Owen on Covenant Baptism and the Argument of Silence

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  • Owen on Covenant Baptism and the Argument of Silence

    Some years ago when I was studying the doctrine of baptism I came to the conclusion that the Reformed position is biblical: both infants and adults should be baptized based on the truths of the covenant of grace (Gen. 15-17). I see the argument from silence as proving the Reformed view of baptism rather than disproving it. That is, since God never tells his people to exclude children from the covenant sign or promise, we should continue to include them. Jesus blessed little children; children of one or two believing parents are “holy;” Paul writes ethical admonitions to households as Christian households, and the promise in the NT is not just for believers, but their children too, as it was in the days of Abraham.John Owen discusses this quite well in his essay, “Of Infant Baptism and Dipping” found in volume 16 of his Works. Here is Owen’s (slightly edited) third point supporting infant baptism based on the argument of/from silence:

    …A spiritual privilege once granted by God unto any cannot be changed, disannulled, or abrogated, without a special divine revocation of it, or the substitution of a greater privilege and mercy in the place of it; for:

    1. Who shall disannul what God has granted? What he has put together who shall put asunder? To abolish or take away any grant of privilege made by him to the church, without his own express revocation of it, is to deny his sovereign authority.

    2. To say a privilege so granted may be revoked, even by God himself, without the substitution of a greater privilege and mercy in the place of it, is contrary to the goodness of God, his love and care unto his church, [and] contrary to his constant course of proceeding with it from the foundation of the world, wherein he went on in the enlargement and increase of its privileges until the coming of Christ. And to suppose it under the gospel is contrary to all his promises, the honor of Christ, and a multitude of express testimonies of Scripture.

    Thus was it with the privileges of the temple and the worship of it granted to the Jews; they were not, they could not be, taken away without an express revocation, and the substitution of a more glorious spiritual temple and worship in their place.

    But now the spiritual privilege of a right unto and a participation of the initial seal of the covenant was granted by God unto the infant seed of Abraham, Gen. 17:10, 12. This grant, therefore, must stand firm for ever, unless men can prove or produce:

    1. An express revocation of it by God himself; which none can do either directly or indirectly, in terms or any pretense of consequence.

    2. An instance of a greater privilege or mercy granted unto them in the place of it; which they do not once pretend unto, but leave the seed of believers, while in their infant state, in the same condition with those of pagans and infidels; expressly contrary to God’s covenant.

    All this contest, therefore, is to deprive the children of believers of a privilege once granted to them by God, never revoked, as to the substance of it, assigning nothing in its place; which is contrary to the goodness, love, and covenant of God, especially derogatory to the honor of Jesus Christ and the gospel.

    John Owen. The Works of John Owen. Ed. William H. Goold. Vol. 16. Edinburgh: T&T Clark. Print.

  • #2
    "as Christian households, and the promise in the NT is not just for believers, but their children too, as it was in the days of Abraham.John Owen discusses this quite well in his essay, “Of Infant Baptism and Dipping” found in volume 16 of his Works. Here is Owen’s (slightly edited) third point supporting infant baptism based on the argument of/from silence:"

    Salvation is offered to those who believe (John 3:16, John 5:24, etc.) and parents cannot believe for their children.

    King James Bible
    He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
    Mark 16:16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.

    "..but he that believeth not shall be damned".

    We can't believe for our children. Children may be under the age of accountability but I don't know where that falls because some children are able to be accountable at a young age.

    Baptism actually represents death (Romans 6:4) so the idea that everyone who is baptized is saved is false and people were baptized by Noah's flood and everyone died except those who put their faith in Jesus (the ark).

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Chuckt View Post
      Children may be under the age of accountability
      Could you please provide Scripture that states an age of accountability?

      God bless,
      William
      Comment>

      • #4
        Originally posted by William View Post

        Could you please provide Scripture that states an age of accountability?

        God bless,
        William

        I agree that all have sinned and that unborn children will have a sin nature but I want you to consider the bigger picture of scripture and I also have some questions for you.


        If we all have sinned then why does God use the word "innocent" in the old testament?


        Blue Letter Bible - Lexicon


        There are also examples of God withholding judgment from people who don't know the difference between right and wrong so the whole idea of baptizing infants is not needed:


        Deuteronomy 1:39 Moreover your little ones, which ye said should be a prey, and your children, which in that day had no knowledge between good and evil, they shall go in thither, and unto them will I give it, and they shall possess it

        .Jonah 4:11 And should not I spare Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more than sixscore thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand; and [also] much cattle?

