How to Perform Baptism

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How to Perform Baptism

Postby Shawn Koester » Mon Feb 20, 2017 10:21 pm

Brothers and sisters- This past Sunday at Church of the Chimes (Disciples of Christ) in Fontana CA, the church where I'm currently serving as Pastor, John, one of my guests officially walked down the aisle to confess Jesus as his Lord and Savior and joined the church. We will be performing our first baptism in years. I have witnessed plenty of immersion baptisms in my life as a 3rd generation Baptist, but I have never performed one. Does anyone have a sample service that I can look at? I know it usually goes with the candidate describing how they came to know the Lord, the pastor goes over the meaning of baptism, then goes the confession of faith, dunking the candidate either by one-fold or tri fold immersion using the baptismal formula that symbolizes being buried into our Lord's death and rising with him in newness of life. I'm curious how do you dunk the person, and who besides the pastor performs the service?
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Re: How to Perform Baptism

Postby Sandy » Mon Feb 20, 2017 11:05 pm

In the last Baptist church I served, which was pastorless for the last two and a half years I was there, it was a pretty simple service. If I was doing the baptism, I'd simply ask them to tell the congregation a simple confession of faith in Christ, and then I would baptize them by leaning them backward into the water, covering their nose with a handkerchief or washcloth, and would say something like "This is my brother or sister _____, baptized in the name of the father, son and Holy Spirit, buried with Christ in baptism, and raised to walk in new life with Christ." I only dunk once.

Generally, if there were a person that the baptismal candidate felt was influential in their coming to Christ, they could request that person be allowed to perform the baptism. About half of those who were baptized made that request. Usually parents, sometimes grandparents.
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Re: How to Perform Baptism

Postby Haruo » Tue Feb 21, 2017 2:30 am

If you were conducting the service in Esperanto, you could use my baptismal song, "Akve mi baptos vin", but I don't have a singable English version. It's a sung conversation among the baptizer, the baptizee, and the congregation:

Verse 1: Baptizer:
With water I shall baptize you according to custom,
as Jesus baptized John:
A sign of repentance, a declaration of faith,
birth-seal of the Christian.

Verse 2: Baptizer:
Come, dove, Divine Spirit,
let the water shine, touch it!
Let us from heaven hear the voice:
"Behold, I love you, my daughter/son

Verse 3: Baptizer
Do you wish to follow Jesus,
To live as far as possible according to his word,
To love the people, to carry the cross,
To die, and to live in spite of death?

Verse 4: Baptizee
Yes, I wish to follow Jesus,
to show him clearly in my world,
To put into practice his teaching,
To assent to him with a whole-life response.

Verse 5: Baptizer
Then in the name of our Father
And in the name of the Son of God
And in the name of the Spirit most Holy,
I now baptize you according to God's guidance.

Verse 6: Congregation
We joyfully witness your baptism,
We glorify God, one in three:
Your becoming our brother/sister we celebrate;
The church makes you welcome!

The tune is BUNESSAN. It's in the Esperanto hymnal.
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Re: How to Perform Baptism

Postby Jon Estes » Sat Feb 25, 2017 3:59 am

Shawn Koester wrote:Brothers and sisters- This past Sunday at Church of the Chimes (Disciples of Christ) in Fontana CA, the church where I'm currently serving as Pastor, John, one of my guests officially walked down the aisle to confess Jesus as his Lord and Savior and joined the church. We will be performing our first baptism in years. I have witnessed plenty of immersion baptisms in my life as a 3rd generation Baptist, but I have never performed one. Does anyone have a sample service that I can look at? I know it usually goes with the candidate describing how they came to know the Lord, the pastor goes over the meaning of baptism, then goes the confession of faith, dunking the candidate either by one-fold or tri fold immersion using the baptismal formula that symbolizes being buried into our Lord's death and rising with him in newness of life. I'm curious how do you dunk the person, and who besides the pastor performs the service?



