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Cany Any Baptists Help Me?

Posted by on Mar. 21, 2014 at 10:32 PM
  • 2 Replies

Hello, ladies!

I have a question about a ceremony a family member has brought to my attention. I'm currently 30 weeks pregnant with my first child, a baby girl who is due in June (thank you in advance for your congrats & well wishes!). My grandmother-in-law has recently asked me if my DH and I planned on having our daughter dedicated at their family church. I have personally never heard of a dedication ceremony. From what I understand so far, it's simply a ceremony in which we promise to raise our daughter to know God and she would also become a member of the church. My GMI has said that this ceremony will not be a commitment to any specific religion but I'm not so sure that's true, I feel like at a ceremony like this it would be assumed that you are commiting to the religion of the church. My husband and I are both spiritual and believe in the holy bible but we do not associate with any particular religion and we plan on raising our daughter to know her options and know our own personal relationships with God so we don't want to send her mixed messages by telling her she is already a certain religion or something, it's her choice.

Can anyone that's familiar with this ceremony give me a little more insight? I plan on meeting with the pastor of the church to ask him specifically what he thinks and expects about it but that won't be for another week or so, so I just thought I could find a little something here.

by on Mar. 21, 2014 at 10:32 PM
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by on Mar. 22, 2014 at 6:57 AM

While every church is different, one of the core beliefs of most Baptist groups is that faith decisions are to be based on a "personal profession of faith" that can only occur when a person is actually old enough to understand and make that decision on their own.  Baptism was one of the main points of separation for those who became Baptists.  We don't believe in infant Baptism.  Instead, we believe in the model of Baptism that is shown in the Bible . . . Baptism as a public symbol of your acceptance of Christ as Savior.  That can only occur when a person is old enough to understand and make that decision.  (Most Baptists also practice full submersion, because, again, that's the model we see in the Bible with John the Baptist at the river.)

So, since profession of faith, Baptism and joining the church can only be done by someone who is old enough to actually make those decisions for themselves . . . a baby dedication is just that . . . parents dedicating their child to God, promising to raise their child to know God, asking for God's help and the church's help in raising the child to God's service, etc.  It is basically the parents and church committing to guide the child's path.  But the decisions will ultimately be up to the child when he or she is older.  It is usually a very simple ceremony, often at the end of the regular service.  The family introduces the child to the church and the church welcomes the child into the church family.  There are a few prayers for guidance in raising the child.  Wham-bam-done.

I do not know of a single Baptist church or denomination where the baby would become a member of the church at that point.  As I said, personal profession of faith is such a core belief for Baptists that I can't imagine any Baptist church basing church membership on the parents actions.  They wait until the child is old enough to make those decisions for themselves.  Welcome at the church, yes. Part of the church family, yes. But an actual "on the roll" member, not until they are old enough to ask for that in their own (and participate in a public profession of faith, Baptism, etc.)

HTH :)

by Bronze Member on Mar. 22, 2014 at 10:16 AM

Well, first of all, any church that does a baby dedication will probably require that you attend a meeting about it first.

You can pretty much ask all your questions there.

Like PP said, every church is different.

We've dedicated all three of ours in different churches (due to moving) and there was no promise to make them church members at that ceremony. LORD. Can you imagine? But for us it was basically being prayed for as a family and the church PROMISING US to take care of our kids Biblically and otherwise when they are in their care.

Not a big deal at all. And certainly not momentous or life changing in any way, to be honest. Just a nice thing to do that sort of signified our commitment to God and to raising our kids in a Godly environment.

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