The proper administrator for Baptism

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Salty, Jun 17, 2011.

  1. Salty

    Salty
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    In another thread, Tom stated (Post # 18) that

    To those who argue that the Administrator of baptism is not important, I would point out that Jesus walked many miles to submit to baptism by the proper administrator---John the Baptist.

    Do you agree with Tom?
    If so, why was it that John the Baptist was a proper administrator?

    Other thoughts?
     
  2. Tom Butler

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    Salty, let me elaborate on that point, because any differing views on baptism usually center on this question.

    First, Jesus chose John the Baptist to baptize him because God had set John aside with a specific calling. John preached the coming Messiah. He recognized Jesus as the Lamb of God, and even though he did not feel worthy to perform baptism on the Lamb, he obeyed Jesus instruction.

    So John was the proper administrator for Jesus' baptism. No other would do.

    But the larger point is there baptism must have a proper administrator. Thus the debate over who is a proper administrator. My position is that the New Testament churches were given charge of the ordinances. As a general rule, Baptist churches are New Testament churches. Others not of like faith and order are not New Testament churches, thus are not proper administrators.

    That's why, even though I have some Assembly of God friends whom I believe are true believers; and I believe believers may be found in most faith groups, they are not true NT churches because of erroneous belief and practice.

    And that's why I would favor my church's acceptance of "alien baptisms," even though they were by immersion of believers only.
     
  3. Martin Marprelate

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    From the 1646 Baptist Confession of Faith.

    THE person designed by Christ to dispense baptism, the Scripture holds forth to be a disciple; it being no where tied to a particular church officer, or person extraordinarily sent the commission enjoining the administration, being given to them as considered disciples, being men able to preach the gospel.

    Isa.8:16; Eph.2:7; Matt.28:19; John 4:2; Acts 20:7,11:10; 1 Cor.11:2, 10:16,17; Rom.16:2; Matt.18:17.

    At the time of our Lord's baptism, JTB was the only person baptizing.

    Steve
     
  4. webdog

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    According to the great commission the proper administrator is a believer.
     
  5. Benjamin

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    Amen. The Priesthood Of All Believers also makes this clear. Otherwise, once again, it's sounding a bit RCC around here.
     
  6. Tom Butler

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    The 1646 LCF if consistent with my view, and with Jesus' Great Commission.

    My view is that Jesus gave the commission in Matthew 28 to his church. This church was assembled before him. It is the one he established during his earthly ministry. In fact, the practice of Jesus' disciples baptizing was already established (John 4:1-2) This church was already in existence and had its orders (Matthew 10:5) The Matthew 28 Commission expanded its reach beyond the nation of Israel to all nations. Jesus reinforced it in Acts 1:8 ("...unto the uttermost parts of the earth.").

    Paul, in I Cor 11, admonished the congregation at Corinth to guard the ordinances.

    With such guardianship comes the responsibility, and therefore the authority, to determine whom it shall baptize. And, to designate those who will perform the baptisms.

    This is also another sticking point in the discussion of baptism. Is it a church ordinance or a Christian ordinance? I believe it is the former. In each such instance of marching orders in the New Testament, those orders were given to an assembly of people.

    I refer you to DHK's posts on the subject for an excellent defense of the definition of a church. It is always an assembly.
     
  7. webdog

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    If we are going to maintain it is an ordinance of the church the other aspects would equally apply. If it is the church's responsibility to appoint an administrator for baptism it would by necessity need to do the same for preaching the gospel and making disciples. I see nowhere that the GC was intended for only a subset of believers.
     
  8. Tom Butler

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    The Priesthood of believers has nothing to do with the authority to baptize.

    It has to do with the fact the believer needs no priest to intercede for him before God. The believer is a priest and has direct access to the Father, through the Great High Priest, the Lord Jesus.

    This is not RCC stuff. It is giving proper place, responsibility and authority to the churches which Jesus purchased with his own blood. (Acts 20:28)

    Consider your own church. At the next baptism, one of your members stands up and says, "hey, I wanna dunk him." Does he have the right to ask? Would you let him? Beware, these are trick questions.

    He'd better be!

    That's why my church and yours don't get our baptizers from the JWs, Mormons or RCC. And that's why each church needs to exercise judgment not only about whom it baptizes, but who does the baptizing.

    And web, I highly doubt you'll invite the preacher from the nearest Methodist or Presbyterian church to come and dunk your converts.
     
  9. Benjamin

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    The “authority” you attempt to proclaim goes about authorizing powers which do not belong to men and thereby precariously resembles what the RCC was trying to do within their “walls”.

    The RCC thought to teach they were the only church and only they had the “authority” to not only administer the ordinances but had the power to ordain/authorize who could and also form restrictions against other believers that they could not according to their “authority”. THOSE self-imposed powers are unscriptural.

    Scripture gives authority to every individual who is a "believer" and thereby a priest:

    1 Peter 2:9-10
    (9) But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light:
    (10) Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.

    Give me a couple minutes and I’ll post some quotes from some of your buddies on this subject:
     
  10. webdog

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    If a methodist or presbyterian lead someone to Christ, what would keep them from fulfilling what the etheiopian asked of Phillip?

    Like I stated prior, if you are going to maintain the "proper place and authrity" are needed in baptism, it is equally true in preaching the gospel to every nation and making disciples. As a layman are you telling me I'm off the hook here and do not need to heed Christs command as it was not intended for me?
     
