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  Wikipedia: Infant baptism

Wikipedia: Infant baptism
Infant baptism
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Infant baptism or pedobaptism, the baptism of the infant children of believers, is an ancient custom of much of Christianity, including the Roman Catholic church, the Orthodox churches, Anglicans, Lutherans, Presbyterians, and Methodists, to name a few. Churches with the name "Baptist" in their titles usually practice Believers baptism.

Pedobaptism as status of membership

Since baptism is the rite of initiation into the church, pedobaptists recognize that the children of believers are both members of their nuclear families and members of the church to which their parents belong. The alternative would be to treat them as mere unbelievers or inquirers. Pedobaptism also recognizes that membership in the church is not just a matter of intellectual understanding and assent. It is thus much easier for churches that practice pedobaptism to include people who are mentally impaired and may never be capable of intellectually understanding the creed, but nevertheless practice their faith and participate in the church as they are able.

Opponents and supporters of pedobaptism

Opponents of pedobaptism claim that is unbiblical. Pedobaptists however point to a number of passages where reference is made to baptising a person and their household – the households of Lydia, Crispus, and Stephanas are mentioned by name Acts 16:14-15, 18:8; 1 Cor 1:16. Pedobaptists argue that one's household would include one's children, even infants, and add that this is how the Church has traditionally understood baptism throughout its history. In addition, pedobaptists point to Psalm 51, which reads, in part, "surely I was sinful from birth," as indication that infants are capable of sin and thus in need of salvation.

When children are baptized, the ritual consists of two parts, separated by a few years. The first is when the parents act on behalf of their child, the second part (known as confirmation), is when the child accepts the baptism and takes responsibility for his or her own soul.

It is a well established Biblical precedent that parents must act on behalf of their children until they are of age. Christian infant baptism is analogous to circumcision in the Jewish covenant. (Also see Joshua 24:15.)

Baptists and some other denominations do not accept infant baptism as valid, and Christians who transfer membership to denominations that practice believers' baptism are generally required to be rebaptized.

Latter-day Saint condemnation of pedobaptism

According to Latter-day Saint doctrine, infant baptism is a perversion of Christianity. In respect to infant baptism, chapter 8 of the Book of Moroni in the Book of Mormon condemns it stating that:

"[T]he baptism of your little children" is a "gross error" and a "solemn mockery".

"[L]ittle children need no repentance, neither baptism . . . are whole . . . are not capable of committing sin . . . cannot repent . . . are alive in Christ, and also all they that are without the law."

Baptism and faith

Many pedobaptists view baptism as the place where a believer receives the Holy Spirit and thus mark it as the beginning of faith, whereas practitioners of believers baptism view baptism as an act of faith.

See also:


  

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. 
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