Monday, March 29, 2004

Infant Baptismal Regeneration

Well, this had to happen. Strong-headed square peg that I am, I knew there had to be something in orthodox Anglicanism I firmly disagree with. And I found it – infant baptismal regeneration.

In short, Anglicanism (and it’s certainly not alone in this) teaches that infant baptism regenerates a child and grafts him into the Church.

Sorry, I’m not buying.

Baptism is an important part of the process of salvation and regeneration – when in the context of the conversion and faith of the baptized. Regeneration occurs when one comes to faith in Christ. And, as is the pattern in the New Testament over and over, baptism goes with a public profession and living out of that faith. That sort of baptism is an important and effectual part of regeneration (being born again). I’m convinced of that. I’m also convinced infant baptism is not.

Now this is not a huge issue with me. But, since it deals with regeneration and salvation, it’s not trivial either, and it’s not one I’m going to back down on. Still, this is not going to keep me from wanting to join an Anglican church if that is what I eventually desire to do.

I knew already that there is no such thing as a church where I agree with everything. Part of Biblical submission and forbearance is living with that. I reject the attitude rampant in past denominationalism that rejects churches based on such side issues.

The issue for me is whether my view would cause problems if I join an Anglican church. If I do join one, I’m not going to create a stink over infant baptism. I’ll probably just keep my own council and respect the church’s views while not agreeing with them. Probably, that would be o.k. with at least most orthodox Anglican churches.

But I’m going to double-check to be sure. I’ve already hurt some feelings by tactlessly expressing my views on an Anglican blog I’m afraid. And it would hurt me to get attached to a church, only to find out that my views, even if closely held, are a significant problem.

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