Why Infant Baptism?

Why Infant Baptism?
 

Did our parents wait for us to grow up and choose our own name? 

As infants, we were born into a particular family and given a name by our parents.  We were also accepted as citizens of the United States.  We had no say in the particular name, family, or country we were born into. And really, we had done nothing to deserve to be claimed by a family or nation at all! 

This analogy can help one see why Christians have baptized their babies since the very beginning of Christianity.  For the last two thousand years, Baptism has been seen as the way that we follow Christ's command to be born again by water and the spirit (John 3:5).  When we are baptized, God makes us his adopted children, and even the smallest among us receive the graces that Jesus won for us on the Cross. 

Because of this understanding of Baptism, it makes perfect sense to Catholics to baptize their children as infants.  Just as we gave our children physical life, we ask God to give our children spiritual life.  Just as we accept our children into our families right away, we would not dream of waiting for our children to grow up before allowing them to become part of the family of God, the Church.  Like everything we give to newborns, we give them these spiritual gifts because we know that they need them. 

As people become adults, they will need to accept the gifts that they have been given as children.  They can choose to change their name, leave their families, or even reject their American citizenship!  In a similar way, as children grow up as Catholics, they will have to accept the Christian faith and make it their own, daily choosing Jesus as their Lord and Savior. 

More than any other Christian practice, the Baptism of infants shows us that salvation is completely God's gift.  A baby girl has done nothing to "earn" salvation, and yet God loves this child.  She cannot confess faith in Christ, and yet Christ wants her to participate right away in the new life he won for her on the Cross.  One day, that child will grow up and choose whether to follow Christ wholeheartedly; in the meantime, she has been adopted by God and has been born again in new life. 

For more on this topic or questions about the Catholic faith, visit www.CatholicBridge.com. And If you or your children have not yet received the gift of Baptism, we would love to help you receive this precious gift from God! 

 

 

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