Seeds of Hope

Baptizing Children of Gay Couples


[Posted on January 12, 2000]

Rev. Turner:

A colleague, who tends to be very rigid in most things, has a lesbian couple worshipping in his congregation. One of the women has had a child and wishes to have the child baptized. Since he considers them to be "living in sin" he will not baptize the baby. I don't know why they keep going back there, but they seem to be. Is there any material which I can share that might soften his position?

Thanks,
John


Dear John,

I really wish that I had some good news for you. I wish there were one magic book that would make this Pastor see the light. However, this is not in the cards. Depending on what the church background is of this baby baptism becomes a very sticky and complicated issue even before we introduce gay parents. There is the whole question of just what is baptism of an infant anyway?

If this Pastor considers infant baptism as more of a dedication along the lines of the parents vowing to bring the child up as a Christian then he has solid ground in which to stand for refusing the baptism because he believes "homosexuality" is a sin and that the parents are living in sin. Note his solid ground comes from his belief position not because I think he is even close to being correct.

If one the other hand, his approach to baptism is more along the lines of the Roman Catholic belief that infants must be baptized to go to heaven and or be right with God, then his argument about the parents is not nearly as strong. His concern should be for the infant not the parents. This would be especially true if the infant is jointly theirs or one or the other has full custody of the child.

In all honesty I know of no material that might help in this matter except what is listed in this site. Of course this approach is to get him to understand the truth that homosexuals are a creation of God and blessed by God. Can we say, let us pray?

I would encourage you to challenge these parents to find a different church and Pastor. The relationship with this church sounds dangerous to me and could be very damaging to the couple in the long run. I think your time and efforts would be better spent getting the couple to understand that what they are facing is spiritual abuse that needs to stop. This is the sort of abuse that they, in fact, can stop.

God Bless,

Pastor Paul


Rev. Turner is Sr. Pastor at Gentle Spirit Christian Church in Atlanta, Georgia.

If you are seeking guidance and pastoral care on your journey to fullness as a gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered person, please contact Pastor Paul directly at pastorpaul@whosoever.org.