Infant Baptism


When I told an acquaintance recently that we had our baby baptized she asked us why we did it. I knew she was of another Christian denomination and believed in Baptizing older children & adults only.  When Catholics get asked this it leaves many of us tongue tied. Are we forcing our beliefs onto our offspring? Are we denying them choice and thus their free will? Is infant baptism even Biblical?

The short answer to those questions posed above is no, no and yes.

In the same way that babies need food and care to survive, Catholics also believe that the soul needs nourishment. A baby can’t get his own food or put himself to sleep at night and needs his parents to help him. Catholics believe that the purpose of life is to become a saint and ultimately reach Heaven.  Being a good parent means that we not only feed and nurture our children physically, but spiritually as well.  Catholics also have the Sacrament of Confirmation where that same baptized child can make their own decision about receiving the Holy Spirit and choosing to be a follower of Jesus, when they are older. So, it is not as if, we are forcing our children to be Catholic.

Baptism is the moment a person loses Original sin and joins the family of God. In Scripture, we read often that Baptism is necessary for salvation and we see it also as a continuation of the Jewish tradition of circumcision —and all babies rejoice that only water and oil is used! But, not only does the Sacrament have ties in the Old Testament, but the New Testament tells us to include our babies and children.

“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. For the promise is to you and to your children and to all that are far off, every one whom the Lord our God calls to him” (Acts 2:38-39).

“The Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what was said by Paul. And after she was baptized, and her household as well…” (Acts 16:14-15)

When we Baptize our babies we are following Jesus’ clear instructions and not risking our children’t salvation by not having them baptized. Do you remember that Scripture where the children were rebuked for coming to see Jesus?

“Now they were bringing even infants to him that he might touch them; and when the disciples saw it, they rebuked them. But Jesus called them to him, saying, ‘Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of God’” (Luke 18:15–16).

Nowhere in the Bible does it say that only adults can be baptized, so while the Bible never explicitly says “baptize infants”, there are enough Scripture verses, like the ones above, that imply quite strongly that infants are to be included.

To me this disagreement about Baptism among Christians is one of the saddest ones. I mean, are we really arguing about whether to include innocent children? If Scripture supports it, and the earliest Christians included children and infants in the rite, then let us all concede that the Catholics got this one right and move on.



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2 Responses to Infant Baptism


    The word baptized is transliterated in most New Testament Bibles. A few Bibles actually translate the word from Greek to English.

    Transliterate Defined: to change (letters, words, etc.) into corresponding characters of another alphabet or language.

    Translate Defined: to turn from one language into another or from a foreign language into one’s own.

    Transliterate does not mean to translate.

    Question: Does the account of the Philippian jailer prove that non-believing infants are subjects for baptism?

    Acts 16:31-34 so they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household,”……..33 And immediately he and all his family were baptized. 34 Now when he had brought them into his house, he set food before them; and he rejoiced, having believed in God with all his household. (NKJV)

    Acts 16:31-34 ……33 …..and was immersed, he, and all his house, immediately. 34 Then he brought them up into his house, and set food before them, and with all his house, having believed in God. (The Better Version of The New Testament By Chester Estes)

    Acts 16:33 Then, even at that late hour of the night, the jailer took them and washed off their wounds; and without delay, he and all his people were immersed. (Complete Jewish Bible)

    What occurred with the jailer and his household?

    1. They all believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. Infants cannot believe.

    2. The whole household was immersed in water (baptized). Not one person was poured or sprinkled.

    3. They all rejoiced, having believed in God. Infants cannot rejoice nor can they believe in God.

    There were no adults nor unbelieving infants sprinkled or poured that night. The adults who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ were immersed for the forgiveness of their sins and were immersed into Christ. (Acts 2:38 and Galatians 3:27)

    If unbelievers need to be baptized for the false doctrine of original sin, then why do Christians not forcibly baptize unbelieving adults. Infants do give permission to be baptized, of coursed most infants are not immersed, they are sprinkled or poured.

    Immersion (baptism) in water is for adults who need to repent of their unbelief. They need to believe (John 3:16, repent Acts 3:19, Acts 2:38 confess Romans 10:9, and be immersed Mark 16:16.

    There is no Biblical account of unbelieving infants nor unbelieving adults be immersed for the forgiveness of the sins that they have committed. Certainly no Scriptures that states men need to baptized because of Adam’s sin.



    • seekingpemberley says:

      Hi Steve thanks for commenting 🙂

      The above Scripture you mentioned says “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household,”……..33 And immediately he and all his family were baptized.” The Scripture does not mention the exact ages of his family but it also does not say “and all his family were baptized…except his infant son who was not of age to believe in Jesus Christ…

      If baptizing infants is wrong I would think that Jesus would have mentioned this. But, he didn’t so we should take Scripture at its word that is, “and ALL his family were baptized.”

      Another thing I would mention is that see in Col 2:11-12 we see Baptism being compared to circumcision “the circumcision of Christ” and “the circumcision made without hands.” Of course, usually only infants were circumcised under the Old Law; circumcision of adults was rare, since there were few converts to Judaism. If Paul meant to exclude infants, he would not have chosen circumcision as a parallel for baptism.


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