Need help defending infant baptism!


#1

I have given a friend everything on Catholic.com as well as the Catechism regarding infant baptism and he is not convinced.

He gave me a book from Gary Inrig called “Life in His Body” which claims that only adults should be baptized. It has most of the standard arguments in it that our literature has already addressed.

Is anyone familiar with Inrig’s book?

Has anyone had a personal experience perhaps in converting to the Catholic way of thinking who could share what made them convinced of the need to baptize infants?

Any help would be greatly appreciated !


#2

You are probably not going to convince him, as his fundamental (excuse the term) UNDERSTANDING of what is involved in baptism would preclude his recognition of it in an infant.

If, to him, one can only accept baptism on the basis of the UNDERSTANDING of what it means, it is not just infants, but the mentally handicapped, who cannot be baptized. (I wonder if he has carried the thought thus far. And where he would like to make the distinction , case by case, for those with limited understanding).

With such a limited view of the nature of baptism itself, and the nature of it or any other sacrament on his part, I am afraid you’re casting pearls before swine. You’ve laid the foundation–it is now up to your friend to “let the Holy Spirit in” to guide him to a proper understanding of the truth.

It IS hard–but then again, just imagine how frustrated HE is that all his carefully “reasoned” arguments are not working with YOU either. YOU let the Spirit in. Pray for him. Encourage him in the areas where you DO have agreement–the love for Christ, for example. . .and by your example in living for the faith with Christian brotherhood, charity, and service, you’re working with the Spirit. God bless.


#3

perhaps u have already done so, but an explaination of Original sin is 100% required to back up the practice of infant baptism.

FUndies, dont prob believe in Orig sin, thus no need fr infant baptism.

Search “on this rock” for there is an article on infacnt baptism as related to original sin. Very Good article.


#4

You may also approach this from the Jewish understanding of circumcision, and how this was replaced with a “circumcision of the heart” in Baptism. If one was permitted for children, why wouldn’t the Apostles have mentioned that children were specifically to be excluded in the new? Both are how you “become” a member of the religion, and I believe the CA tracts support this position with all the scriptures you need.

Just a thought.

God Bless,
RyanL


#5

My understanding is that baptism preceeds Christianity and, even today, is used by Jews if one was to convert to Judaism. I believe it’s called a ceremonial bath today. I heard a description of it listening to a non-religious radio show recently.

The point is that even today, when a family converts to Judaism the whole family is baptized, even the children. So the question isn’t where is it in the bible that children can be baptized but where is it that we are instructed to restrict baptism to only adults–a change from previous tradition.

I’m not a bible scholar, but I believe this is correct.


#6

great stuff – thanks to all


#7

Baptism confers the Holy Spirit. If babies could recieve the Holy Spirit then why would we deny it to them. Well if you look in Luke 1 it says of John the Baptist, “he shall be filled with the Holy Spirit , EVEN FROM HIS MOTHERS WOMB”. Babies can recieve the Holy Spirit so why would we deny it to them?


#8

Here’s a reference to the Jewish custom of infant baptism or immerssion for when Jewish parents adopt a child:

*"Immersion is a requirement for both boys and girls. The immersion is done in a “mikvah,” or Jewish ritual bath. Usually the immersion takes place as soon as the infant is old enough so that there is no physical danger. Six months is the age preferred by many rabbis. Yet it is permitted any time until “Bar” or “Bat Mitzvah.” *

Got it from starsofdavid.org/stories/adopjew.htm


#9

Here’s what I think is the most effective argument that I have used. Shuts them up pretty quickly :slight_smile: . Baptism precedes Christianity and, even today, is used by Jews if one was to convert to Judaism. Just to be clear here, a child who is born a Jew wouldn’t be baptized because he is Jewish by birth. But a child who is adopted from Gentile parents or is a part of a family converting would be baptized as an infant. They don’t call it baptism but that’s what it is.

So the question isn’t “Where does the bible stipulate that children should be baptized?” but the question is “where does the bible indicate a change in the tradition of baptizing infants–restricting baptism to only adults?”

Here’s a reference to the Jewish custom of infant baptism or immersion for when Jewish parents adopt a child from a Jewish site:

*"Immersion is a requirement for both boys and girls. The immersion is done in a “mikvah,” or Jewish ritual bath. Usually the immersion takes place as soon as the infant is old enough so that there is no physical danger. Six months is the age preferred by many rabbis. Yet it is permitted any time until “Bar” or “Bat Mitzvah.” *

Got it from starsofdavid.org/stories/adopjew.htm


#10

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.