Baptism before 18 yrs. old

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Gina B, Jun 4, 2006.

  1. Gina B

    Gina B
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    How many of you have allowed your child to be baptized?

    How many have not?

    So far, my children remain dry believers. I've thought about it recently, and am not sure if I'm doing them a favor or not!

    Are they old enough to understand it all? I know they understand to the best of their ability. I know that at their age I was just beginning to struggle with trying to find my own ground, my own beliefs, rather than what people pushed at me. It ended up with a total rejection of Christ...after I thought I believed, and after I was baptized.
    It's part of why I figured I was lost for good. I had been taught that the only way to lose your salvation was through suicide or through rejecting Christ after you already "accepted him".

    So, I figured that I'd not push it with my kids, but wait until they are adults and fully capable of deciding whether they will or won't do it, apart from mamma.

    What do you think? Right? Wrong?

    While we're at it, let's throw in the question of why may baptize. I always thought it would be special to be baptized by someone with a vested interest in the other person. A husband baptizing a wife, or a father baptizing his child, or a grandfather baptizing his grandchild. I've never gotten why people say "it's gotta be the preacher man of the local church that you joined."

    There's the questions.
    When.
    Who.

    OH! And just a comment. For those of you preachers who hold 'em under until they struggle...STOP THAT! LOL It's funny, but not needed. OTAY?
     
  2. John of Japan

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    I have no problem whatever with baptizing kids. I was saved when I was 4, but Dad would not allow me to be baptized until I understood what I was doing--and that was wise, I feel. I was baptized when I was 6, and remember it clearly. Baptism is not really that hard to understand, after all! If a kid has a good testimony of faith in Christ, wants to be baptized and understands its meaning, I say, dunk the kid! :thumbs:

    Concerning who should baptize, the only commission to baptize is in the Great Commission in Matt. 28:18-20. If you will look at the context in v. 16, it is specifically to the "11 disciples," unlike other statements of the Great Commission. It is also specifically on the Mount of Olives just before the Ascension, and according to Acts 1, the 11 apostles were the only ones there. Therefore, in my view, the leaders of the church, called to preach, should be the ones to baptize.

    Hope this helps. God bless! :type:
     
  3. Snitzelhoff

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    Not to derail this thread, but I disagree with this view. However, for the sake of consistancy, do you also believe that only the leaders of the church are called to witness, as per the audience of the Commission?
     
  4. Joseph_Botwinick

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    1. On the first issue, I think it wise not to shove the salvation thing down their, or anybody's for that matter, throat. When the Spirit of God convicts them of their sin, they will understand and repent. Once God has saved them, regardless of their age, I say baptize them if at all possible.

    2. As to who should baptize them, I guess that would depend partly on your interpretation of the Great Commission. Is it only for pastors or for all Christians? I had the honor of baptizing my wife as a pastor of a church many years ago.

    Joseph Botwinick
     
  5. FollowMeHome

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    I was baptized when I was three months old. I was raised Catholic.

    I would prefer that my future children be baptized as infants. I believe that baptism is the cleansing of the original sin as opposed to the membership in a religion. When a child reaches an appropriate age of consent, then he/she can decide which religion he/she wants to follow, but they will be Christians throughout their childhood.
     
  6. Rex77

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    I was baptized when I was a baby and all I got was a wet head.

    Ten years later I was saved when I trusted Christ as my Saviour, and was Baptized at 15 as a born again believer.
     
  7. Hope of Glory

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    Since Jesus was baptized when he was prepared to enter his ministry (at about 30 years of age), I think that baptism is something that the individual understands before he is baptized. It's a commitment.
     
  8. John of Japan

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    "For the sake of consistancy," please look more carefully at what I wrote. I said, "If you will look at the context in v. 16, it is specifically to the '11 disciples,' unlike other statements of the Great Commission." :smilewinkgrin:

    There are five statements of the Great Commission. It is in Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and Acts. When you look at the context, as I suggested, you will find that each of them is to a specific group of people, just as I said Matthew's Great Commission is. I would be happy to tutor you in my own missiology on another thread. :saint:
     
  9. tinytim

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    As for the "When" answer, I'd say when they understand what baptism is.. it is not salvation, and they need to know that. Being a youth pastor, I had a few kids come up to me and asked if they could be baptized. They were confusing baptism with salvation. I explained to them the difference and if they got saved, I baptized them. I was Baptized at age 10, and this Sunday, we will be baptizing 8 individuals. 7 of them -11-18 yrs old.

