“It is a wonder I did not see this earlier”: A Long Journey from Credo to Paedobaptism

Today, one of my Facebook friends publicly shared that he has arrived at a major life decision after a long journey.

After three years of attending a United Reformed Church, never as a member but as one open to the possibility of the Reformed position of baptism, and having read many of the major works on the subject, I mailed the following to my pastor last night. I am comfortable sharing it publicly…

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Baptismal font in 12th century Swedish church (click to enlarge)
Baptismal font in 12th century Swedish church (click to enlarge)

Dear Rev. _____________,

I am told a person once said of me, the reason I have remained so long at OURC without becoming a member is that I am stubborn, perhaps hard-headed. I hope it has never appeared so. I can testify from my conscience that I have always wanted to have what was required of me by the consistory. But I could not compel myself to affirm for truth what seemed to my limited, though overly informed judgment to be one of multiple possibilities.

If there is a reason why I stayed, it was because you and others at OURC encouraged me countless times to remain as long as it took to reach an affirmative position regarding baptism, whether paedo or credo. I have no doubt that had you asked, I would have made necessary arrangements to attend a Reformed Baptist congregation, however inconvenient and unhappy the loss of my regular fellowship with you all would have been. In such an environment we can only guess the likelihood of a changed view, if at all…

Like Michael, I also had a long, tedious journey. I was baptized as an infant in a mainline, paedobaptist denomination, was convinced later in life to be immersed at Lake Washington in Seattle, then cozied up to paedobaptism again after attending a baptismal orientation for parents before my third child was baptized in a Presbyterian church.

Through it all, until my son’s baptism, I never dug any deeper into the back-and-forth, proof-texting arguments… I accepted the view that baptism is the believer’s testimony of his faith before the congregation…

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