Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Why Do We Baptize Babies? 4
I apologize for the time gap since my last post.
I am continuing with thoughts about why Anglicans believe children of believers are proper candidates for baptism. A text that is important to our thinking about this is the story of Jesus blessing the children. Mark 10:13-16 states,
13 And they were bringing children to him that he might touch them, and the disciples rebuked them. 14But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, "Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. 15 Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it." 16And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands on them.
This text says nothing about baptism. However, it does say that little children ought to be brought to Jesus because the Kingdom belongs to them. All by itself, this statement does not justify baptizing babies. So why do Anglicans look to this text as a basis for baptizing babies? Because baptism is a rite of entrance and a sign of belonging in the Kingdom of God. Since the Kingdom can belong to little ones, it seems appropriate to give the sign of Kingdom belonging to them.
Again, all by itself, this text does not teach nor justify the practice of baptizing babies. What it does do is add to a cumulative case for the practice. The coming posts will add more biblical data to the case for baptizing babies.