Infant Baptism

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If a person should believe and after that get baptized, then why does the Catholic Church baptize infants?
If a person should believe and after that get baptized, then why does the Catholic Church baptize infants?
There is no such formula in scripture,when Peter gave his speeach he wwas talking to adults, so it stands to reason that adults have to beleive before being baptised, but he was not Limiting baptism to only adults, in facthe said tha the prooses made by Jesus were for “both you and you children”

paul equated baptism to circumcition adn you recall children were not given a choice on whether they would become members of the nation of God…

If “baptism is the circumcison of Christ” as St. Paul says in Col 2:11, why do Jews circumcise on the eight day and not circumcise only adult believers?

From the Catechism

"The Baptism of infants

1250 Born with a fallen human nature and tainted by original sin, children also have need of the new birth in Baptism to be freed from the power of darkness and brought into the realm of the freedom of the children of God, to which all men are called. The sheer gratuitousness of the grace of salvation is particularly manifest in infant Baptism. The Church and the parents would deny a child the priceless grace of becoming a child of God were they not to confer Baptism shortly after birth.

1251 Christian parents will recognize that this practice also accords with their role as nurturers of the life that God has entrusted to them.

1252 The practice of infant Baptism is an immemorial tradition of the Church. There is explicit testimony to this practice from the second century on, and it is quite possible that, from the beginning of the apostolic preaching, when whole “households” received baptism, infants may also have been baptized.( Cf. Acts 16:15,33; 18:8; 1 Cor 1:16)

Faith and Baptism

1253 Baptism is the sacrament of faith. But faith needs the community of believers. It is only within the faith of the Church that each of the faithful can believe. The faith required for Baptism is not a perfect and mature faith, but a beginning that is called to develop. The catechumen or the godparent is asked: “What do you ask of God’s Church?” The response is: “Faith!”

1254 For all the baptized, children or adults, faith must grow after Baptism. For this reason the Church celebrates each year at the Easter Vigil the renewal of baptismal promises. Preparation for Baptism leads only to the threshold of new life. Baptism is the source of that new life in Christ from which the entire Christian life springs forth.

1255 For the grace of Baptism to unfold, the parents’ help is important. So too is the role of the godfather and godmother, who must be firm believers, able and ready to help the newly baptized - child or adult on the road of Christian life. Their task is a truly ecclesial function (officium). The whole ecclesial community bears some responsibility for the development and safeguarding of the grace given at Baptism.
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. (Acts: 2, 38)

It is clear that a person should believe in Jesus Christ and than be pabtized. It is always shown in the Bible that when someone accepts the word of God, he goes and get baptized and not the other way around.

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. (Acts 8:36, 37)

It is clear that you have to believe in Jesus Christ and then get baptized.

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

It does not say that he who gets baptized and then believes …

You can’t ignore Scripture you don’t like. What about the comparisson of baptism to circumcision? Circumcision was on adults who converted AND infants on the 8th day.

In the Bible, Jesus tells His disciples to “keep not the little children from Him”. You may be able to pick and choose your scripture to believe what you want to, but I prefer to use the Whole Bible for basing my beliefs.

Circumcision is compared to baptism. Circumcision is for adult converts and Infants. The Bible and church history support infant baptism.

God Bless
For all the fuss Protestants who believe in adult baptism make about it, it strikes me as odd that nothing really happens to a person in adult baptism. It’s just a token of their new faith and repentance.

For Catholics baptism is a sacrament that cleanses of sin and imparts grace, as described in Romans 6.

The important discussion should not be infant vs. adult, but whether baptism is a sacrament or just an outward expression of something that already happened.

I stake my faith on the sacrament and enjoy the fact that we Catholics can renew our own baptisms every time another baby gets baptized. My lament is that so many Catholics don’t understand baptism very well and haven’t learned to engage the clutch on the power baptism confers.

Doug L.

The Bible in those instances that you quoted is speaking specifically of Adult converts… not people raised in the Church. As Catholics we also require belief by our Adult converts prior to baptism, as evidenced by their profession of faith. However, you cannot take specific scriptural references to Adult Conversions and then say that they apply also to children being raised in the faith. It is simply not supported in the context.

Children and Mentally handicapped are treated differently because of other verses and Apostolic Tradition. It is clear in the bible as far back as the giving of circumcision, that children can be joined to a covenant people through their parents dedication. The NT likewise talks about entire households being baptized. It would be foolish of us to assume that households back then only consisted of adults or those old enough to make a profession of faith.

