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Source: (consider it) Thread: Re-Baptism ?
chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by Tortuf:

How about God loves us not because we get things "right" but because God is good and God is love.

So, getting baptism "wrong" is . . . just possibly not all that much of an issue for God.

The call to a 'simple faith' can sound very worthy but .. the understanding of the faith that you have is ordained as part of you. Live with it, you can't choose to 'forget' it - that is not your calling.
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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:

AFAIK some CofE churches offer infant dedications as an alternative to infant baptisms.

The last (CofE) two churches I have attended have offered both - both are the sort that would rarely end up with random folk from the parish rocking up to ask for infant baptism. The breakdown of baptisms to dedications were/are about 50/50.
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Ricardus
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:

New spanner in the works: how many of you would accept a JW baptism as valid? [Two face]

A truly devious question! Having looked it up, I see JWs do indeed baptise in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, so the form is correct.

For baptism to be valid there also has to be intent (e.g. an actor being baptised in a play isn't validly baptised). I've not been able to find an Anglican view on JW baptisms, but the RCC argument is that they aren't valid because there is no intent to perform a Trinitarian baptism, since the JWs explicitly reject the Trinity as part of the baptism ceremony.

There is on the other hand some scope for fudge here in that someone who misunderstands the Trinity out of ignorance is still considered capable of performing a valid baptism.

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Then the dog ran before, and coming as if he had brought the news, shewed his joy by his fawning and wagging his tail. -- Tobit 11:9 (Douai-Rheims)

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cliffdweller
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quote:
Originally posted by Tortuf:
How about God is not persuaded, or disuaded, because of magic words, magic rituals, or anything else we humans can do.

How about God loves us not because we get things "right" but because God is good and God is love.

So, getting baptism "wrong" is . . . just possibly not all that much of an issue for God.

In my semi-Reformed understanding, the sacraments aren't something we "do"-- it's where we stand back and point to what
God has done and say, "wow!". So if baptism is about noticing and celebrating what God has done for us, it would be pretty much impossible to "get it wrong".

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"Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid." -Frederick Buechner

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Leorning Cniht
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quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
Therefore, both paedobaptists and credobaptists agree that it is appropriate to celebrate the believers' growing, decisive response with a public affirmation of faith. Paedobaptists do this thru confirmation, credobaptists do this thru believer baptism.

That might not be the best argument to make with our Orthodox brethren.
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RdrEmCofE
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quote:
But isn't that the problem, when people bring their child to be baptised possibly due to family custom but seem to have no idea of the Faith and have no desire to be part of the Visible Church? Is such a baptism in any way meaningful? [Baptist Trainfan]
No it isn't, and any vicar, pastor or priest who just bows to the demands of parishioners and not to the demands of his conscience is not fit for office. No infant should be baptised who has not at least one baptised and believing parent, (living or deceased). If living that parent should be enquired upon to give witness 'of the hope that is in them'. 1 Pe. 3:15. If the minister is not satisfied that the parent has sufficient grasp of the faith, then unless there are special circumstances the infant should not be baptised until the parent has been sufficiently evangelised. (i.e. made acquainted with the Gospel).

quote:
I know you will say that they have shown some faith merely by asking for the baptism, and that we shouldn't try to judge what's going on in peoples' hearts and minds. There's truth in that, but it seems a bit of a "let-out" to me, if I'm honest. [Baptist Trainfan]
In the Church of England, it is a legal obligation for the vicar, priest, minister to baptise any infant brought to him by a parishioner for baptism. If either parent declares themselves baptised and believing then that is considered evidence enough to baptise the infant. What extra evidence could be demanded? Even adults coming for baptism are capable of miscomprehension of what they are asking. Even adult catechumens may be insincere. To what extent can the church question the suitability of baptism candidates, either adult or infant, without limiting God's prerogative to accept and bless whomever He will, whenever He chooses?

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Love covers many sins. 1 Pet.4:8. God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, not holding their sins against them; 2 Cor.5:19

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The Scrumpmeister
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I'm on a bit of a journey as far as my understanding of baptism goes.

I went through the baptismal rite of the Church of England as an infant in the 1980s. I took the decision in 2005 to become Orthodox and was received into the Eastern Orthodox Church in 2006.

Eastern Orthodoxy generally doesn't accept non-Orthodox baptisms, (whether done in infancy or adulthood is of no relevance as far as the efficacy of the sacrament is concerned). However, the practical approach taken to receiving people baptised in other Christian confessions has always varied depending on a number of factors - the form of baptism used (words, triple immersion, &c.) the closeness or otherwise of the baptising body to Orthodoxy in terms of faith and praxis, pastoral concerns, and culture, among others. In my then diocese, for someone coming to Orthodoxy from Anglicanism, the custom was to receive by baptism. So I was baptised in 2006.

As one of the initial reasons for my move to Orthodoxy was to do with recognising myself as unbaptised and outside the Church and desiring to remedy this, this posed no challenge for me - in fact, had I been given the choice, I still would have opted for baptism.

I no longer belong to Eastern Orthodox Church, but rather to the Western Orthodox Church, and it seems that my new home does indeed accept non-Orthodox baptisms as truly being the Mystery of Holy Baptism, persons being so baptised being admitted to Communion without being received into Orthodoxy, provided they confess that the Holy Things are really and truly the Body and Blood of the Saviour.

