ANSWERS: 33
  • Baptism is a development of the teachings and works of John the Baptist, who taught that by being dunked in the river Jordan, one could be cleansed of sins. At some point in the early church, this was taken to mean that baptism in the name of Christ could "wash away" original sin and show one's commitment to, and faith in, Jesus Christ as the Lord and savior. Catholics began to baptize infants because people feared that the unbaptized were tainted by original sin, and thus destined for Hell. It was thought that baptizing infants would allow them to get into Heaven should they die at a very young age.
    • Jenny_Rizzo
      Quote: "It was thought that baptizing infants would allow them to get into Heaven should they die at a very young age." That contradicts the words of Jesus. Matthew 19:14 "But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the Kingdom of Heaven."
  • Please see the following website: http://www.catholic.com/library/Infant_Baptism.asp It references many biblical passages supporting infant baptism.
    • pugwashjw65
      Then YOU should cite them, and not expect others to chase information... I am no wiser by your comment...
  • From the Catholic Answers online library . Infant Baptism Fundamentalists often criticize the Catholic Church’s practice of baptizing infants. According to them, baptism is for adults and older children, because it is to be administered only after one has undergone a "born again" experience—that is, after one has "accepted Jesus Christ as his personal Lord and Savior." At the instant of acceptance, when he is "born again," the adult becomes a Christian, and his salvation is assured forever. Baptism follows, though it has no actual salvific value. In fact, one who dies before being baptized, but after "being saved," goes to heaven anyway. As Fundamentalists see it, baptism is not a sacrament (in the true sense of the word), but an ordinance. It does not in any way convey the grace it symbolizes; rather, it is merely a public manifestation of the person’s conversion. Since only an adult or older child can be converted, baptism is inappropriate for infants or for children who have not yet reached the age of reason (generally considered to be age seven). Most Fundamentalists say that during the years before they reach the age of reason infants and young children are automatically saved. Only once a person reaches the age of reason does he need to "accept Jesus" in order to reach heaven. Since the New Testament era, the Catholic Church has always understood baptism differently, teaching that it is a sacrament which accomplishes several things, the first of which is the remission of sin, both original sin and actual sin—only original sin in the case of infants and young children, since they are incapable of actual sin; and both original and actual sin in the case of older persons. Peter explained what happens at baptism when he said, "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit" (Acts 2:38). But he did not restrict this teaching to adults. He added, "For the promise is to you and to your children and to all that are far off, every one whom the Lord our God calls to him" (2:39). We also read: "Rise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on his name" (Acts 22:16). These commands are universal, not restricted to adults. Further, these commands make clear the necessary connection between baptism and salvation, a connection explicitly stated in 1 Peter 3:21: "Baptism . . . now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a clear conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ." Christ Calls All to Baptism Although Fundamentalists are the most recent critics of infant baptism, opposition to infant baptism is not a new phenomenon. In the Middle Ages, some groups developed that rejected infant baptism, e.g., the Waldenses and Catharists. Later, the Anabaptists ("re-baptizers") echoed them, claiming that infants are incapable of being baptized validly. But the historic Christian Church has always held that Christ’s law applies to infants as well as adults, for Jesus said that no one can enter heaven unless he has been born again of water and the Holy Spirit (John 3:5). His words can be taken to apply to anyone capable of belonging to his kingdom. He asserted such even for children: "Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven" (Matt. 19:14). More detail is given in Luke’s account of this event, which reads: "Now they were bringing even infants to him that he might touch them; and when the disciples saw it, they rebuked them. But Jesus called them to him, saying, ‘Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of God’" (Luke 18:15–16). Now Fundamentalists say this event does not apply to young children or infants since it implies the children to which Christ was referring were able to approach him on their own. (Older translations have, "Suffer the little children to come unto me," which seems to suggest they could do so under their own power.) Fundamentalists conclude the passage refers only to children old enough to walk, and, presumably, capable of sinning. But the text in Luke 18:15 says, "Now they were bringing even infants to him" (Greek, Prosepheron de auto kai ta brepha). The Greek word brepha means "infants"—children who are quite unable to approach Christ on their own and who could not possibly make a conscious decision to "accept Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior." And that is precisely the problem. Fundamentalists refuse to permit the baptism of infants and young children, because they are not yet capable of making such a conscious act. But notice what Jesus said: "to such as these [referring to the infants and children who had been brought to him by their mothers] belongs the kingdom of heaven." The Lord did not require them to make a conscious decision. He says that they are precisely the kind of people who can come to him and receive the kingdom. So on what basis, Fundamentalists should be asked, can infants and young children be excluded from the sacrament of baptism? If Jesus said "let them come unto me," who are we to say "no," and withhold baptism from them? In Place of Circumcision Furthermore, Paul notes that baptism has replaced circumcision (Col. 2:11–12). In that passage, he refers to baptism as "the circumcision of Christ" and "the circumcision made without hands." Of course, usually only infants were circumcised under the Old Law; circumcision of adults was rare, since there were few converts to Judaism. If Paul meant to exclude infants, he would not have chosen circumcision as a parallel for baptism. This comparison between who could receive baptism and circumcision is an appropriate one. In the Old Testament, if a man wanted to become a Jew, he had