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Baptism Rituals and Theologies Essay

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Updated: Apr 30th, 2020

Death of Infants and Fate

Infants possess the original sins that each person attains after birth. According to various religious beliefs from Christian communities, the practice of baptism cleanses those sins. Essentially, they can die with or without the sins depending on this practice. Technically, the personal sins are absent from them as they have not reached the age of accountability. In this light, the infants baptized through Christian faith are believed acceptable in heaven as they have no sins.

However, those who die before baptism bring a controversy that churches like the Catholic Church do not clarify on their fate1. In respect to this controversy, theologians have a wide range of theories indicating that the infant’s souls are received in Limbo, which is believed to have absolute happiness or mildest punishment. It is, therefore, apparent that children who die before attaining individual consciousness can be sinful depending on whether they are not baptized. In answering the subject question, they are not primarily innocent of sin unless in the conditions stipulated within this paragraph.

Christ and Infant Baptism

Essentially, there are many Christianity-based arguments that support the baptism of infants. It has been argued that baptism is a practice for believers in which they protest their faith to other people. This argument implies that those who believe in Christ are his remnants through decision making. For instance, it has been indicated in Romans 6: 3-4 that, “all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness”2.

A similar case is apparent in the book of Acts 2: 38. In this aspect, Peter relented to this attribute while preaching to the people, “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”3. It shows that baptism is a declaration of obedience to Christ, a vow of submission and forgiveness of sins. It, hence, dictates that the amended work of Christ has pertinent application to infants’ salvation since it declares baptism as a way of clearing their sins.

Views

In one sense, the infants possess a sin that restricts them from entering heaven as per the judgment of human beings. Critically, the infants have not performed sins like the adults. The responsibility of these sins is mediated by the parents or concerned religious bodies such as the Catholic Church. Perceptually, the baptism is not only a step of welcoming the infant to the proposed religion, but also signifying the purification and beliefs of initiation from the Old Testament.

It implies that the baptism is a vital ritual for infants while considering its outcomes to the practices of circumcision as in the time of Abraham. In fact, it credits the teaching of St. Peter as perceived from the Acts of Apostles. Essentially, humanity was subjected to a curse from God after eating the forbidden fruit. This curse was initiated to all people regardless of whether the infants were conscious or not. Conclusively, it is imperative to take the responsibility of handling infants and incorporate them into the Christian doctrines through baptism.

Bibliography

Boyd, Gregory, and Eddy Paul. Across the spectrum: understanding issues in evangelical theology. Grand Rapids, Mich: Baker Academic, 2009.

Lutzer, Erwin. The doctrines that divide: a fresh look at the historic doctrines that separate Christians. Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 1998.

Mitch, Curtis. The New Testament. San Francisco, CA: Ignatius Press, 2010.

Footnotes

  1. Gregory Boyd and Eddy Paul, Across the spectrum: understanding issues in evangelical theology (Grand Rapids, Mich: Baker Academic, 2009), 48-53.
  2. Erwin Lutzer, The doctrines that divide: a fresh look at the historic doctrines that separate Christians (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 1998), 67-79.
  3. Curtis Mitch, The New Testament (San Francisco, CA: Ignatius Press, 2010), 110-187.
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