This raises a number of questions for me. The obvious one is what to make of my 2006 baptism. For me, in the preparation for that event, during it, and ever since then, that has been my defining moment of entry into the Church. If my new church home recognises my infant baptism, then what happened in 2006? The Anglican priest who baptised me as an infant was no innovator, so there is no reason to think he might have baptised me "in the name of the Creator, Redeemer, and Sanctifier", or any similar strangeness. The only thing that might call it into question is that a little water was poured on my head rather than me actually being fully baptised in the water, but even this is permissible in Orthodoxy, in certain circumstances, where a normal baptism is not possible for whatever reason. So it does seem that the rite I went through as an infant ticks the right boxes for recognition.

Another question to be raised, then, is one of the theology of recognition of non-Orthodox baptism, which I'm sure will have repercussions as far as ecclesiology goes. For my part, I found love and grace outside of Orthodoxy at a time when I found it severely wanting within certain sections of the Eastern Orthodox Church, and this personal experience raised a number of ecclesiological questions for me, and led to a reassessment of my previous stance of forming a position based on Scripture, the fathers, councils, and liturgical tradition alone. The place for personal experience in this is something I still need to explore further.

I think an email to my bishop with my questions might be in order.

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If Christ is not fully human, humankind is not fully saved. - St John of Saint-Denis

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Nick Tamen

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quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
In my semi-Reformed understanding, the sacraments aren't something we "do"-- it's where we stand back and point to what God has done and say, "wow!". So if baptism is about noticing and celebrating what God has done for us, it would be pretty much impossible to "get it wrong".

And I’d amplify that to say they’re pointing to—effective signs of—what God has done, is doing and will do.

But yes, in a Reformed understanding the sacraments are always primarily about God's actions and secondarily about our responses to those actions.

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The first thing God says to Moses is, "Take off your shoes." We are on holy ground. Hard to believe, but the truest thing I know. — Anne Lamott

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:
quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
Therefore, both paedobaptists and credobaptists agree that it is appropriate to celebrate the believers' growing, decisive response with a public affirmation of faith. Paedobaptists do this thru confirmation, credobaptists do this thru believer baptism.

That might not be the best argument to make with our Orthodox brethren.
Correct. We do not have confirmation.

quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
That's naughty, so let me be naughty in return. A "true Baptist" would say that they follow OT practice (eg Samuel) in offering Dedication/Thanksgiving; they might also say that centuries of indiscriminate wrong practice have led to families expecting "something" from the Church for their babies, so they offer Dedication as a concession to that expectation.

That may work east of the pond, I don't know. I doubt many low-church Protestants in the United States have any such expectation. They may not even know that paedobaptists exist. They likely don't think of Catholics as Christians at all, or realize Orfies exist.

quote:
Originally posted by Tortuf:
How about God is not persuaded, or disuaded, because of magic words, magic rituals, or anything else we humans can do.

The purpose of baptism is not to persuade God at all. This is a category error.

quote:
Originally posted by Nick Tamen:
quote:
Originally posted by Gramps49:
I note that it is not all that unusual to see a person moving from, say the American Baptist tradition, to the Southern Baptist tradition to be rebaptized, though I do not think it is expected.

There are Baptist churches in these parts where it would be expected, even for people moving from one Southern Baptist church to another. And it can also happen when people “recommit themselves to Christ.”*
How sad that people whose name contains the word "baptist" should be so ignorant of the scriptures about it.

quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:
I think evangelical churches offer dedication services because that's what some church members and enquirers want. IOW, it's demand-led. Baby welcoming rituals are universal, after all.

Yes. That's exactly what I said. Baby welcoming rituals are universal, and the Christian one is called "baptism." It was just missing from low-church Protestantism for 500 years, and now lacking it, they're inventing something else.

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“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

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wabale
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I did my Confirmation preparation whilst at college. (The Chaplain there later went on to become principal of Cuddesdon.) Since my ‘experience’, if I can put it that way, of baptism, was the moment of my conversion a few weeks before I arrived at college, we had some very interesting conversations. Taking my hyper-evangelicalism on board, he got me feeling very sympathetically towards Anglican ‘priests’, as he insisted on calling them, who had to deal with non-believing parents asking for an infant baptism/christening to be performed. The result is that now when I have doubts, although most of the time I deal with them by remembering my conversion, I do occasionally resolve them by remembering my Chaplain’s quotation from Luther: “I have been baptised!”

Then I married a Baptist, and a strict Baptist at that. It’s amazing how she managed to become a pillar of a C of E Church without actually getting confirmed, but she eventually took - I was about to say ‘the plunge!’ - but she’d already taken the plunge many years before: she has since got confirmed, and is now training to be an LLM. At one point, some years ago, we nearly left our Church to join the Baptist Church in a neighbouring town, and I would have quite cheerfully accepted being a second class citizen there as I would not have been interested in any sort of Baptism/Rebaptism.

Such is the breadth of C of E evangelicalism: We had one vicar who put so many obstacles in the way of apparently non-believing parents that they tended to go to neighbouring parishes instead. Our present vicar has in practice binned even the Thanksgiving For The Birth of a Child Service, accepts everybody, and welcomes parents and supporters as members of the Christian family alongside the freshly baptised infant. I’m not sure if it convinces the people who attend but it certainly convinces me. My wife really did used to mutter “won’t see them again” as the baptism parties left the church for the pub opposite, but she is now more Anglican than I am on this and other matters.

