I'm not really one of those Wesleyans

I’m not really one of those Wesleyans

I think that little quiz needs a few more questions like:

  • Adult baptism is the primary outward sign that signifies our entrance to the body of Christ
  • The bible best interpreted as a community
  • An essential element of  Christ’s teachings is an ethic of peace, love, and nonviolent resistance
  • The government is not part of Christ’s kingdom
  • All members of the body of Christ are ministers
  • The heart of Christianity is to follow Jesus in discipleship
  • We live in obedience to the outer word (bible) and the inner word (Spirit)
  • The church should be made up of adult believers who chose to join
  • Christ’s teaching are central and supercedes those of the Old Testament

If those questions were on the list I’d be 100% Anabaptist!  Well maybe 95%.  Anabaptist theology on church and state is little too black and white for me.  I think it had something to do with being hunted down and killed by the state which was integrated with the church.  Things are a little different with pluralistic democracies.  I don’t hold much faith in the government’s ability to redeem society but I cannot say I know where Christ’s influence or reign is or isn’t on this earth. 

  1. #1 by graham on June 18, 2005 - 12:25 pm

    “The church should be made up of adult believers who chose to join.”

    Can kids not be part of the church?

  2. #2 by Joel Schroeder on June 18, 2005 - 3:12 pm

    In the church that I grew up in there were several kids who choose to be baptised, and made members of the church. I have no problem with kids belonging to the church, they have the ability to decide if they want to be a part of the church or not. An infant, however, doesn’t have the ability to make that choice.

  3. #3 by graham on June 18, 2005 - 4:03 pm

    Yeah, that’s a kind of approach I’m more happy with, Joel. I wonder if that’s what Leighton really meant?

  4. #4 by LT on June 18, 2005 - 8:46 pm

    I chose my words poorly. I was trying to convey the idea that people should choose to be part of a church, rather than infant baptised in to one.

  5. #5 by Kevin Harms on June 19, 2005 - 8:09 am

    Just did the quiz, my results on the page. LT, you’ll be impressed.

  6. #6 by Paul Johnston on June 20, 2005 - 7:12 am

    Any man who loves Jesus Christ and loves his infant child will have his infant child baptized.

    Baptism is much more than an intellectual and emotional commitment on the part of the believer. It is not merely a symbolic ritual. It is a sacramental grace. It is the free gift of the Hoy Spirit mediated by you, for your child, from your Father in heaven. Is God’s gift not worthy? Is not your child?

    Likewise it is your opportunity to give thanks to the Lord for the blessing that is your child. It is an opportunity to affirm to God your commitment to raising your child in His ways. It is an opportunity for the community to gather and recognize and renew their commitment to God and one another, through their commitment to your infant child.

    Nothing on earth is closer to the Holy Spirit of God than the infant child.

    The greatest grace lost is that which we choose to abandon by not having our infants baptized.

  7. #7 by Leighton Tebay on June 20, 2005 - 7:59 am


    You would have to present some scriptural evidence to convince me baptism is a means of grace when the person being baptised has no choice in the matter.

  8. #8 by Paul Johnston on June 20, 2005 - 8:16 am

    Infants are incapable of choice Leighton. Without some loving caregiver making loving choices for them, they die.

    ….”When eight days were completed for his circumcision, he was named Jesus, the name given him by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.(pro-choice Christians please pay particular attention)

    When the days were completed for their purification, according to the laws of Moses they took him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord”…

    Luke 2: 21-22. NAB

    Paranthetical inclusion mine.

  9. #9 by Leighton Tebay on June 20, 2005 - 8:21 am

    Circumcision and baptism aren’t the same thing.

  10. #10 by Paul Johnston on June 20, 2005 - 9:44 am

    Jesus as an infant,I assume without his prior consent, according to law and custom was made pure and presented to the Lord.

    Where the Jew had ritual custom and reverence, the Christian, through Christ, has something greater. A gift of the Holy Spirit. Why wouldn’t any parent seek it for their child? Why wouldn’t any parent present their child before the altar of God giving thanks and glory to the Creator? Why wouldn’t any Christian community participate in and embrace the responsibility of “eldership” for all it’s children, no matter what their age?

