Why we baptize infants

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picasso_13

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I am on another discussion board and they are talking about baptism and unity with Christ in the reformed churches. A lutheran responded that they don’t baptized infants to keep them from hell, or anything Romish like that, but to unify them into the Fraternity of God. So, my question becomes…why do we baptize infants? I don’t need any, “because the did in Scripture”, I mean is there any different reason for that then why we baptize adults…I didn’t think there was. I thought infant baptism was bringing them into the family of God. Sounds a lot like the Lutherans idea on the topic. Thanks for any thoughts. I would like to clear up any misconception he has about our idea of infant baptism.
 
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picasso_13:
I am on another discussion board and they are talking about baptism and unity with Christ in the reformed churches. A lutheran responded that they don’t baptized infants to keep them from hell, or anything Romish like that, but to unify them into the Fraternity of God. So, my question becomes…why do we baptize infants? I don’t need any, “because the did in Scripture”, I mean is there any different reason for that then why we baptize adults…I didn’t think there was. I thought infant baptism was bringing them into the family of God. Sounds a lot like the Lutherans idea on the topic. Thanks for any thoughts. I would like to clear up any misconception he has about our idea of infant baptism.
I don’t think that person correctly represents Lutheranism. They do believe infant baptism remits sin. That is why we baptize infants, to remit sin, original sin in their case since they have no personal sin. When original sin is remitted that is what makes you a member of God’s family. That is why you are now justifiedand and sanctifying grace enters into your soul, you are given the theological virtues of faith hope and love but they are in seed form, a baby has to be raised in the faith receiving all the sacraments of the Church and he must grow these seeds (cooperate with grace) if he will be saved in the end.
 
catholic.com/library/Infant_Baptism.asp

catholic.com/library/Early_Teachings_of_Infant_Baptism.asp

and :
III. Infant Baptism
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 - the people brought infants to Jesus that he might touch them. This proves 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.” This is confirmed in the next verse.

Acts 2:39 - Peter then says baptism is specifically given to children as well as adults. 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. So baptism is for infants as well as adults.

continued on next post]
 
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.

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.

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.

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; Luke 6-10 - the servant is healed based upon the centurion’s faith. This is another example of healing based on another’s faith.

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.

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.
 
St. Augustine writes:
10. Therefore an infant, although he is not yet a believer in the sense of having that faith which includes the consenting will of those who exercise it, nevertheless becomes a believer through the sacrament of that faith. For as it is answered that he believes, so also he is called a believer, not because he assents to the truth by an act of his own judgment, but because he receives the sacrament of that truth. When, however, he begins to have the discretion of manhood, he will not repeat the sacrament, but understand its meaning, and become conformed to the truth which it contains, with his will also consenting. During the time in which he is by reason- of youth unable to do this, the sacrament will avail for his protection against adverse powers, and will avail so much on his behalf, that if before he arrives at the use of reason he depart from this life, he is delivered by Christian help, namely, by the love of the Church commending him through this sacrament unto God, from that condemnation which by one man entered into the world. He who does not believe this, and thinks that it is impossible, is assuredly an unbeliever, although he may have received the sacrament of faith; and far before him in merit is the infant which, though not yet possessing a faith helped by the understanding, is not obstructing faith by any antagonism of the understanding, and therefore receives with profit the sacrament of faith. (Letter 98, From Augustine to Boniface, Bishop, AD 408)

And

“By this grace baptized infants too are ingrafted into his [Christ’s] body, infants who certainly are not yet able to imitate anyone. Christ, in whom all are made alive . . . gives also the most hidden grace of his Spirit to believers, grace which he secretly infuses even into infants. . . . It is an excellent thing that the Punic [North African] Christians call baptism salvation and the sacrament of Christ’s Body nothing else than life. Whence does this derive, except from an ancient and, as I suppose, apostolic tradition, by which the churches of Christ hold inherently that without baptism and participation at the table of the Lord it is impossible for any man to attain either to the kingdom of God or to salvation and life eternal? This is the witness of Scripture, too. . . . If anyone wonders why children born of the baptized should themselves be baptized, let him attend briefly to this. . . . The sacrament of baptism is most assuredly the sacrament of regeneration” (Forgiveness and the Just Deserts of Sin, and the Baptism of Infants 1:9:10; 1:24:34; 2:27:43 [A.D. 412]).
 
