Sunday, 5 January 2014

The experimental baptism rite - baptism lite

On the alternative so-called baptismal rite - the salient questions are:

1. Why is it so semi-Pelagian when it claims to be about grace? "Will you help them?" It's wet... and not in the water sense!

2. Where is the sense of their own pilgrimage which was expressed in "walk with them in the way of Christ?"

3. Where is the truth that we are rebels against God expressed? 

4. Where is repentance from sin? 

5. Where is renunciation of the devil and evil? ("reject" is a much weaker word - I can reject your ideas, but I need to reject and renounce the devil and evil)

6. Where is the sense that Christ is Saviour - and that we need saving? 

7. Where is submission to the rule of Christ as a disciple? 

8. Where is the understanding that sin, the world and the devil are all areas where the rule of Christ needs to be affirmed and lived. Not just the obviously evil bits...

9. Why is the suggested credal interrogation the weak one - when the Apostles' Creed is the place where our faith has always been affirmed in baptism? 

10. "They will need to learn the story..." No, they need to *inhabit* the story, as forgiven sinners, as praying people, as those in whom the Spirit dwells (the Spirit doesn't get a mention here...)

This is crass. It's baptism lite. It will not do.


  1. Many Christians don't believe in Satan, or in "evil" as a free-floating entity.

    Likewise, many Christians don't subscribe to evangelical soteriology, or believe that we need "saving" from original sin in a more general sense. (Given that ancestral sin rested on a literal Adam, it's hard to square it with the fact that we've evolved from primates.)

    As the Church of England aims to be a broad church, shouldn't these understandings be allowed for in its liturgy?

  2. Why is the current rite a series of 19 questions and answers, bishop: 1 at the beginning, 3 at the presentation, 6 at the decision, 3 at the profession of faith, 1 at the baptism proper and 5 at the commission? Is it a faith test? And why require people to reject, nay "reject and renounce the devil" as you will have it, whereas barely a third of churchgoing Christians will believe that he exists which is a very small percentage of the population as a whole. Should we persuade them of the Evil One's existence prior to baptism so they can truly renounce him?

  3. Thanks for highlighting this Pete. I have included more analysis here


    What message is being broadcast when men reject water baptism outright or the purpose of baptism?


    Luke 7:29 And when all the people heard him, even the tax collectors justified God, having been baptized with the baptism of John. (NKJV)

    Luke 7:29 When all the people and the tax collectors heard this, they acknowledged God's justice, having been baptized with the baptism of John. (NASB)

    Luke 7:29 And all who heard John preach---even the most wicked of them---agreed that God's requirements were right, and they were baptized by him. (The Living Bible ---Paraphrased)

    What were the requirements that John was preaching? The requirements were the baptism of repentance for the remission of sin and to believe in Jesus who was to come.(Mark 1:4, Acts 19:4)

    The requirements under the New Covenant are to believe in Jesus, repent and be baptized in water. (Acts 2:38, Mark 16:16, Romans 10:9-10)

    Do believers in Christ agree that God's requirements under the New Covenant are right, even though the requirements include water baptism? Some do, but others do not.

    Luke 7:30 But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God for themselves, not having been baptized by him. (NKVV)

    Luke 7:30 But the Pharisees and the lawyers rejected God's purpose for themselves, not having been baptized by John. (NASB)

    Luke 7:30 All, that is, except the Pharisees and teachers of Moses.They rejected God's plan for them and refused John's baptism. (The Living Bible --- Paraphrased)

    The Pharisees and lawyers rejected God's plan. The evidence was that they rejected, the water baptism, that was administered by John.

    Are the believers in Christ who reject God's purpose for water baptism under the New Covenant rejecting the counsel of God? Are they rejecting God's purpose? Are they reject God's plan for themselves?

    Take note that the Jews who were baptized by John the Baptist did not say, our baptism was not essential for the remission of sins. They did not say our sins were forgiven the minute we repented and then we were immersed in water as a testimony of our faith. They did not say the reason we were baptized is so we could join the church of John the Baptist. They did not say that their friends and relatives who had repented, but died before they had time to be baptized still had their sins forgiven. They did not say that baptism was simply an act of obedience, but had nothing to do with the forgiveness of their sins. They did not invent a doctrine "Saved by Repentance Alone," in order to change the purpose of the baptism of John.

    Water baptism performed by John the Baptist was in order to receive forgiveness of sin.

    Water baptism performed under the New Covenant (Christian Baptism) is in order to have sins forgiven.