- May 10, 2002Dear Rajesh, In the New Testament, nothing disproves the
practise of infant baptism. Show that Apostles were strictly
against baptism of infants or those who cannot make a decision
of their own. If Apostles were against some practise, they will
directly write about it.
Here is a nice article to study:
You think that faith is a matter of personal conviction or
knowledge. In your terms, prerequisite for baptism is
personal faith. This, I think, is the basis of your
argument. Your argument is true, but only in certain situations.
I think that personal faith is a prerequisite in certain situations,
not in all situations. For example, if a person is grown up
and able to make decision of his own, then personal faith and
confession of the faith is a precondition for a valid baptism.
Orthodox church do baptise believing adults. Muukancheril Thirumeni
baptised many adults.
There are many grown up people having problems with memory and
functions of the brain. Such people cannot make a decision of their
own. Now, if a houshold of such a person believed and decided
to join the church through baptism, who will make the decision
for the disabled person? Is he left alone without giving
baptism and later communion.
In the Orthodox church, sacraments are related to each other.
Associated with baptism is communion. Communion is receiving Christ.
In Orthodox Church, infants are given communion immediately after
baptism. Thus, Christ is not restricted to any in the Church.
Other churches does not give communion to children. They wait
for the chrismation or baptism of the child which happens about the
age of 7. They are effectively restricting Christ. This is a huge
One thing I found interesting in the above link is that even
founders of Protestant movement believed in the old practise
of infant baptism:
Of the baptism of children we hold that children ought to be
baptized. For they belong to the promised redemption made through
Christ, and the Church should administer it to them.
(Martin Luther, The Smalcald Articles, Article V: Of Baptism, 1537)
"If, by baptism, Christ intends to attest the ablution by which
he cleanses his Church, it would seem not equitable to deny this
attestation to infants, who are justly deemed part of the Church,
seeing they are called heirs of the heavenly kingdom." (John Calvin,
Institutes of the Christian Religion, 1559)
Thus, restricting baptism to infants is a relatively new rule.
Luther or Calvin didn't had this new rule in thier mind when they
You also suggest that Apostles had hard time correcting wrong
practises in the church. You are right. If Apostles were really
against the practise of infant baptism, they would definitely
write clearly that infant baptism should be avoided. But none
of the Apostles said so. Actually church blindly followed
Apostolic faith and kept all things they taught.
Orthodox church didn't introduce strict dogmas on many things,
while others later introduced lots of limitations and restrictions.
They spend too much of time arguing with Christians on such matters,
instead of helping people to grow spiritually. They introduce new
dogmas to replace existing traditions. Is this the aim of Christian
To conclude, Orthodox Church does not restrict baptism to any human
being based on his mental capabilities. Others are saying that only
those with the mental capabiltiy to believe and confess can receive
--- In SOCM-FORUM@y..., "Rajesh Philipos" wrote:
> Dear all,
> Thank you for replying to my message. I am heartened to see that we
> for each other, especially our spiritual needs and so you took time
> answer my question.
> It might be true that infant baptism started from the 3rd century.
> I am not of the opinion that everything that the early church
> were right. Otherwise, why the need for soo many letters from Paul
> various churches correcting them. So, I do not necessarily believe
> because it was practised early on, it ought to be right.
> When I read the Acts of the Apostles, everytime I read of a baptism,
> happened only after the person believed. If the idea of infant
> that the god-parents lead the infant to discipleship, then that
> But, then that is not the same baptism as mentioned in the Bible
> took place after a person believed. I am not a scholar in the Bible
> might be wrong. Please do not interpret my writing as being
arrogant. I am
> just learning now. I also do not see how a believer's infants are
> says all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Even
> born to Christians or gentiles. Each of us have to believe for
> not because our parents believed.
> Maybe, this isnt a big issue because if it was, Jesus would have
> clear in the Bible. More importantly is our personal belief in
> he died to save me from my sins. That is what is important. I think
> have that personal belief and follow Him, we will be saved (John
> baptised as an infant or not. Baptism, to me, is a public
affirmation of my
> being a Christian and also in Obedience to Him (Mathew 28.19).
> Love in Christ,
> >From: "drthomas_joseph"
> >Reply-To: SOCM-FORUM@y...
> >To: SOCM-FORUM@y...
> >Subject: [SOCM-FORUM] Re: Baptism.
> >Date: Sun, 05 May 2002 10:30:18 -0000
> >Dear Rajesh,
> >As you have noted, the New Testament does not explicitly require or
> >forbid infant baptism. As the Oxford Encylopaedia of the Christian
> >Church (1997, p. 831) notes, the tradition is at least as old as
> >century and universally practised until 16th century when the
> >practice was rejected by the Anabaptists.
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