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Angelica Pianalto wrote:

Hi, guys —

My name is Angelica. I'm 18 years old, and I am the youngest of three siblings. My mom has been married three times; my father, being her second husband, became divorced when I was almost two years old. I was baptized and raised in St. Joseph's Catholic Church when I lived with my dad but I never really knew the importance of believing in God. When I moved in with my mom in 2003, I stopped attending church because she didn't go. At the age of 17, I attended a non-denominational church. There I was re-baptized and proclaimed my faith in Christ Jesus as my Savior. I have been attending a wonderful non-denominational church for a little over a year now, and have been studying the Catholic faith. I have a few questions about the practices in the Catholic Church that I would greatly appreciate some answers to:

  • Where in the Bible does it say an infant should be baptized?

I had learned that one should decide to come to Christ on their own with the guidance of other Christian leaders when they have the ability to fully understand God Himself and Jesus Christ as their only way to salvation. Infants automatically are accepted into Heaven as the Bible states, because they have no way of truly sinning even though we are all born into sin.

  • As my second question, where in the Bible it talks about holy water and other Sacramentals?

I was always curious as to why Catholic Churches believe they are able to bless things, and the purpose behind their blessings.

My third and last question is:

  • What is the purpose of Confirmation?
    • If someone is baptized, they are filled with the Holy Spirit, so why have Confirmation
      if someone already has the Holy Spirit?
    • Is it to just allow them to work in the Church or does it say in the Bible that Confirmation is necessary to show we have served?

I hope these questions don't come across as offensive, I really am just trying to receive answers to questions I have in order to understand what was going on when I was attending the Catholic Church. Sadly, there are so many people my age who were born and raised in a Catholic Church and have lost their belief and faith in Christ. Most don't understand:

  • Why they did the things they did, in Church, and
  • What was so special about the traditions.

Of course, I do understand the importance of the traditions practiced in the Catholic Church,
(my father explained that to me), but my spiritual journey was similar to many of those people.
I did not understand why I needed Christ until much later in life; when I was not practicing the Catholic faith.

  • Finally, why is the priest the only one who can directly speak to God while we the people can only speak to Him through the priest and why can sins only be forgiven through the priest?

I don't agree with that because it is by our faith and devotion to God Almighty that allows us to speak to Him directly without a priest's counsel. Yes, a pastor or priest is good to speak to for help, but Jesus made the bridge — He, Jesus, was the way to God.

  • Isn't it by our trust and belief in Him that we can speak to God directly?

Prayerfully,

Angelica

  { As a lapsed, baptized Catholic, can you explain some of the practices of the Catholic Church? }

Mike replied:

Hi Angelica,

Before I comment on your first question, I have a concern that you are making a false assumption in your questions. The false assumption is that, if it cannot be found in the Bible, it shouldn't be  believed. The Bible didn't come before the Church. The Church Jesus founded on St. Peter and his successors came before the Bible.

No Christian knew what books made up the Bible until 382 A.D at the Council Rome. Before that date, there was no defined set of books as we know today.

  • Because no Christian had a Bible nor knew what books make up the Bible, did they all go to Hell?

No, The Church's Oral Tradition 2 Thessalonians 2:15 guided the faithful as it does today.

The Christians who chose which books were inspired and which books were not, with the aid of the Holy Spirit, were Catholic bishops.

Every time a Protestant opens a Bible, they are implicitly saying,

I trust the decision Catholic Bishops made guided by the Holy Spirit back in 382 A.D.

The Bible was written by Catholics and their ancestors, for Catholics, for use in the Catholic Mass, our worship service.

You said:

  • Where in the Bible does it say an infant should be baptized?

I had learned that one should decide to come to Christ on their own with the guidance of other Christian leaders when they have the ability to fully understand God Himself and Jesus Christ as their only way to salvation.

There is no explicit place in the Bible where it states that infants should be baptized but there is wording that makes the assumption that infants were baptized.

The words:

  • Trinity, or
  • Bible

are not in the Bible either but all Christians believe in the Trinity and the Bible.

This question we answered may help. Make sure you read the catholic.com links in this posting.

