Credobaptism vs. Pedobaptism

            As I explore ordination in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) I have become a student of the nuances of a particular denominational theology that varies from my last few years of training.  I seek to understand what it means to become a member of the Disciples of Christ and what it looks like to be a minister in the denomination.

I am rooted [deeply mind you] in the Presbyterian understanding of reformed theology.  I may not always look like I am rooted in reformed theology.  I assure you that I am a good Calvinist at my very core.  I maintain that God reigns supreme over all matters of life as Creator and creation work to reconcile the matter of ones depraved existence [sin].  This working out of sin between Creator and creation takes place in a rudimentary relationship between creation and Jesus the Christ.

I witness the relationship between Jesus the Christ and creation to be corporate rather than distinctly individual.  I acknowledge the idea that I and others experience the Christ in an individual manner, that inspires many towards a deep and meaningful response.  I do not hold a value for individual, intentional experience over the greater value of the corporate sacrifice of the Christ and the actions of the Christ upon the cross and its value to all of created order and the reconciling value to which I ascribe this action for all of creation.  The Christ did not serve any portion of creation over and above another part of creation.  As all of creation is in need of salvation and reconciling unto Creator as all of creation is utterly depraved.

I hold the idea of “predestination” in a bit of a quandary.  I fully uphold that God is in charge of all.  I believe that nothing passes absent the will of God.  I have a difficult time with accepting this as I speak to and witness the hardship of people in sorrowful and painful experiences.  Am I to believe that a woman sexually assaulted, raped, and beaten was allowed to be treated as such by a loving and divinely powerful God?  What lesson or purpose does this serve?  I hold that any simplified boiling down of hardship and suffering nullifies the dynamic nature of the relationship between Creator and reaction.  God is far beyond my simple understanding.  I feel that with the various cultures and experiences in this world there is God.  If I proclaim God gestures to omnipresence, omnipotence, and omniscience than I cannot define solely who, what, how, where God is or is not.

I see corporate worship and proclamation as the lesser of abomination upon the omnipresence, omnipotence, and omniscience of God.  If my individual response to God, or Jesus the Christ [the Beloved Begotten one of God] impacts the omnipresence, omnipotence, and omniscience of God than God is not really all the omnipresent, omnipotent, or omniscient. 

            Asking questions such as, “Can God microwave a burrito so hot that God can not remove it from the microwave?”  Engage the idea of God self-limiting as they seek to define God and individualize God.  Cause if God can in fact limit Gods power by microwaving a burrito so hot God cannot remove it from the microwave, than God can desire me or love me more.  God can bestow “The Truth” to me over another part of creation.  In essence if God can self-limit than there is room for a depraved part of creation to assert dominance in an acceptable manner over others.

            I apply this to Credobaptism vs. Pedobaptism.  Credobaptism [believer’s baptism] is where an adult or teenager is baptized in response to their personal conviction, as they are welcomed into full communion of a particular community [a church].  Pedobaptism [Infant Baptism] in contrast to Credobaptism is where an infant is baptized in to “The Church” based upon the collective faithful gathered in a community.  I see Credobaptism as a way to a deeper divide between a reconciled [in Jesus the Christ] creation.  It spawns “us and them”, insiders and outsiders.  Is this what baptism is to be? 

            To me Pedobaptism places the emphasis upon what Jesus the Christ has done and continues to do in a fallen world.  Credobaptism emphasizes what we do.  At this point with what I know about the denominational practice of the Disciple of Christ that I can be a minister with this restriction.

            I continue to seek understanding of what it means to be ordained in the denomination and am open t the possibility that I do not fit inline with the practices and beliefs of the denomination.  Perhaps I shall be exposed to information that will enlighten me to another way.  A way that reveals Credobaptism as a reconciling force rather than a divisive force.  I am open to this and pray that I may find a place to be, a way to serve.  I may not be called to serve beyond my current capacity as a pseudo-ordained minister of education for any denomination.  I am open to this as well.

            I want to be a part of reconciling conversations and a movement of the Spirit that binds us together with the other.  I am not convinced at all that any denomination is particularly superior to others.  I think denominations may even fuel the idolatry of religion and prevent many of us to simply be “disciples” in this nation, in these difficult times.  I pray whatever emerges from these days be glorifying to God and participate in the miraculous works of reconciling a depraved and yearning people.

6 thoughts on “Credobaptism vs. Pedobaptism

  1. My preference for pedobaptism doesn’t just stem from my own baptism. I prefer a theology that makes reconciliation less about my own feelings, and more about God’s grace, for many of the reasons that you’ve articulated here.

    Have a Merry One!

  2. Nice post. I’ll admit every now and then I start to worry that you might be a complete nutjob, so it’s nice to be reminded that you’re not completely off the deep end. I really appreciate your thoughts here.

  3. Ruth says:

    I see baptism as a sign of my faith in what Christ did for me. It is a statement of my salvation. Too many people who are baptised as infants do not seem to realize the need for knowing Christ as their personal Lord and Savior. Yes, you are a member of the household of faith, but that doesn’t make you a Christian. I was glad to be rebaptised as a believer.

  4. Ruth, I do not believe one can be re-baptized. I would point back to the Arianist Controversy. Baptism, as I stated above, is about who I am baptized towards and not about who baptizes me and when. One baptism is all one needs.

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