Last 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:
But surely, donâ€™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 sonâ€™s birth (Exod. 13:2, 12; Lev. 12:3-7). Secondly, Mary was fulfilling Godâ€™s command to all Jewish parents to make an offering for all firstborn sons in remembrance of the redemption from death of Israelâ€™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).
These two Old Testament â€œbaptismsâ€ [1 Cor 10:1-2; 1 Pet 3:19-21] 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 â€œimmersedâ€ 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 â€œimmersionâ€ 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.