Infant Baptism...need help explaining why...


#1

Hi…
I will be going to a “dedication” service this weekend for my cousins 1year old. They do not want to have her baptized because they are not practicing Catholics any longer and say they do not believe that an infant should be baptized that young because they are not able to make the decision for themselves and they do not believe in Limbo, or really the whole, what they call…“original sin thing”.

Can someone give me some ideas on what to say when they say this to me? I feel I need to defend the Churchs teaching on infant baptism, as well as speak the truth to my cousin to help her understand. She was born and raised Catholic, but married a Pentecostal. She does not agree with much of what the Church teaches…and she just lately told me that ‘the Bible has been rewritten and handed down from so long…that you cant really expect to follow it word for word because alot of what was originally said has prob been changed’. http://forum.catholic.org/images/smiles/icon_neutral.gif Hum…so this is thought process I am dealing with…

Any suggestions on explaining infant baptism to someone who doesnt really even believe that the Bible is infallible?

Any help would be great…we go on Saturday…

p.s. Do you think its ok as Catholics to go to a non-denominational church service like this. I am going because she is family.

Kraftster


#2

Regarding Baptism…

I’d start out here for some good Catholic Answers tracts on Baptism.

[quote=Kraftster]p.s. Do you think its ok as Catholics to go to a non-denominational church service like this. I am going because she is family.
[/quote]

As long as you fulfull your obligation to attend a Catholic Mass. You may attend non-Catholic services in ADDITION to Mass, but never INSTEAD of Mass.


#3

Kraftster,

You have your work cut out for you but there is plenty of ammo. Start by giving them all of the scriptural verses that speak to baptismal regeration. I have listed them as follows:

ACTS 2:38
And Peter said to them, "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
ACTS 10:48
And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to remain for some days.
ACTS 19:1-7
While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul passed through the upper country and came to Ephesus. There he found some disciples. And he said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” And they said, “No, we have never even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” And he said, “Into what then were you baptized?” They said, “Into John’s baptism.” And Paul said, “John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, Jesus.” On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Spirit came on them; and they spoke with tongues and prophesied. There were about twelve of them in all.
ACTS 22:16
And now why do you wait? Rise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on his name.'
MATTHEW 28:19
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
JOHN 3:5
Jesus answered, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.
MARK 16:16
He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.
ROMANS 6: 3-4
Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.
GALATIANS 3:27
For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
COLOSSIANS 2:11-12
In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of flesh in the circumcision of Christ; and you were buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead
EPHESIANS 4:5
one Lord, one faith, one baptism,
TITUS 3:4-8
but when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of deeds done by us in righteousness, but in virtue of his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal in the Holy Spirit,
1 PETER 3:21
Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a clear conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,

Once you have done this show them COLOSSIANS 2:11-12 cited above, and explain the connection Paul makes to circumcision. OT Jews circumcised babies on the eighth day after birth. Christian baptism replaces circumcision as entrance into the community of faith. The first time any dispute arose over infant baptism was approximately 200 to 300AD and the dispute was over whether it should be on the eighth day after birth. Once you have done this head to the following verses from the OT:

Jer 1:5
"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations."
Psalm 139:13-15
For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.

These verses show the Lord’s view of us even before birth. Then immediately take them to Luke 1:15 which speaks of John the Baptist. It says, “for he will be great before the Lord, and he shall drink no wine nor strong drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb.”

Finally, show them this verse from Luke 18:15-16 which says,
"Now they were bringing even **infants ** to him that he might touch them; and when the disciples saw it, they rebuked them.
But Jesus called them to him, saying, “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of God.”

Baptism is the sacrament of faith and faith is an unearned gift from God. Baptism removes original sin and brings us the gift of the Holy Spirit. An infant is entitled to this just as any adult is. You can do a little more to persuade them by pointing out that entire households were reportedly baptized in the NT such as those of the Roman jailer, Lydia, and Stephanes. Scripture does not indicate that children were not included.

I hope this helps.


#4

Here is a very short answer if you are very limited on time in answering. If the situation exists where you wont be able to comprehensively answer.

The Bible teaches we are saved by the grace of God. Not by our own doing. Infant Baptism depends on the grace of God and just as circumcision was to the Jews we are baptized in Christ. Making someone wait for Baptism denys the grace of God. Just as the Centurians faith influenced the fate of his servant when he was healed, we as parents have a responsibility to the faith of our kids.

There is my short answer.

Child dedications is unbiblical and invented to fill the hole left by not baptizing infants. It is a tradition of men. If someone cites Luke 2:22-24 as evidence this is part of the old Jewish Law which can be read in the text there.
You can always ask where are the turtledoves or pigeons to be sacrificed.

I would be respectful but,always be ready to give a reason for the hope that lies within you. Be an example and pray for them. It is ok to go as a Catholic, but represent your faith, God will give you the words.

God Bless
Scylla


#5

Colossians 2:10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: 11 In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: 12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. 13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses
Mark 10:14 - But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.
1 Cor 1:16
Acts 16:15; 16:31; 16:33 (whole households include children)
Lk 18:15


#6

Krafster,
I suggest this link if you havent checked it out yet.
catholic.com/library/Infant_Baptism.asp
God Bless,
Matt


#7

If they don’t believe in Original Sin, then why even bother with Baptism?

Put it this way: when you have a baby, he is immediately part of your family. You take care of him, feed him, clothe him, provide for him. You do this even though he cannot speak for himself to say that he wants to be part of your family.

Well, with Baptism, we do the same thing. We bring him into God’s family even though he can’t answer for himself. When he gets old enough, at Confirmation, that is when he answers for himself.


#8

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.