to believe in the God of Israel and be circumcised. In the New Testament, if one wants to become a Christian, one must believe in God and Jesus and be baptized. In the Old Testament, those born into Jewish households could be circumcised in anticipation of the Jewish faith in which they would be raised. Thus in the New Testament, those born in Christian households can be baptized in anticipation of the Christian faith in which they will be raised. The pattern is the same: If one is an adult, one must have faith before receiving the rite of membership; if one is a child too young to have faith, one may be given the rite of membership in the knowledge that one will be raised in the faith. This is the basis of Paul’s reference to baptism as "the circumcision of Christ"—that is, the Christian equivalent of circumcision. Were Only Adults Baptized? Fundamentalists are reluctant to admit that the Bible nowhere says baptism is to be restricted to adults, but when pressed, they will. They just conclude that is what it should be taken as meaning, even if the text does not explicitly support such a view. Naturally enough, the people whose baptisms we read about in Scripture (and few are individually identified) are adults, because they were converted as adults. This makes sense, because Christianity was just beginning—there were no "cradle Christians," people brought up from childhood in Christian homes. Even in the books of the New Testament that were written later in the first century, during the time when children were raised in the first Christian homes, we never—not even once—find an example of a child raised in a Christian home who is baptized only upon making a "decision for Christ." Rather, it is always assumed that the children of Christian homes are already Christians, that they have already been "baptized into Christ" (Rom. 6:3). If infant baptism were not the rule, then we should have references to the children of Christian parents joining the Church only after they had come to the age of reason, and there are no such records in the Bible. Specific Biblical References? But, one might ask, does the Bible ever say that infants or young children can be baptized? The indications are clear. In the New Testament we read that Lydia was converted by Paul’s preaching and that "She was baptized, with her household" (Acts 16:15). The Philippian jailer whom Paul and Silas had converted to the faith was baptized that night along with his household. We are told that "the same hour of the night . . . he was baptized, with all his family" (Acts 16:33). And in his greetings to the Corinthians, Paul recalled that, "I did baptize also the household of Stephanas" (1 Cor. 1:16). In all these cases, whole households or families were baptized. This means more than just the spouse; the children too were included. If the text of Acts referred simply to the Philippian jailer and his wife, then we would read that "he and his wife were baptized," but we do not. Thus his children must have been baptized as well. The same applies to the other cases of household baptism in Scripture. Granted, we do not know the exact age of the children; they may have been past the age of reason, rather than infants. Then again, they could have been babes in arms. More probably, there were both younger and older children. Certainly there were children younger than the age of reason in some of the households that were baptized, especially if one considers that society at this time had no reliable form of birth control. Furthermore, given the New Testament pattern of household baptism, if there were to be exceptions to this rule (such as infants), they would be explicit. Catholics From the First The present Catholic attitude accords perfectly with early Christian practices. Origen, for instance, wrote in the third century that "according to the usage of the Church, baptism is given even to infants" (Holilies on Leviticus, 8:3:11 [A.D. 244]). The Council of Carthage, in 253, condemned the opinion that baptism should be withheld from infants until the eighth day after birth. Later, Augustine taught, "The custom of Mother Church in baptizing infants is certainly not to be scorned . . . nor is it to be believed that its tradition is anything except apostolic" (Literal Interpretation of Genesis 10:23:39 [A.D. 408]). No Cry of "Invention!" None of the Fathers or councils of the Church was claiming that the practice was contrary to Scripture or tradition. They agreed that the practice of baptizing infants was the customary and appropriate practice since the days of the early Church; the only uncertainty seemed to be when—exactly—an infant should be baptized. Further evidence that infant baptism was the accepted practice in the early Church is the fact that if infant baptism had been opposed to the religious practices of the first believers, why do we have no record of early Christian writers condemning it? But Fundamentalists try to ignore the historical writings from the early Church which clearly indicate the legitimacy of infant baptism. They attempt to sidestep appeals to history by saying baptism requires faith and, since children are incapable of having faith, they cannot be baptized. It is true that Christ prescribed instruction and actual faith for adult converts (Matt. 28:19–20), but his general law on the necessity of baptism (John 3:5) puts no restriction on the subjects of baptism. Although infants are included in the law he establishes, requirements of that law that are impossible to meet because of their age are not applicable to them. They cannot be expected to be instructed and have faith when they are incapable of receiving instruction or manifesting faith. The same was true of circumcision; faith in the Lord was necessary for an adult convert to receive it, but it was not necessary for the children of believers. Furthermore, the Bible never says, "Faith in Christ is necessary for salvation except for infants"; it simply says, "Faith in Christ is necessary for salvation." Yet Fundamentalists must admit there is an exception for infants unless they wish to condemn instantaneously all infants to hell. Therefore, the Fundamentalist himself makes an exception for infants regarding the necessity of faith for salvation. He can thus scarcely criticize the Catholic for making the exact same exception for baptism, especially if, as Catholics believe, baptism is an instrument of salvation. It becomes apparent, then, that the Fundamentalist position on infant baptism is not really a consequence of the Bible’s strictures, but of the demands of Fundamentalism’s idea of salvation. In reality, the Bible indicates that infants are to be baptized, that they too are meant to inherit the kingdom of heaven. Further, the witness of the earliest Christian practices