Are there valid reasons for avoiding baptism??

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by John Toppass, Mar 26, 2011.

  1. John Toppass

    John Toppass
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    I agree that Christians should be baptized within a reasonable time after salvation. What do you do when someone's health will not allow for immersion?
    Baptism by immersion could and probably compromise their health. What do you think or what does your church do?
     
  2. Winman

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    I think all Christians should be baptized as soon as possible. I received Christ at Church on a Sunday, the very next Sunday I was baptized.

    Just curious, what kind of health condition would prevent a person from being baptized? I could see problems with a paraplegic where it would be very difficult to baptize them. But how does going under water for a few seconds compromise someone's health?
     
  3. Joseph M. Smith

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    One of the most profound pastoral moments in my career came when a man with whom I had been working for some time (and his wife and daughter were already members of my church) contracted cancer and declined very rapidly. When he made a profession of faith, in consultation with our deacons, I went to his bedside, with the wife and the daughter and a deacon to represent the congregation, and touched him with water on the forehead, lips, hands, and feet ... rather like an anointing, but using water instead of oil to symbolize his baptism. We were all weeping before I finished, but I count it one of the high moments of my years at that church.

    Notice that I was careful to gain the consent of the spiritual leadership, the deacons; and that I made sure that one deacon would accompany me in order to express the implied presence of the congregation.

    I should add that this man died a few days later, and you can be sure that his faith profession and baptism experience were reported in my funeral message.
     
  4. freeatlast

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    If they want baptized baptize them any way you can. If it is impossible it would be like the theif on the cross.
     
  5. Tom Butler

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    I think our church and our pastor would make every possible effort to find a way to immerse him if we could do it without endangering his health

    But I'm like Winman, I don't know how immersing him would endanger him.

    But if it couldn't possibly be done, I don't see doing what Joseph Smith did in a similar situation. I'm sure it was a solemn and moving rite, but it wasn't baptism.
     
  6. Earth Wind and Fire

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    Unusual fear of water & perhaps drowning? Doesnt like crowds or public speaking. Perhaps a person with extreme breathing difficulties
     
    #6 Earth Wind and Fire, Mar 26, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 26, 2011
  7. HAMel

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    That one thief on the Cross didn't get Baptized but the Lord told him, "Today, ye shall be with me in paradise".
     
  8. Old Union Brother

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    I have assisted in baptisms of individuals on stretchers and in chairs. One was a cancer patient on oxygen another confined in a wheelchair....they had the desire to go to the water....
     
  9. Crabtownboy

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    I met a young woman from Mongolia some years ago. She was 3rd generation Christian and had accepted Christ growing up in Mongolia. She was baptized in the US and said she was the first in her family to be baptized by immersion. The reason she was the first was where she was from in Mongolia water is very scarce and there was not enough to baptize by immersion.
     
  10. Joseph M. Smith

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    Why was it not baptism, in your view? Because it was not immersion? Let's not make the symbolism into the essence. The essence is the heart's desire to be saved and follow Christ; the symbol we Baptists have chosen is wonderful, appropriate, Biblical -- but it is a symbol.

    In addition, I would argue that this rite "became" baptism because our church approved of it as such. The authority of the local church was brought to bear to validate what we all understood was an extraordinary situation.

    Now that we are discussing this, I do remember being called to Walter Reed Army Medical Center (our church was nearby) early in my ministry there. A veteran was dying and could certainly not be moved from his hospital bed. So we performed aspersion (sprinkling) baptism. I had worked, again, with him and with his wife before things got to this stage. I was not going to go an sprinkle water on someone as a magic act!
     
  11. Salty

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    That would be absolutely correct!


    So if your church voted to have an office of "Church bookie" that would be okay because the church approved it based on the authority of the local church?

    If it was absolutely impossible, than I would just share the story of the thief on the Cross -
     
  12. John Toppass

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    Thanks for all the information folks. There were some good replies along the lines I was thinking and then there were some legalistic IMO replies. Those who can not think of a reason that immersion would be a threat to someone's help will just have to take my word for it or call me a liar.

    I met a man in the same situation. He said he was one of the rare lucky ones that survived and regained a good portion of health, he requested immersion because his first baptism was not by immersion and he was grateful that he now could be immersed. I believe that those who can not (not will not) be baptized by immersion are still baptized because they did the next best thing possible (tho it has nothing to do with salvation).
     
  13. sag38

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    An 83 year old woman at the local retirement came to the Lord through our Sunday School ministry there. There was not way we could get her up the stairs and into the baptismal pool. I sprinkled water on her head instead. It was a beautiful time. For the able bodied I'd never sprinkle but in this case it was perfectly justified and legitimate. I'm glad that Tom doesn't have the final say so on what is baptism and what isn't. Some folks need to be ashamed of their pharisee like stance.
     
  14. Priscilla Ann

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    I was one of those people with both a fear of water and a phobia about speaking in front of a crowd. In spite of those fears, I chose to be baptized by immersion in front of the congregation in June, 1998. For me, it was a matter obedience. "Repent and be baptized..." Acts 2:38

    I now look back my baptism as a spiritual milestone.
     
  15. Amy.G

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    Someone who is on a ventilator to breath cannot be immersed. I have seen my father on them more than once. A burn victim cannot be immersed or moved. The list could go on and on. If physically possible a person should be immersed but sometimes that is not possible and I know that our Lord in His mercy understands that.
     
  16. Tom Butler

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    That's a tough one. Several years ago, the Lord gave me the privilege of leading a young man to Christ. As I was talking with him about baptism, his wife interrupted.

    "I've never been baptized, either. I was saved as a child, but I have this deathly fear of my face going under water."

    My answer was, I can't help you. Taking that fear away is something only God can do for you. And I left it at that.

    The following Sunday morning, during the invitation, here comes the husband down the aisle---with his wife. Both of them were baptized a week later. That took courage on her part, and she freely acknowledge that she was still scared, but God gave her what she needed to get through it.
     
  17. Earth Wind and Fire

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    Are they still active Christians?
     
  18. Earth Wind and Fire

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    My spiritual milestone was my Baptism of the Holy Spirit. The water baptism was just a routine thing that we are obligated to do. My salvation is not tied to it. However when the Holy Spirit came into my life, my life changed dramatically....I was made a new man & I was a saved man. That indeed was my milestone.
     
  19. Salty

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    What -! Baptist is just "routine"?
    I like what some of the other folks have said - their immersion was a milestone! PTL!

    I do agree with you that immersion is not part of salvation- and virtually no Baptists if any at all would believe in baptismal regeneration


    Yes, that was your first milestone, your second should be your baptism, than comes your third, fourth, fifth, ect milestones....
     
  20. ReformedBaptist

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    Baptism is supremely important because Jesus commanded it.

    I believe, like all Baptists, that immersion in the proper mode. But in circumstance like described above, I would have no problem sprinkling or pouring.
     

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