Wednesday, 26 February 2020
Why baptisms should only be performed on adults: A theory...
So, when I was very young, I think it was in my first year, I was baptized in the Anglican church by a bishop, but my parents did not really raise me terribly religiously. I wondered why a baptism by a bishop wouldn't "take", considering my outcome, but now I think I have come to the real conclusion about this - will was not a factor in the process, because I was too young to have any say in the event. I think about this now, receiving this insight, and have decided that baptism should only be given to adults, who are old enough to know that they wish to embark on the Christian path, because an adult is at a level of maturity where they can correctly give consent and thus commit to Christian practice. As a result, the Spirit responds to the rite, and the baptism means more spiritually than just as a symbol of commitment. Infant and child baptisms are symbolic, but I don't trust, in my experience with mine, that they have any significant spiritual power, because I was not involved in the decision to get baptized. An adult can decide that this happens for them, a child is just going along with it.
In a way, I am glad I wasn't raised religious. I think being raised heavily religious can damage a person's natural curiosity to explore their souls and the needs of the soul, and though perhaps religious overtones can help with a spiritual education, I feel that in my culturally yet not religiously Anglican upbringing, I was allowed to figure things out on my own, while the option of going to church was always there. I was only spiritually curious, really, by high school, and my parents were very good about me exploring things like Wicca when I was seeking - it turned out not to be the right path for me, but I am glad I was allowed to figure it out without being sternly corrected. Some people might make better Buddhists, for example, than Christians, if the needs of their soul would benefit from that kind of path over the Christian one, so a child should be allowed to explore without judgement. That being said, I feel certain occult paths are unsafe for kids, and I would caution about that a bit too.
Perhaps children should be raised culturally in their family's chosen religion, to allow exploration, but not religiously so, and when they reach adulthood, they can make their own decision. This makes more sense to me than forcing religion on kids.