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"Baptism should only be received when one is old enough to confirm one's faith".

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Introduction

"Baptism should only be received when one is old enough to confirm one's faith". In the early church, Baptism, Confirmation and the Eucharist were received together at the Easter Vigil and were referred to as 'Sacraments of Initiation'. These rites were earned and delivered because of a person's past and present rich, religious beliefs. Their award and entitlement was to have the privilege to be part of the Christian community, they were usually received as an adult. Baptists insist that the New Testament, associates baptism with a person's own faith in Jesus; and as very small children are not old enough to believe for themselves, baptism should be withheld until the child can make his or her own decision. Baptists or 'believers' believe the following: * Baptism should only take place when the candidate is old enough to make an intimate decision. * Anyone wishing to be baptised must give evidence of having repented and believed. (Acts 2:38 - 41, acts 8:35 - 40). * Baptism is the outward sign and witness of Inner faith in Jesus. * Full immersion is a necessity to demonstrate the full Christian Baptism. (Plunging the complete body beneath the level of the blessed water). This scenario reinforces and powerfully symbolises the spiritual death, burial and resurrection to new life. ...read more.

Middle

* It is important to have a 'sense of belonging'. When a child is baptised it is weaned as a member of the Catholic Church and belongs to a large family or community. * The child is given the opportunity of growing up in the faith. There is guidance of direction for their pathway of faith. Being christened a baptism involves a promise to spend our lives trying to become like Christ, a true follower. The sacrament is an assurance that God, who saves us, also gives us his spirit to dwell within us and to teach us how to live in a Christian manner. * Catholics have to receive baptism in order to receive the sacrament of confirmation and the Eucharist. In the Catholic Church the parents, relatives and guardians supply the faith on behalf of the child, they are taking on the responsibility to make sure the child grows up according to the Christian ways, being a follower of Jesus. As the child matures to the age of adolescence, then has the option to celebrate and confirm his or her faith during the invitation of the Sacrament of Confirmation. "Baptise first the children; and if they can speak for themselves, let them do so. Otherwise, let their parents or other relatives speak for them". ...read more.

Conclusion

After considering both infant and adult baptism I conclude that I am in favour of infant baptism. Jesus himself said that little children can believe in Him and used them as examples of faith. Jesus said that if someone does not have the faith of a child, trusting completely in Jesus alone for salvation, then they would not enter the Kingdom of heaven. Jesus used a child as an example because they simply believe and do not yet have reasoning abilities, which interfere with faith. Jesus loved all children and in early Christian time children were baptised as well as adults to remove original sin. All children need guidance as in the direction of their pathways of faith and examples set for them. I feel that they would have to have a strong faith in their religion to help them grow into a good Christian, baptised in early years gives the child this sense of direction and helps involves the child in a Christian community from birth. If baptism were left to when the child was older then in my opinion the person would never be baptised because it would be hard to accept a completely new religion at a late stage. Once a child reaches adolescence without foundation knowledge of a strong faith there could be a possibility of corruption of their thoughts and opinions. 1 Helen Cluskey 11 DX ...read more.

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