re-baptism

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by Mike McK, Jan 27, 2004.

  1. Mike McK

    Mike McK
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    On another board someone said that he was going from one denomination, which does not transfer letters of membership to his wife's baptist church.

    He was told by the baptist church that he would have to be baptised, even though he had been baptised in his former denom, because they would not transfer a letter of membership.

    While I wouldn't have required him to be rebaptised, I suggested that it wouldn't be a bad thing for him to be re-baptised, assuming that he understands that baptism is only symbolic.

    Every other poster became indignant at the idea that anyone would ever be re-baptised and I was the only one who believed that it's not wrong to be baptised more than once.

    Is there any Biblical admonition against being baptised more than once?
     
  2. Debby in Philly

    Debby in Philly
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    I have only heard of it in the instance where the person had gone back into the world, and upon coming to the Lord realized that the first baptism had been a lie, that they had not truly been saved when they did it the first time. An example would be a young person who went along with their friends, or had been overly "encouraged" by family or church members to be baptised. When this person finally really makes their commitment to the Lord, they feel they need to make a statement to everyone that it is real, and a public baptism is a good way to signify that.

    I have never heard of it in the situation of changing membership from one church to another, where both practice believer's baptism. Coming from an infant baptism church, yes.
     
  3. Trotter

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    Mike,

    Since baptism is symbolic, and has no effect on the eternal state of the believer, there shouldn't be a big deal about it.

    I understand that some churches will not accept a person as a member unless they are baptized into that church, these are exceptions rather that the rule. I have known several people who underwent baptisn again, for various reasons.

    One of the most beautiful that I have ever seen was when a person came back to the Lord after wandering in Egypt (the world). By undergoing baptism, the person publicly reaffirmed their commitment to the Lord, and at the same time identified with the finished work of Jesus Christ.

    I say, if a person feels the need, fine. But not just so they can join a church. What ever happened to a statement of faith?

    In Christ,
    Trotter
     
  4. Johnv

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    The Baptist church should take his word that he was baptized as a believer (assuming he was baltized as a believer).
    Against? No. My personal feeling is that multiple baptisms trivialize the sacrament, but I have nothing to base that on. For me, I was baptized when I got saved. But if I ever get around to visiting the Holy Land, I'd love to get baptized in the Jordan River.
     
  5. rbrent

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    My sister and her husband were baptized by immersion in an IFB church while they were youngsters.
    When they went off to med school as newlyweds, they joined a Grace Brethren church.

    That Grace Brethren church (in Worthington, OH), practices trine immersion - three times face forward,

    using John 19:30 as their proof text - “...and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost”

    and Romans 6:5 - “...planted together in the likeness of his death...”

    Seems a little odd to me as a Baptist but since I believe in the autonomy of the local church, a local church is free to accept or reject the ‘baptism’ of another congregation.

    Do we know what kind of ‘baptism’ the other church practiced, which the Baptist church refused to accept?

    When I was pastoring, I would NOT have accepted anyone’s ‘baptism’ if if they were sprinkled or poured and called that baptism.

    And I would not generally accept a baptism by immersion from a liberal Baptist church or from many charismatic churches.

    And for that matter, a ‘baptism by immersion’ from the Jehovah’s Witnesses would be unacceptable.

    Decisions about accepting another church’s baptism should be made on a case by case basis.

    Finally, I NEVER call baptism a sacrament. That tends to be confusing to new converts from Catholicism who associate sacraments with the heretical and unscriptural Catholic teaching that baptism = being sprinkled and that sacraments are a means of conveying 'grace'.

    I know mioque will probably insist that Catholics promote baptism by immersion but those of us who do personal work and lead Catholics to the Lord know what the practical teaching of the Catholic church is on baptism and its not immersion.
     
  6. Johnv

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    Not really. While local autonomy adheres to every church, local autonomy does not allow a church to discard other baptist distinctives. Recognition of a believer's baptism is a distinctive, and every Baptist church is bound to accept that a member who has been baptized as a believer has been legitimately baptized in accordance with the Baptist Distinctives.

    Now that I've opened that can of worms, good luck... :D
     
  7. rbrent

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    Mike McK said:
    rbrent said:
    johnv said:
    I believe your statement is only true if you are the pastor of the Baptist Church which is being asked to accept the baptism of another denomination.

    I am unaware of ANY Baptist Church which would accept your assertion as the rule for them to follow.


    Which post elsewhere on this board is Mike McK referring to?

    It would help in our discussion to know which other denomination is at issue here.

    The method of baptism can be scriptural - immersion but the folks performing the immersion might be doctrinal heretics - Roman Catholic, Church of Christ, Jehovah's Witnesses, Greek Orthodox, etc., in which case it would be wrong to lend ANY legitimacy to them by accepting their 'baptism'.
     
  8. Johnv

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    Who decides who is a doctrinal heretic? In examples like LDS or JW, it's clear, but most SBC churches I know will accept Roman Catholic Baptism, so long as it is post-accountability and is immersion (RCC's practice both immersion and pouring). Is is appropriate for one or two pastors to not accept RCC baptism when most do? If so, then it is a matter of the pastor's opinion. If baptism rules can be determined by a pastor's opinion, what's to stop him from, say, requiring baptism of a Baptist whose RCC baptism was accepted by his previous baptist church, but not his currect baptist church?

    And that doesn't even begin to take into account those Baptist pastors who believe that Presbyterians and SDA's are heretical. What about those baptisms?
     
  9. Baptist born Baptist bred

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  10. Johnv

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    Where does the slippery slope of not recognizing baptism end? What if they come from a church that practiced only adult baptism, but does not believe in separation of church and state? Or Local Autonomy? Or does not take a firm stand against abortion? Or a literal six day creation? Where does it stop?
     
