Risk Of Not Baptizing Your Children
In most assemblies, children are not being baptized until
they are a certain age. This concerns me, because our Savior's name,
Yahoshua, has not been applied to them. There is not enough evidence in
Yahweh's word to disprove baptism of children. In fact, I think there is
more evidence to baptize them. This is very serious, we are talking about
our precious little children.
Our children are already partaking in the keeping of Yahweh's
commandments such as keeping the Sabbath and eating clean. We are raising
them to love and believe in Yahweh. Why shouldn't they also be able to be
sealed with his name in baptism?
Deut. 6: 6&7
6. And these words, which I command thee
this day, shall be in thine heart:
7. And thou shalt teach them diligently
unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and
when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.
Proverbs 22: 6
6. Train up a child in the way he should
go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
I cannot, in good conscience, be baptized and
not have my children baptized also. There is nothing in the scriptures
that says we shouldn't. So I would rather be safe than sorry!
I would rather be wrong in baptizing them instead of being wrong in not
baptizing them, considering that their eternal life is at stake. We really need
to take a close look into this, to make sure we are doing the right thing.
Acts 2: 38&39
38. Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and
be baptized every one of you in
the name of Yahoshua Messiah for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the
gift of the Qodesh Spirit.
39. For the promise is unto you and to
your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as Yahweh our
Elohim shall call.
I believe, the children of the believers,
were included when Peter said, every one of you. And in verse 39, the
promise of Yahweh's Spirit is for our children too. John was filled from
the womb and leaped for joy.
Everyone of us starts out in Yahweh as
spiritual babies and it is a growing process for our entire lives.
Repentance becomes a part of our everyday lives. Yahoshua teaches us to
pray "forgive us our sins" It is when we stop doing this, that
we can get into trouble. I remember a time when I was totally ignorant of
Yahweh's word. I had no idea what sin was. All I knew was that I
just wanted Yahweh to be in my life. He loved me and accepted me just like
I was. I became his workmanship, through his Spirit, unto good works and
righteousness. Our little children need his Spirit working in their lives
also. The sooner the better.
Acts 16: 13-15
13. And on the Sabbath we went out of the
city by a river side, where prayer was wont to be made; and we sat down, and
spake unto the women which resorted thither.
14. And a certain woman named Lydia, a
seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshiped Yahweh, heard us:
whose heart Yahweh opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken
15. And when she was baptized, and
her household, she besought
us, saying, If ye have judged me to be faithful to Yahweh, come unto my house,
and abide there. And she constrained us.
Acts 16: 25-33
25. And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed,
and sang praises unto Yahweh: and the prisoners heard them.
26. And suddenly there was a great
earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and
immediately all the doors were opened, and every one's bands were loosed.
27. And the keeper of the prison awaking
out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and
would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled.
28. But Paul cried with a loud voice,
saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here.
29. Then he called for a light, and sprang
in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas,
30. And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what
must I do to be saved?
31. And they said, Believe on Yahoshua
Messiah, and thou shalt be saved, and
32. And they spake unto him the word of
Yahweh, and to all that were
in his house.
33. And he took them the same hour of the
night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he
and all his, straightway.
1 Cor. 1: 16
16. And I baptized also the household of
Stephanas: besides, I know not whether I baptized any other.
I saw this next scripture being used by
someone trying to disprove baptizing children. Is this enough proof not to
1 Cor. 16: 15
15. I beseech you brethren, (ye know the
house of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have
addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints,)
In these examples of Lydia, the jailer and
Stephanas, they and their families were baptized. Were there children in
these homes? We can't be sure one way or the other. So we need to
ask ourselves the question: Should we risk taking the chance of not
baptizing our children? We are born in sin and it takes getting Yahoshua's
blood applied to cleanse us. We all have the death penalty until we are
made clean and reborn in baptism.
1 Cor. 10: 1-5
1. Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye
should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all
passed through the sea;
2. And were
all baptized unto Moses in
the cloud and in the sea;
3. And did all eat the same spiritual
4. And did all drink the same spiritual
drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that
Rock was Messiah.
If children and even babies were baptized
unto Moses and ate spiritual meat and drink spiritual drink, then our children
should be able to, as well. If there would have been a small child in
Noah's family would he have just left it behind when they got on the ark?