This is from my list of Catholic Scripture verses that defend Catholic doctrines page.
I recommend you bookmark the page.

http://www.AskACatholic.com/ScripturePassages

From the above web page:

To be administered to children "Infant Baptism".
Matthew 8:5ff
Servant healed because of Centurion's faith.
Matthew 15:21ff
Daughter healed because of the Canaanite woman's faith.
Matthew 18:14
It is not the will of God that children be damned.
Matthew 19:14
"Let the children come to me."
Mark 10:14
Let the children come, for such is the kingdom of Heaven.
Luke 7:1ff
Just say the word, and let my servant be healed.
Luke 18:15-17
People were bringing even infants to him ... whoever does not accept the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it."
John 3:5; Mark 16:16
No one enters Heaven without baptism of water and spirit.
Acts 16:15
Paul and Silas baptize Lydia and her whole household.
Acts 16:30-33
Paul and Silas baptize a prison guard and his whole family.
Acts 18:8
Crispus, his family, and other Corinthians are baptized.
Romans 5:18-19
All are born with Adam's sin and need baptism.
1 Corinthians 1:16
"I baptized the household of Stephanas."
Colossians 2:11-12
Baptism has replaced circumcision.
See also:
Mark 10:13-16, Luke 18:15, Acts 2:39, 1 Corinthians 15:22
St. Hippolytus of Rome (c. 215 A.D.)
"Baptize first the children; and if they can speak for themselves, let them do so. Otherwise, let their parents or other relatives speak for them." (The Apostolic Tradition 21)
Origen (post 244 A.D.)
"The Church received from the Apostles the tradition of giving baptism also to infants." (Commentary on Romans 5, 9)
St. Cyprian of Carthage (252 A.D.)
This council [Council of Carthage] condemned the opinion that infants must wait until the eighth day after birth to be baptized, as was the case with circumcision. (Letter 64 (59), 2)

Interested in what other Christians in the Early Church thought, taught, and died for?
Check out what they said on this topic.

You said:
Infants automatically are accepted into Heaven as the Bible states, because they have no way of truly sinning even though we are all born into sin.

  • Where in the Bible does it state that infants are automatically accepted into Heaven?
  • Or, are you using an unBiblical principle to express your faith?

If you could provide book, chapter, and verse I'd be interested.

What is in the Bible are the Words from the lips of Our Lord Himself on the necessity of Baptism for salvation.

Baptism is necessary for salvation.

John 3:5
"No one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit."
Mark 16:16
"Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved."
Acts 16:30-33
"What must I do to be saved? ... he and all his family were baptized."
1 Peter 3:21
"Baptism which saves you now."
See also:
Matthew 28:19, Acts 2:38, Acts 16:15

You said:

  • As my second question, where in the Bible it talks about holy water and other Sacramentals?

I was always curious as to why Catholic Churches believe they are able to bless things, and the purpose behind their blessings.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church states:

Sacramentals

1667 "Holy Mother Church has, moreover, instituted sacramentals. These are sacred signs which bear a resemblance to the sacraments. They signify effects, particularly of a spiritual nature, which are obtained through the intercession of the Church. By them men are disposed to receive the chief effect of the sacraments, and various occasions in life are rendered holy." (Vatican II, Sacrosanctum Concilium 60; cf. Code of Canon Law , canon 1166; Corpus Canonum Ecclisarum Orientalium, canon 867.)

The characteristics of sacramentals

1668 Sacramentals are instituted for the sanctification of certain ministries of the Church, certain states of life, a great variety of circumstances in Christian life, and the use of many things helpful to man. In accordance with bishops' pastoral decisions, they can also respond to the needs, culture, and special history of the Christian people of a particular region or time. They always include a prayer, often accompanied by a specific sign, such as the laying on of hands, the sign of the cross, or the sprinkling of holy water (which recalls Baptism).

1669 Sacramentals derive from the baptismal priesthood: every baptized person is called to be a "blessing," and to bless. (cf. Genesis 12:2; Luke 6:28; Romans 12:14;
1 Peter 3:9) Hence lay people may preside at certain blessings; the more a blessing concerns ecclesial and sacramental life, the more is its administration reserved to the ordained ministry (bishops, priests, or deacons). (cf. Vatican II, Sacrosanctum Concilium 79; Code of Canon Law , canon 1168; De Ben 16,18.)

