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Why baptise infants?

Discussion in 'Catholic DIR' started by Stick of Joseph, May 5, 2005.

  1. Stick of Joseph

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    I am a Latter Day Saint I am 18 and have never really heard why some churches baptise infants. I would never want to bash any Christian, because we all worship the same God just in different understandings and ways. I just want to understand where it says, in the bible, this happens?


    ....In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children.... -Moroni
     
  2. Scott1

    Scott1 Well-Known Member

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    Just a few to think about:
    Gen. 17:12, Lev. 12:3 - these texts show the circumcision of eight-day old babies as the way of entering into the Old Covenant - Col 2:11-12 - however, baptism is the new "circumcision" for all people of the New Covenant. Therefore, baptism is for babies as well as adults. God did not make His new Covenant narrower than the old Covenant. To the contrary, He made it wider, for both Jews and Gentiles, infants and adults.



    Job 14:1-4 - man that is born of woman is full of trouble and unclean. Baptism is required for all human beings because of our sinful human nature.

    Psalm 51:5 - we are conceived in the iniquity of sin. This shows the necessity of baptism from conception.

    Matt. 18:2-5 - Jesus says unless we become like children, we cannot enter into heaven. So why would children be excluded from baptism?

    Matt 19:14 - Jesus clearly says the kingdom of heaven also belongs to children. There is no age limit on entering the kingdom, and no age limit for being eligible for baptism.

    Mark 10:14 - Jesus says to let the children come to Him for the kingdom of God also belongs to them. Jesus says nothing about being too young to come into the kingdom of God.

    Mark 16:16 - Jesus says to the crowd, "He who believes and is baptized will be saved." But in reference to the same people, Jesus immediately follows with "He who does not believe will be condemned." This demonstrates that one can be baptized and still not be a believer. This disproves the Protestant argument that one must be a believer to be baptized. There is nothing in the Bible about a "believer's baptism."

    Luke 18:15 – Jesus says, “Let the children come to me.” The people brought infants to Jesus that he might touch them. This demonstrates that the receipt of grace is not dependent upon the age of reason.

    Acts 2:38 - Peter says to the multitude, "Repent and be baptized.." Protestants use this verse to prove one must be a believer (not an infant) to be baptized. But the Greek translation literally says, "If you repent, then each one who is a part of you and yours must each be baptized” (“Metanoesate kai bapistheto hekastos hymon.”) This, contrary to what Protestants argue, actually proves that babies are baptized based on their parents’ faith. This is confirmed in the next verse.

    Acts 2:39 - Peter then says baptism is specifically given to children as well as adults. “Those far off” refers to those who were at their “homes” (primarily infants and children). God's covenant family includes children. The word "children" that Peter used comes from the Greek word "teknon" which also includes infants.

    Luke 1:59 - this proves that "teknon" includes infants. Here, John as a "teknon" (infant) was circumcised. See also Acts 21:21 which uses “teknon” for eight-day old babies. So baptism is for infants as well as adults.

    Acts 10:47-48 - Peter baptized the entire house of Cornelius, which generally included infants and young children. There is not one word in Scripture about baptism being limited to adults.

    Acts 16:15 - Paul baptized Lydia and her entire household. The word "household" comes from the Greek word "oikos" which is a household that includes infants and children.

    Acts 16:15 - further, Paul baptizes the household based on Lydia's faith, not the faith of the members of the household. This demonstrates that parents can present their children for baptism based on the parents' faith, not the children's faith.

    Acts 16:30-33 - it was only the adults who were candidates for baptism that had to profess a belief in Jesus. This is consistent with the Church's practice of instructing catechumens before baptism. But this verse does not support a "believer's baptism" requirement for everyone. See Acts 16:15,33. The earlier one comes to baptism, the better. For those who come to baptism as adults, the Church has always required them to profess their belief in Christ. For babies who come to baptism, the Church has always required the parents to profess the belief in Christ on behalf of the baby. But there is nothing in the Scriptures about a requirement for ALL baptism candidates to profess their own belief in Christ (because the Church has baptized babies for 2,000 years).

    Acts 16:33 - Paul baptized the jailer (an adult) and his entire household (which had to include children). Baptism is never limited to adults and those of the age of reason. See also Luke 19:9; John 4:53; Acts 11:14; 1 Cor. 1:16; and 1 Tim. 3:12; Gen. 31:41; 36:6; 41:51; Joshua 24:15; 2 Sam. 7:11, 1 Chron. 10:6 which shows “oikos” generally includes children.

    Rom. 5:12 - sin came through Adam and death through sin. Babies' souls are affected by Adam's sin and need baptism just like adult souls.

    Rom. 5:15 - the grace of Jesus Christ surpasses that of the Old Covenant. So children can also enter the new Covenant in baptism. From a Jewish perspective, it would have been unthinkable to exclude infants and children from God's Covenant kingdom.