Matt. 19: 14
14. But Yahoshua said, Suffer little
children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom
1 Cor. 7: 14
14. For the unbelieving husband is
sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else
were your children unclean; but now are they Qodesh.
I really believe, the way the children become
clean and Qodesh is because the believing parent has them baptized.
I had my children baptized when they were
babies and two of my grandchildren were baptized when they were babies. My
two little grandchildren have their heavenly Father's name written in their
Is there anything in Yahweh's word that shows us assuredly
that we do not need to baptize our children? Also, remember that children
were circumcised at 8 days old. As painful as that is, must we be so
fearful to baptize our children! Remember, truth can be scary at first,
because it sounds so different to what we have been taught all of our lives.
Can baptism of children be truth, that most of us have really never looked
In my research on this subject, I looked into some Catholic
writings, and they say their tradition of baptizing infants comes from the time
of the Apostles. I have seen them to be honest about where they get their
doctrines. Whether they have made something law or changed something.
It's time to take a closer look, because we are living in the
last days and Yahweh's wrath will be poured out upon all that are not sealed.
We do not know when that will be. Are the children ready for this great
event that is going to take place? Getting our children sealed with the
name of Yahoshua could be a part of the final stages of his soon coming.
1 John 2: 12 & 13
12. I write unto you, little children,
because your sins are forgiven you for his name's sake.
13. I write unto you, fathers, because ye
have known him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men,
because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little
children, because ye have known the Father.
Can we really be sure that our children are
clean and Qodesh without being baptized? I really don't want to take that
Below is an article I found on the internet. I just
pasted it on to this article. I thought it had some interesting things to
say. I did edit it and I changed some words to make it more easier on you
It is interesting to note that this quote from
Peter's Pentecostal sermon does not merely state "... the promise is for
you and children," but "for you and your children," which makes
it clear that the children mentioned here were young enough to still be
considered under the protection and authority of their parents. This is
underscored when one understands that it was common for women and men to marry
at the very young ages of twelve and thirteen, respectively. From this it
becomes reasonable to assume that these children to whom Peter refers were young
juveniles or, at the very least, in their preadolescence.
The Baptism of Households
Although this is only indirect Scriptural
evidence, the fact that the Bible mentions that entire "households"
were baptized does make it seem probable that children and infants were
included. "Now I did baptize the household of Stephanas . . . " (1
Corinthians 1:16) (An angel spoke to Cornelius saying) "Send to Joppa, and
have Simon, who is called Peter, brought here; and he shall speak words to you
by which you will be saved, and all your household " (Later, when Peter
arrived at (Cornelius' household) "... he ordered them to be
baptized."(Acts 11:13b, 14; Acts 10:48a) "And when she (Lydia of
Thyatira) and her household had been baptized . . . " (Acts 16:15a)
"Believe in the Yahoshua Messiah, and you shall be saved, you and your
household . . . and immediately he was baptized, he and all his household.
" (Acts 16:31, 33b) We know that the Greek word oikos, translated
"house" or "household," has traditionally included infants
and children in its meaning for several reasons. There is no evidence of this
word being used either in secular Greek, Biblical Greek,or in the writing of
Hellenistic Judaism in a way which would restrict its meaning only to adults.
The Old Testament parallel for "house" carries the sense of the entire
family. The Greek translation of the original Hebrew manuscripts (completed in
250 B.C.) uses this word when translating the Hebrew word meaning the complete
family (men, women, children, infants). Similarly, we know that the phrase
"he and his house" refers to the total family; the Old Testament use
of this phrase clearly demonstrates this by specifically mentioning the presence
of children and infants at times.
No baptism of older children of believing
parents is recorded.
If the baptism of infants was not acceptable
during New Testament times, then when does Scripture mention the alternative -
the baptism of the children of believing parents once they have matured out of
infancy? There is not one example of the baptism of a child as an adult. It is
important that Scripture also does not speak of an "age of accountability
or reason" (which many pinpoint at 13 years) when a child's capacity to
believe is developed enough so that he can receive baptism. Neither is it stated
that every child is in a "suspended state of salvation" until they
have reached this age, which one would have to believe if he held to the
"age of accountability" theory.
