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DaveW

Baptism.....

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Thanks but that doesn't answer the question - I am particularly interested in people's opinions on WHO has the authority to baptise and WHY (Biblically) they think that person or group has that authority.

This could be an individual, a particular group, or even just anyone (these are three that I have heard of - there may be other options).

If you are saying there is no "authority" in baptism then that implies that you think anyone can do it? Is that your understanding?

To put the question another way - who, according to the Bible, is supposed to do the baptising?

 

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Bro. Dave, I am of the opinion that baptism is a part of what we understand as the "Great Commission" given to His church. Seeing as it is a direct command carrying the authority of Jesus himself, we understand it as a church ordinance. This is just one reason why traditional Baptists have always rejected alien baptism. We see this command given in the following verses:

 Mat 28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 
 19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 
 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

So, I guess that according to your specific question, the church, as an institution, is the authority charged with baptizing converts.

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So no one else has an opinion on the authority to baptise?

With all the other opinions being thrown around lately I thought this would garner some interest.

I am interested in people's thoughts

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23 minutes ago, DaveW said:

So no one else has an opinion on the authority to baptise?

With all the other opinions being thrown around lately I thought this would garner some interest.

I am interested in people's thoughts

It really depends upon how an individual views the "great commission."

If the "great commission" is a church leadership commission (to the apostle's as apostle's), then baptism is commissioned unto church leadership alone.

If the "great commission" is a church commission (to the apostle's as a church body), then baptism is commissioned unto the church itself.

If the "great commission" is a believer's commission (to the apostle's as believers), then baptism is commissioned unto believers.

So then, does the context of the "great commission" reveal whether it is a church leadership commission, a church commission, or a believer's commission?

So then, does any other passage of the New Testament reveal whether the commission to evangelize is a church leadership commission, a church commission, or a believer's commission?

(Yes, I have a position.  No, I am not sharing it at this time.)

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 I am of the opinion that it is the latter application and the Great Commission applies to the individual believer. I think the greater witness of the New Testament bears out the directive to spread (i.e. preach) the Gospel to everyone:

- Even if Jesus spoke the Great Commission only to the Apostles (questionable), part of that was to teach everyone to obey all of His commandments, which included the Great Commission itself (Matt 28:19-20; Acts 1:8).

- Evangelism is a spiritual gift, but so is giving, service and mercy, but all are still expected to give and serve and be merciful. Spiritual giftedness speaks to divine enablement, not basic responsibility. (1 Cor 12-14, Eph 4)

- All believers are ambassadors of Christ charged with helping people be reconciled to God (2 Cor 5:20; 1 Pet 3:15; Col 4:5-6; 1 Pet 2:9)

- Acts 8:4 tells the entire church went out preaching the Gospel when they were scattered from Jerusalem.

- If the Church is a body of believers and not a building, then it is the responsibility of the members of the body to spread the Gospel (Eph 4:12; 1 Cor 12:12)

Given all of that, I would say that the individual believer has the divine "authority" to baptize based on the possession of the Holy Spirt and the inclusion as a member of Christ's church. If baptism is a self-declaration of faith in Christ and affirmation of inclusion into His church and the act itself imparts no grace/salvation or any other secondary blessing, then then the one assisting the immersion is irrelevant. Technically speaking, anyone can act as a representative of the church to assist the new believer in joining the fellowship. One does not need a preacher, priest, or apostle to obey God through baptism.

However, baptism is also an identification with a set of doctrines/teachings (e.g. Baptist, Mormon, Catholic, etc.).This is why we Baptists accept baptisms from like-minded churches and reject baptisms in errant churches or false religions and require re-baptism for membership. In order to identify with a particular set of teachings, it is necessary to be baptized by a representative of that set of teachings. As has been tradition since Paul's day (1 Cor 1:10-16), the one preaching and teaching the true Christ are the ones who perform baptisms on those whom they instruct/evangelize. Having a leadership representative of the church also lends to conducting things decently and in order (1 Cor 14:40). As it happens, the pastors and deacons are the appointed, elected, or otherwise recognized leadership of a body of believers ascribing to a certain set of doctrines and they act on behalf of the church rather than as the mediator of grace in the way that the Catholic church does.

To sum up...I believe any born-again Christian may baptize, but for the sake good order in the church and clarity of identification, the duly-designated representatives of the local church body should do the baptizing in the presence of the body of believers (i.e. the church).

There's my two-cents.

