To baptise or not to baptise - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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#61 of 67 Old 11-26-2007, 10:28 PM
 
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The funny thing is that I'm not sure the Catholic church claims that Baptism of infants is scriptural, although they do insist that it is not anathema as some faiths claim. It comes, IIRC, from the early Church when someone (ie, the head of household) would convert and his entire household would be baptised together, including children, slaves, indentured servents, etc...
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#62 of 67 Old 11-27-2007, 12:27 AM
 
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Dh and I met at church and were very observant before ds was born. We're Episcopalian. I wasn't raised in any religion and was baptized as an adult. I felt a constant calling to the Church throughout my teenage and college years, but I always felt excluded because I had never been baptized. I think if I had been baptized as an infant, I would have felt more comfortable, more accepted, more part of a community when I did actually attend services. It was hard enough going all by myself! So in a way, I wish I had been baptized as an infant...although it was very meaningful to finally make the leap and be baptized as an adult.

Ds was baptized in a church we attended when I was pregnant and when he was an infant.

Since then, we've really fallen off in our observance. We rarely go to church, because it's too difficult for ds to sit through the service, and he goes nuts if we leave him in the nursery. We don't really have a decent neighborhood church, so we go to a church in NYC, 45 minutes away and a pain to get to. It's not a very spiritual experience for any of us. I struggle with how to raise my child in a tradition I didn't experience as a child. Dh and I both feel sort of uncomfortable with "God talk" around the house. I feel like I should have more religious-theme kids books around the house. I feel like I should try harder to take ds to church. I'm hoping things will get easier once he's past the toddler stage. I'm sort of struggling in my beliefs at the moment, but the Episcopal Church is pretty accepting of that. I still have faith in the power of religious community, I would like ds to have that as he grows up.

lady.gif mama to H. 4/05 and A. 9/08 and baby C. 10/11

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#63 of 67 Old 11-27-2007, 01:40 AM
 
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All to Jesus.....I Surrender....
All to Jesus, I surrender;
All to Him I freely give;
I will ever love and trust Him,
In His presence daily live.

I surrender all,
I surrender all,
All to Thee, my blessèd Savior,
I surrender all.

This was the song we sang at church this morning. Communion in served every first Sunday of each month. Today, as I walked toward the front of the sanctuary I sang these words. Even before I reached the communion table and the alter, the tears started to flow. I took the bread and the cup from the table, and knelt at the alter.

As I knelt at the alter, I prayed "Lord, I give him to you." With my prayer I physically laid my son on the alter and I let go. I watched him lying there so helpless and needy and I sobbed. Here, lying on the alter at the front of the church was my 16 day old son.

The pastor came up to me and asked if he could pray for me, I could only nod through my tears. He looked at me and said "Your son in beautiful."

Through my tears, I replied, "He's not mine any more...I just gave him away."

I saw in his eyes and amazed look as he watched me...I wanted to tell him that I wasn't worth his admiration. My mistakes and my bad choices were more than I could bear as I watched my son lying there. I didn't want his admiration.

He looked at me and said, "The minute you placed him in God's hands, God took him and handed him back to you and asked: 'Will you raise my child?"

I feel so inadequate to take on this task. I don't feel like I can do this. Today I did the hardest thing I've ever done in my life....

I went up to the alter, I begged my God for forgiveness. I laid my son, my only son, on the alter, and I said..."I surrender ALL, I surrender Jacob. He is yours God. He's your child." And now, I have to leave him there.
I read the whole thread here and I pray that in it you find the answers you are looking for, although after reading it I doubt you will find them here. I do however urge you to pray...you will find what is right for you.

I will never have an infant baptized. My son was dedicated twice. The story of the first dedication is above. His second dedication was a public one where the pastor called us up and prayed over us, while my dad stood by my side promising to aide me in my journey. (I was a single mama at the time.)

I pray you find peace in what you do and that ultimately what you decide is something you can look back on with conviction and love.
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#64 of 67 Old 11-27-2007, 10:03 AM
 
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Nina - this is off topic but I want to encourage you to continue taking your son to church. He is not going to magically wnt to hang out and participate in worship one day. I know it sucks but the only way to raise kids who enjoy church is to work on it slowly and surely one week at a time. even if you spend the whole time going in and out and back in and back out (skip the nursery. its the same as staying home). The time you invest now wil pay off even if you don't feel there is any spiritual benifits (hey, let me tell you. teaching my childre to participate in worship may have kept me from saying prayers and listening to teh sermon but there is no faster way to cultivate the fruits of the spirit. especially self control, gentleness, and long suffering )

The truest answer to violence is love. The truest answer to death is life. The only prevention for violence is for the heart to have no violence within it.  We cannot prevent evil through any system devised by mankind. But we can grapple with evil and defeat it, but only with love—real love.

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#65 of 67 Old 11-29-2007, 03:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Many interesting and beautiful replies have been posted, and I am very grateful for everyones passionate beliefs on the subject.

I had a problem with the mortal sin because I'm delaying my son's baptism part... but the catholic church is what it is. I can't believe that I am sinning in making sure I am having him baptised for the right reasons...

The lord convicted me before I wrote this post, and I would like to share the experience because it has been a while since I felt the Holy Spirit in such an amazingly tangible way.

I was gazing at my sleeping dh and ds, and suddenly heard "Look at your husband. Look at the life he has lead. He has walked through fire unburned, commanded evil and has lived unscathed by the despair around him. The holy spirit has been with him."

I was thrown. I wasn't thinking about baptism, or anything spiritual. My dh lived an ugly childhood/young adulthood. He says he has always had a relationship with Christ, even though he had no formal religious upbringing. Suddenly I knew this somehow must have been because of his baptism. His life is amazing, and his spiritual experiences are amazing.

So I will baptise my son, because I believe that it is the beginning. That it opens him up to the holy spirit. I believe everyone is offered the same gift, but some have to struggle with themselves to receive it. Maybe baptism is laying the foundation for that gift, so it can be more readily received.

These are my own ramblings, not any official doctrine obviously, but I don't believe they go against Catholic or Christian doctrine either.

I think it's sad that there is still such a rift between some catholics and christains. We all love the same man, He died for all of us... why the rift. (Another thread for another time I assume )

I am not crunchy enough for this forum. Everyday I get a little crunchier though! :
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#66 of 67 Old 11-29-2007, 04:11 PM
 
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lil_earthmomma, that is one of the most beautiful posts I have read in a very long time.
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#67 of 67 Old 11-29-2007, 04:23 PM
 
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Originally Posted by TanyaS View Post
lil_earthmomma, that is one of the most beautiful posts I have read in a very long time.
Me too! I am with you on baptizing your son. Even though we baptized our daughter at a Catholic church "for our parents", I still would have had her baptized as an infant somewhere. Like I said before, I believe it is giving back to God what is truly His. It is recognizing the gift that we have been given - acknowledging that gift in a very public way. And, like you said, it is the beginning of their spirituality.
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