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Why not infants?

Those who use Christ's baptism as an example, maybe you can answer this for me. As the many adults that taught me when i was young in the church I grew up in couldn't, and the answer I usually ended up with was well that's just something we don't believe. As He was being baptised the Holy Spirit came down upon him in the shape of a dove, And Voice said this is my son. Why would we not want the gift of the Holy Spirit for our youngest ones? This passage shows that baptism opens us up to the Holy Spirit, for him to dwell within us. To me this is just not symbolic it's real. It doesn't seem to be that anyone is evil. For only the evil one truly is, it's about accepting our human nature and doing everything we can to allow God to help us. So why not help those who can't help themselves. Giving them this gift? As parents isn't this our responsibility?

 
oldermomof5

Asked by oldermomof5 at 7:08 AM on Sep. 25, 2009 in Religion & Beliefs

Level 17 (3,449 Credits)
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Answers (24)
  • Oldermom, thank you - that was the point I was trying to make.

    In my faith (and I respect that not all Christian faiths view it the same, just as erdavh said) we do not believe that it is the act of baptism that bestows grace on you. We believe that accepting Christ into your heart bestows that grace on you, and that baptism is the symbolic act that that we go through to signify that acceptance of Christ, and of the bestowing of that grace.

    If I believed that it was the act of baptism that bestowed that grace, then I would feel differently, but I truly do not believe that it is. Nor do I believe that I'm any less of a Christian, or any less receiving of Christ's love and grace because of that difference in belief.

    sailorwifenmom

    Answer by sailorwifenmom at 10:39 AM on Sep. 25, 2009

  • Because infants are innocent. They have no concept of right and wrong. Baptism is for those who can decide, which babies can't. The Holy Spirit can dwell with children before baptism. God can dwell anywhere He wants. Why not within an innocent baby? He is not held back because we've not yet entered the water.
    Lexylex

    Answer by Lexylex at 7:17 AM on Sep. 25, 2009

  • What about Christ saying that we must be born again by water and blood? Isn't that everyone? Isn't that so our human tendances are washed away? So the Holy Spirit can live within us? It's not about being evil.
    oldermomof5

    Answer by oldermomof5 at 7:22 AM on Sep. 25, 2009

  • I believe baptism to be symbolic of Christ's death, burial and resurrection. I don't believe that the water actually does any cleansing; a dry unrepentant sinner will only come up a wet one.
    Lexylex

    Answer by Lexylex at 7:44 AM on Sep. 25, 2009

  • As an "outsider looking in", I think it has to do with the fact that - to those that Baptise - it's a serious issue. It's making a promise to their God that they will live their life a certain way & believe in certain things.

    And infant can't make that decision. An infant doesn't understand what's going on or even remembers it. An infant hasn't learned anything & hasn't chosen his/her path or beliefs yet.

    An infant, even though completely helpless and under the influence of the beliefs of those around them, are still their own person & have every right to accept (or reject) those beliefs as they understand them when they are old enough to do so.

    Maybe I'm wrong... but that's how I understand it.
    Laura1229

    Answer by Laura1229 at 7:46 AM on Sep. 25, 2009

  • Let me see if i get this. So everything he did was symbolic? Or just things that we can't understand? You see the reason I ask this is because there are quite a few times when he says or does something, and people walk away. They walk away because because he means exactly what he says. He even emphasis by saying Amen Amen. then tries to reword it. If you believe that somethings are symbolic and some real how can you seperate them? Is not most of what he said and did in spritual realm not of the physical? So again an infant can't be cleansed sprirtually through their own ability. They need someone to stand in for them and have it done. Even the Jews and pagans at the time knew this. that is why they had their own way of sprirtually cleansing a child, to keep evil away from them.
    oldermomof5

    Answer by oldermomof5 at 7:59 AM on Sep. 25, 2009

  • At my church we do infant bapitsm.
    BOOGIETHEBOOG

    Answer by BOOGIETHEBOOG at 7:59 AM on Sep. 25, 2009

  • I'm really trying to understand this thought as I came from a church that believe this. As i was going through the membership class I was asked to leave. So I myself wasn't baptised as an infant, but knew I needed this cleansing which I was not allowed to get.

    oldermomof5

    Answer by oldermomof5 at 8:14 AM on Sep. 25, 2009

  • I believe that we, as parents, can dedicate our children to the Lord. But, when we are baptized, it is supposed to represent our acceptance of Christ's sacrifice for us - that He died, was buried, and rose again, all to wash away our sins. This is not a choice that anyone can make for you - each of us has to accept Him for ourselves. Which is why I do not believe that baptism of a baby is necessary, nor does it really apply as a baptism - because the baby is not old enough to even begin to comprehend - even at our very basic human level - or accept - again - as much as we as mortals can - the sacrifice that was made for us.

    I believe that until we are old enough to comprehend sin, then we are innocent in the eyes of God (just as Adam and Eve were until they ate of the tree of knowledge). Once we are old enough to comprehend, then we can make the choice to be baptized. In the meantime, we can dedicate our kids to God.
    sailorwifenmom

    Answer by sailorwifenmom at 8:27 AM on Sep. 25, 2009

  • I believe baptism should be done when the participant is old enough to know what they are doing. It is an outward step of obedience and a public announcement of your faith. I agree with the previous poster that said the babe is considered innocent. Baptism is a choice to be made when you are old enough to make that choice. Just because you were baptized as in infant doesn't make you saved as an adult. Again, like a PP said, God knows your heart. Someone can go through the motions of being baptized and come out no "cleaner" than if they had just bathed in motor oil. I was baptized almost two years ago and I meant it. It was my very first time being baptized and that was very meaningful to me. I don't believe you should've been asked to leave your church because you weren't baptized as a child.
    WindyTheWidow

    Answer by WindyTheWidow at 8:32 AM on Sep. 25, 2009

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