Baptize or not baptize?

Italy
March 25, 2008 5:22am CST
A friend of my mother has had a daughter. She's not christian so she doesn't want her child to be baptized, instead his husband wants it. She says "our daughter should choose to be christian or not when she's older, we can't impose her this now" He says instead "It's better to do it, I believe she should embrace Christ from the start. Also it's harmless and she could be debaptized later" What do you think of it? I agree with him, if he believes it's useful and there's no harm what's the problem?
17 people like this
63 responses
@Foxfire1875 (2010)
25 Mar 08
You can't be debaptised once it's done. I don't think anyone should be forced into any religion and I agree with the mother. What harm is there in letting the child decide later, once she has had a chance to learn about all the religions. That is much fairer than forcing her to be christian now.
3 people like this
• Italy
25 Mar 08
Well here in Italy you can be debaptized so I think you can do it everywhere. I'm not Christian anymore but I knew christian culture from the start and I was able to choose to not be christian as an adult. If I wasn't introduced in the christian culture then I couldn't know what I could miss.
1 person likes this
25 Mar 08
I've never heard of debaptising. The whole ritual of baptising is to cleanse you of sin and to accept you into a church. I'm not sure if I'm still on the archives of the church I was christened at. If that's all it takes to undo it then I will check it out and dechristian myself, as I do not want to be christian
25 Mar 08
Rowena I was christened but never went to church. I would have preferred not to be christened. I investigated most of the worlds religions and decided to follow none of them. I don't think you need to be brought up in a faith to know if it's the right one or wrong one for you.
• United States
25 Mar 08
In Catholicism, baptism does not "choose" for the child. It is a promise that the parents make to raise their child in the faith and has no commitment on the child's part. They choose the faith on their own when they are confirmed. Age of confirmation varies, but some do it in 8th grade, some in late high school. If it is a Christian denomination such as some baptists, presbyterian, etc, baptism is a sign of the "promise". God made a promise to us and or descendants it signifies that the new child is a part of the "promise" that God made to us. It does not mean the child must be whatever denomination. And it recognizes a baby cannot "make a choice." Baptism as an adult, means something different. It is more of a commitment. So, it depends on whether they are Catholic or Christian, but either way, maybe she doesn't understand the varying opinions and intentions of baptisms. It doesn't always mean that it obligates the child to be a certain denomination.
3 people like this
@uath13 (8192)
• United States
25 Mar 08
"It is a promise that the parents make to raise their child in the faith" is the problem. The ceremony is basically the father promising to raise the child to be a christian. If she's been raised into it from the start then there won't be much of a choice for her, her beliefs will be set. The mothers option of letting her chose is no longer really an option.
2 people like this
• Italy
25 Mar 08
That's the same thing I thought, with baptism you are not obligating the kid to be christian in the future. If you are not christian then it's only a bit of water in the head so no harm.
1 person likes this
• United States
25 Mar 08
No. That is not what I said. If they are CATHOLIC and are baptizing in the CATHOLIC church it is about the parent's promise to raise the child that way. If they are most Christian denominations that are not Catholic or Lutheran, it does not mean that at all. In Christian churches they are not assuming a baby has any ability to choose. The baby is still free to choose whatever they want to do as they get older or are an adult. It doesn't cancel out freewill. It does not remove that. I assumed from the question that since the father wished to baptize, that both parents believed in God but perhaps not recognizing themselves as a certain denomination. I think what people can't get past is the "denomination" issue versus just a plain and simple relationship.
1 person likes this
@fizzytom (752)
• Maribor, Slovenia
25 Mar 08
I wasn't baptised and it didn't do me any harm. I think the child should be allowed to choose when she is older. But if both parents feel the same way and both want the baptism then it is easier to make the decision. One important thing though is that in the UK if you want your child to go to a church school (and they are usually the best schools) it is best to have the child baptised when young as it makes it easier for them to be sure of a place.
3 people like this
• Belgium
25 Mar 08
She definitely should NOT be baptized. That immediately takes part of her free will away. She's immediately indoctrinated into a religious mindset. That's just horrible.
2 people like this
@uath13 (8192)
• United States
25 Mar 08
Hopefully his god wouldn't be that petty. It would be stupid to be turned away because someone didn't splash some water on you to confirm you to a faith you were to young to even understand.