and writings must once and for all silence those who criticize the Catholic Church’s teaching on infant baptism. The Catholic Church is merely continuing the tradition established by the first Christians, who heeded the words of Christ: "Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of God" (Luke 18:16). NIHIL OBSTAT: I have concluded that the materials presented in this work are free of doctrinal or moral errors. Bernadeane Carr, STL, Censor Librorum, August 10, 2004 IMPRIMATUR: In accord with 1983 CIC 827 permission to publish this work is hereby granted. +Robert H. Brom, Bishop of San Diego, August 10, 2004 http://www.catholic.com/library/Infant_Baptism.asp What the Early church taught on this subject: Early Teachings on Infant Baptism Although many Protestant traditions baptize babies, Baptists—and "Bible churches" in the Baptist tradition—insist that baptism is only for those who have come to faith. Nowhere in the New Testament, they point out, do we read of infants being baptized. On the other hand, nowhere do we read of children raised in believing households reaching the age of reason and then being baptized. The only explicit baptism accounts in the Bible involve converts from Judaism or paganism. For children of believers there is no explicit mention of baptism—either in infancy or later. This poses a problem for Baptists and Bible Christians: On what basis do they require children of believers to be baptized at all? Given the silence of the New Testament, why not assume Christian baptism is only for adult converts? This, of course, would be contrary to historical Christian practice. But so is rejecting infant baptism. As we will see, there is no doubt that the early Church practiced infant baptism; and no Christian objections to this practice were ever voiced until the Reformation. The New Testament itself, while it does not explicitly say when (or whether) believers should have their children baptized, is not silent on the subject. Luke 18:15–16 tells us that "they were bringing even infants" to Jesus; and he himself related this to the kingdom of God: "Let the children come to me . . . for to such belongs the kingdom of God." When Baptists speak of "bringing someone to Jesus," they mean leading him to faith. But Jesus says "even infants" can be "brought" to him. Even Baptists don’t claim their practice of "dedicating" babies does this. The fact is, the Bible gives us no way of bringing anyone to Jesus apart from baptism. Thus Peter declared, "Repent, and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children" (Acts 2:38–39). The apostolic Church baptized whole "households" (Acts 16:33; 1 Cor. 1:16), a term encompassing children and infants as well as servants. While these texts do not specifically mention—nor exclude—infants, the very use of the term "households" indicates an understanding of the family as a unit. Even one believing parent in a household makes the children and even the unbelieving spouse "holy" (1 Cor. 7:14). Does this mean unbelieving spouses should be baptized? Of course not. The kingdom of God is not theirs; they cannot be "brought to Christ" in their unbelief. But infants have no such impediment. The kingdom is theirs, Jesus says, and they should be brought to him; and this means baptism. Baptism is the Christian equivalent of circumcision, or "the circumcision of Christ": "In him you were also circumcised with . . . the circumcision of Christ, having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead" (Col. 2:11–12). Thus, like circumcision, baptism can be given to children as well as adults. The difference is that circumcision was powerless to save (Gal. 5:6, 6:15), but "[b]aptism . . . now saves you" (1 Pet. 3:21). The first explicit evidence of children of believing households being baptized comes from the early Church—where infant baptism was uniformly upheld and regarded as apostolic. In fact, the only reported controversy on the subject was a third-century debate whether or not to delay baptism until the eighth day after birth, like its Old Testament equivalent, circumcision! (See quotation from Cyprian, below; compare Leviticus 12:2–3.) Consider, too, that Fathers raised in Christian homes (such as Irenaeus) would hardly have upheld infant baptism as apostolic if their own baptisms had been deferred until the age of reason. For example, infant baptism is assumed in Irenaeus’ writings below (since he affirms both that regeneration happens in baptism, and also that Jesus came so even infants could be regenerated). Since he was born in a Christian home in Smyrna around the year 140, this means he was probably baptized around 140. He was also probably baptized by the bishop of Smyrna at that time—Polycarp, a personal disciple of the apostle John, who had died only a few decades before. Irenaeus "He [Jesus] came to save all through himself; all, I say, who through him are reborn in God: infants, and children, and youths, and old men. Therefore he passed through every age, becoming an infant for infants, sanctifying infants; a child for children, sanctifying those who are of that age . . . [so that] he might be the perfect teacher in all things, perfect not only in respect to the setting forth of truth, perfect also in respect to relative age" (Against Heresies 2:22:4 [A.D. 189]). "‘And [Naaman] dipped himself . . . seven times in the Jordan’ [2 Kgs. 5:14]. It was not for nothing that Naaman of old, when suffering from leprosy, was purified upon his being baptized, but [this served] as an indication to us. For as we are lepers in sin, we are made clean, by means of the sacred water and the invocation of the Lord, from our old transgressions, being spiritually regenerated as newborn babes, even as the Lord has declared: ‘Except a man be born again through water and the Spirit, he shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven’ [John 3:5]" (Fragment 34 [A.D. 190]). Hippolytus "Baptize first the children, and if they can speak for themselves let them do so. Otherwise, let their parents or other relatives speak for them" (The Apostolic Tradition 21:16 [A.D. 215]). Origen "Every soul that is born into flesh is soiled by the filth of wickedness and sin. . . . In the Church, baptism is given for the remission of sins, and, according to the usage of the Church, baptism is given even to infants. If there were nothing in infants which required the remission of sins and nothing in them pertinent to forgiveness, the grace of baptism would seem superfluous" (Homilies on Leviticus 8:3 [A.D. 248]). "The Church received from the apostles the tradition of giving baptism even to infants. The apostles, to whom were committed the secrets of the divine sacraments, knew there are in everyone innate strains of [original] sin, which must be washed away through