Should I be baptized (or rebaptized)?

Discussion in 'The Pilgrims Progress' started by Rufus, Aug 3, 2011.

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  1. dudley

    dudley Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    Amen Rev Bruce, I commend your answer and agree with you completely when you said "They are defective, severely, in doctrine and practice. They have a form of godliness, and deny the power thereof. Their ministry has little more than a formal shell of ordination. But before we overthrow our recognition of baptisms that they conduct, we should be careful to note how conveniently we pass by many other similar defects in other churches. The "irregularity" of Romish baptism is no more an impediment to our recognizing it, than if we recognize some other "irregularly" performed baptism, as done by a Charismatic-Arminian-baptist. Unless we want to start saying that our church (whichever one) is the ONLY church that has a true baptism, along with perhaps a few others that we periodically bring up for a review of how well they line up with us doctrinally."

    I believe the Romanists and the Roman catholic church is defective, severely, in doctrine and practice. It is why I left that church and becamse a Protestant. It is wht I renounced the pope and Roman catholicism but I did not not and could not renounce my baptism. However the iregularity of the Romish baptism I had as a baby I believe is valid and my leaving the church of Rome and becoming a Presbyterian by public afirmation of faith was a completion of a desire placed in me by the amazing grace of God to find and be part of the true Gospel and faith and church of Jesus Christ and the apostles which I do believe is the Reformed Protestant faith and the Presbyterian church of which I am now a fulled professed member. I am validly baptised and I am a Christian, a Reformed Protestant and I am a Presbyterian.
  2. Scott1

    Scott1 Puritan Board Doctor

    This is very difficult to understand, acceptance of Roman baptism, yet there is much good substance and believers on both sides, even in our reformed house.

    The PCA study committee on this was 4-1 against their validity, with several of its "founding fathers" in majority.

    It's also made difficult because biblical reformed denominations do not share communion (Lord's Supper) with the Roman communion- that is a Roman member visiting a biblical reformed communion is not to partake of the Lord's Supper.

    Perhaps a distinction is made that baptism is more something God does for us, whereas the Lord's Supper is more based on our own volition, self-examination? (Honestly, I just can't get there)

    Perhaps this is going beyond the scope of this thread, if so, moderators please feel free to so move.

    What makes this even more difficult is that Roman doctrine for 500 years would allow a non-ordained person, apparently even a self conscious, non Christian, even a heretic to baptize. While this goes to the form attending, it makes it all the more uncertain that the person even intended to baptize into the Triune God, let alone baptize toward its object, which is salvation.

    How can someone get into the church universal (visible) if no one believes the gospel (justification by faith). In the case of an infant baptized by believing parents, it is the faith (in the gospel), redemption, that causes a believing parent to bring their child?
    Isn't that the basis rather than a generic belief in the trinity?

    The questions asked of parents when their infant child is baptized are about their faith in covenant promises of redemption.

    Very difficult indeed.
  3. Contra_Mundum

    Contra_Mundum Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger Staff Member

    I agree that the matter can be vexing, which is (to my thinking) another reason to generally accept other baptisms, unless specific reason is put forward calling it into question. The default position seems to me: persuade me otherwise.

    What may we to do with the PCUSA, which proposes alternate-trinitarian names for God (not yet sanctioned for baptism)? Whose name is "on their foreheads" (Rev.22:4)? One may well argue this is a grosser distortion of baptism than even the RCs came up with.

    Again, I see this as a question that should ordinarily be left to lie, unless specific grounds for questioning the basic form/formula has been noted; then, the burden of proof still stands with the person who thinks the issue is live, to change our basic catholic stance. :2cents:
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2011
  4. raekwon

    raekwon Puritan Board Junior

    To answer this question quickly: presbyterians believe that baptism is baptism into the church, so when you're baptized (whether during infancy or upon profession of faith), you become a member of that local church.

    There have certainly been times where that wasn't the case, but they're the very rare exception.
  5. Phil D.

    Phil D. Puritan Board Junior

  6. Peairtach

    Peairtach Puritan Board Doctor

    Baptism is into the Holy Trinity, Christ and the Church. There is the visible Church and the invisible Church. Christ is Head of both the visible and invisible Church.

    Many that are baptised - both adults and children - are not part of the invisible Church when they are baptised, but later become so.

