Matthew 18:10 "See that you do not look down on one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven."
qh1 Infant Baptism
qh3c Jesus is the Exemplar for the Religion he created called Christianity.
qh3c 1. Was Jesus baptized as a.) An infant or b.) At age 33?
Matthew 3:13-17 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. 14 But John tried to deter him, saying, "I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?" 15 Jesus replied, "Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness." Then John consented. 16 As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him. 17 And a voice from heaven said, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased."
qh3c Jesus always did the will of God. He was baptized, as an adult, at age 33.
In Acts we witness the founding of the church on the day of Pentecost. A careful review shows only those who had faith, repented and most importantly ACCEPTED PETER'S MESSAGE of the gospel, were baptized. Let's read it:
Acts 2:36-41 "Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ." 37 When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, "Brothers, what shall we do?" 38 Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off-- for all whom the Lord our God will call." 40 With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, "Save yourselves from this corrupt generation." 41 Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.
qh3 Let's list the non-infant reactions of those who were baptized:
- Peter says They were RESPONSIBLE FOR CRUCIFYING JESUS when he says, "whom you crucified."
- They were "cut to the heart." because of their wicked role in crucifying Jesus
- They thought things over and then asked, "Brothers, what shall we do?"
- "Those who accepted his message were baptized.."
qh4 Has any infant in history behaved as the adults described here?
Which of the above can an infant understand or to which of the above can an infant give his assent? What infant is responsible for crucifying Jesus? What is a reasonable takeaway from this example of the Apostle Peter preaching baptism as a response to the gospel?
New Testament Baptism, since the founding of the church, is for believing pentitent adults moved by the message of the gospel. Baptism requires a heart and mind response to Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection.
Who invented infant baptism? History's first mention of infant baptism stands at 200 A.D. The writer Tertullian (A.D. 160 to 220), who was considered the Church Father of Catholicism in Africa, seems alarmed and skeptical about the practice in every way, as noted in his work titled De Baptismo (Concerning Baptism):
blq1 Tertullian was a native of Carthage in Africa, and spent most of his life in that city. It is supposed that he died about the year 220. His tract, “De Baptismo,” was probably written twenty years before his death. From that tract and from other writings of his, we learn that at the beginning of the third century, there were some strange additions to the ordinance of baptism. The new convert was placed among the catechumens, that he might be fully instructed in the faith. After a sufficient probation he was admitted to baptism. The following account of the manner in which it was administered is taken from the late Bishop of Bristol’s “Ecclesiastical History of the Second and Third Centuries, illustrated from the Writings of Tertullian”:—
“The candidate, having been prepared for its due reception by frequent prayers, fasts, and vigils, professed, in the presence of the congregation and under the hand of the president, that he renounced the devil, his pomp, and angels. He was then plunged into the water three times, in allusion to the Three Persons of the Holy Trinity, making certain responses which, like the other forms here mentioned, were not prescribed in Scripture, but rested on custom and tradition. He then tasted a mixture of milk and honey—was anointed with oil, in allusion to the practice under the Mosaic Dispensation of anointing those who were appointed to the priesthood, since all Christians are, in a certain sense, supposed to be priests—and was signed with the sign of the cross. Lastly followed the imposition of hands, the origin of which ceremony is referred by our author to the benediction pronounced by Jacob upon the sons of Joseph.”2
The administration of baptism was at that early period encumbered by ceremonies of merely human invention; in fact, Tertullian complains, in another work, that “various forms and observances had been introduced into the Christian worship, of which some bore too close a resemblance to the customs and practices of the Gentiles.” The signing with the sign of the cross was a superstition early practiced among the Christians. They crossed themselves perpetually. Whatever they undertook or engaged in—when they went out—when they returned home—when they dressed themselves, or put on their shoes, or sat down to a meal, or went to the bath or to bed—the sign of the cross was associated with everything. We need not wonder that the heathen suspected it to savour of magic.
We have mentioned these particulars for the purpose of showing that, at the beginning of the third century, religious declension had considerably advanced. No one will now be surprised at hearing that an attempt was made to extend the administration of baptism in an unwarrantable manner. It is referred to by Tertullian in his tract, “De Baptismo,” in terms of strong disapproval. Some persons had introduced children (not infants) to baptism, or advocated the administration of the ordinance to them. Tertullian indignantly reproves the practice. “Let them come,” he says, “when they are taught to whom they may come; let them become Christians when they are able to know Christ. Why should this innocent age hasten to the remission of sins?”3 Now, is it not obvious that Ter?tullian was entirely unacquainted with infant baptism, and that this children’s baptism, which then first began to be talked of, was regarded by him as an unauthorized innovation? The sign of the cross, the giving of milk and honey, and similar ceremonies, were comparatively, small matters, trifling circumstances; they were uncalled-for additions to the ordinance, and were so far mischievous but they did not change it. It was still connected with knowledge, and repentance, and faith. But the admission of children, if they were not old enough to repent and believe, would change the ordinance. It would dissever it from those religious prerequisites with which it had been hitherto uniformly associated. The Gentile or Jewish rites which had been added to it tended to make it more imposing, and so attracted the notice of the weak-minded; but to allow children to be baptized, who were not subjects of repentance and faith, would be, in Tertullian’s opinion, to revolutionize the institute altogether. We act more wisely, he remarked, in temporal matters; surely we ought not to admit to baptism those whom we consider unfit to manage temporal affairs. So he argued.
The case is quite clear. Children (not infants, but probably children from six to ten years old) are first mentioned in connection with the ordinance at the beginning of the third century, and then with disapproval. “Tertullian’s opposition,” the learned Baron Bunsen remarks, “is to the baptism of young, growing children; he does not say a word about new-born infants.”
callout-success According to everyone’s condition and disposition, and also his age, the delaying of baptism is more profitable, especially in the case of little children. For why is it necessary if baptism itself is not necessary, that the sponsors should be thrust into danger? For they may either fail of their promise by death, or they may be mistaken by a child’s proving of wicked disposition. They that understand the weight of baptism should rather dread the receiving of it, than the delaying of it: an entire faith is secured of salvation! (Tertullian, de baptismo, ch. xviii) -z
Tertullian - Wikipedia
Can a baby understand what is meant to give up everything, to count the cost and price Jesus is asking from all of mankind?
Luke 9:57-62 As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, "I will follow you wherever you go." 58 Jesus replied, "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head." 59 He said to another man, "Follow me." But the man replied, "Lord, first let me go and bury my father." 60 Jesus said to him, "Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God." 61 Still another said, "I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say good-by to my family." 62 Jesus replied, "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God."
Acts 22:14-16 "Then he said: 'The God of our fathers has chosen you to know his will and to see the Righteous One and to hear words from his mouth. 15 You will be his witness to all men of what you have seen and heard. 16 And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on his name.'