water and the Spirit" (Commentaries on Romans 5:9 [A.D. 248]). Cyprian of Carthage "As to what pertains to the case of infants: You [Fidus] said that they ought not to be baptized within the second or third day after their birth, that the old law of circumcision must be taken into consideration, and that you did not think that one should be baptized and sanctified within the eighth day after his birth. In our council it seemed to us far otherwise. No one agreed to the course which you thought should be taken. Rather, we all judge that the mercy and grace of God ought to be denied to no man born" (Letters 64:2 [A.D. 253]). "If, in the case of the worst sinners and those who formerly sinned much against God, when afterwards they believe, the remission of their sins is granted and no one is held back from baptism and grace, how much more, then, should an infant not be held back, who, having but recently been born, has done no sin, except that, born of the flesh according to Adam, he has contracted the contagion of that old death from his first being born. For this very reason does he [an infant] approach more easily to receive the remission of sins: because the sins forgiven him are not his own but those of another" (ibid., 64:5). Gregory of Nazianz "Do you have an infant child? Allow sin no opportunity; rather, let the infant be sanctified from childhood. From his most tender age let him be consecrated by the Spirit. Do you fear the seal [of baptism] because of the weakness of nature? Oh, what a pusillanimous mother and of how little faith!" (Oration on Holy Baptism 40:7 [A.D. 388]). "‘Well enough,’ some will say, ‘for those who ask for baptism, but what do you have to say about those who are still children, and aware neither of loss nor of grace? Shall we baptize them too?’ Certainly [I respond], if there is any pressing danger. Better that they be sanctified unaware, than that they depart unsealed and uninitiated" (ibid., 40:28). John Chrysostom "You see how many are the benefits of baptism, and some think its heavenly grace consists only in the remission of sins, but we have enumerated ten honors [it bestows]! For this reason we baptize even infants, though they are not defiled by [personal] sins, so that there may be given to them holiness, righteousness, adoption, inheritance, brotherhood with Christ, and that they may be his [Christ’s] members" (Baptismal Catecheses in Augustine, Against Julian 1:6:21 [A.D. 388]). Augustine "What the universal Church holds, not as instituted [invented] by councils but as something always held, is most correctly believed to have been handed down by apostolic authority. Since others respond for children, so that the celebration of the sacrament may be complete for them, it is certainly availing to them for their consecration, because they themselves are not able to respond" (On Baptism, Against the Donatists 4:24:31 [A.D. 400]). "The custom of Mother Church in baptizing infants is certainly not to be scorned, nor is it to be regarded in any way as superfluous, nor is it to be believed that its tradition is anything except apostolic" (The Literal Interpretation of Genesis 10:23:39 [A.D. 408]). "Cyprian was not issuing a new decree but was keeping to the most solid belief of the Church in order to correct some who thought that infants ought not be baptized before the eighth day after their birth. . . . He agreed with certain of his fellow bishops that a child is able to be duly baptized as soon as he is born" (Letters 166:8:23 [A.D. 412]). "By this grace baptized infants too are ingrafted into his [Christ’s] body, infants who certainly are not yet able to imitate anyone. Christ, in whom all are made alive . . . gives also the most hidden grace of his Spirit to believers, grace which he secretly infuses even into infants. . . . It is an excellent thing that the Punic [North African] Christians call baptism salvation and the sacrament of Christ’s Body nothing else than life. Whence does this derive, except from an ancient and, as I suppose, apostolic tradition, by which the churches of Christ hold inherently that without baptism and participation at the table of the Lord it is impossible for any man to attain either to the kingdom of God or to salvation and life eternal? This is the witness of Scripture, too. . . . If anyone wonders why children born of the baptized should themselves be baptized, let him attend briefly to this. . . . The sacrament of baptism is most assuredly the sacrament of regeneration" (Forgiveness and the Just Deserts of Sin, and the Baptism of Infants 1:9:10; 1:24:34; 2:27:43 [A.D. 412]). Council of Carthage V "Item: It seemed good that whenever there were not found reliable witnesses who could testify that without any doubt they [abandoned children] were baptized and when the children themselves were not, on account of their tender age, able to answer concerning the giving of the sacraments to them, all such children should be baptized without scruple, lest a hesitation should deprive them of the cleansing of the sacraments. This was urged by the [North African] legates, our brethren, since they redeem many such [abandoned children] from the barbarians" (Canon 7 [A.D. 401]). Council of Mileum II "[W]hoever says that infants fresh from their mothers’ wombs ought not to be baptized, or say that they are indeed baptized unto the remission of sins, but that they draw nothing of the original sin of Adam, which is expiated in the bath of regeneration . . . let him be anathema [excommunicated]. Since what the apostle [Paul] says, ‘Through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so passed to all men, in whom all have sinned’ [Rom. 5:12], must not be understood otherwise than the Catholic Church spread everywhere has always understood it. For on account of this rule of faith even infants, who in themselves thus far have not been able to commit any sin, are therefore truly baptized unto the remission of sins, so that that which they have contracted from generation may be cleansed in them by regeneration" (Canon 3 [A.D. 416]). NIHIL OBSTAT: I have concluded that the materials presented in this work are free of doctrinal or moral errors. Bernadeane Carr, STL, Censor Librorum, August 10, 2004 IMPRIMATUR: In accord with 1983 CIC 827 permission to publish this work is hereby granted. +Robert H. Brom, Bishop of San Diego, August 10, 2004 http://www.catholic.com/library/Early_Teachings_of_Infant_Baptism.asp
    • pugwashjw65
      Sorry, but ' salvation' [ your saving / from what? ] is not assured,,, Only probably...if you are properly obedient. (Zephaniah 2:3) Seek Jehovah, all you meek ones of the earth, Who observe his righteous decrees. Seek righteousness, seek meekness. Probably you will be concealed on the day of Jehovah?s anger. PROBABLY !!!!