Sandy gives a common description of a baptism in the local church. Each pastor usually has their own habits. I would fall into line with how Sandy describes the vent but at the end opf the baptisms that day, I always use Acts 8:36 and while lifting hand fulls of water I ask... What hinders you from being baptized?

I think it is cool you are having a baptism. It is always a delight for the church and the one being baptized.

I am attaching two pictures from one of our previous baptisms. They do not show how but they do show the blessing.

Image

Image
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Re: How to Perform Baptism

Postby Haruo » Sat Feb 25, 2017 12:23 pm

Just out of curiosity, what is this thread doing in the Politics and Public Policy Issues forum? In UAE I suppose it may make sense to put it here, but the thread began in the USA.
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Re: How to Perform Baptism

Postby Tim Bonney » Sat Feb 25, 2017 1:10 pm

Shawn,

It look like you are also looking for the mechanics/technique for performing imersion baptism as well?

Hopefully the water is at least up to the waist of the candidate. Have the candidate grab one of their own wrists with the other hand and hold their nose with the free hand. Ask them to bend their knees slightly as it make it easy to bring them back up. Stand beside the candidate and make sure to take a good wide stance. Grab the candidate by one of their forearms and put your other hand behind their lower back. Carefully lower them under the water. You may actually have to push a little to get them all the way under. People are boyant. Then raise them up carefully and hopefully they can push up with their legs if they bent their knees as you've told them.

BTW, if you are in a river make sure that you dunk them into the current otherwise water may go up their nose and, if they are wearing a baptismal gown it will ride up.

That is how I do it anyway. :)
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Re: How to Perform Baptism

Postby Joseph Patrick » Sat Feb 25, 2017 6:42 pm

From Joseph Patrick...aka Gerry Milligan
I always told the person being baptized beforehand to grab my LEFT (I am left handed) forearm as if it were a baseball bat. I would have a handkerchief in that hand and my right hand between the shoulder blades. Have them lay back and let gravity take them under. Then bring them up/ Saying "buried with Him in baptiesm, raised to walk in a newness of life."
Except for the time I tried to baptize a Chinese lady (who had no clue as to what a baseball bat was) in the Dead Sea (no gravity to take her under) where she just floated, my quandary was "This is a woman, floating on her back, where do I push to get her immersed?"
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Re: How to Perform Baptism

Postby Tim Bonney » Sat Feb 25, 2017 9:28 pm

Everyone has their favorite technique. But I prefer to be the grabber rather than be grabbed because if a candidate falls or panics they'll pull you in with them. And since Methodists don't believe in rebaptism :wink: I'd just as soon not do that.
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Re: How to Perform Baptism

Postby William Thornton » Sat Feb 25, 2017 9:40 pm

When baptize, I don't have the baptizee grab anything because it makes it more difficult to get totally immersed...and if I'm immersing let's get 'em completely under water, after all you wouldn't bury someone and let their face or hand stick up out of the ground.

If you're used to sprinkling then I suppose it doesn't matter.

What makes me cringe is when I see a baptism where the minister forcefully plunges the candidate under water, as if a baptistery tsunami is required.
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Re: How to Perform Baptism

Postby Haruo » Sat Feb 25, 2017 9:48 pm

William Thornton wrote:...you wouldn't bury someone and let their face or hand stick up out of the group.

"group"?

And I'm still wondering why this thread is so Political...
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Re: How to Perform Baptism

Postby Tim Bonney » Sat Feb 25, 2017 10:50 pm

William Thornton wrote:When baptize, I don't have the baptizee grab anything because it makes it more difficult to get totally immersed...and if I'm immersing let's get 'em completely under water, after all you wouldn't bury someone and let their face or hand stick up out of the group.

If you're used to sprinkling then I suppose it doesn't matter.

What makes me cringe is when I see a baptism where the minister forcefully plunges the candidate under water, as if a baptistery tsunami is required.


