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Baptism in the Christian church

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Baptism Most Christian churches have a ceremony in which the importance of the birth of a baby is recognised; they call the service 'baptism'. The word Baptism comes from the Greek word 'baptein' meaning to 'dip'. In the service the person who is being baptised is dipped in some way into water, to wash away sins. It is the start of a Christian life. This is why most Christians feel that it is better to have a new born child baptised because it is also the beginning of their life as well as their Christian one. Baptism is the first rite of passage symbolising entrance into the church. In the Roman Catholic Church the baptism takes place in a normal mass service so that the whole congregation is present to welcome the child into the church. The child is first anointed with oil as a sign of strength that God gives to Christians to help fight off sin and temptation. In an infant baptism promises are made for the baby by its parents and godparents because the child is too young to do so. The parents and godparents make three promises: 'To turn to Christ, to repent sin and to renounce evil.' After the promises have been made the priest makes a sign of a cross on the child's head to symbolise Christ. ...read more.


In the infant baptism promises are made by the god parents and parents. This is because the child doesn't know right from wrong so is unable to commit a sin but the church feel that Baptism is still necessary because they believe everyone is born with 'original sin'. Some Churches like the Salvation Army and Quakers will only baptise adults, or children who are old enough to make their promises for themselves, unlike the Church of England, Methodist and Roman Catholic Church who will do both. They believe that even though someone is making the promises for them, in further life even grown up the children might not follow them. Some of them still have naming services, which are an important part of baptism but only will baptise adults. The whole importance of baptism is for the person to let the spirit of Jesus into their lives and babies cannot do so if they don't understand. That is why we get believers baptism. Another important point for why some churches wont baptise babies is o the original baptism with John the Baptist and Jesus. Baptism changed the life of Jesus. Before he was baptised he was a person who had committed sin. After he was baptised he was 're-born', a new person. ...read more.


In the time when many children died young parents wanted the child to be baptised before they died. Today this still happens but not as often as then but it is still important for the child to be baptised. As well as a blessing service baptism is also a service to name the child. Even after these arguments the priest has rights to refuse baptism to a child whose parents he believes unfit to bring the child up the way of the promises. You would have thought the church would like to have as many people as possible joining the church. If they turn away people from being baptised how can they expect other people to come and prayer with them? Just because a person doesn't go to church for any reason doesn't mean they are not a Christian and are not good people: Matthew 28.19 'Go then, to all peoples everywhere and make them disciples: baptise them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.' I don't see why children aren't allowed to be baptised. They may not be able to make the promises themselves but if they do want to re-new them they can be confirmed at an older age. It's really up the parents whether or not they want their child to be brought up in the Christian church. Just because Jesus was baptised in this way doesn't mean everyone else must be. Sophie Stuttard GCSE Coursework ...read more.

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