Dear Friends,

This is the first in a series of blogs that will look at baptism. So, please, give me feedback. Please send me your questions. You can email me at george@messiahchurch.ca

Why am I writing a series of blogs on baptism? That is a good question. It is not because I believe “baptism” is a burning, contentious issue. I am writing because of the many friendly conversations I have had on this topic over the last few years. I decided that the time had come to put this “conversation” down in writing.

By writing about baptism, does that mean I will no longer have friendly conversations about baptism? No. In fact, two things will probably happen. I am liable to have more conversations because I am writing! Hopefully, the conversations will stay friendly. As well, hopefully my thinking for any future conversations will be clearer by writing my thoughts down now and the conversations can be clearer because my conversation partner can check out my thoughts before and/or after our conversation.

I do not know if I will do a good job in writing about baptism. But, I do know there is a lack of short, simple writing that explains why many “Bible-believing” Christians believe the Bible allows the baptism of infants. Please pray that I will write in a friendly and charitable manner. I do not believe that the age of a person, when they are being baptized, is a first-order issue. I believe that baptism is a second-order issue – one in which Christians, in good conscience, can disagree with one another.

For the record, I was baptized by “full immersion” when I was 17 years old. I was baptized after I had given my life to Jesus, asking Him to be my Saviour and Lord.

I grew up in Baptist churches. After my conversion, I only attended churches or fellowship groups that believed in “Believer’s baptism”- the belief that baptism is reserved for “adults” who have made a profession of faith in Jesus as their Saviour and Lord. I assumed, without studying the matter, that this view was the biblical and Christian view. People who believed that the Bible allows the baptism of the infants of Christian parents – simply put, thought they believed this because of human tradition and a lack of biblical knowledge.

My thinking began to change in a memorable way. I was teaching the Bible in a home fellowship group when I was in third or fourth year of university. The text was Acts 16, the story of the conversion of the jailer in Philippi. As I am talking and leading people through the text I read, “…and he was baptized at once, he and all his family.” (verse 33b) Inwardly I was shaken. The Apostle Paul probably baptized infants! I spent the rest of the teaching time, and the fellowship time afterwards, worried that someone would ask me about this because I did not have a believable, biblical “answer” to the observation that by baptizing a household, Paul had probably baptized infants.

George +