From Reformed Baptist
At what age should children be
Recently I responded to a woman on The Reformed Baptist Page (Facebook) who was asking if she should seek to have her 9 year old son baptized. As a former paedobaptist minister and now Reformed Baptist, this is an issue I have struggled over quite a bit in the past. I thought I’d share my response here.
I don’t believe we can set an arbitrary age. However, experience shows that the vast majority of child baptisms ‘don’t take’. I’d love to see the actual statistics on this but I’m going to guess that over half of the individuals (WHO REMAIN IN IN THE CHURCH) baptized on a childhood profession request baptism later in life because they do not believe they were truly converted as a child. I find this highly problematic.
Personally, I counsel parents to wait until the child is a young adult unless there is unusual and strong evidence of conversion in the child. I say this because, children being children, apart from a powerful work of God in a child, the quality of their profession can be very difficult to discern.
Another consideration; once baptized, your child is received to partake of the Lord’s Supper. I believe a parent must discern whether or not you honestly believe your child can meet the requirements, from a maturity standpoint, set forth in 1 Corinthians 11:17-23. If not, far better to wait on baptism until such things can be discerned.
This does not mean that we teach our children who are making a profession of Christ that they are not saved. I believe we should receive and encourage their profession but tell them we are waiting for them to get a little older before they receive baptism.