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#1 of 69 Old 11-25-2007, 07:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Where do you stand? if older how old is old enough and why? and what are the conditions to be met for baptism? and what brought you to your descision? if you say "the bible teaches" please to tell me where.

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#2 of 69 Old 11-25-2007, 09:59 PM
 
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I think it's never wrong to wait for the age of reason to baptize. All churches accept adult baptism. If you want your child to make the choice, then it is perfectly fine to wait. However, if you're in a tradition that practices infant baptism, then be aware that your child may be excluded from some rites of passage because they are not baptized. For instance, Holy First Communion.

Having said that, I baptized both of my children as infants. There is no prohibition in the Bible against doing so.

In 1 Corinthians 1:16, Paul says: "Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas;" I think that advocates of infant baptism argue that this would have included children. Really it's hard to know.

I look at it this way: if you're going to baptize a baby, the weight of what you are doing is on your shoulders. Don't do it as a cultural ritual, or because of family pressure. As a parent, you're assuming the responsibility for the baptismal covenant for that child. Pick Godparents who can help, because you're promising to raise that child to know and follow Christ. If you can't or won't do everything in your power to do that, then wait and let the child decide.

For me it wasn't a problem, because I believe that my first duty as a Christian parent is to raise my children to love the Lord. If I fall short of that, then it is my weight to carry.

I also don't believe baptism by itself imparts salvation. Jesus said One must be born again by water and the Spirit. So there is an additional act of the spirit required.
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#3 of 69 Old 11-26-2007, 01:48 AM
 
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We are in the "believers baptism" camp.

Since we believe that baptism is a symbol of salvation and not salvific by itself, we aren't worried about babies dying unbaptised. We also believe that because God is merciful, infants and small children and those who cannot understand salvation can still be saved.
We think it is important that such a heavy symbol of faith be practiced with some understanding of what is going on.

Although, I think that probably has more importance where baptism could be signing your own death warrent due to persecution of the church. Here in the States it's something we often take for granted.
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#4 of 69 Old 11-26-2007, 02:06 AM
 
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We believe in infant baptism. We include them in the 'all nations' part of the go and baptize all nations command.

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#5 of 69 Old 11-26-2007, 03:53 PM
 
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I look at it this way: if you're going to baptize a baby, the weight of what you are doing is on your shoulders. Don't do it as a cultural ritual, or because of family pressure. As a parent, you're assuming the responsibility for the baptismal covenant for that child. Pick Godparents who can help, because you're promising to raise that child to know and follow Christ. If you can't or won't do everything in your power to do that, then wait and let the child decide.
ITA.

I'm Catholic and we believe in infant baptism. It removes the stain of Original Sin, brings the child officially into the Church, and opens the child up to the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

This page is full of scriptural references-

http://www.scripturecatholic.com/baptism.html
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#6 of 69 Old 11-26-2007, 07:03 PM
 
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Didn't Jesus get baptized when he was 30 years old? I think that is a really good age. I was too young at 15 to make that kind of decision for myself and I deeply regret it.
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#7 of 69 Old 11-26-2007, 08:50 PM
 
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I disagree that 1 Cor 1:16 means he baptized everyone, including infants. In my church when you baptize a household, you baptize everyone over the age of accountability. All those younger than that get baptized when they reach accountability.

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#8 of 69 Old 11-26-2007, 09:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by lacysmommy View Post
In my church when you baptize a household, you baptize everyone over the age of accountability.
i don't get this though. if you were to count the people in your household you wouldn't exclude the infants or young children. why? because they are obviously part of your household. As a matter of fact this is the only instance where I ever hear people exclude their children as members of the household. That verse says nothing about excluding the children and some of the earliest church documents (predating the canonization of scripture) prove that infant baptism has been going on from the very beginning, came up for discussion and the church fathers considered it a non-issue. of course children were welcome to baptism. Speaking of church history making children wait until the "age of accountability" is a very recent development in the general scheme of things.

So for those of you who think infants should not be baptized, how old does one have to be before you accept their profession of faith? my children have professed Christ since they could talk. At what point would you tell a child, who accepts Christ, that they their profession of faith is acceptable enough for baptism?

