When to re-baptize? Need some advice.

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by Jkdbuck76, May 26, 2012.

  1. Jkdbuck76

    Jkdbuck76
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    My sister says that she is saved and is requesting baptism. She does not belong to a local church but is now looking. She can explain to me what Christ did on the cross and what salvation is. She also told me that she would like for me to baptize her. After discussing it with her, I told her that I would do it and that she needed to find a local church. In fact, I know her neighbor is a member of a church in her town--I know the pastor of that church.......wink wink. But she is not the issue.

    Here is the issue: her husband asked to be re-baptized saying that "it wouldn't hurt." He says he was saved in 1980 and baptized in a baptist church.

    I told my sister that I would have to check with my pastor. While I am a licencsed minister and have baptized in the past, it was always new believers who had never received the Ordinance prior. Something doesn't sit well with me, though (and I do NOT have personal issues with my brother-in-law--in fact, I love the man).

    The fact that he says he needs to be baptized again and that "it wouldn't hurt" sends up some alarm bells with me. I wanna' ask "why?" to my brother-in-law. Maybe he has an improper understanding of what baptism is? While it is a commandment of Christ and a powerful witness, it is not "magical".

    I explained to my sister that I would never re-baptize someone unless they were baptized un-scripturally to begin with (ie, as a baby or as a member of a sect that practices/teahces baptismal regeneration). I also told her that I would have to get some counsel on this as it was not normal.

    Anyway, I'll be baptizing my sister on Saturday June 2nd at noon. I'm going to have to deal with this issue sooner rather than later.

    I need prayers first and foremost. And some advice.

    ******EDIT: My sister just told me that he was baptized very young in 1980. But he was 'saved' (she didn't elaborate) in 2005 at the preaching of a local IFB preacher I know of. No matter what I do, I'm going to have to pray about it and have a nice LOOOONG talk with my brother-in-law.
     
    #1 Jkdbuck76, May 26, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: May 26, 2012
  2. McWilliams

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    Once a believer is baptized in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost there is no cause or need to do it again! Their soul and heart are in need of drawing closer to the Lord and there is a big need to come to know God and His plan by reading scripture and coming to know what God loves and what He hates and to be obedient to His commands. There is definitely a need to belong to a local bible teaching pure doctrine church and to come to know and love the other believers. They shall know we are christians by our love for the brethren! Soli deo gloria!
     
  3. annsni

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    This is where you need to talk to your brother-in-law to find out his understanding of salvation, baptism and the like. You need to find out if he was saved and baptized rightly before and just where his heart is in the matter. I think a "it doesn't hurt" feeling towards baptism shows a misunderstanding of the whole thing so again, discussion needs to be had.
     
  4. HeirofSalvation

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    Agreed, I would try to find out his belief and understanding first: Also, I am not sure whether you explained that there is the "authority" so to speak, of a local Church that is involved with this. I don't know your view on this but; as I understand it, the ordinances of Baptism and the Lord's Supper are the distinct purview of the local Church. Although it doesn't matter who "dunks", if it is not an ordinance of the Local Body-or say an ordained Missionary-acting with it's authority, I wouldn't perform it.
     
  5. Scarlett O.

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    The "it wouldn't hurt" comment certainly raised red flags. Talk to him personally. Some Christians - being immature in the faith - have difficulties expressing themselves - almost to the point that just listening to them makes you question do they even know what they are talking about at all.

    I'm most assured that you know the right questions to ask him in prompting a more in-depth understanding what he believes salvation is and what his testimony is.
     
  6. Jerome

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    Yes, asking for a 'rebaptism' suggests a misunderstanding of what baptism is. Baptizing a believer who underwent some purported ceremony while an unbeliever, whether as an infant, or under other false pretextes, would not be a 'rebaptism'. And the proper course for a baptized believer who has strayed is to repent.
     
  7. ktn4eg

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    FWIW, this is my personal story, and that's all I'm claiming it to be:

    While I was on Active Duty in the US Air Force, I was saved in Tucson AZ in 1966 at an IFB church off base. I didn't grow up in a Bible-believing environment. The night that I received Christ as my personal Savior was the first time I'd even heard the Gospel of salvation in my nearly 20 years of life. Right after I was saved, people from that IFB church began to urge me to be baptized. A couple weeks later, I was baptized into that local body of believers.

    About a year later, I was transferred by the USAF to (West) Germany, and soon after that I united with a nearby off-base IFB mission/church. I grew a whole lot in the Lord in those two years I was with them. They taught me a lot of Bible doctrines that were new to me [The church where I was saved at in AZ was more interested in "saving America from Communism" than teaching me doctrines.].

    A couple years after I was released from Active Duty, I was admitted into a Bible college sponsored by a local Baptist church in Clarksville TN. That church/college held to those doctrines that the one in Germany taught. Increasely I began to question the validity of my first baptism. I couldn't contact that church that had baptized any more because it had disbanded, and over time I'd lost what little contact I'd had with any of the people from it.

