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Baptism discuss Baptism, re-baptism, and church membership in the Theology forums; What about very sick individuals that cannot be immersed? I once baptised an elderly lady that weighed about 60 lbs because of the cancer that ...

  1. #41
    Barnpreacher's Avatar
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    What about very sick individuals that cannot be immersed? I once baptised an elderly lady that weighed about 60 lbs because of the cancer that ate at her body. She paniced as I went to immerse her and I never did put her all the way under. Was that an unscriptural baptism?
    Ryan Barnhart
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    Ryan,

    The confession states:

    Immersion, or dipping of the person in water, is necessary to the due administration of this ordinance.


    I would consider dipping not to be full immersion (all of the body under the water). Baptist practice is immersion but what you did for this dear sister would be perfectly acceptable imho.
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    armourbearer is offline. Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barnpreacher View Post
    Was that an unscriptural baptism?
    If mode is essential to the validity of a baptism, then yes, according to the Anabaptist view any individual not immersed is not baptised, be they Baptist, Presbyterian, Reformed, Lutheran, Anglican, or Methodist.
    Yours sincerely,
    Rev. Matthew Winzer
    Australian Free Church,
    Victoria, Australia

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    Do those who sprinkle view immersion as a valid form of baptism?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stoker View Post
    Do those who sprinkle view immersion as a valid form of baptism?
    On first recipients of Trinitarian baptism immersion is considered valid; however it is considered unnecessary as a mode.
    Yours sincerely,
    Rev. Matthew Winzer
    Australian Free Church,
    Victoria, Australia

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stoker View Post
    Do those who sprinkle view immersion as a valid form of baptism?
    I'm not sure about all paedobaptists, but the PCA, PCUSA and OPC do.
    Will Shin
    Rockville, MD

  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pergamum View Post
    Many churches would say that a person "baptized" as an infant was not truly baptized at all because the carrying-out of the baptism was too far from the NT example and thus there would be no "RE-baptism" invovled, only a Biblical baptism. Many churches would require baptism as a pre-requisite for membership.
    Not to respond to late in the discussion, but this was my own conviction when I joined a Baptist church, and it was the counsel I received from the Elders. I joined in associate membership with the Reformed Baptist church, and then upon by baptism I became a full, card-holding member of the church with voting rights. My baptism was not a re-baptism, but a Biblical baptism.

    I figured that since the original scenario described was my own situation, that it might help if I replied. Anyhow - carry on.
    Jacob
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    Quote Originally Posted by KMK View Post

    IOW, one must not only desire baptism out of obedience, but also out of repentance and faith as well. If a man says, "I want to be rebaptized out of a new found sense of obedience." The pastor should ask what about repentance and faith? If the man says, "I already had those things," then the pastor says, there is no need for another baptism.
    So what if the person decides that he really didn't
    believe before, and was repenting of his whole past?
    He was previously baptized as a professor, but rejects
    his older profession, and wants to be baptized again
    because he now considers his faith genuine? Should such
    a person be rebaptized, each time he comes to a serious
    questioning of his prior faith and baptism? Can this go
    on and on ad nauseum?

    btw, I don't mean to be impertinent with this question - I'm
    trying to be quite serious with the question and find out
    what one would do in such a case...
    Todd K. Pedlar
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  9. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by toddpedlar View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by KMK View Post

    IOW, one must not only desire baptism out of obedience, but also out of repentance and faith as well. If a man says, "I want to be rebaptized out of a new found sense of obedience." The pastor should ask what about repentance and faith? If the man says, "I already had those things," then the pastor says, there is no need for another baptism.
    So what if the person decides that he really didn't
    believe before, and was repenting of his whole past?
    He was previously baptized as a professor, but rejects
    his older profession, and wants to be baptized again
    because he now considers his faith genuine? Should such
    a person be rebaptized, each time he comes to a serious
    questioning of his prior faith and baptism? Can this go
    on and on ad nauseum?

    btw, I don't mean to be impertinent with this question - I'm
    trying to be quite serious with the question and find out
    what one would do in such a case...
    Todd, that is a great question. If a professed believer was scriptually baptized and then fell away from he faith, followed by renewed repentance; I would oppose re-baptism. There is much to consider. Did they really fall away, or are they described by this part of the confession:

    1689 LBC 17:3

    And though they may, through the temptation of Satan and of the world, the prevalency of corruption remaining in them, and the neglect of means of their preservation, fall into grievous sins, and for a time continue therein, whereby they incur God's displeasure and grieve his Holy Spirit, come to have their graces and comforts impaired, have their hearts hardened, and their consciences wounded, hurt and scandalize others, and bring temporal judgments upon themselves, yet shall they renew their repentance and be preserved through faith in Christ Jesus to the end.