1670 Sacramentals do not confer the grace of the Holy Spirit in the way that the sacraments do, but by the Church's prayer, they prepare us to receive grace and dispose us to cooperate with it. "For well-disposed members of the faithful, the liturgy of the sacraments and sacramentals sanctifies almost every event of their lives with the divine grace which flows from the Paschal mystery of the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Christ. From this source all sacraments and sacramentals draw their power. There is scarcely any proper use of material things which cannot be thus directed toward the sanctification of men and the praise of God." (Vatican II, Sacrosanctum Concilium 61)

Various forms of sacramentals.

1671 Among sacramentals blessings (of persons, meals, objects, and places) come first. Every blessing praises God and prays for his gifts. In Christ, Christians are blessed by God the Father "with every spiritual blessing." (Ephesians 1:3) This is why the Church imparts blessings by invoking the name of Jesus, usually while making the holy sign of the cross of Christ.

1672 Certain blessings have a lasting importance because they consecrate persons to God, or reserve objects and places for liturgical use. Among those blessings which are intended for persons - not to be confused with sacramental ordination - are the blessing of the abbot or abbess of a monastery, the consecration of virgins and widows, the rite of religious profession and the blessing of certain ministries of the Church (readers, acolytes, catechists, etc.). The dedication or blessing of a church or an altar, the blessing of holy oils, vessels, and vestments, bells, etc., can be mentioned as examples of blessings that concern objects.

1673 When the Church asks publicly and authoritatively in the name of Jesus Christ that a person or object be protected against the power of the Evil One and withdrawn from his dominion, it is called exorcism. Jesus performed exorcisms and from him the Church has received the power and office of exorcizing. (cf. Mark 1:25-26; 3:15; 6:7, 13; 16:17) In a simple form, exorcism is performed at the celebration of Baptism. The solemn exorcism, called "a major exorcism," can be performed only by a priest and with the permission of the bishop. The priest must proceed with prudence, strictly observing the rules established by the Church. Exorcism is directed at the expulsion of demons or to the liberation from demonic possession through the spiritual authority which Jesus entrusted to his Church. Illness, especially psychological illness, is a very different matter; treating this is the concern of medical science. Therefore, before an exorcism is performed, it is important to ascertain that one is dealing with the presence of the Evil One, and not an illness. (cf. Code of Canon Law , canon 1172)

You said:
My third and last question is:

  • What is the purpose of Confirmation?
  • If someone is baptized, they are filled with the Holy Spirit, so why have Confirmation
    if someone already has the Holy Spirit?
  • Is it to just allow them to work in the Church or does it say in the Bible that Confirmation is necessary to show we have served?

The Catechism tells us:

1229 From the time of the apostles, becoming a Christian has been accomplished by a journey and initiation in several stages. This journey can be covered rapidly or slowly, but certain essential elements will always have to be present:

  • proclamation of the Word
  • acceptance of the Gospel entailing conversion
  • profession of faith
  • Baptism itself
  • the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, and
  • admission to Eucharistic communion.

Baptism in necessary for salvation.  Because of Our Lord's teaching and the love of parents for their new born babies, at Baptism, the parents, who want what is best for their children, speak or stand in for their children.

The parents also have Baptismal sponsors who are people responsible for praying for the newly baptized baby and overseeing [his/her] spiritual growth. They are not the parents, but are there to assist the parents.

The Catechism tells us:

1285 Baptism, the Eucharist, and the sacrament of Confirmation together constitute the "sacraments of Christian initiation," whose unity must be safeguarded. It must be explained to the faithful that the reception of the sacrament of Confirmation is necessary for the completion of baptismal grace. For "by the sacrament of Confirmation, [the baptized] are more perfectly bound to the Church and are enriched with a special strength of the Holy Spirit. Hence they are, as true witnesses of Christ, more strictly obliged to spread and defend the faith by word and deed."

The way I would put it is:

In Baptism, the parents for the good of their baby infant, speak or stand in for their infant.

At Confirmation, the grown, hopefully, well catechized teenager is saying:

I want to be a solider for the Christ and His Church. I want to receive that fuller abundance of the Holy Spirit's grace to help me be a good Catholic Christian in this life.

At Baptism, my parents chose Jesus for me because they wanted the best for me and I couldn't choose. Now, I can choose for myself, and I'm choosing Jesus and the only Church He established on St. Peter and His successors!

You said:

  • Finally, why is the priest the only one who can directly speak to God while we the people can only speak to Him through the priest and why can sins only be forgiven through the priest?

