Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Dedicating Children? Just Baptize Them Already!

Luke 2:22-24 (ESV)
And when the time came for their purification according to the Law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord [23] (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, "Every male who first opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord") [24] and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the Law of the Lord, "a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons."

I always think it strange when Baptists start talking about dedicating their children to the lord. I find it strange because no where in the Bible is this commanded. Baptism is. But you find no sanction for dedication, except for this very specific rite. Only the first born, if they were males, were to be dedicated to the Lord in this manner. In this way God secures the dedication of Jesus. He will be consecrated, set apart for God, called holy to the Lord, and this will be done by sacrificing a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons. I just don’t see Baptists doing all this, even though this is the only place any Baptist has ever pointed me to in defense of their practice of dedicating children to the lord. We don’t have a temple for them to do this anymore.
Thing is Baptists worry for their children. They want to do something. But this is where their naïve reading of the Bible and absolutely ignorant understanding of baptism get them into real trouble. If I can’t baptize a child, because no child is ever baptized in the New Testament, isn’t it a greater sin to just make up stuff? Does it really offer the parent any more comfort that their child has been dedicated to God in some rite that finds no sanction whatsoever in scripture? I can’t see how.
As it is, God is very explicit in Peter’s Pentecost Sermon that baptism is infact for your children, and that there God offers them the gift and blessing of the Holy Spirit. Read it. Acts 2:38-39. The only question one needs ask after that is, when are your children your children? They are now. Go baptize them. Bring them here, I’ll do it for you. I’ll even spend a few hours if need be correcting your view of baptism and show you how you have been reading your bible wrong all along. Yes, baptism does save, because Christ himself says so.


J. Dean said...

Have to agree on this. There is a whole lot more evidence in favor of baptizing children than dedicating them.

Daniel Casey said...

And the Reformed merely do wet dedications.

Scottydog said...

There IS a child dedication in scripture: " And they brought unto him also infants, that he would touch them: but when his disciples saw it, they rebuked them." Luke 18:15. I like the Luke passage, because it emphasizes "Infants" (βρεφη), whereas the parallel passages read "little children" (παιδιον). Ironically, this is one of our stronger passages for infant baptism, but of course it doesn't specifically talk about baptism here.

As to Daniel Casey's comment, I MUST disagree. The authority of the baptism is in the word of God in, with, and under the water. Whether the officiating minister, the parents, or the baptizee recognize that God is actually working a sacrament through His word is a completely different issue.

Bror Erickson said...

Yes, the Luke 18 and its parallels is a stronger verse for baptizing them then dedicating them. Blessing isn't exactly the same thing as dedication anyway. And Baptism is definitely a blessing. Where as you could dedicate something without blessing it. Actually dedicate has much more a connotation of law for me. Blessing is gospel, and so is baptism.

Scottydog said...

Maybe it's heretical for Lutherans, but I really think the Eastern Orthodox really have it right in relation to the Luke 18 verse. After the baptize the infant (by immersion), they immediately give the baby the Eucharist while he's still dripping wet. They don't commune children thereafter until after confirmation, but the bringing the infants to Jesus that He might TOUCH them, matches the Luke 18 passage exactly. Just my 2 cents worth - off on a tangent.

Bror Erickson said...

I think the EO practice is trying to be in line with John 6.