This morning I heard a very insightful Freudian slip by one of our vicars during an infant sprinkling “baptism” ceremony. The
«Fight valiantly as a disciple of Christ against sin, the world and the devil»
from the Church of England liturgy got contracted into
«Fight valiantly as a disciple of Christ and the devil…»
How telling and unintentionally revealing! Because this is exactly what we’re doing: intermingling faith, here expressed by baptism, with the devil’s scheming, having the parents and congregation, by vainly deluded substitution, declare their faith on behalf of the child, lulling parents into some sense of security that their child may already somehow be “saved” by proxy, and/or putting a weight on their shoulders to somehow bring about a faithful child.
The decision for getting baptised should always be for an individual of suitable age to be made for themselves. At least the particular Anglican church I visit these days does offer adult baptisms by immersion in a pool, or for those who had this inane sprinkling ceremony performed over them as in infant, “affirmations” by immersion, terminology that may be deemed important to avoid the perception of “Anabaptist” heresy, yet it is a submersion symbolising death to sin and resurrection in Christ, made real for a conscious individual on his or her own volition.
I am amazed how the Father in His grace still often blesses actions that are doctrinally off, tainted by paganism, selfishness and our general depravity. He recognises that in this world we are much deluded in most things we do, yet sees the heart and brings His chosen ones through the webs of lies. Our part is to remain open to learn and be “disluded”, which may involve disillusionment, but also a new perspective, deeper understanding, and better access to obedience.