Baptism of infants by pouring/sprinkling

tagaytayinfantbaptismLast Friday, I met a pastor who was visiting from the southern Philippine city of Cagayan de Oro. He was the very first pastor who was indoctrinated by the Pentecostal-Charismatic G12 Movement in Colombia, S.A. and afterward introduced it to the Philippines. However, in the last few years, he learned about the Reformed faith through self-study, rejected Pentecostalism and the G12 Movement, and is now continuing in his journey to the Reformation.

So until almost midnight, he, another couple and I had a long “White Horse Inn” discussion at Chow King (a Filipino-Chinese restaurant chain) in Santa Mesa, Manila, more than an hour commute from our home in Antipolo, Rizal. Guess what consumed most of our discussion? Infant baptism.

A few of the most important points about this issue are in these two previous articles (with excerpts) I wrote here:

“Donatist, Anabaptist, and Presbyterian Confusion”

But surely, don’t we have the best example of infant dedication in Jesus, when Mary brought him to the Temple when he was 41 days old (Luke 2:22-24)? No, this was no infant dedication! In the first place, Mary went to the Temple for her ceremonial purification rites following her son’s birth (Lev. 12:37). Secondly, Mary was fulfilling God’s command to all Jewish parents to make an offering for all firstborn sons in remembrance of the redemption from death of Israel’s firstborn sons through the blood of the Passover lamb (Exod. 12:11-14, 13:11-15), a foreshadow of what Jesus became to all believers (1 Cor. 5:7).

“What 1 Corinthians 10:2 Means”

These two Old Testament “baptisms” are but a couple of illustrations of baptism by sprinkling or pouring, not immersion. The Israelites were rained on or sprinkled during their Red Sea crossing, while the Egyptians were “immersed” in the sea. Noah and his family were rained on during the days of the great flood, while the rest of the unbelieving world perished by “immersion” in the flood.

Hopefully, you who are not Reformed and not paedobaptists will come to a better understanding why we do what we do in this sacrament after reading these two articles.

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