Saturday, November 11, 2006

Baptismal Re-enactment

JD Walt is irritated by the UMC's rigid stand against re-baptism and suggests an alternative: re-enacting an adult believer's infant baptism. Lots of good discussion in the comments. Logically, it makes sense if one has a low sacramental theology and sees baptism as primarily a symbolic act rather than a direct infusion of grace.

UPDATE: Bad Methodist has a related post on re-baptism.

6 comments:

Lorna said...

my daughter was re-baptised in the UMC two months ago. No problem for our church. We called it a confirmation of her baptismal vows, and I really don't see what the fuss is all about.

sometimes we need to put ministry before theology. We really do!

Ivan Walters said...

I agree we need to put ministry before theology, but not at the price of theology. Scripture says" One Lord, One faith, one baptism". Ephesians 4:5 To me that says no one should ever be re-baptized. Remembering your baptism or confirming your vows is O.K., but the water should never be reapplied, because while we can't keep our vows, God always keeps his, so there's never a need for a do over.

phil said...

couldn't "one" mean "common" as in, "a common baptism" or "shared?" doesn't the importance lie in the idea that it's the same rite in which all christians take part?

Anonymous said...

My first question for those wanting to be re-baptized are these:

1. Who are we doing the baptism in the name of or who is acting through the baptism? If it is God, how many times must God act?

This usually leads to questions about God's action and we end up coming to the place of reaffirming God's action in Baptism.

I really think this believers baptism is dangerously close to believing that we have anything to do with our own salvation. It just almost seems to flirt with Pelagianism.

phil said...

Does God need the act of baptism in order to act? If not, than wouldn't it follow that baptism is merely a human act and thus only ritual?

John said...

One could certainly make the argument, but not within the Methodist tradition.

I would not consider it to be a particularly strong argument, as God ordered that baptism take place. It is a sacrament ordained by God and not of human invention.