SHOULD INFANTS BE BAPTIZED? by Adriel Sanchez for Core Christianity
Editor’s Note: In this article, Pastor Adriel lays out the argument for infant baptism. While Core Christianity holds to the view that infant baptism is Biblical, we are aware that within the family of God there are many who hold to other views on baptism and we warmly embrace them as brothers and sisters in the fellowship of the gospel.
When I first began going to church as a teenager, I assumed that only Roman Catholics practiced infant baptism. In the church I attended, we had public dedications of infants during the service, but never baptisms. Many believers in Jesus today reject the idea of infant baptism because they don’t think it’s biblical. Is it the case that infant baptism isn’t clearly supported in Scripture, though? Although this isn’t an issue that should keep us from viewing one another as brothers and sisters in Christ, I think we need to re-examine some of the New Testament evidence that has compelled Christians throughout the ages (even the Protestant Reformers) to baptize their infant children.
Before we look at some passages, we need to remember that even doctrines arrived at by good and necessary consequence should bind the consciences of the faithful. Jesus argued using this methodology. On one occasion, the Sadducees tried to stump him on the resurrection (unlike the Pharisees, the Sadducees rejected the resurrection). Jesus quoted the burning bush passage, accused the Sadducees of not knowing the Scriptures, and made an argument from good and necessary consequence for the resurrection on the basis of these words: “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” (Ex. 3:6)
You can imagine Jesus saying, “There’s your biblical proof, Sadducees!” The Sadducees should have embraced the resurrection as a good and necessary consequence of the fact that God is the God of the living, and not the dead (Mk. 12:27). It was a lack of understanding in the Scriptures that kept the Sadducees from embracing a doctrine for which they found little to no support for in the books of Moses (Genesis through Deuteronomy). I think it’s a similar lack of understanding that has kept many believers from giving the sign of baptism to their children. The New Testament evidence compels us to believe that God is still in the business of blessing our children, and that one of the ways he does so is through baptism.
Luke 18:15-16“Now they were bringing even infants to him that he might touch them. And when the disciples saw it, they rebuked them. But Jesus called them to him, saying, “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God.”
Picture the scene: Moms are carrying their infants to Jesus (Luke employs a word that was even used at times to describe children in the womb), and they want Jesus to lay his hands on their babies. The disciples object, but Jesus insists, “…for to such belongs the kingdom of God.”