Sep 03

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This is a continuation of article number seven, which was dealing with the charge made by Dr. Keith W. Schweitzer (Pastor, Immanuel Lutheran Church 505 NE Dodge Street, Greenfield, Iowa 50849) and his so-called: “Campbellite Church of Christ Position” as it related to the teaching that baptism is unto remission of past sins. He believes this is a totally ridiculous teaching.
The reason he believes it is ridiculous, is because he believes in the doctrine of “original sin.” Here is what he writes: “As the Campbellite Church of Christ stresses the absolute necessity of being baptized, rejects the biblical doctrine of original sin, and yet affirms an “age of accountability,’ baptism in the Church of Christ, by definition, must cover only a very small portion of a person’s sins during his lifetime.” He has a real problem with the “age of accountability,” and writes in another place, dealing with the same subject: “The doctrine of an “age of accountability” is a doctrine of subterfuge within the Campbellite Church of Christ. It is a doctrine which was created out of necessity to reconcile the paradox the Campbellites created for themselves between the doctrine of the essentiality of baptism in order to be saved and their denial of the doctrine of original sin.” The reason he has this problem is because he believes in the doctrine of “original sin.” This doctrine does not allow for such; for according to the doctrine of “original sin,” a baby is conceived in “original sin” that must be forgiven! Thus, the so-called baptism of babies!
Therefore, let us deal with the subject of the doctrine of “original sin.” First, this is not a biblical teaching, but a necessary subject to study as much of the denominational world believes in such! The “Pastor” then makes this statement: “This doctrine states that a child is only held accountable by God for his sins once he reaches the age of his being cognitively aware of his sins. The Scripture passage held out to support this doctrinal position is Isaiah 7:16: “For before the Child shall know to refuse the evil and choose the good, the land that you dread will be forsaken by both her kings.” May I say here, in my forty-eight years of preaching, I have never used this verse, nor have I heard it used, as Dr. Schweitzer so charges! This does not mean, that some preacher has never done so, however.
So, how do you go about to prove the doctrine of “original sin” is not a biblical teaching? First, the words never appear in the inspired text! It is always best to use biblical words when addressing biblical subjects; though it is understood at times it is necessary to use words not found in the Bible. Before addressing the subject, let us notice another statement made by the “Pastor:” “There is no point in a person’s lifetime here on earth when he is not accountable to God for that life and the conduct of his life.” Just how would you go about to defend such a teaching? Just how is a baby, who has no ability of understanding, no ability to believe, and no ability to repent, held “accountable to God” for anything that he might do? But, keep in mind, the doctrine of “original sin” does not involve any sin personally committed. No, it is an inherited sin! This doctrine teaches that a baby is conceived a sinner through the flesh from Adam onward. Here is a major problem in such a teaching; Luke wrote what the angel said unto Mary: “And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS” (Luke 1:31). Add to this the words of John: “And the Word was made flesh ,…” (John 1:14). It should be clear that Jesus was conceived in a fleshly womb, and was “made flesh,” therefore, he was “flesh” when conceived just as are all babies! Yes, the “original sin” folks have an elaborate doctrine in an effort to get around this conclusion. But, was Jesus a flesh baby through the lineage of Adam, or not? Was Jesus born of a woman, just as all other babies? Therefore, whatever all other babies born of the flesh are, so was Jesus! However, this is just an inconvenient problem for the “original sin” folks to deal with! Don’t forget that the inspired Luke gave the fleshly genealogy of Jesus back to Adam (Luke 3:23-38), which would make Jesus guilty of “original sin,” if there was such!
Is there one case of a baby being baptized in the New Testament? No not one! However, our “original sin” folks have an answer to this question. They just point to the case of Lydia where Luke wrote: “And when she was baptized, and her household, …” (Act 16:15). So, what is this supposed to prove? According to the “original sin” folks, a “household” has a baby within it! In order to make their case, it would have to be, that all households have babies, for if one household did not have a baby, then, it just might be that the household of Lydia did not have a baby within it and their proof case is lost! The preacher who taught me, once in debating such folks, stated that Lydia had two red headed daughters! His “original sin” opponent questioned him: “Where did you did the two red headed daughters?” To which Clint Lovelady replied: “The same place you got the babies!”
Yes, of course, they have much more to say on the subject, but this will show their “proof” text is no proof text at all. It is the case that baptism is in order to have your past sins, sins actually committed, forgiven (Acts 2:38)!

Frank R. Williams

Permanent link to this article: https://okcsbs.com/a-response-to-the-lutheran-response-8/