Should a Christian attend an infant baptism at a Roman Catholic church? I have gotten conflicting advice in my church (editor’s note: in the Philippines) regarding this issue. Some say its ok some say it is not, because of the false doctrine of infant baptism that we should refute.
This is what some call a “grey area.” What I mean is that there is no absolute clear cut biblical answer to what to do in this kind of situation. I am sure some could come up with a proof scripture that you should not attend an infant baptism, but I think such “proof” would be questionable–probably taken out of context. Of course, you disagree with the Roman Catholic teaching that a person can be saved by baptism as an infant. This is because you believe that faith and repentance must precede salvation and, therefore, must also precede baptism. Clearly infant baptism is not biblical and is a dangerous false doctrine.
Having said that, here is my thought, for what it is worth. Your family should know that you do not agree with this doctrine. You should let them know in a loving yet clear way what you believe on the topic and, if the opportunity arises, you may even share the biblical passages which support your belief. However, the time to do this is not at an infant baptism. To confront this issue in the middle of an important family event is probably to be very insensitive and rude. I believe that as long as your close family members are aware that you do not agree with this doctrine, you should be willing to attend the ceremony as a way to support your family emotionally and as a way to be part of the family. If they are not aware, perhaps you should plan on saying something in the near future, but not now, in the immediate context of the ceremony. I think you will win your family over more by gentle love and by patient persuasion than by making a “statement” by refusing to attend this ceremony. You may get different advice from others and perhaps in a particular situation it is best to refuse to attend. I would say that under certain circumstances my advice would be different (for example, if they are already persecuting you heavily over this doctrine), but I do not know your situation. So, please take this generic advice for what it is worth, search your heart, get advice from local Christians who you trust and then make your own decision on what is clearly a “grey area.”