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My children were baptized in a Presbyterian church, using a Baptismal Liturgy from the PC(USA) Book of Order. I had some difficulty explaining the Biblical basis of the liturgy to a relative, especially the section in which the Congregation vows to “guide and nurture” the child:

The minister addresses the congregation: Do you, as members of the church of Jesus Christ, promise to guide and nurture N. and N. by word and deed, with love and prayer, encouraging them to know and follow Christ and to be faithful members of his church? The people respond: We do. PC(USA) Book of Order, 1993

My question then is, what is the Biblical basis for this Congregational vow?

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    By which you mean What does the PCUSA take as its basis? Feb 19, 2019 at 16:22
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    Yes, as the author and publisher of their own Book of Order, I am asking what they based that particular vow upon... Thanks...
    – Laurent R.
    Feb 19, 2019 at 16:46
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    Good question. A lot of things in the Book of Order have a long historical precedent, often stretching back to the 1780s, but this section seems to be much newer – finding out when it was added, and the arguments made for adding it, will make for a good answer. Feb 19, 2019 at 22:41

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Maybe you are overthinking this?

I'm not aware of a biblical basis for the congregation to take a vow, specifically. However, we certainly have a responsibility as Christians to support each other and to educate each other in the faith. In particular, note the very basis of Baptism:

19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.

(Matthew 28:19-20a)

The expectation "to guide and nurture [name(s)] by word and deed, with love and prayer, encouraging them to know and follow Christ and to be faithful members of his church" is in essence the same as Christ's own command to "teach them to observe all that I have commanded you".

Thus, while the Bible may not specifically command us to take a vow to do this specific thing which Christ commanded, it is hardly unnatural for us to take such a vow.

If there is a question here, I think it should rather be whether Christians should take vows to obey God/Christ at all when not specifically commanded to do so. Consider marriage vows, confirmation vows, vows of office for pastors and church workers, etc..

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