I'd have to check. But I've done probably 50 baptisms since I became a United Methodist. All were by sprinkling. I've offered immersion as an option. But no one ever takes me up on it.
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Re: How to Perform Baptism

Postby Haruo » Sat Feb 25, 2017 11:52 pm

I have performed one baptism in my nonexistent pastoral career, a friend from AA named Bob. This page gives my baptismal song (detailed above) and accompanies it with photos of the baptism: http://web.archive.org/web/20090807051646/http://geocities.com/cigneto/thctxt/a/akvemibap1il.html.
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Re: How to Perform Baptism

Postby William Thornton » Sun Feb 26, 2017 7:32 am

Haruo wrote:I have performed one baptism in my nonexistent pastoral career, a friend from AA named Bob. This page gives my baptismal song (detailed above) and accompanies it with photos of the baptism: http://web.archive.org/web/20090807051646/http://geocities.com/cigneto/thctxt/a/akvemibap1il.html.


Haruo, I seeing a trendy shift in my circle of SBC churches where parents, grandparents, lay mentors, and friends are allowed to perform the baptism. Technically in a baptist church anyone whom the church authorizes may do it. I'm sticking with clergy staff for traditional and practical reasons.
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Re: How to Perform Baptism

Postby Tim Bonney » Sun Feb 26, 2017 10:11 am

William Thornton wrote:
Haruo, I seeing a trendy shift in my circle of SBC churches where parents, grandparents, lay mentors, and friends are allowed to perform the baptism. Technically in a baptist church anyone whom the church authorizes may do it. I'm sticking with clergy staff for traditional and practical reasons.


In general I think a wise move. Even after doing a few baptisms, it is easier for the practiced person to do them.
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Re: How to Perform Baptism

Postby Haruo » Sun Feb 26, 2017 2:42 pm

William Thornton wrote:
Haruo wrote:I have performed one baptism in my nonexistent pastoral career, a friend from AA named Robert Gonzales. This page gives my baptismal song (detailed above) and accompanies it with photos of the baptism: http://web.archive.org/web/20090807051646/http://geocities.com/cigneto/thctxt/a/akvemibap1il.html.


Haruo, I seeing a trendy shift in my circle of SBC churches where parents, grandparents, lay mentors, and friends are allowed to perform the baptism. Technically in a baptist church anyone whom the church authorizes may do it. I'm sticking with clergy staff for traditional and practical reasons.

Biblically, it doesn't even need to be a local church function. The classic example, which I was conscious of when I baptized Robert, was the baptism of the Kandake's treasurer by Philip the Evangelist in Acts. Except for Jerusalem, I'm not even sure how many if any local churches there were at that point, but in any event it was a spur of the moment thing out in the country with no opportunity to run it by the pastor or the council.
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Re: How to Perform Baptism

Postby Tim Bonney » Mon Feb 27, 2017 12:16 am

I'd see it as a universal Church function carried out most often in a local church. But I'd agree that it doesn't have to be a local church function.
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Re: How to Perform Baptism

Postby Haruo » Mon Feb 27, 2017 2:30 am

My reading in pre-Vatican-II Catholic canon law indicated that according to the Roman church, an atheist can perform a valid Christian baptism without any authorization from a church or church functionary, provided s/he does it with the intention of doing what the church holds to be needful for the salvation of a person (especially an infant) in danger of dying unbaptized. FWIW.
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Re: How to Perform Baptism

Postby William Thornton » Mon Feb 27, 2017 6:00 am

The vestigial Landmarkist in me compels me to consider baptism a local church ordinance.
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Re: How to Perform Baptism

Postby Tim Bonney » Mon Feb 27, 2017 8:18 am

William Thornton wrote:The vestigial Landmarkist in me compels me to consider baptism a local church ordinance.


I honestly never understood Landmarkism. Philip wasn't in a local church when he baptized the Ethopian. Peter wasn't in a local church when he baptized Cornelius and his family.

