Who can perform Baptism?

Discussion in 'Baptism' started by PresbyDane, Mar 21, 2009.

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  1. PresbyDane

    PresbyDane Puritanboard Doctor

    A different kind of Baptism question
    So basically I have two questions in one:

    Who can perform Baptism?
    And when?

    I have heard of a case were some friends of mine meet a Guy that wanted to be a Christian and therefor also wanted to be Baptised but his mother would not allow it and he was not adult yet, so my non pastor friends considered this an emergency baptism and Baptised him.

    Is this okay?
    And please give more excamples if you have any.
     
  2. Confessor

    Confessor Puritan Board Senior

    Is it just me or does "emergency baptism" sound superstitious? I mean, baptism is important but it's not as if there is some stain of original sin that needs to be removed by water.

    And sorry that I can't answer your question.
     
  3. OPC'n

    OPC'n Puritan Board Doctor

    Good question! I would think only a pastor could but I'm not sure.
     
  4. PresbyDane

    PresbyDane Puritanboard Doctor

    What are your arguments for that?
     
  5. Dearly Bought

    Dearly Bought Puritan Board Junior

    Here you go:

    The sacraments of the church are entrusted to her ministers and should not be administered apart from the church's authority. Lay baptism as you describe usually also displays a denial of the relationship between baptism and church membership. You can't visibly baptize someone into the invisible church.

    -----Added 3/21/2009 at 06:09:55 EST-----

    PB's own Dr. McMahon has written on this very topic:
    Who May Administer the Sacraments?
     
  6. Edward

    Edward Puritan Board Doctor

    Sounds like your friends believe in some form of baptismal regeneration, so I would suspect they have a larger problem to deal with than did the un-baptised youth. By focusing on the narrow question (who), have you missed the bigger issue?

    As to the smaller question, I'd refer you, for a start, to the WCF proof texts.

    Westminster Confession of Faith
     
  7. PresbyDane

    PresbyDane Puritanboard Doctor

    Well I have looked at this question I just wanted other peoples arguments, considering that I will have to talk to them about it, I wanted all aspects covered
     
  8. Berean

    Berean Puritan Board Doctor

    So-called "emergency baptism" was taught by the RC's when I was in grade school in the 50's and 60's. It was all right for anyone to perform, not just a "priest". Back then RC's taught that an unbaptized baby went to Limbo (since abolished by the pope). In order to save their soul you were supposed to perform an emergency baptism. And yes, they believed it was precisely to remove that "stain of original sin" and replace it with the "indelible mark" of baptism. I'd give you a quote from my old Baltimore Catechism, but I unceremoniously dropped it into the recycle bin a while back. :wow:

    Found it http://www.catholicity.com/baltimore-catechism/lesson24.html #318
     
  9. PresbyDane

    PresbyDane Puritanboard Doctor

    Well it seems like some of the old RC traditions have hung around these lutheran parts, eventhough I will not be able to get them to admit the baptism was to remove sin.
    They will say it was to give the sign of belonging to God + receiving the Holy Spirit
     
  10. jawyman

    jawyman Puritan Board Junior

    Confessional Lutheranism (WELS/ELS) states that so long as a person is a believer and bapitises in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit the baptism is valid.
     
  11. Whitefield

    Whitefield Puritan Board Junior

    If you assume "mysteries of God" = sacraments.
     
  12. Confessor

    Confessor Puritan Board Senior

    :) I am aware of the Romanist view on baptism; that's why I thought I might throw my little comment in there.

    Also, thank you for the link to the Baltimore Catechism.
     
  13. etexas

    etexas Puritan Board Doctor

    The "Classical" Anglican view is that under normal circumstances, it is the Trinitarian Formula performed by a Bishop, Priest, and sometimes a Deacon, we have a "provision" for extreme circumstances: Example, we have a Medical Doctor who at least once performed a Trinitarian Baptism on an infant who would have expired before Clergy could arrive at the Hospital. :2cents:
     
  14. YXU

    YXU Puritan Board Freshman

    Two children are playing in the garden by the water fountain, one child baptizes the another one in the name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Two children are playing in the kitchen, one child breaks the bread and they eat the bread and drink the wine. Definitely, this is not a baptism and Lord's Supper. So is the "baptism" by someone other than a minister of the gospel, even if they have the right intention.
     
  15. Hawaiian Puritan

    Hawaiian Puritan Puritan Board Freshman


    I have a first-hand example of that. One of my friends is an Italian-American woman who grew up in New York City; in her neighborhood everyone was either Italian or Jewish. When she was young she was taught by the Sisters that lay people could perform emergency baptisms on infants to keep them from going to Limbo.

    Sooooo. . . . when she used to do babysitting for her Jewish neighbors, unbeknownst to the parents, once they were out of the apartment she used to do baptisms on the little infants and toddlers so that they would go to Heaven! Part of me was appalled when I heard this, part of me thought it was pretty funny.
     
  16. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    How about lay leaders in Third World churches where Christianity springs up spontanously and the church designates its leaders. Thus, they are not "ordained" by shcools or a presbytery, but they are clearly the local leaders in churches that have just "happened" as people have discovered the Word of God and have tried to gather around it in obedience.

    I can count dozens of examples of this happening.
     
  17. DonP

    DonP Puritan Board Junior

    That might constitute a similar situation to Phillip. If we are assuming the Bible washed up on the shore or the missionary was eaten buy a lion.

    I would suggest they find a way to contact an established church and get oversight.
    If God is working in them this way I am sure He would prompt them to do this form Acts.
    Then like the rest of us have a traveling minister perform the sacraments until they can ordain elders in the local church.
    They may not need a seminary grad to be a minister initially either.
    I don't see a requirement for seminary in scripture.
     
