Yesterday, I posed the question should we always baptise? I began by saying as a loyal priest within the Church in Wales I never turned people away.
One of the comments made was by someone is becoming a very good friend of mine. She writes from her own perspective.
That almost made me cry. It’s a sad thing that Baptisms are just seen as ‘the done thing’. I will not Baptise my children for I am an atheist, it’s just an excuse for the family to have a knees up and I respect the Christian faith much more than that. My children will be educated and exposed to faiths of all kinds and I will leave the decision in their hands. Those who Baptise their children should do so because they wish their children to follow their faith, to be recognised by God as one of his, to follow in Jesus’ teachings and for the Godparents to guide them through Christianity. There are other naming ceremonies that are better suited to having a knees up with the family and placing extra responsibilities on favoured friends and relatives that do not take Christianity in vain. I think you should be allowed to say to people that they are not committed enough to Christianity to be eligible for Baptism. Perhaps then it can get back to being the sacred ceremony it should be and not just a fashion statement!
I write hesitantly, as I find myself in complete agreement with my friend’s comments. I realise now that I baptise to engage in mission. Baptism used to be as a result of mission occurring.
I am perhaps a little further away this evening from good baptismal praxis.