Non-Catholic Chrisitans on Baptism

In the Catholic Church, babies are routinely Baptized.

We recieve our First Holy Communion, though, at the age of reason, usually at about 7 years old.

Is there an accepted “age or reason” understanding in your church? Is there an age at which it is usually accepted that someone has reached the age or reason and can decide for himself to be baptized?

I asked my mom “Can I be baptized?” and she arranged it. I was 7 or 8 years old.

Believing comes first, then baptism. As legalistic as Catholics seem to be (to me), why don’t they pay attention to this command to obedience?

Hi kalt,
Lutherans practice and believe the sacrament of Baptism essentially the same way Catholics do. I was baptized a month and a day after I was born, thanks to God and the faith of my parents and godparents.

How First Holy Communion and Confirmation are handled varies from synod to synod. I was confirmed LCA (a prior body to the ELCA) at age 15, and received my first holy communion on that day. Today, most Lutheran synods have moved closer to the Catholic practice of earlier FHC, some before and some at confirmation.


CAn you site your Scripture that forbids infant baptism? I do not believe infant Baptism is forbidden. In fact i believe the Scriptures infer it. For example Acts 16:15 tells of an ENTIRE HOUSEHOLD being baptized. This would include infants if there were any. Did not Jesus say to not to forbid children? I am interested in your text that says forbids the baptsm of infants.

I, too, would be interested. Along with the scripture you site here, add “go into all nations…”. Infants are part of nations.


Before the matter of WHEN baptism should take place can be adressed, the question “What IS baptism?” must first be answered…
Btw - coincidence that the churches that reject infant baptism are also the churches that have no tradition for pastors and leaders being theologians?

I think I’ll accept the combined testimony of the Scriptures and the interpretation Christendom has practised since the beginning, over “I just read this one passage that may be interpreted in this way, and my pastor (who can only read the Bible in English) agrees with me!”


I don’t know if I’d use that argument though…

Certainly not by itself. True

Kalt generally when a child is old enough to understand who Jesus is and can make a personal decision to believe in HIM. My daughter wanted to be baptized at age 7 although she was a month away from turning 8. We also taught her about communion around that same time.

Interesting question. Baptism according to Peter is an appeal to GOD. It’s a spiritual death of our sinful ways and a re-birth into Christ. Something we must decide to do. Let’s say we baptize an infant. When they are old enough to actually understand what is was their parents decided for them as a baby they reject it because they don’t believe in Christ. The baby never repented of their sin because babies simply cannot. And now that the child is old enough to understand they reject it. What purpose did baptism serve for that baby? Not saying I disagree with infant baptism just looking for an honest answer.

Btw - coincidence that the churches that reject infant baptism are also the churches that have no tradition for pastors and leaders being theologians?

This is a false claim Lutheran. All Pastors at our church are seminary graduates and are quite sound in their doctrine both scripturally and on church history. They are also scholars on the hebrew and greek languages. I’d put them against any pastor from any denomination. Of course we don’t want this to be a contest though. But it’s unfair to make a universal statement like this.

I think I’ll accept the combined testimony of the Scriptures and the interpretation Christendom has practised since the beginning, over “I just read this one passage that may be interpreted in this way, and my pastor (who can only read the Bible in English) agrees with me!”

Scripturally you can’t prove infant baptism. Point of fact scripture if anything goes against infant baptism because those who are baptized in scripture made a conscience decision to follow Christ and repent of their sin. A baby simply cannot do this. And infant baptism was not practiced from the beginning. From a strict church history perspective infant baptism seems to have started somewhere in the late 2nd century but did not become widely practiced and accepted until the 4th or 5th century.

Does anyone know when the practice of sprinkling began, and why? Is it considered equal to full immersion(the method Jesus used)? Do we know for sure that babies; who cannot comprehend what is transpiring, are protected from original sin, by being baptized so young?:smiley:

At our non-denom church, we do a full immersion baptism for those who are ready to take that next step in their faith by celebrating publicly what God has already done inside. It’s a beautiful ceremony…:slight_smile:

In these evangelical churches where someone is baptized only after coming to the faith and even then only do so as a sign of their faith in Christ, would it be alright if I, for example, decided that I didn’t want to be baptized after coming to the faith? If it is only a sign of my inner faith, a sort of profession, perhaps I could profess my new found faith in Christ a different way? Would I be allowed to say, “no thanks, save the water” ?

