Baptism

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What are your thoughts on infant baptism? Adult baptism? Is it necessary for salvation, or just a good idea? Is it a bad idea?
 

Quahom1

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What are your thoughts on infant baptism? Adult baptism? Is it necessary for salvation, or just a good idea? Is it a bad idea?
Baptism doesn't get one saved. It simply shows the world the intentions and path being chosen. For infant baptisms, the Parents/guardians are declaring to the world their intentions on raising the child. For adults, the baptised are declaring to the world their one path chosen.

It is an affirmation to the public, of the path we choose to walk.

v/r

Q
 

greymare

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we were told that as children if you werent baptised and then you died you would spend a long time in purgatory. When I could think for myself and still believed in God, I thought that God would be horrible if he let little babies suffer in purgatory. Now, I know different. But it was a horrible realization at a tender young age. It may have just been the nuns that taught us, thinking this. I really cannot remember it all too vividly.
 

mee

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my thoughts are in line with what the bible teaches :)as always


and that goes for all Jehovahs witnesses .
 

BlaznFattyz

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infant baptism is a dedication of your baby to God thus glorifying him, and for the parents to acknowledge they will raise the baby under the guidance of the Spirit, and they are asking the the church to basically be the child's extended family and a time to pick godparents.

adult baptism is symbolic dedication to having sins washed away and presenting oneself to God and being received into the body of christ, and ready to take on his work and do his will. but the baptism of the spirit is not only outwardly it pierces the heart and soul. water baptism is pleasing to the lord if done with a loving and sincere heart towards God, and it is a very touching moment for the individual and for the church.

being born again by the Spirit and accepting jesus christ is necessary for salvation, baptism is an expression of your love towards God.
 

wil

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There are many folks today still telling children and parents that if they don't baptize or christen their child they'll be headed for hell, gotta have that protection.

I also agree with Q, as adults if we choose to be baptized it is an indication that we intend to be on a new path, or are committed to the one we've been on.

Any folks have any thought of water baptism ending with John?
 

seattlegal

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From the Christian Mysticism thread:
Soma wrote:
To which Thomas replied:
"Internal" and "external" will coincide at some point:
And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always, the Spirit of truth, which the world cannot accept, because it neither sees nor knows it. But you know it, because it remains with you, and will be in you....I am in my Father and you are in me and I in you.
~John 14:16-17 and 20

Well, of course that depends on the point of view being argued. I'm fine with this:
(W)e were all baptized by one Spirit into one body.
~Corinthians 12:13

To be religiously meaningful, the Church's baptism ritual would need to attest to a spiritual baptism that has already happened to the individual. That's why infant baptism makes no sense to me. At any rate, the Church's baptism ritual does not make a spiritual baptism happen.

The spiritual baptism would involve a realization of Divine Unity by which the Living Truth can be incorporated into the person's living. The church ceremony (water baptism) actually has little value as a form of knowledge or as a foundation for faith. It's more an initiation rite with a social/culture meaning rather than a spiritual meaning. (It defines the individual's standing in relation to the community of faith and helps reinforce church membership.)

I personally feel it is important to keep the above distinctions in mind though they be obscured at times in Church doctrine (e.g., the Catholic Catechism).

The notion of having been "baptised into one body" actually makes more sense if one does not equate the body with church. "The body" can be seen as a spiritualized society rather than as a visible ecclesiastic organization. One might call it a divine society - i.e., a society that has been transformed in what the Vatican calls "the mystical body of Christ."

Btw, I have no problem with this Vatican position: "The Church is the 'sign and instrument' of the full realization of the unity yet to come." I would only add that there are other signs and instruments other than the Church, many of them naturally-occurring.

Not at all. The Rite of Baptism is the conferring of life in the Holy Trinity, not the recognition of it — that's what Christ said, and what the Apostles understood and what they preached.


In your opinion. If you don't agree with baptism, or the need for it, then take that up with Scripture ... even Cornelius (Acts 10), upon whom the Holy Spirit descended 'outside' of the Church, was baptised, and the Holy Spirit made sure Cornelius was in the right place before His miraculous appearance.

