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The Real Reason Evangelicals Don’t Baptize Babies: A Response to Shane Morris

December 13, 2016 | by: Sam Storms| 3 Comments



Dec 13, 2016

Sam, though I am a paedobaptist, I share many of your reactions to the statements of G. Shane Morris. While I can agree with him that the interpretive lenses we wear when reading Scripture affect our conclusions, his claims seem more than a bit overstated.


Dec 13, 2016

I'm surprised you didn't also comment on the line at the end of the Morris quote, " And most importantly, it matches the lived experiences of believers’ children, rather than continually imposing a system on them that was designed for first-generation converts.” Isn't this the false belief that the Bible should be interpreted to fit our experience instead of our thinking and interpretation of experience being shaped by the Biblical truth?


Dec 13, 2016

The last is part is dangerous especially when we are reminded of an adult in Acts 8, who was baptized, yet unconverted: Simon the Sorcerer. We find out in verse 13 that Simon believed and was baptized, yet in verse 19 he attempts to purchase the power of the Holy Spirit, giving birth to the term simony. And here was Peter's reply:

But Peter said to him, "May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money! You have neither part nor lot in this matter, for your heart is not right before God. Repent, therefore, of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the Lord that, if possible, the intent of your heart may be forgiven you. For I see that you are in the gall of bitterness and in the bond of iniquity(Acts 8:20-23)."

Given an opportunity to repent, Simon does nothing of the sort, but instead merely asks Peter to pray that those things don't happen to him:

And Simon answered, "Pray for me to the Lord, that nothing of what you have said may come upon me(Acts 8:24)."

This is the last we hear of S the S. We can only conclude from text that he never repented. Might he have? Of course. But if he did, shockingly, the Bible doesn't tell us-perhaps to illustrate for us that water baptism has no saving power.

So in conclusion, it would be foolish and dangerous to assume God regenerates the hearts of all babies who are baptized. If an adult who professes belief and is baptized doesn't come to saving faith, there's no reason to think babies who can't profess belief(or faith) will. As a side note, notice Acts 8 says nothing about Simon's faith, only that he believed. Clearly his soil was not fertile.

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© 2017 Sam Storms: Oklahoma City, OK

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