Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Devotion 6.8.17

Today's "Ask the Pastor," My daughter was told by another student in school that because we are Lutheran, our baptisms don't "count" because we baptize babies.  How should I respond?

Believe it or not, this is a situation that comes up frequently especially since I have moved to Lubbock, where most Christians are from Church of Christ, Baptist, and Non-Denominational backgrounds.  These backgrounds are Christian ones, but they do not acknowledge infant baptism, and most would even ask you to be re-baptized if you were to move to their church.  So, how do you respond?

I personally think teaching is the best response. Not so your child has ammunition in which to combat the next person that questions him/her, but so that he or she is secure in faith and what is believed.  Often, the parent meets this question with a reaction such as “How dare they?”  I don’t think this serves your child well.  Instead, I believe that the parent has been presented a real good opportunity.  Think about it this way, mom or dad, you now have a child who is asking you about, or at least talking to you about, his or her faith. 

Therefore, I would respond with questions and teaching. 

Ask, “What do you think about infant baptism?”  “Do you think it counts?”  “Why?”  “Why not?”

Depending on what their answer is, you will know how to proceed.

Here is one caution I will give.  You better make sure you know what we believe and why.  If you don’t, go on a discovery with your child.  I have an abundance of resources for you to use.  Here are a few thoughts to start your journey though.

In the end, we believe that baptism does something.  Disciples are made through baptizing and teaching (Matthew 28:19-20) therefore we do both for all ages as they are included in all nations.  We do believe that baptism gives God’s grace, “Baptism now saves you.” – 1 Peter 3:21.  It is not simply a symbol, but in it we find a promise.  We find the promise of Jesus’ death and resurrection (Romans 6).  Those who practice infant baptism are often accused of offering salvation outside of Jesus.  This is simply not the case.  Baptism is a means in which Jesus distributes the gift of his death and resurrection.  Similar to when Isaiah in Isaiah 6 has his sins atoned for through the angel taking a burning hot coal from the altar of the Lord and touching his lips, so we have our sins atoned for through the application of the water and the word.  God has a history or using things here on earth to interact with his people.  (Burning Bush, Jordan River, Hot Coal, A Donkey, etc… etc…)  There are many many more examples.  Did he have to use them, like does he have to use water.  No!  But he does.  Why?  I don’t know.  God is God, I am not.

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