Caitlin is Baptized
This past month, we had the joy of having Caitlin baptized, welcoming her into the covenant community of the Christian church. Baby Molly, the daughter of our friends Chris and Paige was baptized at the same time. A fellow missionary videotaped the event and I include it below. The video is all in Thai and I am afraid that I haven't had time to add English subtitles.
Pastor Natee, who did the baptism, had some really helpful comments about the nature of baptism that got me thinking. First, people are baptized not because of what they have done but in recognition of what God has done. Therefore, in the case of people who come to Christ and are baptized as adults, they are baptized in recognition of God's work in their life, regenerating their heart and granting them faith and repentance. They are baptized because it is evident that God has chosen to bring them into the fold of the Christian church. Baptism welcomes them into the visible church because God has already brought them into the invisible church.
In the case of infants, baptism is in recognition of the fact that God is blessing them by causing them to be born to Christian parents and into fold of the Christian church, or covenant community if you will. Baptism is not a declaration that they are saved but a recognition that God has made these children part of the spiritual community that are the special recipients of God's promises. God is blessing these children by putting them in a family and in a community where they will hear the Gospel and partake of the benefits of being in a Christian home and church. The hope of their parents and the entire church is that as these children grow up, they will understand the Gospel and the promises and obligations of being part of God's people, which will lead to true faith in their creator God. Understood and practiced properly (i.e. Biblically), infant baptism does not lull people into thinking they are already saved, but rather reminds them of God's great promises and great grace towards them and calls them to respond with faith and repentance.