  • I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire Matthew 3:11
  • Why do jew curcumsise? it's a old tredion and baptism is suposed to rid the child of origanal sin broght opon it by adam and eve
  • The Catholic Church teaches, "Born with a fallen human nature and tainted by original sin, children also have need of the new birth in Baptism to be freed from the power of darkness and brought into the realm of the freedom of the children of God, to which all men are called." Infant baptism is not a new thing. There are non-biblical documented sources starting in the second century telling of infant Baptism. There are even several passages in the Bible where whole households were baptized. This would include everyone who lived there, men, women, children, and infants. Acts 16:15, "After she and her household had been baptized" Acts 16:33, "then he and all his family were baptized at once." Acts 18:8, "came to believe in the Lord along with his entire household, and many of the Corinthians who heard believed and were baptized." 1 Corinthians 1:16, "I baptized the household of Stephanas" St. Paul wrote that baptism has replaced circumcision (Col 2:11-12), and in Judaism circumcision was performed primarily on infants. By the way, infant baptism is also practiced by the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Assyrian Church of the East, Anglicans, Lutherans, Methodists, Church of the Nazarene, Reformed Church in America, Episcopalians, United Church of Christ (UCC), Presbyterians, Continental Reformed, and others. Together, these constitute over 80% of all those who call themselves Christians. For more information, see Catechism of the Catholic Church, section 1250: http://www.usccb.org/catechism/text/pt2sect2.htm#1250 and http://www.catholic.com/library/Early_Teachings_of_Infant_Baptism.asp With love in Christ.
  • This isn't just a Catholic custom. My parents were Lutheran and had me baptized as baby as did many others, and when I got older I became a Methodist and they baptized babies all the time. As far as it keeping babies out of hell, the Bible speaks of an age of accountability. Until you reach this age, (different for everyone as we all develop at a different rate) you are not accountable for your sins because you don't know you're sinning. Kinda like how your mom may let you get a way with pulling things out of the cupboard when you're 2 but not when 4 because you didn't know it was wrong when you were 2, but when you were 4 you knew you shouldn't be doing that.
  • The Bible speaks of people and their entire households being baptized many times. Why would you assume there were no infants among those households? It's not solely Catholics who do it.
  • Baptism is actually a secret ritual created by dunkin donuts to promote dunking of stuff. Do you know how many people go to a dunkin donuts or buy dunkin stix after a baptism ceremony? 80%. I come up with pretty good conspiracy theories, i should do that for a living.
  • you said it
  • Christians study the same Bible, but we often read it differently. Sometimes we begin with different assumptions about the nature of things and authority. These different methods and starting points lead to different conclusions. Catholics aren't the only Christians to promote infant baptism. All the Protestant Reformers including Martin Luther, Huldrych Zwingli and John Calvin held to infant baptism. Though these three great Protestants disagreed on many things, they all agreed on the Protestant doctrine of justification by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. They also agreed that infant baptism is a biblical practice and the best expression of the Protestant gospel. In fact, infant baptism has been the practice of the historic Christian church since the Apostolic period.
  • The Bible reveals that a person must do certain things before he can be baptized. If these things are not done, then the baptism would not be Scriptural. So we ask whether or not a baby can fulfill the Scriptural prerequisites of baptism. In all Bible examples of baptism, people were baptized only when they personally had full faith, based on their own understanding of the gospel. Never were they baptized on the basis of someone else's faith, such as their parents. No one else can believe for us, just like no one can be baptized for us. A. Before Baptism One Must Hear and Understand the Gospel. Mark 16:15,16 - All who are baptized, must first have the gospel preached to them. But what good would be done by preaching to a baby? B. Before Baptism One Must Believe the Gospel. Mark 16:15,16 - Every creature who is baptized must first believe the gospel which they have been taught. Baptism is only for those who are capable of hearing and believing the gospel. No one is included in the command if they cannot first hear, understand, and believe the gospel. Can a baby do these things? Galatians 3:26,27 - However many people are baptized, all of them must do so by faith. Everyone who is baptized must first understand the gospel well enough to believe it. C. Before Baptism One Must Repent of Sins. Acts 2:38 - Every person who is baptized ("every one of you") must first repent. Repentance is a change of mind - a decision to turn from sin and begin to live for God (cf. Matt. 21:28,29). This decision involves a commitment to put God first, and to live all our lives faithfully serving Him. D. Before Baptism One Must Confess Christ. Romans 10:9,10 - To be saved, one must believe in his heart and confess Christ with his mouth. How can a baby confess Christ when it cannot even speak? Acts 8:35-39 - Here is an example of confession before baptism. The candidate for baptism must make an understandable statement, so that the one who does the baptizing knows they are baptizing someone who has faith. Babies cannot communicate regarding their faith in any understandable way, therefore it is not Scriptural to baptize them. The Bible says every person must personally do these before he can be baptized. Before anyone can be baptized, he must hear and understand the gospel, believe it, repent of sins, and confess Christ. Little babies cannot do any of these things. Therefore, the command to be baptized is not addressed to them. To baptize them anyway would be to act without God's authority. It would be doing something different from what God says must be done.
