I thought about entitling this post: “Are we agnostic toward the meaning of baptism?” But I didn’t want to open with a negative name, when there was something positive to promote.
Inspired some by Doug Wilson’s first paper in Auburn Avenue Theology – Pros and Cons: Debating the Federal Vision…
A test of how we do think/ought to think of Baptized church members
Which would I say of my pastor?
1) Belief: I presume he is a true Christian,
2) Skepticism: I presume he is baptized but apostate,
3) Agnosticism: I constantly hold him in uncertainty, maybe, maybe not.
Only #1 is fit for a church member.
If I think someone shows reason (unrepentant sin – hard heartedness) to be excommunicated, then we MUST remove them, other wise, we must keep building them up as body members. We must believe that a church member is a believer, or we must remove him.
Our children are Baptized and not-Excommunicated. So they must fall in Category 1.
The problem comes in where we think we are allowed to baptize people whose salvation we question. A simple survey of NT baptism verses shuts this down as an option [Maybe I’ll write a whole post on this soon].
e.g.: Gal 3.26-29:
26You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, 27for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
The only consistent logical answers are A) to be a believer’s baptist – NO baptism until you confess with your mouth, but that excludes thousands of years of covenantal history, 2) be a paedobaptist and accept paedofaith.