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Thread: Should I get them Baptised?

  1. #1

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    Default Should I get them Baptised?

    I would like some opinions please. My DH and myself are Cof E.
    I have Three children and I believe in treating them all the same, so I am struggling with what to do. When my son was born 8yrs ago WE had him baptized however it took some organizing as we are not regular church goers and the church that we wanted him to be baptized in was not comfortable doing the Baptism (In Tamworth) without us going to church (in Brisbane, where we lived at the time),and having some lessons/meetings with the minister and then get a letter to say that we had done it. So we did this, partly because some of our family members are regular church goers and they kept asking us to, and partly because even though we don't attend regularly we still had our own beliefs that it was the right thing to do.
    Now when we had our DD we moved to Tamworth and so I went to the church and asked if they would baptize her and the basically said that they don't baptize children if the y don't attend their church regularly and that the child could make up her own mind when she got older if she wanted to attend their church and be baptized, so she isn't Baptized.
    Now I have DD#2 and she isn't Baptized either and I have been thinking more about it. Could someone please share with me what being Baptized means to their church and when this Baptism is preformed.


  2. #2

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    I live in Tamworth and have had the same trouble. My first 3 were christened without hassle, then when i went back to have 4 and 5 done, they wanted meetings and church services attended. Not sure why the change, but the church has turnrd me off doing it. I want my kids christened so they can choose a church going life if they choose,and they also go to a christian school. My daughter now goes regularly with my sister to her church. I think it is very rude to *insist* you attend services to have a child christend. My non church going beliefs are being forced onto my children cause I dont attend. Not very christian like!!

  3. #3

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    I'm thinking about baptism a lot too ATM. I think what you describe is fairly common but maybe more so in rural centres rather than cities. As you know I take the kids to church fairly regularly and have watched many baptisms of families that I have never met/seen or will probably ever see again so our minister isn't rigid with the issue. Hopefully we will have our children all baptised next year now that we have a strong affiliation with our church and I feel like it will be more relevant than it has been in the past as we had no connection to a particular church. For me Baptism is more of an official welcoming into a particular church community than a one-off spiritual event but that's just my thought on the matter. We attend a Uniting Church which maybe is more relaxed on the issue of attendance? if you came down here I know you could get your children baptised easily with probably just one meeting with the minister. The only other reason we are choosing to baptise is because some of the independent schools require it... this is more relevant for my boys than my DD. We are thinking of sending our DS1 to a local Catholic primary school and maybe a C of E highschool and this is a requirement for both.

    I'm not sure what to recommend other than approaching some of the other church ministers in Tamworth. I guess it could be tricky if you wanted all your children baptised C of E but I think being baptised in any Christian church would be fine... but that's just my thinking.

  4. #4

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    Its a shame you are having so much hassle when you want to get them baptized. You would think that the church would encourage baptism, even if the parents weren't regular church goers as surely its a way of getting the people to church in the first place, even if it's only the once.

    We managed to get my boys baptized when we went back to the UK this summer in the church where DH and i got married and obviously we don't go there (or any other church) regularly. teh vicar was very supportive and came round to my parents house a day before the baptism and explained what it all meant and how we felt about it and what it meant to us. he truly was a fantastic vicar and if he was in my local church here i would go every week!!!

    anyway, ramble ramble, hope you manage to sort something out. BTW i wasn't christened as a child and decided to do it myself when i was about 14 and i got confirmed at the same time. i really wished i had been baptized as a child even though my parents are atheists (sorry no idea how to spell that one).

    Julie x

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    Thanks purlemamma and Bath,

    I guess I just want to do the right thing by the kids, If the church thinks that it is fine for them not to be baptized then I suppose thats fine. It's just the whole pressure thing. The more I look into it the more confused I get. Some people tell me that they should get baptized and others say that all children are "right with God".

    ETA thanks Julie got side tracked with the kids while posting

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    One of the reasons why I started this thread in the christianity forum was because I wanted to find out what people thought the reason was for Baptism. The reasons that I have been given are:
    As a step to getting right with God.
    As a welcome into the Church community.

  7. #7

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    Jesus tells people once they believe in him, to be baptised...I didn't get baptised til I was maybe 16, and it was something I decided I wanted to do. The whole going under the water thing and then coming up is symbolic of 'dying' to our sins, and our new lives. It's symbolic of how Jesus died and then was brought back to life again. (argh, this is hard to explain)

    Anyway, I'm talking about baptism where you get completely dunked...I think people have given the sprinkling of some water on heads a very different meaning. I get my view of baptism from the bible.

    It's a sign to others that you've chosen to follow Christ, so for my kids, I think I'll wait til they've decided to follow Jesus, and then encourage them to think about baptism...I certainly think that faith in Jesus is the more important thing though. Oh, here's a good way of putting it - baptism is an outward expression of what's occured inside.

    Paul talks about baptism at the start of Romans chapter 6...but Romans can be confusing, so don't say I didn't warn you!

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    Caro I welcome all input, What I am learning is that different people have their own ideas about Baptism, as I have found that different people have there own ideas about many things in the Bible. What I have gained from this thread is that it is not such a bad thing to let my children decided for themselves whether they get Baptized, so thank you everyone for your input.

