Do we prevent somebody being hurt by superstition or faith by rejecting and challenging those things? 

Is it mistaken to support organised religion in membership or donations?

If people do good because they are human, not because God prompts them then is it right to risk giving God any credit when they alone own their good?

 


The Heresy of Infant Baptism
 
The Roman Catholic Church claims that sprinkling water on a baby or an adult while saying, "I baptise you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" does amazing things. It takes away the sin we are born with, original sin, and any other sins and grafts us on to Jesus making us his servants. It puts Jesus and God inside us to live in us and inspire us. The Church says that baptism heals the inclination towards sin that original sin causes. Baptism is a sacrament. It pictures cleansing from sin and the effects of sin and actually does what it pictures.

Essentially, baptism is giving the child to God for it is not his until you do.  In practice that means giving the child to the Catholic version of God.  It means giving it and dedicating it to a religion that claims to be the voice of God. 

Almost the entirety of the Christian Church believes that children may be baptised to make them members of the Church. Many people today find it disturbing that the Church uses blackmail to make sure this is done thus keeping its membership up.
 
What is more disturbing is that the Catholic Church says baptism takes away much of your desire to sin but this claim is refuted by experience! If priests were doctors they would be seen for the charlatans that they are and yet they claim to be doctors for the soul with baptism as a cure for sin. What an unfair world we live in. They are the ones that say spiritual sickness is more serious than physical sickness and they have the nerve to condemn quackery! What about their spiritual quackery?
 
The Catholic Church claims that salvation or your pass into eternal life in Heaven is a gift from God that you take by baptism. The Church compares getting baptised to going to the casino to get your prize. It is not the same thing for you have to go somewhere to get your prize but God does not need to restrict the gift to baptism. The Bible says that those who think their good works earn salvation are in fact arrogantly trying to buy from God and insulting his generosity. The Church insults its God by requiring baptism for salvation. Would you really want any salvation from a God like the Catholic version of God? If you as a grown up would not want it you cannot assume that a child should be baptised into the service of such a god.
 
As baptism removes sin, it is supposed to unite your soul with God. Thus you belong to him and he to you. There are no rights without responsibilities. Baptism lays religious responsibilities on you. You must obey what God teaches through scripture and the Church. Baptism is based on scripture and Church authority. So to get baptised implies acceptance of their authority and veracity. Baptism is an oath. God and his people have taken an oath based on, "You will be my people and I will be your God". It is a two-way oath. The Church requires an oath of commitment from baptised babies before they know to what they are committing. That is outrageous...
 
Christianity says that a baptised baby has God and his goodness producing power and an unbaptised baby does not. It says that a baby comes into existence estranged from God and this is original sin and needs to be forgiven. As in racism, the innocent are slandered and insulted and called dangerous because of something they cannot help. Racists condemn because of skin colour. Christians condemn a baby for not being baptised. You can have treatment to change your skin colour and surgery to look like another race. So clearly the Christians maligning the babies is worse than racism for a baby can't get itself baptised.

Baptism was used to segregate children from paganism and that caused much family and social disruption. The pagan parent married to a Christian suffered from his or her children being baptised into a faith that they regarded with abhorrence and as immoral and narrow. [Jesus put separating people from their families into practice. Arguments that he did not are stretched and complicated. If he were innocent it would not take that amount of rationalisation and far fetched reasoning. Its an insult to the many countless victims of Christianity.]  In fact, we have lost sight of the segregation element of baptism.  That is because we don't have many old style pagans about.  But the principle still stands.
 
Christians say they condemn the parents and those responsible for the child for not getting it baptised not the child. Even if the parents don't mean to harm, they still are harming. But if it is true that God is fair, then it is fair for him to reject the unbaptised babies until they are baptised - they in some way deserve it. The child can be blamed for not being holy. In other words, the child is to blame for not embracing God and making baptism unnecessary. It is the child's fault that it needs baptism therefore we can blame the child for not being clean.
 