    The Roman Catholic Church is part of the visible Church. How many people in the RC Church are part of the invisible Church only God knows but if they listen to what they're taught about salvation it will put them in the wrong direction.
  7. Contra_Mundum

    Contra_Mundum Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger Staff Member

    I'm going to go back and edit my statement. What I claimed is the "stance" of the PCUSA on the subject has NOT been adopted as the official church position, which SFAIK has not changed from 2006. That year their General Assembly received and commended a report that re-branded the Trinity with all manner of alternatives, which are admissible for worship.

    The report was amended to state that the biblical formula "Father, Son, and Holy Spirit" remains standard for usage in baptism.

    Alternatives to the biblical trinitarian Name include:
    Commentary available here: – The God Who Names Himself
    Reportage available here:
    PC(USA) - 217th General Assembly (2006) - Assembly votes to 'receive' and commend to the church
  8. KaphLamedh

    KaphLamedh Puritan Board Freshman

    Hello Rufus! The baptism is the case between God and you. No one of us can tell you what to do, that's up to you. Pray and study bible and the most important is that you ask God what to do. Baptists say: Yes you have to rebaptize yourself and presbyterians do not think it's necessary and lutherans say that absolutely not to do that. I was baptized as infant into Lutheran church just because of tradition in Finland.

    I was born again when I was 29, and Lutherans teach that we born again in baptism and we can always return to "grace of baptism". I never returned to "grace of baptism", but I was saved by grace of Jesus Christ. Just as Virgin Mary is an idol in Catholic Church, is baptism as an idol in Lutheran Church today. I was baptized in the river by Christian friend of mine and I didn't join any church at that moment, but months later I was joined to Free Church. Calvinism came to my life just three years ago and now when I have read more about confessions I have noticed that London Baptist Confession is that I do agree the most, because of baptism.
    I hope that Acts 19: 1-7 helps you:
    1.And it happened that while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul passed through the inland[a] country and came to Ephesus. There he found some disciples. 2And he said to them, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?" And they said, "No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit." 3And he said, "Into what then were you baptized?" They said, "Into John’s baptism." 4And Paul said, "John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, Jesus." 5On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6And when Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began speaking in tongues and prophesying. 7There were about twelve men in all. (ESV)
  9. "William The Baptist"

    "William The Baptist" Puritan Board Freshman

    So, perhaps this is very elementary, is a credobaptism valid if one wished to join a Presbyterian church? My confusion stems from the difference in full immersion verses pouring/sprinkling (I have read on this... I just can't recall exactly). I'm sure this has been addressed before... and I probably haven't gone through enough forums to find it yet. Feel free to direct me elsewhere.

    Also, thank you Raekwon for your response. :)
  10. Contra_Mundum

    Contra_Mundum Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger Staff Member

    If your question is:
    1) Would my previous baptism on profession of faith (a self-confessed creed) count me as "baptized" in a Presbyterian's eyes? the answer is certainly. Many new converts to Christianity are baptized on profession of faith in Presbyterian churches.

    If your question is:
    2) Does the "manner" or "mode" of baptism matter to a Presbyterian? the answer is, not nearly as much as it does on a Baptist's reckoning. Neither the amount of water, nor its method of application are items of first-order consideration by a Presbyterian.
    This statement can be taken to mean that pouring or sprinkling are preferred modes; but its essential thrust is not to stipulate any preference, but to deny the exclusivity of any one form--least of all immersion.

    My personal feelings concerning mode have shifted--from once being fairly set-against immersion mode (as lacking--by my lights--sufficient biblical encouragement) though immersion did not in any way invalidate a baptism; to being a bit more ambivalent about the utility of the various modes, including immersion. I now think there is symbolism in immersion that (at least conceptually) might be best displayed (among all the options) by baptism in those conditions; while that choice naturally sacrifices being the "best display" of other symbolism. No single mode can signify it the BEST in every category--its just impossible.

    Personally, I still think immersion is a bit ostentatious (showy and overly dramatic) for the sobriety of public worship; but having seen many a tastefully done immersion (granting allowances for the additional logistics required for the arrangement), I am content to say that even Presbyterians could use immersion as mode--provided (!) that the mode was simply the ordinary way of baptizing everyone in that church, and not a special concession or provision to one individual (the "menu" approach to baptism).
  11. GulfCoast Presbyterian

    GulfCoast Presbyterian Puritan Board Junior

    Yes. My church regularly accepts folks into membership who were "credobaptised." Including me! :D
  12. "William The Baptist"

    "William The Baptist" Puritan Board Freshman

    Thank you Rev. Bruce for your most helpful answer. Yes, I was wondering about both, so I am glad you went ahead and answered it twice over. :)

    Thanks Gulfcoast Presbyterian, as well!
  13. Dennis1963

    Dennis1963 Puritan Board Freshman

    Personally I believe you were baptized once and that is good enough. I also was baptized Roman Catholic.

