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Baptism discuss Baptizo - Immersion vs. Sprinkling in the Theology forums; I had a very interesting conversation this week with a Greek Eastern Orthodox Minister. He asked me where I went to church which struck up ...

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    Coram Deo is offline. Inactive User
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    Wink Baptizo - Immersion vs. Sprinkling

    I had a very interesting conversation this week with a Greek Eastern Orthodox Minister. He asked me where I went to church which struck up a conversation about Baptist and Presbyterians. I was explaining how presbyterians believe that you can sprinkle for baptism because they do not believe that the Greek word Baptizo means Immersion...

    He butted in and said "What do you mean that Presbyterians do not believe it means immersion", "They can't redefine OUR Greek word." "IT is Our Word, and We know what it means and it means Immersion."

    So Sprinklers, How would you answer this?
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    Quote Originally Posted by thunaer View Post
    I had a very interesting conversation this week with a Greek Eastern Orthodox Minister. He asked me where I went to church which struck up a conversation about Baptist and Presbyterians. I was explaining how presbyterians believe that you can sprinkle for baptism because they do not believe that the Greek word Baptizo means Immersion...

    He butted in and said "What do you mean that Presbyterians do not believe it means immersion", "They can't redefine OUR Greek word." "IT is Our Word, and We know what it means and it means Immersion."

    So Sprinklers, How would you answer this?
    I'm no sprinkler, but my answer is that in Scripture it obviously doesn't always mean immersion.

    I don't know about the particular minister you spoke with, but I've spoken with others. I find that their knowledge of the Bible is often quite limited. One I talked with was not aware of the Septuagint!
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    Hebrews 6:2 and 9:10 in the ESV speak of ceremonial washings. These washing did not require immersions.

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    Michael:

    I don't mean to be rude or condescending but it should be obvious that no one 'owns' any word from scripture, past or present.

    In reference to 'baptizo' we must simply understand the word in its context and usage elsewhere. However the Greeks (or the Greek Orthodox) may use the word is largely irrelevant.
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    Quote Originally Posted by thunaer View Post
    I had a very interesting conversation this week with a Greek Eastern Orthodox Minister. He asked me where I went to church which struck up a conversation about Baptist and Presbyterians. I was explaining how presbyterians believe that you can sprinkle for baptism because they do not believe that the Greek word Baptizo means Immersion...

    He butted in and said "What do you mean that Presbyterians do not believe it means immersion", "They can't redefine OUR Greek word." "IT is Our Word, and We know what it means and it means Immersion."

    So Sprinklers, How would you answer this?
    I am not sure we should base anything on what an Eastern Orthodox minister says. Whether for or against sprinkling or immersion.
    Daniel
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    Michael, my Michael, when will you stop kicking against the goads? :-) Just kidding...

    Hey, if you haven't read the short work on baptism by Jay Adams, I'd encourage you to do so. I might have an extra copy laying around somewhere... Anyway, the title is "The Meaning and Mode of Baptism." In it, he does a solid job of refuting the notion that baptism always means immersion.

    Your brother in Christ our Lord,

    Steve
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    I am convinced that is has a more generic sense like washing, or that it has multiple meanings. As GenRev1611 mentioned, as in Hebrews 6:2 and 9:10 it carries the meaning of the ceremonial washings carried out in the old testament, which were sprinklings.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bygracealone View Post
    Michael, my Michael, when will you stop kicking against the goads? :-) Just kidding...

    Hey, if you haven't read the short work on baptism by Jay Adams, I'd encourage you to do so. I might have an extra copy laying around somewhere... Anyway, the title is "The Meaning and Mode of Baptism." In it, he does a solid job of refuting the notion that baptism always means immersion.

    Your brother in Christ our Lord,

    Steve
    Good to see a pastor instructing one of his flock.
    Daniel
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    Quote Originally Posted by thunaer View Post
    I had a very interesting conversation this week with a Greek Eastern Orthodox Minister. He asked me where I went to church which struck up a conversation about Baptist and Presbyterians. I was explaining how presbyterians believe that you can sprinkle for baptism because they do not believe that the Greek word Baptizo means Immersion...

    He butted in and said "What do you mean that Presbyterians do not believe it means immersion", "They can't redefine OUR Greek word." "IT is Our Word, and We know what it means and it means Immersion."