    Their wandering from Christ may necessitate a public statement to the fellowship, but I would not ask them to be baptized again.
    Bill Brown
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    I have a question that sort of jumped out at me during this discussion that I'd like to ask of the credo-baptists.

    It occurs to me that re-baptism is almost exclusively an issue of externals. The recipient was too young or a profession wasn't made or the mode was improper. It seems to boil down that God will not be pleased with it because the formula was not followed. I don't want to sound crass but I can't think of another way of putting it.

    Further, some have agreed that a person who was immersed as an adult and professed and went through all the "externals" need not be re-baptized if he later discovers the true Gospel. In other words, I was baptized as an adult in an Arminian Church and didn't really understand the Gospel but I'd likely not be required to be re-baptized in most congregations.

    How do you escape this issue that this seems to boil down to externals when an adult can have a false profession that can be "repaired" but need not be re-baptized but if the "formula" for administration was not present then it is not a valid baptism?
    Rich
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  11. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Semper Fidelis View Post
    I have a question that sort of jumped out at me during this discussion that I'd like to ask of the credo-baptists.

    It occurs to me that re-baptism is almost exclusively an issue of externals. The recipient was too young or a profession wasn't made or the mode was improper. It seems to boil down that God will not be pleased with it because the formula was not followed. I don't want to sound crass but I can't think of another way of putting it.

    Further, some have agreed that a person who was immersed as an adult and professed and went through all the "externals" need not be re-baptized if he later discovers the true Gospel. In other words, I was baptized as an adult in an Arminian Church and didn't really understand the Gospel but I'd likely not be required to be re-baptized in most congregations.

    How do you escape this issue that this seems to boil down to externals when an adult can have a false profession that can be "repaired" but need not be re-baptized but if the "formula" for administration was not present then it is not a valid baptism?
    First, the confession deals with administration. It lays out instuctions for the administrator. As a pastor, I am confessionally bound to baptize anyone upon a profession of repentance, faith and obedience to Christ. If a person was already baptized based upon such a profession then it matters not, from an administrator's pov, whether that profession was genuine. The baptism has already been done and needs to be done only once. The confession does not say, "Those who do genuinely profess repentance towards God, faith in, and obedience to, our Lord Jesus Christ, are the only proper subjects of this ordinance." The confession says, "Those who do actually profess repentance towards God, faith in, and obedience to, our Lord Jesus Christ, are the only proper subjects of this ordinance."

    In addition, there are no instructions regarding a 'do over' in the confession, nor the Bible, so I would avoid such things.

    Rich, don't Presby churches deal with the same issues? Do you ever have a man who was baptized as an adult come back 20 years later with a new sense of obedience and ask to be baptized again?


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  12. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by KMK View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Semper Fidelis View Post
    I have a question that sort of jumped out at me during this discussion that I'd like to ask of the credo-baptists.

    It occurs to me that re-baptism is almost exclusively an issue of externals. The recipient was too young or a profession wasn't made or the mode was improper. It seems to boil down that God will not be pleased with it because the formula was not followed. I don't want to sound crass but I can't think of another way of putting it.

    Further, some have agreed that a person who was immersed as an adult and professed and went through all the "externals" need not be re-baptized if he later discovers the true Gospel. In other words, I was baptized as an adult in an Arminian Church and didn't really understand the Gospel but I'd likely not be required to be re-baptized in most congregations.

    How do you escape this issue that this seems to boil down to externals when an adult can have a false profession that can be "repaired" but need not be re-baptized but if the "formula" for administration was not present then it is not a valid baptism?
    First, the confession deals with administration. It lays out instuctions for the administrator. As a pastor, I am confessionally bound to baptize anyone upon a profession of repentance, faith and obedience to Christ. If a person was already baptized based upon such a profession then it matters not, from an administrator's pov, whether that profession was genuine. The baptism has already been done and needs to be done only once. The confession does not say, "Those who do genuinely profess repentance towards God, faith in, and obedience to, our Lord Jesus Christ, are the only proper subjects of this ordinance." The confession says, "Those who do actually profess repentance towards God, faith in, and obedience to, our Lord Jesus Christ, are the only proper subjects of this ordinance."

    In addition, there are no instructions regarding a 'do over' in the confession, nor the Bible, so I would avoid such things.
    I don't see a response to the question. It only seems to confirm that the important thing is the externals to the event.

    Rich, don't Presby churches deal with the same issues? Do you ever have a man who was baptized as an adult come back 20 years later with a new sense of obedience and ask to be baptized again?
    Well, sure, but mode or age or profession is not what makes a baptism valid according to the WCF.
    Rich
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  13. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Semper Fidelis View Post
    I have a question that sort of jumped out at me during this discussion that I'd like to ask of the credo-baptists.