While I am impressed with the theological arguments that have been given in this thread, I remain pragmatic - whatever works for the conscience of the vicar.

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The Scrumpmeister
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quote:
Originally posted by wabale:
...he got me feeling very sympathetically towards Anglican ‘priests’, as he insisted on calling them...

What else would he call them? That's what the Church of England calls them, no?

quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
That's naughty, so let me be naughty in return. A "true Baptist" would say that they follow OT practice (eg Samuel) in offering Dedication/Thanksgiving; they might also say that centuries of indiscriminate wrong practice have led to families expecting "something" from the Church for their babies, so they offer Dedication as a concession to that expectation.

That may work east of the pond, I don't know. I doubt many low-church Protestants in the United States have any such expectation. They may not even know that paedobaptists exist.
I think this is a cultural difference. We have a state church in England, and it's generally the "go-to" church for people who aren't really believers but like some of the trains such as going to Christmas midnight mass, or having a church wedding/funeral, or "wetting the baby's head" as a family tradition.

There is a cultural expectation arising from this that might not exist in cultured where there is no state church.

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If Christ is not fully human, humankind is not fully saved. - St John of Saint-Denis

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Baptist Trainfan
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And thereby lies a problem, as you have hinted: inconsistency between the conscience and practice of the Vicar of St. Agatha's, St. Bede's in the next parish and St. Zebedee's in the next town. (And that's before the Methodists and URC have even got a look-in, never mind the Baptists!)

[ 01. January 2018, 22:04: Message edited by: Baptist Trainfan ]

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Rossweisse

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quote:
Originally posted by wabale:
...he got me feeling very sympathetically towards Anglican ‘priests’, as he insisted on calling them...

Pardon me, but why are you using scare quotes around the word priests? That's what they are.

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I'm not dead yet.

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Nick Tamen

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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
That's naughty, so let me be naughty in return. A "true Baptist" would say that they follow OT practice (eg Samuel) in offering Dedication/Thanksgiving; they might also say that centuries of indiscriminate wrong practice have led to families expecting "something" from the Church for their babies, so they offer Dedication as a concession to that expectation.

That may work east of the pond, I don't know. I doubt many low-church Protestants in the United States have any such expectation. They may not even know that paedobaptists exist. They likely don't think of Catholics as Christians at all, or realize Orfies exist.
As one who has lived his 5+ decades surrounded by Southern Baptists in the American South, I can confirm that what BT says is indeed what one hears as the reason for dedicating babies. And yes, they know we paedobaptists exist—I’ve been told more than once that I haven’t really been baptized. And many a Southern Baptists I’ve known has insisted on calling the baptism of an infant a “christening," not because of any Anglophilia but to underscore that they don't consider it a baptism.

As for Catholics and Orfies, yeah.

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The first thing God says to Moses is, "Take off your shoes." We are on holy ground. Hard to believe, but the truest thing I know. — Anne Lamott

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Ian Climacus

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Not universally throughout every diocese.

*cough* Sydney *cough*

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Ian Climacus

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Sorry, my post above was to Rossweisse.

quote:
Originally posted by The Scrumpmeister:
Eastern Orthodoxy generally doesn't accept non-Orthodox baptisms, (whether done in infancy or adulthood is of no relevance as far as the efficacy of the sacrament is concerned).

Whereas I joined one of those woolly-liberal Archdioceses [Biased] that took me as I was, receiving me via Chrismation (Antiochian). I did ponder at the time what I would've done had they said the first (Anglican) baptism wasn't valid... I think I would've gone ahead: I was lost, and willing to accept the rules to let me in.

I took it, and was told, that anything that may've been lacking (in case there were any fears) was covered by the Chrismation. But Anglican Baptism was valid in their eyes. That seemed fine to me. I did know, as per The Scrumpmeister, that the Russians believed differently: but as I was with the Antiochians it didn't bother me much - except for the occasional flicker of doubt as to whether Chrismation would be enough. That's me: all down to my works!

[My sister was re-baptised into a fundamentalist (think Southern Baptist in Australia) church -- heaven knows what my parents did: one to Orthodoxy, one to Southern Baptist! [Help] ]


Best wishes with the email to your bishop, The Scrumpmeister. I hope he can provide the comfort and direction you seek.

[ 01. January 2018, 22:51: Message edited by: Ian Climacus ]

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The Scrumpmeister
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quote:
Originally posted by Ian Climacus:
Not universally throughout every diocese.

*cough* Sydney *cough*

[Smile]

True enough, but wabale's example is from the Church of England, where they are most definitely called priests in their formal letters of ordination, in the ordination rites both in the Book of Common Prayer and in Common Worship (and the Alternative Service Book before it), and in the Canons of the Church of England, as well as in everyday speech in many parts of the C of E.

The person wabale says was "insisting" on calling them priests was just using the normal word for them, hence the confusion.

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If Christ is not fully human, humankind is not fully saved. - St John of Saint-Denis

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Alan Cresswell

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quote:
Originally posted by Rossweisse:
quote:
Originally posted by wabale:
...he got me feeling very sympathetically towards Anglican ‘priests’, as he insisted on calling them...

