"Pastor, the church is basically the same, they just wait longer to baptize, like 12 or 13."
I never thought that I would hear this from someone who grew up Lutheran and was catechized relatively well! However, growing up during this "emergent" culture, I understand more of what the Lutheran reformers were dealing with when the Augsburg Confession (The first full Lutheran document written by Philip Melancthon) was written in the 16th century. Here is the 4th article concerning Baptism.
Concerning Baptism, our churches teach that Baptism is necessary for salvation and that God's grace is offered through Baptism. They teach that children are to be baptized. Being offered to God, through Baptism they are received into God's grace. Our churches condemn the Anabaptists, who reject the Baptism of children, and say that children are saved without Baptism. (Concordia: The Lutheran Confessions, AC Article IX.)
Why Baptize babies? Simply put, they are terrible sinners like you and me (Psalm 51). Actually, for anyone to confess Jesus as Lord (1 minute old or 99) they must have the Holy Spirit. And when one is baptized as a child it is just as much of a miracle as a 13 year old. Figure it this way, here is a little baby who doesn't do anything but mess their diapers, cry, and keep you up at night, but through Baptism and the power of the Holy Spirit this child can have faith? How UNAMERICAN!
If one goes to a church that "waits" to baptize individuals, simply put, there are major differences in the churches that go beyond the simple act of Baptism. It is a difference on believing on how faith comes. If you baptize infants, you truly believe that faith comes by God through the Word (Romans 10:17). If you wait, then you believe that we have something to do with belief.
My suggestion, stay at a church that baptizes infants. If the church doesn't, they are good Americans (I do it all by myself), but they have major differences with what Scripture tells us. If you have any questions on this, drop me a comment!
Chief of Sinners though I be, Jesus Shed His Blood for me