A very interesting post at Millennial Star about the accountability of seven-year-olds brought to mind the following question (already raised by Grasshopper at M*): if we baptize for the remission of sins, why do we baptize eight-year-olds? They might have a couple sins, but with one or two exceptions, they probably don't have many major ones.
I have already argued that we should raise the baptismal age to eighteen.
My view is that we're wasting a very important ordinance on the very young and sinless. We get a kind of consolation in that we can do proxy work as adults and be baptized for others, but for me this just reminds me how much more powerful my own baptism could have been. Baptism is the most physical of all the ordinances, and thus makes a much larger impression than, say, the laying on of hands.
Thinking about my resistance to Jonathan Stone's bright line distinction between 7- and 8-year-olds, I am starting to wonder if I agree with any absolutes in the Gospel. Do we really believe that every sin is washed away in baptism? What if the person secretly doesn't feel bad about it or even think it is a sin? Is mild dishonesty in a baptismal interview enough to render the cleansing part of baptism invalid? Or is God bound by his promise to wash us clean?