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#9 of 69 Old 11-26-2007, 10:29 PM
 
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i don't get this though. if you were to count the people in your household you wouldn't exclude the infants or young children. why? because they are obviously part of your household.

<snip>

So for those of you who think infants should not be baptized, how old does one have to be before you accept their profession of faith? my children have professed Christ since they could talk. At what point would you tell a child, who accepts Christ, that they their profession of faith is acceptable enough for baptism?
in the LDS faith as lacysmom said we baptize after the age of accountability which is 8 and that is only if th child/adult feels like that is what they want to do.

in the LDS faith when one is baptized we make covenants with the Lord- covenants an infant can not make or even understand. even for 8 year olds it is a basic understanding but an understanding none the less. in the LDS faith infants do receive a name and a blessing but there are no covenants made at that point.

a child's faith in Christ is always acceptable, but that isn't the entire point. the child must also understand the covenants they will make to the Lord and be willing and able to live accordingly. of course it isn't going to be all crystal clear to them as soon as they exit the water but that's another part of it- we have to build upon our understandings.

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#10 of 69 Old 11-26-2007, 10:36 PM
 
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Didn't Jesus get baptized when he was 30 years old? I think that is a really good age. I was too young at 15 to make that kind of decision for myself and I deeply regret it.
may i ask why this is? if you don't believe it then why does it matter?
i was baptized at 8 and left the church fro some years. i never regretted being baptized because i didn't believe it meant anything more than a quick dunk in warm water.
but of course your feelings are valid i am just wondering why. no snark, i promise!

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#11 of 69 Old 11-27-2007, 12:11 AM
 
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We believe in believers' baptism, after the age of accountability, which I think is different for every person.

I was baptised at age 6. It was an appropriate age for me. I knew what I was doing, I believed, and I haven't walked away (questioned as I grew, sure, but never walked away). For me, it was the right age. For other people, probably too young. But, I would never question that.
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#12 of 69 Old 11-27-2007, 12:54 AM
 
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I was baptized as an infant in the Presbyterian church.

Later in my twenties, I attended a church that had "Baby Dedications"... prayers were said for the child and its parents by the congregation, basically. A true immersion baptism waited until the child/adult was old enough to understand what they were agreeing to.

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#13 of 69 Old 11-27-2007, 02:56 AM
 
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may i ask why this is? if you don't believe it then why does it matter?
i was baptized at 8 and left the church fro some years. i never regretted being baptized because i didn't believe it meant anything more than a quick dunk in warm water.
but of course your feelings are valid i am just wondering why. no snark, i promise!
Well, this is hard to explain quickly and is sort of OT, but the religion that I was baptized into saw baptism as a sort of binding contract. If I broke the contract by doing something against the rules, or if I decided I don't believe in the religion anymore and want to leave, then I get excommunicated. This means that I would be shunned by friends and family who were members of the same religion. I think 15 (or even as young as 8 or 9) is too young to make a decision that will greatly impact the rest of your life if you choose to leave the religion later on.

So, I guess it doesn't matter at all at what age people get baptized if there is no punishment for leaving the religion. If there is a punishment for leaving, then I truly think age 30 should be the youngest anyone should get baptized. I don't really get why infants are baptized, because they will still want to make a fully informed choice when they reach adulthood about what religion they follow, but I guess that is more of a special ceremony for the parents.
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#14 of 69 Old 11-27-2007, 02:25 PM
 
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i don't get this though. if you were to count the people in your household you wouldn't exclude the infants or young children. why? because they are obviously part of your household. As a matter of fact this is the only instance where I ever hear people exclude their children as members of the household.
Well, if infant baptism wasn't practiced, and everyone knew it at the time, there would be no need to mention in that scripture "the household was baptized, except for the children younger than the age of 8," because it would be obvious. And I think other practices that are "adult only" are spoken of in this way, such as voting. "We need to reach these households to make sure they vote for our candidate." Obviously, only those who are registered voters would be elligable to vote.

