Q. Why do we “Dedicate’ babies to the Lord; is there such a doctrine in the Bible?
A. Some hold that Dedication replaces Infant Baptism or Christening in evangelical churches. This is quite incorrect.
Firstly, Infant Baptism is unscriptural and found nowhere in God’s Word. In fact it thwarts God’s teaching on Water Baptism. TheCatholic Encyclopaedia Vol. 2, page 261, says, “The most ancient form usually employed wasunquestionably immersion. In the Latin Church immersion seems to have prevailed until the 12th century. After that it is found in some places even as late as the 16th century. Infusion and aspersion (Infant Baptism), however, were growing common in the 13th Century, and gradually prevailed in the Western Church.”
So, if Dedication doesn’t replace Infant Baptism, what purpose does it serve? Dedication is neither a doctrine in the Word, nor is it required as an ordinance. It derives from the simple practice of love and faith in which people bring their children to Jesus for His blessing. And He was always delighted to receive them. “Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto Me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven,” Matt 19:14, is a pretty well-known Scripture in many homes.
Dedication is a practice in which parents take a step of faith in giving their child back to the Lord for His purposes. So Dedication relates more to the parents than to the child, since the time must come when the child makes his own decision concerning his relationship with the Lord. Thus parents dedicate themselves to bring up their child in the nurture and admonition of the Lord and seek His guidance and blessing in doing so. Like “saying grace” at meals, it is neither doctrinal nor required, but a beautiful step of love and faith.