Being born to a Christian does not mean you are a Christian, or that you will be in the church, or that you are saved. Baptism is a sign to the world that you are identifying as a part of the church. It is therefore not for infants, regardless of any similarities to circumcision. (I have a whole response to why circumcision cannot be compared to baptism as well). It is fine and appropriate to have a baby dedication service, of some kind, showing that you want to raise your child to be a part of the family of God, etc. etc., but that is not the purpose of baptism.
A few thoughts;
1. This is largely how baptism was practiced in the early church.
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith wrote:
"Many inscriptions from as early as the second century give little children the title of 'children of God', a title given only to the baptised, or explicitly mention that they were baptised: cf., for example, Corpus Inscriptionum Graecarum, 9727, 9801, 9817; E. Diehl, Inscriptiones Latinae Christianae Veteres (Berlin 1961), nos. 1523(3), 4429A."
Origen, c.a 185 AD wrote:
"Baptism according to the practice of the Church is given even to infants"; "The Church had a tradition from the Apostles, to give baptism even to infants"; "Infants are baptised for the remission of sins . . . That is the reason why infants too are baptised".
It is unquestioned by the 2nd century there are explicit references to infant baptism.
2. There is significant evidence to suggest it occurred in the 1st century as well.
Acts 16:15 wrote:
When she and the members of her household were baptized, she invited us to her home. "If you consider me a believer in the Lord," she said, "come and stay at my house." And she persuaded us.
Acts 16:13-33 wrote:
They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.” Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his household were baptized.
1 Corinthians 1:16 wrote:
(Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I don't remember if I baptized anyone else.)
The Greek world "household" is oikos
, meaning "the inmates of a house, all the persons forming one family." It is revealing that Paul uses this word oikos
when he describes Moses living in his father's house as a newborn infant until he was 3 months old. This same root word is used in the Greek Septuagint, which was the Hebrew Bible translated into koine Greek, something Paul would have been very familiar with. It is highly unlikely that none of these households described were did not contain infants, due to the high infant mortality/child birth rate in the Near East at this time. Furthermore given the formulaic element to this phrase ("Person X and their household") means this was likely a common phrase and practice in the early NT church at this time.
Given that by the 2nd century, infant baptism is a common and explicit practice referred to, without controversy, within a generation of the NT church. Given that oral nature of the Jewish community that Christianity sprung out of (and what we know of the transmission of Near Eastern religious traditions at this time), this is likely too short of a time for a new whole tradition to be created. It is pretty likely Christianity got this because that's how the Apostles did it.
3. Infant baptism is pretty much the historical Protestant position.
I think too often some elements of theology are discarded by modern evangelicals because they feel "too Catholic" and thus they get cast away. In reality nearly all the major reformers, Luther, Knox, Calvin, Zwingli and etc... were believers in infant baptism as a practice. Even today, Anglicanism, Lutheranism, most Reformed denominations (with the exception of Reformed Baptists), a lot of Methodists and etc... practice infant baptism.
This isn't my main argument but I think there is something to be said for a position when there is a long history of the entire Church embracing it, and it's something most Protestants, all Catholics and Orthodox can agree upon...besides some evangelicals and Baptists. This isn't meant to be read as a total appeal to "Tradition" but given the hazy nature of the Bible on this issue, I think there is something here that should give most evangelicals pause.
We are not lone believers in Jesus but part of communion of saints, attached to the "vast host of witnesses." It's a bit presumptuous to think that Christians have never faced these issues before. We have, and overwhelmingly, we've answered that infant baptism is a proper practice (for various theological reasons).