Even when Protestant Christians do not believe baptism reconciles the baby with God and puts God's holiness and goodness in the child, their doctrine that one must be born again by making a personal commitment of faith to Christ, is nearly as unacceptable as the Catholic doctrine that babies are saved by baptism. These Christians say that babies may go to Heaven if they die but clearly what happens is that because they die God forgives them. Babies that do not die are not cleansed of original sin and forgiven. Those Christians are still accusing babies of being rejected by God and God will keep rejecting them until some arbitrary conditions are fulfilled! A God who arbitrarily accepts or who requires silly conditions to be taken care of before he accepts is only insulting people by accepting them. Would it be a compliment if you were only allowed to work as an accountant if you had red hair? If the person really values you, they would accept you properly and not be inventing excuses for having rejected you before. Gay and lesbian rights are nonsense if racism is acceptable and racism can hardly be wrong if the idea of babies being accepted by God and rejected by him for no sensible reason is true.
 
Catholic Christianity accuses an unbaptised baby of being inferior to babies that are baptised. Since God is supposed to be fair, the baby must in some way deserve this treatment.
 
IS INFANT BAPTISM BIBLICAL?
 
Is infant baptism biblical? Arguments for or against it will also be relevant to the baptism of any person who does not have the development or the maturity to comprehend what they are doing to and what is being done to them.

Some simply argue that since baptism is to be done by total immersion that babies cannot be baptised.

Infant baptism and baptism of those who haven’t attend to the use of reason isn’t mentioned in the Bible. Catholics argue that the household baptisms in their scripture (Acts 16:14, 15; 30-34; 1 Corinthians 1:16) must have included them but anybody can see that that is a lie. It says that there must have been babies baptised when the 3,000 were baptised in Acts 2. This has the same fault: there is no must about it. Households may have children who can make up their own minds. Acts 2 says that those who listened to Peter were baptised and it certainly was people who were past the age of reason that Peter told to get baptised. We know nothing abut the kids and probability tells us that they were not done.

It is childish to insist that because Peter instructed the people to be baptised because the promise of salvation was made to them and their children that he was advocating infant baptism (Acts 2:37-39). By children he meant their descendants. He certainly didn’t mean that only the people standing before him and the babies and toddlers they had with them would be saved. Peter could have believed only in adult baptism and still said that the promise of salvation was for his listeners and their children.
 
We read that Jesus does not discriminate against men and women, between Jew and Greek (Galatians 4:27, 28). Does that mean that infant baptism is right because it would be discrimination to withhold it? Not if the Catholic view that Paul is on about those who are already baptised and saved thereby is right. If we could be certain that he approved of infant baptism, we would know that it does prohibit such discrimination. But we don’t. It might not be discrimination to exclude babies. We do know that Paul was mostly likely to be thinking of people who could make their own decisions. The doctrine of baptismal salvation denies that God has given everybody an equal chance to get into Heaven and the Church admits this though it says God will help anybody to get to Heaven (Radio Replies 3, Question 778). The Catholics oppose the Protestant dogma of predestination to damnation for they claim that God would be evil if he wanted people to go to Hell and did not do his best to help them to salvation. But a God who refuses to do all he can to keep people out of Hell and gives baptised people the best chance would be just as bad as one that predestines. The doctrine of baptismal salvation is elitist and we cannot accept it in the modern age when we despise inequality so much.
 
Consider this, in the past it was nearly always Europeans who were baptised. People then from other races were looked down on as not being the children of God. This had the same effect as racism. Even today Christianity denies that people from certain races that have not been presented with its gospel are the children of God. This encourages discrimination and offends these races and scares them and makes many of them racist. When that is taught it is so easy to find racism acceptable. It is time the law did something about the racist-friendly doctrine of baptismal salvation.

Those who argue that since the epistles tell children to be good (Colossians 3:20) that the early Christians must have been for infant baptism are on ultra-thin ice. Some say that since some of the epistles are addressed to all the people in the places they are sent to, babies must be included and are Christians because they are called saints which means they are baptised! The letters were for those who could read them. All letters are.

