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The Clarion Herald

    "Preacher, we are thinking of having little Susan baptized? What do YOU think about it?"
    Most pastors, at one time or another, face such questions whenever dealing with "Mixed marriages". Seldom, in such situations, is there any real conviction that this proposed action is either "good" or "bad". Most often it is being urged by a doting, overbearing "grandmother" who wants things done her way -- without regard to any conviction or commandment rooted in the Word of God.
    But; whenever such a question is raised, it is the responsibility of every man of God to answer it as kindly and candidly as possible.


    To subject a new born baby to the terrifying experience of total immersion is dangerous -- both from a physical and psychological standpoint. It could well cause serious and permanent damage. I think it cruel to subject a child to such an unnecessary ordeal -- especially since there is NO Biblical command that such be done, nor any Biblical example of its ever being practiced

by Jesus, His disciples or any of the churches of the New Testament.
    "Oh, but you do not understand!" says the inquirer. "I did not have such as that in mind. That is not the practice of OUR church at all. Oh, horrors! I could NEVER think of subjecting little Susan to such a thing as that! But, you see, in OUR church the minister just takes a beautiful rose and, dipping it in a glass of water, sprinkles a few drops on the child's head. You SURELY don't think there could be any harm in THAT, do you?"


    To imagine that a few drops of water can constitute "baptism", when the New Testament word can mean nothing short of total submersion, is, to me, a bit ridiculous. After all, the New Testament was written in the common man's Greek. In that language the words for "baptize" and "sprinkle" (bapto and rantizo) are NOT EVEN RELATED. No knowledgeable and honest person could possibly confuse the two in their biblical usage. Nor will it do any good to quote what Webster says; the dictionaries of living languages are constantly being updated. Their compilers are not so concern-

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The Clarion Herald

ed with origins as with contemporary "usage". And most so-called "Christian churches" have conveniently decided (without the slightest biblical authority) that a few drops of water will as properly fulfill the role of baptism as a supply sufficient for total immersion. (Only NO denominational sect is so foolish as to undertake this in Greece; the Greeks know better!)
    "But, I am afraid something will happen to little Susan if I fail to have her baptized. What if she should die? I cannot bear the thought of bringing a child into the world and then running the risk of her dying in infancy, unbaptied, and GOING TO HELL."

    Such reasoning (or lack of reason) evidences a pathetic ignorance of: the Word of God, the love of God and the salvation of God. Such superstition and fear are perpetuated by dishonest religious leaders

who fear that unless they enroll helpless infants, while still incapable of making value judgments, their sects will completely disappear within a few generations.
    When Luther broke with the Catholic church he purposed to reject everything that was not clearly taught in the Scriptures -- UNTIL, that is, he discovered NO BIBLICAL BASIS for "infant baptism" and a "state church". Considering these essential to the success of his reformation movement, he reversed himself -- determining that it was proper to perpetuate the traditions he had brought with him from the mother church UNLESS THEY WERE EXPRESSLY FORBIDDEN by the Word of God.
    When someone suggests that infant baptism is necessary to a child's salvation (should it die in infancy) I strongly suspect that the inquirer has had no personal experience of salvation. If there has been such an experience, then it has been forgotten, (2 Pet. 1:9). The Scriptures offer salvation to NO ONE BY or THROUGH baptism! Salvation is the experience of those who, turning from their sin, BELIEVE ON (trust) THE LORD JESUS CHRIST as a personal Saviour and sin-bearer.


    The imposition of infant baptism upon a helpless child involves the parent in a two-fold sin. IT IS A SIN AGAINST GOD -- implying that He receives greater delight in the destruction of babes than in bestowing His love and mercy upon the innocent and helpless. Even Old Test-

ament saints knew better than that, (2 Sam. 12:16-23). It is also a SIN AGAINST THE CHILD -- devoting it to something without its knowledge or consent and, possibly, immunizing it AGAINST salvation. How tragically often do those who were "baptized" (?) in infancy ASSUME that they WERE SAVED through this empty ritual performed at the insistence of over-zealous & ignorant adults!
    (According to the instruction and precedent found in the New Testament, ONLY such as repent, believe and joyfully receive the Word of God are proper subjects of Christian Baptism. See: Matt. 3:7-9; Luke l3:3; John 5:24; Acts 8:3-39; 16:30-34; 2:41).


