Wednesday, October 27, 2010

on the fence with infant baptism

I was raised Methodist. Hubby was raised Lutheran. Both of these denominations believe in infant baptism. Otter was baptized in the Methodist church.

Hubby and I were married in the Methodist church, but we switched to the Wesleyan church about 6 months into our marriage, not because we didn't want to be Methodist, but because there were so many young families at the Wesleyan and it seemed a better fit for us. It was.

We were blessed with an amazing church family and we loved the church. Hubby made leaps and bounds in his walk with Christ, as did I. It was home.

Now we come to one of the big differences between the churches. Baptism. The Wesleyan church does not believe in infant baptism. They think it should be something children choose when they're old enough to understand. Ok, I get it. Hubby had a 3 hour conversation with the pastor about it which convinced him that this was the way to go. Therefore when Raven was born we did not have her baptized.

The Wesleyan church does dedications instead, which is basically the parents dedicating to raise their child to walk with Christ. Makes sense.

Now we are in a new place, and attending an E-Free/Berean combination, who also does not believe in infant baptism. A church we also love.

But now I'm teaching at a Lutheran school, which made me question our beliefs of baptism. Lutherans believe that baptism is not about us choosing God, but about God choosing us, that it's God's work in us, not our work in God. Ok, that makes sense to me too.

So now what??????

Hubby and I have both been baptized twice, as infants and as adults. Our church acknowledges our adult baptism, the Lutheran church acknowledges our first baptism.

Neither of the girls have been baptized or dedicated. We're planning a dedication in December, but I would really like them baptized, as would our Lutheran and Methodist families. But Hubby's not budging.

Now let me make myself clear. I do NOT believe my girls are going to hell because they aren't baptized, and neither does the Lutheran or Methodist churches. I do NOT believe the Holy Spirit is not in my girls because they haven't been baptized. God loves us all.

Can't we all just love Jesus without the different beliefs? It's so confusing. I feel torn between my two church families and I don't like it.

I'd really appreciate hearing your views on the subject. Do you believe in infant baptism? Why or why not?

9 cleansing comments:

Kmama said...

I don't envy your situation. I was raised Lutheran, hubby Catholic. While we both don't go to church, we believe in God and both of our boys were baptized, but not until they were either one or close to one year old.

I think you have to do what feels right to you. If you decide to do the dedication, that doesn't mean that they can't be baptized as well. And then everyone's (mostly) happy??

Shell said...

Our boys were all dedicated, not baptized. But, I was raised Lutheran, so I was baptized as an infant.

We now attend a Baptist church and they believe in it being a choice, not something that you do to infants.


I think the intent is the same for both...you just have to decide what you feel comfortable with.

Shell said...

Oh, and all that said, my husband and I were both baptized as infants and have not been baptized as adults.

Mommy Lisa said...

I am Lutheran. And God's grace is given freely to all - its not your CHOICE to take it. That is why Lutheran's baptize infants...it is sharing that they freely recieve the Grace of God and don't have to lift a finger to have it.

Quite the conundrum I say.

I am very glad we love our Lutheran church and my hubby and I are on the same page about this.

Peace, and you are correct - Whatever you decide, the kids are all right.

Dysfunctional Mom said...

Our church, which is a member of the Southern Baptist Convention, does family dedications but doesn't baptize until the child/person is old enough to understand the process. We believe that you are accepting Jesus into your heart and that you need to be aware of what you're doing, and committing too.
Just adding in my .2 cents! =) Good luck.

Much More Than Mommy said...

I'm super late on this.

I grew up in a Southern Baptist church, and as the above comment said, we do baby dedications but save baptisms for when the child/person makes their decision to accept Christ and the baptism serves to make that decision public.

I always thought that infant baptism was just another form of dedication, though. I thought it was more for the parents/families than it was for the child? But I don't know -- I grew up in the church I'm still in, so I'm all about the dunking! ;-)

Amanda said...

Since we have yet to find the right church for us, neither of our boys are baptized. But I wish they were. Anna was baptized minutes after she was born and I feel good about that. I'm not sure what I believe about when it should happen, I think doing at birth is akin to giving the baby a "boost" in the right direction and doing it as adults (or older children) is more a dedication or promise to God from the person.

Indiana Central District said...

The Wesleyan Church does permit infant baptism. I refer you to paragraph, 5510 in "The Wesleyan Discipline," the rule book of the denomination.

Indiana Central District said...

The Wesleyan Church does permit infant baptism. I refer you to paragraph, 5510 in "The Wesleyan Discipline," the rule book of the denomination.

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