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This subject came up at a recent Bible study I attended.  Is it an acceptable form of baptism?  What do you all think?

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The doctrine of sprinkling infants, and calling it the same as Baptism, to the exclusion of advocating a believer's Baptism is an invention of Catholics. Also, the 1st Century fathers are not whom you have quoted, but the 2nd Century fathers for whom the whole canon of scripture was not yet completely available.

Hi Scribe,

I think I am lagging behind with my answers, it's been a bit busy for me these days...  Sorry.


Anyway, re your comments:

The fathers of the Church are those prominent Church leaders from the 1st century up until the 4th century, some scholar consider some names even later than that to be Church fathers.... I must admit, this is the first time I've heard some-one actually reject Tertullian, Ireneaus or Origen as 'Fathers of the Church'...

I am not sure which Father's I've quoted in the previous reply. However, here are a couple of early examples:

  • A very early Christian teacher, Irenaeus (120-202 A.D.), wrote the following on the topic of baptism:

"He came to save all through Himself-all I say, who through Him are reborn in God-infants, and children, and youths, and old men. Therefore He passed through every age, becoming an infant for infants, sanctifying infants; a child for children, sanctifying those who are of that age, and at the same time becoming for them an example of piety, of righteousness, and of submission; a young man for youths, becoming an example for youths and sanctifying them for the Lord."


  • Hippolytus' (170-236 A.D.) perception of infant baptism is clear and straightforward as well:

"And first baptize the little ones; and if they can speak for themselves, they shall do so; if not, their parents or other relatives shall speak for them."


Other than their writtings, there are some of historical evidence for infant baptism such as grave inscriptions dated from the first 3 centuries:


"Early Christian inscriptions, which in the largest numbers come from the environs of Rome, furnish some instances of child and infant baptism for the third century . . . Nearly all the early Christian inscriptions are epitaphs. A considerable number of these are for the graves of children. The vast majority give no evidence whether the child was baptized or not . . . Actually the word "baptism" is seldom used. The idea is expressed by "received grace," "made a believer" or "neophyte" (newly planted " used to mean "newly baptized") -- from Everett Ferguson, Early Christians Speak: Faith and Life in the First Three Centuries; Revised Edition


Thus, unless you accept the early fathers as early catholics, then we infant baptism is not an invention of catholics.


2- On  your question to Sharon regarding immersion:


The preferred way for baptism (at least in the Catholic tradition - i am not sure about epicopalians, orthodox, etc) is by IMMERSION, but sprinkling is just as valid.


"Baptism is performed in the most expressive way by triple immersion in the baptismal water."  Catechism of the catholic church


Ezekiel 36:25  -  Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.

Yael: this is the problem with this kind of discussion -you are putting words in my mouth and not actually dealing with what I have said.

Your quote:

"..this is the first time I've heard some-one actually reject Tertullian, Ireneaus or Origen as 'Fathers of the Church'..."


What I have said is that the early church fathers do not rise to the level of Holy Scripture. The ones who were discipled directly by the Apostles are rarely quoted in these discussions and it is typically those who were 2nd generation converts.


Even Peter himself was wrong about some things. He accepted admonition and correction from Paul. Peter himself admitted in scripture that he did not always fully understand all that was being written by Paul. Yet, it is Paul who is the major contributor to Holy Scripture, after Jesus himself, in the New Testament. It is clear that Peter himself did not have an understanding because he had probably not read the full teachings that were given to Paul.


The science of Biblical interpretation requires that we compare Scripture with Scripture (this is actually what Scripture itself teaches). We only take into account the teachings of the early church fathers secondarily. And that is a distant second.


You are still missing the point and that is that dedicating kiddos is great, if you want to use sprinkling - fine. If you want to dance, fine. IT's not the same, not by any stretch the same, as the Baptism of a believer who is consecrating his or herself to follow Christ.


I can only think that you and Sharon are deliberately missing the point; because you refuse to address the clear and plain teaching that Baptism is for believers who have chosen to follow Jesus. This cannot be missed, unless you have some axe to grind in support of an unsupportable practice.


Even if every church father from Timothy to Iranaeus did a ceremony to baptize infants, it was never their intent to diminish the obvious and clear teaching that new believers undergo the Sacrament of Baptism. Never. and all of your postings have made that even clearer to me because you have both refused to even acknowledge that I have made that point many times.


Finally, I wish that Roman Catholics would simply spend time reading, studying and praying through two key books of the New Testament: Romans and Hebrews. Most of their practices would be revealed as a waste of time, at a minimum, if not heretical to some degree, by simply letting God speak from his Word in those two books.

