What about infant baptism?
Some Christian churches baptise babies at the request of the child's parents. What this means and why it is done varies between denominations. But the Bible only ever refers explicitly to the baptism of believers - those who of their own free will have chosen to follow Christ. For this reason we do not practice infant baptism at Grovely.
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> But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.
Acts 8:12
> And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
Acts 8:36-37
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Many of those churches that perform infant baptism claim a biblical basis for the practice. However, this assertion is based on unnecessary inference and supposition, as well as various fragments of Biblical 'non-evidence'. Common arguments in favour of infant baptism include:
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> The Bible does not explicitly state that infants are not to be baptised. This is true. But there are many things which the Bible does not explicitly prohibit. This is hardly a reason to include them in the practice of Christianity.
> The Bible refers to 'whole households' being baptised (eg. Acts 16:15, 1 Cor 1:16). It is thus supposed that these households would have included children and, since there is no explicit statement that only adults were baptised, it is further supposed that the children also must have been baptised. This argument neglects the equally valid possibility that the children of the household, if any, were of an age to make a meaningful decision to follow Christ. Or indeed the possibility that the fact that the children were not baptised should have been so obvious as to not require comment. On one occasion, the book of Acts identifies those who were baptised as 'both men and women' (Acts 8:12) - if children were being baptised this was surely the opportunity to record it.
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I was Baptised as a child. Do I need to be Baptised again?
If you are genuinely born again and desire to be obedient to the word of God then there is no reason why you should not be baptised as a believer, regardless of what has happened in the past. As mentioned above, the people were baptized when they believed, which would indicate that they were of the age of understanding and knew what they were doing when they were baptized. However, it is very important that you talk this through with your parents and other family members who may consider your desire to be baptised as disrespectful to them. Your family needs to understand that you are taking this step in obedience to God's word, not as an act of rebellion against them. Please talk to a church elder if you are in this situation.
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Read next: Must I be baptised to take communion?
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