When to Baptize...

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by bound, May 9, 2007.

  1. bound

    bound
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    I have a 4 year old daughter (she'll be 5 this month) who has begun to speak about Jesus since my wife and I have been taking her to church with us since she was born. Exactly when should we have her Baptized? Is there something particular she must know or acknowledge for us to say 'okay she's ready'?

    Thanks.
     
  2. Tom Bryant

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    What do you all believe about baptism and what it means? If baptism is only for believers, then she must do more than talk about Jesus. If you take her to church and have family devotions, she will tal about Jesus even if she doesn't really understand it.

    Has she talked about baptism? If she hasn't, I would certainly wait until she asks AND understands.

    Personally, I'd rather wait until we are certain she is doing it out of obedience to the command of Christ rather than it would please mommy and daddy. but you mileage may vary .

    Praying for wisdom for you :praying:
     
  3. SBCPreacher

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    Mosl children who are raised in the church have heard that Jesus died to pay for the sins of the world. When the youngin realizes that Jesus dies for "my" sins, that is a turning point.

    I would not rush the matter. If she is not truly saved, born again, converted, etc., and you have her baptized too soon, that will cause trouble down the road.

    When dealing with children, I'm always careful not to pick the fruit before it's ripe.

    Bottom line, she must be saved first.

    Let me add. I had a little 5 year old girl - cute as can be- come to me after church last Sunday. She told me she wanted to be "ba-pa-tized" (three syllables). I asked her why. Her answer was, "I don't know." One day she'll know. One day she'll be saved. One day she'll get "ba-pa-tized."
     
    #3 SBCPreacher, May 9, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: May 9, 2007
  4. J. Jump

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    Bound that is a great question! Having grown up in the Baptist church I used to believe that a person was baptized realtively soon after they walked the isle and professed their faith. However now that I truly understand what baptism is all about I would say that a person would need to first of all believe in the Substitutionary death and shed blood of Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, on their behalf a sinner (eternal [spiritual] salvation), and then after that be discipled in what baptism is all about. After there is an understanding of baptism and what that picture paints then a person should be baptized.

    I'm not sure how old a person would have to be to truly understand what baptism is all about and what it pictures. I have really started thinking about these things because I have a 4-year-old son.
     
  5. Tom Butler

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    I find it difficult to believe that the average 4- r 5-year-old has any real insight into spirituaL things. Those kids who are raised in church will have more knowledge about God, but I doubt if it goes much deeper than Jesus Loves Me, This I Know. I'm sure there are exceptions.

    Unless and until a child can give a clear understanding of sin, his own sin, his own sinfulness and the need for a Savior, any attempt to rush them into a "decision" or to baptize this is not only irresponsible, it is also dangerous.

    If a child begins to inquire about being saved, or being baptized, quiz them carefully. If they can't give you evidence that they know what the gospel is, they're not ready.

    BTW, the it's also a good question to ask an adult in the same situation.
     
  6. J. Jump

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    Absolutely!!!
     
  7. TCGreek

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    Upon coming to saving faith in Christ, people in the book of Acts were baptized that same day. The early church in Acts must continue to serve as our model.

    But the person must be a believer, unless you are a pedobaptist.
     
  8. JamieinNH

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    Hello SBCPreacher and Tom.

    I have a question. Can you explain to me what you meant by 'trouble down the road' and 'dangerous'?

    I am not being funny or anything I just have never heard anyone say this before and am wondering what is meant by it.

    Thanks,

    Jamie
     
  9. Bible Believing Bill

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    Not to speak for SBCPreacher or Tom, but I assume they mean that if someone is baptised without understanding what it stand for they may think that their salvation is dependent upon the baptism and not upon Grace.

    Bill
     
  10. Brother Bob

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    I am not speaking for anyone either, but I think if a child is baptized, before they really believe and understand, that when they grow up to know to do good and do it not, they may always fall back on the early baptism, when they did not know what they were really doing. I have seen it happen, I also have seen others realize that the infant or childhood baptism was not for the right reasons, and ask to be baptized again when they felt the Lord in their life. Thats just me though.
     