Certainly if there were a taint of sin upon
each who is born in this world, there would be a need for every person to be
cleansed from this impurity before leaving the temporal life. There is
such a need since "... through one man sin entered the world, and death
through sin, and so death spread to all men." (Romans 5:12) For this
reason " ... there are none righteous, not even one" (i.e. not
infants). (Romans 3:10) How are these young ones saved from the sin they have
received from Adam? They are saved through the regenerative power of baptism.
"He saved us, not on the basis of deeds
which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing
of regeneration baptism and renewing by the Qodesh Spirit." (Titus 3:5)
"Repent, and let each of you be baptized
in the name of Yahoshua Messiah for the forgiveness of your sins." (Acts
"Yahoshua answered, 'Truly, truly, I say
to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the
Kingdom of Yahweh.' " (John 3:5)
"... when the patience of Yahweh kept
waiting in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark, in which a few,
that is, eight persons, were brought safely through the water, and corresponding
to that, baptism now saves you." (1 Peter 3:20,21)
Baptism is not just a symbolic testimony of
what Yahweh has done in the heart of an adult believer, but is in itself a
dynamic means of actually effecting the power of the death and resurrection of
Yahoshua in a life (Romans 6:4). Baptism is the means whereby we encounter
and identify with Yahoshua Himself. This is one of the reasons why Paul explains
baptism as the manner in which we genuinely "put on" or
"clothe" ourselves with Messiah (Galatians 3:27). This is not just a
metaphor, Yahweh actually transforms a person through his baptism.
The Old Testament Symbols of Salvation and
Baptism Include Infants:
Circumcision, the sign of Yahweh's covenant
between the people of Abraham and Himself, was performed on every male child who
was eight days old (Genesis 17:12). Many see a direct parallel between
circumcision and baptism in Scriptural passages such as Colossians 2:11,12:
"And in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without
hands, in the removal of the body of flesh by the circumcision of Messiah;
having been buried with Him in baptism ..." If circumcision types out
baptism then there can definitely be no objection to "sealing" the
infant of a consecrated believing family.
Moses' leading his people through the Red Sea is
seen as an Old Testament foreshadowing of baptism. The following New Testament
passage clearly points to this: "For I do not want you to be unaware,
brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the
sea; and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, and all ate
the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were
drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them, and that rock was
Messiah." (1 Corinthians 10:1-4) It is worthwhile to note that "all
were baptized" through Moses' leadership in crossing over the Red Sea. He
did not leave the infants or children on the shores of Egypt to become prey to
the angry armies of Pharaoh because they were not old enough to believe in the
promise of the Old Covenant. Rather, entrusted to the arms of their parents'
faith, they were carried through the "baptism of Moses."
The saving of Noah's entire family by the ark
can also be seen as a prefigurement of a baptism which includes infants. All
that needs to be said is that the entire family was on board the ark. Why should
we leave infants out of the ark of baptism?
Secular Philosophy Redefines
"Faith" and "Personhood"
Larry Christenson, in his pamphlet "What
About Baptism", quotes Edmund Schlink (author of The Doctrine of Baptism)
as stating that the rejection of infant baptism was based on the secular
philosophy of the sixteenth century which assured man's individuality, and was
not the result of a new Scriptural inquiry:
"'Belief was seen in rationalistic and
volitional terms, as an act of the mind and the will. 'Because an infant cannot
think or decide, it cannot have faith, and therefore should not be baptized.' To
this day. that is the only argument raised against the validity of infant
baptism. One tosses off the sentence as though it were self-evident truth: 'A
child can't believe.' But that 'truth,' upon examination, is neither
self-evident, nor is it Biblical."
Faith is not merely a product of reason but
relation. It is a relationship of love and trust, a relationship which is not
limited to the mind. Some Scriptures which support the possibility of an
"infant faith" are these:
"Yet Thou are He who didst bring me
forth from the womb; Thou didst make me trust when upon my mother's
breast." (Psalm 22:9)
"And whoever causes one of these little
ones who believe to stumble, it would be better for him if with a heavy
millstone hung around his neck, he had been cast into the sea." (Mark 9:42)
"For behold, when the sound of your
greeting [Theotokos] reached my ears [Elizabeth], the baby [John the Baptist]
leaped in my womb for joy." (Luke 1:44)
Polycarp stated at his martyrdom (167/8 A.D.)
that he had been in the "service of Christ" for eighty-six years.
