OK, this is NOT a thread regarding the validity of Infant Baptism. This is an effort to “Bridge the Gap” (borrowing from the theme of our friendly Muslim Paarsurrey).
Catholics teach that an infant can be baptized into the Covenant. Many Protestant Faiths believe this is false, and the two sides end up arguing past each other. Well, I think I finally found the crux of the matter.
A) A Protestant who believes in OSAS (Once Saved, Always Saved) or AoS (Assurance of Salvation) realizes how critical Faith is to ones ultimate Salvation. They will find it egregious for a Catholic to think that he can be baptized as an infant, for this would mean that one thinks he is going to heaven automatically, since OSAS and AoS feel you can’t lose your Salvation once you’ve gained it. Therefore, to one that believes this, Infant Baptism is an ultimate Heresy.
B) But Catholics don’t feel this way. They teach that one can lose their Salvation (“If you remain in me and my words remain in you” and “If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love”). Therefore, one’s Faith is just as important to a Catholics Salvation as it is to a Protestant, for we cannot remain in God’s Covenant without Faith and all it entails (Faith, Hope, Charity, etc.).
Now, this is not meant to settle the issue. I just hope it helps both parties to understand where the other one is coming from. No, Catholics are not trying to “get into heaven free”. And our Protestant friends are actually trying to convince us that our actions are detrimental to our Salvation.
So, it seems to me that the doctrines of Infant Baptism vs. OSAS and AoS are forever incompatible.
Am I heading in the right direction or have I got closer to the edge?