The boys were “dedicated” at the 5pm service at Bethlehem last night, October 17.
We both have many Roman Catholic family members (and a few Minnesota Lutherans!), so here’s just a brief explanation on this seemingly odd practice.
As baptists (we spell it with a lowercase “b”), we think that baptism should be reserved for those who express faith in Jesus and confess him, and his saving death on the cross, as the only hope for us sinners being saved from God’s just wrath.
We acknowledge that being born into a Christian family is a significant blessing (it’s hard to overstate how significant), but we know that this in and of itself doesn’t provide salvation. The Bible is clear that each individual must believe in Jesus for him- or herself; we can’t bank on our parents’ faith.
So we baptists don’t baptize our infants (we wait till they can believe in Jesus and the gospel for themselves and provide “a credible profession” of their faith), but we still think it’s worth marking that the child will be raised in a believing home and so exposed early in life to the gospel, and raised in a church that loves the gospel.
“Dedication” marks that for us baptists and gives us an opportunity as a church to pray for the eventual salvation of our little ones, as well as vow as parents that we will do our best, with God’s help, to raise our kids to know Jesus and embrace the gospel.
Here are the 5 promises that we answered “I do” to last night, while holding Carson and Cole and standing before our families and church:
Question 1: Do you recognize these children as the gifts of God and give heartfelt thanks for God’s blessing?
Question 2: Do you now dedicate your children to Jesus who gave them to you, surrendering all worldly claims upon their lives in the hope that they will belong wholly to God?
Question 3: Do you pledge as parents that, with God’s fatherly help, you will bring up your children “in the discipline and instruction” of Jesus, making every reasonable effort, with patience and love, to build the gospel, godly character, and the joy of Jesus into their lives?
Question 4: Do you promise to provide, through God’s blessing, for the physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual needs of your children, looking to your own heavenly Father for the wisdom, love, and strength to serve them and not use them?
Question 5: Do you promise, God helping you, to make it your regular prayer that, by God’s grace, your children will come to trust in Jesus alone for the forgiveness of their sins and for the fulfillment of all his promises to them, even eternal life—and in this faith follow Jesus as Lord and obey his teachings?
After the vows, Pastor Sam put his hand of each of the boys, first on Carson, then on Cole, and said these words of dedication:
Together with your parents, who love you dearly, and this people who care about the outcome of your faith, I dedicate you to God, surrendering together with them all worldly claims upon your life, in the hope that you will belong wholly to Jesus forever.
So there’s the “dedication.” Some may find it interesting; for the rest, here’s some pics below. For all, please pray for us, and for Carson and Cole, that in God’s perfect timing, they would come to see themselves as sinners in need of Jesus’ saving help for all eternity.
Thank you for all your prayers, love, and support!