Child Communion

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“When we want the children ‘tracking’ as we commune, we are wanting them to participate in the joy — the way my one-year-old granddaughter claps after everybody sings ‘Happy Birthday’ to one of the cousins. What we want is ‘Yay, here we are with Jesus again!’ not an infant’s contemplations of Turretin’s rejection of consubstantiation on the one hand, and the folly of the Socinians on the other” (Against the Church, p. 32).

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Kimberley
Kimberley
7 years ago

Amen

Mike Bull
7 years ago

If baptism is a birthday party (celebrating an earthly father, like Abraham, instead of the heavenly one, like Jesus’ baptism, a different kind of birth), you might has well have child communion. So where’s the cake? And why are we all partying around Mary’s womb instead of an empty tomb? Has the Seed not already come? / / /  I understand the desire to include children in the worship service, but the point of Jesus being Lord of all nations is that they were already included. So paedobaptism, for all its good intentions, becomes a means of exclusion. Perhaps this… Read more »

Bro. Steve
Bro. Steve
7 years ago

Have you noticed that this whole problem vanishes if we baptize confessing believers and then share communion with those same people?  It’s almost like it was…  meant that way.

Andrew Lohr
7 years ago

Bro Mike, it might be easier to converse with you if  you told us more of the background you’ve living in and writing from.  (Somehow I’ve reminded of Heuvelman’s guess that the medieval bishop who wrote of the Kraken may have seen several giant squids on the surface at once in an area of, oh, several acres?, and thought they were parts of one large animal.  There’s background you know that we may not.) Not to box you in, but to hear you better, what kind of church are you in?  Briefly give your testimony?  Next time maybe if you’re… Read more »

Mike Bull
7 years ago

Pastor Wilson – regarding “tracking,” which is an interesting idea, how to get the kids to “track” from a baptist perspective? Follow the pattern laid down in Exodus 24, which is the same pattern underlying “the Lord’s service.” For children to see their parents and guardians “walking to the cross” on their behalf, and returning as recommissioned Covenant representatives is still “tracking,” and it avoids turning Christianity into a new Judaism. Andrew – Covenant inclusion is certainly “objective,” but with the Jew-Gentile divide gone, it is the entire world, men, women and children, who are under “Covenant obligation.” Baptism concerns… Read more »

john k
john k
7 years ago

Andrew, Mr Bull can correct me, but what I glean is that baptism is for service, not salvation. The distinction between world and church is gone in Christ. The whole world is the church now (or summoned to be the church). The baptized are not “the saved,” but “the ministers/preachers.” Children below the age of reason are neither able to preach, nor able to choose to be commissioned to preach.                                                                                                                                                                       Circumcision and baptism have no overlap because circumcision celebrated an earthly father, Abraham. Earthly siring has no part to play in these times of summing up all things in… Read more »

Mike Bull
7 years ago

Thanks John Yes, you understand rightly. My point is that childrearing and obedience to parents are not the focus of the New Covenant, which is witness, but merely Covenant duties for the faithful. Unlike Circumcision, Baptism is not a call to hear (as in “hear, O Israel”) but a call to go preach. All the world is now called to hear and repent. The distinction between an earthly father and the heavenly Father is made clear by Jesus in His redefinition of the family of God, His “parents and siblings”, and indeed His children (Heb. 2:13), are those who do… Read more »

Andrew Lohr
7 years ago

The focus of the new covenant is?  (As Gene Edwards was about to graduate from seminary, a professor asked the class, What’s the central thing Baptists stand for?) /  /  /  /   /   /   /   Matthew ends with teaching, and all this life we’ll have stuff to learn.  All the next too–God’s glory is infinite.   Thanks for responses.  If baptism’s not salvation, what is?  We just get saved, and at ministry time later get baptised?  I don’t see that in Scripture.  When a worldling really hears the call the repentance, he gets saved and baptized (Spirit and hand baptisms),… Read more »

carole
carole
7 years ago

I am not well versed in this discussion  but extremely  interested.  My question is, if  we don’t include children in communion, how do we decide when they may participate?  The PCA has communicant classes followed by an interview with the elders.  This strikes me as making it a works.  I wonder how many new adult members would pass the class/interview.  Would someone be willing to address that for me?  Thank you.

Andrew Lohr
7 years ago

Carole, I don’t know about PCA as a whole, but the PCA church I’m a friendly alumnus of (New City Fellowship, Chattanooga) had adult membership classes as well as children’s communicant classes.   It let adult non-members commune at their own discretion:  a pastor would “fence the table” (say a few words about who should and who should not partake), but the elders didn’t screen people.  / / / / I think the PCA lets each congregation (or its elders) decide when children may take communion.  Those who favor infant communion may sometimes tend to admit children at a younger age… Read more »