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What is the appropriate age to baptise a child?

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  • What is the appropriate age to baptise a child?

    Both me and my husband are raised by Catholic families. However, neither of us were baptised in infancy. I was baptised at 6, as my mother had personal doubts regarding faith. My husband was baptised around 10 years of age, as his mother wished for him to be aware of the act and the religion he was embracing.

    I've always believed that once I would be a mother, I would baptise my child within the first month of life... However the things have gone differently as our family has found themselves abroad. In order to celebrate this event with our family we have decided to wait with the baptism until our child is a little bit older. I keep wondering though if this is.the right choice.

    Is there a 'correct' age for the child to be baptised? When were your children baptised?

  • #2
    It really is best to baptize as soon as possible. When you look at what baptism is you can take the example of when the sacrament it replaced was performed (circumcision), which is with 8 days of birth. Of course there really is no hard at fast rule, but if you do believe in paedo-baptism, then doing it any time when they are an infant is just fine.

    Personally, we have had our kids baptized within a couple/few months of birth.
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    • #3
      The Bible commands us to believe and be baptized, in that order. No one should be baptized until he has repented of his sins and put his faith in Jesus Christ. Of course, I believe that on this forum I am definitely in the minority in holding this belief.
      Clyde Herrin's Blog
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      • #4
        Originally posted by theophilus View Post
        The Bible commands us to believe and be baptized, in that order. No one should be baptized until he has repented of his sins and put his faith in Jesus Christ. Of course, I believe that on this forum I am definitely in the minority in holding this belief.
        Then you forget the account of when those who are converted are not only baptized themselves, but their entire households, including the children.
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        • #5
          Originally posted by Knotical View Post

          Then you forget the account of when those who are converted are not only baptized themselves, but their entire households, including the children.
          Who baptized Adam? Abraham? Moses?

          Was there one Salvation before the Law, another under from Moses to Christ and yet another under the New Covenant?

          [I am largely playing devil's advocate here, because while I no longer oppose infant baptism, I still see the issue as less clear than either side paints the picture. I would prefer an honest discussion of the hard parts to slinging the old sound bites.]
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          • #6
            Originally posted by atpollard
            Who baptized Adam? Abraham? Moses?

            Was there one Salvation before the Law, another under from Moses to Christ and yet another under the New Covenant?

            [I am largely playing devil's advocate here, because while I no longer oppose infant baptism, I still see the issue as less clear than either side paints the picture. I would prefer an honest discussion of the hard parts to slinging the old sound bites.]
            There was no baptism back then as the sign of the covenant was circumcision, which was first instituted with Abraham.
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            • #7
              Originally posted by Laila View Post
              Is there a 'correct' age for the child to be baptised? When were your children baptised?
              What is baptism?

              What does it represent to you?

              If Baptism is the entrance of the child into the protective Covenant relationship with God ... an announcement that you intend to raise this child Christian (just as circumcision identified a baby as part of the Jewish people) ... then the correct time is as soon as practical (although you might want to wait for your family to be there).

              If Baptism is an act of obedience showing that you have repented and been regenerated, then the child must make that decision for themselves.

              ​​​​​​If Baptism represents something else to you, then you may have yet another answer.

              [I do not believe there is a wrong answer, only the answer about how YOU choose to honor God.]
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              • #8
                Originally posted by Knotical View Post
                There was no baptism back then as the sign of the covenant was circumcision, which was first instituted with Abraham.
                Why were the Jews Baptized? They were already in a covenant with God.

                Again, is there a difference between how people are saved in the OT and the NT?
                That is what is at stake in these answers.
                I am not just splitting hairs.