        Luke 18:16 But Jesus called them [unto him], and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.

        2 Samual 12:22 And he said, While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept: for I said, Who can tell [whether] GOD will be gracious to me, that the child may live?

        2 Samual 12:23 But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? can I bring him back again? I shall go to him , but he shall not return to me.


        Romans 3:9 ¶ What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin;

        So what did you do to deserve salvation more than a child who didn't have a chance to repent, believe, look to God, etc?


        [FONT=Trebuchet][SIZE=14px]For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. (Romans 9:5)

        And our response to Romans 9:5 would be excuses however how seemingly Biblical. Excuses start with "But" which means forget everything God said in Romans 9:5.

        Second, maybe you need to become like little children to be saved:[/SIZE][/FONT]


        Matthew 18:3 And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven


        So I'm not saying that children are saved but what I'm saying is they are closer to grace than you and I.

        Matthew 5:3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

        I and Bishop turned Evangelical J.C. Ryle translate the phrase "poor in spirit" as "spiritually bankrupt" and it is the opposite of works. It also works well with the publican and the pharisee. The Publican was more justified with God than the Pharisee.

        [FONT=trebuchet ms, arial, helvetica]Luke 18:14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.[/FONT]

        [FONT=Trebuchet][SIZE=14px]What I get from the verse is that the publican is asking God for Him to be a propitiation or mercy to him.[/SIZE][/FONT]

        Matthew 12:7 But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless.

        In what sense are children guiltless if we are all guilty before God?

        [FONT=Trebuchet][SIZE=14px]King James Bible[/SIZE][/FONT]
        [FONT=Trebuchet][SIZE=14px]And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.[/SIZE][/FONT]

        John 12:47 "If anyone hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge that person. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world.

        There is a big difference between a child that doesn't know right from wrong who has never heard the Bible and who doesn't have a chance than someone who knows right from wrong, someone who had chances, someone who made their choice.

        [FONT=Trebuchet][SIZE=14px]I could continue but I go by what the Bible says instead of systems like Calvinism.[/SIZE][/FONT]





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        • #5
          None of which you had wrote or the Scriptures you provided actually demonstrates an age of accountability. Deuteronomy 1:39 speaks of God's covenant relationship with His people, and how the wickedness of men should not make void the covenant God made with Abraham. God is honoring His covenant despite the age of covenant children while none are exempt from the consequences, but it seems that you are arguing that children should not be in a covenant relationship until an age of accountability? Please clarify, because despite the mercy shown by God to covenant children, God signifies that all who had already arrived at the "years of reason", were, from the least to the greatest accomplices in the crime committed in context of Deut 1:39.

          While I agree that children are less culpable concerning knowledge of right and wrong the argument of accountability does not seem sufficient to demonstrate that children have no sin or guilt whatsoever. Lev. 4:2ff; Num. 15:22ff demonstrates that though people lack knowledge they must still repent and make an offering. Moreso, while God spared Nineveh with its children, He elsewhere commanded the deaths of infants (Deut. 20:13-18; Josh. 6:17ff.

          I'd like to pose a question to you. Can you provide any Scripture that amends Matthew 28:19? Where is the exception clause in Scripture to exclude the children of believers of a privilege once granted to them by God?

          Originally posted by Chuckt View Post
          [FONT=Trebuchet][SIZE=14px]I could continue but I go by what the Bible says instead of systems like Calvinism.[/SIZE][/FONT]
          I hear this a lot from people that have horrible soteriology, and they won't hesitate a bit before blaming the Holy Spirit for lack of comprehension and discernment.

          Lastly, if you're here to pick a fight with Calvinist I suggest you don't. This sub-forum and especially this thread hasn't much or anything to do with Calvinism, but a comment like this impresses upon me that you're someone that wants to carry over an argument to every thread in the forum.

          God bless,
          William
          Comment>

          • #6
            Paul spoke of a time when he was alive, before he knew the law.
            I was once alive apart from the law, but when the commandment came, sin came alive and I died.
            (Romans 7:9 ESV)
            The only time this could have been would have been when he was too young to know the difference between right and wrong. When he did learn the difference his sin nature asserted itself and he died spiritually. To put it another way, he reached the age of accountability.


