Baptising a Pre-Teen

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Salty, Aug 18, 2013.

  1. Salty

    Salty
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    But - there is a lot more to the story....

    Her mom and dad are divorced. She comes to church with her dad and stepmom every other week - (he gets visitation rights)
    Mom, who is not a Christian and evidently hostile to church, has full custody.

    Mom does NOT want the child to be baptized.

    Dad said he wants to schedule it on a day, without telling mom - so mom wont know about it.

    One concern I have is how the divorce degree is written. I contend that it is possible that if Mom is to make all major decisions than she could use this to deny Dad further visitation rights. (note: I am not currently privy to what the degree says.)

    I have reccomended to the pastor that Dad contact his lawyer about this before proceeding.

    Has anyone had a situation like this? What reccomendations do you have?

    Thanks,
    Salty

    PS,
    Thank goodness, baptism is not required for salvation.
     
  2. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob
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    The "custodial" parent has the rights and trumps other relatives or non-custodial parent in these matters.

    Baptism is the choice of the person, but under law, until the child reaches independent status/adulthood or is emancipated, the parent hold the power in situations like this.

    We have had teens saved and desire to be baptized and family say "No". What do we teach that teen if we say "Defy you parents and get baptized"?
     
  3. agedman

    agedman
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    I suppose that if Baptism is taken as truly the "public profession" of faith, then until the child reaches emancipation age, while the child stands in the pool, have one baptized in "proxy" for the child.

    :tonofbricks:


    However, I agree with Dr. Bob. :thumbs:
     
  4. Tom Butler

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    Dr. Bob has it right. Under no circumstances should the church baptize the child without consent of the custodial parent. To do so could invite trouble, and would be dishonest.
     
  5. preachinjesus

    preachinjesus
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    I'm with Dr Bob on this.

    We have seen something similar. Basically my thoughts are this:

    1. The father is under the requirement of the state to share all major decisions with the mother. Therefore this is a simple Romans 13; Hebrews 13; and 1 Peter 2 situation.

    2. If the child makes a decision and desires to be baptized, it must be independent of the mother and father.

    3. Any attempt at scheduling a baptism by the father is suspicious imho.

    4. If the child has made an earnest faith decision, they can vocalize that sufficiently at a later date. This makes it independent of both parents.

    Finally, I don't get the proxy baptism thing there agedman. That is not a baptist view of baptism at all. I'd enjoy hearing your thoughts more on it.
     
  6. Revmitchell

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    The custodial parent does not have all the rights. Having said that no child should be baptized without both parents consent.

    The mother cannot deny visitation regardless of what the other parent may or may not do.

    If the other parent does not give consent there is no need to contact a lawyer. The either parent can take it to court but if both parents do not agree no judge is going to give an order to let the child be baptized. And quite frankly the judge is likely to get miffed that they brought their squabble to court.
     
  7. Herald

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    Chalk up another one in agreement with Dr. Bob. The time will come when the child will be old enough to take this step of obedience.
     
  8. NaasPreacher (C4K)

    NaasPreacher (C4K)
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    And yet another :)
     
  9. Judith

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    I am not sure I agree with the responses here. I say this because this means this child does not have any freedom of religion which is guaranteed under the constitution.
    What if the mother did not want her to respond to an alter call for salvation while attending church does the church and or father deny her that because of custody rights and the mother's anti-God position? What if the mother did not want her even going to church at all while with her father? Should that be honored? What if the mother forbids her to even pray or seek God at all?

    I think to deny her baptism because her mother hates God means the church has lost its understanding of its position before God and its calling. We are told not to fear men but God. I think what needs to be done is totally leave this up to the child and do as she desires without hiding anything. If she wants to attend church she should be allowed. If she wants to respond to an alter call she should be allowed. If she desires baptism it should be done.

    I seriously do not believe that Paul or anyone in the early church would have denied her baptism even if it meant going to prison or being put to death and neither should we who will suffer much less.

    Let me say this. Parental rights and desires should be followed until those rights interferes with the commands of God and Baptism is a command that goes with salvation at the time of salvation. Obey God and not men and if consequences follow praise the Lord. Let us take courage and not shrink back.

    Psalm 27 1-6 [[[A Psalm] of David.]] The LORD [is] my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD [is] the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
    When the wicked, [even] mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell.
    Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this [will] I [be] confident.
    One [thing] have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple.
    For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.
    And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the LORD.

    If a child is old enough to understand salvation and accepts that salvation they are old enough to choose to be baptised and NO ONE (church, Pastor) should withhold it. There is no such thing as waiting until they are old enough to obey. If they are old enough to choose to be saved they are old enough to choose to be baptised so OBEY!
     
    #9 Judith, Aug 19, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 19, 2013
  10. agedman

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    I was an attempt to insert some humor - poorly done, but an attempt.

    I have heard of baptism by proxy involving two events. I consider the first to be appropriate when authorized by the local assembly.

    First, when one is too feeble or cannot be baptized for health or some other prohibitive concern, yet one desires the benefits of membership and communion (churches usually place communion following baptism not to be taken before baptism). But that is a practical issue in which the local assembly should possibly address when needed - and may actually be a answer in the case of the OP. That way, membership with the resulting benefits and the oversight of the assembly are extended even to the child.

    The question raised by the OP as to parent involvement would then be mute. In my mind, I have always had a problem with heathen having any authority over matters of the assembly and the conduct of the membership.



    Second, is baptism by proxy is done in the Mormon cult. They take the authority for doing so from 1 Corinthians 15:29. You can read about the practice here, and more of the historical background here. I am in no way advocating for such as that cult practices, and the early church found the practice heretical - which I agree. Historical precedence would only apply as one doing for another by proxy - which may fit the needs of the OP.


    So, although "tongue in cheek" in the post, I also know that it would not be without some merit - depending again on the thinking of the local assembly.

    Perhaps most on the BB would dismiss this issue out of hand and therefore deny to a believer the benefits and authority due any member of the assembly - even membership. I personally think that is evil.

    I suppose one could encourage the assembly to ignore the membership rules (if in fact they require baptism by immersion for membership), and tradition that communion follows baptism. But to me that is even a greater wrong.

    I hope this scrambled ramble helps. :)
     
  11. Salty

    Salty
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    She can deny visitation - may not be legal - but.....

    depends on the judge
     
  12. preachinjesus

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    Ah, I see. I couldn't hear your inflection through the keyboard. :)
     
  13. Yeshua1

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    That would be the best thing to do, as we are commanded to honor mother and father by the lord, and God knows what is happening in thi situation...


    glad that we baptists do not hold to baptism saves us, for this would be much harder for say a Church of Christ pastor and church!
     

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