COC #56: COC Objection to Baptism for Infants: “No Original Sin”

(2) The Protestant Church of Christ objects to a concept of original sin.

The Protestant Church of Christ uses Ezekiel 18:20 as a proof-text, which reads: The son shall not suffer for the iniquity of the father. Ezekiel was not arguing against the idea of original sin; he was addressing sin in accordance to the Law—it was a legal point. So when balanced with the full corpus of Scripture, the historical (= Catholic) understanding is most reasonable, and your group’s theology is based on one verse that is forced to be incongruous with the remainder of Scripture.

If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us (1 John 1:8), and the Catholic Church of Christ has always maintained an acknowledgement of how people are brought forth in iniquity (Psalm 51:5), and that by nature we are children of wrath (Ephesians 2:3). Protestantism’s denial of original sin is modern—even the original Reformers recognized that the Scriptures support the historical teaching, but of course, most of the original Reformers also recognized the validity (and necessity) of an infant’s Baptism. But, again, you are not Catholic, you are not “Protestant”, you are, as you say, simply [your own definition of] “Christian”.  

But I must ask, on what grounds are your ministers’ interpretation of the Bible more credible than the Catholic Church’s or any other Protestant group’s interpretation regarding Baptism or sin? Why do you default to saying we have no sin—to believing that most of Christian history was less informed than your restorers?  

It is clear that the recognition of original sin does provide a reason for infants to be washed in Baptism, so it is equally clear as to why a group, such as yours, prefers the showmanship of public conversion to trump the quietness, and in-house characteristics of an infant’s Baptism. Your apologists often suggest the Catholic Church developed the idea of original sin to justify its “unbiblical” practice of granting Baptism to infants, but it is clear that from even the earliest days the Church has acknowledged that the imagination of a man’s heart is evil from his youth (Genesis 8:21), and even some of the Catholic Church’s most staunch enemies have concurred, and agreed with St. Paul, who taught, For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive (1 Corinthians 15:22), and that sin came into the world through one man, and then spread to all men (Romans 5:12). But your group believes we have no sin, and that infants have somehow, without the grace of Baptism, been made alive

St. Paul taught, For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by one man’s obedience many will be made righteous (Romans 5:19). Was St. Paul not speaking of the Fall, of Adam’s sin? Is there a reasonable exegesis of the entirety of Scripture that can deny the existence of original sin? I know of none, and the vast majority of Christians throughout history have known of none, but your group denies it and has determined that it knows best. Your group does not bring its infants to Jesus to be made alive and made righteous, it hinders, and it waits.