Monday, March 31, 2008

Baptism--The Congregation's Responsibility

I visited my old church (Peace CRC) last night because my son's Cadet group was participating in the service. The boys' theme for the year was "Now... pass it on." Throughout the year, they learned about how God has entrusted his people with the responsibility of passing on the truth of Christ's saving death and resurrection generationally.

The back of the Cadet Sunday bulletin had a request for donations (the group does not receive denominational financial support). A line there made an interesting point: " a congregation promises at a child's baptism, the whole church is involved in the nurturing of a child from infancy to adulthood."

The infant being baptized doesn't know any more than that some (perhaps cold) water has interrupted a nap. But the baptism does more than that for the parents and the rest of the congregation. It is a visual reminder to us of our own baptisms, and the sign and seal of the work that Christ has done. And it's a reminder to us that we are to take an active role in the spiritual education of our covenant children.

Some churches choose to dedicate infants, but only baptize adults. Apparently, there is an innate desire to include their children in the covenant sign. So, why not just baptize them?

Based on scripture, I don't see a reason to dedicate rather than baptize an infant or child. It is not the same as communion, which we are clearly taught we must understand prior to partaking. But paedocommunion is a subject for a different day.

In Christ,
Lisa G.

1 comment:

Gage Browning said...

It is common to all men to be "covenantal" even credo-baptists...

They show their desire to be "covenantal" in doing dry baptisms, called "dedications".