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Child understanding baptism

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by gators_2006, Oct 26, 2012.

  1. gators_2006

    gators_2006 New Member

    Feb 14, 2012
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    Here is my issue, and I don't think I would even call it an issue.

    My son, who is almost 6, came to me several months ago and told me he had ask Jesus into his heart. He told me this two days in a row. I did not want to make a really big deal out of this in front of him and wanted to know if it was real or if it was a "my friends did it" situation.

    As time has gone by, I'll drop little hints here and there about it without him knowing. Like at bed time when we say our prayers.
    "Hey buddy, what do it mean to have Jesus in your heart?" or "If Jesus is in you, how are you to act and where will you go when you die?"
    He gives all the correct answers evertime. I'll wait days, if not weeks before asking again.

    Now, the issue is baptism. He never really understood what it meant to be baptized. I told him and he has acked like he understands. I ask him about it and he gets the drift of it.

    My son and my wife went and talked to the childrens pastor the other day, and he went of the plan of salvation with him again and he nailed everything, even went back and said a prayer for salvation, but was lost on the baptism.

    So my overall question is, I know baptism doesn't save you. Faith in Christ alone saves you. Baptism should be your first public act of showing your salvation. With so much being taught about the importance of salvation and accepting Christ in your heart in the childrens minister, it's like baptism is a next step, almost a by product of accepting Christ. They are not really told what baptism is until after they come forward. Where as adults are told about it usually in the same breathe of asking if they accept Christ.

    So, would you have an issue with baptizing a child if they don't fully understand or completly grasp the concept baptism if they have said they have accepted Christ?

    My boy is my oldest, so I'm only 5 1/2 yrs into this parent thing, so some advice would help. Oh yeah, and two daughters 4 and 3, and a newborn son that's 6 weeks old.

  2. mont974x4

    mont974x4 New Member

    Jan 6, 2012
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    I have 4 sons. They are 9, 13, 18 (on the 31st), and 19. My youngest, when he was about 3, asked me how we know God is talking to us.

    Never underestimate their ability to understand the things of God. The Spirit teaches us all.

    When my youngest was 5 we were visiting a church. It happened to be a day they were having Communion. He said he wanted to take it. I said it was only for those who were already saved. He insisted he was, having prayed and accepted Christ one afternoon at Grandma's. He had never said anything. Knowing what 1 Corinthians 11 says about judgment I refused to let him take it. I even pulled him out of the sanctuary and talked him through 1 Cor 11 in the foyer. He kept insisting that he was saved. I asked him several questions and he answered them rightly, even though it was closer to a 5 year old level. After that I let him take it whenever it was offered, including our own family events.

    Several months later he asked about Baptism. Now, I can find no warning about Baptism like we find in 1 Cor 11 for Communion. Nor do I find any support, or reason, to limit Baptism for people who have made it through a special class. As far as I can find in Scripture the only required is a profession of faith prior to being baptized.

    If I had it to do all over again I would have baptized my sons as soon as possible after they made their professions of faith. If they can answer the questions you pose regarding salvation I see no reason to wait.

    Like all of us kids grow in their understanding of God too. Asking my youngest about salvation, sin, and the work of Christ he obviously provides better, deeper, answers than he did when Communion became an issue. That does not invalidate the reality of his salvation and understanding when he was 5.
  3. annsni

    annsni Administrator

    May 30, 2006
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    My husband's only requirement for our children - and he has brought this over in ministry as well to baptize the kids in our congregation - is that they are able to articulate their faith. I do think that children just "know it in their knower" as someone said once but if they are going to give a profession of that faith, they need to be able to give a testimony as to what has happened in their lives and why they are being baptized. This usually causes them to wait a few years before they are able to do this - usually around 7 years old or so. Some are ready earlier and some are later but this is what we've found with our kids and the kids we minister to.