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What is the fate of unbaptized babies?


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#41 Bryan J. Maloney

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Posted 02 April 2011 - 05:19 PM

Why do you have to always come up with the worse case scenario?


Those scenarios show the limits and the weaknesses of claims and models, especially those that appear to have an absolute solution to everything.

people who are not white enough and so on?


Now you accuse me of racism. Give a direct quote wherein I "vented" anything at all about "people who are not white enough". I want the direct quote--or is false accusation just how you lash out at someone who doesn't just bow his head at everything you write?

#42 Guillermo M.L.

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Posted 02 April 2011 - 06:23 PM

Saint Nephon had a vision of the Last Judgment and here is some part of that vision:

p. 71, Stories, Sermons, and Prayers of St. Nephon: an Ascetic Bishop.


It is quite interesting the vision of Saint Nephon, quite food for thought. Seems intriguing that the virtuous unbaptized are admitted into Heaven but unable to see anything.

It makes me wonder: if Holy Baptism is so necessary for every soul, wouldn't it be better to compulsorily baptize everybody? It seems from this vision and from other opinions of the Fathers exposed in this thread, that baptized people who have led an unvirtuous life will fare better in the afterlife that unbaptized people, no matter how virtuous their life may have been.

#43 Paul Cowan

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Posted 02 April 2011 - 07:24 PM

We have all fallen far from the Tree of Life. Man is corrupt. God alone knows the heart of man and His decision is final. Christ told us to baptise in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

If parents today do not do so, it is not up to us or the church to condemn. God's mercy will take care of all believers and unbelievers in the place He finds them. WE know what we are told to do. WE need to do it. For those outside the church or that find themselves having babies in the middle of the woods far from civilization and the child dies, then God will provide.

We are to love our neighbor and not cause pain by telling him/her "your baby is going to hell because you did not baptise it the way the bible told you to." We are told to laugh or cry with those around us. We are told what WE are to do.

God will provide for the rest.

Paul

#44 Christina M.

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Posted 02 April 2011 - 09:30 PM

...or that find themselves having babies in the middle of the woods far from civilization and the child dies, then God will provide.


Actually, if someone is found in a place without water, then the canons say that an "aerial baptism" can be performed. There's a cool story about when Elder Porphyrios did this once for a baby that was going to die unexpectedly. It's one of my favorite stories.

Now I'm not sure of the next part, but I think (if I remember correctly) that even a layperson can perform a baptism in an emergency situation if there is absolutely no way to get to a priest.

I think it's interesting that the Fathers were so serious about baptism that they even allowed "aerial baptisms" and layperson baptisms in emergency situations.

#45 Kosta

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Posted 02 April 2011 - 09:48 PM

Actually, if someone is found in a place without water, then the canons say that an "aerial baptism" can be performed. There's a cool story about when Elder Porphyrios did this once for a baby that was going to die unexpectedly. It's one of my favorite stories.

Now I'm not sure of the next part, but I think (if I remember correctly) that even a layperson can perform a baptism in an emergency situation if there is absolutely no way to get to a priest.

I think it's interesting that the Fathers were so serious about baptism that they even allowed "aerial baptisms" and layperson baptisms in emergency situations.



Hmm, theres a canon sanctioning aerial baptism? I think aerial baptism is a more modern phenomenon borrowed from roman catholicism.

#46 Christina M.

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Posted 02 April 2011 - 09:54 PM

Hmm, theres a canon sanctioning aerial baptism? I think aerial baptism is a more modern phenomenon borrowed from roman catholicism.


I always thought it was an ancient canon, and back in my youth I even used to remember the canon number... But now I have no idea even where to look.

Maybe someone else knows the answer to this one.

#47 Kosta

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Posted 02 April 2011 - 10:27 PM

It makes me wonder: if Holy Baptism is so necessary for every soul, wouldn't it be better to compulsorily baptize everybody? It seems from this vision and from other opinions of the Fathers exposed in this thread, that baptized people who have led an unvirtuous life will fare better in the afterlife that unbaptized people, no matter how virtuous their life may have been.

Baptism is compulsory for orthodox christian parents, it is not an option but mandatory.
How do you come to your other conclusion? A baptised person can end up in eternal torment, an unbaptised infant will not. St Gregory of Nyssa demonstrates that a virtuous life is given a reward irregardless of baptism. An unvirtuous life leads to the lose of the reward and the gain of punishment. Unbaptised infants neither gain nor lose, the ramifications of this is what St Gregory of Nyssa wrestled with. Its inline with the vision of St Nephon.

