INFANT BAPTISM

 

In this article, we want to address an error that is taught by numerous religious organizations, that being what is often referred to as "infant baptism". Many religious organizations teach the necessity of such. One denominational book states the following, "…the pastor of each charge shall earnestly exhort all Christian parents or guardians to present their children to the Lord in Baptism at an early age." Later, the same book states, "This Sacrament may be administered by sprinkling, pouring, or immersion." Another denominational creed book of a major denominational group states, "Babies have to be baptized because they have Original Sin on their souls…"

 

The fact is, when one studies the New Testament they soon see, Biblically speaking, there is no such thing as "infant baptism" taught within its pages. The word translated "baptism" means to "dip, plunge" or "immerse." Therefore, when "infant baptism" is practiced, as per the religious leanings of the denominational world, we easily see that babies are not actually baptized at all. All that is done to them is to have a small amount of water poured or sprinkled upon them. Even though those who practice such are claiming their actions are a "baptism" the fact is, no matter what they call it, it is not baptism. Let us notice several things that will help us to see the truth on this matter.

 

NEW TESTAMENT BAPTISM IS NOT SPRINKING OR POURING

 

The Greek word from which we get our English word "baptism" is "baptizo", while the Greek word for sprinkling is "rhantizo", and the Greek word for pouring is "cheo." Never, in the New Testament, when it comes to that which must be done to be saved, will you find the use of the word "rhantizo" or "cheo". The fact is, baptism is a burial, as seen in Romans 6:4 and Colossians 2:12. Neither "rhantizo" or "cheo" represent that which is necessary to accomplish a burial.

 

New Testament baptism is symbolic of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. This symbolism cannot be accomplished by any other means than through an immersion. Sprinkling or pouring water on a person, regardless of where it is applied, will not fulfill this symbolism.

 

INFANTS ARE NOT SUBJECT TO NEW TESTAMENT BAPTISM

 

The teachings of the New Testament regarding baptism eliminate infants having to be baptized. Notice the words of Jesus in Matthew 28:19, 20, " 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…" Consider Jesus' words in Mark 16:16, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned." Note, also, the words of Peter in Acts 2:38, "…Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins…" In consideration of these passages, we easily see that infants are not subject to baptism because of the fact that those who are have to be capable of being taught, of believing and of repenting.

 

INFANTS ARE NOT SINNERS

 

We are told, such as in the quote above, that infants have "original sin" on their souls. The fact is, though, the Bible does not teach that. Carefully consider the words of 1 John 3:4 and Ezekiel 18:20. Note that John says that "whosoever committeth sin" transgresses the law. He did not say, "whoever is born with it" does so. Ezekiel states that the "soul that sinneth", not the soul that is born with original sin "shall die." Inherited sin is nothing more than the figment of man's imagination.

 

INFANT BAPTISM NOT TAUGHT IN THE BIBLE

 

The apostles or the early church did not practice infant baptism. All "cases of conversion" found within the New Testament show they heard the message that was preached, obeyed it, and were saved. There is no record of an infant anywhere in the New Testament having been baptized, or having water poured or sprinkled on them for salvation purposes. If it were to be practiced today, there would be either a command or an example of such in the New Testament.

 

The doctrine of infant baptism is foreign to the New Testament. Because of that, we should not allow ourselves to be caught up in something that God does not approve of. New Testament baptism is that which God not only approves of, but commands. It, and it alone, is the one baptism (Ephesians 4:5) that adults should take part in.

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