Credo-Baptism Answers "Rebaptism" and the marks of a true church

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Joseph Knowles

Puritan Board Freshman
Given that one of the two (or three) marks of a true church is right (or pure) administration of the sacraments/ordinances, what should we conclude about a church that administers baptism to those who seek it as a kind of "re-dedication"? I'm not wanting to get into the false profession/infant baptist/RC baptism scenarios here, because it looks like other threads have discussed that one at considerable length.

This is probably more of an issue for my fellow Southern Baptist brethren than others (see here under category #4 for the kind of thing I'm talking about). If the president of one of the SBC seminaries estimates (anecdotally) that as many as half of baptisms in SBC churches are "rebaptisms" of one sort or another that seems like a serious problem.

Assuming that churches ought not to administer baptism in those "ree-dedication" situations, how serious is that when holding that church up against the traditional marks of a true church?
 

TheInquirer

Puritan Board Freshman
It would definitely raise a red flag for me if a church was treating baptism in that manner. If they are that sloppy in an understanding of baptism, it would be hard to trust the leadership in other matters.

Churches can get into all kinds of weird metrics to try to measure their ministerial effectiveness (attendance, giving, number of professions, number of baptisms?). I wonder if that factors into it in some cases.
 

Herald

Administrator
Staff member
Joseph, I think the practice of re-baptism is serious to the degree that it diminishes baptism itself. The ordinance becomes trivialized; it's proper meaning and application obscured. I do believe there is a difference between re-baptism upon a re-dedication and baptism to correct the improper application of the ordinance. As a Baptist, I believe the ordinance is to only be applied to those who profess faith in Christ. I also believe the proper mode is immersion. I am in agreement with my paedobaptist brethren that baptism is to be trinitarian. So, if a paedobaptist seeks to join a Baptist congregation, the odds are good that they will be asked to submit to believers baptism.

Now, as to re-baptism after a re-dedication, it has no biblical warrant. I can see how Free Will Baptists can make a case for re-baptism, but the biblical command is to believe and be baptized (Acts 16:31-32). The command is not to believe, fall away, re-dedicate and be baptized. Those Baptist churches that treat baptism with such low regard probably have other problems that are even more serious.
 

KMK

Administrator
Staff member
It would definitely raise a red flag for me if a church was treating baptism in that manner. If they are that sloppy in an understanding of baptism, it would be hard to trust the leadership in other matters.
:agree:
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
Regarding the marks of the true church, I've heard both Presbyterians and Baptists try to state that the other side is not a true church because this "mark" of the Church is defective. But I don't buy it. There are many true churches with awful faults.

Also, if the SBC leader was consistent he would NEVER use the term "rebaptism" at all! He would, rather, refer to them as "true baptisms" - because dunking or sprinkling an unbeliever ought not to be counted or called a baptism.

The consistent terminology would be, "I thought I was baptized, but it was no baptism at all because I was unsaved....now I desire truly to be baptized for the first time."

Baptists do NOT believe in rebaptism, in reality. They only believe in 1 true baptism.
 

Kinghezy

Puritan Board Sophomore
If someone at a Presbyterian church was baptized as a believer, would they need baptized again because it was sprinkled and not immersed?
 

Herald

Administrator
Staff member
If someone at a Presbyterian church was baptized as a believer, would they need baptized again because it was sprinkled and not immersed?
Yes. See what I wrote in post #3. The New Testament mode of baptism is immersion. The framers of the 1689 LBC wrote:

29.4 Immersion, or dipping of the person in water, is necessary to the due administration of this ordinance. ( Matthew 3:16; John 3:23 )

I understand how this can a source of distress to a Presbyterian brother or sister who wishes to join a Baptist church, but Baptists believe that a) Baptism is only to be applied to professed believers b) the proper mode is immersion. These make for the "due administration" of the ordinance.

Of course, Baptists being Baptists, as Joseph inferred in the OP, there is no shortage of Baptist churches who have a lower view of the ordinance. I do know some Baptist churches that will accept any prior trinitarian baptism as "good enough". However, they do so for convenience and not biblical conviction.
 

Kinghezy

Puritan Board Sophomore
Thanks for the clarification. I was not aware if the immersion criteria, but I suppose if you are not a confessional Baptist, that can vary greatly as you alluded to.
 

