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Baby Baptism/ Baby Dedication


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  • 1 Post By #5in2005
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  #1  
June 20th, 2012, 09:36 PM
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Does anyone have any good reading material or insight on the subject of baby baptism vs. baby dedication? We are attending my 9 month old nephew's baptism this weekend and were told we are to be his God Parents (another whole subject) and as this isn't something that my family has practiced since my parents left the catholic church when I was very young I don't know much about it, other than no church I've attended does it. Instead they have baby dedications where the parents make a commitment to raise the child in a God centred home. We are not really comfortable with the whole thing but are going along with everything as it seems to be important to my Husband's grandmother...
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  #2  
June 20th, 2012, 10:09 PM
Me and Jesus <3 You
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Near the Charleston, SC area
Posts: 204
I'm not too sure about baby baptisms either. I understand a baptism to be something that is done knowingly by the baptism-ee rather than something being done TO them which is sort of what I see baby baptism as. Have you asked them what their reasons are?? I'm interested to know what input others will have on this.

We did a baby dedication with Scarlett which was exactly what you described. Making a promise to God and to our child that we commit to being a family centered around God and his word and raising her as such.
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  #3  
June 21st, 2012, 02:29 PM
mamma_anna's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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The senior pastor at one of my former churches actually wrote a great article on this subject. I just read it the other day. But I'm not home right now so I can't get to it.

I'll try to remember some of the points he made but please forgive me if my thoughts are a little jumbled.

*Baptism of children witnesses to the truth that God's love claims us before we are able to respond in faith.
*Baptism is an outward sign of an inward grace. A grace that is lavished upon us without precondition.
*Baptism of an infant powerfully portrays the utter dependence which all of us have on God. The sacrament is the sign of God's promise of ongoing grace, offering continual forgiveness and transformation throughout our lives.
*We do not recieve all of the benefits of baptism at once.
*Whatever age the sacrament is recieved, it signifies our inclusion in the covenant with God.
* Without God having acted first, we wouldn't be able to move toward God.
*There are several accounts in the New Testament of the early church baptizing entire households. There is not one mention in the bible that baptism was reserved for adults only. And in every other context in the bible, Old and New Testament, the term household always included children and infants. So why then would baptism be any different? Why would we not want to include our children in the covenant promise?

Quote:
I understand a baptism to be something that is done knowingly by the baptism-ee rather than something being done TO them which is sort of what I see baby baptism as.
I see your point but I like to think of infant baptism as being done FOR the child as an act of love, rooted in the faith of the parents and in the hope that the child will one day choose to take on the Christian faith as their own.

Now on to the Godparent question.
As far as I know, outside of the Catholic church there is no requirement for a child to have Godparents. Most churches I know of say that the congregation or church family is supposed to fill that role for all the children in the community.

However, many parents (myself included) choose to name Godparents for their children for various reasons.
Rick and I chose to bless our daughters with Godparents primarily on the advice of a friend of mine who told me when I was pregnant with my oldest that I should make sure that my best friend was also my child's friend. She said that if there were ever a time when my child needed support or advice for something and didn't feel comfortable coming to me, I would know they could go to someone I trusted. While of course I would always want my daughters to be able to come to me for any reason no matter what, it is comforting to know I'm not the only one they can turn to.

My daughter's Godparents are a big part of their lives. They pray for them, celebrate with them, and yes, offer spiritual guidance. They are all different denominations and have had very different walks with the Lord. I think this is a great benefit to my girls because they get to see how diverse and complex the family of God really is and yet we all still share this common thread of the love of Jesus Christ.

My oldest daughter was confirmed last year and my second oldest is halfway through her study. In our church, confirmation students are required to have a mentor to walk with them through the process. Parents are strongly discouraged from filling this role because the church wants to ensure that the choice to be confirmed is really being made by the student and not because the parents want it. I guess this would go along with your point about believers knowingly choosing to be baptized.
Most students in the church have to seek someone out and they may or may not already have a relationship with that person. I think our daughters have an advantage in that their Godparents fill that role of mentor for them. They are really able to challenge them in their faith because they know them so well already. They don't let them get away with anything.

I consider it a great honnor to be a Godparent. It's a recognition of how loved and respected and trusted you are by the child's parents and it's a wonderful opportunity to have a very special relationship with a child you love very much.

