Is Roman Catholic Baptism valid?

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Puritan Sailor

Puritan Board Doctor
I know most of the Baptist brethren here would answer "no." But the paedo's here may differ. I here this common justification for Roman baptism in that they are "trinitarian." This issue was debated in the 1800's between Thornwell and Hodge. I personally agree with Thornwell.

RC baptism is not valid because, it is not done in the correct mode and because the Catholic position on the trinity is not biblical.
The correct mode would be with "water" and the "Word" in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. But the Catholics add oil to there baptism, calling it christening, therefore departing from the biblical command to use only water (not to meniton all the eronious doctrines they tie to it).
Secondly, the Catholic view of the Trinity is completely distorted and deformed by their view of Mary and the saints acting as mediators rather than Christ.

To those who would accept Roman baptism as authentic based on this "trinitarian" statement made at baptism, is it the words of "In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit" that are important, or is it how they define these words?

How can the "baptism" of a pagan religion be accepted as Christian? We all agree on this board that the RCC is apostate and not a true church. Would the baptism of a Greek Orthodox, Unitarian, "oneness" pentacostal, or Mormon be accepted because they use this "trinitarian" form too? (I'm assuming they use it here, please correct me if I'm wrong, but you see the point I hope).

I know that Calvin and Luther believed the Roman baptism to be authentic, but that was before the Council of Trent when the Gospel was officially declared heretical, and also before the full blown Mary worship had taken hold of their theology.
So any thoughts about this?

Puritan Sailor

[Edited on 9-23-2003 by puritansailor]
 

JohnV

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
If you had been baptized, whenever that was, and you later found out that the man who administered the baptism was not only in error, but embraced heresy later in his life, would your baptism still be valid?
 

pastorway

Puritan Board Senior
It isn't just about the man administering. It is about the church that has authorized and defined that administration.

Is the RCC a Christian church?

I would cite the WCF on Baptism(emphasis added):

[quote:e746ec9d02]II. The outward element to be used in this sacrament is water, wherewith the party is to be baptized, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, [b:e746ec9d02]by a minister of the Gospel, lawfully called thereunto[/b:e746ec9d02].[/quote:e746ec9d02]

A question for my paedo brethren whose churches say that the RCC baptism is valid:

Do you have to take exception to your confession to reach such a conclusion, or is an RCC priest to be believed to be a minister of the (true) gospel, lawfully called thereto? If the "church" he serves is apostate and his vows for ministry deny Scripture itself and decry the true gospel as heresy, how can that baptism be anything more than a mystical, superstitious, religious ritual?

Phillip

[Edited on 9-24-03 by pastorway]
 

fredtgreco

Vanilla Westminsterian
Staff member
Blade, the issue is not with respect to the doctrine of the one baptizing, but rather with respect to the validity of the sacrament itself and the validity of the ecclesiastical body.

The Confession does make this point:

"The grace which is exhibited in or by the sacraments, rightly used, is not conferred by any power in them; [b:413d1c02fa]neither doth the efficacy of a sacrament depend upon the piety or intention of him that doth administer it[/b:413d1c02fa], but upon the work of the Spirit, and the word of institution; which contains, together with a precept authorizing the use thereof, a promise of benefit to worthy receivers." (WCF 27.3)

and

"The outward element to be used in this sacrament is water, wherewith the party is to be baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, by a minister of the gospel, lawfully called thereunto." (WCF 28.2)

We must first be careful in how we distinguish what constitutes a "true branch of the body of Christ." Both the magisterial reformers and the Puritans (including those who drafted the Confession) rejected the claims of separatists that only a church which completely (in their estimation) followed the dictates of Scripture in all particulars was a "true church." This is clearly seen in Calvin's treatment of the Anabaptists, Owen's comments regarding the schismatics and the Puritan treatment of Brownists and separatists. It should not be surprising then, that the Reformed tradition is not to invalidate baptism on specious or inconsequential grounds. Baptisms are accepted when performed with different modes of water (e.g. by immersion in a baptistic church, cf. WCF 28.3), in a church that denies the details of the doctrines of grace (e.g. Arminian churches), in a church that denies the Biblical character of church government (e.g. Episcopalian churches), and in a church that admits doctrines that the Reformed faith does not confess (e.g. Pentecostal churches).

