I am truly trying not to "speak where the Bible is silent," and I feel like baptizing children is one of those issues. I see that Jesus called children to himself and blessed them and laid hands on them, but what about baptizing them? What do you think? Biblically, at what age are they ready, and why? -- Heather Schieferle (Fresno)
"Speak where the Bible speaks, and be silent where the Bible is silent." So goes the famous saying. There is no verse against baby baptism. Not explicitly, at any rate. But there are a host of verses against baby baptism in principle:
* Colossians 2:12 says faith is part of what makes baptism work. Babies do not have faith.
* Babies cannot believe in the gospel. Intellectually, they may be wired for faith, but until they can grasp the object of their faith in some mental way, they are (presumably) in the clear.
* Among all the baptism passages of the N.T. (about 30), none indicates the baptism of a baby. Why is this, if baby baptism were common or even permitted?
* Given the prominence of the (usually infant) ceremony of circumcision in the O.T., it is all the more striking that there is no corresponding infant initiation ceremony under the new covenant. The argumentum ex silentio may be weak, but one has to admit, the absence is striking.
To baptize babies is, in my view, to go way beyond what is written (1 Corinthians 4:6; Proverbs 30:6; Revelation 22:18-29; etc). Didn't Jesus have strong words for those who added to the word of God traditions that actually undermined it (Mark 7:6ff, etc)?
Since there are many Q&As at this website dealing with baptism, the situation of infants, the "age of accountability," etc, I will leave it to you to browse the site and see if you find any of these other articles helpful.
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