I don't agree with that because it is by our faith and devotion to God Almighty that allows us to speak to Him directly without a priest's counsel. Yes, a pastor or priest is good to speak to for help, but Jesus made the bridge — He, Jesus, was the way to God.

  • Isn't it by our trust and belief in Him that we can speak to God directly?

First, anyone can and should [speak/pray] to God on a regular basis.

You may be confusing one priesthood for another.
There are two types of priesthood in the Church.

From the Catechism:

The one priesthood of Christ

1544 Everything that the priesthood of the Old Covenant prefigured finds its fulfillment in Christ Jesus, the "one mediator between God and men." (1 Timothy 2:5) The Christian tradition considers Melchizedek, "priest of God Most High," as a prefiguration of the priesthood of Christ, the unique "high priest after the order of Melchizedek"; (Hebrews 5:10; cf. 6:20; Genesis 14:18) "holy, blameless, unstained," (Hebrews 7:26) "by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are sanctified," (Hebrews 10:14) that is, by the unique sacrifice of the cross.

1545 The redemptive sacrifice of Christ is unique, accomplished once for all; yet it is made present in the Eucharistic sacrifice of the Church. The same is true of the one priesthood of Christ; it is made present through the ministerial priesthood without diminishing the uniqueness of Christ's priesthood: "Only Christ is the true priest, the others being only his ministers." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Hebrews 8,4)

Two participations in the one priesthood of Christ

1546 Christ, high priest and unique mediator, has made of the Church "a kingdom, priests for his God and Father." (Revelation 1:6; cf. Revelation 5:9-10; 1 Peter 2:5, 9) The whole community of believers is, as such, priestly. The faithful exercise their baptismal priesthood through their participation, each according to his own vocation, in Christ's mission as priest, prophet, and king. Through the sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation the faithful are "consecrated to be . . . a holy priesthood." (Vatican II, Lumen Gentium 10 § 1)

1547 The ministerial or hierarchical priesthood of bishops and priests, and the common priesthood of all the faithful participate, "each in its own proper way, in the one priesthood of Christ." While being "ordered one to another," they differ essentially. (Vatican II, Lumen Gentium 10 § 2.)

In what sense? While the common priesthood of the faithful is exercised by the unfolding of baptismal grace --a life of faith, hope, and charity, a life according to the Spirit--, the ministerial priesthood is at the service of the common priesthood. It is directed at the unfolding of the baptismal grace of all Christians. The ministerial priesthood is a means by which Christ unceasingly builds up and leads his Church. For this reason it is transmitted by its own sacrament, the sacrament of Holy Orders.

In the person of Christ the Head . . .

1548 In the ecclesial service of the ordained minister, it is Christ himself who is present to his Church as Head of his Body, Shepherd of his flock, high priest of the redemptive sacrifice, Teacher of Truth. This is what the Church means by saying that the priest, by virtue of the sacrament of Holy Orders, acts in persona Christi Capitis: (cf. Vatican II, Lumen Gentium 10; 28; Vatican II, Sacrosanctum Concilium 33; Christus Dominus 11; Vatican II, Presbyterorum Ordinis 2; 6.)

It is the same priest, Christ Jesus, whose sacred person his minister truly represents. Now the minister, by reason of the sacerdotal consecration which he has received, is truly made like to the high priest and possesses the authority to act in the power and place of the person of Christ himself (virtute ac persona ipsius Christi). (Pius XII, encyclical, Mediator Dei: AAS, 39 (1947) 548.)

Christ is the source of all priesthood: the priest of the old law was a figure of Christ, and the priest of the new law acts in the person of Christ. (St. Thomas Aquinas, STh III,22,4c)

Jesus instituted the [priesthood/Holy Orders] in a way that He would use the body of other men to distribute the sacramental grace we receive through the sacraments of the Church.

You may reply: But can't I confess my sins to God directly without going to a priest.

My answer: Sure you can, if it is not a serious or mortal sin, but Our Lord has instituted a sacrament for the forgiveness of sins called Confession.

You can biblically see this in John 20:19-23.

It is His wish that Christians use the priests of His Church to have their sins forgiven.
That's just a historical fact. So our answer is not an Either Or But An And Both.

With our universal priesthood we can offer all our prayers, works, joys, and sufferings daily and pray to God on a daily basis.

The priest can, and should do the same, while his ordination allows him to be a channel of divine grace from Heaven for the pilgrimaging faithful.

I hope this helps.

