can you baptize your baby in the Catholic Church?greenspun.com : LUSENET : Catholic : One Thread
If one person is Greek Orthodox and another is Catholic, and you were married in the Greek Orthodox church, can your baby be baptized in the Catholic Church?
-- lisa smith (email@example.com), January 24, 2003
Yes, if both of you agree the baby will be a catholic.
-- (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 24, 2003.
COULD SOMEONE PLEASE SHOW ME ONE INFANT IN THE BIBLE THAT WAS EVER BAPTIZED????!!!! EVEN JESUS HIMSELF WASN'T BAPTIZED UNTIL THE AGE OF 30. EVERY SCRIPTURE IN ANY BIBLE THAT I'VE LOOKED INTO ABOUT BAPTISM HAS NEVER ONCE SAID A CHILD WAS TO BE BAPTIZED.
MATT 28:19 GO, MAKE DISCIPLES, BAPTIZING THEM... (MAKE DISCIPLES OBVIOUSLY SHOWS TEACHING IS INVOLVED)
ACTS 8:12 WHEN THEY BELIEVED PHILLIP...THEY PROCEEDED TO BE BAPTIZED, BOTH MEN AND WOMEN....
ACTS 2:41 THOSE WHO EMBRACED HIS WORD HEARTILY WERE BAPTIZED (CAN AN INFANT ACTUALLY DO THIS)
ACTS 8:36-38 ABOUT THE ETIOPIAN EUNUCH...
JUST ASK WHOM EVER YOU SPEAK TO TO SHOW YOU SCRIPTURAL SUPPORT OF WHAT YOU'RE DOING AND SAVE YOUR MONEY.
-- H. SMITH (ANGEL25HERE@CS.COM), March 20, 2003.
Why wasn't Jesus baptized when He was an infant? Ah, but if you examine Scripture closely and understand the full meaning of redemption in the Lamb, you will see that Christ WAS “baptized” as an infant. Jesus is the “New Covenant”. “And he who sat upon the throne said, "Behold, I make all things new." (Rev. 21:5). Jesus re- wrote the covenant God had with Abraham. If we as Christians, believe this, than we must acknowledge that Jesus was on the “cusp” of the two covenants. Jesus transformed the “old” covenant into the “new”” covenant by His dolorous shedding of blood on the Cross. Jesus was “baptized” under the “old” covenant, as evidenced in Luke 2:21, “And at the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.” If we know anything of Scripture and the Old Covenant we know that every male was circumcised as a sign of acceptance of his covenant with God. Similarly, one of the first things Jesus did when He launched His public ministry and began to re-write man’s covenant with God was, He was baptized in the Jordan. “And when Jesus was baptized, he went up immediately from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and alighting on him;” (Matthew 3:16). A New Covenant with God was struck that would be completed on the Cross. St. Paul confirms this in Colossians (2:11-12). He ties in the “old” covenant signature of circumcision in with the “new” covenant one of baptism. St. Paul writes, “In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of flesh in the circumcision of Christ; and you were buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.”
There are innumerable references in Holy Scripture to the requirement that “all” men be baptized. Jesus said, “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt. 19:14). St. Paul clearly stated that unless you be baptized you could not come to Christ. “Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.” (Romans 6:3-4).
Following Christ’s instructions the Apostles went out and baptized “all people”” (Luke 3:21). Are infants not people? For more proof of the need to baptize infants, let us take a look at the Book of Acts, “And when she was baptized, with her household, she besought us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay. And she prevailed upon us.” (Acts 16:15). What does the word “household” mean? It means, “entire family”, it means, “men, women, children and infants”! Still again in Holy Scripture we find, “I did baptize also the household of Stephanas” (1 Cor 1:16). To disregard these passages from Scripture out of hand is to assume that households in ancient times did not have children? It is abundantly clear the Apostles went out and baptized children. Who else to better understand the will of God than the Apostles, those chosen by Jesus, who spent three years under His tutelage learning of the New Covenant. In the ancient catacombs of Rome, still today, you can go and see the inscriptions on the tombs of infants who were baptized as a result of what Jesus instructed His Church to do.
-- Ed Lauzon (email@example.com), March 20, 2003.
No scripture I have ever encountered in any Bible says that children should NOT be baptized; but many scriptures strongly indicate that they should be baptized, and in fact were from the beginning.
The Bible repeatedly reveals that it was the common practice of the early Church to baptize the ENTIRE HOUSEHOLD of new converts (Acts 16:15; Acts 16:33; 1 Cor 1:16). The "entire household" of an adult person is typically his/her spouse and children, is it not? If an individual was wealthy, he/she might also have servants in addition to family members. But most of those Jesus was preaching to in the streets were not wealthy. They were ordinary Jewish families, who considered children a blessing from God, and absence of children a curse. How many such "entire households" do you suppose could be baptized without any of them including small children?
Paul tells us that baptism replaces circumcision (Col 2:11-12). Circumcision under the Old Covenant took place on the 8th day of life. Paul surely realized that making such a comparison would lead people to believe that baptism was to be administered primarily to infants, but also to adult converts, just like circumcision. If Paul didn't intend for his readers to reach that obvious conclusion, surely he would have said so, and explained why.
