CATHOLIC VIEW OF BAPTISM
Seven important Sacraments
Baptism, Confirmation of child, Penance, The Eucharist (Lord’s Supper), Unction (death bed ritual), Ordination & Marriage
Catholic Definition: Baptism means to wash away the stains of original sin by infant baptism.
• Origin of Baptism by sprinkling of water - At the Council of Ferrara in 1439
Why Infants are not eligible for Baptism?
• There is no Biblical Evidence for this practice.
• Each Individual is responsible for his/her soul
• Must Repent for his/her sins
• Be a Disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ
Disciple means one who came to the Lord willingly, understood HIM intimately, followed HIM obediently and developed an ongoing personal relationship with HIM.
Only an adult can fulfill the requirements but not an infant.
Argument in Support of Infant Baptism
A. “Entire households”
No Support in New Testament
• Cornelius: Acts 10:44, 47, 48
• The Philippian Jailer: Acts 16:33-34
• Crispus: Acts 18:8
• Stephanas: 1 Cor.16:15
B. “Replaces circumcision”
Circumcision was only for Israel/Abraham’s descendants; it was a sign of one’s ‘national relationship’ with the Lord.
This is why Naaman and the repentant Assyrians were never asked to be circumcised.
No support in Bible
• Circumcision was only for males; Baptism is for all, irrespective of sex
PROTESTANT VIEW OF BAPTISM
It is by immersion of a believer – Some denominations practice sprinkling also (Lutherans)
• Instituted by God the Father - John 1:6, 33
• Commanded by Lord Jesus Christ - Mt. 28:19
• Attested by the Holy Spirit - Mt. 3:16 & Acts 2:38
• Instructed by the Apostles - Acts 10:48
• Practiced by the Early Church - Acts 2:41; 8:12; 9:18
Practiced in Jewish history during assimilation of Gentiles into Jews
Gentiles had to go through a three-fold process: Circumcision, Animal Sacrifice and Water Baptism (immersion) in order to fulfill the requirements.
NEW TESTAMENT EVIDENCE
• Baptism by John (Jn. 3:23)
• Baptism of Jesus (Mk. 1:9-10)
• Baptism of the Ethiopian Eunuch (Acts 8:38-39)
(Disclaimer: Some portions of outline and information borrowed from multiple sources)