Someone help me...infant baptism

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Bro. James Reed, May 6, 2003.

  1. Bro. James Reed

    Bro. James Reed
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    My brother is married to a girl who was raised Lutheran. Her family wants for them to have their expectant baby christened. He doesn't really know what to do.

    He thinks that all the christening means is their promise to raise the baby as a Christian. However, I believe that it is a promise to raise the child as a Lutheran. Also, I don't know if my brother would have to become a Lutheran. He is a baptized member of the Primitive Baptists, so I think this could lead to a real conflict with his membership.

    Does anyone know what a Lutheran Christening is all about, and what is said during one of these services?

    Thanks, and God bless.

    Bro. James
     
  2. john6:63

    john6:63
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    Bro. James Reed

    I met my wife who was going to a Methodist Church so I started going as well. I was saved Baptist and Baptized Methodist. (Yes, I was submerged) My son was born while we where members of a Methodist Church and he was sprinkled or Christened. Now the pastor implied that it just meant that we promised to raise him as a Christian. Not a Methodist. Even though Methodist have been known to be as “watered down Catholics.” We never followed their strict guidelines. We are no longer members of the Methodist Church due to some disagreements with their doctrine. We now attend an IFBC. I was under the impression that I would have to totally get re-baptized again to become members of that church. Our pastor said no, and as far as our son was concerned it just meant that we would raise him in a Christian environment.

    I’m not sure about the Lutheran Church. Do they both attend the church? If not, why not wait until they find a church that’s right for both of them. Is this ceremony really urgent? Seems although it’s her family pushing the issue. If your bother doesn’t attend or are members or isn’t even considering becoming members. I would suggest that your bother take a stand and say nope. If it’s still an issue then talk with the pastor and see what the policies if any are associated with the Christening.

    Hope that helps....God bless!
     
  3. Circuitrider

    Circuitrider
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    There are a number of different Lutheran groups on all theological points of the spectrum. The WELS (Wisconsin Synod) group is very orthodox in doctrine (believing in inspiration, deity of Christ, etc.) The Missouri Synod group is a little more liberal and the ELCA is very liberal (akin to Methodists, UCC, etc.). However all these groups believe that baptism saves. :eek: While Methodists have more of a "christening" view akin to baby dedication, Lutherans believe that baptism saves. It is a part of the process along with confirmation and god parents to bring babies into salvation and God's kingdom.

    In taking with a Lutheran missionary, he told me that God gives infants faith (without understanding obviously) and they are saved by faith at their baptism. I would stay as far away from tying up with Lutherans as possible. Here in Wisconsin they are a dime a dozen. [​IMG]
     
  4. Bro. James Reed

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    Thank you both for your comments. I will relay them to my brother.

    I have also posted this in the other religions forum to allow non-Baptists to comment.

    Bro. James
     
  5. Haruo

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    As someone noted below, there are a number of Lutheran denominational groups.

    Your brother should read closely whatever it is that will be said in the christening ceremony, ask the prospective officiant about any doubtful issues, and draw his own conclusions as to what he will be promising to do.

    Of course, he should look at whether doing this will compromise his membership covenant with his Primitive Baptist church.

    It sounds like the in-laws may have some superstitious notion going that a baby needs sprinkling to avoid Hell. In-laws like that would get my hackles up and I'd probably refuse to go along, which might involve violating one of the Ten Commandments out of an imagined obedience to another. So I'm glad it's your nephew and not my kid.

    Haruo
     
  6. Ben W

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    I wonder what it is that his wife wants to do. I s she keen on the idea. Is she Lutheran or iinvolved somewhere else?

    Many churches have dedication services which should be encouraged. As far as expecting God to do something on the basis of Infant Baptism is not really in Baptist Theology as far as I know.

    Yet I would not be bothered by it either. Allowing a christening to go ahead will not harm the child in any way. The idea is to pray that the child will find Jesus along the way, and hopefully many prayers on the day might be to that effect.
     
  7. Johnv

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    I'm curious as to what church they go to together. They should baptize/christen the child according to the customs of that church.
     
  8. PJ

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    Bro. James, an acceptable compromise would be a dedication. If so, the pastor should be very clear that the dedication is that of the parents - not the child. This would be no more/no less than a pastoral charge to rear the child by the Word of God. No baptism/no sprinkling necessary.
    PJ
     
  9. dianetavegia

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    Our church is having Baby Dedication this Sunday for all the babies born this past year. It is actually a dedication of the parents.

    Our daughter married a Catholic boy but they recently started going to the Baptist church next door. Her hubby really likes the Baptist church and they've decided to have a dedication there.

    The Catholic church feels an unbaptised baby is a child who will go to hell if they die.

    Diane
     
  10. Johnv

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    Our daughter married a Catholic boy but they recently started going to the Baptist church next door. Her hubby really likes the Baptist church and they've decided to have a dedication there.

    Hi Diane, I'm glad to hear the situation has been resolved.

    Blessings to you and yours,
    Johnv
     
  11. Eyes on Jesus

    Eyes on Jesus
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    Jesus was presented as a baby Luke 2: 22-25,
    Baptized, just before his ministry started, Mark
    Ch 1

    And we are to follow in his steps, 1 Peter 2:21

    Keep your eyes on Jesus and the world will just fall to the wayside!!!
     
