Question: I am interested in dating a Baptist girl, who professes Christ. I personally believe in infant baptism. Knowing that this isn’t a “salvation issue”, is this something we can decide to “work out” later?
There are severable commendable aspects to this question. There is the thoughtful approach to dating. There is a desire to find a spouse who professes Christ. There is doctrinal conviction, and doctrinal discernment. There is the desire for advice and approval.
There is also an understandable aspect to this question. The beginning of relationships are generally focused on finding common ground, and wanting to interact positively. And then there is the reality that many, including myself, have Baptist friends and relatives that we respect and admire.
And yet it seems to me there is also a naïve aspect to this question. Because, when would you work this out? Would you commit to working this out as you read through your Bibles? Would you approach her family as someone unwilling to have this discussion? Could you commit yourself in engagement without considering this? There are not many people who could build an honest heart-to-heart relationship for 2 years, with all that emotional investment, and then have this discussion without discarding their personal beliefs, and / or not hurting the other person. You certainly would need to work this out prior to being married, and deciding which church you would attend as a family. And if God would bless you with children, what would you do about baptism?
You see this is not just a “what kind of music do you prefer?” question. It is a question that is central to a person’s identity, to the way in which Scripture is understood, to foundational beliefs about God and theology, to church affiliation, and to how you would lead your family. So please respect your friend, and have the discussion sooner rather than later.
Your friend, Pastor David VanBrugge
P.S. If you need a resource to help you think through this topic, I recommend Gregg Strawbridge’s “The Case for Covenantal Infant Baptism” published by P&R.