Baptist Minister David McCrory wrote,
“A person must first be converted by the Gospel before they can obey the Gospel. Thus, making a person a disciple of Jesus Christ is a prerequisite to a person being taught by Jesus Christ. When viewed from this perspective, the Great Commission clearly outlines the biblical pattern for the Church to follow:
1. Make disciples 2. Baptize them. 3. Teach them to …observe all things…
Therefore, according to Christ’s command, baptism is an act of obedience, subsequent to conversion, and a demonstration of one’s willingness to live as a teachable disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ
Your contention does you no good because,
1.) There is clearly continuity between the covenant of grace prior to the Christ and the covenant of grace upon Christ’s incarnation. This is seen in Jer. 31 where the promise of the new covenant includes the writing of God’s law on their hearts. What law is it that will be written on their hearts?
Why the Mosaic law — the law of the Old Covenant — of course. That law included the requirement to give children the sign of the covenant.
2.) Since God does not explicitly rescind his requirement to give children the sign of the covenant, the requirement to bring His children to be marked with the sign of the covenant remains. Also the reality of Household Baptisms in the New Testament excoriates your reasoning.
In the New Testament we see household baptisms frequently. Now, the Baptist will insist that there are no children explicitly mentioned in those NT accounts but even if there were not children there the reality of Household Baptisms utterly crushes the Baptist contention that infants should not receive the sign of the covenant (Baptism) because the principle of household Baptism teaches that all who are members of the household are baptized. So, you see, it is really irrelevant whether or not there were infants baptized in those household Baptisms in the New Testament because the principle of household Baptism teaches that if there had been infants there they would have been baptized.
3.) In Matthew 28:18-20 Christ commands us to Baptize the nations (the Greek word is ethnos – Literally peoples). He who commands all Peoples to be baptized also commands infants to be Baptized; for a command concerning a group includes all those who fall in that group (genus – species). The design of Christ in the Great Commission is to teach the manner of collecting and conserving the Church in the World until the end of time and to prescribe that manner to the apostles and their successors. Now as the Church that the Apostles are being called to collect and conserve consists of infants as well as adults (that is the way it had always consisted and there is absolutely nothing anywhere in any text that reverses this paradigm) so that manner that Christ is teaching them in building the Church has reference to both adults and children, but according to the condition of each: that adults newly entering into the Covenant should be taught before they are Baptized, while infants should be Baptized as covenanted and Christian, and afterwards be taught in their own time. If an objection is placed here that discipling of the Peoples precedes the Baptizing of Peoples we would observe that Christ speaks of discipling and teaching here first since a primeval Church among Gentiles would by necessity be first a collection of adults, therefore naturally discipling and teaching precedes baptizing, just as those strangers and aliens coming into the Covenant Community in the Old Testament would have been discipled and taught before they were circumcised. The goal then of the Gentiles entering into the Covenant as Covenanted parents wasn’t to get their seed to accept Christianity, rather their goal was to teach their children that they were Christian that they might not reject their covenant identity, conceding that if they fully and finally reject Christianity (a thing that by all rights should be uncommon among those trained in the Covenant) then their children were Gentile seed but not God’s seed (consider Esau). The distinction and concession underscores the reality that Salvation is always by Grace and not Race while at the same time maintaining that because of Grace, Grace often runs in familial lines (Deuteronomy 7:9).
We believe that in the Great Commission passage when Christ lays the emphasis on ‘All Nations’ He is doing so to firmly implant in Jewish thinking that the Gospel is not solely a Jewish concern. In this way our Lord makes clear that the Gospel is no longer provincial and in issuing the order unto Baptism we see a new sacramental sign given by our Lord Christ to replace the Old Covenant sign of Circumcision, just as He earlier gave His table as a sign of the New Covenant to replace and fulfill the old covenant sign of the Passover. The Great Commission underscores that the Church is no longer primarily Jewish. This ‘New’ thing is given a new sacramental sign to replace and fulfill circumcision (a new sign for a new covenant). But the Church is not told to exclude its children and here in Matthew 28 is the place where by all rights that should have been said if it was going to be said.
