"Water" Rededication

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Bill Anderson | Forum Activity | Posted: Tue, Apr 29 2014 1:22 PM

My church, which belongs to a presbyterian denomination, recently began allowing people who want to rededicate their lives to Christ to undergo what I will call "water" rededication. Instead of baptizing them in the name of our triune God, water is applied once (by sprinkling) and the pastor makes a different declaration than the declaration made to a person presenting for baptism according to our book of church order.

This practice appears to be an accommodation to people who were baptized as infants but want to be rebaptized. Our denomination does not generally rebaptize individuals. The candidates for baptism and rededication undergo these "rites" at the same time on stage. Let's just say the experience was unlike anything I have ever seen. 

I don't want this to turn into a theological discussion or debate. I would simply like to know if there are any searches I can conduct in Logos that you would advise or any resources in Logos that I can consult to learn if there is any historical basis or precedent for this practice in any denomination.

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Apr 29 2014 1:48 PM

While the search was not terribly successful in my library, my first thought was something along the lines of "renewal baptismal vows" which is usually accompanied by sprinkling.Does that phrase spark any more Protestant terminology? I would also search for a phrase from the ritual and see if it comes from a related ritual.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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DAL | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Apr 29 2014 1:53 PM

I searched my Bible and is not there, so I guess is a later invention someone decided to come up with for "accommodation" purposes, like you said.  I don't think "accommodation" should be a practice of the church, but then again, where I meet, we don't have a "book of church order" besides the Bible, because the Bible is the only one we strive to follow.  Just food for thought...Smile

DAL

Edit: You could wait for the "Presbyterian Base Package" and run a search there to see if you get any hits Wink

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Apr 29 2014 1:57 PM

DAL:
Just food for thought..

Which is precisely what the OP asked we not be drawn into. Please edit your post to respect the request of the OP. Otherwise it discourages people from asking legitimate questions.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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Rich DeRuiter | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Apr 29 2014 2:01 PM

Bill Anderson:

My church, which belongs to a presbyterian denomination, recently began allowing people who want to rededicate their lives to Christ to undergo what I will call "water" rededication. Instead of baptizing them in the name of our triune God, water is applied once (by sprinkling) and the pastor makes a different declaration than the declaration made to a person presenting for baptism according to our book of church order.

This practice appears to be an accommodation to people who were baptized as infants but want to be rebaptized. Our denomination does not generally rebaptize individuals. The candidates for baptism and rededication undergo these "rites" at the same time on stage. Let's just say the experience was unlike anything I have ever seen. 

I don't want this to turn into a theological discussion or debate. I would simply like to know if there are any searches I can conduct in Logos that you would advise or any resources in Logos that I can consult to learn if there is any historical basis or precedent for this practice in any denomination.

Bill, it would be difficult for this not to generate some theological discussion. What you want to look for is the theological basis for/against rebaptism. IMHO, it's pretty sketchy (I'm also from a reformed denomination). The second thing to look for is the theological basis for accepting a sacrament as legitimate or not. In my denomination (Christian Reformed Church in North America), any baptism done in the Triune Name, in a Christian church by someone authorized to do so, is valid. Specific resources to search would be those that deal with the sacraments from a Reformed perspective.

Pastorally, our denomination has made some concessions for those who believe that the church that they were baptized in was not Christian. The above sounds to me like a pastoral concession. I have mixed feelings about it, as it calls into question the legitimacy of a sacrament your denomination recognizes, and seems to me to be a further concession to the individualism of our culture. On the other hand, pastoral considerations are real and genuine and sometimes a persons conscience is troubled, regardless of any theological assurances. In that case, I think about another practice we engage in from time to time: the renewal of wedding vows. That practice doesn't negate the value or reality of the original wedding vows, but says again what was said before. (I'm not sure which Logos resources are available to help in this area, but if you're interested I could look up and recommend a recent study reports from our denomination.)