    So Sprinklers, How would you answer this?
    Michael,

    I think you are confused, we do not believe that the Greek word "baptizo" does not mean immersion. What we believe is that the Greek word "baptizo," is not intended to teach an independent methodology as doctrine tied to the cultural definition of this word segregated from the Old Testament. Hence, we don't believe the Apostles intended us to frame the doctrine of Baptism rooted into Greek culture and not rooted into the Old Testament, so when we look at the Greek Old Testament we find the Greek word "baptizo," translating the ceremonials washings &c.

    Once you put priority upon method then whole other issues arise. Should one be immersed face down, or face up, or should it be a verticle immersion as the word properly ties to dipping cloth into dye? Should they be held under through the whole Trinitarian invocation, or brought up and re-immersed upon each Divine Name? In the history of the methodology debate, things like this are involved, because there are baptistic Churches in history that wouldn't accept your face up baptism, which is common in American baptistic culture, even though you were fully immersed.

    In the end we don't believe the Greek word is intended to teach methodology tied to the Greek cultural definition of the word.

    Cordially,

    Thomas
    Thomas Weddle
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    As a Baptist, even I don't think that the methodology was the point. In fact, the earliest Baptists were not immersionists. "Baptist" polity originally addressed the candidates for baptism (i.e., infants vs. believers), not the mode (the "who" rather than the "how"). Coming out of congregationalism, they assumed sprinkling in the early days. It is my understanding that the SBC requires strict immersionist practice now. Ironically, even Karl Barth argued that the early church practiced immersion, however.
    Dennis E. McFadden, Ex Mainline Baptist (in Remission)
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    Hello Dennis,

    I understand the issues completely as I was once a Baptist minister, raised a Baptist, my grandfather was a Baptist minister, my sister married a Baptist minister. I struggled against this for a decade if not more.

    The issue you bring up concerning paedobaptism vs credobaptism and the methodology are tied together though, because if the definition is properly tied to the Old Testament, and not the Greek cultural definition, then the issue is settled.

    The problem, of course, is that a Presbyterian Church would accept a properly administered immersion as being a valid baptism, where a Baptist Church would not accept a properly administered adult sprinkling or pouring as being a valid baptism. There the methodology is asserted as a priori necessity over the Trinitarian invocation.

    Cordially,

    Thomas
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    The Eastern Orthodox not only Baptise by immersion they do it three times! In the name of the Father <dunk>, and the Son <dunk>, and the Holy Spirit <dunk>. This includes infants! Boy, are they screaming loud at the end! It was intense seeing it.

    While I do not think Baptism needs to be done by immersion, I find it interesting that the EO do it by immersion. I can't really think of any historical reason why they would have gone from sprinkling to immersion, while there are some reasons why the West possibly went from immersion to sprinkling (don't ask me, because I forget them now!).

    Yeah, arguing with the EO on Greek issues gets annoying. They refuse to listen.
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    The "wash" is baptizo...i doubt immersion was the normal custom of washing before dinner.
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    The thing that's consistently bugged me in debates surrounding "baptizo" is the insistence by some of my fellow Presbyterians that immersion is somehow a less valid mode of baptism than sprinkling. The converse error is still error.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas2007 View Post

    I understand the issues completely as I was once a Baptist minister, raised a Baptist, my grandfather was a Baptist minister, my sister married a Baptist minister.
    Thomas, I am still a Baptist minister and chair the committee that has examined the ordinands in our fellowship (at least the last 450 or so going back 26 years). I realize that most Baptists today tie the mode to the meaning (particularly in the SBC although generally so in most other Baptist bodies as well). My point was simply that originally mode was secondary to meaning in the minds of the earliest Baptists.

    It was not until the second/third generation of Baptists that the issue of mode arose. Since then, most Baptists will only accept immersion as normative, although there ARE exceptions.

    The problem, of course, is that a Presbyterian Church would accept a properly administered immersion as being a valid baptism, where a Baptist Church would not accept a properly administered adult sprinkling or pouring as being a valid baptism. There the methodology is asserted as a priori necessity over the Trinitarian invocation.
    Again, generally true but not universally. One of the congregations I pastored (it ran about 500 per Sunday) insisted upon believer's baptism for anyone we baptized but accepted any mode for members who transferred from other evangelical churches. After 10 years it is difficult to remember if any of our members had been poured on, but several had been sprinkled. Of course we were not SBC which seems to take a firmer stand on the issue than practically any other Baptist body.
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    Quote Originally Posted by larryjf View Post

    The "wash" is baptizo...i doubt immersion was the normal custom of washing before dinner.
    Just out of interest, would Baptists are that the "immersion" mentioned in the above verse would be that of the hands rather than of the entire body. Though I doubt that even hand washing at that time would have involved immersion.
    Daniel
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    My Apologies... I guess I sort of stuck my foot in my mouth and spoke before doing some research into the subject.... It is more complexed then I realized at first....