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            • #7
              Originally posted by theophilus View Post
              Paul spoke of a time when he was alive, before he knew the law.
              I was once alive apart from the law, but when the commandment came, sin came alive and I died.
              (Romans 7:9 ESV)
              The only time this could have been would have been when he was too young to know the difference between right and wrong. When he did learn the difference his sin nature asserted itself and he died spiritually. To put it another way, he reached the age of accountability.
              With increased knowledge we are more responsible for our sins. Is it your position that man is exempt from the Law until an age of accountability? The Law shows which is straight from which is crooked. The looking-glass shows us our natural face with all its spots and deformities. Though we may be "ignorant" of the Law the imago dei is still distorted and marred.

              Originally posted by theophilus View Post
              When he did learn the difference his sin nature asserted itself and he died spiritually.
              So it is your position that man is not spiritually dead in sin and trespasses until an "age of accountability"? An "age of accountability" is more of an Arminian concept- that children reach a particular age in which they are culpable for their sins. Please clarify, because though I can think of Scriptures in the Old Testament which refer to the babies that were passed through the fire to Moloch [false god] as the "innocents", it doesn't mean that they are not fallen; it doesn't mean that they are not sinful Psalm 51:5.

              As to Paul being unaware of Sin until the Holy Spirit by the Law made it known to him. Just look at the previous OT passages I supplied, children of all ages fell under God's wrath Deut. 20:13-18; Josh. 6:17ff. So how do we get to children which I presume here, that people mean "all" children are innocent until an age of accountability? I have not yet heard an age given lest we turn to Judaism.

              Personally, I believe babies in heaven are there not by virtue of their age, nor their parents but by virtue of Christ.

              The Westminster Confession of Faith uses very precise wording on this matter: "Elect infants, dying in infancy, are regenerated, and saved by Christ, through the Spirit, who worketh when, and where, and how he pleaseth: so also are all other elect persons who are incapable of being outwardly called by the ministry of the Word" (WCF 10.3). Note, however that the WCF does not say that "all" infants dying in infancy are regenerated, but that the Holy Spirit works as he pleases in elect infants (cf. Luke 18:15-16; 1:39-44) and those "who are incapable of being outwardly called by the ministry of the Word."

              God bless,
              William
              Comment>

              • #8
                Originally posted by William View Post

                I'd like to pose a question to you. Can you provide any Scripture that amends Matthew 28:19? Where is the exception clause in Scripture to exclude the children of believers of a privilege once granted to them by God?



                I hear this a lot from people that have horrible soteriology, and they won't hesitate a bit before blaming the Holy Spirit for lack of comprehension and discernment.

                Lastly, if you're here to pick a fight with Calvinist I suggest you don't. This sub-forum and especially this thread hasn't much or anything to do with Calvinism, but a comment like this impresses upon me that you're someone that wants to carry over an argument to every thread in the forum.

                God bless,
                William
                Baptism is a like figure. What is a "like figure"? Here is the verse:

                1 Peter 3:21 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:

                In modern vernacular, we would say, "photo" or "picture". Do photographs record past events or create them? In other words, do photographs of birthday parties create birthdays that didn't happen or do the photos record birthdays? I met some people who didn't want to listen to scripture and said that the picture causes events to happen like salvation because there was nothing else they could say.

                Is the picture that the person has crucified the old man and put him to death in baptism? If not, people who believe in infant baptism have a lie for a picture and therefore lying through the sin of ignorance because they don't know what the verse means. That is like putting together a false testimony. I can think of one individual in scripture who was baptized and not saved like Simon in Acts 8 who was also rebuked by Peter (Acts 8:13, 20, 21, 23).

                Acts 8:1 (NIV) - And Saul approved of their

                We don't baptize people who aren't sure they are saved.


                I saw this forum for protestants. I thought I was welcomed because you said "God bless" so I fit in here but not everyone agrees on the same hermeneutics so there aren't the same rules for everyone. I've been in the church for many years and I can name two dozen different pastors or more that hold the views that I have because I have been taught by them so you are blaming my soteriology which is basically from the Church.

                You cannot base what I believe based solely on a few posts because you have to listen to people for a while to figure out what they are about.

                I'm staying on topic but when I google additional information on "age of accountability", Calvinistic interpretations pop up and I find it interesting that Calvinists would condemn infants because of their sinful nature while churches who adhere to infant baptism would give them an out so I find that kind of contradictory. So if they can have contradictions then why can't I use grace in my soteriology?




