Credo-Baptism Answers What is your view on infant dedications

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Wretched Man

Puritan Board Freshman
Neither I nor my wife accept infant baptism (though I am a bit torn on the issue and would now say I’m in a “its complicated” phase) and we have a baby who my wife is pushing for us to have a baby dedication for. We’ve done baby dedications for our older two daughters and my wife who is not reformed really likes it... She admits it isn’t Biblically commanded or prescribed, but doesn’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing.

I‘m uncertain about it and have been rather agnostic regarding it... but am wondering if it is appropriate.

Any thoughts?
 

Reformed Covenanter

Puritanboard Commissioner
Both the Baptists and the Reformed should be able to agree on one thing: baby dedications are unbiblical. If Baptists are correct, then infant dedications have no more warrant in scripture than infant baptisms. If the Reformed are correct, then infant dedications are a profane substitute for infant baptisms.
 

Reformed Covenanter

Puritanboard Commissioner
Both the Baptists and the Reformed should be able to agree on one thing: baby dedications are unbiblical. If Baptists are correct, then infant dedications have no more warrant in scripture than infant baptisms. If the Reformed are correct, then infant dedications are a profane substitute for infant baptisms.
My apologies, I only just noticed this thread was posted in the Credobaptist answers forum.
 

Wretched Man

Puritan Board Freshman
I’m
Both the Baptists and the Reformed should be able to agree on one thing: baby dedications are unbiblical. If Baptists are correct, then infant dedications have no more warrant in scripture than infant baptisms. If the Reformed are correct, then infant dedications are a profane substitute for infant baptisms.
When you say “unbiblical”, do you mean it is contrary to Scripture or is the Bible simply silent on it? My take is baby dedications do parallel “infant baptism” in the sense they are really for the parents and the actions are vows or commitments taken by them.... And contrarily the confirmation or whatever ceremony Presbyterians provide their adolescent/teenage children a few years later as they mature would parallel baptism.

I’d like to avoid getting into another infant baptism debate... but as a persuaded Baptist, I would prefer to call the former a “dedication” and the latter a baptism.
 

Reformed Covenanter

Puritanboard Commissioner
I’m

When you say “unbiblical”, do you mean it is contrary to Scripture or is the Bible simply silent on it? My take is baby dedications do parallel “infant baptism” in the sense they are really for the parents and the actions are vows or commitments taken by them.... And contrarily the confirmation or whatever ceremony Presbyterians provide their adolescent/teenage children a few years later as they mature would parallel baptism.

I’d like to avoid getting into another infant baptism debate... but as a persuaded Baptist, I would prefer to call the former a “dedication” and the latter a baptism.
Infant dedications are not commanded in scripture and therefore are condemned. I am presuming that both sides accept the RPW.
 

VictorBravo

Administrator
Staff member
Infant dedications are not commanded in scripture and therefore are condemned. I am presuming that both sides accept the RPW.
Even though Daniel mistakenly posted in this sub-forum, I agree with his point and adopt the thought.

We don't have baby dedications as a part of our worship. No problem with private baby showers complete with household prayers and praise to God, but we do not see it as a part of corporate worship.
 

retroGRAD3

Puritan Board Freshman
I was a Baptist until more recently and my daughter was "dedicated". However, it was a private event, not done in church. It was conducted by a pastor though.
 

SeanPatrickCornell

Puritan Board Sophomore
Violation of the Regulative Principle of Worship. Not commanded, therefore implicitly forbidden.

Here's a good article.

 

PezLad

Puritan Board Freshman
My church does baby dedications. I always thought they were a bit off; DO NOT JUDGE (I hear and see the scorn)!!! The parents promise to raise the children in the teaching and admonition of the Lord; we cannot promise our future obedience, but in the current moment we walk by the Spirit so as to not perform the works of the flesh.
 

Ajay

Puritan Board Freshman
If it serves the purpose of regeneration and conversion of the infants, there is no wrong to dedicate a child.

Like Baptism and communion, is dedication of the infant is pointing the congregation to Christ is the question one need to ask before upholding or condemning the practice of dedication.

Maybe most Baptists don't agree because they believe that God don't regenerate the infants.

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Ben Zartman

Puritan Board Sophomore
If it serves the purpose of regeneration and conversion of the infants, there is no wrong to dedicate a child.

Like Baptism and communion, is dedication of the infant is pointing the congregation to Christ is the question one need to ask before upholding or condemning the practice of dedication.

Maybe most Baptists don't agree because they believe that God don't regenerate the infants.

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Well, the question one needs to ask is: "does God require this in worship?" If not, then it is absolutely forbidden. That's the point of the RPW. For the record, the LBCF states that God can indeed regenerate infants from the very womb "....elect children dying in infancy..." but do not believe that it is connected to the work of man or minister.
 

Wretched Man

Puritan Board Freshman
For clarity, this will be a private ceremony just with me, my wife, and our kids. We attend an OPC church, so obviously this wouldn’t be apart of the corporate worship.

For the record, I’m not particularly fond of baby dedications... I’m just wondering if this is something I should be battling my wife over (it was challenging enough to get her to accept attending an OPC church).
 

Herald

Administrator
Staff member
Neither I nor my wife accept infant baptism (though I am a bit torn on the issue and would now say I’m in a “its complicated” phase) and we have a baby who my wife is pushing for us to have a baby dedication for. We’ve done baby dedications for our older two daughters and my wife who is not reformed really likes it... She admits it isn’t Biblically commanded or prescribed, but doesn’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing.

I‘m uncertain about it and have been rather agnostic regarding it... but am wondering if it is appropriate.

Any thoughts?
Nathan, others have adequately addressed why baby dedications are not biblical. Now, let's discuss the inter-personal (relationship) part of it. In many non-confessional Baptist churches baby dedications are de facto elevated to the level of sacrament. There can be a certain amount of peer pressure placed on the family of a newborn to have their baby dedicated. This pressure can come from a spouse, family member, or church leadership. This is an opportunity for you to gently explain why you do not want to participate in this ceremony. What is interesting is that there are some Baptist pastors who are not in agreement with the practice from a theological perspective, but they are unwilling to change long-standing church tradition. While I love my local church, they perform child dedications. I find it rather odd when the pastor adds this caveat during the ceremony (I am paraphrasing), "While baby dedications are not commanded in scripture, what we are really doing is dedicating or charging the parents to raise their child in the nurture and admonition of the Lord." I just shake my head. The pastor is admitting it is not a biblical practice, yet he is willing to perform it. This is how I would explain my position on baby dedications to others. I would tell them that our worship is guided by scripture. @SeanPatrickCornell rightly pointed to the Regulative Principle of Worship. If you get drawn off of that point then it is nothing more than your opinion, which makes the opinions of others just as valid. Just because scripture is the final arbiter doesn't make taking a stand any easier, especially when those closest to you disagree. May God give you the grace and courage to do what is right.
 

Von

Puritan Board Sophomore
Baptist churches baby dedications are de facto elevated to the level of sacrament. There can be a certain amount of peer pressure placed on the family of a newborn to have their baby dedicated. This pressure can come from a spouse, family member, or church leadership.
It's exactly for this reason that we did not dedicate our babies (even though it was accepted practice in our church). Both my wife and I came from a paedobaptist background and subsequently this complete break with the "tradition" gave ample opportunity for testimonies.
 
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