    It occurs to me that re-baptism is almost exclusively an issue of externals. The recipient was too young or a profession wasn't made or the mode was improper. It seems to boil down that God will not be pleased with it because the formula was not followed. I don't want to sound crass but I can't think of another way of putting it.

    Further, some have agreed that a person who was immersed as an adult and professed and went through all the "externals" need not be re-baptized if he later discovers the true Gospel. In other words, I was baptized as an adult in an Arminian Church and didn't really understand the Gospel but I'd likely not be required to be re-baptized in most congregations.

    How do you escape this issue that this seems to boil down to externals when an adult can have a false profession that can be "repaired" but need not be re-baptized but if the "formula" for administration was not present then it is not a valid baptism?
    This was exactly my question that I just posted this morning. Thanks for asking it so much more cogently!
    Todd K. Pedlar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KMK View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Semper Fidelis View Post
    I have a question that sort of jumped out at me during this discussion that I'd like to ask of the credo-baptists.

    It occurs to me that re-baptism is almost exclusively an issue of externals. The recipient was too young or a profession wasn't made or the mode was improper. It seems to boil down that God will not be pleased with it because the formula was not followed. I don't want to sound crass but I can't think of another way of putting it.

    Further, some have agreed that a person who was immersed as an adult and professed and went through all the "externals" need not be re-baptized if he later discovers the true Gospel. In other words, I was baptized as an adult in an Arminian Church and didn't really understand the Gospel but I'd likely not be required to be re-baptized in most congregations.

    How do you escape this issue that this seems to boil down to externals when an adult can have a false profession that can be "repaired" but need not be re-baptized but if the "formula" for administration was not present then it is not a valid baptism?
    First, the confession deals with administration. It lays out instuctions for the administrator. As a pastor, I am confessionally bound to baptize anyone upon a profession of repentance, faith and obedience to Christ. If a person was already baptized based upon such a profession then it matters not, from an administrator's pov, whether that profession was genuine. The baptism has already been done and needs to be done only once. The confession does not say, "Those who do genuinely profess repentance towards God, faith in, and obedience to, our Lord Jesus Christ, are the only proper subjects of this ordinance." The confession says, "Those who do actually profess repentance towards God, faith in, and obedience to, our Lord Jesus Christ, are the only proper subjects of this ordinance."

    In addition, there are no instructions regarding a 'do over' in the confession, nor the Bible, so I would avoid such things.

    Rich, don't Presby churches deal with the same issues? Do you ever have a man who was baptized as an adult come back 20 years later with a new sense of obedience and ask to be baptized again?
    As a elder and member in the PCA from 92 to 03, that never once came up that I was aware of... it's hard to imagine such a question ever occuring in those circles (except by fairly recently-transitioned ex-baptists, perhaps)
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    Quote Originally Posted by North Jersey Baptist View Post
    Todd, that is a great question. If a professed believer was scriptually baptized and then fell away from he faith, followed by renewed repentance; I would oppose re-baptism. There is much to consider. Did they really fall away, or are they described by this part of the confession:
    But what if their original profession was credibly false, and they
    were now coming to what appears to be a new discovery of truth, and a new faith and repentance?
    Todd K. Pedlar
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  16. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Semper Fidelis View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by KMK View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Semper Fidelis View Post
    I have a question that sort of jumped out at me during this discussion that I'd like to ask of the credo-baptists.

    It occurs to me that re-baptism is almost exclusively an issue of externals. The recipient was too young or a profession wasn't made or the mode was improper. It seems to boil down that God will not be pleased with it because the formula was not followed. I don't want to sound crass but I can't think of another way of putting it.

    Further, some have agreed that a person who was immersed as an adult and professed and went through all the "externals" need not be re-baptized if he later discovers the true Gospel. In other words, I was baptized as an adult in an Arminian Church and didn't really understand the Gospel but I'd likely not be required to be re-baptized in most congregations.

    How do you escape this issue that this seems to boil down to externals when an adult can have a false profession that can be "repaired" but need not be re-baptized but if the "formula" for administration was not present then it is not a valid baptism?
    First, the confession deals with administration. It lays out instuctions for the administrator. As a pastor, I am confessionally bound to baptize anyone upon a profession of repentance, faith and obedience to Christ. If a person was already baptized based upon such a profession then it matters not, from an administrator's pov, whether that profession was genuine. The baptism has already been done and needs to be done only once. The confession does not say, "Those who do genuinely profess repentance towards God, faith in, and obedience to, our Lord Jesus Christ, are the only proper subjects of this ordinance." The confession says, "Those who do actually profess repentance towards God, faith in, and obedience to, our Lord Jesus Christ, are the only proper subjects of this ordinance."

    In addition, there are no instructions regarding a 'do over' in the confession, nor the Bible, so I would avoid such things.
    I don't see a response to the question. It only seems to confirm that the important thing is the externals to the event.

