The following bible verses are referenced from the YouTube post of CEDAR Media on “Bible Study – Why Catholics Baptize Infants” presented by apologist Atty Marwil Llasos, OP from Know the Truth (KTT) Philippines. For the actual video, please check YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b3E9_v35mEk
Other dominations contradict us Catholics why we baptized babies or infants.
Actually, baptism is not new to our church now but has been practiced in the days of the early Christians.
Here are some writings to attest that:
a) 215 AD, St Hippolytus of Rome*—according to his writing on “The Apostolic Tradition. “At dawn a prayer shall be offered over the water. Where there is no scarcity of water, the stream shall flow through the baptismal font or pour into it from above; but if water is scarce, whether as a constant condition or on occasion, then use whatever water is available. Let them remove their clothing. Baptise first the children; and if they can speak for themselves, let them do so. Otherwise, let the parents or other relatives speak for them.
(Note: We found additional text on “The Apostolic Tradition” on Baptism. Kindly see at annex below.)
Comment: Baptize first the children and, and if they cannot speak for themselves, the baptismal promises are said by the parents and the godparents on their behalf.
b) 248 AD, Origen from his commentaries on Romans 5:9 – “The Church received from the apostles the tradition of giving baptism even to infants. The apostles, to whom were committed the secrets of the divine sacraments, knew there are in everyone innate strains of [original] sin, which must be washed away through water and the Spirit”
Comment: If infants have not actually sinned, it does not mean that they do not have the original sin. Because all have sinned,except for Christ and our Mother Mary (due to her Immaculate Conception), have contracted the original sin of our first parents (Tayong lahat, maliban kay Hesus at kay Maria, ay nabahiran ng libag ng kasalanan na minana mula sa ating unang magulang.)
c) 400 AD, St Augustine of Hippo – on his writings on Baptism against the Donatist, “What the universal church (that means, Catholic) holds, not as instituted or invented by councils, but as something always held, is most correctly believed to have been handed down by apostolic authority. Since others respond for children so that the celebration of the sacrament may be complete for them, it is certainly availing to them for their consecration because they themselves are not able to respond.”
Comment: When the children could not speak for themselves, it is okay to let the others speak for them …
The above examples show that baptism is not a new teaching but rather has been practiced by the early Christians. Our faith may be called the faith of our early fathers.
WHAT IS THE BASIS OF CATHOLIC BAPTISM OF INFANTS?
Based on the Teaching of Christ that we must “BE BORN AGAIN”. He is referring to baptism. Hence, we, Catholics are actually “born again” the Bible way – not the way the pastor say.
John 3:3 > Jesus answered and said to him (Nicodemus), “Amen, amen, I say to you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above.”
But Nicodemus replied to Jesus: John 3:4 > Nicodemus said to him, “How can a person once grown old be born again? Surely he cannot reenter his mother’s womb and be born again, can he?”
Further, Jesus corrected the wrong notion of Nicodemus in John 3:5 > Jesus answered, “Amen, amen, I say to you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit.
It is therefore clear that, being born again is NOT to accept Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, as what the pastor would say. That is not in the verse! That is “katha” lamang. Invented! Rather, to be born of water and Spirit, i.e. BAPTISM. Because during baptism, nanaog ang banal ng Espiritu. The Spirit of Adoption (Pagkupkop) that makes us children of God. Why are we born again? You are not just the child of your parents but you are a child of God. You are not only born on earth, but born in heaven. Maliban ang tao ay ipanganak muli ng tubig at ng Espiritu…
Tanong: Ang sanggol ba ay tao? Yes, they are humans already. That´s why we are baptizing infants!
Yes, we consider them Tao!
John 16:21 > Jesus said “When a woman is in labor, she is in anguish because her hour has arrived; but when she has given birth to a child, she no longer remembers the pain because of her joy that a child has been born into the world.
In „Ang Biblia 2001“: Kapag ang babae ay nanganganak, siya ay nahihirapan sapagkat dumating na ang kanyang oras. Ngunit pagkapanganak niya sa sanggol ay hindi na niya naaalala ang hirap dahil sa kagalakan sa pagkapanganak sa isang TAO sa sanlibutan.
Comments: What kind of sins do the infants have? They do not have actual OR personal sin but the sin contracted by our first parents (originating sin), which is the intention of baptism, that the stain (kalagayan) of Original Sin be removed, that we can become children of God
If your faith disallow the children to come to Jesus – to come to salvation, it would be a cruel church or religion if you drive the children away from Jesus.
Why? Because Christ is “malugurin”, “magiliw” “maibigin“ sa mga bata”
Mark 10:14 > When Jesus saw this he became indignant and said to them, “Let the children come to me; do not prevent them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.
Comments: Jesus wanted the children to come to him, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. If the kingdom of heaven is something to do with baptism, why would we prevent the infant to come to Jesus, so that they can come to the kingdom of God. We, Catholics, are the ones bringing the children to Jesus. If you contradict what Jesus said, then we Catholics are not true followers of Christ, and we become His enemies.