This, however, should not be taken as proving that any "baptism" will be accepted as valid. It is just as clear, for instance, that the Reformed tradition has rejected baptisms done where the church denies the Trinity (e.g. Unitarianism), the Deity of Christ (e.g. Mormonism, Jehovah Witness), or where the church has denied the true nature of baptism (e.g. Boston Church of Christ). The question that must be answered is not whether it is proper to deny the baptism of any church, but rather whether it is proper to deny the baptism of the particular church in question. Certainly there are elements to baptism which are sine qua non, but there are also elements to baptism about which there is dispute. Specifically considering the question of the validity of Roman Catholic baptism, there have been two positions expressed: (1) such baptism, although irregular, is valid; and (2) such baptism is not Christian baptism.

There is great controversy in Reformed circles over this. For my part, I side with Thornwell and I believe that Calvin was a bit inconsistent here. He seems to imply in the Institutes that the sacrament of the Lord's Supper in the Roman church was invalid, but that the baptism was. here is something I wrote a while back while interacting with Dr. F.N. Lee on the subject:

[quote:413d1c02fa]First, Calvin states that it is unlawful to depart from a true church:
"We have said that the symbols by which the Church is discerned are the preaching of the word and the observance of the sacraments, for these cannot any where exist without producing fruit and prospering by the blessing of God. I say not that wherever the word is preached fruit immediately appears; but that in every place where it is received, and has a fixed abode, it uniformly displays its efficacy. [b:413d1c02fa]Be this as it may, when the preaching of the gospel is reverently heard, and the sacraments are not neglected, there for the time the face of the Church appears without deception or ambiguity; and no man may with impunity spurn her authority[/b:413d1c02fa], or reject her admonitions, or resist her counsels, or make sport of her censures, far less revolt from her, and violate her unity, (see Chap. 2 sec. 1, 10, and Chap. 3. sec. 12.) For such is the value which the Lord sets on the communion of his Church, that [b:413d1c02fa]all who contumaciously alienate themselves from any Christian society, in which the true ministry of his word and sacraments is maintained, he regards as deserters of religion.[/b:413d1c02fa]" (Institutes IV.i.10, emphasis added)

I must admit that when I read that, I agreed, but was a bit confused. For I know that Calvin (as [FN Lee has] pointed out frequently) regarded Roman baptism as valid (again I grant and do not which to discuss the witness of any "pre-Thorwellian" Protestants). I was confused because if the Roman Church is still in a very real sense a church, then how could Calvin depart from her without declaring himself a schismatic?

As I read on, Calvin gave me his answer to my question when he said in regard to the Roman Church that it is not a true church and therefore departure from her is warranted:
"Since this is the state of matters under the Papacy, we can understand how much of the Church there survives. There, [b:413d1c02fa]instead of the ministry of the word, prevails a perverted government, compounded of lies[/b:413d1c02fa], a government which partly extinguishes, partly suppresses, the pure light. [b:413d1c02fa]In place of the Lord's Supper, the foulest sacrilege has entered[/b:413d1c02fa], the worship of God is deformed by a varied mass of intolerable superstitions; doctrine (without which Christianity exists not) is wholly buried and exploded, the public assemblies are schools of idolatry and impiety. [b:413d1c02fa]Wherefore, in declining fatal participation in such wickedness, we run no risk of being dissevered from the Church of Christ.[/b:413d1c02fa]" (Institutes IV.ii.2, emphasis added)

Calvin seems to say that the mark of the preaching of the word and the sacraments (at least with respect to the Lord's Supper) are not found in the Roman communion.


Can you reconcile in Calvin how he could counsel someone to depart from the Roman communion and yet still honor its baptism? It would seem that if Rome is a church (at least for purposes of baptism), and if we those who depart from a church are deserters of religion, then does it not follow that Calvin et al. are deserters of religion?[/quote:413d1c02fa]
 

pastorway

Puritan Board Senior
I guess I wonder why there is any controversy at all.

Rome believes baptism regenerates. And this is just the first in the list of their heretical errors. They cannot claim the title of "Christian" church when you examine their doctrine. So their baptism is a pagan practice.

Where is this not clear?

Phillip
 

Puritan Sailor

Puritan Board Doctor
[quote:29282505fa][i:29282505fa]Originally posted by pastorway[/i:29282505fa]
I guess I wonder why there is any controversy at all.

Rome believes baptism regenerates. And this is just the first in the list of their heretical errors. They cannot claim the title of "Christian" church when you examine their doctrine. So their baptism is a pagan practice.

Where is this not clear?

Phillip [/quote:29282505fa]

That's my point and my concern! As I sat in a presbytery meeting a couple weeks ago, they asked an ordination candidate whether he thought that a Catholic convert should be rebaptized. He said no because the Catholic baptism was authentic due to it's trinitarian administration. But the RCC is not a Christian church and they have changed the mode and meaning of the sacrament anyway so that it's not biblical baptism. I give Calvin and Luther a pass because in their time the gospel was not yet fully condemned. But by the Council of Trent, it was there in writing, that the gospel is a heresy for the Catholic, and later declarations of the RCC have certainly made their baptism heresy.

But I would like to return to the idea of the Trinitarian formula. This is how Hodge, and others today, justify a Catholic baptism. There are many "oneness" pentacostals who baptize in the name of the "Father, Son, and Holy Spirit" yet they do not by these definitions mean the biblical Trinity. Would this be considered Christian baptism? If the same justification is used to authentic Roman baptism then why not any trinitarian formula? Is it just the phrase that matters, or what the church and/or pastor mean by that phrase?

Puritan Sailor
 

wsw201

Puritan Board Senior
PuritanSailor,

The Council of Trent issued their statements in the late 1540's. I believe Luther had died prior to the Council issuing their edicts. Calvin's final and most complete version of the Institutes was published in 1559. In addition, Calvin wrote a treatise titled "Acts of the Council of Trent with the Antidote" (good reading too). So Calvin was very much aware of Rome position regarding the Gospel.

The basis for Calvin's and the Divines position on accepting RCC baptism was the Donatist controversy. As the WCF states, baptism does not depend upon the "piety or intention of him that doth administer it, but upon the work of the Spirit". This was also the point Hodge made against Thornwell. I have read Hodge's rebuttal to Thornwell and agree with him.

[Edited on 9-24-2003 by wsw201]
 

Puritan Sailor

Puritan Board Doctor
I thought the Council of Trent had finished in the 1560's. I'll have to look for that Trent treatise by Calvin.
Regarding Hodge, how would I get ahold of his rebuttal to Thornwell? Is it still in print somewhere?
How does Hodge address the issue of the correct mode (i.e. adding oil deliberately) and does he address the trinitarian formula in light of distorted and heretical views of the trinity?
 

wsw201

Puritan Board Senior
Puritansailor,

I stand corrected. I believe you are correct as to when the council completed their work. But then again I don't think it came as a surprise to the Reformers as to what the position of the RCC was going to be prior to the council issuing their work.

I only have a hard copy of Hodge's response (and I am in the process of trying to find it!). But here is a link to Hodge's additional response regarding the issue of the RCC being apart of the visible Church.

http://www.reformed.org/misc/hodge_catholic.html

If anyone can find Hodge's response to Thornwell on the web (I could not find it). It would be greatly appreciated.
 

kceaster

Puritan Board Junior
How shall we try this?

What do the Scriptures say regarding administration? I would say that they are rather silent on this point except that it is to be done in the Trinity.

What really needs to be proved is that the administration of the baptism is what is important. Many in the reformation did not think that administration was important as long as it was in the Trinity, which is why they concluded that it was not effectual based upon the one physically administering but upon the the Spirit.

Just because the church does not believe in the Trinity as it should be believed in, does not mean the Trinity does not exist, nor does it mean that God cannot make this baptism effectual to the person. As far as I know, baptism came from God, did it not? Does He not reserve the right to say what He will bless and what He will not?

Incidentally, this is also why we can be assured that the administration of infant baptism is acceptable. It is not because of the water we apply, the words we say, who the pastor is, or even who is being baptized; it is effectual only by the Spirit carrying out God's decree.

When baptism is not administered correctly, with understanding according to the Scriptures, is the one baptised cursed? If this is so, then the physical administration can and does matter. But I think we would have a hard time proving that.

If anyone is to be cursed, it would be the ones who know better, but ignore the clear teaching on the Trinity and upon correct Christian baptism.

But it is still ONLY the Spirit that makes the baptism effectual. Otherwise God is sovereign in all other areas excepting this one.

Do the Scriptures say anything contrary to this?

In Christ,

KC
 

JohnV

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
It just happens that this question was asked on the OPC website. You will find it at:
http://www.opc.org/cce/QandA/
Just scroll down to the second question.

You will also find a subject index to manyother questions at the bottom of the page.
 

pastorway

Puritan Board Senior
If it can be said that baptism is an ordinance (sacrament) of the Church, then that automatically denies the validity of the baptism of Rome, for they are not a true church in any sense.

The administration must be conducted by a church!

Phillip
 

kceaster

Puritan Board Junior
Phillip...

[quote:93f8e322bb]If it can be said that baptism is an ordinance (sacrament) of the Church, then that automatically denies the validity of the baptism of Rome, for they are not a true church in any sense.

The administration must be conducted by a church!

Phillip [/quote:93f8e322bb]

Could you show this from Scripture?

In Christ,

KC
 

blhowes

Puritan Board Professor
In the OT, did it matter whether the person administerring the circumcision was circumcised or uncircumcised?
Bob
 

kceaster

Puritan Board Junior
Bob...

Zipporah circumcised Gershom.

It would appear that the Hivites of Gen 34 may have circumcised themselves.

Joshua circumcised all the males poised to go into the promised land.

The Levitical laws are specific as to when the ceremony is done and we can assume that they (the Levites) are the ones who performed it.

I cannot be for sure, but I think there were other peoples who circumcised. Tribes in Africa were known to do so. What happens when the person who wishes to convert to Judaism in the OT times was already circumcised?

Good questions.

In Christ,

KC
 

one-track mind

Inactive User
I'm not sure NT Scripture really specifically tells us who is, and is not, qualified to baptize.

Certainly, the pattern seems to be that the apostles did most of the baptizing themselves. But, I don't see where Scripture says that that MUST be the case.

On the other hand, consider the "Great Commission" for a moment. Jesus says, "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them..." (Matt, 28:19, NIV). The same people who are sent to make disciples are also called to baptize. If all believers understand the command to go and make disciples to apply to them (and I think most believers do think that Jesus' commission does apply to each of us), then should that mean that the command to baptize ALSO applies to each believer?

Just a thought...
 

Dan....

Puritan Board Sophomore
So if a Baptist preacher is washing his car with his son and, while singing the Doxology, he accidentally sprays his son with the water hose, is his son baptized???

:lol::lol::lol::lol:

(I'm joking).
 

wsw201

Puritan Board Senior
I don't think the issue comes down to who can baptize. Yes there have been extra-ordinary circumstances in which circumcision was done by someone who was not authorized to perform the act. But as Pastorway notes, the sacraments/ordinances are for the Church and are therefore to be administered by those who are called by the Church to do so.

To me the issue comes down to "is the RCC a Christian Church". Granted, the RCC is not a "True Church" but can they be defined as a church as Hodge attempts to do?

Dan,

Of course not !!! His son was only "sprinkled" :saint2:

Now if it were a Presbyterian preacher.....
 

blhowes

Puritan Board Professor
I didn't know if anybody would take Dan's joke seriously/personally, so I hesitated responding. No disrespect intended to anybody, but when I read it ... :lol::lol::lol:
 

one-track mind

Inactive User
According to Calvin himself, a true church is a place where "The Word is preached, and the sacraments are rightly administered."

I got my B.A. at the University of Notre Dame. I met people there whom I regard to be some of the strongest Christians I've ever come across. But, they were the exception, rather than the rule.

As a whole, if the RCC preaches something other than justification by grace through faith alone, then that is not preaching "THE WORD." And, if they teach baptismal regeneration and veneration of the host prior to the Supper, then that is not "rightly" administering the sacraments.
 

blhowes

Puritan Board Professor
[b:8e3a470dfb]kc wrote:[/b:8e3a470dfb]
Zipporah circumcised Gershom.

Wouldn't Zipporah be considered to be circumcised (though a woman) because she was married to Moses?

In general, though, do I understand it correctly that anybody could circumcise anybody and, assuming they've been properly cleansed, could participate in the passover?

Totally unrelated, but can you imagine how different things would be now if God had chosen to use baptism in OT and circumcision in the NT? I wouldn't be surprised if the number of people in the churches that tend toward the "easy believism" gospel decreased ever so slightly.