    Rich, don't Presby churches deal with the same issues? Do you ever have a man who was baptized as an adult come back 20 years later with a new sense of obedience and ask to be baptized again?
    Well, sure, but mode or age or profession is not what makes a baptism valid according to the WCF.
    How do I escape the issue you bring up? I stick to the confession.


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    ...and, according to your Confession, God cares most about the externals in the ordinance?
    Rich
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    Rich, baptism by immersion is representative of the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. That is why mode is important to Baptists. Baptism following profession is the other component that is distinctively Baptist. There is no need to defend these views since they are explained adequately in the confession.

    I quoted an excerpt from the 1689 LBC about individuals who once professed faith and then spent a period of time away from the Lord. To keep it germane to the discussion, I'll post it again:

    1689 LBC 17:3

    And though they may, through the temptation of Satan and of the world, the prevalency of corruption remaining in them, and the neglect of means of their preservation, fall into grievous sins, and for a time continue therein, whereby they incur God's displeasure and grieve his Holy Spirit, come to have their graces and comforts impaired, have their hearts hardened, and their consciences wounded, hurt and scandalize others, and bring temporal judgments upon themselves, yet shall they renew their repentance and be preserved through faith in Christ Jesus to the end.


    It is difficult for any minister to make the call as to whether a individuals profession was real or not. The only tangible we have to go on is the evidence of faith. I would gravitate towards the generosity contained in 17:3 of the LBC and welcome them back to the fold and not question their baptism. Baptism is not a formula, and if the letter and spirit of the confession is considered, it need be thought of in that way. As a minister of the gospel, I would err on the side of grace.
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    Good observations Rich.

    For a Baptist to be consistent there really is no such thing as "rebaptism." But your observations bring up an interesting quandary that some can find themselves in, usually because of incosistencies in regard to their perception on baptism. It's not a matter of a formula but, rather, obedience. For the Baptist baptism is an act of obedience and identification. If one was "dunked" as an unbeliever then it wasn't truly baptism. It's a matter of an obedient heart, not a formula, mantra, etc.
    The challenge is in discerning what is the truth. This gets back to something I mentioned earlier, that we fail to include baptism in the Gospel. It's usually tacked on after we "get" someone to repent, pray, profess or whatever. However, for the Baptist (and I would think paedos as well) it's an integral and inseparable aspect of the Gospel.
    If someone applied for membership in our church then we would begin the process, which includes a testimony. Based on this testimony and subsequent interview we would decide whether or not to grant membership. This is based on credible profession (a clear understanding of the Gospel) and the applicant's baptism according to Scripture (granting a credo understanding). If they are convinced that they were baptized accordingly, I would not question their conviction as long as their testimony revealed a clear understanding of salvation.
    On the other hand, if someone later was convicted that their profession and baptism were not genuine and desired to be baptized, neither would I refuse them. We would study the doctrine together so as to avoid the "ad nauseum" example Todd brought up. This is usually the result of poor teaching, leading to a poor and insufficient understanding of baptism. One question I ask is, "Are you willing to die for Jesus Christ." The death to self that baptism signifies may require us to renounce our physical life for His glory, and they need to understand the reality and significance of this. These things, hopefully, serve to help avoid the "insurance policy" profession.
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    We all follow some sort of formula don't we Rich. Baptizing in water, for instance, instead of a dip in jello. We also baptize in the name of the Trinity.

    Our respective formulas just differ as to what makes or breaks the deal (i.e. how much leeway is possible before we count the exercise not as baptism bt as not merely irregular but invalid altogether).

    If you jump on the baptists for being too picky on the externals, make sure you remember this the next time you argue for wine instead of grape juice in the Lord's supper or even juice at all instead of orange drink or Fanta Orang soda. Insistance on bread and wine sounds so formulaic, after all, doesn't it?
    Last edited by Pergamum; 06-25-2008 at 10:01 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Semper Fidelis View Post
    ...and, according to your Confession, God cares most about the externals in the ordinance?
    Come on over and eat some twinkies and Sprite for communion then.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pergamum View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Semper Fidelis View Post
    ...and, according to your Confession, God cares most about the externals in the ordinance?
    Come on over and eat some twinkies and Sprite for communion then.
    Just sticking to the issue of baptism, externals do matter in some ways and not so in other ways.

