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(RNS) Baptism rates are in steady decline for U.S. Catholics, Southern Baptists and others. Will high profile attention to the ritual from the Archbishop of Canterbury to the pope inspire a change?

42 Comments

  1. Schools. We don’t always strongly support Catholic Schools. We have closed so many and not encouraged their use.

    Strong schools are important to the kind of faith formation that gives you a sense of community. The education you receive practicing your faith at school creates wiser adults whose faith is part of their every day lives and identity.

    Support and use the schools, you’ll make a stronger church.

    • elizabeth alfonso

      I believe that what we need at this time is a strong free religious education program funded by parishioners. Let the government pay for their education, we take care of the religious aspect of life. Until parishioners understand that education is one of their mission (to fund schools from their sacrificial offerings), more schools will close down. Indifference/apathy from the faithful is the biggest problem of the church right bow.

  2. This is a very positive trend indeed. I can only hope that parochial school participation drops until they have to shutter their doors. Brain washing children is bad for society.

    • So, are you arguing that brainwashing does not occur in public schools? And exactly to what type of inculcating / brainwashing do you refer? Most studies show that students from parochial schools do far better on testing in math, science and other core areas than public school students… so, not following your point.

  3. Nothing in the article defines Baptism….what is it and what is its importance?
    Firstly Baptism does not Save a person.
    It identifies the person with the death and Resurection of Christ Jesus, their hope just as Jesus raised from the dead. they too will be resurrected.
    One does not have to be baptised to be saved but once a person who has come to Faith, they often desire to be batptised.
    Johns Baptism was a baptism of water for Repentence of dead works.
    Jesus was not baptised for Repentence but to fullfil the Jewish law to be a High Priest before giving Himself as a sacrifice as only a High Priest could give a sacrifice for the people and the nation.
    Psalms 110 was the prophecy and the bood of Hebrews chapter 7 explain this,
    There are many Baptisms mentioned in the Bible,,,
    Faith is an expectant hope based upon whom you choose to believe,
    Biblical faith is believeing in the promises of God apart from self works.

  4. Depressing. Whichever way you cut the cake, organized religion is going down. Organized religion provides the buildings and ceremonies–without it we just have less good stuff. Organized religion can’t force you to do anything–to believe or behave in any way. It just provides goodies–buildings and rituals. What’s the problem?

  5. Patrick Gormley

    We must ask if we have the right to discriminate, at least in our hearts, against a baby on religious grounds. After all faith is not certainty. Do you have the right to hurt over belief?

    Talk about a mere ceremony incorporating a baby into Christianity which claims to be the religion revealed by God definitely implies that the ceremony matters more than religious faith. It implies that babies not baptised are deprived or inferior. Welby’s attitude to baptism like the Catholic attitude needs to be seen for the nastiness it is. Catholicism holds that a baby is estranged from God and therefore evil until baptism.

    • Comment marked as low quality by the editors. Show comment

      Mr. Gormley, your logic doesn’t hold up. You have said that baptism means more than faith; the Church has not said that. You say that unbaptized babies are estranged from God and therefore evil. The Church does not say that. Where did you get your ideas about sacramental theology and Church teaching? Certainly not from the Church itself.

    • Mr. Gormley, the Church does not teach that baptism is more important than faith, nor does it teach that unbaptized babies are “evil.” How had you come to this misunderstanding?

  6. Joseph Prince is coming to America in November, sold out in Dallas. He teaches the Gospel of Grace to the world and has a 20,000 plus member church in Singapore.

    People are leaving traditional church because we’ve realized how they’ve twisted the Gospel to build serfdoms for themselves by mixing works with faith, just like the Catholic church.

    The Gospel is pure Faith, Grace and Freedom. No works, no law, no rituals, no costumes, no pretending.

    • Charles, do you not see the irony in condemning “serfdoms” (and I believe you meant “fiefdoms”) in the same sentence as praising a megachurch-owning, fundamentalist, “Rockstar” TV minister?

      And our Master Christ Jesus commands us to perform Good Works and says we will be judged based solely on our deeds, not based on our mere ecstatic utterances (“Lord, Lord!”) and tearful, wordy prayers or expecting God’s “grace” to do the works FOR us without us living a finger. Your faith is the “Other Gospel” Mr. Prince and other modern hucksters are preaching. Christendom has been subverted and warped by these hirelings.

  7. Bottom photo is NOT a baptism.
    GOD’s word defines baptism.
    Either GOD’s word is true or everyone who calls himself a Christian is a fool.
    And anyone who thinks they can “tweak” GOD’s word to fit their own belief is going to be very sorry when they are called on to explain it.

  8. Comment marked as low quality by the editors. Show comment

    Webmaster, when my first comment to Mr. Gormley did not post, I wrote a different, shorter reply. Then I made the mistake of hitting the “Report Abuse” button. I apologize and prefer that the first of my replies to Mr. Gormley be removed in the interest of brevity.

    Sincerely, Duane Lamers

  9. Plummeting baby baptisms, at least, can easily be explained. It’s because many more people are becoming wise to vile Augustinian lie that says babies that are unbaptized will somehow go straight to eternal torment if they die. The doctrine – shared by Catholics and neo-Catholic Protestants alike – is repugnant and defies Reason as well as Scripture.

  10. My daughter (who went to Catholic schools for all but one year) did not have her daughter baptized, because she didn’t want her “indoctrinated.” I did not have a problem with that, because I figured if God wanted this child to be a Catholic, God would reel her in the way God reeled me in: at the age of ten, with no Catholic upbringing at all. (Not exactly infant baptism, and not exactly RCIA either.) My ex-husband, however, apparently didn’t trust God enough to do anything, and baptized the child in the kitchen sink while her parents were out. That to my mind had nothing to do with faith, and was purely the result of superstition and a bizarre concept of God as a mugger, not to mention a complete disregard for the parents’ wishes.

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