Herald

Administrator
Staff member
To all: please keep in the mind the purpose of this forum. It is for those who have questions about credobaptism, not to get into a debate about baptism.
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
Romans 6 shows us the correct symbology of baptism:

What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
2 God forbid! How shall we, who are dead to sin, live any longer therein?
3 Know ye not that as many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death?
4 Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of His death, so we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection.


Baptism is an identifying of your new life in Christ. Thus, it belongs to believers. It is not a mark upon an infant in the hopes that someday he shall become a believer due to Christian parentage, but is, instead, a mark of being an actual believer.

Also, note that we usually try to entirely cover a dead body during burial.
 

lynnie

Puritan Board Graduate
Just wanted to point out that Lloyd Jones believed in credo baptism by sprinkling. You can look up his views if interested. He referred to himself as a church of one on this subject. Must have been a lonely position.
 

earl40

Puritan Board Professor
Yes. See what I wrote in post #3. The New Testament mode of baptism is immersion. The framers of the 1689 LBC wrote:

29.4 Immersion, or dipping of the person in water, is necessary to the due administration of this ordinance. ( Matthew 3:16; John 3:23 )

I understand how this can a source of distress to a Presbyterian brother or sister who wishes to join a Baptist church, but Baptists believe that a) Baptism is only to be applied to professed believers b) the proper mode is immersion. These make for the "due administration" of the ordinance.

Of course, Baptists being Baptists, as Joseph inferred in the OP, there is no shortage of Baptist churches who have a lower view of the ordinance. I do know some Baptist churches that will accept any prior trinitarian baptism as "good enough". However, they do so for convenience and not biblical conviction.
Curious question Harold. Does your congregation fence the table by stating one must be immersed to receive?
 

Herald

Administrator
Staff member
Curious question Harold. Does your congregation fence the table by stating one must be immersed to receive?
We are drifting far from the OP here. Let's get back on track. You can always start another thread on fencing the table if you want an answer to that question.

Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk
 

Herald

Administrator
Staff member
Thanks for the clarification. I was not aware if the immersion criteria, but I suppose if you are not a confessional Baptist, that can vary greatly as you alluded to.
Without a doubt. Baptists give Baskin Robbins a run for it's money.

Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk
 

Kinghezy

Puritan Board Sophomore
Without a doubt. Baptists give Baskin Robbins a run for it's money.

Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk
Thanks. I apologise if my post was intrepreted as wanting to debate. I was curious because of the OP discussion on re-dedication and wasn't aware of the mode as being an incorrect baptism.
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
Given that one of the two (or three) marks of a true church is right (or pure) administration of the sacraments/ordinances, what should we conclude about a church that administers baptism to those who seek it as a kind of "re-dedication"? I'm not wanting to get into the false profession/infant baptist/RC baptism scenarios here, because it looks like other threads have discussed that one at considerable length.

This is probably more of an issue for my fellow Southern Baptist brethren than others (see here under category #4 for the kind of thing I'm talking about). If the president of one of the SBC seminaries estimates (anecdotally) that as many as half of baptisms in SBC churches are "rebaptisms" of one sort or another that seems like a serious problem.

Assuming that churches ought not to administer baptism in those "ree-dedication" situations, how serious is that when holding that church up against the traditional marks of a true church?
The only time water Baptism should be administered again is when one professes to have been saved by the Lord Jesus, evidenced to some degree saving fruit, and were either never baptized, or else as an infant, in which case we would not see that original one as being a valid one.
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
They were never truly baptized, according to most baptists.
We would see them needing to be water baptized for the first time now, and Baptist churches are of 2 minds on taking Communion, as some say must be members of that local church and believers baptism by immersion required, but others churches would say as long as saved and walking with the Lord able to take the communion. My church holds to the second position.
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
Some baptists would also say that a water baptism by immersion upon profession of faith is still invalid if that church body is heretical. For instance, if you truly believed but were then baptized by a cult. The ordinances were given to the Church only, and so the formula is this: Not Church=No ordinance given=not a true baptism.
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
Some baptists would also say that a water baptism by immersion upon profession of faith is still invalid if that church body is heretical. For instance, if you truly believed but were then baptized by a cult. The ordinances were given to the Church only, and so the formula is this: Not Church=No ordinance given=not a true baptism.
Yes, as we would tend to see the person administering the water baptism towards us would be recognized as being authorized of the Lord, and a Cult pastor would not suffice.
 

