Tuesday, July 18, 2006

When should the kids wade in?

Andreia asked us this on a comment.

Let’s talk about it.

What do we think of youngsters and baptism?

Andreia said:

I was baptized at 13. Of course, I was no where near mature enough to understand the gravity of my decision. In a lot of ways, I wish I was older. Of course being raised in the COC, my eternal soul depended upon this decision.

Now I have a son and I dont know how to feel about it. Sure, he could make that decision any day...but is it the right thing for a ten year old to do especially if there is that whole peer pressure thing going? Any ideas??

In a later comment Patchouli asks this.

I know that I am joining this great discussion late, but I do have a question: if women can't baptize men, why can men baptize women?

I know what I believe (Galatians 3:28), but I do want to understand your perspectives.

I want to discuss this, let’s start with children then work our way up.


Larry said...

Like Andreia I was 13 when baptized. Perhaps a little too young, but never regretted my choice.

I have a friend who was not allowed to be baptized when she was about 10, and then she strayed far from God for years; when she was about 35 she was finally baptized. Her family told me they were wrong in not allowing her to be baptized so young...sometimes they never make the decision to be baptized again.

We all differ in knowledge, and maturity at a given age, so prescribing to a specific age to be a candidate for baptism is useless.

Just another opinion!

codepoke said...

I was 7 when I was baptized (7 going on 70. I've always been a little bit on the over-serious side.)

I understood what I was doing, took the vow seriously, and have never looked back. I get the impression that this is not entirely normal or common, though.

Milly said...

When several of my son’s friends were baptized I asked him how he felt about it. He didn’t think it was time for him yet. I think that’s a great answer that he isn’t falling into peer pressure. Not that they all do, it’s just that we’ve all seen it happen several young people at the same time. I always wonder if one or two aren’t still a bit confused about it all. It could be that I haven’t pushed it in our home yet that my children aren’t rushing. I don’t see Miss Little running to the water at seven. Not long ago she was afraid to watch one. The whole holding them under the water thing freaked her out.

I was in my twenties when I was. My parents never really spoke to me about it. My father has yet to go for it.

I’ll have more to say later work beckons

Kansas Bob said...

Let's stop calling it baptism and start calling it dunking ... sounds less religious. Baptism is a work of the heart and not the head .. really, do we ever (or will we ever) understand salvation? Lets just tell people (kids included) to get dunked as soon as they meet Jesus ... and let God do the work.

Danny Kaye said...

HEY!!! I left a long comment on here earlier today. I must have only hit preview instead of publish.

No time to re-type it. Oh well.

Milly said...

Danny Do it later!

Milly said...

Kansas Bob I’m not actually sure what you are trying to say about the dunking thing. I feel, as I told my son last night when he and I talked about baptism, that it is a personal journey between you and God. He had several questions and I know that we will study on this more. Both my children were sprinkled in the Catholic church. My husband chose the water not long ago after studying baptism. We both feel that infant baptism wasn’t for us. We want our children to be immersed when they decide.

Danny Kaye said...

Ok..I'll try to remember it all.

Seeing as how the date of this post is my own "dunking", (with a *wink* to KB!), it seems apporpriate for me to jump in on the action.

As I understand it, a person is ready for "dunking" when they are able to understand the seriousness of sin, the sacrifice of Jesus, and the Lordship of Jesus.

Because the Bible is not specific about at what age a person is able to understand those things. So I don't see how anyone can possibly speak with any absolute authority on it. Having said that, I have not met many 10 year olds who were mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and "whatever-lly" to "get it", though I admit there have been a few.

As far as the women "dunking" issue goes, again the Bible is pretty silent on it. I have no problem with a woman "dunking" a woman. There is no biblical command against it. But regarding her "dunking" a man, though the Bible is again silent on it, there are some Scriptural principles which could be applied which migh restrict a woman "dunking" a man.

HOWEVER...If I were a certain, unsaved Ethiopian traversing a dry, dusty, road, and instead of Phillip teaching me the Word of God it was Phyllis, I don't believe I would hesitate to let her "dunk" me just so that I could wait for a male disciple to come along and "dunk" me. I ain't about to postpone salvation!

BTW: I like the word "dunk", KB. It paints an image of full immersion...I like that.

(Don't tell anyone, but I am not even convinced that the "Dunker" has to be a disciple.

Milly said...

Good job I'm believe anyone can dunk and be dunked anywhere provided that it's about God. If our hearts are in the right place then it’s up to God to put us where we need to be.

As for a young person being baptized if my son wanted to at this age I’d take a lot of time to study with him I’d also find someone at church to spend time talking with him so that he knows the meaning behind it.