Baptist Minister David McCrory writes,
The practice of infant baptism was birthed in the Roman Catholic Church and is based on superstitious rationalistic humanism. It is a logical argument constructed from a faulty hermeneutic. While consistent, it is consistently wrong. The baptism of infants has no exegtical support for, as many respected Reformed theologians admit, it is not found in Scripture. Calvin himself confessed, “The word baptize signifies to immerse. It is certain that immersion was the practice of the primitive church.”
1.) In point of fact the practice of infant Baptism was birthed in the Old Testament with the practice of circumcision. In the New Testament Baptism replaces circumcision as the sign of the covenant.
In circumcision, the organ of generation was given the covenant mark by its circumcised status, signifying that man’s hope is not in generation but in regeneration, a new life in the Lord. The reason circumcision was eclipsed with the coming of Christ is that w/ Christ the Regeneration Himself had arrived and had been bloodily cut off. There is therefore no longer the need for the symbol since the reality had come and so no longer reason for the organ of generation to be bloodily marred. Further, Circumcision is eclipsed as the covenant sign because Christ, in His Cross work, fulfills the bloody cutting off of sin that circumcision proclaimed. Because Christ on the Cross is the Church’s circumcision no more bloody rites are left to the Church and so water becomes the new sign and seal thus indicating the washing away of sin by the blood of Christ.
Christ’s command in Matthew 28 to Baptize is the Scripture where we find a new covenant sign is given for a new and improved covenant.
Baptist Minister David McCrory,
“The case for infant baptism is always built upon a series of arguments based on reason, supposedly flowing from Scripture. It is said to be a natural result of interpreting Scripture based upon ‘good and necessary consequence’. But an exegetical study of Scripture will evidence over and over again infant baptism can neither be proved to be good or necessary. The testimony of Scripture will eternally stand at odds to an extra-Scriptural practice.”
The case of infant baptism is built upon the Reformed Hermeneutic which teaches that whatever God says in the Old Testament remains true for the New Testament unless God specifically rescinds something He said earlier in the Old Testament. The Reformed Hermeneutic does not teach, like the Baptist hermeneutic, that in order for something from the Old Testament to remain abiding God has to repeat that something again in the New Testament. So, since God in the earlier scripture instructed that the children of His people were to be given the sign of the covenant, the Reformed rightly hold that children in the New Covenant should be given the sign of the covenant. The fact that the sign has morphed from circumcision to baptism is seen in Jesus words in Matthew 28:16-20. The Church in the new covenant age will have baptism as the sign of the covenant and children are to receive that sign just as they received it in the old covenant.
Keep in mind here that Baptist reasoning is saying that in the new and better covenant, the children, unlike the children in the old and worse covenant, are not to receive the blessing of the sign of the covenant.
David McCrory — Baptist Minister
“Christ’s own disciples failed to note the perceived continuity between circumcision and baptism. Peter, in the first Christian sermon, required of the circumcised men of his day, those who were already circumcised, to repent and be baptized. Their former status, and the sign of their former status, was of no avail. The old had passed away and all things were being made new.”
The sign of the former status was of no avail because the reality that the former status pointed to (Christ) had come. The necessity for Baptism, even for the circumcised, was lodged in the reality that the old order had been transcended. It is really this simple. It is not because there was no relation between the old and new covenants.
At best the Baptist withholds water from the infant because he thinks he cannot know that the infant is saved. For this reason water is offered to the confessor only. Some Reformed Baptists believe infants ‘may’ be saved but that it cannot be known with any certainty until they confess Christ. They need that evidence. (Never mind that the Baptist does not know with any greater certainty that the adult confessor is saved. Witness the recidivism rate among Baptist baptized converts.) A persons confession is his ticket to the act.
The Reformed, on the other hand, [at least those that are consistent and covenantally astute] ] look to the promises of God for the condition of their children. The Baptist looks at a human confession for proof and the Reformed look to the divine promise. The most charitable view that can be given the Baptist is that his view is anthropocentric as opposed to the Reformed position which is Theocentric. A more realistic view in my estimation is that the reformed Baptist at this point has a latent synergism in his theology.
Whether or not the Baptist realizes it, his position implies a disjunctive relationship between the old and new testaments. His argument usually revolves around Moses and the law–we are no longer under the law. But circumcision is not Mosaic; circumcision is Abrahamic. The rite was given to Abraham to whom the promise of the Messiah was given and that promise was to him and to his seed and that promise came 430 years before the law. Moses is irrelevant to the discussion.