective, within our own presuppositions a practice is defensible, the LDS won't even admit that it makes any sense from OUR own perspective?==

Re-read what I wrote; I said I can understand why one would practice infant baptism in light of Catholic anthropology (original sin) and like-beliefs. What I disagree with is the evidence one comes to such a conclusion, as with many other beliefs that no one in the early Church ever believed that are dogmatic within Catholicism (viz. Immaculate Conception; Bodily Assumption; though not a dogma, Mary as co-mediatrix and advocate), etc. I understand *why* one believes such, however, in terms of sound evidence from the Bible and the NT Church, there is nothing of the kind there. *That* is my problem, and it leads to eisegetical interpretations of the New Testament (not that LDS are immune to such [isaiah 29/Ezekiel 37 come to mind]), etc.

Robert Boylan

(As an aside, I will be in England soon, barring my flight being delayed by the ash from the volcanoe in Iceland, so I will not be participating until Saturday).

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