I do know that Lutherans do not believe that unbaptized infants go to Hell.
 
Once again we’re faced with the Catholic ‘both and’ versus the Protestant ‘either or.’

We baptize infants both to ‘keep them from Hell’ and ‘to unify them into the Fraternity of God’, to use the phraseology employed by the Lutheran to whom you referred.
 
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DominvsVobiscvm:
I do know that Lutherans do not believe that unbaptized infants go to Hell.
I’ve ran into some who believes they will.
 
The Catholic Church interprets the scripture in the strictest way possible when it says that one cannot enter Heaven unless they are baptized (can’t remember where exactly, but Jesus says this).

If a baby dies before baptism, we don’t know whether they’d be admitted to heaven or not if unbaptized.

The Godparents are there to then ensure that the child makes a profession of faith or they believe once they reach the age of reason.

So Catholics are baptized, then they believe. Most protestants believe and then are baptized.

Same sacrament, different order.
 
So Catholics are baptized, then they believe. Most protestants believe and then are baptized.
By most do you mean most denominations or most people?
 
Listen to a tape by Rev. John H. Hampsch, C.M.F., Claretian Tape Ministry entitled, "Glad You Asked (Questions and Answers).

Very beneficial for me- best explanation on the case for Infant Baptism and Tradition…
 
I’ve ran into some who believes they will.
I stand corrected. If I’m not mistaken, this is one of tjose issues to which Lutherans have no “official” position.
 
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DominvsVobiscvm:
I stand corrected. If I’m not mistaken, this is one of tjose issues to which Lutherans have no “official” position.
Right- but the problem is they think which ever position they do take is official. At least the person that I have encounterd does.
 
As far as most protestant denominations believing and then being baptized you are incorrect. The mainline protestants such as Prebyterian, Lutheran, Methodist, Anglican,ect. do infant baptism as infants. It is the non-denominational and the Baptists and fundamentalist churches that don’t believe in infant baptism. Granted the ones who do the infant baptisms are not doing it for the same reasons as Catholics. As far as infants going to hell if they are not baptized I don’t think thats the case. I know the Bible says no one shall enter heaven unless they are baptized, but I think that God is so loving and just that he would not hold the mistake of the parent against the child, especially if that was all the parents knew. I mean if you had a person that never heard of God or the Bible and died I think Jesus would after death give him the chance to accept Jesus or not to. I also discused this with a very good priest and this is where I get most of my arguement. Also Martin Luether didn’t want to have infant baptism.

Shari
 
We know that spirits exist, both good and evil. The question I always ask is, which sort of spirit would want to exclude the Holy Spirit from a child during his formative years? Makes you wonder which spirit some are being guided by.
 
I have a question.

Is there ever a time when an infant should be denied Baptism?

For example, if the parent’s don’t regularly attend mass themselves or don’t belong to a parish, should the child be denied baptism if the parents request it?

If so why?

I can see the logic of denying the sacrament of marriage or even the eucharist, but i am wondering about baptism
 
Priests can withhold Baptism if the parents are doing it to please the grandparents and havre no intention of raising the child Catholic.
 
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cmom:
Priests can withhold Baptism if the parents are doing it to please the grandparents and havre no intention of raising the child Catholic.
I’m pretty surprised by that. :confused: Considering the benefit to the child in Grace, I have trouble understanding why the parents lack of faith or sincerity should have any bearing whatsoever.

I remember hearing about a grandmother who wanted to covertly have her grandson baptised because she knew the parents wouldn’t bother. I can’t recall whether the priest gave in to her wishes or not, but I wonder what most priest’s reaction would be.
 
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