Okay I think I've rambled enough. Have fun at the baptism this weekend!
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Last edited by mamma_anna; June 21st, 2012 at 02:31 PM.
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  #4  
June 21st, 2012, 04:33 PM
Countrymom4's Avatar Chrystal
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My children(well all except Rogan ) have been baptised. Anna said it very good !! Our congregation are asked if they will help raise our children in Christian faith.
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  #5  
June 21st, 2012, 10:06 PM
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Thanks for some insight. I guess the biggest part we struggle with is that it all seems a little 'fake' My sil is not interested in bringing our nephew up in a Christ centered home, the baptism is more of a formality to her based on her grandmother's wishes. Every church I've attended has only done baby dedications, and my husband feels as though telling a child they've been baptized as an infant may make them think they shouldn't do it as an adult. In this case my SIL acts as though it's 'insurance' if our nephew were to die, and in my opinion it makes the significance mean nothing.
We also don't have a problem being his God Parents, but we were never asked, we were told, and from what she said the role had very little to do with being 'spiritual guides' (as if that would stop us) but rather guardians if she were to die. Its all just a little strange, and there is so much tension in the family that it's not making things easier.
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  #6  
June 22nd, 2012, 11:20 AM
Me and Jesus <3 You
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Near the Charleston, SC area
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamma_anna View Post
*Baptism of children witnesses to the truth that God's love claims us before we are able to respond in faith.
*Baptism is an outward sign of an inward grace. A grace that is lavished upon us without precondition.
*Baptism of an infant powerfully portrays the utter dependence which all of us have on God. The sacrament is the sign of God's promise of ongoing grace, offering continual forgiveness and transformation throughout our lives.
*We do not recieve all of the benefits of baptism at once.
*Whatever age the sacrament is recieved, it signifies our inclusion in the covenant with God.
* Without God having acted first, we wouldn't be able to move toward God.
*There are several accounts in the New Testament of the early church baptizing entire households. There is not one mention in the bible that baptism was reserved for adults only. And in every other context in the bible, Old and New Testament, the term household always included children and infants. So why then would baptism be any different? Why would we not want to include our children in the covenant promise?

I see your point but I like to think of infant baptism as being done FOR the child as an act of love, rooted in the faith of the parents and in the hope that the child will one day choose to take on the Christian faith as their own.
The only issue I still have is that often in the bible when people or groups are baptized, it says "they believed" and were baptized or "after they heard" they were baptized. Sometimes it says to "repent and be baptized." All of these things aren't possible for an infant because..well, they're infants. From what I understand, you need to hear the word of God, believe it, and confess that you have sinned, and be baptized. I don't think it's necessarily wrong to baptize a baby because of some of the reasons you listed. Unless you're doing it just for show or tradition or whatever other reason which totally nullifies the whole purpose, then it can only glorify God, right?. I DO believe that even if a person was baptized as a baby that they should be taught and encouraged to one day take it upon themselves to be baptized under their own will. I believe this would glorify God even more because it is a believer making this confession on their own and not only the desire of the parents for their child to be a believer.
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  #7  
June 26th, 2012, 11:16 AM
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I've wanted to respond to this since it was first posted but everytime I get to it I get interrupted with real life. Anyway, I was just going to say that I agree with Anna. We baptize our children for all the reasons she mentioned. It's our acknowledgement that God claims us first. Just like God made a covenant with Abraham and all his decendants (marked by circumsision), the New covenant with Christ (marked by baptism) is for us and all our decendants.
God's promises to us through this new covenant are guaranteed through the grace of Jesus Christ dying for our sins on the cross. The covenant is perminant and irriversable. (just like circumsision) So if baptism is done in faith, whether it's the faith of the parents of a baby or the faith of the person themselves, then it should only need to be done once.
Quote:
I DO believe that even if a person was baptized as a baby that they should be taught and encouraged to one day take it upon themselves to be baptized under their own will. I believe this would glorify God even more because it is a believer making this confession on their own and not only the desire of the parents for their child to be a believer.
We respond to God's claim on us (our baptism) by living our lives in Christian service, by loving our neighbor, by studying scripture, by praying and worshiping and praising the Lord. We may choose to make a public affirmation or confirmation of our own faith at several points in our lives (every time we take communion, witness another baptism or a Christian marraige, participate in an ordination of a pastor or commisioning of a missionary, go through a confirmation or become a member of a new church.) This is what glorifies God.


However,

Quote:
Thanks for some insight. I guess the biggest part we struggle with is that it all seems a little 'fake' My sil is not interested in bringing our nephew up in a Christ centered home, the baptism is more of a formality to her based on her grandmother's wishes. Every church I've attended has only done baby dedications, and my husband feels as though telling a child they've been baptized as an infant may make them think they shouldn't do it as an adult. In this case my SIL acts as though it's 'insurance' if our nephew were to die, and in my opinion it makes the significance mean nothing.
We also don't have a problem being his God Parents, but we were never asked, we were told, and from what she said the role had very little to do with being 'spiritual guides' (as if that would stop us) but rather guardians if she were to die. Its all just a little strange, and there is so much tension in the family that it's not making things easier.
It does sound like in this case the baptism was an act of cultural tradition (a worldly concern) rather than a Holy Sacrament (which is what it's intenened to be whether it's done for a baby or as an adult). It's the grace of Jesus Christ that grants us entrance into heaven. Not the act of baptism. In this situation, I don't at all think God would be displeased if your nephew chose to be baptized as an adult since from what you described it wasn't done as an act of faith.
(although I usually try not to assume I know what's really on someone elses heart. Only God knows what the parents real motives were.)

I don't understand how the guardian/Godparent thing got so confused. Unless the parents name you in their will, being a godparent doesn't make you a guardian. One is leagal and one is spiritual.

