Musings on Baptism, part 5

Of the two generally recognized canonical sacraments, baptism and the Eucharist, it is worth noting that baptism is passive. We receive baptism. We cannot baptize ourselves. The Eucharist, on the other hand, is more active in that we “take and eat.”[1] A priest can commune himself after consecrating the elements himself. You can’t self-baptize.

If baptism is the action which “brings us into” the church, we can’t bring ourselves in. We have to be brought in. If we concede that baptism is a passive act—we submit to it, does that not strengthen the case for infant baptism? If we are to come like a child—in submission because forces bigger than us are compelling us—then is not the baptism of infants the legitimate sign of this submission?

[1] Matthew 26:26


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