Pardon me, but why are you using scare quotes around the word priests? That's what they are.
Along with all other believers. [Devil]

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Don't cling to a mistake just because you spent a lot of time making it.

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The Scrumpmeister
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quote:
Originally posted by Ian Climacus:
Sorry, my post above was to Rossweisse.

quote:
Originally posted by The Scrumpmeister:
Eastern Orthodoxy generally doesn't accept non-Orthodox baptisms, (whether done in infancy or adulthood is of no relevance as far as the efficacy of the sacrament is concerned).

Whereas I joined one of those woolly-liberal Archdioceses [Biased] that took me as I was, receiving me via Chrismation (Antiochian). I did ponder at the time what I would've done had they said the first (Anglican) baptism wasn't valid... I think I would've gone ahead: I was lost, and willing to accept the rules to let me in.

I took it, and was told, that anything that may've been lacking (in case there were any fears) was covered by the Chrismation. But Anglican Baptism was valid in their eyes. That seemed fine to me. I did know, as per The Scrumpmeister, that the Russians believed differently: but as I was with the Antiochians it didn't bother me much - except for the occasional flicker of doubt as to whether Chrismation would be enough. That's me: all down to my works!

Incidentally, the Russian church's official position on specifically Catholic sacraments is one of recognition - not by economia but flat-out recognition, (although many in ROCOR are unhappy to acknowledge the fact, if they are aware of it - I certainly wasn't until shortly before my last days there). It simply wasn't discussed in the run-up to the rapprochement because it has been the Russian church's formal position for centuries, long before the split. It's one of the differences in trends in the Moscow Patriarchate and ROCOR, particularly in the way that priests are received if they convert.

quote:

[My sister was re-baptised into a fundamentalist (think Southern Baptist in Australia) church -- heaven knows what my parents did: one to Orthodoxy, one to Southern Baptist! [Help] ]

Hehe. I'll bet certain conversations just never came up at family gatherings.

quote:
Best wishes with the email to your bishop, The Scrumpmeister. I hope he can provide the comfort and direction you seek.
Thank you. I'm just glad to have a bishop I can approach openly about these things.

[ 01. January 2018, 23:14: Message edited by: The Scrumpmeister ]

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If Christ is not fully human, humankind is not fully saved. - St John of Saint-Denis

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wabale
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quote:
Originally posted by The Scrumpmeister:
quote:
Originally posted by wabale:
...he got me feeling very sympathetically towards Anglican ‘priests’, as he insisted on calling them...

What else would he call them? That's what the Church of England calls them, no?

I was recalling a conversation I had over half a century ago, and giving a glimpse of my mindset at that time - perhaps a little mischievously.
No, of course the Chaplain would not have called them anything other than ‘priest’, but at the time the word made me twitch because I was convinced it encapsulated most of what was wrong with the Anglican church which I was thinking of joining. As the Chaplain was an historian as well as a theologian, and History was my subject, I am pretty sure that in the course of our Confirmation conversations he outlined the history of both the word ‘priest’ and the word ‘minister’ in the long history of the Church of England. And yes, they are both there.

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RdrEmCofE
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quote:
And thereby lies a problem, as you have hinted: inconsistency between the conscience and practice of the Vicar of St. Agatha's, St. Bede's in the next parish and St. Zebedee's in the next town. (And that's before the Methodists and URC have even got a look-in, never mind the Baptists!) Baptist Trainfan
What 'Problem' exactly? How can you be sure that every adult coming for baptism is actually believing with 'saving faith'? Ananias and Saphira were almost certainly 'baptised'. It didn't work out well for them though, did it. Acts 5:1-11.

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Love covers many sins. 1 Pet.4:8. God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, not holding their sins against them; 2 Cor.5:19

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wabale
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quote:
Originally posted by Rossweisse:
quote:
Originally posted by wabale:
...he got me feeling very sympathetically towards Anglican ‘priests’, as he insisted on calling them...

Pardon me, but why are you using scare quotes around the word priests? That's what they are.
Hi High Church Valkyrie
I intended that entire sentence, not just the word ‘priest’ as an insight into what I was thinking about ministry and priesthood at that time, and from my end of the ecclesiological spectrum. The point I was trying to make was that I was learning from someone on the other end of the ecclesiological spectrum to respect the job they do irrespective of what they are officially or otherwise called. Sorry if that wasn’t clear.

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L'organist
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posted by SvitlanaV2
quote:
I'm interested in why he went through the process of re-baptism if he doesn't want to be part of the worshipping life of the church. Or do you mean that he doesn't want to attend services at your church?
Not just “my” church: I gave information on several local churches but he showed no interest in going to any of them – in fact a distinct lack of curiosity about all of them.

posted by Bishop’s Finger
quote:
Perhaps he's presently involved with a weekday cell or house group?
He seems to spend most evenings involved with something to do with the church, to the extent he said his mother was going on at him about never being at home.

The thing that really puzzles is that he chose to be confirmed at 15, if wasn't something foisted on him; and as part of his confirmation (as at all) there is the reaffirmation of baptismal promises, so where is the perceived "problem" about lack of personal consent?