    One girl in particular was saved and baptized at age 5, but didn't understand what baptism was about. Since then she has learned, and wants to be baptized for real.

    As for the "who", It depends on who the Great Commision was given to.
    I believe it was given to the church. Therefore the authority to baptize rests within the body of believers. When a church ordains a minister, they are delegating their authority to baptize. Also, the body can choose to delegate that authority to anyone for a specific time.

    When my oldest son was saved, (at age 6), the church voted to allow me to help in his baptism. I had just gotten called to preach, but was not even licensed yet.

    I Also know of a church that, for one year, they held an evangelism drive, where they taught the members how to win souls, and then the one that led the ind. to Christ, could baptize them. It was approved by the local body, therefore, it was OK.

    I hope this helps
     
  10. annsni

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    3 of my children accepted Christ at 4 years old - the 2 older ones were baptised when they asked to be which ended up being at 6 and 8 (they're now 13 and 16). My son is just 5 and he hasn't asked about baptism yet and I really don't know that he's big enough to understand the symbolism just yet. We'll wait a bit longer.

    As for who baptizes, for our girls, it was one of the pastors of our church who is a wonderful friend of ours. When my younger children want to be baptized, it will be their father who does it - he's now a pastor. I think other believers can also baptize and we've had numerous congregants baptize at various times - usually they're a ministry leader (the leader of the disabled ministry has baptized the disabled, leader of the deaf ministry has baptized the deaf, small group leaders - we call them 'cell groups' - have baptized their cell members). My DH baptized before he was a pastor but just not in the organized church service - that's usually a pastor who does that.

    Annie
     
  11. Bro Tony

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    FollowMe,

    Your profile states that you are a Baptist believer. Do you attend a Baptist Church that practices infant baptism? Does your church teach that baptistm "cleanses a person of original sin"? Does your church teach that once you baptize an infant they are then Christian?

    These belief's in your post are neither baptistic or biblical. Ritual or water baptism neither cleanses of sin or makes one a Christian. If you enter the water lost in your sin, you will come out of the water lost in your sin but just wet.

    Bro Tony
     
    #11 Bro Tony, Jun 5, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 5, 2006
  12. Clean1

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    I believe that a person should be baptisted after a he/she accepts Jesus Christ as their Saviour no matter their age. Young kids understand alot more than what we give them credit for. Go to the Bible and look up verses with your kids and explain to them what baptism is. If you feel that don't understand it quite yet, then wait just a little longer. As for who... A believe that it should be a man of God who baptizes. We have an assitant preacher in our church who baptized some of his young daughters (under the age of 6 or 7) not too long ago. He isn't the pastor but He was still able to baptize. I don't believe that an unbeliever should baptize a believer (my conviction.)
    Baptism is an important thing. It symbolizes that you are buried with Christ and risen up with Him. Romans 6:3-9, "Know ye not, that so many of us were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?"
    vs. 4, "Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life."
    vs. 5, "For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:"
    vs. 6, "Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin."
    vs. 7, "For he that is dead is freed from sin."
    vs. 8, "Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:"
    vs. 9, "Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him."
    When we get sobmerged in the water it symbolizes the death of the 'old mad' and when we come out of the water it symbolizes the putting on the the 'new man'.
    Matthew 3:16, "And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water....." Jesus didn't get 'sprinkled' or baptized when he was an infant. He was submerged in it then came up "out of the water". We should be baptized just like Jesus was baptized.
    Also, baptism does NOT have anything to do with salvation. If all it took to get into heaven was just being baptised, good works, etc. then why did Jesus Christ have to die on the cross? Why would He need to do that if we could get their ourselves by baptism or good works? Baptism comes AFTER salvation. John 14:6, "Jesus saith unto him, I am the Way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the father but BY me." That wouldn't be true if we could get into heaven ourselves by baptism.
    (Just thought I'd explain: don't want to get into an argument.)
     