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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Chuckt View Post
                  1 Peter 3:21 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 3:21 says, "The like figure" or "which corresponds to this" is proportional, applying of the former example to the time which followed the coming of Christ: for the preservation of Noah in the waters, was a figure of our baptism, not as though the material water of baptism shows us, as those waters which bare up the ark saved Noah, but because Christ with his inward virtue, which the outward baptism shadows, preserves us being washed, so that we may call upon God with a good conscience.

                  Originally posted by Chuckt View Post
                  I met some people who didn't want to listen to scripture and said that the picture causes events to happen like salvation because there was nothing else they could say.
                  I'm not going to dive into Baptismal Regeneration as practiced by the Catholics. There's a difference between the Catholic and Reformed view concerning Covenant Baptism.

                  Originally posted by Chuckt View Post
                  Calvinistic interpretations pop up and I find it interesting that Calvinists would condemn infants because of their sinful nature while churches who adhere to infant baptism would give them an out so I find that kind of contradictory.
                  Which is the furthest thing from the truth. Covenant baptism does not ensure salvation, that is, water baptism does not save. Water baptism is a sign, seal, and mark of the NT Covenant by which children share in certain blessings. Namely whole households are baptized and children are brought up in the precepts of the Lord - Matthew 28:19. The Westminster Confession of Faith states on the subject of infants, infants that have lost their place in the NT according to your church's tradition:

                  Elect infants, dying in infancy, are regenerated, and saved by Christ, through the Spirit,[12] who works when, and where, and how He pleases:[13] so also are all other elect persons who are incapable of being outwardly called by the ministry of the Word [14].

                  [12]Luke 18:15 And they brought unto him also infants, that he would touch them: but when his disciples saw it, they rebuked them. 16 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Acts 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. 39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. John 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. 5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 1 John 5:12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. Romans 8:9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

                  [13] John 3:8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

                  [14] 1 John 5:12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
                  Originally posted by Chuckt View Post
                  We don't baptize people who aren't sure they are saved.
                  So are you stating that none having been credo- baptized denounced or fallen away from the faith?

                  Originally posted by Chuckt View Post
                  I saw this forum for protestants. I thought I was welcomed because you said "God bless" so I fit in here but not everyone agrees on the same hermeneutics so there aren't the same rules for everyone. I've been in the church for many years and I can name two dozen different pastors or more that hold the views that I have because I have been taught by them so you are blaming my soteriology which is basically from the Church.
                  And I can provide some 2000 years of Covenant Baptism which includes infants, a doctrine that traces its roots directly to Scripture. And what's this? An appeal to church authority, what's next proving apostolic succession? Just curious, is it your church's practice to convince people that they who were baptized as infants need be baptized again?

                  And lastly, there are no contradictions in Calvinist soteriology, any contradictions are from rejecting one of the five points of Calvinism. This forum is for Protestants and you're most certainly welcome here - a forum owned and operated by Reformed members. The question is whether you will extend and demonstrate the same grace towards them as you expect to be given you?

                  If you want my advice, I suggest that you address Covenant Theology, and not Calvinism in this sub-forum if you oppose the Reformed view when necessary- which is not synonymous with Calvinism only.

                  God bless,
                  William
                  Comment>

                  • #10
                    In the Old Covenant when a man converted, he was circumcised as a sign of his covenant relationship with God, just as a convert to Christianity is babtised. Salvation was by faith, as it is now, as it has always been, yet infants of believers were circumcised. Baptism serves exactly the same function under the New Covenant as circumcision served under the Old Covenant, a sign of our covenant relationship with God. Therefore, it is logical for Christians to baptize their infants.

                    The NT isn’t really silent on this as every time a head of house is converted, the whole household is baptized, implicitly including infants That makes complete sense as Christians raise their children as believing Christians, not as Atheists while hoping that one day the children will convert to Christianity.

                    What’s the argument against infant baptism? That infants can’t express belief? Neither could the infants under the Old Covenant. Therefore, it’s irrelevant that infants can’t express belief.

                    The blanket exclusion of infants from baptism is a relatively modern doctrine. This doctrine probably never had a foothold until Anabaptists came along after the Reformation. And, it wasn’t widespread until the 20th-century.

