Confessions of a Militant Reformed Credo-Baptist gone Paedo-baptist
I had plethora of subconscious baptistic assumptions that I would always bring to the text of scripture without question. When you are always starting with a Baptist assumption you will always come with baptistic conclusions. I needed to simply read the text at face value and let new assumptions be created rather than always be operating out of assumptions. Our assumptions are often subconscious until we bring them to the surface and honestly face them. When we do not face and acknowledge our assumptions we remain bound by them.
As our church transitions to have a covenantal view of the church membership which sees the children of believers as part of the church and so receivers of the covenant sign of baptism, I feel that there are some general things that need to be addressed. Though the church has practiced the administration of signs to their children for 3,500 years (before Christ and for 1,500 years after Christ in church history), the practice in our context is not practiced by many and if it is practiced, it is practiced in an unbiblical manner, for example as it is conducted by Roman Catholics. It is important to note however that many Christians all over the world still practice infant baptism in a biblical manner in the Presbyterian, Dutch Reformed, and Anglican/Episcopalian denominations.
Our obscure church has received a reputation for having an obsession with the grace of the gospel. And while some understand this very well and are seeing it firsthand (its powerful effects) there are many who are confused and some very concerned and others that seem to be a bit angry. I find myself having the same conversations with visitors and others who hear about what we are about. The main concern that I often hear is in light of your preoccupation with gospel grace, where is holiness and discipleship and things of that nature? The assumption is that to be fixated on gospel grace is counterproductive to moral behavior consistent with the Bible’s stances on morality. So, the first concern is that we pick stuff in the Bible to focus on while neglecting others and the second is that our fixation on the gospel is counterproductive to the Christian life. Here is my pastoral answer to these questions as to how our gospel grace obsession relates to Christian growth and standards and how it is the actual focus of the Bible. And—please—not that our gospel obsession does not mean that we do not talk about things people should do, it simply means that the gospel is our focus and emphasis.
This is not an article that is two pages long that you can read in line at the store. It is an in-depth explanation and will take some time to absorb, but it is so because it is my attempt to answer clearly why we stand on the gospel the way we do. Take your time and read a few points at time if you will, but get to the end as every point is significant in this conversation.