INFANT BAPTISM EXPOSED!
It's History and Harm
Copyright © 2003. Petersburg Gospel Center. All Rights Reserved.
(Much of the preceding was taken from the pamphlet written by the Late Dr. William Pettingill on INFANT BAPTISM)
Infant baptism is not a Scriptural doctrine. It is not found in the Bible. There is not one example in the Bible of one single baby being baptized. We will show that baby baptism is of pagan origin.
It is my purpose in this article to set forth my reasons for saying, as I often have said, that...
INFANT BAPTISM IS RESPONSIBLE FOR SENDING MORE PEOPLE TO HELL THAN ANY OTHER RELIGIOUS ERROR.
From my point of view, it is a dreadful thing to baptize a baby and let him grow up believing that by that baptism he has been saved and is on his way to heaven.
As we have said so many times, we believe all babies and children below the age of accountability are protected by the Lord respecting their eternal soul. I do not believe-that any child below the age of accountability has ever gone to hell. Of course, there is no differentiating between those who were baptized as infants and those who were not.
Little children certainly can come to Christ when they are old enough to understand that Jesus died for them and shed his blood to pay for their sins. If that child is old enough to realize that he cannot take his sin to heaven, and that he is lost and a sinner, than that child is old enough to be saved. What age is that? I do not know. It varies from child to child. Billy Graham and James Dobson claimed they were saved at 4 years of age. I was saved at age 6. It depends upon the religious training environment a child is raised in too.
In fact, we adults must become like 'little children' and have child-like faith when we come to Him! Jesus did say in Matthew 19:14,
"But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven."
This verse is not teaching, however, that little infants, just born, are come to Christ by being baptized by a priest! As stated earlier, little children who die in infancy are covered by the Blood of Christ and will go to heaven. They are thus 'covered' until they reach the age that they can understand the Gospel, and at that point they must trust Christ on their own, of their own volition.
HISTORY OF INFANT BAPTISM
Infant baptism appeared in the Christian church history around the Second Century, coming from the pagan influences of Baal Worship, as we will show later, but It came about as a result of the doctrine of baptismal regeneration - the teaching that baptism is essential to salvation; or, if you want to turn it around, that water baptism saves the soul (or at least is a part of a person's salvation). Consequently, as the teaching of baptismal regeneration started being propagated, it was natural for those holding to this doctrine to believe that everyone, should be baptized as soon as possible. Thus, baptism of infants still in the innocent state (and as yet unaccountable for their actions) came into vogue among many of the churches.
Once again I state: These two grievous errors baptismal regeneration and infant baptism - have probably caused more people to go to hell than any other doctrine.
WHERE DID THIS INFANT BAPTISM COME FROM?
Once has to go back to Genesis 10 and 11 where we read of Noah's Great grandson, NIMROD, and his wife SEMIRAMUS, who started the great pagan BABYLON MYSTERY RELIGION at the Tower of Babel. This great pagan religion was later known as 'BAAL WORSHIP' in the Old Testament, simply another name for Nimrod. The great book, TWO BABYLONS by Alexander Hislop gives us a little background on this Babylon Mystery Religion of 'BAAL WORSHIP' started by Nimrod and Semiramus.
