Presentation Title

P-19 The Beyond Beliefs Study: Early Baptism

Presenter Status

Department of Religion and Biblical Languages

Second Presenter Status

PhD Student, Department of Old Testament

Third Presenter Status

PhD Student in Theology

Location

Buller Hallway

Start Date

1-11-2013 1:30 PM

End Date

1-11-2013 3:00 PM

Presentation Abstract

There has been a strong emphasis in the Seventh-day Adventist Church in North America to baptize young people prior to reaching high school as it is believed this practice may be associated with membership retention within the Seventh-day Adventist Church. However, it is unknown how these young people, upon reaching early adulthood, feel about early baptism and if they have a comprehensive knowledge of the 28 Beliefs of Adventism. The Beyond Beliefs study Cohorts 1, 2 and 3 identified that there may be an unforeseen consequence of early baptism in that young adults possess a limited knowledge of the official 28 Beliefs of Adventism and factors other than personal conviction contribute to their decision to be baptized prior to age 14. A number of participants expressed negative feelings relating to the practice of early baptism and 62.5% of those baptized prior to age 14 expressed that if could they do it again, they would have waited until they were older to be baptized. Paternalism and the potential implementation of an alternative practice for children, tweens, and early teens, other than baptism, are discussed. The Beyond Beliefs study is an ongoing study and this issue will be investigated further in Cohorts 4 and 5 which are scheduled for Spring 2014.

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Nov 1st, 1:30 PM Nov 1st, 3:00 PM

P-19 The Beyond Beliefs Study: Early Baptism

Buller Hallway

There has been a strong emphasis in the Seventh-day Adventist Church in North America to baptize young people prior to reaching high school as it is believed this practice may be associated with membership retention within the Seventh-day Adventist Church. However, it is unknown how these young people, upon reaching early adulthood, feel about early baptism and if they have a comprehensive knowledge of the 28 Beliefs of Adventism. The Beyond Beliefs study Cohorts 1, 2 and 3 identified that there may be an unforeseen consequence of early baptism in that young adults possess a limited knowledge of the official 28 Beliefs of Adventism and factors other than personal conviction contribute to their decision to be baptized prior to age 14. A number of participants expressed negative feelings relating to the practice of early baptism and 62.5% of those baptized prior to age 14 expressed that if could they do it again, they would have waited until they were older to be baptized. Paternalism and the potential implementation of an alternative practice for children, tweens, and early teens, other than baptism, are discussed. The Beyond Beliefs study is an ongoing study and this issue will be investigated further in Cohorts 4 and 5 which are scheduled for Spring 2014.