Last week I was at a catholic infant baptism with my protestant wife (I am catholic). The whole family is catholic and only a few are practicing their faith. Most of them, I would say, don’t even know the evangelium is and don’t really get what Jesus did for them (just the basics). Ok, this is the situation.
After the baptism ceremony, after the parents and the godparents answered all questions with yes, then was the baptism party. At the party the mother had a little confusing speech. She wanted to let the family know, why she decided to baptize her little one. She said something like this:
“When I was young, I was searching and was also very religious. I was so religious that on Sunday I went to church and on Friday I went to mosque. And because my family hands over the tradition of being religious to me, I would like to give this tradition to my kid. Because I think, everyone needs something spirituality.”
There was no mentioned anything about God, Jesus, truth, faith, salvation or what the baptism does for her child.
After this I had a discussion with my wife. I know (because of catholic answers) many biblical arguments for infant baptism. So the discussion went something like this:
Me: Baptism is the starting point of being Christian and the infant is saved (as St. Peter said).
Her: Right, but the infant must have faith. Faith is the ground for everything.
Me: Yeah, the faith is brought by the parents, god parents and the church. Because of their faith, the infant received the graces.
Her: Do you really thing the parents of this child have got faith into Jesus Christ…
Me: hmm, ok, even they might not have faith, the church has.
My question is not regarding infant vs adult baptism, but the question is. How should I think about parents having their infant baptism just because of tradition and not really of faith?
The parents will probably not raise their child in faith.
What would be the apologetic answer?
Another question: After I quoted St. Peter (“Baptism saves you”) to my wife, she replied:
Her: Do you think those people are saved?
I didn’t know how to answer, I guess most of them didn’t do mortal sin, so if they are in the state of grace, they would go to heaven, right?
But what about the faith into Jesus Christ? Most of the family members don’t even know what it means to follow Jesus (or anything about basic Christian faith). I would say, they have no faith.
I know, we cannot judge about any certain person, but what is the answer of the church to such general case? Where the faith does play a role in church teaching?
Thanks a lot and regards,