Do Baptists Have Baptismal Regeneration Phobia?

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Kiffin, Jul 26, 2002.

  1. Kiffin

    Kiffin
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    I was reading a Gospel tract of a Reformed Pastor who I believe to be very sound (5 point Calvinist). I was curious at your observations. At the conclusion of the tract it reads,

    Do you know what God wants you to do now?

    Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. "For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call." Then he called for a light, ran in,
    and fell down trembling before Paul and Silas. And he brought them out and said, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" So they said, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household." Acts 2:38-39; 16:29-34
    Do you understand the following statement?
    In order to avoid eternal punishment in hell and gain eternal life in heaven, you
    must:


    . confess your sins,
    . repent of your sins,
    . place your faith and trust in God by believing that Jesus Christ died to save sinners, and
    . be baptized in the name of God the Father, God the Son (Jesus Christ), and God the Holy Spirit.


    Is there anything wrong with this? Some might say that it leans to baptismal regeneration though that might be a Baptist knee jerk reaction. Baptism is the response of Faith. Generaly speaking , those who have faith in Christ should be baptized and Baptism as Peter states is a pledge of a good conscience. Certaintly Peter was no teaching Baptismal regeneration in Acts 2:38 and I know this pastor has wrote against it. I at first reading thought it might lean towards Baptismal reneration but that could be the Baptismal regeneration phobia syndrome that we Baptists often have.
     
  2. hrhema

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    Why is it that Baptists have Baptism regeneration phobia in the first place? The majority of Baptists believed it when I was growing up so why not now? I was told by hundreds of Baptists that I would go to Hell unless I was baptized. Including preachers. From Southern Baptists to First Baptists to Independant Baptists to Missionary Baptists.
     
  3. rlvaughn

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    I think it may be possible that we may have a little baptismal regeneration phobia. It's not likely that many Baptists would make a statement like Peter did on the day of Pentecost without issuing multiple disclaimers. Of course, I could be argued that Peter did not have to consider a millennia or so of false teaching on baptismal regeneration.

    My first reaction was that this tract has a little of the old "arminian" soul-winning flavor - follow this formula and you'll be saved - that I left behind a number of years back. Maybe that's just a phobia, too, due to exposure to the Hyle/Rice evangelism that gives out a tract (not much different in content from the one above), and in about five minutes having them "saved". Even if the convert didn't know it, the evangelist would know it for them. :(

    Randy, I don't want to derail you topic, but I am a little curious about what you mean by this?
     
  4. Kiffin

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    hrhema,

    Interesting observation from your experiance. My experiance has been that as long as you say the "Sinner's Prayer" is what really mattered and Baptism was like a add on but optional. I reacall in my fundy days with a Evangelist doing evangelism and many people professing faith in Christ yet no insructions were given to be baptized to these people and usually no follow up at all.

    The New Testament attaches one's faith and Baptism very close together and it is right to say if one has Faith in Christ, they will desire Baptism (unless they have not been taught the need to be baptized). One would have to question the salvation of one who professed faith in Christ yet deliberately rejected being Baptized.
     
  5. Kiffin

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    If one wants to really grow in Christ they should be baptized. Certaintly a refusal to be baptized may be a sign of a unconverted person in that it is a act of rebellion and if you can't follow Christ into Baptism you certaintly will not follow him elswhere. There was no such thing in the early Church as a unbaptized "Christian."

    Good point on a possible Arminian flavor to the conclusion, that I overlooked on this tract was As you pointed out, a weakness of this tract and maybe most tracts is one could get the impression that if I follow these steps I will be saved. I'm sure this was not the intention but there is a danger. Tracts sometimes can confuse and that is why one on one witnessing is by far the best.
     
  6. rlvaughn

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    hr, no doubt we all have different experiences, so I cannot speak to yours. But I believe you should at least modify your statment to: "the majority of Baptists that I knew believed it." Such a charge as you make has never been near a majority Baptist position. I can also say that I grew up in a missionary Baptist home and a missionary Baptist church; I have always heard charges about how people have been told if they weren't baptized by Baptists or a member of a Baptist church (or something like that) that they were going to hell; I have NEVER in all my experience run into anyone that actually believed that. Not saying it couldn't or can't be, just that a bird of that feather has been more scarce than hen's teeth in my experience (and that experience covers several states and several groups of Baptists). The covenantal type landmarkers come very close, but even they would not say what you're saying if pinned down and made to explain what they really believe.

    [ July 26, 2002, 02:39 PM: Message edited by: rlvaughn ]
     
  7. Kiffin

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    By the way here is the whole tract. It may be found at How To Be Saved
     
  8. Squire Robertsson

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    Yes, we do have one. Especiallly, those who minister in areas heavily populated by sacramentalists. We are especially concerned with the the idea that getting wet will wash away sin. Further, we are concerned by how the Lord's Supper is viewed by sacramentalists. The simple question, "Have you ever received Christ as Savior?" is a potential theological cross circuit. (Yes, I know some would say that the question is theologically suspect to begin with, but that is a different thread.)

    [ July 26, 2002, 03:55 PM: Message edited by: The Squire ]
     
  9. LadyEagle

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    Does that include the Thief on the Cross, too? :eek:

    Yep, I'm pickin'! :D [​IMG]

    OK, you did qualify it by saying "deliberate." [​IMG]
     
  10. hrhema

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    I grew up in the Houston area and this was exactly what I was told. I begged my mother to let me be baptized but she said I was too young.
     
  11. rsr

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    Yes, there is a regenerational phobia. The scripture is clear that we are commanded to be baptized; I can find no excuse for willfully failing to be baptized.