    Examples of where externals do not matter:
    • baptized in a river, swimming pool or church baptismal does not matter
    • baptized going forward face-first or backwards doesn't matter


    Examples of where externals can questionably matter:
    • baptized in Gatorade instead of water
    • baptized in a shower or bathtub where only a handful rather than the entire church body could witness


    Examples of where externals DO matter:
    • self-baptized instead of by another person (an ordained pastor/elder)
    • baptisms by any parachurch organization
    • baptisms by any non-evangelical church or organization


    So, yes, externals do not matter, can matter, and do matter. The common agreement that Paedobaptists and Credobaptists have are on matters not related to mode and manner. Where the disagreement lies is in mode (infant vs. believer's) and manner (sprinkled or immersed).
    Last edited by servantofmosthigh; 06-25-2008 at 10:55 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by North Jersey Baptist View Post
    Rich, baptism by immersion is representative of the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. That is why mode is important to Baptists.
    And there is not a piece of Scriptural support for this connection. Hence immersionists nullify God's ordinances by their human traditions.
    Yours sincerely,
    Rev. Matthew Winzer
    Australian Free Church,
    Victoria, Australia

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pergamum View Post
    We all follow some sort of formula don't we Rich. Baptizing in water, for instance, instead of a dip in jello. We also baptize in the name of the Trinity.

    Our respective formulas just differ as to what makes or breaks the deal (i.e. how much leeway is possible before we count the exercise not as baptism bt as not merely irregular but invalid altogether).

    If you jump on the baptists for being too picky on the externals, make sure you remember this the next time you argue for wine instead of grape juice in the Lord's supper or even juice at all instead of orange drink or Fanta Orang soda. Insistance on bread and wine sounds so formulaic, after all, doesn't it?
    I think the difference here is more subtle than that.

    For one thing, the difference between an adult with a false profession and a child with no verbal profession is really no difference from the standpoint of the requirement for a true profession.

    Water was used for both and a minister performed the baptism for both.

    In fact, the Baptist will even have to acknowledge that an "improperly baptized" person demonstrates every fruit of regeneration and the blessing of God.

    It really boils down to, externally, was the person's mental capacity added to the baptism and was the person completely immersed in the water. It's not a distinction between monkeys and men or jello and water.

    This idea that "...we want to be obedient to the Word..." carries a problem if it is acknowledged that those baptized as infants grew to be God-fearing Christians. In other words, why has God blessed their "disobedience"? There is no such parallel in Scripture. To repudiate circumcision in the OT wasn't about the type of cut that was administered to the tip of the penis but about the fact that there was a circumcision but, most importantly, whether that person was being discipled and was a disciple of the Living God.

    And so, I ask again, how does the Baptist avoid the notion that it's more important that a person had the minimal mental acuity for the event or that was sufficiently wet given the admission that the profession can be all messed up and blessing is present in those that didn't pass the oral exam or only got sprinkled?
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    Matthew, really? That is rather ad hominem of you. Not something I usually expect.

    R.C. Sproul (no Baptist, I might add) wrote:

    Christian baptism, which has the form of a ceremonial washing (like John's pre-Christian baptism), is a sign from God that signifies inward cleansing and remission of sins (Acts 22:16; 1 Cor. 6:11; Eph. 5:25-27), Spirit-wrought regeneration and new life (Titus 3:5), and the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit as God's seal testifying and guaranteeing that one will be kept safe in Christ forever (1 Cor. 12:13; Eph. 1:34,14). Fundamentally, baptism signifies union with Christ in his death, burial, and resurrection (Rom. 6:3-7; Col. 2:11, 12) and this union with Christ is the source of every element of our salvation (1 John 5:11, 12). Receiving the sign of baptism in faith assures those baptized that God's gift of new life in Christ is freely given to them. At the same time, it commits them to live in a new way as disciples of Jesus.
    I would quote our confession to you but it would serve little purpose since you are not beholding to it. I'm also not trying to convince paedobaptists. I'd be just as happy if this serves to encourage and fortify the faith of my Baptist brethren.
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    Quote Originally Posted by armourbearer View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by North Jersey Baptist View Post
    Rich, baptism by immersion is representative of the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. That is why mode is important to Baptists.
    And there is not a piece of Scriptural support for this connection. Hence immersionists nullify God's ordinances by their human traditions.
    On the contrary:

    Romans 6:3-4 / Colossians 2:12

    *sigh... Looks like I'll be in the discussion after all...
    Will Shin
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    Quote Originally Posted by North Jersey Baptist View Post
    Matthew, really? That is rather ad hominem of you. Not something I usually expect.

