Friday, April 25, 2008
why we baptize caroline...
This Sunday, we are so excited that Caroline will be baptized at church, and even birthmommy Megan will be there to celebrate with us! Marc wrote the following to be printed inside the bulletin:
Baptism: "for you and your children…” (Acts 2:39)
By Marc Corbett
On this day, April 27th, 2008- it’s my joy and privilege to baptize my daughter, Caroline Elizabeth Corbett. This may be strange to those of you who, like me, grew up in a Baptist home (after all, in West Texas, aren’t their more Baptists than there are people? :) ) Why would we baptize Caroline before she has made a profession of faith? Are we only doing this because of some Presbyterian tradition which carried over from the Roman Catholic Church?
The reason Amy and I are baptizing Caroline is because our conscience is bound by Scripture alone and not by any tradition. The question from Scripture is NOT, “should we baptize believers OR infants?” The question from Scripture is this: “Should we baptize believers AND also their children?”
So I thought I might offer a quick explanation from Scripture, not necessarily to convince you to believe in infant baptism, but so that you can see that we practice it because we believe it to be biblical.
When a believer was baptized in the New Testament, their whole family was baptized as well. Of the 10 Christian baptisms recorded in the New Testament, about 85% of the time where a believer may have children, those children are baptized (“you and your household”). Never do these Scriptures advocate not baptizing a member of one’s family until they are old enough to make their own decision for Christ.
Throughout the Bible, God establishes covenant relationships with families, not just individuals. For example, God told Noah, “ “Go into the ark, you and your whole family, because I have found you (singular) righteous in this generation.” (Genesis 7:1). Because a believing parent is in covenant with God, their children are considered holy or set apart from the world. We treat them this way by praying with them, teaching them about Jesus, and also giving them the sign of the covenant. The OT sign of circumcision is replaced with baptism in the New Testament (Col. 2:11-12).
So, today, we joyfully give the sign of the covenant to our daughter. Not because we believe baptism saves her. But, it’s an outward sign that points forward to what we hope and trust will be an inward reality in the future: when Caroline Elizabeth, child of the covenant, is born again and places her trust in the blood of Christ which cleanses her from all unrighteousness.
 Pentecost: Acts 2:38-39, “…you and your children…”; Acts 8:12; Cornelius & his household: Acts 10:2, 44, 48; Lydia & her household: Acts 16:14,15; Jailer & his household: Acts 16:31-34; Crispus & his household believed & were baptized:; Acts 18:8; Stephanus & his household: 1 Cor. 1:14, 16.
 1 Cor. 7:14 - “For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy (set apart).”