    ---------- Post added at 10:43 PM ---------- Previous post was at 10:41 PM ----------

    Besides, who the person was who baptized you is not really important.
  14. clinpep05

    clinpep05 Puritan Board Freshman

    The question is "Should I be baptized (or rebaptized)?" The only answer to that question can come from God himself who gave us the ordinance of babtism as a way to express our inward faith in an outward manor. Paul wrote in Colossians 2:12"Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead."
    Water baptism is a way of identifing ourselves with Christ in burial of the flesh. When we are made alive unto God we are told to be Baptized as the first act of obedience unto our LORD,going through this ceremony telling everyone "Look at me.. I was dead but now I am Alive" therefore putting us in correct fellowship with Christ. "The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ" The salvation mentioned is in the second aspect (the salvation of sins power in our lives).

    I suspect that when you were an infant you had no understanding of exactly what Baptism means or is... Therefore in my opinion ( and please note my opinions are flawed by my nature) you should be "re-baptized" or actually baptized scripturally which i believe was never accomplished. Really its a small matter, I know people who were baptized 5 or 6 times before they actually understood what they were doing. My wife got baptized once in her teens because the church was giving away these cool new teen bibles to everyone that came for Batptism. LOL She got her bible and she got wet, but she was lost. She ended up getting saved in a small bible study in her 20s.

    I hope this helps you, Baptism is important in fellowship with our LORD as well as church membership.
  15. Dennis1963

    Dennis1963 Puritan Board Freshman

    I'm not sure if this is addressed to me but, I'll comment. Hope you don't mind. :)

    I think your suspicion is correct. I surly cannot remember back then.

    Thanks for your opinion. However, I firmly believe God chose His elect before the foundation of the world. If I was baptized by the hands of a RC priest, that was who God chose to use, or it wouldn't have happened. I believe when one is baptized, it is actually an act of God. Just as a priest cannot call Christ down into a piece of bread, the priest also has nothing to offer but his services in baptism. Now, don't get me wrong, as you, my opinions are imperfect also.

    However, I do not rule out the possibility that I may be re-baptized, I just do not see scripture (at this time) pointing to that. I'm not convicted of it; if I read a good scriptural case for it, it may indeed change. :)

    I agree baptism is important, Jesus said so.

    Thank you and God Bless.
  16. clinpep05

    clinpep05 Puritan Board Freshman

    lol sorry if it felt like i was aiming anything toward you... not my intention...

    You know i read a book called "The Trail of Blood" that shows how Baptists got their name because they went around Re-baptizing every convert. The Catholics named them Anti-Baptists and the name stuck. LOL Guilty as charged (with my hand up)

  17. Scott1

    Scott1 Puritan Board Doctor

    Also, wanted to make clear for those following,
    We all agree that a biblical, reformed presbyterian church would accept the baptism of any historic Protestant (evangelical) communion, e.g. Methodist, Baptist, Lutheran, etc. of either infant or adult as valid baptism. The idea being, baptism is only once, and a charitable view of the household of faith, Christ's Body, the universal church.

    The only question is whether the Roman church would fit that definition. There are honest and good faith differences in the Reformed house on that question.
  18. Marrow Man

    Marrow Man Drunk with Powder

    That is awful, simply awful (the carrot for baptism, not the latter part). What a trivializing of what the Lord instituted. Churches that do this and call themselves "Baptist" make a mockery of the name. I am thankful for the faithful Baptists out there. I am also glad that she found the Lord, albeit later.
  19. Peairtach

    Peairtach Puritan Board Doctor

    It is the Lord's Supper as the inner door of the Church - by its opening or closing to the individual(s) concerned - that should be used to correct mistakes, not baptism.
  20. cajunhillbilly53

    cajunhillbilly53 Puritan Board Freshman

    Actually that should be Anabaptist not Antibaptist. Anti means agianst baptism, ana means rebaptising. Be sure you use the correct prefix. Plus the book The Trail of Blood has some historic mistakes in it.
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