Take care,

Mike

Eric replied:

Hi Angelica!

Thanks for the question.

You said:
My name is Angelica. I'm 18 years old, and I am the youngest of three siblings. My mom has been married three times; my father, being her second husband, became divorced when I was almost two years old. I was baptized and raised in St. Joseph's Catholic Church when I lived with my dad but I never really knew the importance of believing in God. When I moved in with my mom in 2003, I stopped attending church because she didn't go. At the age of 17, I attended a non-denominational church. There I was re-baptized and proclaimed my faith in Christ Jesus as my Savior. I have been attending a wonderful non-denominational church for a little over a year now, and have been studying the Catholic faith. I have a few questions about the practices in the Catholic Church that I would greatly appreciate some answers to:

  • Where in the Bible does it say an infant should be baptized?

I had learned that one should decide to come to Christ on their own with the guidance of other Christian leaders when they have the ability to fully understand God Himself and Jesus Christ as their only way to salvation. Infants automatically are accepted into Heaven as the Bible states, because they have no way of truly sinning even though we are all born into sin.

In point of fact the Bible does not state that infants are automatically accepted into Heaven.
This may be an interpretation based on what is written in Scripture, but it is not stated as such there.

The first principle is that all human beings are born dead because of Adam's sin:

"Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned— ... Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who was a pattern of the one to come."

(Romans 5:12-14)

So death reigns even over infants, who are not personally guilty of sin.

All men are likewise condemned in Adam's sin (Romans 5:18). Therefore we are born separated from God and in need of redemption. There are no exceptions listed in Scripture for infants.
They are spiritually dead like everyone else.

Infant baptism is what the early church taught and lived. See the tracts below.

Here are a few answers we've given on this topic:

Here are two other good tracts from another site:

You said:

  • As my second question, where in the Bible it talks about holy water and other Sacramentals?

I was always curious as to why Catholic Churches believe they are able to bless things, and the purpose behind their blessings.

Holy Water comes from the Old Testament (Numbers 5:17). Blessings, too, are abundant in the Old Testament, and there is no reason to suppose we shouldn't do them now. For example, see:

Items in the temple were consecrated as well to make them holy. (See Exodus 30:29, 40:9-10).

You said:
My third and last question is:

  • What is the purpose of Confirmation?
  • If someone is baptized, they are filled with the Holy Spirit, so why have Confirmation
    if someone already has the Holy Spirit?
  • Is it to just allow them to work in the Church or does it say in the Bible that Confirmation is necessary to show we have served?

Confirmation is something like a personal Pentecost for the believer. It is true that we receive the Holy Spirit in Baptism, but only in part. It used to be, and still is in Eastern Churches, that Confirmation was given during Baptism. Baptism and Confirmation were separated in the West so that the bishop could have the opportunity to administer it.

What Confirmation provides that Baptism does not is the seal of the Holy Spirit, a permanent spiritual mark that says you belong to Christ. It is also an anointing that signifies the participation of the believer in the prophetic, priestly, and kingly offices of Christ. It is also symbolic because oil:

  • cleanses
  • limbers (traditionally used by athletes and wrestlers)
  • heals, and
  • makes radiant with beauty, health, and strength.

You can find the sacrament of Confirmation in the following books of the Bible:

Acts 2:1-4
Coming of the Spirit - "There appeared to them tongues as of fire."
Acts 2:38
"And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit."
Acts 8:14-17
Peter and John laid hands on those that had already been baptized and they received the Holy Spirit.
Acts 19:5-6
Paul imposed his hands on the baptized and they received the Holy Spirit.
2 Corinthians 1:21-22
"It is God who gives us, with you, a sure place in Christ and has both anointed us and marked us with his seal, giving us as pledge the Spirit in our hearts."
Ephesians 1:13
You were sealed with the promise of the Holy Spirit.
Hebrews 6:1-2
Let us leave behind us then all the elementary teaching about Christ and go on to its completion, without going over the fundamental doctrines again: the turning away from dead actions, faith in God, the teaching about baptisms and the laying-on of hands, about the resurrection of the dead and eternal judgment.
See also:
Wisdom 9:17

Interested in what the very first Christians thought, taught, and died for?
Check out what they said on this topic.

