SHOULD WE BAPTIZE OUR BABIES?
By Cougan Collins
Baptizing infants began around the second century and was not widely practiced until the end of the fourth century. Its purpose was to wash away original sin. Augustine (A.D. 354-430) was one of the first men to promote the idea that we are born sinners because we inherit the sin of Adam. It is true that Adam’s sin caused death to enter the world (Rom. 5:12), but the Bible says nothing about us inheriting his sin when we are born. Instead, we are taught:
Ezekiel 18:20 "The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not bear the guilt of the father, nor the father bear the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.
It is the soul that sins that dies and we do not inherit the sin of others, so original sin is not true. Yes, we are born in a sinful world, but we are not born sinners. If it were true that our babies are born in sin, how could Jesus say the following:
Matthew 18:3 "Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 "Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
Since Jesus says we must become like little children to enter the kingdom of heaven, there is no way our babies are born sinners. John says, “Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness” (1 Jn. 3:4). In order to sin, we must break the law of God, which a baby cannot do. Our babies are born innocent and pure. Therefore, there is no reason to baptize them.
Another reason we should not baptize our babies is that the Bible teaches that a person must know what he is doing to become a Christian. For example, Jesus says one must believe before he is baptized (Mk. 16:16). Since faith comes from hearing the Word of God (Rom. 10:17), a baby cannot have faith because they cannot understand the Word of God.
Peter says we are to repent and be baptized (Acts 2:38). Repentance means a person realizes they have sinned and they feel remorse, which leads them to change their ways. Babies cannot repent. Also, before baptism, one must confess his faith (Rom. 10:9), which babies cannot do. Peter also says that baptism is the answer of good conscience (1 Pet. 3:21), which requires a person to know what they are doing.
Finally, Paul says that when we are baptized, we are to put our faith in the working of God knowing that He is uniting us with Christ in baptism (Col. 2:12). So, if we baptize our babies, we are just getting them wet because obeying the gospel requires us to know what we are doing, and we have to decide for ourselves to obey God’s will.
Since baptism is for the forgiveness
of sins (Acts 2:38; 22:16) and is a command we must obey (Acts 10: 47-48) it
makes no sense to baptize our innocent babies who cannot obey the commands of
God. To do so is to follow the traditions of men, instead of the will of God.
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