Infant Dedication vs Infant Baptism


#1

Can any one answer this? I have two Protestant friends that have had their infants “dedicated” at their respective churches vs baptised. This really bothers me due in part to origional sin. What happens to these souls if they never formally decide to get baptised or worse yet an accident kills them or whatever before they decide? I am having a difficulty justifying this. Infant baptism makes much more sence.

Thanks

Eric


#2

[quote=EricCKS]Can any one answer this? I have two Protestant friends that have had their infants “dedicated” at their respective churches vs baptised. This really bothers me due in part to origional sin. What happens to these souls if they never formally decide to get baptised or worse yet an accident kills them or whatever before they decide? I am having a difficulty justifying this. Infant baptism makes much more sence.

Thanks

Eric
[/quote]

It only makes more sense if you believe that God actually performs a miracle and removes original sin.

If you only believe it is a public declaration to follow Christ, it makes no sense at all to baptize infants.


#3

What happens is these infants will be taken into the loving arms of our Lord and welcome them into the kingdom. :wink: God Bless


#4

Your Protestant friends are believers in “believer baptism” therefore, they do not and will not baptize an infant because an infant can not “believe” just yet.

Dedication is just a ceremony to say “hey! we are dedicated to raising this child in church and to become a Christian”

spokenword - I WAS Baptist, let me explain the way I understand. Unless you are able to “know” that you sin, there is no need for baptism. Therefore children and infants are unable to willingly sin. When they are “old enough” to decide to live their life for Jesus, only then are they baptized. Like myself, I was baptized at the age of 8. Really no attention given to original sin. They believe that young children and infants will go to heaven.

My brother and his wife “dedicate” their children to the church. They are Baptist. I really think it’s a sweet service.


#5

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.

cheddar


#6

Infants don’t sin, but they do inherit original sin, Baptism wipes the slate clean, now why wouldn’t any loving parent not want that for their child.
In Galatians there is an issue with circumcision and Baptism, but even they had their infants circumcised, did the child ask to be circumcised, don’t think so.


#7

I geuss I am being argumentitive since I am trying to understand the Catholic faith not tear it apart, but…
In regards to circumsion, couldn’t it be said that God mandated it be done to babies so that grown men wouldnt have to suffer the pain involved? I mean, how do we compair the two?


#8

This is my first time posting a reply. I have had an intense conversation with my “non-denominational” friend who attends a baptist church. My question is, “where is the wonder and awe”? To say that something smacks of superstition where the power and glory of God bestows a special grace and in indellible mark on the soul of a child is not very respectful. Have we lost faith in God’s almighty power???

God bless all those seeking Him!


#9

[quote=allisonP]I geuss I am being argumentitive since I am trying to understand the Catholic faith not tear it apart, but…
In regards to circumsion, couldn’t it be said that God mandated it be done to babies so that grown men wouldnt have to suffer the pain involved? I mean, how do we compair the two?
[/quote]

Can you give me some examples please, cheers, this is short and sweet, gotta run no rest for the wicked. :slight_smile:


#10

[quote=EricCKS]Can any one answer this? I have two Protestant friends that have had their infants “dedicated” at their respective churches vs baptised. This really bothers me due in part to origional sin.
[/quote]

why does it bother you if the families are not Catholic, and not bound by Catholic laws on the sacraments? There are millions of babies born around the world in non-Christian cultures who are not being baptized, aren’t you equally concerned about the fate of their souls? Personally, the assurance given in the Catechism that children who die without sacramental baptism are entrusted to the mercy of God is good enough for me, because I can imagine nothing more encompassing and comforting than the mercy of God.


#11

For me it’s a no-brainer. Infants are entitled to the grace received at baptism just like you and I. Jesus said, “Let the children come to me”. John the baptist leapt in his mother’s womb. Entire households were baptized in the early days of Christianity. No matter how many ways the baptist faith attempts to explain believer’s baptism, it just doesn’t ring true to me.


#12

[quote=MariaG]It only makes more sense if you believe that God actually performs a miracle and removes original sin.

If you only believe it is a public declaration to follow Christ, it makes no sense at all to baptize infants.
[/quote]

The truth is that a change does occur by the hands of God and just because you don’t believe it to be so that does not change what really happens. Yes, God is merciful and to those who are not baptized he, through a way unknown to us, will bring those small children home. It does not mean that baptism is not important or unnecessary.

God Bless!


#13

[quote=asquared]why does it bother you if the families are not Catholic, and not bound by Catholic laws on the sacraments? There are millions of babies born around the world in non-Christian cultures who are not being baptized, aren’t you equally concerned about the fate of their souls? Personally, the assurance given in the Catechism that children who die without sacramental baptism are entrusted to the mercy of God is good enough for me, because I can imagine nothing more encompassing and comforting than the mercy of God.
[/quote]

Thank you for the reply. I think my ideal is overlooking a larger issue which you pointed out.