You said:
I hope these questions don't come across as offensive, I really am just trying to receive answers to questions I have in order to understand what was going on when I was attending the Catholic Church. Sadly, there are so many people my age who were born and raised in a Catholic Church and have lost their belief and faith in Christ. Most don't understand:

  • why they did the things they did, in Church, and
  • what was so special about the traditions.

Of course, I do understand the importance of the traditions practiced in the Catholic Church, (my father explained that to me), but my spiritual journey was similar to many of those people. I did not understand why I needed Christ until much later in life; when I was not practicing the Catholic faith.

  • Finally, why is the priest the only one who can directly speak to God while we the people can only speak to Him through the priest and why can sins only be forgiven through the priest?

  • Who told you that?

While the priest plays a critical role, it is not true that only the priest can speak directly to God or that we can only be forgiven through the priest. You can talk to God directly all you want — just pray! To receive most sacraments though, you need to go to the priest.

To have a mortal sin forgiven — that is a sin that cuts you off from God, which causes you to lose your salvation — you must confess that to the priest to be forgiven. (See John 20:22-23: Jesus gave his apostles the authority to forgive sins, which of course they can only do if they know what they are.)

Keep in mind that sin is not a personal issue. Your sin affects the whole community.
Read Joshua 22:20. Therefore forgiveness has to come through the community.

Eric

Eric followed-up:

Hi Angelica,

One more comment on sacramentals. This pertains more to relics but, relics are sacramentals too.

Relics.
2 Kings 13:20-21
Contact with Elisha's bones restored life.
Acts 5:15-16
Cures performed through Peter's shadow.
Acts 19:11-12
Cures through face cloths that touched Paul.

Interested in what the very first Christians thought, taught, and died for?
Check out what they said on this topic.

"God did extraordinary miracles through Paul, so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them."

Acts 19:11-12

"Once while some Israelites were burying a man, suddenly they saw a band of raiders; so they threw the man's body into Elisha's tomb. When the body touched Elisha's bones, the man came to life and stood up on his feet."

2 Kings 13:21

Eric

Angelica replied:

Hi Eric and Mike,

I just wanted to thank you both for your help in answering my questions. It's troubling to finally have faith in Christ and then be misdirected. I am still a bit confused as to the point of baptizing infants. I noticed there are a bunch of e-mails from other people on that topic. I guess it's just difficult to accept.

  • If Confirmation is the official acceptance of Christ in a believer's life, then why baptize them when they are infants?
  • If an infant is baptized but grows to the Confirmation age and doesn't believe, or grew up not really believing in God, at all, than what then?
  • Does that person still go to Heaven?
  • Did they cut themselves off from God?

In the end, we will all be judged.

God Bless,

Angelica Pianalto

Eric replied:

HI Angelica,

You said:
Hi Eric and Mike,

I just wanted to thank you both for your help in answering my questions. It's troubling to finally have faith in Christ and then be misdirected. I am still a bit confused as to the point of baptizing infants.

Oh sorry, I should have better explained the Catholic view of Baptism.

Your non-denominational church's view of Baptism is that Baptism is merely a public sign that you believe. It's like a profession of faith. This does not explain however why the Ethiopian eunuch was baptized in private (Acts 8:37-38).

  • If it's a public declaration of belief before the community, then how can it be done in private?

Baptism makes us partakers of Christ's death and life (Romans 6:3-8). It is the washing that gives us rebirth (see John 3:5) and renewal (Titus 3:5). It saves us just like the ark of old saved Noah and his family (1 Peter 3:20). Baptism, therefore, is the beginning of our Christian life where we receive the life of Christ. We baptize infants so that they may be saved and have this new life, and receive the Holy Spirit as well. The fate of unbaptized infants who die is undetermined.

You said:
I noticed there are a bunch of e-mails from other people on that topic. I guess it's just difficult to accept.

  • If Confirmation is the official acceptance of Christ in a believer's life, then why baptize them when they are infants?

No, Confirmation is not the official acceptance of Christ in a believer's life. That would be Baptism, at least for an adult.

Sometimes Confirmation is portrayed as a rite of passage but historically this is not the way it has been understood. It is the Sealing with the Holy Spirit.

You said:

  • If an infant is baptized but grows to the Confirmation age and doesn't believe, or grew up not really believing in God, at all, than what then?
  • Does that person still go to Heaven?

No, a person who does not believe will be judged like any other non-believer regardless of whether they are baptized.

You said:

  • Did they cut themselves off from God?

Yes.

Eric

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