I know his parents (mother especially) are pretty anxious about the situation; as a churchgoing family they feel that their son is being taken over, a situation not helped by the fact that none of the family were told about the re-baptism until after it had taken place. An even greater concern is that as a recent graduate he is now looking for his first "proper" job but is refusing to look at anything that isn't within reach of either this church he is going to at the moment (which is not in what most would consider a major city) or another HTB branch and, with his degreee being rather industry specific, this is likely to cause major problems with him getting work in his chosen field.

What a mess.

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Gee D
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quote:
Originally posted by Ian Climacus:
Not universally throughout every diocese.

*cough* Sydney *cough*

I assume you mean use of the appellation of priest. We always make a point when talking to the Abp (even ++Peter of sad memory) or the regional bishop of using the description. All good fun.

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Rossweisse

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quote:
Originally posted by wabale:
. ...Sorry if that wasn’t clear.

It was not. I think scare quotes are best avoided if one wishes to avoid giving unintentional offense.

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SvitlanaV2
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quote:
Originally posted by The Scrumpmeister:
We have a state church in England, and it's generally the "go-to" church for people who aren't really believers but like some of the trains such as going to Christmas midnight mass, or having a church wedding/funeral, or "wetting the baby's head" as a family tradition.

There is a cultural expectation arising from this that might not exist in cultured where there is no state church.

And because the USA is still a much more religious country than the UK, I wonder if it's hard for Americans to get their heads around a situation whereby non-believing parents and non-believing Godparents are presenting babies for baptism. Would mousethief's Orthodox Church above be routinely sanguine about this?

Myself, I'm a pragmatist, and I believe in a division of labour. We need churches that can be the tolerant, welcoming faces for the whole community. Others, namely the evangelical churches, with their particular niche in generating commitment and drawing people in, need to have a way of emphasising personal transformation. The different attitudes towards baptism reflect this division, probably along a spectrum.

It's difficult for one denomination to try to cater for everyone, as happens with the CofE. I think the USA is very fortunate to have churches with such a wide range of approaches to baptism.

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Baptist Trainfan
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quote:
Originally posted by RdrEmCofE:
quote:
And thereby lies a problem, as you have hinted: inconsistency between the conscience and practice of the Vicar of St. Agatha's, St. Bede's in the next parish and St. Zebedee's in the next town. (And that's before the Methodists and URC have even got a look-in, never mind the Baptists!) Baptist Trainfan
What 'Problem' exactly?
The problem that one Priest (or church) will welcome a candidate with open arms, but that another won't - this can be confusing! (qv Svitlana's post above for a slightly different perspective).

[ 02. January 2018, 06:16: Message edited by: Baptist Trainfan ]

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Dal Segno

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quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
I'm uncomfortable with this "make a personal commitment" language to which credo-baptism is so often tied. Faith is something some people ease in and out of, without any points of making anything. What are people exactly committing themselves to? What does it mean?

Replace "Faith is" with "Relationships are" and "credo-baptism is" with "marriage ceremonies are" and you have an interesting parallel. What is the point of a marriage ceremony? To make a public statement about your commitment to one another. What is the point of credo-baptism? to make a public statement about your commitment to God.

When times get tough, you can look back and say "I made a public commitment in front of all those people, so I will persevere even though things have got tough."

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mr cheesy
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I can't help wondering if other religions have this problem. Are there Jews who insist that voluntary, adult circumcision is the only valid form? Do some Sikhs say the a child can take on what it means to be a Sikh via parental promises on their behalf?

Or is it just Christianity where there are such strident differences in the theology of a fundamental concept leading to essentially opposite understandings?

Maybe the truth is that there are some distinct things that all religions (and possibly all other non-religious lifelong activities) do. And that this includes things that the group does to recognise a new child's life, a thing that adults do to show (perhaps even "show off") their commitment, something unique and one-off, something repeated at regular intervals. A thing that is personal, a thing that is corporate.

I'm not sure it is so surprising that different christian beliefs understand baptism to occupy all of these roles.

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arse

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Gamaliel
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L'organist, a shudder went down my spine as I read your last post. It described almost to a tee where I was at as a young graduate. Things were almost cult-like and see were encouraged not to move away and find work elsewhere unless there was a very similar or 'related church' (ideally) in the immediate vicinity.

I can't say this damaged my employment prospects indefinitely as I had a non-vocational degree and was barely employable until I made myself so a few years later after a series of false starts and dead-ends.

But even so, a worrying mindset and trend.

If it does represent a trend then it's a worrying development within HTB style churches that seems to echo what we saw in the restorationist 'new churches' of the 1980s.

My impression, though, these days is that such earnestness tends to wear off more quickly than it did back in the day. One of my concerns, though, would be that this young chap may very quickly get hurt and abandon the faith altogether.

I've bored people sufficiently over years on these boards to rehearse it all here now, but if a PM might help then please PM me and I might be able to suggest things you can do to at least prepare for various eventualities ...

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RdrEmCofE
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quote:
The problem that one Priest (or church) will welcome a candidate with open arms, but that another won't - this can be confusing! (qv Svitlana's post above for a slightly different perspective). Baptist Trainfan
But adult baptism by total immersion presents exactly the same problem, does it not?

