- Parent Category: FAQs
- Category: Bible Questions and answers about the Church
- Published on Thursday, 19 November 2009 10:10
Being baptized "into (literally) the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost" (Matthew 28:19) involves a public identification with divine Persons. It is a public and personal testimony. Being in the assembly is a public and collective testimony. Although the Word of God doesn’t prescribe a minimum age for assuming public testimony, we could put an unfair burden on those who are too young for such a responsibility. Of those whose miracles were a public testimony to Israel, the youngest recorded is the maid of 12 (Mark 5:42). The first act of public testimony by the Lord was at the same age (Luke 2:42). By Jewish tradition, children assume public responsibility for keeping the law, becoming "sons (or daughters) of the law," at about that age. This does not set a specific age for our practice, but it gives some guidance. While many wonderful Christians started for heaven in early years and while it is a great blessing to see our children saved in their youth, we are embarking on a dangerous course if we emphasize and highlight youthful conversions. Nurture professing children sufficiently to encourage growth where there is divine life, without making it more difficult for them to be forthright, if they discover they are not really saved. Parents who promote their children for early baptism and reception are helping neither their child nor the work of God.
The teen years present many difficulties. While assembly reception may preserve some, others need time to sort through the challenges of those years.