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1 hour ago, TheSword said:

 I am of the opinion that it is the latter application and the Great Commission applies to the individual believer. I think the greater witness of the New Testament bears out the directive to spread (i.e. preach) the Gospel to everyone:

- Even if Jesus spoke the Great Commission only to the Apostles (questionable), part of that was to teach everyone to obey all of His commandments, which included the Great Commission itself (Matt 28:19-20).

Given all of that, I would say that the individual believer has the divine "authority" to baptize based on the possession of the Holy Spirt and the inclusion as a member of Christ's church. If baptism is a self-declaration of faith in Christ and affirmation of inclusion into His church and the act itself imparts no grace/salvation or any other secondary blessing, then the one assisting the immersion is irrelevant. Technically speaking, anyone can act as a representative of the church to assist the new believer in joining the fellowship. One does not need a preacher, priest, or apostle to obey God through baptism.

To sum up...I believe any born-again Christian may baptize, but for the sake of good order in the church and clarity of identification, the duly-designated representatives of the local church body should do the baptizing in the presence of the body of believers (i.e. the church).

There's my two-cents.

4 cents...add my 2 cents.

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There are common misconceptions regarding Baptism. One of them is that you have to be baptized to be saved. Here are some passages that are commonly misunderstood by proponents of Salvation by faith AND Baptism.

He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. (Mark 16:16)

He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not AND IS NOT BAPTIZED shall be damned. (Mark 16:16 - Mormon "Bible") See how sneaky Satan was trying to be!

Anyone who is a true born again Christian WILL be baptized if the opportunity arises

 And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? (Luke 6:46)

Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. (Matthew 7:21)

NO TRUE believer would ever say that they love the Lord and refuse to get baptized, only counterfeit Christians would say that. So a true believer WILL get baptized. He that believeth not is someone who would NOT even consider baptism, and there would be damned.

Another passage taken out of context is: 

Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. (Acts 2:38)

Another way of putting this is like saying, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ because of the forgiveness of sins.

It could also be put this way: "Send a thank you card to your Dad for the tuition fee. You're not sending a card to your Dad to obtain a tuition fee from him, rather you are sending him a card because your Dad had paid for your tuition fee." Hope this makes sense.

God Bless,

Daniel

 

 

 

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I would like to add a few thoughts also to this thread.

The Lord never told anyone to go out and preach 4 verses from Romans Road and convince people to say a sinner's prayer, then go on about their self-interests and business in this world with their new fire insurance policy. It was Satan that came up with this easy believeism non-sense prevalent in these last days. 1000:1 false professions of "faith" throughout fundamental and emerging churches is the norm while all these "preachers" spend most of their preaching time promoting dead faith because they are clueless to what our Lord's instructions are to us.

The Commission is 3 parts to one commission. Anything short of that is failure to follow our Lord's Commands. Jesus said to bring our fruit to perfection. Seems so very many self proclaimed "learned big shots" in Christian circles are clueless to the new birth. All they seem to understand are empty words which produce false conversions so they can proclaim another "soul saved" on their resumes. They justify this by claiming that the Gospel is received, acted on and results in vastly differing outcomes for people but all are somehow still regenerated regardless of evidence. This idea is foreign to Scripture and God.

Mark 16:16 makes perfect sense if we are following our Lord's commands. Why would anyone follow the Lord in baptism if they do not believe? Remember God wrote this so of course He meant only true, heart belief. Because only true, convicted by the Spirit, heart belief saves.

Jesus was baptized to fulfill all righteousness. Comparing Scripture to Hebrews 11 and the Gospels would indicate that baptism is God's designated method of demonstrating our faith in Christ in this age and is just as important as the other two parts of the Great Commission. One part or two parts without all three is incomplete and not what God told us to do.

No-one identified by God as righteous by belief in Hebrews 11 had dead faith. Every single person demonstrated their faith by obedience. I believe God means that "Talk is Cheap". Don't tell me you believe, SHOW ME you believe.

Example: Had Noah told God he believed Him about the coming flood but failed to build the ark, he and his would have drowned with the rest. But on the bright side, he could have still had a successful, money making "ministry" on earth according to these last days false prophets because he did say he believed. That has got to count for something, right (hic).

And no friends, this does not incorporate "works" by us. The obedience is the result of true faith and demonstrates it. Without this demonstration, there is only seeding and watering IMO.

And without our obedience to Christ to give people the whole truth of the Gospel (ie His Commission) then these easy believer's (still dead in trespasses and sins) blood shall be on our hands at the Great White Throne IMO. And we shall suffer loss at the Judgment Seat over them.