                    I think opposition to infant baptism is rooted in human ego. “*I* chose God and I’m getting baptized to let the world know it.” Adult-only baptism has become popular in recent years as Christians have increasingly taken the attitude that Christianity is about themselves. They go to church wearing whatever is most comfortable, expecting to be entertained with rock and having a sermon designed to inflate their self-esteem and that appeals to their carnal desires for wealth and good health. They latch onto ego-serving doctrines, like they’re going to be Pretrib Raptured and large sections of the NT are about their time in history.
                    Comment>

                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Cornelius View Post
                      What’s the argument against infant baptism?
                      I think the issue is caused by no "explicit" mention of infants being baptized in the NT Covenant. They say Baptism does not save, but they only baptize those that can profess faith as a compelling reason for church elders to believe that they are saved. Likewise, it is a curious practice that the same congregations will allow women to partake in the sacrament of communion for lack of explicit mention of women having done so in Scripture. Again, according to Credo-Baptist, infants have lost their place in the NT Covenant, and they apply universalism to all under the age of accountability - whatever age that may be.

                      God bless,
                      William
                      Comment>

                      • #12
                        Originally posted by William View Post

                        1 Peter 3:21 says, "The like figure" or "which corresponds to this" is proportional, applying of the former example to the time which followed the coming of Christ: for the preservation of Noah in the waters, was a figure of our baptism, not as though the material water of baptism shows us, as those waters which bare up the ark saved Noah, but because Christ with his inward virtue, which the outward baptism shadows, preserves us being washed, so that we may call upon God with a good conscience.
                        It is not a figure of our baptism because a child cannot believe and put on Christ.

                        Galatians 3:26 ¶ For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
                        Galatians 3:27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

                        So how is a child who can't talk have faith in Christ?

                        Paul makes a good argument to say the child can't:

                        Romans 10:14 ¶ How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?

                        There is a mismatch between pictures and a mismatch is a lie because it is a false profession.
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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Chuckt View Post
                          Galatians 3:26 ¶ For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
                          Galatians 3:27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
                          Paul speaks to the Jews that thought themselves free from the ordinance of baptism. Paul speaks of baptism as an outward sign of our delivery in Christ, to the Jews as well as to the Greeks, that by this means all may be truly one in Christ, that is to say, that promise to Abraham and all his spiritual seed, inheritors of everlasting life (which by your argument now excludes covenant children). Paul sets forth baptism, as opposed to circumcision, which the false apostles bragged so much of.

                          Originally posted by Chuckt View Post
                          So how is a child who can't talk have faith in Christ?
                          Really, your argument is that mutes or people incapable of speaking have no faith?

                          Originally posted by Chuckt View Post
                          Romans 10:14 ¶ How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
                          Romans 10:14 connects prayer with faith as they are indeed closely related. Lemme ask you this, regarding Romans 10:14, do the minds of adults respect God's paternal kindness, when by the gospel God reconciles us to himself, and adopts us for his children? Is there any difference as to how a child responds in faith? Do children have a sense of dependence, a believing expectation of all from their parents? Lastly, do you sing your children hymns, do you read to them the Scriptures? Why? Are they not capable of responding in such way, a more sincere way than the hypocrite in prayer? The OT says to bring up children in the precepts of the Lord, and the NT says to make disciples. By your standard you have lowered an age of accountability down to 1-2 years of age. When a child can speak (damn the disabled), he can call upon the name of the Lord, surely they can parrot or recite the words of a prayer or creed just as the hypocrites do, but I have a feeling that credo-baptist will still hinder these little ones though they demonstrate faith as small as a mustard seed.

                          And what of verses such as these? Verses that do not praise adult like faith but the faith of children?:
                          • Luke 18:17 Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.”
                          • Matthew 18:3 And said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
                          • Matthew 19:14 But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.”
                          • Mark 10:13-16 And they were bringing children to him that he might touch them, and the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands on them.
                          • Matthew 21:16 And they said to him, “Do you hear what these are saying?” And Jesus said to them, “Yes; have you never read, “‘Out of the mouth of infants and nursing babies you have prepared praise’?”
                          • Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.
                          • Psalm 8:2 Out of the mouth of babies and infants, you have established strength because of your foes, to still the enemy and the avenger.
                          • Matthew 21:15-16 But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying out in the temple, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” they were indignant, and they said to him, “Do you hear what these are saying?” And Jesus said to them, “Yes; have you never read, “‘Out of the mouth of infants and nursing babies you have prepared praise’?”

                          God bless,
                          William
                          Comment>

                          • #14
                            Originally posted by William View Post
                            Really, your argument is that mutes or people incapable of speaking have no faith?

                            You've never heard a child say, "no" before? I have.

                            2 Thessalonians 3:2 And that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all men have not faith.

                            But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

                            1 Corinthians 2:14 The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.
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