I still prefer infant baptism over a dedication, especially for practicing Christians. But, that is an opinion rather than a demand of others.

Thanks for painting the picture a different color.

Eric


#14

[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.

cheddar
[/quote]

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.

God Bless,
Maria


#15

#16

[quote=allisonP]I geuss I am being argumentitive since I am trying to understand the Catholic faith not tear it apart, but…
In regards to circumsion, couldn’t it be said that God mandated it be done to babies so that grown men wouldnt have to suffer the pain involved? I mean, how do we compair the two?
[/quote]

Because Scripture compares the two also.

:bible1: Col 2:11 -12 In Him you were also circumcised with a circumcism not administered by hand, by stripping off the carnal body, with the circumcision of Christ. You were buried with Him in baptism…

From CA Library Infant Baptism
Of course, usually only infants were circumcised under the Old Law; circumcision of adults was rare, since there were few converts to Judaism. If Paul meant to exclude infants, he would not have chosen circumcision as a parallel for baptism.

The early Church also spoke out against those who would try to deny infants baptism. Here are several links to the Catholic Answers Library on the subject.

Early Teaching on Infant Baptism

Infant Baptism

Born Again in Baptism

Scripture Catholic also lists pertinent Scripture.

“Born Again” Means Water Baptism

Infant Baptism

In short, why the comparison? Because the apostles, as recorded in Scripture made the comparison. The teaching of the Apostles and the Early Church are clear that we are born again through baptism, and infants should not be denied that Grace from God.

God Bless,
Maria


#17

*Yet Thou are He who didst bring me forth from the womb; Thou didst make me trust when upon my mother’s breast. *(Psalm 22:9)


#18

[quote=allisonP]I geuss I am being argumentitive since I am trying to understand the Catholic faith not tear it apart, but…
In regards to circumsion, couldn’t it be said that God mandated it be done to babies so that grown men wouldnt have to suffer the pain involved? I mean, how do we compair the two?
[/quote]

The Covenant of circumcision.

Genesis 17: 1 And after he began to be ninety and nine years old, the Lord appeared to him: and said unto him: I am the Almighty God: walk before me, and be perfect. 2 And I will make my covenant between me and thee: and I will multiply thee exceedingly. 3 Abram fell flat on his face. 4 And God said to him: I AM, and my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations. 5 Neither shall thy name be called any more Abram: but thou shalt be called Abraham: because I have made thee a father of many nations.

10 This is my covenant which you shall observe, between me and you, and thy seed after thee: All the male kind of you shall be circumcised:

11 And you shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin, that it may be for a sign of the covenant between me and you. 12 An infant of eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in your generations: he that is born in the house, as well as the bought servant shall be circumcised, and whosoever is not of your stock: 23 And Abraham took Ismael his son, and all that were born in his house: and all whom he had bought, every male among the men of his house: and he circumcised the flesh of their foreskin forthwith the very same day, as God had commanded him. 24 Abraham was ninety and nine years old, when he circumcised the flesh of his foreskin. 25 And Ismael his son was full thirteen years old at the time of his circumcision.

26 The selfsame day was Abraham circumcised and Ismael his son. 27 And all the men of his house, as well they that were born in his house, as the bought servants and strangers were circumcised with him.

I suppose God could have started His Covenant with infants and left the older ones, but as you can see all the house-hold and servants were circumcised.
Being marked with circumcision was a sign of the covenant God made with Abraham, being Baptized is the mark of a Christian.


#19

[quote=MariaG]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.

God Bless,
Maria
[/quote]

Maria is right in the way she is presenting this.

For me (as a lifelong Baptist) to dedicate my children is equal to securing their salvation should they die before an age of accountability. I dedicated all three of my children when they were 1 year old or younger. My wife and I vowed before God and all people present that they would be brought up in the Christian faith and taught to become followers of Christ.

To us that was sufficient to ensure them to God’s mercy. Since we believe(d) in believer’s baptism it makes no sense to baptize infants. They can’t assent one way or another to following Christ. We did that in their place (by proxy) as someone else mentioned. That is the rationale. I don’t necessarily believe that now, but the reasoning is there.

The Baptist faith is miles away from the Catholic faith both in doctrine and practice. Whether or not you agree with the Baptist faith there are (they believe) to be good reasons for practicing believer’s baptism vs. infant baptism. The intention is not to shortchange the children but to entrust them to God.

Peace…


#20

Infant Baptism makes perfect sense if you believe the Biblical stance that baptism replaces circumcision as the way a person is to enter the Church.

If not, why not wait until you’re son is 8 to have him circumcized, too :whacky: !


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