Baptism

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by AdoptedDaughter, Apr 14, 2002.

  1. AdoptedDaughter

    AdoptedDaughter
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    Is it appropaite, valid, or correct for anyone to baptize themselves with or without witnesses?

    In Christ's gracious love,
    Teresa
     
  2. rsr

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    You'll get different answers on the appropriateness of self-baptism. It's certainly not unheard of; the founder of the English General Baptists did exactly that.

    But why would you want to? Especially without witnesses? Most Baptists believe that part of the function of baptism is a public acknowledgement of faith.

    Is there some reason you wouldn't go to a church
    -- look, there are plenty to pick from -- to undergo baptism and join a local church?
     
  3. rlvaughn

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    Teresa, my answer would be "no" to all three questions - not appropriate, not valid, and not correct. While we can find historical incidences of self-baptism, there is no New Testament example of such a practice.
     
  4. DocCas

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  5. tyndale1946

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    Oh Brother... er I mean... Oh Sister! I've never seen nor heard of this practice!... Brother Glen :confused:
     
  6. Brother Adam

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    Just so you guys know who are wondering, Teresa was baptized quite a while ago in a Baptist church after she was saved. The question came about after we watched "The Apostle" written, directed, and starring Robert Duvall. In the movie Mr. Duvall baptizes himself as an apostle of the Lord. He has one witness, an elderly black man of whom he was staying with for a few days. She asked me if self baptism is legit in any instances, and while it is not the biblical example of baptism, to say that it becomes invalid, I wasn't 100% sure on. So we decided to post a question to our resident scholars, historians, theologians, pastors, and Christian brethen here at the BB.

    When Jesus commanded us to be baptized, he simply commanded us to be baptized. He didn't say there had to be this many witnesses or it would be invalid, or so forth. So could a case be made that while self baptism is not the norm it would not make it an invalid baptism?

    Look forward to your thoughts.

    UNP
    Adam
     
  7. tyndale1946

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    I've yet to see Hollywood get a baptism right! My favorite flub is from I think the movie Jesus Of Nazareth. If I'm not mistaken has John The Baptist give the sign to Jesus, where up on Jesus lower his self under the water and comes up again.
    John The Baptist never touches him! Another favorite has the children of Israel wading across
    the Red Sea even though the Bible says they went dry shod!... Hellywood as a preacher I know calls it!... I'll just stick to the Word Of God and the examples left us!... Brother Glen [​IMG]
     
  8. Brother Adam

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    I repeat: Is their any case that can be made in which self baptism can be appropriate.

    Thank you.

    UNP
    Adam
     
  9. Don

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    last man on earth?

    [​IMG]
     
  10. DocCas

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    The ordinances of Baptism and the Lord's Supper are church ordinances. A church is an organized assembly of baptized believers. It is the church and not the man which has been given baptismal authority by the great commission. In order for baptism to be valid it must be performed under the auspices of a New Testament church. A single, unbaptized, person does not constitute a church so a single, unbaptized, person dunking himself is not baptism.
     
  11. AdoptedDaughter

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    Well, if it is a church ordinance, wouldn't there be some leeway? Isn't every believer part of the church. Yes, they do not make of the entire church, but they are part of the church.

    What about if they were "converted" by a "missionary" passing through and they were the only believer in their village? Would it be okay then?

    In Christ's gracious love,
    Teresa
     
  12. Michael Wrenn

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    Thomas,

    This is one of the very few things I disagree with you on. ;)

    Seriuosly, I agree with you on more than I thought I would at first.
     
  13. TomVols

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    No. Every Scriptural incident of baptism I am aware of had someone else there. Someone had to perform the baptism.
     
  14. Brother Adam

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    The ordinances of Baptism and the Lord's Supper are church ordinances. A church is an organized assembly of baptized believers. It is the church and not the man which has been given baptismal authority by the great commission. In order for baptism to be valid it must be performed under the auspices of a New Testament church. A single, unbaptized, person does not constitute a church so a single, unbaptized, person dunking himself is not baptism.</font>[/QUOTE]Well, yes, that is the Baptist's churches doctrine, now where is the scirpture showing us that self-baptism is never valid...whether it states it in so many words or not.

    Thanks!

    UNP
    Adam
     
  15. DocCas

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    Asked and answered. The great commission clearly says that the church is to go, evangelize, baptize, and teach.
     
  16. rlvaughn

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    Adam, the commission to the church is to baptize (active voice) and to the believer to be baptized (passive voice). That in itself should be enough to convince us. Combine that with the New Testament church practice of the new believer always being baptized by someone sent by God, and we have a two-fold cord. Finally, add to that the intent to testify and identify with Christ by the act of baptism, and we have a threefold cord that is not easily broken. We do not need a command to not se-baptize, any more than we need a command to not paedo-baptize.
     
  17. HankD

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    For what its worth:

    If the oridinance of baptism comes out of Judaism's mikvah then self baptism may be proper(with the Trinitarian Name of course) because mikvah is self administered.

    HankD

    [ April 15, 2002, 05:39 PM: Message edited by: HankD ]
     
  18. Graceforever

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    Gentlemen, If the Lord can put a water hole in the middle of the desert in order for a believer to be baptized, he can make a way in a world of millions….
    Baptism isn’t for the cleansing of the soul, but to answer a good conscience toward God… I suppose that some would bring the thief on the cross up, since he was never baptized…

    Peace, Gary
     
  19. Brother Adam

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    I'm still not convinced that self-baptism is an invalid baptism requiring rebaptism.

    rlvaughn, I completely agree that baptism as seen in the New Testament is the way to go. That we should be baptized by the church. This is your first cord of strength: the baptizee is to be baptized, not baptize himself. A variation for some increadible circumstance though may be that a person baptizes themself not fully understanding that they should wait to be baptized. I'm not convinced that they have not been baptized by baptizing themselves if they are baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

    I admit though that you do make a strong argument. I'm just not totally convinced at this point. I'm still an open book [​IMG]

    UNP
    Adam
     
  20. Sularis

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    Actually Grace the thief was Baptized with the saving Baptism of the Spirit - perhaps he did not have the chance to follow through on the ordinance of water baptism in order to publicly declare his faith, but oh yes was he baptized
     

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