Millions of infant children are baptized every year. What about this practice? Is it Biblical? Should we be doing this? What do the Scriptures teach on this subject? In the famous "Great Commis sion", Jesus instructed that those who would be baptized should first be taught Matt. 28:19. He also said that they should believe prior to their immersion Mark 16:15,16. Infants can neither be taught nor can they believe, thus they are not candidates for Bible baptism.
Furthermore, we have no apostolic example of infants being baptized. The book of Acts records the conversion of literally thousands of individuals. These included people who "gladly received the word" 2:41; believed the preaching "concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ" 8:12; confessed their faith 8:36,37; and acted obediently in response to what they had learned 18:8. Infants cannot do these things, and therefore we know they were not included in these conversions.
Some argue that whole "households" were sometimes converted, and that this may have included infants. A careful study of the texts which mention "household conversions" shows that all persons in the specific households did things that infants can't do:
- Cornelius' household all "feared God" Acts 10:2.
- Lydia's household were all "encouraged" Acts 16:14-15,40.
- The Philippian Jailer's household all "believed in God" and "rejoiced" Acts 16:33-34.
- The household of Stephanas was "devoted to the ministry of the saints" 1 Corinthians. 1:16; 16:15,16.
The practice of infant baptism is based upon the mistaken notion that children inherit sin. This is not true Ezekiel. 18:20; Matthew. 19:13,14. There is absolutely no authority in the New Testament for baptizing babies. If we "do all in the name of the Lord," we will not do this - cp Colossians. 3:17.
by Greg Gwin