Train Them Up…

…it is what we are to do.

I once asked a friend of mine why he had not Baptized his teenage son?  He said that his son had not show the fruit of regeneration.  Seeing as how he raised his son in a Christian home and taught him the scriptures from his youth I asked if his son had ever requested to be baptized.  He said he had when he was younger, but the father did not think he truly understood the gospel.  He had made professions before, but they never seemed to come with any lasting fruit.

What if a father had a rule that only those who proclaimed,  “Daddy – king of table,” and really believed it, could eat with the family.   What could the father reasonably be expected to do to get his children to the table?  I think the “really believed it” part is beyond him and he should let his children eat with the family upon profession.

It would be tough to teach a child he was part of the family if he had to sit the corner at meal time, even though he consistently proclaimed every day – DADDY, YOU ARE KING OF THE TABLE!

Rom 10:8-11
8 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): 9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.”

al sends

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16 responses to “Train Them Up…

  1. This seems to me to be a key defect in Baptist theology. Baptists on the one hand raise their children to be Christians but on the other, not only deny them a seat at the table but also refuse them formal entry into the kingdom in the first place. Some Presbyterians are only half better. While their kids are baptized, they’re still denied a seat at the table. Thanks Al and David for getting this right.

  2. This is on the record… Here is where a team blog gets messy.

    I am a paedobaptist. Got here via the Baptist route, but paedo all the way. I wrote this post in part to show a bit of my thinking in coming to my present position.

    It may also be a question my Baptist betters might want to ponder.

    al sends

  3. Boy, I am glad that the Lord’s table is no different than the dinning room table.

    What if training them up includes instruction on the seriousness of Baptism and the Lord’s table? What if there is a vast gorge between the common table of men and the table that requires that one search himself to see if he is worthy?

    When my son wanted to be baptized around nine or ten I asked him if he was ready. He has yet to say yes. Now, I could force the issue, accept his professed belief and desire (his fruit is much sweeter than mine), but then it wouldn’t be he who was being baptized, would it? And it wouldn’t be that he came to the table, but that I strapped him in his chair and force fed him. Every parent knows what feeding a baby is like. It would asuage my conscience to make him obey and eat his dinner, but I am not convinced that it would be in keeping with an appeal to God from him of a clean conscience. You see then, bringing the unassured to the Lord’s table, i.e. infants in understanding -doesn’t matter the age- is much the same whether in paedo or credo church traditions.

    No, I think that it is too flip to diminish the significane of either Baptism or the Supper in that way. The reality is that coming to the Lord’s table is a killer to such as are unprepared. Now in a sense that can be true of the common table. A glutton surely will die for his commitment to earthly appetite. but, in general coming to my table will not kill you, though sometimes my anti-veggan youngest son would think so. Then we should not dismiss Paul’s solemn warning nor excuse others on the basis of their ignorance. To do so makes his appeal in Corinthians a hallow exercise. We are in fact to mature the understanding, not leave it in darkness.

    By the way, I still attend a PCA church with several other SBC families who cannot find a home in a Reformed Baptist church (they don’t exist here), and I still prohibit my son’s (my daughter I don’t, I baptized her when she was twelve and published her testimony in the local rag) from taking the Supper, until such time that they are ready to make public confession of Jesus Christ and him crucified buried and resurrected, which is what baptism is, out of a willingness to suffer for his name sake, rightly discerning the body of our Lord. I do not permit them because is is in accordance with the PCA/Elder policy at Northwoods, with with I am full in agreement, though I am credo and they paedo.

    One day I hope to baptize my sons, myself. But, I will probably have to go elsewhere to do so being unauthorized, another gate keeper ordinance of the Reformers that I like.

    “on the one hand raise their children to be Christians but on the other, not only deny them a seat at the table but also refuse them formal entry into the kingdom in the first place” This is neither right, nor even credible. I know of no Baptist that refuses formal entry to their children. Unless you are defining formal entrance as the circumcision of baptism of which I believe Paul would also condemn. As stated above, I am actually more formal than the post is, or even my PCA brethren, requiring as I do, credible confession. It is a bad caricature and as I said, I would consider it impertinent to assume the grace of God on the behalf of my children. I train them to respect the Word, and where we differ is in the level to which we exalt its primacy. I put the confession first and not the practice. I guess I am just not as pragmatic as extreme covenanters are. Give me “Lazarus come forth” first, then we can unpackage the product and embrace Lazarus when speaks of being alive.