I realize that there can be exceptions to the commission such as the thief on the Cross. However, these are the rare exceptions and even in these rare instances, there will be some demonstration of belief to God. In other words, these "exceptions" are timing in nature and are of no fault of the believer (similar to the thief's predicament-like death beds and nursing homes).

Any person who misuses this one obscure example to preach a "doctrine" of salvation is a false prophet (prophet because they didn't get this idea from the Bible). It doesn't matter how many books they wrote or who publishes their merchandise.

The thief publicly rebuked his colleague for un-belief and professed Christ to all present without shame. Had he lived, he would have followed the Lord, starting with baptism.

The blame lies on those of us who choose to keep perpetuating this lie. The Lord gives the increase every single salvation and I suspect from Scripture that He hates it when we proclaim our own increases. The Truth is in His Word and not complicated and this Truth is as far from easy believism as it is from lordship salvation.

 

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The NT would seem to indicate indirectly that believing/baptized men with or without office baptized other believers. With 3000 being baptized in one day with only the Apostles doing it is beyond extreme and several passages showing our Lord's disciples "commanded them to be baptized" like in Acts 10:48, etc. The Scripture doesn't say the disciples themselves baptized but rather they commanded the act of obedience be done. No doubt from the already believing and baptized men in the church IMO.

Other passages agree with this from the Epistles as Paul rebuked many for the idea that the baptizer's name was of any significance.

I would caution against women baptizing even other women since no example of this appears throughout the NT. The reason for this would be consistent with several passages that restrict women in a small amount of Spiritual matters. Since baptism is the first demonstration of Spiritual obedience for a believer, common sense would place baptizing in the same category although not specifically addressed. IMO omissions in the Word are for a reason almost as much as examples.

Almost forgot one point: Baptizing is not mentioned in discussion concerning the church offices. (Another omission point). But neither is marrying, burying, marriage counseling and a small host of others things the last days churches demand of one dude.

This is my opinion after researching it a while back anyway, I am not 100% on it.

Edited by wretched

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Interesting that the word "authority" is used in regards to this question. Why does it even have to be a question of "authority"? A responsibility maybe? I can see that. A right? I can even see that. A command? Obviously. But why an "authority"?  What would be the Biblical, philosophical or personal need to look at it from that particular view? Not picking a fight. Honestly wondering.

Edited by weary warrior

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Well, I am not talking about "an authority", but the authority, the right, the responsibility, the "charge", to baptise.

Who can do it?

Anyone at all, or is there a restriction on who is "allowed" to baptise.

That is the point of the question.

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Maybe I am wrong on this one, but I can only think of one passage wherein the instruction (not the example) to baptize is given -- Matthew 28:18-20.  In that passage, ALL of the authority seems clearly to be our Lord's authority.  Who then is instructed under our Lord's authority to baptize?  The same individuals who are instructed to go and teach the gospel unto all nations.  The same individuals who are instructed to teach converts all of the things whatsoever our Lord has commanded us.  The same individuals unto whom our Lord promised to be with them unto the end of the world.  So then, who ARE those individuals; for they are the very same individuals who are instructed to baptize new converts.

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21 minutes ago, Pastor Scott Markle said:

Maybe I am wrong on this one, but I can only think of one passage wherein the instruction (not the example) to baptize is given -- Matthew 28:18-20.  In that passage, ALL of the authority seems clearly to be our Lord's authority.  Who then is instructed under our Lord's authority to baptize?  The same individuals who are instructed to go and teach the gospel unto all nations.  The same individuals who are instructed to teach converts all of the things whatsoever our Lord has commanded us.  The same individuals unto whom our Lord promised to be with them unto the end of the world.  So then, who ARE those individuals; for they are the very same individuals who are instructed to baptize new converts.

Excellent point! 

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While were on the topic of Baptism...

There are a lot of "baptizers" who do not know how to baptize according to scripture, such as the RCC (Roman Catholic Church), who I consider modern day Pharisees. And there is no such thing as infant baptism. As a missionary, I baptize true believers. Whenever, and wherever...as long as there is enough water for the person to be completely submerged in. The Greek for for baptize is "baptizo", and it means to completely submerse in, not sprinkle water over.

And John also was baptizing in Aenon near to Salim, because there was much water there: and they came, and were baptized. (John 3:23)

I baptize believers wherever there is "much water". In the bathtub, beaches, anywhere there a believer can be completely submersed.

It is a direct command from our Lord to be baptized. I would say to get baptized as soon as you are converted:

And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. (Acts 2:37,38)

 

God Bless,

Daniel

 

 

Edited by (Omega)
Where to baptize

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