Different denominations have different levels of what they expect from baptism candidates by way of confession of faith. Some are quite 'choosy' and make sure that the candidate has a grasp of the sect or denomination's particular tenets of belief, i.e. what they consider 'fundamental' to 'true' or 'real' faith. Others will virtually dunk all comers if it will increase the size of their congregation and make the books balance better.

Same problem so not peculiar to CofE per se. The training of catechumens has slackened considerably since AD100. I see the 'problem' you mention as being a churchwide one rather than a peculiarity thrown up by paedobaptism.

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Love covers many sins. 1 Pet.4:8. God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, not holding their sins against them; 2 Cor.5:19

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Enoch
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Some years ago I did some reading round on this, and was quite surprised to find that similar dilemmas over infant v believers' baptism go right back at least as far as the fourth century, and possibly earlier, homing in on more or less exactly the same issues as those that vex people today. It was also clear that this is a doctrinal circle that has never been squared. I'm fairly certain it never will be.

However one chops it up theologically, and whichever side one ultimately comes down on, there's always an important bit that doesn't quite fit in the tin.

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fletcher christian

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Posted by Rdrefcofe (or something...):
quote:

Others will virtually dunk all comers if it will increase the size of their congregation and make the books balance better.

I think it might look like that at times, but I'm not sure it could be said that this is truly what is going on. Most clergy I know - regardless of denomination - would expect to see less than 1% come back in any meaningful way. They may have been very well prepared, they may even have been required to attend for a time beforehand and they themselves may even have had some past connection. Despite this, they don't return for many and various reasons, not least the fact that culturally Christianity has become a victim of its own success. Essentially I think a lot of clergy see anyone who presents themselves for baptism as an opportunity for education about the Christian faith and when it is a child to baptised - depending of course on theology - they don't want to refuse the child an important step in the Christian journey regardless of how they might feel about the parents motivations. The risk of refusal of baptism might engender and ingrain a hurt and hatred towards the church rather than garnering respect; so none of these aspects has to do with money or getting numbers on books.

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RdrEmCofE
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quote:
The risk of refusal of baptism might engender and ingrain a hurt and hatred towards the church rather than garnering respect; so none of these aspects has to do with money or getting numbers on books Fletcher Christian
You are quite right, of course. I overstated my case somewhat. The point was valid though that inconsistency and confusion are not limited or peculiar to the circumstances surrounding only infant baptism, the same confusion and inconsistency applies to ALL baptism whether it is administered to cognisant adults or the children of believing parents.

We attribute far too much importance to 'baptism'. St. Paul could recall the names of very few of those he baptised. Not because he had lost count but because he baptised very few and did not consider it the most important aspect of 'being a follower of Jesus Christ'. "We are not sent to baptise but to preach the gospel" 1 Cor.1:17.

Let's get our priorities in line with St Paul regarding baptism and all these divisive side issues would then be rightly seen as trivial.

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Love covers many sins. 1 Pet.4:8. God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, not holding their sins against them; 2 Cor.5:19

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Kwesi
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quote:
RdrEmCofE : We attribute far too much importance to 'baptism'. St. Paul could recall the names of very few of those he baptised. Not because he had lost count but because he baptised very few and did not consider it the most important aspect of 'being a follower of Jesus Christ'. "We are not sent to baptise but to preach the gospel" 1 Cor.1:17.

Recalling the final command of Jesus to his disciples, have you not rather over-stated your case?

Matthew 28: Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by RdrEmCofE:
You are quite right, of course. I overstated my case somewhat. The point was valid though that inconsistency and confusion are not limited or peculiar to the circumstances surrounding only infant baptism, the same confusion and inconsistency applies to ALL baptism whether it is administered to cognisant adults or the children of believing parents.

I'm not sure this is entirely fair. As we've discussed many times, there are a spectrum of beliefs on the "baptist" end of the Evangelical tradition. Of those there are some who will only baptise adults that have already shown themselves to be committed to the congregation via regular attendance.

Of those, some do not consider baptism by anyone else (unless done by someone they can vouch for personally) to be valid. Not even other baptists.

Baptismal candidates in those circumstances surely can't be under any illusions about what it is that they're letting themselves in for (ie that the baptism - over and beyond anything else - is being used as a membership rite for that particular congregation).

But I do take your point more generally. I think there is an expectation amongst many groups who practice "believers" baptism that young people aged 16-18 will want to be baptised and there is a lot of pressure put on them to make a commitment.

The confusion that regularly arises in those cirucmstances is that young people struggle to disentangle their own faith from the faith of their parents. For some this isn't a problem, for many the crisis comes some years after the baptism.

quote:
We attribute far too much importance to 'baptism'. St. Paul could recall the names of very few of those he baptised. Not because he had lost count but because he baptised very few and did not consider it the most important aspect of 'being a follower of Jesus Christ'. "We are not sent to baptise but to preach the gospel" 1 Cor.1:17.
Mmm. Well without wanting to start a war with bible references, I think many would consider the Lord's words in Matthew 28:19 to suggest that making disciples and baptising is quite important. I'm not sure that this urge can be so easily dismissed as you do in the paragraph above.

quote:
Let's get our priorities in line with St Paul regarding baptism and all these divisive side issues would then be rightly seen as trivial.
Or, I suppose, one might take the commands of Jesus seriously - and see that need to make disciples and to baptise them is urgent.

