The Baptist Pillar © Brandon Bible Baptist Church 1992-Present www.baptistpillar.com
"...The church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth."
I Timothy 3:15
The mode of baptism is a distinguishing feature of the religious practice of Baptists. We also differ from other denominations of Christians, in respect to the subjects of this ordinance.
1. The rule which we adopt in our interpretation of religious duty, governs us in this case. We baptize by immersion, simply because this mode was, as we believe, commanded by Christ, and practiced by his apostles. We decline to baptize children, because we can find no command on this subject in the teachings of Christ, and we find neither precept nor example of such baptism in the history of the apostles. Here we rest; and until such precept or such example can be produced, we must continue to believe such baptism to be without scriptural authority. To this authority we hope that we shall always willingly submit, but to nothing else can we bow in the matter of religion, without doing violence to our conscience, and being unfaithful to our Master.
2. But we go further. We conceive that if the baptism of infants had been the practice of the apostolic age, it could not possibly have escaped mention either in the Acts of the Apostles or the Epistles. But it is never in a single instance alluded to. We hear of believers being baptized, both men and women, but we hear not a word of children. It is true, that in some two or three cases the baptism of households is recorded; but, even here, the Holy Spirit has seemed to take peculiar pains to prevent misconception, by informing us in some way or other that these households were believers.
3. To the same effect is the command of our ascending Saviour, “Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.” Baptism is evidently meant to be restricted to those who are taught, or made disciples. We can therefore baptize no one who is incapable of being thus taught or made
4. All the allusions to the ordinance of baptism in the New Testament, refer to the baptized as regenerate persons, who have been buried with Christ and are risen with him, who have put off the filth of the flesh, etc. This could not certainly be said of unconscious infants, who could have no spiritual exercises, and who could by no possibility make them known.
For these reasons, we feel ourselves bound to decline all semblance of infant baptism, and to hear our testimony against it soberly but firmly, as an innovation upon the doctrines and example of Christ and his apostles.