And for infant baptism being practiced in the early church, that may be so, but I believe that the church changed quickly after the death of Christ and his apostles. With just 50 or 100 years passing, I believe it could have been a completely different church than what Christ taught.

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#15 of 69 Old 11-27-2007, 03:24 PM
 
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Well, if infant baptism wasn't practiced, and everyone knew it at the time, there would be no need to mention in that scripture "the household was baptized, except for the children younger than the age of 8," because it would be obvious.
Likewise, if infant baptism was practiced, and everyone knew it, there would be no need to mention in scripture, because it would be obvious.

Of course there are a lot of adults being baptized. Jesus had just initiated it and it was spreading. Henceforth the stories of "so and so and their entire household" being baptized.
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#16 of 69 Old 11-27-2007, 04:22 PM
 
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I just posted on a similar thread in the 'Spirituality' forum, but here goes:

I believe in believer's baptism. The pattern in Scripture is that baptism occurs fairly soon after conversion (however, in my case, I was baptised at about 16. I did ask to be baptised younger, but the circumstances never really seemed right--either there weren't baptism classes going on at my church, or I was going through a shy phase, or my parents forgot about it... Not the best, but never mind).

In answer to the 'household of Stephanas' argument, it's perfectly reasonable to presuppose 'household' means 'excepting infants', if you can prove by other verses in Scripture that baptism is not applicable to infants. Just like I would, in some context, include my pets as part of my household; but if you said 'Are all the members of your household Christians?' I'd say yes, meaning me and DH. I wouldn't say 'Yes, except for the chickens', because of course the chickens aren't Christians.

So how does one prove that baptism is not meant for infants (and that therefore, they would be excluded as a matter of course from the term 'household', just as pets would be)? I think it's fairly clear from Scripture. Jesus commands believers to repent, believe and be baptised. As babies cannot, as far as we know, repent and believe, they should not be baptised. I realise some Christians see baptism as analogous to circumcision, and believe in infant baptism as part of a covenantal theology; but they are clearly not entirely analogous, as baptism is performed both on males and females. And while the Old Covenant contained both saved and unsaved members (Romans 9:6-8), the New Covenant is for believers only (Galatians 4:28).

ETA: Incidentally--and I'm not too clued up on the history of baptism, though I realise there is disagreement on exactly how early the practice is--the Didache, a very early teaching document about church matters, does not mention the baptism of infants, and in fact implies that adults/older children only are to be baptised. It speaks of having the baptisee fast for a few days prior to the baptism, and answer certain questions about salvation during the baptism process--both of which would be impossible for a baby to do.

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#17 of 69 Old 11-27-2007, 04:50 PM
 
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Likewise, if infant baptism was practiced, and everyone knew it, there would be no need to mention in scripture, because it would be obvious.
So, without knowing how they defined what a household is, we can't be absolutely sure what exactly this means.

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#18 of 69 Old 11-27-2007, 10:46 PM
 
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I believe in believer's baptism.
<skip>
So how does one prove that baptism is not meant for infants (and that therefore, they would be excluded as a matter of course from the term 'household', just as pets would be)? I think it's fairly clear from Scripture. Jesus commands believers to repent, believe and be baptised. As babies cannot, as far as we know, repent and believe, they should not be baptised.
Babies don't need to repent, and while they may not believe they also cannot doubt or deceive themselves. Their faith may be more perfect than an adult's

The requirement that someone understand the Sacrament before receiving it doesn't entirely make sense to me. Does that mean that someone who is severely mentally impaired can never be baptized? That intellectual ability is the thing that qualifies us for spiritual blessings?
For that matter, can anyone ever really say that they "understand" baptism? Our church does baptize infants, and gives them Communion as well. If we had to postpone baptism until we understood it fully, we might wait a very long time; and if we had to postpone Communion until we understood it, nobody would ever receive it.
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#19 of 69 Old 11-27-2007, 11:57 PM
 
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Babies don't need to repent, and while they may not believe they also cannot doubt or deceive themselves. Their faith may be more perfect than an adult's
Can you point me to a place in Scripture which says that babies are perfect, ie. not in need of repentance?