  • They do and believe many things that aren't mentioned in the Bible, so it's hard to say why they think it's okay. Jesus wasn't Baptized as a baby, in fact in the Bible we read that people had to be able to hear the word and accept it, before being Baptized. A baby cannot do that.
  • because they don't read the bible but go by catholic traditions
  • It may be. The truth is that it was not an issue in Biblical times, as all converts were first generation converts. But it soon did become an issue. Based on the fact that baby boys were circumcised under the Old Covenant, early Christians unanimously baptised the children of believers. They also appealed to the many times in the book of Acts where it says that "he and his whole family were baptised." Even the servants. It seemed logical to them, based on Bible reading. Now, when the Protestant church began, with Martin Luther, (who did read the Bible, and upon whose teachings most of our Protestant denominations are based), he rejected many Roman Catholic teachings, but not infant baptism. Neither did Calvin. It was later reformers such as the Anabaptists who did this. I am not a Roman Catholic. I was raised in an Anglican church, baptised as an infant. I also dedicated my life to Christ just prior to my confirmation, so I hold my baptism valid, as I fulfilled the promises made on my behalf. I have, however, served in adult baptising churches, and I have no problem with the dedication of infants and later baptism. The theology is, in most cases, very similar to that of paedo-baptists. I would ask those who have made very harsh comments against child baptisers to think that most of Christianity since its inception has baptised the children of believers. So be sensitive in your treatment of your Christian brothers and sisters in other denominations to you. THey may not do things in the same way, but many have faith in the same Lord, who will sort out the denominations on the Day of His Coming. Blessings
  • Psalm 133:1 the excelling love [more than just loving enemies] is between true christians Catholics I speak to in my ministry don't want to read the bible because it conflicts with what they get taught by their priest in church. Woe to those teaching them, observe the last part of the Revelation by John and you'll know what I mean.
  • This is the way I believe http://www.columbia.edu/cu/augustine/arch/sbrandt/baptism.htm I also believe there is only, how you feel, that matters. No wrong, no right!
  • there was an Watchtower Article dated last year about september time about baptistries look it up, you may find it on www.watchtower.org
  • I am loving all [John 13:35] your words are untrue Singwell, I'm not talking about protestants not reading their bibles, I'm sure most don't in this time when many have lost their love for God [2nd Timothy 3:1-5]
  • Jesus was 30 years old for his baptism. He knew what he was doing. Infant baptism is a doctrine of demons manipulated by perverted men. My 2 cents.
  • I was told from little on it was suppose to stop a child from being in limbo if they died...neither heaven or hell...
  • its their f.cking religion why do you belive in "god"?????????????????????????????????
  • 1) Because Catholics are so free and do some other things as the ones mentioned in the Bible. 2) "Infant baptism is the Christian religious practice of baptizing infants or young children. In theological discussions, the practice is sometimes referred to as paedobaptism or pedobaptism from the Greek pais meaning "child." The practice is sometimes contrasted with what is called "believer's baptism", or credobaptism, from the Latin word credo meaning "I believe", which is the religious practice of baptizing only individuals who personally confess faith in Jesus, therefore excluding small children. Most Christian churches practice infant baptism. Among them are the Roman Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, Oriental Orthodoxy, the Anglican Communion, Lutherans, Presbyterians, Methodists, the Assyrian Church of the East, the Church of the Nazarene, the Reformed Church in America, the United Church of Canada, the United Church of Christ (UCC) and the Continental Reformed. Groups within the Protestant tradition that reject infant baptism include Baptists, Disciples of Christ, most Pentecostals, Mennonites, Amish, Community of Christ, Plymouth Brethren, Seventh-day Adventists, most non-denominational churches and other Arminian denominations. Infant baptism is also excluded by Jehovah's Witnesses, Christadelphians and Latter-day Saints." "The Roman Catholic Church considers baptism, even for infants, so important that "parents are obliged to see that their infants are baptised within the first few weeks" and, "if the infant is in danger of death, it is to be baptised without any delay." It declares: "The practice of infant Baptism is an immemorial tradition of the