The Most Common Baptist Question
What is the most common question a baptist asks of
paedobaptists (those who believe that the children of believers ought to be
Probably, "Show me anywhere in the New Testament where an
infant is baptized." The answer is I Corinthians 10:1-2: "Moreover, brethren, I
would not that ye should not be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under
the cloud, and all passed through the sea; and were all baptized unto Moses in
the cloud and in the sea."
But the baptist replies that infants are not mentioned in the
passage. I grant that infants are not mentioned in so many words. However, it
would be foolish to think that the children of Israel numbering some 600,000 men
(Num. 1:46) from "twenty years old and upward" who were "able to go forth to
war" (Num. 1:3) had no infant children.
Baptists then say, "But baptism is not a feature of the Old
Testament; it is only in the New Testament." Our answer is that the New
Testament calls it baptism though it happened in the Old Testament.
Their response is that the baptism of Israel in the Old
Testament is a picture of baptism in the New Testament. Our answer is,
"OK, were there infants in the picture?"
But they say that the children of Israel were unaware of their baptism at
the Red Sea. We answer, "Yes, all infants are unaware of their baptism, even the
At this point, the baptist may change his tack. "Baptism is
only to be administered by immersion," he says. We reply, "But if the children
of Israel had been immersed, they would have perished with Pharaoh and his army.
Pharaoh and his army were immersed but they were not baptized; the children of
Israel were baptized but not immersed. In fact, their baptism depended
upon their not being immersed. Therefore, baptism and immersion are two
The same argument stands with regard to Noah and his family
during the flood (I Peter 3:20-21). If immersion has a purpose, its purpose is
not to represent salvation but damnation. This is demonstrated by the immersion
of the damned army of Pharaoh, the damning of the wicked world in the flood and
the final damning of the reprobate by their immersion in the lake of fire.