Friday, April 17, 2009

Facing the Real Problem

Some time ago I had a problem with the right rear tire on my personal pickup. I diagnosed the problem. I saw that the tire was low. The cause seemed to be that more air was needed to be in the tire. So I drove my truck to my shop and pumped the tires with more air. Sure enough, that fixed my problem.

About a week later I noticed that the tire was low again. I diagnosed the problem and once again, I found the solution was to put more air into the tire. After several months of this, I began to realize that maybe I was not fixing the real problem. I took my truck to a mechanic, and he fixed my tire by plugging a tiny hole. From then on, my tire was fine.

In this week's article by Clyde Schinnerer, we have a similar problem/solution cycle. Clyde wrote,

It is often said, "Infants must be baptized to have salvation from Adam's sin." But let's see what the Bible says about that.
In some sense Clyde comes to a solution which seems correct. He states that salvation comes to those who repent. Since babies cannot repent, they need not be baptized. This is fine and dandy. Who disagrees that babies cannot repent? However, not only does Clyde have major category errors as to why many do baptize infants (he equates baptism with salvation), but he seems to outright deny Original Sin.

Now I must be fair to the Church of Christ. I do not know if Clyde's article accurately represents their church's viewpoint. Also, I do not know that if Clyde were pressed on the doctrine of Original sin that he would necessarily deny it. Yet this weeks article is at best inconsistent with the doctrine of Original Sin. I decided once again to interact with Clyde's theological viewpoint since many Evangelicals think inconsistently as well.

Clyde states,

Furthermore, sin is not transferred from one person to another.
He then uses the typical arguments from Ezekiel 18:20

The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not bear the guilt of the father, nor the father bear the guilt of the son."
Due to length I will link to another article that deals specifically with the Ezekiel argument HERE by R.C. Sproul.

Since Clyde apparently denies that babies may inherit Adam's sin, he concludes,

Babies have no sin to be forgiven of, nor can they obey the commands given to adults, therefore they are not candidates for baptism.
So here we have a correct conclusion based on bad arguments. This in the end only leads back to Rome and needing the tire reinflated.

I have a couple of obvious questions. Does Clyde deny the imputed righteousness of Christ? If he does, then he firmly denies the entire purpose of the Reformation.

Another question is this. If Christ never came, would anyone be saved? If Christ never came, would all children still be saved (from what?)? If so, and since sin brings death, why do children die? For whose sin have the billions of children died?

This is exactly the Apostle Paul's point in Romans 5 when he wrote,

“Through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin” (v. 12).
“By the one man’s offense many died” (v. 15).
“Through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation” (v. 18).
“By one man’s disobedience many were made sinners” (v. 19).
In conclusion, Clyde's theology has only been refilling his tires with air. He may cover his own personal guilt by doing certain sacraments such as being baptized in his church's fount. However, he seems to have never fixed the real issue. All men are born with Adam's guilt. If he has not been freed from Adam's guilt by trusting in Christ's finished work on the cross alone, and if he has never received the positive imputation of Christ's righteousness alone to his own life, then in the end, his tire will be flat. He will need more than air to fix his problem on the final day of judgment.

By Grace alone, through Faith Alone, in Christ Alone is the Biblical teaching on salvation. No amount of washing in someone's bath tub can take away sin.

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