Should We Baptize Children And What Age Is Appropriate?
July 9, 2008 21 Comments
I have just read this article by David Rogers over at SBCImpact. He addresses the issue of baptizing children and at what age it is appropriate to baptize them. This is an issue that my wife and I are discussing right now. Our 8 year old daughter has expressed an interest in being baptized but in our discussions with her she has admitted that her main reason for wanting to be baptized is that my wife and I and her older sister have been baptized. She feels left out. We have examined her extensively and have come to the decision that she is not ready yet. She knows the basics about our faith but she does not yet understand her sinful nature, the penalty for her sins necessitate she spend eternity in Hell, and thus, her need for salvation.
The article refers to baptizing children under the age of 12 as “semi-infant” baptism. Read the article and you will see that he makes a good case for this. Iam not sure that I agree completely with some of his reasons but some of them are quite compelling. I am also torn because my oldest daughter (she will be 12 in a couple months) was saved and baptized at 7. My wife and I examined her and were confident in her decision at that time so we allowed her to be baptized. She had a maturity that was far beyond her age (still does, most of the time). With her, we could easily have waited and her decision would not have changed. I think, unfortunately, that many feel that if a child makes a profession that we need to baptize them before they change their mind. I know that is not true of everyone but it seems to be true for many.
After you read the article, what do you think? Should we delay the baptism of kids until the reach a certain age? The article suggests 12. Or should we baptize any who come forward? Also, how many parents actually take time to question and fully examine their children to see if they are truly ready and able to make such a committment? I hope most do, but I really am a bit skeptical.