Consequences of the One Church – Unecumenism

by Fr. Stephen Freeman In thinking through a theological question, I often engage in thought experiments. The Fathers might call it a form of theoria, but I won’t presume that word for myself. But what I do is to make a concerted effort to let go of unexamined assumptions. I look at a different set of assumptions […]

“You Baptize Babies?”

by Fr. Aidan Wilcoxson Do we baptize babies? Do we!  As an Orthodox priest here in Central Texas, I get that question on a fairly regular basis. A lot of congregations in this area only baptize adults or children who are old enough to understand what happens in the ceremony, so folks are just naturally […]

Baptismal Sponsorship, Past and Present

by Fr. Lawrence Farley The parents may say, “Church is very, very important,” but if they do not go to church every week and devoutly receive Holy Communion, and say their private prayers, and pray at meal-times, such exhortations will be recognized by children for the hypocritical clap-trap it is. When infants are brought to […]

Death by Baptism

by Fr. Sergei Sveshnikov Nowadays, children get baptized for any number of reasons: because their family is Russian (Ukrainian/Greek/Serbian, etc.), because it is what they have “always done,” because the grandmother insists, because the parents want the child to be able to take communion or to go to Sunday school, or for any number of […]

What Happens to a Child in Baptism?

by Fr. John Hainsworth About What Happens to the Child in Baptism IS BAPTISM JUST A SIGN? Everything I have said assumes that baptism is more than just an outward expression of an inward acceptance of Christ. Of course, baptism is an outward expression in that physical hands are laid on a physical person and […]

Will Unbaptized Children Go To Hell if they Die?

by Fr. John Hainsworth Often on the heart and mind – will unbaptized children go to hell? No. The Orthodox Church does not believe that children are born guilty of Adam’s sin and that unless freed of that guilt through baptism and communion they will die without God’s mercy. Such a notion is pernicious both […]

What if a Child Leaves or Rejects Christ Later in Life?

by Fr. John Hainsworth Another concern folks have about infant baptism in the Orthodox Church – what if a child rejects Christ later in life? This is a real concern, but not a reason to keep children from full membership in the New Covenant by denying them baptism and communion. We should rather accept them […]

Baptism: But Children Don’t Understand the Faith!

by Fr. John Hainsworth Children don’t understand the faith – does that make them ‘second class citizens’ of the Body of Christ – is that a reason not to baptism them into the Church? The assumption behind this objection to infant baptism, one which did not exist in the early Church or in the centuries […]