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Next term I will be teaching about infant and adult baptism. From having done some research, I can see that baptism is necessary in the Catholic faith to be welcomed into the Church and wash away the original sin that babies are born with so that they can have salvation in Heaven. I cannot seem to find an answer about what Protestants believe about original sin - do they believe that it does not exist (hence no need for baptising babies and people waiting to commit to their faith when they are older), or do they believe that it does exist but infants cannot be held responsible for it?
Any help would be greatly appreciated - I'm really confusing myself!
BexMOProtestants do believe in the baptism of children but it's not a sacrament like in the catholic church. (that is a otward symbol of inward grace from god - ceremony or action for blessings) ....I would use the baptist church not Protestants in general as the contrast to R Catholicism. They believe that baptism must be a choice of free will and each candidate must declare their faith in a testimony which an infant cannot do. Entering the pool they symbolically choose to leave sin behind, under the water they die and are buried with Christ and upon immerging they are resurrected as a Christian.
I have a PowerPoint on this sacrament under a y9 sacraments module.
For clarification on original sin I think it depends on the church... Like with biblical interpretation of that story.
Does this help.
Good explanation - but... baptism is a sacrament in Protestant Churches.
RC Church has 7 sacraments, Protestants only 2 - eucharist and baptism.
Thanks for all this helpful information, things are a lot clearer now.
Bex, your resources are great! Feeling much more confident about teaching it now.
Just to confuse you a bit more - please distinguish between Protestants and Anglicans- as the latter I prefer not to be called the former and there are dsitinct differences in beliefs.
As previously mentioned in the Church of England we recognise several sacraments but the 2 main ones are the dominical ones (from the Lord) - baptism and communion.
Baptism acknowledges the washing of sin and a new life commencing but it is not considered the only essential for salvation - hence baptism is offered from 1-100+ years in the C of E.
Just to confuse matters even more - the church of England is obliged to baptise those who live within their parish boundaries regardless of church attendance or not. Some priests will do this willlingly after going through hte promises with the parents and godparents. Others make it as difficult as possible in order to restrict it to regulars.
Other Protestant groups such as Baptists and the Free Churches won't accept infant baptism at all.
rainbowsandrain I can see that baptism is necessary in the Catholic faith to be welcomed into the Church and wash away the original sin that babies are born with so that they can have salvation in Heaven. I
I can see that baptism is necessary in the Catholic faith to be welcomed into the Church and wash away the original sin that babies are born with so that they can have salvation in Heaven. I
At the risk of confusing you yet further, you might want to be slightly careful about stating that Roman Catholics believe that baptism is a necessary precondition of salvation. If you state that too forcefully, you get the inevitable question, "what happens to infants who die unbaptised?" The notion of limbo was a hypothesis, never a doctrine, and was never officially taught by the church. The 1992 Catechism made no reference to the idea of limbo, and taught very clearly (or not, depending on your view) that children who die unbaptised are simply "entrusted to the mercy of God".
So the good news is that RCs and Prots overlap considerably - neither holds that baptism is a precondition of salvation. The bad news is that it's much more complicated than you quite reasonably wanted it to be: Anglicans who are members of the Protestant set don't always like to be referred to as Protestants; they believe in 2 or 7 sacraments, of which infant baptism may or may not be one; and many of them overlap with either Roman Catholic or non-conformist (Baptist/Methodist) doctrine, but very rarely both. Oh, and any sentence beginning "Protestants believe" is almost bound to be perniciosly simplistic.
Oh the joys of comparative ecclesiology <smiles>.
If you want a visual aid to lead you into a discussion or original sin, William Blake's Elohim Creating Adam is a fabulous place to look: Satan in the form of the serpent is entwined around Adam's left leg at the moment of creation - ab initio, in fact. [Yes, fellow pedants, I know Blake is at best approximate as an exemplar of Anglican - or any other institutional Christian - position, but as a picure to illustrate an abstract concept and provoke discussion it'a an absolute belter.]
The fundamental difference between RC and Protestant churches is that Protestants believe in salvation by faith alone, whereas the RC believes in both faith and works.
When this is interpreted to the sacraments, it means that for Catholics the sacraments are a necessary work as part of a lifelong journey towards salvatio. For protestants, the sacraments are largely (almost entirely) symbolic, they are more outward gestures as a demonstration of an individual's faith.
Both RC and Protestants believe in the existence of Original Sin. RC believe that Baptism is a real spiritual cleaning which allows a believer to interact honestly with God and partake in other sacraments meaningfully. For Protestants, Original Sin is fought by 'grace' which is granted by faith. If a believer has faith they are granted grace which allows them to perceive God clearly.
This is all very simple.
A religion needs 2 out of 3 children in every family to remain active in it otherwise it goes extinct.
Ireland is undergoing a religious revolution. People still feel Catholic but feel they do not need the church. Who wants their child going near a Catholic priest and ending up like the (Gerry) Adams' family?
Meanwhile the C of E is not recruiting young people and children of churchgoers are not going to church.
Why is Baptism important? Can a baby of 6 months old be full of Sin? If a 6 moonth old child dies and is not baptised, it goes to Hell, or nowhere at all because Hell is reserved for the Faithful turned bad?
Once you dig a little deeper the wierdness of it all begins to sink in.
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