I am wondering about the rationale for these types of services, however. I wonder if my readers may have thoughts to contribute on the subject.
I realize that such services are a bit of a staple in evangelical/fundamental church circles. There are several reasons why I am against them.
- They seem to me to be a holdover from the infant baptism error of church tradition.
- They seem to be entered into as a matter of superstition, especially among unchurched adherents or sporadic attenders of a church.
- They do nothing for the infant.
- The Bible nowhere gives any precedent or command for such services.
One of my former pastors seemed to sense the problems with a ‘child-dedication’ service, so would do a ‘parent dedication’ service. I suppose there is nothing wrong with this, if the parents are really dedicating themselves… but I am not sure what the show in front of the church has to do with a private commitment to our holy God. And again, many of those who seek this kind of service are doing it to satisfy some superstitious sense of obligation to God, but are really undedicated to living the Christ life on a daily basis. They are using the service as kind of a ‘good luck charm’ to compensate for their lack of personal dedication and discipleship. They reduce God to a tribal deity.
Yes, I understand there are sincere and devoted Christians who ask for these services as well. Why? Probably out of ‘tradition’. The fact is the presence or absence of such a dedication service will make no difference in the spiritual life of the child.
So… just wondering what others think. (And hoping to get our minds of the latest internet hysteria!)