Exploring Our Matrix
The Blog of Dr. James F. McGrath, Clarence L. Goodwin Chair in New Testament Language and Literature at Butler University, Indianapolis
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This is circulating among atheists, but Baptists like myself obviously think it makes a good point too…
HT Open Parachute
I guess Jesus wasn’t a Baptist then… (“Let the children come to me”)
Baptism is God’s gift………
Strictly speaking, babies are agnostic.
Actually, they’re “agnostic atheists”. The terms aren’t mutually exclusive. Atheism or theism deals with what you believe and gnosticism or agnosticism deals with what you know. All babies are born agnostic atheists: does not believe any god exists, but doesn’t claim to know that no god exists. Since they don’t have the mental capacity to even know about the possibility that there might be a god, they certainly can’t have the capacity to believe in one (making them an atheist) and furthermore cannot assert that they know one way or another (making them an agnostic).
Teenagers should NOT be baptized!
I was reading my Bible on the topic of Baptism last night when, like a bolt of lightning, this revelation came to me: there is not one single example in the Bible of teenagers being baptized! Why didn’t I see this before? Why haven’t other Christians seen this glaring fact before? What are we doing baptizing teenagers if there is no specific mention of this practice in the Bible??
“But teenagers are capable of making a mature, informed decision,” you say.
Would you let your thirteen year old make a decision to buy a gun?
Would you let your thirteen year old make a decision to drive a car?
Would you let your thirteen year old make a decision to buy and drink alcohol?
Would you let your thirteen year old make a decision to get married, move away from home, join the army, or volunteer to participate in cancer drug trials?
No! Of course you wouldn’t.
So what makes you think that a teenager has the maturity to make a decision to choose which religion to join and which god to believe in?
Logic, reason, and good ol’ common sense make it clear that a thirteen year old does NOT have the maturity to make major life decisions, so what makes you think that he or she can make major “eternal life” decisions?
The Bible does not explicitly mention baptizing infants…I mean teenagers…so this practice is just another Catholic false teaching and must be abandoned and replaced with the true teachings of the Bible: Only adult men and women should be baptized in a true Christian church.
Since no Christian Church on planet earth follows this scriptural practice, which God has just revealed to me in my heart, I am starting my own Church as of today. We will only baptize adults over age 21.
Our new Church will be called the “Garyites”. We are the true Church.
Umm, just out of curiosity, how often does the Bible mention “teenagers”? And why talk about “teenagers” when that includes nineteen year olds who can do many if not all of the things that you listed, depending on the state.
The point is that Baptists refuse to baptize infants because they believe that an infant cannot make an informed, mature decision…but neither can a thirteen year old as I have shown above. As a former Baptist, I saw kids as young as 8 making the “decision” to believe and repent in a born again experience and then be baptized. I also saw many of these youngsters undergo one or more additional “born again” experiences when they got older…just to be sure they did “it” right.
If Baptists are going to be consistent, then they need to raise the age of Accountability and limit born again experiences (and the subsequent public profession of faith in baptism) to an age at which it is obvious to everyone that they are capable of making a mature decision. I would agree with you, nineteen or even eighteen would probably be sufficient, but not age 8 and not age 13.
If the validity of salvation is dependent on human logic, reason, common sense, and verifiable proof of true belief and repentance, not on God’s supernatural, monergistic, Almighty act…then Baptists and evangelicals need to set a higher age limit before accepting professions of a born again conversion from an 8 year old or a thirteen year old.
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