Monday, January 08, 2007

Question of the Day

Suppose that you are the pastor of a church. Among your members is a lesbian couple of 10 years who have conceived to a child through artificial means and seek to have the child baptized by you. What do you do?

13 comments:

Dan Trabue said...

Agree to baptize the child but then drown the abomination in the baptismal waters?

This is an easy one:

Baptize the beloved child, of course, and celebrate the beloved family's joy with great singing and shouting of praise!

John said...

That was pretty much my answer, too, although I had to argue for it from Wesleyan theology.

Anonymous said...

:) I was going to comment, but I see the commenting has already been done quite effectively and humorously, as usual ;)

Anonymous said...

Absolutely. Prevenient grace, brother...it's all about prevenient grace.

Keith Taylor said...

I'm one of those UM that thinks baptism if infants and children does nothing for the soul of the child.

Tell them to come back when the child can decide for him or herself. :-)

Alright, alright.

You have to baptize the child. Of course you do. Just like Dan and Keith said.

Dan Trabue said...

"Tell them to come back when the child can decide for him or herself. :-)"

Well, I may have to change my vote...

As an anabaptist, I lean towards adult decisions and therefore rather prefer Keith2's answer above. BUT, if I were a Methodist pastor, I'd baptize 'em.

John said...

Instead of verbally brawling over war or homosexuality, let's get into it over infant/believers baptism!

Anonymous said...

definitely baptize the child! baptism welcomes the child beyond his/her nuclear family and into the wider church family. our wesleyan understanding of baptism is that this child would now be in a covenant relationship with a whole family of believers who now take on the responsibility of bringing up that child as a community. through that baptism God could be at work through a community so that this child would be ready to make a decision for him/herself whenever they are of age and ready to choose for themselves.

the way i see it if you don't have a problem with homosexuality then obviously one would not have a problem with this AND if one does have a problem with homosexuality then baptism offers the child extended parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, etc... etc...

Tim Sisk said...

Baptize the child. The harder question is this: Two parents, Yog-Sothoth and Nagoob, present their child to be baptized. When you ask the name of the baptized you are told, "Cthulhu". Does it matter to you that Nagoob is androgynous? And would you perform their wedding ceremony if asked?

For those who don't get the reference...

John B said...

I agree with Jonathon, get some other family member who to accept the vows. The parents cannot in good conscious say that they will lead the child to discipleship by example when they are living in a relationship that is incompatible with Christian teaching. It's no different than children of heterosexual parents who are unmarried.

If we're going to baptize children regardless of what the sponsoring adults believe or what their lifestyle is, then let's set up baptismal fonts in the local mall and offer to baptize any child that happens by, that way we'll be dispensing grace to all.

Dan Trabue said...

"The parents cannot in good conscious say that they will lead the child to discipleship by example when they are living in a relationship that is incompatible with Christian teaching."

They can if they disagree with your presumption that they are living in a relationship that is incompatible with Christian teaching. Incompatible with Methodist teaching? I'm not a methodist and don't know.

But Christians are not in agreement on the sinful nature of gay marriages, says this Christian who attends a church with many gay families who are wonderful brothers and sisters in Christ and excellent parents, all.

DannyG said...

Every child is a child of God, reguardless of parentage. The Baptism is for the child, not the family.

Anonymous said...

john b sets up a false choice. The decision to baptize a child in this situation does not require the setting up of baptismal fonts at the mall.

Although, that might be a good idea.

I hear this kind of argument all the time. If you do x, then you might as well do y (which is always an outrageous extreme - like our Cthulu joke.)

We are always in tension between legalism and laxity. We are always negotiating these cliffs on the issues that stir up the denomination. That is why the stir us up. If they were simple from everyone's point of view, there would be little excitement.

We had an interesting talk at Disciple last night about the way that the big issue 30 years ago was divorce. That was the thing that was going to kill the church or split it.

Maybe the church does not have the flexibility or vibrancy to survive such heated passions these days, but we surely have faced divisive issues that get to the heart of what it means to be a Christian.