                [EDIT: I withdraw the question. Parenting isn't the place for this discussion.]
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                • #9
                  To understand baptism you must first backup and understand what happened in the Old Testament. God instituted the covenant of works with Adam, who failed to keep his end of the covenant. Then God re-instituted the covenant with Abraham (Genesis 17), but this time He coupled it with a sign, circumcision. Every male who was a descendant of Abraham, and anyone within his household (including servants who may not have been related to him) were to be circumcised, along with male infants when they were 8 days old. Fast forward to the New Testament, Jesus fulfilled that covenant and replaced it with the covenant of Grace, which also came with a sign, baptism, which replaced circumcision. This is why any Jew that became a follower of Christ was baptized, along with their entire household (including the women this time).
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                  • #10
                    Hi Laila, I see you're still pretty around new here, so WELCOME TO CF :)

                    God bless you! (Numbers 6:24-26)

                    --David
                    Simul Justus et Peccator ~Martin Luther

                    "We are justified by faith alone, but the faith that justifies is never alone" ~John Calvin

                    "The Christian does not think God will love us because we are good, but that God will make us good because He loves us." ~C. S. Lewis

                    "The secret is Christ in me, not me in a different set of circumstances" ~Elisabeth Elliot

                    "The law is for the self-righteous to humble their pride; the Gospel is for the lost to remove their despair. ~C. H. Spurgeon
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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Knotical View Post
                      This is why any Jew that became a follower of Christ was baptized, along with their entire household (including the women this time).
                      In a few of the cases of baptism it is said that the whole household was baptized. In other cases nothing is said about this. I think this shows that only individuals who believed were baptized. Sometimes a whole household be saved and baptized. Sometimes only one person in a household would be saved and he would be the only one baptized.
                      Clyde Herrin's Blog
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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by theophilus View Post
                        In a few of the cases of baptism it is said that the whole household was baptized. In other cases nothing is said about this. I think this shows that only individuals who believed were baptized. Sometimes a whole household be saved and baptized. Sometimes only one person in a household would be saved and he would be the only one baptized.
                        But you have to go back to what baptism replaced. It was circumcision. A convert to Judaism would normally be circumcised, then any male born into that family would be circumcised 8 days after they are born. The rules on baptism are not as stringent, but the philosophy is still the same, except now both boys/men and girls/women are baptized.
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                        • #13
                          I agree with @Pollard on this issue. If you believe that a Baptism is your way of saying that you agree to raise this child as a Christian, then you should get the Baptism done as soon as possible. Personally, I feel that the only Baptism that "counts" is the one that a person willingly has done once they become a believer. Anything prior to that is more for the parents peace of mind. However, different denominations view Baptism very differently and this can lead to many points of contention. A church we recently attended had a question on their membership form asking if the prospective member had been Baptized by submersion. This church viewed submersion as the only acceptable form of Baptism and would only allow members who had been Baptized in this manner. To me, Baptism is a sign of entering a personal relationship with God and it does not matter if you were submerged or had a couple drops put on your head. The important thing is that you were Baptized and entered that relationship with God. Even though travelling abroad, is it a feasible option (if not having them Baptized is of concern) to get them Baptized, then have a family ceremony when they choose to be Baptized after they become believers? Just a thought, depends on your feelings and the situation obviously. Hope some people here are able to give you peace of mind on the subject.
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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by theophilus View Post
                            The Bible commands us to believe and be baptized, in that order. No one should be baptized until he has repented of his sins and put his faith in Jesus Christ. Of course, I believe that on this forum I am definitely in the minority in holding this belief.
                            I'll join your minority then. I agree with this. I think it should be a person's choice whether or not to be baptized, just as it is their choice to accept Jesus as their Savior. We can guide people, but we can't force them or make the decision for them.

                            I was taught that you choose to be baptized as an outward sign of faith, like an act of pledging your commitment to God.
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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by thisnthat View Post

                              I'll join your minority then. I agree with this. I think it should be a person's choice whether or not to be baptized, just as it is their choice to accept Jesus as their Savior. We can guide people, but we can't force them or make the decision for them.

                              I was taught that you choose to be baptized as an outward sign of faith, like an act of pledging your commitment to God.
                              I'd agree with the minority as well. In the CofE, infants have Christenings (a basic baptism), where the parents vow to bring the child up in the faith and godparents are named to support this. Confirmation, where the child confirms the promises that their parents made for them when they were christened, (or in some churchs, adult baptism) follows later when the child is able to make their own choice and commit themselves to the church of their own will.
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