Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Infant Baptism: Because Satan Doesn't Respect Age

One of the controversial practices of the Catholic Church is infant baptism. Many protestants don't see the point. The infant, after all, cannot proclaim a faith in Christ. Better, they say, to wait until the child can accept Christ for himself. The child not having reached the age of reason cannot be held accountable for the sins they might commit being too young to really understand that what they are doing is a sin.

However, this ignores a reality about Satan and an even more important reality about the nature and purpose of Baptism. The reality is that baptism does not merely cleanse us of our sins, though it certainly does this, but it also confers supernatural protections against the deceptions of Satan through the working of the Holy Spirit. It gives to the recipient gifts of the Holy Spirit which allow the one receiving the gift to see the truth in a way that others can not. It is like armor for the soul.

The reality about Satan that cannot be ignored is that he does not respect age. He hates all human beings, and the more innocent the human being the greater his hatred of them because the more they resemble God. He begins his attacks on each human being well before birth through birth control and abortion. The attacks don't stop after the child is born, either. The dangers to the little person's soul are everywhere. Every sin that a parent commits exposes the child to danger, and even those parents who are regularly confessing their sins and striving to live a life in accordance with God's plan cannot protect their child from the thousands of people that child has contact with who are not.

God knew this. This is why He instructed the Israelites to circumcise their infants, even though the infants were not old enough to have accepted God's covenant yet. He allowed the parents to accept it for them, and charged them with raising those children in the faith. The Catholic Church recognizes baptism as the circumcision of the New Covenant. St. Paul, writing to the Colossians, states it this way, " In him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not performed by human hands. Your whole self ruled by the flesh was put off when you were circumcised by Christ, having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead." (Col. 2: 11-12). This is why we baptize our infants - because to do otherwise would be to leave our child completely exposed and unprotected on the field of battle.

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