BABYLON MYSTERY RELIGION
In this mysterious Babylonian Religious System, Nimrod and Semiramis, along with their priests, were the only ones who understood 'The great mysteries of God' and since it was the only true religion... all others were false... therefore, only the Babylonian Priests could forgive and absolve sins...and administer salvation. Salvation could be achieved thru various Sacraments performed during the person's life time. These SACRAMENTS were so-called 'Channels of grace' whereby salvation could be achieved. These Sacraments, necessary to salvation ..began at birth with Infant Baptism, other sacraments throughout life, ending with a final anointing with oil at death to prepare one for the hereafter. Now Since the Babylonian Priest was the only one who could administer these 'sacraments', the person was 'bound' to the Babylonian system helplessly for life! The first essential sacrament Semiramis taught was Baptism by water. The fact that such "Baptism" was practiced 2000 years before it was even mentioned and practiced in Christianity is an established fact, and it can be traced right back to Babylon and Semiramis herself! The ancient historian Bryant (vol.3 p2l,84) traces this pagan baptism back to the practice of commemorating Noah and his 3 sons deliverance thru the waters of the flood, emerging from the ark and entering a New life. To commemorate this event, the Priests of Nimrod would 'baptize' new-born infants the fathers chose to keep, and they would become 'born-again' and become members of the Babylonian Mystery Religion. (Hislop,Two Babylons, p134) The fact that the Devil practiced the ritual of Baptism over 2000 years before it was even used in Christianity has truly amazed historians!
WHERE DID THIS BABY BAPTISM COME FROM?
Armitage's History (p73) explains the pagan civil law and social customs of that day. These pagans had no standard of morality as you and I have. Their marriage rites were not on the basis ours are. One man might be the husband of a hundred women, and he might be the father of several hundred children. The mother had no right at all to determine whether the child she bore was to live or not, that was le ft up to the FATHER. Just as the farmer would go down to the pigpen and pick out the pigs he wanted to keep and do away with the runts, so was the father the one who decided if the child was to be kept and allowed to live. The mother could not even name the child if it was kept, the pagan priest did that. If the child was decided to be kept, the daddy would take it down to the pagan priest and the ceremony would be arranged. The Priest first must 'exorcise' evil spirits from the infant by anointing the baby's head with OIL. With the oil the priest puts the occult mark of Tammuz on the child's head by marking a "T" with the oil. (later to become the 'Sign of the Cross) The Priest then put SALT and SPITTLE on the baby's tongue to preserve it from future influence of evil spirits. "HOLY WATER" is now sprinkled or poured over the baby's head, and the baby is said to be cleansed from any original sin and is now "born-again" and a member of the Babylonian Religion. This process was known as INFANT CHRISTENING and was practiced hundreds of years before Christ, (Hislop,pl38) and is found NOWHERE in the Bible! There is not a single example of a baby being 'baptized' or 'christened' in the Bible! Knowing what you do now, WOULD YOU WANT YOUR BABY CHRISTENED?
This was called 'Baal Worship' in the Old Testament, and God called it an abomination!
MORE HISTORY ON BABY BAPTISM
The professed conversion of Emperor Constantine in A.D. 313 was looked upon by many as a great triumph for Christianity. However, it more than likely was the greatest tragedy in church history because it resulted in the union of church and state and the establishment of a hierarchy which ultimately developed into the Roman Catholic system. There is great question that Constantine was ever truly converted. At the time of his supposed vision of the sign of As we have said so many times, we believe all babies and children below the age of accountability am protected by the Lord respecting their eternal soul. I do not believe-that any child below the age of accountability has ever gone to hell. Of course, there is no differentiating between those who were baptized as infants and those who were not.
INFANT BAPTISM COMES TO THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH
At around the 3rd Century, traces of the Babylon Mystery Religion, now known as Baal Worship, infiltrates the Christian Church. Immediately, Bible Believing Christians reject the idea of baptizing babies and Baptismal regeneration - the teaching that baptism is essential to salvation; or, if you want to turn it around, that water baptism saves the soul (or at least is a part of a person's salvation). These Bible Believing Christians were labeled slanderously as 'ANABAPTISTS' because they rejected this idea of baptizing babies as pagan and not Scriptural. They would 'RE-BAPTIZE these infants when they got older and trusted Christ as Savior! Thus the term, ANABAPTISTS...which meant "RE-BAPTIZERS"! It was later shortened to 'Baptists'. So you see, Baptists got the their name at this time, and the issue that started the name Baptists and separated them was this issue of 'Baby Baptism'!!!! These 'ANABAPTISTS' were persecuted greatly because of this issue!
