Puritan Board Sophomore
And...Speaking as the pastor of a PCA church... our denomination is broad enough that no one can speak authoritatively about what "the PCA" permits. Judging by recent controversies, I'd wager one could get away with almost anything as long as they phrased it right, nuanced it correctly, and then dotted their procedural "i's"- and crossed their bureaucratic "t's"... But that aside, here's my take, and I trust, the take of many:
1. I enthusiastically support and affirm the "who may baptize" provisions of WCF 27.4 and 28.2.
2. The ordinances of Christ - including the Sacraments - belong to the church, not to private Christians. A baptism performed by a private Christian is as valid as a driver's license drawn up and issued by my child. Appeals by some to the so-called "priesthood of all believers" as their justification for asserting they have the authority to do whatever and whenever and that there is no distinction between the officers and laity... only reveal that they are ignorant of the Scriptures. As I explain in the first session of my new members class *all* Peter is doing in 1 Peter 2:9 is unpacking the implication of their adoption, that the same calling and status first offered in (Ex 19:5-6) and then asserted in (Deut 7:6, Deut 14:2, etc) applies to them as well. Korah was the first evangelical - read Num 16 to find out what became of his assertion that ALL of them being priests meant no distinctions or hierarchy or privilege. (scoff) Just as the "priests needed priests" and thus only some could perform the publicly appointed ceremonies and rituals THEN... nothing has changed: only public officials (servants/ministers) carry that authority now.
3. I share the position (I believe it is still the "majority report" within our denomination) that RCC baptisms are no baptisms. I declare - as I have for all the years of my ministry - that all who say that the mere utterance of the so-called "Trinitarian Formula" is the sole true requirement for a baptism to be valid have, despite all their protestations, functionally reduced our precious Godhead to a mere incantation. The Church of Rome is no church, her gospel is no gospel, her ministers are no ministers, her head is antichrist. Yet some assert that 1 of her 7 sacraments remains valid? Absurd and preposterous. Anyway, I utterly and completely and thoroughly (can I be more emphatic?) maintain that the insistence that the invocation of the Trinitarian formula by any human who happens to utter it while getting someone wet, is all that's necessary for a legitimate/real baptism is untrue and false. Regardless of who says otherwise. Furthermore,if all that is necessary is to say the words "I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the son, and of the Holy Spirit" then even Mormon baptisms are valid (for they use that formula!).
So... in my church, as has already happened: if someone comes to us with the father presumptuously having taken upon himself the prerogative to engage in the priestly ministry of the Gospel by administering the sacraments... well, we fix that.
Anyway, that's all I have to say about that. Peace out!
"BAPTISM, as it is not unnecessarily to be delayed, so it is not to be administered in any case by any private person, but by a minister of Christ, called to be the steward of the mysteries of God." (WDPW "OF BAPTISM")
"The purest churches under heaven are subject both to mixture and error; and some have so degenerated as to become no churches of Christ, but synagogues of Satan...." (WCF 25.5)