Dust Storm<quoted text>
All well and good.
Well I cannot speak for Fr Rob, but the summation of the argument is that Christ said water and spirit and its regenerative. We know that some Protestants today argue that baptism is not necessary at all nor is rengenerative but merely a symbolic gesture. Some argue about how it needs to be done, others argue about when it should be done and the age of reason will vary from church to church and culture. Some say it has nothing to do with water and outline various types of baptism. Some say its only valid if you do it in the name of Jesus, some say in the name of the creator. I dont think its that complicated. Its not a bath as Peter says. In faith we accept the gift offered for our children and the new convenant.
The Lord was angry when Moses wife did not want their child to be circumcized. It was a command and it was a sign of the covenant a work carried out in faith. The faith of the Centurion and the faith of the Parents. A Jewish person could of course reject the Jewish faith upon the age of reason just as a Catholic does not have to reaffirm their baptismal vows or participate in confirmation or leave the church. We have free will to walk away from God and reject Christ.
We can nurture our faith or suppress it. We can seek knowledge or we can avoid it. We can look for answers outside the church or within it. We can look to the beginning for old questions that repeat themselves or we can ignore them.
I believe it is a gift for children. The Jewish baby girls were cermeonially washed. St Paul did not just believe he got baptized. I would rather accept this gift for you and your children in faith knowing that God is a merciful God and believe that while we are bound by the sacraments the Lord is not. He said to go forth and baptize in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost.
Sometimes simple gives us a broad explanation....
Baptism is both personal and collective. The effects and effectiveness in both are by Grace, and thus are infused.
It is part of personal salvation, and part of the entrance into the whole Body of Christ. So it is a sign and seal.