Luke 18:15 > People were bringing even infants to him that he might touch them, and when the disciples saw this, they rebuked them. Jesus, however, called the children to himself and said, “Let the children come to me and do not prevent them; for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.
INFANT BAPTISM – As a Covenant Relationship with God (Pakikipagtipan sa Bayan ng Diyos)
In the OT, ”circumcision” is available even for children (obligatory for 8 day old babies, even if the day falls on Sabbath day).
In the NT, you belong to the covenanted people of God through baptism of infants as an entry gateway to the church.
Baptism has already replaced the covenant of circumcision
Col 2:11-12 > In him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not administered by hand, by stripping off the carnal body, with the circumcision of Christ. You were buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead.
Comment: If circumcision can be given to infants (8 days after their birth) in the OT, why is it wrong to give baptism to infants, as taught by Apostle Paul?
In the NT dispensation, in the initial proclamation of kerygma at Pentecost, Peter was already preaching the necessity of Baptism.
Acts 2:38-39 > Peter [said] to them, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the holy Spirit. For the promise is made to you and to your children and to all those far off, whomever the Lord our God will call.”
Comment: They said, the infants do not sin. But we already mention that in the beginning. All have been contracted by original sin, and through baptism, the stain of original sin is removed.
On the above verse, we are baptizing infants / children, because we are holding on to promise of God made to us and to our children.
In the NT, baptism was administered to the whole household
a) Family of Lydia
Acts 16:13-15 > On the sabbath we went outside the city gate along the river where we thought there would be a place of prayer. We sat and spoke with the women who had gathered there. One of them, a woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth, from the city of Thyatira, a worshiper of God, listened, and the Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what Paul was saying. After she and her household had been baptized, she offered us an invitation, “If you consider me a believer in the Lord, come and stay at my home,” and she prevailed on us.
Acts 16:31 > And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you and your household will be saved.”
1 Cor 1:16 > I baptized the household of Stephanas also; beyond that I do not know whether I baptized anyone else.)
Proverbs 31:27-38 > She (The mother) watches over the affairs of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children rise up and call her blessed;
her husband, too, praises her:
“Many are the women of proven worth,
but you have excelled them all.”
Charm is deceptive and beauty fleeting;
the woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Acclaim her for the work of her hands,
and let her deeds praise her at the city gates.
WHAT ARE THE ISSUES AGAINST CATHOLICS INFANT BAPTISM?
Not all protestants, have issues on child baptism: The Lutherans, Methodists, Episcopalians baptized infants
Baptist, INC, Jehovas witness – Adult baptism (age of reason)
Comment: Protestants could not agree, despite that they read the same bible, on what baptism is all about.
ISSUE#1: Children have no faith, therefore; they must not be baptized.
But where did they read that children have not faith?
Defense 1: Matthew 21:16 > and said to him, “Do you hear what they are saying?” Jesus said to them, “Yes; and have you never read the text, ‘Out of the mouths of infants and nurslings you have brought forth praise’?”
Comment: If the infants do not have faith, how come Jesus said that the infants and nurslings can praise! Jesus himself answered directly: infants have faith!
Defense 2: 2 Tim 3:15 > and that from infancy you [Timothy] have known [the] sacred scriptures, which are capable of giving you wisdom for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.
Ang Biblia: “at kung paanong mula sa pagkabata ay iyong nalaman ang mga banal na kasulatan na makakapagturo sa iyo tungo sa kaligtasan sa pamamagitan ng pananampalataya kay Cristo Jesus.”
So who is actually following the teachings in the Bible? We do!
On the Protestant´s belief of grace alone “SOLA GRATIA”
Defense: Matthew 8:5-13 > 5 Pagpasok niya sa Capernaum ay lumapit sa kanya ang isang senturion na nakikiusap sa kanya at nagsasabi, “Panginoon, ang aking alipin ay nakaratay sa bahay, lumpo, at lubha siyang nahihirapan.”Sinabi niya sa kanya, “Pupuntahan ko siya at pagagalingin.” Ngunit sumagot ang senturion at sinabi, “Panginoon, hindi ako karapat-dapat sa iyo na puntahan mo ang aking bahay,[a] ngunit sabihin mo lamang ang salita at gagaling ang aking alipin. Sapagkat ako ay isang taong nasa ilalim ng awtoridad na may mga kawal na nasa ilalim ko. Sinasabi ko sa isa, ‘Humayo ka,’ at siya ay humahayo; at sa iba naman, ‘Halika,’ at siya ay lumalapit; at sa aking alipin, ‘Gawin mo ito,’ at ginagawa nga niya.”Nang marinig ito ni Jesus ay namangha siya, at sinabi sa mga sumusunod sa kanya, “Katotohanang sinasabi ko sa inyo, kahit sa Israel man ay hindi ako nakatagpo ng ganito kalaking pananampalataya. Sinasabi ko sa inyo, marami ang manggagaling sa silangan at sa kanluran at mauupong kasalo ni Abraham, ni Isaac at ni Jacob sa kaharian ng langit, ngunit ang mga anak ng kaharian ay itatapon sa kadilimang nasa labas. Doon nga ang pagtangis at pagngangalit ng mga ngipin.” Sinabi ni Jesus sa senturion, “Humayo ka na; mangyayari para sa iyo ang ayon sa iyong pananampalataya.” At gumaling nga ang alipin nang oras ding iyon.