    No; dear mother, I DO NOT THINK you should have little Susan "baptized". It will be far better to make certain that she has a Christian mother. Then, when she is old enough to understand; explain that she, like all others, IS A SINNER - needing salvation. Point her to Jesus, Who SAVES. When she has trusted Him, with all her heart, you may THEN (but only then) suggest the propriety of submission to Christian baptism by the authority of a New Testament church.
    Set before her the kind of motherly example that she may safely follow. And may your days together, in the service of Jesus, be such as bring the indescribable joy known only to those who KNOW the Lord, IN LIVING REAILITY!
-- Eugene L. Garner

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    Our hearts were blessed again last Sunday when Bro. Steve Wade, having trusted in Jesus as Saviour, asked the church for baptism - that he might follow in the exemplary steps of his dear Lord.
    Jesus was not saved, nor did He become the Son of God, BY or THROUGH water baptism. Even so, Landmark Church baptizes (and always has done so) ONLY such as have the assurance of a present salvation thru faith in God's dear Son.
    While others occupy themselves with confusing terminology to imply that we believe or practice something contrary to this, we go right on down the road enjoying the blessings of our dear Lord, AMEN!! EG


    One professing to be a servant of God may be thought "cute" and "clever" in attracting attention to HIMSELF, but this is never a mark of wisdom. Cleverness easily degenerates into a proud foolishness that glories in the exercise of mental gymnastics. But a wise man is never ensnared by the sound of his own voice. His life will so demonstrate the beauty of practical holiness that others will be attracted to the Christ Who made the difference. He is one who blesses mankind and glorifies God.
    The wisdom of this world is easily recognizable by its fruits. It displays a BOASTFULNESS that is rooted in SELF-LOVE, It reveals a bitter JEALOUSY and STRIFE of heart.

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It is guilty of SELF-PROMOTION -- giving the lie to its profession of wisdom, and sinning against the truth. However loudly one may boast of POSSESSING the truth, in REALITY he OPPOSES IT until it becomes the guiding principle of his life.
    James speaks of "the truth" as God's order of mutual love and respect in the body of Christ -- an order established for MUTUAL PROSPERITY. It is set in contrast with selfish ambition, boastfulness, envy and strife -- the fanaticism of an unholy zeal -- rooted in a carnal-desire to be recognized, honored, exalted, or to have one's own
way. "Truth" is suggestive of "fidelity" as opposed to hypocrisy.
    The worthwhile qualities of the man who is truly wise are not of a merely "creedal" nature; they are PRACTICAL. He will be: PURE - free from contamination, impure motives, aggressiveness and quarrelsomeness; PEACABLE - not contentious; GENTLE - showing respect for others -- the person whose tongue is "health" instead of a piercing sword; APPROACHABLE - the opposite of stubborn -- this man can give his attention to the ideas, opinions and suggestions of others without "cutting them down"; MERCIFUL - involving utter fidelity and sincere love; KIND IN HIS ACTIONS - our Master conducted His life with kindness without compromising His position or diminishing the effectiveness of His ministry; POSITIVE -- never airing his doubts and uncertainties, but always speaking to the point for the enlightenment of those who hear; and he will be HONEST - without any tinge of hypocrisy, sham or pretense.
    The man who is truly wise will be a PEACEMAKER. His wisdom and guiding hand will help others to live at peace among themselves. He will always be sowing precious seed that will bud, blossom and bear fruit to the glory of God. Men may be unaware, or unimpressed, by his planting and nurturing; but that is unimportant, Yet, it must be understood that no man can fill this role ALONE; it is for him whose life is so committed to the indwelling Christ that HE "is made unto us WISDOM. ... ."