EVERY BABY MUST BE BAPTIZED
When Emperor Constantine made 'Christianity' the official 'STATE RELIGION of Rome, one of the FIRST LAWS passed was the law decreeing infant baptism as the law of the land in 416 A.D. That simply meant that everybody within a certain age limit had to conform to it. When they passed that law in 416 that every baby in the Roman Empire had to be baptized at the hands of an authorized Roman priest... OR ELSE! Those who disagreed with teaching and rejected it were soon slanderously called "ANABAPTISTS", and they were persecuted without mercy for not conforming. Historian J.M.Carroll declares, " For 30 miles on the road leading out of Rome were stakes with gory heads of ANAPTISTS...."
INFANT BAPTISM BECAME THE LAW OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE
Occasionally someone will say, "Don't you think infant baptism is beautiful to look at?" A.A.Davis replies, "If you knew the history of that doctrine, where it came from and the bloodshed that it brought into the world, you would never watch another such service in your lifetime." (THE BAPTIST STORY, p67). He quotes historian J.M. Carroll from his TRAIL OF BLOOD "no other doctrine that ever found its way into Christendom has caused so much BLOODSHED in this world as the doctrine of INFANT BAPTISM."
Armitage's History (p7l-73) tells us that in the 6th century, Emperor Justin issued an edict commanding ALL UNBAPTIZED PARENTS to present themselves and their children for baptism at once. Leo III issued, another edict in-A.D. 723 demanding the forcible baptism of the Jews and Montanists (anabaptists). Toward the close of the 6th century the baptism of--.infants was turned to gain in the shape of FEES ($$$) paid for its administration; but, the charges soon became so enormous that the poor could not pay them. And yet lest their children should DIE unsaved, the frightened parents strained every nerve to get them baptized." (Armitage's history, p7l) He continues, "Suppose you owned a section of land with an oil well on it; you had a baby born into your home and you went to the priest to get the baby baptized. The priest would say I want the title to that section of land. When the thing was over, the priest would get the title to the land and the BABY would get a few drops of water on its head. He says this is how the Mother Church of Rome come to own Czechoslovakia, Mexico, etc.
One is reminded of Peter's Scripture,
"and through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of YOU.." (2 Peter 2:1-3)
We could spend pages here looking at the history books showing how the ANABAPTISTS (those who rejected infant baptism) were persecuted in ways almost too horrible to describe. Many were put in a special iron casket called the IRON MAIDEN, which had dozens of sharp spikes inside ... or the anabaptist preacher who, in the 4th century, was laid upon the ground and a horse was hooked to each of his arms and feet, and the signal given so the horses would pull the pastor into 4 quarters.....Why?
... because he believed it was wrong to baptize BABIES. (BAPTIST STORY, p109)
The author continued to tell about those anabaptists who had HOT WAX poured into their EARS...or those who had their tongues
pulled out with hot pincers. The wives of the anabaptists had their bodies mutilated in terrible ways, as parts of their bodies were cut off....Pregnant women had their stomachs ripped open and the offspring cast to wild hogs as husband was forced to watch. One anabaptist pastor was taken, his body CUT open, and ears of corn stuffed inside, and hungry dogs not fed for 4 days turned loose to devour the man's entrails and corn inside. (BAPTIST STORY, p110)
THE 'HOLY INQUISITION' RESULTED FROM THIS ISSUE OF BABY BAPTISM
No wonder the Book of Revelation declared in Revelation 17:6 that this great HARLOT false religion had become 'DRUNK with the BLOOD of the Saints'...Historian and Bible commentator Sir Robert Anderson estimated that thru out the middle ages OVER 40 MILLION people were murdered and martyred over this one doctrine of INFANT BAPTISM! To illustrate this great number of those anabaptists slain, Anderson said if you lined 40 million people in a line, four abreast and four feet apart, and they marched by at normal marching pace, it would take 4 years and 4 months for this number of people to march by!!!
