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Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : Infant Dedication (not baptism) - Scriptural? Anti-Scriptural? Not in Scripture but still ok?

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Nasher
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Joined: 2003/7/28
Posts: 404
Watford, UK

 Infant Dedication (not baptism) - Scriptural? Anti-Scriptural? Not in Scripture but still ok?

What do you folks think about Infant dedication?


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Mark Nash

 2005/10/31 8:15Profile
RobertW
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Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri

 Re: Infant Dedication (not baptism) - Scriptural? Anti-Scriptural? Not in Scripture b

Hi Mark,

Infant Dedication is a common practice in our church as parents desire to dedicate their children to the Lord. I suppose I have mixed feelings about it, but some of the issues to take up would likely be:

1) Is it [u]scriptural under the Gospel despensation[/u] to make a vow before God to train up a child in the way he/she should go?

2) If it is scriptural is it [u]necessary[/u] to do?

3) What happens if circumstances arise that you are unable to keep this vow 'first hand'?

* The parent becomes seperated from the child for whatever reason (parant seperation, prison, adoption, etc.)

4) What are the 'contents' of the vow? What are you vowing to do? Generally I hear these types of things:

* I will be faithful to the House of God to bring the child as much as possible every time the doors are open.

* I will never allow anything into my home that will injur the soul of this child.

* I will be faithful to teach the child the things of God, etc.

My observation has been that some parents take the vow very seriously and observe to do all to the best of their ability what they have vowed before God and man. Other parents seem to enjoy dressing up in their Sunday best and the child up in either a pretty dress or a dressy boys clothes and taking lots of pictures. Some see it as an occasion to invite unsaved family members to the church to expose them to the Gospel before or after the ceremony. I have seen families reconciled during baby dedications.

However, making vows before God is a very serious thing. We read concerning Samuel and his mother:

And she said, Oh my lord, as thy soul liveth, my lord, I am the woman that stood by thee here, praying unto the LORD. For this child I prayed; and the LORD hath given me my petition which I asked of him: Therefore also I have lent him to the LORD; as long as he liveth he shall be lent to the LORD. And he worshipped the LORD there. (I Samual 1)

Here it seems she has dedicated Samuel to the Lord and in that she followed through with that dedication as we know- he served the Lord as a child in a linen ephod.

At the end of the day I think it is commonly understood that parents should raise the child up 'dedicated' to the Lord whether they have made a vow or [u]not[/u]. We are accountable to God for our children and how we raise them- vow or no vow. However, certain points of the vow may not jibe with the persons convictions as time goes on. What if they have vowed to have the child in church every time the doors are open and they feel the need to train the child up in other forms of ministry not involving that or a church?



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Robert Wurtz II

 2005/10/31 8:44Profile
Nasher
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Joined: 2003/7/28
Posts: 404
Watford, UK

 Re:

Quote:
1) Is it scriptural under the Gospel despensation to make a vow before God to train up a child in the way he/she should go?



The command to train a child up etc. should be obeyed but does that mean we need to have a ceremony / vow about it?


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Mark Nash

 2005/10/31 9:05Profile
RobertW
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Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri

 Re:

Quote:
The command to train a child up etc. should be obeyed but does that mean we need to have a ceremony / vow about it?



Certainly we are accountable either way. My concern is that we would place ourselves under a vow that ties the hands of the parents and somehow locks them into a certain expression of their Christian faith. Christianity is expressed in the West to a great extent by "going to church." If you ask a person if they are saved they are likely to answer, "I go to church." But what if a person chooses to have services in a home or take the ministry beyond the four walls and have made this vow to be in the church every time the doors are open?

Another facet of the dedication ceremony is a 'charge' upon the parents to do what the Word of God says do concerning children. The important passages are cited.

I wonder if the 'ceremony' would be better suited to entail a "do you understand that according to ... (insert passage)" and then have them answer, [u]yes[/u]. This would be more [i]instructional[/i] and would limit the dedication to the parameters of God's Word and would not allow for the insertions of men.


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Robert Wurtz II

 2005/10/31 9:45Profile
Corneliu
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Joined: 2004/1/6
Posts: 61


 Re: Infant Dedication (not baptism) - Scriptural? Anti-Scriptural? Not in Scripture b

Our church has a ceremony for "Blessing" the child and the text used for it is in Numbers 6:22-27, because we are part of the Israel as Paul says. Also the place were Jesus was blessing the children is cited every time. I think that asking for God's protection and recognizeing that He is the only one that can keep our children from evel is scriptural.


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Cornelius

 2005/10/31 12:12Profile
philologos
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Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re:

vows are serious things...“When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed.” (Eccl. 5:4, KJVS) do you want to lay folk under this solemn burden?

I am much in favour of praying for our children but to make it into a ceremony with 'sponsors/godparents' is really a vestige of Roman Catholicism which believes that if a ceremony is conducted properly it 'confers grace'. This notion lingers on in the churches in the areas of baptism, ordination, marriage, confirmation. If any of these ceremonies give the impression that 'something has happened' which wouldn't have 'happened' without the ceremony we are slipping back into a Catholic view of the sacraments.


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Ron Bailey

 2005/10/31 15:51Profile
RobertW
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Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri

 Re:

Quote:
do you want to lay folk under this solemn burden?



This is why I am likewise concerned. There is another passage that concerns me greatly:

Suffer not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin; neither say thou before the angel, that it was an error: wherefore should God be angry at thy voice, and destroy the work of thine hands? (Eccl. 5:6)


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Robert Wurtz II

 2005/10/31 16:57Profile
groh_frog
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Joined: 2005/1/5
Posts: 432


 Re:

Or again, "let your 'yes' be 'yes', and your 'no' be 'no'..." I plan on raising my son, and my family to know and serve the Lord. I think it's great to let people know that, and if that's what the ceremony's about, that's cool. But you don't need one. It's not like a baptism in this area.

Grace and Peace...

 2005/11/1 2:39Profile
letsgetbusy
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Joined: 2004/9/28
Posts: 957
Cleveland, Georgia

 Re:

I was baptized as an infant, and go to a church where they do the same, and before I was saved my daughter was baptized. However, my opinion is, if I had to classify it as Biblical or non-Biblical, I would choose it as un-Biblical. It is not in the Bible, so it is therefore un-Biblical, strictly speaking. But I don't go about stopping people from doing so, so I would not call it anti-Biblical. There are many practices today that came out of the Roman church that exist in the Protestant church that were never given in the Bible.

To put things in perspective, though, having a church service to specifically raise money is not in the Bible, nor is doing odd things in public to bring attention to yourself so that you may preach the gospel. Nor did any disciples pass out gospel tracts, according to the Scriptures. These things are not outlined in the Bible, but I support them all.

So, if I started a church in a foreign country, I would not teach them to perform infant baptism, but I don't fight anyone who sets in in their mind that they want to train their child up to be a child of God. John R. Rice put it this way, "Here's a fella' (who) sprinkles babies, and I'm free to tell him: 'I don't find this sprinklin' babies in the Bible, but if you get people saved, that's fine.'...Let's get 'em to heaven anyway if you can't get 'em in the tank."


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Hal Bachman

 2005/11/2 22:35Profile





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