    R.C. Sproul (no Baptist, I might add) wrote:

    Christian baptism, which has the form of a ceremonial washing (like John's pre-Christian baptism), is a sign from God that signifies inward cleansing and remission of sins (Acts 22:16; 1 Cor. 6:11; Eph. 5:25-27), Spirit-wrought regeneration and new life (Titus 3:5), and the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit as God's seal testifying and guaranteeing that one will be kept safe in Christ forever (1 Cor. 12:13; Eph. 1:34,14). Fundamentally, baptism signifies union with Christ in his death, burial, and resurrection (Rom. 6:3-7; Col. 2:11, 12) and this union with Christ is the source of every element of our salvation (1 John 5:11, 12). Receiving the sign of baptism in faith assures those baptized that God's gift of new life in Christ is freely given to them. At the same time, it commits them to live in a new way as disciples of Jesus.
    I would quote our confession to you but it would serve little purpose since you are not beholding to it. I'm also not trying to convince paedobaptists. I'd be just as happy if this serves to encourage and fortify the faith of my Baptist brethren.
    Your quote does not establish what you argued above. Yes our baptism signifies our union with Christ in His death and resurrection but the argument does not follow that we should have a mode where we're being buried in a "watery grave" and brought back out so people can see a re-enactment of the event signified. That's an idea inserted into the text.
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    Quote Originally Posted by servantofmosthigh View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by armourbearer View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by North Jersey Baptist View Post
    Rich, baptism by immersion is representative of the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. That is why mode is important to Baptists.
    And there is not a piece of Scriptural support for this connection. Hence immersionists nullify God's ordinances by their human traditions.
    On the contrary:

    Romans 6:3-4 / Colossians 2:12

    *sigh... Looks like I'll be in the discussion after all...
    Again, you're inserting a view that Paul has mode in mind. In fact, pressed too hard, it argues that the mode itself is what unites us to Christ. Baptism signifies these things but faith is the instrument of union with Christ in His death and resurrection. The idea that, by being immersed, we're "buried with Christ" carries with it the idea that the ordinance itself confers union with Christ.
    Rich
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    Quote Originally Posted by North Jersey Baptist View Post
    Matthew, really? That is rather ad hominem of you. Not something I usually expect.
    Bill, there was no ad hominem either by way of argument or abusive. I drew a conclusion on the basis that immersion as a mode is not tied to the death, burial and resurrection of Christ in Scripture. But for you to say that I personally have acted less than your usual expections is an ad hominem abusive.

    Quoting Sproul to the effect that baptism unites to Christ in His death, burial and resurrection is irrelevant, because you haven't established a Scriptural connection between mode and what baptism signifies. Moreover, Jesus wasn't buried by being immersed; and baptism also signifies the "outpouring" of the Holy Spirit.
    Yours sincerely,
    Rev. Matthew Winzer
    Australian Free Church,
    Victoria, Australia

    "Illum oportet crescere me autem minui."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Semper Fidelis View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by servantofmosthigh View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by armourbearer View Post

    And there is not a piece of Scriptural support for this connection. Hence immersionists nullify God's ordinances by their human traditions.
    On the contrary:

    Romans 6:3-4 / Colossians 2:12

    *sigh... Looks like I'll be in the discussion after all...
    Again, you're inserting a view that Paul has mode in mind. In fact, pressed too hard, it argues that the mode itself is what unites us to Christ. Baptism signifies these things but faith is the instrument of union with Christ in His death and resurrection. The idea that, by being immersed, we're "buried with Christ" carries with it the idea that the ordinance itself confers union with Christ.
    You are correct in saying that we (Baptists) are viewing that Paul has mode in mind because what better way symbolizes this? Not sprinking, but immersion. But Baptists do not interpret this to mean that baptism is itself the union with Christ, but that it is the symbolism of the union that came through faith.
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    Quote Originally Posted by servantofmosthigh View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Semper Fidelis View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by servantofmosthigh View Post

    On the contrary:

    Romans 6:3-4 / Colossians 2:12

    *sigh... Looks like I'll be in the discussion after all...
    Again, you're inserting a view that Paul has mode in mind. In fact, pressed too hard, it argues that the mode itself is what unites us to Christ. Baptism signifies these things but faith is the instrument of union with Christ in His death and resurrection. The idea that, by being immersed, we're "buried with Christ" carries with it the idea that the ordinance itself confers union with Christ.
    You are correct in saying that we (Baptists) are viewing that Paul has mode in mind because what better way symbolizes this? Not sprinking, but immersion. But Baptists do not interpret this to mean that baptism is itself the union with Christ, but that it is the symbolism of the union that came through faith.
    Understood but the point is that you can't just quote Romans 6:3-4 and say: "What better symbolizes this?"

    Baptism signifies more than burial and resurrection. As Matthew noted, it also symbolizes the outpouring of the Spirit.

