The War on Exposition

And if ye go to war in your land against the enemy that oppresseth you, then ye shall blow an alarm with the trumpets; and ye shall be remembered before the LORD your God, and ye shall be saved from your enemies.

~ Numbers 10:9

Know your enemy and know yourself

Sun Tzu was born during the Babylonian captivity of the southern kingdom of Judah, though he was silent on that subject. He probably wanted to maintain his impartiality. He was a Chinese military general, adviser, and war strategist. His name is known to us today because he is credited with writing the classic, The Art of War. His book is a perennial source for strategizing and conflict management, as well as military tactics. Many modern business, marketing, self-help, and motivational gurus have grown rich by repackaging his philosophies and peddling them to those who want to get ahead in life.

Sun Tzu was a firm believer in knowing your enemy and yourself. He warned that failing to know your enemy would lead to as many losses as victories and failing to know yourself puts you in jeopardy in every battle. By knowing your enemy, Tzu referred to knowing your enemy’s capabilities, his strengths and weaknesses. The same holds for knowing your own strengths and weaknesses.

Having a known and named enemy can also be useful for tribal reinforcement. Giving your enemy a name creates a rallying point and defines a target for aiming at. Having a named, common enemy can provide strategic partnerships. Even Pilate and Herod could get along when they were both against the same thing (Luke 23:12). If you’re driving the bus out of town, you can fill the seats with malcontents who will push and shove to board that bus without worrying about where it’s going. But where is the bus headed? That’s the question.
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Forbidding Water

Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?
~ Acts 10:47

An open interaction with Raul Enyedi’s, “Should Baptists Baptize Children?”

I read an article by Raul Enyedi recently shared on social media and sent directly to me via private message. Bro. Enyedi is a Baptist pastor in Bocsa, Romania. He is studious, uses English well, and is a capable writer. I pray he will be gracious if I have made any error in identifying him. We have not met personally, though I and the church I pastor are thankful for the church in Romania and pray for our brothers and sisters there.

I don’t have much more to go on than the text of the article, and that’s what I want to interact with. I am using the text as the article was sent to me in Word format. The article contained 3,647 words in 21 paragraphs. I will put the text of his article in blockquotes and number the paragraphs in brackets for reference, e.g., [1]. I do this in hope I don’t misrepresent him and to help anyone interested to follow the interaction. Hereafter, I will address Bro. Enyedi directly.

The Problem Stated

[1] Some time ago I learned about a practice among our churches which is strange to us: that of baptizing young children. We in Romania were perplexed when we heard of it because it seems to us so contrary to the strong stands our kind of churches take on baptism and church truth. We expressed our concerns both in private and public. Since this practice seems to be gaining more of a foothold, we would like to call everyone’s attention to the potential harmful effects that such a practice may have in the life of individuals and in our church life. Some may find this article offensive and think it exaggerated, but I wish it would be perceived as a token of our love and appreciation for our sister churches in the U.S. All I ask is that they give us a fair hearing.

The problem identified is “baptizing young children,” and since you qualified the churches as, “our churches,” and “our kind of churches,” I am assuming you mean Sovereign Grace Landmark Baptist Churches. It is important to note that my remarks are not concerning Southern Baptists, or any other groups, or the Arminian practices of high-pressure child evangelism. The tone of the opening gives the impression this problem is something of an epidemic in the United States among “our churches.” It may be a big problem, but I am unaware of it. Most of the churches I am aware of here are hardly baptizing anybody, much less young children.

The opening paragraph ends with a request for a “fair hearing.” I infer from your request for a fair hearing that you are also inclined to give a fair hearing, which would be a discussion and the reason I am interacting with your article in this open way.
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