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    I feel similarly to Nelle on this. I have had Matilda "dedicated" in our church (although we are regular members in this community) which basically meant that we were dedicating ourselves as her parents to dedicate her upbringing in the ways of God. Jovie will be dedicated in our church as well. We want to be the best parents we can be & follow our beliefs in that. We believe that baptism is a private decision to make & not one that we want to make for our girls.

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    .....
    Last edited by rolymogs; March 18th, 2008 at 06:38 PM.

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    Thanks Nelle and Christy, I feel better knowing that dedicated church parents are also being encouraged to let the children decided when they are baptized. The way It was conveyed to me ,or at least the way I felt it was said, was that because I didn't attend the church I couldn't get my Daughters Baptized.

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    Thanks Rolymogs, you got your post in while I was dealing with some pootainment issues. I do believe that God would not hold the faults of the parents against the children.

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    Last edited by rolymogs; March 18th, 2008 at 06:38 PM.

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    gotta love the pooterupptions.... :P

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    Im not sure that i can really supply a valid answer to your questions, I'm also catholic and not familiar with CofE at all, but ill have my input anyway, i hope you don't mind... Also please excuse if i have gone into too much detail i have very vague info on how different churches cross over so to speak.

    DF and I are no longer churchgoers ourselves, but already have jellybean booked in to be baptised at the easter saturday service next year. The both of us felt that although we may not choose to be strong and faithful followers it is important to us that our children have this opportunity... and of course the schools thing is a bonus. Parents may have to undergo a few short meetings, but im not 100% on this.

    To my knowledge, or at least with this specific church (catholic FYI) once a child reaches a certain age they can no longer be baptised, until the are, i think 12 or maybe 16 - where they must take the six weeks of baptismal education classes.
    My mum and step-dad did before they got married - as mum was uniting and as us three kids were all catholic she was moreso catholic than uniting anyway iykwim, and wayne had not been baptised at all.

    Rosehannah - specifically regarding what baptism means - from what i know it is indeed a 'welcoming to the church'. If you have been baptised previously, and you wish to become a member of another church or.. 'denomination', you are 'welcomed' into that church. It does often signify new birth (regeneration), salvation, forgiveness and purification - which seems a lot less relevant to babies/children, but is also known to be the 'gift of the holy spirit'. Which i guess is perhaps more relevant to children.

    What Nelle said regarding 'a sign that you have chosen to follow christ', may be correct, but it is not something my (although bordering minimal now) religious background would have me agree with, as there is the pathway in Catholicism of Confirmation (one of the seven sacraments) that covers this. When you undertake the R.E classes and all that jazz to complete your confirmation, it is you confirming your belief in God, also usually performed in grades 3-5 (depending on what state you are in).
    So i feel that this pathway allows for me to baptise my child and give him the opportunity to believe, and be part of church going society, before taking the step of saying, yes i believe... On the otherhand, i think that 7-11 year olds are perhaps a little young to be confirmed and probably think this is something that should wait until mid-teens or young adulthood...
    I don't know it's all very... contradictory i guess.

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    Thanks for your views Ashnant.

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    We go to a Uniting Church and our daughter will be dedicated this month. We ummed and ahhed about it for a while... It is more common in our particular church that children be baptised into the church as infants, then when they are older they can confirm that faith in a confirmation service when they choose. But I love the symbolism of water in Baptism, for the reasons that Nelle mentioned in her post, but also because of its purity, and our complete dependence on it as humans. There is so much beauty in water as a symbol. We eventually went with dedication, because we wanted to acknowledge that we were thankful to God for Natalie, to make a promise that as her parents we would do everything we could to encourage her to know God, and to ask the community of believers in our church to help us in that task. But baptism, of which there can only be one in a lifetime in the Uniting Church, will be her call. I hope with all my heart that my little girl will choose to follow Jesus, and that we will share in her baptism some time in the future.

    I know this may sound insensitive, and I apologise (it is always hard on the internet to be personable when all your voice is is typed letters), but I actually respect the decisions of ministers who wont baptise people who don't belong to that community. I'm sure it depends on the service, but in all the baptisms I've seen, the parents are asked to vow that they will raise their child in the light of God and in the church community. This is a promise they make and they ask the church community to be their witnesses. I wonder what the point is in making such a promise when that community isn't really a part of your life as a family? Yes, it is great to bring new people to church that week, but if they don't intend to come back or bring their children back... what is the reason for publically promising to do so?

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    the parents are asked to vow that they will raise their child in the light of God and in the church community. This is a promise they make and they ask the church community to be their witnesses. I wonder what the point is in making such a promise when that community isn't really a part of your life as a family? Yes, it is great to bring new people to church that week, but if they don't intend to come back or bring their children back... what is the reason for publically promising to do so?
    Although i don't go to church i have a faith and i really wanted to 'introduce' my children to my faith even though they didn't have a say in it and they won't be going to that particular church again (9000miles away!). It was important to me to have them christened 'in case' anything happened to them so that i could hope that they would go to a good place (not that i think any child would go to a bad place - they are all perfect innocents) but that is where my head-space was in doing what we did. i think Baptisms are really for the parents and if the children want to follow up their faith then that is where confirmation come in. I was promising to bring my children up in a Christian way - not necessarily in a church but certainly in the mindset of the Christian values.

    Anyway, just thought i'd clarify my reasoning - but i do agree it is difficult to get your thoughts typed out with the spirit in which they were meant

    Julie x

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