  18. YXU

    YXU Puritan Board Freshman

    In China, there is an official established church. Although the tone at the top is highly liberal, and most ministers tend to be liberal. I still consider their bapitsm valid and true. However, for those house churches, I have a very low view over them, and the validity of their baptism is greatly doubted, just like the children example I brought up.
     
  19. DonP

    DonP Puritan Board Junior

    Why is that YX? Are they very weak theologically? Charismatic or just no elder oversight or not many ministers so they do it themselves??
     
  20. A2JC4life

    A2JC4life Puritan Board Freshman

    On what Scriptural basis does the Westminster Confession make that claim? Confessions are significant, but they aren't Scripture.

    Jesus exhorted his disciples to "make disciples of all nations, baptizing them." If someone is biblically "eligible" to make a disciple of someone (which would be any Christian, as far as I can tell), then why would they not also be "eligible" to baptize the individual. My daddy baptized me. He's not an ordained minister. Am I therefore not really baptized? I would tend to think that as one with spiritual oversight of me (at that point in my life) and as one with a vested interest in my spiritual development (as he would be the one used to bring me to the knowledge of my sinful state and of God's saving grace), that this was perfectly appropriate. I'm not suggesting that people just go around randomly baptizing other people! (And I don't think I'm particularly comfortable with the scenario described at the beginning of this thread.) But where is the scriptural foundation for the idea that only an officially-ordained minister may acceptably baptize someone? And, for that matter, ordained by whom? Who decides which ordinations are sufficient and which are not? What body ordained Philip? Paul? Who baptized those in Corinth? (Paul says that he did not baptize most of them.) Whoever it was, who ordained him?
     
  21. A.J.

    A.J. Puritan Board Junior

    Please see Who May Administer the Sacraments? by Dr. C. Matthew McMahon. I think you have to clarify your question a bit. The baptism administered by a lawfully ordained Reformed minister who apostatizes later in his life is considered as valid by paedoabaptists. I was baptized as an infant by a Roman Catholic priest, and most paedobaptists would consider that as a validly administered baptism. Are you asking who is authorized to administer baptism or what constitutes a valid baptism or both? :)
     
  22. AThornquist

    AThornquist Puritan Board Doctor

    Sooo...when my dad baptized me last year in front of our church I wasn't actually baptized since he is not a minister of the gospel? Wow.
     
  23. A.J.

    A.J. Puritan Board Junior

    Are you responding to my post? I'm not following you here. I asked Rachel to clarify her question since she seems to be asking two different ones. What constitues a valid baptism is one thing. Who is authorized to administer baptism is another. :)
     
  24. A2JC4life

    A2JC4life Puritan Board Freshman

    I'm adding specific questions in an attempt to flesh out the discussion created by the OP. Forgive me if I'm misunderstanding, but I have gotten the distinct impression through the preceding discussion that the prevailing view is that the two things (who is authorized to administer baptism and what makes a baptism valid) are thoroughly intertwined. At least some of the comments lead me to believe that at least some here believe that if a baptism was administered by an unauthorized person, then it wasn't really a baptism and, therefore, the individual has not actually been baptized. (Think the example about the children. It is, of course, an extreme example, but the principle seems intact.)
     
  25. reformedminister

    reformedminister Puritan Board Sophomore

    The Scriptures are silent in regards to who has authority to baptize. In the book of Acts, Philip (one of the seven) baptized those he preached to (Acts 8:12, 38). He was neither an apostle or teaching elder. The "Seven" are believed to be deacons in the early church. However, most denominations only give authority to certain individuals to baptize, like the minister. When I pastored an independent church, both the minister and the deacons had authority to baptize. Jesus commissioned the apostles (as representatives of the church) to make disciples and baptize. Most regard the part about baptism to be in reference to those given authority by the church. I was a member of a Lutheran Church (Missouri Synod) for a short time. I remember seeing a brief liturgical form for "emergency baptisms" which allowed any believer to perform.
     
  26. rbcbob

    rbcbob Puritan Board Graduate

    Rachel,
    You have, in a sense, answered your own question. The passage you cite is in the context of Christ's commission to His apostles relative to their task of leading the Church.

    Matthew 28:16-20 16 Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had appointed for them. 17 When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted. 18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 "teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen.

    The Lord rules and reigns over His Church and is the Chief Shepherd of it. His apostles were given the task of taking all that He taught them
    [Acts 1:1-3 Acts 1:1 The former account I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, 2 until the day in which He was taken up, after He through the Holy Spirit had given commandments to the apostles whom He had chosen, 3 to whom He also presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God. ]

    Thus we have from the days of the Apostles looked for Apostolic authority in all that we do in His Church. That Apostolic authority resides in the canon of completed Scripture.
     
  27. A2JC4life

    A2JC4life Puritan Board Freshman

    So, then, would you say that only the church leadership has the biblical authority to make disciples?
     
  28. Southern Presbyterian

    Southern Presbyterian Moderator Staff Member

    Moderator's Note: This is a confessional board and the confessions are very clear as to who can/should preform baptisms. Personal experiences and opinions therefore have no place in this discussion. Please see the confessions themselves for the Scripture that backs up the confessional understandings.
     
  29. Prufrock

    Prufrock Arbitrary Moderation

    Again, as James said above, please read below what the confessions say, whether Presby or Baptist:
    This is the confessional position. Once you have read and acknowledged this, please feel free to ask as many questions to help understand this position, but refrain from stating the this position is wrong.
     
  30. Gord

    Gord Puritan Board Freshman

    I would think that John the Baptist had all the qualifications necessary.
    Luke 1:77 To give knowledge of salvation unto his people In the remission of their sins,
     
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