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were forbidden to marry heathens (Deuteronomy 7:3) as the children of believers (New Testament Israel) are forbidden to marry unbelievers (II Corinthians 6: 14).

Forbidding children to be baptized would separate that which God has joined -the family unit. Baptized ("holy" or "consecrated") parents would have unbaptized ("unholy"or "unconsecrated") children. This practice would flatly contradict God's view of the family throughout Scripture and oppose biblical references such as, "For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy" (I Corinthians 7:14).

God views the family unit so strongly, that He clearly warns parents that if they do not have His covenant mark placed upon their children, they shall be cut off from the number of God's people. "And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken My covenant" (Genesis 17:14).

Legitimate citizenship in God's church can be obtained in two ways -as a believing adult, or as a child born or brought within the church by parents. The following example illustrates this truth.

    Michael's parents emigrated to Canada as adults. To become citizens, they had to study Canadian history, geography, and government. After answering several questions about Canada and pledging personal allegiance to the country, they were accepted as Canadian citizens.

    Michael, however, was born from Canadian parents. Due to his parents' promise and citizenship, he was registered as a Canadian citizen from birth.

    While Michael and his parents received their citizenship in different ways, one by adult confession and the other by birth, is one more valid than another? Why not? How does this example illustrate two methods of obtaining Church Visible citizenship?

8. God's church in the Old and New Testaments is one; as children were included with their parents in the Old Testament church, so are they to be included in the New. Both the Old and

 

Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son.

-Deuteronomy 7:3

Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?

-II Corinthians 6:14

 

When making baptism an individual, rather than a family matter, the Baptist separates that which God has joined together. Why?



Read Acts 22:27-28:

Then the chief captain came, and said unto him, Tell me, art thou a Roman? He said, Yea.
And the chief captain answered, With a great sum obtained I this freedom. And Paul said, But I was free born.

How does this conversation illustrate the two legitimate ways of obtaining citizenship?


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