    I asked the pastor of the church in Clarksville TN what he thought I should do in this situation. His advice was to seek the Lord's guidance in this matter, and if I felt that the Lord was leading me to be baptized again, he'd be happy to perform it for me.

    After wrestling with this for a couple months, I decided that it was the Lord's will for me to submit to baptism by that church in TN, so I did.

    Like I said in the beginning, this is only my personal story. I'm not saying this is what the Lord may demand for any other of His children, just that this is what He led me to do.
     
  8. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler
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    This is a sound reason to be re-baptized (or just baptized). Your story also stirs my curiosity. What was it that caused you to question? Was there something that caused you to question its validity as a New Testament church?
     
  9. Tom Butler

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    Let me briefly address jkdbuck76's OP:

    Based on what you reported, you should baptize your sister, but not your brother-in-law. This is a teachable moment. He should explain why he wants to be, and you should explain why he shouldn't be.

    I'm assuming that you have been authorized by the local church to perform the baptism and not doing this on your own.
     
  10. Jkdbuck76

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    Your assumption is correct, TB. I am authorized to administer this ordinance as well as preaching and officiating at weddings.

    If my b-i-l says something like "my first baptism was not valid--I wasn't saved back then. But I made a real conversion in 2005" I'd discuss it. I'm just concerned about doing the right thing.

    Their NOT going to a local body is a real problem. So please pray with me about this.
     
  11. ktn4eg

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    No, I didn't necessarily believe that the AZ wasn't a NT church, but that as I began to be taught more Bible doctrines concerning soteriology and ecclesiaology when I was in Germany, some of which were either not taught or weren't held to in the AZ church, I just wanted to make sure for myself that I did in fact have scriptural baptism.

    I don't wish to go into further detail about the doctrinal differences between the two churches because a lot of them may be ones that are still debated today. Like I said in my OP, this is just what happened to me as an individual believer and not necessarily a hard and fast criteria for every believer.

    End of story.
     
  12. Tom Butler

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    Since you're close to the situation, I'm sure you'll do just fine in making the decision.

    That last paragraph would present a problem for me, too If they are not currently attending the baptizing church, with no plans to after baptism, that would be a deal-breaker for me. Unless they are willing to commit to the baptizing church, no deal.

    I may have read more into your comment than you intended. I'll rely on you to set me straight.
     
  13. freeatlast

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    If your sister is saved a change in her life will show it and while I do not agree that Baptism is or should ever be used for membership into a church denomination she still should be seeking a church to join. As to her husband I would say no to him unless he says he was not saved and now has gotten saved that would be different. He also would have to be attending a local congregation for that to happen and show a change in his life.
     
  14. Jim1999

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    Can you name one person baptized twice in the New Testament, despite their falling into sins?

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  15. Jkdbuck76

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    There is a really good baptist church in their town and the preacher specializes in growing new converts. Just so happens that a couple from that church are my sister's neighbors and host a bible study in their home. To which I told my sister "take them up on it!"
     
  16. Tom Butler

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    Ah, sounds like good advice to me.
     
  17. Ed B

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    I used to joke about how us Baptists believe in OSAS and do not believe in Baptismal regeneration, yet most Baptists I have known who had any age on them were baptized at least twice, me included. The reason was almost always because they doubted their earlier salvation experience after lapsing into sin in their late teens and early twenties. Yet it was not common at all for members of the Church of God, Assemblies of God or Church of Christ to be rebaptized and they too believe in believer’s baptism and the CoC believes in baptism being necessary to wash away sin and all three believed they could fall from grace. I always found that ironic.

    The root cause in my area was the tendency of IFB, Missionary Baptists and some SBC churches to urge people to come forward at the altar call if there is "any doubt" and unless "You know that you know that you know". Inevitably someone had some doubt depending on their current walk with the Lord, and since they were really, really saved this time, their previous baptism was invalid.

    How did we Baptists get this doctrine so wrapped around the axle?
     
  18. Jim1999

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    It is called "easy believism" and the need for numbers.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  19. Tom Butler

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    Or, as I've heard it characterized, "One, two, three, repeat after me."

    Followed by, "now when you prayed that prayer were you really, really, really, sincere."

    Followed by, "if you really, really, really sincere, then on the authority of God's word, I declare you to be saved, and don't let anybody talk you out of it."

    Thus, we have many today whose sole hope of heaven is "I said the prayer."
     
  20. Jkdbuck76

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    Lack of discipleship and teaching of basic Christian doctrines. My brother in law (no offense) is a prime example. Nobody helped him learn or grow--hence the need to go to a local church and be fed.

    I'm going to very politely decline my brother-in-law's request and tell him that "we need to talk", and/or speak with the local pastor. I mean, some kind of mistake was made if he was baptized in 1980 and "saved" in 2005--maybe he doesn't quite know what to call whatever happened to him, but whatever the mistake was, I know that it cannot be fixed by making another mistake.

    Prayers needed!
     

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