  11. SBCPreacher

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    Yes, that's what I'm talking about. If someone isn't genuinely saved, they they will think that somehow their salvation is based upon the fact that they are baptized. Then when you talk to them about real, genuine salvation, especially if they are young, it will be REAL confusing. It's best not to rush this. At some point it will be obvious that they are genuinely saved, then it's time to get baptized.
     
  12. lgpruitt

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    Agreed.
    Baptism is a personal decision. I was baptized at 8 years old and looking back, it was too young for me. I had a believer's baptism in 1998.
    My own children were around 11 when they were baptized. We waited until there was a clear understanding of baptism and a clear showing of faith.
    :jesus:
     
  13. webdog

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    Amen :thumbs: Let Scripture be the guide.
     
  14. JamieinNH

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    Thanks for the answers. Make sense.


    Jamie
     
  15. DQuixote

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    The Christian psychologist, Dr. James Dobson, testifies that he was saved and baptized at age 3. Trust me, don't try to tell him otherwise.

    Much to our surprise our own daughter, age 4, all 4 years in Sunday School/church, responded to the invitation one Sunday morning. When the Pastor asked her what she had to say, I didn't hear her response. He motioned for me, and he asked her "What did Jesus do for us?" She replied, "He forgave us our sins." She was baptized the next Sunday.

    I was baptized when I was 6 because a friend asked me if I was going to be baptized. It was during a revival. He was, so I did. I expected angels and excitement all around me when I came up out of the water. I must have heard something, somewhere, to think that. I was surprised when nothing like that happened. I was just wet. Everyone in the family was there, of course. It was 34 years later before I became convicted of sin and asked Jesus in. That began a cleansing process that is still ongoing. I see, know, and experience the incredible changes in the midst of His incredible grace. Wow. How thankful I am for grace. The cleansing process is no picnic in my case. It will continue until I depart this life, or the rapture, whichever comes first. Yes, there have been times when I've asked, "God, how long are we gonna do this, for cryin' outloud!" I'm just grateful to know the difference between being lost and being found.
    :jesus:
     
  16. Tom Butler

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    You speak for me quite well, Bill.

    It's me, too, Brother Bob.


    You say it better than I, Preacher.
     
  17. Tom Butler

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    Jamie, the danger is that a child may grow up, adopt a sinful lifestyle, and still rely on that "experience" for his salvation. I know a couple of young women who, when you ask about their assurance of salvation will tell you, "well, I said the prayer."

    If that doesn't produce cold chills, I don't know what will.
     
  18. SBCPreacher

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    I can't count the times that I've asked someone if they have have been saved by the grace of God and they tell me, "yea, I was baptized when I was seven." And no matter how much I try to explain that salvation and baptism are two different things, they just can't seem to get it. But, if someone would have waited to baptize them until they understood what salvation is, they may not have this confusion today.

    I do think that there are far too many pastors who are looking for big baptism numbers that aren't wiling to wait for the sake of the child. Patience, guys, patience!
     
  19. EdSutton

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    When I was growing up, it was in the summertime, as the creeks (first choice) and ponds were thought to be too cold, at other times and no one wanted anyone to get pneumonia.

    A generation before me, my own late father and late aunt were baptized with some others in the winter and the clothes actually froze on them, it was so cold, and they had a walk of about 1/2 mile to where they copuld even change clothes and warm up. Some did get sick from that, which was between 1910 and 1915, but I do not recall hearing the exact date, and I believe that put an end to "winter baptizin's".

    Sorry, couldn't resist answering, humerously, the question in the thread title, honestly. :) :D

    Ed
     
    #19 EdSutton, May 10, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: May 10, 2007
  20. Brother Bob

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    No, winter baptisms in the creeks are still going on today. We have broke ice to baptize some. I have to admit, when going in the water it is very cold, but after the baptism and coming out of the water, I don't notice the coldness anymore.
     

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