Historically, Reformed denominations in response to the Anabaptists, have asserted an insistence in not rebaptizing. You could also research the history of rebaptism and the arguments against it. While I submit to the denominational rules on this as a matter of integrity, I wouldn't die on the hill of "no rebaptism" per se. I'm not well versed in the history of theology resources in Logos, as it is an area of little interest to me. Maybe others can make some recommendations.

Your mileage may vary.

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DAL | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Apr 29 2014 2:04 PM

MJ. Smith:

DAL:
Just food for thought..

Which is precisely what the OP asked we not be drawn into. Please edit your post to respect the request of the OP. Otherwise it discourages people from asking legitimate questions.

Sorry MJ, request denied.  It's food for thought for the O.P. not a theological discussion or debate.  If there's anything unbiblical about what I wrote, point it out and I'll delete the post altogether. 

Thanks!

DAL

Edit: For the record, we "rebaptize" people (or better said, "baptized them correctly") once they learn what the Bible actually teaches concerning baptism.  We do not baptize infants either.

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abondservant | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Apr 29 2014 2:04 PM

The Anabaptists would agree with that, and we Baptists re-baptize people as well... But then were not Paedobaptists like the Presbyterians.

It sounds like your reformed pastor is dabbling in credobaptism.

I'll see what I can turn up.

Edit: Having searched across my reformed collection for "anabaptist", "anabaptism", "credobaptism", credo-baptist, rebaptism, re-baptism, and a few other terms, I've come to the conclusion that desipte having a number of baptist, reformed, and reformed baptist titles I don't have anything that deals directly with re-baptism.


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Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Apr 29 2014 2:20 PM

DAL:
For the record, we "rebaptize" people (or better said, "baptized them correctly") once they learn what the Bible actually teaches concerning baptism.  We do not baptize infants either.

That is a very controversial position. Talking about it as if you and your church know the right answer to something that has divided sincere and thoughtful Christians for centuries is not the kind of behavior that fosters healthy threads on the forum. You may think you know that it's right and wish other people would see it your way, but the Logos forums are not the place to assert that. You did not see Bill trying to convert you to see his church's rite as legitimate, so you shouldn't push back at him in the other direction. If he's wrong, God will show him in due time. And if you're wrong, God will open your eyes. And if neither happens, then it's OK to go on agreeing to disagree. But not in the Logos forums.

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abondservant | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Apr 29 2014 2:23 PM

Rosie Perera:

DAL:
For the record, we "rebaptize" people (or better said, "baptized them correctly") once they learn what the Bible actually teaches concerning baptism.  We do not baptize infants either.

That is a very controversial position. Talking about it as if you and your church know the right answer to something that has divided sincere and thoughtful Christians for centuries is not the kind of behavior that fosters healthy threads on the forum. You may think you know that it's right and wish other people would see it your way, but the Logos forums are not the place to assert that. You did not see Bill trying to convert you to see his church's rite as legitimate, so you shouldn't push back at him in the other direction. If he's wrong, God will show him in due time. And if you're wrong, God will open your eyes. And if neither happens, then it's OK to go on agreeing to disagree. But not in the Logos forums.



I heard a preacher joke once that "God is sovereign enough to bring everyone around to my point of view eventually".

Made me chuckle.

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Paul C | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Apr 29 2014 2:26 PM

Bill Anderson:
what I will call "water" rededication
I applaud you for your terminology. Some would hold that those who were sprinkled as infants were not baptised, But dedicated.
Bill Anderson:
Our denomination does not generally baptize individuals.
If the individual made a conscious decision to be baptised, There should be no need to re-do it.
Bill Anderson:
I would simply like to know if there are any searches I can conduct in Logos that you would advise or any resources in Logos that I can consult to learn if there is any historical basis or precedent for this practice in any denomination.
I would suggest you consult the Bible.  Acts 8:36,37 For instance. It seems that "believing with all your heart" is a pivotal requirement. Did the infants believe? Were they baptised, or dedicated? 