Bob

[Edited on 9-24-2003 by blhowes]
 

wsw201

Puritan Board Senior
One-Track,

That is true how Calvin defined a True Church. And no one would say that the RCC is a True Church. But can they be considered a Christian Church as Hodge defines it? And if you have not had the chance to read the article, Hodge defines a Christian Church as the WCF defines the visible church:

Hodge definition of a Christian Church (not a true church):

[quote:a53d6030bd]
Is a church an organized society professing the true religion, united for the worship of God and the exercise of discipline, and subject to the same for of government and to common tribunal?

This definition is substantially the one given in our standards. "A particular church consists of a number of professing Christians with their offspring, voluntarily associated together for divine worship and godly living agreeably to the Holy Scriptures; and submitting to a certain form of government [sic] [3]. "Professing Christians" is here used as equivalent to "those professing the true religion," the form of expression adopted in the Confession of Faith and Larger Catechism. It is obvious that the definition suits all the cases mentioned above, applying equally well to a single congregation, and to a whole denomination united in one body.
[/quote:a53d6030bd]
 

fredtgreco

Vanilla Westminsterian
Staff member
[quote:d7ce5233d2][i:d7ce5233d2]Originally posted by wsw201[/i:d7ce5233d2]
I don't think the issue comes down to who can baptize. Yes there have been extra-ordinary circumstances in which circumcision was done by someone who was not authorized to perform the act. But as Pastorway notes, the sacraments/ordinances are for the Church and are therefore to be administered by those who are called by the Church to do so.

To me the issue comes down to "is the RCC a Christian Church". Granted, the RCC is not a "True Church" but can they be defined as a church as Hodge attempts to do?

Dan,

Of course not !!! His son was only "sprinkled" :saint2:

Now if it were a Presbyterian preacher..... [/quote:d7ce5233d2]

Wayne,

I agree completely with you here -- the issue is whether Rome is a church, and it must be admitted that historically, Reformed paedobaptists have answered that question with a [i:d7ce5233d2]qualified[/i:d7ce5233d2] (and that is important) "yes."

My take on this, after having given it much thought, especially in the context of cases of conscience, is that there is some inconsistency in Calvin (see my previous post). I don't know how he can get around it. For on the one hand, Calvin's view of the church is so (Biblically) high that he defends the Reformers from the charge of schism by pointing out Rome's deficiency as a true church (the word, the mass). But then at the same time, he must defend its true church-ness for purposes of baptism. It does not jell for me.
 

JohnV

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
I think that we need to consider what makes for a church. We can look ahead and picture what a church should be, or we can look back and see what is there. There are a lot of people who consider themsleves Christians, who gather together for worship, an who sit under a common form of government in it. That does not make them true necessarily, but they do gather in God's name.

It is not necessarily all the additions that make them not a church at all, if they adhere to the rudiments of the worship of the triune God. But their worship can be considered false by others. They are judged in that by the way they keep to the Word.

As it pertains to their being a church, it is not for us to deny that. That is up to God. It is for us to judge whether it remains true to the Word, and whether we would worship in that manner. It could not be considered a false church if it were not a church, unless we meant that it was no church at all when we call it false.

So we cannot tell when a baptism is to be discounted unless it fails to meet a Biblical standard. And that hinges on the triune formula and the testimony of a good confession. We may not have access to the latter, but we can know about the formula followed by the various churches. Otherwise there are many baptism which have to be discounted.

Such as my own, which was done in a faithful church, but which church went into heresy. How carefully must we examine our own baptisms, and follow closely the men and churches which administered them? Or do we rest in the work of the Spirit, and that he may do according to His promises regardless of man? If men fail, does that mean that the Spirit will fail too?
 

Wannabee

Obi Wan Kenobi
I recently read this quote. Don't know if it's useful here, but I found it interesting

