I had the privilege of baptizing my son. My son Kaden is 7. It was truly a blessing to have this opportunity. Kaden approached my wife and I about wanting to get baptized a few months back. We wanted it to be something he brought up and something he saw as important. I have said publicly and privately that no person got interrogated more about getting baptized than my son. Kaden answered things the way he should. He knew the right responses. He pushed for this to happen. Over several months, he repeatedly brought it up and was committed to this public act. But even with all that said, I was not not necessarily excited about him getting baptized. I had some trepidation and concern and fear and anxiousness and so on. Here is why:
- His age – Kaden is only 7. His only real, consistent worldview exposure is to Christianity. He has only known this world. He can not fully grasp what the cost of being a Christian really is. (That said, there is no one of any age who can truly understand the cost.) But I am aware that there is so much of life that Kaden has not experienced and understood. But with all of this, he understands God as much as he can as a 7 year old. He believes the core values of the faith as he can understand them. But I wrestled with where life has yet to take him.
- What it said to the church – I had some concerns about how the church would perceive my son getting baptized. As the lead pastor of a church, my actions and words carry with them more weight than the average person at Grace Fellowship. I know this and I take this very seriously. There was fear that people would see it as I thought my kid had arrived and my parenting was done. I had concern that people would think I was doing something for my son that would not trust their kid at the same level.
- The potential chain reaction – My actions would lead every parent to going… well if his kid got baptized then mine should. If it is important to him, than I must need to see it as important. People would hurry up and not understand the process or the conversation our family went through. It could lead to unhealthy pressure parents would put on kids.
- Theological confusion – We believe salvation is by grace through faith alone. It is not about any work, including baptism. This should take pressure off parents. If your children are Christians, it is independent of whether or not they are baptized. So you should not feel this pressure to hurry up and get your child baptized. They are saved by Jesus, not by the waters of baptism. I did not want my actions to communicate something false about my beliefs associated with salvation.