Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Why we chose to have our children baptised...

I've been reading the recent online baptism debate, summed here. I really appreciate the grace displayed and vigor of the debate. Here is the basic reason that we had our two children baptised (there are more reasons than this, for the record).

We teach our two toddlers:
  • to walk,
  • to eat,
  • and to love Jesus.

And as they grow older, they are learning to walk, and to eat and to love Jesus. And we expect that they will both keep walking and eating and loving Jesus.

Of course, like anyone at any age, they could in the future choose to stop walking, to stop eating or to stop loving Jesus. That will be their choice. But it will be opting out, rather than opting in.

At the moment, he's all in! Hence, his Baptism (not pictured here) ---

_______________________

21 comments:

sam said...

Amen brother... baptising kids is good. The debate has been good to read (not that i have read all of it) but from my Christian heritage it seems strange that you would be so passionate about either position.

DiscuZion said...

I second the Amen, as someone who does seem the issue as being important (although not so importan as to exclude each other from the Lord's Table).

Glad to see a Sydang defending paedbaptism (as much as I love and respect D.B. Knox n' all, I think he was way off when it came to the Sacraments).

Saludos y bendiciones.

Moffitt the Prophet said...

Sound argument Justin. Can i add an amen?

adam said...

I'm with you, until the "hence" ;)

You need to define baptism...

Jenny said...

Hi Justin. Love the pic of the boy and the puddle.
We chose to have our children dedicated (that is what we do at our church). Dedicated = our promise to raise them in a Christian home, and the teaching that goes with that; and the church family promises the same care of our children. We chose godparents as well, as prayer support for us and our children.
When they are are of the age to make the decision to be baptised, as a sign of their own faith, we will support them in that. All three have told us they love Jesus, and have prayed the 'sinners prayer'. Very exciting for us.
Sorry - I didn't read your link. I glanced at it and decided it was beyond me at the moment as I am in the middle of cooking dinner/bathing kids etc. (Well, I am hiding away, avoiding the housework actually.)
Although I grew up in the Anglican church, I refused to be confirmed when everyone else was doing it. I had not made up my mind about the whole baptism thing - did i accept my infant baptism or not etc. I recently (3 years ago) was baptised in obedience to our church leadership/doctrine (?), and it was a profoundly important step and spiritual experience.
I think that any baptism/dedication of one's children is extremely important. It marks them out as part of God's family.
PS: There has been no poke today!!

Anonymous said...

My parents didn't get me baptised as a baby as they thought this was a decision we should make ourselves when we were old enough to decide. They were non-religious anyway. I spent my youth at the Anglican church but now go to a baptist church planted by southern Baptist missionaries here in germany. I got baptised at 23 and am glad my parents didn't have me done as a baby.
Wanted to point out that once the american pastor moved on, the thinking changed a bit at our church. he always said "Who wants to give their life to jesus, get baptised and become a member of our church." I think the member bit has lost it a bit now as we see it as more important if the person working at church loves Jesus,whether they are a member or not.Living in a country where there is no seperation of church and state you meet a lot of people who are christened and members of the church but have no connection with the church(until of course the pope comes to visit!)

Justin said...

Adam -- What was the gap between the word "Hence" and "baptize"?

Great to hear all your stories!

steve said...

Haha great pictures

adam said...

I was interested in your definition of baptism, so that your line "hence, his baptism" would make sense in my head.

I could have written the same post about my kids, and concluded (as I have): "Hence, we don't baptise"...

Justin said...

I could have written the same post about my kids, and concluded (as I have): "Hence, we don't baptise"...

Hi Adam -- thanks for commenting.

Why would you have concluded this way? Your child loves and trusts Jesus. He/She is in. You've got to that point with me.

But then you don't baptize?

What do you do with people who love and trust Jesus? You baptize them!

Very keen for me to understand your thoughts!

adam said...

Because I don't think baptism applies to second generation (for want of a better phrase) Christians.

