Does the Bible Teach Infant Baptism?

It seems we’ve hit the time to talk about infant baptism. The reason why it’s the time is because Acts 16 has two verses in it that are used to prove that infant baptism is a biblical thing.

The two verses are:

When she and the members of her household were baptized, she invited us to her home. (Acts 16:15)
At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his household were baptized. (Acts 16:33)

These are used as infant baptism proof texts because it says Lydia’s and the jailer’s household was baptized. Surely there were infants in the household.

Yup, that’s the proof text in the Bible for infant baptism. Always be careful when a proof text for a subject never mentions the subject!

To extrapolate from that the idea that infants are baptized to release them from sin, or all the various Lutheran, Catholic, Reformed, and whoever else ideas of infant baptism, is quite the stretch.

How one can base an entire doctrine on households being baptized is beyond me. Actually it isn’t. See what had happened was, Rome took over the church. Rome baptized infants as sort of a citizenship ritual. When they took over the church they made the church deal with the wet, screaming kids.

When other Christian types said, “Um, why are you guys dunking kids in water at church?” The Roman Church had to come up with verses. This is what they came up with.

And, oh yeah, circumcision. Which, again, if you’ve ever read the New Testament’s take on circumcision, it’s not favorable. Circumcision is never stated once, even remotely or hinted at, as being correlated with infant baptism in the Bible. Mainly because there is no infant baptism in the Bible.

Both of these proof texting attempts fall woefully short of the intricate doctrinal explanations people give about what infant baptism accomplishes. It’s entirely made up. It’s just not there.

Let’s just examine these two passages from Acts 16 about baptizing households.

First off, everything we’ve seen in the New Testament up until Acts 16 has clearly said that baptism is something people who believe do. It is never once said that someone is baptized and then believes. It is always stated that they believed and then were baptized. Infants can’t believe.

Oh I know, you think your precious bundle of joy is smart enough to have believed in the womb, but no, they weren’t. They weren’t even smart enough to feed themselves until they were 16.

Second, not much is said about the Lydia household. It seems a stretch to assume that every household had infants in it. I know many households that have no infants. So in order to make the assumption that this verse is assuming infant baptism, you must first assume there are infants. If the text doesn’t say it, I’m not going to take your wishful thinking as solid ground for faith.

Third, the jailer’s household is also not described as having infants. In fact, it goes so far as to say that Paul and Silas “spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house.” This at least implies that the members of the jailer’s household could be spoken to, and smart enough to know what was being said and then believed.

In verse 34 it says the jailer “was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God—he and his whole household.” The jailer wasn’t happy his whole household got wet; he was happy his whole household believed, which obviously implies they were old enough to believe.

The idea that infants should be baptized is not biblical by any stretch. You know this for sure because passages like this are always in the top two proof texts. Deal with the stated best proof texts. These are them.  Sorry, doesn’t cut it. Infant baptism is a completely and entirely humanly devised idea and does absolutely nothing for you before God.

I mean, think about it. If infant baptism saved or was vital in getting a person saved as infant baptism supporters maintain, don’t you think God would have said it sometime? If it was that vital, don’t you think it would be more than implied by households getting wet?

Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. You win no points with God by upholding human traditions. You will probably actually heap judgment upon yourself by doing better at listening to people than God.

If you were infant baptized that’s fine, you had nothing to do with it. It was done to you, which is another way of knowing it can’t save you. Saved people are always described as having something to do with their salvation. Someone else cannot save you.

If you tell people or your kids they are going to heaven because they were baptized as an infant, you’re not upholding God’s word, you’re upholding human tradition. You should not do this.

Anytime the Bible describes how a person can have the assurance of salvation, being baptized as an infant is never mentioned. Many other things are, but not infant baptism. Yet I’ve been to funerals where infant baptism was used as the assurance of salvation.

Many will say to Jesus in that day, “Lord, Lord look at all the stuff we did for you!” and the Lord will say “depart from me, I never knew you.”

Listen to God; not people.

%d bloggers like this: