How to Perform Baptism

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Re: How to Perform Baptism

Postby William Thornton » Mon Feb 27, 2017 12:50 pm

Rvaughn wrote: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?


More or less. I wouldn't have a problem with unordained church staff. My concern is more pragmatic than theological. Since I've noticed some SBC churches going down this road I've noticed the following doing the baptizing: parent, grandparent, mentor, peer. The last category has included one high school kid baptizing another high school kid. I can see the scenario where there are complaints that the pastor let one grandparent baptize but refused to allow another. Solves all of those problems by saying church staff will perform the baptizing.

In a Baptist church (and when you say "Baptist" like a good SBCer I assume you mean SBC, since we make up the entire universe of Baptists, right?) immersion is easy to mess up. I assume anyone can do a decent sprinkling without practice or instruction...and since those don't count anyway, who cares if you mess it up? ;)
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Re: How to Perform Baptism

Postby Sandy » Mon Feb 27, 2017 11:01 pm

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.


I agree. Christian baptism in the New Testament was neither sacramental, nor an ordinance of the church, but based on the concepts present in Jewish cleansing ceremonies, where water symbolized the washing away of sin. Baptists tie it to regenerate church membership, on the premise that a church is the "ecclesia," people called out by the indwelling spirit. But that's a conclusion drawn by correlating scripture, not by illustration.

I don't have a problem with someone who is a Christian performing a baptism for someone whom they may have led to the Lord, or who has been a major spiritual influence in their life.
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Re: How to Perform Baptism

Postby KeithE » Mon Feb 27, 2017 11:45 pm

Note I moved this topic from the Politics and Public Policy to this forum. Reason is obvious.
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Re: How to Perform Baptism

Postby Haruo » Mon Feb 27, 2017 11:58 pm

Sandy wrote:Christian baptism in the New Testament was neither sacramental, nor an ordinance of the church, but based on the concepts present in Jewish cleansing ceremonies, where water symbolized the washing away of sin. Baptists tie it to regenerate church membership, on the premise that a church is the "ecclesia," people called out by the indwelling spirit. But that's a conclusion drawn by correlating scripture, not by illustration.

I agree it wasn't sacramental (which is a Roman concept), and that its origins were in the mikvah, but it seems to me that the death-and-resurrection symbolism is clearly enunciated by Paul in both Roman 6:4 and Colossians 2:12 (if I'm recalling the verse numbers correctly).
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Re: How to Perform Baptism

Postby Tim Bonney » Tue Feb 28, 2017 9:21 am

William Thornton wrote:
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.


Agreed that ecclesiology is fuzzy in the NT. I'd be hard pressed to argue for a conclusive NT position on a particular polity.
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Re: How to Perform Baptism

Postby Tim Bonney » Tue Feb 28, 2017 9:23 am

Haruo wrote:I agree it wasn't sacramental (which is a Roman concept), and that its origins were in the mikvah, but it seems to me that the death-and-resurrection symbolism is clearly enunciated by Paul in both Roman 6:4 and Colossians 2:12 (if I'm recalling the verse numbers correctly).


I don't want to get into a denominational debate. But I most certainly believe that baptism and communion are sacramental and even British Baptists tend to agree with me often using the term "sacrament" to describe both in their documents. :wink:
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Re: How to Perform Baptism

Postby Sandy » Tue Feb 28, 2017 12:10 pm

Timothy Bonney wrote:
Haruo wrote:I agree it wasn't sacramental (which is a Roman concept), and that its origins were in the mikvah, but it seems to me that the death-and-resurrection symbolism is clearly enunciated by Paul in both Roman 6:4 and Colossians 2:12 (if I'm recalling the verse numbers correctly).


I don't want to get into a denominational debate. But I most certainly believe that baptism and communion are sacramental and even British Baptists tend to agree with me often using the term "sacrament" to describe both in their documents. :wink:


They are sacramental in churches where tradition is a component of doctrinal authority. They are ordinances in churches from either a Reformed or Anabaptist tradition that don't recognize the authority of later church councils. It's always an interesting question.

Most of the modern translations cite the words of John the Baptist in Luke 3:3 as "...proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins." Most of us have probably turned this over in the original language hundreds of times. Noting that this is prior to the resurrection, and even before Christ's ministry, it's difficult to separate the act of baptism, which was clearly an understood concept among the Jews, from the forgiveness of sins. Yeah, I know that in Jewish tradition, water was symbolic, and the act was totally symbolic, but it doesn't actually say that here. Sacramental? Can't be. John wasn't a Levite. And in 3:16, he declares his baptism to be of water only, and points to that of Jesus, which is baptism with the Holy Spirit. I think the next water baptism in the New Testament is the Ethiopian eunuch, and that comes after the baptism of the Holy Spirit, mentioned three times in Acts. The Romans and Colossians references use the same terminology.

It's easy to see why there's disagreement.
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