So I weigh your words against the word of Scripture, and the testimony of the saints and mystics and the Church, who insist otherwise. You'll understand if I should choose to go with them,


You don't properly understand Baptism. It's a beginning, not an end. It's an entry into life in the Holy Spirit, not the culmination of it.

And in Catholic doctrine, it requires the active co-operation and willing participation of the baptised, in an ongoing manner — it's not a guarantee, nor a forgone conclusion, nor an insurance policy.


Well of course I'd expect that. I see it otherwise:
The Rite of Baptism is a symbolic act in the true nature of the term symbol, by which I mean the essence of the thing symbolised is actually and effectively present in the symbol (as opposed to a 'sign' which points to a thing but which does not encompass its immanent presence).

It is a Sacramental symbol by virtue of the fact that it was established, as a rite, by God, and given to man and not, as you suppose, as an empty gesture, but as a free and unmerited gift, which Scripture refers to as charis and we as grace, by which man might engage in and with the most profound of Mysteries, a participation in the Divine Life Itself.

To say "baptism actually has little value as a form of knowledge or as a foundation for faith" only makes me shake my head ... I do like the way you set yourself as the benchmark of everything.

It certainly has a social and cultural dimension — how could it not — but that all you can see is the exoteric dimension does not mean the esoteric is not there, just that you can't see it.


No, that's a cop-out piece of nonsense and an act of self-justification. That's just you working a loophole to get out of loving your neighbour. Read 1 John, he knocked that notion on the head in short order.

For if there is no body, no materiality, then the world is without reason, or purpose, or end.

That's dualism talking, something fundamentally opposed to the entire metaphysical corpus of the Abrahamic Tradition. It's very favourable, of course, because it lets you off the hook and you can get away with all sorts of stuff.


I don't think the Vatican would disagree with you, but the simple fact is that the Church is the pre-eminent sign and instrument without equal, and the sole and only source of the Sacramental Graces — no other instrument possesses or even admits the Eucharist with such metaphysical rigour and preserves it with such rigour.

The 'unity yet to come' will be when those other signs and instruments array themselves about the Church accordingly.

Thomas

Please cite a Biblical or doctrinal justification for the normative practice of infant baptism.

Btw, I have never seen a Catholic church equipped to baptise adults.

My understanding from the bible is that water baptism is a petition to God for a clean conscience in our repentance of our sins and asking of forgiveness. (1 Peter 3:21, Acts 2:38)
Baptism of the Spirit can occur separately from this. (Acts 8:14-16)
Matt 20:20-28
20 Then the mother of Zebedee's sons approached Him with her sons. She knelt down to ask Him for something. 21 "What do you want?" He asked her. "Promise," she said to Him, "that these two sons of mine may sit, one on Your right and the other on Your left, in Your kingdom."
22 But Jesus answered, "You don't know what you're asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink?"
"We are able," they said to Him.
23 He told them, "You will indeed drink My cup. But to sit at My right and left is not Mine to give; instead, it belongs to those for whom it has been prepared by My Father." 24 When the 10 [disciples] heard this, they became indignant with the two brothers. 25 But Jesus called them over and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles dominate them, and the men of high position exercise power over them. 26 It must not be like that among you. On the contrary, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave; 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life—a ransom for many."
Could "naturally occurring" be referring to "those for whom it has been prepared by My Father?"

How is this accomplished for an infant who has no knowledge of sin and no appreciation for the need to be forgiven?


I was not thinking of the passage you cited. I was thinking more in terms of Dharma as anything that supports you in your path. It could be a church, it could be a passage from the Bible or a a Buddhist Sutra, and it it could be any natural symbols that point to the Sacred.

Before this goes under the radar...

There is no New Testament basis for infant baptism, which appear to be the universal practice in the Catholic Church. So?

This is my concern: Grace is initiated by G-d. By baptizing an infant (who has no understanding of the sacrament and derives no immediate benefit from it) the Church has assumed an initiative that belongs to G-d. In my opinion, this is a mockery and a travesty.

