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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

2 Answers 2

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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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You have to have two witnesses whose testimonies agree for something to be accepted as truth.

Our two witnesses will the Old Testament and the New Testament.

Leviticus 12:2-8 Living Bible

2 “When a baby boy is born, the mother shall be ceremonially defiled for seven days, and under the same restrictions as during her monthly menstrual periods. 3 On the eighth day, her son must be circumcised. 4 Then, for the next thirty-three days, while she is recovering from her ceremonial impurity, she must not touch anything sacred nor enter the Tabernacle.

5 “When a baby girl is born, the mother’s ceremonial impurity shall last two weeks, during which time she will be under the same restrictions as during menstruation. Then for a further sixty-six days she shall continue her recovery.

6 “When these days of purification are ended (the following instructions are applicable whether her baby is a boy or girl), she must bring a yearling lamb as a burnt offering, and a young pigeon or a turtledove for a sin offering.

She must take them to the door of the Tabernacle to the priest; 7 and the priest will offer them before the Lord and make atonement for her; then she will be ceremonially clean again after her bleeding at childbirth.

“These, then, are the procedures after childbirth. 8 But if she is too poor to bring a lamb, then she must bring two turtledoves or two young pigeons. One will be for a burnt offering and the other for a sin offering. The priest will make atonement for her with these, so that she will be ceremonially pure again.”

Luke 2:21-38 The Living Bible

21 Eight days later, at the baby’s circumcision ceremony, he was named Jesus, the name given him by the angel before he was even conceived.

22 When the time came for Mary’s purification offering at the Temple, as required by the laws of Moses after the birth of a child, his parents took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord; 23 for in these laws God had said, “If a woman’s first child is a boy, he shall be dedicated to the Lord.”

24 At that time Jesus’ parents also offered their sacrifice for purification—“either a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons” was the legal requirement. 25 That day a man named Simeon, a Jerusalem resident, was in the Temple. He was a good man, very devout, filled with the Holy Spirit and constantly expecting the Messiah[e] to come soon. 26 For the Holy Spirit had revealed to him that he would not die until he had seen him—God’s anointed King. 27 The Holy Spirit had impelled him to go to the Temple that day; and so, when Mary and Joseph arrived to present the baby Jesus to the Lord in obedience to the law, 28 Simeon was there and took the child in his arms, praising God.

29-31 “Lord,” he said, “now I can die content! For I have seen him as you promised me I would. I have seen the Savior you have given to the world. 32 He is the Light that will shine upon the nations, and he will be the glory of your people Israel!”

33 Joseph and Mary just stood there, marveling at what was being said about Jesus.

34-35 Simeon blessed them but then said to Mary, “A sword shall pierce your soul, for this child shall be rejected by many in Israel, and this to their undoing. But he will be the greatest joy of many others. And the deepest thoughts of many hearts shall be revealed.”

36-37 Anna, a prophetess, was also there in the Temple that day. She was the daughter of Phanuel, of the Jewish tribe of Asher, and was very old, for she had been a widow for eighty-four years following seven years of marriage. She never left the Temple but stayed there night and day, worshiping God by praying and often fasting.

38 She came along just as Simeon was talking with Mary and Joseph, and she also began thanking God and telling everyone in Jerusalem who had been awaiting the coming of the Savior that the Messiah had finally arrived.

These two scriptures run parallel to each other. They confirm that infants are to be consecrated to God.

With that in mind, various Christian denominations will have their own way of dedicating their child to God. The Roman Catholics do this through infant baptism, and various protestant denominations do this through infant Christening.

When the child is of the age of understanding, they can always undergo the full immersion baptism to confirm their dedication to the Lord our God.

Conversely, according to Satanists, true Satanism is very much a celebration of life. If a child is born at the time of one of the Sabbats, this is an additional blessing. The birth of a child is a special occasion and all Satanic births should be hailed and celebrated. The Satanic baptism is the beginning of protection and guidance from Satan and his Demons who will also direct the child to make the most of his/her special gifts and abilities.

So, we can clearly see from the Jewish, Christian, and Satanist perspectives, and from the Old and New Testament texts the importance of the dedication of a child to God for the Jews and Christians, and to the devil for the Satanists.

The Reason I Have Added the Satanists in on this

The scripture is all about the fight between God and the Devil for human spirits.

The Old and New Testaments contain scripture that show the importance to God that we His children dedicate our infants to Him so that He can direct the child to make the most of his/her special gifts and abilities according to His plan for that child.

The devil knows the scriptures better than you or I, and therefore he has his children doing the same.

Now in Thessalonians, we read that the Anti-Christ leader cannot come until there is a greay falling away from the faith.

2 Thessalonians 2:3 Living Bible

3 Don’t be carried away and deceived regardless of what they say.

For that day will not come until two things happen: first, there will be a time of great rebellion against God, and then the man of rebellion will come—the son of hell.

The rebellion is already underway, and Churches and Christians are actively being targeted by Christians. Part of that attack is to take Christian teaching out of schools, colleges, and universities and have After School Satan classes as is happening right now in the USA, for example.

Therefore, the dedication of children to God has never been more serious than it is now. And so, Leviticus 12:2-8 and Luke 2:21-38 holds even more importance to the believer.

Children once they reach the age of reason can decide their own course of action in being fully immersed in water as we see people doing in the New Testament texts. But before they are able to decide for themselves, we as adults have a duty of care to ensure they are dedicated to God so that they belong to God and not the devil.

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    Why are you talking about Satanists? That has nothing to do with the question. Please remove that part of your answer.
    – curiousdannii
    Mar 9 at 22:56
  • @curisousdannii, I will tell you why. Satanists are actively attacking the Church around the world, and they are dedicating their children to the devil through baptism. These children will be under demonic guidance and control directing their paths to increase lawlessness and the falling away of true believers to make way for the Anti-Christ. It is imperative that Christians dedicate their infants to Jesus to counteract this direct assault and adhere to God's law. Jesus was consecrated as a baby, and so all babies should be consecrated as per the scripture guidance.
    – Jason Alls
    Mar 9 at 23:14
  • That's your personal opinion. You are free to think that, but it is not relevant to this question.
    – curiousdannii
    Mar 9 at 23:15
  • It is not actually my personal opinion. It is a very real and dangerous fact. See: 2 Thessalonians 2:3 Living Bible 3 Don’t be carried away and deceived regardless of what they say. For that day will not come until two things happen: first, there will be a time of great rebellion against God, and then the man of rebellion will come—the son of hell. I've been aware for some time, and it is very relevant to this question. The fact that it is not is your personal opinion. I will edit.
    – Jason Alls
    Mar 9 at 23:17

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