In addition, early Apostolic tradition also teaches us that infant baptism was the practice of the church.

“Baptize first the children, and if they can speak for themselves let them do so. Otherwise, let their parents or other relatives speak for them” (*The Apostolic Tradition *21:16 [A.D. 215]).

Do you know of anywhere in the Bible where infant baptism if condemned? I do not…
The Bible also says whole households were baptized…I think you would have to really stretch to state there were no infants in any of these households.

While we’re on the subject, Homer, why do (some) Protestant ‘churches’ baptize over and over again? Where’s the warrant for that unscriptural practice? (I write as a well-baptized former Southern Baptist.) What’s the age when Baptism is recommended? Seven, 12, 18, 21? It varies denomination to denomination and even church to church within a denomination.

If I were not a Catholic (God, please don’t let it happen!), I could never, ever be a Protestant again. Protestantism is too illogical :whacky:, but then what else can you expect from a man-made religion? I’d be a Jew. Judaism and Catholicism are both God-made – the Old Covenant and the New.

Pace e bene, Jay

“Peter pray for the pious Christian men buried near your body.”
Homer, if you think that infant baptism is something the early Christians did not practice, please see the following:


p.s. I know that you do not view the writings of the early Christians as testifying to an authoritative Sacred Tradition, but since you have not shown us in the “challenge” thread any Biblical reason why you don’t do so, you might want to reply to the recent responses to your post within that thread. Your continued participation there would be greatly appreciated.

I am a convert from presbyterian and we baptize infants. In fact so do Methodists, Lutherans, Episcapalians and other protestant denominations as well. You must be baptized in order to go to Heaven. Not to mention(I know this has been said already) that the Jewish babies were brought into Gods family/covenant by circumcision on the 8th day and in was based on their parents faith that they would be raised in the Jewish faith. At the beginning of Christianity could you imagine saying to a Jewish family who wanted to become Christian, “I am sorry, but your young children and babes will have to wait to be brought into the new convenant with God until they are adults”. I don’t think there would have been hardly any converts. And just think baptism is a lot less painful than circumcision. :bigyikes:
1 Cor 7:12-14
But as to the rest, I say, not the Lord, If any brother have an unbelieving wife, and she consent to dwell with him, let him not leave her. 13 And a woman who has an unbelieving husband, and he consents to dwell with her, let her not leave [her] husband. 14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified in the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified in the brother; since [otherwise] indeed your children are unclean, but now they are holy.

Seems that belief is not a prerequisite for being holy among children.

It seems so many people get caught up in this idea of having to profess your faith first. What about those that are mentally challenged and will never come to a point of truly understanding, much less accepting, Jesus?

There are so many scripture references about whole households being saved (1 Cor 1:16; Acts 16:15), a daughter is healed as a result of her mother’s faith (Mt 15:21), a servant was healed as a result of the Centurion’s faith (Mt 8:5), the last post mentions the unbelieving spouse, etc.

As we have stated, they circumcised their infants into the faith so now we baptize. Why - because Jesus came not to abolish the law but to fulfill it. (Mt 5:17).

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

It does not say that he who gets baptized and then believes …
Open your eyes and your ears to the Spirit of God, Author of the Scriptures. The Lord Jesus said, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age” (Matthew 28:19, 20). We are told in contradistinction to your opinion, by Matthew, that Jesus said to baptize first then teach. The Scriptures cannot contradict each other as they have God as their supreme Author. Therefore, both statements are equally true. The Apostolic Church was given the command to baptize and then later to teach (children) and to teach and then later to baptize (adults). Both are true for it is impossible for God to lie (Hebrews 6:18).
Unless a man is born again of water and the spirit…Look familier? Where does Jesus say to Nicodemus that the man must profess faith first? You would think he would if that was the way it was. The Matthew quote is along the same lines. Baptise, then teach and make believers.

As an aside, I am not sure why I am even responding. Not once one any of these challenge threads have I seen one iota of the person posting actually trying to learn anything. There are Protestants on here trying to learn, and I’ll keep talking to them. I’ll just pray for the rest
(Matt 28: 19) “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” Clearly when Christ commissioned his disciples to do this, there were infants in “all nations” I believe all nations includes everyone.