Odd that hardly anyone pays attention to these things and sad to see how some will stumble in an effort to give a purely man-made church practice a divine basis it simply does not have. It is also troubling to be dismissed as a heretical dog or a presumptuous, self-righteous crank who presumes to compete with the Word of G-d.

"But Jesus said to them: Suffer the little children, and forbid them not to come to me: for the kingdom of heaven is for such."
Matthew 19:14

"Jesus answered: Amen, amen I say to thee, unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God."
John 3:5

If Christ does not forbid 'little children' to 'be born again of water and the Holy Ghost' — on what basis have we the right to deny them the Rite?


And it is a grace given to the Church to dispense as she sees fit — as Scripture says.


I disagree. The 'immediate benefit' derives from the Grace conferred by the Sacramental Act — eternal life — and I suggest that we adults understand that no better (and perhaps less perfectly) than a child.

The child does not immediately understand the many acts of love a parent pours out, but comes to know that he or she is loved, and by that knowledge, that love poured out, understands the love.

I believe we err if we try to determine the nature of Grace, which is the Mystery through which all other Mysteries are revealed.

Why should children be barred from the Community of the Holy Spirit?


In mine, it's an act of love and a celebration of life.


Actually, as the Church has the divine basis to act as she sees fit: "And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven" (Matthew 16:19).

Thomas

This has nothing to do with church ritual, which is what we have been discussing here.

Given the Biblical evidence you have presented, there is no basis for the baptism of infants and women.
Hi Thomas. Regarding your scripture of Matt 16:18, please consider Matt 18:15-20
15 "If your brother sins against you, go and rebuke him in private. If he listens to you, you have won your brother. 16 But if he won't listen, take one or two more with you, so that by the testimony of two or three witnesses every fact may be established. 17 If he pays no attention to them, tell the church. (S) [l] But if he doesn't pay attention even to the church, let him be like an unbeliever and a tax collector to you. 18 I assure you: Whatever you bind on earth is already bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth is already loosed in heaven. (U) 19 Again, I assure you: If two of you on earth agree about any matter that you pray for, it will be done for you by My Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there among them."
If an infant doesn't understand sin and repentance of sin, how can the baptism of an infant be a means of repentance and forgiveness to the infant? How can the infant first pay attention to the one whom the infant has sinned against, and then to the two witnesses, and then to the congregation? The scripture says that if the person in question doesn't listen even to the congregation, then let them be like an unbeliever and tax collector to the church. Isn't the power of binding and loosing regarding this is dependent upon the choice of the one being bound or loosed in this regard? Doesn't infant baptism bypass any choice on the part of the infant? :confused:
 

TheKhan

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I`m gonna wing this, through what my common sense tells me.

If you look at what Jesus Christ did, I think it is more accurate to interpret that with the grace of God, Jesus Christ embraced, gave his blessing towards the practice of baptism. Towards those who would in the future and had already been baptized.

Jesus Christ being baptized is proof in itself, because he was not baptized prior to being baptized obviously.

TK
 

Thomas

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If an infant doesn't understand sin and repentance of sin, how can the baptism of an infant be a means of repentance and forgiveness to the infant?
It is an axiom of Catholic doctrine that it is not the person who is born in sin, but the nature.

When our Primordial Parents fell, they corrupted human nature as a result.

So when we baptise a child, or indeed an adult, we are not addressing the sin of the child, again it is a doctrine that a child cannot sin, therefore a child cannot be born sinful, but a child can inherit a defect of nature, as it were, and baptism is a restorative not of a natural nature, but the inspiration of the supernatural into the natural soul.

So it might be easier to understand baptism as a medicine to treat an inherited defect — to re-connect that which was broken.

When the couple were ejected from Paradise, God withdrew the Grace of His company. Baptism restores that grace. Remember, it is a supernatural, not a natural gift.

How can the infant first pay attention to the one whom the infant has sinned against...
Again, in our doctrine, infants can't sin. One has to be at the age of responsibility to sin. A sin is something one does, knowing it to be morally wrong, and yet with one's full consent.

