IS MURRAY'S PEDOBAPTIST "INFANT BAPTISM
MORE LIKELY TO PRODUCE CONVERTS THAN SOUTHERN
In a message dated 5/24/2004 7:43:01 AM Central
Daylight Time, a Reformed Baptist writes:
I am not altogether sympathetic with the booklet "The Invitation
System." I am a Reformed Baptist . . . and we do not use
the invitation in the services. I was interested in your comments to
Ian Murray. Something is wrong when people are not given the
opportunity to respond to the message. I really believe that that is the
reason that Presbyterianism has died on the vine. Although I do
not agree with a continual giving an invitation in every service, visitors and
children have no way of knowing how, when or where to respond to the
message. Perhaps you could share with me some of your thought on the
I have privately replied
to this reader, and selected the above portion to write the following.
far as my own preferences are concerned, it seems to me that at least some of
the Reformed Baptists whom I know are marching too much to the tune of
Pedobaptist writers and practices. They seemingly are allowing their
thinking to be governed by the likes of Berkhof, Murray, Sproul, and some
other Pedobaptists [baptizers of infants].
On the "invitation"
matter, which you mention, at least some of these brethren have adopted the
thinking of Pedobaptist Iain Murray, are quoting him, and using his
Yet while Murray objects to public invitations on such
grounds that they get respondents who are "unregenerate," as a Pedobaptist
Mr. Murray is one of the greatest promoters of an "invitation system" which
invites the baptism of the unregenerate (infants), even the reception of
these unregenerate children into church membership. At least, that is the case
if judged by Baptist standards, for Baptists do not believe that those baptized
in infancy are regenerated. The sermon by Spurgeon expresses the view
Baptists take on the matter.
I noticed that Brother Ernest
Reisinger, a Southern Baptist, is quoted on a website in regard to public
invitations as saying, "This unbiblical system has produced the greatest
record of statistics ever compiled by church or business." -- Ernest
C. Reisinger, Today's Evangelism (Phillipsburg, NJ: Craig Press, 1982),
I am certainly impressed by Brother Reisinger's apparent elaborate
knowledge of statistics, but does he really mean that the "public
invitation" has even compiled a greater "record of statistics" than the record
of the baptisms of unregenerate infants by the Pedobaptist denominations?
Have those who practice the public invitation really compiled a greater
statistical record than the number of those unregenerate infants baptized by
the Pedobaptists over the years? Why, in England alone millions of
unregenerate children have been baptized by the Church of England, the
Presbyterians, and other Pedobaptists for centuries! How does Brother Reisinger
arrive as such a fantastic conclusion?
Brother Reisinger has an
article on his website by Brother Jim Eliff which is entitled,
"Southern Baptists, an Unregenerate Denomination."
Again, I am
impressed by Brother Eliff's obvious unusual breadth of knowledge and his
ability to discern the spiritual state of millions of Southern Baptists who have
"walked the aisles," but I wonder -- what are the odds that there may be more
"unregenerate" in the SBC than in the Pedobaptist denominations which have
baptized the majority of their members as infants?
Is the Pedobaptist
"infant baptism invitation system," which invites the baptism of unregenerate
infants, more likely to produce true converts than the public invitation system
used by Southern Baptists which invites confession of Christ by those capable of
repentance and faith?
After all, aren't a large number of those
members and preachers in the SBC who have in recent years revived
"conservatism," and to some extent even "Calvinism," numbered
among those who "walked the aisles" to confess Christ as Saviour?
not most of those in the Founders Ministries to be counted among those
that "walked the aisles"? Did not most of those Southern Baptists who now call
themselves "Reformed Baptists" among those that "walked the aisles"?
On yesterday [Sunday] morning, millions of Southern Baptists (who
at sometime "walked the aisles" to confess Christ) showed up for Sunday School
and church services. Are these, too, along with the "missing," simply a part of
an "unregenerate denomination"?
Wonder how many, comparatively,
showed up for services at the Pedobaptist churches which agree with the
view of Louis Berkhof, who is quoted by Brother Eliff on "regeneration,"
that most of their members were "regenerated" in a "hyper-physical"
manner when they were infants?
Are Brother Eliff and Brother
Reisinger trying to tell us that the Pedobaptists, with their members
allegedly "regenerated" in infancy [per Berkhof and Murray], have a
better "invitation system" than do Southern Baptists? Is the Pedobaptist
"invitation system" whereby believing parents are taught that it is their
duty to bring forth their children for baptism a better system than that used by
Southern Baptists? -- Bob L. Ross
granted to copy and use this article.
By request, names are added to
my Email List, or removed
Publishers of C. H. Spurgeon's Sermons &
Send your snail-mail address for a printed Price List.
Publications, Box 66, Pasadena, TX 77501
Phone: (713) 477-4261.
Fax: (713) 477-7561