[quote=cheddarsox]Infant baptism makes sense if you believe someone can make a faith promise for someone else. It is a proxy. The godparents speak for the child, and due to the good faith of all parties involved, it is believed that God will respond in kind and offer the child the graces that would have been bestowed, were the child able to speak for itself.
There have been times in history when marriages were done the same way. Arranged and even witnessed in proxy. Someone made the promise for someone else, and yet it was binding.
I can see both sides of the issue, that baptism is when an infant is born into the body of Christ. We don’t choose our earthly parents, and it is OK that we don’t get to choose being members of the church.
On the other hand, infant baptism smacks of superstition, that God’s salvific power is limited by whether or not someone said the right words over a baby’s head. That the ritual has the power, rather than an individual choosing to commit themselves to Christ.
It is a tough issue.
I disagree. Infant dedication makes sense if you think adults can make promises. Infant Baptism makes sense if you think God actually performs a miracle during baptism.
God’s power is not limited by whether or not someone said the words, nor does the Catholic Church teach this.
It only smacks of superstition if you think the pouring of water or words said in the right order are doing something, like a magic trick or something. God is doing the miracle and we are being His obedient servants by doing it in the way He mandated.
Catholics baptize infants because it is through baptism that we are born again into the family of God. We believe that God performs a miracle through our obedient actions. (We can get into Scripture and Early Church Fathers to support this view. Note this is not a OSAS position, Catholics as they learn and grow must choose to continue to be “part of the family”.)
Those who do not baptize infants believe baptism is only a symbol. And the symbol is wasted on infants. It is a public declaration of the individuals intent to follow Christ. No miracle of God involved. Only a symbolic statement. Therefore it makes complete sense to only baptize believers.
You don’t have to agree with it to understand it.