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Question and Answer

Should I attend an OPC when I'm not sure about infant baptism?

Question:

Should I attend a local Orthodox Presbyterian Church when I am not sure about infant baptism? I have been in Baptist churches most of my life, but the church I attend does not believe in the sovereignty of God in salvation and the doctrines of grace that I have come to see in the Bible.

Answer:

The decision to leave one church for another is a difficult one. However, if your church does not confess the sovereignty of God in salvation and the doctrines of grace, your conviction that you need to find a church that does is well founded. Your question whether you should attend an Orthodox Presbyterian Church (OPC) when you are not sure about infant baptism is a natural one, given your uncertainty about the doctrine of infant baptism. While the OPC believes that infant baptism is biblical and that believers should baptize their covenant children, and while all the officers in the OPC (ministers, elders, and deacons) must hold to such a position in order to be ordained in our denomination, such a requirement is not placed on members of the church. We simply require that you be able to answer the following questions honestly:

  1. Do you believe the Bible, consisting of the Old and New Testaments, to be the Word of God and its doctrine of salvation to be the perfect and only true doctrine of salvation?
  2. Do you confess that because of your sinfulness you abhor and humble yourself before God, and that you trust for salvation not in yourself but in Jesus Christ alone?
  3. Do you acknowledge Jesus Christ as your sovereign Lord and do you promise, in reliance on the grace of God, to serve him with all that is in you, to forsake the world, to mortify your old nature, and to lead a godly life?
  4. Do you agree to submit in the Lord to the government of this church and, in case you should be found delinquent in doctrine or life, to heed its discipline?

If you can answer such questions honestly, I'm confident that you would be welcome in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church. We would only ask that your potential differences regarding infant baptism not be an occasion to cause division within the church and that you be open to instruction regarding infant baptism. Lastly, I encourage you to call the pastor of the local OPC church and set up a meeting to talk with him about any questions or concerns you might have. I'm sure he will be more than happy to do this. He also will be happy to take you through an inquirer's class to help you familiarize yourselves with the distinctive beliefs of our denomination.


About Q&A

"Questions and Answers" is a weekly feature of the OPC website. At least one new question is posted each week, so there should always be something new here for you to read. (For those who would like to look at previous questions and answers, they will continue to be available as well.)

The questions come from individuals like yourself. If you have questions about biblical and theological matters, you are invited to send them by e-mail by using the "Pose a Question" link on the OPC home page or by clicking here.

The purpose of the OPC website's "Questions and Answers" is to respond to biblical and theological questions. Matters of church discipline, disputes, or debates go beyond the scope of our work. We recommend that you present your concerns in these areas to the appropriate judicatory. In most cases this will be to a local pastor, elder, or session. We do not want the website to replace personal involvement in, or commitment to, the local, visible church.

While we will respond to every serious questioner, we are not bound to give a substantive answer to every question, should we deem the question to be beyond the scope of our purpose or our own ability to answer.

You will receive an answer by email. Please be patient as many of our respondents are busy pastors. The response to your question may take up to two weeks. Some of the questions submitted will be chosen to be posted here, along with the corresponding answers.

The answers come from individual ministers in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church expressing their own convictions and do not necessarily represent an "official" position of the Church, especially in areas where the Standards of the Church (the Scriptures and the Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechisms) are silent.

Note that the "Questions and Answers" posted on the site have been edited—all personal references are removed, Scripture references may be added, and sometimes portions are expanded—to make the questions and answers more useful to a larger audience.

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