ROME LAID DOWN THE LAW.. ..INFANT BAPTISM ESSENTIAL!
The General Council of Trent, Seventh Session (1547) Canons on the Sacraments in General:
(a) "If anyone, shall say that the sacraments of the New Law were not all instituted by our Lord Jesus Christ, or that there are more or fewer than seven, namely baptism, confirmation, Eucharist, penance, extreme unction, orders, and matrimony, or that any one of these seven is not truly and intrinsically a sacrament - anathema sit."
(b) "If anyone shall say that the sacraments of the New Law are not necessary for salvation but are superfluous, and that without them or without the desire of them men obtain from God through faith alone the grace of justification, though all are not necessary for every individual anathema sit."
(c) "If anyone. shall say that by the sacraments of the New Law grace is not conferred ex opere operato, but that faith alone in the divine promise is sufficient to obtain grace - anathema sit."
THE BABYLON MYSTERY RELIGION AT ROME TAUGHT THAT EVEN LITTLE BABIES COULD NOT BE SAVED AND GO TO HEAVEN UNLESS THEY WERE BAPTIZED...
The Priests of Rome taught-and still do-that it is NOT possible even for newly born infants to be saved so as to enjoy the delights of heaven unless they are baptized. The COUNCIL OF TRENT catechism states in black and white:
"Infants, unless regenerated unto God thru the grace of BAPTISM, whether their parents be Christian or infidel, are born to eternal misery and perdition."
But what a horrible doctrine that was!! And what a contrast with the doctrinal beliefs of the anabaptists who believed that all those dying in infancy, whether baptized or unbaptized, are saved!
Lorraine Boettner, in his ROMAN CATHOLICISM, p190, declared,
"The Romish doctrine was so horrible and so unacceptable to the public that it was found necessary to invent a third realm, the Limbus Infantum... later shortened to 'Limbo'...a place where unbaptized infants are sent, in which they are excluded from heaven but in which they suffer no positive PAIN. The Council of Trent and the Councils of Lyons and Florence declare positively that unbaptized infants are confined to this realm."
"The primary purpose of the Church of Rome in excluding unbaptized infants from heaven is to force parents to commit their children to her as soon as possible ... the pressure put on members of the Mother Church of Rome parents to see that their children are baptized EARLY is almost UNBELIEVABLE... ..a commitment which once she receives she never relinquishes." (P 191)
BABY BAPTISM THROUGH THE DARK AGES
Consequently, as the teaching of baptismal of the Dark Ages which endured for more than twelve centuries - until the Protestant Reformation.
During this time God had a remnant who remained faithful to Him; they never consented to the union of church and state, or to baptismal regeneration, or to infant baptism. These people were called by various names, but probably could better be summed up by their generic name, Anabaptists, meaning rebaptizers. These people ignored infant baptism and rebaptized those who had been saved through personal faith.
NOW THIS IS STRANGE
Protestant Churches of the Reformation Bring Baby Baptism with Them!
The strange thing about these two diabolical doctrines of baptismal regeneration and infant baptism is that the great reformers (Martin Luther, for one) brought with them out of Rome these two dreaded errors - the union of church and state and infant baptism. Strangely enough, in those days not only did the Roman Catholic church persecute those who would not conform to its ways, but after the Lutheran church became the established church of Germany, it persecuted the nonconformists as well - of course, not as stringently so and not in such numbers as those before them.
John Calvin in France, as well as Oliver Cromwell in England and John Knox in Scotland, stuck to the union of church and state and infant baptism and used their power, when they had power, to seek to force others to conform to their own views.
BABY BAPTISM COMES TO AMERICA
Unaware to a lot of people, this thing came to the Americas well in the early days of this republic. Before the Massachusetts Bay Colony was twenty years old, the following was decreed by statute:
"If any person or persons within this jurisdiction shall either openly condemn or oppose the baptizing of infants, or go about secretly to seduce others from the approbation or use thereof, or shall purposely depart from the congregation at the administration of the ordinance after due time and means of conviction, every such person or persons shall be subject to banishment.."