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arse

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Baptist Trainfan
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quote:
Originally posted by RdrEmCofE:
quote:
The problem that one Priest (or church) will welcome a candidate with open arms, but that another won't - this can be confusing! (qv Svitlana's post above for a slightly different perspective).
But adult baptism by total immersion presents exactly the same problem, does it not?
I think not, although there are obviously inconsistencies between churches. The reason I think this is that very few, if any, churches will baptise as a believer someone they don't know. Usually a relationship with the candidate has developed over time, so even a refusal to baptise "now" can be explained (although it can, I'm sure, cause difficulties).

The problem as I see it in the CofE is that a person totally unknown to the church can come and virtually demand baptism for their child. Yes, I know that most churches would insist on some kind of baptismal preparation but that is, I submit, still a bit different to (say) a teenager who has professed conversion, got involved with the church over some months and then asks for baptism.

As it happens, I have had people turning up at church and asking to be baptised; I have never said "no" at that first meeting but have always invited them to come and have a chat with me about their understanding of baptism and why they're asking for it. They've never taken up the invitation.

PS This crossed with Cheesy's helpful post.

[ 02. January 2018, 11:06: Message edited by: Baptist Trainfan ]

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Baptist Trainfan
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
I suppose, one might take the commands of Jesus seriously - and see that need to make disciples and to baptise them is urgent.

Yes. But is the charge "to-make-disciples-and-baptise-them" or "to make disciples and, once you've done that, to baptise them"?

This seems a trivial point to make, but it's not: do we see baptism as an essential part of the initial command of Jesus, or is his emphasis on "making" disciples with baptism as the natural consequence of that?

After all, Jesus didn't say, "Go and baptise, making disciples" although some Christians might see this that as the "proper" way to operate. Or am I making too much of this?

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Jengie jon

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I do know someone who was baptised twice by believers baptism. It may even have been in the same congregation.

I also know of people who were twice baptised as infants, once in an emergency when they were not expected to live and again in church with all the ceremony when they did.

Jengie

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:


After all, Jesus didn't say, "Go and baptise, making disciples" although some Christians might see this that as the "proper" way to operate. Or am I making too much of this?

You seem to me to be making an argument based on punctuation. A simpler solution is that the gospel writer had a different idea of baptism to Paul (or whoever wrote the epistle).

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RdrEmCofE
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quote:
After all, Jesus didn't say, "Go and baptise, making disciples" although some Christians might see this that as the "proper" way to operate. Or am I making too much of this? Baptist Trainfan
Quite so, I absolutely agree. Paul's priorities regarding baptism were absolutely in line with the great commission. As you rightly point out the priority is FIRST acquainting enquirers with the gospel, then encouraging them to sacramentally express their allegiance to Christ and his teaching by being baptised 'In the name of The Father, Son AND Holy Spirit'. The spoken formula is not what is important, it is the understanding that the catechumen should have of the comprehensive threefold ministry of God which then encompasses the rest of their New Life in Christ.

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Love covers many sins. 1 Pet.4:8. God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, not holding their sins against them; 2 Cor.5:19

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Higgs Bosun
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quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
I suppose, one might take the commands of Jesus seriously - and see that need to make disciples and to baptise them is urgent.

Yes. But is the charge "to-make-disciples-and-baptise-them" or "to make disciples and, once you've done that, to baptise them"?

This seems a trivial point to make, but it's not: do we see baptism as an essential part of the initial command of Jesus, or is his emphasis on "making" disciples with baptism as the natural consequence of that?

After all, Jesus didn't say, "Go and baptise, making disciples" although some Christians might see this that as the "proper" way to operate. Or am I making too much of this?

I would suggest that the language of the command is to be understood as:

Make disciples by baptising and teaching.

Baptism, alone, does not make someone a disciple, but neither does teaching.

I think it is a little unfair on St Paul in saying that he did not think baptism important. (Rather, it was that who did the baptising is not important). Romans 6 is pretty strong on the significance of baptism. It is the acting out of one's death and new life.

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RdrEmCofE
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quote:
I would suggest that the language of the command is to be understood as:

Make disciples by baptising and teaching.

Baptism, alone, does not make someone a disciple, but neither does teaching.

The FIRST essential is 'Making them a Disciple'. This involves obviously imparting Gospel information, (i.e. God was in Christ reconciling himself with the world and not holding their sins against them), but is not 'teaching all that Christ commanded', that would take a lifetime of discipleship to absorb properly. Baptism chronologically comes somewhere between hearing and responding to 'the gospel', and learning everything Christ taught and commanded.

quote:
I think it is a little unfair on St Paul in saying that he did not think baptism important. (Rather, it was that who did the baptising is not important). Romans 6 is pretty strong on the significance of baptism. It is the acting out of one's death and new life.
Quite so. But baptism is not only confined in its symbolic meaning to 'death and new life'. There are more references in the NT to baptism as a symbolic 'cleansing from sin' than there are for death and resurrection. Both symbolic meanings are therefore appropriate and neither exclusive of the other.

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Love covers many sins. 1 Pet.4:8. God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, not holding their sins against them; 2 Cor.5:19

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Baptist Trainfan
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quote:
Originally posted by RdrEmCofE:
The FIRST essential is 'Making them a Disciple'. This involves obviously imparting Gospel information, (i.e. God was in Christ reconciling himself with the world and not holding their sins against them), but is not 'teaching all that Christ commanded', that would take a lifetime of discipleship to absorb properly. Baptism chronologically comes somewhere between hearing and responding to 'the gospel', and learning everything Christ taught and commanded.