The way you know what is true apostolic tradition is to not depart from what was handed down. The patristic consensus is that those initiated into His church either through baptism or martyrdom are initiated into the kingdom. The church militant being a foretaste of the church triumphant. The patristic consensus urges infant baptism, and St John Chrysostom and other fathers list the benefits that baptism bestows on a child, benefits that an unbaptised infant cannot recieve. We cannot say that baptism avails nothing at all because we would be extreme pelagianists and render the apostolic tradition of infant baptism as meaningless. We cant have our cake and eat it too.

Edited by Kosta, 02 April 2011 - 10:42 PM.


#48 Nina

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Posted 02 April 2011 - 11:05 PM

It seems from this vision and from other opinions of the Fathers exposed in this thread, that baptized people who have led an unvirtuous life will fare better in the afterlife that unbaptized people, no matter how virtuous their life may have been.


No... I do not read it the same way as you. In this vision St. Nephon did not say anything about unvirtuous people (baptized or not). He mentions the idolatres who did not know Christ who were virtuous and went to Heaven although not baptized (therefore they could not see the glory of God and I think this is what Fathers maintain and what we were taught). The second group in this vision (the part posted here) are the children of Christians who died young. Do not get confused that they looked 30 years old. They were children when departed. So they were pure and baptized but had no good works or stains in their baptism garment because they were taken so early from the earthly life. Therefore I do not know where are there mentioned unvirtuous who were baptized and went to Heaven while unvirtuous?

#49 Nina

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Posted 02 April 2011 - 11:13 PM

I highly, pretty highly, super highly doubt that St. Kosmas Aetolos was influenced by the RC.

Holy Baptism

WISHING TO SHOW US the way to remove that curse which our father Adam and our mother Eve received in paradise, the Lord was baptized in the river Jordan by the honorable Forerunner John the Baptist. We too, my fellow Christians and brothers, should rejoice and be glad a thousand times for the many good things given to us by the Lord, and especially for holy Baptism. We too should keep our baptism as pure and immaculate as possible. If by chance we err, as human beings, may the gracious God be glorified, he who has granted us a second Baptism, holy Confession, because it is impossible for a person to be saved who hasn't been baptized and one who is unconfessed. It is better, my brother, to kill a hundred baptized persons than to allow one child to die unbaptized. And if by chance a child is about to die and the priest hasn't baptized it yet, let anyone baptize it, father, mother, brother, neighbor, and especially the midwife. Take a lot of water and oil, make the sign of the Cross over the child, and baptize it, saying: "The servant of God is baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen." If the child lives, the priest will complete the service.

If it happens that you have no water, take three handfuls of sand and spill it over the child's head and repeat as I have said. If again you happen to have no sand, baptize it in the air and repeat the same. Don't do what one crazy and foolish man did. He said that he would become the godfather but allowed the child to die unbaptized so that he wouldn't leave his wife's bed. If necessary, they shouldn't become godparents, and when he wishes he can join with his wife; there are no obstacles. Similarly, if it happens that someone is dying and the priest hasn't reached him in time to hear his confession, let him confess to anyone and die having confessed. There is hope that he'll be saved. If, however, he receives communion without having confessed, it profits him naught.

Holy priests, you must have large baptismal fonts in your churches so that the entire child can be immersed. The child should be able to swim in it so that not even an area as large as a tick's eye remains dry. Because it is from there (the dry area) that the devil advances, and this is why your children become epileptics, are possessed by demons, have fear, become unlucky; they haven't been baptized properly.

~ St. Kosmas Aetolos

Link

#50 Guillermo M.L.

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Posted 02 April 2011 - 11:14 PM

The second group in this vision (the part posted here) are the children of Christians who died young. Do not get confused that they looked 30 years old. They were children when departed. So they were pure and baptized but had no good works or stains in their baptism garment because they were taken so early from the earthly life. Therefore I do not know where are there mentioned unvirtuous who were baptized and went to Heaven?


Nina, you are right. Thanks for the explanation, everything is much clearer to me now.

#51 Kosta

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Posted 03 April 2011 - 12:12 AM

I highly, pretty highly, super highly doubt that St. Kosmas Aetolos was influenced by the RC.

~ St. Kosmas Aetolos

Link


Thanks for the link, although im still abit skeptical as to how profitable such an aerial baptism maybe. Afterall the final paragrapgh extolls the virtues and benefits of a true immersion all the way. I wish more bishops would take this saying from St Cosmas seriously, because all this practising of eikonomia, i believe is a diservice with real spiritual consequences. Anyhow it does show the neccesity of baptism even for infants. I'll reiterate what i said, The Church does not teach that unbaptised infants are destined to hell or to some gloomy dungeon while it definately stops short of placing them on equal footing in paradise with the glorious saints who were able to finish the race and overcome the temptations thrown at them by the evil one, victoriously recieving a crown.

