Baptism is Unnecessary?
If Baptism is unnecessary, why does Christ require it as a
condition of salvation ["Amen, amen, I say to you, no one can
enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and
Spirit" (Jn. 3:5)]?
If Baptism is unnecessary, why does Scripture say that persons are
saved through water (cf. 1 Pt. 3:20-21)?
If Baptism is unnecessary, why did Jesus commission the Apostles
to baptize ["Then Jesus approached and said to them, 'All
power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore,
and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of
the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them
to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with
you always, until the end of the age.'" (Mt. 28:18-20)]?
If Baptism is unnecessary, why Does Jesus say that "Whoever
believes and is baptized will be saved" (Mk. 16:16,
If Baptism is unnecessary, why did Peter - under the influence of
the Holy Spirit at Pentecost - instruct his hearers to be baptized
(see Acts 2:38-41)?
Baptism is Merely an External Sign?
If Baptism is merely a sign and does not itself cause
regeneration, why does Christ require it as a condition of
salvation ["Amen, amen, I say to you, no one can enter the
kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit" (Jn.
If Baptism is just a sign, why does Scripture say that persons are
saved through water (see 1 Pt. 3:20-21)?
If Baptism is a mere sign, why does St. Paul say that baptism washes
away sin (cf. Acts 22:16)?
If Baptism is just a sign, why does St. Paul say that persons are
saved through baptism (see Ti. 3:5)?
Catholic Church does not teach that the water in baptism has any
intrinsic power, but rather that God uses the water to effect what
is signified by the water (that is, a cleansing). "If,
therefore, there is any grace in the water, it is not from the
nature of water but from the Spirit's presence there." (St. Basil
the Great, Doctor of the Church, c. 375 A.D.)
You Condemn Infant Baptism?
If a person inherits original
sin without their consent, why should their consent be
required to remove it?
If it is wrong to baptize infants, why were whole households
baptized in Scripture (Acts 16:15, Acts 16:33, 1 Cor. 1:16)?
If you condemn infant baptism because a person cannot consent to
it, you must also condemn adult baptism of insane persons as they
also cannot consent to it.
If you reject infant baptism because the child cannot consent to
it, do you also condemn the ancient Jews for circumcising infants
without their permission?
If it is wrong to baptize infants, why did the earliest Christians
baptize infants? Did you know that early Church records indicate
that children were baptized just days after their birth?
"You didn't ask to be born, you didn't ask to have original
sin... If you were born with a physical birth defect, would you
expect your parents to wait until you were older to correct
If you condemn infant baptism, how do you suppose that infants can
be saved when Jesus clearly says that "Amen, amen, I say to
you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born
of water and Spirit" (Jn. 3:5, emphasis added)? Do you
condemn all children even though Jesus says "Let the children come to me, and do not prevent them; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as
these" (Mt. 19:14)?
If you reject infant baptism, you are essentially rejecting
Original Sin - the very reason the Messiah was promised in Gen.
3:15! Note: For more on original sin, click
If it is wrong to baptize infants, why did the Church receive this
tradition from the apostles? "The
Church received from the Apostles the tradition of giving Baptism
even to infants. For the Apostles, to whom were committed the
secrets of divine mysteries, knew that there is in everyone the
innate stains of sin, which must be washed away through water and
the Spirit." [Origen ("the greatest scholar of Christian
antiquity" - although he would eventually be excommunicated
and be regarded as a heretic), c. 245 A.D.)]
If you would not refuse baptism to the most grievous of sinners
who repent, why would you withhold it from infants who have no
personal sins to repent of? "If, in
the case of the worst sinners and of those who formerly sinned
much against God, when afterwards they believe, the remission of
their sins is granted and no one is held back from Baptism and
grace, how much more, then, should an infant not be held back,
who, having but recently been born, has done no sin, except that,
born of the flesh according to Adam, he has contracted the
contagion of that old death from his first being born. For this
very reason does he approach more easily to receive the remission
of sins: because the sins forgiven him are not his own but those
of another." (St. Cyprian of Carthage, c. 251 A.D.)
Where does Scripture say infants shouldn't be baptized?
Catholic Church has always practiced infant baptism. There have
been some abuses, however, which were not condoned by the
Church. For example, some persons delayed baptism until their
death - not because this is what the Church taught, but because these persons wanted to live a "morally lax" life and
then be cleansed immediately before they died. This allowed them
to live as they wanted and forgo tough penances that they
otherwise would have had to complete. Not only was this practice
not condoned by the Church - and contrary to the proper Christian spirit - but it actually endangered their souls since they may
have died without receiving baptism.
the Catholic Church Teaches...
this law [regarding Baptism] extends not only to adults but also
to infants and children, and that the Church has received this
from Apostolic tradition, is confirmed by the unanimous teaching
and authority of the Fathers. Besides, it is not to be supposed
that Christ the Lord would have withheld the Sacrament and grace
of Baptism from children, of whom He said: Suffer the little
children, and forbid them not to come to me; for the kingdom of
heaven is for such; whom also He embraced, upon whom He imposed
hands, to whom He gave His blessing. Moreover, when we read that
an entire family was baptized by Paul, it is sufficiently obvious
that the children of the family must also have been cleansed in
the saving font. Circumcision, too, which was a figure of Baptism,
affords a strong argument in proof of this practice. That children
were circumcised on the eighth day is universally known. If then
circumcision, made by hand, in despoiling the body of the flesh,
was profitable to children, it is clear that Baptism, which is the
circumcision of Christ, not made by hand, it is also profitable to
them. Finally, as the Apostle teaches, if by one man's offense
death reigned through one, much more they who receive abundance of
grace, and of the gift, and of justice, shall reign in life
through one, Jesus Christ. If then, through the transgression of
Adam, children inherit original sin, with still stronger reason
can they attain through Christ our Lord grace and justice that
they may reign in life. This, however, cannot be effected
otherwise than by Baptism." (Catechism of the Council of
"(For) they assert that baptism is
conferred uselessly on children... We respond that baptism has
taken the place of circumcision... Therefore as 'the soul of the
circumcised did not perish from the people' [Gen. 17:4], so 'he
who has been reborn from water and the Holy Spirit will obtain
entrance to the kingdom of heaven' [John 3:5]... Although original
sin was remitted by the mystery of circumcision, and the danger of
damnation was avoided, nevertheless there was no arriving at the
kingdom of heaven, which up to the death of Christ was barred to
all. But through the sacrament of baptism the guilt of one made
red by the blood of Christ is remitted, and to the kingdom of
heaven one also arrives, whose gate the blood of Christ has
mercifully opened for His faithful. For God forbid that all
children of whom daily so great a multitude die, would perish, but
that also for these the merciful God who wishes no one to perish
has procured some remedy unto salvation... As to what opponents
say, (namely), that faith or love or other virtues are not infused
in children, inasmuch as they do not consent, is absolutely not
granted by most... some asserting that by the power of baptism
guilt indeed is remitted to little ones but grace is not conferred; and some indeed saying
both that sin is forgiven and that virtues are infused in them as
they hold virtues as a possession not as a function, until they
arrive at adult age... We say that a distinction must be made, that
sin is twofold: namely, original and actual: original, which is
contracted without consent; and actual which is committed with
consent. Original, therefore, which is committed without consent,
is remitted without consent through the power of the sacrament;
but actual, which is contracted with consent, is not mitigated in
the slightest without consent... The punishment of original sin is
deprivation of the vision of God, but the punishment of actual sin
is the torments of everlasting hell..." (Pope Innocent III,