I think the biblical evidence points to baptism being performed on new converts at the point of their conversion. Can you convince me otherwise?

Justin said...

Because I don't think baptism applies to second generation (for want of a better phrase) Christians.

Niether do I. My point in this post is that he is first generation. He is in. I wish you could ask him personally...

I think the biblical evidence points to baptism being performed on new converts at the point of their conversion.

I guess this is the debate.

Can you convince me otherwise?

I wouldn't try on this one. I'm with Sam the First Commenter re not being passionate.

(Do we know each other, Adam?)

adam said...

I'm not at all passionate either, and I think I have adopted a position that no-one agrees with!

My point in this post is that he is first generation. He is in. I wish you could ask him personally...

I have no doubt he's in! I'm just wondering why you baptised him? (What were you trying to 'say'?)

Justin said...

I'd like to hear your position.

I have no doubt he's in! I'm just wondering why you baptised him? (What were you trying to 'say'?)

I'm not sure that I can say it any differently. We baptised him becasue he is 'in'. Thats what you do when someone is in.

adam said...

You explain your position, I'll explain mine ;)

We baptised him becasue he is 'in'. Thats what you do when someone is in.

This was my 'aha' moment! So why do you do it?

Anonymous said...

I'm not at all passionate either, and I think I have adopted a position that no-one agrees with!

Adam

Not true, I agree with you Adam, I don't think I'm doing anything wrong by not having my daughter baptised. She is "in" too. We just had a ceremony at church where the church prayed for us as parents and prayed for her that she would accept Christ. I've met people who were baptised as babies, or even as teenagers, worse still as adults, who want now nothing to do with Jesus. On the other hand I've met people who were baptised as children who are now pastors.
One point that's interesting in Australia is that the friends of mine from non_Christian families said having a baby christened got the relatives into the church, though a dedication ceremonny worked just as well with my parents!

Justin said...

We baptised him becasue he is 'in'. Thats what you do when someone is in.

This was my 'aha' moment! So why do you do it?


Help me Adam -- You are thinking something that I can't grasp.

If you read my sentence, it has a 'We baptised him", then a "becasue" (indicating I am answering a 'why' question) and then a reason, and I added a furthur explaination of the reason.

What are you looking for?

:)

Justin said...

Anon --

Welcome!

You wrote that you agree with Adam's position -- which is:

I'm not at all passionate either, and I think I have adopted a position that no-one agrees with!

I don't think we've heard Adam's position just yet. But I'm keen to hear it.

Thanks for your comment. (And I certainly don't think that you are doing anything wrong -- it's a conscience issue to me).

Anonymous said...

Hi Justin

Having "grown up" myself with infant baptism, that's what I feel comfortable with. Although my mother is a baptist by tradition, so I was exposed to "other" ideas, early on ....

Joshua, on the other hand, was baptised as an adult, with infant dedication.

So when we had our first daughter we had a thanksgiving service in an anglican church. I saw it as a baptism (although technically it wasn't), Josh thought of it as a dedication.

I wouldn't mind having our second daughter baptised. We are still in discussions!

However, as someone who was at "the Boy's" baptism .... was he "in" at this stage in the way you are referring. He was a tiny baby not walking or talking! Maybe we should have kids baptised when they are 2 or 3 and start talking about trusting Jesus etc??

just a thought.

nat jonker

adam said...

I guess I'm looking for a link between being "in" and getting baptised.

If I said "I ate, because I was hungry" its pretty clear why I ate.

If I said "I went for a walk, because I was hungry", its legitimate to ask why (the answer could be that i went for a walk to buy some ice cream, or that I went for a walk to distract me from my hunger).

I think you think that you answered the question like the first example, where I think its more like the second.

Thus my question, from the start, was for your definition of baptism.

Benjamin Ady said...

Your "it's a choice to stop loving Jesus" gave me pause.

I'm thinking "Did I *choose* to stop loving jesus?"

It's an intriguing question for me. thankyou for bringing it up.