Only believers are baptised in scripture. It says that unbelievers must be baptised which does not mean that infants are not to be. It is a mistake to read Mark 16:16 which tells us that he who believes and is baptised will be saved and that he who does not believe will be damned and conclude that babies are not to be baptised for they cannot believe. Jesus may only have adults in mind. Maybe the verse isn’t about water baptism at all but the spiritual baptism of being filled with the Holy Spirit. Does the rule, “Nobody can come in here without asking permission”, mean that babies are excluded?

The practice of infant baptism is based on the idea that babies can’t be saved without it and since God wants all to be saved he must want babies baptised. The problem is that God never said that it is unchristened babies that are barred from Heaven. Maybe if God won’t forgive a baby he will do the moment it dies. It is most probable that the Bible teaches that only those with the intelligence to accept the gospel will be saved and the rest will be damned. The Bible says that God wants all to be saved which implies that though he might make it a duty to have a baby baptised as quickly as possible he will not penalise the baby if it is not baptised and he certainly has no use for sending it or anybody to Hell.

Infant baptism is not mentioned in the Bible. The Bible would undoubtedly be superstitious if it was. It is safe to hold that it forbids infant baptism by implication though it does not expressly forbid it. We shall see in a moment that the New Testament doctrine that God is love implies that infant baptism is evil and impermissible.

Jesus said on one occasion that he did not want the little children to be prevented from coming to him for “such as these” were entitled to the Kingdom of Heaven. Some say this says that children below the age of reason are treated as sinless by God despite their original sin for it is not their fault. Others say that Jesus only meant that people like them in innocence and childlike trust could be saved. The first is the most plausible explanation. Jesus would not have welcomed those who were not his true disciples and who did not love God. He would not have given the impression that they could be saved if they could not be. His words such as these is more naturally taken to mean other children rather than childlike adults. Jesus may have said that we have to be like children in the sense that we are trusting to get into Heaven but that was all. He certainly did not want us to be like children in every respect for he wanted us to be smart and brave and watching out for enemies and willing to die for him.

Does 1 Corinthians 7:14 which says that the children of a Christian who is married to a heathen are holy mean that they are conceived without original sin (making baptism unnecessary) or cleansed from it in baptism? The verse alleges that the pagan spouse of a Christian is sanctified because of being married to a Christian. This cannot mean that God treats an unholy pagan as holy just because he or she is married to one of his own. The verse must mean that the Christian makes her or his family holy by good example or more probably that God treats them as sacred for they are part of the Christian’s life and help the Christian to be holy even if only by letting the Christian be kind to them. The latter is likely right for the Bible has nothing spiritually positive to say about pagans. The people in themselves are not holy. The verse doesn’t mention baptism.
 
 
CIRCUMCISION AND INFANT BAPTISM
 
Some Christians endeavour to sustain the view that the Bible is amenable to the idea of infant baptism for it requires infant circumcision.

If circumcision is anything like baptism then why is it that only men receive circumcision? What about women? If circumcision is like baptism enough to mean that if babies are circumcised then babies should be baptised then women cannot be baptised. If anybody tries to baptise women then it is invalid and not a real baptism at all.

Never does the Old Testament claim that circumcision was a sign of salvation.
 
Old Testament circumcision was inextricably linked to the ideas of including male babies in the Hebrew nation. It was mainly political. The state has the right to declare a child born in it to be one of its people. The Hebrews simply had a different way of determining who belonged to them. It was by circumcision for males and probably birth for females. The Catholics do not understand biblical circumcision properly or they use it to defend the indefensible - infant baptism.

The stress on religious freedom in the New Testament shows that enforced circumcision can tell us nothing about baptism.

TRADITION AND INFANT BAPTISM
 
Most of the Christian Churches claim to be following tradition in performing the baptism of infants. But the fact remains that this tradition was a late one. The earliest tradition demanded the baptism of adults only. Plenty was written about baptism but the baptism of infants was not even mentioned until the time of Tertullian in 200 AD. He was determined to stamp the practice out (page 121, Handbook to the Controversy with Rome, Vol 1).

