(Selected from The Book of Gems)
June 1, 1997 Issue
by Benjamin Franklin
It is claimed that whole households were baptized, and that these must have included infants; as, for instance, the following:
1. Lydia and her house. All that is said of Lydia is found in two verses, Acts 16:14,15, and the passage contains not one word about an infant, or a child of any sort. It is stated that "she was baptized and her household." But it is not stated that she was a married woman, that she had any children, much less that she had any infants; and, therefore, there is nothing here about any infant baptism.
2. The next household mentioned is that of the jailor, Acts 16:33. "And they--Paul and Silas--spoke unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes, and was baptized, he and all his straightway. And when they had brought them into his house, he set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing in God, with all his house." Here are two things stated of these that can not be said of infants. They spoke unto him--the jailor--the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house. The jailor rejoiced, believing in God with all his house. Here it is asserted of the household that they rejoiced, believing in God. The word of the Lord was spoken to them, they rejoiced and believed in God. This can not be said of infants.
3. The next case of a household, which we shall mention is that of Cornelius, Acts 11:14. Here, however, is conclusive evidence that there were no infants, for the angel said, "Send men to Joppa, and call for Simon, whose surname is Peter; who shall tell the words whereby thou and all they house shall be saved." Infants are not told words whereby they are saved. Those who practice infant baptism do not tell them words whereby they are saved. Those who practice infant baptism do not tell them words whereby they may be saved, and to not believe they are saved in or by baptism.
4. There is but one other household mentioned in the New Testament, in connection with baptism. That is "the household of Stephanas." 1 Cor 1:16. In the same letter we find one thing affirmed of this same household that can not be affirmed of infants. "They have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints." I Cor 16:15. This is a thing infants can not do.
There were, then, no infants in these households, and nothing particularly strange about that. The writer has baptized many household and never baptized an infant.
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