    Why, for instance, is pouring then not a more apt mode especially since this is the only evidence we have of the mode of baptism in the Acts? Namely, that the Holy Spirit was poured out on those who received the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
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    *sigh... Looks like I'll be in the discussion after all...
    Will, the thread is all yours. I'm taking a mental health break for awhile. I'm going to pound 3" nails in my skull. It should be more satisfying.
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    Here is a 3" nail for the exclusive immersionist's idealogical coffin. In John 13, Peter made the same mistake of laying undue stress on mode, when he asked not only that his feet be washed but every part of him. Our Lord taught him that he that is washed only needs to have his feet washed and is cleansed in every part. The believer is thoroughly washed in the sufferings and obedience of Jesus Christ; the water is but a symbol, and therefore only needs to be applied to one part of the person in order to represent his cleansing all over.
    Yours sincerely,
    Rev. Matthew Winzer
    Australian Free Church,
    Victoria, Australia

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    Quote Originally Posted by Semper Fidelis View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by servantofmosthigh View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Semper Fidelis View Post

    Again, you're inserting a view that Paul has mode in mind. In fact, pressed too hard, it argues that the mode itself is what unites us to Christ. Baptism signifies these things but faith is the instrument of union with Christ in His death and resurrection. The idea that, by being immersed, we're "buried with Christ" carries with it the idea that the ordinance itself confers union with Christ.
    You are correct in saying that we (Baptists) are viewing that Paul has mode in mind because what better way symbolizes this? Not sprinking, but immersion. But Baptists do not interpret this to mean that baptism is itself the union with Christ, but that it is the symbolism of the union that came through faith.
    Understood but the point is that you can't just quote Romans 6:3-4 and say: "What better symbolizes this?"

    Baptism signifies more than burial and resurrection. As Matthew noted, it also symbolizes the outpouring of the Spirit.

    Why, for instance, is pouring then not a more apt mode especially since this is the only evidence we have of the mode of baptism in the Acts? Namely, that the Holy Spirit was poured out on those who received the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
    The Acts 2:23 reference to the Pentecost that Christ poured out the Holy Spirit to the church has no significance to individual baptism, but if it did, then yes, Christ's pouring of the Spirit to the church wasn't just small drops on the rooftops of the church, but completely busted the doors open and saturated the entire body. What better symbolizes the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the believer that isn't just small drops on the rooftops of our hair, but completely saturates the entire body?

    Acts 10:44-45 is one of the best passages that illustrates God's gift of salvation to all nations, Jews and Gentiles, through the Holy Spirit. The gift of salvation is a complete total pouring. What a better way of illustrating this complete pouring of the Holy Spirit's role in the redemptive work of salvation than immersion - the complete outpouring on the entire body (not just a few strands of hair on the head).

    Romans 5:5 is also another passages where baptism by immersion best illustrates the complete love of God poured into the hearts of believers. Sprinkling seems to symbolize that just a small dab of God's love was given. But total immersion symbolizes that God's complete love has not just filled but overflows out of the heart of the believer to share abundantly with others.

    Now, I realize you may not agree with me or the Baptist perspective/interpretation on these passages. But I thank you for asking the question. And let us all remind ourselves that this difference in Baptism (aside from anyone who believes in Baptismal Regeneration) are not grounds for us to lose ourselves. And whether we've been sprinkled or immersed, let's demonstrate the baptism of the Holy Spirit in us toward others around us.
    Will Shin
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    Alas, another baptism thread degenerates. Wasn't this about Todd wanting clear answers? Sigh....
    Quote Originally Posted by Semper Fidelis View Post
    Understood but the point is that you can't just quote Romans 6:3-4 and say: "What better symbolizes this?"

    Baptism signifies more than burial and resurrection. As Matthew noted, it also symbolizes the outpouring of the Spirit.
    If we can get back to an effort to understand, as this thread attempted to start out doing, Rich has a valid observation. We can't take this verse and say, "See, there it is." This verse is included in our comprehensive understanding as credos. However, on its own, it does not make the case plain. It has to do with the Analogy of Faith, exegesis of various texts and a systematic understanding of baptism. All of these conspire together to help us understand baptism.

    The problem with what I expect Todd is facing, and what many Baptist churches face, is that they do NOT have a comprehensive understanding of baptism. Though, from a Baptist perspective, the doctrine of baptism seems blatantly simple, a thorough understanding is helpful, and needed for those who proclaim Christ from a credo understanding. This is missing in most Baptist preachers that I have met, so is not clearly understood in their churches.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wannabee View Post
    If we can get back to an effort to understand, as this thread attempted to start out doing, Rich has a valid observation. We can't take this verse and say, "See, there it is." This verse is included in our comprehensive understanding as credos. However, on its own, it does not make the case plain. It has to do with the Analogy of Faith, exegesis of various texts and a systematic understanding of baptism. All of these conspire together to help us understand baptism.

