Monday, August 20, 2007

A Baptist's Testimony

Over at IssuesEtc you can here a testimony of a Baptist. Click here. Go to the next portion of the program to hear his testimony, somewhat in the middle.

To understand the proper view of baptism, one must relate it to objective justification.
Q: When did God forgive you of your sins?
A: At the Cross of Jesus 2000 years ago.
Q: How does God apply that gift to your space and time?
A: At my baptism.

This does not violate sola fide and sola gratia, in fact it demonstrates it, the baptism declares the Gospel of forgiveness to the sinner as a free gift. I follow this understanding when it comes to babies, is this baby a sinner? Yes. Did Jesus die for this baby? Yes. Then I can baptize it. Again, objective justification is a free gift.

One time I ask a baptistic Calvinist if there is a parent who has a teenage, say, son who is in a coma and the parent requests that the teenager be baptized, if he would do it? He said--what is the point? I guess he won't because the teenager is unable to profess faith, it can not speak as plain in simple, it is in a coma. But then again this illustrates that God only applies the forgiveness of sins found in the Cross of Jesus, only if the person is able to profess. What about a deaf, mute and blind one? They probably would not be baptized.

Is baptism a ticket? No, because one can reject the gift, they can say, thanks very much I do not care about it. In that case, the Gospel is left in the shelves, languishing and of no benefit to this baptized person.

more later


Steve Newell said...

As one raised in the Southern Baptist Church, I found that there was very little teaching and study about ALL the passages in Holy Scripture on Holy Baptism. They were treated as secondary to passaged that focus on what the believer now does.

In order to fully understand that the Christian life is about, we must first have a clear understanding on what God has done and how He has saved us. When we exclude passages on such areas as baptism, election or communion from our study and understanding, we are denying ourselves the true understanding how God as saved us. Only then can we even start to understand how the Christian life is like.

The Scylding said...

My final rejection of adult/credo/believers' baptism was when I had my children. I asked myself to questions - what does baptism mean, and what does that say about my children? Pondering those, I could not sustain the credo-baptist beleifs much longer.

L P Cruz said...

Being a Pentecostal, I was an ardent credo-baptizer. This was the most difficult thing to resolve because of sola fide, but when I was brought again and again that God forgave all sins at the Cross 2000 years ago on account of Christ, I came to understand that baptism brings that 2000 year event to the sinner and tells him, his sins are forgiven as a gift.

Hence, no wonder the early church baptized children because it is the epitome of a free gift of God.

Augustinian Successor said...

Bro. Lito, thank you for posting this thread.

Isn't it the case that sinners are like infants, incapable of doing *anything*, or saving themselves at all? Infant Baptism then is a beautiful picture of salvation by grace alone!

L P Cruz said...

Bro. Jason,

Thanks for the post too at RefCath. I wonder now is some are ok with synergistic view of salvation there... puzzles me to bits.

God bless you,


Augustinian Successor said...

Bro. Lito,

The Justification Controversy - as played out within reputedly conservative Presbyterian and Reformed denominations in the English-speaking world of both sides of the Atlantic - represents the unravelling of the apostasy or major defection from the Reformation tenets as summed up by the great solas.

In the Reformed tradition, such a falling away has not been witnessed since the "international" Synod of Dordtrecht when the Remonstrants sought to reformulate the Calvinistic understanding of issues relating to free will, grace and predestination.

The Justification Controversy means that now much energy would be expended fighting the false shepherd and purveyors of false gospels within the very walls which are supposed to protect and shield Protestants from the theological and ecclesial tyranny of Rome.

Delusion and confusion are the order of the day, as virtually very few folks in the Presbyterian and Reformed who aspire or claim to search for true catholicity know its true and authentic meaning. True catholicity must begin with a clear agreement on the Gospel. Such an agreement would then infuence other doctrines and the liturgical and sacramental life and witness of the Church.

But how can the modern so-called Reformed claim essential agreement with Rome on the Gospel based on a common baptism when there is a breach in the first place due to that very issue of the Gospel at the 16th cent. Protestant Reformation?

We are witnessing self-delusion in practice. The refusal to face the facts squarely and objectively.

This is why JI Packer was wrong when gave the reason for signing the ECT. Evangelism and Great Commission never overrides the Truth of the Gospel. Evangelism itself is grounded in the Gospel. The Gospel saves because the Truth saves, and true evangelism will preach the true Gospel.

L P Cruz said...

Wow Bro. Jason,

I can not agree more. Amen! If the Gospel is not even being preached how indeed could there be unity. I guess to circumvent this much torturous re-definitions are being invented so that all can come to the table. What puzzles me is that there seems to be a refusal to acknowledge that sola fide was indeed taught by some church fathers. Where the RefCath guys are coming from is that the solas were just principles invented at that time, to them this was not a return to true catholicity (small c). I am much pained in the head when I read the posts!

You will be an asset to our Lutheran confession bro. God be with you.


Augustinian Successor said...

The trouble for the RefCath that the catholicity must suit their tastes. History must be revised to accommodate their delusional interpretation of theology. Theology must be distorted to fit their construal, and so on.

But the truth and facts are against them. In fact, the truth faces them squarely in the face and still they refuse to acknowledge. Aren't these folks alongside co-called scholars and churchmen making a fool of themselves?

Wright claims that Luther set the tone for the Western preoccupation with introspection and guilt. But this is precisely the tone and spirit of the Bible! Isn't the Cross about forgiveness of sins? And isn't guilt connected with sin?

I'm afraid the emergence of such scholars can ONLY be the classic case of God confounding the so-called wise who are in fact fools. 1 Corinthians 1 is so clear about the FOOLISHNESS of the Cross to the self-deluded ...

Grace and peace from God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ be with you, your family, your church and cause of confessional Lutheranism there and beyond ...

L P Cruz said...

Bro. Jason,

Isn't the Cross about forgiveness of sins? And isn't guilt connected with sin?

Once again a very very good point! If one reads the Gospels Jesus spoke very much of sins being forgiven and declaring sins forgiven like that in the paralytic. You have hit it on the head, NPP and their likes miss the over all teaching of the NT.

May God keep us steadfast in his word. Please keep in touch. I am most interested in your journey to the Lutheran confessions. You are a gifted man and no doubt very useful to God's people.


David said...

One who refuses to baptize an infant truly does not understand how salvation is received. He or she will without fail have to look at experience, feeling, proper understanding of doctrine or good works. None of those see Jesus and Him crucified.

L P Cruz said...


I do agree, I did not use to believe this way but I wish my fellow credo-baptisers (I was once one) would consider that infant baptism demonstrates sola gratia at its best.

Baptism is the Gospel in water and word, it is the statement of the Gospel with elements, and my, what a great comfort that God claimed us before we can decide, believe, commit etc.