Thursday, February 24, 2011

What is Baby Dedication?

Well, I know that several of you are planning on attending Leona's baby dedication, March 13th.  I want to share with you exactly what this day means in the life of our family.

Is it Baby Baptism?
In some religions or faiths they have something called Christening or baby baptism.  Some faiths give a Christian name to a child.  Many who practice baby baptism believe that a child is brought into the Christian family & washed clean of original sin so they can go to Heaven.  Later they go through other initiations like Confirmation (verbal pronouncement of following Jesus) & Eucharist (communion). I grew up under the Presbyterian church where these ideas were practiced.

We do not believe in baby baptism or Christening. 
Many of you may not understand this, so I will try to explain why.  First is our example of Jesus Christ.  He was not baptized until he was about to begin his ministry.  We can read this in several verses, one of them being Matthew 3:13 which says "Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John."

Secondly, is Acts 2:38 "Peter replied, “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."  Notice the word "repent" comes before "be baptized".  Repent means to make a u-turn... turn from your sin & begin living for God.

We DO believe in baptism.  We DO believe in proclaiming one's faith in Christ in water baptism. We DO NOT believe in baby baptism because a baby is not of age to make those decisions for themselves.

OK, so back to the original ?....
What is Baby Dedication?
In many churches, baby dedication is a simple ceremony where the parents come together, stand before the church and make a lifelong committment to raise their child according to God's Word.  It is a promise to lay aside their will and desires and raise them up in God's ways. Some of the responsibilities are teaching them God's Word, praying earnestly for and with them, disciplining with the purpose of training a child, and providing a Godly example for them to learn from.

Baby dedication centers on some passages in scripture.
First, there is Hannah's example in I Samuel.  Here is 1:11 "And she made a vow, saying, “LORD Almighty, if you will only look on your servant’s misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the LORD for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head.”" Later in 1:24, she dedicates him to the Lord. This is what she says in 1:28 "So now I give him to the LORD. For his whole life he will be given over to the LORD.” And he worshiped the LORD there."

Next, there is Mary & Joseph's example in Luke 2:22 which says "When the time came for the purification rites required by the Law of Moses, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord "

Thirdly, is the implication of Deuteronomy 6:4-7, which says "Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up."

The responsibility of training up a child in the ways of the Lord is given to the parent. Ephesians 6:4 says "Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord." Bringing a child up in this world is going to take more than just what we have to offer.

We Are Orange Parents!
Baby dedication means a little more to us and our church family. We need our church, family and even close friends to partner with us. So with that being said... Leona's baby dedication is more than just about us standing up and taking a vow to raise our daughter in the ways of the Lord. We have become Orange Parents. (See my Think Orange! post for more information.) If you are a part of our lives, we want your help.  We want you to take the vow with us and support us in this parenting endeavor.

If you have any other questions about the information found in this post, please leave a comment.  I would love to try to answer them!
If you'd like more information on why we don't believe in baby baptism, you can also read John MacArthur's sermon here.

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