Does the Bible validate the practice of baptizing children?

In none of the gospel accounts commonly cited as the basis for child baptism is any such ceremony evidenced (Matt. 19:13-14; Mark 9:36-37; Luke 18:15-17). Parents had brought their children to Christ and He laid His hands on them and blessed them. Nothing in these scriptures states that these children were baptized.

Many denominations cite Acts 2:38-39 as validation of child baptism. But by carefully reading this scripture, one can see that children were not being baptized. The apostle Peter stated, “For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call” (vs. 39). He was speaking directly to those present (“you”), and referring to those who were not present (“your children…all that are afar off” [in other words, those whom God would call in the future]).

The apostle Paul stated, “When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things” (I Cor. 13:11). There are things that children understand and there are things that cannot be understood by children. The process of Christian conversion is not something that a person is equipped to understand as a child. Just as children do not practice medicine or law, or undertake certain other endeavors or responsibilities, because they, as yet, lack proper understanding of such things and, hence, appreciation of their seriousness, the same is true of Christianity.

Paul likened Christianity to a race: “Know you not that they which run in a race run all, but one receives the prize? So run, that you may obtain” (I Cor. 9:24). He also compared it to warfare: “(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds;)” (II Cor. 10:4). In Luke 14:28, Christ asked, “For which of you, intending to build a tower, sits not down first, and counts the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?” Young children cannot possibly understand what it means to run the Christian race and fight the Christian fight, carefully “counting the cost” of living “by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God” (Matt. 4:4).

Nowhere in Scripture do we find an example of the baptism of a child or infant. In Proverbs 22:6, parents are instructed to “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” If parents properly raise their children, teaching them God’s Way, then when the time comes for them to make their own decisions, they will be able to make the right ones. As Jeremiah 31:29 shows, we are responsible for the consequences of our own actions. A child’s baptism, orchestrated by the parents and attendant clergy, is not considered valid by God. “No man can come to Me, except the Father which has sent Me draw him…no man can come unto Me, except it were given unto him of My Father” (John 6:44, 65).

Christ Himself was baptized as an adult (Matt. 3:16; Mark 1:9; Luke 3:21-23; John 1:32-33). True Christians are those who follow His example (I Pet. 2:21).

Do people twist John 6:44, 65 into a “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks” argument, to validate child baptism? (i.e., “God would have to work with you, as an adult, a little harder”? But, twist it a little further, and, either women are not even in the equation—or—they don’t have to be called…it’s a given for them.