A Lengthy Diatribe on Believers' Baptism, Immersion for the Newly Born Again With Absolutely No Evidence Presented to Support Any of It
THE PURPOSE OF THIS ARTICLE ON BAPTISM
The following is more to assist search engines in finding this page than anything else; it is not my best writing, so you may wish to go directly to the information page, or the Articles Links page, or the Questions and Answers page. A concise statement of my purpose is found on my Introduction page (see the link above). If you get bored with the following, it's your own fault; you've been warned.
THE GREEK WORDS RENDERED BAPTISM, BAPTIZE, AND BAPTIZING IN OUR ENGLISH TRANSLATIONS OF THE HOLY SCRIPTURES
Baptizo is a Greek word that is transliterated into baptize and means "immerse." It comes from the Greek word bapto, which means to dip.
Baptisma is a Greek word that is transliterated into our word baptism; it means "immersion." Baptizien is another Greek word that is used in the New Testament texts, and it is transliterated into baptizing, which means "immersing." Thus baptism is a plunging or dunking of the subject beneath the waters.
WATER BAPTISM IS A RITE AND CEREMONY OF THE NEW COVENANT
Baptism is often called a ceremony or rite of the church. This may be going too far, though. Properly speaking, baptism is a rite or ceremony of the New Covenant; the church is merely the visible organization of the New Covenant. Thus, baptism may be considered a rite of the church but not exclusively so it also is as much a rite or ceremony of any new believer regardless of whether or not he has decided where he is going to "go to church." Remember the Ethiopian eunuch? He received the rite of baptism from a deacon and evangelist from the church in Jerusalem, even though he was headed away from Jerusalem. Acts records others who received the rite of baptism apart from any apparent connection to a church, too.
CHRISTIAN BAPTISM IS A SINGLE IMMERSION, NOT A TRINE IMMERSION, NOR THREE SPRINKLINGS
This home page is all about biblical baptism; namely the single immersion (as opposed to a trine immersion) of newly saved Christians in water by the authority of the triune God (that is, in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit), in order to signify the washing away of one's sins and that, in Christ, one has died to himself and all that has heretofore given him security, fulfillment, and comfort in this world, having been united with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection. Baptism is to be by dunking or dipping the person into water, that is, a submersion or immersion.
WATER BAPTISM, THE SUBMERSION OR DUNKING OF THE SUBJECT IN WATER, IS FOR ONLY THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN BORN AGAIN
A person thus submerged in the name of the the Lord has received scriptural baptism, as plunging beneath the water is the only mode of baptism recognized in the New Testament. Sprinkling and pouring, also called affusion, are not legitimate modes of baptism at all. Nor is baptism legitimate unless the person immersed has receive salvation and has obtained the benefit of justification. In other words, apart from regeneration, one cannot (not just that he may not) be immersed in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; the baptizer may recite the words, "in the name of the Father Son and Holy Spirit," but if his subject has not confessed faith in Christ, he has not truly baptized him in the name of the Father Son and Holy Spirit.
THOSE WHO BELIEVE BAPTISM (PLUNGING THE PERSON UNDER WATER) OR SPRINKLING SAVES ARE CALLED SACRAMENTARIANS OR SACRAMENTALISTS
Those who believe baptism saves, or that baptism plus faith in Christ saves, are called sacramentarians or sacralists; their view of baptism is contrary to credobaptism. Sacramentarian baptism is not supported by the New Testament, credobaptism is. Those who believe baptism is a symbol of spiritual realities are sacralists (be sure to check out the Definitions page of this site for pronunciations of words, as well as for fuller explanations) or credobaptists.
MANY MAINLINE CHURCHES PRACTICE AFFUSION USUALLY BY SPRINKLING, SOMETIMES BY POURING AND MANY ARE SACRAMENTALISTS, TOO
Presbyterian, Lutheran, Orthodox, and Roman Catholic churches all hold to a form of sacramentalism, and except the Orthodox, they normally practice affusion rather than immersion. All four of them practice paedobaptism (that is, they subscribe to infant baptism), which is opposed to credobaptism.
MANY OTHER CHURCHES PRACTICE IMMERSION OR DIPPING THE SUBJECTS OF BAPTISM IN LARGE QUANTITIES OF WATER, AND THESE USUALLY ARE NOT SACRAMENTALISTS
Baptist, Congregational, Plymouth Brethren, and Dunkard Brethren churches, as well as Churches of Christ, the Christian Churches, Fundamentalists, and most Charismatics, all use immersion as their "mode" of baptism and do not practice infant baptism or paedobaptism (also spelled pedobaptism).
THE CHURCHES OF CHRIST DENOMINATION, AS WELL AS OTHER CHURCHES THAT HOLD WHAT IS COMMONLY CALLED CAMPBELLISM, ARE SACRAMENTARIANS EVEN THOUGH THEY BAPTIZE BY IMMERSION, AND ONLY BAPTIZE PROFESSING BELIEVERS
Churches of Christ and the Christian Churches are sacramentalists, even though they do not practice paedobaptism or infant baptism and hold to a "form" of credobaptism or believers' baptism. They hold that it is faith plus baptism that saves an individual, and base this on a few verses of Scripture which they have misunderstood. They call their baptism believers' baptism or credobaptism because they say a person must believe and confess before being receiving immersion, but they say that faith is not enough by itself to save a person, that baptism also has a part in saving the confessing person who so enters into this rite.
