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William

On the Baptism of the Children of Adherents

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Introduction

 

An adherent is someone who is baptized but does not come to the Lord’s Table. This category includes (but is not limited to) persons who:

 

Were baptized as a child, have grown, married, and have had children, but do not profess personal faith, and they desire their children to be raised in the church.

 

Persons who have been baptized as children, but who struggle with assurance of faith and are hence reluctant to come to the Lord’s Table.

 

New converts to Christianity who are not yet ready to partake of the Lord’s Supper.

 

Professing believers who are under the discipline of the church and have been barred from the Table.

 

Should their children be baptized?

 

The answer depends largely on Covenant Theology. If such baptized church members who do not communicate at the Lord’s Table are externally in the Covenant, then their children are too, and should be baptized. If such church members are not externally in the Covenant, then neither are their children, and their children should not be baptized.

 

The older view of the Reformation and puritan era was largely: Yes, baptized church members who do not partake at the Lord’s Supper are still externally in Covenant with God, and hence their children should be baptized, baptism being the sign and seal of being externally in Covenant with God.

 

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In the churches I've been in -- the Lord's Table is explained to everyone in the congregation. Deacons' pass trays of small crackers around / representing the body of Christ // we part take of that and then the grape juice is passed around in tiny cups and then part taken of by everyone at the same time.

 

We are given a few moments to pray quietly -- to God -- before taking part in it.

 

And the pastor's would explain salvation before hand. The only 'requirement' for taking part in the service is to be a believer. So -- a person is acting on their conscience.

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In the churches I've been in -- the Lord's Table is explained to everyone in the congregation. Deacons' pass trays of small crackers around / representing the body of Christ // we part take of that and then the grape juice is passed around in tiny cups and then part taken of by everyone at the same time.

 

We are given a few moments to pray quietly -- to God -- before taking part in it.

 

And the pastor's would explain salvation before hand. The only 'requirement' for taking part in the service is to be a believer. So -- a person is acting on their conscience.

 

That is because we (you and I) attend churches that view baptism, salvation and the covenant as being basically 100% between God and each individual. So each individual decides to get baptized or take communion because the individual is saved and there is a NT covenant between God and the individual.

 

THIS TOPIC is under the Covenant and Household Baptism section because others, like our Presbyterian brothers and sisters hold different (but still very biblical) view that God makes a NT Covenant with the entire household of each believer. Water Baptism is the outward sign of being in this covenant. This would be similar to being born a decendent of Israel and into the OT Covenant. They still believe that salvation, and the right to the Lord's Table that goes with it, is an individual matter (God saves individuals). They just acknowledge the verses that claim inclusion of families in the special relationship with God (the Covenant).

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