    1 Cor. 1:16 - Paul baptized the household ("oikos") of Stephanus. Baptism is not limited to adults.

    Eph. 1:1; Col. 1:2 - Paul addresses the "saints" of the Church, and these include the children he addresses in Eph. 6:1 and Col. 3:20. Children become saints of the Church only through baptism.

    Eph. 2:3 - we are all by nature children of wrath, in sin, like all mankind. Infants are no exception. See also Psalm 51:5 and Job 14:1-4 which teach us we are conceived in sin and born unclean.

    2 Thess. 3:10 - if anyone does not work let him not eat. But this implies that those who are unable to work should still be able to eat. Babies should not starve because they are unable to work, and should also not be denied baptism because they are unable to make a declaration of faith.

    Matt. 9:2; Mark 2:3-5 - the faith of those who brought in the paralytic cured the paralytic's sins. This is an example of the forgiveness of sins based on another's faith, just like infant baptism. The infant child is forgiven of sin based on the parents' faith.

    Matt. 8:5-13 - the servant is healed based upon the centurion's faith. This is another example of healing based on another's faith. If Jesus can heal us based on someone else’s faith, then He can baptize us based on someone else’s faith as well.

    Mark 9:22-25 - Jesus exercises the child's unclean spirit based on the father's faith. This healing is again based on another's faith.

    1 Cor. 7:14 – Paul says that children are sanctified by God through the belief of only one of their parents.

    Exodus 12:24-28 - the Passover was based on the parent's faith. If they did not kill and eat the lamb, their first-born child died. Joshua 5:2-7 - God punished Israel because the people had not circumcised their children. This was based on the parent's faith. The parents play a critical role in their child's salvation.

    www.scripturecatholic.com
     
  3. Scott1

    Scott1 Well-Known Member

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  4. Stick of Joseph

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    Thankyou, I am starting to see how things look from your point of view. One thing though I understand that all need to be baptised on this earth to enter heaven, but what will happen to a baby that is not baptised, or is of another religion , or is part of a family who has not been taught of Christ, will this baby be sent away from Gods presence because of being "born into sin"? It seems unfair for the unknowing. I know where my church stands on this subject. Where does yours?
     
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  5. Scott1

    Scott1 Well-Known Member

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    From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

    1260"Since Christ died for all, and since all men are in fact called to one and the same destiny, which is divine, we must hold that the Holy Spirit offers to all the possibility of being made partakers, in a way known to God, of the Paschal mystery."63 Every man who is ignorant of the Gospel of Christ and of his Church, but seeks the truth and does the will of God in accordance with his understanding of it, can be saved. It may be supposed that such persons would have desired Baptism explicitly if they had known its necessity.

    1261 As regards children who have died without Baptism, the Church can only entrust them to the mercy of God, as she does in her funeral rites for them. Indeed, the great mercy of God who desires that all men should be saved, and Jesus' tenderness toward children which caused him to say: "Let the children come to me, do not hinder them,"64 allow us to hope that there is a way of salvation for children who have died without Baptism. All the more urgent is the Church's call not to prevent little children coming to Christ through the gift of holy Baptism.
     
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  6. Crystallas

    Crystallas Active Member

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    Great read SOGFPP as allways.

    Until I read that, I related Baptism to saving someone from Original Sin, and now I have a lot more to add to it :)
     
  7. Scott1

    Scott1 Well-Known Member

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    Well, thanks.... it's good to see another RCC member here at RF! I hope stick around for a long time!
    The Second Vatican Council's Lumen Gentium notes that Baptism incorporates us into the Church, orients us to the worship of God, and gives us a rebirth as sons and daughters of God.

    This Sacrament has "evolved" a bit over the years.... from the fights against Pelagianism by Saint Augustine to the more recent "baptism of desire" in 1949.

    Keep on posting!
    Scott
     
  8. Stick of Joseph

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    Sorry, but I have been reading a bit since my last post and I cant see anywhere where it says its ok to not have the saving ordinance of baptism. God basically says u must have it to enter. I would appreciate a verse of two please.

    Thankyou
     
  9. Scott1

    Scott1 Well-Known Member

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    Don't be sorry... that's why we are here = to learn.

    To answer your question, this quote:
    1260"Since Christ died for all, and since all men are in fact called to one and the same destiny, which is divine, we must hold that the Holy Spirit offers to all the possibility of being made partakers, in a way known to God, of the Paschal mystery." Every man who is ignorant of the Gospel of Christ and of his Church, but seeks the truth and does the will of God in accordance with his understanding of it, can be saved. It may be supposed that such persons would have desired Baptism explicitly if they had known its necessity.
    explains what we teach about those who do not have the "saving ordinance" of baptism.

    If you are looking for a judgement about who does and who does not go to hell, you won't find it..... that's for God to decide, not the church.