Religious persecution existed even in the early days of the United States of America. Roger Williams and others were banished - when banishment meant to go and live with the Indians - because they would not submit to the doctrine of baptismal regeneration or the baptizing of infants.
However, it was the constitution of the Rhode Island Colony - founded by Roger Williams, John Clark, and others - that established religious liberty by law for the first time in thirteen hundred years (over the world).
Thus it was that Rhode Island, founded by a small group of believers, was the first spot on earth where religious liberty became the law of the land. The settlement was made in 1638, and the colony was legally established in 1663. Virginia followed, to be the second, in 1786.
As you can see, the doctrine of infant baptism has a long and bloody history, and it has been one of Satan's chief weapons to condemn untold millions to hell.
I WILL ATTEMPT TO EXPLAIN IT FURTHER
Many, of course, will ask, "What does the above have to do with us today?" A lot!
You see, the union of church and state continues today in most countries of the world. In these state churches, pastors and leaders christen babies - which means they "make them Christians" by baptizing them; thus the that has been christened as a baby believes he is on his way to heaven simply because he was christened (or baptized) in infancy. Having been taught all his life that this saved him, he naturally considers himself saved by the act of infant baptism.
The Roman Catholic Church still teaches baptismal regeneration and practices infant baptism. Its statement of doctrine says:
"The sacrament of baptism is administered on adults by the pouring of water and the pronouncement of the proper words, and cleanses from original sin."
The Reformed Church says:
"Children are baptized as heirs of the Kingdom of God and of His covenant. "
The Lutheran Church teaches that baptism, whether of infants or adults, is a means of regeneration.
Because of the following declaration, I believe the Episcopal Church teaches that salvation comes through infant baptism. In his confirmation, the catechist answers a question about his baptism in infancy by saying this:
"In my baptism. I was made a member of Christ, a child of God, and an inheritor of the kingdom of God."
(This is printed in the prayer book and can be read by anyone interested enough to look for it.)
Most people who practice infant baptism believe the ceremony has something to do with the salvation of the child. These are traditions of men, and we can follow the commandments of God or follow after the traditions of men; it is up to us.
THE CLEAR BIBLE TEACHING OF SALVATION
I believe the Word of God is clear regarding the matter of salvation. Jesus said:
"He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God ... He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him" (John 3:18, 36).
Basically this tells us that there are two groups of people in the world today - those who believe on the Son and those who do not. Those who believe are not condemned; they have everlasting life (whatever church they may belong to). Those who believe not on the Son are condemned already, and they shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on them.
I believe this is the clear, unmistakable teaching and language of the Bible.
If you will notice, the Word of God never says simply believe and be saved; rather, it seeks always to identify the object of faith, which is the Lord Jesus Christ Himself.
John 3;16 says, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
It is not enough just to believe; a person must believe "in Him."
The Philippian jailer asked, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" The Apostle Paul answered, "Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved." (Acts 16:30,31)
It was not enough simply to 'believe'; that belief, that trust, that dependence had to be 'in Him'.....
If a person is trusting in baptism for salvation, he cannot be trusting "in Him". Christ is not ONE way of salvation; He is the ONLY WAY salvation.
There is no promise in the Word of God to those who believe partially in Christ. In other words, we cannot trust in the Lord Jesus 90% and in baptism 10%..
We must trust Christ and what He did at Calvary 100% and nothing else.
My friend, just because you were baptized as a baby does not save you!
You must trust Christ alone.
Infant Baptism - Part 1 (MP3 sermon by Pastor Max D. Younce, Th.D.)
Infant Baptism - Part 2 (MP3 sermon by Pastor Max D. Younce, Th.D.)