I can see how it is supported in Baptist polity. But I don't see anything in the New Testament that points to it as a requirement.
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Re: How to Perform Baptism

Postby William Thornton » Mon Feb 27, 2017 8:33 am

Timothy Bonney wrote:
William Thornton wrote:The vestigial Landmarkist in me compels me to consider baptism a local church ordinance.


I honestly never understood Landmarkism. Philip wasn't in a local church when he baptized the Ethopian. Peter wasn't in a local church when he baptized Cornelius and his family.

I can see how it is supported in Baptist polity. But I don't see anything in the New Testament that points to it as a requirement.


With only an incipient church almost all ecclesiology is fuzzy in the NT. Landmarkism goes way beyond my views but if one believes in a local church in most any form, seems like one would have to posit that the ordinances (or sacraments if you practice those) are to be practiced by the church. There's a bunch of details here that are nearly inexhaustible.
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Re: How to Perform Baptism

Postby Rvaughn » Mon Feb 27, 2017 10:14 am

William Thornton wrote:Haruo, I seeing a trendy shift in my circle of SBC churches where parents, grandparents, lay mentors, and friends are allowed to perform the baptism. Technically in a baptist church anyone whom the church authorizes may do it. I'm sticking with clergy staff for traditional and practical reasons.
It is not universally accepted among Baptists that a church can authorize anyone to perform the rite. Here is an article that is still in place in a lot of old baptist associations:
12. We believe that no minister has a right to administration of the ordinances, only such as are regularly baptized, called, and come under the imposition of hands by a presbytery.
Those who don't limit baptism to ordained ministers still might limit it in other ways: e.g., must be a believer, must be a baptized believer, must be a member of the church, and so forth.
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Re: How to Perform Baptism

Postby William Thornton » Mon Feb 27, 2017 10:36 am

Rvaughn wrote:
William Thornton wrote:Haruo, I seeing a trendy shift in my circle of SBC churches where parents, grandparents, lay mentors, and friends are allowed to perform the baptism. Technically in a baptist church anyone whom the church authorizes may do it. I'm sticking with clergy staff for traditional and practical reasons.
It is not universally accepted among Baptists that a church can authorize anyone to perform the rite. Here is an article that is still in place in a lot of old baptist associations:
12. We believe that no minister has a right to administration of the ordinances, only such as are regularly baptized, called, and come under the imposition of hands by a presbytery.
Those who don't limit baptism to ordained ministers still might limit it in other ways: e.g., must be a believer, must be a baptized believer, must be a member of the church, and so forth.


I don't know any SBC association that holds to this...but there are 1,000+ of them.
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Re: How to Perform Baptism

Postby Rvaughn » Mon Feb 27, 2017 11:50 am

William Thornton wrote:I don't know any SBC association that holds to this...but there are 1,000+ of them.
I don't know offhand of any SBC that hold that position, either, though I suspect I could find a few that at least still have it on paper.

But, then again, I didn't say SBC, but Baptists.
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Re: How to Perform Baptism

Postby Rvaughn » Mon Feb 27, 2017 11:57 am

BTW, William, I assumed you were talking about limiting it exclusively to ordained ministers. You do know of SBC churches who wouldn't let an unbeliever (or perhaps an unbaptized person) perform a baptism, don't you?
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Re: How to Perform Baptism

Postby Rvaughn » Mon Feb 27, 2017 12:05 pm

Shawn Koester wrote:Does anyone have a sample service that I can look at?
I notice Paul Powell's minister's manual is online and gives a "how to baptize" section. Other older Baptist church manuals can be found online as well.
http://www.baylor.edu/content/services/document.php?id=146523

I know it usually goes with the candidate describing how they came to know the Lord...
In our area Baptist churches may or may not do this. I think it should be done, but I notice that you seem to be doing this at a church with a Stone-Campbell Restorationist heritage. In our area these churches don't do this, and seem to be against a candidate giving their "experience" and rather go for a "confession" something like the eunuch in Acts 8, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
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