  11. Benjamin

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    I wrote this a while back concerning the “authority” of the ordinance of baptism, and it addresses the GC “expanding its reach beyond the nation of Israel as well:

    Starting with the main passages that support the POAB, 1Peter 2:9-10, we are told about individuals being a royal priesthood and as princes and priest have been consecrated to God while being told we are priest in a higher sense than the Jews. That is significant because it refers to the OT priests who were chosen by God, not self-appointed, to serve Him by offering up spiritual sacrifices.

    This refers to the temple veil that only they were to pass which was torn in two by God upon Jesus’ death. It indicates the OT priesthood was no longer necessary and now believers could go directly to God through the High Priest, Jesus Christ. All this points to that as believers we have been given a freedom from the OT ways pertaining to that type priesthood:

    (Hebrews 4:14) Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.

    (Hebrews 4:15) For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

    (Hebrews 4:16) Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

    We no longer have earthly mediators between God and man as existed in the OT:

    (1 Timothy 2:5) For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;

    Now for those quotes:


    "All Christians are priests, and all priests are Christians. Worthy of anathema is any assertion that a priest is anything else than a Christian."~ Luther

    “John Calvin applied that message by forming a polity wherein laity and clergy alike would serve in ordained offices of leadership—as peers in proclamation of the Word, peers in intercessory prayer, and peers in mission service.”
     
  12. Tom Butler

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    Absolutely not, web. The same Jesus told the apostles in Jerusalem
    "you shall be my witnesses...." (Acts 1:8) We as individual believers are not off the hook.

    Ever done any personal witnessing? I'll bet you have, and I suspect you're pretty good at it. That's carrying out the Great Commission.

    Ever taught young believers? That's carrying out the Great Commission.

    You're saying of course, witnessing and teaching are part of the same commission to baptize. But the first disciples sent out went with his specific authority to baptize. Authority from the Head of the new church he established.

    Philip and Steven evangelized on behalf of FBC Jerusalem. Philip's authority to baptize came from them. Paul and Silas were authorized by FBC Antioch to evangelize.

    Peter and John went down to Samaria to check out Philip's successful preaching. They reported back to FBC Jerusalem.

    Philip baptized the Eunuch. I doubt if he did so independently of FBC Jerusalem.

    Remember when Paul went up to Jerusalem and wanted to join the church there? The members didn't believe his reported conversion, and denied Paul fellowship until Barnabas vouched for him.

    It was Paul who specifically told FBC Corinth to 'guard the ordinances.'

    That's why I think we don't need Lone Rangers out there baptizing independently of the local church.

    BTW, you'd actually let that Methodist preacher baptize a new convert in your church? Really?
     
  13. preachinjesus

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    Well said!

    At the church where I get to serve we love having others from our membership and lay leadership baptize when appropriate. Some of the best times are when a parent baptized their child. Is amazing!
     
  14. webdog

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    You did not address the fact the great commission is all inclusive...you cannot remove baptism from the mix and assign an administrator to that and not the rest.

    In all honesty, if a methodist was the one who led my son to Christ, I would have no problem inviting him into the baptismal...he fulfilled the great commission, did he not?

    Here's another angle. I'm the spiritual leader of my family. As such as believe if one of my children are baptized, I should be a part of it...and will be a part of it when that time comes. Who sets the ordinance for my family, me (who is held accountable) or my local church?

    My local church has no problem with others besides our pastor in the baptismal, btw.
     
    #14 webdog, Jun 17, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 17, 2011
  15. DHK

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    Yes, it is all inclusive, with an emphasis on obedience. Baptism by any other mode but immersion is disobedience.
    They don't immerse, and therefore are disobeying the Great Commission IMO. Nor are they "teaching all things whatsoever I have commanded you." Jesus never taught pouring or sprinkling. The Great Commission does not start at salvation nor does it stop at salvation. It starts at discipleship and continues in obedience.
    The local church. The ordinance of baptism is given to the local church. If I baptized one of my children it is only because the local church gave me the authority to do so, just as it has given the pastor the authority to be the pastor. Otherwise any ol' false teacher could be baptizing people of questionable testimonies. The church would be carnal and in utter chaos.
    Where does the authority for those that baptize come from?
    Can my teenage daughter baptize her friend there?
     
    #15 DHK, Jun 17, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 17, 2011
  16. convicted1

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    To add to what my precious Brother Tom wrote here, Jesus was to be baptized by John, as a witness to John that the Messiah that he was proclaiming to be on His way, was indeed, there at that time.

    John 1:32 And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him.

    33 And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.

    34 And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God.

    So, Jesus coming to John for baptism was for a witness that the Messiah was here.

    Now, in the ORBs, there has to be at least one Elder that partakes in the baptism. There can be two Elders; an Elder, and a deacon; and Elder and a lay member, but it can not be two deacons, or two lay members, or a deacon and a lay member......you get my point.
     
  17. Martin Marprelate

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    To add just a little to this, obviously the Leadership in a church are responsible for making sure that all things are done decently and in order. However, that does not mean that only church leaders or pastors can baptize. The validity of a baptism does not depend on who baptizes but on the faith of the party baptized.

    Steve
     
  18. quantumfaith

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    :thumbs::thumbs::thumbs:
     
  19. quantumfaith

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    At my church the "baptizee" is permitted to select the "baptizer", provided that the "baptizer" is a born again baptized believer. :) Just recently I had the privilege of baptizing a young lady who came to Christ in faith through our Starting Point class.
     
  20. Tom Butler

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    I have no problem with that.

    Nor I. I assume that since you're Baptist, your church is independent and autonomous and not answerable to any other body. The authority is yours. We can have a nice discussion about whom you should allow, the kind of stuff we do here on the BB.

    Are there any limitations at all on whom your church will allow to baptize?
     

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