All of us christen our children when they are little, newly born. But I gave birth in England and my husband, being also a Christian, said that they do not christen children because the Bible does not write that we should christen them, but to bring them to God to bless them, and when the child reached the age at which Jesus Christ was baptized, then he himself would decide whether he wanted or not to be baptized. My baby hasn’t been christened yet and this question troubles me a lot. What to do?
The Bible is a holy book for all Christians
It is obvious that the husband of this lady belongs to a different church than the Orthodox church.In their marriage it has come to a disagreement, based on various theologies of two churches or denominations regarding baptism.The most important is that all Christians in this world have in common the Bible, the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament. Therefore, it is important for the father and mother of this child, regardless to what church or denomination they belong, to consult the Bible together and to take a right decision before God.
Baptism was instituted by the Lord Jesus
After His resurrection and before His ascension to heaven, the Lord Jesus gave the disciples this great commission:
And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20)(NASB)
Faith – the basic condition for baptism
In the Book of Acts it is related how the Holy Spirit sent Philip to share the Gospel with an Ethiopian eunuch:
Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning from this Scripture he preached Jesus to him. As they went along the road they came to some water; and the eunuch said, “Look! Water! What prevents me from being baptized?” And Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” And he answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Acts 8:36-37)(NASB)
So, if the man who is baptized does not believe with all his heart that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, he can not be baptized.
There are missing reports about children’s christening
In the Bible there are many reported cases when people were baptized, but there is no story, or any commandment that would require parents to christen their children.
Baptism and circumcision are different things
Some theologians say that baptism is similar to circumcision of the boys in the Old Testament, which was made in the eighth day after their birth. Circumcision was a commandment given by God, but the christening of children is not. The condition for baptism is faith with all heart.
Clearing up the question is worth while
The mother who asked the question, realizes that the christening of her child is a thing of great importance and on it depends his eternal fate. Therefore, it is necessary for both spouses to make a study of baptism in the New Testament. I suggest them to take a notebook and as they read the books of the New Testament one after another, to make a list of everything they will learn about baptism. That way they will also learn about the baptism with the Holy Spirit, the baptism with fire, the baptism for the dead and about godparents.They will definitely understand the subject of baptism, so that they may be able to take a wise and right decision before God.
Translated by Felicia Rotaru