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DAL | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Apr 29 2014 2:33 PM

Rosie Perera:

DAL:
For the record, we "rebaptize" people (or better said, "baptized them correctly") once they learn what the Bible actually teaches concerning baptism.  We do not baptize infants either.

That is a very controversial position. Talking about it as if you and your church know the right answer to something that has divided sincere and thoughtful Christians for centuries is not the kind of behavior that fosters healthy threads on the forum. You may think you know that it's right and wish other people would see it your way, but the Logos forums are not the place to assert that. You did not see Bill trying to convert you to see his church's rite as legitimate, so you shouldn't push back at him in the other direction. If he's wrong, God will show him in due time. And if you're wrong, God will open your eyes. And if neither happens, then it's OK to go on agreeing to disagree. But not in the Logos forums.

I think you and MJ are over reacting.  I never claimed "my church" (which I don't own one because I never died for one), was the one that was right and the OP's was wrong.  I stated we "baptize them correctly" because there's obviously a wrong way to baptize people regardless of what others think or believe.  Acts 19 is a proof of that.  If you and MJ want to over react, go ahead, but I never tried to convert Bill either - And yes, God will show him, me or anybody in due time.  Meanwhile, the best thing is to ease off the "forum police" attitude and let the thread carry its natural course, since no "crime" has been committed here for the "forum police" to show and try to solve it. Wink

Thank you and MJ for your comments, though; but like I said, you two are over reacting and reading too much into my post.  It's a common mistake made here in the forums -- reading too much into posts, that is. Smile

DAL

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DAL | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Apr 29 2014 2:36 PM

abondservant:

Rosie Perera:

DAL:
For the record, we "rebaptize" people (or better said, "baptized them correctly") once they learn what the Bible actually teaches concerning baptism.  We do not baptize infants either.

That is a very controversial position. Talking about it as if you and your church know the right answer to something that has divided sincere and thoughtful Christians for centuries is not the kind of behavior that fosters healthy threads on the forum. You may think you know that it's right and wish other people would see it your way, but the Logos forums are not the place to assert that. You did not see Bill trying to convert you to see his church's rite as legitimate, so you shouldn't push back at him in the other direction. If he's wrong, God will show him in due time. And if you're wrong, God will open your eyes. And if neither happens, then it's OK to go on agreeing to disagree. But not in the Logos forums.



I heard a preacher joke once that "God is sovereign enough to bring everyone around to my point of view eventually".

Made me chuckle.

That's a spirit! No need to sweat it.  Laugh at it, I think it'll save a lot of arguments.  Thanks abondservant.  That can actually be used as a good quote/illustration.  I'll put it in my file.

DAL

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David A Egolf | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Apr 29 2014 2:38 PM

Rosie Perera:

That is a very controversial position. 

While we are not supposed to start theological discussions on this forum it is interesting that Michael Heiser has produced some interesting material on this topic.  It might have been included in his podcast series.  If it is not there, then it is on youtube.  He suggests that both sides of the traditional debate have incorrect views on what baptism "is".  His presentation talks about what baptism "is" and what it "isn't".  He proposes that N.T. baptism is the analog to O.T. circumcision.  It leads to some interesting observations and at least softened my view of it by allowing me to see the other side.

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Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Apr 29 2014 2:49 PM

David A Egolf:
It leads to some interesting observations and at least softened my view of it by allowing me to see the other side.

Yes, I think both sides have some validity. I don't hold strongly to either side, and think we must be charitable to all others who view this differently than we do, precisely because it has been so divisive in the past.

I didn't mean to be a "forum police" (I resigned as an MVP partly because of the reputation MVP's had for doing that when it was not their position to do it and I was tainted with that brush even though I usually didn't step into the fray like some others did). So I'm sorry I did this time. None of my business.

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fgh | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Apr 29 2014 3:04 PM

Bill Anderson:
historical basis or precedent for this practice in any denomination

The traditional 'rededication' takes place during the liturgy for the Easter Vigil. Here is an excerpt from the Roman Missal (but  many churches have something similar) (sorry for the formatting):

The Renewal of Baptismal Promises

55. When the Rite of Baptism (and Confirmation) has been completed or, if this has not taken place, after the blessing of water, all stand, holding lighted candles in their hands, and renew the promise of baptismal faith, unless this has already been done together with those to be baptized (cf. no. 49).

