Baby Savannah was dedicated to the Lord yesterday. For those who do not know or understand this practice, let me explain. Babies were never baptized in the Scripture. In the Bible the only people who were baptized were those who understood what it meant to repent of your sins and have them remitted in Jesus’ name in water baptism. The baptism of infants, baptism by sprinkling, saying the words “In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost” instead of “in Jesus’ name” when baptizing, the doctrine of the triune Godhead, the teaching of Purgatory and Limbo, and many others were brought into the mainstream church by the Roman Emperor Constantine in 325 A.D. as part of his attempt to reconcile the religions of the Roman Empire with the Christians, who had been savagely persecuted until then. The old church fathers, the apostles, were dead as was the generation after them and the generation after that and there was almost no one that really knew what had been taught and why. Compromise was seen as a good way to bring peace to the world but instead plunged the world into the dark ages and these unscriptural doctrines were taught as fact for so long that no one really investigated the Scriptures (no one could read or write) to find out what the early apostles actually did teach. Any who did so and questioned anything were persecuted as heretics. (Certain of these “heretics” later came to this continent and eventually founded the United States.)
Sometimes it is explained to relatives that this is what we do instead of baptizing the baby because that is the frame of reference that they can understand, but we do not believe in baptizing babies and this is really not a substitute for that. We do believe in dolling them up for the occasion though. Melissa J, the pastor’s daughter (known to some as “Missy” J), made sure she had the most beautiful dress you ever saw a baby in. It was equal in beauty to any Christening gown I have ever seen. Pix will be posted as soon as possible. I think, instead of “grampaw” or “bumpa” or “poppy” Savannah will probably call me “Poppy-razzi” because I am always making a camera flash in her face. I can’t help it.
The dedication of an infant unto the Lord is different. You can see in the examples of Samuel and Baby Jesus and the Scriptures they were following that this was a common practice. The parents bring the baby to the front of the church along with other family members and by prayer offer the baby to God (unlike the vile heathen that actually sacrifices his first-born). The baby is handed to the pastor, who prays for her. Then he hands the baby to a grandparent or other stander-by (in this case Isabel’s mom) and after speaking about the responsibility of raising the child in the right way and encouraging, not only the parents but the rest of the family to help with this, he lays hands on both parents and prays for them.
In this case Pastor J talked about when we first came here and how Ben was a little boy. After he speaks to the parents and lays hands on them and prays for them, he takes the baby from the person holding her and presents her back to the parents as a gift from the Lord with the admonition again that this child was given to God and given to them to be raised up in the ways of the Lord.
It is a beautiful ceremony, especially when the people involved are serious and sincere and it was a beautiful service all around. The visitors were certain that it was all pre-planned, even though it wasn’t. The special song Sis Deanna chose, without knowing the dedication was going to happen, was a stirring and soulful version of the child’s song “Jesus Loves Me.” This was followed by preaching from a guest preacher, Bro Buczynski, who preached about how God is our Father and the responsibilities that fathers have to their children, again, unplanned, except by the Holy Ghost, who plans far better than any human does.
Don’t forget, the Good Book says, “And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God…”