Tertullian
Exhortation to Chastity
Vol. VII
http://www.ccel.org/fathers2/ANF-04/anf04-15.htm#P1000_249272
[quote:506e185dcc]Are not even we laics priests? It is written: "A kingdom also, and priests to His God and Father, hath He made us."37 It is the authority of the Church, and the honour which has acquired sanctity through the joint session of the Order, which has established the difference between the Order and the laity. Accordingly, where there is no joint session of the ecclesiastical Order, you offer, and baptize, and are priest, alone for yourself. But where three are, a church is, albeit they be laics. For each individual lives by his own faith,38 nor is there exception of persons with God; since it is not hearers of the law who are justified by the Lord, but doers, according to what the apostle withal says.39 Therefore, if you have the right of a priest in your own person, in cases of necessity, it behoves you to have likewise the discipline of a priest whenever it may be necessary to have the fight of a priest. If you are a digamist, do you baptize? If you are a digamist, do you offer? How much more capital (a crime) is it for a digamist laic to act as a priest, when the priest himself, if he turn digamist, is deprived of the power of acting the priest! "But to necessity," you say, "indulgence is granted." No necessity is excusable which is avoidable. In a word, shun to be found guilty of digamy, and you do not expose yourself to the necessity of administering what a digamist may not lawfully administer. God wills us all to he so conditioned, as to be ready at all times and places to undertake (the duties of) His sacraments. There is "one God, one faith,"40 one discipline too. So truly is this the case, that unless the laics as well observe the rules which are to guide the choice of presbyters, how will there be presbyters at all, who are chosen to that office from among the laics? Hence we are bound to contend that the command to abstain from second marriage relates first to the laic; so long as no other can be a presbyter than a laic, provided he have been once for all a husband.[/quote:506e185dcc]What do you think?

[Edited on 9-24-2003 by Wannabee]
 

Puritan Sailor

Puritan Board Doctor
WCF Ch.28
II. The outward element to be used in this sacrament is water, wherewith the party is to be baptized, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, by a minister of the gospel, lawfully called thereunto.[9]

WCF Ch.27
IV. There be only two sacraments ordained by Christ our Lord in the Gospel; that is to say, baptism, and the Supper of the Lord: neither of which may be dispensed by any, but by a minister of the Word lawfully ordained.[10]

WCF Ch25
II. The visible church, which is also catholic or universal under the gospel (not confined to one nation, as before under the law), consists of all those throughout the world that profess the true religion;[2] and of their children:[3] and is the kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ,[4] the house and family of God,[5] out of which there is no ordinary possibility of salvation.[6]


Ok. Here's some confessional analysis. The WCF states only water is to be used (the Belgic Confession states "pure" water). Rome does not fit this requirment because they also use oil.

Only a minister of the gospel is to administer baptism who is lawfully called. Rome doesn't meet this requirement either because Catholic priests are not ministers of the gospel.

Finally, the visible church is defined as those who "profess the true religion". Rome does not profess the true religion so they miss out on that as well. The only way they could fit under this umbrella is if we considered all people who professed a "true religion" as part of the visible church, which would mean many hybrids like Mormons, JW's, Bahai's, etc. would also fit. Therefore if we are to accept Rome's baptism, we by principle have to accept the rest too. What if a Buddhist decides to baptize someone in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost? Would we call that a valid baptism?

Rome does not fit 3 out of the 4 requirements. The do not baptize with only water, the do not have ministers of the gospel, they are not part of the visible church because the don't profess the true religion. They only have the trinitarian formula, with a warped doctrine of the Trinity (or should we say Quadnity including Mary).

It seems to me inconsistent with the WCF for presbyterians to consider Rome's baptism authentic.
More thoughts....

Puritan Sailor
 

kceaster

Puritan Board Junior
Patrick...

[quote:22f9e2d550]WCF Ch.28
II. The outward element to be used in this sacrament is water, wherewith the party is to be baptized, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, by a minister of the gospel, lawfully called thereunto.[9]

WCF Ch.27
IV. There be only two sacraments ordained by Christ our Lord in the Gospel; that is to say, baptism, and the Supper of the Lord: neither of which may be dispensed by any, but by a minister of the Word lawfully ordained.[10]

WCF Ch25
II. The visible church, which is also catholic or universal under the gospel (not confined to one nation, as before under the law), consists of all those throughout the world that profess the true religion;[2] and of their children:[3] and is the kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ,[4] the house and family of God,[5] out of which there is no ordinary possibility of salvation.[6][/quote:22f9e2d550]

You must look at these in light of what is said about the sacrament itself, "XXVII:III. The grace which is exhibited in or by the sacraments rightly used, is not conferred by any power in them; neither does the efficacy of a sacrament depend upon the piety or intention of him that does administer it:[7] but upon the work of the Spirit,[8] and the word of institution, which contains, together with a precept authorizing the use thereof, a promise of benefit to worthy receivers.[9]

We cannot get wrapped around the axle about the outward administration. It is the inward that counts and it is precisely the inward that we cannot administer. The Holy Spirit baptizes.

In Christ,

KC
 
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