Other recorded dates from Polycarp's life make it likely that eighty-six years
was his age from birth. Jaochim Jeremias, in The Origins of Infant Baptism,
concludes the following from these facts: "This shows at any rate that his
parents were already Believers, or at least were converted quite soon after his
birth. His parents were pagans at his birth, he would have been baptized with
the 'house' at their conversion. But even if his parents were believers, the
words 'service of Christ for eighty-six years' supports a baptism soon after his
birth rather than one as a child of 'mature years' ... for which there is no
evidence at all."
Jeremias supposes something similar for
Polycrates of Ephesus. In 190/91, when writing to Rome concerning the dispute
over Easter, Polycrates states that he is "sixty five years in the
Lord." Since this reference to his age is made "because of his concern
for his long unimpeachable Christian standing," Jeremias postulates that
his baptism "took place soon after birth, rather than that there was an age
limit for baptism."
Justin Martyr gives still another testimony to
the practice of infant baptism by stating that many old men and women of sixty
and seventy years of age had been disciples of Christ from childhood.
No incident is recorded in the earliest of
Christian history which gives evidence that baptism was forbidden to any person
on the basis of an age limit, or that the right of a parent to have his children
baptized had ever been challenged or renounced.
Although several examples exist from the third
century of the children of Christians being baptized as infants, in all of the
literature and collections of inscriptions from that century there is not a
single example of parents delaying the baptism of their children.
Neither the Ebionites, Novatians, Arians,
Donatists, Montanists, nor any other refuted infant baptism; many were even
noted as practicing it.
A significant parallel exists between Jewish
proselyte baptism (when pagans were converted to Judaism) and early Christian
baptism. The contacts between early Christian baptism and proselyte baptism,
with the similarities in terminology, interpretation, symbolism, and the rite
itself, are especially notable. What is of greatest interest, however, is that
the baptism of the early assembly followed that of proselyte baptism, in which
children and infants were baptized with the convert's family. This is especially
significant when one realizes that the very early assembly was made up primarily
of converted Jews.
There is no evidence that anyone being against
infant baptism in the early assembly on the grounds that you must first
"believe" and be baptized. Tertulian (160 230 A.D.), was the only one
who questioned infant baptism. The bulk of his objection, however, was due to
his belief that sin after baptism was almost unforgivable.
Cyprian, a leading bishop of North Africa,
convened a synod of sixty-six bishops at Carthage to discuss whether or not they
felt that infant baptism should be delayed until the eighth day after birth
instead of the usual second or third day. Their unanimous decision upheld the
universally accepted practice which they had always followed.
EARLY CHURCH FATHERS
A very early Christian teacher, Irenaeus
(120-202 A.D.), wrote the following:
"He came to save all through Himself - all
I say, who through Him are reborn in God-infants, and children, and youth, and
old men. Therefore He passed through every age, becoming an infant for infants,
sanctifying infants; a child for children, sanctifying those who are of that
age, and at the same time becoming for them an example of piety, of
righteousness, and of submission; a young man for youths, becoming an example
for youths and sanctifying them for the Lord."
Here we read that Yahoshua came that all
might be reborn in Yahweh. "How can an infant be reborn if he cannot
believe?" a person may ask. I ask in return, "How can an infant be
reborn if his believing parents have refrained from baptizing him?" Is a
child who has not reached the "age of accountability/reason" not be
reborn until he reaches the age of thirteen when he then needs to be reborn?
Origen's (185-254 A.D.) view of baptism is
direct and transparent:
"For what is sin? Could a child who has
only just been born commit a sin? And yet he has sin for which it is commanded
to offer a sacrifice, as Job 14:4ff and Psalm 51:5-7 show. For this reason the
Church received from the Apostles the tradition to administer baptism to the
children also. For the men to whom the secrets of divine mysteries had been
entrusted knew that in everyone there were genuine sinful defilements, which had
to be washed away with water and the Spirit."
In his Homily on Luke he again states his
beliefs on infant baptism:
"Infants are baptized for the remission of
sins. What sins? Whenever have they sinned? In fact, of course, never. And yet:
'No one is free from defilement.' (Job 14:4) But defilement is only put away by
the mystery of baptism. That is the reason why infants too are baptized. "
Hippolytus' (170-236 A.D.) perception of
infant baptism is clear and straightforward as well:
"And first baptize the little ones; and if
they can speak for themselves, they shall do so; if not, their parents or other
relatives shall speak for them."