    I admit that the passages of 1 Corinthians 10:2, 1 Peter 3:18-19 and less with Hebrews 6:2, Hebrews 9:10, do present a problem for the immersion onlyism... But I need to study this out some more.... I looked up those passages to see what other immersionist have said on the matter and sadly I did not like their answers... They tried to dodge those passages by saying that it was either figurative or are obscured passages. I never like that approach and find it a slippery slope.

    Two questions though,

    1. How Hebrews 6:2 and Hebrews 9:10 be used against immersion? Can not various washings also be immersion? In biblical times they did not have running water from a faucet.. They had a wash bowl, etc... Did they not immerse their hands into the wash bowl for cleansing? or when washing feet, did not the feet become immerse in the wash bowl? What about the Jewish Proselyte Baptism? They did immerse, did they not?

    2. How does Pouring or Sprinkling symbolizes burial? We know that aleast with immersion when you go down you symbolize death to old self and when raised from the water you symbolize newness of life.. How does pouring or sprinking symbolize this?
    Michael Daniels
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    Michael

    1. It may include immersion, but can refer to more than that.

    2. Baptism symbolizes union with Christ, which includes union in His burial, no matter what mode is employed it symbolizes that.
    Daniel
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    Quote Originally Posted by thunaer View Post
    My Apologies... I guess I sort of stuck my foot in my mouth and spoke before doing some research into the subject.... It is more complexed then I realized at first....

    I admit that the passages of 1 Corinthians 10:2, 1 Peter 3:18-19 and less with Hebrews 6:2, Hebrews 9:10, do present a problem for the immersion onlyism... But I need to study this out some more.... I looked up those passages to see what other immersionist have said on the matter and sadly I did not like their answers... They tried to dodge those passages by saying that it was either figurative or are obscured passages. I never like that approach and find it a slippery slope.

    Two questions though,

    1. How Hebrews 6:2 and Hebrews 9:10 be used against immersion? Can not various washings also be immersion? In biblical times they did not have running water from a faucet.. They had a wash bowl, etc... Did they not immerse their hands into the wash bowl for cleansing? or when washing feet, did not the feet become immerse in the wash bowl? What about the Jewish Proselyte Baptism? They did immerse, did they not?
    The baptisms of the old testament included washings of couches.

    How does one immerse a couch?

    2. How does Pouring or Sprinkling symbolizes burial? We know that aleast with immersion when you go down you symbolize death to old self and when raised from the water you symbolize newness of life.. How does pouring or sprinking symbolize this?
    I think there's a chicken and egg thing going on here. Where does Scripture say that baptism symbolizes burial? Yes there is a connection between baptism and the death of Christ, but I think it's a stretch (created by the assumption that baptism means immersion) to say that the act of baptism needs to look like a burial. (also, where does the "raised to newness of life" require a "raising up from out of the water"?)

    Also, even if burial was to be symbolized somehow in the physical act of baptism, baptisms by dunking in the water look NOTHING like burials in Palestine, which are ABOVE GROUND, not burials as we in the west know them.

    Just two cents to start off..

    I second the suggestion that you check out Adams... it's really very good - or else "William the Baptist", which is an old publication but also a good discussion of what baptizo does and does not mean.
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    Quote Originally Posted by thunaer View Post
    My Apologies... I guess I sort of stuck my foot in my mouth and spoke before doing some research into the subject.... It is more complexed then I realized at first....

    I admit that the passages of 1 Corinthians 10:2, 1 Peter 3:18-19 and less with Hebrews 6:2, Hebrews 9:10, do present a problem for the immersion onlyism... But I need to study this out some more.... I looked up those passages to see what other immersionist have said on the matter and sadly I did not like their answers... They tried to dodge those passages by saying that it was either figurative or are obscured passages. I never like that approach and find it a slippery slope.

    Two questions though,

    1. How Hebrews 6:2 and Hebrews 9:10 be used against immersion? Can not various washings also be immersion? In biblical times they did not have running water from a faucet.. They had a wash bowl, etc... Did they not immerse their hands into the wash bowl for cleansing? or when washing feet, did not the feet become immerse in the wash bowl? What about the Jewish Proselyte Baptism? They did immerse, did they not?

