Should you have your baby baptised at church? We personally have many friends, both believers and not, who have gone through this ritual, but why? It could be because their families have said it should be done or because the parents feel it is the right thing to do. Maybe there is a superstitious belief there will be some everlasting protection over the child from then on or that the child’s salvation is guaranteed because of this. Equally, there may be pressure from church leaders to baptise the child.
The majority of churches throughout the UK practice child baptism and it has become a tradition spanning many years of church history. But like every tradition we should find out if it is a man-made ritual that has no support clear support in the Bible or whether it is something God has instructed – unless God instructed infant baptism, we should not practice it.
Not many people seriously question the rituals that our mainstream churches have – often there is a sense of trust from people toward church leaders on spiritual matters, especially those who do not regularly go to church but hold some belief in a greater being. If you are a Christian or church leader who practices infant baptism, should not you be asking why – if those answers are not found clearly in God’s Word there has to be something wrong about the whole practice!
Real Christianity has a great section on this subject, we urge anyone who would like to understand what a Christian baptism is to read this – How to become a Christian – Baptism is for believers, not for babies.
Ultimately a person is NOT saved because they have been baptised as a baby – salvation is not obtained for anyone through baptism! Salvation only comes through accepting Jesus’ payment for your sins, babies do not understand what sin is let alone the need to repent! In fact, it would be incredibly unfair if salvation was obtained through infant baptism – why should those babies whose parents forced them to be baptised have any different eternal standing over babies whose parents didn’t? Surely, we should all be responsible and accountable for our own beliefs and not judged on a ritual performed by our parents when we were babies?! Baptism IS important, but it should happen straight after being saved as scripture commands – this is a decision only you can make, it should not be made for you!
There is a lot of confusion and hypocrisy in the church today. Although this is clearly a “sign of the times”, it can be very difficult to navigate our way through fact and fiction from the Biblical point of view in the church environment. We naturally want the best for our children – the best way of ensuring this is by getting ourselves back to the simplicity of God’s Word and using that as our instruction manual and not the man-made traditions and rituals that often replace it.
The Bible should be our guide for the decisions we make and our measuring stick against what we are told by church leaders or anyone for that matter. If you feel you would like to publicly express your thanks to God for a child, you should consider having your child dedicated. This is a public opportunity to thank God for your child and have a pastor to bless you all as a family. Sprinkling your son or daughter with water is an unbiblical practice that can lead to a false sense of security on the part of the family. Bringing your child up by lovingly pointing them to salvation in Jesus Christ would be the better choice so that when they are ready, they can make their own decision and turn to Christ!
Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. (Romans 6:3-4)