November 28, 2009 Q & A

Are Godparents Biblical?


Does the Orthodox Presbyterian Church oppose the practice of godparents, or is it deemed permissible? If so, on what grounds do you either support or oppose the practice?


The place of godparents in connection with baptism is acknowledged by Roman Catholics, Anglicans and Lutherans; such persons are also known as Sponsors. It is interesting that The Book of Common Prayer of the Reformed Episcopal Church—founded, 1873—says nothing concerning godparents. Similarly, the Westminster Confession and Catechisms do not mention godparents. I would be surprised to discover that Calvin favored godparents. If in his published works he does not oppose this practice, the reason may be that he did not deem it worthy of discussion, a theological non sequitur!

In the theology and practice of the OPC, a godparent role does not exist. God's relationship with his people is that in the institution of the family parents are sovereign, under God, over their children. Believers and their children are in covenant relationship with the Lord. There is no other human party in the baptismal event. Such is the teaching of the Word of God. It is the parent(s) who make vows at the font.

I hope I have engaged biblically and responsibly with your questions.



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