    Squire, I understand what you're saying. It's difficult to explain that, yes, baptism is demanded, but it does not impart grace. Most people wouldn't understand.

    Another factor is the rationalist, minimalist Baptist approach to theology. Baptism is not required for salvation -- obviously, salvation precedes baptism, so baptism logically cannot bring salvation.

    On the issue of Baptists's preaching that baptism is required for salvation, I can honestly say that I've been attending Baptist churches for XXX (yes, that was deliberate ;) ) years, and I have never heard it. But it's a short step, given the clear commandment of the scriptures.
     
  12. Pastor_Bob

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    I've been in and around Baptist churches for 26 years now. I have yet to personally know one that would accept baptismal regeneration. I preach a message every 2 or 3 years on this subject whenever we have a big group of prospective members. There is a lot of confusion on the subject of baptism. My main points in the message are:
    1. Baptism is a symbol and not a sacrament.
    Col. 2:12; 1 Peter 3:21

    2. Baptism is for believers not babies.
    Acts 8:37 Philip said the prerequisite for baptism was "believing." Obviously a baby cannot believe and therefore does not need baptism.

    3. Baptism is by plunging under the water not pouring on the water. baptizo means to plunge, dip, or immerse.
    Acts 2:38,39 "into the water," "out of the water."

    4. Baptism is necessary for submission; it is not necessary for salvation.
    Compare 1 Cor. 1:17 to 1 Cor. 4:15 and you'll see that Paul's priority was to preach the gospel. If baptism was necessary for salvation, Paul would have baptized every convert.

    5. Baptism should be directly after salvation and not delayed.
    Acts 2:41; Acts 8:12
     
  13. FearNot

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    I too have been in the Baptist church for many years, 30, all of my life. I have never once heard that Baptism was a regenerating force. I have always been taught that Baptism is a responce of obediance to God. After one is saved by Christ Jesus, one is Baptized to profess that belief to others as an example. Christ was baptized. Did He need to be? no. He did so as an example to others that He was devoted to God, the Father. As true believers should be baptized to show our belief, trust in, faith, obediance to, etc to God for saving our soul.
     
  14. Mark-in-Tx

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    One of the major problems I have is that God also says in John 3:16 God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believeth in Him would have life everlasting.

    Here in this verse Baptism is not neccessary as part of the equation for salvation. So now you have two standards. Which one is correct? Another passage says that God is not willing to perish no not one. So which standard do you chose the easier standard or the more difficult one. Then their is the picture of Jesus on the cross telling the criminal on the cross. " Today you will be with me in paradise" So again which standard do we use the easier or the hard one. If God really desires as many possible to live with him everlasting should he not have made it clear everytime he spoke of salvation that baptism was neccessary?

    Mark in Tx
     
  15. kathy56

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    What must you do to be saved? Where is the word Baptism?

    Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." (John 14:6)

    "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." (Romans 10:9-10)

    Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;" (Acts 3:19)

    God Bless!
    Kathy

    Jesus said there is only one way you can get to heaven. Because you cannot achieve heaven on your own, you must repent of your sins and accept Him as your Savior. If you don't, you will be condemned for eternity:

    "He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God." (John 3:18 )

    [ August 01, 2002, 02:17 PM: Message edited by: kathy56 ]
     
  16. rsr

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    Two things:

    1. Kiffin, I think the tract went too far, if it meant what we think it means.

    2. But the second question about regeneration phobia is one that plagues us still. Yes, we do have it. We're afraid by insisting on baptism, we think we're saying it's essential to salvation. The plain teaching of the scripture is that it is a command, not a suggestion.
     
  17. Kiffin

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    Great point rsr! It would be shocking to hear a Baptist preacher close out a service by quoting Acts 2:38! Yet, it is clearly appropriate.

    I personaly don't like the question "Can I be saved without baptism?" since it kinda sounds like "Can I cheat on my wife and still be a faithful husband?" I don't believe in baptismal regeneration as some believe but on the other hand I don't see baptism as a add on or option.

    [ August 01, 2002, 04:15 PM: Message edited by: Kiffin ]
     
  18. FearNot

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    I wanted to add a couple of things to what I said before. As far as the other man on the cross next to Jesus, or any one on the death bed for that matter, obviously they did not have the opportunity to be obediant to baptism. It is a responce of obediance, one is not saved by water, I believe the old saying a unsaved person that is baptized is just another wet person. On the other hand if a person claims Jesus as Lord yet refuse baptism, then you have to question their heart their desire to be obediant and whether Christ is number one and their life. Are they still holding back parts of their life? Are they truely submitted to the Lord? No baptism doesn't save a soul, but it is a tool to show their belief to others, a witness to their rebirth in Christ. If a person is truely saved and i are able to be baptized, they should do so.
     
  19. Kiffin

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    Mark in TX stated,

    Actually practically every time the Gospel is preached in Acts, they are baptized or commanded to be baptized. Baptism is a outward act of obedience whereby we profess we are a follower of Christ. I do not like the idea that many say Baptism is a "good work". Baptism is a gift that I believe gives us assurance that just as Christ died and was raised so we have died to sin and will someday be raised. In that sense both Baptism and the Lord's Supper are ordinances/sacraments to remind us of the new birth we have. We dare not diminish baptism out of fear of being compared to "Church of Christ" for by doing so we bring spiritual harm to new converts.
     
  20. HankD

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    As a former Catholic I can honestly admit to a baptismal regeneration phobia.
    Baptismal regeneration has its roots in the RCC Dogma that baptism removes original sin.

    But I believe it is a justified phobia because I see the dogma as saying -

    water can do what the blood of Christ cannot.

    HankD
     

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