Rich Jones and Adrian Mertz have both attended Shoreline Church since before they were married last year. They’ve continued to attend with their 4-year-old adopted son, Santino, and say they’ve been welcomed. But when Jones and Mertz requested to hold a dedication ceremony for Santino at the church, they were told it would have to be in a side chapel rather than the main sanctuary.
In a mainline church, it would probably have been a baptism rather than a dedication. In the PC(USA), for example, the relevant part of the Book of Order says:
admitting to Baptism children of believers, after appropriate instruction and discussion with the parent(s) or one(s) rightly exercising parental responsibility, acquainting them with the significance of what God is doing in this act, and with the special responsibilities on parents and congregations for nurturing the baptized person in the Christian life;
I can imagine that some congregations would be uncomfortable with that ceremony even within the mainline. But I would approve of it:
“Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? (Romans 10:13-14)
We should be more like Paul and assume that our worship gatherings include people who aren’t Christians, along with Christians who aren’t at the same point as we are on every theological discussion. It seems to me that (while we would disagree about baptism of children) Jim Burgen has it exactly right on this.