Jesus said that one must be BORN AGAIN in order to enter the kingdom (John 3:3) He goes on to say (John 3:5) that being born again requires two things - being born of water, and being born of the Spirit (John 3:5). Note that John 3:5 is an explanation of John 3:3, at the request of Nicodemus (John 3:4). Therefore everything mentioned in John 3:5 relates specifically to spiritual REbirth, and has nothing to do with initial, or natural birth. Therefore the only plausible interpretation of being "born of water" in this context is the Sacrament of Baptism. We also see that Jesus said the kingdom belongs to little children and babies (Matthew 19:14; Mark 10:14; Luke 18:16). Is it likely then that the very people who are already in possession of the kingdom - small children - would be ineligible for the very thing that makes entry into the kingdom possible? Little children, Jesus says, are the ones who are already predisposed for baptism and the kingdom. If we adults wish to be baptized and enter the kingdom too, Jesus tells us how we can do so - by becoming as little children (Matt 18:3).
One of two things must be true - either (1) The Church baptized infants from the beginning (in which case, you need to explain by what authority your church has rejected this teaching); or (2) the Church introduced baptism of infants as a radical new teaching at some point in history. Such a major change would undoubtedly have generated a storm of writing, both in protest against and in support of the new policy. When we look back in history for this storm of outcry and debate, we find ... not a single word. We know with certainty therefore that such a change never took place. Therefore we know that the Church of the Apostles baptized infants from the beginning. So, again - why doesn't your church do so? Who authorized them to reject this teaching of the Apostles?
Peter, speaking to adult converts, said "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit" (Acts 2:38). This verse indicates that Baptism is not something we do to show our commitment to God. Rather it is something God does to us, for only God can forgive sins, and only God can give us the gift of the Holy Spirit. Peter tells these adult sinners to repent, that is, to become like little children, so they can be baptized. Then, in the very next verse, Peter tells the people "This promise is to you AND TO YOUR CHILDREN", to EVERYONE the Lord our God calls to himself" (Acts 2:39). Baptism and its associated blessingss are for EVERYONE the Lord calls to Himself. Does He call little children to Himself? Yes, He does (Matthew 19:14; Mark 10:14; Luke 18:16)
I know Protestants don't like to look at history. Too often the historical records of early Christianity contradict the modern traditions of denominational religion. However, the Catholic Church, in asking historical questions, looks to historical records for answers. "Should infants be baptized?" is a theological question; but "Did the early Church baptize infants?" is a strictly historical question. Some of the historical writings of early Christian leaders include the following quotes (a few examples of many) ...
"Baptize first the children, and if they can speak for themselves let them do so. Otherwise, let their parents or other relatives speak for them" (Hippolytus, The Apostolic Tradition, A.D. 215)
"The Church received from the apostles the tradition of giving baptism even to infants. The apostles, to whom were committed the secrets of the divine sacraments, knew there are in everyone innate strains of sin, which must be washed away through water and the Spirit" (Origen, Commentaries on Romans, A.D. 248)
"As to what pertains to the case of infants: You said that they ought not to be baptized within the second or third day after their birth, that the old law of circumcision must be taken into consideration, and that you did not think that one should be baptized and sanctified until the eighth day after his birth. In our council it seemed to us far otherwise. No one agreed to the course which you thought should be taken. Rather, we all judge that the mercy and grace of God ought to be denied to no man born" (Cyprian, Letters, A.D. 253)
"You see how many are the benefits of baptism, and some think its heavenly grace consists only in the remission of sins, but we have enumerated ten honors it bestows! For this reason we baptize even infants, though they are not defiled by personal sins, so that there may be given to them holiness, righteousness, adoption, inheritance, brotherhood with Christ, and that they may be his members" (John Chrysostom, Baptismal Catecheses in Augustine, Against Julian, A.D. 388)
"The custom of Mother Church in baptizing infants is certainly not to be scorned, nor is it to be regarded in any way as superfluous, nor is it to be believed that its tradition is anything except apostolic." (Augustine, The Literal Interpretation of Genesis, A.D. 408)
So, the available evidence all points toward baptism of infants as the norm in the early Church. That same Church continues to experience the fullness of the same spiritual life which the Church of the Apostles professed. The manmade tradition of denominational religion has chipped away at the beliefs, the practices, and the spirituality of original Christianity until they are left with but a remnant, or a collection of conflicting remnants, of the fullness of Christian life Jesus gave His Church. The spiritual birth of their own children is one of the essential aspects of complete Christian life which has fallen prey to this ungodly process. But the truth is easy to find, for those who would know it.
-- Paul (PaulCyp@cox.net), March 20, 2003.
Excellent post Paul! You’ve added so much more, particularly the early Church writings. My reply came from an earlier response I gave when a similar question was asked. To save time I merely paraphrased it and posted it here. We get this question coming up quite a bit. You also make a very good argument for Sacred Tradition. Not everything Jesus taught us can be found in Scripture. Occasionally we discover something He gave us that was preserved by handing it down through His followers.
-- Ed Lauzon (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 21, 2003.