Why are babies baptized? Aren't they too young to accept Jesus?
Obviously, infants cannot understand the change of allegiance, the putting
off of the old and putting on of the new, the dying and rising, the new
life, or the sharing in the life of Christ. However, the parents of those
infants can understand and live those values and pass them on to their
children. They can also experience the support of the community in living
those ideals, and that is extremely important.
Infant Baptism only makes sense if parents are true Christian disciples. If
they are not, then it makes little sense to initiate their children into a
Church which calls for a commitment to living the mission of Christ.
The Rite of Baptism for Children emphasizes the importance of faithfulness
on the part of parents when it says to parents: In asking to have your
children baptized, "you are accepting the responsibility of training them in
the practice of the faith." That word practice is crucial; it calls for
Christian modeling on the part of parents.
Children learn to be Christian by osmosis, by experiencing Christianity at
home. The "domestic church" prepares children for the local and world
Church. It is in the home, in the domestic church, that children first learn
basic trust which is the foundation of faith. Without the experience of
faith, hope and commitment in the home, children will not be able to know
and understand the larger Church.
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