Saturday, November 12, 2011

Baby Dedication-Beliefs

A dear friend of mine, Ashley, posted this explanation of baby dedication on her blog...this is 100% how I believe. She said it so well and since I plan to make this blog a book I would love for Wyatt to be able to look back and have these posts as reference. With that said...

"We dedicate our children to the Lord. They are not baptized as infants. We believe that according to Scripture, baptism clearly follows a person's salvation experience (that he or she has experienced when they can make the decision to follow Christ for themselves). We do not believe that baptism is required for salvation. There are several reasons, but a good example is the thief on the cross next to Jesus. He was saved minutes before his death and was not baptized. Jesus clearly stated that he would be with Him in paradise. However, we do believe that baptism is the next obedient step to show the world publicly that you've made a decision to follow Christ. It should be the natural desire of someone who has given their life to Christ to follow through with baptism.

I know many churches baptize infants but say that it's only marking that child as being in a Christian family, or it's only consecrating that child to God - not saving them. They believe that it's not salvation, but only showing that the baby is going to be raised to follow Christ. Well, that's what we do in our dedication service, and that's why we call it dedication. We believe that the term baptism refers to a one-time event that takes place after salvation. Baptism marks a willing, participating, confessing believer - not a potential believer. As John McArthur says, because of infant baptism, there are a lot of baptized non-Christians walking around. Baptism is serious, and it should be reserved for those who understand what it means. It's our personal belief that if your intent is just to "mark" the child or family, you shouldn't call that baptism, because it has nothing to do with that child's salvation; it's more of a covenant between the parents, God, and the church.

The biggest reason that we don't baptize our children is because it's not practiced in the Bible. Jesus was dedicated to the Lord as an infant by his parents (Luke 2), and was immersed in the water as an adult, to mark the beginning of His ministry (Matthew 3). While some would argue that Mary and Joseph were following Old Testament law and dedication (or "consecration") doesn't apply to us today, we still use this model of covenanting with God to do our part of raising our child in a godly home, and then one baptism by immersion when our child has made their personal commitment to Christ. We look forward to the day when we stand and watch our child (or young adult, or adult child if the case may be) stand in the water by themselves and confess that Jesus is their Lord. We as parents can't bestow the act of baptism upon our child; it must be their public act of confessing Christ as Lord.

We believe the doctrine of baptism is very important and we have made decisions according to how we interpret the Scripture."

1 comment:

  1. So very well said. We too dedicated our children and pray for the day that we see them baptized.


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