An argument for baptizing children who profess faith?

In my bible reading this morning, God spoke these words from Deuteronomy 21:

18 “If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who does not obey his father or mother and doesn’t listen to them even after they discipline him, 19 his father and mother must take hold of him and bring him to the elders of his city, to the gate of his hometown. 20 They will say to the elders of his city, ‘This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious; he doesn’t obey us. He’s a glutton and a drunkard.’ 21 Then all the men of his city will stone him to death. You must purge the evil from you, and all Israel will hear and be afraid.

As far as I understand Capitol Hill Baptist Church’s statement on baptizing children, you should wait for their faith to be tested as adults (in general) before you baptize them. Vern Poythress calls this rigorism and recommends credo baptists to baptize them as soon as they profess faith. D. A. Carson has a different stance (hear this audio link starting at 22:33 with Mark Dever weighing in) that entails a personal interview with a child/teen asking easy and curve ball questions. Bethlehem Baptist Church waits at least until age 11 and has thought through the issue quite a bit.

One of my big reasons for waiting is the practice of church discipline on a child who disobeys the parents regularly but has been baptized and is a church member. Do we excommunicate a 10 year old? So my stance has been to wait until the young person is treated as an adult, which may be as early as 13 years old. But the reading this morning presses me to say that if they are young and consistently rebellious, yes, you do excommunicate them (Matt 18.17) which is the New Covenant parallel to the Old Covenant of stoning someone to death because it cuts them off from the covenant community. So maybe Poythress’ push towards us credo baptists is correct.

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About PJ Tibayan

I love Jesus Christ and live to know him and make him known in all things together with CrossView Church primarily to the city of LA and the
This entry was posted in 9Marks, Baptist Theology and Practice, church health, church membership, ecclesiology. Bookmark the permalink.

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