Culture At Large

De-Baptism

Jerod Clark

There's been quite a few articles written lately about a trend in England where people, apparently 100,000 plus, are becoming de-baptized.  The current attention probably comes from the fact that National Secular Society is selling official certificates to denounce baptism.  (They're the same group who did a bus ad campaign with the slogan, "There's probably no God.  Stop worrying and enjoy life")  The Church of England has brought a little of the attention to themselves as well telling folks who want to be taken off the baptism records the church doesn't remove names, but can make amendments if someone makes a public statement saying they want to be de-baptized.

In all of the publicity, there are some real issues to look at.  Of course there's the debate of infant versus adult baptisms.  Those who are fans of child dedications say baptism should be reserved for when someone is old enough to make their own commitment to Christ.  In the child baptism realm,de -baptism is sort of the natural opposite to making a commitment to Christ as an adult.  Parents made a decision for the child.  They grow up and are old enough to say they don't believe.  While it's not what we would hope for, it's what happens.  And there are eternal consequences.

For me, I'm less concerned about how many people buy a de-baptism certificate and more focused about how to reach out to these people who are clearly in need.  One of the Christian responses I've seen online is the "I am a Christian" campaign.  It's a website where people can declare their faith.  But is this the right response?  Is it appropriate to say, "Oh you don't believe?  Tough for you.  I do.  I'm saved. See, my name's on a website"  I would guess it's this kind of reaction that turned off many of the de-baptism folks in the first place.

What are your thoughts on the de-baptism movement?  How should we react as Christians?

Topics: Culture At Large, Theology & The Church, Other Religions