Sunday, August 18, 2013

TFTD: Infant Baptism

In Judges 13, we see the story of Samson. His mother is told,

An angel of the Lord appeared to the woman and said to her: Though you are barren and have had no children, you will conceive and bear a son. Now, then, be careful to drink no wine or beer and to eat nothing unclean, for you will conceive and bear a son. No razor shall touch his head, for the boy is to be a nazirite for God from the womb. (Judges 13:3-4)

What strikes me about this passage is that God chose Samson before birth to be consecrated to God.

Pondering this, I thought of the challenges made against infant baptism. Basically, we are told that baptism is an act of faith which an infant cannot make. As I understand it, those who believe Catholics err think that only someone old enough to know what they are doing can seek to be a Christian.

But God did not tell Samson's mother to wait until he was old enough to make a decision. She was to begin preparation before Samson was born and continue to raise him in this way from birth.

So I find myself thinking, what if baptism isn't merely an act professing faith in God, but is an act dedicating the child to God from the beginning? In such a case, parents baptizing their child are bringing their child and promising to raise the child as a Christian as God calls them to do.

In that case, delaying baptism would be delaying obedience to God who said, "Let the children come to me and do not prevent them; for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these."  (Luke 18:16)

Scripture texts in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C. and are used by permission of the copyright owner. All Rights Reserved. No part of the New American Bible may be reproduced in any form without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

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