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« Selective Syncretism | Main | Love, Humility and Reconciliation »

June 09, 2005


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This image displays the power of our beliefs. Christianity is based on generational continuity. We find throughout the Scriptures sayings like speak this to your children as you rise up in the way… this is to be done by all generations… ask your fathers they will tell you… etc. No other religion ( except Judaism and Islam both formed from the Bible) speak about teaching or passing along to the next generation. Reincarnation holds not continuity. Soul annihilation does not either.

One could argue that rites of passage are generational. Even though instruction on living and inclusion into adulthood drives these rites the depth of responsibility for Eternity pictured does not.

We in passing on the image of our Creator through dedication or Baptism, depending on ones tradition, are doing more then bringing one into a stage of life, we are surrendering our gift to the giver of that gift and excepting the stewardship of caring, protecting, and preparing that gift our fruit the child of intimacy for service to Yahweh at the completion of the solemn task. At the completion of the task we then stand beside the next generation and together…
Pastor Art

Great words, Pastor Art! I agree with you competely.

The picture is beautiful, thought provoking, and filled with hope for tomorrow.



PS: Chris, thanks for this series of images. Each image has caused me to examine what I feel and why. Great exercise!



Oh yeah! this is the one ... a triumphant finish to a great series. Shalom!

Infant baptism without the water? Much of the same content - the desire to entrust the child to Christ, a commitment to raise the child in the faith, the call of the church to participate in the faith of the child. The children of Israel were included in the covenant promises through circumcision though they had no choice in the matter. And any circumcised Israelite could walk away from that covenant. Infant baptism is an inclusion onto the covenant with the body of Christ, a covenant that hte child can walk away from. But essentially the content of child dedication is baptism without the water. Get some water!

"Infant baptism without the water?"

Well, Fr. Matt -- most protestant evangelicals practice infant/child "dedication" rather than baptism. In this case, the pastor is annointing the child with oil (notice the bottle of olive oil being held in the photo). As you've already pointed out, infant baptisms and baby dedications share some common purposes.

As a Free Methodist, we offer parents the choice of either: baptism or dedication. In fact, if a person who grows up believing chooses to claim their infant baptism as satisfying the baptism requirement for adult membership, they can (though most prefer to observe what many call a "believers baptism").

I'm seeing more and more protestant evangelicals, however, not only desiring baptism for their infants, but the blessing of "godparents" as well.

Heavenly Father, we thank you that by water and the Holy Spirit you have bestowed upon these your servants the forgiveness of sin, and have raised them to the new life of grace. Sustain them, O Lord, in your Holy Spirit. Give them an inquiring and discerning heart, the courage to will and to persevere, a spirit to know and to love you, and the gift of joy and wonder in all your works. Amen.

This child is sealed by the Holy Spirit in Baptism and marked as Christ's own for ever. Amen.

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