If a baby cannot believe, then his inability to doubt or deceive himself is irrelevant. If he cannot believe, he does not have faith, perfect or otherwise. Faith requires belief.

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The requirement that someone understand the Sacrament before receiving it doesn't entirely make sense to me. Does that mean that someone who is severely mentally impaired can never be baptized? That intellectual ability is the thing that qualifies us for spiritual blessings?
Baptism isn't a spiritual blessing, it's an expression of salvific faith. If a person for any reason--mental impairment or youth--cannot express salvific faith, he or she should not be baptised. That doesn't mean all Christians have to be rocket scientists; but the Bible doesn't give us any loopholes. Salvation is through belief in Christ. You cannot use an argument from silence (that God might have put in place an alternative means of salvation for the very young or mentally impaired) to justify using baptism in a manner contrary to that commanded in Scripture--as an expression of faith for a new believer.
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For that matter, can anyone ever really say that they "understand" baptism?
Well, yes, I think they can. It isn't a particularly difficult doctrine.

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#20 of 69 Old 11-28-2007, 12:10 AM
 
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Smokering i think this is where we differ-
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Baptism isn't a spiritual blessing, it's an expression of salvific faith.
our faith believes it is more than a statement of faith...
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Baptism is a personal covenant between you and God. Being baptized is how we show faith in Christ, repent of our sins, receive the Holy Ghost, and enter in the kingdom of God.

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#21 of 69 Old 11-28-2007, 12:37 AM
 
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So the LDS view is that baptism is the means to salvation?

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#22 of 69 Old 11-28-2007, 02:04 AM
 
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*I have no basis for this outside my own logic*

I don't believe in indoctrination. I think people should choose things for themselves, when they are clearly old enough to understand and decide what to do. So I vote no on infant baptism.

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#23 of 69 Old 11-28-2007, 02:32 AM
 
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So the LDS view is that baptism is the means to salvation?
not exactly. it is a step but by no means the only way. you don't just get dunked and voila you're saved. works are essential as well and we have more covenants we make with the Lord later in life and even those don't guarantee salvation. we must endure to the end.

ETA- i just re read your post and realized i basically repeated what you said. i know that some Christian paths view baptism as the only thing you need to do for salvation and that's what i was going off of i guess what i am trying to say is a more accurate explanation would be it's a step to salvation. but we also don't believe that if a person is a good person yet doesn't get baptized they are going to burn in hell.

in conversations like this it is hard because we all have different view points and language for our beliefs. it gets confusing. i say we believe baptism is xyz and it means something different then it means to my next door neighbor. same with salvation and heaven and marriage etc etc. when my Baptist friend told me baptism was not only necessary but the only thing one needed to do to be "saved" i was surprised but to her baptism means something different than what i believe it means (as does salvation and the after life in general). to her it's a profession of faith to me it's an ordinance preformed to make covenants with the Lord along with a profession of faith but the covenants are very important to us. we renew them every time we partake of the sacrament and we strive to keep them everyday.

another thing is being asked to back this all up with the Bible. the thing is that LDS believe in more than the Bible and also that there i a Prophet here and now who has revelation from God. we believe there has been a living Prophet since Joseph Smith in the 19th century. i understand that people kind of scratch their head at a lot of things and think "where the heck are they getting this?" and i could find Biblical scripture but chances are it is interpreted differently between us. we pair Biblical scripture with modern revelation and our other scriptures.

i just wanted to point this out because we tend to talk in circles in these sorts of discussions because we are coming from different sides without really realizing it.

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#24 of 69 Old 11-28-2007, 02:36 AM
 
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As a Catholic, I believe in infant baptism. It removes the stain of original sin and gives the child gifts of the holy spirit.

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#25 of 69 Old 12-09-2007, 12:54 AM
 
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*I have no basis for this outside my own logic*

I don't believe in indoctrination. I think people should choose things for themselves, when they are clearly old enough to understand and decide what to do. So I vote no on infant baptism.
I agree. The church that I am joining I think routinely baptises at age 8. I think I might have an issue with that, but I don't know. I'm not sure where to draw the line. For example, I asked to be baptised at 8 in the Baptist church. I left the church, became pagan, and am just now finding my way back, but the church I am in is nothing like the Baptist church where I was baptised and doesn't even count my baptism. So while I wouldn't want to tell my 8 year old no, at the same time I have no way of knowing if my child is truly ready (as I obviously wasn't at 8) or if the baptism that young will even mean as much as my baptism that I'll go through next week.