Church. There is explicit testimony to this practice from the second century on, and it is quite possible that, from the beginning of the apostolic preaching, when whole 'households' received baptism, infants may also have been baptized." It notes that, "when the first direct evidence of infant Baptism appears in the second century, it is never presented as an innovation", that second-century Irenaeus treated baptism of infants as a matter of course, and that, "at a Synod of African Bishops, St. Cyprian stated that 'God's mercy and grace should not be refused to anyone born', and the Synod, recalling that 'all human beings' are 'equal', whatever be 'their size or age', declared it lawful to baptize children 'by the second or third day after their birth'." Infant baptism is seen as showing very clearly that salvation is an unmerited favour from God, not the fruit of human effort. "Born with a fallen human nature and tainted by original sin, children also have need of the new birth in Baptism to be freed from the power of darkness and brought into the realm of the freedom of the children of God, to which all men are called... The Church and the parents would deny a child the priceless grace of becoming a child of God were they not to confer Baptism shortly after birth." The Church has no official teaching regarding the fate of infants who die without Baptism, and theologians of the Church hold various views (for instance, some have asserted that they go to Limbo, which has never been official Catholic doctrine). "The Church entrusts these infants to the mercy of God." " "Fundamental theological questions: Christians answer the question Who should be baptized? differently because they give different answers to the more fundamental questions which lie beneath it. These more basic questions include: Why do Christians baptize anyone at all (i.e. what is the point of baptism)? Who are members of God's covenant community or church? What does baptism signify and/or symbolize? Is baptism merely a symbol or is it a channel through which God conveys grace (i.e. spiritual powers, unmerited favor, spiritual blessing)? If baptism conveys grace, does it convey justifying grace (grace that makes one a Christian) or sanctifying grace (grace which makes one a better Christian)?" Source and further information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infant_baptism
  • Not only Catholic's baptize infants, many sects in Protestism and Othadox also baptise babies. Christanity (Catholicism included) was orignally a Jewish sect. If you read in Levi it says your suppose to take the child to the temple and perform cirmsion, and all jewish children recived some sort of blessing (Like Jesus in Luke). When Christanity first formed baptism took place of the temple blessing Jewish children recive. So yes infant babtism is in the bible.
  • The catholic church does many and teaches many things not in harmony with the Bible , like immortality of the soul , Trinity , Jesus is God , Hellfire ,, etc , and infant baptisms .
  • They should not perform infant baptism. what loving Father would condem an innocent infant to return to anywhere but his arms. Adam & Eve were expelled from the Gardin of Eden for their disobedience to our God. Jesus Christ came into this world, born of a virgin, Mary. He was and is pefect in every way. He knew His lot in life. He was sent to this earth as a Savior to the world. To save mankind from himself, and the sin of Adam & Eve. He was crucified, died, and was buried. oN THE 3RD DAY He arose from the dead!!!! He sufferd and died on that cross to pay for our sins. That debt was paid, so that innocent infants no longer carry that burden. Was His crucifixion in vain, does that make sense? No He died for our sins, and we can ask for forgiveness directly to Jesus, by personal prayer. There are a lot of things that are done, that the authorities cannot give a good reason for. I believe that Jesus died for us on the cross, and was ressurrected as a victory over death. Therefore we remeber why he died, and carry with us the victory over death.
  • Just to be different? ;-)
  • This is what I was taught in Theology classes, at a Jesuit University. Hundreds of years ago, not sure what century, but I believe it was maybe 1300's or 1400's, people used to wait until on their deathbed to be baptised. They did this so there would be no sins on their souls, as people believed no sins would be on your soul until after baptism. The church starting baptising in infancy because they said that everyone had "original sin" from Adam and Eve. The only way to rid this original sin was baptism.
  • Without taking sides on the debate between Catholics and others, has anyone thought that some people (Catholics included) may simply baptise infants because this creates Godparents, who have an obligation to look after the child if the parents are unable to do so.