  13. Brother Bob

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    Well, we baptize when someone is old enough to understand that he is lost and believes that Christ has come into his/her life. They are old enough to know what repentance is and feel they have truly repented of their sins and believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God. We do not baptize infants, small children.
    I have often wondered if a parent has their child baptized at a young age or infant if they are not doing that child wrong for it will grow up thinking it has nothing more to do to be saved and when the Law enters they become accountable for their sins. Now you can call it the Law if Christ if you want but it is there anyway. I, as Apostle Paul call it the Commandments.
     
  14. BD17

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    Bob your post is contradicts itself, you say you baptize when someone is old enough to understand that they are lost, yet in other of your posts, you say people are not lost. Infants and small children are innocent of any wrong doing. So when does the wrong that they do that you believeis not wrong, become wrong?
     
  15. Brother Bob

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    No contradiction at all. That is the reason we don't baptize them is we believe they are already saved. There comes a time in their life the Law enters as it did Apostle Paul and they then become responsible for their sins and become lost and dead in sin. I am afraid you did not read my posts throughly or correctly.
     
  16. BD17

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    The above is by you Bob and your very first sentence says "when someone is old enough to understand that they are lost." If they are saved as infants how can they all the sudden be lost. To "understand" that you are lost you have to be lost to begin with.

    Now on to the second sentence, "they are old enough to know what repentence is and feel they have truly repented of their sins" if they are saved and innocent from birth as you claim, then what sins do they have to repent for? The law was there before they were born.
     
  17. ktn4eg

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    Not saying that I necessarily agree with it, but, for what it's worth, here is a statement I heard many years ago:

    "A child who is old enough to sin willfully is old enough to believe savingly."
     
  18. donnA

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    And your scripture for that is....?
    Your profile says you are baptist, but your beliefs are not baptist in any way. In scripture baptism is for believers, those who have already believed, an infant can not and has not believed, and is not a christian just because they got wet. The blood of Jesus cleanses us from sin, water does not. If water cleansed us from sin no would be have to become a christian, just take a bath. Nope, it isn't water, it's Jesus and Jesus alone.
    To me it is incomprehensable for a christian saying their child can choose whatever religion they want too, and not raise them to believe in Christianity, to believe Jesus is the only way of salvation. But then, if one is a christian because they are baptized, then Jesus isn't the only way is He.
     
  19. BD17

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    Most reformed believers i know who baptize infants do not believe that it brings them salvation. They believe in a covenant family and baptism is a sign of that covenant. Much the way circumcision was in the old testament. We baptize our infants and promise to raise them according to God's law and commandments, if we do that then he will bring our children to Himself, and they will receive salvation.
     
  20. Brother Bob

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    I would prefer you didn't put words in my mouth but I will try and explain. I believe like Apostle Paul. I was once alive without the Law, the Commandments came "sin revived" and I died. (He died in trespasses in sin. There was a time where he was alive until the Commandments came.) I am saying the child is "alive" until the Commandments come and then they become accountable for ever sin they ever committed. Where there is no Law, sin is not imputed so therefore they are clean.

    Let me try and simplify it. A child is born into this world with a sinful nature because of Adam's sin and the natural death is already appointed unto them but they are free from the second death which comes because they sin themselves. Now where there is no Law there is no transgression so they cannot sin even though they do things that would be sin for someone old enough to have the law entered into them. But, there comes a time in their lives that they are old enough to understand, so the Commandments come and then they realize they are sinners and must repent! Does that explain it or must I go on.

    The Grace of God which bringeth Salvation hath appeared unto all men. I have had trouble finding where these Scriptures are to children. When a baby is born do you think before it can say DaDa that it knows it must repent. To be plain I don't, but if it lives in time if it is not mentally imparied then God will teach that child it is a sinner. I ask you when you were unsaved did you know you were a sinner and if so who taught you? Because some person tells you is not enough, you must be condemned of your sins.

    Just one question (Do you believe the baptism saves them?)
     
    #20 Brother Bob, Jun 6, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 6, 2006

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