In John 17:20-23, Jesus prays to His Father, saying, "I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. "
This theme of unity among believers runs throughout the New Testament. It is abundantly clear that Jesus both commands and desires that His followers be united.
In light of what Jesus has commanded, this is my question: How should Christians reconcile infant baptism and believer's baptism?
Here is a scenario: A group of followers of Jesus Christ enjoys fellowshipping with one another and believes that the Lord has called them together as a local body (I'm not dealing with the issue of church membership here). These believers are in complete agreement about the core doctrines of the faith (such as the divinity of Christ, the truth of the resurrection, etc.). They desperately want to be united and be biblical in how they function as a church family.
There is only one problem: some within the group have studied the scriptures and believe that infants should be baptized. Others within the group have studied the scriptures and believe that only believers should be baptized. How do they reconcile this difference?
Most of the time the group is together, this is not an issue. However, what do they do when a young couple within the body wants their infant to be baptized? If the couple decides to do this, how do the people within the body respond who believe it is unbiblical to baptize anyone who does not believe? Let's say they talk it over, listen to each other, pray about it together, and still cannot agree on the issue. What then?
Unfortunately, the typical answer to this question is that these folks should split into different churches along denominational lines. However, this does not seem to adhere whatsoever to what Jesus said in John chapter 17.
So, if this body of believers is determined to be biblical by remaining united, how do they deal with this issue of baptism?
I'd really like to hear what you think.