  • [From: http://www.catholic.com/library/Infant_Baptism.asp] Peter explained what happens at baptism when he said, "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit" (Acts 2:38). But he did not restrict this teaching to adults. He added, "For the promise is to you and to your children and to all that are far off, every one whom the Lord our God calls to him" (2:39). We also read: "Rise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on his name" (Acts 22:16). These commands are universal, not restricted to adults. Further, these commands make clear the necessary connection between baptism and salvation, a connection explicitly stated in 1 Peter 3:21: "Baptism . . . now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a clear conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ." Christ Calls All to Baptism Although Fundamentalists are the most recent critics of infant baptism, opposition to infant baptism is not a new phenomenon. In the Middle Ages, some groups developed that rejected infant baptism, e.g., the Waldenses and Catharists. Later, the Anabaptists ("re-baptizers") echoed them, claiming that infants are incapable of being baptized validly. But the historic Christian Church has always held that Christ’s law applies to infants as well as adults, for Jesus said that no one can enter heaven unless he has been born again of water and the Holy Spirit (John 3:5). His words can be taken to apply to anyone capable of belonging to his kingdom. He asserted such even for children: "Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven" (Matt. 19:14). More detail is given in Luke’s account of this event, which reads: "Now they were bringing even infants to him that he might touch them; and when the disciples saw it, they rebuked them. But Jesus called them to him, saying, ‘Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of God’" (Luke 18:15–16). Now Fundamentalists say this event does not apply to young children or infants since it implies the children to which Christ was referring were able to approach him on their own. (Older translations have, "Suffer the little children to come unto me," which seems to suggest they could do so under their own power.) Fundamentalists conclude the passage refers only to children old enough to walk, and, presumably, capable of sinning. But the text in Luke 18:15 says, "Now they were bringing even infants to him" (Greek, Prosepheron de auto kai ta brepha). The Greek word brepha means "infants"—children who are quite unable to approach Christ on their own and who could not possibly make a conscious decision to "accept Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior." And that is precisely the problem. Fundamentalists refuse to permit the baptism of infants and young children, because they are not yet capable of making such a conscious act. But notice what Jesus said: "to such as these [referring to the infants and children who had been brought to him by their mothers] belongs the kingdom of heaven." The Lord did not require them to make a conscious decision. He says that they are precisely the kind of people who can come to him and receive the kingdom. So on what basis, Fundamentalists should be asked, can infants and young children be excluded from the sacrament of baptism? If Jesus said "let them come unto me," who are we to say "no," and withhold baptism from them? In Place of Circumcision Furthermore, Paul notes that baptism has replaced circumcision (Col. 2:11–12). In that passage, he refers to baptism as "the circumcision of Christ" and "the circumcision made without hands." Of course, usually only infants were circumcised under the Old Law; circumcision of adults was rare, since there were few converts to Judaism. If Paul meant to exclude infants, he would not have chosen circumcision as a parallel for baptism. This comparison between who could receive baptism and circumcision is an appropriate one. In the Old Testament, if a man wanted to become a Jew, he had to believe in the God of Israel and be circumcised. In the New Testament, if one wants to become a Christian, one must believe in God and Jesus and be baptized. In the Old Testament, those born into Jewish households could be circumcised in anticipation of the Jewish faith in which they would be raised. Thus in the New Testament, those born in Christian households can be baptized in anticipation of the Christian faith in which they will be raised. The pattern is the same: If one is an adult, one must have faith before receiving the rite of membership; if one is a child too young to have faith, one may be given the rite of membership in the knowledge that one will be raised in the faith. This is the basis of Paul’s reference to baptism as "the circumcision of Christ"—that is, the Christian equivalent of circumcision. Were Only Adults Baptized? Fundamentalists are reluctant to admit that the Bible nowhere says baptism is to be restricted to adults, but when pressed, they will. They just conclude that is what it should be taken as meaning, even if the text does not explicitly support such a view. Naturally enough, the people whose baptisms we read about in Scripture (and few are individually identified) are adults, because they were converted as adults. This makes sense, because Christianity was just beginning—there were no "cradle Christians," people brought up from childhood in Christian homes. Even in the books of the New Testament that were written later in the first century, during the time when children were raised in the first Christian homes, we never—not even once—find an example of a child raised in a Christian home who is baptized only upon making a "decision for Christ." Rather, it is always assumed that the children of Christian homes are already Christians, that they have already been "baptized into Christ" (Rom. 6:3). If infant baptism were not the rule, then we should have references to the children of Christian parents joining the Church only after they had come to the age of reason, and there are no such records in the Bible. Specific Biblical References? But, one might ask, does the Bible ever say that infants or young children can be baptized? The indications are clear. In the New Testament we read that Lydia was converted by Paul’s preaching and that "She was baptized, with her household" (Acts 16:15). The Philippian jailer whom Paul and Silas had converted to the faith was baptized that night along with his household. We are told that "the same hour of the night . . . he was baptized, with all his family" (Acts 16:33). And in his greetings to the Corinthians, Paul recalled that, "I did baptize also the household of Stephanas" (1 Cor. 1:16). In all these cases, whole households or families were baptized. This means more than just the spouse; the children too were included. If the text of Acts referred simply to the Philippian jailer and his wife, then we would read that "he and his wife were baptized," but we do not. Thus his children must have been baptized as well. The same applies to the other cases of household baptism in Scripture. Granted, we do not know the exact age of the children; they may have been past the age of reason, rather than infants. Then again, they could have been babes in arms. More probably, there were both younger and older children. Certainly there were children younger than the age of reason in some of the households that were baptized, especially if one considers that society at this time had no reliable form of birth control. Furthermore, given the New Testament pattern of household baptism, if there were to be exceptions to this rule (such as infants), they would be explicit.
    • pugwashjw65
      How can a newborn baby 'call' on the name of almighty God...How would they know it...they can't read yet. And they are still under the care and responsibility of their parents...as Jesus was when he was 12 and went missing in Jerusalem...
  • Catholics perform much more than infant baptism that isn't mentioned in the bible
    • pugwashjw65
      The question is specifically about infant baptism , not about other situations...
  • The RCC is chasing numbers [ of members] . It increases the collection plate. They do get them and those ones just sit there and do nothing...the priest supposedly doing it all...and the result is the religion cannot fulfill Matthew 28: 19,20...
  • You are right about your question. It sounds more like superstition. The rational reason is that infants cannot think for themselves, since they are not old enough to experience "freewill" or even come close to the age of reason. 1 Corinthians 14:20 "Brothers and sisters, do not be children [immature, childlike] in your thinking; be infants in [matters of] evil [completely innocent and inexperienced], but in your minds be mature [adults]."

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