  11. Michael Wrenn

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    JohnV,

    Exactly. I thought the only requirement for baptism was that a person should have accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior. If that's God's only requirement, why should man demand more?

    It's a good thing I'm depending on God alone to be a part of His church and get into heaven. It's "funny' how some Baptists criticize Catholics for all their rules, regulations, and traditions but turn around and seek to impose their own upon people. So, which is worse--traditionalism or legalism? I say they're both equally bad.
     
  12. Jamal5000

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    Doesn't Ephesians 4:5 forbid multiple baptisms?

    I could be reading it wrong...

    J5Grand [​IMG]
     
  13. dp

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    I believe Ephesians 4:5 is talking about baptism of the Holy Spirit...
     
  14. Caretaker

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    Almost 30 years ago I first came to Christ in a Oneness Pentecostal Church, and was Baptised by immersion, in the name of Jesus,(Acts 2:38).

    A long spiritual journey to Baptist but just a few years I became Baptist and I was rebaptised as a Baptist believer. For me this was an outward sign of my inward faith, and ALSO my heart acceptance of the IFB articles of faith. I had not one regret except for taking so long to find the truth.


    A servant of Christ,
    Drew
     
  15. Trotter

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    Amen, Drew, amen!

    In Christ,
    Trotter
     
  16. rbrent

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    Johnv wrote:
    Johnv - When you say "so long as it is post-accountability" - what do you mean by that?

    Is that your way of saying "so long as they are genuinely saved and born again?"

    Maybe I've led a sheltered life but I have Never met an SBC pastor who would accept Roman Catholic Baptism in any form.

    I'd like to hear from Southern Baptist Pastors -

    Do any of you accept Roman Catholic Baptism if its by immersion?

    I know Billy Graham used Catholic nuns and occasionally Catholic priests as altar workers in his crusades and then sent the "converts" back to the Great Whore of Revelation 17 & 18 instead of directing them to a Bible Believing Baptist Church or some other Bible Believing Church.

    Can it be that the Southern Baptist Convention is so far gone that they would accept Roman Catholic Baptism as scriptural.

    Wow - I'm learning lots of new things on this board.

    Maybe next time I start a church, I'll call it the Roman Catholic Baptist Church - that might pull in a crowd! [​IMG]
     
  17. Alcott

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    I don't think there is any church out there that has the perfect idea of the meaning of baptism. If is for professed believers, so "baptising" infants is not in line with that. No other 'method' is prescribed except the word itself-- dunk-- so sprinkling or pouring are not in line with that. But it is also not prescribed as any means of transferring from one church or 'denomination' to another. Therefore, a church which practices believer's [only] baptism by immersion should accept members who have been baptised as believers in that manner.

    Long ago I thought about that when my baptist churches required rebaptism of those joining from the Disciples of Christ, Church of Christ, or Pentecostals churches which also baptise professed believers by immersion. Finally I am a member of a church which will accept such people as full members. My previous churches accepted those who refuse rebaptism as partial members, to describe the situation, though they called it Watchcare or some other name that makes it sound like they were doing those people a favor.

    Some of the descriptions of what baptism is may sound, and may be, credible, but they are still our own conclusions. I'm referring to descriptions like "outward sign of an inward faith" and "wanting to make a statement." So if someone describes the need or importance of baptism differently, or if the church or person which did the baptising as not having the right doctrine, that should not nullify a believer's previous baptism.
     
  18. Johnv

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    Yes, I was referring to someone being baptised after accepting Christ as their Lord and Savior.


    Baptism of someone who was immersed, and was baptised after accepting Christ as Lord and Savior, even if that baptism is in a Roman Catholic Church, is a valid Baptism as per our Baptist Distinctives. So would such a baptism be if it were in a Presbyterian or Lutheran church. (referring to the previous post which implied that no Baptist Congregationshould accept a believer's Baptism if it was done in a church that performed infant baptisms. The distinctive is the Believer's Baptism is on the Believer, not the church the believer was baptized in. If we begin to "institutionalize" the Believer's Baptism, we become guilty of legalism.
     
  19. Caretaker

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    The participation in the Baptist ordinances should be by those who believe and practice the Baptist ordinances. An unbeliever should not partake of the Lord's table. A baptism in an apostate or heretical church, declares that the participant believes and supports that heresy.

    One without a recognized baptism should be re-baptised to declare that they follow the Word of God AND the God of the Word, and that they have completely cast aside the trappings of apostasy, especially the abomination of the RCC.

    A little apostasy corrupts the entire Body.

    A servant of Christ,
    Drew
     
  20. Johnv

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    The matter of the Lutheran, RCC, Anglican, or other church being "heresy" is open for debate, and I don't think it's appropriate for the decision to be that of the whim of the pastor du jour. When we get to heaven, we're truly gonna find out how many of our own Baptist beliefs might well be heretical. And frankly, it's judgements like this that make me think that Baptists are becoming more and more legalistic, and make me consider leaving the Baptist fellowship altogether. I worship Jesus Christ to the best of my ability. I adhere to the Baptist Distinctives out of allegiance to my affiliation. But when someone starts "adding to" the distinctives, it's time to blow the legalism whistle.

    Then you'd have no problems with, say, an IFB pastor requiring the same of someone who was baptized SBC, if they felt that the SBC was apostate? Ridiculous. (no offense to my IFB brethren)

    Let the Baptist Congregation who has never been guilty of the slightest apostacy throw the first stone into the font.
     

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