    2. How does Pouring or Sprinkling symbolizes burial? We know that aleast with immersion when you go down you symbolize death to old self and when raised from the water you symbolize newness of life.. How does pouring or sprinking symbolize this?
    For myself, I tend to rely especially on Hebrews 9:10ff. to vindicate sprinkling. It's the "ff." that you should notice here ... just keep reading from that verse, especially verses 13, 19, and 21.
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    Michael,

    Adams really does answer these questions very well. Give him a read...

    WRT baptism of proselytes, Adams quotes a guy by the name of John Scott Johnson who says:

    There is no assured evidence available that John or any other Jew of that time, knew anything of immersion as a Bible rite. It is stated that Jews in those days immersed proselytes, but this statement lacks historical proof. God told Moses how to receive proselytes (it was by circumcision--"When a stranger...will keep the passover..let all his males be circumcised'--Ex. 12:48,) and there is no adequate historical evidence that the Jews in Christ's time added anything to God's direction. If sufficient evidence ever appears that the Essenes (it is held that they immersed) or any other body of Jews practiced such an anomaly as immersion, such a repudiation of every Bible command and example relating to purifying, it would show only how far the Chosen People had retrograded, had fallen away from obedience to God. it would not prove that John--"filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb" (Luke 1:15)--followed a procedure so entirely without Bible precedent, and with not a word of explanation or justification. He alleged no revelation calling for such a departure from all the related commands and practices of the Old Testament. But if John was ever guilty of such an irregularity, and if he was able to "put across" to the Pharisees and Sadducees such an oddity and that the Lord Jesus, the Jehovah of the Old Testament, in fulfilling "all righteousness" (Matt. 3:15)--which is obedience to law--would have submitted to a proceeding which was not commanded, was not prefigured, and utterly disregarded His own detailed instructions to Moses. Immersion is foreign to Bible usage, is not in the Bible picture anywhere.

    Commenting on this Adams goes on to say:

    ...True, there is evidence [from Edersheim] that at a later period the Jews laid down three requirements for the admission of proselytes: circumcision, a sacrifice, and baptism. But the sources for this are late, and by their time Jewish thought itself possibly may have been influenced by John the Baptist or even Christian practice...
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    Quote Originally Posted by DMcFadden View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas2007 View Post

    I understand the issues completely as I was once a Baptist minister, raised a Baptist, my grandfather was a Baptist minister, my sister married a Baptist minister.
    Thomas, I am still a Baptist minister and chair the committee that has examined the ordinands in our fellowship (at least the last 450 or so going back 26 years). I realize that most Baptists today tie the mode to the meaning (particularly in the SBC although generally so in most other Baptist bodies as well). My point was simply that originally mode was secondary to meaning in the minds of the earliest Baptists.

    It was not until the second/third generation of Baptists that the issue of mode arose. Since then, most Baptists will only accept immersion as normative, although there ARE exceptions.

    The problem, of course, is that a Presbyterian Church would accept a properly administered immersion as being a valid baptism, where a Baptist Church would not accept a properly administered adult sprinkling or pouring as being a valid baptism. There the methodology is asserted as a priori necessity over the Trinitarian invocation.
    Again, generally true but not universally. One of the congregations I pastored (it ran about 500 per Sunday) insisted upon believer's baptism for anyone we baptized but accepted any mode for members who transferred from other evangelical churches. After 10 years it is difficult to remember if any of our members had been poured on, but several had been sprinkled. Of course we were not SBC which seems to take a firmer stand on the issue than practically any other Baptist body.
    Just to show you how unSBC I am, I did not even know that so many Baptist churches would not accept believer affusion. Where is this contained in any Baptist confession?

    LBC 29:4 Immersion, or dipping of the person in water, is necessary to the due administration of this ordinance.
    Immersion may be necessary to administrate the ordinance properly, but that does not mean that immersion is necessary to the effectiveness of the baptism.

    I was sprinkled as a believer in the UMC so I guess I better rebaptize myself!


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    Quote Originally Posted by toddpedlar View Post
    Where does Scripture say that baptism symbolizes burial? Yes there is a connection between baptism and the death of Christ, but I think it's a stretch (created by the assumption that baptism means immersion) to say that the act of baptism needs to look like a burial.
    Todd, this is the passage:


    Rom 6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

    I don't have a hard position on the mode issue. Just pointing out that burial symbolism is one of the things associated with baptism.
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    Quote Originally Posted by KMK View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by DMcFadden View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas2007 View Post

    I understand the issues completely as I was once a Baptist minister, raised a Baptist, my grandfather was a Baptist minister, my sister married a Baptist minister.
    Thomas, I am still a Baptist minister and chair the committee that has examined the ordinands in our fellowship (at least the last 450 or so going back 26 years). I realize that most Baptists today tie the mode to the meaning (particularly in the SBC although generally so in most other Baptist bodies as well). My point was simply that originally mode was secondary to meaning in the minds of the earliest Baptists.

    It was not until the second/third generation of Baptists that the issue of mode arose. Since then, most Baptists will only accept immersion as normative, although there ARE exceptions.



    Again, generally true but not universally. One of the congregations I pastored (it ran about 500 per Sunday) insisted upon believer's baptism for anyone we baptized but accepted any mode for members who transferred from other evangelical churches. After 10 years it is difficult to remember if any of our members had been poured on, but several had been sprinkled. Of course we were not SBC which seems to take a firmer stand on the issue than practically any other Baptist body.
    Just to show you how unSBC I am, I did not even know that so many Baptist churches would not accept believer affusion. Where is this contained in any Baptist confession?

    LBC 29:4 Immersion, or dipping of the person in water, is necessary to the due administration of this ordinance.
    Immersion may be necessary to administrate the ordinance properly, but that does not mean that immersion is necessary to the effectiveness of the baptism.

    I was sprinkled as a believer in the UMC so I guess I better rebaptize myself!
    Immersion is in every Baptist confession of note that I know of, including the one you posted. The Bunyan view that immersion is not a prerequisite to the Lord's table and church membership has been a distinct minority view among Baptists, although it appears to be gaining more adherents lately. However, probably the majority of SBC churches today practice what amounts to open communion while restricting church membership to those who have been immersed.
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    Immersion is in every Baptist confession of note that I know of, including the one you posted. The Bunyan view that immersion is not a prerequisite to the Lord's table and church membership has been a distinct minority view among Baptists, although it appears to be gaining more adherents lately.
    Chris, you are absolutely correct about the confessions requiring immersion. However, few Baptists in the official Baptist denominations care much about the Baptist confessions anymore. Much to my consternation, several of the Baptist groups pride themselves on being the Christians who are allowed to believe any fool thing they want to. The leadership of the ABC, for example, practically brags that Baptists believe in "soul competency" and are unfettered by creeds and confessions whatsoever. That is how they have been able to claim to be "evangelical" and still permit the ordination of active gays and lesbians as pastors (including "married" ones in MA). I sat in a hotel room with the current head of the ABC a couple of years ago as he explained to me that he had no power or authority to discipline doctrinal or moral deviation by pastors in the ABC. He claimed that in his role he had perfected the "queen wave" (indicating the officious, but powerless, ceremonial wave of the Queen of England as she travels--no offense bros in Great Britian, it was his term). I not only know of ABC congregations that utilize other modes from immersion, some of them even baptize infants (granted these are typically "federated" churches that are made up of congregations aligned with both Baptist and non-Baptist denominations).

    Even the more conservative Baptist denominations (actually that is somewhat of an oxymoron since Baptists pride themselves on being autonomous congregations, NOT a connectional or hierarchical denomination) shy away from referencing, let alone USING the LBCF, The New Hampshire Confession, or the Philadelphia Confession. Few, other than an occasional Al Mohler, have attempted to recover confessional integrity at SBTS (e.g., the Calvinistic Abstract of Principles). However, even this only applies to teachers at Southern Seminary, NOT to congregations or pastors.

    Chris, you are certainly correct that anything other than immersion is a "distinct minority" view. However, when even "conservative" Baptists accept people with Presbyterian or Methodist baptism without requiring re-baptism and some (albeit very few) even practice infant baptism, it becomes VERY difficult to generalize.
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    Robert Truelove is offline. Puritanboard Freshman
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    You might want to listen to a recent lecture I did on the mode of baptism. It's a free MP3. Just go to Christ Reformed Church | Sermons & Audio and click the Sacraments category. Then you will see "What is the Proper Mode of Baptism?" on the list.

    Also, the message entitled, "What is Baptism?" may be helpful in that it addresses key differences in how Presbyterians approach the question as opposed to Baptists.

    Quote Originally Posted by thunaer View Post
    I had a very interesting conversation this week with a Greek Eastern Orthodox Minister. He asked me where I went to church which struck up a conversation about Baptist and Presbyterians. I was explaining how presbyterians believe that you can sprinkle for baptism because they do not believe that the Greek word Baptizo means Immersion...

    He butted in and said "What do you mean that Presbyterians do not believe it means immersion", "They can't redefine OUR Greek word." "IT is Our Word, and We know what it means and it means Immersion."