THERE ARE LOTS OF LINKS ON BAPTISM THAT PROVIDE ALL THE BIBLICAL EVIDENCE YOU NEED
The articles linked to from the links page amply demonstrate the importance of being immersed rather than sprinkled or having water poured over one's head (affusion). They also demonstrate quite well that the Bible demands credobaptism or believer's baptism; not just that one have faith, but that one actually be of the household of God (regenerated or born again) before he enters into baptism.
SACERDOTAL BAPTISM IS NOT TAUGHT IN THE NEW TESTAMENT
The idea that only a pastor or some special "official" of the church may baptize an individual is called sacerdotalism. Presbyterians, Lutherans, Orthodox, and Catholics are sacerdotalists, as are many Baptist and other Evangelicals. However, the New Testament nowhere teaches that only church officers may baptize or immerse an individual.
IT IS IMMERSION THAT IS AT ISSUE, NOT WHETHER OR NOT THE WATER IS RUNNING OR OUTDOORS
Although baptisms in the New Testament were normally performed in running water, such as a river, this really is not addressed as an issue of importance. The New Testament writers simply do not point to the nature of the body of water in which one is to be dunked as of any importance; obviously, though, one would not wish to ruin the significance of his immersion by being immersed in water that is not fit for bathing or swimming.
BAPTISMAL FONTS ARE NOT FORBIDEN; THE HERODIAN TEMPLE HAD MANY IMMERSION FONTS, SO A FONT IS AN OKAY PLACE TO GET BAPTIZED
Thus a baptismal font may be used, so long as the font is large enough for the new Christian to enter into it, along with the person who is going to baptize him. One must be born again in order for his baptism to be a valid baptism; it doesn't matter whether he has been immersed, or whether he was baptized as an adult, or whether or not the baptizer was in good conscience baptizing according to the authority of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, if the person being dunked is not born again. Salvation — regeneration and justification, as well as judicial sanctification — is an absolute prerequisite to a valid baptism, as is a confession of one's faith (which is why it is called credobaptism, or believer's baptism)
THERE IS NO FORMULA THE WORDS, FATHER, SON, AND HOLY SPIRIT INDICATE BY WHOSE AUTHORITY THE BAPTISM TAKES PLACE; THEY ARE NOT A FORMULA
Finally, the words "in the name of the Father Son and Holy Spirit probably do not represent so much a formula for baptism or submersion as an authority for the immersion of those who have received salvation and justification — for those who have experienced regeneration. The authority is the Triune God. Thus, while it isn't a bad idea to say the words, in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, one should probably not be too legalistic about it. As long as the immersion is in response to the Gospel of the Kingdom, and the believer confesses that he has repented (changed his mind about himself and his old way of life), then the baptism has occurred in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
THE FOLLOWING ARE THE MAIN PAGE LINKS FOR THE PAGES AT BAPTIZO EACH PAGE LINK WILL CONTRIBUTE TO YOUR UNDERSTANDING OF BELIEVERS' BAPTISM
http://www.angelfire.com/ia/Baptizo/definitions.html This page will provide definitions for most of the theologically special words you are likely to find in essays about baptism. Immersion is briefly discussed, as is infant baptism, the mode, and affusion.
LINKS TO BAPTISE ESSAYS, BAPTIZING ARTICLES, AND BAPTISM DISSERTATIONS ALL ABOUT BELIEVERS' IMMERSION, NOT INFANT BAPTISM OR AFFUSION OR SPRINKLING
http://www.angelfire.com/ia/Baptizo/links.html There are many link to essays about how to baptize, what the significance of baptism is, and why we should be baptizing our converts. There are also numerous links about paedobaptism (a.k.a. pedobaptism and infant baptism ), and links about the form and whether or not a font may be used. Additionally, there are other links related to baptism.
A WELCOME TO THIS BAPTISM WEBSITE
http://www.angelfire.com/ia/Baptizo/welcome.html This page explains in much briefer detail than the foregoing what Baptizo is all about. Basically it is for the busy Christian who wants to find out quickly whether or not he has found a believers' baptism site that truly promotes immersion for those who are regenerate only (that is, only for those who are born again ).
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ABOUT BELIEVERS BAPTISM, CREDOBAPTISM, IMMERSION, SUBMERSION PAEDOBAPTISM (ALSO SPELLED PEDOBAPTISM), INFANT BAPTISM, SPRINKLING, POURING, AND AFFUSION AND THE PROPER MODE OF BAPTIZING IN GENERAL
http://www.angelfire.com/ia/Baptizo/questionsandanswers.html Using my email address (below), I will be glad to respond to your questions about baptism. If you should want to know about immersion, or wish to inquie about infant baptism, or need information on the formula used to baptize the regenerate, please feel free to write to me. Ask me a question, even critique statements made on some of the links articles, and I will see if I can answer you. I do not presume to say that I am the baptism answer man, much less a bible answer man, but I will try to give you biblical answers to our questions about baptism; and if there is a question about it that I cannot answer, hopefully I will be able to admit that, too (besides, who knows but what someone else might send in the answer).
WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT BELIEVERS' BAPTISM, OR ABOUT IMMERSION, OR WHY IT IS WRONG TO PRACTICE INFANT BAPTISM? WRITE ME!