Truth Community Church and the Baptism of Children
We love children and affirm salvation is available to every child who comes to Christ. The Lord is gracious to children and said, “The kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these” (Matthew 19:13-15). Christ saves many at a young age. We rejoice in that manifestation of His mercy. We preach the gospel to children and encourage their every expression of faith.
Yet we are mindful of other biblical truth as well. Scripture repeatedly warns against the dangers of false assurance and self-deception (e.g., Matthew 7:21-27; James 1:22-25; 1 John 2:4). Children are not exempt from those dangers. They are vulnerable to sincere but misguided spiritual impulses that do not necessarily express saving faith—while lacking the development to examine themselves to see whether they are truly in the faith (cf. 2 Corinthians 13:5).
We protect them from their innate vulnerability by refusing to hurry them to baptism at their first interest in Christ. We prefer to be alongside parents, teaching children over time, and allowing them room to manifest the sustained fruit of true repentance. If a child persists in the desire for baptism in that environment, the proper timing will become evident to everyone concerned.
This position serves Christian parents as they raise their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4). It allows them to help the child see over time whether his/her life is consistent with conversion and avoids a premature baptism that might confuse the issue.
A truly converted child will not lose the desire to be baptized. God works in a true Christian’s heart to promote the desire for obedience (Philippians 1:6; 2:13). By contrast, a child who loses interest in baptism and obedience to the Lord was simply never truly converted. In such cases, time proves the child never should have been baptized at all.
Genuine conversion and lifelong discipleship to Christ are infinitely more important than early baptism. Thus, we believe there is wisdom in the general practice of postponing baptism until the early to mid-teen years, at the earliest.