  12. tyndale1946

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    Brother James... Then what is the reason for the water?... Would it be in error to have a couple come before the church and dedicate the infant in prayer... With all the brethren gathered together for the ceremony. I feel the christening even though it is for a dedication... water is still used and because it is used... the use of it is passing the wrong message to the congregation even though their doctrine says it is not. If the dedication is for the parents only have the parents present the child while at the throne of grace... I really don't know if our brethren would accept that... The Primitive Baptist brethren but if it doesn't result in a change of doctrine is there any harm in dedicating our children to the Lord in prayer?... Raise up your children in the nuture and admonishion of the Lord... Should not the brethren of the church help protect one anothers children?... They get thrown to the wolves of the world soon enough... Brother Glen :(
     
  13. Major B

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    Some observations:

    1. Our forebears in the faith (whether called baptist, anabaptist, or whatever--the free churches: see The Reformers and Their Stepchildren by Leonard Verduin) had this in common, among other basics--they would not allow their children to be baptized as infants. For this, hundreds of thousands of them were massacred, by Protestants and Catholics alike.

    2. Infant baptism can become a dangerous crutch which the devil will use to make a lost person think they are saved.

    3. The dedication of Jesus in the Temple was part of the Old Covenant, and this ceremony included (since the family was poor) the blood sacrifice of two turtle doves--if we would invoke this incident as justification for child dedication, we must do as it was done! (where IS that temple....). There is no command to continue this custom.

    4. The meaning of baptism is that we witness to the world that we have identified with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection. What is an infant witnessing, and how do they witness?

    5. I could compromise within my family about many things that fall under the Romans 14 area, but not about something that is so close to our common faith that we call ourselves....... "Baptist." SDG
     
  14. Flippo

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    I grew up Lutheran and was taught that you had to be baptised for salvation. If your In-Laws believe this than you would be further reinforcing that belief. Taking a stand on this can lead to bitter feelings yes, but it is more important to please God than man.

    Phil
     
  15. Johnv

    Johnv
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    I disagree. A baby should be baptized according to the customs of the church that the parents attend. While we agree that baptism isn't salvific, whether a child is to be infant baptized or simply dedicated is a decision of the parents, not other members of the family.
     
  16. Bro. James Reed

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    As I said here, my brother is confused about it. It would not be my decision, but his. And, having his membership in a PB church, I am performing my duty to watch out for my brethren. If this is an unscriptural practice, it is my job, as his brother in the flesh AND in the church, to tell him that he shouldn't do it. If he is dedicating his child to the Lutheran faith, then he is saying that the Primitive Baptists are not the true church. He is totally disregarding our beliefs and practice. If he has his baby baptized, it may just cost him his membership in our church.

    Also, he has NEVER been to a Lutheran service. His wife was raised Lutheran, but she also does not attend. Her sister is a big Lutheran and she is insisting that they baptize(sprinkle) the baby; just as she insisted that they get married in a Lutheran church.

    It seems like her sister is calling most of the shots in their life, and they are letting her.
     
  17. Flippo

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    I disagree. A baby should be baptized according to the customs of the church that the parents attend. While we agree that baptism isn't salvific, whether a child is to be infant baptized or simply dedicated is a decision of the parents, not other members of the family. </font>[/QUOTE]From reading the post, the parents don't believe in infant baptism totally. Also, should we ignore
    our beliefs and the Bible in order to get along?
    Like I said, if the in-laws believe it is needed for salvation and they go ahead with the infant baptism, how are they going to be a true witness of salvation to the in-laws? They would be just reinforcing their belief.

    The Bible must take precedence over church tradition.

    Phil
     
  18. Johnv

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    From reading the post, the parents don't believe in infant baptism totally. Also, should we ignore our beliefs and the Bible in order to get along?
    If the parents don't believe in infant baptism, then the children should not be baptized as infants. If they do, then they should.

    Like I said, if the in-laws believe it is needed for salvation and they go ahead with the infant baptism, how are they going to be a true witness of salvation to the in-laws?
    What the inlaws believe is of little account. I'd say the same if the tables were turned: The the parents wanted the infant to be baptized as an infant, and the inlaws wanted them to wait until the child was of age, then the parents should baptize the infant.

    They would be just reinforcing their belief.
    The parents are not responsible for the beliefs of anyone but their own children.

    The Bible must take precedence over church tradition.
    Of course, but in matters of differing interpretation, the parents must decide what they feel is biblically appropriate for their house and children, no one else.

    This is an old arguement. In this case, it involves an opinion over salvific weight and baptism, but in most cases, I've seen Baptist inlaws go ape because their kids are, for example, Presbyterian, and their grandchild is getting infant baptized in accordance with Presbyterian tradition. In that case, it would be a matter of the inlaws butting in with their beliefs where they have no business doing so.
     
  19. Johnv

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    ...he has NEVER been to a Lutheran service. His wife was raised Lutheran, but she also does not attend...

    I'm curious, what does the wife believe? Regardless of affiliation, the husband and wife need to discuss how they want their children brought up. There's a bigger issue here. Do they attend a church together? If not, they should discuss what their mutual beliefs are on the subject, and have the child baptized according in a manner that satisfies both of their beliefs.

    Is your brother still active in the PB church? If not, it may be a good idea for him and his wife to find a church that satisfies both of their beliefs. believe it or not, Baptists aren't the only Christians out there ;) Also, has your brother come to you? If not, you may be putting your nose where it doesn't belong. If he did, then it may be something different. But, if your brother has a question about Lutheran baptism, the person to answer your brother's questions is a Lutheran clergy member, lay or ordained.
     

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