The following comes from the book, An Interesting Correspondence, published in 1910. It contained the discussion between a Methodist woman and her “pastor” about infant baptism. The woman had contact with C. E. W. Dorris and he offered her ten dollars to find one passage authorizing infant baptism. Neither she or her “pastor” could find the verse and brother Dorris finally baptized the woman into Christ. The following is just one part of the correspondence. Though the discussion took place at the turn of the last century, the truths contained therein are timeless. The full book can be found in our digital library.
Goodlettsville, Tenn., June 15, 1906.
Dear Brother Clement:
Yours of May I received and contents carefully noted. I wish to thank you , first of all, for your kind offer to illuminate the points you make and to help me out in difficult points confronting me, for I am in need of the fulfillment of both of your promises.
But before placing my difficulties before you, I wish to say I think your idea of my friend wanting to be judge as to when logically defeated is entirely wrong, for I fully believe he is honest and sincere and wants nothing but the truth. I also believe he would be willing for me to be "judge" as to whether or not I am entitled to the ten dollars in gold, and feel confident he will make good his promise when I can produce scripture authorizing infant baptism; but, of course, I am not entitled to this until I can produce it.
I have searched the Bible for one single example of infant baptism, but fail to find it. You do not satisfy the demands of my friend. In your letter you give historical proof only, and I am wanting Bible proof. His offer is not for historical proof, but for Bible proof. True, you introduce three scriptures (Acts 16:33 ; I Cor. 1:16; Acts 16:13 ) as examples of infant baptism; but these do not entitle me to the ten dollars, since none of these were baptized but believers. Infants cannot believe, hence were not baptized. You say: "Note carefully that these households were baptized on the faith of the head of the household, and not on their own personal faith." Now, if you will give me Bible proof for this statement, I will get the prize and perhaps win my friend to the truth. The scriptures you offer do not, to my mind , prove that any were baptized on the faith of the heads of the family; but perhaps I have overlooked the point in the Bible which proves that some of the members of the families were baptized on the faith of the heads of the household, and not on their own personal faith. I need some "illumination" here. Please give me chapter and verse in the Bible that proves your statement. If infants were baptized on the faith of the heads of the family, then where is the authority for baptizing infants of unbelieving parents? Would you baptize infants whose parents do not belong to the church? If not, do not our churches protect the sheep and leave the lambs exposed to the wolf ? Why debar them from the Lord's table?
Your third argument is based on baptism taking the place of circumcision. If this is true, where is the scripture for baptizing girl babies, since circumcision was never applied to any except the males?
Your first argument in favor of infant baptism is, they are in the kingdom and fit subjects for baptism. You close this argument with these words: "The children go in with us by baptism." My friend says you contradict yourself . He says you argue infants should be baptized because they are in the kingdom, and then contradict yourself by the statement, "The infants go in with us by baptism." I cannot meet my friend's argument here, and hence must ask you to harmonize the two statements so I can meet it. He also asks me for our scripture for sprinkling. Can you furnish this?
The retort of women not being commanded to be baptized is overturned by my friend, who introduces scripture which shows that both men and women were baptized (Acts 12:8), also the baptism of Lydia (Acts 16:15). Now, he produces two examples where women were baptized and demands one example of infant baptism. Will you please give me one Bible example where infants were baptized? I am anxious to find such an example, not merely for the sake of the ten dollars, but I am anxious to get the truth before my friend. Trusting that you will favor me with an early reply, I am,
(Miss) NORA YOUNT.