I am a recent convert to Catholicism from evangelical protestantism. My teenage brother has shown a lot of interest in the Church, but I don’t want to try and “convert” him as I feel that would be undermining my staunchly evangelical parents. I have tried to answer his questions honestly while emphasizing that he is still under their authority. Nonetheless, he finds himself drifting closer to Catholicism.
Now here is where it gets tricky. My parents’ church only baptizes “believers” (no babies), and my brother has never been baptized despite my parents encouragement, though they don’t believe its necessary for salvation. Now that he realizes how crucial baptism is, he wants to get it done ASAP. He believes it is necessary for salvation.
He went to the first baptism prep class at the evangelical church tonight. Of course, they talked about it just being symbolic and not necessary for salvation, which he doesn’t believe anymore. He thought the verses they used to “prove” this, such as Roman 6:1-4, actually show the opposite. Even my dad was perplexed. The problem is in order to be baptized in the evangelical church, he needs to give his testimony and explain why he’s being baptized. The truth, he says, is that he believes its necessary for salvation.
However, if he says this, they won’t baptize him. If he waits until he can be baptized as a Catholic if he decides to convert, it will be 3 years until he’s over 18 and can make his own choice. Given how he now feels about baptism, he doesn’t want to take that risk. However, he doesn’t want to lie to be baptized either!
I am so proud of him for the way he is wrestling with difficult issues in his faith, and I want to give him the best counsel possible. How do you think he should proceed? Short of baptizing him myself with the garden hose (I’m only kidding;) ), I have no idea how he can be baptized soon without pretending to believe something he doesn’t.