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When should a child be baptized?

Submitted: 4/7/2006
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Question: Should children be baptized if they have received the Holy Ghost, even if they are not really sure what it's for or the meaning of it. Acts 2:39 says the promise is for you and your children, but does this mean now or future? I can find no specific place where a child was baptized in water. I have witnessed many children very young being baptized, but they don't seem to know what's really taking place. I do believe if they stay in church they may eventually understand. Would it be better for them to wait till they are older, or not? I don't believe a child is lost if they've not been baptized. But some have clearly received the Holy Ghost. My daughter has received the Holy Ghost and been baptized in Jesus name when she was seven. My son has received the Holy Ghost, but has not been baptized yet. He is eight now. He doesn't seem to really understand. But I've heard of children as young as two being baptized. They don't seem to really understand sin or repentance. I'm just concerned some of these children grow up out of the church not really knowing anything about what they have done or what it means. May the Lord Jesus bless you!

Answer: What concerns us the most is your statement: 'I don't believe a child is lost if they've not been baptized.' Are you saying that a child starts out saved, then somehow becomes lost, and then gets saved again though the new birth? We don't find this doctrine in the Bible. Perhaps this is why you don't feel the urgency of getting your son baptized.

We believe that when a child receives the gift of the Holy Spirit, it is time to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. The fact that a child of eight doesn't seem to understand the significance of baptism is the fault of whoever is explaining it to him, not him. This needs to become the highest priority right now and the child needs to feel the extreme importance of it.

We have observed that the reason some baptized young people don't take church very seriously is because their parents and other adults are rather lackadaisical about such matters as baptism. You won't find this attitude in the book of Acts. Acts 16:33 says, 'And immediately he and all his family were baptized.' That is our doctrine!