Does Your Church Perform Infant Baptisms?

Does your church practice paedo-baptism (infant baptisms)? Most Baptist churches insist they don’t, or do they? Did they just change the age from infant to 6-8 years?

Paige Patterson – President of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary:

“I do not view [positively] the huge number of child baptisms that Baptists are now guilty of–Baptists are some of the worst paedo-baptizers there are.”

Here is the context of that quote from an interview between Mark Dever and Paige Patterson found in Interview with Paige Patterson from Founder’s Ministries.

Dever: I heard about one church recently, and I don’t know if you know about churches like this or not, in order to encourage baptisms among children the baptistry is shaped like a fire truck and they’ve got confetti cannons that go off whenever a kid is baptized. Do you know about any of this?

Patterson: This is my first time to hear this. This is blasphemous!

Dever: Anyway, it’s a church in America. It’s an evangelical church and they mean to preach the gospel so I want to be real quick to say their intentions are good. That’s going to get kids of course, because they want to come forward, get in the fire truck and make the confetti cannons go off. {If you have not heard of this see Children’s Ministry: Toon Time.}

Patterson: I do not view [positively] the huge number of child baptisms that Baptists are now guilty of–Baptists are some of the worst paedo-baptizers there are.

Dever: I know the average age of baptism has dropped, I think, about 10 years in the last 100 years. When you read biographies from the 19th century, they’re always getting baptized at 17, 18, 19, 20. J. R. Graves was baptized when he was 19. John Gill was that way. John A. Broadus was that way.

Patterson: It’s out of hand in our churches.

Dever: I don’t think we have to say that children can’t be saved, we’re not saying that at all. But the difficulties to us are knowing that they’re saved

Patterson: Because of the difficulties of communication.

See also Childhood Conversion.

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