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 Vol. 4, No. 8 

August, 2002

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Baptizing the Children of the Members

By Dennis Gulledge

Dennis Gulledge Parenthood is the toughest job that anyone will ever love. The responsibilities are endless and the challenges are weighty. The greatest responsibility belonging to any parent who is a Christian is the task of bringing up a child who will render his life in obedience to the Lord. It has always been a serious matter of contemplation for parents (Deuteronomy 6:6-7; Proverbs 22:6.) Our job includes helping them to know the Scriptures which are able to make them wise unto salvation (2 Timothy 3:15.) We must spend the time necessary to be the main spiritual tutor of our children, more so than the preacher or Bible class teacher (Ephesians 6:4.)

There is no joy on earth comparable to that of watching a son or daughter obey the Lord in baptism and begin his or her walk in faith with Christ. I will never forget the day when I was privileged to immerse my two oldest daughters into Christ. Other parents have shared the same joy as they have witnessed their children obey the Gospel of Christ. Lately, we noted the obedience of a number of precious young souls as they have recently committed their lives to the blood bought way of salvation in Christ.

It amazes me when I detect in some people a discouraging note that would render such events as little more than trivial. It seems to be the attitude of some that conversions are more noteworthy if they come from people who have no background connection with churches of Christ. The impression is left by some that if we are baptizing the children of the members of the church then we are falling short of true evangelism. I recall reading with shock an article written by a brother which suggested that our growth in the church is coming more through "human propagation" (conversion of our own children) and less through evangelism. I am amazed! Is teaching our children the Gospel and converting them to Christ something less than real evangelism? Is it equal to ineptness on our part? Is it really "human propagation"?

It is no secret that we in the Lord's church have not seen the numerical growth that we would like to have seen in the last couple of decades. One primary reason for such a shortcoming may be that we have not been teaching and baptizing our children. The world has been winning the battle for our children. Would anyone dare suggest that the obedience of our young people is of lesser importance than one who is converted out of atheism, paganism or denominationalism?

If we are not teaching at home, then what qualifies us to teach anywhere else? If we are not teaching at home, we cannot be effective preachers (2 Timothy 1:5-6.) If we are not teaching at home, we cannot have men qualified to be elders, for they must have faithful children (Titus 1:6.) If we are not teaching at home, we are not obeying God's Word (2 Timothy 2:2; Ephesians 6:4.) If we are not teaching at home, we are not saving souls, and evangelism does begin at home.Image

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