Doesn't infant baptism bypass any choice on the part of the infant? :confused:
Yes, I suppose it does. But the child is not fixed. Rather the child is brought into a community, which it is free to leave at any time.

Thomas
 

soleil10

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It is an axiom of Catholic doctrine that it is not the person who is born in sin, but the nature.

When our Primordial Parents fell, they corrupted human nature as a result.

So it might be easier to understand baptism as a medicine to treat an inherited defect — to re-connect that which was broken.Thomas

I do have a similar understanding. We are still born with the original sin from A& E which is transfered from generation to generation.
 

seattlegal

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It is an axiom of Catholic doctrine that it is not the person who is born in sin, but the nature.

When our Primordial Parents fell, they corrupted human nature as a result.

So when we baptise a child, or indeed an adult, we are not addressing the sin of the child, again it is a doctrine that a child cannot sin, therefore a child cannot be born sinful, but a child can inherit a defect of nature, as it were, and baptism is a restorative not of a natural nature, but the inspiration of the supernatural into the natural soul.

So it might be easier to understand baptism as a medicine to treat an inherited defect — to re-connect that which was broken.

When the couple were ejected from Paradise, God withdrew the Grace of His company. Baptism restores that grace. Remember, it is a supernatural, not a natural gift.


Again, in our doctrine, infants can't sin. One has to be at the age of responsibility to sin. A sin is something one does, knowing it to be morally wrong, and yet with one's full consent.


Yes, I suppose it does. But the child is not fixed. Rather the child is brought into a community, which it is free to leave at any time.

Thomas
So Catholic baptism isn't like the baptism that John the Baptist and Jesus's disciples performed, which stressed repentance?
 

TheKhan

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I meant to say, obviously there was no difference whether Jesus was baptized or not. This is a major point of mine, although some may argue that we are just plainly not Jesus and need a baptism. I can imagine the logic. Try being friends with Christ first he may uplift, IMO.

I`ll write what I was holding back, since I am so drunk right now (and the chic bartender was giving me reimbursements for some reason, yes I am boasting..as it hardly never happens but this one time I actually ended up with a $100 more with no memory..) not that it makes a difference in what I think. Theoretically, water purify`s the body, creates the conditions so that some sort of spiritual practice can be performed. What the sound (spririt), that John the baptist said means, I do not know. But from what it seems like, it is something that brings us closer to God. So its a two step process, first the purification through clean water, then the blessing from words we speak which are spirits, for some supposed reason.. its a theory.

If anyone opposes to this, I`ll just say, I`m a Brit-raised Asian from an Asian family and most my life I thought I was baptized but very recently my devout Roman Catholic American-Italian godmother told me that I technically wasn`t.. imagine what I thought!.. And yet, it turned out that while I was growing up, I knew more about the book than any of my protestant classmates who actually went to church because I loved the book. To this day I don`t exactly know what goes on at church although I`m absolutely sure I`d know exactly if I went there, due to the schools I went.

But what I really mean is since baptism was unneeded for Christ, yet he chose to be baptized, is absolutely a message that its not a big deal, hopefully. I strongly believe that it is possible to receive revelations without being baptized previously.

TK
 

Quahom1

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I`m gonna wing this, through what my common sense tells me.

If you look at what Jesus Christ did, I think it is more accurate to interpret that with the grace of God, Jesus Christ embraced, gave his blessing towards the practice of baptism. Towards those who would in the future and had already been baptized.

Jesus Christ being baptized is proof in itself, because he was not baptized prior to being baptized obviously.

TK
I think if you read the Bible on this issue and remember what happened to Jesus upon coming out of the water, you find that it was obedience to the Father's will and to the laws of purification that Jesus showed all of us. The father seems to confirm this by expressing his approval in his son's actions.
 

