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Let The Children Come

Let The Children Come published on Purchase

In honor of my new son, I thought it was a great time to talk about infant baptism.  Baptism uses water as an outward sign of the inward grace to be born again by God.  Baptizing an infant, or anyone who cannot speak for themselves, is a sign of inclusion in the covenant community of the church, where the church vows to raise this person in the faith.  What United Methodists usually forget to tell beaming, bright-eyed parents is that baptism is not a failsafe.  Should anyone grow up to live a life that essentially rejects their baptism, it’s like the unforgivable sin Jesus talks about—choosing to live a life that rejects God’s forgiveness.  Infants are reborn with baptism, but as they grow, they must nevertheless be born again through repentance. Where there is no repentance, Wesley believed there was no new birth.  Fortunately, choosing to turn to God, you can be born again, and again, and again for God’s grace never fails.  Baptism is a one-time deal, because you only need to make the community covenant once, and the church is forever responsible for calling you back to God’s love.  Wesley is just way more hardcore about all this than the church tends to be today.


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