My children have godparents because in our case since we are likely to move several times before our children are grown, it doesn't make sense for us to rely on one church family to support us and nurture their spiritual growth. So we're creating a Christian family for them. These people will be a part of their lives wherever we happen to be living. It's important to us that our children have strong Christian mentors besides us. So many pastors kids end up leaving the church and turning away from Christ as adults. We want our children to see faith and living a Christian life as more than just following mom and dad's rules. We want to make sure they see it outside our home and that means creating a faith community that can model it for them.

That's all I got.
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  #8  
June 26th, 2012, 01:21 PM
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I think it is so great to hear all different sides of this topic. The baptism was this past weekend, and we participated as told. I was very disappointed by the church, it was all very religious (as in based on tradition and not on a relationship with Jesus) and stiff. There was NOT ONE scripture read, or even referenced and this was discouraging because we already had doubts about the spiritual side of this event. That said, it was nice to see the whole family together (there have been a LOT of rifts that need to be mended) and it clearly meant a lot to my husband's grandmother, so going 'through the motions' for her is something that made the effort worth it.
It also got us talking about what we want for our children as we transition from ntnp to ttc in the next couple weeks/months. We believe in the importance of infant dedications, (or christening I guess that would be) but will allow our children to make the decision to be baptized when they are old enough to understand what that significance means. I am a very open person and value looking at all sides of a subject and I really appreciate the level of openness and respect you ladies all have regardless of view point! I find it difficult to connect with Christian women because of all the caty-ness and judgement that is often associated with it. So thank you for being so great!
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  #9  
June 26th, 2012, 03:28 PM
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So nice to have an actual sort of discussion without it getting catty.

We do infant baptism as well, and later on you do (if you feel so inclined) public profession of faith.
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  #10  
June 26th, 2012, 08:48 PM
Me and Jesus <3 You
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchywannabe View Post
I am a very open person and value looking at all sides of a subject and I really appreciate the level of openness and respect you ladies all have regardless of view point! I find it difficult to connect with Christian women because of all the caty-ness and judgement that is often associated with it. So thank you for being so great!
Agreed!

I very much appreciated the input from everybody.
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  #11  
July 18th, 2012, 11:41 AM
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I was baptized. From my understanding, it was just another way of dedicating me to God.
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  #12  
September 9th, 2012, 12:26 PM
mamaginger's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I don't think there's anything "wrong" with baptizing a baby but as far as I know there's literally not a single reference in the Bible to a baby being baptized OR to a water baptism being a "sprinkling." Every water baptism mentioned in the Bible was a fully immersed body going down and coming back up. Jesus himself was not baptized until he was 30 years old. Baptism is an outward profession of faith that is already in your heart. In Acts 8:36 a man asks "What hinders me from being baptized? Then Philip said, 'IF you believe with all your heart you MAY.' And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God."

Water Baptism absolutely does NOT "save" anyone. Their faith in Jesus saves them and the baptism follows as an outward sign. Part of the Catholic creed recited every Mass says "We believe in one baptism for the forgiveness of sins." That's why the Catholics baptize infants. They believe it saves them and provides their forgiveness. This is not biblical in anyway. I grew up Catholic and went to private Catholic school so I know all about it from personal experience. Ephesians 4:5 does mention "one Lord, one faith, one baptism..." but it is referring to Baptism INTO Christ....not water baptism. The Bible talks about water baptism, Baptism into Christ and the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. Depending on the context of the verses, you can distinguish which one is being discussed.

Romans 6:4 says "Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life." <---This is not talking about a water baptism. But you can see how a Biblical water baptism symbolizes this verse....you are dunked completely, bodily under the water (death) and come up out of the water (resurrection).

1 Corinthians 12:13 says "For by ONE Spirit are we all baptized into ONE body..." <----again, this is not talking about water baptism. It's talking about baptism into Christ as a believer.

Colossians 2:11 talks about a "circumcision WITHOUT hands" so this is not a literal circumcision as required of the jews but the circumcision of the heart. I give this example to show that just as the term baptism is used throughout the scriptures and does not always refer to water baptism....circumcision does not always mean a literal circumcision of a male's flesh. When we "Gentiles" put our faith in Jesus, he circumcises our hearts.

There is also Baptism of the Holy Spirit. This has nothing to do with water. Acts 1:5 says "For John truly baptized with WATER; but ye shall be baptized with the HOLY GHOST."

We dedicated our son when he was a baby but this was only a profession of us as the parents deciding to teach him about the Lord and be a godly example for him to follow. Our faith or dedication to God does not in any way guarantee our son's salvation. He will have to make that decision for himself. Ezekiel 18: 5 says "If a man is righteous and does what is just and right....he shall surely live, declares the Lord God." Verse 10 says "If he fathers a SON who is violent, a shedder of blood, who does any of these things.....He shall NOT live...he shall surely die; his blood shall be upon HIMSELF." Verse 20 says "The son shall not suffer for the iniquity of the father, nor the father suffer for the iniquity of the son." The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon HIMSELF, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon HIMSELF."
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For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb...I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made...My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together...Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. Psalm 139: 13-16


Last edited by mamaginger; September 9th, 2012 at 12:30 PM.
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