I also like this verse: 1 Peter 3:19-22 “In it he also went to preach to the spirits in prison, who had once been disobedient while God patiently waited in the days of Noah during the building of the ark, in which a few persons, eight in all, were saved through water. This prefigured baptism , which saves you now. It is not a removal of dirt from the body but an appeal to God for a clear conscience, through the ressurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone to heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers subject to him.”
I guess I do not understand why anyone would not baptize an infant. It is clearly commanded, it saves. Baptism is when we become part of the family of God.I cannot understand denying the grace of baptism to anyone, infant, child or adult.
Baptism is the sacrament of faith, and faith is a free gift from God. Baptism is necessary for salvation. Since faith is a free gift from God and Baptism is the sacrament of faith, it is logical and appropriate to give it to infants.

In scripture we read in Luke 18:15-16 Now they were bringing even infants to him that he might touch them; and when the disciples saw it, they rebuked them. But Jesus called them to him, saying, "Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of God.

Jesus taught the apostles early on that children, even infants, can benefit from Him.
God, being three persons in One, is communal and we as the body of Christ are communal. We know that as a result of the sin of Adam and Eve, they were thrown out of paradise and we now have original sin (Ps 51:7). There are also many scripture passages referencing how we suffer the sins of our fathers.

So we know that we are tainted and sinful upon birth and have fallen short of the glory of God - we were not born into paradise but into sin, even though it was not our sin that caused it. Since this is the case, why would a loving God not allow us to be cleansed of that sin through another’s faith? He did not ask our consent to be thrown out of paradise, why would he now wait for our consent to be baptized into the faith?

I’m curious to understand the rationale.
God Bless
Part 1

There are multiple verses on baptism in scripture and we should not base our belief on just one verse out of “context” or misinterpreted. Some people invent “man-made” traditions and then read the Bible to find proof to support their ‘opinions.’ I read the Scripture to find out what to believe and not vice versa. Subtle difference here if you understood it and I wrote well.🤓

The word ‘and’ does not imply a certain order to events. The words ‘then’ and ‘next’ do. (Or ‘next’ and ‘then’ also means exactly the same thing too! I love it when I’m right!😉 Perhaps some preachers started preaching and interpreting Gods Word before they learned English? Or even ‘Old English’ which we do not speak today? This could lead to their confusion on Scripture?:confused: ) If I say repent and be baptized it means the exact same thing as be baptized and repent based on the rules of the English language. Now if I said repent then next be baptized that would mean a specific order and all bets are off. Many verses were also directed to adult believers. “Context.”
Part 2,

I do not gamble on Scripture so I baptize infants as implied several times in Scripture. Jesus also said something like “do not suffer the children unto me” so if somebody is denying a child baptism they would also be breaking the commandments of Jesus.

Some people define becoming a Christian as being baptized and entering into 'citizenship’ in Christ. By denying a child baptism you deny that child the citizenship in Christ’s’ kingdom on earth? Mormons are Christians by the Merriam-Webster definition of the word but not by the Biblical definition I referred to above. Why? Because Mormons do not baptize in the Trinity as defined by our Church Fathers, the Catholic Church and Jesus. You do know who the Church “FATHERS” were and you read them don’t you? You have read what they wrote about baptism before we had a Bible? (See I can call men “Father”)

Also remember that the word baptism by the time the Bible was written stood for a Sacrament and not just “Total Immersion”. An example is in order to clarify this point for you and others. It took perhaps 125 years or so after Jesus rose from the dead to write the entire NT. By that time baptism stood for a Sacrament and not just “total immersion.” Lets take words today that have changed in meaning as a result of time. When I was a child in the 1960’s gay meant I was happy, today my child can’t use the word in schools! Another example. Today if I say I’m ‘flying’ to Las Vegas what does it mean? Am I the pilot? The passenger? Just driving fast? 100 years ago it meant I was the pilot of the plane. Now 'flying’ is used to describe something in general much like a Sacrament describes the event of being baptized by the time Scripture was written.

Context is a powerful tool of the Catholic Church just like its other tool the Bible that it wrote from inspiration. Put ALL the verses on baptism on one page and in ‘context.’ Read them to learn what to believe and not to prove what you already believe. You may be surprised by the truth. Some examples of those verses were given above by others.

By the way, speaking of not knowing Old English, what the heck does ‘suffer’ mean? Does it mean something different today? Does it mean we should beat our children harshly for punishment before Jesus? Did I just give another ‘proof’ of how words change in meaning over time or between different groups? What do worship, pray, adore and venerate mean for Catholics verses how protestants use them? Or between the USA and England from 1611 through today?

Bonus question! If “Ana” Baptists believe baptism is symbolic only, why are they so intent on me being ‘RE’ baptized? Why be baptized at all since Catholics do it and its only symbolic? Does it prove them wrong by their own veracity in performing this Sacrament? So many more questions too.
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