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Unread 01-09-2005, 03:42 PM   #1
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When's Baptism Valid?

According to R.C. Sproul, Jr., the Reformers taught that as long as you were baptized in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost your baptism was valid. It didn't matter to them whether you were baptized in the Roman church or the Protestant church, so long as you received a Trinitarian baptism.

Sproul says he disagrees with the Reformers. He believes that your baptism is *only* valid if you are baptized in the "Christian church." To him, it matters what institution baptizes you. He believes that you must receive a Trinitarian baptism, but that Trinitarian baptisms which occur, for instance, in the Roman church are not valid.

For the record, I disagree with Sproul and agree with the Reformers.

Anyone have any comments on the issue?

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Unread 01-09-2005, 04:03 PM   #2
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I agree with you because I don't see the Roman Catholic church as apostate. Check out this link:

http://www.hornes.org/theologia/cont..._ministers.htm

The following is from Chapter 28 of the French Confession, which Calvin helped draft, IIRC:

XXVIII. In this belief we declare that, properly speaking, there can be no Church where the Word of God is not received, nor profession made of subjection to it, nor use of the sacraments.[1] Therefore we condemn the papal assemblies, as the pure Word of God is banished from them, their sacraments are corrupted, or falsified, or destroyed, and all superstitions and idolatries are in them. We hold, then, that all who take part in those acts, and commune in that Church, separate and cut themselves off from the body of Christ.[2] Nevertheless, as some trace of the Church is left in the papacy, and the virtue and substance of baptism remain, and as the efficacy of baptism does not depend upon the person who administers it, we confess that those baptized in it do not need a second baptism.[3] But, on account of its corruptions, we can not present children to be baptized in it without incurring pollution.
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Unread 01-09-2005, 04:07 PM   #3
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So Calvin basically taught that if *you* had been baptized in the Roman church, that was valid, but that if your eyes had been opened to the errors of the Roman church then it would be wrong for you to baptize your *children* in that same church. Makes sense.
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Unread 01-09-2005, 04:25 PM   #4
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I once heard a guy preach that baptism was only valid if it was done in the name of Jesus, not the Trinitarian "Father, Son, and Holy Spirit." He based it of the works of the apostles who baptized new believers in "the name of Jesus."

It started this whole big movement around my town and everybody was questioning whether or not thier baptism was valid and they all wanted to be re-baptised in the name of Jesus.

Anyone else ever heard of this?
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Unread 01-09-2005, 04:27 PM   #5
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I agree with what has been said thus far, but I add a caviot--I believe baptism is only valid if the baptistee is capable of understanding the statement he is making. Because baptism is supposed to be both a statement of faith in Jesus Christ and a visual picture of how a Christian has died, been buried with Christ, and is then raised with Christ...to my mind it is very clear that the baptistee must (1) have made a profession of faith, and (2) be old enough to understand what statement he is making. Because infant baptism, for instance, doesn't meet those two guidelines, I disagree that infant baptism is valid.
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Unread 01-09-2005, 04:38 PM   #6
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I believe both the Catholic Church and the Protestant churches to be Christian. So I believe a baptism in any of these churches are valid at the time it occurs.
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Unread 01-09-2005, 04:39 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mymindhurts
I disagree that infant baptism is valid.
I think a good number here would agree with you, but not me
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Unread 01-09-2005, 05:22 PM   #8
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Quote:
Because baptism is supposed to be both a statement of faith in Jesus Christ
Can you prove that?
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Unread 01-09-2005, 05:37 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by +Donny
Can you prove that?
I'm with Donny, I was under the impression that Baptism was the exact same thing as circumcision. Can you prove that they're completely separate?
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Unread 01-09-2005, 06:23 PM   #10
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Yah, under the Old Covenant, infants could enter the Covenant and become a child of God through circumcision. In the New Covenant, baptism is used in the same manner, to enable us to enter the Covenant and become a child of God.
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Unread 01-09-2005, 06:29 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisHarbison
I'm with Donny, I was under the impression that Baptism was the exact same thing as circumcision. Can you prove that they're completely separate?
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisHarbison
I'm with Donny, I was under the impression that Baptism was the exact same thing as circumcision. Can you prove that they're completely separate?
Hmm. Well, I know I've always been taught that baptism was what I described it as being...I just looked up the passages in the Bible where it is mentioned, and I think this is the passage that is the basis for the meaning of baptism:

Don't you know that all of us who were baptised into Christ Jesus were baptised into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. - Ro. 6:3-4

That passage is taken to mean that the part of baptism where one is immersed in water is to symbolize our burial with Christ...and the part of baptism where one is raised out of the water symbolizes our having "risen with Christ" to a new life.

As for it being a statement of faith--I actually don't see verses for that--so it's possible I'm mistaken about that. We are commanded as Christians to be baptized (Matthew 28:19,20), and it's certainly connected throughout the gospels with the public repentance of sins.

Any thoughts on that? I don't know if what I was taught is simply a Baptist interpretation, or if the early church fathers taught the same meaning for baptism. I guess I should find out more about it!

I would say baptism is separate from circumcision, though, because nowhere are new Christians told to "be circumcised", though they are told to be baptized. Circumcision, as I understand it, is a symbol of God's covenant with the nation of Israel. Gentile Christians are said to be "circumcised in heart", but aren't told to be physically circumcised. So I wouldn't connect it with baptism, based on what I know now.

