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I was brought up in the Catholic church and later switched to Lutheran, but I'm wondering why both believe in infant baptism. A baby cannot decide that it wants to believe in God and I never once saw anywhere in the bible where Jesus or any of his disciples baptized a baby, so why do those churches insist on doing it that way? I have been baptized as an adult and have accepted the Lord and Savior but those things puzzle me.
Good morning Crystal.
One rule in understanding Catholic traditions, if they seem weird, is to understand the Jewish origins.
Baptism is the initiation to the faith for Christians, much like circumcision is for the Jews.
The baby doesnt get to decide if he is going to be circumcised, the parents made that choice for him. He still doesnt understand the faith, but its what God commanded.
Excluding babies from baptism has no scriptural support at all.
Actually, on the contrary:
The only initiation into the Christian faith is outlined in Acts 2:21, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved". There is NO other way in. and there is no additional requirement.
An infant cannot have taken that step, so should not be baptized.
We do not decide who is in the Church! God, our redeemer - He, (with our submission) decides who is in the Kingdom.
Infants should be excluded from baptism.
Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.
Absolutely - but is baptised as an act of commitment. No infant has that capability.
Be blessed in what you believe, anyway.
Vincent, circumcision in the Old Testament times was for the male child only (Genesis 17:10-12) and they were 8 days old when this procedure was performed, so I don't see how this Old Covenant practice relates to the non-biblical practice of baptising infant males and females under the New Covenant times.
Are you saying an infant can understand and agree with the New Testament teaching that he or she is a sinner, separated from God, in need of a Saviour and therefore of their own choice have chosen to call on the name of Jesus to be saved prior to their baptism (Romans 10:13, Romans 10:9-10)?
What is the relation between Circumcission and Baptism?
This is my opinion only - I believe Circumcission is the initiation to the Jewish faith, while Baptism is the initiation to the Christian faith.
And I want to stress something out - baptising females and infants are biblical. See Acts 16:14-15.
Vincent, the point I am making is that circumcision was for the 8 day old male child, so I don’t see how this commandment of God to Abraham and his descendants is now interpreted to be the same thing as baptising infant male and female children under the New Covenant. Circumcision was for the male child only whereas baptism is for the male and female person who has become a Christian by confessing Jesus as their Saviour.
Mark 16:16 teaches if one does not believe then he or she is not saved. You first believe and then you are baptised, not the other way around. Initiation into the Christian faith is to confess Jesus as Lord and to follow Him.
It is tempting to say there is no relation between Baptism and Circumcision - one is bloody, the other is not. Yet St Paul had no problem speaking of both as if linked inseparably.
For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority. In him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not performed by human hands. Your whole self ruled by the flesh was put off when you were circumcised by Christ, having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.
Vincent, the verses you have quoted do not teach we are to baptise infants or that the baptism of infants will be their initiation into the Christian faith.
To illustrate my point, I have a question for you. Infant A is born to parents of the Roman Catholic faith and when he is 6 months old, his parents have him baptised by their Catholic priest. On the other hand, infant B is born to parents who are atheists and subsequently their child is never baptised. When these boys are 18 months of age, sadly they both pass away. As both cannot understand the gospel and both are unable to make their own choice about choosing to become believers in Jesus, which one of these infants will go to be with the Lord or will they both be with the Lord?
The Catholic Church will say the baptised baby will go to Heaven, while the unbaptised one will go to Limbo. By "Limbo", the Catholic Church means she doesnt know where the baby will go, whether Heaven or Hell.
Personally, I trust in God's mercy and hope both boys will enter Heaven.
It is with great reluctance always that I will enter into a debate: I have never seen anything resolved by them. But here it is.
Vincent, I truly value your answers on this website, because very few Catholics either know or stand for what they believe. Elsewhere I've repeated how we are saved through the Grace of God - not by our efforts, so I pray that you are under that same grace for which I give glory to God!
However, this answer highlights the problem with the Catholic Church: it sincerely believes it can dictate what God will do. When I stand before the throne of God, it will be because of His mercy and grace in my life. I will not be saying, "because my teacher said..." or "because the Catholic church said..." It won't be based on my doctrine - but only his mercy. All readers note: Nothing anyone will tell you (Church, pope or "prophet") will count on that day. Only trust in the blood of Jesus.
I believe we are really starting to veer off into spurious discussions that don't relate to the original question.
I get very confused by the Catholic Church. I was raised Catholic and it wasn't until I was introduced to the Bible and started studying it that I realized how wrong it is. I don't want to insult anyone and I have many people I love that are Catholic but that Church does not follow Jesus. For instance, where does the bible talk about limbo, & worshiping Mary? Also, when the curtain was torn in the temple it symbolized our direct access to God through Jesus. HE is our high priest therefore we do not need any other priest to intercede for us...