Comment: The one who has faith is the Centurion (the captain) but the one who received (the healing) is the servant of the centurion. When we pray for those who do not even believe, Jesus listens and grants our prayers. We cannot put a limit to the power of God. Baptist and Evangelicals have a primary doctrine on sola gratia. Is it not that baptism of infant is grace alone, because they have not done anything nor they are doing anything that merits the graces of God. Isn´t the baptism of infant a manifestation of gratuitousness of God´s grace. Even if the infants cannot do anything yet, God gives them the grace /his blessings.
GIFT OF FAITH CAN BE INHERITED BY OUR CHILDREN. Faith is the greatest inheritance you can give to your children.
2 Tim 1:5 > as I recall your sincere faith that first lived in your grandmother Lois (Loida) and in your mother Eunice and that I am confident lives also in you.
Comment: We, Catholics, baptize our infants because we pass to them the inheritance of faith, and not just the estate or property.
ISSUE #2: Repent and be baptized, according to the bible.
Comment: Babies cannot repent, yes, but they have original sinned. This has been explained above.
BAPTISM JUSTIFIES: Who does not want their children not to be baptized? We are dealing the salvation of immortal souls. What is important is that our children become the children of God thru baptism that saves us.
What is the essence / function of Lent….is for us to re-discover our baptismal innocence— Our innocence from sin and all the things that corrupt our soul. It is to remind us that children of God; created in His image and likeness.
Matthew 18: 3-4 > and said, “Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
For Christ, we must always be children…..in terms of our conversion. For those who acknowledge their sins, we become like children to Christ. Walang pinagkaiba, when we were baptized.
Why are we called upon to be children: Here are their virtues
Virtues of a Child
- Humility-lowliness (kababaang-loob)
- Innocence of sin (kawalang-malay sa kasalanan)
- Trustful – faith in God (pananampalataya)
Comment; So, if we have these virtues of a child, then we become like children, tayo ay makasusumpung sa kaharian ng langit. And we are returning to be the days of our infancy, that we were baptized and made children of God.
Added info on St Hippolytus
*HIPPOLYTUS, The Apostolic Tradition, cap. 21 ed. Gregory Dix and Henry Chadwick (London and Ridgefield, CN: The Alban Press and Morehouse Publishing, 1937, 2nd edition 1968, rev. 1992), 33.
21 At the hour in which the cock crows, they shall first pray over the water. 2 When they come to the water, the water shall be pure and flowing, that is, the water of a spring or a flowing body of water. 3 Then they shall take off all their clothes. 4 The children shall be baptized first. All of the children who can answer for themselves, let them answer. If there are any children who cannot answer for themselves, let their parents answer for them, or someone else from their family. 5 After this, the men will be baptized. Finally, the women, after they have unbound their hair, and removed their jewelry. No one shall take any foreign object with themselves down into the water.
6 At the time determined for baptism, the bishop shall give thanks over some oil, which he puts in a vessel. It is called the Oil of Thanksgiving. 7 He shall take some more oil and exorcise it. It is called the Oil of Exorcism. 8 A deacon shall hold the Oil of Exorcism and stand on the left. Another deacon shall hold the Oil of Thanksgiving and stand on the right.
9 When the elder takes hold of each of them who are to receive baptism, he shall tell each of them to renounce, saying, “I renounce you Satan, all your servicea, and all your works.” 10 After he has said this, he shall anoint each with the Oil of Exorcism, saying, “Let every evil spirit depart from you.” 11 Then, after these things, the bishop passes each of them on nude to the elder who stands at the water. They shall stand in the water naked. A deacon, likewise, will go down with them into the water. 12 When each of them to be baptized has gone down into the water, the one baptizing shall lay hands on each of them, asking, “Do you believe in God the Father Almighty?” 13 And the one being baptized shall answer, “I believe.” 14 He shall then baptize each of them once, laying his hand upon each of their heads. 15 Then he shall ask, “Do you believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who was born of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, who was crucified under Pontius Pilate, and died, and rose on the third day living from the dead, and ascended into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of the Father, the one coming to judge the living and the dead?” 16 When each has answered, “I believe,” he shall baptize a second time. 17 Then he shall ask, “Do you believe in the Holy Spirit and the Holy Church and the resurrection of the flesh?” 18 Then each being baptized shall answer, “I believe.” And thus let him baptize the third time.ESS