Why do you connect it with circumcision?
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-Jamie- from sing a song of ninepence

Jas de F: I like modearn art.
mymindhurts: Modearn?
Jas de F: Right. That's how I spell it.
mymindhurts: I just call it "mod art".
mymindhurts: It's more chic.
Jas de F: Oh, yeah?
mymindhurts: Yeah.
Jas de F: Well *I* call it "mo ar."
mymindhurts: *I* call it "Mo."
Jas de F: *I* call it "M."
mymindhurts: I don't call it anything.
Jas de F: Hey!
mymindhurts: What?
Jas de F: You undercut me.
mymindhurts: Yep.
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Unread 01-09-2005, 06:30 PM   #12
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Actually that doesn't seem to be a good analogy, because one can be BORN a Jew, and the physical circumsision seemed to be a sign of that. But one can't be BORN a Christian--one has to be old enough to understand what it means to surrender one's life to Christ.

Quote:
Originally Posted by goldenchild
Yah, under the Old Covenant, infants could enter the Covenant and become a child of God through circumcision. In the New Covenant, baptism is used in the same manner, to enable us to enter the Covenant and become a child of God.
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-Jamie- from sing a song of ninepence

Jas de F: I like modearn art.
mymindhurts: Modearn?
Jas de F: Right. That's how I spell it.
mymindhurts: I just call it "mod art".
mymindhurts: It's more chic.
Jas de F: Oh, yeah?
mymindhurts: Yeah.
Jas de F: Well *I* call it "mo ar."
mymindhurts: *I* call it "Mo."
Jas de F: *I* call it "M."
mymindhurts: I don't call it anything.
Jas de F: Hey!
mymindhurts: What?
Jas de F: You undercut me.
mymindhurts: Yep.
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Unread 01-09-2005, 06:56 PM   #13
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Quote:
Hmm. Well, I know I've always been taught that baptism was what I described it as being...I just looked up the passages in the Bible where it is mentioned, and I think this is the passage that is the basis for the meaning of baptism:

Don't you know that all of us who were baptised into Christ Jesus were baptised into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. - Ro. 6:3-4

That passage is taken to mean that the part of baptism where one is immersed in water is to symbolize our burial with Christ...and the part of baptism where one is raised out of the water symbolizes our having "risen with Christ" to a new life.
I take issue with this interpretation, as the passages says that baptism unites with Christ, and therefore unites us with His burial and His resurrection. Burial with Christ is a consequence of our union, and only one consequence.

Quote:
As for it being a statement of faith--I actually don't see verses for that--so it's possible I'm mistaken about that. We are commanded as Christians to be baptized (Matthew 28:19,20), and it's certainly connected throughout the gospels with the public repentance of sins.

Any thoughts on that? I don't know if what I was taught is simply a Baptist interpretation, or if the early church fathers taught the same meaning for baptism. I guess I should find out more about it!

I would say baptism is separate from circumcision, though, because nowhere are new Christians told to "be circumcised", though they are told to be baptized. Circumcision, as I understand it, is a symbol of God's covenant with the nation of Israel. Gentile Christians are said to be "circumcised in heart", but aren't told to be physically circumcised. So I wouldn't connect it with baptism, based on what I know now.

Why do you connect it with circumcision?
What he meant is that both circumcision and baptism are signs of entrance into the visible church. One became a member of Israel by circumcision, and one joins the visible community of Christians (the visible church) by baptism. Once cannot say, "Well, it was physical circumcision then and spiritual circumcision now" because we are speaking of the visible church. One has always been saved by spiritual circumcision and never by physical. Rather, in the OT, circumcision made you a part of physical, visible Israel, and now, in the NT, baptism makes you a part of the visible church.
Furthermore, they both symbolize regeneration (Colossians 2:11-12). Circumcision is a symbol of the cutting away of the old nature, while baptism is a symbol of cleansing, the sprinkling of the blood of Christ, and the pouring of the Spirit. However, just because baptism symbolizes this doesn't mean only those who profess to have partaken of regeneration can be baptized, for circumcision symbolized the same thing and clearly was practiced on infants.
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Unread 01-10-2005, 01:36 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mymindhurts
Hmm. Well, I know I've always been taught that baptism was what I described it as being...I just looked up the passages in the Bible where it is mentioned, and I think this is the passage that is the basis for the meaning of baptism:

Don't you know that all of us who were baptised into Christ Jesus were baptised into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. - Ro. 6:3-4

That passage is taken to mean that the part of baptism where one is immersed in water is to symbolize our burial with Christ...and the part of baptism where one is raised out of the water symbolizes our having "risen with Christ" to a new life.
You're assuming that this passage necessarily requires immersion. The text doesn't say immersion, it says baptism. Basically, you're saying that baptism = immersion because immersion = baptism; that's question begging, a logical fallicy.
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Unread 01-10-2005, 01:52 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisHarbison
I'm with Donny, I was under the impression that Baptism was the exact same thing as circumcision. Can you prove that they're completely separate?
There are many who do not believe that baptism is the NT equivalent of circumcision. I don't have verses handy at the moment, but I know Daniel ( bobthecockroach) has discussed this, so I will see if I can come up with them tomorrow. I , personally , don't agree that they are the " exact same thing".
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