Are Children of Believers Members of the Christian Church?

On holiday we visited two great churches and were deeply encouraged by both.

But they had very different views concerning children of believers.

One church counted children of believers as being Christians themselves. They were part of the whole service and very little was changed for them, except for a kids talk. There was no Sunday school within the service (though there was one beforehand – it wasn’t obvious to us from the church sign whether we could just rock up).

The other church had a separate building and events for the kids – we parted ways even before any services started. From what we saw, the kids-side was essentially an evangelistic meeting with an invitation to “put your hand up if you want to make a decision” prayer at the end. In fact the adult end was a version of this as well.

Theologically I think the first church had the theology right. There is a continuation between the old and new covenant in terms of inclusion of children of believers in salvation. Children of believers are rightly addressed and treated as saints throughout New Testament letters.

But it kind of felt like neither church had the practice right. The second church was much more tailored at the kids level – there was lots of energy and creativity well used. But my kids didn’t need evangelising – they needed to worship/praise God, be taught his Word and get fellowship with other Christians. On the other hand we could have been a pagan family visiting and the second church would have been on the money.

3 thoughts on “Are Children of Believers Members of the Christian Church?”

  1. Welcome back Wayne, while you were gone Melbourne got a new anglican diocese, no sorry that was America.

    Anway I had a serious question: Have you heard of Federal Vision?

  2. hi Luke (is the Luke I.?),

    Yes I’m becoming very interested of some elements of FV as I’ve been reading up on it. I think alot of their stuff is discovering Reformation theology that has been lost in American evangelicalism. Much of it is latent and unappreciated in Anglicanism. I’ve always loved reading the Reformers.

    For example, I’m independently a big fan of the Book of Common Prayer as a Reformation book. So I think I’ve discovered many of the FV points independently. But it’s no secret I’m a big fan of Douglas Wilson – I dunno much about the other FV guys. And I’m not sure how they actually “do church” and whether I would like it.

    What do you think of FV stuff? Have you read much? Maybe we should take this conversation offline in order to guard our evangelical status. 🙂

    wayne

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