👆 Work for love, liberty, prosperity
About ten years ago, the denomination to which my church belongs, was deciding on whether to accept and perform infant baptisms. Not all church groups accept infant baptism. Baptism is a ceremony of water where the person is – depending on church tradition – either immersed and taken back out of a body of water like a pool or a stream or something like that, or they have water sprinkled on their heads by hand or even by pouring with a bowl or other implement. Baptism serves to represent one’s death and resurrection. It’s also meant to represent one’s washing. Baptism is an identification with the death and resurrection of Christ. In baptism, we identify with the death of Christ, saying that our old life is dead and we are resurrected, born again into the new life. Baptism is the primary sacrament of the Christian tradition.
Thus, some churches disallow infant baptisms, saying that a kid doesn’t know what’s happening. Obviously, a baby doesn’t know what’s going on, except that he is getting wet. Thus, the reason some churches do not accept, endorse or practice infant and child baptisms is because they say that a child is unable to understand what he is doing, and therefore, to understand the significance of the death and burial and resurrection of his old life into his new life and identification with Christ. And that’s a valid argument.
On the other hand, scripture records that when Mary, mother of Jesus, went to visit her cousin Elizabeth, Elizabeth was about six months pregnant with john the Baptist (or John the Baptiser, as he’s come to be known in modern times). And here is this six-month-old foetus in Elizabeth’s womb. And what did Elizabeth say? Elizabeth said that when Mary showed up and greeted her at the door and said whatever it is they say – I don’t know, Aleichem shalom? – and greeted Elizabeth at the door, the baby in her womb jumped because he knew that his messiah had come.