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Should little children be baptized?

Submitted: 9/30/2007
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Question: I know of a 3-year-old who was baptized & rec'd the Holy Ghost a year later....even the pastor had given the child's father the opportunity to baptize him, since the child's father was a youth leader, him being without a ministerial license ~ your comment on this would be appreciated as my dad who was an ordained minister with the UPCI for 42 yrs.....always preached & taught from that scripture (can't recall exactly where right now), but saying something about 'the child should be at the age of understanding'....so being 3 years old....I just don't get.

Answer: The Bible does not provide much guidance on this subject. It does, however, state clearly that there are at least two prerequisites to being baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins: 1) repentance (Acts 2:38) and 2) faith (Mark 16:16). This means that no one should be baptized until he is old enough to genuinely repent and believe. This age varies from child to child.

Our policy is to baptize young children when they receive the Holy Spirit. Occasionally we baptize one who has been really reaching out to the Lord and has come very close to speaking in tongues. The youngest we have ever baptized is 5 years old, and this was after he had received the Holy Spirit. Most of the children at our assembly receive the Spirit and get baptized between 5 and 10 years of age.