I’m having a debate with a former Catholic (now “non-denom”) on another forum and things have pretty much stalled. In summary, I posted the things he’d need to prove in order to change my mind on infant baptism. I thought it might be helpful for folks into this stuff.
1. The Bible forbids it. You’d have to show me that somewhere in scripture, there is, implied or explicitly stated, that baptizing infants is forbidden and ineffectual.
**2. That Luke 18:15 has nothing to do with IB: Parents were bringing their infants to Christ. Why? No, not for baptism, but for a great gift of some kind. But they don’t have faith–how could they possibly benefit?
3. Why faith is sufficient to get others’ sins forgiven and to heal them, but is insufficient for baptizing infants. In fact, it’s likely that Lydia’s entire household was baptized based on HER faith: Acts 16:15.
Also, in Acts 16:30, the jailer asks what he must do in order to be saved. Paul said “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you AND your household will be saved.” Did you catch that? All they said that if HE, singular, had faith, then HIS WHOLE HOUSEHOLD WOULD ALSO BE SAVED. This is a rock-solid, unspinnable example of proxy faith salvation in the Bible. Your job is to prove to me that this is completely irrelevant to the issue.
4. That Acts 2:38-39 doesn’t include infants. The promise is made to their CHILDREN, too. You wrote somewhere above that infants aren’t children. You’d also have to prove that one.
5. That circumcision has nothing to do with Baptism. They’re explicitly compared by Paul. Infants were circumcised. It’s, among other things, initiation into the covenant. You’d have to prove why the New Covenant is NARROWER than the Old.
**6. That only explicit proof texts–not implicit–have any validity in these conversations. **
7. That Romans 5:12 doesn’t include infants. Sin entered the world through one man and brought death. The “promise” is for everyone–including children. But not infants? You have to prove this.
**8. That original sin doesn’t affect infants. **
9. That the absence of explicit, direct evidence in the first century actually means something. Remember, the Church was under persecution for the first three centuries of its existence. It was literally driven underground. Scriptures were burned wherever they were found, and it’s entirely plausible that baptismal records were as well. You’d have to prove that, as you assume, the Church was just as diligent in keeping baptismal records as it is now.
The point here is that I want you to prove why later evidence is invalid because the direct evidence you want isn’t available. You make loud noises about the apparent absence of primary sources in this time period, but you have thus far completely ignored later evidence. This isn’t a rebuttal, it’s willful ignorance.
**10. Why, if baptism–not just faith alone–washes away sins, it has no effect on infants. **Yes, faith is necessary, but the Bible is clear that BAPTISM is a compenent of the forgiveness of sins. Baptism DOES SOMETHING. Again, yes, faith is required, but BAPTISM ITSELF DOES SOMETHING. Why doesn’t it do anything for infants?
**11. Show me that Christ didn’t establish an authority on Earth. **
That’s about it. Take on those, and I’ll happily amend my beliefs and conform myself to the truth.