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Baptism in Christianity; Sacraments

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Introduction

Harry White Ao1 576 Ao2 576 Ao3 596 Ao1 Modern Christianity offers a number of different approaches to baptism. But the two main kinds are, infant baptism, where very young children are baptized in a font. And believer's baptism, where a person, old enough to understand the obligations of baptism are baptised in a shallow pool called a baptistery. Infant baptism is celebrated by roman Catholics, Anglicans, Methodists, Orthodox and United Reform Church. And it is the most popular form of baptism. This may be because parents wanted their children baptized as well, because baptism was seen as a new life and so it seemed appropriate to begin life with baptism. Though these churches do baptise older children and adults, these are only in special cases where a person was not able to be baptised as an infant. A Roman Catholic service begins with a priest welcoming the child, the parents of the child and the God parents of the child. He then reminds the parents and the godparents of the duties they are accepting and then the priest, the parents and the Godparents make the sign of the cross on the baby's forehead. This is followed by bible readings and then a homily from the priest and then the baby is anointed with oil to show dedication to God. ...read more.

Middle

Baptism dates back to the Old Testament tradition where a gentile who wanted to join the Jewish nation would be baptized, to become a Jew. In the same manner john the Baptist began to baptize Jews telling them that essentially, it wasn't enough merely to be a Jew that, that you had to do something more. This paved the way for Jesus. Infant baptism is the baptism of children and babies who are too young to comprehend what is happening to them. So they must have people to take vows for them, these people are called godparents. Along with the parents of the child they must vow to provide the child with a Christian environment, to pass on the teachings of the church, to encourage the child to attend church, to teach the child about god and how to praise and worship him. Infant baptism evolved from members of the early church who wanted to be baptized so that they could become a member of the Christian church as soon as possible. Another reason for baptizing for baptizing children at a young age is that many Christians believed that there are four different places you go when you die, heaven, hell, purgatory and limbo, and its limbo that people were afraid of. They believed that if an un baptized child died then they would go to limbo, which is, in essence, nothingness. ...read more.

Conclusion

It can be argued that if the parents of a child are non-believers, then the parents will not for fill the vows of baptism, to bring up their child in a Christian environment, making there little point in baptism. I do not agree with this point of view. I believe that no matter what circumstances we are brought up in, we still have the power as individuals to choose what to believe in. So even if a person is brought up in a house of non-believers, if they are religious in their heart, they will eventually discover their faith, and because of this I don't think that baptism should be denied to anybody. Another sacrament that I don't think should be denied to anybody is a funeral. When somebody is deceased, like when somebody I born, they are unable to say what they wish for as far as burial is concerned, if they have not vocalised it in life. Because of this, it is not always clear how this person felt about there religion, so therefore it must be presumed, if that is the wish of friend and family, that a Christian burial is appropriate. In conclusion I think that some Christian sacraments should be reserved for believers, but there are those where it is not always clear weather or not the person is a believer and I do not believe that in these circumstances people should be denied christen sacraments. ...read more.

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