    Scott
     
  10. Stick of Joseph

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    I understand that God is the judge of who goes to Hell and who does not. My true intent is for a answer based on scripture doctorine that all christians can relate to. What does it say in the Bible that supports Catholic doctrine. In the Catholic encyclopedia it says "those who die in original sin are deprived of the happiness of heaven" (Catholic encyclopedia Vol. 2, pp. 258-274.) The encyclopedia also states "Original sin is the hereditary stain with which we are born on account of our origin or descent from Adam," and it can only be "effaced by baptism."( Catholic Encyclopedia Vol. 11, pp. 312-315.) I am looking for a verse that directly states that children must be baptised. According to the Catholic encyclopedia all must be baptised to enter heaven. It seems your past quotes contradict many other statements from catholics. Im just having a hard time seeing how you could believe that infants, who no accountability for sin and no knowledge of sin would not have some way to get to heaven. I would think that God would tell us the way to save infants and those who have not heard the gospel.

    Yea, and I know that good and evil have come before all men; he that knoweth not good from evil is blameless; but he that knoweth good and evil, to him it is given according to his desires, whether he desireth good or evil, life or death, joy or remorse of conscience.

    [size=-1]Now, seeing that I know these things, why should I desire more than to perform the work to which I have been called? [/size]
     
  11. Scott1

    Scott1 Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I took the hook on this one.....:rolleyes:
    The problem is you are looking for an answer that suits your view of faith.... something I can not give you. I already showed you where in the Bible there is support for the Baptism of infants... if you are looking for a verse that says "Hey, baptize babies", well, then I'm sorry.... aint' got one.;)

    If you choose to read the Catholic Encyclopedia (albeit a good general UNauthorized source) instead of reading the quotes from the Catechism... so be it.... again... I can't answer based on what you are looking for..... either take my word for it... or write to Mr. Knight (who owns New Advent) and ask him.
    You are obviously not reading my posts....
    As regards children who have died without Baptism, the Church can only entrust them to the mercy of God, as she does in her funeral rites for them.

    If you choose to ignore this again, I can't help you.

    Scott
     
  12. Stick of Joseph

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    I am simply studying scriptorial doctorine, which all christian churches believe in. I only wish to find the answer in the scriptures instead one made by a religion I can not relate too. When I questioned the answer you gave me it was only because I was looking for a statement that told me specifically. Anyone would lean toward what they have learned first. I apologize for not sticking to my original intention, to learn of others views. I strayed onto learning of others views after passing the test through my religion.

    I of coarse would always prefer a view that fits my view on things, but now that I understand your view I have come to a conclusion. The only reason I have really explored other religions is just out of curiosity. Many follow teachings of christ and strive to do good in the world. I have not yet discovered a bad person who activily practices there religion. I think understand things better now.
    You are actually the first Catholic I have ever known or talked to. I really have not an idea how you worship, except what I see in movies and things. I brought up infant baptism because I saw a baby being baptised on T.V. show in a Catholic church and I wondered why? Thankyou, its really hard to find an adult these days who will listen to someone who is still in high school. I think I have learned a lot. I look forward to studying many other religious practices.
    Thanks again
     
  13. DeepShadow

    DeepShadow White Crow

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    Wow! This is beautiful! This sounds so much more fair and just than how I've heard it described. Usually I just change the subject when someone starts harping on the injustice of infant baptism, but now I can offer a counterpoint!

    SoJ, by invoking the mercy of God it sounds to me like this is not that far from what we (LDS) believe. Based on this, the only point where infant baptism might fall apart is if baptism had to be something the person personally requests and/or is aware of when it happens. We believe that...but can you point to a scripture that says so specifically? I can't.
     
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  14. Scott1

    Scott1 Well-Known Member

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    Stick of Joseph,

    Thanks for your reply.
    I would just like to point out that not all Christian churches interpret or view scripture the same ways.... in fact, many (I must admit myself included) do not view the Book of Mormon as scripture.... what I mean is, if you want to learn about other faiths (which is a great idea in my opinion) you have to learn about the basics of their theology before you can have a fruiful discussion about a particular point of faith.
    ... hopefully not the last;) ... I enjoyed our chat.... I'd love to have more.

    Read Alma 32:21-22 :)

    Scott

    Thanks again DeepShadow for your comments.
     
  15. Lindsey-Loo

    Lindsey-Loo Steel Magnolia

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    It is not biblical to baptize infants. According to the Bible, (Romans 10:10, Acts 2:38, and Mark 16:15-16) only believers who have repented of their sins and confessed faith in Christ are biblically qualified to be baptized.
     
  16. DeepShadow

    DeepShadow White Crow

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    I'd agree it's not Biblical, but not everything was written in the Bible. Also, I'm neither Catholic nor a moderator, but this whole thread comes close to my limits of "educational." If you'd like to debate the topic, check out the debate section. I think there's already a debate on this very issue.
     
  17. michel

    michel Administrator Emeritus
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    Great info, Scott, thanks!:)
     
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