That is a good question considering so many religious groups (Catholic, Lutheran, Methodist, etc.) have practiced infant baptism for a long time.
What I did was check my Bible to see whether these things are so (Acts 17:11). I did not find any examples of anyone baptizing their babies in the entire Bible. There are no examples in the Old Testament of infant baptism nor are there any examples in the New Testament of infant baptism. Some think the Philippian jailors family had some infants when they were baptized.
(Acts 16:30-33) And he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” 31 So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.” 32 Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. 33 And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their stripes. And immediately he and all his family were baptized. NKJV
They all had to believe. Paul and Silas preached to them, they believed and were baptized. An infant cannot believe what they hear until they get older. They all heard and believed so there were no babies in the jailor’s family, so there could be no infant baptism here.
I cannot find any examples of infant baptism in the Bible and so many religions are baptizing infants so where did this come from? It did not come from nor is authorized by God. Who came up with this?
Baptizing Babies Is an Idea from Man Not God
In order to find out where the idea of infant baptism came from, I had to do research in materials outside of the Bible (because it is not found in the Bible). What I found out is the reason babies are baptized is to cleanse them from original sin. I read from the Catholic religion’s catechism that “Baptism erases original sin.” I then had to find out what original sin was. I read that a man named Augustine of Hippo (a city in Africa) was the first to mention this phrase. He lived from (A.D. 354-A.D. 430). He believed “Every human nature is corrupted by original sin and they also inherit moral guilt. Infants are corrupted by original sin and consigned to hell if unbaptized.” It is hard to believe that a man and all of the religions that do infant baptism would believes such a thing especially when we do not find this teaching in the Bible.
God said through the writings of Peter: as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, 16 as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures. NKJV (2Peter 3:15b-16)
Some will take God’s writings and twist them to fit their own needs or desires but to their own destruction. This should be a good warning to be very careful in how we treat God’s Bible.
I had to read about original sin outside of the Bible since I could not find it in the Bible. I read where original sin is “the mark of human sinfulness with which all are tainted, and which derives from the disobedience of God’s commandments of the first people Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden” (Catholicism & the Catholic Saints p.208). What I understand that to mean is we (every human being of any age) are responsible for the actions of Adam and Eve! Wait, WHAT?
God said through Ezekiel: “Yet you say, ‘Why should the son not bear the guilt of the father?’ Because the son has done what is lawful and right, and has kept all My statutes and observed them, he shall surely live. 20 The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not bear the guilt of the father, nor the father bear the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself. NKJV (Ezekiel 18:19-20) Each person is accountable for their own actions not for what others do. Babies do not have decision making actions. They are too young.
In the New Testament God says through Paul: For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. NKJV (2Corinthians 5:10) This states personal accountability for your own actions.
God says sin is not transferred from one person to another so how can we be guilty of Adam and Eve’s sin? We can’t. No one but Adam is responsible for the sin or sins Adam committed.
Keith Sisman did a lot of research on this subject and recorded his findings in his book Traces of the Kingdom (chulavistabooks.com). He traces infant baptism back to the people of the tower of Babel (Genesis chapters 10-11). He said infant baptism’s origins is in paganism (idol worship) and is called lustration (washing a demon from a baby). He said original sin also has its roots in paganism where they believed a baby was born with a demon that needs to be washed out (lustration). Catholic doctrine states that during infant baptism: “The celebrant invokes the Blessed Virgin and the saints, and proceeds to a prayer of exorcism and anointing before baptism in which he calls on God to free the child from original sin and make him (or her) a temple of your glory” (Catholicism & The Catholic Saints p.208). Pagan lustration is washing a demon from a baby and Catholic exorcism and infant baptism is washing original sin from a baby. This seems too similar to be a coincidence. They look to be one in the same.
How did a pagan practice get to be a Catholic practice and later on practiced by many other religious groups? Augustine of Hippo. Augustine’s “pagan father ensured Augustine was well educated. His mother St. Monica, was a Christian but her son rejected her beliefs…Augustine claimed to hear a heavenly child’s voice bearing a divine message…He and his son were baptized in AD 387” (33 years old). (Catholicism & Catholic Saints p.359).
Keith Sisman says of Augustine: “Many Protestants, especially Calvinists, consider him to be one of the theological fathers of Reformation teaching on salvation and divine grace. Through Augustine’s doctrines, original sin, infant baptism and later, Calvinism were propagated. The origin of these lay in paganism. Was Augustine ever converted to the Christian faith? The result of his theology was to continue with pagan philosophy and belief under the guise of Christianity. Many of the pagans were highly-educated, trained in rhetoric, skilled writers and debaters.” (Traces of the Kingdom p.48). It appears Augustine brought his pagan beliefs to Catholicism.
Should I have my baby baptized? No, you should certainly not have your baby baptized because:
- Infant baptism is not found in the Bible and therefore not authorized by God.
- Infant baptism has its origin in pagan religion and has never been practiced by the church.
- Sin has never been transferred from one person to another, so all babies are innocent.
- True baptism is for those who hear God’s word, believed it and are doers of what it says.