TheInquirer

Puritan Board Freshman
If someone at a Presbyterian church was baptized as a believer, would they need baptized again because it was sprinkled and not immersed?
We do not require rebaptism in this case even though we practice immersion.

For myself, I put less emphasis on the mode as I do the sign/symbol and the profession that goes along with it. If someone were not physically able to be immersed, I cannot imagine the Lord would not allow that person to fulfill His command if another mode must be utilized.
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
We do not require rebaptism in this case even though we practice immersion.

For myself, I put less emphasis on the mode as I do the sign/symbol and the profession that goes along with it. If someone were not physically able to be immersed, I cannot imagine the Lord would not allow that person to fulfill His command if another mode must be utilized.
Agree with this point, as the Lord knows that the person would be willing to have the water baptism, but just not physically able to have it done in the right matter.
 

Susan777

Puritan Board Sophomore
According to a friend of mine who recently returned from a church trip to Israel, tourist rebaptism is wildly popular there at the Jordan. The local vendors even supply the white robes and towels, etc.
 

KMK

Administrator
Staff member
According to a friend of mine who recently returned from a church trip to Israel, tourist rebaptism is wildly popular there at the Jordan. The local vendors even supply the white robes and towels, etc.
Wow. Now if only they can find that upper room!
 

KMK

Administrator
Staff member
We do not require rebaptism in this case even though we practice immersion.

For myself, I put less emphasis on the mode as I do the sign/symbol and the profession that goes along with it. If someone were not physically able to be immersed, I cannot imagine the Lord would not allow that person to fulfill His command if another mode must be utilized.
My son, when he was younger, had an uncommon fear of water. He could barely stand taking a shower. When I baptized him, I did the best I could, but his head definitely did not go under water.
 

Joseph Knowles

Puritan Board Freshman
According to a friend of mine who recently returned from a church trip to Israel, tourist rebaptism is wildly popular there at the Jordan. The local vendors even supply the white robes and towels, etc.
Thanks for reminding me of this! I've heard of it, but had forgotten (and I don't think it might quite the impression on me at the time given that I think I've now come to a more biblical understanding of the purpose of baptism)
 

Joseph Knowles

Puritan Board Freshman
Regarding the marks of the true church, I've heard both Presbyterians and Baptists try to state that the other side is not a true church because this "mark" of the Church is defective. But I don't buy it. There are many true churches with awful faults.

Also, if the SBC leader was consistent he would NEVER use the term "rebaptism" at all! He would, rather, refer to them as "true baptisms" - because dunking or sprinkling an unbeliever ought not to be counted or called a baptism.

The consistent terminology would be, "I thought I was baptized, but it was no baptism at all because I was unsaved....now I desire truly to be baptized for the first time."

Baptists do NOT believe in rebaptism, in reality. They only believe in 1 true baptism.
Fair points. I'm not really concerned with the debate between paedobaptists and credobaptists, although that's an important thing to get right. Nor am I concerned at this stage with someone who would admit that they were baptized on a previous occasion based on what they now believe was a false profession. I tend to agree with Bill that there's no Biblical warrant for being immersed a second (or third) time as a means of re-dedication. If it's true that it is a practice for which there is no biblical warrant, then my concern is whether such a church is rightly administering the ordinance of baptism. I lean strongly toward concluding that they are not, but I want to make sure I've though through the issue carefully.
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
Fair points. I'm not really concerned with the debate between paedobaptists and credobaptists, although that's an important thing to get right. Nor am I concerned at this stage with someone who would admit that they were baptized on a previous occasion based on what they now believe was a false profession. I tend to agree with Bill that there's no Biblical warrant for being immersed a second (or third) time as a means of re-dedication. If it's true that it is a practice for which there is no biblical warrant, then my concern is whether such a church is rightly administering the ordinance of baptism. I lean strongly toward concluding that they are not, but I want to make sure I've though through the issue carefully.
Water Baptism would be done only one time, and would be administered to one who has received Lord Jesus and have the Holy Spirit now indwelling them.
 
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