    So Sprinklers, How would you answer this?
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    Quote Originally Posted by thunaer View Post
    I had a very interesting conversation this week with a Greek Eastern Orthodox Minister. He asked me where I went to church which struck up a conversation about Baptist and Presbyterians. I was explaining how presbyterians believe that you can sprinkle for baptism because they do not believe that the Greek word Baptizo means Immersion...

    He butted in and said "What do you mean that Presbyterians do not believe it means immersion", "They can't redefine OUR Greek word." "IT is Our Word, and We know what it means and it means Immersion."

    So Sprinklers, How would you answer this?
    I'd tell him that just because I can read English and have read Shakespeare that it doesn't make me a Shakesperean scholar.

    I'd also note to him that his dorked up ecclesiology, sacramentology, soteriology, and just about every other -ology hardly gives me confidence that he understands what he's reading even if he can read the language.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pilgrim View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by KMK View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by DMcFadden View Post

    Thomas, I am still a Baptist minister and chair the committee that has examined the ordinands in our fellowship (at least the last 450 or so going back 26 years). I realize that most Baptists today tie the mode to the meaning (particularly in the SBC although generally so in most other Baptist bodies as well). My point was simply that originally mode was secondary to meaning in the minds of the earliest Baptists.

    It was not until the second/third generation of Baptists that the issue of mode arose. Since then, most Baptists will only accept immersion as normative, although there ARE exceptions.



    Again, generally true but not universally. One of the congregations I pastored (it ran about 500 per Sunday) insisted upon believer's baptism for anyone we baptized but accepted any mode for members who transferred from other evangelical churches. After 10 years it is difficult to remember if any of our members had been poured on, but several had been sprinkled. Of course we were not SBC which seems to take a firmer stand on the issue than practically any other Baptist body.
    Just to show you how unSBC I am, I did not even know that so many Baptist churches would not accept believer affusion. Where is this contained in any Baptist confession?

    LBC 29:4 Immersion, or dipping of the person in water, is necessary to the due administration of this ordinance.
    Immersion may be necessary to administrate the ordinance properly, but that does not mean that immersion is necessary to the effectiveness of the baptism.

    I was sprinkled as a believer in the UMC so I guess I better rebaptize myself!
    Immersion is in every Baptist confession of note that I know of, including the one you posted. The Bunyan view that immersion is not a prerequisite to the Lord's table and church membership has been a distinct minority view among Baptists, although it appears to be gaining more adherents lately. However, probably the majority of SBC churches today practice what amounts to open communion while restricting church membership to those who have been immersed.
    Yes, every Baptist confession will say the proper *administration* should be by immersion, but where does a Baptist confession say that a baptism is made *effectual* by immersion. One travels a 'long and winding road' when he tries to tie effectiveness to administration.


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    Thomas2007 is offline. Puritanboard Sophomore
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    Quote Originally Posted by thunaer View Post
    2. How does Pouring or Sprinkling symbolizes burial? We know that aleast with immersion when you go down you symbolize death to old self and when raised from the water you symbolize newness of life.. How does pouring or sprinking symbolize this?
    Michael,

    We view full immersion as representing total judgment, as in the Noahic flood and the Red Sea covering all of Pharoah's armies. Noah and his family were saved in the ark with the rain sprinkling down upon them (1) but bringing a flood of total judgment upon the world, yet saved from the destruction of the waters; the Israelites passed through the cloud through the division of the waters of the sea and being baptized therein and delivered from bondage. (2)

    Hence, we hold that total judgment is symbolized in baptism in Christ's death and burial, wherein we are being sacramentally baptized into that, thus our deliverance is symbolized in not being totally immersed, by Him being raised from dead.

    (1) "Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:" 1 Peter 3:20-21


    (2) "Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;" 1 Cor 10:1-2
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  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas2007 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by thunaer View Post
    2. How does Pouring or Sprinkling symbolizes burial? We know that aleast with immersion when you go down you symbolize death to old self and when raised from the water you symbolize newness of life.. How does pouring or sprinking symbolize this?
    Michael,

    We view full immersion as representing total judgment, as in the Noahic flood and the Red Sea covering all of Pharoah's armies. Noah and his family were saved in the ark with the rain sprinkling down upon them (1) but bringing a flood of total judgment upon the world, yet saved from the destruction of the waters; the Israelites passed through the cloud through the division of the waters of the sea and being baptized therein and delivered from bondage. (2)


    Hence, we hold that total judgment is symbolized in baptism in Christ's death and burial, wherein we are being sacramentally baptized into that, thus our deliverance is symbolized in not being totally immersed, by Him being raised from dead.

    (1) "Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:" 1 Peter 3:20-21


    (2) "Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;" 1 Cor 10:1-2
    In each of your examples offered here, Noah, Moses, Christ, why not look at baptism, as identification with/ rather than the mode and worrying about the physical water. Christ's baptism of suffering,did not have to do with water. substitute the idea of identification when you read baptism and you might have something. Forget the water for a second,and try it.

    They "identified" with;
    Noah in the ark
    Moses in the cloud and sea
    John's baptism of repentance
    Christ's suffering and death,and resurrection
    The apostolic message,repent and be baptized
    It is not so much the judgement as it is the place of safety in the time of judgement [ propitiation]. At the end of the day we all want to be identified as In Saving Union with Christ before the last day.
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  32. #32
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    I agree with Calvin and Luther and will practice the mode of the ancient church.

    John Calvin -"The very word "baptize however, signifies to IMMERSE, and it is certain that IMMERSION was the practice of the ancient church."(Institutes of the Christian Religion, chp 15)

    Martin Luther -" I could wish that the baptized should be totally IMMERSED according to the meaning of the word."

    Philip Schaff -"IMMERSION and not sprinkling was unquestionably the original normal form of baptism. This is shown by the meaning of the Greek word and the analogy of the baptism of John which was performed in Jordan." (History of the Apostolic Church, p.568).


    Cardinal Gibbons -"For several centuries after the establishment of Christianity baptism was usually conferred by IMMERSION; but since the 12th century the practice of baptism by infusion has prevailed in the Catholic church, as this manner is attained with less inconvenience than by IMMERSION (Faith of our Fathers p. 317)

    John Wesley -commenting on Rom 6:4- "We are buried with Him- alluding to the ancient manner of baptism by IMMERSION (Explanatory notes Upon the New Testament, p. 376)

    George Whitefield -commenting on Rom 6:4- "It is certain that the words of our text is an allusion to the manner of baptism by IMMERSION

    Conybeare and Howson -commenting on Rom 6:4-":This passage cannot be undersood unless it is understood that the primitive baptism was by IMMERSION."
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  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by victorbravo View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by toddpedlar View Post
    Where does Scripture say that baptism symbolizes burial? Yes there is a connection between baptism and the death of Christ, but I think it's a stretch (created by the assumption that baptism means immersion) to say that the act of baptism needs to look like a burial.
    Todd, this is the passage:


    Rom 6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

    I don't have a hard position on the mode issue. Just pointing out that burial symbolism is one of the things associated with baptism.
    I know of the passage and had it in mind when I wrote what I did. I don't see symbolism of the type that baptists usually argue for here. What the passage states clearly is that IN our baptism we "are buried" with Christ. Nowhere in that verse can you find any reason that one must therefore "bury" someone under the surface of water.

    If you come to this text with a predlilection that one must immerse a person under water, then of course I can see why you'd insist that the passages teaches an "immersive burial" in baptism - but the text itself doesn't contain such an implication. Also, if we are to be buried like Christ was buried, then we'd better find a different way to "immerse" people - somehow digging a hole into the side of a waterfall or something... we can't draw upon modern, western burial practices in order to specify how we need to baptize.
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  34. #34
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    1 Peter 3:18-22 18 For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, in order that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit; 19 in which also He went and made proclamation to the spirits now in prison, 20 who once were disobedient, when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through the water. 21 And corresponding to that, baptism now saves you-- not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience-- through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who is at the right hand of God, having gone into heaven, after angels and authorities and powers had been subjected to Him.

    Peter makes a connection between the Flood and baptism. Interestingly, the only ones who were "immersed" in the Flood were the wicked who were judged... The baptism referred to in this passage is the "inner" baptism; the cleansing of our souls which comes as a result of our union to Christ and His resurrection...

    Another passage that uses similar terminology is the following:

    1 Corinthians 10:1-2 For I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; 2 and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea;

    Again, this baptism signifies union, not immersion. Once again, we know what happened to those who were "immersed" at the Red Sea...

    By the way, I personally don't believe immersion invalidates one's baptism, but I have a hard time seeing where one gets the idea from the Scriptures.
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  35. #35
    Coram Deo is offline. Inactive User
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    Pastor Bradley,

    What do you think of the Calvin and Luther quotes below that refbapdude brought up?

