30 May 2009

Appraising the state of Reformed denominations

Yesterday morning we had our house appraised (we're refinancing for 15 years at a lower rate). I got to chatting with the appraiser, a woman raised in the CRC (Christian Reformed Church, for those of you not from Grand Rapids). :-)

She mentioned that she and her husband now attend a parish of the R.C.A. (Reformed Church in America). He was raised Baptist, and they have a 2 year old daughter.

I asked her if her daughter had been baptised, and was surprised to hear her say "No, she was dedicated." Apparently their parish allows parents to decide which of the two they would like: baptism or dedication.

This, I think, is significant slippage in an historically Reformed denomination, where infant baptism was the norm for 500 years. It also serves to highlight why increasingly, in years to come, those who come to the Orthodox Church will likely need to be received by baptism and not simply chrismation. For when baptism becomes optional, it's clear that we are no longer working with an historic Christian notion of baptism.

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