Author Topic: Baptism Question  (Read 774 times)

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Offline JamesR

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Baptism Question
« on: January 26, 2012, 05:39:25 PM »
I had a question about Baptism, being a catechumen. How come the Orthodox Church will Baptise infants even though they are incapable of making a decision. (I have no problem with this, I left that Protestant doubt behind a long time ago) But, when a convert comes into the Church (Like me) we have to spend 1-3 years preparing to show that we really want it before we can be Baptised? It seems kind of odd and unfair to me in a way. It is like we allow infants to get Baptised, but when a convert gets Baptised we practically make it into a 'Believer's Baptism' process by making us prepare for such a long time. I was wondering if anyone had any insight or answers.

Offline Manalive

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Re: Baptism Question
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2012, 05:58:51 PM »
One of the first things my Priest said to me as he was preparing me for baptism was: "Are you sure you want to do this? This is a life-time commitment and if you leave the Church after you're Orthodox, you're soul is damnable, because you will belong to Christ and if you turn your back on him, it's like a slap in the face."

So someone that just gets baptized after attending services for the span of a few months might not be properly brought up or know what they need to to "stay in the race" or not do harm to himself for leaving after deciding it's not what they wanted. Infants have the advantage of being raised in an Orthodox household. Their family is already Orthodox, so (theoretically) they aren't going to run away from it.

Just my opinion without getting into any theological aspects of infant baptism.
« Last Edit: January 26, 2012, 06:02:52 PM by Manalive »
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Offline genesisone

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Re: Baptism Question
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2012, 07:10:15 PM »
An infant comes willing and prepared to be taught. An older person almost always needs to be "untaught". It is that process which can be especially difficult, to become, as far as is reasonably possible, an infant again without preconceptions.

Offline NicholasMyra

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Re: Baptism Question
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2012, 07:33:25 PM »
Infant baptism was most commonly practiced in thoroughly-Christianized cultures.

Even in the time of St. John Chrysostom, baptism was often postponed in places with a larger pagan presence (St. John Chrysostom himself was not baptized as an infant).

I think the Church needs to pastorally re-examine the possibility of decreasing infant baptism in re-paganized cultures. Who knows? Just pondering here.
Quote from: Fr. Thomas Hopko, dystopian parable of the prodigal son can imagine so-called healing services of the pigpen. The books that could be written, you know: Life in the Pigpen. How to Cope in the Pigpen. Being Happy in the Pigpen. Surviving in the Pigpen. And then there could be counselling, for people who feel unhappy in the pigpen, to try to get them to come to terms with the pigpen, and to accept the pigpen.