By Johnie Edwards
Many religious groups teach “infant baptism.” The Discipline of the Methodist Church says, “Let every adult person, and the parents of every child to be baptized, have the choice of sprinkling, pouring or immersion” (1952 edition, page 519). The Catholic Catechism tells us, “Babies have to be baptized because they have Original Sin on their souls . : .” (page 56).
Actually, there is no such thing as “infant baptism.” The word baptism means to dip or immerse. Babies are not actually baptized! Water is poured or sprinkled on them.
The history of sprinkling reveals that it was accepted first by the Roman Catholic Church at the Council of Ravenna in 1311. The Catholic Church teaches that, “Baptism used to be given by placing the person to be baptized completely in the water; it was done in this way in the Catholic Church for 1200 years” (Adult Catechism, pp. 56-57). Protestant churches have simply borrowed sprinkling for baptism from them.
Let us look at some reasons why infants should not have water poured or sprinkled on them as a religious ceremony:
Bible Baptism Is Not Sprinkling
Bible baptism is not sprinkling in the first place. Bible baptism is a burial. “Buried with him in baptism, wherein also you are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead” (Col. 2:12). “Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death; that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life” (Rom. 6:4).
An Infant Is Not Subject To Bible Baptism
An infant is not a subject of Bible baptism. The teaching of the Bible in regard to baptism eliminates the infant. Jesus said, “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth, Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world” (Matt. 28:18-20). Again Christ said, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned” (Mk. 16:15-16). Peter commanded, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins . . .” (Acts 2:38). One must also be able to confess his faith in Christ (Matt. 10:32; Acts 8:37; Rom. 10:10).
An infant is not a subject of Bible baptism for a subject of Bible baptism has to be capable of being: (1) taught, (2) believing, (3) repenting of sins, (4) confessing his faith in Christ and (5) submitting to immersion.
Infants Are Not Sinners
An infant is not a sinner. We are often told that an infant has “original sin” on its soul. The Bible does not teach that! Jesus said concerning little children, “Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for such is the kingdom of God” (Mk. 10:14). Again Christ said, “Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Mt. 18:3). A person has to commit sin in order to become a sinner. “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law” (1 Jn. 3:4). There is a period in the life of a child, “before the child shall know to refuse the evil, and choose the good . . .” (Isa. 7:16). “God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions” (Eccl. 7:29). Ezekiel said, “The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him” (Ezek. 18:20).
“Infant Baptism” Not Practiced in The Bible
“Infant baptism” was not practiced by the apostles and the early church: All eleven cases of conversion in the book of Acts show that men heard the gospel preached, believed and were baptized. There is no record in the New Testament of an infant ever being baptized, or having water poured or sprinkled on him!
“Infant Baptism” Robs The Child
It robs the child of freedom of choice. Each is to do his own choosing as to whether he wants to obey God or disobey (Josh. 24:15, Rev. 22:17). It may rob the child of salvation. Many times a child, when he grows older, refuses to be baptized, saying, “My parents had me baptized when I was a baby.” Thus, the child refuses to obey God (Matt. 7:21; Heb. 5:8-9). I would not want to base my salvation on the testimony of another. Obey today.
Truth Magazine XXIII: 27, p. 434
July 12, 1979