    Michael

    Quote Originally Posted by refbaptdude View Post
    I agree with Calvin and Luther and will practice the mode of the ancient church.

    John Calvin -"The very word "baptize however, signifies to IMMERSE, and it is certain that IMMERSION was the practice of the ancient church."(Institutes of the Christian Religion, chp 15)

    Martin Luther -" I could wish that the baptized should be totally IMMERSED according to the meaning of the word."

    Philip Schaff -"IMMERSION and not sprinkling was unquestionably the original normal form of baptism. This is shown by the meaning of the Greek word and the analogy of the baptism of John which was performed in Jordan." (History of the Apostolic Church, p.568).


    Cardinal Gibbons -"For several centuries after the establishment of Christianity baptism was usually conferred by IMMERSION; but since the 12th century the practice of baptism by infusion has prevailed in the Catholic church, as this manner is attained with less inconvenience than by IMMERSION (Faith of our Fathers p. 317)

    John Wesley -commenting on Rom 6:4- "We are buried with Him- alluding to the ancient manner of baptism by IMMERSION (Explanatory notes Upon the New Testament, p. 376)

    George Whitefield -commenting on Rom 6:4- "It is certain that the words of our text is an allusion to the manner of baptism by IMMERSION

    Conybeare and Howson -commenting on Rom 6:4-":This passage cannot be undersood unless it is understood that the primitive baptism was by IMMERSION."
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    I have the utmost respect for our Reformed fathers. That said, just because they are great in many areas doesn't mean they are right in every area. None of us are...

    By the way, the fuller quote from Calvin says:

    John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion 4:15:19, “But whether the person being baptized should be wholly immersed, and whether thrice or once, whether he should only be sprinkled with poured water—these details are of no importance, but ought to be optional to churches according to the diversity of countries. Yet the word ‘baptize’ means to immerse, and it is clear that the rite of immersion was observed in the ancient church.”
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  37. #37
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    I found the following to be helpful:

    http://www.wrs.edu/Materials_for_Web...de_Baptism.pdf
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  38. #38
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    By the way, I know the Greeks immerse their infants in baptism, but did Calvin hold to that too? If he truly believed baptism means immerse and he believed in infant baptism, then I wonder what his practice was???
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  39. #39
    Coram Deo is offline. Inactive User
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    I think after careful thought that I can accept Sprinkling, Pouring, and Immersion for baptism but.... Like Calvin said.... "it is clear that the rite of immersion was observed in the ancient church.

    So I am going to uphold the ancient practice of the church and the example of Christ's baptism by immersion as normative but not absolute....
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  40. #40
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    Michael, the example of Christ's baptism is that of sprinkling...

    Again, to quote from Adam's work. He quotes a scholar by the name of Ben L. Rose:

    The law of the Old Testament which Jesus was obeying when He was baptized is found in Numbers 8:6-7. "Take the Levites...and cleanse them. Thus shalt thou do to them to cleanse them: Sprinkle water...upon them." The Levites were priests. Jesus Christ was (and is) a priest (Heb. 3:1; 4:14; 5:5; 9:11); He is our High Priest forever. Christ's baptism was the ceremonial act of His ordination to the priesthood. It was the rite that set Him apart as a priest and a minister of holy things.

    Before any man could become a priest, three things were required: first, he must be 30 years old (Num. 4:3,47). (This is why Christ's age at His baptism is given as 30 years in Luke 3:23.); second, he must be called of God as was Aaron, the first high priest (Ex. 28:1). (Christ was thus called, Heb. 5:4-10); and thirdly, he must be sprinkled with water (Num. 8:6-7) by one already a priest (John was a priest, inheriting the office from his father, Ex. 29:9; Num. 25:13; Lk. 1:5, 13). Christ knew His call, waited until He was 30 years old and then came to John "to fulfill all righteousness," that is, to meet the last demand of the Old Testament Law for a priest before He began His public ministry.

    As evidence of the fact that Christ was made a priest by John's baptism, we note that when Jesus cleansed the temple (Mt. 21:12; Mk. 11:15), He was exercising the authority of a priest. And when the Jews came to Him asking , "By what authority doest thou these things, and who gave thee this authority?" (Mt. 21:23; Mk. 11:28), Jesus cited to them John's baptism, which He had received, and asked, "Was it from heaven or of men?" In Jesus' mind there is obviously a definite connection between His priestly "authority" and His "baptism by John." He indicates that if John's baptism was from heaven, and He surely believed it was, then He had been truly ordained a priest and possessed authority to cleanse the temple.
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