Sharon, you still have not really answered the points David made, which is that the Bible itself shows and teaches by command that a person is to be baptized after they have believed.


So, my question for you: did you ever become baptized after a point which you believed the scriptures and after which you were born again? Or, are you relying upon the teaching of the Roman Catholic church that indicates you do not need to?


My second question: do you advocate new converts like Yael being baptized?


Third and final question: do you actually baptize your own (or if you don't have - do you advocate baptizing others children) by baptizo (gr: Immersion)?



Good presentation, Bro. Well said.


Grace and Peace.

Thank you beloved and God for Rick. I am glad you are back sharing.



As I showed in my previous comment, the scriptures use the word conversion. That does not seem to have been enough to convince you, but maybe you would like to know that the word conversion has been around for a lot longer than the popular expression 'born again'.


"Unless you are converted and become like little children you shall not enter the kingdom of Heaven" Matthew 18:3


The word in greek for converted used in this passage is repeated 19 times in the new testament.  It means turn to something from something. In the Christian context, turning from sin to God. For instance, Paul says: You turned to God from idols ( 1 Thess. 1:19).


Therefore, I really don't see anything wrong in saying that I have converted to Jesus. I leave the born again term for the evangelicals, for they prefer it so.




Hi Amanda,


Yes, it does appear in John's gospel, I know that passage, and it appears elsewhere as well...


What I mean by being around longer is in the sense that only fairly recently  ( mainly with  Evangelicalism, specially with Billy Graham ) people begun to use it  more widely to refer to becoming a Christian. Traditional reformed protestants, for instance, did not use the term until very recently and some of them still don't.





Amen!! You said it all!

Yael,  Congratulations on trusting in Jesus as Saviour and giving your life to the Lord.  This is a wonderful Joyous time..   Blessings, Carla


Baptising an infant is a parental choice, it is something that the parent decides for the family.  My understanding of the reasons why they do this is to commit themselves to bring the child up in a Christian family, and since they themselves have devoted their lives to the Lord, they want to make a promise to raise their children in this fashion.  This parental decision does not save a child, because the child him/herself must come to Christ on their own.  However, I can appreciate that certain parents do want to dedicate the lives of their children to the Lord, and they baptise them with the best of intentions. 

Pro 22:6 Train up a child [fn]in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it.


  However, no one is saved because they are baptised...  we are baptised because we are saved. Biblical baptism is to be saved first, and then baptised.  We are baptised because it is the obedient thing to do. It is also a proclamation of faith in Christ, a statement of submission to Him, and an identification with His death, burial, and resurrection.

A baby (infant) simply cannot make the decision to follow Christ, and is not prepared to wage war in the Spiritual battle that lies before them.  It is wonderful for parents to dedicate their children to Christ, but even when that is done, that child, as an adult, must put their trust in Jesus as Savior in order to be saved.



PTL For you new birth in Jesus Christ and welcome to the family of God.


Regarding this discussion, your view has some real problems when it comes to supporting your position when one uses Scripture only as our basis and understand it at face value. There are four things I would like you to respond to and attempt to explain.


1) Whole Household: Can you prove that there were infants and children to young to respond to the message present and baptized? We see that in Acts that there are at least four times that whole households are mentioned. We have Cornelius (Acts 10:45-48), Lydia (Acts 16:15), the jailer (Acts 16:32), and Crispus (Acts 18:8). A household need not include infants and children too young to respond to the gospel message to be called a household. My house does not have any of these young ones in it. The church I pastor has numerous families, all of which are households, but none of them have children that would be too young to respond to the gospel. Thus, are you not drawing a conclusion that there are infants in the homes when Scripture makes no such claim?

2) Circumcision: You have pointed out that circumcision of the flesh is replaced by baptism. Your proof text is Colossians 2:11-12, unless I am mistaken. Verse 12 is very clear that this baptism is entered into by faith, of which an infant cannot demonstrate such faith in Jesus. The Bible also makes it clear that the circumcision is of the heart (Rom. 2:28-29) and done by the work of Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Jesus, who is the greatest example was circumcised as a Jewish child and baptized as a man.

3)  Graces of Baptism: You said in this forum that the graces of baptism are the gift of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit fell on Cornelius and they spoke in tongues before they were ever baptized (Acts 10:44-48).

4) Infant Baptism: Please show one verse that clearly shows an infant being baptized in the NT.


Lord Bless,




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