The most important “orthodox” Church figure of the second century next to Irenaeus was St Justin Martyr. He wrote that we become the children of God through choice and knowledge and find the remission of sins in the baptismal waters. So about 150 AD, infant baptism was unknown.
 
CONCLUSION
 
Infant baptism is an initiation into dogmatic opposition to reason. And an initiation to superstition. It is pure exploitation of the child and seeks to make sure that the child’s knowledge of religion will be restricted to the biased and censored preaching that is given to society by the Church. The ceremony is an insult to the dignity of the child. The Mormon Church has a scripture the Book of Mormon that is additional to the Bible and it sternly warns that God will punish those who baptise children and that anybody who says a child needs baptism is showing their true nature and it is not a nice caring nature (“I know that it is solemn mockery before God that ye should baptize little children” – Moroni 8:9, “Awful is the wickedness to suppose that God saveth one child because of baptism, and the other must perish because he hath no baptism” Moroni 8:15). So even many religions agree with our analysis of the evils of infant baptism.
 
WORKS CONSULTED
 
12 Church of Christ Doctrines Compared with the Holy Scriptures, Homer Duncan, Missionary Crusader, Texas, 1984
All One Body – Why Don’t We Agree? Erwin W Lutzer, Tyndale, Illinois, 1989
Baptism, Meaning, Mode & Subjects, Michael Kimmitt, K & M Books, Trelawnyd, 1997
But the Bible Does not Say So, Rev Roberto Nisbet, Church Book Room Press, London, 1966
But What About the Thief on the Cross? Cecil Willis, Guardian of Truth, Bowling Green, Kentucky
Christian Baptism, Philip Crowe, Mobray, Oxford, 1980
Covenant Reformed News, Volume 7, Number 13, Ballymena, Northern Ireland
Four Great Heresies, John R Rice, Sword of the Lord, Murfreesboro, 1975
Handbook to the Controversy with Rome, Vol 1, Karl Von Hase, The Religious Tract Society, 4 Bouverie Street, 1906
Is it necessary for you to be baptised to be saved? Hoyt H Houchen, Guardian of Truth, Bowling Green, Kentucky
Is Water Baptism Essential to Salvation? Curtis Hutson, Sword of the Lord, 1988
Jesus and the Four Gospels, John Drane, Lion, Herts, 1984
Objections to Roman Catholicism, Edited by Michael de la Bedoyere, Constable, London, 1964
Radio Replies, Vol 3, Frs Rumble and Carty, Radio Replies Press, St Paul, Minnesota 1942
Reason and Belief, Bland Blanschard, George Allen & Unwin Ltd, London, 1974
Regeneration or the New Birth, A W Pink, Evangelical Press, Welwyn, Herts, England, undated
The Book of Mormon, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Salt Lake City, Utah
The Documents of Vatican II, Edited by Walter M Abbott SJ, Geoffrey Chapman Ltd, London, 1967
The Institutes of the Christian Religion, John Calvin, Hodder and Stoughton, London, 1986
The Only Way of Salvation, H. A. Twelves, Christadelphian ALS, Birmingham
Vicars of Christ, Peter de Rosa, Corgi, London, 1993
When Critics Ask, Norman Geisler and Thomas Howe, Victor Books, Scripture Press Publications, Illinois, 1992
Why Baptism Really Matters, Fred Pearce, Christadelphian Publishing Office, Birmingham
Why Does God? Domenico Grasso SJ, St Paul Publications, Bucks, England, 1970
Why you Should be Baptized, Herbert W Armstrong, Worldwide Church of God, Pasadena, California, 1991

The WWW

Doctrinal Summary by Br Thomas Mary MICM. This page informs us that Catholic teaching is that if you hear of the Catholic Church and don’t join it or study it your damnation is guaranteed. It affirms that babies that die without baptism will be banned from Heaven forever.