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Should a child with Down's be baptized?

Submitted: 3/18/2007
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Question: I have been told over the years that folks with mental handicaps, such as Down's syndrome(which you are born with) are like small children, always under grace. I have a son who is down's. He is a genuine blessing! He is now 17 years of age, not far from being a legal adult. He has natural impulses to a small degree as any other teen boy, but other than that, mentally he is probably at the capacity of an 8-year-old. A little more in some areas and even a little less in others. My question is, I have found no Scripture that deals with the salvation of such precious folks. Does my son have requirements for salvation even though he is not in any way capable of making that decision or even starting to understand any of this??? He loves church, especially choir music. Should he at least be baptized? I have asked a few, but most totally avoid making a call on this. I am a licensed Apostolic minister, but I have enough courage to admit that I do not know everything. I just want to be sure that I am in line with what needs to be done for my son. I do not want him to be lost. On this same subject, one quick question regarding people like my son, Matthew. Can he get an evil spirit?? Or just be opressed by one?? Thanks. Love your info, book, site etc.!!! This ministry is ordained of God and is part of a revolution the Lord is leading into these last days of Holy Ghost outpouring!! Brother Sid Grimes Harrisburg, NC

Answer: We think that you have answered your own question. You said that you can find no Scripture that explains how God deals with those who do not have the capcity to understand, and we cannot find any Scripture either. We interpret this to mean that this is an area we do not need to understand. We just need to trust Him, knowing that He is always good. Furthermore, He is perfect in all His ways, even though some of His ways are past finding out.

We would add that biblical baptism requires two prerequisites: repentance and faith. Anyone who does not have the capacity to repent and believe should not be baptized. To baptize such a person would be reducing baptism to a mere ritual and would make it equivalent to the Roman Catholic sacrament of infant baptism.

As to whether a mentally handicapped person can get an evil spirit, we would have to say yes. A spirit can attack and influence anyone. This is why God has told us to put on the whole armor of God. But having said that, we want to encourage you to pray for your son, lay hands upon him, teach him the best you can, encourage him to worship the Lord, and leave His eternity in the hands of the loving Savior. We believe that your personal armor will be a great protection to your son.