The Priest addresses the faithful in these or similar words:

Dear brethren (brothers and sisters), through the Paschal Mystery

we have been buried with Christ in Baptism,

so that we may walk with him in newness of life.

And so, now that our Lenten observance is concluded,

let us renew the promises of Holy Baptism,

by which we once renounced Satan and his works

and promised to serve God in the holy Catholic Church.

And so I ask you:

Priest:

Do you renounce Satan?

All:

I do.

Priest:

And all his works?

All:

I do.

Priest:

And all his empty show?

All:

I do.

Or:

Priest:

Do you renounce sin,

so as to live in the freedom of the children of God?

All:

I do.

Priest:

Do you renounce the lure of evil,

so that sin may have no mastery over you?

All:

I do.

Priest:

Do you renounce Satan,

the author and prince of sin?

All:

I do.

  p 383  If the situation warrants, this second formula may be adapted by Conferences of Bishops according to local needs.

Then the Priest continues:

Priest:

Do you believe in God,

the Father almighty,

Creator of heaven and earth?

All:

I do.

Priest:

Do you believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,

who was born of the Virgin Mary,

suffered death and was buried,

rose again from the dead

and is seated at the right hand of the Father?

All:

I do.

Priest:

Do you believe in the Holy Spirit,

the holy Catholic Church,

the communion of saints,

the forgiveness of sins,

the resurrection of the body,

and life everlasting?

All:

I do.

And the Priest concludes:

And may almighty God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,

who has given us new birth by water and the Holy Spirit

and bestowed on us forgiveness of our sins,

keep us by his grace,

in Christ Jesus our Lord,

for eternal life.

All: Amen.

56. The Priest sprinkles the people with the blessed water, while all sing:

  p 384  Antiphon

[Didn't paste]

Or:

[Didn't paste]

Ant. I saw water flowing from the Temple,

from its right-hand side, alleluia;

and all to whom this water came were saved

and shall say: Alleluia, alleluia.

Another chant that is baptismal in character may also be sung.

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fgh | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Apr 29 2014 3:09 PM

David A Egolf:
He proposes that N.T. baptism is the analog to O.T. circumcision.

Which is why the first recorded theological quarrel over Baptism debated whether it should take place on the 8th day, or directly after birth. 

"The Christian way of life isn't so much an assignment to be performed, as a gift to be received."  Wilfrid Stinissen

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DAL | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Apr 29 2014 3:11 PM

David A Egolf:

Rosie Perera:

That is a very controversial position. 

While we are not supposed to start theological discussions on this forum it is interesting that Michael Heiser has produced some interesting material on this topic.  It might have been included in his podcast series.  If it is not there, then it is on youtube.  He suggests that both sides of the traditional debate have incorrect views on what baptism "is".  His presentation talks about what baptism "is" and what it "isn't".  He proposes that N.T. baptism is the analog to O.T. circumcision.  It leads to some interesting observations and at least softened my view of it by allowing me to see the other side.

Is there a book by him on the subject or just the "youtube/podcast" presentation? I wonder if that's included in the views presented in the counterpoints volume or any other volume.

DAL

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Matthew C Jones | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Apr 29 2014 3:40 PM

DAL:
I searched my Bible and is not there

Acts 19:1-5  is one case of re-baptising. 

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Paul C | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Apr 29 2014 6:23 PM

fgh:
Which is why the first recorded theological quarrel over Baptism debated whether it should take place on the 8th day, or directly after birth.
Would you share with me the details of this first recorded quarrel?

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Apr 29 2014 7:27 PM

As we drift OOT (off original topic), we realize we need Logos to hurry up on this Restorationist resource Baptism in the Early Church: History, Theology, and Liturgy in the First Five Centuries by Everett Ferguson

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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