There is not one Church Father who denies or
even questions the validity of infant baptism. It was in no locality and at no
time viewed as something that was created after New Testament times.
SOME FINAL COMMENTS AND CONCLUSIONS:
The evidences I have so far presented I
believe merit attention by themselves. I would like, however, to make a number
of random yet significant comments and observations about the area of infant
baptism before I close this article.
Many times the debate regarding infant
baptism is a defensive one; those who propose that adult baptism is the only
valid form challenge those who practice infant baptism to prove that it is an
acceptable practice. What if those who exclusively favor adult baptism were
interrogated? What answers would they give to questions which up until now have
been virtually unaddressed? Questions such as these:
If infant baptism is a later invention, when
did it begin and who began it? Where did it originate?
Why are there no protests against the validity
of infant baptism from anyone in the early Assembly?
Where is anything found in Scripture that
expressly forbids the baptism of infants or children?
How is it that Yahweh established a covenantal,
corporate relationship with the tribes of Israel in the Old Testament, but you
interpret the New Testament as abolishing the faith of an entire household with
the father at its head in favor of a solely individualistic faith?
Where does Scripture prescribe any age for
Even if there were a special age when someone's
faith reached "maturity," how could one discern that? Doesn't faith
always mature? When is faith mature enough for baptism and when is it not? Who
Where in Scripture does it say that children are
free from the effects of the Fall simply because they are not old enough to
believe? (Even creation is under the curse of mankind's fall - Romans 8:19-21).
What about the many Biblical meanings and early
understandings of baptism other than the one defining it as a visible sign of
inward repentance, meanings such as the washing of regeneration (Titus 3:5), a
grafting into the body of Messiah (1 Corinthians 12:13), a passage from the
reign of Satan into Messiah's authority (Romans 6:17), the expression of the
manifestation of Yahweh (Luke 3:21,22), an admission into Yahweh's covenant
(Colossians 2:11), Yahweh's act of adoption and our putting on of Messiah
(Galatians 3:26,27)? Why should these things be taken away from the small child
of a believing family?
If it was the norm to baptize children at a
later age, why is there no evidence in Scripture or early Church history of
instruction given to parents on how to help their adolescent children prepare
If it is granted that baptism is for the
remission of sins, why would the assembly ever want to give baptism to infants
if there were nothing in the infants which needed remission? Would not the grace
of baptism, in this context, seem superfluous?
In essence, laying aside all the polemics and
prejudices and academic intricacies, what Scriptural principle is being violated
if a child is baptized and matures in his faith?
There is a good reason why these questions are
hard to answer for those who exclusively advocate adult baptism: infant baptism
is not an innovation, it is the practice of the Early Assembly.
Over and over again I am told that is
incorrect to allow infants to be baptized because the Scriptural order is to
first believe, and then to be baptized (Mark 16:16). The error in this thinking
is not that it is incorrect to have an adult believe before he is baptized, but
that one cannot apply a command intended for adults to infants. The Bible was
not written to infants and is therefore not going to direct them to do anything.
They are under the care of their parents who can hear, understand, and believe.
Additionally, there is an important distinction to be made between baptizing an
infant and an adult believer-one has the need to repent, the other does not.
It is also important to recognize that the
New Testament records the beginnings of the New covenant people. This accounts
for it reading like a missionary diary in a number of places. I am certain that
were I to begin an apostolic work in a totally heathen country, and to write to
the people there or to record my progress in preaching to them, I would not
mention infant baptism even once.
Some may ask why Sts. John Chrysostom,
Gregory of Nanziansus, Basil the Great, and Jerome were all baptized as adults,
even though they had at least one believing parent. The earliest evidence that
believing parents refrained from having their child baptized immediately after
birth is in the middle of the fourth century (Gregory was the first example of
this in 360 A.D.). None of these men postponed their baptism because of faith,
however. Surely Gregory and John Chrysostom at 30, Jerome at 20, and Basil at 27
(at which ages they were baptized) had reached the "age of reason" and
individual faith long before then. They postponed their baptisms on the false
premise that they could better assure themselves a place in heaven if they
minimized the times they sinned after baptism. None of these men ever challenged
the validity of infant baptism.