#52 Nina

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Posted 03 April 2011 - 12:26 AM

Thanks for the link, although im still abit skeptical as to how profitable such an aerial baptism maybe.


Kosta, notice how Saint Kosmas says that if the child lives, the priest will complete the service which means the normal baptism is to be performed. So these are cases when the child is in danger of dying therefore it is about emergency baptism.

Afterall the final paragrapgh extolls the virtues and benefits of a true immersion all the way. I wish more bishops would take this saying from St Cosmas seriously, because all this practising of eikonomia, i believe is a diservice with real spiritual consequences.

As a friend told me recently she would take her children for baptism at the Monasteries of Geronda Ephraim (it is amazing that Geronda Ephraim lived in the same cell as Saint Kosmas in Philotheou before their mission started) here in US since they really do the proper baptism with full submersion 3 times... I do not know to what churches she compared it to but this is what she told me therefore I assume she must have seen cases of babies not fully submerged. I did not ask for elaboration therefore if you ask I will not be able to answer.

#53 Kosta

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Posted 03 April 2011 - 12:57 AM

Kosta, notice how Saint Kosmas says that if the child lives, the priest will complete the service which means the normal baptism is to be performed. So these are cases when the child is in danger of dying therefore it is about emergency baptism.

As a friend told me recently she would take her children for baptism at the Monasteries of Geronda Ephraim (it is amazing that Geronda Ephraim lived in the same cell as Saint Kosmas in Philotheou before their mission started) here in US since they really do the proper baptism with full submersion 3 times... I do not know to what churches she compared it to but this is what she told me therefore I assume she must have seen cases of babies not fully submerged. I did not ask for elaboration therefore if you ask I will not be able to answer.


Many babies cant even fit in those fonts. Some they only fill with a few inches of water. And i think theres priests that are afraid to fully immerse a baby. Im also speaking of adult converts recieved by chrismation only. I know of only one GOA church that has an adult sized baptistry (recently built) in my parts. Then again if they were heterodox christians as most are, you wont use it, recieving them automatically wth eikonomia due to 'policy'.

#54 Nina

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Posted 03 April 2011 - 02:15 AM

Many babies cant even fit in those fonts. Some they only fill with a few inches of water. And i think theres priests that are afraid to fully immerse a baby. Im also speaking of adult converts recieved by chrismation only. I know of only one GOA church that has an adult sized baptistry (recently built) in my parts. Then again if they were heterodox christians as most are, you wont use it, recieving them automatically wth eikonomia due to 'policy'.


Ax Panagia mou! May God help us all and enlighten us.

#55 Olga

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Posted 03 April 2011 - 11:49 PM

I know of only one GOA church that has an adult sized baptistry (recently built) in my parts.


That is unfortunate. I know of even small mission churches in my neck of the woods, as well as struggling parishes, across various jurisdictions, which all have simple but adequate facilities for the full immersion of adults, usually in the form of agricultural tanks and similar vessels which are brought into the nave. It's neither difficult, nor expensive.

#56 Herman Blaydoe

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Posted 04 April 2011 - 02:14 AM

A church without a baptistry is merely a museum.

Herman

#57 Nina

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Posted 04 April 2011 - 02:20 AM

A church without a baptistry is merely a museum.

Herman


That is not true. Also not in all cases. Many have those huge barrels what Olga explained which they move in and out for baptism. In other places there is no need for baptistry since all people are baptized as babies and they just have the baby-size kolymbithra (baptismal font).

#58 Olga

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Posted 04 April 2011 - 02:46 AM

In other places there is no need for baptistry since all people are baptized as babies and they just have the baby-size kolymbithra (baptismal font).


Ah, Nina, there's the rub: Why should folks who wish to enter Orthodoxy, and where such folks are required to be baptised, not chrismated, according to the decision of the ruling bishop, be denied a proper baptism because of an assumption or perception that "all people are baptised as babies"? There is a serious and sad problem if long-established Orthodox parishes cannot, or choose not to, provide suitable baptismal facilities for older children or adults. Yet, as I stated in my earlier post, such facilities are the norm in even struggling parishes and missions, from my direct observation. If they can do it, why can't those with far greater resources?

#59 Kosta

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Posted 04 April 2011 - 03:43 AM

the problem with the baby sized fonts are that greeks tend to wait to baptise their babies longer than in russian practise. Meaning the baby can barely fit and so cant be immersed

#60 Christina M.

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Posted 04 April 2011 - 03:51 AM

the problem with the baby sized fonts are that greeks tend to wait to baptise their babies longer than in russian practise. Meaning the baby can barely fit and so cant be immersed


I've never heard this before. Aren't all babies supposed to be baptized at 40 days? Why would someone wait longer?




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