  4. Yeah, that’s a really edgy, deep, substantial argument.

    Because baptizing people we know are unconverted, and for whom the ceremony is both meaningless and contrary to express Scripture, makes so much more sense than only baptizing those who, in conformity to Scripture, give some evidence of conversion.

  5. This has more to do with the Lord’s Table than Baptism, though that is an edgy component…

    So, Dan and TT, if your kids were to make a profession of faith along the lines of Jesus is Lord or I love Jesus or Daddy is King of the table, would you let them come to the table (by way of Baptism of course)?

    When Jesus said to “let the children (infants?) come to Me” in the Gospels, did He negate the declaration that no one can come to Him unless the Father draw him (also Gospels for those following along)?

    So, Twitch… when you examine yourself to see if you are worthy to sit at the Kings Table, what answer do you come up with? Does your worthiness have to do with understanding what Christ did for you on the cross? Have you grown in your worthiness from the time you first believed?

    al sends

  6. “Daddy is King of the table” is not a confession in current (or past or future) use at Casa Phillips.

    So, you do grant that the object of baptism must himself make some confession of faith, or the ritual is at best meaningless, and at worst an insult to the very heart and soul of the New Covenant? Let’s establish the simple and Biblical principle first before we get to supposed hard cases.

  7. I am granting that premise for the sake of this argument. Is it right for the church to deny a very young child (say 3 years old) Baptism and the Lord’s Supper after their simple profession of faith? I will even grant that she crawls up into her father’s lap and says, “Daddy, I love Jesus.” No immediate prompting from you, simply the spontaneous confession of a child who has been told over and over again that Jesus loved her first.

    Would we then begin to look for “real faith?”

    al sends

  8. I’ve never understood this: apart from being a diverting dodge (“Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain — look, a comet!”), why does that have anything to do with anything?

    If Option A is credible but complex, and Option B is absurd but simple, is Option B to be preferred for its simplicity?

    On the WORST POSSIBLE reading, how is a path of obedience with a 100% chance of being mistaken preferable to one with a <100% of being mistaken?

    How is your example any better than asking, “A man takes a woman not his wife into a motel room, blindfolds himself, and has sex with her. Since he couldn’t see her, it’s possible that he was actually having sex with his wife. So that makes it okay, right?”

  9. This is why I have hung up the cleats in the baptism debate: you people are crazy. There comes a place where we have not only lept off the pages of Scripture, but we have actually forgotten that there are pages of Scripture to guide us, and my belove friend Al has gone there.

    Hang up you cleats, Al, before you start talking like you’re actually crazy and not merely pretending.

  10. My goodness… Two of my favorite Baptists…

    Dan, the man I was talking to was waiting for his son to present some level of spirituality before he could accept his profession of faith. My point is that this is arbitrary. How much fruit is required? How much insight into propitiation? Would tears over his sin do it or simply a downcast expression?

    Here is my dilemma: It is my in-law’s 50th Anniversary, I have sermon to prep and I will get to deliver it Sunday if Tropical Storm Fay does not disrupt our Lord’s Day Worship. God willing we will still have church. Oh, and I hope on a plane immediately after church, again the Lord willing and Fay heads inland.

    Let me put up a new post with some scripture and commentary and go from there.

    al sends

  11. Actually Mr.Turk, I lit this powderkeg and I should’ve known better too. I’m the one who went twisting noses and not surprisingly I found blood in them. I repent for starting a debate that too often becomes ugly and never settles the issue one way or the other, especially to Mr. Twitchell who responded directly to my comments and Rob who seems to have responded indirectly.

  12. WWII,
    I think no repentance necessary, brother. My post had everything to do with pointing out a good interview and nothing to do with this post. I had begun several responses to this post, but none of them were in debate mode. In fact, my own views of baptism and the Lord’s Supper have been nothing but enhanced and enriched by discussions with my paedobaptistic friends. While I still am credobaptist, I hold my brothers who differ with me on this point in the highest esteem, and count their views as worthy of consideration. At this point in my life (being a Baptist pastor) engaging full on in the discussion seems to have little hope of bringing about any fruit. I believe both sides are being true to their belief and conscience (which is not to say both are right), and I’m happy and eager to share the Meal with those who are of a different bent than I at this point.

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