Quahom1

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What are your thoughts on infant baptism? quote]




its not a bible teaching , simple as that
So what? It is in the OT that purification by water was a mandate, whether by child or adult. It does not say that John baptized only adults either. It says he baptized with water, as the law and God prescribed. So, yes it is biblical, just not specific toward infants...or is it? Seems Jesus was taken to the temple as an infant wherein water was used by the priest Simeon, during the "dedication"...in accordance with the law.
 

TheKhan

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I think if you read the Bible on this issue and remember what happened to Jesus upon coming out of the water, you find that it was obedience to the Father's will and to the laws of purification that Jesus showed all of us. The father seems to confirm this by expressing his approval in his son's actions.

Sorry, its not a big deal to me but I think what you say would be true if baptism was absolutely God from the beginning of time. The greatness of baptism as you put it was only shown to us through the action of Christ and therefore the significance was not there as far as we were concerned until then. Therefore I say Christ showed us the value by embracing it, which would be the equivalent of what you said with the difference in timing (I`ll get back to you if I think I`m wrong later). As far as we are concerned, I think our interpretation of the greatness of baptism came after the act of baptizing Christ. How does the Father confirm btw, may I ask? as I wonder how on earth do we know what the Father thinks, but if anything is said please let me know.

My thoughts are based on the assumption that the Jesus prior to baptism was no different after the baptism by John. I just think this was the way Jesus decided to approve of John.

TK

p.s. anyways I`ll go and look at the book as you suggest, as I haven`t in a very long time.
 

Quahom1

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Sorry, its not a big deal to me but I think what you say would be true if baptism was absolutely God from the beginning of time. The greatness of baptism as you put it was only shown to us through the action of Christ and therefore the significance was not there as far as we were concerned until then. Therefore I say Christ showed us the value by embracing it, which would be the equivalent of what you said with the difference in timing (I`ll get back to you if I think I`m wrong later). As far as we are concerned, I think the greatness of baptism came after the act of baptizing Christ. How does the Father confirm btw, may I ask? as I wonder how on earth do we know what the Father thinks, but if anything is said please let me know.

TK
For Christianity, yes. But "baptism" was a millenia old practice by the Jews and other tribes, well before Christianity came to the forefront.

John the Baptist, was baptising "Before" Christ ever began his ministry. It is said that Jesus actually began his mission with his baptism. He was symbolically "purified" before beginning the work of God...
 

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What are your thoughts on infant baptism? Adult baptism? Is it necessary for salvation, or just a good idea? Is it a bad idea?

The Episcopal Church does infant baptism. As others have said, it is entry into the community of God and promises are made by the family and community on behalf of the child, to grow up in the light and nurture of God. When in their teens, young people are confirmed, which reinforces their membership in the Body of Christ when they are of the age of reason. After that it is a matter of picking up our cross daily.

Any baptized person, including infants, can receive communion. My children were baptized at ages of two and four and have rec'd communion ever since. Even infants can take a speck of bread and drop of wine. We believe that this is spiritual nourishment for the child, just as it is for adults.

Oh, forgot to say. Baptism, as other sacraments, is an outward sign of an inward grace. Thus we see infant baptism as a remarkable sign of the grace of God, which is poured out abundantly and does not rely upon works, including the works of intellectual assent.
 
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Joedjr

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Hi Thomas,
"But Jesus said to them: Suffer the little children, and forbid them not to come to me: for the kingdom of heaven is for such."
Matthew 19:14

"Jesus answered: Amen, amen I say to thee, unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God."
John 3:5

If Christ does not forbid 'little children' to 'be born again of water and the Holy Ghost' — on what basis have we the right to deny them the Rite?
All though I can see the point that you imply here this is an extremely loose association of NT quotes. I would have thought that John 3:5 was taught for a individual that had reached a certain age. I don't think "children" as a group have the mental awareness of a need to be "born again". The passage starts out by describing whom Jesus is about to speak to, "Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews". this is not a child. I don't think what is being described here is a infant baptism with a sprinkle of water. John 3:6 "That is which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Thomas would you not agree that there is a direction being shown here to seek out things of the Spirit and not the flesh? The use of the bible quotes above, are they your thoughts or Catholic teaching?
Joe
 
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