God bless

It is found in the Didache

7:1 But concerning baptism, thus baptize ye: having first recited all these precepts, baptize in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, in running water;
7:2 but if thou hast not running water, baptize in some other water, and if thou canst not baptize in cold, in warm water;
7:3 but if thou hast neither, **pour water three times on the head, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. **
7:4 But before the baptism, let him who baptizeth and him who is baptized fast previously, and any others who may be able. And thou shalt command him who is baptized to fast one or two days before.

Also, most Christian Churches [yes I know - not all] require baptism before reception of Communion - somehting else that is found in the Didache [not in scripture]

9:1 But concerning the Eucharist, after this fashion give ye thanks.
9:2 First, concerning the cup. We thank thee, our Father, for the holy vine, David thy Son, which thou hast made known unto us through Jesus Christ thy Son; to thee be the glory for ever.
9:3 And concerning the broken bread. We thank thee, our Father, for the life and knowledge which thou hast made known unto us through Jesus thy Son; to thee be the glory for ever.
9:4 As this broken bread was once scattered on the mountains, and after it had been brought together became one, so may thy Church be gathered together from the ends of the earth unto thy kingdom; for thine is the glory, and the power, through Jesus Christ, for ever.
9:5 And let none eat or drink of your Eucharist but such as have been baptized into the name of the Lord, for of a truth the Lord hath said concerning this, Give not that which is holy unto dogs.

Yes, Infants were brought into the faith … they always were [whole and or entire households implies this - along with others who could not necessarily choose - servants and slaves]… yes at first- most - of the baptisms were dults … the faith was spreading … but as more and more people became Christians and Christianity became the common religion infant baptism became the norm…There has always been both [Adult & Infant] … the change in numbers is a natural progression …

A parrallel can be seen in the command to circumcise … Abraham was commanded to circumcise all of the adult males - even slaves and servants, then the children … moving forward the norm became children … but others were also circucised as adults …

By allowed do you mean the church will penalize you in some way? For the most part there is not a schedule, profess your faith then you are dragged to a lake or tub. I’m sure some churches do penalize or refuse membership over the issue unless you can prove batism by their method but not all and probably not most

At our church no absolutely not. Unless you have already been baptized. If you come to your faith and want to be a member of our church you have to be baptized. The great commission in Matthew 28 commands it from Christ.

I hope my original question didn’t come across as if I was making light of the belief or trying to be disrespectful. What I mean by “allowed” is; would I be able to take a pass of the baptism if I choose to and still be considered a brother in Christ at the church.

I’m sure some churches do penalize or refuse membership over the issue unless you can prove batism by their method but not all and probably not most

Why though? I guess this is what I was thinking would happen but if all baptism is to these faith communities is a profession that someone has already accepted Christ why would there be disfellowship with someone who has already accepted Christ, became a believer and is now a part of the Body of Christ if he simply decided to pass on being Baptized? I mean if I am being baptized it means (within the beliefs of these churches) that I am a believer who has accepted Christ (faith first, then baptism), but I may be refused membership because I may prefer to profess my new found faith in a different way even after I have become a believer?

God bless

The Apostles baptized infants and children based upon the faith of the parents. We pay attention to the command “Let the children come to me, do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of God. 15 Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” 16 And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands upon them." Mark 10:14-16

Hi CWBetts!
I did a keyword search for “baptized” and here are all the scriptures. As you can see, there is an order to baptism - no one is to be baptized until they believe. This is stated strongly by Peter in Acts 8:36-38.

Acts 16 reads that the entire household believed.

Mark 16:16
He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

Acts 2:37-38, 41
Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?

Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.

Acts 8:12
But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.

Acts 8:13
Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done.

Acts 8:36-38
And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?

And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.

And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.

Acts 9
(Saul (Paul) believed, regained his sight, received the Holy Spirit, and then was baptized.)

Acts 10:42-48
(Peter preaching to Jews and Gentiles, those who heard the Word believed, the Holy Spirit fell on them, then Peter told them to go and be baptized.)

Acts 16:28-33
But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here.
Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas,
And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?

And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.
And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house.

And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway.
And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them, and rejoiced, **believing in God with all his house. **,

Acts 18:8
And Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his house; and many of the Corinthians hearing believed, and were baptized.

Acts 19:3-5
And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism.

Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.

When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.

In my opinion, it would be too far a stretch to consider the Great Commission as including infants. “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost”. To say that includes everyone, including infants would be saying atheist are included too. What good is baptism without belief? I think scripture is clear - believe, then be baptized.

Baptism means immersion.
Jewish converts were baptised, immersed for purification. Their children were not. Johns baptism of repentance was for those above the age of reason. It was a baptism of immersion.
Sprinkling of infants is just another of many deptatures of the Catholic Church from the 1st century church.

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