    Why wouldn’t God our Father bless just such a gathering with bountiful grace.

    That you and others would see something inherently wrong with choosing to baptize an infant into the Father, into the faith and into the community, astounds me. Further that you would not see it as right and just to commemorate the gift of your child by giving thanks and glory to God through communal ritual, seems just plain wrong to me.

  11. #11 by Joel Schroeder on June 20, 2005 - 10:26 am

    I believe if you look in Matthew 3:13-17, Mark 1:9-11, and Luke 3:21,22 you’ll see that Jesus was an adult when he was baptised.

  12. #12 by Paul Johnston on June 20, 2005 - 1:08 pm

    Hi Joel. John baptized in water. Jesus baptizes in Spirit. Spirit does not require our understanding, it requires only our faith.

    Your infant child cannot choose to clothe herself, though she knows cold. Don’t worry, you’ll clothe her. Your infant child cannot choose to feed himself, though he hungers. Don’t worry you’ll feed him. Your infant children cannot choose to care for themselves, though they know need. Don’t worry, you’ll care for them.

    Our infant children know God, he speaks to them in ways we have long since forgotten. They know him but they don’t know faith. Stand in faith, for your infant children. Baptize them into His Holy Spirit.

  13. #13 by Leighton Tebay on June 20, 2005 - 3:56 pm


    Without faith baptism is just getting wet. I don’t believe that infant baptism is a means of grace. I do however believe that there are a great many people who have gone through the ritual of baptism that don’t follow Jesus and they give Him and the church a bad name. If Christ gives us the choice to follow him or not I believe we should extend children that choice as well.

    I find it odd that you would use the word “astounded”. This argument goes back centuries and lot of faithful devoted Christians died horrible deaths at the hands of state churches because they didn’t believe in infant baptism.

  14. #14 by Paul Johnston on June 22, 2005 - 12:49 pm

    Leighton, it isn’t just splashing water, it is engaging your infant child into a spiritual union with His heavenly Father, by grace, through baptism. The condition of your faith as his earthly Father and the way in which you live it, sustains or doesn’t sustain the sacremental grace. The child, while he is a child, is not responsible.

    Where true faith is, God’s grace flourishes. It can be no other way.

    As a parent I would wholly reject any arguement as nonsense, were it to prepose to me that my children should only attend school if and when they would deem it worthy, and choose to go. My responsibility, founded in love, based on experience, trumps my childs desires and/or perceptions. As for your contention that Jesus allows us to choose, this is truth. But you and I both know what the consequence of choosing a life apart from Christ is. Until my child is accountable and can make his or her own choice, in love, through faith, as commanded by the Holy Spirit, I make it for her.

    For the record, I am astounded that parents who would otherwise lovingly provide every material want or need for their child would somehow think that baptism into a faith relationship with God was unimportant or worse yet wrong. Further I can’t help but think, based on Biblical precedent, that to engage your infant child into a relationship with the Lord is both right and just.

    I am of the opinion that those Christians who would deny the legitamacy of infant Baptism, the parental responsibility with regard to infant baptism and the potential of God’s healing grace as a consequence of infant baptism are argueing more as anti-Catholics than they are being pro Christian advocates.

    Lastly, I’m not advocating that anybody be killed for disagreeing and I am decidely unimpressed with your reference.

  15. #15 by Leighton Tebay on June 22, 2005 - 5:15 pm


    We saved by grace through faith, not by baptism. Peter makes one reference to how baptism saves but I believe that only be outward sign of the inward reality of faith. If it were not then it would be in theological conflict with Paul. Even if one were to argue that baptism is necessary for salvation, faith is also necessary and baby doesn’t know faith.

    Involuntary baptism doesn’t engage anyone with God. We come by faith, and faith comes by hearing not by H20.

    I believe that God saves who He wishes to save and that those who have not reached a place where they accountable they are under His grace.

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