3 people like this
• India
25 Mar 08
Well, I think unless one has decided to raise the child in ways of the teaching of the Church there is no point of getting baptised. Just being baptised does not take us anywhere... I think the primary point is how we raise the kids. People who would love Jesus and others or something else...
2 people like this
• Italy
25 Mar 08
I don't know how is she going to be raised, this is another problem.
1 person likes this
@clrumfelt (5490)
• United States
25 Mar 08
I personally do not believe baptism saves a person. When the child reaches the age of accountability she is going to have to choose whether to serve Christ or not. She won't even remember the baptism. So I say, what harm can it do? If it makes the dad feel better, why not go ahead with the baptism? The mother should realize that the child will not remember being baptized and will still have to choose when she is older. I have never heard of a debaptizm.
• Italy
25 Mar 08
"So I say, what harm can it do? If it makes the dad feel better, why not go ahead with the baptism? The mother should realize that the child will not remember being baptized and will still have to choose when she is older." I agree with you, what's the problem? the father feels better and the girl can still choose. "One should follow their husband and his wishes, a woman is bound in the Bible to be sub,issive to her husband, after all he is the head of their home." err sorry but this is just wrong. She's her wife not her slave. I bet you missed the point in the Bible when Jesus said we are all equal sons of God.
1 person likes this
@Terese (158)
• United States
27 Mar 08
I grew up "under a formed religion" (it doesn't matter what denomination.) 39 years later, I now belong to a non-denominationl church, that is simply Bible based. I realized that a "religious person" worships a "religion", I choose to worship Jesus Christ. I am finally being taught and learning how to have a "relationship" with Jesus, not a "formed religion". God is not "religion". He is not out to get us. We should be able to choose if we are baptized or not, I agree. My God, created us to HAVE choices, it is up to us the choices we make. I agree, "religion" does not "save" a person. That saddened me after I learned that, as I was brought up to beleive that if you are of a "certain religion" you will go to heaven....WRONG! At the age of 40 (that is my age now :o) My husband and I choose to be water baptized as we began our lives as Born Again Christians. I will close with this quote from Jesus, this is why I choose to have a relationship with Jesus Christ: "Nobody gets to the Father except through ME, no one" Best wishes to all of you~ I cast no judgement on how people choose to live, as we are ALL children of God and you are ALL my brothers & sisters. I support you all in ALL you do :o) Teri K (id:au8tkat) "Working from my home thanks to sohojobs.org"
@sedel1027 (17846)
• Cupertino, California
25 Mar 08
How is she going to be debaptized? I agree with the wife. The child should be taught good morals and values, about all religions, so that when she is old enough she can choose the correct religious path for herself.
2 people like this
@sedel1027 (17846)
• Cupertino, California
25 Mar 08
Seems like a lot of work and time to just have reversed. Hmm I will have to look into the baptism reversal. Both my husband and I were baptized and are no longer in the Catholic religion.
1 person likes this
@uath13 (8192)
• United States
25 Mar 08
I've never heard of de-babtizing. He's trying to push his daughter into his religion instead of giving her the choice as his wife asks. That's the harm. He's completely invalidating his wifes wishes by outright proclaiming the child is christian with this ceremony. Most denominations have a reaffirmation ceremony where children who have come of age decide to go through special training & are able to be babtized / rebabtized. Waiting till then would make it HER decision.
2 people like this
@anniepa (27956)
• United States
9 Apr 08
I can see where this could be a conflict when the parents don't share the same belief. My first instinct is to agree with him but I guess that depends on how strongly the mother feels about it. I do believe it's up to children to ultimately make their own decision on what religious faith, if any, to follow. Annie
1 person likes this
@Galena (9110)
25 Mar 08
I wouldn't. spirituality is an individual undertaking, and rather than raising people to beleive certain things, it's better to raise them in that framework but with room to explore their own spirituality. afer all, the child may not be the same religion as you.
2 people like this
@butsikik (21)
• Philippines
28 Mar 08
It is the first time I've ever heard of someone being debaptized. I've heard of people changing religion and being baptized into that religion. I am a Catholic Christian so I would agree with the father to get her to be baptized as a Christian. When she gets older, she can decide what she may believe in. Being baptized is like being welcomed into a new life and incorporating a new family. But once you are batized, you will always be baptized. It is following through after baptism of the child in strengthening with her the growth as an individual.
