Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
February 9, 1956

It Isn't In The Book

Roy E. Cogdill San Antonio, Texas

In calling your attention to things that are not in house, and set food before them, and rejoiced greatly, THE BOOK — meaning the Bible — we could not pass by the wide spread practice of infant baptism. Those who read the Bible know that there is no record in all the Word of God of the baptism of an infant.

The practice of baptizing babies was originally based on the Calvinistic doctrine of "original sin" or Total Depravity. The fact was stated by Mr. Wesley, founder of the Methodist Church in these words. "As to the grounds of it: If infants are guilty of original sin then they are proper subjects of baptism, seeing, in the ordinary way, they cannot be saved, unless this be washed away by baptism. It has already been proved, that this original stain cleaves to every child of man; and that thereby they are children of wrath, and liable to eternal damnation. It is true, the Second Adam has found a remedy for the disease which came upon all by the offense of the first. But the benefits of this are to be received through the means which he hath appointed; through baptism in particular." — Wesley's Works, Miscellaneous, Vol. 2, page 16.

In 1894 the Methodist discipline said, "All men are conceived and born in sin." In 1910 the discipline was revised to read, "all men though fallen in Adam, are born into this world in Christ the Redeemer." In this contradiction of doctrine once held they surrender the only basis anybody ever had for baptizing an infant. If babies are not lost and their spiritual status is not to be improved by baptism — then; Why baptize them?

Certainly the Bible does not teach that babies are lost. (Matt. 18:1-3; Matt. 19:14.) Only the blindest person could think that by any ceremony or ritual the spiritual innocence of a baby could be improved.

The historians with one accord tell us that infant baptism does not date back to the apostles. Wall's History of Infant Baptism in the preface, page 29, tells us, "Among all the persons that are recorded as baptized by the apostles, there is no express mention of an infant." This, of course, we learn for ourselves from reading the New Testament.

"There is no trace of infant baptism in the New Testament," — Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia. Article, Baptism.

"We have every reason for holding infant baptism to be no apostolic institution, and that it was something foreign to that first stage of Christian development," — Neander's Planting and Training of the Christian Church, Vol. 2, page 336.

Ask the preacher that teaches and practices it for Bible authority upon which to base it. Some of them will tell you that it is in the room of circumcision in the Jewish church. But if this be true — then it would only apply to male children. Besides, there is absolutely no scripture for such a conclusion.

Some will try to include it in the household conversions of the New Testament. This is a pure presumption that is ruled out by the actual facts of these conversions. Lydia and her house "gave heed to the things spoken by Paul." No infants are included in that statement. The jailor after he was baptized, "brought them up into his with all his house having believed in God." That eliminates the possibility of any babies having been included in that case.

When the eunuch asked, "What does hinder me to be baptized?" the inspired Philip replied, "If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest." Here as elsewhere in the New Testament baptism is taught to be an act of faith. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. (Rom. 10:17.) Children are incapable of hearing and understanding and therefore of believing. They cannot therefore be baptized scripturally. It is just another doctrine and practice that comes by human authority and ISN'T IN THE BOOK.

If we believe the Bible to be the Word of God, we should be willing to follow it, hearing what it says, believing it because God said it and willing to do what it commands in order to please God.