That is certainly the way I'd look at it.

I'm no Greek scholar, but it's not just a question of punctuation. It seems that the main force of the imperative is certainly not on the "going" (as so often stressed by missionary speakers!) nor on the "baptising", but on the "making disciples" - although this is actually just one word, "discipling". Thus a literal translation could be something like "In your going, disciple all nations, baptising them ...". To me the "baptising" comes subsequent to the "discipling" rather than being of equal immediacy.

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k-mann
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quote:
Originally posted by L'organist:
And the answer I received was that confirmation "didn't count" since it wasn't mentioned in the Bible, and that only true "believer's" baptism was the way into the Christian family.

The problem with that is of course that it depends entirely upon how one reads the passages in particular. I am convinced that Acts 8:14-17 refers to confirmation, as has the Church up through the centuries.

quote:
Originally posted by L'organist:
Frankly I was appalled and would normally be extremely concerned that this young man is getting involved with some sort of sect - except that the church in the case is an HTB plant.

If this Church is a HTB plant (presuming HTB means Holy Trinity Brompton), I would make contact with the local bishop. Re-baptisms are, as far as I know, unacceptable in the Church of England.

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Brenda Clough
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But -- am I right? -- baptism is a prerequisite for confirmation. You can't be confirmed until you're baptized. (The reason this is a Q is that we had to organize a snap baptism, in about 20 minutes, just before a confirmation. The bishop was all set to go, but then one of the confirmands revealed that he'd never been dipped. At this moment the Altar Guild felt that a paper cup would do, but instead we hauled out the big silver bowl...)

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Baptist Trainfan
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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
L'organist, a shudder went down my spine as I read your last post.

Mine too. I'm all for commitment, but ...

[ 02. January 2018, 14:26: Message edited by: Baptist Trainfan ]

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RdrEmCofE
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quote:
The problem with that is of course that it depends entirely upon how one reads the passages in particular. I am convinced that Acts 8:14-17 refers to confirmation, as has the Church up through the centuries.k-mann
As with other Biblically based concepts, (such as women receiving communion), Confirmation is not specifically named or written of, as such, in scripture.

The verses you quote are the basis for the justification and adoption of it by the CofE though. There is little question that the 'believers' written of were already valid disciples of Jesus Christ, (having been baptised in His name), the validity of their baptism was not in question, the only question as far as the apostles at Jerusalem were concerned, was whether the whole process of regeneration had taken place for the Samarian 'believers' or if there was an important further stage that they had 'missed out' on.

Thus they were encouraged to believe that the laying on of the apostles hands had facilitated the completion of these disciple's faith journey enabling them to fully serve Christ in the Power of The Holy Spirit.

Baptism is indeed a prerequisite to confirmation as a matter of Church Procedure, but not necessarily in the scheme of God Himself, who is free to graciously dispense his Holy Spirit whenever and upon whom ever God pleases, as He did in the House of Cornelius. Acts 10. And as described by Jesus himself to Nicodemus. John 3.

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Love covers many sins. 1 Pet.4:8. God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, not holding their sins against them; 2 Cor.5:19

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quote:
Originally posted by k-mann:
quote:
Originally posted by L'organist:
And the answer I received was that confirmation "didn't count" since it wasn't mentioned in the Bible, and that only true "believer's" baptism was the way into the Christian family.

The problem with that is of course that it depends entirely upon how one reads the passages in particular. I am convinced that Acts 8:14-17 refers to confirmation, as has the Church up through the centuries.

quote:
Originally posted by L'organist:
Frankly I was appalled and would normally be extremely concerned that this young man is getting involved with some sort of sect - except that the church in the case is an HTB plant.

If this Church is a HTB plant (presuming HTB means Holy Trinity Brompton), I would make contact with the local bishop. Re-baptisms are, as far as I know, unacceptable in the Church of England.

Unless of course a proscribed form of baptism liturgy was used in the first place (non Trinitarian?)

If it helps, we don't rebaptise at this Baptist church in this neck of the woods as a matter of course. It's open membership on a statement of faith if you join from another church or denomination. If someone wants to make a public statement of their faith by being baptised that's another matter.

If the church involved is an Anglican Church and we are hearing the full story, then this is something to be very concerned about. It's smacks of a works based salvation.

(Mind you HTB and like minded churches seem to have a pretty big influence to an outsider's eye like mine. My theology isn't so far removed from theirs - I'm probably slightly more of a closed evangelical than them - but I find their way of accessing the levers of power rather chilling).

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quote:
Originally posted by RdrEmCofE:

1. As with other Biblically based concepts, (such as women receiving communion), Confirmation is not specifically named or written of, as such, in scripture.

2. ...the laying on of the apostles hands had facilitated the completion of these disciple's faith journey enabling them to fully serve Christ in the Power of The Holy Spirit.


1. Take care that you don't read something into the text that isn't there or is not intended.

2. This act doesn't complete their faith journey, it is part of it. They are prayed for, hands are laid on, the Spirit's filling requested - that they might be sent out.

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