The Christian church observes the two sacraments as set out in the Scriptures - Covenant Baptism and the Lord's Supper. These precious means of grace bring encouragement to God's people concerning His sovereign saving grace. The biblical sacrament of Covenant Baptism is especially precious, not only to Christian believers, but also to their children, who are also members of the covenant of grace, and who ought therefore to receive the sign and seal of that covenant.
Over the rolling centuries, these sacraments have been prostituted by the church, her officials and her members, turning them into saving ordinances. In other words, if a child is to be saved, it must, of necessity, be baptised, or christened as they prefer to put it. The child will only start to thrive after it has been 'done,' and baptism will keep it safe from harm and danger; indeed, only after it has been 'done' can it be called its name, for christening is essentially a naming ceremony carried out in a religious context by some kind of official religious priest.
The unreformed churches have a novel way of observing or administrating this sacrament. Because they see the church as being essential to salvation, the child is handed over to the officiating priest, who then 'does the business.' This unreformed practice evokes compliments towards the officiating priest, and gasps of 'awwwwwe' towards the young infant. It is a 'nice' ceremony, and one that courts popularity.
This obnoxious practice has also become part and parcel to the professing reformed churches, especially where liberal ministers minister. One liberal and ecumenical minister known to me used to take the child in his arms to perform the sacrament, then go for a walk up and down the aisles of the meetinghouse, displaying the little infant, to the obvious delight of those present.
Now one can understand such a minister carrying on like this, but one finds it even more baffling when a reformed evangelical minister carries on in this manner. I have witnessed this at church, when the priestly practice of the minister taking the child to be baptised from the father's arms, baptising the infant, then returning it to the father. The symbolism of this is the centrality of the church in the child's salvation, the priestly nature of this sacrament, the robbing the father of the privilege of presenting his child for covenant baptism, all in all making a theological switch away from the reformed and biblical understanding of this sacrament to a clearly Roman Catholic one.
The reformers would be horrified if they were here to see such a travesty of the sacrament. The Huguenot ministers did not take the children of believers in their arms, and in fact, did not touch them, because they believed that the rightness of 'sprinkling' of infants was a correct way of administering this sacrament. In addition, they did not want to give even the slightest impression or hint of priestly activity on his part.
But in today's decadent church, ministers wish to practice as unreformed priests, and this practice is becoming accepted and is increasingly prevalent in the evangelical and reformed churches.
Ministers who do this kind of thing must answer the following questions:
1. Where is the biblical mandate for this unreformed practice?
2. Who authorised this unreformed practice?
3. What is the theological significance of this unreformed practice?
4. What message is being conveyed to unthinking congregations and elders when such
an unreformed practice is being used?
5. How can this unreformed practice be justified from the practices of the true
reformed churches down through the centuries?
6. If this unreformed practice is allowed to go on, what will be the next
development of this sacrament?
These questions, amongst others, must not only be asked, but answered by those who not only use this unreformed practice, but support those who do. And the really subtle danger of this is that the church is being taken straight down the ecumenical road BY EVANGELICAL MINISTERS! Evangelical ministers are the vehicles that the church of Antichrist is using to do his nefarious work.
Oh, it is time for evangelicals to awake; they must shake themselves, and become wide-eyed and not miss what is going on under their noses. How will these men answer before Almighty God for the Romanisation of their churches? Ignorance of the law is no appeal in any court, nor is ignorance of what God requires of His church's ordained servants.
Evangelicalism is a convenient cloak under which this may be done. Yes, Eve was deceived by the serpent, but Adam sinned with his eyes wide open. Elders, if you permit this unreformed practice to continue, you are sinning with your eyes wide open. What will be your answer on that dread day? You cannot say you did not know, because it is your responsibility as elders to become conversant with what your Lord wants for His church.
But evangelicals doing the work of the ecumenicals in Romanising the Protestant churches is perhaps the Satan's most crafty and efficient move. Who will suspect a good evangelical minister of Romanising the church? The church establishment will be delighted at an evangelical doing this work, because that will keep the reformers within the churches - if there are any left - at bay.
But the very thought of this happening, the very thought of Christian people being taken for a ride, being deceived by the clever use of language, is most disturbing. Oh church of Christ, AWAKE!