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#26 of 69 Old 12-09-2007, 02:02 AM
 
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So how does one prove that baptism is not meant for infants (and that therefore, they would be excluded as a matter of course from the term 'household', just as pets would be)? I think it's fairly clear from Scripture. Jesus commands believers to repent, believe and be baptised. As babies cannot, as far as we know, repent and believe, they should not be baptised.
I agree with this. In the Bible there are verses that clearly tell people to believe and be baptised and to repent and be baptised.
The argument that no one knows what a baby can believe is nonsensical.
If you can't know, then why do it?
At our church we try to baptise our children before 6th or 7th grade. We teach about baptism in the 5th or 6th grade class.
Some of our children are baptised at younger ages if they want to be baptised and they seem to understand what it means. That is decided on an individual basis.
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As a Catholic, I believe in infant baptism. It removes the stain of original sin and gives the child gifts of the holy spirit.
Original sin is not a Biblical concept and I have even heard some Catholics say it is not a Catholic concept either.
Is it a Catholic concept?
If so, what is it based on and is it found anywhere in the Bible?
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#27 of 69 Old 12-09-2007, 05:06 AM
 
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magstphil: Sorry, I hadn't checked this thread for awhile. I agree, theological chats can get tricky when we're all using the same terminology for different things!

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#28 of 69 Old 12-09-2007, 11:05 AM
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I don't agree with infant baptism. I am not "against" it so much, I personally believe God thinks it is a real swell gesture (or doesn't think either way about it) but I believe accepting Christ of your own free will at the age of reason and choosing baptism for yourself is what ultimately matters to Christ (regarding baptism).

I don't believe in doing things without someone's consent -- and I don't believe in a God who sends little infants to hell or limbo.

The fear is so pervasive imo especially in the Catholic Church. My mom was raised in a strict Irish Catholic family, went 12 years to Catholic school -- but became a non-denomonational Christian in her late thirties. STILL, when I had dd, she was terrified that if I didn't baptize dd (in the Catholic church) that she would go to limbo should she die.

Incidentally, the story of how infant baptism came to be a tradition of the Catholic Church is an interesting and (imo) money fueled one, and one which I don't agree with.

It is sad really, the terror she had about it after so many years -- even in something she claimed not to believe in anymore (limbo, doctrine of the Catholic church etc) --- but when it came down to it, the years of (imo) brainwashing reared their ugly head.

DD remains unbaptized and we are at peace with that.

ETA: I don't want anyone to think I am "against" the Catholic church -- while I don't agree with a lot of their tradition or doctrines, there is another side to it that I find very beautiful and compelling -- my Grandmother was a devout (and I mean DEVOUT) Catholic and going to church with her many Sundays remains one of my most treasured memories.
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#29 of 69 Old 12-09-2007, 12:09 PM
 
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Originally Posted by christianmomof3 View Post
Original sin is not a Biblical concept and I have even heard some Catholics say it is not a Catholic concept either.
Is it a Catholic concept?
If so, what is it based on and is it found anywhere in the Bible?
I feel like a broken record.

http://catholic.com/library/Infant_Baptism.asp
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11312a.htm#III
http://catholic.com/library/Scripture_and_Tradition.asp

Orignal Sin is a doctrine of the Church.
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#30 of 69 Old 12-09-2007, 12:10 PM
 
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Originally Posted by captain crunchy View Post
I don't agree with infant baptism. I am not "against" it so much, I personally believe God thinks it is a real swell gesture (or doesn't think either way about it) but I believe accepting Christ of your own free will at the age of reason and choosing baptism for yourself is what ultimately matters to Christ (regarding baptism).
That's what we have Confirmation for. We just don't see any reason to delay the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
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