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   A COVENANT FOR ALL PEOPLES

 
 

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PART 16 – HISTORY – BAPTISM IN PROTESTANT CHURCHES

“MOST Protestant Churches adopted traditional views and practices regarding baptism, although often stressing its covenantal character more than its relation to sin. Baptists and Anabaptists, however, insisted on adult baptism, on the ground that only adults can be guilty of sinful acts, repent, and understand salvation—a view also adopted by Pentecostal Churches and neo—Pentecostal groups.”

 

Infant Baptism—“Infants were probably baptized in the early Church, following the Jewish understanding that even the youngest children belong to the covenant community. Indeed, the Apostolic Tradition explicitly provided for it. Nonetheless, because post-baptismal sins were regarded as unforgivable (or could be forgiven only once), baptism was often postponed as long as possible. Between the 4th and 6th centuries, however, as the attitude toward post baptismal sin relaxed (because of the development of the penitential system), and the fear of dying unbaptized increased, infant baptism began to be required.”

 

The Baptist—“The Baptist emphasis on believer's baptism, by immersion rather than by sprinkling or affusion, implies sufficient maturity to make a religious decision and is a specific rejection of infant baptism. Baptists feel that infants have no comprehension of repentance and faith; consequently, they reserve the ordinance until a time of understanding (usually early teenage years and after), when joining the Church will be by personal choice and therefore more meaningful.”

 

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aaron—I would strongly contend that these misunderstandings that are prevalent within a large segment of today’s Church, would be greatly reduced if we had this proper knowledge of our own individual and corporate identification. It is because of our failure to understand our heritage and our roots within the Abrahamic Covenant, that we are lead head long into these numerous errors and controversies. It would seem that the major stumbling block to our understanding the Abrahamic Covenant as a God ordained institution, is to be found within the divers tenets that are put forward by the various denominations within today’s Church. Where many of these groups would prefer their own denominational roots rather than to give way to their newly manifested royal identification. They would say "I’m a Baptist!, I’m a Reformed!, I'm a Methodist!, I’m a Christian Reformed!, I’m a Pentecostal!, I’m a Lutheran!", I'm a Roman Catholic. It really does not matter here what denomination is being named, because they all possess the same basic deficiency. Then this blatant resistance on the part of these denominations to Abraham's Covenants with God is surely our great loss. Without the necessary understandings concerning the complex identification of God’s peoples, God's Covenants, and God's Kingdom, it is not possible for us achieve any meaningful insight into the area of Theology/ Eschatology. It is for this reason that we are having this difficulty in understanding our covenantal need to practice this ordinance of infant baptism /or Pedo-baptism.

So the problem that we have now placed before us for examination, is this problem that we are presently having with our general understanding and acceptance of infant baptism.   Amen.

 

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