The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Infant baptism

Should I have my daughter baptized?

I was baptized as a baby, grew up in a Lutheran congregation and have decided to return to church after a long absence. I'm torn as to whether I should have my 9-month-old daughter baptized. I don't see in Scripture that it's necessary to baptize infants. What does the church say?

Infant baptism isn't specifically commanded in the New Testament, although baptism is (Matthew 28:19). But infant baptism isn't forbidden either. Since baptism is incorporation into Christ's death and resurrection (Romans 6:3-5, Colossians 2:12) and "putting on Christ" (Galatians 3:27), why would we want to exclude anyone of any age?

We believe that in baptism God adopts us into Jesus Christ as his child for time and eternity through the word, water and Spirit. It incorporates us into Christ's body the church. So begins the life of faith. Certainly there is no evidence that Jesus wants to exclude infants from this (Mark 9:36-37, 10:13-16).

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