    The problem with what I expect Todd is facing, and what many Baptist churches face, is that they do NOT have a comprehensive understanding of baptism. Though, from a Baptist perspective, the doctrine of baptism seems blatantly simple, a thorough understanding is helpful, and needed for those who proclaim Christ from a credo understanding. This is missing in most Baptist preachers that I have met, so is not clearly understood in their churches.
    And I would charge Presbyterians of the same lack of thorough exegesis and understanding of baptism from a comprehensive ecclesiological role of the holistic church concept that includes Lord's Supper, Salvation, church membership, etc., whereas it is Baptist ecclesiology that makes the best argument and biblical case on this. And I have yet to find a Presbyterian pastor or elder that has a clear understanding of this.

    So where does this line of argument lead us beyond heated emotions?
    Last edited by servantofmosthigh; 06-26-2008 at 09:57 AM.
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    Will, you're derailing it again. I didn't make these comments to prove anything against Baptists. I AM a credo. Swinging the discussion around against presbies doesn't help the conversation at all.

    The line of discussion that I put forward leads to a need for credo churches to not only take a position, but understand their position more thoroughly. I've only been involved in two churches that truly understood why they were credo. I've been in several that could offer a simplistic argument. But so much is missed in this. Again, I think this is what Todd is facing. The situation at hand reveals an incomplete and, hence, inconsistent understanding of baptism.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wannabee View Post
    Will, you're derailing it again. I didn't make these comments to prove anything against Baptists. I AM a credo. Swinging the discussion around against presbies doesn't help the conversation at all. The line of discussion that I put forward leads to a need for credo churches to not only take a position, but understand their position more thoroughly. I've only been involved in two churches that truly understood why they were credo. I've been in several that could offer a simplistic argument. But so much is missed in this. Again, I think this is what Todd is facing. The situation at hand reveals an incomplete and, hence, inconsistent understanding of baptism.
    OK, brother. No heated emotions intended or derailment was intended by anyone.

    So to answer you properly, I don't think a proper answer can be given for this reason. The two sides are viewing the issue from two completely different perspectives to such a degree that the other is clearly illogical and deficient if attempting to fit the framework of the previous side's argumentation. In other words, the Baptist argument will fail if attempting to fit the Presbyterian logic, and the Presbyterian logic utterly fails when lined up to Baptist logic.

    And where Todd and many others are struggling is in trying to piece together and resolve the apparent differences of the two logics and trying to explain one in accordance to the standards of logic in the other. And so long as anyone remains in that position, they will find only disappointment that the other side's arguments fail.
    Last edited by servantofmosthigh; 06-26-2008 at 10:56 AM.
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    Good observations, Will. I hope I didn't come across as "heated." It was intended as a gentle nudge.
    As an interesting side note, it's good for us to remember that our Presbyterian brethren agree that believer's baptism is appropriate where no prior baptism has taken place. Keeping this in mind can often help to narrow the discussion.

    Perhaps it would help to simply remind ourselves that Todd's desire was to help in a situation that showed a Baptist church that is inconsistent in its understanding of baptism. The last paragraph is particularly pertinent.
    Quote Originally Posted by toddpedlar View Post
    I'd like to know from the credo-baptists among us why the following sort of thing occurs today in the modern church. These are not hypothetical cases, but real situations I know about, and am considering responding to by contacting the pastors and/or individuals involved - but wanted to flesh out the discussion here first.

    When a family desires to join a baptist church - is inquiry always made about the baptisms of the family? I.e. were they baptized as infants, professors, whatever? I assume that if they are accepted as members either a) the church recognizes infant baptism of those so baptized as valid or b) the church accepts into membership those that it does not view as having properly been baptized. I'm particularly interested in knowing the difference between Reformed baptists and those who are involved in the SBC, or other baptist wings of the church that don't confessionally hold to the LBC.

    Supposing situation a) above... what if a person who joined the church desired later to be baptized as an act of obedience, because personally they viewed their earlier infant baptism to be invalid. How would such a person be counselled in this case?

    It seems to me that a proper view of church membership must include, in any case, the acceptance of the baptism of the proposed member - or include the baptism of that proposed member as an act of joining the church. Is that consistent with most baptist practice (esp. in "Reformed baptist" circles)? Could a member be accepted if the church viewed him as unbaptized - and... if he was viewed as baptized, would a "new" baptism ever be performed under any circumstances?

    I hope the discussion is profitable - not just because of what I've run across but for the understanding about modern baptist (and Reformed baptist) practice for those of us who are steeped in paedobaptism personally and just haven't the experience with various kinds of credobaptist practices.
    If someone notices an inconsistency in our church, I would hope that they would bring it to our attention. We might disagree, but at least it would give us an opportunity to study and pray about it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wannabee View Post
    I hope I didn't come across as "heated."
    I didn't see it as heated. Only that the way you communicated your concerns, I was questioning if anything fruitful could result from it beyond heated emotions and that the other side could make equal claims toward the previous side.

    But in communicating that, if I had come across being guilty of heated emotions and derailing the thread, forgive me as that was certainly not my intent either.
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