[@] Baptism and Fellowship (4)

Well, I’m having a fine time at the Opryland Resort for the CPE, and I stopped by the blog to check and see who had something to say for himself – and it turns out that Pastor Brad Williams has something to say. It will be useful to review what he has said for everyone’s edification:
The Defender of Non-Regenerative paedo-baptists, eh? And, much to my dismay, you wouldn't let me bungee baptize?

I agree with you that bungee baptism is disgusting, and I regret that I used it as an example. Not because I would do it, but because some bozo out there might think it cool and practice it. I was trying to make a point about an argument from silence. And then you appealed to piety...
I guess that’s right – because the issue with bungee baptism is not that it fails to deliver wetness: it is that it obliterates the right discernment of Christ in the ordinance. One has to be able to see the limits of one’s argument, and I admit that a major limit in the argument “it is not forbidden” is that this is not carte blanche to do anything not explicitly forbidden.

However, one of the things your counter-example does overlook is the fact that the Presbyterian paedobaptist is doing very much the same thing the credobaptist is doing. It is not identical, and it has its own set of problems, but the motive for doing what he does is exactly the same motive the credobaptist has: obedience to God by providing the ordinance for the purpose of the church.
My question is, why isn't paedo-baptism equally disgusting and impious considering the fact that it is nowhere taught by any apostle, nor son of an apostle, nor anyone else I can find for the first 300 years? Why doesn't this practice turn your stomach as much as ludicrous bungee baptizing? I think that we have equal evidence for both.
Well, I think I have already given that answer – by linking to Schaff on the matter in the previous post. Schaff says: “the optional baptism of the children of Christian parents in established congregations, comes down from the apostolic age.” You can find the whole post at the link in that previous post. The assertion that there were no infant baptisms in the early church, and that it was never taught in the apostolic age, is not true.
Unless we want to turn into the 'piety police' and gauge whether or not something is acceptable by how it makes us feel, then we have to do better than tossing out our ideas about irreverance. I have heard this argument dealing with drums in a sanctuary.
Reverence for Christ is defined in Scripture as the essential quality of any Christian act (see Eph 5). But Scripture also sets the bounds for reverence. For example, it gives us an example of an acceptable case of rebaptism in Acts. There’s no precedent in Scripture for using sports as a vehicle for any ordinance, let alone bungees, but there is precedent in Psalms for the reverent use of drums in worship. The comparison is not very compelling, if you ask me.
But what you appeal to is also correct: It is the sacredness of the ordinance of baptism that causes me to recoil at the breaking down of the barrier to the Table and local Church membership.

We have heard it argued that the door to the local Church should be "roughly as wide" as the door to the Universal Church. Do we believe that an unbaptized person can be saved?
Yes. No doubt.
Certainly we do? Should we allow them into membership...only if they submit to baptism, right?

That’s not what we’re dealing with in Presbyterian paedobaptism, however: in that case, we are dealing with baptism administered under the same conditions for the minister that the Baptist minister would have, as I have discussed previously.
Ah, but you may say that the Bible clearly admonishes a believer to be baptized, and to disobey said command is obvious disobedience. Therefore, while they may be saved, they are in sin and must be excluded until repentance.

That is my understanding exactly. And what I am arguing is that paedo-baptism is no baptism at all. I have yet to find a single Biblical example to demonstrate otherwise.
Even if we concede that there is no affirmation of this, there is also no denial of this – and that is the problem with the categorical rejection of Presbyterian paedobaptism as stated here: it bases a categorical benchmark on what is in the best case silence from Scripture on the matter. That is, because it is not spelled out exactly, it must be rejected.

The problem with that is we Baptists practice the Table with fruit juice, not wine. If paedobaptism is no baptism at all because the infant has not made a confession, then Baptist Eucharist is no communion because it overlooks one of the elements.

That is, if the reasoning here is valid. I reject that reasoning.
A paedo-baptist may believe that he is being reverent when he sprinkles a baby, but what he thinks is irrelevant. He has no Biblical ground to practice such a baptism. Therefore, unless I can be convinced otherwise, it is the height of assumption and spiritual folly and irreverence.

I would be most appreciative if someone could convince me otherwise.
I will give our esteemed Presbyterian readers a day o two to do so, and then I will give it a whack.
On a final note regarding those who are credoBaptized but are liars or deceived in their baptism, I cannot see how this overthrows CredoBaptism in the slightest.
My point, Pastor, is that it does not overthrow credobaptism. Just because we baptize some liars and some who were never regenerate does not mean that our baptism is false – unless you hold to the idea that if you baptize the unregenerate you have demeaned the ordinance. The argument for credo-only is “baptizing the unregenerate demeans baptism” and overlooks that credobaptists do their fair share of baptizing those who were never saved.

The strength of the paedobaptist position is that it relies not on the confessions of men to provide the ordinance but on the promises of God to the children of believers. It doesn’t rely on men’s confessions at all.
Though they may 'vote' in the assembly, and though they are a blemish at our love feasts because of their participation, and while they may be 'on roll', they are no true member of the Church Universal nor the Church Local.
I just want to make sure you’re in for a dollar and not just a dime on this: are you saying that baptized, unregenerate people who have made a confession of faith are rightly called true members of the church, but baptized, unregenerate people who have no means to make a confession of faith (due to lack of ability to talk or reason, or due to the lack of teaching, or due to their age) are not rightly called true members of the church?
P.S. I like your new blog header, as well, and I hope that you had a great vacation.
Thank you, so do I. :) And I am. :)

BTW, I am also working on a larger argument against paedobaptism based on the traditional scripture proofs given for the practice. I am a Baptist, affter all. Stay tuned for that.