1 person likes this
@joespez (180)
• United States
28 Mar 08
Infant baptism is an important sacrament in the older, more liturgical branches of Christianity. Which causes me to wonder what faith tradition the husband is from. If he is Catholic, and was married in the Catholic church there is a stipulation, even in mixed marriages, that the child should be raised as a Catholic. In it's time this principle had it's place, and to some degree probably still does. And that "covenant" may be playing into his desire. The baptism according to sacrament theology, is an act requested by the parents and the church, and performed by God. In the future the child will get the chance to cognitively use freewill and choose or decline relationship with Christ. I see no harm in baptising the child.
1 person likes this
• United States
27 Mar 08
How do you mean "she could be debaptized later"? I have to say I have not heard of this. Just wondering what you mean by that?
• Italy
27 Mar 08
Yes you can debaptize, it's true, I know two people who have done it. You have to make a formal act of defection from the Church, but I don't know how it works.
• United States
27 Mar 08
Interesting, are you talking about from the Catholic church? Their beliefs are so different from other religions. Which would explain this I'm guessing.
• Philippines
2 Apr 08
hahaha, i believe that the mother is over reacting.. i mean, baptism isn't that harmful...
1 person likes this
• United States
27 Mar 08
I am not Christian so I wouldn't baptize my child. Since it is a symbol of being Christian, how can you debaptize a person? I feel the couple will be fighting over this for a while.I guess they should have discuss which religion the child would be brought up in.It would be different if they both decided that the children were to be Christian and now she is saying no.
1 person likes this
• United States
27 Mar 08
This is a matter that they would both eventually have to agree on. My personal opinion is that it would not harm the baby and it is good to be with christ from the start. There is no harm in being baptized. But as a couple they have to respect each others decisions.
1 person likes this
@mwala1287 (284)
• Canada
27 Mar 08
I do agree with her in one way because we should all have our own rights and beliefs. As humans we should be the only ones who are in control of our own lives based on those opinions on our rights and beliefs. But a child cannot make such a decision which is why the parents make the move for them. The parents/ guardians are the ones in control of the child/ new bborns life when they are born. therefore, they are to do whatever they feel is right for their loved one whether or not it is or will ever become benificial. I am not taking sides at all, i just wanted to make that clear. Because, I do also agre with him. It is always good to embrace with one or more forms of Christ from start especially if it is your faith. It is good to embrace in the wonderful activities involving God and by being baptist you are welcomeing him into your world as well as vise versa. iT would probably not be harmful to baptize her later on because as I discussed it may or may not be of personal choice. I will too be experiencing a similar situation.I am Catholic and was baptized a catholic church. My fiance is Greek Orthodox and was done in an Orthodox church. Although their beliefs are not as distant as others in comparison, it will still be a situation that I will have to go through and deal with when we decide to proceed with adding members to our family. I will too then have to figure out what is best for my future child. Hope I didn't ramble on too much, best of luck to your mother's friend.
@heidibur (310)
• United States
27 Mar 08
I was raised as a christian/baptist. school/church and never felt like one of the group. Then I found out that my father was native american. I am now wiccan. My son is now 17yrs. and all his life I never pushed one religion or the other I always told him that it was up to him and brought him to chistian / baptist / catholic churches. it was always up to him. I believe to give your children all options and never to limit them. when they are old enough they will make the dission that is right for them. and until then all we can do as parents is to show them that there is a difference in religion and to explore it until we find what is right for us. Until then there is no my religion or your religion its how I feel, is right for me at the time. I dont feel that you should be stuck with one or the other.I think that you should make up your mind at tne time. If my son ever feels that he wants to be baptized then I will be there for him. It has nothing to do with me , Its all aout him. and I will support him in anything he does.
1 person likes this
@cheney (199)
• Hong Kong
28 Mar 08
I agree with the father. The religion can benefit not only the girl but also the socity.
1 person likes this
• United States
28 Mar 08
I'm with you I totally agree that she should embrace Christianity from the start and then later on should she choose other wise that would be her decision , right now if she raises her not to believe in god then she putting her belief off on an innocent child and at the rate things are going in this world today who to says she has time to change her mind later on down the line. Good luck I'll keep your friend in my prayers. God bless. Jacquelyn Smith
1 person likes this