One of the themes of the Restoration Movement was to “call Bible things by Bible names.” That is very important. If we are to go “back to the Bible” and restore New Testament Christianity, then we need to be very sure that we “do all in the Name of the Lord.” (Colossians 3:17) We need to be very sure that we are following what has been set for us in the New Testament, and that only. That is why it really bothers me when I hear denominational ideas, names and words used by my brethren. Lately, I have heard more than one member of the church say, “We used to say that our children are the church of tomorrow, but that is wrong. Our children are the church of today.” WHAT? Surely, I must have heard that wrong. Children are the church? That does not appear in the New Testament. It is totally denominational, coming from denominations who “baptize” or sprinkle babies and very young children and then put their names on the “church rolls.” Am I right? Let’s see what the Bible says.
- Acts 2:47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.
- Acts 5:14 and believers were the more were added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women;
Both Strong and Thayer define the church as a religious congregation or Christian community of members on earth or saints in heaven or both. The Bible very clearly teaches us that members of the church are adults, or, at the very youngest, those who are old enough to determine and understand the difference between right and wrong. Anyone who is baptized must be of an age to believe that God is, to believe that Jesus is God’s Son, to believe that Jesus rose from the dead, to repent (Luke 13:3),and to verbally, publically confess that they believe that Jesus is the Son of God. Babies and very young children can do none of those things. Therefore, we do not baptize babies and young children. According to the following verses, those things were required of those who were members of the church:
- Colossians 1:2 to the church of God which is in Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus
- Romans 6:3 Do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death?
- Acts 8:12 But when they believed Philip preaching the gospel, the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name f Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women
- Galatians 3:27 For as many as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ
Please note: In EVERY case, the members of the church were baptized believers, and those who had been baptized were adult men and women. Therefore, by simple logic, all members of the church are adults! Children are definitely not members of the church. They have no need to be members of the church until they reach an age when they are capable of knowing right from wrong.
However, we absolutely do need to prepare our children to be members of the Lord’s church tomorrow. We absolutely do need to teach them from the Bible so that they know about God and what He requires of them. Children need to be taught how to become children of God and members of the church, and how to conduct themselves thereafter. They must be taught that the Bible is the Word of God, and must be adhered to by all God’s children. Our children are most definitely the church of tomorrow. Now, I am absolutely certain that some of you will not agree with this. Please take the time to comment and let me know wherein I err.
What say ye?